Victoria Ross, Fairfax County Reporter for The Connection Newspapers, has a diverse media background as a journalist, editor, freelance writer and media spokesperson for county government.
Victoria covers Fairfax County government as well as county-related matters in the Virginia legislature, including politics, transportation, housing, education and county services. She has developed and written several special editions and series, including award-winning in-depth coverage of homelessness in Fairfax County and the impact of immigration and diversity in the county. During the 2012 elections, she covered President Barack Obama’s rallies in Fairfax County, as well as the president’s second inauguration. She also covered several other high-profile races, including U.S. Senator Tim Kaine’s race against former Virginia governor and U.S. Senator George Allen.
Her extensive coverage of homelessness in Fairfax County helped earn The Connection the prestigious 2011 Virginia Press Association Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service. Other awards given for Victoria’s work include the Fairfax County Media Partnership Award in May, 2012, and Virginia Press Awards for In-Depth Or Investigative Reporting for 2011 (2nd and 3rd place) and 2012 (1st place) and for Multimedia Feature Report (2011, 1st place).
A magna cum laude graduate of James Madison University and The University of Virginia, she started her journalism career in Dayton, Ohio where she was named the youngest-ever editor-in-chief of Times Publications, a chain of community and daily newspapers. As a reporter and editor of The Kettering-Oakwood Times and The Centreville-Bellbrook Times, she won several first-place Ohio Newspaper Association Awards for investigative reporting, business reporting and feature writing.
In 1994, she and her husband moved to Charlotte, where she became the media spokesperson for The Fighting Back Project, a nationally-recognized anti-drug program, co-funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Mecklenburg County.
She worked closely with the board’s co-chairs — Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four who participated in the Woolworth sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement, and Cullie Tarleton, broadcasting executive and North Carolina State Representative — to raise the community profile of the program. That same year, she was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to serve on Charlotte’s Diversity Task Force. In 1997, she became communications director for Mecklenburg County government, where she worked until moving to Montgomery County, Maryland, in 2003.
While freelancing for several local publications, she started a Diversity Book & Film Club that was the subject of a 2006 feature story The Washington Post. Victoria was born in Baltimore and raised in Fairfax County. She currently lives in Vienna with her husband, two children and two amazing dogs.
Rate gives board flexibility, options in determining final budget.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 Tuesday to advertise a higher real estate tax rate that could add about $100 to annual tax bills, which will be on top of the $332 county homeowners will see this year as a result of higher real estate assessments. Setting the advertised tax rate formally begins the two-month public process to adopt the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, and the rate represents the maximum potential tax rate for FY2015.
Recent deaths shine light on FCPS suicide prevention programs.
Every 15 seconds, a teen in the United States tries to commit suicide. Every 90 minutes, one succeeds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011.
Fairfax County average homeowner will see tax bill increase $330 under County Executive’s proposed $7 billion budget.
Fairfax County Executive Edward Long, Jr. unveiled a $7 billion budget proposal Tuesday that reflects his "cautious and deliberative approach to budgeting," a result, Long said, of continuing uncertainty over federal spending and sluggish commercial tax revenues.
Wolf’s retirement sparks crowded political stage as both parties vie for coveted Congressional seat.
U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s announcement in December that he would not seek reelection to an 18th term in Congress came as a surprise to both Republicans and Democrats. Wolf’s retirement notice instantly set off a feeding frenzy among politicians maneuvering to gain the Northern Virginia Congressional seat.
Friends of Sadie collect record number of blood donations at fifth annual blood drive for childhood cancer.
Under dozens of rainbow-colored hearts and tables laden with Valentine’s treats, friends and family greeted each other with hugs and kisses as children chased each other through the halls of the Woods Community Center on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Inspired by one child’s struggle with cancer, Burke community prepares for fifth annual "family-friendly" blood drive to give other children hope.
Erin and Ethan Lauer of Burke vividly remember the history-making snowstorm that buried the region with more than three feet of hard, wet snow exactly four years ago this week. Dubbed "Snowmageddon" by local and national media, the blizzard shut down most businesses, schools, and the federal government for weeks. Snowmageddon, meteorologists said, rivaled the snowfall production of any other major snowstorm in recorded history. The ferocious storm came in two rounds. When the second wave hit, temperatures plummeted into the high teens and winds gusted over 40 mph. The Lauers held little hope that friends and neighbors would dig out of the ice and snow to attend a Valentine’s Day blood-drive for their infant daughter, Sadie, who had been diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer called Neuroblastoma when she was just 3-months-old. The family was in for a surprise.
Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.
Despite the lingering impact of an anemic economy, and the regional ripple effects of federal sequestration, Fairfax County residents will see some concrete signs of progress this year.
State legislators turn attention to ethics in wake of McDonnell gift scandal.
As members of the Virginia General Assembly convene for the first time since last February, legislators are stampeding to introduce ethics legislation in response to the gift scandal which engulfed then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). The revelations last spring about numerous undisclosed gifts and purported loans from businessman Jonnie Williams to McDonnell — including a $6,500 Rolex watch engraved to the "71st Governor of Virginia" and $35,000 in gifts and catering for his daughters’ weddings — shined a spotlight on Virginia’s porous financial disclosure laws.
Virginia leaders tout merits of Springfield site for FBI HQ relocation.
A high-ranking delegation of Virginia politicians gathered in Springfield Tuesday morning in a renewed effort to convince the Federal Bureau of Investigation to relocate its headquarters to a warehouse site in Springfield. The move in the high-stakes, highly competitive regional competition comes after site selection guidelines eliminated almost all other Northern Virginia locations.
How Republican Brian Schoeneman earned wrath of his party by making sure every vote counted in county.
On the morning of Nov. 6, the day after the general election, it appeared that Republican Mark Obenshain had eked out a razor-thin victory over Democrat Mark Herring to become Virginia’s next Attorney General. Like most hotly-contested political battles, the close race generated even closer scrutiny.