Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun


<bt>The percentage of white students in the Loudoun County Public Schools is 69.7 percent. The Connection was provided with the wrong figure, which was referenced in a story about the minority achievement gap, in the Nov. 24-30 issue.

<sh>Sheriff's Investigators Help Federal Authorities

<bt>The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is assisting Federal Authorities in tracking down an area woman wanted for

violation of a Federal Court Order.

The U.S. Marshals, the FBI and the Sheriff's Office are currently seeking information on the whereabouts of Melissa Ann Cash. Cash recently walked away from a minimum-security drug rehabilitation center in the Washington, D.C., area where she had resided as part of a federal court sentence.

Cash has been seen in the past in the Sterling, Herndon, Woodbridge and Manassas Park areas.

The subject is a 24-year-old white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. She has hazel eyes and in the past has had blonde, brown and red hair. She also has tattoos on her lower back and right arm.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Cash you are asked to call the US Marshals at 202-307-9100, Inv. John Bailie of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-771-5781 or the FBI at 703-762-3288.

<sh>$525,000 for Loudoun Nonprofits

<bt>U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) has secured more than half a million dollars for health and human services programs in Loudoun County: $100,000 for Loudoun Cares; $125,000 for Every Citizen Has Opportunities; $50,000 for Fresh Air/Full Care; and $250,000 for Good Shepherd Alliance. The appropriations are included in the fiscal year 2005 omnibus spending bill and requires only the signature of the President to be implemented.

<sh>Townhouses Approved

<bt>On Dec. 7, the Board of Supervisors approved an application by Edgemoore-Waxpool Land LLC, of Fairfax, to rezone a 4.52 acre parcel of land at the southwest corner of Route 625 (Waxpool Road) and Route 772 (Ryan Road) in Ashburn. The rezoning allows the developer to build up to 37 townhouses.

<sh>Clyde's Is Coming

<bt>Clyde's Restaurant now has permission from the Board of Supervisors to break ground at its new location in Broadlands. The restaurant owners have agreed to provide a tree buffer to help alleviate noise issues. They also agreed not to play music outside after 11 p.m. The restaurant will be located on Broadlands Boulevard.

<sh>Sheriff's Office Investigates Alleged Armed Robbery

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is investigating an alleged armed robbery that occurred Monday night in Sterling.

The victim, a 41-year-old Sterling man, told authorities that around 6:15 p.m. he was walking in the woods near the 46800 block of Harry Byrd Highway when two unknown Hispanic males approached him.

One of the suspects was said to have brandished a firearm and demanded his wallet. After removing cash from the victim's wallet the suspects fled the scene. The suspects were both described as wearing hooded sweatshirts that covered their heads. Both suspects were said to be

approximately 5 feet 8 inches in height with a small to medium build.

The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have information regarding the case to contact Investigator Craig of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

<sh>South Riding Woman Seriously Injured in Motorcycle Accident

<bt>A Loudoun woman remains in critical condition after a motorcycle accident in South Riding.

According to members of the Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Unit, Barbara Jean Gratz, 41, of South Riding, was riding a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle with her brother, Michael Kaydo Sr., of Mount Holly Springs, Pa., shortly before 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5.

Gratz apparently pulled out of her driveway in the 43200 block of Dark Wood Street, when she lost control and went across the street where she struck a light pole and then a garage of a residence two doors down.

Information at this time shows Gratz was recently fully licensed to operate a motorcycle.

MedStar airlifted Gratz to Washington Hospital Center where she remains hospitalized. Kaydo sustained injuries at the scene, but was not transported.

The incident remains under investigation.

<sh>Late Night Pursuit Ends with Arrests

<bt>A late night pursuit of a stolen car that led authorities across three jurisdictions ended with the arrests of two men Wednesday, Dec. 1.

The car chase began shortly before 11:30 p.m. in Sterling when the driver, Jason Sean Sharpe, 20, of no fixed address, and a passenger Ahmad Abu Williams, 18, of Alexandria, attempted to elude a deputy on routine patrol. The 1991 Honda Accord they were driving, which was found

to be stolen from Alexandria, continued on into Herndon and Fairfax County where the two men would be caught as they attempted to flee from the vehicle.

The pursuit started near Lincoln Avenue in Sterling when Sheriff's Deputy Sean Allen observed a vehicle whose taillights appeared to be defective. The deputy turned to make a traffic stop when the car made a quick right turn onto South Lee Road and seemed to accelerate.

The Accord continued to drive at a high rate of speed as it turned onto South Harrison Road and East Holly Avenue traveling through the residential neighborhood with a posted speed limit of 25 MPH.

The vehicle then made a right turn onto Lincoln Avenue, ran a stop sign at the intersection of Holly Avenue, and continued into Fairfax County.

The pursuit continued on Crestview Road in the town of Herndon when the vehicle ran a traffic light and turned onto Sterling Road. A member of the Fairfax Police Department joined in the pursuit as the stolen car continued onto Elden Street when the vehicle attempted to go in between several vehicles stopped at a red light. The stolen car sideswiped two of the cars and continued through the intersection.

The two suspects would then pull into the parking lot of the Worldgate Days Inn where they jumped out of the vehicle. With the assistance of two Fairfax Police Officers the driver and the passenger were taken into custody.

Sharpe was charged with two felony warrants for auto theft and eluding law enforcement, driving while suspended, and for possession of marijuana. Sharpe was also charged with two previous warrants for auto theft out of Fairfax.

Williams was charged with two felony warrants for auto theft and conspiring to commit a felony.

Both Williams and Sharpe were held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, who is handling the hit and run accident that occurred during the pursuit, no one was injured and there was minor damage to the cars.

<sh>Six Car Pileup Causes Major Traffic Delays

<bt>A six car pileup on Route 7 Friday, Dec. 3, caused major traffic delays and sent one woman to an area hospital.

The accident occurred just after 6:30 a.m. when a 1992 Honda experienced engine trouble as it was heading eastbound on Route 7 near Cochran Mill Road (Rt. 653). The driver of the Honda, Osei Owusu, 52, of Alexandria, put on his hazard lights and attempted to pull over into the right hand lane from the center lane of Route 7. Owusu was unable to get over into the lane which caused the center lane to backup and at that time a 1998 Toyota driven by Vivian Diaz, 52, of Leesburg, ran into the rear of a 1997 Volkswagen four door driven by Jayson Thunderhawk, 25, of Hagerstown, Md.

The Volkswagen was then pushed into a 2001 Honda Accord driven by James Edwards Jr., 49, of Frederick, Md. The chain reaction continued as a 2004 Jeep Liberty driven by David Shiderly, 41, of Union Bridge, Md., ran into the rear of the 1998 Toyota driven by Diaz. This sent the 1998 Toyota, the Volkswagen and the Jeep into a 2004 Chevy van driven by Maria Harris, 53, of Lovettsville. At this time a 2003 Ford F-150 driven by Robert Youngblood, 30, of Emmitsburg, Md., ran into the rear the Jeep Liberty.

Diaz was transported to the Cornwall Campus of Loudoun Hospital where she is expected to be released late today. She has been charged with Reckless Driving. Shiderly and Youngblood have been charged with following too close.

Due to the accident Route 7 eastbound was reduced to one lane and would finally be cleared just before 8 a.m.

<sh>Former Loudoun Teacher Found Guilty on One Assault Charge; Second Charge Dismissed

<bt>A former second grade Loudoun elementary

school teacher was found guilty in Loudoun Juvenile and Domestic Relations court Friday on one count of assaulting a student. The court dismissed a second charge of assault against another student from her class.

A Loudoun judge ruled that Lynne Wine, 56, of Middleburg, had assaulted an 8-year-old student at Aldie Elementary School in September of 2003. The charge of assault against another 8-year-old student was dismissed by the court. That incident was said to have occurred in April 2004.

The judge sentenced Wine to a $1000 fine with $500 of that fine deferred if she does not attempt to teach or volunteer at a school with children under the age of 14 within the next 12 months.

Wine, who has, since retired from the school system, was charged this past September with two counts of Misdemeanor Simple Assault.

<sh>Christmas Tree Regulations

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire MarshalÕs Office reminds residents of a new change in the stateÕs regulations regarding natural-cut Christmas trees.

The Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code was recently changed to permit the use of natural-cut Christmas trees in individual apartment units and places of worship.

Loudoun County Chief Fire Marshal Keith Brower advises that the use of any live-cut tree or other natural decorative material should be done with care to avoid an accidental fire.

Other holiday fire safety tips to consider include:

* Choose a fresh Christmas tree and put it in a stand designed not to tip over.

* Place the tree well away from heat sources and exits and water it constantly.

* If you purchase an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant.

* When decorating with lights, be sure to purchase only those that bear the mark of a testing laboratory. Replace any frayed or damaged cords.

* For outside decorations, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use. Bring outdoor lights inside following the holidays so they are not damaged by extended exposure to harsh weather conditions.

* Always unplug all lights before leaving home or going to sleep and donÕt overload electrical outlets.

* Use only battery-operated lights if you have a metal Christmas tree, or decorate without lighting.

* Dispose of the tree by placing it outside, at a distance from the home or garage

For more information related to fire safety, contact the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services at 703-777-0333 or visit the CountyÕs web site at www.loudoun.gov.

<sh>Jail Found in Compliance

<bt>The Adult Detention Center has been unconditionally certified and found in compliance with the Standards for Jails set by the Virginia Board of Corrections, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Every three years the jail is certified by the Virginia Board of Corrections and in the latest review the staff and facility received 100 percent compliance on all of the certifications.

The jail must successfully pass 137 standards established by the board covering every aspect of running and maintaining a

correctional facility, including mandatory, essential and important standards. Every jail in the State of Virginia must comply with the standards.

The Loudoun Adult Detention Center houses maximum-, medium- and minimum-security-level inmates with a maximum rated capacity of 118.

The current jail's construction dates back to 1958 with a new jail under construction outside the Town of Leesburg. The new Adult Detention Center is expected to be complete by early 2006.