Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Gang Awareness Forum

<bt>Members of the public are encouraged to attend the upcoming community gang forum sponsored by the Loudoun County Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT). The forum will be held from 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, June 22, at the River Creek Club, 43800 Olympic Blvd. in Leesburg.

Topics include gang awareness; local and regional trends; indicators of gang activity; what makes a child at risk to join a gang; and what a parent can do to prevent a child from joining a gang.

Members of GRIT and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Gang Intelligence Unit will make a formal presentation to be followed by a question-and-answer session.

GRIT is a multi-agency team charged with coordinating the suppression, intervention, prevention and overall reduction of street gang activity within Loudoun County. The GRIT coordinates, develops and supports services to at-risk youth, their families and communities.

For more information about the forum, contact Dave Carver, GRIT coordinator, 703-777-0303. More information about GRIT is also available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/GRIT.

<sh>Grants Available

<bt>Residents within the Catoctin Creek Watershed may be eligible for federal grant money to help evaluate and make repairs to their on-site wastewater treatment systems.

Catoctin Creek is considered an "impaired" stream because it has elevated fecal coliform levels that exceed the state of Virginia's clean water standards. Because the creek is listed as impaired, federal grant money is being made available to help residents in this area evaluate their on-site wastewater treatment systems, make repairs or replace the systems, or install a system for the first time.

The grant money, made available by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, will be distributed by the Loudoun County Health Department to qualifying homeowners for costs incurred from making corrections to their on-site wastewater treatment systems. The funds will pay for a minimum of 50 percent of costs for all qualified applicants, and up to 75 percent for those below the median income in Loudoun County.

Upon request, the Loudoun County Health Department will provide application materials to residents and help determine if they qualify for the cost-sharing program. People living on or near the following roads may be affected: Route 9 (Charles Town Road), Route 7 Bypass (Harry Byrd Highway), Route 287 (Berlin Turnpike), Route 665 (Loyalty Road), Route 690 (Hillsboro Road), Route 719 (Woodgrove Road), and Route 611 (Purcellville Road).

More information is available on the Loudoun County Web site at www.loudoun.gov/health/catoctin.htm or by calling Erin Fisher of the Health Department's Environmental Health Division at 703-737-8315.

<sh>Teens Charged in Destruction Incident

<bt>A South Riding teen was charged Thursday, June 9, in connection with damage that occurred to a townhome in his own community, according to the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office.

Robert Harwick, 19, has been charged with breaking and entering and felony destruction of property for damage that occurred to the townhome between February and May of this year, according to the report. His arrest comes one day after the arrest of Wesley Gilbert, 18, also of South Riding. Gilbert is also charged with breaking and entering and felony destruction of property, according to the SheriffÕs Office.

The home was unoccupied when the teens are alleged to have entered the home in the 43000 block of Golf View Drive and damaged carpets. The total cost of damage was estimated at $10,000.

The agency continues to investigate who broke into two South Riding single-family homes the weekend of April 23 causing more than $50,000 in damage combined.

The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information about any of these cases to call Investigator Sheffer with the Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Exposure Cases Investigated

<bt>The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a series of indecent exposures that are occurring in the eastern end of the county.

Friday, June 3, at 9:30 p.m., a naked black male wearing a carnival mask knocked on the front door of a home on Bickel Court, he then appeared at the back door of the house looking through a window, according to the SheriffÕs Office. The female homeowner and her daughter left the house and the suspect was not found.

A month earlier, May 9, at 11:20 p.m., a dark-skinned male, described as Hispanic or Middle Eastern, was seen standing in the fenced-in back yard on Bickel Court. The homeowner heard a noise and saw the suspect standing in her yard, he fled after she screamed, according to the SheriffÕs Office. The suspect never tried to enter the home.

These cases do not appear to be related to several incidents that occurred on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail near Ashburn. The first incident involves a white male that ran next to a jogger and engaged her in conversation. Around noon on June 2, the suspect approached a jogger near the W&OD trail and Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn. He asked the woman if he could run with her and then proceeded to make inappropriate comments and gestures, according to the SheriffÕs Office. The suspect was seen near an older green Oldsmobile, possibly a two door. He is described as a white male, 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 160 to 170 pounds, short hair, silver/gray wire-rim glasses, and is said to be clean cut.

A second incident involves a Hispanic male on the trail who exposed himself to a jogger as she was running by, according to the SheriffÕs Office. The incident occurred May 21, around 1 p.m., near Algonkian Parkway and Whittingham Circle. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s. He is said to be 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, and wearing a red ball cap, red T-shirt with baggy cargo pants.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Stores Fail Alcohol Sting

<bt>Nineteen convenience stores and one grocery

store in Eastern Loudoun were selected Friday, June 10, for a joint operation targeting underage alcohol sales, according to the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office. The alcohol enforcement operation conducted by the Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit saw an underage buyer attempting to purchase alcohol at area stores.

Of those 20 sites, 10 stores allowed an underage person to purchase alcohol from the store. All 10 of the clerks were cited for selling alcoholic beverages to a person less than 21 years of age under the state code.

Three stores did not have an ABC manager on-site and were directed to stop selling alcoholic beverages until corrections could be made. All reports will be forwarded to the Virginia State ABC Office for follow-up action.

The stores in violation were 7-Eleven Store, 46789 Sugarland Run Drive; 7-Eleven Store, 46141 Woodshire Drive; 7-Eleven Store, 712 West Church Road; 7-Eleven Store, 43974 Pipeline Plaza; 7-Eleven Store, 20630 Ashburn Road No. 107; Prime Mart, 45665 Church Road Plaza; Commerce Shell, 100 Commerce St.; Sterling High Up Mart, 428 Sterling Park Mall; Pacific Exxon, 23050 Pacific Blvd.; and Ice Rink Shell, 44245 Ice Rink Plaza.

<sh>Man Charged in Accident

<bt>A Leesburg man remains in stable condition after he

lost control of his motorcycle in a parking lot and wrecked Tuesday, June 7, according to the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office. According to witnesses and the results of the investigation, Michael Mulqueen, 32, of Leesburg, was operating his 1994 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle eastbound after just turning into the parking lot of the Ashburn Village Shopping Plaza when he lost control of the motorcycle and was thrown from the bike, according to the report. Mulqueen was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he was last listed in stable condition. The accident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. Mulqueen was wearing a DOT/Snell approved full-face-type helmet. He was charged with reckless driving in the incident.

<sh>County Receives Award

<bt>The Government Finance Offices of the United States and Canada awarded Loudoun County the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Loudoun County received the award for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which was judged to have met the high standards of the awards program for governmental accounting and financial reporting. Eileen Nguyen and Mark Winthrow, of the Department of Management and Financial Services, each received an award for Financial Reporting Achievement. The CAFR is available at www.loudoun.gov/finserv.

<sh>Anti-Gang Initiatives Funding

<bt>On June 7, the House Appropriations Committee approved funding for several new anti-gang initiatives. Chairman of the House Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said the initiatives were included as part of an annual spending bill that funds the Department of Justice; and continues funding for the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force.

The fiscal year 2006 bill includes the following new initiatives:

* $60 million will be spent on a national anti-gang program containing elements of enforcement, prevention and education. To carry out the initiative, the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs will seek federal, state and local approval as well as service providers.

* $5 million will create 20 additional Safe Streets Task Forces.

* $23 million will increase ATF Violent Crime Impact Teams.

* $3 million will help create 32 additional U.S. attorney positions to offer more gang prosecutions and gang-strategy coordinators. This was announced earlier this year for the purpose of increasing anti-gang initiatives.

* $1 million for eight additional assistant positions for U.S. attorney offices to coordinate investigations across judicial districts.

* $4.7 million to the FBI to provide resources for the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC).

* $719,000 for a few new positions in the ATF, DEA, and Bureau of Prisons for more intelligence analysts in the NGIC.

* $3.3 million for an FBI legal attachŽ office in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Wolf also said that the bill would fund the Juvenile Justice Gang Resistance Education Program for $25 million and give $60 million to the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program, $5 million over the present year. The president eliminated both programs in his proposed budget. The proposed budget also gives $80 million to Title V Local Delinquency Prevention and Demonstration projects but the president's proposed budget would cut this by $50 million.