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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

Good Shepherd Housing School Supply Drive Underway

Monetary donations are also crucial.

The Good Shepherd Housing School Supply Drive is underway, a crucial initiative that will directly impact the lives of children in need. The nonprofit organization is collecting backpacks and school supplies for the 2024-2025 school year and would like to receive all donations by Aug. 1.

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Low-flow Level on Potomac River Kicks off Monitoring.

Low-flow Level on Potomac River Kicks off Monitoring.

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Highlights of Virginia LCV’s Scored Legislation Patroned by Lawmakers of the Fairfax County Delegation to the General Assembly

LCV’s positions and governor’s actions.

Gov. Youngkin vetoed 201 bills in 2024, including bipartisan environmental protection legislation. Virginia LCV classified scored legislation into five categories: energy and climate, good government, land conservation, land use and transportation, and water quality. Virginia LCV provided its position, whether supporting or opposing the bills, and compared such against Gov. Youngkin’s actions, whether he signed the bills into law or vetoed them.

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Virginia League of Conservation Voters 2024 General Assembly Conservation Scorecard Released

Fairfax’s state legislators sweep the Scorecard’s honor roll.

Of the 22 elected officials in the Virginia General Assembly who represent all, or a portion of, the citizens of Fairfax County, 19 achieved a perfect score of 100 percent, earning the honorary title of "Legislative Hero” from the Virginia LCV. The remaining three achieved a near-perfect score of 95 percent, earning them the title of "2024 Legislative Leader."

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Sheriff’s Office, ICE Square Off

Springfield rapist of Herndon child sentenced; found to possess child sexual abuse material says U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A June 27 press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia, reported that a “Honduran national who raped a 13-year-old victim was sentenced to five years in prison for receiving child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and assaulting a federal officer.”

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Schools: Community News at a Glance

School Board To Update School Boundary Policy Later This Month

Schools

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School Board To Update School Boundary Policy Later This Month

The Fairfax County School Board scheduled action to amend Policy 8130 on adjusting school boundaries at its meeting on July 18, 2024. The revised draft policy, Policy 8130.8, is subject to updates. Updated policy will focus more on capacity, staff discussions indicate.

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Winners of A. Heath Onthank Award

Three employees receive the county’s highest government honor award.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized Tajweer Beaufort, Leila Gordon, and Kim Young with the A. Heath Onthank Award, the highest government employee honor.

COMMUNITY NEWS AT A GLANCE

County’s Sheriff’s Office Is Recruiting.

County’s Sheriff’s Office Is Recruiting.

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StarKist, Cornerstones and Feed the Children Partner to End Hunger

2024 Summer Food and Resource Rally

On June 6, Cornerstones, StarKist, and Feed the Children gathered for the third annual summer food and resource rally at Cornerstones Food Rescue Empowerment Enterprise in Sterling. Three Fairfax County nonprofits — LINK Against Hunger, South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry, and Fellowship Square — and two in the Dulles corridor, Dulles South Food Pantry and Community Lodgings, participated.

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Governor Says Virginia Is Exiting Clean Car Commitment

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has no interest in a roadmap to a zero-emission future for vehicles in Virginia. Youngkin cites Attorney General Jason Miyares’ official opinion, which "confirms that Virginians are no longer legally bound to follow the emission standards of California.”

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Unremitting Data Center Demand Pushes County to Act

Balancing an economy that can’t happen without data centers with homeowners’ rights and quality of life.

The relentless march of data center growth in Northern Virginia has reached a reported 70 percent of the total number of data centers on our planet.

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Red-shouldered hawk attacks Great Falls family

Red-shouldered hawk attacks Great Falls family

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County Supervisors Act Now

Increase Trust, Preserve Sanctity of Life, Reduce Disparity.

Police

School Board Adopts FY 2025 Budget

Can’t win ‘em all.

Community News at a Glance

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Police Reform Recommendations Sit on a Shelf

Inaction by Supervisors compounded by FCPD stalling on life-saving measures.

Police reform

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Are Supervisors Leaving Police Reform Efforts to Languish?

Stymied by FCPD, ‘We need the board to act.”

Police Reform

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National Police Week 2024, Annual Candlelight Vigil

National Police Week 2024, Annual Candlelight Vigil

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Homelessness Point-in-Time Count 2024

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee's regional point-in-time counts are a "limited and imperfect perspective."

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Pay Increase Goes from 6% to 3% for All FCPS Staff

Last-ditch attempt for 5% raises for teachers, support staff.

On Thursday, May 23, Mateo Dunne, the Mount Vernon District Representative on the Fairfax County School Board, launched an effort to amend the superintendent’s proposed FY 2025 Approved Budget.

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School Board Hearing on Budget Poorly Attended

Why didn’t more people testify?

Dr. Ricardy Anderson (Mason District representative) welcomed the six people who testified Tuesday evening, May 14, at the Fairfax County School Board Public Hearing on the budget. The time between the first speaker, Nancy Trainer, starting her testimony, and Arthur Purves, the sixth speaker, ending his testimony was approximately sixteen minutes.

FCPS Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

FCPS Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

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‘Addictive Cell Phone Usage’

Fairfax County School Board spurred to action on student cell phone use

Cell phones

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Stop for Pedestrians in Fairfax County Crosswalks

Supervisors adopt ordinance amending county code to stop, not just yield.

Yield

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Honoring Fairfax County Retiree Charles Smith

In January of 2024, Charles Smith retired as Watershed Project Implementation Branch Chief. In this role, he led a team responsible for designing, constructing, and monitoring water quality improvement projects.

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Supervisors Adopt Budget Plan: Tax Rate Increase.

Challenges, needs, and the reality that the county cannot do it alone.

Tax increase

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Seven Years Later, Still No Herndon Downtown Redevelopment

Comstock’s 2-year construction pause expired on April 30.

On April 24, a town spokesperson told The Connection that Herndon Town Manager Bill Ashton would update the Town Council during its April 30 Work Session on how “the town and Comstock are working together to determine next steps.”

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No Hold Comments by Chairman and Supervisors

Budget, lack of state funding; Animal Protection Police or Animal Control Officers?

Budget

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Valor Awards Honor 230 First Responders

On Thursday, April 11, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce honored first responders at the 46th Annual Fairfax County Valor Awards.

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It’s Going to Cost More To Do More

Public Hearings on the tax rate and sewer rate.

Due to rising service demands and challenges in funding them, Fairfax County faces significant challenges addressing its FY 2025 advertised budget of $3.8 billion

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In Tents Not by Choice, But Lack of Choices

Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Johnson v. Grants Pass. on April 22, 2024 with consequences for people experiencing homelessness.

People experiencing homelessness opt to sleep in areas ‘not designated for human habitation’ because of a lack of affordable housing, especially for those earning below 30 percent of the Area Median Income.

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Many Needs in Schools, County

Testimony will highlight priorities for spending.

On Thursday, April 18, home care workers, public service workers, allies, and community members planned to join airport workers, elected officials, and candidates for Congress for a march and rally at Dulles Airport in support of access to affordable health care and paid sick leave for airport service workers.

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Inova Schar Cancer Institute Reaches 5th Anniversary

Interview with John Deeken, MD, institute president

Inova Schar Institute

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In Tents Not by Choice, But Lack of Choices

Problems with data; police Encounters; shelter and housing.

People experiencing homelessness opt to sleep in areas ‘not designated for human habitation’ because of a lack of affordable housing, especially for those earning below 30 percent of the Area Median Income.

Community News at a Glance

Partial solar eclipse to a deflating tennis bubble.

Community News at a Glance

Supervisors Uplift Trans Visibility

Health crisis looms for trans students.

Trans Visibility

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FCPS Explains Opt-Out Notification for Holocaust Speaker

FCPS and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington share insights.

FCPS opt-out

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FCPS Pride Rally Mobilizes Leaders Against Lawsuit

Will FCPS continue to be safe for LGBTQIA+ students?

Pride

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2024 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County

Herndon Friends honor countywide high school juniors and seniors.

Peace

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Tentative Agreement Between ATU Local 689, Transdev

Fairfax County Connector Bus service expected to restart Friday, March 8.

After a daylong negotiation session on Tuesday, March 5, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, representing striking Fairfax County Connector bus drivers and mechanics, reached a tentative agreement with Transdev.

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County’s Real Estate Tax Rate Advertised at 4 Cent Increase

Fairfax County Supervisors at its March 5 meeting approved advertising a 4-cent FY 2025 real estate tax rate increase for the County Executive's FY 2025 Fairfax County Advertised Budget. The advertised rate is $1.135 per $100 of assessed valuation.

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FCPS Seeks 2% and 6% Pay Hikes

Could county taxpayers shoulder a quarter billion dollars in school raises?

Teachers Pay

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Can Prospective Public School Employees Afford Fairfax?

School pay scale for emerging professions hurts recruitment.

FCPS

Broken Pipe Part of Larger Project

‘No evidence that the pipe's failure had compromised the water quality of those homes.’

On Tuesday, March 5, John Lisle, vice president of marketing and communications at DC Water, said Fairfax County's Feb. 27 presentation at the Great Falls Community meeting was comparable to DC Water's previous community meetings held the week before.

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