Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun


<bt>In the May 3-9, 2006, Loudoun Connection, both the Ashburn and Cascades editions, the article "Southern Pride for Film" the director's last name should have been Squires.

In the May 3-9, 2006, Loudoun Connection, Cascades edition, the article "Students Play Dress Up" should have said that Dominion High School's "Prom Dreams 2006" program gave participating students donated prom dress free of charge.


<bt>A teenager and her aunt who had been missing from their Sterling home since Sunday, April 30, were located safe and sound in Fairfax County and have returned home, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Stephanie Trillo-Bohorquez, 13, and her aunt, Flor Trillo-Bohorquez, 20, left their Woodgate Court residence of their own accord after an argument between family members. They were located during the overnight.

<sh>Animal Shelter Closed

<bt>The Loudoun County Animal Shelter will be closed Monday, May 15, in order for employees to attend a compassion fatigue workshop.

This meeting is part of an ongoing program instituted to assist shelter staff in dealing with issues that arise from the sometimes emotionally taxing work that they must do.

Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, is common among those who work in caring for victims of trauma. In animal shelters, it is especially difficult for those who have the responsibility of euthanizing animals.

<sh>Bike to Work

<bt>The Loudoun County Office of Transportation Services will hold the local celebration for National Bike to Work Day Friday, May 19.

Bicycle riders on their way to work can stop in Leesburg and Sterling for free food, giveaways and the opportunity to win raffle prizes from local businesses. The Loudoun County celebration takes place at two "pit stops" along the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail in Leesburg at Raflo Park, from 6-9 a.m. and in Sterling, near Orbital Sciences, east of Route 28, from 6:30-8:30 a.m.

The Office of Transportation Services coordinates the local pit stops. The local efforts are in cooperation with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. A total of 19 pit stops will be held in the Washington, D.C., region, including a pit stop for AOL employees at its Dulles campus.

Bike to Work Day is free and open to both new and experienced bicycle commuters. Preregistration by May 12 guarantees riders a free T-shirt and the chance to win a bike valued at more than $1,000. For more information and to register for the event visit www.waba.org or call 202-518-0524.

For more information about local Bike to Work Day activities, contact the Office of Transportation Services at 703-737-8044.

<sh>Caputo Meeting

<bt>Del. Chuck Caputo (D-67) will be holding a town hall meeting Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m.-noon, at the meeting room at Chantilly Library, 4000 Stringfellow Road. Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn Tavenner will be the special guest. All are invited to attend. Questions can be directed to Lu Ann Maciulla McNabb, legislative assistant,

at LA@delegatecaputo.com or 703-476-6944.

<sh>Repaving Project Underway

<bt>The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority started a major repaving project on the Dulles Airport Access Highway Monday, May 8, during the late evening and early morning time period to minimize disruption to traffic. The work will take place on the east and west lanes of the Access Highway between Route 28 and Spring Hill Road.

The project, which is expected to be completed this summer, will involve the milling of deteriorated roadway surfaces and the paving and restriping of approximately 10 miles of the Access Highway and associated on/off ramps in both the eastbound and westbound directions.

The work will be done between the hours of 9:30 p.m.-5:30 a.m., Mondays-Saturdays and will require the closure of one of the two lanes of the Access Highway during those hours.

There will be periodic lane closures during the day to allow for inspection of the work.

Drivers using the Access Highway in the eastbound direction, leaving the airport will be affected during the first phase of the construction project. Once the eastbound portion of the project is completed, work will shift to the westbound lanes.

The Airports Authority is also making other roadway improvements on the roadway between the Main Terminal and Route 28. The eastbound traffic lanes are currently under construction and the westbound lanes will be under construction later this summer. This work will add traffic lanes to increase the capacity of this area of the highway.

<sh>New Name

<bt>The Loudoun County Department of Social Services is changing its name to the Department of Family Services. The new name better reflects the wide variety of programs and services the department offers.

Typically county social service departments in Virginia are responsible for such programs as child and adult protective services, foster care, adoption, Medicaid, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, general relief and child daycare.

But in Loudoun County, the department, over the years, has been assigned responsibility for a wide range of services and programs that extend beyond the routine responsibilities of most social service departments. Oversight is provided by the Social Services Board while the department staff provides support to several other advisory boards, including the Housing Advisory Board, the Affordable Dwelling Unit Advisory Board, the Disabilities Services Board, and the Community Action Agency Board.

Another factor in changing the name was the historical connotation of "social services" with welfare.

The location of the department in the Shenandoah Building at 102 Heritage Way, N.E., in Leesburg and the telephone number, 703-777-0353, remain the same.

<sh>Rash of Burglaries

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is investigating a series of daytime burglaries that occurred Thursday, May 4, in Sterling.

In total four homes were victimized and more than $3,200 in jewelry was stolen, according to the Sheriff's Office. The first incident was reported around 12:30 p.m. at a home in the 200 block of Greenfield Court. The resident returned home around 11:30 a.m. after going out for around 30 minutes and found a sliding glass door open. Inside they discovered more than $1,500 in jewelry missing, including several necklaces.

Around 1:30 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to another home on nearby Woodgate Court. A resident had left the home around 11:15 a.m. and returned one hour later. A rear window of the home was damaged to gain entry and several pieces of jewelry worth around $330, including three bracelets, were stolen from the home.

The other two incidents occurred in the 210 block of Willow Terrace and took place sometime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. In one incident it appears someone attempted to gain entry into a residence by damaging a glass window. Nothing was taken from the home. Inside another home on Willow Terrace a resident found $1,400 in jewelry missing from a bedroom. The subject may have used a ladder left in the backyard to gain entry into a second-story window.

Anyone with information about these burglaries is asked to contact Investigator R. Colantonio of the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous they are asked to call Loudoun 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>Ashburn Man Arrested

<bt>According to Fairfax County police, on Thursday, May 4, at about 10:30 a.m., a woman heard knocking at her front door in the 3200 block of Cobb Hill Lane in the Fair Oaks area.

The doorbell rang several times and she then heard a loud noise. A man threw a rock through a window and broke into the house. She then saw an intruder at the top of her staircase and shouted at him. The suspect quickly left the house but was apprehended a short distance from the

scene. The victim was not injured.

According to police, 37-year-old Patrick Lawson, of Ashburn, was arrested and charged with burglary.

<sh>Conviction Upheld

<bt>In a written opinion issued May 2, the Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence imposed by Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James H. Chamblin, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

Matthew J. Lathram was convicted in August 2004 and later sentenced in December of that same year. The offenses were comprised of seven felonies, which included several narcotics and firearms related charges and a manslaughter charge relating to the death of Donald "Nick" Shomaker, 15. Although Lathram was 17 at the time of the offense, the Commonwealth's Attorney elected to proceed against him as an adult.

Chamblin imposed a sentence of 25 years to serve in prison, with and additional 40 years of a suspended sentence, for a total of 65 years. Additionally, numerous conditions were placed on the defendant during the term of supervised probation which the judge fixed for the duration of the Lathram's life.

On appeal, the defendant contended that the life-long probationary period was unreasonable, an abuse of the trial judge's discretion and in violation of the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

In the Memorandum Opinion, Court of Appeals Judge James W. Benton Jr. disagreed, stating that the Loudoun County Circuit Court judge did not abuse his discretion when imposing a term of supervised probation for the remainder of the defendant's life upon his release from prison.

The Court of Appeals' assessment according to established case law, as well as the relevant statutes, was that "the trial judge could have sentenced Lathram to 105 years imprisonment, essentially a life sentence, without abusing his discretion. Although lifetime probation is burdensome, it is considerably less burdensome than lifetime imprisonment."

The Court of Appeals did, however, remand the case back to the Circuit Court to correct a minor unrelated error in the Sentencing Order. This correction does not materially affect the previously imposed outcome of the case.