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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees Revisits July Controversy

Trustee Rosenthal apologies for ‘wrong words’ and retains board seat.

Fran Millhouser, Chair of Fairfax County Library Board, said she received "many emails voicing public concern" for statements made by Trustees Phil Rosenthal (Springfield District) and Darren Ewing (Dranesville District) during the previous board meeting in late July.

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Kamala Harris Speaks at Fairfax 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony

At Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters, County Fire Chief John S. Butler stepped to the podium at the 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony to commemorate lives lost on September 11, 2001.

Downtown Herndon Real Estate Focus of Closed Door Session

Possible sign of pending land sale for Downtown Redevelopment Project.

After the Herndon Town Council adopted its Continuity of Government Ordinance on March 24 which allowed it to operate during the state of emergency due to COVID-19 and do so in a streamlined manner, Council could not discuss and act on matters such as zoning, planning, development and the Heritage Preservation Review Board Handbook.

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As Federal Benefits Drop, Food Insecurity Escalates in Herndon Area

Rotarians, People of Action, hold food drive.

For more than a month, like other unemployed workers across the United States, those in the Herndon area struggle to afford food and housing on state benefits alone when work remains scarce.

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‘Movies Under the Stars’ by Woodland Park Crossing Herndon

Catch a free, family-friendly flick.

With the summer of 2020 coming to a close and the pandemic a fixture of life, local families search for ways to pass the time outdoors.

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Dedicated to the Notion of Every Child by Name and By Need

Successful virtual start planned for FCPS’ special education children.

Fairfax County Public Schools held a Special Education Town Hall on Aug. 16, part of its Back to School Countdown.

Ewing Resigns from Fairfax County Library Board

Trustee Rosenthal apologizes for disruption.

Two members of the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees, Phil Rosenthal, Springfield District Representative and Darren Ewing, Dranesville District Representative, made statements during the July 29 public meeting of the Fairfax County Library Board Trustees that caused the public, organizations, and top County leaders to voice concern.

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County Democrats Endorse Town of Herndon Candidates

Town voters participate in unassembled caucus.

The Democratic Sample Ballot for Town of Herndon Elections this fall will show candidates endorsed by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC).

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Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble in Reston

Car Rally for Justice shines a light on conscious and unconscious biases.

With armed security guards patrolling the grounds, faith leaders of nine partnering churches in the Reston-Herndon area joined organizers from Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church Reston for their Faith and Justice Car Rally.

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Outrage Over Comments by Trustee on Fairfax County Library Board

Local organizations, unions and faith-based groups call for his removal.

In the aftermath of public concern following comments made by appointed Trustee Phillip Rosenthal (Springfield District) during the July 29 public meeting of the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees, NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition sent a letter on Aug. 20 to Jeffrey McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Fran Millhouser, Chair of the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees.

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The Need for Food Knows No Boundaries in Herndon

Neither does the need for a Herndon Labor Support Center

Alex Rodriguez is Organizing Chair of the Herndon Labor Support Center.

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Threatening Snag on Herndon Arts Build

Large group of investors pull out

The proposed Floris Conservatory for Fine Arts & Music, a $40M, 48,000 square foot Scimores Academy LLC project for children 4-18 years of age planned for 8.06 acres at the intersection of West Ox and Centreville Roads in Herndon, might not come to fruition.

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Doulas Launch Arrow Birth

Virtual education and consultations.

As mothers of seven children between them and long-time practicing doulas, Mari Stutzman Smith and Tara Campbell Lussier, two Herndon High School alumnae, ultimately knew what was missing for families on the path of parenthood to feel supported and successful.

Twelve Candidates Run in Town of Herndon Election

Candidates Discuss Their Priorities

As of Aug. 10, 2020, twelve candidates qualified to run in the Nov. 3, Fairfax County, Town of Herndon, General Election for Member Town Council – Herndon, and Mayor – Herndon, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

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Herndon Harbor House Seniors Embrace the New Norm

Masked, socially distanced and loving the life they make.

Seniors at Herndon Harbor House in the Town of Herndon pursue active lifestyles even though they have quarantined since March, according to resident Janice Watson.

EagleForce Warrior Foundation Donates $30K

Funds launch Capital Caring Health's ‘So No One Dies Alone Program.’

The local nonprofit provider of elder health, hospice and advanced illness care, Capital Caring Health, received a $30K donation from EagleForce Warrior Foundation to launch the provider's 'So No One Dies Alone Program' for Veterans from Northern Virginia and nearby areas and their families.

Moving Fairfax County Schools to Dismantle Systemic Racism

NAACP holds virtual Town Hall.

Fairfax County NAACP held a virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

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Community Needs in NOVA Spike

As nonprofits lose funding resources, the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce acts.

After it became clear that local Northern Virginia counties and towns could not provide nonprofits with resources at the level they did before COVID-19, business leaders in The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce stepped up.

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Fairfax County Democratic Committee Calls Virtual Unassembled Caucus

Party partisan endorsements in local nonpartisan election.

The issue of partisan party endorsements in a nonpartisan election appears to be one of the pending topics for discussion by candidates in the November 3 Town Council General Election in Herndon this fall.

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Fairfax County Pivots Back to Virtual Learning

Superintendent sought Board consensus.

Members of the Fairfax County School Board reached a consensus during its July 21 Work Session and accepted Superintendent Scott Brabrand's recommendation to begin the 2020-21 school year 100 percent virtually.

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Fairfax County Teachers Push for Virtual Start to School Year

Union says it is unrealistic to open school with a hybrid plan.

Two days after the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) July 15, 11:59 p.m. deadline passed for students, teachers and school based technology specialists (SBTS) to respond to two Instruction Options for the 2020-21 school year, the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT, AFT 2401) sent a letter to FCPS officials urging them to switch to 100 percent virtual learning.

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Food Pantry Shelves Near Empty in Herndon

Demand is greater than supply.

The Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Northwest Federal Credit Union, is out to fill empty tummies.

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Coalition Pleads for Removal of Fairfax County SROs

NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition proposes redirecting of funding to hire counselors.

"While schools' primary role is to serve as an institution for learning, it must also remain a suitable place for young people to mature and sometimes err, without being subjected to the unquestionably perilous path of the criminal justice system," wrote members of the NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition in a July 6 letter to Fairfax County Public Schools Board and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

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Q&A on Back to School for Fairfax County

Superintendent takes questions at Virtual Town Hall.

FCPS hosted a virtual Town Hall Meeting on July 6, to answer questions about its two Return to School Plans: Full-time Online Instruction or In-Person Instruction with Social Distancing.

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Love & Unity Prayer Rally Held in Herndon

Not changing the narrative, changing the atmosphere.

In the Town of Herndon, population 23,000, faith-based organizations gathered with the Town's police force.

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Ready or Not, Here Comes Phase 3 in Fairfax County

Tracer data sparse; COVID clusters threaten.

Fairfax County, along with the rest of the state, is expected to enter the third phase of reopening on Wednesday, July 1.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Paid Family Leave

Helping County employees meet family demands and employment responsibilities.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Paid Family Leave for County employees during its June 23, 2020 Board meeting.

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Remote or In-School Learning in Fairfax County

County families should respond by July 10.

School reopens for Fairfax County Public Schools students in eight weeks. That means that families in the 10th largest school division in the United States have until Friday, July 10, to respond with their enrollment choice for the entire 2020-21 school year.

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Contracted Locally, Makers Sew 45,000 Face Masks

New jobs for unemployed and new revenue stream for nonprofit.

Unthinkable scenarios happened in early March. The COVID-19 pandemic hurled itself into Northern Virginia; small and large businesses shuttered and unemployment rates escalated.

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Black Lives Matter Banner Stolen from Reston Church

Theft reported Juneteenth 2020.

A large banner reading Black Lives Matter was reported stolen along with its supporting posts on Juneteenth 2020 from church grounds of the Unitarian Universalist Church Reston.

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Don't Touch the Veggies in Herndon

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in place as Herndon Farmers Market reopens.

The 2020 Herndon Farmers Market, operated under Fairfax County Park Authority, opened for the season later than normal, not on the usual third Thursday in April, but on June 18.

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Scenario 1, 2 or 3: What Will It Be in Fairfax County?

2020-21 school plans presented to the County School Board.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) presented their preliminary recommendations for the 2020-21 school year to the Fairfax County School Board on Monday, June 15, during its work session.

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Change Through Communal Voice

Local high school students join Black Lives Matter movement.

Leaders of Change Coalition held a Black Lives Matter March in front of the Herndon Municipal Center Sunday, June 7.

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Obituary: A Life Well-Lived

Robert A. Shawn of Herndon dies shortly after 100th birthday.

Robert A. Shawn passed away at home on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Born May 6, 1920, "Colonel Bob" celebrated his 100th birthday two and half weeks before his passing.

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A Series of Fortunate Events in Herndon

Serendipity scores for a print school newspaper.

When Michael Wemyss, Herndon High School Class of 2020, sat down on day one in his junior year journalism class, he assumed that the course focused on the school yearbook.

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Herndon, Reston Communities Protest Against Racial Injustice and Police Brutality

Thousands take to local streets and sidewalks in solidarity.

"We need to take this moment and make it our moment. We need to use our breath for those who have no breath," said Rev. Dr. Debra W. Haffner of Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston.

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Fairfax County Police Department Officer Charged with Assault Against Community Member

Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Police Chief: ‘These acts are unacceptable.’

"The body-worn camera video I am releasing shows a Fairfax County police officer deploying force in violation of our use of force policies … They are criminal acts which violate our oath of office, and they ignore the sanctity of human life," said Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Police Chief, the day after one of his officers deployed an "electronic control weapon," multiple times on an African American male who did not appear to be a threat.

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A Call to End ‘White Silence’

Demonstrators converge at Public Safety Headquarters in Fairfax.

After seven days of nationwide protests, escalating riots and looting by some in the fallout from the death of African-American George Floyd while being arrested by a white officer in Minneapolis, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Northern Virginia held protests at two northern Virginia police headquarters.

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Let’s Get This Right: Mask Up NOVA

It’s Phase One and Executive Order 63 for Northern Virginia’s reopening.

On May 29, The Northern Virginia Regional Commission announced that it produced a Public Service Announcement emphasizing the importance of wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces.

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Honoring Fallen ‘in a Smaller Way’ in Herndon, Reston Area

Memorial Day 2020

Michael Cutler is 2nd Vice Commander and Avenue of Flags coordinator at The Wayne M. Kidwell American Legion Post 184 Herndon-Reston. In preparation for Memorial Day Observances, he and others usually gathered at dawn at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in the Town of Herndon. In two-person teams, in all types of weather, Veterans and volunteers dropped poles into the ground. Then they raised the 64 casket flags in their care donated by families of interred veterans, creating an Avenue of Flags, a patriotic feature flanking the entrance into the cemetery: 2020 was different.

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Fairfax County School Board Celebrates Class of 2020

Superintendent Scott Brabrand releases Board decisions.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand dashed any remaining hopes of summer in-person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020. After receiving results from high school students and parents on his Survey on Graduation Preferences, Brabrand said the School Board agreed on his recommended approach. They committed to celebrating the seniors "in the safest and most personalized manner possible."

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Fairfax County School Board Considers Fall 2020 Options

Three back-to-school scenarios presented.

What might school look like to children in Fairfax County Public Schools this fall — remote learning or social distance learning with masks and temperature checks? Which students would schools bring back first — the older ones or most vulnerable? And what might students face when they get there — a climb back to grade level or multi-age classes?

Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Budget Plan, Fairfax RISE

Highlights of May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Some of the first words Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said at the May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting were for county families; in particular, those who lost loved ones or had family members hospitalized with the coronavirus. "If we could keep them and their entire families in our thoughts and prayers," McKay said. "As a reminder, our County flag continues to fly at half-staff, throughout the County at our facilities, in honor of the residents who sadly died as a result of COVID-19 and in recognition of our many essential workers who are responding to the pandemic," he said.

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A Click Worth $40K for South Lakes High School Senior

Awarded ‘Opportunity Scholarship’ in monthly drawing.

One little click set Imani Irons of Herndon and senior at South Lakes High School in Reston on a path that eventually led her to be among 25 students who, after completing six key college planning steps, each at valued dollars, the College Board awarded $40,000 in its chance Opportunity Scholarships Program.

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Remediate, Demo then Build in Herndon

Comstock edges toward redevelopment of Historic Herndon.

Comstock Herndon Venture LC has yet to ink its purchase of 4.675 acres of town-owned land in the Herndon Historic District after it and the Town signed a Comprehensive Agreement approximately two and a half years ago for the Herndon Downtown Redevelopment Project, a partnership between the Town and Comstock Herndon Venture LC.

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Hunkered Down to Opening Up in Virginia

Northern Virginia leaders urge regional approach to reopening state.

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Northern Virginia Reopening Should Occur When Metrics Met

Regional mayors and chairs send letter to Gov. Northam.

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Col. ‘Bob’ Honored in Herndon on 100th Birthday

Drive-by birthday parade for centenarian, retired fighter pilot Col. Robert A. Shawn.

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‘Don't Forget About Us’ in Fairfax County

County supervisors hold public budget hearings.

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Herndon Cares, Deliciously

First Baptist Church of Herndon spearheads a new program.

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