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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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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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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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The AcceptAbility Gala

Global Down Syndrome Foundation gala tickets available; policymakers, National Institute of Health scientists attending.

Gala

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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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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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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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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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Bridge Over Troubled Crosswalk

Wiehle Avenue and W&OD Trail Bridge to be operational this summer.

Bridge over troubled crosswalk

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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.

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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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Are Pedestrians and Bicyclists Safe?

Crashes involving pedestrians have been increasing over the last three years, up from 144 in 2021 to 191 in 2022 to 233 in 2023.

bikes and peds

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Newly Released Book Chronicles Fall of Saigon 1975

Local author tells of her Vietnamese family’s escape on the last plane out.

Vietnam book

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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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Major Sewage Line Fails Near Potomac River in Great Falls

Fairfax tests wells, positive results for coliform and E. coli

The DC Water and Sewer Authority's Potomac Interceptor sewer line at Manhole #31, approximately 400 feet (just more than a football field) from the Potomac River, and varying proximity to 18 private wells in Great Falls, 158 feet to 2,755 feet, failed on or before Feb. 12.

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School Board Approves $3.8 Billion Budget

Mateo Dunne proposal not to increase pay for top division leadership rejected by Board; Supervisors will influence budget.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, the twelve-member Fairfax County School Board approved the Fiscal Year 2025 Advertised Budget 11–0 with one abstention.

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Raising Funds for Children’s and Teens’ Fine Arts

Arts of Great Falls produces Monet’s garden-inspired gala

Art

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Gun Safety Bills Head to Governor’s Desk

Rally cry in Richmond: ‘Sign the Bills’

Gun Bill

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Fed Up: Fairfax Connector Workers on Strike

Union cites unfair labor practices and Transdev’s ‘slow-walking the talks.’

Bus Strike

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County Executive Presents FY 2025 Advertised Budget

Tax increase proposed; jobs cut; state underfunds schools; supervisors will make changes.

Budget

House of Delegates Considering SB 280, Medical Aid in Dying

Death with dignity bill passed in Virginia Senate.

Death with Dignity

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DOJ Releases Uvalde Review in mid-January

Where are comments by Fairfax County and Virginia on recommendations?

Review

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Justice Sunday

On First Baptist Church of Vienna’s 8th Annual Legislative and Justice Sunday, elected officials update the status of bills and review past actions.

Church

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County’s FY 2025 Budget Process Kicks Into Gear

Potential budgetary shortfall of $284.5 million complicates matters.

Budget

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Casino Bill SB 675 Carries Over in 13 to 2 Vote

VA Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee ends consideration of a Tysons casino for this session; likely to be back in 2025

Casino bill

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Casino Bill is Dead for 2024

Carried it over until 2025.

Sen. Marsden’s SB 675 Casino Bill Carried Over: Opponents react; Marsden touts benefits.

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County Jackpot in Tysons Casino?

Or ‘a concept derived in a vacuum.’

Tysons Casino

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Rotary’s 12th Annual McLean Chocolate Festival

Sponsor Mars Inc. makes a difference.

Chocolate

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FCPS Proposed Six-Year Capital Improvement Plan

Climate change, gerrymandering, and inequitable funding discussed.

Climate change, gerrymandering, and inequitable funding discussed.

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January as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month

Prevention, detection, badge-to-badge support, and data gathering.

Cancer Month

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Spotlighting the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate

The Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services facility empowers individuals and families.

The Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate in Reston is a vital, active neighborhood hub. Located at 12125 Pinecrest Road, Dogwood Elementary School, a Fairfax County Title 1 grant program school, anchors the community.

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Multiple Rotary Clubs Collaborate for Rise Against Hunger

Volunteers and sponsors needed.

Volunteers and sponsors are sought for the Rise Against Hunger Food Packaging event at Aldrin Elementary School, 11375 Center Harbor Road, Reston, VA, Saturday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; set-up at 8:30 a.m.

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First Snow in a Long Time

First Snow

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Volunteer Fairfax Mobilizes Hundreds for

Weekend of Service 2024 benefits those in need and bolsters volunteerism.

Volunteerism

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Reston Community Center’s Annual MLK Celebration

Rev. William J. Barber II calls on us to recommit to the fight for justice and remember the real King.

MLK Day

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Herndon Festival ‘Permanently Canceled’

Reasons why may differ from what you think.

The award-winning outdoor Herndon Festival, held yearly and produced by the town’s parks and recreation department, supported by volunteers since 1981 (except for one year during COVID) is permanently canceled.

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