Thursday, March 5, 2009

Community Health Center Gets Federal Grant

The Loudoun Community Health Center, which serves low-income patients, has been awarded $1.3 million as part of the federal stimulus package.

Center officials said the two-year grant comes at a time when budget problems had nearly forced them to turn people away.

The nonprofit Leesburg-based facility had financial difficulties because it was seeing more patients and getting less funding from donors. Center officials attributed the increase in patients to the economic downturn, saying they were seeing people who had lost their jobs and insurance.

The clinic set a goal to raise $200,000 by the end of last year and was able to raise $132,000. But the federal aid, part of $155 million in grants for 126 community health centers nationwide, will help alleviate the center's long-term fiscal problems, officials said.

"We are thrilled that the tremendous work of the Loudoun Community Health Center has been recognized," said Susan Jane Stack, president of the center's board of directors. "The demand for our services continues to rise as the economy weakens, so this federal assistance comes at a critical time."

The center has treated more than 5,000 patients since opening in May 2007. Charges for its services are based on a sliding scale, with the poorest patients paying nominal fees.

GOP Candidates to Debate In Attorney General Race

The three Republicans vying for their party's nomination in the Virginia attorney general's race will debate in Ashburn on Tuesday.

The candidates are John Brownlee, U.S. attorney for southeastern Virginia; state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax); and Arlington lawyer David Foster.

The debate begins at 7:30 p.m. at Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Rd. The GOP nominee will be chosen May 30 at the party's state convention in Richmond.

Leesburg Reports Drop In Most Crimes Last Year

Crime in Leesburg dropped in most categories last year, according to data released Monday by the town's police department.

The number of nonviolent crimes declined 3.8 percent, and violent crimes dropped by 27 percent.

The number of larcenies went up slightly, from 696 in 2007 to 704 last year. Leesburg police officials said that the increase was fueled by a growing number of thefts from vehicles and that most of those thefts were from unlocked vehicles.

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