Developer to Buy Large Eastern Loudoun Tract

Pennsylvania-based home builder Toll Brothers Inc. has agreed to buy 865 acres in eastern Loudoun County, according to an attorney for the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, which owns the property.

The land--one of the larger undeveloped tracts in rapidly growing eastern Loudoun--is part of a roughly 1,500-acre parcel owned by the foundation. Toll Brothers has a contract on a portion bordered by Route 772 to the north, the Dulles Greenway to the east and Route 659 to the west, foundation attorney Randy A. Sutliff said.

As of midday Friday, Toll Brothers officials had not released their plans for the property.

A county plan calls for most of the parcel to be developed for a mix of residential and business uses, officials said. The plan also includes the possibility that a large project such as a stadium or conference center could be built and that a rail line eventually might be added.

Sources close to the sale said the land is being sold for about $50 million.

Sutliff said trustees for the foundation, organized by the estate of eccentric millionaire and conservationist Claude Moore, have been seeking proposals to sell the land since March. Sutliff declined to discuss specifics of the contract but said he expects the deal to be finalized by early next year.

In addition to the Toll Brothers contract, Richmond American Homes has a deal to buy about 80 acres of the 1,500-acre tract, Sutliff said. Richmond officials did not return calls for comment Friday.

Toll Brothers is developing several other projects in Loudoun. The company recently purchased Shenstone, a farm west of Leesburg, and plans to build 130 houses. Last year, the company won approval to build 1,933 houses and a golf course west of Ashburn and also is developing the Loudoun community of Farmwell Hunt, where there will be 568 houses.

Man Charged in Sex Assault of 7-Eleven Clerk

A 27-year-old man was arrested Thursday and charged with raping a clerk at the Plaza Street 7-Eleven in Leesburg. Police said they used a video from the store's surveillance camera to identify the suspect.

Marcus L. Simms, of no fixed address, is being held without bond at the Loudoun County jail, police said. He has been charged with rape, armed robbery, forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration and malicious wounding.

The 44-year-old clerk was working alone in the store at 22 Plaza St. NE when a man entered shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, police said. At first, the man walked around as if he were shopping, but he then threatened the clerk with a "sharp instrument" and demanded money, authorities said.

Police said the woman handed over an undisclosed amount of cash before the man raped her. Before fleeing, the man hit the woman on the head with an unknown object, police said.

Leesburg police Capt. Clagett Moxley said officers reviewing the video recognized Simms from "previous encounters," which he did not describe. Officers then got a warrant Thursday evening to search a home where Simms had been staying, and they seized several pieces of clothing, Moxley said.

Both the home and the store are across the street from the police station. A spokeswoman for Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. said the clerk was working the overnight shift alone because of a staff shortage.

Simms is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Midwives Approved for Births at Hospital

The first two babies delivered with the help of a certified nurse midwife were born last week at Loudoun Hospital Center in Leesburg.

Andrea Burges, 20, of Leesburg, gave birth to Donovan Harold, weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce, about 5 p.m. Tuesday with coaching and support from Margie Brandquist, a certified nurse midwife.

Brandquist received her final approval from the hospital board to deliver babies without a doctor present only a few hours before the birth. She and Wendy Dotson, another certified nurse midwife, joined the practice of Chauncey Stokes III, an obstetrician and a gynecologist, six months ago.

They administered prenatal care while waiting for credentials from the hospital, where midwives have not been allowed to deliver babies.

Dotson helped deliver an 8 pound, 8 ounce baby early Wednesday morning, Brandquist said.

"We had all these patients" hoping the midwives would be certified in time to deliver their babies, Brandquist said yesterday morning between visits to the hospital. "It all went better than could be expected. It was peaceful and a nice experience for everybody who was involved."

For Burges, having Brandquist there was comforting in the absence of her husband, Kevin, a Navy officer who has been stationed in the Persian Gulf since March and whose homecoming for the birth was delayed by bad weather. He is scheduled to be home by the end of the month, said Burges's mother, who videotaped the delivery for him.

"It was a lot of support having Margie here," Burges said from the hospital yesterday as her newborn baby cried in the background. "From the moment she got her privileges, she came right down here."