Medical Center Hopes to Fill Void

The owners of the Loudoun Valley Medical Center in Purcellville said medical services at the facility will continue--and possibly expand--despite the scheduled Nov. 14 closing of Loudoun Healthcare Inc.'s Urgent Care Center at the facility.

Raymond Lower, a physician who is one of the center's owners, said that the Urgent Care Center is only a tenant and that other physicians' private practices will remain. Lower operates an office of his Countryside Orthopaedics practice at the facility.

Other practices include the Loudoun Foot and Ankle Institute and the Loudoun Valley Imaging and Women's Center, which provides X-rays, sonograms and mammograms.

"We continue to look for physicians to help fill the void left by the closing of LHI's Urgent Care Center," Lower said. "Several of the [medical] center's physicians appeared before the Town Council several weeks ago to let them know that we aren't going anywhere. We asked for suggestions from the council and the citizens on what medical services the community would like to see."

Loudoun Healthcare is closing the Urgent Care Center as part of a cost-cutting effort aimed at enabling Loudoun Hospital Center to resolve a financial crisis and remain independently owned.

Dog Licenses for 2000 Available

The Loudoun County Department of Animal Care and Control is issuing dog licenses for 2000.

All dogs 4 months or older are required to be licensed annually, and owners must show proof of a current rabies vaccination. The cost is $10 and $5 for dogs that have been spayed or neutered.

The licenses may be purchased at the county animal shelter on Route 9 in Waterford, the treasurer's office in the County Government Center at 1 Harrison St. in Leesburg or the treasurer's office on Ridgetop Circle in Sterling. An application can be printed from the shelter's World Wide Web site,

Dec. 31 is the expiration date for 1999 licenses.

Season for Extra Care on the Roads

The Loudoun County Department of Fire and Rescue Services says the time and weather changes that come with fall require motorists to take extra precautions.

Shorter days mean that more commuters will be coming home in the dark and that they should remember to use their headlights and be alert for deer. Mating season is underway, making deer even more active than usual. Department officials urge drivers to watch for their bright eyes, which reflect headlights and are often visible on roadsides before motorists can see their bodies.

Fallen leaves that have accumulated under a car can be ignited by heat from a car's exhaust system, leaves on the road are extremely slippery when wet and children playing in leaves can be hard to see.

Education Week Festivities Planned

Loudoun residents are invited to visit any of the county's 45 public schools Nov. 15 to 19 during the 78th annual American Education Week.

The week's festivities will begin with a flag-raising ceremony at Douglass School, 407 E. Market St., Leesburg, at 9:10 a.m. Nov. 15. School officials and the Loudoun County High School marching band will join students and parents in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Various activities are planned throughout the week--including a grandparents day Nov. 15 at Meadowland Elementary School, a day for preschool parents at Sugarland Run Elementary School on Nov. 16 and a presentation on immigrants at Farmwell Station Middle School on Nov. 18.

Last year, about 22,000 people participated in American Education Week events in Loudoun.