Contract Awarded for Rte. 15 Project

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved a construction contract for an initial project in a series of safety improvements to Route 15 in Loudoun County between Leesburg and Point of Rocks.

The contract awarded to Tavares Concrete Co., of Lorton, will allow the Virginia Department of Transportation to add a left-turn lane on northbound Route 15 at Tufts Lane, as well as eight-foot paved shoulders. Tufts Lane provides access to many homes on the west side of Route 15 and serves as access to Morven Park Equestrian Center.

The project cost is about $700,000.

Ex-Deputy Joins Prosecutor's Staff

Former Loudoun County deputy Steven Van Winkle has joined the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office as an investigator.

Van Winkle, 47, of Leesburg, fills the vacancy left by former investigator Gary M. Clemens, who was elected as Loudoun's clerk of the Circuit Court in November.

Van Winkle will present cases to the grand jury, allowing patrol officers to spend less time in court. He also will help prosecutors interview witnesses, research legal matters and track down leads on cases.

"We've worked closely with him on a number of cases, and we know how professional and thorough he is," Commonwealth's Attorney Robert D. Anderson said.

Van Winkle started his law enforcement career in 1976 as a patrol officer with the Fairfax County Police Department. During his tenure there, he worked as a SWAT team member and an investigator with the internal affairs and major crimes divisions. He moved to the Loudoun Sheriff's Office in 1997 as an investigator.

"This is a new phase of my career," Van Winkle said. "I'm enjoying being involved with the pretrial preparation, getting the investigation cleaned up and looking into expert witness testimony."

University Branch Begins Building

Construction has begun on a Loudoun County campus of Old Dominion University. A three-story, 68,000-square-foot building is going up on Potomac View Road in Sterling and is to be completed by summer, with classes starting in the fall.

The facility will have 12 classrooms and a 120-seat auditorium for live lectures and those broadcast from the university's main campus in Norfolk. The university's Teletechnet distance learning network delivers classes to community colleges, businesses and military bases across Virginia and the country.

Assignments Made to School Panels

Loudoun County School Board Chairman Joseph W. Vogric (Dulles) announced the appointment of board members to the following standing committees:

Finance, Construction and Site Acquisition: chairman, Candyce P. Cassell (Sugarland Run); John A. Andrews II (Broad Run); Frederick F. Flemming (Leesburg); and Geary M. Higgins (Catoctin).

Curriculum and Instruction: chairman, Harry F. Holsinger (Blue Ridge); Andrews; Patrick F. Chorpenning Jr. (Mercer); and Flemming.

Liaison with Board of Supervisors: chairman, Vogric; Holsinger; and Tom Reed (At Large).

Personnel Services: chairman, Higgins; Flemming; J. Warren Geurin (Sterling); and Holsinger.

Legislative and Policy--chairman, Chorpenning; Cassell; Geurin; and Reed.

Volunteer Financial Counselors Sought

The Loudoun Volunteer Financial Council is accepting applications for volunteers to provide confidential financial counseling to individuals and families who are experiencing financial difficulty or want to learn to manage their money more wisely.

A free 10-hour training course will be conducted on five consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 23 at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service on Catoctin Circle in Leesburg.

To learn more about the program, or to request an application, contact Kate Carpenter at 703-771-5419. Applications are due by Feb. 11.

Arts Group Takes Part in Conference

Very Special Arts of Loudoun County participated in the Virginia Commission for the Arts Conference on Wednesday in Richmond, presenting "Hidden Treasures: Working With Artists With Disabilities" and a performance of "Seasons" from its show "EXPRESSIONS."

The conference, "ART Works for Virginia 2000," brought together Virginia arts leaders to share ideas. The conference was sponsored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Richmond Jazz Society and the Department of Art Education, School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University.