Third Deputy Enters Race

Mark Davis, a 22-year veteran of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, has announced that he will challenge incumbent Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson. He is the third Loudoun deputy to enter the race.

Davis, 42, of Middleburg, resigned last week to seek the Republican nomination. He said he would seek to improve communication within the department and with outside agencies, including the commonwealth's attorney's office and Virginia State Police.

"There are changes that need to be made," Davis said. "After being a dedicated member of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office, I can no longer sit idly by."

Davis has been an instructor at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, has worked as a road deputy and in courthouse security and was an investigator.

Deputy Chris Harmison is also seeking the Republican nomination. Deputy Christopher Jones resigned Jan. 2 to run as a Democrat in the November election.

Man Killed in Wreck Off Route 9

A 22-year-old Winchester man was killed early Wednesday when he lost control of his pickup and veered off Route 9 near Paeonian Springs, Loudoun County sheriff's officials said.

George Garrett Carrales was driving a 2003 Nissan pickup westbound about 2:15 a.m. when he ran off the right side of the road, came back across the highway and veered onto the left shoulder, sheriff's officials said. The truck entered a ditch and flipped before coming to rest upright.

Carrales was taken by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. Enrique Cabrera, 26, of Manassas, a passenger, was treated at the hospital and released.

Authorities said a preliminary investigation showed speed may have been a factor in the crash. Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

Barn Fire Ruled Arson

A Jan. 22 fire that destroyed a barn near Aldie and left one man with minor injuries was set intentionally, Loudoun County fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to the barn in the 39400 block of Snickersville Turnpike just after midnight, according to Mary Maguire, a spokeswoman for Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services. Firefighters could not save the building, and damage was estimated at $200,000.

A tenant on the property burned his hands while leading horses from the barn, Maguire said. The animals were not injured.

Loudoun fire investigators are asking anyone with information about the blaze to call their office at 703-737-8653.

Revenue Official to Retire

Revenue Commissioner Catherine B. "Kitty" Ashby (D) announced last week that she would retire at the end of this year.

Ashby has been a Loudoun County employee since 1968. She was appointed commissioner in 1985 and has served five terms. The commissioner makes personal property tax and business license tax assessments and administers lesser-known levies.

"With the support of my staff, we have graduated from electric typewriters and a billing machine to the computer age implementing proration and semiannual billion of personal property, as well as the Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998," Ashby said.

-- Compiled by Maria Glod and Leslie Shepherd