Four students from Fauquier High School's automotive technology and auto body repair classes won first place at the SkillsUSA competition at the Virginia State Fair.

Bryan Russell and James Sither won in automotive technology, and Josh Sowers and Daniel Dwiggins won in the collision repair contest.

SkillsUSA, formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, is a group for students in trade and industrial education classes. Industry-certified instructors prepare students for industry certification in various fields.

The Loudoun County Division of Procurement has received the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award for 2004 from the National Purchasing Institute.

The award is presented to organizations that demonstrate excellence in procurement through innovation, professionalism, productivity, Internet-based procurement and leadership.

This is the sixth year in a row that Loudoun's procurement division has received the award, one of only 21 agencies to receive the award at least six times.

Loudoun County has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the county's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

The report was cited for demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate the county's financial story.

Three employees in Loudoun's management and financial services department, Assistant Comptroller Ron Pennington and financial analysts Eileen Nguyen and Mark Withrow, received an award for financial reporting achievement for their roles in preparing the report.

The Fauquier County Department of Finance also received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The Fauquier County Budget Office received a Certificate of Recognition for budget preparation.

The Virginia Association of Zoning Officials has selected Loudoun County's Keith Fairfax as the certified zoning official of the year. As zoning enforcement supervisor, Fairfax oversees investigations into alleged violations of the county zoning ordinance. The VAZO award recognizes his ability to coordinate with other departments to correct zoning violations, resolve residents' conflicts and develop uniform enforcement practices.

In nominating Fairfax for the award, zoning administrator Melinda Artman called him a "role model" for his staff of three inspectors and cited his ability to keep his staff motivated during hectic times, such as March to June of this year, when almost 300 zoning complaints were received, twice as many as during the same period in 2003. The complaints were addressed, assigned and inspected within 48 hours.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD