Meetings Rescheduled

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will hold its Nov. 2 regular business meeting a day earlier because of the election. The finance and government services committee also will meet Nov. 1, 15 minutes after the board's meeting.

Reward Fund Grows

A silent auction and raffle raised almost $7,000 Saturday for the reward fund for information about Erica Heather Smith's killer.

Smith, 14, left her family's Ashburn townhouse July 29, 2002, and never returned. Her body was found 11 days later in a shallow grave in Beaumeade Corporate Park near Loudoun County Parkway. More than two years later, Loudoun County sheriff's detectives say they are still tracking down leads and conducting interviews and remain convinced that a break in the case is inevitable.

The Erica Heather Smith Memorial Fundraiser was organized by Dulles Town Center, where Smith's father, William Smith Jr., has worked at the UPS outlet since the mall opened in November 1999.

"We believe someone knows something about what happened to Erica Heather Smith, and we hope that by increasing the reward for information and getting media involved, we will help to solve the murder case," said Allison Fischer-Stasiowski, the mall's marketing director.

"Our goal was to raise $5,000, and we are overjoyed to announce that on Saturday evening alone, we were able to raise $6,932 through the silent auction and raffle tickets. We know that number will increase as we continue to collect from personal donations and bidders who left early but still have items to pay for."

The reward fund has nearly $18,000, said Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

"Erica's voice is silent, and we have to be her voice," her father said. "If you have any information that can help us, we beg you, the reward money is there, please have the courage to come forward. If you don't have courage in your life, what do you have?"

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call investigator Bobbie Ochsman of the Sheriff's Office at 703-777-0475 or Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

Free Taxi Rides Offered

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer free tax rides in eastern Loudoun County from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. To receive a free cab ride home, with a fare value of up to $50, people 21 and older can call 800-200-8294 (TAXI) or #8294 on an AT&T cellular phone.

Vaccines for At-Risk Kids

The Loudoun County Health Department has received its "Vaccines for Children" flu vaccines and will administer 250 doses on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Ida Lee Recreation Center, off North King Street in Leesburg.

Children must be younger than 19 and live in Loudoun and provide proof of both. Under the Vaccines for Children program, they must also be enrolled in Medicaid, have no health insurance or be Native American. They also must meet at least one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's criteria for being at high risk for the flu: be between 6 and 23 months old; live with a baby younger than 6 months old; have a chronic heart, lung, kidney, blood or immune system disorder; have to take aspirin every day; live in a long-term care facility; or be pregnant.

"We are required to use this vaccine only for Loudoun County children who meet both the VFC and CDC criteria and must turn all others away," said David Goodfriend, Loudoun's public health director. "We expect to receive our main flu vaccine shipment in mid-November, well before the flu hits us hard."

'Truth in Taxes' Resolution

Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large) and Supervisor Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run) will submit a "truth in taxes" resolution at the board's next meeting.

The resolution would require the county treasurer to specify on property tax bills how much of the tax rate goes toward schools and how much goes to the general county government.

"This initiative will clearly demonstrate the level of commitment that the county government has made to our public education system," York said.

In the current fiscal year, 74.4 percent of local tax funds go to Loudoun public schools.

Fauquier School Officials

Marcy Cotov, budget officer for Fauquier County public schools for the past four years, has accepted a position with the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond as an education finance analyst, effective Nov. 15.

Cotov managed a $103.5 million budget for the county. Before joining the school division, she worked for the Fauquier government for 12 years.

In her new job, Cotov will work in the budget office dealing with legislation and the allocation of educational funding to localities.

In other Fauquier schools news, Janice Bourne has been named assistant superintendent for administration. She replaces Mark Cornwell, who became executive officer for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors in Nags Head, N.C.

Bourne, who will assume her duties Nov. 15, has been Fauquier's finance director for about two years.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD