Bus Service Expanded

Loudoun County Transit began commuter bus service to businesses near Beaumeade Circle in Ashburn on Monday.

The buses pick up passengers at the West Falls Church Metro station at 6:30, 7:25 and 8:20 a.m. and take them to Loudoun County, where they make stops along Beaumeade Circle. The initial stops are being dictated by passengers as long as the bus contractor decides they are safe. The buses pick up passengers at 5, 5:55 and 6:35 p.m. at the same locations along Beaumeade Circle.

The cost is $1 round trip, payable on the morning trip into Loudoun. Passengers may also buy a book of 10 one-way tickets for $10. The trips to and from Loudoun and West Falls Church take about 35 minutes each way.

Loudoun County Transit operates commuter coaches from four park-and-ride lots in Loudoun to Rosslyn, the Pentagon and the District. It began service from West Falls Church to AOL and MCI Corp. offices more than a year ago.

For more information, call 703-771-5665. Schedules are posted on the county's Web site (www.loudoun.gov/transportation).

Mental Health Director

Tom Maynard has been named the new director of the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Substance Abuse Services. Maynard will also serve as executive director of the Loudoun County Community Services Board, which oversees the department's programs and services.

Maynard spent 14 years as area director of the Orange-Person-Chatham Authority in Chapel Hill, N.C. He worked most recently as a field instructor with the University of North Carolina School of Social Work and has been on the faculties of Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire and the University of North Carolina's Psychiatry Department.

Living Gift for the Holidays

The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services is promoting a different holiday gift.

Under the Plant-a-Memory program, people may pay to have a tree native to Virginia's Piedmont planted in memory of a person or an event. Trees may be planted in Claude Moore Park, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Franklin Park or Potomack Lakes Sportsplex.

The cost -- $150 for a tree up to 11/2 inches in diameter and $300 for a tree up to 21/2 inches in diameter -- includes a small square plaque, mounting post, mulch and maintenance. The trees will be planted in April, and orders must be received by March 1. For the holidays, a gift certificate noting the Plant-a-Memory donation will be provided.

For more information, call 703-444-1275.

Entries Sought for Parade

Leesburg's Parks and Recreation Department is seeking entries for the town's annual holiday parade through downtown at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. The parade is part of the larger Holidays in Leesburg event, which will be held in downtown Leesburg from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Parade entries must have a festive theme and be decorated. The lineup for the parade will begin at Ida Lee Park on King Street at 5 p.m. The parade will head south on King Street to Fairfax Street. For more information or a parade application, visit www.idalee.org or call 703-777- 1368.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD