Absentee Voting Locations

In preparation for the Nov. 8 Virginia general election, the Loudoun County registrar's office is extending hours and locations where absentee ballots can be obtained and cast.

Beginning tomorrow, the registrar's main office at the Virginia Village Shopping Center, 26-C Fairfax St. SE, Leesburg, will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Also starting tomorrow, registered voters can cast absentee ballots at the Cascades Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, from 4 to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

A voter casting an absentee ballot in person does not need to submit an application in advance.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is Nov. 3. The deadline for applying in person is Nov. 5.

For more information, visit www.loudoun.gov/government/absentee.htm.

Plea in Child-Porn Case

A former Loudoun County resident pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal child-pornography charge.

Robert Justin Fowler, 28, who used to live in Hamilton and now lives in Winchester, was charged in 2004 after he agreed to accept a package through the mail containing child-pornography images, authorities said.

Fowler pleaded guilty in Harrisonburg to transportation of child pornography via interstate commerce. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 13.

Event for Hurricane Victims

Victims of Hurricane Katrina who have settled in Northern Virginia and their host families are invited to Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park on Tuesday for free food, fun and games.

Events will include miniature golf, batting cages, a moon bounce and face painting. Redskins players will sign autographs.

The event is being sponsored by the park, Transition Teachers of Loudoun County Public Schools and From the Flames Productions, a local independent film production company.

A fundraiser was to have been held yesterday at the sports park, and proceeds are to be split evenly among the families at Tuesday's event. Organizers are expecting about 200 families, said Mark Sickle, president and co-founder of From the Flames.

Any family that hasn't received an invitation from the American Red Cross can call 703-576-2469 or 703-929-3707 to request one or to RSVP. Invitations are required for entry.

Hazardous-Waste Drive

Don't know what to do with that old bottle of furniture polish or bathroom cleaner?

Drop it off Saturday in Purcellville at the Loudoun County Office of Solid Waste Management's waste collection event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Loudoun residents are encouraged to take clearly labeled and tightly sealed hazardous materials, poisons, flammables and corrosives to Loudoun Valley High School, 304 North Maple Ave.

Items eligible for disposal are oil-based paints and varnishes, unused kerosene and diesel fuel, drain and bathroom cleaners, mercury thermometers, mothballs, furniture polish and pool cleaner.

Hazardous materials can be identified by reading the label. Most include such words as "poison," "toxic," "flammable" and "volatile" or warnings such as "Avoid Contact with Skin or Eyes" and "Keep Away from Children."

Residents can drop off car batteries, waste antifreeze and propane gas tanks or cylinders year-round at the county's waste facility at 20939 Evergreen Mills Rd., Leesburg.

Waterford Fair Winners

H. Avery Chenoweth and V. Michael Straus took top honors at the Waterford Fair's art and photography shows, the Waterford Foundation announced.

Straus won best in show in photography. The prize for best Loudoun photograph went to Mary Marks.

Chenoweth took best in show in the Red Barn art exhibit, and Don Stivers was best Loudoun County artist.

The $2,500 Florence Kiley Scholarship, which was established in 1985 for aspiring high school and college artists, was split between Sara Runge of Heritage High School and Kristin Claeys of Virginia Tech.

The fair, formally known as the Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit, was held Oct. 7-9. It is the oldest juried craft fair in Virginia.

W&OD Trail Improvements

Thanks to a state grant, a section of the W&OD trail in Ashburn Farms will be widened, and the entire 45-mile trail will be resurfaced, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority announced.

The trail segment near Ashburn, where it passes near Trailside Park, will be widened from 8 feet to 10 feet, said NVRPA Executive Director Paul Gilbert. Gilbert said the widening would "reduce crowding and allow a variety of users enough space to use the trail together safely."

The work will be paid for, in part, with a $92,800 grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

-- Compiled by