News of particular interest to Loudoun and Fauquier counties that appeared in the daily Post Oct. 16-22.


New Challenge for Candidates

Newcomers to the fast-growing outer suburbs of Washington represent one of the biggest opportunities for candidates in Virginia's 2005 election. The number of registered voters in Loudoun County, for instance, has gone from 111,700 in 2001 to 144,400 in 2005. But the challenge for candidates is to introduce themselves to the new residents, who often evince little connection with or interest in state and local politics.


Farms Drawing Crowds

Farmers have found a new way to bring in a fall harvest: By offering hands-on tours of their properties, they're drawing big crowds of families unfamiliar with country life. The recent Loudoun Farm Color Tour was expected to draw as many as 10,000 people to county farms.


Kaine Targets Sprawl

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Timothy M. Kaine brought his campaign to Leesburg with a call for powerful new tools to curb sprawl. Kaine told a breakfast audience that correcting the region's traffic problems will require that local governments have better control over development.


AOL Making Cutbacks

America Online Inc. plans to lay off dozens of executives at its Dulles corporate headquarters and others who work for the company's subscriber service. The dismissals are part of a broader cutback that will cost 700 employees their jobs. AOL will close its Orlando call center, which has 450 workers. "We need to reduce our costs in proportion to the decline in subscriber revenues," chief executive Jonathan Miller wrote in an e-mail to employees.


Verizon Hits Snag

Area cable companies say a Verizon Communications Inc. project to dig up streets and lay a fiber-optic network has been poorly managed, leading to rising damage costs and customer complaints in Northern Virginia as Verizon's crews cut through other companies' lines. Verizon says the cable companies are shifting blame for their own problems in the face of new competition. Verizon began the project last year and now sells fiber-optic Internet service in Leesburg and other communities.


A Brand-New AOL

Although America Online Inc. continues to lose subscribers, it has radically altered its personality, re-creating itself by giving away its content to build an audience. The plan has worked: Its 112 million-user list is second in size only to Yahoo's, and now the Dulles-based company is at the heart of a bidding war among Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.


Heritage Victory

Heritage High School's volleyball team beat visiting Park View to claim the AA Dulles District title -- the second team championship in the school's four-year history and the first in volleyball.


Volleyball Pointers

Heritage High School volleyball Coach Carmel Keilty discussed the sport and how kids can get started in it with KidsPost sports columnist Fred Bowen.


Fall Foliage at Mount Bleak

As the turning of fall foliage starts to peak, Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, west of Middleburg, will host a Fall Farm Fest at Mount Bleak House, the historic farmhouse in the park that has been restored to depict daily life in the 1860s. House tours and pumpkin picking are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and next Saturday and Sunday.