1 Dead in Route 50 Crash

A Marshall man was killed Wednesday in an accident involving four vehicles on Route 50, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office reported. The crash forced the closure of the highway near Lenah for more than three hours.

About 2:15 p.m., a pickup truck heading east and driven by Richard Martin Babb crossed a double yellow line and struck two westbound pickups in succession, according to witnesses. One of those trucks was knocked off the highway and down an embankment.

The other veered into the eastbound lane and collided with a Jeep, which went up an embankment and rolled, coming to rest on its roof, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Babb, 69, was not wearing a seat belt and was dead at the scene. The drivers of the other vehicles were wearing seat belts; none was injured. The accident, which occurred between Lenah Farm Lane and Fleetwood Road, remains under investigation.

Planning Official Resigns

Christeen Tolle, the at-large member of Loudoun County's Planning Commission since 2003, has resigned for personal reasons.

Tolle was one of the commission's three representatives on a joint committee currently considering a growth management plan for Purcellville.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (I) said Tolle "has done an outstanding job. She will be missed, and I wish her well in her future endeavors."

York said he will nominate J. Kevin Ruedisueli, a Waterford architect and chairman of the county's Historic District Review Committee, to replace her. The board is expected to vote on the nomination at its Tuesday meeting.

Funds for Battlefield Park

The Piedmont Environmental Council has received a $200,000 grant to help pay for the preservation of Fauquier County's only major Civil War battlefield.

The grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund will go toward Rappahannock Station Battlefield Park. Earlier this year, the Fauquier Board of Supervisors agreed to purchase the property, with the understanding that the environmental council would contribute $500,000 by June to help defray the cost.

The group has raised about half that amount so far. Plans call for the land to become a 26-acre public park, providing access to the Rappahannock River.

The land was a battlefield on Nov. 7, 1863, when Union troops broke through against Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and pushed most of the forces south of the Rappahannock. Lee never again drove north of the river.

Missing Youth Resurfaces

An Ashburn teenager who was missing for nearly two months has returned home, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office reported Friday.

Nickolaus Patrick Colclough, 17, was last seen Sept. 30 as he left Stone Bridge High School. He returned home of his own accord Nov. 20, safe and unharmed, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Delays on Westbound I-66

The drive will be a little rougher for motorists heading west on Interstate 66 this week in the mornings and early afternoons. As road crews install a guardrail, traffic on the highway will be reduced to one lane between Route 234 Business and the Route 234 Bypass from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The closure is part of a project that began in August to widen the interstate from two lanes to four.

Park Design to Be Unveiled

Sully Elementary School will unveil the preliminary design for its proposed Discovery Park at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A representative of the playground design firm Leathers and Associates will present a sketch of the park, which is intended to teach children about science, history and geography by the use of such tools as maps and climbing structures. Food and drinks will be served.

Sully Elementary is at 300 Circle Dr., Sterling. For information or to contribute to the project, call 703-787-8931, 703-444-9484 or e-mail vpetrey@aol.com or pak@carouselpuppets.com.

Space Museum Discounts

The National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport is offering discounted parking on Dec. 11, the second anniversary of the center's dedication.

All-day parking will be $5, down from the normal $12. The center's gift shop is also offering lower prices.

The Udvar-Hazy Center, the most-visited museum in Virginia, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Toys for Tots Collection

To benefit needy children, Loudoun's fire and rescue department is collecting new, unwrapped toys at local fire stations as part of Toys for Tots, the nationwide program now in its 58th year.

The donation deadline is Dec. 16. Toys that resemble weapons will not be accepted. For information, call 703-430-7010 or visit www.toysfortots.org.

Gardeners Sought

Aspiring horticulturists or those interested in basic gardening can apply until Dec. 21 to be volunteer master gardeners for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Applicants undergo screening and, if accepted, help provide educational programs and services to Loudoun County residents.

An orientation meeting for the program is set for Jan. 4 at 7 p.m., and attendance by prospective volunteers is recommended. Training begins in January and runs 10 weeks, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Applicants must also complete a 75-hour internship to become certified. For information, call 703-777-0373.

-- Compiled by

ARIANNE ARYANPUR