Two Morning Fires

A predawn fire Sunday in Sterling injured a firefighter, displaced two residents and caused $300,000 in damage, a fire department spokeswoman said.

County fire and rescue crews arrived at the house on Environs Road to find heavy flames coming from the garage. One firefighter was treated for minor burns. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

A second fire Sunday morning, this one in Purcellville, drew crews from six Loudoun stations and from Fauquier County and Frederick, Md.

The blaze on Charles Town Pike began after a cow knocked over a heating lamp in a barn. The barn and three silos were set on fire, causing $50,000 in damage.

Motorist Safety Grants

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has made grants totaling more than $80,000 to Loudoun and Fauquier counties to improve the safety of motorists.

Fauquier received $25,000 to target aggressive driving and $20,500 to buy video cameras for patrol cars. Loudoun received $22,000 to support courteous-driver programs and aggressive ticketing, and $15,000 to combat drunken driving.

The money comes from $2.3 million in transportation safety funding allocated to Virginia by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Snow Makeup Day Set

The Fauquier County public school system, which cancelled classes Tuesday because of snow, has announced that it will use Jan. 2 -- originally a teacher work day -- as a makeup day.

Planning Hearing Put Off

A joint public hearing of the Loudoun County and Purcellville planning commissions scheduled for today has been postponed until next month.

The commission members have been discussing a revised draft of Purcellville's Urban Growth Area Management Plan, which has been under review since June.

The new hearing date was not immediately announced.

The joint committee recently lost a member when Christeen Tolle resigned from the Loudoun planning commission. On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors approved her replacement: J. Kevin Ruedisueli, a Waterford architect and chairman of the county's historic district review committee. His term on the commission will expire Dec. 31, 2007.

Alcohol Sales Crackdown

A law enforcement crackdown on alcohol sales to underage customers in Loudoun County apparently is having a significant effect.

In the campaign, underage volunteers with the Sheriff's Office community policing unit team up with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to see whether Loudoun stores are selling alcohol to those under 21.

The volunteers visited 23 stores Friday, including 17 that previously sold alcohol to customers younger than 21. This time, though, only one store -- Deli-O Mart on Route 50 in South Riding -- sold alcohol to someone under 21.

Similar operations this summer found that underage alcohol sales were far more common, with 45 percent of stores in August and 50 percent of stores in June committing violations, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office said Monday. The state average in such operations is 35 percent.

Meat Donated to Charity

A Sterling wild game processor has donated more than 500 pounds of venison -- steaks, roasts, tenderloin and burgers -- to help feed the county's needy.

Blue Ridge Meats donated the meat to the LINK Thanksgiving program and plans to contribute 1,000 pounds to LINK's Christmas program Dec. 17 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling and at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon. LINK is a nonprofit charity supported by churches in Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn.

Blue Ridge Meats processes more than 500 deer a year and delivers the meat to local food banks on behalf of Hunters for the Hungry. Participating hunters seek game in areas where the animals' habitat is diminishing or where they have ruined landscaping. Blue Ridge then collects the game and prepares the meat for distribution.

One deer produces about 50 pounds of meat, which can feed a family of four for six months, said Lois Aylestock, owner of Blue Ridge Meats.

-- Compiled by

ARIANNE ARYANPUR