N.Va. officials are collecting blankets for Syrian refugees

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott. K. York (R-At Large) and Purcellville Mayor Robert W. Lazaro Jr. have joined with Fairfax County supervisors to collect donated blankets for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The county leaders said they hoped to fill a shipping container with blankets to be delivered to a camp in Adana, Turkey, about 120 miles from the Syrian border. About 12,000 refugees are at the camp, including more than 7,000 children, Lazaro said Monday.

Lazaro, York and other Northern Virginia officials visited the camp in Adana during a recent trip to Turkey that was hosted by the American Turkish Friendship Association, a Fairfax-based nonprofit group that aims to encourage ties between the two countries.

New and gently used blankets will be accepted through Friday, Lazaro said. They can be delivered to four locations in Loudoun: the Government Center, 1 E. Harrison St., Leesburg; the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office, 2164 Ridgetop Cir., Sterling; the ADAMS Center, 46903 Sugarland Rd., Sterling; and Purcellville Town Hall, on Nursery Avenue.

Loudoun residents encouraged to complete health survey

Loudoun County officials are urging residents to participate in a public health survey.

The Loudoun Health Check, a public health needs assessment, was launched Oct. 1 on the county’s Web site. Its goal is to identify the current state of health of Loudoun’s population, to learn which health-related issues are of greatest concern to residents, and to identify ways to create a healthier community.

The brief, anonymous survey can be taken through Dec. 31, and it is critical to understanding the priorities and needs of residents, said David Goodfriend, Loudoun’s Health Department director.

“If you have not yet taken this survey, please take a few moments to make your opinions count,” Goodfriend said in a statement.

The Loudoun Health Check survey and the results of the previous assessment are at www.loudoun.gov/healthcheck. For information, contact the county Health Department at health@loudoun.gov.

Wharton to retire from Building and Development Department

Terrance D. Wharton, who has served as director of the Loudoun County Department of Building and Development since its creation in 1991, will retire Dec. 31, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet said in a statement Tuesday.

As director of the department, Wharton was responsible for overseeing all phases of new development in the county, including approval of subdivision plans, construction plans, site plans and building plans; all construction-related inspections; final occupancy inspections; and the issuing of county building, zoning and grading permits.

“Terry’s service to the county has been extraordinary,” Hemstreet said.

The county will conduct a nationwide search for Wharton’s replacement, Hemstreet said. Upon Wharton’s retirement, Assistant Director Mike Seigfried will serve as interim director of the department.

— Compiled by Caitlin Gibson