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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

The Favorites of 2021

In 2021, the longing to return to the favorite places and events in our communities has never been stronger...

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McLean 2021, a Sought-After Community

Great family-friendly places, schools, and public safety.

McLean spots

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New Fire Station Opens in McLean

Station No. 44 will help serve Tysons areas.

New fire station

Rock on, Alex!

Great Falls teen 'nails it' performing with a local band.

Teen in Local Band

The Dog Daze of Summer

The Water Mine hosts canine water pandemonium.

Dogs Swim

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VolunteerFest, 2021

Volunteers work on projects countywide for the National Day of Service and Remembrance.


Great Falls Creamery, Where Summer Doesn’t End

Icy treats pair well with Great Falls Park.


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Crisis in Afghanistan Reverberates Locally

Afghan Americans speak out.

The United States and other countries have welcomed more than 150,000 Afghans and their families since the emergency evacuations began in mid-August.

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Crisis in Afghanistan Reverberates Locally

Afghan Americans speak out.

The United States and other countries have welcomed more than 150,000 Afghans and their families since the emergency evacuations began in mid-August.

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Overcoming Mental Health Stigma

Suicide Walk-a-Thon brings awareness

The pandemic's psychological and socioeconomic fallout may be driving an accelerated trend in depressive symptoms and suicide ideation, attempts, and deaths in Fairfax County, reported experts in mental health at the "Fight Suicide" Walk-a-Thon at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston held Aug. 21.

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Pedaling and Paddling the Reservoir in Reston

Savoring the last unofficial days of summer on Lake Anne

Water lovers made their way to docks at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston for one more summer Sunday, paddling and pedaling on the tree-lined reservoir.

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Application Drought for McLean CBC: No Inquiries

Zoning and land use attorney discusses project challenges

Developers may be working quietly on plans or assembling parcels for future development in downtown McLean.

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Powering Up Dark Skies

GFCA and Fairfax County plan to protect against light pollution.

Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) has been working for several years with Zoning in Fairfax County and with the district’s Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) concerning regulations on outdoor lighting provisions.

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Back to School: The Best Shot: Vax Up!

Fairfax County families and educators discuss COVID-19 School Year 2021-22.

The first day of the much-anticipated, in-person return to school for SY2021-22 looms for many families, friends, and educators in Fairfax County's independent, public and home-based education systems.

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Mom's Organic Market: Stewards of the Land

Putting their mission statement front and center

Team Members at Mom's Organic Market take environmental restoration seriously.

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McLean Neighborhood Hosts National Night Out

Block party fosters police-community partnerships and rediscovers neighborhood camaraderie

Residents and friends of the Timberly neighborhood in McLean took part in a block party with visits by Captain Dalton Becker, commander of McLean District Station, Fairfax County Police Department, and his officers, and Fairfax County/Fairfax City Sheriff Stacey Ann Kincaid and her deputies for National Night Out (NNO) 2021.

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Katie’s Cars and Coffee Back in Full Swing in Great Falls

Hundreds of enthusiasts turn out

Whether it is their fascination with antique, collector, exotic, or muscle cars, owners and enthusiasts are back bright and early Saturday mornings from 6 to 9 a.m. at Katie’s Cars and Coffee for their vehicle sensory overload.

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Fairfax County Public Schools Priority One: Get Eligible Students Vaccinated

Expansion of school COVID-19 vaccination clinics underway

The level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Fairfax County is increasing again.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Proclaim August 3 National Night Out

Proclamation celebrates neighborhood spirit and cooperation among residents and police

National Night Out is a time to celebrate, whether the clock that day says noon or 8 p.m. It is a time to have community fun, to say thank you to law enforcement officers, and get more involved in the community.

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NWFCU Foundation Back to School Drive In-Progress for 2021

Powerful change force for local at-promise students

The Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) Foundation is heading into the final weeks of their Back to School Drive 2021.

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Special Exception for Bereavement Meeting Space in Great Falls Approved

Daytime and overnight retreats on a portion of Turner Farm Park

Following a public hearing on the matter, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved, on July 27, Special Exception SE 2020-DR022 (Turner Farmhouse Foundation) (Dranesville District) to permit applicant Turner Farmhouse Foundation to operate a public benefit association facility on a 4.95-area of the Turner Farm Park property and modify a front yard setback of the existing house.

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Brightview Explores Plan for Leesburg Pike Facility in Vienna

Senior Living reps hold two community engagement meetings with Vienna, Great Falls neighbors

Brightview Senior Living has resumed community engagement for its proposed Continuing Care Facility project at 9439 Leesburg Pike [Route 7], Vienna.

Fairfax County Holds County-wide Vaccine Equity Clinics

Bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to the people rather than relying on them to find their way to a site is one option to get people vaccinated and slow the surging Delta variant.

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Delta Variant Has Room to Run Rampant

Removing invisible vaccine barriers for communities in Fairfax County

Jump on a moon bounce, grab an empanada from a food truck and get a Covid vaccine.

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Community Garden Sows Skills to Improve Mental and Physical Health

Pathway Homes, Inc. holds ribbon-cutting for the project.

In 2020, nonprofit Pathway Homes, Inc. provided non-time-limited housing and supportive services to 616 adults in Northern Virginia with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and co-occurring disorders, some of whom experienced homelessness in 2020.

Remembering Restonian Burton ‘Burt’ E. Lamkin

A leader who, with a smile, created other leaders

Reston pioneer, humanitarian, and entrepreneur Burton "Burt" Emmanuel Lamkin died June 24, at the age of 86.

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New Food Scrap Composting at Select Fairfax County Farmers Markets

Nature’s recycling reduces methane and lowers carbon footprint

Fairfax County residents have another option for managing organic wastes such as fruit and vegetable peels, food left on dinner plates, coffee grounds, and even paper towels and napkins.

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Historic Herndon Oak Tree Removed

Nearly 200-year-old witness tree 'struggled' and obstructed sight triangle quadrant to the intersection.

In 1823, an acorn from an Overcup Oak tree sent up a shoot at what is now the corner of Elden and Center Streets in the Town of Herndon.

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Reston Included in Continent-wide Butterfly Count Program

Data used to study weather and habitat change effects

Is it a monarch butterfly or an imitator, a white moth, or a cabbage white butterfly?

Remembering Paul Myers of Reston

A community treasure, helped produce the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade

Paul Taylor Myers of Reston died at the age of 69, on July 10, 2021, surrounded by the family he loved.

Christopher ‘Chris’ Adams, Funeral Home Owner, Dies

Remembering a kind and gentle man

Christopher “Chris” Jon Adams, owner and funeral director at Adams-Green Funeral Home & Crematory in the Town of Herndon, died unexpectedly on July 14, 2021, at the age of 56.

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Langley High School Saxons Boat Wins Gold at States

Crew Team also wins three Bronze medals at championships

The Langley High School Crew knocked it out of the water when the athletes ended their rowing season on June 19 at the 2021 Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships regatta hosted by the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association.

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Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent to Depart at End of Next School Year

Dr. Scott Brabrand, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools, announced on a YouTube video released Thursday, July 15, 2021, that he is leaving FCPS at the end of the next year, consistent with his FCSB contract.

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Herndon Celebrates Independence Day

Patriotism and independence shine bright on dual fronts.

The Town of Herndon celebrated the 4th of July after canceling last year’s event due to the pandemic.

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And What a Year it Was in Herndon

Herndon Rotary Club names Signe Friedrichs Rotarian of the Year 2020-2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged across her Town of Herndon, Rotarian Signe Friedrichs masked up and gathered up other masked service volunteers, business leaders, and nonprofit leaders.

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Hometown Celebration Returns to Great Falls

Americana fun, unmasked and free

Great Falls traditions returned to the Village Centre Green for the 4th of July 2021.

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‘Celebrating Rainbow Families and Inclusion’ in McLean

Drag Queen Storytime at Dolley Madison Library

Fairfax County Public Library co-hosted, with McLean Community Center, “Drag Queen Storytime” held in two sessions at Dolley Madison Library on Saturday morning, June 26 at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

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School Buses and Sites Provide Free Grab and Go 7-day Meal Kits in Fairfax County

No questions asked, no IDs needed – County children under 18 and all FCPS students eligible

Ten Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) buses began rolling Monday, June 28, on a mission to deliver their precious cargo: coolers full of nutritious breakfast and lunch items packed in seven-day, bulk meal kits, grab-and-go style.

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Two Men Charged with Chantilly Murder of Herndon Man

Homicides surge in the first six months of 2021 in Fairfax County compared to 2020.

With 13 homicides reported across all of Fairfax County already this year, the unprecedented spike in killings is a concern.

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Pandemic-Delayed Ribbon Cutting Held in Herndon

Town officials, Chamber members, and guests welcome District Floor Depot

District Floor Depot celebrated the Ceremonial Grand Opening of its third and newest branch at 1051 Elden Street, Herndon, with a ribbon cutting ceremony held Thursday, June 23, that was supposed to happen over a year ago.

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Vienna Cathedral Brass Debuts in Herndon

Vienna ensemble delivers versatility and virtuosity

The Cathedral Brass of Vienna Presbyterian Church performed a free outdoor concert titled "Americans We" at 7 p.m. on the Arts Herndon Lawn Stage, located adjacent to its arts center in the heart of the historic downtown district.

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Greater Traffic Volumes Coming with Future Comstock Mixed-Use Development in Herndon

Ground-breaking held for Elden-Center Streets Intersection Improvements

The critical $1.4M reconstruction and signalization of the Elden-Center Streets Intersection Improvements began June 7.

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‘Reston Baby’ Promotes Reading from Birth

Reston Historic Trust shepherds and cheerleads community-collaborated project

Reston Historic Trust celebrated the release of its children’s board book, “Reston Baby” (2021), art by Molly Bergin, published by duopress, by throwing a launch party on Tuesday, June 15, at its museum located at 1639 Washington Plaza.

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Behind the Scenes at Summer Concerts on the Green in Great Falls

Celebrate Great Falls presented another evening of its 2021 Concerts on the Green at the Great Falls Village Centre.

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Naturalizing the Grange Hall Oak Grove in Great Falls

Great Falls Citizens Association takes on invasive plants

Members of the Great Falls Citizens Association Environment and Parks Committee, co-chaired by Winifred Frost and Susanne Black, met in early June to discuss restoring the oak grove at the Grange Hall Park.

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High Hopes for McLean Downtown

Newly approved CBC Comprehensive Plan Amendment most aggressive that residents could support

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved on June 22 Plan Amendment (PA) 2018-II-M1 that proposed new Comprehensive Plan guidance for the McLean Community Business Center (CBC).

Remembering Glenn Wiggs

Owner-Operator of McLean Hardware turned a store into a gathering place

Glenn Kirby Wiggs, 71, the beloved owner and operator of McLean Hardware, passed away on June 5, 2021, at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Seen in TJ’s Freshman Class

In 2021, the U.S. News Best High Schools report ranked TJ the number one school nationwide for the second year running.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology admitted 550 students strong as its Class of 2025.

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Triple Homicide in Town of Herndon Home

Families grieve the loss of two young children and their mother; suicide in Reston connected to murders

The families of two young Town of Herndon children, a boy and girl, slain with their mother Saturday morning, June 19, are devastated by the triple homicide and the loss.

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Juneteenth Celebrated at Historic Fairfax County Site

Walking on grounds where slaves worshipped, and Confederates camped

The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park sponsored its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House on Centreville Road.