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Leesburg Business Incubator Gains County Support

Loudoun County pledges $100,000 over three years to help underwrite operational costs for new Mason Enterprise Center in Leesburg

More Charges Filed Against Leesburg Stabbings Suspect

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- A man suspected in a series of stabbings in Michigan and two other states has been charged with murder and four new attempted murder charges, a prosecutor announced Monday.

Elias Abuelazam, 33, is charged with open murder in the Aug. 2 killing of Arnold Minor in Flint, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. If convicted, he faces life in prison with no chance of parole.

Abuelazam previously had been charged in just one case, the attempted murder of a 26-year-old man. He was arrested at an Atlanta airport on Aug. 11 while trying to travel to Israel, his native country, and is being held in the county jail.

Abuelazam "terrorized our citizens," Leyton said. "We've got the guy responsible for these crimes. ... We will convict him. We will lock him up for the rest of his life. His victims deserve nothing less."

Loudoun Needs 21 More Schools, Says Superintendent

ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA) -- The head of Loudoun County's Public Schools laid out an ambitious growth plan for his district in his State of Education address.  It is one he says is needed.

Dr. Edgar Hatrick released his report and proposals on the school's website.  He wrote Loudoun will be the third-largest school district in Virginia, with nearly 92,000 students - up from just under 60,000 now.  Hatrick said Loudoun will need 21 new schools to meet the growing number of students.  However, Hatrick wrote only eight are planned through 2015. 

STATE OF EDUCATION: Read Dr. Hatrick's address and presentation (PDF File)

New Green Initiative: Rubber Mulch in Leesburg

Leesburg, VA is trying out a new “green” approach to median maintenance. Leesburg’s Urban Forester and Public Works Department teamed up to bring 20,000 pounds of rubber mulch, made out of shredded used tires, to the Town of Leesburg. The mulch has been installed in the median of the West Market Street exit ramp off of Route 7.

So how is this initiative green? The 20,000 pounds of rubber took more than 1,300 tires out of waste. The rubber mulch will not need to be replenished like wood mulch, therefore cost effective over time, despite costing three times as much initially. The mulch is expected to do a better job of suppressing weeds and will not float away during heavy rain storms like wood mulch does. If the project goes well, rubber mulch may appear in several medians.

Plan To Privatize Liquor Stores Revealed

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA) -- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has released details of his plan to privatize the liquor industry.
He says the state can raise $500 million by selling the 332 ABC stores Virginia owns.

Then he says the state can pull in $230 million annually by auctioning off 1,000 liquor licenses, the bulk of which will go to grocery and discount stores. Small stores and pharmacies will get the rest. He wants the money raised to go to local highway congestion relief projects.

"I like the idea of privatizing. And if it really does bring back money to the community, then I think it's a good idea," said Ginger Henney of Fairfax.

The plan reserves 600 licenses for large outlets such as grocery and discount stores. It reserves 250 for small mom-and-pop shops and another 150 for small-scale sales in pharmacies.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to reauthorize its policy on religious and non-religious displays.

LEESBURG, Va. (WUSA) --"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!" was the first line of a famous century-old newspaper editorial. Now we can say, "Yes Virginia, there will be Christmas in Leesburg!"

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted eight to one to reauthorize its policy on religious -- and non-religious -- displays at the Leesburg Courthouse. The policy allows the first ten people who apply to get a permit.

This is the issue that just won't seem to go away. Emails flew again this year suggesting the Board would ban religious displays including Christmas trees and nativity scenes from the courthouse grounds here.

But the Board voted overwhelmingly to throw open the doors to everyone. Including perhaps some unwanted guests.

The holidays are a big deal in Leesburg. For decades, on the courthouse grounds there's been a tree and a nativity scene.

Religious Holiday Displays At Issue In Loudoun County

LEESBURG, Va. (AP/ WUSA) -- Loudoun County residents spoke out Tuesday evening against a recommendation from a Loudoun County board subcommittee to ban religious holiday displays on the grounds of the county courthouse.

The board is expected to take action on Wednesday.

"This is one of the most important issues we could ever face," said Leesburg's Mayor Kristen Umstattdt, who wants the board to overule the ban recommendation.

Umstattdt preceded a long list of speakers of all ages Tuesday night.  Outside the crowded board room in the hallway signs championed a "Keep Christmas" cause.  The mayor said the nativity scene has been allowed on the greens of the county courthouse for decades and many of her constituents are remorse at the thought of lost tradition.

"My daughter who is now thirteen remembers when she was a toddler, I would bring her down and she just loved looking at the baby Jesus in his manger."