News Briefs

News Briefs for October 5 – 11, 2006

F.C. School Board to Get School Safety Update

In light of Monday’s latest deadly school violence incident in Pennsylvania, the Falls Church School Board has requested an updated school safety and security report to be made at its meeting next Wednesday. Falls Church Schools currently have two police officers focused on its schools, according to a release from its Office of Communications this week. Office Steve Rau is assigned to the FCCPS and monitors the school environment for any potential threats. In addition, retired Falls Church City police officer Paul Whitney serves as the school division’s safety consultant. Both serve on the committee that annually reviews the division’s established emergency preparedness and response plan for situations ranging from weather emergencies to security threats. In addition, a safety audit is conducted at all four City schools each spring and safety recommendations are made to the School Board. The report on the Spring 2006 audit will be presented at next week’s meeting, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall.


Webb Campaign Raises $3.5 Million in Third Quarter  

With the race neck-and-neck in all polls, U.S. Senate Democratic challenger Jim Webb, seeking to upend Republican incumbent George Allen, announced yesterday that his campaign raised a robust $3.5 million from 20,000 donors in the third quarter ending Sept. 30. The total marked a significant ramp up for Webb, who during the March through June period raised $1.1 million. About a month now remains until the Nov. 7 election.


George Mason H.S. Band & Chorus Heading to Atlanta

Next March, the band and chorus at George Mason High School will travel to Atlanta to perform during an Atlanta Hawks professional basketball game and at the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park, it was announced this week. According to instructor Mary Jo Webster, the students have organized a series of fundraisers to offset the cost of the trip, and the first is a car wash this Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Koon’s Ford on E. Broad St. The next will be an Oct. 14 flapjack fundraiser at Applebee’s. The students will sell tickets for a hearty breakfast for $6. While the Applebee’s staff prepares the meals, the students will work as the wait staff.


Lawmakers Secure Federal Defense $ for Northern Virginia

Working together, three lawmakers representing Northern Virginia – Sen. John Warner, Rep. Jim Moran and Rep. Tom Davis – secured five provisions in the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill important to this region. The measures, according to a news release, “will help the region deal with more than 23,000 jobs that will move to Fort Belvoir by 2011 as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.” The measures include $13 million for construction of the Woodlawn replacement extension through Fort Belvoir and a provision that would help forge an agreement between Virginia and the Army to complete construction of the Fairfax County Parkway through the Engineer Proving Grounds, among others.


With 800th Edition, News-Press Boosts Circulation Again

Marking the publication of its 800th consecutive weekly edition this week since its founding in March 1991, the Falls Church News-Press will boost its circulation above its current 30,500 mark, owner-editor Nicholas F. Benton announced this week. “We are currently in the process of establishing hundreds of new public and retail locations where readers can pick up copies of the paper each week,” Benton said. With the Falls Church area generally saturated, the new locations will be mostly in Arlington, Fairfax County and the District, where limited presence of the paper already exists. “We have found enthusiastic interest in our paper from outside the immediate Falls Church area because of our unique and diverse content,” Benton said. “As Virginia’s most progressive newspaper, we have a lot to offer readers no matter where they are.” The News-Press is the only newspaper in the region to consistently grow its circulation, starting with 7,500 in 1991. Benton noted that a wider readership will benefit the paper’s advertisers but that no advertising rate increase is expected despite the added circulation. The News-Press’ ad rates are currently about 20-25% below comparable weeklies in the region with similar circulation numbers and readership demographics. The News-Press will post its new distribution numbers when the current expansion phase is completed by Thanksgiving.