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House Advances Va. Gov's $4 Billion Roads Bill

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Bob McDonnell's $4 billion transportation plan advanced in the House Thursday despite Democrats' concerns that $3 billion of it is borrowed.

On a mostly party line 62-35 vote, the Republican-ruled House advanced Speaker William J. Howell's bill to final passage Friday.
Thursday's recorded vote on the largest single fiscal item before the 2011 General Assembly is an accurate measure of Friday's third-reading vote that will send the bill to the Senate.

A Senate companion to the House bill won overwhelming Finance Committee support earlier this week and, with a handful of Democrats signed on in support, is expected to win final passage by early next week.

House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong said the bill raids the general fund and the core public services it supports.

"What we're doing is robbing schools and taking money away from police officers," said Armstrong, D-Henry County.

Virginia Advances New I-95 HOV and HOT Lanes Project

Virginia Advances New I-95 HOV and HOT Lanes Project

From VDOT:

CHANTILLY— The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will advance a new I-95 High Occupancy Vehicle/High Occupancy Toll (HOV/HOT) lanes project to relieve a major bottleneck in the HOV lanes and create a seamless network for travelers along I-95 and the Capital Beltway, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton announced today. VDOT will also construct a new HOV ramp at the Mark Center site at I-395 and Seminary Road.

VDOT developed the I-95/395 HOV/HOT Lanes project to expand highway capacity, enhance carpooling opportunities, and fund transit in the corridor.  The project has been severely delayed due to a lawsuit filed by Arlington County. The delay has had a detrimental impact on the timing, scope, and private finances of the project as originally envisioned. 

FCPS Families, Employees Support Beginning School Before Labor Day

FCPS Families, Employees Support Beginning School Before Labor Day

From Fairfax County Public Schools:

A majority of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) families and employees support opening schools one week before Labor Day, beginning with the 2012-13 school year, as indicated in a recent FCPS survey.  

            “There are several reasons to open schools before Labor Day, the most important of which is to provide additional instructional time for teachers and students before Standards of Learning (SOL) testing takes place,” said FCPS Superintendent Jack D. Dale.  “Our parents and employees are solidly behind making this change.  It’s time for the state to address the wishes of our community to start school earlier.

Fairfax County Health Department Earns Public Health Emergency Preparedness Recognition

Fairfax County Health Department Earns Public Health Emergency Preparedness Recognition

From Fairfax County Health Department:

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) has been recognized as “public health ready” by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). This designation acknowledges the agency’s readiness to respond to public health emergencies, including emerging and infectious diseases, bioterrorism, natural disasters, and other public health threats.

“The health department is constantly improving its readiness,” said Fairfax County Director of Health Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H. “Although NACCHO has recognized our recent strides, we must remember that one of the most important factors in our community’s ability to respond to an emergency is the preparedness of our residents.” 

2 Homes Destroyed In Chantilly Fire

CHANTILLY, Va. (WUSA) -- Two homes are a total loss after a fire on Nations Street Thursday afternoon.

According to Lauren Rienhart with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, the fire was initially called in by a neighbor as a chimney fire around 1 p.m. at 42555 Nations Street.

When firefighters arrived, they found two homes with the first and second floors fully engulfed in flames. One family was home at the time but were able to get out safely. Occupants of a third home in the subdivision were evacuated as a precaution.

Firefighters were able to put the fire out at 2:30 p.m.

Investigators are still trying to determine exact cause.

The fire marshal says both homes are a total loss. The estimated damage is $1,500,000.

Fairfax County Public Schools Closed Yet Again

Fairfax County Public Schools Closed Yet Again

From FCPS Outreach:

All Fairfax County public schools will be closed on Friday, 1/28/11. The following activities in schools and on school grounds are canceled:

·   extracurricular activities
·   interscholastic contests
·   team practices
·   field trips
·   middle school after-school programs
·   professional learning and training courses
·   all adult and community education classes
·   recreation programs and community use

School-Aged Child Care (SACC) center are closed.

Offices are open with an unscheduled leave policy in effect.

Weather emergency personnel are to report to work.

Fairfax County Public Schools Closed, Offices Open

Fairfax County Public Schools Closed, Offices Open

From FCPS Outreach:

All Fairfax County public schools will be closed today, January 26, 2011. Offices are open with an unscheduled leave policy in effect.
 
The following activities in schools and on school grounds are canceled:
·   extracurricular activities
·   interscholastic contests
·   team practices
·   field trips
·   middle school after-school programs
·   professional learning and training courses
·   all adult and community education classes
·   recreation programs and community use

School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed. 

Weather emergency personnel are to report to work.