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Candyman Scare--Schools Apologize

October 18, 2003

The Board of Supervisors meets Monday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m.

Sterlingfest was a great success last Saturday. The Pictures are posted on the website from the Parade.

Come to Jimmy G's Restaurant under the Clocktower opposite the Burlington coat factory this Saturday morning.

Tomorrow Saturday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. there will be bagels and coffee for you. NO CHARGE. FREE. I do have some campaign work if you can stay for that too. Thanks. If you just want to see some excitment, drop by.

And if you can not make it Saturday at 10 a.m. please consider meeting me Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 5p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. at Jimmy Gs for campaign work. Write me and tell me you can come.

Previous Report On Strangers Now Updated

Strangers Approaching Children. Part of Students Class Experiment

Sheriff Steve Simpson has told me a series of suspicious events last week in the Sterling area has turned out to be two area high school students performing an experiment for a psychology class.

Today a 17-year old Park View student approached a Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer (SRO) and admitted it was her and her 17-year-old boyfriend who had asked several children in the area if they wanted candy. The student approached the SRO after seeing several media reports about the incidents, which had raised concerns in the community for the safety of their children.

The students had approached ten elementary and middle school aged children on October 6th asking them if they wanted candy. According to the two students the experiment continued the following day at the Dulles Town Center when they asked ten high school aged students if they wanted candy.

Sheriff Steve Simpson said today in response to the admission of the two students that "an experiment such as this can put stress on parents in the community and to the resources of the Sheriff's Office." The news of strangers approaching children had prompted several parents to call the Sheriff's Office Public Information Office. In response to the incidents the Sheriff's Office had stepped up patrol in the area following the initial reports and several investigators had been assigned to the case.

Even though this case turned out to be a misjudgment on the part of two juveniles Simpson urged parents to review information with their children about what to do if a stranger approaches them. Never take anything from a stranger. If a stranger asks you a question, don't talk. Run away. Don't go anywhere with a stranger. Children should go to the nearest house of a neighbor they trust or their home if a stranger approaches them. When walking to and from school, children should walk with a friend or as a group.

Children should also be told to try and remember as much information as they can about the stranger. Things like a description of the stranger, clothing worn, voice, type/color of vehicle used, license plate, and any unusual markings can help law enforcement officials find the suspect. They should tell an adult as soon as possible so the police can be notified.

Last week officials with the Sheriff's Office issued a safety alert after several reports in the past few weeks of a vehicle occupied by a male passenger and a female driver offering candy to children. The alert stemmed from two reports on October 6th of a White male subject, who was a passenger in a dark colored vehicle, offering candy to 10-year-olds walking home from school.

An incident on October 2nd in the 120 block of Victoria Place in Sterling where an unknown subject allegedly grabbed a 7-year-old Sterling girl does not appear to be related to last week's incidents. According to the victim, she was rollerblading in the area when an unknown man reached out of his vehicle and grabbed her arm. The subject fled the area after the girl screamed. The vehicle was described as being dark in color. That case remains under investigation.

For More on this, view this newspaper report online:

Candyman Scare: Schools Apologize For 'Psychology Experiment'


Here's a web site of a community group in Portland that is fighting density packing. Imagine tearing down old homes to make room for 15-foot-wide townhouses.

Portland's Metro (which is a regional planning and transportation authority) is the closest thing we have in this country to old-style Soviet central planning and this could be the shape of things to come in Loudoun and elsewhere if the PEC'ers and their emissaries keep winning elections.

Delgaudio Interview on Herring in Winchester Star, VA

... The problem is they didn't tell anyone that they're going to drive commercial development into the ground," said Eugene Delgaudio, R-Sterling...


Photos from the Sterling Parade are posted along with photo with Delegate Tom Rust.


News on West Nile Moving WEST

"Compared to last year, though, it appears that West Nile has become much more of a concern in the more rural part of our county. This change may be a result of the work we have been doing reducing mosquito populations in our catch basins and working with HOAs to improve their BMPs."

Report on Malaria

Last year, three adolescents contracted malaria in Loudoun County. The parasite was subsequently determined to have originated in Central or South America. An investigation at that time also found multiple pools of mosquitoes along the Potomac that tested positive for malaria by our field test. There was insufficient material left over from these tests lasts year to confirm the results using both of the "gold standard" tests that the Army and CDC use for malaria (PCR and ELISA).

Starting this spring, we have continued our mosquito surveillance for malaria along the Potomac this year. In August, we again found an infected pool of mosquitoes just across the river from Selden Island. Yesterday I was notified that this result has been confirmed by both of the "gold standard" tests. Importantly, there is no evidence that anyone has contracted malaria again this year.

West Nile Virus

Last year, two Loudoun County residents were known to have been infected with West Nile virus, one of whom died; both were from eastern Loudoun County. Two horses were also diagnosed with West Nile virus.

This year, over a dozen Loudoun County citizens tested positive for West Nile by private laboratories. Since the experts are unsure how accurate these private lab tests are, we try to get additional blood specimens from each of these people for testing at our state lab. As of Friday, two people have tested positive at our state lab in Richmond, both from the western part of our county.

Although the season is not yet over, what we have seen so far suggests that West Nile has taken a firm hold in our county, as it has throughout the Washington metropolitan region.

Compared to last year, though, it appears that West Nile has become much more of a concern in the more rural part of our county. This change may be a result of the work we have been doing reducing mosquito populations in our catch basins and working with HOAs to improve their BMPs. Unfortunately, such interventions are much less successful on private estates that may have mosquito breeding grounds hidden away. Alternatively, the change may reflect the natural evolution of this disease.

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