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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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VolunteerFest, 2021

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

Volunteers

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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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WANTED Feedback Involving No-chase/Chase Fairfax County Police Department Vehicle Pursuits

Flurry of proposed revisions should discourage pursuits of suspects in non-violent felony incidents.

Police vehicle pursuits create the potential for officers, residents and suspects to be killed or seriously injured.

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Holding Dear: 2,364 Local Souls Lost to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Northern Virginia Regional Commission holds Remembrance Ceremony

On March 21, 2020, the Fairfax County Health Department reported its first death of a resident due to COVID-19.

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Fairfax Dems Clash with Supervisors

Demand firing of FCPD Chief Kevin Davis

The Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) called on the Board of Supervisors ("Board") on May 25 to terminate Kevin Davis's employment as Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department.

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Fairfax County School Board Member’s Post Fosters Heated Reactions

Amid division, voices seek to be heard.

With Ramadan's ending on May 13 and on May 14, Fairfax County School Board Member Abrar Omeish posted what some considered controversial statements on her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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Ceremonial Swearing-in of Fairfax County Police Chief Davis

On Monday, May 10, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) tweeted, "This morning, Chief Davis was surrounded by family, senior staff, and members of the Board of Supervisors for his ceremonial swearing-in as Chief of Police."

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Fairfax County Community Presses New Police Chief and Chairman for Answers

Citizens call for starting over on police chief, not being part of Davis' “redemptive” career journey.

On day four in his new position as Chief of Police Fairfax County, the ghosts of Kevin Davis' law enforcement past clung heavily in the County's public arena of the May 6 virtual Community Input Session hosted by Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay (D-At-large), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Lee).

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Fairfax County Police Chief Begins Job with Trust Deficit

Faith leaders question 'flawed' selection process and Supervisors' values during prayer vigil.

Approximately thirty interfaith leaders from across Fairfax County gathered in the "First Amendment" area outside the Fairfax County Government Center at noon, Tuesday, May 4.

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Davis Promises ‘Blue Waters Ahead’ for Fairfax County Police

Advocate ACLU People Power Fairfax joins the Fairfax County NAACP and others calling for new search

County To Hold “Community Meeting with Chief” Thursday, May 6.

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Fairfax Supervisors Didn’t Know About Davis History

Community organizations call for Chairman McKay to rescind Davis' appointment.

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Kevin Davis Appointed Fairfax County Chief of Police

Supervisors respond to a new era of policing.

Coming out of a closed-door session on Friday, April 23, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prepared, as Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) said, “to select one of the most important hires it undertakes.”

Fairfax County Supervisors Validate Hire of New Police Chief

Aware of concerns, comments provided

Media reports concerning former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed last week as the new Fairfax County Chief of Police, raise concerns about his employment history, including allegations of excessive force and violations of civil rights in 1993 and 1999.

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Springfield Romance Writer Releases New Book

Contemporary fiction inspired by her life as a military spouse

Springfield resident and USA Today Bestselling author Tif Marcelo discussed her recent novel release, "In a Book Club Far Away" (indiebound | amazon | kobo | barnes&noble | book of the month).

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Results of Arlington and Montgomery County Collaboration on Airplane Noise

Contractor proposes randomizing approaching flight path to share the noise of disturbing DCA flight tracks; testing underway

Local officials in Arlington and Montgomery counties continue their collaborative efforts following upticks in their communities' airplane noise complaints as aircraft approach and depart Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, DCA, located in Arlington County.

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Offer Four Days a Week In-school

Phased plan to start April 20 for most vulnerable students

Some students in the Fairfax County Public Schools system could be poised to clean off the family dining room table by April 20.

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Two Lawsuits Threaten Virginia Public Schools

Appellants ask courts to halt implementation of Student Transgender Policies; local FCPS Pride reacts

The outcome of two lawsuits filed in Circuit Courts the last week in March threatens the treatment of transgender students in all Virginia school divisions, including Fairfax County Public Schools.

Public Input Sought on Fairfax County Police Chief Selection

Increased expectations of public involvement and transparency drive forum

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is seeking public involvement as its nationwide search for the next Fairfax County Police Chief gets underway.

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A Lawsuit Challenges TJ Admission Changes

Parents sue to stop TJ’s admission policy changes, alleging anti-Asian race discrimination.

The Fairfax County School Board and Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand face a new lawsuit filed against them last week in United States District Court in Alexandria.

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County Highlights

Actions and words by Fairfax County leadership and citizens

In our new series,  County Highlights, the Connection spotlights actions and comments by Fairfax County officials, public servants, and local citizens who call the County's 406 square miles home.

Fairfax County Planning Commission Recommends Denial of Flag Limitations

It's not a done deal.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted 11-0 to recommend denial to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to replace the current zoning ordinance establishing specific regulations for flags and flagpoles in the New and Modernized Zoning Ordinance (zMOD Updates) countywide.

Congregation Adat Reyim Welcomes New Rabbi in Springfield

Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer helps congregation grow despite pandemic

Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer is a collaborator.

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Fairfax County Readies for Public Employee Collective Bargaining

Holds collaborative meetings with union reps to write rules

Most Fairfax County public employees who provide vital services in education, safety, healthcare, and sanitation like others in counties, cities, and towns across the Commonwealth, will gain a new right on May 1, 2021.

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Fairfax County’s FY 2022 Budget Plan

Focuses resources in targeted areas

“What a difference a year makes” said Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill.

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Fairfax County Severs Cooperation with ICE

Board adopts Trust Policy barring voluntarily sharing residents' immigrant status

Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors approved in a vote of 9-to1, the Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy (Trust Policy) introduced as a Board Matter on Jan. 26 by Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay and co-sponsored by Supervisors Dalia A. Palchik (D-Providence) and John W. Foust (D-Dranesville).

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Fairfax County School Board Votes for In-Person Learning

Students who opt-in would be due back by March 16.

Fairfax County Public School students, whose parents or guardians opt for in-person learning for their children, are headed back to the classroom at least two days a week by March 16.

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Tightening Criteria for Entering into Gang Database

Gang Task Force use of DataWalk under scrutiny

On Oct. 2, 2018, Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force selected DataWalk as their analytical platform to support its fight against gangs according to a headline on BUSINESS WIRE.

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Questioning Racially-Biased Gang Database

Activists: Residents can be entered into GangNet merely for living in neighborhoods where gang activity takes place.

With no recourse for review, a nebulous definition of gang membership led an activist, an immigration advocate, and a Virginia legislator to fight for change.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Headaches in Fairfax County

IT and supply problems worry residents.

“I want to assure you that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be,” said Jeffrey McKay, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Fairfax County Residents List Assembly Expectations

County General Assembly Delegation holds pre-2021 Session Public Hearing

The Fairfax County General Assembly Delegation held a Pre-2021 Session Public Hearing on Saturday, Jan. 9.

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A Look Inside the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Meeting Dec. 1, 2020

Highlights of discussion and actions that impact all who live, work and play in the diverse county

Dec. 1 marked the final Fairfax County Full Board of Supervisors Meeting with Public Comment of 2020.

Students and Parents Navigate Virtual Learning in Fairfax County

FCPS Virtual and In-Person Learning During COVID 2020

Dec. 1 marked the day that Fairfax County Public Schools students in Group 5, those in Early Head Start, PreK, Kindergarten, and some who receive special education services were to at last transition out of distance learning and walk through school doors to receive two days a week of in-person learning.

Burke, Fairfax, Lorton, Springfield, Mount Vernon: What Are You Grateful for on Thanksgiving 2020?

Burke, Fairfax, Lorton, Springfield: What Are You Grateful for on Thanksgiving 2020?

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In-Person Learning Delayed for Some Fairfax County Public Schools Students

Superintendent and staff update school board on return-to-school plans

A surge in COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County forced Fairfax County Public Schools to delay its planned return of in-person instruction for an additional 6,800 students on Monday, Nov. 16.

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Possible Funding Threat for Fairfax County Public Schools

COVID cases increase, yet leadership hangs their star on families returning and increased enrollment.

Fall membership as of Sept. 30, 2020 at Fairfax County Public Schools declined by 8,859 students, dipping to 180,151 compared to data recorded last year at the same time, according to Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Transportation Services Jeff Platenberg.

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Pressure Mounts on Return to School in Fairfax County

School Board members face sensitive voting items.

The week of Oct. 19 held important information for Fairfax County Public Schools families.

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Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Through Changes in TJ Admissions

Newest proposed merit lottery admissions policy fuels concern.

Top-level discussions concerning proposals by Fairfax County Public Schools leaders and School Board members to increase the population of underrepresented students of color at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) have flown fast and furious the last four weeks.

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Fairfax County Public Schools Staff Uncomfortable With In-Person School Plan

Fairfax County Federation of Teachers releases survey results.

Staff at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are overwhelmingly uncomfortable with returning for in-person instruction, given the incomplete information about the implementation that has been currently shared, according to a report released by the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT) on Oct. 6 during a press conference.

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Life Hangs in the Box Checked in Fairfax County

HR for County Schools tells staff to make a decision.

Tia Williams is an instructional assistant with diabetes and severe asthma at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

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