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Townhouse Fire Causes Death of Family Pet

In Centreville this weekend, a malfunctioning microwave turned into a tragic accident. A kitchen microwave started a fire in a townhouse on the 5600 block of Sheals Lane on Saturday morning. Luckily, no one was home at the time and no people were injured by the fire. 

However, the electrical fire did kill the homeowner’s dog. When the fire department arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the building and worked to contain the blaze in about 20 minutes. The damage is estimated at about $160,000 and no other homes were damaged.

Local Residents Enjoy ‘Staycations’

'Staycation' is a new word that was added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary this year. Local Centreville resident, Natasha Powderly, is learning to enjoy her fare share of staycations. Staycations are defined as vacations near home, saving hundreds of dollars of fees from airfare, car rental, and other costs associated with a typical vacation.

Natasha and her husband have discovered that staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner at least once a month is a perfect get-away. They first tried it out last year for their anniversary, and now they try to get back as much as possible.

In the midst of a difficult economy, the Powderly’s have found creativity and new opportunities for vacations in the form of staycations. The Powderly’s find this staycation perfect because they can get away from the kids, but still be close to home. It is a nice chance for the couple to get away, without the hassle of a real getaway weekend.

Local Elementary Teacher Arrested for Cruelty to Students

Centreville’s Deer Park Elementary School teacher, Jennah Christine Billeter, has been arrested for physically assaulting and mistreating two young boys, ages 4 and 5. Billeter is a special education teacher and the two young boys were assigned to her class. The incidents occurred during the school day sometime between May and July.

Billeter was arrested and charged with one account of misdemeanor simple assault as well as two counts of felony cruelty to the boys. This past Sunday, Billeter turned herself into the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Va. Men Arrested In Delaware On Drug Charges

CHRISTIANA, Del. (AP) -- Delaware State Police said they seized about two pounds of marijuana from two Virginia men during a traffic stop on Interstate 95.

Police say 18-year-old Christopher Harley of Centreville, Va., and 23-year-old Christopher Lancaster of Manassas, Va., were each charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and other offenses.

Both men were taken to Young Correctional Institution. Harley is being held on $4,501 secured bail, and Lancaster was being held on $4,500 secured bail.

Police Cpl. Jeffrey Hale said Harley was the driver of the car that was stopped for speeding. He said Harley told the trooper that the car had been rented by his girlfriend.

While searching for the rental agreement, Hale said the trooper found bags of marijuana in the glove box, rear floorboard and trunk of the car.

It’s Almost Back to School Time

It’s almost time for Centreville students to head back to school! The Centreville High School Back to School Festival will be held on Wednesday, September 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the CVHS bus loop.

CVHS parking permits for the 2010-2011 school year will go on sale starting August 31 for those senior students planning on driving to campus. Students can pick up their permits from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the CVHS Wildcat Parkapalooza 2010, a BBQ cookout hosted at CVHS. If students are unable to attend the BBQ, they will be able to pick up their parking permits on Wednesday, September 1 at 9:00 a.m. in the school atrium.

Going back to school also means time for falls sports. On Monday, August 16, CVHS is hosting a “Meet the Fall Sports Coach” meeting for students in the theatre from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss out if you want to meet your future coach!

Smart Markets to Continue Through October 29

Smart Markets Inc., founded in early 2008 by Jean Janssen, is the newest group of farmer’s markets to the Northern Virginia area. Janssen herself has been a resident of Northern Virginia for 25 years. These markets serve Centreville, Fairfax Corner, Gainesville, Herndon, Oakton and Reston and provide guaranteed producer-only farmers’ markets.

Some vendors at the Centreville Market include Angelic Beef, Bonjour La Parisienne, Jose’s Produce, Tommy V’s Fresh Salsa, and many more. For a full list of vendors visit http://smartmarkets.org/our-markets.html.

Come check out the Centreville Market any Friday between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. at 5875 Trinity Center now through October 29th!

Investigation Continues with Dog Poisoning Case

In Leesburg, VA, Harley, an 8-year-old beagle mix suddenly got violently ill last Thursday. The canine was rushed to Leesburg Veterinary Hospital after vomiting all over the house and not being able to stand up. Harley started to have seizures on Friday, and was not showing any signs of recovery. The beagle mix was put down that day as suggested by the veterinarian.

Harley’s owner found a 12 X 12 aluminum pan in his backyard which had an unidentifable yellow liquid inside it. An investigation was opened by Leesburg Police and Loudoun County Animal Care and Control. From initial tests conducted by the vet clinic, it was determined that the substance was likely a mix of antifreeze and some type of meat product. The pan is also being tested for fingerprints.

Once someone is convicted they could face up to five years in prison because in Virginia poisoning a dog can lead to charges of a Class Six Felony.