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Sneak Peak of Gerry Connolly's Campaign Headquarters

It's hurry up and wait time at Gerry Connolly's campaign headquarters at the Fairview Park Marriot in Falls Church, VA. With just about 2 hours left at the polls, crews are setting up signs, screens, stage risers and media crews are getting their camera shots ready.

Connolly's website offers a tool to find your polling place. To follow Connolly on twitter: @ElectConnolly

For all of your D.C., Maryland, and Virginia election coverage, tune in to WUSA9 tonight.

Two NoVA Cancer Non-Profits Will Represent Washington, D.C., at Academy Awards of Philanthropy

The Brad Kaminsky Foundation (TBKF) has won the distinction of being named Charity of the Year for Washington, D.C.,  by StayClassy. TBKF now moves onto the national round in California to compete with charities from seven other U.S. cities for the Classy Award and title of National Charity of the Year.

The Classy Awards are sponsored by StayClassy.org, an innovative outlet for non-profit organizations. The awards recognize the philanthropic work of charitable foundations, businesses, and individuals.  Awards are given in one of ten categories including Charity of the Year, Small Charity of the Year, and Most Creative Awareness Campaign.  The Charity of the Year winner will receive a $25,000 prize, while other winners will receive $10,000. Presented in downtown San Diego on November 7, the Classy Awards are the Academy Awards of philanthropy.

TBKF went up against 10 other Washington, D.C. based charities in the first round of online voting. First round voting took place from October 9 through October 22. The final stage of voting is happening now and will continue through November 5.

Lisa Millar, founder of TBKF, said, “We are so honored to represent the brain tumor and cancer community and to be able to increase much needed awareness. We are fighting for everyone touched by cancer and for all the angels taken too soon.”

DC Candlelighters, an organization for childhood cancer awareness and support was also awarded Small Charity of the Year for Washington, D.C.  The DC Candlelighters an all-volunteer charity that supports families of children fighting cancer and was started by families whose own children had been diagnosed with cancer. 

TBKF was born out of love, by Lisa Millar, for her 29-year-old brother who died from a brain tumor and for her need to avenge the disease that took him. TBKF co-founded a national branding and unification movement to join all those working towards a cure for brain tumors. Over 71 non-profits have united under the Heroes of Hope Grey Ribbon Crusade campaign. TBKF, along with its many D.C. Metro events, including their Kids Helping Kids event for Pediatric Cancer Awareness, is developing a new project that will motivate and guide members of communities to join together and do their part to help put an end to all cancer.

Both The Brad Kaminksy Foundation and DC Candlelighters are founded by women whose personal lives have been impacted by cancer.  These charities are informing and motivating our communities to get involved and raise awareness to beat cancer.

Local High School Copes With Tradegy

Westfield High School and the Centreville community are mourning the tragic loss of 15-year-old John Donald Rupp III (known as “Bo” to family and friends). According to Fairfax County Police, Rupp was in the roadway on the night of September 26, when a 44-year-old man driving a Toyota FJ Cruiser was traveling north on Pleasant Valley Road near Smithhaven Place struck the teen. Rupp, who was a sophomore at Westfield High School and active in football, lacrosse, and wrestling, passed away at Inova Fairfax Hospital. On Friday, October 1, hundreds of friends, students, and families united to attend Bo’s memorial service at Centreville United Methodist Church.

Day Care Worker Arrested

From Fairfax County Police Department:

Sully Police District – Police were summoned to investigate allegations that a 4-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by a day care worker. The alleged incident occurred on Tuesday, September 21, at the Minnieland day care center, located at 14415 Compton Village Drive in the Centreville area.

On Friday, September 24, police obtained a warrant charging Siyamand Salehzadeh, 22, of 7757 Lavenham Court in Manassas, with sodomy. On Saturday, September 25, Salehzadeh was detained in the state of New York, attempting to enter Canada. Salehzadeh currently is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

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.