Episcopal Trial Date Moved to Oct. 14
The final leg of the drawn-out trial to determine ownership of the property on which the historic Falls Church sits in downtown City of Falls Church comes before Judge Randy Bellows in the Fairfax Circuit Court on Oct. 14.
The issue will be who holds the legal title to the land. In the trial, the Diocese of Virginia will once again represent the interests of Episcopal Church USA and the congregation of “continuing Episcopalians” who were expelled from the property in December 2006 when a majority of church members voted to defect from the denomination. Citing their opposition to the elevation of an openly-gay priest to bishop status in the church, the defectors aligned with the so-called Council of Anglicans in North America under the leadership of the right-wing Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. The defectors have claimed their right to ownership of the property under terms of a post-Civil War Virginia statute, so far upheld by Judge Bellows. But on Oct. 14, the diocese will argue that ownership properly resides with the Christ Church of Alexandria, which was deeded title to the land by a U.S. Supreme Court decision made on Mar. 11, 1824, and which has not voted to defect from the Episcopal denomination.
F.C. School Board OKs Free Meals for Students
Recognizing that current economic difficulties may lead to financial hardships for some families in the City of Falls Church, the F.C. School Board voted at its last meeting to subsidize reduced-price student meals for students who meet federal family income guidelines. Beginning Oct. 1, for the rest of the school year, any family with students in the Falls Church City Public Schools that qualifies for the reduced-price student meals will be provided meals at no charge. Students who qualify will receive electronic meal cards that are identical to those given to students who are not eligible for free meals. As the debit system is computerized, all payment and free meal information will be kept confidential. “The research is clear that healthful, nutritious meals are a fundamental component of student wellness, learning and success,” School Board member Joan Wodiska said. “Our vote to subsidize meals for families that meet federal income guidelines was the right thing to do for our students, and we strongly encourage every eligible family to apply for the school meals program.” Income guidelines and applications are available at http://www.fccps.org/meals, or by calling 703-248-5534.
Fairfax Police Identify Homicide Victim
Fairfax Police undergoing a homicide investigation in the death of a 29-year-old woman at her 6166 Leesburg Pike apartment identified the woman last week as Genevieve “Gini” Paulette Orange. They reported she appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to her upper body some time Wednesday night, Sept. 24. A 2001 graduate of Virginia Tech, she was active in the McLean Bible Church and employed as a manager with Futures in Washington, D.C. She was the daughter of Lloyd E. Orange of Blue Ridge, Virginia, who died Jan. 12, and Marilyn Orange. Services were due to be held last night at McLean Bible Church, and graveside services were set to be conducted by the Curtis Funeral Home, Thomson, Georgia. Police indicated they did not have any suspects to date.
250 Brave Rain for “Run for the Schools”
Rain did not deter 250 runners from participating in the third annual “Run for the Schools,” a 5K race and 1K fun run benefiting the Falls Church Education Foundation Sunday morning. Spirits were raised by the participation of Washington Nationals’ giant-headed Teddy Roosevelt, whose presence was sponsored by the Falls Church News-Press. All four Falls Church City Public School mascots were also present, along with prominent city and school officials. Winners in different categories included the following: Phoebe Galt (F19-under), Marina El Ghod (F20-29), Rali Roesing (F30-39), Maribeth Spellman (F40-49), Sarah Bayldon (F50-59), Theresa Romer (F60-69), Jordan Ricker (M19-under), Joseph Martinez (M20-29), Kevin Callahan (M30-39), Andrew Cline (M40-49), Myron Kremer (M50-59), and Hal Lippman (M60-69).