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Falls Church City News Briefs

F.C. Council OK’s Contract for Photo Red Lights

The Falls Church City Council Monday voted 6-1 to award the contract for operation of its revived “Photo Red Light” system to American Traffic Solutions, Inc.

The system, which automatically photographs cars that run red lights at selected intersections in the City, will be up and running on July 10, the result of state legislation earlier this year that revived the safety program in Virginia. F.C. Police Chief Harry Reitze reported that when the City ran the program at four intersections before it was temporarily suspended by the state legislature, that 19,000 violations and fines had been logged in a single year. But Councilman Dan Maller voted against the measure, saying the new state legislation requires violators to be a minimum of a half-second into the intersection before they can be cited. A car going 45 miles per hour on Route 7 would be 33 feet into the intersection in that half-second, he noted, minimizing the safety benefit. Also, the new system will not freeze red lights in all directions the minute a violation has been detected to minimize the potential for a collision.

3 Dem Gubernatorial Hopefuls Agree to Debates

In a joint statement from representatives of all three campaigns released yesterday, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran agreed to five debates and three joint appearances before the June 9 Democratic primary. The debates will be held April 19 in Williamsburg, April 23 in Hampton, April 28 and 29 in Blacksburg, and May 19 at the NOVA campus in Annandale. Three joint appearances include one April 3 at a forum in McLean, April 21 in Richmond, and at a date to be determined by Greensprings.

400+ to Join W&OD Trail 5K Run Saturday

More than 400 participants are expected at this Saturday’s five kilometer run sponsored by Friends of the W&OD Trail, set to proceed at 4 p.m. from the Mason Lodge, 411 Little Falls St. The race goes from there west up the W&OD trail to Shreve Rd. and then turns around and comes back to finish at the starting point. Runners and walkers, alike, are welcomed. Registration packets are available Friday from noon to 5 p.m. at Road Runners Sports in F.C., or at the Mason Lodge prior to the race’s start. Prior to the run, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in honor of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s 50th anniversary, and the W&OD Trail’s 35th anniversary. Refreshments and awards will be included. According to organizer Roger Neighborgall, proceeds from the run will be donated to F.C. Boy Scout troops 681 and 895, and the Falls Church Education Foundation.

Sgt. Lancaster F.C. Employee of Year

Sgt. Ed Lancaster of the Falls Church Police has been selected by the F.C. Employee Review Board as the 2008 Employee of the Year, it was announced this week. In addition to his continued outstanding work heading the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Sgt. Lancaster spent many hours gathering, packaging and shipping care packages to F.C. Police Officer Justin Cuomo’s unit in Iraq. He also helped with landscaping and maintenance on his own time around Officer Cuomo’s house during Cuomo’s tour of duty in Iraq. He will be honored at a reception April 13 at 6:45 p.m. at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse. Others nominated for the award this year were Kathy Allen, Steve Ingeman, Sandy Ingram-Salang, Hyun June Lee, Melissa Ryman and Janet Haines.

Hull Formally Announces for Re-Election

Del. Bob Hull, who has represented the 38th District in the Virginia State Legislature since 1992, formally announced his plans to run for re-election this week. Hull is expected to be challenged in the June 9 Democratic primary by Fairfax School Board member Kaye Kory.

F.C. Schools Nominate 6 for Support Honors

Six employees of the Falls Church City Schools were announced as nominees to win the 2009 Support Staff Employee of the Year awards yesterday: Larry Allen, a band paraprofessional at Jefferson Elementary, Henderson Middle School and Mason High; Ray Epps, a maintenance specialist at Jefferson; Debbie Flanigan, Mason principal’s secretary; Rik Jowers, system-wide technology services coordinator; John Levock, Henderson principal’s secretary; and, Clara Loza, Mason food services manager. The winner will be announced next month.

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