What We Cover
We cover news, breaking news, events, sports, business and crime Burke, Va. and the surrounding West Springfield area. including news, events and sports. Business listings, traffic and gas prices, photos, video, a calendar, blogs and more, too.
Meet Your Local Patch Team
William Callahan, Contributor, Editor
William Callahan, or "Guv," as his friends know him, grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. After a fantastic four years in Virginia at the University of Richmond, he decided he wanted to stay south of the Mason-Dixon Line and thought the D.C. area would be the perfect location. In addition to working as a copyeditor and reporter on The Collegian at Richmond, he also worked as a reporting and copyediting intern at the Henrico Citizen, a local paper in Henrico County, just outside Richmond City. Guv honed his writing skills by minoring in English and studying abroad in Oxford, England.
Sherell Williams, Contributor, Editor
Sherell Williams was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Virginia in 2001. She received her BA in Communication with a concentration in journalism from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she served as managing editor for the student newspaper, Broadside, and later the Best of Mason issue of the student-run VOX|POP magazine. She is a passionate journalist with an affinity for cultures and an addiction to green tea, chocolate, baseball, and tennis.
James Cullum, Contributor, Editor
Hi, I'm James Cullum, the editor of the Lorton Patch. I'm a native of San Antonio, Texas, and graduated from Vermont's Goddard College, where I studied creative writing. Over the past ten years, I've covered the White House, Pentagon, U.S. Capitol, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria.
I seriously picked up photography after the earthquake in Haiti, and spent some time there reporting immediately following the disaster. Internationally, I've reported from Israel, Haiti, Morocco and Algeria, and who knows where next. So, I'm a writer and a photographer, but no matter what, it's the writing that truly inspires me.
My favorite authors are Beryl Markham, James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter Thompson, Guy de Maupassant and P.G. Wodehouse.
I'm also a movie buff. Here's a list of my Top 10 Favorite Films:
- Lawrence of Arabia
- The Godfather (1 & 2)
- Some Like it Hot
- The Year of Living Dangerously
- A Clockwork Orange
- Modern Times
- The Third Man
- Pulp Fiction
- Raider's of the Lost Ark
My parents are Jim and Blanquita Cullum. Jim Cullum is a world-reknowned jazz musician and Blanquita is an internationally-recognized television and radio broadcaster. My sister, Blanquita Sullivan, is a fashion designer and works for Anthropology; sister Bonnie owns a theatre in Austin, Texas; brother Chris owns and operates a food truck in San Antonio and sister Lene works at ClearChannel Radio.
The family is full of artists and entrepreneurs. My goal i to be a good steward of the Cullum name here in Northern Virginia.
Rachel Hatzipanagos, Editor
As a student, I interned as a reporter at the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and the Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Ore., among several other publications.
After graduating in 2007, I was hired full time at the Sun Sentinel as a community news reporter. I later moved on to the municipal and public safety beats, covering everything from bank robberies to the start of turtle nesting season.
Raytevia Evans, Contributor, Editor
Jessie Biele, Contributor, Editor
A native New Yorker, Jessie Biele attended Purchase College and graduated in 2008 with a double major in journalism and women's studies. Biele was a contributor for the student-run weekly, The Purchase Independent and The Dispatch, the journalism department's monthly. After funding for The Dispatch was cut, she joined her fellow journalism majors to start The Brick, the college's student-run news website. Her work has been published in The Long Island Advance, The Suffolk County News, The Islip Bulletin, and AmStat, the American Statistical Association magazine. She lives in Alexandria and is a graduate student in the Public Communication master's degree program at American University. This self-described foodie enjoys running, playing the flute, biking, volunteering, dancing, trips to the beach, and loves to take advantage of all that Northern Virginia — and Mount Vernon — has to offer.
Rachel Leonard, Contributor, Editor
Meghan Fuss, Contributor, Editor
Jake VanWoerkom, Advertising Manager
Jake comes to Patch after spending a little over one year with Questex Media as a Digital Sales Manager in the travel industry, and close to three years with The Washington Post as an Account Manager. He was raised in Grand Haven, MI and currently resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife of three years.
He is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he studied journalism, advertising, and marketing.
As an Advertising Manager, he is excited to meet and partner with local businesses. You can reach him at email@example.com or on his cell phone - 703-957-8704
Mutts Matter Rescue, Contributor, Blogger
Mutts Matter Rescue is a nonprofit, all-volunteer based rescue organization. We work in conjunction with shelters and other organizations to help save dogs on death row, strays on the street, and dogs in unsafe living conditions. We primarily adopt in the VA, MD, and DC region, but rescue dogs from all over the East Coast.
Celeste Linthicum, Contributor, Blogger
Lori Craddock, Contributor
Lori Craddock writes for multiple Patch.com sites and has written columns on topics such as restaurant reviews, animals, and healthy eating. She covers local events and stories in several areas including Burke, Lakeridge, Lorton, and Vienna.
Lori has a diverse background working as a Project Manager and IT Specialist as well as years of professional experience as a freelance writer. She has written regularly for the Government, newspapers, and Web sites. She also specializes in corporate communications.
Cindy Bachinsky, Contributor
David Driver, Contributor
David Driver has covered all levels of sports in Maryland for more than 15 years, from rec sports to high school to college and the pros. He has worked for community newspapers in Laurel, Howard County and Northern Virginia, was the first sports editor of the daily Baltimore Examiner and was a copy editor for the Prince George's Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website.
What is Patch?
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you.
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch?
- Keep up with news and events
- Check out photos and videos from around town
- Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
- Participate in discussions
- Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
- Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Who's Behind Patch?
Patch is run by professional editors, photographers, videographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Advisory Board and from many members of the community.
We look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. If you see us around town, don't be afraid to say hi and tell us what you want to see on Patch!
Where You Come In
We hope that our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents, but we can't do it without you. We've built Patch so that you have plenty of opportunities to comment on stories, share your opinions, post photos and announcements, and add events to the community calendar. So get to it! And if you're a business owner who wants to be listed, just let us know.
You can't truly serve a community unless you provide the help it needs most, which is why giving back is so important to us. We do it as part of our coverage — in a dedicated space that lets local charities and volunteers find each other — and with a program called "Give 5," through which we donate advertising space to charitable organizations and contribute our own time as volunteers. Want to know more? Email us at email@example.com.
Phil Meyer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in Journalism in the spring of 2008. He joined the Journalism School in 1981 and served as Knight Chair in Journalism Professor from 1993-2008. Prior to joining the school, he held a number of reporter and research positions at various media outlets.
He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for Research About Journalism (with Scott Maier). He was named a Fellow of Society of Professional Journalists in 2005. In 2004, the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication gave him its Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award. And in 2000 he received the American Association for Public Opinion Research Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.
Meyer is the author of several books including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods. Journalism Quarterly in 2000 listed this book as one of the 35 significant books of the 20th century in journalism and mass communication; and the American Association for Public Opinion Research, observing its 50th anniversary in 1996, listed it as one of 50 significant books on public opinion research.
He received his B.S. in technical journalism from Kansas State University and his M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Steven Berlin Johnson is a pioneer in the web world, as a co-founder of FEED, Plastic.com, and Outside.in, which was acquired by Patch in March of 2011. He also co-created Findings.com, which launched in late 2011. Steven was the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School at Columbia University, and served for several years as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Journalism School. He is a bestselling author of seven books, and won acclaim and a Newhouse School Mirror Award for his 2010 Time Magazine cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
Speaking of Steven's editorial prowess, check out this video based on Steven's book, Where Good Ideas Come From, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Economist.
Brian Farnham, Founding Editor-in-Chief
Brian was Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York magazine before coming to Patch. Before that he worked for a variety of publications both online and off, including Details magazine, New York Magazine, and the old, dearly departed Sidewalk.com. He has written for numerous publications, from the New York Times magazine to Harper's Bazaar. He graduated from Bowdoin College and got an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University so he could put his novel in a drawer with distinction. He lives in Manhattan with his beautiful wife, adorable son, angelic daughter and the world's most dog-like cat. He’s proud as hell of what the Patch team has built.
Ken Paulson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the First Amendment Center
Ken Paulson is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Paulson served as the editor and senior vice president/news of USA Today. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.
He also is past-president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.
Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.
He was an early advocate of making newspaper content available online, launching online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.
For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.
In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute. He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.