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Shirley Ruhe

Stories by Shirley

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Pet Sitting for 30 Years and Still Loves It

Fun, food and games.

Sasha hears familiar footsteps and sits at the top of the stairs waiting for his food and fun to begin.

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Prisoner Reentry: Some Solutions

Local programs, services help ex-offenders.

Ex-offenders may face stigma, lack of family support, inadequate life skills suitable for making it on "the outside" and difficulty getting and retaining employment.

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Prisoner Reentry: Some Solutions

Part II in a three-part series focusing on prisoner reentry in Northern Virginia

Thirty-eight thousand prisoners are incarcerated in Virginia with 12,000 adults and 500 juveniles projected to be released each year.

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BABA Brings Alive Grandmother Memories

Here’s to fun dining.

Everyone can find their grandmother at BABA's according to Ivan Iricanin, the owner of the new restaurant on Wilson Boulevard scheduled to open Feb. 1.

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88 and Ready to March Again

Boarding the bus for the Jan. 21 Women’s March, Ivy South says she is 88 years old and “this is my first march.”

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Part I: A three-part series focusing on prisoner reentry in Northern Virginia.

Employment and housing prove to be major hurdles.

In Virginia, 38,000 citizens were incarcerated in 2016. Almost 90 percent of those released return home.

Get Fit for the New Year in Arlington

MADabolic opens new gym in Clarendon.

Marked white, teal and black weighted balls slam into the ground. Heavy ropes snake up and down through the air. Running shoes sprint across the floor.

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Holidays in the Homeless Services Center in Arlington

Good cheer, warm and supportive environment

Walk into the Homeless Services Center at 2020-A 14th Street N and one immediately feels the good cheer.

Tables Overflow for Project Christmas Angel in Arlington

Gift-wrapping for children of incarcerated individuals.

Susan Olson, chair of the Offenders Aid and Restoration Board (OAR), says this year they put the wish list for the children of incarcerated individuals on Amazon.

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The Dilemma: What to Put in That Arlington Christmas Stocking

Christmas stockings can pose a number of challenges.

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Collecting Food Donations

Charlie Gaylord from Boy Scout Troop 106 is nearing the end of his 167-house route on Williamsburg Boulevard at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

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From Homeless to New A-SPAN Home

Veteran counts his blessings.

Walk through the front door of Dennis Clark's new apartment on N. Thomas Street.

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Helen Leverone’s Acrylic Paintings Featured

Helen Leverone’s acrylic paintings were featured as number 6 on the first annual Westover Studio Tour Oct. 29 and 30 where artists open their workspaces to the public for a weekend.

Early Voting in Arlington

Early Voting in Arlington

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Church and Preservationists Clash over Graveyard

Preserving cemetery would affect expansion plans.

A controversy has erupted between the Central United Methodist Church (CUMC) in Ballston and Arlington County historic preservationists over a proposal to transform the church property into a new worship space.

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Arlington: Lessons in Housecleaning

Learning to be green.

The five-week Green Housecleaning class for immigrant women began in 2013 as the vision of Andres Tobar, director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC), who said, "We have SEEC that was established in 2000 to help find connect immigrant daylaborers with temporary employment, but these are almost always men. There was nothing for the women. This Green Housecleaning class gets to women with the toughest challenges."

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Arlington: Ambar Combines Balkan Countryside with Urban Feel

New restaurant on Wilson Boulevard.

Favorite Balkan dishes with a modern twist have arrived in Arlington with the opening of Ivan Iricanin's new Ambar restaurant on Wilson Boulevard. Iricanin sits at a table refurbished from the previous restaurant and looks around the new space designed by his wife, Nya Gill. "Final touches," he said as the fresh plants are arranged in the overhead room-length rectangular planter, "and opening only two days late."

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From the Beginning to the End

982 participants signed up for 2016 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.

The Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO) opened Sept. 10 and ran through Sept. 21 with another record registration of 918 participants.

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Arlington: Where Learning and Camaraderie Doesn’t End

Inside Langston-Brown Senior Center.

The Langston-Brown Senior Center at 2121 N. Culpepper St., one of six senior centers in Arlington, offers field trips, classes focusing on health, consumer education, cooking and languages as well as dancing lessons, sports and yoga. Most classes are free with a Senior 55+ pass at a cost of $20.

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Senior Living: Life at Vinson Hall — Living the Difference

Mary DeMaris is headed down on the elevator at Vinson Hall with her black case of art supplies, an artist headed to a still life class out of the building. “There is a club here for everything — poetry, art, choral group, photography, book, gardening,” she said.

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Arlington: Life in America ... Heaven and a Half

Personal trainer analyzes people’s behavior.

It is mid-morning, and Mustafa Nazary sits on his living room couch. He had started the day at 6 a.m. with his first appointment at Ultimate Results, his fitness center in Georgetown, where he is a personal trainer. His 5-year-old son Idris, joins him on the couch. “He is hip-to-hip with me.”

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Arlington: Senior Olympics Opens with a Splash

The Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO) opened Sept. 10 with an afternoon splash at Yorktown Aquatic Center.

Never Too Old To Compete

800 expected to compete in Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.

Herb Levitan adjusts his goggles, pulls on his swimming cap and lowers himself into the pool. Levitan had been up at 7 a.m. to run three miles and had biked from home to the Ocean Dunes Water Park as he trains for the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.

Arlington Snapshot: Exploring Vernal Ponds

The Campbell family participates in a class in vernal ponds at Potomac Overlook Regional Park on Sunday afternoon. Park Naturalist Emily Rarity has handed out small nets to Chris, Colin and Leo for scooping tadpoles out of the murky water.

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Arlington Snapshot: Clearing the Shelter

An exciting day on all sides at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Pets were available with waived adoption fees at shelters participating in the nationwide Clear the Shelter event.

Arlington: Room for a Human or a Horse?

Film focuses on solitary confinement.

Step into your room. It is 80 square feet, smaller than most horse stables. It has a bed, sink and toilet. This is your solitary confinement cell for weeks, months or years. Your only contact is with prison guards and your food is delivered through a slot in the door.

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Arlington: Kick Off Relay for Summer Reading

Ten-year-old Charley Hicks carries the summer reading Olympic torch on the first leg of the Summer Reading Relay on Saturday, June 4.

Arlington: Luke Sends Balloon to Heaven to Honor Dad

TAPS sponsors five-day event over Memorial Day.

Luke Carron sat at the edge of the astroturf waiting for the balloon release that will carry the note to his father in heaven.

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Arlington: Fashion Center Expands with Shake Shack

Rachad Alaour, general manager, cuts the wide green ribbon on Wednesday, May 4 for the opening of Shake Shack at Pentagon City. Laurie Van Dalen (left), general manager for Fashion Center, says they began the expansion of Fashion Center 20 months ago and Shake Shack is the first of five businesses to open in this new space. Megan Purtell, assistant general manager, is at far left.

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Arlington County Offers Summer Camps for Kids

Gulf Branch Nature Center features three different sessions.

Arlington County offers nine sessions of weekly summer camp beginning June 27 and running through the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 2. Times for the sessions vary. Some of the camp content is repeated at each location and different park locations so the camp brochure indicates campers should attend only one session.

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Responding to Teen Sex Trafficking

Comprehensive approach seeks to educate teens.

In 2012 Fairfax County Detective William Woolf discovered a 16-year-old girl being prostituted by the M-16 gang. At the time there was little recognition that the problem existed locally. The girl was recovered and since then Woolf has interviewed 300 recovered victims, some as young as 12-years old. After the initial shock, Northern Virginia businesses, faith communities and educational groups sought to understand the extent of the problem.

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Arlington: Panel Discusses Reinstatement of Virginia Parole

U.S. tops world incarceration rates.

Al Schuman says "three strikes and you're out," instituted in 1995, was one of the biggest mistakes of the country. Twenty years ago, the Commonwealth adopted legislation to abolish discretionary parole and adopted the Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS), which required offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.

Arlington Snapshot: Gulf Branch Blacksmith

Meyer Kachel is stretching out the hot metal to the size of his pinkie and will pound it “really thin and curl it into a key fob.”

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Becoming Aware of Child Sex Trafficking

The problem extends throughout northern Virginia.

She stands on the sidewalk outside the mall with her backpack full of 7th grade science and math books. An older man pulls up and she gets in the backseat of his car.