A 28-year-old Arlington woman who was struck by a pickup truck near Washington-Lee High School two weeks ago has succumbed to her injuries, according to police.
Alison Beth Drucker, an environmental consultant with Falls Church-based JDM Associates, was walking her dog on the Quincy Street bridge on Monday, April 11, when police say a pickup truck traveling northbound on the bridge struck her and the dog.
The dog died on the scene. Drucker was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, including a head injury. She was eventually placed in a medically-induced coma by doctors and earlier today she passed away.
The 18-year-old driver of the pickup truck, Joseph DiFilippo, was charged with reckless driving a day after the accident. No word yet on whether additional charges will be filed. Police say they are still investigating the accident.
Photo via Twitter
Stay here for live updates as storms make their way through our area tonight.
12:55 p.m. — With the exception of some isolated storminess in North Arlington, it looks like we’ve been spared from the latest batch of severe weather.
7:10 p.m. — This round of storms looks like a bust, at least for Arlington. But there are more storms to the southwest that are heading our way later tonight. The National Weather Service has extended the tornado watch for the region until 2:00 a.m.
6:40 p.m. — Storms are passing to the south and north of Arlington at the moment.
6:15 p.m. — A tornado warning has been issued for Fairfax County.
* TORNADO WARNING FOR… STAFFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND…
* UNTIL 645 PM EDT
* AT 606 PM EDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR TRIANGLE… OR 6 MILES NORTH OF STAFFORD… MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.
With prime grilling season approaching, the fire department is reminding apartment, condo, duplex and townhouse dwellers that open flame cooking on balconies is not only extremely dangerous, but a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arlington.
“A lot of people, they don’t really think about it, they just go out and grill,” said Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. The end result, often times, looks like the video above, or like this news report from Spokane, Wash.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are some 5,700 grill fires annually, causing 10 deaths, 100 injuries and tens of million of dollars worth of property damage. Many of those fires start in multifamily dwellings.
Because of the danger to the public, laws against apartment grilling are strict. Anyone caught grilling illegally in Arlington can face up to 1 year in jail or a $2,500 fine, Karl said.
Rather than firing up a gas or charcoal grill on your balcony, one option is to use an electric grill.
“Only electric cookers and electric grills are allowed on balconies of [multifamily] occupancies,” the fire department says on its ‘Barbecue Safety’ web site. “No charcoal cooker, brazier, hibachi, grill or any gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquid or liquefied petroleum gas-fired stove or similar device… shall be ignited or used on the balconies of any apartment building, stacked units, or other structures with similar occupancy.”
(The fire department’s web site also includes what we’re told is a “delicious” recipe for ‘Fire Chief Flank Steak’ from Chief James Schwartz.)
Karl said anyone with questions about the regulations should contact their building manager or call the county’s fire prevention office at 703-228-4644.
It’s hard to believe, but April is almost over. Along with the end of April comes the end of a great spring tradition — Crystal City’s 5K Friday races. The last race of the season will take place on Friday.
Over the past four weeks, we’ve asked photographers to head out with a camera and snap some photos of the action for our Crystal City ‘Flickr Flash’ Photo Contest. Ignoring rain and hunger pains (the races start at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays), photographers were able to capture more that 50 great shots.
We’ve now narrowed the submissions down to 10 finalists. Take a look below and vote for your three favorites. Voting will end at 3:00 p.m. on Friday. We’re offering the following prizes to the top three vote-getters:
- 1st Prize: $200 Morton’s Crystal City gift card and a race t-shirt
- 2nd Prize: $50 Jaleo gift card and race t-shirt
- 3rd Prize: $25 Bozzelli’s Italian Deli gift card and race t-shirt
Thank you to everybody who participated in the contest, and good luck to the finalists!
(Note that photos are copyrighted by their respective owners.)
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the region.
Arlington is among the counties placed under the tornado watch until 8:00 p.m. Storms are approaching the area from the southwest.
If you’re used to seeing the ugly, dangerous Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange, get ready for a big change. VDOT has released some sketches of what the interchange will look like by 2014.
Next month VDOT will begin work on a $39 million project to revamp the aging, confusing mess of on-ramps and off-ramps. The interchange’s bridges will be rebuilt and dedicated acceleration/deceleration lanes will be added.
For the next two an a half years, motorists can expect nightly closures of 2-3 lanes of Route 50 in both directions, as well as occasional closures of side streets and on/off ramps. VDOT says it will announce the closures in advance and provide signed detours.
VDOT will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday, May 3, to answer neighborhood questions about the project. The meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Arlington County Boardroom (2100 Clarendon Blvd).
See the full VDOT press release after the jump.
AOL, which recently purchased the Huffington Post, is using the blogging engine from its new acquisition to power the new Patch blogs.
“The introduction of blogging on our sites is far more than just the release of a new feature,” said Patch Editor in Chief Brian Farnham, according to Paid Content. “It is a full-on course correction heading Patch in the direction we want to go. It’s going to unlock community and engagement and thread us even deeper into the fabric of the communities we’re serving.”
The Ballston-Virginia Square Patch and the Clarendon-Courthouse-Ballston Patch are taking two different approaches to recruiting bloggers.
Ballston Patch is emphasizing the fact that they’re not looking for news reporters.
“This isn’t a reporting job. It’s blogging,” the site says. “Be interesting. Be provocative. Be yourself.”
Clarendon Patch is emphasizing their specific expectations for unpaid contributors, in list form.
The list includes: “1. You Need to Know What It Takes To Be Relevant,” “2. You Need to Know What Kind of Blogs We’re Looking For,” “3. You Need to Know What We Consider Responsible,” and “4. You Need to Know We’re Paying in Gratitude.”
“Up until now, we’ve primarily been a news operation, written by our staff and freelancers,” Clarendon Patch said. “But soon, very soon, we’re hoping to add a new voice to the site: Yours.”
There have been two minor but noteworthy developments in the Democratic primary battle for Mary Margaret Whipple’s state Senate seat.
“You have to find the right fit sometimes,” Favola told ARLnow.com last night, without specifically addressing the circumstances surrounding Chadderdon’s departure. “It’s probably good we figured this out sooner rather than later.”
Chadderdon did not return a call for comment.
Meanwhile, Englin Consulting — run by Shayna Englin and husband Del. David Englin — has been hired to assist Army Lt. Col. Jaime Areizaga-Soto in his soon-to-be-announced run for Whipple’s seat.
“We’re psyched to work with Jaime,” Shayna Englin told the Blue Virginia blog. “He’s a tremendous candidate who’s in it to win.”
Technology consultant Ben Tribbett, a potential third Democratic candidate for the race, chimed in with praise for Areizaga-Soto’s hire.
“I think Englin Consulting is one of the best groups of Democratic consultants in the state,” he said. “I can’t think of anybody better to help guide Jaime.”
In a report released this morning, the association said the Washington region has the 14th highest ozone (smog) levels in the country. Arlington itself was slightly less polluted than the District, with an average of 9.8 ‘high ozone’ days compared to 10.7 days in the District.
The average number of high ozone days in Arlington has been been falling steadily since reaching a high of 32 from 1997 to 1999 (see chart, left).
“The progress we have made here in the District is due to the Clean Air Act; it has proven that cleaning up pollution results in healthier air to breathe,” said Dennis Alexander, Regional Executive Director for the local office of the American Lung Association. “Unfortunately, the D.C. metro area is still one of the most polluted areas in the nation and we still have a long way to go to achieve healthy air. This is exactly why we cannot stop now.”
Arlington received a grade of ‘C’ for particle pollution, also known as soot, while the District received a grade of ‘D.’ The Lung Association says there are more than 17,000 people with asthma and 7,000 people with chronic bronchitis in Arlington. Those groups are at greater risk from pollution, the association said.
Board Approves Higher Towing Fees — It’s going to cost you an additional $10 if your car gets towed in Arlington. The County Board last night voted 3-2 to increase the maximum towing fee from $115 to $125, five dollars higher than the maximum rate in the District. The board rejected a recommendation that would have added $25 to tows performed on nights, weekends and holidays. [Sun Gazette]
‘British Goodies’ For Royal Wedding — Want to go all-out for the royal wedding Friday morning? Pick up some Yorkshire Gold tea and some Branston Pickle from the Classic Cigars & British Goodies store (2907 Wilson Blvd) in Arlington. [Patch]
Fairfax Won’t Sue Over BRAC Plan — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is critical of the decision to relocate thousands of Defense Department workers to the Mark Center in Alexandria, but it will not be filing a federal lawsuit in the wake of a damning report from the DoD’s inspector general. Rep. Jim Moran is urging localities to seek an injunction against the moves, scheduled for later this year. [Washington Post]