A new set of traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals are being installed at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and N. Wakefield Street.
The traffic signals are located next to the Murphy Funeral Home and a new residential development, in the Bluemont neighborhood near Ballston. A developer agreed to pay for the traffic signals in 2008 as part of the development’s site plan process. At the time, county staff argued that increased traffic from the development would necessitate the installation of traffic signals.
No word yet on when the traffic lights might be switched on.
Arlington County Police have made an arrest following this morning’s bank robbery in the Clarendon/Courthouse area.
A suspect has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the PNC Bank at 2601 Clarendon Boulevard, police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal confirmed this afternoon. In an earlier press release, police said the suspect entered the bank around 9:50 a.m., implied that he had a weapon and demanded money. He then fled on foot after receiving cash. Police released surveillance images taken from the bank, above.
The suspect’s identity is not being released at this time, but detectives are investigating whether he may have also been responsible for other bank robberies in Arlington.
The description of the suspect released by police today — “white Middle Eastern male in his early 20’s, 5’7” to 5’8” with a medium build” — is similar to that of the suspect in last week’s robbery of a Bank of America on Columbia Pike.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
Arlington County is warning residents to avoid human or pet contact with the water from Four Mile Run. A petroleum product has reportedly been found in the water.
From a county news release:
Arlington County today advised residents to avoid the water in Four Mile Run, downstream from highway 395 to the Potomac River.
The County issued the warning after the Arlington County Fire Department discovered the petroleum release, from an unknown source, at about 8 a.m. Thursday morning. ACFD was responding to a business owner’s report of a “fuel odor” in Four Mile Run stream. County staff are investigating the source of the release and have placed booms in the stream to collect the petroleum.
To eliminate the risk of exposure to the petroleum, until further notice, residents should:
- Stay away from the affected waters
- Keep your pets away
- Avoid recreational use of Four Mile Run downstream of 395
- Do not fish, wade or swim in the stream
The advisory to avoid all contact is an extra precaution to allow the effect of the discharge to be diminished by natural flushing of the stream.
NOTE: Residents are reminded that stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, whether the stream is located in an urban area or in the middle of a forest. Even after the discharge is naturally flushed from the stream, the County’s normal precautions for safe use of streams apply. You can find information and safety tips on Arlington streams, including information on reporting stream pollution incidents, on the Department of Environmental Service website.
Following the adoption of a new business plan, Artisphere’s weekly hours will dramatically change starting Jan. 1.
The arts and cultural center, at 1101 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, will now be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesdays, except when an evening event is scheduled. It will be open 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays (or later if programming warrants), and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Whereas Artisphere was once open to the public for some 85 hours per week, it is now only scheduled to be open 37 hours per week.
“We’ve recently begun to make some changes that are part of a larger effort to streamline Artisphere’s operations and better serve the needs of our patrons,” Artisphere Communications and Marketing Director Annalisa Meyer said in an email.
Artisphere will be closed for the duration of the holiday season — from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. When it reopens, the center will launch “Notasphere,” a month of local arts programming.
“We are very excited to launch Notasphere in January 2012, a month of fresh, innovative programming created by local arts partners from across the DC-region that includes a number of exciting programs in our Terrace Gallery—including a pop-up restaurant inspired by the recipes of Alice B. Toklas by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Carole Wagner Greenwood and an exhibition featuring the work of renowned political cartoonists,” wrote Meyer.
At Home in Virginia, a gallery exhibition originally scheduled for Jan. 8, has been canceled, Meyer said.
About 200-300 supporters of Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich packed a large conference room in the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn last night, to hear a brief campaign speech by the former House speaker.
“I have one opponent: Barack Obama,” Gingrich told the enthusiastic crowd.
But with a dozen television cameras rolling and with members of the national press corps typing notes into their laptops, Gingrich focused his sharpest words on GOP rival Mitt Romney. Specifically, Gingrich bristled at the negative ads Romney and others have been running against him in Iowa.
“If they don’t have anything positive to get elected on, they shouldn’t be running,” Gingrich said, later suggesting that Romney is in danger of being branded “just another normal national politician with clever consultants and a lot of money but no willingness to tell the truth.”
(Video of the speech is available via the Democratic blog Blue Virginia.)
Before and after the speech, campaign volunteers collected signatures to get Gingrich, a McLean resident since 2000, on the ballot in Virginia. Gingrich’s campaign needs to turn in 10,000 valid voter signatures today to get on the ballot for the Commonwealth’s primary, which is held on Super Tuesday (March 6).
Despite a busy campaign schedule, Gingrich and his wife took time to pose for photos with dozens of supporters after the speech. Gingrich’s campaign headquarters is located in Ballston.
Police are on the scene of a reported bank robbery at the Courthouse/Clarendon PNC Bank branch at 2601 Clarendon Boulevard.
Initial reports suggest that a man entered the bank, implied a weapon and demanded cash. He fled after taking the money and was last seen heading in the direction of the Clarendon Metro.
Police are currently searching for the man and interviewing witnesses at the bank.
Update at 2:45 p.m. — Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the robbery.
Weekend Closure Times Revised — Some of the times of this weekend’s Christmas closures have been revised. Arlington County government offices will now close at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, while county libraries will close at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Arlington County]
Dem Caucus Date Revised — Democratic candidates for County Board are scrambling after the newly-chosen special election date forced the Arlington County Democratic Committee to move up its caucuses, which will choose the party’s nominee for Barbara Favola’s former County Board seat. Originally scheduled for Feb. 2 and 4, the caucus is now expected to be held on Jan. 19 and 21. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki