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by ARLnow.com — July 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm 2,948 0

Major delays on the Orange Line on 7/10/13 (photo courtesy @afranz409)Update at 9:50 p.m. — WMATA has issued a statement apologizing for the “significant delays.” The disabled train was rendered inoperable by a brake malfunction, which also made it impossible to tow, WMATA said.

A train that became stuck just outside the Clarendon Metro station caused major delays on the Orange and Blue lines tonight.

The Vienna-bound train stopped outside the station between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. due to a mechanical problem. Immediately, commuters heading from D.C. to Virginia on the Orange and Blue lines started experiencing delays as Metro began single-tracking around the crippled train.

On Twitter, passengers reported overcrowded platforms, delays in excess of an hour, and a mad rush for buses, taxis and Uber cars outside stations. A compilation of some of the tweets can be found below, after the jump.

The disabled train was finally moved around 7:30 p.m. Riders were stranded on it for about 90 minutes.

“Passengers were transferred to a second train that was brought to the disabled train,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told ARLnow.com. “They walked from the front car of the disabled train through the last door of the rescue train. Their total delay was quite significant due to train’s location on a grade.”

“Metro Transit Police boarded the train in the tunnel to make sure everyone was okay,” Stessel added. “Car maintenance techs also boarded while it was disabled.”

No medical issues were reported among the passengers.

Photo courtesy @afranz409

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by Katie Pyzyk — July 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm 3,624 0

Arlington County police carThree suspected burglars got an unpleasant surprise overnight when they allegedly tried breaking into a string of vehicles in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. The problem? One of the vehicles was an undercover police car with an officer inside.

Due to a number of recent complaints about thefts from cars, the Arlington County Police Department sent a plain clothes surveillance team to the neighborhood. Around 1:30 a.m., officers saw three subjects acting suspiciously in the 1800 block of S. 28th Street. Police say they saw the suspects trying to open car doors and entering unlocked vehicles to steal items.

The three men then reportedly attempted to enter an unlocked, unmarked police car and were startled by an undercover officer in the back seat. Tactical units immediately moved in and arrested 22-year-old Hilary Edmond of Arlington and 18-year-old Robert Holt of Alexandria. With the assistance of a K-9 unit, police later arrested 23-year-old Enrique Vanterpool of Alexandria, who was found hiding under some brush. Vanterpool sustained a dog bite to the arm from the K-9 and was treated at the scene by medics.

Police believe the three men may have been involved in more than a dozen recent thefts from cars. Charges against the suspects continue to be compiled in this active case as the men are tied to more of the reported thefts.

An ACPD spokesman notes that so far it does not appear the suspects forcibly entered any of the vehicles they allegedly stole from; all the car doors were unlocked.

“People have to be aware if they are going to keep valuables in their vehicles that they should lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight,” said Lt. Mike Watson. “But people really shouldn’t even keep valuables in their vehicles.”

File photo

by Katie Pyzyk — July 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm 1,852 0

Rendering of Vornado's planned Metropolitan Park apartment buildingThe site plan for a new apartment building in Pentagon City with a Whole Foods grocery store on the first level will go before the County Board for approval on Saturday.

The proposal involves Metropolitan Park Phase 4/5 at 1200 S. Eads Street. Developer Vornado wishes to combine Phases 4 and 5 to make one building, the fourth in the Metropolitan Park development. Phases 1 and 2 of the project focused on building The Gramercy at Metropolitan Park and The Millennium at Metropolitan Park, which are both currently occupied. Phase 3 is for The Acadia at Metropolitan Park, which is under construction. Planning for the overall project has been in the works for about a decade.

The 22-story new building would contain nearly 700 residential units and would have more than 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Almost 37,000 of the retail space would be taken up by a Whole Foods. The plan includes a four level, 885 space underground parking structure that will likely have one floor reserved exclusively for use by the grocery store.

In addition to site plan approval, the Board will consider an amendment to the 1976 Pentagon City Phased Development Site Plan to permit the proposed building height. An amendment to the Master Transportation Plan has also been requested to allow the removal of a portion of a previously planned new street — 12th Road S. — from the proposal.

The Planning Commission’s Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) discussed Metropolitan Park Phase 4/5 at six meetings from November 2012 through April of this year. Members discussed numerous aspects of the development that could be cause for concern like building height, building density, streetscape improvements and grocery store operations. No major issues were identified in the final site plan that would prevent approval of the project.

Last week, members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously (11-0) in favor of the proposal. Similarly, the Transportation Commission unanimously (7-0) approved the final site plan proposal and amendment to the Master Transportation Plan at its meeting on June 27.

Staff recommends the County Board follows the lead of the Planning Commission and the Transportation Commission by approving the proposal.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm 1,856 0

American Girl doll (photo via Facebook)The Central Library needs volunteers for a project that has nothing to do with books and everything to do with toys. It’s seeking a “doll groomer.”

The library recently began lending American Girl dolls and the toys are getting a lot of play time. Volunteers are needed for upkeep of the dolls, including combing their hair, washing their clothes and replacing worn out parts. The position posting reads: “We need someone who enjoys working with dolls and their belongings and who is dependable.”

There would be a weekly commitment, but hours are flexible. Ideal candidates are teens or a parent/child team. Those 18 years and older must consent to a background check.

Interested volunteers should contact Barbara Dean at 703-228-7688 or put in a request online.

Below are a few other new volunteer opportunities around Arlington:

    • Community Picnic Volunteers — The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is looking for helpers at a picnic it is hosting for residents at Columbia Grove on July 15. Volunteers would help with setup and cleanup, leading games for children, face painting, cooking and distributing food and drinks. The picnic is designed to help residents meet their neighbors and build a sense of community. The event runs from 3:30-7:30 p.m., but arrangements may be made for those who can’t stay the entire time. Anyone interested in helping should contact Liz McElwee at 703-851-3635 or send an online request.
    • Angel Tree Family Registration — Although it’s summertime, the Salvation Army is already looking for people to help with its Angel Tree holiday gift program. The program identifies needy children and matches each one with a sponsor who will provide holiday gifts for the child. Volunteers will register needy families for the program and help make holiday wish lists. Helpers must be available on weekdays from September 16-October 11, but the schedule is flexible. Although volunteers who are available on a recurring basis are preferred, those who are only available on a one-time basis will also be considered. To sign up, call Brittney Drakeford at 202-756-2615 or send an online request.
    • Spanish Academy Teacher Assistant — Volunteer teacher assistants are needed for Edu-Futuro’s Spanish Academy — a two week (August 12-23) summer immersion camp that provides cultural and academic enrichment and Spanish language skills to rising kindergarteners through fifth graders. Volunteers will perform tasks such as assisting with student registration, helping with classroom activities and watching over students during activities and recess breaks. Applicants should have Spanish language skills (verbal and written), experience working with children and must go through a background check. To sign up, contact Eneida Alcade at 703-228-2560 or send an online request.

Photo via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — July 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm 1,060 0

Our latest Arlington Pet of the Week is Truman, who has moved on up from his rescue roots to become the semi-official mascot of a congressional office.

Here’s what Kurt, who works in the office, said on behalf of owners Jeff and Veronica.

Meet Truman, a cocker spaniel South Carolina native who was adopted… on September 10, 2011 at the age of two from the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue here in Arlington.

Truman has developed quite the following on Capitol Hill where he serves as the Chief of Morale in a congressional office. He loves to edit memos and by editing we mean he tears them up. Truman is a master networker and enjoys bipartisan support from numerous offices who drop-by to visit him. His motto is “if you have a treat, you have a friend.”

Truman has become the king of his castle and every squirrel and rabbit in Arlington County knows his name. He is a true watch-dog spending most afternoons napping or sun-bathing. But don’t let the adorable face fool you, Truman has another side as numerous stuffed animals (such as his best friend Camel) and newly placed plants have found out.

The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).

Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email office@arlnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and 3-4 photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm 950 0

Clarendon Metro stationWMATA reports that the Clarendon Metro station is experiencing a power outage, but trains continue to service the station.

WMATA took to Twitter to inform passengers of the outage and that all of the station’s escalators and elevators are currently out of service. Buses have been requested to the station, the agency said.

Spokesman Dan Stessel said the localized power outage is “not a big deal” and the station is still open for business.

There have been no reports of delays from the outage.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 10, 2013 at 11:45 am 1,203 0

Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy presenting his proposed FY 2013 budget in February 2012The Arlington School Board approved a 4 percent raise for Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy on Monday.

The raise boosts his salary to $218,375 in the 2013-2014 school year, up from $209,976 last year.

The increase was in line with raises given to all “exempt and professional staff” in the system, and per the terms of his contract, school officials said. Last year Murphy, who joined Arlington Public Schools in 2009, signed a new contract that will keep him at the school system through June 30, 2016.

APS spokeswoman Linda Erdos said there are about 300 to 400 staff that fall into the “exempt and professional staff” category, including assistant superintendents, principals, counselors and much of the work force at the district office.

In the School Board’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014 approved this spring, teachers were slated to receive performance-based raises. The Board increased Murphy’s proposed budget, reinstating some of his recommended cuts. Murphy raised caution about next year’s budget amid decreasing property values, telling the Board, “we’re very concerned for FY 2015.”

by ARLnow.com — July 10, 2013 at 10:45 am 2,107 0

On the eve of the Fourth of July, police say a man snatched a ring and a number of loose diamonds from a clerk at the Helzberg Diamonds store in Pentagon City Mall.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 07/03/13, 1400 block of S. Hayes St. At 7:45 pm on July 3 an unknown suspect grabbed a ring and loose diamonds from a clerk at the Helzberg Diamonds store. Suspect is described as a black male, 5’8, 170 lbs. wearing a long sleeved blue shirt and khaki pants.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

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by Katie Pyzyk — July 10, 2013 at 9:50 am 1,313 0

Rendering of proposed Latitude Apartments building in Virginia SquareThe County Board is scheduled to examine a proposed development that has angered some residents in Virginia Square. The Board, however, will likely defer the issue at its meeting this Saturday in accordance with a county staff recommendation.

The matter before the Board is a request to consider the proposal for the Latitude Apartments at 3601 N. Fairfax Drive. It involves rezoning the property from commercial to residential and approving a site plan for 265 apartment units, more than 3,000 square feet of retail and more than 2,800 square feet of cultural/educational use. There is also a request to allow an encroachment into a public street and utilities easement in order to add balconies along the N. Monroe Street side of the building.

Residents at the nearby Monroe Condominium (3625 10th Street N.) and others in the neighborhood have voiced opposition to the proposal, claiming the plan has progressed without adequate community input. The largest concern appears to be with rezoning the space to residential, which the residents note violates the Virginia Square Sector Plan. Opponents have also raised concerns about the influx of new residents from the apartment complex causing congestion at the Virginia Square Metro station.

Earlier this month, the Planning Commission held a meeting and residents explained their issues with the project. Members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to support the county staff recommendation of deferring the issue for further study of the concerns raised.

With a deferral, the Planning Commission would take up the matter again at its November 4 meeting and the County Board could then address the proposal at its November 16 meeting.

by ARLnow.com — July 10, 2013 at 8:30 am 3,107 0

Swim meet at the Dominion Hills pool (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)

‘Luxury’ Apartment Rent Falling in Arlington — Rents for Class A apartments in Arlington and Alexandria fell 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, “a clear sign that the supply of new apartments is catching up to demand.” The average Class A rent in Arlington and Alexandria is $1,973 a month. [UrbanTurf]

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter — Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger has purchased Harris Teeter. So far, the company is not planning any significant changes for Harris Teeter stores, which will retain their branding and management. [Washington Post]

Still No Tenants for Rosslyn Skyscraper — The new 35-story office building at 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn — now the D.C. area’s tallest building other than the Washington Monument — is set to open in October. However, the building, which was built “on spec” by owner Monday Properties, could open without a single tenant. [WJLA]

All-American Honors for DJO Softball Stars — Bishop O’Connell softball stars (and recent graduates) Tori Finucane and Jillian Ferraro have been chosen as All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

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