Ft. Myer Daycare Investigation Widens — What started as allegations of assault against two workers at a daycare center on Ft. Myer has widened into a worldwide probe of military child care hiring practices. At least 31 daycare staffers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been suspended after investigators found “disqualifying factors in their records, including history of drug use and past allegations of assault.” One official called it “a severe lapse in the background checks system.” [Washington Post]
DoD Relaxes Security Standards for Some Buildings — A loosening of the Department of Defense’s security standards for commercial office buildings may make it easier for the DoD to lease office space in Arlington (and elsewhere). Earlier this month, the Pentagon reversed a policy put in place in response to 9/11 that required that leased office space meet stringent anti-terrorism security standards, even for administrative offices within the DoD. [Washington Business Journal]
Marymount Seeking to Redevelop Ballston Property — Marymount University is pushing ahead with a plan to redevelop its 50-year-old “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston. The university has proposed replacing the aging building with an office building and an apartment building. [Sun Gazette]
Science Focus Teacher Wins Recognition — “Arlington Science Focus School Principal Mary Begley was named Administrator of the Year by the Greater Washington Reading Council at its annual conference in Fairfax” on Wednesday, says a school press release. [Arlington Public Schools]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
The incident started earlier in the evening as a minor altercation between two students who lived in the same dormitory building. According to police, the suspect in the case – a 20-year-old student — confronted the victim in another student’s dorm room following the altercation.
At one point the suspect shoved the victim, and the victim responded by punching the suspect in the face, possibly breaking his nose, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect then took out a small folding knife and cut the victim across the lower area of the stomach, from the front of his body to his back, exposing his intestines and cutting his pancreas, Sternbeck said.
When police arrived they found a large crowd of people around the victim, who was holding a t-shirt over his stab wound. They also observed someone throwing beer and liquor out of the room where the incident occurred, according to Sternbeck.
The victim was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police found the suspect in a dorm room with his girlfriend. There was blood “all over the room,” Sternbeck said, primarily as a result of his broken nose.
Francis Joseph “Frankie” Maguire, 20, of Burke, Va., was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was to be held without bond until his arraignment, scheduled for today. No charges have been filed against the 18-year-old victim at this time.
No word on what the argument between the two men was about. Court records show that Maguire has also been charged with selling drugs on school property and the distribution of marijuana.
After the incident, Marymount’s Director of Campus Safety sent an email to students assuring them that “this was an isolated incident, and there was no danger to the campus community.”
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
A fight between two students at Marymount University landed one of them in jail and the other in the hospital.
According to police, early Sunday morning a 19-year-old student hit another student in the head with a bottle during a physical altercation, causing a laceration. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 12/09/12, 2800 block of N. Glebe Road. At 3:45 am on December 9, a subject involved in a physical altercation hit a victim in the head with a bottle, causing a laceration. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he received stitches. Michael Pelham, 19, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and destruction of property. He was held without bail.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
The speaker will be former New York Times correspondent, political analyst and best-selling author Steven V. Roberts, husband of ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts.
His lecture, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “From The Times to Twitter: The Role of Media in the 2012 Campaign.” The event is being held on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Reinsch Library Auditorium on Marymount’s main campus (2807 N. Glebe Road).
Interested attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 703-526-6872.
Voter Registration Deadline Today — If you want to vote in the upcoming presidential election and haven’t registered yet, today’s the last day to do so. Oct. 15 is the deadline to register to vote or update your address for the Nov. 6 election. Registration applications most be postmarked by today or submitted to Arlington’s Office of Voter Registration (2100 Clarendon Blvd) by 5:00 p.m. [Arlington County]
Marymount ‘Blue Goose’ Will Be Demolished — Marymount University’s distinctive but aging “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Fairfax Drive in Ballston is set to be demolished and redeveloped. The actual demolition is still “a few years away,” according to a school spokeswoman, but the planning process is now getting started. [Arlington Mercury]
Metro to Miss Cell Phone Deadline — Tomorrow is the deadline set by Congress for Metro to have all of its underground tunnels and stations wired for cell phone service. The agency will miss the deadline and doesn’t expect to meet the mandate until the end of 2015. [Washington Examiner]
High School Football Update — In high school football action over the weekend, Yorktown came from behind to defeat Langley by a score of 24-14. The Patriots are undefeated with a record of 7-0. Washington-Lee and Bishop O’Connell both lost on Saturday afternoon. And Wakefield is still looking for its first win of the season after losing its homecoming game to Falls Church by a score of 41-6.
Committee Debates Aquatics Center — Arlington’s Committee of 100 debated the merits of the planned $79 million Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center last night. A park bond that would help fund the center is on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Marymount University and Diversity — WUSA 9′s Peggy Fox profiles Marymount University, which she says is one of the “most diverse regional universities” despite a “race blind” admissions process. Instead of considering race during the admissions process, the university instead actively encourages minority students to apply. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider a case that challenges the legality of affirmative action, which allows race and ethnicity to be considered in school admissions processes. [WUSA 9]
Construction at Hayes Park — Due to construction behind the tennis courts at Hayes Park (1516 N. Lincoln Street), the park’s parking lot will be closed from 7:00 a.m. today to about 2:00 p.m. [Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association]
Leverett was struck by a car while walking his dog near his Northwest D.C. apartment Monday morning. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The accident happened after the driver of the striking vehicle suffered a medical emergency and ran off the road, according to WJLA.
A visitation for Leverett will take place from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). A memorial service is scheduled on Monday, Oct. 8 at 11:00 a.m. Both events will take place at the Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home in the District (5130 Wisconsin Ave NW), according to the Marymount website.
A separate memorial service is taking place on the Marymount campus. That service is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. It is to take place under a tent on the school’s Ireton Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, it will be held in the Lee Center.
Marymount also announced that it is setting up a scholarship fund in Leverett’s memory.
The university described Leverett as “a passionate historian, a southern gentleman, a humorous storyteller and, above all, an outstanding teacher and advisor.”
Professor Leverett was a member of Marymount’s faculty since 1991. He held degrees from the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois, and his teaching focused on European history. During his tenure at Marymount, Professor Leverett developed a number of courses, including The History of Modern France, Comparative Revolutions, and Women in European History since 1700. Additionally, he worked with other faculty to develop two team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate courses: Shakespeare: Text and Performance and Gender, Race, and Empire in 19th-Century British Literature. A popular and engaging teacher, Professor Leverett brought history to life by focusing on people and their stories.
Marymount President Dr. Matthew D. Shank reflects, “Everyone who knew Rhett Leverett would agree that this was a man with a great heart. He will be remembered for many things, including his kindness, his sense of humor, and his unfailing dedication to Marymount University and our students.”
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Rhett Leverett, a history professor at Arlington’s Marymount University, has died after being struck by a car in Northwest D.C. this morning.
Marymount president Matthew D. Shank announced Prof. Leverett’s death in an email to students this afternoon. According to various news reports, which didn’t identify Leverett as the victim, he was struck by a car around 9:00 a.m. on the 400 block of Sixth Street NW, near the Archives Metro stop.
Leverett, 60, lived in a condo one block away, according to public records. After the accident, he was transported to a local hospital, where he passed away. D.C. police are investigating the accident.
On the website RateMyProfessors.com, students described Leverett as a somewhat tough grader, but at the same time said he was fun, introduced humor into his lectures, and had a knack for making the material interesting.
“Love his lectures and [he is] a great person,” one student wrote.
“Greatest History Professor I have ever had,” said another.
Wrote another student: “Leverett is the best! He makes class interesting and fun, but he knows what he’s talking about.”
Leverett specialized in history about modern and early modern Europe, according to the Marymount website. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
In his email, Shank urged students to keep Prof. Leverett and his family in their prayers.
It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that a member of our faculty, Professor Rhett Leverett, died in an accident this morning. While walking near his home in DC, Mr. Leverett was struck by a car; he was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he passed away.
A member of our faculty since 1991, Mr. Leverett was known as an outstanding teacher and advisor. He will be remembered for many things, including his kindness, his sense of humor, and his unfailing dedication to Marymount University and our students.
We will hold a service to honor Mr. Leverett’s memory here on campus in the near future; I will inform you of the details once the arrangements have been made.
Please keep Mr. Leverett and his family in your prayers.
Matthew D. Shank
A letter from a student of Prof. Leverett’s, after the jump.
New Exhibit At N. Va. Art Center -- The new Northern Virginia Art Center in Crystal City will be hosting a new exhibit starting tomorrow, Sept. 1, until Sept. 30. The exhibit, entitled “Grand Visions: Small World,” features a jury-selected collection of visual artworks (including paintings, pottery and sculpture) from a variety of local artists. An opening gala will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. [Northern Virginia Art Center]
Marymount Receives Cybersecurity Grant — Arlington-based Marymount University has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a four-year cybersecurity scholarship program. [Press Release]
Reminder: Labor Day Closures and Traffic – Most county offices, with the notable exception of the election office, will be closed for Memorial Day. Drivers should expect busy highways if they’re heading out of town.
Four Mile Run Rapist Still on the Loose — Arlington County police are still looking for a man who raped a woman on the Four Mile Run Trail two weeks ago. Police are issuing warnings to women who use the trail, in English and in Spanish. Officers are also patrolling the trail on bike and motorcycles. [WJLA]
Marymount, O’Connell Teaming Up for Baseball Field — Marymount University will be adding a varsity baseball team to its athletic program after striking a deal with Bishop O’Connell High School to use the school’s baseball field. Marymount will fund the renovation of the O’Connell’s field to NCAA standards, in exchange for partial use of the field. Marymount hopes to have the baseball team ready for its first season by Spring 2014. [Sun Gazette]
N. Va. Critical to Obama Re-Election — The road to the White House runs through Northern Virginia, according to some political watchers. Experts say President Obama must score a big victory in Northern Virginia in order to capture the Commonwealth, one of three crucial, hotly-contested swing states. As a result, residents can expect a bombardment of political ads this fall. [WUSA 9]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Arlington Wins Diversity Award — The National League of Cities has presented Arlington with its 2012 Cultural Diversity Award. The awards showcase “examples of how cities achieve excellence in diversity, promotes the positive results of ‘total community collaboration’ and honors community leadership in developing creative and effective programs to improve cultural diversity.” [Arlington County]
Hen Raising Critics Speak Out — Critics of a proposal to allow backyard hen raising in Arlington spoke out during Saturday’s County Board meeting. “Send it to the slaughterhouse,” civic activist Robert Atkins said of the proposal, which is supported by a group called the Arlington Egg Project. Critics say backyard hens could produce noise, odors and neighborly conflicts, among other ill effects. [Sun Gazette]
Hagel to Speak at Marymount Commencement — Arlington-based Marymount University announced yesterday that former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will be its 2012 commencement speaker. Hagel will address Marymount grads at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Sunday, May 20.
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
Problems at PBS NewsHour — The PBS NewsHour is facing serious challenges. The hour-long news program, which is produced at the WETA facilities in Shirlington, has been shedding staff and viewers. A number of top news and business personnel have left recently, while viewership is down 11 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, a top sponsor is pulling out at the end of the year, leaving a $2 million hole in the NewsHour’s budget. [New York Times]
Elementary School Goes Solar — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Glebe Elementary School yesterday to mark the installation of a 1.1 kilowatt solar panel system. The solar panels will not only generate enough clean energy to power one classroom, but will also serve as an educational tool. Students, parents and teachers will be able to monitor the system’s electricity output using any web-enabled device or smartphone. [Arlington Public Schools]
Park Gives Marymount New Athletic Facilities — Long Bridge Park is more than an attractive new green space to Arlington’s only four-year university. Marymount University paid about $2 million toward the cost of one of the three multi-use synthetic-turf fields at the park. In exchange, the school’s Division III soccer and lacrosse teams will utilize the field as their “home base.” When the field is not in use by the school, it will be available for use by the public. [Sun Gazette]
Ballston BID Director Hired — The newly-created Ballston Business Improvement District has a new executive director. Tina Leone is leaving her post as president of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce to run the BID. [Alexandria Times]
Trail Parking – This car chose an interesting place to park — on a stretch of trail between the county’s new Dept. of Human Services building and Washington Boulevard.
Snakehead Fish Invade Four Mile Run — Predatory snakehead fish have invaded the waters of Four Mile Run, between Arlington and Alexandria. There’s concern that the so-called “frankenfish” could kill off native fish in the stream, as it has decimated native populations of bass and shad in the Potomac. [WJLA]
Marymount Names New President – Arlington’s Marymount University has named a successor for retiring president James Bundschuh. Matthew Shank, dean of the business school at the University of Dayton, will take over as president in July. [Washington Post]
Cell Phones to Get Emergency Alerts — Soon, cell phones in the D.C. area will be capable of receiving emergency alerts via text message. [New York Times]
Gaslight Square Condos Selling Quickly — McWilliams|Ballard and Abdo Development have sold nearly $12 million worth of luxury condos at the still-under-construction Gaslight Square project between Rosslyn and Courthouse. [Marketwire]
Dr. James Bundschuh has served as Marymount’s president since July 2001. He oversaw the recently-completed 26th Street Project, which added several new buildings to the school’s main North Arlington campus.
Marymount is a Catholic university with approximately 3,600 students enrolled in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The school has about 450 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees.
Marymount’s press release about Dr. Bundschuh’s retirement, after the jump.
The Multi-Million Dollar Irish Pub – Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub, expected to open in Shirlington at the end of November, is quite the ambitious undertaking. Owner Mark Kirwan is sinking $2.2 million into the project, according to the Washington Business Journal.
Another Road Gets Sharrows — The county added some bike-friendly sharrows to 15th Street North between North Courthouse Road and North Rhodes Street over the weekend. The sharrows remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists. More from Ode Street Tribune.
New Marymount Dorm Opens — Dozens of Marymount University students are moving out of the Ballston Holiday Inn and into the newly-completed Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Residence Hall. The building, part of the university’s 26th Street Project, can house up to 239 students. More from the Sun Gazette.