Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Possible Microwave Attack in Arlington — “Shortly after Thanksgiving 2019, according to three sources familiar with the incident, a White House staffer was hit while walking her dog in Arlington, Virginia… the staffer passed a parked van. A man got out and walked past her. Her dog started seizing up. Then she felt it too: a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face.” [GQ]

Arrest in Arlington Mill Shooting — “Charges have been sought against a juvenile suspect related to the shooting that occurred on October 21, 2020. The suspect has been charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.” [Arlington County]

‘Headlines’ Mobile Art Project in Arlington TodayUpdated at 10:30 a.m. — Per a press release: “The exhibit is called #HeadlinesAreFrontlines, a multimedia show deployed on mobile trucks featuring 12-foot screens of 1,460 daily news headlines, in order, about Donald Trump. The traveling exhibit moves through the streets of DC and Arlington on October 26th at 9am. Look for the multimedia truck in Rosslyn and Crystal City.” [Instagram, BYT]

Locals Recognized for Good Works — Two Arlington residents were recently featured on ABC 7’s local news broadcasts: 26-year-old Dominique Cross, an abuse survivor writes song to uplift victims of domestic violence, and 15-year-old Chip Nordlinger, who spends his free time helping homeless veterans.

Boy Gets Award for Saving Ailing Mom — “On October 13, 2020, tragedy struck one of our own. While playing outside, Aiden, son of Firefighter Josh Wise, noticed that his mom began suffering from a serious medical emergency. He recognized the situation and courageously called 911, providing his address and full details… Aiden was awarded an honorary Lifesaving Award, one of the department’s highest honors, for his efforts in saving his mother’s life.” [Facebook]

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(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A boy was shot in the hand Wednesday in the Arlington Mill neighborhood near Columbia Pike.

The shooting happened on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street around 4:15 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department said.

Police were not called until 25 minutes after the shooting. They were dispatched nearby, to the 900 block of S. Dinwiddie Street, where they found the victim.

“Arriving officers located the juvenile male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the hand and rendered aid,” ACPD said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “He was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”

Three suspects reportedly fled prior to officers arriving on scene.

“Preliminarily, it is believed that the victim and three known suspects became engaged in a dispute, during which one suspect produced a firearm and discharged it, striking the victim,” police said. “The suspects then fled the scene and the victim left the area on foot and sought assistance nearby.”

“This is an active investigation,” ACPD said on social media. “Anyone with information is asked to call ACPD’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180.”

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Arlington County Police are investigating a robbery and an attempted robbery that happened along the Columbia Pike corridor over the weekend.

In both incidents, the victims were pushed to the ground while walking, by a man who then tried to steal their belongings.

The first incident happened just before 8 p.m. on Saturday, north of the Pike in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. The suspect was armed with a gun and ran off with the victim’s phone.

From an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2020-10100188, 800 block of S. Frederick Street. At approximately 7:50 p.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by the male suspect from behind. The suspect grabbed the victim, pulling him down, and demanded money. When the victim declined, the suspect produced a firearm, assaulted the victim and stole his phone, then fled on foot. The victim sustained minor injuries. The suspect is described as a Black male, 5’10”, thin build, wearing black clothing and a black mask. The investigation is ongoing.

The second incident was an attempted robbery in Barcroft Park, south of the Pike. It happened at almost exactly the same time as the first incident, but a day later.

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2020-10110170, 4200 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 7:51 p.m. on October 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking on a path through the park when the suspect approached her from behind, pushed her to the ground, and attempted to steal her backpack unsuccessfully. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’8″, wearing a black hoodie with the hood up and dark jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

Also over the weekend, two police officers were injured in two separate incidents involving unruly suspects Saturday morning.

From ACPD:

VEHICLE TAMPERING/RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE (significant), 2020-10100028, 2400 block of S. Oakland Street. At approximately 1:22 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto. Arriving officers observed three suspects inside of a vehicle matching the description previously provided in a lookout. The suspects allegedly exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot when police approached them. Suspect One was stopped as they exited the vehicle. Suspect Two was located in the area by additional arriving officers, and, while attempting to place her in handcuffs, she actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued, during which she bit an officer. The officer sustained minor injury. While taking Suspect Two into custody, Suspect Three was observed by officers in the area and taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the vehicle the suspects fled from was previously reported stolen out of Fairfax County. A petition for Assault and Battery on Police was obtained for juvenile Suspect Two. Additional petitions will be sought for all three juvenile suspects.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2020-10100104, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:34 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between the suspect and victim escalated, at which point the suspect allegedly pushed the victim and threw an object at the victim’s vehicle. As the victim attempted to move his vehicle away from the scene while calling police, the suspect chased after the car and threw a cup at it. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The victim was not injured. While officers were attempting to place the suspect into a transport vehicle, he actively resisted and became aggressive, then kicked the door of the vehicle, causing it to strike an officer in the head. The officer sustained minor injury. John Hemphill, 52, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police, Assault and Battery, Obstruction of Justice and Destruction of Property. He was held on no bond.

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Local animal control officials are still trying to figure out who abandoned a dog in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

On Monday the Animal Welfare League of Arlington posted photos of an emaciated dog that was left in a crate and placed “in a hidden location” near a parking lot. The organization also posted surveillance photos of a pickup truck from which the dog was unloaded, in the hopes of getting tips from the public about the incident.

More from a Facebook post:

Do you recognize this dog or vehicle? Please let us know!

On September 24, 2020 at around 8pm, the vehicle in the photos below drove to the 5000 block of 7th Rd S in Arlington, VA, removed a crate from the rear the car, and placed it in a hidden location on private property. The next morning, on September 25, a member of the public found the dog and called our Animal Control team. The dog was underweight, suffering from parasites, had no protection from the elements and no access to food or water.

If you have any information regarding this dog or vehicle, please contact Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241.

Abandonment of an animal is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the State of Virginia. Please know that we are here as a resource for pet owners in need, with our pet food pantry and other community resources. We are also always available to receive animals should owners be unable to continue to care for them, free of charge and without judgement.

As of last night, an AWLA spokeswoman said animal control officers were still awaiting tips.

“At this time we have not received any info on the dog or vehicle, although we have received lots of welcome support from the public,” said Chelsea Jones. “We hope to get a lead, but either way, we hope to put him up for adoption soon.”

Jones added that the dog has not officially been given a name yet, “but I think we are leaning towards naming him Charleston.”

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The Arlington County Board has approved road improvement projects on three arterial streets and two neighborhood streets.

The arterial street projects involve Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to bus stops and ramps, improvements to crosswalks, and other changes to S. Arlington Ridge Road, N. Carlin Springs Road and Military Road — at an estimated cost of $550,000.

More from a county staff report:

The work proposed for the intersection of South Arlington Ridge Road and South Lang Street will provide a safer pedestrian crossing to Gunston School and provide ADA compliant bus stops. The improvements at the intersections of North Carlin Springs Road and North Edison Street and North Wakefield Street will deliver ADA compliant bus stops and installation of a RRFB (rectangular rapid flashing beacon) at the North Edison Street intersection. The project planned for the intersections of 36th Road North and North Marcey Road with Military Road will include ADA compliant bus stops and realignment of the intersection for North Marcey Road for improved vehicle movement.

The Board also approved two “Neighborhood Complete Streets” capital projects, including:

  • New sidewalk, curb ramps, and paving along 13th Street S. between Walter Reed Drive and Glebe Road, in the Douglas Park neighborhood
  • Curb extensions and improved bus stops along 7th Road S. in the Arlington Mill neighborhood

The 13th Street project has the goal of a safer pedestrian experience on a street commonly used by cut-through traffic, with an incomplete sidewalk. The 7th Road S. project aims to create “pinch points” to reduce vehicle speeds, on a stretch where speeding and crashes are problematic. Both projects have an approximate cost of $600,000.

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Aspire! Afterschool Learning is planning to open its new facility in the Arlington Mill Community Center.

A ribbon-cutting celebration of the new program is planned for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (June 6), according to a press release.

Aspire! launched a campaign in 2016 to finance a 7,300 square-foot expansion. The expansion ultimately cost $1 million.

“Words can’t express how thrilled and grateful we are to achieve this amazing feat, thanks to the incredible generosity of our partners, donors, and supporters,” said Aspire! Board Chair Steve Manlove in the press release. “This truly has been the most amazing public-private partnership between Aspire! and Arlington County, with invaluable support [of sponsors].”

The summer camp at the facility is planned to open on July 1 for 120 children. Aspire!’s Learning ROCKS! Program for upper-elementary students is planned to return in the fall.

“Aspire!’s new home at the Arlington Mill Community Center is the next step in a great partnership with Arlington County,” said Jane Rudolph, Arlington County director of Parks and Recreation, in the press release.”As a permanent fixture at Arlington Mill, Aspire! will continue to empower students through their after school and summer programs and bring energy and inspiration to this well-loved intergenerational community center.”

Photo courtesy Aspire! Afterschool Learning

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) Someone fired a gunshot into the air early Saturday morning during a dispute in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The incident happened in the area of Tyrol Hill Park, on the 5100 block of 7th Road S., a few blocks north of the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2019-06010010, 5100 block of 7th Road S. At approximately 12:45 a.m. on June 1, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party was in the area when he heard the sound of a single gunshot and then observed numerous individuals running out of a park. Arriving officers canvased the area and located a vehicle matching the description provided in a lookout and initiated a traffic stop. It was later determined that the vehicle occupants were in the park when they observed a dispute between known individuals escalate and the suspect fired one shot into the sky, prompting them to flee in the vehicle. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

A Look at Bryce Harper’s Rosslyn Apartment — “For much of the time that Harper was in a Nationals’ uniform, he rented a two-bedroom, 2,000 square-foot loft condo at the Wooster and Mercer Lofts, a luxury residential development from Abdo Development in Arlington.” [UrbanTurf]

Crash Takes Out Traffic Signal Near Fairlington — Per Alexandria Police yesterday: “Use caution in the 3600 block of King St, the Bradlee shopping center. A vehicle crash caused a traffic light outage. Treat uncontrolled intersections as 4-way stops. Be patient & take turns.” [Twitter]

Car Careens Over Wall in Arlington Mill — A car somehow rolled over a low wall and onto a sidewalk across from the Arlington Mill Community Center yesterday. The circumstances surrounding the crash are unclear. [Twitter]

Big Hole in Road Near Shirlington — A main road between the Shirlington and Fairlington neighborhoods was blocked for a period of time yesterday due to large hole in the road. The closure happened on 31st Street S., where a new sound wall is being constructed, during yesterday’s nightmarish evening commute. [Facebook]

Ballston Startup Gets Funding — MotoRefi, an auto refinance startup we profiled earlier this week, has “announced a $4.7 million seed raise led by Accomplice with participation from QED Investor sand Motley Fool Ventures. Ryan Moore, co-founder of Accomplice, will join MotoRefi’s board of directors.” [MotoRefi]

Service Cut to Metrobus Line — Metro is reducing service to Metrobus Route 2A (Dunn Loring-Ballston), after a ridership drop. Metro increased service to the line a few years ago and that net increase is now being eliminated. [Twitter]

Nearby: Companies Worried About HQ2 — “‘Recently a company was looking to put 600 jobs in this area, and they decided not to come here because they were concerned about getting the workers they need,’ [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Chair Cathy] Lange said, not identifying the company. ‘Many of the companies are worried that their workers in Fairfax County are going to be hired by Amazon. And they are not going to be able to have their growth plans.'” [Washington Business Journal]

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Firefighters extinguished a garage fire that spread to an adjacent house in the Arlington Mill neighborhood Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. on the 5600 block of 7th Place S. Photos from the scene, below, show significant flames and smoke visible from the street.

The fire was reported out around 3 p.m. and there were no injuries, according to the Arlington County Fire Department. Fire marshals are now investigating the cause of the blaze.

Map via Google Maps

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Residents of an affordable housing complex in Arlington Mill could soon get access to free wi-fi, thanks to the county’s own fiber optic network — but is that legal?

It’s a question that vexes broadband experts and legal observers alike, who see the county potentially running afoul of some restrictive state laws, even though the project happens to be in service of a good cause.

The county’s plans for this “Digital Inclusion Initiative” over at the Arlington Mill Residences have attracted new scrutiny as local officials and a team of independent experts have begun studying the “ConnectArlington” dark fiber network.

That group identified a whole host of problems with the county’s management of the program, which was designed to build on Arlington’s existing fiber network to provide high-speed internet to local businesses. The county already uses the network to link its facilities together, and expanded it in 2015.

The experts did not identify any issues with the Arlington Mill project, specifically, in a report they prepared for county staff, but some members of that “Broadband Advisory Committee” told ARLnow that they harbor deep concerns about it. And a survey of other lawyers specializing in telecommunications policy reveals that it’s entirely unclear whether the project’s structure is actually legal under state law.

Arlington officials and attorneys believe they’re perfectly within the bounds of the law with their efforts, and the county held a community celebration to kick off the installation of some internet equipment last month.

Thus far, county leaders have billed it as a pilot project, which could inform other efforts to connect communities that lack access to low-cost internet. Officials are particularly enthusiastic about its potential to connect students living at Arlington Mill with the internet, closing the “homework gap” and helping kids get online and keep up with their increasingly high tech studies.

But, at the very least, experts fear this means that the county has wandered into a confusing legal gray area that could invite future court challenges.

“They’re doing it for the right reasons, and I don’t fault them for it,” said Chris Rozycki, a member of the county’s Broadband Advisory Committee with 30 years of telecom regulatory experience. “But I think they know they’re tiptoeing onto thin ice here.”

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Summer may feel pretty far off these days, as temperatures dip into the 20s, but there’s already a full slate of outdoor movie nights scheduled along Columbia Pike.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) announced the schedule for its annual movie series last week, with screenings set to start in mid-June.

The theme of this year’s series is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.”

On Fridays, screenings will be held at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street). On Saturdays, movies will be shown at the Penrose Square development (2501 9th Road S.).

The full schedule is as follows:

Arlington Mill

June 14: Moana (PG)
June 21: On the Basis of Sex (PG-13)
June 28: A Wrinkle in Time (PG)
July 5: Hidden Figures (PG)
July 12: Aquaman (PG-13)
July 19: First Man (PG-13)
July 26: The Incredibles (PG)
August 2: Mulan (G)
August 9: Brave (PG)
August 16: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG)
August 23: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)

Penrose Square

June 15: Black Panther (PG-13)
June 22: Wonder Woman (PG-13)
June 29: The Post (PG-13)
July 6: Apollo 13 (PG)
July 13: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (PG)
July 20: Akeelah and the Bee (PG)
July 27: Selma (PG-13)
August 3: Norma Rae (PG)
August 10: A League of Their Own (PG)
August 17: Life in the Doghouse (NR)
August 24: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)

CPRO says it’s still looking for businesses to sponsor the movie series. Anyone interested can apply on the organization’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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