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by ARLnow.com February 12, 2018 at 1:20 pm 0

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) An on-duty Arlington County firefighter was arrested on drug charges at her fire station early Sunday morning.

Police say 36-year-old Stephanie Desai was caught stealing prescription drugs from a fellow firefighter’s personal belongings. She was arrested at Fire Station No. 2 in Bluemont yesterday around 4:30 a.m.

A tipster tells ARLnow.com that Desai was caught on camera, but police declined to confirm that, citing an ongoing investigation. We were also told that Desai was subject to previous internal investigations, but a fire department spokesman declined to confirm that, citing the ongoing investigation.

More from an Arlington County Police Department press release, below.

At approximately 4:25 a.m. on February 11, police responded to Arlington County Fire Station #2, located in the 4800 block of Wilson Boulevard, for the report of a narcotics violation. Upon arrival, it was determined that prescribed medication had been removed from the victim’s personal belongings within the fire station. During the course of the investigation, a suspect description was developed based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews. Following an interview with police, Stephanie Desai, 36, of Alexandria, VA was arrested and charged with Possession of Schedule II Narcotic, Possession of Schedule IV Narcotic and Petit Larceny. She was released on an unsecured bond.

Representatives with the Arlington County Fire Department continue to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation. Firefighter Desai, a two-year veteran of the agency, has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation and an internal investigation conducted by the Fire Department. “Arlington County Fire Department strives to maintain the highest degree of professionalism and public trust. Firefighter Desai is entitled to due process, however, I want to assure the community that allegations of criminal or other inappropriate behavior by staff are taken seriously and comprehensively investigated both internally and by the police department,” said Fire Chief James Bonzano.

by ARLnow.com January 18, 2018 at 9:15 am 0

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Amazon has just revealed the top 20 finalists for its second headquarters, and the D.C. area figures in prominently.

Northern Virginia, D.C. and Montgomery County are all included in the list, below. Arlington is not explicitly mentioned but is included within “Northern Virginia,” a county spokeswoman confirmed to ARLnow.

“Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America,” the company said in a press release. “Today, Amazon announced it has chosen the following 20 metropolitan areas to move to the next phase of the process.”

The list of areas is below.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington D.C.

Arlington is actively competing for HQ2, as is D.C. and other local jurisdictions. Among the locations in Arlington that are being floated as potential homes for Amazon are Rosslyn and Crystal City.

“We’re pleased that Arlington and our partners in Northern Virginia are being considered for Amazon HQ2” County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to showcase why Arlington’s excellent workforce, schools, transit options and proximity to the nation’s Capital make it an ideal location for innovative, field-leading businesses.”

In all, 238 communities in North America submitted proposals.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s office sent out a press release touting the top 20 selection Thursday afternoon. An excerpt:

The Northern Virginia proposal included four sites for consideration in Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County. Northern Virginia is a region positioned at the cutting edge of innovation and technology, comprised of bustling mixed-use developments; 11 Fortune 500 companies; thousands of top technology firms; a top-five talent base; a hub of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors; diverse cultural amenities; and one of the friendliest business climates in the U.S.

“We couldn’t be prouder that Northern Virginia has been selected as one of 20 candidate locations for this historic project,” said Governor Northam. “The Commonwealth’s strong proposals for the Amazon HQ2 project represent an unprecedented level of local and regional collaboration, as well as strong support from Governor McAuliffe’s Administration and leaders in the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia’s outstanding business climate and world-class workforce make our Commonwealth the right place for Amazon to place this key base of operations. We look forward to a continuing partnership with our Northern Virginia communities to show Amazon and job creators all over the world that the Commonwealth is the best place to locate and grow.”

[…]

“This is an exciting time for Virginia,” said Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. “The opportunity to showcase Northern Virginia’s incredible assets, from our top-notch workforce and unparalleled transportation access to our vast residential opportunities and proximity to the nation’s Capital, to Amazon’s top executives is truly a win for all of us, and it would be a win for all of us. We in Arlington look forward to working together with our Northern Virginia partners to demonstrate to Amazon that the Commonwealth is indeed the ideal location for HQ2.”

More from an Amazon press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com December 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm 0

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) The Wells Fargo bank in the Westover neighborhood was robbed Friday afternoon.

A man robbed the bank by passing a note to a teller shortly before 3:30 p.m., we hear. Arlington County Police are currently on the scene investigating. No injuries were reported.

The suspect is described as a white male between 40-50 years of age. He was wearing a light-colored vest and blue pants at the time of the robbery, and fled the bank in the direction of Washington Blvd carry a bag full of cash, according to initial reports.

by ARLnow.com November 13, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Police have located a woman who went missing in Arlington this past Thursday and was considered “critically endangered.”

Arlington County Police say Katherine Hawald, 28, was found safely this morning by officers in the Virginia Square-Ballston neighborhood.

Police have not released any other details about the circumstances surrounding Hawald’s disappearance or how she was found.

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Police and firefighters are on scene of a rollover crash on Wilson Blvd involving an Arlington County Park Ranger.

A car reportedly struck the back of the park ranger’s SUV, causing it to flip on its roof. Wilson Blvd is currently blocked at Patrick Henry, near Upton Hill Regional Park, while police investigate and the wreckage is cleared.

No serious injuries were reported.

Update at 1:20 p.m. — The westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd have reopened.

by ARLnow.com November 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Arlington County Police are on scene of a reported armed robbery at a business in the Bluemont neighborhood.

Initial reports suggest the Arlington Pharmacy at 5513 Wilson Blvd was robbed around 2:15 p.m., by a man implying that he had a weapon. The man was described as a six-foot tall white male wearing a black hat and black sunglasses.

Police have responded to the pharmacy and are currently taking a bike-riding suspect matching the description into custody along George Mason Drive.

Photo via Google Maps

by Chris Teale October 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Two raccoons tested positive for rabies this week in Arlington, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington announced Thursday evening.

The first was discovered in the 2000 block of Military Road in Cherrydale, and the second in the 2000 block of 6th Street S. in Penrose.

Pets were exposed to both rabid animals, AWLA said.

More from Susan Sherman, AWLA’s Chief Operating Officer:

Two raccoons found in Arlington County have tested positive for rabies this week. The first raccoon exposure occurred in the 2000 block of Military Road in the Cherrydale neighborhood. The second raccoon exposure occurred on the 2000 block of 6th St S in the Penrose neighborhood. Both exposures were to domestic pets.

The most important step pet owners can take to prevent rabies is to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations current. If you are unsure of your pets’ vaccination status, please contact your veterinarian. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is hosting a low-cost rabies clinic this evening, October 26, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 for dogs and cats. Dogs must be on leash and cats must be secured in carriers, no appointment necessary. For more information on low-cost rabies/microchip clinics please visit https://www.awla.org/services/low-cost-rabies-and-microchip-clinics/.

Please do not approach wildlife. If an animal appears in distress or injured or if you or your pet has had contact with wildlife please contact Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241. Keep dogs on leash while out in the community, including parks, at all times.

Rabies most commonly is spread from having direct contact with the saliva of a rabid animal. Those with potential exposure can be treated with human rabies immunoglobulin and rabies vaccinations to prevent rabies symptoms. Once a person develops symptoms, there is no effective treatment and the disease is fatal.  If the rabies vaccine is given before symptoms develop, however, this will effectively prevent rabies.

If you have questions or believe that you or your pet may have been exposed to wildlife, call (703) 228-5200 Option #1 and ask for the Nurse of the Day during business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) After hours call, (703) 228-5645 and leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned within two hours.

by ARLnow.com October 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm 0

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Washington-Lee High School is in “secure the building” mode as police investigate a threat.

“At approximately 12:07 p.m., police responded to the report of a telephone threat received at W-L,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The school has been secured as police investigate.”

Initial reports suggest the school received calls claiming to be from an expelled or suspended student, threatening violence. While police investigate the threat, officers and school employees are taking precautions.

“Staff are at every door to monitor people coming to the school,” said Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman Linda Erdos. “Police are investigating. Classes are going on as scheduled.”

A heavy police presence could be seen around the school around lunchtime today. The W-L pool was closed to members of the public while the school was secured.

by ARLnow.com September 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm 0

All lanes of S. Walter Reed Drive are closed in the area of Four Mile Run Drive due to a major crash.

The wreck happened just before 3:45 p.m. Monday on the steep hill leading down to Four Mile Run Drive. Initial reports suggest that at least three vehicles were involved and at least two people were hurt and are being transported to the hospital.

At least one of the vehicles overturned as a result of the crash, which knocked down utility poles and wires.

A number of people witnessed the crash. Witnesses reportedly told police that one of the drivers crossed into oncoming traffic at a high rate of speed.

Map (top) via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com September 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm 0

Update at 7 p.m. — Power has been partially restored and only 318 Dominion customers are reported to be without electricity.

Earlier: A large swath of Clarendon and Courthouse is currently without power.

The outage happened around 5:40 p.m. and may have been accompanied by a mild power surge. Arlington County offices were affected, and are being powered by generators, according to a police dispatch. Numerous businesses in the area in the dark and traffic lights are out up and down Wilson and Clarendon Blvds.

Police are setting up cones to direct traffic at the busiest intersections.

According to Dominion, just over 1,700 customers are without power following an issue with a power substation. Crews have been dispatched and power is expected to be restored between 8-11 p.m.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaPD/status/911349922821263368

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2017 at 3:40 pm 0

Update at 4:40 p.m. — Most fire department units are picking up and returning to their stations as Metro crews work to resolve the track issue.

Earlier: A platoon of Arlington County Fire Department units are on scene at the Rosslyn Metro station for a report of a fire on the tracks.

Initial reports suggest that the fire is an arcing insulator somewhere between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom, and that trains are turning around to avoid it. No smoke has been reported in the Rosslyn station.

Metro riders should expect delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. Police are closing N. Moore Street to traffic due to the fire response.

by ARLnow.com September 8, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

(Updated at 9:25 a.m.) Arlington’s most active live music venue is closing its doors this month.

The owners of IOTA Club and Cafe in Clarendon announced this morning they have decided to close after 23.5 years in business. The venue’s lease expires after Sept. 30, which will be IOTA’s last day in business.

Despite a campaign to “Save IOTA” earlier this year, Market Common Clarendon owner Regency Centers is proceeding with a plan to revamp the retail and office development, including IOTA’s space along Wilson Blvd. IOTA called the changes “much-needed building repairs and improvements.”

In a press release, IOTA owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey said that while Regency Centers tried to make accommodations, they ultimately made the difficult decision to close the club rather than temporarily relocate during renovations and pay higher rents upon moving back.

IOTA will host concerts to raise money for the Red Cross’s hurricane relief effort tonight and tomorrow starting at 8 p.m. Currently, the last item on IOTA’s performance calendar is an open mic night on Wednesday, Sept. 27. A “grand closing” event is planned for Sept. 30, though the details have not yet been announced.

“Watch [our] website and social media for announcements,” said Inge.

More from the press release:

IOTA Club & Cafe’s main mission has been LIVE MUSIC for 23-and-a-half years. IOTA has presented some of the most creative and talented musicians from across America, including many rising stars and dedicated artists exploring and-or earning a living making music. IOTA also has hosted acts from Canada, Mongolia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Niger, China, the Scandinavian countries and others. IOTA’s top priority has always been seeking artful, original and creative live music experiences. In addition, IOTA has showcased catalytic bands, and to a lesser extent DJs, all who put on good shows for a good time for the people.

Owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey believe they have made a contribution to their hometown Arlington, Virginia through a dedication to live music and hard work at the restaurant and bar business, the mainstay of the endeavor. They believe that creative and interesting options for consumers make communities better. They view their many years fighting for the life of IOTA as well worth it and peaking in a triumph of arts and entertainment through independent small business.

The countless performances and participation of local artist-musicians in the DC Metro Area have brought joy and good times to many thousands and have sustained IOTA. Jane and Stephen are especially grateful to these musicians in addition to the touring musicians that have inspired and entertained so many.

Regency Centers, the new owner/developer of Market Common Retail (since 2016, owner of the spaces leased by IOTA since 1993 on Wilson Boulevard), have announced their plans to make improvements to the block in order to make space available for tenants at more up-to-date market levels. Regency Centers kindly offered IOTA Jane and Stephen a six-months lease extension at rock-bottom rents, ending September 30, in order for them to review their situation. They determined they would not be able to afford to participate due to the cost of a temporary relocation, much-needed building repairs and improvements, and new higher rents. Besides, IOTA’s beloved and irreplaceable ice machine, The Hoshizaki KM-630MAF, is about to bite the dust!

The support of hundreds of SAVE IOTA participants has been amazing. Jane and Stephen have not wanted to let these IOTA fans down and hope they will watch the website and social media for upcoming events and other ways Jane and Stephen hope to support LIVE MUSIC in the future and continue to participate in art activity.

Jane and Stephen are grateful for the financial and other support from friends and family that has helped IOTA prevail since March 15, 1994. They shout out big respect to three trail-blazing music venues who opened before IOTA and have been their idols: Black Cat, 9:30 Club, and especially The Birchmere. It has been an honor to share the road with these great independent businesses, rocking in the free world, where people really get off on live music, the power, art and fun of it, and the community and fellowship it creates.

by Chris Teale August 23, 2017 at 8:40 am 0

(Updated 9:15 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that took place this morning close to Columbia Pike.

Police said around 8:30 a.m. that a man has been transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being shot on the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street. The area is close to the Carlyle House condo building, the Columbia Grove apartment building and Bailey’s Branch Park.

Officers remain on scene investigating. Police said it appears to be an isolated incident, with the suspected shooter described as a thin black male with dreadlocks wearing a gray hoodie.

After searching the area, police said they had not found the suspect, but that they believe there is no threat to the larger community.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 703-558-2222.

Image via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com August 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Update at 1:35 p.m. — The gas has been turned off and firefighters are leaving the scene. Any remaining road closures are expected to be lifted soon.

Earlier: A pair of busy roads are closed due to a major gas leak in a building in Courthouse.

Wilson Blvd is blocked approaching Courthouse Road and Courthouse is blocked approaching Wilson. The gas leak is reported in the building housing a number of restaurants, including the Afghan Kabob House, on the 2000 block of Wilson Blvd.

Firefighters are reporting elevated gas readings in the building’s basement, according to scanner traffic, and an “extended” ventilation operation is underway.

The gas leak was first reported around 11:30 a.m. Wilson Blvd is expected to remain closed until at least 12:45 p.m. Pedestrian traffic is also restricted near the scene.

by ARLnow.com August 3, 2017 at 8:05 pm 0

Update at 2:40 p.m. on 8/7/17 — Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said in a statement to ARLnow: “ACPD is aware that driverless vehicles are being tested in the Commonwealth. Officers have not had contact with the vehicle observed in Clarendon. If officers observe a traffic violation, they will attempt a traffic stop.”

Update at 1:30 p.m. on 8/7/17 — NBC 4’s Adam Tuss, working on a follow-up story to this article, spotted the van driving around Clarendon on Monday, Aug. 7, and upon further inspection found a driver — disguised as a seat. Police were called after the driver ran a red light but officers were unable to locate the van, according to scanner traffic. Tuss’ report is expected to air Monday night.

Earlier: A mysterious, seemingly driverless van was spotted cruising the streets of Arlington’s Courthouse and Clarendon neighborhoods Thursday evening.

The unmarked gray van with Virginia license plates drove up and down Wilson and Clarendon Blvds more than a half dozen times — with no one in the driver’s seat or passenger seat. The rear windows of the Ford Transit Connect van were darkly tinted.

The van appeared to drive cautiously but keep up with traffic. Cameras and a light bar could be seen behind the windshield.

When the car stopped at a red light, the light bar started blinking. When the signal turned green and the car started driving, the blinking stopped.

The lack of a driver went mostly unnoticed as Clarendon residents went around their after-work routines near the Metro station, though occasionally people could be seen pointing at the car or asking someone nearby if they saw a driver.

Spokespeople for Arlington County, the Arlington County Police Department, VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration did not have any immediate knowledge of any autonomous vehicle testing on the streets of Arlington.

VDOT and FHWA recently announced that Virginia Tech would be conducting automated vehicle testing along I-95, I-495, I-66, Route 50 and Route 29. The announcement did not mention testing on primary streets along Metro corridors, however WTOP reported in May that “self-driving cars already on Virginia roads, even if you don’t realize it.”

“In Virginia, it’s a little bit more discreet, so companies could test in real-world environments and you wouldn’t even know, so we have some proprietary studies going that route,” a Virginia Tech researcher was quoted as saying.

Anne Deekens, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, declined to say whether it belongs to the university. “I have no comment at this time,” she said.

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