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by ARLnow.com April 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm 0

(Updated at 2 p.m.) Baby food and products company Gerber is moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Rosslyn and creating 150 jobs, officials announced Monday afternoon (April 16).

The company, a Nestlé subsidiary acquired in 2007, will invest $5 million in the relocation.

The announcement comes a little over a year after Nestlé announced its move to Arlington to a 250,000 square foot office space at 1812 N. Moore Street.

Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement at Nestlé’s Rosslyn headquarters, noting that his excitement in announcing the move partially stemmed from his 30 years as a pediatrician.

“We want to be the most business-friendly state in the country,” said Gov. Northam at the relocation announcement.

A line of elected officials at the state and local level praised the relocation at a brief media event, including Rep. Don Beyer, Del. Rip Sullivan, and County Board Chair Katie Cristol.

Esther Lee, Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, who also spoke at the event, was quoted in a press release saying that “gaining the headquarters of the iconic Gerber brand is an important win for Arlington County and the Commonwealth.”

At the event, Cristol presented a key to the county to Steve Presley, Nestlé’s chief financial officer.

More from the press release regarding funding:

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington County Economic Development to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a grant in the amount of $862,500 from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the County with the project. The company is also be eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit.

Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

by ARLnow.com April 9, 2018 at 9:15 pm 0

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has vetoed legislation that would have dramatically reduced Arlington County’s tax revenue from two country clubs.

HB 1204 would have reduced the tax bills for Army Navy Country Club and Washington Golf and Country Club, but would have cost the county’s coffers nearly $1.5 million annually.

The state legislature will now have an opportunity to override the veto.

More from an Arlington County press release:

“We are grateful to Governor Northam for vetoing HB 1204,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said. “The governor, by his action to keep authority over local property assessments in the hands of local government, and not in Richmond, has shown real leadership.  This legislation had major implications for all localities across the Commonwealth.”

Arlington encourages all local governments to unify and ask their legislators to sustain the veto when the General Assembly reconvenes April 18 at the State Capitol, Cristol said.

“We are committed to resolving the assessment issue with the golf courses, and we are confident that we can find an equitable solution,” she said. “I want to thank our Arlington delegation for standing strong with us throughout this process.”

In his veto message, Northam says that he expects Arlington and the clubs to reach a compromise soon. The clubs are suing the county, fighting back against what they say is an unfair way to assess what is essentially open space — treating the many acres of golf courses as developable land.

The governor’s veto message is below.

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1204, which requires the County of Arlington to assess two private country clubs within its boundaries as land dedicated to open space rather than its current method of highest and best use.

This is a local dispute over a local government’s method of assessing land for property taxation. As such, the solution to this dispute should be reached on the local level without the involvement of the state.

I have been assured that an agreement acceptable to both sides of this dispute is close to being reached. I encourage the parties to continue negotiations to find a solution so that similar legislation will not be necessary in the future.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

Ralph S. Northam

by ARLnow.com April 5, 2018 at 10:50 am 0

A smoldering pile of trash is currently blocking 1st Road S., two blocks from Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

The trash fire was first reported around 10:30 a.m., at the intersection of 1st Road and S. Oakland Street, on the west side of S. Glebe Road. A private garbage collection crew reported that it had dumped its load of trash in the road after the trash caught on fire.

Firefighters are currently dousing the trash pile with water while using tools to move the pile around to find hot spots.

After the fire is completely extinguished, the trash collection company is then expected to start the cleanup process.

Map via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Update at 4:25 p.m. on 3/20/18 — Police have identified the victim as 40-year-old Arlington resident John Giandoni.

Arlington County Police say Friday night’s death investigation in Ballston is now a homicide investigation.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred in the 4100 block of 11th Place N. on Friday, March 16, 2018.

At approximately 7:35 p.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a possible death. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a check on the welfare, the male victim was located deceased inside the residence. This remains an active investigation and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective R. Munizza at 703-228-4171 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

This is the first homicide in Arlington County this year.

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2018 at 5:20 am 0

(Updated at 6:30 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools are closed today (Friday) due to weather concerns.

All schools and offices are closed, APS announced this morning, though custodians are being asked to report at 6 a.m. “regardless of your regular shift.”

Elementary and middle schools were already scheduled to be closed due to parent-teacher conferences, but those conferences have been cancelled, as have “extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds.”

Marymount University, meanwhile, is also closed.

Federal government offices in the D.C. area are closed due to the wind storm, the Office of Personnel Management announced early Friday morning.

Due to safety concerns, Virginia Railway Express service has been cancelled for today. Reagan National Airport is encouraging travellers to check the status of their flight before coming to the airport. Power problems have been reported on Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines, causing delays, while the rest of the Metrorail system is running every 12 minutes with reduced speeds above ground.

As of 5:30 a.m., Dominion is reporting more than 9,000 customers without power in Arlington already.

Already, there have been reports of trees, branches and other debris down in Arlington, and the dangerous winds are expected to continue throughout the day. Residents are being encouraged to stay indoors whenever possible and to remain in the lower levels of homes.

More via social media:

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaFD/status/969489464883064832

by ARLnow.com February 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm 0

Update at 2:45 p.m. — The base’s public affairs office released the following statement Wednesday.

The Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Feb. 27 incident where 11 personnel began feeling ill after a letter was opened on the Marine Corps side of the base remains under investigation.

NCIS and the FBI are conducting the joint investigation.

The three Marines who were transported for additional medical evaluations were released from the hospital at approximately 10 p.m. last night.

This office will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Earlier: Firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement responded to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Tuesday afternoon for a hazmat situation involving an unknown substance that was mailed to the base.

Firefighters were first called to Henderson Hall, the headquarters of the U.S. Marine Corps, just after 4:30 p.m. for a hazmat incident. Ft. Myer, Arlington County and Alexandria firefighters and hazmat units were dispatched to the scene, as was an “EMS task force” that is usually dispatched to mass casualty incidents.

Initial reports suggest that a certified letter was opened in one of the buildings and that it contained some sort of potentially hazardous substance, prompting an evacuation of the building and the deployment of an emergency decontamination station.

Eleven people were treated for symptoms and three were transported to the hospital in stable condition, according to the Arlington County Fire Department. Symptoms included a nose bleed and a burning sensation, according to initial reports.

A Marine Corps official released a statement saying that the victims were Marines.

“An envelope containing an unknown substance was received, today, aboard Joint Base Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall,” the statement said. “Personnel in the affected building took immediate preventative measures by evacuating the building. Base officials are coordinating with local hazmat teams and the FBI. Several Marines are receiving medical care as a result of this incident.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said via Twitter that he is “closely following the situation.”

With the help of the local hazmat teams “the building was screened and cleared, and the letter was removed,” the Marine Corps said late Tuesday. The FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are now conducting a joint investigation.

National news media, including major television networks, gathered outside of the base in Arlington’s Foxcroft Heights neighborhood to report on the story. A press conference to be held outside the base was later cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation.

During the incident police closed off the road near the entrance to Henderson Hall, at the intersection of S. Orme Street and Southgate Road.

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

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