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Morning Notes

Jan. 6 First Responders Recognized — “The Arlington County Board today gave special honors and recognition to members of Arlington County Police Department, Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office for their efforts to respond to the Capitol riot on January 6. Approximately 60 personnel were honored during the event today at the County Board Recessed meeting.” [Arlington County]

Fmr. APS Students Staying in Private School — “Ten-year-old Jonah Kaufman of Arlington is proud of his 4th grade report card from the private school he attends in northern Virginia… it was a far different story in 2020 when Jonah and his 8-year-old brother, Noah, were in a public school, trying to learn from home during COVID-19. ‘They weren’t learning,’ Jena Kotler, the boy’s mother says. ‘They were sad, they felt isolated. It was just crazy.'” [WJLA]

Man Pulls BB Gun on Beer Thief — “At approximately 11:32 p.m. on July 19, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force… the male victim was walking in the area when the suspect approached and engaged him in conversation. When the victim walked away, the suspect began chasing after him. The victim fell to the ground and the suspect demanded the beer he was carrying. After the suspect took the beer, the victim retrieved a BB gun from his vehicle and confronted the suspect.” [ACPD]

Sluggish Fundraising in County Board Race — “The four candidates for County Board had a total of less than $14,000 on hand at the end of June, according to new figures from the Virginia Department of Elections. That’s not an average of $14,000 per candidate. It’s $14,000 for all candidates. Takis Karantonis, the incumbent board member… reported $5,301 on hand as of June 30, according to filings made public July 15. Audrey Clement, a frequent candidate for political office, reported $3,286.” [Sun Gazette]

New Capital Improvement Plan Approved — “The Arlington County Board has approved a $1.25 billion three-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that focuses on meeting Arlington’s existing commitments, addressing critical infrastructure maintenance, and beginning investments in long-term plans and programs that will ensure sustainability over the years to come.” [Arlington County]

Air Quality Alert Today — “A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.” [National Weather Service, Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

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Sixty-five Arlington County police officers and firefighters have been recognized for their help defending the U.S. Capitol when a pro-Trump mob stormed it on Jan. 6.

The honor was announced in a tweet posted Monday by the Arlington County Police Department.

“On May 11, [five] members of ACPD accepted the Ribbon of Valor on behalf of the ACPD officers who responded to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and assisted Metropolitan Police Department under a mutual aid agreement,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The ribbons were distributed to those officers last week.”

The event was hosted by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, Savage said. Chief of Police Robert J. Contee III presented the awards to Captain Quigley, Corporal Gilkes, Corporal Woolley, Corporal Olson and Lieutenant Troyano of the police department and Lieutenant Nathan Waterfall of the Arlington County Fire Department.

The officers “assisted our regional law enforcement partners in restoring and maintaining peace and order,” Savage said.

Similar honors were provided to other local law enforcement agencies, including Prince George’s County Police Department and the Montgomery County Department of Police.

A video taken on the day of the insurrection shows ACPD officers in riot gear defending the U.S. Capitol alongside Virginia State Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police, keeping an agitated crowd at bay.

Not pictured was fire department spokesman Taylor Blunt, who said he also received the award on behalf of ACFD. Blunt and Waterfall were the only paramedics present on the Capitol steps during the riot, treating and triaging injured law enforcement officers and attackers alike, the Associated Press reported, citing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

From the AP:

Two firefighters loaned to Washington for the day were the only medics on the Capitol steps Jan. 6, trying to triage injured officers as they watched the angry mob swell and attack police working to protect Congress.

Law enforcement agents were “being pulled into the crowd and trampled, assaulted with scaffolding materials, and/or bear maced by protesters,” wrote Arlington County firefighter Taylor Blunt in an after-action memo. Some couldn’t walk, and had to be dragged to safety.

Even the attackers sought medical help, and Blunt and his colleague Nathan Waterfall treated those who were passing out or had been hit. But some “feigned illness to remain behind police lines,” Blunt wrote.

Other specific heroics of Arlington public safety personnel have yet to be revealed. Savage said “there are no additional details to provide at this time” because the events of the day remain an active FBI investigation.

Photos via ACPD/Twitter

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A Wakefield High School student’s digital photo titled “Shadows of Democracy” will be featured in the U.S. Capitol.

Charlie Williams, a senior, noted that he took the digital photo of a reflection in a puddle just weeks before rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“This is a reflection of the U.S. Capitol after a rainstorm,” Williams said, as quoted in a news release. “I was able to capture the detail in the Capitol Dome through the puddle and tried to convey the emotions in the image.”

Williams said his photo represents “an alternate reality which serves as a premonition of what the government can become if democracy falls.”

A panel with the National Art Education Association chose his artwork among dozens of entries for the Congressional Art Competition in Virginia’s 8th District, Rep. Don Beyer said in the same news release.

“Our nation is still grappling with the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War, and many of the issues raised by the attack on the Capitol still remain unresolved,” Beyer said. “I hope ‘Shadows Of Democracy’ will remind my fellow Members of Congress that our nation continues to wrestle with what happened here, and that our votes and actions reverberate through history.”

It will be displayed in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel, Beyer said, also noting that Williams is the second winner in a row from Wakefield after Kidus Sebil’s photo won the competition in 2020.

Photo courtesy office of Rep. Don Beyer

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