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by ARLnow.com April 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm 0

More than 1,000 Dominion customers along Columbia Pike were without power around lunchtime Friday.

The outage is mostly affecting the Douglas Park neighborhood and the Glebe Road corridor between the Pike and Walter Reed Drive. A number of traffic signals, including the lights at the busy intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road, are reported to be out.

In total, as of 11:45 a.m. Dominion was reporting 1,246 customers without power in Arlington County.

Update at 12:10 p.m. — Power has been restored, according to Dominion’s website.

Image via Dominion Power

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm 0

An arrest has been made in connection to the sneaker store arson and burglary on Columbia Pike last Friday (April 13).

Jimmy Andrews, 44, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson, arson while committing a felony, burglary, and grand larceny.

He was arrested while “walking in the area of Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive,” according to police, at about 4 a.m. this morning (April 19).

Legends Kicks & Apparel, the business that was burglarized and set alight, is approximately 360 feet from where the suspected arsonist was arrested.

Patrol officers observed Andrews and noted that he matched the suspect’s description, according to the Arlington County Police Department. Andrews was “found to be in possession of an item of value allegedly belonging to the victim business,” according to an ACPD press release.

On Tuesday (April 17), police released a video showing the suspect walking along Columbia Pike and spilling merchandise along the sidewalk.

Andrews is being held without bond.

Photo courtesy of Arlington County Police Department

by ARLnow.com April 17, 2018 at 10:10 am 0

The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance video of a man suspected in an arson case along Columbia Pike.

The man is accused of breaking into the Legend Kicks and Apparel store early last Friday morning, stealing merchandise and then setting the store on fire. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze after being alerted to it by a passerby.

In the video released by police (above), the man can be seen ambling down Columbia Pike after exiting the store. A bag full of apparently pilfered merchandise breaks as he approaches the camera. As the man bends down to pick it up, a portion of his rear end is blurred by police.

Legend Kicks is a relatively new store but had quickly grown a loyal customer base, particularly among younger people.

“They were getting quite a following by ‘sneakerheads’ in the area,” one nearby resident told ARLnow.com. “They had some very valuable stock. It’s such a shame.”

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 13, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

Update at 4:15 p.m. — The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance images of a man they say broke into the store and then set fire to it.

From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a burglary and arson suspect captured on surveillance camera. At approximately 4:14 a.m. on April 13, the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire in the 2600 block of Columbia Pike. After extinguishing the fire, the Fire Marshall responded to conduct an investigation and requested the assistance of the Arlington County Police Department. The investigation determined that at approximately 3:22 a.m., the suspect forced entry into the business and stole merchandise before intentionally setting a fire and fleeing the area on foot.

The suspect is described as a heavy-set male, 30-40 years old, approximately 5’10” to 6’0″ tall and weighing 300 pounds. He has a full beard and a bald spot. He was wearing glasses, a light shirt, dark colored jeans and a backpack at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information on the identity of these individuals or details surrounding this incident is asked to contact Detective T. Parsons of the Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit at 703-228-4172 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Earlier: A fire was extinguished in the early morning hours this morning (Friday) at a business on Columbia Pike, according to the fire department.

Fourteen fire department units responded to the call on the 2600 block of Columbia Pike just before 4:15 a.m., after a passerby spotted the fire and called 911, according to a department spokesman.

The fire was out by 4:21 a.m. and there were no reported injuries.

The Fire Marshall was on scene and is investigating the cause, according to the spokesman. The fire was at Legend Kicks & Apparel, we’re told, and photos from the scene show firefighters at the storefront.

An online listing for the business indicates that the shoe store recently opened.

The block is also home to Le Touche Beauty Salon and The Salsa Room. The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is nearby, on another block.

Photos via Arlington County Fire Department

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Columbia Pike’s L.A. Bar & Grill has temporarily closed due to a state licensing issue.

The bar submitted its Virginia ABC license renewal application in the beginning of March, and the previous alcoholic beverage license expired at the end of March.

“We should have applied earlier, [but] hindsight is 20/20,” said Stephen Hubbard, the bar’s general manager.

The process is ongoing, and Hubbard anticipates that it will take “at least a couple of weeks,” though he isn’t sure.

In the meantime, the bar is taking advantage of the license renewal period and “doing some facelifting” in the form of painting and other tidying up efforts.

Back in 2016, L.A. Bar & Grill, at 2530 Columbia Pike, was ranked among UpOut’s top ten “ridiculously cool” D.C.-area dive bars.

by ARLnow.com April 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Columbia Pike’s L.A. Bar & Grill has temporarily closed due to a state licensing issue.

The bar submitted its Virginia ABC license renewal application in the beginning of March, and the previous alcoholic beverage license expired at the end of March.

“We should have applied earlier, [but] hindsight is 20/20,” said Stephen Hubbard, the bar’s general manager.

The process is ongoing, and Hubbard anticipates that it will take “at least a couple of weeks,” though he isn’t sure.

In the meantime, the bar is taking advantage of the license renewal period and “doing some facelifting” in the form of painting and other tidying up efforts.

Back in 2016, L.A. Bar & Grill, at 2530 Columbia Pike, was ranked among UpOut’s top ten “ridiculously cool” D.C.-area dive bars.

by ARLnow.com April 2, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Richmond-based Ravenchase Adventures is opening a new escape room along Columbia Pike.

Signs are up for the business, which is located in the same building as William Jeffrey’s Tavern, near the corner of Columbia Pike and N. Adams Street.

Ravenchase — which describes itself as offering “elegant adventures for the spirited intellectual” — has existing escape rooms in Richmond and Herndon.

As defined by Wikipedia, an escape room is “a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.”

The Arlington location is listed on the company’s website as “coming soon,” while the last Facebook post for the business said it would be opening in December 2017. A company rep emailed ARLnow.com after publication of this article to say that they were now hoping for a “late spring” opening.

“We are very heavy into the building process but it’s taken some more time that we had hoped,” said Omer Aru. “Once open, it will be a very stylish 4,000 square foot facility with four unique escape room games. We will be launching with at least two rooms: Glitch in the Matrix and MindTrap. We have two other that will follow very shortly after: Grandma’s Attic (What’s in the Attic), and Portal.”

Photo courtesy Sarah Campbell

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A long-time pharmacy volunteer at the Arlington Free Clinic has donated a quarter million dollars to the nonprofit medical center.

The $250,000 gift came from a retired Arlington special education teacher who prefers anonymity.

The clinic’s benefactor grew up in Pennsylvania coal country with immigrant parents. Her mother died of diabetes when she was nine; her father continued raising her until he died  of an untreated dental infection that spread to his brain when she was 18.

She came to the clinic one day and sat down with Arlington Free Clinic staff and asked what could be done with better funding.

“We started talking about dental, and her eyes lit up and the lights came on,” recounted Nancy White, the clinic’s executive director. White says that the volunteer wanted to support her father’s legacy with a gift that would prevent others from suffering how he did and to prevent children from losing their parents to preventable health problems.

The gift inspired the Arlington Free Clinic to set a $1 million fundraising goal to develop an in-house oral health program that would benefit low income adults without health insurance.

Currently, the clinic uses one dental chair at Arlington’s Department of Human Services to perform dental procedures. With the funding, the clinic hopes to rearrange their space at 2921 11th Street S., near Columbia Pike, so that three dental chairs could be installed where the pharmacy currently is, among other dental-related improvements.

The nonprofit has already raised $800,000 toward that goal, which they hope to achieve by November, and has planned upcoming events like a Bites & Blues fundraiser at Whitlow’s on Wilson on April 28.

This is not the first large donation received by the clinic. In 2011, the Arlington Free Clinic received a $677,500 gift to benefit mental health services.

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm 0

The westbound lanes of Columbia Pike are temporarily closed due to damage to the outside of the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike).

On traffic cameras, the front panel of the Drafthouse’s marquee sign, which announces upcoming acts, could be seen dangling precariously in the wind. Firefighters are currently working to secure it and reopen the roadway ahead of rush hour.

While traffic is being diverted, there is another road hazard nearby. According to scanner reports, a large tree has fallen across 8th Street S. near the intersection with S. Walter Reed Drive.

More views of the dangling Drafthouse sign:

Update at 3:20 p.m. — All lanes of Columbia Pike have reopened. A photo of the tree down on 8th Street S. is below.

https://twitter.com/smugclimber/status/969668095349547009

by ARLnow.com February 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm 0

A dispute over a drive-thru ATM led a man in a Mercedes to draw a gun and make threats, police say.

The incident happened Monday afternoon, on the 3100 block of Columbia Pike, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

A SunTrust bank is located on that block of the Pike.

Police say that the suspect “became verbally irate” while waiting in line to use the ATM. More from the crime report:

BRANDISHING, 2018-02260160, 3100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:10 p.m. on February 26, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing of a firearm. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was using the drive thru ATM when another vehicle pulled up behind him. The driver of the approaching vehicle became verbally irate, threatened the victim and allegedly brandished a firearm. The suspect is described as a black male, bald, approximately 25-30 years old, wearing glasses and a black shirt, driving a black Mercedes. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.

Photo via Google Maps

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by Bridget Reed Morawski February 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

A new residential development is under construction just south of Columbia Pike.

The development, first approved in 2009, is described as “a residential project for 36 condominium units within 12 townhouse structures.” It is currently under construction at 1100 S. Highland Street, behind the Audi dealership, and along what it planned as a future extension of 11th Street S.

The permit holder is listed as the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), which has offices at 901 S. Highland Street, about two blocks away from the construction site. Construction permits were first approved in late September last year.

ECDC did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ARLnow.

by ARLnow.com February 26, 2018 at 8:30 am 0

County Board Approves Bike Boulevard Contract — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a half-million dollar contract for safety improvements to the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and 12th Street S. Per a county press release: “The project, one of several designed to make the Columbia Pike bike boulevards safer and more comfortable, will provide traffic calming and pedestrian improvements at the intersection.” [Arlington County]

Wakefield Boys Win Basketball Tourney — “The Wakefield Warriors won the 2018 boys Northern Region 5C Tournament basketball championship on their home court Feb. 23. The region crown was the 10th in program history for the high school team and second since 2014.” [InsideNova]

Hearing on Historic District Fee — The County Board will hold a public hearing in April to discuss an application fee for those seeking a local historic district. The fee, between $250-1,000 per request, would only partially reimburse the county for staff time spent researching each request, but could serve as a deterrent against frivolous requests. [InsideNova]

ICYMI: Weekend Articles — ARLnow published two articles of note over the weekend: first, a recap of the County Board’s decision to not raise the property tax rate this budget season, and second, a developing story about state legislation that could cost the county’s coffers around $2 million while slashing the tax bills of Arlington’s two country clubs.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 23, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

When James Sampson was 14, a few of his friends were hit with the red ring of death — the notorious Xbox problem that devastated gamers globally. Instead of buying new devices, they turned to Sampson — who soldered some of the wiring in the devices, along with some other tinkering, and brought them back to life.

He saved his friends hundreds of dollars, and his only training was a few hours spent watching YouTube video tutorials.

“It became a lot of people calling me asking me to fix their cell phones, laptops, just any device they had,” said Sampson. He began referring people to an actual electronic repair business — until he realized that the shop was making a lot of money.

The now 23-year-old has now gone into business himself, opening up Wireless Rxx last week at 2340 Columbia Pike. Sampson works alongside longtime electronics repairman Mario Vasquez, who has been in business for about 26 years. Sampson does the microelectronic repairs and soldering while Vasquez focuses on more traditional electronic appliances.

The pair complement each other technically and linguistically; the Chilean-born Sampson’s first language was Spanish, so he’s able to help the many nearby Spanish-speaking customers and Vasquez as he assists English-speaking clients.

By the end of the first week, Wireless Rxx made back their $700 rent without any marketing or advertising — and without the planned “old retro vibe” interior design changes, including new neon signs and flooring. The building itself, which Sampson calls “old and tattered,” stands out from the luxury mixed-use development across the street.

Wireless Rxx saw around 27 customers, and earned around $1,700 in the first week, with many flat-screen television repairs, laptop fixes, and cell phones that needed to be unlocked — though Sampson runs serial numbers and other phone identification numbers to make sure that he isn’t unlocking a stolen phone.

While many Arlingtonians might be excited to get a new phone and toss their older model, many low-income residents are finding value in the service, Sampson said, as they are able to pay significantly less for what is in most cases a relatively minor fix instead of buying an entirely new product or waiting weeks for a manufacturer repair.

“It’s a mix of what the market economy put up,” said the young entrepreneur. “You either have to wait for your fix — because if you break your phone and you go to Apple, it can be a $200 or $300 price tag — or if you take it here, it can be under $100.”

He has friends who are either recent immigrants or on college scholarships with less money to spare. They’ll go to Sampson with their younger sister’s iPads and $20 or $30, looking for a repair. It helps them maintain a decent standard of living without spending money that they don’t have for a brand new device, he said.

Sampson buys dead devices from customers, which he either fixes, sells, or recycles responsibly with a certified e-recycling company. Most electronic components aren’t safe for general trash collection.

He stressed the importance of proper electronic recycling, noting the dangerous chemicals in lithium batteries, which are found in many electronic devices. Poking one can result in chemical burns.

“If something’s broke, you can still fix it. You can still put maybe a third of the device’s [cost] into fixing it, and it’ll be a working device as opposed to buying a new one,” said Sampson. “Especially in our society right now, we just throw things away.”

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Enhanced crosswalks and curb extensions are coming to S. Walter Reed Drive, just south of Columbia Pike, in an effort to calm traffic and improve intersections for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Storm sewer upgrades and raised medians will also be added to the stretch of S. Walter Reed Drive between 11th Street S. and 13th Street S. The current “bike boulevard” will move from 12th Street S. to 11th Street S. between S. Highland Street and S. Cleveland Street.

County Manager Mark Schwartz has recommended awarding the project to Fort Myer Construction, headquartered in Washington. The County Board is scheduled to consider the contract at its Saturday meeting. The contract cost is $444,575.11, with a change order contingency allocation of $88,915.02.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A Falls Church man driving a stolen car ran a red light, ditched the car and then took off on foot as police gave chase, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The alleged incident happened early Monday morning near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.

More from the crime report:

ELUDING, 2018-02190017, Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 1:34 a.m. on February 19, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling without its headlights on and attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The suspect continued driving through a red light, before coming to a stop and exiting the vehicle. The suspect disregarded police commands and attempted to flee the area on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody, with the assistance of a Virginia State Trooper arriving on scene. During the course of the investigation, the vehicle operated by the suspect was determined to be stolen out of Fairfax County. Kevin Hernandez Gomez, 22, of Falls Church, VA, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Obstruction of Justice/Resisting Arrest, Eluding Police, Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License/No Insurance, Failure to Dim Headlights and Failure to Obey Traffic Lights. He was held on no bond.

On Sunday and Monday, a man — or men — ran up to two women on Wilson Blvd and on the W&OD Trail and grabbed the backside of each.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190111, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:35 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:50 p.m. on February 18, the female victim was waiting at the bus stop when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and placed his hands on her back and buttocks. When the victim turned around, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male with an average build, approximately 6’0″, wearing a black hoodie. The investigation is ongoing.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190119, Washington and Old Dominion Trail. At approximately 2:34 p.m. on February 19, police responded to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:15 p.m., while the female victim was running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a male suspect ran up behind her, grabbed her buttocks and fled on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’6″ to 5’10”, between the ages of 14 and 18, with a slim build, medium length hair, wearing black sweatpants and a hoodie, with black and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

On Saturday, D.C. police arrested a man accused of throwing an object at a passing car in Rosslyn and shattering a back window.

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2018-02170116, Fort Myer Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 9:41 a.m. on February 17, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was driving her vehicle in the area when an object was thrown through a rear window, causing it to break. No injuries were reported. Witnesses followed the suspect as he fled on foot into D.C., where he was apprehended with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department. A warrant for Shooting/Throwing Missiles at Occupied Vehicle was obtained for David Turner, 41, of Washington, D.C.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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