Official: No Voter Fraud in Arlington — On Sunday president-elect Donald Trump tweeted an accusation of “serious voter fraud” in several states, including Virginia. In response, Arlington’s top election official said there were no reports of voter fraud in the county, which Trump lost by a wide margin. “I want to see the evidence as to what the allegations are,” said Linda Lindberg. [WJLA, Fox 5]
County and APS Budget Forum — Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools will be holding a joint budget forum tomorrow (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. at Wakefield High School. “During this forum, participants will have the opportunity to share their priorities and ideas on the 2018 budget,” said a press release. [Arlington County]
Local College Student Dies — Nicole Orttung, a National Merit Scholar who graduated from Yorktown High School, died last Tuesday. Orttung was a student at Columbia University, where she was “known for her dedication to social justice and bright personality.” [Legacy]
Advice from a Still-Grieving Husband — Neal Lawson, whose wife Jennifer was killed by a passing dump truck while she was putting her toddler into a car seat, is still two-and-a-half years later, “managing his own loss and grief while balancing the emotional needs and daily schedules of his growing children.” He recently offered some advice for others dealing with profound loss. [Washington Post]
Donation from 9/11 5K — The annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Race, which was held in September, helps to raise money for military and first responder charities. Among the donations from the race this year was a $21,000 donation to TAPS, which provides care to the survivors of fallen U.S. service members. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Arlington School Administrator Dies — Kathleen Meagher, the director of secondary education for Arlington Public Schools, has died at the age of 53 as a result of a scuba diving accident. Meagher, who joined APS in 2014 after serving as a school administrator in Palo Alto, Calif., was vacationing with her partner in St. Kitts and Nevis, in the Caribbean. [Washington Post, Daily Democrat]
TSA May Stay in Arlington After All — A judge’s ruling has opened up the door to the Transportation Security Administration potentially keeping its headquarters in Arlington. The TSA is currently headquartered in Pentagon City, and was set to move to Alexandria, but may now be able to consider the Stafford Place complex in Ballston, from which the National Science Foundation is moving in 2017. [Washington Business Journal]
Difficult Primary for Poll Workers — Arlington County elections officials are preparing for what might be a challenging primary. With intense interest in the presidential primary, turnout is expected to be heavy. There are 13 Republicans and three Democrats that have qualified for their respective primaries. And a loyalty pledge that’s being mandated by the Republican Party of Virginia may cause confusion and animosity at the polls. [InsideNova]
Va. DMV to Allow Smiling, Sort Of — The Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles is lifting its ban on smiling in driver’s license photos, kind of. New rules will allow smiling, but only without showing teeth. [WJLA]
A Streetcar Named Regret in Fairfax Co. — A Fairfax County official is still lamenting Arlington’s cancellation of the Columbia Pike streetcar project. Supervisor Penelope Gross said the streetcar “was going to be important to maintain the viability of Skyline.” The streetcar was to run through the Skyline section of Fairfax County, improving prospects for the vacant and partially-vacant office buildings there. Fairfax County is currently trying to figure out what to do about so much vacant office space. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Senator Pays Tribute to Arlington Dad Who Died in China — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) yesterday paid tribute on the Senate floor to an Arlington resident who died suddenly while on a business trip to China. Nathan Graham died of a “random infection,” Hatch said. He was 37 and a father of four. A former Senate staffer, Graham was born and raised in Utah and was a volunteer bishop in the Crystal City LDS church. Friends are raising money to help support Graham’s family. [Sen. Orrin Hatch, Facebook]
Support for Theater Troupe Blasted By Senator — Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) cited Crystal City physical theater company Synetic as an example of federal waste this month. Why? Because the National Endowment of the Arts has given the troupe a total of $61,000 since 2000 to, as Lankford characterized it, cut the English language out of Shakespeare productions. A local letter to the editor writer, meanwhile, says that a better example of federal waste is the fact that Oklahoma receives approximately $1.31 from the feds for every dollar it pays in taxes. [Washington Post]
Constitutional Officers Sworn In — Arlington’s five incumbent constitutional officers were all reelected by voters last month. The reelected county sheriff, clerk of the Circuit Court, treasurer, commissioner of the revenue and commonwealth’s attorney all took the oath of office yesterday, the first time all five positions were sworn in together since 2007. [InsideNova]
More Traffic Cameras, Higher Fines in D.C. — For those who drive to the District, get ready for more speed and red light cameras, lower speed limits and higher fines over the next two years. The traffic enforcement measures are part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s “Vision Zero” plan for reducing loss of life from accidents on D.C. streets. [Washington Post]
Police and paramedics were called to Arlington’s Department of Human Services after a man collapsed and suffered an apparent cardiac arrest in a taxi.
The incident happened just after 2 p.m., outside the DHS building at 2100 Washington Blvd. The man — a 65 year old Arlington resident, according to scanner traffic — was in a Red Top Cab when the driver saw that he was suffering a medical emergency and pulled over.
“The driver noticed that [the passenger] was slumped over in between the seats,” said Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Alvin Guice.
The driver checked on the man and found that he didn’t have a pulse. Someone then ran to the DHS front desk and screamed “call 911,” according to a witness.
“We called 911 to respond to a building visitor who appeared to be in distress,” said DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick.
Passersby helped to pull the man out of the cab so they could render aid, the witness said. By the time paramedics arrived, someone was performing CPR on him. Medics took over and continued performing CPR as they rushed the man to Virginia Hospital Center, where doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
“Unfortunately, he was pronounced [deceased] at the hospital,” Guice said.
Water Meter Replacement Nearly Complete — An effort to replace outdated water meters in Arlington with more modern meter technology is nearly complete. The project, which began in 2007, is now 98 percent complete and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year. [InsideNova]
Emergency Preparedness Month — September is Emergency Preparedness Month in Arlington. This year’s theme, which is also the theme of National Preparedness Month: “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” [Arlington County]
Donations Sought for Funeral — Residents in the Barcroft neighborhood are raising money following the passing of a beloved neighbor. Abuelita Pacheco was “a ‘grandmother’ to many of the neighborhood kids… a lady full of joy and resilience, always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.” Now, funds are being raised to cover the cost of a funeral and burial in Pacheco’s native Colombia. Her family is already facing financial hardship: Pacheco was grandmother to five, include three blind triplets. [Crowdrise]
Arlington Neighborhood College Enrollment — Applications for Arlington County’s Neighborhood College program are due Sept. 10. The program “provides the knowledge and skills necessary for residents from across the County to get involved in local issues that affect their day-to-day lives and the lives of their neighbors.” [Arlington County]
Metro Delays This Morning — There were delays on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines during the latter part of the AM rush hour this morning, due to “police activity” at the L’Enfant Plaza station in D.C. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Lenny B. Robinson, the Maryland man who captured national attention after he was pulled over in his “Batmobile” Lamborghini while dressed as the Caped Crusader, has died, according to the Washington Post.
The Post reports that Robinson died after apparently being struck by a car on I-70 Sunday night, after his Batmobile broke down.
Robinson delighted children and adults alike in Arlington two years ago, when he dropped by the Arlington YMCA at 3422 13th Street N. to warn kids about the danger of poison and toxic household items. He was also spotted cruising the streets of Arlington and hanging out in Clarendon after the event.
Robinson was in his early 50s.
Photos courtesy Eddie Paylor Photography
Police responded to the 4800 block of Rock Spring Road just before 6:00 p.m. for reports of an accident at a residential construction site. Subcontractors at the site had been removing large trees from the property and were using a backhoe to load huge sections of the trees onto a flatbed truck.
The 30-year-old victim had been trying to secure the tree sections onto the truck when a log weighing in excess of a ton rolled off the flatbed and crushed him. Police say the two other workers at the site did not see the accident, but heard a large noise and rushed to assist the victim. The other workers managed to remove the log, but the victim is believed to have died instantly. Police and medics pronounced the man dead upon arriving at the scene.
The victim’s two co-workers remained on scene and provided statements to police. The site manager, owner of the trucking company and an OSHA representative all responded to the scene as well. The victim’s family has been notified.
“There was no reason to believe there was any suspicious activity, it just appears to be an absolutely tragic incident,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Two Arlington residents and an Alexandria resident were killed in a crash in southwest Virginia Tuesday evening.
The crash happened around 6:20 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-81 in Washington County, Va. From Virginia State Police:
A tractor-trailer traveling south on I-81 experienced a flat tire and pulled off onto the right shoulder to inspect the tire. As the tractor-trailer driver and passenger were walking back to the cab of the truck, a southbound Toyota Avalon ran off the left side of I-81. The driver of the Toyota overcorrected causing the car to slid sideways into the rear of the tractor-trailer.
The Toyota’s male driver, Abenezer D. Thewdros, 19, of Arlington, Va., and two male passengers, Abel N. Ayele, 19, of Arlington, Va., and Alemu S. Ameha, 25, of Alexandria, Va., all died at the scene. A third male passenger, Arketsadik Yilma, 19, of Alexandria, Va., was flown by Virginia State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.
Neither the tractor-trailer driver nor his passenger was injured.
The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash.
Southbound lanes were re-opened to traffic at approximately 9:30 p.m.
The incident happened just past 8:00 p.m. According to Metro, the man was “apparently trespassing” on the tracks when he was struck by an inbound train approaching Arlington Cemetery.
“Security camera footage shows [the] subject intentionally walk onto the trackbed,” Metro Transit Police said via Twitter.
The man is dead and his body is between the tracks and a fence, according to scanner traffic. The striking train is still on scene with 80-100 people on board, firefighters reported.
The Blue Line is single-tracking and trains are running every 20 minutes as a result of the incident, Metro says. The agency is advising riders to use the Yellow Line as an alternate between D.C. and Virginia.
A former Arlington County Police officer who gained much recognition for being depicted in a famous Norman Rockwell painting has passed away.
Richard Clemens was born in New York City and spent much of his career as a Massachusetts state trooper. Rockwell, who was Clemens’ neighbor, asked the trooper to pose for the 1958 painting with an 8-year-old boy. It shows an officer counseling a young boy who wants to leave home, and was featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. It’s a well known painting in the law enforcement community, and can often be found in police stations across the country.
Before moving to Massachusetts, Clemens was a police officer in Arlington from July 1952 through August 1953. Records show his address as having been in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.
Clemens retired from the Massachusetts State Police as a detective. He accrued awards throughout his career, including one for outstanding police service.
Most recently, Clemens lived in New York state. That’s where his funeral will be held tomorrow.
A 22-year-old man died Saturday after collapsing while playing football at Washington-Lee High School.
The man collapsed around 5:40 p.m. during a flag football game. Police say witnesses immediately began treating the man, who briefly regained consciousness, but he was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
“He was able to stand up and ask ‘what was happening’ before collapsing again,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Witnesses on scene, including an ACPD officer and a nurse, were able to immediately begin CPR until medics arrived.”
So far, police have not confirmed the man’s identity, but friends of the victim have taken to Twitter to mourn his passing.
“A class act in life,” one friend said of the young man.
“You will forever be missed & loved,” Tweeted another. “Life isn’t fair, and the good really do die young.”
Joshua Weissman, 33, was on the scene of a vehicle fire on I-395 near Shirlington when he fell through a small gap between the northbound and HOV lanes, on the bridges over Four Mile Run. The Bristow resident, a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, fell into the creek below and was knocked unconscious.
Weissman was extricated from the water by rescuers from Arlington and Alexandria, and was rushed via ambulance to Washington Hospital Center. In the end, however, Weissman’s severe head injury was proved to be fatal.
The Alexandria Fire Department is providing counseling for its personnel and for the Weissman family, including his wife. The couple did not have children. Weissman was based out of Alexandria’s Seminary Road fire station.
In a letter to colleagues, Chief Judge Brian O’Leary said Adele Lapinell, 74, will be remembered for her “patience and understanding.”
I am saddened to announce that Ms. Adele Lapinell, a staff interpreter with the Arlington Immigration Court, passed away today in a single car accident in the parking facility at the court.
Ms. Lapinell first joined the Department of Justice/EOIR in January 1988. Throughout her years as a staff interpreter at the Arlington Immigration Court, Ms. Lapinell assisted thousands of limited English proficient individuals in better understanding their immigration court proceedings, and helped each of the immigration judges communicate with those who appear before them. The agency greatly depends on staff interpreters like Ms. Lapinell to provide a communicative bridge between the immigration court staff and the aliens who appear in proceedings. Her colleagues and friends at the Arlington Immigration Court will greatly miss her. She will be especially remembered for her patience and understanding.
Fire broke out in a third floor condo around 11:20 p.m. Firefighters arriving at the scene reported heavy smoke and flames. One victim was found in the apartment and transported to George Washington University Hospital. He was later pronounced dead.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze relatively quickly, said ACFD spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. There was significant damage to one apartment and some smoke damage to nearby units.
The victim has been identified as 77-year-old Frederick Cole, the sole occupant of the apartment that caught fire.
“The fire investigation is ongoing, but it does not appear to be suspicious at this time,” authorities said in a statement.
Arlington Place and Street Names Explained — Ever wonder how Rosslyn, Clarendon, Aurora Hills, Lorcom Lane and other county neighborhoods and thoroughfares got their names? The Falls Church News-Press’s Arlington correspondent has the answers, courtesy of a new book from the Arlington Historical Society. More from FCNP.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Events in Shirlington — Check out this comprehensive list of the New Year’s Eve happenings in Shirlington Village (via Shirlington Village Blog). After you party all night, feel free to lounge all day at Busboys and Poets’ New Year’s Day pajama brunch (via Shirlington Village Blogspot).
Two Die in AHC-Owned Building — Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of two people in a Baltimore rowhouse. The home is owned by Arlington-based affordable housing organization AHC Inc. More from the Baltimore Sun.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA