Arlington, VA

(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Victor Hoskins, the head of Arlington Economic Development who helped Arlington woo Amazon and its HQ2 to the county, is leaving for a job with Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority announced today that Hoskins will be its new president and CEO, replacing its now-retired longtime leader, Gerry Gordon. FCEDA is one of the largest economic development agencies in the country, with six global satellite offices.

Hoskin’s departure is seen as a major loss for Arlington, at a crucial time for the county with Amazon moving in and another key economic development official, Christina Winn, recently departing for the top economic job with Prince William County.

“We wish Victor well,” Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement to ARLnow. “He has been a great leader and we know that he will continue to be a force for great regional collaboration.”

Schwartz says the county may announce an interim director for AED later this week.

More from an FCEDA press release, after the jump.

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Thousands of Comcast customers in Arlington are without internet, TV and phone service this afternoon.

A major Comcast outage is currently affecting large swaths of Arlington, from the northernmost part of the county down. Comcast’s outage map shows reported issues throughout residential North Arlington and much of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. (The map only shows areas near a given subscriber and ARLnow was unable to view areas south of the R-B corridor.)

Comcast is currently estimating restoration of service around 6-6:30 p.m.

The outage started just before 1 p.m., right around when a truck took down utility lines along Route 50. It’s unclear if that incident and the outage are related.

Among those affected by the outage are small businesses like Pupatella Pizza in Bluemont, which said via social media that its internet ordering and phone lines were down.

Map via Comcast

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) Hundreds — and perhaps even thousands — of water customers in Crystal City are without water service this morning.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) says it is currently performing emergency water main repairs following a series of at least three water main breaks. Drivers should expect detours around one of the work zones, near the intersection of 23rd Street S. and Crystal Drive.

“Several buildings” are without water, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said via social media. Tipsters have told ARLnow that some buildings are closed due to the outage.

A map posted by DES shows outages across a wide swath of Crystal City, from 15th Street S. to S. Potomac Avenue, east of Route 1. As of 9:30 a.m., water service has been restored to buildings north of 18th Street S., DES said.

“Progress is being made on isolating breaks and ultimately returning service,” DES said. So far, there’s no estimate of when the repairs will be completed.

Update at 2:20 p.m. — Water service “has been restored to most of the affected buildings,” DES says.

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Kirkwood Road is closed between Washington Blvd and 14th Street N. due to a significant water main break.

Crews have been working on the break since last night and “scores of customers could be affected,” said Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services. Among those reported to be affected by the water outage is George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

Video posted of the scene shows a large hole in the roadway filled with roiling, cloudy water.

More via Twitter:

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Update at 9 a.m. — Water pressure has been restored to the neighborhood, though there are some reports of water pressure being low.

Earlier: A large section of Fairlington has lost its water service.

The outage was first reported around 9:45 p.m. An initial report from Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services said the outage was the result of a water main break.

“Crews have been dispatched,” the agency said. “More information, including estimated completion time, will be available as soon as possible.”

Thousands live in the Fairlington neighborhood, which is divided by I-395 into north and south sections — both of which are without water, according to reports from residents.

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Update at 3:30 p.m. — The “all clear” has been given after the bomb squad inspected and “disrupted” the device. It’s unclear if it was determined to have been hazardous or, perhaps, just misplaced.

Earlier: Arlington’s bomb squad is responding to the Long Branch Creek neighborhood to investigate a suspicious object in a condominium parking lot.

Police were called to the Olde Factory condos on S. Meade Street, between S. Glebe Road and Gunston Park, shortly before 2:30 p.m., for a report of a suspicious device — possibly a pressure cooker — left in or around the parking lot.

While the bomb squad investigates the object, students from nearby Gunston Middle School and other pedestrians are being kept away from the scene by Arlington County police, according to scanner traffic. Police are encouraging the public to avoid the area altogether.

The parking lot is across the street from the busy Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

File photo

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Update at 7 p.m. — The situation ended after police found the subject dead in the apartment, per ACPD.

Earlier: Numerous police and fire department vehicles are staged along S. Joyce Street in Pentagon City following a shots fired call.

Initial reports suggest gunshots were heard inside the apartment of a man who may be suffering a mental health issue.

Emergency responders are taking a cautious stance before potentially entering the apartment. Some vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the area, near the Pentagon Row shopping center, is being restricted.

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(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting in the Nauck neighborhood.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m. on the 2200 block of S. Oxford Street and involved a suspect and a victim that knew each other, according to police. One person suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital via ambulance.

A neighbor told ARLnow that there was a “heavy police presence and crime scene tape” near where the shooting happened.

ACPD released additional information about the shooting Wednesday afternoon, saying three people were involved in a physical altercation and one was shot, though so far no arrests have been made.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the Nauck neighborhood on the evening of January 29, 2019.

At approximately 9:05 p.m. on January 29, police were dispatched to the 2200 block of S. Oxford Street for the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers located three male subjects involved in a physical altercation. The subjects were separated by police and it was determined that one was suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The other two subjects did not require medical treatment.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation and police continue to work to determine what preceded the altercation. All parties involved have been identified and no charges have been sought at this time. Based on the preliminary investigation, there appears to be no ongoing threat to the community.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective R. Ortiz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-7402 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated at 11:15 p.m.) Democrat Matt de Ferranti has knocked off independent incumbent John Vihstadt in the race for County Board, restoring the Board to unified Democratic control for the first time since 2014.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, de Ferranti captured a 53 percent to 46 percent victory over Vihstadt, a difference of about 7,000 votes.

The difficulty of the electoral math for Vihstadt, amid heavy Democratic turnout, was apparent since the first precincts reported. De Ferranti was leading in three of the first four. In 2014, Vihstadt won each of the four districts in his general election race against Alan Howze.

Arlington Democrats had eyed Vihstadt’s seat on the Board ever since his surprise victories four years ago, when he bested Alan Howze in both a special election and general election, becoming the first non-Democrat to sit on the Board since 1999.

“This a reflection of where we’ve come as a party… we heard the message of 2014,” de Ferranti told ARLnow amidst a jubilant crowd of Democrats at William Jeffrey’s Tavern on Columbia Pike Tuesday night. “And I think we have to be humble enough to acknowledge that the national mood didn’t hurt.”

De Ferranti, a lawyer and advocate for Native American education, argued that he had an optimistic and forward-looking vision for the county’s future that stood in stark contrast to Vihstadt’s record. He contended that the incumbent hadn’t done enough to address the county’s persistently high office vacancy rate, and that Vihstadt was overly focused on saying ‘no’ to ambitious projects rather than pursuing an agenda with vision.

Vihstadt, meanwhile, pledged to continue to provide some balance to the Board’s Democratic majority and to work to manage the county’s growth responsibly. Vihstadt did not, however, have a singular project to rail against this year, as he did the Columbia Pike Street Car four years ago. The independent’s victory was widely seen as a rebuke to that project specifically and the Board’s Democratic majority more generally.

Still, the two contenders largely agreed on most pressing issues facing the county. However, de Ferranti separated himself a bit by adopting a friendlier stance toward Amazon’s potential arrival in Arlington, and by setting goals for the county like ending child hunger by 2022 and shifting to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2035.

De Ferranti won despite being out-raised by Vihstadt in the race for campaign cash, but he benefitted from support from three of his fellow Democrats on the Board — Libby Garvey endorsed Vihstadt once again — and a variety of statewide politicians.

This was de Ferranti’s first run for elected office. He won a two-way primary against fellow newcomer Chanda Choun back in June.

School Board member Barbara Kanninen also won a second term, ensuring that Democratically endorsed candidates will maintain unified control of the Board once more.

Kanninen, an economist, bested independent Audrey Clement by a margin of 68 percent to about 30 percent. Clement and Kanninen last squared off in 2014, when Kanninen first joined the Board.

The race is nominally nonpartisan, but county Democrats have now twice backed Kanninen for office, and she spent the past year serving as Board chair, which rotates among the five members.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to work,” Kanninen told ARLnow. “I think it shows that people know we’re working hard as a Board and we care about our kids.”

Kanninen ran on traditional issues impacting the school system, like her support for mental health resources for students and improving teacher retention through consistent pay increases, but Clement worked to focus the race on the Board’s decision to change the name of Washington-Lee High School. Opponents of the name change charged that Kanninen spearheaded the effort, and threw their support behind Clement.

Yet the independent fell short once more, in what was her eighth unsuccessful bid for local office in Arlington.

Kanninen was unopposed in the race for the Democratic nomination this year.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th District) also cruised to re-election over Republican Thomas Oh, earning his third term in Congress.

Beyer, Virginia’s former lieutenant governor and the owner of several local car dealerships, dominated with nearly 79 percent of the vote to Oh’s 20 percent. The 8th District, which includes Arlington and parts of Alexandria, is one of the most Democratic in the country, last electing a Republican in 1988.

Oh charged that Beyer has been unresponsive to his constituents since taking over for longtime Rep. Jim Moran, and ran on a moderate platform that was decidedly different from other Republicans around the state. But Beyer countered that he’d been an effective representative for the district, noting his focus on environmental issues in particular during his time in Congress.

All four bond referenda easily earned approval from Arlington voters, with none earning less than 73 percent of the vote. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also cruised to a 15-point victory over Republican Corey Stewart, with his race called as soon as polls closed.

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Arlington County Police are investigating an incident that resulted in a man suffering serious injuries at a Ballston apartment building Monday evening.

Shortly after 4 p.m. police were dispatched to Randolph Towers (4001 9th Street N.) for a report of a person who fell from a 6th floor balcony in the rear of the building onto a ground floor patio below.

The victim was quickly transported to a local trauma center with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. Police remain at the building, documenting the scene and talking to possible witnesses.

It is unclear if the man accidentally fell or if the fall was in some way intentional.

“The victim was conscious and alert when he was transported to George Washington University Hospital,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.com. “The investigation into the cause of the fall remains ongoing.”

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(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) An Arlington man has been arrested and now faces accusations of a litany of crimes from sexual assault to murder to robbery after a night of violence in the Douglas Park neighborhood.

The reported crime spree started shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday in the area of Doctor’s Run Park, south of Columbia Pike.

Police say 27-year-old Michael Nash was sexually assaulting a woman along the 1300 block of S. George Mason Drive when a witness, 54-year-old Arlington resident Patricio Salazar, tried to intervene. The suspect then allegedly struck Salazar, who was knocked unconscious and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Nash fled the scene and robbed a woman of her cell phone as he fled, according to police. Officers and a police helicopter searched the area and eventually apprehended Nash near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

Nash is now facing multiple charges, with additional charges pending. This was the second reported homicide in Arlington so far this year.

More from ACPD:

Arlington County Police announce the arrest of an Arlington man following an overnight homicide investigation. Michael Nash, 27, was arrested and charged with Abduction with the Intent to Defile, Forcible Sodomy and Animate Object Sexual Penetration. Additional charges are forthcoming. Mr. Nash is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 9:21 p.m. on October 18, police were dispatched to the 1300 block of S. George Mason Drive following the report of multiple 9-1-1 calls. The preliminary investigation determined that the suspect was walking in the area with a known female victim when he began to physically and sexually assault her. A male witness observed the assault and attempted to render assistance to the victim. The suspect physically assaulted the witness leaving him unconscious. The witness, Patricio Salazar, 54, of Arlington, VA was transported to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Following the assaults, the suspect fled the scene on foot. The suspect came into contact with two additional victims whom he tried to rob of a cell phone. The victims fought back and the suspect again fled the scene on foot. The suspect then successfully robbed a female victim of her cell phone.

During the course of the investigation, detectives from the Department’s Homicide/Robbery and Special Victims’ Units developed a possible suspect description. Members of the Tactical Unit located the suspect and took him into custody without incident in the area of Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive.

The investigation into this homicide remains ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Map via Google Maps

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