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by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

Police car lightsTwo juveniles are in custody after trying to rob a woman at gunpoint on the W&OD Trail, according to Arlington County Police.

The robbery happened around 4:20 p.m. Friday, on the trail near the East Falls Church Metro station.

Police say the woman yelled for help, scaring off the suspects. The pair — a juvenile male and female — were later arrested on a bus and charged with armed robbery and gun charges.

From an ACPD crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 160909040, 6600 block of N. 19th Road. At approximately 4:22 p.m. on September 9, officers responded to the report of a robbery. When on scene, it was determined that a female victim was walking on the W&OD trail and was approached by two masked subjects who demanded her property at gunpoint. The victim began to yell for help, causing the subjects to flee. A witness observed the subjects get on to a bus where they were later apprehended by officers. The male juvenile subject was charged with armed robbery, conspiracy, and use of a firearm while committing a felony. The female juvenile subject was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy. Both were transported to the juvenile detention facility.

by Tim Regan — August 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

A restaurant in East Falls Church is looking to shake the idea that French cooking is unhealthy.

Chef Jacques Imperato, who took over Côte d’Or Café (6876 Lee Highway) earlier this year, hopes to show off “the healthier side of French cooking” with seasonal menus and a lighter approach to making food.

Imperato, who attended culinary school in Nice, France and previously owned Chalet de la Paix and Mediterranee restaurants in Arlington and Great Falls, aims to achieve his goal by cooking with seasonal ingredients and low-calorie alternatives in a “modern classic Burgundy style.”

That means instead of making sauces with heavy cream, for instance — butter, cream, flour and cheese are hallmarks of French cuisine — Imperato uses healthier oils.

“The Burgundy cooking style uses less cream than other French regions use in their cooking,” he said. 

In place of processed or prepared foods, the chef prepares dishes with “fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are fresh and in-season.” Last week, Imperato served a dinner where peaches starred as the primary ingredient in every dish, for example.

Grass fed beef is also now on the menu, Imperato noted.

“Grass fed beef is all they had when Burgundy style cooking was concocted and that kind of beef adds an earthy taste to the dishes,” he said. “When you substitute poor corn fed beef the dishes lose the taste that is essential in this style of cooking.”

by Tim Regan — August 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Derailed Metro train at the East Falls Church station (photo courtesy John Sonderman)

Metro Transit Police are opening an investigation into the cause of July’s train derailment at the East Falls Church Metro station.

About 75 passengers were on an Orange Line train on July 29 when it derailed around 6:30 a.m. The passengers were able to offload “without further incident,” Metro said the day of the derailment.

Though Metro’s safety department was investigating the cause of the incident, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld asked Metro Transit Police to open a parallel inquiry “following a briefing in which investigators advised him of concerns arising from employee interviews, inspection reports, rail defect tracking, and video recordings,” according to a press release.

“The administrative review uncovered information that warrants further investigation by Metro Transit Police,” Wiedefeld said in a statement.  “While Safety Department investigations determine cause and accountability, it is even more important to understand if other issues must be addressed with the way track inspections and maintenance have been conducted.”

Wiedefeld added that the transit agency uncovered information that “raises potentially serious concerns” in the cause of the derailment.

More about the investigation from a Metro press release:

Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld announced today that the investigation into the East Falls Church derailment, which began as an administrative review by the Safety Department, has been expanded to include an investigation by Metro Transit Police.

Wiedefeld directed the Metro Transit Police Department to open a parallel investigation into the matter following a briefing in which investigators advised him of concerns arising from employee interviews, inspection reports, rail defect tracking, and video recordings.

“The administrative review uncovered information that warrants further investigation by Metro Transit Police,” Wiedefeld said.  “While Safety Department investigations determine cause and accountability, it is even more important to understand if other issues must be addressed with the way track inspections and maintenance have been conducted.”

Metro’s General Counsel, Patricia Y. Lee, has engaged two former Assistant U.S. Attorneys as Special Investigators to support the internal administrative review. Adam Hoffinger, a former AUSA for the Southern District of New York, and Peter White, a former AUSA for the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, will work closely with Lee on this matter.  Both have extensive prosecutorial experience with complex cases.

“The public has a right to know that the tracks on which their trains run are being properly inspected,” said Wiedefeld. “The information uncovered to date raises potentially serious concerns, and we will take all actions necessary to get answers and hold people accountable.”

Wiedefeld assured riders today that the SafeTrack program underway (in which Metro tracks are being inspected and repaired) has been and will continue to be subject to quality controls from multiple internal and external groups to ensure all track work meets Metro’s high standards. (At the time of the derailment, East Falls Church interlocking had not yet been addressed as part of SafeTrack.)  Metro is engaging an outside engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive review of its track inspection program.

“While we continue the due diligence to identify the cause of any conditions that may have contributed to this incident, Metro is simultaneously repairing the system and providing better rules, training, quality control and line management,” said Wiedefeld.

Photo courtesy John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — August 2, 2016 at 9:15 am 0


Wahlburgers Coming to Ballston — Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded by the show biz Wahlbergs (Mark, Donnie, Paul), is coming to Ballston next year. The eatery will be located near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]

SER Expanding to Capitol Hill? — The team behind SER restaurant in Ballston — or, at least, part of the team — is opening a new restaurant on Capitol Hill in the former Sona Creamery and Wine Bar space. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Releases Cause of Derailment — What caused a Metro train to derail near the East Falls Church station on Friday? The transit agency says it was a deteriorated section of track in which the rails became too wide. [Washington Post]

Dark Star Park Day — Yesterday Arlington County held its annual observance of Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. The public park, built in 1984, is designed to have its shadows line up once a year, on Aug. 1. [Storify]

County Touts Innovation Recognition — Three Arlington County programs have been recognized for innovation from the Virginia Association of Counties. [Arlington County]

Road Rage on a Bike Trail — Road rage isn’t something that only happens with motorists. Occasionally, it happens among cyclists as well, as this story from an incident on the Mt. Vernon Trail demonstrates. [Storify]

by ARLnow.com — July 29, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Derailed Metro train at the East Falls Church station (photo courtesy John Sonderman)

Update at 2:45 p.m. — Orange and Silver line service will remain suspended between Ballston and West Falls Church through at least Saturday, Metro said this afternoon.

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Two people were evaluated for injuries after a “minor” train derailment at the East Falls Church Metro station.

Orange and Silver Line service remains shut down between West Falls Church and Ballston as a result of the derailment, and will remain shut down through Friday evening, according to Metro. Shuttle buses are running between the stations.

About 75 passengers were on the train when the derailment happened, around 6:30 a.m. Train cars remained upright and the passengers were able to offload “without further incident,” according to Metro.

The derailment happened as Metro’s “SafeTrack” maintenance work was being performed on one of the tracks between Ballston and East Falls Church.

Photo (top) courtesy John Sonderman

by Tim Regan — July 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police have arrested two men for using a pellet gun to shoot holes into a kiosk window outside of the East Falls Church Metro station and shatter a glass enclosure at a nearby bus stop last night.

The crime occurred at the Metro station just after 11:30 p.m. last night, police said.

Two men shot a pellet gun at a kiosk window at the Metro station, puncturing the glass three times, police said. They also allegedly fired the pellet gun at a bus stop on North Sycamore Street, breaking its glass enclosure.

Officers originally responded to a report of two suspicious men looking into vehicles on the 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. When they arrived, they heard a gunshot and located the two suspected shooters.

In addition to the pellet gun, one of the men had a loaded gun in his possession at the time of arrest, police said.

From an ACPD crime report:

POSSESSION OF CONCEALED WEAPON (Significant), 160721003, 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. At approximately 11:38 p.m. on July 20, officers responded to the report of suspicious males looking into vehicles. Arriving officers heard the discharge of a firearm and located two suspects. Nico Wilson, 32, of Fort Washington MD, was arrested and charged with possession of a concealed weapon and discharge of a firearm. Carlos Parker, 18, of Temple Hills MD, was arrested and charged with destruction of property and possession of a concealed weapon.

by ARLnow.com — July 18, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

2600 block of N. Winchester Street (photo via Google Maps)Arlington County Police are investigating a report of a gunshot fired in the East Falls Church area this morning.

The incident happened around 8 a.m. on the 2600 block of N. Winchester Street, not far from the W&OD Trail.

Multiple people reported hearing a gunshot to police. One person reported hearing a woman screaming and seeing a group of men speed off immediately after hearing a loud bang.

“Police were dispatched to a report of a possible discharge of a firearm,” confirmed ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Arriving officers located the occupants of the home and are attempting to interview witnesses at this time. This is believed to be a domestic incident and there are no reported injuries. This is an active investigation and our officers remain on scene.”

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — July 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Police car lightsArlington County police responded to a series of vehicle vandalisms and break-ins over the weekend.

On Saturday morning, police found “numerous vehicles” in the East Falls Church area with tires slashed and body panels “keyed.”

The vandalism was centered around the 2400 block of N. Sycamore Street, near Bishop O’Connell High School.

From an ACPD crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 160702013, 2400 block of N. Sycamore Street. At approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 2, an officer responded to the listed address for the report of a destruction of property to a vehicle. Numerous vehicles in the area had their tires slashed and were keyed. There is no suspect description.

Also on Saturday morning, police investigated a series of vehicle break-ins in the Penrose and Columbia Heights neighborhoods around Columbia Pike. In total, seven unlocked vehicles were broken into but only two car owners reported that items had stolen.

LARCENY FROM AUTO, 160702012, 1600 block of S. Barton Street. At approximately 8:00 a.m. on July 2, an officer responded to the listed address for the report of items stolen out of an unlocked vehicle. Another officer canvassed the area and discovered two other unlocked vehicles that had been entered but nothing was stolen. There is no suspect description.

TAMPERING WITH AUTO, 160702016, 1800 block of S. 9th Street. At approximately 8:45 a.m.on July 2, an officer responded to the listed address for the report of a tampering with auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that someone had entered an unlocked car and stole items of value. Officers canvassed the area and discovered three other unlocked vehicles that had been rummaged through but nothing was taken. There is no suspect description.

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2016 at 4:05 pm 0

Arlington County police and firefighters are on the scene of a reported grease spill in East Falls Church.

A truck leaking a slippery substance has prompted a number of road or lane closures in the area of Lee Highway and Washington Blvd, according to social media reports.

Update at 4:10 p.m. — A fire department radio transmission described the leak as having come from a “sewage truck.”

Update at 4:15 p.m. — A multi-vehicle crash is also being reported in the area.

Update at 4:35 p.m. — A photographer on scene says the grease leaked from a tanker truck containing cooking oil.

Photos (top) courtesy Andrew Pang

by ARLnow.com — June 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm 0

(Updated on June 15) Arlington County Police area responding to a reported bank robbery in the county’s East Falls Church neighborhood.

The robbery occurred around 3 p.m. at the BB&T Bank branch at 6745 Lee Highway.

Initial reports suggest a man passed a note to a teller and demanded cash. The suspect fled on foot, empty-handed, after the teller refused the note, police said.

The suspect is described as a tall black male in his 20s, wearing a gray hoodie, sunglasses, gloves and a fake beard. No weapon was seen during the robbery.

The FBI said Wednesday that this robbery attempt was likely connected to a bank robbery in Rockville two weeks ago. Montgomery County Police released the following surveillance video from that robbery.

by Jackie Friedman — June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Christian Dorsey, Libby Garvey and Paul Wiedefeld at a Metro press conference in East Falls Church

Nearly two weeks of continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, on the Orange and Silver Metro lines, begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Major travel disruptions are expected during Metro’s maintenance “surge,” dubbed “SafeTrack.” WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, along with Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey, held a press conference this afternoon at the East Falls Church Metro Station to discuss preparations.

“We are going to make this work, it is a team effort,” said Garvey, touting Arlington’s plans to assist commuters and ease congestion. “We’re all working together.”

Metro riders can seek commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting. Free shuttle buses between Ballston and East Falls Church and Ballston and West Falls Church will be offered during the project. Additional Capital Bikeshare stations are being installed at the East Falls Church station in preparation for the work.

The single tracking will last for 13 days, ending on Thursday, June 16.

According to Wiedefeld, the worst impacts on the Orange and Silver lines will be west of Ballston. Orange Line trains will run only every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston, while Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes. Additional trains will be placed in service east of Ballston.

The biggest effects will be felt during rush hour — riders are being told to expect “extreme crowding and delays” in each direction.

“Remember, the reason we are doing this is to make the system more reliable and safer,” said Wiedefeld.

The track work is just the first of numerous SafeTrack projects planned over the next year, many of which will impact Arlington riders.

Arlington County streamed a video of the press conference on Facebook, and yesterday released a video discussing SafeTrack (below).

by ARLnow.com — May 23, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Storm clouds in Rosslyn on 5/23/16A “power surge” was reported in the City of Falls Church and Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood, in the wake of a spring thunderstorm that rumbled through the area around 3:30 p.m.

The power problem caused the traffic signal at the busy intersection of Lee Highway and Washington Blvd to start flashing, snarling traffic, and was also said to be responsible for numerous activated burglar and fire alarm calls in the area.

As of 4 p.m., there were just shy of 600 Dominion customers reported to be without power in Northern Virginia, mostly in Fairfax County.

by ARLnow.com — April 22, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

 La Côte d'Or Café in East Falls Church (courtesy photo)La Côte d’Or Café in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood is under new ownership.

Chef Jacques Imperato bought the restaurant in February, according to a press release, and has since set about adding “more authentic French food options.”

Now on the menu: escargots, frog legs and foie gras.

The restaurant, located at 6876 Lee Highway, has been in business for more than two decades.

The full press release is below.

The well-loved restaurant, La Côte d’Or Café in Falls Church, has a new owner and is more authentically French than ever before. The restaurant was purchased in February of 2016 by Chef Jacques Imperato, the past owner-chef of three other successful French restaurants in Northern Virginia. Chef Jeanmarc Drimille who has been with La Cote d’Or for the past 13 years will still head up the kitchen.

Imperato’s changes include adding more authentic French food options from the province of Burgundy, providing an enhanced wine list, and refining recipes already on the menu. Some of the classics gracing the menu include:

  • Burgundy Escargots
  • Charcuterie
  • Beef Bourguignon
  • Coq au Vin
  • Frog Legs
  • Fois Gras

Possibly the most exciting news is Imperto leading a return to excellent French wines at La Côte d’Or Café. The La Côte d’Or region in Burgundy is famous for some of the best wines in the world. The wine list has increased already to 22 wines, 14 of which are Burgundy, with more selections to come.

“I hope to educate people on real French cooking,” Imperto remarks in a classic French accent as pure as the day he arrived in the U.S. decades ago. “Everyone thinks of heavy creams in sauces when they think of French food, but there are many regions in France with different cooking styles. In Burgundy, we use olive oil and fresh herbs. Also, in La Côte d’Or Café we cook a healthier style of Burgundy cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients, grass fed beef, specialty high quality fish and low calorie alternatives in our sauces.”

Some of these healthier sauce substitutes translate to a menu with many gluten free options. Also, everything on the menu is made from scratch, a practice that is a tradition in French cafe’s but not in typical North American restaurants.

The restaurant is perfect for date night with details that seem to be all too rare, like tables adorned with white linens and fresh flowers. During nice summer days, a wall of doors lining the sidewalk are opened, turning the atmosphere into that of a lovely Parisian cafe.

Imperato attended culinary school in Nice, France, and has worked with some of the most prestigious chefs known in the Côte d’Azur area today.

He has previously worked at Washington, D.C.’s Maison Blanche, Le Lavandou, and Tiberio. In the past, he owned Chalet de la Paix in Arlington as well as Mediterranee Restaurants in Great Falls and Arlington.

If you love La Côte d’Or Café, if you are a long-time follower of Chef Jacques Imperato’s flair for French cuisine, or if you would like to experience authentic cuisine from Burgundy, come and enjoy an exceptional dining experience. You can also contact them at [email protected] and ask to be put on the restaurant’s mailing list so you can receive a daily email with specials.

La Côte d’Or Café has been in business for over 20 years serving lunch and dinner daily from either à la carte or prix fixe menus. They alter the menu for certain holidays such as Mother’s Day. Saturdays and Sundays offer a special brunch menu. They can accommodate private parties up to 30 people in a designated party room. The restaurant provides catering as well.

by ARLnow.com — January 15, 2016 at 8:50 am 0

Police car lightsFor the second time in two months, a police chase from I-66 has ended in East Falls Church.

The vehicle pursuit began around 2:45 a.m., when a Virginia State Police trooper pulled over a Nissan Xterra that was heading east on I-66 at a high rate of speed.

“During the course of the traffic stop, the Nissan fled from the trooper and headed east on I-66. The suspect vehicle took Exit 68 and the trooper lost sight of it,” according to a VSP press release. “As the Nissan came through the exit ramp, it ran off the road, went through a fence, struck a tree and then an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot. The driver then fled the scene on foot.”

Arlington County and Fairfax County police helped to search for the driver, who was apprehended just before 4 a.m. after being found “behind a trash can” at the East Falls Church Metro station.

The man, 21-year-old Artis Thomas, Jr. of Washington, D.C., was taken into custody “without further incident” and locked up in the Arlington County Detention Center. He was charged with ” DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), felony eluding law enforcement, possession of a concealed weapon, hit-and-run, and possession of marijuana,” according to VSP.

Police say they recovered a handgun from Thomas’ vehicle.

by ARLnow.com — December 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Three suspects are in custody after a vehicle pursuit ended near Benjamin Banneker Park in a quiet East Falls Church neighborhood.

The chase of a stolen vehicle that may have originated in Loudoun County was reported to Arlington authorities as it made its way down the Dulles Toll Road. The vehicle sped down toll road to I-66, with Fairfax County Police cruisers, the FCPD helicopter and Virginia State Police in pursuit, before exiting at East Falls Church.

The suspect vehicle finally came to a stop at N. Underwood Street and 18th Street N., near the entrance to Benjamin Banneker Park, around 3:30 p.m. Numerous vehicles were reported to be struck by the suspects in Arlington while they pushed through stopped traffic in the area of Lee Highway and N. Fairfax Drive.

Initially, only one suspect was taken into custody and two were reported to be fleeing on foot, according to scanner traffic. The helicopter and numerous Arlington County Police, Virginia State Police and Metro Transit Police officers successfully searched for the suspects who were quickly apprehended.

A man and two women were arrested and are expected to face numerous charges, we’re told.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene for a report that the suspect vehicle caught fire after the crash. The fire was quickly extinguished.


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