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by ARLnow.com October 23, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Police are investigating a frightening “assault by mob” incident that happened early Sunday near Campbell Elementary School.

Police say a male victim was walking along the 700 block of S. Carlin Springs Road, near the Fairfax County line, when more than a dozen young males “chased him before dragging him into the woods, where he was threatened at gunpoint.”

The motive for the alleged attack is unclear.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2017-10220037, 700 block of S. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 2:18 a.m. on October 22, police were dispatched to the report of a large group of males chasing an individual across the roadway. The call was transferred from Fairfax County dispatch and arriving officers made contact with Fairfax County Police officers who were also dispatched to the area to investigate. The victim advised that while walking in the area, a large group of male suspects with weapons chased him before dragging him into the woods, where he was threatened at gunpoint. The victim was able to fight back and flee the scene. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The group of male suspects is described as being approximately 13 young, Hispanic, white males, wearing either black or blue hooded sweatshirts. All of the suspects were described as approximately 5’6-5’8 in height with dark features. The investigation is ongoing.

by Chris Teale October 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

The Arlington County Board will vote Saturday on a seven-year lease for an ART Bus maintenance facility in Fairfax County.

Currently, British transportation company National Express leases the space and has a contract to maintain ART buses at 6100-A and 6104 Farrington Ave., in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. The space has a 10,000-square-foot building and a 32,833-square-foot parking area.

National Express’ contract with the county and its lease on the property both expire on June 30, 2018.

Under this plan, the county would control the facility for bus maintenance to, staff said, “promote more competition for the ART operations and maintenance contract, leading to more advantageous pricing for the county.”

The County Board voted last December to buy a maintenance site in Springfield for $4.65 million. But staff said that it will take at least five years to acquire the site and build it out, so this lease helps fill in the “gap years” until it is ready.

This new lease would begin on July 1, 2018, and expire on June 30, 2025. The initial base rent would be just under $180,000 a year, with an annual increase of 3 percent, which staff says would ultimately save the county money.

“The County’s new lease agreement cost of $178,345.80 for Fiscal Year 2019 is $16,483.32, which is 8.6% less than the amount National Express Transit would have paid,” the staff report says. “In the new ART operations contract, the payment to the contractor will be reduced accordingly.”

Photos No. 1 and No. 2 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale October 10, 2017 at 10:20 am 0

Columbia Pike is set for a new piece of public art: a 60-foot wind turbine blade on Arlington County’s western border with Fairfax County.

The blade, entitled “The Pike,” is designed by the noted sculptor Donald Lipski, and will stand on the southern side of the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Jefferson Street in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

At a talk at the Columbia Pike Branch Library last month, Lipski said he was inspired by the design of wind turbine blades and the pike weapon, which is a long thrusting spear. He also noted that there are still disused windmills along Columbia Pike that were once used to pump water.

“It’s just put up as this big beautiful thing,” Lipski said. “It’s a found object, it’s recycled, it’s emblematic of wind energy, it’s emblematic of a Pike, but one that’s vertical, one that’s in the open position and says, ‘Come on in. Everybody is welcome. You don’t have to pay a toll even though it used to be a Pike'”

Lipski said he will reuse an old 50-foot-long turbine blade, stand it up vertically on a 10-foot pedestal and then cover the pedestal in coins from the various countries and nationalities represented along the Pike. The sculpture will be lit at night by a series of lights around its base.

The use of coins also harks back to when the Pike used to be a toll road, first designed to connect the District of Columbia with areas to the west.

“Citizens of Arlington would go and rummage around in their drawers and find coins from their home country and give me those coins, and I would build them into the sculpture,” Lipski said.

And in return for letting him use their coins in his sculpture, Lipski said he will design a commemorative coin and give one to each person who donates in exchange.

The work had been intended to coincide with the opening of the since-canceled streetcar, but will go ahead as the Pike prepares for the launch of the “Premium Transit Network” of buses.

But not everyone is so sure about the new piece of art. In letters provided to ARLnow, leaders at the Arlington Mill Civic Association said a decision approving the project was made without enough input. Planning for the art has been underway since 2012, and Lipski was selected from 88 applicants the following year.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com September 5, 2017 at 8:35 am 0

Today Is ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’ — Today is the Tuesday after Labor Day, when students in Arlington and around the region go back to school. As a result of the extra school buses, parents and students on the roads, and the end of summer vacations, it is also dubbed “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” by AAA Mid-Atlantic. In reality, however, the day after — which now has a name: “Woeful Wednesday” — is worse in terms of commuting times, and next week should be even more woeful. [Washington Post, WTOP]

Chili’s Dying Out in D.C. Area — The Chili’s in Bailey’s Crossroads has closed. The restaurant chain closed its Crystal City location last year and its Reston location the year before that. The nearest Chili’s to Arlington is now along Route 1, outside the Beltway, in Fairfax County. [Twitter]

Roosevelt Profiled by Conservative Media — GOP candidate Adam Roosevelt is getting some attention from conservative media outlets. Roosevelt “is a moderate Republican running for the Virginia House of Delegates against current Democratic Delegate Alfonso Lopez, who has never before faced a GOP opponent during his six years in office,” writes the Daily Caller, calling the district he’s running in, which includes part of Arlington, “far left.” The lead sentence in Newsmax’s article about Roosevelt has a different focus: “A conservative Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, who happens to be black, has recently emerged as one of the most spirited advocates of keeping Confederate statues up in the Old Dominion State.” [Daily Caller, Newsmax]

Webb Removed from Civ Fed Debate — School Board candidate Mike Webb has had his invitation to tonight’s Arlington County Civic Federation debate — the unofficial kickoff to campaign season in Arlington — rescinded because he reportedly “failed to return required paperwork in time to allow participation.” Allison Dough, the other candidate to challenge Democratic endorsee Monique O’Grady, has said she has other commitments and will be unable to attend the debate. [InsideNova]

Arlington Man Evicted From ‘Big Brother’ House — Arlington resident Matt Clines, 33, has been evicted from the Big Brother house. Clines had advanced about half-way through the CBS reality show before being voted off. [Reality TV World, Parade, Hollywood Reporter]

DeVos to Make Big Announcement in Arlington — Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is reportedly planning to make a “major announcement on Title IX, the campus gender equality law,” from George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington on Thursday. [BuzzFeed]

Flickr pool photo by Jim Webster

by ARLnow.com August 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

Power is out in parts of Seven Corners after a truck brought down power lines behind the Eden Center in Falls Church.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. in the rear of the shopping center. Two utility poles were snapped in half as a result of the collision.

At one point, nearly 2,500 Dominion customers were without power in the area, including in parts of Arlington County. As of 3:30 p.m. Dominion was no longer reporting any outages in Arlington.

The Arlington County Fire Department responded to the scene for sparking power lines and a spill of mineral oil from the transformers. ACFD has since turned over the scene to Dominion, which will be cleaning up the spill, according to scanner traffic.

Some traffic signals in Seven Corners may be affected by the outages, according to Fairfax County Police.

by Chris Teale August 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

The project to extend the Interstate 395 Express Lanes from Fairfax County through Alexandria and Arlington to the D.C. line celebrated its ground-breaking ceremony this morning.

The toll lanes will be extended for eight miles north from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road to the vicinity of Eads Street in Arlington, near the Pentagon.

The Virginia Department of Transportation partnered with toll road manager Transurban and contractors AECOM Engineering Company and Lane Construction to deliver the project. Construction is now underway and scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

The project will add a third reversible HOT lane on I-395, accessible for free by vehicles with three or more occupants and an E-ZPass Flex transponder, or for a toll by all others.

The lanes will generate funding for other transportation options in the region. Using toll money, Transurban will pay $15 million each year to local jurisdictions to help them pay for improvements. Among other projects, the south parking lot at the Pentagon is set for an overhaul, as are several nearby bridges.

The ceremony, atop a Pentagon City parking garage, marked the official start of construction. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) was joined by Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne and elected officials from across the area, including Arlington County Board chair Jay Fisette and fellow Board member Libby Garvey.

Layne said such partnerships between state government, local agencies and federal stakeholders have been crucial to move the project along, heralded as the largest in the United States.

“We knew what the construction was going to be, but it took collaboration and trust to get this project underway,” Layne said.

McAuliffe hailed the project for solving a “major headache for so many commuters going into and out of the District, and going to and from our great Pentagon.”

He added that as Virginia’s population continues to grow — with people attracted by its low taxes, strong business environment and other amenities like breweries and wineries, McAuliffe said — projects to improve congestion on the Commonwealth’s roads are vital.

“This is finally going to be solved, and this is going to be a game-changer for residents of Northern Virginia,” McAuliffe said.

For its part, Transurban promised to be good partners throughout construction and beyond.

Jennifer Aument, Transurban’s group general manager for North America, said workers are committed to the safety of all road users during work, and urged drivers in the area to avoid distractions, wear their seatbelt and watch their speed around the construction zone.

Aument also said Transurban would be a “good neighbor” and work with nearby neighborhoods to minimize any other disruptions.

“Now, we’ll get to work,” she said.

Work has already got underway in the existing I-395 high-occupancy toll lanes. On Monday, August 7, VDOT announced full night-time closures of the lanes in both directions from the southbound HOV exit ramp near Boundary Channel Drive to the northbound exit ramp from the 95 Express Lanes near Edsall Road.

And weather-permitting, some southbound regular lanes of I-395 will be closed overnight this week between Duke Street and Edsall Road. VDOT advised drivers to travel safely and pay attention to signs posted on the road.

by ARLnow.com May 5, 2017 at 5:20 pm 0

Arlington County firefighters assisted Fairfax County on a fire at a strip mall near Bailey’s Crossroads Friday afternoon.

The fire broke out in a mattress store on the 5900 block of Leesburg Pike (Route 7) just before 4:30 p.m. A second alarm was sounded shortly thereafter.

Several ACFD units responded to the scene after a Rapid Intervention Team was requested by Fairfax.

by ARLnow.com May 5, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Arlington Taking Roadwork Suggestions — “Arlington’s Neighborhood Complete Streets Program is asking residents to nominate neighborhood streets they believe could be made safer and more comfortable for all users for potential improvement projects. If you know a neighborhood street that is missing a section of sidewalk, needs an accessible curb ramp or better street lighting, consider nominating it. The County is accepting submissions through Friday, June 16.” [Arlington County]

Commuting Habits in Arlington — Arlington County’s new “Profile 2017” data packet has a surprising statistic on community habits: more Fairfax County residents commute into Arlington each day than Arlington residents commute into D.C. [Twitter]

Candidates Dither on Exotic Pet Ban — Three out of four of the Democratic candidates for County Board would not give a straight answer to the question of whether they support a proposed ban on wild and exotic pets. [InsideNova]

Metro 29 Named Best Diner in Va. — A new list of the best diner in all 50 states lists Metro 29 diner on Lee Highway as the best in Virginia. [Mental Floss]

Beyer on House Healthcare Bill — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) says yesterday’s narrow passage of the GOP healthcare bill is “a dark stain on the history of the House of Representatives.” [Rep. Don Beyer]

Comment Ads Turned Off — To improve the user experience, we’ve turned off those semi-trashy tile ads below the comments. They’re prevalent on lots of websites, especially news websites, and they generate decent revenue, but we could not longer stand having them associated with our site. Replacing the ads are links to previous ARLnow.com articles.

by Chris Teale April 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

A “full-scale” exercise to simulate the response to a terrorist attack in the National Capital Region is set for tomorrow, with Arlington one of six sites where the action will be taking place.

From 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Arlington police’s SWAT team will take part in the exercise near George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School at 3301 Fairfax Drive.

Residents can expect to see an increase in public safety vehicles and law enforcement officers in the area, and those traveling nearby may hear noise originating from the training site. All activities will be confined to the training site.

Law enforcement officials and other first-responders will take part in the exercise organized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The exercise is intended to prepare for a “complex” attack involving multiple target locations and teams of perpetrators.

Arlington is one of six locations for the exercise, along with neighborhoods in Northeast and Southeast D.C., and Prince George’s and Fairfax counties.

MWCOG spokeswoman Jeanne Saddler said the exercise is designed to be as realistic as possible. She said that residents nearby will be notified beforehand and that disruption should be minimal for those in the area.

“To some degree they’re trying to make it a surprise for the participants,” she said. “In order to maintain the exercise for participants and first-responders, we have to avoid making a mention of locations… I don’t think there’ll be disruption for residents or people traveling.”

Hundreds of police, fire, and emergency medical service personnel and volunteer actors will be involved in the exercise. The timing of the exercise is a secret too.

“Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally,” said Scott Boggs, managing director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at MWCOG, in a statement. “On April 26, we’ll go one step further and stage a very realistic emergency event involving multiple sites and actors posing as the casualties. However, there is no reason for residents to be alarmed because the exercise will occur in a controlled environment.”

File photo

by ARLnow.com March 20, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

Soggy jog (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Florida Men Arrested for Credit Card Skimming — Three men from Miami, Florida were arrested earlier this month on the 5600 block of Columbia Pike, in Fairfax County. They’re suspected of using Bluetooth-enabled credit card skimming devices to steal credit card numbers from gas station customers. [Falls Church News-Press]

School Board to Consider Wakefield Modifications — The Arlington School Board is expected to approve a $4 million internal modification project at Wakefield High School that will increase its student capacity to 2,300 from 1,900. [InsideNova]

School Board Members Can Now Get Raises — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a state bill that removes a cap of $25,000 on the salaries of Arlington School Board members. Arlington was the only jurisdiction in the state the salary cap applied to; school board members will now have the ability to approve a salary increase in 2021. [InsideNova]

Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Kicks Off — Nineteen Arlington restaurants are participating in Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which starts today and runs through Monday, March 27. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Top 10 Shirlington Area Restaurants — Eater has compiled a list of the top 10 restaurants to try in and around Shirlington. And yes, the Weenie Beenie is on the list. [Eater]

It’s the First Day of Spring — “While warm spring days will be tough to come by in the short term, the equinox is a reminder that the sounds of chirping birds and humming lawn mowers aren’t too far off.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com December 29, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Hanukkah celebration in Clarendon 12/28/16

Struggling Skyline Sold — Vornado has taken its properties in Skyline off of its balance sheet after the 2.6 million-square-foot, half-vacant complex sold at a foreclosure auction last week. The cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar project would have run to Skyline, with Fairfax County set to pay 20 percent of the project’s cost. [Washington Business Journal]

More on ‘Pop-Up’ Hotel — The inauguration will be the big test for WhyHotel, the “pop-up” hotel in the new Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Developer Vornado sees this as an experiment that could yield temporary revenue while a building is leased up. Arlington County planning commissioner Erik Gutshall says the county could benefit from additional tax revenue and a more lively streetscape. [Washington Post]

Arlington = NYE Destination? — Travelers coming to the D.C. area for New Year’s Eve should consider staying in Arlington due to its proximity to the District and lower hotel rates, says an article on “last minute deals for New Year’s Eve hotels.” [Travel + Leisure]

Transracial Adoption in Arlington — Arlington is “a fantastic community in which to raise a transracially blended family,” says the father of (now grown) adopted children from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. [Arlington Magazine]

Clarendon Post Office Murals — A local man has written a 44-page book on the artist who painted seven New Deal-era murals in the Clarendon post office. [Washington Post]

Reporting Issues to the County — Arlington County is reminding residents that they can report out-of-sync traffic signals, crosswalks with broken buttons and other non-emergency service requests via an online form. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com December 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm 0

Robbery suspects Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria and Alexander Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico (photo courtesy ACPD)

Two men armed with guns tried to rob a jewelry store in Lyon Park last night, according to police, but wound up empty-handed and in jail.

Police say Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria and Alexander Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico tried to rob Sacramento Jewelers on the 2700 block of Washington Blvd just before 5:45 pm.

“Two masked suspects brandishing firearms entered a jewelry store and attempted to restrain one of the employees,” according to an Arlington County Police Department press release. “A struggle ensued between the employee and the suspects, causing the suspects to flee the area by vehicle.”

Police got a quick break in the case when someone noticed a suspicious vehicle stopped along I-395 shortly after the robbery “and provided critical information” that ultimately led investigators to the suspects, who were arrested in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County just before midnight.

Both Cruz and Ruiz are being held in the Arlington County jail without bond.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged two suspects for their role in an armed robbery. Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria VA and Alexander Serpa Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico were arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery, abduction, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and use or display of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. Both suspects are being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 5:44 p.m. on December 7, officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery in the 2700 block of Washington Boulevard. The investigation revealed that two masked suspects brandishing firearms entered a jewelry store and attempted to restrain one of the employees. A struggle ensued between the employee and the suspects, causing the suspects to flee the area by vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, a witness driving on I-395 noticed a suspicious vehicle and provided critical information to the Emergency Communication Center. Utilizing the information provided by the witness, evidence located at the scene and information obtained during witness interviews, detectives developed suspect descriptions. Officers from the Arlington County Police Department’s Tactical Unit and the Fairfax County Police Department took the two suspects into custody in the Alexandria portion of Fairfax County.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm 0

(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) The northbound lanes of I-395 are partially blocked just past Glebe Road, approaching the Pentagon, after a police chase ended in the middle of the highway.

Initial reports suggest the car was being chased for an assault on law enforcement, possibly as a result of the car ramming a Fairfax County Police cruiser.

Fairfax County Police and Virginia State Police officers chased the car up I-395 until it reportedly lost control and was boxed in by several police cruisers. The chase ended around 12:25 p.m. Arlington County officers trailed the chase and helped to assist with traffic control, according to scanner traffic.

Three occupants of the car were instructed to come out with their hands up, and were arrested at police gunpoint without further incident. No word yet on what charges they may face.

As of 12:35 p.m., one lane of northbound I-395 had reopened to traffic after being completely blocked for a short time.

Update at 11:30 p.m. — The chase started when officers tried to pull over the car in connection to a theft from a department store in Tysons Corner, according to Fairfax County Police.

From FCPD:

Around 11:40 a.m. today (Tuesday, December 6), the Tysons Urban Team (TUT) team was investigating a larceny case at a department store in Tysons Corner Center. The suspects fled in a car. Officers located it nearby and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit traveled out of Fairfax County. Virginia State Police and Arlington County Police assisted us.The pursuit ended along I-395 and Washington Street. Initial information determined three people were taken into custody.

by ARLnow.com August 15, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

Fairfax County police car lightsTwo people were shot during a drive-by shooting in McLean early Sunday morning, following a fight at a party in Arlington.

The shooting occurred on Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123), near the entrance to the GW Parkway, around 4 a.m.

“Preliminary information suggests that this incident stemmed from an altercation between several people at a party somewhere in Arlington County earlier in the night,” Fairfax County Police said in a press release. “One group left the party in a vehicle and when they reached Dolley Madison Boulevard and Kirby Road, another vehicle pulled alongside and fired several shots, striking two occupants in the first vehicle. The unidentified suspect vehicle then fled the scene.”

“Little is known about the two victims at this point, other than they drove themselves to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” the press release continued. “There is no suspect or vehicle description at this time.”

The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the response to the shooting, but was unable to locate the suspects. Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting call them at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477

by ARLnow.com July 19, 2016 at 8:35 am 0

Swimming at the Dominion Hills pool (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Fairfax Wants Arlington’s Tourism Dollars — Fairfax County wants Arlington’s crown as the biggest tourism center in Virginia. “It’s our goal to beat out Arlington, and we’re going to continue giving it all we’ve got,” said Fairfax’s tourism chief, who is pushing for the county to build a new convention center. [InsideNova]

Free House in South Arlington — Here’s some truly affordable housing: a historic, all-steel Lustron house is being offered for free in south Arlington, to anyone willing to haul it away. [Twitter]

Super Pollo Wins Commuting Competition — Super Pollo in Ballston has won a county-sponsored competition “designed to encourage the Hispanic workforce to use modes of transportation other than driving alone when commuting to work.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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