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
Update at 1:55 p.m. — Fairfax County Police say they’ve determined that the shots fired call was the result of an active shooter drill. Road closures are being lifted and police are clearing the area.
Wakefield High School and Claremont Elementary are in a heightened state of security due to an investigation into shots fired across the county line.
Fairfax County Police say they’re investigating a shots fired call from the area around Skyline Towers and the Target on Route 7. The address is reportedly that of a federal law enforcement office.
“We are investigating a report of shots heard at 5109 Leesburg Pike,” FCPD said in a tweet. “Nothing confirmed. No suspect, no victims located at this point.”
Wakefield and Claremont have been placed in “secure the school” mode, according to scanner traffic. Arlington County Police have also shut down the intersection of George Mason Drive and Route 7, preventing traffic from entering Fairfax County.
Tweets from during the incident:
@ARLnowDOTcom A bunch of FPS vehicles just went tearing out of a nearby office with lights and sirens going.
— Loopy Smith (@jonzie5647) October 15, 2015
— Jack Hogan (@ousooners28) October 15, 2015
— Daniel Kaniewski (@dankandc) October 15, 2015
Fairfax County Police say the man exposed himself to employees on two occasions, in the dressing rooms of Springfield Town Center stores, while shopping for lingerie.
From a FCPD press release:
Detectives charged a 52-year-old Arlington man with indecent exposure at a shopping mall dressing room and have connected the suspect to a similar incident last month.
Allen Jones, 52, of Longfellow Street in Arlington, reportedly exposed himself to a clerk at the [JCPenney] at Springfield Mall around 11:15 a.m. on Monday, October 5. The suspect was shopping in the women’s underwear section of the store and requested assistance from the clerk as he shopped and tried on the items. The incident reportedly took place in the changing room. The clerk immediately contacted police and store security.
Upon investigation, detectives linked the suspect to a previous incident on September 18 where the suspect similarly reportedly exposed himself to a clerk at a women’s lingerie store (Soma) in the Mall. The suspect was charged in connection with that event as well.
Jones was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Detectives are seeking anyone with information or who may have had similar encounters with the suspect. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
ITT Tech Protest Only Included One Student — A protest outside ITT Tech’s shareholder meeting in Rosslyn earlier this week reportedly included only one person who had actually been a student at the for-profit school. The rest were from advocacy groups and a labor union. [Inside Higher Ed]
New Food Delivery Service Comes to Arlington — DoorDash, an online food delivery business that promises to get food to your door in 45 minutes or less, has launched in Arlington. DoorDash joins similar food delivery services like Seamless and Eat24 in entering the Arlington market. [WUSA 9]
Arlington Teacher Recognized at the White House — Arlington Career Center teacher Thomas O’Day was one of 10 educators nationwide to be honored as a 2015 Career and Technical Education Innovator. O’Day, who has been teaching television production at the career center for 27 years, received his recognition at an event hosted by the White House. [Arlington Public Schools]
New Affordable Housing Video — The group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) is producing a series of videos in support of affordable housing efforts in Arlington. The first video profiles Marcos Rubio, a janitor at H-B Woodlawn who currently commutes from the Springfield area. [Vimeo]
House Fire in Alcova Heights — A small house fire broke out on the 3800 block of 6th Street S. in the Alcova Heights neighborhood around 7:00 this morning. The fire was extinguished and no one was hurt. [Twitter]
Fairfax County Approves Seven Corners Plan — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week approved a sweeping redevelopment plan for the Seven Corners area, near Arlington. The plan, which was fought by residents in nearby single family home neighborhoods, calls for several thousand new homes, a revamped street grid and new shops and restaurants. [Washington Post]
Final Update (noon) — According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Assaye has been apprehended in southeast D.C., during a traffic stop, without incident.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — Per a police broadcast, the vehicle referenced below has been found but Assaye remains at large. He has reportedly carjacked another vehicle, a dark gray Hyundai Elantra with the plate XTU-5024. It was last seen in the area of Little River Turnpike in Annandale.
Police say Assaye was at Inova Fairfax Hospital after an apparent suicide attempt. Early this morning he reportedly overpowered a private security guard, took his gun and escaped. A shot was fired during the struggle but no one was injured.
Police say Assaye, who’s 6’0″ and 170 lbs, stole a silver 2002 Toyota Camry with Virginia tags XZP-8513 and is still on the loose. He was wearing nothing but a hospital gown at the time of his escape. According to Reston Now, the hospital has been placed on lockdown.
On March 20, Assaye was apprehended at his father’s apartment at The Carlin retirement home in Buckingham. Police say Assaye may now be on the run with his girlfriend.
Assaye is suspected of robbing a dozen banks, making his escape from the robberies on a bicycle. Arlington County issued the following alert about Assaye’s escape this morning.
Early this morning a prisoner, being guarded by a security officer, managed to escape from Inova Fairfax Hospital. The suspect is Wossen Assaye, a male, 6′, 170 lbs who was last seen wearing a hospital gown. The suspect is armed and considered dangerous. Please use an abundance of caution and check with your local news for additional information and a photo of the suspect.
The department did not specify where exactly the checkpoint would be, but did say that Fairfax County would also be conducting its own checkpoint in conjunction.
From an ACPD press release:
On Friday, March 6, 2015 the Arlington County Police Department will conduct a joint sobriety checkpoint with assistance from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the Fairfax County Police Department across two jurisdictions. These enforcement efforts are in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National crackdown program on drunk driving that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.
Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers. Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication.
The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.
The Courthouse-based law firm of Bean Kinney & Korman has been rocked by a violent crime in McLean.
A married couple, Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl, are accused of stabbing a man and a woman in their McLean home, after knocking on their front door on Sunday. The victims, both 61 years old, suffered serious injuries, according to Fairfax County Police.
The law blog Above the Law reports that the victims were Bean Kinney managing partner Leo Fisher and his wife. Alecia Schmuhl (pictured) was a Bean Kinney attorney who was fired on Friday, a source told the site. Her profile on the firm’s website has since been taken down.
A representative of the firm has thus far not responded to a request for comment from ARLnow.com.
Update at 11/14/14 — The Washington Post has additional details about the crime, which was described as a “torture session” by a prosecutor.
Civ Fed Votes Against Tall Buildings — The Arlington County Civic Federation has voted to urge the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt stricter rules regarding skyscrapers around airports. Such a rule, intended as a safety measure in the event a plane suffers an engine failure on takeoff, could impose a moratorium on future tall buildings in Crystal City and Rosslyn. [InsideNova]
Walk and Bike to School Day — Arlington Public Schools participated in International Walk and Bike to School Day this morning. Students and parents across the county ditched their cars and made their way to school on foot. [Arlington Public Schools]
Man Steals Skinny Jeans from Mall — A 33-year-old D.C. man has been charged with stealing numerous pairs of skinny jeans from the Hollister store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. The alleged crime happened Tuesday afternoon. [NBC Washington]
Slow Start for Gay Marriage in Arlington — Only five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Arlington in the 24 hours following the Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Virginia and a number of other states. Among Virginia jurisdictions, Arlington grants the third-most marriage licenses per year. [InsideNova]
Fairfax Approves Streetcar Design Funds — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved its $4.2 million share of design and program costs for the Columbia Pike streetcar on Tuesday. The Board voted 7-2. Arlington County already approved its share of design funds. The Pike streetcar will run from Pentagon City to Bailey’s Crossroads in Fairfax County. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Today Is Terrible Traffic Tuesday — AAA Mid-Atlantic has again dubbed today Terrible Traffic Tuesday. With vacations over and kids back in school, rush hour trips are expected to increase in length by 26 percent today, on average. Washington, the auto club says, has the worst rush hour traffic in the nation. [AAA Mid-Atlantic]
Fairfax School May Be Model for Arlington — Fairfax County unveiled a new five-story urban-style elementary school, with tech-laden and light-filled classrooms. The school, in the Seven Corners area, may be a model for a future school in Arlington, which is struggling to find enough open space for new schools. [InsideNova]
Shuttleworth Wins Pie-Eating Contest — Bowen Shuttleworth, the son of former Congressional candidate Bruce Shuttleworth and an emerging track champ, emerged victorious in the pie-eating contest (photo, above) at the annual Arlington County Democratic Committee Labor Day chili cookoff on Monday. The cookoff itself was interrupted by thunderstorms.
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
Firefighters Battle Three-Alarm Blaze — Firefighters from Fairfax County and Arlington battled a three alarm fire at a senior living community Friday night. The facility, Lockwood House, is located on the 600 block of N. Madison Street, just across the Arlington border in Fairfax County. The building’s nearly 100 apartments were evacuated as the fire spread from an electrical transformer to a utility room containing a diesel generator and fuel tanks. [WUSA 9]
Three More Schools to Get FLES — Updated at 1:45 p.m. — Three additional schools will be getting Arlington Public Schools’ Foreign Language in Elementary School program, starting this fall. Tuckahoe, Nottingham and Oakridge will be getting the program, which provides Spanish language education to elementary students. The program also eliminates early release Wednesdays at schools that have it. Parents have been pushing Arlington elected officials to fund FLES at all elementary schools; the school system is planning to do so, but over a period of a couple years. [InsideNova]
Beyer Endorsed By WaPo — Former Va. lieutenant governor Don Beyer has been endorsed by the Washington Post in the Democratic primary to decide who will be the party’s nominee to succeed Rep. Jim Moran in Congress. “Mr. Beyer is, simply, an excellent candidate,” the Post’s editorial board opines. “He would make a first-rate addition to this region’s unusually effective congressional delegation.” [Washington Post]
Business Soaring for Arlington Bird Seed Store — Business continues to grow for the 23-year-old Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2437 N. Harrison Street). This winter’s frigid temperatures actually resulted in a sales boom, as birds sought food sources that weren’t iced over and bird-watching customers sought seed in order to attract those birds to their backyards. The store — No. 66 of the chain’s nearly 300 stores in North America — recorded $800,000 in sales last year and is hoping to crack the $1 million mark soon. [Washington Business Journal]
An armed robbery suspect is facing numerous criminal charges in Arlington after allegedly leading police on a high speed chase down Columbia Pike while a total of ten people, including six young children, were in his car.
The incident started just past 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Arlington police were notified of an armed robbery that took place near Kenmore Middle School, just over the border in Fairfax County. Two men robbed a pair of sisters at gunpoint in a parking lot on the 3100 block of S. Manchester Street in the Falls Church area, according to Fairfax County Police. The suspects allegedly robbed the 17- and 24-year-old of cash and possessions, then took off on foot.
Shortly thereafter, Fairfax officers located a suspect vehicle near Bailey’s Crossroads and tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver refused to stop, leading them on a chase, according to FCPD.
After a be-on-the-lookout broadcast, an Arlington officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle being chased eastbound on Columbia Pike and joined the pursuit, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. During the chase down the Pike the suspect drove at high rate of speed, ran red lights and swerved into the oncoming lanes to get around slower traffic, Sternbeck said.
The suspect crashed into a sedan at S. Glebe Road, then reversed into an unmarked Fairfax cruiser, before continuing to drive down the Pike, according to Arlington and Fairfax police.
The suspect eventually crossed the 14th Street Bridge into D.C., at which time Arlington called off its chase but the Fairfax units continued to pursue. The chase ended when the suspect’s car crashed into a barrier wall at C Street and Washington Avenue, according to FCPD.
Six children, all ages 6 and younger, were inside the suspect’s four-door Ford Focus during the chase, Arlington and Fairfax police said. The children were turned over to Child Protective Services in D.C. Four adults were inside the car at the time, police said.
The alleged driver, 25-year-old Marcus Woodland of D.C., is being held in the District pending extradition to Arlington. Woodland faces 11 charges in Arlington including 2 counts of attempted malicious wounding on law enforcement, felony eluding, felony hit and run, six counts of child endangerment, and reckless driving.
A second suspect, 31-year-old Christopher Woodland, also of D.C., is facing robbery charges in Fairfax County. Two other adults — 19-year-old Abena Okrah of Annandale and 25-year-old Beverly Starr of D.C. — are being charged with receiving stolen property. Fairfax County is seeking extradition of all four suspects.
Witnesses said a police helicopter was involved in the chase, but that couldn’t be immediately confirmed.
“Many police cars and a helicopter just went flying eastbound on Columbia pike @ Walter Reed dr,” @OwenHassig tweeted shortly after 10:30 p.m.
Fairfax County Police say they responded to the 2900 block of John Marshall Drive, in the Seven Corners area, around 6:15 a.m. for a report of a stabbing. There, they found a man dead and a woman injured inside an apartment.
Responding officers located the suspect nearby and took him into custody, according to a Fairfax County police spokesman. The suspect and the officer were hurt during the arrest. The officer, the suspect and the injured woman were all taken to a nearby hospital with what are only described as non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident is being investigated as a homicide.
The arrest of the suspect took place in or around Upton Hill Park in Arlington, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Update at 6:35 p.m. — Fairfax County Police have released the following press release about the crime.
Police are investigating an early morning homicide in the Falls Church area. Officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 2900 block of John Marshall Drive around 6:18 a.m. on Thursday, February 20, for a reported stabbing. They located an adult male deceased inside the apartment and an adult female with injuries. The suspect fled the apartment on foot prior to the officers’ arrival.
The police helicopter located the suspect hiding outside, near the apartment complex and led patrol officers to him. Both the suspect and one police officer were injured during the apprehension. The police officer, the suspect and the female victim were all transported to the hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries.
The deceased has been identified as Alvaro Zepeda, 44, of 2903 John Marshall Drive, in Falls Church.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
Streetcar Support Remains High in Fairfax County — The McLean edition of the Sun Gazette newspaper reports that Fairfax County officials are not nearly as divided over the Columbia Pike streetcar project as their Arlington counterparts. “While some Republicans on [the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] have expressed concerns, support among Fairfax officials remains high,” the paper reported. “And with good reason: Fairfax will be responsible for only about 20 percent of the local cost of the project, but plans to use the streetcar’s arrival to spur the redevelopment of Baileys Crossroads.” [Sun Gazette]
Dominion Reports Record Power Demand — Dominion Virginia Power met record demand for electricity during Tuesday’s frigid temperatures. Use of heaters during this week’s “polar vortex” helped push energy demand to 19,730 megawatts during the day on Tuesday. That’s well above the previous peak winter demand record of 18,079 megawatts, set in February 2007, but below the company’s summertime record of 20,061 megawatts, set in July 2011. [Dominion]
Malinosky Elected ACDC Chair — Kip Malinosky, a middle school civics teacher and well-respected Democratic organizer, was elected chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee last night. Malinosky, who succeeds outgoing chair Mike Lieberman, told the Democratic faithful that the local party will remain united despite contested primaries for County Board and School Board. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “When the caucus is over, we will rally behind our candidates.”
Bill Would Outlaw Sex Acts Among Minors — A new bill proposed in the Virginia General Assembly would make oral sex and other “consensual sodomy” legal for adults but illegal for minors. The bills was proposed several months after courts struck down Virginia’s “crimes against nature” law. [Think Progress]
Delegate Wants More I-66 Lanes Inside the Beltway — Del. Jim LeMunyon, a Republican representing part of Fairfax County, has introduced legislation requiring the state to plan a project that would “increase the lane capacity on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway to include at least two-non-high-occupancy vehicle lanes in each direction.” That idea, suggests reporter Michael Neibauer, will likely not sit well here in Arlington. “Arlington officials would probably chain themselves to highway signs before letting it happen,” he wrote. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A large water main break has been reported on Columbia Pike, just in time to cause significant issues with the evening commute.
The water main break was reported at Columbia Pike and Carlin Springs Road, on the Arlington/Fairfax county line. Fairfax County police are shutting down the Pike in both directions between Carlin Springs and Route 7.
Police have shut down the eastbound side of the Pike to pedestrian traffic, because workers are cautious to prevent the sidewalk from collapsing into a sinkhole, according to police on the scene. Fairfax Water workers are trying to turn off the water — which is still pouring out of the sewer grates in the closed-off section of Columbia Pike — before beginning repairs.
There are no estimates so far for the timeline of work to be completed, so drivers should avoid the area entirely on their commute, if possible. As of about 5:30 p.m., Carlin Springs Road was backed up all the way into the Buckingham neighborhood, and several other roads in the area were also suffering major backups.
Fairfax May Be ‘Big Winner’ From Streetcar — The Columbia Pike streetcar may be an economic boon to Fairfax County. Fairfax is planning to use its portion of the future streetcar system to lure office tenants to the Skyline and Baileys Crossroads areas. Already, promise of the streetcar might be helping to sway the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move to Skyline from Ballston. [Sun Gazette]
Office Absorption Down as Sequester Takes Hold — The D.C. region, particularly Northern Virginia, is shedding office tenants. The region typically “absorbs” about 900,000 square feet of office space per quarter, but posted a negative 100,000 square foot absorption figure between April and June. Tenant downsizing and federal job losses and budget cuts are being blamed for the poor absorption figures. [Globe St]
Brink Unopposed in Upcoming Election — Arlington’s Del. Bob Brink (D) is running unopposed for reelection in November, after the Libertarian candidate he was set to face dropped out of the race. Del. Patrick Hope, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Rob Krupicka, all Democrats, area facing a Libertarian, an Independent Green and and independent candidate, respectively. So far, no Republican challengers have been announced. [Sun Gazette]
Library Seeking LEGO Artists — Arlington Public Library is seeking LEGO builders ages 18 and under to help design and build LEGO structures for display at a library. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann