Press Club

Morning Notes

An airplane on approach to Reagan National Airport at twilight near Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Firefighters Rescue Cat from Tree — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “We are so grateful for @ArlingtonVaFD! Yesterday, Charlie the cat snuck out of his house and got spooked, climbing 2.5 stories up a nearby tree on a very stormy day. ACFD came to the rescue and brought Charlie back down to the ground and to safety.” [Twitter]

Suspicious Package at Pentagon Metro — From Pentagon police: “At 9:46am, @PFPAOfficial was alerted to a suspicious package at the Pentagon Metro Visitors Screening Center. Explosive Ordnance Detection Unit is… investigating. Bus and rail service is bypassing the Pentagon. Personnel are asked to please avoid the area. […] At 1251 @PFPAOfficial gave the all clear. Bus and rail service have resumed. The incident is currently under investigation.” [Twitter]

New Apartment Building Proposed in Crystal City — “Add another new mixed-used building to the growing National Landing pipeline. An affiliate of Dweck Properties filed plans this week with Arlington county for two new buildings that would become a part of the Crystal Towers development at 1600 South Eads Street.” [UrbanTurf]

Boeing Bringing Few Jobs — “Paul Lewis, a Boeing spokesman, said the company employs 400 people in the Washington area and has space to add more, but ‘there are no immediate plans to expand the facility here in Arlington.’ The company also won’t reduce its roughly 400 employees at Boeing’s outgoing headquarters in Chicago. Nonetheless, Lewis said in an email the move to Virginia was important for the company: ‘It’s significant in that this will be the base of operations for the CEO and CFO.'” [Washington Post]

More Local Reaction to Boeing HQ — “From the Greater Washington Board of Trade: “Congrats to @NationalLanding
. Our region provides such a compelling strategic advantage to businesses that want to relocate here because of its’ proximity to the government, business, non-profits and academia. It’s a win for everyone in our region!” [Twitter, LinkedIn]

Local Cemetery Getting Historic Marker — “It became a county historic landmark last year, and soon the Mount Salvation Baptist Church cemetery will have a marker denoting its status… The cemetery, located adjacent to the church in the historically African-American North Arlington community of Halls Hill/High View Park, is the final resting spot of at least 89 people. Burials at the cemetery were recorded from 1916 (although some likely occurred a decade or two earlier) to 1974.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: West Glebe Road Bridge Closed to Cars — “The West Glebe Road bridge over Four Mile Run will be completely closed to vehicles [on Monday, May 9], and will remain closed for nearly a year.” [ARLnow]

It’s Monday — Mostly sunny, with a northeast wind around 11 mph and gusts as high as 18 mph. High of 64 and low of 44. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:10 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Construction continues at Ft. Myer Drive and Langston Blvd in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

School Bus Driver Shortage — From an Arlington Public Schools email to families: “Due to a shortage of bus drivers, APS will not be able to operate late buses this afternoon, Fri, April 22, or Mon, April 25. Transportation will not be provided for any scheduled late activities at schools today or Monday. Any scheduled athletic events with approved transportation prior to this announcement will take place as scheduled. APS will resume late bus service on Tue, April 26. We apologize for the inconvenience.” [Twitter]

Water Rescue Call Near Chain Bridge — “Water Rescue – #DCsBravest responded for the report of a person in the water in the vicinity of Chain Bridge Road NW. Upon arrival, adult male already safely removed to shore on VA side and is being transported by @dcfireems
with non-serious/non-life threatening injuries.” [Twitter]

Amazon Hiring ‘Banista’ — “Among the ‘Banista job functions? ‘Learn FAQ’s and banana facts to share with visitors.'” [Twitter, Arlington Employment Center]

PD, FD Help Make Birthday Special — From the Arlington County Police Department: “Happy Birthday, Sarah Elizabeth! Corporal Smithgall first met Sarah Elizabeth while working as a School Resource Officer and has maintained a relationship with her and her family ever since. When he heard she was celebrating a birthday, he enlisted the help of his patrol squad members and Arlington County Fire Department to make it special with a birthday parade, cake and balloons!” [Facebook, Twitter]

Homelessness Org Needs Bedding — “We have moved clients into permanent housing; please help us make it feel like a HOME. We need six bedding bundles.” [Twitter]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 54. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 7:56 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Two cats were rescued by firefighters after a smoky fire inside a local apartment building.

The fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the Ballston Park apartment complex in Ashton Heights.

“On April 10th at around 4:15 p.m. units from the Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 3900 block of 5th Street N.,” ACFD spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow. “Units quickly arrived on scene and found smoke [coming] from the second floor of a two-story apartment building.”

“The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to the apartment of origin,” said Hiner. “Two pets were rescued from an adjacent apartment, and the fire remains under investigation.”

The pets that were rescued were cats, according to scanner traffic. The fire broke out on a busy day for ACFD that included a large response to a car fire behind a restaurant in Courthouse.

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Several people are injured and one is reported to be trapped in their vehicle after a two-car crash in Ballston.

The crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road, N. Quincy Street and N. Henderson Road. An SUV flipped on its side and a car was badly damaged as a result of the crash.

Initial reports suggest that four people are hurt, including three who are likely to be transported via ambulance to the hospital. The nature of the injuries is not currently known, though there is no indication so far that any are life-threatening.

The person who was trapped has since been extricated by firefighters.

Glebe Road is closed in both direction at the crash site, which includes a large amount of debris scattered across the roadway.

The crash happened one block away from another crash that left an SUV on its roof Friday afternoon. It also comes less than 12 hours after a serious two-vehicle crash that closed Columbia Pike in front of Penrose Square last night.

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Response to car fire in Courthouse on Sunday afternoon (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

A car fire behind a row of restaurants in Courthouse prompted evacuations and road closures, but was quickly extinguished.

The fire broke out behind TNR Cafe, on the 2000 block of Wilson Blvd, around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The carbeque sent smoke into the air and into nearby buildings — and reportedly prompted the evacuation of Ireland’s Four Courts.

Arlington County firefighters made quick work of the blaze, however, allowing the mid-afternoon bar-going crowds to continue their revelry and traffic to continue flowing on Wilson Blvd.

No injuries were reported.

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Ukrainian flag hanging from overpasses along eastbound I-66 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington County is donating thousands upon thousands of items to Ukraine relief efforts.

The county is holding a media availability tomorrow (Thursday) morning to discuss the donations, which are primarily from Arlington’s public safety agencies, including the fire, police and emergency management departments, as well as the Sheriff’s Office.

“For this initiative, Arlington is coordinating with United Help Ukraine, a grassroots, entirely volunteer-based organization that will handle the shipping of the donated goods, including 200,000 disposable gowns, 9,000 Particulate Respirator N95s, 19,000 latex gloves, more than 100 ballistic vests, 150 sets of firefighting gear and breathing apparatus, and two pallets of firefighting hand tools,” the county noted in a press release.

Among those expected to speak at tomorrow’s press conference are County Board Chair Katie Cristol, fire chief David Povlitz, and emergency management director Aaron Miller.

Up until this point, Arlington County’s actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were mostly of the symbolic variety, including passing a resolution condemning the attack on Arlington’s Ukrainian sister city of Ivano-Frankivsk and illuminating the Ballston pedestrian bridge in the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Neighboring Falls Church and Fairfax County also recently announced donations of law enforcement ballistic vests to Ukraine.

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(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Fire damaged a house in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood, a few blocks from Westover Village.

The fire broke out shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, reportedly in an outdoor deck area next to the house, which sent a column of dark smoke into the sky. The fire then spread to the home and the attic.

A large fire department response blocked streets around the home, near the intersection of 18th Street N. and N. Lexington Street. It took nearly an hour to extinguish all of the flames and hot spots. Firefighters remained on scene several hours after the initial dispatch, documenting the scene and investigating the cause of the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

On Monday afternoon, the Arlington County Fire Department revealed that the blaze started after the smoldering contents of a metal fire pit were dumped near a wooden fence. The fire caused more than $300,000 in damage, ACFD said in a press release, below.

On April 2nd, at approximately 2:55 pm, units from the Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported outside fire impinging on a nearby single-family dwelling. Crews quickly arrived on the scene and found a well-advanced fire that had spread from outside, into the home. Firefighters were able to extinguish the bulk of the fire quickly and spent a significant portion of the incident opening up void spaces to check for any potential fire spread. There were no injuries reported to firefighters or civilians, and units cleared the scene that evening just before 7 pm.

The Arlington County Fire Prevention Office determined the cause of the fire to be improperly discarded fire debris from a metal fire pit placed near landscaping and a wooden fence. Initial damage estimates are more than $300,000. The Arlington County Fire Department and Fire Prevention Office would like to remind everyone that open flames or discarded fire debris should be kept at least 15 feet away from combustible material until fully cooled. For more information on grilling and open burning, please visit Grilling/Open Burning – Official Website of Arlington County Virginia Government (arlingtonva.us)

Video courtesy Stephanie Minkoff

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File photo

Firefighters rescued three dogs from a house fire in Arlington early this morning.

The fire broke out shortly before 1 a.m. at a home on N. Kensington Street, just north of Langston Blvd in the Leeway Overlee neighborhood.

The house filled with smoke after a fire in the dishwasher, according to scanner traffic. The residents made it out okay but told arriving first responders that their three dogs were still inside. Firefighters searched the house and were able to find each dog one-by-one, apparently in different parts of the house.

No people nor pets were hurt, the Arlington County Fire Department said this morning.

“Smoke alarms SAVE LIVES!” the fire department said on Twitter.

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Morning Notes

A military helicopter flies along the Potomac River and National Mall, as viewed from near the Netherlands Carillon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Wet, Windy, Snowy Saturday on Tap — “A powerful storm system will cross the region Saturday. We are likely to see winds gusting over 50 mph Saturday, along with very low wind chills by Saturday night. We remain uncertain about snowfall, as the cold air will be chasing the precip — a wide range remains possible.” [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

Firefighters Union Wins Vote — “For the first time in more than FOUR DECADES — a public sector union will have the right to negotiate a contract with Arlington County. And it wasn’t just a win — it was a BLOWOUT.” [Facebook, Twitter]

PSA: Don’t Leave Keys Inside a Parked Car — An auto theft near Upton Hill park: “At approximately 12:40 a.m., a witness observed three unknown suspects rummaging through a vehicle. The witness yelled and the suspects fled the scene on foot. The suspects then entered into the victim’s car, located the keys inside and drove away from the area. The vehicle is described as gray in color, 2015 Honda CRV bearing VA license plate VKX2844.” [ACPD]

Marymount Adding Wrestling Teams — “Marymount University is moving forward on plans to add both Men’s and  Women’s Wrestling as varsity sports, expanding the institution’s athletic offerings to 22 different varsity-level teams. Men’s competition will begin in the 2022-23 academic year, as Marymount currently searches for a head coach who will begin recruiting for the program immediately. Women’s competition will debut during the 2023-24 academic year.” [Marymount University]

How Arlington Landed HQ2 — “If you’re interested in how Amazon could reshape our region, it’s worth understanding what our region had to build to land them. It’s an underdog story that starts with a small team of local business-improvement officials who had neither the clout nor the cash of most of their competitors. Instead, they figured out what Amazon was really looking for and quietly began the process of shaping a city to fit those needs.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

An Irish Tale on a Local Stage — “Tis the time of the year that everyone wants to be Irish, if only for a wee while, and Encore Stage & Studio has joined the celebration of all things Eire with the world-premiere production of ‘Riley O’Brien and the Lost Leprechaun.’ While aimed at the younger set, the show is inventive in its conception and solid in its execution, making it a treat for all ages.” [Sun Gazette]

Fairfax County Local News — ARLnow’s latest sister site, FFXnow, is providing up-to-the-minute coverage of Fairfax County following its recent official launch. Sign up for the email newsletter or follow on Facebook or Twitter. [FFXnow]

It’s Friday — Sunny most of the day, then rain overnight. High of 59 and low of 37. Sunrise at 6:27 am and sunset at 6:13 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) A man suffered critical injuries after falling from the Pentagon City mall parking garage Monday afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. at the large parking garage on the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. 911 callers reported that the man fell about 50 feet to the concrete below.

“Crews arrived on scene and found an adult male suffering from life threatening injuries,” Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner told ARLnow Monday evening. “That individual was transported to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition. The details surrounding events prior to the injury are being investigated by ACPD.”

Police remained on scene for several hours investigating what happened.

On Tuesday, the Arlington County Police Department revealed in its daily crime report that the man was a shoplifting suspect who was allegedly fleeing from a security guard and attempting to jump over a railing when he fell.

From ACPD:

LARCENY (Significant), 2022-03070149, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 4:02 p.m. on March 7, police were dispatched to assist the Fire Department with an injury from a fall in the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. The investigation determined the suspect had entered a business, allegedly concealed merchandise under his coat and left without paying when an employee approached and offered assistance. A security guard entered the area and began to follow the suspect who then ran to the parking garage and attempted to jump over a railing before falling to the ground. Medics transported the suspect to an area hospital with serious injuries. A summons for petit larceny was obtained for the suspect.

Overturned vehicle and police activity on the Spout Run entrance from the GW Parkway (Photo courtesy @airwolf782)

A vehicle possibly involved in a robbery in Georgetown has overturned on the GW Parkway.

The wreck happened around 3:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Parkway, near Spout Run, leaving the vehicle on its roof.

Two occupants are out and said to be in police custody. An Arlington police K-9 unit was dispatched to the scene, initially to search for a person still believed to be on the run, though it’s unclear whether that is still the case.

Firefighters and medics, as well as police from several jurisdictions, are now on scene.

Public safety watcher Alan Henney reports that the people in custody are suspects in a robbery of an optical store in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. There have been a number of such robberies across the region in recent months, including at least two in Arlington.

The exit from the northbound GW Parkway to the Spout Run is currently closed as a result of the emergency activity.

Photo courtesy @airwolf782

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