Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Developer May Give Parking Lot to County — “Arlington County planners and the owner of the Crystal House apartments have struck a deal to turn one of the four proposed buildings in its 798-unit expansion over to the county for affordable housing and public parking. It’s a change that has brought some hope to owners and operators along Crystal City’s restaurant row of 23rd Street, who, for the last few weeks, have criticized [the development] because it could have reduced access to parking spaces.” [Washington Business Journal]

Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving — “While Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed on Thursday and Friday, we want to remind you of all the great ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving week in Arlington. Whether you’re traveling or staying locally, these tips will help ensure you have an enjoyable — and safe — Thanksgiving holiday.” [Arlington County]

Dozen Arrested at DCA Protest — “On one of the busiest travel days of the year, American Airlines catering workers held sit-in protests at Reagan National Airport demanding higher pay and better access to healthcare. According to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), 12 individuals were arrested and released on summons… the issue occurred when protesters entered the street and blocked traffic outside the B/C terminal.” [WUSA 9]

TSA Confiscates Loaded Gun at DCAUpdated at 8:20 a.m. — “A Fredericksburg, Virginia, resident was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a 9 mm handgun loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, in the man’s carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on Monday, November 25.” [Transportation Security Administration]

Local Lawmakers Become Committee Chairs — “Two of the three state senators in Arlington’s legislative delegation will chair committees in the 2020 session, which opens Jan. 8. State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) has been tapped to chair the Senate Committee on Finance, while Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) will chair the Committee on Rehabilitation & Social Services.” [InsideNova]

Impact of a Casino in N. Va. — “With Virginia’s General Assembly expected to debate casinos and gambling in the upcoming legislative session, its research agency issued a report Monday examining fiscal impacts on the state — including what a casino in Northern Virginia might mean. According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study, a Northern Virginia casino would produce $595 million in gaming revenue annually.” [Washington Business Journal]

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A victim was robbed at gunpoint by a masked man, in the middle of the afternoon, outside of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall on Wednesday.

Police responded to the mall’s parking garage around 2:30 p.m. for a report of an armed robbery. By the time they arrived, the suspect — who was armed with a gun — had fled the scene with several stolen “items of value,” according to Arlington County Police.

Police are still investigating. So far, no arrests have been reported.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2019-11060163, 800 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 2:36 p.m. on November 6, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. The investigation determined that the suspect approached the victim at gunpoint and stole items of value. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male wearing a black jacket and a ski mask. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Scooters May Be Allowed on Arlington Sidewalks — “The Board voted unanimously to advertise a public hearing at the Nov. 16, 2019 County Board Meeting to consider proposed regulations of shared mobility devices. The proposed revisions include allowing the [scooters] to be used on County streets, sidewalks and multi-use trails and putting in place a permit fee structure for private companies offering the devices. During the pilot program, the devices have been prohibited on County sidewalks.” [Arlington County]

Clarendon Cafe Rebrands as ‘Three Whistles’ — “CoworkCafe founder Ramzy Azar rebranded the space this week. In addition to a new name, Three Whistles (2719 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia) has a new look and a new menu. Azar expects to roll out a menu full of Mediterranean small plates in the next few weeks. He says sharable dishes help create the feeling of a gathering place.” [Eater]

Arlington Man Sentenced for Gun Smuggling — “An Arlington man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in the trafficking of firearms to his native country of Honduras. According to court documents, in October 2018, Chris Rodriguez, 57, attempted to smuggle a firearm and 247 rounds of ammunition out of the United States, concealed in a bucket of roofing tar destined for Honduras.” [U.S. DOJ]

‘Verizon Site’ Building OKed — “Crystal City’s Verizon site will be redeveloped with a 19-story apartment tower within walking distance of Metro that will include 12 affordable housing units… The [County] Board voted unanimously to approve the vacation of a portion of the right-of-way for Old South Eads Street, a rezoning and site plan amendment for the proposed redevelopment.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Avoids Donating to Arlington Pols — “Amazon.com Inc. just sent $23,000 in campaign contributions to a total of 26 Virginia lawmakers, resuming its political giving in the state for the first time in months as a crucial statehouse election draws near… it only sent checks to six lawmakers in Northern Virginia (and did not send money to a single politician representing Arlington).” [Washington Business Journal]

DMV Select Staff Fights Fraud  — “Three members of [the Commissioner of Revenue’s DMV Select office] staff (Isaac Kateregga, Ahmad Abdalla and supervisor Michelle Neves) recently were honored by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in Richmond. They were presented with ‘Fraud Busters’ awards for their work in disrupting efforts to commit misdeeds… [involving] title fraud.” [InsideNova]

Reminder: Arlington Restaurant Week Kicking Off — “Arlington Restaurant Week, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, will run from October 21-28. Diners can visit a number of Arlington restaurants offering special menu items at discounted prices.” [ARLnow, Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Water Main Break Near CourthouseUpdated at 8:10 a.m. — “Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crews working on a 3-inch main at 2000 N. Adams St. The area includes high-rise buildings and some 100 customers could be affected. Traffic is detoured around the work site.” [Twitter]

Gun, Drug Arrest at Pentagon City Metro — A man is facing a litany of gun and drug-related charges after being arrested by Metro Transit Police officers for alleged fare evasion at the Pentagon City station this past Thursday. [Twitter]

APS Hits Full Bus Driver Staffing — “The school year began with full staffing of drivers and bus attendants, who serve 18,000 eligible students over 154 routes, using 200 buses.” [InsideNova]

DCA Starbucks Closing Permanently — “Beginning on or about Monday, September 9, Starbucks on the Ticketing level of Terminal B/C will close to make way for construction of a steel-framed glass divider.” [Reagan National Airport]

New Permitting System Launches Today — “Arlington County is launching the first phase of Permit Arlington, a new online permitting system, on Sept. 9, 2019.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: Alexandria Metro Stations Reopening — “Alexandria Metrorail stations will reopen at 5 a.m. on September 9, with full service following Metro’s summer Platform Improvement Project. Metro closed all four Metrorail stations in Alexandria (as well as two in Fairfax County) for safety repairs on May 25.” [City of Alexandria]

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Yorktown High School was placed in “secure the building” mode this morning after someone reported a man with a weapon near the school.

A community member called authorities around 10 a.m. to report suspicious activity near the Yorktown campus, according to an Arlington Public Schools spokeswoman. ARLnow hears that it was a man walking with a dog while wearing a holstered gun.

Police investigated and the security precautions inside the school were subsequently lifted, according to a message sent to parents, below.

Today at approximately 10 AM Yorktown’s front office staff received a report from a community member who indicated that he had seen someone with a weapon in the vicinity of Yorktown. As a precaution, Yorktown staff implemented our plan to secure the school while the Arlington Police Department investigated the situation. “Secure the school” means that all exterior doors were locked, entry/exit was stopped and students were not allowed outdoors for PE. Instruction continued without interruption. After approximately 10 minutes, the police department advised us to return to a regular school day.

Our first priority is our students’ safety, and at no time was there a danger within Yorktown. We applaud our students and staff for their responsiveness.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Storms Expected Today — “Strong to locally severe thunderstorms are in the forecast Tuesday afternoon and evening, and the potential exists for this to be a significant severe weather event.” [Capital Weather Gang]

ACPD: Expect Police at Fair — “As in years past, the [Arlington County Fair] will have dedicated police staffing and resources and fairgoers can expect to see a visible police presence… There are no known threats to Arlington County, however, the public is encouraged to remain aware of your surroundings at all times.” [Arlington County]

Local Volunteer Firefighting Legacy — “Tucked inside the Clarendon fire station on N. 10th St. is a special closed-off room. By long-standing arrangement with the county, it is dedicated to honoring the station’s decades of reliance on volunteer firefighters. Today’s professionally staffed Fire Station 4 deploys ‘no active volunteers, but retains a volunteer presence.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Hotel Near HQ2 Sells For Big Bucks — “Host Hotels & Resorts sold the Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon City, a 299-room high-rise property at 550 Army Navy Drive, for $99.1M in a deal that closed July 1, according to Arlington County property records.” [Bisnow]

Deer Rescued from Fence — “Last week, Officer Solano and several neighbors were able to safely untangle this juvenile deer from a soccer net in a resident’s backyard. The deer immediately ran away, uninjured, back into the woods nearby.” [Twitter]

Man Brings Loaded Shotgun to Pentagon — “A Kentucky man taken into custody at the Pentagon last week had a shotgun, ammunition and a machete in his pickup truck, according to court documents… While speaking to the officers, [the man] made ‘incoherent statements about being in the area for ‘liberty business.”” [Fox 5]

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Morning Notes

What To Do If Your Car Flooded — “If your car was one of the many trapped by floodwaters on or below street level Monday, you should resist the urge to start it up once the waters recede… The best option, Townsend said, is to tow the vehicle to a reputable mechanic who can certify whether there is any damage to the many electronic components in modern cars and trucks.” [Washington Post]

ACPD Helps Out Flooded Family — “After learning about an Arlington family whose apartment flooded during today’s storm, the Outreach Team activated and donated toys to the children! The family is receiving additional assistance and will soon move into a new unit.” [Twitter]

TSA Stops Man With Loaded Gun at DCA — “An Arlington, Virginia, resident was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded handgun in the man’s carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on Sunday, July 7. It was the 11th gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport so far this year.” [Press Release]

Injury Investigation in Clarendon — On Monday morning, before the flooding, numerous police and fire department units responded to a condominium building at 1021 N. Garfield Street in Clarendon for a report of a man injured under suspicious circumstances. “The male was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No evidence of a crime was located during the investigation,” an Arlington County police spokeswoman told ARLnow. “Police continue to investigate how the subject sustained the injury.” [Twitter]

Arlington 11th Grader Wins at Chess Tourney — “Sam Schenck, an 11th-grader at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, defeated Langley High School 11th-grader Isaac Chiu in a dramatic last-round game to win the K-12 competition of the 2019 Arlington Scholastic Open chess competition, held June 8 at Yorktown High School.” [InsideNova]

Amazon Visits Gov. Northam — “Today we met with @GovernorVa for an update on the first phase of #HQ2 plans. We thank the Commonwealth for our continued partnership and for providing a business-friendly environment as we build the future together.” [Twitter]

Monday Readership Stats — On Monday, just over 71,000 people visited ARLnow, mostly to keep up to date about the flood emergency. That’s nearly a third of the population of Arlington. Thank you for reading and making us your go-to local news source, we’re proud to serve the community!

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) Someone fired a gunshot into the air early Saturday morning during a dispute in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The incident happened in the area of Tyrol Hill Park, on the 5100 block of 7th Road S., a few blocks north of the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2019-06010010, 5100 block of 7th Road S. At approximately 12:45 a.m. on June 1, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, it was determined that the reporting party was in the area when he heard the sound of a single gunshot and then observed numerous individuals running out of a park. Arriving officers canvased the area and located a vehicle matching the description provided in a lookout and initiated a traffic stop. It was later determined that the vehicle occupants were in the park when they observed a dispute between known individuals escalate and the suspect fired one shot into the sky, prompting them to flee in the vehicle. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

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A store in the Virginia Square area was robbed by a man with a gun early Wednesday morning.

Police say a masked man walked into a business on the 3500 block of Wilson Blvd, brandished a firearm and demanded cash from the register, before fleeing “with an undisclosed amount of cash.” The only business on that block that would have been open at the time was a 7-Eleven store.

Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect. More from Arlington County Police:

ROBBERY, 2019-05150009, 3500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:05 a.m. on May 15, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:56 a.m., an unknown suspect entered a business, approached an employee at the counter and brandished a firearm. He then went behind the counter and demanded the employee provide cash from the cash register. The suspect fled the business prior to police arrival with an undisclosed amount of cash. Arriving officers canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a black male, wearing a blue hoodie, black pants, wearing gray and white shoes and a black mask. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 9 a.m.) A vehicle stop led to some tense moments on a busy Clarendon street Monday afternoon.

Shortly after 2:15 p.m. police pulled over a vehicle that had been “allegedly involved in a felony assault with a deadly weapon in Washington, D.C.,” after an alert from an automated license plate reader.

“Officers located the vehicle at Clarendon Boulevard and Washington Boulevard and conducted a felony traffic stop,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Video of the incident sent to ARLnow shows an SUV pulled over near Circa restaurant on Clarendon Blvd and officers with guns drawn and pointed in the vehicle’s direction. Two people — a man driving the car and a female passenger — were ordered out of the vehicle. In the video the woman could be seen kneeling on the ground, with her hands in the air.

In the end, neither vehicle occupant was arrested and it’s unclear whether the alleged connection to the crime in D.C. was a case of mistaken identity or otherwise.

“Officers identified the occupants, determined they did not have any active warrants and documented the incident,” said Savage. “It would be part of the MPD investigation to determine if the occupants are involved in their ongoing investigation.”

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Morning Notes

Arlington Man Nabbed for Gun at DCA — “The number of firearms caught by Transportation Security Administration officers at checkpoints at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) have increased at an alarming rate this year as TSA officers caught the ninth gun of the year yesterday, April 7.” [TSA]

Trustify Co-Founder Lands Federal Appointment — Once high-flying Arlington startup Trustify, which has shut down amid a flurry of lawsuits and accusations of malfeasance, has generated another headline, this time for its co-founder’s new job. Jennifer Mellon was appointed confidential assistant to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee, prompting questions from one energy industry publication. [E&E News]

Fire at Pike Apartment Building — “Units on scene 5500 blk of Columbia Pike for fire in trash compactor in high rise residential building. Fire is out, extinguished by sprinkler system. No extension. No injuries reported.” [Twitter]

Phoenix Bikes Rises — “With a newish executive director and a new space to call home, Phoenix Bikes will have a lot to celebrate at its upcoming ‘Makers’ Ball’ later in the month.” [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy Noah Kaufman

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