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by ARLnow.com August 22, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

NBC4: County Agency Failed to Report Alleged Sex Abuse — “The I-Team found [Arlington County Child Protective Services] failed to notify state officials to revoke the license of a former Arlington Public Schools teacher whom they investigated for sexually abusing a former third grade student. The teacher was able to work as an assistant principal in the Prince George’s County Public Schools district for years because of the error.” [NBC Washington]

Jury Duty Process Starting Soon — The Arlington Circuit Court is starting its annual juror qualification process with questionnaires set to be mailed to randomly selected Arlington and Falls Church residents in early September. “These questionnaires are used to qualify residents for jury duty which begins January 1, 2018 and ends December 31, 2018,” according to a press release. [Arlington County]

Heat and Storms in Today’s Forecast — Expect sweltering temperatures today, with a heat index around 100, followed by the threat of potentially strong storms tonight, according to the National Weather Service. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Brooke Giles July 20, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Another scammer who claims to be serving an arrest warrant for a supposed jury duty mix-up is targeting Arlington residents.

A reader said a man claiming to be a Sgt. Jimmy Jackson with the Arlington County Police Department called her saying there was a warrant out for her arrest due to the mix-up. Police reported a similar scam earlier this year.

Unlike previous scams, the reader said the caller did not ask for money right away, but instead stated that they had to schedule an in-person affidavit. He said the money paid for reserving a time block would be refunded at a future court appearance.

Although the scammer name drops Arlington General District Court clerk Steven Robert Spurr and Chief Judge William T. Newman from Arlington Circuit Court, police said the badge number he cites — No. 3319 — is fake. County courts also always send any information for jury duty by mail or email.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said no badge number begins with the digits 33, and that police will never ask for money over the phone. Savage also encouraged any victims of fraud to report it at the county’s online reporting system.

by ARLnow.com October 3, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

September rose (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Man Struck By Car on Columbia Pike — A man suffered critical injuries after being struck by a car at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive early Friday morning. Rainy weather may have been a factor in the crash, police said. [WJLA]

APS Stop Arm Camera Program ResumesUpdated at 11:15 a.m. — Arlington Public Schools has restarted its School Bus Stop Arm Camera Program as of today, a school spokesman has confirmed. The program uses cameras to fine motorists who drive by school buses while the stop sign is extended. The program began last year but was suspended due to legal issues, which have since been resolved. [Arlington Public Schools]

Juror Questionnaires Now Overdue — If you received a jury duty questionnaire from Arlington County and have not yet returned it, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law. The questionnaires are now overdue; those who have still not sent them in can be summoned to court to complete the form in person. [Arlington County]

Local Church Hold ‘Blue Mass’ — The Catholic Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Paul Loverde held a “blue mass” Friday night to honor local police officers and to recognize fallen officers. A number of Arlington County Police officers were among those in attendance. [NBC Washington]

Domestic Violence Awareness Month — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Arlington. The Arlington County Police Department has partnered with local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families to place a purple ribbon on ACPD cruisers “in support of the efforts to reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence in our community.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com August 24, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Window washers in Ballston

W-L Student Aces ACT Exam — Washington-Lee High School rising senior Benjamin Brooks has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. Of the two million people who take the exam each year, only 1,600 achieve a top score. [InsideNova]

Speakeasy Moves to Alexandria — The Room 19 speakeasy that was formerly in the now-closed Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (which is now becoming Ambar) is relocating to Alexandria. Room 19 will have its soft opening in the Carlyle Club at 2050 Ballenger Ave tomorrow, a spokesman said. It will be open Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. [Facebook]

Juror Questionnaires Are Being Mailed — Residents of Arlington and Falls Church will be receiving questionnaires as part of Arlington’s annual juror qualification process. About 35,000 questionnaires are being mailed out. [Arlington County]

Live Podcast Taping Coming to Arlington — Local media personalities Sarah Fraser and Samy K will be hosting a live taping of their popular Hey Frase podcast at Clarendon Ballroom next month. Tickets to the show start at $25. [Eventbrite]

by ARLnow.com November 6, 2015 at 10:10 am 0

"Peacock" tree in Bailey's Branch Park (Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk)

Task Force Recommends TJ Site — Ten months after the Arlington County Board nixed a proposed new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, a working group appointed by the Board has concluded that the site is, in fact, the best one for a new school. The group also recommended that the School Board starts planning for a second new South Arlington elementary school, most likely in the Pentagon City area. [InsideNova]

Election Day Bar Crawl Was a Bust — Organizers of an election day bar crawl in Clarendon say they have learned “that people are not up for celebrating democracy on a Tuesday night of a work week.” Despite giving out 65-70 bracelets for the crawl, which was to encourage younger people to vote, one of the participating bars — Whitlow’s — didn’t see a single customer wearing the bracelets. [Washington Post]

‘Suburban North Arlington Is Going to Develop’ — The urbanist blog Greater Greater Washington says that development is inevitable for Lee Highway. The website is encouraging residents of the car-oriented corridor to participate in a county-led planning process for Lee Highway that’s currently underway, including a “visioning charrette” this weekend. [Greater Greater Washington]

Ray’s Maintains Steak Supremacy — Despite an influx of flashy new steakhouses in the District, Ray’s the Steaks in Courthouse still has the best-tasting steak around, and for a lot less than the newcomers, says food critic Todd Kliman. [Washingtonian]

W-L, Yorktown Rivalry Game Tonight — Yorktown will face Washington-Lee in a cross-county rivalry game with playoff implications. Both football squads could make the playoffs with a win tonight. A win also comes with the unofficial distinction of being this year’s Arlington County champion. [Washington Post]

M.J. Stewart Back at UNC Following Suspension — Former Yorktown standout M.J. Stewart is back leading the University of North Carolina’s secondary, after an off-campus altercation led to an assault and battery charge and a suspension from the team. [Daily Tarheel]

Tuckahoe 5K Road Closures — The annual Tuckahoe 5K race will take place Saturday. Arlington police will close portions of Williamsburg Blvd, Little Falls Road, 26th Street and Underwood Street between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. to accommodate the race. [Arlington County]

Dems Captured All But One Precinct — The two Democratic County Board members-elect nearly swept every voting precinct in the county during Tuesday’s election. Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey together captured all but one precinct in Arlington. In the Madison precinct of North Arlington, a “bastion of Republicanism in an otherwise true-blue community,” Republican-endorsed independent Michael McMenamin finished second to Christian Dorsey. [InsideNova]

Jury Duty Questionnaires Due — If you were among the seven percent of Arlington and Falls Church residents who received a juror qualification questionnaire in the mail last month, it’s likely past due by now. Recipients are required by law to return the form within 10 days of receiving it. [Arlington County]

Development Forum Next Week — Registration is closing at noon today for a forum on development in Arlington County. Speakers at the event, scheduled for Nov. 10, include Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins, Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick and Shooshan Company COO Kelly Shooshan. [CREW Northern Virginia]

Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk

by ARLnow.com October 1, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,240 0

Future Target store in Rosslyn

Another Jury Duty Scam — Scammers are once against targeting Arlington residents with phony phone calls about jury duty. At least 15 cases were reported in September of residents receiving calls from someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer and demanding a “good faith” payment over the phone for failing to appear for jury duty. The calls are fraudulent and police are investigating. [Arlington County]

Deaf Inmate’s Lawsuit Against Arlington — A deaf Ethiopian immigrant says the six weeks he spent in the Arlington County jail was torturous. Abreham Zemedagegehu has a limited ability to read or write English, and as a result missed meals and went without needed pain medication during his stay. A lawsuit against the county, filed pro bono by the law firm Akin Gump, says the jail should have had a sign language interpreter. [Washington Post]

Arlington Wages on the Rise — Wages for those who work in Arlington rose 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, higher than the national average of 2.1 percent. Arlington has the 10th highest wages among the largest 342 counties in the U.S. [InsideNova]

New Process Proposed for New Schools — The county’s Community Facilities Study Committee has made recommendations for a new “siting process” for new and expanded schools and county facilities. “The siting process is intended to improve upon current practices and function as a project management tool to make siting decisions efficiently, effectively and with ample community input,” according to a press release. [Arlington County, Arlington Public Schools]

Lots of Debates for County Board Candidates — The four Arlington County Board candidates are scheduled to participate in 14 debates in various parts of the county by the time election day rolls around in November. [Washington Post]

Va. State Police Cruisers Hacked — Computer security experts were able to hack into Virginia State Police vehicles, preventing the cars from starting or moving. The hacks were done as a security measure, as part of a state initiative to prevent future hacks of Virginia’s fleet of police cruisers and official vehicles. [Dark Reading]

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month — Today is Oct. 1, the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “The Arlington County Police Department has partnered with Doorways for Women and Families, our community advocate, to bring attention to this worthy cause,” according to a press release. During October, many ACPD vehicles will display a purple ribbon donated by Doorways. Last year, Arlington police were called to 2,086 incidents of domestic violence, resulting in 196 arrests. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com September 30, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,150 0

Wet leaves in early fall, in Fairlington

Major Traffic, Metro Woes — It was extremely slow going for commuters crossing the 14th Street Bridge this morning. Wet roads and a couple of crashes backed up traffic on I-395 and feeder routes for miles. Traffic issues were also reported on Columbia Pike, due to malfunctioning traffic signals at S. Queen Street. Meanwhile, a fire response at the L’Enfant Metro station and track issues on the Yellow Line bridge have resulted in speed restrictions and delays for Yellow Line riders. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

Waiting for Joaquin — Arlington County is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Joaquin, which some models are suggesting may have a big impact on the D.C. area. [Twitter]

Cristol Touts Endorsements — Following a snub by County Board member John Vihstadt, who endorsed her Democratic ticketmate Christian Dorsey and independent candidate Mike McMenamin, County Board candidate Katie Cristol is touting her own endorsements. “Twenty elected officials, comprising all of Arlington’s School Board, Constitutional Officers and Richmond delegation, and much of the County Board, today endorsed Katie Cristol’s campaign,” the campaign said in a press release Tuesday. [Katie Cristol]

Juror Qualification Process Begins — A random selection of Arlington and Falls Church residents are being mailed juror questionnaires, which will be used to qualify residents for jury duty in 2016. [Arlington County]

Attorney General Holds Arlington Newser — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a new training initiative for police at a news conference in Arlington yesterday. The training is intended to help officers de-escalate dangerous situations, thus preventing the need to excessive use of force, while also recognizing potential biases they may bring to the job. Arlington County already conducts similar training. [NBC Washington]

by Ethan Rothstein September 8, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,171 0

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)Arlington is sending out its annual questionnaires to randomly selected residents to find jurors for next year.

The questionnaires will be sent to about 11,000 residents of Arlington and Falls Church, which is also in the Arlington Circuit Court’s jurisdiction, this month, the county announced Friday. The pool of residents receiving questionnaires was selected from voter rolls provided by the state Board of Elections.

Those who receive the questionnaires have 10 days to fill them out and send them in, either via standard mail or online. The court wants to remind residents that the questionnaire is not a summons to appear, and, according to the press release, “please do not call the Clerk’s Office asking for an excuse from jury duty. Excuses or postponements to serve at another time during the year can be considered if you are actually summoned to serve as a juror.”

Jury terms are typically no longer than four days, Monday through Thursday, but the average trial is one to two days, the county said. Jurors receive $30 per day as reimbursement. The 2015 court year goes from the third week of January 2015 to January 2016.

Not responding to the juror questionnaire within 10 days is a violation of state law.

by ARLnow.com March 26, 2014 at 9:30 am 1,010 0

Arlington County police logoThe Arlington County Police Department is again warning of a phone scam involving scammers who impersonate law enforcement.

Police originally warned of the scam last month. It involves a caller claiming to be from the police department or Sheriff’s Office, demanding payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty. Police say the scammer threatens to arrest the victim unless they’re paid with Green Dot MoneyPak cards.

From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department, along with Sheriff’s Office, are reminding residents of phone scams occurring across Arlington that involve a transaction using a Green Dot MoneyPak.

Recently, victims have received phone calls from an individual(s) claiming to be a Lieutenant with the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office and accusing them of failing to appear for jury duty. The subject claims a warrant for their arrest would be issued unless fines are paid immediately through MoneyPak cards. Additional claims of these scam artists have included falsely representing the Arlington County Police Department’s Warrant Services Division and even name current judicial officials during the conversation.

The Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office continue to urge residents upon receiving a call of this nature, to immediately hang up with the caller and verify the claim by calling the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office at 703.228.4460. Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility. It is also important to note, that under no circumstance would an Arlington County Office require a financial payment via a MoneyPak card. This tactic only allows money to be transferred to an account without using identification.

After making a verification call, if you find that you were a victim of a scam or were a target, please file an online police report at http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/police/incident/new/start-report.html or call the non emergency police line at 703.558.2222.

The missed jury duty scam is just the latest approach these criminals are taking. Past scams have included individuals claiming to be from utility companies collecting for past due bills, tax collection agencies for unpaid taxes and lottery officials claiming residents have won money. You can assist law enforcement agencies by spreading the word about these scams so that neighbors and/or family members don’t become victims.

by ARLnow.com February 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm 2,007 0

Arlington County police logoThe Arlington County Police Department is warning of a phone scam that’s targeting Arlington residents.

According to police, residents are getting a call from someone fraudulently claiming to be from the Arlington Sheriff’s Office.

The caller then demands the resident pay a “fine” for supposedly not appearing for jury duty.

From an ACPD press release:

At least three incidents were reported yesterday, February 24, 2014, where Arlington residents received a phone call from an individual claiming to be a Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office. Each time, the victim is accused of failing to appear for jury duty and a warrant for their arrest will be issued unless a fine is paid immediately via a moneypak card. The amount of the fictitious fine has ranged from $150-$350.

If you receive a call of this nature, immediately hang up with the caller and verify the claim by calling the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office at 703.228.4460. Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility.

After making a verification call, if you find that you were a victim of a scam or were a target, please file an online police report athttp://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/police/incident/new/start-report.html or call the non emergency police line at 703.558.2222.

by ARLnow.com August 30, 2013 at 8:45 am 1,103 0

Westover Beer Market (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Yorktown Ranked #17 in Preseason — Yorktown High School’s football team is 17th in the Washington Post’s Top 20 preseason rankings. The team was undefeated in last year’s regular season, but was defeated in the regional championship. Meanwhile, Yorktown senior running back M.J. Stewart is the only Arlington player to make the 2013 All-Met preseason team.

Second Pike Farmers Market to Launch — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is planning a second farmers market, to be held on the grounds of the new Arlington Mill Community Center. The center is located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwidde Street, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. Organizers believe there are enough residents on the Pike to support two farmers markets. [Patch]

Clerk Prefers Online Juror Submissions — Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson wants those who receive jury duty questionnaires next month to fill the form out online. Ferguson says opting for the electronic form is safe and convenient and saves time. [Sun Gazette]

Moran: Inequalities Remain — The country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 93rd anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment this week, but Rep. Jim Moran cautions that the country has taken “troubling steps backward” in recent years. “Inequalities remain, and misguided efforts that will take us backwards continue,” he writes in his weekly editorial. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com August 28, 2013 at 10:45 am 1,218 0

Gavel (Flickr photo by Joe Gratz)The annual juror qualification process for Arlington and Falls Church will begin soon.

Questionnaires will be mailed out to about 10,000 randomly-selected residents in early September and must be completed and returned within 10 days. The responses will be used to qualify residents to serve as jurors on civil and criminal trials in Arlington Circuit Court next year.

“Recipients are selected from registered voter rolls provided by the State Board of Elections,” Arlington County said in a press release. “Jury Commissioners appointed by the Court review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for service according to criteria established by the General Assembly.”

Those who fail to return the questionnaire within 10 days could be summoned to the court to complete it in person.

There are 14 conditions that might exempt an individual from jury duty, including being a convicted felon, a full-time teacher, a primary caregiver to a child or a sworn public safety officer. The court will also consider deferral or an excuse from service if being a juror presents an severe hardship for an individual.

In Arlington, most trials last 1 or 2 days, though the normal term of juror service is 4 days — Monday through Thursday. Jurors receive $30 per day in compensation for their service.

Flickr photo by Joe Gratz

by Katie Pyzyk August 28, 2012 at 11:55 am 2,775 39 Comments

The annual process of qualifying residents for Arlington’s juror pool is about to begin.

Starting in early September, the Arlington Circuit Court, which includes the City of Falls Church, will mail out questionnaires to randomly selected residents. The questionnaires are used to qualify residents for jury duty during the 2013 court year, which runs from January 21, 2013 through January 2014.

Around 10,000 residents from Arlington and the City of Falls Church are selected from the registered voter lists provided by the State Board of Elections. Jury Commissioners review the responses on the questionnaires to determine a person’s eligibility to serve as a juror for civil and criminal trials in the Arlington Circuit Court.

Anyone who receives a questionnaire is asked to follow these steps:

  • Read the entire questionnaire carefully, front and back, for detailed instructions.
  • Using your Candidate ID number printed on the questionnaire, visit the secure juror website to complete and submit the questionnaire online (if using this option, do not mail in the form).
  • You may also mail the completed form as instructed in the questionnaire.
  • The questionnaire is not a summons to appear, so please do not call the Clerk’s Office asking for an excuse from jury duty. Excuses or postponements to serve at another time during the year can be considered if you are actually summoned to serve as a juror.

The form must be completed and returned within 10 days of receipt. Failure to respond to the questionnaire may result in being summoned to Court to complete the form in person.

The normal term of service for those who are picked for jury duty is one week, from Monday through Thursday. Trials generally average one to two days, and jurors receive a $30 expense reimbursement for each day they report for service.

More information about jury duty is available on the county’s website.

by ARLnow.com August 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm 4,773 35 Comments

It’s that time of the year again — time for the local jury qualification process in Arlington and Falls Church.

Questionnaires are being sent to about 10,000 randomly-selected registered voters, per state law, to determine whether they qualify for jury duty in 2012. Recipients are required to complete and return the questionnaires within 10 days of receipt — either via mail or online.

“Jury Commissioners appointed by the Court review the questionnaires to determine eligibility for service according to criteria established by the General Assembly,” the county said in a press release. If selected, a recipient will be asked to serve as a juror on a civil or a criminal trial next year.

“We are fortunate in Arlington and the City of Falls Church to have residents who are so willing to fulfill their commitment as a juror,” said Clerk of the Ciruit Court Paul Ferguson. “Our system of justice could not operate without this valuable public service. The Arlington Circuit Court greatly appreciates the service of everyone who reported last year, and we look forward to greeting new jurors in 2012.”

The average length of a trial in Arlington’s Circuit Court is 1 to 2 days, with the trial days stretching as long as 5:00 p.m. or later. Jurors receive $30 per day in compensation.

Certain individuals are exempt from jury duty, including non-U.S. citizens, convicted felons, residents who’s lived in the county less than 6 months, people with medical conditions, those over the age of 70, primary caregivers to a child or disabled relative, police officers, firefighters, jail employees, practicing attorneys, certain full-time teachers, those who have a hard time hearing or understanding, and people with pending cases before the court.

Jury service may be deferred/postponed if a potential juror has a previously-scheduled trip, is unemployed and seeking a job, is a full-time student or if the jury service would impose a severe financial hardship. Just don’t call with excuses after receiving the questionnaire, officials say.

“The questionnaire is not a summons to appear so please do not call the Clerk’s Office asking for an excuse from jury duty,” the county press release said. “Excuses or postponements to serve at another time during the year can be considered if you are actually summoned to serve as a juror.”

If you don’t return the questionnaire within 10 days, you’ll be summoned to court to complete it.

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