Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Brush Fire in Park Near Columbia Pike — “Firefighters were called to Alcova Park a little after noon today to put out this small fire. No word on cause, but it’s an early season reminder to fully extinguish smoking & BBQ’ing materials before safely discarding them in a metal container & leaving the area.” [Twitter]

‘Walk for the Animals’ Tickets on Sale — “On Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., AWLA invites you to Walk for the Animals and celebrate our 75th anniversary of improving the lives of animals in our community… $35 Early Bird registration until May 1 (includes Walk registration and t-shirt)” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]

Traffic Enforcement in Clarendon — Arlington County Police conducted “high-visibility pedestrian enforcement at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Washington Boulevard as part of regional @COGStreetSmart campaign” yesterday afternoon. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington Resident Wins Lottery — “An Arlington man is $100,000 richer after playing a Cash 5 game he purchased at a store in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood near Rosslyn recently.” [Patch]

Ebbin, Levine Endorse Parisa — State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) and Del. Mark Levine (D) have endorsed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Democratic candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. They join several other elected officials, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former County Board member Walter Tejada, in endorsing the challenger in the Democratic primary. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]

Stamos’ Recent Endorsements — Earlier this month Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos announced endorsements from Arlington’s firefighter union and county treasurer Carla de la Pava in her bid for reelection, in addition to a litany of endorsements from other elected and former elected officials. [Facebook, Facebook]

Nearby: Aldi Coming to Bailey’s Crossroads — An Aldi grocery store will reportedly be replacing the former Babies R Us store at 5700 Columbia Pike, while a nearby Safeway store is said to be closing. [Annandale Blog]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) It’s not clear how they got there, but thousands of blank Virginia Lottery tickets are currently littering 10th Street N. near Clarendon.

The lottery tickets — unplayed Pick 4 and Cash 5 tickets — are spread across a five-block span of 10th Street, from N. Barton Street to Washington Blvd. They’re in the street, on the sidewalks and piled atop the medians.

Thus far, as of 2 p.m., no one seems eager to pick up the tickets — traffic is driving by and people are walking past the ticket-strewn roadway as usual. An Arlington County Police spokeswoman said police are aware of the situation and county crews will be cleaning up the mess soon.

“At approximately 12:18 p.m. police were called to a traffic complaint for trash in the roadway at the intersection of 10th Street N. and N. Daniel Street,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, the trash was determined to be blank… lottery tickets. The Emergency Communications Center contacted the Virginia Lottery who advised the tickets were not sensitive. The Department of Environmental Services was contacted and will handle trash pickup.”

John Hagerty, a Virginia Lottery spokesman, stressed that the tickets are merely “play slips,” which have no value.

As best as lottery officials can tell, a nearby business deposited a box of the slips in a dumpster, he said. But once a truck came to empty the dumpster’s contents, the play slips flew everywhere.

The business has now notified the waste management company of the slip up, Hagerty added.

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An Arlington man got lucky and scored a $1 million prize from the Virginia Lottery’s New Year’s drawing.

Khalid Ahmed is one of three winners of the lottery’s top prize across the state, according to a press release.

He told lottery officials that “something nudged him” to buy a ticket, the release said. Ahmed discovered he won after checking the numbers on his phone a few hours after the drawing.

Ahmed bought the ticket from the Shell gas station at 4060 S. Four Mile Run Drive. The Douglas Park-area store will also receive $10,000 from the lottery system for selling the winning ticket.

People in Chantilly and Richmond bought the other two $1 million tickets. Five additional tickets won $100,000 each.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Lottery

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Morning Notes

Vida Fitness Coming to Rosslyn Development — “Vida Fitness has signed a lease for 27,000 square feet at The Highlands in Rosslyn… The Highlands is a 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use development from D.C.-based developer Penzance. The project’s groundbreaking [was Wednesday] and the first phase is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2021.” [Commercial Observer, Twitter]

Naked Man at Va. Square Metro Station — A naked man walked into the Virginia Square Metro station during yesterday evening’s rush hour. Police quickly responded, took the man into custody and requested medics to the scene to evaluate him for a possible drug overdose. [Twitter]

Survey: Road Improvements Wanted — “The public has an improving view of the Arlington government’s commitment to care of local roads, but there continues to be significant room for improvement, according to an updated customer-satisfaction survey. Only 55 percent of residents surveyed believe county roads are in satisfactory condition, while 23 percent are unsatisfied with the local government’s efforts and 23 percent are on the fence.” [InsideNova]

Stabbing on Patrick Henry Drive — A person was stabbed along the 3000 block of Patrick Henry Drive near the Arlington border last night. The victim’s injuries were reported to be life threatening, according to Fairfax County Police, which used its helicopter in an attempt to find the suspect. [WJLA, Twitter]

No Lottery Jackpot, But… — A $10,000 Mega Millions lottery ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven store in South Arlington. A single ticket in South Carolina matched all the numbers for the $1.6 billion jackpot in Tuesday’s drawing. [InsideNova]

Nearby: McLean Islamic Center Vs. Zoning Restrictions — The McLean Islamic Center is challenging county-imposed restrictions on worship and parking, which limit attendance “to mitigate the MIC’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood.” [Tysons Reporter] 

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

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A local nonprofit is looking for qualified buyers for two affordable housing units, and will hold a lottery this Friday to find new owners.

The two homes are in the new Carver Place community, at 1316 S. Rolfe Street in the Arlington View neighborhood. The affordable condo units were built as part of an agreement between developer Craftmark and Arlington County.

Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier, Inc., is sponsoring the lottery. AHOME helps first-time buyers with education and counseling in Arlington and the surrounding communities.

The lottery is only open to a family of four or five that earns no more than 60 percent of area median income. For four people, that would be a total household income of $65,520; it’s $70,800 for five people.

The homes both have a purchase price of $282,800, and each have three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

Eligible applicants must also have a minimum credit score of 660; have a minimum cash down payment of $9,900, which is 3.5 percent of the homes’ purchase price; afford the monthly Homeowner Association fee of $272; fill out the homebuyer assessment form; and complete a Virginia Housing Development Authority homebuyer education class.

AHOME executive director Karen Serfis noted in an email that this is the first time in more than five years that the organization has had three-bedroom condos available for purchase.

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Morning Notes

Ballston (photo courtesy Noah Kaufman)

NAACP Wants War Memorial Plaque Changed — The Arlington chapter of the NAACP wants a plaque on the war memorial in Clarendon updated. The plaque lists Arlingtonians killed in World War I, but separates two “colored” military members from the rest of the local war dead. The NAACP says it would like to get the plaque removed and replaced. “We owe it to those who fought and died,” said local NAACP president Karen Nightengale. [InsideNova]

Two Restaurant Chains Coming to Arlington — Two regional franchise operators have signed agreements that will bring two expanding restaurant chains to Arlington. A former Domino’s Pizza franchisee is planning to open an Arlington location of Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza, in addition to locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia. Meanwhile a Five Guys franchisee says it will be opening 10 Newk’s Eatery locations in Arlington and Fairfax counties. The Mississippi-based soup, salad, sandwich and pizza chain is big in the Southeast U.S., with more than 100 locations in 13 states and an aggressive expansion plan. [WTOP, Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Hotels Hacked — Two Arlington hotels have reportedly had their payment systems compromised by hackers. HEI Hotels and Resorts says malware was found on its systems at 20 hotels, including the Le Meridien in Rosslyn and the Sheraton Pentagon City on Columbia Pike. The hack potentially exposed the credit card information of hotel guests and customers. [Associated Press]

Pokemon Go at the Pentagon — Department of Defense officials have put the kibosh on DoD employees playing Pokemon Go on government phones, citing concerns about the game tracking the movement of its employees. The DoD has also reportedly told Pentagon employees to only play the game outside of the building. A Pokemon “gym” inside the Pentagon has been removed. [The Guardian, Twitter]

Bethesda Man Bought $1 Million Lottery Ticket in Arlington — The $1 million-winning Powerball ticket that was sold at a Ballston 7-Eleven store last month was sold to a Bethesda resident. Larry Elpiner says he plans to “share his winnings with family and friends,” in addition to paying for his daughter’s college education. [WUSA 9]

Photo courtesy Noah Kaufman

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Powerball logoSomeone in Arlington — or someone who shops in Arlington, at least — is $1 million richer as of Wednesday night.

A Powerball ticket sold at the Ballston 7-Eleven store at 4223 Fairfax Drive matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball, in Wednesday’s drawing.

“The million-dollar ticket is the only one in Virginia to win Powerball’s second prize in [Wednesday] night’s drawing, and one of just four nationwide,” the Virginia lottery said in a press release. “The odds of matching the first five numbers are 1 in 11,688,054.”

“This is the ninth million-dollar winning Powerball ticket bought in Virginia so far in 2016,” the lottery said. “It comes just five days after a Mega Millions ticket bought in Prince William County won a $7.5 million Mega Millions jackpot.”

“Winners in Virginia have 180 days from the drawing date to claim the prize,” the press release continues. “The Virginia Lottery advises that before doing anything else, the winner should immediately sign the back of the ticket to establish ownership. When the person is ready to claim the million-dollar prize, he or she should contact the Virginia Lottery.”

The store that sold the winning million-dollar ticket will receive a $10,000 bonus from the lottery.

There was no jackpot winner in Wednesday’s drawing. Saturday’s Powerball jackpot is now estimated as $478 million.

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John Johns (photo courtesy Virginia Lottery)An Arlington man has hit the jackpot — and it’s all because he went to get coffee while his car was in the shop.

John Johns purchased a few scratch-off Virginia Lottery tickets while grabbing a cup of coffee at a 7-Eleven in Alexandria. As he scratched them off, he couldn’t believe his eyes when one of them was a $2.5 million winner for the top prize in the Cash Winfall game.

Johns took the cash option over the annuity and will get a check for $1.35 million before taxes. He’s considering buying a new vacation home with his winnings.

From a Virginia Lottery press release:

No one enjoys waiting for a car to be repaired – unless you happen to win the lottery while waiting!

That’s what happened to John Johns of Arlington. While his car was in the shop, he walked over to the 7-Eleven at 7330 Richmond Highway in Alexandria for a cup of coffee. He also played a few Virginia Lottery Scratcher games while he was there. That’s when he won the top prize in the $2,500,000 Cash Winfall game.

“I had to look two or three times to make sure,” he said. “I just put the ticket in my pocket and left the store.”

On March 3, he returned to the store to receive his check from the Virginia Lottery. He had a choice of taking the full $2.5 million in annual payments over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $1,351,351 before taxes. He chose the cash option.

He’s not the only winner. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

“It feels good,” Mr. Johns said. “It’s still sinking in.”

$2,500,000 Cash Winfall is one of dozens of games available from the Virginia Lottery. As the name indicates, it features prizes ranging from $20 up to $2.5 million. This is the first top prize claimed, which means two more have yet to be claimed. The chances of winning the top prize are 1 in 1,305,600. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 2.65.

Mr. Johns said he has no immediate plans for his winnings, although he said there may be a vacation in his future.

The Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.4 million per day for public schools in the Commonwealth.

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Morning Notes

Blue Angels over the Air Force Memorial on Sunday

W-L Student Dies — The Washington-Lee High School community is mourning the death of Juliana Clarkson, 14, who died on Friday after a battle with leukemia. Fellow W-L students and crew teammates have filled the N. Stafford Street bridge with chalk tributes to Clarkson. [Legacy, Vimeo, Team in Training]

Man Wins Lottery, Decks Out Rosslyn Condo — Brian McCarthy, 29, won $68.4 million in the Virginia Mega Millions lottery four years ago, and has spent part of his winnings turning his Rosslyn condo into the ultimate bachelor pad. Among the accoutrements are a custom LED chandelier in his 20-foot-tall living room, a 300 gallon fish tank that simulates ocean waves, a TV in his bathroom mirror and a private roof deck with a grill and a glare-free outdoor TV. [Washingtonian]

What’s Next for Arlington’s Millennials — As the oldest of the millennial generation start having kids and raising families, many may end up moving out of Arlington to locales with lower housing costs. Arlington, however, is studying the reasons why people move out and is contemplating new housing options to help others to stay. [Washington Post]

Finalists for Elementary School Site — A working group has narrowed down the list of potential sites to build a new elementary school in South Arlington to 11 options. Those options include existing school campuses, parks, community centers and two privately-owned sites. [InsideNova]

Bar Owner Makes Brief ‘Bachelor’ Appearance — Chris Bukowski, co-owner of the Bracket Room sports bar in Clarendon, made a brief and ignominious appearance on ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise” last night. Bukowski, who has appeared on four other seasons of The Bachelor and its spin-off shows, proceeded to get drunk after arriving in paradise, failed to find a suitable date, and then walked off the set, dejected. [People]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

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Morning Notes

Backyard deer near Stroman's Branch (Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok)

Impede Apartments, Get a Self Storage Place — In an editorial, Falls Church’s newspaper of record is warning of “The Lesson of Cube Smart.” The lesson: when Arlington County put up roadblocks to the development of the proposed Shreve Apartments in East Falls Church, developer Mark Silverwood eventually lost patience and figured out that building a “by right” self-storage place would be easier and more lucrative. Separately, Silverwood also proposed an apartment building in Bluemont that was rejected by the community, canceling a proposed revamp of the neighborhood’s Safeway supermarket. [Falls Church News-Press]

More Orange Line Delays — There were morning rush hour delays once again on Metro’s Orange and Silver lines today. A train malfunction at the Virginia Square station prompted single tracking past the station and, once that was cleared, residual delays. [Twitter]

Arlington Man Wins $100,000 — Arlington resident Robert Thomas won $100,000 in a Virginia Lottery Cash 5 drawing last week. Thomas purchased the winning ticket at the Chanda Market at 5550 Columbia Pike. [WJLA]

APS SOL Score Rise — Arlington Public Schools is touting “impressive results” on its students’ 2015 Virginia Standards of Learning tests. Among those achieving significant test score gains were Limited English Proficient and minority students. [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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Morning Notes

Power lines in Ballston

Man Pleads to Arlington Hospital Rape — A former Virginia Hospital Center employee has pleaded guilty to the rape of a 37-year-old woman at the hospital. The victim was at the hospital to receive a CT scan after falling and hitting her head while drunk. The rapist, 30-year-old Roy Anthony Jones, will be sentenced in October and could spend up to 18 years in prison. [Washington Post]

Construction Permits Filed for Office Tower — JBG Cos. has already filed for construction permits for the new CEB Tower office building in Rosslyn. The 31-story tower is part of JBG’s Central Place project, which also includes a residential tower which is currently under construction. [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Powerball Winner Claims Prize — Arlington resident Tim Dudgeon has come forward as the winner of a $1 million Powerball prize. Dudgeon bought the ticket at Mia’s Market and Deli at 1607 S. Glebe Road. The store received a $10,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the ticket. [WJLA]

Vihstadt Pushes for Greater Contract Oversight — After a $7 million streetcar contract was able to bypass a County Board approval process on a technicality, Board member John Vihstadt wants to require all capital improvement contracts valued at $1 million or above to receive Board approval. County Manager Barbara Donnellan is evaluating the proposal. [InsideNova]

Arlington Celebrates Public Art Milestone — Arlington County is celebrating “30 years of Public Art placemaking in our community.” The multi-month celebration will kick off Aug. 1 on Dark Star Park Day, held at 1655 Fort Myer Drive in Rosslyn. [Arlington County]

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