Arlington has paved the way to finally break ground on a new public gathering place for the Nauck community.
The Arlington County Board approved the purchase of a one-story property at 2400 Shirlington Road for $803,000 earlier this week.
The newly purchased property is the third and final plot of land needed to begin construction on the Nauck Town Square, which will “serve as a gathering place for the community, where events can be held and residents and visitors can learn about Nauck’s rich cultural heritage through planned public art by award-winning landscape architect and artist Walter Hood,” according to a county press release.
“It was the last piece of the puzzle that needed to be pulled together by County staff and the community to make the dream of a Nauck Town Square a reality,” Garvey said. “We can now move forward with this project, and hope to begin construction this summer.”
The recently purchased property is the site of a plumbing business owned by father and son Leslie J. Engelking Sr. and Leslie J. Engelking Jr. The sale was held up for years after it went to court and was further delayed due to the fact that Engelking Jr., who jointly owned the plumbing business, went missing, the Washington Business Journal reported.
Even stranger, Engelking Sr. was in 2015 charged with perjury related to the disappearance of the Lyons sisters, two girls who vanished from Wheaton Mall in Maryland more than 40 years ago. Engelking Sr. told the Business Journal he had “had nothing to do with it,” however.
An online fundraiser has been launched for a family that lost “nearly everything they owned” in a New Year’s Day house fire.
The fire, on the 2400 block of S. Nelson Street in Nauck, just about gutted the home the family was renting. It also killed their beloved puppy, Jessie, who was found under the bed of one of the family’s three daughters, according to an online fundraising page.
“Help is needed for them to find a new home and start over,” says the fundraising page. “Unfortunately they did not have renter’s insurance and are solely relying on help from others. Please donate to help this family get back on their feet.”
So far nearly $1,500 has been raised in the past 12 hours, which includes one anonymous $1,200 donation.
The incident happened around 2 a.m. in the Nauck neighborhood, on the 2600 block of Shirlington Road.
Police say that following a fight between two women, a man walked up and hit one of the women in the face with a glass bottle.
The victim was transported to the hospital and the suspect remains at large.
From this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2016-12250025, 2600 block of Shirlington Road. At approximately 2:04 a.m. on December 25, a physical altercation ensued between two female subjects. Following the altercation, a known male subject approached one of the females involved in the earlier altercation and hit her in the face with a glass bottle. The victim was transported to Alexandria Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-twenties, approximately 5’11” tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a black t-shirt, black jacket, black boots, and blue jeans at the time of the incident.
The rest of the crime report is below, including an update on the investigation into the death in a steakhouse bathroom.
SIGNIFICANT MEDICAL DOA, 2016-12260080, 2200 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 2:03 p.m. on December 26, officers responded to the report of a possible death. Upon arrival it was determined an employee located an unconscious male inside of the establishment’s bathroom. Medics arrived and pronounced the male deceased. There were no signs of foul play and the death is not considered suspicious. The investigation is ongoing.
LATE BURGLARY, 2016-12270048, 900 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 7:00 a.m. on December 27, officers responded to the report of a late burglary. Upon arrival, officers determined an unknown male subject entered a business and attempted to steal items. When confronted by an employee, the subject dropped the merchandise and fled the scene on foot. No items appear to be missing. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with a medium build. He was wearing a red sports jersey and a winter hat.
BURGLARY, 2016-12270098, 1000 block of Arlington Boulevard. At approximately 11:49 a.m. on December 27, officers responded to the report of a burglary that had just occurred a few minutes prior. An unknown male subject forced entry into a residence and fled the scene shortly after. It is unknown at this time if the subject stole any items. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 190-200 lbs. He was wearing a gray short sleeve shirt, navy blue pants, and white shoes.
An Ethiopian restaurant will be coming to the former Corner Tex-Mix space in Nauck.
The now-closed restaurant, near the corner of S. Glebe Road and S. Walter Reed Drive, was poorly reviewed and for much of 2016 the restaurant would only open periodically, keeping “odd hours” that were not immediately discernible to casual patrons.
Replacing The Corner Tex-Mix will be a second location for Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant, an eatery on 14th Street NW in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood.
Reached by phone, Lalibela owner Taye Wogederes said he’s hoping to open the restaurant as early as January. It will serve traditional Ethiopian cuisine, along with beer and wine, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he said.
Police say the officer noticed stolen items in plain sight in the car after pulling it over on the 2300 block of S. Kenmore Street, in the Nauck neighborhood, early Wednesday morning.
The three suspects are facing multiple charges for credit card theft and “trespass of a vehicle.”
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2016-1123021, 2300 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 2:30 a.m. on November 23, an officer on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling over the posted speed limit. In plain sight, officers located property allegedly stolen during a recent larceny from auto. Bizana Zo’ongola-Belinga, 19, of Bowie MD was charged with credit card theft (x3), conspiracy to commit credit card theft, possession of marijuana and trespass of a vehicle. Chima Nnaka, 19, of Mitchellville MD was charged with credit card theft (x3), conspiracy to commit credit card theft and trespass of a vehicle. Matthew Bea, 23, of Bowie MD was charged with credit card theft (x3), conspiracy to commit credit card theft, possession of burglarious tools and trespass of a vehicle. All suspects were held on secured bonds.
Arlington County says it’s hoping to get a stretch of non-working streetlights near Shirlington switched back on by the end of the year, but residents are complaining that the repairs have taken too long.
The dark streetlights are located along the S. Four Mile Run Drive service road, in front of the West Village of Shirlington condo complex.
Last Thursday, condo management sent an email to residents, encouraging them to press the county to expedite repairs, saying that the lights “have been out for over a year now.”
As many of you are aware, Management has made several attempts to have the county make repairs to the street lights on S. Four Mile Run Drive. Unfortunately, we have not been able to make any headway. The County representatives continue to advise us that these repairs are not a priority for them.
In our experience, it is usually helpful for (tax paying county) residents to contact the county. Fortunately, one of your neighbors has done so, and has provided the contact information below. So please bombard the County with your sincere concerns about the community’s safety. Please do remember to include the fact that these lights have been out for over a year now.
Residents say they are concerned about their safety.
“It is pitch black for those walking our pets or those walking to/from our cars,” said resident Chrissy Limetti. “How disappointing to read that resident safety is not a priority.”
The county, however, says that they’ve been working on the issue and expect the lights to be back on by the end of the year.
“Preliminary work on the streetlights in this area has occurred and crews will begin underground repairs in the next month,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien tells ARLnow.com. “Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of December.”
The repairs are taking longer than usual because of the nature of what caused the outage in the first place.
“In this particular case, the outage is an underground issue caused by an old cable that will be replaced,” O’Brien said. “The complexity of the underground issue determines the response time which may take 45 days or longer. For an above ground issue (e.g., bulb replacement), repairs take about 14-21 days but more extensive equipment is required to repair an underground utility problem.”
O’Brien could not confirm whether a county employee actually said that the repairs weren’t a priority.
“To our knowledge, no one on our streetlights team told this person that their issue wasn’t a priority,” she said. “We are still investigating this to see if they may have spoken to someone else. Every outage is a priority and the type of outage and availability of crews and equipment determines the completion time.”
Streetlight outages can be reported to the county online.
More on Randolph Principal Controversy — Some Randolph Elementary parents are still upset that the school’s well-liked principal has been removed with little explanation and demoted to assistant principal at Abingdon Elementary. [Washington Post]
Aerial View of Arlington — Arlington County has created a video of aerial footage of Arlington, shot during a recent ride on the U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter. [Facebook]
‘Dog Days of Summer’ Donations — Rosslyn eatery Bistro 360 is donating 25 percent of sales from a special “Dog Days of Summer” menu to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. [Facebook]
Late Civic Activist Celebrated — The Nauck community will hold a special celebration of the life of the late civic activist John Robinson this coming Saturday. Robinson, who died in 2010, fought against racism, against injustice and for education, and was the publisher of the Green Valley News for more than 40 years. [InsideNova]
Suspicious Package at Ballston Metro — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — Metro Transit Police investigated a suspicious package at an elevator entrance to the Ballston Metro station this morning. The entrance was blocked off with police tape for a period of time.
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Units on scene at the long-time local business report that there’s a significant amount of blood on the floor of the pharmacy. Initial reports suggest that a woman, who’s currently talking to police at the pharmacy, stabbed an intoxicated man out of self-defense.
Police are searching for the stabbing victim, who fled the scene after the incident, possibly on a stolen moped.
Update at 5:25 p.m. — Police have located the man who was stabbed, and the moped, near the Arlington Career Center on Columbia Pike, according to scanner traffic. The man has an injury to his hand.
Update at 9:45 a.m. — ACPD has released the following crime report about this incident.
GRAND LARCENY AUTO (significant), 160804038, 2400 block of S. Shirlington Road. At approximately 4:30 p.m. on August 4, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. The investigation revealed that the victim and suspect got into an argument that escalated into a physical fight. During the fight, the male suspect took off his belt and began hitting the female victim with it. The victim broke a beer bottle and slashed the victim’s hand. The suspect then stole the victim’s moped that was parked and fled. The suspect struck a vehicle during his escape, and continued to flee on foot. The suspect was later apprehended in the area and taken into custody. Gregory Donnell Graham, 46, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with assault and battery, grand larceny (Auto), and hit and run.
The planned events are held as part of National Night Out, a “community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie,” according to a flyer distributed by the police department.
National Night Out celebrations are a chance for police and members of the community to come together, usually over free food and activities.
National Night Out events will be held at the following locations:
- Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
- Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. and S. Shirlington Road) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- Farlington Villages Pool 2 (3045 S. Buchanan Street) from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- Park Glen Condo Associations: (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
- Whitefield Commons: (106 N. Thomas Street) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Image via ACPD National Night Out Flyer
The crash happened on the 2400 block of S. Kenmore Street, in the Nauck neighborhood. Police say Maryland resident Brunilda Lopez struck the other driver involved with her car and then drove off.
From an Arlington County Police crime report:
UNLAWFUL WOUNDING, 160630029, 2400 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 12:00 p.m. on June 30, two vehicles were involved in a minor accident. As the drivers were exchanging information the suspect returned to her vehicle. The victim attempted to prevent the suspect from leaving by standing in front of her vehicle and was struck. Medics arrived on scene and the victim refused transport to the hospital. Warrants have been issued for reckless driving, unlawful wounding, and hit and run for Brunilda Lopez, 50, of Montgomery MD.
The incident happened around 10 a.m., when police received a report of a man who threatened a family member with a gun, at a home near the intersection of S. Kenmore Street and 22nd Street, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The man was said to be holed up in the home’s basement with gun and a machete.
The incident ended as quickly as it began, when the man came out of the home and was placed in handcuffs.
“He has been taken into custody without incident,” Savage said. “This is an active investigation and police remain in the area.”
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Arlington County and Alexandria firefighters are battling a small fire in a warehouse near Shirlington.
Initial reports suggest that a fire started in an area of the warehouse used for painting and then spread to the roof. One person was treated by medics for burns to his or her hands.
A rapid fire response task force was dispatched to the scene, in addition to a hazmat unit for a reported paint or chemical spill. Photos show signs for the party rental business DC Rental in the area of the warehouse where firefighters are operating.
The warehouse, at 2615 S. Shirlington Road, is located near I-395 in the Nauck neighborhood. Drivers should expect lane closures near the scene on S. Shirlington Road.
As of 2:30 p.m., the fire was reported out and firefighters were ventilating the building.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) June 27, 2016
Since 1988, the Funshine Preschool has operated at the same location — the Arlington Presbyterian Church at 3507 Columbia Pike — serving generations of Arlington’s children. Now, with the church slated for demolition, the school is preparing to move and raising money to help with its expenses.
Funshine’s current building is the Arlington Presbyterian Church. The church held its final worship service in the building on Sunday, after the property was sold for $8.5 million to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The building is now slated to be demolished and replaced by a 173-unit apartment complex for low-income residents.
The preschool’s new location will be in a former YMCA building, at 3440 22nd Street S., in the Nauck neighborhood. The building is owned by Macedonia Baptist Church and the move is planned for September or as soon as the renovations are complete. As a backup option, the school has extended their lease in the church until December 2016, just prior to the planned demolition.
To offset the cost of the move, owners Beth McMichael and Paige Neal have launched a GoFundMe page with the goal of keeping tuition at current rates. The school usually enrolls between 60-65 kids, ages 3 months to 5 years, and tuition is between $348 and $418 per week depending on enrollment and teacher-student ratio.
The money gathered via GoFundMe will go towards building renovations and other improvements including building classrooms, making bathrooms child-accessible and the purchase of playground equipment. As of today, it has have raised over $3,000, with the ultimate goal set at $15,000.
Along with education in the classroom, the school participates in a number of activities intended to benefit the community, including diaper drives, Halloween candy donations and knitting scarves for Operation Gratitude, and planting seeds for the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
“We try to teach that giving is more of a lifestyle, not just something you do at Christmas or Thanksgiving,” said Neal.
After spending as much time as they did at the old location, school staff members are emotional about the change but optimistic about the new location.
“There’s a lot of us that have been here for a very long time, we can walk through the halls with our eyes closed. We love it here and we’ll always love this area,” said Neal. “This has been the place where we’ve done most of our serving of the community, we’re going to miss it. We’re also really excited to start something new and fresh.”
The Lucky Seven convenience store in Nauck closed after a fire in the summer of 2012, but the brand is now making a comeback.
The 7-Eleven at the corner of Shirlington Road and 24th Street S., which opened in 2014, has dropped its corporate affiliation and is now being rebranded as Lucky Seven.
The store closed over the weekend to facilitate the changeover. It was open on Monday, but many shelves were bare and the store was only accepting cash.
We’re told that the owner of the 7-Eleven was the owner of the Lucky Seven store and that the owner decided to make the switch after the expiration of the store’s contract with 7-Eleven. More products are expected to hit the shelves within the next week — and Slurpee-like machines and other convenience store staples are expected to be installed as well.
County Board Debate Preaches to Choir — Arlington County Board candidates Libby Garvey and Erik Gutshall participated in a debate Sunday night. Reported the Washington Post: “Nearly all the 50 people in the Campbell Elementary School audience Sunday night were campaign workers or committed supporters for each candidate.” In a new line of attack, Gutshall criticized Garvey for a $250 donation from a real estate developer she accepted in 2011. [Washington Post, Blue Virginia]
Campaign Criticism Prompts Reactions — Supporters of County Board candidate Erik Gutshall have penned a joint statement defending some of his attacks on Libby Garvey as substantive policy issues. However, there appears to be something of a backlash to two of Gutshall’s campaign mailers — at least among those who write letters to the Sun Gazette. County Board member Christian Dorsey, meanwhile, has published a statement on what he says is a “mischaracterization” of Garvey’s (and thus, the Board’s) record. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova, Facebook]
Elementary School’s Satellite Located — Two students from Morehead State University have located the “Cubesat” satellite created by students at St. Thomas More Elementary School in Arlington. The satellite was launched into orbit from the International Space Station but, for a few weeks, nobody was able to make contact with it. [Daily Independent]
Update on Rescued Baby Ducks — The six ducklings rescued from an Arlington storm drain are doing well and are undergoing rehabilitation, with the goal of being released back into the wild in a couple of months. [Washington Post]
Clarendon Co-Working Space Filling Up Fast — The new 40,000 square foot MakeOffices co-working space in Clarendon is more than half full already and is expected to be sold out by early July. The location, just across from the Clarendon Metro station, is the Arlington-based company’s tenth, but has been deemed its new flagship location. [Bisnow]
Nauck Profiled in WaPo — The Washington Post real estate section has profiled Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood, noting that “affordability is a major selling point in Nauck, where about half of current listings are priced under $500,000.” [Washington Post]
Photo by Jackie Friedman