The line is scheduled to shut down between the Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m Sunday for more than 100 people to participate in a “full-scale response drill” for a “simulated” train derailment, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Travelers should use the Blue Line to enter D.C. instead.
“The exercise, which will take place on the elevated track approaching the Pentagon station over the Potomac River, will allow emergency responders to test their capabilities on the aerial structure in coordination with water rescue teams,” WMATA said in a news release. “In addition, the drill will simulate real-world conditions to test coordination and communication between on-scene responders, Metrorail operations staff, Metro Transit Police and support personnel.”
Members of the Arlington County Fire Department, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Alexandria Fire Department, U.S. Park Police, U.S. Park Service, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire & Rescue Department and Prince George’s County Fire Department are expected to take part.
The drill is set come about a month after a “minor” train derailment at the East Falls Church Metro station.
Coast Guard Drill Today — The U.S Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a drill in the Potomac between the 14th Street Bridge and the Memorial Bridge today, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Drill participants “will be using orange Coast Guard boats with flashing blue lights, simulating a fixed security zone around a simulated high value asset. There will be no live fire or blanks used during this training; this is only a tactics and maneuvering drill.”
Metro PD Looking for Suspicious Men — Metro Transit PD and other local police agencies are on the lookout for four men seen walking and acting suspiciously around the Pentagon Metro Station and the Pentagon reservation on Sunday. Investigators would like to determine the identity of the individuals in question. Update: police say the men have been found and are not suspected of criminal activity. [Twitter]
Drafthouse to Open D.C. Venue — The Arlington Cinema Drafthouse is branching out from Columbia Pike. The owners of the iconic theater have announced plans for an “arts space committed to comedy and our community” called the Drafthouse Comedy Theater at 1100 13th Street NW in downtown D.C. The venue is expected to open as soon as January. [Borderstan]
Millennials to Impact Local Housing Market — In Arlington, home ownership is unaffordable for most of the Millennial generation, but that doesn’t mean that younger people want to stay in rental apartments and group homes forever. Fully 91 percent of Millennials eventually want to own a home, higher than the rate for the overall population, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. [InsideNova]
Ballston As Arlington’s Downtown? — Local developer John Shooshan says an influx of tech companies and educational institutions, along with the just-approved redevelopment of Ballston Common Mall, will transform the Ballston community. “We think Ballston’s going to become the new downtown of Arlington,” Shooshan said. [Bisnow]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Fire at Pentagon Metro Station — A trash fire on the tracks at the Pentagon Metro station just before 8:00 this morning caused the station to fill with smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished by Arlington firefighters, but not before it resulted in delays on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines.
Capitals to Hold Blood Drive — The Washington Capitals will hold their annual summer blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston this weekend. The event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. [Associated Press]
New Bus Route Serving Shirlington — Alexandria’s DASH will begin new service to the Shirlington Transit Center on Monday. The DASH AT9 will run from the Mark Center to Shirlington to Potomac Yard. [DASH Bus]
WJLA Sale Approved — The sale of Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) has received FCC approval. Long-time owner Allbritton Communications is selling WJLA, NewsChannel 8 and seven other stations to Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
Metro Closing Several Pentagon Escalators — Metro will begin its third major escalator replacement at the Pentagon station on February 4. Three of the six “southside escalators” at the station entrance will be shut down for replacement with new, more reliable units. Customers will still be able to use the three other escalators on the north side. [WMATA]
Proposal to Extend Voting Hours Fails — The proposal by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) to extend voting times in Virginia has failed in committee. The measure would have pushed poll closing time from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. [Sun Gazette]
Claremont Elementary School Earns Health Award — The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) and Sodexo presented Claremont Elementary School with the Healthy Schools Award for being one of five schools having the most participants in the MCM-organized Healthy Kids Fun Run in October. The Claremont P.E. department received $1,000 and each student received a healthy snack pack from Sodexo. [Arlington Public Schools]
Emergency Winter Shelter Open — Because of the extreme cold, the county’s Emergency Winter Shelter, which is usually only open at night, will be open all day today. If you see someone in Arlington needing shelter from the cold, call 703-228-7395.
Woman Falls into Hatch at Pentagon Station — Last week a 52-year-old woman fell through a hatch near an escalator at the Pentagon Metro station, injuring her knee and face. Two Metro workers have been fired for their role in leaving the hatch wide open. [WTOP]
GOP Praying for Candidates — The Arlington County Republican Committee is literally praying for candidates to challenge Democrats in the fall. So far, they only have one for more than a dozen local races. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Wins Walkability Award — Arlington has received a “Gold-level designation for walkability” from the national Walk Friendly Communities program. “We welcome this recognition of Arlington’s efforts to create streets and paths that are safe, pleasant and interesting places to walk,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. [Arlington County]
Medical Office Opens Near Crystal City — Commonwealth Medical Center, a new primary care provider, celebrates its grand opening today at 3535 S. Ball Street, between Crystal City and Potomac Yard.
Flickr pool photo by Karon
Starting on Monday, April 4, the ART 41 will start running on a new weekday schedule. Buses will now run every 15 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours. Additionally, bus service will start earlier in the morning and end later at night.
Also on Monday, three new rush hour bus trips will be added to the ART 87 route. Three additional buses will leave the Pentagon Metro at 4:35, 5:15 and 5:55 p.m. Those buses will make all the normal outbound stops.
Arlington firefighters are responding to the Pentagon Metro station for smoke in the station.
Initial reports from the scene suggest that leaves and debris on the track caught on fire, causing light smoke to fill the station.
Metro employees extinguished the fire using a powdered fire retardant. Arlington firefighters are now investigating.
Trains are still traveling to and from the station.
Pentagon Reviewing Change to Security Checkpoints Near Metro Station — At the behest of local transportation officials, Pentagon brass will be reviewing proposed changes to the security checkpoints near the Pentagon Metro Station. The changes, which follow the March shooting that left two security guards wounded and the suspect dead, would move the checkpoints closer to the station. Local officials worry the move could create long security lines that would disrupt the flow of commuters in and out of the station.
Arlington Spy Suspects Transferred to New York — Say goodbye to the (accused) Russian spies who loved Arlington. A judge has ordered that Michael Zottoli, Patricia Mills and Mikhail Semenko be transferred to New York. Attorneys for the three tried to keep them in Virginia, but a federal court judge ordered the transfer yesterday. There’s word that the ten accused spies may be swapped with Russia for an imprisoned nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the United States.
Arlington Artist’s Creation Appears on Popular Blog — On Tuesday, the popular blog Boing Boing highlighted a “giant bike-friendly junk-cyborg” created by Arlington artist Luke Idziak. The pedal-powered kinetic sculpture, called Wheeled Victory, or The Cyborg of Interstellar Justice, was created in 2008 and funded by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Office.
The two Pentagon police officers who were shot during Thursday night’s shooting outside the Pentagon Metro spoke out about their experience on several news programs Monday morning
“We were there to do our jobs and that’s what we did,” one of the officers said on the CBS Early Show.
Also revealed by the article — which features the first interview with a Bedell family member — is the fact that Bedell made a purchase from a Silver Spring gun store shortly before the shooting.
Bedell’s family is planning a private funeral service in California.
The Pentagon Metro station fully reopened just after noon today, WMATA has confirmed. The station was temporarily closed to allow the FBI to investigate last night’s shooting.
Suspected Pentagon Metro gunman John Patrick Bedell, 36, left a trail of 9/11 conspiracy theory and marijuana-legalization ramblings on the internet, according to Gawker.
After parking his car in a nearby garage, Bedell, wearing a business suit, carried two semiautomatic handguns and a large quantity of ammunition with him as he approached a Pentagon entrance outside the Metro station, according to police.
Two Pentagon police officers, both highly-trained former service members, were slightly wounded when Bedell opened fire. The officers, along with a third officer, returned fire, striking and ultimately killing Bedell, according to the Washington Post.
The Pentagon Metro will be closed Friday morning as the FBI investigates Thursday night’s shooting. It’s not known when the station will reopen.
Meanwhile, CBS News is reporting that the suspect in the shooting has died. The suspect was shot in the head by police after he shot two officers, various news outlets have reported.
NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski said on NBC4 tonight that police are questioning a possible accomplice in the shooting. Miklaszewski said the second individual may have been carrying ammunition. So far, those details have not been confirmed. Investigators now say an individual seen talking to the suspect on surveillance footage is not connected to the shooting.
The press conference outside the Pentagon Metro station has revealed new details about tonight’s shooting. Pentagon police chief Richard Keevill said that a lone shooter approached officers manning a checkpoint near an entrance to the station, calmly drew a hand gun, and opened fire.
He “did not say a word,” Keevill said.
Police officers returned fire. Two were hit and suffered wounds that are not thought to be life-threatening.
Witnesses who talked to ARLnow.com said they heard at least a half dozen shots and then saw people ducking and running from the scene.
Minutes after the shooting Pentagon police officers, with guns drawn, frantically moved to cordon off entrances to the Pentagon reservation.
In a chaotic scene, officers ordered pedestrians and vehicles heading towards the Pentagon reservation to turn around while buses, cars and Pentagon employees streamed out onto Army Navy Drive. Meanwhile, Arlington police officers converged on the Pentagon en masse to assist Pentagon police.
The Pentagon is currently holding a press briefing on tonight’s shooting. Here’s a statement issued by the DoD:
“A shooting incident has occurred at the Pentagon Metro Entrance this evening at approximately 6:40 p.m. EST. Two Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) officers were injured when an unknown suspect fired at them. The suspect was injured in return fire from the PFPA officers. Injuries to the two PFPA officers do not appear to be life threatening. A suspect is in custody and his condition is unknown [update: ‘very critical’]. All three injured have been taken to a local hospital. All Pentagon entrances were secured for a brief time but have since been reopened with the exception of the Pentagon Metro entrance. The incident is under investigation. More details will be released when available.”