BBC Airs Segment on AFAC — The Arlington Food Assistance Center, which is seeing record food need and lines throughout the day, was profiled in a segment that aired on BBC World News this week. [Twitter]
Fares to Return on ART Buses — “ART buses will resume front door boarding and fare collection starting on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Riders will begin boarding buses through the front door and will pay their fare at the fare box using a SmarTrip card or exact change. The regular ART bus fare for a one-way trip is $2.00.” [Arlington Transit]
Teens Launch Hot Cocoa Company — “In July, Wakefield High School rising seniors Farah Bahr and Sithiya Reshmee (who goes by the nickname ‘Resh’) founded F&R Sweets, a line that includes chocolate-dipped strawberries, churro cheesecake (made with croissant dough, cream cheese filling and cinnamon sugar) and hot chocolate bombs… the bombs ($3-$10 each) grabbed my attention. They are bonbon-like orbs filled with mini marshmallows, Swiss Miss cocoa mix (regular, caramel or peppermint) and sometimes other add-ins.” [Arlington Magazine]
AWLA Treats Dog With Skin Condition — “On Sunday, we were very surprised when a brown-eyed dog with a severe skin infection and hair loss came through our doors. He desperately needs us, and together we can start him on the path to healing. Rufus was found all alone on the side of the road and was brought to AWLA for help.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Patch]
Fort Myer Bowling Alley Back Open — “The [Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall] Bowling Center had a small grease fire last week that temporarily shut down operations. Today, the fire department and health inspections were completed and they were given approval to re-open at 2 p.m.” [Twitter]
Arlington is Soldier’s Resting Place, At Last — “An Army sergeant from Panama, Oklahoma who was killed during the Korean War has been identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency,” from the 55 boxes containing remains of American service members turned over by North Korea in 2018. “Rodgers will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, at a later date that has yet to be determined.” [Times Record]
A study by a criminal justice consulting firm recommends that Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church keep the Northern Virginia Detention Center, but with some changes.
Over the last decade, detention rates have decreased at the facility, located at 200 S. Whiting Street in Alexandria. It has 70 beds but on any given day houses 20 to 25 youth detainees — from age 11 to 18 — who have committed anything from parole violations to felony offenses.
Recently, officials have been weighing the future of the center, which is falling apart and costly to run. During a joint work session with representatives from Arlington and Alexandria on Monday, D.C.-based criminal justice consulting firm The Moss Group recommended keeping the center, but making it more efficient by moving more programs to the facility and eliminating some staff.
“It is a complex, aging facility, but it is available for other options when you’re thinking about the future of the compound,” said Reginald Wilkinson, the senior advisor for The Moss Group.
In an email, Arlington County said keeping the center open — as opposed to transferring detainees to a facility elsewhere — would “ensure juveniles remain close to their home communities and services.”
The report recommended placing mental-health treatment, substance-abuse services, youth mentoring and specialized placement programs in underused spaces in the facility, which would help make it more financially feasible to maintain.
It also suggested redesigning the facility to accommodate the new services and create a “home-like” feeling.
Cutting some staff and making the program changes could save nearly $600,000 annually, The Moss Group found. That would mean a savings of about $300,000 from Arlington’s current $1.8 million annual commitment.
NVJDC is the second most expensive detention center among Virginia’s 24 facilities, and was allocated $5.8 million to run in Fiscal Year 2020. Of that, about $3.6 million came from localities and $2.2 million from state and federal funding.
A possible alternative would be moving kids to the Fairfax County detention center, but Justin Wilson, the mayor of Alexandria, said Fairfax likely will not take the teens. The mayor said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay told him “the door is not closed, but that the hill is steep.”
The right political movement could change that, Wilson added.
“I think there is some logic to working together again, given [extra] capacity” at the Fairfax County facility, he said. Fairfax County operated the NVJDC with Arlington and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church before opening its own center in 1994.
Consultants conducted focus groups, interviews and community meetings, and hosted an online survey to gauge support for the center. Although some people want to see it closed, the group concluded there is widespread community support for the center.
The finding raised eyebrows among some political officials. Others asked about opportunities to eliminate juvenile detentions altogether.
“I think there might be a desire to move toward zero detention by closing down that facility,” Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol said. “Certainly I… am interested in pursuing that vision of zero youth detention.”
Arlington’s Director of Court Services Earl Conklin said that without a detention center a judge could still order detention but the youth would have no place to go.
The Moss Group told the municipalities to consider a formal relationship with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and participate in its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative to reduce reliance on detention.
County Board Chair Libby Garvey applauded the decline in detention rates but said reforms are essential. About 57% kids in the system are Black, while 39% are white. In terms of ethnicity, just over 30% are identified as Hispanic.
“It is our young people of color who are most impacted by this detention facility,” she said. “We would like to do away with [this] disproportionality and continue to lower the number of people there, but there will always be a need for this facility or something like it, and that’s why we’re here.”
The study will be presented at a virtual community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. The meeting link will be available on the study webpage.
Arlington Dems Reject Bipartisan Redistricting — “Despite criticism from within the party that the move would be seen as blatantly partisan as well as bad policy, the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s membership on Aug. 6 voted to oppose the state constitutional amendment that, if enacted, would set up an independent redistricting commission.” [InsideNova]
Marymount Announces Reorganization — “In its latest strategic initiative, Transform MU, Marymount University is restructuring its existing academic programs into three highly focused Colleges, each combining disciplines to create broader educational and research opportunities.” [Press Release]
Diocese Announces New Virtual School — “The Catholic Diocese of Arlington announced it will offer a fully virtual school for grades K-8 in the 2020-2021 academic year, which begins in early September. The school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, provides a new option to parents interested in enrolling their children in local Catholic schools. All 41 brick-and-mortar Catholic schools in the Diocese, which serve 17,000 students, have announced they will reopen in the fall for either safe-distance full-time in-person instruction or a combination of in-person instruction and e-Learning. St. Isidore offers families an option for full-time virtual learning.” [Catholic Diocese of Arlington]
Local Teen Raises Money for Yemen — “Since July 1, an Arlington teenager has raised $300 for Saba Relief. The organization helps people affected by the crisis in Yemen. Emily Tesone started hand sewing plushies for her friends when the pandemic began. Her hobby grew more meaningful after she learned about what was happening in Yemen.” [WDVM]
Flickr pool photo by Eric
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A teenager was allegedly behind the wheel of a car that struck a 10-year-old girl and killed her dog in Arlington’s Donaldson Run neighborhood.
Police confirmed this morning that “the suspected driver has been located.”
Photos sent to ARLnow on Monday show police behind a black Chrysler 200 sedan, with temporary Virginia tags, matching the description of the vehicle involved in the Friday afternoon crash. The photo was taken near Yorktown High School, at the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and Little Falls Road.
“The investigation is ongoing and charges are anticipated at a later date,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “In accordance with Virginia law, the suspect’s identity is not releasable due to age.”
Video sent to us by the victim’s family (below) shows the car quickly driving up N. Upshur Street around the time of the incident. The victim’s mother posted publicly on Facebook about how “our world was split open” as a result of the crash.
“Some reckless and selfish person in a black sedan racing down a quiet Donaldson Run residential street hit my 10-yr old daughter and our puppy at the corner of N. Upshur St. and N. Vermont St.,” she posted on Friday. “She did what she always does. Look left and right conscientiously.”
“The car hit our little Peanut leaving him in a pool of blood while she was luckily able to leap out of the way,” the mother continued. “In that moment, he could’ve ripped apart our world even further and killed her. It’s gut-wrenching enough that the sweetest puppy we’ve ever had was simply murdered. Gone in an instant. The driver didn’t blink an eye. Didn’t stop.”
Though the girl’s injuries were considered minor at the time, she was subsequently hospitalized over the weekend after an onset of lower body pain, ARLnow has learned.
Photos courtesy anonymous
School Shuffle Blowback Starts — “Alicia Rich, president of Key’s PTA, said she has been fielding texts and messages over WhatsApp from parents and staff members worried about the prospect of moving. ‘This issue is so huge for us,’ Rich said.
School system officials said they ‘urgently need’ the Key building as a neighborhood school because of the lack of space for students.” [Washington Post]
Arlington Office Market Improving — Arlington County landing Amazon HQ2, a selection announced one year ago this month, has helped move its office market in the right direction after years of struggles. The office vacancy rate in National Landing, the newly branded area comprising the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods, dropped from 19.6% in Q3 2018 to 16% as of Sept. 30, the lowest level since 2012, according to JLL.” [Bisnow]
Chamber Supports Keeping Dillon Rule — “Facing a possible Democratic majority in the General Assembly, @ArlVAChamber is standing firm in its support of the Dillon Rule. Why? A Dem majority could allow localities like Arlington to raise the minimum wage.” [Twitter, InsideNova]
Storms Don’t Deter Trick or Treaters — From a family that tracks the number of trick or treaters visiting their Arlington home: “Despite threatening weather and a tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service… 2019 was our second best year ever with 161 visitors, 13 goblins behind the all-time high of 174 visitors in 2016.” [Facebook]
ACPD Helps With Snakes, Too — “Sgt. Morrison proves he’s a jack of all trades! Yesterday he responded to a citizen assist call and helped safely relocate this snake.” [Twitter]
Opera Fans Plan Outreach Effort — “Reports of the demise of a certain musical genre are not just premature. They are just plain wrong, supporters say. ‘Clearly, opera is not a dying art – the music is still transcendent,’ said Paul Dolinsky, a board member of Opera Nova, which on Oct. 27 held its annual fund-raising brunch at Washington Golf & Country Club.” [InsideNova]
Local Teen Is Runner Up in Entrepreneurship Competition — “Ela Gokcigdem has good news to share about her ePearl noise-cancelling wireless earbuds. They were a big hit in the Big Apple… The 17-year-old senior at Wakefield High School in Arlington participated in the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. More than two dozen competitors from around the country pitched their products to a panel of judges.” [WJLA]
Nearby: Road Closure Planned in Seven Corners — “The Wilson Boulevard (Route 613) bridge over Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) will be closed from 9 p.m. Monday night, Nov. 4 to 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, Nov. 5 for bridge deck work, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Eastbound Wilson Boulevard traffic will be detoured via Route 7, Patrick Henry Drive, Route 50 and the westbound Route 50 service road back to Wilson Boulevard.” [VDOT]
Update at 7:45 a.m. — The teen has been found safely, police say.
Earlier: The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a 14-year-old Arlington boy who has been missing for more than 24 hours.
Police say the teen was last seen leaving school Wednesday morning.
Mason Huiss is described as a 14 y/o white male, 5’6” tall, weighing 140lbs with black hair and blue eyes. Last seen wearing red Ohio State jersey, dark jeans and carrying backpack. May be riding a blue mountain bike. Info? Call 703-558-2222. pic.twitter.com/ziud68Xwlz
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 2, 2019
The menacing video was posted on Instagram on Jan. 25, but the weapon was eventually determined to be an airsoft gun, not an actual firearm, and the teen “did not have the means to carry out a threat,” according to Arlington County Police.
The U.S. Secret Service brought the video to the attention of ACPD on the day it was posted. The subject of the video was identified and now faces a felony charge.
More from a police press release:
Police have arrested and charged a City of Falls Church teen following an investigation into a video recorded on the property of Wakefield High School and posted to Instagram.
At approximately 7:24 p.m. on January 25, an officer with the United States Secret Service responded to the Arlington County Police Department to report a video posted to Instagram involving a weapon. In the video posted at approximately 12:00 p.m. on the same day, a teen is shown sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot of Wakefield High School. The teen exits the vehicle, opens the trunk, places a black mask over his face and removes an airsoft rifle before the video ends.
After reviewing social media posts and working with school administrators, detectives quickly identified the teen in the video. During the course of the investigation, detectives determined that there was no immediate threat to the safety of the school or its activities, that the video contained a replica firearm and that the teen in the video did not have the means to carry out a threat.
Following consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and a review of the evidence, the teen has been charged with Virginia Code § 18.2-422 Prohibition of Wearing a Mask, a Class 6 Felony. The teen is not an Arlington Public Schools student and his identity is not releasable due to age.
The Arlington County Police Department is committed to maintaining the safety of our community. Our School Resource Officers work closely with Arlington Public Schools administrators in our shared mission to provide a safe learning environment for students, teachers and staff. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their children about the serious nature of school-based violence and the content they post to social media. All reports of threats and violence made at our schools and in our community are thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and where appropriate, charges will be sought against those responsible.
The public is reminded that you play an important role in keeping our community safe. If you see something, say something® by reporting suspicious behavior and activities to law enforcement.
This case was investigated by detectives from the Arlington County and Fairfax County School Resource Officers Unit, Arlington County’s Homeland Security Section and assisted by administrators in Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools.
Police Searching for I-66 Wrong-Way Driver — Police are still looking for the driver who crashed into another vehicle while driving the wrong way on I-66 near Rosslyn early Sunday morning, after being chased by a uniformed Secret Service officer who spotted the car driving the wrong way in D.C. [Fox 5, WTOP, Twitter]
Vehicle Crashes into House in Barcroft — A vehicle that was driven into the side of a house in the Barcroft neighborhood Sunday morning caused only minor damage to the building, according to the fire department. [Twitter]
Truck Brings Down Power Lines in Long Branch Creek — “Downed power lines caused around 1,000 customers to lose power in Arlington County on Saturday. Dominion Power said a truck ‘snagged’ the lines and broke two of the power poles around 8:15 a.m. It also damaged some vehicles in the area.” [WJLA]
Runner Struck By Car Hopes to Run Marathon — A local runner who was struck by a car while running recently hopes to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall despite suffering two broken bones in her foot. [Twitter]
Projects to Transform Crystal City — Six major transportation projects “will play a significant role in transforming the Crystal City area in the coming years.” [Bisnow]
Arlington Teens Arrested in Ocean City — Three teens from Arlington were arrested in Ocean City, Maryland after they pulled over to ask police officers about parking in the area and the officers “immediately recognized the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.” They searched the car and found “roughly a half a pound of marijuana along with prescription drugs, methamphetamine, brass knuckles, an assisted opening knife and several items of drug paraphernalia,” plus “a full face mask in the vehicle [and] a .25 caliber handgun.” [The Dispatch]
Dems Still Distributing Print Newsletter — Print may be waning as a medium, but the Arlington County Democratic Committee is still going all-in on its printed campaign newsletter, “The Messenger.” The party is recruiting more than 400 volunteers to distribute the newsletter to homes throughout the county. [InsideNova]
A Quinceañera Expo is coming to Crystal City’s Holiday Inn National Airport this Sunday (May 6) from 1-4 p.m.
A quinceañera is a Latin American tradition that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday.
The festivities mark her transition from childhood to adulthood in a similar way to a Sweet Sixteen.
The expo will feature a fashion show with the latest styles in quinceañera gowns, a DIY workshop, and a seminar on some “new inventions.”
General admission tickets cost $5. VIP tickets, which include a Dulce Quince Magazine shirt, cost $10.
Here are the expo’s listed exhibitors:
- A Touch of Glam by Nathalie Lopez
- A1 Limousine
- DJ Kanon
- Duarte Image
- Event Linens & Decor
- La’Glam Studio
- LipSense by Sophia
- Looks by Lina
- Mary Kay by Stephanie Baker Alibakhshi
- Mimi’s Mocha Treats, LLC
- Photo Fun Zone Photo Booth
- Quince Video
- Secret Garden by Marta
- The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
- Twinbrook Floral Design
- Tysons Corner and Dulles Marriott
Photo via OnceUponaTime.Events
Earlier: The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teen.
Police say the boy, 14, went missing this afternoon from the Bellevue Forest neighborhood and is considered endangered. He was last seen around 3:30 p.m.
He is described by police as “a white male with short blonde hair and blue eyes,” about 5’4″ and 110 lbs.
“He was last seen wearing black and yellow patterned pants and a black and blue hoodie,” police said in a press release. “He was reported to not be wearing shoes at the time he left his residence. [The boy] is considered endangered and may be in need of medical services.”
Anyone with information about the teen’s whereabouts is asked to call ACPD’s non-emergency number: 703-558-2222.