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(Updatedat at 1:40 p.m.) The Thanksgiving weekend was not much of a holiday for Arlington County police.

In two separate incidents in Rosslyn and Pentagon City, on Thursday and Friday respectively, drunk men allegedly bit and assaulted ACPD officers.

The first incident, just before noon on Thanksgiving, took place on the 1500 block of Wilson Blvd, the same block as the Target store. An intoxicated man who was making threats inside an unspecified business was taken into custody and proceeded to kick and try bite officers, according to police. He also declined to identify himself and police still do not know his name.

On Friday night, police faced off with another intoxicated man, this time in the area of the Pentagon City mall. The 26-year-old Maryland resident allegedly bit and spat at officers after being taken into custody for refusing to leave a closed business.

More details from an ACPD crime report:

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2021-11250093, 1500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 11:51 a.m. on November 25, an officer on patrol was flagged down by employees of a business for the report of a suspect allegedly making threats. A lookout was broadcast, and, while en route to the call, another officer observed the suspect nearby and detained the visibly intoxicated individual. Employees of the business declined prosecution for the threats and wished to have him banned from the premises; however, the suspect was placed under arrest for being drunk in public. When officers attempted to search the suspect incident to arrest, he actively resisted, kicking an officer and their patrol vehicle. The suspect then attempted to bite an officer multiple times as he wrapped his legs around them and continued to actively resist. Officers attempted to continue to search the suspect on the ground, and he continued to resist by kicking and flailing, striking an officer and causing a laceration. The suspect refused to identify himself and attempts to determine his identity were unsuccessful. John Doe was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Law Enforcement (x2), Obstruction of Justice, and Drunk in Public, and held on no bond.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2021-11260168, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 10:16 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to assist with the removal of an intoxicated individual inside a closed business. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the individual and attempted to have him leave the property. The individual was uncooperative and as the officers attempted to place him into custody, he ran and fell a short distance away. Once in custody, the individual continued to act disorderly and spat at the officers. While being transported to an area hospital for medical clearance prior to booking, he bit an officer’s finger. Upon arrival at booking, he refused to exit the transport vehicle and had to be carried inside. [The suspect], 26, of Landover, MD, was arrested and charged with Assault on Police (x2), Obstruction, Drunk in Public and served with an outstanding warrant out of Fairfax County, VA.

Separately, police said in a crime report today that an intoxicated suspect arrested in Crystal City on Monday evening kicked officers.

ASSAULT & BATTERY, 2021-11290183, 3500 block of S. Ball Street. At approximately 5:00 p.m. on November 29, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute. Upon arrival inside the residential building, officers made contact with the male suspect and attempted to detain him but he began acting disorderly and actively resisted arrest. A brief struggle ensued, during which the suspect was taken into custody; however, he continued to act disorderly and kicked one of the officers. The investigation determined that the female victim was with the suspect when she heard him allegedly make threats to harm her while on the phone with another individual. During the course of the investigation, the suspect provided officers what was later determined to be a false identity. [The suspect], 28, of Forestville, Md., was arrested and charged with Drunk in Public, Threatening Language Over a Phone, Obstruction of Justice, Assault & Battery on Police, and Identity Theft.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Arlington!

It’s late on a Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.

Perhaps you’re starting to get ready for a Wednesday night out at the bars with your fellow locals. Or mentally preparing for a long day of parades, football, cooking, eating and dishwashing with family.

Whatever you’re doing, ARLnow hopes you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving. Lest anyone forget, here are some turkey frying safety tips from ACFD:

Cooking safety aside, we were also wondering around Covid safety.

Though our planned morning poll on the topic got preempted by the unexpected Ballston development news, we’ll ask it now: given that vaccines are widely available, but the virus is still infecting people, how has the pandemic affected your Thanksgiving plans this year?

ARLnow will not be publishing tomorrow unless there’s major breaking news. We’ll have a lighter-than-normal publishing schedule for Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Arlington County government headquarters in Courthouse

Most county operations and services, including COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, will be closed or operating on a limited schedule for the Thanksgiving holiday on both Thursday and Friday.

County government offices, courts, community centers and libraries will all be closed both on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26.  The Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center will also be shuttered, and COVID-19 vaccinations and testing at county facilities will be paused.

Arlington County schools are closed today, as well as Thursday and Friday for the holiday.

Metered parking won’t be enforced on either day, providing Thanksgiving diners and Black Friday shoppers another thing to be thankful about.

Trash, recycling, and yard waste collection will not happen on Thanksgiving, though it will resume on Friday. Thursday routes will be run on Friday and Friday routes will be run Saturday, Nov. 27.

Arlington Transit (ART) buses will operate on a holiday schedule on Thursday, meaning many lines won’t be running. Friday will operate under the Saturday bus schedule.

Metro will be running on Thanksgiving, though at an even further reduced service level due to the pulling of the 7000 series cars after last month’s derailment.

Parking will be free, however, at all Metro-owned garages and lots.

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Morning Notes

An airplane taxis after landing at Reagan National Airport (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Calling 911 Over Leaf Blowers — Writes a former Arlington County 911 dispatcher, regarding a recent ARLnow opinion column about leaf blower noise: “Hard hitting stuff coming out of ArCo, as always. I remember taking a 911 call once where the caller complained about this very issue and, in an effort to get police dispatched, called his neighbour’s leaf-blower a ‘violent weapon.’ This county is truly deranged.” [Twitter]

New Drug Recovery Resource — “For individuals having difficulty with substance use, the first step to a better life involves withdrawing  from alcohol or drugs. The new Arlington Recovery Center – a partnership between the County and National Capital Treatment and Recovery (NCTR) – is ready to help people with that journey. Arlington Recovery Center opened its doors this year and includes both Withdrawal Management and Early Recovery programs.” [Arlington County]

Book About Arlington House’s Builder — “Arlington journalist, historian and author Charles S. (‘Charlie’) Clark recently penned ‘George Washington Parke Custis: A Rarefied Life in America’s First Family.’ The book chronicles the complicated life of Custis (1781-1857), who was raised at Mount Vernon – he was the grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson of George Washington – and in adulthood was responsible for the construction of the Arlington House estate using both free and enslaved workers.” [Sun Gazette]

VHC Expanding With McLean Building — “Virginia Hospital Center is charging ahead with its campus expansion while growing its ambulatory footprint — starting with a $34.5 million purchase in McLean. The Arlington health system has purchased a building at 1760 Old Meadow Road where it’s setting up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, according to VHC CEO Jim Cole. The hospital is now renovating a 14,900-square-foot area of existing building in a project expected to cost $6.4 million including construction and equipment.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crossing Guard Spreads Thanksgiving Cheer — From Williamsburg Middle School Principal Bryan Boykin: “Mr. La is bringing a little holiday flavor to his traffic duties,” thanks to a large turkey costume. [Twitter]

New Tech Repair Store in Pentagon City — “Leading tech repair provider uBreakiFix by Asurion has opened its newest location in Pentagon City at 1101 S. Joyce St., Suite B-12 on Pentagon Row. The store offers professional repair services for anything with a power button, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, and drones-and everything in between.” [Press Release]

Officials Urge Caution on the Roads — “The American Automobile Association predicts that 1.4 million Virginians will travel for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, which equates to 11 percent more motorists than in 2020. Virginia State Police urge patience for motorists planning to hit the roadways. ‘With traffic on the roads increasing and many people anxious to get to their destination, I encourage all Virginians to be patient. Buckle up and take your time,’ said Col. Gary Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Wednesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 47. Sunrise at 7:01 a.m. and sunset at 4:48 p.m. Thanksgiving day will be mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Showers early Friday morning, then mostly sunny, with a high near 46. We will not be publishing Thursday but will be back with a light publishing schedule on Friday.

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Covid cases in Arlington as of 11/23/21 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

The average rate of new daily Covid cases in Arlington has risen more than 50% between early November and now, two days before Thanksgiving.

As locals prepare for feasts and family gatherings, Covid has rebounded from its seasonal low of about 20 cases per day earlier this month. The seven-day moving average now stands at 32 cases per day, though that is still well below Arlington’s Delta wave peak of 48 cases per day, reached in mid-September.

The bump in cases — Arlington currently has “substantial” community transmission of the virus, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health — is nonetheless a reminder that Covid is still spreading, after a relatively quiet first half of the summer that was set against the backdrop of a steep rise in vaccinations.

With 81.5% of the population having received at least one dose, the county is now focused on booster shots for adults and recently-authorized vaccine shots for younger children.

The relatively high vaccination rate has helped to tamp down severe illness in Arlington.

So far this month in Arlington there have been 615 new cases, but only 12 Covid-related hospitalizations and four deaths have been reported, according to VDH data.

Local, state and federal authorities are urging anyone gathering for the upcoming holidays to take health precautions.

“Public Health leaders in the Northern Virginia region — including Arlington County — are encouraging residents to maintain their vigilance in preventing the spread of COVID-19 this fall and winter and throughout the holiday season,” Arlington County said in an email last night. “Getting vaccinated, washing your hands, and taking travel precautions are just a few of the ways to enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.”

“Although Northern Virginia localities have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state — 73% of Arlington’s adult population is fully vaccinated — there is still Substantial Community Transmission in Arlington,” the county’s email added. “We must remain vigilant to protect those who are not eligible for vaccination and those at higher risk for serious illness.”

Thanksgiving health “recipe” (via Arlington County)

Nationally, about two-thirds of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends or family outside of their immediate households, according to a recent Axios poll.

The poll also found that Americans are less worried about the health impacts of such gatherings.

“This year, 31% see a large or moderate risk in seeing friends or family for Thanksgiving — way down from 64% a year ago,” Axios reported.

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Morning Notes

Construction cranes for Amazon HQ2 tower over Pentagon City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Initial Plan Filed for Americana Site — “JBG Smith has filed a conceptual site plan application with Arlington County for 1400 Richmond Highway [the Americana hotel site in Crystal City], proposing a by-right 19-story building with 650 residential units above retail. There will also be 325 parking spaces across two below-grade parking levels.” [UrbanTurf]

Apartment Fire in Ballston — A fire broke out in the kitchen of a fourth floor apartment at the View at Liberty Center building in Ballston yesterday evening. The fire was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system, but water damage was reported in the apartments and ground floor retail space below. The incident prompted a large fire department response and closed lanes on Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street. [Twitter]

Vax Rate Lags Among Younger Adults — “Pleading, cajoling, finger-wagging and threatening still don’t seem to be doing the trick in getting the 24-to-34-year-old age group in Arlington on board with COVID vaccinations. Data last week show that while 71 percent of county residents in that age group have received at least one jab of the vaccine… Countywide, just under 79 percent of 223,000 Arlington residents ages 5 and older have received at least one dose.” [Sun Gazette]

Thanksgiving 5K Along N. Pershing Drive — “The Arlington Turkey Trot 16th Annual 5k Fun Run will take place on Thursday, November 25, 2021. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.” [ACPD]

Arlington Gets Perfect LGBT Equality ScoreUpdated at 8 a.m. — “Arlington garnered a 100-percent rate in the 10th annual Municipal Equality Index, reported by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The average score for 11 major localities in Virginia was 88 on a zero-to-100 scale, compared to a national average of 67. Arlington was among 110 communities earning a perfect rating, up from 11… when the survey debuted.” [Sun Gazette]

Metro Woes Extend to 2022 — “Metro customers can expect to see current (reduced) rail service levels through December 31, Metro announced today.  With no timeline established to return the 7000-series fleet in the interest of safety, and 6000-series railcars awaiting parts due to global supply chain challenges, incremental service improvements will be made during December as parts arrive for older model railcars.” [WMATA]

Snow Possibility in Forecast — From the Capital Weather Gang: “DC first flakes? Watching possibility of disturbance/clipper passing thru cold air Sun-Mon timeframe. It could shift or fizzle and probably not a big deal even if it hits, but first feature this season we’re watching with some curiosity.” [Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Sunny today, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Sunrise at 7 a.m. and sunset at 4:49 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 47. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Thanksgiving week in Shirlington (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

ACPD Thanksgiving Anti-DUI Event — “On Thanksgiving-eve, traditionally a time of celebrations with heavy alcohol consumption, ACPD, in partnership with WRAP, is hosting a Thanksgiving anti-drunk driving event to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills. This free event is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, November 24, at N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard, from 8:00-10:00 p.m.” [ACPD, Twitter]

Shirlington Apartment Employee Slashed — “An employee of the residential building discovered that the laundry room had been locked and upon opening it, discovered the unknown male suspect inside. The suspect produced a knife and struck the victim’s hand, causing a laceration. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Arriving officers canvased the area with negative results. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.” [ACPD]

Bus Driver Protest in Ballston — “Arlington Public Schools bus drivers are protesting again, this time in Ballston. They’re chanting and getting passing drivers to honk in favor of better pay and fair treatment.” [Twitter, WJLA]

County Seeks Budget Feedback — “Each winter, the County Manager presents a proposed operating budget to the County Board in order to plan spending for the next fiscal year. We’d like to know your thoughts on how Arlington should prioritize necessary spending in FY 2023. Help us get better insight on questions such as: How would you rate the importance of County programs and services?” [Arlington County]

Clement: Fewer Signs Stolen This Year — “In her annual election wrapup at the first Arlington County Board meeting after the votes were in, perennial protest candidate Audrey Clement told board members that she’d been able to gather up a good portion of her campaign signage from medians. ‘I recovered about 450 signs, or two-thirds of the total,’ she told board members. ‘This is a significant improvement over 2020, when two-thirds of my signs were trashed.’ Clement ran second in the four-candidate County Board race.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — A chance of showers today, mainly before 10 a.m. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 52. Northwest wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Sunrise at 6:59 a.m. and sunset at 4:49 p.m. Sunny tomorrow, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. [Weather.gov]

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A local Christmas tree lot (courtesy of Peter Golkin)

(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) With cold weather here, holiday music returning, and Thanksgiving a week away, it’s time for many to pick out that perfect Christmas tree.

Arlington has several Christmas tree sales, though that number seems to have diminished in 2021 compared to recent years. Unsurprisingly the pandemic is playing a role, but another cause is a reported tree shortage.

Supply chain issues, wildfires and heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, shipping delays, and a pine tree pest infestation in Kentucky are all contributing factors to the nationwide shortage.

The Knights of Columbus Christmas tree lot at Our Lady of Lourdes, on 23rd Street S. near Crystal City, won’t be having a sale this year, after cancelling in 2020 due to Covid-related concerns. This time around, the shortage is the primary reason.

“Our supplier for the last 15 years recently informed us that he had supply chain issues and would not be able to provide us with trees this year,” a spokesperson told ARLnow. “We contacted various other farms in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia but none were able to provide trees either.”

They plan on coming back next year, however.

“We will work during the offseason to establish a relationship with a new supplier and plan on opening next year,” the group said.

The Arlington South Lions Club also won’t be having its sale near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive in 2021, a club member said. It would have been the sale’s 59th year. The cancellation is not Covid- or shortage-related, we’re told.

Below is a list of sales that ARLnow has confirmed are happening.

  1. The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 75th annual sale at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Lee Highway, directly behind the Wells Fargo Bank and next to Metro 29 diner. It starts at noon on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. The sale will be daily until the trees are sold out. Organizers claim it to be “the LARGEST tree lot in all of Northern Virginia by volume” and sell about 2,500 trees a year. All trees are grown on the Virginia and North Carolina border and cut on Nov. 23 and Nov. 30. They recommend buying early since it’s anticipated they’ll sell out by Dec. 12. Proceeds go to youth sports programs and scholarships.
  2. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 4000 Lorcom Lane in Cherrydale also kicks off its sale on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. Two-hundred trees will from Vermont will be offered. The hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers are recommending buying early since 85% of the trees were sold during the first weekend. Volunteers are needed.
  3. The Clarendon United Methodist Church at 606 N. Irving Street is holding its pre-sale now with tree pick-up starting on Saturday, Nov. 27. There will also be a lot set up for those who wish to come in person. However, only 200 trees are available (plus a number of wreaths) and the church expects to sell out quickly. All the trees come from Canada, cost $75, and proceeds will go to the non-profit Arlington Thrive.
  4. The boys and girls of Scout Troop 167 are partnering with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church at 1500 N. Glebe Road in the Ballston area this year for a Christmas tree sale. The sale will only be for three days, the weekend after Thanksgiving. It starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday afternoon. A rain date will be the following weekend. Wreaths, medium, and large trees will be available. There’ll be no small trees this year due to drought but bigger trees can be trimmed. Pre-ordering and, even, home delivery are available this year.
  5. Boy Scout Troop 162 is again hosting its Christmas tree sale at the Dominion Hills pool parking lot at 5960 Wilson Blvd. The sale kicks off on Friday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regular hours are Monday-Friday from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wreaths and garlands will also be sold. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted. “Boy Scout Troop 162 has been selling Christmas trees to their Arlington neighbors since the early 1970’s,” says the troop’s Facebook page. “We are proud to say that we have sold trees to generations of families and look forward to many more years!”

Aware of any other local Christmas tree sales? Let us know in the comments.

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More than 1,000 coronavirus tests were performed in Arlington on at least four days over the past week.

The surge in testing may be attributable to returning college students, traveling relatives and others seeking a virus-free Thanksgiving gathering. It has pushed the county’s seven-day testing average up to 928 daily tests and the test positivity rate down to 6.3%, from 7.6% just four days ago.

Amid the rise in testing, the number of average daily cases continues to rise. Arlington hit a new record today, with 482 coronavirus cases reported over the past seven days, or a trailing seven day average of nearly 69 daily cases.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases in Arlington over the course of the pandemic is now 5,994, just shy of the 6,000 mark. It crossed 5,000 on Nov. 8.

No new COVID-related deaths were reported in Arlington today by the Virginia Dept. of Health, but three new hospitalizations were reported overnight, bringing the seven-day total of local hospitalizations to nine.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that Americans avoid traveling for Thanksgiving this year, as the pandemic rages in much of the nation. Arlington County, meanwhile, last week issued “Guidelines for a Safer Thanksgiving During COVID-19,” including keeping gatherings small, hosting guests outside, and wearing masks.

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Morning Notes

Thanksgiving County Closures — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26 & Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving. Courts will close Wednesday Nov. 26 at noon… Metered Parking: Not enforced on Thurs. Nov. 26 or Fri., Nov. 27.” [Arlington County]

Development Plan for Silver Diner Site — “The Donohoe Cos. is targeting Clarendon’s Silver Diner for a major redevelopment. The company has yet to file specific plans with Arlington County for the triangular parcel at 3200 Wilson Blvd., a block from the Clarendon Metro station, but it has outlined a mixed-use vision for the newly dubbed ‘Bingham Center’ on a project page on its website. Specifically, the developer envisions 286 apartments, a 224-room hotel, 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, a public park and ‘a new public street designed with the principals of a woonerf (a curbless pedestrian-friendly street).'” [Washington Business Journal]

The End of Snow Days? — “Superintendent Francisco Durán of Arlington County Public Schools said that shifting classes online for snow days was a ‘possibility’ but that he doesn’t expect it to happen often.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Commission Calls for Renaming Powers — “The Arlington Transportation Commission is asking County Board members to seek legislative approval from Richmond to give the county government power to rename the highways and byways within its boundaries. Currently, some (though not all) Virginia cities have broad power on street and highway naming, but counties are much more restricted.” [InsideNova]

Last-Minute Thanksgiving IdeasUpdated at 8:35 a.m. — Here are a few local Thanksgiving options, including for takeout dinners, for those seeking last minute ideas. Check with the restaurant first to confirm they are still accepting orders or reservations. [Twitter, StayArlington]

Nearby: Flurry of Fs at Fairfax Schools — ” Stunning data for Fairfax County, VA’s largest school system, shows HUGE academic cost of online learning — Fs up by 83% this year. Vulnerable children struggling most: Fs for students w/ disabilities up by 111%, for English learners up by 106%.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Arlingtonian to Join Administration — “President-elect Joe Biden said Monday he will nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who served as the top U.S. diplomat overseeing African affairs in the Obama administration, to be his ambassador to the United Nations.” Thomas-Greenfield is a long-time Arlington resident. [USA Today]

Arlington’s Average Income Falls — “The county’s weekly wage averaged $1,926 in the second quarter of 2020, according to figures reported Nov. 18 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up slightly more than 12 percent from the rate recorded a year before, but down from the $2,018 reported for the first quarter of 2020, which had placed Arlington in the rare company of just a handful of localities with incomes that high.” [InsideNova]

Police Investigating Stabbing Near the Pike — “At approximately 6:18 p.m. on November 20, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined the witness was running in the park when the victim approached him and fell to the ground. Medics arrived on scene, began treating the victim and determined he was suffering from a stab wound. He was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.” [ACPD]

Airport Construction Continues — “Anticipating the day passenger traffic returns to a semblance of normalcy, the new 14-gate concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport continues to make progress toward a planned opening next year. The new concourse, attached as a pier off of Terminal C at the airport, is now fully enclosed, with half the passenger jet-bridges on site, according to a recent update from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.” [InsideNova]

Changes for Drivers at DCA — “Construction has reduced lanes on Baggage Claim (lower) level in front of Terminal B/C. Drivers should use any door on the Ticketing (upper) level to pick up and drop off holiday travelers. Taxis are still available downstairs.” [Twitter]

Thanksgiving Travel Tips from VSP — “This year overall, state police have seen fewer crashes on Virginia highways but those crashes have been more deadly. Making sure you are driving the posted speed limit, driving for conditions and wearing your seatbelt are the best ways to stay safe on the road.” [Press Release]

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