Arlington, VA

(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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Police were called to the Arlington Mill neighborhood, north of Columbia Pike, over the weekend for a report of a man standing around with his pants unzipped.

According to Arlington County Police, a resident of the 800 block of S. Frederick Street spotted the man standing in the woods, staring with him, around 6 p.m. on Saturday. The man’s pants, according to the resident, were unzipped.

Ten minutes later, the same man was spotted “exhibiting the same suspicious behavior,” prompting the call to police. By the time officers arrived, the man had zipped out of the area and could not be located.

More from an ACPD crime report:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-10200181, 800 block of S. Frederick Street. At approximately 6:24 p.m. on October 20, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was in the parking lot of his residence when he observed an unknown male suspect in a wooded area staring at him with his pants unzipped. When the victim returned approximately ten minutes later, he observed the same male exhibiting the same suspicious behavior and called police. Arriving officers observed the male in the area, however, he fled on foot. The area was canvased with negative results. The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male, in his 40’s, approximately 5’6″, with an average build, dark hair with a receding hairline, wearing jeans and a light grey and black sweatshirt. The investigation is ongoing.

Map via Google Maps

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(Update at 4:25 p.m.) After this article was published, Carol Fuller, president of the Crystal City Civic Association, reached out with some clarity on the origin of the street art:

The art projects are the work of JBG Smith, the major developer in Crystal and Pentagon Cities.  They have so many projects in the works, including PenPlace where the bikes are now located on the wall, that they wanted to “beautify” the project areas. They did this as a “small mini intervention” project to link Pentagon and Crystal Cities and create some “buzz” for their development projects in an interesting and more attractive way. The work was done by Ground Swell, a company of architects, landscapers, and artists from Philadelphia.

The mysterious street art cropping up around Pentagon City and Crystal City seems to be evolving.

Readers first alerted to ARLnow to a series of spray-painted flowers popping up all along 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street earlier this month. Several colorful bikes adorned with flowers appeared on street corners soon afterward, though no one in the county government or local business community had any idea who was responsible for the art.

This week, the bikes remain, but have migrated slightly. Many are now mounted on the wall of a bike and pedestrian trail running along 12th Street S., between S. Fern Street and S. Eads Street, not far from the Pentagon City Metro station. Others are affixed to walls alongside S. Eads Street itself.

Some readers say they’ve spotted a pick-up truck full of workers dropping off the bikes, though it remains unclear who is backing the public art effort. Reader Christine Brown was able to snap a picture of the truck, which is labeled “The Property Coach.”

State records show no indication of any business with such a name, and an internet search was fruitless as well.

https://twitter.com/cmoye/status/1044928343374798849

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For the last few days, an electronic sign meant to inform drivers about some upcoming roadwork in the Shirlington area has displayed a different message instead: “Ligma.”

A prankster seems to have reprogrammed the sign, located near the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and S. Arlington Mill Drive, sometime in the past few days. A tipster told ARLnow the sign’s been changed since at least this past Wednesday (Aug. 22).

The word itself seems to be a reference to a popular meme among fans of the video game Fortnite — its origins are perhaps best not explained on a family website.

When informed of the vandalized sign by ARLnow, county transportation spokeswoman Jessica Baxter explained that it belongs to a contractor working on improvements to S. Walter Reed Drive as part of a bid to “alert the public of the start of upcoming work.”

“The sign is supposed to reference the upcoming construction and date range of work,” Baxter said. “We’ve alerted our contractor to correct the sign as soon as possible.”

Construction on that work is supposed to start in early September, and last for close to a year after that.

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Someone placed a mannequin alongside a busy road near Ballston this morning.

The female mannequin was wearing a knit hat, a t-shirt and a sign about being a “DoD based experiment,” a tipster told ARLnow. It was placed at the corner of N. Wakefield Street and N. Carlin Springs Road.

The sign on it referenced Secure Planet, a Ballston-based biometrics and facial recognition technology company. A phone number printed on the sign rings through to a company executive, though it was not answered when an ARLnow.com reporter called Friday afternoon.

At some point, someone placed another typed sign on the mannequin, criticizing the company for alleged privacy violations.

The mannequin, signs and all, appears to have been moved just before the end of the morning rush hour.

“Very bizarre,” the tipster concluded.

Update at 6:30 p.m. — The person who put the second sign on the mannequin discussed it on Twitter yesterday.

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Linda’s Cafe is an unassuming, long-time diner at 5050 Lee Highway in Arlington, serving a clientele that includes families and senior citizens.

The restaurant is not active on Facebook and doesn’t have a website that we could find. On Yelp, diners are mostly satisfied with the service and the food — “the service is good and the staff is nice,” is a typical comment. A sign in the window touts “excellent burgers.”

But on Twitter — at least over the past year or so — Linda’s Cafe has a much different personality: quarrelling with customers, warning of speed traps along Lee Highway and saying “f*** the pilgrims” on Thanksgiving.

One long-time customer who contacted ARLnow said the Twitter account is not befitting the character of the restaurant nor the values of its customers.

“Their servers, chefs and other employees have been spouting profanities, talking about… controversial subjects on their restaurant’s official Twitter account,” said the customer, who did not want to be named.

Reached by phone, an assistant manager who said his name was Luciano seemed confused when asked about the Twitter account, saying he was aware of its existence but not the content. He declined further comment. The restaurant’s owner was traveling and not available for comment, we were told.

Photo and screen shots via Twitter

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A woman walking down the street witnessed a man wearing a mask, lying atop a car and pleasuring himself last night in the Courthouse area, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m., on the 1900 block of Wilson Blvd. The masked man fled on foot after the woman screamed. Police were called but officers were unable to find him.

More from ACPD:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-11280270, 1900 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on November 28 police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:45 p.m. a female victim was walking in the area when she observed a male suspect wearing a mask laying across the hood of a car masturbating. When the victim screamed, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male, with light skin, wearing light brown pants, black shoes, a black sweater and a black mask. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

Read More

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A cyclist was seen riding down the street in Courthouse yesterday, mooning every driver and pedestrian in his path.

Police were called around 3:45 p.m. for “a report of a male traveling by bicycle with his buttocks exposed in the area of N. Veitch Street at Wilson Boulevard,” according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

An ARLnow.com contractor witnessed the odd sight and said the man rode his bike into the nearby Key Elementary parking lot. Police, however, were unable to locate him.

“A lookout was broadcast and a search of the area by officers was negative,” Savage said.

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A Rosslyn barber shop has accused a newly-opened hairdresser in the same building of trying to steal its customers.

TL Barbershop moved to a new location at 1800 Wilson Blvd earlier this year, from its old spot at 1755 Clarendon Blvd. Both addresses are in the same condo building: 1800 Wilson Boulevard.

The trouble allegedly began when a new barber shop opened at 1755 Clarendon Blvd: LL’s Barber Shop. TL accused its new neighbor of misleading customers by saying that the new store is actually TL’s second location, and that the two are affiliated. A reader noted in an email the similar names, awnings and signs on both shops.

“TL Barbershop is unique and one-of-a-kind,” TL wrote on its website. “We have relocated our business here [to 1800 Wilson Blvd.]. We have not opened a second location and are in no way associated with any other barbershops. Any individuals or groups attempting to solicit or detain you at our former location have no affiliation with TL Barbershop.”

LL reviewers on Yelp leveled similar accusations at the new barber shop.

“This place has continued to falsely state that they are related to the TL barbershop, which used to be located there and has since moved stores to the other side of the building,” wrote one reviewer. “That is unethical and not true. [They] chose a similar name and LIE when people ask what happened to TL, they say they changed their name. When people ask for specific people they used to get at TL, this new store states that the person is sick. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.”

In a brief interview Monday morning, LL manager Van Lam Pham denied that his staff have been misleading customers. He said that perhaps people were “confused” by the two businesses having similar names, and a new barber shop being located in TL’s old space.

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(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Hundreds of Pepsi cans spilled onto the road at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Fern Street last night.

It’s unclear what exactly happened, but an Arlington resident who drove by the spill theorized, based on the large volume of soda on the ground, that it must have fallen off of a Pepsi delivery truck.

The resident, Christopher C., says that the truck was “nowhere to be found” when he drove by the mess around 6 p.m. Sunday, nor were any emergency responders. Police, we’re told, responded moments later.

“At approximately 6:05 p.m. police responded to S. Fern Street at Army Navy Drive for traffic control,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “A truck lost its cargo, blocking multiple lanes of Army Navy Drive. Arlington [Dept. of Environmental Services] was notified.”

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Raccoons in Arlington have been known to catch rides on garbage trucks, get stuck in drains and terrorize Fairlington residents.

Now, a trash panda has gone where few have gone before: into someone’s bathtub.

A resident was surprised to find the frightened raccoon in her tub a few days ago. She called the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and an animal control officer was able to free the critter from the home.

More from an AWLA Facebook post, below.

This isn’t what most people expect to find in their bathtub in the morning! A few days ago, a local resident woke up and found this scared little guy in her tub (the home was undergoing attic repairs, so that’s likely how he got in). Luckily, she knew just what to do and called Animal Control, who safely removed the raccoon from the home and released him outside where he happily scampered off!

Photo via AWLA/Facebook

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