Newsletter

Vice President Praises Local Candle Maker — 11-year-old entrepreneur Alejandro got a boost from Vice President Kamala Harris when she visited the stall that his company Smell of Love Candles had at the Downtown Holiday Market in D.C. last weekend. Based in Fairfax County, the company crafts and delivers soy candles, and it now offers the ones bought by Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff as a package. [WUSA9]

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Available to Students — Fairfax County Public Schools students and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with a COVID-positive person can now get diagnostic testing at six drive-through sites around the county. Appointments aren’t needed, but a parent or guardian must provide consent and their children’s information through the school system’s online portal. [FCPS]

County Recommends Getting COVID-19 Booster — “The Fairfax County Health Department joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in strengthening their recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone aged 18 and older should get a booster shot either six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine.” [FCHD]

Four People Killed in Thanksgiving Weekend Traffic Crashes — “Four people died in traffic crashes in Virginia over the Thanksgiving weekend, the smallest number of traffic fatalities during the holiday weekend in the past 10 years, according to preliminary data released by the Virginia State Police. The fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Chesterfield, Fairfax and Spotsylvania.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Collects Record Taxes — “Fairfax County collected more than $4 billion in total taxes in fiscal 2021 for the first time ever, a staggering figure made possible not by rising tax rates, but soaring property assessments. Of the $4.05 billion collected in the fiscal year that ended June 30, $3.02 billion, or roughly 75%, came from real property tax levies, according to the county’s recently released Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Leaders Consider Staff Pay Increases — “Fairfax County supervisors and School Board members next year hope to give county and school employees large pay raises to make up for ones lost last year to the pandemic. But supervisors added quickly they did not want homeowners to feel the full brunt of skyrocketing property assessments.” [Sun Gazette]

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. — Georgetown Pike has been reopened, according to Fairfax Alerts.

Earlier: Georgetown Pike is currently closed at Turkey Run Road in McLean after a vehicle crash from earlier this afternoon.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, officers responded to Georgetown Pike and Langley Lane before 3 p.m. for a single vehicle crash.

A notice from the county’s Fairfax Alerts system stated that delays should be expected for an “unknown duration.”

“Please follow officer direction in the area,” the police department said.

While police say no injuries were reported in this incident, Georgetown Pike and Langley Lane was the site of another vehicular crash on Nov. 13 that ultimately killed 65-year-old Andre Newman. Newman’s family and community members held a vigil for him at Langley High School, just one-tenth of a mile up the road.

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Debris from a two-vehicle crash on the I-495 ramp to the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean (courtesy Virginia State Police)

Three people, including one child, ended up in the hospital this morning (Wednesday) after two vehicles crashed on the northbound I-495 exit ramp for the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean.

According to Virginia State Police, which responded to the crash at 10:37 a.m., the crash involved a box truck and a Toyota sedan that had stopped on the interstate between the right, northbound travel lane and the shoulder:

At this stage of the crash investigation, it appears a Toyota sedan was stopped partially in the right, northbound travel lane and partially on the right shoulder. A box truck came upon the stopped vehicle and tried to change lanes to avoid the Toyota, but the Toyota suddenly pulled into the truck’s travel lane. The two vehicles collided.

The Toyota was occupied by two adult women and a 6-year-old boy, all of whom were hospitalized. A female passenger is undergoing treatment for injuries considered life-threatening, while the female driver and the boy sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the box truck, an adult man, was not injured.

“The crash remains under investigation at this time,” state police said in a news release. “The Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team is assisting with the ongoing investigation.”

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(Updated at 10:30 a.m. on 11/19/2021) A 65-year-old Fairfax resident involved in a crash that closed Georgetown Pike in McLean over the weekend has died, the Fairfax County Police Department announced this afternoon (Monday).

According to police, Andre Newman was driving a 2012 Nissan Sentra east on Georgetown Pike around 11:37 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 13) when he side-swiped a 2019 Range Rover that was attempting to turn left from westbound Georgetown Pike onto Langley Lane.

The Nissan drove off the roadway and into a ditch. Newman, the vehicle’s only occupant, sustained injuries considered life-threatening and was transported to a hospital, where he died Sunday morning (Nov. 14). (Correction: This article previously said Newman died Monday morning, rather than on Sunday, as reported by police.) 

The Range Rover contained four passengers: the driver and three juveniles. They remained at the scene of the crash during the FCPD’s preliminary investigation.

“Preliminarily, detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit do not believe that speed and alcohol are factors in the crash,” the police department said. “The investigation remains active, and details of the investigation will be presented to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review.”

Newman is the 17th person to die in a road incident that didn’t involve a pedestrian in Fairfax County this year. There were 10 non-pedestrian fatalities in all of 2020.

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Morning Notes

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Coming to Elementary Schools — “Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 16, the Fairfax Health District and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, at nine clinics located at schools across Fairfax County. Clinics will be held after school hours, evenings and weekends at nine school sites, initially.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Person Hospitalized by Crash in McLean — Georgetown Pike was shut down between 1:40 and 5:20 a.m. yesterday (Sunday) after two vehicles crashed at the Langley Lane intersection that night. One person was taken to a hospital with injuries considered life-threatening, Fairfax County police reported. [FCPD]

FCPS Shortens Student Quarantines — In an email to parents, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said, starting today (Monday), the amount of time students have to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure will be reduced from 14 to 10 days, if they have no symptoms. FCPS will also start offering voluntary screening testing for unvaccinated students. [WUSA9]

Deer Bursts into Vienna Barbershop — “A deer broke through the storefront window of Clip & Style Barber Shop, 116 Branch Road, S.E., on Nov. 6 at 1:03 p.m., then ran around the salon and back out the window, Vienna police said. The deer struck one of the employees in the leg. Rescue personnel responded and assessed the employee.” [Sun Gazette]

Mosaic District to Host Holiday Pop-Up Market — “URBNmarket, an upscale handmade and vintage market, is returning to Mosaic for its Holiday Village Extravaganza December 4-5.  Shop for everyone on your gift list from URBNmarket’s 65+ curated artisans. The Holiday Village will also include Caboose Brewing Co. beer garden, Bach To Rock music, kids activities, the FRESHFARM farmers market and more.” [URBNmarket]

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Morning Notes

Woman Dies After Seven Corners Crash — Alexandria resident Maria Pascoe died on Oct. 15 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Seven Corners at 9:27 a.m. on Sept. 29. Fairfax County has seen 14 non-pedestrian deaths from traffic incidents so far this year, compared to 10 over the same time period in 2020. [FCPD]

How to Celebrate Diwali Safely — The Fairfax County Health Department encourages people who celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, by gathering virtually, with members of their household, or outdoors. While festivities last for five days, Diwali itself takes place today (Thursday), with participants performing a Lakshmi Puja ritual to bring good health and fortune in the new year. [FCHD]

Spring Hill Apartment Building Sold — “Greystar sold the 404-unit Ascent apartment building in McLean for $150.5 million in a transaction that closed Oct. 1, according to Fairfax County records. An affiliate of Brookfield Properties was the buyer…Brookfield has begun marketing the property by its address, 8421 Broad, with rents that start at $1,900 a month.” [Washington Business Journal]

County to Hold Town Halls on Parking Changes — Fairfax County will hold four virtual town hall meetings starting on Monday (Nov. 8) to discuss its “Parking Reimagined” initiative, the first full review of the county’s rates and regulations for off-street parking in more than 30 years. The review will include an “extensive analysis” of parking supply and demand as well as local, regional, and even national trends. [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Police Awarded for Saving Life — “About this time last year, George Hunt went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on Maple Ave. following a traffic accident, and these Vienna Police officers immediately provided CPR. With gratitude for their life-saving actions, Mr. Hunt presented certificates of appreciation to officers Kenny Smith and Chip McElhattan at last night’s Vienna Town Council meeting. Because of them, he says he was able to celebrate his 60th birthday.” [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Family of Man Killed in I-495 Crash Starts GoFundMe — “The family of a 24-year-old Washington, D.C., man who died last week in a crash on the Capital Beltway in Fairfax County is holding an online fundraiser to help pay for his funeral expenses. The man, Elson Turcios, died in an early morning crash last Thursday on I-495, according to the Virginia State Police.” [Patch]

Metro Works to Bring More Railcars into Service — Metro is still working to bring back some older trains as crowding and long wait times continue to plague the transit system two weeks after a railcar derailed in Arlington. Officials said they ran 31 trains yesterday (Monday) and hope to improve service next week, though a timeline for the return of the 7000-series cars removed for inspections is still unclear. [DCist]

County Reports Strong Turnout for Sunday Voting — “We had a huge turnout for #earlyvoting this weekend. More than 9,000 people voted on Sat (10/23). On the first ever Sunday (10/24) for early voting, 4,656 people cast ballots! This is the last week to #voteearly” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]

Annual Coat Drive Helps Fairfax County Residents and Beyond — “Firefighters, police officers and others in Fairfax County, Virginia, teamed up Monday to bag up 3,000 new winter jackets so they can get them onto the backs and shoulders of kids who need them…Most of the coats went to Fairfax County residents, and in many cases, along the Route 1 corridor. But some were going to places like Prince William County, the city of Alexandria and even into Prince George’s County, Maryland.” [WTOP]

Police Collect Unused Prescription Drugs — Fairfax County police collected 1,406 pounds of unused and expired over-the-counter and prescription medication on Saturday (Oct. 23) as part of the 21st Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The McLean District Station received 220 pounds, behind West Springfield and Reston Hospital Center. [FCPD]

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Updated at 12:15 p.m.The crash site has been cleared, and all travel lanes on George Washington Memorial Parkway are now open with no delays reported as of noon, according to Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination.

Earlier: A driver was killed in the crash that shut down southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean this morning (Friday), the U.S. Park Police says.

Park Police officers responded to the one-car crash on the parkway near the entrance to the CIA headquarters at approximately 5:18 a.m. The driver, who was the vehicle’s sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This incident is currently under investigation,” a U.S. Park Police spokesperson said. “Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Traffic closures remain in effect at the I-495 ramps to southbound George Washington Parkway and Turkey Run, according to police.

Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination reported at 5:51 a.m. that all southbound lanes on the parkway were blocked between the Capital Beltway and Route 123, slowing traffic to a crawl.

A traffic camera at the I-495 interchange shows congestion on southbound George Washington Parkway after crash (via VDOT)

Ramps from the Inner and Outer Beltway Loops to George Washington Parkway were also closed, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/1451512631483895818

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One person has died after two vehicles crashed in the I-495 North access lanes to Route 50 in West Falls Church this morning (Thursday), Virginia State Police reported.

VSP responded to a crash on the Capital Beltway at 2:59 a.m. According to police, a Volkswagen and dump truck collided in the access lanes, resulting in one confirmed fatality and sending another person to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The crash completely blocked the I-495 Inner Loop service road and on ramp, and access to the Inner Loop from both Gallows Road and Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) was cut off.

The incident was cleared and all travel lanes reopened around 9:12 a.m., but delays lingered with traffic backed up to the I-495 and I-395 interchange in Springfield.

The crash remains under investigation, VSP says.

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Settles Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit — Fairfax County will pay $390,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by former D.C. firefighter Elon Wilson, who spent almost two years in prison after a police officer arrested him during a traffic stop in 2018, his lawyers said Monday (Oct. 11). A Circuit Court judge vacated Wilson’s conviction in April after police investigators uncovered then-Officer Jonathan A. Freitag’s history of pretextual traffic stops. [The Washington Post]

Pedestrian Hospitalized After Falls Church Crash — “Officers on scene of crash involving pedestrian in 6100 blk of Leesburg Pike. Pedestrian, a man, was taken to hospital w/ life-threatening injuries. Driver remained at scene & taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Personalized Sample Ballots Coming for Voters — “The Fairfax County Office of Elections is mailing a sample ballot beginning this week to each of the county’s 727,000 registered voters. The mailer also offers other helpful information, including: ways to request a mailed ballot, early voting locations and hours for those who choose to vote before Election Day, [and] each voter’s assigned polling place on Election Day.” [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Halloween Parade Returns in Full — The Vienna Halloween Parade will be back at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 after being revamped as a drive-by event last year. The parade will return to its normal route along Maple Avenue and surrounding streets with “The Roaring Twenties” as its theme and Rustic Love Vienna and the Vienna VA Foodies as grand marshals. [Patch]

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