Strong Winds Take Out Power for Thousands — About 4,000 people across Northern Virginia lost electricity yesterday (Wednesday) due to strong winds that prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Wind Advisory for the D.C. area until 8 p.m. More than 1,000 people in the Vienna/Oakton area in particular were affected, according to Dominion Energy’s outage map. [Dominion Energy/Twitter]
Vienna Resident Dies in Route 29 Crash — Vienna resident Michael K. Ratzenberger was one of two drivers killed on Sunday (April 18) in a head-on crash on Route 29 in Culpeper County. Virginia State Police said he entered the highway in the wrong direction when his car collided with another vehicle driven by Jose B. Hernandez Solis, 50, of Culpeper. The crash also left four passengers in Solis’s vehicle seriously injured. [The Washington Post]
Fairfax County Judge Orders Release of D.C. Firefighter — “A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge has overturned the 2019 conviction of a Black D.C. firefighter, saying the case was built on false representations from the arresting county police officer.” [WTOP]
Falls Church Little League Awarded Grant for Batting Cages — The Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted on April 14 to approve the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League’s request for $12,737.25 in grant money to construct three hitting stations adjacent to field 2 at Idylwood Park. It was one of three grant requests approved at the meeting. [FCPA]
Madison Field Hockey Team Advances to State Finals — James Madison High School’s field hockey team is going to the state finals after beating W.T. Woodson 2-0 on Tuesday (April 20). A state championship win would be the first for the school’s field hockey program, according to head coach Carrie Holman. [LocalDVM]
Photo by Joanne Liebig
Fairfax County Implements New COVID-19 Call Center — The health department says the new center will enable the county to “better meet the needs of our residents during the upcoming transition to Phase 2 and beyond.” Wait times may be prolonged this week as the department resolves issues with the new system and trains more call agents. [Fairfax County Health Department]
Virginia Investigates Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Death — Health officials stated yesterday that one of the six U.S. cases of a person developing blood clots after receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine appears to involve a Virginia resident who died in mid-March. Use of the vaccine has been paused throughout the country as the cases are under review. [Patch]
“Hamilton” Returning to the Kennedy Center — “The Kennedy Center announced on Tuesday its theater lineup for the upcoming season, which will include performances of Hamilton, Jersey Boys, and Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. Theater curtains will first raise on October 13 for a staging of Tony-winner Hadestown, a return to live theater that may cause musical buffs to break out into a chorus line.” [Washingtonian]
Tysons Company Provides Air Monitoring to D.C. Schools — Senseware has installed its air monitoring data platform in D.C.’s 112 public schools. The Tysons-based software developer says its technology can detect the presence of COVID-19 particles and help users monitor air quality to reduce the risk of viral transmission. [PR Newswire]
Vienna Coffee Shop Donates Beans to Food Bank — “Donating bags of our coffee beans to @foodforothers! Here at Caffe Amouri, we believe in giving back to our community that shows up for us every day. Thank you @foodforothers for letting us be apart of your mission” [Caffe Amouri/Twitter]
The man who died after a vehicle crash in Merrifield early Monday morning (March 29) was a 49-year-old Centreville resident named Dashdavaa Zambalgarav, the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday afternoon.
Police say the crash occurred just before 4 a.m. at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Javier Road, and it involved a single vehicle with Zambalgarav as the driver and lone occupant.
Crash reconstruction unit detectives have preliminarily determined that Zambalgarav was traveling west on Route 50 in a 2008 Lexus RX “when he drifted into the center median and crashed into a traffic pole at Javier Road,” according to the police report.
Zambalgarav was transported to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
“Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this crash, but preliminary, do not believe speed or alcohol were factors,” the FCPD said.
Since the investigation is ongoing, police are still seeking additional information about the crash:
Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact our Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest.
Image via Google Maps
Fairfax County police are investigating a fatal crash in Merrifield that happened early this morning (Monday).
The crash occurred at the intersection of Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) and Javier Road. It involved a single vehicle with one occupant, a man who was taken to the hospital, where he later died, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
Police closed westbound Arlington Boulevard between Javier Road and Williams Drive so that detectives from FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit could investigate the incident.
The investigation remains ongoing, but Arlington Boulevard reopened around 8:22 a.m.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 29, 2021
A house fire on the 9700 block of Meadowlark Road in Vienna displaced seven people on Tuesday (March 16).
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units were dispatched to the single-family home at approximately 6:04 p.m. There was “heavy fire and smoke showing” when they arrived on the scene, the FCFRD said in a report released yesterday.
While no civilians were injured, one cat died in the fire, and a firefighter was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The firefighter has since been released.
The fire was detected when one of the three people who were in the house at the time smelled smoke. The occupants evacuated and called 9-1-1 after seeing smoke and fire issuing from the basement. Three dogs were also present and “escaped the fire unharmed,” according to the county fire department.
“Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement,” the FCFRD said. “The cause of the fire was combustible materials too close to the operating fireplace.”
The fire produced approximately $378,750 in damages. The house’s seven residents are receiving Red Cross assistance after being displaced.
This is the fourth house fire reported in Vienna within the past 10 days.
A house fire on Bowling Green Drive on March 10 and one on Hunt Country Lane in the Wolf Trap area on March 11 each displaced two people. There was also a house fire on Baton Drive in Vienna on Monday (March 15). No people were at home at the time, but neighbors saved a dog that was present.
A combination of strong winds, relatively low humidity, and warming temperatures makes fires more common during this time of the year, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.
When the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County on March 11, the Fairfax County fire department warned that cigarettes and other smoking materials discarded in mulch or brush could spark a significant fire.
The crash occurred in the 7200 block of Lee Highway in Falls Church, not the 7300 block as previously reported. After receiving a report of a person lying in the roadway just prior to 9 p.m., police officers arrived on the scene to find Garcia-Hernandez in the westbound lanes.
Rescue personnel pronounced her dead at the scene. The crash required a closure of westbound Route 29 at Graham Road that lasted until around 4 a.m. on Thursday.
Detectives have determined through a preliminary crash investigation that Garcia-Hernandez was crossing Lee Highway outside of a crosswalk when she was struck by an unknown vehicle that did not stop.
With the vehicle still not located, FCPD is seeking witnesses for its investigation, which remains ongoing. Anyone with information can contact the crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543 or submit tips anonymously.
Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Solvers by web, phone (1-866-411-TIPS), and text (type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411). The FCPD also has a mobile Tip411 app called “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers.” Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.
This is the first pedestrian fatality of 2021 for Fairfax County. The county recorded 127 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians in 2020, resulting in 15 deaths and 134 injuries, according to preliminary data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Fairfax County has been developing a countywide pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative and implementing other measures, such as a lane closure pilot project, in an effort to reduce fatalities and crashes.
A longtime Falls Church City resident who was a familiar presence in the local culinary scene joined the hundreds of COVID-19 victims in the Fairfax County area earlier this week.
The family-owned restaurant Thompson Italian announced on Tuesday (Jan. 19) that its “beloved team member,” Jose Rogelio Martinez Alvarenca, died on Sunday (Jan. 17) after “an extensive battle” with COVID-19.
“He was a true fixture in the Falls Church community,” Thompson Italian said. “He worked in neighborhood restaurants for decades, and seemed to know everyone who walked in our door. He had a ready smile, lots of swagger, and unparalleled enthusiasm.”
Martinez had not been working at Thompson Italian since the restaurant temporarily closed in March due to the pandemic, but the management team says it had “looked forward to welcoming him back in the spring.”
“Nights were better for everyone when Jose was working, and he will be sorely missed by our staff and our guests,” the team said.
Survived by his wife, Ana, and five children – Jessica, Joseph, Gary, Jose “Junior,” and Kiara — Martinez came to the U.S. from El Salvador in 1979 and had lived in the City of Falls Church for the past 30 years.
He contracted COVID-19 in November and was hospitalized until his death on Jan. 17, according to his children.
His family started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to assist with costs for medical care and memorial and funeral services, which will be held on Monday (Jan. 25). The fundraiser has more than doubled its goal of $15,000, with 416 donors contributing more than $36,000 as of 8:30 a.m.
Jessica and Joseph Martinez describe their father as someone who was passionate about working with people in his community and enjoyed working in the food industry as a way to connect with neighbors.
“He was very well-known in the community and we are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support by neighbors, friends and family,” they told Tysons Reporter. “We created the GoFundMe fundraiser as so many people that knew Jose reached out and wanted to help.”
They added that the goal of the fundraiser is “to ease the burden for funeral and memorial costs to keep his memory alive and bury him with dignity, so he can be at peace.”
The woman who died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Leesburg Pike on Sunday (Dec. 6) was Holly Kuga, a 72-year-old resident of Great Falls, the Fairfax County Police Department reported this afternoon (Tuesday).
According to Fairfax County police, the fatal crash occurred around 11 a.m. at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Towlston Road in Vienna, when Kuga attempted to turn left from southbound Towlston onto Leesburg Pike.
The driver of a 2017 GMC Sierra who was traveling west on Leesburg crashed into Kuga’s 2012 Honda Accord as she was going through the intersection.
Kuga was transported to a hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
“Detectives are continuing to investigate whether speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash,” the FCPD said. “Charges are pending further investigation.”
An upcoming meeting of the McLean Citizens Association tomorrow (Wednesday) will be dedicated to Lilla Richards, a former Dranesville District Supervisor who died on Sept. 22 at 81.
Richards, who had also served as the MCA president, was renowned in the area for her civic activism. She was one of the founders of the McLean Citizens Foundation and helped secure a permanent home for the McLean Project for the Arts.
According to a tribute written by the MCA:
Lilla Richards, a former Dranesville District Supervisor, passed away September 22, at age 81. Former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis who served with Lilla described her as a “professional citizen.” He said, “she never deviated from her moral compass or her commitment to making McLean one of the most attractive residential communities in the county.”
Lilla was a strong activist for her community. She served as President of the McLean Citizens Association and the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Association. She helped found the McLean Citizens Foundation and worked to find a permanent home for the McLean Project for the Arts at the McLean Community Center and was critical to the creation of the Old Firehouse Teen Center.
Her institutional knowledge about Fairfax County’s zoning ordinance helped bring about many positive land-use and environmental changes to Fairfax. Lilla’s archives are located in the Virginia Room at Fairfax Library. She was a Fairfax County giant and will be missed.
Photo via McLean Citizens Association
Clothing Retailer Closing in Tysons Corner Center — “Five Justice stores are set to close in the D.C. area, along with two Lane Bryant locations, two Catherines locations, one Loft Outlet and the Lou & Grey store at Tysons Corner Center.” [Washington Business Journal]
Signed, Sealed, Delivered — “Fairfax County Planning Commission members on July 29 unanimously approved a comprehensive sign plan for the new Archer Hotel in western McLean on the edge of Tysons, after the applicant reduced the size of several proposed signs.” [Inside NoVa]
Local Man Drowned — “A 21-year-old Vienna man drowned in Lake Anna on Saturday, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday.” [Inside NoVa]
Special Election in Falls Church — A special election to fill the late Daniel Sze’s council seat will be held as part of the general election on Nov. 3. [Falls Church News Press]
Photo by Michelle Goldchain