The final edits were being made yesterday on the final version agreed to by both the Falls Church City Council and School Board of a 21-page “request for conceptual proposal” for development of the 34.6 acres of land annexed into the City as part of the sale last year of the City’s water system to Fairfax County.
Read F.C. Council, School Board Issues ‘RFP’ for City’s New 34.6 Acres on Falls Church News-Press Online.
Another marathon meeting, this time held open to the public, saw the Falls Church City Council and School Board hammer out some final modifications to the "request for proposal" that is scheduled to be sent out later this week to prospective developers of the City's near 40 acres of land that it annexed from Fairfax County,
Read F.C. Council, School Board Reach Consensus on RFP for Annexed Land on Falls Church News-Press Online.
FAIRFAX, V.a. (WJLA ) - Alex Horton says it started Sunday morning June 14th. He was sound asleep in a model unit of his Alexandria apartment building while his unit was being repaired.
A neighbor thought he was a squatter and called police.
Horton says he woke to find three Fairfax County Police officers with their guns drawn.
":They came in and swept from either side with their guns drawn,": Horton said. ":Then one leapt on the bed and handcuffed me: my face was down.":
Horton continued saying, ":My risk of violent death went up a hundred percent that morning and I was doing nothing wrong.":
He wrote about his experience on social media and in an Op-Ed for the Washington Post.
Then in a surprising move Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler issued a statement on Twitter saying in part:
":I can assure you no SWAT response was utilized in the response to this call for service. However, the Fairfax County Police Department takes seriously the writer&rsquo:s remarks and as such, an inquiry by the Department&rsquo:s Internal Affairs Bureau is being conducted at my direction.":
The Chief also seemed to take issue with Horton calling it a ":raid":. But the Iraq Veteran sees it differently.
":I know what a raid is,": Horton stated. ":It's when you enter a person's house of building without knowledge of them coming, and you seek to subdue whoever is inside as quickly as possible. And that's precisely what they did.":
Horton says he welcomes the internal affairs investigation, but isn't hopeful much will change.
":If they come back and say case closed...I expect them to do that.":
His story is getting national traction on Twitter. He says he hopes it will ignite a debate that might prompt change.
":They're going to look at it and they're not going to have any self criticism,": Horton said. ":They will say this is according to the book, but they will not look to see if the book itself is wrong.":
Wossen Assaye, 43, of Arlington, a prisoner who escaped police custody at Inova Fairfax Hospital in late March, pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during his assaults of two security guards when he escaped from custody.
Read Prisoner Who Escaped Custody at Inova Fairfax Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges on Falls Church News-Press Online.
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Between sobs, home health worker Jante Dorcas Franco gave a judge a halting, haunting description of surviving an attack that left another woman, music teacher Ruthanne Lodato, shot dead in her home.
":I heard something like a loud noise. I ran over,": she said Thursday at a pretrial hearing on murder charges against her alleged attacker, Charles Severance. ":I fell down, and then he shot. Then I felt some pain.":
The judge halted the hearing for roughly 30 minutes after Franco began sobbing uncontrollably in her attempt to describe what happened.
Thursday's hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court was held in part to determine whether Franco can reliably identify Severance as the man who shot her. Severance, 54, of Ashburn, is charged with three separate slayings in the city of Alexandria over a 10-year span. All three victims were shot in their homes, in broad daylight, in a wealthy, residential neighborhood. They were identified as: Nancy Dunning, wife of then-Sheriff James Dunning, in 2003: transportation planner Ron Kirby in 2013, and Lodato in 2014.
Ultimately, Judge Jane Marum Roush rejected defense objections and said that jurors can hear evidence about Franco's efforts to identify Severance from a photo lineup. Franco was shown six photos of gray-haired, bearded white men, and never positively identified Severance as the shooter. But while she rejected the other five quickly, she studied Severance's photo closely, and said that the face was very similar, but the beard in the photo was longer than the beard of the man who shot her.
Prosecutors believe the evidence is compelling, especially since the photo she viewed was taken a month after the shooting, and Severance had an opportunity to grow out his beard in that time.
Defense lawyers argued that Franco's memory of the attack is faulty, and complained that the procedures in the photo lineup tended to point to Severance as the suspect. But Roush said that police went out of their way to ensure a fair photo lineup, even bringing in an officer from another department who had no idea who Severance was to conduct the lineup.
Franco's testimony at trial could be key, since she is the only person who survived the shootings. Defense lawyers say there is no forensic evidence at any of the crime scenes linking Severance to the shootings.
Prosecutors say Severance, a former Alexandria resident with a history of odd behavior while running fringe candidacies for political office, was angry about losing a child-custody case in Alexandria and sought revenge against what he perceived as the city's ruling class.
Also on Thursday, the judge rejected a request for a second competency exam of Severance. Experts at a state hospital earlier this year determined he is competent to assist in his own defense, but his court-appointed lawyers say his behavior has worsened. He has refused to meet with his lawyers, and demanded the right to wear a kilt and tri-cornered hat in court.
During Thursday's hearing, Severance blurted out an objection to being evaluated by a court-appointed psychologist.
":I don't want to be denigrated by a shrink,": Severance said. ":He's a mad doctor.":
":He's a good guy,": the judge responded, referring to the psychologist in question.
":He's a fraud,": Severance countered.
Earlier report: Charles Severance to judge: 'Excuse me your honor, where is the jury?'
FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - Charles Severance was back in court Thursday and at one point he blurted out a question to the judge, ":Excuse me your honor, where is the jury?":
Severance has been charged in the deaths of Ruthanne Lodato, Nancy Dunning, and Ronald Kirby over a span of more than 10 years.
Prosecutors called an Alexandria Police detective assigned to the Lodato case and the defense made a motion to suppress identification.
That&rsquo:s when Severance blurted out his question.
Judge Jane Marum Roush told him there wasn't a jury for the proceeding.
The caretaker of Lodato's mother was also called to testify. She was the surviving victim in the shooting at Lodato&rsquo:s home in February 2014.
When asked to recall the events of what happened that day, the witness grabbed a tissue and started to cry as she described what unfolded before she says the gunman opened fire.
She became so upset the judge recessed for 10 minutes.
Severance&rsquo:s trial is expected to begin in October.
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) -- About a month after a reported bear sighting in Fairfax County, officials report more bear sightings in the area in recent days.
Bear sightings in recent days. @fairfaxpolice has tips on what to do if you see a bear: http://t.co/4TL9P9xd8l pic.twitter.com/JNwUFqiQld&mdash: Fairfax County (@fairfaxcounty) July 23, 2015
Authorities say the most recent sighting took place in the Chantilly area. : Read their full report on bear sightings here.
The next steps forward for the Falls Church City Schools seeking to expand and renovate the Mt. Daniel Elementary campus two blocks outside the City limits in Fairfax County became a major issue of discussion among the nine City Council and School Board candidates assembled at the first group forum heading into the November election season.
Read At 1st Candidate Forum, Mt. Daniel Deferral Draws Much Commentary on Falls Church News-Press Online.
"I went out this morning and took the dog for a walk and it was just like you walked into a wall it was so stifling, you could hardly breathe," said Springfield resident, Linda Storm.
At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the temperature soared to 98 degrees making it the hottest day of the year.
According to the spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire Department the heat on Sunday, July 19 was partly to blame for a house fire in the 7700 block of Carrleigh Parkway in Springfield.
"The reports are that the folks were using linseed oil, some staining products to possibly restore some furniture," said Capt. Randy Bittinger. "The linseed oil that's within a lot of these stain oil products has a tendency to spontaneously combust especially when we have warmer temperatures like we're seeing here today," he said.
The occupants of the home weren't there when the fire broke out. Firefighters were able to rescue two dogs during the blaze but one later died from its injuries.
"We're determining now with the Fire Marshal's Office that they had oil rags that were left out and the can was left open possibly on the outside porch or deck area of the structure that started on fire," he added.
The home was a total loss. We're told the occupants are now getting assistance from the Red Cross.
Some publishers do not keep the story for very long. Thats OK, just do a Search here to find it.
Working past midnight Monday night, the Falls Church City Council and School Board worked to within sight of a final version of language for its "request for conceptual proposal" to go out to the development world next month for development of the almost 40 acres of land annexed to the City as a component of its deal to sell its water system to Fairfax County last year.
Read In Marathon Session, F.C. Council, School Board Edge Closer to Final RFP Language on Falls Church News-Press Online.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - Human remains were discovered in the woods in Fairfax County Monday night, according to police.
A man was walking in the woods :in the Woodlawn Park/Mount Vernon area around 8:30 p.m. near the 4300 block of Manor Dr. when he found a body in an ":advanced state of decomposition": and called police.
A spokesperson with the Fairfax County Police Department initially said the remains were so badly decayed that a gender could not be determined, but police now say they believe the remains are male.
The remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.
Police said they do not believe there is a public safety threat to the community at this time.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting &ldquo:TIP187&rdquo: plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
STERLING, Va. (WJLA) -- An overturned tanker truck is blocking traffic in Loudoun County Monday morning.
Loudoun County Fire officials say the tanker, which is carrying tar, is blocking the on ramp on northbound Route 28 from Route 606.
?? #BreakingNews OVERTURNED TANKER TRUCK Old Ox Rd ramps to/from 28 Northbound CLOSED #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/a4ZyOQPGbJ&mdash: Brad Freitas (@NewsChopperBrad) July 20, 2015
The driver of the tanker was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.
Loudoun County Fire and Rescue crews, hazmat, a foam truck from Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and some units from Fairfax County are currently on scene to try and control the leak from the tanker.
Officials say drivers should expect an extended cleanup operation throughout the day that will only affect the on and off ramps, not Rt. 606 or Rt. 28.
FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) -- 81-year-old Saadollah Ghaussy of Fairfax has been charged with indecent liberties with a child after allegedly touching a 13-year-old boy in the changing room of a community pool. :
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, officers responded to a call in the 11500 block of Cavalier Landing Court at around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. : They say they had received a report of an indecent exposure in the men's locker room at the pool.
Police say that the 13-year-old boy said he was approached and touched by a man in the changing room.
If you have information about this case, police ask that you contact Crime Solvers electronically or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).
CENTREVILLE, V.a. (WJLA) - The cars have been burned down to their very frames, their insides have been gutted out, their tires are gone.
What's left of these cars is resting on rims.
A total of seven cars have been torched in the Little Rocky Run neighborhood of Fairfax County, and police want to know who did it.
Police say it happened around 4 a.m. Saturday, in a usually quiet neighborhood.
One of the victim's spoke with ABC 7, though she does not want to be identified. She said she came out to find her jeep on fire, right in front of her own home.
":Our kids play in this cul-de-sac, and this is our home, ": the victim said. ":It's an invasion of privacy.":
All of the cars have been declared as a total loss.
As for tonight, neighbors have set up an email chain, urging one another to put their cars in their driveway or in a garage until police catch whoever is responsible.
Police say that all of the vehicles were parked on the streets, and it appears that all of the vehicles were located toward the front of their neighborhoods.
Police are asking anyone who might have any information to give them a call. Though shaken up, this neighborhood is thankful this situation wasn't worse.
":We're very grateful that no one was hurt, it's a machine and it's replaceable,": the victim said.
Suddenly thrust into doubt by an unfriendly response from the Fairfax County Planning Commission at a hearing in late June, Falls Church’s $15.6 million Mt. Daniel Elementary School renovation and expansion project has now been delayed past the planned tight window that would have it ready to open in September 2016.
Read Fairfax Co. Planning Commission Defers on F.C. Plan for Mt. Daniel on Falls Church News-Press Online.
MARYLAND (WJLA) - If you travel across the American Legion Bridge you know how bad rush-hour can be.
Drivers say the worst part might be in Tysons Corner where the 495 HOT Lanes end and reconnect with 495. But transportation leaders in Virginia say the hot lanes don&rsquo:t have to end on the south side of the Potomac River.
This morning in Richmond, Virginia Department of Transportation : presented a plan to the Commonwealth Transportation Board to widen the Legion Bridge and extend the 495 HOT Lanes from Tysons all the way up to the 270 spur in Bethesda.
Drivers like Kasie Diehl, who lives in Gaithersburg and works in McLean, says she is on board. &ldquo:I would be a huge proponent of that. i would use it daily. I would have more time with my family, less time in the car. Who wouldn&rsquo:t want that?":
More than 220 thousand vehicles cross the Legion Bridge every day, and that number is only growing. With no plans for another bridge on the table, VDOT argues the success of the pay-to-drive hot lanes on 495, 395, and 95 makes this a natural solution.
Jim Corcoran is President &: CEO of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. He says the project will greatly benefit Fairfax and Montgomery Counties, two of the region&rsquo:s biggest economic drivers.
&ldquo:If we can create more certainty for people to move around this region, everyone in the region ends up a winner.":
ABC7 spoke today with representatives from the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Secretary of Transportation&rsquo:s office, both of whom say they are still reviewing this proposal and that it&rsquo:s too soon to comment.
The next step is a vote on this by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in September. But if this plan moves forward it could take up to ten years to implement.
Some ugly realities have surfaced right here in Northern Virginia in the context of the new national momentum to cleanse public spaces of glorified remnants of the pro-slavery Confederate insurgency that sought to secede from the United States, triggering the Civil War 150 years ago. The ugly realities are from […:]
Read Editorial: Fairfax County’s Shame on Falls Church News-Press Online.
In step with a growing national movement to remove symbols of the United States pro-slavery Confederacy, a movement has begun in Fairfax County to rename three of the county’s schools – two named after leaders of the Confederacy and another named for a Fairfax superintendent who was opposed to the immediate integration of public schools.
Read Petition: Remove Confederate Names from Fairfax Schools on Falls Church News-Press Online.
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