Reston, VA

A malfunctioning surge protector caused a townhouse fire in the 2400 block of Pyrenees Court in Reston, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Fire investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature.

The incident happened a little before 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Smoke alarms alerted two occupants about the fire in the bedroom.

Officials estimate the fire caused $18,750 in damages. No injuries were reported.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to bring a long-awaited traffic light to the intersection of Fox Mill and Pincecrest Roads.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the board approved a resolution that authorizes a partnership to install a light signal and construct left-turn lanes in the intersection.

The intersection has been the site of 38 accidents in the past five years and has drawn concern from residents due to lack of safety.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said he looks forward to the completion of the project.

“This has been a while coming but it is here,” he said.

Preliminary engineering for the project is expected to cost $900,00, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. That phase is expected to begin in the fall.

The county will likely be responsible to pay $4.8 million for the right-of-way and construction phases of the project. But additional sources of funding may reduce out-of-pocket costs from the county’s coffers.

Image via Google Maps

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The Town of Herndon’s Department of Public Works will begin its annual collection of leaves next Monday (Oct. 5).

Residents should rake leaves as close to the curb as possible without blocking storm drains, sidewalks or mailboxes. Grass, shrub clippings and weeds must be placed in 30-gallon recyclable bags only on regularly scheduled trash days.

The schedule is as follows:

North of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail

  • October 5-9
  • October 19-23
  • November 2-6
  • November 16-20
  • November 30 – December 4

South of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail

  • October 12-16
  • October 26-30
  • November 9-13
  • November 23-27 (No collection on Thanksgiving (Nov. 26)
  • December 7-11

A map showing areas north and south of the trail is on the town’s website.

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In an uncertain economy, professionals may find that returning to school for an MBA can be a productive way to sharpen skills and add credentials while working to launch the next stage of their careers.

Virginia Tech’s Evening MBA program, based in the university’s Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, has attracted many new students this fall for several reasons, said MBA programs director Dana Hansson. These include its stellar reputation and top 20 national ranking; dedicated faculty, many with industry experience; extensive alumni network; and great value.

Those who majored in science, engineering and other nonbusiness disciplines as undergraduates — such as Ryan Feber, a 2003 Virginia Tech graduate in computer science, and Bryan Gassenmeyer, who earned a degree in industrial and systems engineering at Virginia Tech in 2006 — have found that not only is a prior business education not needed to enroll or excel in an MBA program, but that technical backgrounds can be a basis for diversifying or rounding out knowledge and skills for managing or leading change in today’s data economy.

Others like Cody Neder, a 2014 finance alumnus, and Alexis Monahan, a 2006 graduate in communications and psychology, have lauded the program for the business and management knowledge and skills they’ve gained and the rich contributions to their learning from faculty and classmates with diverse professional backgrounds.

And, because life circumstances can change, a program that offers flexibility and affordability — students can shift between full-time and part-time status and apply for paid graduate assistantships — are two more pluses.

Maryann Romero’s experience reflects both these benefits. A stay-at-home mom at the time with an undergraduate degree in communications and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University, Romero finished up in two-and-a-half years and credits the program for opening the door to a new career as a client insights analyst at a media analytics company.

Lastly, Virginia Tech’s caring and supportive community of faculty and staff left a lasting impression on Nicholle Clinton, who received a marketing degree in 2007 and currently expects to complete her MBA in December 2020. Clinton coped with a series of serious family illnesses and losses during her senior year as well as early in her MBA studies. She is grateful for the compassion and assistance she received during both periods from the teaching faculty and program staff.

Learn more about how Virginia Tech can support your career goals at mba.vt.edu.

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Meet Mork, a senior Domestic Short Hair and Tabby mix available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Mork is playful and loving. Playing rollerball, where he hits a ball around a track, is his favorite game, and he is a prodigy at it. He can do it lying down, sitting up, using either paw, and lying down with his paw over his head. He even has a tri-level rollerball game which he loves.

Mork took readily to games on a tablet; in fact, he became a high scorer within minutes. Mork can fool his automatic feeder into letting food down by playing with the mechanism. Mork prefers romaine lettuce over iceberg. If you cut up romaine lettuce he’ll come from anywhere in the house.

Mork will sit by you and purr in your ear. He will also sit in your lap. Mork is about ten years old and is in great health.

Are you and Mork a match?

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Reston Association’s biannual Approach Roadshow typically allows patrons to uncover treasures already in their possession during an in-person event.

This year’s treasure hunt experience will go virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will get the change to present one valuable such as jewelry, coins, porcelain, artwork and heirlooms.

Appraisal experts will offer facts and information on the item, its worth and what can be done with it. Participants should email a photo of their item to [email protected] Private appointments with experts are also possible.

The event takes place on Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to noon. Members pay $14 while all others pay $16. Registration is open online.

Photo via Reston Association

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering a move to allow closed or partially-closed tents for outdoor dining in Fairfax County as temperatures continue to dip in the coming weeks.

At a board meeting on Tuesday, Board Chairman Jeff McKay proposed an emergency ordinance that would allow restaurants and fitness businesses to set up the tents.

“This is an important step we can take to safely help our local restaurants through this difficult time,” McKay wrote.

Currently, restaurants and fitness businesses are allowed to  use outdoor areas, including portions of parking lots and sidewalks. That ordinance is set to expire six months after the county’s state of emergency ends.

A public hearing on the matter is set for Oct. 20.

Photo via Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash

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Public Safety Input Set Set for Today — Fairfax County public safety officials will hold an input session today at 6:30 p.m. Residents and organizations will offer testimony on various public safety issues. [Fairfax County Government]

Urbanist Issues in Town of Herndon Elections — Silver Line development issues are at the forefront of what most candidates are talking about, including two candidates running for mayor and eight candidates running for all of the six seats on the council. [Greater Greater Washington]

Cool Green Bags of Food for the Need — “Sixty-one volunteers will be fanning out over Northern Virginia this Saturday with one simple mission — to pick up green bags packed with food donations to help people experiencing food insecurity.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston Association’s Environmental Advisory Committee is in the process of developing a pilot program that will encourage local restaurants to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

The voluntary program is currently in the planning stages by the committee, according to a recent news release by RA.

With the program in the background, the committee hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of using single-use plastics, which are made from petrochemicals and are made to be used once. Examples include bottles, straws, plastic cutlery, and bags.

Here’s more from RA on the issue:

By 2050, plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish, according to sources cited by the EAC. Single-use plastic comes at a steep price to the environment, which we will be paying for millennia. For example, a single plastic bottle can take 450 years to degrade.

The Green Education Foundation offers a number of tips on how to use less plastic. They include refraining from using plastic straws, particularly in restaurants. The foundation also recommends reusable produce bags for grocery shoppers. Plastic bags can take 1,000 years to degrade.

Details on the pilot program will be released on the program has launched, according to RA.

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