Reston, VA

A Herndon resident was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his 53-year-old mother earlier today (Saturday), police said.

Police arrested Eric Turcios, 28, in connection with the shooting of Blanco Turcios. She was found with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body on the 12800 block of Lady Fairfax Circle at around 6 a.m. today. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

An investigation on the events that lead to the shooting is underway. Turcios was arrested by Prince William County Police. A firearm, which is believed to be his, was also recovered at the time of the arrest.

Detectives are asking for anyone with information about this event to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 4. 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.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. The Future Halley Rise Development Will ‘Go Green’
  2. Northern Italian Steakhouse Coming to Reston Station in 2022
  3. Now Open: Super Chicken at the VY at Reston Heights
  4. Photos: Reston House Fire Displaces Five
  5. Photos: Development with Future Wegmans, Self-Driving Cars Moves Forward

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Staff photo by Super Chicken

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Reston USE Invitation

RESTON Useful Services Exchange Welcomes the Community to the Annual March Gathering!

Lovers of independent films can check out the Vidi Space Film Festival in Reston this weekend, which features films and panels from celebrities.

The festival which will take place on Saturday (Feb. 22) at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market Street) was originally created to “encapsulate all haunted, unknown and supernatural things,” according to the event page.

Independent filmmakers were invited to submit their independent films through the end of 2019, the website said, and the films will be judged in various categories. They will receive awards for things like best actor and best experimental feature.

“As filmmakers ourselves, our mission is to promote independent filmmakers and provide a platform for a new audience to appreciate your work,” the event page said.

Tickets start at around $100 for a day pass and tickets for individual films start at $10.

Tomorrow (Feb. 22)

Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) — At this charity event, people can go to Fox mill Giant (2551 John Milton Drive) in Herndon and donate food toward families in need through Helping Hungry Kids.

Dazzle Dance — Hit the Red Carpet (6 to 8 p.m. ) — Families in Reston can attend a gala at Life Time Athletic (1757 Business Center Drive) where they will be treated with appetizers, a DJ and a red carpet. Tickets are $20 and kids under four are free.

Jazz Pianist Quentin Walston (6:30 to 9:30 p.m.) — Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza) will host a concert for people featuring this upcoming artist. People are invited to come to try a selection of wine and enjoy the free music.

Sunday (Feb. 23)

Empower Hip Hop Dance Class for Dancers with Special Needs (4 to 9 p.m.) — Monsters Dance will host a hip-hop dance class for those with special needs at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street). “In keeping with Monsters’ mission to provide dancers with real opportunities, these unique eMpower classes allow dancers with special needs the chance to express themselves in a fun and safe environment,” the event listing said.

Photo via Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar/Facebook

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Yes, we’re at it again.

Earlier this month, we asked our readers if they’ve noticed more airplane noise in the area. Most of you told us that you have but the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t have an explanation. They say that there have been no changes in flight paths or altitudes in the last year.

During the course of the request for reader feedback, a number of you told us that you’ve noticed more airplane noise in the last few months, especially in South Reston.

While it’s normal to hear sporadic increases in helicopter noise due to police activity or checks by Dominion Energy, there’s a chance there could be more going on.

We’d love to hear more from you on this issue. Let us know what you think in the poll below and feel free to submit what you’re experiencing by emailing [email protected].

Please include a general description of where you live, when and if you started noticing changes, and if you can spot any details about the helicopter.

Photo via FCPD

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Send us your news tips, press releases and feedback to [email protected] or use our anonymous message form. Our news team does not have a phone line for inbound calls.

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It’s been 15 years since Reston Association conducted a comprehensive review of how its recreational facilities are used and should be used in the coming years.

As the community’s infrastructure and demographics change rapidly, RA’s Board of Directors officially kicked off a data-driven review of its facilities at a Thursday meeting.

The board moved to establish a Recreation Facilities Working Group — which will include nine members — which will undertake the year-long effort along with staff.

Most park and recreation facilities typically conduct comprehensive planning efforts every ten years using data on utilization and other trends.

Discussions about a similar effort in 2018 were stalled. RA’s board noted that the organization is now uniquely positioned to complete the evaluation using new data generated from its WebTrac registration system and other data points.

Here’s more from RA on what’s  driving the effort:

A recent catalyst for conducting an in-depth evaluation of RA facilities is the condition of Lake Thoreau Pool. The RA Board has committed funds to renovate the facility, and this process is just getting started. It is a substantial commitment of funds whether to repair or fully renovate (as was done previously with four other pools.)

Lake Thoreau pool is the first in line, with a small number of other pools coming up for consideration and attention. The explosion of pickleball interest and demand is another barometer of RA membership’s changing interests and needs. RA has recognized the growth, embraced it, and is moving forward with providing dedicated pickleball courts. What other activity is out on the horizon for which membership demand will exceed our supply and RA will be playing catch-up?

Another important aspect to this is the role of other providers in the community – Reston Community Center, Fairfax County Park Authority and even the Y-Fairfax County Reston and other private businesses which offer fitness centers. With the 2021 budget development commencing this summer for near-term focus and the future focus of our biennial budget for 2022-2023 kicking off in mid-2021, now is the correct time to begin an evaluation that would include: data analysis of current usage, financial aspects (operating, maintenance and capital costs), demographic projections, a review of industry trends and understanding what other area recreation providers are planning and in what timeframe

RA’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will be temporarily suspended as the workgroup conducts its analysis.

The effort should be completed by February 2021, according to Larry Butler.

The organization will seek nine members for workgroup, including a PRAC representation, four representatives from each RA district, two at-large members, an RA board member who will serve as chair, and a parks and recreation staff member.

RA Board Vice President Julie Bitzer said that the organization’s fiscal committee will provide substantial input to the workgroup. A request to add a fiscal committee member on the workgroup –which would then reach a number impractical for voting and decision making –was rejected.

Community buy-in and feedback will be a critical part of the analysis, Bitzer said.

Photo by RA

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Reston Association says that its internal controls and processes have come a long way since the botched purchase of the Lake House at nearly double its assessed value five years ago.

At a Thursday meeting, RA’s Board of Directors reviewed progress on fifteen recommendations suggested by global advisory firm StoneTurn Group in a $45,000 independent review of the controversial purchase.

Eric Carr, the board’s treasurer and chair of a committee formed to review the purchase, said RA was “not equipped to handle an undertaking and purchase like this.”

“This is why I ran and it was my goal above all other goals to make sure this never happened in the association ever again,” Carr told the board at the meeting. “I think we’re in a good place for that and I think we’ve done largely what the StoneTurn report requested us to do.”

RA purchased the Lake House property from Tetra in 2015. Renovations to transform the property into a community building cost three times more than expected, resulting in requests for independent audits and reviews.

The report found that RA’s governing documents had no defined process to ensure that internal controls and processes were being followed. The group also suggested that RA adopt a policy to improve transparency on items that are discussed in closed sessions without compromising its interests. At the time, RA did not have controls in place to prevent the contracting of an amount in excess of the budget.

Carr said that all but two of the company’s recommendations are either completed or already exist.

One glaring gap — establishing an ethics code — remains. Discussions on establishing the code, which has been underway for nearly two years, are expected to formalize at the board’s meeting in March.

Highlights of steps undertaken in response to recommendations are below:

  • General Counsel will continue to review policies as necessary and as directed by the board
  • Although staff indicated recommendations to establish “owners of the internal processes” were vague, RA has a resolution governing internal financial controls
  • Greater transparency in executive sessions will be pursued so long as it does not contradict POAA rules
  • Establishing processes where capital expenditure maximums are calculated and included in the budget
  • Clarification of policy to provide guidance if a project exceeds the budget or if the budget estimate is found to be impractical or incorrect
  • Preparation of a long-term capital improvement plan that is updated on an annual basis
  • Written policies and procedures to evaluate and management capita projects that emphasize key assumptions and estimates
  • Ensuring purchase orders and contracts are not issued unless funds are available and allocated within the approved budget

A complete breakdown of StoneTurn’s recommendations and progress made is available online. Board vice president Julie Bitzer requested the progress update.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr; YouTube

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Friday Morning Notes

More Delays for Phase Two of the Silver Line — Yes, you read that right. Originally expected to open in 2016, the extension of Metro’s Silver Line likely won’t open until the spring of 2021, according to general manager Paul Wiedefeld. [WJLA]

Reston Association Phone Service Down Later Today — If you’re trying to reach RA offices later today, you might want to try again. Phone service will be down between 5:30-6:30 p.m. today (Friday) and on Tuesday (Feb. 25) from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The organization is moving to Verizon. [Reston Association]

County Schools to Host Free Sessions on Digital Learning — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students, families, and community members are invited to attend any of five upcoming digital learning and digital citizenship events.  All sessions are being held free of charge.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Within the last year, some Reston residents have reported concerns about increased airplane noise in areas where it previously wasn’t a nuisance.

Although changes in flight patterns have resulted in airplanes flying at lower altitudes over neighborhoods across the country, the Federal Aviation Administration says that there have been no such changes in Reston and Herndon that could explain the spike in complaints.

In some cases, residents say planes are flying so low “you can see their tail logo.”

Nanci Jewell, who lives on Quorn Lane in Reston, says that several neighbors have noticed the issue in recent months.

“We’ve always been right under a flight path but it’s never been like this,” Jewell said. “There are whole segments of the day and night when the noise is unbearable.”

In an unscientific poll by Reston Now on Feb. 6, nearly 57 percent of respondents said they noticed an increase in airplane noise. Roughly 33 percent of respondents said they noticed no change and at all. The remainder of the 1,412 total respondents said they were either unsure or didn’t know.

Kevin Wiley, a South Lakes resident for 15 years, says there’s no question of a difference in noise levels.

“In particular, ever so often we get a very loud, large aircraft flying low over our house. It is unmistakable.”

Similar concerns were reported by residents near Glencourse Lane, Armstrong Elementary School, South Lakes Village Center, and North Point Village Center.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority also told Reston Now they haven’t noticed an uptick in complaints from residents affected by more noise.

“We’re not aware of any modifications to the normal flight paths or typical altitude assignment for air traffic operating at and around Dulles International,” an MWAA spokesperson said.

Communities across the country have sounded off against NextGen, a $40 billion nationwide program designed to modernize air traffic control.

FAA officials say that the system will save $160 billion through 2030 in fuel, maintenance and other costs.

Residents concerned about aircraft noise can file a complaint online.

Photo via Unsplash

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