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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 this week.

  1. BREAKING: Google Doubling Its N. Va. Workforce, With New Offices and Data Centers Planned
  2. Hudgins Calls for More Streetlights in Rapidly Urbanizing Reston
  3. Planning Commission Suggests County Board Deny PRC Proposal
  4. Comstock’s Revised Plans for Downtown Herndon Project Under Review
  5. Crime Roundup: Herndon Resident Finds Jewelry, Clothes Missing From Apartment

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.

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Reston Then and Now: The Old Farmhouse at Hunter Mill Crossroads

Normally, Reston Then and Now covers places that only exist as forests and fields in the earliest aerial photography in Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer. But this week, the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads has a history that predates that aerial photography.

During the Civil War, the intersection was a major crossroads for Union and Confederate troops moving through the area. According to a historical marker at the site, Confederate Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton’s cavalry brigade passed through the site in 1862 en route to Antietam in Maryland. Several Union and Confederate generals are recorded to have passed the site throughout the war.

The intersection was a critical junction of the railroad, a north-south road, water resources from Difficult Run and farmlands to provide food for troops. Several skirmishes took place in the nearby area, including the killing of Rev. John Read from Falls Church. Read was an abolitionist and supplied information on Confederate activities to the Union. He was kidnapped in a raid and executed in the forest just southeast of the crossroads by Confederate guerillas lead by Col. John S. Mosby.

The area around Hunter Mill road was its own town at one time, called Hunter’s Village, which sprung up around the route of the Washington and Old Dominion rail line. The locality contained a post office, a general store, a train station and a military hospital. The station itself was a bare-bones facility — a flag stop where passengers could step out to flag down a train.

The farmhouse at the site may have been built in 1935, and by 1937 it shows up in the first aerial photography of Fairfax.

Until recently, a little house at the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads stood mostly isolated — all that was left of the old Hunter’s Village — with some other properties dotting the surrounding area. Passenger service on the line ended in 1951. Freight service ended in 1968 and the railroad was abandoned.

By then, new subdivisions and a new power station started to encroach onto the site. The farmhouse was squeezed between growth spreading out from Reston to the west and Tysons to the East.

The farmhouse on the site was demolished late last year to make way for a new residential development. The site remains a popular stop on the bike and pedestrian Washington and Old Dominion Trail.

For more Reston Then and Now stories, check out our recent coverage of:

Photo via Google Maps

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‘Galentine’s Party’ Fundraiser and More This Weekend in Reston

Valentine’s Day is come and gone, but Scrawl Books plans to keep spreading love with a fundraiser this Sunday (Feb. 17).

The post-Valentine’s “Galentine’s Party” — which originated from an episode about female friendship on the show “Parks and Recreation” — will benefit Cornerstones and the Laurel Learning Program.

Authors Orly Konig and Erika Marks will discuss books, writing and life, according to the event description. The fundraiser will also have raffles and giveaways.

Interested? The fundraiser runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 11911 Freedom Drive. Scrawl Books asks for a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Tomorrow (Feb. 16)

  • Raptors Up Close (11 a.m.-noon) — Locals can join naturalists at the Walker Nature Center for programs designed for a mix of ages. Participants will be able to take an exploratory hike, explore outside or participate in an indoor Nature House program to learn about the natural world. Costs range from $7 to $9 per person.
  • Glowing LED Artworks (2-3 p.m.) — Observe light and sculpture using LED’s, batteries and art materials. and then create your own at the Reston Regional Library. The event is for kids ages 6 to 11.
  • Astronomy Festival (6 p.m.) — The Observatory at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls will have guided stargazing, telescope viewing and listening to ancient stories about constellations around a campfire. Hot chocolate and snacks will also be available for purchase. The cost is $8 per person if you register online before the event and $10 at the door.
  • Stage Reading “Haint So” (7:30-9:30 p.m.) — The original work explores “the rich tradition of folklore, superstition and the mystical spirits of the dark mountains in Virginia,” according to the event description. Intrigued? Register for the ArtSpace Herndon event.

Sunday (Feb. 17)

  • Walk or run (8 a.m.) — Join the group for either a 3- or 6-mile walk, a 10-mile run or a 12-mile trail run. Bring your running shoes to the South Lakes Village Center.
  • Herndon Library Board Games (1-2:30 p.m.) — Adults are invited to play classic board games. No registration is necessary.
  • Full Moon Nature Hike and Campfire (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — Locals can explore nature while a naturalist guide will point out signs of creatures in the woods at Riverbend Park in Great Falls. Participants can enjoy a campfire with s’mores after the hike. The cost is $9 per person.

File photo

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For Women, By Women: Capital Harmonia’s 4th Annual Women’s Choral…

Please join Capital Harmonia as we host our 4th Annual Women’s Choral Festival on Sunday March 31, 2019.

Our choral festival occurs during Women’s History Month to honor the contributions of women for the last 100 years. We celebrate with music written by women composers about women. We are also honored to feature Linda S. Sullivan, President & CEO of ARTSFAIRFAX and Senator Jennifer Boysko who will speak at the festival.

This free concert will be held at Community of Faith United Methodist Church, 13224 Franklin Farm Road in Herndon from 4-6 p.m. Please join us and bring your family and friends.

Capital Harmonia is a non-profit organization that promotes the concerns of women through song. We perform at our non-profit partner’s events without remuneration throughout the DC area.

Reston, Herndon and Fairfax County Presidents’ Day Closures

Presidents’ Day is coming up on Monday (Feb. 18). Whether or not you plan to spend the day remembering past U.S. presidents, check this list if you’re planning to visit government facilities around Fairfax County.

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County’s libraries and courts will be closed.

The county’s public schools will be closed.

The Fairfax Connector will be running on a holiday weekday schedule and some routes won’t operate.

Colvin Run Mill Historic Site will be closed, while Frying Pan Farm Park will remain open.

County trash and recycling collection will not have any changes to the collection schedule next week.

Reston

The Reston Association offices, including the Central Services Facility and Nature House, will be closed.

Reston Community Center will be open.

Herndon

Town of Herndon government offices will be closed.

Refuse will not be collected and will resume service on Tuesday (Feb. 19).

The Herndon Community Center will be open from 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Classes will be held as scheduled.

The Herndon Centennial Golf Course will be open from 8 a.m. to until dark.

DMV and more

All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will be closed.

Metrorail will be running on a weekend schedule, while Metrobus service will operate on a Saturday supplemental schedule, with some late-night trips canceled on select routes.

Speaking of closed offices, Reston Now will be on a break as well on Monday.

File photo

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Missing Endangered Older Adult

A 72-year old woman from Reston has been missing for over a month; a report has been filed with Fairfax County. If you have seen Candace Noonan or know anything about her whereabouts, please report it to the Fairfax County police at 703-556-7750 or 703-246- 7800 (Detective Thornton; Case # 2019-0380061).

Scholarship Application Opens Today for South Lakes HS Students

Starting today (Feb. 15), South Lakes High School students can apply to the Reston Scholarship Fund of the Community College of Northern Virginia.

Liz Blankespoor, a Restonian and co-founder of the scholarship fund, told Reston Now in an email that the scholarship is currently supporting 22 graduates of South Lakes High School who are working on their post-secondary degrees.

The scholarship awards 10 scholarships each year to seniors planning to attend the community college before transferring to a four-year college.

South Lakes High School senior graduating in June must:

  • be attending the Northern Virginia Community College in this fall
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • demonstrate financial need

The scholarships vary amounts, with a possible award of up to $16,000. They are spread over the course of six years and are renewable for students who maintain a GPA at or above 2.75 and continue to demonstrate financial need, Blankespoor wrote.

Submissions are due by May 1.

File photo

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DC-based Fitness Gym Arriving Early March in RTC West

D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore plans to open its doors in about three weeks at RTC West.

Solidcore plans to open its Reston studio at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd on March 9, according to an email yesterday (Feb. 14) to potential customers.

The opening is part of a larger expansion of Solidcore, with more than a dozen new locations slated to open in the next year, along with ones in Arlington and D.C.

Started in D.C. in 2013, Solidcore offers pilates classes, along with a boot camp for full-body workouts. The fitness chain has more than 40 locations across the country, including nearby ones in Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District.

The schedule for the grand opening is set to get posted on Feb. 25.

Photo via Solidcore

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Valentine’s Day Morning House Fire Displaces Herndon Residents

A fire that broke out in a Herndon townhouse on Valentine’s Day has left two people displaced and caused roughly $115,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a two-story, end-unit townhouse in the 2100 block of Oram Place shortly after 4 a.m. yesterday (Feb. 14), according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Crews saw smoke when they arrived on the scene and “quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement,” the fire department said.

The two people in the townhouse evacuated after smelling an odor of smoke and called 9-1-1. They accepted assistance from the Red Cross.

Fire investigators say an electrical malfunction in the furnace caused the fire in the basement by accident.

No one has reported injuries.

Image via Google Maps

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Friday Morning Notes

Google moving in Reston — “The Mountain View, California-based company is close to announcing plans to move from Reston Town Center to 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, the trophy office building Comstock Holding Cos. Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fox Mill Road now open — A car crash and downed pole on Valentine’s Day shut down Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road shortly after 2:30 p.m. The road opened up a few minutes ago. [Fairfax County Police]

Tolls tanked — “Tolls are off the table for Fairfax County Parkway, and long-planned High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in the Virginia County may even be a stretch.” [WTOP]

Todd Hitt pleads guilty to fraud — “Former Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt pleaded guilty to orchestrating eight counts of securities fraud that ultimately cost investors $20 million, according to a plea deal announced Wednesday by the Department of Justice.” Hitt admitted to soliciting about $30 million from investors over a period of four years while making false statements. Part of the $30 million included $17 for Kiddar Capital’s purchase of a Herndon office building. [Washington Business Journal]

Fishing workshop — A hands-on workshop at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) will cover tackle, rods and reels. The program runs from 6-7 p.m., and the cost is $8 per person. [Fairfax County]

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Comstock’s Revised Plans for Downtown Herndon Project Under Review

After hitting delays with multiple revisions, Comstock’s newest redevelopment plans for downtown Herndon are now back under review.

Town Manager Bill Ashton told the Herndon Town Council at its public meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 12) that the staff started reviewing the revised site plans on Friday (Feb. 8).

“The fourth revision of the site plan is back in staff hands as of late last week,” Ashton said, adding that the Town of Herndon has “gone back and forth” with Comstock to refine the proposal and site plan.

The proposed project for Herndon’s downtown has stalled several times since the Herndon Town Council and Comstock agreed to the mixed-use development in 2017.

Plans for the redevelopment were withdrawn and then resubmitted last summer after property owners next to the site of the redevelopment effort filed three appeals.

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