Police Make Arrest in Harris Teeter Abduction Case

Local police have made an arrest in connection with the report of a sexual assault near Harris Teeter in the Spectrum.

Steven Edwards, 62, was arrested and charged with abduction with the intent to defile for the incident on June 11, police said. The Fairfax County Police Department made the arrest around 1:30 p.m. in Fairfax today (Wednesday).

Edwards is a registered sex offender, according to police. Police believe that he was involved with the abduction of a 49-year-old woman he briefly spoke with at Harris Teeter that day, according to court records.

Police found the woman near Reston Parkway and Baron Cameron Avenue around 11 p.m. She said she was hit from behind and sexually assaulted. She was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

According to FCPD, a sketch produced by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office helped local police find the suspect.

Photo via FCPD

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Reston Under Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A portion of Reston is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning as strong storms approach from the west.

Forecasters say wind up to 60 miles per hour, as well as penny-sized hail, is possible as a result of the storm.

More from the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
448 PM EDT WED JUL 17 2019

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTHEASTERN LOUDOUN COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
NORTHWESTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
EAST CENTRAL FAUQUIER COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF MANASSAS PARK IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
NORTHWESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF MANASSAS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 530 PM EDT.

* AT 448 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HAYMARKET, OR 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SOUTH RIDING, MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES  TO FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS, AS WELL AS  DAMAGE HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY  DOWNED TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE.  UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… CENTREVILLE, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SOUTH RIDING, HERNDON, FAIRFAX, VIENNA, MANTUA, DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, LINTON HALL, OAKTON, CHANTILLY, TYSONS CORNER, WOLF TRAP, GREAT FALLS, MERRIFIELD, BULL RUN, HAYMARKET, ARCOLA AND I66 AND I495 INTERCHANGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

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County Board OKs Changes to Woodland Park Plan

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday (July 16) to scale back residential development at Woodland Park Crossing.

The mixed-use development, which has been proposed by NVR, Inc., is located near the future Herndon Metro Station. The developer sought to break up a previously approved 148-unit residential building into four condominiums.

The multi-family building, which had been approved for 210,715 square feet of development, would be divvied up into four, five-story condominiums with 185,000 square feet.

The county board first approved the project in March 2017. The site borders the Dulles Toll Road to the north and Monroe Street to the east. It is owned by Tishman Speyer.

Woodland Park Crossing is currently under construction.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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County Seeks to Crack Down on Panhandling in Medians and Intersections

County staff are exploring ways to curb panhandling by prohibiting pedestrians from engaging with cars on medians or intersections. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff to create a draft ordinance that would limit curb to curb interactions between drivers and pedestrians on Tuesday (July 16).

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and Braddock District Supervisor John Cook proposed the board matter in response to reports of increased panhandling in the last two years, including several areas in Reston.

In 2017, the Fairfax County Police Department received more than 2,100 calls related to panhandling, including issues related to safety, fear of suspicious people and traffic issues.

“It is unsafe and detracts from our neighborhoods,” Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, the proposal’s co-sponsor, said in a news release. “We have good programs in this county and many nonprofit groups who help the homeless, and that is a better way to help.”

Here’s more from the proposal by Herrity and Cook:

In the past two years, there has been a noticeable increase in panhandling on medians and intersections throughout the County. While there are some who panhandle because they need to, many more take advantage of the generosity of our residents through panhandling rings. Investigation into these rings has proven that many panhandlers in our County are coming from outside the County and even outside of the state, attracted by the wealth and generosity of our residents.

The Board has sought to help those panhandlers in need by committing a significant portion of the County budget to providing services for those residents who are down on their luck. The Board has encouraged residents to direct panhandlers to these County resources including shelters, food banks, health and job matching services, instead of giving small amounts of money. It is vitally important that we connect those in need with the right services and disincentivize panhandling.

Asking for money is a protected First Amendment right. In public areas, seeking money does not violate any laws.

FCPD encourages residents to report concerns about panhandlers who may have committed traffic offenses or be in involved in criminal activity to police.

The board will consider the proposal at the Public Safety Committee’s meeting on Sept. 17.

It’s unclear how the proposed policy will maintain protected speech.

To what extent do you think panhandling is a problem in Reston and Herndon? Let us know in the comments below.

File photo

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Design Review Board Flags Green Paint and “Tacky” Elements in Proposed Hotel Renovation

Reston Association’s Design Review Board deferred a decision on the proposed renovation of Sheraton Reston Hotel last night (Tuesday).

Board members said that some proposed renovations to the 298-room hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive) were tacky and departed significantly from conceptual plans that the DRB approved in mid-October.

As the direction of the project changed, hotel representatives said they dropped several natural wood tone elements and wood-printed screens on the facade of the building in favor of green paint on the fins. Darker gray tones to the building were also proposed.

The green paint is intended to bring in tones from the landscape into the building, according to project representatives. In October, the design had more wood-based elements and lacked a vertical strip of repeated chevron patterns where the sign of the hotel is currently situated.

W. Neal Roseberry, the DRB’s vice chair, said he had a “visceral reaction” to the proposed green color, which he said does a disservice to one of Reston’s most iconic buildings and departs significantly from the previously proposed wood elements that were “a wow.”

“I think its not what Reston needs to be doing to its older iconic buildings,” Roseberry said.

He also noted that the blue colors of the EXO apartment building — which is not within the DRB’s purview — often produces criticism from the community. If approved, the green paint would likely do the same.

Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, also noted that the broader issue was very different from the original conceptual plan and could stand-alone as an entirely new project.

Wurzak Hotel Group, a Philadelphia-based company and DoveHill Capital Management acquired the property in March 2018. The DRB preliminary approved a conceptual renovation plan in October 2018

Photos via handout/Reston Association

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Pet of the Week: Molly

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Molly, a young Domestic Short Hair available for adoption locally.

Here is what her friends at Fancy Cats Rescue Team have to say about her:

This young lady (1.5 years old) is super friendly, adjusts quickly to new environments and loves to play. She especially loves throwing her toy mouse in the air and carrying it around with her in her mouth.

She does well chilling independently, but also loves to be around people and sit in laps. She would prefer to be the queen of the household, but would also be fine with another kitty if they give her space.

Although she might be too much for small children to handle, she would make a great addition to those with older children or someone that wants a furry roommate. She deserves a home where she can relax and be the young cat she didn’t get to be due to having kittens!

Are you and Molly a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of eight Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Summer Road Construction Projects on Route 7 Underway

State crews are working on several road construction projects along the Route 7 Corridor this summer.

The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in the project’s active work zones.

Construction of a third left turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Crews are also continuing work to widen the shoulders on westbound Route 7 between the Colvin Run Mill area and Reston Avenue. Once work is completed, the westbound lanes will shift to the right to give crews space to construction temporary eastbound lanes.

The Virginia Department of Transportation cautions drivers to watch out for signs indicating changes to traffic patterns in the area.

Other minor work including pipe installation, median excavation, utility and temporary signal work is ongoing in the median of Route 7 between the Colvin Run Mill area and Reston Avenue.

Photo via VDOT

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Weather Alert: Heat Advisory In Effect Until Tonight

The sun is expected to beat down in most of the Northern Virginia and surrounding regions today (Wednesday).

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Heat index values are expected to hover around 105 degrees Fahrenheit with temperatures in the mid-90s.

NWS cautions that high temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses.

Here’s more from the alert:

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call 911.

The heat is expected to continue throughout the week. Residents are advised to check up on the elderly and sick, as well as limit strenuous outdoor activities.

Photo via NWS_BaltWash/Twitter

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Reston Metro Center II Acquired — Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. has acquired the building, which is located at 12180 Sunrise Valley Drive for $18.6 million. It is currently fully leased to a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. [GlobalNewswire]

Rainbow Flag Flies Again — A new pride flag was installed at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston on Wednesday, July 10. The flag, which is on a pole at the entrance of the church, was stolen three times in the last three months. [The Connection]

Creative Response on ‘Overlooked’ — Callie Hawkins, director of programming at President Lincoln’s Cottage, will respond to the exhibition, which is currently on view in the gallery tomorrow. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. [GRACE]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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