In Landslide Victory, Meren Win Hunter Mill District School Board Seat

Melanie Meren, a former U.S. Department of Education employee, easily won the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board.

With a little over 69 percent of the vote, Meren overtook her opponent, Laura Ramirez Drain, as of 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 6). According to unofficial election returns, 27 of the 28 precincts reported results. 

Meren has described herself as a “Fairfax County parent leader” who wants to promote strong education. Drain’s campaign focused on the family life education curriculum, school boundaries and the FCPS budget.

Earlier in January, Hunter Mill District representative Pat Hynes said she would not seek re-election.

Voters also ceremoniously ushered in former Planning Commissioner Walter Alcorn, the Democratic candidate for the Hunter Mill District Supervisor seat, Tuesday night. Alcorn, who won the Democratic primary, faced no candidate from any other party.

Democrat Steve Descano won the Commonwealth’s Attorney position in Fairfax after ousting current Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrough in the June primary.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust (D) retained his position on the county board, which he has held since 2007, as well, defeating Republican opponent Ed Martin.

Photo via Melanie Meren

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Voter Turnout in Fairfax County Rests at 18 Percent So Far

Voter turnout in Fairfax County rests at roughly 18 percent as of this afternoon.

So far, turnout in the Hunter Mill District (18.2 percent) is slightly above the county-wide average.

In previous years, turnout was nearly 70 percent in the 2018 midterms, up from 45.7 percent in the 2014 midterms.

The Springfield District has the highest turnout thus far, with turnout at 20 percent.

The district-by-district breakdown as of 1 p.m. today is below:

  • Braddock: 18.2
  • Dranesville: 18.4
  • Hunter Mill: 18.2
  • Lee: 15.6
  • Mason: 16.6
  • Mount Vernon: 17
  • Providence: 15.9
  • Springfield: 20
  • Sully:18.3

Unofficial election results are expected to trickle in after polls close at 7 p.m. today. Reston Now is following several local races, including two school board candidates for the Hunter Mill District. 

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Demolition of Old Fire Station Expected to Start in December

As work gears up on the new fire station in Reston, construction crews will soon tear down the current one.

The demolition on the old facility (1820 Wiehle Avenue) is expected to begin early this December, William Delaney, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said.

Construction is underway for a temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive to serve the community until the new facility is completed in 2021.

The existing location is too small and does not suit the needs of the community anymore, another spokesperson previously told Reston Now.

The new station will cost $14.8 million, double the size of the station and feature two stories with room for administrative offices, a dayroom, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms.

“I am sure there will be a grand re-opening ceremony when new station up and running,” Delaney said.

Image via Google Maps 

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More Changes Coming to ‘McTacoHut’ in Reston

The Pizza Hut, which opened at 1821 Wiehle Avenue in 1977, is set to flip into a new pizzeria sometime early next year.

Now, more changes are in store for the fast food block, which is known as McTacoHut in Restonian-lingo.

The McDonald’s, which is located at 11265 Roger Bacon Drive, is set to undergo major renovations by early 2020. While county permits are in process, it’s estimated that renovations could begin early next month.

A spokesperson for the McDonalds Corp. told Reston Now the main lobby and drive-thru is expected to remain open throughout the renovation.

The renovations are part of the company’s efforts to modernize its look and incorporate technology like digital kiosks and mobile ordering.

The Pizza Hut plans to remain open until its lease ends in early 2020. After that, Pupatella, a Neoplitan pizza restaurant, will open in The Pizza Hut’s location.

File photo

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Virginia Tech Offers Dual Degree MBA and IT Master in DC Area

In today’s digital age, as technology drives innovation throughout the enterprise, business acumen and technology expertise are emerging as essential skills.

At the same time, traditional functional roles are blurring, creating a blended business environment where IT leaders must embrace more business-oriented responsibilities and line of business leaders must find their way around sophisticated and complex technology systems. Only through education can these professionals gain the necessary skills and expertise to keep pace with this evolving business landscape. But it shouldn’t have to come at the cost of a full-time position.

Virginia Tech’s dual Master’s degree in business administration and information technology (MBA + MIT) is based in the D.C. area and can help professionals gain the experience, expertise and advantages they need to succeed in a blended business environment. Here’s how:

  • Career boost: Students receive an MBA while keeping up with changes in the technology industry by adding on a Master of IT. The result: greater marketability in a competitive labor market.
  • Economize time and money: The dual-degree program double-counts up to five courses earned in the MBA program toward those also offered in the MIT program or vice versa.
  • Work-life balance: Both the MBA and MIT degrees are built for full-time working professionals. Students have the flexibility to set their own pace by choosing the number of courses they will take each semester.
  • Variety: Students can select from a wide range of specialization areas including business intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, networking and software engineering.
  • Network: An in-person class format for the MBA program encourages students to establish valuable working relationships with classmates, and engage with top-notch faculty. A 100% online format for the MIT degree provides additional flexibility for working professionals and opportunity to work with students from across the country.

The Virginia Tech MBA + MIT dual-degree program offers the flexibility to contribute to business growth, revenue and innovation as a working professional today — and as a substantially more marketable leader tomorrow.

Learn more about the dual degree program here or explore Virginia Tech’s other local MBA options here.

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South Lakes High School Student Killed in Car Crash

A South Lakes High School student was killed in a car crash on Sunday (November 3) in Oakton.

Carter Smith, a junior at the school, was one of five passengers in the car, which was travelling eastbound on Stuart Mill Road around 6:30 p.m. that day when the car ran off the right shoulder and hit a tree, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Five teenagers who were in the car at the time were taken to local hospitals. The driver remains in life-threatening condition. The SLHS student was pronounced dead at the hospital and the three other passengers were treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.

Police believe speed may have been a factor in the accident. Preliminarily, alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors that led to the crash.

With permission of Smith’s parents, SLHS Principal Kimberly Retzer released information about Smith.

On Monday (Nov. 4), Retzer wrote the following in a letter to the SLHS community:

Our sincere condolences are extended to family and friends of all involved, and to all members of our community who may be hearing of this terrible incident. I will maintain contact with the family and share about funeral services as that information becomes available.The unexpected death of a young person is very sad and difficult to process and can have an impact on anyone, whether they knew the person or not. South Lakes will provide counselors and clinical team members tomorrow, Tuesday, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Students should gather in the Lecture Hall. We will have additional supports on Wednesday as well when all students return.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543.

No other information about the incident has been released.

File photo

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Here’s Where to Vote in Reston, Herndon Today

Fairfax County voters are headed to the polls today.

In the Hunter Mill and Drainsville districts, there are several seats up for election including the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Fairfax County School Board positions and Board of Supervisors seats.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voters can swing by anytime throughout the day.

There are several options for anyone wishing to monitor turnout and results. Fairfax County’s Twitter account will be posting updates at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.

There are around 20 various polling locations, which will be open throughout the area. Voters can find their designated polling location using the My Neighborhood Map or through the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Below is a map of all the voting locations throughout Reston and Herndon.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Final Showings of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” — There are two showings left for the Reston Community Players’ performance on Nov. 8 and 9 at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are available online. [Reston Community Players]

County Host Tactical Athlete Wellness SymposiumOn November 7 and 8, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is hosting the 2019 Tactical Athlete Wellness Symposium – Mind, Body, and Soul. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Reston Association Markets The Lake House — The association is marketing the venue, which says it is ideal for events, parties and other special occasions. [Reston Today]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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