Reston, VA

A townhouse fire on the 13300 block of Apgar Place that started this morning is now under control, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

When units got to the scene, smoke was showing from the townhouse unit. The fire was located in the wall and quickly extinguished around 7:46 a.m., the department wrote.

No injuries were reported.

Photo via FCFRD

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A Herndon resident has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in the Town of Herndon that happened yesterday afternoon.

Jason Byrd, 20, was arrested yesterday. (Wednesday) after the Herndon Police Department “worked quickly” to identify Byrd as a suspect in the case,  according to a police department spokesperson.

He was charged with second-degree murder and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.  The arrest was made with the help of the Fairfax County Police Department.

The victim, Julian Rashad Martin, 30, of Reston, was found lying in the road on the 1000 block of Queens Court yesterday.

He later died from his injuries at Reston Hospital. Police responded to the area after receiving reports of shots fired in the area.

Photo via FCPD

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A morning car crash in Reston involving three vehicles has left two people injured, including one with serious injuries.

Both people were taken to the hospital, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The crash happened on the intersection of Pinecrest Road and Fox Mill Road in Reston.

Fox Mill Road between Pinecrest Road and Reston Parkway is closed. Officers are on the scene and detectives from FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit are investigating the incident

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Although the pandemic changed plans for Reston Community Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration, a community-based virtual choir is in the works.

RCC is partnering with Reston Community Orchestra, South Lakes High School’s choral director Rita Gigliotti and SLHS alum Harrison de Wolfe for a special virtual event on Jan. 16. The participants will produce a virtual recording of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is also known as the Black National Anthem.

This year, due to the pandemic, the concert has been canceled so we intend to join together in song with a virtual celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement,” wrote Kevin Danehar, RCC’s community events director, in a statement.

Members of the public can take part in the performance by following a step-by-step instructional video guide that will include major parts of the vocal track and how to record with a smart phone, tablet or laptop.

The deadline to register for the community virtual choir is tomorrow (Wednesday). All video recordings are due by Dec. 8. The complete video will be released on RCC’s website.

The center is seeking 50 performers. The registration form is available online.

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Reston Association is seeking candidates to fill three open seats on its Board of Directors.

All RA members are encouraged to take part in the upcoming election, which takes place from March 1 through April 2 of 2021.

Two at-large district seats and the South Lakes district seat will open next year. A formal call for candidates is expected this month.

Members are encouraged to opt-in for an electronic ballot to reduce postal costs for RA. Ballot requests can be sent to [email protected]

Anyone with further questions, including how to become a candidate should contact the elections committee at [email protected]

Information on the elections’ process is expected soon, according to RA’s recent weekly newsletter.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Association Offers Update on Capital Projects — Chris Schumaker, RA’s director of capital projects, offers an update on recent capital projects, including the roof replacement at Uplands Pool and concrete repairs at Lake Newport Pool. [Reston Today]

County Offers Recommendations on Celebrating Winter Holidays — “Recommendations shared for Thanksgiving apply to December holidays as well. Remember: the safest way to celebrate the holidays this year is with people in your household. Therefore, we recommend making the holidays more leisurely this year. Stay home, stay cozy, and keep it small and simple.” [Fairfax County Government]

Local Volunteer Wins Elly Doyle Award — Leslie painter, who frequently volunteers at Frying Pan Farm Park and also serves on the board of directors, has been selected for an Elly Doyle Award. [YouTube]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A barbershop-bar concept is reportedly working on deals in Reston, Bisnow reports.

Scissors & Scotch is planning to expand in the area with several locations in Reston, Vienna and Loudoun County.

The Kansas City-based retailer was founded in 2015 and offers a cocktail bar with a men’s barbershop. It recently signed a deal to open a second new location in the District.

Here’s more from Bisnow on the company’s expansion:

Given the challenges the retail market is facing today, Koroma said launching an expansion across the region is allowing Scissors & Scotch to land tenant-favorable deals. He said he has gotten frequent calls from developers with available retail space asking if Scissors & Scotch would be interested. 

“The concessions have been tremendous, and the positive note on what’s happening is everyone is in deal mode,” Koroma said. “Everybody wants to make a deal, and it’s a win-win situation. Landlords are happy to do this because you get a concept that not only do you know will be successful, but you see it as a value-add and an amenity to the project.”

Photo via Scissors & Scotch/Facebook

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As Thanksgiving approaches, Fairfax County reported the highest weekly average of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began earlier this year. The news comes as the county and state record peaks in the number of new cases reported and appear to confirm fears of a second wave of cases.

Even as the possibility of a vaccine becomes reality, health officials are urging residents to avoid celebrating the holiday with members outside ones’ household, if possible.

As of today (Monday), the state’s health department reported 453 new cases, second only to the highest number of new cases (493) per day that was reported on June 25. To date, the county has had 38,798 cases, 2,474 hospitalizations and 614 deaths.

Based on the current trajectory of cases, more evidence shows that cases have been growing at an exponential rate in the county over the last month.

The county’s test positivity rate is 8.3 percent, more than one percentage point higher than the statewide test positive rate, which is currently 7.2 percent. In the state, 3,242 new cases were reported today, according to state health data.

Similar surges have been detected regionally recently.

“The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fairfax and Loudoun health districts is officially surging, according to new analysis from the University of Virginia, and the Northern Virginia region’s overall caseload is at its highest level since it peaked May 31,” InsideNova reported.

The Virginia Department of Health attributed some of today’s case counts to “a catch-up from the VDH data system being down for upgrades for a few hours this weekend.”

Hospitalizations, however, remain relatively low in the county. As of today, two new hospitalizations were reported and no new deaths were reported.

Photo 1 via Unsplash; photo 2 via Fairfax County Department of Health

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An Arlington man has been charged in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a Reston-based hospice patient, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

An 80-year-old Reston man told his family members that he woke up to 57 year-old Nizhamuding Jureti performing a sexual act on him in October, police said. The allegations were made on Nov. 11 and Jureti was arrested on Nov. 20 with one count of forcible sodomy.

Jureti worked for a Fairfax-based home care services company called Care With LOVE. He is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information about this case or any other possible cases of inappropriate contact should contact FCPD using the following methods:

Please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. 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 FCPD

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Monday Morning Notes

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely in Reston — “While it may be tempting to enjoy traditions as usual, the safest thing you can do, the CDC says, is celebrate at home with people who are part of your immediate household.  [Reston Patch]

Registration Opens for Winter Break Camp — The camp will begin on Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for children between ages five and 12. Enrollment is available on a daily basis. [RA]

FCPS Wins Three Communications Awards — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has won three awards in the 2020 CHESPRA (Chesapeake Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association) communications contest.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Reston Homebuilder Donates $20 Million to Inova for Cancer Screening Center
  2. Virginia Tightens COVID-19 Rules Amid Rising Cases
  3. Spotify Acquires Reston-Based Podcast Hosting Company for $235 Million
  4. FCPS Readies for More Students to Return Despite Outbreaks
  5. Poll: How Should Fairfax County Public Schools Approach Learning Moving 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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via FCPS

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The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating two reckless discharge incidents that took place on Nov. 14.

According to the department’s weekly crime report, someone driving a car on the 2000 block of Soapstone Drive fired a gun several times before leaving the area around 10:17 p.m.

In a separate incident, FCPD also investigated reports of a shooting on the parking lot of the Village Center at Dulles. Police believe a man fired a gun and left the area in a car.

Shell casings were discovered at the scene of both incidents. No injuries or property damage were reported.

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Reston Association’s Board of Directors narrowly approved a $10 increase in next year’s assessment Thursday night. Four members of the nine-member board — Ven Iyer, Sarah Selvaraj-D’Souza, Bob Petrine, and Mike Collins — voted against the proposal due to financial concerns.

The funding gap between current revenues and future expenses was especially apparent in this year’s budget negotiations as RA debated how to fund the renovation of Lake Thoreau.

RA CEO Hank Lynch originally pitched a budget with no assessment increase in order to account for the impact of COVID-19 on members. But RA’s Board directed Lynch to explore other assessment options up to $728 in order to account for future expenses and reduce the likelihood of a major fee increase in 2022.

Additional revenue from member fees will be used for ADA-additions to Temporary Road and accounts for the lease of RA’s headquarters, which will be reflected as an average booked rate for ten years instead of actual costs for 2021. Other funds above $80,000 would be placed in RA’s operating reserve for future use.

Assessment invoices will be mailed to members next month and are due Jan. 1. RA plans to launch a new system for members to pay fees online and “will be the most convenient way for members to pay their assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a news release.

The budget also does away with processing fees for online payments and accounts for an. 86 percnet increase in funding for lake treatment at Lake Thoreau and other Reston lakes.

RA’s Central Services Facility will also reduce the number of times it mows Virginia Department of Transportation roads in Reston. Currently, VDOT’s contract with RA pays for three mowing cycles on an annual basis.

Other features of the budget include:

  • No staff merit pay increases
  • Full-time headcount reduced by one position
  • Three current and vacant positions will remain vacant until the end of March
  • Next year’s communications, marketing and public relations budget is reduced by 9.5 percent
  • IT reduces the budget by $195,000 by moving to Cloud and not filling 2020 approved staff positions
  • Election budget increases by 14.6 percent to increase voter turnout

In addition to Lake Thoreau, the pools at Shadowood and Tall Oaks will be closed next year for capital improvements.

Image via Reston Assoication/YouTube

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Friday Morning Notes

FCPS Seeks Class Monitors, Substitute Teachers — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the largest school system in Virginia, is seeking individuals to serve as classroom monitors and substitute teachers.” [FCPS]

County Hires Weekend Contact Interviewers — “The Fairfax Health District is expanding its pool of contact tracing staff and is actively seeking weekend contact interviewers. As COVID-19 cases increase in the Fairfax Health District, the additional staff will be needed in the efforts to effectively slow the spread of illness and ensure the health and safety of our community.” [Fairfax County Government]

New Chief Academic Officer Announced — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has named Sloan Presidio, who currently serves as assistant superintendent for instructional services, as the district’s new Chief Academic Officer, effective November 17.”  [FCPS]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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