Reston, VA

Morning Notes

Reston Contractor to Develop National COVID-19 Hotline — “Reston-based government services company Maximus has received a potential $951 million contract to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 national surge support and vaccine assistance hotline.” [Virginia Business]

Reston Farmers Market Opens to Crowds — Reston Farmers Market opened for the spring on Saturday (May 2) “to brisk business” at Lake Anne Village Center. Even with most COVID-19 health protocols still in place, at least 1,900 customers attended, up from 809 customers on the first day of the 2020 season, according to founder John Lovaas. [Patch]

Local Band Teacher Dies — Coates Elementary School Principal Jesse Kraft announced yesterday (Monday) that Kelsey Burch, the school’s fifth and sixth-grade band teacher, had died after a year-long battle with cancer. Before joining Coates four years go, she led the band program at Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Reston for a decade. Sunrise Valley will name its band room in her honor. [Coates Elementary]

Fairfax County Parks Open Registration for Summer Classes — Registration for summer classes, events, and programs from the Fairfax County Park Authority, including at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, begins today. Online registration is available, and spaces in each program are limited. [Friends of Frying Pan/Twitter]

Reston Hospital Named Among Top 100 in U.S. — “Reston Hospital Center has been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. This is the first time Reston Hospital Center has been recognized with this honor as one of the top performing community hospitals in the U.S.” [Reston Hospital Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Wind Advisory in Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, starting at noon today (Friday). In effect until 2 a.m. Saturday, the alert says to expect northwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and bring down tree limbs, potentially leading to power outages. [NWS]

More Witnesses Come Forward in Sexual Battery Case — Additional victims and witnesses have contacted Herndon police about massage therapist Zachary Nelson Guzman-Orellana, 39, of Leesburg, who was arrested on April 21 on a charge of aggravated sexual battery. Police encourage any other victims or people with further information to call 703-435-6846. [Herndon Police Department/Twitter]

Rush Hour Toll Increase on Dulles Greenway Barred — Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a 25-cent increase for non-peak hour tolls on the Dulles Greenway but ruled that peak tolls can’t be raised now due to uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. State legislators recently passed a law requiring the Virginia Department of Transportation to approve future toll increases on the privately operated road. [WTOP]

About 160,000 Virginians Miss Second Vaccine Dose — Virginia Department of Health data indicates that nearly 10% of Virginians who received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines didn’t return for their second one in the recommended time frame. Scheduling challenges and anxieties about side effects that tend to be heavier with the second dose could be factors. [Virginia Mercury]

Reston Engineering Firm to Go Public — “Reston engineering firm Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. is planning to go public, and recently priced its shares for an initial public offering that could raise up to $49.5 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

Conservatory Ballet Founder Dies — “It is with great sadness that the Conservatory Ballet of Reston announces that Founder and former Director Julia Cziller Redick passed away on April 18, 2021. Mrs. Redick founded The Conservatory Ballet in Reston in 1972 and remained as Director of the school for close to 50 years.” [Conservatory Ballet Foundation/IssueWire]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

True Food Kitchen Opens at Reston Town Center — True Food Kitchen officially opened its doors at Reston Town Center yesterday (Wednesday) after a more than two-year wait. Located in a 7,798-square-foot space at 11901 Democracy Drive that was previously M&S Grill, the restaurant was previously expected to open in August 2020 before getting delayed and announcing an April 28 opening in March. [The Burn]

Key Reston Planner Dies at 93 — Glenn William Saunders Jr. died on April 1 at his home on Singer Island, Florida. The civil engineer served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before working as an engineer for the cities of Alexandria and Fairfax. He was hired by Reston founder Robert E. Simon in 1961 to help plan, design, and build the planned community. [Patch]

Fairfax County Could Expand Outdoor Classrooms — Fairfax County Public Schools has been running outdoor learning pilots at five schools since the start of the 2020-2021 academic year with the goal of expanding classroom capacity and reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Using federal relief funds, FCPS has purchased a total of 215 tents, each costing around $4,300, as of late April and anticipates expanding the program in the fall. [The Washington Post]

Fatal Drug Overdoses Up During Pandemic — “Last year was Virginia’s worst on record for fatal drug overdoses. In 2020, nearly 2,300 people died from drugs in the state, according to a new report from the Virginia Department of Health. That’s a 41% increase from the year before, which was already record-breaking.” [The Virginian-Pilot]

Reston Breweries to Celebrate American Craft Beer Week — “With three breweries in or near Reston, the Brewers Association is urging craft beer drinkers to support local breweries as American Craft Beer Week approaches. The 15th annual weeklong observance will run from May 10-16 this year.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Reconfigures COVID-19 Call Center — “The Health Department has implemented a new call center system to better meet the needs of our residents during the upcoming transition to Phase 2 and beyond. As we work to implement this new system, wait times for callers may be longer than expected.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Virginia Woman Died After Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine — “Virginia health officials say a woman who died a few weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is among six cases nationwide that prompted a pause in use of the one-dose shots. The woman’s death last month had similarities to the blood-clotting problem that halted distribution of the vaccine Tuesday, said Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccination coordinator.” [Inside NoVA]

U.S. Labor Secretary Visits Reston Business — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh held a discussion at Vantage Point Consulting’s Reston office on Friday (April 9) to talk about President Biden’s jobs plan and how it could help recent veterans and others transition back into the workforce. Vantage Point provides career readiness services and is owned by a veteran. [Patch]

Herndon Police Welcomes Support Dog — “Herndon Police Department is proud to announce K9 Bragg has joined the family, serving as HPD’s first certified facility dog. Bragg, a Labrador Retriever, was graciously gifted to HPD from Mutts With A Mission, a 501(c)(3) based in Portsmouth, VA, that specializes in training dogs to serve the needs of first responders, veterans, and wounded warriors.” [Herndon Police/Facebook]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Reston Man Hospitalized After Assault — A man was “assaulted by several acquaintances inside his home” at the 11600 block of Stoneview Square on March 26, according to police. The victim reportedly “sustained cuts to his lower body” and was taken to the hospital “with serious injuries.” [FCPD]

Police Arrest Four Suspects in Home Burglary — The Fairfax County Police Department arrested four men after determining that they were involved in taking property from a house in the 10600 block of Water Falls Lane on March 28. “Detectives continue to investigate this case, confirm the men’s identities and their involvement in other burglaries,” police say. [FCPD]

Longtime Chemical Engineer Dies at Reston Hospital — William “Bill” Friend built a 41-year career in engineering that included election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and 21 years of work for the Reston-based Bechtel Group. At 86, he died from complications due to COVID-19 at Reston Hospital on Jan. 27. [The Washington Post]

Reston Association Opens Tennis Courts –“Reston Association’s clay courts at the North Hills and Glade tennis facilities opened April 1. Lights at these locations will be operational seven days a week between 6 p.m.-11 p.m. All players must have an RA 2021 recreation pass or a 2021 non-resident tennis pass to access the courts. Court monitors will be on site to check passes. Players are required to sweep the courts when they are done.” [RA Newsletter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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(Updated at 9:55 p.m.) A man was fatally shot at the Winterthur Apartments in Reston tonight (Thursday).

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. on the 2200 block of Winterthur Court. Officers arrived and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds in the entryway of one of the buildings, according to Fairfax County Police Department spokesman Sgt. Hudson Bull.

The man was pronounced dead on scene. Another person had minor injuries, Bull said.

A suspect was seen fleeing the scene in a dark-colored car following the shooting.

“The suspect is described as a black male who left in a black car with tinted windows,” FCPD said via social media. As Thursday night, he remains at large.

Media are gathering along nearby Colts Neck Road as police continue to collect evidence and investigate the shooting.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is coming up with more ways to help local residents receive CPR in the event of an emergency.

Earlier this month, the department announced the official launch of the PulsePoint, a phone app that connects to 911 and alerts CPR-trained residents if someone in a nearby, public location is experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

The rate of survival from SCA decreases by between seven and 10 percent for every minute that passes before help arrives, according to the department. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or on Google Play. Potential resident rescues are also alerted to the exact location of a defibrillator.

Fire Chief John Butler is encouraging residents to download the app.

“In working with PulsePoint, our goal is to get every resident with access to early intervention in order to save as many lives as possible,” Butler said.

Butler pushed for the institution of the app in Howard County, Md., where he was previously the fire chief.

Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) created new guidelines that urged fire departments to have the capability to alert willing bystanders for the need of CPR.

The AHA recommendation was considered and played a significant role in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Departments’ implementation of PulsePoint,  said Battalion Chief George Robbins, the county’s community risk reduction program manager.

He noted that CPR-related calls are fairly common in Fairfax County. In 2019 and 2020, the department responded to 645 and 663 patients where EMS crews attempted resuscitation respectively, Robbins told Reston Now.

An email is required to set up an account once the app is downloaded.

Photo via PulsePoint Foundation/Facebook

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Local police have launched an investigation after a person was found in a body of water in Herndon.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the body was found shortly after 5:30 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday) in the 1300 block of Pellow Circle Court.

Preliminarily, police say the individual is a woman.

No information on the cause of death was released publicly. More details are expected this week.

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The Herndon Police Department plans to join a regional team that will investigate officer-involved investigations, a move that the department hopes will create an expert-led, independent and objective process for investigations.

For over a year, police chiefs from Northern Virginia worked to create a Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) to investigate officer-involved critical incidents like police shootings, use-of-force incidents that result in death or life-threatening injuries, police officer suicides, and in-custody deaths.

At a Herndon Town Council meeting on Dec. 1, Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said the team would boost public confidence in the investigation process, rule out potential conflicts of interest, and create a process for objective investigations.

“It’s a way for us to make sure these are done independently without bias, which really has been one of the outcries of police reform across the country,” DeBoard said.

Currently, HPD works with the Fairfax County Police Department to address similar issues. Absent a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), DeBoard said the process is challenged by FCPD’s limited availability if multiple incidents require a prompt investigation.

DeBoard also noted that HPD can develop the expertise of its staff by taking part in investigations of other jurisdictions.

Alexandria recently pulled out of the proposed team because of delays in bringing the project forward to its City Council. But 11 other jurisdictions have committed to take part in the task force:

  • Arlington County
  • Falls Church
  • Fairfax
  • Leesburg
  • Manassas
  • Manassas Park
  • Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police Department
  • Prince William County
  • Purcellville
  • Vienna

Members of the Herndon Town Council agreed with the need for the program at the meeting.

According to a Dec. 1 staff report, taking part in CIRT will not result in additional expenses, other than overtime expenses that are already allocated  in HPD’s current budget.

CIRT will not investigate car crashes that result in death, unless the car itself was used as deadly force. Completed case investigations will go before the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute any individuals.

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Fairfax County police say a 64-year-old man died in a crash involving two vehicles in Great Falls yesterday.

The crash happened shortly before 5 p.m. in the 700 block of Walker Road — near the Great Falls Elementary School and Arnon Cemetery.

“A preliminary investigation determined the Ford F350 was traveling eastbound on Walker Road when it crossed over the double yellow, left the roadway and struck the Dodge Ram that tried to avoid the crash,” police said. “Subsequently, the Ford F350 struck a utility pole and overturned back onto the roadway.”

Police said today that Billy White, the driver of the Ford, died at the scene. The driver of the Dodge Ram was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Detectives are investigating the crash. They do not believe alcohol was a factor, but are looking into whether speed or a medical emergency contributed to the crash, police said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

Image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 12:30 p.m.)

A Reston resident shot and killed a “suspected intruder” late Friday night, according to police.

Daniel Matheson, 29, of Reston was killed in the incident, which happened in an apartment community on the 12000 block of Starboard Drive.

The tenant found Matheson standing in his doorway with a firearm “pointing in his direction,” according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He shot the 29-year-old in the chest.

Matheson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police do not believe the two men knew each other. Detectives continue to conduct interviews and process evidence. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney will determine if charges will be placed.

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A homicide investigation is underway in Reston after a 29-year-old woman was found dead in the basement of a home she rented on the 11000 block of Great Owl Circle.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Maryam Ali Mohammed Al Jaberi was found around 6:30 p.m. yesterday (Monday) by her landlord.

The Office Of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide after an autopsy was conducted this morning. Officers found Al Jaberi in the basement of the home and noticed “suspected trauma to her upper body,” according to FCPD.

The case is under investigation. No other information was immediately available.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police Department Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 2. 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.

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Local police are conducting a death investigation in a Reston neighborhood.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, detectives are investigating a report of a death at the 11000 block of Great Owl Circle in Reston.

“The scene is contained to a house and there is no apparent threat to public safety,” FCPD wrote around 8:30 p.m. today (Monday).

The department did not release any other information about the incident.

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Fairfax County is nearing its 12,000th COVID-19 case, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

As of today, the county has a total of 11,904 cases, 1,401 hospitalizations and 410 deaths.

Of the 389 outbreaks in Virginia, 61 are in the Fairfax Health District, which includes the county and its towns and cities. Fifty-one are at long term care facilities, while two are healthcare settings and a correctional facility and educational setting both have one.

The Fairfax Health District also has Virginia’s only two reports of cases of the virus with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children.

The Fairfax Health District continues to lead the commonwealth in the number of PCR tests, which directly detect antigens, with more than 55,000 testing encounters.

Statewide and in the Fairfax Health District, the weekly average of the percent of positive tests has been steadily declining since late April and the number of testing encounters has increased, according to VDH.

Even with the increased testing, Fairfax County officials say more is needed to address a growing racial disparity with the cases.

The Hispanic population makes up 16.8% of the population in the Fairfax Health District, but 66.2% of the COVID-19 cases where race and ethnicity data is available, according to Fairfax County and the state health department. In mid-May, the Hispanic population made of 61.3% of the cases. (Roughly 20% of the cases don’t have race and ethnicity data.)

Officials said on Tuesday that they want to see more neighborhood testing sites and testing available for people who are asymptomatic.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash, graph via Virginia Department of Health

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A body was found in the woods near Lake Anne Plaza yesterday afternoon, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The deceased individual was found by a local resident in the 1600 block of Chimney House Road around 2:45 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday). 

FCPD says that “nothing appeared to be suspicious” about the death. Detectives from the department’s Major Crimes Bureau are investigating the incident.

A source told Reston Now that the body appeared to that of a man in his 30s.

Photo via FCPD

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