Station 25 on Wiehle Avenue could be completed by the end of 2021 (Photo by David Taube)

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s Station 25 should be complete and occupied by the end of this year.

That’s the most recent timeline for the project (1820 Wiehle Ave.), according to the department’s director of public information, Ashley Hildebrandt.

“Station personnel are very excited about the new station,” she says in an email.

Demolition on the former station began in March 2020 for the nearly $15 million project that will double the size of Station 25.

The former station was 2 1/2 bays, designed in 1972 and had “become undersized” and lacked “inadequate critical infrastructure and support functions to meet the needs of the expanding department and the community it serves,” according to a description by the project’s architect.

The new station has four bays and makes other adjustments for more firefighters to be located there, such as by providing 41 parking spaces.

Firefighters have temporarily relocated to 1840 Cameron Glen Drive during the construction to continue providing service.

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Morning Notes

People at Lake Anne plaza (Photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

Cornerstones Celebrates 50 Years — The nonprofit organization will celebrate its 50th anniversary at Reston Community Center tonight. The event begins at 6 p.m. [Cornerstones]

Reston Community Players Launches New Program — The organization has launched a new apprenticeship program for students between the ages of 12 and 18. The opportunity involves 10 performances at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage. [Reston Patch]

Fire Department Cancels Fill the Boot Event — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has once again canceled its in-person “Fill the Boot” event for muscular dystrophy this year. The decision was made due to increasing cases of COVID-19. [FCFRD]

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Morning Notes

Possible Measles Exposures Under Investigation — Three individuals who recently arrived in Northern Virginia through Dulles International Airport as part of the Afghanistan evacuation have been diagnosed with measles, state health officials say. The risk to the general community is considered low, but anyone not vaccinated against the measles who was at the airport or certain other locations during specific time frames listed in the news release should contact their health provider. [VDH]

Police Arrest Man at Lake Anne Plaza — Fairfax County police arrested an Alexandria man found lying on the ground in the 1600 block of Washington Plaza on Thursday (Sept. 9) after discovering that he had narcotics, multiple rounds of ammunition, and a firearm. He was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of schedule IV narcotics. [FCPD]

Reston Contractor Protests Army Award — CACI International, which moved its headquarters to Reston over the summer, filed a contract protest against the federal government last week over awards issued by the U.S. Army. Few details about the case are known, because CACI’s federal subsidary requested that the records be sealed because they contain “confidential and proprietary information.” [Washington Business Journal]

See Herndon Fire Station Raise Flag for 9/11 — “Station 36, Frying Pan, A-Shift presenting the colors at a 9-11 ceremony in Herndon earlier today. Beautiful! #NeverForget #FCFRD” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Man stands on paddleboard at Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Metro Service Changes Start This Weekend — “Starting Sunday, Metro says riders will notice big changes when it comes to price and how often buses and trains come. The changes are part of an effort by Metro to lure back riders, something it has struggled to do during the pandemic. General manager Paul Wiedefeld tells 7News bus ridership is only about 55% what it was pre-pandemic, and rail is just 25% of what it once was.” [ABC7 News]

Fairfax County Firefighters Assist with Ida Response — A 16-person water rescue team with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team was activated by FEMA yesterday (Thursday) in response to the impact of Hurricane Ida remnants in the Northeast. The task force recently returned from Haiti after the island was devastated by an earthquake. [VATF1/Twitter]

Virginia No Longer Worst State for Workers — “Conditions for workers in Virginia have improved considerably since Democrats took control of the commonwealth’s General Assembly in 2019, according to a new assessment by anti-poverty organization Oxfam America. Oxfam ranked Virginia the ‘worst state for workers’ in 2018 and 2019…but [it] leapt to #23 in the organization’s 2021 rankings, released Wednesday.” [DCist]

Lights Festival Coming to Roer’s Zoofari — “Beginning on October 15, Roer’s Zoofari will host a very different collection of animals from its typical apes and reptiles line-up. Come embrace our post-reality reality with unicorns and dinosaurs at LuminoCity Festival, a paid-admission, outdoor display of light art. The concept is simple: thousands of giant, light-up figures and environments that you walk around and look at, at night.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Construction continues on redevelopment of the Lake Anne Fellowship House (via vantagehill/Flickr)

NoVA Child Dies From COVID-19 — “Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that a child in the Northern Region with COVID-19 has died. VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family. This is the first reported death of a child in the Northern Region with COVID-19 in Virginia.” [VDH]

Fairfax County Task Force Returns From Haiti — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responders who deployed to Haiti as part of the Virginia Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team came home on Wednesday (Aug. 25). The 65-member task force landed at Dulles International Airport after 11 days of supporting the disaster response to the Aug. 14 earthquake that devastated the island nation. [WTOP]

Charges Anticipated in Herndon Stabbing — As of 5:45 p.m. yesterday (Thursday), the suspect in a stabbing that occured that morning in the 1000 block of Elden Street in Herndon had not yet been apprehended, but a police department spokesperson said they “do not believe he poses an immediate danger to our community.” Charges are expected to be filed in the case today (Friday). [Patch]

FCPS Sees Decline in Test Participation — “Fairfax County and Virginia schools as a whole saw declining participation in the spring 2021 Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. At Fairfax County Public Schools, participation rates fell by an average 20 percent in reading, mathematics, and science. Around 50,000 tests were refused this year, compared to over 500 in 2018-19.” [Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Woman paddleboards with her dog on Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Lit Candles Start Fire in Herndon Storage Unit — Three Public Storage units sustained fire and smoke damage after unattended, lit candles placed too close to combustibles fueled a blaze on Friday (Aug. 20). Fairfax County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority units responded to the 2900 block of Centreville Road around 2:11 p.m. The fire resulted in approximately $165,000 in damages but no injuries or displacements. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Herndon Man Tries to Bring Loaded Gun on Plane — A man from Herndon will be fined after Transportation Security Administration agents prevented him from bringing a loaded handgun onto a flight at Dulles International Airport. Officials said it was the 10th handgun seized at the airport so far this year after 19 such incidents in 2019. [The Washington Post]

County Police Dog Dies from Cancer — Fairfax County Police Department K9 Silas died of cancer on Saturday (Aug. 21), the department said yesterday (Monday) in a Facebook post. Joining the FCPD as a puppy in 2013 with his brother Bolt, Silas was diagnosed last fall and began receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He responded well, living beyond expectations and continuing to help police track down critically missing people. [Patch]

RA Urges Continued Caution Around Lake Algae — An algae bloom that emerged at Lake Audubon in July was determined to be not harmful, but Reston Association says residents should remain cautious in their use of the lake until little to no algal colonies are present. More information about how to help prevent future blooms can be found through the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. [RA/YouTube]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Firefighters respond to a townhouse fire in the 100 block of Fortnightly Boulevard in Herndon (via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter)

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Two people have been displaced, and a cat was found dead after a fire ripped through a townhouse in Herndon early this morning (Tuesday).

Fairfax and Loudoun county firefighters responded at approximately 12:56 a.m. to a reported fire in the 100 block of Fortnightly Boulevard in the Town of Herndon, according to a report that the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released in the afternoon.

Upon their arrival on the scene, the responders saw fire showing in the back of a three-story, middle-unit townhouse. Two residents were spotted at a second-floor window above the front door, prompting crews to deploy a ladder so they could reach the second-floor balcony and help the residents out.

The units also requested assistance from other agencies in the area, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department.

“The fire was quickly brought under control and eventually extinguished,” FCFRD said. “One occupant was transported to a hospital for a check-up. Sadly, one cat was found deceased. There were no firefighter injuries reported.”

Investigators have determined that the fire was accidentally triggered by an issue in the electrical system of the townhouse’s garage, where a motorcycle was being charged by a trickle charger.

The residence’s two occupants were both at home and asleep when the fire started. The sound of a smoke alarm woke them up, but they were unable to get out of the house through the first floor due to smoke, moving instead to the second-floor balcony, according to the fire department.

The fire has displaced both residents and resulted in approximately $253,550 in damages, not including water damage to the adjacent townhomes. It also destroyed a car and two motorcycles that were in the garage.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Fire Team Deploys to Haiti — 65 rescue professionals and four search canines with Virginia Task Force 1, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s urban search and rescue team, left for Haiti yesterday (Sunday) to assist federal disaster response crews after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake on Saturday (Aug. 14). The confirmed death toll has exceeded 700 people as of yesterday afternoon. [NBC4]

Virginia Offers Third COVID-19 Vaccine Doses — “Virginia will make third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines available for moderately and severely immunocompromised Virginians, starting as early as August 14. This move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its vaccination guidelines to recommend third mRNA doses for people who have significantly compromised immune systems.” [Virginia Department of Health]

Fairfax County Seeks Affordable Housing Proposals — Projects to acquire, develop, or rehabilitate affordable rental housing can apply for nearly $2.5 million in newly available federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME funds from Fairfax County. The Department of Housing and Community Development is soliciting proposals to support the county’s goal of producing at least 5,000 new units of affordable housing by 2034. [Fairfax County Government]

FCPS to Hold Back-to-School Town Hall Tonight — Superintendent Scott Brabrand will host a virtual town hall on the return to five days of in-person learning from 6-7 p.m. today (Monday) with Fairfax County Director of Epidemiology and Population Health Dr. Benjamin Schwartz. The meeting can be watched on TV or online, and a second town hall in Spanish will stream on Facebook tomorrow (Tuesday). [FCPS]

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Morning Notes

Walkers along Lake Anne Canal (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Former Herndon Resident Charged in Old Sex Assaults — “A 48-year-old Winchester man has been charged with six felonies for sexual assaults that occurred between 1999 and 2001. Detectives began their investigation in May after a victim disclosed the unlawful sexual contact occurring in 2001. Detectives determined Rigoberto Garcia Nolasco resided in the 13300 block of Schwenger Place in Herndon where he provided piano lessons to the victim.” [FCPD]

Faulty Wiring Causes Reston Building Fire — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a building fire in the 12000 block of Sunset Hills Road early Friday morning (July 23) that started “in the wiring of a small, under the cabinet style refrigeration unit” and caused an estimated $1,000 in damages. The fire was contained by two sprinklers inside the building and quickly extinguished upon firefighters’ arrival. [Patch]

Tenant of Missing Lorton Woman Charged — “Fairfax County police say they have found the body of 72-year-old Emily Lu, 50 days after she disappeared following a trip to a grocery store, and officers have arrested a man who lived with her…Brian George Sayrs, Jr., 25, of Woodbridge, was arrested and faces a charge of second-degree murder, News4’s Shomari Stone was first to report. Sayrs is also charged with felony concealment of a body.” [NBC4]

Learn the History of “Virginia Is for Lovers” — “Perhaps you’ve heard of ‘Virginia is for lovers.’ That is surely one of the most memorable tourism slogans in history, despite the fact that it’s hard to pin down exactly what it means. The slogan debuted in 1969 but our story actually begins a couple of years earlier, when Richmond ad agency Martin & Woltz was invited to pitch for the state’s travel promotion account.” [The Washington Post]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Lake Anne Plaza fountain turned off (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Fairfax County Police Officer Shoots Woman — A woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition yesterday (Monday) after a Fairfax County police officer fired their weapon and shot her during a confrontation at a group home in Springfield. Police say they responded to the 8000 block of Gosport Lane by a disturbance call about a woman reportedly assaulting people. [The Washington Post]

Former Fairfax County Police Chief to Head Capitol Police — J. Thomas Manger, who served as Fairfax County’s chief of police from 1998 to 2004, will take over as chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Manger will be named to the position following an extensive search, according to The Associated Press. [Patch]

Herndon Business Park Acquired — The San Francisco-based real estate investment company Shorenstein Properties LLC has acquired Monroe Business Center, a 19-acre site at 539 Herndon Parkway with seven office buildings. The property’s location near the future Herndon Metro station “provides Shorenstein with a rare opportunity to create a more mixed-use environment over time.” [PR Newswire]

Two Fire Department Personnel Positive for COVID-19 — Two personnel in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department are currently COVID-19 positive. 175 people in the department are known to have been infected by the novel coronavirus at some point during the pandemic. With cases increasing in the county, the department urged people to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already. [FCFRD]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Heat Turns Up in D.C. Area — Daytime temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-90s for much of this week, with a possible heat index of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit through Thursday (July 1), according the the National Weather Service. Fairfax County says to stay hydrated, remain in shaded or air-conditioned locations as much as possible, and check on neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat. [Fairfax County Government]

Unattended Candle Ignites Herndon House Fire — A small house fire in the 13000 block of Farthingale Drive in Herndon was started on Friday (June 25) by an unattended lit candle in the bedroom. The blaze was extinguished quickly, but it still displaced three people and resulted in about $20,000 in damages. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Few Restrictions Anticipated for FCPS Fall Return — “Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand said he’s ready to get students back in schools, and said he thinks it will be pretty normal as far as precautions go… ‘Our planning assumptions include no social distancing in our classrooms,’ Brabrand said.” [WTOP]

Juneteenth Celebrated at Frying Pan Farm — “The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park sponsored its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House on Centreville Road. While generally not open to the public, the integrity of the historic 230-year-old Meeting House and its adjoining springs, baptismal pond, grounds, and cemetery proved an appropriate location for the celebration.” [Reston Connection]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Updated at 2:25 p.m. — The gas leak at Reston Town Center has now stopped after the gas company “clamped the line,” the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported at 1:20 p.m.

Updated at 12 p.m. — The gas leak situation at Reston Town Center is now stable, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says, though it is estimated that it will take the gas company a couple of hours to secure the leak.

No injuries have been reported, and examinations of buildings in the vicinity did not reveal any gas leaking into structures, according to the department.

Earlier: A gas leak possibly related to utility work at Reston Town Center prompted multiple buildings to be evacuated this morning (Friday), a tipster told Reston Now.

A Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson confirmed that units are currently on the scene in response to a gas leak involving a four-inch gas line.

The department has also confirmed that some buildings were evacuated as a precaution.

“Awaiting gas company to shut line down,” FCFRD said in a tweet. “Avoid area.”

Roads in the area of Market Street at the intersection with Explorer Street have been closed due to fire department activity, according to Fairfax Alerts. The alert says to “expect delays if traveling in the immediate area.”

David Taube contributed to this report.

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Morning Notes

Primary Voter Turnout Expected to Follow Pre-Pandemic Trends — “While tens of thousands of Virginians already voted early ahead of the primary election on Tuesday, the turnout for people casting ballots in person is expected to look more like it did before the coronavirus pandemic. ‘I suspect that the bulk of the voters will be voting tomorrow as they traditionally have,’ said Fairfax County General Registrar Scott Konopasek. [WTOP]

Public Housing Application Period Opens — “The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) is now accepting new tenant applications for selection to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program waitlist. The RAD program, formerly known simply as “public housing,” provides 1,060 units of publicly owned housing to low-income households…Applications must be completed online between 8 a.m. on June 7 and 11:59 p.m. on June 13.” [Fairfax County Government]

Virginia Sees Overall Drop in Violent Crime — “Virginia saw a slight decrease in violent crime in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the state police’s annual crime report. The number of homicides in the state, however, increased by 23.4 percent. Across the state, there were 15,713 violent crimes reported in 2020 compared to 16,018 violent crimes in 2019, a 1.9 percent drop.” [Patch]

Reston Museum to Revisit Encounter with Former First Lady — “Join the Reston Historic Trust & Museum for a special all-virtual program on July 13, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. commemorating Lady Bird Johnson’s 1967 visit to Reston. Special guest Julia Sweig, author of Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight, will provide insight into Lady Bird Johnson and her involvement in urban planning projects, democratic access to nature and more.” [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]

Fairfax County Fire Department Awarded — Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler is a co-recipient of the Excellence in Virginia Fire Services Award from the 2020 Governor’s Fire Service Awards for helping launch a Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACT R) program, which uses 9-1-1 resources to deliver blood transfusions to trapped individuals. A county firefighter was also named Career Firefighter of the Year. [FCFRD]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A contractor who was injured while working on the roof of a home in Reston was rescued Monday evening.

According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the man — who was repairing a roof at 1514 Park Glen Court — injured himself with a nail gun.

Fire and rescue crews lifted the man from the roof of the townhouse and transported him to a local hospital.

The incident happened around 6:22 p.m. A spokesperson for the fire department told Reston Now that the man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Photos by Joel Shprentz

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Roer’s Zoofari (Photo via Roer’s/Facebook)

Roer’s Zoofari has reopened after a fire broke out that killed two beloved giraffes earlier this month.

The zoo at 1228 Hunter Mill Road started welcoming visitors again for walk and drive-through visits on Monday (March 15), according to their Facebook, a week after a fatal barn fire left giraffes Waffles and Belagin dead.

The zoo has posted a remembrance on the website for the two animals.

“Waffles has been the heart of Roer’s Zoofari for 5 years. As we grieve we can look back at his legacy he leaves behind,” it reads in part. “Rest in peace Waffles, you will never be forgotten.”

For Belgian, it notes that he was recently brought to the zoo as a companion for Waffles.

“Tragically his time here was cut short. But in his few weeks at Roer’s Zoofari, he uplifted the spirits of visitors and staff,” the remembrance says. “He helped make Waffles’ last days an absolute joy as they played in the sun.”

Areas, including the barn, remain blocked off as an investigation is still ongoing, zoo owner Vanessa Roer writes Reston Now in an email.

At 5:30 p.m. on March 8, zoo staff was contacted by Fairfax County fire dispatch, according to a statement on the zoo’s website.

Staff arrived and were able to rescue about 20 other animals. They could not reach the giraffes, who were trapped in their stalls in the barn.

The giraffes likely died of smoke inhalation, the statement says.

While no cause has yet to be officially determined, staff believe the fire resulted from a heater that was being used to keep animals warm overnight in the barn during cold temperatures.

About a third of the barn was destroyed.

Additionally, in recent days, a petition has been circulating to shut down the zoo. Currently, there’s about 550 signatures.

It cites the alleged mistreatment of animals and violation of the Animal Welfare Act as reasons. No evidence of such claims is offered.

There have been several notable incidents and controversies over the last decade at the zoo, many of which occurred prior to the current ownership taking over in 2016.

For decades, the zoo near Lake Fairfax was known as “Reston Zoo” but it was sold to Vanessa and Jacob Roer after several high-profile animal cruelty charges. This includes the zoo’s previous director pleaded guilty of drowning an injured wallaby.

Other incidents include improper care provided to a spider monkey and exposing warm-weathered porcupines to cold temperatures.

At the time, Reston Zoo ownership chalked it up to mistakes, keeper error, and bad process.

Reston Now did send the petition to current zoo staff for comment but has yet to hear back as of publication.

Photo via Roer’s/Facebook

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