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Thursday Morning Notes

FCPS delays opening — The county’s public schools will open two hours late today after being closed yesterday as a snowstorm hit. [FCPS]

Dogs in the snow — ICYMI: “Locals put their photography skills to use for the snow-covered landscape, with some catching pets and cross-country skiing on camera.” [Reston Now, Reston Now Instagram]

Spruced up Safeway — “The Great Falls Safeway at 9881 Georgetown Pike reopened after renovations with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Feb. 16.” [McLean Patch]

Blood pressure PSA — Did you know kids can have high blood pressure? The American Heart Association has a short video about health screenings to protect kids. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Fatal Herndon car crash on Saturday — “Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying two victims from this morning’s [Feb. 16] fatal single vehicle crash.  Officers responded to the crash around 4:26 a.m. on southbound Route 28 near the McLearen Road exit.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Winter storm on its way — Heads up for tomorrow: expect sleet, ice and several inches of snow. The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 20). [National Weather Service]

Bus meeting tonight — The rescheduled meeting for public input on local bus service provided by Fairfax Connector in the Herndon-Reston area will take place from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Herndon Senior Center (873 Grace Street). [DC Commute Times]

Election for 86th District seat — Voting today will decide the replacement for now-State Sen. Jennifer Boysko’s former seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. The county has information about where, when and how to vote in the special election. [Fairfax County]

Interactive show at Great Falls Senior Center — The Great Falls Senior Center welcomes back Mary Ann Jung’s interactive show today. Jung, who has been recreating historical women for more than 30 years, will portray Margaret Brent, a colonial woman who was America’s first female landowner, lawyer and first to demand the vote in the 1640s. Lunch will be provided. [Great Falls Senior Center]

Rolling in the money — “[Reston-based] Sequoia Holdings Inc., a leading provider of software and cloud engineering services for the U.S. intelligence community, has received an equity investment from Chart National, L.P., a New York-based private equity fund with deep relationships within the intelligence community and the U.S. Department of Defense.” [Business Wire]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Open chair — Want to run the Reston Association’s Fiscal Committee? The chair position is open and accepting applications. [Reston Association]

Northam appoints Reston man — Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced more appointments to his administration, which include Michael Rush, a Reston resident and senior vice president of the Association of American Railroads, to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. [Virginia Governor]

Great Falls historian and civic activist dies — “Kathleen J. Murphy brought her intellect and passion to initiatives that improved the community, friends said. Murphy, who died Jan. 2 at age 71, was president of the Great Falls Historical Society from 2011 to 2017 and was ‘absolutely dedicated to preserving the history of Great Falls, which is a very historical area,’ Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) said” at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting. [Inside NoVa]

Read to a therapy dog — Head to the Reston Regional Library this evening for kids to read to a therapy dog during 15-minute sessions. [Fairfax County]

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Meeting Seeks Input on Proposed Assisted Living Facility in Great Falls

Great Falls residents will be able to get their questions about a proposed assisted living facility answered at a community meeting tomorrow (Feb. 12).

The 62-unit assisted living facility would open in 2020 at 1131 Walker Road and be run by IntegraCare, according to the Great Falls Citizen Association (GFCA). The site is above the Leesburg Pike and close to Colvin Run Mill.

IntegraCare is seeking a special exception to the county’s zoning laws. For the exception to be granted, the plan must satisfy several zoning requirements, such as showing that the application aligns with the Comprehensive Plan. Public hearings are also required before the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust is holding the meeting in coordination with citizens association to give locals in the area the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinions on the proposal. County staff from the Fairfax County Department of Zoning Evaluation will be on hand to answer questions.

“Before deciding whether to approve deny the application, the Board of Supervisors will consider whether the proposed use is compatible with existing or proposed developments in the area,” according to Foust’s newsletter to his constituents, adding that the board “may impose conditions and restrictions to address any negative impacts.”

The community meeting, which will include a presentation by the applicant on revisions to their proposal, will start at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Great Falls Elementary School (701 Walker Road).

County staff reviewed the application and suggested approval of the special exception in the staff report released last week. The Planning Commission will consider the proposal at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Image via Google Maps, rendering via Great Falls Citizen Association

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Friday Morning Notes

Updated at 9:05 a.m. — “STRETCH” closes Saturday (Feb. 9).

“STRETCH” closes today — GRACE’s third biennial exhibition closes today with a curator’s talk at 3 p.m. Co-curators Erica Harrison and Don Russell will discuss the process of organizing “STRETCH” and its major themes, followed by a Q&A. The talk is free. [GRACE]

Black History Month exhibit — The Reston Museum is celebrating Black History Month with a new exhibit showcasing how the Reston community combated racism during the 1960s and celebrated African American arts and culture with the creation of the annual Black Arts Festival. [Reston Museum]

RA is hiring — Want to join Member Services at the Reston Association? Check out the recently posted job openings. [Reston Assocation]

Cupid’s arrow hits Great Falls restaurant  — OpenTable recently unveiled its “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America” ahead of Valentine’s Day next week. French restaurant L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls made the list. [Cision]

New bank for Great Falls — “The founder and former CEO of a prominent Reston bank is building a new one. Meet Trustar Bank.” The bank, which is awaiting FDIC approval, will be based in Great Falls. [Washington Business Journal]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Jigsaw puzzle — For $15, locals ages 55 and older can enjoy Reston Association’s “Puzzle Day” with 500- and 750-piece puzzles to choose from at RA headquarters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants can work individually or as a member of a team as the timer ticks away. Coffee and lunch will be provided. [WebTrac]

Avoid the roads during rush hour — With rain and snow expected later today, the Virginia Department of Transportation wants commuters to stay off of the roads during rush hour. Freezing conditions will likely make the roads slick with ice. [VDOT]

Pajama party — The Herndon Fortnightly Library plans to host a pajama party storytime from 7-7:45 p.m. People of all ages can come in their PJs, listen to bedtime stories and make simple crafts. [Fairfax County]

Great Falls parcel remains untouched — Nearly 470 acres of mostly undeveloped land in the middle of northwest Great Falls will remain classified as an agricultural-and-forestal district. “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 22 unanimously granted a 10-year extension of that status to the site at 219 Seneca Road, which has been under that designation since 1981.” [Inside NoVa]

Vaping PSA — Fairfax County Public Schools now has a student-focused webpage that provides information about vaping risks, resources and videos featuring FCPS students. [FCPS]

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VDOT Moves to Crack Down on Thomas Avenue Cut-Through Traffic

Thomas Avenue’s days as a conduit for cut-through traffic trying to get to Route 7 might be numbered.

At a meeting next Wednesday (Jan. 16) at Dranesville Elementary School, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host a meeting about plans to limit cut-through traffic at the congested street north of Herndon.

Currently, the narrow residential street is clogged with traffic during rush hour trying to get around congestion on Algonkian Parkway to Route 7.

At the meeting, VDOT will present potential solutions and gather feedback from locals. Proposals include restricting right turns during weekday peak morning traffic.

The meeting will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, a meeting will be held the following Tuesday.

The public comment period will run until Jan. 28.

Photo via Google Maps

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Friday Morning Notes

‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ — With heavy rains expected today and Saturday, the possibility of flash flooding exists. County officials are reminding residents that cars should not be driven through flooded roadways. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Police Seek Suspect in Vienna Stabbing — Fairfax County Police have been searching since Thursday morning for the suspect in a stabbing that took place near the Vienna Metro station. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is a male of unknown race, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a medium build, and a light- to medium-brown complexion. He was wearing a black, hooded shirt pulled over his head. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Deadline for Cardboard Boat Registration Nears — The first Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta is coming up Aug. 12, and the last day to get a boat registered for the event is Tuesday. [Reston Museum]

New Name Coming for J.E.B. Stuart High — By 2019, the Falls Church school named after a Confederate general will have its name changed. The Fairfax County School Board voted last night to make it happen. [NBC Washington]

Connolly: Trump’s Boy Scout Speech Shameful — In a letter to the national president of the Boy Scouts of America, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says the BSA should denounce the speech President Trump gave recently at the National Scout Jamboree. Connolly says Trump’s politicized rhetoric “directly contradicted the spirit of Scouting and the tenets of Boy Scout Law.” [The Hill]

Synthetic Soccer Field Coming to Great Falls — The $1.3 million project at Great Falls Nike Park (1089 Utterback Store Road) includes the conversion of an existing grass field to a synthetic turf field, a trail, storm drainage facilities, landscaping, field lighting and related improvements. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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Monday Morning Notes

Tenants Unhappy at Cosmopolitan — Residents of the luxury apartment building in Reston Town Center (1855 St. Francis St.) say the property management company is slow to respond to complaints and address safety concerns. They are organizing in the attempt to get the building’s owners to treat them better. [Fairfax County Times]

SLHS Alumnus Named to Virginia High School Hall of Fame — Among the inductees this year is Alan Webb, a 2001 graduate of South Lakes. Webb, who competed in the men’s 1,500-meter competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics, set a new U.S. high school record for the 2,000-meter race while at South Lakes, and was the first high school student to run a sub-4 minute mile in indoor track. In his senior year, he was named High School Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Great Falls Fire Department Marks 75 Years — A product of civil defense in World War II, the volunteer fire department was founded May 5, 1942. There were 29 founding members, mostly farmers and shopkeepers. Great Falls historian Karen Washburn shares more details about its history in a 4-minute video. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

SoccerFest Coming to Lake Fairfax — The tournament, June 24-25, is open to children and adults of all skill levels. Early-bird registration pricing is available through May 26, and registration will close June 16. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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Worker Killed by Dump Truck at Great Falls Construction Site

A worker was killed in a construction accident Thursday morning at a Great Falls site, police say.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the incident took place at about 10:30 a.m. at the construction site in the 10500 block of Georgetown Pike. Investigation shows that 50-year-old Pedro Banegas of Sterling was working on mechanical issues at the front of a dump truck when another worker got into the truck. Apparently unaware of what Banegas was doing, the other man began moving the truck forward.

Banegas was struck by the truck and pronounced dead at the scene. Police say no charges are expected to be filed. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the Crime Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

In an unrelated incident near the same site Wednesday, a dump truck overturned on Georgetown Pike.

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Georgetown Pike in Great Falls Closed Due to Overturned Dump Truck

The Fairfax County Police Department reports that Georgetown Pike (Route 193) is closed just west of Great Falls due to an overturned dump truck.

NBC Washington reports the collision involved the dump truck and a car, but the drivers of each suffered only minor injuries.

The closure is expected to last into the mid-afternoon.

Map via Google

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Morning Notes

Possibly Rabid Fox Bites Woman, Cat — Animal Protection Police officers responded Tuesday to two different scenes in Great Falls where a fox had gone on the attack. A 71-year-old woman suffered serious injuries after being bitten “multiple times” around 3 p.m. in the 600 block of Ad Hoc Road; about an hour later and about three miles away, a 54-year-old woman fought off a fox that had bitten her cat. The fox believed to have been involved in both incidents was euthanized and is being tested for rabies. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Metro Station Work to Affect Toll Road Traffic — Eastbound traffic on the Dulles Airport Access Highway will be diverted onto the Toll Road on Saturday night into Sunday morning. The detours will be to allow workers to set large precast concrete elements for the future Herndon and Reston Town Center Metro stations. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Reston-Based Soccer Academy Gets Leader — Tom Torres has been named the head of the Washington Spirit’s U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, which is scheduled to start play in Reston this fall. Torres has been a coach with the D.C. United’s academy for the past 10 years. [Black and Red United]

With Spring Showers Comes Flooding — With the start of spring less than two weeks away, county officials are reminding residents of tips to keep themselves and their homes safe from potential flooding. [Fairfax County]

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Officials: Body Found in Potomac is Woman Missing from Great Falls

Becky McCleskey/US Park Police(Edited 2:35 p.m. to clarify McCleskey was from Arlington)

The United States Park Police says a body recovered Friday in the Potomac River is that of a woman who went missing three weeks ago in Great Falls.

Becky McCleskey, 56, was reported missing Feb. 6. Her vehicle was found in the parking lot at Great Falls National Park. An extensive air, land and water search was conducted by the United States Park Police and the Montgomery County fire and police departments.

The body was discovered at about 5:50 p.m. Friday in the water near Old Angler’s Inn in Potomac, Maryland.

ARLnow reports McCleskey lived in Arlington and had a high school-aged son.

Officials say there is no indication of foul play.

Photo courtesy U.S. Park Police

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Fire Destroys Home in Great Falls

Home burned down in Great Falls Sunday, photo courtesy of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

A fire destroyed a home just north of Reston early yesterday morning.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue crews rushed to the 1000 block of Northfalls Court in Great Falls just after 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

When firefighters arrived, they found a two-story home engulfed in flames. Nobody was inside the home during the blaze, the department said. Additionally, nobody was injured fighting the fire.

“Investigation into the fire determined that the fire started in a second floor bedroom area with the exact cause still under investigation,” Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said.

The $726,250 home is a complete loss.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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Nearby: Bear Sightings in Great Falls

Bear in Great Falls/FCPD

Beware of bears, say Fairfax County Police.

A Great Falls resident snapped this photo of a bear on Thursday. It was one of two bear sightings around Great Falls yesterday.

Police said the lone bear was spotted in the 800 block of Springvale Road in Great Falls around 7:22 a.m. Another (possibly the same bear) was reported in the 10700 block of Falls Pointe Drive around 10:49 a.m.

There were several bear sightings close to Reston (Vienna, Oakton) in late March, Fairfax County police report.

Anyone who spots a bear is reminded to keep a safe distance and asked to report the location to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries through the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at (855) 571-9003.

Photo: Bear in Great Falls yard on April 22/Credit: FCPD

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