Reston, VA

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

Early Voting Begins Today — At 9 a.m., Fairfax County voters can start casting their ballots for the June 8 Democratic primary. Early voting has expanded from previous years, with all registered voters now allowed to participate and the county immediately offering three locations with Saturday hours. [Fairfax County Government]

Massage Therapist Arrested for Sexual Battery in Herndon — “Herndon Police arrested a massage therapist Wednesday in connection with a sexual battery incident that occurred at a business in the 400 block of Carlisle Drive, according to a post on the department’s official Facebook page. Police charged Zachary Nelson Guzman-Orellana, 39, of Leesburg, with aggravated sexual battery by a therapist.” [Patch]

Herndon Farmers Market Opens Amid Blustery Weather — “A handful of vendors bundled up early Thursday morning and set up their tables, signaling the return of the Herndon Farmers Market to Lynn Street in old town for the 2021 season. It was cold and windy, but everyone seemed happy to be back.” [Patch]

Reston Association Job Fair Coming Tomorrow — “Join us this Saturday at the Reston Aquatics Job Fair! From 11 AM-2 PM, come to Ridge Heights Pool and chat with current staff, play games, and win prizes. Bring your friends and spread the word! Social distancing and masks will be required.” [RA/Twitter]

Reston CEO to Host Entrepreneurship Workshop — Reston Limousine Service President and CEO Kristina Bouweiri will lead the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s next “Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County” webinar on May 4. Held every other month, the virtual workshops feature panels of small business experts on how to start a business. [FCEDA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Clears COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist — The Fairfax County Health Department’s vaccine waitlist is now at zero, according to its data dashboard. That means everyone who registered before the county entered Phase 2 on April 18 has now been invited to schedule an appointment. The department registered a total of 435,981 people. [FCHD]

Northam Raises Capacity Limits for School Performances — “Northam said the spectator cap for school performances, including musicals, is increasing to a maximum of 100 attendees for indoor venues — a substantial boost from the previous limit of 50. Outdoor venues will be allowed to welcome up to 500 people.” [WTOP]

Herndon Police Make Arrest in Two-Year-Old Robbery Attempt — A 20-year-old Herndon man has been charged with multiple counts of robbery, assault by mob, and gang participation, among other charges, for an incident that took place on June 18, 2019. According to police, two people had tried to grab a man’s cell phone while he was going for a walk but ran when the robbery attempt proved unsuccessful. [Herndon PD]

Herndon Contractor Buoyed by Space Rover Work — “By spring, coming off a successful mission to help NASA land the Perseverance on Mars and having acquired two big-name companies — a section of Northrup Grumman and Perspecta — Peraton will soon employ 24,000 people and bring in $7 billion in revenue.” [Inside NoVA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Herndon Police Cites Drivers for Violating Cellphone Ban — The Town of Herndon Police Department says its officers issued 22 citations last week for violations of Virginia’s new law against driving while using mobile devices. The ban took effect on Jan. 1 of this year and imposes a $125 fine for a first offense, followed by $250 for a second offense. [Herndon PD/Twitter]

Northam Signs Deal to Expand Virginia’s Railroads — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a $3.7 billion deal Tuesday with Amtrak and CSX Transportation that officials say will break loose a major East Coast chokepoint and allow for a dramatic expansion of passenger and commuter rail.” [NBC4]

Lawsuit Filed over Virginia Guidelines Supporting Transgender Students — Conservative groups are suing the Virginia Department of Education over its new policy requiring school districts to accept students’ gender identities and provide access to facilities and programs in accordance with those identities. The policy took effect on March 6 after the General Assembly passed a law last year directing the department to develop guidelines. [The Washington Post]

Reston Nonprofit to Benefit from Jersey Mike’s Purchases Today — “Jersey Mike’s Subs store at 2254 Hunters Woods Plaza in Reston is donating 100 percent of sales to Cornerstones on Wednesday…The effort is part of the sandwich franchise chain’s Month of Giving, which has raised $32 million for local charities since 2011.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

COVID-19 Partners Expand in Fairfax Health District — “Giant Pharmacy and MyDr.’s Pharmacy have joined the list of vaccination partners who are assisting the Health Department in its efforts to vaccinate eligible individuals in its queue… All vaccinations occur by appointment only, there are no walk-ins.” [Fairfax County Government]

First Case of COVID-19 Variant Identified in Virginia — “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today announced that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Central Virginia who had no history of travel during the exposure period. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.” [Virginia Department of Health]

Phone Issues Reported in Town of Herndon — Some of the town’s phone lines are experiencing issues. Anyone with non-emergency police needs should call 703-437-118. [Herndon Police Department]

Deadline for Reston Association Assessments Approaches — Members have until March 1 to pay their assessment fee payments. RA encourages members to make their payments online by credit card, over the phone or by mail in order to avoid late fees. [RA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Reston Company Lists Millions in Liabilities –‘A Reston-based corporate housing provider owed nearly $90 million to a wide range of creditors from across the country before filing for bankruptcy late last month, including the owners of the Apartments at CityCenter and the 672 Flats in Ballston, representatives for the company disclosed in court documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria on Friday.’ [Washington Business Journal]

Business Robbed on Worldgate Drive — A business on the 1300 block of Worldgate Drive was robbed around noon on Thursday, Dec. 17. The subject entered the business and stole cash. [Herndon Police Department]

Fox Mill Road Closed in Both Directions — The road is closed between Lawyers Road and Steeplechase Drive due to a fallen tree on utility lines. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Local police are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect in connection with a bank robbery at Wells Fargo (1099 Elden Street) that happened on Nov. 27.

Police believe that the suspect depicted in the above photo passed a note to tellers demanding cash and left with an undisclosed amount of money at around 4:30 p .m. that day.

No weapon was seen or implied. The suspect then left on foot towards Alabama Avenue.

Anyone with information to help identify the subject should call the Herndon Police Department at 703-435-6846.

HPD released the image from security footage today (Tuesday).

Photo via HPD

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Dense Fog Advisory In Effect — “The National Weather Service has issued a Dense Fog Advisory for Fairfax County this morning until approximately 10 a.m. FCFRD encourages drivers to be extra vigilant this morning as our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you by (preventable) “accident”!” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Herndon Police Investigate Abduction — A victim said that she was assaulted and prevented from leaving the 700 block of Lynn Street. Police are investigating the incident — which happened in the overnight hours of Oct 11 into the following day — as a kidnapping and abduction case. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Association Launches At-Home Eggtober Hunt — Park and recreation staff will deliver two dozen toy-filed plastic eggs to residents’ homes. Members can sign up for the egg-tower hunt online.  [RA]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Monday Morning Notes

FCPS Investigates Ransomware Issue — The Fairfax County Public School System “continues to investigate the ransomware issue involving some of our technology systems. We are taking this matter and concerns about the personal information of students, staff and their families very seriously. The ransomware issue did not disrupt the distance learning program during the first week of school. However, we are working diligently with the FBI and our cybersecurity consultants to investigate the nature, scope and extent of any possible data compromise.” [FCPS]

Herndon Police Department Report Released — This year’s report highlights the department’s accomplishments, statical crime and use of force data. “The Herndon Police Department is staffed by highly trained officers and civilians who are committed to integrity and professionalism, meeting stringent training requirements and professional standards,” wrote Chief of Police Maggie DeBoard. [Herndon Police Department]

When Symptoms Begin for Local COVID-19 Cases — “The Virginia Department of Health reported 1,300 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and 874 on Sunday. The cumulative case total is up to 133,814, while deaths stand at 2,724 and hospitalizations are at 10,244.” [Reston Patch]

Photo by Ray Copson

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Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard is disputing allegations that an officer incorrectly filed a report stating that a student from Herndon Middle School instigated a fight on a school bus last year.

Fairfax County’s NAACP alleges that the 12-year-old student was a victim during the fight between another 13-year-old-student. At a press conference earlier today, Sandra Barksdale, the mother of the student, said video from the school bus corroborated her allegations.

Barksdale said the school administration and officer, who also works with School Resource Officers, failed to handle the incident over the last several months. Her son is Black and the other student was white.

But DeBoard vehemently defended the SRO in a press conference at 2 p.m. today.

Although she had not seen the video referenced by the Fairfax County NAACP, DeBoard said the officer’s police report, eight witness statements from middle school students, and other evidence indicated the student started the fight.

“Quite frankly, I could not be more disappointed and more outraged to further a false narrative that does not exist,” DeBoard said.

Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman said it was “extremely telling” that DeBoard admitted to not watching the video, which forms the basis of the allegations.

“This is because the report bears no resemblance to the video of that incident,” he wrote in a statement.

Barksdale also alleged the SRO was combative and unprofessional during later interactions following the Sept. 20 incident.

DeBoard maintained her defense of the SRO, adding that the police department did not criminalize the child.

“It is false allegations that hinder our ability to make progress,” she said.

Neither student was prosecuted in the case.

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A teenager from Leesburg has been arrested in connection with an assault early this month.

Town of Herndon police arrested and charged Ta’Nyjha Davis, 18, with malicious wounding,

Police said the incident happened during an argument on the 400 block of Virginia Avenue on July 1 at around 11:20 a.m.

The victim, who was wounded in the upper torso area, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Photo via HPD

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Portions of Elden Street will be closed today (Thursday) around 5:30 p.m. due to a planned demonstration in Herndon.

According to the Herndon Police Department, access to Elden Street from side streets between Sterling and Monroe Drive will be blocked.

HPD is providing security and traffic control in order to “ensure a safe environment for lawful demonstrators.”

Herndon residents are expected to take part in a car rally that begins at Herndon Middle Middle School.

The event is intended to show solidarity with the black community following the killing of George Floyd, according to the event page.

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The Herndon Police Department’s Police Chief Maggie DeBoard is urging residents to avoid driving in the downtown area as former police captain Darryl ‘Smitty’ Smith is laid to rest tomorrow (Friday).

Smith, a prominent community leader, the town’s first African American Officer and Purcellville Police Chief, died on Sunday. Due to restrictions created by COVID-19, the funeral service will be restricted to family members only.

Community members and other wishing to pay their respects can gather along the procession route, but DeBoard said efforts to maintain social distancing should be adhered to.

Here’s DeBoard’s statement:

Due to the restrictions brought upon our community by COVID-19, the funeral service is restricted to family members only. We will also be avoiding driving through the downtown area as we escort Darryl to his final resting place to avoid the congested areas where people may want to congregate to pay their respects, all in the interest of safety.

The Herndon Police Department, along with representatives from the Purcellville Police Department, have made plans to formally honor Darryl at his graveside service, while doing our best to keep the family and our officers safe. Please respect the Governor’s Orders and our efforts to limit exposure at this service both to Darryl’s family and to our officers by remaining away from the cemetery. It is truly heartbreaking to lay a beloved lifelong public servant to rest without full honors and the support from the community he served, but safety must prevail and we all know that Smitty would stress this if he were still here with us today.

Please know that Darryl’s police families will provide a proper sendoff to him that lets his immediate family know how much he was loved and respected.

We appreciate the community’s cooperation during this painful and difficult time.

Adams-Green Funeral Home and Crematory, which has adapted to changing circumstances due to COVID-19, is hosting a virtual viewing of the funeral and graveside services online.

The funeral home invited members of the public to stand along the funeral procession route form the funeral home to Chestnut Grove Cemetery. More information about the services is available on the funeral home’s website.

A “celebration of life” service will be held at a later date once it is safe for crowd to gather.

Photo via HPD

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Darryl ‘Smitty’ Smith, the first African American officer hired by the Town of Herndon and a community fixture known for his volunteerism, has died.

Smith, who was hired by the department in 1973 and retired in 2004, made history once again in 2004 when he became the first African American elected to the Herndon Town Council. He served as vice mayor from 2004 through 2006.

After his retirement, Smith served as the police chief o the Purcellville Police Department for nine years. He lived in the Town of Herndon with his wife, Maria.

The Town of Herndon’s Police Chief Maggie DeBoard wrote the following about Smith:

“Daryl spent much of his life as a highly respected law enforcement professional in service to the Herndon community before moving on to Purcellville. He will be forever remembered for his huge heart, compassionate nature, and sincere commitment to improving the lives of our youth in town. Our HPD family sends our sincere condolences to his wife, Maria, and the entire Smith family.”

Smith was first hired by the police department in April 1974 as the first detection and youth crime prevention officer. He rose to the rank of captain by September 2004. He founded Neighbors United, a volunteer after-school program to provide a safe haven for local youth. In 1998, he received the Virginia Municipal League Achievement Award — one of the most prestigious awards in local government.

During his time on the council, Smith was a staunch advocate for public improvement projects like downtown planning, revitalization of the town’s older neighborhoods, Sugarland Run Trail and Jefferson Street Park, and the expansion of the Herndon Community Center.

He collected many other accolades in his career, including the Herndon Rotary Club Citizen of the Year Award in 1986 and 2006, the Herndon Dulles Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award in 1997 and the Best of Herndon Dulles Award in 2000.

Photo via Herndon Police Department

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