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UPDATED: Car Crash, Downed Pole Close Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road

Updated at 8:45 a.m. — Fox Mill Road is now open, FCPD tweeted at 8:45 a.m.

Earlier: A car crash today (Feb. 14) has shut down Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road.

Fairfax County Police tweeted that the closure is “due to a crash and pole down.”

A traffic alert from Fairfax County indicates that the crash happened shortly before 2:47 p.m.

There is no word yet on whether anyone has reported injuries.

Police advise people to avoid the area and find an alternative route.

Image via Google Map

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Planning Commission Suggests County Board Deny PRC Proposal

Fairfax County’s Planning Commission finally weighed in on a controversial zoning ordinance proposal for Reston by recommending that the county’s Board of Supervisors deny the specific proposal, yet take steps to resolve PRC issues with the use of a taskforce.

The zoning ordinance would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community (PRC) district — Reston’s primary zoning district — from 13 persons to any number up to 15, along with allowing residential development at a density of up to 70 dwelling units per acre in certain areas.

Vice Chairman and At-Large Commissioner James Hart, the main person leading the proposal, gave a lengthy speech before the commission voted and approved his motions on the proposal. “We are close to the PRC cap, but the level of pushback we have received has confirmed to me it’s the wrong way to do this amendment,” Hart said. “We owe it to the citizens to try.”

Hart added that inflexibility around the PRC cap “is highly problematic.” His vision for resolving the PRC issue involves recoupling the planned number of village centers and the density cap.

The Planning Commission approved all of Hart’s recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, which include directing the board to:

  • deny the zoning ordinance proposal at this time
  • withdraw authorization
  • direct staff to do a Comprehensive Plan amendment
  • establish taskforce with representatives from the community and industry to work on recommending a plan amendment to the board and Planning Commission

If the Board of Supervisors follows the Planning Commission’s recommendations, Hart said he sees two options for future development once the cap is hit on PRC: if applications want to be zoned as PRC, the staff can ask for incremental increases to the PRC cap on a case-by-case review with analysis of each application or applications will zone out of PRC and will need to come in as similar categories — such as Planned Residential Mixed-Use (PRM).

“Either way, those applications can continue,” Hart said.

Hart also tried to tackle the controversy surrounding the proposal, saying that “an unusual amount of misinformation and confusion” from freelance experts helped fuel the concerns. “All of that antidevelopment frustration was focused on this particular amendment,” he said.

He took the time to debunk some of that misinformation he had heard, which included saying that the proposal would not increase the density for Reston overall. He also pushed back on criticisms that said there are no plans for infrastructure to support the proposed PRC changes, reminding locals that because Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, the process of securing infrastructure requires an ongoing basis. “It’s rude to claim that nothing is being done,” he said.

Hart said that he wants to see locals stay engaged in the land use process, which he argued keeps the process grounded in reality. He also thanked the citizen groups and individuals who testified at public hearings and have sent in comments on the proposal.

The PRC decisi0n was the last one the commission tackled before the meeting ended shortly before 9 p.m. with a round of applause from the audience.

Photo via Planning Commission

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Newly Started Colvin Run Stream Valley Restoration Expects Summer Completion

Stream restoration efforts are underway at Colvin Run Stream Valley at Wiehle South.

The Reston Association released a video on Tuesday (Feb. 5) detailing the project’s progress, which is expected to be finished by the summer.

Construction crews are working on small sections of the stream at a time as they use track equipment and various sizes of rocks to raise the bottom of the stream, according to the video. The rock is meant to reconnect the stream with the flood plain.

The Reston Association is working with the Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc., a consulting group that has designed and restored streams for Reston before. The Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank is funding the project.

Once the project is finished, the area will be stabilized with erosion netting and native plant seeds will be planted sometime in the fall, according to the video.

Until then, caution signs mark the walkable paths around the work site, which will only be closed during construction hours.

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Reston Historic Trust and Museum Shares Favorite Local Books

Several books focus on the history of the Reston and Herndon areas, and the Reston Historic Trust and Museum has some favorites to get you started.

The Reston Historic Trust, which operates the Reston Museum and Shop, was founded in 1997 as a community-based non-profit to keep Reston’s history alive. The museum debuted at Lake Anne Plaza in the late 1990s and offers exhibits and archives, walking tours, workshops and public events.

Reston Now asked the museum staff to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, along with their reasons for why they are worth reading.

“In His Own Words” by Kristina Alcorn

Written by a Reston author and the vice-chair of our board, it is a wonderfully intimate look into the life of Reston’s founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. based on interviews the author conducted with him. It is truly a one-of-a-kind book and one of the best ways to learn about Reston’s founder.

The book costs $14.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston, Virginia” by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum

This book features archival artifacts from the Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s own museum collection to tell the story of Reston’s beginning. Seeing the pictures of the past are the perfect way to see and learn about Reston’s founding and evolution.

The book costs $18.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston’s African American Legacy” by Rev. LaVerne Gill

Gill, a Reston author, profiles 25 African-American Restonians who have made major contributions to the quality-of-life of Reston. It expertly highlights each person, making the reader feel as if they know the person themselves (and some readers might know them personally as many are active in the Reston community today). The book also allows the reader to understand the impact of their involvement in the Reston community.

The book costs $35 at the gift shop.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust and Museum and Amazon

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Traffic is Building as Snow is Falling in Reston

Update at 8:25 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Wednesday.

Earlier: Traffic is already starting to back up as commuters head home early to beat expected icy roads from today’s rain and snow.

Traffic is heavy heading westbound on the Dulles Toll Road, according to Google Maps, and drivers should also expect scattered heavy traffic on the Reston Parkway and other primary roads around the area.

A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect. Forecasters are warning commuters to be aware of potential travel disruptions and allow for extra time getting back in the evening. Additional problems on the roads are possible Wednesday morning.

From the National Weather Service:

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT…

* WHAT…Snow, mixed with rain before 5 PM, will turn to all snow by 5 PM this afternoon, and continue through the evening rush before ending between 7 and 9 PM this evening. Total snowfall accumulation around one inch is expected.

* WHERE…Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, the District of Columbia and its southern and eastern suburbs.

* WHEN…Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until midnight EST tonight.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Temperatures will fall below freezing during the evening rush, causing the potential for wet or slushy surfaces to freeze.

Classes and activities at the Reston Community Center are canceled after 3 p.m. today, and RCC facilities are set to close by 5 p.m. The Reston Association offices also closed at 3 p.m.

Fairfax County public schools closed two hours early today.

Flakes started in the Reston area earlier this afternoon. As of 4 p.m., some local roads were becoming snow-covered.

 

While drivers may not be enjoying the weather right now, at least one furry local is.

Images via Google Maps and Virginia Department of Transportation

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AARP to Offer Free Tax Help at Reston Community Center

Need help with your taxes?

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is offering free help with tax preparation and electronic filing services to taxpayers.

In the Hunter Mill District, locals can find the drop-in services at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) starting on Friday (Feb. 1).

Trained counselors will be on hand to help with federal and Virginia tax returns.

Locals don’t need an appointment, but they will need to bring a photo ID, Social Security cards for themselves and their dependents, a copy of last year’s tax returns and all tax documents received.

The Reston Community Center tax prep will be available on the following days:

  • Tuesdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 4:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free tax preparation will also be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays at the SunTrust Bank of Vienna (515 Maple Avenue East) and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Providence Community Center in Fairfax (3001 Vaden Drive).

The program is open to people of all ages and runs until Feb. 15.

File photo

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UPDATED: Fairfax Police Investigating Possible Bomb Threat at Kaiser Permanente

Updated at 11:20 a.m. — FCPD said that officers have completed their investigation after nothing suspicious was found and normal operations will resume shortly. 

Earlier: Police are on the scene of a potential bomb threat at Kaiser Permanente (1890 Metro Center Drive).

Police evacuated the building as a precaution after “a note was found indicating a bomb threat,” according to a tweet from the Fairfax County Police Department today (Jan. 24) at 9:29 a.m.

“At this time, no evidence to substantiate it,” the tweet said. “Please stay clear of the area.”

Police say they are investigating the threat.

Image via Google Maps

This story has been updated

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FCPD Investigating Possible Weather-Related Deaths Outside Reston Senior Facilities 

Fairfax County detectives are investigating three weather-apparent deaths — two of which happened outside senior facilities near Reston.

The first Reston-area death occurred last Monday (Jan. 14).

Police arrived within six minutes of the initial call at 5:59 p.m. to a CPR in progress at the Brightview Nursing Home (10200 Colvin Run Road), according to the report. The staff at the nursing home told police that 88-year-old resident Joan Ackley had been missing for approximately two-and-a-half hours before she was located outside of the facility.

A week later on Jan. 21, police responded around 3:30 p.m. to a Critical Missing Person call at the Sunrise at Reston Town Center, an assisted living facility at 1778 Fountain Drive.

Staff said that 86-year-old Ida Wolk of Reston had a scheduled wellness check, but hadn’t been seen for almost three hours, according to the report.

During a search of the building and surrounding areas, one the officers “looked out a window in the rear of the building and saw the woman laying outside in the snow,” according to the report.

Police wrapped her in warm blankets and took her inside the facility until the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived and transported her to a local hospital where she later died.

Both cases are active death investigations and are awaiting results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Police are urging locals to check on vulnerable family and friends and to call the police non-emergency number if they spot anyone who appears confused or inappropriately dressed outside during the cold weather.

More from the Fairfax County Police Department:

Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are investigating after what appears to be three weather-related deaths. In the past nine days, officers have been called to three separate incidents involving exposure to the cold weather and we are asking for your help in preventing any further weather-related tragedies.

On Monday afternoon, around 3:30, our officers were sent to a Critical Missing Person call at the Sunrise at Reston Town Center assisted living facility, located at 1778 Fountain Drive.  The staff at Sunrise had a scheduled wellness check for an 86-year-old resident, Ida Wolk, of Reston who hadn’t been seen for almost three hours and could not be located after an extensive search.  Numerous officers started a methodical search of the building and surrounding areas. As one of our officers was clearing the third floor, he looked out a window in the rear of the building and saw the woman laying outside in the snow.  Officers rendered immediate aid; wrapping her in warm blankets and taking her inside the facility until the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department arrived.  She was transported to a local hospital where she died.  The case remains as an active death investigation, pending the results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

On Monday morning, around 11:30, our officers were sent to the 9800 block of Clifford Drive for a trespassing call.  A resident had found a homeless person sleeping on top of the washing machines in the laundry room of the apartment complex.  Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department arrived on the scene and pronounced the 47-year-old-man, Kenneth Perez, no fixed address dead.  The case remains as an active death investigation, pending the results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

On Monday, January 14, at 5:59 p.m., our officers were sent to a CPR in progress at the Brightview Nursing Home, located at 10200 Colvin Run Road, in Reston.  Our officers arrived within six minutes of the initial call. According to the staff at the nursing home, 88-year-old resident Joan Ackley had been missing for approximately two and a half hours.  She was located outside of the facility.  The case remains as an active death investigation, pending the results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Please check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbors during the cold weather. If you see someone who appears confused and/or not properly clothed for the weather sleeping outside or in a place without heat when temperatures are below freezing, they may be at risk of hypothermia –  please call the police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131. For more information please visit Fairfax County’s Hypothermia Prevention Program.

For ongoing updates, please read our blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @FairfaxCountyPD.

Map via Google Maps

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Crime Roundup: Drunk Reston Man Arrested on MLK Day

A drunk Reston man was arrested for allegedly trespassing at a restaurant in Ashburn on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

A sheriff’s deputy responded around 12:14 a.m. to the 20000 block of Easthampton Plaza for reports of a man refusing to leave the restaurant.

The man, a 24-year-old Reston resident, was arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to the report. He was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond. 

In a separate incident, a sheriff’s deputy responded to Potomac View Road and Benedict Drive in Sterling on Thursday (Jan. 17) at 8:38 p.m. to assist Loudoun EMS with a disorderly subject inside an ambulance.

While the deputy was speaking with the EMS crew, Edwin A. Rivera-Ardon, 27, of Herndon struck the deputy, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Rivera-Ardon was arrested and charged with public intoxication and assault on law enforcement. He is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11900 block of Bowman Town Center Drive, backpack and tablet from location

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from residence

2100 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business

2400 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business

1400 block of Lake Fairfax Drive, purse from vehicle

1800 block of Michael Faraday Drive, laptop computers from business

10300 block of Mountington Court, purses from residence

12900 block of Park Crescent Circle, watch from business

1600 block of Reston Parkway, tools from business

2400 block of Ridgehampton Court, license plates from vehicle

11200 block of Roger Bacon Drive, wallet from location

12000 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from vehicle

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, property from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

At 12:43 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 19), a Fairfax County police officer stopped a 2018 Toyota Rav4 after it was seen driving off the shoulder on westbound Leesburg Pike by Trotting House Lane.

When the officer got out of his car, the driver sped away, according to the report. The officer chased the car until the driver suddenly stopped near the 9500 block of Brian Jac Lane and took off into the woods.

Police did not find the driver after an extended search and are following up on leads to identify the driver.

Several residential burglaries happened recently in Reston.

A Reston homeowner awoke around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 16) to the sound of footsteps in the basement of a house in the 1500 block of Regatta Lane and found a door ajar, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

“It was later determined that bags were removed from a closet and rummaged through,” according to the report.

On Friday (Jan. 18), someone broke in and ransacked a house in the 9700 block of Middleton Ridge Road between 8;30 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. Cash and other items were reported missing, according to the report.

Then, on Sunday (Jan. 20), someone broke in and ransacked a house in the 1500 block of Victoria Farms Lane at 4:30 p.m., but nothing was taken.

File photo

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Malfunctioning Extension Cord Sparks Reston House Fire on Sunday

A malfunction with an extension cord caused a fire at a Reston home during the afternoon on Sunday (Jan. 20).

Firefighters saw smoke showing from the front of a two-story, single family home after they arrived around 1:24 p.m. to the 2000 block of Beacon Place, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

The firefighters “quickly extinguished a fire in the garage area,” according to the post. Fire investigators determined the fire started by accident when a malfunctioning extension cord “ignited ordinary combustibles in close proximity.”

One person inside the home discovered the fire in the attached garage after smelling smoke inside the home, followed by the smoke alarms going off.

The two people inside the home at the time of the fire were able to self-evacuate unharmed before the fire department arrived.

Damages from the fire cost approximately $25,000.

Map via Google Maps. Images via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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After Shootout, Reston Man Charged with Attempted Murder of a Sheriff’s Deputy

Loudoun County police charged a Reston man with attempted capital murder in connection with a shootout last Thursday (Jan. 17) with deputies in Paeonian Springs.

Deputies responded to the 39000 block of Peacock Circle around 3:30 p.m. for a trespassing complaint after a witness said that a male forced entry into a trailer on the property, which contained firearms, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Before the deputies arrived, the suspect, now identified as Hyeong J. Suh, 29, of Reston, was heard firing a weapon on the property, the report said.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office indicates that Suh “fired a weapon several times, including firing rounds at two responding deputies.” The deputies exchanged gunfire and wounded Suh, who then “subsequently barricaded himself in the trailer, but exited a short time later and surrendered without further incident,” the report says.

Suh was immediately transported to a local hospital for a non-life threatening injury.

Suh was arrested and charged with one count of attempted capital murder and breaking and entering, according to the report. Currently, Suh is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Two deputies have been placed on routine, paid administrative leave until the end of the investigation, per Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office policy.

Photo via LCSO

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Fliers for White Nationalist Group Spotted in Herndon, Reston

Posters appeared yesterday in Herndon for Patriot Front, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group.

Patriot Front tweeted that its “activists” put up the posters around Herndon. Last week the group said that it also put up posters in Reston.

The posters include slogans like “reclaim America” and “better dead than red.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front broke off from the alt-right group Vanguard America in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.

A spokeswoman for the Town of Herndon told Reston Now yesterday that the town does not have any information related to the posters.

Via Twitter, a person in Herndon said he saw “some guy” posting the fliers “on the electrical box outside of an office park.” He encouraged people to “take them down and report it.”

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‘IRL’ Exhibit Debuts Tomorrow at the Greater Reston Arts Center

Updated at 11:05 a.m. — Corrects location of the exhibit

Art is imitating life — especially in an increasingly digital world.

Monica Stroik’s “Cyber series” opens tomorrow (Jan. 17) at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature (11850 Freedom Drive).

The series titled “IRL” — shorthand for “in real life” — explores “being present and disconnected simultaneously and how the natural world is entangled in our digital lives” by investigating he intersections between the organic, man-made and virtual worlds, according to the arts center.

Stroik, a Virginia-based painter and video artist, uses a combination of video and paintings for her ongoing series. Her website shows some of the colorful oil on canvas paintings, which depict buildings and nature juxtaposed with blocks and geometric designs.

Stroik’s artist statement says that her paintings depict the natural organic world in relation to the human architectonic influence.

“By standing in the ideal position, the paintings as a group serve to alter the viewer’s perception of space by providing the illusion of a continuous horizon line, which expands despite the confines of the physical architectural environment,” she wrote.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibit runs until April 23.

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center

This story has been updated

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Crime Roundup: Drunk Reston Man Arrested for Larceny, Assaulting Two Police Officers

City of Fairfax police arrested a Reston man after he assaulted two police officers.

On Thursday, Jan. 3,  police officers found a male subject knocking on doors and checking doorknobs around 1:21 a.m. in the 9400 block of Fairfax Blvd. A police investigation determined that a possible larceny had occurred and that the subject was intoxicated, according to the report.

Elias Bouazer, a 20-year-old from Reston, assaulted two officers as they were in the process of arresting him.

Bouazer was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, larceny and being drunk in public. He was held without bond.

Last Friday (Jan. 11), police in the City of Fairfax arrested another Restonian — this time for drunk driving.

At around 1:44 a.m. police stopped a vehicle that was driving erratically in the area of Revel Run and Fairfax Blvd and arrested and charged Mohiyadin Abukar Abdi of Reston for driving under the influence, according to the report. Abdi was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, laptop computer from residence 

10200 block of Colvin Run Road, wallet from residence

Emeral Heights Court/Green Range Drive, cell phone from location

11600 block of Plaza America Drive, bag from location

8700 block of Potomac Hills Street, purse from vehicle

1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business

2200 block of Southgate Square, shovel from residence

2200 block of Stone Wheel Drive, clothing from location

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, merchandise from business

11400 block of Waterview Cluster, wallet from location

1800 block of Wiehle Ave, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

City of Falls Church police arrested a Herndon man last week.

Last Tuesday (Jan. 8) around 10:45 a.m., police responded to a complaint about suspicious activity at the 7-Eleven at 201 S. Washington Street. They arrested and charged 26-year-old Jason Wesley of Herndon with possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of justice and public intoxication, according to the report.

File photo

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