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by Brooke Giles — July 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm 4 Comments

For the fourth year in a row, South Lakes High School’s STEAM Team Art Club has designed an art display for Lake Thoreau.

The STEAM Team (science, technology, engineering, art and math) was challenged with creating a kinetic work of art that included natural elements and enriched their community. They came up with “Althea,” which they say represents all aspects of human rights.

The sculpture is made up of rings that rotate randomly, like the “constantly evolving nature and complexity of human rights.” There are concentric circles to depict orbital paths of the planets in the solar system. This is supposed to “reinforce how deeply connected humans are to each other.”

Students were involved in every step of the project with the help of art teacher Marco Rando. They presented three concepts to Public Art Reston and considered their input when they choose the design. The students then produced digital and physical three dimensional models, that were also presented to the board for approval. The Reston Association Design Review Board provided feedback on the final design.

The sculpture is made of galvanized metal, plywood, wire rope and spray paint. It is being displayed on the 19-square foot concrete spillway on Lake Thoreau, visible from South Lakes Drive.

The South Lakes students who worked on Althea were Samantha Busch, Carson Bush, Harrison Cahn, Jonathan Doctor, Isabella Emmons, Yanis Gribi, Christian King, Amirah Kirwan, MacKenzie Krider, Catherine Lashley, Darja Loidap, Phoebe Liu, Leah Moyer, Kimi Nacu, Lucy Nguyen, Saeed Louis Razavi, Morgan Ryan, Victoria Slaski, Jeremy Southern and Lily Vogel. Alumni Jefferson Frost, Margaret Lashley and Josh Rodriguez also assisted.

Previous projects have been “Pyramid of Light” (2014), “Nothing Twice” (2015) and “Simon” (2016).

by Dave Emke — July 25, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

DRB Meets Tonight — A work session about the St. Johns Wood redevelopment will precede the regular meeting of Reston’s Design Review Board tonight. [Design Review Board]

Cooper’s Hawk Job Fairs Today and Wednesday — Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant (12130 Sunset Hills Road) plans to open next month, but it must hire more than 200 people before then. Its last two hiring events will be today and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, at 12100 Sunset Hills Road Suite 130. [Reston Now]

Former SLHS Coach Takes Over at U. of Arizona — Matt Blamey, who was the head lacrosse coach at South Lakes High School for seven years, was named last week as the new head coach of the University of Arizona’s men’s lacrosse program. [CollegeCrosse.com]

Proposed Zoning Changes To Be Discussed — Fairfax County is hosting an open house Wednesday night at the Herrity Building (12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) to discuss proposed zoning changes including those to short-term rentals, e.g. Airbnb, and rear-yard coverage such as patios. [Fairfax County]

Loudoun County Shoots Down Metro Tax — The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week on a resolution to oppose a one-cent regional sales tax. County staff have put together an “alternative capital funding scenario” to the tax. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

Photo courtesy Richard Hernandez

by Brooke Giles — July 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm 4 Comments

Opposing swim teams in Reston joined together this weekend to raise supplies for the South Lakes High School food pantry.

At the final dual meet for the Reston Swim Team Association season, the Ridge Heights Sharks asked their opponents, the Glade Dolphins, if they would like to join together to give back to the community. Many of the swimmers and coaches are alumni of SLHS or attend feeder schools.

“They were really eager to support this effort to bring awareness to hunger in our community and supporting a cause really near to their hearts,” said organizer Leslie Sogandares.

Kudos to the Glade Dolphins and Ridge Heights Sharks for conducting a food drive for the SLHS food pantry at their last meet of the season. Well done!

Posted by Reston Swim Team Association on Sunday, July 23, 2017

The pantry, which is open Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. during the summer, provides canned goods and toiletries for the community.  They are accepting donations, which can be dropped off at the school’s main office (11400 South Lakes Drive) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

by Dave Emke — July 20, 2017 at 10:00 am 14 Comments

(This article was updated at 2:05 p.m. with comment from SLHS Principal Kim Retzer.)

Police say the former treasurer of the South Lakes High School athletics booster club pocketed tens of thousands of dollars from the club.

The Fairfax County Police Department says 58-year-old Robert Clinage took at least $60,000 from the club while volunteering as treasurer, a role he was in until last year.

According to their report:

After [Clinage stepped away] from his position as treasurer, other members noticed a large amount of money missing from the booster’s bank account. The boosters conducted an internal audit of their account which initially discovered the shortcoming. A subsequent criminal investigation began in December 2016, and charges were filed in June of this year.

As booster clubs are independent of school districts, Clinage was not an employee of the school. Kim Retzer, South Lakes High School principal, responded in an email sent to the entire SLHS community.

As many of you have seen, a former South Lakes Booster Club member was arrested recently for embezzlement of Athletic Booster funds. This is an on-going investigation so there is little I can comment on. What I can share is that I am grateful for the current Booster board members who have faced this situation head on and are fully cooperating with authorities.

Once the new board took over in the fall of 2016, they engaged a CPA to assist with the review of historical transactions and provide ongoing professional assistance. They have fully reviewed and revised the by-laws including implementing term limits and new criteria for board members. They also added an additional financial position to the board to increase safeguards for handling funds. Protocols around handling financial transactions have been further defined with additional safeguards put in place.

The Activities Office and I will continue to work closely with the Booster Club as they work through this situation. I am confident in the current board of highly dedicated parents who are focused on doing what is necessary to revitalize the Booster Club and provide support to our school.

Clinage turned himself in last week, according to FCPD, and was taken to the county’s Adult Detention Center. We have a request out to FCPD for further information, which will be provided once it becomes available.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers or by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Dave Emke — July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Herndon Names New Town Manager — Bill Ashton had been serving as acting town manager since February, following the retirement of previous town manager Art Anselene. [Town of Herndon]

Suicide at County Detention Center — A 33-year-old man being held at the county Adult Detention Center on a malicious wounding charge hanged himself in his cell Sunday night. [Fairfax County]

Numbers to Remember Over the Summer — South Lakes High School provides a list of sources, some from the school system and some independent, that may be of assistance if family emergencies or other needs arise over the summer. [South Lakes High School]

File photo courtesy Surf Reston

by Kalina Newman — June 28, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Torres Linked to Previous Attack, Gang — A week before Darwin Martinez Torres was arrested and charged with murdering Nabra Hassanen, a woman reported he had punched, choked and sexually assaulted her. She also claims he is a member of the MS-13 street gang. [Washington Post] (Editor’s Note: The Fairfax County Police Department later said there is “no credible information” to support gang ties.)

Brew House To Host Beer Rally Tonight — Teams of three will run three laps around Lake Anne. Each lap is a mile and a half, and contestants can either run one lap each or all three laps together. There will be prizes raffled and a chance for free drinks. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]

Reston Hospital Center Gives Out Scholarships  Last week, the medical staff of Reston Hospital Center awarded $15,000 worth of scholarships to 15 Fairfax and Loudoun County high school seniors. Hasmah Hussain, from  South Lakes High School, was one of the recipients. [Reston Hospital Center]

Modified Bus Schedule for July 4  Fairfax Connector buses will run on a Saturday schedule on July 4. [Fairfax County Goverment]

E. Ethelbert Miller at Greater Reston Arts Center  Writer and literary activist will come to the Greater Reston Arts Center at 6 p.m. Thursday. Miller has been the editor of poetry magazine Poet Lore for 10 years, and he is the author of several collections of poetry and two memoirs.  [Greater Reston Arts Center]

by Dave Emke — June 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

A freshly surfaced track will be waiting for South Lakes High School students when they return to school at the end of August.

Work on the project began earlier this month and is expected to continue through mid-August, South Lakes Athletics reported on Twitter. The account has been providing updates on the work as it progresses.

The track and the stadium are both fenced off during the project. It’s the first time resurfacing has taken place in about a decade, said Linda Sarabia Jones, SLHS director of student activities.

Camps that have in past years met on the field are taking place on the upper turf fields of the campus this summer, Jones said.

by Dave Emke — June 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Last Day of School — Today is the final day of the 2016-17 Fairfax County Public Schools year. Congratulations to all the students and enjoy your time off!

Fourth of July Schedule in Herndon — It’s only a couple weeks away. Get ready for the July 4 celebration in Herndon, which will take place at the Herndon Community Center and will culminate with fireworks choreographed to music. [Town of Herndon]

SLHS Students Get Arduino Kits — STEM Engineering students at the school recently received Arduino kits. An Arduino consists of a physical programmable circuit board and a piece of software that is used to write and upload computer code. The kits were funded by a $4,000 grant from AIS Inc. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

‘Field Guide’ to Ticks — Fairfax County has provided a list of need-to-know information about ticks, which have been out with great force this season. [Fairfax County]

Metro Work in Evening Hours — After 10 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, the Silver Line will only run from Wiehle-Reston East to Ballston. This is due to work on the Orange and Silver lines. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke — June 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

SLHS Class of 2017 Graduates Tonight — The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Nationwide Vigils for Nabra Hassanen — The Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment has planned numerous vigils across the nation in honor of Nabra Hassanen, the Reston teen who was killed Sunday. Events are scheduled in DC, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and more. [WISE/Facebook]

Connolly Talks Issues — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) held a town-hall meeting Monday night in Reston. Check out his Twitter feed to see what was discussed. [Gerry Connolly/Twitter]

Volunteers Sought for Century Ride — The 35th annual ride is scheduled for Aug. 27, and helpers are needed for planning, rest stops and cleanup. [Reston Bike Club]

Photo of Reston sunset courtesy Lizette Badillo Ryan

by Dave Emke — June 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm 12 Comments

(This article was updated at 9:05 p.m. with information that the girl is believed to be a South Lakes High School student, and again at 9:45 p.m. after police confirmed the girl was from Reston.)

Police say a body found this afternoon is likely that of a Reston teenager who went missing after an overnight activity in the Herndon area, and a Sterling man is in jail facing a murder charge.

Tawny Wright, spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Deparment, said during a media briefing that officers responded at about 4 a.m. Sunday for a report of friends who couldn’t find a member of their group. Officers initiated a search for a 17-year-old girl in the area of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, near an unidentified facility the teens had left.

“Our investigation has determined that she was out walking with her friends when, for some reason, they got into a dispute with a man driving a car,” Wright said. “We’re looking into the details of exactly what happened, but for some reason, the man got out of the vehicle and he assaulted one of the group.”

Wright said the girl who was assaulted was the missing teenager, whom she did not identify. After a search that was assisted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the grisly discovery was made at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Remains of a female were found in a pond off of Ridgetop Circle,” Wright said. “Detectives unfortunately do believe that was our victim, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the remains’ identity and determine the exact cause and manner of death.”

South Lakes High School sent an email Sunday evening saying it is believed the girl was a student there. Principal Kim Retzer wrote:

“Police are investigating the death of a teen who was reported missing earlier today. It’s believed that the missing teen is one of our students and while we await further news about this very sad incident, I would also ask that you refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation on social media about today’s events.

I wanted you to be aware of these developments and to inform you that we will have crisis counselors at the school beginning tomorrow morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.”

(more…)

by Dave Emke — June 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 20 Comments

Students who will be graduating from South Lakes High School next week walked familiar halls this morning to provide inspiration to the community’s youth.

In a new tradition, seniors were able to visit their elementary school alma maters and celebrate with the kids there. Schools documented via social media the occasion, which was described as a moving experience for all involved.

“This is the first year for this Graduate Walk but it went so beautifully that we hope to make it a yearly tradition,” said Emily Burrell, spokesperson for South Lakes High School. “It was an emotional experience for the soon-to-be graduates and their elementary teachers. And the elementary students were thrilled to celebrate the graduates. They even made signs in the South Lakes colors. There were tears of joy all around.”

Students who did not attend an elementary school in Reston were allowed to choose which school they visited, Burrell said.

South Lakes High School’s seniors will graduate during a ceremony Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School

by Dave Emke — June 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Deon King, a 2011 graduate of South Lakes High School, is once again on an NFL roster.

King signed a free-agent contract Monday with the Cleveland Browns. A linebacker, King joins the Browns for their veteran minicamp, which begins today in Berea, Ohio.

Undrafted out of Norfolk State, where he won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player at that collegiate level, King signed last year with the Dallas Cowboys. He was released from the Cowboys during final cuts, and he was later picked up by the San Diego Chargers. After playing two games with the Chargers, he was let go. The Indianapolis Colts added him to their roster off the waiver wire, and he appeared in four more games with them.

King recorded two tackles in the six NFL games he played in his rookie season. He was released by the Colts last month.

by Dave Emke — June 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Polls Open for Primary Election — You can vote between now and 7 p.m. in the gubernatorial primary election, choosing the candidates who will face off in November. If you aren’t sure where your polling place is, check out the Virginia Department of Elections website. [Washington Post]

Record-High Temperatures Continue — Yesterday’s high of 95 tied the record, and today may be even hotter. [Washington Post/National Weather Service]

Reston Native Has Success as Baseball Coach — Troy Allen, a 1994 graduate of South Lakes High School, led the State College HS Little Lions on a deep run in the Pennsylvania state baseball playoffs this year. Allen was a basketball and baseball star at SLHS and played collegiately at George Washington University. [Centre Daily Times]

Nominations Still Open for Business Awards — We continue to accept submissions for our 2017 Best Reston Business Awards. Look over the 17 categories and get your business on the list of nominees. [Reston Now]

by Kalina Newman — June 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Urban Planner: Reston ‘Not Like Its Plan’ — A Harvard University Graduate School of Design urban planning professor comparing the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, to Reston: “Columbia’s development stuck more closely to its original plan than did that of Reston,” which is “not like its plan in a lot of ways.” [Baltimore Sun]

Metro Continues To Be Understaffed  Commuting to work and hear the dreaded “train will be moving momentarily?” WMATA says it’s due to overwhelmed Rail Operations Control Center workers, and it needs to hire 33 more people in order to get things sorted out. [WTOP]

Temperatures Will Roast Us  Buckle up and stay cool. Weather forecasts starting Sunday predict scorching heat through Wednesday. Triple-digit heat indexes are predicted along with potential record-breaking temperatures. [Washington Post]

County Police Warning of Fake Gold — A Fairfax County man is out $9,000 after con artists targeted him in an elaborate scam. Mandarin-speaking scammers seem to be preying on the Chinese community by selling them fake gold. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Volunteers Sought for All-Night Grad Party — South Lakes High School’s graduating seniors will attend a post-graduation party from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. — unless they don’t get enough volunteer chaperones. Anyone interested in helping out will need to participate in a training session next week. [South Lakes PTSA/Signup Genius]

Photo courtesy Reston Association

by Kalina Newman — June 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

For some athletes at South Lakes High School, the student-athlete lifestyle won’t end at graduation.

From ten different sports, 29 varsity athletes from the South Lakes Seahawks will play in college.

Playing baseball, Noah Luckenbaugh will continue his career at the College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Dillon Suzuki will play at the United States Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, where he will also wrestle.

Marcus Cherry will play basketball at the Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia.

College football players will include Andrew Funaki at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and David Kroll at the University of Delaware.

There will be four South Lakes lacrosse players playing in college. Matt Hughes will play at Mercer University in Georgia; Taylor Newman-Farr will play at St. Joseph’s in Pennsylvania; Chris Sherbert will play at Virginia Wesleyan University; and JC Sipher will play at Denison University in Ohio.

Soccer players include Abby Alexa for Davis & Elkins in West Virginia; Jared Brewer for Penn State-Harrisburg; Conor Gill for Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; Jenna Hirshfeld for Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts; and Jacob Schuh for Bridgewater College in Virginia.

Jazmyn Stokes will play softball for Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

Five swim and dive athletes will continue their careers in college. Megan Carney will swim at University of Mary Washington in Virginia; Gianmichel D’Allesandro will swim at UNC-Wilmington; Ben Gryski will swim at the University of Massachusetts; Emily Landeryou will swim at the United States Military Academy in New York; and Paige Sogandares will swim at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

The sport with the most SLHS athletes moving on to college is track and field, with six. Naomi Brindley will run at Radford University in Virginia; Erin Gray will run at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia; Devyn Jones will run for the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado; Timiebi Ogobri will run at The Citadel in South Carolina; Dimarcus Vilcheck will run for Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina; and Arianna Spencer will run at Linn University in Florida.

Two SLHS volleyball players will play in college. Kristin Allgaier will play at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and Charlotte Vollmers will play at Hollins University in Virginia.

In addition:

Photo via South Lakes HS Athletics on Twitter

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