By Beth Lawton
Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and Washington. Here are some of the top stories from around the region this week.
'Run, Hide, Fight': Fairfax County Provides Video, Tips on Surviving an 'Active Shooter' Incident: After last week's tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that took the lives of 12 victims and the shooter — later identified as Aaron Alexis — Fairfax County provided a video for residents on how to prepare for an active shooter. According to the video posted on the Fairfax County Emergency Blog, the important steps to take in an attempt to survive this type of tragedy are run, hide and fight.
It has been a week since the tragic shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, and some victims had ties to Northern Virginia:
Lorton's Michael Arnold, 59, Remembered as 'Nice', 'Quiet': Lorton's Michael Arnold, who was shot and killed at the Washington Navy Yard last week, was described as quiet and polite by a neighbor in his Crosspointe community.
Family Remembers Kathy Gaarde, Prince William County Victim of Navy Yard Shootings: Lake Ridge residents are grieving the loss of wife and mother Kathleen "Kathy" Gaarde, one the 12 victims of the gunman who went on a shooting rampage last week at the Washington Navy Yard.
Reston Woman Among Victims at Navy Yard: Mary Francis Wright, a mother of two grown daughters and a cybersecurity expert, was among those killed by a gunman at the Navy Yard last week. Wright moved to the area about five years ago to take a job at the Navy Yard. She had recently been promoted in her position at Naval Sea Command. She also taught information technology at Northern Virginia Community College.
In other news…
Former Taxi Manager at Dulles Gets Prison Term for Taking Bribes: A man who accepted bribes for doing favors for local cab drivers at Dulles International Airport was sentenced last week to prison, according to the FBI. Arthur A. Boulette, 64, who now lives in Dunedin, Fla., was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison, followed by a year of supervised release, for accepting more than $100,000 in cash bribe payments from taxicab drivers in exchange for giving them priority on a list of prospective drivers to operate a Washington Flyer Taxi at Dulles.
Fairfax Police Unleash Puppy Power: Bolt and Sy: If sheer cuteness could fight crime, Fairfax County police officers would have nothing left to do with the addition of two new, rolly-polly canine recruits. But in the real world, the bloodhound pups, Sy and Bolt, can do a lot more than the average dog. Once they're fully trained, the two will be able to track down missing people and find clues — that is, scents.
200+ Camp Out 24 Hours Ahead of Chick-fil-A Opening to Vie For Free Lunch For a Year: More than 200 people showed up with tents, blankets and folding chairs more than 24 hours in advance early Wednesday morning. It seems Chick-fil-A sure is popular with the people of Fairfax.
Police: Construction Worker Dies After 40-Foot Fall: A 35-year-old construction worker died last week after falling 40 feet and landing on a concrete slab, according to information the Arlington County Police Department released Wednesday. The man had been walking across the top level of the building under construction when a piece of plywood gave way and he fell.
Alexandria Police Investigating Attempted Abduction on King Street: Alexandria police are investigating an abduction attempt that occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in the 2000 block of King Street next to the grounds of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. A 23-year-old woman was walking from King Street-Old Town Metro station when someone grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and attempted to pull her over a wall and onto the Masonic Memorial grounds.
Park(ing) Day: D.C. Parking Spaces Will Be Handed Over for Park Use: Cars took a back seat on Friday to highlight sustainability efforts as certain metered parking spaces were made available for pedestrian use as temporary parks. Park(ing) Day is a national movement to highlight park space needs in urban areas, as opposed to parking space needs. This was the first year that Washington, D.C., participated in the event.
Oakton Residents Protest Proposed Girl Scout Warehouse: The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital plans to build a metal warehouse near a camp entrance on Justin Knoll Road in Oakton. Residents contend that the warehouse will reduce property values and will be an eyesore. They also say it will increase traffic on a residential street.
Police: Man, 23, Charged with Murder after Teen's Death Outside Vienna Hotel: A 23-year-old man has been charged in the death of a 16-year-old boy. Jose Alberto Blanco-Calzadilla, of Alexandria, turned himself in last week, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. At about 2 a.m. Sept. 15, Mount Vernon teen Gerard Gomez was found shot dead outside the Residence Inn on 8616 Westwood Center Drive in the Vienna-Tyson’s Corner area, police reported. Officers who arrived had tried to revive Gomez, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
Mother to Police: 'She's Still Inside, She's Still Inside': Fredericksburg Police Lt. Bill Hallam and Officer Ryan Merrell helped rescue a 16-year-old girl trapped inside a burning home in the Courtland Heights neighborhood of Fredericksburg. As they pulled-up to 106 Oak St. early Tuesday morning, they were met by a frantic mother. "'She's still inside, she's still inside,' she was screaming," Hallam said.
Fairfax Water Warns Residents of Impersonator: Fairfax Water received a few reports from residents in July that someone was impersonating an employee for the company and entering their homes. After receiving the reports, Fairfax Water posted information about how to identify their employees on the company's website. According to the website, all Fairfax Water employees carry photo ID and their vehicles and field staff’s clothing bear the company's logo.
Police: Mob Assaults, Tries to Rob Woodbridge Man: Police are looking for a group of men who reportedly assaulted and attempted to rob a man on Easy Street in Woodbridge on Sept. 13, Prince William County police spokesperson Jonathan Perok said.
Herndon Residents Argue Over Merits of Town’s Recent Driver Sobriety & License Checkpoint: The Herndon Police Department released the results of a recent checkpoint in town that checked drivers’ sobriety levels, whether their licenses were in order, and that children were sitting in car seats. More than 1,000 drivers passed through a checkpoint on Sept. 6, yielding one DUI arrest, as well as nearly 20 license violations and three car seat violations. Some residents argued such checkpoints were good for the safety of locals, while others criticized residents having to pass through them to get into and out of their neighborhoods, and still others called them “revenue-generating” efforts by the police department.
Planning Commission Approves Plans for Cell Tower at Lake Braddock Secondary: The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved an application Thursday from AT&T for a “replacement light standard” at Lake Braddock Secondary School (LBSS) that would serve as a cell tower and help address a gap in wireless coverage in the surrounding area. The proposed 120-foot tall light standard would replace one of the 88-foot tall stadium light poles on the south side of the football stadium on the school property at 9120 Burke Lake Road in Burke.
Bike Lanes or On-Street Parking? Alexandria city staff is considering a plan to narrow the lanes on King Street between Russell Road and Janney’s Lane and install bicycle lanes in both directions. The plan calls for removing on-street parking spaces in front of residences on a half-mile stretch between West Cedar Street and West View Terrace.
Police Identify Gainesville Man Who Died in House Fire: A man who died in a house fire in Gainesville early Thursday morning was identified as 65-year-old Stephen Frankenberg, Prince William County police said. Frankenberg was one of two people inside the Tackhouse Loop Drive home at the time of the blaze, but the other person wasn't injured, Prince William County Fire and Rescue officials said.