If she likes you, the only sound you’ll hear from Bagpipes the rabbit is some happy purring and humming.

The short-haired black rabbit is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Rabbits are very clever and can learn to be housebroken, among other skills and tricks,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Contrary to popular opinion, carrots are just a small part of a rabbit’s diet.  Rabbits at the AWLA eat mainly hay and specially formulated pellets, with additional treats of leafy greens and other fruits and veggies.”

Schedule time to meet Bagpipes at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

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Morning Notes

Man killed in Alexandria part of Fairfax County — “A man was found dead inside an Alexandria apartment building Wednesday night and police said detectives are investigating the death as a homicide. Fairfax County Police Sgt. Tara Gerhard with the Fairfax County Public Affairs Bureau said the shooting was reported just after 7 p.m. in 3100 block of Southgate Drive in Alexandria. Gerhard said a family member found the man with a gunshot wound to the upper body. When first responders arrived on the scene, medics pronounced him dead on the scene.” [WUSA9]

Help name new tunnel boring machine for Alexandria to build cleaner waterways — “Alexandria’s wastewater authority, is seeking the community’s input to name its 250-ton tunnel boring machine (TBM). The TBM, currently being manufactured in Schwanau, Germany, will bore through 100-foot-deep soil to construct the 12-foot-wide, 2-mile-long Waterfront Tunnel — ultimately preventing millions of gallons of combined sewage from polluting the Potomac River, Hooffs Run, and Hunting Creek.” [Zebra]

ACPS to give update on Minnie Howard expansion — “With the Alexandria High School Project in the design phase, the community will receive the latest design update on the Minnie Howard Campus and aquatic facility at an Aug. 10 meeting.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Storms could contain damaging winds. High around 90F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Clear skies overnight. Low 73F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Closing assistant — “Universal Title, an established title company with over 20 offices throughout the VA-DC-MD area, is seeking a Closing Assistant for our Old Town Alexandria office. Industry experience is preferred, but no experience is necessary to apply. As a Closing Assistant, the successful applicant will need strong interpersonal skills, drive, and the ability to work as part of a team to accomplish complex tasks in a fast-paced environment.” [Indeed]

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Without school resource officers and the next school year starting in less than a month, Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. has a plan to beef up security.

Hutchings and staff, on July 16, sent the School Board a three-page proposal acknowledging serious security implications, including “increased vulnerability at school sites, decreased deterrence of situations such as active threats to students, staff and visitors.”

Council voted 4-3 in May to redirect nearly $800,000 in SRO funding toward student mental health resources, a vote that has since been decried by the School Board. The reallocation means there will be no police presence at Alexandria City High School, Francis C. Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School.

“Please note that this decision only affords ACPS approximately three months to establish a contingency plan with regards to safety and security mitigations for our students and staff in the midst of our summer learning and reopening for fall during a global pandemic,” Hutchings told the Board in the report.

The options are to hire five more additional security officers for an estimated $185,000; pay detailed police officers $50 an hour to work the perimeter of a school location from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Hutchings’ option, which is a combination of the first two options.

“This option would allow for additional SSO’s to provide supplemental safety coverage and for detailed officer support in frequently patrolling the exterior of facilities,” the staff report said.

Mayor Justin Wilson voted in the minority against eliminating SROs, and previously told ALXnow that he is “dismayed” by the deteriorated relationship between Council and the Board resulting from the decision.

In the meantime, acting Police Chief Don Hayes said that the officers have been put back into patrol operations, and hopes a new memorandum of understanding will be signed with ACPS before school starts.

“Students are going to be students, and we will have things in place to ensure that schools are safe,” Hayes said.

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After years of legal wrangling and pandemic pressures, the controversial halal slaughterhouse at 3225 Colvin Street quietly opened on Wednesday, July 28. There is no discernible smell of chickens in the air yet, and there are hundreds in cages in a back room.

The D.C. Poultry Market is now open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is giving away two free chickens per customer for the first two days that it is open.

“If you go around the neighborhood, this is the cleanest place,” owner Abdul Mused told ALXnow. “We are cleaner than a supermarket. Do you smell any chickens? Of course not.”

Mused says he spent more than $400,000 in rent for the property, which is near a number of pet-related businesses, including the Wholistic Hound Dog AcademyFrolick DogsDogtopia, Pinnacle Pet Spa & More, as well as the Wild Bird Center of Alexandria. A number of those neighbors deluged City Council with letters after their 5-2 approval of a special use permit in 2019, which gave Mused the green light.

Or so he thought.

Neighbors were concerned that the smell of chickens would incense canines at these businesses. Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Lisa Kemler ended up throwing out two cases levied by 10 area citizens and business owners against the city and council for the decision. At the end of the day, Mused reportedly spent $600,000 on interior renovations and $150,000 in legal fees, and says he won’t be opening any new locations in the area anytime soon.

“It’s not worth it for me,” he said. “My plan is to open one-to-two stores a year. I opened four stores while this one was in development, and I’m moving on. My next city is Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Mused, who owns 18 slaughterhouses around the country, was born in Yemen and emigrated to the U.S. in 1997. He started work as a teenager at his father’s corner deli in New York City, and with his brother, Ahmed, opened their first halal slaughterhouse.

“I had two locations by the time I graduated high school,” Mused said, adding some advice to business owners facing adversity. “You need to stick to it, and not everybody can do that. If you give up once you will never succeed again.”

The slaughterhouse will get 300-to-500 chickens in closed box trucks every other day from an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Customers select a chicken in a steel cage with a number attached to its leg. The customer will get a ticket with the number as the chicken is taken into another room and slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.

Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray took home the first two slaughtered chickens.

“We are honored to cook the most controversial chickens in modern Alexandria history,” Pork Barrel BBQ owner Bill Blackburn said. “Although I’m not sure they are still considered halal after being cooked on equipment that also cooks pork.”

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A man is under arrest after an armed carjacking in the West End on Tuesday night.

Police did not release the suspect’s name, what he was charged with, or the kind of weapon used. They only tweeted out two messages on the incident, which they say occurred at around 8:45 p.m. and ended at around 10 p.m.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred in the Cameron Run Station area, and ended in the 500 block of Cameron Station Boulevard near Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School.

via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial dedicated — “On July 24, at 8am, a ceremony was held at 1001 S. Washington Street, officially dedicating the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial as the newest site listed by the National Park Service in the African American Civil Rights Network.” [Zebra]

National Landing to be first U.S. 5G Smart City at scale — “5G, with local area compute edges, could make National Landing a prototype for smart cities of the future and create a unified consumer experience across asset types. The area could also enhance offerings in mobility and self-driving vehicles, immersive retail and entertainment, and building automation and environmental sustainability… A combination of mmWave and sub6 5G spectrum will be enabled by an interconnected series of building side-mounts, street furniture, and underground network infrastructure.” [Alexandria Living]

Driver killed In 3-vehicle Beltway crash — “The crash happened around 5:35 p.m. Monday on Interstate 495 west of Telegraph Road. Witnesses told state police a Honda driver swerved onto the right shoulder to pass traffic. The vehicle struck another vehicle in the right lane and crashed into a flatbed wrecker stopped on the shoulder. The driver was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died of his injuries. He has not been publicly identified by police.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 93F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph… A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early (in the evening). A few clouds from time to time. Low 72F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Beer brand ambassador — “ExperTaste Marketing is a full-service marketing company specializing in consumer product sampling and promotions. We are seeking a professional and reliable beer enthusiast for a Beer Brand Ambassador position to execute beer sampling events.” [Indeed]

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A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to revitalize a memorial garden dedicated to peace and reflection after the 9/11 attacks.

So far, more than $4,000 (out of a $9,000 goal) has been raised to refurbish the Wilton Woods Memorial Garden, which garnered multiple awards when it opened in 2002. The memorial garden is located at 3800 Ivanhoe Lane, in a neighborhood just off Old Telegraph Road in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County.

The funds would replace walking paths, metal borders, and add a children’s tree and garden.

“While many of the garden’s elements have held up, and even flourished over these nearly 20 years, there are some things that desperately need to be repaired/replaced to keep the garden a safe and beautiful place to visit for the next 20 years and beyond,” campaign organizers noted. “Even the smallest amount would help preserve the garden for the next generations of families who visit and help us to continue to honor the victims and families impacted by the 9/11 attacks and the first responders who rushed in that day and continue to serve and protect.”

Organizers hope to have the project funded and wrapped up by September 11, 2021.

Via GoFundMe

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A former receptionist at Landmark Honda posted bail after being arrested earlier this month for stealing and using a customer’s credit card.

The incident occurred in January, and the suspect — a 25-year-old Alexandria woman — was arrested on July 6. She was charged with credit card theft and credit card fraud, six months after the manager of the dealership reported several fraudulent charges.

In January, the manager showed police security videos of the employee allegedly enter the customer’s private financial information into her phone, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The card owner reported several fraudulent purchases, including $165 in charges at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. The suspect also allegedly spent nearly $500 for clothes and $27 for DoorDash, bringing the total amount to $685.97, according to police.

Police got a search warrant for the historical data on the suspect’s phone and found that she was in the area of the resort on the same day as the January 26 expenditure.

The suspect, a graduate of Bishop Ireton High School, is scheduled for arraignment in court on July 21.

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In its first regular show since shutting down last year, the Little Theatre of Alexandria is back to suspending disbelief with its latest farce, Neil Simon’s Rumors.

“Laugh hard,” director Matthew Randall said. “Laugh loud. Laugh together. It feels amazing, and I hope you enjoy every single moment.”

The plot revolves around the friends of Charlie Brock, the deputy mayor of New York City, who arrive for a party at his house in 1989 to find that he shot himself in the ear. While Charlie is doped up on Valium and kept out of sight upstairs, his friends slowly try to unravel what happened.

Randall cast real-life couple Chris and Ken Gorman as Charlie’s friends Stephanie and Mike Rudden, who are the first to arrive at the scene. Their first instinct is to hush up the incident, as Charlie’s political career and their reputations hang in the balance. While nervously tending to their patient, the Gormans realize that Charlie’s wife Myra is missing, and so are the housekeeper and cook. They also see that the house isn’t at all ready for a party, and that’s when more guests ring the doorbell.

Mike Donahue and Jayne L. Victor bring a refreshing portrayal to Lenny and Claire Ganz, Charlie’s friends who walk into the house immediately after getting into a car wreck. Donahue, while periodically screaming by turning his injured neck, drives the comedic energy of the production. As Charlie’s lawyer and best friend, Lenny is ready to call the police until the arrival of psychologist Ernie Cusack (Peter Halverson) and his wife, Cookie (Janice Rivera).

Then, as Ken runs upstairs to check on Charlie, he trips on his slippers and the gun goes off, making him temporarily deaf. Naturally, more guests arrive (Roxanne Waite as Cassie Cooper and Kirk Lambert as Glenn Cooper) in the ensuing chaos. In the climax, Lenny is forced to wear a smoking jacket and pretend to be Charlie after the arrival of the cops (Joe Dzikewicz and Eileen Copas).

The show runs until August 14. Capacity is currently limited to 145 patrons in the 215-seat venue.

Audience members still have to wear masks, and LTA says if anyone is caught unmasked that they will be asked politely to comply. If they refuse, the show will be stopped. If the issue persists, the show will be canceled entirely.

via LTA/Facebook

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Alexandria’s Troy Isley won his Olympic debut on Monday against middleweight Vitali Bandarenka, and his boxing club at home is eager that he win a medal.

The Olympic games have been Isley’s dream since he boxing at the Alexandria Boxing Club when he was eight years old.

“Everything is one punch at a time in this sport, and Troy is definitely going to get a medal,” Alexandria Boxing Club coach Jeffrey “Steady” Johnson told ALXnow. “He looked really good.”

Isley, a middleweight, is one of three T.C. Williams High School graduates in the Tokyo Olympics, along with sprinter Noah Lyles and high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend. After launching his pro debut earlier this year, Isley (now 2-0 professionally) and teammates Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan are the first-ever pro boxers to fight for Team USA in the Games.

In his Team USA bio, Isley lists Kay Koroma and Dennis Porter as his coaches. Porter, the founder of the Alexandria Boxing Club, passed away earlier this year.

Johnson said that Isley’s fame has led to a waiting list for kids to be trained.

“We got started with the Alexandria Boxing Club after Sugar Ray Leonard won the Olympic gold medal in 1976,” he said. “Boxing really blew up in the area. That’s why we started. Now we’ve got a waiting list for a while.”

Isley, who lists Leonard as his favorite boxer of all time, next faces Russia’s Gleb Sergeyevich Bakshi on Thursday.

https://twitter.com/USABoxing/status/1419859904387424262

via Twitter

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