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A Fairfax County woman experiencing a mental health crisis was apprehended after allegedly slamming a 19-month-old boy to the ground in the emergency room at Inova Alexandria Hospital last month.

The incident occurred at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20. Police said that the woman was acting erratically by knocking items off of counters, according to a search warrant. The woman then allegedly walked into a room, picked up the child by his legs and flung him on the floor.

“According to the mother of the child, the suspect picked up the child by his legs and shoved him down the hallway,” police said in a search warrant. “The child sustained an apparent injury to his forehead an left hand.”

The woman was not arrested, and her relationship with the mother and child is not known.

“On December 20, 2021 we responded to a call for service for a woman having a mental health crisis,” Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow.  No arrest were made, but other services were provided to address this incident.”

In November — a month before this incident — the woman was charged with two counts of possessing a Schedule I or II substance. She was also charged with pickpocketing in March, and then for failing to appear in court.

Alexandri provides behavioral health treatment resources. Find out more about them here.

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Plans for the GenOn plant redevelopment aim to swap out the area’s current Chernobyl-chic with a Dutch design concept to prioritize pedestrians and bicyclists over cars.

In a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Commission last week, representatives from Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) said the two main routes through the planned development will be split between one intended for vehicle traffic and one that prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The latter is called a woonerf and has been implemented in the Netherlands since the 1970s.

The pedestrian street doesn’t prohibit car traffic — ala the 100 block of King Street — but aims to woo pedestrians and cyclists with open space and programming while nerfing cars to walking speeds. The street could also be closed for events or during the summer months.

“We think it’s vital that front roadway be prioritized for bicycles and pedestrians, really pedestrians,” said Melissa Schrock, senior vice president of mixed-use development for HRP. “I think it really can function as a bit of a calm street during typical traffic hours during the day and on evenings and weekends. One of the reasons we’re planning it this way is to have tactile differentiation that encourages cars to go ‘maybe this isn’t really where I want to be’ and turn around to go back to the spine street.”

But Schrock said HRP is reticent to shut down the street to vehicle traffic entirely, saying there could be uses like food trucks.

“We don’t think it’s a bad thing that vehicle traffic should ever pass down there, like food trucks,” Schrock said. “It’s certainly our intent that, if cars are there, that they know that they’re secondary or tertiary to the main activity there and there are distinct periods of time where they aren’t there at all: like summer months and activities.”

Overall the development will have nearly six acres of open space. When combined with Norfolk Southern’s rails-to-trails project and the National Park Service’s Mount Vernon Trail, the area as a whole will have over 14 acres of public open space.

Simor Beer, a principal with landscape architecture firm OJB, said there’s also potential for where the development abuts the water, like kayak launch points and a dock for a water taxi service.

“Along the waterfront to the north of the site [is a] unique peninsula of wooded landscape that touches down to the water,” Beer said. “[We] envision birdwatching and other natural activities here as a place to stop along the trail.”

But much of this land, Beer noted, belongs to the National Park Service (NPS). Some on the Parks and Recreation Commission said that the NPS can be uncooperative when it comes to sharing land with private developers. Schrock said HRP has been in discussions with the NPS and she’s hopeful that something can be worked out.

“We made a conceptual submission to them to get their feedback,” Schrock said. “While it’s true that they don’t like people messing with their stuff, I think they’re very open to the vision we’re communicating here. We want this to be an open and inviting space. We have an opportunity to take down the fence around our property, erase that line, and connect to the Mount Vernon Trail. It’s not negating what the Mount Vernon Trail accomplishes, but working with them to improve upon that.”

A work session with the city is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22, with public hearings in June. Schrock said the plan is to start demolition at the end of 2022 with shovels in the ground for new development in early 2024.

“I commend the team,” said Commissioner Stuart Fox. “As you guys noted, this is a really complex project… one of the parties went into bankruptcy, there are the environmental issues, and it’s probably the biggest eyesore in the city, certainly in Old Town. So transforming an eyesore into a tremendous opportunity for the city is not an easy project.”

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Bonchon Chicken is coming to 3690 King Street in the Bradlee Shopping Center. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Getting hungry? A number of new restaurants are slated to open this year in Alexandria, according to the city’s tourism bureau.

Visit Alexandria highlighted many of these new businesses in their annual “What’s New in Alexandria” update, which was held Thursday morning (Dec. 27).

Below is a list with expected opening dates.

Old Town

West End

Del Ray

Carlyle

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Mango is super sweet. The five-year-old Australian cattle dog is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Mango is a girl on the go and loves to run around the yard, especially when accompanied by a squeaky toy,” said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter,  She’d love to keep up her active lifestyle in her new home. “Mango is such a sweet and fun girl that she would prefer to be your only baby.  With all her love, she doesn’t think you need any other pups.”

Learn more about meeting Mango at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Via AWLA

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Nando’s in Old Town, photo via Google Maps

After 10 years in Old Town, Nando’s Peri-Peri is letting its lease expire and will close in mid-March.

Nando’s Peri-Peri opened at 702 King Street in 2010. With its leaser expiring, staff told ALXnow that it’s challenging to do business in the old building that is 186 years old.

The move also means that the 700 block of King Street will have another vacant storefront, as Nice Cream at 726 King Street closed in the fall.

Not to worry. The company’s South African chicken will be available when they reopen in August at their new location in Carlyle Crossing development at the Hoffman Town Center. There are also more than a dozen Nando’s throughout the region.

A number of other new businesses are moving in, too.

A Bad Ass Coffee Of Hawaii franchise will also be opening at Carlyle Crossing — one of three of the coffee shops that new owner L2 Ohana Café, LLC, is opening in Northern Virginia. KinderCare Learning Centers is also reportedly moving into the space.

Residents at The Foundry Apartments within the Hoffman Town Center were told about a number of the new businesses in a recent note from management.

“As you may have already observed, construction has begun on The Foundry retail,” Amanda Jones, a community manager for The Foundry wrote to residents. “The construction can be unsightly and will impact noise.”

Via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Rudy’s moves closer to opening in Kingstowne — “The new golf and restaurant venue is hiring.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Looking for a few tips on parking in Old Town Alexandria? — “Parking in Old Town Alexandria is a breeze if you know which streets have meters, where the City garages and lots are, and have a few tricks up your sleeve.” [Zebra]

Seeking leaders of tomorrow in Alexandria — “High school juniors in the Alexandria area are invited to apply for scholarships to attend the annual Boys State and Girls State programs to be held later this summer.” [Alexandria Gazette]

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A 20 year-old Alexandria man was shot to death in his car in Lincolnia, and a 20-year-old Fairfax County man and a 17-year-old alleged accomplice have been arrested for his murder.

The body of Ahmed Hasheem Ebrahim has still not surfaced since it was put in a dumpster on January 16, according to Fairfax County Police. He was last seen leaving his home for a friend’s house the previous evening, Saturday, January 15. Ebrahim’s car was found on January 18 in Alexandria and towed to an impound lot.

Detectives found blood inside the car, and then discovered that Joel Antonio Sarabia, 20, of Fairfax, was seen driving Ebrahim’s car shortly after his disappearance. Sarabia was arrested for unauthorized use of a vehicle and driving without an operator’s license, and detectives found that he knew the victim.

“Sarabia and a 17-year-old associate planned to rob Mr. Ebrahim on Jan. 16. Sarabia shot Mr. Ebrahim in the upper body while Mr. Ebrahim was in his vehicle in a parking lot near the 6200 block of Lachine Lane in Lincolnia,” Fairfax County Police said in a press release. “Sarabia and his associate then drove the victim in Mr. Ebrahim’s vehicle until they disposed of his body later on Jan. 17 in a dumpster.”

Sarabia, who is being held without bond in the Fairfax County jail, was later charged with first degree murderrobbery resulting in deathconcealment of a dead body and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was arrested with a firearm, and police are searching for a second gun, “which is believed to be in the City of Alexandria,” according to Fairfax County Police.

The juvenile, who is being held in the Juvenile Detention Center, was arrested on January 25 and charged with robbery resulting in death and concealment of a dead body.

The dumpster where Ebrahim’s body was placed has been identified, but the body has not been found, police said.

“Detectives identified the dumpster where Mr. Ebrahim’s body was disposed,” police said. “They have since been in contact with the disposal services company to determine the potential location where Mr. Ebrahim’s body may have been taken. Detectives have coordinated several searches with our Search and Rescue Team to locate Mr. Ebrahim.”

This is the second murder of the year in Fairfax County.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call Fairfax County detectives at 703-691-2131, or call 911. Callers can remain anonymous.

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The Electra America Hospitality Group sees Alexandria’s red brick facade and wants it painted black.

The Holiday Inn Express in North Old Town could be rebranded to Hotel AKA as the hotel appears to move into an emo phase. A request for alterations to the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) includes a number of changes for the hotel at 625 First Street and 510 Second Street, perhaps most notably a new coat of black paint on the brick facade.

“The Applicant is proposing to re-brand and renovate the existing hotel,” the application to the BAR said. “the Proposed renovations include the demolition of limited portions of the facades and certain building features, but the building itself will remain. A number of exterior alterations are proposed to enhance the appearance of the building.”

The building is notably not historic, having been constructed in the 1970s, so the application said there’s no design or textural grounds for rejection. There will also be no changes to the height, mass or scale of the building.

“The existing brick facade will be repainted black,” the application said. “The proposed color will integrate the brick facade with other proposed building materials which include a metal standing seam roof, metal window frames, and metal guardrails and trellis features. The proposed brick color is compatible with existing buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Property.”

Other changes include the replacement of the shingled roof with a metal one, cutting down the vehicular drop-off area new entrance canopy and more.

“The exterior alterations represent improvements to the existing facade that will result in a more attractive and aesthetically pleasing appearance,” the application said.

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Steven Orellana, photo courtesy Alexandria Sheriff’s Office

Alexandria resident Steven Orellana was found guilty yesterday (Tuesday) for rape of a coworker in 2019.

The 32-year-old Orellana was dating the victim and they were coworkers, according to a press release from the Commonwealth Attorney’s office.

“The evidence established that, in 2019, the defendant forced a coworker whom he had been dating to engage in a sexual act against her will, inside of his Alexandria apartment,” according to a release. “The defendant is currently being held without bail in the William G.  Truesdale Adult Detention Center, pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 17, 2022.”

Orellana was arrested for the offense in 2019, and the trial was delayed by the pandemic. He was initially booked on August 15, 2019, and then released on $10,000 bond on August 27, 2019.

“The trial of the matter was significantly delayed by the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus,” the release said.

Orellana faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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Matt & Tony’s will open for all-day brunch this spring at the former Charlie’s On The Avenue, the new restaurant’s owner tells ALXnow.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners bought the 3,000 square-foot space at 1501 Mount Vernon Avenue last fall with the intention of turning it into a concept called Joe’s Kitchen, but those plans were scrapped when ARP managing partner Matt Sloan announced he was leaving to open his own restaurant.

“I was going to leave working for them and they came to me and said they have this building, this opportunity,” Sloan told ALXnow. “It was Scott Shaw, Dave Nicholas and David Clapp. Those guys are awesome. We have a great relationship and it just made sense. They offered to lease me the building.”

Sloan, a Michigan native, moved to D.C. a year-and-a-half ago to work with ARP. He opened the company’s Ada’s On The River as their general manager and then spent time working at ARP’s The Majestic.

“The plan is to open in middle-to-late March,” he said.

Sloan is now developing a menu based around an all-day brunch concept. He named the restaurant after himself and his great-grandfather Anton (Tony) Schabas, a pastry chef who emigrated to the U.S. from Austria at the turn of the 20th century.

Charlie’s (1501 Mount Vernon Avenue) closed in January 2020, after being in business for less than three years. Before that it was home to Fireflies for 15 years.

“The important thing going into this space is getting engaged with the community and doing something special for the neighborhood,” Sloan said. “We will have an emphasis on breakfast and lunchtime, with steak and eggs, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits.”

Sloan says that the hours for the restaurant will likely be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

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