Post Content

Updated at 4 p.m. A driver crashed a car into an Old Town business early this morning (Wednesday) and was transported to Inova Alexandria Hospital.

The crash into Casa Rosada Artisan Gelato at 111 S. Payne Street occurred around 1 a.m. The male driver was taken away on a stretcher.

No charges were filed and the incident is under investigation, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

This is the third vehicle reportedly crashing into an Alexandria building in less than a week.

On Saturday, a truck repeatedly crashed into a CVS in Del Ray and thieves tried to steal an ATM machine. Yesterday, a car crashed into a store at the Bradlee Shopping Center, where a handful of storefronts have been struck in recent years.


Good Wednesday morning, Alexandria!

☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny, with a high near 79. Northeast wind around 6 mph. At night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind 3 to 6 mph.

🚨 You need to know

Lily’s Chocolate & Coffee, a shop with everything from smoothies and juices to an Iraqui pastry called Lockma, is now open in the heart of Old Town, Patch reported.

The owners, Iraqi siblings who came to the United States in 2009, opened their second location this week at 631 King Street. The first location opened in 2021 on Maple Avenue in Vienna.

The new location at the corner of King and Washington Street was formerly a Francesca’s until it closed in 2020.

Photo via Lily’s Chocolate & Coffee/Facebook

📈 Tuesday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for May 30, 2023.

  1. JUST IN: Driver crashes car into Bradlee Shopping Center store (4755 views)
  2. UPDATED: Power mostly restored after widespread outage (4555 views)
  3. Pump the brakes: new speed cameras issuing tickets starting today (2983 views)
  4. Notes: Alexandria ranked as sixth wealthiest Virginia locality | ALXnow (1302 views)

🗞 Other local coverage

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.


A driver was hospitalized after she drove her car into Robcyns (3660 King Street) at the Bradlee Shopping Center.

The incident occurred around 3:20 p.m., according to the dispatch.

The driver was taken away on a stretcher and told ALXnow they accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.

“What’s important is that everyone is okay,” said owner Meghan Herzing. “The lady, the driver, is a customer. I know her, and she was crying and profusely apologizing.”

The crash is not even the first of its kind this year: another driver sent their car through the front window of the nearby Tropical Smoothie Cafe in February.

“Over the last six years this has happened to the Hallmark store, the Shoe Repair store, Starbucks and Tropical Smoothie,” Herzig said. A driver also slammed into the front of the Capital One bank branch at the shopping center a few years ago.

The vehicular mayhem at the Bradlee Shopping Center is in addition to a recent shots fired incident, last year’s fatal stabbing, and safety concerns about loitering teenagers among employees at the center.

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this story

Playing at Four Mile Run Park in Arlandria. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The city is a victim of its own bureaucracy when it comes to parks, but a new zoning change (docket item 8) essentially lets the city get out of its own way to make park improvements.

A staff report said that the city is currently hamstrung by requirements that virtually any type of improvement or change at a park must go through the city’s special use permits (SUP), a lengthy process that involves public and city leadership hearings and review.

The new change would make certain park improvements, like adding new playground equipment, easier to do as an allowed use rather than requiring the city to go through the public hearing process.

According to a staff report:

Since adopting the [Public Open Space and Community Recreation Zone] in 1989, many of the items identified in Park and Recreation Commission endorsed Park Improvement Plans have required additional Special Use Permit (SUP) approvals to construct or install items in the City’s parks. While complete renovations of City parks require development approval through public hearings, smaller improvements such as playground replacement or relocation, or safety improvements such as backstops and netting, scoreboards, and storage are all categorized as uses that also require additional approval through public hearings. As a result, improvements that are identified in Park Plans based on community needs and input are delayed by redundant approval processes.

Currently, only unimproved geographic features, like woodlands or preserves, are allowed without public hearings. Even passive facilities like trails, picnic areas and fishing sites are only permitted with approval at a public hearing.

Since 1994 there have been 29 SUPs for park sites. Four of those were Alexandria City Public Schools trailers, four were for athletic field or dog park lighting, and four were for large-scale park redevelopment — which will continue to require SUPs.

The staff report said as parks are increasingly in demand around Alexandria, the zoning change would let the city respond to needs more quickly.

“Park Improvement Plans must be implemented to keep pace with the City’s aging park infrastructure and as demand for high-quality park amenities continues to increase,” the report said. “These amendments would allow staff to implement Park Plans quickly and efficiently, while continuing to include the community, park users and neighboring properties.”

A U.S. Postal Service employee was robbed at gunpoint on Saturday, May 27, 2023 (via Google Maps)

A U.S. Postal Service employee was robbed at gunpoint of their phone and keys in the Lynhaven neighborhood on Saturday.

The victim was not injured in the incident, which occurred at around 12:15 p.m.

According to dispatch reports, the victim was robbed by a male with a gun, and the suspect fled the scene in a black BMW. Police said on the scanner that the victim was robbed of their keys, which can open any U.S. Postal Service mailboxes in the country.

Anyone with information on this incident can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

image via Google Maps

2 Comment
Map of speed cameras across Alexandria (image via City of Alexandria)

Drivers should always keep it slow in school zones but there’s a new incentive starting today: new speed cameras across Alexandria are issuing warning tickets starting today.

The new cameras have been installed near John Adams Elementary School, Ferdinand Day Elementary School, Francis Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School.

Speed cameras are also in use in Arlington, Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax, but these are the first in Alexandria. The cameras will have a “warning period” at first before switching over to issuing full tickets.

Last year, City Council approved the $400,000 speed camera program, after a child was struck and seriously injured at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street). City Manager Jim Parajon then reduced speed limits in a number of residential, business and school zones from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph.


A large black truck repeatedly smashed into the front entrance of the CVS at 415 E. Monroe Avenue early Saturday morning but the would-be thieves failed to get away with their likely target — the store ATM machine.

The truck drove into the business front-first two times at around 3:40 a.m., the store manager told ALXnow. The manager also said that the ATM machine was probably the intended target, but it is bolted to the ground and wasn’t taken.

Three suspects in dark clothing got out of the truck after it smashed through the entrance, but they were unable to extricate the ATM machine, according to Alexandria Police Department dispatches. No arrests were made and the incident remains under investigation.

The truck was damaged in the crashes and left the scene missing part of a wheel well and a side rail, according to an APD dispatch.

Anyone with information on this incident can call the APD non-emergency number t 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Map via Google Maps

Power outage in Alexandria on May 30 (image via Dominion Energy)

A power outage hit over 4,300 Dominion Energy customers across Alexandria, but within an hour it seems most of that has been restored..

Dominion Energy said there were 4,364 customers without power across Alexandria this morning, but as of 10:45 p.m. that was down to scattered pockets like 156 customers without power in North Ridge.

The cause is listed as a circuit going out and the estimated time of restoration was listed as between 1-4 p.m., but the outage was fixed within the hour.

The large-scale outage is the latest in an ongoing saga of outages in Alexandria. Dominion Energy said last year it would invest $17 million over the next three years to improve reliability in Alexandria.


Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria!

🌤️ Today’s weather: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind around 10 mph. At night: Increasing clouds, with a low around 56. Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph.

🚨 You need to know

A study by investment adviser firm SmartAsset found that Alexandria ranked sixth in an overview of the wealthiest counties (and cities) in Virginia, Alexandria Living Magazine first reported.

The survey looks at investment income, property value and per capita income. According to the website:

To identify the wealthiest counties, we compared all U.S. counties across three metrics: investment income, property value, and per capita income.

We started the analysis by calculating the Investment Index for each county by evenly weighing the Ordinary Dividends, Qualified Dividends, and Net Capital Gains. From there we calculated the Median Home Value, and the Per Capita Income for each county, and ranked them on all three metrics.

Alexandria ranked just below Fairfax City and just above Fauquier County. Alexandria had a lower median income — $105,450 — and lower investment income — $47,518 — but was boosted by its higher median home value — $608,562.

Alexandria’s neighbors nabbed higher spots on the list with Fairfax County coming in at number three and Arlington County at number two. The number one spot was Falls Church.

Wealthiest counties in Virginia (image via SmartAsset)

📈 Friday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for May 26, 2023.

  1. ALXnow answers your questions about Alexandria… kind of (2818 views)
  2. Maryland man charged with robbing two Alexandria banks (1981 views)
  3. Notes: Police arrest two people for robbery at Arlandria Autozone (877 views)
  4. Sen. Tim Kaine visits Campagna Early Learning Center in Alexandria, talks debt ceiling fight (336 views)

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

The Bank of America was robbed on April 3, 2023 (staff photo by James Cullum)

A 27-year-old Maryland man has been charged with robbing two separate Alexandria banks in March and April.

Jaquan Royal, of Prince George’s County, was arrested on May 24 in connection to the robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank in Arlandria (3506 Mount Vernon Avenue) on March 23, and at the Bank of America in Carlyle (415 John Carlyle Street) on April 3.

In both cases, the suspect allegedly handed the teller a note demanding cash and fled with an undisclosed amount. No one was injured in either robbery.

Royal is being held in another jurisdiction and goes to court on June 12.

The Alexandria Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident and asks anyone with information to contact Detective John Brattelli at 703-746-6699, at [email protected], or by calling the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.


Subscribe to our mailing list