Alexandria, VA

A 28-year-old Fairfax County man was arrested yesterday and released on bond for allegedly altering checks he received for construction work at the office and home of an Alexandria dentist.

The suspect was arrested on Monday and subsequently released on bail after being charged with forgery and uttering.

The suspect is accused of adding more than $10,000 to 10 checks he received between last year and this year and then depositing them at Burke and Herbert Bank.

The man allegedly completed work at the dentist office in the 5200 block of Duke Street, and then at the victim’s home in Fairfax County during 2019 and 2020.

He is also allegedly seen in three Burke and Herbert Bank video recordings depositing altered checks in the months of April, May and June, according to police.

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Businesses Get Millions in Federal Loans — “The vast majority of the loans in Alexandria were less than $150,000, helping small businesses keep their employees instead of laying them off. About 600 of the loans in Alexandria were worth more than $150,000, and about 100 of those were for more than $1 million. Top-dollar loans went to patent lawyers, information-technology professionals and commercial contractors. Only three of loans in Alexandria were in the coveted top bracket, which range from $5 million to $10 million.”  [Gazette]

Beyer Tweets Potential Unemployment Losses of Every State — “At least 200,000 workers in Virginia will lose nearly two thirds of their weekly income at the beginning of August unless Mitch McConnell allows the Senate to pass an unemployment extension in the next few days.”  [Twitter]

Fairlington United Methodist Church Blesses 1,000 Face Masks — “Over 1,000 face masks, most of them homemade, were blessed and donated by the FUMC community to Alive! Alexandria. Alive! will hand them out at their rapidly growing food distribution sites.” [Facebook]

Commonwealth’s Attorney Gives Opinion on New Laws — “At the beginning of this month, a litany of new laws went into effect. In this article, I’ll provide a synopsis of changes to the code that citizens should know about.” [AlexTimes]

New Italian Restaurant Opens in Del Ray — “Piece Out LLC, which operates Café Pizzaiolo, St. Elmo’s and Markt2Market, opened a from-scratch Italian restaurant at 2419 Mount Vernon Ave. Piece Out will initially focus on carry-out dining with plans to grow into a sit-down restaurant as the region starts to recover from the coronavirus crisis, according to owner Larry Ponzi.” [Alexandria Living]

Apothecary Museum’s Harry Potter Event Goes Virtual — “Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s Harry Potter birthday celebration, a favorite for visitors in Alexandria, will move online due to the pandemic.” [Patch]

New Job: Retail Cheesemonger — “Everyone’s favorite Cheese & Wine Shop is hiring retail sales associates (“cheesemongers”) for all locations. Part-Time and Full-Time available.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Fairlington UMC Warns Against Phishing Scam — “Remember the phrase ‘fishers of men?’ We have PHISHERS again. They are sending emails and TEXTS from ‘Janine Howard’ asking you to go out and buy ebay cards for them. Don’t do it. If you’d like to make charitable donations, call or go to our website.” [Facebook]

Burke & Herbert Bank Issues More Than 1,100 PPP Loans — “Today Burke & Herbert Bank, which has been serving the northern Virginia business community for more than 167 years, announced that nearly 1,100 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling approximately $136 million in aid for local businesses have been approved for the Bank’s customers.  As a result, an estimated 10,000 individuals in the local community will remain employed or return to the businesses’ payroll.” [Zebra]

Inova Alexandria Hospital Gets ‘A’ Safety Rating — “We are so proud Inova Alexandria Hospital was awarded an ‘A’ for The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade for the 4th consecutive time and we are thrilled that all five Inova hospitals were awarded an ‘A.’ Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade is a national distinction which recognizes achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare.” [Facebook]

Rotary Club Awards $65K to Local Nonprofits — “The grants seek to improve the lives of children, youth, seniors and those with special needs in the Alexandria community. The grants are traditionally presented at the organization’s annual Contributions Day Luncheon in mid-June. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, recipients were notified earlier this month and funds were dispersed in an effort to quickly support the needs of each nonprofit.” [Gazette]

ACPS Releases Info on Buying Graduation Caps and Gowns for Virtual Graduation — “Total cost for the cap, gown, and tassel (includes tax and shipping) is $44.47. The cap, gown, and tassel will then be delivered to your home. If you pre-ordered your cap and gown, Herff Jones will be shipping them out next week. You should receive it by May 15!” [Facebook]

Sheriff’s Office Recognizes National Nurses Week — “Today marks the start of National Nurses Week. We work closely together every day so we know how awesome our nurses are but this year, we really can’t say ‘thank you’ often enough!” [Facebook]

Historic Map Comparisons Reveal 18th Century Waterfront Expansion — “This 1749 map shows the minimally altered shoreline of the city running in a gentle arc from West’s Point to the north down to Point Lumley. This 1798 map shows dramatic changes to the shoreline. In 50 years, Alexandrians created several blocks of new land along the Potomac River, changing both the physical landscape and the City’s economic prospects.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Living Magazine Participating in Face Mask Contest — “Alexandria Living Magazine has teamed up with Mission Masks by KH Giving to encourage more Alexandria residents to wear masks while supporting local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Plus, purchasing a Mission Mask will earn you an entry into a raffle where you can win prizes valued at up to $15,000, including jewelry, local restaurant and retailer gift cards, wine from Sonoma Cellar and much more.” [Facebook]

New Job: Harris Teeter Hiring Customer Service Management Assistant — “Supervise up to 120 associates in the Customer Service Department [cashiers, baggers, customer service clerks] and accounting office. Is responsible for assisting the Department Manager with the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these departments. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Harris Teeter’s policies and standards.” [Indeed]

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week — “It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, and @AlexandriaVAGov is urging the community to be prepared for a potential land-falling storm or hurricane. Making preparations now is the best way to protect yourself, your property and your loved ones.” [Twitter]

Virginia Theological Seminary Panel Discussion on Vacation Bible School at 3 p.m. — “Vacation Bible School is a flagship event for Christian formation and discipleship in many churches. As we live into the COVID-19 pandemic, folks are wondering how to move forward. Do we cancel altogether? Should we offer the full programming via Zoom? Would people use activity bags for pick-up at the church? We feel ourselves wondering, ‘NOW WHAT?'” [Eventbrite]

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Trio Performing at Goodwin House at 4 p.m. — “Residents will open their windows at 4:00 p.m. to be treated to a 30-minute program performed by a trio of brass players led by ASO Music Director James Ross. Some residents will also enjoy the concert via limited seats on Goodwin House Alexandria’s rooftop. Thursday’s Courtyard Concert is just one activity Goodwin House Alexandria has planned to keep residents in high spirits, while maintaining social distancing. Many Goodwin House Alexandria residents are subscribers to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.” [ASO]

Del Ray Conducting Community Porch Party at 6 p.m. — “The Del Ray Business Association is proud to present the first-ever First Thursday: Porch Party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. In the spirit of Del Ray’s summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards. Wear your mask, keep proper social distancing, and participate in these community activities.” [Facebook]

Oakville Triangle Virtual Meeting at 6 p.m. — “The third online engagement opportunity will include a live presentation by the applicant via a Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 7 beginning at 6 p.m. where the community may ask questions directly in the online forum. A link to the virtual meeting can be found below and will also be posted to the project website with accompanying materials prior to May 7. A recording of the meeting and an online feedback portal for community comments will be posted to the project website following the live presentation.” [City of Alexandria]

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Morning Notes

Mayor, Sheriff Hand Out Diplomas to High School Seniors — “Yesterday, we announced three more deaths [from covid-19]. We have 26 deaths in the city. Every day, it’s another shoe falling. But this, this is something so positive.” (Washington Post)

Alexandria Economic Development Partnership Creating Local Business Grant Program — “AEDP will pull $2 million out of its ‘Alexandria Investment Fund,’ local incentive cash for retaining and attracting businesses, and then pair that money with federal funding the city received through the CARES Act.” [Washington Business Journal]

Burke & Herbert Bank Starts Borrowers Assistance Helpline — “You are not alone in any financial challenges you’re facing. If you cannot make your loan or mortgage payment, we need to know so that we can put a new plan in place to assist you.” [Facebook]

Visit Del Ray Launches Online Spring Pop-Up Market — “With social distancing restrictions in place, the Del Ray Business Association is moving its spring pop-up retail market online. Shop local with local artisans and home-based businesses and find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!” [Facebook]

ALIVE! Receives More Contributions from Businesses – “Thank you to Democracy Federal Credit Union for stopping by the ALIVE! Food Warehouse this week with a big check! Donations support our purchase of food to distribute people in need. Also another thanks to Former Delegate Rob Krupicka Elizabeth’s Counter Alexandria for his continual support to ALIVE!” [Facebook]

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week — “With the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers have done even more to continue education with virtual classrooms and learning at home lessons. All to ensure every student at Hammond has the tools they need to reach their full potential.” [Facebook]

City Launches #SpreadCheerALX — “Messages posted on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #SpreadCheerALX may be selected by the City to be reproduced as signs for others to display. The City will request permission to reproduce messages in advance. Selected submissions will be printed, displayed on City property, and made available to residents who would like a sign for their yard or window.” [Zebra]

Porch Party Planned for Thursday in Del Ray — “The Del Ray Business Association is proud to present the first-ever First Thursday: Porch Party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. In the spirit of Del Ray’s summer street festivals, the event features a wide range of activities that promote community while maintaining social distancing standards.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Victory Center Property Sold to Townhouse Developer — “Winchester Homes plans to build 138 townhouses ranging from 1,700 SF to 2,600 SF on the site. Winchester has built over 20,000 residential units across the Mid-Atlantic, including six communities that have opened in the last year. The deal comes after the Alexandria City Council in May approved a rezoning of the site’s 7-acre eastern parking lot that allows for a mix of uses. Two weeks later, Stonebridge acquired the property from PGIM Real Estate for $43M.” [Bisnow]

Alexandria Woman Arrested for Breaking Quarantine in Hawaii — “Kauai police arrested 31-year-old Desiree Marvin of Alexandria and 36-year-old Hawaii resident Adam Schwarze after they ignored orders to immediately self-quarantine.” [Alex Times]

Burke & Herbert Bank Responds to Limit on PPP Loans — “The Bank also has many applications in various stages of completion that had not yet been entered into the SBA system. While the SBA no longer is allowing us to submit applications to them at this time, we believe that it is in our customers’ best interest to continue finalizing these applications, collecting all required information and documentation, and readying them for immediate entry should new funding become available. Please continue to work with your banker to ensure that we have a complete application package ready for your business.” [Burke & Herbert]

Polk Elementary School Student Pens Inspiring Message — “This virus spreads. So can kindness. We’re in this together!” [Facebook]

Cheesetique Thanks Delivery Driver — “This is why it’s no exaggeration when I say that Malcom’s arrival is heralded with shouts, cheers, and sighs of relief from my team. And he’s out there EVERY DAY. He’s doing the heavy lifting to ensure that folks like us can take things the last 10 feet. Thank you to all of those ‘behind-the-scenes’ heroes who keep our businesses running. Thank you, Malcolm, for being there… with our cucumbers.” [Facebook]

Amtrak PD Officer Provides Pizza for Alexandria Police — “Ofc. Cameron Dux (AmtrakPD) is on a crusade to thank police officers during the pandemic. He delivered Valentino’s Pizza to our agency.” [Twitter]

RunningBrooke Launches Move2Learn-At-Home — “In an effort to make these as widely-accessible as possible, RunningBrooke videos can be viewed on ACPS-TV, RunningBrooke’s YouTube channel, multi-“classroom” Zoom fitness sessions, the RunningBrooke website and on social media platforms.” [Alexandria Living]

Junction Bakery & Bistro Delivering Soon — “Check it out, folks — our new Junction Delivery is almost ready to launch! We bring it to you: groceries, breads & pastries, family meals, and beer & wine — and pssst … cocktails coming too . Cheaper than Uber Eats!” [Facebook]

Carpenter’s Shelter Needs Food — “With the opening of the Safety Shelter at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, our food needs have expanded. We would like to thank our amazing community for jumping right in and helping to fulfill our needs within an incredibly short window. As of right now all of our meals are covered for the Safety Shelter through April 24th!” [Facebook]

Center For Alexandria’s Children Gets Face Mask Donation — “We received these cloth masks from Brooksie & Cas! Thank you so much for making and sending these to us. We are very grateful to you for helping to keep our team members safe. #StaySafe #StayHome #MasksForAll” [Facebook]

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As the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked Alexandria’s economy, Virginia’s oldest banking institution — Burke and Herbert Bank —  has approved nearly 400 U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses, and there are 600 still pending, according to bank president and CEO David Boyle.

“We’ve approved just about 400 loans,” Boyle told ALXnow. “We have about 1,000 applications, so we have 600 or so that are still pending in various forms and we started actually closing and funding loans this week. So the money’s actually finding its way into the borrowers’ checking accounts and such this week.”

Boyle said the bank has pooled staff resources to attend to the loan applications. Additionally, the bank has frozen principal and interest payments for some business borrowers, in addition to freezing mortgage payments for other customers.

“Most disaster plans are set up for a week or two of disruption, and we’re now in week three or four of this with another three or four weeks potentially to go,” Boyle said. “People are signing up for digital banking services in record numbers. So, it’s changing the way the consumer is dealing with the banks as well.”

Boyle added, “We’re being as accommodating as we can be for these folks with the understanding that this is going to pass and there will be some return to some sort of economic positive economic flow at some point.”

Burke and Herbert was founded in 1852 and operates 25 branches throughout Northern Virginia, including its flagship location at 100 South Fairfax Street in Old Town. The bank has been forced to close its lobbies, and branch locations are only open for customers who make appointments. Additionally, Boyle said, about 35 staffers [about 7% of his workforce] have taken extended medical leaves to take care of their families, and most staff are working remotely at home.

“We were not hit flat-footed,” Boyle told ALXnow. “There are things that are not the same, but it’s not too dissimilar from a natural disaster or a problem that interrupts our business.”

Boyle said that traditional lending is still going on at the bank, and that it will withstand this economic crisis.

“We have the dry powder, if you will, to withstand some very tough economic stress, and the bank has been around since before the Civil War, survived World Wars and depressions,” Boyle said. “It’s a very conservative company and very well capitalized and very liquid. If our customers needed their money for whatever reason in a George Bailey scenario, we have a way to meet those needs. If there is a desire for our customers to take large sums of money out of the bank we can meet those needs.”

Still, Boyle said that he’s spending a lot of sleepless nights worrying about how COVID-19 is impacting customers, employees and the bank.

“If this went on for another three months, six months… Most economic downturns last 18 to 36 months and we’ve weathered how many of those so we’re going to be fine,” Boyle said. “We’re gonna be fine and we may find ourselves at some point having to be a little more restrictive on lending.”

We’re here for you during this challenging time. If you’re a Burke & Herbert Bank consumer or small business loan…

Posted by Burke & Herbert Bank on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Hermitage Northern Virginia Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19 — “Because of the precautions already in place, we are hopeful that the potential spread of the virus is limited, but we must continue to practice self-isolation, good hand washing, and the use of appropriate PPE. We are requesting additional PPE from the Virginia Healthcare Coalition and hope to receive those additional supplies in the next few days.” [Hermitage]

Northam Signs Bills Allowing for Removal of Confederate Monument — “Finally. July 1st marks the beginning of the end for Confederate statue at the intersection of Washington Street and Prince Street.” [Facebook]

Alexandria Police Department Welcomes New K-9 Officers — “Meet our 4 newest K9s. They are K9 Stella, K9 Spectre, K9 Blitz and K9 Axl. They are in training now and should be out on patrol in the summer.” [Facebook]

List of Volunteer Alexandria Opportunities — “Here is their list of volunteer opportunities as of this week. Consider helping with these items or their in-kind opportunities.” [Zebra]

Alexandria Hospital Receives Food Donation — “We are sincerely grateful to our community for the incredible support you have shown our healthcare heroes. We want to thank Amphora Catering for providing lunches and the Flocken Family for donating cookies for our #InovaHeroes#InThisTogether [Facebook]

Headfirst Camp Hiring Assistant Director — “Responsible for both the management of the onsite team across all levels and the coordination of materials and facility logistics, the Assistant Director – Operations & People thinks clearly with the ability to consider the impact of interconnected programming and facilitates the organization of our camp programs and staff on their site. Reporting to the Site Director and managing their own team of coordinators, they are a natural leader who values personal connections with their team.” [Indeed]

City Seeks Nominations for ACPD Scholarship and Awards — “The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) is seeking applications for the Gerry Bertier Scholarship, and nominations for the John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award, and two Disability Awareness Awards presented in conjunction with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. The deadline for scholarship applications and award nominations is May 8.” [City of Alexandria]

Burke and Herbert Bank at 621 King Street Temporarily Closed — “To minimize in-person contact and help contain the spread of the coronavirus, we are implementing some additional temporary changes to how we are delivering branch banking services beginning Monday, April 13.” [Burke and Herbert]

Pool Season Likely Delayed — “As for pools, it is likely — but not absolutely certain — that chlorine in our swimming pools will kill coronavirus. But, the virus could be transmitted by anyone who coughs or sneezes anywhere near the pool, so physical distancing is still a must.” [Alexandria Living]

ARHA Residents Receive Food — “Yesterday ALIVE received a very generous and unexpected donation of food, including frozen items, from Lidl. So ASO and our partners from the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority quickly teamed up to pack bags full of food and immediately distribute them to ARHA residents.” [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

City Faces Dozens of Lawsuits — “Between 2014 and 2019, 101 lawsuits were filed against the city, and 20 of those cases are still active, according to data the Alexandria Times acquired through the city… Over the last six years, the city has faced 37 claims cases, 20 land-use cases, 15 civil rights cases, 12 employment cases, 11 real estate assessment cases, two FOIA cases, two mandamus cases and two procurement cases.” [Alexandria Times]

Restaurants That Locals Still Miss — “When you talk with locals about restaurants they miss, there’s usually at least one place they can name… We’ve received nearly 40 responses covering Old Town and other areas of the city. Places mentioned by multiple people included Austin Grill, Overwood, Mango Mike’s, Flying Fish and Geranio.” [Patch]

New Bank Branch Opens in Carlyle — “Bank of America celebrated its latest Alexandria location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning inside the newly opened financial center in the heart of Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood. The location, at 415 John Carlyle St., is Bank of America’s 10th financial center in the Alexandria/Springfield market and fourth in Alexandria proper.” [Alexandria Living]

GW Middle Students Try Meditation — “Middle school can be a stressful environment, so… at George Washington Middle School, some teachers are starting class with meditation. The lights are dimmed, soothing music is turned on and teachers guide the kids to breathe, settle in and focus on something positive.” [WTOP]

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A new Bank of America location is coming to the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria.

The space at 3690G King Street was previously home to Queen Bee Designs, a local jewelry designer store that had a pop-up location there until June this year.

Staff at another Bank of America location said the Bradlee Shopping Center location will be a full bank that will likely open sometime later this year, but the company is still working through some final permits. The employee said a kiosk for the ATMs will open before the full branch location does.

There are currently two other Bank of America locations in Alexandria, one in Old Town at 600 N. Washington Street and one at 2747 Duke Street.

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Morning Notes

ALXnow Launches Today — This is the first post on the first day of ALXnow. Our goal is to bring Alexandria timely, relevant and useful local news coverage that uncovers unreported stories and drives community conversations. We hope you like it.

About the Morning Notes — Morning Notes posts like this one will be published on most weekday mornings and will highlight notable social media posts, press releases and the reporting of other news outlets. Most posts will be shorter than this one — we’re catching up! Each Morning Notes post will also feature a photo from around town, often from our staff photographer, Jay Westcott. You can submit photos for possible publication too: email us at [email protected] or tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

All ACPS Schools Meet State Benchmark — “All schools within Alexandria City Public Schools are fully accredited for the 2019-20 academic year for the first time in 20 years. On Monday morning the Virginia Department of Education announced the results that all ACPS schools met the state benchmark for the first time since the accreditation system first began in 1999.” [ACPS]

Bank Manager Pleads Guilty to Fraud — “An Alexandria bank branch manager pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $500,000 from older customers after gaining their trust to personally handle their transactions. Fetehi Mohammed, a manager since 2015 at the Wells Fargo Bank branch near the intersection of Quaker Lane and King Street, reviewed which customers had enough money that his unauthorized withdrawals would not attract notice.” [Washington Post]

Proposed Shelter for Migrant Kids Nixed — “Plans for a facility to house unaccompanied migrant children in Northern Virginia have been scrapped after pushback from local leaders and community members. Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted an email he received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirming that the Office of Refugee Resettlement was no longer considering Northern Virginia as a potential site for an unaccompanied migrant children shelter.” [WTOP]

Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested — “Alexandria police have a subject is in custody for robbing an Alexandria bank. The robbery happened at the 300 block of South Van Dorn street at around 11:15 AM on Saturday. Alexandria police arrived on the scene and made an arrest.” [Twitter, WDVM]

Hank’s Pasta Bar Closes — “Hank’s Pasta Bar closed Wednesday after 3 years in business. The restaurant, at 600 Montgomery Street in Old Town North, closed to make room for a new Italian restaurant that will open later this year.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Meeting Today About Proposed Noise Law Changes — “[Alexandria] is planning major revisions to its Noise Control Code, and it is asking the community to weigh in on proposed changes to the ordinance. Changes to the code, which was first adopted more than 55 years ago in 1963, include expanded wording in the animals section, which sets specific limits on barks, howls, bays, meows, squawks, quacks or other sounds between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.” [WTOP]

Joint Arlington and Alexandria Meeting Tonight — “Building on the two localities’ collaborative success in recruiting unprecedented new investments in National Landing, the Alexandria City Council and the Arlington County Board will hold a joint meeting on Tuesday, October 1, to discuss the development of a formal framework to continue working together on key policy issues that support inclusive growth.” [City of Alexandria]

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