Newsletter

Morning Notes

Credit Union cuts ribbon on HQ in Alexandria — “United States Senate Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of its flagship HQ branch in Alexandria with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday.” [Alexandria Living]

Weekend single tracking to impact Metro travelers in Alexandria — “Single tracking between the Braddock Road and National Airport (stations) will happen this weekend due to Potomac Yard Metro construction.” [Patch]

Shop and stroll with the Old Town Boutique District — “Pick up a passport at an Old Town Boutique District (OTBD) shop, then visit six stores to be entered to win a $500 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice, or visit twelve stores to be entered to win $1,000 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice. Stop by Hummingbird and Fontaine for a signature cocktail or mocktail during the stroll. Turn in your passport to the last store you visit. Winners will be selected on Monday, September 27. No purchase necessary to participate.” [Visit Alexandria]

Today’s weather — “A mainly sunny sky. High 74F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Entry-level personal fitness trainer — “We are looking for coachable, enthusiastic, and dependable people who want to enter the field of personal training. No prior fitness experience or fitness education is required! We will hire and teach you everything you need to know to become a Certified Personal Trainer with The Perfect Workout!” [Indeed]

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A 26-year-old Alexandria man arrested in July for robbing EagleBank in Old Town previously spent more than two years in jail for robbing another Alexandria bank.

On July 7, Dagmawee Dawit allegedly walked into EagleBank at 277 S. Washington Street in Old Town just after it opened at 8:30 a.m., implied he had a weapon and demanded cash from a teller.

The teller put money in a clear trash bag, along with a dye pack, which Dawit allegedly dropped in an alleyway after it exploded. He was arrested minutes later.

Dawit, who is being held without bond in the Alexandria jail, was arrested with an accomplice in 2017 for robbing the Wells Fargo Bank at 3624 King Street in the Bradlee Shopping Center. He pleaded guilty to bank robbery and grand larceny and spent two years in jail.

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Founders Bank launched in the middle of the pandemic last year, and the D.C.-based bank is eyeing an expansion into Alexandria and Northern Virginia in the next several years.

That’s according to Founders Bank President Martin McCarthy, who told ALXnow that his tech-heavy brand is geared toward online-only banking.

“We definitely intend to grow into the Alexandria market,” McCarthy said. “We will likely have other branches in the future, but we’re going to be very branch-light. We could have one downtown, and one in Northern Virginia in the next five years or so.”

Like many of the members of his 18-person staff, McCarthy previously worked at Georgetown Bank before it merged with United Bankshares Inc. in 2016. He says he founded the bank after the region saw a drastic reduction in the number of local banks after decades of consolidation. It has since grown to more than $100 million in assets, he said.

“What we’re trying to do is fill what is a gaping void in the banking market in the D.C. area,” McCarthy said. “There is a huge level of disruption, and there’s a huge level of frustration among those who deal with community banks in the D.C. area… We are looking to do business with small and medium sized businesses in the D.C. Metropolitan area, and with the people that run those businesses.”

McCarthy said that opening during the pandemic proved to be challenging, forcing the bank to focus on technology so that customers could open accounts and close loans completely remotely.

“We also were able to open up at a time where we had no loans on our books that were negatively impacted by what the COVID environment was doing to a number of the different businesses in the area,” McCarthy said. “So, we had a very clean slate, and were able to come out of the gate knowing what the challenges were that we had to underwrite for as we began our growth.”

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A male suspect has been arrested for the Wednesday morning bank robbery at EagleBank in Old Town.

“Responding officers took a male suspect into custody minutes after the robbery,” Alexandria Police said in a release. “This is an active investigation.”

The incident occurred just before 9 a.m., police tweeted. The bank opens at 8:30 a.m. and is located at 277 S. Washington Street, which is near the intersection with Duke Street.

No suspect description was provided, and police said to expect activity in the area. No one was reportedly injured in the incident.

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It was a historic week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.

President Joe Biden visited the Neighborhood Health COVID-19 vaccine site at Virginia Theological Seminary on Tuesday, just before announcing that the date for adults to get access to the vaccine has been moved to April 19.

The Alexandria School Board, on Thursday night, voted to change the name of T.C. Williams High School to Alexandria City High School.

The School Board also voted unanimously to reduce the distancing requirement in ACPS schools from six feet to three feet, all the while community support is growing to expand in-person instruction to more than the current two days a week. Summer school is currently planned to begin in July and will be four days a week, and ACPS is planning on reopening to five days a week at the beginning of the next school year.

Our top story was on the T.C. Williams Titans junior varsity football team walking off the field after an incident with the Robinson Rams on Monday night. Robinson Rams players allegedly spit at and made a racial slur against T.C. players. The incident has prompted Fairfax County Public Schools to announce a “stand-down” meeting for all athletic teams and coaches to discuss “appropriate behaviors required to play sports in FCPS.”

Additionally, six Alexandria Police officers were placed on administrative duties after a chase suspect died while in custody. Police responded to a call for shots fired in the 800 block of North Patrick Street, and multiple buildings and vehicles were struck. The driver of the vehicle crashed on Interstate 295, and then jumped over an overpass barrier and fell more than 20 feet and was tased by police, arrested and later died.

Important Stories

Top Stories

  1. JUST IN: T.C. Williams JV football team walks off field after alleged racial slur, spitting incident
  2. BREAKING: Shots fired in Old Town leads to chase that ends in D.C.
  3. JUST IN: President Biden set to visit Alexandria vaccination site Tuesday
  4. National Park Service announces George Washington Parkway to go on a diet
  5. Neighborhood Health vaccinating thousands at sites in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County
  6. JUST IN: Woman arrested after fight on King Street Metro station platform
  7. UPDATE: $8,500 reported stolen in terrifying West End robbery
  8. JUST IN: President Biden visits COVID-19 vaccine site at Virginia Theological Seminary
  9. COVID-19 update: Alexandria moves into vaccination phase 1C
  10. JUST IN: Six Alexandria Police officers put on administrative duties after chase suspect dies
  11. Fairfax County man arrested for three burglaries, released three days later

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via T.C. Williams Football Boosters/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Police Investigate More Shots Fired — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a “shots fired” call for service in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Local Businesses Hopeful for Holiday Shopping Season — “Victoria Vergason, owner of a vintage barware store, says holiday shoppers this season could make or break some small businesses. ‘[It] is a very, very critical time for small businesses to be able to make their profits and run into the next year,’ she said.” [WUSA9]

Alexandria Virtual Market Opens — “Made in ALX, an Alexandria-based makers market, has opened its virtual doors.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

PNC Looking for New Potomac Yard Branch Manager — “As a Branch Manager within PNC’s Retail organization, you will be based in Alexandria, VA at the Potomac Yards @ Giant branch.” [PNC]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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This was a big week for Alexandria.

Our top story this week was the Alexandria School Board’s decision to reopen schools for students with disabilities, while the future reopening of school for elementary, middle and high schoolers remains in doubt.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that the only feasible option for reopening schools — based on distancing and staffing constraints — would be for students to rotate to in-person schooling only one day per week. Hutchings also appeared on CNN and said that ACPS is not likely to fully reopen until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus.

We also reported that the Alexandria City Council approved plans for Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and the North Potomac Yard development plan, virtually paving the way for the college to open its doors to hundreds of students by 2024.

“This is a very significant set of decisions for the city, and is really going to shape, not just a portion of our city, but really the entirety of our city for a long period of time to come,” said Mayor Justin Wilson.

On the coronavirus front, there are now 75 deaths in Alexandria and there are now or have been more than 4,100 cases since the pandemic began in March. Latino residents continue to lead the case count.

Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine were in the city on Monday to unveil a team of new zero emission DASH electric buses.

We also reported that the City Council unanimously approved naming the 1000 block of Montgomery Street in Old Town “Earl F. Lloyd Way” in honor of the first Black man to ever play in the National Basketball Association.

Restaurant-wise, we spoke with one of the owners of a pizza and burger joint that is taking over the former location of Pizzeria Paradiso on lower King Street. The Chewish Deli is also now open in Old Town, and the owner of Del Ray Boccato says that his gelato shop will soon open.

Additionally, more than 175 people participated in our weekly poll. With the November 3 election around the corner, this week we asked about voting plans, and 65% of respondents voted by mail/absentee, 31% plan to vote on election day, and 4% are not voting.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria:

  1. School Board Shelves Plan to Reopen Schools in 2021, Students with Disabilities Transitioning Back Next Month
  2. City Releasing Torpedo Factory Draft Action Plan Today
  3. City Council Approves Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and North Potomac Yard Development Plan
  4. Alexandria Student Called N-Word in Online Forum, and Not By Another Student
  5. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  6. The Chewish Deli Opens New Location in Old Town
  7. One Arrested After Attempted Armed Robbery in Alexandria’s West End
  8. Report: ACPS Superintendent Sends Child to Bishop Ireton High School
  9. Female Suspect Flees, Nothing Taken in Attempted Old Town Bank Robbery
  10. Alexandria and Arlington Want a New Future for the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center
  11. Alexandria Courthouse Deep Cleaned After Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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Nothing was taken in an attempted robbery at the BB&T Bank at 300 S. Washington Street on Tuesday, October 11.

At around 4:45 p.m., which is 15 minutes before the bank closes, a woman walked into the bank and handed a teller a note demanding money. Nothing was taken and the suspect fled the scene, according to Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine.

No suspect description is available.

The bank is located two blocks south of King Street. It is one of a half dozen banks along Washington Street, which bisects the George Washington Memorial Parkway between Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C.

Map via Google Maps

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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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