Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Supported Murder of Portland Protestor — “In televised comments yesterday Donald Trump called for extrajudicial murder and later expressed his desire to remain in office past term limits imposed by the Constitution. Today members of the party that supposedly backs ‘limited government’ pretend not to know what he said.” [Twitter]

Second Round of Business Grants Available — “Applications for a second round of Alexandria Back to Business grants will begin Sept. 30 for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits to offset costs related to reopening or rescaling.” [Twitter]

Free COVID-19 Testing Today in Alexandria — “Free COVID-19 testing in Alexandria,VA on September 16, 2020.Please read flyer for more details. [Twitter]

Braddock West Developers Seek Community Input — “During their presentation, the team behind Braddock West provided details of their proposed plan for the lot located at 727 N. West St. directly across the street from the Braddock Road Metro Station. They intend to tear down 10 existing single-family homes and replace them with a 7 story residential building with retail space on the ground level and an underground parking garage.” [Alexandria Living]

Lena’s Wood Fired Pizza and Tap Selling Kits for National Pizza Day — “On Sept. 20 only, Lena’s will offer their Family DIY Pepperoni Pizza Kit for families to make together at home to celebrate the holiday commemorating this crowd-pleasing favorite food. The kit is available for take-out or delivery via LenasWoodfire.com.” [LenasWoodFire.com]

Today’s Weather — “During the day, a mainly sunny sky. High 77F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. At night, a few clouds from time to time. Low 62F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Police Officer — “It’s your lucky day! APD has added new dates for police tests: 9/22 at 5 PM, 9/26 at 9AM, and 9/26 at 12PM. You must register in advance Bring your drivers license and a second original ID- US passport, social security card or birth certificate.” [Twitter]

New Job: Part Time Office Assistant — “Del Ray Artisans nonprofit is seeking an Office Assistant. This is a paid position for 12 hours per week, with a set schedule (Thursday and Friday 12-6pm). Position entails assisting the Office Manager with general office work with emphasis on organizational skills. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office / Google Docs required in an all-Mac OS environment. Del Ray Artisans strictly follows the ALX Promise Program, keeping visitors and staff safe during this pandemic.” [Facebook]

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It’s the end of another work week in Alexandria!

There was a lot of crime this week, as police responded to multiple shots fired incidents in the Parker Gray area on September 2. There was also another carjacking in the West End — the latest in a recent uptick that prompted Mayor Justin Wilson to ask the public for help in reducing the number of vehicle-related thefts.

But there is also some good news to report, as businesses are opening in the city despite the daily pressures of the pandemic. This week we took a look inside The Company Of Books used book store in Del Ray, and we covered the city’s new Wellness District, which is providing a number of free programs and discounts for the recently expanded Wellness Month.

Also this week, Alexandria City Public Schools cut down a 150-year-old tree to make way for a concession stand. The move was criticized by activists and former Mayor Allison Silberberg. With the destruction of the tree, the renovation project for the Parker-Gray Stadium has now officially begun.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard
  2. Beatley Central Library Closed Until Further Notice Due to ‘Emergency Conditions’
  3. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  4. Police Investigating Multiple Gunshots Fired in Parker Gray/Braddock
  5. Alexandria’s COVID Positive Testing Rate Lowest in Region
  6. Halal Slaughterhouse Construction Begins, Opening Reset to Mid-November
  7. Update: Chalk Graffiti Decrying Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Sprayed In Front of Wrong House
  8. Braddock ‘Elizabeth’s Counter’ Last of Regional Chain After Bankruptcy Filing
  9. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  10. North Potomac Yard Plans Going to Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review
  11. ACPS Cuts Down 150-Year Old Tree to Make Way for Concession Stand

Have a safe weekend!

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A 27-year-old Alexandria man has been charged with illegally shooting a handgun in the Parker Gray neighborhood of Old Town, Alexandria.

The incident in the 1200 block of Madison Street was one of two shootings that occurred in the area on September 2, and police are not releasing the identity of the suspect on the grounds that it will impede their ongoing investigation. Police responded to calls for service of multiple shots fired at around 5:40 p.m.

Police also responded to another call for shots fired at around the same time that day in the 700 block of North Fayette Street, which is right around the block from the 1200 block of Madison. No one was reportedly injured in both incidents, and police said that the shootings are part of an ongoing investigation.

There was also a shooting in the 1200 block of Madison in late July.

There have now been multiple reports of shootings in Old Town since July 9. There was also a stabbing in the area on July 17 and a violent carjacking on Euille Street on July 14One suspect was arrested after a July 11 shooting, but their identity was not released.

The shootings have largely occurred in and around Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority public housing properties near the Braddock Road Metro station, and ARHA is now installing security cameras, according to sources. Police have also increased their uniformed and non-uniformed presence in the area.

Map via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police are investigating reports of multiple gunshots fired in the 700 block of N. Fayette Street in the Parker Gray/Braddock neighborhood early on Wednesday evening.

There were no reported injuries, no one was arrested and a number of shell casings were found at the scene. It is unclear if anything was hit, police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow.

The incident occurred blocks from the Braddock Road Metro station and near Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority public housing properties, the latter of which is installing security cameras, according to sources.

There has been one murder in Alexandria this year, and the incident occurred outside an apartment complex in the West End.

There have now been seven reports of shootings in Old Town since July 9 and nine total reports of shots fired around the city. There was also a stabbing in the area on July 17 and a violent carjacking on Euille Street on July 14One suspect was arrested after a July 11 shooting, but their identity has not been released.

Map via Google Maps

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A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing has left Elizabeth’s Counter in Alexandria as the last vestige of the once powerful ring of regional Sugar Shack locations, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Months after Sugar Shack owner Rob Krupicka unveiled ambitious plans to convert the Northern Virginia and D.C. locations from donut shop Sugar Shack into a new restaurant called Elizabeth’s Counter, Krupicka told WBJ that the pandemic drove down sales and forced him to close locations in Arlington and Washington D.C.

The Alexandria location at 804 N. Henry Street was the only location to be converted to Elizabeth’s Counter before the closures, though many locals refer to it by the old name out of habit and much of the interior decorations kept the same donut shop glaze.

Sales at Elizabeth’s Counter have rebounded somewhat since the worst of the pandemic, WBJ reported, boosted somewhat by speakeasy Captain Gregory’s.

The Northern Virginia branch isn’t the only part of the Sugar Shack franchise that’s faced financial troubles, the Richmond-based chains had to shut down other locations after lawsuits between the company’s founders.

Photo via Elizabeth’s Counter

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Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap could be undergoing a bit new expansion if its special use permit gets approved.

According to the application, new plans would expand Lena’s into the second floor of 515 Mount Vernon Avenue. The expansion would add 180 additional indoor seats to the restaurant.

The restaurant owners, Yates Restaurant Group LLC, are also requesting that the permit be amended to allow off-premise sale of beer and wine.

This isn’t the first time Lena’s has worked to try to accommodate larger crowds at the popular pizza restaurant near the Braddock Metro station. Lena’s also converted the rear parking deck into a tropical oasis-themed bar in June to facilitate more outdoor dining at the height of the pandemic.

The application is scheduled to be reviewed at a Planning Commission meeting on October 6.

The restaurant was the only location in the Alexandria Restaurant Partners group that didn’t close in March when the city entered an emergency shutdown.

Photo via Google Maps

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New details are emerging on developer CRC Cos.’ plans to turn a series of single-family homes across the street from the Braddock Metro station into a mixed-use development called Braddock West, as first reported by the Washington Business Journal.

The new development is proposed to be seven stories tall, overshadowing the existing Andrew Adkins housing which is also slated for eventual redevelopment. The project is slated to include 174 residential units, with 8-12 committed affordable units.

The developer said in a report late last month that the new project is designed to be “a gateway” to further retail development close to the Braddock Metro station.

The ground floor of the project is proposed to be a mix of retail and residential lobby space. Like the nearby development in the works at 701 N. Henry Street, plans for the ground floor include flexible space that could shift from other uses to retail as future nearby development allows.

The project is planned to have access via Wythe and Madison streets with a pick-up/drop-off along West Street. The project is slated to include 105 parking spaces.

Renderings via CRC Cos.

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An unnamed alleyway through a Braddock neighborhood could soon be named after recently-retired Alexandria Judge Nolan Dawkins, the first Black judge in the city’s history.

The alley runs between the 400 blocks of N. West and N. Peyton streets, where Dawkins grew up. Kimberly Dawkins, Judge Nolan Dawkins’ daughter, said the renaming was originally intended to be a surprise (sorry) celebration for the retired judge.

“Our neighbor said it would be nice to honor dad, because he’s been in this house all his adult life,” Kimberly Dawkins said. “It would be a nice way to commemorate that the Dawkins have lived on this street, and were the second black family to live on this street in the 60s.”

“Judge Dawkins was born in Alexandria, grew up in this Peyton Street home, attended Parker-Gray High School in 1963, and was among the first African Americans to integrate George Washington High School graduating in 1965,” the application said. “In 1989, following his mother’s death, he moved back into his Peyton Street boyhood home.”

The application to rename the street is scheduled to go to the Planning Commission in October.

After working as an assistant city attorney, in 1994 Dawkins became the first African American judge in Alexandria when he was appointed to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In 2008 he was appointed to the 18th Judicial Circuit Court and became Alexandria’s first Black Circuit Court judge.

“The retirement of The Honorable Nolan B. Dawkins, former presiding Circuit Court Judge for the City of Alexandria, on June 26, 2020, represents the culmination of a lifetime of dedicated service, professionalism, and judicial excellence,” the application said. “He is a true son of the city and has devoted his entire legal career to justice and to the community of Alexandria, Virginia. It would be a fitting honor and tribute to have his name represented on this alley.”

Kimberly Dawkins said the City of Alexandria has been a welcoming home for the Dawkins family and has been a part of their lives for generations.

“Alexandria is a great city,” Kimberly Dawkins said. “My sisters and I grew up here and went through ACPS. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family. The diversity and opportunities are endless.”

Top photo via Google Maps, map via City of Alexandria

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The Alexandria man arrested after a July 11 shooting in the Braddock area has been identified as 34-year-old Lewis Dajuan Rose, according to court records.

Rose was arrested after police responded to a call for shots fired at around 12:45 a.m. on July 11. Rose, who suffered a broken bone above his left eye in an altercation in the 800 block of N. Henry Street, was arrested with seven cigarettes that tested positive for being dipped in PCP.

Rose was charged with possession of a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I/Schedule II substance, failure to stop/eluding police and possession of a firearm by a person subject to a protective order.

Rose was found by police allegedly holding a compact Kel-Tec 9mm pistol in his right hand. The gun had six rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. Police recovered one shell casing from the scene, but it was not determined to belong to the gun allegedly taken from Rose, according to police.

Rose’s story on what happened changed multiple times, according to police.

“Before we entered the hospital, Mr. Rose stated the laceration by his eye was caused by an officer,” noted the affidavit. “It should be noted that later on, (police) overheard Mr. Rose’s conversation with a hospital nurse and he advised her that he was struck in the face by a firearm because someone attempted to rob him before police arrival.”

Rose told police that he didn’t remember how he was injured, and said that he did not shoot a gun and did not own a gun. He also asked to use the restroom multiple times and attempted to escape the hospital and was taken to the ground by officers, noted the affidavit.

“I should have ran out 20 minutes ago,” Rose laughingly said, according to police.

There were three reports of shots fired and a stabbing in the Braddock area last month, and police are investigating whether any of the cases are connected.

The area is also near to where a 17-year-old resident was shot on a basketball court earlier this year. It is near the Charles Houston Recreation CenterMason Social and Lost Dog Cafe.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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It was another busy week in Alexandria.

Our readers overwhelmingly responded to Sunday’s protest at the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and the story has more than 380 comments. This week also saw its first homicide, which occurred in the West End, in addition to a number of crime events in the Braddock area.

Not included in our weekly list is late-breaking news on Friday that Alexandria City Public Schools want a virtual-only school year starting in September. Residents have been waiting throughout the summer for the school system to make up its mind, and ACPS has conducted numerous virtual chats with students, parents and staff over the last several weeks.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Activists Protest at Alexandria Home of Acting DHS Chief Chad Wolf
  2. BREAKING: Police Investigating Homicide in West End Residential Community
  3. Former APD Officer Peter Laboy Gets His Driver’s License Seven Years After Being Shot in the Head
  4. Just Listed in Alexandria
  5. Students and Residents Putting Daily Cover Over T.C. Williams High School Name
  6. BREAKING: Flooding Reported in Parts of City, AFD Responding to Multiple Emergency Calls
  7. Shots Fired Tuesday Night in Braddock Neighborhood
  8. Alexandria Delegate Wants City to Fire Officials or Police Who Espouse QAnon Theories
  9. Save the Tree Petition at T.C. Williams High School Garners Nearly 1,000 Signatures
  10. Man Injured in Violent Carjacking in Old Town
  11. COVID-19 Update: Deaths at 57, Case Count at 2,735 in Alexandria

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Alexandria Police are investigating another shots fired call for service in the Braddock area.

Police notified the public of the incident in the 1200 block of Madison Street in a tweet at 9:35 p.m. The incident is the third shooting in the Braddock area since July 9. One suspect was arrested after a July 11 shooting, and police would not release their identity since it would impede an ongoing investigation.

There was also a stabbing in the area on July 17.

The incidents occurred near to where a 17-year-old resident was shot on a basketball court earlier this year. The incidents have occurred near or at Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority public housing property, which is close to the Braddock Road Metro station, Charles Houston Recreation Center, Mason Social and Lost Dog Cafe.

Police did not return calls for comment.

Staff photo by James Cullum/ Map via Google Maps

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A man was stabbed in the Braddock area on Friday night, adding to a number of violent incidents to occur in the area in recent days.

The incident took place around the 800 block of N Patrick Street, near the Braddock Road Metro station and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority public housing units.

The victim is a white male who was stabbed in the upper body, ALXnow observed. No other suspect information was available. There were a number of witnesses and no one has yet been arrested.

There have also been two reports of gunshots in the area since July 9.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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