This coming Monday, September 6, is Labor Day and a number of city government offices and facilities will be closed.
The biggest event of the three-day weekend will be the day before Labor Day — Sunday, September 5. The annual Old Town Festival of Speed & Style will bring crowds to marvel at classic and beautiful rides along King Street.
City services will shift to a holiday schedule the next day. Trash collection will move to Tuesday, parking enforcement at metered spaces will be lifted, and it will be your last chance to enjoy public pools.
The city has listed the following closures and other changes planned for the week of September 6.
Resource Recovery: Residential refuse and recycling will not be collected September 6. Collection services will be delayed by one day during the week of September 6: Monday’s collection will be on Tuesday; Tuesday’s collection, on Wednesday; Wednesday’s collection, on Thursday; and Thursday’s collection, on Friday. Visit Resource Recovery for more information. The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection Center (3224 Colvin St.) will be closed Monday, September 6.
Animal Shelter: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (4101 Eisenhower Ave.) will be open weekend hours by appointment on September 6. To make an appointment, visit AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment or call 703.746.4774. For an animal emergency, call 703.746.4444.
Health Facilities: The Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.), the Flora Krause Casey Health Center (1200 N. Howard St.) and the Teen Wellness Center at Alexandria City High School (3329 King St.) will be closed September 6.
Historic Alexandria: On September 6, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (105-107 S. Fairfax St.) will be open regular hours, from 1 to 5 p.m. All other City museums will be closed. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/Historic and follow Historic Alexandria on social media or call 703.746.4554.
Hotlines: All emergency hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including the child protective services hotline at 703.746.5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; the adult protective services hotline at 703.746.5778; and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273.
Libraries: All Alexandria Library branches and the Alexandria Law Library (520 King St.) will be closed September 6. Visit the Alexandria Library website for more information.
Parking: On September 6, the Alexandria Police Department will suspend enforcement of parking restrictions at metered spaces, residential permit parking districts and other areas with posted parking time limits. This suspension of enforcement applies only to the restrictions at legal parking spaces and does not permit parking in any location normally prohibited (for example, no-parking zones, loading zones or spaces for persons with disabilities). Temporary no-parking signs will be enforced September 6.
Impound Lot: The City’s Impound Facility (5249 Eisenhower Ave.) will be closed September 6. The Impound Facility is closed every Saturday and Sunday and on all observed City holidays. Fees will continue to accrue on Saturdays and Sundays but not on holidays.
Recreation and Arts Centers: On September 6, the Charles Houston (901 Wythe Street) and Patrick Henry (4653 Taney Ave.) recreation centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility (3210 King St.) and all other facilities will be closed. Visit alexandriava.gov/Recreation for more information.
Outdoor Pools: Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron St.) and Warwick Pool (3301 Landover St.) will be open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. September 6. Visit alexandriav.gov/Aquatics for more information.
Schools: All Alexandria City Public Schools and administrative offices will be closed Friday, September 3 and Monday, September 6.
Courts: On September 6, the Alexandria Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Alexandria Circuit Court, Alexandria General District Court, Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and Court Service Unit (520 King St.) will be closed.
Department of Motor Vehicles: All Virginia DMV locations in Northern Virginia (including 2681 Mill Rd.) are open by appointment only. Many DMV services are available either online or by visiting dmvNOW.com/appt to schedule an appointment. Walk-in services are not available at this time.
Transit: On September 6, the Alexandria Transit Company’s fare-free DASH bus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. The free King Street Trolley will operate from King Street Metro to Alexandria City Hall/Market Square, with service every 15 minutes, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visit dashbus.com for more information.
A 27-year-old Woodbridge man has been arrested by Alexandria Police after allegedly evading his court date for child neglect and ducking law enforcement for nearly six months.
The man, who was arrested on August 3, failed to show up for his Feb. 11 court sentencing at the Alexandria Courthouse.
In the first week in May, police reached out to the suspect via phone, and he allegedly told police that he needed a few weeks to get his affairs in order and would turn himself in, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Police called the suspect back two weeks later, but the call didn’t go through. The suspect, who is also wanted for failing to appear in court for assault and battery against a police officer in Prince William County, blocked the number.
The suspect was held without bond, and transferred to Prince William County.
Alexandria will spend millions on emergency financial support programs, stormwater repair, childcare and dozens of other projects as part of its first portion of American Rescue Plan Act funding.
“Now the really hard work begins,” Mayor Justin Wilson said after Council’s unanimous passage of a plan Tuesday night. “I think this is an opportunity to make some transformational investments.”
The City received its first $29.8 million on May 17, and has to spend the total $59.6 million in funding by Dec. 31, 2024. Alexandria is getting substantial funding by being counted as both a city and county — along with 41 other cities across the country — and will get its second allotment in May 2022.
Federal funds will not directly go to individual businesses, but some are allocated toward the funding of business districts for trial street closures, ABC-licensed special events and public access parklets.
“Our thought was that direct assistance for businesses was best provided, and continues to be provided, through the federal government at scale,” Alexandria Economic Development Partnership CEO Stephanie Landrum told Council. “We are much better equipped as a community, and certainly as an economic development group to reach a wider swath of businesses than we ever have been. And so part of our challenge and responsibility is to make sure all of those businesses know about other programs not being provided by the city.”
The 30 projects include:
- $4 million for an Alexandria Community Access and Emergency Support program to determine which city services are eligible for residents, including emergency financial aid, rent assistance and child care
- $3.7 million in stormwater repairs at the Hoofs Run Culvert
- $3 million for a Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot, which will give $500 in gift cards to 150 poor families for 24 months
- $2.8 million for a Unified Early Childhood Workforce Stabilization Initiative to “support hundreds of childcare providers and early childhood educators, provide a safe and healthy learning environment for thousands of children, and help parents, especially women, get back to work.”
- $2.5 million for food security to ensure two years of continual free food distributions at hubs throughout the city
- $2 million for Alexandria Housing Development Corporation flex space to expand city services for the Arlandria neighborhood
- $1.9 million in flash flooding spot improvements throughout the city
- $1.1 million to scale up a workforce development pilot
- $800,000 to make permanent the closure of the 100 block of King Street
- $620,000 to fund the Out of School Time Program to help with learning loss associated with the pandemic
- $560,000 to the Alexandria Economic Development Authority fund commercial business districts for trial street closures, ABC-licensed special events and public access parklets
- $500,000 for Visit Alexandria marketing efforts
- $295,000 to fund two new Office of Historic Alexandria tourism experiences on the city’s history with civil rights and and the Duke Street Corridor
- $253,000 to increase services for LGBTQ and BIPOC communities
What a week in Alexandria.
Our top story this week is on Gregory Elliott, a special education teacher at T.C. Williams High School. Elliot also goes by the name of “Sugar Bear” for the D.C.-based go-go band Experience Unlimited, and their song “Da’ Butt” from the Spike Lee movie “School Daze” was featured at the Oscars, along with actress Glenn Close dancing to it.
This week was full of news.
Additionally, a cyberattack on a gas pipeline resulted in a state of emergency throughout Virginia. We asked readers about it in our weekly poll, and out of 250 responses only 31% (78 votes) considered making alternate travel plans.
- Election: Stark differences as Wilson and Silberberg face off in mayoral debate
- Wilson and Silberberg clash over new challenges, old wounds, and The Golden Girls
- Similar on policies, Bennett-Parker and Levine differ on style in 45th District debate
- Alexandria City Council candidates focus on health care, police and race relations in Arlandria forum
- Alexandria approved for $59.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding
- Details released on suspect who threatened to bomb Metro station, police headquarters and government buildings
- Inova Cares Clinic for Women opens in West End
- Photos: Alexandria Police Department and city leaders salute fallen officers
- Alexandria nursing assistant charged with identity theft
- T.C. Williams High School seniors spearhead successful push for in-person graduation
- Alexandria prepares to move into broader vaccination age range
- AHDC’s Seminary Road development headed to public review
- Go-go music star-turned Alexandria teacher ‘Sugar Bear’ in the spotlight after Oscars shoutout
- Landmark Mall developers to field public question in forum this week
- UPDATE: Woman arrested for firing gun near Alexandria Courthouse in Old Town
- AHDC proposes nearly 500 units of affordable housing for Arlandria
- ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria
- Here’s which City Council candidates signed the new ‘Alexandria Constituents’ Bill of Rights’ pledge
- Girlfriend of murder suspect arrested for breaking into home and beating up witness
- Election: Stark differences as Wilson and Silberberg face off in mayoral debate
- Racism, sexism and favoritism reported within the Alexandria Fire Department
- Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
- Wilson and Silberberg clash over new challenges, old wounds, and The Golden Girls
Have a safe weekend!
Virginia mask mandate tweaked by governor — “The amended executive order follows CDC guidance that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors when alone or in small gatherings. Masks remain required in shared indoors settings as well as outdoors at large crowded events such as concerts, sporting events or graduation ceremonies.” [Patch]
Federal grand jury charges Arlington lawyer with paying underage victims for sex — “Matthew Erausquin, 46, was arrested in November after a 1.5-year-long investigation. He was charged in Alexandria federal court with sex trafficking minors, producing child pornography, and charges related to transporting or forcing victims to cross state lines for sex.” [ARLnow]
Misha’s Coffee aims to open second location in May — “A café employee said that Misha’s is tentatively planning to open the second location in May. The brand’s iconic orange sign is already hanging at the remodeled waterfront building, which was formerly home to Olde Town Gemstones.” [Alexandria Living]
Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy and windy (during the day). High around 70F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph… Clear skies (in the evening). Gusty winds early. Low 44F. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Investigator assistant — “The investigator assistant is responsible for providing administrative support to the investigative unit and performing research on data to assist in identifying cases of potential overpayment or abuse.” [Indeed]
After more than a year since closing its doors to the general public, the Alexandria Courthouse is reopening on Monday, May. 3.
That means that anyone will be able to walk into the courthouse (520 King Street in Old Town) without an appointment, including the Clerk of Court’s office, which will be open for normal business 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the week, except for holidays.
It also means that the Clerk’s office will no longer do business by email.
“Concurrently with reopening, the Clerk’s office will no longer accept pleadings, copy requests, concealed carry applications, notary oath applications, or filings of any kind, by email to [email protected],” the Clerk’s office said on its website.
The courthouse was deep-cleaned last fall after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, and there was a small outbreak earlier this year. Thousands of cases had to be put on the back burner during the pandemic.
The U.S. District Court in the city’s Carlyle neighborhood began reopening in March.
A 20-year-old Alexandria man faces life in prison plus 13 years for five felonies, including the murder of 47-year-old John Pope last fall in the West End.
Pope was shot to death on Sept. 30 at his home in the 5900 block of Quantrell Avenue in the Mayflower Square apartment complex. He later died at the hospital. It was the second murder (of three) that occurred in Alexandria last year.
Tavon Lanier, who was 19 at the time the incident occurred, was indicted with:
- First degree murder
- Use of a firearm in commission of murder
- Use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery
- Illegal possession of a firearm
“Alexandria Police responded to the apartment and found John Pope, a 47-year-old Alexandria resident, lying on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter’s office said in a statement. “First Degree Murder and Robbery are both punishable by life in prison. The two Use of a Firearm charges carry a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison. The Illegal Possession of a Firearm charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Therefore, the maximum total sentence in this matter is life in prison plus 13 years.”
A trial date has not been set.
As previously reported, Lanier was released on bond just eight days before Pope was killed. He was arrested on Sept. 22 for for allegedly breaking into his girlfriend’s apartment, stalking and threatening her and was released on bond by the magistrate’s office.
Lanier was convicted of identify theft in 2019, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 55 days suspended.
An Alexandria man has pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Abel Amcrocio, 54, was arrested last year, and after pleading guilty, is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4. Amcrocio faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The press release said the child pornography started when Ambrocio, who is a Mexican national, developed an online relationship with a woman in Honduras over an unnamed social media platform.
“From around October 2018 through at least February 2019, Ambrocio instructed the woman to record and send him over 100 images of herself sexually abusing her two children — an approximately three-year-old boy and an approximately ten-year-old girl,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release. “Ambrocio instructed the mother to engage in specific sex acts with her children and record herself doing so on multiple occasions, even when she told Ambrocio that one of the children was in pain and crying from the previous sex act.”
In March 2019, Ambrocio distributed images of the woman abusing her three-year-old on a social media platform.
“The defendant’s conduct, which caused the sexual abuse of two young children by their own mother, is both horrific and heartbreaking,” said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The production of child pornography inflicts devastating and lifelong harm to society’s most vulnerable victims. [The Eastern District of Virginia] is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring child sexual predators to justice.”
The press release noted that the case was brought forward as part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
An 18-year-old Fairfax County man is under investigation for firing gunshots in the West End, and soon faces a series of court appearances on gun-and-driving-related charges.
At around 11 p.m. on November 27, gunfire was heard coming from the front-facing front floor balcony of a home in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue, which is near Holmes Run and about a mile away from Inova Alexandria Hospital.
Witnesses told police that they heard three gunshots in rapid succession followed by two single shots a short time later, according to a search warrant affidavit. A woman told police that she heard eight gunshots, and a man reported also hearing gunshots the night before. Another man who was interviewed saw three young men run from the area of the neighborhood playground. It was near there on the ground floor balcony of a home that police found three shell casings and blood droplets.
The suspect was arrested after being pulled over in the 3600 block of Russell Road by an Alexandria Police detective on Dec. 1. Under the driver’s seat police found a 40 caliber handgun loaded with two Speer 40 Smith and Wesson bullets.
“It should be noted that the shell casing recovered from the scene of the crime (were) also Speer 40 Smith and Wesson,” the affidavit said.
The suspect was arrested and was released on bond that same day. He goes to court this and next month for a concealed carry violation, possession of a firearm in a school zone, driving without a license and driving with tinted windows.
There was a 49% increase in shots fired calls for service in 2020 over 2019. In January, APD released figures showing 57 incidents in 2020 versus the 37 incidents the previous year.
NOTIFICATION :: 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.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) November 28, 2020
After 16 months in operation, the Alexandria Drug Treatment Court has its first graduate. The program, which the Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney’s Office started with little funding, also just got a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
The Treatment Court launched in September 2019 as an alternative to jail for individuals with substance abuse issues. Most participants have been to jail multiple times. Participants usually meets every Thursday in the Alexandria Courthouse, although the building at 520 King Street is largely shut down now due to COVID-19 and meetings have been held virtually.
Program graduate Kim Christian (not her real name) entered the five-phase program in Nov. 2019 and graduated in a virtual ceremony ahead of schedule, as two years is the program average. She regularly met with a case manager, a probation officer, participated in recovery programs and regularly checked up with the court.
Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter said the virtual ceremony was a moving experience.
“One of the most wonderful things about the ceremony was the fact that the graduate, for the first time, had people within the criminal justice system trying to help her achieve something,” Porter told ALXnow. “The graduation ceremony was a true testament to the power of the program, and making a change.”
The new funds will allow Porter to triple the program for up to 30 participants, hire a full-time bilingual therapist, and also hire a treatment court coordinator to take administrative duties off the plate of David Lord, the assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney who has largely led the effort. Drug testing for participants will also be expanded.
Porter said it will take six-to-nine months to hire the new staff and expand the program. In the meantime, he said, the program will be slowly ramped up to increase the number of participants.
“The idea is to try to finally put some resources into them to kind of break that cycle of addiction and then recidivism,” Porter said. “One graduate is great, but we need more graduates.”