What an absorbing week in Alexandria.

Just as the ball gets rolling with reopening and loosened restrictions, the pandemic rears its ugly head. With coronavirus transmission levels climbing, Alexandria is once again recommending that residents go back to wearing face masks indoors.

Our weekly poll found that 37% of respondents (337 votes) don’t plan to wear masks indoors again unless required, 32% (291 votes) never stopped wearing masks and plan to continue, and 30% (275 votes) stopped wearing masks indoors and plan to start again.

In the meantime, Three Dog Night, Tanya Tucker, and more are scheduled to play at the Birchmere next month, and the Little Theatre of Alexandria has gone back to in-person performances with its latest farce, Neil Simon’s Rumors. The city’s annual sidewalk sale is also on track to be largest ever, with participation from more than 70 local boutiques on the pedestrian-only blocks between 700 and 1100 King Street.

Turning toward the Olympics, Alexandria boxer Troy Isley won his first contest earlier this week, but lost his second match in a close split decision on Thursday night. Next week, Alexandria City High School will host a watch party for alumnus star sprinter Noah Lyles, who is the favorite to win the gold medal in the 200 meter race.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Alexandria car dealership receptionist busted for alleged credit card fraud
  2. One year of lane closures in Potomac Yard starts today
  3. Man arrested after armed carjacking in West End
  4. BREAKING: Potomac Yard Metro opening pushed back to September 2022
  5. New Potomac Yard luxury condo community sells 30% of properties before construction starts
  6. Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
  7. Local Democrat challenges Rep. Don Beyer in 8th District Primary
  8. Cigar and vape shop to open on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray
  9. EXCLUSIVE: Halal slaughterhouse opens, gives away free chickens for first two days in business
  10. Without School Resource Officers, Superintendent wants more private security inside and police patrolling outside
  11. Poll: Do you plan on wearing a mask indoors again?

Have a safe weekend!

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More details have been released on the armed carjacking on Tuesday night in the 500 block of Cameron Station Boulevard.

The suspect who was arrested “suffered a medical emergency” while being booked in jail and was taken to the hospital, according to police. He is reportedly in stable condition.

Police were dispatched to investigate an armed carjacking in the 5500 block of Cardinal Place near Cameron Station Boulevard at around 8:45 p.m. The 25-year-old suspect was arrested less than 40 minutes later the intersection of S. Reynolds Street and Duke Street.

“The victims told officers they were able to get away from the suspect when he stopped the vehicle in the 400 block of Ferdinand Day Drive,” Police said. “The victims told officers they fled to Armistead Boothe Park to call 911.”

Police said that a helicopter and K-9 units were called in to assist in searching for the suspect.

“During the search, officers recovered the vehicle and a firearm,” police said.

Police did not release the suspect’s name, what he was charged with, or where he is from.

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A man is under arrest after an armed carjacking in the West End on Tuesday night.

Police did not release the suspect’s name, what he was charged with, or the kind of weapon used. They only tweeted out two messages on the incident, which they say occurred at around 8:45 p.m. and ended at around 10 p.m.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred in the Cameron Run Station area, and ended in the 500 block of Cameron Station Boulevard near Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School.

via Google Maps

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A former receptionist at Landmark Honda posted bail after being arrested earlier this month for stealing and using a customer’s credit card.

The incident occurred in January, and the suspect — a 25-year-old Alexandria woman — was arrested on July 6. She was charged with credit card theft and credit card fraud, six months after the manager of the dealership reported several fraudulent charges.

In January, the manager showed police security videos of the employee allegedly enter the customer’s private financial information into her phone, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The card owner reported several fraudulent purchases, including $165 in charges at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania. The suspect also allegedly spent nearly $500 for clothes and $27 for DoorDash, bringing the total amount to $685.97, according to police.

Police got a search warrant for the historical data on the suspect’s phone and found that she was in the area of the resort on the same day as the January 26 expenditure.

The suspect, a graduate of Bishop Ireton High School, is scheduled for arraignment in court on July 21.

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What an unexpectedly busy summer week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Our top story was on an Alexandria woman who claims she was roofied at a restaurant on the waterfront on the evening of July 9. A police report has been filed, and no charges have been made.

This week we sat down with acting Police Chief Don Hayes, who said that he’s thrown his hat in the ring with City Manager Mark Jinks to keep the top job. Hayes, a 40-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department took over after the sudden departure of Chief Michael Brown last month, and will have to contend against candidates in a national search.

The Tokyo Olympics also start this week, and the games will include three T.C. Williams High School graduates — sprinter Noah Lyles, high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend and boxer Troy Isley. In fact, Lyles just had a comic book biography published in the Washington Post. If you’re a fan of the Olympic games, check out this list of local restaurants celebrating with special events and meals.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Woman claims she was roofied at Old Town restaurant
  2. Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
  3. Developers eye Beauregard redevelopment with West End upgrades on the horizon
  4. Former chef at ‘The Alexandrian’ opening new restaurant in Arlandria on Monday
  5. No injuries after shots fired in Braddock area on Wednesday
  6. DASH takes lessons from D.C., Baltimore and Oregon in eliminating bus fares
  7. ‘Call Your Mother Deli’ signs lease in Old Town
  8. After last month’s Democratic primary, Republican Darryl Nirenberg tops campaign donation leaderboard
  9. New city health improvement plan aims to fix inequities
  10. Poll: Have you been to the Winkler Botanical Preserve?
  11. Lee-Fendall House to throw speakeasy party to finance building repairs

Have a safe weekend!

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While owning up to an ounce of marijuana is now legal in Virginia, there’s been a delayed reaction in Alexandria.

Since July 1, it’s also been legal to grow up to four plants and to gift up to an ounce.

Del Ray resident Devin Fraley has been growing in his back yard for more than a year.

“Last summer somebody gave me a seed,” Fraley said. “I just put it into the ground next to our tomatoes. We grow small plants, and it was kind of fun to watch it grow between the peppers and tomatoes. It broke during a rainstorm in the fall, and we harvested it and I gave the buds to my mother-in-law. This year we decided to do the same thing. We have one plant, and we are not growers.”

Not much has changed from a behavioral or law enforcement standpoint, acting Police Chief Don Hayes told ALXnow.

“There’s still not enough evidence to see how it’s gonna sway what we do one way or the other,” Hayes said, adding that the department hasn’t received many pot-related calls for service. “Only time will tell.”

One incident caused concern in Old Town last Sunday, July 18. A woman was walking her puppy in Founders Park near the waterfront when it ate some discarded marijuana.

“Someone dropped marijuana in the park earlier and she ate it sending us to the veterinary emergency room,” the woman wrote on Nextdoor. “This was a touch and go situation. She is fine now. This is just a cautionary note – so (be) on the lookout. The Vet said they are seeing a lot more of this recently and honestly they seem to know what was wrong almost immediately.”

Fraley said his neighbors still won’t talk about marijuana.

“This is still illegal federally,” he said. “If you have a federal job, it’s not okay for you to partake in. I’m sure there are other people doing it, but it’s still something that you wouldn’t want to talk about because you have a very valuable crop that can be stolen easily. Even though it’s legal, people still aren’t talking about it.”

In Old Town, resident Fawn Lee said that legalization has started to remove the negative stigma around pot.

“It feels easier to talk about it as a part of my life, as something that relieves my stress and anxiety,” Lee said. “It also means that I can talk about it without fearing repercussions for my daughter’s school or anyone else that cares for her or is around her in any capacity, because it’s no longer illegal.”

While the recreational sale of marijuana is three years away, possession of more than an ounce, but less than a pound, is still a civil penalty of $25. Possessing more than that is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

Alexandria says marijuana will “keep you from doing your best” and warns against deteriorating IQs, school performance and quality of life.

“Studies also consistently show that individuals that use marijuana are less likely to graduate from high school or college and more likely to be unemployed,” the City said in a release.

Fraley recently found a downside to growing.

“The plant is doing fine, but I think it’s a male which means it doesn’t have any hallucinogenic properties, so it’s really just garbage,” he said.

via Wesley Gibbs/Unsplash

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No one was injured after gunfire damaged a business and an apartment building in the Braddock area on Wednesday evening.

Alexandria Police said that the incident occurred at around 6:35 p.m. Multiple shell casings were recovered in the 800 block of N. Henry Street in Old Town North and no suspects have been arrested.

“Detectives are actively following leads in this ongoing investigation,” police said in a news release. “Anyone with video or information about the incident is urged to contact Investigator Matthew Barnickle at [email protected] or call the police non-emergency line at 703-746-4444.”

Callers can remain anonymous.

Last month, police reported success in combating a surge in shots fired incidents.

via Google Maps

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An Alexandria man was caught trying to get past a security checkpoint with a .38 caliber handgun and seven bullets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Friday, July 18.

The man had his weapon confiscated and now faces upward of $10,000 in federal financial civil penalties.

This was the sixth gun that Transportation Security Administration officers seized in a little more than a week. Three guns and a knife were recovered on July 14, and guns were also found on July 8 and July 11. So far this year there have been 18 guns caught at National Airport, an increase from 10 guns in 2020, 14 guns in 2019, 16 gunds in 2018 and 13 guns in 2017.

“The number of guns that our TSA team here at Reagan National Airport have caught this year has skyrocketed,” said Scott T. Johnson, TSA Federal Security Director for Reagan National Airport. “We have caught more guns in just the first seven months of this year than any other full calendar year. The most common excuse we hear is that someone forgot that they had their gun with them. That’s just not acceptable. And let me be clear that even if you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you still cannot bring it on to your flight. Bringing a loaded gun to a checkpoint is careless and an accident waiting to happen. If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times.”

Passengers are allowed to check their firearms, provided that they are declared and in hard-sided and locked cases.

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Turbulent week in Alexandria, with tropical storms battering the city and locals struggling with a dangerous heat wave.

It was a big week for city politics, with the City Council meeting in-person for the first time in over a year. At the meeting, the Council approved some development plans for Landmark Mall and cut funding away for school resource officers.

In the world of local development, the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation unveiled new plans for their Chirilagua-Arlandria affordable housing development and on the flip-side a new development on Eisenhower Avenue will have none.

Top Stories

  1. Alexandria looks closer at Virginia building safety regulations after Florida condo collapse
  2. Update: Suspect arrested in Wednesday morning bank robbery in Old Town
  3. Mayor ‘dismayed’ by Council relationship with School Board after reallocation of school resource officer funding
  4. Alexandria high-jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend qualifies for U.S. Olympic Team
  5. City Council to specify when local dogs are allowed to bark
  6. Long-awaited Landmark Mall redevelopment clears City Council approval
  7. City Council approves massive high-rise project without affordable housing near Eisenhower Metro station
  8. New mixed-use development headed to the heart of Chirilagua
  9. Tropical Storm Elsa’s dregs tear through southern Alexandria
  10. West End office building could become new Alexandria school
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A 59-year-old Alexandria man has been arrested nearly five months after DNA evidence linked him to a robbery at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Del Ray.

Alexandria Police responded to a commercial alarm at the convenience store at 2108 Mount Vernon Avenue at around 3:15 a.m. on Friday, January 22.

“When they arrived, they discovered that the front glass door of the business had been shattered and a significant amount of substance, believed to be blood, was found on the glass near the break point,” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

Security video found the suspect threw a projectile at the door, and then attempted to enter the business starting with his left leg, “as he attempted to enlarge the opening with his body weight,” police said.

Blood evidence was collected and sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

The results came back on May 10, identifying Stanley Rivers as the suspect. An old booking photo with the Sheriff’s Office also found that Rivers matched the suspect description, according to police.

Rivers was booked for a number of offenses on June 16, including burglary, assaulting law enforcement, resisting arrest, property destruction and stealing two credit card numbers. He goes to court later this month.

Courtesy Google Maps

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