A 28-year-old Alexandria man was released on bond after allegedly firing a handgun in Old Town on New Year’s Eve, according to the Alexandria Police Department.
No injuries were reported. The incident occurred at around 8:55 a.m. in the 1500 block of Princess Street, near Jefferson-Houston Elementary School.
Chauvez Diggins was arrested and charged with attempted malicious shooting, willful discharge of a firearm within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, use of firearm in a commission of a felony and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Diggins was released on Jan. 3 on a $3,500 unsecured bond and goes to court on Feb. 17.
APD is asking anyone with information on the incident to call its non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.
Notification:: There is a heavy police presence near and around the 1500 block of Princess Street. This is in response to a shots fired call for service. No injuries have been reported in connection with this incident. APD is investigating. pic.twitter.com/bkZkIlKoio
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) December 31, 2022
After City Council approved a plan to install lights on athletic fields at several schools, new plans show Jefferson Houston PreK-8 School (1501 Cameron Street) could be the first to get the upgrade.
Plans for the new lights are headed to the Board of Architectural Review on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
“The proposed athletic field lighting system includes six 60-foot poles with LED fixtures,” the report said. “The fixtures are designed to comply with the International Dark-sky Association’s Community Friendly Outdoor Sports Lighting Program and provide full cutoff lighting.”
The lights will be added to the rectangular athletic field that first opened in 2014. The proposal to add lights to the fields generated some pushback from locals who were concerned about additional late-night activities with little regulation or oversight.
Along with Jefferson Houston, an earlier staff report said Francis C. Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School could also receive lights in the near future. Two other fields, Patrick Henry K-8 School and Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, can’t have field lighting installed until 2024 and 2025 respectively.
Photo via Jefferson-Houston/Twitter
Things are about to slow down in school zones.
The Alexandria School Board on Thursday (October 6) unanimously approved a resolution requesting a reduction from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph in school zones.
“We are really making our students and our community safe,” said Board Member Abdel Elnoubi, who wrote the resolution. “We’re helping save lives here.”
The resolution now goes to City Council for approval.
The following school zones have 25 mph speed limits:
- N. Beauregard Street — Outside the John Adams Elementary School, William Ramsay Elementary School and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School zones
- Braddock Road from N. Beauregard Street to Quaker Lane — Outside Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus school zone
- Seminary Road (Kenmore Avenue to N. Pickett Street) — In the Francis C. Hammond Middle School zone
- King Street — Alexandria City High School’s school zone
City Council will also review a plan to install Alexandria’s first speed cameras in school zones later this month.
The conversation over a speed limit reduction and cameras installation began after a nine-year-old girl was hit by a car and seriously injured just outside Jefferson-Houston Elementary School in March.
The Alexandria Police Department (APD) will be ready to deploy five speed cameras in schools zones around the city by early next year.
Police Chief Don Hayes and Yon Lambert, the director of the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES), issued a memo to update the joint City Council/School Board subcommittee, which met on Monday (June 26).
“Staff have immediately mobilized to develop and implement this new program,” Hayes and Lambert wrote. “staff working group, which includes representatives from ACPS, APD, T&ES, and others, has formed to address the various aspects of such a program, including location selection, public communications, procurement, and other critical tasks. This group is working towards the goal of launching the program by early 2023.”
In May, City Council approved the $400,000 speed camera program, after a child was struck and seriously injured at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street).
Virginia code was amended in 2020 to add speed cameras in school and work zones. This is the first time Alexandria will use speed cameras, and City Manager Jim Parajon is considering lowering speed limits in residential, business and school zones from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph.
A working group made up of city staff and APD are also putting together a program webpage, and the future location of the cameras have not yet been chosen.
“The locations will be data-driven,” said Alexandria Police Lt. Delton Goodrum told the subcommittee. “Right now we’re pulling all this data between T&ES, APD and also ACPS (Alexandria City Public Schools).”
Staff will present the subcommittee with more details on the camera locations this fall.
Update on 3/30/22 — The Alexandria Police Department said the driver was a 78-year-old local resident whose vehicle left the roadway and struck a 9-year-old girl on the sidewalk. Both driver and pedestrian were taken to Fairfax Hospital. The pedestrian had serious but non-life-threatening injuries and the driver was treated for minor injuries.
Earlier: A child was struck and seriously injured at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street).
According to a release from the Alexandria Police Department:
The 200 block of North West Street is closed to through traffic in response to a single-vehicle car crash involving a pedestrian. The pedestrian sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries. APD is investigating the cause of the crash.
The crash was reported around 2:30 p.m., around the time the school lets out.
Alexandria Police public information officer Marcel Bassett confirmed that the pedestrian struck is a child. The driver stayed at the scene, and both the driver and victim were taken to a hospital.
With summer officially in full swing, Alexandria City Public Schools is working to reopen its playgrounds to the public.
“All other playgrounds will remain closed for the time being to complete necessary repairs to ensure the safety of playground visitors,” Helen Lloyd, ACPS director of communications, wrote to parents. “Repairs are anticipated to begin early next week and affected playgrounds will reopen once deemed safe to do so.”
One parent who spoke anonymously was miffed that the playground at Mount Vernon Community School was closed.
“Closed for maintenance?” the parent said. “Seriously? Couldn’t that have been done while everything was closed?”
Playgrounds will be considered open only if and when their gates are unlocked and signs are erected telling folks that restrictions have been lifted.
Lloyd told ALXnow that the coronavirus has slowed down operations, and that as playgrounds are being cleaned and renovated, there is no timeline which playgrounds will open and when.
“We understand families really want to be on the playgrounds,” Lloyd said. “We’re working as quickly as possible to make that happen.”
Sheriff Makes Statement on Death of George Floyd — “This event is a tragic reminder that we, as a law enforcement officers, must do more to hold each other to the high standard of conduct that is expected and demanded by those we serve. We cannot stand by and remain silent when unacceptable conduct by our peers occurs, no matter how minor or major it is. We must be better for ourselves and our community as lives depend on it.” [City of Alexandria]
Beyer Says Trump Unfit for Office — “The President is inciting violence against the journalists who are showing everyone what is happening at significant personal risk, and against Americans broadly. Trump is unfit for office, and his divisive words make this situation more dangerous.” [Twitter]
ALIVE! Provides Food for 1,060 Families — “We sent 1060 families home with produce eggs and shelf stable groceries today because of your support!” [Facebook]
ACPS Hires Three Principals — “Today Alexandria City Public Schools announced the hiring of three new principals for the 2020-2021 school year. Dr. John McCain will be the new Head of School at Jefferson-Houston, Mr. Loren Brody will be the new principal at Charles Barrett, and Ms. Penny Hairston will be the new principal at Douglas MacArthur. Learn more about them by clicking the links in the comments below.” [Facebook]
DASH Distances from Wraps2Go After Owner Makes Racist Tweet — “We do not support any ideals that promote division, discrimination or racism. We can confirm that we have no ongoing projects with Wraps2Go and will not be doing business with them in the future.” [Facebook]
Fire Chief Congratulates New Firefighters — “Recruit School 50 officially completed their initial training and will begin reporting to their assigned stations tomorrow. Because their graduation ceremony has been postponed, Fire Chief Corey Smedley visited to take questions and give them words of encouragement.” [Facebook]
Tenants and Workers United Advises Arlandria Residents on Rent — “Today we were meeting carefully with more than 100 members of Presidential Greens and New Brookside to follow the next steps to get justice in their homes in their apartment complex in these times of crisis we are in.” [Facebook]
New Job: Part Time Concierge — ” The Concierge will be greeting potential residents, families, visitors, managing both external and internal calls, taking and communicating messages. The Concierge provides an overview of community information to those inquiries in support of the marketing and sales efforts.” [Indeed]
Mask makers, translators and grocery bag packers are just a few of the opportunities that Volunteer Alexandria has identified around the city.
“Every week, we need more than 100 volunteers to help our community to help people in need,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow.
The following volunteer opportunities are now available:
- ALIVE! Grocery Bag Packers
- Nonprofit Customer Engagement
- Senior Services Groceries to Go Shopping/Delivery Program
- ACPS Mobile Pop-Up Meal Distribution
- ACPS Meal Distribution at Francis C. Hammond Middle School
- Food Distribution at Cora Kelly School
- Traffic Flow Coordinator at Cora Kelly School
- Translators for World Central Kitchen Meal Distribution
- Traffic Flow Coordinator at John Adams Elementary School
- Translators at John Adams Elementary School
- Food Distribution at T.C. Williams High School
- Food Distribution at Jefferson Houston School
Additionally, Volunteer Alexandria needs help making face masks.
Sewers needed to make masks. If you have a sewing machine — your sewing skills are needed to make masks. Have a sewing…
Photo via DASH/Facebook
Family Says Lack of Information Contributed to Nurse’s Death — “Some family members who have loved ones at Silverado are also upset, complaining they are being kept in the dark. A woman whose mother is at the facility asked that News4 conceal her identity. She says families need more information about the outbreak such as how many staff and residents have tested positive and how many have died.” [NBC4]
Beyer Blames President for U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak— “Tens of thousands of Americans – over 73,000 – have now died from a pandemic that has hit our country so much harder because this President ignored warnings from health officials over and over again. This is so dangerous.” [Twitter]
City Partners With AT&T and FirstNet so 911 Dispatchers Can Work at Home — “Under this innovative approach, Alexandria’s remote dispatchers are using equipment that includes a laptop, headset and smartphone, FirstNet hotspot, mobile router with computer aided dispatch, and other necessary hardware. The hotspot with its FirstNet connection is critical to the operation.” [FirstNet]
Former Alexandria Teacher Adopting Child in India When COVID-19 Struck — “The Mosiers flew to India in March to pick up their daughter. The country locked down before they could leave.” [New York Times]
Volunteer Alexandria Puts Out Call For Face Masks — “Homemade Masks Needed! With personal protective equipment in critically short supply. Catholic Charities urgently needs masks for staff, volunteers, and the vulnerable populations they serve.” [Facebook]
Jefferson Houston School Introduces Principal Candidate Finalists — “Our search for the next Head of School for the Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School is down to two finalists: Dr. Ingrid Bynum and Dr. John McCain. Both candidates have considerable experience in the education field.” [ACPS]
ICYMI: Taverna Cretekou is Open for Carryout — “Call us 703-548-8688 for daily specials and for placing orders. Limited menu , reduced prices, half off for all the wines and free dessert with each entree!” [Facebook]
Watch: Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Trio Performs at Guest House — “The Alexandria Symphony Brass Trio featuring Maestro Jim Ross, horn, Gil Hoffer, trumpet and Bryan Bourne, trombone thrills residents of Goodwin House retirement community with a socially distanced concert in the courtyard. ASO’s first live in-person concert since February. Sunshine and live music– you could see the smiles even under the masks!” [Facebook]
Virtual Funeral Sunday for Hard Times Cafe Founder — “The family of Fred Parker, an Alexandria Living Legend who founded the iconic Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria, Virginia, is planning a virtual ZOOM Memorial on Sunday, May 10, at 3 p.m.” [Zebra]
NOVA Juvenile Detention Center adapts to COVID-19 — “The center took certain precautions early on to prevent the virus from spreading within the facility, McNair said. In the first week of March, staff increased cleaning regimens for the facility. Over the next few weeks, the center restricted all in-person visits to the facility.” [Alex Times]
Family Beats Quarantine Blues With Themed Dinners — “The first week, their 11-year-old daughter chose to theme the meal after one of Netflix’s biggest social distancing-era hits: the documentary series, ‘Tiger King.’ The second week, their son chose a sports theme. The three kids wore their favorite jerseys, Organek dressed up as a soccer mom and her husband, who has gone all out for every family dinner, dressed up as a 1970s news anchor to interview his kids.” [Alex Times]
New Job: Grant Officer Position Pays $50K-$60K — “Responsible for managing donor client relationships and the international/domestic grant making programs they support. In addition to providing excellent customer service, the officer will be responsible for maintaining expertise in international grant making, donor-advised fund and restricted fund regulations, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulations and practices along with CAF America validation protocols.” [Indeed]
Alexandria City Public Schools have added three “grab and go” breakfast and lunch distribution locations for children over the age of two.
Food distribution at all the ACPS locations has also been limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered the school system for the remainder of the academic year.
“We’re trying to really not have families out every day and staff out every day,” ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told the City Council/School Board Subcommittee in an online meeting on Tuesday. “Last week we had these meals available every day. We are really trying to adhere to the guidelines of social gathering.”
The new locations are:
- Mason at Van Dorn Apartments at 140 S. Van Dorn Street, from 10:45-11:15 a.m.
- Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, from 11:20-11:50 a.m.
- Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, from 10:45 – 11:15 a.m.
ACPS is also offering meals at these locations between 8 a.m. and noon:
- T.C. Williams High School [3330 King Street]
- William Ramsay Elementary School [5700 Sanger Ave]
- Francis C. Hammond Middle School [4646 Seminary Road]
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology [3600 Commonwealth Avenue]
- Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School [1501 Cameron Street]