A Woodbridge man was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in a coworking office in Old Town North on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Alexandria Police found the man dead at a computer work station, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After moving his body, police found an orange prescription pill bottle under his desk. inside they found suspected crystal meth. Police also found a small mason jar with a white powdery substance in the man’s coat pocket, in addition to $1,420 in U.S. currency and multiple cellular phones.

The man, who is now suspected of being a narcotics dealer, graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2021, and owned a web design firm and a distribution company.

A search of his red 2020 Dodge RAM yielded a black Glock 19 handgun with a single bullet in the chamber, a black rifle with three loaded magazines in the bed of the truck, and five orange prescription bottles in nylon/toiletry bags.

The man’s vehicle has since been impounded.

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Alexandria Hospital President Dr. Rina Bansal asks residents to get vaccinated — “A healthy person can get COVID and survive, and if you have already had it, you may still have the antibodies to keep you safe for a period of time. But what about your community? It may not be readily apparent that a family member, friend or neighbor has an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk for hospitalization or even death from COVID-19. Your choice to not be vaccinated isn’t just putting you at risk, it can impact so many others around you.” [ALXnow]

Historic Building that inspired ‘Mercy Street’ to be private residence, museum offices — “The building was converted into the Mansion House Hotel and served as a Union Hospital during the Civil War. Green and the hospital were depicted in the TV drama series “Mercy Street,” which aired on PBS from 2016-2017. NOVA Parks has owned the property since 1970, using it as office space and leasing the rest of the space to other companies. In 2019, NOVA Parks announced that it was marketing the sale or lease of the building.” [Alexandria Living]

Barkhaus expands outdoor play area for pets — “The new off-leash dog park attached to Barkhaus, at 529 E. Howell Ave., is more than twice as large as the old park and is furnished with umbrellas, lounge chairs, ice baths, mist and is partially turfed. This meant moving the parking to 516 E. Bellefonte Ave., behind the restaurant.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 79F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 57F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Full-time assistant store manager at Aldi— “When you join our team as an Assistant Store Manager, you’ll take on key store management responsibilities including assisting with supervising day-to-day store activities, ensuring overall store performance, managing schedules, and developing operational action plans while identifying training opportunities to develop and grow the team.” [Indeed]

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Grocery delivery chain Foxtrot is coming to a prime location in Old Town.

The Washington Business Journal first reported that Douglas Development Corp. arranged the lease for the 4,500 square-foot two-story building at 701 King Street. This will be the third Foxtrot store in the region, and could open as soon as eight months from now, Matthew Jemal, senior vice president at Douglas Development Corp. told ALXnow.

“They approached us, and the concept is great,” Jemal said. “We’ve been to a few of their locations in D.C. I think it’ll do really well in Old Town.”

It’s the latest development in the company’s efforts to lease a number of its Old Town properties, all of which are a stone’s throw from each other. They recently engineered the lease signing a block away by Athleta at the former La Tasca restaurant at 607 King Street.

Douglas Development Corp. is also looking to rent the former Citibank space at 110 S. Washington Street, and will be managing the lease for the H&M store at 614 King Street, which ends in 2024, Jemal said.

Courtesy Google Maps

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In a rare occurrence, a venomous timber rattlesnake was picked up in Old Town by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria on Sunday afternoon.

The snake, which also goes by the name American Viper, was discovered in the 400 block of Gibbon Street — a few blocks from the waterfront. It didn’t bite anyone, and was apprehended by AWLA’s Animal Services team and later moved to a wildlife facility in Northern Virginia.

“This is very rare,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “There are venomous snakes in our region. They’re much less likely to live in this climate, but it’s not impossible. That being said, our Animal Services officers didn’t see any sign of additional snakes.”

Hardter was not aware of any other rattlesnakes found in Alexandria in recent history, and said that they can only be owned legally with a license.

“Nobody was injured, and that includes the snake,” she said. “The snake is fine and well and will live out his life in the wildlife facility. We advise people not to try and capture or move any animals, but do call the police non-emergency line at 703-746-4444.”

Courtesy AWLA/Twitter and Google Maps

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The pandemic has taken another Alexandria business. Java Grill at 611 King Street in Old Town has closed until further notice, according to a sign posted on its door.

Perhaps its greatest moment was on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The place was packed with members of Congress, reporters and Democratic supporters for an election night viewing party.

The business closed up less than a month later on March 30. Their final social media post said that the action was temporary.

Java Grill opened in early 2019 in the former Bread & Chocolate, which had been at the location for decades. The street is beginning to look lonely, as neighboring storefronts La Tasca and Walgreens are also vacant.

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Alexandria’s COVID-19 numbers are still trickling in.

There have been 11,854 cases, and of the City has not reported a death since May 25. There have been 137 total deaths.

Across Virginia there have been 11,318 deaths and 677,812 cases.

Below is the VDH breakdown of cases over the last six week in Alexandria:

  • Zero cases reported Sunday, June 13
  • Eight cases reported Saturday, June 12
  • Zero cases reported Friday June 11
  • Zero cases reported Thursday, June 10
  • Two cases reported Wednesday, June 9
  • Zero cases reported Tuesday, June 8
  • Zero cases reported Monday, June 7

On the vaccine front, 69,561 residents have been fully vaccinated, and 86,387 residents have been partially vaccinated. Alexandria has a goal of fully vaccinating 110,000 residents, which is 80% of the population.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, here is how to get tested.

Courtesy VDH

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The Alexandria Fire Department has rescued a woman in a stalled car near the Alexandria waterfront, as the City contends with a continuing Flash Flood Watch and rising water levels.

The driver called 911 at 10:46 a.m. after getting stuck on Strand Street, and said that she couldn’t open her car door because of the rising water, according to AFD Senior Public Information Officer Raytevia Evans.

AFD’s Inland Water Rescue Team arrived at the scene at 10:51 a.m., and helped the driver out of her car.

“The water was at the door or vehicle and she couldn’t get out,” Evans said.

The Flash Flood Watch was issued yesterday and remains in effect throughout the evening.

High water levels have not been reported in other areas of the City, Evans said.

“High tide in the Old Town area was at around 11 a.m. this morning,” she said. “We’re monitoring the rest of the City, but right now we’re not seeing any abnormal water levels in some of the usual places where we get flooding, like around Cameron Run, or Eisenhower Avenue and Telegraph Road.”

The fire department is asking residents to stay informed on local weather patterns and to stay away from standing water.

“Make sure you’re paying attention to local weather reports about the flooding,” Evans said. “If you see standing water do not walk through it. Do not drive through it. We’re asking people to be careful. Stay vigilant. If you find yourself in a situation please to call 911.”

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Morning Notes

ACPS wants input on how to spend COVID relief funds — “Feedback on use of the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief can be provided through June 18, while the Equity for All Climate Survey is open through June 20.” [Patch]

Memorial bike ride Sunday at for bicyclist killed — “Join FABB’s memorial ride in honor of Fatima Del Carmen Alvarez Romero this Sunday, June 13, at 10:00 am at Huntington Metro kiss and ride lot. Ride to crash site for a moment of remembrance and to call for much-needed safety measures. Please wear white and bring signs.” [Twitter]

Karma Modern Indian Eyes Expansion into Old Town — “Karma Modern Indian, a Michelin-recognized destination for fine Indian cuisine in downtown Washington, D.C., is opening a sister restaurant in Alexandria. Dubbed Kismet Modern Indian, the restaurant will be at 111 N. Pitt St. and is set for a fall opening. The location was formerly home, for a short time, to BurgerFi and before that, Ireland’s Own. The late Pat Troy presided over the legendary spot for more than three decades.” [Alexandria Living]

Mayor Wilson named president of Virginia Transit Association — “VTA is a nonprofit corporation of transit professionals from public and private organizations; it includes transit systems from across the state, businesses that serve transit systems and local government officials and organizations concerned about transportation, mobility, affordable access to employment and quality of life issues.” [Zebra]

Alexandria to start nominating committee for collective bargaining labor relations administrator — “The City has been notified that each of the following groups are interested in having a representative on the nominating committee: American Federation of State; County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); International Union of Police Associations (IUPA); and the Southern States Police Benevolent Association (PBA). To participate on the nominating committee, any employee organization interested in representing a bargaining unit must notify the City Manager by email at [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16.” [City of Alexandria]

West End Business Association hosting COVID meeting for restaurants — The Alexandria Health Department will update restaurant owners on how to open post-COVID. Homegrown Restaurant Group’s “Mango” Mike Anderson will also speak at the event, which will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, at Glory Days Grill. [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Rain (during the day). High near 70F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch. Locally heavy rainfall possible… Rain early (in the evening)… then remaining cloudy with showers late. Low around 65F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” [Weather.com]

New job: Dog daycare playroom attendant — “If you are a hard and reliable worker looking for a fun and rewarding job, we encourage you to apply. We are also offering a limited-time signing bonus to those who can reliably commit to the job for at least 4 months.” [Indeed]

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Alexandria’s 272nd birthday celebration is happening on the waterfront in Old Town on Saturday, July 10, and the City is making plans for a shortened program without birthday cake and with multiple viewing locations to reduce crowding.

The show, which usually brings tens of thousands of visitors, was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The concert usually includes the National Anthem, a musical program by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks show, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with live Howitzer cannon fire by the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry “Old Guard” Presidential Salute Battery.

“The fireworks display should be comparable to years past,” Jack Browand, division chief with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, told ALXnow. “It was always about 15 to 17 minutes on average, and we are looking at the possibility of shifting the location of the (fireworks) barge a little farther south (on the Potomac River) than usual, so that we can create those additional vantage points.”

Browand also said he isn’t sure whether the Howitzers will be included this year.

The City’s Birthday Committee will be meeting to discuss the plan today (Thursday), and more details are expected to follow early next week. Browand said the City doesn’t have the resources to livestream the event, and that the shortened list of speakers is being ironed out. Speakers usually include the poet laureate and the mayor.

“We have the opportunity to spread people out,” Browand said. “We suspect a lot of people will still be in Rivergate Park, Canal Center, Founders Park, the City Marina, and Waterfront Park. If the barge is far enough south, you can get out on those piers at Jones Point Park and Ford’s Landing.”

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Last night was a rout for a vocal contingent of Alexandrians pushing for a change in city leadership, but both top dogs in the local Democratic party and their opposition say the fight isn’t over.

At Los Tios Grill in Del Ray, former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg told enthusiastic supporters that conversations over issues like the Seminary Road Diet and Taylor Run Stream restoration project would continue, although the candidates who put those issues at the forefronts of their campaigns lost.

Silberberg said that her supporters should join boards and commissions and join their civic associations, continue speaking out and working on changing the city from within.

“This is a democracy,” Silberberg said. “All voices need to be heard. I remain dedicated to those causes and getting things done, and I encourage people to stay involved.”

On the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook group, a page that had been a social gathering place for locals frustrated with city leadership, the reaction was dour, with members calling the results “depressing” or blaming the outcome on outside influences in local politics.

In terms of voting precincts, Silberberg won City Hall and a handful of the more residential areas in the center of the city, like around Seminary Hill, but Wilson won the more densely urban West End, Old Town, and Del Ray.

The election saw 23% of registered voters show up to the polls — a relatively high voter turnout rate for a non-Presidential election year.

Clarence Tong, chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, said the high number of candidates — 13 candidates in the Democratic primary for six seats — was likely one of the reasons for the high turnout, and that last night’s results were an endorsement for the leadership of Wilson and the incumbent City Council.

“Yesterday we experienced high primary turnout in Alexandria. this was a reflection of the high quality of the democratic statewide and local candidates on the ballot, likely the largest number in our history,” Tong said. “The great thing about the Democratic Party is the broad range of experiences and perspective from our candidates.”

Tong said that many of the issues debated during the campaign will likely continue to be debated after the election.

“I would fully expect the policy issues that were debated during the Council primary to continue in other public forums,” he said.

Photo via Alexandria Democratic Committee/Facebook

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