Updated at 11:45 a.m. Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley announced his retirement today, and that he will leave the top job on Friday, Jan. 12.
After more than three years at the helm of the department, the 51-year-old Smedley did not say what his next move would be after his retirement. He’s the city’s first permanent Black fire chief, and led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as negotiated the AFD first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the fire department’s union.
“I am extremely blessed and honored to serve,” Smedley said. “The Fire and EMS service is a great way to spend your life serving others and helping those in need. Although this is a bittersweet moment, I find solace knowing the department is in a better place and there are leaders within that will continue the journey of improvement.”
Mayor Justin Wilson called Smedley a “great leader.”
“Chief Smedley has been a great leader for one our fastest-growing departments at a critical time in our history,” Wilson told ALXnow. “His retirement is a big loss for our City. I wish Chief Smedley well in his retirement and I thank him for his tireless work to protect the safety of people and property in our community.”
City Manager Jim Parajon also appointed Jim Schwartz to act as interim Fire Chief as the city conducts a national search for Smedley’s permanent replacement. Schwartz retired in 2021 as a deputy county manager in Arlington.
Smedley was born in Washington D.C., raised in Maryland and lives in Chesapeake Beach, Md. He joined the department in 2015 as the deputy fire chief of emergency management and homeland security, after 20 years with the Prince George’s County Fire Department. He was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief of Administration in early 2019, and was named the acting fire chief that summer after former Chief Robert Dubé unexpectedly announced his retirement.
City Manager Jim Parajon thanked Smedley for his contributions over the last eight years.
“His outstanding leadership has led to significant workplace improvements for our firefighters and EMS providers, while improving the quality of life in Alexandria,” Parajon said. “We wish him all the best for a well-earned retirement.”
Longtime Deputy City Manager Debra Collins is retiring at the end of this week after nearly 20 years working for the city.
Collins’ 19-year career in the City of Alexandria included helping to kickstart ACT for Alexandria and the consolidation of city services in the West End.
In a release, Alexandria City Manager James Parajon said Collins’ last day will be July 1.
Collins joined the city in September 2003 as the Director of Alexandria’s Department of Human Services, having previously worked at the Erie County Department of Social Services in Buffalo, New York and non-profits.
According to the release:
During her career in Alexandria, Collins became Assistant City Manager after spearheading the consolidation of three City agencies, including the Department of Human Services, into the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). Later, she became a Deputy City Manager, responsible for the oversight of the City’s public safety agencies (Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Fire Department, Department of Emergency Communications), DCHS, the Department of Human Resources, the Office of Human Rights, and the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities.
She served as the City Liaison to the Health Department, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Court Service Unit, the Alexandria Library, and the Sheriff’s Office. She was also responsible for all City grant funding to nonprofits and functions as the City’s lead staff to the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS).
“Collins also worked, in partnership with ACT for Alexandria, to create the Center for Alexandria’s Children, an advocacy and education center for families, and the Alexandria Council of Human Service Organizations,” the release said. “Additionally, Collins was instrumental in the creation of ACT for Alexandria’s Spring for Alexandria, an annual day of service, and Spring2ACTion, an annual day of giving in support of the City’s nonprofit organizations.”
Interim Deputy City Managers Kendel Taylor and Jean Kelleher will continue in their acting roles while the city searches for a new deputy city manager.
“Debra has led and supported so many important programs and initiatives that directly affect Alexandrians,” said City Manager James Parajon. “She has held a variety of critical roles in her nearly two decades of service in Alexandria, leading our social services, public safety departments, and recreation programs, among other key functions. I am grateful for her leadership and her work to make the city better for multiple generations of Alexandrians.”
Ready to go into business in Alexandria?
The latest listings on BizBuySell show all kinds of companies for sale in the city.
The website aggregates numerous business sale listings, and the names and locations are generally left out.
Reasons for selling, when provided, typically do not mention economic hardship, but more often involve the owner retiring or not having time to actively run the business.
Here are some that are currently listed:
- Dog Boutique Accessories and Food — “Incredible dog boutique store in charming and wealthy Old Town Alexandria. The business has been growing since inception in 2010.The high visibility location draws in hundreds of customers each week. This business does NOT sell or re-home dogs.”
- Nail salon — “Established, nice nail salon/spa with good income available for sale in the Falls Church, Alexandria area. Good rent. Potential for growth if adding more nail techs. Nail services comprise 80% of the business, the rest is hair services. Highly visible from main road. Good reviews. Nice and well decorated. Owner can stay and work on a part time basis. Staff will stay if new owner want. 1,700 square feet. Current lay out has 6 pedicure chairs, 8 manicure tables, 2 hair stations, 2 shampoo stations, 2 rooms for facial/waxing services. Owner prefers cash but can provide short term financing with substantial down payment. Priced to sell. Don’t miss this opportunity.”
- Former hair salon in Fairlington — “Formerly a hair salon by the name of Primary Colors, a hair salon that was in business for twenty years. Now the space is open, and is still built out to be a hair salon, but the space can also be altered to become a different business.”
- Deli with R.E. property — The owner is retiring after 30 years in business. The restaurant is open five days a week for breakfast and lunch.
- Well-established laundromat — “All Washer and Driers in Excellent condition. NO Coin! Card only! Owner stops by the store once a week. 50 washers, 52 Driers.”
- Profitable restaurant for sale — “Great location, great visibility, long lease term, plenty of parking spaces, in a busy shopping center with many other businesses that crowded with customers on the daily basic, this restaurant is built up from the cold cell condition with new kitchen equipment, freezer, cooler, HVAC….., that’s clean and presenting a long useful life for new owner to do business in years to come without any major upgrading. This restaurant can be converting to other cuisine given there is no other restaurant of that cuisine is currently operated within the shopping center.”
- Profitable High Volume Bakery & Cafe MRB VA 1107 — “By purchasing this Bakery, Café, and Catering Company that is for sale in a very busy shopping center in Fairfax County, Virginia and you will be ready for business your first day! This well-known operation produces $1.8 million from its multiple foodservice revenue streams. It is Fully Equipped and gives you the opportunity to serve up a full restaurant menu, special occasion cakes, sweet treat pastries, and baked goods, including gluten-free items, sugar-free treats, and food for allergy-sensitive patrons.”
Triggs has been Deputy City Manager since 2014 and had previously served as the city’s finance director and chief financial officer.
The release said Triggs will resign effective Friday, Sept. 9. The announcement comes amid a year of turnover for city leadership, from Parajon’s hiring in December to Superintendent Gregory Hutchings’ resignation in June and interim replacement by Melanie Kay-Wyatt.
Parajon said a new acting deputy city manager will be appointed ahead of Triggs’ resignation.
“I want to thank Laura for her years of contributions to the City of Alexandria,” said City Manager Jim Parajon. “She brought valued financial and policy expertise to the City’s government. And she consistently focused on helping City employees succeed. Her effective leadership, professional mentoring, and acumen across diverse policy issues will be missed.”
According to the release:
During her career with Alexandria, Triggs supervised at various levels the preparation of 24 years of annual financial reports and budgets through to Council approval, worked to fully fund the City’s employee pension funds, and structured long-term fiscal management policies to ensure the City’s AAA bond ratings including during the 2009 recession. Triggs recently spearheaded the successful inter-departmental team effort that this year brought to the City competing internet broadband services that will provide equitable broadband access to all Alexandrians.
In her eight years as Deputy City Manager, Triggs served as the liaison from the Office of the City Manager to the Alexandria Sheriff, the City’s Clerk of the Courts, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Courts. She served on the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) and City’s pension fund investment boards. Triggs oversaw at various times different City departments, including Budget, Emergency & Customer Communications, Facilities, Fire, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Performance Analytics.
Beyond her work with the city, Triggs has also worked as career coach for Alexandria and other local government employees. The release said Triggs plans to concentrate on career coaching.
“We are grateful to Laura for the contributions she’s made to Alexandria over her career,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in the release. “Laura has been the consummate public servant in advising the Council, helping develop effective fiscal and program policies, and providing outstanding senior leadership to our City government.”
With packed boxes by the door, retiring Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne gets a little emotional in his office. After all, he’s been wearing a uniform for 43 years.
There’s a large framed poster of the classic 1950 film “Harvey” on the wall next to his desk — a gift from his deputies who share a fondness for nostalgic movies. In the film, Jimmy Stewart’s good-natured character is pressured against his philosophy of being “Oh, so pleasant,” rather than “Oh, so smart,” in life.
It takes plenty of smarts to be the sheriff for four consecutive terms, but the 64-year-old Lawhorne’s connection to the character of Elwood P. Dowd is more about an ability to empathize with people — a strength he honed from a rough childhood and for decades as an Alexandria Police officer.
“I’m not a degree snob,” Lawhorne said in a recent interview with ALXnow. “That’s always been my Kryptonite. I am not proud of this, but I stopped learning in the seventh grade. The wheels fell off in my life.”
Lawhorne was born in Fredericksburg, and moved to Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood when he was two years old. Lawhorne and his wife, Linda, have been married for more than 35 years. They have three children and two grandchildren.
His parents were raging alcoholics, and he spent much of his youth dealing with the police to handle his mother. He became a police officer when he turned 21, and spent the next 27 years as a cop. Lawhorne’s everyman style has come in handy on multiple occasions, as he founded the police department’s hostage negotiation team in the 1980s. He’s the officer they’d put on the front lines during emergency situations, like talking to jumpers on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
It’s expected that Lawhorne isn’t going quietly. He hasn’t shied from expressing his disapproval with city leadership throughout his tenure, most recently lambasting the city manager for Alexandria’s flooding issues.
Lawhorne says that a years-long effort to increase stoplight timing at King Street and Russell Road (changing to 30 seconds last year) is a prime example of his disapproval.
“A 22-second green light backs up Russell Road,” Lawhorne says. “We all suffered years of asking the city to change it. Why couldn’t we have a 30-second light like everybody else? One time I went to see a dear friend of mine who was dying. Her last few days on this earth and her sister said she couldn’t go pick her up some prescription drugs because of the traffic backup on Russell. I mean, come on.”
Lawhorne’s not going away anytime soon. He just started a new firm, Dana Lawhorne and Associates, with a focus on helping businesses, private citizens and neighborhoods cut through some of the red tape at City Hall.
ALXnow: How are you feeling these days? Forty-three years is a long time.
Lawhorne: It is. I have mixed emotions. I definitely feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Sixteen years ago, I ran for sheriff to do five things. I did that and more, which I feel really good about. I just feel sad that I won’t be doing something that I’ve dreamed about since I was 14 years old.
ALXnow: Are you going to miss the uniform?
Lawhorne: Yes. It fills me with pride. It’s like armor. It’s the number one symbol of who we are and what we are about, which is protecting and serving everyone. I always have a uniform on in my mind, because it seems like I can never separate myself from a duty that I took an oath for and still believe in. I never feel like I’m not wearing the uniform, even when I’m not working, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.
ALXnow: Why did you start the police department’s hostage negotiations team?
Lawhorne: I did that about 22 years. It’s all about finding what’s missing. I could look at something or you could tell me a story and I would figure out, “Okay, there’s something missing from that story.” That came in very handy as a detective, and in 1984 our hostage negotiations team really didn’t exist. That’s what was missing. They didn’t train. They weren’t organized.
ALXnow: Can you talk a little bit about your philosophy toward emotional engagement with people in your staff, in the jail, even at City Council?
Lawhorne: I can only trace it back to growing up and being a troublemaker understanding troublemakers and growing up in a household where my parents were alcoholics. My father was a nice man. When he drank he became nicer and very passive. My mom was a nice person, but when she drank it was a total opposite. It was Jekyll and Hyde. And you never knew what you were going to get on any given day. It was bad physically, emotionally and psychologically. My mom would tear up the house, throw what we had in the yard, run up and down the street in a bathrobe and bang on the neighbor’s door.
We had to call the police all the time. My other siblings moved out as soon as they could, and it was just my younger sister and me, sometimes holding her bedroom door shut to keep her from coming out and inflicting harm on us. Because of that I grew up totally disengaged, battling depression in school, full of insecurities and all the problems that come with growing up in that type of environment.
Where does the empathy come from? I’ve always put myself in that other person’s shoes because I’ve seen all walks of life, from the millionaire to the homeless person, and I’ve experienced the generosity of both. I just never ever taken myself out of being that kid who was calling the police and looking for somebody to step up and help. I feel like if I was ever in position to make things better for someone to try to take away a little bit of their pain, then I was going to do that.
ALXnow: How do you deal with depression? Do you still?
Lawhorne: One word — Linda. Since I met her in 1977, she has been the person who has kept me focused and helps navigate the things that keep me down. I am lucky to have married the perfect partner. It’s important to have that when you lead with your heart.
ALXnow: Do you lead with your heart?
Lawhorne: Yes. It’s a lot harder than leading with your brain.
ALXnow: What do you mean?
Lawhorne: If you lead with your brain you’re a very linear thinker. You know, if you goof up once you’re out. That sort of thing. I’m more tolerant of my staff than most in my position. I believe in second and third chances, when warranted. I believe in giving people opportunities, proper training, and development coaching to make them successful, and even that process can be very painful.
I like to give people a chance, but if they don’t take the opportunity and do something again, they’re out. But that’s hard to do. One of the hardest things that I’ve had to do over the last 16 years is balance the person and who they are and what’s going on with them, especially on a personal level, with the responsibilities of their offices.
ALXnow: What’s the plan after you leave office?
Lawhorne: I actually formed an LLC. It’s called Dana Lawhorne and Associates. You like that?
ALXnow: What are you going to be doing?
Lawhorne: Just helping people and businesses navigate problems at City Hall. It can be a small business or a neighborhood that can’t quite figure out how to get something done because they’re caught up in red tape. You know, folks pay attorney lots of money for the services I’m going to be offering. I can do it for way less, for, let’s say a cheeseburger.
ALXnow: Don’t you want to get paid for your work?
Lawhorne: To me, making money is not my goal. I do not need to do that. I worked 43 years with the city government, and if I can’t retire comfortably then I’ve done something wrong.
ALXnow: How does the incoming city leadership look to you?
Lawhorne: I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen so far, and I believe that with the new city manager and the energy from this new council is going to get us results. This status quo philosophy must change, and I believe now we’re going to move in a different direction, because the the priorities the residents, the priorities of our community will focused on, ahead of the priorities of others.
ALXnow: Would you be more effective as a problem solver outside of power?
Lawhorne: Yes. The biggest promise city hall has is loving to put labels on people. Dana is a troublemaker.
I go to the meetings and I listen to the community. Why does it take me 40 minutes to go from the 600 block of Russell Road to King Street, to go six blocks? It’s just the most frustrating thing I’ve ever seen in my life. In my office, I try to help people, not turn them away. I don’t get this. We’ll spend more time trying to figure out how not to do something.
A 22-second green light backed up Russell Road for years. We all suffered years of asking the city to change it, and nobody would put it up for discussion. I tried with the Traffic and Parking Board three times. Why couldn’t we have a 30-second light like everybody else? One time I went to see a dear friend of mine who was dying. Her last few days on this earth and her sister said she couldn’t go pick her up some prescription drugs because of the traffic backup on Russell. I mean, come on.
ALXnow: Are you going to miss the inmates of the jail?
Lawhorne: Yes. I grew up understanding what sobriety can do for an individual and their families. I always told them that crime isn’t just about them and their victims, it’s about their families. Their families are suffering as much as they are for their mistake.
I never had a foundation of education. That’s always been my Kryptonite. I am not proud of this, but I stopped learning in the seventh grade. The wheels fell off in my life. I’ve tried to teach them the importance of sobriety, education and transitioning to a better place.
Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says that he’s on the level about his surprise retirement announcement, and that he and his wife will soon pulling up stakes for the West Coast in the near future to take care of urgent family business.
“This was a personal decision that my wife and I came to manifest in me having to retire,” Brown told ALXnow.
Brown has given a recommendation on who should be the acting chief until a permanent replacement is chosen at the conclusion of a national search. His last day is June 25. Right now he’s worried about summer crime, although says that crime levels are now returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The department is currently dealing with critical staffing issues, namely temporarily filling available street assignments for patrol officers by reassigning other officers.
“We’re meeting our staffing needs on the street,” Brown said. “We’re very concerned about what may happen this summer.”
APD is funded for 311 positions, and effective July 1 the department will have 305 officers on duty. Of those, six are on administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation after a chase suspect died in D.C., and there are a number of officers on family medical leave and other various reasons, Brown said.
“In order to supplement provide some stability for those temporary shortages, we pulled other officers in to kind of fill the gaps for patrol,” he said. “And that’s normally customary in this business when you have these kinds of situations taking place.”
Brown added, “We’re seeing crime revert back to what was normal, with some minor suggestions to prior to the pandemic. We’re not seeing the same thing in terms of, for example, auto thefts, that we once saw. The shootings are also lower in number than we had last year, especially towards the summer.”
On the bright side, he said, three APD officers who were previously on administrative duties after a shootout in Old Town North have been cleared for duty by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter. Additionally, APD will be reassigning six officers previously assigned to the School Resource Officer program, which Council eliminated last month.
As for the SROs, Brown said that he supported the program, but would not offer an opinion on Council’s decision.
“I thought there was value in the SRO program,” he said. “But then again, I don’t have the authority to make that decision. My job is to carry out the decision that was made by our elected officials.”
Brown also left six months before being vested in the city’s retirement system, although Brown says it doesn’t bother him and that the decision wasn’t about money. After a 46-year career in law enforcement, this isn’t his first retirement.
“The fact of the matter is, I’ve had several retirements,” he said. “I took this job because I cared about this police department.”
Brown started as a police officer in Los Angeles in 1977, and was the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol from 2004-2008. He was later California’s deputy secretary for public safety from 2008 to 2009, and then for six years was the director of the Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before being hired as Alexandria’s police chief in 2017.
Brown led the police department through a restructuring, as well as social unrest after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an uptick in shooting events and other crime throughout the city. He restructured the department from four to three divisions, and took away deputy chief of police positions and added an assistant chief. He also says that under his leadership the department made strides with its 21st Century Policing effort.
“Some would argue differently, but we became very transparent ,” Brown said. “We put all of our policies, we put all of our reports on use of force on our website so that people could see that information and be critical of it.”
Brown continued, “Policing is never stable. Policing will always change, and it will change based upon events; it will change upon public discourse; it will change because the community, or… the nation at large has other questions, or other expectations… The real challenge for the law enforcement community is to be able to listen and to be able to adapt in order to survive, because if we don’t survive the public will get rid of you.”
Brown’s tenure was punctuated by dramatic events, starting with the Simpson Field Shooting, and culminating with the pandemic and social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. He would later pen an op-ed saying that the video of Floyd’s death appalled him, and he spoke with city leaders to the public and later joined protestors at a demonstration outside police headquarters.
Brown said his laundry list of people to thank is long.
“I admire this department for what it does,” he said. “It’s a good department, filled with great people, and they are out there every day taking care of the citizens, the residents of this city. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to work with them.”
What a week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
Our top story was on President Joe Biden stopping by the Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria last Friday with First Lady Jill Biden and Governor Ralph Northam.
Seeing the president around town is getting to be a regular thing. The president, who also visited in April, discussed “the state’s progress against the coronavirus pandemic” and the celebration of “summer as Virginia lifts all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions.”
This week, we also followed up on a New York Times report about the Virginia Theological Seminary making reparations payments to slavery descendants. The program was launched in 2019, and the school issued $2,100 in annual payments to 15 families in February.
On Wednesday, the Fire Department released its restructuring plan, which goes into effect June 12, and is intended to help emergency response times by shifting resources. AFD will conduct community conversations on the restructuring on Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.; Monday, June 7, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m.
Closing the short workweek, on Friday Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown announced that his retirement. Brown’s last day is June 25, and the City Manager is soon expected to name an acting chief to lead the department while the city’s undergoes a national search for a permanent replacement.
- Bennett-Parker says Levine mailer on Commonwealth of Virginia letterhead is ethics breach
- Wilson keeps fundraising lead over Silberberg in mayoral primary, McPike leads City Council candidates
- City Council candidate thinks divisive local issues are Republican comeback opportunity
- Former City Council member Willie Bailey announces bid for School Board
- A rare glimpse inside Alexandria’s abandoned and overgrown GenOn power plant
- Virginia Theological Seminary is making reparation payments to slavery descendants
- Alexandria military veterans honored on Memorial Day
- Alexandria brings back summer cooling and senior care program
- Police investigate Old Town hit and run
- Woman arrested in Braddock for attacking father of her child with pepper spray and a knife
- Driver in stolen U-Haul pickup truck successfully eludes Virginia State Police
- Alexandria Jail slowly lifting COVID restrictions, in-person attorney visitation for inmates resumes
- Mayor releases figures for ongoing eviction crisis in Alexandria
- ‘Rock It Grill’ eyeing karaoke expansion, bringing back Halloween party
- UPDATED: President Biden and Gov. Northam visited Alexandria this morning
- JUST IN: Virginia State Police chase U-Haul pickup truck through Alexandria
- Bennett-Parker says Levine mailer on Commonwealth of Virginia letterhead is ethics breach
- Goodie’s Frozen Custard & Treats opens in Old Town
- Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen closes for the foreseeable future in Old Town North
- Volunteers needed this weekend to help clear dangerous stretch of Mount Vernon Trail
- Wilson and Silberberg mayoral debate finale opens possibility of ‘tweaking’ Seminary Road Diet
- Homegrown Restaurant Group gives employees raise to $15 an hour, will ease COVID restrictions at 6 restaurants
- ‘Rock It Grill’ eyeing karaoke expansion, bringing back Halloween party
- Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
- Ownership of Landmark’s streets could make a big difference down the road
Photo via White House/Twitter
Mark Jinks isn’t getting any younger, and the Alexandria city manager says he is closing in on the end of his career.
“I turn 70 in 2022,” Jinks told ALXnow. “I am closer to the end than the beginning, that’s for sure.”
Jinks said that things are slowly getting back to normal, as the city’s annual birthday celebration — held virtually last year — will be a limited attendance in-person event on the waterfront this time around. Additionally, starting Monday he said that City Hall’s treasury and tax collection windows will be open five days a week, and every office in the city will have at least two staffers working in person.
While Jinks has not made it official, rumors are swirling about his impending retirement. After six years as Alexandria’s City Manager and more than 20 years since he started work as the city’s budget director in 1999, Jinks and his wife are thinking about taking some time off in the near future to see their daughter who lives in Spain.
“Whenever I decide to make a decision and give Council notice, it would be with plenty of notice,” Jinks said. “Hiring a city manager is not putting an ad in the newspaper. The process can take six to nine months.”
Mayor Justin Wilson would not comment on personnel decisions or timing, but had kind words about Jinks’ performance throughout the pandemic.
“I don’t comment on personnel decisions and timing,” Wilson said. “That being said, the Manager’s leadership has been absolutely critical over the past year as we have worked to address the human, financial and economic impacts of the pandemic. Alexandrians are well-served by his leadership during this time.”
Jinks said it will take years for the city to get back to its pre-pandemic economy.
“I think tourism and business travel were the two pieces that got hit the most, as far as tax revenues are concerned,” he said. “International tourism is practically zero nowadays. Who knows when that will come back. I’d say it’ll be several years until we’re back to where we were.”
It was another busy week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.
This week, ALXnow profiled Mayor Justin Wilson and his opponent, former Mayor Allison Silberberg. The pair are facing off in the June 8 Democratic primary, and have vastly different ideas on city governance.
Alexandria Police released its 2020 crime data this week, revealing a 19% increase in Part 1 crime and 15% reduction in Nuisance crimes. ALXnow also reported a number of noteworthy crime stories, including the release of a video showing a chase suspect who died after his arrest in D.C. on April 12, and the indictment of a West End murder suspect.
This week also brought the unbelievable story of locals chasing down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray.
On the vaccine front, the Alexandria Health Department paused Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, following new concerns about potential side effects.
In school news, Alexandria City Public Schools will shift to three feet distancing in classrooms on April 26. Additionally, the School Board has started a conversation on reducing the number of members from nine to six.
- ‘Dogs Of Del Ray’ mural to be finished next month
- Bullet strikes 7-Eleven door near Braddock Road Metro station
- JUST IN: Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Jennifer McClellan highlights race, women issues in Old Town
- T.C. Senior Sara Abbas surprised with $40,000 Titans In Tech Scholarship
- Spring2ACTion fundraiser sets $2.5 million goal for Alexandria nonprofits
- ACPS will go to 3 feet distancing in classrooms on April 26
- BREAKING: ‘Alexandria City High School’ chosen as replacement name for T.C. Williams High School
- JUST IN: Dr. Stephen Haering suddenly retires as director of Alexandria Health Department
- Southern Towers residents nervous as landlord steps up eviction proceedings
- Man stabbed at Old Town intersection
- NEW: Locals chase down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray
- JUST IN: T.C. Williams JV football team walks off field after alleged racial slur, spitting incident
- Man faces 10 years for DWI in horrific West End crash in Safeway parking lot
- Planning Commission approves controversial subdivision, plants potential loophole for future denial
- JUST IN: Video released of police arresting chase suspect who died in D.C.
- JUST IN: Six Alexandria Police officers put on administrative duties after chase suspect dies
- JUST IN: West End murder suspect faces life plus 13 years in prison
Have a safe weekend!
Photo via ACPS/Facebook
Alexandria health director reflects on sudden retirement, tenure with city — “When Dr. Stephen Haering, director of the Alexandria Health Department for the past 11 years, unexpectedly announced his retirement on April 9, he did so for what he called ‘deeply personal’ reasons. Haering, whose retirement was effective immediately according to a city news release, told the Times in an interview that his departure was ‘not associated with the pandemic response.'” [Alex Times]
Vaccination drive brings a dose of hope for restaurant workers — “More than 1,000 restaurant and small business employees have filed through the doors of the old Fireflies restaurant over the past few weeks with the same purpose: receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The location’s current vacancy made this the perfect site to administer such a large number of shots, Bill Blackburn, restaurateur and co-owner of Homegrown Restaurant Group, said. Blackburn joined forces with community organizer Charlotte Hall and Scott Shaw of Alexandria Restaurant Partners – who donated the space – to orchestrate the Alexandria Restaurant Drive whereby restaurant workers could receive vaccinations in a streamlined way.” [Alex Times]
Bren Mar Park demolition project to begin — “Demolition work will begin at Bren Mar Park on Collier Lane and Edsall Road in Alexandria, Virginia, as the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) removes a home on the property.” [Fairfax County]
Reimagined ‘Taste Of Old Town North’ to be held over 2 months — “The Reimagined Taste of Old Town North will start on April 21 and will continue through June 21. During the two-month period, residents can purchase a Taste Passport for $10 to use at participating businesses. These businesses will offer discounts to Passport holders.” [Patch]
Today’s weather — “Intervals of clouds and sunshine (during the day). High 63F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 44F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Taekwondo instructors and camp counselors — “Our growing company is currently seeking motivated and enthusiastic individuals who are GREAT with people to join our team at multiple locations. Our programs include martial arts classes for all ages, as well as After-school & Summer Camp programs for children 6-12 years old. Work hours tend to fall in the afternoons, evenings and Saturday mornings. This is a part-time position that can lead to a full-time position with excellent opportunity for advancement.” [Indeed]