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Wegmans is officially opening its doors to the public tomorrow (Wednesday) in Brookfield Properties’ new Halley Rise development.

The 85,000-square-foot grocery store is located at 11950 Hopper Street and will officially open at 9 a.m.

Most of the store’s 425 employees were hired locally, according to the company.

Katie Sullivan, the store’s manager, told FFXnow that the Reston location is unique because it was adapted to an urban-focused environment.

“This store is unique in that it’s an urban-style Wegmans in a mixed-use development. We’ve automated the shopping experience at this store, with a unique layout that is built for the urban environment,” Sullivan told FFXnow.

The Reston location also has a self-serve coffee bar — the first in any other Wegmans store in the state. A Burger Bar is also available through the company’s online ordering app.

The store has the traditional restaurant section, which is a staple of the Wegmans’ brand. Items on the menu include fresh sushi, pizza, salads, sandwiches, packaged subs and other prepackaged meals.

In celebration of its opening, the grocery store has committed $20,000 through donations and event partnerships in the Reston area.

Parking is accessible in a structured parking garage below the grocery store. Residential units tower above the grocery store, which is accessible from the Reston Town Center Metro station.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc has 109 stores along the East Coast, including ones in Fairfax, Chantilly and Capital One Center in Tysons.

The grocery store is an anchor tenant of Brookfield’s development, which will transform a 36-acre office park near the Metro station with 3.5 million square feet of housing, retail, offices and open spaces. Up to 1,500 residential units, 250,000 square feet of retail, and 1.5 million square feet of office space are planned.

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Morning Notes

A cyclist on a trail in Reston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

See Vienna’s Ilia Malinin Win Ice Skating Title — Ilia Malinin, an 18-year-old Marshall High School student, became the U.S. men’s figure skating champion on Sunday (Jan. 29), even after missing the quadruple jumps planned in his free skate program. Known as the “Quad God,” he became the only skater to ever land a clean quad axle in competition last fall. [WTOP]

Flu Activity Still Higher Than Usual — “Among children ages 0-17 years, influenza-like illness (ILI) activity in Fairfax remains higher than usual. While visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers for ILI are lower than they were in the late fall, pediatric flu activity is still above average and respiratory illnesses continue to circulate in the community.” [FCHD]

Man Sentenced in Skyline Overdoses — Michael Vaughn, a 28-year-old man from Dumfries, was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday for distributing fentanyl that resulted in six overdoses during a party at the Skyline apartments in Bailey’s Crossroads in 2021. One person died after overdosing on the drug, which was mixed with cocaine. [U.S. Attorney’s Office]

Arrest Made in Fairfax City Carjacking — “City of Fairfax Police arrested a 31-year-old Maryland man early Sunday morning for a carjacking that occurred in the parking lot of a local convenience store, according to a release. Officers were called around 2:40 a.m., to the 7-Eleven located at 3910 University Drive for the report of a carjacking in progress.” [Patch]

Residents Skeptical of Possible Rollins Drive Closure — In response to ongoing safety issues, the Virginia Department of Transportation has proposed temporarily closing Rollins Drive at Fort Hunt Road so it can add a pedestrian refuge in a crosswalk. But many attendees at a recent community meeting opposed the project, suggesting other options such as a four-way stop or allowing right turns only onto Fort Hunt. [On the MoVe]

Public Art Projects Planned in Vienna — “A sunrise mural later this year may grace a tan-brick wall at the Vienna Community Center, and three other Vienna Public Art Commission projects also appear to have the Vienna Town Council’s support…If the Council grants its assent, the commission likely could begin painting the wall in September or October.” [Sun Gazette]

County Appoints New Code Compliance Director — “Gabriel M. Zakkak has been appointed director of the Department of Code Compliance (DCC). He succeeds Jack Weyant, who retired this month…The Department of Code Compliance investigates neighborhood quality of life complaints involving most zoning, noise, property maintenance, building, fire, blight and grass.” [Fairfax County]

County Libraries Introduce Learning Tablets for Kids — “Launchpads are now available for checkout at 23 FCPL branches! These are durable, kid-friendly learning tablets with pre-loaded apps, stories, and videos and are designed to give kids the tools to learn the way they learn best.” [FCPL/Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Light rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 51 and low of 34. Sunrise at 7:17 am and sunset at 5:29 pm. [Weather.gov]

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An FCPS employee gets vaccinated against COVID-19 at an Inova clinic in January 2021 (photo by Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools)

Fairfax County is looking for artists to contribute to a COVID-19 memorial.

The project is spearheaded by ArtsFairfax, the county’s official arts agency, after planning started nearly a year ago.

“The selected artist/team will design, fabricate, and install a permanent work of art that will commemorate the suffering of people in the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the heroism of the people who responded to the emergency,” ArtsFairfax said in an email.

The memorial commemorates the approximately 1,743 deaths from Covid in the Fairfax Health District, where there have been approximately 264,451 cases. The district includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.

“This scale of disease and its impact to the communities of Fairfax County, as well as the impact to a County workforce that responded to the public health emergency, are worthy of memorialization,” ArtsFairfax said in a release. “The County has identified a location for a significant public artwork that will commemorate the suffering of people in the pandemic as well as the heroism of the people who responded to the emergency.”

The memorial will be located at the center of the plaza at 12055 Government Center Parkway.

The application is open to all artists living and working in the area — meaning anywhere between Richmond and Baltimore, according to the release — and eligible to work in the U.S.

A $200,000 artist fee includes design, materials, fabrication, insurance, travel, packing, shipping, installation and a maintenance plan for the artwork, the release said.

Admission opened on Jan. 23. An online information session is scheduled for Wednesday (Feb. 1) at 3 p.m. The application deadline is April 12.

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Reston Association (courtesy RA)

Reston Association’s Board of Directors filled an at-large seat vacated by board member Glenn Small in November. 

At a Thursday (Jan. 26) night meeting, the board voted to select Travis Johnson — who has lived in Reston for a total of 14 years — over competitors Trevor Grywatch and Jeff Spurrier.

Johnson said he wants to ensure that Reston remains a good place to raise children.

“I love it here, we love it here and my goal is to help Reston remain a fantastic place to raise my family,” Johnson said at the meeting. 

He has two daughters: a high school senior and a sixth-grader. 

Johnson said he hopes to leverage his experience at large consulting firms to better RA as an organization. 

“What I’d like to do with the board is to help identify processes that don’t work and identify processes that do work,” he said. 

Johnson ran for a seat in 2018. Two other candidates for the seat removed their names from consideration prior to Thursday’s meeting. 

Four other seats remain open for the next election, which takes place in March. 

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A rendering of the proposed Beacon Hill senior living facility in Groveton (via Fairfax County)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has given the green light to new affordable housing for seniors along Richmond Highway.

At last week’s meeting, the board unanimously approved the plan amendment for the affordable senior housing next to the Beacon of Groveton apartment building. The project calls for a six-story, 70,000-square-foot affordable, independent senior living facility with a “community-serving” ground floor at 6858 Richmond Highway.

An undeveloped urban park currently sits at the site.

The county’s Planning Commission also voted unanimously to recommend approval of the project back in December, despite some traffic concerns.

While all the supervisors voted for the project, a few shared that they had initially hoped to see more office space at the site. However, with the county actively trying to convert underused commercial space due to reduced need, they admitted that affordable housing for seniors was a much better plan.

“This area, unfortunately, will not be executed in the form of office, [but] I acknowledge the market just isn’t there,” Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said during the meeting. “It makes sense to convert this to something that’s definitely needed in the community. Affordable housing — particularly affordable housing for seniors — is something that will have benefit.”

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck agreed with that sentiment, saying that while some green space will be lost, the space was always planned for development.

“I share the regret that we don’t have office options, but equally say that I’m very pleased we can do more…senior housing,” Storck said. “It’s definitely a demand that will far exceed supply.”

The project to develop the half-acre “interim park space” into a multi-story building housing seniors was first proposed in May.

The development will sit next to the Beacon of Groveton apartment building and about a half-block from the Beacon Center, a retail area with a Giant, Lowe’s, and other stores. It will be about a half-mile from a future Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit station, which could begin operating around 2030.

While walkability to amenities was a point in favor of the project, an area resident at last month’s planning commission public hearing noted the proximity to Richmond Highway may pose a safety risk to residents. As a caregiver for his elderly parents, he said the traffic was so bad along the corridor that he didn’t let his dad walk in the evenings near Richmond Highway.

Commissioners overall understood this objection but said this project and other ones in the future should make the corridor more pedestrian-friendly.

The new senior housing along Richmond Highway remains far from being completed. Rezoning consideration likely won’t happen until the spring, with the building not expecting to open to its new senior residents until at least 2027.

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The county’s housing authority has entered into an agreement with Foulger-Pratt (Photo via Fairfax County).

A task force will discuss the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTC North) beginning today (Monday).

The meeting will set into motion a master plan focused on community facilities in the area, which is roughly bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, Bowman Towne Drive and Fountain Drive.

Led by former Fairfax County Board Chair Kate Hanley, the task force was created by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn in April.

The work will help guide several key development forces taking shape in the area.

Most notably, Foulger-Pratt is working with the county on plans for a new regional library in the Bowman Towne Court area. The project could include a 350-unit multifamily community and will be on a nearly 4.5-acre piece of land partly owned by the county and the Fairfax County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

An approved conceptual plan between Inova Health Care Services and the county contemplates a mix of uses for RTC North, including office space, residential units, and public uses like the Embry Rucker Shelter, supportive housing and the North County Human Service Building.

So far, a 3-acre area — formerly the home of the Inova Cameron Glen Nursing Home — is set to remain as an open green area.

“Actual development within the resulting blocks will be subject to future community input in addition to the DRB and Fairfax County zoning review processes,” the county said.

A revised joint application is expected after the Reston Comprehensive Plan is amended — a process that is currently underway.

The county hopes to redevelop the area into a vibrant, urban, mixed-use environment that provides a transition from the denser Reston Town Center to the surrounding environment.

The task force includes representation from surrounding neighborhoods. The first meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

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Vienna police SUV (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

Police from three different jurisdictions are on the lookout for suspects in an armed carjacking reported in Vienna Saturday night (Jan. 28).

An individual told the Town of Vienna Police Department around 10:30 p.m. that their vehicle was rear-ended about half an hour earlier near the intersection of Park Street and Moore Avenue SE, according to a news release published yesterday (Sunday).

The citizen exited their vehicle to make contact with the striking vehicle. The occupants of the striking vehicle exited their vehicle, presented a firearm and demanded the citizen give over control of their vehicle. One suspect entered the victim’s vehicle; the second suspect got back into what was described as a black Dodge Challenger and fled the area. The victim’s cell phone was left in their vehicle, preventing them from calling 911.

No injuries were reported, and the firearms weren’t discharged, according to police.

The Vienna police department says it alerted other jurisdictions to the stolen vehicle, which was ultimately found abandoned in Baltimore. The Baltimore Police Department provided assistance in locating the vehicle.

VPD’s criminal investigations section is now working with D.C. and Baltimore police to try to identify the suspects.

“Vienna Police Department asks for the public’s assistance to locate any eyewitnesses or video of the incident,” the department said. “Please call 703-255-6366 and ask for MPO Juan Vazquez to provide information.”

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. James Curry shares an update on a fatal stabbing at a Janna Lee Avenue apartment in Hybla Valley (via FCPD/Twitter)

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A teen was taken into police custody after allegedly stabbing and ultimately killing his mother’s boyfriend in a Hybla Valley apartment last night (Sunday), police say.

Officers were called to the apartment in the 7900 block of Janna Lee Avenue just before 10 p.m. after the teen reported that his mother was being assaulted by her boyfriend, Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. James Curry said in a brief update at 1 a.m.

Marcus Roberson, a 32-year-old D.C. resident, was transported to a nearby hospital with stab wounds to his upper body, according to police. He died at the hospital.

“Detectives are actively investigating to determine the circumstances that led to the stabbing,” Curry said.

An initial investigation appears to have backed up the teen’s report to police:

Preliminarily, detectives from our Major Crime Bureau and Crime Scene Section determined Roberson was visiting the address when a verbal argument escalated into an assault. The juvenile teenager reported he stabbed Roberson to stop the assault. There were three other children inside the apartment that were unharmed. The woman was treated at the scene for injuries not considered life threatening.

According to the FCPD, the teen was released to his mother after being interviewed last night and hasn’t been charged for the stabbing, which detectives believe may have been “a justifiable homicide.”

“Detectives continue to conduct interviews and process evidence recovered from the scene to determine the circumstances that led up to the fatal stabbing,” the police department said.

Charges may be filed at a later date based on a consultation between police and the Office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney. An autopsy will be conducted “in the coming days” to confirm the cause and manner of Roberson’s death.

This is the second fatal stabbing seen in Fairfax County this year. The previous incident on Jan. 10 also reportedly stemmed from domestic violence, as an adult man in McLean allegedly stabbed his mother and stepfather, who died.

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Morning Notes

Vehicles turn off Route 123 into Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Vienna’s Ilia Malinin Impresses at U.S. Skating Championships — “Even before his leading score of 110.36 was announced, the fans in the arena knew they were seeing something special on the opening day of the men’s competition. They stood almost as one and roared for the 18-year-old from Vienna, who has named his Instagram account ‘Quadg0d’ and has quickly announced himself as America’s next great male skater.” [The Washington Post]

Fairfax County Firefighter Gets Support in Cancer Fight — “Fire engines, a ladder truck and ambulances from Fredericksburg to Fairfax County, along with about 50 of the people who operate them, gathered outside Stafford Hospital last week to support one of their own as he headed inside for cancer surgery. Tyler Pennington, 30, is among a growing number of firefighters diagnosed with occupational cancer — the leading cause of death in the field, according to the International Association of Firefighters union.” [The Free Lance-Star]

Impact of Delayed Honors on College Prospects Minimal — “The matter at the core of this drama — a delay in delivery of letters of commendation for standardized test scores at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and elsewhere in Northern Virginia — in all likelihood will have zero effect on the college admission prospects of any high school student or access to financial aid, according to experts in the field.” [The Washington Post]

Emergency SNAP Benefits Near End — “The extra food assistance benefits put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic will end nationwide in February, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service…The emergency allotments have already ended in 17 states…For the remaining 32 states, [including Virginia,] plus Washington, D.C., Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the extra funding will end with the March benefit.” [Axios]

Dental Practice Coming to Belvoir Square Apartments — “Property management company KLNB recently signed Gentle Dental Care to a 2,132-square-foot space adjacent to Juleps Nails & Spa. A representative from Belvoir Square’s leasing office said interior construction is getting underway, and they anticipate the dental practice will be open by fall.” [On the MoVe]

The Water Mine Now Hiring for Summer — “The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole offers a wide range of opportunities to earn some cash this summer! Although the pool season is a few months away, FCPA has started its search for the more than 200 team members it takes to run the popular splash park in Reston, Virginia.” [FCPA]

Tysons Startup Seen as One to Watch — “RegScale spun out of D.C.’s C2 Labs Inc. in 2021 and raised $1.5 million in its first year. The young company continues to raise funding as cybersecurity becomes a prominent focus for companies, no matter the industry.” [DC Inno]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:17 am and sunset at 5:28 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A dog believed to be a Staffordshire terrier was found chained up and shot in Mount Vernon (via FCPD)

A dog was chained up and shot this morning in the residential neighborhood behind the Woodlawn Shopping Center in Mount Vernon, police say.

Officers responded to the area of Bedford Terrace and Beekman Place at 3:35 a.m. after getting a call that there was a dog chained to a fence, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Upon arriving, they discovered the animal had a gunshot wound.

“The chain was immediately removed, and the dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian’s office. The dog remains with the veterinarian receiving further care,” the FCPD said in a news release published this afternoon.

Police later determined that a community member had called earlier in the evening “after hearing a dog barking and a single gunshot,” the department said, adding that officers had searched the area but “did not find anything suspicious.”

The FCPD is now on the lookout for the owner of the dog, which is believed to be an adult, male Staffordshire terrier.

Police are asking residents in the neighborhood to review any surveillance footage they might have from last night. The department’s Animal Protection Police can be contacted at fcpdanimalprotection@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The FCPD also accepts anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.

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