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American flags lined up in front of McLean’s Old Firehouse (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Memorial Day weekend is almost here. Before you start planning how to spend the holiday or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. Bidding adieu to Reston Town Center, Clyde’s prepares to unveil next course
  2. Reston dive bar, Local VA, shutters at Lake Anne Plaza
  3. Ahead of 2023 opening, Wegmans begins hiring for Reston location
  4. After Texas mass shooting, Fairfax County School Board member proposes new security measure
  5. Buoyed by community effort, man rescued at Reston’s North Shore pool
  6. JUST IN: FCPS bus workers charged with abuse after kid suffers head injury
  7. NEW: Tysons Biergarten returns, opening at Scotts Run this week
  8. EXCLUSIVE: Immersive indoor golfing experience is coming to Reston Town Center
  9. Filipino fried chicken chain Jollibee to open this year in Chantilly
  10. Lidl reveals grand opening date for its new McLean grocery

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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The Fairfax County Courthouse (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

One of the most prominent court trials in recent Fairfax County history is drawing to a close.

Drawing celebrities, media, and an eclectic assortment of fans, actor Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against fellow actor and ex-wife Amber Heard has unfolded in sobering, sometimes bizarre detail at the Fairfax County Courthouse since April 11.

The trial culminates more than three years of legal proceedings after Depp filed a complaint in March 2019 seeking $50 million from Heard over a Washington Post op-ed where she discussed her experience with sexual violence.

Depp’s lawyers filed the lawsuit in Fairfax County, because the Post’s computer servers are located here, and Virginia’s anti-SLAPP laws — which seek to prevent people from using the courts to intimidate or silence critics — are weaker than those in California, according to Inside NoVA.

Televised live by Court TV, the case has become a filter for issues related to celebrity and fan culture, while also raising fears that domestic violence victims will be further discouraged from speaking up or seeking help, given the mockery directed at Heard in particular everywhere from TikTok to Saturday Night Live.

With closing arguments expected tomorrow (Friday), have you been following developments in the trial closely, or are you eager for an end to the hubbub?

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Sheep from Lambmowers graze in Fairfax (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The weekend is almost here. Before you crank up the air-conditioning, or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. Multiple people stabbed near county human services building in Reston
  2. JUST IN: Two hospitalized by Route 28 crash in Chantilly
  3. After much debate, Vienna settles on new outdoor dining rules
  4. Herndon carnival set for June in lieu of annual festival
  5. Reston firefighters help deliver baby at station
  6. Comstock’s plans for ‘Commerce Center’ near Wiehle-Reston East revealed
  7. JUST IN: Child with measles may have exposed people at Inova Fairfax Hospital
  8. UPDATED: Two people killed in crash on Capital Beltway in Tysons
  9. FCPD investigates apparent murder-suicide in Kings Park West
  10. Greek restaurant Knossos coming soon to Elden Street from Leesburg

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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Herndon High School students protest in support of abortion access (staff photo by David Taube)

The weekend is almost here. Before you hop on a bicycle and hit the nearest trail, or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. Reported armed robbery in Tysons leads to I-495 police pursuit
  2. Fairfax County resident wins big on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
  3. Fairfax County board chair rejects Youngkin’s advice for Supreme Court justice protests
  4. Reston Town Center renovations force cancellation of concert series
  5. Big Buns will start serving up burgers in Vienna next week
  6. JUST IN: Driver dies after car crashes, catches fire on I-95 in Springfield
  7. Herndon hopes for ‘unique’ entrance with planned promenade from Metro station
  8. Fairfax County revives effort to look at ‘panhandling’ issues, but leaders disagree on approach
  9. Plan for new residential buildings at The Boro tweaked to improve bridge design, accessibility
  10. Private school in Vienna seeks to add more students, new facilities

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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Bow Tie Cinemas has closed at Reston Town Center (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

The weekend is almost here. Before you grab some Mother’s Day chocolate or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. Long-standing Fairfax County family car wash business sells locations
  2. Silver Line extension opening date, cause of heat issue remain elusive
  3. Fairfax County has seen 11 rabies cases this year, none among foxes
  4. Amazon grants $55M to Tysons all-affordable housing project
  5. Bow Tie Cinemas shutters in Reston, putting popular senior movie days on hold
  6. New chicken spot to open in Pan Am Shopping Center
  7. Women’s clothing store Chico’s closes in Reston Town Center
  8. Yu Noodles shop opens in the Town of Herndon
  9. Big Buns to open on Elden Street in the Town of Herndon this year
  10. Fairfax County now averaging over 300 Covid cases a day

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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The Fairfax County Government Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is slated to adopt its budget on Tuesday (May 10), triggering a series of raises for workers starting in July.

Nearly a third of public safety workers will see increases of up to 14.01% during the year, following an additional increase approved by the board on April 26.

Other county workers, in addition to getting performance, merit and longevity increases, will also get 4.01% raises through market rate adjustments to make their salaries more competitive.

The budget process also covers the Fairfax County Public Schools, which will pass its own budget, covering nearly 25,000 positions. County funding is slated to cover 4% raises and step increases of eligible employees for the district.

The county’s push to improve compensation for its workers comes amid a 15% vacancy rate, as of mid-March, representing 2,125 openings, and concerns about employee recruitment and retention.

What do you think of the proposed compensation increases for county workers? Is it critical to ensure the people who keep schools, the police, and other services running can live where they work, or is it too much at this time, given the area’s rising property taxes?

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A closeup of an iPhone screen (via Adrien/Unsplash)

After roughly a decade of relative freedom, Fairfax County Public Schools is sending cellphones back into students’ backpacks.

The Fairfax County School Board is considering restricting the use of personal phones during class for all students as part of several proposed revisions to its Students Rights & Responsibilities handbook, which sets standards for student behavior and discipline.

As proposed during a work session on April 26, the extent of the ban would vary depending on the grade level. Elementary and middle school students would only be allowed to use cellphones before and after the school day, while high schoolers can take them out during lunch and periods between classes.

The revised regulation says teachers could still let students use phones for instructional activities “where they are the most appropriate tool,” but in most cases, the school-issued laptops that most students receive should be adequate.

FCPS has already started to limit phone use in Herndon schools, and Dranesville District School Board Representative Elaine Tholen said at the work session that the changes have had positive results, WTOP reported last week.

The proposed changes mark a shift away from FCPS’ current policy, which embraces technology as a way of “creating a 21st century learning environment” and permits students to use their personal devices to access the internet and work with classmates.

FCPS introduced its Bring Your Own Device policy about a decade ago, as the system started to phase in the school-issued laptops. The initiative, which notes that the use of phones for “personal or recreational purposes” should be minimized, won FCPS a Governor’s Technology Award in 2013.

Since then, some schools across the country have moved to ban phones in classrooms in response to concerns about distractions and excessive screentime, but with 95% of teenagers having access to a smartphone, others have argued that a more effective approach is to set clear guidelines and teach students how to use technology responsibly. Safety and health concerns are also sometimes cited as reasons to allow phones.

What do you think of the proposed changes to FCPS’ phone policy? Should schools accept cellphones as an integral part of many kids’ lives and even a potential teaching tool, or are they just a distraction?

Photo via Adrien/Unsplash

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Tennis courts at Lewinsville Park in McLean (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The weekend is almost here. Before you saddle up for Frying Pan Farm Park’s inaugural horse expo or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. JUST IN: Fairfax County firefighter dies from work-related cancer
  2. Rotating car station coming to Boston Properties’ Reston Town Center expansion
  3. Crews to raze office building, clearing way for more housing near Wiehle-Reston East
  4. ‘Dirty soda’ shop coming to Vienna in May, bringing sweet refreshments
  5. Springfield man dies after three-vehicle crash, the fifth pedestrian killed this year
  6. JUST IN: Teen charged in fatal crash on Georgetown Pike was speeding, police say
  7. County board to reduce real estate tax rate, though bills will still go up
  8. Here’s the new plan to redevelop the Commons of McLean apartments
  9. Covid cases in Fairfax County rise to mid-February levels
  10. Lidl readies for summer opening in McLean, with more stores coming

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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Farmers market (via Fairfax County)

Spring is here, and that means Fairfax County’s farmers markets are starting back up.

Several of the seasonal markets now accept food scraps for compost, including a new site coming to Kingstowne next week.

The market, which runs from 3-7 p.m. Fridays at Kingstowne Center, starting May 6, is one of five farmers markets in the county’s pilot program. The other four markets introduced the option last year, extending composting options at the I-95 Landfill Complex and I-66 Transfer Station.

With Earth Day in the rearview mirror and community advocates stressing the need for the county to step up its environmental initiatives, FFXnow is curious if you have or plan on utilizing the farmers market composting pilot program, even if it plays a small part in addressing the overall issues facing the planet.

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A wall Scrabble board at Google’s Reston offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The weekend is almost here. Before you start working on an elaborate drag costume or head to bed for some much-needed sleep after avoiding those pranksters, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.

Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:

  1. Google announces $300M investment in Virginia from Reston office
  2. Two Tysons-based companies ranked among top 10 places to work in U.S.
  3. JUST IN: Stakeout leads to arrest in overnight burglaries at Northpoint Village Shopping Center
  4. Rise in cut-through traffic becomes dicey issue for Town of Herndon
  5. Key Route 7 intersection to open this spring, as road widening continues
  6. Person rescued from fire at 122-year-old Vienna home on Saturday
  7. Fairfax County School Board chooses new superintendent, despite protests
  8. Crews to raze office building, clearing way for more housing near Wiehle-Reston East
  9. Herndon HS cracks down on ‘all-time high’ student cell phone use
  10. ‘Take a Break’ summer concert series moves to Reston Station

Ideas for potential stories can be sent to news@ffxnow.com or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend Fairfax County!

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