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The dessert shop Insomnia Cookies plans to open a new location in Fairfax soon (via Insomnia Cookies/Facebook)

Good news for George Mason University students and anyone else looking for a late-night snack: Insomnia Cookies is adding a location in Fairfax County.

The business plans to open up shop soon in University Mall at 10669 Braddock Road, according to its website. The plaza is anchored by Giant and includes other businesses like Domino’s, United Bank and Gathering Grounds Cafe.

The company did not immediately indicate when it plans to open, but its website anticipates that it will open “soon.”

Founded by a University of Pennsylvania student in 2003, Insomnia Cookies sells fresh cookies and ice cream. Popular cookie flavors include chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle, and s’mores deluxe. Delivery options will also be available at the new store.

Insomnia Cookies already has several shops in Virginia, including Richmond, Blacksburg, and Charlottesville, but this will be its first in Fairfax County. Another location is also planned in Williamsburg, according to the company’s website.

Photo via Insomnia Cookies/Facebook

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Fairfax County Police Department Executive Deputy Chief Brian Reilly talks at a press conference (via Fairfax County Police Department)

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A man and two women were found dead with apparent gunshot wounds barricaded inside a room of an apartment in Fair Lakes today (Tuesday), Fairfax County police said.

Police found the three people dead inside the apartment in the 4200 block of Mazarin Place after a family member of one of the deceased called 911 and requested a welfare check, Executive Deputy Chief Brian Reilly said at a press conference.

When officers arrived around 10:30 a.m., a roommate let them into the apartment and told them the back bedroom was the room the family member would be in, Reilly said. They were unable to open the door, so asked the fire department to assist. Using a ladder truck they could see inside the room and that the three appeared to be dead.

They forced entry into the room and saw two women and a man appeared to have been shot, Reilly said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

“We believe all three people in that room were the only three people that were in that room at the time of what we believe to be a shooting of all three,” Reilly said. “Our detectives are investigating what took place.”

Police believe it is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public, he said.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue ambulance

A man died after possibly being electrocuted while trimming tree branches in the Fairfax area near George Mason University this morning (Friday), Fairfax County Police Department wrote in a tweet.

The man was found suspended by a rope about 25 feet up in the tree when units from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived around 8:30 a.m., the department reported.

Technical rescue crews were able to free the man and brought him to the ground. However, he sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

Police said officrs are now on the scene in the 4600 block of Luxberry Drive and believe the man was electrocuted. Detectives are en route to conduct a death investigation.

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The exterior of the NRA building in Fairfax (via Google Maps)

Following yesterday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas, Fairfax Democrats plan to host a vigil tonight (Wednesday) at the National Rifle Association’s building in Fairfax.

“Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook, little children and teachers are mass murdered in their classrooms,” the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s event site reads. “Another young adult male with easy access to assault weapons matches the suburban teen who murdered with racist rage in Buffalo. Take action now. Join us tonight.”

A gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, reviving the debate over how to address gun violence across the country.

In Fairfax County, the shooting prompted a school board member to advocate for adding security vestibules at schools. In Arlington County, police stepped up security at schools today in light of the shooting.

The event page encourages attendees to bring candles. It says the vigil will be held at 11250 Waples Mill Road from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Photo via Google Maps

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A broken pole took out power for 271 Dominion Energy customers in the Fairfax area (via Dominion Energy)

More than 2,000 people in Fairfax County are without electricity after bursts of rain and hail swept through the D.C. area last night (Sunday).

Dominion Energy has reported outages affecting 2,636 customers, as of 9:50 a.m., according to PowerOutage.US.

According to the utility company’s outage map, the damage is widespread across the eastern half of the county, from Wolf Trap in the north to Newington in the south, but the individual outages are mostly limited in their impact.

The largest outage is in the Kings Park West area, just south of Braddock Road and north of Guinea Road. Crews are currently working to address a broken pole that took out power for 271 customers. The estimated time of restoration is 6-11 p.m.

Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox reported earlier this morning (Monday) that 60 mph winds knocked down trees, branches, and utility poles across Northern Virginia, where the company is working on 92 projects.

Neighboring residents in Arlington and Alexandria are also still dealing with the storm’s aftermath

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Morning Notes

Tysons Tales pop-up park outside The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Board Chair “Saddened” by Buffalo Mass Shooting — “I am both saddened and angered over the senseless loss of life that took place in Buffalo, NY. The racial hate that reportedly motivated this horrific attack is inexcusable. I am keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Nearly Half of Metrorail Operators Lapse Recertification — “Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage…Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May.” [WMATA]

Police Investigate Deaths Near Robinson Secondary School — “Detectives are on the scene in the 10400 blk of Stallworth Ct. in Fairfax after officers discovered two deceased persons following a welfare check. Preliminarily, this appears to be a domestic-related incident. There is no known threat to the public at this time.” [FCPD/Twitter]

FCPS Considers Co-Ed Sex Education Classes — “An advisory committee recently approved a plan to mix boys and girls in grades 4-8 during Family Life Education instruction; a practice that is done in some area school systems but not in others…Board members are expected to discuss mixing-genders in Family Life Education classes as early as June.” [ABC7]

Area Eagles Suffer from Lead Poisoning — “Toxins in the environment, and especially lead, [Jeff Cooper] suspected, were hurting bald eagles in Virginia more than ecologists realized…The findings went beyond Cooper’s fears: Nearly half of bald and golden eagles in the United States, and in the D.C. region, have chronic lead poisoning.” [The Washington Post]

Person Shot in Mount Vernon Near Richmond Highway — Fairfax County police officers responded to Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue on Thursday (May 12) after a person was shot in the upper body by someone “seen pointing a silver handgun from an older model black Toyota Highlander.” The victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening, and police don’t believe it was a random act. [FCPD]

Couple Recalls Meet at Clyde’s in Reston — As Clyde’s prepares to close on Saturday (May 21) after 31 years at Reston Town Center, resident Kristin Simons reflects on having her first date with her now-husband at the restaurant. Since then, Clyde’s has become a go-to destination for the family for everything from brunches to work-related celebrations, she says. [Fairfax County Times]

Princess Diana Exhibit Comes to Tysons — “The new experience, called Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, is said to be the world’s first-ever walk-through documentary by its creators…Tickets to the experience are now on sale…and the event’s first day open to the public will be on May 25 at Tysons Corner Center.” [WUSA9]

Tysons Pedestrian Bridge Falling into Place — “The perfect cure for a gloomy day? Check out the most recent progress pics of our new ped bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, opening this year!” [VDOT/Twitter]

It’s Monday — Rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The Little River Glen IV project includes 60 new affordable housing units for seniors (via Fairfax County)

An affordable housing option for seniors will soon be available in an area of Braddock District where housing stock has been limited.

At a board meeting on Tuesday (May 10), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a financing plan to rehabilitate 120 senior affordable housing units and construct 60 new units at a project known as Little River Glen.

Financing on the project is expected to close in October. The county will likely begin once financing is secured following a two-year schedule. 

“Accordingly, current projections would have completion in the fall 2024,” said Benjamin Boxer, spokesperson for FCHRA.

The project is spearheaded by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which owns Little River Glen I, a 120-unit building built in the 1990s and a senior center. FCHRA also owns an adjacent property that’s approved for 60 new senior affordable housing units, known in planning jargon as Little River Glen IV.

Both options will be restricted to seniors age 62 and above with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.

FCHRA is seeking multiple funding options for the project to move forward, including $7 million as a loan from the authority’s funding resources, $1.5 million from its operating fund, and $1.4 million in a loan from the county’s affordable housing development and investment fund.

Overall, the project requires up to $40 million in bonds to be authorized.

“Historically, the competing requirements tied to various funding sources have made it difficult to apply multiple resources to a project,” FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna wrote in a statement. “We’re proud of the fact that, over the last several years, we have led the way in rewriting the affordable housing playbook when it comes to the strategic investment of public resources to make it possible for projects like these to come alive.”

Both projects will be conveyed to LRG Apartments Limited Partnership, a limited partnership created and controlled by FCHRA as the sole controlling member.

Once completed, Little River Glen’s campus will see a boost in affordable housing options. It already includes Olley Glen, a 90-unit senior independent living building, and Braddock Glen, which includes 60 beds.

The existing community will get new cabinetry, upgraded kitchen appliances, new toilets, light fixtures, HVAC systems and bathtubs, and upgrades to the existing senior center.

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The tea shop plans to open in Fairfax in the next two weeks (via Yifang Fruit Tea/Facebook)

A fruit tea spot named after a family matriarch is coming this month to Fairfax.

Yifang Fruit Tea, a family-owned business, plans to open a nearly 2,000-square-foot location at Fairfax Court (11282 James Swart Circle) within the next two weeks, business representative Dave Chen tells FFXnow.

The business prides itself on serving teas made from natural ingredients and inspired by three generations of “family farming,” lead to a unique understanding of how to “get the best floors out of the fruit they harvest,” according to the shop’s website.

Its recipes were crafted by the owner’s grandmother, Yi Fang, who married a young farmer and relied on planting pineapples for a living.

Fang happened to braise golden pineapples into a homemade jam, resulting in what soon become popular drink: Yi Fang fruit tea.

The current owners have put the “early-Taiwan epitome, historic memories and warm hospitality” into its drinks, according to a company statement.

“We are not your typical bubble tea shop,” the owners write.

Options on the menu include a brown sugar pearl black tea latte, grass jelly tea, roselle lemonade, and jelly lemon green tea. The company has one other location in Georgia.

“We picked this location because of the sound demographics and the George Mason University,” Chen said.

The location will also have a Kenta Ramen machine, which automatically cooks ramen.

Photo via Yi Fang Fruit Tea/Facebook

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La Biblia Church Ministries proposed building on Popes Head Road (via Fairfax County)

A two-story church just shy of 50,000 square feet in size is coming soon to Fairfax.

La Biblia Church Ministries, Inc. is seeking the county’s blessing to build the church, which will be located at 11600 Popes Head Road.

Although the Board of Zoning Appeals approved the project in October of last year, the board required the applicant to apply for a special permit before proceeding with construction.

The church would be constructed in a single phase, but interior improvements would be phased out, starting with plans to build a 650-seat fellowship hall. A second phase of improvements would include a sanctuary with up to 1,000-set hall.

Classrooms are also planned as part of the project, but it currently does not include a private or nursery school.

The latest application to Fairfax County increases the number of parking spaces from 224 to 302, along with similar increases in the amount of undisturbed and open space.

The project butts heads with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s plan to improve the Fairfax County Parkway and Popes Head Road. The ministry group plans to dedicate roughly 26,00 square feet of the right-of-way required to move that project forward.

A single access point to Popes Head Road is proposed during the first phase of development. A connection to Shirley Gate Road is planned during the second phase.

A series of public hearings prompted La Biblia Church to tweak its proposal. The building was shifted further north to allow further separation from Popes Head Road. More landscaping is also proposed between the road and building while access to the main road is more linear.

The house on the property will remain for a member of the proposed church.

The application has been flagged for a number of deficiencies in submission materials.

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(Updated at 5 p.m.) Fairfax City’s latest grocery store is giving a new meaning to the term five-finger discount.

Amazon Fresh opened in Point 50, previously known as the Fairfax Shopping Center, today (Thursday), boasting new technology that lets shoppers buy items without having to get them individually scanned.

All they need to do is swipe an app or a credit card when they enter and exit the store.

“The goal is to make the smoothest transition,” Amazon Fresh District Manager Jim Gillespie said.

Shoppers inundated the approximately 30,000-square-foot store at 10360 Fairfax Blvd. when it opened at 7 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting and the potential for prizes and discounts.

Fairfax resident Nile Milton grabbed a pineapple and wondered how the store would know who and what to charge.

“We’re going to see how this works out,” said Milton, an Aldi regular who also frequents Giant and Walmart.

When Milton asked how purchasing worked, a worker explained that the store’s overhead cameras detect what items customers take and link them to people when they enter the store. Weight sensors also assist.

Traditional checkout lines with clerks who scan items are also available.

The new technology is a first in the region for Amazon and involves some 1,600 cameras for the store, according to a tech worker. A public relations representative later challenged that figure, saying that the number of cameras in stores are in the hundreds.

“Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart,” Laura Hayes, a public relations representative for Amazon, said in an email regarding customers who choose to pick the Just Walk Out technology option.

People can use the Amazon app to link their bank account. And those with the app can use their palm to swipe in and out of the store, somewhat like a touchless digital fingerprint.

It’s one of the ways the company is looking to transform the industry. The store also touts competitive prices, such as 15-cent bananas and 89-cent loaves of fresh bread, and it plans to offer two-hour delivery of groceries, a standard for the brand, within coming weeks.

Fairfax resident Tom Castro arrived at the store at 3:55 a.m. and waited with others in the rain. As part of a prize for being first, he received flowers, which he promptly gave to his wife.

Castro said he visited the store about a half dozen times before it opened, wondering what the company’s timeline was. He said the pandemic led him to become a believer in having groceries delivered.

“We’re thrilled Amazon has decided to bring this technology to Fairfax — a city that embraces innovation and technology — for the benefit of our residents, office workers, and visitors,” Mayor David Meyer said in a statement. “Amazon has been a great partner in the development of this Fresh store, and we are looking forward to welcoming them into our community.”

Other stores in the region are planned for Arlington, Lorton and Manassas. The company is hiring hundreds of workers for those stores. Hayes said the Lorton store could open this year.

Amazon has also targeted Bailey’s Crossroads for a grocery store, but staff were unable to identify whether it will be an Amazon Fresh. The company also operates Whole Foods.

The Fairfax store’s hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The company first brought Amazon Fresh to Fairfax County last summer, with a store opening in Franconia (7005 Manchester Blvd.).

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