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The annual Herndon Festival will return in full for 2023 (via Herndon Festival/Instagram)

The Herndon Festival will return this year in the summer, bringing back a tradition that was scaled back to a carnival last year.

The festival is set to take place from June 1-4 at the Northwest Federal Credit Union campus (200 Spring Street). The credit union is the title sponsor for the free event.

The town announced the coming of the festival yesterday (Thursday), unveiling a new logo and media package.

But a town spokesperson said it was too early to share details on the planned scope of the festival.

“We are finalizing the scope of the festival in the coming weeks and will be able to announce more information soon,” Reid Okoniewski, a spokesperson for the town’s parks and recreation department told FFXnow in a statement.

Last year, the town organized an alternative to the annual festival — a carnival — at the same venue. The format of event to help the town transition back to hosting large-scale events following the height of the pandemic, FFXnow previously reported.

Photo via Herndon Festival/Instagram

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The Atrium at Worldgate office building in Herndon (via Google Maps)

A new economic development hub is officially open in the Town of Herndon.

The George Mason Enterprise Center has opened in Office Evolution, a shared office space, at 205 Van Buren Street to support small and emerging businesses in an effort to support Herndon’s economic growth.

A ribbon cutting is slated for March 16, though the center has already begun providing services, a spokesperson for the center told FFXnow.

The town is the fifth locality to partner with the George Mason University center, which offers services like business advisory sessions, educational workshops, and training on other federal and state programs.

“We are thrilled to continue the success of the Mason Enterprise Centers with this expansion by bringing Mason assets directly into the Herndon business community,” said Paula Sorrell, Mason’s associate vice president of innovation and economic development.

The center will also grow its services, including providing access to health insurance, payroll support and other business-related services. Patrons will have access to Mason classroom and research projects, as well as capstone students and interns.

“We are delighted to partner with the Mason Enterprise Center and Office Evolution in creating this space for businesses to grow and prosper,” Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem said. “We look forward to welcoming many new enterprises to the town as a result of this collaboration.”

GMU’s other enterprise centers are in Leesburg, Fairfax, Warrenton, and Springfield.

Photo via Google Maps

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Town of Herndon police (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

A pedestrian has been taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a vehicle, the Herndon Police Department says.

The crash has prompted a full closure of Van Buren Street between Spring Street and Aspen Drive “for accident reconstruction,” according to police.

This is the first crash involving a pedestrian reported in the Fairfax County area this year. Northern Virginia saw a sharp uptick in pedestrian fatalities in 2022, led by 32 in Fairfax County — the most recorded in the county since at least 2010.

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German Armed Forces Command helps sort donations to Food for Neighbors, which aims to tackle food insecurity (courtesy Renee Maxwell)

The first Food for Neighbors collection and sorting event of the year got help from a variety of local and regional groups — including the German General Armed Forces Command, an organization that has called Reston home since 1991.

The organization took part in the event at Herndon Middle School — Food for Neighbors’ original collection site — and presented the organization with a donation of more than $4,000 dollars.

The funds will go toward helping fight food insecurity among teens in 37 Northern Virginia schools.

“From the very first moment the German Armed Forces Command USA and Canada moved its office to Reston in April 1991, the soldiers, civilians and all their families felt heartily welcome in this great community. For all of us it is an irrefutable fact that we have found a home away from home,” Colonel Joerg Dronia wrote in a statement.

The organization’s founder and executive director Karen Joseph said the donation reflects the armed forces’ desire to be good neighbors.

“We are one of many organizations that have benefited from their generosity, and we thank them for all that they do to help our most vulnerable community members,” she wrote in a statement.

Sites in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties sorted over 19,000 pounds of food donations that came from over 1,500 households, according to Food for Neighbors, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing student hunger.

“Fairfax County works very hard to help our most vulnerable population with food insecurity,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said. “However, we couldn’t do it without the tremendous efforts of our nonprofit partners such as Food For Neighbors. Congratulations on your success in helping our teens.”

The event was also attended by Town of Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem.

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Mr. Wish plans to open a second location in Herndon (Staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

A tea shop is opening a second location in Herndon.

Mr. Wish, a shop that serves up bubble teas and fruit beverages, plans to open at Herndon Centre (472 Elden Street).

A spokesperson for the company’s first Herndon location at 1242 Elden Street says that the new location is more focused on serving the Reston area.

The current Herndon location has no plans to close or relocate, the company representative told FFXnow. The company didn’t provide a timeline for opening the new cafe.

The business launched in 2006 in Taichung, Taiwan by Mr. Wish in an effort to share “natural and fresh tea beverages to the world,” according to the company’s website.

The men includes winter specials like ginger milk tea, grapefruit green tea, and berries fiber jelly tea.

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Town of Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Sidewalk improvements are in the works for two streets in the Town of Herndon.

Included as part of the town’s long-range capital projects planning tool — the Capital Improvement Program — the town is planning a series of sidewalk improvements on Spring and Locust streets, each of which will cost over $1 million overall.

The overall CIP uses roughly $49.6 million in grant funding to support 25 different projects — a figure that does not include $57 million for projects at Elden Street and nearly $18 million in funding for Spring Street improvements.

Both of those projects are primarily funded through grants.

“Funding for large capital projects needs a mechanism so projects can come to fruition. The FY2024-FY2029 CIP incorporates all projects despite the lack of funding,” John Vernin, who manages the town’s CIP program, said in a memo.

The CIP establishes a six-year schedule for public improvements. The town’s planning commission, which held a work session on Monday (Jan. 9), makes recommendations to the town manager prior to the town council’s consideration of the program.

So far, the town has budgeted nearly $1.4 million each for the Spring and Locust street improvements. The town plans to construct continuous, ADA-compliant, 5-foot-wide sidewalks along both sides of the streets.

The Locust Street project will extend from old Spring Street to Elden Street. It will also include curb-cuts.

For Spring Street, the project will extend from Locust Street to the new Spring Street. A project to widen a quarter-mile of East Spring Street is currently underway.

The town might construct the project in phases.

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U.S. Attorneys Office in Alexandria (via Google Maps)

A Herndon man could face up to 15 years in prison for the production of child pornography, according to authorities.

Vincent Joseph Sarikey, 34, appeared in court yesterday (Monday) for allegations that he attempted to groom minors, pushed them record themselves partaking in sexual activities, and engaged in “sexually exploit discussions” with at least two people who identified themselves as minors, the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Sarikey faces at least 15 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are usually less than maximum penalties.

Authorities believe the suspect encouraged at least two minors to produce sexually explicit materials and send them to him. Sarikey then allegedly provided the pictures to another individual who shared an interest in the minors, according to court documents.

Authorities say they found “hundreds of images and video of child sexual abuse material” on Sarikey’s electronic devices.

“These exchanges took place on several social media platforms, including Telegram, Twitter, and Discord under the monikers “John Lugne,” “@JLugne,” and “triadus#9325,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its news release.

The FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the issue. It’s charged with bringing federal charges against individuals who engage in human trafficking or the exploitation of children.

Photo via Google Maps

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The development team behind four parcels of land on Rock Hill Road in Herndon want to see more housing on the nearly 24-acre site near the Innovation Center Metro station.

DWC Holdings and Origami RE Growth GP have filed a Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) — an ongoing process for exploring changes to Fairfax County’s comprehensive plan — to increase the amount of housing on the site.

“Given the uncertain future of the office market, the proposed amendment is essential to ensuring the development of the property in a manner that achieves important county goals and capitalizes on the region’s substantial investment in the Silver Line,” the Oct. 21 application said.

Currently, the county’s plan calls for one of two options for the site: either a mixed-use development with housing, offices, hotel and retail uses, or a project with all of the above except residential uses.

The applicants want to go with the first option, increasing the site’s development intensity. That would up the floor area ratio (FAR) within a quarter-mile of the Metro station from 2.8 to 5.0 and 1.6 to 2.5 FAR within a half-mile of the station. In total, the change would mean a 3.75 FAR for the property.

The development team also wants eliminate the county’s desired proportions for the mix of uses on the site — a move they argue is “critical” to enhance the “flexibility” of the property and maintain a development that encourages rail ridership.

“The proposed amendment will not only support the County’s important place-making and transit ridership goals, but also provide additional, much needed housing opportunities,” the application states.

The proposal suggests that county and Virginia Department of Transportation officials explore vacating their existing Innovation Avenue right-of-way to “seamlessly” integrate the development into the Metro station.

The proposal also says a “significant” but unspecified number of affordable or workforce dwelling units would be included.

The proposal is one of several moving through the SSPA process. The county plans to host a series of community meetings on the applications.

Of the 75 proposals the county received in the fall, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors selected 70 to move to the screening phase.

At 13, the Hunter Mill District has the most accepted proposals, most of which expand residential development in transit-oriented areas.

Residents can also submit comments online.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will review the nominations in public workshops next month and in March. The nominations will move forward for formal study in a Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program.

A board vote is anticipated in the spring.

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

A daycare provider from a Montessori school in McNair has been arrested for assaulting a child.

Wesal Houd Abu Issa, 42, of Herndon was arrested on yesterday (Wednesday) for allegedly restraining an 18-month-old to a chair using tape at Little Oaks Montessori Academy (12525 Dulles Technology Drive), according to Fairfax County police.

Police were alerted after an employee of the facility informed daycare staff and Child Protective Services a day after the incident on Dec. 8.

After investigating, detectives obtained a warrant for assault on Dec. 21.

The Fairfax County Police Department asks anyone with additional information to contact its detectives using the following methods:

We are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Little Oaks serves kids in Northern Virginia aged 3 months to 6 years. The school didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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The number of adult in-ground burial sites is limited at the cemetery (via Google Maps)

Within the next six to nine months, the inventory of burial sites at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in the Town of Herndon will be maxed out.

That’s why the town is embarking on an expansion of burial sites within the existing cemetery property, according to Cindy Roeder, the director of the town’s parks and recreation department.

“There is currently a site plan under review, and we anticipate that will be approved in the near future and construction to prepare the site will begin shortly after,” Roeder told FFXnow.

The town expects to add burial sites that are enough to handle capacity for the next 15 to 20 years. The cemetery currently has an abundance of options for cremation and mausoleum burials, according to the town.

“In order to sustain the cemetery options and continue to serve the Herndon community, the development of this section is essential,” Roeder wrote in a statement.

The project also includes cleaning the underbrush and scrub trees, stormwater management, and planting new trees along the boundary with neighboring homes. Once that is completed, work to prepare burial sites will begin.

Roeder expects the project to take around two years.

According to a presentation before the Herndon Town Council yesterday (Tuesday), the project will likely begin sometime this month.

Budgetary materials note that a “favorable cash position” exists to complete the project, but the town needs to ensure it can cover the costs until the expansion is completed.

A November 2024 completion date is estimated, according to the town.

The cemetery is a community heritage resource that spans 25 acres. The Chestnut Grove Cemetery Association, which operated the cemetery from the early 1950s, deeded the cemetery to the town in 1997.

Photo via Google Maps

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