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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Virginia"

Delayed phase of Va. Route 28 widening is now set to be approved

Westlake Legal Group delayed-phase-of-va-route-28-widening-is-now-set-to-be-approved Delayed phase of Va. Route 28 widening is now set to be approved Virginia Route 28 Virginia Transportation News Prince William County, VA News prince william county board of supervisors max smith Local News
Westlake Legal Group delayed-phase-of-va-route-28-widening-is-now-set-to-be-approved Delayed phase of Va. Route 28 widening is now set to be approved Virginia Route 28 Virginia Transportation News Prince William County, VA News prince william county board of supervisors max smith Local News

WASHINGTON — After previous efforts were delayed due to cost concerns, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is set to approve a new round of widening on Virginia Route 28 near the Prince William Parkway next month.

The final contract to convert the four-lane stretch of road into a six-lane divided highway — from the Prince William Parkway interchange to Linton Hall Road — is worth $25.1 million.

Shirley Contracting will be responsible for completing final design and construction of the 1.4-mile stretch of Route 28, also known as Nokesville Road.

Actual construction would start in 2019 and the project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2021.

The board of supervisors is scheduled to approve the contract March 6, County Transportation Director Ric Canizales said.

This is the third phase of Prince William County’s Route 28 widening project. Phase two, which will result in four lanes from Fitzwater Drive to Vint Hill Road — is scheduled to be completed in late 2019.

Also under review are changes or a bypass farther north through the city of Manassas and Yorkshire area to the Fairfax County line.

At Interstate 66, the construction ramping up next month on two new toll lanes in each direction includes changes to eliminate traffic signals on Route 28.


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How are local athletes performing at the Olympics?

Westlake Legal Group how-are-local-athletes-performing-at-the-olympics How are local athletes performing at the Olympics? Virginia Sports Other Sports News Olympics olympic athlete Montgomery County, MD News Maryland News Local News local athletes Latest News Howard County, MD News Fairfax County, VA News 2018 Winter Olympics
Westlake Legal Group how-are-local-athletes-performing-at-the-olympics How are local athletes performing at the Olympics? Virginia Sports Other Sports News Olympics olympic athlete Montgomery County, MD News Maryland News Local News local athletes Latest News Howard County, MD News Fairfax County, VA News 2018 Winter Olympics

WASHINGTON — Five D.C.-area athletes — and another from west of Richmond, Virginia — are competing in the 2018 Winter Games. Here are the Olympians, where they’re from and what events they’re competing in. Check back regularly to see how they fare in Pyeongchang!

Note: All listed dates and times are EST.

ATHLETE: Hakeem Abdul-Saboor

HOMETOWN: Powhatan, Virginia

EVENTS: Bobsled

Two-man bobsled Heats 1-2 — No. 24 rank

Two-man bobsled Heats 3-4 — Monday, Feb. 19 at 6:15 a.m.

Four-man bobsled Heats 1-2 — Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Four-man bobsled Heats 3-4 — Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

ATHLETE: Maame Biney 

HOMETOWN: Reston, Virginia

EVENTS: Short-track speedskating

Finished 4th in women’s Quarterfinal 3 

Finished sixth in her qualifying heat of the Women’s 1500-meter race. Did not advance.

ATHLETE: Ashley Caldwell

HOMETOWN: Ashburn, Virginia

EVENTS: Freestyle skiing

Women’s aerials qualifying — Caldwell came up short in her second jump and failed to qualify for the final.

ATHLETE: Thomas Hong

HOMETOWN: Laurel, Maryland

EVENTS: Short-track speedskating

5000-meter relay — 3rd place in Heat 2

5000-meter relay Final B — Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8:52 p.m.

ATHLETE: Garrett Roe

HOMETOWN: Vienna, Virginia

EVENTS: Men’s hockey

Men’s Group B Preliminary Round (vs. Slovenia) — U.S. 2, Slovenia 3 (OT)

Men’s Group B Preliminary Round (vs. Slovakia) — U.S. 2, Slovakia 1

Men’s Group B Preliminary Round (vs. Russia) — Russia 4, U.S. 0

Men’s quarterfinal playoffs (vs. TBA) — Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 2:40 a.m.

ATHLETE: Haley Skarupa

HOMETOWN: Rockville, Maryland

EVENTS: Women’s hockey

Women’s Group A Preliminary Round (vs. Finland) — Sunday, Feb. 11: U.S. 3, Finland 1

Women’s Group A Preliminary Round (vs. Russia) — Tuesday, Feb. 13: U.S. 5, Russia 0

Women’s Group A Preliminary Round (vs. Canada) — Thursday, Feb. 15: U.S. 1, Canada 2

Women’s Semifinals (vs. Finland) — Monday, Feb. 19: U.S. 5, Finland 0

Women’s Finals — TBD

Listen to a conversation with WTOP’s own Tim Murray, who is in Pyeongchang to call both men’s and women’s ice hockey for Westwood One.

Want more Olympics articles, results and photos? Check out WTOP’s Olympics page and follow our Team USA Results blog.


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© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

Westlake Legal Group Murray-interview-raw How are local athletes performing at the Olympics? Virginia Sports Other Sports News Olympics olympic athlete Montgomery County, MD News Maryland News Local News local athletes Latest News Howard County, MD News Fairfax County, VA News 2018 Winter Olympics

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Slippers with a soul: Kyrgies blend wool tradition with living-wage jobs for women

Westlake Legal Group slippers-with-a-soul-kyrgies-blend-wool-tradition-with-living-wage-jobs-for-women Slippers with a soul: Kyrgies blend wool tradition with living-wage jobs for women wool felt slippers Virginia small business Virginia slippers from Kyrgystan slippers rachel nania Local News Living News Life & Style Kyrgies Fashion News Fairfax County, VA News Barclay Saul
Westlake Legal Group slippers-with-a-soul-kyrgies-blend-wool-tradition-with-living-wage-jobs-for-women Slippers with a soul: Kyrgies blend wool tradition with living-wage jobs for women wool felt slippers Virginia small business Virginia slippers from Kyrgystan slippers rachel nania Local News Living News Life & Style Kyrgies Fashion News Fairfax County, VA News Barclay Saul

WASHINGTON Barclay Saul never imagined he’d be an expert in wool.

For most of his career, the Northwest D.C. native ran a music school in Tysons Corner. But his tune changed last year when he joined childhood friend and former Potomac School classmate Steven Anderson in a business venture that took him out of Northern Virginia guitar studios and into a women-run arts collective in Kyrgyzstan.

Saul and Anderson’s business is called Kyrgies, and they sell wool-felted slippers that are handmade in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

“Wool felt is the oldest textile on earth. There are examples of wool felt that are at least 8,000 years old,” Saul said. “And the people who make these slippers, the Kyrgyzstan people along the ancient silk road, have been wool-felting for as long as people have been there.”

Saul was drawn to the slippers for a few different reasons — comfort was one of them. He calls wool felt “a sort of magic material” for its ability to keep the body warm when it’s cold, and to cool the body down and wick away moisture when it’s hot. In Kyrgyzstan, everything from clothing to shelters namely, yurts are made using wool felt.

The story behind the artisans making the slippers was the other big attraction. The factory, which employs mostly women, pays a living wage, and the shoes are made with water, wool and natural soap — no chemicals.

“They are really lifting these people out of poverty,” said Saul, who added that Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries in Central Asia.

“Each of the women who makes these is in a really good position, and they’ve actually already hired 50 new women [in the factory] since we started in less than a year.”

Currently, Kyrgies, based in Fairfax, Virginia, makes an indoor-only slipper and an indoor-outdoor version that Saul said is perfect for running errands or wearing around the office. The majority of their sales are online, although a few retailers in Canada carry the shoes.

Hygge is a big hook for Kyrgies. The Danish word that more-or-less means “a state of coziness” (pronounced hue-guh) is a popular buzzword these days, mostly when it comes to interior design. But Saul said it translates beyond furniture and light fixtures to feet.

“When you get home, not only should you take off your shoes, you should put on something that lets you forget the outside world, and much of the rest of the world does that,” he said.

This spring, the business partners hope to expand the Kyrgies line by adding a spring slipper and a leather-sole shoe. They’re also hoping to partner with other organizations to spearhead some infrastructure projects in Kyrgyzstan, starting with wool cleaning.

“One thing we really need to specifically do is help them clean wool,” Saul said. “The wool that you get from Kyrgyzstan is just as good as the wool that you might get from New Zealand or Australia, but New Zealand and Australia have an industrial infrastructure so that they can basically keep leaves and grass from getting into the wool.”

That’s not the case in Kyrgyzstan, where workers lose up to 30 percent of the product in the cleaning process.  

Kyrgies come in several color options, ranging from gray to teal, and cost between $49 and $59.


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Detectives investigate threats against two Virginia middle schools

Westlake Legal Group detectives-investigate-threats-against-two-virginia-middle-schools Detectives investigate threats against two Virginia middle schools Virginia Thornburg Middle School T. Benton Gayle Middle School Stafford County, VA News stafford county spotsylvania county gun threat to middle schools in Stafford County gun threat to middle schools in Spotsylvania County Chantalle Edmunds
Westlake Legal Group detectives-investigate-threats-against-two-virginia-middle-schools Detectives investigate threats against two Virginia middle schools Virginia Thornburg Middle School T. Benton Gayle Middle School Stafford County, VA News stafford county spotsylvania county gun threat to middle schools in Stafford County gun threat to middle schools in Spotsylvania County Chantalle Edmunds

WASHINGTON — Detectives are investigating a threatening social media post against two Virginia middle schools, one in Stafford County, and one in Spotsylvania County.

A Stafford County Sheriff’s spokeswoman said the post included a picture of a handgun and a threat to shoot up or cause harm at T. Benton Gayle Middle School in Stafford County and Thornburg Middle School in Spotsylvania County.

The Stafford County spokeswoman told WTOP that detectives from Stafford County are working with their counterparts in Spotsylvania County to get to the bottom of the threat.

According to the Spotsylvania Schools calendar, classes are held on Presidents Day. It isn’t yet clear whether or not the social media threat will affect Thornburg Middle School on Monday.

There’s no school for Stafford County Public School students on Monday due to the Presidents Day holiday.

Stafford County Sheriff’s Office referred to the threat on Twitter.


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Photos: Bobcat hit by car to be released from wildlife center in March

Westlake Legal Group photos-bobcat-hit-by-car-to-be-released-from-wildlife-center-in-march Photos: Bobcat hit by car to be released from wildlife center in March wildlife center of virginia virginia department of game and inland fisheries Virginia Thanksgiving bobcat Local News Living News Latest News kathy stewart bobcat Animals & Pets
Westlake Legal Group photos-bobcat-hit-by-car-to-be-released-from-wildlife-center-in-march Photos: Bobcat hit by car to be released from wildlife center in March wildlife center of virginia virginia department of game and inland fisheries Virginia Thanksgiving bobcat Local News Living News Latest News kathy stewart bobcat Animals & Pets

WASHINGTON — A bobcat’s wild journey was called a “Thanksgiving Miracle” after she was hit by a car in Virginia and traveled over an hour while stuck in a car’s grille. Since then, she has been recuperating at a wildlife hospital.

Now Dr. Ernesto Dominguez, hospital director for the Wildlife Center of Virginia, said, “She was lucky enough to be found alive and brought to us, and she is ready to be released.”

He said the bobcat had a hard time eating due to a fractured jaw — one of many injuries she sustained from the accident.

They initially treated her with soft food for almost of month as wells as pain medication.

“[Then] we started switching to small prey like small mice,” Dominguez said.

Three weeks ago, doctors realized the jaw was completely healed. Since then, he said, “We started offering the whole prey and then live prey.”

Her diet consists of whole rats, chicks and chicken, some of which she can now successfully hunt in the enclosure she is housed in.

“Because we’re seeing that she is completely healed of her mandible fracture and she is hunting well and eating well and gaining weight, we are planning to release her the first week of March after hunting season, so she can have a successful release and not be bothered by the hunters,” Dominguez said.

The bobcat’s journey to recovery started on Thanksgiving morning. After being hit by a car in Gloucester County, Virginia, and getting lodged in the car’s grill, she was taken on a 50-mile ride to Richmond.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is working with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to coordinate her release into a nature preserve.

While there are no plans to put a tracking device on the bobcat, Dominguez said VDGIF will be putting some cameras out in the nature preserve to monitor her.

Dr. Dominquez said because she is an adult she should not have a problem going back into the wild.

“With us, she is really aggressive,” Dominguez said. “She still is having those wild instincts and behaviors, so she’ll be doing completely fine out there.”


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What has changed in the six months since the Charlottesville rally

Westlake Legal Group what-has-changed-in-the-six-months-since-the-charlottesville-rally What has changed in the six months since the Charlottesville rally Virginia Local News Latest News charlottesville
Westlake Legal Group what-has-changed-in-the-six-months-since-the-charlottesville-rally What has changed in the six months since the Charlottesville rally Virginia Local News Latest News charlottesville

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A violent mix of white supremacists, counterprotesters and law enforcement in riot gear took over the small Virginia town of Charlottesville six months ago, raising questions about race and racism to the surface and exposing a number of societal divisions.

“I think, for a lot of Americans, they did not realize that there are so many of these people until they saw Charlottesville,” said Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The rally, initially launched by white nationalist group Unite the Right, started on Friday, Aug. 11 and carried into the next day, with the imagery sparking questions and concerns nationwide.

“Fringe elements of society were rising up and getting emboldened, and so it all sort of came together in Charlottesville. And the lasting images that people have of young white men talking about how ‘The Jews will not replace us,’ the violence, the sheer volume of extremists that showed up were a wake-up call to other Americans across the country,” said Oren Segal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Center on Extremism.

Reverberations from the rally and ensuing violence — including a woman who was deliberately mowed down — continued for months, including online.

In the months since the violence, social media companies and Internet-based operations worked to curtail their platforms’ use by individuals associated with white supremacist or other hate groups, experts said.

“I’ve heard other officials at technology companies say Charlottesville was so shocking and so in-your-face that they realized they didn’t want to play a role in furthering it,” Beirich told ABC News.

One example came days after a motorist fatally rammed counterprotester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, when Google notified neo-Nazi news website The Daily Stormer that they had to find a new web server.

Social media sites, including Twitter, took similar actions. Twitter adjusted its guidelines in December and removed individuals whose content did not meet the company’s guidelines.

This led to the banning of a number of individuals associated with neo-Nazi or white supremacist groups, according to the ADL.

Segal said the moves by tech companies, as well as other issues such as infighting among the members of the hate groups, makes it “not surprising that the movement is not as coherent as they’d hope it would be.”

“The harmony in the movement was pretty short-lived,” he said.

“But they are still around, and they are still trying to mainstream their message. They’re still trying to find ways to amplify their narratives and their voices,” he said.

While President Donald Trump’s immediate reaction to the violence in Charlottesville — which, at first, was no reaction at all, followed by a statement that included a condemnation of the violence “on both sides” of the protests — was a source of criticism for the administration, Trump’s statements were not the only ones to come out of it.

In September, Congress passed a joint resolution “condemning the violence and domestic terrorist attack” in Charlottesville, which was later signed by Trump. The resolution rejected white nationalists, members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.

“My hope is that the resolution will stand the test of time,” Beirich said.

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Hundreds protest outside the NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting

Westlake Legal Group hundreds-protest-outside-the-nra-headquarters-following-florida-school-shooting Hundreds protest outside the NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting Virginia nra National News Local News Florida school shooting Fairfax County, VA News
Westlake Legal Group hundreds-protest-outside-the-nra-headquarters-following-florida-school-shooting Hundreds protest outside the NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting Virginia nra National News Local News Florida school shooting Fairfax County, VA News

(FAIRFAX, Va.) — More than 100 protesters stood outside the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday night demanding action on gun control in the wake of Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida.

Among the attendees were friends of some of the 17 students and teachers who were killed in Parkland, Florida; Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.; and relatives of those shot and killed at Virginia Tech in 2007.

“Children are dead because of you,” Connolly said of the NRA, in comments reported by ABC’s Washington, D. C. affiliate WJLA-TV.

One of the attendees at the vigil was the friend of Nicholas Dworet, a 17-year-old senior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School who was killed in Wednesday’s shooting. Dworet had committed to the University of Indianapolis swim team.

“I’m burying my best friend next week,” the teen, who did not want to be identified, told WJLA-TV. “I cheered with these people, and I cheered with one of these girls. Now I have to bury my best friend who is committed to the University of Indianapolis for swimming. I grew up with him.”

Peter Reed, whose daughter Mary was among the 32 people killed in a shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007, said the shooting on Wednesday brought back horrible memory.

“It very quickly takes us back to where we were in April of 2007. It’s numbing. It’s maddening,” Read told WJLA-TV.

The NRA, a regular financial backer of Republican politicians, has not commented on Wednesday’s deadly shooting. The NRA has defended sales of the AR-15, the semi-automatic weapon used in Parkland and a number of other mass shootings.

The NRA said the AR-15 has “soared in popularity” because it is “customizable, adaptable, reliable and accurate” and “can be used in sport shooting, hunting and self-defense situations.”

Flags were flying at half-staff outside the NRA headquarters on Friday.

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Route 7 widening, bus rapid transit through Tysons set to move forward

Westlake Legal Group route-7-widening-bus-rapid-transit-through-tysons-set-to-move-forward Route 7 widening, bus rapid transit through Tysons set to move forward Virginia tysons corner Transportation News route 7 Route 123 max smith Local News Fairfax County, VA News Arlington, VA News Alexandria, VA News

WASHINGTON — Protection to widen Route 7 and bring bus rapid transit to the Tysons area are set to get a boost next week from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The board is due to approve up to $950,000 current to study how the widening of Route 7 between the Beltway and Route 123 will be implemented and how dedicated bus lanes and improved stops will be integrated in the area. The review includes examining where stations should go and the type of bus lanes that should be eu used.

A larger, regional plan calls for a bus rapid transit line along Route 7 from Alexandria through Falls Church to Tysons.

The part of Route 7 over the Dulles Toll Road is already being widened, and that work is due to extend to a larger stretch in further phases down the line.

Separate related projects are in the works to expand the Route 7 and Route 123 interchange, build the Jones Branch Connector as a way to avoid the Beltway and Route 123 interchange, or to convert Route 123 to a “superstreet” with more limited turning opportunities.

Protection for additional streets would give the Tysons area more of a citylike street grid, provide more direct access to the Dulles Access Road, and change the interchange between the Dulles Connector Road and Dolley Madison Blvd.

Elsewhere in Fairfax County, protection to put bus rapid transit along an approximately 8 mile stretch of Route 1/Richmond Highway between the Beltway and Fort Belvoir are also moving forward.

The Embark the Richmond Highway initiative aims to combine the significant transit improvements with more development around the new bus stations.


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Fairfax Co. police to begin a pilot program for body-worn cameras

Westlake Legal Group fairfax-co-police-to-begin-a-pilot-program-for-body-worn-cameras Fairfax Co. police to begin a pilot program for body-worn cameras Virginia police body cameras mike murillo Local News Latest News Fairfax County, VA News fairfax county police

FAIRFAX, Va. – Some police officers in Fairfax County will soon have another set of eyes and ears on their uniform. On Friday, the police department announced a pilot program which will deploy 230 body-worn cameras into the field.

“I believe this pilot project will help all of us make the most informed decision moving forward as to whether or not body-worn cameras will be effective in our community,” Roessler said, adding that the department will use this program to study the operational costs and resource needs to operate and maintain the system.

The chief said the program will also allow tell to examine whether or not the cameras reduce both the number of complaints filed against officers and the number of times officers use force in the field.

The announcement of the pilot program follows a recommendation from the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission. The commission was convened to look into the police department’s policies and practices after the officer involved shooting death of Springfield resident John Geer. Geer was unarmed when he was shot and killed during a 2013 domestic dispute at his home.

Former Fairfax County police officer Adam Torres, who shot Geer, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one year in jail.

Half of the patrol officers at the Reston, Mount ” Vernon and Mason district stations will be equipped with the cameras. Roessler said the three stations offer a unique opportunity nor they look to understand the impact of body-worn cameras.

“These district stations contain very diverse communities, diverse urban environments,” Roessler said.

Researchers at American University will be examining the results of the pilot program and will share the results with the police department later this year.

“We are conducting this study with the highest of academic rigor to make sure we can have an informed decision this fall,” Roessler said.

Brad Bartholomew, a professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at AU, said they will focus on police services and the perception of built environment the community has when it comes to the police.

“We want to see if the introduction of body-worn cameras has any impacts on [the community’s] sense of police legitimacy,” Bartholomew said.

While Roessler said he protection to strictly enforce that officers in the program use the cameras, the policy they will be using does give say some instances in which the camera can stay off or the eu turned off. Those situations include non-violent domestic disturbances and some cases in which a person may eu suffering from what the chief called a mental illness episode.

“If there becomes some signs of this is a criminal, obviously this is domestic violence, this is something else or there’s going to be a use of force, officers will once again start recording,” said Capt. Chantel Cochrane.

Officers will begin wearing the cameras on March 1, with all of the pilot program’s cameras on officers by March 13. The program will last at least 180 days, and Roessler hopes to begin hammering out a permanent program with the county board of supervisors by the fall.

“I fully support body-worn cameras as a standard issue piece of equipment for all patrol officers,” Roessler said.


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Northam signs hospital bill in Patrick County

Westlake Legal Group northam-signs-hospital-bill-in-patrick-county Northam signs hospital bill in Patrick County Virginia Pioneer Community Hospital Patrick County Local News Latest News
Westlake Legal Group northam-signs-hospital-bill-in-patrick-county Northam signs hospital bill in Patrick County Virginia Pioneer Community Hospital Patrick County Local News Latest News

STUART, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has visited Patrick County to sign a piece of legislation aimed at paving the way for a shuttered hospital to reopen.

The measure Northam signed Friday afternoon was his first, nor the governor.

The bill retroactively extends the expired license of the 25-bed Pioneer Community Hospital. It’s intended to make it easier for another provider to take over the facility.

The hospital was Patrick County’s only one. The county’s emergency services coordinator told the Roanoke Times last year that the closure meant residents won’t have night-time health care they can drive them in “a timely manner” unless they live near the county lines.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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