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Westlake Legal Group > Local News

Strong storms knock out power across NoVA; Loudoun County named second-happiest county in the U.S.

Strong thunderstorms swept across the DMV on Thursday, leaving more than 18,000 people without power through Friday morning. Road closures occurred in Arlington and Fairfax counties following the storm’s 60 mph wind gusts and soaking rain, and even toppled trees in the National Mall. (The Washington Post)

Loudoun County was named the second-happiest county in the country based on a recent ranking by SmartAsset. The rankings are based on an analysis of factors such as employment opportunities, economic stability and poverty rates. Fairfax County tied with Denver suburb Douglas County as the fifth-happiest. (WTOP)

Reston Town Center is getting a multimillion dollar renovation of its common areas. The 30-year-old town center concept will update it’s nearly 3.6 million-square-foot mixed-use center to make them more modern and contemporary, and create a space optimal for interactive events. (Washington Business Journal)

Fairfax County unanimously approved the Public Safety Small Unnmanned Aircraft Systems Program on Tuesday that allows public safety agencies such as Fire and Rescue, Emergency Management and the Police Department to fly drones for assessment of search and rescue, weather damage and more. (WTOP)

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

1 dead, several in custody in Fairfax Co. parking lot shooting

One man is dead and several people are in police custody after a shooting Friday in a parking lot along U.S. Route 50 in Chantilly, Virginia, west of Virginia Route 28.

Fairfax County police said the shooting happened early Friday, approximately 1:30 a.m., in the strip shopping center.

Yellow crime scene tape blocks off access to the lot, as investigators gather evidence amid several dozen cars parked in the lot Friday morning.

Police have not yet discussed a possible motive for the shooting, or identified the victim or suspects.

This is a developing story. WTOP has a reporter on the scene. 

Westlake Legal Group staticmap?key=AIzaSyAUgwUVDbpkDzjtqaM9s73ohlXdWjsSukg&zoom=13&center=38.901818,-77.448782&size=640x300&maptype=roadmap&markers=color:red%7Clabel:%7C38.901818,-77 1 dead, several in custody in Fairfax Co. parking lot shooting Virginia shooting parking lot neal augenstein Local News Lee Jackson Memorial Highway Fairfax County, VA News fairfax county pollice crime

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Is that legal? Healthy Shih Tzu euthananized for burial with owner

A healthy Shih Tzu named Emma was euthanized after a Virginia woman included in her will that she wanted to be buried with her beloved pet.

Is it legal for a pet owner to determine a healthy four-legged friend should be put to death, when the owner is no longer around to care of the pet?

“It’s not illegal — I don’t know if it’ll stay that way for long,” said Jason Smolen, an estate planning attorney with SmolenPlevy in Vienna, Virginia.

“In Virginia, as elsewhere, animals are considered property, so you can dispose of them essentially as you wish, as long as it doesn’t violate any other laws.”

And that includes euthanizing a healthy animal to fulfill the late owner’s wishes.

“There are laws regarding cruelty to animals, but apparently this does not fit into it,” Smolen said. “I’ve not run into this particular situation before, but it does not seem like it’s illegal to do so.”

In this case, Emma was placed in the temporary custody of Chesterfield County Animal Services in March, following the death of her owner.

The manager of the shelter told WWBT in Richmond they tried to convince the executor of the will to allow them to find a new home for dog, but the executor followed the owner’s wishes and brought Emma to be euthanized.

Smolen says when it comes to the pet owner’s wishes, and the decision to follow her wishes, legal does not equal moral.

“I find it quite shocking that an executor or administrator of an estate would actually carry out these instructions,” said Smolen. “It just seems very cruel and harsh.”

It’s unclear whether the dog’s ashes were buried with the owner, since Virginia law does not allow animal ashes to be buried in a human’s casket in a commercial cemetery. Such burials are not precluded on private property.

Smolen says pet owners should ask themselves a question: “What happens when I’m not here anymore?”

“Parents do that with children, and you can analogize certain pets to children in certain families,” Smolen said. “To some families, all they have are pets — they don’t have children.”

When it comes to choosing who will care for a pet after its owner’s death, Smolen said a good place to start is if there is a family member or friend who is familiar with, and likes the pet.

“That’s probably the most common way it’s handled — informally,” said Smolen. However, some pet owners don’t have a trusted person in mind to care for their pet when they die.

Smolen said in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia pet owners can establish a trust, either as part of their will or a revocable living trust: “To absolutely establish funds set aside for the care of the animal, and set up the basic rules, regulations, and guidance of how you’d like those pets taken care of.”

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3.2 million to travel through DMV for Memorial Day; Arlington gets tough on e-scooter companies

Hurry up and wait—Prepare for Memorial Day congestion throughout the DMV. AAA is predicting roughly 3.2 million travelers will be on the road though Monday. Remember that traveling during non-peak hours is still the best way to avoid slow-moving traffic and delays, but less stress and time are not guaranteed. (WTOP)

Arlington’s County Board members are allowing e-scooter companies five days to fix transgressions before they’re thrown out of the pilot program in the city. The companies behind the vehicles, such as Bird and Lime, have had several infringements including restriction of use in certain areas and not properly handling incorrectly parked vehicles. (Inside NoVA)

DC-based health food favorite Sweetgreen announced a new company policy of five months paid parental leave for all employees. This includes mothers, fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents and those with “new additions to their families.” (NBC Washington)

Loudoun Education Foundation hopes to raise $80,000 with hopes of paying off all school meal debt for local children. Over a span of 90 schools, Loudoun County provides free and reduced meals to 17.5% of students, totaling over 14,000 meals each year. The organization has canceled all meal debt for the past two years. (Loudoun Times)

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Fairfax Co. police search for possible body in Alexandria park

In Virginia, Fairfax County police will continue their search Thursday morning for a possible body in the woods in a park in the Alexandria section of the county.

According to a tweet from police, officials learned about the possibility of a body in a wooded area of North Hill Park and started their search Wednesday evening.

Officers paused the search without finding anything but stayed in the park overnight.

Police will resume their efforts around 7 a.m. Thursday.

People who live in the area will see additional police in the cul-de-sac of the 2600 block of Arlington Drive.

Below is a map of that area.

Westlake Legal Group staticmap?key=AIzaSyAUgwUVDbpkDzjtqaM9s73ohlXdWjsSukg&zoom=15&center=38.758243,-77.078703&size=640x300&maptype=roadmap&markers=color:red%7Clabel:%7C38.758243,-77 Fairfax Co. police search for possible body in Alexandria park Virginia North Hill Park Local News jennifer ortiz Fairfax County, VA News fairfax county police crime body Arlington Drive Alexandria, VA News

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In Fairfax County, public safety drones are cleared for takeoff

Drones have been approved for takeoff in Fairfax County, but there will be some restrictions when it comes to who can operate them.

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the Public Safety Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program. It allows public safety agencies — specifically Fire and Rescue, Emergency Management, the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office — to use them in assessing such situations as flood damage, hazardous materials responses, search and rescue, and crash reconstruction.

Drone flights are expected to begin as early as August. Agencies will now begin a 90-day process of purchasing equipment and certifying pilots, who are required to have a remote pilot certificate with small UAS rating issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Public notifications on training flights and missions will be provided through Fairfax Alerts.

One of the main concerns addressed at Tuesday’s board meeting was privacy and ensuring no rights are violated. Supervisor John Cook urged officials to clarify changes to the policy ensuring that video recording would be turned off while drones were in route.

“Unless required by an articulable operational purpose, the recording of that imagery shall not begin until the [drone] has arrived at the location,” said Dave Roy, deputy public executive with the Department of Public Safety.

Supervisor Penny Gross applauded the process of making sure privacy issues were addressed and the time spent gathering feedback from the community throughout the approval process. “As a result, we have a good program before us,” she added.

There are currently 25 other drone programs in Virginia jurisdictions, including Stafford and Loudoun counties.

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Loudoun, Fairfax make ‘Happiest Counties’ list

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it helps, and based on a number of economic measures, Loudoun County, Virginia, ranks as the second-happiest county in the country.

SmartAsset’s fifth annual rankings analyzed data on 980 U.S. counties, and considered things such as poverty, employment opportunities and economic stability. It also factored in longevity, marriage rates and healthy lifestyles.

Loudoun County ranked No. 3 last year, moved up a spot with a poverty rate of just 3.7% (the number of residents living below the poverty line), and an unemployment rate of just 2.48%. SmartAsset said employment opportunities are robust in Loudoun County.

Loudoun County residents enjoy relatively long lives. The average life expectancy in the county is 83.19 years.

Fairfax County tied Denver suburb Douglas County as the fifth-happiest.

SmartAsset says Fairfax County has the highest life expectancy in the top 10, with residents living an average of 83.73 years.

Fairfax County residents are also relatively healthy, both physically and financially. About 83.3% of residents get at least some physical activity and the personal bankruptcy rate is just 0.12 percent.

Fairfax County did get poor marks for poverty. With 6.1% of residents living below the poverty line, it has the highest poverty rate in the top 10.

Howard County, Maryland ranks 14th on the list.

Westlake Legal Group 2019_05_happiest_counties_map-final Loudoun, Fairfax make ‘Happiest Counties’ list Virginia Smart Asset Poverty Loudoun County, VA News Local News Living News life expectancy Life & Style Latest News jeff clabaugh happy happiest counties Fairfax County, VA News Business & Finance
New to the list is Scott County in Minnesota. (Courtesy Smart Asset)

For the second year in a row, the Minneapolis suburb of Carver County, Minnesota, ranks as the happiest county. In addition to a healthy economy, low unemployment and high rankings for physical activity, Carver County has higher-than-average marriage rates and lower-than-average divorce rates.

Check out SmartAsset’s list of the 25 Happiest Counties, and why they rank there.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

DC ranked No. 3 for mosquitoes; Virginia Hospital Center paves way for summer expansion plans

Grab a bottle of bug spray—the DC area ranked No. 3 on Orkin’s list of Top Mosquito Cities. The list is not based off of estimates of the actual mosquito populations in the area, but rather the amount of mosquito customer services in the area from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019. (WUSA9)

Arlington’s Virginia Hospital Center took its final step in its land-swap agreement on May 18, paving the way for the expansion plans to begin in late summer 2019. The Arlington County Board members voted unanimously to allow the hospital to purchase the 11.6-acre property along the 1800 block of North George Mason Drive at North Edison Street for $4.7 million. (Inside NoVA)

The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project and the Potomac Conservancy are taking name suggestions for two bottlenose dolphins who reside in the Potomac River. The two are just a small representation of over 1,000 unique dolphins living in the local waterways, many of which have been named after Founding Fathers, historical figures and their families. (Inside NoVA)

Looking to bridge the gap of learning and fun throughout the summer? Code Ninjas, a franchise dedicated to teaching children ages 7 to 14 how to code with a video game-based curriculum, recently opened a new location in Falls Church. They will offer classes in Javascript, creating websites and more. (Tysons Reporter)

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Multiple people stabbed in Rosslyn

(Updated at 11:35 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a reported stabbing spree in Rosslyn.

Initial reports suggest three people were stabbed in or near Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. Two people were seriously injured but expected to survive, while the other victim suffered minor injuries.

A police presence has been reported at Gateway Park, the Continental lounge, and Turnberry Tower. One of the victims ran to the bar and another to the condo building after being stabbed, leaving a trail of blood along the sidewalk, we’re told.

Eastbound Lee Highway and at least one lane of both N. Lynn Street and N. Nash Street were closed near the crime scene as a result of the investigation.

One suspect was in custody as of about 10:20 p.m., police said. An ACPD spokeswoman said the suspect in custody appears to have known at least one of the victims. There’s no word yet on a motive.

Police were still searching for other suspects with the assistance of the Fairfax County Police helicopter after the first suspect was detained, according to scanner traffic.

“One suspect is in custody and the investigation is ongoing to determine if any other individuals are involved,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

PRELIMINARY: At approximately 9:26 police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, three victims were located and transported to area hospitals. Two victims in serious condition, 1 victim with minor injuries. 1 suspect in custody. Police remain on scene.

— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 22, 2019

Separately, during the stabbing investigation, firefighters battled a reported town house fire on the 1400 block of N. Nash Street in Rosslyn, near the Iwo Jima memorial. The fire, on the roof of the townhomes, was quickly extinguished and did not extend to the interior of the building.

#FinalUpdate: 1400 blk N Nash St, Fire is out. Fire contained to furniture on roof. No injuries reported. Fire Marshal on scene investigating. Most units going in service. Roads in area should clear up soon. @FortMyerFire pic.twitter.com/G3i8QMfwjM

— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 22, 2019

ARLINGTON COUNTY | STRUCTURE FIRE | 1405 N. NASH STREET | REPORTED FIRE ON THE ROOF | FIRE SHOWING SIDE C | RIT 1 REQUESTED pic.twitter.com/fKF3l9Oggk

— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) May 22, 2019

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

BREAKING: Multiple People Stabbed in Rosslyn

(Updated at 11:35 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a reported stabbing spree in Rosslyn.

Initial reports suggest three people were stabbed in or near Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. Two people were seriously injured but expected to survive, while the other victim suffered minor injuries.

A police presence has been reported at Gateway Park, the Continental lounge, and Turnberry Tower. One of the victims ran to the bar and another to the condo building after being stabbed, leaving a trail of blood along the sidewalk, we’re told.

Eastbound Lee Highway and at least one lane of both N. Lynn Street and N. Nash Street were closed near the crime scene as a result of the investigation.

One suspect was in custody as of about 10:20 p.m., police said. An ACPD spokeswoman says the suspect in custody appears to have known at least one of the victims. There’s no word yet on a motive.

Police were still searching for other suspects with the assistance of the Fairfax County Police helicopter after the first suspect was detained, according to scanner traffic.

“One suspect is in custody and the investigation is ongoing to determine if any other individuals are involved,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

PRELIMINARY: At approximately 9:26 police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, three victims were located and transported to area hospitals. Two victims in serious condition, 1 victim with minor injuries. 1 suspect in custody. Police remain on scene.

— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 22, 2019

Separately, during the stabbing investigation, firefighters battled a reported townhouse fire on the 1400 block of N. Nash Street in Rosslyn, near the Iwo Jima memorial. The fire, on the roof of the townhomes, was quickly extinguished and did not extend to the interior of the building.

Fast and effective response from @ArlingtonVaFD tonight in Rosslyn to put out a roof fire at Monument Place condos. At least seven fire trucks arrived on scene to what could have been a huge fire had it spread to neighboring homes. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/qDGbTheFPB

— Tom McQueeney (@mcqueeney) May 22, 2019

#FinalUpdate: 1400 blk N Nash St, Fire is out. Fire contained to furniture on roof. No injuries reported. Fire Marshal on scene investigating. Most units going in service. Roads in area should clear up soon. @FortMyerFire pic.twitter.com/G3i8QMfwjM

— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 22, 2019

ARLINGTON COUNTY | STRUCTURE FIRE | 1405 N. NASH STREET | REPORTED FIRE ON THE ROOF | FIRE SHOWING SIDE C | RIT 1 REQUESTED pic.twitter.com/fKF3l9Oggk

— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) May 22, 2019

Source

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com