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Westlake Legal Group > National 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)

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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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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)

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15% less Metro trains in use due to door malfunction; Manassas City councilman announces resignation

Tuesday morning commuters will see more six-car Metro trains (as opposed to eight-car trains) after WMATA pulled the 3000-series cars from the rails due to a door malfunction. The safety precaution has left WMATA with 15% less rail cars, but has resumed the use of Grosvenor turnbacks, making 32 additional cars available. The “Rush-hour Promise” is still in effect during this time: If a trip takes more than 10 minutes more than it should during peak times, the rider will get an automatic free ride credit for future use. (WMATA)

Manassas City Councilman Ken Elston announced his resignation come July to become the new associate dean of the college of arts and sciences at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina. Elston is currently the director of performing arts at George Mason University. The council could appoint a temporary replacement for Elston until January, or hold a special election in November to fill the remainder of the term, which expires in 2022. (Prince William Times)

277 Deacon Road in Fredericksburg is up for sale after being entirely built by local Stafford High School students in the vocational program, Bringing Occupational Opportunities to Schools. (Fredericksburg.com)

BASIS Independent McLean 11th grader, Ethan Hsaio, was awarded the 2019 Junior Study Abroad Scholarship after submitting examples of his work and high tests scores from the National Spanish Examination. The scholarship is valued at more than $3,500 and Hsaio is one of 23 students nationwide chosen to spend a portion of the summer at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. (Inside NoVA)

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Citizen parking enforcement potential in DC; Fox Mill Road closure in Herdon extended

No more parking on the curb—the DC council is considering a Citizen Safety Enforcement program to deter parking infringements around the city. The proposal’s chief sponsor, Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), says the proposal could grant up to 80 citizens, 10 in each ward, the power to issue tickets for parking in crosswalks or idling in bike lanes. (The Washington Post)

Police in Fairfax County are actively searching for a Donald Bernard Lewis, 53, of Washington, DC after he walked away from the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center around 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Lewis is black, approximately 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, and was arrested on charges of three counts of grand larceny on May 18. (Inside NoVA)

Members of the George Mason University Class of 2019 are among the school’s largest and most diverse group in its history. The graduates at the 52nd annual spring commencement on Friday, May 17, totaled 9,296, representing 81 countries and 48 states. Roughly half of the almost 6,000 undergraduates are minorities. (Fairfax News)

Fox Mill Road, between Loveless Lane and Thoroughbred Road in Herndon, will continue to be closed until May 30, with daytime closures Monday to Thursday (May 20-23) and Tuesday to Thursday (May 28-30) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for pipe replacement. Through traffic will be detoured through Folkstone Drive and Lawyers Road (northbound) and Steeplechase Drive, Lawyers Road and Folkstone Drive (southbound). (Virginia Department of Transportation)

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Poll shows region’s residents widely oppose a toll into DC; Amazon HQ2 to include eco-friendly towers

According to a recent Washington Post-Schar School poll, a majority of Washington-area residents (64%) oppose congestion pricing, which would charge drivers a toll to enter the District during high-traffic times to ease congestion. DC is currently considering implementing congestion pricing. (The Washington Post)

On Wednesday, Amazon submitted preliminary plans to Arlington County for its new headquarters. A pair of 22-story office towers that meet high energy-efficient and environmental standards are a part of the plans, as well as a public plaza, storage for 200 bicycles, a bike path, parks and a day care. (The Washington Post)

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved development plans for a public park at Beaverdam Reservoir and an adjoining property at a meeting on Wednesday. The site will offer visitors a pavilion, several shelters, a boat dock, an eight-mile hiking trail and more. (The Loudoun Times-Mirror)

Alexandria’s DASH bus is testing a mobile payment app that may be available during the upcoming Metro summer shutdown of Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport. DASH is only charging $1 fares to those paying with the app, rather than the usual $1.75. (WTOP)

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Environmental approval pending for Soapstone Connector project; Upcoming road closures in Ballston

It has been over a year since the Soapstone Connector in Reston, which extends Soapstone Drive from Sunrise Valley Drive over the Dulles Toll Road to Sunset Hills Road, has been working on its environmental approval phase. The $170 million project is still pending. (Reston Now)

The 2019 Girls on the Run 5K Race will be held in the Ballston-Virginia Square area on Sunday. The county’s police department will implement road closures from 8:15 to 10:15 a.m. on Fairfax Drive, Washington Boulevard, 10th Street and more. (Arlington County)

Loudoun County officials concluded that there was no impact to the floodplain along the Potomac River after several trees were removed at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling. The conclusions clear the property of any penalties or fines. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

The Prince William County School Board has created the new Office of the Ombudsman to provide independent and impartial representatives to parents, students or school employees with concerns. This comes about a year after teachers reported bullying by a principal at Ronald Reagan Middle School. (Inside NoVA)

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State finds more funding for NoVA road projects; Compass Datacenters breaks ground in Leesburg

A revised funding plan was revealed Tuesday to include several more road projects in Northern Virginia. The new revisions were based on statewide and regional cost-benefit rankings, revealing that the state has more money available for the projects than originally thought in January. (Inside NoVA)

Compass Datacenters has begun construction on its Leesburg data center, called True North, on Tuesday. The six-megawatt facility received strong pushback during the country approval process. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

For two weeks, the Fairfax Connector has been struggling with a shortage of bus drivers. The shortage is impacting riders’ commutes across the county. Officials say the number of missed and delayed trips has dropped over the last week. (Reston Now)

The Vienna Town Council voted Monday to continue public hearings about the mixed-use rezoning proposal at 374-380 Maple Avenue West, further delaying action on the big project. (Inside NoVA)

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Herndon considering Divine Healthtech Institute; Virginia makes list of best states

The Town of Herndon’s planning and zoning staff is considering approving plans for a vocational school for entry-level health care fields to be built at 1037 Sterling Road. The town’s staff has recommended placing several restrictions on the proposal prior to approval. (Reston Now)

U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual list of the best states in the country. Virginia moved up 13 spots from last year, and is now ranked at No. 7. (WTOP)

Action in the Community Through Service and Imagine, a marketing agency in Prince William County, have teamed up for a new project called Prince William Food Rescue, which helps to end hunger with the help of a mobile app. Through the app, volunteers will be able to use their phones to show available deliveries in their area, giving them options to pick them up and drop them off at local food pantries. (Inside NoVA)

Arlington is the nation’s fittest city, according to the 2019 American Fitness Index. The city came in first out of 100 cities analyzed for 33 indicators like exercise, prevalence of chronic diseases and community infrastructure. (WTOP)

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Sinkhole closes lanes on George Washington Parkway; Reston Crossing plans updated

A large sinkhole on the George Washington Parkway has northbound lanes closed this morning from Chain Bridge Road to Interstate 495. Crews hope to have one lane open by evening rush hour. (Inside NoVA)

Reston Crossing’s plans are getting updated: The developer is now envisioning seven buildings for the site, instead of the original six, which will include a mix of residential, office and retail space. (The Washington Business Journal)

Stafford Regional Airport is getting a runway extension—for $10 million. The runway will expand by 1,000 square feet by October 2020. (WTOP)

People for Bikes’s 2019 Places for Bikes City Ratings included DC and Arlington. DC ranked 13th, and Arlington ranked fifth in the list, which ranks the best cities in America for biking. (WTOP)

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