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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Fairfax County, VA News"

‘Honor beyond measure’: Va. band to perform in 75th D-Day anniversary

WASHINGTON — The town of Herndon, Virginia, has a unique connection to the D-Day Allied invasion of Western Europe that helped to end Word War II. The USS Herndon was ahead of the first wave of assaults on Omaha Beach on June 6,1944.

Nicknamed the “Lucky” Herndon, the Gleaves Class destroyer bombed enemy targets onshore and escaped the D-Day advance unscathed, while other ships were hit with enemy artillery, mines and bombs.

Both the Navy destroyer and the Virginia town were named after William Lewis Herndon, a Naval commander who went down with his ship: The SS Central America sank in 1857 with about $2 million in gold on board from the California gold rush.

Now, Herndon High School’s marching band has been invited to participate in the 75th commemoration of D-Day in Normandy, France, next year.

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The band is pictured with the USS Missouri, taken during the 2013 visit to Honolulu, Hawaii, when it participated in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. (Courtesy Bruce Friedman)\n”,”ampmedia”:”\n\n\t\t”,”alt”:””},{“type”:”photo”,”media”:”

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In anticipation of the June 2019 performance in France, band mom Margaret Jamborsky brought the band’s banner to Utah Beach, the site of the U.S. Navy Memorial, dedicated to the more than 1,000 sailors who died there.\n

“The USS Herndon would have been right in the center of the picture on D-Day,” Jamborsky said. “It was quite moving to see such a beautiful, serene place, a far cry from what it would have looked like that day in 1944.” (Courtesy Margaret Jamborsky)\n”,”ampmedia”:”\n\n\t\t”,”alt”:””},{“type”:”photo”,”media”:”

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The Herndon High School Marching Band performed in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade in 2017. (Courtesy Mary Brown)\n”,”ampmedia”:”\n\n\t\t”,”alt”:””},{“type”:”ad”,”media”:”

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“Being selected to represent the United States is an honor beyond measure — one that our students, school and community will treasure for years to come,” Herndon High School band director Kathleen Jacoby said.

The band’s previous high-profile appearances include the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in D.C., the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii, and Electrical Parade at Disney World in Orlando.

Work is underway now to raise money for the next big trip — to France.

“This trip is going to cost roughly $600,000,” said former band member Jacob Reeves, who graduated in 2016.

Currently majoring in music education at James Madison University, Reeves is organizing a Night of POPs Normandy Benefit Concert, scheduled for Sunday, June 3 at the high school.

“I’ve got about 60 current and alum Herndon High School musicians from all different wings of the music department — from the orchestra, from the choir, from the guitar program and from the band program — all coming together, putting on a huge concert trying to raise money for the trip,” Reeves said.

The band’s invitation to perform in France has been a learning opportunity for many people in the town who were unaware of the town’s historic link to D-Day, Reeves said. Some have come forward with stories and memorabilia from family members who served on the USS Herndon.

“One of the coolest things that we came across was someone had the American flag that flew on the USS Herndon on that day, on D-Day,” Reeves said.

Jacoby said students and staff have been learning about the specific men and, in many cases, direct relatives, who were a part of Operation Overlord.

When the band participates in D-Day’s 75th anniversary parade, Reeves said each student will carry the photo of a sailor whose life they’ve researched.

“And, they’ll be honoring them when they march in the parade,” Reeves said. “This generation of people who fought in the world war is not forgotten. Even today’s students remember them and we pay our honor and homage to them.”

The post ‘Honor beyond measure’: Va. band to perform in 75th D-Day anniversary appeared first on WTOP.

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

Judge appoints brain experts in case of slain Muslim teen

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A judge on Thursday appointed two brain experts to evaluate a man facing the death penalty in the slaying of a teenage Muslim girl last year, despite the objections of a prosecutor who derided the requests as “neuro-witchcraft.”

Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to the appointments of a neuropsychologist and neurotoxicologist to evaluate Darwin Martinez-Torres, 23, of Sterling, who faces charges including capital murder and rape in the June killing of Nabra Hassanen of Reston.

Hassanen was attacked in the pre-dawn hours walking with a group of friends to Ramadan services at her mosque. Her death prompted a national outcry, though police have said there is no evidence she was targeted because of her religion.

Authorities say Martinez-Torres confronted Hassanen and her friends when they were walking in the roadway. They say he caught Nabra, hit her on the head with a baseball bat and took her close to a nearby pond and raped her. After the girl died, prosecutors say, he dumped her body in the water.

Defense lawyers say a key part of their case will be Martinez-Torres’ limited mental ability. The U.S. Supreme Court has barred the execution of people with mental disabilities, though the exact standard for determining someone’s mental capacity is not always clear.

In Martinez-Torres’ case, defense lawyer Joseph Flood said his client was born and raised near an active gold mine in El Salvador where toxins including arsenic and mercury leached into the soil and groundwater. The appointment of a neuro toxicologist could illuminate how Martinez-Torres developed a limited mental capacity, Flood said.

“To offer the jury an explanation of (his limited mental functioning) could be invaluable” in fighting off a death sentence, Flood said.

Prosecutor Casey Lingan said there would be no way an expert could scientifically prove that Martinez-Torres ingested specific toxins as a baby or that any toxins conclusively caused any mental disabilities. While he acquiesced to the request for a neuropsychologist, he objected to the request for a neurotoxicologist, labeling it “neuro-witchcraft.”

While Bellows agreed to the hiring of a neurotoxicologist, he made clear that he is reserving judgment on whether such testimony would be allowed at trial. He said the defense would have to show a sound basis for the testimony to present it to a jury.

The trial is scheduled for January.

The post Judge appoints brain experts in case of slain Muslim teen appeared first on WTOP.

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

More troubling claims against Fairfax Co. fire department

WASHINGTON — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is once again getting negative attention for allegations related to harassment as two high-ranking women claim the Northern Virginia agency retaliated against them for speaking out.

Battalion chiefs Kathleen Stanley and Cheri Zosh, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed charges Wednesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the department and Fairfax County.

The EEOC is a federal agency that handles such cases.

“The [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department] is charged with serving the public, but instead it’s punishing two of its very best,” said Gillian Thomas, an ACLU attorney. “If the highest-achieving women in the [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department] are hung out to dry when they raise concerns, what kind of message does that send to the rest of the women in the department?”

According to the charges, the department “violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment and retaliation against those who oppose such conduct.”

Stanley claims she faced abuse on social media from her union, and a demotion from Fairfax County leadership, after she stepped down as head of the fire department’s women’s program.

In late January, she wrote in her resignation letter that she was leaving the position because the department “tolerates and often defends sexual harassment, retaliation and a hostile work environment.”

Zosh alleges she was denied multiple positions, including a promotion, for advocating on behalf of a firefighter who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department claiming she was sexually harassed for years.

According to the charges, the department punished the chiefs for speaking out against “systemic discrimination against female firefighters, including pervasive sexual harassment.”

The department was hit with harassment allegations and lawsuits from women who came forward after the 2016 suicide of firefighter Nicole Mittendorff.

An investigation into her death turned up numerous sexist comments written about her online.

In February 2017, a study of the department found that 37 percent of its members reported either being bullied or witnessing someone who was bullied.

More than 23 percent reported experiencing or seeing sexual harassment.

Richard Bowers, the former fire chief, announced earlier this year that he would retire following Stanley’s resignation letter and calls for his resignation.

WTOP’s Patrick Roth contributed to this report.

The post More troubling claims against Fairfax Co. fire department appeared first on WTOP.

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

Man accused of shooting crossbow, gun at another driver in Fairfax Co.

CENTREVILLE, Va. (AP) — A New York man is accused of stopping a driver at a Virginia intersection and shooting a crossbow at him, before firing several rounds at the driver with a gun.

News outlets reported Wednesday that 25-year-old Baljeet Singh, of Queens, pulled his vehicle in front of a car at the Centreville-area intersection in February, approached the vehicle and shot at the victim with the crossbow.

A search warrant says the victim attempted to flee, crashing into the man’s bumper. Singh also fired the several rounds and struck the car. Investigators determined Singh’s vehicle was rented before the incident. Police haven’t said what the motive was for the attack.

Singh was charged with attempted malicious wounding and shooting into an occupied vehicle in March. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

The post Man accused of shooting crossbow, gun at another driver in Fairfax Co. appeared first on WTOP.

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

Man accused of shooting crossbow, gun at another driver in Va.

CENTERVILLE, Va. (AP) — A New York man is accused of stopping a driver at a Virginia intersection and shooting a crossbow at him, before firing several rounds at the driver with a gun.

News outlets reported Wednesday that 25-year-old Baljeet Singh, of Queens, pulled his vehicle in front of a car at the Centerville-area intersection in February, approached the vehicle and shot at the victim with the crossbow.

A search warrant says the victim attempted to flee, crashing into the man’s bumper. Singh also fired the several rounds and struck the car. Investigators determined Singh’s vehicle was rented before the incident. Police haven’t said what the motive was for the attack.

Singh was charged with attempted malicious wounding and shooting into an occupied vehicle in March. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

The post Man accused of shooting crossbow, gun at another driver in Va. appeared first on WTOP.

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

Mental health counselor charged with assaulting teen client in Fairfax Co.

Westlake Legal Group mental-health-counselor-charged-with-assaulting-teen-client-in-fairfax-co Mental health counselor charged with assaulting teen client in Fairfax Co. Virginia Prince William County, VA News mental health counselor Local News Fairfax County, VA News fairfax county police Carlos Huajardo Perez

WASHINGTON — A mental health counselor is accused of assaulting one of his teenage clients in Fairfax County.

Westlake Legal Group 11-280x300 Mental health counselor charged with assaulting teen client in Fairfax Co. Virginia Prince William County, VA News mental health counselor Local News Fairfax County, VA News fairfax county police Carlos Huajardo Perez
Police are asking anyone to contact them if they were victimized by Carlos Huajardo Perez. (Courtesy Fairfax County police)

Last month, Fairfax County police began investigating 68-year-old Carlos Huajardo Perez, a counselor through the National Counseling Group. A 16-year-old girl who received home-based mental health services from Perez told a family member that he engaged in “unwanted touching” on two separate occasions.

The teen’s family member then reached out to police.

On Tuesday, Perez, a Bristow resident, was charged with two counts of simple assault and released on a personal recognizance bond.

Fairfax County police are looking for anyone else whom Perez may have victimized by calling 703-691-2131.

Calls to the National Counseling Group regarding Perez’s employment were not returned by the time of publication.

The post Mental health counselor charged with assaulting teen client in Fairfax Co. appeared first on WTOP.

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

Fairfax school system halts motorized partition use after boy dies

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A school system in northern Virginia has temporarily halted the use of motorized room partitions after a 9-year-old boy was fatally injured when he was caught between the partition and a wall in an elementary school’s gym.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre tells The Washington Post in an email that Superintendent Scott Brabrand imposed a moratorium on the use of the doors Sunday that will remain in place until further notice is provided to the schools.

Police say Wesley Lipicky and a teacher simultaneously pressed a button to open the partition. The Franconia Elementary School student was caught between the wall and the partition. He suffered traumatic head injuries and was later pronounced dead.

Torre says the employee involved in the incident has been placed on leave.

The post Fairfax school system halts motorized partition use after boy dies appeared first on WTOP.

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

Fairfax Co. police investigate ‘suspicious death’ of missing Chantilly man

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County homicide detectives are investigating what they call the “suspicious death” of a missing man after his body was found in a wooded area near Clifton, Virginia, Monday night.

James McDonald, 26, of Chantilly, was found on May 21 in the woods off Union Village Drive in nearby Clifton after detectives traced the location of his cell phone, police say.

McDonald was last seen by a family member on May 15, police say. He was officially reported missing on May 19.

He was found with trauma to his upper body and the death is being considered “suspicious,” according to a news release.

Anyone with information about McDonald is being asked to call detectives at 703-691-2131.

Below is a map showing the location were McDonald was found.

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The post Fairfax Co. police investigate ‘suspicious death’ of missing Chantilly man appeared first on WTOP.

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

PHOTOS: Images of Tuesday’s late-afternoon storm

The post PHOTOS: Images of Tuesday’s late-afternoon storm appeared first on WTOP.

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

The College Board expands Reston HQ, adds jobs

WASHINGTON — The College Board will keep its Reston Town Center headquarters, lease more space and hire additional employees after getting a grant from Virginia.

The nonprofit, founded in 1900 to broaden access to higher education, has more than 600 employees at its Reston headquarters, at 11955 Democracy Drive. It will lease an additional 74,000 square feet, and create 120 additional jobs.

Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $750,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund as part of the expansion.

Fairfax County has been on a headquarters expansion roll this year.

In March, MicroStrategy opted to stay in Tysons Corner and to add 300 jobs to its headquarters there.

Tysons-based software maker Cvent Inc. announced in April it would lease additional space to expand its Tysons headquarters and increase the size of its workforce by 35 percent, including the addition of hundreds of jobs in Washington.

Reston-based software maker Appian Corporation also announced in April it would keep its headquarters in Northern Virginia and add hundreds of jobs, by moving to the former Gannett Co. headquarters on Jones Branch Drive in McLean.

The post The College Board expands Reston HQ, adds jobs appeared first on WTOP.

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