Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and Washington. Here are some of the top stories from around the region over the past week.
A Manassas man found guilty in September of abducting and beating a former girlfriend's two dogs is appealing his convictions and will stand trial before a circuit court judge on Thursday.
Khanh Hong was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in connection with the April abduction of the two West Highland Terriers — Ozzy and Piper—and the December beating of one of the dogs witnessed by a passerby. Ozzy was significantly injured during the abduction while Piper died of suffocation after being bound and placed in a plastic bag during the attack, according to testimony heard during Hong's trial in September.
A woman from the Centreville area died Tuesday evening after losing control of her moped on Clifton Road.
Yumei Wang Barber, 37, was pronounced dead at the scene, Fairfax County Police reports show.
It happened around 6 p.m. on the 7200 block of Clifton Road when Barber entered a sharp turn on her 2012 Gabella moped and crossed left of center and into the path of a 2010 Ford truck driven by a 26-year-old woman.
Barber died at the scene.
Nun-to-Be Charged With Murdering Her Newborn
A 26-year-old woman studying to become a Catholic nun has been charged in the death of her newborn son, who was born in her room at the Little Sisters of the Poor elderly care facility in Washington, DC.
Sosefina Amoa gave birth to the boy Oct. 10, police say, and smothered him with a garment because she feared nuns would hear the newborn's cries.
According to Franconia District Station Commander Captain Jim Baumstark, this summer was busy for the station officers, but they didn't have too many big cases. Police reports also show that there was no increase in burglaries in Franconia District this summer.
Baumstark, along with MPO Jim Reid and Assistant Commander First Lieutenant William Jacoby, gave residents an update on crime in the area during the summer months in Wednesday's Citizen Advisory Committee meeting.
New Jersey resident Kim Gregg is receiving an outpouring of help from the Del Ray, City of Alexandria and Route 1 corridor communities after her dog, Houdini, went missing three weeks ago.
Houdini — an Australian shepherd — was staying with a family in Del Ray during a trial period while the family was considering adopting him. The family owned a dog of the same breed which they had adopted from Gregg about ten years ago. After that dog died of cancer last December, the family was interested in adopting a similar dog.
The family picked up Houdini on Sept. 11, and only hours later, the 3-year-old dog slipped out of the family's home. Houdini is accustomed to open space having spent most of his life in Dorothy, NJ, Gregg said. The busy streets may have been a part of what scared him off when he ran out of the house.
Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon) - whom Speaker William J. Howell of the House of Delegates has already said he will name chair of the Transportation Committee if he is re-elected on Nov. 5 - announced this week that his first order of business in 2014 would be to introduce legislation to repeal the $64 annual tax on hybrid cars that went into effect in July. The theory behind the tax - which helps fund road maintenance, the Silver Line and more - is that since hybrid cars use less gas, their drivers are contributing less to those crucial transportation funds. Rust argues that the tax is “unfair and punitive” and that hybrid car drivers pay just as much in gas taxes as drivers of regular cars, and maybe even more since most hybrid cars get fewer miles per gallon.
Fairfax City Petland Cited for Misdemeanors, Changes Contracts
The Fairfax City Petland store has been at the center of several controversies recently, such as the highly-publicized deaths of two puppies shortly after being purchased by owners, including one in which the store management actually sued the dog buyers for their balance owed for the dog. This week, Fairfax City Patch discovered that the store has been cited with two class-four misdemeanors recently. TAshburn Man Arrested, Leesburg Man Wanted in Alleged Purcellville Home Invasion
Investigators are trying to locate David C. Russell Jr., 21, of Leesburg, in relation to a reported armed robbery at an apartment in Purcellville. John C. Barwis, 23, of Ashburn, has been arrested and charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the case.
Officers with the Purcellville Police Department and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to an apartment on the 100 block of N. 21st Street around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, following reports an armed robbery, according to an LCSO press release.Chefs Top Fire Chiefs 2-1 in Food Pantry Cooking Contest
When the bell sounded Wednesday night in the Clarendon Ballroom, Arlington County Fire Capt. Bo Bennett responded to a different kind of call.
He and firefighter David Harrison made up Team Blaze & Glaze, and they were facing off against Bayou Bakery Chef David Guas and Sous Chef Sara Siegel in a timed live-cooking competition to create the best appetizer.
It's part of what's becoming an annual event to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center, which serves more than 3,500 individuals — one-third of them children. Chefs vs. Chiefs 2: Bring the Heat sold about 200 tickets ahead of time plus more at the door.
We, the Pizza Coming to Crystal City in 2014
More Good Stuff is coming to Crystal City.
The Mendelsohn family — former "Top Chef" contestant Spike, his sister Micheline and parents Cathy and Harvey — plans to open a newWe, the Pizza restaurant at 2100 Crystal Drive. That space formerly housed a Caribou Coffee and is two doors down from the family's Good Stuff Eatery.
Drivers who ignore school bus stop signs, beware. Falls Church school bus drivers and student riders are about to get some backup help.
Beginning Monday, just in time for National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 21-25, school bus stop arm cameras will be activated to monitor motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses on some of Falls Church City roads.
The City of Falls Church will be the first community in Virginia to approve the use of exterior school bus cameras. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the "Video-Monitoring on School Buses" bill into law in 2011 and it went into effect in July that year. Failing to stop for a school bus could result in a $250 fine.
One of Vienna's most famous residents, best-selling author David Baldacci, will see one of his upcoming books — a fantasy novel written for children ages 9-13 — come to life on the big screen.
Sony Pictures has optioned the novel, "The Finisher," to be published March 4, 2014 by Scholastic. The fantasy novel follows 14 year-old Vega Jane, who lives in the village of Wormwood, "beyond which nothing exists except for the Quag, a forest filled with terrifying beasts," a description of the book reads.
The film will be produced by Matt Tolmach, who brought "The Amazing Spider-Man" to life.
Purse Snatcher Tackled by Walmart Shoppers
Benjamin Durand got more than he bargained for when he allegedly grabbed a woman's purse and ran Wednesday evening.
A Fredericksburg woman told police she was returning her cart to the storage area in the Walmart parking lot on Carl D Silver Pkwy., when Durand wrestled her purse out of her hands. The victim yelled for help.
Police are investigating an incident that left one man with gunshot wounds and another man with multiple cut wounds, Prince William County Police spokesperson Jonathan Merriman said.
Police are investigating this incident as both a burglary while armed and an aggravated malicious wounding.
Planning Commission Approves Redevelopment of Route 1 Afghan Restaurant
Alexandria’s Planning Commission earlier this month approved plans to redevelop the Afghan Restauranton Route 1 into a two-building commercial development.
The new development will be named Tony’s Corner after the man who ran and owned Steve’s Diner, a restaurant that existed at the site for many years.
Plans are in motion to transform the long-vacant Torpedo Factory Food Pavilion at the Alexandria City Marina into a single restaurant.
The proposal for the Blackwall Hitch, named after a knot used to tie vessels to shore, is expected to enter the city’s planning approval process in December.
Leesburg's Gabriella Miller, 10, Receives Her College Degree
Leesburg’s Gabriella Miller, 10, accomplished an impressive task Oct. 11 as she graduated from Shenandoah University.
The ceremony marked the third of three wishes made by the young girl – who was diagnosed about a year ago with a walnut-sized inoperable brain tumor – through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
While this may sound like the beginning of a tear-jerking story of pain and loss, Gabriella’s comments as she earned her bachelor's degree just may make you laugh.
Police: Robbery Reported at United Bank on Leesburg Pike
The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating the robbery of the United Bank at 7787 Leesburg Pike, in the Falls Church-Tysons Corner area of the McLean Police District.
Police responded to the bank at about 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) elementary school teacher Melissa Porfirio was named Virginia’s 2014 Teacher of the Year during a ceremony in Richmond, Va Friday.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has extended the public hearing comment period to Oct. 30 on plans to construct a new roundabout at the intersection of Braddock Road (Route 620) and Pleasant Valley Road (Route 609) in Fairfax County. The hearing took place Oct. 9 at Ormond Stone Middle School.
VDOT originally announced a date of Oct. 23, but due to high interest in the project, the period is being extended to allow as many citizens as possible to review project information online and submit comments.
This project would improve the intersection of Braddock Road (Route 620) and Pleasant Valley Road (Route 609) in the Chantilly area, with the intent of alleviating rush hour traffic.
Governor Bob McDonnell recently announced that construction on the I-95 express lanes has reached a midpoint and is scheduled to be completed in late 2014, according to a news release.
The express lanes will be ready to open to traffic in early 2015. The project broke ground in August 2012 and since then, progress has been made on constructing new ramps, bridges, and lanes throughout the entire 29-mile Express Lanes corridor, which spans from I-395 near Edsall Road in Fairfax County to I-95 near Route 610/Garrisonville Road in Stafford County.
On her 39th birthday, Mount Vernon resident Holly Bertone was diagnosed with breast cancer, and two days later she got engaged. In 48 hours Bertone's life changed dramatically.
Through her diagnosis, treatment and wedding day, Bertone started the blog The Coconut Head's Survival Guide to help herself and others fighting breast cancer deal with treatment and the change.
Chinquapin Park Recreation Center,closed since June 17 for HVAC repairs, will reopen at 6 a.m. Nov. 1.
To celebrate the reopening, Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will open the rec center for free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2. All ages are welcome.
Police have charged Woodbridge resident Mohamed-Kareem Mohamed with reckless driving and insufficient tire tread depth after the Oct. 12 single vehicle crash that killed Woodbridge pedestrian Zenaida Jimenez, Prince William County Police spokesperson Jonathan Perok said.
A tractor-trailer accident on I-95 in the Dale City area snarled traffic for hours Wednesday.
Lost Potential: Two Honors Students and 'Best Friends' and One Tragic, Violent Night
By all accounts, Rahul Gupta and Mark Waugh — buddies for years who once attended high school honors class together — had everything going for them: Gupta was studying to become a doctor; Waugh was at Georgetown University Law Center.
Last weekend, they gathered to celebrate Gupta's 24th birthday. Early Sunday morning, police found them both covered in blood in a high-rise apartment in Silver Spring, Md.