Patch has 31 community sites in Virginia and D.C. Here are some of the top stories from around the region over the past week.
16. Arlington County Salaries: Salaries account for more than half of the local government's operating expenses. Did you know the Arlington Public Library chief makes more than the head of the county's Parks and Recreation Department? Or that the county's human resources director makes more than the sheriff? Patch has a searchable salary database to find those salaries and more.
15. Alexandria More Than Historic Haunt: While history may be one of the “brand pillars” of Alexandria, Patricia Washington says she’d like to educate people more about the range of arts available in the city. Washington is the president and CEO of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association. “People know about the Torpedo Factory, but do they know about the Athenaeum? Do they know about the symphony?" she asked. “The arts drive business.”
14. AT&T Cell Tower Dispute: Representatives from AT&T returned to Mason District on Tuesday evening to discuss the company's proposed 128-foot-tall cell tower, which is to be constructed in the Parklawn community. Some residents at the meeting complained that AT&T’s goal with the tower was unclear and confusing.
13. Business News: River Bend Bistro will be opening this summer at the Hollin Hall Shopping Center, possibly by July. Burke Town Center will have a new Little Caesars Pizza place, replacing Photo Craft, which is moving four doors down. Wegman’s will soon take control of its planned location at the Hilltop Village Center. Developers of the City Center in Manassas Park say the large main street development should have commercial tenants by July. Construction of a five-story, 276-unit luxury apartment complex titled , continues near the corner of E. Monroe Avenue and Main Line Boulevard in Del Ray.
12. Student Writes Fantasy Trilogy: After setting out to create her own fantasy world, Hayfield student Bezi Yohannes, 16, published her first book, ”Secrets of Meynch,” in December. "I feel complete when I'm reading. And when I'm writing, I can communicate these different experiences and go into my imagination and create a detailed fantasy world," Yohannes said. Bezi's book is now available for purchase on Amazon and is also available as an ebook.
11. Photographer Travels With Navy SEALS: When Greg Mathieson Sr. isn't at home in his quiet Centreville neighborhood, it's usually because he's busy photographing the U.S. Navy SEALs in Iraq, Afghanistan, snowy Alaska mountains, or even underwater. Mathieson’s book, "United States Naval Special Warfare/U.S. Navy SEALs," comes with an opening from former President George W. Bush.
10. : Falls Church couple Lawrence Webb and Clifton Taylor, together for 13 years, discuss the challenges gay couples face now and the significance of a legal wedding after all these years. All that matters in the end for Webb and Taylor is that they have the same rights as married heterosexual couples. “What is marriage? Is it a contract between two people?” Taylor asked. “As we progress in our relationship, we ask why would we let anyone take away what we have?”
9. Streetcar Town Hall Gets Heated: In Arlington, hundreds representing both sides of the debate over a planned streetcar for Columbia Pike showed up Wednesday night for what turned out to be a fairly heated town hall at Kenmore Middle School. To board member Libby Garvey, who opposes the streetcar and seems less concerned about any political consequences of her position as the fight draws on, now's the time to start the discussion about whether there are better alternatives.
8. Landmark Off-Ramp Protest April 6: Community members protesting a Virginia Department of Transportation high-occupancy toll lane off-ramp from Interstate 395 in the Landmark community are holding a public rally against the ramp April 6. Concerned Residents of Landmark spokeswoman Mary Hasty said local residents can come out to “voice their concerns to the governor and the media about the pollution that will be a result of the ramp being built.”
7. DC Metro Housing Prices Climb: Housing prices continue their overall upward trend in the DC metro region, according to the latest Case-Schiller Housing Index numbers released this week. In the D.C. metro area, the seasonally adjusted price index (which measures the average sale price for single-family homes) for January 2013 was 190.56—that's up from 179.78 in January 2012, continuing an overall upward trend.
6. Shop Owner Found Dead: A man in his 40s who a neighbor says owned a Wisconsin Avenue clothing store, was found dead last weekend. Officers responded to the Wisconsin Avenue address at 6:30 p.m. on March 23. Detectives later determined that it was a natural death, according to police spokesman Anthony B. Clay.
5. 17-Year Cicadas Plot Comeback: There won’t be quite as many cicadas this year as in the infamous Brood X 17-year cicadas of 2004, but a sizable population of Brood II 17-year cicadas will emerge from the ground this spring. "I think by Memorial Day it's just going to be spectacular," University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp told WTOP recently. "There will simply be millions of these things in the tree tops, and the boys are going to be singing their hearts out."
4. Woman Robbed at Gunpoint: A 27-year-old woman was walking home when she was approached by two individuals in the 8200 block of Russell Road in Mount Vernon. One brandished a handgun and demanded money. They fled with her purse. She was not injured.
3. Armed Robbery at Tysons ATM: Fairfax County police are trying to identify a man who reportedly had a shotgun and robbed a woman at a Tysons Corner ATM on Sunday. Police have released video that shows a woman in an after-hours ATM lobby located at the 8300 block of Greensboro Drive at roughly 8:45 p.m. A masked gunman wielding a shotgun appears to enter the lobby shortly afterwards. VIDEO.
2. Body Found in Stafford County: After more than a week of searching a Belle Plains Road property, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office investigators found the decomposed remains of a body. "The remains have been sent to the medical examiner's office to determine the gender, age and cause of death," said Maj. David Decatur, Stafford County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy. No one has been charged in the case, but Dennis Benzie remains a person of interest. Benzie was arrested at that address on March 14 and is in Rappahannock Regional Jail on weapons and drug charges.
1. Police Refused Service at Buffalo Wild Wings: Eight police officers were refused service at Buffalo Wild Wings in Manassas recently, apparently because they had their weapons displayed. The restaurant manager, who was not there at the time, issued an apology. The story has brought national attention to private business decisions to ban weapons in restaurants and the exception often offered to police.
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