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.
13. Forced Treatment: A Fairfax City-based nursing home agreed to settle and pay $700,000 on Feb. 13 in a nearly two-year lawsuit that accused the treatment center of claiming Medicare for unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services. Former employees of the Fairfax Nursing Center filed the suit in May 2011, alleging the center gave "excessive, medically unnecessary, or otherwise non-reimbursable physical, occupational, and speech therapy services" to 37 Medicare beneficiaries who were its customers, according to the Department of Justice.
12. Auction Heats Up: In the few final hours of bidding in the West Heating Plant auction in Washington, four anonymous bidders drove the going price from a measly $501,000 to more than $5.2 million as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. The General Services Administration determined that the West Heating Plant site, a 2-acre lot with a 20,000-square-foot building, was excess property. After going through a disposal process, which included opportunities for community feedback, GSA approved an eBay-style auction so the property at 29th and K streets NW would go to the highest bidder.
11. Shooting Arrest: Police have arrested and charged a man with first-degree murder after another Woodbridge man was shot along Wertz Drive in Woodbridge, Prince William County police spokesperson Jonathan Perok said. Aric Alexander Smith, 25, of Woodbirdge, was also charged with armed robbery and using a firearm in commission of a felony. Police initially responded at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday to the 3700 block of Wertz Drive for a report of shots fired.
10. Development: Capital One Bank is providing an $8 million loan to Yates Corner LLC to construct the Yates Corner project at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Braddock Road, the bank announced Wednesday. Construction of the mixed-use commercial complex is expected to be completed in December. So far, the complex is confirmed to feature a new 7-Eleven, office space for Yates Automotive and the new Yates Green Dry Cleaners. The redevelopment project is an assemblage between Jason Yates, who owns the nearby automotive repair shop, and the Southland Corp., owners of 7-Eleven. The project included the purchase of a small piece of property at the corner of Braddock Road and Mount Vernon Avenue owned by the city of Alexandria.
9. More Development: Ballston Common Mall may evolve into a mixed-use development that includes apartments, office space and retail. The new Ballston Center by Forest City Washington, would include “more street-facing store entrances, two-level storefronts and outdoor terraces,” the Washington Business Journal reported. Forest City Washington, which also owns the Lenox Club apartments in Arlington, Twelve12 and The Yards in Washington, showcased the redevelopment plans this week at the International Council of Shopping Centers' 2013 Mid-Atlantic Conference at National Harbor in Maryland.
8. Fair Pay: Proposed changes to Fairfax County employee compensation were met with criticism and questions from county officials and union representatives Tuesday. County Executive Ed Long first presented a new employee compensation structure to supervisors in December, which would disband the current system — in which employees are eligible for pay increases every year — and replace it with an odd-even schedule for cost of living and merit raises. But union reps urged supervisors Tuesday not to pass the plan as part of the fiscal 2014 budget process, saying such drastic changes required more careful debate.
7. Job Cuts and Tax Hikes: The average Arlington homeowner would pay about $262 more each year in taxes and fees under the 2013-14 budget County Manager Barbara Donnellan proposed Wednesday. The spending plan also would eliminate about 46 county staff positions, about half of them already vacant, affect several county programs and force the Artisphere to justify its operating expense. And the entire proposed $1.1 billion general fund budget is overshadowed by what might happen with federal sequestration.
6. They Will Come?: As the Loudoun Planning Commission wades through a proposal to permit a 5,500-seat stadium in the One Loudoun development, the case supporters appear to be developing is that Loudoun could miss its opportunity to land two professionals sports teams. Opponents of the ballpark aren't buying it. Those against the park – whose concerns include noise, lights, traffic and the loss of planned office space – turned out along with supporters for a public hearing Tuesday night in Leesburg.
5. Top 10 Crash Intersections: Almost 200 traffic crashes occurred at intersections in Annandale, Burke and West Springfield in 2012, according to data from the West Springfield District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department. In addition to increased enforcement, police will use educational campaigns and media enforcement to spread awareness about driving safely. Areas of Annandale, Burke, Burke Centre, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Lorton and West Springfield are covered by the West Springfield District Station.
4. Police Kill Man: Alexandria police say a man who was shot and killed by officers Monday on Duke Street threatened officers who were responding to a domestic dispute with a gun. Police spokeswoman Ashley Hildebrandt said police were called to the 3400 block of Duke Street, near the intersection of North Quaker Lane, at approximately 2 p.m. Someone involved in the domestic dispute had called 911, Hildebrandt said. Hildebrandt said she did not know what officers encountered when they arrived on the scene but that the man had a gun.
3. Murder and Suicide: Fairfax County Police say the husband of Jennifer Lynne Pearson — the pregnant Reston woman who was apparently killed before her apartment was set on fire Monday — has been found dead in Texas. The husband, Timothy Connor, 31, apparently committed suicide Tuesday in Bandera County, Texas.
2. Sequestration: Sequestration will mean furloughs — unpaid days off — for federal workers across the country, and Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County will certainly feel the pain. The base is home to 21,100 civilian employees at 26 Department of Defense agencies, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Washington Headquarters Services and the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command. "The assumption is that the offices and units will continue to operate on a full schedule, and supervisors and commanders are still looking at priorities, and also what can be put off to tomorrow," said Don Carr, Fort Belvoir spokesman.
1. And More Sequestration: When Northrop Grumman moved its headquarters to Falls Church more than a year ago, Robert Foster moved with his job from California. He had heard jobs inside the Beltway were pretty safe, but with the threat of billions of dollars in federal cuts coming Friday if Congress doesn't quit its squabbling and reach a budget compromise, Foster is already cutting his personal spending.
He is not buying as much clothing. He is eating out less. The new car he wanted will just have to wait. So, the retail stores don't have his business, the restaurants where he eats suffer, the dealership where he would have taken his business keeps another unsold car on its lot.
By most estimates, sequestration 2013 — the mostly indiscriminate slashing of federal spending if a budget deal isn't reached — could cost Virginia more than 207,000 jobs. The state is home to nearly 300,000 federal employees and thousands more who work for government contractors.