News Briefs

News Briefs

<sh>Fairfax City Budget Outreach Meeting

<bt>The City of Fairfax Mayor and City Council are reviewing the proposed budget for fiscal year 2003-2004. An informal meeting on the budget is scheduled for Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m., at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive. Citizens are encouraged to review the proposed budget, which includes descriptions, goals and objectives and funding for all city departments and programs.

This process will culminate in the adoption of the final budget at the April 8 City Council meeting. For information or for a copy of the budget, call 703-385-7870 or visit the city's Web site at

<sh>City Fire Chief Completes Professional Designation Process

<bt>Fire Chief Gary A. Mesaris of the City of Fairfax Fire Department has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of "Chief Fire Officer." The Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) met on Feb. 22, to confer officially the designation upon Mesaris. Mesaris, formally recognized at Fire Rescue International 2003, is one of only 214 designated Chief Fire Officers.

Mesaris has worked for the City of Fairfax Fire Department for 12 1/2 years and currently resides in Herndon.

<sh>Herberg Pleads Guilty to Grand Larceny

<bt>Following his guilty plea, on Monday, in Fairfax County Circuit Court, a Fairfax man will be sentenced in April for a crime committed last fall at the Fair Lakes Target store. He is Craig James Herberg, 51, of 4614 Tapestry Drive in Fairfax.

In a Dec. 10 affidavit for a search warrant to seek evidence in his home, police Det. Bill Baitinger wrote that Herberg was caught on the store's electronics department surveillance camera changing bar codes on Vtech 2520 portable telephones. Doing so, he wrote, enabled Herberg to purchase them from Target for $59.99 each, instead of their usual price of $179.99.

Fairfax County police arrested Herberg, Dec. 11, charging him with two counts of grand larceny and one count of altering a price tag. All but one count of grand larceny was later dropped. But that charge went to the grand jury and on Monday, March 17, the grand jury indicted him.

This past Monday, Herberg pleaded guilty before Circuit Court Judge M. Langhorne Keith. Sentencing is set for April 25; Herberg could receive as much as five years in prison.

<sh>Help Sought in Fairfax Shooting

<bt>Fairfax County Crime Solvers is seeking the public's assistance in identifying the two people responsible for a robbery which occurred on Jan. 27, at approximately 10:45 p.m., on Ellenwood Drive at Jersey Drive, in the Fairfax area.

While walking home from Pan Am Shopping Center, a man was approached by two other men who had exited an older white four-door Nissan Maxima, as a third man remained in the vehicle. The two men displayed handguns and demanded money from the victim. The victim began to struggle with one of the men and was struck in the head, causing the man to pass out. When the victim woke up, he found his money gone and his head was bleeding. He located a patrol officer and was transported to the hospital. It was determined that he had been shot in the head.

The victim identified one of the men, Nick S. Haltch, who was arrested. The identities of the other two men remain unknown. The first suspect is described as Hispanic, 20-23 years of age, five feet eight inches tall, weighing 180-200 pounds, with short hair and wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. The second suspect is described as white, 18-30 years of age, with straight hair. He was driving the car. The car may be missing the front bumper or have a bumper cover on it, with the license plate visible on the vehicle.

Anyone with information on this robbery or on the suspects involved is asked to call Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777 or 703-691-8888. Callers remain anonymous. A $1,000 cash reward will be paid for information that leads to an arrest.

<sh>Environmental Workshop Set

<bt>Supervisor Gerry Connolly's (D-Providence) Fourth Annual Providence District Environmental Workshop will take place Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

This event will include speakers and exhibits from various environmental organizations and presents a number of practical environmental skills that can be used easily.

The workshop is divided into two one-hour sessions, one at 9:30 a.m. and the second at 11 a.m., with a choice of seminars for each session.

Groups such as the scouts, garden clubs and civic association boards, as well as individuals, are welcome to participate in this free event. Walk-in registration begins at 9 a.m. Participants can register in advance by contacting Connolly's office via e-mail at or by phone at 703-560-6946.

<sh>Kiosks at Vienna Metro Station

<bt>Pending special zoning approval and agreement of lease terms, Greyhound bus kiosks will be installed at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU and New Carrollton Metrorail stations. The kiosk will disperse bus tickets, travel information and daily shipments of Greyhound PackageXpress; it will also sell phone cards.

Greyhound will have a representative available at the Vienna Metro Station kiosk from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven days a week.

This kiosk is part of a pilot program between Greyhound, Inc. and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.