<sh>Grand Larceny Arrest
<bt>According to police reports, two Fairfax County Circuit Court employees, one of whom resides in Arlington, were arrested for grand larceny. On Friday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m., Helen Sokos, 25, of the 4100 block of South Four Mile Run Road in Arlington and Kristie Andrews, 28, of Woodbridge were arrested for allegedly stealing an undisclosed amount of money. Sokos, an administrative assistant II, has been employed for four years. She was charged with grand larceny and possession of marijuana. Andrews, also an administrative assistant II, has been employed for three years. She was charged with grand larceny. Both women were taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, said police. Sokos was held on a $3,000 bond and Andrews on a $2,500 bond. Police say the investigation is continuing.
<sh>Applications Sought For Human Rights Award
<bt>The Arlington Human Rights Commission is now accepting applications for the James B. Hunter Human Rights Award, named for the former County Board member who spent years in public service working on behalf of individuals with little access to government. The deadline for applications is Sept. 30.
All Arlington residents, community groups, nonprofit organizations and businesses can apply or be nominated for consideration. Self nominations also are acceptable. Entries should reflect human rights achievements on an individual basis, through work with other individuals, or through specific examples, products or activities. Each example must have some visible, tangible or measurable impact on the perception of, attitude toward or respect for and treatment of others.
For information and an entry form, visit www.arlingtonva.us/human_rights or call the Human Rights Commission at 703-228-3929; 703-228-3446 TTY.
Recipients will be honored on Nov. 3 at a program and reception in the Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St., from 7-9 p.m.
<sh>Wildlife Habitat Challenge
<bt>The Wildlife Habitat Neighborhood Challenge, a contest to identify the most wildlife-friendly neighborhood in Arlington, ends Sept. 30. More than 100 property owners representing 35 Arlington civic associations have certified their properties as wildlife habitats this year. These properties provide wildlife with food, water, shelter and places to raise young.
Through the Wildlife Habitat Neighborhood Challenge, the Arlington Community Wildlife Habitat team hopes to reach its goal to become the third community in Virginia certified by the National Wildlife Federation, and the first certified county in the nation.
In addition to boasting rights of being the most wildlife-friendly neighborhood in Arlington, all civic associations that certify at least five new properties by Sept. 30 will be recognized by the Arlington County Board. The top civic associations in three categories will be awarded prizes from Lebanese Taverna, Heidelberg Pastry and My Organic Market. The civic associations in the lead include Douglas Park, with 27 properties certified, Ashton Heights, with 24 properties certified and Bluemont, with 16 properties certified. More details on the prizes and standings are available at www.arlingtonenvironment.org/challenge.htm. Many yards already contain the four required elements to become a certified habitat and completing the certification form online takes approximately 10 minutes.
<sh>Amnesty Campaign Results
<bt>The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) announced results of the two-week child support amnesty campaign. Dozens of parents took advantage of the program, paying back child support without fear of prosecution. As a result, $63,664 was collected for Arlington's children.
During the campaign, the Arlington office of VDSS Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) joined Maryland and Washington, D.C., to target noncustodial parents who are behind in paying child support. DSCE identified approximately 900 Arlington County parents with outstanding warrants issued by the court for nonpayment of child support, owing a total of $17 million. For eligible individuals who chose to comply, pay a lump sum payment and sign a payment plan, DCSE agreed to request that warrants be waived and suspended licenses returned, without fear of disciplinary actions.
More than 12 percent of Arlington's delinquent parents who qualified for amnesty responded to the campaign. More than 7 percent of what was owed by the responding parents was collected. Parents who could not pay in full worked out payment agreements and shared employment information so that their wages could be garnished over time. With these agreements secured during the Amnesty Campaign, it is projected that an additional $1,630,327 will be collected.