Shirley Nelson, founder of the Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee (CPMSAC), died Monday, March 27, while on vacation in Italy with her husband Johnny. They're residents of Chantilly's Poplar Tree Estates community, and both were involved in CPMSAC, which mentors, advocates for and encourages academic excellence for minority students in Fairfax County Public Schools.
The funeral will be on Wednesday, April 5 at Chantilly Baptist Church in Chantilly. The viewing will start at 11 a.m. and the ceremony will start at noon. Internment will be immediately following the ceremony at the same church. Directions can be found at www.chantillybaptist.org/directions/directions.htm.
<sh>Police Seek Bank Robber
<bt>Fairfax County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who robbed the BB&T Bank at 13821 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Chantilly. Police say the man walked into the bank Tuesday, March 28, around 1:44 p.m. and demanded money from a teller. No one was injured and, after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber fled.
He's described as white, about 5 feet 7 inches, and wearing blue jeans and a blue jacket. Police hope someone will recognize him from the bank's surveillance photo. Anyone with information about this incident or the suspect is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or police at 703-691-2131.
<sh>Sex Charge to Grand Jury
<bt>The criminal case against a Centreville man charged with a sex crime against a child is moving forward in the legal system. He is Tito Paniagua, 39, of of 14463 Salisbury Plain Court in the Newgate community. He was employed as a custodian at Oakton Elementary but, on Feb. 13, Fairfax County police charged him with the aggravated sexual battery of a 10-year-old boy at the school.
Police say that, on Feb. 10, around 3:40 p.m., the boy was walking down a hallway when Paniagua allegedly touched him inappropriately as they passed each other. The child told his teacher and police were called. Paniagua appeared last Friday, March 24, in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and, at that time, his charge was certified to the grand jury for possible indictment.
<sh>Hit-and-Run is Charged
<bt>A Centreville man has been charged with hit-and-run after allegedly striking a 33-year-old Centreville woman with his car and then driving away. He is Riaz Ahmed, 25, of 5559 Pickwick Road in Centreville.
The woman was taken to Inova Fair Oaks hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The incident occurred Friday, March 24, around 2 a.m. Fairfax County police say she was walking on a gravel shoulder while northbound on Pickwick Road near Leland Road when she was struck.
They say Ahmed was also heading north, reportedly driving a 2000 Honda Civic coupe, when the car allegedly drifted onto the shoulder and struck the pedestrian. Police say Ahmed reportedly fled the scene, but his vehicle was later found at Village Square Drive and Village Fountain Place in the Fair Lakes area.
He was arrested that same day and has a June 20 court date. Any witnesses or people with information about this incident are asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477 or police at 703-691-2131.
<sh>Police Charge 4 with DWI
<bt>A Fairfax County police sobriety checkpoint last week in the Penderbrook community nabbed four drunk drivers. Officers from the Fair Oaks District Station conducted the effort from Friday, March 24, at 11 p.m. to Saturday, March 25, at 2 a.m. All motorists were stopped, and drivers were checked to made sure their driving abilities had not been impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Some 486 vehicles passed through the checkpoint established on the northbound lanes of West Ox Road at Penderbrook Drive. Police charged four motorists with DWI (driving under the influence), one with possession of marijuana and one with driving on a revoked license.
<sh>Time to Spring Forward
<bt>Daylight Saving Time officially begins Saturday, April 1 at 2 a.m. So be sure to set your clocks, watches, VCRs, microwaves, etc. ahead one hour.
<sh>Free Carseat Inspections
<bt>Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections, Thursday, April 6, and Tuesday, April 11, from 5-9 p.m. each day, at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. They’ll make sure the carseat is correct for the child’s age, height and weight, the child is securely placed in the seat, and the seat is properly installed in the vehicle.
No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves, so the technicians may properly inspect and make adjustments, as necessary. Call the Sully District Child Seat Information line (703-814-7000, ext. 5140) to confirm dates and times. For additional child seat inspection times throughout Fairfax County, call the Fairfax County Operations Support Bureau at 703-280-0559.
<sh>Park Authority Owns Mt. Gilead
<bt>The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Monday transferred ownership of the historic Mount Gilead property from itself to the Park Authority. That step clears the way for the Park Authority to someday create a Mount Gilead Park — a cultural-resource park and open-space parkland — in Centreville's Historic District. However, the Park Authority doesn't currently have the funds to develop this 7.4-acre site, so Mount Gilead may well be on the 2008 park bond.
<sh>Meals on Wheels Needs Drivers
<bt>The Fairfax Area Agency on Aging "Meals on Wheels" program is in immediate need of drivers to deliver meals, Monday through Friday, to senior adults living in Fairfax County. Volunteers who speak Vietnamese are also needed.
The job involves picking up meals at specified sites between 10:30 a.m.-noon and delivering them to seniors by 1 p.m. Drivers may choose to deliver meals on a daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or substitute basis. Call the Fairfax AAA Volunteer Intake Line at 703-324-5406 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
<sh>Role Models for Children
<bt>Volunteers are needed throughout Northern Virginia to be positive role models for children who currently have an incarcerated parent. Mentors meet with children two hours per week. Weekly meetings are supplemented by monthly group recreational activities. The only qualification required is a desire to help a child in need.
To sign up for the mentor training session at the Center for Multicultural Human Services in Falls Church, call Ellen Klene, Volunteer Program manager, at 703-533-3302, ext. 107, or see www.cmhs.org.
<sh>Air and Space Museum Parking Change
<bt>There's a new parking policy at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Yearly passes will cost $65 each for unlimited use; for members of the museum’s National Air and Space Society, they'll cost $50 each.
Daily parking there is $12 per vehicle, so the annual pass will pay for itself in six visits for the general public and five for museum members. It'll come in handy for local families, as well as residents who frequently entertain out-of-town guests. Applications for the new annual pass are available at www.nasm.si.edu/, by calling 703-572-4102 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
<sh>Blood Donations are Sought
<bt>The Inova Blood Donor Center in the Centremed I Building on Route 29 in Centreville (across from the Centreville Multiplex Cinemas) is in urgent need of blood donations — especially O positive or negative, as well as A and B. They're accepted Tuesday-Friday, noon-8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. For an appointment to give blood, call 703-322-1970, or drop in at your own convenience.
<sh>WFCM Needs Donations to Help Local Needy Families
<bt>Each month, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) provides food, personal-hygiene and cleaning items to some 300, low-income, working families of all races and religions in western Fairfax County. Its food pantry and clothes closet are at 13981 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly, and it's in great need of donations from the community.
The 10 most-needed items are: Cooking oil (22-34-ounce bottles), flour, (2-5-pound sizes), complete pancake mixes and syrup, juices (preferably concentrate), spaghetti sauce, feminine-hygiene products, deodorant and laundry detergent. Food and personal-product donations are accepted Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at WFCM's back door.
WFCM's thrift shop is open to the public, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Clothing, household items, miscellaneous donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the back door. Call 703-988-9656 with questions or to volunteer, or see www.wfcmva.org.