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News Briefs

Accidental House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Tuesday, Jan. 24, at approximately 11:50 p.m., near Fort Hunt, in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 2125 Rampart Drive.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the eaves and roof of the two-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive offensive fire attack bringing the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. The seat of the fire was in the attic space near the chimney of the fireplace. Two adults were home when the fire broke out. One adult male was transported to INOVA Mount Vernon Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Two adults have been displaced. Red Cross support was declined.

Damage is estimated at $30,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A zero clearance fireplace caused the fire.



UCM Seeks Food Donations

United Community Ministries’ food pantry depends on community donations and after the holidays, people often forget to give. The food pantry shelves are becoming increasingly bare and help is needed to help fill them. Canned meat and fish are especially needed, as well as canned soups, fruits and vegetables. Drop off food donations at UCM’s main office, located at 7511 Fordson Road, Alexandria. UCM's food pantry accepts food donations Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the first Sunday of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.



Surovell Appointed to Public Safety

Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) was appointed on Jan. 11 to the Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety during the 2012 session. The Militia, Police & Public Safety Committee focuses on matters concerning local police and sheriff’s departments organization and jurisdiction in addition to gun control, homeland security and traffic offenses

Surovell will continue his service on the Committees on

Counties, Cities and Towns and the Committees on Science and Technology.



Guilty Plea in Shootings

Yonathan Melaku, 23, of Alexandria, pled guilty Thursday, Jan. 26 to damaging property and firearm violations involving five separate shootings at military installations in Northern Virginia between October and November 2010 and attempting to injure veterans’ memorials at Arlington National Cemetery.

He will be formally sentenced on April 27, 2012.

According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement which recommends 25 years in prison, Melaku admitted that he carried out a series of five shootings from Oct. 17, 2010, through Nov. 2, 2010, at the following locations: the National Museum of the Marine Corps (twice), the Pentagon, a Marine Corps recruiting sub-station in Chantilly, and a U.S. Coast Guard recruiting office in Woodbridge. Each shooting took place late at night or early in the morning and involved multiple 9mm rounds fired at each building. The cost for repairs at the facilities exceeded $100,000.



UCM Receives $15,000 Grant

United Community Ministries is the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Boeing Employees Community Fund. The grant will be used to support UCM’s Basic Needs Program, which provides emergency assistance to families and individuals who are in crisis.

The Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company is an employee-owned and directed giving program that allows employees to support the needs of their local communities via tax-deductible recurring payroll deductions or one-time gifts.



Supporting Wounded Warrior Project

Recently opened Jersey Mike’s Subs at 7732 D Richmond Highway hosted a 5-day fundraiser last month, with proceeds supporting Wounded Warrior Project.

Wounded Warrior Project is aimed to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.