Retired war dog that had gone missing found dead

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A retired explosive detection “war dog” that was missing in Virginia has been found dead.

WAVY-TV reported Sunday that the Belgian Malinois was struck by a vehicle in Portsmouth.

The dog, named Darja, had been missing since early December. Her owner, Frankie Rivas, had to leave town and left the dog with a friend. Rivas says Darja jumped a fence and disappeared.

Darja was previously owned by a private security contractor in Kuwait. She was one of nine dogs brought back from a kennel in that country to the United States in July by Mission K9 Rescue. The Texas-based non-profit helps dogs that served with the military or Department of Defense contractors.

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Information from: WAVY-TV, http://www.wavy.com/

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Driver charged with DUI after fatally striking man on Loudoun Co. Pkwy

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WASHINGTON — An Aldie, Virginia, man died Sunday morning after being struck by a car while walking along Loudoun County Parkway.

The driver of the car was arrested and charged.

Muhammad S. Khalid, 66, was struck by the car just before 7:40 a.m. while he was walking southbound toward Dulles West Boulevard. He died at the scene.

The driver of the car was also heading southbound on Loudoun County Parkway. He was identified as Opoku Atuahene, 38, from Manassas.

Atuahene stayed at the scene and a witness called 911, according to Loudoun County police.

Atuahene was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence, police say.

He is being held at Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

The road was closed for four hours after the crash and traffic was diverted onto U.S. 50.

Below is a map of the area of the crash.

function initMapArticle() {

var lnglat = {lat: 38.941019, lng: -77.518638};
var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById(‘map_article’), {

zoom: 16,
center: lnglat

});
var trafficLayer = new google.maps.TrafficLayer();
trafficLayer.setMap(map);
var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
position: lnglat,
map: map,
title: ‘Loudoun County Crash’
});
}

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House fire kills 3 people, leaves 3 more with burns

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BUCHANAN, Va. (AP) — A house fire in Virginia has killed three people and injured three others.

The Roanoke Times reports that firefighters responded to the blaze about 2:45 a.m. Saturday in Buchanan, which is north of Roanoke in the western part of the state.

Fire crews arrived to find three people suffering from burns outside the home. They told the rescuers that more people were trapped inside. Their bodies were later found in the house.

Officials have not released the names of the deceased pending notification of their families. The three people who survived were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Botetourt County spokesman Cody Sexton said officials “will communicate any opportunities available for supporting the family should they arise.”

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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Trash, transportation, closings on New Year’s Day

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WASHINGTON — New Year’s Day falls on a Monday, so government-run locations and transportation systems may not be open, or may be working on a different schedule.

See the list below to save some time this New Year’s Day.

Travel and transit

Trash pickup

  • D.C.: Trash pickup scheduled for Monday will happen on Tuesday. In Monday/Thursday collection areas, Monday will slide to Tuesday and Thursday slides to Friday; while in Tuesday/Friday areas Tuesday slides to Wednesday and Friday slides to Saturday.
  • Virginia: Arlington and Fairfax County trash collections are on a regular schedule. In Fairfax City and Alexandria, pickups are put off one day.
  • Maryland: To find out when your trash will be picked up in Montgomery County, click here for a chart. There are no changes to Prince George’s County’s trash pickup. In Anne Arundel County, Monday collection with occur on Tuesday and Tuesday collections will occur on Wednesday. In Howard County, trash pickup will occur one day later than normally scheduled.

Other closings

  • Post offices are closed.
  • Area schools are closed.
  • Libraries are closed.
  • Smithsonian museums are open.
  • Most banks are closed. Contact your bank to find out.

WTOP’s Liz Anderson contributed to this report.

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Sterling man arrested in FBI investigation of possible ISIS supporter

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WASHINGTON — Court documents say an FBI raid at a home in Sterling, Virginia, on Friday was related to an investigation of a possible ISIS supporter.

Sean Andrew Duncan, who moved to Sterling in June 2017, was arrested for “knowingly altering, destroying, mutilating and concealing tangible objects … with the intent to impede and obstruct” an FBI investigation.

The documents said that when FBI agents knocked on the front door with their search warrant, Duncan ran out of the back door barefoot with “something clenched in his fist.”

Agents yelled at Duncan to stop, but before he did he threw a plastic bag over their heads. The documents say the bag contained a memory chip from a thumb drive that “had been snapped into pieces and placed in a liquid substance that produced frothy white bubbles.”

The FBI had been investigating Duncan for more than a year.

Duncan and his wife attempted to travel to Turkey in February 2016, but were denied entry and sent back to the U.S. Upon returning, they were interviewed by the FBI.

A relative of Duncan also warned the FBI that they feared he had become radicalized because he had voiced approval of westerners being beheaded in the Middle East.

When the FBI searched Twitter in December, they found an account created in November 2015 that linked to Duncan’s phone. The Twitter account had a handle with an Arabic phrase that roughly translated to “The Islamic State.”

An unnamed co-conspirator told the FBI in July that Duncan told her he was interested in joining ISIS and they would share news articles from an ISIS publication. The co-conspirator also told the FBI that Duncan had shared an article about how to build a homemade bomb from an al-Qaida publication.

An undercover FBI agent also reached out to Duncan in August claiming to be the unnamed co-conspirator.

The agent told Duncan about an individual who was attempting to arrange travel to Libya, but was “asking various vetting questions.” When the agent asked Duncan if he and his wife were asked similar questions before they traveled to Syria, Duncan told the agent he never had to deal with vetting by contacts because he “always had referrals.”

In June 2017, the Allegany County police Department searched Duncan’s phone in an unrelated investigation into the death of Duncan’s infant child. During their search, they found numerous internet searches for ISIS-related material, ISIS attacks, weapons, body armor, defense tactics and YouTube videos of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.

The court documents say that the Allegany County police Department’s search “discovered over 24,000 positive results after searching a list of common counterterrorism terms.”

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Funeral services held for Reston couple killed just days before Christmas

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Herndon, Va. — Funeral services were held Saturday for a Reston couple who were killed just days before Christmas inside their home.

Police say a 17-year-old boy from Lorton shot and killed 48-year-old Scott Fricker and his 43-year-old wife Buckley Kuhn Fricker after they confronted the boy inside of their home around 5 a.m. on Dec. 22.

Police say the boy knew the couple and had been dating their daughter. He turned the gun on himself after shooting the couple.

He remains in critical condition and is under police guard.

Close to 800 people attended funeral services on Saturday for the couple held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon, Virginia. Even with several overflow rooms set up in the small church to accommodate the crowd, it was still standing room only.

Many in the community said they are still in shock.

“It’s a horror,” said Priscilla Chism. “A whole community is in collective shock.”

Chism said she knew Buckley Kuhn Fricker through her work with senior citizens and that she was “very heart-centered in her work.”

“It’s just heartbreaking … ” said Eliza Beulac. “I’m just here to support them on behalf of the rest of our neighbors.

Beulac was a neighbor of the family. While she said she didn’t know the couple personally, since they were new to the neighborhood, she said the couple’s children used to walk past her house on their way to school.

Buckley Kuhn Fricker grew up in McLean, Virginia, and had a law degree from the University of Denver Law School.

Instead of practicing law she founded Buckley’s for Seniors, a company that provides services to homebound seniors so they can continue to live in their own communities rather than go into a nursing home.

Chism said she is still stunned by the evil that happened.

“The thought of having such a shocking end with her son being at home, it’s unfathomable,” she said.

Chism said Kuhn Fricker’s youngest son is 10-years-old.

Scott Fricker’s obituary said he was born in Heidelberg, Germany, when his father was serving in the military but spent all of his formative years and professional life in the D.C. area. He earned a Ph.D. in survey research methodology from the University of Maryland and worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The couple leaves behind three children. Scott Fricker was a stepfather to two of his wife’s children.

The 17-year-old suspect has been charged with two counts of murder. His name has not been released since he is a juvenile.

Friends and family of the couple say the suspect charged with the murder had allegedly admired the Nazis and accused him of mowing a swastika in the grass of a community field.

The Washington Post reported the family had persuaded their daughter to break up with him because of his neo-Nazi philosophies.

In the obituary for Scott Fricker, the Fricker family asked for prayers for everyone affected by the tragedy and “that we treasure the moments that we have with one another.”

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I-95 shooting suspect was no stranger to crime, violence

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WASHINGTON — The Fredericksburg, Virginia, man suspected of killing his wife and then himself before a wild highway police chase on Thursday was no stranger to crime and violence, police say.

Gregory Lee, 42, is suspected of fatally shooting his wife Melissa Lee, 36, with their children present in the home. He then exchanged gunfire with police, nearly striking a Virginia State Trooper, as he fled on Interstate 95 before fatally shooting himself and crashing in Stafford County.

It was not the first time Lee led police on a dangerous chase.

Stafford County police say that in 2005, Lee crashed three police cruisers before he was captured and convicted of various charges, including eluding police and destruction of property. No one was injured in that pursuit.

Lee is also listed on the Virginia sex offender registry, renewed as recently as Sept. 30, 2017, following a conviction of attempted rape in Jan. 1999.

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DC-area traffic fatalities are up, but here’s how crashes in Va. and Md. differ

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WASHINGTON — This year saw a spike in the number of fatal crashes on Virginia’s roads and recent years have also seen a smaller increase in Maryland.

But the kind of roads where these crashes occur are drastically different in the two states.

Nationally, 56 percent of all fatal crashes occur on what would be considered rural roads. In Virginia, that number is higher, especially in recent years.

“In Virginia, in 2016 alone, there were 760 fatal crashes. Of that number, 62.7 percent occurred on rural roadways,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend.

Over the last decade, that number is slightly under 60 percent.

“And you see almost the reverse in the state of Maryland,” Townsend said. “77.8 percent occurred on urban roadways.”

“It’s a function of the size of the state, and the state is much more compact than Virginia,” Townsend said.

Roughly 80 percent of all miles driven in the state of Maryland are racked up in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

Townsend said that “urban roads are more forgiving,” noting that along busier highways in more urban environments roads tend to be wider and have guardrails. The fact that these roads have more cars on them also tends to slow people down.

On the flip side, rural roads are more narrow and winding with less traffic. They present hazards for drivers traveling at unsafe speeds.

Virginia has a lot of those roads.

Of the nearly 75,000 miles of roads in Virginia, more than two-thirds of them qualify as rural.

The sheer expanse of the state means if you laid out all the rural roadways that connect various small towns, it would run about 19,000 miles longer than the combination of every road in the state of Maryland, both urban and rural.

With 2017 winding down, the state is also on the way to having one of its deadliest years on the road in a decade. Heading into the month of December, 2017 saw 815 fatalities on the roads of Virginia, over 100 more than it had in all of last year, and a number not seen since before 2010.

In 2008, there were 825 deaths on the road in Virginia, and in 2007 more than a thousand people died in motor vehicle crashes.

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Daily opioid overdoses, dark web drugs ‘overwhelming’ area counties

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WASHINGTON — The police chiefs of the D.C. region’s two largest counties both say the opioid crisis is at the top of their concerns.

Officers in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland, are responding to more overdoses, and their chiefs said that they’re treating the growing trend as a social issue, rather than an issue of criminal justice.

“In 2017, the year is not finished yet, and we’re up over 60 deaths due to opioid overdoses. We have had probably three times that many saves,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.

Good Samaritan laws have helped in overdose reporting, he said, which in turn increases the time officers have to administer the lifesaving antidote naloxone and pull someone back from an overdose. Manger said he was proud that the county was leading the way in steering addicts from the criminal justice system and toward the help they need.

“I think, from the law enforcement side, we’re doing the right thing in terms of not thinking that incarceration is the answer to this problem. We have social workers who respond out to these calls with our police officers, and we immediately start to get these folks into treatment,” he said.

In Fairfax County, where overdoses also claim more than a life a week, Chief Edwin C. Roessler said a task force is in place to combat rising opioid addictions.

“We have overdoses every day; we have several deaths a week, and the opioid epidemic is not only a police problem — it’s a medical problem. It’s a social issue, and the police department is trying to partner with other agencies for prevention and education to stop this crisis,” he told WTOP.

But the problem is getting worse, Roessler said, as the region’s heroin supply is being infiltrated by fentanyl, a drug 10 times more potent.

“It’s coming in through the dark side of the internet and also being shipped through shipping companies. It’s a very hard problem to detect and combat through the shipping of the product. It’s overwhelming us nationally,” Roessler said.

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Officer hurt during traffic stop in Woodbridge

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WASHINGTON — An officer conducting a traffic stop in Prince William County was hurt when the driver became combative.

It happened around 8 p.m. near Princess Anne Lane and West Longview Drive in Woodbridge, near the Potomac Mills Mall, police said.

The officer pulled over the driver, who became combative and assaulted the officer. Two passengers in the suspect’s car fled the scene, and police are looking for them.

The suspect was taken into custody. The officer was flown to a hospital with minor injuries.

Below is the area where it happened.

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var trafficLayer = new google.maps.TrafficLayer();
trafficLayer.setMap(map);
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position: lnglat,
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http://ift.tt/2tzY1Hb

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