Pedestrian accidents and the death of prominent community members dominated the news in Mount Vernon this year.
Here’s a month-by-month round-up of the most-read stories on Mount Vernon Patch in 2011:
January: A pedestrian was killed on Richmond Highway, the first of many such unfortunate accidents this year.
February: Consumers got excited about the opening of HomeGoods on Richmond Highway. MVCCA discussions about cell-phone towers in the area continued with a call for alternative plans with every proposal.
April: A Fairfax County Police Department officer was assaulted while patrolling in Mount Vernon.
May: An Alexandria designer created a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, drawing a lot of attention.
June: A feature story about TOPSoccer drew the attention of local parents. And a snakehead fish was discovered in Dyke Marsh, concerning environmentalists. In late June, Mount Vernon Patch published information from the police stating the pedestrian accidents in the area were down thanks in part to awareness campaigns.
July: A pedestrian was struck on Richmond Highway in Mount Vernon.
September: Jeff Todd’s wife and sister-in-law stepped up to the plate in running his Roy Rogers restaurants and more. Community support was strong.
October: Mount Vernon High School’s drop-out rate is among the highest in Fairfax County, but parents are passionate about the school. Mount Vernon Patch columnist Ron Fitzsimmons wrote one of his first columns defending the school.
November: Islamic Saudi Academy students rallied in Washington in November.
December: A fatal fire on Fort Belvoir claimed the life of a Mount Vernon High School student. Also in December, Patch published a three-part series on transportation and development along the Richmond Highway corridor.
Across Fairfax County
Elsewhere in Fairfax County, several issues throughout the year drove comments and interest on Patch.
Full-Day Kindergarten: Early this year, parents and some school board officials fought to have full-day kindergarten implemented across Fairfax County Public Schools.
Discipline in Fairfax County Public Schools: In February, school officials and parents started debating Fairfax County Public Schools’ disciplinary policies and whether they do more harm than good for some students. The debate started after a student, Nicholas Stuben, apparently committed suicide following disciplinary proceedings. His father, Steve Stuban, ran for a position on the FCPS school board this fall, but did not win.
November’s Elections: Leadership positions on the Fairfax County School Board, County Board of Supervisors, the Virginia House and Senate and many other positions were up for grabs in this year’s elections in November. Turnout was around 30 percent—about standard for a non-presidential election year in this area. Patch live-blogged the results from the Fairfax County School Board and County Board of Supervisors, House and Senate races in addition to running profiles of candidates, and covering controversies from the sheriff’s participation in a county retirement program to the number of campaign signs.
“The Butt Slasher”: Female shoppers at area malls and stores were watching their backsides this spring and summer, as a person allegedly swiped at women’s derrieres with a sharp object while the women were shopping. Earlier this week, Fairfax County police officials reported they the suspect was seen in Peru, and police are working with Peruvian officials now.