Virginia Briefing

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Body of Missing Reston Resident Is Found in Park

The body of a Reston man who disappeared from his home in October has been discovered in Lake Fairfax Park, Fairfax County police said yesterday, and foul play is not suspected.

William Eustace, 71, wandered from his home on Waters Edge Lane along Lake Anne on Oct. 25. Police searched the Lake Anne area extensively in subsequent weeks but couldn't find him.

Police said two teenagers playing at Lake Fairfax Park found Eustace about 4:45 p.m. Thursday. He was not positively identified by the medical examiner until yesterday, and no cause or manner of death has been determined. Police said they did not know why he wandered from his home.

-- Tom Jackman

Man Is Charged With Raping Girl, 16, in His Home

A Fairfax City man has been arrested and charged with raping a 16-year-old girl in his home after she fell asleep at a party there, police said yesterday.

The girl went to Inova Fairfax Hospital on Monday evening for treatment, reported the incident and police were called. The girl reported that she went to a party in the 4000 block of Poplar Street on Sunday night, fell asleep and was assaulted early Monday.

Police said Hugo Alfredo Rivera-Maravilla, 27, agreed to meet with detectives at city police headquarters, was interviewed and then arrested. He was charged with rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

-- Tom Jackman


Supervisors Approve $2.2 Billion Operating Budget

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a $2.2 billion operating budget yesterday that reflects $136 million in cuts and slashes hundreds of dollars off the average residential tax bill.

The board also approved a tax rate of $1.212 for every $100 of assessed value, up 24 cents from the rate now. Because of the sharp decline in residential home values, supervisors said they believe the new rate translates into one of the largest tax breaks -- about $435 for the average home -- in Northern Virginia.

The total spending plan, down 6 percent from that of fiscal 2009, includes an $845.3 million general fund budget, with $407.8 million going to schools. The budget freezes salaries, eliminates about 95 government positions -- most of which are vacant -- and cuts in half staffing increases for the police and fire departments. It also uses $4.8 million from the county's "rainy day" fund.

The budget also keeps about $1.8 million in reserve. Supervisors said they want to use the money to match federal stimulus funds that, if available, would allow them to advance 25 sworn police officers from the fiscal 2012 budget to fiscal 2010.

-- Jennifer Buske


Board Passes Budget That Increases Tax Rate

The Arlington County Board passed a budget last night that increases the real estate tax rate 2.7 cents and restores some unpopular proposed cuts.

Board members increased the general fund operating budget by $5.4 million over the one for this fiscal year to $946.8 million, officials said. The rate increase will bump the average homeowner's property tax bill from $4,501 to $4,551, based on a new rate of 87.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value, county officials said.

Board members reversed a plan to demolish the Gulf Branch Nature Center and partially or completely restored library hours for three branches. But recreation centers' hours and other services were scaled back, and officials cut 95 positions countywide. All of those employees have found other county jobs or taken voluntary severance packages, officials said.

-- Michael Laris

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