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Confederate debate continues at Fairfax high schools

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- There have been renewed efforts to change and remove symbols of the confederacy at schools across the country. It's a battle now being fought at three Fairfax high schools.

A former principal fought and won that battle years ago at his school, Fairfax High School. He removed the school's confederate mascot three decades ago. He said not much has changed.

"You have to change the culture. You first have to make the students feel accepted," said Harry Holsinger, former Fairfax High School principal.

In 1986, more than 30 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, racial tension was palpable at Fairfax High School.

Holsinger went against the majority of the student body by removing the school mascot: 'Johnny Reb' holding a blue confederate flag. Holsinger also wanted to rename the school's drill team called the Confederettes.

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Fairfax dispatcher helps man who threatened suicide by cop


FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Fairfax SWAT team was on standby last weekend when a man threatened suicide by having police shoot him.

The man is still alive and no shots were fired thanks to the dispatcher, who is trained in crisis negotiations.

Her name is Carrie Weiland. She has 11 years experience as a dispatcher and was at the Fairfax County 911 call center when a young man held a gun to his head Sunday morning.

Weiland had a calm voice on the other end of the phone when a 21-year-old Clifton man was threatening suicide by cop.

"He very distraught. He was crying. Your heart goes out, but you have to stay focused," said Weiland.

Other dispatchers had learned from his family that the young man was about to start a new job. It was something positive that helped Weiland help him.

Julianne Moore seeks name change for JEB Stuart High School

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - Actress Julianne Moore and Hollywood producer Bruce Cohen want a new name for their old high school in northern Virginia, named for a Confederate general.

The one-time classmates have started a petition on change.org asking that J.E.B. Stuart High School be renamed for civil rights leader and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. By Monday morning the petition had attracted nearly 29,000 signatures.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Moore said it is reprehensible that the school is named for "a person who fought for the enslavement of other human beings."

Moore and Cohen attended the Fairfax County school in the late '70s.

When will details of Geer shooting come out?

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Texas officer who shot an unarmed burglary suspect in Arlington, Texas could face criminal charges.

Christian Taylor, 19, a college football player, was shot and killed while breaking into a car dealership.

In a matter of days, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson fired the shooting officer and released detailed information on the incident.

The speed at which similar information was released to the public is in stark contrast to what Fairfax County police revealed in the shooting death of John Geer.

The Fairfax County Police Department knows it has to improve its transparency with its citizens especially when you look at the swift action made by the police in Arlington, Texas for an incident that happened days ago. It took Fairfax County more than a year and a half to reveal similar information in the John Geer case now nearing the two year anniversary of the incident.

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Fairfax Co. using mannequins to raise homeless awareness

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- On any given day, driving through this region it is likely that you will see a homeless person. The problem is persistent and directly tied to the cost of housing. 

Fairfax County has found a unique way to bring attention to the approximately 1,200 homeless people in the county with mannequins made out of duct tape.

"We tried to capture what people would really understand as children's clothing. Hats that they would really feel are realistic depictions of what kids wear. We recognize that this is a mannequin, so they are scary at times to some people," Dean Klein with the Office to Prevent Homelessness said.  

Klein says the idea of the use the idea to use the mannequins came from Cleveland.

Fairfax Co. man dies after Colorado Ironman competition

BOULDER, Colo. (AP/WUSA9) - The Boulder County Coroner's Office is investigating after a 40-year-old Fairfax County man died three days after competing in the Ironman Boulder triathlon.

Brian Godlove, of Fairfax, Virginia, died Wednesday at Boulder Community Health. He had raced Aug. 2.

Ironman Boulder results show Godlove completed the swim and cycling portions of the race, but not the final running leg.

The Boulder County Coroner's Office says an autopsy has been completed and the cause and manner of death are pending further investigation.

In a statement, Godlove's family said the following.

Navy SEAL Sniper Aims to Help Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Improve Firearm Skills

Navy SEAL Sniper Aims to Help Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Improve Firearm Skills

Bestselling author Chris Sajnog releases new instructional shooting book in wake of recent armed attacks

According to research conducted by the University of Chicago, approximately 32 percent of the adult population in the U.S. either own a firearm or live in a home with someone who does.  There is a critical need for quality training so that firearms may be used safely and with confidence. Leading the movement to provide expert firearms instruction is Chris Sajnog, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL instructor and bestselling author of How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL. Chris aims to teach armed citizens everything they need to know about using firearms safely and effectively with his new book, Navy SEAL Shooting, which goes on sale August 31, 2015.