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Brush fires plague Garrisonville businesses

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Fire fighters inspect and extinguish a second mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy on May 4.  [KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Fire fighters inspect and extinguish a second mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy on May 4.
[KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Several small brush fires occurred along Garrisonville Road in North Stafford yesterday, two of them in the same place but hours apart. 

The first incident was a mulch fire on the side of the building where Alliance Physical Therapy is located in the North Stafford Plaza shopping center at around 3:15 p.m. 

Two hours later, the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department headed to a brushfire at 627 Garrisonville Road, in the area of Barton & Williams School of Dance.

Minutes after that call, another came in for a bush on fire in the parking lot of Home Depot in the Doc Stone Shopping Center. The main concern about this incident was that the burning bush was near parked cars. 

Around the same time as the Home Depot parking lot fire, a mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy, in the same location as before, was reported. 

A Home Depot employee said this was the bush that fire fighters doused earlier that evening. The ground around it was still wet. [KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

A Home Depot employee said this was the bush that fire fighters doused earlier that evening. The ground around it was still wet.
[KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Each fire was extinguished in minutes. 

Although the causes of these fires have not been determined, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Doyle said that a lot of times in these situations the fire department will find “improper disposal of smoking materials” to be the cause. Since so few businesses allow smoking inside, people will go outside to smoke and then throw the cigarette on the ground. Sometimes the cigarette is burned up in the subsequent fire, so there’s no evidence to find. 

Man wanted after robbing BP station in Manassas

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On the evening of May 2, Prince William police responded to a call at the BP Service Station on Sudley Road in Manassas for a robbery.

A Prince William police release said that employees told officers that the suspect entered the service station and approached the counter. At the counter, the suspect displayed a handgun and demanded money and cigarettes from the cashier, said Prince William police.

No one was injured.

A K-9 unit was used to look for the suspect, who is still at-large.

According to Prince William police, the suspect is being described as a white male between 25 and 29-years old, 5’7”, 150 pounds with a thin build and tattoos on his neck and hand.

He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with “Virginia” written on it in white letters, gray sweatpants, black shoes and a black hat with “K” written on the front.

The Prince William police are asking residents with any information to come forward.

Potomac Local Submitted News
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Here’s the scoop on Cinco de Mayo festivities

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11149356_882783895113745_4902485986083669719_nTo kick off the evening’s Cinco de Mayo festivities, there are several restaurants in the area with food and drink specials.

Prince William

El Charro – 2893 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge, VA
El Charro is offering any two of their bottled beers for $5.

El Paso – 3031 Golansky Blvd, Woodbridge, VA
El Paso will be offering drink specials all day.

Manassas

Zandra’s Tauqueria – 9114 Center St, Manassas, VA
Zandra’s will be hosting a Happy Hour until 7 p.m. with a Tequila Tuesday theme. They will also be offering drink specials and beef tongue tacos all evening.

Don Lencho – 9116 Mathis Ave, Manassas, VA
Don Lencho’s will be having a drink special for mimosas, and a Taco Tuesday with taco’s al a carte for $1.50.

El Cactus – 9406 Battle St, Manassas, VA
El Cactus is offering half-priced appetizers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., 50 cent chili con queso from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a sombrero contest. There will also be drink specials.

Stafford

El Gran Charro -2834 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Stafford, VA
El Gran Charro will be offering a taco special, with $1.25 for hard shell tacos and $1.50 for soft tacos. They are also offering nachos for $2.99. Their Cinco de Mayo drink specials include $2.99 lime margaritas and Corona’s for $2.50.

Haymarket

El Vaquero West – 14910 Washington St, Haymarket, VA
El Vaquero West is offering drink specials including a 32-ounce draft for $6.85 and all bottled beers for $2.85. They will also be offering their medium lime margaritas for $4.25.

Get home safely

To ensure that participants in the Cinco de Mayo festivities get home safely, special ride programs will be available for area residents.

SoberRide
The SoberRide program, run by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, is available to all Washington D.C. area residents from 4 p.m. today, until 4 a.m. tomorrow morning.

In order to use the free ride program, you must 21-years and older.

To use the service, you need to call 800-200-8294. SoberRide will pay for the first $30 of the fare, and anything over this amount all riders are responsible for.

The participating cab companies are Alexandria Yellow Cab, Barwood, Inc., Fairfax Yellow Cab, Loudon Yellow Cab, Northern Virginia Checker, Red Top Cab Company, Silver Cab of Prince George’s County, Yellow Cab of the District of Columbia, and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.

Fire crews called to Stafford County gas station

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[Photo: Sheetz, Inc.]

[Photo: Sheetz, Inc.]

A fire was discovered at the Sheetz gas station in a trash receptacle by a fuel pump. 

The Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department was called to the Sheetz located at 10 Washington Square Plaza, off of Route 3 near Ferry Farm, at 4:55 p.m on Monday, May 4.

According to initial reports, which were confirmed by Assistant Fire Chief Mark Doyle, a Sheetz employee discovered a fire in an outside trashcan. The employee poured water in the bin. And, even though the fire appeared to be out, the trashcan was moved to the middle of the parking lot, away from the fuel pumps as a precaution. The employee then stood by it with a fire extinguisher as fire crews were in route. 

No cause has been reported. No one was injured.

Would a traffic light help residents of Meadowbrook Woods?

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Residents of the Meadowbrook Woods neighborhood on busy Route 234 near Manassas for many years have wanted a traffic signal at the entrance to their neighborhood.

“Almost since the beginning,” said Janice Valdez, a member of the Meadowbrook Woods Homeowners Association.

However, county and state officials have deemed a traffic signal inappropriate.

Cars turning out of the neighborhood often encounter other vehicles that sit in the median on Route 234. Those drivers are attempting to turn into Meadowbrook Woods.

Drivers turning into the neighborhood can make for dangerous driving conditions as drivers exiting the neighborhood those sitting in the median.

Al Gabrois, a longtime resident of Meadowbrook Woods, said that “coming into the neighborhood, I think the people are desperate to get out so they’ll take the right of way…if I had to make a left everyday out of here to go to work that would be trouble”.

Marc Cioffi, a traffic engineer with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), said the agency hasn’t marked the neighborhood entrance as dangerous. Cioffi added that he has not received one request for a traffic light at that intersection.

“Every request is handled the same way. It doesn’t matter to us if it’s submitted to us by an individual, or a community or hundreds of people, we address each request the same way,” Cioffi said. Keep Reading…

Tiwari steps down; Bell steps in for delegate race

News

Jack Tiwari, a candidate for Virginia’s 87th district in the House of Delegates, has decided to end his campaign.

Incumbent Delegate David Ramadan, who recently announced that he would not be seeking reelection, currently holds the seat.

According to a release from the House Democratic Caucus, Tiwari has stepped down due to his family, and his commitment to working on relief efforts in Nepal following the earthquake last week.

“I realized that my heart and that of many of my supporters was back in my home country of Nepal. It would be very hard for me to run a campaign while many of my friends and family are focused on rebuilding Nepal,” said Jack Tiwari in a release.

Tiwari currently serves as president of the America-Nepal Society.

Now that Tiwari is out of the running, John Bell, a retired Air Force veteran, has announced his candidacy.

Bell has previously run against Ramadan on 2013, and ran against Delegate Bob Marshall in 2009.

Crime rates down, response times up in Manassas

News

Manassas has seen some improvement in their crime rates over the last year.

The city recently released their 2014 annual crime report and found that with a population of 41,830 residents, that there are areas that have greatly improved – and some that still need improvement.

According to the report, there are around 21 crimes per 1,000 residents.

This rate is lower than the national rate reported by the FBI – but it is higher than nearby Prince William County, which has 16 crimes per every 1,000 residents.

While higher than Prince William, Manassas City has seen a decrease in their overall crime statistics, despite their growing population.

From 2000 to 2009, the crime rate in the city was 33 to 41 crimes, according to the city’s report.

The report stated that there has been a 12% decrease in serious crime, an 11% decrease in reports, but a 16% increase in domestic violence-related events, a 65% decrease in graffiti, and a 12% decrease in DUI cases.

One area of the report that showed an increase was response times. According to the city’s crime report, there was a 1 to 18-second increase for the response times of police officers, depending on the severity of the incident. Keep Reading…

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