Wed Thu Fri
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM EDT on April 01, 2015
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM EDT on April 02, 2015
It is forcast to be Chance of a Thunderstorm at 7:00 PM EDT on April 03, 2015
Chance of a Thunderstorm

Futrell, Qarni and McPike to meet for Prince William Primary Debates


Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.26.47 AMThree candidates in the Democratic primary for the 29th district Senate seat will meet for a primary debate on Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m.

The three candidates – Jeremy McPike, Delegate Michael Futrell and Atif Qarni – are hoping to fill the long held seat of Senator Chuck Colgan, will debate local issues concerning governance in the district, which includes Prince William County and Manassas.

The candidates will take part in a state-run primary on June 9, which will decide who will go against Republican challenger Hal Parrish, Mayor for the City of Manassas, in November.

You may submit questions for the Democratic Senate primary debate. 

The debate will be held in the auditorium at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge. 

Potomac Local is sponsoring the event, in partnership with the Prince William County Democratic Committee. 


The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

– Candidates will be introduced to the audience
– Short bios for each candidate will be read
– A candidate will be asked a specific question
– The candidate will have two minutes to respond
– An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
– A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Stephanie Tipple, Prince William Regional Editor for Potomac Local, will moderate the debate. 

Bob Gibson, Executive Director for the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and Stephen Farnsworth, author and professor at the University of Mary Washington, will be the panelists for the debate.

Potomac Local will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The event is open to the public.

Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the community center and must be removed upon event conclusion

RELATED: Stewart, Crawford; Nohe, O’Meara to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

Health & Fitness Expo at kicks off 10 a.m. Thursday at Freedom Center

health and fitness expo

Health screenings, vendors available for students and community at Freedom Fitness and Aquatic Center

With the weather warming up, there are several area organizations that want to provide information to you about becoming healthier.

The 2nd annual George Mason University Prince William Campus Health and Fitness Expo will take place from 1o a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center on Thursday, April 2.

There will be several demonstrations on healthy living, activities, health screenings, fitness challenges, and vendors at this year’s event.

The fair will provide George Mason students and community members with information on how to make healthier lifestyle choices, motivate others, and to help foster healthy relationships with those in the community, according to Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center Manager Amanda Meiklejohn.

More than 80 vendors signed up to participate in this year’s event. They include health and wellness centers, nutritionists, dance studios, fitness retail stores, and health food outlets.

The Health and Fitness Expo will be held in the center’s open gym, said Meiklejohn.

Last’s year, the center welcomed more than 1,500 attendees to the first Prince William Campus Health and Fitness Expo.

The expo is free to attend and is sponsored again this year by Novant Health.

The Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center is located at 9100 Freedom Center Boulevard in Manassas, just off University Boulevard and Prince William Parkway.

Potomac Local Submitted News
More Submitted News

Pets to adopt at Stafford County SPCA


Willy went missing from his home.


BC is an 11 month old DSH cat that is UTD on shots and neutered. He has a huge personality and gets along very well with the other cats in his room. He enjoys interacting with volunteers and is a silly, curious boy. He is by far our favorite goofball!


Rose is a 1 year old Jack Russell Terrier/Pomeranian mix that is UTD on shots, spayed, and microchipped. Rose is a bit quieter than her brothers and sisters and is usually the first one in your lap if given a chance to cuddle. If you’re looking for a cuddle bug this is your girl!

Lost dog

Willy – LOST DOG – Last seen 3/26 at 12 PM. Just a year old, blue collar, name tag, rabies tag, county tag and is micro-chipped. If you see him, PLEASE call 703-899-0604.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above.

How friends and family will honor Prince William’s first fallen firefighter


The Prince William County Professional Fire Fighters Local 2598 group is working with George Mason University to host the 8th annual walk to honor Kyle Wilson on April 18. 

Wilson was the first career firefighter in Prince William County’s fire and rescue department’s 41-years to die in the line of duty back in 2008. 

The Kyle Wilson 10K Walk for Fitness will take place at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge. 

More from a press release:

Prince William County Professional Fire Fighters Local 2598 in cooperation with George Mason University will be holding the 8th annual Kyle Wilson 10K Walk for Fitness on April 18th, 2015 at C.D. Hylton High School. Registration will begin at 9am and the walk will begin at 10am. All proceeds from the walk will go to The Kyle Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund at George Mason University.

Kyle Robert Wilson gave the ultimate sacrifice on Monday April 16th, 2007 while searching for occupants during a house fire. His passion for the profession of fire fighting and physical fitness are the inspiration for this walk. Kyle was a graduate of Hylton High School and George Mason University with a degree in Athletic Training. Kyle joined the Prince William Department of Fire and Rescue in 2006. 

For more information or to pre-register please go to www.KyleWilsonMemorial.com.

New construction recycling facility to be built in Manassas

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.04.08 PM

On February 24, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the request to build a construction materials recycling facility in Manassas.

The facility will be located at 6326 Old Compton Road, just north of the intersection of Balls Ford Road.

Residents and county workers will be able to recycle concrete, asphalt and wood on the site, according to board documents.

Additionally, a recycling materials separation facility will be built on the site, according to board reports.

Once completed, residents will be able to drop off these materials Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to board documents, the recycling facility is set for completion by May of this year.

No public hearing for the site has been set, and the county planning office has not yet sought input from area property owners, according to board documents.

Stafford sheriff’s office lights torch for Special Olympics event


Last weekend, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Special Olympics to light the torch at the opening ceremonies for their annual Special Olympics Basketball Championships in Stafford.

The championships, which take place every March, included more than 800 participants with a wide array of special needs.

The competition has been happening in Stafford for more than 15 years.

“It’s one of the six state level events that we offer…athletes usually compete locally and regionally, and then have the chance to come to this state event. It’s the culmination of their season – they’ve been practicing, playing and training for six weeks for the final event,” said Holly Claytor, Public Information Officer for the Special Olympics.

The organization used eight schools in Stafford to host the athletes in full court, half court and individual skills competitions, said Claytor.

According to Claytor, the Sheriff’s office has always been a big supporter of the event.

“The Stafford Sheriff’s office is extremely supportive, so they’re always out and involved in our opening ceremony…the Stafford sheriff’s [deputies] along with athletes bring in the flame of hope and light the cauldron,” Claytor.

Additionally, several of the sheriff’s deputies volunteer in Special Olympics programs with the individuals.

“We have great support from the local community – a lot of them come out and cheer and watch the games. The Special Olympics program is free for our participants…through sponsor support, we’re able to put on the event in addition to bringing 800 athletes in town,” said Claytor.

Claytor stated that while the championships for this event only take place once a year, the Special Olympics are looking for more special needs and community residents to take part.

“Even though this is a big state level competition, we are year round…people have a chance to be a part of our program at any point in all communities, and we have some really great opportunities that we’re focusing on, trying to get more youth and students involved,” said Claytor.

Investigation into bomb-making materials expands to Newport News area


An investigation into explosive devices found in a Dale City apartment took authorities this morning to a trailer home just outside Newport News.

The home of Alan Michael Blischak was searched during the early hours of Tuesday morning by authorities by Prince William and York counties. An explosive device was also found inside the trailer, according to Prince William fire and rescue spokesman Thomas Jarman. Investigators are mum on exactly what was found.

The Newport News bomb squad, Virginia State Police Bomb K9 Unit, the Department of Homeland Security, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, and York County Fire and Life Safety Office were all involved. 

The discovery follows a search of an apartment police said Blischak occupied at Dale Forest Apartments in Dale City when he was arrested last March 26. Bomb making chemicals, a self-timer, a circuit board, propane torch, tripod, battery pack, and blood samples were taken from the apartment, according to a search warrant filed in Prince William County court.

Blischak is charged in Prince William County with creating explosive devices. Jarman said officials in York County will also file charges on Blischak .

Blischak was released from jail on a $50,000 bond. He is expected in a Prince William County courtroom on May 7.

Fugitive who escaped Inova Fairfax Hospital in custody


12:30 p.m.

The fugitive Ossen Assaye is in custody. 

Assaye led police on a manhunt this morning after escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital. Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C. made the arrest, according to Fairfax County police. 

More as we have it.

Police said Assaye uesd two vehicles when he escaped capture. One was a Silver Toyota Camry that was abandoned. The next was a Hyundai sedan that was later recovered by authorities.

A press conference called to address questions about the search were shared on Twitter

8:30 a.m.

The prisoner who escaped overnight from Inova Fairfax Hospital drove away, police said.

Ossen Assaye is believed to be in a silver 2002 Toyota Camry with Virginia tags XZP-8153. Police urge anyone who spots the vehicle to call 911.

The car was stolen by the fugitive, according to police.

Roads around Inova Fairfax Hospital are reopened to traffic. There is still a heavy police presence in the area, according to Fairfax County police.

7:21 a.m.

A prisoner who was in custody escaped this morning at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Wossen Assaye overpowered a private security guard, took his gun, and fire one shot, according to Fairfax County police. No one was injured, and Assaye fled on foot.

Assaye may be with a girlfriend, according to police who posted a photo of her on Twitter.

Police closed several roads around Inova Fairfax Hospital as a manhunt is underway to find the escaped prisoner.

Assaye was arrested on federal charges of bank robbery in Alexandria. His captors took him to Inova Fairfax Hospital for medical treatment, according to police.

Assaye is wearing a hospital gown, police said. They also warn neighbors to stay indoors, and to be ready to encounter several road closures if they must leave home. Residents are encouraged to call 911 if they see Assaye.

Inova Fairfax employees are asked to go to Falls Church High School where a shuttle bus is waiting to take them to work. No one is able to drive onto the hospital property as the center is on lockdown.

No schools in the are affected, according to police.

Members of the Prince William County Police Department were not called to assist Fairfax police, according to spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Inova Fairfax Hospital is a level one trauma center. There are no such trauma centers in Prince William County, and people who suffer life-threatening injuries in Prince William County are regularly taken to Inova Fairfax.


Local Representatives Show Support for Howell in Stafford

Speaker of the House Bill Howell (right) chats with a supporter March 22, 2015. [KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

Speaker of the House Bill Howell (right) chats with a supporter March 22, 2015. [KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

There’s been a lot of publicity about Susan Stimpson, former member of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, vying for the Republican nomination against William J. “Bill” Howell (R-Stafford), Speaker of the House of Delegates and reportedly Stimpson’s former mentor. Since she announced her candidacy in December, Stimpson has been outspoken about the race, but Howell hasn’t engaged the narrative as much. However, on March 22, local political and business leaders put the attention on Howell’s message.

The Spring for Bill Howell event was held at the Hampton Inn and Conference Center that sits by exit 143 just off of Interstate 95 in North Stafford. It was organized by Stafford County Supervisor Paul Milde III as a fundraiser and a way to gather county residents to talk about why they should vote for Howell in the upcoming primary. 

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

Approximately 160 people attended and nearly $15,000 was raised, according to Milde, who matched the money raised from ticket sales. Another $2,500 in food, labor, space, mailings and postage was donated in kind, he added.


“It would be a mistake to replace Bill Howell with Susan Stimpson,” said Milde. “She has nothing to offer of any benefit that we’re not already getting from Bill Howell. She’s no more conservative, and I would venture to say she’s a lot less effective. She has spent more time campaigning than she ever did governing.”

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

In speaking with Potomac Local, Howell pointed out that five of the seven members who served with Stimpson on the Stafford Board of Supervisors support him. Of the other two, one is a Democrat and therefore not involved in the Republican primary, and the other is Meg Bohmke, whom Howell described as Stimpson’s hand-picked successor and who will therefore stand by her, he said. 

Howell has been a delegate for nearly 28 years. If he wins the primary and reelection, he said he plans to focus on much of the same issues he’s been working on, like helping to create jobs, improving K-12 education and reforming the Virginia Retirement System. 

“I’m proud of my record,” he said.

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

Stimpson lost a bid to be the Republican candidate in a 2013 primary for Virginia’s lieutenant governor.

The Republican primary is Tuesday, June 9, and anyone of any political party (or of no party affiliation at all) may vote. 


[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

[KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News]

A word from our local sponsors
More Headlines