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Apollo housing project wins approval despite cries of school overcrowding

A total of $4.3 million in proffers from the developers of a new townhome complex was too much for county leaders to pass up.

Apollo Enterprises got the green light from the Prince William County Board of Supervisors for a rezoning to build up to 100 new townhomes, a self-storage lot, and small retail shops on near the corner of Prince William Parkway and Hoadly Road near Woodbridge. The project will also bring an extension of Ridgefield Village Parkway, connecting Hoadly Road with Apollo Drive.

Supporters of the project, which won prior approval from the county’s Planning Commission, lauded its plan to leave nearly a quarter of the 25-acre property untouched with trees, as well as build a public plaza where local artists can be showcased.

Others said the new homes would place more burden on an already overcrowded school system, as well as take up land that could otherwise be used to attract new jobs near the county’s McCoart Government Center.

“There are simply not enough funds to build new schools and hire new teachers,” said Doug Widener, of Gainesville to the Board of Supervisors. “What is it going to take for you to stop approving new homes that cause overcrowding [in schools]?”

“This project is contrary to our strategic plan,” said Daniel Varroney, who served on the Prince William County Strategic Plan committee which met for nearly all of 2016 to produce a document to be used by the Supervisors as a tool to improve the quality of life for county residents. “This proposal stunts our ability to grow our commercial tax base from 14 to 35 percent [as noted in the strategic plan].”

The proffers for the Apollo project were offered last year before the new legislation passed by Virginia’s House of Delegates restricting cash proffers on a per-home basis are a thing of the past.

“We would not be able to recoup these proffers,” said Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins, the district in which new Apollo homeowners will live.

The LOCCA/PELT Civic Association urged approval of the project and told Supervisors the developer had been to 15 community meetings over the past year to answer questions and address residents’ concerns. Development for this site has been an ongoing project, in one form or another, for the past 15 years, said association president Dr. Jack Kooyoomjian.

“This used to be in my district, and there was a similar project here nine years ago that I supported, a more intensive project. This project is less intensive, so I feel like, to be consistent, I will support this project,” said Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe.

The project won approval from the Board of Supervisors with Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth casting the lone dissenting vote.

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News
Prince William brewery wins 1st place in statewide craft beer cup

From a press release: 

“The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild held the 2017 Virginia Craft Beer Cup Awards Ceremony Monday, June 5, 2017, at WestRock in Richmond, Virginia. There were more than 240 brewers in attendance to celebrate excellence in craft beer this year. The Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition was managed by master Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) judge Tom Cannon and 40 judges. The competition also benefits from the continued counsel of Bill Butcher, Port City Brewing, and Bill Madden, Mad Fox Brewing. This year 356 beers in 24 categories were entered into the

The competition also benefits from the continued counsel of Bill Butcher, Port City Brewing, and Bill Madden, Mad Fox Brewing. This year 356 beers in 24 categories were entered into the competition. The judging took place Saturday, May 13th at Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, Virginia.

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup continues to be the largest state competition of its kind in the United States. The VCBG is committed to giving its members the opportunity to compete in VA, obtain critical feedback from certified judges and get noticed statewide.”

Local winners:  (more…)

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News
Police searching for man who robbed 2 stores on Route 1

From police: 

“Armed Robberies – On June 21 at 12:39AM, officers responded to the 7-Eleven located at 13940 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man entered the business and approached the counter. During the encounter, the suspect implied he had a weapon then demanded money from the employee and a customer. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area on foot. No weapons were displayed and no injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched the area for the suspect who was not located. Later that morning around 7:25AM, the same suspect entered the Shell service station located across the street at 13801 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) and approached the counter. During this encounter, the suspect again implied he had a weapon and demanded money. When the employee refused to give him money, the suspect took the employee’s cell phone before fleeing the area on foot. No weapons were displayed and no injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched the area for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Suspect Description:

Black male, approximately 20 years of age, 5’08”, 150lbs, with a light complexion

Last seen wearing a blue bandana covering his face, black hat, black hoodie jacket with grey sleeves, white shirt, grey pants, and black shoes”

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News
Hit and run leads to robbery charges for Washington, D.C. woman

From police: 

“Strong Arm Robbery | Hit & Run *ARREST – On June 20, Brittany I’Esha BENNETT turned herself into police without incident at the Gar-Field Station in Woodbridge. The accused was wanted for robbery which occurred in the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and Dale Blvd in Woodbridge on June 10.

Arrested on June 20:

Brittany I’Esha BENNETT, 18, of 415 Longfellow NW St in Washington, DC

Charged with robbery and hit & run

Court Date: July 18, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Strong Arm Robbery | Hit & Run [Previously Released] – On June 10 at 3:30PM, officers responded to the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. The investigation revealed that the victim, an 18-year-old woman of Woodbridge, was traveling southbound on Jefferson Davis Hwy in the area of Featherstone Rd when she was involved in a vehicle accident with a 2003 black Honda sedan. When the driver of the Honda attempted to flee the area, the victim followed the vehicle to the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and Dale Blvd where it stopped at the intersection. The accused then got out of her vehicle and was involved in a verbal altercation with the victim. During the encounter, the accused assaulted the victim and took a cell phone before fleeing the area. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, detectives with the Robbery Unit obtained a warrant for the arrest of the accused, identified as Brittany I’Esha BENNETT. The investigation continues.”

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Traffic
‘Some OmniRide routes will follow new routing, many OmniRide and eastern OmniLink routes will have updated schedule times to better reflect recent traffic conditions’

From a press release: 

“PRTC will implement a fare increase on Monday, June 26, and many bus schedules will change on Monday, July 3. In past years, any fare increase took effect on the same day as schedule and routing changes, but PRTC adjusted the date of this year’s fare increase to align with other regional transit providers participating in the SmarTrip fare collection system.

PRTC provides commuter and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. PRTC also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

Among the highlights of the coming changes: some OmniRide routes will follow new routing, many OmniRide and eastern OmniLink routes will have updated schedule times to better reflect recent traffic conditions, and fares will increase by an average of 5 percent.

The changes were identified through passenger comments and discussion with PRTC dispatchers and the staff of our contractor, First Transit Inc. Among the major routing changes: (more…)

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News
Dyson, of Manassas, to perform at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans

From a press release: 

Mayah Dyson, of Manassas, VA, performs at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans – headlined by Diana Ross, John Legend, and Chance the Rapper – on Sunday, July 2. Dyson is an R&B singer-songwriter, actress, and dancer. In 2016, she appeared on Kelly Rowland’s TV show Chasing Destiny and sang backup for Solange on Saturday Night Live. Dyson’s latest video is for her song “I Miss You.”
 
The gig comes through Berklee’s Popular Music Institute (BPMI), which selected Dyson for the festival. BPMI gives students important performance experience and prepares them for the evolving music landscape – where festivals are booming.”
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News
Prince William County Arts Council awards NOVEC for supporting arts

From a press release: 

“…the Prince William County Arts Council presented NOVEC with the Kathleen K. Seefeldt Awards for Art Excellence award in the Business Supporter category. NOVEC has been honored with four Seefeldt Awards for its continued support of artists and art organizations in the region.”

From Terraya Lewis, Arts Recreation Specialist, PWC Arts Council:

“Why the Arts Council awarded NOVEC with the Seefeldt Award

         Outstanding Business Supporter – NOVEC proved worthy of meeting/exceeding these qualifications:

— has a significant history of support for the arts in the Region and/or a significant recent showing of support;

— demonstrates financial support for the arts

— encourages or inspires fellow businesses to significantly support the arts.

With info about the award itself /why it’s given out? (more…)

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Prince William County Historic Preservation Division offers summer learning and fun in 2017

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At the end of the Prince William County school year, the Historic Preservation Division is gearing up for Summer Camps at Brentsville.

In addition to the popular Civil War Camp, Civil War Advanced Camp, and the Civil War Home Front Camp, We ae offering Camps for older participants this year. All historic Camps can be found in Summer 2017  Leisure Magazine and registration can be completed online by going to pwcparks.org or by calling 703-792-8320.

The 2017 season starts with the ever popular Civil War Basic Camp. This Camp will be held at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre from July 17th through the 21st and is conducted from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for children aged 8 to 12. Campers participate in activities designed to develop a better understanding of soldier life during the American Civil War. Activities include enlisting in Virginia’s Army, life in camp, infantry drill, “Did Civil War Soldiers really eat that stuff,” Civil War Medicine, and a field trip to Manassas Battlefield Park. The cost is $130 per person.

“On the Home Front” is to be held at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre from July 24th to the 28th from 9 a.m. to noon. From 1861 to 1865 our nation was at war with itself. Many of the men were away fighting while civilian populations tried to maintain as much a sense of normalcy as possible.

The purpose of this camp is to give both girls and boys aged 8 to 13 a unique opportunity to participate in many of the activities that civilians would have done on a day to day basis. Activities include 19th Century fishing, early games, Games and other pass times, needlework, a day on the farm to include live animals and tending the garden, making ice cream, cooking biscuits and making butter, fashions, a Friday picnic on the grounds. The cost is $150 per person. (more…)

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