Remake Dale City: How close are we to moving the neighborhood library?


The Dale City Neighborhood Library isn’t very large when compared to other regional libraries in Prince William County, like nearby Chinn Park, and Bull Run libraries.

But it is a busy one. On any given afternoon, finding a parking space here is a challenge, and that might give solace to those who defend libraries in the age of the internet.

This library recently won the attention of six planners from the American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assesment Team (SDAT for short) who visited Dale City last month. Among the many recommendations made by both the team and residents who attended a series of public meetings on redeveloping Dale City into a more friendly place to live, moving the library was one of them.

The Dale City Mini Library sits in the heart of suburb it’s named after, in Center Plaza on Dale Boulevard at the intersection of Minnieville Road. It dates back about 30 years when many homes in Dale City were still under construction.

Now, the area’s population is getting older. Planners identified Center Plaza and nearby Mapledale Plaza as what could be the new twin downtowns for Dale City. Under the plan, the library would be relocated from Center to Mapledale, where it could join a new health spa, amphitheatre, and public space that would be added in what is now the parking lot of Mapledale Plaza that sits empty the majority of the time.

John Jenkins, who represents a portion of Dale City on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, says it’s an idea worth exploring. Marty Nohe represents the other half of Dale City, and he said moving the library is dependent upon costs, and deciding whether or not the move would improve services provided to the public.

While it hasn’t been called a pipedream, moving the library won’t happen anytime soon. Two new libraries will open this year — one in Montclair and other in Gainesville. The land for the Montclair library was donated 30 years ago.

“People are planning things and telling you what they want, but we have to look at costs. Would it be a big library?… Would it be a regional library? If that were the case, you would have to do a bond referendum,” said Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, who pushed for the construction of the Montclair library.

County officials in 2006 asked the voters by way of a referendum to borrow money to build the libraries. Voters said yes, and on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. the new library will open to the public, said Caddigan. A similar grand opening is scheduled for a new library in Gainesville on Oct. 15, she added.

Read more in our “Remake Dale City” series: 

The ‘city’ has 2 centers

How new signs, bus stops could help create a sense of place

How the ‘Neabsco Greenway’ will bridge the gap

Why it got so foggy on the 4th of July


Did it get foggy on Saturday night or what?

After Independence Day revelers enjoyed their fireworks shows, a thick cloud of haze rolled into our region.

Many at the Potomac Nationals game in Woodbridge posted photos to social media showing the eerie fog.


When farm team for the Washington Nationals set off their fireworks after the game Saturday night, many stated they couldn’t see them because the fog was so dense.

Brian Lasorsa, of the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington office in Sterling, said they knew the fog was coming when forecasters updated thier short-term forecast about 7 p.m. Saturday. Lasorsa said smoke from fireworks could have played a role in why the fog was so dense.

After the fireworks shows ended, a breeze blew most of the smoke south of Washington, D.C., where many gather on the National Mall to watch one of the region’s largest firework shows. Fog at Ronald Regan National Airpot reduced visibility to about two to three miles, said Lasorsa.

On a clear day, it’s possible to see about 10 miles in any direction, he added.

The fog — and firework smoke – hung around due to inversion, said Lasorsa. That’s when air temperatures at the surface are cooler than they are aloft. So, instead of rising and blowing away, the smoke hung around.

It’s possible that smoke particles could have been a contributing factor of creating more fog across the region.

The fog cleared out of the area Sunday morning.

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Mr. Postal holds ribbon cutting at North Stafford store


Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.

Mr. Postal held a ribbon cutting at its location at 2769 Jefferson Davis Highway in North Stafford.

Now under new ownership, retail center was formerly known as the Pack N Ship Store.

Several members of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce were in attendance. Margaritas, wine, and champagne was served at the event.

Children stuff their faces at Manassas watermelon eating contest


Manassas watermelon eating contest.
Manassas watermelon eating contest.
Manassas watermelon eating contest.
Manassas watermelon eating contest.

Residents descended upon Downtown Manassas on Saturday to “Celebrate America” on Independence Day.

In addition to fireworks, there was a bicycle decorating contest, a pie eating contest, and a children’s watermelon eating contest during the celebration.

Here are some photos of the children’s watermelon eating contest held at Harris Pavilion in Manassas.

Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail in Prince William, Manassas


Discover the wine, beer and spirits trail right here in Prince William & Manassas. With a variety of beverage options there is sure to be something to satisfy everyone along this libation filled trail.

Winery at La Grange – This scenic 22 acre farm vineyard is a relaxing and restful place to spend a sunny afternoon sipping wine.  A fully renovated manor house dating back to 1790, is now used as the main Tasting Room.   It sits at an elevation of about 600 feet, right at the base of the Bull Run Mountain foothills.

Winery at Bull Run – A working farm vineyard in an authentic 1860’s setting. The winery adjoins over 5,000 countryside acres of the historic Manassas National Battlefield Park offering a glimpse of Virginia’s rich heritage along with fine Virginia wines.

Bad Wolf Brewing Company – The first micro-brewery to open in Manassas that specializes in exquisite craft beers that are ever changing.

Heritage Brewing Company – A uniquely American Brewery, owned and operated by veterans.  1% of all proceeds are donated to philanthropic efforts that give back to their country & community all while making 100% American microbrews.

–  Tin Cannon Brewery – The first nanobrewery in Prince William & Manassas, located in Gainesville is serving up some new and innovative brews that push the limits. From bacon to chipotle peppers you never know what flavors they will come up with next.

As if these wineries and breweries were not enough to quench your thirst, there are several more spirited businesses that are scheduled to open a little later this year.

K&O Distillary – A brand new distillery creating a product line of craft distilled beverages at the 12-thousand square foot facility. KO Distilling plans on opening an area for tours, taste-testing, special events, and product sales in the very near future.

MurLarkey Distilled Spirits – MurLarkey Distilled Spirits, located in Bristow, Virginia is a Small Batch Craft-distillery, specializing in Whiskey. Using 100% organic grains, all natural ingredients and botanicals ensures the production of premium spirits.

Ornery Beer Company & Public House – The very 1st Brew Pub in Prince William County you will be able to find not only delicious and unique craft beers here, but also a meticulously prepared food menu that compliments the beers served.

For more information about where to eat, drink and shop visit  

Call to Action: Moms and dads may volunteer at Tiger Woods Quicken Loans National


Good morning Prince William – Transitional Housing Barn needs volunteers at their next Yard sale on Saturday July 11th from 8am-12 noon. This super fun and easy to give them a hand. Please call Tammy at (703) 369-1325 to register.

· Prince William Citizens Stream Monitoring needs volunteers interested in water monitoring and gaining more knowledge on water quality issues. The training courses will give you lots of new skills and eventually your DEQ certification. Please visit their website for all kinds of good stuff at: or email them at: to register for the trainings.

· Hey teens age 12-18 yrs. old! The Tiger Woods Foundation is hosting the Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club July 27th-August 2nd. They need lots of teen volunteers throughout the week for their Standard Bearer Committee. This super fun job entails walking with a group of golfers as they play 18 holes of golf and hold up their score sign. You’ll be right in the middle of the action all day! You must commit to work any 3 days during the tournament in in exchange you will receive the uniform page for free- this volunteer package includes official Nike shirt and hat, 1 volunteer badge for the week and a weekly guest pass, parking pass and complimentary food and beverages on the days you work. This is a super volunteer job and resume builder. Sign up at: or you can call Katie at (301) 365-6946 or email her at: Hey mom and Dad there are also volunteer positions for you too. They need marshals at individual holes, helping at admissions or the hospitality tents. But you need to purchase your volunteer uniform package for $75- it’s still a fabulous deal. And lastly, all volunteers receive training and orientation.

· Historic Manassas will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down. They also need volunteers to help at the Manassas Visitor’s Center. This is a wonderful place to work with lots of neat visitors from around the world stopping by to get info on all our history and historical sites. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· No Kid Hungry and OAFF need volunteers age 16+ for their annual Woodbridge Food Truck Festival on Saturday July 11th and PW Fairgrounds. There are lots of ways to help in ticketing, security, parking and customer information desk. Shifts are 7am-noon for set-up, early shift is 11:30-4:30 or late shift of 4-9pm. Please check out their website to register:

· SERVE has an immediate need for adult volunteers at several fun-paced positions during traditional business hours. Admin and shelter tasks include answering phones and assist walk-in clients and donors. Food intake screeners will help food assistance clients, update database records, schedule appointments and do follow-up calls. All positions require complete background checks and any Spanish speaking skills would be most appreciated. Please email Jan at: for more info.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings . Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers of America is also looking for volunteer tutors. No prior experience needed as their next volunteer training begins July 11th with a follow-up on July 25th. Please register today to make a significant impact for an adult learner. Visit: for more info.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Power outage affects residents near Manassas Regional Airport


A large power outage affected Manassas residents late Friday night.

City officials had this to say about the outage:

A large portion of the city near the Manassas Regional Airport was without power about 10 p.m. A witness said a large beacon near the airport — one that can usually be seen from Prince William Parkway — was not active.

We also heard some city residents had trouble accessing the internet from their homes during the outage.

We don’t know the cause of the outage. We’ll bring you more as we have it.

Prince William police officer wins gold at World Police and Fire Games


Prince William police officer Justin Bonner won a gold medal this week at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games.

The 28-year old officer joined Prince William police in 2006, and became an officer in 2008. He has been with the motor unit for two years.

Bonner won in the novice cone courses for precision and time, and his gold medal for Overall Novice.

According to Bonner, his interest riding on the police motorcycles came when he was still a cadet.

“As a cadet, I got the opportunity to work with our traffic unit and I found it was something I really enjoyed doing. I like to try and promote traffic safety, and you get to do some honorable events – escorts for VIPs, funerals and different things like that,” said Bonner.

All officers in the motor unit have the option to compete in yearly motorcycle skills competitions. This year, the competition was combined with the World Police and Fire Games.

Bonner said that in order to prepare for competitions, there is a lot of training work that goes in.

“We do a two week basic motor school to qualify to ride the motorcycle at work – and we also do training once a month to practice our skills and maintain proficiency on the motorcycle. Besides that, we are allowed to go up to the track at our police academy and practice occasionally,” said Bonner.

In the World Police and Fire Games there are several motorcycle competitions including, precision, speed, slow ride, partner ride, team slow ride and challenge ride competitions.

“I felt good going in – we had some great instructors here in Prince William that helped us out a bunch – training for this and day to day operations. I’m very honored to represent the department and to end up winning – it was great training. That’s really why we do it. You end up rooting for all of the competitors who are out there, and you learn a lot from just being out there,” Bonner commented.

Bonner stated that he will continue to compete in the years ahead.

‘Manassas Pete’ talks rock n’ roll, candles and inspiration


Manassas native Pete Evick – known by many as ‘Manassas Pete’, has had an interesting assortment of life experiences.

The Stonewall Jackson High School graduate has worked with rockstar Bret Michaels for the last 10 years as his lead guitarist, and co-writer and producer of Michael’s last two records.

“I was a huge fan of Poison growing up, and my band was his opening act for a tour, and we got to be buddies then. And then he invited me to be his guitar player and my band to be his band – and we’ve just seen the world,” said Evick.

Despite living the rockstar lifestyle, Evick decided early on that he wanted to keep living in Manassas, and raise his family there.

“Was born and raised [in Manassas] and still live here to this day. Manassas – it’s always been my home – it’s where I grew up. And even when I raised my kids – I’ve been in the music business my entire life…and I spent a lot of time in New York, and some time in [Los Angeles] but I never wanted to go live that life. I lived the life in a small town and then once I had kids, I wanted them to have that same kind of life too,” Evick commented.

During his music career, he stumbled on to candle making, and began his own company – Shining Sol Candle Company – which manufactures products in Virginia.

“Being a musician, my life has been loud. And we were off tour a little bit, and I was taking a break…I spent a lot of time in Arizona [for music]…and in Arizona they put candles in their fireplace instead of lighting fires…then I happened to go to a candle store and buy a candle that was supposed to smell like a fireplace. And I had never had a hobby in my entire life aside from music…and I just started thinking about if I could make one of those…and finally I was doing something quiet, peaceful,” Evick said.

Evick’s most recent adventure has been writing a book about his life experience, following a personal tragedy, titled ‘The Moments That Make Us.’

“Most musicians at some point in their life, I think, tend to write a book. With such an interesting life you live, you manage to pick up an amazing amount of stories. I started writing this book when I was forced with the fact that my family was going to split up – me and my wife were getting a divorce and had two kids. The book was originally a collection of thoughts and fears about what was going to happen with my children…but after writing, I realized I had written a book that was much more inspiring,” said Evick.

Evick still performs and tours with Michaels, and runs Shining Sol Candle Company.

Woodbridge man shot, killed in Alexandria


A Woodbridge man was killed during a shooting in Alexandria last night.

Alexandria police were called to N. Fayette Street in Alexandria to investigate.

According to Alexandria police, the victim – 22-year old Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs – was found by officers, suffering from a gunshot.

Elliot-Tibbs was transported to a hospital where he later died of his injuries, said Alexandria police.

The investigation is still ongoing.

This is the first homicide in Alexandria this year, said Alexandria police.

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