37°

Overcast

Thu Fri Sat
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 10:00 PM EST on January 29, 2015
Chance of Rain
41°/32°
It is forcast to be Chance of Snow at 10:00 PM EST on January 30, 2015
Chance of Snow
39°/19°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 10:00 PM EST on January 31, 2015
Partly Cloudy
36°/27°

Wintry mix possible this afternoon, tonight

A winter weather advisory is not in effect for Prince William County, as well Fairfax County . There could be some rain mixing with some sleet for commuters on their drive home from work.

Here’s what the National Weather Service says about our chances for wintry precipitation this afternoon and into tonight:

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW...SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION LESS THAN ONE INCH.
  ICE ACCUMULATION FROM A TRACE TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH.

* TIMING...THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. THE BEST CHANCE FOR
  FREEZING RAIN WILL BE BETWEEN 2 PM AND 5 PM.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 30S.

* WINDS...SOUTH 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 15 MPH.

* IMPACTS...UNTREATED ROADS AND SIDEWALKS WILL BECOME ICY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

As mentioned in the weather statement, temperatures will determine how much of any wintry mix we see tonight. 

How Prince William schools stack up, on average, for teacher pay

School teachers lined the sidewalks at Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge Friday to protest a plan to freeze teacher pay rates for the next three years.

Neighboring counties pay entry-level teachers more

As the Prince William County School Board gears up for another budget cycle, it is timelier than ever to look closely at an important topic in local education – the current state of teacher pay in the county.

The average annual teacher salary, according to Jim Livingston, the Prince William Education Association president is $60,408 – a figure he pulled from a 2014 Washington Area Boards of Education  (WABE) report.  

Phil Kavits, spokesman for Prince William County Public Schools, stated that the average annual teacher salary in the county is a bit higher than Livingston’s figure at $61,525.

These averages are worth noting when considering a quick drive to the surrounding area school divisions can greatly alter the average salary that a public school teacher receives.

“The only school division that is lower in average teacher salary in the area is Manassas Park. The other [counties] are at least $2,800 to $3,000 more than us. For example, if you cross over to Fairfax County…that’s a $7,000 pay increase based on the average,” said Livingston of the county’s low pay-average.

Kavits stated teachers in nearby Fairfax County average $66,782 per year, and a Loudoun County teacher receives an average of $63,013 per year.

“The reasons that the salaries remain low, particularly at the entry level – that’s where we have the greatest difficulty – is quite frankly that our neighbor [counties] around us have simply determined that it’s in their best interest to try and attract the very best [teachers] that they can. And frankly, we’ve simply just not kept pace…” Livingston said.

The county’s School Board is facing a $20 million budget deficit. On Feb 4, it will meet to discuss some possible ways to fix the problem by proposing new cuts to the division’s billion-dollar budget. The cuts come as county leaders propose a lower tax increase of 1.3% than the original planned 4% hike in property taxes. 

Things like transportation for specialty programs at middle and high schools, and full day kindergarten in non-title one schools are all things being eyed by the School Board as items to slash from the budget.

Teacher pay raises, however, are not, according to School Board Chairman, At-large Milton C. Johns.

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series that examines public school teacher pay in Prince William County.

Potomac Local Wants You To Know

Popular ‘Attack the Fat Challenge’ starts Monday at Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

freedom-aquatic-fitness-center-1freedom-aquatic-fitness-center-2freedom-aquatic-fitness-center-3freedom-aquatic-fitness-center-4freedom-aquatic-fitness-center-5
Do you know about the Attack the Fat Challenge? It’s one of the most popular, effective, and fun weight-loss programs at the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center
 
It’s open to anyone, at any fitness level.
 
Robin Frey is a fitness program coordinator, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and the director of Freedom Attack the Fat Challenge at Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center in Manassas. We spoke with her to get the 
 
Frey

Frey

What is the Attack The Fat Challenge?

 
“It’s more of a full spectrum weight loss program and it runs for eight weeks…it’s based on focusing on weight loss but the overall effort that we do is that we want to promote and create lifestyle changes, not just during the eight weeks. For most people it’s just the starting point. A lot of people do it repeatedly because it works for them…and depending on the amount of weight they wish to lose, it may not happen in eight weeks.”   
 
What do participants do while in Attack The Fat Challenge? 
 
“Well actually the whole concept is they do train…and it’s based on percentage of weight loss…we make it a challenge so that it has some competitive edge to it but the overall focus is just to create a balance of accountability…to continue with fitness efforts for health, not necessarily for fitness. In other words, this is based on health and wellness, getting people appropriate nutrition and just trying to create a consistent effort with lifestyle change, it’s long term.”
 
 How much does the program cost?
 
“It [the program] breaks down to 20 dollars a session and the total cost is $480 but you’re getting 24 sessions, 24 full one-hour sessions…then in addition to that they get the support through nutrition tips and guidance…and body composition testing as well.” Frey also mentioned that there is an additional cost to non-members of the Freedom Center. 
 
 Attack-the-Fat-2015-flyer-791x1024How long does the challenge last? 
 
“Participants train three days a week with a trainer so it’s three one-hour sessions so they’re basically getting 24 training sessions as a group within that eight weeks, three times a week. In addition to that support that we offer is through our smart lab for evidence based testing for body composition or those types of things and also we do weekly weigh-ins”.
 
Is the Attack The Fat Challenge a seasonal program? 
 
“It’s twice a year, typically we do it  in February, March and then again in September.”
 
Is it too late to sign up? 
 
“The Attack The Fat Challenge  starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Registration does require you to be registered prior to the program but we work with people as well.”
 
Why did Frey get involved with the Attack The Fat Challenge?
 
“Well I started it, actually it’s been six years running now. I just felt that there was a need here at the Freedom Center to create programming in small groups that could be something that could bring more of an effort of accountability to each other, that tends to help. People can do training all the time but when they have other people depending on them to be part of their team, their group, it’s very successful. The success rate is much higher as far as them making the sessions, having to be responsible for that weekly weigh-in and then they bond and create groups that continue to train after that. We just didn’t have anything happening here in that capacity in programming.”
 
How does the Attack The Fat Challenge stand apart from similar programs?
 
“We were probably the original in this area. I know other facilities have programs similar to what we do, it’s a basic concept of accountability, through training, weigh-ins, and nutrition information…it’s just been very, very successful for us here. This our sixth year I believe, might even be longer. It tends to work. We provide a variety of workouts through different types of training. We may have them in the pool, TRX suspension training, circuit training, functional core…in other words we do a little bit of everything that we offer here…within those 24 sessions they’re getting a very large variety of different modalities of training.”
 
Why do people sign up?
 
Participants will] form groups and become friends and bond in that respect and want to continue to do it again, that kind of thing….plus we’ve had people that have lost over 100 pounds…it’s been very effective overall.” 

Keep Reading…

Updated: Stafford authorities continue search for missing teen

Update

The teenager who went missing last night in Stafford County is identified as James “Daniel” Martson. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Stafford deputies responded to the area of Belle Plains Road at approximately 5:17 pm last night, January 28, 2014 for a report of a 17 year old male who had left his residence and is considered missing and endangered.  The 17 year old, white male is identified as James “Daniel” Marston who was last seen near Vance Way, located in Potomac Creek Estates in the 700 block of Belle Plains Road, which is the White Oak area of southern Stafford County.  James “Daniel” Marston is described as 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 155 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.  He is wearing dark blue jeans, a black hoodie and a plaid jacket.

Numerous units of the Sheriff’s Office, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and Sheriff’s Office K-9 along with a Maryland State Police helicopter searched for James Marston last night.  The search is continuing today.

If anyone has any information as to the location of James “Daniel” Marston they are asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400.

Original post

A 17-year-old boy is missing tonight in Stafford County.

Authorities released little information on the missing endangered teenager. They said the boy went missing from the area of Belle Plains Road and The Vane Way south Stafford.

A sheriff’s spokesman did not release the name of the boy, age, or could tell us the circumstances of the teenager’s disappearance. Keep Reading…

Prince William dog licenses due Feb. 1

Get your dog license in Prince William County yet? If not, Fido needs a tag by Feb. 1. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Dog owners are reminded that in Prince William County all dogs age 4 months and older must be licensed by Feb. 1, 2015.

Any dog not having a 2015 license tag by February 1 will be in violation of County Code and owners will be subject to a fine. The license fee is $10 per dog.

If you received a dog license renewal form in the mail, please follow the instructions on the form in order to obtain a license. Forms must be returned by January 15th to ensure that you receive the new license by February 1.

If you did not receive a renewal form, owners must present a valid rabies certificate for each dog to obtain the license. Licenses may be purchased in person at any of the following locations:

 – James J. McCoart Administration Building –1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge

 – Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building – 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge

 – Sudley North Government Building – 7987Ashton Avenue in Manassas

 – Animal Control Bureau – 14807 Bristow Road in Manassas

If you prefer to apply by mail, an application form is available on the County’s web site at www.pwcgov.org/tax.

For questions about dog licensing, call 703-792-6710 or email Taxpayer_Services@pwcgov.org. For all other animal control questions, call the Animal Shelter at703-792-6465; after 5 p.m., call 703-792-6500.

Virginia authorities search for missing teen who may be headed to Florida

Virginia State Police say a 16-year-old girl is missing and that she appears to be in danger of sexual abuse.

Here’s more in a police press release: 

THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AND THE VIRGINIA MISSING CHILDREN
CLEARINGHOUSE HAS ISSUED AN ENDANGERED MISSING CHILD MEDIA ALERT ON
BEHALF OF THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT ON 1/28/15 AT 1145 HOURS

THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING FOR AYSIA MONIQUE LEWIS,
16 YEARS OF AGE, HEIGHT 5’3, WEIGHT 155 LBS, WITH BROWN EYES AND BROWN
HAIR, WEARING: BLUE JEANS, BLACK FLEECE JACKET AND TAN MOCCASISNS.

THE CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE IN DANGER AND WAS LAST SEEN AT
CHRISTIANSBURG HIGH SCHOOL.  THE CHILD MAY BE IN THE COMPANY OF DONALD
QUESENBERRY, WHO IS CONSIDERED A SUSPECT.  THE SUBJECT IS DESCRIBED AS, 33 YEARS OF AGE, HEIGHT 5’7
FEET, WEIGHT 195 LBS, WITH BROWN EYES AND BROWN HAIR.

THE SUBJECT MAY BE DRIVING 2002 NISSAN ALTIMA 4D WITH ILLINOIS
REGISTRATION V975074.  POSSIBLY HEADING SOUTH TO FLORIDA

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE IN DANGER OF SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION

PLEASE CONTACT THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 540-382-3131 OR THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AT 1-800-822-4453.  (1-800-VACHILD)

Suspicious fire investigated at Triangle

083111 Dumfries fire truck

Fire officials in Prince William County say they arrested a man in connection to an apparent arson in the Triangle area. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On January 26, 2015, at 4:46 AM, the Prince William County Public Safety Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a fire in a two story home in the 4400 block of Forestburg Lane in Triangle, Virginia. Fire and Rescue units responded and arrived within six minutes of dispatch to find fire on the second floor extending into the attic. Once ensuring the residents were out of the house, Firefighters from Dumfries-Triangle VFD, Prince William County DFR, Occoquan VFD, Dale City VFD, and Quantico MCB, were able to bring the fire under control within 33 minutes of being on scene.

The fire was quickly identified as suspicious in nature and the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office was brought in to investigate.

As the investigation began, Prince William County Police took a person into custody in the area for an initially unrelated call. Through the combined investigative work of the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Prince William County Police, an arrest was made for the intentional setting of a fire in an occupied dwelling, by an occupant of the home. Additional charges are pending and more information on the arrest will be forthcoming.

The house was destroyed by the fire and the building was posted unsafe by the Prince William County Building Official. The Prince William Chapter of the American Red Cross was brought in to assist 6 adults that were the other residents of the home.

The suspect’s name was not released by fire investigators. 

Woodbridge Army reservist recovering after attack by Norfolk police dog

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London Colvin, a 21-year old private in the Army Reserve is recovering from injuries she suffered when attacked by a Norfolk Police dog.

Colvin was at the scene of a fight 2:15 a.m. Sunday, at an off-campus party near Norfolk State University, in Norfolk, where Colvin is a second-semester junior and Sociology major.

Colvin graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in 2011. She is currently a private with the 3rd Brigade, 318th Regiment and 78th Training Division, based at Fort Belvoir.

“She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving,” said Whitney Dunn, the victim’s cousin. “She was definitely being loud – she did admit to that.”

She told her family that one of the police officers approached her as she was leaving the party to question her, said Whitney Dunn. She also told her family that she had nothing to do with the situation, so she didn’t want to talk to the officer, Whitney Dunn added.

“Her and her friends continued to walk, and she said that she definitely continued to be loud, however they were walking away. The two other police officers approached her – asked her to stop. Whatever the case may be, they had her down on the ground when the dog came. Two of the police officers restrained her on the ground, and then they allowed the dogs to attack her,” Whitney Dunn said.

London Colvin did not speak with Potomac Local about what happened that night, but did tell us she is seeking legal counsel and has been advised not to make any statements about the incident.

According to the Norfolk police spokesman Daniel Hudson, having a police canine at the scene is standard protocol for incidents with large groups of people.

“We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street. And once we have that multitude of people, we always have our canine officers respond out there with us for crowd management,” Hudson said.

Hudson went on to state that the reason the police canine was allowed to approach Colvin was to keep the crowd under control and protect other witnesses at the incident. Keep Reading…

Come see the Capitol Steps at Hylton Arts Center & help Cecily replace the asbestos-laden siding on her home

When Cecily was in her 20’s she immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

capitol stepsTaking a job at Home Depot in Springfield, Cecily met her future husband, Eddy, who had emigrated from Palau. Cecily and Eddy married in 2008 and now share their Woodbridge home with their two children, Cecily’s mother, and grandmother.

A tight-knit family, everyone pitches in to help. Cecily operates a daycare from her home while also attending school at Northern Virginia Community College.

Cecily’s mom is a certified nursing assistant with a job in Washington, D.C. Eddy continues to work at Home Depot and he and Cecily’s mom and grandmother all help care for the children, too.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is looking forward to giving this hard working family a hand up with much-needed critical home repairs that will make their home safer, more comfortable and affordable.

Habitat for Humanity will replace the boiler that is original to the home, replace asbestos siding from three sides of the exterior and replace non-functional windows throughout the home. The deck must be rebuilt for safety. And the home will be weatherized for energy efficiency.

Habitat for Humanity thanks you for your support of the Capitol Steps event and welcomes you to join them on their work sites as a volunteer!

To learn more, visit Habitat for Humanity’s website at habitatpwc.org.

Mark your calendars for Laughs & Love benefit February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Not only are we having the hilarious Capitol Steps come to the beautiful Hylton Center, but our Rotary Club has proudly partnered with Casa, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center Therapeutic Riding, Calling All Souls and Transitional Housing Barn as the beneficiaries this year.

The goal?

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of.

They cannot do it alone!

To order tickets go to Hyltoncenter.org or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, steve@washmydeck.com by Feb 10.

The preceding post was sponsored by Rotary Club of Bull Run.

I-66 meetings canceled, rescheduled due to snow

Stafford resident Thomas Jackson (left) looks over a VDOT project that will add 1,000 commuter parking spaces in the Staffordboro Commuter Lot off Va. 610 in North Stafford. Project representatives like Oliver Boehm (right) were available to answer any questions residents had during the design public meeting held at Moncure Elementary School on Wednesday night. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Snow prompted the cancelation of two public meetings designed to provide residents more information on what Virginia officials plan to do to Interstate 66.

A meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville is canceled. It comes after a meeting scheduled last night in Vienna was also canceled due to snow.

Meetings are still scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday that residents may attend.

Here’s a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Weather permitting, there are still two opportunities to attend an I-66 Public Information Meeting this week.  Meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at Battlefield High School in Haymarket from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. (with a snow date on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, if necessary)
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

If you cannot attend in person, the meeting on Thursday, January 29, 2015, will be shown live at Transform66.org between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

There will also be two meetings next week due to yesterday’s and tonight’s cancellations.  The make-up dates and locations are:

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Oakton High School in Vienna from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Please visit the project website at Transform66.org for more information.

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