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Woman hit with beer bottle at restaurant in Lake Ridge

News

Early in the morning on April 19, Prince William police responded to a call at Brittany’s Restaurant at Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge to investigate an assault. 

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 35-year old Woodbridge woman – stated to officers that she was inside the bar area of the restaurant when she was approached by the suspect, 21-year old Alexandra Kala Parson, and hit in the head with a beer bottle. 

Both individuals did not know one another, and according to the victim, the incident was unprovoked, said a Prince William police release. 

Security on-site intervened and contacted police. Only minor injuries were reported.

Prince William police stated that Parson was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and intoxication in public. She is currently being held without bond.

Stafford to honor crime victim with “Molly Gill Award”

News

On Thursday evening, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Victim/Witness Assistance program will be honoring the first recipient of the “Molly Gill Award” in Stafford.

Molly Gilly was a 15-year old girl that was involved in a horrific drunk driving accident in 1995 in Stafford.

Jeff Jones, a 17-year old man – the driver of the car – was leaving his sister’s wedding, while intoxicated, said Commonwealth Attorney Eric Olsen.

According to Olsen, Jones was driving on Brooke Road and crashed and flipped the car several times, killing his girlfriend and young sister.

The accident also left Gill with a severe spinal cord injury that made her quadriplegic, said Olsen.

“I got to meet and get to know Molly Gill, and I was always impressed with how this young girl rose above what happened to her…she decided she was going to be a survivor, and not a victim,” said Olsen.

 Jones was later tried as an adult on two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and was convicted.

 Gill died a few years after the accident, during a surgery related to her injuries.

In order to commemorate Gill, and honor crime victim survivors in Stafford County, the “Molly Gill Award” will be given once each year to a crime victim that exemplifies resiliency and courage.

“[Previously] we didn’t have any way of recognizing [Molly’s resilience] other than in a personal way every day with our victims…it occurred to me that it was time to have public recognition for that type of resilience and perseverance,” said Olsen.

This year, the award will be given at the Stafford County Board of Supervisors chambers on Courthouse Road from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Additionally, Stafford will celebrate National Crime Victim’s Rights Week every year.

According to Gill’s father – Tom Gill – their family appreciates the gesture of naming the award after Molly.

“We feel very fortunate, and we also are honored to have Mr. Olsen make the decision to [name the award after] Molly and it was a very nice gesture,” said Gill.

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How General Heiser Boys and Girls Club uses Lego to teach STEM in Dumfries, Virginia

General Heiser Boys and Girls Club
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club
General Heiser Boys and Girls Club

Children at General Heiser Boys and Girls Club work as young scientists, engineers, and designers

Science is our natural world. Technology means computers and smartphones, but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Engineering is designing and building, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems.

We encounter mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms, in dealing with investments and the family budget. Every other STEM field depends on mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every aspect of our lives.

Since the beginning of the school year, the General Heiser Boys and Girls Club has been working to incorporate a Lego Simple Machines Program into the weekly program schedule. With the help of three community volunteers, we were able to get this program going in January of 2015.

The Club was able to purchase 12 Simple Machine Kits and two curriculum guides through a Grant they received from the CarMax Foundation in February of 2014. The kits were used in 2014 on Saturdays to give the members a taste of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

With the more structured program that is happening on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the members can work as young scientists, engineers, and designers. The Principle Model that is being used allows children to experience the structural principles normally hidden away inside everyday machines and structures.

The members are spending eight weeks learning about eight simple machines: a lever, a wheel and axle, a pulley, an inclined plane, a wedge, gear, and a cam. They will then spend four weeks on building activities and four weeks on problem-solving activities.

Some of the members are involved in other activities at the club that sometimes conflict with the Lego Simple Machine Program time, and they choose to come to the Lego program and miss the other activity for the evening.

“It is my favorite thing at the club,”
-Jennie

“I like the Lego Program because we get to learn different things and build things with our hands.”
-Brandon

“It is fun- It’s just like mechanical engineering- We are in small groups of about seven kids – They’re easy to work with.”
-Zavian

This winter/spring program has focused on 3rd through 5th grade members. The goal is to continue to expand this program, opening it up to middle school members. Then in the near future find a sponsor and volunteers to have a Robotics program.

This post is brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire.

Manassas emergency workers used a hearse to respond to calls for help

 

The exhibit is open May 1 to all residents.
Manassas will honor their public safety history with a museum exhibit.
Residents used to see a hearse arrive at emergency scenes in Manassas.
Manassas Volunteer firemen in 1948
A hand pump used to fight fires.
Firemen from the City of Manassas hard at work.

Starting May 1, the Manassas Museum will debut their newest exhibit on the fire, rescue and police equipment used in the community. 

The museum will be hosting a reception at 6 p.m. and serve refreshments to residents looking to learn more about public safety history in the City of Manassas.

One of the unique highlights of the exhibit is the fact that back in the 1960s, responders in a hearse answered emergency response calls.

Before the first public safety group, the Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, was created in 1966, it was the Baker Funeral Home that would bring patients for medical treatment and respond to emergency scenes. 

Manassas didn’t see a modernized police and fire department structure until the 1950s, and relied on mainly volunteer services.

This exhibit, which displays the evolution of Manassas and its public safety organizations, coincides with the World Police and Fire Games, which are being hosted in Prince William County this summer.

“Our Fire, Rescue and Police personnel run into a building when others run out,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  “It is that courage and compassion for others that helps keep this City safe and well protected.”

The Manassas Museum will showcase the exhibit until July 15.

“I hope visitors and residents will come out for this exhibit. Our Police, and Fire and Rescue staff are top in their field and our volunteers are some of the most dedicated people I’ve met,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. 

This promoted post is brought to you by the City of Manassas and Historic Manassas, Inc.  

Conroy says transparency, special education are priority in school board race

News

Tracy Conroy, a registered nurse and small business owner, has announced her candidacy for the Prince William County School Board Chair seat.

The incumbent for the seat is Milt Johns, who has decided not to run for reelection. Conroy will face Ryan Swayers and Tim Singstock in a three-way run for the seat.

Conroy is a graduate with her Bachelor’s from the University of Philadelphia and is currently a nurse for an infusion therapy company based out of North Carolina.

She has worked with county school PTO groups and has been a member of the Prince William County Committee of 100, but Conroy is most well known in the county for her leadership role within the ‘Our Schools’ blog. The blog speaks about several school related issue in the county and calls for transparency in school decisions.

Conroy stated that her experience with ‘Our Schools’ has primed her to become chair of the school board.

“My son had an IEP when he was two, so my involvement in schools started by seeing what I could do to help my son…[we wanted] to talk about the schools, have conversations, reveal ‘sunshine’ – because often we didn’t know what was going on with the schools. In my opinion, the role of the chairperson is to represent all of the county. I’ve been able to hear so many voices, that I would not have heard without ‘Our Schools’…I feel that ‘Our Schools’ has given me a greater understanding of that role,” Conroy said.

During her campaign, Conroy is seeking to address transparency in decision-making, special education funding and reducing class size.

“The needs of our special education students weigh really heavily on my mind. We really need to fund these students at a level that is necessary – just like all students – because we aren’t funding the students at the level that we need to be,” said Conroy.

Conroy lives with her husband and two sons in Bristow.

Learn, grow, have fun: Be a Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center summer camp counselor

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center Summer Camp runs for 10 weeks.
The dates of Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center summer camp are June 19 to August 28.

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center’s Summer Camp runs for 10 weeks

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center will hire more than 50 new summer camp counselors for its summer camp session.

It’s a summer job that is so much more than a summer job. It’s a job that allows its employees to grow, face new challenges, and to have fun every single day.

The Freedom Center is looking for people who are well organized, who have held leadership positions in high school or college, or someone who can be a leader. They’re also looking for someone who has enthusiasm for making a great summer experience for a child.

“This job is rewarding because you get to learn something new every day. Your peers depend on you. And it’s fun because you can plan and do the same activities you loved as a child – whether it’s kickball, soccer, capture the flag – it’s something new on a daily basis.”
– Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center Manager Amanda Meiklejohn.

The counselors are trained extensively in safety. Counselors take their jobs seriously, especially when it comes to making the correct judgment call when working with others, and asking for help from others when they need it.

Counselors are paired with eight children and are typically paired with two to three counselors to form groups of 16-20.  

“This job will help you develop skills as a leader. And, if you haven’t had the experience yet, we strive to meet with you, train with you to help you reach different goals you have for yourself. Whether it’s communicating more effectively with your peers, speaking in front of groups, organizational skills, time management, we’re here to help.”
–  Amanda Meiklejohn.

Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center’s Summer Camp runs for 10 weeks, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The dates of summer camp are June 19 to August 28.
Contact Amanda Meiklejohn for more information to apply to become a Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center summer camp counselor.

$5.2M VDOT safety improvement project begins in Stafford

News

Starting this month, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin construction on a $5.2 million dollar project that will provide pavement and safety improvements along Route 218.

The construction will take place on a 20-mile stretch of Route 218, and will include King George and Stafford counties.

The route has fairly high traffic volume, with about 5,000 vehicles driving on it every day, said VDOT.

VDOT stated that drivers in the area may see some increased congestion, as Route 218 will be reduced to only one lane from Mondays through Fridays – between dawn and dusk.

There will be no lane closures west of Route 301 during peak travel times, to prevent severe congestion, said a VDOT release.

According to a VDOT release, some of the cost for the project was paid for using federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funding – money used to reduce highway crashes. 

As part of the project, VDOT stated that they would be constructing new pavement markings, upgraded and new guardrails, sign upgrades, tree removal, and minor shoulder widening. 

The company in charge of constructing the road improvements is Superior Paving, based out of Gainesville.

Construction is slated for completion in December 2015.

 

Pets to adopt at Stafford County SPCA

News

Zinc
Angela
Found in Aquia Harbour

Angel

Angel is a 3-year-old female Shepard mix with the disposition of a gentle giant. She would likely do well in a home with other dogs. Angel is spayed, UTD on vaccines, and microchipped. Photo Credit goes to Karen Presecan Photograpy.

Zinc

Zinc is a 4-year-old male DSH Russian Blue/Tabby mix. He has gorgeous green eyes and his stripe pattern is soft and subdued. He loves ear scratches and treats! Zinc is neutered and UTD on all vaccines.  

Found

This three legged dog was found on Dewey Dr in Aquia Harbour. Please contact the Aquia Harbour Police Dept at 540-659-4600 if you recognize this cutie.

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

Millennials fleeing suburbs for cities: Challenges facing Prince William County

News

Committee of 100

So much has changed in Prince William County in just the past 10 years, that the Prince William County Committee of 100 came together April 16 at the Montclair Country Club to discuss what the future of the county may look like and what it may need to succeed. 

The Prince William County Committee of 100 holds regular non-partisan, educational forums to study interests, problems and goals of the citizens of Prince William County, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. It has been functioning for more than 25 years.

“The rapid growth in Prince William County over the past decade has presented enormous challenges in overcrowded classrooms, efficient commuter traffic patterns, shortages of public amenities and over-stressed public safety resources,” read a description of the forum on the committee’s web page. “Jobs and housing are the two drivers of the future economy in Prince William County. The current economic conditions threaten growth in quality jobs, housing values and expanding business opportunities. The future for Prince William County will, in large measure, be determined by how Prince William County adapts its policies to protect the future of our community.”

The panelists were Robert Buchanan, Principle of Buchanan Partners LLC and President of the 2030 Group; Dr. Terry L. Clower, Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University; G. Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission; and Ralph Stephenson, Chairman and Co-Founder of Citizens for Balanced Growth. 

Brendon Shaw, director of government relations for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, served as moderator. 

Each panelist gave their take on the future of Prince William County — what it may look like and what it will need. At one point, a joke was made that more Millennials should have been invited. 

One focus of the discussion was the trend of Millennials moving back into cities instead of expanding into the suburbs as previous generations have. Gibb said a “demographic inversion” is underway. For the last 50 years the region saw the people moved out of the cities to suburbia but is now seeing a population shift toward the Beltway.

If you want people to come to Prince William County, then you have to develop areas that they want to come to, Gibb remarked. “Do you want to [be] a suburban area or be more like an area that provides amenities for these new Millennials?”

Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, speaking at the April Committee of 100 program.

Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, speaking at the April Committee of 100 program.

Clower told the group the county needs balance, and balance comes through planning. He said land-use plans need to tie into the region’s economic development strategies, which in turn need to tie into the transportation strategies. 

“That can put you ahead of the game,” said Clower. “Economic development is a process… It doesn’t ever stop.” 

The next meeting will be held the evening of May 21 at the Wyndham Garden in Manassas. Visit PWC100.org for more details.

Prince William budget to include $1 million for class size reduction

News
022514-mccoart

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will approve the final budget and tax rate tomorrow, April 21, at their regularly scheduled meeting.

The approved budget will now include $1 million allocated specifically for reducing class sizes in Prince William County Public Schools.

As the budget period for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors comes to a close, Supervisors Candland and Lawson took the opportunity to speak on their own budget draft with a 2.5% tax increase. In March, the board announced their advertised ceiling tax rate increase of 3.88%, and the difference between the 2.5% and the 3.88% is about $14.6 million.

Budget draft to address school overcrowding

Lawson and Candland stated their draft of the 2016 budget is focused on a plan to address overcrowding in county public schools.

The budget draft would invest county funds into reducing class sizes over the next five years, drawing funding from the Recordation Tax revenue. Under the original proposal given by Candland and Lawson, the board would invest $30 million over the 5-year period, starting with $2 million in 2016. The board decided to halve this amount – giving $1 million – and requiring the school board to match the funds.

Virginia charges a tax on the recordation of deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, leases, and contracts, which provide the funding source Candland referenced. Currently, the Recordation Tax in the county’s budget goes toward paying for transportation projects and other small line items in the budget, stated a release. Keep Reading…

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