Do you know the street safety rules around school buses?

The school year in Virginia has just begun, and that means that school buses will be back out on the road.

Do YOU know the rules for driving and stopping around school buses?

When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign on the side of the bus, you must stop your vehicle from any direction, if you are on a highway, private road or school road. You must stay stopped until the area is clear, and the bus is moving again.

If a bus is loading or letting off passengers and the signals are not on, you still must stop.

If you are driving on a road in the opposite direction with a road that has a median or a barrier, and the bus is on the other side, then you do not have to stop.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire wants you to make sure you follow the rules of the road and be safe this school year.

Gov. McAuliffe holding roundtable at Brooke Point High School, inside new media center


Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will hold a parent roundtable at a newly renovated media center at Brooke Point High School.

The governor will meet with 13 parents of Stafford County school children. He’s expected to discuss standards of learning tests and holding schools more accountable for student success.

The governor’s roundtable will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. The event is open to the public.

Brooke Point High School is the only school in the county to have a newly refitted library, turned media center. The one-of-a-kind center looks more like a TV studio than a library, and will have large tables designed for student collaboration, and more than 30 computer workstations that allow everyone access to online services.

“It is cutting edge stuff, it really is,” said Stafford County Supervisor of Facility Design and Construction Quintin Sullivan.

Construction of the remodeled library turned media center began June 15, immediately after school dismissed for summer. Library books and other materials were removed from the room and stored inside three classrooms during construction.

The library will keep the same number of books it had before, but school officials say the new media center serves as a model of what new school libraries will look like in Stafford.

“There’re not a whole lot of books because that’s not what we 21st-century learning environment,” said Stafford County Public Schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim. “This is the only center of its kind in the county, and I don’t think it will be the last.”

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Manassas townhouse fire displaces 7


PWC Fire and RescueA Manassas townhome caught on fire late yesterday morning.


According to Prince William fire and rescue, responders were called to the townhome on Monitor Court in Manassas at 11 a.m. on August 30.


When responders arrived, they found fire in the garage of the three-level townhome, and smoke coming from the side and front of the home, stated Prince William fire and rescue.


Prince William fire and rescue were able to put out the fire.


The Red Cross was called to the home to help the family displaced by the fire – five adults and two children, stated Prince William fire and rescue.


The Fire Marshal’s Office has estimated damages at $20,000, and a Building Inspector has declared the home unsafe.


According to Prince William fire and rescue, the Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Armed robbery inside PNC Bank Lake Ridge Giant Food


PNC Bank robbery suspect.
PNC Bank robbery suspect.
PNC Bank robbery suspect.
PNC Bank robbery suspect.


A teller told police the suspected showed a gun and demanded cash.

The suspect fled the scene in a silver vehicle. Police did not give a make a model of the car. 

The robber is said to have worn a yellow construction hat with “ICN” on the side. The man also had a bandage on his right hand and a blue visor hanging around his neck.

5:10 p.m. 

A PNC Bank inside a Lake Ridge grocery store was reported to be robbed.

Police were dispatched to the bank at 12455 Hedges Run Drive in Lake Ridge Monday afternoon about 5 p.m., according to initial reports.

It’s not clear if the robber made off with cash. The robber did display a gun, according to initial reports.
Police are looking for a black male, wearing a white shirt, yellow construction hat, carrying a blue bag. The robber was said to have fled the scene on foot.

A police helicopter was to help search for the suspect.

This same bank was robbed on July 2. 
More as we have it.

How Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas

Chapel Springs

Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.

Eleven-year-old Edwin Martinez had been looking forward to the Georgetown South Family Day event on Saturday, August 22, but said the day turned out to be even better than expected.

Standing in line for the Wild Rapids inflatable water slide with a half-dozen friends, Edwin said the community’s pavilion area was like a party with lots of different ways to enjoy the day.

“I give it an A+,” he said of the event, which was hosted by Chapel Springs Assembly of God in partnership with Iglesia Vida.

Chapel Springs has hosted Family Day at Georgetown South since 2011 as a way to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community. This year’s free event featured the extremely popular Wild Rapids slide, two inflatable bounce houses and face painting along with hot dogs and “sno cones.”

Family Day is the culmination of a week-long day camp for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and gives church members a chance to connect with the families of those children, said Pastor Doug Dreesen. It’s also an opportunity to inform residents about the weekly English as a Second Language (ESL) classes hosted by Chapel Springs at the Georgetown South Community Center.

“Our goal is to come and help transform the community, really, for Christ. We want to tell them Jesus loves them, and we’re here to be His hands and feet, Dreesen said, adding that Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South.

Susana Ladino has lived in Georgetown South for three years, and stopped at the pavilion with her 6-year-old after they saw a group of children running toward the event.

“It’s beautiful. It looks very organized,” Ladino said through an interpreter.

Laura Leon also attended with her children. Leon has lived in the community for 11 years and has attended Family Day in the past. Through an interpreter, she said she was happy to enjoy a meal while her children played.

Sitting at a picnic table in the shade while children were enjoying activities nearby, Chapel Springs member Libny Fierro opened a Spanish Bible and led those seated around her to take turns reading from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians has wonderful instruction about how we should live everyday– things like watching what we say and wearing the “armor of God” – and that was thought-provoking for those at the picnic table, Fierro said.

Fierro and her new friend Norma Arriaga handed out nine Spanish Bibles before the event was over. Having Bibles in Spanish was wonderful, Arriaga said, because while an English Bible is fine for the younger generation, she prefers to read in Spanish.

Asked what she learned from her discussion with Fierro and others at the picnic table, Arriaga had a quick reply: “God has a purpose for us and we need to follow His example,” she said through an interpreter.

Many church-goers focus on who they know and what people are wearing instead of spiritual matters, so reading and discussing the book of Ephesians was eye-opening, Arriaga added.

Ed and Miriam Bosch attend Chapel Springs and are preparing to become missionaries to Ecuador. They both participated in the day camp and were on hand for Family Day to celebrate a successful week.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Ed Bosch said.

Chapel Springs member Denise Propps also volunteered to help at the day camp. She said it was important to her to attend Family Day and meet the families of the children she saw all week, noting that one child ran up and hugged her and said she had been looking specifically for her.

“It’s all about building relationships with the community,” Propps said. “We were made for relationships. We were made to love one another.”

And by building relationships, when someone has a need, we can pray for them as someone who knows them and cares for them, she added.

“I love it. It’s really what He’s called us to do, Propps said.

-Written by Christine Rodrigo

Students head back to class in Prince William, Manassas


Chris Yung Elementary School opens in Bristow to 700 new students.
Chris Yung Elementary School opens in Bristow to 700 new students.

It is the first day of school for students in Prince William County and Manassas.

More than 700 students were welcomed for the frist time to Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow. The school is named for the only Prince William County motorcycle police officer to die in the line of duty.

“The name of this school will provide an opportunity for Chris Yung’s name to live on,” said Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven L. Walts. “

Yung was responding to a call for help on his police motorcycle when he was struck and killed by another vehicle in front of Sowder Village shopping center in Bristow.

Children lined up outside the elementary school at 9 a.m. were all smiles and characteristcally chattery. School administartors help get students off school buses and into a line that formed in front of the main entrance.

Parents who brought their children to school were met by faculty who waived them into the parking lot.

Chris Yung Elementary School houses 700 students right now, but it can accommodate 150 more over the next few years before it reaches capacity. Building new schools and finding more seats for students continues to be a challenge for the Prince William County School system. Chris Yung Elementary is the only new school to open in the county this year.

Charles J. Colgan High School near the corner of Dumfries and Hoadly roads will open next fall. It will house 2,000 students.

“We have a 10-year plan, so we have schools that we know that will be opening 10 years from now,” said Walts.

Prince William County Public Schools hired more than 700 new teachers this year. The number is higher than in previous years because many teachers retired from the school division last year. Recruiting and retaining new educators continues to be the division’s focus.

“There is a lot of competition for new teachers in this Northern Virginia, Maryland, D.C. region have a lot of opportunities to choose from,” said Walts.

Walts said the county school board will continue to focus on reducing the number of students per teacher in the classroom to provide an overall better educational experience. Additional monies given to the schools by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will help accelerate that plan, said Walts.

In Manassas, the city school division is not opening any new schools this year, but will open a new 140,000 square foot Baldwin Intermediate School next fall that will house 1,000 students. The three-story building is being constructed on old sports fields outside Osbourn High School.

The old Baldwin Elementary School on Main Street will be torn down once the new intermediate school opens. New sports fields for Obsourn High School will replace old Baldwin Elementary.

Manassas hired more than 88 teachers this year to educate students in the city.

A new iPhone app will be launched by the school division in the coming weeks. The app will allow users to get quick information about city school news, events, and will feature a school contacts directory. The app will come in handy during mornings when when wintry weather forces school delays or cancellations.

Today’s start date is unusual for school divisions that traditionally went back to school after Labor Day. Virginia officials granted the Prince William and Manassas divisions the waiver requested to open before the end-of-summer holiday.

More details released on Woodbridge domestic dispute


More information has been released on the incident where a Prince William police officer shot 25-year old Yonatan Marufe, during a domestic dispute on August 17.

Following the incident, Prince William police completed an investigation, and they have publicly released the details.

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert stated that the officer, Hector Figueroa, acted appropriately when shooting Marufe, stated Prince William police.

More from a Prince William police release:

On August 17th at 6:36PM, officers were dispatched to a home in the 13100 block of Tory Loop in Woodbridge to investigate a domestic disturbance between Yonatan Marufe, 25, and his 47 year old step-mother. Initial information indicated that both parties were involved in a verbal altercation and that Yonatan had broken an interior door in the home. The first officer made contact with the step-mother in front of the residence who relayed that Yonatan has a history of mental illness. The officer went to the front door of the home, announced himself and called for Yonatan. After receiving no response, and believing that Yonatan may be in the process of harming himself based on the step-mother’s description of his behavior, the officer entered the residence with the step-mother and went to an upper floor where he was last seen. Upon reaching the top of the steps, Yonatan appeared suddenly in front of the officer, armed with a knife which he then raised towards the officer and the step-mother. In an attempt to create distance, the officer stepped back and lost his footing, falling back into the step-mother and down the stairs. Yonatan continued aggressively advancing down the steps towards the officer with the knife. At that point, the officer pulled his service weapon and shot towards Yonatan striking him once in the shoulder area. Yonatan sustained a non-life threatening wound and was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released later that night.

The officer and the step-mother sustained injuries from the fall and were also treated at an area hospital; both are expected to make a full recovery. Following the investigation Yonatan was charged with attempted aggravated malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and attempted aggravated malicious wounding. Yonatan remains in custody at the Adult Detention Center with a preliminary court date set for October 14, 2015.

According to Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, “The officer was justified given the circumstances and acted appropriately.”

Prince William County Police Chief Steve Hudson commented, “I fully support the officer’s actions in this case and feel they were justified with the situation he faced. We hope everyone involved in this incident makes a speedy recovery and that Yonatan receives the proper treatment he needs.”

The Police Department’s administrative investigation is continuing, but has preliminarily found this officer involved shooting to be justified and objectively reasonable. The final review will be conducted by the Department’s Police Deadly Force Shooting Review Board which will examine the details of the incident.

The officer involved in the shooting was identified as Officer Hector Figueroa, a 30 plus year law enforcement veteran with 8 years of service with the Prince William County Police Department.

Gun goes off during Woodbridge struggle


A Woodbridge man has been charged after a fight with a gun.

According to Prince William police, officers were called to a home on Cavalier Drive in Woodbridge on the morning of August 27.

Prince William police stated the victim – a 27-year old Woodbridge man – told officers that he and 36-year old David Haggard were in a verbal argument that escalated.

During the incident, Haggard displayed a gun and pointed it at the victim and the victim went to deflect the gun, which then went off, according to Prince William police.

The victim was not hit, and no one was injured.

Following an investigation, Haggard is being charged with attempted malicious wounding, brandishing a firearm, and reckless handling of a firearm, stated Prince William police.

Principi: It will be January before we hear from Trader Joe’s


Supervisor Frank Principi is back from his trek to Trader Joe’s HQ.

According to a release, Principi visited the niche grocery store’s headquarters in Monrovia, California, last week with a 1,700 signature petition, data and lease proposal information.

Prior to his trip, Principi met with area residents at his office, to talk about his plan to bring Trader Joe’s to Woodbridge.

Principi stated that his office will not hear back from Trader Joe’s until January 2016, according to a release.

A survey conducted by Principi’s staff showed that Woodbridge residents that visited area Trader Joe’s locations spent up to $200 a visit, stated a release.

Animals to adopt at Stafford County SPCA



Blaze is a spunky gal that has won the hearts of everyone at the shelter. She was found wandering a nearby road with a broken leg, and required an expensive surgery to walk normally again. Now one of her favorite things to do is run! She is a goofy, high energy beagle that would love to find a family that would enjoy being active with her. Blaze is 2 years old, spayed, UTD on all vaccines, and microchipped.

Willow (aka Will) is 4 year old male kitty with a playful personality! He loves spending time with people, and can’t get enough playtime with ANY kind of toy that has feathers attached. He is a favorite whenever children visit; they say it looks like he has a toupee! Willow is neutered, UTD on all vaccines, and is ready to spread some love around at his forever home.

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

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