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Easter egg hunt starts Dumfries spring events series

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An annual Easter Egg hunt will take place Saturday in Dumfries.

The Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad purchased Easter Eggs purchased eggs to be hidden at Ginn Memorial Park on Graham Park Road. The event begins at 11 a.m.

Pillar Church in Dumfries will provide a children’s bounce house, as well as volunteers to run family games at the Easter event. The church will also provide an Easter Bunny suit to be worn by Dumfries Parks and Recreation Committee member Matthew Critchley.

Face Odyssey will also be on hand to paint childrens’ faces, according to Dumfries Community Services Director Ryan Gandy.

Easter is the following day, Sunday, April 5.

The following Saturday on April 11, volunteers will gather in Dumfries for the annual Quantico Creek Clean Up. Coffee, bagels, and donuts will be served starting at 8 a.m. at Town Hall while participating volunteers are registered for the event, according to Public Works Director Richard West.

The clean up will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch will be served after the clean up ends, and volunteers will tally up the amount of garbage collected, said West.

Community Services Director Ryan Gandy is also organizing the town’s Multicultural Festival. It is slated to take place May 9 at 11 a.m. at Merchant Park, next to the Weems-Botts Museum.

Gandy said this year’s event will focus more on celebrating the ethnic heritage of many cultures and less on vendors selling products and services. 

“I am part of the organizing committee, and last year someone came to me and said that [last year’s multicultural festival] wasn’t a multicultural festival,” said Vice Mayor Willie Toney. “We were wondering if we should even continue with that name. The intent was to have a multicultural event to have different people, different food.”

Toney told Gandy he was pleased that this year’s festival will focus more on celebrating diversity in the community.

“I looked back last year on what it became it wasn’t really a multicultural festival,” added Gandy.

Festival goers should expect displays on native and African-African American life as it pertains to the early days of the Town of Dumfries, provided by Historic Dumfries, Inc. Gandy also contacted several food vendors that would “provide cuisine of their native lands,” said Gandy. The details of which food vendors will participate are still being worked out.

The festival is free to attend.

 

Three charged with sexual assault of a minor in Manassas

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On March 4, detectives from the Prince William County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit received a call about a sexual assault that was reported on Lomond Drive in Manassas.

According to a Prince William police release, the incidences of sexual assault began back in 2010.

The victim in the investigation – a 9-year old girl – has been sexually assaulted by three different individuals since 2010, when they were staying in her home, according to a Prince William police release.

The investigation showed that the instances began when the victim was 5-years old. 

A call was made to the Prince William police to investigate the claim after the victim told family members.

All three of the men did not know one another, and were all staying in the residence at different times, says a Prince William police release.

The suspects; Douglas Vladmir Monge Baires, a 39-year old Manassas man, Walter Antonio Canales Reyes, a 31-year old Manassas man, and Santos Andres Flores Rios, a 47-year old man, were all located and arrested by the Prince William police. 

Baires is being charged with two counts of rape, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of object sexual penetration.

Reyes is being charged with three counts of rape, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Rios is being charged with one county of indecent liberties.

All three suspects are being held without bond.

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Manassas Museum to host several new exhibits this summer

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The Manassas Museum in Downtown Manassas is getting ready for the spring and summer with several upcoming exhibits.

According to Doug Horhota, Museum Programs Coordinator for the City of Manassas, it’s important to remember that the museum is not just for Civil War exhibits – and that the Manassas Museum looks at life in Manassas as a whole.

“We are the Manassas Museum – not the Manassas Civil War Museum. And that is one of our challenges here. But we try to focus on the history of Manassas – and that can be anything that deals with pre-contact, like the Native Americans…or it can include anything up to the current day,” said Horhota.

The museum is currently hosting an exhibit called ‘Impressions’ until April 12, which features artwork from students at Osbourn High School in Manassas. 

As it gets closer to summer, the museum tries to plan for more interactive and exciting exhibits.

“Each exhibit has its own subset of attendees that we’re looking for. We try to make it as family-friendly as possible, and we try to plan our more major visits in the summer months, when visitation is traditionally up,” Horhota said.

In early May the museum will feature an exhibit on the first responders of Virginia including both the professional fire company and the volunteer fire company – which has been in the community for 100 years.

Another exhibit coming this summer is going to include a partnership with the county, as they try to display the long history of the Carter family in Virginia.

“There’s a lot of history that transcends with the county, and so we’re doing a joint county exhibit on some of the more prominent land owners that date back to the years to before and during the Civil War – specifically the Carter family,” said Horhota, continuing, “Essentially everyone in Virginia is [part of] the Carter family – if you’ve lived here long enough…there’s a couple of presidents, generals on both sides of the Civil War, Washington’s a Carter, Jefferson’s a Carter – they are the first family of Virginia.” 

Horhota noted that the current admission into the museum is $5, but it will be free for all visitors during the summer.

Stewart, Crawford; Nohe, O’Meara to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

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Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.

First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November.

You may submit questions for the Chairman’s Primary Debate.

At 6:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe will meet with Republican challenger Paul O’Meara to discuss streetlight issues facing voters in the Coles District, which spans from the mid-county area to neighborhoods around Manassas.

To date, no Democrat seeks the Coles District seat, so this could be the debate that helps voters decide who will become the next Coles District Supervisor.

You may submit questions for the Coles District Primary Debate.

The debates will be held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The event is co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local.

The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

  • Candidates will be introduced to the audience
  • Short bios for each candidate will be read
  • A candidate will be asked a specific question
  • The candidate will have two minutes to respond
  • An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
  • A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Potomac Local Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate the debates. The local online news organization will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The candidates, audience members, and all those involved in the debates are asked to adhere to the following rules:

  • Occupants of the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center must remove their footwear at the door and place footwear in a storage area inside the center.
  • Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the community center and must be removed upon event conclusion

Innovation Park brings high-tech jobs to Prince William

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Innovation Park, located adjacent to George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, is continuing to grow and bring in high-tech companies and jobs to the area.

Innovation Park, a business and technology park space, first started back in 1998.

It now has more than 26 companies and 2,300 employees working within its scope, according to Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

“To date, the [economic development] department has directly assisted in attracting approximately $720 million in capital investment by Innovation Park tenants, and the creation of over 2,000 jobs,” said Kaczmarek.

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science, the National Institute of Health’s Biomedical Research Laboratory, the FBI’s NOVA Resident Agency, Mediatech, ISOThrive, and Microvax are among the companies that utilize the Innovation Park space.

According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing components of Innovation Park is the Prince William Science Accelerator.

The Prince William Science Accelerator allows small technological companies to come in and utilize their lab and office spaces for an affordable cost, to help them grow.

The county’s economic development department has partnered with George Mason University to help Innovation Park grow.

Dr. Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University, spoke with Potomac Local to announce that the university’s Prince William Campus is being rebranded as the science and technology campus.

Kaczmarek stated that their partnership with the University and the upcoming rebranding would help further their cause to develop Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator.

“From our perspective, the rebranding exercise signals exciting developments for Prince William County as it will heighten public awareness surrounding the campus…[it] is another step towards Prince William County being known as the science and technology hub of the region,” Kaczmarek said.

Kaczmarek commented that instead of having to drive out of the area for a good job, the continued development of Innovation Park would benefit the county, and grow the jobs where people live.

Kaczmarek also stated that the university would be able to further create a workforce that will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to go into these types of high-tech jobs.

In addition to the businesses in Innovation Park, and the Prince William Science Accelerator, another project the county’s economic development department, and George Mason University are working on is the Virginia Serious Game Institute.

According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing majors at the university is their game development and design program.

“The Virginia Serious Game Institute, a public-private IR start-up [is an] incubator for entrepreneurs in simulation, modeling, and gaming,” Kaczmarek said.

The county’s economic development department will continue to work on bringing in new businesses to both Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator, hopefully bringing more high paying jobs to Prince William County.

Prince William Board takes up new homes, gas station, daycare issues Tuesday night

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Prince William Supervisors will meet Tuesday night to for a series of public hearings on new construction projects in the county.

New homes at Hoadly Falls

One of them is a rezoning request for Hoadly Falls Phase II. The housing development would sit just off Prince William Parkway at the intersection of Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The Board must decide Tuesday to rezone about 28 acres of land from agricultural land to semi-residential land so developers may build 15 homes.

This new phase of Hoadly Falls would join a yet-to-be-built Phase I that will be constructed in the same area and will bring 16 new homes to 40 acres of land.

The county’s planning commission approved phase two earlier this month, but demanded developers consider reducing the density of the development to one home per two and a half acres of land, save more existing trees, and be more clear about where entry and exit points to the neighborhood will be built.

Developers are expected to pay about $572,000 in proffers to the county that will help offset impacts to county services like schools, water, fire and rescue, transportation, and libraries.

As for Hoadly Falls Phase I, officials Tuesday night must also decide if they will bar developers from creating an access point to the neighborhood directly from Prince William Parkway. An amended plan, if approved Tuesday, would eliminate the parkway entrance and the signal light that would come with it, and allow drivers access to the neighborhood via Davis Ford Road. The county’s planning commission approved the request earlier this month, and it’s now waiting for final approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Daycare problems

On the edge of the Town of Occoquan, Sammy’s House Home Daycare is fighting to exist. Prince William zoning officials last year denied a permit to allow the home daycare on Mount High Street to accommodate up to 12 children. On November 13, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors upheld that decision as county officials say the daycare is not in compliance with county zoning rules.
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A panda helped us find parking at Bobs Burgers

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When it comes to parking in the city, a Seinfeld episode comes to mind.

You know the one where George Costanza gets into an argument with another driver over a parking space on the street.

I’ve always remembered this particular exchange between the characters:

Elaine: Oh, you’re never gonna find a space on Jerry’s block, just put it in a garage.

George: Look, I have my system. First I look for the dream spot right in front of the door, then I slowly expand out in concentric circles.

Elaine: Oh come on, George, please put it in a garage. I don’t want to spend an hour looking for a space.

George: I can’t park in a garage.

Elaine: Why?

George: I don’t know, I just can’t. Nobody in my family can pay for parking, it’s a sickness. My father never paid for parking; my mother, my brother, nobody. We can’t do it.

Last week, however, I did want to pay for parking. My wife and I had tickets to see “Bobs Burgers Live” at the Warner theater in Washington, D.C. It was a Wednesday night, I drove us both into the city after work, and we wanted the easiest, most uneventful evening leading up to our show.

Earlier, I went to Google and typed in “Warner theaterParking” and saw a host of results appear on the page. I clicked on one of them, and I saw the “Bobs Burgers Live” logo.

“Hey, that’s the show we’re going to tonight,” I said.

It was like the website knew exactly what I was looking for — parking for the Bobs Burgers show. I was intrigued, and I clicked on.

The site’s name was Parking Panda. It showed me several garages within a three to four block radius of the Warner Theater, and it also showed how much it would cost to park there – between $11 and $23. Some garages offered valet though my wife and I are not fans of valet. Keep Reading…

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