Stafford could bury power lines along Route 1 at Courthouse

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Stafford County will consider burying power lines as part of its Route 1 improvement project.

The $11.2 million project will widen, and add turn lanes to Route 1 between Courthouse and Bells Hill roads in Stafford. Work on the project would begin in 2018 and be finished a year later.

It would cost an additional $2 million to bury the power lines along the half-mile stretch of road.

“Right now we have estimated the cost to relocate the overhead utilities at $2.5 million. It would cost an additional $2 million to place the utilities underground,” stated Alex Owsiak, Stafford County transportation project manager in an email. “That additional $2 million cost was not included in the project cost estimate as Stafford County would be solely responsible for paying the additional cost to underground the utilities.”

Neighboring Prince William County approved $11 million of its budget to be used for burying power lines along a mile-and-half stretch of Route 1 in Woodbridge.

Haymarket power line: ‘Every resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is a Dominion customer will be paying for this project’

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haymarket power line

It will be up to Virginia’s State Corporation Commission to decide where a new electric transmission line will run in Haymarket.

The project, which has been met with an outcry from the community, currently has five different routes that are on the table, according to the Dominion Power website.

Recently, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution stating that they would only support the ‘I-66 Alternatives’ plan, which would bury the transmission lines underground near I-66 and Route 29.

Other routes would potentially place large overhead transmission lines through residential areas, according to Dominion Power maps.

Why the need for a new transmission line?

The purpose of bringing a transmission line project to an area would typically be to increase capacity and service for all residents in the area, but this may not be the sole reason for the project in Haymarket.

In a Washington Post article, it is reported that the transmission lines are being built for the benefit of one customer – Amazon – as it is reported that they are building a new data center in Haymarket that will need additional power capacity.

Senator Dick Black and Delegate Bob Marshall have even stated that they believe Amazon is the reason for the project and have written letters to Amazon’s owner Jeffrey Bezos.

Amazon did not return Potomac Local’s request for comment.

Who pays for the project?

According to Dominion Power spokesman Chuck Penn, there is no official cost for any of the proposed routes – but it will be at an upward of $140 million.

“We do not have cost estimates for each route…initially when we first announced the project – the so-called ‘railroad route’ – was in the neighborhood of $60 million…and the preliminary cost for the ‘hybrid route’ was $140 to $142 million. But since then, we’ve determined that that estimate is low,” said Penn.

And according to Penn, this cost is going to be passed to all of the rate-payers, regardless of if the transmission line is being built for the benefit of one business, like Amazon.

“We don’t view it as being for any customer – it’s a block lode increase…ultimately, the cost of the project will be passed on to the rate-payer. And when I say rate-payer, that’s across the entire Dominion footprint – across all of Dominion’s customers…every resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is a Dominion customer will be paying for this project,” said Penn.

According to Penn, Dominion Power does not get the final say on the route chosen for the project. The route is decided by the State Corporation Commission.

“There’s been a very robust and healthy exchange of information, with regards to this project, and we have benefitted greatly from these ongoing interactions with the community. And it translated into three of the routes that were under consideration that we’re going to recommend to the State Corporation Commission…the reality of it is that it’s very rare, that any transmission project is universally endorsed by all parties,” Penn said.

Currently, there is no set timeline for the commission to select a route.

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Drink up at Fall BrewFest in Centreville Oct. 17, 18

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Grab some beer, cider and mead in Centerville this October.

Mad Fox Brewing Company is sponsoring the 9th annual Northern Virginia Fall BrewFest, which will be at the Bull Run Regional Park on October 17 and October 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to a release, there will be more than 50 craft beers, ciders and meads available at the event.

More on tickets and details of the event, from a release:

The NoVa Fall BrewFest is ready to host serious brewers and beer fans alike. The focus for the NoVa Fall BrewFest will be fall and winter seasonal brews from local and regional breweries with some added meaderies and cideries in the mix. There will be more than 50 craft beers, ciders and meads to sample at the festival, with a nice representation from the local DC Metro area that has seen an explosion in the opening and establishment of craft breweries.

A ticket to the BrewFest costs $25 in advance online or $35 at the door. A ticket gives you admission to the festival, a special commemorative beer tasting glass and six tickets to taste your choice of craft brews. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10; children under 16 are free with an accompanying adult. Additional beer sampling tickets can be purchased for $2 per ticket.
For more information on the 2015 Northern Virginia Fall BrewFest, visit www.novabrewfest.com. Also, follow us on Twitter @novabrewfest and like us on Facebook.

Minimally invasive heart surgery benefits Mary Washington Healthcare patients

Dr Alex Na, cardiovascular surgeon at Mary Washington Healthcare, talks about how patients benefit with minimally invasive heart surgery.

“They have less pain, and they have less wound-healing problems, they have less bleeding complications, and they less pulmonary complications,” said Na.

Mary Washington’s comprehensive heart center offers surgical excellence and advanced treatment options close to home and family.

“If you look at those complex cases, our outcomes are as good or better than most of the big institutions,” said Na.

While caring for each patient with dignity and compassion, our heart center continues to advance.

“The hospital is committed to bringing in the new technologies and keeping our cardiac surgery program as state of the art as possible. We’re doing all these things because it’s better care for the patients.”

Mary Washington Healthcare. Here for you. Always.

Student flashed on way to school in Woodbridge

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10:30 a.m. 

More information from police about a student who was flashed this morning on her way to school: 

*INCIDENT: Indecent Exposure;

On September 2nd at 7:30AM, officers responded to investigate an indecent exposure which was reported to have occurred at 7:00AM in the area of Savannah Dr and Woodway Pl in Woodbridge (22913). The victim, a 17 year old female juvenile of Woodbridge, reported to police that she was walking in the above area on her way to the school bus stop when she observed an unknown man standing in a nearby wood line exposing himself and making obscene gestures towards her. No physical contact was made and the man never approached the victim. Police were contacted and conducted a search of the area. The man was not located.The investigation continues.

Suspect Description:
Black male, approximately 20 years of age, 6’1”, 180lbs with a muscular build
Last seen wearing a black shirt, black shorts

9:20 a.m. 

There is extra police presence in a neighborhood just off Minnieville Road in Woodbridge after a Hylton High School student was flashed. 

 


The incident occurred in Woodbridge. This is all the information that has been released about this incident at this time.

Manassas man charged after fleeing moving vehicle

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A Manassas man has been charged for fleeing for his vehicle while it was still in drive, and had a child inside.

According to Prince William police, an officer saw a suspicious vehicle near Lomond Drive and Lomond South Drive in Manassas on the evening of August 30.

After the officer pulled the car over, driver of the vehicle – 27-year old Manassas man Nicholas Mavrommatis – opened his door and fled the area on foot when the vehicle was still in drive, stated Prince William police.

The vehicle began to move on to a sidewalk before a 26-year old Manassas woman in the passenger’s seat was able to place it in park, stated Prince William police.

When the officer investigated further, he found that the car was also occupied by a one year old girl, stated Prince William police.

Mavrommatis was arrested and is charged with felony child neglect, driving under the influence, unreasonable refusal, reckless driving and obstruction of justice, according to Prince William police.

Stafford fire crews called to home on Ficklen Road

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Ficklen Rd

A fire broke out at a home in the 900 block of Ficklen Road this morning,

Stafford County fire and rescue crews were called to the scene at 5:28 a.m. and found a single-family home with fire on the first floor. Fire crews went to work and doused the blaze in about 20 minutes.

A search of the house by fire crews revealed no one was home at the time of the fire, stated Stafford County Fire and Rescue Assitant Chief Mark Doyle in a press release. No one was injured.

Fire crews were initially called to nearby Harrell Road for what callers said was a fire. Crews later found the blaze on Ficken Road.

Fire crews from Falmouth, Stafford, Berea, Brooke, Mountain View, Rockhill, Hartwood, and two medic units all assisted in the fire operation.

The Stafford County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the incident. Officials did not name the cause of the fire.

Express Lane changes ahead for Labor Day weekend

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Look out for some changes to the 95 Express Lanes for Labor Day weekend.

The lane reversal schedule for the weekend is available online.

More from a Transurban release:

On Monday, September 7 – Labor Day – there will be no reversal, which means that traffic will remain northbound all day on the 95 Express Lanes. For the full lane reversal schedule for Labor Day weekend, please visit: https://www.expresslanes.com/feature/1794.

To prepare for additional traffic volumes during the Labor Day weekend on I-95, here’s what drivers can expect when traveling southbound through Prince William and Stafford County during peak travel times:

Express Lanes travelers will see an advisory sign in advance of the Quantico/Joplin Road exit, which alerts drivers if congestion is present ahead on the Lanes. The sign will indicate approximately how far ahead the delays begin, for example “CONGESTION 3 MILES AHEAD”
Drivers can use the information on the sign to decide whether to exit the Lanes at the Joplin Road exit or continue to Garrisonville Road where the 95 Express Lanes end
If delays increase, signage before the Joplin Road exit will advise travelers to exit to the regular lanes using the message “EXIT NOW TO AVOID DELAYS”

Lane closures planned tonight for I-95 South

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vdotlogo600pixelsExpect some traffic tonight on Interstate 95 southbound lanes near Fredericksburg.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic will be stopped overnight during certain times.

VDOT is currently working on a new overpass for Fall Hill Avenue, so traffic will be stopped so that concrete beams can be lifted over travel lanes.

More from a VDOT release:

Southbound I-95 travelers are advised to use Route 1 to avoid delays. Message boards on I-95 will provide advance notice of lane closures and detour routes.

The Fall Hill Avenue overpass is located at mile marker 131, between I-95 exit 130/Route 3 and exit 133/Route 17.

Tonight, a single lane of I-95 southbound will close at the overpass at 9:30 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close at 10 p.m.

Between midnight and 3 a.m. all traffic will be stopped four times so workers can lift beams over the travel lanes. Each traffic stop will last approximately 15 minutes. After each closure, the waiting queue of vehicles will be cleared from the scene.

All southbound lanes will re-open to traffic by 5 a.m. Wednesday.  

Virginia State Police are assisting with traffic control in the work zone.

I-95 Paving

Additionally, lane closures for interstate paving will be underway on I-95 northbound and southbound tonight in the Fredericksburg area.

Paving is scheduled between exit 136/Centreport Parkway and exit 140/Courthouse Road in Stafford County.

A single lane of I-95 northbound will close at 9 p.m. Two northbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

On I-95 southbound, paving will be underway between exit 126/Spotsylvania and exit 118/Thornburg. A single lane of I-95 southbound will close at 9 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Manassas man federally charged for child pornography

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A Manassas man, and former school volunteer, has been federally charged with possession of child pornography.

According to a U.S. Justice Department release, 23-year old Manassas man David Battle II, was a volunteer for music programs at Osbourn High School and Metz Middle School in Manassas, prior to the child pornography charges.

Battle was arrested and charged back in June, by Manassas City police.

The detective that originally looked into the case is a member of the Manassas City Police Department, assigned to the Northern Virginia-Washington, DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, according to Manassas City police spokeswoman Adrienne Helms.

After further investigation into his online activities, federal authorities became involved, and Battle was charged federally on August 6, stated a release.

More from a U.S. Justice Department release:

According to court documents and court proceedings, David Alexander Battle, II, 23, who worked for a private music company in Manassas, was arrested by the Manassas City Police Department on June 16, 2015, after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence and discovered evidence of child pornography, including two gigabytes of videos that appeared to be child pornography involving infants. Other evidence found at Battle’s residence included child pornography primarily of young boys and girls.

Battle is currently detained and awaiting trial.

Battle faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years, if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Northern Virginia-Washington, DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, or the Manassas City Police Department Investigative Services Division at 703-257-8092.

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