30°

Light Rain

Tue Wed Thu
It is forcast to be Snow Showers at 10:00 PM EST on January 27, 2015
Snow Showers
37°/23°
It is forcast to be Clear at 10:00 PM EST on January 28, 2015
Clear
34°/25°
It is forcast to be Chance of Snow at 10:00 PM EST on January 29, 2015
Chance of Snow
37°/32°

Closings and delays Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Local schools

 

Prince William County Public Schools — Closed, code red

 

Manassas City Public Schools - Open 10 a.m. 

 

 

Manassas Park City Schools — Open two hours late

 

 

Colleges and universities 

 

Northern Virginia Community College —  Open 10 a.m.

 

George Mason University — Open 10:30 a.m. 

 

Stratford University — Woodbridge campus classes begin 11 a.m.  

Organizations

 

Prince William County / Manassas Boys and Girls Club – Before and after care open 8 a.m.  

 

Want to get your closing or delay listed? Tweet us @PotomacLocal or email us.

1.3 million pages later, Michelle McQuigg seeks 2nd term as Prince William Clerk of the Circuit Court

Michelle McQuigg calls herself an activist turned politician.

In addition to spending more than 20 years in public life serving the residents of Prince William County, she’s also belonged to just about any civic or community organization that had an open membership policy.

McQuigg is running for another eight-year term as Prince William County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. It’s a lesser-known position, one that doesn’t usually attract headlines – unless your Michelle McQuigg.

Last year, McQuigg placed her name on a lawsuit against Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who wanted to bypass a state referendum on gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. One of McQuigg’s jobs as Clerk of the Circuit Court is to issue those licenses.

McQuigg doesn’t support gay marriage, but she said the overriding reason for her signing her name to that lawsuit was because she felt the state, and federal constitutions were being usurped by the Attorney General. Today, gay couples may file for marriage licenses in Virginia. Keep Reading…

Potomac Local Wants You To Know

Occoquan Town Hall getting new signs

occoquan town hall sign

The Occoquan Town Hall will get some sprucing up.

The town plans to add new signs to the front of the building, as well as an oval sign to hang by the sidewalk in front of the Town Hall building.

A 20×22 inch sandblasted sign, complete with raised lettering, and full-color paint stating “Historic Occoquan Virginia Town Hall, 314 Mill Street” will hang next to the main entrance of Town Hall. The oval sign that states “Historic Occoquan Town Hall.”

The combined cost for both signs is $1,800, according to town documents. Signarama of Woodbridge was selected to provide pricing and a design example of the new sign.

The new signs come as the town has already “taken steps” to upgrade signage at street intersections including Commerce and Washington streets, Commerce Street and Route 123 (Gordon Boulevard), and Old Bridge and Tanyard Hill roads, and at Mamie Davis Park on Mill Street, according to town documents.

Police see pot in plain view, search Manassas area home

A man from Stafford told police he was paid money to leave a party at apartment near Manassas. When he left, the man said someone confronted him and demanded his money back, police said.

That man ended up in a hospital, and police who came to the apartment ended up spotting marijuana and then searched the place.

Here’s the full incident report from Prince William police:

Malicious Wounding | Strong Armed Robbery – On January 24th at 4:56AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 7200 block of Manassas (20111) to investigate a robbery. The victim, a 21 year old man of Stafford, reported to police that he was attending a party at an apartment in the above area with two other known acquaintances when the group was asked to leave by the resident, later identified as the accused. The accused gave the victim money to leave which the victim took and voluntarily left without issue.

The victim and the two acquaintances, returned to their vehicle in the parking lot when the accused confronted them. During the encounter, the accused repeatedly struck the victim in the face and demanded his money back. The accused eventually took the original money and other money belonging to the victim before returning to the apartment. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Officers made contact at the apartment and located the accused. While speaking to the accused, officers observed marijuana in plain view. A search warrant was obtained and subsequently executed. As a result of the search, money, marijuana and other suspected narcotics were recovered. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on January 24th:

Messiah Thor KWAK, 22, of 7231 Royal Fern Cir, #303 in Manassas

Charged with 1 count of malicious wounding, 1 count of robbery, 2 counts ofpossession with intent to distribute a scheduled I or II narcotic and 1 count ofpossession with intent to distribute marijuana

Court date: March 25, 2015 | Bond: unavailable

Montclair mailbox smashers busted, police say

{Police said they nabbed two people responsible for a series of mailbox smashings in Prince William County’s Montclair neighborhood.

Here’s the latest from police: 

Since the beginning of December, the Prince William County police department has received numerous calls regarding the destruction of mailboxes in the Montclair section of Dumfries. These destruction cases ranged from pulling the mailboxes up from the ground to throwing objects at them and even to destroying the mailboxes altogether. In all, approximately 45 cases were reported to police with damage estimated around $2,500.

On January 24th at 1:00AM, officers responded to the 15800 block of Marlington Dr to investigate a report of damage to mailboxes in the area. Through the investigation, officers developed a possible suspect vehicle involved in the incident. Officers eventually located that vehicle in the area and identified its occupants as an adult male and a juvenile male, both of the Montclair area.

Detectives subsequently interviewed the suspects and connected them to the rash of vandalism incidents in the Montclair area over the past two months. Both suspects have each been charged with 2 counts of destruction of property and, through an agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, restitution will be sought in all reported cases.

Arrested:

Damien Joseph LYNCH, 19, of 15578 Winding Creek Dr in Dumfries

Court date: March 3, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

A 17 year old male juvenile of Dumfries

Court date: pending | Status: unavailable

At 50, woman tells story of abuse, rape to help connect with mentally ill in Prince William

Cynthia Dudley is turning 50 years old.

She made a video in recognition of her milestone birthday that she posted on YouTube. It isn’t your typical birthday video.

Through flash cards, Dudley tells a story of being abused by her mother when she was a child, being raped, and being robbed a gunpoint. This series of events led to several suicide attempts.

Seven years ago, Dudley’s life changed when she and two other women founded the Trillium Drop-In Center in Woodbridge. With thoughts of suicide behind her, now her focus is to help others who may be going through similar trials.

We interviewed Dudley about why she shared such a personal story on the web.

 

Where did you get the idea for the video?

 

I had the idea for the video literally when my friend asked what I wanted for my birthday, and I decided I wanted to make it about Trillium because I don’t personally want for anything, and I am committed to Trillium and the work we do there 200%. A video seemed like the perfect idea to support my goal of 50 people donating $50 for my 50th.

I am a speaker about mental illness and sharing personal details about my own experiences with it is what I’ve been doing for years, in order to help people who are going through similar issues. Also, talking about mental illness helps break stigma surrounding it, which is another of my professional goals.

 

What was the reaction from your friends / co-workers when they saw the video?

 

My staff, Board, members, colleagues, and friends are in complete support of the video. Many have known most of my story for years. People are touched by the intensity of the video and are inspired to support our goal in any way they are able.

 

How many people does the center help each year?

 

Trillium helps 35-40 people six days a week, we average one new person a day, over 600 a year, and over 3,000 since we opened 7+ years ago. I was one of three women who started Trillium in 2007 and have been the Director the entire time.

 

After people watch the video, what do you hope the takeaway message is?

 

After watching the video I hope people will donate what they can, if they are so led. My goal is $50 from 50 people for my 50th, which is in two weeks. If people are not led to donate, I’d really appreciate them sharing the video to friends, colleagues, associations, etc. in order to spread the word and help people with serious mental illness in Prince William County. One in four live with serious mental illness. It’s important to talk about it. And give people hope that it can be managed effectively and even overcome in some circumstances.

Big snow? Don’t count on it, says weather service

Something is going fall from the skies tomorrow.

Will it be rain? Snow? Both?

That is the question meteorologist were attempting to answer Sunday evening.

In case you haven’t heard, a snowstorm is bearing down on the megalopolis of New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. Blizzard watches were posted Sunday afternoon by the National Weather Service for many of these areas.

In Prince William, a winter weather advisory will go into effect at 10 p.m. Sunday and last through 6 p.m. Monday. In Stafford County, no watches or warnings at all. 

That should give you some idea of where we are in the grand scheme of things as this major storm is setting up — right on the outskirts.  One weather forecaster said this is “not our storm,” much to the dismay of snow lovers who are seeming jealous of portions of the Northeast U.S. coastline that could see 20 inches or more of snow from this storm.

More to the Story: 

 

Virginia transportation officials warn drivers next three rush hours will be hairy 

 

Virginia Railway Express will operate on full schedule Monday

 

For us, what falls will begin as rain Monday morning, with some snowflakes mixing in — maybe. And the temperatures Monday morning will be on the rise, and that will help to keep precipitation wet, not frozen, according to the weather service.

By afternoon, that’s when things could get interesting for our region. A clipper storm moving from the Midwest, and that’s the one that will give us rain in the morning. Then, that storm will track across southern Virginia and move off the Atlantic coast. When that happens, a larger storm will form – the storm that is expected to bury the Northeast under snow – could also bring us some snow, according to the weather service.

Colder air is expected to move in as the storm moves off the coast. Forecasters stress the timing of the changeover from rain to snow is important, as some areas in our region could see about two inches of snow while other areas could see none at all. That’s not a good forecast for snow lovers, but one that’s great for those who forgot to pick up a snow shovel this season.

Generally, forecasters state, the colder air is expected to bring some snow Monday afternoon to the Baltimore area and areas to the south and west of Washington, D.C. People living in Southern Maryland aren’t expected to see any snow at all, according to the weather service.

We think calling this forecast mixed, clustered bag of uncertainty is permissible. I’m sure there are a couple other choice words some might call it.

We’ll be watching to see what falls as well as update you on school closings for Monday.

Occoquan wants to name its new riverfront park

occoquan, riverfront park,

Leaders in Occoquan have begun the discussion on what to name their upcoming riverfront park.

Demolition of an old water treatment plant once operated by Fairfax Water until it was decommissioned in 2007 began late last summer. Work to remove old water tanks, as well as other structures, is expected to be completed this winter, and then construction of the new park will commence.

The park will include scenic views of the Occoquan River, a public restroom, a storage facility and possibly a pavilion.

Town officials want to come up with a name for the park. The name should be entirely new and not mirror other names of places and buildings in the town such as “Mill,” as the town already has a historic mill and a street of the same name. The park will not be named after a person, either, according town documents.

A list of proposed names for the park is being compiled by town staff. That list is expected to be made available Feb. 3 during a public meeting when residents will be able to weigh in on the new name.

Last week, the town council was scheduled to meet with its engineers to review conceptual plans for the park. Improvements to a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Occoquan River at the end of Mill Street, as well as a looped walking path, and new interpretive signage pointing out historic facts and places of interest are also being considered as part of the park project.

The new riverfront park is slated to open this year.

Call to Action: Can you pick up food?

· Good morning – SERVE needs volunteers to help in the Food Pantry. As you know folks who work seasonal jobs have a particular hard time in the winter and add to the number of families seeking assistance from SERVE.

This is a wonderful opportunity to offer help and your smile to these families. Be prepared for lifting of boxes. Specific positions include picking up food at local grocery stores utilizing the SERVE van. You must be 21 yrs. old, have good driving record and sign a driver’s agreement. They also need volunteers to receive donations. This position can be filled by teens age 16 yrs. +. Please call Jan at (571) 748-2621 to learn more or you can email her at: jhawkins@nvfs.org

· Saved Hands Foundation teaches entry level business skills to the disadvantaged. They are looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft office programs to adults in Woodbridge. They also would like a grant writer and marketing director to create a portfolio for them. Please call Pamela at (571) 572-9013 for more info.

· The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers to join their planning committee for the next walk on October 17th in Manassas. Please call Sonya at (703) 766-9025 to learn more.

· Catholic Charities needs volunteers to teach an English class at their Dale City office. Classes are held Wednesdays 7-9pm. Please email them at: volunteer.hogar@ccda.net to learn more.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers is gearing up for their next volunteer training On March 7th. Come learn all the skills you need to help another adult reach their life goals. You do not need any prior experience. This is one person helping another. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit www.lvapw.org to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity is looking for teen volunteers to distribute flyers about all the wonderful services they provide to the Georgetown Village community in Woodbridge. You can do this anytime between now and February 2nd. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org and sign up on the volunteer calendar. It’s a great way for your club or group to do something fun together.

· Also for teens! You don’t want to miss the teen volunteer and summer job fair on Tuesday February 3rd at the Bull Run Library from 7pm-8:30pm. Come learn about jobs from employers looking for teen for this summer.

· Emeritus Senior Living in Lake Ridge is looking for volunteers to help with fun activities such as sewing circle, line dancing and others or simply give one on one companionship. Please call Brigette at (703) 680-0600 to learn more.

· Project Mend a House needs volunteers to help with minor home repair projects for elderly, disabled and low income families. Come share your handy hands and spirit. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more

· Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center needs volunteers to help with the silent auction and decoration committees for the big 15th Annual Winter dance on February 21st. Please email Robin at: rainbow@rainbowriding.org to learn more

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Full day kindergarten, specialty busing all on chopping block at Prince William schools

121813-school-pool-4

For the first time, Prince William County’s School Board will provide budget guidance to Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Walts.

The elected board will tell Walts of key items they would like to see funded as well as areas that could be cut to help make up for a coming $11 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2016 schools operating budget.

The move comes as the Prince William County Board of Supervisors directed officials to create a budget based on a 1.3% growth rate in the average real estate property tax bill, not the 4% tax growth rate as was approved last year. Since the county gives 57% of its entire budget to the school division, the lower rate means fewer tax fewer resources for county schools.

On the chopping block cutting full-day kindergarten for non-Title 1 schools, something that’s been the norm for the past 10 years. Slashing transportation funding for high school and middle school specialty programs, which provides buses for students to attend classes at selected school sites across the county that provide a student’s specialty program like arts, math, and sciences, is also on the table.

The resolution also calls for halting some $52 million in capital improvements to schools that were to take place this year. Things like renewal of six elementary schools in eastern Prince William, HVAC repairs and replacement, window replacement, and energy infrastructure improvements are all on the list.

The Board is expected to tell Walts to find ways to continue to fund class size reduction plans, as well as to find a way to fund a salary step increase for schools employees.

“If we want to do these two things which we told the Board of Supervisors are priorities for us, we’re going to have to look at other areas to cut, said School Board Chairman Milton C. Johns, who proposed the new budget guidance measure.

Johns called this a “watershed year” for the school division as it looks to make up an overall $20 million shortfall, with the $11 million deficit included following the county’s 1.3% tax bill growth.

“I hate this. We’ve pushed off orders for replacement buses. We’ve pushed off technology upgrades. But we’re going to have to make some tough decisions – and it’s not just $11 million one time, its $11 million each year over the course of the next five years,” said Gainesville School Board representative Allison Satterwhite.

The stalled technology upgrades Satterwhite mentioned were supposed to cost $4.5 million and included upgrades to phone systems, computer servers, and interactive projectors.

The School Board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Board also expects to hear from Dr. Walts at that meeting about the state of the upcoming budget.

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