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Light Rain Fog/Mist

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It is forcast to be Ice Pellets at 10:00 PM EST on December 22, 2014
Ice Pellets
39°/36°
It is forcast to be Rain at 10:00 PM EST on December 23, 2014
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46°/43°
It is forcast to be Rain at 10:00 PM EST on December 24, 2014
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63°/46°

Expect freezing rain today

Drivers and pedestrians should be on the look out for freezing rain today.

The National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory for our area. It will remain in effect until 6 p.m.

Here’s the details:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HASISSUED A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PMEST THIS EVENING. 

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…FREEZING RAIN. PRECIPITATION MAY START OFF  AS SLEET AT THE ONSET. 

* ACCUMULATIONS…A TRACE OF ICE ACCUMULATION…ESPECIALLY ON  ELEVATED SURFACES. 

* TIMING…DEVELOPING BETWEEN 9 AM AND 11 AM THIS MORNING AND  CONTINUING THROUGH THE DAY. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO RAIN BY  EARLY THIS EVENING. 

* TEMPERATURES…LOWER 30S THIS MORNING SLOWLY RISING INTO THE  MIDDLE 30S BY EARLY THIS EVENING. 

* WINDS…NORTHEAST 5 TO 10 MPH. 

* IMPACTS…ELEVATED SURFACES MAY BECOME SLIPPERY…WHICH WILL  RESULT IN HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS. 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN ORFREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FORSLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

It’s important to note freezing rain is rain that freezes on contact with a cold surface. Sleet is icy pellets that fall from the sky, and sleet is not in today’s forecast.

Would evening meetings equal more interaction with Prince William Board?

Prince William County supervisors Maureen Caddigan (Potomac District) and Corey A. Stewart (At-Large). (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is about to set their meeting schedule for 2015.

The Board currently meets at 2 p.m. Tuesdays and tackles the business of running the county government. Whether making decisions about what gets built where, what road improvements are needed, or what the property tax rate should be – the county’s main source of revenue — these and many other items are all decided at the regular meetings.

The Board has the option of holding a Tuesday evening session beginning at 7:30 p.m. It usually does in light of a public hearing or if the business of the day couldn’t have been taken care of during the afternoon session.

Some, like Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, unsuccessfully argued earlier this year that the Board should only hold votes during evening sessions when more people can attend the meetings or can watch them on TV or online. Night meetings would also promote more civic engagement, and it would allow more people to attend the after hours sessions, said Candland.

Potomac Local emailed each member of the Board of Supervisors asking why the meetings are held on Tuesdays. Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe responded.

“The times for the meetings predate my time on the Board, so I cannot say why those times were chosen.  I suspect that, like so many things, the time was chosen because it felt right at the time, and it never changed because there was never a compelling reason to change,” stated Nohe.

Several counties comparable in size to Prince William, like Loudoun County, Fairfax County, and Henrico County outside Richmond, all have different meeting schedules and times. Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Fairfax starts their meetings at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and meets all day long. Henrico holds only evening sessions starting at 7 p.m.

“I think everyone is pretty sensitive to the fact that we have a working population, at the same time we can’t put off all of the county business until the evening because the amount of business that needs to be covered, it would put the supervisors there into the very late hours of the night,” said Virginia Association of Counties spokesman James Campbell.

Officials know that not everyone can attend the Board of Supervisors meetings. In Loudoun County, the Board uses an e-commenting system that allows residents to submit their comments to the Board using technology.  The audio and video comments used are played for the members of the Board.

“The only issue we had with public comment was with e-comment: a system the prior board established to allow senior citizens to video or audio comments to the Board.  It was killed for a year, and then I initiated re-establishing it in 2013, but we do not play the comments live at the Board meeting.  This way Board members can review these videos and audios at their own time,” stated Loudoun County Leesburg District Supervisor Ken Reid in an email to Potomac Local.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors allows public comment on issues during the 6 p.m. sessions. Due to multiple requests from senior citizens, the Board now allows seniors to be heard during the earlier 4 p.m. session.

No one has complained to Reid about the time and date of the Loudoun meetings, he added.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will set their schedule at the first meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. The meeting begins at 2 p.m.

Potomac Local Wants You To Know

Road rage leads to stabbing in Stafford

[Photo by: Diane Elkins McCutcheon]

One person has been stabbed in an apparent road rage incident in Stafford.

The attack occurred on Mine Road near a Walmart in North Stafford when two vehicles were stopped at a traffic light around 5 p.m., according to Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Bill Kennedy. One person got out of their vehicle and approached the other. That’s when the stabbing occurred. 

Kennedy said there were other people in at least one of the vehicles who witnessed the altercation.

An investigation is ongoing.

We will update the story when more information is released.

[Photo by: Diane Elkins McCutcheon]

 

3 shot outside Manassas, 1 remains in critical condition

Rifle used in shooting outside Manassas area apartment complex

A Warrenton man was shot several times, and another man and a woman also suffered gunshot wounds.

Police were called to a home in the 10100 block of Portsmouth Road outside Manassas at 10:02 p.m., Saturday for a report of a shooting.

Here’s more in a police press release:

Aggravated Malicious Wounding | Shooting Investigation – On December 19th at 10:02PM, officers responded to the 10100 block of Portsmouth Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shooting.

Police initially received multiple reports of shots fired in the above area but did not locate the parties involved. While on scene investigating, four individuals arrived at an area hospital, three of which were suffering from gunshot related injuries.

Two of the victims, a 27 year old man of Warrenton and a 49 year old woman of Manassas, were both flown to a trauma center for further evaluation. The 27 year old man suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body and remains hospitalized in critical condition. The 49 year old woman was treated for a non-life threatening wound to her head and was released.

The third victim, a 17 year old male juvenile of Manassas, sustained a minor gunshot wound to his knee and was also treated and released. The investigation revealed that the fourth individual, identified as a 32 year old man of no fixed address, arrived in the above area accompanied by the three victims.

A physical altercation ensued between this man and the accused outside of the apartment complex. Following the encounter, the man returned to his vehicle with the three victims. Before they could leave the complex parking lot, the accused went to his residence and retrieved a rifle. At that point, the accused exited the building and began firing towards the vehicle.

All parties left the area separately before officers arrived. The victims were taken to an area hospital where police were contacted. The suspect eventually turned himself into police early the next morning without incident.

This incident was not random and stemmed from a previous verbal altercation between the parties involved who were known to one another.

Arrested on December 20th:

Justin Hunter PLATT, 25, of 10174 Portsmouth Rd, #11 in Manassas

Charged with 3 counts of aggravated malicious wounding

Court date: pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

This was the first in a series of shootings in Prince William County in the last 24 hours. Earlier this morning, a man who claimed to be suffering a wound inflicted by a firework was found to have been shot during a fight in the parking lot of a Dale City grocery store.

 

Updated: Dale City shooting victim found in Montclair home

Dale city, shooting, crime

12:55 p.m. 

The investigation into a shooting that took place overnight in Dale City has taken police officers to the Montclair neighborhood.

Fire and rescue crews were called to a home in the 15500 block of Winding Creek Drive at 5:37 a.m., for a report of a man who was injured by a firework. Rescue crews determined the man had been shot, stated Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The 24-year-old victim was taken to a hospital for injuries that did not appear to be life threatening. Investigators later learned that he was involved in a fight about three and a half hours earlier at Center Plaza in Dale City.

Police went to Center Plaza this morning and found evidence of the shooting. Now, detectives are working to identify a suspect in the case, said Perok.

The shooting does not appear to be a random act, police added.

10:45 a.m. 

man was shot outside a Giant Food store in Dale City early this morning.

The male victim was shot about 2 a.m., in the 4300 block of Dale Boulevard, inside the Center Plaza shopping center. Police learned about the shooting at 5:30 a.m., and went to the scene.  

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

The shooting appears to have taken place after a fight escalated, according to police.

No arrests have been made.

‘Anderson’s North Pole’ offers free light show

christmas, lights, show

A Christmas light show that has become a tradition in Woodbridge is still open to view.

For the past two decades, the Anderson family has seen more than 4,700 vehicles travel through their homemade light show, “The Anderson’s North Pole.”

Work on the five-acre light show begins in late October, as family members begin to string lights on the five acres of property they call home. The show is free, and the Andersons put on the display each year “solely to see all of the smiles that it brings to others’ faces.”

Children that come through the light display receive candy canes. On some nights, Santa and some of his helpers are there to waive at passersby.

Theresa Anderson works at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge as a service writer. Owner ST Billingsley appreciates the Anderson family’s willingness to give to the community at the holidays.

“Theresa started working with us almost a year ago, so we’ve got access to all of the in and outs of what’s going on with their five-acre holiday lights extravaganza,” said Billingsley.

The Anderson’s North Pole is located at 15615 Bushey Drive, just off Cardinal Drive in Woodbridge. The light show will is open night nightly until Dec. 23. The show is closed on Christmas Eve so the Andersons can enjoy Christmas with their family.

This post is sponsored by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge.

Tim Singstock running for Prince William school board chairman

Tim Singstock, a lifelong Prince William County resident and former officer in the Army, is running to be the next Prince William County Public School Board Chairman.

His announcement comes the same week current School Board Chairman Milton C. Johns decided not to seek reelection.

Singstock lives in Montclair with his family and currently works as a self-employed tax accountant. He attended the county’s public schools while growing up.

“I grew up right here in Prince William County, and I went to Prince William County public schools. I went to Virginia Tech on an Army ROTC scholarship and then served as an officer in the United States Army for five years,” Singstock said.

In addition to his work in the military and tax accounting, Singstock also worked as a defense contractor and project manager assisting the Marine Corps.

For Singstock, the position was one he has been considering for a long time.

“School board chairman specifically is something that I’ve been interested in for quite a while and I was contemplating, down the road – maybe in 2019 – perhaps running for the position. So, I was delighted to learn that the opportunity would come sooner in 2015,” he said.

“I feel that my generation has an obligation to ensure that today, these kids are prepared to run America in the twenty-first century,” he said of his motivation to run for the seat, continuing, “I want to serve the community I grew up in.”

He has already received endorsement for his candidacy from Johns, who will complete his term next year.

Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan will also endorse Singstock.

For Singstock, there are two major concerns that need to be addressed by the school board – school safety and classroom size.

“The [first] issue I’m concerned about, is that I want to make sure that we continue to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our kids. And so the work that I do as a parent and volunteer on the Safe School Advisory Council has kind of given me a passion for school safety,” Singstock said.

One important issue he seeks to address during his campaign is growing classroom sizes, which have been talked about as a major issue in the Prince William County Public School system for several years.

“Another issue that I hear, as I talk to teachers and I talk to parents, [is] that everyone is concerned about crowding, and we have schools above 100 percent capacity. Part of that needs to be addressed by the Board of County Supervisors because the development decisions that they make have an impact on classroom size. But on the School Board side, I think it’s a budget issue,” he said.

For him, these issues can both be addressed with good management and living within the allotted county and state education budgets.

“I would like to try and take the resources that the tax payers of Prince William County and Virginia give us, live within the parameters of those resources, and then focus those resources to the greatest extent on the classroom. And I think that’s how we as a school board can begin to address the issue of crowded classrooms,” Singstock said.

The official launch for Singstock’s campaign will kick off in January. Voters will head to the polls on Nov. 3, 2015.

John Jenkins will have a locomotive named after him

John Jenkins, Sharon Bulova, and Paul Milde all serve on the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board. [Submitted photo]

All aboard the John Jenkins Express.

Jenkins, the longest currently serving Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is recognized for his participation on the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board. He and eight other VRE Board members who played key roles in the development of the commuter railroad since its founding in 1992 will have their names affixed to the front of VRE locomotives.

Here’s a full list of names that will soon appear on commuter trains:

  • Edwin King – Prince William County (Original Member)
  • James Hugh Payne Sr. – City of Manassas (First Elected City of Manassas Member)
  • Bernard Cohen – VA House of Delegates (Original Member)
  • Bob Gibbons – Stafford County (First Elected Stafford Member)
  • Sally H. Cooper – VDOT (Original Member)
  • Sharon Bulova – Fairfax County (Original and Continuously Serving Member)
  • John Jenkins – Prince William County (Long Serving Member)
  • Hilda Barg – Prince William County (Long Serving Member)
  • Elaine McConnell – Fairfax County (Long Serving Member – previously recognized)

The operations board approved adding the names to the locomotives at their monthly meeting this morning.

“Naming locomotives to honor those who helped establish or ensure the success of VRE is a small token of the appreciation we have for the foresight and public service these Board Members have provided in creating VRE,” said  VRE Operations Board Chairman Paul Milde in a press release.

The names that will be affixed to the locomotives belong to those who “played a key role in establishing VRE service, were early or long-tenured members, or whose extraordinary efforts contributed to its success, will be honored by having their names placed on the front of VRE locomotives.”

Virginia Railway Express trains carried more than 320,000 riders in November. Over the past year, the commuter railroad carried 2 million riders.

Santa, cops bring joy across Prince William County

img_3910img_3816img_3858img_3782img_3867img_3878img_3951img_3960img_3981img_3832

Prince William police officers were out bringing joy and spreading Christmas cheer Thursday.

A very cool looking, sunglasses-wearing Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus rode with several Prince William police motorcycle units on their annual Santa Ride. They visited pediatric patients at Novant Prince William Medical Center, and the group also visited a string of elementary schools in Prince William County.

The traveling troop brought Santa and Mrs. Claus to Chick-fil-A in Bristow where they ordered lunch. While there, Santa and the officers passed out candy canes to children. Santa also asked each child what they wanted for Christmas.

Updated: Duck hunter dies after boat capsizes in Stafford creek

[File photo; KJ Mushung]

8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 19

A man found in the waters of the Aquia Creek at the confluence of the Potomac River died Thursday.

Daniel Stuart Curran, 58, of Bowling Green, Virginia, died after the 16-foot Polar Craft fishing boat he and his son-in-law were duck hunting on capsized. The boat became entangled in a gill net and started to take on water, according to a preliminary report by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Curran was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to Mullins and Thompson Funeral Home.

Curran’s 32-year-old son-in-law, Charles Brooks Jr., also of Bowling Green, was able to swim ashore. Brooks was alert when he was taken to a local hospital, according to the report.

Investigators are still looking into the incident and plan to release a more detailed report when more information becomes available. 

Rescue units from Stafford County, Quantico and Maryland were called in to assist in the rescue effort on Thursday.

4:20 p.m. 

Stafford County officials have turned over the investigation of the boating accident to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

That department investigated a fatal crash involving a boat that collided with a pylon in Aquia Creek earlier this year.

12:12 p.m.

Two people were safely pulled to shore after a boat capsized at the confluence of the Potomac River and Aquia Creek.

A fishing boat overturned about 11:37 a.m., sending one person into the water. Fire and rescue crews called to the scene pulled that man from the water, said Stafford Fire and Rescue Asst. Battalion Chief Mark Doyle.

Another man and a dog were still out in the water. The dog was spotted standing on the hull of the capsized boat and was pulled to safety, said Doyle. The missing man was found a short time later and was pulled to the shore.

“His condition remains unknown at this time,” said Doyle.

The men put their boat in the water about 6 a.m. for the purpose of hunting ducks.

An investigation is underway. And, according to reports, the boat has been secured and is being left in place in the water for the time being.

Noon 

One person is missing and a search is underway on Aquia Creek.

A small fishing boat, called a Jon boat, capsized about 11:37 a.m. off the shores of Stafford County. Fire and rescue crews and a Maryland State Police helicopter are now involved in the search for the missing boater, according to initial reports.

At least one person was on board the boat with a dog when it capsized. A dog was seen standing on top of the boat when rescue crews went into the water looking for the missing man, according to initial reports. The search began when one man was able to make it ashore to a residence on Canterbury Drive in Stafford, according to initial reports.

Several water rescue boats from Stafford County are involved in the search, as is a water rescue boat dispatched from Quantico Marine Corps Base, according to initial reports.

Aquia Creek pours into the Potomac River. Several people live along the banks of the creek which is also home to Aquia Landing Park.

We’ll have more on this as it develops.

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