Storms delay dismissal for Prince William County students

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(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

Severe storms in the area knocked out power to some Prince William County public schools. Some schools also delayed the the regular release of students for safety reasons. 

 

A line of storms was moving southwest into Prince William County about 3:30 p.m. 

 

More as we have it.

Prince William County could move cemetery to make way for new fire station

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This is the site of the abandoned cemetery.
'Option A' plan for the fire station.
Another alternative option for the station.

The Coles district is getting a new fire station.

But the location and plan for the new Coles District Fire Station is currently the subject of some controversy, as one of the proposed sites would require the county to dig up and move an old cemetery on the property.

The original station at 13712 Dumfries Road in Manassas, was built in 1976, according to county documents.

“The current station we have has exceeded its life cycle…a few years ago we hired a consultant – it was an architectural firm – who took a look at each of our stations…the recommendation for the Coles station was that it be replaced. Putting any more investment into that station, really isn’t going to give [us] the proper return. The construction style of that building was only meant to be a 30-year building, and we’ve far exceeded that,” said Prince William Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee.

The new fire station would take 18-months to complete once it has been approved, said McGee.

According to McGee, the cemetery – which is abandoned – was from the 1800’s, and the county did not originally own the parcel the cemetery is sitting on, but purchased it as part of the plans to replace the fire station.

“We looked at some of the options for how to place the station on the property, and there was [the] cemetery. It was abandoned. We’ve known that it was there, but it is kind of ‘hidden away’…there are not visitors to it, it’s an abandoned graveyard,” said McGee.

Potomac Local visited the cemetery and found that there were no headstones remaining, but there were some field stones, and that the ground had sunken in, in the areas where human remains are buried.

“When looking at the site, it was very difficult to locate a station without moving the cemetery,” said McGee.

Four options for the fire station

County documents show that there are four options for the new fire station – with ‘Option A’ being the preferred route, according to McGee.

‘Option A’ would build a new fire station next to the current station, and relocate the cemetery to another site on the property, according to county documents. This would fit into the $10.7 million budgeted for the project, by Prince William County.

‘Option B’ would entail rebuilding on the same location, using a temporary facility in the interim, which would cost an additional $1.2 million, stated county documents.

‘Option C’ would be to build a two-story station, which would impact response times – according to McGee – and cost an extra $888,275, stated county documents.

And ‘Option D’ would reduce the sound buffer area for nearby residents, by building around the cemetery, it would create a segregated access point for apparatus, and cost an additional $1 million, according to county documents.

Descendants, historical groups upset by plans to move cemetery

While McGee stated that the county wants to involve descendants of those buried in the cemetery in the process, and wants the relocation of the graves to be done in a respectful way, the Prince William County Historical Commission and descendants have expressed their concerns.

“The Historical Commission objects to [the preferred plan] as we feel there must be some alternatives to disturbance of the cemetery…one being a two story firehouse, which would be similar to the last five firehouses built in Prince William County, and the proposed firehouse for Bacon Race [Fire Station]. They’re arguing that two story firehouses actually have a problem with increased response time, which we could not understand, as to why it seems to be the preferred plan in the past and the present,” said Bill Olsen, a member of the Prince William County Historical Commission.

Olsen stated that cemeteries shouldn’t be considered ‘moveable’ sites.

“The discussion should be, ‘Is there justification for moving a cemetery’ which is not normally considered a moveable object,” said Olsen.

Susan Tansill, a county resident whose husband is directly descended from one of the families buried at the cemetery, stated that moving the cemetery is a bad idea. Tansill had spoken with the county after hearing about the possible disinterment.

“When I responded back to the [county] that we were really more interested in hoping that they would keep the cemetery intact, I didn’t hear anything back from the county…our family feels that it’s better to preserve the dignity of the deceased, and work around, what is obviously inconvenient, but a fact on the site, instead of digging them up,” Tansill said.

A public hearing about the fire station and the cemetery will be held on September 8 at 2 p.m. at the McCoart Building in Woodbridge. Following the public hearing, the board of supervisors will ultimately select which of the four options the county will pursue, to build the new Coles District Fire Station.

Prince William County Public Schools officials exhumed graves at the site of the future Charles J. Colgan High School, just across the street from the Coles District Fire Station. The remains dug up will be re interned at the high school site.  

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Fall for Manassas! So many great events happening this season

Manassas Fall Jubilee
Manassas Fall Jubilee
Manassas Dog-a-pool-ooza

Children are already back in school and now the sun sets earlier and earlier. Why does summer always go by so quickly?

Don’t lament digging out your coats and putting away your flip flops. With autumn comes plenty of festivals and events to get you in the mood for fall.

First Friday

To kick off September, there is a First Friday on Sept. 4. Enjoy the last of the warm weather by strolling the streets of downtown where you can enjoy live music, shopping, and dining from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Downtown.

Bridal Showcase

Here’s a gift to all the brides-to-be is a one-stop shop for bridal research. Discover what Manassas businesses offer that will make the wedding of your dreams at the Historic Downtown Manassas Bridal Showcase on Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Buy tickets.

Bands, Brews & Barbecue

How does a roasted porter with a vanilla finish or a seasonal ale with layers like a pumpkin pie sound? Sample the best beer that the region has to offer at Bands, Brews & Barbecue on Sept. 12 from noon until 6 p.m. Hourly BBQ pairings are featured in the VIP tent. Manassas Museum Lawn. Buy tickets.

Dog-a-pool-ooza

Cool off the dogs of summer at the Dog-a-pool-ooza at Stonewall Pool. The afternoon of Sept. 13 is the only day pups are allowed in the pool before it closes ($5/dog). Stonewall Park.

Greek Festival 

Interested in a Big, Fat, Greek Weekend? Visit the Annual Greek Festival on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the Taste of Greece and East the following day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opa! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Antique car meet

What’s more American than an apple pie? An antique car show! Come check out 150 four-wheeled beauties at the Annual Edgar Rohr Memorial Antique Car Meet on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s feature car is a 1941 convertible Buick Phaeton and you can watch a team assemble a Model T Ford. There is still time to register to show your car for a small fee. Manassas Museum Lawn. Free.

Rev it up

Enjoy more classic cars as well as food trucks, cold beer, and live classic rock music at Bull Run Rotary’s Rev It Up for Rotary charity event benefitting CASA, Habitat for Humanity, and BARN from 5 to 9 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Chili cookoff 

Nothing says “fall” more than chili! Don’t miss the annual Chili Cookoff on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Think you have the best batch? It isn’t too late to join. Enter as a professional cook, amateur cook, or nonprofit organization. Sampling starts after 1 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Latino festival 

Salsa your way to the Annual Latino Festival on Sept. 27 from noon to 5:30 p.m. You will find tons of games for children, tasty foods, piñatas, and live music and dancing all day! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Fall Jubilee 

Pick a perfect pumpkin at the Annual Fall Jubilee. Enjoy the crisp air as you browse cool crafts, play games, and enjoy live music on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Downtown. Free.

Open house 

On Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., swing by the City of Manassas Utilities Open House at 8500 Public Works Drive to enjoy free food, a huge pumpkin patch where you can pick out a free pumpkin, children’s activities, and a chance to check out the cool utility trucks. Free.

Farmers market 

Don’t forget the farmer’s market is still open on Thursdays in the Harris Pavilion and Saturdays in Parking Lot B from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up your favorite fall veggies before grabbing lunch at a nearby spot.

Man wanted for indecent exposure outside Woodbridge home

News

Prince William police are looking for a man, after he allegedly exposed himself in Woodbridge.

According to Prince William police, on the evening of September 2, officers were called to the area of Aurora Drive and Adams Street in Woodbridge to investigate an indecent exposure.

The victim – a 59-year old Woodbridge man – told officers that he saw a physical fight between an unknown man and woman outside of his home on Ashdale Avenue, according to Prince William police.

When the victim attempted to stop the fight, the unknown man became verbally aggressive, and exposed himself, making an obscene gesture towards the victim, stated Prince William police.

The man and woman left the area before police arrived.

Prince William police stated that the man is described as Hispanic, between 20 and 24 years old, 5’10” and 180 pounds. He was last seen driving a 2015 black BMW with unknown temporary tags, stated Prince William police.

Occoquan Craft Show coming Sept. 26, 27

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Fall 2015

Get ready for some fun at the Occoquan Craft Show.

The craft show – which is celebrating it’s 46th year – will be running September 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to Occoquan Craft Show Director Krista Forcier, more than 260 vendors will be exhibiting and selling items at the show.

There will also be art, music and food at the craft show, said Forcier.

More on parking for the Occoquan Craft Show:

There are four parking lots that visitors can use;  Vulcan Materials at 10000 Ox Road, Lorton, VA, the Tackett’s Mill Commuter Lot at the corner of Harbor Drive and Old Bridge, the 123 Commuter Lot at the corner of 123 and Old Bridge, and the I-95 commuter lot at I-95 and 123.  All parking lots will have continuous shuttles to and from the event for a $5 round trip fee.  Children 12 and under ride free. 

Several lanes closed after accident on Route 234

News

Several southbound lanes on Dumfries Road (Rt. 234) near Village Parkway are currently blocked, following an accident.

According to Prince William police, a vehicle struck a light pole, and the pole fell, blocking the roadway.

No one was injured.

One southbound lane on Dumfries Road is currently open to traffic, according to Prince William police.

Digital solutions company JTC expands to Fredericksburg, Richmond

  • JTC, Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct. #305, Manassas, Va.
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/
John Jewell is the president of JTC, Inc.

Jewell Technical Consulting will expand its market territory to include Fredericksburg and Richmond.

A Manassas, Virginia-based company, JTC, is the official IT provider of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and has long concentrated on the Northern Virginia market. The expansion marks the first time JTC has expanded into a new regional market.

Sowers

Sowers

Charles Sowers will lead the expansion and concentrate on growing the business in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Stafford areas in Central Virginia. Sowers will manage technical sales for JTC in these markets.

“I met Charles in 1995 when we were working on a project for Capital One Bank,” said JTC, Inc. President John Jewell. “We moved the bank from a Macintosh network and put it on a Windows network.”

JTC will market solutions to new customers in the medical and legal fields. The company will offer a wide range of solutions to include managed services of electronic medical records systems, disaster recovery, private cloud services, and IP telephone services.

“JTC Cloud is a private server. Unlike being on a Google, Amazon, or Rackspace server, we own the equipment, and our customers data is stored in a data center right here in Manassas,” said Jewell.

A large number of hospitals along the Interstate 95 corridor, and ancillary medical facilities that surround them made the area attractive to JTC. The expansion has been in the works for about a year, added Jewell.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Certified Partner.

Expect parking changes for Downtown Manassas in coming weeks

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Photo: City of Manassas

Parking changes are coming to Downtown Manassas.

According to Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince, following a survey given to residents and tourists in the area, the city will undergo some changes to parking.

More on the changes from a Manassas release:

This fall changes are coming to parking in and around the Historic Downtown area of the City of Manassas.  Improvements are already underway at City Hall and the Parking Garage.  Changes of note include:

Daytime public parking in the garage has been moved from Levels 4 & 5 to Level 2 for customer convenience. Level 2 will have both four-hour free parking and all day paid parking.  The entire garage remains free and open to the public on evenings and weekends and after 10 a.m. on weekdays.

Permanent closure of the Journal Messenger Lot (Lot I) for public use.

Additional public and downtown employee/resident parking at City Hall.

Lengthened hours for public parking at the Manassas Museum and City Hall.

Additional four-hour public parking in the Water Tower Lot (Lot B).

When all of the changes are put in place, parking will be more streamlined.  Parking lots on the north side of the railroad tracks and all on-street parking will have a two-hour time limitation. On the south side of the railroad tracks, near Prince William Street, public parking lots will have a four-hour time limitation. All permit and time restrictions will cease at 5 p.m.,MondayFriday, excepting Red Permit commuter restrictions that will end at 10 a.m. There will be no permit or time restrictions in effect on evenings and weekends.

As always, certain parking lots and on-street parking may be closed for special events or street cleaning. Always read the posted signs before leaving your vehicle.

All of these changes come as a result of citizen recommendations gained from an online survey of residents and visitors, and the parking task force made up of residents, businesses and city staff.  Task force information can be found atwww.manassascity.org/parkingTF.  For more information on permits, visit www.manassascity.org/parking.

Prince stated that the changes to the City Hall lot and it’s additional parking are already available, but there are not set dates for the other parking changes to take effect.

Man attacked during Manassas armed robbery

News

Prince William police are looking for two suspects, following an armed robbery in Manassas.

According to Prince William police, officers were called to investigate the robbery at Halterpath Trail in Manassas on the morning of September 1.

The victim – a 33-year old Manassas man – told officers he was walking when he was hit in the back from behind by an unknown object, which knocked him to the ground, according to Prince William police.

When the victim was on the ground, two unknown individuals kicked the victim and took his wallet before fleeing in a black vehicle, stated Prince William police.

The victim had minor injuries, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police are looking for the two suspects, described as male, between 18 and 20 years old, wearing black face masks. They were last seen wearing black clothing and construction type gloves, according to Prince William police.

Expansion readies BadWolf Brewery for local distribution

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Jeremy and Sarah Myers (left) own BadWolf Brewery.
BadWolf opened a new tap room inside a Manassas warehouse.
BadWolf opened a new tap room inside a Manassas warehouse.
BadWolf Brewery's first TV set arrives.

The goal for BadWolf Brewery: get its beer into every restaurant in Downtown Manassas.

The two-year-old brewery expanded to a new 6,200 square foot production facility and tap room in a warehouse complex on at 8420 Kao Circle in Manassas earlier this year. It’s “the next step up” in their game after opening the company’s original brewery on Center Street in Manassas.

Owners Sarah Meyers, 31, and Jeremy Myers, 35, and their nine employees will use the space to produce larger quantities of beer for with the goal of distributing it to local restaurants. The new facility also hosts events, and is a place where customers can walk in and buy a growler or keg for their parties at home.

Customers can also bring their own food to the new tap room — whether it be takeout or brought from home in a crockpot — and eat and sip on BadWolf beer.

“Manassas was ready for an eventual shift,” said Jeremy. “There was already so many great restaurants downtown, and the area was ready for a craft brewery, and we just happened to come in at the right time,”
The couple credits educated consumers who helped to build their strong local following.

“We live in cultured times when more people are asking questions about where their food comes from, where it’s made, what’s in it, and not just believing something that is crammed into their brain from a TV ad,” said Sarah.

BadWolf originally opened on Center Street in Manassas and quickly grew to be a local favorite. They Meyers’ wanted to open a large facility like the new one but couldn’t afford it.

BadWold eyed an old restaurant space for their expansion in the Tacketts Mill shopping center in Lake Ridge. But it would have cost too much to bring the Lake Ridge building up to current building codes, said Jeremy. Also, Prince William County did not allow small craft breweries in shopping centers at the time, but that has changed.

The company worked with a bank to secure a loan and then worked with Manassas City officials to find the new production house where they eventually located. The company plans to offer different experiences in their old and new tap rooms.

“We’ll do a batch of wild brews at the original brewery for those who want to mix it up, and then we’ll have the ‘safe zone’ here at the production facility for those who want the taste of something more familiar,” said Jeremy.

The brewery will next work to strike a deal with a beer distributor so its brews can be poured from taps in local restaurants. BadWolf’s two most-popular beers — “AK 47,” an Ameri-Kolsch style, hoppy-flavored ale, and its popular “Jesse’s Girl” amber ale is what they will pitch to Fredericksburg distributing company J.F. Fick.

The brewery also wants to bring in local restaurant owners to educate them on the beer making process. The new center also has yeast lab that will allow the company to harvest its own yeast. That key ingredient costs $300 per batch of beer brewed, and each brew nets 10 barrels of beer.

The couple will also add a new fixture to the new tap room: a 50-inch flat screen TV. UPS dropped it off on Tuesday and Jeremy helped unbox it.

“We always said we wouldn’t have a TV because we wanted people to come in and talk amongst themselves and interact. But people love to watch their games,” said Sarah.

The couple recently visited Old Ox Brewery in Fairfax County and noticed how many people came into watch baseball. That convinced them to order the new TV.

Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times for BadWolf Brewery. The brewery will see about 100 customers at the new tap house on these nights, and about half that number at their brewery on Center Street.

Since BadWolf opened its doors two years ago, Manassas has welcomed Heritage Brewery, and KO Distilling that will focus its efforts on producing spirits. In nearby Woodbridge, Onery and Growling Bear breweries have opened.

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