Woman bound, robbed, at Manassas area hotel


A female hotel employee was tied up during an armed robbery in Manassas.

According to Prince William police, officers were called to the Candlewood Suites on Balls Ford Road in Manassas early this morning.

The victim – a 32-year old Manassas woman and hotel employee – told Prince William police that an individual entered the hotel and demanded money, while showing a handgun.

During the incident, the individual brought the victim to a back room, where he tied her hands before fleeing the hotel on foot, with an undisclosed amount of money, stated Prince William police.

The victim was able to free her hands, and no one was injured.

Prince William police K-9 units and a helicopter were used to search for the individual, who has not yet been found.

The suspect is described as a male, between 30 and 35 years old, 5’11” and 250 pounds with black hair. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, a dark colored jacket, a black wool cap, gloves, boots and sunglasses, stated Prince William police.

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VDOT announces $18M project to make two I-95 exits safer

stafford backup i-95

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to make changes to I-95 exits in Stafford and Fredericksburg.

Using $18 million from VDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, improvements will be made to Exit 130 (Route 3/Fredericksburg) and Exit 133 (Route 17/Falmouth).

“Last fall, VDOT reviewed crash data on Interstates 64, 81 and 95 to find spot locations with elevated crash rates where these federal funds could be applied,” said Stafford spokeswoman Shannon Howell.

These two highway exits had crash rates above the statewide average, stated VDOT Communications Manager Kelly Hannon.

During the project, VDOT would make four major changes.

More on the proposed changes, from Kelly Hannon:

Extend the acceleration lane on the interstate for Interstate 95 northbound traffic entering from Route 3 westbound, giving them more time to merge.

Extend the ramp entrance lane on Route 3 westbound for traffic entering the I-95 northbound cloverleaf ramp.

Increases the number of lanes exiting Interstate 95 southbound to Route 3 westbound

Separate, free-flowing ramp lane (divided) leading to the Carl D. Silver Parkway entrance at Central Park. This seeks to reduce the vehicle weaving and conflict point at the end of the ramp today.

Triple (3) lanes on the remainder of I-95 southbound exit ramp to Route 3 westbound.

These lanes would make a slight right turn onto westbound Route 3, controlled by a traffic signal. On a green light, this would give traffic exiting the opportunity to enter Route 3 westbound without any traffic conflict, eliminating the weaving. We have a similar pattern in place for traffic exiting I-95 SB at Exit 143/Aquia.

Extends length of deceleration lane for I-95 southbound traffic exiting at Route 3 westbound.

 Route 17 – Extends acceleration ramp on the interstate for I-95 southbound traffic entering from Exit 133, prior to the Rappahannock River Bridge.

Currently the design for the project’s improvements is being drafted. Construction will begin in 2016, and will finish in late 2017, stated Hannon.

Car slams into Woodbridge 7-Eleven


7 Eleven crash in Woorbridge.
7 Eleven crash in Woorbridge.
7 Eleven crash in Woorbridge.

An Acura sedan slammed into the front of a 7-Eleven store.

The crash happened about noon on Tuesday at the convenience store located at 15621 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge.

No one was injured in the crash. A technical rescue team was called to the scene. There was no sign of structural collapse following the crash, said Prince William fire and rescue Battalion Chief Dewayne Spitzer.

Prince William police investigated the crash. A man pulled personal items from the trunk of the crashed car.

A 7-Eleven employee said she was not permitted to discuss the incident.

Haymarket bridge replacement underway


Old Carolina Road bridge
Old Carolina Road bridge
Old Carolina Road bridge

Work to replace the Old Carolina Road overpass bridge is well underway in Haymarket.

The new $2.7 million bridge will carry drivers on Old Carolina Road onto Jefferson Street in the town, over Interstate 66.

It will be two lanes, and will have shared use paths for bicycling and hiking to connect Piedmont and Somerset Crossing communities on the north side of I-66.

The bridge replaces an old two-lane bridge of the same name.

The new bridge is part of the Interstate 66 widening project that will add one new high occupancy vehicle lane on each direction on I-66, between Route 29 in Gainesville and Route 15 in Haymarket.

“This bridge is a critical artery to our town, and businesses in our town have been impacted since its closure,” said Haymarket Mayor David Leake.

Shops in the town have seen about a 30% reduction in revenue since the old bridge was closed and work on the new bridge began, said Leake.

During construction, drivers must use a the Route 15 bridge over I-66.  That route is congested during the morning and evening rush hours.

Haymarket will also maintain the new lighting that will be installed on the bridge. The lighting will be similar to the lighting scheme in the town, said Leake.

The new bridge is expected to be complete in spring 2016.

Also part of the I-66 HOV lane project, the Catharpin Road overpass is also being reconstructed as part of the project. Virginia transportation officials also estimate a spring 2016 completion date for that project.

Dumfries police host fifth ‘Kids Academy’

pic 2015 Kids Academy w.Dumfries Officers and Mayor Foreman (1)

Dumfries police want to educate kids and keep them safe.

The Town of Dumfries Police Department just wrapped up their fifth Kids Academy – a program started by Chief Dan Taber.

The goal of the program is to let children connect with police officers in a safe environment, and give them information on alcohol, drugs, cyberbullying and social media safety, according to a Dumfries police release.

More on the program, from a Dumfries police release:

This year’s academy also included demonstrations and presentations from the Prince William County Police Department K9, TTRU (“SWAT”), and Motor units.  Other County public safety agencies were introduced in this year’s academy so the kids could expand their knowledge and learn the different functions of, and interact with personnel from, the various agencies they see in Town.  Personnel from the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office, Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad Station 3 (DTRS), and Dumfries-Triangle Fire Station 3, interacted with the kids and discussed some of their duties.  Additionally, this year’s academy included a presentation and demonstration from representatives of an Army Ordnance Unit.

During one afternoon, the kids became “Junior Detectives” and worked to solve a crime scene that had been created while they were attending an outside activity.  An overview of the crime was presented to the entire group.  The kids then cycled through different stations to analyze pieces of evidence left at the crime scene to develop a suspect and solve mystery of what had occurred. 

The kids participated in several hands-on activities throughout the academy that included individual and group contests.

The Kids Academy was held at the Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Station 3.  This was the second year the DTRS has partnered with the Dumfries Police Department by allowing the Kids Academy to be held at their facility.  This year the DTRS also provided and prepared most of the food for the academy.

Heavy traffic expected for Quicken Loans tournament in Gainesville

122111 PWC police

The Quicken Loans National Tournament kicks off today at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Gainesville.

More than 100 PGA players, including Tiger Woods, were invited to come participate in the event.

The event is expected to bring traffic congestion on Route 29 in Gainesville.

Prince William police issued this statement:

Quicken Loans National Golf Tournament | Gainesville;
Motorists traveling in and around the area of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club off Lee Hwy and Jiffy Lube Live off Wellington Rd can expect increased traffic and possible delays starting Tuesday in through the weekend during the morning and afternoon commute. Officers will be on site at multiple intersections between both locations to assist with traffic issues. Golf tournament attendees will be directed to park at Jiffy Lube Live via Lee Hwy to University Blvd where shuttle buses will be used to carry them to the venue. Non-event attendees are encouraged to find an alternate route if possible to avoid delays in their commute. Use caution when traveling in the area and follow police direction.

Woman charged with DUI after fatal accident in Manassas


Prince William police have charged a Woodbridge woman with DUI, following a fatal car crash.

According to Prince William police, early in the morning on July 26, officers responded to a call for a single vehicle crash near Centreville Road and Rugby Road in Manassas.

At the scene, officers found that the driver of the vehicle – a 1996 Infiniti I30t – was traveling south on Centreville Road when the vehicle left the road and hit a utility pole, said Prince William police.

The driver and passenger in the vehicle were flown to a local hospital for medical treatment. The passenger – 56-year old Manassas man Ellery Penn – died at the hospital as a result of his injuries, according to Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that the driver – 45-year old Woodbridge woman Carroll Smith – is still in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

Following an investigation into the incident, Smith was determined to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Smith is being charged with driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license, stated Prince William police.

Stafford man shot with his own gun during fight


Last night, units from the Stafford sheriff’s office were called to a shooting.

According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, the shooting took place on Minniear Court.

Deputies on the scene found 31-year old Stafford man Timothy Phelps, who had received a gunshot wound to the leg, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

After an investigation, deputies determined that Phelps accused a female who was staying at his home of stealing personal items. When the woman returned to Phelps’ home with several friends, an argument took place, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

During the incident, Phelps and a friend of the female fought, before going inside his home and getting a shotgun, according to the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps approached the group and began fighting again, and a struggle for the shotgun ensued. This led to the gunshot wound in Phelps’ leg, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

The Stafford sheriff’s office stated another individual – 20-year old Brian Blair – grabbed Phelps’ shotgun and fired a shot at a vehicle, which ended up hitting a nearby home. No one in the home was injured as a result of the shot.

Phelps was transported to a local medical facility for surgery, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps is being charged with convicted felon in possession of a firearm, malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Blair is currently wanted by the Stafford sheriff’s office for charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting at a moving vehicle, and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Sentara merges with Pratt Medical Center


Sentara Healthcare merged with Pratt Medical Center.

Pratt serves 66,000 patients in Stafford, Fredericksburg, King George, and Dahlgren areas. The healthcare began looking for a new partnership last year.

“Sentara and Pratt share a common commitment to improving the quality of health care in their communities,” stated Stephen D. Porter, corporate vice president, Sentara Healthcare in a press release. “The more we discussed a partnership, the more our natural fit became apparent, with both cultures focused on quality, innovation and a commitment to placing the patient at the center of all we do.”

The new company will operate under the name “Sentara Pratt Medical Group.” Nearly 40 multi-speciality providers will work under the new name, according to a press release.

Patients will see few changes, according to Sentara spokeswoman Corianne Pafford: 

We expect few changes for patients. They are likely to notice some minor administrative changes, such as signage, web migration and email address changes over the coming months. Patients have also been informed to verify that their insurance will participate in the new group.

Overall, all locations (addresses) and phone contact will remain the same, as well as our collective commitment to quality care for the Greater Fredericksburg area.

Pratt’s facilities will add to Sentara’s healthcare portfolio which includes Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, formerly Potomac Hospital, and Sentara Lake Ridge.

Pratt Medical was founded in 1937 by Dr. Frank C. Pratt.

Sentara operates more than 100 healthcare offices and 12 hospitals. Sentara purchased Potomac Hospital in 2009 and then changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in 2012. Sentara Lake Ridge opened the same year.

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