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Prince William Parks and Recreation to hire 40 people for summer camp programs Saturday

The Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting their second summer camp job fair this Saturday in Manassas.

The fair will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the George Hellwig Administrative Building on Bristow Road.

According to Lisa Herr, Children’s Program Manager for the parks department, the purpose of the job fair is to hire experienced staff for their upcoming summer camp programs in the county.

“We will be doing on-site interviews with different camp managers that will be on hand that day. We’re going to be hiring for head counselor positions, camp counselor positions, inclusion aids…and also specialty instructor positions,” said Herr.

The department plans to hire about 40 individuals and has a staff of about 80 overall that work on the summer programs. The wage range for the positions is $9.74 to $16.54 an hour.

In terms of qualifications, only those 18 and older can apply, and those applying for a head counselor position must be 19 and older, per licensing standards.

“Although our camps aren’t licensed by the state because we have an exemption – because we’re Parks and Recreation – we do follow all of the licensing standards,” Herr commented.

Additionally, counselors must have six months of relevant experience, and head counselors must have a year of experience.

The department hosts many camps throughout the summer, including outdoor adventure camps, traditional camp programs, sports specific camps and preschool camps for younger children.

“…We have seven to eight different camp locations throughout the county, so we have camps that are in the Haymarket and Manassas area, all the way to the other end in Woodbridge,” Herr said.

For parents interested in sending their kids to camp this summer, Herr stated that they have a variety of programs and price points, ranging $175-$215 per week.

“We try to mix up our camp menu, so there’s [a match] for everybody. Some people that don’t need a full day camp or can’t afford it, can do the partial day camps,” said Herr.

Herr said that applicants that plan to attend the job fair should submit their online application prior to coming on Saturday, and bring a printed copy of the application with them.

Dudenhefer speaks out against the 4% VRE Fare Hike

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) held a public hearing this week in Stafford to talk about a potential 4% increase in fare prices.

There were four attendees at the meeting to ask questions and express their opinions about the fare increase. 

The VRE released the list of submitted questions and statements from the meeting to Potomac Local, but answers to these questions will not be available until later, for VRE’s overall record.

One attendee that spoke out against the fare increases was former delegate Mark Dudenhefer. 

“The proposed fare hikes are expected to cost commuters more than $900,000. As the folks at the VRE work hard to keep cost down, and some factors out of their control like new regulations from our bloated federal government has caused a budget gap. If the state can approve over $700 million for construction of a new trolley car line in Arlington, they should cover this small amount,” said Dudehefer in a release. 

According to a release, Dudenhefer proposed three alternative ways to fund the increases in VRE’s costs, without increasing the fares for residents. 

He proposed finding funding in current allocations of transportation funds, a budget amendment to provide more funding to the VRE, and working with the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund to find more resources.

Dudenhefer is running this year for the delegate seat in the 2nd district.

Here are the questions and comments from the meeting:

Questions

Why does VRE subsidize the Step-Up ticket by $5?

Why is there a new Fredericksburg Line train?

Will the new train operate in the same window as existing trains?

Have the Class I railroads been cooperative in scheduling of the trains?

Will the increase help you speed up service or help you break even?

Are your fuel costs down?

Are you programming increases over the next few years?

Have you looked at peer commuter rail agencies and how they get dedicated funding for their operations? 

 

Comments

An extra $100 per year is a lot for me.  The commuter benefit helps but a four percent increase in fares is substantial to me.  I don’t get a four percent increase in my cost of living.

VRE is a fine service.  I would say perhaps you should not improve it any more.  I can’t even get a Free Ride Certificate any more since you are on-time so much.

Mark Dudenhefer of Stafford County objected to the fare increase.  He stated many folks are not subsidized and this is a hard hit to many people.  Non-government employees have taken pay cuts to keep their jobs.  He is upset over the reduction in state assistance to VRE while the state would provide $800 million for trolley service in Arlington.

You should not plan automatic increases when the economy is rocky.

I am opposed to the fare increase as it is a burden to passengers.  VRE needs a dedicated funding source otherwise we’ll be back here in two years.

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Manassas police charge Fabian Santiago with animal cruelty

Updated

Police in Manassas said they charged a dog owner who tied weights to the animal’s leg and made it walk down a sidewalk.

Here’s more in a police press release:

During the morning hours of February 28, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to Hood Rd in the area of Clover Hill Rd for a report of a man abusing his dog.  The reporting party told officers that the suspect had allegedly tied weights to the dog’s legs and had struck the dog while walking him that morning. 

Through further investigation, Animal Control Officers identified the suspect as Fabian SANTIAGO, 20, of 9802 Bragg Ln.  On March 5, 2015, officers charged SANTIAGO with animal cruelty.  He was released on his personal recognizance and has a pending court date of April 14, 2015.

Police said they will not release the whereabouts of the dog.

Boy Scout Troop 964 model train show to offer family fun, food, merit badges

Steves, auto, tire

On March 7 and 8, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Boy Scout Troop 964 will have our 17th annual train show. Every year we hold the model train show to raise the necessary funds for troop activities.

This year’s train show will be held at Saunders Middle School, the same place we held our first train show 17 years ago. Since then it has grown to entice train clubs and people from all around Virginia!

We will have layouts for every scale, from the enormous G to the miniscule Z.

Our largest layout is the HO layout, to which multiple modular model railroad clubs and groups contribute. The layout averages over 120 personal and Boy Scout modules, containing over 500 feet of mainline track.

It takes about 45 minutes for one train to go an entire circuit. The Prince William Model Railroad Club and several others from around the area all help build and maintain the layout. The track modules range from forests and valleys to big cities, from military bases to SpongeBob Squarepants’ Bikini Bottom.

Our other giant of a layout, and probably most popular train “scale” is the LEGO layout. A local club put together this wonderful layout made entirely from LEGOs. This layout is as diverse as LEGO itself. Full of working trains, imaginative stores, beautifully built houses, as well as Raptors, Spongebob characters, and robots trying to take over the world. Keep Reading…

Prince William students running out of snow days

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

Thursday’s snowfall broke records, and classes in Prince William County Public Schools were canceled yesterday and today.

Now, with spring on the doorstep and summer not far behind, many parents wonder how if their children will need to make up school days missed due to inclement weather.

This statement was sent out by Prince William County Public Schools on Wednesday afternoon:

As of March 5, we will have closed school 8 times and opened late 9 times. Given that PWCS began the school year with time above the state requirements, about 15.6 hours or just over 2.6 days remain available for weather closing/delay time before we fall short of Virginia’s 990 hour minimum requirement for instructional time.

The reason PWCS has additional time this year is because the School Board approved the addition of 10 minutes to the instructional day for the 2014-15 school year and beyond. This added an additional 30 hours to the 2014-15 calendar compared to previous years. If PWCS had maintained the previous instructional day, we would currently be more than two full day’s worth of hours below the state minimum and would already require make-up time.

The calendar has two remaining built-in make-up days: Monday, April 6—the Monday at the end of Spring Break—is designated on the calendar as a make-up day, as is June 19, the day after school ends, should these become necessary.

Bottom line: If  students don’t want to begin making up school days, they better start thinking spring.

Snow storm breaks records at airports, brings several inches to area neighborhoods

030614 march snow

Thursday’s snow was record breaking at all three Washington, D.C. area airports.

At total of 9.5 inches of snow fell at Washington Dulles International Airport, breaking the daily snowfall total at that airport set in 2001.

At Regan National Airport, 4.8 inches of snow was recorded breaking the old daily record of 4.4 inches set in 1888.

In Baltimore, 6.2 inches of snow fell breaking a the old record set in 1902, according to the National Weather Service.

The Washington area has recorded above average snowfall this winter. While winter was slow to bring snow to the area, 15.4 inches of snow have been measured at Reagan National and 22 inches of snow has fallen at Washington Dulles, according to the weather service.

Here’s a look at some local snow total as reported by the National Weather Service:

…CITY OF MANASSAS…
1 SW MANASSAS PARK 6.0 1022 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NE MANASSAS 5.4 445 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…FAIRFAX COUNTY…
HERNDON 9.0 525 PM 3/05 PUBLIC
1 NNE HERNDON 9.0 435 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE
1 NW FALLS CHURCH 8.7 630 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NNE RESTON 8.6 830 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 N RESTON 8.0 509 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE

…KING GEORGE COUNTY…
JERSEY 6.0 900 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SSE SHILOH 6.0 710 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY…
3 NNW WOOLSEY 7.3 557 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 ENE DUMFRIES 6.1 538 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
GAINESVILLE 6.0 559 PM 3/05 PUBLIC
1 W DALE CITY 5.8 725 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 WNW DALE CITY 5.3 804 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 ESE INDEPENDENT HI 4.8 850 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

…STAFFORD COUNTY…
2 WNW ARKENDALE 5.5 738 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 WSW SEALSTON 5.3 707 PM 3/05 OTHER FEDERAL
HARTWOOD 5.0 538 PM 3/05 NWS EMPLOYEE
STAFFORD 4.5 539 PM 3/05 TRAINED SPOTTER

Bundle up today as high temperatures are expected to only climb into the high 20s, but we’ll have some sun. Tonight, temperatures will fall back down into the mid teens with clear skies.

Saturday will bring partly cloudy skies with a high of 46 degrees and light winds increasing throughout the morning hours. On Saturday night, expect partly cloudy skies with low near 31 degrees.  

Closings and delays for Friday, March 6, 2015

Check back for the latest in closings and delays from Potomac Local.

Need to be added to the list? Let us know if you’re organization is closed or delayed by sending us a Tweet.

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PRTC service suspended, portion of Dale Boulevard closed

Poor weather conditions led to the closure of a portion of Dale Boulevard, between Gideon Drive and Birchdale Avenue on Thursday afternoon.

Prince William police warned drivers who were on the on the roads or thinking of venturing out into the winter mess to think twice.

The late winter storm also prompted the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission to suspend all services for the remainder of the day. The commission operates OmniLink local buses in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park, as well as OmniRide commuter buses.

Here’s a portion of the message PRTC sent to riders:

Based on the latest National Weather Service report and road conditions, ALL PRTC services are SUSPENDED for the remainder of today, Thursday, March 5.  The LAST Prince William Metro Direct and Manassas Metro Direct buses will depart the Metro Stations at 3PM.

For service on FRIDAY, MARCH 6, you can expect buses to operate regular service unless a new ESP message is sent out.

Emergency crews in Stafford County were also working accidents today:

More than four inches of snow has fallen in portions of Prince William County between noon and 2 p.m., according to the National Weather service.’

Here are some preliminary snow totals from the National Weather Service: 

...PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY...
   3 NNW WOOLSEY          4.1  1245 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER         
   GAINESVILLE            4.0  1243 PM  3/05  PUBLIC                  
   1 ENE DUMFRIES         2.0   150 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER     

...STAFFORD COUNTY...
   1 WSW SEALSTON         0.8   110 PM  3/05  COCORAHS         

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 9 p.m. Four to eight inches of snow is expected to fall from this storm.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall before 4 p.m. Cold daytime temperatures follow the snow on Friday as the mercury is not slated to rise above 30 degrees. Saturday is a bit warmer with partly sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 4os.

 

No changes to tax rate, increases in county salaries and schools proposed in Stafford

Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello presented his proposed fiscal year 2016 budget to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday.

Among the key points in the proposal were that no changes in tax rates were suggested. The real estate tax will remain at $1.019, the same rate as last year, according to Stafford County spokeswoman Shannon Howell. 

According to Howell, the average tax bill for a Stafford resident would be $2,731. 

“There is no change to the average tax bill because this year is not a [property] re-assessment year,” Howell said. 

Real estate taxes is the county’s main source of funding revenue.

Additionally a 2% raise for school and county employees, and more funding to the school system were proposed, according to county documents.

There were six areas that the board stated were a priority for this budget process – reducing the citizen’s tax burden, public safety, education, infrastructure, economic development and service excellence.

With the current budget draft, Romanello stated that the county would be looking to attain a AAA bond rating.

The spending not related to public safety in the county is $3 million less than in 2009, and the staff also made $3.4 millions in reductions and management additions. Keep Reading…

Volunteer fire chiefs uneasy over plan to use fire levy to pay career firefighter salaries

Volunteer fire chiefs weighed in a on plan to use $4 million from the county’s fire levy to pay the salaries of some career firefighters.

The majority of the volunteer chiefs who spoke to the Executive Committee of the Prince William County Fire Rescue Association. It’s the organization that binds and governs the county’s volunteer and career fire services, headed by the County Fire Chief Kevin McGee,

The majority of the volunteer chiefs expressed fears that county officials will raid the fire levy, traditionally used to pay for daily operations and equipment purchases at the county’s 12 volunteer fire stations and one rescue squad.

The fire levy is expected to generate $34.4 million in fiscal 2016. About $30 million of the fire levy revenues generated in 2016 will go to fund fire and rescue operations costs.

The fire levy has a fund balance of $77.8 million and has been used to cash fund county fire and rescue projects such as building new stations and buying new apparatus.

 

Chiefs fear county could become dependent on funds 

County officials say that shifting $4 million from the levy is a needed move to help pay the salaries of career firefighters, more of which are being added to staff stations during what are traditionally volunteer hours, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and holidays, because volunteer companies cannot staff them.

“The [Prince William County Board of Supervisors] feels that when there’s an emergency, citizens want someone to respond to the call, and they don’t care whether or not it is a volunteer or career firefighter,” Prince William Deputy County Executive Christopher Martino told the volunteer chiefs.

The volunteer chiefs agreed.  They also warned that a reliance on levy funds to pay for salaries could lead to a growing dependence on the fund. That could mean having the needed number of career firefighters to respond to calls but not having the cash on hand to replace aging equipment.

Keep Reading…

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