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Not since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001 has there been so much traffic at Manassas airport


MANASSAS, Va. — This is the most aircraft traffic the Manassas Regional Airport has seen for an inauguration event since the airport director Juan Rivera in his past 16 years working at the airport. 

Airport staff told Potomac Local the airport had 141 reservations for the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

PL: Why do you think this increase in reservations occurred? Marketing efforts? Word of mouth? 

Rivera: “I would like to say I definitively knew, more than likely a combination of both. The airport…[has] made an earnest effort to let people know that we provide excellent service and we are in close proximity to Washington, D.C.

Rivera: “We have 128 on the ramp, and approximately 45 drop and goes.”

“This is an increase in comparison to a regular day at the airport? I would say that over the past 48 hours our daily operations doubled. Increase vs. previous presidential inaugurations? I have been here for 16 years and have witnessed three inaugurations; this has been the most traffic we have seen for an Inauguration,” Rivera stated in an email. 

The last time there was this much traffic at the city’s airport was the three weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, we’re told.


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Don’t miss these Black History Month events in Prince William County


Celebrate Black History Month with Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division

Prince William County has a unique and extensive African American history that is preserved and interpreted through its surviving buildings. Enslaved African Americans worked at plantations within the county including Rippon Lodge and Ben Lomond. At Brentsville, both enslaved and free African Americans were placed on trial for various crimes, though they were unable to testify against their white neighbors.

Lucasville and the Barnes House preserve examples of how free African Americans built homes and communities to establish a life for themselves, and began to challenge racism and segregation after the Civil War in Prince William County.

Throughout the year, the community can visit Prince William County’s Historic Sites to learn about the African American experience in this region. Visitors may also join us in February as we celebrate Black History Month at many of our sites.

For more information, please call Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division at 703-792-4754.

Weekends in February
Lucasville School Open House

On Saturdays and Sundays in February from 11am-4pm, visit the only surviving building of the Lucasville community and learn about the people who were impacted this small, but significant, symbol of the community. With a special performance by the Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 11, at 11 a.m., visit the 19th century schoolhouse and learn surprising facts about African American history in Prince William County and the Northern Virginia region.

Each weekend, enjoy several different activities in the schoolhouse including tours, photograph exhibits, and crafts. Lucasville School is located at 10516 Godwin Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110; admission is free.

February 18
Every Day Full of Work: The African American Experience at Ben Lomond

During this special tour, explore the historic home and slave quarter to learn about the enslaved population living at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War. Visit spaces not ordinarily open to the public, and participate in hands-on activities to learn about some of the chores that enslaved men, women, and children were expected to complete.

Learn how, under slavery, they were forced to live emotionally and physically challenging lives in which freedom and choice were taken away. Tours will be offered on the hour from 11am-4pm. Ben Lomond Historic Site is located at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA 20109; admission is $5 per person.

February 25
Barnes House Hard Hat Tours

Get a hard hat tour of Prince William County’s newest “old” building. The Barnes House was the home to an African American family after the Civil War. Learn about the family’s amazing history during the Reconstruction-era and about the restoration of the building. This is a rare opportunity to see preservation in action!

Tours will take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Barnes House is located at the Montclair Community Library, 5049 Waterway Drive, Dumfries, VA; $5 suggested donation.

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    Smart Beginnings supports starting children off strong


    Many people can remember the days of working on reading skills in school and the wonderful adventures that opened as a result. But that’s not every child’s experience, because not every child is ready for Kindergarten. And it’s often not just about age or maturity. The fact is, children who enter Kindergarten healthy and ready to learn have better success educationally and as adults.

    Kendra Kielbasa, Director of Smart Beginnings of Greater Prince William (SBGPW), knows this and wants to make sure every child is prepared for a quality education. To do this, parents, caregivers, and educators need to start early.

    Crucial Needs of Children Ages 0-5

    According to Kielbasa, 90 percent of a child’s brain has formed by age five.

    “We need to get the word out and raise community awareness of the importance of early childhood,” said Kielbasa. “This is the time in which the foundation is laid for future learning.”

    A loving, secure environment where children are engaged and social-emotional bonds are formed with parents and caregivers has a profound effect on a child’s future, said Kielbasa. Unfortunately, underserved children in the community are found to have a 3-million-word gap compared to children that have access to strong social-emotional supports and quality early learning environments. This gap can mean the difference between successful learning and an environment that a child finds frustrating and inaccessible. Parents and caregivers should talk, sing, and read to young children every day.

    Kielbasa said that children in the literacy gap may need remedial care in other ways, too. Social-emotional bonding affects kids ages 0-5 and may be lacking for many reasons, putting children in a position to perform poorly in an educational environment.

    “Children that are consistently behind are often unable to catch up by grade three,” she said. “This inability to close the gap can lead to grade repetition, leading to higher incidences of expulsion, dropout or late graduation. Other social problems, such as health issues and criminal behavior, also are tied to the literacy gap.”

    Using the Tools

    SBGPW encourages routine screenings that address both developmental milestones and behavioral skills at key developmental increments. The sooner a delay is identified, the greater the opportunity for support and optimal outcome for the child, Kielbasa said.

    SBGPW encourages the use of these screening tools in childcare centers and health centers. They also partner with GMU MAPs clinic at Manassas Park Community center to provide screening to all children under age five.

    Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is a tool used to aid in finding literacy gaps. PALS is given to children at the start of Kindergarten to gauge which children have reading deficiencies, including number and letter recognition. The assessment is not about reading levels, but more about recognition issues that may lead to reading problems.

    Closing the Literacy Gap

    SBGPW has set three priorities to support kindergarten readiness: pre-literacy; high-quality childcare/early learning programs; and initiatives or programs that support health and well-being.

    Strong pre-literacy tools help children to be ready for school, and reading to children beginning at birth supports healthy brain development. That’s why SBGPW has distributed over 4,000 first books through the Books 4 Babies program at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center and Greater Prince William Community Health Center. It’s also the reason they support and partner with other literacy projects such as the Prince William Public Library System’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

    SBGPW is also supporting early childhood professionals who want to focus on continuous quality improvement for the children and families they serve. They provide critical professional development training in conjunction with NOVA-Manassas. They also offer an ongoing Director’s Forum for early childhood directors to collaborate, learn and obtain resources for their staff, families, and centers.

    Organizations interested in becoming a community partner should email Kendra Kielbasa at More information can be found at

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    ‘Back to the drawing board’: Should Route 1/123 interchange be reconsidered?

    Route 1-Route 123 Interchange similar to Wellington-Route 28 in Manassas
    bridge photo.

    Since 2011 there have been talks of an interchange at Routes 1 and 123 in Woodbridge.

    Prince William County resident Mark Scheufler sent this letter to Woodbridge District Supervisor, Frank Principi:

    Supervisor Principi,

    The initial Virginia Smart Scale Transportation rankings listed the Route 123/Route 1 interchange as the 286th highest in the state and 45th in Northern Virginia. It is not recommended for funding.



    I would strongly recommend going back to the drawing board and restarting the design of the interchange with a more pedestrian friendly urban design.

    Please consider implementing an interchange solution similar to the Route 28 overpass of Wellington/Norfolk Southern in Manassas.(Attached). This is quadrant interchange design. This was an ~$50 million project. This will help project scoring for future NVTA and Smart Scale funding rounds.

    General Recommendations for the North Woodbridge/VRE area:

    • Route 123 – 2 Lanes in each direction between Belmont Bay and Annapolis Way

    • Roundabout at Express Way and Belmont Bay/Route 123

    • Roundabout at Express Way and Dawson’s Creek (This would allow for a second left turn lane to Route 1 Southbound)

    • Minimize Dual Left Turn Lanes

    • Maximize Street Grid, Way finding Signs to divert traffic away from congestion points

    • Road Diet for Horner Rd and Occoquan Road (Similar to Lawyer’s Road in Reston) – One lane in each direction, middle left turn lane and bike lanes.

    • Roundabout at the intersection of Horner and Occoquan Rd. (Similar to Braddock and Pleasant Valley in Fairfax County)

    • Other than Route 1, “VDOT’s objective to move motorists through the area” should not be a priority”
    • Pedestrian overpass over Route 1 connecting to VRE with a mixed use parking garage

    • Pocket Track South of the Woodbridge VRE Station to Turnaround VRE trains (Contingent on Atlantic Gateway Rail improvements and Long Bridge) for all-day 15-30 minute service between Woodbridge and Washington DC. (Better than any Metro Station in PWC)

    • On-Demand Bus Service from Woodbridge for VRE stations from Rippon to Spotsylvania during off-peak/weekends

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    Police find kids, drugs, “deplorable” conditions inside Manassas area home

    Abdi, Mahad
    Clark, Makiya

    From Prince William County Police Department:

    On January 14, detectives from the Special Victims Unit began an investigation into alleged child neglect which was reported to have occurred at a home located on Alleghany Rd in Manassas. During the execution of a search warrant at the residence, evidence of narcotics use was located, in addition to, deplorable living conditions. Child Protective Services responded and removed three children, a 4-year-old boy, a 2-year-old boy, and 3-month-old girl, from the home. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Mahad Farah ABDI and Makiya Shaneeya Brenda CLARK, were arrested.
    Arrested on January 14:
    Mahad Farah ABDI, 37, of the 7500 block of Alleghany Rd in Manassas
    Charged with 4 counts of cruelty and injury to children and 1 count felony child neglect & abuse

    Makiya Shaneeya Bre CLARK, 26, of the 7500 block of Alleghany Rd in Manassas
    Charged with 3 counts of cruelty and injury to children and 1 count felony child neglect & abuse

    Court Date: Pending | Bond: Both Held WITHOUT Bond

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    Bystander wounded in gun fight

    Gates, Roy
    McQueen, JaShaun


    From Prince William County Police Department:

    Malicious Wounding | Shooting Investigation – On January 18 at 6:13PM, officers responded to the 3600 block of Wharf Ln in Triangle (22172) to investigate a shooting in progress. A short time later, a 20-year-old woman of Triangle was located suffering from a gunshot wound to the lower body. Responding officers provided immediate first-aid to the victim before rescue crews arrived on scene. The victim was flown to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is expected survive.

    Further investigation revealed that there was a fight in the above area. During the encounter, two men brandished handguns and began shooting at each other then fled the area. Officers later learned that a nearby residence was struck by a bullet resulting from the incident.

    Following the investigation, detectives with the Robbery and Gang Units identified the parties involved and obtained warrants for their arrests. One of suspects, identified as Roy Reginald GATES, was arrested without incident. Attempts to locate the second suspect, JaShaun Ervin MCQUEEN, have been unsuccessful.

    The investigation continues.
    Wanted: [Photo from September 2016]
    JaShaun Ervin MCQUEEN, 19, of the 18100 block of Kilmer Ln in Triangle
    Described as a black male, 5’08”, 170lbs with black hair and brown eyes
    Wanted for malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony

    Arrested on January 18:
    Roy Reginald GATES, 29, of the 18100 block of Kilmer Ln in Triangle
    Charged with reckless handling of a firearm and brandishing a firearm
    Court Date: March 7, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

    Pictured in order above:  Gates, and Mcqueen

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    Five-week sewer rehabilitation project begins in Triangle

    sewer rehab

    From the Prince William County Service Authority:

    The Prince William County Service Authority began sewer main rehabilitation work this week in the Oakdale Circle area off of Old Triangle Road in Triangle.

    The work is expected to take approximately five weeks to complete. Because this rehabilitation work does not involve digging up the road, there will not be a significant interruption to the flow of traffic.

    The rehab project involves lining the inside of the pipe with a hard, resin-like substance called Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) that prevents the intrusion of tree roots and adds decades of life to the sewer main.

    Last month, the Service Authority lined more than 6,800 feet of sewer main across Prince William County, and video inspected another 10 miles of pipe.

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    Sex assault victim found in Walmart dressing room

    From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

    On January 14, 2017 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sergeant D.R. Colona responded to a disturbance in the area of the Walmart at 217 Garrisonville Road. The reporting party stated a female friend was hiding in the woman’s dressing room in an attempt to elude a man who was “stalking” her. The caller contacted the Sheriff’s Office after receiving a Facebook message from her friend and further advised the man was driving a gold van.

    As Sergeant Colona arrived in the parking lot, he observed a gold Dodge Caravan and ran the vehicle tags which returned to a 2000 green Honda. A white male was sitting in the van. Sergeant Colona made contact and identified him as Patrick Stambler. Mr. Stambler advised that he was looking for a co-worker who he was giving a ride home. (more…)

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    ‘We believe this light will make the intersection safer’


    MANASSAS, Va. — A new signal light outside the Prince William County Fairgrounds near Manassas will help regulate the flow of traffic on Dumfries Road and Old Dominion Drive.

    The signal light sits near the new Bradley Square townhomes developed by Stanley Martin Homes and was erected by the developer. The new signal light is expected to be active within the next 45 days, according to Stanley Martin Homes spokesman Truett Young.

    Bennett Elementary School sits nearby, and the new light is expected to improve traffic flow to the school. Here’s a statement from Prince William County Pubilc Schools spokeswoman Irene Cromer:

    “Every light affects operations either positively or negatively.  The majority of our buses enter Bennett ES from Grant Ave onto Old Dominion Dr. and won’t be affected at all.  We believe this light will make the intersection safer for the one bus that turns there with students on board and so we believe its impact will be more positive than anything else.”

    In addition to installing the new signal light, Stanley Martin also paid to widen Old Dominion Drive to make it safer for school buses to use the road.

    The Prince William County Fair runs for a week each year in August, and without fail, county police are called to direct traffic in and out of the fairgrounds. The new light probably won’t change that, according to this statement from fair spokeswoman Chrissy Taylor: 

    “We will meet with our [Prince William County] police detail in the spring. Most likely, the light will be flashing and PWC police will control the flow of traffic as done in previous years.”

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