Manassas City businesses rise and shine at appreciation breakfast

B. Hayes Framme addresses the crowd.

Close to 100 people gathered at the Center for the Arts for the inaugural Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast where they celebrated the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business community. The City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to recognize local businesses.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II thanked the audience for choosing Manassas and “for all that you bring to the community.” Beyond creating jobs and boosting the local economy, he acknowledged the many business leaders who serve on boards and commissions and participate in the robust calendar of events.

See photos from the event

Those in the room took a moment to welcome the newcomers to downtown, which include Amy’s Bridal, Totally Vintage Designs, and Scatter Seeds as well as the soon-to-open Cut Rate Barbershop and Jitterbug ice cream shop. H Mart and Firehouse Subs, which recently opened on Liberia Avenue, were recognized as well. Dalena Kanouse, the CEO of MTCI Management and Training Consultants, Inc., and incoming chair of the Prince William Chamber, pointed out that her well-established company was once a newcomer to the City of Manassas. She told the tight-knit business community that MTCI moved from Dumfries to take advantage of the opportunities in Manassas and are happy to be here.

Existing businesses in the City are flourishing, too. Fauquier Bank relocated within the City to accommodate its anticipated expansion. Malone’s opened a second floor to accommodate their growing business. Another expansion in the City is Aurora Flight Science who are sub-leasing the airport’s FlightWorks hanger and envision creating 50 new jobs over the next several years. B. Hayes Framme, advisor for infrastructure and development for the Commonwealth of Virginia, acknowledged that most businesses have “Chief ‘Everything’ Officers.” He also identified high-growth opportunities in Virginia like cyber security and biotechnology and discussed incentives and policies that support job creation.

The City strives to create a business-friendly environment and is always interested in speaking to prospective business owners who wish to join this supportive community. For more information, call the economic development department at 703-257-8881.

There’s a new principal in Manassas

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The City of Manassas school board has appointed Kimberly Buckeit as the new principal of Metz Middle School in Manassas.

Buckheit is currently principal at a middle school in Maine – where she has worked since 2004, said a release.

More on Buckheit’s background from Manassas City Public Schools:

Prior to her current position, she served as an elementary school principal for five years. Additionally, she has experience as director of the Gifted and Talented program and an Affirmative Action Officer for the school district. Buckheit also has eight years’ experience as a behavior specialist in Baltimore, MD, and a behavior resource teacher for two years for Baltimore County Public Schools. She also has experience as an adjunct graduate professor at Goucher and New England colleges.

“I am excited to have Mrs. Buckheit join the Manassas City Public Schools family as the new principal at Metz. Her solid leadership background and focus on school improvement and student success will be an asset to our school community,” said Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk in a release.

Buckheit will begin working in her new role in July.

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Changes coming to Stafford commuter lot

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The Virginia Departmevdotlogo600pixelsnt of Transportation (VDOT) is proposing that new signs and a pickup area for HOV carpooling be added to the Staffordboro commuter lot in Stafford.

According to VDOT, the lot was observed and there was a survey given to users of the lot that slug using the HOV lanes that helped them to determine that changes needed to be made.

Here are the improvements proposed by VDOT:

Destination signs for the Pentagon, Crystal City, and Rosslyn lines

New, separate HOV carpooling pickup area for Rosslyn sluggers

Crosswalks spanning the lot’s central access road

View an online map of the proposed changes 

“We received more than 60 responses to our online survey about slugging and congestion near the HOV carpooling area. Many commuters requested better signage to identify HOV carpooling destinations, and suggested space for an additional HOV carpooling pickup area in the Staffordboro lot. We have proposed these changes to provide better direction in the lot, and to reduce minor congestion in the HOV carpooling pickup line,” said Sean Nelson, VDOT Fredericksburg Residency Administrator, in a release.

Stafford will dedicate reservoir to honor fallen deputy

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On May 29, Stafford County alongside the Stafford sheriff’s office will hold a ceremony to dedicate the Lake Mooney Reservoir to the late Stafford Deputy Jason Mooney.

According to a release, Mooney was killed in an accident on I-95 after responding to an emergency call on duty in October 2007.

Mooney was a Colonial Forge High School graduate, a Marine, and a former Stafford firefighter, said a county release.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors made the decision to name the reservoir after Mooney in 2014.

More on the plans for the reservoir, from the county:

The reservoir, formerly called Rocky Pen Run Reservoir, was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1992 and later, permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2006. The reservoir was created by the construction of a dam that rests 2,000 feet upstream at the mouth of Rocky Pen Run which is north of the Rappahannock River. Completed in 2014, Lake Mooney holds 5.54 billion gallons of water at full elevation within a surface area of 503 acres. The dam is 118 feet in height and 1,200 feet in length.

The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., is open to the public.

The lake will be opening on Memorial Day in 2016, and will have a boat launch and sites for canoeing and fishing.

Woodbridge man charged with dealing ecstasy

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On April 16, Prince William police arrested 29-year old Woodbridge man Robert Cain in relation to an investigation of ecstasy distribution.

From January through April, Cain met with an undercover detective in Woodbridge, Dumfries and Dale City to perform transactions with illegal narcotics, said Prince William police.

During the transactions, Cain sold the detective a felony quantity of ecstasy, leading to his arrest, stated Prince William police.

Cain is charged with distribution of a Schedule I or II narcotic.

Manassas Olive Oil Company opens for business

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Olive Oil Tasting Galley Opens in Manassas

Manassas Olive Oil Company, located at 9406 Grant Avenue in Manassas, has opened its doors for business.

The store is an independent, family owned ‘tasting gallery’ with over 45 flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We carry freshly pressed, ultra-premium olive oils from all over the world and both white and dark aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy.

The shelves in the store are lined with stainless steel fustis (tanks), where you can sample each one. The tanks keep the oil and vinegars fresh. Bottles are filled daily and to order, and patrons are encouraged take the time to taste and enjoy, before choosing.

You will be amazed by the flavor of the ultra-premium extra virgin oils, currently coming from Spain, Portugal and California, and the delicate infused blended oils of basil, garlic, chipotle, and Tuscan herb.

You’ll find the classic flavors of fig, black cherry, raspberry and Vermont maple among the dark balsamic vinegars, as well as espresso, strawberry, and dark chocolate. White balsamic vinegars include lemon, grapefruit, peach, and coconut. We also carry gourmet specialty oils, including white truffle, sesame seed, and butternut squash seed oil.

This unique shop also offers a variety of exotic sea salts, seasonings, Himalayan salt bricks, handmade pottery, gift baskets, and original oil paintings. Please come in, meet us and have fun sampling our products. We can help assist you in finding the perfect oils and balsamic vinegars for you or for that special gift.

Hours are Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What can I do with PotomacLocal.com?

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In addition to seeing news about what’s happening in your neighborhood, here are some other great features on PotomacLocal.com:

 

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See the new traffic pattern at I-66 in Gainesville

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Traffic exiting Interstate 66 west for Route 29, and drivers traveling Route 29 south woke up to a new traffic pattern this morning.

A newly opened bridge now carries drivers exiting the Interstate highway and Route 29 over a railroad. Drivers exiting Route 66 head to Route 29 south toward Warrenton and Charlottesville are urged to keep left on the new ramp and bridge.

The new bridge also carries drivers headed for Haymarket via Route 55, and drivers headed for Linton Hall Road.  Drivers headed in that direction are urged to keep right on the ramp and bridge.

The work is part of a $230 million project that puts new infrastructure in place in the busy section of Gainesville. It eliminated the need for drivers to drive over a set of train tracks that crossed Routes 29 and 55.

Virginia Chamber of Commerce economic forecast mixed

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Barry DuVal, Virginia, business

The future of Virginia’s economy looks much different from its recent past.

Virginia, a state traditionally reliant on government jobs, is seeing fewer of them due to spending cutbacks and sequestration. That prompted Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry Duval to visit Manassas on May 20, where he provided business owners an outline of what to expect as the economy improves.

What’s holding the state’s economy back? Projected slow job growth and competition from other, comparable southern states, said Duval, the former Mayor of Newport News and a self-proclaimed “recovering public official.” Duval said Virginia’s entrepreneurial spirit, access to international markets through an airport like Dulles International, and an educated workforce would make the state competitive in the coming years.

“You will not find a region in the world growing and prospering without an institution of higher education,” Duval told a crowd gathered for a Prince William Chamber of Commerce event held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

He called George Mason University – the agency that operates the Hylton – key to the success of the region. He also said the partnership of the university, Prince William County, Manassas City, and the private organizations that utilize the Hylton, a shining example of what success looks like the new economy.

Pro-business policies that have taken hold in the state continue to attract small shop owners to the area, he said.

“You don’t have to go too far north of the Potomac River to find businesses in states suffering from ‘non pro-business’ policies,” said Duval.

The Federal Government can help spur growth in Virginia by creating a new energy policy, promoting free trade, and improving the national transportation infrastructure, said Duval.

Two house fires displace residents in Prince William

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There were two home fires this week in Prince William.

On the evening on May 25, Prince William fire and rescue were called to a fire at a single-family home on Edmonston Drive in Manassas.

When Prince William fire and rescue arrived, they saw a fire on the rear deck of the home.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire, and no one was injured.

Prince William fire and rescue have estimated damages at $7,000.

Another fire took place in the afternoon on May 26, Prince William fire and rescue were sent to a fire at a two-story townhome on Larkin Drive in Woodbridge.

When firefighters arrived at the townhome, they found the fire at the back of the home, and were able to put it out. No one was injured.

According to Prince William fire and rescue, two adults and four children were home at the time of the fire. They were able to safely evacuate.

Prince William fire and rescue estimated the damagers at $50,000. Keep Reading…

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