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Dale City apartments evacuated, incendiary device found

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About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.
About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.
About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.
About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.
About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.
About 30 homes at Dale Forest Apartments were evacuated.

An incendiary device found at a Dale City apartment complex forced the evacuation of 30 homes.

Police were called to Westway Lane at the Dale Forest Apartment complex in Dale City about 4 p.m. Fire and rescue personnel were also called, and all of it was to investigate a reported HAZMAT situation.

No injuries were reported as result of the incident. Police assured residents that there is no threat to the public.

The evacuation sent residents into the streets during the late afternoon hours. Some stood and watched police as they questioned a man at the back of a police car.

When Potomac Local arrived to the scene, the man was placed into the backseat of a police cruiser and officers ceased their line of questioning.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee was called to the scene. Investigators are still working on the case, police said.

A resident who declined to provide her name was shaken by the incident.

“It doesn’t matter where you go, you’re not safe,” she said.

The Dale Forest Apartment complex dates back more than 45 years. The apartments are marketed to those who want to live in the Dale City, Woodbridge, Quantico, and Fort Belvoir areas.

Bullet hole found at Manassas area home

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The resident of a home in the 8500 block of Cabot Court near Manassas found a bullet hole in a wall.

Police were called to the home at 8:11 p.m. Wednesday after the homeowner found the damage.

The resident told police he heard a loud noise about 3:30 p.m. earlier in the day. He heard what sounded like a gunshot, according to police. No one was injured.

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Lake dam repairs underway at NOVA Woodbridge campus

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Crews drained a portion of the lake at Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus.
Students often sit on the patio overlooking the lake at the Woodbridge campus.
Water usually comes up to the walkway when the lake is full.
Crews will work to repair a dam at the lake.
Benches overlooking the lake at Woodbridge campus.
Woodbridge campus lake drained.
Wildlife is often seen at the lake.
An exposed pipe that drains into the lake.

A construction project to repair a dam at a lake on Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus is underway.

The lake was drained of most of its water earlier this year so repairs to the dam could be made. While some water remains in the lake, the water level is much lower than normal.

The lake is often used by science students at the school, and has been used for sporting practice and events.

Classes were first offered at the Woodbridge Campus, first dubbed the “southern campus” in 1972.

Water will be returned to the lake once repairs to the dam are completed.

Woodbridge man dies after hitting telephone pole in Triangle

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On March 17, Prince William police’s Crash Investigation unit responded to a call about a single vehicle crash near Graham Park Drive and Olde Port Lane in Triangle.

According to a Prince William police release, their investigation showed that the driver of the vehicle, a 2004 Nissan Maxima, was traveling on Graham Park Road at a high speed.

The Prince William police release stated that the car entered oncoming traffic and then veered off the roadway, hitting a telephone pole straight on.

The driver, Marvin Wayne Williams, a 56-year old man from Woodbridge, was taken from the scene of the crash to a local hospital, but he later died from his injuries sustained in the crash on Monday, said a police release.

Alcohol and drug use were not factors in the crash. The Prince William police release did state that the victim was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.

This is the first fatal car crash in Prince William County this year.

 

Community rallies around family of plane crash victims in Prince William

News

Emily Selke, a recent college graduate, dedicated scholar and active sorority member was among the 150 passengers that perished on the Germanwings flight on Tuesday.

Selke, who was on board the plane with her mother Yvonne Selke, was a graduate of Woodbridge Senior High School and Drexel University.

“Emily was a student at Woodbridge [Senior] High School. She was honored in 2010, as having achieved summa cum laude status…which means she’s very highly accomplished and had a minimum grade point average of 4.0…she went on to Drexel University after that,” said Phil Kavits, Communications Director for Prince William County Schools.

In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Selke was very active in the Gamma Sigma Sigma Zeta sorority chapter at Drexel University during her college years.

“Emily served as our membership VP while in Zeta and she was an integral part of our growing chapter. She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma. As a person and friend, Emily always put others before herself and cared deeply for all those in her life. Emily will be greatly missed by her fellow sisters of Zeta,” the sorority chapter said in a released statement.

Other community members have reached out to express their condolences and support for the Selke family, including Delegate Scott Lingamfelter.

“I want to express my profound condolences to the Selke family in this time of great sadness. This is a shocking tragedy that no family could ever be prepared for, and I cannot fathom the sorrow that must be felt by those who knew Yvonne and Emily. My prayers are with Yvonne and Emily’s family and friends,” Lingamfelter said in a release, continuing, “This is a sad day for the Prince William community, and I would ask that fellow citizens join me in prayer for the Selke family in their time of mourning.”

The facts related to the crash are still being investigated.

This morning reports came out that stated that the co-pilot may have deliberately crashed the plane, which was flying from Spain to Germany, into the French Alps.

According to coverage from the Washington Post, the recovered cockpit audio indicated that the pilot of the flight was locked out of the cockpit before the plane descended and crashed into the French Alps.

Additionally, the report states that the co-pilot made no response to the pilot banging on the door to be let back into the cockpit.

The Washington Post stated that there were no known links between the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, and any terrorist groups. The investigation into the cause of the crash and the circumstances leading up to it is still open.

Osbourn robotics team to present project at Recyclefest in Manassas

News

To celebrate the 45-year anniversary of Earth Day, the City of Manassas Public Works and Utilities Department is hosting a Recyclefest on April 4.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Manassas Transfer Station on Quarry Road in Manassas.

The Osbourn High School Robotics team will be showcasing their recycling project. The team is planning to compete in an international robotics competition, according to a release.

At the event, residents will be able to recycle items including household hazardous waste, electronic waste and used clothing. They’ll also be able to shred documents for free, as well as see craft demonstrations and enter a raffle, according to a release.

During Recyclefest last year, more than 400 residents attended, and the public works department was able to recycle more than 20,000 tons in four hours.

“Two billion people across 192 countries will participate in Earth Day 2015, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The City of Manassas is happy to be part of the celebration,” said Monica Boehringer, refuse and recycling coordinator at the public works department.

Stafford Sheriff’s office promotes 11 officers

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The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office held a promotion ceremony to acknowledge 11 officers that were promoted.

In attendance at the ceremony were Sheriff Charles Jett, Detective Sergeant Chadwick Oxley, Detective Sergeant Chris Cameron, Captain Shawn Kimmitz, Lieutenant Benjamin Worcester, Major David Decatur, 1st Sergeant Lance Barley, Sergeant Shawn Efimenco, Sergeant Michelle Gibbons, 2nd Lieutenant Lee Peters, III, 1st Sergeant Deuntay Diggs, Sergeant Dimas Pinzon, III and Sergeant Daren Volpe, Jr., according to Sheriff’s office release.

 

 

School board reverses decision on transgender student in Stafford

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Jonathan Adams is the parent of a transgender child who must use the mens staff toilet at Hartwood Elementary School in Stafford County.

Last night, the Stafford County School Board reversed an earlier decision to allow a transgender fourth-grade student to use the girls’ bathroom – even though the student is biologically a male.

The unanimous decision means that the individual, a student at Hartwood Elementary, now has to use a single-stall restroom, staff bathroom or the restroom of their biological gender.

The school board chamber was full during last night’s meeting.

Nearly two dozen people spoke on the matter — including the father of the student impacted.

School board chairwoman Nanette Kidby read the county schools’ non-discrimination policy aloud during the meeting, before opening it up for public comment.

The policy states that they will not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, political affiliations or disability.

“Title IX has been interpreted to require school systems to permit a transgender student to use the restroom consistent with the gender with which he or she identifies,” said Rick Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Human Resources for Stafford County Public Schools, stated in a letter.

Most of the people who spoke out against the school allowing the child to use the restroom of the biologically opposite sex wore large stickers on their clothing that said “Save Our Schools.”

The opponents mainly cited privacy issues and the safety of their children as reasons for not allowing people of the biologically opposite sex to share bathrooms, locker rooms, locker room showers or dressing rooms. Some speakers mentioned personal values as the reason for their objection.

“To have this forced upon us and have all of our values nullified is dangerous,” said Brian Bednar, continuing “We have male and female. We are all made that way.”

Prince William libraries host adult reading program, contest

News

The Prince William Public Library system is hosting a “Prince William Reads” for county residents over 18-years old.

The contest runs until March 31, and all residents need to do to participate is to read books and enter a weekly drawing at one of the county libraries, including Bull Run Regional, Central Community, Chinn Park Regional or Potomac Community library, according to a county release. 

“Adults … can read anything they want, any kind of adult fiction or non-fiction titles, or listen to them on … audio if they like. They would take a form and fill it out with every title that they read, and take it to one of the four full-service libraries,” said Sallie Tiso, the Adult Services Librarian at Chinn Park Regional Library in a release. 

Drawings are being held every Monday throughout the program, said a release.

“You can only win one weekly prize, but people should continue to submit because that will make them eligible for the grand prize drawing that will be held on March 31st. At that point, we put the entries for all the eight weeks of the contest together and pull grand prizes for each of the full-service libraries,” Tiso stated in a release.

The prizes for participants are $15 gift cards from area businesses, which are being provided by the Friends of the Library groups in the county. At the end of the program, there will be $25 grand prize gift certificates for popular restaurants in the area.

The program is being done as a way to promote reading among adults in the community.

“We hope to promote reading on the adult level and just to encourage that by giving prizes for reading. What could be better than that,” Tiso said in a release.

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