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Happy Thanksgiving from Potomac Local

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is “how much does it cost to subscribe to your online newspaper?”

Most of those who ask this question are residents of our community, and business owners who are learning about Potomac Local for the first time. My reply is always the same.

“Absolutely nothing,” I say.

And it’s usually followed with this comment:

“More than a newspaper, we like to consider ourselves an online community news resource published daily.”

For the past four and a half years, I, along with so many others, have worked to grow Potomac Local into what it is today – a widely read, community-focused news and features publication that has laid the groundwork for independent local news in our community.

We couldn’t have done it without you, and this time of year we like to say thanks. Thanks for coming to us daily to find out what is happening in your neighborhood. Thanks for trusting us to bring you stories about your local government, your children’s schools, and what is being done to fix your traffic-clogged commute.

And, thank you for supporting the advertisers who support Potomac Local. Those advertisers help put food on my family’s dinner table and ensure the lights, and our website, stay on.

Potomac Local will continue to be free for the foreseeable future. All of us in the news business are looking for ways to sustain and grow our business models, but few have found success in charging readers for access to news content.

As we enter the bustling holiday season, we’ll continue to work to provide you relevant news and information about where we live. This area has been my home nearly all of my life, and it will always be a privilege to work for you and cover my hometown.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Fryers Pose Thanksgiving Fire Danger

Turkey fryers are known for making a delicious bird with a juicy, tender inside and crisp outside.

They’re also known for causing fires inside people’s homes. Experts say there are rules to follow when using turkey fryers that will help keep you and your family safe.

Never put too much oil in a the pot, never let the oil overheat, never try to cook a frozen turkey in the fryer, keep the fryer at least 15 feet away from a house, as well as away from children and pets, said Prince William fire and rescue Battalion Chief Thomas Jarman.

If the oil in the fryer becomes overheated it can combust, so it should be watched at all times. If you have an older fryer, consider a newer model.

“If you have an old fryer, one that’s older than five years old, get a new one. The new ones have safety devices to prevent … disasters,” said Jarman.

When placing the turkey into the fryer, lower it slowly to prevent burns, and make sure your bare skin is covered to prevent injury. If the fryer begins to smoke, turn it off immediately.

“Don’t compromise your safety and the safety of those you love just to achieve a better tasting turkey,” said Allstate Insurance spokeswoman Debbie Pickford.

Frying poses the greatest risk of fire, and Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires inside homes, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

 

 

Potomac Local Wants You To Know

Kids Pics Wanted for SERVE Charity Calendar

serve charity calendar

Pack N Ship owner printing charity calendars to benefit SERVE 

When he bought Pack N Ship Store, the first thing he wanted to do was give back.

Liam Hainsworth came to the U.S. and purchased the packaging store inside the Aquia Park shopping center on Route 1. A native of England, Hainsworth was told a story about a local family that went without fresh water or electricity inside their home for three months.

Then he learned about SERVE, of Stafford, a non-profit agency that runs a food pantry, provides financial assistance to families in need, and also provides cut firewood for those who need it, from his assistant Regina Dick. SERVE provided assistance to the needy family. 

Then Hainsworth came up with the idea: Print a calendar with photos drawn by local children, featuring SERVE’s contact information on all of its pages, to benefit the non profit.

“As Christmas is around the corner, it’s sometimes easy to forget that families within Stafford will struggle to bring food to the table, and this is something we aim to address in our charity calendar campaign,” said Hainsworth.

Now through Sunday, Nov. 30, Pack N Ship store is now accepting hand-drawn pictures to be judged for submission into the 2015 calendar. The pictures should be drawn on 11 and a half inch paper, have the child’s name, age, and address printed on the back. A total of 12 photos will be chosen for the calendar.

“When people see calendar people see us all the time, we need awareness all the time,” said Marilyn Stevens, who runs the SERVE program. “We’re going to be seen 365 days per year on the calendar, and you can’t get any better than this.”

Stevens said she jumped at the chance to participate in the charity calendar project. When they’re printed, SERVE will distribute them to area Rotary and Lions clubs as well as Boys and Girls Scout troops.

Pack N Ship Store is located at 2796 Jefferson Davis Highway, #111 in Stafford.

Hainsworth purchased the Pack N Ship store on Oct. 1. 

Arevalo-Manica Faces Sex Assault Charge

A 29-year-old woman was sexually assaulted inside a home near Manassas, police said.

Here’s more in a press release from Prince William police:

Sexual Assault Investigation – On November 22nd at 3:54AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 7200 block of Royal Fern Cir in Manassas (20111) to investigate a sexual assault. The victim, a 29 year old woman of Manassas, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused physically and sexually assaulted the victim. After the altercation, the accused left the home and the victim contacted police. The accused was located and detained by officers. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on November 22nd:

Nestor Alexander AREVALO-MANICA, 34, of 4218 De Haven Dr in Chantilly

Charged with object sexual penetration

Court date: pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

 

Wall Elected Chairman of Flory Center Board

Marion Wall Welcomes John Gregory to the Board of Directors for the Flory Center.

The Flory Small Business Center has elected a new Board Chairman to lead the organization.

The following is a press release from the Flory Center:

Marion M. Wall, owner and CEO of the Potomac Wall Insurance Agency in Quantico, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. Mr. Wall previously served as Vice Chairman of the Flory Board and was elected Chairman following the death of former Chairman Joe France.

The Flory Center’s President and CEO, Linda Decker remarked, “We are very fortunate to have Marion serve as our Chairman. His strong commitment to the Flory Center over the past 23 years has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing to work collegially to serve existing businesses and “start ups” in the region.

Mr. Wall is a longtime board member of the Sentara Potomac Hospital Board, where his work has been recognized with the Matthew F. McNulty, Jr. Award.   This award, created by the Executive Committee of the Healthcare Council of the National Capital Area, annually honors an outstanding leader who has made significant contributions to the region’s healthcare field.

Currently, Mr. Wall is Chairman of the Potomac Health Foundation, which provides grants to local organizations to better meet the growing healthcare needs of our community.

A former member of the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority, as well as the Prince William County Service Authority, Mr. Wall has deep roots in the regional community.

The Flory Board also elected John Gregory, Founder and CEO of Gregory Construction to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gregory, a lifetime resident of Manassas, currently serves as Vice Chairman of the City of Manassas Economic Development Authority.

He founded Gregory Construction, Inc., a design build firm in Manassas, in 1954 and continues to serve as CEO of the firm. Gregory Construction has played a vital role in shaping the landscape of Manassas, Prince William County, and the surrounding region.

A benefactor of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, the Gregory Family Theater is named in honor of his late wife, Angela and his late son, Scott.

Mrs. Decker noted that “the Flory Board and staff are pleased that John accepted our invitation to join the Board. He brings a wealth of private sector business experience to the position. Our former Chairman, Joe France often commented that John contributed greatly to the sound decision making process in the many organizations in which he served.”

The Flory Small Business Center, Inc. is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to business development, retention, and expansion. The Center’s active Board of Directors is composed of distinguished business people who work and reside throughout the Center’s service area. In addition to Marion Wall and John Gregory, the Center’s Board is composed of Vice Chairman, Pat O’Leary, Esq. of Woodbridge, Secretary, Mayor Frank Jones of Manassas Park, Treasurer, Steve Dawson of Catharpin, Assistant Treasurer Col. Frank Mejia of Woodbridge, and Brian Gordon of Dumfries. Col. Mejia is Chairman of the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Mr. O’Leary, Mr. Dawson, and Mr. Gordon serve on the IDA’s Board of Directors.

Funding for the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. is provided by the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority, Prince William County, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The Center has been a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) since its inception in 1991.

If you have questions or would like more information on the Center, which is located at 10311 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, please call 703-335-2500.

 

 

 

Police Search for Fast Fuels Robbers

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Prince William police are investigating a robbery that occurred at a gas station at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Route 123 near Occoquan.

Here is more in a press release from Prince William poilce:

Armed Robbery – On November 23rd at 6:16PM, officers responded to the Fast Fuel Service Station located at 1320 Old Bridge Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that three unknown men entered the business and approached the counter. Two of the men display handguns while the third took money from the register and a purse belonging to an employee. Following the encounter, all three men fled the store on foot. No injuries were reported.

Suspect Descriptions:

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 5’10” with a thin build

Last seen wearing a black HH winter coat with a hood, tan brown pants and black & white shoes

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 6’0” with a thin build and short dreadlocks

Last seen wearing a black hooded jacket over a green hooded shirt and blue jeans

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 5’8” with a medium build

Last seen wearing a black long coat, red shirt, black mask and tan work boots

Potomac Local Pets

apollostarlalost-george

 

Apollo

Apollo is an adorable 5 month old, male Jack Russell Terrier. This playful boy is already leash trained, crate trained and up to date on his shots. Help him find his forever home today!

Starla

A beautiful, brown tabby, Starla is about 6 years old and a little love bug! When this sweet girl isn’t curled up on your lap, she loves regular play sessions. She adores other laid back cats and we think she’d be a fantastic ‘older sister’ to any young kitty. Starla is spayed, fully vaccinated and FIV/FeLV negative.

STAFFORD/FAUQUIER COUNTY, VA–LOST MALE DOG
Our George is still missing! He is a neutered male,  all black male with white in his muzzle due to age. He is 9 years old. He was last seen at corner of Heavenly Lane and Chimney Lake Lane on Saturday, 11/15, between hours of 6-8AM. He is very friendly and well trained – Good Canine Citizen and a Certified Therapy dog. Please call 540-270-0667 if you have any info. on George.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals listed above.

Winter Advisory Issued for Prince William Ahead of Storm

Prince William County and the Greater Manassas area is now under a winter weather advisory as approaching Thanksgiving storm could bring a mix of rain and accumulating snow.

Here’s the latest from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TO 6 PM EST
WEDNESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 8 AM TO 6 PM EST WEDNESDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS…2 TO 5 INCHES IN THE FAR NORTHERN AND WESTERN
SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE. A COATING TO AN INCH NEAR
INTERSTATE 95.

* TIMING…RAIN WILL CHANGE TO SNOW BETWEEN 8 AND 11 AM WEDNESDAY
MORNING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL OCCUR THROUGH 2 PM WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON. SNOW WILL TAPER OFF LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.

* TEMPERATURES…LOWER TO MIDDLE 30S.

* WINDS…NORTH BECOMING NORTHWEST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND
20 MPH.

* IMPACTS…ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY…MAINLY
ACROSS THE FAR NORTHERN AND WESTERN SUBURBS OF WASHINGTON AND
BALTIMORE. SNOW WILL ALSO REDUCE THE VISIBILITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE
TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED
VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

A winter storm watch for counties to the west, including Fauquier County, has been upgraded to a winter storm warning. They could see four to eight inches of snow from this system.

The storm will impact our area on the busiest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving. More than 1 million people in the Washington area were expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this holiday to visit friends and family.

Stafford Renews $14K per Month Court Docs Contract

There is money to be made in the business of courthouse documents.

Stafford County renewed its contract with Logan Systems, Inc., where the county pays the company $14,000 per month for the outsourced electronic record conversion services for the county’s Circuit Court, where land records are kept for the public.

State law requires information such as social security numbers be redacted from all electronic land documents, electronic records of deed books, wills, and plats all be kept electronically, and all electronic images are indexed to be filed in the Virginia State Library, according to county documents.

The monthly rate has not increased since Stafford County entered into a contract with Logan Systems seven years ago.

The Stafford County Clerk of the Circuit Court operates on a $1.5 million annual budget, according to the county’s annual budget. The payment to Logan Systems is about 11% of the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s annual budget.

Stafford’s neighbor to the north, Prince William County, spends a total of $1 million of that county’s $3.8 million Clerk of the Circuit Court budget is allocated to records management. Spotsylvania County to the south operates its Clerk of the Circuit Court on a $904,000 budget.

City Mayor’s Vote Must Break Tie on Manassas Station Rezoning

A rendering of what Manassas Station condos would look like from Prince William Street.

Few spoke in favor of rezoning

The City Council is split on the decision to approve a rezoning for 140 new condominium units to be built at the corner of Tudor Lane and Fairview Avenue.

Parrish

Parrish

It’s now up to Mayor Hal Parrish II to decide, and that won’t happen until at least Dec. 15.

The condo project, dubbed Manassas Station, is proposed by the same developer of Historic Courts of Manassas, another condo development in the city. The building, if approved, would bring more people to live in the Old Town area of Manassas.

The building would sit at the location of the former ABC Photo and Imaging Services building. The Council must decide to rezone the land that old building, now vacant for years, from an industrial use to residential. Councilman Mark Aveni motioned to deny the rezoning and received support from fellow Councilmen Andrew Harrover and Mark Wolfe. Councilmen Ian Lovejoy, Jonathan Way, and Steven Randolph voted no on the motion to deny.

The Mayor is a tie-breaking vote, but he decided to delay his vote until December. If he votes yes, the rezoning is denied, and the project dies. If no, the motion to deny the rezoning is defeated, but someone else on the Council must motion to approve the rezoning for the project to move forward.

“What a tangled web we weave,” quipped Parrish.

“I’ve heard people say it’s too big, it is urban, and it’s not proportionate to other buildings downtown,” said Councilman Jonathan Way, who is in support of the project. He said the building would bring a “blended mix” of urban and mixed uses to the Old Town area.

A public hearing on the project was continued from a City Council meeting held on Nov. 17. Few people who spoke at the City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 24 were favor of the project.

Those opposed to the new condo building cited traffic concerns for the area as well as potential school overcrowding. Others said the building doesn’t fit with what has traditionally become known as Old Town Manassas.

Twice denied by the city’s Planning Commission, the city’s development staff approves of the project and said it fits within the master plan for the development and redevelopment of Old Town Manassas.

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