42°

Light Rain Fog

Wed Thu Fri
It is forcast to be Rain at 7:00 PM EST on March 04, 2015
Rain
46°/31°
It is forcast to be Snow at 7:00 PM EST on March 05, 2015
Snow
32°/7°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM EST on March 06, 2015
Clear
30°/9°

Closings and delays for Mar. 4, 2015

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

 

Bumper sticker blues for Dumfries Democrat Derrick Wood?

wood

Derrick Wood is running to unseat longtime Prince William County Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan.

Wood is a Dumfries Town Councilman, and the Council spent some time Tuesday night discussing a campaign sticker affixed to the top of Wood’s laptop computer. Wood used the laptop during the televised Feb. 17 meeting of the Council, and that sticker was clearly visible to the cameras.

While a Dumfries Town Council meeting doesn’t bring in the same kind of TV ratings as, say, American Idol, there were some questions about the appropriateness of the campaign sticker that was displayed at the public meeting.

“Council should be reminded not to use the town meetings and council resources to advance a political agenda… I asked Councilman Wood how he would like to proceed… to give me a call to talk about it…” said Mayor Jerry Foreman.

Following the Feb. 17 meeting, Foreman sent an email to Wood, which he read a portion of Tuesday, referencing the bumper sticker and demanding a phone call to talk about it.

That call never came.

“I did not respond to you due to the tone of your email saying you ‘expected’ a phone call from me, knowing the phone works both ways,” Wood responded.

Vice-Mayor Willie Toney agreed with the mayor and urged the Council move on to other matters.

“When you put out the email you, you were spot on. I don’t think this is the appropriate time to discuss something that is to appease you,” said Toney.

That was followed by several outbursts from Councilwoman Helen Reynolds demanding the Mayor to “stop talking” and move on to other issues.

Foreman  once again called for the adoption of a code of conduct for Town Council members. Dumfries Town Attorney Oluan Simmons on Wednesday confirmed there is no such document on file that governs the conduct of elected officials in the town.

Councilwoman Gwen Washington urged the council to take up the matter again away from TV cameras during a closed session.

“I don’t see this is a closed session discussion,” said Councilman Cliff Brewer. “We need to have some kind of rules in place so this doesn’t happen again by anyone, whether it be this council or a future council.”

Before Wood can run against Caddigan, he must first win an Primary Election facing fellow Democrat Andrea Bailey, who currently holds no public office.

Potomac Local Submitted News
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Nokesville man arrested in Woodbridge for indecent exposure

Yesterday afternoon, Prince William County police officers responded to a call in Woodbridge in relation to an indecent exposure.

According to call made to police, the suspect, Paul Arthur Cocca, was sitting outside of a hair salon, exposing himself to employees. 

Cocca fled the scene prior to the officers’ arrival, but located his vehicle near Minnieville Road and Summit School Road and made an arrest. 

He is currently being held without bond.

More from a Prince William County Police Department release:

Indecent Exposure – On March 3rd at 1:28PM, officers responded to the 12700 block of Darby Brooke Ct in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate an indecent exposure. The caller reported to police that an unknown man was sitting on a sidewalk, outside of a hair salon, exposing himself to employees through a window. The caller contacted police and the man fled the area prior to police arriving at the business. Witnesses were able to provide officers with a description of the vehicle that the suspect was last seen driving. Officers located and stopped a vehicle matching the description in the area of Minnieville Rd and Summit School Rd. Through the investigation, officers positively identified the driver as the accused and further determined that he was the man involved in the incident. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested. 

Arrested on March 3rd:

Paul Arthur COCCA, 64, of 13504 Highland Farms Ct in Nokesville

Charged with indecent exposure

Court date: April 23, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

4 to 8 inches expected, snow heaviest Thursday morning

8:53 p.m.

The National Weather Service has released a Dense Fog Advisory, in effect until 10 p.m. tonight.

7:07 p.m.

Wondering if you have work or school tomorrow? Take a look at our closings page.

4:18 p.m.

The City of Manassas has declared a snow emergency, effective starting 8 a.m. tomorrow.

More from a city release:

On March 4, 2015, the City of Manassas is declaring a Snow Emergency effective at 8 a.m. on March 5, 2015 due to the impending snow event. This means that cars parked along designated snow emergency routes are subject to towing and fines.

Snow emergency routes in the City of Manassas are as follows:  Dumfries Road/Route 234, Hastings Drive, Godwin Drive, Liberia Avenue, Richmond Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Grant Avenue, Wellington Road, Ashton Avenue, Cockrell Road, Nokesville Road/Route 28, Center Street, Prescott Avenue, Sudley Road/Route 234, Church Street, Zebedee Street, Centreville Road/Route 28, Mathis Avenue, Portner Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

Once the snow event is over, the City will issue a termination of the snow emergency and will reopen these streets to parking.

1:41 p.m.

The Service Authority is asking residents to help keep fire hydrants free of snow during the storm, in case of incidents where fire and rescue need access.

winter warning1:30p.m.

Expect more snow – and lots of it.

The National Weather Service has issues a Winter Storm Warning, in effect from midnight to 9p.m. on Thursday.

There is a wintry mix expected, with between 4 to 8 inches of snow accumulation and additional ice accumulation.

The snow is expected to be heaviest during late Thursday morning, and continue on through Thursday afternoon.

If you’re still planning to commute into work on Thursday morning, VDOT is urging caution, and has also issued a release about difficulties traveling during the storm. 

Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest in closings, delays and outages.

More from a National Weather Service alert:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

TO 9 PM EST THURSDAY… 

* PRECIPITATION TYPES…WINTRY MIX…THEN ALL SNOW…HEAVY AT

TIMES. 

* ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 4 TO 8 INCHES…ALONG

WITH AROUND A TRACE OF ICE.

* TIMING…RAIN CHANGES TO WINTRY MIX AROUND MIDNIGHT THEN ALL

SNOW THURSDAY. SNOW HEAVIEST THURSDAY LATE MORNING INTO THE

AFTERNOON. 

* TEMPERATURES…IN THE UPPER 20S.

* WINDS…NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS…ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED…VISIBILITIES WILL DROP

TO AROUND A QUARTER-MILE AT TIMES…MAKING TRAVEL DANGEROUS. 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER

CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW

ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN

EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…

FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. 

Keep Reading…

Multiple arrests made in Manassas following gang investigation

A coalition of law enforcement agencies, including the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, City of Manassas Park Police, Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were able to make several arrests on February 25, following a gang activity investigation.

The arrests were made in relation to a case involving gang recruitment for a gang known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

Two search warrants were executed in Reston on a suspect’s vehicle. This search provided evidence that led to the arrest of four suspects. Additionally, there has been a total of 43 warrants issued, and more charges are currently pending.

The coalition of law enforcement agencies had been working together for almost three months on the investigation. The investigation followed the assault of a 15-year old girl in Manassas by the MS-13 gang as part of a gang initiation ritual back in November.

Two individuals were taken into custody on February 25 – Jose Angel Iraheta Palacios, and Carlos Albert Hernandez-Garcia.

More from Manassas City Police Department crime report: 

Arrested on February 25, 2015:

1) IRAHETA PALACIOS, Jose Angel (AKA: “Little Crazy”), 30

Address: 11910 Winterthur Ln, Reston, VA 20191

Charged with: human trafficking; gang participation (9 counts); gang recruitment (2 counts); conspiracy to cause a juvenile to assist in the distribution of marijuana (3 counts); conspiracy to distribute marijuana; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; aiding illicit sexual intercourse; use of a vehicle to promote unlawful sexual intercourse; threaten force to encourage gang participation; and obstruction of justice

IRAHETA PALACIOS, Jose Angel (30)

2) HERNANDEZ-GARCIA, Carlos Albert (AKA: “Momia” and “Albert”), 20

Address: None fixed

Charged with: human trafficking; gang participation (6 counts); gang recruitment (2 counts); conspiracy to distribute marijuana; conspiracy to cause a juvenile to assist in the distribution of marijuana; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor

 

 

 

No charges ultimately filed in Stafford Christmastime stabbing

[Photo by: Diane Elkins McCutcheon]

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Department has decided not to file charges against the two individuals involved in a road rage incident that turned into a stabbing near a Wal-Mart location in Stafford on December 21.

“[After] consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney, there are no charges being filed,” said Bill Kennedy, Public Information Officer for the Stafford County Sherriff’s office.

According to Kennedy, one individual got out of his car and attacked the driver in the car in front of him, which led to the stabbing.

“The individual who was stabbed – before that occurred – got out of his car, reached in and began punching and assaulting the individual who was in the car in front of him. Now in response, that individual had a razor knife and defended himself. He caused, when he did that, there was cut that caused a major loss of blood,” said Kennedy.

Stafford Local attempted to reach out to a man claiming to be the victim of the assault’s father, but received no response.

Kennedy stated that the individual stabbed was taken to the hospital with severe injuries, and after the incident occurred, did not even remember what had taken place.

“In fact, the man who was injured, when he was taken to the hospital…said he had no recollection of the incident,” said Kennedy.

Sheriff deputies interviewed several witnesses at the scene in December to help make a determination as to what took place, and whether it was appropriate to file charges.

“This was self-defense – legally justified. The gentleman who reached into the car was assaulting the individual who was in the car. However, keeping in mind the severe injury that resulted in the altercation – this guy almost lost his life as well,” Kennedy said.

The sheriff’s department could not release the names of the two individuals, as no charges were filed. They also could not discuss the current condition of the individual who was stabbed or the location of his medical treatment, under HIPAA protections.

Kennedy warned residents always to call for law enforcement to prevent these types of incidents.

“If there’s an issue that is going to result in an altercation, call 9-1-1 right away. And no matter where you are, deputies will respond,” Kennedy commented.

Letter: Perspective on article gives readers opportunity to connect with swim team

A JMU student reached out to our news editor, Stephanie Tipple, about her recent article regarding the increase in fees for the Stonewall Park Swim team.

Dear Ms. Stephanie Tipple,

After reading your article about the increase in hourly fees for a local swim team I found it interesting and enjoyed the fact that you interviewed the team’s Board President instead of the local pool owner. Personally I believe that you gave us a different perspective on a subject between a local swim team and a local pool owner, the perspective you gave us gives the reader an opportunity to connect with the swim team and understand the impact of raising hourly prices could have on kids becoming more involved with swimming at Stonewall Park.

During my sociology class we have been discussing how sometimes the media gives public lenses or perspectives on how to view issues and while reading the title I expected it to revolve on the local pool instead of the team’s Board President. This article not only informs us of why the fee is increasing but it also informs us how it will affect the swim team and community as a whole. While reading this article I felt like it was easier to relate to the swim team and how raising the price by $5 could have such an impact on the future of kids who want to try swimming but the limitations a raise in fee could have even if its only $5.

I really enjoyed this article and how it was written because I was also an athlete at Hylton High School so I can connect and understand how much of an impact raises in certain sports could change the popularity of the sport. And personally I know that most of a team’s revenue comes from concessions and tickets of matches or games so having it is interesting to see how this can effect the swim team at Stonewall Park in the future.

Sincerely,

Monica Cardozo

*Editors Note: This letter was received this morning, March 4.

 

Prince William property tax bills to increase by $139 under advertised tax rate, county jobs still on chopping block

022514-mccoart

Prince William leaders set an advertised tax rate Tuesday night.

It’s lower than the 4% increase agreed upon last year in the county’s five-year budget plan, but it’s higher than an earlier 1.3% rate increase that would have meant multiple cuts in county services, and pay freezes for county employees.

The Board of Supervisors set the advertised property tax rate at $1.122 per $100 of assessed value (property taxes are the main source of revenue for county governments in Virginia). That’s a 3.88% increase over last year’s tax rate. The rate would generate an average tax bill of $3,722 per household, an increase of $139 per year, $12 more per month than last year.

Since the county government gives about 57% of its total budget to the schools, the $1.122 rate will mean $8.4 million than what the school division expected to receive under the 1.3% increase batted about when budget talks began in earnest last month. The school division would is still short about $8 million of what it needs to fully funded, according to officials.

For about $40 more per household, the schools would have been fully funded if the county adopted a tax rate of $1.135, raising the average property tax bill by 5.11%, according to officials.

Since the Board of Supervisors set the advertised tax rate at $1.122, they cannot go higher at budget adoption time April 21. The option to fully fund the schools is now off the table.

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland  proposed the 1.3% increase, which would have set a property tax rate of of $1.094 per $100 of assessed value. It would have capped the growth of the average tax bill at $47. That proposal would have also meant slashing community services, supplemental funding for Magistrates at the county’s courthouse, funding for libraries, funding for criminal gang education and awareness efforts, as well as cuts in funded healthcare services.

As of Feb. 21, funding to many of these programs was restored by the Board of Supervisors, with the exception of a portion of funding to the county’s capital park bond projects, a program for juvenile drug offenders, $175,000 in funding to Healthy Families prevention program, and $319,000 in funding for the county’s in-house print shop.

Discover Prince William / Manassas, the agency that promotes tourism in the county and Greater Manassas areas, could also see $92,000 of its funding shifted into the county’s Historic Preservation department.  Keep Reading…

Election-year town hall draws out officials, candidates, community

A community Town Hall meeting hosted by Delegate Luke Torian the Ferlazzo Building  in Woodbridge Monday night was an opportunity for elected officials and political candidates to voice their views. It was also a chance for residents in Prince William County to communicate with law enforcement officials.

During the meeting, Torian, Supervisor John Jenkins, and Supervisor Maureen Caddigan spoke about community issues that they felt passionate about, as well as how to properly communicate with law enforcement as a community.

“We have a very compassionate, and a very caring community,” Caddigan said.

Among the primary topics discussed were the continuing conversation on homelessness, transportation, and school funding.

“I want to fight for continuous road improvements. Those pot-holes that you see out there [on the road] right now are not the norm,” Jenkins said.

Karl Brower, the Prince William County NAACP chapter president, and Maria Burgos-Singleton, a representative from Prince William County Public Schools also spoke about their respective causes and called for community action and acceptance of the county’s diversity.

The Prince William County Sheriff Glen Hill, a representative of the Virginia State Police and Prince William County Police Department Chief Steve Hudson all presented information about what their law enforcement organizations do within the county, and fielded questions from residents. Keep Reading…

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