Stafford man shot with his own gun during fight

News

Last night, units from the Stafford sheriff’s office were called to a shooting.

According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, the shooting took place on Minniear Court.

Deputies on the scene found 31-year old Stafford man Timothy Phelps, who had received a gunshot wound to the leg, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

After an investigation, deputies determined that Phelps accused a female who was staying at his home of stealing personal items. When the woman returned to Phelps’ home with several friends, an argument took place, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

During the incident, Phelps and a friend of the female fought, before going inside his home and getting a shotgun, according to the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps approached the group and began fighting again, and a struggle for the shotgun ensued. This led to the gunshot wound in Phelps’ leg, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

The Stafford sheriff’s office stated another individual – 20-year old Brian Blair – grabbed Phelps’ shotgun and fired a shot at a vehicle, which ended up hitting a nearby home. No one in the home was injured as a result of the shot.

Phelps was transported to a local medical facility for surgery, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps is being charged with convicted felon in possession of a firearm, malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Blair is currently wanted by the Stafford sheriff’s office for charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting at a moving vehicle, and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Sentara merges with Pratt Medical Center

News
pratt-medical-center

Sentara Healthcare merged with Pratt Medical Center.

Pratt serves 66,000 patients in Stafford, Fredericksburg, King George, and Dahlgren areas. The healthcare began looking for a new partnership last year.

“Sentara and Pratt share a common commitment to improving the quality of health care in their communities,” stated Stephen D. Porter, corporate vice president, Sentara Healthcare in a press release. “The more we discussed a partnership, the more our natural fit became apparent, with both cultures focused on quality, innovation and a commitment to placing the patient at the center of all we do.”

The new company will operate under the name “Sentara Pratt Medical Group.” Nearly 40 multi-speciality providers will work under the new name, according to a press release.

Patients will see few changes, according to Sentara spokeswoman Corianne Pafford: 

We expect few changes for patients. They are likely to notice some minor administrative changes, such as signage, web migration and email address changes over the coming months. Patients have also been informed to verify that their insurance will participate in the new group.

Overall, all locations (addresses) and phone contact will remain the same, as well as our collective commitment to quality care for the Greater Fredericksburg area.

Pratt’s facilities will add to Sentara’s healthcare portfolio which includes Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, formerly Potomac Hospital, and Sentara Lake Ridge.

Pratt Medical was founded in 1937 by Dr. Frank C. Pratt.

Sentara operates more than 100 healthcare offices and 12 hospitals. Sentara purchased Potomac Hospital in 2009 and then changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in 2012. Sentara Lake Ridge opened the same year.

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Fallen Manassas sergeant honored in ceremony

News
Sergeant John D. Conner III's wreath laying ceremony with the Manassas City Police Department's Honor Guard.

Twenty seven years after being killed in the line of duty, Sergeant John D. Conner, III, was remembered in a ceremony last week.

On July 24, 1988, Conner was shot three times and later died after responding to a report of a man shooting bullets into the air, according to his Officer Down Memorial page. The suspect, Roy Bruce Smith, was shot in the foot and survived, but was later sentenced to death and was executed nine-years later.

On Friday, the Manassas City Police Association held a morning wreath laying ceremony at the Manassas City Police Department (MCPD) followed by a scholarship presentation, an employee appreciation luncheon, a running event and an evening wreath ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery.

The MCPD’s Honor Guard presented the wreath of white carnations, red roses and bluebells at the Police Department as bagpipes were played in the background. Officer Thomas J. Rodriquez placed the wreath in front of a portrait of Sergeant Conner.

Chief Douglas Keen spoke about the tragic 1988 event and later said, “Sergeant Conner was the only officer in the history of Manassas that was killed in the line of duty.”

The Manassas City Police Association Charitable Foundation (MCPACF) hosted the Sergeant John D. Conner, III Memorial Scholarship. Each scholarship winner received $500 dollars. The Foundation was proud to announce that they have donated $100,000 in scholarships during the past years. The scholarships are funded by local business and private donations. Officer Rodriquez, Immediate Past President, played an emotional video called, “Daddy’s Last Parade,” in honor of Sergeant Conner.

The scholarships were presented by Chief Keen and Officer Rodriquez. The recipients included: Brandon F. Jordan, Kathleen E. Larkin, Alexandra L. Southard and Brianna R. Tines.

The employee appreciation luncheon was catered by The Bone at the Harris Pavilion. During the buffet that included burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, Officer Rodriquez shared his summer experiences with MCPACF’s Team Summer Quest, an activity program for 35-40 at-risk youths. Every week, Officer Rodriguez takes a group on a day trip to teach and enrich them.

Team Summer Quest is designed to provide at-risk youth with “learning through experiences” outside their social and economic boundaries. The youth ages range from 13 to 17.

Some of the events include a visit to the Twilight Tattoo showcase, a live-action military pageant featuring Soldiers from The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). They also went to Jammin’ Java, a cafe and music hall, where they had the opportunity to attend a free concert and learn about instruments. Their next trip is to a local cross-fit facility where they will learn about health and nutrition.

Following the luncheon, participants ran in a Manassas City event to honor Sergeant Connor.

The final evening ceremony was held at Quantico National Cemetery. The wreath was presented and displayed at Sergeant Conner’s gravesite with some words of reflection by Ingrid Vance, Sergeant Conner’s sister, and Lieutenant Steve Neely.

Ms. Vance said, “For years, I had anonymously contributed a blue rose at the Quantico ceremony — blue representing the police department and the rose as a symbol for love — I miss my brother every day.”

Now Virginia bluebells and red roses decorate the wreath placed where her brother rests in peace.

Sergeant John D. Conner’s legacy is known as the ultimate sacrifice. He will continue to be honored and remembered for his bravery.

*This post was submitted by CCN Manassas.

Stafford awarded $18K grant to help families obtain healthcare

News

More Stafford children and families will have access to healthcare.

The Stafford Department of Social Services received an $18,400 grant from the Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund as a grant this year, stated a county release.

The grant is part of the fund’s SHINE (Stafford’s Health Insurance Enrollment) program, according to a release.

With the grant funding, Stafford social services will be able to hire a benefit programs specialist worker for the next year. The worker will work with families to get them enrolled in Virginia sponsored health insurance programs, including Family Access to Medical Insurance Security and Medicaid, stated a county release.

“This grant makes it possible to help Stafford’s less fortunate children by giving them and their families access to state health insurance programs. We greatly appreciate the partnership and generosity of the Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund in helping us better serve our citizens,” said Stafford Director of Social Services Michael Muse in a release.

More on the SHINE program from a county release:

SHINE targets expectant mothers and families with children under age 18 in households with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Applicants may obtain applications for Medicaid/FAMIS by picking up an application from the Stafford DSS main office at the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554 or applying online at www.commonhelp.virginia.gov. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is located on a route served by the Fredericksburg Regional transit system (FRED). Interested applicants may also request that an application be mailed to them.

Man wanted for knife attack at Woodbridge home

News

Prince William police are still looking for a Woodbridge man, following an attack on a juvenile male.

According to Prince William police on May 24, officers responded to a home on Satterfield Drive in Woodbridge to investigate a domestic assault call.

Prince William police stated that the victim – a 17-year old male juvenile – told officers that 38-year old Woodbridge man Donte Lyons and a female resident at the home were involved in a verbal altercation.

During the incident, Lyons pulled out a pocket knife and the victim attempted to intervene, when he received a cut to the chest from Lyons, stated Prince William police.

Lyons fled the scene prior to Prince William police’s arrival.

The victim was taken to a local medical facility for injuries that were not life threatening, said Prince William police.

Lyons is described as a black male, 5’8” and 120 pounds with short black hair, brown eyes and a goatee. He is wanted for malicious wounding, stated Prince William police.

New homes could equal fixing a dangerous curve in Stafford

News
winding-creek-2

A home developer has offered to fix one of Stafford County’s sharpest curves.

Winding Creek Road is a two-lane street that links Shelton Shop and Courthouse roads. It’s a back way for most drivers, and the street weaves through a series of neighborhoods.

There’s a sharp curve just east of where Winding Creek meets Walpole Street. The developer, Winding Creek Property Owner, LCC, has agreed to widnen Winding Creek Road at the dangerous curve.

The developer offered Stafford County nearly an acre of the right of way along Winding Creek Road for the widening. It amounts to 60 feet of space for the widened road, according to county documents that date back to January.

The street widening would come with 97 new homes on Winding Creek Road. The developer has applied for a special use permit from Stafford County for the project that would clear the way for the homes to be built.

The new development — with the road widening as a condition — must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The addition of 97 new homes also means the existing Fireberry Boulveard in the adjacent Autum Ridge neighborhood will be extended. The street was accepted into the state network of streets maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 2006.

winding-creek-1

The plan has always been to to extend Fireberry Boulevard, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kelly Hanon who provided this information on the project:

· The proposed Winding Creek subdivision is required to connect to Fireberry Boulevard under VDOT standards for new subdivision streets that are planned for state maintenance in the future.

· Fireberry Boulevard is an existing state-maintained road. The road was accepted into Virginia’s network of state-maintained roads in 2006 with the intention of being extended in the future. A sign noting the ultimate extension of this street has been present at the road’s future connection point, referred to as a stub, since 2006.

· The proposed Winding Creek subdivision is subject to Stafford County Subdivision Ordinance (Sec. 22-179, 186), which requires subdivisions to contain public roads that are built in accordance with VDOT standards, making them eligible for acceptance into the state maintenance system. The ordinance also requires (Sec. 22-190) streets to connect with adjacent properties.

· Based on the proposed 97-lot configuration, the ordinance requires Winding Creek to contain two connections to adjacent parcels. Winding Creek proposes to meet this requirement by providing connections to Fireberry Boulevard in the adjacent Autumn Ridge subdivision, and by leaving a future connection point to a separate neighboring parcel.

· VDOT regulations (24VAC30-92) require subdivision roads to connect with existing state-maintained stub roads in order to be accepted by VDOT for future state maintenance. Fireberry Boulevard qualifies as an existing state-maintained stub road.

Stafford County Garrisonville District Supervisor Luara Sellers said man of the residents who live along Fireberry Boulevard do not want to see the street extended. She said residents are petitioning VDOT not to extend the street as planned.

Hannon said an exception request not to extend the street must be submitted by residents to VDOT and approved by an agency administrator. No such request has been submitted, said Hannon.

The issue is expected to come before the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in August or early September. 

Education policy based on results, not rhetoric

Opinion

Well, the campaign season for the General Assembly Election in November is upon us. This will be increasingly evident as we endure a parade of negative attacks and falsehoods that will emerge in the weeks and months ahead. I wish it wasn’t so. People—voters—deserve the truth, not false and misleading rhetoric. That is why I am personally responding to the article penned by Jane Touchet, chairman of the Democratic Women of Lake Ridge, attacking me in support of my challenger, Sara Townsend.

Ms. Touchet, a partisan Democrat who doesn’t reside in the district that I serve, says “Mr. Lingamfelter has proven again and again that he is no friend of public education”. Really? Let’s review the facts.

My wife Shelley has taught in public schools since 1974. She and I educated all three of our children in public schools in Prince William. Both Shelley and I routinely volunteered for school activities and gave our time and resources to help in any way we could.

Shelley, who just retired from the Prince William County Schools system, has always been my best advisor on education matters. I listen to her and, as the second most senior member of the House Education Committee; I have always been an advocate for our teachers.

Let’s review some facts. Ms Touchet claims that I “cut millions” from public education. But consider this. According to Appropriations Committee data, from 2002 through the current fiscal year, General Fund spending for K-12 increased by about $1.7 billion, or 43%. But over that same period of time, the total revenue amount from all General Fund sources increased by just under $3.0 billion, or 41%. In other words, over this period of time even when budgeting was tough, the General Assembly opposed cutting public education (except one year when the recession hit) and funded education at a rate higher than the general revenue coming in. And we are still working, even now, to bring education spending back to pre-recession levels. But we are doing so in a fiscally responsible manner so we address all of our core responsibilities.

Here are some other things to consider that I voted for (and we passed) just this year in support of education:

I voted to reduce the number of SOL tests in grades 3 through 8, from 22 to 17 so teachers can spend more time in actual instruction of our kids.
I voted for legislation that passed to expedite SOL re-take tests and require schools to submit less paperwork to Richmond.
And having heard the concerns of parents about the confusing and varying standards at Virginia colleges for accepting credit for AP coursework, I helped pass legislation this year to standardize this system and remove any confusion on getting AP credits accepted by our colleges.
This budget cycle, I voted for $861 million in additional K-12 funding to support our teachers and help our students. We made no cuts to K-12 education when addressing Virginia’s $2.4 billion revenue shortfall. In fact, Virginia is spending more on K-12 education than was spent under the last budget adopted under Democrat Governor Tim Kaine. And unlike what Virginia Democrats wanted to do at the time, we’ve been able to invest in our education system without raising taxes.
I voted to provide our teachers with a 1.5% pay raise, the second pay raise in three years.
As a senior member on the House Appropriations Committee, I supported an overall increase of $60 million for K-12 education compared to Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal.
And I supported a deposit of an additional $43 million into teacher retirement fund compared to Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal, bringing the total deposit to $193 million.

These are just a few of the important K-12 education reforms and actions that passed this year—with my support—that will ensure all Virginia students have access to a good education.

So I ask you, does this sound like an “unfriendly” posture to public education? To the contrary, I have been a solid and reliable supporter of public education. And I will continue to support efforts to hire and retain great teachers, fund quality education for our kids, require accountability to the parents and tax-payers that fund education, and offer real reforms, not partisan rhetoric that has utterly no basis in fact. So to Ms. Touchet, I would simply say, touché. And in the future, let’s center the debate on ideas, not negative and false attacks.

*Scott Lingamfelter is currently a delegate in Virginia’s 31st House district.

How to fix crowding? Start with middle school

Tim Singstock

Opinion 

Almost every elected official and candidate on the ballot this November will acknowledge crowding as a significant issue in Prince William County Schools.

While the School Board and Board of County Supervisors have made limited headway on this issue in recent years, it seems we continue to work around the edges of this problem. Until we have a plan with budget implications, we cannot have an open and honest debate about class size reduction.

As a Certified Project Management Professional and former Army officer, I have learned that problems of this magnitude need to be divided into smaller problems and solved incrementally. My proposal starts with middle school and will be phased in over time.

According to the Washington Area Boards of Education, middle school is where the problem is most acute. Average class sizes in Prince William County middle schools are 31.5. Reducing middle school class sizes will reduce high school dropout rates, raise academic performance and improve teacher morale.

Furthermore, middle school students are experiencing some of the most challenging transitional years of their lives. We need to keep these students engaged in the classroom if they are to be successful in high school and beyond. Reducing middle school class sizes has the added benefit of aiding today’s elementary schools kids when they enter middle school.

While creative solutions such as dual enrollment with Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Virtual High school exist to alleviate crowding in high schools, similar solutions do not exist for middle school students. I have to be honest – we simply need to build more classrooms and hire more teachers. This will be expensive, but knowing the numbers is half the battle.

The cost to reduce class sizes in a single grade level across all Prince William County schools by one child per class is $1.4 million a year. The cost to reduce all middle school class sizes by one child is $4.2 million a year. The cost to reduce average middle school class sizes five children per class is $21 million per year.

I propose implementing this program over a five year period. With a billion dollar operating budget, $21 million may not seem like much, but finding these funds will require a transparent and honest dialogue within the community about our priorities. This is democracy in action.

As a community we will have to make difficult decisions to reduce class sizes for our middle school students. Only when leaders step forward with clearly articulated plans can we move towards real solutions. Here is my plan Prince William County. Let’s start the dialogue:

This submitted post is written by Tim Singstock, a candidate for Chairman of the Prince William County School Board.

Manassas man found dead

News

A man was found dead near Clover Hill Road and Yarrow Lane in Manassas this morning.

According to Manassas City police, at 6:10 a.m., officers responded to a call for the individual – 60-year old James Jones Jr. – who was pronounced dead when the officers arrived on the scene.

An investigation into Jones’ death shows the cause to be medically related, stated Manassas City police.

Call to Action: Summer brings increased need for food, supply donations

News

Good morning – Summer vacation tends to tax our area food pantries so as you shop for your groceries this week please pick up a few extra things for families in need as both the SERVE Pantry and the Salvation Army Pantry have an urgent need for basics including canned beans, canned vegetables, canned meat, cereals, pasta and other dry goods. In Manassas please drop off food donations to the SERVE Pantry at 10056 Dean Drive or in Woodbridge at the Salvation Army Pantry at 1483 Old Bridge Road, Suite 102. Please help these wonderful organizations continue to support families in need.

· The SPARK Education Foundation is collecting school supplies for needy kids at the Kelly Leadership Center at 14715 Bristow Road during the week from 8am-4pm. Items needed include backpacks, 3-ring binders, dividers, folders with pockets, spiral notebooks, loose leaf paper, colored pencils, ink pens, No 2 pencils, crayons, highlighters, glue sticks, index paper and other similar items appropriate for little people.

· SERVE is gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year! Volunteers are needed for the Backpack program on August 13- 14, at Manassas Adventist Prep School. This is a great opportunity for volunteers 16 and older but volunteers 12-15 years of age can participate with a parent. Contact Navara for details on this fun project: ncannon@nvfs.org.
· Brain Injury Services is interested in a volunteer to focus on their volunteer program. All efforts contribute to bettering the lives of brain injury survivors. Please contact Michelle: mthyen@braininjuryservices.org or by phone: 703-451-8881, ext. 232.

· Manassas Senior Center needs volunteers front the front desk as receptionists – Mondays 9am to 1pm; Thursdays 9am to 2pm, and Tuesday afternoons 2pm to 4:30pm. Must have strong customer service skill in person and on the phone! For details contact: Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Saved Hands Foundation and the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center are partnering on a back to school give-a-way set for August 29th. Volunteers are needed to help serve clients and the first planning meeting is July 20th at the Chinn Recreation Center, 13065 Chinn Park Drive Community room from 7pm to 8pm. Donations of cash and school supplies are needed as well! Please contact Pam at savedhandsinc.2008@yahoo.com if you can help with this worthwhile cause.

· The Prince William Area on Aging is updating their Communications, Referral and Information Services guide and needs volunteers this summer to make calls and emails to verify information. Must be able to work independently and be familiar with Portable Document Format (PDF). If this sounds like fun, please call Melodee at 703-792-4583 or email: msheehan@pwcgov.org.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. is looking for two energetic and friendly volunteers to greet visitors and citizens at the Manassas Visitor Center and provide information about events, the area, and local attractions. Contact Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.or or via phone: 701-361-5699.

· Walk to End Alzheimer’s is gearing up for walks in September and October. If you want to help this year please visit: www.alzheimersassociatinnca.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer.

· Community Health Worker Volunteers are needed by the Virginia Department of Health. If you are looking to gain some valuable experience and get useful training, you can sign up to assist patients with medical forms and help navigate them to community resources. The clinics will be held at the Manassas Park Community Center. Please contact Valda at 703-792-6755 or Valda.wisdombrown@vdh.virginia.gov for details.

· Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for volunteers for Farm Field Days in October. If you enjoy children and the great outdoors, you will love this opportunity. They also are looking to expand participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program. Visit www.pwswcd.org for details!

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers this summer for their conversation classes as well as their fall program. You do not need to speak a second language as they will give you all the skills needed to make a significant improvement in another’s life. Classes are held in Manassas both morning and evenings. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas, Inc. will need lots of volunteers for their Bands, Brews & BBQ on September 12th. You must be age 21+ and the fun jobs include checking IDs, pouring beer, ticket taking and of course set-up or take down.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. zero, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

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