Lane closures planned tonight for I-95 South

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vdotlogo600pixelsExpect some traffic tonight on Interstate 95 southbound lanes near Fredericksburg.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic will be stopped overnight during certain times.

VDOT is currently working on a new overpass for Fall Hill Avenue, so traffic will be stopped so that concrete beams can be lifted over travel lanes.

More from a VDOT release:

Southbound I-95 travelers are advised to use Route 1 to avoid delays. Message boards on I-95 will provide advance notice of lane closures and detour routes.

The Fall Hill Avenue overpass is located at mile marker 131, between I-95 exit 130/Route 3 and exit 133/Route 17.

Tonight, a single lane of I-95 southbound will close at the overpass at 9:30 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close at 10 p.m.

Between midnight and 3 a.m. all traffic will be stopped four times so workers can lift beams over the travel lanes. Each traffic stop will last approximately 15 minutes. After each closure, the waiting queue of vehicles will be cleared from the scene.

All southbound lanes will re-open to traffic by 5 a.m. Wednesday.  

Virginia State Police are assisting with traffic control in the work zone.

I-95 Paving

Additionally, lane closures for interstate paving will be underway on I-95 northbound and southbound tonight in the Fredericksburg area.

Paving is scheduled between exit 136/Centreport Parkway and exit 140/Courthouse Road in Stafford County.

A single lane of I-95 northbound will close at 9 p.m. Two northbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

On I-95 southbound, paving will be underway between exit 126/Spotsylvania and exit 118/Thornburg. A single lane of I-95 southbound will close at 9 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Manassas man federally charged for child pornography

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A Manassas man, and former school volunteer, has been federally charged with possession of child pornography.

According to a U.S. Justice Department release, 23-year old Manassas man David Battle II, was a volunteer for music programs at Osbourn High School and Metz Middle School in Manassas, prior to the child pornography charges.

Battle was arrested and charged back in June, by Manassas City police.

The detective that originally looked into the case is a member of the Manassas City Police Department, assigned to the Northern Virginia-Washington, DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, according to Manassas City police spokeswoman Adrienne Helms.

After further investigation into his online activities, federal authorities became involved, and Battle was charged federally on August 6, stated a release.

More from a U.S. Justice Department release:

According to court documents and court proceedings, David Alexander Battle, II, 23, who worked for a private music company in Manassas, was arrested by the Manassas City Police Department on June 16, 2015, after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence and discovered evidence of child pornography, including two gigabytes of videos that appeared to be child pornography involving infants. Other evidence found at Battle’s residence included child pornography primarily of young boys and girls.

Battle is currently detained and awaiting trial.

Battle faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years, if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Northern Virginia-Washington, DC Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, or the Manassas City Police Department Investigative Services Division at 703-257-8092.

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Paving in Manassas Park means missed OmniLink bus stops

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Manassas Drive paving.
Manassas Drive paving.
Manassas Drive paving.

Several OmniLink bus stops in Manassas Park will be missed as road crews pave Manassas Drive.

Here’s the message from operators of OmniLink, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission:

Due to safety concerns during the paving of Manassas Drive, the Manassas Park A OmniLink route detour, originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 3, is being implemented immediately.

Detours for the Manassas Park A and B OmniLink routes will continue until buses can resume safe operations. Buses are unable to serve many stops. Passengers should anticipate delays.

A full list of stops that will be missed is on PRTC’s website.

Road crews in Manassas Park began work yesterday on repaving Manassas Drive, between Baker Street and Polk Drive. The work is expected to be completed this week, according to Manassas Park spokesman Calvin O’Dell.

The paving project is expected to cost the city $390,000. Manassas Drive is 15-miles long and links Lomond Drive in Prince William County to Generals Ridge Golf Course in Manassas Park.

Simple ingredients for better health at Manassas Olive Oil

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle or overhauling your entire diet can be daunting, but some small steps towards better health are simple – such as adding superfoods to your diet.

“Good olive oil tastes wonderful, and can make a great addition to many dishes. But its real beauty lies in what it can do for your health,” said Cameron Thomson, owner of Manassas Olive Oil Company.

Thomson shared some of the many ways that you can benefit from adding more olive oil into your diet.

“Olive oil has been studied extensively- and for good reason. It has bountiful health benefits. So much so that there is even a center at UC Davis dedicated to studying olive oil,” said Thomson.

Olive oil is the ‘juice’ extracted from olives, and is composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

“Fats get a bad rep,” said Thomson, continuing, “They are an essential part of a healthy diet and your body needs them for its basic essential functions – and olive oil provides the healthiest variety of fat.”

Studies have shown trans fats and unsaturated fat have harmful effects on the body, such as increasing cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. MUFAs found in olive oil can actually have the opposite effect, as studies have linked their consumption to lower levels of cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease.

“That’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” Thomson stated.

Olive oil’s real power lies within two of its components – oleocanthal and polyphenols.

“Academic research has linked oleocanthal and polyphenols to a myriad of health benefits. They prevent cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, keep the heart healthy, lower blood pressure, fight kidney disease, and even can combat arthritis and osteoporosis,” Thomson explained.

Sound too good to be true? “You can find all these studies online pretty easily,” said Thomson.

Won’t the addition of more fat to a diet increase your weight? Studies say no. While olive oil is high in calories, a German study showed that people that consumed olive oil felt fuller and more satisfied faster than those that did not.

But not any olive oil will suffice. “Quality counts,” advises Thomson.

Buying extra virgin may not be enough either. A study from UC Davis in 2010 showed that 69% of olive oils labeled as “extra virgin” were not high enough quality to be considered extra virgin. Oils from the “big box” labels are often stripped of not only their flavor – but of several of their health benefits.

“It pays to shop small,” Thomson explained, continuing, “You’re going to immediately notice a difference in taste, but perhaps more importantly, I can also tell you exactly what the antioxidant content of our oils is. Not many things in life that are good for you, taste this good!”

Thomson encourages all those interested in trying quality olive oil or in learning how they can add this healthy ingredient to everyday recipes to visit his shop.

Sheetz expanding in Bristow, Manassas, Stafford

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sheetz ashton avenue

The popular gas station and convenience store Sheetz is expanding in the region.

A new store at the corner Sudley Manor Drive and Ashton Avenue outside Manassas is nearly two weeks on September 18. Company spokesman Allen Stevens said the new store will have:

— Expanded inside and outside seating
— A larger selection of freshly brewed coffee and iced tea
— Ice cream
— An aisle of beverage options including many frozen beverages
— A drive through window

The Pennsylvania-based company will also begin construction on a new store at the intersection of Balls Ford and Wellington roads in Bristow. Construction will begin this month, and the store should open in March.

A Sheetz at 8504 Centreville Road in Manassas Park will also get a makeover in the coming months. Prince William County officials are reviewing plans for a new Sheetz at the intersection of Route 28 and Bristow Road, added Allen.
A new Sheetz is under construction at the intersection of Garrisonville and Furnace roads in North Stafford.

Sheetz was founded in the 1950s, and today offers low-priced gasoline and cigarettes to its customers. The chain is also known for its made-to-order food that includes submarine sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, wraps, and chicken wings.

Other Sheetz locations in the region include Dale City on Prince William Parkway and Hillendale Drive, and on Route 15 and Washington Street near I-66 in Haymarket. There are also two Sheetz locations in Fredericksburg and one in the Ferry Farm section of Stafford County.

Grab a bite at Duck Donuts in Bristow Center

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A Duck Donuts location opened in Bristow this week.
They make all of their donuts fresh to order.
People lined up outside for their store opening on Monday.
They have 10 coatings and five toppings to choose from.

There’s a new donut shop in Bristow.

Larry Scherer and his business partner just opened the doors this Monday, of their first Duck Donuts franchise location at Bristow Center – on the corner of Route 28 and Linton Hall Road.

“I’ve lived in Prince William County basically my whole life, and had been looking for a business to open locally, and be a [bigger] part of the community,” said Scherer.

Duck Donuts started with their first store in Outer Banks, North Carolina, according to their website.

When looking at what business to pursue, Scherer said he chose Duck Donuts for several reasons.

“We were looking at different franchises, and we settled on Duck Donuts when we saw how popular it was, down in the Outer Banks [of North Carolina]…we knew there was a void for a breakfast spot in the Bristow area where we were looking…we really felt that Duck Donuts was young enough in it’s franchising that we could have some kind of impact on the company itself, and the operations of the company…and we love the product. The donuts speak for themselves,” said Scherer.

Duck Donuts are all vanilla cake donuts, that are made fresh to order, and come with 10 coating choices, including chocolate, maple and peanut butter, and five topping choices, according to Scherer.

“We fry all of our donuts made to order. So we don’t start frying donuts until people start ordering them…the donuts are actually fried on site – in front of your eyes. So you get a hot, fresh donut every time,” said Scherer.

According to Scherer, there will be more Duck Donuts locations in the area, in the future.

“We actually have the rights to four more franchise [locations] in the Northern Virginia area,” said Scherer.

The Bristow location is currently looking for 10 to 12 additional employees. According to Scherer, some positions require applicants to be 18 years or older, and they are currently looking for day shift workers, both full and part-time.

Prince William police officer punched, impersonated

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Two individuals were charged this week, in separate incidents, for assaulting and impersonating Prince William police.

Prince William police officer attacked at Dumfries Walmart

One incident took place in the afternoon of August 29 at an apartment on Harwood Oaks Court in Dumfries, when Prince William police were called for a burglary.

According to Prince William police, a resident told officers that the burglary took place between 3:30 p.m. on August 28 and 1 p.m. on August 29.

There was no sign of forced entry, and entry may have been made through a back patio door that was not secure. Money, jewelry, cell phones and other items were reported missing, stated Prince William police.

On the afternoon of August 30, Prince William police were called to the Walmart at 17041 Jefferson Davis Highway in Dumfries for a shoplifter.

When the individual – 28-year old Dumfries man Mario Williams II – was being taken into custody, he punched a police officer in the face, stated Prince William police. Following the incident, Williams was determined to be involved in the earlier burglary.

Williams was brought to an area hospital for minor injuries, and the officer reported minor injuries, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Williams has been charged with one count of burglary, two counts of grand larceny, one count of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of providing false identification to avoid prosecution.

Prince William police impersonated

At 12:30 a.m. on August 30, Prince William police were called to the area of Sudley Manor Drive and Bethlehem Road in Manassas, for a call about a suspicious vehicle.

The caller, who was an off-duty Prince William police officer, told officers that when he was driving on Sudley Manor Drive, he saw a blue Pontiac G6 following him, stated Prince William police.

When the Pontiac was behind the caller’s car, the Pontiac’s driver – 18-year old Manassas man Joshua Rosene – turned on blue flashing lights that were mounted inside the car, according to Prince William police.

Believing that the vehicle was suspicious, the caller did not stop, and called Prince William police, before Rosene turned off the blue lights and drove away, stated Prince William police.

The caller provided the tag number and followed the car, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police stated Rosene is being charged with impersonating a police officer.

Do you know the street safety rules around school buses?

The school year in Virginia has just begun, and that means that school buses will be back out on the road.

Do YOU know the rules for driving and stopping around school buses?

When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign on the side of the bus, you must stop your vehicle from any direction, if you are on a highway, private road or school road. You must stay stopped until the area is clear, and the bus is moving again.

If a bus is loading or letting off passengers and the signals are not on, you still must stop.

If you are driving on a road in the opposite direction with a road that has a median or a barrier, and the bus is on the other side, then you do not have to stop.

School bus safety is the focus of many this week as children head back to school. The hashtag “#break4buses” is trending online.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire wants you to make sure you follow the rules of the road and be safe this school year.

Gov. McAuliffe holding roundtable at Brooke Point High School, inside new media center

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Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will hold a parent roundtable at a newly renovated media center at Brooke Point High School.

The governor will meet with 13 parents of Stafford County school children. He’s expected to discuss standards of learning tests and holding schools more accountable for student success.

The governor’s roundtable will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. The event is open to the public.

Brooke Point High School is the only school in the county to have a newly refitted library, turned media center. The one-of-a-kind center looks more like a TV studio than a library, and will have large tables designed for student collaboration, and more than 30 computer workstations that allow everyone access to online services.

“It is cutting edge stuff, it really is,” said Stafford County Supervisor of Facility Design and Construction Quintin Sullivan.

Construction of the remodeled library turned media center began June 15, immediately after school dismissed for summer. Library books and other materials were removed from the room and stored inside three classrooms during construction.

The library will keep the same number of books it had before, but school officials say the new media center serves as a model of what new school libraries will look like in Stafford.

“There’re not a whole lot of books because that’s not what we 21st-century learning environment,” said Stafford County Public Schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim. “This is the only center of its kind in the county, and I don’t think it will be the last.”

Manassas townhouse fire displaces 7

News

PWC Fire and RescueA Manassas townhome caught on fire late yesterday morning.

 

According to Prince William fire and rescue, responders were called to the townhome on Monitor Court in Manassas at 11 a.m. on August 30.

 

When responders arrived, they found fire in the garage of the three-level townhome, and smoke coming from the side and front of the home, stated Prince William fire and rescue.

 

Prince William fire and rescue were able to put out the fire.

 

The Red Cross was called to the home to help the family displaced by the fire – five adults and two children, stated Prince William fire and rescue.

 

The Fire Marshal’s Office has estimated damages at $20,000, and a Building Inspector has declared the home unsafe.

 

According to Prince William fire and rescue, the Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

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