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Stonewall Jackson monument will stand at Manassas Battlefield

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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A monument to Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will stand at Manassas National Battlefield Park.

The National Park Service says it, and all Confederate monuments on national park land will remain standing.

“That is the Park Service’s policy on the matter,” said Ray Brown, a spokesman for the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

The National Park Service made the determination this afternoon.

The decision comes a day after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a statement calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the state: (more…)

News
Prince William School Board Chairman calls for renaming Stonewall Jackson schools for ‘real heroes’

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — An online fundraiser to rename Stonewall Jackson Senior high and middle schools in Prince William County launched Wednesday.

Sawyers

Ryan Sawyers, the county’s At-large School Board Chairman, a Democrat who is now seeking a seat in Congress, issued a rallying cry to supporters calling for the name changes after this past weekend’s violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville where three people died.

“When we name a school after someone we honor and celebrate that person. These schools were named in a time when Brown v. Board of Education, integration, and the Civil Rights Act were being implemented across our country. Under the false rhetoric of ‘heritage,’ these schools were, in fact, named after a Confederate icon as a “thumb in the eye” to Federal actions ending their continued racial segregation of public schools,” Sawyers stated.

Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was a Confederate general and is regarded by historians as one of the most gifted military commanders in U.S. history. Jackson fought at the 1st and 2nd battles of Manassas during the Civil War and later died at age 39 after a battle in Chancellorsville outside Fredericksburg.

Stonewall Middle School, located at 10100 Lomond Drive near Manassas opened in 1964 and is home to 1,140 students. Stonewall Jackson Senior High School, located at 8820 Rixlew Lane near Manassas, opened in 1973, is home to 2,400 students, and the county’s International Baccalaureate Program. (more…)

News
Makee is the GOP replacement candidate in Virginia House District 2

STAFFORD — He doesn’t have big political aspirations, but he stepped up to be the GOP’s man in a pinch.

Michael Makee (pronounced Mackie) retired as Naval Commander after 20 years and is the Republican replacement candidate in Virginia’s House District 2. The 47-year-old Naval Academy graduate stepped in after Laquan Austion dropped out of the race on Friday.

Makee moved to Stafford with his wife two years ago and is the father of six children ages 12 to 24. Mary Kathleen “Katy” Makee has been his wife for 25 years. He serves on the Stafford County Utilities Commission and is the treasurer of the Stafford County Republican Committee.

This is his first run for political office.

“I don’t have big political aspirations,” Makee told Potomac Local. “I understand the military side of how the government works, and now I will learn how the state and local side of the government,” said Makee. (more…)

News
Laquan Austion drops out of House District 2 race

STAFFORD — Republicans in Stafford and Prince William counties are looking for a new candidate for House District 2.

Laquan Austion dropped out.

“Laquan Austion is withdrawing his candidacy for the Second House District effective today. We appreciate his willingness to run for office and serve. We have already started the process of recruiting a strong candidate that will give voters a clear choice in November.”

Austion came under fire this week when the Richmond Times-Dispatch learned the candidate provided false information to voters on his LinkedIn page, and to Potomac Local about his education. Austion claimed to have a Masters Degree from The George Washington University that he didn’t possess.

The report also stated Austion purchased an Audi automobile but never made a payment, A court case in this matter, as well as another debt were dismissed because Austion was not able to be located, according to the Times-Dispatch story. (more…)

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Clint Gaskins dies following police pursuit on I-95

OCCOQUAN — A Woodbridge man has died after a police chase on Interstate 95.

From Virginia State Police: 

Shortly after 2:40 a.m.Sunday (Aug. 6), Virginia State Police received a broadcast for a look-out for a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed on I-395 in Arlington County.

Two Virginia troopers spotted the motorcycle traveling south on I-395 near Edsall Road. The troopers observed the motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of traffic.  One of the troopers determined the motorcycle was traveling 80 mph in the 55 mph zone. When the trooper activated his emergency lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop, the motorcycle sped away and a pursuit was initiated. (more…)

News
Concert, video shoot on Holiday Island canceled

WOODBRIDGE — You can blame the rainy weather for the cancellation of a concert and video shoot on Holiday Island

Island owner Mark Richard’s told Potomac Local the live concert a video shoot of the Stormin Norman Band will not go on as planned. The show was scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, and boaters were invited to drop anchor off of the tiny island on the Potomac River and watch.

The show was going to be a first for the island located near Woodbridge. 

Richards says he hopes to reschedule the show.

“We don’t know what it’s going to be or when it’s going to be,” Richards told Potomac Local

The band at the center of the free show posted this video to Facebook to voice their displeasure about the cancellation.

Heavy rain is expected to fall across the region tonight and into the weekend.

News
Man shoots, kills himself outside Manassas police headquarters

From Manassas police: 

At approximately 3:41 p. m. on July 17, 2017, the Manassas City Police observed an adult male subject in front of police headquarters with a firearm.  Prior to police encounter, the adult male subject sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was pronounced dead by rescue personnel.   The identity of the victim is not being released until next of kin is notified.  The investigation is ongoing, and more details will be forthcoming when available.

The Manassas City Police Department headquarters is located at 9518 Fairview Avenue.

News
Tiny island on Potomac River to host summer concert

WOODBRIDGE — A tiny island in the Potomac River will host a summer concert later this month. 

Holiday Island, a small privately owned piece of land on the Potomac just off the beach of Featherstone Shores in Woodbridge, is set to host The Stormin’ Norman Band and The Nesta Pine band on Saturday, July 29 at 3 p.m. The Nesta Pine Band will also be shooting a video for one of the band’s songs.

The island is too small to accommodate a crowd, but anyone with a boat is welcome to drop anchor and enjoy the music.  Immediately after, the concert will continue at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant at 8 p.m.

According to band frontman Norman Voss, “As soon as we’re done on the island we’re gonna get in our boats and head over to Tim’s, we’re gonna have a whole nother sound system set up, drums & guitars set up, and we’re gonna get there and start playing again, we’re gonna have another show right away.”

The concert will be free to attend.

News
Silber pulls Potomac Nationals stadium from agenda, deal not reached

Prince William County officials on Tuesday were to approve a deal with the Potomac Nationals baseball team’s plan to build a new stadium in Woodbridge. 

That’s not going to happen now after the team asked for the public hearing and subsequent vote to be removed from the agenda of Tuesday’s Board of County Supervisors meeting. 

Here’s the text of an email sent from the office of Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart to his fellow Board members: 

The applicant for the stadium proposal has requested this item be withdrawn from the July 18, 2017, Agenda and from further consideration.

Chairman Stewart has accepted this request and withdrawn the item from next week’s Board of County Supervisors’ Agenda.

(more…)

News
Two shot in Occoquan today

Two people were shot this morning on Occoquan Road in Occoquan early this morning. 

From Prince William police: 

**INCIDENT: Shooting | Occoquan: 
Officers are currently investigating a shooting which occurred in the area of Occoquan Rd and Colonial Dr. One victim sustained a gunshot wound to the upper body and the other victim to the lower body. Both victims have been transported to an area hospital with non life threatening injuries. At this time, the incident does not appear to be random. There is no suspect information at the moment. Residents can expect a heavy police presence in the area as the investigation continues.

Traffic
Man, 19, killed in single vehicle crash on Prince William Parkway

From Prince William County police:

Fatal Crash Investigation – On June 24 at 10:42 a.m., investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Prince William Parkway and Scenic Point Place in Manassas to investigate a single vehicle crash involving a motorcycle.

The investigation revealed that the operator of a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, identified as a 19-year-old man of Woodbridge, was traveling eastbound on the Prince William Parkway near Scenic Point Place at an excessive speed when the operator lost control and struck a guard rail.

The motorcycle operator was pronounced dead at the scene. It is still unknown if drug and alcohol use are factors in this crash.  The investigation continues.

News
Sheriff’s office searching for North Stafford shooter

From a press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office is investigating the overnight shooting of a man in the Garrison Woods neighborhood.

On Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at approximately 1:30am, Stafford Deputies were dispatched to the 200 block of Garrison Woods Drive in reference to a shooting of a person. Deputies arrived on scene to find a

25-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to an area hospital. His condition is unknown at this time. No arrest has been made and the identity of the suspect is unknown. Detectives are actively investigating the incident.

Anyone with information related to this shooting is asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, Stafford Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 (where callers may remain anonymous) or TEXT “Stafford” + your tip to CRIMES (27463).

Traffic
Updated: Girl, 13, struck and killed by VRE train

One person was struck by a commuter train near Manassas.

A pedestrian was struck on a truss bridge over the Bull Run River at 3:13 p.m. Fire and rescue crews were called to Lake Drive behind General’s Ridge Golf Course to respond to the incident.

Rescue crews initially called for a helicopter and later called off the helicopter.

The incident disrupted service on Virginia Railway Express’ Manassas line:

Update

The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at 4 p.m.

The incident was determined to be in Fairfax County, according to Prince William County Fire and Rescue spokesman Matt Smolksy.

Update from Fairfax County police: 

Detectives are investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl who was fatally struck by a train today, June 28, around 3 p.m. Our investigation determined the victim was hiking in the area of Bull Run Bridge, near Clifton, with two family members, a 13-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man. The two teens were walking on the bridge when a train approached. The boy was able to get out of the way; unfortunately, the girl could not get off the tracks and was struck.

The fire department responded and pronounced her dead at the scene. Our detectives responded to investigate and are working closely with family, our public safety partners in Manassas Park and the railway and railroad companies. The victim was a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School.

News
Updated: Bullets strike vehicle in Triangle

From Prince William police: 

Shooting Investigation – Currently, officers are on scene investigating a reported shooting which occurred at the Southampton Apartment complex located in the 4100 block of Southway Ln in Triangle shortly before 2:30pm. Three individuals, unknown ages, were transported to an area hospital with minor non-gunshot related injuries.

Officers have located evidence of a shooting in the area; however, no gunshot related injuries have been reported. The suspect is believed to have left the area in a vehicle, unknown description at this time.

The scene at the apartment complex is contained. This is not an active shooter incident.

More information will be released as it becomes available. 

Updated

From Prince William police: 

Shooting Investigation *UPDATE – Detectives remain on scene continuing their investigation into this incident. The preliminary investigation has revealed the three victims, two adults and one child, were in a vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex when the gunfire occurred.

The suspect, believing to be in a black or dark colored SUV with temporary tags, fled the scene following the shooting. The vehicle occupied by the victims was struck. The driver of that vehicle also left the immediate scene. The three victims drove to nearby Inn St off Joplin Rd where police were contacted.

The injuries sustained by the victims appear to be minor in nature, potentially caused from broken glass. No gunshot injuries have been reported at this time. The motive behind the shooting is not known. The investigation continues.

News
Gunshot victim found in Lake Ridge home

From Prince William police: 

“Shooting Investigation – On June 17 at approximately 11:17 pm, officers responded to a residence located in the 12000 block of Cinnamon St in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a shooting. Officers arrived at the home and located the victim, a 36-year-old man from Woodbridge, suffering from a gunshot wound to the lower body.

The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The suspects fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction.  

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau are currently investigating the incident.  More information will be released when available.  

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contract police by calling 703-792-6500. The investigation continues.”

Traffic
Man fatally struck near Woodbridge VRE

A man was struck and killed Friday night by an Amtrak train in Woodbridge.

The unidentified victim was walking on the tracks near the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station about 7:30 p.m.

Police are working to notify the next of kin.

Amtrak 90 from Florida to New York was scheduled to be passing through the region at the time of the collision. Amtrak has not responded to a request for comment on this story.

The collision sparked delays for riders on Virginia Railway Express.

From a VRE spokesman:

“VRE Train 315, our last train of the evening was stopped at the Lorton Station. We contacted PRTC, and they provided three buses to accommodate the 147 passengers on board. Buses arrived at 9:00 pm. Passengers were loaded on buses and departed to southern stations.”

News
Updated: Woman, man shot at hotel on Horner Road

From Prince William police: 

“UPDATE: Incident at Quality Inn remains contained. Police attempting contact with possible other party inside one of the rooms.?

—————————-

*UPDATE: One female victim has been located and transported to an area hospital. Unknown condition. A room inside the hotel is contained. Area rooms were evacuated. Call came in around 8:50am. **This is not an active shooter situation.**

—————————-

*INCIDENT: Officers are currently on scene investigating a shooting at the Quality Inn located on Horner Rd in Woodbridge. Vehicle traffic in front of the hotel has been redirected. The incident is contained to the hotel. More information will be released when available.”

Update 1:50 p.m. 

From Prince William police: 

“Shooting Investigation – On June 12 at 8:49AM, officers responded to the Quality Inn located at 1109 Horner Rd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a shooting. Staff members reported to police that a female guest of the hotel, identified as a 54-year-old woman of New York, walked into the lobby area with a gunshot wound to the upper body. The woman reported that an altercation had taken place inside one of the rooms with a male acquaintance. The woman was immediately transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Officers secured the hallway and evacuated other guests from around the incident location. Several attempts to make contact with the occupant inside the room were unsuccessful. At approximately 11:30AM, a tactical team entered the room and located the male party, identified as a 55-year-old man of New York, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

The man was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. A handgun was recovered inside the room. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division are continuing the investigation into what led up to the initial altercation between the two parties.

Both parties are known to one another and the incident was isolated to the room. The investigation continues.”

News
Spotted mountain lion slows dismissal at Chris Yung Elementary

From Prince William schools: 

“About 3:20 p.m. today, Chris Yung Elementary School was placed in secure-the-building status because a mountain lion was spotted near the school.

This action is precautionary and staff and students are safe. Teachers will walk students to their buses at dismissal at 3:50 p.m. One bus will be loaded at a time. Parents are asked to come pick up their children if they are walkers.  

Updates will be placed on the school website, https://chrisyunges.pwcs.edu/

News
Yu gets 10 years in guilty plea deal in Gainesville shooting death of mother of his child, 6

Brian Yu plead guilty Monday to shooting and killing the mother of his 6-year-old daughter the night before he was due in court for child support hearing.

Brian Yu plead guilty Monday to shooting and killing the mother of his 6-year-old daughter the night before he was due in court for child support hearing.

Yu was sentenced to 10-years in prison after a plea agreement between prosecuting and defense attorneys. Three years of the 10-year sentence will be suspended. Yu will also undergo three years probation as part of the deal once released from prison.

“It’s a terrible crime, but this was the best outcome under the circumstances,” said Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert.

Much of the evidence in the case, including journal entries kept by the victim, 26-year-old Linh Thi Pham, was inadmissible and could not be brought forward for a jury trial, added Ebert. (more…)

News
Updated: Drone finds suspect after partial school lockdown

Details are few, but this is what we know about a partial lockdown affecting two schools in Stafford County. 

 

From Stafford County Schools spokeswoman Sherrie Johnson: 

Margaret Brent Elementary School and Mountain View High School are under a partial lockdown due to police activity in the area. 
 
A statement posted to the schools’ websites: 
 
“Mountain View High School and Margaret Brent Elementary School are on a partial lockdown due to police activity in the area. Students will resume normal activity inside the building; however, there are no outside activities at this time.  A partial lockdown allows for instruction to continue while increasing the safety and security of students and staff in the building. We will keep you informed of the situation. Please be assured student and staff safety is a top priority for Stafford County Public Schools.”
 

Update 

 
Two partial lockdowns at Stafford County Public Schools have been lifted, and a road closed due to police activity has reopened. 
 
Still no new information about the police incident. 
 
From Stafford schools: 
 
“The partial lockdown at Mountain View High and Margaret Brent Elementary Schools due to police activity in the area is lifted.  Students will resume normal activities. Please be assured student and staff safety is a top priority for Stafford County Public Schools.”
 
From Stafford sheriff:
 
 

Update

A drone helped investigators find the man caused a partial lockdown at two Stafford County schools today.

Police used the drone to identify the suspect they say fired shots at a home on Tacketts Mill Road about 10:05 a.m. A woman called 911 to report that a man became angry and then firing shots into a car parked on the property.

The woman and her young son were at home at the time shots fired. Stafford authorities went to the scene where witnesses told them they saw a man fire shots into the vehicle and walk back inside the home, according to a Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman.

The woman and her son were able to escape the house without injury. Deputies then had to determine if the shooter was still inside the home and later learned that he was not.

Stafford deputies erected a perimeter that covered a section of western Stafford County from Rockhill Church Road & Dunbar Drive to the Fauquier County Line.

The sheriff’s office used SWAT teams, K9 units, and a drone to search for a man known as “Patrova.” Police later learned that name was an alias.

Later, police used the drone to spot a suspect along Barrington Woods Boulevard. A SWAT team moved in and arrested the suspect without incident.

Jeffrey Owens is charged with Felony Possession of a Firearm and Reckless Handling of a Firearm and is incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail on no bond.

Owens was also wanted in connection to weapons and a probation violation, according to the Stafford sheriff’s office.

News
Updated: Suspect identified in Pickett Lane shooting

From Manassas police: 

Shooting:

“On Friday, May 26, 2017, at approximately 3:15 p.m., Manassas City Police responded to the 9700 block of Pickett Ln for a report of a shooting.  Officers located an adult male victim who appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound. 

The victim was seriously injured and flown to a local area hospital.  The victim’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening at this time.  This is an active ongoing investigation. 

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Manassas City Police Investigative Services Division at 703-257-8092 or the Crime Solvers tip line at 703-330-0330.”

Updated

Manassas police are searching for a suspect they say shot a man in the city Friday afternoon. 

Abraham Cinto, Jr., 22, of 9273 Byrd Drive is wanted in connection to the shooting.

Police said Cinto may be armed and dangerous. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call Manassas police at 703-257-8057,

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