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Pastor, Fire Chief Do Ice Bucket Challenge

Pastor Connie Thomson

Pastor Connie Thomson

Besides both being community leaders, what do Connie Thomson, Pastor of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Manassas, VA and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief, Kevin McGee have in common? Both recently received the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”.

On Sunday, August 17, 2014, on the front lawn of River of Grace Lutheran Church, Pastor Connie Thomson was the first to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge.

When Jeff Stamp, member of River of Grace, was asked by Pastor Thomson why he chose her for the challenge, he told her it’s because she is always encouraging others to get out of their comfort zones.

Pastor Thomson said she believes “life happens when we get out of comfort zones because that is when we stop counting on ourselves and God can work with us.” Pastor Connie Thomson also said she accepted the challenge “because it was fun for the congregation and because she wanted people suffering from ALS to know that there are people standing with them spiritually and emotionally.”

Before being doused with the icy water, Pastor Thomson named her choices of people to receive the challenge. Pastor Thomson named two fellow pastors: Kate Davidson of Columbia, Maryland, John Stevens from Oregon City, Oregon, “because why should the East Coast have all the fun”, Jim Hedrick, member of River of Grace, and Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. McGee was invited to River of Grace to receive the challenge with Pastor Thomson and he accepted.

Chief Kevin McGee said he accepted the challenge because, “it is a great opportunity to bring more awareness to this terrible and debilitating disease so society can develop better treatments. Chief McGee went on to say that receiving the ice bucket challenge “is a small price to pay in comparison to what the people with ALS suffer every day.” While still dripping with icy water, Pastor Connie Thomson appeared to eagerly drench Chief McGee with an equally icy bucket of water.

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was originated by “Team Frate Train”, friends of Peter Frates who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. In addition to receiving the “ice bucket challenge”, Pastor Connie Thomson and Fire Chief McGee will be making contributions to the ALS Association.

The “ice bucket challenge” total donations has reached $22.9 million, 12 times the amount raised last year according to the ALS Association.

The Learning Experience Collects Backpacks for Charity


The Learning Experience (TLE) in Woodbridge, Va., conducted a back-to-school drive leading up to its ‘Back-to-School Bash’ on August 9 to donate school supplies to Operation Home Front, a local nonprofit organization.

In total, the TLE Woodbridge collected 15 backpacks filled with supplies for donation. The Back-to-School Bash was open to the community and included activities such as a large water slide for the kids, games and prizes.

All-in-part of the academy’s first-of-its-kind philanthropy program and curriculum at the preschool level, children enrolled at TLE are no strangers to philanthropic work. TLE students are taught how philanthropy’s core tenants of selflessness, generosity and giving can be applied to their classroom, home life, and community for years to come, and participate each month in philanthropic activities such as the school supplies donation project partnering with nonprofit organizations.

For additional information, visit thelearningexperience.com.

Anne Kadis Wins Stafford County 350th Art Competition

Local artist Anne Kadis envisioned marrying Stafford’s rich history with modern day life in her award-winning work “History Lessons.” Ms. Kadis won the Commemorative Art Piece Competition sponsored by 350th Anniversary partner The Professional Artists and Artisans Association of Stafford County (PAAASC). Limited edition prints of “History Lessons” will be offered as a thank you to the many volunteers who have helped make the 350th Anniversary a success.

“Without our many volunteers, we would not have been able to pull off the events and programming this year,” said Chairman of the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee Harry Crisp. “We wanted to do something special for them and I think this lovely print will remind them of this special year and their important role in it.”

Ms. Kadis said this is the first painting she completely staged. She wanted to depict the strong roles of African-American women in the lives of children like the young George Washington as well as pay tribute to the role of Stafford County as being part of the “Freedom Trail” slaves used to escape. The quilt in the painting is an heirloom belonging to Ms. Kadis’ family. The setting for the painting is the front porch of Concord, a home built in 1790 in Stafford that belongs to local historians Rick and Jerrilynn MacGregor. The original painting is on display in the lobby of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration is still going strong! The Wings and Wheels Festival takes place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, where Stafford will honor its strong military heritage. The Trail to Freedom Tour and the Rowser African-American History Wall dedication follow on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Personalized bricks are still available to support these two events as well as other 350th Anniversary programming. The bricks will be placed at the Rowser Building. For more information, visit www.stafford350.com. 

Potomac Local Pets




Bandit is an affectionate boy who is always ready to play. He is a lab mix with a beautiful black coat and  a gentle, sweet disposition. Lots of adorable puppy energy. Estimated DOB is mid February 2014. Healthy and up to date on shots, he is ready to bring endless joy to his forever home.


Onyx is a striking, 3 year old, all black male cat with brilliant gold eyes. Onyx has been micro-chipped, UTD on vaccinations, has been neutered and would love to go home with you today!

Lost cat

Missing since last Saturday evening in Stafford on 610 at Stafford Glen Court area. His name is Kitty Boy – orange bobtail, 3 to 4 yrs old and neutered. Please call if seen found. Five four zero six two three three seven nine two. Reward offered.

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

Want a Garden Plot in Dumfries? Follow These 24 Rules

DUMFRIES, Va. – A new community garden has been built in Dumfries. Want a garden plot? Well, first you have to know the rules.

The Town Council had a look at the new rules for the garden – all 24 of them that outline how big each plot should be, how you shouldn’t steal vegetables from other people’s plots, and how community gardeners are expected to attend regular garden club meetings and workshops.

“The community garden brings together people of all ages. It helps people learn to be self-sustaining and learn more about healthy living,” said Dumfries Town Councilman Derrick Wood, who pushed for the creation of the new garden as part of the town’s recently formed Parks and Recreation Commission.

The garden, located in the town’s Ginn Park on Graham Park Road, has only been in use for three months and has five gardeners and one church group who have claimed 11 of the 26 plots. Wood says he hopes to have all of the garden plots claimed by next spring, just in time for the next growing season.

Jersey Mikes Opening at Smoketown Stations


WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Get ready for another Jersey Mikes sub shop, this time at Smoketown Stations shopping center.

The sub shop will open its doors next to the Barbershop & Co. and Old Country Buffet on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge inside a shop that used to house a Quiznos Subs.

So far, no opening has been announced.

“The site has just been approved…it hasn’t even gone into lease execution yet,” said Jersey Mikes spokeswoman Josie Capozzi.

But that hasn’t stopped a flood of posts to social media from Woodbridge residents exited about the upcoming opening. The store will join locations in Stafford Marketplace shopping center and at Stonewall Shops Square in Gainesville.

The sub chain quickly expanding across the U.S. and plans to open its 800th shop on Wednesday, with 40 more stores to open by the end of the year.

Jersey Mikes typically opens its stores on Wednesday and offers a free sub sandwich in exchange for a donation to a selected local charity, said Capozzi.

Potomac Local Pets


Lost dog — Charger 

Vicinity of Mountain View Road in Stafford County. Charger is a 3-year-old male He weights about 85 pounds and has a completely black coat.

He should have a brown leather collar on He may be with a brown female pit-bull named Coco, she is around 65 lbs and may be a little friendlier than Charger.He is shy around people.

Kitty adoption 

The following kitties are available at special adoption rates: Midnight and Harmony – only $49. These sweethearts have amazing stories to tell and endless love to give!

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

The Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering Serves Up Homestyle Cooking

DUMFRIES, Va. – The Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering is a southern carry-out restaurant located off of U.S. 1 in Dumfries. The restaurant is housed in a small, rambler house that has been converted into a commercial space. 

At The Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering, barbecue lovers will find their favorites like macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, cornbread, and collard greens. The Lazy Pig’s ribs, pulled pork, and briskets are all smoked on site in their two large smokers that sit in front of the restaurant. 

The owner, Ken Harris, created Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering in 2005. Before opening his business, Harris gained a lot of experience cooking for his friends and family.

Now after nine years, Harris said that customers still love the ribs, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. Besides being local residents, much of the reason why Harris, last November, chose Dumfries to open The Lazy Pig’s newest location is that outside of Woodbridge and Stafford, finding barbecue restaurants independent of fast food was difficult. Harris said that there needed to be a home cooked barbecue restaurant that could be convenient for residents. 

The Lazy Pig, said Harris, is all about providing excellent customer service with high quality food. The Lazy Pig also prides itself on efficiency so that customers are in and out in the shortest amount of time. Overall, Harris said that he wants customers to know that The Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering cares about its customers and their needs.

The Lazy Pig BBQ and Catering is located at 17530 Waters Lane, Dumfries, VA, 22026. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Sundays from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. For more information call 703-221-4511. 

Siblings, now at Separate Schools, Support Each Other after Playing Together at Potomac

Trey and Amber Porter

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Both Amber and Trey Porter attended Potomac Senior High School where they played basketball.  Both siblings assisted their teams on a successful first round appearance to the Virginia State Basketball Championship held at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia; with Trey and the Panthers most recently winning a State Championship title in March 2014.

Now, the duo plays college basketball separate from one another for the first time in three years; Amber at Stetson University located in DeLand, Fla. and Trey at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Trey, a freshman, will play at the forward position this season for the George Mason Patriots.  His goal is to bring key extras to his new team.  

“I want to add athleticism and defensive intensity to the game with some offensive putbacks mixed in,” he says.

Amber, who plays Center, is eager to try her hand as a power forward if possible in an effort to broaden her game.  She averaged 14.9 points per game last season as a rookie for the Hatters and earned such titles as Atlantic Sun Freshman of The Year and Mid-Major Freshman of the Year (College Sports Madness).  Amber also set Stetson’s single-season record with 129 blocked shots on the season, breaking the previous record of 72.

Returning as a sophomore for the 2014-2015 season, Amber is working on improving her all-around game this summer; building on her gym workouts with personal trainer George Logan of G Team Sports, Inc.

“ I have really been focusing on my defense and ball handling moves,” says Porter.

School selections weren’t easy and many top Division-1 scholastic and athletic programs were after both of them during their recruitment period.  “Go somewhere you like and that works best for you,” says Trey, “you have to be prepared to utilize the school as well as the athletic program.”

Undoubtedly, the support of their mother over the years has been invaluable, but coupled with the support they give each other shows their dedication to family.  

“I am always amazed at all the people I don’t know who come up and show love for both of us,” expresses Amber, “but of course I am always going to support my brother.”

As siblings go, each know a little known fact about the other that would interest those who are learning about the dynamic duo.  

“I enjoy yoga,” said Trey. “Your body feels great afterward.”  Amber whispers, “I’m shy,” despite having to conduct regular interviews on account of her rookie success.

They each share a desire to reach the professional level with the NBA and WNBA, respectively, but they understand it starts with the present. Advising rising athletes who wish to get to the collegiate level

“Work hard, practice hard and play hard…constantly,” Trey said.

For now, Amber spends this summer working on her game independently from her team before her return for the fall school year and Trey is showing off his talent at the Kenner League (Nike Pro/College League) being held at Georgetown University in Washington from July through mid August.

And who else would be at Trey’s summer league games, but Amber, an older sister supporting her younger brother.

Potomac Local Pets

081314 julietSweet Juliet: Beautiful, intelligent Terrier mix female with a red coat and brown, soulful eyes.

She is leash trained, crate trained, UTD on all her shots and has been spayed.

Sweet Juliet is an obedient, playful, affectionate, eager to please and gentle personality.

What more could a person ask for?

081314 orionO’rion: is an amazing, sweet and gentle male kitty that gets along wonderfully with other cats, dogs and kids of all ages!

He is a Maine Coon/ Tabby mix male who is UTD on all is shots and neutered.

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

Hospital Rolls Out ‘Community Care Cart’ for Patients

081214 cart
, Va. – Sentara Hospital’s Auxiliary volunteer group has decided to launch a ‘Community Care Cart’ as a new and innovative way to provide care for patients in their hospital.

The cart aims to provide free items to help provide the patients with some relief and brighten their day. On the cart there are small donated things like lotions, back scratchers and crossword puzzles that patients can have, free of charge.

For Jim Cassidy and his wife, who both volunteer at the hospital as patient reps, the Community Care Cart adds another element to patient care that they feel is valuable.

“You try to put a smile on the patient’s face. You spend time with someone – because some of these patients – if they come from a nursing home, they have no other visitors. You are their visitor. And now with this new program, the Community Care Cart, that’s just an extra feather you’re putting out there to them,” Jim said.

Nan Wehmeyer, another volunteer with the auxiliary, agreed that the cart is a way to connect with Sentara’s patients.

“I do it because I look at the Community Care Cart as a conduit. It gets me in the room with a patient, and it allows me to get to know the patient, and that’s how I bond with them. Yes, the cart is giving things away that are free, and are things that they need, but more importantly it’s me bonding with them,” Wehmeyer said.

The auxiliary that makes the cart possible is a volunteer-based organization with 300 active volunteers comprised of adults and juniors. The junior program component is a way for high school students to get involved and give back to their community, providing them with valuable experiences at the hospital.

“We have the most robust and comprehensive junior program in Northern Virginia. That’s my opinion, and I say that because we have a year-round junior program,” said Phim Gilberry, the hospital’s Volunteer Coordinator.

As a whole, the auxiliary serves many functions at the hospital. “In addition to donating volunteer hours, our auxiliary [volunteer group] also does fundraising through various activities…Money raised benefits the community and the auxiliary has a long history of purchasing and donating much needed medical equipment and other resources,” Gilberry said.

Among the group’s many accomplishments was the recent donation of a mobile health van, which cost $130,000, purchased with funds raised by the auxiliary. The van is frequently out in the community providing much needed services.  To raise funds for their projects and donations to the hospital, the auxiliary hosts sales, fundraisers and events throughout the year.

When working in the hospital, the 300 volunteers assist in administrative functions, running the hospital’s gift shop and serving as patient reps to advocate for patient’s needs.

“The things that we do here [as volunteers] are much different than what I’m told other volunteers do at other hospitals. And when I leave for the day, I feel like I’ve done something of value,” said Edie Lewis, a volunteer in the auxiliary.

Free Clinic Plans Fiesta to Celebrate Opening of New Center in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- It’ll be a fiesta at the Prince William Area Free Clinic.

The clinic will celebrate the opening of its unified health center on Church Hill Drive in Woodbridge by holding a special dinner on Aug. 16.

“We wanted to have a community event where our patients and the community can celebrate,” said Prince William Area Free Clinic Director Linda Franklin.

The idea is the brainchild of several volunteers and patients at the clinic, as many were looking for a way to give back the agency that has helped them.

Diners can expect burrito, enchilada, tostada, rice and beans on each plate followed by a desert, said Franklin. Todos and Americana markets will donate all of the meat and other items to make the celebration possible.

A guitarist will also play music while event goers eat their meals.

Tickets for the dinner are $7 for adults, $5 for children under 12 years old. The clinic is located at 13900 Church Hill Drive in Woodbridge.

Last year, the Prince William Area Free clinic saw patients in more than 15,000 medical visits, 240 dental visits, and more 20,000 hours of volunteer time were donated to the clinic by dedicated volunteers. 

Stafford Locals say Brewing is an Everyday Adventure


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – At 150 degrees, the enzymes inside begin to break down and sugars start to separate from the grains. What remains is poured into a boil kettle where the batch begins to boil at 210 degrees. Hops are added for flavor and then removed.

In the end, there will be 85 to 90 gallons of Backpack Wheat – it will be the only batch made this week, and it will last them just as long.

“Everything we do is done here… beer is brewed here… it’s served here,” said Stan Johnson, co-owner of Adventure Brewing Company in Stafford.

“Backpack” is a refreshing beer meant to quench thirsts and is one of at least five brewed here in this warehouse just off U.S. 1, by a group of guys who work by day in technology and are beer craftsmen by nights and weekends.

The beer makers also pride themselves on their IPA, stout, and “Super Power Pale Ale.” Each batch made is like a small science project as the crafters try to get the brew to measure up to the last batch. But science didn’t always come easy.

“I was terrible at chemistry,” said Adventure Brewing Company co-owner Tim Bornholtz. “I’m now going back to take graduate-level courses on chemistry – it’s hard.”

Never planned on opening a brewery

Johnson, Bornholtz, and John Viarella are the brew masters at “Adventure.” Johnson, Bornholtz say they’re from Stafford County, and they all began brewing beer together in the late 1990s for friends at parties and barbeques.

Later, “life happened,” said Bornholtz, and the guys had children and raised families.

“It was purely a hobby, something that we did and then we got a batch beer at the end of end of it. Never did we have plans to open a brew house,” said Bornholtz.

They guys got back together in 2011 and began brewing again and decided to make their dream of a production brewery and tasting room a reality. A new law passed in 2012 allowed Virginia breweries to have a tasting room and that, and a rezoning order passed by Stafford County officials, were the catalysts to spring Adventure Brewing into life.

Bar a sycamore cut down nearby Stafford Courthouse

The guys tele-commnute to their day jobs which allows them to work out of the brewery during the days. At nights and on weekends they open the tasting room so beer enthusiasts can sample some local brew.

There are several beer taps connected to several cold kegs all containing genuine Stafford County brewed beer. The bar is a 186-year-old sycamore tree cut down nearby the Stafford County Courthouse.

And, just like those who go to wineries, brew house customers are discerning.

“People go from brewery to brewery, come in and want to try something they’ve never had before,” said Bornholtz. “If they come in and nothing is new, they’ll say ‘OK, see you next week.”

Plans to expand to restaurants

“Adventure” opened in May and is one of two breweries in Stafford County. A third is in the works.

While they perfect their beer, unlike wineries, don’t look for food to be served here anytime soon. Food trucks park sometimes outside the brewery on weekends and sell food to beer drinkers.

“We’re a production brewery. Getting beer out to people whether in kegs or bottles is what we do. We make beer. Period,” said Bornholtz.  

Drinkers may one day within the next two years see Advenutre’s beers on taps at area restaurants – most likely at a craft beer bar, the kind of place that has at least 30 taps, said Bornholtz.

While customers wanting tastings fill the brewery on Saturdays, Thursday nights are quickly becoming popular for a “geeks who drink” trivia night. If you want to go, it costs $6 for a growler and $12 to fill it. A pint costs $6 and $2.50 for a six-once taster.

The tasting room is open Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. 

The Five Costly Mistakes of Car Ownership (Promoted Post)


If a modern car is treated with care, it can last for over 100,000 miles without needing major costly repairs. However, neglecting you car’s maintenance needs can leave you with a large bill that could have been avoided. Do you really want to be spending extra money?

Here are five commonly-made mistakes to avoid. Doing so will not just save money, but keep you and your passengers safe as well.



Putting off an Oil Change

While oil technology has improved dramatically over the past couple of decades, it is still important to change your oil as recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Motor oil gradually breaks down as it is circulated through your engine. After a certain number of miles, the oil doesn’t provide adequate lubrication. In modern engines, many manufacturers use some form of variable valve timing or hydraulic pressure from the oil pump to help make the cars more powerful and efficient. Not changing the oil greatly affects these systems. Changing your oil is one of the kindest, simplest things you can do for your vehicle to insure your engine performs like it is supposed to for a very long time. Skipping this simple task can shorten the life of your car.

oil change

Regular oil changes are one of the easiest ways to maintain the life of your vehicle.

Changing Tires without an Alignment

An alignment ensures that the wheels of your car are positioned properly on the road. When a car is out of alignment, the tires wear out prematurely or in places where they’re not supposed to. If you are replacing two or more tires it is important to have this checked to get the most life out of the tires.

Installing Oversized Aftermarket Wheels

While some aftermarket wheels are carefully designed to be compatible with certain vehicles, getting the wrong wheels can harm your vehicle’s suspension and ride comfort. Also, if you buy wheels that are too large for your car, you can damage your fenders and wheel wells. Even though, the wheels and tires may technically fit on the vehicle it puts more force on the wheel bearing and brakes and can make them wear out prematurely although it looks cool, (and I agree) be prepared for some extra repairs.

jump start kit

A portable jump start device is great to keep with you in your vehicle.

Buying a Cheap Battery

A dead battery is a huge hassle. Often times, it means waiting for a jump start, or having to wait for a ride to get a battery to put in your car. And it’s important to find the exact battery for your car. A less expensive battery generally has fewer cells and less reactive material in it then a higher end battery so therefore the cold cranking amp ability and the longevity will generally be less. Going to a garage with ASE certified technicians with the right battery test equipment can help you avoid an inconvenient break down.

Getting Cheap Body Work

If you have a dent on your car, sometimes you can be approached by a “professional” in a shopping mall parking lot, or a friend might offer to take care of the problem. Beware, because sloppy body repair can cost more to correct than the original damage. Once an amateur has damaged the paint, a dent that could have been repaired by a professional for $100 dollars or (3 egg laying hens, and 5 pounds of bacon) * according to google July 29th, 2014, might now cost five times as much to be fixed.

At HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire we perform auto and truck repair service such as brakes, alignments, oil changes, shocks and struts, electrical work, check engine light diagnostics, tires and much more.  We are SWAM (small woman and minority certified).  We are locally owned and operated.  Learn more at www.HomeTowneTire.com

This content was written and produced by Hometowne Auto and Tire, which supports PotomacLocal.com’s mission to cover news in the communities we serve.

Chef Opening The Landing Restaurant at Occoquan Harbour Marina

080714 landing occoquan

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A family restaurant will open on the Occoquan River today.

It’s called The Landing Restaurant at Occoquan Harbour Marina and it will seat 80 guests who will dine on everything from seafood to steaks. Taking advantage of its location on the Occoquan River, the restaurant will also have a waterfront bar.

The Landing Restaurant at Occoquan Harbour Marina offers an 80 seat formal dining room, adjacent to a nautical themed bar with flat screen televisions. Our private dining room can accommodate up to 40. Outside, our “Front Porch” is a fully covered outdoor dining experience accommodating up to 40, and our expansive outdoor deck has its own Tiki Bar, seating for 50, with the best view on the Occoquan. 

The location was once called Water’s Edge and served as a late-night hangout. The new incarnation of this building is now being run by a chef who says he focused on the quality of food.

Troy Clayton is the Chef and Owner of Geranio Restaurant, The Landing at Coles Point Marina and The Landing at Occoquan Harbour Marina. His prestigious culinary career began in 1987 and has taken him across Europe and through some of the most well known kitchens in the world. Chef Clayton has cooked with names like Anthony Worrall Thompson, Marco Pierre White, James Martin, Jean Louis Palladin and Guenter Seeger in world-class establishments including 190 Queensgate, Dell’Ugo, Resto Des Amis, The Watergate Hotel, The Mandarin Oriental and Hyatt Hotels. He has received awards from Best Chef America, Academe Culinary de France and American Express “Young Chef of the Year.”

In 1998, Chef Clayton purchased the historic Geranio Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria,  an intimate, 110-seat Italian restaurant that has been featured in The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, The Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine and more. Geranio continues to receive critical acclaim including “Best of Awards” on Open Table, Zagat, Trip Advisor, Yelp and others, rating in the top 10 of more than 600 restaurants in Alexandria.

In May 2013, Chef Clayton opened The Landing Restaurant and Waterfront Bar in collaboration with the owner of Coles Point Marina. His love of the Potomac, the Northern Neck and close association with Mr. Burke make it a perfect partnership. The Landing at Coles Point received accolades from local and regional press, the boating community at large, and local residents in the Northern Neck.

Locally produced artwork will be on display for today’s grand opening and locally elected officials will also be there.

Award-winning chef Troy Clayton will host an invite-only grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for his newest restaurant, The Landing Restaurant at Occoquan Harbour Marina on Thursday, August 7, 2014.

Artwork by Kazaan Viveiros will be on display throughout the restaurant and available for sale. Guests are invited to tour the new restaurant while enjoying complimentary heavy appetizers, wine and entertainment.

Local dignitaries, including Elizabeth Quist, Mayor of Occoquan, and Congressman Gerald Connolly will be in attendance, as well as representatives from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, area business leaders, partners and clients.

A ribbon cutting will be held at 4 p.m. and the art show begins at 4:30 p.m.

Potomac Local Pets

080514 Snowball (2)Snowball

Friendly, affectionate, and playful; how’s that for the perfect combination of traits! She is a 9 year old, UTD, spayed, all white female. Snowball loves attention and is very social. Give her a toy and a pal, and she is one contented kitty. Special Price for This Special Girl – Adopt her for only $49.00 during the month of August!


The cutest little girl you ever did see! She is a 4 year old spayed, Tortie female. She has a very relaxed but playful attitude. Callista is affectionate and loves to be with people.This wonderful little lady is 080514 Callista 3-2014(c)yours to take home for only $49.00 during the month of August.


A a 4 year old, spayed female kitty who is even prettier in person with her adorable, little round face and beautiful tabby colors. Daphne can be shy around visitors, but once she gets to know you, she loves to cuddle. This fantastic feline’s adoption fee is only $49.00 during the 080514-Daphne-12-13(1)month of August.

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

Potomac Valley Watercolorists Showcasing Artwork at Workhouse

Workhouse Arts Center  in Lorton (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

LORTON, Va. – As part of the Workhouse 2nd Saturday Art Walk, please join the Potomac Valley Watercolorists artists for an exhibit reception.  We’ll honor the founders of PVW, see early paintings from a historic perspective, hear some short stories from past presidents and enjoy refreshments.  Guests will be invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award at the reception.

The Workhouse Arts Center is proud to host 40 Years of Potomac Valley Watercolorists exhibit September 13 – October 25.  The Potomac Valley Watercolorists (PVW) is a juried society of watercolorists in the DC area. 

A special reception for the exhibit will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. September 17 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.

The exhibit includes 100 paintings from PVW members, some of the area’s top watermedia floral and landscape painters. The stunning, original artwork includes landscapes, florals, still life and abstracts created with water-based painting mediums such as watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. 

PVW is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the art and excellence of watercolor painting.  Its members include many watercolor instructors who teach at all levels, and artists who exhibit at prominent galleries, museums and in nationally acclaimed exhibits. Some members serve as jurors; others give demonstrations and programs for art and community groups.  Join us and learn about the history of watercolor and get a better understanding of the media. 

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, PVW has published a beautiful, 188-page book highlighting the artwork of 175 of its members.  The book contains striking images of paintings and descriptions of each artist’s process. PVW’s book will be available for sale at the Workhouse.


Dixie Power Trio to Perform at Center for the Arts


MANASSAS, Va. – The Dixie Power Trio is a four-piece group dedicated to the music and sounds of Louisiana.  Based in Fredericksburg VA, the group has toured extensively throughout the United States in support of their seven independently produced recordings.

 In a typical set the Dixie Power Trio will play a gumbo of different styles including zydeco, Cajun, New Orleans jazz, funk, street parade, and rock.  The songs are a mix of Louisiana-flavored originals and covers—all with a unique, happy-go-lucky attitude.  The band’s music has been featured on NPR’s “All Thing’s Considered” and on several WB television shows.  Over the past few years the Dixie Power Trio has shared the concert stage with many Louisiana music luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Terrence Simien, Chubby Carrier, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Olympia Brass Band, and Beausoleil.

Presented by the Center for the Arts; a gift from Micron Technology Foundation and the City of Manassas. At the Loy E. Harris Pavilion in Downtown Historic Manassas on Saturday, August 16 at 6:30p.m. Free. Rain or Shine.

Woman Reunites with Late Husband’s Dog 4 Years After it Disappeared on the Day of his Funeral

MANASSAS, Va. – Woodbridge resident Annie Thomas has been reunited with her husband’s dog that disappeared after his death in 2010, thanks to the Manassas Animal Shelter.

Angel, a pug, was positively identified as Thomas’ dog based on an identification chip implanted in the dog, which the shelter was able to scan.

Thomas had originally adopted the dog from a shelter to comfort her husband Nathaniel, a 26 year retired E-9 Sgt. in the Army, who had been diagnosed with a form of dementia that began to deteriorate his brain and body.

073114-thomas“The reason why I got the dog was for my husband in the first place, because his mind was going bad,” Thomas said.

She recalled the positive influence that Angel had on him and the time they spent together.

“My husband would sit on the porch, at the back of my house, and he would always play with the dog because he didn’t really know a lot, because his mind was deteriorating, but he always knew that puppy. He would always sit by the puppy, and the puppy would always sit by him, and he would pet it and talk to it, like the pug knew what he was saying.”

After battling the dementia for over 10 years, Nathaniel passed away in 2010, at the same time the pug disappeared.

“The day my husband’s funeral was, I came back [to the house], and the dog was missing. And for almost five years, the dog was gone,” she said.

Coping with her husband’s death and caring for her two adopted children, she put the dog out of her mind, until she got a random call from the animal shelter in Manassas, claiming that they had a dog that was Thomas’.

“[The dog] came out [of the shelter], looked at me, and sat right down by my feet,” Thomas said. “I was on my way home, and I thought, ‘Lord where did this dog come from,’ because it’s been over four years.”

Not remembering the dog’s original name, Thomas called him Dusty, but after telling others about this incredible experience where she was reunited with the pug, she decided to call him Angel.

“I know there’s got to be a reason why this dog showed up again. Where has he been after all this time? And as I was telling people about the story with the dog, and all of them said that the dog was sent back to me,” said Thomas. “Half of them said my husband sent the dog back to me, and the other half said it was an angel that came back to me.”

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