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Cash-Covered Police Cruisers Spotted at Wawa

Angela Davis of Aquia Harbour assisted Police Chief P. Harman in raising money for the Special Olymics on Nov. 14 at a Wawa on Garrisonville Road. (KJ Mushung/PotomacLocal.com)


STAFFORD, Va. – On Nov. 14 at Wawa gas stations all over Stafford County, people could plaster police cruisers with dollars for Special Olympics.

The event was organized by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Harman of the Aquia Harbour Police Department, who donated her time and was off duty during the event, raised $173 on her cruiser.

Bethany Baker, 7, of Stafford quickly places a dollar on an Aquia Harbour police cruiser for Special Olympics before shyly running off. (KJ Mushung/PotomacLocal.com)


Donors were invited to “cover the cruiser” with dollars for Special Olympics on Nov. 14. (KJ Mushung/PotomacLocal.com)


Fans Flock for Final Twilight Movie

Photo: Kristina Kotlus

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The fifth and final film adaptation of the Twilight book series was released in midnight showings Thursday. As our Kristina Kotlus shows us, fans lined up at AMC Theaters at Potomac Mills mall to see the Breaking Dawn Part II.

The parking lot was full well before midnight, and fans lined up inside for the movie.

Dubbed the “Twilight” series named after the first book, the books and films tell the stories of teenage vampires and werewolves.

Photo: Kristina Kotlus

A parking lot outside AMC Theaters in Woodbridge was full well before the midnight start of Breaking Dawn Part II. (Photo: Kristina Kotlus)

Virginia Writers Club Welcomes Prince William Authors

Newly elected 2013-14 president of the Virginia Writers Club, Betsy Ashton (second from left, Blue Ridge Chapter), and current 2011-12 president, June Forte (center, Northern Virginia Chapter), welcome Write by the Rails as the statewide organization’s newly chartered Prince William Chapter. Representing Write by the Rails in Richmond on Nov. 3 are June Kilpatrick (Gainesville), Linda Johnston (Gainesville) and Terry Reardon (Woodbridge).
(Submitted photo)

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Write by the Rails, a networking group of writers based in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, has been officially chartered as the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club.

The announcement was made at VWC’s annual meeting Nov. 3 in Richmond. Local members June Kilpatrick and Linda Johnston of Gainesville and Terry Reardon of Woodbridge were in attendance.

The club is a statewide organization that supports and stimulates the art, craft and business of writing in the Commonwealth. Write by the Rails joins nine other regional chapters of the club: Appalachian Authors Guild, Blue Ridge, Chesapeake Bay Writers, Hampton Roads, Hanover Writers, Northern Virginia, Richmond, Riverside Writers and Valley Writers.

Write by the Rails was co-founded in 2011 by individual writer members of the Prince William County Arts Council: Cindy Brookshire, Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Pete Pazmino and Sheila Lamb. The group has a Facebook page and maintains writebytherails.blogspot.com.

Members have participated in Arts Alive! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, conducted a “How to Market Your Book” panel workshop, sold books at the Winery at La Grange and signed up to read books to school children for National Young Readers Day.

Currently, the group is producing New Departures, an anthology featuring the work of Robert Bausch, Carole Bellacera, Tracey E. Brooks, Chip Deyerle, Leigh Giza, Alexandra Hailey, Kelly Harman, Carole Keily, Paul Keily, Peggy Kimmey and others. Proceeds will benefit local non-profits. The group is sponsoring a book sales table at the City of Manassas 6th Annual Neighborhood Conference on Sat., Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Manassas Boys & Girls Club, which is located at 9501 Dean Park Lane in Manassas.

“I am delighted to have such a dynamic and active chapter join the Virginia Writers Club,” said VWC President June Forte, author and speech communication professor at Northern Virginia Community College. “Write by the Rails extends our organization’s reach into Prince William County and is a strong force of support for the Club’s mission of developing and encouraging the art, craft and business of writing within the county.”

The next monthly meeting of Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, is Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West Street in Manassas. The public is welcome.

Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway is Saturday

(Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – For the fourth consecutive year, Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ is sponsoring ‘Tis the Season to Give Thanks – and giving away free turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday, Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.

The church is located at 1440 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge. In 2011, HTC provided more than 400 Turkeys for families in the Woodbridge area and our goal for this year is to double that amount with 700-800 turkeys.

Having purchased a new worship center in 2009, Holiness Tabernacle is committed to providing a helping hand to those in need.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that before we can meet the spiritual needs of people, we must first meet their physical needs,” said Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr., who feels God has called the church to minister to the total needs of the Woodbridge community, both natural (educational, social and economical) and spiritual.

The church’s Missions Department has also partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to host a free food distribution the second and fourth Monday of each month.

For more information on the Holiness Tabernacle Free Turkey Giveaway, please contact the church at 703-497-7928 or visit the church website at holinesstabernaclecogic.org.

-Press release


Keach Named Parade Grand Marshal

Manassas Christmas Parade (Photo: Historic Manassas Inc.)

MANASSAS, Va. – The man who played Christopher Titus’ father on TV’s “Titus” will be the Grand Marshall of the Manassas Christmas Parade.

Stacy Keach agreed to join Manassas Mayor Hal Parish for an annual Christmas Tree lighting on the evening of Nov. 30, and then at the annual parade the following day at 10 a.m.

The 67th Annual Manassas Christmas Parade will begin on Va. 28 near Liberia Avenue and wind through Old Town Manassas. Several streets along the route will be closed the day of the parade, beginning at 8 a.m. Dec. 1.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. 

Keach recently joined the faculty at George Mason University at it’s Department of Theater.

More in a press release form Historic Manassas Inc.

Stacy Keach is now our local hero, as he has joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Department of Theater as Heritage Professor of Stage and Screen. He is the honorary chairman of the Cleft Palate Foundation, and advocates for insurance coverage for cleft palate surgeries. He served on the board of the Environmental Communications Organization and is the co-author, with Gary Greenberg, of the Mary’s Magic Microscope books, as he is passionate about getting youth excited about science.

Stacy Keach also supports the efforts of independent film-makers across the globe. Stacy Keach’s own movie career comprises over 50 films since 1968 including work with such acclaimed directors as John Houston and Oliver Stone. For many, his most memorable roles have been on television. From 1984-1998, he was Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.

In 2000 he played Ken Titus in Fox’s sitcom, Titus. He continues building new audiences, regularly as the narrator of segments of NOVA and National Geographic programs. Still, he is most passionate about his role as teacher and mentor.

We extend a warm welcome to Stacy Keach, Professional Artist in Residence for Theater at Mason and Heritage Professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University.


Closures for Veterans Day 2012

Some government offices in the Potomac Communities will close Monday in observance of Veterans Day.


On Monday, Nov. 12, City of Manassas Government offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Yard waste will be picked up in the City on Monday. For questions about recycling or trash pick up visit www.manassascity.org/recycling.

The Manassas Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day and is free to veterans and active duty military all weekend.

Manassas Park Community Center

In observance of Veteran’s Day, there will be no Extended Care, Preschool or MP3 on Monday, November 12th.

Prince William County

All Prince William County Government offices and Courts will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12 for the Veteran’s Day holiday.

The landfill will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 12.

All neighborhood libraries will be closed on Saturday, Nov. 10. All libraries will be closed on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 11 and 12.

Stafford County

Stafford offices, departments and facilities will be closed on Monday, November 12, 2012, in observance of Veterans Day.

The Circuit Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and General District Court in Stafford will also be closed on Monday.

The following offices and facilities will remain open:

Fire and Rescue Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Sheriff’s Office Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Magistrate (540) 659-2968

The Regional Landfill, 489 Eskimo Hill Road, Stafford, VA 22554, and the Belman Road Recycling Center, 1200 Belman Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, will be open on Monday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


‘Band Together’ Marks 2nd Year in Stafford

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

STAFFORD, Va. – Students and the community came together at Mountain View High School to see marching bands perform, and to help the hungry.

Band Together to Fight Hunger kicked off Monday night, marking the second year students from all five Stafford County high schools gathered on one field to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

SEE ALL PHOTOS by clicking this link. 

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)



Dance Moms Filming in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – It’s sort of like Real Housewives meets Black Swan.

The cast and crew of TV’s Dance Moms will film an episode at Forest Park High School on Saturday. The filming begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m., and there’s a limited number of tickets open to anyone who wants to come watch the dance competition being filmed.

Producers of the show said the free tickets have to be obtained through this website.

On Sunday, cast member Abby Lee Miller will hold a special instructional session for dancers 11 and younger, and another session for dancers 12 and older at Harbour View conference center in Woodbridge. Tickets for these sessions are $69 for participants and $30 just to watch.

Dance Moms on TV’s Lifetime network is centered around Miller who teaches competitive dance to children. The mothers of the children also play a role in the show and, like their Real Housewives counterparts, and often be seen arguing on the small screen.


Old Bridge Christmas Parade is Saturday

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – The Old Bridge Christmas Parade is this Saturday, and it marks one of the first holiday traditions of the year.

The event featuring Santa will begin at 10 a.m., with marchers traveling on Old Bridge Road from Lake Ridge Middle east to Smoketown Road.

The parade is expected to impact traffic on the popular commuter route. The Virginia Department of Transportation Permit Manager Art Klos sent out an email about the parade:


The Lake Ridge community will be holding its annual Santa’s Old Bridge Parade. The parade will begin in front of Lake Ridge Middle School near Mohican Drive, proceed west on Old Bridge Road, and end near Smoketown Road at the Old Bridge Festival Shopping Center. During the parade, west bound traffic will be shifted to the east bound lanes. This is the same route that has been used since 1997.

Traffic control during the parade will be provided by the Prince William County Police Department. Message boards will be placed on Old Bridge Road advising the public of the upcoming event.


Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Prince William police, and OWL Volunteer Fire Department, and others are expected to participate in the parade.

The parade was brought back last year first time after a brief hiatus due to inclement weather and logistical problems.


Stafford Businesses Line Up to Help Sandy Victims

(Photo: Hope for Warriors)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Some of the coastal landmarks Michael Pollaci grew up with are gone – swept away by Hurricane Sandy.

Now the Stafford County businessmen, and others, are collecting goods and supplies to help residents of the battered northeast coastline.


When I see the pictures of what is going on I get very choked up nearly on the verge of tears. I lost contact with my Mom and it was a very anxious time for me. Thankfully, she is on the other side of the Island and only lost power for a few days but I can tell you the ‘not knowing’ is the worst part when family is involved.

Also, there are so many memories I have of the beachfront in Staten Island and now a lot of those landmarks and places I visited are gone – it’s like losing a part of your self.

My entire childhood and most of my adult life are there and it is all just devastated.

-Michael Pollaci


Pollaci lived on Staten Island for 39 years before moving to Stafford. He’s using his Stafford Technologies computer repair shop as a drop-off point to collect clothes, blankets, toiletries and stuffed animals for children, and he’s hoping the community will donate more.

Help for heroes 

Chrissy Sharon is also hoping the community also donates these items. At her Mainstreet Grill and Bar, she’s collecting items for Hope for the Warriors – a charity organization collecting items for U.S. military service members impacted by Sandy.

In addition to basic necessities, the organization is also looking baby formula, diapers, and gift cards to home improvement stores.

Both Stafford-based businesses aim to begin shipping out their items to the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week.

IF YOU KNOW of businesses or organizations in the Potomac Communities collecting donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, please comment below and share the info!

Freeze Watch Tonight


It’s going to get cold out there tonight, and unprotected plans won’t like it very much.

A freeze watch is in effect from late tonight into early Monday morning as temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

Plants should be brought inside to protect them from frost, stated the weather service.

Locations west of Interstate 95 are under the watch, including the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William, and Stafford counties.

Temperatures will remain chilly throughout the week with a forecasted high of 50 degrees Monday, 48 on Tuesday, and 43 on Wednesday as a coastal storm is set to bring us rain.


E Book Downloads Up In Prince William

The checkout counter at Chinn Regional Library in Woodbridge. (Photo: Prince William County)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Ahead of Superstorm Sandy on Monday came a influx of downloads of e Books from the Prince William County Library System.

Jean Ross with the library system said 276 e Books were downloaded Monday.  That’s up from their usual 180 per day.

PotomacLocal.com asked Ross about how the e Book system is used and why it’s so popular:

Q: Do you think the storm had anything to do with the demand?

A: We are quite sure that the combination of poor road conditions and office closures, with people stuck at home, contributed to this uptick.

Also, many people keep their e-readers charged and might have not had other entertainment options if their power was out, thus leading them to think about downloading an e-book. In addition, the Federal government offices were closed, and Federal workers had an unexpected day at home.

Q: How does the e book download option work?

A: You must have a current PWC library card and from there you go to the main library website and click on “Download and Go” or go directly to princewilliam.lib.overdrive.com.

Downloading is completely free and the steps required vary according to what device people are using (for example, iPads, Nooks, Kindles and others) Users can have up to 5 e-books checked out at any one time, and may place holds on e-books that are checked out.

Q: How long has Prince William allowed for e book downloads?

A:We have had free downloadable e-books since September of 2011, and the collection continues to grow, with new titles added constantly.

Unfortunately, there are some publishers who will not allow library circulation of their e-books, so we have some limits as to which titles we are able to buy.

We do, however, have a well-rounded collection of fiction, non-fiction, romance, science fiction, and other genres to offer users, and all are free with a library card.

Q. Why is this a popular service?

A: As e-readers have become more reasonably priced, more and more users are e-reading, and the library offers a source of free content for these e-readers, which has undoubtedly contributed to their popularity.

A Dumfries House Full of History, and Chilling Experiences

Historic Weems-Botts Museum is situated in Dumfries, Va. (Photo by: KJ Mushung)


DUMFRIES Va. – Chances are that if you’ve ever taken the Dumfries exit on Interstate 95, or if you’ve gone down U.S. 1 on your travels, you’re unaware that you’ve passed by one of the oldest and most haunted sites in Virginia.

The Weems-Botts Museum, built around 1749, is one of the only remnants of Dumfries’ illustrious colonial past – and has a cast of camera hogging spirits to prove it.

Originally used for a church poorhouse, the Weems-Botts Museum has served as home to the sick, elderly and poor of the town, and

Violet (Weems-Botts Museum)

later in 1798 to Mason Locke Weems, George Washington’s first biographer.

In 1803 it was even owned by Benjamin Botts, the youngest lawyer for the defense team of the Aaron Burr treason trials.

Abandoned for more than 30 years before being acquired by the Merchant Family, the Weems-Botts Museum again fell into disrepair after 1968.

Then the Flory family, previous owners of the Bel Air Mansion which is now home to Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, had the site added to the registry of historical places and worked to restore it to be used as a museum, which opened in 1974.

Another shot of Violet. (Weems-Botts Museum)

And while the ghosts on the property have reportedly been around for centuries, a video segment on “My Ghost Story,” a TV show scheduled to air on the Biography Channel in this month, has revitalized local interest in the site for it’s bevy of paranormal experiences.

Joann Barron, Director of the Weems Botts Museum and Historic Dumfries, Virginia, was once a skeptic before working at the museum, but after more than a year of experiences, is making the transition to a believer.

While there have been dozens of various sightings and occurrences, Barron shared that most recently, on previous ghost walk, people heard the sound of horses and a young man horses at the other end of the property.

Spirits have personalities

There are several different opinions on the personality and physical characteristics the

Violet at age 79. (Weems-Botts Museum)

spirits may possess, with Civil War soldiers, members of the Merchant family, and a mysterious older gentleman among the list of otherworldly residents on the property. “They are hams – they are not discrete,” said Barron of the ghost’s personalities.

“We were in the upstairs bedroom, and when we’re up there the door opened on it’s own. All of the EVP (Electric Voice Phenomenon) meters went up and [Bennett] went over by the door, and you could see the handle [moving] and then door pops open and it’s all on video camera,” she added.

Local investigators take interest

Many different paranormal groups have investigated the site, but without question, one of the most successful collectors of evidence at the Weems-Botts Museum is Stafford resident David Bennett.

“I had just heard about this place, and was kind of interested and just stopped by for a tour one day, in April of last year. Joann [Barron] was showing me around the place and there was an interesting sort of occurrence. When she was talking about Violet, [a ghost of a small child believed to haunt the house] and she was just talking and it sounded like a female agreed with what she was saying,” Bennett said.

Since this initial experience Bennett’s been hooked, and he’s continued to have great success gathering solid EVP’s, ghost photos and video recordings.

In Bennett’s, Barron’s, and several others’ experiences, many of the paranormal incidents have been tied to women in the Merchant family who owned the property for several decades.

Violet and Mary Merchant were sisters who grew up in the home; but things were never the same after Mary passed away under “mysterious circumstances” in her early 20’s. Violet continued to live in the home, despite the tragedy, until her death.

See more of PotomacLocal.com’s Haunted October series: 

Who or what is haunting this Manassas hotel?

The spirits of these Civil War soldiers are alive and well 

A county leader’s historic home near Dale City has a haunted past

Campfire tales of Occoquan’s ghostly past

A window with a life of its own

Another one of the more high-profile haunting locations in the home is the window on the second floor, in Violet’s bedroom. The window has been said to open and close on it’s own, with the spirit apparently having a fondness for interacting with children.

“There were two girls and they had to be both less than 5, and we were there [in the upstairs bedroom] and the window was closed and I told them the story about the window. The girls were very excited and were trying to get it to open and shut and nothing happen. So we did the rest of the tour and they asked if they could come back, so we went back to the room again and the window actually opened and closed when they asked it to – and it happened a few times,” said Patrick Higgins, Docent for the Museum.

Ghosts also nextdoor

The Museum Annex, a newer building next to the museum house, has also been known for its ghosts and ghouls as well – who possess a certain affinity for scaring the staff.

“It was a Sunday afternoon, and so I was sitting in the [back room] and it had been pretty quiet for most of the afternoon and all of a sudden I heard this noise upstairs. I didn’t pay attention to it at first and then I realized it sound distinctly like someone was walking around. I could hear him get louder when he got closer to where I was sitting and so I heard it and it stopped and then I heard it again and I decided to go sit out on the porch,” said Stephanie Haas, a summer intern for the Museum.

Reporter investigates

With so many ghostly experiences to hear about, I decided to take the role of “investigative journalist” to see if I could have an experience myself. To be fair, I’m in the middle of the debate of real versus fake, but I’ve always leaned towards the believer’s side, on the basis that I don’t discount things I can’t explain.

To complete a thorough investigation, I enlisted the help of Bennett, Barron and Stafford resident Andrew Kiebler. After spending time analyzing compelling EVP’s that Bennett had captured, our group entered the home. When entering one of the upstairs bedrooms, I immediately smelled a overwhelming scent of a violet-type incense, which sent Bennett off to search for the source of the smell – although none was found.

The scent occurred again when leaving the Museum at the conclusion of our first investigation.

During my second investigation of the house, in another upstairs bedroom,

I felt the pressure and warmth of a human touch on my arms and on my shoulder on several different occasions, none of which could be ruled out after further investigation.

After being touched, I felt sore all along my arm, and was shocked to hear that another woman had the exact experience in the home herself. After sifting through hours of video recordings, we were also fortunate enough to capture some compelling EVP’s that display the voice of the many “roommates” living at the Weems Botts Museum.

While my experiences are personal, I am confident that there is something on the site of the Weems Botts Museum. With the long and often tragic past of the land, it’s no surprise that the Museum has become a stomping ground and a final resting place of spirits from all walks of life.

Food Drive Gives Holiday Hope to Families


MANASSAS, Va. – It’s that time of year again where many of us will be gearing up to gather together around a bountiful table to ring in the holiday season with our families. Sadly, there are many people in our own neighborhoods that are not so fortunate.

There are a variety of opportunities to support the needs of our community during this holiday season. One way is to join the City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Department as they take part in the Third Annual Canned Food Drive to benefit Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS)/SERVE.

NVFS is a private, nonprofit community service organization committed to helping individuals and families discover new paths to self-reliance and brighter futures. With almost 33,000 of our neighbors turning to them each year needing case management, safe housing, counseling, medical and dental access, child care and development, affordable loans, foster and respite care and job training, the goal of the NVFS is to empower individuals and families to improve their quality of life and to promote community cooperation and support in responding to family needs.

Sponsors for this annual campaign include Prince William Hospital, Historic Manassas, Inc., the Old Town Business Association, Fire and Rescue Departments from the City of Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County, Wi-Not Stop and Kloke Group.

The community can help NVFS/SERVE in their efforts to be there for those who have little or no hope by contributing to this drive. Specific items needed include soup (especially “kid” soup), vegetables and pasta sauce.

You may drop of canned goods at donation boxes located at all City of Manassas buildings and around the City of Manassas from October 24 – November 14.


Halloween Still a Go for Area

A mask is a simple, but always effective last minute Halloween costume idea. (Photo: Stephanie Tipple/For PotomacLocal.com)

Happy Halloween. It’s not canceled.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy many had wondered if trick-or-treaters would still be welcome in neighborhoods – some of which on Tuesday were without power.

In Prince William County, officials there said they don’t have the power to cancel the candy-getting, costume-wearing festivities.

County spokeswoman Nikki Brown comments:


The county doesn’t regulate Halloween or trick-or treating. We do recommend that people follow these safety tips: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/FR/Pages/Halloween-Safety.aspx.

In addition, due to the recent weather, people need to assess whether or not they think it’s safe to go out or take their kids out. If they do go out, they need to watch for any flooding or debris. Hopefully, power will be restored by then, but if not, people should be aware of that, as well.


Adversely in the gated North Stafford community of Aquia Harbour, police chief Patricia Harman did have the option to postpone Halloween but chose not to.

The neighborhood was impacted by a few power outages but it wasn’t enough to order children off streets tonight.

Shoppers Stock Up Ahead of Sandy


DALE CITY, Va. – As Hurricane Sandy moves its way toward the Potomac Communities, families and companies all over Northern Virginia are preparing.

Prompted by the derecho this past June that took many off guard, and leaving several people without power and supplies for extended periods, there is a bigger sense of preparedness for Hurricane Sandy.

At Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City supplies are flying off the shelves; with batteries, flashlights and candles being among the top most purchased items, according to Meagan Stephens, a cashier at the store. Another popular item many are flocking to are sand bags.

“People are especially buying those to keep from flooding,” Stephens said.

While they have plenty of flashlights in stock, the store is currently out of propane tanks.

Dominion Virginia Power and NOVEC are also taking preemptive measures – and are urging their customers to do the same. A press release issued Saturday by Dominion Power warned this storm is likely to be long lasting, and that customers need to be ready for long term outages.

“This storm system will build in intensity over time and will remain a force for days, not just hours, causing major damage and extensive power outages,” said spokesman Rodney Blevins. Dominion has made a commitment to have teams on the ground as soon as the worst of the storm is over, to help restore power to affected communities.

NOVEC is also prepared with teams to fix any damage and outages in the Northern Virginia area, and has stressed safety and emergency preparedness. One tip that NOVEC offered all customers was to get in touch with NOVEC and ensure that they have your up to date contact information on file, so they can get in contact with you and restore your service as quickly as possible.

“If you use a cell phone, call us at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to associate your number with your account,” the press release states.

Take a look at these hurricane preparedness tips, published by NOVEC:

? Designate the safest shelter location. Be prepared to leave a mobile home for better protection. Develop a plan for someone disabled.

? Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches, and first aid. If applicable, have enough prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items.

? Have identification and documentation ready to grab. Keep Social Security information; birth certificates; home, car, and life insurance files; and other important documents in a water-proof file box.

? Cordless phones do not work when power is out; keep cell phones charged.

? Before a storm hits, unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave oven, and computers to protect them from power surges and lightning strikes.

What to do if Power Goes Out

? Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, or report the outage online at novec.com if you have access. The Outage Center will provide updates.

? Only open freezers and refrigerators when necessary.

? Use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.


NOVA Wins: ‘We Finally Started to Play Like We Can Play’


Playing two division games in less than 24 hours, Northern Virginia Community College Ice Hockey (NOVA) had its work cut out. After last week’s devastating loss to Radford University, NOVA had spent the last week retooling its game plan and it clearly showed.

On Friday night, NOVA celebrated its fifth anniversary with a celebration puck drop with NOVA Counselors Mike Donnelly and Trevor Blair who helped start the team five years ago.

NOVA clearly came out ready to get revenge on a fast William and Mary team that had beaten NOVA just a few weeks ago. Setting the pace early was NOVA’s #19 Taylor Bachmann who scored two quick goals at 2:20 and 5:35 of the first period. Freshmen Philip Patrican, playing in only his third game for NOVA, scored from a blast from the point at 24 seconds later. William and Mary superstar put in a goal six minutes later to calm the crowd, but NOVA’s Romtin Sharolli a minute later to put NOVA up 4 to 1 to end the first.

In the second period, two quick William and Mary goals had them close the gap, but NOVA’s Steve “Grandpa” Morales put in bouncing pass from Austin Woolf to make it 5 to 3. NOVA played containment defense for the rest of the game to hold on for their first BRHC win of the year.

“It was a good win, we finally started to play like we can play,” said Coach Barrett Haga.

In the second game of the weekend, NOVA Hockey traveled down to Old Dominion for the second annual Zach Cuddeback Memorial Classic played at the AHL Norfolk Admirals’ home the 6,000-person Norfolk Scope Arena. The game was a barnburner from the start. ODU, a BRHC Atlantic powerhouse, scored first with an upper shelf snipe from star player Bill Bock.

NOVA came roaring back with the first of three goals from Taylor Bachmann. With the score all tied up at 3 each, ODU scored two quick ones in the third. NOVA called the time out and reinforced the message that they were not going to give up.

Taylor Bachmann then scored his third goal of the night closing the gap. Coach Haga pulled NOVA goalie Timmy Gonzalez who had one of the best performances in NOVA history by stopping 45 of 50 shots with 1:06 left. NOVA then pounded ODU goalie Nick Sample relentlessly with Sample making save after save to win the game for ODU.

“The team is starting to come together. They are not realizing the benefit drylands, chalk talks, and practice. We will be very competitive down the stretch,” said Haga.

NOVA Hockey is sad to report that team founder Robert Lucier passed away the other day. Rob helped to create the program 5 years ago. He was a great player and a dear friend.

NOVA Hockey’s next game is Saturday, Oct 27 in Dix Hills, New York against Suffolk Community College.


Workhouse Holds Second Arts Gala

Paul Berry and Sally Merten at the Gala cocktail reception. (Submitted photo)

LORTON, Va. – The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton held its second annual Arts Gala on Saturday.

The event is held to celebrate the artistic and cultural significance of a bustling arts center near Occoquan. Here are some snippets from a press release about the event that featured former WJLA-TV anchor Paul Berry as the Master of Ceremonies.

-The evening began with guests mingling at a cocktail reception that included decadent hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, full of community donations and Workhouse artists’ work. From there, they moved to an elegant dinner upstairs in the McGuireWoods Gallery, featuring filet mignon and seared mahi mahi.

-Dinner entertainment included an awards presentation and live auction, featuring a Nascar Experience hosted by a Sprint Cup team owner and a custom oil portrait from one of the Workhouse Arts Center’s exceptional artists, Patricia McMahon Rice

-Musical entertainment was provided by the Johnny Artis Band, a favorite local rock and roll/rhythm and blues band. Throughout the evening, guests were able to meet the Workhouse Art Center’s outstanding artists and view their work.

-The evening’s Honorary Chairman Dr. Alan G. Merten, President Emeritus of George Mason University (GMU), was honored for his outstanding commitment to GMU, as well as to the arts at GMU and throughout Fairfax County.

-During dinner, [Fairfax County] Mount Vernon District Supervisor, Gerald W. Hyland, was presented the Lorton Arts Foundation (LAF) Founders Award by LAF Board Chairman Richard Hausler. The award was presented on behalf of the Workhouse community with appreciation and respect for Hyland’s steadfast support of LAF and the Workhouse Arts Center.


Dancers Raising Funds at Occoquan’s Rockledge Mansion


The gracefulness of a ballet dancer gliding across the stage, the sounds of a tap dancer keeping rhythm to a song or a pair of dancers doing interpretative dance. All of these are forms of art and the Woodbridge Dance Company is committed to raising public awareness of dance as an art form and believe that the “Arts have an amazing power to inspire, unite and teach.”

The Woodbridge Dance Company is a non-profit (501c3) organization that relies extensively on their friends and patrons for support. Their mission is providing the community with awareness of dance and the performing arts, while giving young dancers the experience of performing, and gifted choreographers the means to create artistically.

One way the Woodbridge Dance Company raises money is with its annual Confections and Cocktails Masquerade Fundraiser Reception. Adults 21 years and older are invited to join and celebrate the event’s third year on Friday, November 2 from 7-10 p.m. at the historic Rockledge Mansion (circa 1758) located at 440 Mill St., Occoquan, Va 22125. Parking is a challenge in old town Occoquan, but there is ample parking at the end of the road near the Mansion.

Catherine Furr of The Woodbridge Dance Company says the Confections and Cocktails event “is an opportunity for the community to meet the directors, learn more about Woodbridge Dance Company, mingle with innovative choreographers and talented dancers.”

It is her hope that this event will raise $6,000 toward their final goal of $20,000 to support their 5th Annual “A Coffee House Concert Collection” on January 12, 2013 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

This will be a night out that you won’t soon forget. Cocktail reception attire is required; masks will be provided at the event. Enjoy the entertainment while having cocktails and eating hors’dourves.

There will also be door prizes, raffle items and a silent auction. One of the items to be auctioned is a “Wall of Wine” consisting of a variety of donated wines along with a personalized story of why the donor loves the wine contributed. The Woodbridge Dance Company feels that this item “demonstrates our Company members’ belief that enjoying the finer things in life, such as wine and dance, truly enhances our lives.” Other items to bid on will include gift certificates from various local businesses and donated baskets.

After Oct 15 through Nov 1 tickets cost $35 each, or they may be bought at the door for $45 per ticket. Tickets can be bought online at woodbridgedancecompany.com. For more information call 703-583-2623.

Food Bank to Benefit from Stafford Band Show

Marching bands from Stafford County high schools came together for the first time in 2011 to raise money to fight hunger in their communities. (File photo: Mary Davidson)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Students in Stafford County once again this year will come together to fight hunger in their communities.

More than 400 students will descend on Mountain View High School at 7 p.m. November 5 for the second annual Band Together to Fight Hunger. The show will feature band students from all five of Stafford’s high schools, and all proceeds from the show will benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

The price of admission to the show will be one non-perishable food item. Mountain View High School is located at 2135 Mountain View Road in Stafford.

More in a press release from Stafford County Public Schools:

Gates will open at 5:30 pm with a wide offering of concessions provided. Admission requires one non-perishable food item. Monetary donations will be accepted that evening or at fredfood.org

All proceeds will go to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank and provide food back to the hungry of our community.

This event is not designed simply to showcase musical talent, or highlight individual school band programs, but as a way to bring our Stafford Community together in the effort to raise awareness of the challenges in relation to food and hunger that 40 in 100 of citizens in Planning District 16 are facing daily.


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