WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Tour guide, 8 students rescued on Rappahannock River

From the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department:

Eight students and one tour guide were rescued from the Rappahannock River Saturday evening in a nearly four-hour operation by Stafford County Fire and Rescue firefighters and paramedics assisted by Spotsylvania County and the City of Fredericksburg. Students from the University of Mary Washington were on a guided tour of the river Saturday afternoon when they became separated from the guide after his canoe overturned.

The Stafford County Emergency Communications Center received a call from one of the students at 5:11 p.m. indicating that some of the students were still on the water while others had made it to shore near the confluence of the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers.

Utilizing four-wheel drive vehicles and all-terrain vehicles, crews covered approximately two miles of ground off of Richards Ferry Road to gain access to the last known location of the students. Crews were staged down-river as look-outs for the students still on the water and to act as a safety for crews operating up-river.

All nine subjects were located within an hour and forty minutes of the initial 911 call. Crews worked for an additional hour and a half to get the students off the water safely. All nine were checked by paramedics and refused any further care. The students and their guide were transported back to the University of Mary Washington.

Ausberry charged with aggravated malicious wounding after shooting

From Prince William police: 

Aggravated Malicious Wounding – On April 21 at 9:53PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 11100 block of Privates Ct in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shooting. When officers arrived at the home, they located the victim, a 27-year-old man of Manassas, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

First responding officers provided aid to the victim who was flown to an area hospital for treatment. Initially, officers believed the suspect was still inside the residence which prompted the response of the Department’s tactical team. Officers later determined that the suspect had actually left the area in a vehicle.

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau were able to determine both parties were family members and that the incident was domestic in nature. The suspect, identified as Ronald Aaron AUSBERRY II, eventually turned himself into police without incident earlier this morning.

Arrested on April 22:

Ronald Aaron AUSBERRY II, 24, of the 8700 block of Farnham Way in Manassas

Charged with aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony

Court Date: June 28, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond


Sheriff Hill rescinds Stewart support, joins Supervisors in endorsing Gillespie

Corey Stewart last month told us that seeking endorsements from sitting politicians is “old-style politics.”

The only sitting politician in Prince William County who endorsed Stewart rescinded today rescinded his praise for the county Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large turned Virginia Gubernatorial candidate.

“Today, I am pulling my endorsement of Corey Stewart for Governor. He is a friend, but his campaign has become more focused on division, rather than the unifying values and the history of the Republican Party. I now support Ed Gillespie to be our next Governor,” stated Prince William County Sheriff Glenn Hill in a statement released by the Gillespie campaign.

Hill’s move follows Stewart’s appearance at the Old South Ball in Danville earlier this month, where the Washington Post quoted him as saying”

“I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag…That flag is not about racism, folks. It’s not about hatred. It’s not about slavery. It’s about our heritage…It’s time that we stop running away from our heritage. It’s time that we embrace it.”

Stewart in February also held rallies in Charlottesville after that city’s Council moved to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

At the same time Hill rescinded his endorsement, Marty Nohe, and Jeanine Lawson, Ruth Anderson, and Peter Candland who sit with Stewart on the Board of Supervisors also endorsed Gillespie.

““Throughout his campaign, Ed has clearly demonstrated that he understands what Virginia needs to get moving again,” stated Lawson in a press release. “I appreciate his commitment to running a unifying campaign based on a policy agenda that will grow our economy, bring jobs back to the Commonwealth, and make government more transparent and accountable. I have known Ed for a long time, and I believe that he will be an effective governor that all Virginians can be proud of.”

Gillespie won a straw poll at the Prince William County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner by 62%, with Stewart coming in second with 24% of the vote. Afterward, Stewart tweeted the was rigged.

Republican Maureen Caddigan who also sits on the Board of Supervisors has yet to endorse a gubernatorial candidate. A majority of GOP members in the county have thrown their support behind Gillespie.

“…Senator Dick Black, Delegate Richard Anderson, Delegate Tim Hugo, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, Delegate Jackson Miller, Prince William County School Board Member Willie Deutsch, and former Prince William County School Board Chairman Milton John, announced their support of Gillespie for Governor,” the Gillespie press release stated.

Voters will head to the polls June 13 for a Primary Election to choose a Republican governor candidate. Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner, in addition to Gillespie and Stewart, is also seeking the GOP nomination for Virginia Governor.

Ruth Estelle Gardner

Every Obituary in Prince William County by:

Ruth Estelle Gardner, age 85, passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Stafford, Virginia.

Mrs. Gardner was born on February 12, 1932 in Alexandria, VA to the late Preston Sylvester German, Sr. and Nellie Elizabeth (Pettit) German.

Predeceased by her parents; three sons: Jerry Gardner, Ronald Gardner and Ricky Gardner; one daughter: Sheila Lynn Lear; and one son-in-law: Danny Cornwell.

Survivors include three sons: Garland Dodson and wife Rose of King George, VA; Michael Dodson of Catlett, VA; and Jeff Dodson and wife Marilyn of Stafford, VA; one daughter: Gloria Jean Cornwell of Beaumont, TX; one brother: Wayne German and wife Janet of Chase City, VA; a special great niece: Bonnie L. Jenkins of Stafford, VA; 17 grandchildren; 29 great grandchildren; 5 great great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM at Pierce Funeral Home, 9609 Center Street, Manassas, VA where the family will receive friends from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. Interment will follow at Woodbine Cemetery in Manassas, VA.

Condolences may be sent to: www.piercefh.com

Tonya Joy Jocewicz

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Tonya Joy Jocewicz, age 43, of Woodbridge, VA, passed away on April 17, 2017. Loving mother of Deanna Mace and Sierra Mace. Adored daughter of Donald and Patricia Jocewicz. Dear sister of Donna Howard, Justin Jocewicz (Julissa), and Melissa Romero (Salvador), Cherished aunt of Jacob Howard, Dylan Howard, Jared Howard, Aidan Howard, Jonathan Jocewicz, Josiah Jocewicz, Raquel Sosa and Marlissa Romero. Also, survived by brother in law James Howard, long time friend Dawn Bird and the father of her children; Joseph Mace.

Tonya was an accomplished musician. She loved writing songs, singing, playing the guitar, piano and many other instruments. She also had a passion for and composed electronic beat recordings. She had an amazing talent to play music by ear and to play instruments. In her off time, Tonya enjoyed creating music, socializing with her friends, traveling and working out. She was working as a security officer for Kaiser Permanente and recently achieved her security guard certification.

A Celebration of her Life will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 with visitation from 1-3 pm; memorial service at 3pm with refreshments to follow at Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home 4143 Dale Boulevard, Dale City, VA 22193.

If desired in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tonya’s daughters Deanna Mace or Sierra Mace.

Forrest Grant Dotson

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Forrest Grant Dotson, age 37 of Manassas, VA died at Medstar Georgetown Hospital on April 19, 2017.

He was preceded in death by his father Ernest Ulysses Grant Dotson, Jr and is survived by his loving mother Ruth Ann Bean Dotson; his sisters Melody Sue Lagrave, Barbara Dawn Cleary, Michelle Renee Jansen and Charity Anne Pearson. He is also survived by his many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at Pierce Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 9609 Center Street, Manassas, VA on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10:30 AM with the family receiving friends one hour prior to the service. Interment Quantico National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family ask that contributions be made to Medstar Georgetown Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit, 3800 Reservoir Road, Washington, DC 20007

Patricia Carol Tuthill

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Patricia Carol Tuthill, age 71, of Montclair, VA, passed away on April 21, 2017. Beloved wife of 46 years to Lanny Y. Tuthill. Loving mother of Kendra Tuthill, and Scott Tuthill (Amy). Cherished grandmother of Hailey Tuthill and Brody Tuthill.

Patricia was loving wife, mother and grandmother, She enjoyed gardening, jazzercising with Gerda’s Girls, and crocheting. She will be missed by all who knew her.

The family will receive friends at the Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home, 4143 Dale Boulevard, Dale City, VA 22193 on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 2:00 PM until the time of her Life Celebration at 4:00 PM

A graveside service will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the Sound Avenue Cemetery, Aquebogue, NY.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Gerda’s Girls Relay For Life, or the American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org

Minivan reported stolen in Prince William flips, hits Stafford patrol car

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office: 

On April 21, 2017, at approximately 2:46 AM, a resident of Somerset Landing called 9-1-1 to report subjects tampering with cars on Pinehurst Lane. The caller advised that a van, without its headlights illuminated, was traveling slowly down the street while two subjects with flashlights were running back and forth from the van to parked cars. A car alarm was then activated, and the subjects dispersed. Multiple patrol units responded immediately to the area.

Deputy M.R. Flick responded and traveled through the neighborhood in search of the van. He soon observed a light-colored minivan, with headlights off, traveling east on Masters Drive. He activated his emergency equipment as the minivan quickly spun around and began driving at a high rate of speed toward him. The van missed Deputy Flick’s patrol vehicle. Deputy Flick pursued the minivan, as it increased speed and turned left onto Persevere Drive. The van then careened into a parked SUV, pushing the SUV a distance of approximately 20 feet. The minivan flipped to its side and slid head-on into an oncoming patrol vehicle.

The single male occupant of the Toyota minivan was uninjured. He was taken into custody and identified as a juvenile.

The Toyota minivan returned as stolen from the same neighborhood in Prince William County where the juvenile lived. The 15-year-old male was charged with Eluding Police, Attempted Malicious Wounding of Law Enforcement, Grand Larceny/Motor Vehicle, Destruction of Property, Trespassing and No Driver’s License. The subject was detained at the Juvenile Detention Center, as the investigation continues.

The Stafford sheriff’s office did not say from what address the van was stolen. 

U.S. Education Secretary, Virginia First Lady expected to visit area schools Tuesday

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos is expected to visit Prince William County Public Schools next week. 

The details are still being hammered out. This is what we know so far, from a division spokeswoman: 

You heard correctly that we are anticipating a visit on Tuesday. However, nothing is yet finalized.  Indeed, we had planned to meet with members of the Secretary’s staff this morning, but they postponed. That is why we have not yet announced plans to the media. 

Absent a discussion with her team, I cannot be certain, but I fully expect that media will be welcome and (as soon as we have final details) invited.  As you may know, the reason for the visit is to learn about and highlight the great work that Ashland and PWCS are going with military families. This will probably involve a meeting with some families…. 

More information about Devos’ visit to Prince William County is expected Monday.

We have confirmed that Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe will visit Metz Middle School in Manassas also on Tuesday for a separate, unrelated event. 

From a Manassas City Public Schools spokeswoman: 

Metz Middle School has won the Virginia Breakfast Challenge based on breakfast participation growth over the past school year. Breakfast participation from October through December 2016 was compared to breakfast participation from October through December 2015.
First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Senator Jeremy McPike will be at the school on Tuesday, April 25th to recognize the school.
The school will receive funding to support equipment for its nutrition program and $4,000 to support technological enhancements, field trips or other equipment.
First Lady McAuliffe and Senator McPike are expected to arrive around 8:30 am. They will get a quick guided tour of the school which will end in the cafeteria where they will meet the Food Services staff.  The First Lady will assist with preparing the grab and go breakfast and she will also have an opportunity to meet students. “Checks” will be presented to the school and then around 9:10 – 9:20 am, they will entertain press questions.  The First Lady will also pull names for two raffles for teachers and students, which will be announced on the PA system.  They are scheduled to depart around 9:35/9:40.