Nonstop Local News for Prince William County, Va.




Dumfries robbery suspect identified

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery *SUSPECT IDENTIFIED – On August 23, detectives from the Gang Unit identified one of the suspects involved in the robbery which occurred in the 18000 block of Fraley Blvd in the Town of Dumfries on August 18. Detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of this suspect, identified as Darius Lamont DAVIS. Attempts to locate DAVIS have been unsuccessful.

Wanted: [Photo from September 2013]

Darius Lamont DAVIS, 21, of the 18300 block of Chestnut Point in Triangle

Described as a black male, 5’10”, 160lbs with brown eyes and black hair
Wanted for robbery, abduction, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On August 18 at 10:38PM, officers responded to the 18000 block of Fraley Blvd in the Town of Dumfries (22026) to investigate a robbery. The victim, a 42-year-old man of Dumfries, reported to police that he was walking in the area of White Haven Dr and Main St when he was approached by two acquaintances. During the encounter, the victim was punched in the face knocking him to the ground. The suspects then took the victim’s cell phone and demanded money. When the victim refused, one of the men brandished a handgun and forced the victim to walk to a nearby business in order to retrieve money from an ATM machine. While in the business, a Town of Dumfries police officer on routine patrol entered the business and the suspects fled the area. The victim then made contact with the officer. Minor injuries were reported. This incident does not appear to be random. The investigation continues.

Volunteers needed for National Public Lands Day at Leesylvania State Park

Good morning Prince William – The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program recognizes outstanding young people in grades 5-12 for their great volunteer service to the community. Teens will be judged by their initiative, effort, impact and personal growth. Nominations due by November 8th at their website:

· The Out of Darkness Walk to support suicide prevention needs walkers on Sunday September 18th at the Harris Pavilion. Check-in is 11am and the walk begins at 12:30pm. Please register to walk or support one of the many walkers already registered at:

· Mark your calendars for the Independence Empowerment Center’s Annual meeting and recognition event on Wednesday September 28th at Foster’s Grille in Manassas from 4-6pm. Come learn about all the accomplishments of the past year and the vision for the future.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program –RSVP needs volunteers age 55+ to present a fun disaster preparedness program to 4th grade students throughout the community. The program will teach the kids critical life skills to keep them safe when they are home alone. It’s so easy and doesn’t take much time out of your day. Training provided! Benefits also include additional insurance, a mileage stipend, recognition events but most importantly teaching our kids life skills. Please email Jan at: to learn more.

· Catholic Charities has an urgent need for volunteers to teach English classes in Manassas, Woodbridge and Dale City. You only need to do one class a week. No foreign language skills or teaching experience needed. Training will be provided. Please call (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more- you’ll be so glad you did.

· We’re pleased to present the volunteer management training series again this fall. This comprehensive 5 part program will give you all the skills needed to manage your volunteers. The series begins Wednesday September 14th from 9am-12noon. Topics include Understanding volunteers, recruiting and matching skills, orienting and training, supervision and evaluating for improving results. Please register online for this free program at:

· Saved Hands Foundation needs office space in the Woodbridge area as they offer their trainings to the homeless and other seeking employment. It’s a great way to help them give a hand up to those in need. Please call (703) 895-6681 for more info.

· BEACON Adult Literacy is looking for volunteers to teach English as well as technology facilitators. Morning classes are 9:30-11:30 and evening classes are 7-9pm. They will give you all the training needed to be successful. Please call Jen at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers in their ReStore during the week and also volunteers to bring lunch to the construction sites Thursday-Saturdays. A sandwich, chips and a drink go a long way to help home ownership to a deserving family. Please check out their website to sign up for your volunteer shift

· Historic Manassas is gearing up for the Bands, Brews, and BBQ festival on September 10th. They need 60 people to poor beer from noon to 6pm. There will be two shifts for pourers and over 50 craft beers and siders for sampling! Also they are gearing up for the Fall Jubilee event on Saturday October 1st. Two super fun events for volunteers. Contact Erin at: for more info.

· National Public Lands Day is Saturday September 24th at Leesylvania State Park. Volunteers are needed to collect native tree seeds that will go to local nurseries that grow trees for reforesting efforts across the region. Wear your closed-toed shoes and all the tools, water and supplies will be provided. Check-in is 9:30-10am. Please register

· IWALK for ACTS is Saturday October 1st at Potomac Town Center at 9am. Pull together your family, friends, colleagues and people you’d like to know and come out to support families in need. Registration is $20/individual, $15/team members or $50/family. Please register

· House of Mercy’s 2016 Campaign to End Hunger is Saturday October 1st. Pledge just $20 and come assemble 40,000 meals of pinto beans and rice. Where else can you feed 10 people for each dollar you invest? Call (703) 659-1636 or visit: to learn more.

· Walk to end Alzheimer’s is coming up on October 15 in Manassas at the Harris Pavilion – visit their web site for details on walking and volunteering! Volunteers are especially needed for event set-up, advocacy, finish line brigade and route monitoring. This promises to be a super fun day.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Hepatitis A case linked to Gainesville Tropical Smoothie Cafe


Health officials in Prince William County want to talk to anyone who purchased food or drink at Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Gainesville.

A male store employee in his early 20s this week was diagnosed with hepatitis A, a virus that attacks the liver and can be fatal in rare cases. Anyone who purchased anything at the restaurant between 28 and August 16 is see their doctor.

From the Prince William Health District:

Susceptible individuals who ate or drank anything from the Tropical Smoothie Café in Gainesville on August 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 or 18 may still benefit from vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A if received within two weeks of the date of exposure. Susceptible individuals who ate or drank anything at the restaurant on those dates should contact their health care providers, or may contact the Prince William Health District information line at 703-792-6345. Vaccine is available at various urgent care clinics and pharmacies in the community and at the Prince William Health District.

The Tropical Smoothie store that employs the infected worker, at 8069 Stonewall Shops Square, remained open on Friday afternoon. The store employee notified the owners of the store Dennis and Nicole Drake on Wednesday that his was showing signs of an illness.

The owners said the employee was told to stay home.

A lab test revealed he had contracted Hepatitis A, which can be transmitted by fecal matter or orally, according to health officials. The employee regularly handed food, and has worked at the restaurant since June, said Drake.

Customers who may not be showing symptoms now could develop them later. Those infected with hepatitis A may show symptoms between 15 and 50 days after contracting the virus, according to health officials.

The Gainesville infection comes as Virginia Department of Health officials last week traced the cause of 28 other Hepatitis A infections at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia to strawberries imported from Egypt.

“I never order anything with strawberries in it,” said Tyler Long, of Bristow, who purchased two smoothies on Friday from Tropical Smoothie in Gainesville.

Long works at a neighboring barbecue restaurant and goes to Tropical Smoothie each time he works, about four to five times a week.

The Drakes, owners of the Gainesville Tropical Smoothie, attended a press conference on Friday at the Prince Willaim Health District Office in Manassas. The husband and wife owner team said their store regularly passes state health inspections, that the company uses a private firm to perform additional health inspections, and that proper food handling training is administered to all employees.

“We’ve been impacted by this… it hurts us,” said Dennis Drake. “And it hurts more so than the business aspect… this is our food, these are our employees, and we’re all members of this community.”

The Drakes employee 17 people at their Gainesville location. The couple said they were at their Gainesville store until 2 a.m. Friday performing a “deep clean” of the restaurant.

Renaming of Hampton Middle School dubbed ‘historic’ event, Godwin name stripped from building


The sign that hangs on the front of George M. Hampton Middle School looks as if it has always been there.

The silver-lettered sign against a brick background uses the same lettering as a sign that once hung there until this summer, noting the school had originally been named after Mills E. Godwin, a former Virginia Governor who was once a segregationist but later reformed, and became a champion of public education.

All signs of Godwin had been wiped away from the school building by Thursday night when 400 people gathered in the gymnasium to re-dedicate the school after long-time Dale City resident, philanthropist, and retired Army Lt. Colonel Dr. George M. Hampton.


School Board leaders billed the ceremony as a “historic event,” with School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers saying the [Prince William County] School Board “made a mistake” when they named this school after Godwin. It is progressive thinking that led to the renaming of the school, he added.

Hampton said the school dedication in his honor is “the most significant event in his lifetime.” He also spoke about the lengthy process undertaken by the community to rename the school in his honor, which included several public meetings, and lengthy School Board meetings that drew residents who spoke for and against the renaming of Godwin Middle School.

A new high school dedicated this week was named after retired Virginia State Senator Charles “Chuck” Colgan, and a new elementary school was named after fallen Prince William County Firefighter Kyle Wilson. Hampton’s name was considered for both new buildings but was not selected.


Instead, a March compromise among School Board members led to Wilson’s name going up at the newly constructed elementary school and Hampton’s name replacing Godwin’s at what was the first middle school to open in Dale City, in 1976.

“I lost the first time, and I won the second time,” said Hampton, as he recounted the steps of the renaming process during Thursday’s night’s re-dedication ceremony. “I was happy to accept the compromise.”

A video was shown to the crowd that also recounted the story of the naming process. Still images of the proceedings, regional media reports, and black and white photos from the 1960s depicting blacks barred from public schools during massive resistance were all tied together by two songs: Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” and singer John Legend and rapper Common’s song “Glory.” The video depicted School Board leaders as political heroes upon reaching the compromise to rename the school.

“That sums up everything,” said Neabsco District School Board member Diane Ralston, who represents parents, students, teachers, and staff at Hampton Middle on the Prince William County School Board.



Hampton Middle School Principal Jehovanni Mitchell hosted the ceremony, guiding elected officials, parents, teachers, students, and visitors from the Phi Lamda Lamda Chapter of Hampton’s Omega Psi Phi Fraternity through school. She outlined the changes needed to transform what Prince William County School Board Superintendent Steven Walts called “the other school” into Hampton Middle.

The school traded the “Governors” mascot, chosen because Mills E. Godwin was a two-term Virginia Governor, for the “Huskies.” The new school logo is now painted in the gym and in hallways, as well as printed on new t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other apparel that was sold at the re-dedication ceremony.

Residents remarked on the interior school of the school, noting rooms appeared brighter, and hallways and classrooms appeared cleaner than they had been when the school had the Godwin moniker.

School officials spent an estimated $265,700 to change the name of the and to make improvements to the building. A total of $66,000 was paid for new athletic uniforms, $60,000 on painting new murals in the gyms and hallways, $25,000 to repaint and reseal the gym floor, $23,000 to replace handicapped signage at the building, and $20,000 for miscellaneous expenses.

The estimated cost is lower than an April report from a School official that said that the renaming could cost as much as $500,000


School officials have been busy this week at dedication ceremonies. On Monday, leaders opened the county’s 12th high school, Colgan High School — the first school in the county to include a swimming pool, and one of the costliest schools ever built in the state at $111 million.

The new Kyle Wilson Elementary was dedicated Tuesday as the county’s 59th elementary school. The school has 850 seats, and will provide overcrowding relief for nearby Ashland, Coles, and Rosa Parks elementary schools.

Prince William County Public Schools students head back to class for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, to begin the 2016-17 school year.

Woman in burning car pursues arson suspect

From Prince William police: 

Attempted Malicious Wounding | Arson – On August 25 at 1:02AM, officers responded to investigate a domestic altercation which reportedly began in the area of Dale Blvd and Filarete St in Woodbridge (22193).

The victim, a 37-year-old woman of Wilkesboro NC, reported to police that she was asleep inside her parked vehicle in the above area when she woke to the accused, an acquaintance, standing next to her window. The accused made threats towards the victim before igniting the victim’s vehicle on fire and fleeing the area.

The victim drove her vehicle, while it was on fire, in an attempt to follow the accused. The vehicle became heavily involved in fire in the 3800 block of Cordell Ave where police and the Fire Department initially responded. The victim was not injured.

Following the investigation, detectives from the Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for the accused who was not immediately located.

The accused, identified as Shirley Lorenzo CARTER, was eventually arrested following a vehicle stop on Jefferson Davis Hwy in the Triangle area of the County. This incident was jointly investigated by detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau and investigators from the Fire Marshals’ Office.

Arrested on August 25:
Shirley Lorenzo CARTER, 41, of 65 Clarks Ln in Stafford

Charged by the Police Department with attempted malicious wounding
Charged by the Fire Marshals’ Office with arson
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Discovery Boulevard extension to carry customers to 2 Silos Brewery

A two-lane extension of Discovery Boulevard just outside Manassas in Prince William County will soon take fans of craft beer to the soon-to-open 2 Silos Brewery. 

The joint project between the county and Silva Holdings Group, the firm that is expected to open 2 Silos Brewery inside the Thomason Barn, that was, until this year, a county-owned property.

The two-lane extension of Discovery Boulevard should open about March 2017. The road will also serve other businesses that could open in the nearby Innovation Park.

Local leaders tour Home Instead Manassas, learn importance of in-home care

Local leaders were invited to come and tour Home Senior Care in Manassas

Jack St. Clair, co-owner Home Instead Senior Care Manassas

My name is Jack St. Clair, and I am the owner of Home Instead Senior Care located in Manassas and also the one located in Herndon.

Today, what we did is what we call a “meet a Home Instead Senior Care Senior” where we invited senators and delegates from the State of Virginia to come and meet not only us, my wife and I and our office staff but also our caregivers and their clients for them to see what exactly home care is.

They’re used to seeing nursing homes and assisted living facilities which are brick and mortar buildings, but they’re not used to seeing a facility like ours where we have an administration office in this location serving more than 220 clients in their own homes.

Jacquline St. Clair — co-owner Home Instead Senior Care Manassas

It’s almost like having guests from out of town come in your home, and so, we took what we already have in our office and just spruced it up a bit and took some time, about a month ago, to invite folks to this event knowing that folks are out of session right now.

So we invited in representatives and the local officials. We gave tours today; we showed people our office.

Jack St. Clair

Surveys show that 93% of seniors want to age and die in their own home. So, we are part of the solution to that, and that is by providing much-needed companionship, help, or personal care services to seniors who do want to remain in their own homes.

We have a wide range of clients. We have clients who maybe just need us for a few hours a week, and then we have clients who are actively dying utilizing hospice services who have us come in 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help them age in their own home and eventually pass away in their own home.

We want to be part of that solution. If their wish is to stay in their own home, we want to be able to meet that wish and to be part of that.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas.

Hobby Lobby, Uptown Alley to open in Prince William County


Two new large stores are expected to draw customers from Prince William County. 

Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby will open in an old Shoppers Food Warehouse location on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. 

Here’s more in press release from the company: 

Hobby Lobby  Stores, Inc., a  privately held  national retail  chain of craft and home decor stores, opens in Woodbridge, Virginia,  with a ribbon  cutting ceremony and official grand opening celebration on Monday, August 29, at 9 a.m. The Woodbridge store is Hobby Lobby’s ninth location in Virginia.  

Eric Sisk is the store manager of the 64,000 square-­?foot  retail facility at Prince William Parkway and Smoketown Road in Smoketown  Station. The store’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is open to the public.

Local dignitaries, ambassadors from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders will attend  the  celebration.    

“We  offer  a  wide  and  ever-­?changing  variety  of  craft  and  home  decor  products   including  many  exclusive  Hobby  Lobby  brands,”  stated  John  Schumacher,  Assistant   Vice  President  of  Advertising.  “First-­?time  shoppers  in  Woodbridge  will  be  pleasantly   surprised  at  the  large  store  and  exceptional  service  provided  by  our  associates.”        

Hobby Lobby has over 700 stores across the nation. Each store offers more than 75,000 crafting and home decor products including floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and  crafts, jewelry making. 

Just outside Manassas on Tuesday, Uptown Alley opened its doors at Manassas Mall. 

From the company: 

The newest location of the nationally acclaimed Uptown Alley concept will open its doors at the recently renovated Manassas Mall (8300 Sudley Road, Manassas, Va.) on Tuesday, August 23, at 11 a.m. The $11.5 million, 46,000 square foot entertainment and restaurant venue features 24 high-tech bowling lanes, a professional sound stage for live entertainment, three high-energy bars, laser tag, interactive games with prize store and Red Embers Bar & Grill, with a menu highlighting the best in Americana cuisine, created by award-winning Chef Brad Rishmany.

The immersive entertainment experience features Brunswick® regulation-sized bowling lanes, including ten private lanes, designed for all types of bowlers, from beginner to experienced league bowler. Uptown Alley’s lanes have all the latest in the modern day bowling experience, including 15-foot projection HDTVs, black light party bowling experience, music videos, state-of-the-art scoring system and gutter bumpers for beginners.

Uptown Alley also boasts a bar a grill, billiards, and a laser tag arena inside its Manassas-area location. This is third Uptown Alley to open, following locations in Arizona and a location outside Richmond.


Bottle bombs found inside Woodbridge home

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Tuesday, August 23rd at 3:17 p.m., a Prince William County Fire Marshal was investigating a citizen’s complaint reporting a suspicious device [at a home in the 1500 block of Arum Place in Woodbridge]. Upon discovering the device, additional fire and rescue resources were requested. The County Police also provided on-scene assistance.

During the investigation, several plastic bottles containing an unknown chemical substance were located. The immediate area was evacuated and cleared, and neighborhood residents were protected from harm. The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit from the Virginia State Police was requested to the scene to assist. Among the devices, four were found complete and needed to be rendered safe by EOD. The devices were cleared without incident or injury.

Due to the potential danger from the mixture bottle bombs may contain, anyone coming in contact with the materials while manufacturing or discharging the device can sustain serious and long-term debilitating injuries. Permanent injuries to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract can be common.

The Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind the community that individuals involved with the possession, manufacture, or discharge of chemical bottle bombs face potential criminal charges for their actions. Additionally, they may be held responsible for costs associated with any property damage, emergency response and mitigation (Police, HazMat, Fire and Rescue), and clean up. In this particular incident, the alleged parties have been identified and the investigation continues.

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