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News

Virginia, Dominion Providing Respite for Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly habitats going up at rest stop, commuter lots 

 

Monarch butterflies migrating to warmer climates and those staying around here will soon be able to take comfort at a highway.

The Virginia Department of Transportation and Dominion Power will team up and will place 1,376 pollinator-friendly plants at four stops in Northern Virginia, including a car rest area on Interstate 95 in Dale City. The plants will provide nectar and shelter for the butterflies that, this time of year, are making their way to warmer regions of California and Mexico.

Here’s more in a VDOT press release:

At each of the four locations, volunteers will dig 900 square-foot beds and plant about 350 plants. Dominion is providing the funding and a cadre of volunteers; Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is providing the technical expertise, and VDOT is providing the land along with volunteers to plant the way stations.

These butterfly refuge plant beds built by the volunteers will be called “way stations.” Volunteers will dig 900 square-foot flower beds and place 350 plants at each of the four locations. Other locations where butterfly refuges will be placed include a commuter lot near Dulles Airport and a lot off Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County, and at a commuter lot off Stringfellow Road in Fairfax County.

Only Monarch butterflies born in the late summer are prone to migration. The insects are born to fly.

Dominion Power said the Monarch Butterfly population in our area has reached its lowest point in 20 years

Hylton, Osbourn Park Students Reassigned to 12th High School

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

New boundaries please Department of Justice

 

Prince William County Schools released their new boundary plan for the 12th High School created in cooperation the United States Department of Justice (D.O.J.).

Should the School Board decide to implement the new Alternative Boundary Plan, the D.O.J. has indicated to PWCS that their agency would not object nor would they pursue legal action.

D.O.J. Input

 

The previous boundary plan was called into question by the Civil Rights Division of the D.O.J. for failing to provide similar demographic diversity that as seen in neighboring schools. The D.O.J. also felt that the boundary map carved out “island” neighborhoods excluded from the new boundaries.

However, this new plan, entitled the “Alternative Boundary Plan” satisfies the D.O.J. It creates a more racially diverse student body and provides a more equitable distribution of economically disadvantaged and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students throughout mid-county schools.

According to Supervisor of Planning, Dr. Matthew Cartlidge, the Alternative Boundary Plan takes into consideration guidance from the D.O.J. as well as community input.

“[The D.O.J] were given all emails that were sent to staff regarding the 12th High School. As we were collaborating with them, we continued to provide feedback about the history of neighborhood assignments,” Cartlidge said.

 

Differences Between the Plans

 

Cartlidge listed what he believed to be key differences between the Alternative Boundary Plan and the last recent revision, Administrative Recommendation Version 1.2.

   •   The neighborhoods north of Prince William Parkway (State Route 294), which are currently assigned to Benton Middle School, will remain assigned to Osbourn Park High School, rather than being reassigned to the 12th High School, now under construction. These include the Bacon Race, Cannon Bluff, River Falls, Coventry Glen, and Reids Prospect areas

 •   The neighborhoods of Ridgefield Village and Queensdale, which are currently assigned to Osbourn Park High School, are now proposed for reassignment to the 12th High School.

   •   The neighborhoods of Smalls Crossing, Victory Ridge, White Oak Estates, Websters Landing and the eastern section of Trentdale, which are currently assigned to Hylton High School, are now proposed for reassignment to the 12th High School.

In regard to feeder schools, the new plan would take some students from both Benton and Beville middle schools.

Demographics

 

The plan satisfies the demographic requirements .of the U.S. Government by more equitably distributing minority students who attend public high school in mid-Prince William County.

The PWCS Office of Facilities Services estimated that 45.7 percent of the population at the 12th High School will be members of a racial minority, 12.8 percent will be economically disadvantaged and 2.9 percent will be Limited English Proficient.

These new demographics are more similar to that of nearby Osbourn Park High School, which will be at 53.6 percent minority, 25.2 percent economically disadvantaged and 9 percent LEP.

Moreover, should the Alternative Boundary Plan be accepted, it would not radically alter the demographic makeup of surrounding schools, which was also important to the D.O.J.

Osborn Park’s demographics would not significantly change. The school would see only a 2.6 percent increase in minority students, a 5.1 percent increase in economically disadvantaged students and a 2.3 percent increase in LEP students.

PWCS estimates Hylton High School will be at 74.8 percent minority students after the 12th High School opens. However, it will also only see a small percentage increase over its previous demographic numbers. Hylton will receive 3.7 percent more minority students; 3.8 percent more economically disadvantaged students; and 0.9 percent more LEP students.

There is not a significant difference in demographics at Brentsville, Forest Park or Patriot High School, which are schools that will be minimally affected by these boundary changes.

Balancing Enrollments

 

The opening of the 12th High School helps alleviate overcrowding at Osbourn Park, Hylton and Brentsville District high school and to a lesser extent, Forest Park and Patriot high schools.

In the school year 2016-17, Osbourn Park will open with an estimated enrollment at 87.8 percent capacity, in comparison to 121.2 percent capacity without the new school opening.

Comparative percentages for the other schools are as follows: Hylton 102.2% v. 119.2%; Brentsville 104.3% v. 123.7%; Forest Park 103.3% v. 108.9%; and Patriot 138.8% v. 133.7%.

The 12th High School will open in 2016 at 77.7 percent capacity, but that will increase to 101.7 percent in 2018-19 when it has a senior class. By 2018-19 school year, it will already be at 101.7 capacity.

One reason the plan does not do more to help alleviate overcrowding at Patriot and Battlefield high schools is that a 13th high school is planned to alleviate overcrowding in Western Prince William Schools. Also, the 12th High School is located in mid-county.

Editor’s note: This story was written by Bristow Beat as part of a news sharing relationship with Potomac Local. Click here to read the full story.

SUMMONS (FAMILY LAW)

NOTICE TO RESPONDENT(name) Martin Richard Skurski,

YOU ARE BEING SUED. LO ESTAN DEMANDAANDO. PETITIONERS NAME IS: Donna Maria Skurski CASE NO: BD603190. You have 30 calendar days after this Summons and Petition are served on you to file a Response (form FL-120 or FL-123) at the court and have copy served on the petitioner. A letter or phone call will not protect you. If you do not file your Response on time, the court may make orders affecting your marriage or domestic partnership, your property and custody of your children. You may be ordered to pay support and attorney fees and costs. For legal advice, contact a lawyer immediately, Get help finding a lawyer at the California Courts Online Self-Help Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhlep) or by contacting your local bar association. NOTICE: The restraining orders on page 2 are effective against both spouses or domestic partners unit the petition is dismissed, a judgment is entered, or the court makes further order. The orders are enforceable anywhere in California by any law enforcement officer who has received or seen a copy of them. NOTE: If a judgment or support order is entered, the court may order you to pay all or part of to the fees and costs that the court waived for yourself or for the other party, if this happens, the part ordered to pay fees shall be given notice and an opportunity to request a hearing to set aside the order to pay waived court fees.
The name and address of the court are Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles Stanley Mosk Courthouse. 110 North Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012
The name and address and telephone number of the petitioner, Donna Maria Skurski, 1111 S Grand Ave, Apt 1013 Los Angeles, CA 90015 (310)-993-6831
Date June 11, 2014 Sherrie R. Carter, Clerk-Martha Escoledo, Deputy.

Download the PDF file .

Crows Nest Tour Registration Continues

A new parking lot at Crow’s Nest Natural Preserve in Stafford County will accommodate 20 vehicles. (Photo submitted by: Paul Milde)

A field day at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County will be held Nov. 8, starting at 9 a.m. Participants will see various plants and wildlife while on a guided hike through the preserve’s wooded landscape. The guided hikes offer views of the freshwater tidal marsh and open water surrounding the preserve.
 
The field day is free, but reservations are required. Call 804-786-7951 to reserve a spot. The event is limited to 80, and reservations are first-come, first-served. Driving directions will be provided to those who register.
 
Participants should wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk up to 4 miles. The event will take place rain or shine.
 
Crow’s Nest is a peninsula between Accokeek and Potomac creeks. The 2,872-acre preserve contains mature hardwood forest and some of the best examples of diverse, intact wetlands in the Potomac River drainage basin. It supports habitat for a variety of species, including bald eagles, migratory birds, the federally endangered short-nosed sturgeon and 22 plant species important to Virginia’s Coastal Plain. 
 
Crow’s Nest was designated a natural area preserve in 2009 and is co-owned by Stafford County and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

DCR manages the property as part of the state’s natural area preserve system, which was established in the 1980s to protect significant natural areas and rare-species habitat. Today, the system comprises 61 preserves totaling 55,352 acres.

Manassas Museum Offers Chance to Get Dirty

[Photo: City of Manassas]

Several events planned for November

 

The Manassas Museum asks “What’s Under Your Feet?” and features some “wild women” in November. On Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. the Manassas Museum will host a four-mile family-friendly bike tour around the City.

Riders will see lesser-known historic sites as they ride along at a leisurely pace. For tickets, visit manassasmuseum.org.

 

Wild women of Washington, D.C.

 

On Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. the Manassas Museum will host a free book talk by author Canden Schwantes. She will talk about her book, Wild Women of Washington, D.C.: A History of Disorderly Conduct from the Ladies of the District. The book includes stories of fiery suffragettes, unconventional first ladies and rebellious socialites of Washington, D.C. who shattered the expectations of the tightly corseted society.

Stories include: escaped slave turned spy Mary Touvestre who risked it all to scuttle Confederate plans tobreak the Union blockade; Dr. Mary E. Walker, who traded petticoats for trousers to work at Civil War Union hospitals, winning both the Medal of Honor and a police record for impersonating a man; and First Lady Florence Harding, who hosted jazz soirees and served up cocktails in the White House gardens during Prohibition.

Pre-K Tuesday

 

On Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. children ages 3 to 5 years old with their care givers are invited to Pre-K Tuesday at the Manassas Museum for story-telling, crafts, songs and more. For tickets, call 703-368-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org.

What’s under your feet?

 

What’s Under Your Feet is a new exhibit at the Manassas Museum that runs through Feb. 15. This exhibit features the stories associated with archeological finds and treasures from local historic sites. Visitors who wish to experience the “thrill of the dig” can get their hands dirty with an archeology activity. For more information, visit manassasmuseum.org.

Winter Shelter Open November to March 2015

The Prince William County Winter Shelter, operated by the Department of Social Services, will open Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. The shelter is located at 14730 Potomac Mills Road, in Woodbridge and operates overnight 7 days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. until March 31, 2015.

The shelter serves single individuals only and operates on a first-come first-served basis. Single women may be referred to an overflow program. The intake capacity of the Winter Shelter is 48 clients. The program provides shelter, meals, beds, showers, and referrals to supportive services.

 

During daytime hours Monday – Saturday at the Winter Shelter facility, the Department of Social Services partners with the Cooperative Council of Ministries to provide a “Drop -In Center” for homeless individuals. Services available include mental health referrals, case management services, life skills & career training, peer counseling, wellness information, health care referrals and employment assistance.

 

For more information about the Winter Shelter or Drop-In Center programs please call: 703-897-0199.

Stafford Woman Gets 143 Months in Prison

Robin Anne Krohn, 31, of Stafford, Virginia, was sentenced today to 143 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Charles E. Jett, Stafford County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris.

Krohn pleaded guilty on July 22, 2014.  According to court documents, Krohn is a former patient of Dr. Nibedita Mohanty, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, aiding and abetting health care fraud, and aiding and abetting money laundering on July 24, 2014. 

Krohn was a patient of Dr. Mohanty from approximately February 2010 through December 2011.  During that time, Dr. Mohanty prescribed excessive dosages of controlled substances to Krohn.  Krohn both abused the medication she was prescribed, snorting up to 150 pills per day, and distributed a large portion of the controlled substances prescribed by Dr. Mohanty for a profit, earning between $3,000 – $5,000 per week throughout the course of the conspiracy.

Knowing that Dr. Mohanty freely prescribed excessive dosages of controlled substances, Krohn was also responsible for recruiting a number of individuals to see Dr. Mohanty in order to obtain unnecessary prescriptions, which Krohn and her conspirators would later abuse and distribute for profit. 

This case was initiated and investigated by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and assisted by the FBI’s Richmond and Washington Field Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Rossi and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ballantyne and Nicole Grosnoff prosecuted the case.

Editor’s note: This story was written by the office of the United States Attorney’s Eastern District of Virginia.

AMC Potomac Mills First to Show Mormon Movie

Submitted photo

Documentary film meant to educate community about the faith

 

Meet the Mormons.

On Oct. 10, a documentary film of the same name produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) opened nationwide – including AMC Theaters in Woodbridge.

The movie shares the stories of six devote Latter-day Saints: the coach, the fighter, the humanitarian, the candy bomber and the missionary mom. Each of these stories challenges stereotypes about the Mormon faith while also examining how compassion changes oneself and others.

The LDS Woodbridge congregation worked hard to bring “Meet the Mormons” to our area as the movie was originally scheduled to only open in Fredericksburg and Arlington.

AMC at Potomac Mills generously responded by agreeing to open the show one day early, with showings starting on Thursday, Oct., 9.

“I felt the first showing was fairly historic; it was actually the first public showing of the film in the entire nation,” said Ian Houston, at the Oct 9 showing of the movie.

A steady turn out kept “Meet the Mormons” at the Potomac Mills AMC through Thursday, October 23rd. Though the LDS church sees the movie as an opportunity to tell their story to a national and international audience, the movie is not a meant to be a money-making venture for them. Instead, all net proceeds from the film will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Clark Price, the President of the Woodbridge Virginia Stake, who directs 9 local LDS congregations, explains, the church’s motivation for making the film, “the film clearly shows the great and rich diversity of membership in the church. There are hundreds of languages and cultures in our church membership.” President Price finished, ““We (have) invited all to attend with an open heart and mind to learn more about who Mormons really are.”

“I was surprised in general. That religion is not what I thought it was. It seems to have not only family but it seems to have love,” said Delzoria Hawkins, of Dale City, who was invited to see the movie by her LDS neighbor said,

“It dispels a lot of false assumptions people make about our church.” His wife, Angie Harrison added “the constant you see in the people (in the film) is they are at peace,” said Clark Harrison.

AMC at Potomac Mills sold over 1,200 tickets during the two weeks the movie played in Woodbridge. To date, Meet the Mormons has earned almost $5 million dollars nationally.

After covering distribution costs, the LDS church will donate the remaining net proceeds to further the charitable mission of the American Red Cross. The film is expected to be later released on Netflix.

Editor’s note: This story was written by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Woodbridge, Virginia.

New Medical Director Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital's Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center for Stafford Hospital, which offers state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal, has appointed Peter VanDerMeid as medical director.

Dr. VanDerMeid will be responsible for reviewing patient care and results, evaluating new clinical products and providing oversight and guidance on policies and procedures. A member of the Healogics™ network, the Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies that help people heal faster and more completely than before.

A Stafford resident, Dr. VanDerMeid most recently served as Medical Director in Somerset, PA at Somerset Hosptial’s Wound Care Center.

Dr. VanDerMeid holds a Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He then did his family practice residency for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. He has practiced at two family medical care facilities in Virginia and is a Certified Wound Specialist.

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital is located at 14010 Smoketown Rd., Suite 103, Woodbridge, VA 22192. The center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics.

Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.

 

Score for Commuters: Tysons Bus Spared

Tysons-Express-bus

Tysons bus fares to rise Dec. 1; changes planned for Mark Center bus

 

A commuter bus from Prince William County to Tysons Corner survived the chopping block

But riders will soon pay more to use the five-year-old Tysons Express bus service. And the service on the newly planned bus from Prince William to Alexandria’s Mark Center, home to a massive federal building, won’t be as robust as originally planned.

The bus to Tysons Corner carries riders from the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station and commuter lot at Route 123 and Interstate 95 to Tysons via relatively new 495 Express toll lanes.

The bus service was fully funded by Virginia’s transportation department while the lanes were being built as a way to get more cars off the road during construction. With the I-495 lanes being open for nearly two years and construction complete, funding for the bus was going to be cut completely.

But the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation stepped in to keep the wheels turning.

“The decision is sure to please the dozens of Tysons Express passengers who attended a September public hearing and sent comments to PRTC urging the agency to find a way to retain a route that many describe as indispensable to their daily commute,” said Christine Rodrigo, a spokeswoman for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the agency that operates the Tysons Express bus.

Riders currently pay “promotional” fares of $3.60 for a one-way trip on Tysons Express, or $2.90 if riders use a SmarTrip card. Starting Dec. 1, fares will increase to $7.70 if paid with cash or $5.75 with a SmarTrip card.

PRTC also plans to begin operating a new commuter bus service from Prince William to the Mark Center in Alexandria in 2016. Original plans for the new service had the bus traveling to neighborhoods in the county and commuter lots to pick up passengers.

Now, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will shift funds from the Mark Center bus to the Tysons bus to help cover the ongoing cost for the bus.

Rodrigo said PRTC had previously made plans to modify the routing of the new Mark Center bus from picking up riders at commuter lots and not in neighborhoods.

“We looked at our ridership information and saw that few people would board the bus in the neighborhood locations, and having the bus make that run would only add to our operating cost and add to the time the bus would be on the road,” said Rodrigo.

The Tysons bus uses HOV lanes on I-95 to get to the 495 Express Lanes. The HOV lanes are also being converted into toll lanes — a process that is expected to be completed by December.

The 95 Express Lanes open, all vehicles will need an EZ-Pass or EZ-Pass Flex to use the lanes. Vehicles with three or more occupants will not be charged a toll but vehicles with under three occupants may use the lanes for a fee.

The 95 Express Lanes will carry motorists from Garrisonville Road (Route 610) in North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexandria, just before the Mark Center.

Disabled Train Sits on Tracks in Manassas

Disabled train at Godwin Drive in Manassas

 

A broken down train is causing headaches for drivers in Manassas.

A railroad crossing at Godwin Drive near Ashton Avenue and Rixlew Lane is blocked after a disabled train came to a stop.

Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince said they don’t know when the train could be moved from the tracks.

The rail line is operated by Norfolk Southern and it carries freight rail traffic to Front Royal and beyond.

Dumfries Explores Online Tax Payments

Dumfries Town Hall

Official Payments website would allow residents to pay for car decals

 

Residents of Dumfries must place a decal on their car windshield to prove the paid their annual personal property tax.

Now town leaders are looking at using the online Official Payments portal used by various other government agencies to collect the $24 fee for the decal.

Should members of the Town Council choose to use the Official Payments website, residents would pay a total of $25.50 to purchase their town decal. The web payment service collects $1.50 per transaction – money kept by Official Payments for the use of their services.

Currently, the town’s treasurer each year uses a list containing the names and addresses of town residents who have not paid for their decals. A letter reminding residents that decal fees are due is then mailed to those who have not already purchased.

“[residents] do send their money in with that letter and the town treasurer sends their decal out to the residents,” said Theresa Young, Dumfries IT manager.

Young researched area counties such as Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania, and found they also residents to use the Official Payments website to collect tax payments. But these larger jurisdictions also collect payments for services like water bills, real estate taxes, and parking citations. Young said similar options may not work in the town as residents send payment for many of those items directly to Prince William County.

Town Mayor Gerald Foreman says residents would be better served if they could go online to fill out tax forms for payment. He also called for working together with Prince William County tax officials and to use the same database to see who has and has not paid their personal property taxes.

“We need to partner with prince William County, now we don’t have to chase vehicles,” said Foreman.

Greek Orgs Tackle Education in Prince William

greek-education-forum

Slower growth would give schools time to catch up, panel says

 

This past weekend, the Virginia Leadership Institute hosted a forum at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus to examine the state of education policy in Prince William County.

The October 18 forum, “Divinely Standing For Scholarship: The State of Education Policy In Prince William,” panel included vocational and community leaders in education who represent the nine historically Black Greek Letter Organizations.

The panelists focused on school overcrowding, the recent drop in full accreditation for some county schools, the achievement gap among ethnic communities, minority parent involvement, and testing measurements. The members of the Prince William County chapter of the Virginia Leadership Institute planned, coordinated and hosted the Forum.

Among the many solutions discussed, the panel supported a slower County development strategy that allowed the school system to catch up with population growth, a more robust initiative to hire teachers that reflect the cultural diversity of the student body, a plan to build greater awareness about available local scholarships, and a better method to inform parents of expected academic standards for incoming kindergarten students.

The panel also stressed the need to use creative methods to engage parents who might work long hours or several jobs throughout the week, such as phone conference-calls and weekend meetings.

“Today’s forum provided a great dialogue on the state of education policy in Prince William County,” said Virginia Leadership Institute founder and CEO Krysta Jones. “The nine represented fraternity and sorority organizations are doing great work in the community; this forum further demonstrated their commitment to work together, with local government, to improve an already solid education system.”

“Prince William County is a great place to live and raise children, however, there are some challenges that our school system faces,” said forum moderator and Member of the Virginia State Board of Social Services D.J. Jordan. “Rapid growth and development has put a tremendous strain on our schools, and overcrowded classrooms are making it difficult for our teachers to try to improve achievement gaps.”

Jordan continued, “Because of our reputation as one of the top ten wealthiest counties in America, it is easy to forget about the family challenges of the 37 percent of our students who are economically disadvantaged. Education provides a pathway out of poverty, so we must make sure that every child has an opportunity for a quality education here in Prince William County.”

The nine historically Black fraternity and sorority organizations are often referred to as “The Divine Nine”.

On the panel, NVCC Manassas campus Dean of Students Mark Kidd represented Phi Beta Sigma; local teacher and Army veteran Steve Blakely represented Omega Psi Phi; federal government worker and Kappa Alpha Psi

Fraternity Guide Right Mentoring Program Vice Chairman Robe’rt Palmer represented Kappa Alpha Psi; local teacher and owner of The Educated Babysitter, LLC in Alexandria Tracy Smith Houston represented Sigma Gamma Rho; local special education teacher Brenda Bowden represented Zeta Phi Beta; consultant and author Melvin Brown II represented Alpha Phi Alpha; Occoquan School Board Member Lillie Jessie represented Delta Sigma Theta; NVCC Woodbridge campus professor Cedric Howard represented Iota Phi Theta; and local elementary school principal Marlene Coleman represented Alpha Kappa Alpha.

In addition to School Board Member Jessie, Woodbridge School Board Member Loree Williams and Gainesville School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite were in attendance.

The Virginia Leadership Institute (VLI) aims to empower the African-American community to engage local and state government through training, mentoring, and networking opportunities. To learn more about VLI, visit virginialead.org

Karen Radley Acura, County Strike Deal

Karen radley, acura, auto, dealership, cars, buy, sell,

Portion of Karen Radley Acura dealership needed to widen Route 1

Officials have nearly wrapped up financial negotiations with an auto dealer as work to widen Route 1 in Woodbridge.

The highway is being widened from four to six lanes from Dale Boulevard to Featherstone Road. The road carries motorists through a neighborhood historically known for strip malls and auto dealers.

A deal has been struck between the county and Karen Radley Acura dealership at 14700 Jefferson Davis Highway, but no specific details of the agreement have been released yet.

“We have verbally agreed to a price for the easements and damages but until we have a signed deal, I do not think it’s appropriate or fair to either party to share to share the terms of the deal,” Blaser told Potomac Local.

Officials previously offered $120,619 for a portion of land on which the Radley at the dealership. Details of the deal could be made public soon he added.

Karen Radley Acura did not return a request for comment for this story.

A public hearing on taking the Radley property was held on Oct. 7, but the action on acquiring the property was deferred when Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi requested two more weeks to work out a deal.

County leaders on also on Tuesday voted to exercise “quick take” powers over another nearby property at 14524 Jefferson Davis Highway needed to accommodate the wider Route 1. Documents state the county offered $66,831 for a portion of land currently occupied by a trailer park and two restaurants. Now that money will be paid to the land owner after a settlement could not be reached.

As of Tuesday, there was $1.5 million in the right of way acquisition budget for the Route 1 widening project. The effort to improve the roadway has also prompted the county to take portions of several other properties in the area. Officials say property negotiations need to be finalized so the overall project to widen the road can move ahead on time and on budget.

When complete, Route 1 will be a six-lane road between Cardinal Drive and Featherstone Road. The highway has already been widened to six lanes in Triangle, from Brady’s Hill Road to Joplin Road. There are also plans in the works to widen Route 1 in Woodbridge from Mary’s Way to the Occoquan River.

Mecedes Driver Struck, Dragged in Manassas Park

051613-manassas-park-police

Victim hit while outside car

 

A man was struck by a car and dragged on Wednesday.

Police said the driver of a 2000 Honda hit the rear of a 1994 Mercedes while traveling on Euclid Avenue in Manassas Park.

The driver of the Mercedes got out of the car, but the driver of the Honda sped off and struck the victim dragging him “several feet,” said Manassas Park police spokesman Karen Barton.

The victim was taken to Prince William Medical Center. The extent of his injuries was unknown, said Barton.

Police then fanned out searching for the Honda. A witness told police they spotted the car headed away from Manassas Park.

The driver of he Honda was later stopped by a Prince William police officer at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Hoadly Road near Woodbridge, said Barton.

Eshaka Kargbo, is charged with malicious hit and run and is being held at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center under no bond, said Barton.

Kargbo’s age and the name of his hometown was not released.

Officer Injured in Near Fatal Car Crash

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - On October 21, a man, identified as the driver, was arrested for driving under the influence and for making contact with a police officer who was directing traffic after a fatal car crash. The officer was hospitalized for his injuries and then released. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Driving under the Influence | Injured Officer – On October 21st at 9:51PM, a Prince William County police officer was directing traffic in the area of Horner Rd and Occoquan Rd in Woodbridge (22191) related to the fatal crash on Jefferson Davis Hwy. As the officer was controlling the intersection, a driver of a vehicle, identified as the accused, proceeded through the intersection and clipped the officer. The accused remained at the scene and was determined to be under the influence of alcohol. Following the investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested. The officer was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released.

Arrested on October 21st:

Jose Osmin LIZAMA, 45, of 8160 Gilroy Rd in Lorton

Charged with driving under the influence and unreasonable refusal

Court date: November 24, 2014 | Bond: unavailable

Police: Drunken Man Tries to Bite Hand

GAINESVILLE, Va. - On October 19, police say an intoxicated man was arrested after he refused to leave a 911 caller’s home as well as resisting arrest and trying to bite an officer’s hand. According to the report, there were no injuries after the incident.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:  

Attempted Assault & Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer [LEO] – On October 19th at 10:50AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 12800 block of Thornton Dr in Catharpin (20143) to investigate a disorderly call. The caller reported to police that the accused, a known acquaintance, was intoxicated and refusing to leave the residence. Officers arrived and made contacted with the accused outside of the home. The accused was placed under arrested and refused to cooperate with police. At one point, the accused attempted to bite one of the officers on the hand. No contact was made and no injuries were reported. The accused was eventually detained without further incident.

Arrested on October 19th: [No photo available]

Brian Edward LISI, 38, of 4389 Canterbury Ln in Gainesville

Charged with attempted assault & battery on a LEOresisting arrest and intoxication in public

Court date: December 2, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

No Charges in Deadly Pedestrian Crash

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - On October 21, officers investigated a fatal car crash involving a female pedestrian. The driver of a 2003 Toyota Highlander was traveling south on Jefferson Davis Highway when a pedestrian got hit while crossing the street. The pedestrian was identified and taken to a hospital where she died from her injuries. The driver stayed at the crash scene and was not charged due to numerous identified factors. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police; 

Crash – Fatality – On October 21st at 6:58PM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the 13400 block of Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a crash involving a pedestrian. The investigation revealed that the driver of a 2003 Toyota Highlander was traveling southbound on Jefferson Davis Hwy in the area above. At the same time, a pedestrian, identified as an adult woman, was crossing the street and was subsequently struck by the vehicle. The driver remained at the scene and was unharmed. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital where she died as a result of her injuries. Investigators determined that at the time of the crash, the pedestrian was not in a designated crosswalk and was wearing dark clothing. Weather may have also made it difficult to see the pedestrian as she attempted to cross the road. The driver of the vehicle was not charged. No other contributing factors were determined.

Identified:

The pedestrian was identified as Amelu G. FELIX, 51, of Woodbridge

 

The driver of the 2003 Toyota Highlander was identified as a 61 year old woman of Springfield

Growing American National University Campus to Offer Cyber Security, Business Degrees

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Students at American National University Northern Virginia Center in Manassas, Virginia.

School took early root in Virginia, expanded to 5 states

 

American National University’s Northern Virginia Center opened its doors in Manassas in February, and it is the university’s 31st and newest campus.

Doug Earhart, a retired Army Officer, has been working in higher education since his retirement. In 2009, Earhart was the Director of Financial Aid and eventually became a Dean at a large university before becoming the Director of the Northern Virginia Center of ANU. Earhart has seen the Manassas location grow from a few employees into a “viable campus,” complete with courses, faculty, and educational resources.

American National University has a long-standing tradition of higher education excellence in the Commonwealth dating back to 1886 when it began as a local business school in Roanoke, Virginia. It expanded quickly into a national business school and developed multiple campuses within the state, including in the cities of Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, and Lynchburg. Eventually, it expanded into West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.  Since its expansion, American National University has added on various academic and medical programs including its highly acclaimed Medical Assistant Associates (MAA) Degree. 

ANU’s MAA program is one of the few in the region fully accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The Manassas center offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at its English Language Institute, including preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In addition, the Northern Virginia Center offers the MAA program as well as Pharmacy Technician and Medical Coding and Billing diplomas.  Next year the campus will expand its academic programs to include bachelor degrees in Cybersecurity and Business Administration.

The Northern Virginia Center has developed valuable educational programs that caters to both international and local students. Earhart said that many students have come from embassies to learn English at the Northern Virginia Center and upon completion, they can have a “seamless” transition into an academic program.

The Northern Virginia Center’s medical assistant program began on Sep. 15. One student, Earhart said, was a single mom, working at a fast food restaurant when she chose to attend ANU. The student had to make a “hard decision” to go, but now with medical assistant coursework under her belt she will graduate and go on to find a job and a limitless futures said Earhart.

“Another student had faced significant life challenges but after enrolling in that same program, she now has plenty of options and can essentially start over.  The people who are ‘perfect’ for ANU are those who may be “lost…[or] unemployed” and have General Education Development (GEDs) that are not allowing them to reach their full potential. On average, the students at the center are in their late 20s and 30s, with some exceptions,” said Earhart.

Earhart believes American National University stands apart from other colleges and universities in the area by their CAAHEP  accredited programs, by offering internships and by placing students into careers. Unlike at many other colleges and universities, at the center, career placement is not only a “nice thing to do” it is something that Earhart regards as both his and the university’s “responsibility” to find students good jobs that “directly correlate” with their degrees.  The university’s success is ultimately measured by this factor.

Lastly, Earhart explained that there is much more focus on career training than on socializing the students. Career training is the main goal of the school and so far, that and ANU’s crucial formula has resulted in great “success” for the Northern Virginia Center.  Finally, Earhart added “students do have fun while learning” and urged anyone looking for more information to check out ANU on Facebook or at an.edu.

5 Tips to Remain Injury Free While Raking Leaves

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The time of year is upon us where the leaves start changing to beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow, etc…, which of course is followed by their inevitable fall to the ground.

like-us-facebook-Transparent-300x143For many of us, this annual occurrence adds an item to our Fall “to do” list. Some, with a tree or two in their yard, may find this task quite simple. However, others may feel like they live in a forest by the time the piles of leaves have been raked, bagged and dragged to the curb. Keep the following in mind when you head out to clean up the yard this fall.

Pace Yourself – The good news is that raking your yard can be a good form of exercise. However, if you’re not accustomed to regular exercise, it is important not to overdo it. Inflexible muscles & overuse of those muscles may have you laid out rather than upright this fall. Complete one quadrant of your yard at a time, make it an activity you can do with your children or partner with a neighbor to get both yards done.

Posture is Important – Do not hunch over while you rake – this will put unneeded stress on your low back. Stand up straight and use small strokes. Furthermore, use your legs when you need to turn from side to side to avoid repeated twisting at the waist. Finally, try switching from side to side as you rake – this may feel a bit awkward at first – but chances are your body will thank you as this will help balance the muscles your body is using while you work.

Have the Right Tools – Use a rake that is the proper height for your size. This will help avoid unnecessary reaching and twisting. Wear gloves to avoid blisters. Dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature. Remember the exercise part of raking leaves? You may work up a sweat. Finally, make sure your shoes have some tread & can grip the ground. Leaves can be slippery – especially wet ones.

Lift with Your Legs – This is good advice any time of year when lifting – of course it is one we often forget – so it bears repeating. Don’t overfill your bags – especially if they are wet. If it’s an option try not to rake after a rainy day. When moving those bags to the curb, lift by bending your knees, avoid bending at your back. Hold the bag close to your body and turn/twist by moving your feet – not your waist.

Cheat – Why not hire the industrious neighborhood boy or girl that wants to make a few bucks to rake your leaves? Maybe invest in a leaf blower – just be sure to be neighborly and not blow all your leaves into the next yard. We would hate to add “black eye” to the list of leaf removing injuries.

Hopefully, these tips and reminders will help you avoid becoming one of the 38,000 people who suffered an injury in 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This should leave you free to enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Kabobs, Pumpkin Spice Creole, Pumpkin Spice Gumbo, Deep Fried Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Spice Soup, Pumpkin Spice Stew, Pumpkin Spice Salad, Pumpkin Spice and Potatoes, Pumpkin Spice Burger, Pumpkin Spice Sandwich, Pumpkin Spice Shrimp….I think that’s about it.

Have a wonderful fall everyone.

Editor’s note: This post was provided by Advantage Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, LLC, with clinics located in Manassas and Gainesville, working with those who desire to restore and improve motion and achieve a long-term quality of life.

Child Pornography Tip Leads Officers to Bristow Home

BRISTOW, Va. On October 8, officers and members of the Special Victims Unit and Internet Crimes against Children Task Force arrested the residents of a Bristow home after following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Police say that a Tumblr account contained sexual content of underage boys and when officers identified and located the owner of that account and the home, they found and removed several pieces of evidence of child pornography. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Child Pornography Investigation – On August 8th, detectives from the Special Victims Unit and members of the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force began an investigation into child pornography after a tip was received through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip provided detectives with information about nude and sexual images of underage boys being uploaded to a specific account via the social media site called “Tumblr”. The investigation into the owner of that account led investigators to a residence located at 13580 Dodsworth Dr in Bristow (20136). Detectives subsequently obtained and executed a search warrant at the home. As a result of the search, multiple electronic and storage devices which contained illicit images were located and seized. The identity of the victims in the images is unknown; however, detectives were able to determine that the children were minors. Following the investigation, the adult residents of the home were arrested.

Arrested on October 8th:

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Billy Scott MCGHEE, 47, of 13580 Dodsworth Dr in Bristow

Charged with 9 counts of possession of child pornography and 1 count of distribution of child pornography

Court date: pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

Arrested on October 13th: [No photo available]

Aaron N. LANDERS, 36, of 13580 Dodsworth Dr in Bristow

Charged with 5 counts of possession of child pornography

Court date: pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

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