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Solar eclipse fans flock to Prince William libraries

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WOODBRIDGE — The line formed about 6 a.m. Monday.

Hundreds of people stood outside the Potomac Community Library in Woodbridge for to snag one of 600 pairs of solar glasses to view the “Great American Solar Eclipse.”

The line stretched from the parking lot, up Opitz Boulevard, nearly to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Employees at the library distributed the glasses at 10 a.m. for a solar eclipse viewing party at 2 p.m.

“This was an exciting day,” said Prince William County Public Library spokesman Andrew Spence. “All six of our community libraries had solar eclipse activities happening.” (more…)

Obituary
Dorothy Ball

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Early morning on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Dorothy Ball, 51, left fearlessly to be with the Lord after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Dorothy, also formerly known as Dorothy Scheibe, was a long-term resident of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Dorothy’s greatest passions were family and faith. She believed every person deserved a place to call home and she opened her own home to many throughout her life. She was a devoted mother and foster mother with Stafford County Social Services. Dorothy was a member of Hollywood Church of the Brethren where she formed an extended family. Dorothy never met a stranger because she made a friend in anyone she encountered.

Dorothy leaves behind many loved ones. These include her daughters Karen Scheibe and Amanda Lewis & husband Gary; sons Nathan Scheibe, Joseph Galiyas, and John Pelcharksy & wife Sarah; and grandsons Hayden and Emerson.

A celebration of life will be held Monday, August 21st at 11am at Hollywood Church of the Brethren in Fredericksburg. Dorothy touched many lives and her family wishes to open this celebration to anyone who knew her.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please consider a donation in her memory to Thurman Brisben Center or to her church, Hollywood Church of the Brethren.

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Dorothy will live on through the love she shared with every heart she touched.

Traffic
Traffic study complete for proposed Kaiser South medical hub

WOODBRIDGE — If Kaiser Permanente builds a new medical campus, its patients are sure to follow.

The 335,000 square feet Kaiser South Northern Virginia Hub campus would be located on Minnieville Road, east of Caton Hill Road in Woodbridge. A new traffic analysis of the Minnieville and Caton Hill roads in the proposed development area shows about 530 trips to the center would be made during the morning hours and about 580 in the afternoon.

On a Virginia Department of Transportation-rated scale of A being the best and F the worst, the largest nearby intersection at Minneivlle and Caton Hill roads today operates at Level of Service D in the mornings, where there are a lot of cars but drivers can easily maneuver around the intersection. In the afternoons, it’s Level E where conditions are worse.

By 2020, traffic at the intersection will worsen, according to the study, with the intersection operating at Level E during the morning and afternoon peak rush hours, with some lanes operating at Level F. The study takes into account for 2% growth in traffic related to population growth in the area between now and 2020. (more…)

News
Parking brake fix complete for Prince William school buses

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A total of 4,000 public school buses in Virginia, including those in Prince William County, has been upgraded.

The parking brake upgrade for 340 Prince William County school buses was completed on July 26. This new layer of protection adds an interlocking device which prevents the parking brakes from accidentally disengaging.

The Thomas Built Buses were not unsafe without this feature, but now have an extra layer of protection that is required by state law.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) discovered the missing feature this past spring. Immediate action was taken by Sonny Merryman Inc., a bus dealer with its Northern Virginia headquarters in Bristow, to upgrade all affected buses before the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Over the course of 10 weeks, a specialized team of a dozen field technicians traveled throughout 86 school districts, installing the interlocking device on over 2,000 public school buses.

VDOE is continuing to track the installation progress on other affected public school buses.

News
Civil War Weekend cancellation a bust for small business

MANASSAS — The annual Civil War Weekend in Downtown Manassas is canceled.

The three-day event that had been planned for Aug. 25, 26, and 27 draws hundreds to the city each August, where period re-enactors flock to the city museum lawn to show how Civil War soldiers lived. Live bands and a period dance were also planned as part of the event.

The cancellation comes after the recent white nationalist’s rally and counter protests in Charlottesville where one woman was killed, and two Virginia State Police troopers died when the helicopter they were flying to monitor the protests crashed.

“Recent events have ignited passions in this country surrounding the Civil War and the symbols representing it. The City of Manassas is saddened by these events and abhors the violence happening around the country. The city does not wish to further exacerbate the situation.” said Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince. (more…)

Traffic
20 years in the making, Arkendale project on track to speed up train service

QUANTICO — Nine miles of new track and improvements to Quantico’s rail station is underway and are hoped to help alleviate some of the congestion on the busy Interstate 95 corridor between Stafford and Washington, D.C.

The Arkendale to Powell’s Creek ‘third track project’ on the Potomac River is a $115 million-dollar investment of federal and state funds to benefit intercity passenger rail service in the I-95 Corridor.

Part of a larger initiative, The Atlantic Gateway, the Arkendale project includes construction of a third track between Richmond and Washington. The third track segment will be used to enhance the performance schedule for intercity passenger service, high-speed passenger rail service, and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter service while preserving freight operations by allowing trains to meet, pass or overtake other trains.

Project improvements also include structures such as under-grade and overhead railroad bridges, railroad crossings and signal systems.

Improvements to Quantico Station include conversion of a side platform to an island platform with a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, enabling all three tracks to serve the passenger station. (more…)

News
Breakfast Links: A dream of a river ferry, Panda Express to open

A commuter ferry service on the Potomac River is coming to Alexandria and Washington. Might it one day come to Prince William County? [Prince William Times]

A teenager from Bristow missing since Aug. 5 now has the resources of the FBI committed to her search. [Insidenova.com]

Panda Express will open its doors on Garrisonville Road in Stafford. This will be the first such restaurant in the chain to open in the county. [Free Lance-Star]

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News
Seafood restaurant Out of the Blue opens in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE — A new seafood restaurant, Out of the Blue, has opened in Gainesville, promising customers the best blue crabs in the area.

Husband-wife duo Daniel and Ryan Pell have taken the next step in their careers by opening their own restaurant. Out of the Blue was born through the blending of the couples professional experiences.

“We’ve been both in the restaurant industry for a very long time and really just starting our own restaurant was the next natural step for us,” said owner Ryan Pell.

They say their new operation set apart from their competitors due to their access to local fish houses and seafood wholesalers along the east coast. (more…)