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Man, 26, shot and killed in Stafford

STAFFORD, Va. — Twenty-six-year-old Stafford resident Jorge Leonardo Melo was shot and killed Sunday in North Stafford. 

From the Stafford sheriff’s office: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting incident that occurred January 22, 2017 at approximately 6:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Madison Court in Stafford, VA.

Patrol units arrived on the scene and observed a wounded man lying on the ground. C.P.R. was administered to the victim until Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported him to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injury.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gun shots and observed two males, wearing all black, fleeing the scene on foot. A black SUV also left the scene after the incident. A perimeter was established and K-9 tracks were attempted. There are no suspects identified at this time.

The victim is identified as Jorge Leonardo Melo, age 26 of Vista Woods Road in Stafford, VA.

The investigation is ongoing.

News
Manassas ditches touch-screen voting machines, buying scanners

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MANASSAS, Va. — The way Manassas residents cast their votes in elections is about to change.

The City Council tonight is expected to approve $101,000 in funding for the purchase of 11 new optical scanning voting machines. The city is the last jurisdiction in Northern Virginia to make the switch from the old touch-screen voting machines in use since 2000 that were banned by state officials following the 2012 Presidential Election.

The council’s action will increase the amount of cash set aside for the new voting machines by $10,000, allowing city Voter Registrar Susan Reed to purchase an additional device and accessories for a newly created sixth voting precinct. Plans to purchase the new machines have been in the works for over the past year.

“When you make a change from touch screen to optical scanners, there is a different way of conducting the election,” said Reed.

Voters used to the old touch-screen machines instead will be handed a paper ballot, and then be shown to an area where they can sit behind a screen to fill out their ballot. Afterward, the voter walks his or her ballot over to an optical scanner machine where the voter inserts the ballot into the machine, and the vote is recorded.

The ballots are then stored under lock and key and later taken to the voter registrar’s office where ballots are counted.

“With the new way you get a lot of ballots, and we treat them like they’re like $100 bills,” said Reed.

The eleven scanners purchased from Hellertown, Pa.-based Election Services Online will be used at all polling places. One will be used as a spare. Reed expects to have the scanners in-house 90 days after the order is placed, and up and running in time for a June 13 Primary Election for statewide offices if one is scheduled. Otherwise, the machines will be used on Election Day November 7, 2017.

Laptop poll books, signage, and privacy screens, and other supplies that accompany the new voting machines will also be purchased using the funding.

News
Guzman seeks expansion of Medicaid in House of Delegates bid

Elizabeth Guzman seeks to augment Medicaid and early childhood development programs.

Guzman submitted responses to our Project: Election survey posted below the jump.

Election information for 2017 from the Virginia Office of Elections: 

6/13/17 June Primary (called if needed)
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, May 22, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

11/7/17 General Election and Special Elections
Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 16, 2017

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go to vote? 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing voters in your district?

Guzman: Expansion of Medicaid; expansion of early childhood education in the form of Early Head Start and Head Start; and  create community support systems for veterans (more…)

News
Overdose Ends in Arrest at Convenience Store on Garrisonville Road

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

On January 19, 2017 at approximately 3:16 p.m. Deputy S.P. Whitt and Deputy D.C. Reed responded to an unknown medical emergency at the 7-Eleven located at 201 Garrisonville Road. Upon arrival deputies observed a female who appeared to be passed out inside her vehicle. After tapping on the window the subject awoke and seemed confused and disoriented.

She was identified as Britney Grant. Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and the female was taken into the ambulance for medical evaluation. As the subject was being evaluated, deputies were advised that Ms. Grant was wanted out of Spotsylvania and she was subsequently arrested.

A K-9 unit responded to the scene and performed a scan of the vehicle. The K-9 indicated the presence of narcotics. Deputy Whitt then searched the vehicle and recovered a plastic baggy containing a white powdery substance, foil wrappers containing brown powder, as well as drug paraphernalia.

Medical personnel transported Ms. Grant to the hospital where she was medically cleared.

Britney Belle Grant, age 25 of Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg, VA, was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Paraphernalia. She was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail and is held on no bond.

Image featured above is 

News
O’Hanlon Selected to Fill Vacant Seat on School Board

ohanlon swearing in

From Manassas City Public Schools:

O’Hanlon Selected to Fill Vacant Seat on School Board

The School Board of the City of Manassas unanimously voted on January 4, 2017 to appoint Peter B. O’Hanlon to serve as its newest member. O’Hanlon was appointed to fill the vacant seat previously held by Pamela J. Sebesky, who resigned effective December 31 to serve on the City Council for the City of Manassas. O’Hanlon will serve until November 2017 when a special election is held to fill the remaining year of Sebesky’s original term (December 31, 2018). (more…)

News
Call to Action: Opportunities abound for volunteers to help Prince William

· Good morning Prince William – Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers to deliver a noon meal to homebound seniors. Come be part of this wonderful team of volunteers who go out 5 days a week to share a warm meal and a friendly face. Volunteers are needed on both sides of the community, either picking up at the Woodbridge Senior Center or the Manassas Senior Center. This super activity only takes 2 hours or so making it perfect for busy retirees, moms with their kids in school or a professional or can flex out of work for these 2 hours. You pick the day of the week best for your schedule! Please give Melodee a call at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.

· The Virginia Volunteerism and Service Conference Is May 16-17 in Richmond. This is a fun, worthwhile opportunity for volunteer managers from across the Commonwealth. It offers workshops, networking events and opportunities for service. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from or share with others. Please visit their website to learn more at, virginiaservice.virginia.gov. This conference is a bargain so come invest in your professional development. (more…)

News
Expect heavy winds, rain through this afternoon

From the National Weather Service forecaster’s discussion page

Large dynamic system poised to impact the Mid-Atlantic region through Tuesday…as surface low treks to our south across the Carolinas and then northeastward along the coast. Light rain already occurring over parts of the area…though steadier/heaviest rain pivots into the area from the south near and shortly after daybreak.

Guidance in reasonable agreement with shifting the heaviest rain across the area from 7 AM through 2 PM…with dry slot working into much of the area for the afternoon. Greatest rain totals expected along the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge…as upslope enhances precipitation efficiency there (could see > 2 inches). Generally 1-2 inches expected elsewhere. (more…)

News
One dead after fight in Stafford County

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:  

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident that occurred at approximately 7:00 p.m. last evening in the 1900 block of Green Tree Road.

An altercation between two parties resulted in the death of a male subject.

The case is in the very early stages of investigation and there is nothing further to report at this time.

Update

Here’s new information on the murder of Clint Hill in Stafford County. The county sheriff’s office has not said how Hill died: 

From the sheriff’s office: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate an incident that occurred on January 21, 2017 at approximately 7:03 p.m. in the 1900 block of Green Tree Road.

The investigation indicates that Bryan Hinckley and Clint Hill were involved in a physical altercation outside the apartment building. When patrol units arrived on the scene Mr. Hinckley was unconscious. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Bryan George Hinckley, age 35 lived on Lake View Drive, in Stafford, VA. Clint Alan Hill, age 41, was arrested at his residence in the 2000 block of Green Tree Road on January 23, 2017 at approximately 12:50 a.m. Mr. Hill was charged with murder, was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail and is being held on no bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

News
Not since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001 has there been so much traffic at Manassas airport

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MANASSAS, Va. — This is the most aircraft traffic the Manassas Regional Airport has seen for an inauguration event since the airport director Juan Rivera in his past 16 years working at the airport. 

Airport staff told Potomac Local the airport had 141 reservations for the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

PL: Why do you think this increase in reservations occurred? Marketing efforts? Word of mouth? 

Rivera: “I would like to say I definitively knew, more than likely a combination of both. The airport…[has] made an earnest effort to let people know that we provide excellent service and we are in close proximity to Washington, D.C.

Rivera: “We have 128 on the ramp, and approximately 45 drop and goes.”

“This is an increase in comparison to a regular day at the airport? I would say that over the past 48 hours our daily operations doubled. Increase vs. previous presidential inaugurations? I have been here for 16 years and have witnessed three inaugurations; this has been the most traffic we have seen for an Inauguration,” Rivera stated in an email. 

The last time there was this much traffic at the city’s airport was the three weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, we’re told.

 


Don’t miss these Black History Month events in Prince William County

Lucasville

Celebrate Black History Month with Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division

Prince William County has a unique and extensive African American history that is preserved and interpreted through its surviving buildings. Enslaved African Americans worked at plantations within the county including Rippon Lodge and Ben Lomond. At Brentsville, both enslaved and free African Americans were placed on trial for various crimes, though they were unable to testify against their white neighbors.

Lucasville and the Barnes House preserve examples of how free African Americans built homes and communities to establish a life for themselves, and began to challenge racism and segregation after the Civil War in Prince William County.

Throughout the year, the community can visit Prince William County’s Historic Sites to learn about the African American experience in this region. Visitors may also join us in February as we celebrate Black History Month at many of our sites.

For more information, please call Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division at 703-792-4754.

Weekends in February
Lucasville School Open House

On Saturdays and Sundays in February from 11am-4pm, visit the only surviving building of the Lucasville community and learn about the people who were impacted this small, but significant, symbol of the community. With a special performance by the Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 11, at 11 a.m., visit the 19th century schoolhouse and learn surprising facts about African American history in Prince William County and the Northern Virginia region.

Each weekend, enjoy several different activities in the schoolhouse including tours, photograph exhibits, and crafts. Lucasville School is located at 10516 Godwin Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110; admission is free.

February 18
Every Day Full of Work: The African American Experience at Ben Lomond

During this special tour, explore the historic home and slave quarter to learn about the enslaved population living at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War. Visit spaces not ordinarily open to the public, and participate in hands-on activities to learn about some of the chores that enslaved men, women, and children were expected to complete.

Learn how, under slavery, they were forced to live emotionally and physically challenging lives in which freedom and choice were taken away. Tours will be offered on the hour from 11am-4pm. Ben Lomond Historic Site is located at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA 20109; admission is $5 per person.

February 25
Barnes House Hard Hat Tours

Get a hard hat tour of Prince William County’s newest “old” building. The Barnes House was the home to an African American family after the Civil War. Learn about the family’s amazing history during the Reconstruction-era and about the restoration of the building. This is a rare opportunity to see preservation in action!

Tours will take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Barnes House is located at the Montclair Community Library, 5049 Waterway Drive, Dumfries, VA; $5 suggested donation.