A large power outage affected Manassas residents late Friday night.
City officials had this to say about the outage:
Power is out it parts of the City. Electric crews are investigating the outage. Thank you for your patience.
— Manassas VA (@CityofManassas) July 4, 2015
A large portion of the city near the Manassas Regional Airport was without power about 10 p.m. A witness said a large beacon near the airport — one that can usually be seen from Prince William Parkway — was not active.
We also heard some city residents had trouble accessing the internet from their homes during the outage.
We don’t know the cause of the outage. We’ll bring you more as we have it.
Manassas native Pete Evick – known by many as ‘Manassas Pete’, has had an interesting assortment of life experiences.
The Stonewall Jackson High School graduate has worked with rockstar Bret Michaels for the last 10 years as his lead guitarist, and co-writer and producer of Michael’s last two records.
“I was a huge fan of Poison growing up, and my band was his opening act for a tour, and we got to be buddies then. And then he invited me to be his guitar player and my band to be his band – and we’ve just seen the world,” said Evick.
Despite living the rockstar lifestyle, Evick decided early on that he wanted to keep living in Manassas, and raise his family there.
“Was born and raised [in Manassas] and still live here to this day. Manassas – it’s always been my home – it’s where I grew up. And even when I raised my kids – I’ve been in the music business my entire life…and I spent a lot of time in New York, and some time in [Los Angeles] but I never wanted to go live that life. I lived the life in a small town and then once I had kids, I wanted them to have that same kind of life too,” Evick commented.
During his music career, he stumbled on to candle making, and began his own company – Shining Sol Candle Company – which manufactures products in Virginia.
“Being a musician, my life has been loud. And we were off tour a little bit, and I was taking a break…I spent a lot of time in Arizona [for music]…and in Arizona they put candles in their fireplace instead of lighting fires…then I happened to go to a candle store and buy a candle that was supposed to smell like a fireplace. And I had never had a hobby in my entire life aside from music…and I just started thinking about if I could make one of those…and finally I was doing something quiet, peaceful,” Evick said.
Evick’s most recent adventure has been writing a book about his life experience, following a personal tragedy, titled ‘The Moments That Make Us.’
“Most musicians at some point in their life, I think, tend to write a book. With such an interesting life you live, you manage to pick up an amazing amount of stories. I started writing this book when I was forced with the fact that my family was going to split up – me and my wife were getting a divorce and had two kids. The book was originally a collection of thoughts and fears about what was going to happen with my children…but after writing, I realized I had written a book that was much more inspiring,” said Evick.
Evick still performs and tours with Michaels, and runs Shining Sol Candle Company.
For those planning to head out of the area for the Fourth of July weekend – prepare for some heavy traffic.
Currently Interstate 95 going southbound in North Stafford was already seeing congestion at 9 a.m. this morning.
Additionally, there will be some lane changes for those traveling on the I-95 Express Lanes this weekend.
More on the changes from Transurban:
Friday, July 3: No changes to reversal time. The reversal from northbound (NB) to southbound (SB) will begin around 11 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 4:
Reversal from SB to NB will begin at midnight with the NB lanes open around 2 a.m.
Reversal from NB to SB will begin around 7 p.m. with the SB lanes open around 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 5: Reversal from SB to NB will at midnight with the NB lanes open around 2 a.m.
Monday, July 6: No changes to reversal time. The reversal from NB to SB will begin around 11 a.m. with the SB lanes open around 1 p.m.
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering their SoberRide program from 10 p.m. on July 4 to 4 a.m. on July 5.
According to a WRAP release, individuals can receive a free cab ride home, up to a $30 fare.
In order to utilize the program, riders must be 21 years and older.
More on July 4’s SoberRide program:
Important note: All requests for SoberRide service must be called to and dispatched from 1-800-200-8294. Do not call a taxi company directly for SoberRide service as the ride will not be covered under this program.
General SoberRide Information
WRAP’s SoberRide , called one of the nation’s most successful free cab ride programs for would-be impaired drivers, has helped to ensure greater Washington, DC residents have a safe way home on high-risk holidays. Since 1993, WRAP has provided over 62,536 safe rides home. Currently, SoberRide operates during the December/January holiday season, St. Patrick’s Day, CInco de Mayo, Independence Day and Halloween.
WRAP’s SoberRide provides a free cab ride home up to a $30 fare.
Callers are financially responsible for anything over $30.
You must be 21 or older to use the SoberRide service. All calls must originate in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; the Cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park in Maryland; the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Eastern Loudoun Counties in Virginia; and the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia.
You cannot reserve a SoberRide or schedule a pickup in advance. To receive a ride, you must call 1-800-200-8294 (TAXI) during the program hours. A SoberRide call operator will direct your request to the correct participating cab company.
Participating Taxi Companies:
Alexandria Yellow Cab (Alexandria)
Barwood, Inc. (Montgomery County)
Fairfax Yellow Cab (Fairfax County)
Loudoun Yellow Cab (Eastern Loudoun County)
Northern Virginia Checker (Prince William County)
Red Top Cab Company (Arlington County)
Silver Cab of Prince George’s County (Prince George’s County)
Yellow Cab of District of Columbia (District of Columbia)
Yellow Cab of Prince William County (Prince William County)
When waiting for a SoberRide, please watch for a cab from the participating taxi company in the area from which you are calling.
Starting today, there are some new rules of the road in Virginia.
During their last session, the Virginia General Assembly made amendments to state codes that are meant to increase safety measures for bicycles, postal vehicles, and garbage trucks, among others.
One change is that any vehicle that provides roadside assistance or traffic management aide is now qualified for the “Move Over” law in Virginia, because the vehicle may have blinking or flashing warning lights. The “Move Over law mandates that drivers change lanes to allow certain vehicles, including law enforcement, room on the road to provide assistance.
Another measure is meant to keep postal workers safe. A new regulation passed in the House now requires drivers passing a mail vehicle that has blinking or amber lights on to use caution and a safe speed.
A similar regulation now requires that those passing garbage trucks on roadways that have less than four lanes have to decrease their speed to 10 miles per hour lower than the speed limit. Additionally, drivers must leave two feet of room between where they pass and the left of a vehicle.
An interesting regulation passed this legislative session protects individuals on bicycles and mopeds, as vehicles can now be cited for following too closely.
For those that have been convicted in a federal court for a DUI offense that is similar to one within Virginia law, now has the ability to petition the court in their jurisdiction for restricted driving privileges, which is found in other states. The driving privileges, according to the text of the passed bill, would be restricted to areas including their workplace and church.
Prior to this change, only individuals convicted in a Virginia court of a DUI offense could petition the court.
Wondering where you can celebrate July 4 and see the fireworks in your area? Potomac Local has a list of July 4 events you can check out.
In Prince William County there are several events you can attend to celebrate July 4, including the Dale City Parade on Dale Boulevard at 10 a.m.
More on July 4 events in Prince William:
Dale City Parade (July 4th 10 a.m. on Dale Blvd)
Leesylvania State Park Kid’s Fishing Tournament (9:00 a.m.)
Freedom Firecracker 5k Run & 1 Mile Fun Run (Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center 8:30 a.m.)
Pfitzner Stadium P-Nats Ball Game followed by fireworks show
Montclair Dolphin Beach fireworks display (You must be an MPOA member to be on the beach. However, you do not have to be an MPOA member to take advantage of a side-street view.)
On July 4, the City of Manassas will be hosting their Celebrate America event from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Downtown Manassas.
More on the excitement from the City of Manassas:
The celebration begins with the Bicycle Decorating contest. At 5 p.m. visitors are invited to take part in a Watermelon-eating contest.
Next, Judges from around the City will lend their culinary expertise to judge the Apple and Peach Pie Baking Contest. This is Americana at its best. To sign up for these contests, visit visitmanassas.org.
Visitors can bring a blanket or a lawn chair to lay claim to a spot for viewing the best fireworks in Virginia. Beginning at 3 p.m., there will be children’s rides, food vendors, and other vendors. The celebration centers around the Harris Pavilion, the Manassas Museum and the Train Depot.
The City of Manassas loves pets, but pets do not love loud noises. Their ears are more sensitive and the City asks that pets be left at home in the air conditioning. This time of year, streets and sidewalks are hot enough to burn puppy paws.
Fourth of July celebrations in Manassas Park include a fireworks display at Signal Hill Park, starting at 6:30 p.m.
More information on the fireworks display:
The City of Manassas Park invites you to join us Saturday, July 4th for a display you won’t want to miss.
Fireworks Display at Dark
Free shuttles from VRE & City Hall Starting at 6:30pm
$5 Parking Available at 5pm – On-Site Parking: Handicap Only
Limited General Parking Across Street
PLUS! We will be having food trucks featuring: Bella Vita, Guapos, Bauji’s Kitchen, and Snowie!
No fireworks allowed in park (this includes sparklers)
Expect traffic delays from 8pm-11pm in the areas of Signal View Drive/Signal Hill Drive, Manassas Drive/Signal View Drive, Manassas Drive and Centreville Road.
Stafford and Fredericksburg will also be celebrating that day with their Heritage Festival and fun run event.
More on the July 4 events from Stafford:
Fredericksburg’s July 4th Heritage Festival
7:45 a.m.: Heritage Festival Five-Mile Run Sponsored by Fredericksburg Host Lions Club
6:30 a.m.: Registration at Visitor’s Center
9:30 a.m.: Heritage Day Parade Sponsored by Children’s Museum of Richmond/Fredericksburg
Downtown: Lafayette to Caroline to Princess Anne to Lafayette Prizes for Best Costume & Most Creative Bicycle
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Festival of the Streets Craft Show with more than 100 vendors Sponsored by Beth Sholom Temple, Classic Car Display Sponsored by Stafford Car Club & Rosner Motor Sports, Dunk your Favorite Local Celebrity Sponsored by Rappahannock Rotary
Children’s Activities: Face Painting, Balloon Creations, Moon Bounce & Photo Booth with free pictures
Live Music: Wil Gravatt – Gravatt Entertainment, Steve Jarrell & Sons of the Beach
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Ferry Farm’s Let Freedom Ring Sponsored by George Washington Foundation $1.00 admission Catch a bus or trolley from downtown or from the Eagle’s Lodge on Cool Springs Road. Ferry Farm parking will be handicapped only. Patriotic, Family Activities, Re-Enactors
1:00 p.m.: Flag Retirement Ceremony with Anthony Campbell
12:00 p.m.: Presentation of Colors — American Legion Post 290 Welcome — Matt Kelly – Councilman at Large
4:30 p.m.: Pratt Park Opens for the July 4th Spectacular Bring lawn chairs & picnic dinners Food Vendors available
6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.: Quantico Marine Corps Rock and Roll Band
7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Special Appearance by the cast of: The Wedding Singer from Riverside Center Theater
8:00 p.m. – through the Fireworks: Quantico Marine Corps Band
9:15 p.m.: Fireworks Sponsored by City of Fredericksburg & Stafford County
View fireworks from Pratt Park or Old Mill Park. No alchoholic beverages. No sparklers. No grills. Dogs must be on leashes.
Georgetown South has a unique set of rules that govern who can park in the Manassas neighborhood.
For the past 20 years, visitors and guests of neighborhood residents have been required to obtain a special parking pass from the Manassas treasurer’s office.
The temporary permit costs $10 each, and it’s good for a one-night stay. Each resident is allowed 50 per year.
Some residents want to do away with the parking rules, called a “parking district” by city officials, calling them restrictive and noting they’re the only ones of its kind in the city.
City officials say the parking district is effecting in curbing illegal parking in the city, and that many residents who’ve spoken at various public hearings on the matter want the parking rules enforced.
“I have not seen any advantages of getting rid of the parking district,” said Manassas City Manager Patrick Pate.
A spokeswoman for the Georgetown South did not return a request for comment for this story.
City leaders say the parking district has also been effective in curbing the number of cars and work trucks that are parked in the neighborhood but registered in another jurisdiction, like Fairfax County.
Manassas issues special parking permits to work trucks registered elsewhere to operators who have proven to the city treasurer the personal property tax on the vehicle has been paid to its respective jurisdiction.
City police also support keeping the parking district in place.
“I was troubled to read emails that say the only reason we have this parking district is for revenue generation by the police], and that is not true,” said Councilwoman Sheryl Bass.
The City Council on June 15 had the ability to vote to keep the special parking district in place or to remove it. Instead, the council took the lead of Councilman Ken Elston who suggested city leaders table the issue hold more meetings with Georgetown South community members to hear their concerns on the matter. The first of those meetings was held Monday night, said Pate.
While this is the only special parking district of its kind in the city, leaders have imposed other parking regulations in other neighborhoods. The catch is, the city may only impose such restrictions on publically maintained streets.
“If Georgetown South were built today instead of in the 1960s, it would have privatized streets,” said Pate.
Of the 1,700 parking spaces in Georgetown South, the city issued 2,400 temporary parking permits in the past year, Pate added.
The city is looking at adding a similar parking district on public streets near the Point of Woods neighborhood.
Jobs, transportation on McAuliffe priority list
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had his choice of flavor of doughnut in Manassas on Tuesday.
The executive was on hand for the grand opening of Paradise Donuts on Route 28. McAuliffe shook the hand of new franchise owner Keith Buck, a 24-year veteran of the Naval Reserve, who opened the shop after two years of work.
“My goal is to make Virginia the most vet-friendly state in the country,” said McAuliffe.
His appearance came on the heels of him signing new legislation into law Monday at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, at that allows military veterans the ability to get college credit for prior military training.
The governor said Virginia has more military veterans under age 25, and all have unique skill sets that are needed to fill jobs in today’s workforce.
Many of those jobs — at least 30,000 of them in Northern Virginia — are in the IT field, McAuliffe told crowd gathered at the Hylton Performing Arts Center for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Chamber event Tuesday.
“Jobs in big data, personal medicine, that’s what the new economy will look like,” McAuliffe told a crowd of business owners.
Jobs in web coding and cybersecurity will also play a role/ Moving away from traditional four-year degree programs and focusing on two-year training and certification courses will put more people to work faster, he added.
And while Virginia — a state that is so heavily reliant on federal defense spending — has seen the government ratchet back those dollars, McAuliffe said he’s convinced a new FBI headquarters will be built in the state. He’s also lobbying President Barack Obama for a new cyber defense facility that would house national defense and intelligence under one roof.
The governor also spoke about reducing the number of SOL tests Virginia school children must take, expanding Obamacare in the state, ending veterans homelessness. He also talked about improving transportation along Interstate 66 by adding HOV lanes, and improving Metro.
“In transportation, I”m all in. We just authorized the new cars for the Silver Line because it does no good if the train shows up, and its full,” said McAuliffe.
The Manassas Museum will be hosting free book talks, historic walking tours, Liberia Plantation tours and a National Night Out event in July.
More on July’s events at the museum, from a city release:
Historic Downtown Manassas Walking Tours; Thursdays and Fridays at Noon –
Stroll through Historic Downtown Manassas and learn about the town’s history during a Manassas Museum Walking Tour. Costumed interpreters share stories about Historic Downtown during the Civil War and about the rebirth of the area after war and fire.
Liberia Plantation Tours; Sundays at Noon (8601 Portner Avenue, Manassas, VA) –
Step back in history at this historic 1825 plantation house where Civil War soldiers and presidents tread. Liberia will be open every Sunday at 12 Noon (as restoration work permits).
Museum at the Market; Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through October –
(Lot B, Prince Williams Street and West Street) Stop by the Farmers’ Market and enjoy hands-on history for all ages.
A New Exhibit: Protecting Manassas; Through July 15; free –
The exhibit features historic and modern artifacts from the City of Manassas police, fire and rescue services, and features activities for young visitors. The exhibit coincides with this summer’s 2015 World Police and Fire Games, an athletic competition held throughout the region.
Free Book Talk: Jonathan Roberts: The Civil War’s Quaker Scout and Sheriff; July 12 at 2 p.m. –
When author Gregory P. Wilson began researching his family history, he never expected to uncover a great-great grandfather as unique and fascinating as Jonathan Roberts.
Pre-K Tuesday; July 14 at 10 a.m.; ages 3-5 with adult; $10 per child
Children ages three to five and a caregiver may enjoy storytelling, crafts, songs, and outdoor exploration during the Pre-KTuesday program at the Manassas Museum. Register at www.manassasmuseum.org or by calling 703-368-1873.
Free Book Talk: Cut From Strong Cloth; July 19 at 2 p.m. –
In her new book, Cut From Strong Cloth, author Linda Harris Sittig tells the story of a strong Civil War-era woman whose dreams of entrepreneurship are thwarted by family and the threat of war.
Free Book Talk: For Brotherhood and Duty: The Civil War History of the West Point Class of 1862; July 26 at 2 p.m. –
Brian McEnany’s curiosity about the Civil War and about the West Point class that graduated 100 years before he did, resulted in his new book, For Brotherhood and Duty: The Civil War History of the West Point Class of 1862.
National Night Out – Towne Ball; August 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.; free
See how baseball began during the annual event on the museum lawn held in conjunction with the Manassas City Police.
The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has a plan that includes adding train lines, stations, and even reverse commute capabilities.
While mass transit is one of the major methods that many area residents use to get to work in the area, there is still a lot of congestion that VRE is trying to combat, according to Director of Public Affairs Bryan Jungwirth.
In order to handle congestion and provide more service to riders, VRE has created a System 2040 plan with service improvements and additions up through the year 2040.
One big component of the plan is reverse commuting, which would alleviate some congestion on the roads for commuters coming in to Prince William and Manassas for work.
Currently there are only three trains that are classified as a reverse commute, according to Jungwirth – one from Union Station in Washington, D.C. at 6:25 a.m. to Broad Run, an additional Union Station to Broad Run in the afternoon and a Broad Run to Union Station train in the afternoon.
“We’ve got some trains that actually can be characterized as a reverse commute, and they’re on the Manassas line,” said Jungwirth.
In the immediate future, VRE will be adding more cars to existing trains.
“The best things we’re definitely going to do – max by 2017 – are adding more cars onto more trains and make the trains longer, which will increase capacity. And that will help with the whole [Route] 66 construction issue,” Jungwirth commented.
There are several station expansions and new platforms on the agenda from VRE, with a Fredericksburg train line being added this summer and Gainesville-Haymarket extension coming, said Jungwirth.
Also coming up in the next few years, are VRE’s plans to add two more tracks and potentially adding a line that goes from Manassas to Alexandria.
“[System 2040] tries to address all of this different elements, because we’re going to need two more tracks going across the Potomac [River] – so either a new bridge or the extension to the existing long bridge. And then we need more train storage up in the [Washington] D.C. area, and we’re looking to expanding where we store our trains. Parking lot expansions – we’re looking at those as well…We could potentially get additional capacity on the Manassas line…we’ve thought about ways we could run more service on the Manassas line and doing what we call a fish-hook kind of service to Alexandria, but it would take a lot of construction to make it even feasible,” said Jungwirth.
Reverse commuting capabilities should start to become a bigger focus towards the end of the System 2040 plan, said Jungwirth.
“I won’t say that reverse commutes aren’t on our list of things to do, because it is in the System 2040 plan, but it’s the latter part of the plan, so we’re talking out to 2030, 2040…all of these other infrastructure improvements would need to occur before that were to happen,” said Jungwirth.
On June 27, Prince William police from the Special Victims Unit responded to a call for a sexual assault on Lady Jane Loop in Manassas.
According to Prince William police, the victim – a 9-year old girl – was sexually assaulted by 46-year old Manassas man Charles Forsyth, who is a known family member.
The assault took place on more than one occasion between January 2014 and June 2015, according to Prince William police, following an investigation.
Forsyth has been charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery, six counts of indecent liberties with children, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of display of grooming or obscene material to children, said Prince William police.
He is being held without bond.
OPTiMO, which was founded in 2008, works within federal, defense and commercial markets, and decided to make the move to serve customers in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area.
According to OPTiMO’s CEO Michael Miguelez, the company chose to open their new location on Battlefield Parkway in Manassas because of its accessibility and commuting time.
“We’re delighted to be in Prince William County. We established our first Virginia location in Vienna in 2012 to better serve our federal clients, but we rapidly outgrew that facility. We wanted a location with easy access to Washington, DC that is supported by a solid internet infrastructure, with room to support our growth, while supporting a manageable commute for our engineering teams – Prince William County has it all,” said Miguelez.
20 engineers are currently working at the new facility.
Additionally Miguelez stated that the young professionals coming from nearby universities influenced their location decision.
“Prince William County was a clear winner in our site evaluation. We gain direct access to a talent pipeline of young professionals with both Northern Virginia Community College and the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus nearby,” said OPTiMO’s vice president of engineering Jarrod Norton.
According to the Prince William County Economic Development department, the county’s IT sector is growing rapidly.
According to the Virginia Lottery, an individual who purchased a winning lottery ticket in Manassas has not come forward to claim their winnings – and the ticket is about to expire.
The ticket was purchased on January 12 for a Cash 5 night drawing from a 7-Eleven location on Cockrell Road in Manassas, said Virginia Lottery.
The ticket was a winner and is valued at $100,000. Virginia Lottery stated that the winning numbers were 3-7-10-20-25 and that the ticket matched all five numbers.
But the owner of that ticket has not come forward to claim their prize.
More on lottery ticket expiration and unclaimed prizes from the Virginia Lottery:
By law, winning tickets in Virginia expire 180 days after the drawing. In this case, since the 180-day period ends on a Saturday, the winner has until close of business the next business day, which is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13. If it’s not claimed by then, this $100,000 ticket will become worthless.
All Virginia Lottery unclaimed prize money goes to the state Literary Fund. The Literary Fund is used solely for educational purposes, such as upgrading technology in schools and teacher retirement funding. Since its inception in 1988, the Lottery has transferred more than $244 million in unclaimed prizes to Virginia’s Literary Fund.
Cash 5 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.
The owner must reach out to the Virginia Lottery in order to claim their prize.
County supervisors are talking about ways to handle the Potomac and Rapphannock Transportation Commission’s (PRTC) $9 million dollar annual shortfall.
PRTC provides bus and rail service for residents in Prince William, Manassas and Stafford, including commuter, cross-county and local bus service.
According to PRTC’s Interim Executive Director Eric Marx, the organization is facing this large shortfall and may have to make some drastic cuts to service – including eliminating all local service or severely limiting commuter service – unless additional funding can be found.
Currently PRTC’s revenue sources include some federal and state funds, and a 2.1% motor fuels tax. Previously, the board of county supervisors chipped in money from the general fund, but stopped doing so after the recession hit the county in 2008.
An independent audit, and more talks
Marx has met with the supervisors to discuss the shortfall, and the board’s first step has been to call for an independent audit of PRTC and their budget, to see if efficiencies and cost savings can be found.
“There is an audit that Prince William County is planning, to have their independent auditing firm perform on PRTC, regarding our performance…it will be a way that the county can sort of independently determine how well we are doing. We can say everything we want about how efficient we are, and how productive we are…but having and independent process [provides] verification,” said Marx.
The audit will take place this fall, according to Marx.
While Marx stated that the three scenarios that PRTC has offered to address the shortfall are very real, they were meant to be broad and will receive much tweaking from the board.
“I’ve spoken with most of the [supervisors]…and all of them have listened attentively and asked some questions. But [we’re] really not at a point that people are making declarations one way or the other. There are three very broad scenarios, developed to illustrate what the extremes would be in terms of how many cuts would need to be made in order to achieve [certain] levels of savings. I suspect that none of those will be implemented exactly as they are…I suspect there will be a fair amount of give or take, with the policy guidance from the elected officials and the board of county supervisors and the county finance staff,” said Marx.
Supervisors share their thoughts
Potomac Local reached out to the county board of supervisors for their thoughts on how to handle the PRTC shortfall.
For Supervisor Mike May, addressing the board’s previous general fund contribution is on the table.
“It’s a significant amount of money and I don’t think the board is going to be able to be in a position to completely backfill a $9 million shortfall. There is a history of using general fund monies to supplement PRTC, and that probably makes some amount of sense – depending on of course, the amount. Historically, it’s been $1 to $1.5 million dollars, and so there’s a significant difference between that and the $9 million shortfall,” said May.
Additionally, May stated that none of the scenarios to cut service that PRTC has put forward would seriously be considered.
“All three scenarios are essentially non-starters. But those all assume a $9 million shortfall, and PRTC resolving it with some level of reductions. I don’t think any of the three will be met with a whole lot of support from the board,” said May.
Supervisor Maureen Caddigan stated that many of her constituents rely on PRTC and that not finding funding sources for PRTC’s shortfall would have a major impact on transit in the area.
“We need transportation, obviously. If you look at Route 1, and [Interstate] 95 and certainly [Route] 66 – where the jobs are…and the traffic is horrendous, so we need [public] transportation to get people around. The OmniRide is doing wonderful, people are really happy…the concern with some of the money now that is needed is for OmniLink. And OmniLink does take care of our neediest people – the people that don’t have cars…it’s expensive to run the buses, so we are taking a look at it…Route 1 – that is my greatest concern. People get off of 95 and they get onto Route 1, and the traffic is terrible, so I would not cut out any kind of transportation to get people around,” said Caddigan.
According to Supervisor John Jenkins, the General Assembly should play a role in solving the shortfall by putting a floor on the motor fuels tax – one of PRTC’s major funding sources.
“We have a corporate responsibility, with other jurisdictions, and so it’s not one of these things where you can just say, ‘You know, we’re not going to fund it.’ There are two or three options we’re going to look at in the future. We have, over the years, in Prince William County, funded from the general fund, a little bit of the operation of the transportation systems, but I don’t think we can continue to do that in the current scenario. The General Assembly could put a floor on the amount of [motor fuels] tax that’s being cut. One of the things I would like to see done would be for the state General Assembly to come in there and come and give us some real, meaningful revenues to help operate this transit system,” Jenkins said.
May also mentioned seeking outside funding sources, including the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), but that ultimately there would have to be some cuts at PRTC.
“I’m open to working with my colleagues to try and identify funding to help with some of that. I also think we should probably take a look at the possibility of using NVTA funds for a portion of that as well, but there’s probably going to have to be some reductions made on the PRTC side as well,” May commented.
Marx stated that public hearings could be held in the future to hear from county residents, as to how to address the $9 million shortfall.
On July 1, the Manassas Museum will be offering free admission.
The decision to provide free admission to the museum came from the Manassas Historic Resources Board and the Manassas City Council, in order to give residents the opportunity to visit the museum.
The museum first opened in 1973, after residents created an exhibit to celebrate the city’s Centennial. Due to the popularity of that exhibit, the museum was created – located originally on Main Street – in 1991.
The Manassas Museum is currently on Prince William Street.
“The City of Manassas has a historic heart. We want to share this history with our residents and visitors at no cost,” stated City Manager W. Patrick Pate in a release.
According to a city release, some of the city’s programs including Spirits of Manassas and the Liberia Holiday tours will still have an admission charge, and the museum will still be accepting donations.
Any programs run by the museum are free for residents with a Manassas Museum Associates members, said a release.
The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day.
There have been multiple instances of armed robberies and a carjacking of pizza deliverymen in Woodbridge and Manassas this week.
Armed robbery, carjacking in Manassas
On June 24, Prince William police responded to Saint Croix Lane in Manassas to investigate a robbery.
According to Prince William police, the victim – a 29-year old man – reported to police that he was delivering a pizza when he was flagged down by an individual. The victim stated that the individual said they were the ones that had called for the pizza and they were waiting on a friend to bring the money.
During the incident, another individual approached the victim, displaying a weapon and ordering the victim to the ground, according to Prince William police.
When the victim was on the ground, the two individuals took money, the pizza, a cell phone and car keys, before getting into the victim’s car and fleeing the area, stated Prince William police. Another suspect fled on foot.
No one was injured.
Prince William police found the victim’s car in a nearby parking lot. When an officer approached the vehicle, one of the individuals jumped from the driver’s seat and fled on foot. A K-9 unit and helicopter were used to search for the individual and he was located and arrested. Keep Reading…
8:30 a.m. June 26
This message detailing funeral services for Catherine Morretta was sent to Potomac Local by Manassas Park City Manager Kimberly Alexander:
Funeral services for Catherine will be held Wednesday, July 1 at 2:00 PM at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas.City offices will close at 1:30 PM on July 1 so that all employees who wish to may attend.A “Celebration of Life” will be held in Catherine’s honor on Tuesday, July 7 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Community Center.City offices will close at 12:45 PM on July 7 so that all employees who wish to may attend.
Mananssas Park police posted this message to its Facebook page:
There will be a Memorial Service on July 7th from 1pm-4pm at the Manassas Park Community Center – 99 Adams Street (Costello Park) for a celebration of Catherine’s life.
Long time Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Director Catherine Morretta passed away late yesterday afternoon after battling cancer.
Morretta, 44, would have celebrated 20-years with the department on July 3, according to Manassas Park City Manager Kimberly Alexander.
According to Alexander, Morretta had received treatment for her illness for months.
No funeral information has been released by the family as of yet, according to Manassas Park Business Manager Julia Drake.
The city is planning a celebration of life ceremony for Morretta, which will take place the week after her funeral.
“Catherine was an incredible person. This is a terrible loss, and it is one that the City is feeling deeply,” stated Alexander.
*This post has been updated.
It has now been confirmed that a tornado hit the Bristow and Manassas area on Saturday.
Potomac Local reached out to the National Weather Service, and a spokesman confirmed that the severe weather over the weekend was a tornado.
Jim Lee from the National Weather Service provided a radar image of Manassas on Saturday at 7:40 p.m., which shows the velocity couplet and tornado.
The incident took place around 7 p.m. on Saturday, and caused damage to structures and signage in Prince William and Manassas, including flash flooding.
We’ll keep you up to date with the latest on weather updates.
Early July is that exciting time of year when French teenagers sponsored by LEC (Loisirs Culturels a L’Etranger, founded in 1972 and based in Paris, France) will be arriving into Dulles Airport for a fun-filled three weeks in the Northern Virginia area.
But to do so they need local families willing to open their hearts and homes now.
LEC has five students, ages 14-19, who still need welcoming homes from July 7–27. They all speak English, are fully insured, bring ample spending money, and would like to participate as a member of an American family – your family!
But what does that entail?
Our families provide room and board, of course, but even more importantly friendship and the desire to include the student in their daily activities, thus giving the student a wonderful introduction to American life.
Families will receive a weekly stipend of $125 to help cover typical hosting costs. For more information or to apply, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or email@example.com TODAY. We need Host families immediately to ensure that every student can visit the US. For more information, please see LEC-USA.com.
It is always fun to observe the group of teens searching for their host families in the airport crowd. Some of the students have corresponded and ‘met’ their families in advance. They have received pictures, and have heard about some of the upcoming plans for the 20 days that they will be in the Northern Virginia area. Others will shyly meet their American families for the first time once they leave the International Arrivals area.
Either way, excitement is in store for both students and families as both share in the daily activities and traditions of the family and have fun learning about each others’ cultures.
Trips to the local swimming pool, bowling alleys, family reunions, and food stores may be just as much fun as trips to amusement parks, museums, the White House and baseball games. Even introducing your student to corn on the cob, American barbecue, or the joys of s’mores can be fun. All are new and exciting to our students! Let your imagination guide you!
Aurelie, a student from Paris who was housed in Chantilly last year, formed a strong bond with her host family who admitted that they had known little about France and had been nervous about opening their home to a student they had never met.
“We decided to go for it,” host mother Joan stated, “ and the 20 days just flew by. In the end, we wished Aurelie could have stayed much longer!”
Again, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY. Please help so we don’t disappoint a single student! See you at Dulles on July 7!
It looks like the area will be seeing some more stormy and hot weather.
According to the National Weather Service, scattered and severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening.
There may also be damaging winds and large hail. Additionally, there could be thunderstorms with significant rainfall and flash flooding.
Along with the stormy weather, the National Weather service has announced a heat advisory for the entire Interstate 95 corridor.
It is expected that the temperature will rise to 105 degrees.
The advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
More from the National Weather Service:
A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE.
TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE…RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK…THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS
IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKEIS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911.
Sweltering hot temperatures and more potentially dangerous storms are in the forecast.
We’ll see a high of 96 degrees on Tuesday. Factor in the heat index, and we could be looking at temperatures that feel like 101 or better.
The hot temperatures could also bring severe thunderstorms much like we saw on Saturday night, said National Weather Service Baltimore-Washington office forecaster James Lee.
According to the weather service, the movement of a cold front across the region could determine when we could see some nasty weather. The storms could come during the afternoon or evening, so keep an umbrella handy for the drive home from work on Tuesday.
This latest threat of stormy weather comes days after a massive line a damaging, potentially tornado-causing weather moved through the region Saturday night. That storm — remnants of Tropical Storm Bill that slammed into Texas last week — caused flooding, topped trees and structures, and lightning from the storms sparked several house fires.
We are well into the summer season now, and the weather pattern setting up for the remainder of the week reflects the season.
While not nearly as hot as Tuesday’s forecasted temperatures in the high 90s, the rest of the week will bring temps in the high 80s, as well as more chances for thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday.
Your weekend should be warm with highs in the low 80s, with a chance of showers on Saturday and Sunday.
It’s becoming more and more likely a tornado touched down in Manassas on Saturday night.
“Based on the radar images we’ve reviewed, and reports of damage from Bristow to Manassas, there is better odds this storm produced a tornado,” said Luis Rosa, with the National Weather Service.
There is a consistent pattern of damage between Linton Hall Road in Bristow and Godwin Drive in Manassas. Clean-up crews with the City of Manassas on Sunday were mopping up the mess left behind by the storm at the baseball fields at the intersection of Route 28 and Godwin Drive.
A team from the National Weather Service is expected to head to Manassas on Monday to survey the damage.
They’re the ones that would be able to make an official call as to whether or not a twister did touch down in the area.
The National Weather Service is also reviewing radar and an image of what could be a funnel cloud spotted last night over Quantico. A local storm report posted to the weather service’s website noted a 62 mph gust of wind recorded at the height of the storm Saturday night.
“By looking at the photo, it’s not clear cut, so we’re not confident right now that it was a tornado,” said Rosa.
Heavy rain and wind moved through the region about 7 p.m. Saturday. What fell was the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill that slammed into Texas earlier in the week. So much rain fell, portions of Route 1 in Woodbridge — between Occoquan Road, and at Neabsco Creek — saw heavy flooding overnight. Traffic was diverted around the area by local police.
Summer arrived on Sunday, and you can expect temperatures to remain hot this week. Expect mostly sunny skies with highs in the low 90s, and isolated thunderstorms in the evening and temperatures in the low 70s. On Tuesday, it’ll be mostly sunny — even hotter with temps in the high 90s — with another chance of thunderstorms in the evening.