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Surveillance footage captures Manassas armed robbery

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From Manassas police: 

On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at approximately 10:55pm, surveillance footage captured the suspect pictured above entering 7-Eleven and holding the clerk at gunpoint, demanding money from the register.

The clerk complied and the suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. If you have any information or can identify this subject, contact Detective Barahona at (703) 257-8047 or

The Manassas City Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward up to $1000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case. The confidential 24-hour tip line is (703) 330-0330.

Also this week, a man walked into a Best Western hotel on Mathis Avenue in Manassas and robbed it at gunpoint. The suspect remains at large.

Snow chances overnight? VDOT says they’re watching highway conditions.

There’s the possibility, albeit slight, that we’ll wake up to some snow on the ground Thursday. 

So, highway officials in the Fredericksburg region tell us they’ll be monitoring the situation closely:

With a forecast for potential light snow arriving tonight across the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula during the evening rush hour travel period, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has prepared staff, equipment and materials to treat any slick or hazardous driving conditions.

VDOT is closely monitoring weather forecasts and pavement temperatures throughout the day. Due to cold air and pavement temperatures, even a light snowfall could quickly accumulate on the road surface.   

What Drivers Should Know:

  • Monitor news and weather report
  • Check 511Virginia for real-time road conditions before starting a trip
  • Be ready to adjust travel plans and delay travel as needed to adapt to changing road conditions
  • If conditions deteriorate, reduce your vehicle speed and leave additional following distance between vehicles
  • Road conditions may become hazardous first on bridges, overpasses and ramps due to colder surface temperatures

A winter weather advisory is issued for portions of western Maryland and for much of Pennsylvania. Nothing for our area.

If flakes do fly, they will come after the unusually cold day that was Wednesday.


The sun will shine during the day on Thursday with highs in the low 40s. Friday will bring a 20 percent chance of snow showers.

Here’s the links to click on Thursday morning to see schools and government delays and closures. 

The expectations were high when FreshySites was tasked to build a website for a company rooted deep in Virginia’s rich winemaking history

At FreshySites, we’re dedicated to taking our clients’ online presence to the next level through the creation of beautiful, clean and user-friendly websites. This mission extends to clients both national and local.

Earlier this year, we were asked to create a website for the local landmark business Morais Vineyards and Winery.

Wanting a more accessible, modern site that would better represent their gorgeous vineyard and winery, as well as the delicious wines they produce, this historic business came to the right place – right down the street from their wine tasting room in Manassas – for such an undertaking.

Though the expectations were high in our being tasked to build a website for a business that’s been an integral part of Virginia’s rich winemaking history for decades, we knew exactly how to revamp the Morais Vineyards & Winery website.

After months of steady planning and collaboration, mockups created and revision rounds went through, we transformed their previous website – marked by improper spacing, lackluster design, and ordinary functionality – into a simple and elegant site filled with features and pages unique to such a gorgeous place in our region.

Discover more about Morais Vineyards & Winery on their charming and aesthetically pleasing website representative of a venue perfect for lavish weddings and events.

Their blog is a perfect assortment of ideas, information, and advice for any bride in need of help or inspiration. And, their image gallery says more than our endorsement ever could!

Explore the various wedding packages offered, beautiful locations on the grounds to get married, the history of the Morais family, photos from past weddings held there and so much more.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. 

Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. 

FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!

Mathis Avenue hotel robbed at gunpoint just before 1 p.m. Tuesday

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A Best Western Hotel in Manassas was robbed at gunpoint.

Police said the gunman walked into the hotel at 8640 Mathis Avenue at 12:44 p.m. today, showed a handgun, and demanded cash.

The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was hurt.

He’s described as white, thin, 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a Nike logo, black pants, and a black ski mask.

Here’s VDOT’s full report from the first week of I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes

While tolls on the Interstate 66 E-ZPass Express Lanes peaked last week at $40 to travel the nine-mile stretch of highway between the Capital Beltway and Washington, D.C., VDOT says the average toll price was about $14 roundtrip. 

The agency this morning sent us an email recapping the first week of travel on the I-66 toll lanes, now one of the most expensive tolling corridors in the U.S. 

The email: 

Download the PDF file .

‘Give your Christmas tree, wreath and other cut greenery another life as compost’

From a press release: 

After all the holiday greenery has lost its luster, make it green again! Give your Christmas tree, wreath and other cut greenery another life as compost, mulch or habitat. Simply remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsel, nails and the tree stand and take the greenery to one of locations listed below to be recycled or repurposed.  

The Prince William County Landfill at 14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas.  Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility located at 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Monday – Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

Leesylvania State Park located at 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge (off Neabsco Road). Trees may be dropped off at Shelter 2 and will be used for habitat.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) located at 5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville.  Dec. 26 – Jan. 8.  The drop off area is located in the front parking lot in the area outlined with the orange safety cones.  NOVEC will deliver the wood-chip mulch to interested customer-owners at no charge, visit

Prince William legislator Scott Surovell makes another attempt at hands-free cell phone law


You’ve probably done it while sitting behind the wheel, yell “get off your phone” at the slow, a seemingly distracted driver in front of you.

Well, State Senator Scott Surovell (D-36, Fairfax, Prince William) does want you to put down your phone. He’s re-introduced a new hands-free cell phone bill for lawmakers in Richmond to consider during the General Assembly in January.

From Surovell:

“Senator Scott Surovell today introduced SB 74 which prohibits driving while operating a mobile phone unless it is being used in “hand’s free” mode. Sen. Surovell introduced the same bill last year and attempted introduction in 2015 after similar legislation was voted down on the floor of the Senate

That legislation was motivated by the death of 18-year-old Fairfax County resident Kyle Rowley who was killed by a distracted texting driver on Route 7 near Herndon after a driver stuck his vehicle without breaking at full speed with 1,000 feet of straight, clear road leading up to Mr. Rowley’s car. After the driver was acquitted of Reckless Driving due to texting while driving being a secondary offense, Senator Surovell represented the family in a civil proceeding and ultimately led the fight to change the traffic law. Kyle’s parents, John and Meryl Rowley have become leaders in the effort to make Virginia a hand’s free state.”

In 2013, Surovell worked with other state officials to make texting while driving a primary offense.

Since then, cell phone use behind the wheel in Northern Virginia has remained a problem.

“The Alliance applauds Senator Surovell’s efforts to find solutions that will help reduce distracted driving. Recent VDOT statistics show that over a 6 year period, approximately 1 in 6 traffic fatalities in Northern Virginia occurred when at least 1 of the drivers involved was distracted,” stated Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance President David Birtwhistle in an email to Potomac Local. “Many more traffic incidents impacting the efficiency of the transportation network are caused by distracted driving. Northern Virginia’s congestion issues will not be solved by such legislation, but every effort to reduce the number of incidents and save lives matters.”

More from Surovell:

“Virginia first prohibited texting while driving in 2009, but only made it a secondary offense punishable by a small fine. In 2010, Fairfax County Police reported writing fewer than 50 tickets for texting while driving because of loopholes in the law and the fact that it was a secondary infraction.

Since 2014, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports 576 collisions and 283 injuries where driving texting was verified as part of the collision.

In 2014 alone, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported that more than 24,000 crashes in Virginia were attributed to distracted drivers.”

It’s a changing political climate in Richmond and the delegate who led the charge to ban texting while driving in 2009, Richard Anderson (R-Prince William County) says the bill could face some opponents, as it did last year.

In 2009, Anderson also had one opponent in his effort to ban texting while driving seven years ago.

From Anderson:

“The only group that had problems were Virginia ham radio organizations that were concerned that my bill would preclude the use of ham radio by their members during emergency and disaster relief operations. The bill had an exemption for them, which removed their opposition/concerns.

In the final analysis, the objection came from within the General Assembly itself. Some members were concerned that the bill was simply unenforceable. Others were concerned that the bill constituted excessive government intrusion into the passenger compartment of privately-owned motor vehicles (a view that doesn’t square with the prohibition against the consumption of alcohol by motor vehicle operators).”