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What will it take to make Virginia number one for business again?

Virginia’s rural counties are dying as the population continues to flee the southwest portion of the state.

Along the state’s “urban crescent” on Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia to I-64 to Hampton Roads, things are booming. In fact, they’re the two only growth regions in the state.

Stephen Morret at Virginia’s Economic Partnership hopes to change all that while working to restore the state to its “lofty” perch to the top of the best states in the nation to business, where it sat in 2008.

“We see Northern Virginia continuing to be a growth leader, but we want to continue to push for growth in all regions of the state,” said Morret.

As residents leave to find new jobs in other states, companies have been reluctant to invest in Virginia for reasons like higher taxes, federal sequestration, and what Moret called negative perceptions about the state. Washington, D.C., and its Virginia suburbs consistently rank 2nd on national lists of worst traffic congestion. (more…)

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Woman, 104, dies in Manassas house fire

From a Manassas City spokeswoman: 

“On Sunday, May 21, at approximately 12:15 a.m., the City Of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department along with units from Manassas Park and Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue responded to the 10300 block of Poe Drive for a two-alarm structure fire.

The home was occupied by three adults at the time. Two of the occupants were able to escape the blaze unharmed.  The third occupant was found by firefighters in her bed in the one-story rambler. She was 104.

The home was posted as unsafe and uninhabitable by City Fire Investigators, and the Red Cross was called to assist the surviving residents.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

News
Updated: Manassas police officer shoots 18-year-old following pursuit

A Manassas police officer shot an 18-year-old at a Prince William County park following a pursuit. 

We’re working to get more information to include the circumstances that led to the shooting, and when and where the pursuit began 

Prince William police are now investigating “criminal aspect of this shooting” and released this information today: 

Officer Involved Shooting [Manassas City Police] – Currently Prince William County police are investigating a Manassas City Police involved shooting which occurred at George Hellwig Memorial Park located at 14420 Bristow Rd in Manassas (20112).

The preliminary investigation revealed Manassas City Police initially responded to investigate a report of shots fired within the city limits. Manassas City officers located a vehicle possibly involved in the initial call and attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle failed to stop for officers and a pursuit ensued. (more…)

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A non ‘Mac Guy’ opens a Mac store in Manassas

Ron Mosely has never been a “Mac guy.”

He’s used iPhones and iPads, but he’s never been the one to stand in in line outside an Apple Store for the release of the next big must-have thing from the world’s biggest retailer.

“No, that wasn’t me,” said Mosley.

But he was looking for an opportunity.While living with his family in Colorado, his daughter tried to get him to purchase a Tropical Smoothie franchise.

“‘Dad, there’s none here,’ and she was right,” said Mosely, about the lack of locations of the popular drink and sandwich chain where they were living. (more…)

News
McAuliffe to speak about business growth in Prince William County

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will address the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

He will deliver a “State of the Commonwealth” address at the Hylton Performing Arts Center “focusing largely on issues related to the economy and business climate,” according to a Chamber spokeswoman.

The governor’s upcoming stop in Prince William County speaks to the region’s growing business community.

“I do not believe in recent history we have had a governor concentrated on economic development more than McAuliffe,” said Dr. Terry Clowler, head of the George Mason University Center for Regional Anayalis. “When he is going about the state telling the story of opportunity and economic potential, I think it’s easy for him to find both of those in Prince William County.”

Prince William County’s location outside the Capital Beltway and its large population have allowed it to attract a mix of manufacturing and government contracting jobs. The county is now the state’s second-largest locality, and it’s emerging position in business is a newfound one.

“I don’t think it’s unfair to say that even 10 years [Prince William County] was not at the forefront of anyone’s mind when they talk about the forefront of economic growth in Virginia,” added Clower.

The Prince William Chamber invited McAuliffe to speak at a luncheon that will be Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas, on Tuesday, June 13. Doors open at 10:45 a.m. The Governor’s remarks will commence at 11:30 a.m. with the luncheon concluding at 1:00 p.m.

All are welcome to attend.

Joshua Cole makes history as the official Democratic Nominee for Virginia House of Delegates 28th District

Election history was made early this week in Stafford and Fredericksburg. Joshua Cole, a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates 28th District, is now the official Democratic nominee for that elected position. He is the first African-American and the youngest candidate to ever win the Democratic nomination for House District 28.

On May 15, the 28th House of Delegates District Democratic Nominating Committee cancelled the Unassembled Caucus scheduled for May 21 at the Berea Firehouse. Cole was one of two Democratic candidates to file, but the other candidate dropped out in early April. Cole is now the official Democratic candidate and nominee for the 28th House of Delegates District, which covers much of western Stafford County and Fredericksburg. As such, his name will not be on the June 13 Primary ballot, but it will be on the General Election ballot in November.

“I am so honored to be the first African-American and the youngest nominated for this enormous and very important task,” Cole said. “Those pioneers before me, such as Dr. William Ferguson Reid and Rev. Lawrence Davies, paved my way. I am indebted to them.”

In 1968, Reid became the first African-American elected to the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction, and in 1976, Fredericksburg citizens elected Davies as their first African-American mayor, a post he held for 20 years.

“It’s nice to make history,” Cole added, “but this is not the history we want and need to make. Our goal is much higher and our aim is for Richmond.”

A bright new voice in the Commonwealth’s Democratic process, Cole is an Associate Pastor at Union Bell Baptist Church in Southern Stafford, and he serves as a behavioral aid for students in the Richmond Public Schools. He also spends time volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of the Rappahannock Region.

“I want to make a difference,” Cole said. “With the new leadership in the White House, I see that our country is heading backwards. Now is the time to step up and take action, to participate in the democratic process. We can’t afford not to.”

For more information, contact Team #Jcole4VA at (540) 642-0165 or jcole4va@gmail.com. You can also follow Joshua on all social media outlets @jcole4VA or visit www.jgcole.org.

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On Jan. 12, Joshua Cole challenged Speaker Bill Howell for his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Howell has since announced his retirement and will not be running for re-election. Appointed by Howell, Cole has served as the personal Page for (then) Governor Mark Warner and went on to serve as the Virginia Senate Chamber staff assistant during the 2016 General Assembly. Cole has seen the secret voice voting in committee and the battle of party politics. He promises to work for an open, transparent and accessible democracy. He assures the residents of Stafford and Fredericksburg will get their say in Richmond. Cole, an Associate Pastor at the Union Bell Baptist Church in Southern Stafford, serves as a behavioral aid for students in Richmond Public Schools and spends time volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in the local area. Children and education are high priorities, but so are transportation, health care and the state justice system. Cole is a fresh new voice for Stafford and Fredericksburg.

News
Greater Manassas area Democrats announce 2017 nomination process

From a press release:

“Manassas & Manassas Park, VA. The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses to nominate Democratic candidates for state constitutional office races for Manassas and Manassas Park in the November 7, 2017 General Election. Specifically, the MMPCDC seeks to nominate Democratic candidates for treasurer and commissioner of the revenue in each city.

Candidates who seek the Democratic Party nomination for any of those offices must submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form and a $250 filing fee to the MMPCDC by Friday, May 26 at 5 pm. Complete details–including the Call to Caucus, the Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Caucus Rules-are posted on the MMPCDC website, www.manassascitydemocrats.org. (more…)

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Weekend crime report: Armed robbery at Coverstone 7-Eleven, shooting into home

From Prince William police reports: 

Armed Robbery – On May 13 at 4:58AM, officers responded to the 7-Eleven located at 10740 Coverstone Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man wearing a mask entered the business brandishing a handgun. During the encounter, the suspect demanded money then fled the store with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched the area for the suspect who was not located.
Suspect Description:
Black male of an unknown age, 6’03”, 240lbs with a heavy build and dark complexion
Last seen wearing a mask, green coat, khaki pants, and black boots

Shooting into Residential Dwelling – On May 12 at 11:12PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 13700 block of Moccasin Ct in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a shots fired call. Several callers reported to police that multiple gunshots were heard in the above area. Officers checked the area and nothing was found at that time. On May 13 at 11:43AM, a citizen located several bullets hole inside of their residence. No injuries or no other property damage was reported. Upon further investigation, a shell casing was located in a nearby roadway. The investigation continues.

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Manassas woman shot, killed while traveling on I-95

The Virginia State Police is searching for the shooter who drove alongside a car on Interstate 95 in Richmond and shot and killed a 26-year-old Manassas woman, killed the 23-year-old woman, of Richmond, who was behind the wheel and injured a Woodbridge man. 

Police said this was a “targeted” incident. 

More in a press release: 

“The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office continues to follow up on leads and tips related to the fatal shooting on Interstate 95 early Sunday morning (May 14) in the City of Richmond. State police are still encouraging the public to come forward with any information related to the incident. (more…)