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House of Mercy Does the Numbers, Helps Poor in Greater Manassas



Using the data collection online tool city-data.com, the House of Mercy has determined that the nonprofit humanitarian organization, located in Manassas, serves about 16 percent of the poor overall in targeted areas of Greater Manassas combined, helping up to 34 percent of impoverished residents in some communities.

That’s according to Ann Cimini, the agency’s executive director, who said that House of Mercy clients number 1,575 of 10,089 poor and low-income residents throughout Manassas Park and the Census Designated Places (CDPs) of Buckhall, Bull Run and Loch Lomond, all in Greater Manassas, and the unincorporated Manassas communities of Wellington and West Gate. The figures are based on House of Mercy registered-client totals at the beginning of October and information on city-data.com on each area’s population below the poverty rate, she said.

House of Mercy provides free food and clothing to its clients, which also include 84 families in Woodbridge, 36 in Bristow and 33 in Gainesville, said Cimini. The agency serves clients in almost all towns surrounding Manassas, she said. The average size of families that House of Mercy serves is 3.5 people, she said.

The City of Manassas was not included in the agency’s report, which also excluded figures for the unincorporated Manassas community of Sudley Springs and Greater Manassas CDPs Sudley (which includes SplashDown Waterpark), Independent Hill and Yorkshire. The report focuses only on Greater Manassas areas where House of Mercy serves the most residents in need, Cimini said.

At nearly 34 percent, Loch Lomond, located about a mile and a half north of the City of Manassas, has the highest percentage of poor and low-income residents served by House of Mercy, Cimini said. The agency’s clients include 215 of the neighborhood’s 640 residents with income below the poverty rate, according to House of Mercy statistics. More than 27 percent of Loch Lomond’s population live in poverty, based on figures for 2012 on city-data.com.

About 20 percent or 193 of West Gate’s 976 poor and low-income residents are House of Mercy clients, the organization’s report showed. According to data for 2009 on www.city-data.com, 8.4 percent of residents there live in poverty.

With 823 of the agency’s clients residing in Wellington and 134 in Manassas Park, the agency serves slightly more than 16 percent of Wellington’s 5,120 impoverished residents and 16.4 percent of Manassas Park’s 816 community members living below the poverty rate, based on House of Mercy’s statistics.

Greater Manassas areas the agency serves that have the lowest percentage of House of Mercy clients compared tototal number of poor and low-income residents include Bull Run, located about two miles northwest of Manassas city. The organization serves 8 percent or 210 clients of that CDP’s 2,537 residents living below the poverty rate, based on the agency’s report.

Buckhall, an expansive geographic area stretching from southeast to northwest nearly two miles south of Manassas city, has more than 23,000 poor and low-income residents, including 61 House of Mercy clients, according to the report. They all live in the Forest Park Mobile Home Community, the report stated.

While Manassas city was not included in the report, House of Mercy calculated that the agency serves more than 32 percent of residents living in Georgetown South, a Manassas neighborhood with among the highest poverty rates in the city, said Cimini. She noted that 651 House of Mercy clients live in the neighborhood, which has a population of 2,026 based on information on www.city-data.com, she said.

“This is a huge piece of information we’ve been missing. We know we’re good at giving aid to people, but until now we weren’t able to quantify our help’s real value in the community,”said Cimini.

Such statistics are required on almost all grant applications, usually under the question, “How does the work you do impact your community?” she said.

The organization’s goals include extending aid to more families to serve a greater percentage of those in need in the area, she said. However, the endeavor’s success depends upon donations of money, food and clothing, and those are down in this troubled economy, while demand continues to grow, Cimini said.

To supplement food donations, House of Mercy purchases food from Capital Area Food Bank, the largest nonprofit food bank in the Washington, D.C., area. Once ordering about twice a year, the agency now places an order at least every six weeks, Cimini said.

“Before this year, food donations kept up with demand, and we made strides in providing clients with healthful foods,” she said. “Now we’re spending close to $3,000 a year to ensure that our clients have protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals and low-sugar and low-salt canned goods.”

-Press release submitted by House of Mercy

Russian Dancers Guest Stars in ‘Nutcracker’ at the Hylton

Russian dancers fashion spokesmodels


"Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky, Stars of American Ballet Theatre.

“Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky, Stars of American Ballet Theatre.

The Northern Virginia Youth Ballet (NVYB) and its affiliate school, The Academy of Russian Ballet (ARB) are pleased to announce that International Ballet Super Stars Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky will guest in their eight annual production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday, Nov. 29  at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ms. Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky are former Principal dancers with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) where they performed nearly all leading roles in the company’s classical and contemporary repertoire. Trained at the Kiev State Choreographic Institute in the USSR, they were Principal dancers with the Kiev State Ballet in Ukraine. Ms. Dvorovenko has received many awards and prizes from prestigious international competitions in Moscow, Japan, Jackson, Ukraine including “Anna Pavlova Prize” at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 1992.

After immigrating to the U.S., they immediately joined ABT where they became famed for their dramatic artistry and technical purity on stage. They are spokesmodels and fashion designers for Bloch Dancewear USA and have modeled for Vogue Magazine among others. Most recently, Ms. Dvorovenko was a guest judge on the hit TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance?”. She will also be featured in the upcoming Starz Channel series, “Flesh and Bone”.

NVYB’s production of “The Nutcracker” is family friendly and adheres to tradition. Sets and backgrounds were produced in Russian theatres and costumes are either custom made in Russia and Europe or by an in-house design team. The 65 local performers joining Ms. Dvorovenko and Mr. Beloserkovsky onstage are students of ARB and range in age from three to eighteen. Dimtri Vistoropskiy and Ruslan Amrayev, Russian dancers trained at the A.V. Seleznev Choreographic Institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan, will also appear in the production as The Nutcracker and Snow King respectively.

NVYB and ARB provides talented area students with professional performing experience, original choreographic pieces, and community arts collaboration. Members of NVYB and students of ARB have placed top-12 at Youth America Grand Prix, been voted “Best Performing Arts Group in Prince William County”, have been accepted to acclaimed summer intensives around the country, received traineeship offers with professional companies, and received college scholarships. Two members have been invited to study full time at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. In April 2013, three members of NVYB/ARB competed at the 2013 Dance Triumph Festival and Competition in Germany.

Tickets are $35.00 for adults, $25.00 for children, seniors, and military. Tickets may be purchased at www.hyltoncenter.org. For more information, visit www.AcademyofRussianBalletVA.com .

Cuisine de Commerce Encourages Professionals to Dine Local

Cuisine de Commerce is an event from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. [Photo: Potomac Local]

15 restaurants to participate in Cuisine de Commerce


The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is preparing for one of its most popular events, the Cuisine de Commerce, sponsored by Internet Ad Management, Inc. Taking place at the Continental Event Center, 9705 Liberia Avenue in Manassas, 11:30 a.m. on November 6, this “taste of the town” will feature samples from 15 area restaurants and caterers.

A toy drive will also take place, with donations accepted at the event and at Burke & Herbert Bank locations throughout greater Prince William.

 “We encourage everybody in the community to come out, discover new restaurant favorites and bring something for the toy drive,” said Chamber President and CEO Debbie Jones. “This event is all about our community: highlighting and supporting local businesses. With all that Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park have to offer, we want members and guests to see that there is plenty of reason to stay close to home when going out to eat.” Jones encourages employers to consider recognizing their staff or clients by inviting them to join you for this luncheon, where a table of ten is just $375 for members or non-members.

“Burke & Herbert Bank is proud to be the Toy Drive Sponsor of the Cuisine de Commerce. As a local community bank and the oldest bank in Virginia we believe it is important to support the communities in which we do business,” said Burke & Herbert Bank Senior Vice President Terry Cole. “We are excited about working with the Prince William Chamber to help bring holiday joy to less fortunate children in our neighborhoods and pleased to have our branches serve as locations for the collection of toy donations.

“I’m proud that so many of our members are glad to give back to the community that supports their business,” said Bruce Moore of Internet Ad Management, Inc., the Main Event Sponsor and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. This is the third year that his company has sponsored the luncheon. Over the last two years, the event has featured a food drive where members brought in close to 500 pounds of food. This year everyone is asked to bring a toy, which the Continental Event Center, in partnership with local churches, will distribute to local families in need of help this holiday season.

According to Jones, this luncheon is a great way to treat office staff, clients or friends to a special lunch. Attendees will have the chance to sample foods and treats prepared by:

Zandra’s Taqueria

P.F. Chang’s

Bahama Breeze

Travinia Italian Kitchen

A La Carte Catering and Event Design

The Piedmont Club

UNO Chicago Grill

Dyvine BBQ in Motion

Café Rio Mexican Grill

Cakes by Happy Eatery

Not Your Average Joe’s

‘The Bone’ Holding Ribbon Cutting on Monday


Join us in celebrating our successful opening of The Bone in Historic Old Town Manassas.  The ribbon cutting will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday at The Bone, 9420 Battle Street. 

Representatives of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Historic Manassas Inc. will be on hand to assist with the ribbon cutting, as well as Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish.

Before and after the official cutting of the ribbon there will be social time with complimentary BBQ sliders and drink specials and all attendees will enjoy 10% off dine-in and take-out orders from 4 to 6 p.m. 

While you’re here, grab a 6-pack of craft brew to kick off the after-party. Those who purchase two six packs get a free t-shirt.

RSVP’s are not necessary, just show up for the party. For more information, please contact Chase Hover at 703-330-3820 or email at chase@thebonebbq.com.

Macy’s Security Guard Nearly Bitten

MANASSAS, Va. - On October 16, police went to a Macy’s department store at Manassas Mall to investigate a case of shoplifting. Macy’s security told police that when the male shoplifter tried to leave, he tried to bite one of the security guard’s hands. When officers arrived, police say that he resisted arrested and gave a false identity while in custody. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Attempted Malicious Wounding – On October 16th at 11:44AM, officers responded to the Macy’s in Manassas Mall located at 8270 Sudley Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shoplifter. Officers arrived at the business and were informed by store security that the accused took clothing items and left the business without paying. As security went to detain the accused, he attempted to bite one of them on the hand. No contact was made. As officers attempted to arrest the accused, he actively resisted. Following a brief struggle, the accused was detained without further incident. During questioning, the accused provided officers with a false identity.

Arrested on October 16th: [No photo available]

Roger GONZALEZ, 21, of no fixed address

Charged with attempted malicious woundingresisting arrestgrand larceny and providing false ID to police

Court date: November 17, 2014 | Bond: $7,500 secured

Land Owner: No Plans to Demolish Kline’s Freeze

Kline's freeze restaurant, manassas, centreville road, route 28


Demolishing ice cream stand would be loss for community, say residents


Word spread like wildfire across social media that a beloved ice cream stand was going to close.

Kline’s Freeze, a family-friendly food and ice cream shop off  Route 28 near Manassas, has been serving their customers since 1965. Rumors began swirling over the weekend that this longtime community staple was going to close their doors because the landowner, the Lindsay Automotive Group, wanted to tear down the place.

It wasn’t long before a savvy web user created the “Save Kline’s Freeze” Facebook page, and it quickly racked up more than 15,000 followers.

But there was a bit of good news in the Kline’s Freeze drama on Monday: the building may not be going anywhere after all.

Michael Lindsay, owner of the Lindsay Automotive Group and the land on which Kline’s sits, told Potomac Local he has no intentions of demolishing the business or requiring the owners to vacate.

“I don’t have specific plans for the property. We don’t know what [Kline’s] long term plans are,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay explained that he and the owners of Kline’s restaurant, James and Lorraine Croushorn, have been in constant communication with him and he hopes to sit down soon and work out the issue amicably.

“They’re a family business, and I’m a family business – so I’m sensitive to their situation. We bought the property with the intention of redeveloping, and we’re considering our options, but first and foremost our priority will be on remodeling the body shop components and buildings to the rear of the site,” Lindsay said.

James and Lorraine Croushorn declined comment for this story.

The restaurant is a simple place where customers walk up to the window and order. There’s no drive through, and the only place to sit and eat here are the metal picnic tables around back. Surrounding the place is a myriad of auto shops, auto parts stores, body shops, and nearby car dealerships. It nearly sits alone on an island of unmistakable tastiness.

Brandon Keener, 28, created the “Save Kline’s Freeze” Facebook page.

“When I was a child, I just remember on summer evenings, going to the Prince William County Fair and my Dad taking me down to Kline’s to get an ice cream cone. It was just what you did,” said Keener continuing, “Kline’s is a piece of history in Manassas, and if they go a piece of Manassas has died…”

Others outside Kline’s Freeze on Monday afternoon reminisced while sipping their milkshakes.

Trey House, 17, and his friends frequently drive to Kline’s after attending classes at Centreville High School in nearby Fairfax County.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” said House, who added he was surprised to learn on Facebook that the dairy stand was closing.

His friend, 17-year-old Drew Rice, also of Centreville, remained nostalgic over the popular ice cream shop. “I was kind of in shock when I heard. I mean it’s been here for 50 years. My thought was that it’s going to be weird not being here after such a long time,” said Rice.

And while the outcry to save the business has been louder than ever, there may be no need for customers to panic.

“I’m committed to exploring every alternative for him to continue his business. [The owners'] getting a lot of community support, and I acknowledge that, respect it, and I think that if the community were to give this whole thing some time – and this is going to take months and months – I think that everyone’s going to be pleased with the end product,” Lindsay said.

Before it was Kline’s, the roadside food stand was previously a Tastee Freez in 1955. Another Kline’s location further west on Route 28 near Manassas Regional Airport has since closed.

Vanegas Charged in Restaurant Brawl

MANASSAS, Va. – Police were called to Tommy’s Place Bar & Grill in the early morning hours of Oct. 27 to investigate an assault. Upon arriving to the scene, officers saw a fight-in-progress in the parking lot and were able to identify the victim as a 26-year-old male who had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries to his face and head, said Manassas police spokeswoman Adrienne Helms.

Witnesses at the scene told police that a man struck the victim’s head with a beer bottle multiple times and kicked him the head before leaving the area with another man, said Helms.

Officers were able to find the suspect a short time later at his home and charged the suspect, Ramirez Vanegas, 24, with malicious wounding and public intoxication, said Helms.

He was held without bond with a pending court date of Nov. 25.  



BadWolf Brewery Expansion: Prince William’s Loss is Manassas’ Gain

Bad wolf brewing company, manassas, virginia, beer, drink


Prince William reviews zoning laws for small breweries

Manassas will help a popular brewery expand while Prince William County will ask why small breweries are not allowed there.

Jeremy Meyers is the owner of BadWolf Brewery on Center Street in Manassas. Open for 18 months, the brewery offers its own distinct hand-crafted beers – and that’s all. Laws in Virginia have changed from when only places that served food could serve alcohol. And when Manassas updated their zoning laws to allow such small-time breweries, BadWolf eagerly set up shop.

Now it’s to time expand and Meyers, who lives with his wife in Prince William County, had his sight set on Tacketts Mill in Lake Ridge. There’s an old lakeside restaurant that would have been a perfect setting for a tap room and even more barrels.

He went to speak with county officials about opening up a new small brewery there.

“Basically, it was an unequivocal no. We were told that breweries were only allowed in manufacturing districts, and there are no exceptions unless you are a restaurant, and I don’t serve food, I don’t want to serve food,” said Meyer.

We’re not talking about an operating the size of Anheuser-Busch or Coors. Meyer refers to his operation and others like it in Manassas and neighboring Stafford County, as “coffee shop breweries.”

“It’s a damn shame you can’t have a little coffee shop brewery in Occoquan or in Stonebridge [in Woodbridge],” said Meyers.

Prince William has not updated its zoning laws to permit these types of businesses like Manassas and neighboring Stafford County has already done. Elected leaders said the laws could stand updating.

“This is a fairly small, niche market, as we’ve seen with the wine industry in Northern Virginia. But there is a market for this kind of stuff, and bringing a small brewery here would be away to better promote our market,” said Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

The county’s zoning office will now review the rules on the books that prevent such small breweries from opening in the county. Right now, breweries – big or small – may only open in industrialized areas.

Prince William County Planning Office Director Christopher Price says commercial areas and places zoned for agriculture would be good spots for small breweries to open. Requests to open a small brewery in the county are few, he adds.

Meyer said it could take the county six to eight months to change the laws. His business need to expand now, so he’ll take advantage of some incentives from Manassas City leaders will provide, like paying for some permit fees and the cost of producing architectural drawings.

City leaders were already urging Bad Wolf to expand in the city even while they were in meetings with Prince William County officials.

“When you have one party saying ‘no, it’s not legal, and then you have another saying we’re going to give you $1,500 to stay, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” said Meyers.

Bad Wolf Brewery plans to open its new location in a warehouse across the city from its current spot. There they’ll do hand bottling, canning, and offer a wider assortment of draft beers. The first Bad Wolf Brewery will remain open as a “pilot” brewery where the company will experience with new brews.

How to Prevent Drunken Driving This Halloween

MANASSAS, Va. - On October 24, Adrienne Helms of the Manassas City police department issued a press release about drunk driving prevention this Halloween. Around the area, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will also be offering alternative options to get riders home safe, said Helms. 

Here’s the latest from Manassas City police;

Please see the attached drunk driving prevention press release, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over this Halloween” as well as information on the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s Sober Ride Program, available in both English and Spanish.  Don’t let this Halloween turn into a nightmare – designate a sober driver.  You might just save a life.


Halloween Driving Safety PR 2014 (1)-page-0






Manassas Museum Offers Chance to Get Dirty

[Photo: City of Manassas]

Several events planned for November


The Manassas Museum asks “What’s Under Your Feet?” and features some “wild women” in November. On Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. the Manassas Museum will host a four-mile family-friendly bike tour around the City.

Riders will see lesser-known historic sites as they ride along at a leisurely pace. For tickets, visit manassasmuseum.org.


Wild women of Washington, D.C.


On Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. the Manassas Museum will host a free book talk by author Canden Schwantes. She will talk about her book, Wild Women of Washington, D.C.: A History of Disorderly Conduct from the Ladies of the District. The book includes stories of fiery suffragettes, unconventional first ladies and rebellious socialites of Washington, D.C. who shattered the expectations of the tightly corseted society.

Stories include: escaped slave turned spy Mary Touvestre who risked it all to scuttle Confederate plans tobreak the Union blockade; Dr. Mary E. Walker, who traded petticoats for trousers to work at Civil War Union hospitals, winning both the Medal of Honor and a police record for impersonating a man; and First Lady Florence Harding, who hosted jazz soirees and served up cocktails in the White House gardens during Prohibition.

Pre-K Tuesday


On Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. children ages 3 to 5 years old with their care givers are invited to Pre-K Tuesday at the Manassas Museum for story-telling, crafts, songs and more. For tickets, call 703-368-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org.

What’s under your feet?


What’s Under Your Feet is a new exhibit at the Manassas Museum that runs through Feb. 15. This exhibit features the stories associated with archeological finds and treasures from local historic sites. Visitors who wish to experience the “thrill of the dig” can get their hands dirty with an archeology activity. For more information, visit manassasmuseum.org.

Disabled Train Sits on Tracks in Manassas

Disabled train at Godwin Drive in Manassas


A broken down train is causing headaches for drivers in Manassas.

A railroad crossing at Godwin Drive near Ashton Avenue and Rixlew Lane is blocked after a disabled train came to a stop.

Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince said they don’t know when the train could be moved from the tracks.

The rail line is operated by Norfolk Southern and it carries freight rail traffic to Front Royal and beyond.

Mecedes Driver Struck, Dragged in Manassas Park


Victim hit while outside car


A man was struck by a car and dragged on Wednesday.

Police said the driver of a 2000 Honda hit the rear of a 1994 Mercedes while traveling on Euclid Avenue in Manassas Park.

The driver of the Mercedes got out of the car, but the driver of the Honda sped off and struck the victim dragging him “several feet,” said Manassas Park police spokesman Karen Barton.

The victim was taken to Prince William Medical Center. The extent of his injuries was unknown, said Barton.

Police then fanned out searching for the Honda. A witness told police they spotted the car headed away from Manassas Park.

The driver of he Honda was later stopped by a Prince William police officer at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Hoadly Road near Woodbridge, said Barton.

Eshaka Kargbo, is charged with malicious hit and run and is being held at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center under no bond, said Barton.

Kargbo’s age and the name of his hometown was not released.

Growing American National University Campus to Offer Cyber Security, Business Degrees

american national univertisy, anu, school, college, degree, manassas

Students at American National University Northern Virginia Center in Manassas, Virginia.

School took early root in Virginia, expanded to 5 states


American National University’s Northern Virginia Center opened its doors in Manassas in February, and it is the university’s 31st and newest campus.

Doug Earhart, a retired Army Officer, has been working in higher education since his retirement. In 2009, Earhart was the Director of Financial Aid and eventually became a Dean at a large university before becoming the Director of the Northern Virginia Center of ANU. Earhart has seen the Manassas location grow from a few employees into a “viable campus,” complete with courses, faculty, and educational resources.

American National University has a long-standing tradition of higher education excellence in the Commonwealth dating back to 1886 when it began as a local business school in Roanoke, Virginia. It expanded quickly into a national business school and developed multiple campuses within the state, including in the cities of Charlottesville, Danville, Harrisonburg, and Lynchburg. Eventually, it expanded into West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.  Since its expansion, American National University has added on various academic and medical programs including its highly acclaimed Medical Assistant Associates (MAA) Degree. 

ANU’s MAA program is one of the few in the region fully accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The Manassas center offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at its English Language Institute, including preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In addition, the Northern Virginia Center offers the MAA program as well as Pharmacy Technician and Medical Coding and Billing diplomas.  Next year the campus will expand its academic programs to include bachelor degrees in Cybersecurity and Business Administration.

The Northern Virginia Center has developed valuable educational programs that caters to both international and local students. Earhart said that many students have come from embassies to learn English at the Northern Virginia Center and upon completion, they can have a “seamless” transition into an academic program.

The Northern Virginia Center’s medical assistant program began on Sep. 15. One student, Earhart said, was a single mom, working at a fast food restaurant when she chose to attend ANU. The student had to make a “hard decision” to go, but now with medical assistant coursework under her belt she will graduate and go on to find a job and a limitless futures said Earhart.

“Another student had faced significant life challenges but after enrolling in that same program, she now has plenty of options and can essentially start over.  The people who are ‘perfect’ for ANU are those who may be “lost…[or] unemployed” and have General Education Development (GEDs) that are not allowing them to reach their full potential. On average, the students at the center are in their late 20s and 30s, with some exceptions,” said Earhart.

Earhart believes American National University stands apart from other colleges and universities in the area by their CAAHEP  accredited programs, by offering internships and by placing students into careers. Unlike at many other colleges and universities, at the center, career placement is not only a “nice thing to do” it is something that Earhart regards as both his and the university’s “responsibility” to find students good jobs that “directly correlate” with their degrees.  The university’s success is ultimately measured by this factor.

Lastly, Earhart explained that there is much more focus on career training than on socializing the students. Career training is the main goal of the school and so far, that and ANU’s crucial formula has resulted in great “success” for the Northern Virginia Center.  Finally, Earhart added “students do have fun while learning” and urged anyone looking for more information to check out ANU on Facebook or at an.edu.

5 Tips to Remain Injury Free While Raking Leaves

092611 fall leaves

The time of year is upon us where the leaves start changing to beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow, etc…, which of course is followed by their inevitable fall to the ground.

like-us-facebook-Transparent-300x143For many of us, this annual occurrence adds an item to our Fall “to do” list. Some, with a tree or two in their yard, may find this task quite simple. However, others may feel like they live in a forest by the time the piles of leaves have been raked, bagged and dragged to the curb. Keep the following in mind when you head out to clean up the yard this fall.

Pace Yourself – The good news is that raking your yard can be a good form of exercise. However, if you’re not accustomed to regular exercise, it is important not to overdo it. Inflexible muscles & overuse of those muscles may have you laid out rather than upright this fall. Complete one quadrant of your yard at a time, make it an activity you can do with your children or partner with a neighbor to get both yards done.

Posture is Important – Do not hunch over while you rake – this will put unneeded stress on your low back. Stand up straight and use small strokes. Furthermore, use your legs when you need to turn from side to side to avoid repeated twisting at the waist. Finally, try switching from side to side as you rake – this may feel a bit awkward at first – but chances are your body will thank you as this will help balance the muscles your body is using while you work.

Have the Right Tools – Use a rake that is the proper height for your size. This will help avoid unnecessary reaching and twisting. Wear gloves to avoid blisters. Dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature. Remember the exercise part of raking leaves? You may work up a sweat. Finally, make sure your shoes have some tread & can grip the ground. Leaves can be slippery – especially wet ones.

Lift with Your Legs – This is good advice any time of year when lifting – of course it is one we often forget – so it bears repeating. Don’t overfill your bags – especially if they are wet. If it’s an option try not to rake after a rainy day. When moving those bags to the curb, lift by bending your knees, avoid bending at your back. Hold the bag close to your body and turn/twist by moving your feet – not your waist.

Cheat – Why not hire the industrious neighborhood boy or girl that wants to make a few bucks to rake your leaves? Maybe invest in a leaf blower – just be sure to be neighborly and not blow all your leaves into the next yard. We would hate to add “black eye” to the list of leaf removing injuries.

Hopefully, these tips and reminders will help you avoid becoming one of the 38,000 people who suffered an injury in 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This should leave you free to enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Kabobs, Pumpkin Spice Creole, Pumpkin Spice Gumbo, Deep Fried Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Spice Soup, Pumpkin Spice Stew, Pumpkin Spice Salad, Pumpkin Spice and Potatoes, Pumpkin Spice Burger, Pumpkin Spice Sandwich, Pumpkin Spice Shrimp….I think that’s about it.

Have a wonderful fall everyone.

Editor’s note: This post was provided by Advantage Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, LLC, with clinics located in Manassas and Gainesville, working with those who desire to restore and improve motion and achieve a long-term quality of life.

Violent Altercation at Manassas 7-Eleven

MANASSAS, Va. On October 16, police found and arrested a man for striking a 23-year-old male victim in the face and then using a crowbar to strike a second male victim, 42, on the head outside of a 7-Eleven store. Police were told by the victims that the three men were involved in an argument inside of the store before the incident happened. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police; 

Malicious Wounding | Assault & Battery – On October 15th at 2:02PM, officers responded to the 7-11 located at 7420 Old Centreville Rd in Manassas (20111) to investigate a fight. The victims, a 23 year old man and a 42 year old man – both of Manassas, reported to police that they were involved in a verbal altercation with another customer inside the store. The altercation continued outside and escalated physically. During the encounter, the other customer, later identified as the accused, struck the younger victim in the face before retrieving a crowbar from his vehicle. The accused then used the crowbar to strike the older victim in the head. The accused left the area prior to police arriving at the business. Minor injuries were reported. The victims were able to provide police with the suspect vehicle’s license plate which identified the suspect. The accused was later arrested on October 16th.

Arrested on October 16th:

Vaughn Anthony WADE, 47, of 3220 Old Lee Hwy in Fairfax

Charged with malicious wounding and assault & battery

Court date: November 17, 2014 | Bond: unavailable 

Woman Strikes Man With Lamp, then Runs Him Over

MANASSAS, Va. - On October 12, a woman was arrested for striking a 37-year-old man, whom she knew, with a lamp and then running him over with a car once the victim tried to approach her. The woman initially fled before police could find her and the victim was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Malicious Wounding – On October 12th at 2:50PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 10900 block of Tower Pl in Manassas (20109) to investigate a domestic assault. The victim, a 37 year old man of Manassas, reported to police that he and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused stuck the victim with a lamp before exiting the residence and getting into a shared vehicle. The victim approached the accused, at which point, she accelerated forward and struck the victim, knocking him onto the hood of the vehicle. The accused fled the area prior to police arriving at the home. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the accused who was located and arrested without further incident.

Arrested on October 12th:

Kahina BENIDIR, 27, 13949 Preacher Chapman Pl in Centreville

Charged with malicious wounding and hit & run

Court date: pending | Bond: unavailable

McAuliffe Announces Healthcare Grant in Manassas

Manassas health center serves as backdrop to announce new push to get more on Obamacare


Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe continued his push to get more residents on the rolls of the federally-funded healthcare program known as Obamacare.

The state’s top leader was in Manassas on Friday at the Evergreen Health Center where he announced Virginia is one four states to receive a $9.3 million grant awarded by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

If the “coverage gap” left by not expanding Medicaid were closed, McAuliffe said that the state would have saved $ 138 million, monies that could’ve went to education. To relieve this burden, Governor McAuliffe has now in place a “10-point plan” called “A Healthy Virginia” that will use state resources to get at least 200,000 insured. The grant will not only help the state financially, Governor McAuliffe said, it will also allow Virginia to create jobs and hire “100 enrolling assisters“, whose duty is to educate and guide those wanting health insurance.

Between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15, McAuliffe said his goal is to sign up at least 160,000 Virginians for health insurance. This goal is one McAuliffe is confident about meeting and surpassing because during the last enrollment period 216,000 Virginians signed up without the state embarking on any campaign to do so and only last year 1,500 Virginians enrolled at the Evergeen Health Center alone.

McAuliffe also announced a new website, coverva.org, which will allow Virginians to simply and easily enter in their address to connect them to someone who can assist them in the enrollment process. A series of television, radio and bus ads will also be purchased to echo the governor’s message about healthcare enrolment.

“Any family of three,” said Governor McAuliffe, with a yearly income between $19,790 and $79,000 “are qualified and can now get financial assistance.” Those who are qualified, said McAuliffe, need to have their home address, social security number, employer and income information, and what they estimate their income will be in 2015. If adults have children, their children will be able to register before November 15 and at Evergreen they average about 75 – 100 kids per month who enroll in health care, said Governor McAuliffe.
This grant, added McAuliffe, seeks to relieve emergency room cases and cut down costs for taxpayers.

Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William, said healthcare is as a “privilege” and not a “right” and that outside of “economics,” universal and affordable healthcare is at the “center of [American] value system.”

The grant will also directly benefit the Evergreen Health Center.

“It’s very exciting because we’re getting additional resources…[and] because those resources will translate into more people in Prince William getting affordable access to insurance for themselves and their families..” said clinic director Frank Principi. “We want to improve the quality of life for everybody that we serve…we can be a more productive society because of the steps were taking starting today. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”

During the previous enrollment period that lasted six months, the Greater Prince William Community Health Center helped to enroll 7,000 families and has high hopes and expectations for the upcoming enrollment period thanks to Governor McAuliffe and his fellow leaders, and the community.

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This story has been corrected: Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to hire 100 people to assist residents with signing up for the federal healthcare program. 

Manassas City Council Candidates Talk Taxes, Economic Development and Schools

Manassas, virginia, debate, politics

Partnership with George Mason University should strengthen Manassas schools, says candidate


The four candidates for Manassas City Council gathered at Town Hall to speak at a candidate forum to speak about issues important to the voters, including taxes, education and economic development.


Among the topics discussed, taxes were a major forerunner that the candidates spoke on. For Ken Elston (D), a teacher and administrator for George Mason University, taxes are a necessary component to keeping the City of Manassas running.

“There are only a few levers that government has with which they can get anything done,” Elston said. In addition, Elston also addressed his concern about the city’s rainy day fund levels and Manassas’ bond rating. “We certainly know that we want to do the things we need to do, and that will take a forward looking City Council,” Elston commented.

For Patricia Richie-Folks (D), a former business owner turned advertising account executive, the answer to handling the city’s taxes lies within expanding the tax base through economic development. “We need to focus on becoming more business friendly,” Richie-Folks said, continuing, “We want services. We want amenities – which we deserve, because we are making an investment in this city. I believe that we should continue to focus on economic development growth, to increase the tax base, and by prioritizing services of what the residents want.”

Incumbent Councilman Marc Aveni (R) expressed his discomfort with the idea of continuing to raise taxes on families in Manassas. “We really only have two choices – we raise taxes, or we cut programs. The Council has generally preferred to raise taxes…We can’t just keep going to taxpayers like ATMS – in my opinion – and say, ‘You need to pay more, you need to pay more’” commented Aveni.

Former Councilwoman and businesswoman Sheryl Bass (R ) felt that it was important to reach out to the community to get their take on the services they’re paying for with their tax dollars. “There’s a fine balance. It’s not just raising and it’s not just lowering and looking at programs. It’s exhausting work and it’s work [where] we have to be out in the community to talk and see where people would like their services maintained, improved and such,” Bass said.


Education was another major topic during the forum, as each candidate pointed to strengths and weakness in the city’s current public education system. Several candidates praised the current Superintendent and stated that their needs to be a positive focus on Manassas schools.
“The main thing we can do is build up our schools, not tear them down. We need to tell a positive story. Sure, there are challenges, there are problems, but there are so many more positive stories out there that we need to communicate,” Bass said, going on to speak about the new Baldwin school which aims to alleviate present overcrowding in city schools.

Richie-Folks spoke on one of the challenges that the school system is currently facing; the influx of students who speak English as a second language into the community. “We do have challenges in our school system. We have ESOL students, that is a challenge to our schools, which we have to develop the programs in order to move education along for these students. We can’t turn any students away, and I believe the community’s involved in that,” said Richie-Folks.

One thing that helps the school system in Manassas to stand out is the partnership with George Mason University. “We have a unique situation here in the City of Manassas. We have an embedded university – George Mason University. It is a situation that should really allow us…a public-private institution. It is a potential model for real creative education innovation. And we have a constitutional responsibility as a City Council, to financially support the School Board,” Elston said.

Economic Development

As a way to fund the city’s efforts and continue it’s growth, all of the candidates agreed that economic development was an essential component, with much of this development surrounding tourism to the area, and an increased volume of businesses in the area.

“We have an economic development director, who started in August. I think absolutely, economic development is critical to this city. If you think of what we have in this ten square mile city, there’s kind of the ‘Big Six’; we have our schools…we have a VRE and train station…we have an Old Town…we have a hospital… we have an airport and we have a beautiful lake, Lake Manassas. We have six or seven items that make us truly unique in Northern Virginia,” Aveni said.

“I want our city to be a destination,” Bass stated, calling for the development of a strategic plan in order to map out the city’s economic development goals for the coming years.

Two incumbent councilmen, Vice-Mayor Andrew Harrover and J. Stephen Randolph are not seeking reelection. The election is now 15 days away and will be held on Nov. 4.

The forum was sponsored by the Manassas City Public School Education Foundation, Historic Manassas and the Old Town Business Association.

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Police Catch 2 of 4 in Assault of 18-Year-Old

MANASSAS, Va. - On October 8, two out of four suspects were arrested in connection to the armed robbery and assault of an 18-year-old male victim on October 6. The victim told police that he was in the area to meet a female friend when he was assaulted by a group of men, who then stole his cell phone and money before leaving the scene. Police are searching for the remaining two suspects.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:  

Armed Robbery | Assault by Mob – On October 6th at 3:23PM, officers responded to investigate an assault which was reported to have occurred in the 11800 Medway Church Lp in Manassas (20109). The victim, an 18 year old man of Manassas, reported to police that he had made arrangements to meet up with a female acquaintance in the area above. During the encounter, a group of unknown men approached and assaulted the victim using blunt objects. The men took the victim’s cell phone and money before fleeing the area. The victim went to an area hospital for treatment where police were contacted. Detectives from the Robbery Unit were able to identify four of the suspects involved in the incident. Two of the four suspects were arrested between October 8th and October 9th. The remaining two suspects are currently being sought on active warrants.

Arrested on October 8th:

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Kyu Hwa HONG, 20, of no fixed address

Charged with robbery and assault by mob

Court date: November 19, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond


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Arrested on October 9th:

Joseph D. LAMBORN, of no fixed address

Charged with robbery and assault by mob

Court date: November 19, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond


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Wanted: [Photo from March 2013]

Richard Jong Chan PAK, 23, of the 13400 block of Wood Lilly Ln in Centreville

Described as an Asian male, 6’0”, 200lbs with black hair and brown eyes

Wanted for robbery and assault by mob


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Wanted: [Photo from January 2014]

Kelly Dawn SAUNDERS, 20, of the 9000 block of Quarry St in Manassas

Described as a white female, 5’8”, 125lbs with brown hair and hazel eyes

Wanted for robbery and assault by mob

Gas Prices Dip Below $3

Stafford, Woodbridge, gas prices, fuel, pump

Gas prices topped $3.60 a year ago


Gas prices continue to fall across the region.

The price of a gallon of unleaded fuel fell to $2.93 a gallon just this morning at a Shell gas station on Route 610 and Patton Drive. It’s the lowest price for a gallon of gas in the North Stafford area.

Other gas stations, including two Wawa convenience stores and a Valero gas station have regular unleaded fuel priced at $2.97 per gallon. It’s $2.99 at a 7-Eleven and Circle K stores on nearby U.S. Route 1.

Prices in Woodbridge fell even lower than they have in Stafford. At a Citgo station at U.S. Route 1 and East Longview Drive was priced at $2.92 pre gallon. Prices throughout the Woodbridge area are mostly under $3 per gallon.

Steadily decreasing prices on the world’s oil market are what’s to blame for the drop in prices at the pump.

And these prices are much lower than what we saw about six months ago. Earlier this year in Woodbridge, the average price per gallon was $3.60, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. One year ago, gas prices averaged $3.25 per gallon.

Ebola Prompts Leaders Urge Governor to Ban Travel from Africa

Prince William Medical Center to serve as Ebola treatment center


A hospital just outside Manassas will play a critical role in the event someone in our area contracts Ebola.

Designated as an Ebola treatment hub is Prince William Medical Center by the company that owns it and other hospitals in North Carolina, as well as the Haymarket Medical Center here in Virginia: Novant.

“We want to bring additional comfort to our communities who have expressed concern than an isolated room is not as safe as an isolated dedicated unit,” said Tom Zweng, MD, chief medical officer for Novant Health. “Our current protocols are safe and follow CDC recommendations; however, we wanted to take extra caution should the need arise.”

Prince William Medical Center will also accept Ebola patients from other area hospitals that are not equipped to treat the disease. So far, no area resident has contracted the deadly virus.

But Thomas Duncan, a man who passed through Dulles International Airport on his way from Liberia, Africa to Dallas late last month, became the first person in the U.S. to die from Ebola. Since the two other nurses who treated Duncan inside a Dallas hospital have fallen ill from Ebola.

Three Virginia politicians are now urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to urge the Federal Government to place a ban on travel from west African nations to the U.S.

Manassas Delegate Bob Marshall, Frederick County Delegate Mark Berg, and Virginia Senator Dick Black all signed a three-page letter to the governor that outlined their case for a travel ban. The letter states that African countries Senegal and Nigeria banned travel to and from affected Ebola countries, and since then has seen the rate of infection drop.

“The most preventive method is: don’t expose Americans to it,” said Del. Bob Marshall.

But some have opposed banning such travel from the U.S. due to the negative economic impact it could have on already poor west African nations. Marshall says Dulles Airport is the second most used gateway to the U.S. for travel between here and Africa. John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is third.

“Dead people don’t buy anything,” said Marshall on the prospect of negative economic impacts.

The Delegate was clear to point out that medical teams should still be allowed to charter flights to west African nations to send help to treat the virus.

Back at the hospital, this the latest new piece of Ebola-related announcement from the healthcare organization. Officials there are calling this a “centralized” approach that will allow the company to focus its training and resources into a handful of centers rather than having all of their hospitals equally equipped to treat patients who have contracted the virus.

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