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Seniors take off on Dream Flights at Manassas Regional Airport

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Eight seniors got a second chance in the cockpit at Manassas Regional Airport on Thursday, June 23, 2016.

From a press release: 

Eight Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor residents, ranging in ages from 76-96 will take off on Dream Flights in a 1942 Boeing Stearman – the airplane used to train military aviators in the 1940s. Former pilots will be were invited to take the stick and maneuver the plane. Each participant will take took a 15-20-minute flight, soaring 1,000 feet above the heads of the participants’ neighbors and friends.

The flights are courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Darryl Fisher in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans living in long-term care facilities. To date, the foundation has provided more than 1,500 Dream Flights to veterans nationwide.

Here’s who went on the trip:

Dan Selders – 95, 20 year Navy Aviator, Served in WWII from 1940-1945

Jack Sherer – 80, Navy Seaman, Served for 22 months during years 1955-1957 on the Admiral Staff

Anita Bishop – 83, Army Women’s Army Corp served 1950-1952

Irene Duncan – 96, her husband, William Duncan, served as an Army Engineer from 1942-1947 during WWII

Jerry Hetherman- 76, United States Airforce, E-3 served from 1958-1962

Dan Kriss – 88, Navy Seaman Quarter Master joined at the age of 14 ½ years served 1943-1945 in WWII

Ann Julius-Army- 92, United States Airforce

John Marcario- 92, Air Force- WWII

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News
Got an idea on how to improve Grant Avenue in Manassas?

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Do you have an idea on how to improve the look of Grant Avenue, between Downtown Manassas and Georgetown South? 

City officials on June 29 plan to seek public opinion on how to improve the corridor. 

This meeting is the beginning of the planning process for Grant Avenue from Lee Ave. to Wellington Road.  That entire corridor.  The goal is to gather public input on existing conditions and ideas for potential improvements to the street.  The project is to look at potential improvements to the existing public right-of-way and not acquire additional private property.  At the June 29 meeting, the City is asking public opinion aesthetic improvements, such as lighting, street trees, landscaped medians, pedestrian improvements (i.e. Sidewalks and crosswalks) and operation improvements (i.e., turn lanes and traffic signals).  Based on public feedback, the consultant will begin to refine the design of the project.  There will be further public meetings for feedback and public input on the design.

-Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince 

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m., June 29 at the Georgetown South Community Center, located at  9444 Taney Road.

The map below shows the area of focus.

News
Wild Turkey ‘Distillery-on-Wheels’ headed to Manassas Thursday

You’ve always wanted to know more about how Wild Turkey bourbon is made, right? 

And, you’ve often thought to yourself, “what if there was a bus that could come to my hometown to give me this knowledge that I seek?”

From The Virginia ABC: 

Who: The public is invited to tour the Wild Turkey “Distillery-on-Wheels” Bus, which includes a full distillery experience showing how products are made.

When and Where: Thursday, June 23, from noon to 8 p.m. at Virginia ABC’s store at 8095 Sudley Road, Manassas; and Friday, June 24, from noon to 8 p.m. at Virginia ABC’s premier store at 506A Fort Evans Road N.E., Leesburg

What: The Wild Turkey “Distillery-on-Wheels” Bus is a bus-sized replica of the famed Wild Turkey Visitor Center in Lawrenceburg, Ky. The 50-foot bus offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what makes Wild Turkey such an iconic American brand – from its history and place along the Bourbon Trail to the people and products who have catapulted it to global stature and success.

Why: Wild Turkey’s “Distillery-on-Wheels” bus is touring these Northern Virginia communities to offer insights into its history and provide information about how Wild Turkey is produced. Wild Turkey will offer tastings of its products Wild Turkey 81, 101, Rare Breed and Russell’s Reserve in the stores on each day.

News
Manassas WWII vet turns 105 next month

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No big plans for his birthday

World War II veteran Archie Schiff, of Manassas, will turn 105-years-old next month. 

His daughter Susan Murphy is excited about her father’s birthday and is hoping the White House honors a request to send him a birthday card.

So far she has no big plans for her father’s big day.

More from Murphy:

Just wanted to let you know that my father, who is a WWII vet, is going to be 105 on July 22, 2016.

He was in the Army Air Corp during the war in the Burma-India-China theater. He worked in the office and did the scheduling of when the planes needed maintenance after doing sorties.

He also wrote a news and humor newsletter for the troupes to keep them entertained, although he had to be careful what he wrote about. He lives in my husband’s and my house in Manassas, although he lived alone and took care of himself in his apartment in Pennsylvania until he was 103.

I’ve requested for him to receive a birthday card from the White House for his 105th birthday and sent his name in for a chance for them to mention the birthday on the Today Show. Maybe they will announce it for a birthday like the 105th! My father is good mental condition and pretty good physical condition for his age.

I guess he has good genes; his mother lived to 101 and he still has a 96-year-old sister alive. 

He lived in his own apartment until he was 103

My dad [has] lived in Manassas since September 2014. He moved into my husband’s and my house after falling and coming out of rehab from breaking a pelvic bone.  Before that he took care of himself in his own apartment and lived in Pottsville, PA his whole life until he was 103.

A brother who passed in 2013 at age 95 and my father lived in the same city and helped take care of each other.  

He was married to my mother in 1949 until her death in 2009.  He has two children, a son, Larry Schiff who lives in Texas and a daughter, Susan Murphy (me). 

After the war, Archie owned and managed a window cleaning company.  He had played in a minor league baseball team when he was younger but couldn’t join the majors because he had to help his father run his business. 

My father used to enjoy reading the newspaper and doing the Jumble puzzles, but his eyes aren’t very good for that now.  He does enjoy watching baseball and game shows on the tv. 

So far, no birthday plans because my husband and I take care of my father 24/7 so no time for much planning.  Last year my father’s previous care giving company had a small party at my house for my father.

She added: 

Just wanted to let you know, another paper is coming here for a small get together on my Dad’s birthday at 1 pm. They are bringing some cupcakes to celebrate.

News
Driver arrested at Davis Ford Crossing

At least four police cruisers came to Davis Ford Shopping Center about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. At least one person was arrested. 

Here’s what we know so far from Manassas City Police spokeswoman Adrinne Helms: 

“It looks like someone was pulled over and ran so the initial officer called for backup. The driver was apprehended.”

More as we have it.

News
Walking Marine headed to Manassas, raising awareness of veteran suicide

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Submitted: 

Terry Sharp is walking 300 miles from Summerville, N.C. to Washington, D.C. to bring awareness to the 22+ veterans that commit suicide each day. It would be nice if your paper would cover some of this. He will be in Manassas on June 19th.

Sharp’s website states he will stay Sunday night at a home on Pageland Lane in the Manassas Battlefield National Park.

Sharp has made the journey from North Carolina to the nation’s capital at least three times to raise awareness of veterans committing suicide, according to his website. He’s scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C. on June 22.

News
No rooftop fireworks party in Manassas this year

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An effort to open up the Manassas City Parking Garage for the first time on July 4 fell flat this year.

Historic Manassas Inc., the city’s downtown promotional arm, was selling tickets for a rooftop party to take place on Independence Day. The event would coincide  with the city’s annual fireworks show — the largest in the region.

However, low ticket sales forced the cancellation of the planned party.

We asked Historic Manassas Inc. Director Debbie Haight about the party’s cancellation: 

PL: What was the thought process behind doing a rooftop party? The parking garage is usually closed on July 4. 

Haight:  This experience was to include front row viewing of the Celebrate America fireworks display, a catered dinner, drinks, a photo both, games and much more from 5 to 10 p.m.

PL: Was this the first time for this event? Was it going to be an annual thing? 

Haight: It was the first time any thing of this kind has been done on roof top.  It is our hope that with a full year to plan we can pull the party off in 2017.

PL: How many tickets needed to be sold to make the event successful? 

Haight: We had a cap on the number that would be manageable for this event and it was 250 at the time of cancellation we had sold 16. tickets.

Tickets for the event sold for $99 each or $250 for a couple which included VIP parking, full catered dinner and drinks, games and a birds eye view to the fireworks.

The parking garage will remain closed this year. This is from a statement from City Manager Patrick Pate: 

“Many have asked why the parking garage is closed to vehicle traffic during Celebrate America. It is to ensure pedestrian safety as the streets in  that area are filled with families watching the fireworks.”

News
Attempted abduction reported near Stonewall pool

From Manassas City Police:

Attempted Abduction

At approximately 1:20 p.m. on June 13, 2016, Manassas City Police responded to the area of Stonewall Park located at 8351 Stonewall Road for an attempted abduction. The victim, a 35-year-old female of Manassas, told officers that she was walking in Stonewall Park with her son at approximately noon when an unknown male approached and attempted to grab her. After the victim yelled at the suspect he ran into a wooded area towards Manassas Park. The victim and her son escaped unharmed. This is an ongoing investigation.

Description of suspect: Hispanic male, approximately 30 years old with short dark hair, dark eyes, a medium build, and dark complexion last seen wearing a white tank top with light blue jeans

News
Mario Andretti to appear at auto shop grand opening in Bristow

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Mario Andretti is scheduled to appear at new Virginia Tire and Auto location near Manassas.

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Andretti

From Virginia Tire and Auto spokesman Andrew Hamilton:

On August 25th, Mario Andretti will be stopping by our Virginia Tire & Auto of Bristow (11109 Nokesville Road, Manassas, VA 20110) location for an exclusive meet & greet with our customers as part of a customer appreciation event. There will be music, food, giveaways and more. We encourage all customers

to bring family and friends for an opportunity to get up close & personal with The Driver of the Century.

The new auto shop is open next to a new WaWa gas station, across from Target in Bristow.

Here’s a plug for the business from Hamilton:

Our new Virginia Tire & Auto of Bristow location is opening around June 20th. It has state of the art equipment, 11 bays, and will be our 13th location. Virginia Tire & Auto currently employs more than 400 people in the Northern Virginia area across all of our store locations and we’re excited to bring more jobs to the region with this new store.

News
Cat missing, smoking to blame in Manassas area apartment fire

40 displaced after fire 

From Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department: 

On Saturday, June 11th at 10:54 p.m., fire and rescue crews were dispatched to an apartment fire located in the 10500 block of Lariat Lane in Manassas.

Upon arrival, firefighters observed fire blazing from the front of Point at Bull Run, a 3story apartment complex; a second alarm was sounded. In addition to a second alarm 2 engines and 4 medic units were requested upon notification there were people still in the building. After escorting 1 resident from her apartment and confirming all residents were evacuated and accounted for, fire crews began extinguishment operations.

Two patients were transported to a local medical facility for minor, non-life threatening injuries; one cat remains unaccounted for.
According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, 18 units, within a 24-unit apartment complex, sustained heavy fire damage and are a total loss; each unit is valued at approximately $300,000. Red Cross was on scene to assist approximately 40 residents displaced by the fire.

The area of origin was a second floor balcony; the cause has been determined as accidental due to improper discarding of smoking materials. A cigarette had been placed in dry potting soil in a plastic pot; this allowed for smoldering, combustion over an extended period of time which eventually spread to the balcony and the exterior of the structure.

Drink for charity: ‘Share a Brew and Fight Cancer Too’ raises $500 at BadWolf Brewery

Event organizers Michelle Davis-Younger, her son Joseph Davis and Councilman Ian Lovejoy

From Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy: 

Share a Brew and Fight Cancer Too, a fundraiser to benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Center, raised several hundred dollars, says Councilman Ian Lovejoy, one of the event’s organizers.

Held at Badwolf Brewery on Kao Circle on June 3, the event drew a crowd despite torrential rain.

“I have to give credit to Badwolf Brewery, who was gracious in letting us use their space on a Friday night for this cause. They also donated a percentage of sales to the charity as well”, said Councilman Lovejoy.

Donation jars, scattered throughout the space, were full, contributing to over $500 raised in just a few hours.

“The atmosphere was laid back, fun and definitely for a good cause” stated event attendee Karen Mercer.

“I’m incredibly proud of our business community for stepping up and working with engaged citizens with events like this,” concluded Councilman Lovejoy, “you don’t have to look hard in Manassas to see we’re a true community.”

This event is one in a series of fundraisers to help raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Center on behalf of Osbourn High School Student Joseph Davis and the Charity Skateboard Tournament he will be hosting on Saturday, June 18th at the Dean Skate Park. Joseph a remarkable young man, and avid skateboarder, has independently worked with community leaders to hold the city’s first charity skateboard event.

The event, lasting from 10am – 1pm at the newly re-located Dean Skate Park and will feature prizes, raffles, food and more. All money raised will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Research Center. The series of fundraisers will conclude after the Skateboard event with Bar Louie donated a portion of June 18th sales to the cause. For more information about the Skateboard Tournament, email us at jdawgtourney@yahoo.com or call 571-206-8433 to sign up or for more information!

News
Manassas Democrats announce ticket for 2016

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Wolfe

Manassas Democrats have forged what they call a unified ticket of candidates running for City Council this fall.

Incumbent Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe was elected to the City Council in 2008 as a Republican. Wolfe opted to file for reelection for the GOP and decided to run as a Democrat.

Wolfe has $900 in the bank from Republican donors from previous campaigns.

Correction: Statement from Mark Wolfe sent via email after we published this post: 

“The section about my having $900 in campaign donations from Republican donors is inaccurate.

In fact I had closed and zeroed out my campaign account after the 2012 election.

The data shown: http://www.vpap.org/donors/193983-mark-wolfe/ reflects a person donation TO Scott Lingenfel[t]er I made in 2010.”

Sebesky

Sebesky

Also on the Democratic ticket is incumbent Manassas City School Board member Pam Sebesky. She has served on the School Board for the past six years.

Political newcomer Rex Parr rounds out the Democratic ticket. He retired last year as the CEO of Didlake, Inc.

Sebesky and Parr tell us all three candidates are running on a platform of safer and better neighborhoods, and better schools, and to add a new fire station to the city’s southside to improve fire crew response times.

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Parr

They also told us the city has not had a comprehensive strategic plan since 2003. That is something they want to change.

On the Republican side, Ian Lovejoy, Jonathan Way, and Theresa Coates Ellis round out the ticket.

Voters will head to the polls Nov. 8.

Manassas schools will serve breakfast, lunch as part of summer food program

Manassas City Public Schools is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Meals will be provided, at a first come, first serve basis, at the sites and times as follows:

  • Haydon Elementary School –9075 Park Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Baldwin Elementary School – 9705 South Main Street, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Weems Elementary School – 8750 Weems Road, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Round Elementary School – 10100 Hastings Drive, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Dean Elementary School – 9601 Prince William Street, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Metz Middle School – 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA  20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Krispy Kreme to offer sweet treats at Manassas Neighborhood Conference ahead of new store opening

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At this year’s free City of Manassas Neighborhood Conference on June 11 at Jennie Dean Elementary School, building community may just begin with dipping donuts.

The conference aims to bring together citizens interested in improving their neighborhoods, Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) representatives who will share the schools’ newest initiatives, and experts in building better communities, landscape beautification, and wellness. Krispy Kreme Donuts, which will soon open a Manassas store, will set up a dipping station where company representatives hope to meet their new neighbors and share their sweet treats.

Recognizing that neighborhoods and schools need to work together to be successful, this year’s conference spotlights the efforts of MCPS to help all its students shine. Shayma Bautista, MCPS Community Liaison, and Dr. Melissa Saunders, MCPS Director of Curriculum and Instruction, will talk about the Footsteps-2-Brilliance, an initiative that better prepares pre-K students for kindergarten, and other resources that serve all the schools’ populations. Jennie Dean Elementary Principal Dr. Zella Jones, will also welcome attendees and answer their questions about the upcoming school year.

Keynote speaker Zuzana Steen, University and Academic Relations Manager at Micron Technology and President of the Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation, will talk about investing in the success of schools. The Community Association Institute, an international association dedicated to improving communities, will also be on hand to lend advice and ideas to neighborhood associations. And LA Fitness will offer wellness exercises, tips to get ready for summer, and maybe a way to work off those donuts.

Participants can attend one of three afternoon workshops. One teaches participants how to analyze a neighborhood’s strengths and weaknesses through a block walk. Another outlines ways to play in neighborhood parks, keep neighborhoods beautiful, and avoid property code violations. A third workshop discusses how today’s students learn with more than books and blackboards.

Conference attendees can enjoy a free lunch and a chance to win raffle prizes like free summer camp registration, thanks to generous sponsorships from community partners. Those who register before the conference will also receive a free t-shirt.

City of Manassas Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro says community members wanted to see the conference return this year after piloting the Neighborhood Recreation Expo. “The conference is a chance for community members to get together, see what others are doing, get questions answered, and see how we can work together to build a better community.”

Bristow Station resident Nicole Smith agrees, saying, “We are always looking for ways to improve our neighborhood and the conference is a great opportunity for all of us to receive training and meet other community leaders.”

The Neighborhood Conference will be held at Jennie Dean Elementary School, 9601 Prince William Street, on June 11 from 9 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. and is free. Visit www.manassascity.org/neighbor or call 703-257-8240 to register.

Pilot lands at Manassas Regional Airport after flight around the world

Eichhorn steps off plane at Manassas Regional Airport

On June 7, 2016, Adrian Eichhorn finished his solo trip around the world in a single-engine airplane at Manassas Regional Airport.

Eichhorn, a decorated pilot, commercial pilot, instructor and a military veteran, began his journey on April 10, 2016 from Manassas Regional Airport.  He took six-weeks to become the 121st pilot to fly solo around the world and the 114th pilot to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane.

The trip included five continents, 21 countries, 3,150 gallons of fuel, 25,000 air miles, and 225 hours of flight.  Fellow pilots, airport staff, friends, family and others gathered to welcome him home this afternoon. 

Eichhorn flew in a reconfigured 1962 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza he nicknamed Gina.  He purchased Gina in 1989 and has been working on her ever since.  Eichhorn kept a photo blog of his trip around the globe at http://flybluehorizons.com.

We’ve got cloggers, belly dancers, wintry princesses, and train rides at the Heritage Railroad Festival in Manassas

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The Heritage Railway Festival is back in Manassas for its 22nd year! Enjoy the rich railroad history of Manassas Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. surrounding the Train Depot.

A day full of family-friendly fun, the Railway Festival will feature a community stage on West Street hosting Premier Martial Arts, Wildlife Ambassadors, Bull Run Cloggers, and Magnificent Belly Dancers. Take an excursion train ride to Clifton and back featuring two wintry princess.

Tickets are available for purchase online and in person at the Train Depot. Excursion trains will leave at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.. After your train excursion, walk over to the Harris Pavilion and view the memorabilia and model train displays. Stop by the Farmers Market, enjoy children rides, shop novelty vendors and more!

A new addition to the festival this year, is the chance to win a tea party with the two wintry princesses between the morning and afternoon trains. Bags of Hershey Kisses are being sold at numerous downtown merchant locations with winning bags containing blue Hershey Kisses. Winners will have a one-hour tea party at The Things I Love for additional time with the princesses.

Back again this year is the Norfolk & Southern J-Class 611 Steam Train. The Steam Train will take passengers on a half day excursion to Front Royal and back Saturday morning and return around noon to remain as a static display for the duration of the festival. The Steam Train will then take two excursions on Sunday, June 5. A limited number of tickets remain for the three Steam Train excursions and can be purchased online at www.fireup611.org.

Whether you love trains and railroads or are just looking for some family fun, this event is a great way to spend your Saturday and see all that Historic Downtown Manassas has to offer. For more information on this and other events in the City of Manassas, go to www.visitmanassas.org.

News
Brett Bowman to retire as Manassas City fire chief

Brett Bowman said he always planned on retiring by 2018. He decided to bump up his ride off into the sunset by two years.

Bowman will leave his job as Manassas City Fire Department Chief on June 30. His last day will mark the end of a 42-year career in the fire service.

City officials announced Robert Lee Clemons, Jr. will succeed Bowman. And like Bowman before him, he’ll make the move from the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue to Manassas.

Bowman came to Manassas in 2011 after working the previous 37 years for Prince William’s fire department. He was offered a job in the county fresh out of college.

Bowman, like many in the fire service, started as a volunteer firefighter in high school, in Manassas. He kept it up while attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg and achieved the rank of captain by his senior year.

The Harrisonburg fire department offered him a full-time job but Bowman chose to come home to Prince William.

“I loved the job… that’s why I did it all of these years,” explained Bowman. “No two days are exactly the same. You have some your routines, but when the alarm goes off you never know what to expect.”

The toughest day on the job was April 16, 2007, the day 24-year-old Prince William County firefighter Kyle Wilson became trapped inside burning house and died.

“That will forever be in my mind and his family in my heart for the rest of my life,” said Bowman.

Some of the best days are when those he’s treated during a medical emergency have come back to say “thank you” for saving their life, he added.

The fire service has changed a lot since he joined as a volunteer. When it comes to today’s home construction, they don’t build them like they used to.

“With the rapid spread of fire contents in the home, and way homes built today, if you have a fire in your home today, you only have three or four minutes to get out before the lethal products of combustion over take you,” said Bowman.

Twenty years ago, occupants had 17 to 18 minutes before a house became fully engulfed in flames, he said.

Bowman plans to spend about six months in Europe with his wife after retiring. She works for the U.S. State Department and will be assigned there temporarily.

When he’s stateside again, he plans to move into a newly-built home on North Carolina’s coast.

After Bowman was hired, the department had just created a new unified structure that included both paid career and volunteer members of the department. “When I got here there was turmoil, and we were able to change things to being more positive,” he said. 

He is credited with bringing all members of the unified department under one EMS license.

At the firehouse, he said he’ll miss the coffee, conversation, and camaraderie he shares with those in the fire and rescue service.  “The fire and rescue service truly is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. You have to deal with each other as much as you do with your immediate family,” said Bowman. 

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