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Manassas

Winter weather, community outreach brings attention to homeless population in Prince William

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The frigid temperatures of the past few weeks, and the work of community outreach groups are drawing attention to the growing needs of the homeless population in Prince William County.

The Dale City Civic Association has been working with their Homeless Outreach program tirelessly this winter to provide supplies for the homeless individuals in camps gathered in the wooded areas of the county.

“It would be easier to tell you where they’re not – they’re everywhere,” said Lucille Cahill, a coordinator for the Homeless Outreach program.

According to Cahill, the program services homeless individuals aged 17 to 65, with the goal of not only providing them with necessary supplies at drop-offs every Saturday, but getting them out of the woods altogether.

“Our goal is to get them out of the woods, and into housing – whether family take them in, or we get them jobs and find them a room until they can find affordable housing. If they need medical care, we try to work that out with the local free clinic,” Cahill said.

To get funding for the supplies and outreach work they do, Cahill said they look to the community and churches for assistance.

While there are a lot of ideas about the lifestyles and situations of homeless individuals, Cahill stated that a lot of the people that are homeless in these camps work one, and sometimes even two jobs. They simply can’t afford to pay the high rent prices in the area.

“People who work at Wal-Mart, or local businesses can’t afford to live here anymore, and they wind up in a tent,” Cahill commented.

Recently, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors donated 200 sleeping bags to the program, costing around $6,000.

“It was wonderful because we cannot afford that kind of sleeping bags. It actually saved lives,” said Cahill.

Cahill was appreciative of the sleeping bags they board donated, but she felt more importantly that the actual dialogue started between the homeless outreach and the board is what is going to help the homelessness issue in the county.

“I think there’s finally a dialog between the outreach groups and the county. There’s been a lot of dialogs lately. Low-income housing is the first step…90% of the people I service – they work. They have jobs. They just can’t afford to eat and pay rent,” Cahill said.

Potomac Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, who was involved in the board decision to donate the sleeping bags, said that something needs to be done, but that there isn’t an easy solution.

“[The board] is going to be doing what our human services is doing right now. We have people in place. We want to help – within reason,” Caddigan commented.

Caddigan stated that she has received requests from residents, asking that the county purchase a vacant Holiday Inn hotel in Dumfries to house the homeless. The hotel is currently being listed for $3.5 million, and for Caddigan, that is not a realistic option as the board moves forward to handle the budget.

There are several county buildings that are opened for the homeless on dangerously cold nights, by the county’s deputy director of Human Services, Elijah Johnson. But very few homeless individuals utilized the shelters, according to Caddigan.

“The thing is, that the people in the woods don’t want to leave their belongings. They don’t want to go into a shelter – some of them,” Caddigan said.

The Prince William County Committee of 100 has even recognized the homeless population as in issue in the community. The Committee hosted a forum on homelessness on February 19, where several panelists spoke with attendees about the issue, and potential steps to help the homeless community in Prince William.

There have been major successes for the Homeless Outreach program, in their goal to move the homeless into housing.

“We’re working [with] a couple right now…[one of the individuals] mother is elderly, and she has agreed to take them both in, in return for them caring for her. So we’re helping them get out of the woods and to New Jersey, which is no small feat when some of these people haven’t left the woods for several years,” said Cahill.

They have launched a Go-Fund Me page to help raise funds for the couple’s transport to the housing being offered to them in New Jersey.

If you’re a resident or organization that is looking to assist the Homeless Outreach program, they are currently looking for the following supplies, according to the Dale City Civic Association’s Facebook page:

McDonalds gift cards
Virgin Mobile phone cards
Verizon mobile phone cards
Trackphone cards
Cases of water
Backpacks
Cases of canned soups
Tents 
Winter Gloves
Sleeping Bags
Hats
Rat Traps
Cases of Toilet Paper
Cases of Hand Wipes
Packs of Batteries – AA, AAA, C & D
Blankets
Tarps & Ropes
Protein Bars
Toilet Paper
Canned meats
Boxes of crackers
Case of canned meat
Printer paper 
Marble notebooks
Pens

Manassas Superintendent presents budget, speaks to parents at Saturday meeting

As part of the Saturday with the Superintendent series, the Manassas City school’s superintendent, Dr. Magouyrk, spoke with parents about the school budget and took questions from the community last Saturday.

The meeting was well attended despite the snow, according to Magouyrk.

“We had great attendance, even though the snow was coming down like it was,” Magouyrk said.

The Saturday with Superintendent events take place about every six weeks and serve as a primary way for parents to interact with administrators.

“It’s just an opportunity for the community – for families – to know what’s taking place,” Magouyrk stated.

One of the main topics for this meeting was the budget, which is currently in progress for the upcoming fiscal year.

“We talked about the Superintendent budget presentation – that is right now what the school board is working on. We talked about the new Baldwin [school], and our school calendar for next year,” Magouyrk said.

Magouyrk also spoke to parents about the Career and Technical (CTE) initiatives taking place in Manassas City schools.

Overall, Magouyrk stressed that the meetings are an opportunity for parents to ask questions and get information they need from their children’s schools.

“We had a parent of a gifted student [at the meeting], and she wanted to get more information about our gifted program. So they were able to ask me questions,” Magouyrk commented.

For the remainder of the school year, two more of these meetings are scheduled – one on March 21 at Jennie Dean Elementary and one on May 16 at Baldwin Elementary.

Closings and delays Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Public schools 

Suspect in Tuesday’s shooting in Manassas apprehended

On Tuesday night, the Manassas City Police responded to a call for a shooting that took place at the intersection of Stonewall Road and McKenzie Circle in Manassas.

The suspect in the shooting, who was in a vehicle at the time of the incident, fled the scene.

Last night the Manassas City police took the suspect, Paul David Thomas, into custody after a traffic stop near Liberia Avenue.

The victim of the shooting experienced non-fatal injuries.

More from a police release:

Manassas City Police Department

Shooting – Arrest

An investigation by Manassas City Police following the February 24th shooting at the intersection of Stonewall Rd and McKenzie Cir have resulted in the identification of Paul David THOMAS (18), of 8522 Piney Point Cir, as the primary suspect in the case.  At approximately 8:35PM on February 25, 2015, THOMAS was taken into custody without incident on a traffic stop in the area of Liberia Ave and Stonewall Rd and charged with aggravated assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm in public.  THOMAS was held without bond and has a pending court date of March 19, 2015.  The victim, an adult male of Manassas Park, sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the initial incident.

 

Russian National Ballet Theatre brings “Cinderella” and “The Sleeping Beauty” to Hylton Center

Russian National Ballet Theatre brings two of the most enchanting and magical fairy tale ballets to audiences in the greater D.C. area this spring. This illustrious ballet ensemble from Moscow performs “Cinderella” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 8 p.m. The Russian ballet dancers then appear at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax, performing“Cinderella” on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8 p.m. and “The Sleeping Beauty” on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 4 p.m. Pre-performance discussions, free to ticketholders, will be held 45 minutes prior to each performance in the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery at the Hylton Center and Grand Tier III at the Center for the Arts (sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts).

“Cinderella” tells of the virtuous and mistreated servant girl who is magically transformed by her benevolent fairy godmother so that she may attend the grand royal ball. She captures the heart of the handsome prince, but dashes off at the stroke of midnight, leaving only her glass slipper behind. With Russia’s finest dancers, Prokofiev’s exuberant music, sumptuous costumes, lush scenery and comical stepsisters, this performance is a treat for audiences of all ages. 

“The Sleeping Beauty” is the story of the beautiful princess who waits in slumber to awaken through the kiss of her prince. A classic tale of good versus evil, the ballet follows Aurora, who has been cursed since birth by the malevolent fairy Carabosse. After pricking her finger on a spindle, the princess and her entire kingdom fall into a deep sleep lasting a century, until she is saved by her brave prince, Désiré. Considered the crown jewel of legendary choreographer Marius Petipa’s career, this enchanting tale is set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. Luminous costumes, elaborate sets and the graceful movements of these gifted Russian dancers result in a sublime afternoon of breathtaking artistry. 

Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded by legendary Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Elena Radchenko during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s. The company has since been committed to preserving and rejuvenating the timeless tradition of classical Russian ballet. “A cut above many of its rivals. (The Washington Post)
 
TICKETS AT THE HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER:
Tickets for RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE’S production of “CINDERELLA” are $56, $48 and $34. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesdaythrough Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at888-945-2468 or visit HyltonCenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit HyltonCenter.org. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/HyltonCenter and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Hylton_PAC.

TICKETS AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS:
Tickets for RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE’S productions of “CINDERELLA” and “THE SLEEPING BEAUTY” are $56, $48 and $34 per performance. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GMU_CFA.

Prince William Police Seeking Help for 2014 Murder

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – According to Prince William police, homicide detectives are still seeking any information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the individuals connected to the murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero.

The murder occurred at Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry in Woodbridge, VA on February 21, 2014.

The local police and the FBI Washington Field Office are working together to offer a reward of $20,000 for information that can lead to the arrests and convictions of these individuals. Additionally, there is a $1,000 reward being offered by the Prince William County Crime Solvers.

Glenda Coca-Romero was one of two victims (both employees) caught in the shooting at Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry, located in Woodbridge on 14342 Jefferson Davis Highway. The second victim was a 42-year-old store clerk who had also been shot and wounded. According to the police, the murder happened before 9:00 pm when three males entered the store in dark clothing and covered faces caught by the surveillance video footage. Following the shooting, the men fled the scene, most likely on foot.

Another employee, as well as a customer, was also inside the store when the murder happened but were unharmed. Prince William police also reported that no money or property was taken from the scene. Prince William police have released the surveillance footage from the night, and it is available for anyone to watch. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Prince William County Crime Solvers anonymously.

Below is the latest from Prince William police;

Reward increased to $21,000 in the 2014 Murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero

Prince William County, Va. — Prince William County Police Homicide Detectives continue to seek any information related to the murder of Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero, which occurred on February 21, 2014 at the Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry in Woodbridge, Va.

The FBI Washington Field Office partnered with the Prince William County Police Department to offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the murder of Coca-Romero. On February 20, 2015, the reward amount was increased to $20,000. This reward is still being offered in conjunction with a reward of up to $1,000 from the Prince William County Crime Solvers.

Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700 or 1-866-411-TIPS. You do not have to give your name, just the information.

Glenda Coca-Romero was murdered at the Platanillos Grocery and Jewelry located at 14342 Jefferson Davis Highway in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County on February 21, shortly before 9:00p.m. A second store clerk, a 42-year old woman, was also shot and wounded during the attack.

Three male suspects wearing dark clothing with their faces covered were seen on surveillance entering the store. The suspects immediately fled the business following the shooting, possibly on foot. Two additional individuals, a customer, and another employee, were also inside the store at the time of the incident and were unharmed. No property or money was taken during the incident. Both victims were identified as being employees of the business.

The FBI and Prince William County Police encourage the public to continue viewing the video surveillance taken during the attack.

The Prince William County Police Department is the lead agency for this investigation. The FBI has been providing investigative assistance.

FBI Bulletin seeking information: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/glenda-marisol-coca-romero/view

Surveillance footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i07VFaj8RL8

 

Glenda Marisol Coca-RomeroGlenda Marisol Coca-Romero

 

 

 

Qarni to run for 29th district Senate seat

Atif Qarni, a teacher in Prince William County and a veteran, has decided to run for the 29th District Senate seat currently held by Senator Chuck Colgan.

Colgan has made the decision to retire, after almost 40 years in his seat.

Qarni previously ran for Delegate Bob Marshall’s seat back in 2013 and lost by a slim margin of votes.

Before working as a teacher in Dale City at Beville Middle School for six years, he served in the Marine Corps for eight years. He has his Master’s degree from George Mason University. Qarni currently lives in Manassas with his wife and two children.

During his candidacy, Qarni has three main issues he hopes to address – education, transportation and strengthening small businesses.

“I want to restore the funding for public education. With the transportation bill that was passed, the state is looking at where to invest money – I want to really fight for those dollars to be focused on Prince William County – really fixing some of the infrastructure issues that we have,” Qarni said.

According to Qarni, the way to deal with the growing issue of residents having to leave the area to find jobs is by investing in small businesses.

“A lot of people are leaving the county – I want to bring jobs back to the county – and I think that the best way to do that is really strengthening our small businesses,” said Qarni.

Governor McAuliffe appointed Qarni to the Small Business Commission. He is also the chair of the Teacher’s Caucus for the Prince William County Democrats.

While he did not win the delegate race against Marshall, Qarni stated that the race taught him things that he will bring into this Senate race.

“I had a good grasp of running prior to [the delegate race], but I feel that I’m even stronger in that area. I can really represent the concerns the folks have in our district,” Qarni commented.

Qarni feels that he and Colgan share some core values that will allow him to continue that political legacy.

“Senator Colgan has done a lot for our district – with his 40 years of service, especially with the community colleges…and I’m big on education. So one of my hopes is to really continue in that regard, but focus more on K-12 education,” said Qarni.

Before entering the general election race, Qarni will have to primary against two other Democratic candidates – Delegate Michael Futrell and former delegate candidate Jeremy McPike.

“What sets me apart [from the other primary candidates] is my service background. With my military service, having served my country for eight years, and having gone to combat in Iraq…and my service as a teacher. I understand this district better than anybody.”

The primary will take place on June 9.

Qarni mentioned during his interview that he felt a candidate forum with Futrell and McPike would be an appropriate venue for voters to assess the candidates.

Attack the Fat uses the most effective equipment in the industry

freedom aqautic fitness center

The Attack the Fat challenge at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center uses a variety of different work outs to keep participants inspired and burning as many calories as possible.

Director of the Attack the Fat, Robin Frey says that for the strength component of the program they use everything from Technogym strength equipment, free weights, various weighted equipment, and many times functional body weight exercise, without any equipment.

Frey highlighted their use of TRX suspension training, which involves suspension straps weighed down by body weights. She said, “It’s very functional because you have to control every part of your movement with your body itself. You can do all different movements that require balance and stability so you’re getting a more integrated effort at that point.”

The center’s Olympic sized swimming pool is also used for strength training because of the natural resistance the water creates.

In addition to more strength based training, Frey says that they do a lot of cardio work.

“It’s by creating a metabolic effect where you’re keeping the heart rate elevated is where you’ll see calories burned,” said Frey. She explained that their goal is to create this metabolic effect, where both the heart rate and the metabolism increases.

Frey said, “Our most recent research shows us that when you bring the body up to that level and maintain it, it takes calories afterwards, a sufficient amount of calories, to bring it back to a resting state. So your body continues to metabolize and stay at a certain level after exercise.”

While the variety in these Attack the Fat workouts helps to burn calories and shed pounds, it also keeps the participants in the program engaged. With so many different resources available, trainers are able to help participants explore a variety of options for reaching their weight loss goals.

Snow ending across area, warmer temps to look forward to on Monday

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It started snowing overnight and it piled up quickly.

All school systems in our area canceled classes today, governments delayed their opening, and Quantico Marine Corps Base closed altogether.

The National Weather Service just released some unofficial snow totals that measure what snow fell overnight:

…CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG… FREDERICKSBURG 4.0 827 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

…PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY… 1 ENE DUMFRIES 3.5 849 AM 2/26 TRAINED SPOTTER

HAYMARKET 1.3 936 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

…STAFFORD COUNTY… STAFFORD 2.5 831 AM 2/26 PUBLIC

A winter storm warning in effect for Stafford County expires at noon. Expect more snow showers this afternoon and evening ending before 2 a.m.

There’s another chance of snow showers Friday, and high temperatures will only be in the low 30s, according to the weather service. It’ll be sunny and cold on Saturday, and cloudy and in the low 40s un Sunday.

We could see highs in the low 50s on Monday – hello winter warm up.

Closings and delays Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Public schools 

Colleges and universities

Military 

Federal government

Local governments 

More snow to fall tonight, tomorrow morning

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It looks like you can expect to see some more snow in the area this evening, into your morning commute tomorrow. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the area, with snow projected to begin late tonight, but there’s been no projection on the potential accumulation as of right now, as part of the alert.

Potomac Local will keep you updated with the latest on weather, closings, delays and outages.

More from a National Weather Service alert:

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL MARYLAND...NORTHERN
MARYLAND...SOUTHERN MARYLAND...THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...CENTRAL
VIRGINIA AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED TONIGHT FOR SAINT
MARYS...KING GEORGE...AND SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTIES. ACCUMULATING
SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATE TONIGHT FURTHER NORTH AND
WEST...INCLUDING THE I-95 CORRIDOR. ADDITIONAL ADVISORIES MAY BE
ISSUED LATER TODAY.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...THURSDAY THROUGH TUESDAY

SNOW IS EXPECTED TO END THURSDAY MORNING.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has also issued an alert, and are preparing and treating roads for tonight’s snowfall. 

More from a VDOT release:

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews in the 14-county Fredericksburg District are preparing for another winter storm.

Crews are currently pre-treating Interstate 95 and primary routes in the Fredericksburg area. Motorists should expect delays due to the slow moving vehicles that are applying a salt brine anti-icing solution. Anti-icing prevents ice from bonding to the pavement during inclement weather, which reduces the risk of hazardous travel conditions.

At 8 p.m. tonight crews will be mobilized throughout the district.

Once the snow begins, crews will continue to work around the clock in 12-hour shifts until conditions improve.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor news and weather reports for the latest forecast and road conditions. Before starting a trip, motorists can call 511, visit www.511Virginia.org, or use VDOT’s 511Virginia free mobile app to find real-time road conditions in any area of the state.

If traveling tonight VDOT offers the following winter weather driving tips: 
• Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, ramps, curves and overpasses
• Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road. 
• Use extra caution on roads carrying less traffic, such as subdivision streets.

 

Stonewall Park Swim team sees $5 per hour fee increases

The Stonewall Park Swim team, a 140-member summer time team, will now be paying $5 more per hour to use the Stonewall Park Pool facilities in Manassas.

Bryan Schultz, the team’s Board President for the last three years, stated that the team has been using the pool for around 25 years.

The increases in the team’s cost to use the pool began last year, Schultz stated.

“This has been in discussion since last year – we had an increase that occurred last year. And we began to negotiate with the city. In fairness, they hadn’t increased the rates in quite a few years,” said Schultz.

According to Schultz, the rate that the city wanted to increase the hourly use by was more than $5, but the team negotiated for a more reasonable rate.

“What we did, is we went into a negotiation with them, and we understood that this was going to have to happen, in order to keep the pool operating. And our use of the pool during off hours, and the costs associated with that would mean an increase in cost that we have had to absorb,” said Schultz, continuing, “Everything starts out – ‘this is what we need to increase your rates by’ and we had to say, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t afford this’.”

For the team to absorb the increased cost, they will need to do additional fundraising, or pull from their current budget. To generate revenue for the swim team, they have two main sources – the swimming registration fees and concession sales at swim meets.

While increasing registration fees is one of the few mechanisms the Stonewall Park Swim team has to handle the hourly increase, Schultz said it was essential not to raise the fees too high. Schultz stated this would block a lot of swimmers from being able to participate.

“I said, ‘You just can’t do it all at once’ – we’ve got to do this over a course of years. We would lose families if we raised our registration by 30%. We strive to get any kids, from whatever background into the pool, learning how to swim, because it’s such a fundamental.”

Schultz mentioned that particularly with the community’s demographics, including a large Hispanic population that the fees need to be an affordable rate.

The team’s normal season runs from mid-May to the end of July, and they utilize the pool for practices during the pool’s non-operating hours in the early mornings and evenings.

“We’re extending the pool use time, and we’re providing the city – income for them – and [the pool] is not just sitting idle with the team participation before and after public hours,” Schultz said.

Victim in critical condition following shooting in Manassas

This evening the Manassas City Police Department responded to a call for shots fired at the intersection of McKenzie Circle and Stonewall Road in Manassas.

The suspect in the incident is believed to have been inside a vehicle during the shooting.

The victim in shooting is in critical condition, and was taken for medical treatment.

The police have not yet been able to detain the suspect, and are canvassing the area to get more information as to their whereabouts.

More from a police release: 

At approximately 9:53PM on February 24, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to the intersection of McKenzie Cir and Stonewall Rd for a report of shots fired.  Upon arrival, officers met with the victim, who had been shot outside by an unknown suspect(s) moments prior.  The suspect(s) is believed to have been inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting.  The victim, an adult male, was transported for medical treatment and is currently in critical condition.  This is an ongoing investigation.  Manassas City Police encourages residents to assist in any way possible as Officers and Detectives canvass their way through the area tonight to gather information.  Based on an initial investigation, there appears to be no threat to the general public’s safety at this time.

Description of suspect vehicle: White, older model, four-door sedan; possibly a Honda Civic; unknown direction of travel

Anyone with information about these events is encouraged to call the Manassas City Police Department Investigative Services Division at (703) 257-8092<tel:%28703%29%20257-8092> or Crime Solvers.  The Manassas City Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward up to $1000.00 for information that leads to an arrest in these cases.  The confidential 24-hour tip line is (703) 330-0330

Manassas man arrested for attempted robbery at CVS

Late yesterday night, the Manassas City Police Department responded to a call for a robbery in progress at a CVS location on Centerville Road in Manassas.

The suspect, identified as David Campbell, was attempting to leave the location with a bag of prescriptions, which he dropped when trying to flee the scene. 

He alluded to having a gun, but no use of weapons took place at the scene, and he was detained and charged. 

More from a police release:

Robbery – Arrest

At approximately 12:00AM on February 23, 2015, Manassas City Police responded to CVS Pharmacy, located at 9200 Centreville Rd, for a report of a robbery in progress.  Officers arrived on-scene as the suspect, David W CAMPBELL, was exiting the store with a bag of prescriptions.  CAMPBELL dropped the bag and fled on foot, but was apprehended quickly and without incident by officers.  The reporting party told officers that CAMPBELL had implied he had a gun but no weapons were displayed and no assault took place during the incident.  CAMPBELL (38), of 14205 Fullerton Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22193, was charged with robbery and possession of a control substance with intent to distribute.  He was held without bond and has a pending court date of April 21, 2015.

Anyone with information about these events is encouraged to call the Manassas City Police Department Investigative Services Division at (703) 257-8092 or Crime Solvers.  The Manassas City Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward up to $1000.00 for information that leads to an arrest in these cases.  The confidential 24-hour tip line is (703) 330-0330.

 

Why is Attack the Fat so successful?

Win, fat, fitness, freedom

People keep coming back to the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center’s Attack the Fat challenge. Director of the program, Robin Frey, says that it’s so successful because it utilizes all the elements of personal training, without the high cost.

“Group training in the industry itself is the driving force with training right now,” Frey said, adding, “Economically it’s more affordable. Personal training can be a little more costly.”

While some people might be concerned that they don’t get the same amount of one on one time without a personal trainer, Frey says that this is not the case with Attack the Fat. She says with teams that are maxed out at four to six people, the trainers are still able to work one on one with each of the participants.

“Quality control is still there,” Frey said. She added, “The trainer is able to watch form and technique, motivate them, and make sure everything is running correctly.”

It’s not just the personal training that makes people want to come back though. Frey says they really enjoy the community that Attack the Fat creates. Instead of working on just their own goals, participants are able to help motivate and look after one another too. “It’s more fun for them,” she said.

Manassas man wanted by police after assault, attempted malicious wounding

A Manassas man is wanted by the Prince William County Police Department for an assault and attempted malicious wounding incident that took place yesterday evening. 

A police K-9 team and a Fairfax County police helicopter attempted to search for the suspect. He has not yet been caught and detained.

The suspect is a white male, 5’6”, 165 pounds with a medium build, blue eyes, graying beard and bald,

More from a police department release:

Malicious Wounding | Attempted Malicious Wounding – On February 23rd at 10:20PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 11900 block of Hilltop Dr in Manassas (20111) to investigate an assault. The victim, a 43 year old woman of Manassas, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in verbal argument which escalated. During the encounter, the accused assaulted the victim and pushed her onto a nearby couch. While on the couch, the accused began to shake the victim before biting one of her fingers. Three other occupants of the home attempted to separate both parties. At that point, the accused pulled out a knife and attempted to cut one of the other occupants. No contact was made. The accused was eventually removed from the home and police were contacted. The initial victim sustained a wound to her finger. Other minor injuries were reported. A police K-9 and a Fairfax County police helicopter searched for the suspect. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused.

Wanted: [Photo from January 2015]

Chris Leroy DOWNS, Jr., 40, of the 11900 block of Hilltop Dr in Manassas

Described as a white male, 5’6”, 165lbs with a medium build, blue eyes, graying beard and bald

Wanted for 1 count of malicious wounding, 1 count of attempted malicious wounding, and 2 counts of assault & battery

Record-breaking cold hits Dulles Airport, more snow possible

Record cold hit Dulles International Airport this morning.

The National Weather Service says temperatures have not been this low at the airport in nearly 20 years.

RECORD EVENT REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC 932 AM EST TUE FEB 24 2015 

…RECORD DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE SET AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC… 

A RECORD DAILY LOW TEMPERATURE OF -4 DEGREES WAS SET AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC THIS MORNING. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 14 SET IN 1967. 

THIS IS ALSO THE COLDEST AIR TEMPERATURE OBSERVED AT WASHINGTON DULLES DC SINCE FEBRUARY 6 1996.

The temperatures today — they’re not going to warm up that much:

 

max temps

There’s also a chance of snow early Thursday morning into the afternoon. Some snow is expected to move into the area after 3 a.m. Thursday and taper off by 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

And, as it if weren’t cold enough for you, take a look at some photos of the frozen Occoquan River:

occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-1occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-2occoquan-river-boardwalk-ice-3occoquan-river-ice-2occoquan-river-ice-3occoquan-river-ice

 

Prince William offering pet first-aid classes

English Bulldog, Max, took a dip in Veterans Memorial Park’s swimming pool during summer 2011. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

The Prince William Parks and Recreation Department will be offering two pet first-aid classes to residents this spring.

“You have to prepare,” said Melissa Korzuch, president of the Prince William County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), in a release, continuing, “There’s no ambulance that will come by and pick up your pet. So, you are the first responder.”

The main focus of the course is to help pet owners remain calm when they see that their animal is in need of medical care.

Additionally, the class will speak about how to handle typical injuries that even humans face, including bumps and scrapes, as well as how to manage more serious injuries until they can bring their pet to the veterinarian.

The Parks and Recreation Department stressed that this was not a replacement for veterinarian visits, but is meant to serve as preparation for emergency situations when professional help may not be immediately available.

Any residents 12 and older can attend the classes. Participants can expect to deal with a variety of challenges they may face as a pet owner, including wound care, choking, poisoning and how to put together first-aid kits, according to a county release.

Two classes are scheduled currently. The first will be at the Ben Lomond Community Center in Manassas on March 7, and the second class will be at the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center in Woodbridge on March 28.

Each session costs $50 and requires online registration.

General Rich Natonski to Speak at the Freedom Museum

On March 5, 2015, Lieutenant General Richard F. Natonski, US Marine Corps (USMC) (Ret.) will speak at the Freedom Museum about Operation Al Tajr, The Battle of Fallujah, Iraq based on his first-hand knowledge.

General Natonski’s was commissioned in the USMC upon graduation from the University of Louisville in May 1973. His career spanned 37 years which included the Vietnam War, actions in Somalia, and as a U.N. Observer in the Middle East and the Iraq War. After his USMC retirement, he has become a Marine Corps Senior Mentor, Center for Naval Analyses Senior Fellow, JWF Industries Board Member, Johns Hopkins University Adjunct Professor, and instructor for the U.S. Strategic Leadership Center in Gettysburg, PA. He is also a member of the Conservation Leadership Council and the National Museum of the Marine Corps Advisory Board.

Admission to the Freedom Museum is free and refreshments will be served. The presentation will be from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM at the Museum, which is located in the Manassas Airport Terminal, 10600 Harry Parrish Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110. For further information and directions to the museum, visit www.freedommuseum.org

Partially collapsed in Manassas building demolished

manassas-building-demo-1manassas-building-demo-4manassas-building-demo-5manassas-building-demo-6manassas-buildling-demo-2manassas-bulding-demo-3

In Downtown Manassas, a building on Battle Street that partially collapsed on Feb .14, was demolished.

The demolition of the building was handled by Old Town Landscaping, and completed last Friday. 

The structure, which was located next to the old Washington Post offices and The Bone restaurant, lost a portion of its roof, which was caused by winds gusting more than 40 miles per hour that evening. 

No one was in the section of the building that collapsed and there were no injuries, although 14 residents in close by apartments were evacuated for their safety, according to Patty Prince, the Manassas City spokeswoman.

Prince stated that the residents who were evacuated are no longer affected by the collapse.

“The residents who were evacuated that night were in an adjacent building.  They were back in their apartments on Monday night and should no longer be affected,” said Prince.

The space is owned by the estate of George A. Roy, which is being managed by Robert M. Cooper Jr. of Cooper Law, according to a city spokeswoman. Several calls from Potomac Local to Cooper have went unreturned. 

There is no word as to what building, if any, will take the collapsed building’s place.

C.J. Finz brings southern-style seafood to Downtown Manassas

raw bar, Manassas, virginia

Chris Sellers and John Kibben opened their first restaurant, C.J. Finz Raw Bar & Grille in Downtown Manassas at 9413 West Street, on February 11, offering residents a taste of Southern-style seafood.

According to Sellers, their inspiration for the restaurant came from their love of seafood they ate on trips to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

“I got tired of having seafood only once or twice a year, so we decided to bring our love for the Outer Banks here to historical Downtown Manassas,” said Sellers.

With the support of local business owners and the community, the restaurant got off to a great start with a busy grand opening.

“We exceeded – four times – what we had forecasted [for our grand opening],” Sellers said.

The building, which was previously a Subway sandwich location, needed some transformation to turn it into the atmosphere Sellers and Kibben were looking to achieve.

“We wanted to do an industrial shabby-chic look – we didn’t want anything cookie cutter. We’re dealing with a very small space, so we’re a boutique style restaurant,” Sellers commented.

C.J. Finz Raw Bar & Grille also has a patio and deck area that the owners intend to capitalize on in the summer time for concert series, and allow patrons to watch outdoor events in the area, like parades.

Among the menu items the restaurant offers, Sellers said that the fried pickles were the top appetizer, and that their ahi tuna salad, fried oyster po-boy sandwich, lobster roll and barbecue shrimp with cheesy grits were among the top items they serve.

“We’re not the only one [in Manassas] doing seafood, but I think we’re the only one [focusing] exclusively on seafood – but it’s a menu for everyone,” said Sellers.

Before opening the restaurant, Sellers worked as a manager at the City Tavern for 15 years. The owners of City Tavern, along with other local business owners, have helped to support them, and they hope to return the favor to the community.

“We want to be a local business; we want to help the community, work with others – that’s all we want,” Sellers said.

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