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Standard and Poors rates Manassas City AAA

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Manassas City officials today are heralding the city’s new AAA bond rating. 

More in a press release: 

Standard and Poors Global Ratings has raised its long-term rating on the City of Manassas’ general obligation debt to AAA from AA+.  The City of Manassas also received a AAA rating on long-term 2016 general obligation public improvement and refunding bonds.  S&P Global stated that the outlook on all of the City of Manassas ratings are stable.

“I am very proud of the improvements that the City has made over the past three years.  These have resulted in this upgrade of our bond rating,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate.  “This rating is an affirmation of the economic vitality of our community along with the positive changes that have been made in our financial and budget policies, practices and performance.   These efforts are having the intended results of providing tangible savings to our citizens and show our continued commitment to our residents.”

The AAA bond rating helps the City of Manassas save money both with new bonds and potential refunding bond sales.  The AAA Bond Rating is the highest bond rating given by S&P and the first time the City of Manassas has received this designation.  The City plans to use proceeds of the bonds sold to finance the costs of capital improvement projects, including the acquisition, construction, extension, renovation and equipping of public school, public safety, utility and general governmental improvements.

The city joins neighboring Prince William County which announced one year ago that it had achieved AAA bond status from three major credit rating firms. 

News
National Religious Broadcasters headquarters leaving Manassas, bound for Washington, D.C.

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From NRB: 

Starting Monday, July 25, the headquarters staff of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) will be operating from the association’s new office space in Washington, D.C.

Located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue NW and North Capitol Street, the office suite is in the National Guard Memorial Museum Building – one block west of Union Station and just a few blocks from the United States Capitol building.

Commenting on the move, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, said, “This action is both historic and timely.”

“Now, more than ever, our first freedoms — of religion, speech, and the press — must be defended vigorously before members of Congress, federal government regulatory agencies, and in the courts,” stated Dr. Johnson. “Our new headquarters on Capitol Hill will more effectively allow us to address our members’ concerns and work with policymakers on these critical issues.”

Since 1992, the NRB has operated out of its headquarters in Manassas, Va. In 2003, NRB opened an additional office on Capitol Hill to maintain a strong presence in close proximity to America’s decision-makers. This past February, the NRB Board of Directors approved a recommendation to relocate the corporate headquarters to Capitol Hill.

In an announcement, Dr. Johnson noted the “growing concerns among our members about their First Amendment rights to proclaim the Gospel.” For more than 70 years, NRB has faithfully represented its members’ public policy concerns in Washington. NRB’s mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech.

On Monday, the NRB headquarters staff will join Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations, and James A. Smith, Sr., Vice President of Communications, who have been operating out of the new office since June 27.

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Another hot one: Heat advisory in effect until 8 p.m.

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From the National Weather Service: 

...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT
THIS EVENING...

* HEAT INDEX VALUES...UP TO 108 DUE TO TEMPERATURES BETWEEN 95 TO
  100...AND DEWPOINTS IN THE LOWER 70S.

* IMPACTS...RISK OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS FOR THOSE WITHOUT AIR-
  CONDITIONING OR THOSE OUTDOORS FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS
EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY
WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK... THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS
IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY
HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE
IS AN EMERGENCY - CALL 911.

The Manassas Park Community Center gears up for another great year of their Youth Basketball League

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Right now, it is hot outside with temperatures reaching into the high 90s. But in a few months, these hot temperatures will be just a memory as we begin gearing up for the fall and winter seasons. At the Manassas Park Community Center, winter is synonymous with the Community Center’s Youth Basketball League, formerly called Biddy Ball league!

What separates this league from others in our area? Mike Arrington, Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation League Director and Athletics Recreation Specialist says it is a combination of the electric atmosphere, intense games, and the passion of everyone involved to create a memorable experience.

“When I tell the kids to have fun, I really mean it,” Mr. Arrington said while smiling. “We are very hands on. Practices are weekly and games are on Saturdays, and either I or a member of my team, is there each Saturday watching the games, checking out the referees, and keeping everyone happy,” he added.

Keeping everyone happy begins the minute participants sign up for the league. Mr. Arrington pointed out that this league is, by far, the best value in the area. If families have a Community Center All-Access Passport membership, the price is only $45. Residents pay $80 and non-residents pay $90. This price includes an officially licensed, replica NBA jerseys which participants keep after the season has ended.

“We have people coming back year after year because they like the way the league is organized, and that tells me we are doing our job! Our league is developmental; we are providing a fun place where kids really learn how to play the game of basketball, and they have fun,” Arrington added.

Participants and their parent must attend an assessment night. It is during this time that coaches and staff look at each participant to determine their skill levels.  “The kids usually fall into one of three categories and are placed accordingly,” Mr. Arrington explained, “From there, we have a draft. Every effort is made to keep the draft fair and the teams as balanced as possible. It doesn’t benefit the players or the league if the teams are not balanced.”

There are no more than 10 kids on a team which means that every child plays. “We don’t have any king or queen benchwarmers in our program,” emphasized Arrington, “Each coach is on an honor system and usually has an assistant coach or a team mom or dad monitor the playing time of each player on the team.”

“We also bring back the same referees each year because they are consistent. They will stop and explain their calls to our youngest or to our newest players so that the players learn from their mistakes.” Arrington finds this level of interaction from coaches, parents, and referees encouraging and representative of the values he believes the program embodies. Good sportsmanship is a quality that can never be overemphasized.

Coaches are required to attend a mandatory meeting outlining all the rules and regulations. Coaches provide the framework for the league. All coaches are encouraged to let the kids play while learning the fundamentals and the game of basketball. “Just like in the professional NBA, all teams are not winning teams,” Arrington pointed out, “The kids learn how to handle losing as well as learning what it means to win. Learning from mistakes and not always winning certainly are life skills our kids will always use.”

Parents and coaches must sign a Code of Conduct where they agree not to interfere with the learning process. “Our parents are super-involved, and during the games, the gym is rocking,” said Arrington.
“Unfortunately, sometimes a bad call can bring out another side of the parents,” he added. “We understand how emotionally vested our parents are, and, as a last resort, have escorted a parent out of the building,” he admitted, “But that behavior is not the norm.”  

Parents and fans get so involved in the games because they see their kids’ teams progress and get better each week. A great way to reward participants who are noticeably progressing is with an All-Star game, which is also part of this league. Coaches poll their parents to determine the best two players on each team and those players play in the All-Star game. “The MVP of the All-Star game is usually the most well-rounded player,” said Arrington, “We’re looking for the player who is passing, assisting, making defense moves, and encouraging his/her teammates,” he added.

After the regular season ends, each team participates in the playoffs. It is a single elimination playoff where if your team wins, you stay and play another game. If you lose, you go home. The champion team for all the age groups is posted on Facebook and all the kids on the first and second place teams will receive a trophy. The exception is the participants in the 4-5 age group who will receive a certificate of completion.

Participants of all age groups receive a certificate of completion, but Mr. Arrington knows they receive much more than that. They learn teamwork, persistence, and get great exercise too.

“I’m a guy who grew up playing sports – basketball and football to be specific. My dad was hard on us, but my mother honestly was worse! I know what that is like and I am working with my staff to provide a place for kids to have fun and to learn about a game I truly love,” summed up Mr. Arrington.

He isn’t the only one who loves the league at the Manassas Park Community Center. The hundreds of kids who participate and the coaches who teach and guide them come back to play year after year. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Do what you love and have fun too!

Registration for The Manassas Park Youth Basketball League opens August 15th. You can reach Mike Arrington at M.Arrington@manassasparkva.gov for more information.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

News
Mathurin talks to 1 Million Cups Prince William about expanding DJ academy

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Jean Mathurin, CEO of Incredible DJs, was the presenter at 1 Million Cups Prince William on Wednesday.

Mathurin built a business as a wedding DJ is now looking to expand his business by creating a DJ academy where prospective DJs looking to break into the wedding industry can learn the trade.

After Mathurin had presented his business to the audience at 1 Million Cups, many business owners attending the event suggested he work with local educational institutions seek space to hold classes for aspiring DJs, and tp explore a vocational certification for his budding DJ Academy.

Incredible DJs also hosts corporate and holiday parties. Mathurin is based in Alexandria and splits his time between the Washington, D.C. and New York City metropolitan areas.

1 Million Cups Prince William meets Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The educational events are free to attend.

News
Marquee demolition a sign of things to come on Grant Avenue in Manassas

City officials applauded Monday night when a 47-year-old sign that once marked the location of a Safeway grocery store, and more recently a flea market, was taken down.

A crane helped to lower the sign that stood along what was once the busy southern gateway to Manassas along Route 234 / Grant Avenue, just south of the city’s Downtown. The sign’s removal is a symbol of change coming to this corridor.

The city purchased the old Safeway building for $3.2 million 10 days ago. Now a landlord, the city will collect rent from the tenants who own shops inside the flea — a handful of small clothing boutiques, a furniture store, and cell phone retailer.

When the last merchant lease expires, the city plans to demolish the building and reclaim the land. While there is no exact plan on what will go here, there is much talk about building a larger home for the city’s police department, replacing its current headquarters on Fairview Avenue.

“They need the room not only for all of the officers and all of the cars that we have, and everything that goes along with public safety and protection but warehouse abilities, too,” said Manassas City Councilwoman Sheryl Bass. All of the investigations require so much evidence and accumulation of that, and going through it, and we’ve outgrown where we are established right now.”

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No longer the southern gateway 

Grant Avenue will get a face lift in this process. City planners are designing what the new streetscape will look like.

The busy street is a hub for pedestrians who walk to and from the adjacent Georgetown South neighborhood, and for children walking to class at Baldwin Elementary, Metz Middle, and Osbourn High schools.

The street has four lanes of traffic and is difficult to cross.

“We’re looking at doing a road dieting plan,” said Manassas City Manager Patrick Pate. “The traffic patterns show that you could probably get by with one lane in each direction and turn lanes.”

Grant Avenue was once the southern gateway to the city for drivers entering the city from Prince William County. An underpass that carries vehicles underneath railroad tracks in Downtown was instrumental in unclogging delays for drivers sitting at railroad crossings.

The construction of the Prince William Parkway changed traffic patterns, and today drivers access the city mainly Route 28 to the west and Prince William Parkway to the southeast.

A public hearing was held earlier this month at Georgetown South to see what residents wanted to see in a redesigned Grant Avenue. Elected leaders say it’s a chance to expand the type of new construction development seen in Downtown, where new office and condominium buildings have risen.

“This side of the railroad tracks matters too,” said Manassas City Councilman Marc Aveni. “Think about it. Most of the development has been on [the Downtown] side of the railroad tracks and now we’re working our way over here. I think it’s great.”

Closing up shop

Things aren’t so great for the owners of City Wireless inside flea market. A man who asked be called Mike said he and his mother had sold cell phones from a booth inside the flea market for the past six years.

The two of them had built up a solid customer base at City Wireless during that time, gaining business mainly from Georgetown South residents who can walk to their shop.

Mike and his mother have until the end of August to close up shop and move. Due to higher rents in buildings nearby, Mike and his mom probably won’t be able to reopen a new store within a square mile of his current location.

“I called over to the [Wellington] Giant shopping center… they’ve got a space open… it’s $5,000 a month,” he said. “We can’t afford that.”

Many other shopping centers already have cell phone retailers, and they’re not too keen on the idea of City Wireless locating there because they don’t want competition for their existing clients, said Mike.

It’s also a crowded market, one that’s gotten “big and easy” to enter, he added.

City Wireless isn’t the first to leave the flea market. A photography studio recently closed up shop, and stores that sell clothing, music, and furniture are soon to follow.

News
Elite Golf opens near Manassas Regional Airport

elitegolf

From Jane Peters, marketing director for Elite Golf. 

“Elite Golf is a family owned and operated business located in Manassas, VA. Owner of Elite Golf, TC Robinson, wanted to start an indoor facility where golfers can play golf during rain, extreme heat and the winter months. Opening in the United Sportsplex facility (formerly Elite Sports) seemed

Opening in the United Sportsplex facility (formerly Elite Sports) seemed like a great place for something like this which is unlike any other in our area.  The sports facility also features the Complete Game Baseball Facility,  Athletes Addiction Strength and Speed and Wrestling. Adding the golf simulators, food & beverages, arcade games, air hockey, pool tables and

Adding the golf simulators, food & beverages, arcade games, air hockey, pool tables and dart boards, seemed like a great addition to the facility.   Elite Golf features Tru Golf Simulators with over 85 world-renowned golf courses and 36 modes of play.  Tru Golf features E6 Software where you can play tournaments online with other golfers around the country.  

Local tournaments and leagues coming this fall.  Our head golf professional, Brian Agee, is available for lessons and short game clinics. The facility is also available for corporate parties, birthday parties and luncheons.”

News
Manassas City Community Development staff member authors second book

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Lisa Sievel-Otten, City of Manassas Community Development Administrative Assistant, has authored her second book and is donating all proceeds to Liberia Plantation restoration efforts.

Manassas, a new book that gives a glimpse into life in post-Civil War Manassas through vintage post cards, tells surprising stories from the emerging town and about the creation of the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Only a decade before, early Manassas residents had been on opposing sides of a deadly battle. And yet they came together in the 1870s to build a town and a sense of community. Many of the book’s images exist only in post cards. Without these post cards, no visual record of many Manassas buildings, sites, and streetscapes would remain.

“In a time when instant communication meant walking down the street to a neighbor’s house to deliver some news, Manassas citizens also helped to build a strong community by joining churches and civic organizations,” said Sievel-Otten. “Much of the town turned out for school concerts and ball games, Dairy Festivals and Horse Shows.”

The book also recounts the role of railroads, the establishment of the Commonwealth’s first public school, the establishment of the nationally known Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth, and the emergence of the town as a tourist destination for those visiting the Manassas National Battlefield.

Sievel-Otten, who has led many tours for the Manassas Museum, helps to manage Liberia Plantation’s restoration, and produces publications and signage for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division. She is also the author of Liberia Plantation: Sentry of the Ages, a short history published by the Manassas Museum that also benefits Liberia Plantation’s restoration.

“I hope readers will appreciate that early Manassas residents were able to overcome the division of the Civil War, and come together to build not only a town government, but a real community,” said Sievel-Otten. “I hope they will also appreciate the struggles of African-Americans who were constrained by so many laws, yet built a positive community for themselves and their families.”

Manassas is available online at www.manassasechoes.com or by visiting Echoes, the Manassas Museum Store.

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Acqtel Realty, Inc. moves to Downtown Manassas

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Acqtel Realty, Inc. relocated its headquarters to Downtown Manassas.

The firm invested $30,000 in renovations into a property at the corner of Church and Main West streets, across from the city’s Old Post Office building.

The company relocated from offices off Gaskins Way, near the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College in Prince William County.

Title Associates of Virginia and New Penn Financial are also located inside the new offices at the 131-year-old building.

Acqtel Realty, Inc. Owner Jim Smith said he began searching for a place to relocate his business in January.

“I came here to look at the Old Post Office building which was for sale, and then I turned around and noticed this building,” said Smith.

He jumped at the chance to renovate an older building, saying he has a passion for older homes and historic buildings in the neighborhood. Acqtel Realty, Inc. replaces a law firm that had been located inside the building.

The new owners of the building held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and barbecue on Friday, July 15.

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Manassas National Battlefield Park will host a naturalization ceremony

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From the National Park Service: 

MASNASSAS, Va. – In cooperation with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Manassas National Battlefield Park will host a naturalization ceremony on Thursday, July 21, 2016, in recognition of the Centennial of the National Park Service. The ceremony will coincide with the 155th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, the first major battle of the American Civil War, fought on July 21, 1861.

At 10 a.m., 40 candidates for U.S. citizenship, their families, friends and supporters will gather at the Henry Hill Visitor Center. The ceremony will take place on the grounds adjacent to the Visitor Center, where the heaviest action occurred during the First Battle of Manassas and within view of many key landmarks of the battlefield. The public is invited to attend and witness the ceremony.

Sarah Taylor, district director of the Washington District, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will offer opening remarks and administer the oath of allegiance. Park Superintendent Jon G. James will welcome attendees to the park, and National Capital Regional Director Bob Vogel will offer congratulatory remarks. The Honorable Barbara Comstock, U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, will give the keynote address. 

The National Park Service has spent the last 100 years serving as a stalwart sentinel for our most treasured and beautiful natural and historical lands and landmarks. In celebration of this achievement and in celebration of our country, USCIS is partnering with the NPS to hold more than 100 naturalization ceremonies on National Park sites in 2016.

This will be the second U.S. citizenship ceremony to be held in the Manassas area in less than a month. 

Hundreds filled the Hylton Performing Arts Center on June 29 and 30 and were sworn in as U.S. citizens. It was the first time the venue had been used for such an event. 

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Suzanne Seaberg replaces Purdy on Manassas School Board

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From Manassas City Public Schools: 

On Monday July 11th, The School Board of the City of Manassas voted unanimously to appoint Suzanne W. Seaberg as its newest member. Mrs. Seaberg will be sworn in at 12:15 p.m. today at the Prince William County Courthouse, and her term effective immediately. Her appointment follows the resignation of Board Member Ellen M. Purdy.  

Please read the following announcement for more information about the appointment: http://www.mcpsva.org/pages/Manassas_City_Public_Schools/News/School_Board_Names_Seaberg_to_

 

From the press release: 

Seaberg’s involvement in Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) has been extensive, including serving as President of the Jennie Dean Elementary and Metz Middle Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), as well as Vice President of the Mayfield Intermediate PTA. Additionally, she has served as chairperson for the division’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee, Vice-Chair of the MCPS Safe Schools Advisory Council, and is a founding member of the Mayfield and Metz Band Boosters.

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Compliment leads to stolen bicycle

From Manassas City police: 

Larceny

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on July 13, 2016, Manassas City Police responded to the 9500 block of Mine Gap Way for a report of a larceny. The reporting party told officers that approximately two hours prior, he was sitting in his garage when an unknown male approached and initiated a conversation about bicycles. After complimenting the victim on his bicycle, the victim allowed the suspect to ride the bicycle for a moment however he rode out of sight and did not return. The stolen bicycle, a silver mountain bike with double suspension, was valued at $600.

Description of Suspect: Black male, 5’10”, last seen wearing dreadlocks and a grey shirt

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Are high school graduates ready for the workforce? Virginia education officials are coming to Manassas to find out.

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Virginia education officials will come to Manassas Thursday to discuss changes to the state’s core high school curriculum, 

More from Manassas City Public Schools spokeswoman Erin Gibson:

Good afternoon,

Osbourn High School (Fine Arts Commons)  will serve as host for a state Board of Education public hearing on Thursday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of the hearing is to gather input on projects being developed at the state level to better prepare students academically with the expectations of higher education and employers from all sectors. The community is strongly encouraged to attend. Please help spread the word!

http://www.mcpsva.org/pages/Manassas_City_Public_Schools/News/MCPS_to_Host_State_Public_Hear

News
It’s a go: Manassas funds small business accelerator

New Owners to Combine Best of Past, Present and Future to Transform 100-Year-Old
Hynson Department Store Building Into Flagship Office Space

Manassas will inject $200,000 into a small business accelerator in the heart of its downtown.

The center will be a co-work space for start-up companies looking for office and conference space, mailbox services, and for entrepreneurs attend community events designed to educate small business owners and spur economic growth in the city, said Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small.

The business accelerator will be located inside the Hynson Building at the corner of Main and Center streets. The building most recently Fiducial, a company that specialized in business payroll, tax, and accounting services.

The small business accelerator will be located in the bottom floor of the building, with offices for Whitlock Wealth Management and ECU Communications will be located on the top floor. Both independent firms formed an LLC to purchase the building for $1.3 million earlier this year.

“It took a lot of hard work on a lot of people’s parts to come up with a plan solid enough to go to City Council,” said Small. “These conversations have been ongoing for four years.”

The $200,000 grant from the City will be paid to the buildings’ owners once they receive an occupancy permit for space from the city, following a proper build out. The money comes from the city’s economic development reserve fund, with funds gained from land sales like the city’s decision to sell the Downtown Post Office building in 2006, a sale that netted city coffers $657,000, according to Small.

If the accelerator closes within 12 months of opening, the city will recover 66 percent, or $132,000. The city and the private owners will cut their losses wipe their hands of the deal if the center is not profitable within three years.

It will take at least 36 to 48 months before the business becomes profitable, said Small. In the meantime, the private owners, with an investment of at least $650,000 in the building, must hire staff to run the accelerator and pay to keep the lights on.

“I think it’s great that the city is going to have a say in what happens in the premier building in its downtown,” said Gayle Whitlock, a spokeswoman for the controlling LLC owners group.

The accelerator plans to hold educational events while offering two paid membership levels, one for novice entrepreneurs who need additional guidance, and more experienced business owners said Small. It’s not clear when the new center will open for business.

Before the City Council’s vote to fund the $200,000 grant, the City’s Economic Development Authority privately discussed financing the grant with its cash. The idea never gained traction, and the EDA Board of Directors at its June 21 meeting, following a closed session that lasted over an hour, decided to take no action on the funding request.

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Updated: One dead in Manassas Park blaze

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Updated July 12

The victim in Friday’s fatal fire in Manassas Park is Jerry Wayne Lusk, 73, of Luxor Street, according to a city fire investigator.

Updated

The man who died in a fire today while inside a single family home at 108 Luxor Street in Manassas Park lived alone.

He was the only person inside the home when it caught fire and was unable to make it out of the home. We were told the man who lived here was ill and was unable to evacute the house on his own. 

Fire investigators are still working to notify the victim’s next of kin. More information about this deadly blaze should be available this evening, we’re told.

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Original post

From Manassas Park Fire Chief David Dixon: 

At approximately 7:30 am, City of Manassas Park Fire Rescue, City of Manassas Park Police, City of Manassas Fire Rescue, and Prince William County Fire Rescue responded to a single family structure fire located at 108 Luxor Street in the City of Manassas Park. Upon arrival, firefighters found the dwelling fully engulfed in fire. There was one fire fatality involved in this fire incident. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the City of Manassas Park Fire Marshal’s Office and Manassas Park Police.

Potomac Local is headed to the scene to get more information. Check back soon.

News
Manassas Museum marks 15th anniversary of 9/11 with new exhibit for locals, veterans who served in Iraq & Afghanistan

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A new exhibit at the Manassas Museum will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and at the Pentagon in Arlington.

The show “Manassas Remembers 9/11” will feature a collection of photographs and stories of the events that unfolded that day, with a focus on how it impacted residents of Manassas the region.

“One of the stories that were shared with us was from a man who lived in New York City at the time and now lives in Manassas, about an aunt who went to pick up her niece from middle school that day and the girl asked ‘have you seen my mom?’ It turns out the mom was at the World Trade Center, and it had been days before she spoke with her family, her car had been crushed, and she was helping with the rescue effort,” said Manassas Museum Curator Mary Helen Dellinger. “I was surprised, because this is a story that you think is going to end badly and it doesn’t.”

 

The base of the south Tower of the World Trade Center is now a reflecting pool. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

The base of the south Tower of the World Trade Center is now a reflecting pool. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

Dellinger is looking for more stories and photos from New York, Arlington, and from the site of the fourth plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pa. to be placed into the exhibit. The best images will be hung on the museum walls, and the best quotes from the various stories will be affixed to the walls in vinyl throughout the exhibit.

The museum recently purchased some photos of the World Trade Center following the attack, taken by the Associated Press.

“It’s a big city, and there were a lot of photographers in New York to get photos of the towers on fire,” said Dellinger.

The museum also has photos of firefighters rushing to help victims at the Pentagon, pictures of the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, and of the iconic flag that was draped on the side of the building in the hours after the attacks.

Here is the text visitors will see at the start of the exhibition:

September 11, 2001

The events of that day devastated the nation and touched our community. Using hijacked airplanes as weapons, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and seriously damaged the Pentagon in Arlington, VA—just thirty miles east of Manassas. A fourth plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers attacked the hijackers. In just a few short hours, thousands were killed or injured, and our nation forever changed. On the fifteenth anniversary of that unforgettable day, we look back at how those events touched our community. This is a legacy of courage, loss, patriotism and faith, wrapped now in fifteen years of reflection, as we continue to seek understanding of America’s most tragic day.

The names of the victims of September 11, 2001, who died at the World Trade Center in New York City, are etched around the reflecting pool at the bases of what used to be the twin towers. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

The names of the victims of September 11, 2001, who died at the World Trade Center in New York City, are etched around the reflecting pool at the bases of what used to be the twin towers. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

Any submitted photos or text that doesn’t make it onto the museum walls will be featured in a book in the museum.

The exhibit is part of a larger showcase that looks at veterans’ service in the wars in Iraq and Afganistan, that has been in the works for over a year. Museum staff decided to create a separate exhibition for the September 11, 2001, artifacts.

“If we had not had 911 we would not be over there [in Iraq or Afghanistan] in the first place, you could make that argument,” said Dellenger.

Manassas Remembers 9/11″ opens to the public on Friday, Sept. 9 and remains on public view through Nov. 27. The veterans’ exhibit also opens Sept. 9 and runs through February 2017.

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