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Fare hikes, western maintenance facility funding comes with new PRTC budget

Fare hikes are coming for bus riders in Prince William County.

OmniRide commuters paying with SmarTrip will pay $6.90, up from $6.50, and cash fares are up from $8.75 to $9.20. A single ride on local OmniLink bus would increase to $1.55, up from $1.50. Overall, it’s an average 5% fare increase for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

There will also be service cuts to some routes, removing underused services such as the route between Manassas Junction shopping center and Manassas Mall, and the elimination of a route between Lindendale Road and the Dale City commuter lot on the system’s Navy Yard route.

The eliminations and reroutings are expected to save PRTC $200,000. (more…)

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Fare hikes, western maintenance facility funding comes with new PRTC budget

Fare hikes are coming for bus riders in Prince William County.

OmniRide commuters paying with SmarTrip will pay $6.90, up from $6.50, and cash fares are up from $8.75 to $9.20. A single ride on local OmniLink bus would increase to $1.55, up from $1.50. Overall, it’s an average 5% fare increase for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

There will also be service cuts to some routes, removing underused services such as the route between Manassas Junction shopping center and Manassas Mall, and the elimination of a route between Lindendale Road and the Dale City commuter lot on the system’s Navy Yard route.

The eliminations and reroutings are expected to save PRTC $200,000. (more…)

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The reality of flying cars may be right around the corner

A Manassas company has been tapped by the ride-sharing service Uber to develop a new flying concept vehicle.

From an Aurora Flight Sciences press release:

Aurora Unveils New eVTOL Aircraft at Uber Elevate Summit

Dallas, Texas, April 25, 2017 – Uber announced today that it has selected Aurora Flight Sciences as a partner to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for its Uber Elevate Network. The formal announcement of the initiative partners took place at Uber’s Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas.

“Uber is taking a big step forward toward making the world’s first VTOL network a reality and our partnership with Aurora Flight Sciences will help get us off the ground,” said Mark Moore, Director of Engineering for Uber. “The Elevate VTOL network will help improve urban mobility around the world and transform the way we travel.”
(more…)

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Social media argument results in arrest for malicious wounding

From Prince William County Police:

Malicious Wounding *ARREST*– On April 25, Tenisha Star RANDALL, wanted for an assault which occurred in the 8100 block of Seymour Rd in Manassas on April 19, was located and arrested without incident at a residence on Lakota Dr in Woodbridge.

Arrested on April 25:
Tenisha Star RANDALL, 19, of 13004 Patamon Way in Woodbridge
Charged with malicious wounding and malicious wounding by mob
Court Date: May 24, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond (more…)

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Arizala charged with abduction at Manassas area apartment

From Prince William police: 

Abduction | Domestic Assault & Battery – On April 25 at 3:39AM, officers responded to an apartment located in the 8100 block of Porter Ridge Ln in Manassas (20109) to investigate a domestic. The victim, a 20-year-old woman of Manassas, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused grabbed the victim and prevented her from leaving the residence. At one point, the accused picked the victim up and carried her back into the residence. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Joshua Anthony ARIZALA, was arrested without further incident.

Arrested on April 25:

Joshua Anthony ARIZALA, 23, of the 8100 block of Porter Ridge Ln in Manassas

Charged with abduction and domestic assault & battery

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

 

News
Breweries seeking Virginia grain is more about ‘lip service’ than action

The new BadWolf Public House is about to get $10,000 in grant money from Virginia.

The recently-opened restaurant and soon-to-be brewery in Downtown Manassas won the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant (AFID) with help from the city before opening in March. It stipulates the brewery — a joint venture between BadWolf Brewing Company and C.J. Finz restaurant in Manassas — will invest more than $200,000 into its new Battle Street location.

That money will be used to invest in new brewing equipment and to improve the building. The grant also stipulates thew brewery must create two new jobs, and, most importantly, purchase nearly $22,000 in grain, wheat, or barley from Virginia farmers.

BadWolf has until May 31, 2020, to make good on its promise to do this, or the state will ask for its money back.

These AFID grants are nothing new to Manassas. Last year, city gin and bourbon makers KO Distillery won a $25,000 state grant that would help it triple production of its product by using Virginia grain.

Statewide, the brewing and distilling industry agriculture is booming, having a $52 billion economic impact to the state economy.

“Breweries; this industry has been one fo the fastest growing industries in Virginia if you look at the beverage industry as a whole,” said Ben Rowe, with the Virginia Department of Agriculture Grain Producers Association.

But with so many brewers opening up and not using wheat, barley, or corn that is grown in the state, that was a problem for the agriculture department. The AFID grant was born, in part, to keep more money in the hands of local producers and “to support local efforts in attracting new and expanding agriculture and forestry processing/value-added facilities using Virginia-grown products.”

“If you have a brewery in a locality and they’re purchasing grain out of the state or out of the country, the only thing you’re profiting from is the sale of the beer at the breweries,” said Rowe.

But the type of grain a microbrewery wants can be much different than major beer makers like Anheuser-Busch.

Today at Virginia Tech, researchers are working to make a better strain of Virginia grain — one that tastes good when made into alcohol, and one that breweries want to buy.

“We’re working closely with the food science and technology dept here tech to assess flavor profiles and characteristics of what we’re testing and what we’re developing so we can make better recommendations about the end use of the products we’re looking at,” said Wade Thomason, a professor and grains specialist at Virginia Tech.

How much Virginia farmers are paid for their crop determines what they grow each year. Right now, there is no shortage of Virginia-sourced grains for breweries and distilleries who want to buy them, Thomason added.

“I think there is more lip service going on right now from people who say they want to purchase Virginia-grown grain versus those who really are doing it,” he said.

Thomason liked the process of shopping for Virginia grain to shopping for a new bike.

“If you want to buy a bicycle today, you can name five places where you can get a bicycle at a different price and a different brand. If you were very specific about one of those you may be down to one or two places, but you would still be able to call a business and find out if they have what you want,” he explained.

“We don’t have that sort of awareness or interconnectivity between growers, producers, or end users. It’s basically, right now, the onus is on the distiller to go find a farmer and make this happen.”

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Police search for Randall after social media fight

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding – On April 22 at 12:22AM, officers began an investigation into an assault which reportedly occurred in the 8100 block of Seymour Rd in Manassas (20109) on April 19 at approximately 12:00PM. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 24-year-old woman of Manassas, was involved in a dispute with an acquaintance over social media.

The parties eventually met in person in the above area. During the encounter, the argument escalated physically and the victim, who has limited mobility, was struck repeatedly by the accused. Other individuals were present during the incident and did not intervene in the altercation. The incident was recorded and posted online.

Officers were able to review the video and confirm the assault. As a result of the assault, the victim sustained injuries to her face. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Tenisha Star RANDALL. Attempts to locate the accused have been unsuccessful.

Wanted: [Photo from February 2016]

Tenisha Star RANDALL, 19, of no fixed address

Described as a black female, 5’3”, 110lbs with black hair and brown eyes

Wanted for malicious wounding and malicious wounding by mob



The near-fully restored Brentsville Jail, once home to moonshiners, horse thieves, and murderers will be opened to the public May 13

The project to restore the Brentsville Jail has reached the final stage, with completion expected any day now. It comes just a few short years before the community will celebrate 200 years of history.

From county seat to small rural town, Brentsville has seen a lot of change during that time. The one surviving building that best represents the changing role of this town is the two-story brick building commonly called the Brentsville Jail.

Brentsville served as the Seat of Prince William County from 1822 to 1893 and the Brentsville Jail housed those accused of everything from selling liquor without a license to horse stealing, to murder.

When the County Seat moved to Manassas, the use of the jail changed as well. The Courthouse was sold and converted into a private school for teachers, in-turn the jail was refitted to act as a student dormitory.

Later when the school moved on, the jail-turned-dormitory became a private residence until it was eventually purchased, given to the county to be used as office space. Today the Jail is in the final stages of the stabilization and restoration project that began in 2010, which will see the building used in yet another purpose; a public museum.

The future museum will explore the people whose stories are connected to the building. The main orientation room will not only explore the history of the jail but also tie it to the history of the town of Brentsville and larger story of Prince William County.

The adjacent room will be a historically furnished Jailor’s Office that will examine the lives of the various jailers and their families who at one time lived in the building as caretakers. Across the hall will be another historically furnished room, a criminal cell, in which an inmate was famously assassinated.

The final room downstairs will include STEM-based architectural activities that will highlight the building construction.

The exhibit will continue upstairs featuring a historically furnished debtor’s cell and early 20th dormitory room. An audio room will examine the stories of some of the individuals incarcerated in the jail, such as abolitionists, individuals suffering from mental illness, female criminals, and others.

The final room will explore the African-American experience in both Brentsville and Prince William County through most of the 19th century. Two interactive kiosks will also allow visitors to examine some primary documents that are not normally available to the general public.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre is hosting a special Jail Grand Opening on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Although the museum exhibits will not be installed by opening day, visitors will be allowed to explore the building and receive special tours. Also, special lectures will be offered throughout the day, covering many exciting topics. At 11 a.m., local historian Arwen Bicknell will talk about her new book: Justice and Vengeance Scandal, Honor and Murder in 1872 Virginia, which highlights a murder that took place in the Brentsville Jail.

At 1 p.m., Dr. Sherri Huerta will explore the African-American history of the building with “’Remanded to Jail’: How Enslaved Persons Experienced Life and Death in the Brentsville Jail.”

Finally, at 3 p.m. local historian Morgan Breeden will talk about his experience living in the jail when it was his family’s private residence.

The dedication begins at 10 a.m. and programs run through 4 p.m.

News
Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers to spruce up the fishing pier

Good morning Prince William – Happy National Volunteer Week! Thanks for all you do- we live in a wonderful community because of you!

· Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers to spruce up the fishing pier by replacing boards and power washing the pier. This pier affords fisherman year round access as well those early birds up to watch the sunrise. Please email Ben at: degrob@hotmail.com to learn more.

· Project Mend a House is registering participants in their Live Well Workshops. The is a free 6 week class to help you with several painful conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, chronic pain and heart disease. The next session begins May 9th at the Woodbridge Senior Center. Please call Jodie at (571) 494-5577 to learn more.

· Friends of the Kennedy Center need volunteers for their JFKC Open House on Saturday May 27th. This event will celebrate what would have been President Kennedy’s 100th Birthday. Please register on their website by May 12th- Kennedy-center.org. Jobs include check-in, artist liaison, information tables and more!

· Saved Hands Foundation needs volunteers to teach life skills to adults in Woodbridge two days a week from 4-5pm. Please email Pamela at:info@savedhandsfoundation.org to learn more about the great services given to the homeless clients in the community. (more…)

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Driver killed in crash at Prince William Parkway and Balls Ford Road

From Prince William police: 

On April 25 at 3:27AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the intersection of Prince William Pkwy and Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a two vehicle crash between a tractor double trailer and a sedan. The investigation into the cause of the crash is currently underway.

The driver of the sedan, identified as an adult male, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor double trailer, also an adult male, was not injured. Further information on the crash will be released when available. The identity of the deceased driver will also be released once a next of kin is notified. Currently, northbound Prince William Pkwy is closed at Balls Ford Rd and is expected to remain closed throughout the morning commute. The investigation continues. 

The identity of the deceased driver will also be released once a next of kin is notified. The investigation continues.