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News
Manassas Democrats are getting reorganized

Democrats in Manassas and Manassas Park will have a new say as to who will lead them in the coming years. 

A mass meeting will be held this month to elect new officers to the Manassas and Manassas Park Democratic Committee. 

Current Chair Allen Muchnick is stepping down from his role to focus on personal matters, he tells us. The state party requires the organization to be “completely reorganized” every two years, he adds. 

All current officers, with the exception of Muchnick, are up for reelection. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled a reorganization meeting for the evening of Wednesday, January 17, 2018 to elect its members and officers for the 2018-2019 biennium. The mass meeting, also known as an assembled caucus, will be held at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St, Manassas VA 20110 in the City Council Chambers (ground floor), starting at 7:00 pm.

To participate in the voting, persons must arrive and register between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm, when the voting will begin. Persons who seek to become a member or an officer of the MMPCDC but who are unable to attend the meeting, can file with a co-chair of the MMPCDC by 5:00 pm on January 17.

All registered voters who live in the City of Manassas or the City of Manassas Park and who identify as Democrats are invited to participate. The Democratic Party of Virginia requires all city and county Democratic committees to completely reorganize every two years, between mid-December in each odd-numbered year and mid-January in each even-numbered year.

To become a regular member of the Manassas & Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee, interested persons must submit a membership application certifying that are registered to vote in either city; consider themselves to be a Democrat and support the principles of the Democratic Party; will not support any candidate opposing a Democratic nominee in any 2018 or 2019 election; and intend to participate in the activities of the MMPCDC. An annual dues payment of $25 will be waived for applicants who certify in writing that the payment would be a financial hardship. Democrats who live outside the two cities or who wish to support the MMPCDC without any requirement to attend meetings or participate in volunteer activities are welcome to join the MMPCDC as associate members and to vote in the Reorganization Meeting.

Complete details–including the Call for the Reorganization Meeting, the membership application and certification form, and the proposed Rules for conducting the elections of MMPCDC members and officers–are posted on the MMPCDC website, www.manassascitydemocrats.org.

For more information, call 571-358-9893, send an email to mmpcdc@gmail.com, or visit http://www.manassascitydemocrats.org or http://www.manassasparkdemocrats.org.

News
The annual Souper Bowl Bingo event. You’ll want to be there.

Good Morning Prince William – The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is having their Annual Souper Bowl Bingo event on Saturday January 20th from 3-5pm at Alvey Elementary School. Come join all the fun by either purchasing your bingo card for $1 or bring a can of soup, vegetables, beans and the like. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please email Kim with any questions at: mail@networkforgood.com.

· Northern Virginia Family Services needs An American Sign Language volunteer to help with their Healthy Families program. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 to learn more.

· ACTS in Dumfries needs volunteers to help in the main office to answer phones and man the front desk. This is a fun, busy office. Please fill out a volunteer application on their website: actspwc.org

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 20 when the Annual Joe 15 Blood Drive will be held, 9am to 2pm, at Manassas Church of the Brethren. Not only does this provide life-giving blood for the community, this event also honors the memory of Joseph “Joe” Page, who would have turned 30 this year. Please contact Debbie at debd509@aol.com to schedule an appointment. You can also visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter The Joe 15 Team in the Sponsor Code box.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· The busy team at the SERVE Shelter are looking for volunteers age 18 and up to help with the annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 6:30am-12Noon. This survey provides an annual count of the nation’s unsheltered homeless population, and will focus on Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The survey will be held, rain, snow or shine. Training prior to the survey will be provided. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to get involved with this important project.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 3 Dinner, February 4 Brunch, February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

News
As Facebook is about to limit what you see, here’s how to never miss a post from Potomac Local

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg on Thursday had something to say to the social network’s users, and to Potomac Local readers.

The worldwide network will begin limiting the content you see from news organizations like ours, as well as your favorite businesses, brands, and organizations.

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” Zuckerberg penned in his statement.

The move aims to put people back at the center of users’ Facebook comments feed, where news stories, and advertisements have apparently drowned out the voices of users friends and families.

I know many of you rely on Facebook to see the content we post every day on Potomac Local. Admittedly, I, too, for years have relied on Facebook to grow our audience.

However, as things change more people are signing up for our free Breakfast Links weekday newsletter. I send it each morning at 5 a.m. to everyone who signs up, whether or not you are a member of our recently launched member premium content their.

I advertise this weekday email with “never miss a post,” because everything that we post to the site is also shared in this email. And when it comes to balancing our free and member content, more than 80% of the content I posted to the site yesterday is free to all.

I am to maintain this balance as our mission remains bringing you quality local news you can trust.

You can sign up to get our free Breakfast Links email, sent weekdays at 5 a.m.

You can also become a member of Potomac Local’s Traffic Talk Facebook group.

For the rest of what Zuckerberg had to say, here’s his post:

 

News
Coldest-ever temps mean electric bills are about to skyrocket

If you think you’ve never felt so cold while living here in Northern Virginia, ever, you are correct. 

Dominion Energy tells us not only was it the coldest period on record, the utility also saw its highest demand — ever — for electricity. 

And that means we’re going to pay.

From an email: 

“…the first week of January was the coldest on record.

Dominion Energy customers used more energy during that week than any on record to keep their homes and businesses warm and set a record on Saturday, Jan. 6 for the highest demand ever in a 24-hour period. Sunday, Jan. 7 was the second highest.

What does this mean for customer bills? It means that many customers will see bills that are higher, possibly much higher, than expected as their heating systems strained to keep pace with demand, drawing higher amounts of electricity to keep running.

At the same time, severe constraints on the pipelines serving Virginia caused record spikes in the price of natural gas, which will ultimately result in even higher electric bills for customers later this year.

Therefore customers will see higher bills now because they used more, and later, because the energy they used was more expensive than ever. By law, these fuel costs must be passed on to customers.

It also means that you may start to hear from customers in the coming days and weeks about their bills—worried the bills are incorrect or that they can’t afford to pay them.

You can help your audience and us by doing two things—helping them understand that the weather is the big driver behind high bills, and letting them know that we want to help them work out a payment solution, should they need one. We offer payment extensions, long-term payment plans, and bill payment assistance to help get them through a rough spot. All our customers need to do is go onto their online account for help or call 866-DOM-HELP. For more information about payment arrangements, click here. For info about EnergyShare, click here.

News
Deal closes on East End Mobile Home Park in Manassas

After reporting today on the stalled sale of the East End Mobile Home Park in Manassas, we got word this afternoon the sale of the troubled park went through. 

Residents of the park were nearly evicted, and homes in the park demolished due to raw sewage leaking into storm drains, and then into the public water supply.

From a press release: 

“The City of Manassas is pleased to announce that the East End Mobile Home Park has been sold to Catholics for Housing. For more than nine years the City worked to enforce it’s Code and cause the previous owner to make repairs to the private water and sewer system.  The failing system ultimately became a public health issue.  To alleviate the growing problem, the City of Manassas elected to purchase the Park.  This would have resulted in its closure and the current residents would have been displaced.

The City no longer has a contract to purchase the property.  Catholics for Housing now owns the property and will manage it, allowing the residents to stay in their homes.  The City of Manassas will oversee the installation of new utility infrastructure by CFH which, when completed, will be turned over to the City to own and operate. 

“We are looking forward to the reconstruction of the sewer and water facilities which will become part of the City’s municipal system,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate.  “We hope that under the management of Catholics for Housing we will see continued revitalization of this neighborhood.”

Catholics for Housing also tell us via press release: 

“It’s so gratifying to have this all-important first phase completed and to be able to own and operate the park in a way that benefits this entire community,” said CFH Executive Director Karen DeVito.  “We are thrilled that our skills, expertise, resources and commitment to preserving housing opportunities will not only keep these families in their homes, but also enhance their quality of life by creating a safe and sustainable community.”

“This stretch of Centreville Road has been home to residents of three mobile home parks for many years.  The original owners sold all but East End, which was kept in the family and managed by an agent for the last 10 years.  DeVito has met many residents who have lived in the Park for 20 years or more; the park is home to approximately 300 adults and children.

“It often takes an entire community to make a positive impact and create a sustainable community, DeVito observed, and that is certainly the case with East End.  Since it first became apparent that the acquisition of East End Mobile Home Park by CFH would save the homes for so many and would also be a viable business opportunity, CFH has developed a vision for East End and has worked with the residents, financial partners, advocates and the staff and elected officials of the City of Manassas. “It has truly taken a village to sustain the housing opportunities at East End,” commented DeVito.”

News
Manassas bail bondsman’s office ransacked

Police tell us the man pictured in these photos rummaged through a Manassas bail bondman’s office in the early hours of December 19, 2o17. 

The suspect broke into Angel’s Bail Bonds at 9852 Business Way in Manassas at 1:40 a.m. He kicked in a side door and stole “several items,” police tell us. 

Today, the department released images taken from surveillance photos of the suspect. They’re asking anyone with information on this crime to call Crime Solvers at 703-330-0330.

News
Arnold continues to elude police. Here’s why he’s on the Manassas fugitive list

John Anthony Arnold, Jr. is the Manassas City Police Department’s Fugitive of the Week. 

The 19-year-old is described as black, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds. He was last known to live in Virginia. 

Manassas police tell us: 

On September 19, 2017 at approximately 3:24 p.m., officers responded to the 9700 block of Clark Pl for a report of an assault. The victim was confronted by the suspect in front of a residence at this location and a physical altercation ensued. The investigation revealed the victim was struck multiple times by the suspect. The suspect fled the area prior to officer arrival. The victim was transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The incident does not appear to be random and it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other.

Anyone with information on Arnold’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Crime Solvers at 703-257-8000.

Traffic
Virginia’s governor wants money ‘off the top’ for Metro. But our ‘non-Metro’ jurisdictions like Prince William and Manassas say not so fast.

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News
TASER used to subdue man inside Sheetz

From Prince William police: 

Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) – On January 7 at 10:39PM, officers responded to the Sheetz located at 11774 Sudley Manor Dr in Manassas (20109) to investigate a disorderly person. Several callers reported to police that an unknown man was inside the store assaulting citizens and ransacking the business. When officers arrived and made contact with the suspect inside of the store, they determined that the man was under the influence of a narcotic. When officers attempted to detain the accused, he resisted and a struggle ensued. Officers deployed a TASER and the accused was eventually subdued and detained with the assistance of multiple officers. The accused was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries then taken to the Adult Detention Center. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Stewart Lewis SKINNER, was charged.

Arrested on January 8:

Stewart Lewis SKINNER, 47, of 13210 Farmview Rd in Nokesville

Charged with 1 count of assault & battery on a LEO, 1 count of felony destruction of property, 4 counts of assault & battery, 1 count of disorderly conduct, 1 count of intoxicated in public, and 1 count of obstruction of justice

Court Date: February 8, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond