WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia

50°

Menu

Military

News
A great photo: Potomac Avenue in Quantico

potomacavequantico

Be a part of our communtiy. 

Submit your news to PotomacLocal.com

Join our photo pool at flickr.com/potomaclocal

Send us breaking news via Twitter @potomaclocal

Follow us on Facebook.com/potomaclocal

Sign up for our emails Breakfast Links and Potomac Local Biz.


Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas

zimbro1
zimbro2

Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas. This is a high-visibility, attractive leasing opportunity.

The space is situated along heavily trafficked Route 28 and is surrounded by many neighborhood amenities. Space is ideal for a bookstore, tutoring services, laundry mat, pet hospital, food services, or restaurant.

I’m looking to rent this 2,000-square-feet of retail space. Please call Irene at 703-225-9824.


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

blake1
princewilliamK9c
blake2
blake4
blake5
blake6

1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 

News
Stream restoration will help reduce flood risk, improve fish passage on Dewey’s and Quantico Creeks

deweys creek 13

Photo by Prince William County Communications Office 

Submitted: 

Restoration to improve the resiliency of the Possum Point Road culvert – located on Route 633 at the Prince William County and Town of Dumfries line – over Dewey’s Creek has wrapped up after nearly three months of work, interrupted by frequent heavy rainfalls and storms. Dewey’s Creek is a tributary of Quantico Creek, which is a tidal tributary of the Potomac River.

The restoration will improve sediment transport, water flow, and fish habitat. In addition, it will reduce flood risk to the surrounding community, which includes approximately 50 homes southeast of the culvert as well as the Possum Point Power Station, located on the banks of the Potomac River and serving the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Growing development within the watershed has increased the risk of culvert failure. Stormwater runoff from paved surfaces and yards causes flows to increase in the creek, leading to erosion, increased sediment accumulation at the culvert and constriction of water flow during high flow conditions.

Instead of replacing the culvert with something larger, the project involved restoring Dewey’s Creek for approximately 400 feet above the culvert. Stream banks were sloped and terraced to reconnect the creek to its floodplain, while rock elevation controls and riffles were constructed to eliminate sediment build-up at the culvert’s entrance and improve water flow and fish habitat.

(more…)


Request for community support in honoring local superheroes

2016 ValorAwds-Networking-mgilvey-13
2016 ValorAwds-Speakers-mgilvey-10
PWCFD_Bliss
2016 ValorAwds-Speakers-mgilvey-30
2016 ValorAwds-Networking-mgilvey-45 (1)
2016 ValorAwds-Networking-mgilvey-1

 

On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the 31st Annual Prince William Valor Awards.

The event, which is open to the public, is held annually to recognize the men and women in uniform who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping our community and its people safe and secure: the local superheroes. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.

“This year we are hoping to fill the auditorium of the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the people of this community who appreciate the sacrifices made by public safety officials,” says Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and Prince William County Resident. “In a year when the climate on social media and across the country has been charged with fear and uncertainty, the Prince William region has been blessed to be served by forward-thinking and fair-minded public servants who also put their lives on the line in ways that we almost never hear about. Our Valor Awards shine the light on these brave and selfless individuals. I am asking that if you are at all able to attend the 2017 event, that you would strongly consider buying a ticket and joining us to show your appreciation.”

What should you expect when you attend the Valor Awards event?

(more…)

News
Quantico at 100: Video shows base’s history

quantico-Centennial_Anivers

From Maj. Andrew Bormann, Quantico Marine Corps Base spokesman:

“The Centennial celebration is…an annual recognition with events going on throughout the year.  The formal ceremony is scheduled to take place tentatively on May 10 and will be open to the public and media.” 

News
Updated: Marine Corps museum MRE Cookoff looking for contestants

Submitted: 

The National Museum of the Marine Corps will once again pit would-be chefs against the infamous MRE (meal ready to eat) in the fourth annual MRE Cookoff, Saturday, Feb. 4.                       

The challenge is simple: make the tastiest meal (or at least the most palatable) out of two MRE packs “blindly” pulled from a box and whatever ingredients each chef can fit into his or her “cargo pocket” (the big pocket on the trousers of field uniforms, about the equivalent of a quart-size plastic bag). With a cooktop fueled by a Sterno can, contestants will work their magic, hoping to be awarded the coveted Golden Canteen Cup.  Contestants can cook alone or in two-person teams.

(more…)

News
School closings and delays for Thursday evening Jan. 5, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017

Check our Schools and Local Governments Twitter lists below for the most up-to-date closings posted by the respective school division or government agency.

For the open status of the Federal Government, click “OPM website” below.


Government closings and delays


Federal Government Operating Status

(OPM website)

News
Occoquan VFW lays “Wreaths Across America” at Quantico

VFW Post Commander Chuck Wilson

Submitted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916 in Occoquan: 

On December 17, 2016, Quantico National Cemetery hosted “Wreaths Across America,” a holiday wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember our nation’s Veterans. With the wreath laying scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM Saturday morning, a handful of veterans and patriots braved the cold, freezing rain to begin.

We have all seen, and have been awestruck by, the somber sight of hundreds or thousands of precisely aligned rows of stark headstones at one or another of our Veterans cemeteries. But seeing the awe-inspiring images of hundreds — thousands — of beautiful, red-ribbon-adorned, fresh, green wreaths gracing the graves of our fallen heroes is humbling.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7916, from Occoquan, VA, led the way. One of the first to arrive at the cemetery VFW Post 7916 Commander, Chuck Wilson, Colonel, USAF, Ret, began laying wreaths at on some the headstones at Quantico National Cemetery. Wilson is also Chairman of the Potomac Region Veterans Council made up of 26 Veterans Service Organizations and represents as many as 15,000 veterans in Northern Virginia.

As the temperature slightly rose and road conditions improved, a steady stream of automobiles carrying carloads of veterans and patriots arrived at Quantico National Cemetery.

At approximately 12:00 PM, the memorial ceremony began. The Marine Color Guard posted the Colors. Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines laid wreaths to honor the fallen, as well as Prisoners of War and those still Missing in Action (POW/MIA).

An estimated 2,500 great Americans came for this event. The line of cars was backed up to I-95 to get in to the cemetery. Well over 8,000 wreaths were laid to honor our veterans at Quantico National Cemetery

“Wreaths Across America,” began donating holiday wreaths in tribute to Veterans laid to rest at VA’s national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries in 2006.

News
‘The President’s Own’ play at Marine Corps museum at Quantico

QUANTICO, Va. — The “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band had the night off from performing at the White House and came to the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The band that plays for presidents played a free show in front of a packed crowd inside Leatherneck Hall. Underneath hanging airplanes, the band played traditional Christmas carols, five movements from Nutcracker Suite, a piece of the “Polar Express” movie soundtrack, and a sing-along with audience members helped to ring in the Christmas Spirit.

This year marked the third time the President’s Own played during the Christmas season at the Marine Museum. When not at the White House, the band can be performing throughout the year at venues like Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus, as well as locations in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Gingerbread cookies, cupcakes, and cake lollipops were sold at a concession stand before the start of the show. The hot apple cider quickly ran out, but there was plenty of eggnogs — regular and alcoholic versions — to go around.

Those who didn’t get a seat on the floor of the gallery went to the second floor of the museum to watch from a balcony. Others went to the top of the gallery’s observation deck for a birds-eye view of the concert.

The show lasted about an hour and a half, starting a 7:30 p.m. and wrapping up about 9 p.m.

Traffic
Updated: I-95 Quantico crash involves Howitzer artillery cannon

QUANTICO, Va. — A portion of Interstate 95 south at Quantico was closed at 6:55 a.m. for a fuel spill clean up following a crash involving two trucks.

More from VDOT: 

All lanes of Interstate 95 southbound have closed again near Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford County to allow crews to remove a tractor-trailer, truck and spilled diesel fuel from an earlier crash.

All lanes of I-95 southbound are closed at mile marker 147, just south of Exit 148/Quantico. Additionally, the on-ramp to I-95 southbound from Exit 148/Quantico is closed.

I-95 southbound traffic is being detoured to Route 1 southbound at Exit 148/Quantico. Traffic can re-enter I-95 southbound from Route 1 at Exit 143/Garrisonville.  

8:43 a.m. 

The left lane of Interstate 95 southbound has re-opened at mile marker 147 in Stafford County, just south of Exit 148/Quantico.

8:55 a.m. 

The left lane of Interstate 95 southbound has re-opened at mile marker 147 in Stafford County, just south of Exit 148/Quantico.

11 a.m.

From Quantico Marine Corps Base Capt. Joshua Pena: 

The military vehicle and M777 Howitzer artillery cannon involved  in the incident this morning on I-95 were part of a Marine Corps convoy in route to Fort Pickett for training from The Basic School aboard Marine Corps Base, Quantico. The remainder of the vehicles, equipment, and all uniformed personnel assigned to the convoy have returned safely to base. There are no serious injuries reported.

Commandant of the Marine Corps Speaks at Veterans Day ceremony

Gen Neller (Center) Chairman Wilson (Center-right)

The Chairman of the Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC), and Commander of VFW Post 7916, Chuck Wilson, Colonel, USAF (Ret), was the Master of Ceremonies at a Veterans Day ceremony at Quantico on Friday.

General Robert Neller, 37th Commandant of the US Marine Corps Was a keynote speaker. “

Veterans Day first began as Armistice Day with the commemoration of the armistice which ended World War I, on “the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month,” 1918.” This ceremony is held to honor all of America’s veterans past and present.

Quantico National Cemetery has hosted this event since 1983. Both the Veterans Day and Memorial Day Ceremonies such as this are sponsored by the Potomac Region Veterans Council that represents 26 Veterans Service Organizations, and 15,000 across Northern Virginia.

Sponsored by the Potomac Region Veterans Council partnering with Marine Base Quantico and Quantico National Cemetery, A Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th. Over 1,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines, along with many families and distinguished guests came to commemorate National Veterans Day, at the Ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery this year.

News
4 displaced after Quantico appliance fire

quantico town

From Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department: 

On Sunday, November 13th, at 7:58 p.m., fire and rescue crews were dispatched to an appliance fire in a single family home located in the 200 block of 3rd Avenue in Quantico.

Upon entry, fire and rescue crews discovered the fire had extended to the kitchen cabinets and immediately upgraded the incident to a structure fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

The occupants, one adult and three children, were alerted to the fire by the sounding of the smoke alarm allowing them to safely evacuate the home. They were transported and treated for smoke inhalation at a local medical facility.

Red Cross was on scene to assist the family displaced by the fire.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $5,000.00.

The origin and cause of the fire was a cooking fire on a kitchen stovetop and has been determined as accidental.

News
Veterans Day ceremony planned at Quantico National Cemetery

Quantico-National-cemetery

QUANTICO, Va. — A Veterans Day Ceremony will be held at Quantico National Cemetery on Friday.

Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller will be the keynote speaker for the event to honor the men and women in who serve, and have served their country in uniform.

The ceremony will take place at the flagpole, near Committal Shelter A, at 11 a.m., according to a press release.

More from a press release:

Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – November 11, 1918.

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory …”

News
Potomac Local Voter Guide 2016: What’s on my ballot?

It’s been a long election season, and in it will be all over in about 48 hours.

We crafted this local voter guide for residents in Prince William and Stafford counties and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. This handy guide will tell you who is on your ballot, from presidential candidates, city council, and school board.

Also in the Guide: Links to profiles for the two candidates running in the special Manassas City Treasuer election, and links to the two constitutional amendments all Virginia voters will see when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

PotomacLocal.com’s Project: Election sent candidate surveys to all of the candidates listed this post. We have linked to the responses submitted by the candidates. 

If there is no link provided for a candidate for local offices, that candidate did not provide Project: Election questionnaire. 

For Presidential and Congressional candidates, we linked to their campaign websites. An asterisk notes incumbents. 

U.S. President 

Prince William County

1st Congressional District 

10th Congressional District

11th Congressional District

City of Manassas 

10th Congressional District

Manassas City Mayor 

City of Manassas Park 

Manassas Park City Mayor 

Governing Body 

Stafford County 

1st Congressional District 

Griffis-Widewater District School Board Representative 

Now for the two Constitutional Amendment questions that all Virginia residents will see.

Here is the first Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot: 

Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?

Here is the second Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot: 

Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

See more 2016 election coverage

News
Quantico seeks Paracanoe Athletes for event

From Town of Quantico: 

The Town of Quantico, in cooperation with the American Canoe Association (ACA), USA Canoe/Kayak (USACK), and Adaptive Expeditions are looking for eligible disabled Veterans to participate in an upcoming Paracanoe athlete development project being held on Saturday August 27th and Sunday August 28th. This is a rain or shine event. Registration is required to participate in this FREE event.

This project is being funded through the Veterans Administration’s (VA) Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) and managed and led by Adaptive Expeditions. The Paracanoe athlete development project is an adaptive sports outreach program to introduce disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces to introductory through elite levels of paddlesports.

On Saturday May 27th the project will focus on introducing disabled Veterans to the whole-life health benefits of using a kayak as a recreational activity. This day of training will be led by ACA Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainers teaching beginner adaptive paddling best practices to twenty (20) Veterans or active duty military with Paralympic classifiable disabilities along with up to five (5) local coaches. This training will be broken into a morning and afternoon class .

Traffic
Concrete pad at Track 3 at Quantico VRE station being demolished

quanticovrework

From Virginia Railway Express: 

Beginning August 8th, the concrete pad on the west side of the station (Track 3), will be demolished. As a result, all trains can only use the east side platform closest to the station building (Track 2) and will be single tracking north and south of station which may lead to delays. We will work with all stakeholders involved to minimize any delays that do occur. The anticipated completion date of this phase is August 13th.

We appreciate your patience during this time as this work will improve the flexibility and operation of our service area.

We will keep riders up to date about delays to our trains because of this issue.

quanticovre1

quanticovre2

News
Coal ash water treatment process ‘unprecedented’

Possum-Point-1

At the top of the hill overlooking the Possum Point Power Station you get a clear view of the Potomac River.

Helicopters are buzzing in the air near Quantico Marine Corps Base.

There’s also a large pond below the hilltop, one of five that contain the deadly heavy metals arsenic, boron, and chromium to lead, mercury, selenium, and zinc, all sitting at the bottom of the pond. The heavy metals combine to form coal ash — a byproduct created when coal was burned at Possum Point to generate electricity from 1947 to 2003. (more…)

Town of Quantico needs veterans for Racer Quest for Veterans with Disabilities project

quantico town

Are you a disabled Veteran interested in canoeing or kayaking?  Or a disabled Veteran already experienced in kayaking? 

The Town of Quantico, in cooperation with the American Canoe Association (ACA) and USA Canoe/Kayak (USACK), are looking for eligible disabled Veterans to participate in their upcoming Racer Quest for Veterans with Disabilities project being held on May 27 and 28. 

This project is being funded through the Veterans Administration’s (VA) Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) Program. The Racer Quest for Veterans with Disabilities project will create an adaptive sports outreach program to introduce disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces to introductory through elite levels of paddlesports.

On Saturday May 27 the project will focus on introducing disabled Veterans to the whole-life health benefits of using a kayak as a recreational activity.  On Sunday May 28th the project will allow disabled Veterans to participate in the Racer Quest program which is a gateway to competing at the national and international levels in paddlesport as an elite athlete.

Please go to www.townofquantico.org to find out how to participate.

Questions and comments should be directed to Sean McCarthy, Director of Sports and Recreation atdir.sports.recreation@townofquantico.org

Page 1 of 2212345...1020...Last »