WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Suicidal Man, Crash Lead to U.S. 1 Delays

Fairfax Connector

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– A man who threatened to jump from an old railway bridge and car crash caused massive delays on U.S. 1 in south Fairfax County on Monday.

At 5:30 p.m., police were called to the area of Belvoir Court and U.S. 1, just north of the Fairfax County Parkway intersection, where a man threatened to jump from an unused railroad bridge that used to serve the Ft. Belvoir garrison.

Police closed the road to traffic in both directions as crisis intervention teams worked with the man, said Fairfax police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

After two hours, officers were able to talk the man down from the bridge. No one was injured and no charges were filed in the incident.

Earlier that afternoon about 4:30, a two car crash on U.S. 1 at Old Mill Road in the Mt. Vernon area also snarled traffic.

No one was seriously injured and crews had the mess cleaned up shortly after 5 p.m.

But the damage to Monday’s commute had been done.

Late last night, Fairfax Connector buses were reporting long delays on the 171 line, which runs between Lorton, Franconia-Springfield and the Huntington Metro stations.

Traffic in once again moving in the area without incident.

Suspicious Car Closes Tully Gate

Update 5 p.m.
Traffic is moving once again through the Tulley Gate at Ft. Belvoir.

The gate reopened at 3:35 p.m. after K-9 units were called to search a truck whose driver was attempting to get on base.

Four people inside the truck were searched, but nothing was found and the truck was cleared.

“As a safety precaution for our people and the surrounding communities, Tulley Gate was closed,” said Ft. Belvoir spokeswoman Jacqueline Leeker.

A portion of Pohick Road, between Gunston Road and U.S. 1 which had been closed, was also reopened following the search.

Original Post 3:30 p.m.
Ft. Belvoir, Va. ––
Authorities were called to Ft. Belvoir’s Tully Gate this afternoon to search a suspicious car.

K-9 units were dispatched to search the vehicle – its contents still unclear.

No one was injured, but the search prompted the closure of the gate, as well as a portion of Pohick Road – from U.S. 1 to Gunston Road.

All incoming and outgoing traffic has been diverted to Pence Gate.

Drivers should expect delays in the area if the closure continues through the afternoon rush hour, said Ft. Belvoir spokeswoman Jacqueline Leeker.

More as we get it.

No Power for Some Belvoir Residents

Villages at Belvoir

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– One neighborhood at Ft. Belvoir will be without power today.

Officials say Dominion Virginia will replace a defective underground switch that provides electricity to one neighborhood in the Villages at Belvoir.

Residents who live in Cedar Grove Village are scheduled to be without power between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today.

“We understand Dominion is replacing a transformer that is so old power regularly goes out there,” said Ft. Belvoir spokeswoman Jacqueline Leeker.

The work is expected to be finished today.

Closings and Delays

Fairfax County Public Schools opening TWO HOURS LATE. Offices opening on time.

Prince William County Public Schools CLOSED. Code Red for employees.

Stafford County Public Schools opening TWO HOURS LATE.

Ft. Belvoir is OPEN under UNSCHEDULED LEAVE.


Quantico Marine Corps Base opening ON TIME

Virginia Railway Express operating ON TIME.

Belvoir gas leak contained

Update 4:00 p.m.
The gas leak that prompted evacuations this morning at Ft. Belvoir has been fixed.

By 2:45 p.m., utility crews from Washington Gas completed their repair of a four-inch gas main that ruptured in the town center area of the Army base.

Residents, business owners and their employees have been allowed to return to the areas that were cordoned off about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Traffic was also affected by the gas main break: Drivers on Gunston Road south of the affected area will be diverted onto Theote Road where they can link with Pohick Road. (more…)

Belvoir celebrates Black History Month

By David N. Britt

The U.S. Army at Ft. Belvoir has a plan to help you reinforce the importance of National Black History Month to children and yourself.

On Tuesday, the Ft. Belvoir Officers Club will welcome Hari Jones of the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum.

Mr. Jones plans to share his wealth of his knowledge of African American’s who have served their country in and out of uniform during and after the Civil War.  (more…)

Quantico center asks for rezoning

North Stafford, Va. –– The developer of the Quantico Corporate Center has asked Stafford County officials for a rezoning that would allow for office, retail and commercial space.

The developing center, at Boswell’s Corner in North Stafford, has done well amidst a down economy, and stands to blossom further when the military’s BRAC relocation is complete later this year.

The Fredericksburg Free-Lane Star has more.

Quantico to restrict boaters

The Iwo Jima statue greets visitors to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Triangle. (Mary Davidson)

Quantico, Va. –– Boaters keep away from Quantico Marine Corps Base.

New restrictions will go into effect March 7 along the Potomac River that will effectively bar any boat from coming within 500 feet of the base’s shoreline.

Base officials say the restriction will be put in place to protect military assets and for the safety of boaters who could be in the wake of jets taking off and landing from Quantico’s air facility, base spokesman Lt. Brian Villard stated in an email.

The restrictions will extend from the marsh at the Marine Corps Air Facility to the mouth of the Chopawamsic Creek, including Chopawamsic Island. (more…)

Boom, boom, Quantico

The Iwo Jima statue greets visitors to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Triangle. (Mary Davidson)

Quantico, Va. –– The next two nights will be noisy near Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. today and tomorrow, Marines will be training by exploding large munitions.

On Wednesday night, loud booms could be heard all along the Interstate 95 corridor in the Potomac Communities and prompted questions about what was going on from our followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Fear not as the world as we know it is still intact, but base officials warn overcast conditions could increase the noise and vibrations from the blasts.

It’s a good thing the National Weather Service calls for mostly clear skies on Thursday.

Quantico officials target road improvements

Tom Rumora of the Quantico Growth Management Committee addresses officials from Prince William and Stafford counties.

Triangle, Va. –– Quantico Marine Corps Base had no choice but to prepare for the massive influx of federal workers set to descend upon the area in September, said base commander Col. Daniel J. Choike.

While construction is complete on a $300 million, 700,000 square-foot building on Telegraph Road that will hold several security agencies, looming traffic problems still concern officials and community developers who want more federal workers to relocate to the region after the military’s BRAC transition is complete.

A wider U.S. 1 and better communication with community leaders and residents are all ways officials plan to manage growth near the base. (more…)

VRE’s week off to slow start

Woodbridge, Va. –– Delays this morning have plagued Virginia Railway Express passengers on the system’s Fredericksburg line.

Riders got early word from the transit system that train 308, which departs Fredericksburg at 6:30 a.m., was going to be late because of mechanical issues. It wasn’t long after that the train had been canceled altogether and riders told they could board Metro for free, by showing a valid VRE ticket.

In addition to the Metro option, riders still waiting on station platforms in Quantico and Woodbridge had the option to take an Amtrak train in place of the canceled VRE train as far as Union Station in Washington.

The next VRE train following the one that was canceled, train 312, was rolling along at 8 a.m. albeit 20 minutes behind its regular schedule.

Fallen soldier to be remembered Friday

Sgt. Zaniah Creamer and her working animal, Joffa. (Submitted)

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– Members of the U.S. Army will gather Friday to remember a soldier who served her country in Afghanistan, and her community at Ft. Belvoir.

A memorial service for 28-year-old Sgt. Zaniah Creamer will be held at the Woodlawn Chapel from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., remembering the military police officer who was killed last week when a bomb exploded.

Creamer handled bomb-sniffing dogs and was killed when one exploded. Her animal survived the blast, said a base official.

She served in the Army for six years and was part of her unit at Ft. Belvoir since October 2009, said Ft. Belvoir spokeswoman Jacqueline Leeker.

This was Creamer’s third tour duty while in the Army.

Marine museum closed

National Museum of the Marine Corps (Mary Davidson)

Triangle, Va. –– The National Museum of the Marine Corps will be closed January 18 and 19 (Tuesday/Wednesday), 2011 for maintenance and upgrades. The Museum will reopen on Thursday, January 20 with regular hours.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va. The Museum, which opened November 10, 2006, brings to life the U.S. Marine Corps’ rich history and honors the commitment, accomplishments, and sacrifices of all Marines. It is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Christmas. Parking and admission are free.

For more information on the National Museum of the Marine Corps, call 703-784-6107 or visit www.usmcmuseum.com.

-Quantico Marine Corps Base Public Affairs

Ft. Belvoir soldier killed

Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer, 28, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– A soldier stationed at Ft. Belvoir was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Zainah C. Creamer, 28, from Texarkana, Arkansas, was killed when an IED exploded near her, during an attack by insurgents in the Kandahar Province, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

A member of the 212th Military Police Detachment working as a dog handler, Creamer had served in the Army for six years. This was her third deployment and had been stationed at Ft. Belvoir since 2009, said Ft. Belvoir spokesman Donald Carr.

Both Creamer and her dog were working with an infantry regiment when the attack occurred, but the dog was not injured in the blast, said Carr.

Dog ruling tough for parents who work full time

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– Fairfax County Public Schools officials will allow 12-year-old Tyler Stevens, a student at Ft. Belvoir Elementary School, to bring his service dog to the classroom.

Alaya, the five-year-old German Shepard that assists Tyler – who suffers epilepsy, can be allowed in the school as long as both the boy and dog are accompanied by the child’s father, Army Sgt. Angelo Stevens.

The arrangement will be a difficult one because both of Tyler’s parents work full time jobs, NBCWashington reports.

School officials say the 12-year-old is not an adequate handler of the animal. (more…)

2 fires, one victim burned

North Stafford, Va. –– One person suffered burns in one of two house fires that kept firefighters in Stafford County busy Wednesday.

Flames broke out first at 1:01 p.m. at 96 Ervin Overlook in the Oakridge Subdivision, off Va. 610 in North Stafford.

Crews saw smoke billowing from the home as they pulled up to the home. They then saw fire coming from a garage attached to the single family home.

Two adults were home at the time of the fire, but both made it out of the home safely, said Stafford Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mark Doyle. (more…)

New ramp on 95 opens

(File) Drivers travel past the Pohick Road overpass at Lorton on the new fourth lane that opened Friday on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County. (VDOT)

Fairfax County, Va. –– Drivers on Interstate 95 today will have a new exit ramp to use in Fairfax County.

The ramp at mile post 166B south from the highway onto Fairfax County Parkway will reopen this afternoon, making travel easier for those headed to the northern section of Ft. Belvoir Army Base.

At 9 a.m., crews will close the right lane of I-95 south between Springfield-Franconia Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway. At noon, crews will remove traffic control devices put in place in November 2009, when the ramp closed to traffic, and plan to have the improved ramp open by 1:30 p.m. (more…)

Rough blankets, U.N. investigation for alleged leaker

Pcf. Bradley Manning is being held at Quantico, charged with violating military policy.

Quantico, Va. –– The soldier accused of leaking secret documents from the U.S. Government to Wiki Leaks says the blankets in his jail cell are uncomfortable.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who’s being held in solitary confinement at Quantico and faces 52 years in prison if convicted for violating the military’s security code, allegedly released a video showing soldiers shooting and killing unarmed Iraqi citizens and journalists.

Since last week, debate has increased as to whether the treatment Bradley is receiving at Quantico – confined to a cell for more than 20 hours a day, little exercise or human contact – is inhumane.

Now the United Nations is investigating. (more…)

Baise finds rhythm, beats personal time

Heidi Baise trains for the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Heidi Baise trains for the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Quantico, Va. –– After spending months training for the 35th Annual Marine Corps Marathon, Heidi Baise pulled a muscle in her back that could have kept her off the course.

While in the gym training at Quantico Marine Corps Base on Friday, Baise pulled a muscle while doing a pull up a slightly different way than she was used to doing them.

It hurt her back when she stood up straight, and the pain made somewhat difficult to move freely, she said.

She took a hot bath at home that night and, thankfully, woke up the next morning feeling fine.

On Sunday morning, she went on to run the 26.2-mile course that was the Marine Corps Marathon, finishing with a time of three hours, 26 minutes and 20 seconds. (more…)

County, colleges to explore possible tech center

North Stafford –– A new center for technology and education may be coming to Boswells Corner’s expanding Quantico Corporate Center.

Stafford County officials , University of Mary Washington, George Mason University and Germanna Community College officials today all signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibility of building a new technology education center on Corporate Drive.

As part of the three-year agreement, officials from the respective organizations will examine the potential growth and demand of a technology center near Quantico Marine Corps Base. (more…)

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