Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Quantico

News
Modern Day Marine begins today at Quantico

QUANTICO — Today is the first day of the annual Modern Day Marine expo at Quantico.

The three-day event is expected to draw not only U.S. Marine Corps military and civilian personnel but also members of the other U.S. services, foreign military attaches, and corporate representatives from throughout the U.S. and several other nations.

This is the 37th year for the show, and the 25th consecutive year it has been held at Quantico. 

The show features exhibitors on Lejeune Field, and panels to discuss the future of the warfighting and its impact on the Marine Corps. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller will be on hand at 10 a.m. Wednesday to introduce the new Navy and Marine Corps operating concept: “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE).

The event will culminate on Thursday with a banquet dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Crystal City.

News
Quantico drinking water is discolored, but base officials say its safe to drink

Residents who live aboard Quantico Marine Corps Base are reporting a funky discoloration to their water.

For the past three days, Quantico officials say they’ve received multiple phone calls from concerned residents who say the water color is off. That has led to the additional testing of the water on base, and officials tell us they’re looking for the cause of the problem.

Recent tests, however, show the water is safe to drink, they say. The discoloration may become from a higher than normal concentration of manganese in the water, added base officials.

There’s also the fact that, in the past three months, the base switched it source of drinking water — and then switched back again.

From a press release issued today by Quantico officials:

Over the last three months, PWB switched to water from our primary source, Breckenridge Reservoir, to our secondary source at Grey Reservoir, while work was being done on the dam a Breckenridge Reservoir.

This past week construction reached a point where water could be switched back to Breckenridge. However, upon doing so water plant operators noticed high organic material in the water and switched back to Grey until the cause could be determined.

Organic material comes from decayed leaves, tree debris and vegetation. Manganese is a natural mineral commonly found in rocks and soil and thus also found in waterways. The increased levels of manganese in the treated water are believed to be causing the discoloration.

During the treatment process, the MCBQ Water Treatment Plant uses chlorine to disinfect the water and control manganese levels to make the water clear and safe for drinking. These levels are being adjusted to account for the higher concentrations of manganese.

Manganese is not a health hazard and is not regulated by the EPA as a drinking water contaminant. EPA considers manganese a secondary contaminant for aesthetic reasons only. The EPA level for manganese, for aesthetic purposes, is 0.05 mg/l. Current manganese levels tested in housing this morning are around 0.002 mg/l to 0.05 mg/l for Thomason Park and Lyman Park West. Lyman Park East tested at 0.08 mg/l. The higher concentrations in Lyman Park East are above EPA’s aesthetic level, but there is still no health concern. Although the other two housing areas are below EPA’s aesthetic level, these concentrations can still cause discoloration.

The safety of MCBQ’s water supply is our top priority. As part of its regulatory oversight, the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Drinking Water works closely with MCBQ PWB and the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs (NREA) Branch to monitor water production at our water treatment plant. The department’s most recent review of drinking water sampling data shows that the utility is meeting all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and ask for your continued patience as our crews work to resolve the discoloration issue.

For further information or to report water discoloration in base housing areas, call Lincoln Military Housing Maintenance at 1-888-578-4141.

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20 years in the making, Arkendale project on track to speed up train service

QUANTICO — Nine miles of new track and improvements to Quantico’s rail station is underway and are hoped to help alleviate some of the congestion on the busy Interstate 95 corridor between Stafford and Washington, D.C.

The Arkendale to Powell’s Creek ‘third track project’ on the Potomac River is a $115 million-dollar investment of federal and state funds to benefit intercity passenger rail service in the I-95 Corridor.

Part of a larger initiative, The Atlantic Gateway, the Arkendale project includes construction of a third track between Richmond and Washington. The third track segment will be used to enhance the performance schedule for intercity passenger service, high-speed passenger rail service, and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter service while preserving freight operations by allowing trains to meet, pass or overtake other trains.

Project improvements also include structures such as under-grade and overhead railroad bridges, railroad crossings and signal systems.

Improvements to Quantico Station include conversion of a side platform to an island platform with a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, enabling all three tracks to serve the passenger station. (more…)

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Little League Championship kicks off at Marine Corps museum

Parents and children gathered on Thursday night for a dinner at the National Museum of the Marine Corps to mark the opening of the Virginia Little League Championship. 

The dinner was a ticketed-only event and attracted players and their families from all over the Commonwealth — some as far as eight hours away. 

The tournament will be held this week near the museum at Fuller Heights Park. 

These photos are by Catherine Hanafin: 

 

News
Stafford Armed Services Memorial opens

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STAFFORD — Lloyd Willis and his wife searched for their brick.

The couple from Colonial Beach purchased the memorial stone to support the new Stafford County Armed Services Memorial. Willis, 92, served in the Army in World War II and Korea.

“It’s important that we do this to set the example for the future of our country,” said Willis. When he enlisted at age 18, Willis said it was his brother who set the example for him — one of service to the nation when Germany and Japan threatened the U.S. and the world.

He was one of the thousands who came to the dedication of the new memorial at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 15 at the Stafford County Government Center. Hundreds sat underneath large tents, while others took shelter under shade trees to avoid the hot summer sun.

Veterans from Korea and Vietnam wore hats, and some leather vests and jackets. Active service members wore their uniforms, and all listed to music played by Quantico Marine Corps Band. (more…)

News
Virginia Little League Tournament a win for sports tourism

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TRIANGLE — More than 1,000 people are expected to descend on Triangle next weekend for the Virginia Little League Championship.

Teams from across the state will travel to Prince William County, from as far as eight hours away, to play for the chance to win and move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

A total of 35 games will be played over the tournament’s five days, July 20 to 25. On the field, more than 500 children and teens will take the field and play baseball. Parents, friends, family members, and baseball players are expected to stay in area hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop at area stores.

Landing the tournament is a win for Discover Prince William, the county’s convention, and visitors bureau, which started a sports tourism program three years ago designed to attract such events to the county. The teams will play at the three-year-old Fuller Heights Park at 18511 Fuller Heights Road, just outside the main entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

“It has lots of parking, and restrooms, so it’s a great place to hold the tournament,” said one event organizer Brendon Hannifin. (more…)



Ornery Brewery set the tone for brew pubs in Prince William

Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the third in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Prince William County’s first brewpub just did something every brewery wants to do: Distribute its beer on the wholesale market to local restaurants.

Now diners in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. can enjoy a cold glass of beer from Ornery Beer Company in Woodbridge. The brewpub — a combination brewery and restaurant with a chef-driven menu — opened near Potomac Mills in 2015.

“When we starting thinking about this business, this county didn’t have a brewpub. It had a brewery or two but not a brewpub that served delicious beer and food,” said Ornery Brewery owner Randy Barnette, of Gainesville.

Barnette was an investor in a brewpub in Falls Church and thought he could bring the same quality product to Prince William County. Before Ornery, Barnette operated the Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge for 15 years. That restaurant had run its course, he said, and Barnette gave the space an complete overhaul before opening Ornery Brewery.

Barnette knew how to run a restaurant, so he hired master brewer Chris Jacques to create Ornery’s 15 signature beer flavors. The brewpub serves everything from dark and beers to IPAs — just about anything a craft beer enthusiast would expect to find at a small brewery.

Last October, he promoted Ferdinand McAdoo to the position of head brewer, who has been Ornery since its opening.

A favorite of restaurant goers is Ornery’s Blonde Ale, a light beer that pairs well with just about anything.

“Prince William County has a very, very diverse demographic and our beers have to be very, very diverse,” explained Barnette. “We’re not as defined in our types of beer as you might see in some other places.”



Explore summer reading at your Prince William Public Library: Young Adults

 

Free food, prizes, and events all summer long!

How it Works:

Explore Summer Reading is happening now until August 19. A couple of weeks ago we talked about summer reading for kids, infants through students entering 5th grade.

Today it’s all about the teens! Young adults (entering grades 6 – 12), come to any library branch to register and pick up a Punch Card, and we’ll give you your first punch. Then each time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your card. At your second visit, we’ll give you a free food coupon. And at your sixth visit, more free food!

Grand Prizes

But wait, there’s more! We’re giving away a $100 prize at each of our 11 branches, plus one grand prize, a Beats™ Pill+. Each visit counts as an entry into the drawings, and you can earn punches for up to nine visits. Plus, write a book review and enter it on our Explore Summer Reading website, www.pwcgov.org/summerreading, and earn extra entries! You might also find your book review published to our Goodreads page, www.pwcgov.org/goodreads.

Weekly Challenges and Events

Come in each week of summer reading and complete the weekly challenge for the chance to win additional prizes. Then put your smartphone down and come to a free event, such as a cartooning workshop, art class, cooking demo, magic workshop, reptile show, laser tag party, and much more. For the full lineup, pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any library or visit our events page at www.pwcgov.org/library/events.

Then pick your smartphone back up and tag us #PWPLSsummer on social media. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tag us and we might repost! (more…)



PotomacLocal.com is the newest tenant at CENTERFUSE

PotomacLocal.com is the newest tenant at CENTERFUSE, the budding co-workspace in Downtown Manassas.

The seven-year-old digital media company with a focus on local news, politics, and transportation issues in the Prince William County region will not only produce news coverage and content at the Manassas co-working center but will engage with readers and local business owners there, too.

“My job as an entrepreneurial journalist on any given day requires me to be in multiple places in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. While a traditional office has never been in our plans, the flexibility, open work environment, and business support from the staff at CENTERFUSE are just what our company needs to grow,” said Potomac Local Media Founder and Publisher Uriah Kiser.

With Potomac Local’s acquisition of a dedicated workspace at CENTERFUSE, the company will launch a new podcast to discuss issues facing area residents. Additionally, Potomac Local will hold community events at CENTERFUSE to engage readers and residents, as well as hold scheduled publisher’s “office hours” where readers may visit with Potomac Local writers to share story ideas, as well as voice
neighborhood concerns in a one-on-one setting.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Potomac Local as our newest member of CenterFuse.  Our facility, located in Downtown Manassas lends a perfect opportunity for Uriah to connect with areas of Prince William County while working in a pristine location in the City of Manassas,” said Historic Manassas Inc. Director Debbie Haight. 

CENTERFUSE opened in early May and caters to entrepreneurs in need of shared workspace. Historic Manassas Inc. is contracted to provide small business support services to CENTERFUSE members.  

News
South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits Quantico, grateful to the Marine Corps for helping family

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Photos: Mary Davidson

South Korean President Moon Jae-in laid a wreath at Quantico Marine Corps Base on this first official visit to the U.S.

From a National Museum of the Marine Corps:  press release sent before the event: 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Wednesday to pay his respects to the Marine Corps for helping to evacuate his parents from North Korea in 1950.

During his first official visit to the United States President Moon will lay a wreath, dedicate a tree and deliver remarks at the Chosin Reservoir Monument in the Museum’s Semper Fidelis Memorial Park.

The president’s parents were evacuated from North Korea by the 1st Marine Division following the culmination of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He continues to be very grateful to the Marine Corps for its assistance to his family and he credits those actions as contributing to his success.

Also delivering remarks will be Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller. Korean War veterans will attend the ceremony at the invitation of President Moon.

The Museum’s Korean War Gallery offers an opportunity to better understand the war. The Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Jae-in called the rescue of his parents one of the greatest humanitarian aides of all time.

Potomac Local Photographer Mary Davidson captured the images in this post. 

Jae-in is in the U.S. to visit with President Donald Trump for the first time since taking office last month.

 

News
Down but not out: Stewart returns to Prince William with 2 more years as county’s top elected leader

Corey Stewart regularly makes a good political showing in Prince William County.

When he won a 2015 bid to keep his seat as County Board Chairman, At-large, the Republican beat his Democratic opponent winning 57% of the vote. He not only did well in the county’s more conservative western precincts, but he also did well in mid-county precincts like Coles, Penn, Marshall, Hylton, and Spriggs.

On the county’s heavily Democratic-leaning eastern side, the voters in the Occoquan District who originally voted him as their district supervisor in 2006 overwhelmingly voted for him again in 2015, as the Republican won every precinct in the Occoquan District except York.

Current Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, a Republican, also won her campaign that year running against former Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat, who carried name recognition not only from his time in office but his involvement in non-profit groups and the chamber of commerce. At the time, local political pundits said Anderson, a political newcomer, was able to ride Stewart’s coattails in the Occoquan District as voters cast ballots down party lines.

Stewart on Tuesday night lost his Primary Election bid to be Virginia’s next Republican gubernatorial candidate to Ed Gillespie by just over one percent. It was the second time Stewart sought higher state office following a losing 2013 bid to be Virginia Lt. Governor. (more…)

News
Torch Run for Special Olympic Games set for June 8

From Prince William County Police:

The Torch that symbolizes the beginning of the Special Olympics Games in Richmond, Va., will be lit in Arlington and carried by police officers and Special Olympians down U.S. Route 1 to Richmond on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

In Prince William County, the torch will start at the Prince William-Fairfax line at U.S. Route 1 and end at the entrance to the U.S. Marine Corps Base at U.S. Route 1 and Fuller Road. Police Recruits in the current Criminal Justice Academy class will be participating in the Torch Run, and members of the Department’s Motorcycle Unit will escort the runners through the county. (more…)



More than ‘Irish nonsense,’ MurLarkey uses old-world infusion methods in oak barrels

Prince William Beer (and Spirits) Trail

Editors note: This is the second in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Locally sourced and handcrafted in the heart of Bristow, MurLarkey’s officially opened its doors on January 6th, welcoming all who enjoy spirits and a good time.

Guests who visit MurLarkey will notice a beautiful array of names for their spirits featured on their website such as imagination, divine clarity, and justice. Spirit names are taken seriously at MurLarkey’s, just as seriously as the process of naming the establishment was.

A brainchild of first cousins Mike Larkin and Thomas Murray, they struggled to find a name that they could both agree on as well as pay homage to their Irish roots.

“After pondering the names Murray, Larkin and Kelly over a few drinks, they eventually came up with Mur.Lar.key,” said MurLarkey’s Founder and CEO Thomas Murray. “The coincidental play on the word “malarkey” (Irish for nonsense) made it all the better.”

One of their most popular products is their lemon infused Clemoncy whiskey. According to Murray, a restaurant in Fairfax used MurLarkey’s whiskey as a base and created the “Clemonade” — a drink so popular, that it spread from the Fairfax bar scene to Arlington.

MurLarkey’s is locally sourced and handcrafted, but they take it one step further. All of their infusions are done using old-world infusion methods in oak barrels.

“MurLarkey’s authenticity sets it apart from virtually any other distillery in the area,” said Murray. “From an award-winning pure potato vodka to all-natural infused whiskeys, there’s a spirit to please every pallet.”



Water’s End Brewery knows ‘sometimes you just need a Damn Beer’

Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the second in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

After Prince William County had changed a zoning code that longer restricted breweries to industrial areas and allowed them to open in neighborhood shopping districts, Water’s End Brewery chose Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge, and the rest is history.

Owners Zach Mote, Ryan Sharkey, and Josh Fournelle are dedicated owners; you can always find them behind the bar serving customers. As of now, the brewery doesn’t have any other employees, but Ryan Sharkey, one of the three co-owners, noted that when they do start hiring employees, an owner will always remain present.

“We receive constant feedback and the raw experience of serving our customers face to face makes us focus intensely on producing the highest quality beer we can,” said Sharkey. “Our brewer has actually taken a “taproom vote” on which style of beer to brew the next day- that’s not something that would happen at most other breweries.”

Their most popular drink is “Damn Beer,” which they promise to always have on the menu. Sharkey describes it as an “easy-drinking golden ale that is often referred to as their ‘gateway beer.”

Sharkey notes that many customers are new to craft beer and it can be difficult to distinguish a brew that customers like. The Damn Beer gives an easy introduction for newcomers and provides a break from stronger flavors seen in stouts and other darker brews.

“Sometimes you just need a Damn Beer, and our craft beer aficionados will order it too as a break from the big flavors of some other beers,” said Sharkey.

There’s also a method behind the naming madness of each brew courtesy of their brewer, Zach Mote.
“Our Adventure Hat, strong American black ale, describes the hat Zach would like to wear while on brew days on the back deck,” said Sharkey. “You’ll find the hat proudly hanging behind the bar.”

The HopDrop, a white IPA, describes Water’s End logo; Sharkey explains that it’s a water droplet transforming to hop cone as “water ends and the beer begins.” Some names will also have references to the community.

Make sure to also keep an eye out for their Beer Club, one that sports 270+ members who can enjoy larger pours, discounts, special events, and beer releases.

More: Comics, sci-fi, and beer. A one of a kind brewery in Prince William.

News
National Museum of the Marine Corps welcomes 5 millionth visitor

First on Potomac Local

From the National Museum of the Marine Corps: 

“The National Museum of the Marine Corps recently welcomed its 5 millionth visitor when Carol Ellison of Stafford, Va. crossed the threshold. The Museum, considered one of the top museums in the state, hosts an average of 1,500 visitors a day.

Ellison’s visit was on a relatively slow day when only five large tour groups visited but it was a great day for her. She and her husband, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant, were given a gift certificate to the Museum Store, a brick in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and a behind- the-scenes tour of the Museum’s Final Phase. (more…)

News
Construction set to begin on Northern Virginia veterans care center

Northern Virginia veterans will soon have a new place to recover and retire.

A new Puller Veterans Care Center will be built on a 30-acre site at Vint Hill Road and Vint Hill Parkway in Fauquier County, just across the Prince William County line.

The one and a half story veterans center will house 128 veterans and will serve as a place to care for inpatient care for veterans going through medical rehabilitation and for those who have Alzheimer’s.

The duration of stays for veterans at the facility and those who are admitted will be based on the medical needs of the patient. Veterans needing memory care could conceivably spend the rest of their lives at the center.

The veterans care center is named after the Puller family which includes Marine Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller who fought in World War II, his son and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lt. Lewis Burwell Puller Jr., who served in Vietnam, and the recently retired former Virginia State Senator Toddy Puller, the ex-wife of Puller, Jr.

Construction on the center is expected to begin late this year, and an opening date for the facility is slated for late 2019. (more…)



Comics, sci-fi, and beer. A one of a kind brewery in Prince William.

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Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the first in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Born over brunch in 2013, Heroic Aleworks finally set up shop in Woodbridge in January. But, make no mistake, this isn’t your ordinary brewery.

The theme of the brewery infuses specific passions of the owners: comics, sci-fi, and beer. The brewery initially drifted toward a local Virginian theme, but before a research trip to the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, Colo., the owners decided on the comic based brewery.

Visitors who come out can enjoy a good drink, a good comic, and experience the ambiance of a seemingly untapped market. The website features comics since each beer has an associated character developed in conjunction with the brew recipe. The artwork is also developed by local and internationally known comic artists.

Besides the comic theme, the brewery also takes pride in their taproom, which is described “an amazing place to hang out and play one of our many board games, our free classic arcade, and get together with friends for a role playing game such as “D&D” or any other activity.”

Keep an eye out for the Minde Trappe Belgian Style Dubbel, their most ordered brew. “With its slight sweetness, higher ABV, and amazing flavor profile provided in part by our house-made candy sugar, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.”

Heroic Aleworks has also incorporated a series of fun activities coming soon. Geeks Who Drink Trivia on Wednesday nights, and it joins other themed nights and new beer releases. Don’t forget to check out their new Mug Club will be capped at 100 members.



RASco brews up better beverage quality for Prince William County breweries, restaurants

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As the craft beer industry rapidly expands and builds with it a following of beer connoisseurs in their quest for the ultimate sensory experiences through flavor, there is one key technology in Prince William County that can make all the difference for better-tasting craft beer. 

For the past two years, ROMEM Aqua Systems Company, RASco, Inc. has been focused on this technology –  research and development of their TruBru water system.  Yes, that’s right water.  Engineering a cleaner, better-tasting craft beer in Prince William County starts with water. 

TruBru is an advanced filtration system that uses automated technologies to deliver consistent water chemistry, which is vital to overall beverage quality. RASco miniaturized their existing technology for use in breweries by developing a modular, scalable, mobile water purification system that could fit inside a brewery’s common tight spacing.

“If you don’t start out with a quality first ingredient, it’s hard to produce a quality end product. In breweries, that first ingredient is water.  This is our most exciting product, and it’s applicable not only to breweries but to restaurants as well. We explain to people how the different chemical relationships of our water can help them produce their foods. That quality water gives a better taste. This is not your typical processed water, bottled water or tap water,” said Jim Judkins, RASco Vice President of Operations. 

RASco was built on water

In 1977 after 20-plus years in the U.S. Army, Dr. Vincent Ciccone launched V.J. Ciccone & Associates in Woodbridge, VA. Focused predominantly on civil and environmental engineering services, the company expanded over time to include mechanical, electrical, plumbing and even architectural engineering. After a period of growth in the 70’s and early 80’s, V.J. Ciccone & Associates was acquired in the mid-80’s by a large international engineering firm. 

In 1991, Dr. Ciccone opted to re-form the company as RASco, Inc. to implement patented water purification systems. Housed in a ten thousand square foot facility off Route 1 in Woodbridge, RASco is in the optimal location due to its proximity to Quantico and Fort Belvoir. RASco’s clients include various state and federal government agencies, as well as private sector and commercial businesses. (more…)



Open House: 12931 Brigstock Court, Bristow, Va.

Open House: 12931 Brigstock Ct, Bristow VA 20136

12931 Brigstock Ct, Bristow VA 20136

Neighborhood: Bridlewood Manor

Listing Price: $515,000

Open House: Sunday, May 7, 2017, 1-4pm

New Listing!! Classic colonial on cul-de-sac lot. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths with formal living room, dining room and study. Elegant 2 story foyer and family room. Remodeled granite kitchen with stainless appliances, large island, gas cooking and beautiful tile backsplash. Walk-out basement with rec room, den, and full bath. Awesome backyard with huge brick paver patio and extensive landscaping, great for entertaining.

Extra features include recessed lighting, upgraded light fixtures, crown molding, chair rail, boxed and bay windows,  hardwood floors, wood laminate floors in upper-level bedrooms.

This home has been well cared for!!! Min to VRE and Patriot High School.

Contact f at 703-282-4800 or

Contact C.C. Bartholomew at 703-282-4800 or email cc@ccbartholomew.com.

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Escape your Cinco de Mayo celebration tonight with SoberRide

From a press release: 

Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly a third
(31%) of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers*, free Lyft rides will be offered to deter impaired driving throughout the Washington-metropolitan area on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th).
(more…)

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