Your Local News Fix in Prince William, Manassas, and Stafford, Va.




Jose Veliz, a mechanic from Triangle, wins $150,000


From the Virginia Lottery: 

Jose Veliz was sitting at home with some friends and scratching a Virginia Lottery ticket when he saw something on the ticket he’d never seen before. Suspecting it was a big winner, the Triangle man put the ticket aside.

His Casino Thrills ticket had won the top prize of $150,000.

Mr. Veliz, who works as a mechanic, bought the ticket at the 7-Eleven at 13304 Occoquan Road in Woodbridge.

He’s the third and final player to claim the top prize in Casino Thrills (game #1623), which means the game is closed. It is the Virginia Lottery’s policy to close games once the last top prize is claimed.

The odds of winning the top prize in Casino Thrills were 1 in 1,060,800. The odds of winning any prize were 1 in 4.28.

More on why Stafford County Public Schools closed today

We emailed Stafford County Public Schools spokeswoman Sherrie Johnson some questions this morning asking her about the decision to close schools today. 

Here’s our Q and A: 

PL: Can you tell us why schools were closed today? Flooding at school sites? Traffic? 

Johnson: High Water, impassable roads, and roads closed. 

Route 1 was closed at the Potomac Fire Station and was not expected to open until after rush hour. Other secondary roads were closed by downed trees.

PL: Were any students able to safely make it to class today? If so, any idea of how many?

Johnson: No 

PL: Were school buses stuck on area roadways? If so, how many? 

Johnson: No

PL: How does the school division weigh the safety of its students / employees sitting in traffic on flooded roads? How was this weighted into today’s decision to close? 

Johnson: The safety of our students and staff is our top priority for Stafford County Public Schools. 

Johnson also included this situation report in her email to us: 


Stafford County Emergency Management: 2016-09-29 Severe Weather (Rain) Situation Report:

  • Weather

o   Rain accumulations:

  • South County: approx. 3-6”
  • North County: approx. 3-6”
    up to 2-4” more rain is expected from now until Friday AM, 30 September

    Detailed Forecast

  • Today, 29 September – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 73. East wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible. Tonight Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm, then showers after 2am. Low around 66. East wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
  • Friday, 30 September – Showers. High near 72. Northeast wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Friday Night Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Northeast wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
  • Saturday, 1 October – A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Saturday Night A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Sunday, 2 October – Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Sunday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 61.
  • Roads

o   Road conditions:

  • Interstate: Clear with some water pockets – Traffic is moving VERY SLOW!
  • Primaries: Moderate
  • Secondaries: Severe (Limited)

o   Traffic lights out at 610 and Rte 1 (0740 SSO Traffic Units enroute)

o   Rte 1, all lanes, near Potomac Hills closed at 0501 for 3 hrs due to flooding (Stafford Alert)

o   Rte 1, 1 lane open at 0810 , near Potomac Hills (EM)

o   River Road closed (SSO FB)

o   Harrell Road Closed (SSO FB)

  • Power Outages (0900)

o   Dominion- 683 customers are out of power (down from a high of 4885) (Aquia Harbour Area is majority. Widewater Beach is also affected) Dominion Crews are on site in Aquia

o   REC-0

o   Novec-0

o   Northern Neck – 0

  • Ops Update:

o   SSO:

  • Traffic Units out in force
  • Deployed at 0200


o   Schools:

  • Stafford County Schools closed , Employees Code II, Liberal Leave in effect

Tacketts Mill opens Prince William County Walk of Fame


From Tacketts Mill: 

The Prince William County Walk of Fame is an installation of granite plaques each representing an individual who is ‘locally famous’ for his or her extraordinary contribution to the quality of life in Prince William County.  This three year project envisions 35-40 plaques permanently mounted on the grounds of Tackett’s Mill in Lake Ridge, where a paved path encircles the manicured lake behind the Fellowship House. 
Eight installments are currently in place.  A central directory for the installments is located outside Safeway at the Tackett’s Mill Shopping Center. 
The Selection Committee invites you to attend the SerenAid 2016 banquet on October 20th, 5:30pm at the Old Hickory Club House to award the current Nominees. 
The Nominees for 2016 are Senator Charles J. Colgan, David Brickley, John Jenkins, Trevor Blake, and Dr. Richard G. Tami.  The banquet is a fundraiser for the Walk of Fame and its community partners: The Clearbrook Foundation a 5019(c)(3) corporation, Tackett’s Mill Foundation, New Dominion Choraliers, and the Woodbridge Rotary Club.  
For more information email “”.  You can also download the attendance form directly by visiting  Click on the ‘Explore’ tab to find the Walk of Fame.

Tippy Wiley Matteson missing from her home near Manassas

From Prince William police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED ADULT: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing, endangered adult, Tippy Wiley MATTESON.  Family members reported to police that Ms. Matteson was last heard from [Wednesdsay, Sept. 28, 2016] around 1:00PM. It is believed that Ms. MATTESON voluntarily left her residence located in the 10500 block of Crooked Branch Ct in Manassas (20112) and may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Ms. Matteson may be driving a 2016 grey Nissan Versa with Virginia license plates: VRG-5766 and may be in the area of ManassasCity.  Anyone with information on Ms. Matteson’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.

Tippy Wiley MATTESON is described as a white female, 47 years of age, 5’07”, 140lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. It is unknown what clothing Ms. Matteson may be wearing.


Stafford closes schools after heavy rains, flooding

North Stafford High School sits on Garrisonville Road in North Stafford (Photo: Mary Davidson/


Updated 8:15 a.m. 

From Stafford County Public Schools: All Stafford County Public Schools are closed today, Thursday, September 29 due to severe weather, flooding and road closures. Employees will be on Code II. Liberal leave is in effect. Administrative Offices will open at 10 a.m. Thank you,

Sherrie Johnson

Director of Strategic Communication and Community Engagement

31 Stafford Avenue

Stafford, Va 22554

More information on weather-related delays. 

Route 1 reopened in North Stafford after early morning flooding


As overnight rain tapers off into the day, the Virginia Department of Transportation asks drivers to be aware of changing road conditions, and to prepare for a resurgence of heavy rain during the afternoon commute and continued rain through the Friday morning rush hour.

Drivers are asked to monitor the weather forecast, and:

  • Check road conditions, before traveling, at or the mobile app
  • View list of road closures by region or county
  • Follow @vadotnova and @511northernva on Twitter for updates
  • Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
  • Turn on headlights to be more visible to fellow drivers
  • Be alert to unexpected road conditions like ponding and downed trees
  • Never drive through flood waters; turn around, don’t drown
  • Report any road safety hazards at or by calling 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623)


9:30 A.M. UPDATE: Route 1 has re-opened to traffic at Acadia Street, just north of Telegraph Road, between Route 610 and Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford.



Original post

From VDOT: 

Route 1 in Stafford County is closed to northbound and southbound traffic at Acadia Street due to flooding.

Acadia Street is located between Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) and Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Route 1 is anticipated to remain closed through the morning rush hour period.

Virginia Department of Transportation crews are assisting law enforcement personnel with traffic control and posting detour signs to guide motorists around the closure.


Police: 6-year-old girl sexually assaulted by acquaintance multiple times since 2013

From Prince William police: 

Sexual Assault Investigation On September 23, detectives from the Special Victims Unit responded to investigate a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred at a residence located in Woodbridge (22191). The investigation revealed that the victim, a 6-year-old girl, was sexually assaulted by the accused, an acquaintance, on more than one occasion since 2013. The victim recently disclosed the assaults to a family member who contacted police. Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Edgard Hernesto CRUZ. On September 27, CRUZ was located and arrested without incident leaving a residence in Woodbridge by members of the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force.

Arrested on September 27:

Edgard Hernesto CRUZ, 25, of the 1700 block of Florida Ave in Woodbridge

Charged with 2 counts of forcible sodomy, 1 count of object sexual penetration, 1 count of aggravated sexual battery, 1 count of indecent liberties by a custodian

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Driver charged after woman riding killed while riding on mattress

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation *ARREST On September 27, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit obtained warrants for the driver of the 2006 Chevrolet Express Van involved in the fatal crash which occurred in the area of Bent Grass Dr and Waverly Farm Dr in Haymarket on September 23. The accused, identified as Norma Guadron CANALES, turned herself into police without incident at the Western District Station in Manassas later that afternoon.

Arrested on September 27: [No Photo Available]

Norma Guadron CANALES, 41, of 1100 Friendship Way in Culpeper

Charged with reckless driving and driving without a license

Court date: October November 15, 2016 | Bond: Released on a $5,000 unsecured bond


Fatal Crash InvestigationOn September 23 at 6:42AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Bent Grass Dr and Waverly Farm Dr in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a single vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that the victim was riding on a mattress which was placed unsecured on top of a 2006 Chevrolet Express Van. While the van was traveling northbound on Waverly Farm Dr just south of Bent Grass Dr, the mattress and the victim separated from the top of the van. The victim was later pronounced dead at the scene. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this crash. The driver of the van remained at the scene of the crash. Charges are pending for the driver of the Express Van. The investigation continues. 


The passenger was identified as Sindy Zelaya GONZALEZ, 20, of Culpeper

SAT scores up in Prince William, still short of state average

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

The newly released 2016 average of SAT scores for Prince William County Public School (PWCS) students was unchanged from last year, remaining above national averages. Over the past five years, PWCS student scores rose by a combined total of 17 points, largely matching the rise seen across Virginia, though falling short of the statewide average score.

  Reading Math Writing Combined Change Since 2011-12
PWCS 513 507 487 1507 +17
Nation 494 508 482 1484 -14
Virginia 520 517 498 1535 +18

Mulgrew noted that the number of PWCS students taking the SAT has increased by seven percent over the past five years, while statewide SAT participation dropped by six percent over the same period. “The increase in our SAT tests over the past few years is directly tied to our success in getting more students involved in rigorous AP, IB, and Cambridge courses,” he said. “Students who take courses like that are better prepared for college and for overall academic success.”

Among notable achievements in this year’s SAT results, Four schoolsBrentsville, Freedom, Potomac, and Woodbridge, increased scores in all three areas, with Freedom and Potomac, the schools most in need of improvement, showing the largest gains;

Osbourn Park increased in reading and writing; and

Combined totals at Battlefield, Osbourn Park, and Patriot all exceeded state and national averages. Brentsville, Forest Park, and Woodbridge all exceeded national averages.

At some schools, test participation decreased from last year because the released scores only go through January 2016. A new version of the SAT was introduced in March 2016. As of next

September, College Board Reports for seniors will reflect performance on the new test and launch a new trend. The new test combines Critical Reading and Writing into one score.