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News

Wintry mix possible this afternoon, tonight

A winter weather advisory is not in effect for Prince William County, as well Fairfax County . There could be some rain mixing with some sleet for commuters on their drive home from work.

Here’s what the National Weather Service says about our chances for wintry precipitation this afternoon and into tonight:

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW...SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION LESS THAN ONE INCH.
  ICE ACCUMULATION FROM A TRACE TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH.

* TIMING...THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. THE BEST CHANCE FOR
  FREEZING RAIN WILL BE BETWEEN 2 PM AND 5 PM.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 30S.

* WINDS...SOUTH 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 15 MPH.

* IMPACTS...UNTREATED ROADS AND SIDEWALKS WILL BECOME ICY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

As mentioned in the weather statement, temperatures will determine how much of any wintry mix we see tonight. 

How Prince William schools stack up, on average, for teacher pay

School teachers lined the sidewalks at Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge Friday to protest a plan to freeze teacher pay rates for the next three years.

Neighboring counties pay entry-level teachers more

As the Prince William County School Board gears up for another budget cycle, it is timelier than ever to look closely at an important topic in local education – the current state of teacher pay in the county.

The average annual teacher salary, according to Jim Livingston, the Prince William Education Association president is $60,408 – a figure he pulled from a 2014 Washington Area Boards of Education  (WABE) report.  

Phil Kavits, spokesman for Prince William County Public Schools, stated that the average annual teacher salary in the county is a bit higher than Livingston’s figure at $61,525.

These averages are worth noting when considering a quick drive to the surrounding area school divisions can greatly alter the average salary that a public school teacher receives.

“The only school division that is lower in average teacher salary in the area is Manassas Park. The other [counties] are at least $2,800 to $3,000 more than us. For example, if you cross over to Fairfax County…that’s a $7,000 pay increase based on the average,” said Livingston of the county’s low pay-average.

Kavits stated teachers in nearby Fairfax County average $66,782 per year, and a Loudoun County teacher receives an average of $63,013 per year.

“The reasons that the salaries remain low, particularly at the entry level – that’s where we have the greatest difficulty – is quite frankly that our neighbor [counties] around us have simply determined that it’s in their best interest to try and attract the very best [teachers] that they can. And frankly, we’ve simply just not kept pace…” Livingston said.

The county’s School Board is facing a $20 million budget deficit. On Feb 4, it will meet to discuss some possible ways to fix the problem by proposing new cuts to the division’s billion-dollar budget. The cuts come as county leaders propose a lower tax increase of 1.3% than the original planned 4% hike in property taxes. 

Things like transportation for specialty programs at middle and high schools, and full day kindergarten in non-title one schools are all things being eyed by the School Board as items to slash from the budget.

Teacher pay raises, however, are not, according to School Board Chairman, At-large Milton C. Johns.

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series that examines public school teacher pay in Prince William County.

Updated: Stafford authorities continue search for missing teen

Update

The teenager who went missing last night in Stafford County is identified as James “Daniel” Martson. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Stafford deputies responded to the area of Belle Plains Road at approximately 5:17 pm last night, January 28, 2014 for a report of a 17 year old male who had left his residence and is considered missing and endangered.  The 17 year old, white male is identified as James “Daniel” Marston who was last seen near Vance Way, located in Potomac Creek Estates in the 700 block of Belle Plains Road, which is the White Oak area of southern Stafford County.  James “Daniel” Marston is described as 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 155 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.  He is wearing dark blue jeans, a black hoodie and a plaid jacket.

Numerous units of the Sheriff’s Office, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and Sheriff’s Office K-9 along with a Maryland State Police helicopter searched for James Marston last night.  The search is continuing today.

If anyone has any information as to the location of James “Daniel” Marston they are asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400.

Original post

A 17-year-old boy is missing tonight in Stafford County.

Authorities released little information on the missing endangered teenager. They said the boy went missing from the area of Belle Plains Road and The Vane Way south Stafford.

A sheriff’s spokesman did not release the name of the boy, age, or could tell us the circumstances of the teenager’s disappearance. Keep Reading…

Prince William dog licenses due Feb. 1

Get your dog license in Prince William County yet? If not, Fido needs a tag by Feb. 1. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Dog owners are reminded that in Prince William County all dogs age 4 months and older must be licensed by Feb. 1, 2015.

Any dog not having a 2015 license tag by February 1 will be in violation of County Code and owners will be subject to a fine. The license fee is $10 per dog.

If you received a dog license renewal form in the mail, please follow the instructions on the form in order to obtain a license. Forms must be returned by January 15th to ensure that you receive the new license by February 1.

If you did not receive a renewal form, owners must present a valid rabies certificate for each dog to obtain the license. Licenses may be purchased in person at any of the following locations:

 – James J. McCoart Administration Building –1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge

 – Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building – 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge

 – Sudley North Government Building – 7987Ashton Avenue in Manassas

 – Animal Control Bureau – 14807 Bristow Road in Manassas

If you prefer to apply by mail, an application form is available on the County’s web site at www.pwcgov.org/tax.

For questions about dog licensing, call 703-792-6710 or email Taxpayer_Services@pwcgov.org. For all other animal control questions, call the Animal Shelter at703-792-6465; after 5 p.m., call 703-792-6500.

Virginia authorities search for missing teen who may be headed to Florida

Virginia State Police say a 16-year-old girl is missing and that she appears to be in danger of sexual abuse.

Here’s more in a police press release: 

THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AND THE VIRGINIA MISSING CHILDREN
CLEARINGHOUSE HAS ISSUED AN ENDANGERED MISSING CHILD MEDIA ALERT ON
BEHALF OF THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT ON 1/28/15 AT 1145 HOURS

THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING FOR AYSIA MONIQUE LEWIS,
16 YEARS OF AGE, HEIGHT 5’3, WEIGHT 155 LBS, WITH BROWN EYES AND BROWN
HAIR, WEARING: BLUE JEANS, BLACK FLEECE JACKET AND TAN MOCCASISNS.

THE CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE IN DANGER AND WAS LAST SEEN AT
CHRISTIANSBURG HIGH SCHOOL.  THE CHILD MAY BE IN THE COMPANY OF DONALD
QUESENBERRY, WHO IS CONSIDERED A SUSPECT.  THE SUBJECT IS DESCRIBED AS, 33 YEARS OF AGE, HEIGHT 5’7
FEET, WEIGHT 195 LBS, WITH BROWN EYES AND BROWN HAIR.

THE SUBJECT MAY BE DRIVING 2002 NISSAN ALTIMA 4D WITH ILLINOIS
REGISTRATION V975074.  POSSIBLY HEADING SOUTH TO FLORIDA

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE IN DANGER OF SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION

PLEASE CONTACT THE CHRISTIANSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 540-382-3131 OR THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AT 1-800-822-4453.  (1-800-VACHILD)

Suspicious fire investigated at Triangle

083111 Dumfries fire truck

Fire officials in Prince William County say they arrested a man in connection to an apparent arson in the Triangle area. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On January 26, 2015, at 4:46 AM, the Prince William County Public Safety Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a fire in a two story home in the 4400 block of Forestburg Lane in Triangle, Virginia. Fire and Rescue units responded and arrived within six minutes of dispatch to find fire on the second floor extending into the attic. Once ensuring the residents were out of the house, Firefighters from Dumfries-Triangle VFD, Prince William County DFR, Occoquan VFD, Dale City VFD, and Quantico MCB, were able to bring the fire under control within 33 minutes of being on scene.

The fire was quickly identified as suspicious in nature and the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office was brought in to investigate.

As the investigation began, Prince William County Police took a person into custody in the area for an initially unrelated call. Through the combined investigative work of the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Prince William County Police, an arrest was made for the intentional setting of a fire in an occupied dwelling, by an occupant of the home. Additional charges are pending and more information on the arrest will be forthcoming.

The house was destroyed by the fire and the building was posted unsafe by the Prince William County Building Official. The Prince William Chapter of the American Red Cross was brought in to assist 6 adults that were the other residents of the home.

The suspect’s name was not released by fire investigators. 

Woodbridge Army reservist recovering after attack by Norfolk police dog

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London Colvin, a 21-year old private in the Army Reserve is recovering from injuries she suffered when attacked by a Norfolk Police dog.

Colvin was at the scene of a fight 2:15 a.m. Sunday, at an off-campus party near Norfolk State University, in Norfolk, where Colvin is a second-semester junior and Sociology major.

Colvin graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in 2011. She is currently a private with the 3rd Brigade, 318th Regiment and 78th Training Division, based at Fort Belvoir.

“She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving,” said Whitney Dunn, the victim’s cousin. “She was definitely being loud – she did admit to that.”

She told her family that one of the police officers approached her as she was leaving the party to question her, said Whitney Dunn. She also told her family that she had nothing to do with the situation, so she didn’t want to talk to the officer, Whitney Dunn added.

“Her and her friends continued to walk, and she said that she definitely continued to be loud, however they were walking away. The two other police officers approached her – asked her to stop. Whatever the case may be, they had her down on the ground when the dog came. Two of the police officers restrained her on the ground, and then they allowed the dogs to attack her,” Whitney Dunn said.

London Colvin did not speak with Potomac Local about what happened that night, but did tell us she is seeking legal counsel and has been advised not to make any statements about the incident.

According to the Norfolk police spokesman Daniel Hudson, having a police canine at the scene is standard protocol for incidents with large groups of people.

“We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street. And once we have that multitude of people, we always have our canine officers respond out there with us for crowd management,” Hudson said.

Hudson went on to state that the reason the police canine was allowed to approach Colvin was to keep the crowd under control and protect other witnesses at the incident. Keep Reading…

I-66 meetings canceled, rescheduled due to snow

Stafford resident Thomas Jackson (left) looks over a VDOT project that will add 1,000 commuter parking spaces in the Staffordboro Commuter Lot off Va. 610 in North Stafford. Project representatives like Oliver Boehm (right) were available to answer any questions residents had during the design public meeting held at Moncure Elementary School on Wednesday night. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Snow prompted the cancelation of two public meetings designed to provide residents more information on what Virginia officials plan to do to Interstate 66.

A meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville is canceled. It comes after a meeting scheduled last night in Vienna was also canceled due to snow.

Meetings are still scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday that residents may attend.

Here’s a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Weather permitting, there are still two opportunities to attend an I-66 Public Information Meeting this week.  Meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at Battlefield High School in Haymarket from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. (with a snow date on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, if necessary)
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

If you cannot attend in person, the meeting on Thursday, January 29, 2015, will be shown live at Transform66.org between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

There will also be two meetings next week due to yesterday’s and tonight’s cancellations.  The make-up dates and locations are:

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Oakton High School in Vienna from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Please visit the project website at Transform66.org for more information.

Closings and delays Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Local schools

 

Prince William County Public Schools — Closed, code red.

 

Stafford County Public Schools — Teacher workday, no school for students. Two-hour delayed opening for faculty / staff.

 

 

Manassas City Public Schools - Open 10 a.m. 

 

 

Manassas Park City Schools — Open two hours late.

 

 

Colleges and universities 

 

Northern Virginia Community College —  Open 10 a.m.

 

George Mason University — Open 10:30 a.m. 

 

Stratford University — Woodbridge campus classes begin 11 a.m.  

Organizations

 

Prince William County / Manassas Boys and Girls Club – Before and after care open 8 a.m.  

Government 

 

Stafford County Government — Open two hours late

 

 

Want to get your closing or delay listed? Tweet us @PotomacLocal or email us.

1.3 million pages later, Michele McQuigg seeks 2nd term as Prince William Clerk of the Circuit Court

Michele McQuigg calls herself an activist turned politician.

In addition to spending more than 20 years in public life serving the residents of Prince William County, she’s also belonged to just about any civic or community organization that had an open membership policy.

McQuigg is running for another eight-year term as Prince William County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. It’s a lesser-known position, one that doesn’t usually attract headlines – unless your Michelle McQuigg.

Last year, McQuigg placed her name on a lawsuit against Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who wanted to bypass a state referendum on gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. One of McQuigg’s jobs as Clerk of the Circuit Court is to issue those licenses.

McQuigg doesn’t support gay marriage, but she said the overriding reason for her signing her name to that lawsuit was because she felt the state, and federal constitutions were being usurped by the Attorney General. Today, gay couples may file for marriage licenses in Virginia. Keep Reading…

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