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It’s time to start summer reading, exploring at your Prince William Public Library

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Don’t miss free special events all summer, win prizes! 

Come to your nearest Prince William Public Library and begin your Summer Reading exploration. The adventure kicks off for all ages on June 20 and runs for nine weeks through August 20. Each week has a different theme to inspire your trip around the world. Moreover, starting June 1, kids and teens can register at any library branch or by visiting www.pwcgov.org/summerreading.

Kids Explore Summer Reading Program

Come to any library beginning June 20 to pick up your Passport for kids (infants through students entering 5th grade). Then come in once a week to tell us how you achieved your reading goal and we’ll stamp your Passport.

After five stamps, kids receive a brand-new book to keep! Each stamp will also enter kids into a grand prize drawing of an Asus Chromebook Flip, so be sure to come in for all nine weeks of summer reading.

Teens Explore Summer Reading Program

Once again, starting June 20, teens (entering 6th through 12th grades) will receive a Passcard and come in once a week to tell us how you achieved your reading goal to get a stamp. Each stamp is an entry into two grand-prize drawings per branch, including a Kindle Fire and amazing gift prizes. You can also enter your book reviews on our Summer Reading website for additional drawing entries.

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Adults Explore Summer Reading Program

And why should kids and teens have all the fun? This year we’re introducing Summer Reading for adults. Pick up a Ticket Sheet at any branch beginning June 20, then submit a ticket to your local library weekly for a chance to win a Target gift card!

Don’t miss out on spectacular, free special events all summer—magic shows, beatboxing, storytelling, music, arts and crafts, puppets, and more for all ages. Pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any library or visit our online calendar of events at www.pwcgov.org/library/events.

Make sure to get involved with us this summer and check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Tag us in your photos with #PWPLSsummer and we might repost!

Thank you to our sponsors: Bookworm Central, Friends of the Library, Prince William Library Foundation, Belvoir Federal Credit Union, Giant Foods, Micron, Apple Federal Credit Union

News
Updated: Plane crashes near I-95 in Stafford, pilot lives

staffordplanecrash3

Updated from Virginia State Police: 

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police Trooper J.P. Kletzke was called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

A single-seat, experimental aircraft was conducting a high-speed taxi on the runway of the Stafford Regional Airport, when the aircraft unintentionally lifted off the runway. The aircraft cleared the Centreport Parkway before crash-landing into an embankment alongside the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 137 mile marker.

The pilot, Roberta A. Boucher, 62, of Fredericksburg, Va., survived the crash and was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The FAA is responding to the scene. The NTSB was also notified. The crash investigation by state police remains ongoing at this time.

Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department

Original post: 

A small plane crashed tonight in Stafford County, near Interstate 95.

Here is the la test from Virginia State Police:

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police were called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

The small aircraft crash-landed against an embankment near the southbound lanes of I-95 at the 137 mile marker. The pilot survived the crash and has been transported to a nearby hospital.

The southbound lanes of I-95 were re-opened by 6:02 p.m.

 

News
Prince William School Board to vote on 13th high school design — again

13th hybrid design

The Prince William County School Board will again vote on what model it will use for the 13th high school.

The $125 million school is slated to be built in the western portion of the county, to open in 2021, and relieve overcrowding at Battlefield, Patriot, and Stonewall Jackson High School. School officials haven’t’ said where the school will be built.

Unlike other schools built on land proffered by developers, there is no such proffered land this time around. A school site proffered by the developers of the now dead Stonehaven development off Linton Hall Road is no longer on the table. Last fall, school board officials ur 

Last year, Prince William County officials offered to use a 69-acre site slated for Rollins Ford Park off Vint Hill Road to be used instead as a school site. School officials have not said if this plan is still being discussed. Unlike last year, an urgency from school administration staff to select a floor plan to use to make sure the school would open on time is no longer there following the Stonehaven site being taken off the table and the school divsiion being allotted more time to acquire land for the new school, said said Coles District School Board member Willie Deutsch.

The school division needs 80 acres to build its high school. If it must buy more land at Rollins Ford or a new site altogether, there are fears the price tag could rise to $140 million, according to Occoquan District School Board member Lilly Jessie.

Colgan High School opening this fall cost $110 million, to include the cost of the county’s first aquatics facility located inside a school, and is the second-most expensive high school ever to be built in the state.

The Prince William County School Board last fall voted to save money use a 20-year-old floor plan modeled after Battlefield High School instead of a newer floor plan used at Patriot High School. However, following an election in November, a majority of new members now sit on the Board and will vote on whether or not to use a hybrid model mash-up of the Patriot and Battlefield models.

“Things are always examined after an election on any legislative body, so there is no shocker there are new votes for this on the Board,” said Deutsch, who brought the school floor plan discussion back to the School Board.

The hybrid model, called the PRICE (Patriot Redesign Increasing Capacity Effectively), is the brainchild of Bresntsville School Board member Gill Trenum who argued last fall for the design. The PRICE model will cost $9.5 million than the Battlefield model, but will have 500 more seats.

“These seats were talking about are the cheapest 500 seats we can build in this County,’ said Potomac District School Board member Justin Wilk.

The school division plans to renovate at Antietam, Springwoods, and Lake Ridge elementary schools in the Occoquan District for about $11 million each, netting a total of 312 new seats in each school. Planned renovations at Rippon Middle School and Belmont and Henderson elementary schools will cost between $7 and $ 9 million per school and net a total of 168, 240, and 240 new seats, respectively.

School officials argue for a larger 13th high school as the school is expected to be full to student capacity when it opens. If the 13th high school and 14th high school (slated to be built on east side of the county) both open with 2,000 seats, the school division will still be short some 2,000 high school seats by the year 2025, said Deutsch.

One change from the PRICE model dicussed last year by Trenum vs. the one under discussion today — the school auditorium. Under the new plan, the new school would be built with a larger audiutorum containing 1,200 seats as opposed to the 800 seats in last fall’s proposal.

Talented workforce helps IFAS expand in Prince William

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Never let a door close behind you. Never be afraid to call on an old co-worker or boss. And never underestimate the power of a relationship.

“If a person is not the right person you’re looking for, that person might just be the one to help you make the connection to the right person,” said Tabatha Turman, president and CEO of Integrated Finance & Accounting Solutions, LLC (IFAS) in Prince William County.

More than just sound networking advice, that is how Turman grew a one-woman consulting business that began in her home into a firm of more than 80 employees, serving as the Prime Contractor for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in project management, program development, budget execution and cost analysis.

As a subcontractor, today IFAS provides financial improvement and audit readiness assistance services for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and IFAS serves as Prime Contractor to the Financial Management Division (FMD) Accounting Branch.

IFAS is located in Class-A office space along Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.
IFAS provides financial improvement and audit readiness assistance services for the Defense Logistics Agency.
Tabatha Turman grew a one-woman consulting business that began in her home into a firm of more than 80 employees.

As Turman transitioned out of active duty service in the Army nine years ago, she relied on relationships she had built there. Now, as her company prepares for its 10-year anniversary, the Army remains its oldest client.

“We get to know our clients on a personal and professional level,” said Turman. “When we have someone assigned to a customer, we get to know their families, and who they are…it’s not only about business.”

Turman’s first office was a small space at Tacketts Mill in Lake Ridge, something the Federal Government told her she needed if she wanted to obtain the necessary security clearances to win contracting work. Today she’s located in Class-A office space along Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

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The company recently expanded its offices to include more conference room space for client meetings and team-building sessions, and more workspaces for project managers. Turman kept her business in Prince William despite other business owners who told her she wouldn’t be able to find a quality workforce there.

“I have very talented people who have been with me for eight of the nine years I’ve been in business. They drive from Bristow, Gainesville, from other parts of the surrounding area,” said Turman. “Their job is part of their quality of life. My employees enjoy the fact that they can go to work for a firm making the same, or more money and not have to sit three or four hours in commuter traffic every day.”

Last year, IFAS received an award from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Chief Information Officer for their support in financial and administrative areas. In 2014, Turman was selected as a Brava! winner for SmartCEO’s Brava! Awards program. The Brava! Awards celebrated the distinguished achievements of 32 of Greater Washington’s top women business leaders. The class collectively generated more than $254.6 million in annual revenue and employed over 1,111 individuals.

But Turman’s business success was not without challenges. Like many small businesses, Turman faced problems accessing the capital necessary to grow. They resolved their financial woes by developing relationships with bankers who understood the industry. “I heard your three biggest friends in business are your banker, accountant and attorney,” Turman said. Bankers are willing to work with IFAS because “They’ve been with me on the ride,” Turman said.

Turman in the early days remained focused on her vision to grow her company and then relied on her network of relationships to make it happen. She recounted that someone once told her, “Slow down to go fast…align your team around a common purpose. Create the vision so everyone moves in the right direction no matter what their role is in the organization.”

In addition to the power of relationships, Turman attributes some of her success to staying focused and time management skills. She has fine-tuned “trying to master a healthy balance between professional, personal and family life.”

IFAS continues to support contracts in areas outside the Washington, D.C. region, to include Colorado, San Diego, and Tampa, Fla. She aims to grow her company by winning work in more areas in the U.S.

For more information on IFAS-LLC, visit www.ifas-llc.com.

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

News
Updated: Najee Mason, 24, shot and killed in Woodbridge

Update June 8, 2016

From Prince William police:

Murder Investigation *ARREST – On June 5, detectives from the Homicide Unit identified the suspect involved in the murder of Najee Mason which occurred in the 14900 block of Potomac Heights Pl in Woodbridge on June 4. The preliminary investigation into the incident alleged that the suspect, identified as Abdisalam Ali ROBLE, fatally shot the victim following an altercation between the two parties. The suspect and the victim were roommates and known to one another. On June 7, members of the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force located the suspect in Syracuse, New York where he was arrested without incident. The suspect currently remains jailed in New York pending extradition back to Virginia. The investigation continues.

Arrested on June 7: [No photo available]

Abdisalam Ali ROBLE, 25, of the 14900 block of Potomac Heights Pl in Woodbridge

Charged with murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony

Court Date: Pending | Status: Awaiting Extradition

 

Identified:

The victim was identified as Najee Alexander MASON, 24, of Woodbridge

Original post

A 24-year-old man was shot and killed Saturday in Woodbridge.

Police were called to the 14900 block of Potomac Heights Place at the Elan Potomac Heights Luxury Apartments at 9:18 p.m. The victim was found suffering a gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, stated Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Police identified the victim as Najee Alexander Mason, of Woodbridge.

An investigation into the shooting is underway.

Mason’s death is the 11th homicide this year in Prince William County.

News
Call to Action: Volunteers for 12th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival

 Good morning  – As we approach Flag Day on June 14th the local district Boy Scouts invite you to retire your worn or tattered flag properly with honor at their two Flag Collection Centers.

The scouts man these two centers the second and fourth Saturdays from 9am-1pm. The collection centers are located at both the PWC Landfill and Balls Ford Compost Facility. Huge Cheers to our scouts!

· The Manassas City Police Association invites you to their Free VIN Etching event on Saturday June 11th, 10am-2pm at the Manassas Train Depot. This is a simple process of having the VIN engraved onto the window using a chemical solution which is very effective in deterring auto theft. They will also have Thin Line BBQ for sale as well.

· The Virginia Cooperative Extension is having their next Homeownership Seminar on Saturday June 11th, 9am-4pm. Come learn about all the aspects of buying a home. To register, please call (703) 792-6287 or email them at: smartmoney@pwcgov.org.

· Catholic Charities- Hogar Immigrant Services is urgently seeking teachers for the English classes in Manassas. These classes are held Monday-Thursday which gives you lots of flexibility to what class works for your schedule. Training provided and you do not need to know any other language. Please call Cynthia at (571) 208-1572 ext. 103 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas needs volunteers for the 12th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival on June 19th. This super fun event offers all kinds of volunteer positions throughout the day including- early shift of 11am-3pm or the second shift of 3pm-7pm. Locations throughout the event at the VIP Tent, will call/wine pick-up, hand out glasses or ID check. It promises to be a warm sunny day. Please email Erin at erin@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

· PW Soil & Water Conservation District is having their next volunteer certification training for stream monitors in northern Virginia. It’s June 11th at Manassas National Battlefield Park Hdqtr. From 9am-3:30pm. This training is free but you must register with Veronica at: (571) 379-7514. Very cool!

· SERVE needs volunteer groups to provide weekday activities with the shelter kids when school is out. Come play games, do crafts, read stories and other fun stuff. Teens must be at least 16yrs old. Sounds like super fun way to offer safe fun to neat kids. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for more info.

· The Community Health Network at the Manassas Park Community Center needs volunteers on Tuesdays from 8am-12noon. Duties include assisting patients with medical forms, assisting with tracking information on electronic software and other admin jobs. Great training is provided by the VA Dept. of Health. Please call Valda at (703) 792-6755 to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity has started the new home makeover on Central Park Drive. Lots of volunteer opportunities on this home. Please visit the volunteer calendar for all the specifics at: habitatpwc.org for all the specifics. They especially need lunch donors to bring lunch to the other volunteers. It’s easy- just make some sandwiches, a bag of chips, few cookies and a drink to make their day.

· Helping Neighbors Outreach Center in Dale City needs volunteers to help in the office on Thursdays from 9:30-3:30. Duties include answering the phone, mailings and other admin duties. Please call Pastor Edmonds at (703) 964-7725 for more info.

· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program –RSVP has a new email address- it is: rsvp@volunteerprincewilliam.org

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Mary can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

News
Average Virginia commute hasn’t changed in 8 years, study finds

OmniRide buses that are used to take commuters from Prince William County to Washington. D.C. will continue to operate.

The transit system’s $56 million budget keeps commuter, and local buses running for the next year and includes a mixture of ride fare increases, service cuts, and administrative savings to include lower-than-budgeted diesel fuel costs. Overall, it’s good news for an agency that earlier this year faced a $9 million budget shortfall and discussed cost-saving measures like converting its commuter bus fleet to feeder buses only serving Metro stations.

Prince William County — the largest funder of OmniRide, because it has the most residents who use the service —  kicked in an additional $6 million in one-time funds to offset the budget shortfall this year. Next year, and for every year until 2021, the transit system will continue to face a $2.2 million budget shortfall, said Eric Marx, the interim director for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

It will be up to local politicians a year from now make up that funding, or else the transit agency must look for more cuts or “cost savings.”

Overall, Virginian’s have become more “multi-modal” since 2007, according to a statewide travel study conducted by the Southeastern Institute of Reasearch and heralded by Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The study found a six-percent decrease in single-driving commuting, meaning those to travel to work along in a car. Statewide, commuters still travel the same distances (about 37 miles one way) and spend the same amount of time (about 30 minutes one way) in 2015 as they did in 2007.

Fredericksburg commuters have the longest commute in the state traveling on average 60 miles round trip, spending an average of 90 minutes roundtrip commuting, according to the study.

The statewide numbers are important to OmniRide. However, the agency will soon begin its two-phase study that will examine how other localities across the nation fund their transit systems. The buses in our region are funded by state, and federal subsidies, and from a motor fuels tax fund reserve that built up when gas prices topped $4 a gallon six years ago but now is near depletion.

“Are they using gas taxes, or are they using meals taxes or some other form of funding? These are the things we will look at,” said Marx.

A second phase of the investigation will examine alternative transportation modes. Slugging, and the rise of ride share services like Uber and Lyft, and how they impact or offset transit services, has gotten the attention of transportation officials.

News
Body of Manassas man pulled from Rappahannock River

The body of a 21-year-old Manassas man was pulled from the Rappahannock River. 

More in a police press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office reports that Emilio Francisco Velasco Cedillo, age 21, of Manassas, Virginia drowned this evening in the Rappahannock River.

The incident was initially reported at approximately 6:15 p.m., via a direct radio communication from a Parks and Recreation staff member at Historic Port of Falmouth to the Stafford County Emergency Communications Center.

Stafford’s Sheriff’s Office and Stafford Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

Stafford Fire & Rescue reports that rescue swimmers were deployed as early as 6:20 p.m. to begin the search where the man was last seen as he was crossing the river, approximately 15 feet from shore.

Fredericksburg Fire units were requested to respond to Old Mill Park and they deployed a diver who was able to locate the submerged victim.

The body was retrieved from the river and immediately transported to Mary Washington Hospital where both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support patient care was given. Valasco Cedillo was pronounced dead at the Hospital.

It appears that the Manassas man had been with several friends while in the river. He initially entered the river at the Historic Port of Falmouth. Witnesses state that he had successfully crossed the river to Old Mill Park. Later he attempted to cross back at another point in the river when he reportedly became submerged.

News
Woman trapped in elevator, rescued at Belmont Bay

A woman was rescued from an elevator that stopped working.

Fire and rescue crews were called to a building at 820 Belmont Bay Drive at 9:14 a.m. There they found the woman trapped inside an elevator inside the six-story condominium complex.

“FD [Fire Department] secured the evaluator equipment and then accessed the 3rd-floor elevator door to release the trapped victim out of the elevator. The elevator was not aligning correctly with the door forcing the FD to assist in opening the door. A brief power outage may have contributed to the incident but this cannot be verified.”
— Matt Smolksy, Prince Willaim County Department of Fire and Rescue spokesman

An Otis Elevator technician arrived on the on scene before the fire department left and was checked for issues, added Smolsky.

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