Changes coming to Stafford commuter lot

The Virginia Departmevdotlogo600pixelsnt of Transportation (VDOT) is proposing that new signs and a pickup area for HOV carpooling be added to the Staffordboro commuter lot in Stafford.

According to VDOT, the lot was observed and there was a survey given to users of the lot that slug using the HOV lanes that helped them to determine that changes needed to be made.

Here are the improvements proposed by VDOT:

Destination signs for the Pentagon, Crystal City, and Rosslyn lines

New, separate HOV carpooling pickup area for Rosslyn sluggers

Crosswalks spanning the lot’s central access road

View an online map of the proposed changes 

“We received more than 60 responses to our online survey about slugging and congestion near the HOV carpooling area. Many commuters requested better signage to identify HOV carpooling destinations, and suggested space for an additional HOV carpooling pickup area in the Staffordboro lot. We have proposed these changes to provide better direction in the lot, and to reduce minor congestion in the HOV carpooling pickup line,” said Sean Nelson, VDOT Fredericksburg Residency Administrator, in a release.

Stafford will dedicate reservoir to honor fallen deputy

On May 29, Stafford County alongside the Stafford sheriff’s office will hold a ceremony to dedicate the Lake Mooney Reservoir to the late Stafford Deputy Jason Mooney.

According to a release, Mooney was killed in an accident on I-95 after responding to an emergency call on duty in October 2007.

Mooney was a Colonial Forge High School graduate, a Marine, and a former Stafford firefighter, said a county release.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors made the decision to name the reservoir after Mooney in 2014.

More on the plans for the reservoir, from the county:

The reservoir, formerly called Rocky Pen Run Reservoir, was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1992 and later, permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2006. The reservoir was created by the construction of a dam that rests 2,000 feet upstream at the mouth of Rocky Pen Run which is north of the Rappahannock River. Completed in 2014, Lake Mooney holds 5.54 billion gallons of water at full elevation within a surface area of 503 acres. The dam is 118 feet in height and 1,200 feet in length.

The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., is open to the public.

The lake will be opening on Memorial Day in 2016, and will have a boat launch and sites for canoeing and fishing.

Woodbridge man charged with dealing ecstasy

On April 16, Prince William police arrested 29-year old Woodbridge man Robert Cain in relation to an investigation of ecstasy distribution.

From January through April, Cain met with an undercover detective in Woodbridge, Dumfries and Dale City to perform transactions with illegal narcotics, said Prince William police.

During the transactions, Cain sold the detective a felony quantity of ecstasy, leading to his arrest, stated Prince William police.

Cain is charged with distribution of a Schedule I or II narcotic.

Manassas Olive Oil Company opens for business

Olive Oil Tasting Galley Opens in Manassas

Manassas Olive Oil Company, located at 9406 Grant Avenue in Manassas, has opened its doors for business.

The store is an independent, family owned ‘tasting gallery’ with over 45 flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We carry freshly pressed, ultra-premium olive oils from all over the world and both white and dark aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy.

The shelves in the store are lined with stainless steel fustis (tanks), where you can sample each one. The tanks keep the oil and vinegars fresh. Bottles are filled daily and to order, and patrons are encouraged take the time to taste and enjoy, before choosing.

You will be amazed by the flavor of the ultra-premium extra virgin oils, currently coming from Spain, Portugal and California, and the delicate infused blended oils of basil, garlic, chipotle, and Tuscan herb.

You’ll find the classic flavors of fig, black cherry, raspberry and Vermont maple among the dark balsamic vinegars, as well as espresso, strawberry, and dark chocolate. White balsamic vinegars include lemon, grapefruit, peach, and coconut. We also carry gourmet specialty oils, including white truffle, sesame seed, and butternut squash seed oil.

This unique shop also offers a variety of exotic sea salts, seasonings, Himalayan salt bricks, handmade pottery, gift baskets, and original oil paintings. Please come in, meet us and have fun sampling our products. We can help assist you in finding the perfect oils and balsamic vinegars for you or for that special gift.

Hours are Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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See the new traffic pattern at I-66 in Gainesville

New Gainesville interchange   YouTube

Traffic exiting Interstate 66 west for Route 29, and drivers traveling Route 29 south woke up to a new traffic pattern this morning.

A newly opened bridge now carries drivers exiting the Interstate highway and Route 29 over a railroad. Drivers exiting Route 66 head to Route 29 south toward Warrenton and Charlottesville are urged to keep left on the new ramp and bridge.

The new bridge also carries drivers headed for Haymarket via Route 55, and drivers headed for Linton Hall Road.  Drivers headed in that direction are urged to keep right on the ramp and bridge.

The work is part of a $230 million project that puts new infrastructure in place in the busy section of Gainesville. It eliminated the need for drivers to drive over a set of train tracks that crossed Routes 29 and 55.

Virginia Chamber of Commerce economic forecast mixed

Barry DuVal, Virginia, business

The future of Virginia’s economy looks much different from its recent past.

Virginia, a state traditionally reliant on government jobs, is seeing fewer of them due to spending cutbacks and sequestration. That prompted Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry Duval to visit Manassas on May 20, where he provided business owners an outline of what to expect as the economy improves.

What’s holding the state’s economy back? Projected slow job growth and competition from other, comparable southern states, said Duval, the former Mayor of Newport News and a self-proclaimed “recovering public official.” Duval said Virginia’s entrepreneurial spirit, access to international markets through an airport like Dulles International, and an educated workforce would make the state competitive in the coming years.

“You will not find a region in the world growing and prospering without an institution of higher education,” Duval told a crowd gathered for a Prince William Chamber of Commerce event held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

He called George Mason University – the agency that operates the Hylton – key to the success of the region. He also said the partnership of the university, Prince William County, Manassas City, and the private organizations that utilize the Hylton, a shining example of what success looks like the new economy.

Pro-business policies that have taken hold in the state continue to attract small shop owners to the area, he said.

“You don’t have to go too far north of the Potomac River to find businesses in states suffering from ‘non pro-business’ policies,” said Duval.

The Federal Government can help spur growth in Virginia by creating a new energy policy, promoting free trade, and improving the national transportation infrastructure, said Duval.

Two house fires displace residents in Prince William

There were two home fires this week in Prince William.

On the evening on May 25, Prince William fire and rescue were called to a fire at a single-family home on Edmonston Drive in Manassas.

When Prince William fire and rescue arrived, they saw a fire on the rear deck of the home.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire, and no one was injured.

Prince William fire and rescue have estimated damages at $7,000.

Another fire took place in the afternoon on May 26, Prince William fire and rescue were sent to a fire at a two-story townhome on Larkin Drive in Woodbridge.

When firefighters arrived at the townhome, they found the fire at the back of the home, and were able to put it out. No one was injured.

According to Prince William fire and rescue, two adults and four children were home at the time of the fire. They were able to safely evacuate.

Prince William fire and rescue estimated the damagers at $50,000. Keep Reading…

Two Haymarket women arrested for narcotics possession

The Haymarket Police department has arrested two individuals involved with the possession of narcotics.

On May 24, a Haymarket police officer stopped a suspect – 24-year old Grace Dryden – for a traffic violation on James Madison Highway. According to Haymarket police, during a search of Dryden’s vehicle, marijuana and other controlled substances were found.

Dryden has been charges with possession of marijuana and possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, and was released on a $2,500 bond.

On May 25, Haymarket police arrested 21-year old Kaleigh Reagan for driving under the influence on Washington Street. Haymarket police stated that during the arrest, an officer saw a controlled substance in her possession that was not prescribed to her.

Reagan is being charged with possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and driving under the influence. She was held without bond.

Manassas bakery offers options for those with food allergies

The Lemonade Bakery creates treats that are peanut, nut and egg-free.
They are hoping to open a storefront location in Manassas.
The bakery does a lot of custom orders for schools and daycare centers.
Their most popular item are their glazed sugar cookies.

The Lemonade Bakery, a home-based Manassas bakery – owned by Kelly Stroh – gives individuals with food allergies an opportunity to enjoy yummy treats.

“My third son has severe allergies…and I had to learn to bake for him. And after working on some of that, I realized that I enjoyed baking and it was something I could do with four small children,” said Stroh.

Stroh started off making cookies and cakes in her own kitchen, and the business has grown over the years.

According to Stroh, all of her products are peanut, nut and egg-free, but they can also accommodate other food allergies.

“We do custom orders primarily. We do orders for individuals – a dozen cupcakes or a cake – all the way up to schools, where we do over 1,000 cookies at a time. We do a lot of [orders for] local schools and daycares centers, a lot of them that have a nut free policy…we’re one of the few [commercial bakeries] that are peanut and nut free,” Stroh said.

The bakery’s most popular item are their glazed sugar cookies, which can be made in any shape and decorated.

Right now The Lemonade Bakery offers cakes, cupcakes and cookies, but they’re hoping to add donuts and cinnamon rolls to their lineup.

In the next few months, Stroh and her family plan to move forward with finding a storefront in the Manassas area.

They attempted to fund the expansion through a Kickstarter campaign, which was not successful, but they were able to identify investors to help make the store a reality.

“We didn’t meet our goal – but we got pretty close…what we’re doing now is rounding up a team of private investors for us,” said Stroh.

For Stroh, the business signifies a way to deal with a difficult situation in a positive way.

“A big part of why I wanted to do this was to show my kids that everybody has their challenges, and it’s what you do with them. So you have your lemons – which are your food allergies – and we’re going to make lemonade by making something we enjoy, but it helps others also,” stated Stroh.

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