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Stafford leaders cry foul over regional tourism efforts

021011 Stafford Courthouse

Stafford County leaders say they don’t get a fair shake when it comes to the region’s efforts to attract out-of-town travelers.

Members of the that county’s Board of Supervisors earlier this month took issue with visitfred.com, a regional website designed to attract tourists to the region. They said happenings in Fredericksburg City are highlighted more frequently than those in Stafford.

The Board voted to provide $30,000 — about two months worth of funding — in what County Administrator Anthony Romanello called a “good faith investment” while tourism officials review the visitfred.com website and address the Stafford Supervisors’ concerns. It’s a fraction of the $175,000 the county had budgeted this year for tourism.

“We are not getting our bang for our buck,” said Falmouth District Supervisor Meg Bohmke. “The website is woefully inadequate as far as Stafford is concerned.”

Among the most recent events highlighted on the visitfred.com website, designed to draw crowds to Stafford County, were school plays that took place back in March, said Bohmke. The county regularly boasts two wineries, a marina, a Civil War Park, and Gari Melcher’s Museum as top attractions.

Hartwood District Supervisor Gary Snellings said while be known to locals for its rich history — Stafford County the boyhood home of George Washington — the Fredericksburg name is the regional draw.

“If you’re living in California and you want to take a trip to the east coast, you’re not going to Google “Stafford County.” It’s just not going to happen. Fredericksburg is the draw. Fredericksburg is everywhere,” said Snellings.

The regional tourism partnership is a tripartite agreement between Stafford and Spotsylvania counties and Fredericksburg City. Staff members from each of the three respective jurisdictions that manage tourism efforts are expected to address the Stafford County Board of Supervisors’ concerns at its next meeting on  Wednesday, Sept. 7.

If Stafford County were to bow out of the regional tourism partnership, county taxpayers would be on the hook for $50,000 to fund the cost of reprinting marketing materials. The new printed guides and brochures would be lacking the Stafford name.

The goal of the partnership is to increase the amount of transit occupancy taxes, called TOT taxes that are collected at hotels and are paid by travelers, collected across the Fredericksburg region. It could be in Stafford’s best interest to remain in the group.

“Visitors don’t know boundaries,” said Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant and Travel Association. “They don’t know where Fredericksburg starts, or where Stafford starts… they have no idea.”

And they don’t care, he added. Most travelers want to travel to a region, see the sights, eat a nice restaurant, and stay at a comfortable hotel.

“The more marketing muscle you can get by having more resources, the better off you are,” he added.

Heartland Dental NOVA Team Open House Career Fair Thursday, Aug. 4

  • Heartland Dental Northern Virginia Open House Career Fair
  • Address: Leesburg Hampton Inn & Suites at 117 Fort Evans Road, NE, Leesburg, VA
  • Website: http://www.heartland.com/
heartlanddental

Please join the Heartland Dental NOVA Team for an Open House Career Fair on Thursday, August 4thth from 11am-5pm at the Leesburg Hampton Inn & Suites at 117 Fort Evans Road, NE, Leesburg, VA 20176 .  We have immediate openings for Dental Assistants, Front Office, and Dental Hygienists across the NOVA area in Herndon, Ashburn, Fairfax, Chantilly and Lorton!  Why join

We have immediate openings for Dental Assistants, Front Office, and Dental Hygienists across the NOVA area in Herndon, Ashburn Fairfax, Chantilly & Lorton! 

Why join Heartland Dental?  Because it is the largest Dental Support Organization in the U.S. and is a career focused company looking for the perfect fit to assist with the growth and development of our supported practices!

Heartland provides a wide range of continuing education, benefits, and competitive pay!  RSVP’s are welcome but not required! 

Please show up with your resume and be ready to express why you feel you’d be a great addition to Heartland’s growing team!   RSVP’s should email cbaggarly@heartland.com and please visit our website for more information at www.heartland.com.

News
Standard and Poors rates Manassas City AAA

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Manassas City officials today are heralding the city’s new AAA bond rating. 

More in a press release: 

Standard and Poors Global Ratings has raised its long-term rating on the City of Manassas’ general obligation debt to AAA from AA+.  The City of Manassas also received a AAA rating on long-term 2016 general obligation public improvement and refunding bonds.  S&P Global stated that the outlook on all of the City of Manassas ratings are stable.

“I am very proud of the improvements that the City has made over the past three years.  These have resulted in this upgrade of our bond rating,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate.  “This rating is an affirmation of the economic vitality of our community along with the positive changes that have been made in our financial and budget policies, practices and performance.   These efforts are having the intended results of providing tangible savings to our citizens and show our continued commitment to our residents.”

The AAA bond rating helps the City of Manassas save money both with new bonds and potential refunding bond sales.  The AAA Bond Rating is the highest bond rating given by S&P and the first time the City of Manassas has received this designation.  The City plans to use proceeds of the bonds sold to finance the costs of capital improvement projects, including the acquisition, construction, extension, renovation and equipping of public school, public safety, utility and general governmental improvements.

The city joins neighboring Prince William County which announced one year ago that it had achieved AAA bond status from three major credit rating firms. 

News
Firefighter burned at Occoquan Road house fire

occoquanrdhousefire

Submitted: 

Woodbridge, VA July 26, 2016 — 8:45 p.m. Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 13412 Occoquan Road in Woodbridge. Initial units arrived on scene within minutes and reported fire showing from the first and second floor. Firefighters were able to knock the fire down on the first floor, but were driven out from the second floor as fire vented through the roof and for fear of a roof collapse. Firefighters had the fire under control within 50 minutes.

The single family home appeared to be undergoing renovations.  

Fire & Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, PWC Department of Fire & Rescue, and Prince William County Police Department responded to the incident. One firefighter was transported to the hospital with a minor burn and released a short time later. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office.

News
Antwi charged in Dale City stabbing

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding | Stabbing Investigation – On July 25 at 11:03PM, officers responded to the area of Emberdale Dr and Eileen Ct in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 25-year-old man of Alexandria, and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused picked up a knife and threw it at the victim striking him in the upper body. The parties eventually separated and the victim contacted police. A responding officer located and detained the accused a short distance away without incident. The victim was transported to a local hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without incident.

Arrested on July 25:

Vincent Yaw ANTWI, 25, of 7654 Audubon Meadow Way in Alexandria

Charged with malicious wounding

Court Date: October 19, 2016 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

 

News
Man robbed at gunpoint near Marumsco Plaza

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery | Malicious Wounding – On July 25 at 3:38AM, officers responded to the 13900 block of Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. The victim, a 23-year-old man of Woodbridge, reported to police that he was walking in the above area when he was approached by two unknown men. During the encounter, one of the men brandished a handgun and demanded the victim walk to the rear of a nearby business. Once there, a third unknown man brandishing a handgun appeared and demanded money. At some point, one of the suspects struck the victim multiple times in the head causing him to lose consciousness. The victim eventually woke up when one of the suspects attempted to take off his shoes. The suspects took the victim’s cell phone, wallet, shoes, and money before fleeing on foot. The victim was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. A police K-9 was used to search for the suspects who were not located. The investigation continues.

Suspect Descriptions:

Black male, between 16 & 20 years of age, 5’10”, 180lbs with a medium build, dark complexion, and black dreadlocks No clothing description was provided

Black male, between 16 & 25 years of age, 5’10”, 180lbs with a medium build, dark complexion, and black dreadlocks No clothing description was provided

Black male, between 16 & 20 years of age, 5’10”, 180lbs with a medium build, dark complexion, and short black hair No clothing description was provided

 

News
Winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Gainesville

From the Virginia Lottery: 

Someone who bought a Mega Millions in Gainesville hit the jackpot in Friday night’s drawing.

The ticket was one of two nationwide that matched all six numbers in the July 22 drawing. Those two tickets, which were bought in Virginia and Georgia, will split the estimated $15 million jackpot ($7.5 million each).

The Virginia ticket was bought at 7-Eleven, 7489 Limestone Drive in Gainesville.

The winning numbers were 8-24-25-26-30 and the Mega Ball number 7. 

Whoever has the ticket has 180 days from the drawing date to claim the prize. The Virginia Lottery advises that before doing anything else, the winner should immediately sign the back of the ticket to establish ownership. When the person is ready to claim the million-dollar prize, he or she should contact the Virginia Lottery.

This is Virginia’s ninth Mega Millions jackpot win.

News
Exxon station at Sudley and Balls Ford roads robbed

police-suv

Prince William police report a gas station on Sudley Road near Interstate 66 was robbed this morning.

From Prince William police: 

*INCIDENT: Armed Robbery | Manassas;
Officers are investigating an armed robbery at the Exxon on Sudley Rd near Balls Ford Rd. Masked man entered the store, brandished a firearm, and took money. Fled on foot. No injuries reported. Suspect described as a black male wearing black pants, black shirt, and face mask.

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