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Traffic Shift for Route 1 Starts Friday in Woodbridge

Traffic on Route 1 south in Woodbridge, Virginia will shift to new lanes.

Traffic on a portion of Route 1 in Woodbridge will shift on Friday morning, said Prince William County Director of Transportation Thomas Blaser.

Drivers headed south will be routed on a new portion of roadway that has been constructed just before Dale Boulevard. Two lanes of traffic will continue to carry drivers south, as the effort to widen the road from four to six lanes continues.

By Summer 2016, the portion of Route 1 between Neabsco Mills Road and Featherstone Road will be widened to six lanes.

More information about the project can be found on Prince William County’s website.

Catholic High School Race Supports Students with Intellectual Disabilities

(Submitted photo)

This Saturday, Nov. 22, Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School near Dumfries will host their 4th annual JP5K Run/Walk for Options. The race, which will take place on the school campus and the surrounding neighborhood, is being hosted to raise funds for the school’s Options program, which provides educational opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities.

“[This race] supports our Options program, which currently serves about six students with intellectual impairments,” said Jennifer Cole, Director of Admissions and Marketing for Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School. 

Last year the race had about 600 participants, and they’re hoping for a similar turnout this year. In last year’s run, the school raised several thousands to help fund the Options program.

“It’s really important to us that families know that there is a Catholic school that has a program that can meet the needs of students with these disabilities, because it’s not something that has traditionally been very available,” said Cole of the importance of such a program in the community, noting that children from all faith backgrounds are accepted.

The goal of this program is to give students a place where they can contribute to the educational community, spending part of their time with an individualized curriculum, and another part of their day spent with other students in the classroom.

“We have a program where they spend part of their day in the classroom – it’s a very individualized program and they’re learning at the level that is appropriate for each one of them. And the other part of the day, our Options students are in our mainstream classrooms with ‘buddies’…these are students that are like mentors,” said Cole.

Runners for the race can register on the race website, or the day of at the race, from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. The address for the campus is 17700 Dominican Drive in Dumfries.

Decorated Veteran to Speak at the Freedom Museum

On Dec. 11, 2014, Major Bruce H. ‘Doc’ Norton, USMC (Ret.) will speak at the Freedom Museum about several books he has authored on U.S. Military History. He will discuss several of the men about whom he has written, why he chose them, and will present lessons learned about writing military history, as well as mention some of his future projects.

During his Vietnam tours spanning five years, he was decorated for heroism “under fire on numerous occasions”. After his Vietnam Service, Major Norton attended the College of Charleston, where he earned a BA in US History and a Commission as a Second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He retired after twenty-four years of military service in command and staff positions and earned a Master’s Degree in Military Sciences before becoming the Director of the Marine Corps’ Command Museum, in San Diego, California, and also taught military history courses at the University of San Diego.

Admission to the Freedom Museum is free and light refreshments will be served. The presentation will be from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM at the Museum, which is located in the Manassas Airport Terminal, 10600 Harry Parrish Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110. For further information and directions to the museum, visit www.freedommuseum.org.

Gar-Field High School, Smoketown Road Traffic Impacted by Gas Leak

4 p.m.

A contractor doing work in the area of Smoketown Road hit a gas main this afternoon causing the closure of a portion of the road and the evacuation of Gar-Field Senior High School, said a spokesman for Washington Gas.

Gas crews are assessing the situation and are expected to provide us with more information soon.

3:43 p.m.

A gas leak promoted the evacuation of a high school and closed a major road in Woodbridge.

A portion of Smoketown Road at Gar-Field Senior High School is closed at this hour. Students at the high school have been evacuated to the parking lot in front of T.J. Maxx at Potomac Mills mall due to the leak.

School officials say all children are safe, and issued this statement:

Officials have expanded the precautionary evacuation of Gar-Field HS due to a gas line repair in the area. All are safe but being moved to the TJ Maxx parking lot. Students—and GRAD program pre-schoolers—may be picked up there. The activity bus will pick up students there at 4 p.m. All athletics activities and Adult Ed classes are canceled. ?

Police urge drivers to use caution when traveling in the area of the gas leak.

Stafford Teen Trains with Chuck Norris

Byrne (center) met with Chuck Norris at his karate championship in Vegas.

Byrne (center) met with Aaron Norris (right) and Chuck Norris at his karate championship in Las Vegas.

Teen competed for Chuck Norris Cup


Byrne's kick form earned her praise during the competition from Norris.

Byrne’s kick form earned her praise during the competition from Norris.

Vanessa Byrne has had a unique opportunity to combine her passion for karate and a brush with fame.

The senior at North Stafford High School met and trained with Chuck Norris in Chun Kuk Do. Byrne began her training in Chun Kuk Do when she was just seven years old at Champion Martial Arts in Stafford, which is owned by Norris.

“I started training in Chun Kuk Do, when I was seven years old, because I didn’t like dance or swimming, or anything my mom put me in,” Byrne said.

She did well, earning her first black belt in 5th grade, and her second in 6th grade. All of this training paid off for Byrne, when she began attending Norris’ karate championship in Las Vegas each year.

“He does a world championship karate tournament and conference every year in July. And we attended one back in 2009, that’s when she first had her picture taken with him and trained with him a little bit and got to know him, and we’ve been going ever since,” said Bill Byrne, Vanessa’s father.

Byrne receiving an award at Norris' competition.

Byrne receiving an award at Norris’ competition.

Byrne did well in this year’s competition, where she actually got to train with Norris himself. “I got into the championship – I got into Grands – and I got to compete for the Norris cup,” said Byrne.

“It was a great honor, especially now that I have become friends with his daughter. He lives up to the expectations of what you see on TV – he’s actually as nice as he seems. He’s very personable,” Byrne said of her experience meeting Norris.

While Byrne had intended for Chun Kuk Do to be a hobby, she plans to incorporate it into her life for many years to come, with hopes of becoming an instructor.

“Especially after the competition this year, because I did very well…I plan on continuing it more than ever. I was planning on taking a break during college, but now I’m picking my college around places that teach Chun Kuk Do,” said Byrne, who is planning to attend West Virginia University.

Beer Boon: Craft Brewers Now Welcome in Prince William


Restrictive zoning ordinance amended

It is now legal to open a craft brewery in a shopping center in Prince William County.

In what seemed like a happy hour session, that last call of the night for the County Board of Supervisors was to amend zoning laws that once prevented small craft breweries, like Bad Wolf Brewing in Manassas, from opening in commercial or retail district.

Unlike bars or restaurants, most craft breweries stick to serving only beer. New legislation signed earlier this year by Gov. Terry McAuliffe now allows these small breweries that were once banned under Virginia ABC laws.

“We’re always trying to catch up with the market,” said Nick Evers, with Prince William County’s planning office.

Like small wineries, craft breweries are growing in popularity and have sprung up in Manassas City and Stafford County. Recently, Bad Wolf Brewery in Manassas chose to expand its operation in that city. But not before exploring their options to expand at Tacketts Mill in Lake Ridge only to be told no due to the old zoning law.

“We’ve already lost potential business in this development area,” said Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

Small craft breweries allowed to make 10,000 barrels per year, and are no longer restricted to being located in industrial zones in Prince William. For brew masters that grow their ingredients for their beers on farms with two acres of land or more, those breweries can make 15,000 barrels of beer per year, said Evers.

But it’s not all Miller time yet for the Supervisors on this issue. As the Board voted to allow small craft breweries, they also voted to revisit the issue to refine the language that states exactly what types of alcoholic beverages may be brewed in the county.

Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large, said the language in the new law does not address breweries that make alcoholic cider, or Mead, a drink rooted in ancient history throughout Asia and Europe made by fermenting honey with water.

“Yeah, it’s coming up. They make Meade,” said Stewart.

Craft breweries will be allowed to host beer tastings at their facilities but will need to obtain a permit for events with more than 100 people in attendance.

Round Elementary in Manassas Placed on Lockdown

Students held inside Manassas elementary during police investigation


Students at George C. Round Elementary School were placed on modified lockdown this morning.

Manassas police surrounded the school at 10100 Hastings Drive after the sound of gunshots were reported the in the area.

“Upon investigation, the police department did not find anything suspicious,” stated George C. Round Elementary Principal Kara Mills in a letter to parents distributed today.

Teachers were told to stay inside the building and continue with their normal instructional day during the modified lockdown, which lasted between 9:50 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

“Because normal activity continued in the building, there was little to no loss of instructional time,” according to Mills.

A total of 532 students attend Round Elementary School.

American Festival Pops Orchestra to Play Holiday Songs in Manassas


The American Festival Pops Orchestra will be playing holiday tunes December 12 and 13 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center and the George Mason University Center for the Arts.

More information from a Hylton Center press release:

Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra makes the season merry and bright when it presents “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season,” a festive musical array filled with Christmas cheer. The ensemble appears at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 at 8 p.m. and at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Pre-performance discussions, free to ticketholders will be held 45 minutes prior to each performance in the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery at the Hylton Center and Grand Tier III at the Center for the Arts (sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts).

This sparkling musical extravaganza features beloved classics from Irving Berlin, Leroy Anderson and John Williams, including “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” and “Winter Wonderland.”

In keeping with tradition, American Festival Pops Orchestra is excited to welcome back Hylton Center Executive Director Rick Davis, in a captivating narrative set to music in “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” and young and old alike will enjoy the ever-popular audience sing-along. Under the baton of Artistic Director and Conductor Anthony Maiello, American Festival Pops Orchestra gathers some of the most extraordinary musical talent the greater D.C. area has to offer, including members of Mason’s School of Music faculty, U.S. military ensembles and regional symphonies.

Maestro Maiello is an associate director and university professor in Mason’s School of Music, and has made professional appearances throughout the United States and abroad, conducting music festivals; adjudicating ensembles; and presenting lectures, clinics and workshops. For more information about the American Festival Pops Orchestra and Maestro Anthony Maiello, please visit afpo.gmu.edu.


More information on how to purchase tickets, from a Hylton Center press release:

TICKETS FOR THE HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER:Tickets for AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA’S “HOLIDAY POPS: SONGS OF THE SEASON” concert are $50, $43 and $30. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit HyltonCenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit HyltonCenter.org. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/HyltonCenter and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Hylton_PAC.

TICKETS FOR GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS: Tickets for AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA’S “HOLIDAY POPS: SONGS OF THE SEASON” concert are $50, $43 and $30. Family Friendly: performance suitable for families with children.Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GMU_CFA.

Door Technician Trainee

Overhead Door Company of Washington, DC, located in Manassas, VA has been in business for 35+ years with a solid record of growth and stability that operates in three states at five locations. We sell, install, and service residential and commercial garage doors and related equipment such as dock levelers, dock seals and shelters, traffic control systems, grilles and fire shutters.

We are a full service 24 hour a day operation offering around the clock service 365 days per year to our customers. We have made our place in the Washington Suburban market by promising and delivering only the best in products and professional service and installation for thirty years.

We are in need of trainees. If you feel that you are mechanically inclined, don’t mind hard work, want to learn, have a record of responsible attendance and the desire to be an integral part of a winning team …you are encouraged to apply!

To be considered for employment you must:

18 years old
Be a US citizen or be entitled (with documentation) to work in the USA
Have a valid driver’s license and good driving record
Be able to get a government security clearance
Have a good attendance record with previous employers
Pass a pre-employment drug screen (we are a drug-free workplace)
Pass a written aptitude exam

If YOU are this person, you are encouraged to apply.

Please apply in person at:
8641 Virginia Meadows Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
(703) 334-4050

Man Assaults Officer, Grabs K-9

MANASSAS, Va. - On Nov. 16, an off-duty police officer said that an unknown man was banging at the door of his home and tried to enter inside by pushing past him. When officers arrived to arrest him, the man struck an officer on the head many times and grabbed a K-9 by the neck and held it down.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police; 

Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officer [LEO] – On November 16th at 11:20PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 11600 block of Bradley Forest Dr in Manassas (20112) to investigate a disorderly call.

The homeowner, identified as an off-duty Prince William County police K-9 officer, reported that an unknown man, later identified as the accused, was banging on the front door to his residence. When the officer opened the door, the accused attempted to enter the home by pushing past him.

Police were immediately contacted and, upon hearing responding officers, the accused began to walk away from the area. A responding officer located and attempted to detain the accused which led to a struggle. During the struggle, the accused assaulted that officer, striking him to the head multiple times. As the accused was fighting with the officer, the homeowner (officer) and K-9 partner ran to assist.

At that point, the accused grabbed the K-9 around the neck and held him to the ground. The accused eventually complied and was taken into custody. The officer was transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The accused was treated at the scene, also for minor injuries. The police K-9 was not injured. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

                Arrested on November 16th:

                Raymond Joseph LESHYNSKI Jr., 30, of 9075 Forest View Dr in Manassas

Charged with assault & battery on a LEOassault & battery on a police K-9burglaryobstruction of justice and disorderly conduct

                Court date: January 23, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond


Teen Stabbed at Clubhouse Fight in Woodbridge

LAKE RIDGE, Va. - On Nov. 14, officers arrived at a community clubhouse to investigate a fight and discovered that a 13-year-old boy had been stabbed in the chest, and that gunshots were heard in the area.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Malicious Wounding | Impersonating a Police Officer – On November 14th at 9:07PM, officers responded to a community clubhouse located in the 16300 block of Kramer Estates Dr in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a large fight.

As officers were responding to the location additional information informed police that a person had been stabbed and that gun shots were heard in the area. Officers arrived at the clubhouse and located a victim, identified as a 13 year male juvenile, suffering from a stab wound to his chest.

The investigation revealed the accused was working as a security guard at a birthday party being held at the clubhouse. At one point, the accused identified himself as a police officer and began turning attendees away due to capacity. As a result, a fight subsequently broke out at the location.

During the encounter, the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the chest and slashed him across the face. Injuries were later determined to be non-life threatening. Gunshots were also reported by attendees. No one was reportedly struck by gun fire and no shooter was located. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

                Arrested on November 14th:

                Joseph Dionte DERAMUS, 19, of 3345 Canton Ct in Dumfries

                Charged with malicious wounding and impersonating a police officer

                Court date: December 17, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond


Woman Uses Cable, Extension Cord to Strike Teen

DALE CITY, Va. - On Nov. 13, officers arrested a woman they said used a “coaxial cable and an electrical extension cord” to strike a 14-year-old female victim after an argument.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police; 

Malicious Wounding | Felony Child Abuse – On November 13th, detectives from the Physical Abuse Unit began an investigation into an assault which was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the 15100 block of Concord Dr in Woodbridge (22193) on November 12th. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 14 year old female juvenile, was involved in a verbal altercation with the accused, a family member, which escalated. During the encounter, the accused used a coaxial cable and an electrical extension cord to repeatedly strike the victim. As a result, the victim sustained significant injuries to her back, legs and lower body to include deep bruising, lacerations and swelling. The victim reported the incident to school officials who in turn informed Child Protective Services and police. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested on November 13th.

                Arrested on November 13th:

                Belky Maria BONILLA-PALACIOS, 33, of the 15100 block of Concord Dr in Woodbridge

                Charged with malicious wounding and felony child abuse

                Court date: pending | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

Entrepreneurs Swap Ideas on Success, a Better Prince William

Dr. John Kim, of Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialist, said giving back to the community is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do.

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you”


A panel of business owners Monday shared insights into the characteristics of what makes a good entrepreneur.

The panel, Entrepreneurs on Leadership, assembled by Leadership Prince William, featured leaders from businesses like manufacturing, auto repair, communications, medicine, and retail.

The majority of those who spoke said they never intended to become a successful business owner. However, they decided it was a goal worth pursuing.

“I didn’t want another business,” said Sarah Pitkin, owner of Pitkin’s Hardware in Dale City.

She bought the store from her father, and she said owning your own business is a mix of trial and error.

“There’s always something inside of you that keeps pushing you to keep moving for and having ideas and seeing what works,” said Pitkin.

Many entrepreneurs search for their niche and some niches may not always be the most popular ideas.

“I listen for things like ‘you shouldn’t do that,’ or I listen for ‘I wouldn’t do that’ when talking to others. That is a trigger point for me to look into something,” said ST Billingsley, owner of Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge.

Teamwork was also a much-discussed topic at Monday’s session.

“Entrepreneurism is taking advantage, taking risk, and saying ‘it’s going to work’ and ‘I can figure it out with other people helping me,’” said Patty Baisden, owner of QMT Wind Chimes.

The discussion later morphed into a conversation about how to better promote Prince William County, its amenities, and the quality business community it has to offer. Many said only negative news is reported about the county and few “good news” stories are told about Prince William.

Mark Shaaber, of SCS Integrated Support Solutions, hosted the event. He chose to retire from his job at the Pentagon in Arlington and live in Prince William County.

“I heard the community options were good and the price of housing was lower. What got me to stay here in prince William County is when I looked at a map of Prince William and saw I can take a ride on a country road, and saw it was a place that had a tree or two left we could be proud of,” he said.

While there were many comparisons between Prince William’s larger neighbors Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

“We’re a really great community, but were not [Fairfax], and that’s OK because we have enough. It’s just a sense that we’re good, and that’s enough,” said Baisden.

The Prince William Association of Realtors building in Woodbridge hosted the event.

Increase in Fraud Cases Worries Bohmke

Many Stafford residents fraud victims 


Stafford County Falmouth District Supervisor Meg Bohmke and Stafford School Board Member Scott Hirons called a Town Meeting to discuss issues facing the area – namely the large uptick in the number of fraud and scam cases being committed.

Twenty residents, Stafford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bruce Benson, County staff and staff from the Sheriff’s Department gathered at Falmouth Elementary to speak about the increase.

“The other reason that I wanted to have a meeting was that I am the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and our fraud and financial crime in Stafford County has really gone up. And it’s not just hitting older people – its hitting everybody across the board,” Bohmke said, continuing, “The first question I asked was, ‘How many of you have been the target of what you believe may be fraud crime?’ and everybody in the room raised their hand.”

These frauds, which typically take place over email or by phone, have included individuals posing as Microsoft, the IRS and even family members in need.

“[The criminals] are becoming much smarter, and much craftier in what they’re doing. It’s very difficult, according to Sheriff Jett, to pinpoint these people because a lot of them are out of the country,” Bohmke commented.

Both the Sheriff’s Department and Bohmke urged citizens to be careful with their financial information.

“You just have to be very careful and whenever anybody is asking you for information about your debit card, or your pin, or any of your personal information, you cannot give that out,” Bohmke said.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Department currently has a webpage on their site that lists all of the known scams taking place in the area, and they are urging citizens to report incidences of potential fraud.

“The reality with scams is if it seems too good to be true – it’s not true. If there’s any concerns, we tell people to contact us. A deputy will respond and take a report, and we will investigate,” said Bill Kennedy, the Information Officer for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department.


Health Insurance Enrollment Begins at Evergreen Clinic in Manassas

The Evergreen Clinic in Manassas, Virginia employs counselors to help enroll residents in the federal Healcare Insurance Marketplace.

Enrollment in the federal Healthcare Marketplace, commonly known as Obamacare, began Saturday.

The Greater Prince William Health Center Evergreen Clinic in Manassas welcomed Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to a health insurance enrollment party held by the clinic Saturday.

This is the second enrollment period for the federal healthcare program created by the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010.

“We want to be the center of Marketplace enrollment in prince William County. We’ve been the recipient of federal grants under the Affordable Healthcare Act, so it’s really important to do this service for the community,” said heath center director Frank Principi.

Principi said Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made more resources available to his federally qualified health center to promote the open enrollment period now through Feb. 15, 2015. More money was also provided to the clinic to double the number of enrollment counselors this year to six.

When visitors to the clinic came in Saturday, many had the option of working one-on-one with a counselor to sign up or renew their healthcare options. Translators assisted those who spoke Spanish.

About 15 computers were set up in a conference room for users who didn’t require one-on-one assistance.

“We’ve been told to prepare for various situations, like for someone who might come in with little insurance, and for someone that may have been insured for a long time and not know what to expect when enrolling in a new program,” said Emily Riley Roller, with the Virginia Community Healthcare Association.

Sylvia Burwell succeeded Kathleen Sibelius as Health and Human Services Secretary earlier this year following Sibelius’ resignation.  


Volunteers Pack Nearly 90,000 Meals for Poor

More than 270 volunteers participated in the House of Mercy’s 2014 Campaign to End Hunger fundraiser and meal-packing event Oct. 18. The nonprofit humanitarian organization, located in Manassas, Va., shipped more than 78,000 meals packed during the campaign to Kentucky’s hungry in Appalachia. Nearly 11,000 meals of beans and rice packed during the event will go in mid-November to two impoverished communities in Honduras.

Meals for hungry packed at Manassas Park Community Center


Volunteers packed nearly 90,000 meals for the poor during the House of Mercy’s fourth annual “Campaign to End Hunger” fundraiser and meal-packing event, Oct. 18 at the Manassas Park Community Center.

Although falling short of the nonprofit humanitarian organization’s goal of 150,000 meals packed during this year’s all-day event, the total is still “a success in our book,” said House of Mercy Executive Director Ann Cimini. “Through the generosity of hundreds of people and our corporate sponsors, we’ve been able to serve the poorest of God’s children,” she said.

The agency, located in Manassas, Va., shipped 78,408 of the meals to the Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center, which will distribute them in Christmas baskets to families in need in Kentucky’s impoverished Appalachian region, Cimini said.

The center, located in Louisa, Ky., is an interdenominational nonprofit organization that has served about 10,000 Kentucky mountain residents, said Cimini. The Father Beiting Appalachian Mission Center, which is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington, Ky., distributes food, clothing and furniture to low-income families in its area and provides four charity thrift stores with donated merchandise for sale, she said.

Appalachia’s poor were the designated primary recipients of meals packed during this year’s campaign, held in conjunction with events for the United Nations’ World Food Day, Oct. 16.

In addition, 11,196 meals of beans and rice packed during Campaign to End Hunger 2014 are bound this month for two impoverished villages in Honduras, Cimini said. The campaign goal was to pack 30,000 meals for those communities, but achieving that, along with this year’s objective of 120,000 meals to Appalachia, depended upon how many people signed up to pack meals during the event, she said.

More than 270 volunteers participated in this year’s Campaign to End Hunger, including 207 who each paid the event’s $35 fundraising fee per two-hour shift to pack meals during the campaign, said Cimini. The event had 320 meal-packing shifts available, she said.

Cimini said that she is disappointed, but not surprised at the lower participation than organizers hoped for. “We changed our fundraising strategy this year for the event,” she said. “Although Campaign to End Hunger has always been a fundraiser, we’ve had enough corporate sponsors in the past to allow the majority of folks willing to pack meals during the campaign to pack at no cost. We lost sponsors this year, and, with it, the capacity for us to offer the free packing.”

The 2014 campaign raised about $25,000 in contributions from individual participants and corporate sponsors, Cimini said. Contributions covered the event’s costs, including raw food ingredients, packing supplies, advertising, fees and shipping, she said. Remaining contributions after campaign expenses are met will help fund the agency’s operating costs and community programs throughout the year, Cimini said.

Campaign sponsors included Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Bristow, Va., and National Vendor Management Services, Inc. (NVMS), TS&T (Traffic Systems and Technology) and Able Moving and Storage, all located in Manassas, Va. Several local businesses also provided meal packers for the event, said Cimini.

“We are so grateful to our sponsors and participants for making this event possible,” she said. “All of these organizations and people understand that the health of us as a town and a community depends on all of us acting together to assist those who need our help.”

To learn more about the House of Mercy, call 703-659-1636 or visit houseofmercyva.org.

Stonebridge Lighting Tree at 6:25 p.m. Nov. 28

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join Roadside Development for the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center on Nov. The event begins at 6 pm with a 20 minute performance by Those Funny Little People following by the official lighting of the tree at approximately 6:25.

Additional performances by Those Funny Little People – Elves Wally & Abby throughout the evening, carriage rides, free family activities, holiday craft show, light refreshments and the New Dominion Choraliers

The event includes a toy drive to benefit the Children’s National Medical Center Holiday Toy Store, a pop-up store within the hospital during the holidays so parents can shop for presents for their children who are patients. The store also has items that children can buy for their parents. Roadside Development will supplement the toy drive with a cash donation.

Event Timeline:
– 6:00: Those Funny Little People kick off the event
– 6:25: Tree Lighting
– 6:30: Carolers (directly after tree lighting)
– 7:00: Those Funny Little People
– 7:25: Carolers
– 8:00: Those Funny Little People Meet and Greet
– 8:15: Carolers
– 6:00-8:00 Family Activities including carriage rides, face painters, balloon artists, roving entertainers and photograph opportunity ($5 charge)
– Holiday Craft Show is Friday from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center is a 24/7 project that brings style, convenience, flavor and activity to a Prince William County, Virginia marketplace that has experienced tremendous growth over the recent past. Conveniently located in Woodbridge, Virginia between two major interchanges on the high traffic and highly visible I-95 Interstate, Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center features approximately 550,000 square feet of exciting retail in a boulevard environment.

Workhouse Plans Black Friday Celebration

Workhouse Arts Center  in Lorton (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia will open its galleries and studios for extended hours on Black Friday, Nov. 28, from 10am-7pm, offering a free, fun and festive alternative to a day at the mall. Instead of standing in lines, come and explore the art work of nearly 100 of the area’s most prominent  artists; participate in interactive demonstrations; and find unique artisan gifts—all while supporting local artists in your community.

This annual event is full of free activities, events, and experiences for you to enjoy with your friends and family, such as:

  • Holiday Sing-A-Long & Tree Lighting
    Gather around our tree and spread holiday cheer with music and song! Ceremony begins at 5:45pm after the sun sets in the Rizer Pavilion.
  • Fire Pits with S’mores & Free Hot Cider
    Warm-up next to our outdoor fire pits, while you make s‘mores and enjoy hot cider!
  • Doughnuts with Santa
    Presented by Mestey Films Productions, join Santa and his helpers for a special holiday experience. Participants will enjoy two doughnuts and a choice of juice or coffee while Santa and his elves read a classic Christmas story and lead a fun-filled family sing-a-long. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras for those special photos! $20 for children & adults.
  • Kid’s Activities: “Stay, Create!”
    Young artists can get creative with fun make-and-take art projects while parents browse the diverse art galleries of the Workhouse. Suggested donation of $5 per child for this activity, which supports Workhouse arts, education, and history programs.
  • Holiday Ballroom Dance
    Bring your dancing shoes and a partner to this free holiday ballroom dance from 4-5pm! No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome to twirl around the dance floor. A short lesson/demonstration will be provided by our resident Ballroom instructor Cookie Bell! 
  • “This Side’s For You” Cooking Demonstrations
    Join Chef Kathleen Linton in our Culinary Classroom for lessons in how to create tasty holiday-themed side dishes.
  • Art of Movement Demonstrations and Workshops
    Get on the move in Building W-11 with free classes and demos in Hula, Lei-Making, Surfset (Indoor Surfing Fitness), Bodyblade, Pilates, Yoga and more! All ages and abilities are welcome.

6 Homicides in Prince William, Matches 2013 Number

Six people have been killed this year in Prince William County, the same number of people who were murdered last year in the county.

The early Sunday morning shooting death of 19-year-old Christopher Nathaniel Weaver was the sixth this year in Prince William. It came less than a week after the shooting death of 16-year-old Brenden Wilson who was shot and killed outside Woodbridge Senior High School.

The first murder in Prince William County, the shooting death of 42-year-old Glenda Marisol Coca-Romero, shot and killed while working behind the counter of a Woodbridge grocery store, remains unsolved.

The number of violent crimes was down in 2013 to 438, a total of 42 fewer violent crimes than in 2012, according to crime statistics. Prince William police consider murder, rape, aggravated assaults, and robberies all to be violent crimes.

Earlier this year, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed a $990 million budget to fund, among other things, 25 new police officers. The police department in recent weeks has held job fairs to recruit new officers.

Police Catch Burglar in Haymarket

HAYMARKET, Va. – On Nov. 11, a homeowner told police that they discovered that several crossbows and a firearm were missing from a detached shed and a parked car.

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:  

Residential Burglary – On November 11th at 8:31AM, officers responded to the 3700 block of Mountain Rd in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 6:30PM on November 10th and 5:30AM on November 11th.

The investigation revealed that entry was made into a detached shed, as well as, the homeowner’s vehicles parked on the property. Multiple crossbows and a firearm were reported missing. Around the same time, officers responded to investigate a suspicious vehicle in the 3800 block of Delashmutt Dr. Officers arrived and located the vehicle unoccupied. A crossbow was observed in the vehicle similar to one reported in the burglary.

The caller further reported seeing the driver of the vehicle carry a large bag to a residence in the 4100 block of Crescent Hill Dr. Officers and detectives made contact at the home and identified the driver as the accused. Following the investigation, the accused was connected to the reported burglary and was subsequently arrested.

Arrested on November 11th:

Zachary Ryan ALLUE, 18, of 1509 Summit Dr in Haymarket

Charged with burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of a firearm

Court date: December 10, 2014 | Bond: $7,500 secured

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