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Cash in hand: Prince William County Science Accelerator gets $50,000


The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded $50,000 to the Prince William County Science Accelerator on Thursday.

The accelerator was chosen from a list of more than 800 applicants seeking the funding from the agency’s third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The funding will be used to continue research happening at the center, located near the Science and Technology Campus of George Mason University just outside Manassas.

Carl Knoblock, from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Richmond office, said he worked with many tech start-ups in Pennsylvania before coming to Virginia.

“When I came to Virginia from Pittsburgh for years ago, I thought it would be on the same playing field, and it wasn’t. I kept hearing about biotech business, but I didn’t see it,” explained Knoblock. “Now we can say we have the resources to the compete with North Carolina and Maryland.” 

Overall, the region should position itself as a hub for science and IT businesses, he added. 

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart said the Science Accelerator is now, for the first time, full of start-up companies doing research at the center. He called it the perfect match between “government and the private sector working to create jobs.” 

From Prince William County Economic Development: 

Prince William County prides itself on being home to the first and only public-private, commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia, which is uniquely located within Innovation Park, anchored by the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus. The Prince William Science Accelerator was created to provide the catalyst for a growing life sciences industry cluster.  The SBA grant will strengthen the Accelerator’s graduation program so each startup can successfully exit and function independently in the small business economy, which is achieved by addressing two key issues for scientists: resource constraints; and speed-to-market.

Police: Woman pointed gun at Arbys employees, officers

From Prince William police: 

Attempted Malicious Wounding on a Law Enforcement Officer [LEO] – On September 21 at 6:36PM, officers responded to the Arby’s located at 13515 Minnieville Rd in Woodbridge (22192) for a brandishing of a firearm. Employees reported to police that an unknown woman brandished what appeared to be a firearm at an employee while in the drive-through before driving away. A short time later, while officers were still speaking with the employees, the suspect, later identified as the accused, returned to the drive-through then drove away a second time. Officers followed the accused onto northbound Minnieville Rd, and attempted a vehicle stop. When the officers activated their lights and siren, the accused refused to stop. A short time later, the accused returned to her residence in her vehicle where officers were waiting. When officers challenged the accused, she exited the vehicle with the firearm and pointed it towards the officers. The accused then began to run into her residence when officers deployed a TASER which was not effective. The accused entered the residence and refused to exit after repeated commands. Following negotiations, the accused exited the residence and was taken into custody without further incident. Further investigation revealed that the firearm used in the incident was a pellet gun. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on September 21:

Robin Lynn BROWN, 56, of 12100 Park Shore Ct in Woodbridge

Charged with 3 counts of attempted malicious wounding of LEO, 1 count of brandishing a firearm, 1 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, 1 count of eluding police, 1 count of resisting arrest

Court Date: November 22, 2016 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Prince William County needs 200 Election Officers. Now.

We asked the Prince William County Office of Elections if they needed help finding election officers for the upcoming General Election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Julie Gideon, who spoke on behalf of Prince William County General Registrar, replied:

Yes, we do need help!

So we asked some questions, and she answered: 

Please describe the need for election officers in PWC for the November 8, 2016 General Election. Are the needs proportional in all areas of the county? (east, west, central)?

We need officers all over Prince William County, but the greatest need is in Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow and Manassas north and west of Manassas City.

How does the Office of Elections recruit new election officers? Please describe the scope of work/expectations of an election officer working on Election Day. What is the pay? Please describe what, if any, training is provided.

We are reaching out to the community to recruit Election Officers as part of our voter education effort. We have attended local events such as the Prince William County Fair and Haymarket Days, and are also speaking to local groups, and organizations.

Election Officers work a very long day – but it’s worth it! Our day at the polls starts at 5:00 a.m. so that we can set everything up before the polls open at 6:00 a.m., and lasts until after the polls close at 7:00 p.m. and all of the votes are counted and the equipment put away which is usually around 9:00 p.m.

Election Officers are paid $125 for election day plus $15 per training class. New officers are required to take a process training class, and are encourage to take a hands-on workshop to learn how to operate the machines they will work with on Election Day.

How many elections officers does PWC currently have on hand? How much more are needed?

Currently, we have over 1400 elections officers for 91 precincts. We need an additional 200.

Please describe what the conditions at the polls could be like on Election Day if more elections officers are not obtained?

During the November 2012 Presidential Election, voters in many precincts experienced very long lines which meant that it took hours in some cases to vote. We have implemented many changes since then to achieve our goal of no voter waiting more than 30 minutes to cast their vote. These changes include new optical scanners with paper ballots instead of the Electronic Voting Machines, additional laptops for checking in voters, and most importantly additional Election Officers to help guide voters through the process. Without the Officers, the equipment cannot be utilized to its full potential.

What are the requirements to become an election officer?

All Election Officers must be registered voters in Virginia. If you are not yet registered to vote, please go to Election Officers also cannot hold elected office or be employed by an elected official.

How can residents sign up to become an election officer?

Please visit our website at and click on “Become an Election Officer” and click on “online application.” This website also includes additional information about Absentee Voting and the constitutional amendments on the ballot in November.

Shawn Brann to fill Brentsville District School Board seat while Trenum on active duty


Shawn Brann will serve on the Prince William County School Board as a temporary replacement for Brentsville District representative Gil Trenum. 

Trenum handpicked Brann and presented his resume, along with to others, to the School Board as a recommended temporary replacement. Trenum was deployed last month to Africa for duty in the U.S. Navy.

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

The Prince William County School Board voted unanimously on September 21 to select Bristow resident Shawn L. Brann to fill the seat of Brentsville District School Board Member Gil Trenum on an interim basis while Trenum is deployed on active duty in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Brann was selected from among four applicants for the post. The newly sworn-in Brann will serve as Acting Member on behalf of Trenum and constituents of the Brentsville District.

A senior technical writer for General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Brann has over 21 years’ experience working in the local community, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community on highly-regarded and dynamic intelligence community-organization contracts. He has seven years’ experience in education, including teaching language arts at Woodbridge High School, where he also served as a teacher on administrative assignment, performing all the duties of a high school assistant principal. He coached high school lacrosse as an assistant coach for varsity and head coach for junior varsity.

Brann has been an active volunteer in the Piney Branch Elementary School community; has served on the Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) budget committee led by Gil Trenum since 2012; and served on the PWCS Safe Schools Advisory Council for multiple years, including a year as chairman; and on multiple school boundary committees. He is a youth soccer coach for the Virginia Soccer Association and Northern Virginia Soccer Club and has served as committee chair and Chartered Organization Representative of Cub Scouts Pack 1343 at Piney Branch Elementary School.

Brann is a graduate of George Mason University, where he earned bachelor degrees in both English and Speech Communication and a master’s degree in Education, Secondary Education specialty. He also received certification in Mason’s Educational Leadership Licensure Program for administrative licensure.

Prior to Trenum’s deployment, local GOP leaders urged the School Board to choose one of Trenum’s handpicked replacements. Democrats on the School Board solicited an unofficial opinion from Virginia’s Attorney General’s Office that stated the Board must appoint someone to serve on a temporary basis, but that person may be anyone, not necessarily someone selected by Trenum.

Trenum is expected to get back his seat upon his return from active duty.

Dog owner says vet tech killed animal during routine checkup


Kristin Kabatov, the pet owner, sent us this statement and photos. 

“We are devastated by the senseless loss of our beloved, Border Collie, Stark.  We hope that justice will be served.  He was our baby and my family is absolutely devastated by his senseless killing.  He was truly a light in our life and we miss him every second.  He did not deserve this.  We hope justice will be served.  #JusticeforStark”

From Manassas police: 

Animal Cruelty – Warrants Served

On Aug. 17, 2016, Manassas City Police met with a resident on the 10200 block of Foxborough Ct for a report of animal cruelty. The reporting party told officers that they scheduled a routine checkup for their two-year-old dog with a mobile veterinary service named “NOVA Mobile Vet”. According to the victims, a veterinary technician employed by NOVA Mobile Vet entered the residence to retrieve the dog and have him treated in the company’s van parked outside. In the process of moving the dog outside, the accused allegedly handled the dog with excessive force. The dog subsequently died as a result. Through further investigation, Manassas City Animal Control Officers and Detectives identified the veterinary technician as Kimberly A. SKINNER and charged her on Sept. 20 with Cruelty to Animals.

Charged on Sept. 20, 2016:  Kimberly A. SKINNER, 31

Charged with:                            Cruelty to Animals

Court Date:                                 Oct. 27, 2016 – General District Court


Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, Yolanda Adams to headline National Christmas Tree lighting


From the National Park Service: 

#FindYourPark with holiday performances by Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, and Yolanda Adams on Dec. 1 as the National Park Service caps off its centennial celebration and launches a second century of stewardship with the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House). Through a partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, the Hallmark Channel will broadcast the National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2.


Free tickets for the 94th annual tree lighting ceremony presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation are awarded through an online lottery, which opens at 10 a.m. EDT on Friday, October 7 and closes at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, October 10. To enter the lottery, visit and click the ‘TICKET LOTTERY’ link. Those without computer access may call 877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777) to enter the lottery. Lottery winners will be notified on October 27.


Dates to note:

  • Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. EDT: Free ticket lottery opens
  • Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. EDT: Free ticket lottery closes
  • Oct. 27: lottery winners will be notified
  • Dec. 1: National Christmas Tree Lighting takes place on the Ellipse in President’s Park
  • Dec. 2: The Hallmark Channel broadcasts the National Christmas Tree Lighting on their network

An American holiday tradition started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service’s next 100 years, Find Your Park invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.


No cell phone tower for Prince of Peace United Methodist Church


A 144-foot cell phone tower will not be erected at the Prince of Peace United Methodist Chruch just outside Dale City.

The tower, denied by the Prince Willaim County Board of Supervisors, would have filled a gap in cell phone and data coverage in the area, serving Verizon customers.

Supervisor Marty Nohe made a motion to the deny the tower. It passed with Chairman At-large Corey Stewart being the only dissenting vote.

“I’ve heard there is a lot of concern and frustration on this. We’ve tried a couple of times to turn that around and try to give the applicant an opportunity to get that community buy-in, but that wasn’t successful…” said Nohe.

A neighboring shopping center and the Catholic church were also considered as alternative locations for the cell phone tower, but both property owners decided they didn’t want the tower on their sites.

While some spoke for the new tower, the majority spoke against the pole, calling outdated technology.

“Think about all of the changes in technology we’ve seen. He ad flip phones 10 years ago, and now we have 4G LTE phones. That’s important because we’re about to go to 5G and that’s important because things will be 1,000 times faster with 5G. Things have changed so fast, and the Prince of Peace church will sign 25 year agreement for this pole,” said resident Tim Singstock.

The Board was originally set to vote to allow or deny the pole in May. Leaders deferred the vote to allow the applicant, Calvert Crossland, to address additional concerns from the community.

Teen backs car into Stafford lake, authorities said

From Stafford sheriff’s office: 

September 20, 2016 at approximately 7:00 p.m. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a water rescue call at Hidden Lake Subdivision in the western portion of Stafford County.

Two males, both juveniles, had been at the lake consuming alcohol. One of the juveniles attempted to drive a vehicle away from the lake. However, he placed the vehicle in reverse instead of drive and the car entered the water. When deputies arrived they discovered the vehicle semi-submerged about 25 feet from the shore.

Both teenagers managed to exit the vehicle unharmed. The driver, determined to be a 16-year-old high school student, was given a field sobriety test which he subsequently failed.

The juvenile was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and was released to the custody of his parents. Upon arriving at the home he became violent and threatened suicide. He was then transported to Mary Washington Hospital for further evaluation.

Please partner with us on Dee’s home preservation project in Manassas!

Dee - Irongate - Doreathea Vanterpool

Dorothea “Dee” Vanterpool

There’s a story behind every Habitat for Humanity project

Dee Vanterpool moved to her Manassas townhouse in 1992. A quaint townhouse facing the community pool, it is well-kept and Dee is content there. Dee retired from the Federal Government where she had worked at the Pentagon in Logistics as a General Supply Specialist. Today she lives quietly, enjoying her church in Burke, Virginia, playing Solitaire, watching Christian TV and walking at the mall. Her son lives in New Jersey. Her daughter and sisters all passed away in the last five years. Dee has suffered from arthritis since childhood and has experienced significant illnesses in her adult life so she could use Habitat’s assistance to correct some minor home issues.

Dee - Irongate gate

What Habitat will do for Dee

Habitat for Humanity will relocate a bathroom vent that discharges improperly into the attic, rebuild a fence gate and strengthen its posts and paint the exterior trim on the front entry door. We’re looking forward to giving this deserving resident a hand up with home preservation services that will make her home safer and more secure.

How our program works

Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) program engages residents and other community partners to revive neighborhoods and make them safe, inviting places to live.

The Neighborhood Revitalization program delivers a wide array of housing solutions such as making minor exterior repairs; providing critical home repairs that alleviate critical health, life, and safety issues or housing code violations; rehabbing vacant and foreclosed homes or building new homes to provide home ownership opportunities for low-income families; and improving the energy efficiency of homes through weatherization.

If you’d like to learn more about the application process, including income criteria and other requirements, please click here to be directed to the Programs section of Habitat’s website.

How you can help Dee and others

Habitat’s Home Repair programs, including its Home Preservation program, rely on the support of your donations and volunteer time. Your generous donations make it possible for us to purchase the needed materials and tools for repairs. Your volunteer hours help us save money on labor. Please partner with us on Dee’s Home Preservation project in Manassas! To give and to volunteer, click the links below. To watch the repairs as they progress, check in frequently by clicking the Family Story button below.

navy - donate button

navy - volunteer button

navy - family story