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Firefighters Go to Great Heights to Rescue Cat

PWC Firefighter goes over 89 feet in the area to rescue a resident's cat.

PWC Firefighter goes over 89 feet in the area to rescue a resident’s cat.

Video shows cat rescue in Montclair


Four firefighters with the Prince William Department of Fire & Rescue went out of their way to make sure that a Woodbridge resident’s family cat was returned safely.

The cat, referred to by the firefighters as “Kitty”, had gotten stuck in a tree over 89 feet late last week in the area of Tallowwood Drive and Spring Branch Blvd. in Montclair.

“We received a phone call from our Battalion Chief — he asked us to check out an incident. Station 17 in Montclair had gotten a phone call requesting assistance – that their pet cat was stuck in a tree,”

The cat and its owner [Submitted]

The cat and its owner [Submitted]

said Lieutenant Dave Caruana, one of the firefighters at the scene.

 Technicians Adam Mowry, Shawn Riley, Shawn Bliss and Lt. Caruana were called out to the scene when Station 17 was unable to retrieve the cat.

“Engine 17 headed over there to check the incident out, to see if they could handle it and the cat was in the tree further than their ground ladders could reach,” Caruana said.

The four men quickly responded to the call, and were able to safely remove the cat from the tree, returning it to its owner.

“We arrived onscene and our driver, Shawn Riley, positioned the [ladder] appropriately…and we retrieved the cat out of the tree,” said Caruana.

Jennifer Leigh Titus, a witness who was present and filmed the rescue, feels grateful to have such dedicated firefighters on call in her neighborhood.

“They were pretty awesome, the first truck came and the ladder was too short and then they called in the big guns. That cat would have either fallen or froze to death. They didn’t have to [trek] out in that freezing weather to save a cat, but they did. That makes me feel really safe knowing that they would go through so much for a kitten, imagine what they would do for us,” said Titus.

Children’s Hospital in North Stafford Evacuated

Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the North Stafford location, was evacuated this morning due to an odor inside the building.

Odor prompted evacuation of Children’s Hospital


Stafford County Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the North Stafford location to investigate a strange odor at 10:30 this morning. 

The children’s hospital unit was evacuated, said Stafford fire and rescue Asst. Chief Mark Doyle. Several adults and at least one child waited outside while fire fighters checked for a cause of the reported odor. 

Children’s Hospital is located in the Aquia Park Shopping Center on Jefferson Davis Highway. It’s next door to Engineering for Kids. 

Fire fighters reported not smelling an odor and said no cause was evident. They wanted to enter the adjacent business to determine if there was a problem of some kind coming from that location, but Engineering for Kids was closed and no problems could be seen through the glass door. 

After discovering that a fire wall was between each unit of the building, even through the roof, it was determined that, if there was a problem, it likely would not be coming from another unit with the fire wall in place.Rescue crews left the scene about an hour after arriving.

Fire Crews Called to Panera Bread in Manassas


Fire crews were called to Panera Bread on Liberia Avenue in Manassas.

A false alarm triggered the response, said Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince.

Photo credit: Allissa Jones

Hudson: Recent Prince William Murders Not a Trend

Chief praises police officers for hard work following murders


Two murders back to back, less than a week apart, has some Prince William County residents talking about safety.

On Nov. 10, a Woodbridge Senior High School student was shot and killed on a walking path just outside the school. Police said the victim was killed in a drug-related robbery. Five people, including a 16-year-old girl, were arrested and charged in connection to Williams’ death.

In the early hours of Nov. 16, Christopher Nathaniel Weaver, 19, and a 15-year-old boy were shot in Dale City. Both were taken to a hospital where Weaver died, and a 15-year-old suffered injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.

One shooting suspect was arrested the following day in Arlington, and the second was taken into custody last night in Manassas.

The two shootings were not related.

In an interview with Potomac Local, Prince William Police Department Chief Stephan Hudson says the county has seen some troubling incidents in recent days, but says crime in the community continues to be at historically low levels.

“Even with two recent murders that have occurred within five or six days of each other, we still are at a total of six murders for the entire year. Historically, over the past 30 plus years, [the number of] our murders vary every single year. They’ve gone from lows of one and two to a high of 16. So, I am not overly concerned that this represents some kind of a trend that we need to be concerned about,” said Hudson.

Statistically, Prince William is on par with having the same number of murders this year as last. A total of 16 people were murdered in Prince William in 2006, and 12 people were murder in the county in 2008. Those two years, out of the past 10, saw the most murders in the county.

The department’s policy of directing a massive amount of resources to the county’s most violent crimes immediately after they occur is what helped detectives to quickly track down suspects in the two most recent murders. Keep Reading…

Patterson in Custody, Charged with Murder

The final suspect in a shooting death last week was arrested in Manassas.

Bryan Lamonte Patterson, 25, of 4716 Kirkdale Drive in Dale City, was taken into custody without incident at a house in Manassas last night. Patterson is charged in the murder of 19-year-old Christopher Nathaniel Weaver, killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 16. A second victim, a 15-year-old boy, was also shot and taken to a hospital with injuries that did nto appear to be life threatening.

Police released a description of Patterson yesterday at the same time they announced the Nov. 17 arrest of 35-year-old Christopher Coward, also of Dale City, who is also charged with murder in Weaver’s death.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 14, 2015.

‘Manassas Station’ Would Replace old ABC Photo Building

The old home of ABC Photo Processing in Manassas, Virginia
A rendering of what Manassas Station condos would look like from Prince William Street.

A rendering of what Manassas Station condos would look like from Prince William Street.

The footprint of Old Town Manassas could soon expand east.

A proposal calls for 140 new condos to be built at Manassas Station, a new four-story housing development that would replace the old ABC Photo Processing Center on Prince William Street, originally built in 1953 and modified in 1985.

If approved, the new homes would have the same look and feel of the buildings in Old Town and would come on the heels of Manassas City leaders approving 94 new condos at the site of the old Manassas Journal Messenger building on Church Street.

The same developer who built Historic Courts of Manassas on Center Street would also be developing Manassas Station. A new Baldwin Intermediate School will be built across the street where ballfields outside Osbourn High School are in what is an already changing neighborhood. In order for the project to move forward, the land needs to be rezoned from industrial to residential use.

The city’s planning commission twice denied approval of the condo building because it would be built too close to existing historic homes on Fairview Avenue. But those who work in the city’s planning office said Manassas Station should go forward because it fits the city’s downtown development plan.

“There’s been very little interest in the property until our people came in and proposed something,” said John Foote, a lawyer representing the developer.

The amount of increased traffic that would come from the development is a concern. A new traffic signal at the nearby intersection of Fairview Avenue and Tudor Lane would need to be installed, and the developer has proffered $117,000 for the needed signal.

The developer has also offered $671,860 in proffers to the city’s school system to help offset the cost of educating new students who would move into the condo building. Foote said he used the city’s own data to determine that condo buildings in the city generate fewer school children than a nearby townhouse community and a trailer park.

Opponents of the project said the character of Old Town is changing too fast, fear its population will become denser, and that they don’t want the city to someday look like Arlington.

“I feel that the look and feel of this massive building will further erode the look and feel of our historic district, a district that so many people care about and what makes Manassas unique. Soon it will be hard to find historic buildings if we continue to allow development of this scale in the historic district,” said Mary Ann Jenkins, who lives on Windsor Street in the city.

Supporters of the new project called the condos a sign of “progress” being made in the city. They, along with Foote, also said many young Millenials are choosing to rent rather than buy a home due to the down economy.

“I’m 30 years old and I’m not in a position to purchase a home. It’s a tough world, economically, and I don’t know what can be done to support home ownership because it’s a difficult thing,” one woman told city leaders.

Manassas Station would be built on nearly four acres of land, feature 85 one-bedroom units and 55 two-bedroom units. Among other proffers, the developer has offered $50,000 to improve parking in Old Town, $121,800 for public safety improvements, $6,300 for parks, and would not allow owners to sublease any condo unit in the building.


Meth Lab Raided at Manassas Area Motel



Police busted three people suspected of making meth in an area motel.

Investigators made the bust Nov. 3 at Red Roof Inn just off Interstate 66 near Manassas

A search warrant indicates police suspected meth was being made inside room 237, and it was being sold to people staying at the motel. Detectives went to the door to speak with and spoke with two men staying in the room. While there, they and saw batteries, tin foil, butane, gas masks, tubing and a clear jar with a white powdery substance that



indicate the manufacturing of methamphetamine, all lying in plain sight, according to the search warrant.

The two men told police that meth had recently been made inside the room and that the man who rented the room would return shortly, according to the search warrant.

Erngstorff, Lindsey


The renter of the room returned a short time later driving a Toyota Highlander, according to the search warrant. Needles, a spoon and a battery were all items listed on the search warrant as recovered.

James Kiger, 45, of no fixed address, is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine.

Lindsey Elizabeth Rengstorff, 24, of Bowling Green, is charged with possession.

Samuel Hoak, 21, of Pembridge Road in Manassas is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

The suspects are due in court Jan. 9, 2015.

Police Nab 1, Seek 2nd in Dale City Murder



One man is in custody and another is sought in the shooting death of a Dale City man.

Christopher Weaver was shot and killed at a home on the 13400 block of Keating Drive in Dale City early Sunday. A 15-year-old boy was also wounded during the shooting.

Police then arrested their first suspect in the shooting, 35-year-old Christopher Coward, of Kirkdale Drive in Dale City, during a traffic stop in Arlington on Nov. 17. Coward is charged with murder and is suspected of



fleeing the scene of the shooting with another suspect – Bryan Patterson, 35, of 914 Hillcrest Drive in Vienna.

Patterson is charged with murder and is sought by police. He is described as black, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 165 pounds, with short black hair and a beard.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Patterson is encouraged to call police at 703-792-6500.

Cornerstone Christian Academy Honor Roll 1st Quarter 2014

The following students achieved Honor and High Honor Roll status at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Lake Ridge, Va. during the first quarter.

CCA is proud to recognize the great achievements of these students! A special thank you to all parents, staff, teachers, and students who help us achieve our goals!

High Honor

Daisha Poe
Dominique Purcell
Jaden Akridge
Genevieve Parsons
Samuel Laing
Sinit Mehari
Dominic Coussa
Leema Malhis
Tyler Hines
Aria Thornton
Dreyden Coates
Hailey Belliard
Bilen Fikre
London Whittaker
Saleema Tinner
Sarah Barnard
Kareem Malhis
Essence Palmer
Caleb Barnard


Laila Pietri Aaryana Arthur
Jayden Okoye Gabriel Parsons
Elijah McKinnon Roman Bolling
Italia Mason Asia Marie Frederick
Addison Jordan Jeremiah Johnson
Benjamin Johnson Zeven King
Jazlynn Henderson Chance Stuart
Joel Coleman Skye Hackley
Greta Burgess Bryan Ventura
Erik Brancaleoni Gabrielle Awuah
Reid Lazier Jason Awuah
Nailah Granger Cedric Yuille
Sebastien Schultz Joshua Barnard
Matthew Henderson Isaac Ventura
Jaylah Johnson
Jada Okoye
Madison Peoples
Ephraim Stevenson

Dumfries ‘First Town Center’ Land Sale Moving to Public Hearing


The “Promenade at First Town Center” project in Dumfries is moving ahead.

Dumfries will hold a public hearing to get feedback on a plan to sell nearly four acres of land on Main Street (Route 1 south), between the ACTS Thrift Store and the existing “First Town Center” office building next to Town Hall for $150,000.

Real estate developer Pete Singh needs the parcel to build the “Promenade at Dumfries First Town Center,” a mix of retail and residential in the heart of the town.

A date for the public hearing should be set at the next town council meeting on Dec. 2. The town council unanimously approved the motion to move the land sale to a public hearing on Tuesday.

The area in which the Promenade will be built is slated to be dubbed a conservation area revitalization area on Dec. 2. The designation will allow Singh to apply for low-interest financing from the Virginia Housing Development Authority to construct the center, according to town documents.

Councilman Derrick Wood also wants to also include both of the town’s major shopping centers, Dumfries Shopping Center on Route 1 north, home to Todos Market and a public library, and Triangle Shopping Center that is home to a McDonald’s and the town’s police department, as conservation revitalization areas.

VRE Modifies Schedule for Holiday Season

121212 VRE

Virginia Railway Express riders: pull out your calendars and take note.

Here is the holiday schedule for all VRE trains, noting when service will be modified or canceled due to a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

November 27, 2014 – No VRE service in observance of Thanksgiving

November 28, 2014 – “S” Schedule

December 24. 2014 – “S” Schedule

December 25, 2014 – No VRE service in observance of Christmas

December 26, 2014 – “S” Schedule

December 29-31, 2014 – “S” Schedule

January 1, 2015 – No VRE service in observance of New Year’s Day

January 2, 2015 – “S” Schedule

January 19, 2014 – No VRE service in observance of Martin Luther King Jr., Day

Final Utiltiy Pole Removed at Center, Prescott Streets

At a formal pole removal ceremony on today, the City of Manassas Public Works & Utilities Department officially declared the Center Street/Prescott Avenue Overhead to Underground project complete. This Capital Improvement Project, which began in July 2012, removed 33 utility poles from the side of the road and relocated the lines underground.

The project entailed moving 27,708 linearfeet of conductor line from above ground to underground, making the area much more visually appealing. More than 15,352 man-hours were used to move electric lines and to upgrade 3,216 linear feet of water main pipes along the route which included; Center Street, Prescott Avenue, Zebedee Street, Quarry Road, Cherry Street and Maple Street. Moving these lines from above to below ground helps ensure reliability of electric service, while also taking away that cluttered feel of above ground power lines.

Local cable franchise lines for Comcast and Verizon were also moved to below ground during the project. 20 new Sternberg street lights were placed along the route, adding an “old town” ambience to the project. The City also upgraded the water main in this area to a new 12 inch line for improved pressure in the area.

Prince William Fire & Rescue Collect Donations for Toys for Tots

111511 Toys for tots


Prince William County’s Department of Fire & Rescue has started to collect toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation for this holiday season. The toy donation drive will run from November 14 to December 20.






More information from a press release from the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue:

The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue has begun collecting toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation. The toy collection began on November 14th and will run through December 20, 2014.

Please drop off toys to any Prince William County, City of Manassas Park and Manassas City fire station, Prince William County Public Safety Training Center in Nokesville as well as the lobby at the McCoart Government Center in Woodbridge. Toys must be new and unwrapped. Due to the requirements of the Marine Toys for Tots, clothes and used toys cannot be received for this event. Please drop off used toys and clothing to churches and shelters in your neighborhood.

All toys will be delivered to the Toys for Tots collection site for processing and delivery to pre-authorized organizations who have requested toys. Fire stations are not permitted to deliver these toys directly to citizens. Please contact your local Marine Toys for Tots Foundation distribution center for details.

Toys for Tots can use your time as well; the distribution center needs help sorting thousands of toys. Donations of food and drinks for the volunteer workers are appreciated.

Toys for Tots is a national charity program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which collects and distributes toys to less fortunate children whose parents may be struggling financially and unable to purchase gifts during the traditional Christmas Holiday season. It is the only charitable endeavor associated with the Department of Defense that reaches out to local communities. The program was started in 1947, in California, by Major William L. Hendricks and was inspired by his wife, Diane, when she tried to donate a doll to a needy child but could not find an organization to do so. At Diane’s suggestion, Major Hendricks gathered a group of local Marine reservists who coordinated and collected 5,000 toys for local children. Hendricks used his position as director of public relations at Warner Brothers Studio to enlist celebrity support and later asked his friend, Walt Disney, to design a poster for a national campaign. The result was the three-car, red train logo.

Men from Lorton, Stafford now State Troopers

Photo: Mary Davidson

Two soon-to-be graduates from our area will be ready to patrol the streets and highways of Virginia.

Muhammad Ismail Abbasi, of Lorton, and Robert Morgan Guyton, III, of Stafford, will graduate as members of the Virginia State Police 122nd Basic Session. Cadets turned state troopers, the two men will each patrol in Prince William County.

Here’s more in a press release:

The new troopers have received more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management.

Selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants, the members of the 122nd Basic Session began probating Feb. 25, 2014, followed by 26 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy since May 25, 2014. The probationary phase, which allows recruits to train in the field prior to attending the Academy, requires trainees to complete two and half weeks of introductory training at the Academy before being assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO).

Aa graduation ceremony held at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21.

Brooke Point Choking Investigation Complete

Stafford authorities say they have completed their investigation into a choking incident at Brooke Point High School.

A football player was choked and subsequently passed out inside a locker room Oct. 23. The following week, the school canceled its scheduled football match with North Stafford High School.

Here’s more in a statement from the Stafford Sheriff’s office:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that on Wednesday, October 29, 2014,

the Sheriff’s Office was informed of an incident that occurred in the Brooke Point High School football team’s locker room on Thursday evening, October 23, 2014. The incident in the locker room involved the choking of one student by another.

Once informed of the incident the Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation. That investigation has now been completed. The investigation concluded that while the student who initiated the chocking incident could, according to Virginia Code, be charged with misdemeanor assault, no charges will be filed against the minor teen at this time. In this incident the Sheriff’s Office worked closely with the family of the victim prior to determining if charges would be brought. The Stafford County School Division has dealt with the situation according to the school division’s Code of Conduct.

This investigation is now completed and no further comment will be provided.

Lafayette Football Player Shane Black, of Stafford, in ‘The Rivalry’

Shane Black, of Stafford,  is a member of the Lafayette football team participating in the 150th meeting of college football’s most-played rivalry at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 22. More than 49,000 tickets have been sold for the game, which will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Black is a graduate of Mercersburg Academy and a senior.

The two schools, which are located 15 miles apart in Pennsylvania, first met in “The Rivalry” in 1884, one year after standardized football rules were instituted in the United States. Lafayette leads the all-time series 77-67-5 and won the 2013 meeting 50-28 en route to a Patriot League title and an FCS playoff berth.

Much has changed since that initial meeting, including the invention of the football helmet by Lafayette’s George “The Rose” Barclay in 1894, and the forward pass, which Lehigh’s Head Coach Howard R. Reiter’s is credited with helping develop in the early 1900s.

The Rivalry has continued unabated since 1897 making it not only the most played rivalry but the longest continuously played rivalry series in college football. This year marks not only the 150th game, but the 118th consecutive year, and is just the second time it will be played at a neutral site.

Landfill, Yard Waste Composting Facility Closed Thanksgiving Day

082214 landfill birds

Prince William County Landfill and Balls Ford Road Yard Waste Composting Facility will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

These facilities will resume normal operation on Friday, November 28. The landfill and compost facility are open every day of the year, except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. These facilities also close at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Visit www.pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling for more information about Prince William County Solid Waste facilities, services and programs. To receive service changes and news on upcoming events, citizens are encouraged to sign up for e-notifications. This sign up can also be found on the webpage.

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.

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