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WJPN is on the air: John Paul The Great Catholic High School launches FM radio station

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John Paul The Great Catholic High School is on the air.

The school near Dumfries debuted a new low-power FM radio station 106.3 WJPN. The radio station will be used to broadcast classes, community information, and to simulcast the EWTN Catholic Radio Network.

“The sky is really the limit as to what we can with it,” said Jennifer Cole, director of enrollment and communications at the school.

A three-minute interview of the Principal Sister Mary Jordan Hoover recorded by two 11th grade students using an iPad was the first content to air on the station. Next year, the school will begin a communications course to teach 25 to 30 interested students about radio broadcasting, and to create more original content for the station that could include broadcasting sports games. The school still must build a radio studio for students to use.

Listeners in their cars can hear the low-power FM station within a 10 to 12-mile radius of the radio station tower affixed to new field lighting at the high school. “The signal is strong here locally, but as it travels farther out things like hills can kill the signal,” said Dave Morales, the school’s technology director.

The school spent four years and $250,000 developing the new radio station to cover permit costs, legal fees, to purchase equipment. The bulk of the expense came with the purchase of stadium lights for their football field, which ended up being the only feasible place to install the radio antenna. 

The seed money for the radio came from Tom Vetter of Montclair, and the donation for the stadium lights from Corrine and Mike Kosar of Woodbridge. Until now, the school regularly rented large lights for outdoor events before the installation of the new lights, said Cole.

The new lights meant the school did not have to build a radio tower. The FM transmitter is now placed on one of the light poles 102 feet above the football field, the highest spot on campus, said Morales.

 

The school held a ceremony Friday night to celebrate the new lights and the radio station’s inaugural broadcast.

The FCC will not allow the school to sell advertising the same way a commercial radio station does due to its low-power status. However, the school may thank contributing families and businesses on air similar to the way NPR announces its underwriting companies.

“It’s no longer just about what is happening within these four walls. Now we want to share our message with the community,” said Cole.

News
This SUV believed to have been used by a police impersonator to stop a woman had working police lights

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A 71-year-old man who lives in Lake Ridge is charged with impersonating a police officer.

More in a police press release:

Impersonating a Police Officer – On May 18 at 6:21AM, officers responded to investigate a suspicious vehicle which was reported in the area of Minnieville Rd and Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22193). The caller reported to police that she was driving in the above area when she observed a black GMC Yukon following her.

While the vehicle was behind the caller, the driver turned on blue and white flashing lights which were mounted in the front grill of the vehicle. The caller, believing the other vehicle to be law enforcement, pulled over but the vehicle turned off the blue and white lights and sped away. A short time later, the same vehicle pulled in front of the caller again and turned on red and blue flashing lights which were mounted inside the rear window of the vehicle.

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Impersonating LEO vehicle 2
Impersonating LEO vehicle 3

The caller contacted police and was able to provide responding units with a tag number of the Tahoe. Further investigation revealed that a similar incident involving the same vehicle and another caller occurred on May 17 in the same area. Following the investigation, the driver of the vehicle was identified and arrested without incident. Photographs of the vehicle are attached to this release.

Arrested on May 18: [No Photo Available]
Richard Ezra TURNBULL, 76, of 13911 Hedgewood Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with impersonating a police officer and reckless driving

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Released on a court summons

Roof, sidewalk repairs meet Woodbridge Habitat for Humanity home

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Volunteers completed 75% of the roof repairs last week at Habitat for Humanity’s Central Park Drive Rehab so plans are set for this week to finish up the roof, to remove the cracked front sidewalk and to pour a new one.

Next week, trades will be in to work on the electrical and HVAC systems. Volunteers will start on bathroom renovations and prep the kitchen for when the new cabinets arrive. Visit the Volunteer Calendar to register as a volunteer and to get involved! Groups or individuals are welcome.

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Lunch donors, please help us feed our hungry volunteers. Bringing lunch is a great way to make a whole lot of people happy and to receive a deduction for your contribution to a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit! We’re grateful to Susan Allersmeyer for donating lunch to the worksite last Thursday. She made enough meatball subs to feed the volunteers on Friday, too!

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Volunteers learn new skills or practice and teach the ones they know! We’re thankful for the help of these volunteers on the Central Park Drive Rehab this week: Family Partner Tesfaye Abuye; Arthur Butt; Dave Williams; John Driscoll; Barbara Beverage; Megan Beverage; Geenelle Calliste; Maggy Machado; Joyce Hudson and Jefferson Thompson.

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Don’t have time to volunteer but would like to contribute? Sponsorships and funding are needed for the Central Park Drive rehab and upcoming home repairs. Click Here to Donate. Call 703-369-6708 or send an e-mail if you’d like further information.

News
Gunshots fired at Dale City home

A man is charged with two counts of reckless handling of a firearm, one count of brandishing a firearm, one count of shooting within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, and one count of public intoxication. 
 
According to police, Machado while highly intoxicated withdrew a firearm during an argument which escalated. The accused fired multiple gunshots into the ground of his family’s backyard, said the police.
 
Here is more in a press release:
Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On May 15 at 1:55AM, officers responded to a residence located at 14400 Surrydale Dr in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a domestic. Several family members reported to police that the accused, identified as a family member, was involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused brandished a handgun. Officers arrived at the residence and detained the accused, who was highly intoxicated, without further incident.   Further investigation determined that the accused walked outside and fired multiple rounds into the ground in the back yard around 10:30PM on May 14. No injuries or property damage were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.                

Arrested on May 15:
Luis Alberto MACHADO, 23, of 14407 Surrydale Dr in Woodbridge
Charged with 2 counts of reckless handling of a firearm, 1 count of brandishing a firearm, 1 count of shooting within 100yds of an occupied dwelling, and 1 count of public intoxication
Court Date: July 14, 2016 | Bond: $6,000 Secured

News
Crawfish lovers brave cool temps, winds for Cajun Occasion 2

Cajun Occasion 2 on the lawn of the Manassas Museum. [Photo: Mary Davidson/Potomac Local]
Cajun Occasion 2 on the lawn of the Manassas Museum. [Photo: Mary Davidson/Potomac Local]
Cajun Occasion 2 on the lawn of the Manassas Museum. [Photo: Mary Davidson/Potomac Local]
Cajun Occasion 2 on the lawn of the Manassas Museum. [Photo: Mary Davidson/Potomac Local]
Cajun Occasion 2 on the lawn of the Manassas Museum. [Photo: Mary Davidson/Potomac Local]

About 200  people came to the lawn of the Manassas Museum on Sunday to celebrate the second-annual Cajun Occasion.

The event is hosted by Okras Cajun Creole restaurant in Downtown Manassas. The family picnic offered an all-you-can-eat Louisiana buffet and craw fish boil.

Volunteers from Volunteer Prince William manned the beer kegs and served Abita Beer. The non-profit organization raised about $1,500 to support its programs, to include the “Un-Trim A Tree” program that provides coats and toys to needy children at Christmastime.

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Anderson will push school funding grants

Millions of dollars of funds for Prince William County Public Schools remain up in the air.

The County’s Board of Supervisors passed its fiscal 2017 $1 billion budget — more than half of which goes to the county school division to provide majority funding for the education of 87,000 students in its 95 schools. The Board of Supervisors budget left the School Board about $7 million short of revenues it had anticipated getting if Supervisors had set and adopted a tax rate, which would have generated a higher average tax bill for county property owners.

Occoquan Supervisor Ruth Anderson pushed a plan to provide nearly $30 million in grant funding from the County to the School Board to make up for the lower tax rate, and funds lost after her proposal to reduce the automatic fund transfer from to the School Board from 57.23 percent of the entire county budget down to 54 percent. (more…)

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Thomas Mannion, 43, dead of gunshot wound

Thomas Mannion, 43, of Prince William County died of a gunshot wound.

Police found Mannion in a home in the 9500 block of Hensley Road, off Lucasville Road suffering from a gunshot wound at 2:45 a.m. Thursday, May 12. He was taken to a hospital where he later died, said Prince William police Sgt. Jonathan Perok.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that possibly two suspects entered the home and shot the victim before fleeing. A police K-9 responded to the scene to search for the suspects who were not located. This incident does not appear to be random. Detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau are continuing the investigation.”

This is the ninth homicide in Prince William County in 2016.

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Sheriff cites safety concerns, grows eviction team as number of removals falls to 5-year low

Prince William Sheriff Glen Hill is growing his eviction team at a time the number of evictions in the county are on the decline.

The county’s Board of Supervisors increased funding for the courthouse in this year’s budget to the tune of $300,000. Part of the new money will fund two new deputies this upcoming 2017 budget year starting July 1, and two in 2018. The Department will also pick up two new vehicles.

The Clerk of the Court will pick up the rest of the money to hire two new permanent hands in its office. (more…)

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14-year-old boy killed in Dale City

Police are investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy in Dale City. They’re calling the boy’s death a homicide. 

More in a press release: 

Murder Investigation – On May 12 at 8:45PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 15100 block of Brazil Cir in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a death. Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, a 14 year old male juvenile, suffering from injuries to the upper body. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. During the investigation, detectives from the Homicide Unit identified the suspect as a 17 year old male juvenile. The accused was arrested without incident. The victim and the suspect were known to one another. The preliminary investigation into this incident revealed that victim died from blunt force trauma. This is Prince William County’s 8thhomicide of 2016*.

                Arrested on May 13: [Juvenile]

                A 17 year old male juvenile of Woodbridge

                Charged with murder

                Court Date: Pending | Status: Held at a Juvenile Detention Center


Identified:

The victim was identified as Luis Erick COCA-CRESPO, 14, of Woodbridge

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A dental office is one business that will fill this new space at Marumsco Plaza in Woodbridge

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There is new development happening at Marumsco Plaza.

A new 14,850 square foot building is under construction at the front of the plaza next to busy Route 1 in Woodbridge.

A dentist is one of the businesses that will soon open its doors in the new space. To date, it is the only business to sign a lease in the new space, said Jared Kupiec, a spokesman for the Woodbridge District Supervisor’s office.

This new building is the latest in a series of new buildings built on the site. A new standalone BB&T Bank branch recently opened next to a Walgreens Pharmacy that stands next to Route 1.

Todo’s Supermarket is one of the many stores that site at sit on the east side of the plaza, further away from Route 1.

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Man charged with impersonating police officer

An 18-year-old Woodbridge man is charged with impersonating a police officer. 
 
According to police, the accused reported a shoplifter to Potomac Mills Mall security while impersonating a police officer. He was said to be wearing a radio with an earpiece, handcuffs, two replica handguns, and other items. 
 
Here is more in a press release:

(more…)

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Annual law enforcement bike ride to pass through Stafford, Woodbridge

The annual Law Enforcement United Ride is expected to enter Stafford County after 3 p.m. today.

Participants in the annual bicycle ride to raise awareness of fallen police officers and funds for their families will spend the night in Stafford County. They’ll depart from their hotels on Thursday morning.

The bicyclists are expected to head north and arrive in Prince William County about 8 a.m., Thursday, May 12, 2016, said Prince William police Sgt. Jonathan Perok.

Police do not expect any impacts to rush hour traffic due to the ride.

Bikers will use Route 1 north as they travel to Arlington National Cemetery. The ride will eventually end in Washington, D.C.

Riders departed Chesapeake on Tuesday for the annual 3-day event.

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Triangle woman wins $1 million in lottery

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A woman from Triangle won the Virginia Lottery. More in a press release: 

All Felecia Hall wanted was some change for a taxi, so she could go to lunch with her son. She stopped by Connie’s Market in Triangle and bought a Golden Spades Scratcher ticket from the Virginia Lottery.

It wasn’t until later, after she’d sat down and ordered lunch in the restaurant, that she discovered she’d won the $1 million top prize.

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there in the restaurant,” she said. “I couldn’t breathe.”

Ms. Hall, who lives in Triangle, said she had won $110 in the same game just the previous night.

She had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $561,798 before taxes. She chose the cash option. In addition, the store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket. 

Golden Spades features prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million. Ms. Hall is the first $1 million winner to claim, which means two million-dollar tickets remain unclaimed. The chances of winning the top prize in this game are 1 in 1,305,600. The chances of winning any prize are 1 in 3.4.

Ms. Hall works as a surgical technician. She said she intends to use her winnings to take care of her family.

“It just seems a little surreal,” she said as she claimed her prize.

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Motel 6 opens in Dumfries. Is it the right fit?

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A new motel is open for business in an old place.

Motel 6 opened its doors at the site of an old Holiday Inn near the intersection of Route 234 and Interstate 95 near Dumfries. The Holiday Inn is now located across Route 234.

The motel was built in the mid-1970s and has 118 rooms, a full-service restaurant, four event rooms. The motel has a swimming pool and courtyard that gives the model the feel of a small resort versus the closed-in roadside hotels built today.

A large number of rooms and full restaurant make the property unlike any other Motel 6 in the area.

“If you told me I would be working at a Motel 6 last year, I would’ve told you are are crazy,” said Richard Lyle, marketing manager for the motel. “There is something about this property, though, that makes it interesting to be here.” (more…)

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Prince William Supervisors, School Board at odds over budget

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The property tax rate in Prince William County remains flat, but the average tax bill is going up.

Prince William County Supervisors on Friday approved its fiscal 2017 operating budget. After months of wrangling over whether or not to raise the tax rate by 3.88 percent as outlined in a five-year plan approved last year, leaders kept a flat-tax rate of $1.122 per $100 of assessed property value.

The average tax bill for homeowners in the county will be $3,799, an increase of $77 per year. Conservatives argued keeping the tax rate flat will help struggling families in the county better make ends meet. Those who supported the higher tax rate said the county needs to make more investments in infrastructure and government services. (more…)

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What is cut if Prince William library management goes private?

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Could a plan to outsource some library operations save millions?

The majority of the members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors want to find out. The Board approved issuing a request for proposals (RFP) from private companies who would bid on taking over the daily management operations of the county’s 11 library branches.

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland said he’s “done homework” and spoken with such a company that could provide management services. The move could save as much as $15 million over the next five years, he added.

“How? We do not know. We have not seen that,” said Constance Gilman, director of the Prince William County Library System. (more…)

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Marine wins damages in Woodbridge painted picnic table case

A Marine, who faced charges after painting a picnic table at his apartment complex last summer and had his cased tossed out of court, won a settlement from the court.

A Prince William County Court awarded Mickey Triplett $6,500 for pain and suffering associated with being wrongfully accused of destruction of property after painting a picnic table at his then apartment complex Potomac Ridge Apartments in Woodbridge.

The Marine Corp veteran and retired correctional officer painted the table prior to a visit from his granddaughter on July 4, 2015. The apartment complex called police pressed charges against Triplett. (more…)

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Victim attacked with glass bottle and knife

A Dumfries woman is charged with robbery, attempted malicious wounding, and destruction of property. 
 
According to police, the accused and victim were involved in an argument which escalated into the accused attempting to stab the victim with a knife. The victim’s cell phone was thrown against a wall during this encounter. According to police, while attempting to leave the scene, the victim was attacked with a glass bottle by the accused.

(more…)

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VRE to Haymarket: If you build it will home developers come to the Rural Crescent?

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Those behind a study to expand Virginia Railway Express in western Prince William County say the region’s population numbers will explode.

The transit agency said it used statistics from the Prince William County Planning Office that show more 43 percent of the growth in the county between now and 2040 will be centered along a planned 11-mile extension of VRE’s Manassas line, from the city to Haymarket.

The proposed $550 million extension would have three commuter rail stations — one at Innovation Park, another at Gainesville near Virginia Gateway, and a terminus outside Haymarket. (more…)

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