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Prince William

How Prince William schools stack up, on average, for teacher pay

School teachers lined the sidewalks at Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge Friday to protest a plan to freeze teacher pay rates for the next three years.

Neighboring counties pay entry-level teachers more

As the Prince William County School Board gears up for another budget cycle, it is timelier than ever to look closely at an important topic in local education – the current state of teacher pay in the county.

The average annual teacher salary, according to Jim Livingston, the Prince William Education Association president is $60,408 – a figure he pulled from a 2014 Washington Area Boards of Education  (WABE) report.  

Phil Kavits, spokesman for Prince William County Public Schools, stated that the average annual teacher salary in the county is a bit higher than Livingston’s figure at $61,525.

These averages are worth noting when considering a quick drive to the surrounding area school divisions can greatly alter the average salary that a public school teacher receives.

“The only school division that is lower in average teacher salary in the area is Manassas Park. The other [counties] are at least $2,800 to $3,000 more than us. For example, if you cross over to Fairfax County…that’s a $7,000 pay increase based on the average,” said Livingston of the county’s low pay-average.

Kavits stated teachers in nearby Fairfax County average $66,782 per year, and a Loudoun County teacher receives an average of $63,013 per year.

“The reasons that the salaries remain low, particularly at the entry level – that’s where we have the greatest difficulty – is quite frankly that our neighbor [counties] around us have simply determined that it’s in their best interest to try and attract the very best [teachers] that they can. And frankly, we’ve simply just not kept pace…” Livingston said.

The county’s School Board is facing a $20 million budget deficit. On Feb 4, it will meet to discuss some possible ways to fix the problem by proposing new cuts to the division’s billion-dollar budget. The cuts come as county leaders propose a lower tax increase of 1.3% than the original planned 4% hike in property taxes. 

Things like transportation for specialty programs at middle and high schools, and full day kindergarten in non-title one schools are all things being eyed by the School Board as items to slash from the budget.

Teacher pay raises, however, are not, according to School Board Chairman, At-large Milton C. Johns.

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series that examines public school teacher pay in Prince William County.

Popular ‘Attack the Fat Challenge’ starts Monday at Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

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Do you know about the Attack the Fat Challenge? It’s one of the most popular, effective, and fun weight-loss programs at the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center
 
It’s open to anyone, at any fitness level.
 
Robin Frey is a fitness program coordinator, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and the director of Freedom Attack the Fat Challenge at Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center in Manassas. We spoke with her to get the 
 
Frey

Frey

What is the Attack The Fat Challenge?

 
“It’s more of a full spectrum weight loss program and it runs for eight weeks…it’s based on focusing on weight loss but the overall effort that we do is that we want to promote and create lifestyle changes, not just during the eight weeks. For most people it’s just the starting point. A lot of people do it repeatedly because it works for them and if they have an additional, large amount of weight to lose it’s not going to happen in eight weeks.”  
 
What do participants do while in Attack The Fat Challenge? 
 
“Well actually the whole concept is they do train…and it’s based on percentage of weight loss…we make it a challenge so that it has some competitive edge to it but the overall focus is just to create a balance of accountability…to continue with fitness efforts for health, not necessarily for fitness. In other words, this is based on health and wellness, getting people appropriate nutrition and just trying to create a consistent effort with lifestyle change, it’s long term.”
 
 How much does the program cost?
 
“It [the program] breaks down to 20 dollars a session and the total cost is $480 but you’re getting 24 sessions, 24 full one-hour sessions…then in addition to that they get the support through nutrition tips and guidance…and body composition testing as well.” Frey also mentioned that there is an additional cost to non-members of the Freedom Center. 
 
 Attack-the-Fat-2015-flyer-791x1024How long does the challenge last? 
 
“Participants train three days a week with a trainer so it’s three one-hour sessions so they’re basically getting 24 training sessions as a group within that eight weeks, three times a week. In addition to that support that we offer is through our smart lab for evidence based testing for body composition or those types of things and also we do weekly weigh-ins”.
 
Is the Attack The Fat Challenge a seasonal program? 
 
“It’s twice a year, typically we do it  in February, March and then again in September.”
 
Is it too late to sign up? 
 
“The Attack The Fat Challenge  starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Registration does require you to be registered prior to the program but we work with people as well.”
 
Why did Frey get involved with the Attack The Fat Challenge?
 
“Well I started it, actually it’s been six years running now. I just felt that there was a need here at the Freedom Center to create programming in small groups that could be something that could bring more of an effort of accountability to each other, that tends to help. People can do training all the time but when they have other people depending on them to be part of their team, their group, it’s very successful. The success rate is much higher as far as them making the sessions, having to be responsible for that weekly weigh-in and then they bond and create groups that continue to train after that. We just didn’t have anything happening here in that capacity in programming.”
 
How does the Attack The Fat Challenge stand apart from similar programs?
 
“We were probably the original in this area. I know other facilities have copied similar to what we do…it’s nothing that’s genius, it’s simply a program of training and weigh-ins, nutrition information…it’s just been very, very successful for us here. This our sixth year I believe, might even be longer. It tends to work.”
 
Why do people sign up?
 
Participants will] form groups and become friends and bond in that respect and want to continue to do it again, that kind of thing….plus we’ve had people that have lost over 100 pounds…it’s been very effective overall.” 

Keep Reading…

Prince William dog licenses due Feb. 1

Get your dog license in Prince William County yet? If not, Fido needs a tag by Feb. 1. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Dog owners are reminded that in Prince William County all dogs age 4 months and older must be licensed by Feb. 1, 2015.

Any dog not having a 2015 license tag by February 1 will be in violation of County Code and owners will be subject to a fine. The license fee is $10 per dog.

If you received a dog license renewal form in the mail, please follow the instructions on the form in order to obtain a license. Forms must be returned by January 15th to ensure that you receive the new license by February 1.

If you did not receive a renewal form, owners must present a valid rabies certificate for each dog to obtain the license. Licenses may be purchased in person at any of the following locations:

 – James J. McCoart Administration Building –1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge

 – Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building – 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge

 – Sudley North Government Building – 7987Ashton Avenue in Manassas

 – Animal Control Bureau – 14807 Bristow Road in Manassas

If you prefer to apply by mail, an application form is available on the County’s web site at www.pwcgov.org/tax.

For questions about dog licensing, call 703-792-6710 or email Taxpayer_Services@pwcgov.org. For all other animal control questions, call the Animal Shelter at703-792-6465; after 5 p.m., call 703-792-6500.

Suspicious fire investigated at Triangle

083111 Dumfries fire truck

Fire officials in Prince William County say they arrested a man in connection to an apparent arson in the Triangle area. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On January 26, 2015, at 4:46 AM, the Prince William County Public Safety Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a fire in a two story home in the 4400 block of Forestburg Lane in Triangle, Virginia. Fire and Rescue units responded and arrived within six minutes of dispatch to find fire on the second floor extending into the attic. Once ensuring the residents were out of the house, Firefighters from Dumfries-Triangle VFD, Prince William County DFR, Occoquan VFD, Dale City VFD, and Quantico MCB, were able to bring the fire under control within 33 minutes of being on scene.

The fire was quickly identified as suspicious in nature and the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office was brought in to investigate.

As the investigation began, Prince William County Police took a person into custody in the area for an initially unrelated call. Through the combined investigative work of the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Prince William County Police, an arrest was made for the intentional setting of a fire in an occupied dwelling, by an occupant of the home. Additional charges are pending and more information on the arrest will be forthcoming.

The house was destroyed by the fire and the building was posted unsafe by the Prince William County Building Official. The Prince William Chapter of the American Red Cross was brought in to assist 6 adults that were the other residents of the home.

The suspect’s name was not released by fire investigators. 

I-95 North near Dale City closing briefly for sign removal

Drivers on Interstate 95 south pass under Telegraph Road in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

This Wednesday night, Jan. 28, until Thursday morning, Jan. 29, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close multiple lanes on I-95 North near the truck rest area, mile marker 154.5, just south of Dale City (exit 156), leading up to a full road closure for up to 15 minutes after midnight.

A single lane will be closed after 9 p.m., followed by a second lane at 10 p.m. All lanes will close for up to 15 minutes between 1 and 2 a.m. These closures are needed to replace an overhead sign.

Message signs will be posted on I-95 north to advise motorists of the closures and Virginia State Police will be on-site for traffic control.

-Information from VDOT.

Woodbridge Army reservist recovering after attack by Norfolk police dog

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London Colvin, a 21-year old private in the Army Reserve is recovering from injuries she suffered when attacked by a Norfolk Police dog.

Colvin was at the scene of a fight 2:15 a.m. Sunday, at an off-campus party near Norfolk State University, in Norfolk, where Colvin is a second-semester junior and Sociology major.

Colvin graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in 2011. She is currently a private with the 3rd Brigade, 318th Regiment and 78th Training Division, based at Fort Belvoir.

“She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving,” said Whitney Dunn, the victim’s cousin. “She was definitely being loud – she did admit to that.”

She told her family that one of the police officers approached her as she was leaving the party to question her, said Whitney Dunn. She also told her family that she had nothing to do with the situation, so she didn’t want to talk to the officer, Whitney Dunn added.

“Her and her friends continued to walk, and she said that she definitely continued to be loud, however they were walking away. The two other police officers approached her – asked her to stop. Whatever the case may be, they had her down on the ground when the dog came. Two of the police officers restrained her on the ground, and then they allowed the dogs to attack her,” Whitney Dunn said.

London Colvin did not speak with Potomac Local about what happened that night, but did tell us she is seeking legal counsel and has been advised not to make any statements about the incident.

According to the Norfolk police spokesman Daniel Hudson, having a police canine at the scene is standard protocol for incidents with large groups of people.

“We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street. And once we have that multitude of people, we always have our canine officers respond out there with us for crowd management,” Hudson said.

Hudson went on to state that the reason the police canine was allowed to approach Colvin was to keep the crowd under control and protect other witnesses at the incident. Keep Reading…

Come see the Capitol Steps at Hylton Arts Center & help Cecily replace the asbestos-laden siding on her home

When Cecily was in her 20’s she immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

capitol stepsTaking a job at Home Depot in Springfield, Cecily met her future husband, Eddy, who had emigrated from Palau. Cecily and Eddy married in 2008 and now share their Woodbridge home with their two children, Cecily’s mother, and grandmother.

A tight-knit family, everyone pitches in to help. Cecily operates a daycare from her home while also attending school at Northern Virginia Community College.

Cecily’s mom is a certified nursing assistant with a job in Washington, D.C. Eddy continues to work at Home Depot and he and Cecily’s mom and grandmother all help care for the children, too.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is looking forward to giving this hard working family a hand up with much-needed critical home repairs that will make their home safer, more comfortable and affordable.

Habitat for Humanity will replace the boiler that is original to the home, replace asbestos siding from three sides of the exterior and replace non-functional windows throughout the home. The deck must be rebuilt for safety. And the home will be weatherized for energy efficiency.

Habitat for Humanity thanks you for your support of the Capitol Steps event and welcomes you to join them on their work sites as a volunteer!

To learn more, visit Habitat for Humanity’s website at habitatpwc.org.

Mark your calendars for Laughs & Love benefit February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Not only are we having the hilarious Capitol Steps come to the beautiful Hylton Center, but our Rotary Club has proudly partnered with Casa, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center Therapeutic Riding, Calling All Souls and Transitional Housing Barn as the beneficiaries this year.

The goal?

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of.

They cannot do it alone!

To order tickets go to Hyltoncenter.org or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, steve@washmydeck.com by Feb 10.

The preceding post was sponsored by Rotary Club of Bull Run.

I-66 meetings canceled, rescheduled due to snow

Stafford resident Thomas Jackson (left) looks over a VDOT project that will add 1,000 commuter parking spaces in the Staffordboro Commuter Lot off Va. 610 in North Stafford. Project representatives like Oliver Boehm (right) were available to answer any questions residents had during the design public meeting held at Moncure Elementary School on Wednesday night. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Snow prompted the cancelation of two public meetings designed to provide residents more information on what Virginia officials plan to do to Interstate 66.

A meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville is canceled. It comes after a meeting scheduled last night in Vienna was also canceled due to snow.

Meetings are still scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday that residents may attend.

Here’s a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Weather permitting, there are still two opportunities to attend an I-66 Public Information Meeting this week.  Meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at Battlefield High School in Haymarket from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. (with a snow date on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, if necessary)
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

If you cannot attend in person, the meeting on Thursday, January 29, 2015, will be shown live at Transform66.org between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

There will also be two meetings next week due to yesterday’s and tonight’s cancellations.  The make-up dates and locations are:

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Oakton High School in Vienna from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Please visit the project website at Transform66.org for more information.

1.3 million pages later, Michele McQuigg seeks 2nd term as Prince William Clerk of the Circuit Court

Michele McQuigg calls herself an activist turned politician.

In addition to spending more than 20 years in public life serving the residents of Prince William County, she’s also belonged to just about any civic or community organization that had an open membership policy.

McQuigg is running for another eight-year term as Prince William County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. It’s a lesser-known position, one that doesn’t usually attract headlines – unless your Michelle McQuigg.

Last year, McQuigg placed her name on a lawsuit against Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who wanted to bypass a state referendum on gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. One of McQuigg’s jobs as Clerk of the Circuit Court is to issue those licenses.

McQuigg doesn’t support gay marriage, but she said the overriding reason for her signing her name to that lawsuit was because she felt the state, and federal constitutions were being usurped by the Attorney General. Today, gay couples may file for marriage licenses in Virginia. Keep Reading…

Occoquan Town Hall getting new signs

occoquan town hall sign

The Occoquan Town Hall will get some sprucing up.

The town plans to add new signs to the front of the building, as well as an oval sign to hang by the sidewalk in front of the Town Hall building.

A 20×22 inch sandblasted sign, complete with raised lettering, and full-color paint stating “Historic Occoquan Virginia Town Hall, 314 Mill Street” will hang next to the main entrance of Town Hall. The oval sign that states “Historic Occoquan Town Hall.”

The combined cost for both signs is $1,800, according to town documents. Signarama of Woodbridge was selected to provide pricing and a design example of the new sign.

The new signs come as the town has already “taken steps” to upgrade signage at street intersections including Commerce and Washington streets, Commerce Street and Route 123 (Gordon Boulevard), and Old Bridge and Tanyard Hill roads, and at Mamie Davis Park on Mill Street, according to town documents.

Montclair mailbox smashers busted, police say

{Police said they nabbed two people responsible for a series of mailbox smashings in Prince William County’s Montclair neighborhood.

Here’s the latest from police: 

Since the beginning of December, the Prince William County police department has received numerous calls regarding the destruction of mailboxes in the Montclair section of Dumfries. These destruction cases ranged from pulling the mailboxes up from the ground to throwing objects at them and even to destroying the mailboxes altogether. In all, approximately 45 cases were reported to police with damage estimated around $2,500.

On January 24th at 1:00AM, officers responded to the 15800 block of Marlington Dr to investigate a report of damage to mailboxes in the area. Through the investigation, officers developed a possible suspect vehicle involved in the incident. Officers eventually located that vehicle in the area and identified its occupants as an adult male and a juvenile male, both of the Montclair area.

Detectives subsequently interviewed the suspects and connected them to the rash of vandalism incidents in the Montclair area over the past two months. Both suspects have each been charged with 2 counts of destruction of property and, through an agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, restitution will be sought in all reported cases.

Arrested:

Damien Joseph LYNCH, 19, of 15578 Winding Creek Dr in Dumfries

Court date: March 3, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

A 17 year old male juvenile of Dumfries

Court date: pending | Status: unavailable

At 50, woman tells story of abuse, rape to help connect with mentally ill in Prince William

Cynthia Dudley is turning 50 years old.

She made a video in recognition of her milestone birthday that she posted on YouTube. It isn’t your typical birthday video.

Through flash cards, Dudley tells a story of being abused by her mother when she was a child, being raped, and being robbed a gunpoint. This series of events led to several suicide attempts.

Seven years ago, Dudley’s life changed when she and two other women founded the Trillium Drop-In Center in Woodbridge. With thoughts of suicide behind her, now her focus is to help others who may be going through similar trials.

We interviewed Dudley about why she shared such a personal story on the web.

 

Where did you get the idea for the video?

 

I had the idea for the video literally when my friend asked what I wanted for my birthday, and I decided I wanted to make it about Trillium because I don’t personally want for anything, and I am committed to Trillium and the work we do there 200%. A video seemed like the perfect idea to support my goal of 50 people donating $50 for my 50th.

I am a speaker about mental illness and sharing personal details about my own experiences with it is what I’ve been doing for years, in order to help people who are going through similar issues. Also, talking about mental illness helps break stigma surrounding it, which is another of my professional goals.

 

What was the reaction from your friends / co-workers when they saw the video?

 

My staff, Board, members, colleagues, and friends are in complete support of the video. Many have known most of my story for years. People are touched by the intensity of the video and are inspired to support our goal in any way they are able.

 

How many people does the center help each year?

 

Trillium helps 35-40 people six days a week, we average one new person a day, over 600 a year, and over 3,000 since we opened 7+ years ago. I was one of three women who started Trillium in 2007 and have been the Director the entire time.

 

After people watch the video, what do you hope the takeaway message is?

 

After watching the video I hope people will donate what they can, if they are so led. My goal is $50 from 50 people for my 50th, which is in two weeks. If people are not led to donate, I’d really appreciate them sharing the video to friends, colleagues, associations, etc. in order to spread the word and help people with serious mental illness in Prince William County. One in four live with serious mental illness. It’s important to talk about it. And give people hope that it can be managed effectively and even overcome in some circumstances.

Occoquan wants to name its new riverfront park

occoquan, riverfront park,

Leaders in Occoquan have begun the discussion on what to name their upcoming riverfront park.

Demolition of an old water treatment plant once operated by Fairfax Water until it was decommissioned in 2007 began late last summer. Work to remove old water tanks, as well as other structures, is expected to be completed this winter, and then construction of the new park will commence.

The park will include scenic views of the Occoquan River, a public restroom, a storage facility and possibly a pavilion.

Town officials want to come up with a name for the park. The name should be entirely new and not mirror other names of places and buildings in the town such as “Mill,” as the town already has a historic mill and a street of the same name. The park will not be named after a person, either, according town documents.

A list of proposed names for the park is being compiled by town staff. That list is expected to be made available Feb. 3 during a public meeting when residents will be able to weigh in on the new name.

Last week, the town council was scheduled to meet with its engineers to review conceptual plans for the park. Improvements to a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Occoquan River at the end of Mill Street, as well as a looped walking path, and new interpretive signage pointing out historic facts and places of interest are also being considered as part of the park project.

The new riverfront park is slated to open this year.

Full day kindergarten, specialty busing all on chopping block at Prince William schools

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For the first time, Prince William County’s School Board will provide budget guidance to Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Walts.

The elected board will tell Walts of key items they would like to see funded as well as areas that could be cut to help make up for a coming $11 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2016 schools operating budget.

The move comes as the Prince William County Board of Supervisors directed officials to create a budget based on a 1.3% growth rate in the average real estate property tax bill, not the 4% tax growth rate as was approved last year. Since the county gives 57% of its entire budget to the school division, the lower rate means fewer tax fewer resources for county schools.

On the chopping block cutting full-day kindergarten for non-Title 1 schools, something that’s been the norm for the past 10 years. Slashing transportation funding for high school and middle school specialty programs, which provides buses for students to attend classes at selected school sites across the county that provide a student’s specialty program like arts, math, and sciences, is also on the table.

The resolution also calls for halting some $52 million in capital improvements to schools that were to take place this year. Things like renewal of six elementary schools in eastern Prince William, HVAC repairs and replacement, window replacement, and energy infrastructure improvements are all on the list.

The Board is expected to tell Walts to find ways to continue to fund class size reduction plans, as well as to find a way to fund a salary step increase for schools employees.

“If we want to do these two things which we told the Board of Supervisors are priorities for us, we’re going to have to look at other areas to cut, said School Board Chairman Milton C. Johns, who proposed the new budget guidance measure.

Johns called this a “watershed year” for the school division as it looks to make up an overall $20 million shortfall, with the $11 million deficit included following the county’s 1.3% tax bill growth.

“I hate this. We’ve pushed off orders for replacement buses. We’ve pushed off technology upgrades. But we’re going to have to make some tough decisions – and it’s not just $11 million one time, its $11 million each year over the course of the next five years,” said Gainesville School Board representative Allison Satterwhite.

The stalled technology upgrades Satterwhite mentioned were supposed to cost $4.5 million and included upgrades to phone systems, computer servers, and interactive projectors.

The School Board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Board also expects to hear from Dr. Walts at that meeting about the state of the upcoming budget.

New York City men face drug distribution charges in Prince William

Four men now face charges after police said they were involved in separate drug cases

 

Here’s more in a police press release:

Pena

Pena

Narcotics Investigation – On December 18th, members of the Prince William-Manassas-Manassas Park Narcotics Task Force concluded a narcotics investigation involving the selling of suspected cocaine with the below arrests. As part of the investigation, search warrants were obtained and subsequently executed on two vehicles belonging to the suspects. As a result of the search and the investigation, an undisclosed amount of money was seized. Both arrests were made without incident and were previously held for investigative purposes.

Arrested on December 18th:

Ledesma

Ledesma

Genesi M. LEDESMA, 39, of 241 Sherman Ave, Apt. M, in New York, NY

 

Jose PENA, 42, of 1315 Amsterdam Ave, Apt 15, in New York, NY

 

Both suspects were charged with conspiracy to possess a scheduled I or II narcotic with intent to distribute

Court date: February 6, 2015 | Bond: unavailable

In a separate, unrelated incident, police say they searched a home in Manassas where another drug arrest was made.

 

More in a press release: 

                                                     

Sosa-Rodriguez

Sosa-Rodriguez

Narcotics Investigation – On December 17th, members of the Prince William-Manassas-Manassas Park Narcotics Task Force concluded a narcotics investigation involving the selling of suspected cocaine with the below arrests. As part of the investigation, a search warrant was obtained and subsequently executed at the home of one of the suspects on Prince Cole Ct in Manassas. Both arrests were made without incident and were previously held for investigative purposes.

Arrested on December 17th:

Rafy Salvador SOSA-RODRIGUEZ, 24, of 9680 Cisler Ln in Manassas

Fuentes

Fuentes

Charged with 2 counts of possession with intent to distribute a scheduled I or II narcotic

Court date: February 25, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond                                                       

 

Santiago Dejesus FUENTES, 31, of 7503 Prince Cole Ct, Apt 3, in Manassas

Charged with 2 counts of possession with intent to distribute a scheduled I or II narcotic

Court date: February 6, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

Teen charged in Woodbridge burglaries

PWC police car

Police made an arrest of a teenager they say is responsible for two burglaries this month at a home in Woodbridge.

Here’s more in a press release:

Residential Burglaries *ARRESTS – On January 20th at 10:28AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 2300 block of Battery Hill Cl in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary in progress. A neighbor reported to police that two unknown suspects were seen breaking into a home in the above area. Officers arrived and located two individuals matching the description provided by the witness. When officers attempted to stop those individuals, one fled on foot through several backyards. After a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was detained without further incident. Both individuals were identified as a male and female juvenile and were determined to be the suspects involved in the burglary. The investigation revealed that the suspects made entry into the home through a rear window which was broken out. No property was reported missing. The investigation further revealed that the male juvenile suspect was responsible for a separate burglary to the same residence on January 12th. Following the investigation, both suspects were charged.

Arrested on January 20th: [Juveniles]

16 year old male juvenile of Woodbridge

Charged with 2 counts of burglary, 2 counts of grand larceny and 1 count of resisting arrest

Court date: pending | Status: held at the Juvenile Detention Center

16 year old female juvenile of Woodbridge

Charged with burglary and grand larceny

Court date: pending | Status: released to guardian

Residential Burglary [Previously Released] – On January 12th at 7:42PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 2300 block of Battery Hill Cl in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 8:49AM and 7:25PM. The investigation revealed that there were no signs of forced entry into the home. Entry is believed to have been made through a basement window after the screen was cut and removed. A gaming console, iPhone, tablet and other property were reported missing.

Dale City, Lake Ridge, Manassas rank as Virginia’s ‘most boring’ places to live

We often think of our homes as a respite from work and the outside world. Many of us make long commutes between home and our jobs to so we can enjoy better schools for our children, better shopping, and an overall better quality of life on the weekends.

Well, congratulations all you better quality of lifers out there – three neighborhoods in our area are ranked as some of Virginia’s “most boring” places to live. Two neighborhoods ranked in the top 10.

We’ll start with Lake Ridge, the community that ranked seven of 46 of the most boring places in the state, according to real estate website Movato. The riverside community’ s reputation on the survey was dinged due to its lack of independently-owned restaurants. And, while the website gave Lake Ridge high marks for having dense population, that meant little to surveyors because they say Lake Ridge has a low population of those aged 18 to 34 – you know, the demographic of people known for getting out and going places — and that means the place is, according to them, boring.

Not all Lake Ridge residents agree that their neighborhood is boring. Though they do note it could use more cultural options.

Dale City ranked one lower on the list at number eight. The community’s “almost a complete lack of nightlife” and lack of “active life options” counted against the bedroom community. Movato’s list also noted Dale City to have few restaurants, and that makes us wonder if they’ve been to the area around Potomac Mills mall?

Lower on the list at number 36 is Manassas City, and Fredericksburg City ranked number 40. That means that, according to the survey, both cities are more interesting that Lake Ridge or Dale City.

Danville was the “most boring” place in Virginia while Charlottesville was the least boring of the 46 communities ranked. Movato ranked the communities cities by population, population of those aged 18 to 34, number of nightlife spots and music venues, and the number of fast food vs. independently-owned restaurants.

Dumfries veterans’ resource fair begins 10 a.m. Saturday

The Rural Health Initiative team from McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond brought their Mobile Vet Center program to Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

A veterans’ resource fair will be held Saturday in Dumfries.

The fair will allow veterans the chance to learn more about healthcare options, education opportunities, as well as preventing homelessness.

Here’s more in a press release:

The fair will provide a number of veteran-related services in a one-stop setting. Onsite will be Department of Veterans Affairs’ representatives from the Center for Minority Veterans, the Veterans Health and Benefits Administrations, and the National Cemetery Administration. Other invited organizations will provide information related to GI Bill education assistance, finding jobs, completing wills, preventing homelessness, and how to participate in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

Participants include the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Dumfries Police Department, ALBAN CAT, Virginia State Police Recruiter, Integrity Applications, Prince William County Police, Strategy and Management Services Inc, BAI, Inc. Vesper Wave Solutions, LLC, Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Stratford University and so many more.

The 2015 Veterans Resource and Job Fair is a joint effort of Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood, Delegate Micheal Futrell, and Women’s Veterans Interactive.

The fair will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and will run through 2 p.m. It will take place at 3800 Graham Park Road in Dumfries, at  Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad.

ANU students take MLK Day, register to vote in Prince William County

Vote, MLK day, election

In recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday and a day of service, Medical Assistant students from the Northern Virginia Campus of American National University collectively registered to vote in Prince William County. 

Their inspiration came not only from Dr. Martin Luther King, but also from the ANU Mission Statement, which states, “Graduates of American National University should understand and practice their responsibilities to their families, their fellow men and their communities by becoming effective and contributing citizens.”

Led by their instructor, MJ Williams of the Roanoke Campus, the students committed to volunteering in the community and becoming informed voters.

Updated: Prince William cancels evening activities

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

Prince William County Public Schools canceled all evening activities tonight. 

Here’s full information in a statement from the school division: 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015: After School and Evening Activities Canceled-Normal Dismissal today. 

All Prince William County Public Schools divisionwide after-school and evening activities are canceled for tonight. All after-school and evening activities including night school, GED, and adult education classes, are canceled this evening. SACC and the Next Generation programs will close at 5 p.m. School will continue to operate on a normal schedule for the remainder of today.  

A School Board meeting that had been scheduled for 7 p.m. is also canceled. 

On the Prince William County Government side of the house, tonight’s meeting of the planning commission is also canceled. All cases will be rescheduled for Feb. 18, according to a press release. 

 

Manassas First Friday February: It’s the ‘Souper Bowl’

Souper Bowl
  • Historic Manassas, Inc.
  • Address: 9431 West Street, Manassas, Virginia
  • Phone: 703-361-6599
  • Website: http://visitmanassas.org/

Historic Downtown Manassas is putting on the Soup for First Friday February.

On Feb. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., city restaurants are pairing up with downtown merchants to offer a soup for sampling. Five-dollar wristbands allow participants to sample the soups from each location and vote to name a champion of the “Souper Bowl.”

A list of participating merchants for Manassas First Friday is available at visitmanassas.org.

Inspired by the success of the monthly event concept held in other localities, First Friday in Historic Downtown was created by the Historic Manassas, Inc. promotions committee to enhance tourism and entertainment offerings in the City of Manassas. The initial First Friday event was held in February 2014 and has grown and evolved. Some months feature roving musicians and caricature artists, while other months feature sidewalk art or special foods, like this month.

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