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Two adults, 3 children taken to hospital after blaze

Submitted: 

On Friday, March 24th at 2:36 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire in a single-family home located in the 11200 block of Ramrod Road in Woodbridge.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered the home fully involved in flames. As fire and rescue crews initiated defensive and rural water operations to extinguish the fire, they were informed all occupants had safely evacuated the home; 5 escaped through a second-story window onto the roof of the front porch and 2 from the basement.

Of the seven occupants, 2 adults and 3 children, were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

A Building Official was on scene and has posted the home unsafe.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, damages are estimated at $525,000, a total loss.

The fire started on the outside of the home caused by improper discarding of smoking materials.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee urges residents to take precautions when using smoking materials. 

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VDOT looks at extending I-95 Express Lanes to Fredericksburg

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — From 50,000 feet, the 10-mile stretch of the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes proposed by the Virginia Department of Transportation is known as “Component 3A” of the Atlantic Gateway project launched by Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) last year.

From ground level, the new express lanes extension proposal is a step in the right direction according to Lorenza Cooper who said: “they’re not extending is as far as it needs to go.” Cooper, was one of the attendees looking over the express lanes maps and fliers at a VDOT public information meeting March 21 at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. He is a Stafford resident that uses the existing lanes when he has to but admits the tolls are something he’s not comfortable with. “I only take small segments since it’s so expensive,” Cooper said.

The 10-mile extension VDOT will run from Route 610 in North Stafford to Route 17 in, just north of the Rappahannock River outside Fredericksburg. There are three major access points in the new plan: at Russell Road near Quantico; Courthouse Road, or Exit 140; and Route 17. The Russell Road access point isn’t even in the new stretch but is needed for those headed to Quantico. As with the other express lanes on I-95 and I-495, there are tolls for vehicles with one or two occupants, but those with three or more can ride toll-free.

The meeting was just to test the waters and let residents know what is on the planning tables, said VDOT spokesperson Kelly Hannon. (more…)

News
Bank robbery suspects arrested, connection to additional robberies under investigation

From Prince William County Police:

Attempted Bank Robbery ARREST – Upon further investigation into the reported attempted bank robbery which occurred at the BB&T Bank located at 13920 Noblewood Plz in Woodbridge on March 22, detectives have charged the driver of the suspect vehicle involved, identified as James Robert MOTON.

The passenger in the same vehicle, identified as William Howard ROBINSON, was also arrested on an unrelated charge. The investigation continues into this incident and possible connections to other additional robberies in Prince William County. Additional charges are pending. (more…)

News
Man previously sought for aggravated sexual battery arrested

From Prince William Police Department:

Aggravated Sexual Battery *ARREST – On March 21, Eduyn Misael BELTRAN-ROMERO turned himself into police without incident at the Adult Detention Center in Manassas. The accused was wanted for a sexual assault which occurred at a residence in Dumfries in July of 2016.

Arrested on March 21:
Eduyn Misael BELTRAN-ROMERO, 43, of no fixed address
Charged with aggravated sexual battery and production of child pornography
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond (more…)

News
Attempted robbery at Woodbridge bank, police detain two suspects

From Prince William County Police:

Attempted Bank Robbery – On March 22 at 9:41 a.m., officers responded to the BB&T Bank located at 13920 Noblewood Plz in Woodbridge to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man approached the bank area then passed a note demanding money. When the teller refused, the suspect fled the bank possibly in a vehicle. No injuries were reported.

A short time later, a responding officer observed the suspect vehicle driving on Opitz Blvd near Potomac Center Blvd. Officers initiated a traffic stop and detained the driver and a passenger believed to be involved in the attempted bank robbery. The investigation continues and further information will be released when available.


Holiday Inn Express North Stafford part of growing ‘select service’ hotel catering to business travelers

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Front Door
IHG Lobby
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Guest room 1
Meeting 3
Coffee area

It’s been about a month since the Wingate Inn in North Stafford changed its name to Holiday Inn Express, and there’s already been a noticeable improvement.

The rooms are completely renovated, and the pool went from a chlorine-filled swimming hole to a salt water oasis, and the continental breakfast is now anything but bland.

The changes are part of an $6 million renovation project at the hotel located the heart of North Staford, across from Stafford Marketplace. Changing the brand of the hotel was a significant move to attract and cater to business travelers.

“If we’re going to do a full renovation we’re going to go for a higher brand,” said Amal Lambaraa, Managing Director of Lambaraa Hospitality LLC at the Holiday Inn Express in North Stafford.

The new name not only means fresh linens and a brighter coat of paint. It means a better, healthier complimentary breakfast with low-calorie pancakes, waffles, and grab-and-go healthy options like fruit and gourmet coffee.

“Some days, the breakfast you take away can also be your lunch. You can take your food with you, and that prevents you from needing to run out to a gas station to get food or coffee,” added Lambarra.

There is over $1 billion in new hotel construction happening across Virginia right now. Leading the pack are these types of “select service” hotels. (more…)

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VRE nixes expansion to Gainesville, Haymarket. It’ll study expanding, relocating its Broad Run station in Manassas

As we originally reported it would do in December, Virginia Railway Express this month decided to end its study of expanding commuter rail west of Manassas to Haymarket and Gainesville.

From VRE: 

“The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board unanimously voted to advance the Broad Run Terminus Expansion alternative of the Gainesville-Haymarket Extension Study. This alternative, which was recommended by the VRE staff and endorsed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, allows for capacity expansion along the Manassas line by expanding storage at the Broad Run train yard, and potentially realigning the current station and adding new parking at the Broad Run station.

The vote allows VRE to advance into “Phase 2” of the current project, which will include the completion of preliminary engineering and preparation for National Environmental Policy Act evaluation. An early step in the next phase will be continuing coordination with the Norfolk Southern railroad, working toward their approval of the necessary railroad infrastructure.

The Broad Run Terminus was one of five alternatives studied by VRE with input from the local community and the various jurisdictions along the Manassas line. The other alternatives included eliminating the Broad Run station and expanding the line as far as Gainesville or Haymarket. In approving the Broad Run Expansion alternative, the Board noted its decision was based on an analysis that showed this was the most cost effective means of addressing future service needs along the Manassas line.
(more…)

News
ALDI stores in Manassas, Woodbridge closing for renovations

Three more ALDI grocery stores in our area will temporarily close for renovations. 

From an ALDI spokeswoman: 

“…the following nearby stores will also temporarily close for remodeling:

— The Manassas store on Liberia Ave., will close for remodeling in late March and reopen in May.

— The Fredericksburg store on Warrenton Road (in Stafford County) will close for remodeling in early April and reopen in May.

— The Woodbridge store on Smoketown Road will close for remodeling in June and will reopen later this summer.”

These closures come after ALDI last month told us its store on Garrisonville Road in North Stafford would temporarily be closed in April and reopened in May.

The renovations are part of a company-wide effort to revamp stores and open new ones. 

From a press release: 

“With more people shopping its grocery stores than ever before, ALDI today announced an aggressive $1.6 billion investment in its stores, with an extensive plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 US stores by 2020.”

ALDI recently opened a new store outside Dumfries. It does not appear on the list of stores to be temporarily closed.

News
Mental health counselor charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor

From Prince William County Police Department:

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor – On March 6, detectives from the Special Victims Unit began an investigation involving a juvenile and a counselor at the Psychological and Life Skills Associates located at 13885 Hedgewood Dr, Suite 245, in Woodbridge .

The investigation revealed that between January and March of 2017, the accused, identified as Matthew Stuart BROUDY, had an inappropriate relationship with a client, identified as a 17-year-old female juvenile. During the course of their relationship, the accused engaged in inappropriate contact with the victim on more than one occasion while at his above office in Woodbridge.

Detectives further learned that the accused continued to send the victim sexually explicit messages. On March 16, detectives executed a search warrant at BROUDY’s office and seized electronic items. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on March 16:
Matthew Stuart BROUDY, 46, of 5711 4th St N. in Arlington
Charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and using a communication system to facilitate certain offenses involving children
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

News
Chimney fire scorches three-story townhouse in Woodbridge

From Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue:

On Wednesday, March 15th at 8:55 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 3400 block of Braddock Road in Woodbridge.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire in the basement that had extended to the second and third floor of the home. Firefighters initiated fire attack and extinguished the fire.

No injuries reported. According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $200,000, a total loss.

The Building Official has posted the home unsafe.Red Cross was on scene to assist, 2 adults and 2 children, displaced by the fire.

The fire originated in the chimney and has been determined as accidental.

Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee would like to urge residents to follow these fire and life-safety tips when using wood burning equipment:

  • Each year, prior to using your fireplace or wood stove, have your chimney and vents inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional.
  • Have a sturdy fireplace screen or keep the doors on the wood stove closed to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces and wood stoves and dry, seasoned wood pellets in pellet stoves.
  • NEVER start the fire with a flammable liquid, kerosene or gasoline; use newspaper or kindling.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
  • NEVER leave a fireplace or wood stove fire unattended, particularly when children are present.

 

 

News
Mother charged with felony child neglect

From Prince William County Police:

Felony Child Neglect – On March 13 at 6:18 p.m., officers responded to the 12100 block of Cinnamon St in Woodbridge in reference to a found child. The caller reported to police that she located a young child walking around a parking lot unattended in the above area. Officers attempted to obtain information from the child regarding her residence and other identifiable information without success. (more…)

News
Law ensures Virginians can resell tickets

In a defeat for Ticketmaster, a new state law will allow Virginians to resell tickets they’ve bought for concerts, football and basketball games, and other public events.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed two bills that would protect people involved in reselling tickets – a practice critics call scalping. The law also says you can’t be turned away if you show up at an event with a ticket you received from someone else. (more…)

News
‘While none of it is funny, comedy…gets people to stop talking…and literally act’

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Rahmein Mostafavi has been bringing headlining comedy acts to venues in Northern Virginia since 2011.

His shows at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, in Arlington, Fredericksburg, and other locations have introduced area residents to acts who have been featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and others.

We talked to Mostafavi about his recent efforts to use laughs to raise money for a serious cause — helping children in war-torn Syria.

PL: What inspired you to start the “All for Aleppo” fundraising campaign?

Mostafavi: Quite simply the horrifying images of the country and it’s suffering people. Especially the children.

PL: How much money did you raise?

Mostafavi: $11,976

PL: What was the best thing about doing this campaign?

Mostafavi: Seeing the people come out for a cause that has nothing to do with their daily lives. We can all just watch the news and even get sad, but to take the time to go out and do something, even as simple as attending a comedy show, is action.

It was truly heartwarming to see people give, $5, $10, $20, and
often much more than that to people that, at this time, need if far more than we do.

PL: What’s a big challenge you had to overcome with this endeavor?

Mostafavi: Honestly, it didn’t take much. The DC comics are very supportive and wonderful people. The minute I put the word out about these shows, I had more than enough talent to produce great shows. Our talent pool runs extremely deep in DC.

I suppose the challenge was taking time away from my kids to do these non-profit shows. They are old enough to know when daddy is gone, so they got a bit less daddy time during this run. However, it provided me a perfect opportunity to sit them down to talk
about exactly what I was trying to do.

They are smart boys. They got it and became supportive too. When I’d get home from a fundraiser, they’d ask me how much I’d raised for
the people of Syria.

PL: Where are you performing next?

Mostafavi: I’m kind of all over. Locally my next shows are my productions that I’m hosting in Leesburg, Lorton, and Fredericksburg. Details at coolcowcomedy.com.

PL: Was it a bit awkward to use comedy as a way to raise funds for such a tragic endeavor?

Mostafavi: At first, I had those concerns as well. But it’s like any fundraiser. Whether it’s the Orlando shooting, Katrina, etc…we gather for the cause. While none of it is funny, comedy is simply the magnet that
gets people to stop talking or posting about a given situation and literally act.

PL: When did you start your business Cool Cow Comedy?

Mostafavi: About six years ago.

PL: What’s next for you and Cool Cow Comedy?

Mostafavi: More of the same I suppose.

PL: If someone wants to donate to your campaign how/where do they do that?

Mostafavi: At this point, no more fundraiser shows are scheduled. Please donate directly to whatever cause inspires you. The three I focused on where Islamic Relief, Doctors Without Borders (with Syrian focus), and Handicap International (with Syrian focus).

*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.

News
Robbery suspect argued with women, kicked cat, police said

From Prince William police: 

Strong Armed Robbery | Cruelty to Animal | Domestic Related – On March 10 at 9:35PM, officers responded to investigate an assault which occurred earlier that evening at a residence located in the 4000 block of Bradys Hill Dr in Triangle (22172).

The investigation revealed that the accused was involved in physical altercation with three victims, a 42-year-old woman, 19-year-old woman, and a 17-year-old female juvenile. During the encounter, the victims were assaulted by the accused.

At some point during the altercation, the accused kicked an 8-month-old cat across the room. As the victims attempted to leave, the accused held down the 42-year-old woman and took money from her. The accused then destroyed the victims’ cell phones as they attempted to contact police.

The parties eventually separated and the victim’s drove back to their residence in Woodbridge where they contacted police. Minor injuries were reported. The cat was not injured. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused.
Wanted: [Photo from August 2008]

Glenn Russell HALL, Jr., 51, of the 4000 block of Bradys Hill Rd in Triangle

Described as a white male, 5’08”, 190lbs with hazel eyes and brown hair

Wanted for 1 count of robbery, 3 counts of assault & battery, 1 count of cruelty to animals, and 1 count of destruction of property

News
Another Wells Fargo Bank branch robbed

From Prince William police: Wells Fargo Suspect 1

 

Bank Robbery – On March 13 at 11:08AM, officers responded to the Wells Fargo Bank located at 13716 Smoketown Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man approached the bank area then passed a note demanding money. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of Wells Fargo Suspect 2money before fleeing the area in a silver Dodge or Chrysler van. No injuries were reported. The investigation continues.

Suspect Description:

Black male, 5’08” with a thin build

Last seen wearing black jacket with purple stripes, sunglasses, and a Dallas Cowboys hatWells Fargo Suspect Vehicle

A Wells Fargo Bank branch on Dale Boulevard in Dale City was robbed in a similar fashion on March 3.

 


Bingo mixed with aerobics keeps seniors active during winter months

The winter months can be a difficult time for seniors.

Cold temperatures and wintry weather conditions can make it difficult to go outside or to take regular shopping trips and excursions.

The Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care Center near Manassas recognizes this can be a problem and works to keep their residents active and engaged on gray winter days.

One of the ways it does so is by gathering residents in a dining area and playing “Arringo,” an activity that mixes aerobics with bingo to engage the mind, body, and soul.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas

News
Winter strikes back! Find storm-related info, closings, and delays

We could get anywhere between three and eight inches of snow from this later winter storm that is slated to impact our region Monday night into Tuesday. 

Here’s the latest forecast

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

The Twitter list below will show updates from Virginia transportation agencies, regional airports, utilities, and emergency management officials.  

News
Attic blaze at house on Colchester Road doused

Submitted: 

Woodbridge, VA March 12, 2017 — 8:22 a.m. Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton  Volunteer Department responded to the report of a house fire at 1416  Colchester Road in Woodbridge. Initial units arrived on scene within minutes and reported smoke showing from the attic.

The fire was under = control quickly with minimal damage. Fire & Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD and PWC Department of Fire & Rescue and PWCPD, responded to the incident. No one was injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office.

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