The Prince William County Professional Fire Fighters Local 2598 group is working with George Mason University to host the 8th annual walk to honor Kyle Wilson on April 18.
Wilson was the first career firefighter in Prince William County’s fire and rescue department’s 41-years to die in the line of duty back in 2008.
The Kyle Wilson 10K Walk for Fitness will take place at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge.
More from a press release:
Prince William County Professional Fire Fighters Local 2598 in cooperation with George Mason University will be holding the 8th annual Kyle Wilson 10K Walk for Fitness on April 18th, 2015 at C.D. Hylton High School. Registration will begin at 9am and the walk will begin at 10am. All proceeds from the walk will go to The Kyle Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund at George Mason University.
Kyle Robert Wilson gave the ultimate sacrifice on Monday April 16th, 2007 while searching for occupants during a house fire. His passion for the profession of fire fighting and physical fitness are the inspiration for this walk. Kyle was a graduate of Hylton High School and George Mason University with a degree in Athletic Training. Kyle joined the Prince William Department of Fire and Rescue in 2006.
For more information or to pre-register please go to www.KyleWilsonMemorial.com.
On February 24, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the request to build a construction materials recycling facility in Manassas.
The facility will be located at 6326 Old Compton Road, just north of the intersection of Balls Ford Road.
Residents and county workers will be able to recycle concrete, asphalt and wood on the site, according to board documents.
Additionally, a recycling materials separation facility will be built on the site, according to board reports.
Once completed, residents will be able to drop off these materials Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to board documents, the recycling facility is set for completion by May of this year.
No public hearing for the site has been set, and the county planning office has not yet sought input from area property owners, according to board documents.
Prince William County Police report that a shooting-related death occurred in the 9600 block of Bedder Stone Place in Bristow this morning.
An investigation into explosive devices found in a Dale City apartment took authorities this morning to a trailer home just outside Newport News.
The home of Alan Michael Blischak was searched during the early hours of Tuesday morning by authorities by Prince William and York counties. An explosive device was also found inside the trailer, according to Prince William fire and rescue spokesman Thomas Jarman. Investigators are mum on exactly what was found.
The Newport News bomb squad, Virginia State Police Bomb K9 Unit, the Department of Homeland Security, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, and York County Fire and Life Safety Office were all involved.
The discovery follows a search of an apartment police said Blischak occupied at Dale Forest Apartments in Dale City when he was arrested last March 26. Bomb making chemicals, a self-timer, a circuit board, propane torch, tripod, battery pack, and blood samples were taken from the apartment, according to a search warrant filed in Prince William County court.
Blischak is charged in Prince William County with creating explosive devices. Jarman said officials in York County will also file charges on Blischak .
Blischak was released from jail on a $50,000 bond. He is expected in a Prince William County courtroom on May 7.
The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a call at 1:35 p.m. this afternoon about a partial building collapse in the Wentworth Green development on Senea Drive in Gainesville.
On a construction site for new townhomes in the development, the wind caught hold of roof trusses that were tacked into place on the third floor – which is standard practice – and caused the collapse, according to Thomas Jarman, Battalion Chief for Prince William fire and rescue.
“It really wasn’t a whole building collapse – it was houses under construction – and they had some of the roofing trusses collapsed,” said Jarman.
Jarman stated that Jim Forgo, the incident commander, and other responders arrived at the scene and found three adult males had been injured.
A rope system and elevated anchor point were used to retrieve the three victims, according to Jarman.
One of the victims has a lower body injury, believed to be a fracture, said Jarman.
The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Jarman.
“We actually ended up transporting a total of three patients. One was a little more serious – I believe there was a fracture. He was the one that was removed from the third floor of the townhouse,” Jarman said.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are on the scene and investigating.
An annual Easter Egg hunt will take place Saturday in Dumfries.
Pillar Church in Dumfries will provide a children’s bounce house, as well as volunteers to run family games at the Easter event. The church will also provide an Easter Bunny suit to be worn by Dumfries Parks and Recreation Committee member Matthew Critchley.
Face Odyssey will also be on hand to paint childrens’ faces, according to Dumfries Community Services Director Ryan Gandy.
Easter is the following day, Sunday, April 5.
The following Saturday on April 11, volunteers will gather in Dumfries for the annual Quantico Creek Clean Up. Coffee, bagels, and donuts will be served starting at 8 a.m. at Town Hall while participating volunteers are registered for the event, according to Public Works Director Richard West.
The clean up will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch will be served after the clean up ends, and volunteers will tally up the amount of garbage collected, said West.
Gandy said this year’s event will focus more on celebrating the ethnic heritage of many cultures and less on vendors selling products and services.
“I am part of the organizing committee, and last year someone came to me and said that [last year’s multicultural festival] wasn’t a multicultural festival,” said Vice Mayor Willie Toney. “We were wondering if we should even continue with that name. The intent was to have a multicultural event to have different people, different food.”
Toney told Gandy he was pleased that this year’s festival will focus more on celebrating diversity in the community.
“I looked back last year on what it became it wasn’t really a multicultural festival,” added Gandy.
Festival goers should expect displays on native and African-African American life as it pertains to the early days of the Town of Dumfries, provided by Historic Dumfries, Inc. Gandy also contacted several food vendors that would “provide cuisine of their native lands,” said Gandy. The details of which food vendors will participate are still being worked out.
The festival is free to attend.
On March 4, detectives from the Prince William County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit received a call about a sexual assault that was reported on Lomond Drive in Manassas.
According to a Prince William police release, the incidences of sexual assault began back in 2010.
The victim in the investigation – a 9-year old girl – has been sexually assaulted by three different individuals since 2010, when they were staying in her home, according to a Prince William police release.
The investigation showed that the instances began when the victim was 5-years old.
A call was made to the Prince William police to investigate the claim after the victim told family members.
All three of the men did not know one another, and were all staying in the residence at different times, says a Prince William police release.
The suspects; Douglas Vladmir Monge Baires, a 39-year old Manassas man, Walter Antonio Canales Reyes, a 31-year old Manassas man, and Santos Andres Flores Rios, a 47-year old man, were all located and arrested by the Prince William police.
Baires is being charged with two counts of rape, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of object sexual penetration.
Reyes is being charged with three counts of rape, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.
Rios is being charged with one county of indecent liberties.
All three suspects are being held without bond.
The Manassas Museum in Downtown Manassas is getting ready for the spring and summer with several upcoming exhibits.
According to Doug Horhota, Museum Programs Coordinator for the City of Manassas, it’s important to remember that the museum is not just for Civil War exhibits – and that the Manassas Museum looks at life in Manassas as a whole.
“We are the Manassas Museum – not the Manassas Civil War Museum. And that is one of our challenges here. But we try to focus on the history of Manassas – and that can be anything that deals with pre-contact, like the Native Americans…or it can include anything up to the current day,” said Horhota.
The museum is currently hosting an exhibit called ‘Impressions’ until April 12, which features artwork from students at Osbourn High School in Manassas.
As it gets closer to summer, the museum tries to plan for more interactive and exciting exhibits.
“Each exhibit has its own subset of attendees that we’re looking for. We try to make it as family-friendly as possible, and we try to plan our more major visits in the summer months, when visitation is traditionally up,” Horhota said.
In early May the museum will feature an exhibit on the first responders of Virginia including both the professional fire company and the volunteer fire company – which has been in the community for 100 years.
Another exhibit coming this summer is going to include a partnership with the county, as they try to display the long history of the Carter family in Virginia.
“There’s a lot of history that transcends with the county, and so we’re doing a joint county exhibit on some of the more prominent land owners that date back to the years to before and during the Civil War – specifically the Carter family,” said Horhota, continuing, “Essentially everyone in Virginia is [part of] the Carter family – if you’ve lived here long enough…there’s a couple of presidents, generals on both sides of the Civil War, Washington’s a Carter, Jefferson’s a Carter – they are the first family of Virginia.”
Horhota noted that the current admission into the museum is $5, but it will be free for all visitors during the summer.
Public school officials appeared to be surprised when they learned the educational program at Porter Traditional School in Woodbridge will be relocated to a school yet to be built in middle Prince William County. Read more.
Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.
First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November.
At 6:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe will meet with Republican challenger Paul O’Meara to discuss streetlight issues facing voters in the Coles District, which spans from the mid-county area to neighborhoods around Manassas.
To date, no Democrat seeks the Coles District seat, so this could be the debate that helps voters decide who will become the next Coles District Supervisor.
The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:
- Candidates will be introduced to the audience
- Short bios for each candidate will be read
- A candidate will be asked a specific question
- The candidate will have two minutes to respond
- An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
- A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats
Potomac Local Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate the debates. The local online news organization will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.
The candidates, audience members, and all those involved in the debates are asked to adhere to the following rules:
- Occupants of the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center must remove their footwear at the door and place footwear in a storage area inside the center.
- Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the community center and must be removed upon event conclusion
Innovation Park, located adjacent to George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, is continuing to grow and bring in high-tech companies and jobs to the area.
Innovation Park, a business and technology park space, first started back in 1998.
It now has more than 26 companies and 2,300 employees working within its scope, according to Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.
“To date, the [economic development] department has directly assisted in attracting approximately $720 million in capital investment by Innovation Park tenants, and the creation of over 2,000 jobs,” said Kaczmarek.
The Virginia Department of Forensic Science, the National Institute of Health’s Biomedical Research Laboratory, the FBI’s NOVA Resident Agency, Mediatech, ISOThrive, and Microvax are among the companies that utilize the Innovation Park space.
According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing components of Innovation Park is the Prince William Science Accelerator.
The Prince William Science Accelerator allows small technological companies to come in and utilize their lab and office spaces for an affordable cost, to help them grow.
The county’s economic development department has partnered with George Mason University to help Innovation Park grow.
Dr. Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University, spoke with Potomac Local to announce that the university’s Prince William Campus is being rebranded as the science and technology campus.
Kaczmarek stated that their partnership with the University and the upcoming rebranding would help further their cause to develop Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator.
“From our perspective, the rebranding exercise signals exciting developments for Prince William County as it will heighten public awareness surrounding the campus…[it] is another step towards Prince William County being known as the science and technology hub of the region,” Kaczmarek said.
Kaczmarek commented that instead of having to drive out of the area for a good job, the continued development of Innovation Park would benefit the county, and grow the jobs where people live.
Kaczmarek also stated that the university would be able to further create a workforce that will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to go into these types of high-tech jobs.
In addition to the businesses in Innovation Park, and the Prince William Science Accelerator, another project the county’s economic development department, and George Mason University are working on is the Virginia Serious Game Institute.
According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing majors at the university is their game development and design program.
“The Virginia Serious Game Institute, a public-private IR start-up [is an] incubator for entrepreneurs in simulation, modeling, and gaming,” Kaczmarek said.
The county’s economic development department will continue to work on bringing in new businesses to both Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator, hopefully bringing more high paying jobs to Prince William County.
The 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon takes place Oct. 25 in the nation’s capital. But on Saturday morning, runners jogged 11.03 miles for a chance to compete in the forthcoming race. Read more.
Prince William Supervisors will meet Monday night to for a series of public hearings on new construction projects in the county.
New homes at Hoadly Falls
One of them is a rezoning request for Hoadly Falls Phase II. The housing development would sit just off Prince William Parkway at the intersection of Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The Board must decide Tuesday to rezone about 28 acres of land from agricultural land to semi-residential land so developers may build 15 homes.
This new phase of Hoadly Falls would join a yet-to-be-built Phase I that will be constructed in the same area and will bring 16 new homes to 40 acres of land.
The county’s planning commission approved phase two earlier this month, but demanded developers consider reducing the density of the development to one home per two and a half acres of land, save more existing trees, and be more clear about where entry and exit points to the neighborhood will be built.
Developers are expected to pay about $572,000 in proffers to the county that will help offset impacts to county services like schools, water, fire and rescue, transportation, and libraries.
As for Hoadly Falls Phase I, officials Tuesday night must also decide if they will bar developers from creating an access point to the neighborhood directly from Prince William Parkway. An amended plan, if approved Tuesday, would eliminate the parkway entrance and the signal light that would come with it, and allow drivers access to the neighborhood via Davis Ford Road. The county’s planning commission approved the request earlier this month, and it’s now waiting for final approval from the Board of Supervisors.
On the edge of the Town of Occoquan, Sammy’s House Home Daycare is fighting to exist. Prince William zoning officials last year denied a permit to allow the home daycare on Mount High Street to accommodate up to 12 children. On November 13, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors upheld that decision as county officials say the daycare is not in compliance with county zoning rules.
Paul O’Meara is running for the office of Prince William County Coles District Supervisor.
O’Meara says spending in the county government is “out of control” and that its leaders have not done enough to curb tax increases that negatively impact middle-class families.
O’Meara said federal budget cuts, in particular, stifle area families ability to make ends meet.
Late last year, O’Meara chastised his opponent, sitting Supervisor Marty Nohe, for supporting budget that would increase the average property tax bill by 4%. Last month, officials voted to cap such an increase to 3.8% for the following year.
“Supervisor Nohe’s vote against the tax reduction guidance demonstrates how out of touch he has become with the economic realities facing hard-working Prince William
County families. The recent County survey showed that 85% of voters across the County do not want a tax increase. Yet, in the face of that strong voter opposition, Mr. Nohe has voted for almost every tax increase since becoming Supervisor, and the people of the Coles District deserve someone who will fight for them and not for the irresponsible and unsustainable growth of County Government,” O’Meara stated in a press release.
O’Meara says he is a staunch conservative. He was in a Prince William County courtroom on March 20 when a judge denied a request from the Prince William County Republican Committee to all candidates to hold a primary election despite the committee missing a required deadline to file paperwork requesting a primary. After the judge ruled, O’Meara said the judge showed a clear separation of government powers, and that he saw the judge’s ruling as a way to keep the courts out of the behind the scenes workings of local political parties.
A party canvass, commonly known as a firehouse primary, will be held April 25 when voters will decide to send O’Meara or Nohe into the fall election season to face a Democratic opponent. So far, no such challenger has stepped forward.
The candidate was born and raised in Prince William County. He attended C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge and graduated George Mason University with a degree in government and international politics.
O’Meara serves as the Vice President of a family-owned business and attends Sudley United Methodist Church.
On Thursday afternoon, the Prince William fire and rescue department were on the scene at the Dale Forest Apartments complex in Woodbridge to investigate a possible HAZMAT situation.
The Prince William County HAZMAT, Prince William fire and rescue department, Virginia State Police Bomb Squad, and Prince William police and Fire Marshal’s office were all on scene after getting the report from maintenance workers at the complex, according to a fire and rescue release.
The workers saw a suspicious device when they entered the unit for a routine maintenance visit.
As a precaution, fire and rescue workers evacuated 45 apartments in three surrounding buildings, according to a fire and rescue release.
According to a county release, technicians and officers checked the reported unit to search for any explosives or hazardous material. They were able to secure the scene and remove the hazardous contents, and residents were allowed back into their apartments.
After further investigation, the Prince William police, Virginia State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the FBI have charged Blischak with 4 counts of §18.2-85, which is the manufacture, possession or use of firebombs or explosive materials and devices, according to a fire and rescue release.
Blischak is currently being held without bond.
Sarah Reed, a 20-year old Ashburn resident, was crowned Miss Historic Manassas, despite not being a Manassas resident.
Reed is currently a sophomore in Communications at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
“I competed [in] the Greater Prince William County pageant – they gave away three titles – Miss Greater Prince William County, Miss Historic Manassas and then Miss Potomac,” said Reed.
The pageant took place back in November.
Originally the Miss Historic Manassas title was going to be restricted to only pageant contestant that lived in the area, but only one of the twelve contestants was from Manassas.
“The qualification for all of the pageants in Virginia is that you have to be a Virginia resident. Originally, for the Miss Historic Manassas, it was going to be closed, which means you have to live in Manassas in order to win the title, but the only way they would be able to guarantee that was if there were more than three contestants that competed lived in Manassas.”
According to Reed, she feels that her experiences visiting the Manassas area equip her for the title, despite not living there.
“I’ve always loved learning about Manassas, and we live in Northern Virginia, and we’ve always visited Manassas to go to Bull Run light festival, to go to the [Manassas] Battlefield –so it’s really cool to now be representing it, because I’ve grown up going there, ever since I moved here,” said Reed.
During the pageant, Reed and the other contestants competed in several categories including swimwear, talent, interview and evening gowns.
For Reed, winning the title was a happy surprise, as she has only been competing since last year and has been involved in four pageants thus far.
“I was lucky enough to win one of the titles – which I’m so excited about. I just started competing last year in pageants, so it’s very new to me, and I’m really learning the entire process of it. So it’s cool to know you don’t have to grow up, knowing how to do pageants, you can jump into it, and as long as your passionate about something, that will show in every step of the competition,” said Reed.
During her time as Miss Historic Manassas, Reed will be implementing her anti-bullying campaign, titled ‘Beauty and the Beast’. For Reed, selecting this as a platform was something personal.
“For someone’s who’s been a victim of bullying, since they’ve been in first grade, all the way up to until senior years of high school, it is something that has been engrained in my brain. And it wasn’t until I finally gained confidence in myself, that I realized that no one has the right to tell me who I am and how I should be.”
Reed is working with the school system in Manassas to plan events and speak to students about the dangers of bullying, and how to get help.
“I want to be an active member of the community, because not only am I representing it, but I want to represent it with so much grace and responsibility – because I do take my title very seriously,” Reed commented.
Reed will be competing in the next phase of the competition in the Miss Virginia pageant next year.
An incendiary device found at a Dale City apartment complex forced the evacuation of 30 homes.
Police were called to Westway Lane at the Dale Forest Apartment complex in Dale City about 4 p.m. Fire and rescue personnel were also called, and all of it was to investigate a reported HAZMAT situation.
No injuries were reported as result of the incident. Police assured residents that there is no threat to the public.
The evacuation sent residents into the streets during the late afternoon hours. Some stood and watched police as they questioned a man at the back of a police car.
When Potomac Local arrived to the scene, the man was placed into the backseat of a police cruiser and officers ceased their line of questioning.
Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee was called to the scene. Investigators are still working on the case, police said.
A resident who declined to provide her name was shaken by the incident.
“It doesn’t matter where you go, you’re not safe,” she said.
The Dale Forest Apartment complex dates back more than 45 years. The apartments are marketed to those who want to live in the Dale City, Woodbridge, Quantico, and Fort Belvoir areas.
A construction project to repair a dam at a lake on Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus is underway.
The lake was drained of most of its water earlier this year so repairs to the dam could be made. While some water remains in the lake, the water level is much lower than normal.
The lake is often used by science students at the school, and has been used for sporting practice and events.
Classes were first offered at the Woodbridge Campus, first dubbed the “southern campus” in 1972.
Water will be returned to the lake once repairs to the dam are completed.
With the Prince William County General Election just a little more than seven months away, politicians are beginning to campaign. Read more.
On March 17, Prince William police’s Crash Investigation unit responded to a call about a single vehicle crash near Graham Park Drive and Olde Port Lane in Triangle.
According to a Prince William police release, their investigation showed that the driver of the vehicle, a 2004 Nissan Maxima, was traveling on Graham Park Road at a high speed.
The Prince William police release stated that the car entered oncoming traffic and then veered off the roadway, hitting a telephone pole straight on.
The driver, Marvin Wayne Williams, a 56-year old man from Woodbridge, was taken from the scene of the crash to a local hospital, but he later died from his injuries sustained in the crash on Monday, said a police release.
Alcohol and drug use were not factors in the crash. The Prince William police release did state that the victim was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.
This is the first fatal car crash in Prince William County this year.
Mike Lovitt, owner and operator of the Chick-fil-a in Bristow spoke with the Selke family following the news of the Germanwings plane crash on Tuesday , to express his condolences and offer community support.
“I spoke with the son…I was surprised to get through…They were very grateful for the support, and I offered to be of assistance if they needed anything.”
According to Lovitt, the family is coping and is doing the best they can after the loss of Yvonne and Emily Selke, who were among the 150 passengers on the flight.
Emily Selke, a recent college graduate, dedicated scholar and active sorority member was among the 150 passengers that perished on the Germanwings flight on Tuesday.
Selke, who was on board the plane with her mother Yvonne Selke, was a graduate of Woodbridge Senior High School and Drexel University.
“Emily was a student at Woodbridge [Senior] High School. She was honored in 2010, as having achieved summa cum laude status…which means she’s very highly accomplished and had a minimum grade point average of 4.0…she went on to Drexel University after that,” said Phil Kavits, Communications Director for Prince William County Schools.
In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Selke was very active in the Gamma Sigma Sigma Zeta sorority chapter at Drexel University during her college years.
“Emily served as our membership VP while in Zeta and she was an integral part of our growing chapter. She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma. As a person and friend, Emily always put others before herself and cared deeply for all those in her life. Emily will be greatly missed by her fellow sisters of Zeta,” the sorority chapter said in a released statement.
Other community members have reached out to express their condolences and support for the Selke family, including Delegate Scott Lingamfelter.
“I want to express my profound condolences to the Selke family in this time of great sadness. This is a shocking tragedy that no family could ever be prepared for, and I cannot fathom the sorrow that must be felt by those who knew Yvonne and Emily. My prayers are with Yvonne and Emily’s family and friends,” Lingamfelter said in a release, continuing, “This is a sad day for the Prince William community, and I would ask that fellow citizens join me in prayer for the Selke family in their time of mourning.”
The facts related to the crash are still being investigated.
This morning reports came out that stated that the co-pilot may have deliberately crashed the plane, which was flying from Spain to Germany, into the French Alps.
According to coverage from the Washington Post, the recovered cockpit audio indicated that the pilot of the flight was locked out of the cockpit before the plane descended and crashed into the French Alps.
Additionally, the report states that the co-pilot made no response to the pilot banging on the door to be let back into the cockpit.
The Washington Post stated that there were no known links between the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, and any terrorist groups. The investigation into the cause of the crash and the circumstances leading up to it is still open.