Prince William

Report: PNC Bank inside Lake Ridge Giant Food store robbed

A PNC Bank inside a Lake Ridge grocery store was reported to be robbed.

Police were dispatched to the bank at 12455 Hedges Run Drive in Lake Ridge Monday afternoon about 5 p.m., according to initial reports.

It’s not clear if the robber made off with cash. The robber did display a gun, according to initial reports.
Police are looking for a black male, wearing a white shirt, yellow construction hat, carrying a blue bag. The robber was said to have fled the scene on foot.

A police helicopter was to help search for the suspect.

This same bank was robbed on July 2. 
More as we have it.

How Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas

Chapel Springs

Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.

Eleven-year-old Edwin Martinez had been looking forward to the Georgetown South Family Day event on Saturday, August 22, but said the day turned out to be even better than expected.

Standing in line for the Wild Rapids inflatable water slide with a half-dozen friends, Edwin said the community’s pavilion area was like a party with lots of different ways to enjoy the day.

“I give it an A+,” he said of the event, which was hosted by Chapel Springs Assembly of God in partnership with Iglesia Vida.

Chapel Springs has hosted Family Day at Georgetown South since 2011 as a way to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community. This year’s free event featured the extremely popular Wild Rapids slide, two inflatable bounce houses and face painting along with hot dogs and “sno cones.”

Family Day is the culmination of a week-long day camp for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and gives church members a chance to connect with the families of those children, said Pastor Doug Dreesen. It’s also an opportunity to inform residents about the weekly English as a Second Language (ESL) classes hosted by Chapel Springs at the Georgetown South Community Center.

“Our goal is to come and help transform the community, really, for Christ. We want to tell them Jesus loves them, and we’re here to be His hands and feet, Dreesen said, adding that Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South.

Susana Ladino has lived in Georgetown South for three years, and stopped at the pavilion with her 6-year-old after they saw a group of children running toward the event.

“It’s beautiful. It looks very organized,” Ladino said through an interpreter.

Laura Leon also attended with her children. Leon has lived in the community for 11 years and has attended Family Day in the past. Through an interpreter, she said she was happy to enjoy a meal while her children played.

Sitting at a picnic table in the shade while children were enjoying activities nearby, Chapel Springs member Libny Fierro opened a Spanish Bible and led those seated around her to take turns reading from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians has wonderful instruction about how we should live everyday– things like watching what we say and wearing the “armor of God” – and that was thought-provoking for those at the picnic table, Fierro said.

Fierro and her new friend Norma Arriaga handed out nine Spanish Bibles before the event was over. Having Bibles in Spanish was wonderful, Arriaga said, because while an English Bible is fine for the younger generation, she prefers to read in Spanish.

Asked what she learned from her discussion with Fierro and others at the picnic table, Arriaga had a quick reply: “God has a purpose for us and we need to follow His example,” she said through an interpreter.

Many church-goers focus on who they know and what people are wearing instead of spiritual matters, so reading and discussing the book of Ephesians was eye-opening, Arriaga added.

Ed and Miriam Bosch attend Chapel Springs and are preparing to become missionaries to Ecuador. They both participated in the day camp and were on hand for Family Day to celebrate a successful week.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Ed Bosch said.

Chapel Springs member Denise Propps also volunteered to help at the day camp. She said it was important to her to attend Family Day and meet the families of the children she saw all week, noting that one child ran up and hugged her and said she had been looking specifically for her.

“It’s all about building relationships with the community,” Propps said. “We were made for relationships. We were made to love one another.”

And by building relationships, when someone has a need, we can pray for them as someone who knows them and cares for them, she added.

“I love it. It’s really what He’s called us to do, Propps said.

-Written by Christine Rodrigo

Students head back to class in Prince William, Manassas

Chris Yung Elementary School opens in Bristow to 700 new students.
Chris Yung Elementary School opens in Bristow to 700 new students.

It is the first day of school for students in Prince William County and Manassas.

More than 700 students were welcomed for the frist time to Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow. The school is named for the only Prince William County motorcycle police officer to die in the line of duty.

“The name of this school will provide an opportunity for Chris Yung’s name to live on,” said Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven L. Walts. “

Yung was responding to a call for help on his police motorcycle when he was struck and killed by another vehicle in front of Sowder Village shopping center in Bristow.

Children lined up outside the elementary school at 9 a.m. were all smiles and characteristcally chattery. School administartors help get students off school buses and into a line that formed in front of the main entrance.

Parents who brought their children to school were met by faculty who waived them into the parking lot.

Chris Yung Elementary School houses 700 students right now, but it can accommodate 150 more over the next few years before it reaches capacity. Building new schools and finding more seats for students continues to be a challenge for the Prince William County School system. Chris Yung Elementary is the only new school to open in the county this year.

Charles J. Colgan High School near the corner of Dumfries and Hoadly roads will open next fall. It will house 2,000 students.

“We have a 10-year plan, so we have schools that we know that will be opening 10 years from now,” said Walts.

Prince William County Public Schools hired more than 700 new teachers this year. The number is higher than in previous years because many teachers retired from the school division last year. Recruiting and retaining new educators continues to be the division’s focus.

“There is a lot of competition for new teachers in this Northern Virginia, Maryland, D.C. region have a lot of opportunities to choose from,” said Walts.

Walts said the county school board will continue to focus on reducing the number of students per teacher in the classroom to provide an overall better educational experience. Additional monies given to the schools by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will help accelerate that plan, said Walts.

In Manassas, the city school division is not opening any new schools this year, but will open a new 140,000 square foot Baldwin Intermediate School next fall that will house 1,000 students. The three-story building is being constructed on old sports fields outside Osbourn High School.

The old Baldwin Elementary School on Main Street will be torn down once the new intermediate school opens. New sports fields for Obsourn High School will replace old Baldwin Elementary.

Manassas hired more than 88 teachers this year to educate students in the city.

A new iPhone app will be launched by the school division in the coming weeks. The app will allow users to get quick information about city school news, events, and will feature a school contacts directory. The app will come in handy during mornings when when wintry weather forces school delays or cancellations.

Today’s start date is unusual for school divisions that traditionally went back to school after Labor Day. Virginia officials granted the Prince William and Manassas divisions the waiver requested to open before the end-of-summer holiday.

More details released on Woodbridge domestic dispute

More information has been released on the incident where a Prince William police officer shot 25-year old Yonatan Marufe, during a domestic dispute on August 17.

Following the incident, Prince William police completed an investigation, and they have publicly released the details.

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert stated that the officer, Hector Figueroa, acted appropriately when shooting Marufe, stated Prince William police.

More from a Prince William police release:

On August 17th at 6:36PM, officers were dispatched to a home in the 13100 block of Tory Loop in Woodbridge to investigate a domestic disturbance between Yonatan Marufe, 25, and his 47 year old step-mother. Initial information indicated that both parties were involved in a verbal altercation and that Yonatan had broken an interior door in the home. The first officer made contact with the step-mother in front of the residence who relayed that Yonatan has a history of mental illness. The officer went to the front door of the home, announced himself and called for Yonatan. After receiving no response, and believing that Yonatan may be in the process of harming himself based on the step-mother’s description of his behavior, the officer entered the residence with the step-mother and went to an upper floor where he was last seen. Upon reaching the top of the steps, Yonatan appeared suddenly in front of the officer, armed with a knife which he then raised towards the officer and the step-mother. In an attempt to create distance, the officer stepped back and lost his footing, falling back into the step-mother and down the stairs. Yonatan continued aggressively advancing down the steps towards the officer with the knife. At that point, the officer pulled his service weapon and shot towards Yonatan striking him once in the shoulder area. Yonatan sustained a non-life threatening wound and was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released later that night.

The officer and the step-mother sustained injuries from the fall and were also treated at an area hospital; both are expected to make a full recovery. Following the investigation Yonatan was charged with attempted aggravated malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and attempted aggravated malicious wounding. Yonatan remains in custody at the Adult Detention Center with a preliminary court date set for October 14, 2015.

According to Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, “The officer was justified given the circumstances and acted appropriately.”

Prince William County Police Chief Steve Hudson commented, “I fully support the officer’s actions in this case and feel they were justified with the situation he faced. We hope everyone involved in this incident makes a speedy recovery and that Yonatan receives the proper treatment he needs.”

The Police Department’s administrative investigation is continuing, but has preliminarily found this officer involved shooting to be justified and objectively reasonable. The final review will be conducted by the Department’s Police Deadly Force Shooting Review Board which will examine the details of the incident.

The officer involved in the shooting was identified as Officer Hector Figueroa, a 30 plus year law enforcement veteran with 8 years of service with the Prince William County Police Department.

Gun goes off during Woodbridge struggle

A Woodbridge man has been charged after a fight with a gun.

According to Prince William police, officers were called to a home on Cavalier Drive in Woodbridge on the morning of August 27.

Prince William police stated the victim – a 27-year old Woodbridge man – told officers that he and 36-year old David Haggard were in a verbal argument that escalated.

During the incident, Haggard displayed a gun and pointed it at the victim and the victim went to deflect the gun, which then went off, according to Prince William police.

The victim was not hit, and no one was injured.

Following an investigation, Haggard is being charged with attempted malicious wounding, brandishing a firearm, and reckless handling of a firearm, stated Prince William police.

Principi: It will be January before we hear from Trader Joe’s

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Supervisor Frank Principi is back from his trek to Trader Joe’s HQ.

According to a release, Principi visited the niche grocery store’s headquarters in Monrovia, California, last week with a 1,700 signature petition, data and lease proposal information.

Prior to his trip, Principi met with area residents at his office, to talk about his plan to bring Trader Joe’s to Woodbridge.

Principi stated that his office will not hear back from Trader Joe’s until January 2016, according to a release.

A survey conducted by Principi’s staff showed that Woodbridge residents that visited area Trader Joe’s locations spent up to $200 a visit, stated a release.

Town, school aim to relocate Dumfries Fall Festival

050512 Dumfries Multi fest 1

The Dumfries Fall Festival could be moved to the town’s only school.

The annual festival will start at 11 a.m. October 17. Organizers propose moving the festival from its usual location at  Garrison Park behind Town Hall to nearby Dumfries Elementary School on Cameron Street.

The school will hold a 5K from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. that same morning. Organizers say the early-morning 5K event could help boost attendance at the fall festival.

“[The school is] locked in and going to go ahead with [the 5K run] no matter what we do. This is another example of competing events…” said Town Manager Daniel Taber.

Low attendance at recent functions has been blamed on other events in the area siphoning away would-be attendees for events in Dumfries, and the lack of proper advertising of town events.

Dumfries Community Services Director Ryan Gandy told the Town Council last year’s festival was more of a vendor fair than traditional festival. He proposed doing away with vendors that sell food and merchandise at this year’s festival.

“We’ve found an company that provides games and carnival rides for children, that is within our budget. We would be able to have a carnival.. an actual fall festival,” said Gandy.

Council members rebuffed that claim by saying vendors are necessary.

“Vendors look forward to this all year, especially if this is their business, this is their chance to get out and expose, and it encourages them to continue to come out and participate,” said Councilman Derek Wood, who owns a mobile barbecue business and is a regular vendor at town fairs.

Councilwoman Gwen Washington, a faculty member at Dumfries Elementary School, “loves” the idea of using the school as the site for the fall festival. She proposed using adjacent Merchant Park, next to the Weems-Botts Museum, to house vendors.

“I have this vision that before I leave this earth we’re going to close off Cameron Street, and we’re going to use the school and merchant park and have a big block party. And this is the beginning of that,” said Washington.

If the school’s PTA decides to sell hot dogs and hamburgers on its property during the fair, Washington suggested vendors at Merchant Park sell other foodstuffs. She also suggested using the gazebo at the park as the festival’s main performance stage.

Walker stumps for president in Prince William

walker

Scott Walker on the road to the White House made a stop in Prince William County on Saturday.

The Republican Wisconsin Governor rallied the county’s GOP faithful while touting himself as a reformer different from most Republicans in office.

“We need someone who can put reform back into government, for the “R” next to our names,” said Walker.

Walker called the Obama presidency an “abysmal failure” due the president’s lack of executive leadership in government or business prior to being elected, and promised to continue the effort to repeal Obamacare, and the Iran nuclear inspections treaty on his first day in office.

Walker also advocated for a larger military, noting the nation should adopt a Ronald Regan-era policy of a large military to achieve “peace through strength.”

Shortly after he was elected governor of Wisconsin, Walker introduced legislation to limit the collective bargaining abilities of unions. Mass protests formed, and a recall election was held where Walker became the first U.S. state governor to defeat an opponent in a recall.

The Republican came to Prince William County after a rally at the University of Virginia. Walker tasked Virginia State Senator Mark Obenshain to lead the effort to collect enough signatures to get him onto he ballot for the Primary Elections next year.

The has longed served as a bellwether for the state, and has been visited by a presidential candidate of both major parties of the past two presidential elections.

Walker is the frist presidential candidate of the 2016 race to visit Prince William County.

“Prince William County has changed a lot. Just 10 short years ago we were just a rural stop in Virginia that supplied beef and dairy to Washington, D.C.,” Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland told a GOP crowd before Walker spoke. “Politicians from Washington, D.C., even politicians from Richmond did not pay us that much attention. That has changed. Whether you have migrated from Fairfax County or all the way from El Salvador or India, Prince William County has become a place for prosperity.”

The Walker rally was held at “the hut” on Prince William Parkway, the small house that serves as the GOP headquarters for the region. Several candidates that are vying for local offices, to include the 36th District Virginia Senate seat for Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford, and two Prince William County School Board seats spoke.

“Everyone north of us next year is going to vote blue. Almost everyone south of us next year is going to vote red. Prince William County is a pivotal county in 2016,” said Tim Singstock, who is running to replace Milton Johns, who is stepping down as the Chairman of the Prince William County School Board.

Dumfries Mayor Gerald “Jerry” Foreman seeks the 36th District Seat and is running against Delegate Scott Surovell. Foreman said Surovell has outspent the Foreman campaign three to one, and that polls show he is 2 points behind his Democratic rival.

“I’m right where I need to be,” said Foreman. “Two percent… he’s looking over his shoulder, he’s right in front of me.”

Prince William County Young Republicans Chairman Terrance Boulden organized the rally. Boulden was celebrated for helping to bring a national candidate to stump in the region.

Virginia eyes Tropical Storm Erika

S115331tormy weather may be ahead for Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Tropical Storm Erika may become a hurricane by Monday, and has the potential to hit Virginia.

The storm is currently approaching the Dominican Republic, and is still impacting the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, stated the National Weather Service.

Tropical Storm Erika currently has wind speeds of 50 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

According to the track, released by the National Weather Service, the storm could impact Virginia by Monday.

Work on massive Woodbridge church starts, again

Work on Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge is underway once again.

Cranes can be seen lifting steel beams into the place at the church site on a hill near the intersection of Route 1 and Neabsco Mills Road. The church’s website notes construction of the new worship center resumed in July as concrete for the foundation was poured.

Work on the project began five years ago when the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved new signage for the church. Retaining walls were built at the site to support the construction and parking lots.

There had been little work taking place at the site in recent years. No one at the church was available to speak with Potomac Local about the construction.

Landfill not beholden to Dumfries without deal

Dumfries officials weighed in on a plan to close a controversial landfill in the town.

The Potomac Landfill is full of building materials and is easily visible from Interstate 95. It’s located squarely inside the Town of Dumfries and has been a magnet for odor complaints filed by town residents.

The dumping ground is also on a state watch list because it piled debris, such as used wood, drywall, and concrete above a maximum legal height of 195 feet.

The Potomac Landfill is now rectifying the situation reducing the size of the debris pile and spreading it around the site. The landfill also sells the old materials to recycling firms that remake it into new construction material.

Landfill president Phillip Peet proposed a new agreement to the town that would allow the landfill to continue piling debris up to 250 feet high, effectively stopping the height remediation efforts mandated by the state. In exchange, the town would then receive up to $3 million over the next 20 years from the landfill — a portion of the profits made from the landfill recycling old materials.

Peet would also close the landfill in 20 years and build a park and playing fields on the reclaimed site. If Dumfries officials agree, Peet said the state height requirement gets tossed out.

“If there is an agreement for vertical expansion, we vacate the consent order. “If there is no agreement, materials will continue to be removed, and the landfill will expand laterally,” said Peet.

If the town does not accept the proposal, there would be no guarantee the facility would close.

“I’m concerned if we do nothing the Potomac Landfill doesn’t have a closure date it can remain opened, and they can go back into the ground and re-mine to get materials that have value,” said Dumfries Mayor Gerald “Jerry” Foreman.

The landfill has been known to disturb older portions of the landfill to go back in search of materials that can be sold for cash and recycled, added Foreman.

Dumfries Councilwoman Helen Reynolds scorned Peet for presenting the proposal before the company reached compliance with the state order to reduce the height of the debris pile.

“They put these restrictions on the landfill, and before we can talk about moving forward, up, down, or sideways with the landfill. You all had to correct those violations,” said Reynolds.

The company is well on its way to reducing the height of the pile agreement or no agreement, said Peet. The landfill met its first milestone in 2013, and will meet another one this year in the effort to bring down the trash pile, he said.

Peet said the landfill’s parent company Potomac Recycling, which he oversees, aims to run the landfill until it closes. However, if an agreement is not struck between it and the town, Peet said the company could sell the junkyard to another party is if the opportunity presented itself.

Peet said he hoped to strike a deal with the town by late summer or early fall. Foreman and Councilwoman Gwen Washington urge more public participation in the matter before a decision is made. Peet is anxious to solidify a deal soon due to the upcoming closure of a much taller debris landfill in Lorton. Business at his site will pick up once the Lorton landfill closes, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a decision that seven people are capable of making,” said Washington.

“The seven of us will have to make this decision, and that’s the point,” said Vice-Mayor Willie J. Toney.

The town scheduled two public workshops on the matter earlier this summer, were plans, maps, and detailed charts were presented outlining the planned closure of the landfill. Another public meeting on the matter is scheduled September 15 and is open to the public.

How Downtown Manassas changed empty buildings into a regional entertainment destination

Hopkins Candy Factory under revitalization.
Fairfax Windows & Doors Before
The farmers market at Harris Pavilion in Downtown Manassas.
Changes in Downtown Manassas.
Changes in Downtown Manassas.

When people visit the farmer’s market at the Harris Pavilion or navigate the crowds during First Fridays, they are surrounded by a beautiful historic downtown, thriving businesses, and lots of friends and neighbors. It is hard to believe that just 30 years ago, the streets of historic Manassas were desolate, buildings were in disrepair, and almost half of the storefronts were empty and boarded up.

How did downtown turn around?

In 1985, a group of business owners, residents, and City leaders rallied. Determined to revive the heart of Manassas, they needed to lure businesses and customers back from the sprawling strip malls and shopping malls. A series of community meetings explored both problems and opportunities before crafting a vision for a vibrant, walkable downtown filled with restaurants, shops, arts, and a city square

To realize this vision, the City embraced the Main Street Four-Point Approach that was designed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to revive struggling historic downtowns. At this time, Historic Manassas Inc. (HMI) was born.

In 2003, HMI was nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for revitalization excellence. Downtown Manassas was held up as a model when it won a Great American Main Street Award for rehabbing 54 buildings, dropping the vacancy rate to zero, creating 350 new jobs, and spurring $12

million in private investment.

These successes are attributed to HMI’s strong public-private partnerships, committed vision, and volunteer support. Main Street programs like HMI rely on dedicated community members who volunteer on committees and the board of directors to help carry out its work together with staff.  

The Main Street Approach is also unique in that it tackles multiple problems throughout the community at once. Instead of relying on a single “white knight,such as a stadium or a company to save a community, Main Street rebuilds a downtown by leveraging its local assets like heritage, historic buildings, independent businesses, walkable streets, and events. Community projects and improvements are done incrementally

Gradual successes over time have made Manassas a place where people want to spend time and money again.

Downtown’s revitalization got a jump start in the 1990s when Virginia Railway Express started commuter service and the museum was built, which created an attraction for new visitors. Businessman Loy E. Harris sustained the momentum by restoring three historic buildings, including the 1906 Opera House. 

This motivated others to fix up their buildings, too, and new businesses began opening. Later, the community was given a place to gather when a vacant half-acre lot in the heart of downtown was transformed into the city square and an all-season pavilion, which was named after Harris.

HMI isn’t resting on its laurels; it continues to work in partnership with the City and local businesses to strengthen the downtown. It hosts a full calendar of events all year long and supports those produced by others

In September alone, the Historic Downtown Manassas Bridal Showcase will show off the local businesses that make Manassas a perfect wedding destination, while Bands, Brews & Barbecue turn the City into a regional entertainment destination. Manassasgrowing cluster of restaurants was made even stronger when the Battle Street enhancements created space for outdoor dining. And, excitement continues to grow with each new piece of public art, arts-oriented venue, and gallery.

Why this island soon won’t block your flow on Prince William Parkway

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A small concrete island blocking the flow of three travel lanes on Prince William Parkway will be moved.

With nothing more than a crosswalk signal on it today, the concrete island stands in the way of drivers and Prince William County transportation planners who would prefer to have three continuous travel lanes on eastbound Prince William Parkway at Minnieville Road in Woodbridge.

Ongoing work on widening a portion of the parkway — from Minnieville Road to Old Bridge Road — will be completed next week. But that project didn’t address the island, whichprevented the county from building three continuous lanes of traffic on Prince William Parkway across Minnieville Road.

The about-to-be-completed widening work on Prince William Parkway widened the road to six lanes east and west, up from four. Drivers headed east in the newly added right lane must turn right onto Minnieville Road and cannot continue straight onto Prince William Parkway, as the lane ends.

Drivers in the center and left lanes may continue toward Potomac Mills mall.

Prince William County Transportation spokesman Rick Canizales said there wasn’t enough money in the soon-to-be-completed widening project to move the concrete island — which is very important to traffic flow.

“If we didn’t have that island there, it would cause Minnieville Road to become very congested,” he said.

The island allows drivers on eastbound Minnieville Road turning right on Prince William Parkway toward Potomac Mills mall a continuous “free flow movement” right turn. After they turn, the lane continues and drivers do not have to merge left into a travel lane.

Canizales added that without the island and free-flow lane, traffic waiting to turn right onto the parkway would stack up on Minnieville Road as drivers would be forced to wait for their turn to merge into oncoming traffic.

An additional $2.5 million in monies made available to the county transportation department following the annual budget process this past spring will allow crews to “retrofit” the island. The island will be moved a bit to the west, and a new “free flow movement” lane will be constructed for drivers turning right from Minnieville onto the parkway.

The old free-flow lane will be converted into a regular travel lane, and that will allow for three continuous travel lanes across Minnieville Road. When the newly added free-flow lane opens, drivers turning right onto the parkway from Minnieville Road will have to merge left from the new free-flow lane into one of the three travel lanes to continue toward Potomac Mills mall.

Canizales said the county was in talks with three property owners who will need to give up some land in exchange for at least $68,000 in right of way monies paid by the county to affected land owners. The affected properties include a business building at the corner of Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road and two townhomes inside the nearby Lakeside neighborhood across from BJ’s Wholesale Club.

No buildings or homes will be demolished as part of the work. Only small portions of the property, or “partial take right-of-ways” will be required to construct the new free-flow lane and to move the island, said Canizales. Large poles at the intersection that support traffic signals had already been moved as part of the soon-to-be-completed road work in preparation for moving the island.

Utility relocation should begin in September after right-of-way negotiations wrap up. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2017 2016 and should be finished later that summer.

Updated: Police pursuit leads to manhunt in Lorton

Update

It appears police know the identify of the person who led them on a pursuit, and then on a manhunt late Wednesday night. 

Charges have not been filed in the case and no arrests have been made.

“The subject in question was actually known to the officer and he will seek warrants for his arrest. If/when he is charged we would then be able to release a name,” stated Fairfax County police spokesman Don Gotthardt. 

Police cleared the scene about 11 p.m. No one was injured. 

Original post 

Police are searching for a suspect who bailed out of his car during a pursuit shortly before 10 p.m.

Fairfax County police were searching the area of Southern Oaks and Linden Oaks courts for the unidentified man. A police helicopter was used during the search. The helicopter had been called off by 11 p.m.

No arrests have been reported. We don’t know where the police pursuit originated.

A Potomac Local reader tells us police cars were set up along Silverbrook Road and on South Run Road about 10:30 p.m. 

More on this as we have it.

Ribbon cutting for Chris Yung Elementary School set for Thursday

Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow is named after a fallen Prince William County Police officer.
Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow is named after a fallen Prince William County Police officer.
Chris Yung Elementary School in Bristow is named after a fallen Prince William County Police officer.

Chris Yung Elementary School will welcome students, parents, and teachers for the first time this year.

A ribbon cutting for the new school will take place Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the school located at 12612 Fog Light Way in Bristow.

The school is named after Prince William County Police Officer Chris Yung who was killed in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve 2012. His family will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, according to Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is open to the public.

Chris Yung Elementary School is the only new school opening this year in the Prince William school division. The elementary school was formerly known as the “Devlin Road elementary school” while it was under construction.
Community members urged school officials to name the new school after the fallen police officer.

Yung, 35, was responding to a call for help on his police motorcycle when he was hit by a minivan, outside a Target store on Sowder Village Way in Bristow.

Yung was a Marine and was known for his kindness and dedication to the police force and the community. His death brought together community members for a series of vigils, a memorial parade, and a massive funeral in remembrance of the fallen officer.

Friends of the Occoquan to use $10,000 grant for rain barrels

The Friends of the Occoquan environmental group received a $10,0000 donation to educate the community about rain barrels.

The barrels are used to collect rain water and to help conserve water.

Deborah Johnson from Dominion Virginia Power presented a $10,000 check to Friends of the Occoquan President German (pronounced Herman) Venegas on Tuesday at the Prince William County Government Center.

Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) provided more information about the rain barrels project, and how the organization will use the funds:

FOTO will utilize the funds requested for the continuation of our Rain Barrel Workshops and to introduce local groups and organizations within the Prince William and Fairfax Counties to the benefits of establishing food gardens.

Our target for this project will be the Prince William County Schools, civic associations, senior retirement centers and Spanish speaking organizations. Funds will also go to preparing videos and literature that will advertise, educate and inform the public on these two projects.

To date FOTO has had several Rain Barrel Workshops that have included the Prince William County School System. When FOTO does a school workshop the barrels we work on are donated to the school for their use.

Our first goal with this project is to continue to educate the public on the multiple benefits of using rain barrels for both gardening and redirecting water run off to promote water conservation and prevent erosion. Secondly, to encourage the establishment of home/community food based gardening that has a foundation as a water-conserving garden. By establishing these gardens community members can grow their own local food and have a healthier diet. 

With both these projects we hope to increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship to both our watersheds and rivers as well as the foods we eat.
FOTO will evaluate their success by:

1. Conducting at least 3 workshops
2. Installing at least 10 rain barrels
3. Establishing at least 2 home/community food-producing gardens
4. Making at least one video and broadcast it in local TV stations.

Missing Burke woman located safe

Update

Crispina Cuejilo was located by police. 

2 p.m. 

Prince William police are looking for 78-year old Crispina Cuejilo.

According to Prince William police, Cuejilo was last seen near Maryland Avenue and Blackburn Road in Woodbridge at 3 p.m. on August 25.

Cuejilo is believed to have left a home on Enterprise Lane in Woodbridge voluntarily, but she may need assistance, so she is being classified as endangered, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Cuejilo has a home in Burke.

She is described as an Asian female, 5’1” and 115 pounds with black and brown shoulder-length hair. Cuejilo was last seen wearing blue jeans and a light blue shirt, stated Prince William police.

Manassas man charged with abduction, following sexual assault

Prince William police were called to a Manassas apartment for a reported sexual assault.

According to Prince William police, officers were called to an apartment on Lariat Lane in Manassas on the morning of August 25.

The victim – a 34-year old Warrenton woman – told officers that the incident took place on the evening of August 22, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that the victim went to visit 36-year old Manassas man Brian Knox, a known acquaintance, at his apartment.

During the visit, Knox first attempted to sexually assault the victim, stated Prince William police. Then when the victim tried to leave the apartment, Knox restrained her and prevented her from leaving, before sexually assaulting her, according to Prince William police.

The victim was able to break away and lock herself in the bathroom, until Knox allowed her to leave the apartment, according to Prince William police.

Following the victim’s report, Knox was arrested and charged with abduction with intent to defile and object sexual penetration, stated Prince William police.

Single-vehicle crash kills Woodbridge man

Thirty-nine year old Woodbridge man Adam Calhoun died following a car accident on August 21.

Prince William police were called to Horner Road in Woodbridge that morning to investigate a single vehicle crash.

Calhoun was the only person in his 2003 Volkswagen Jetta when driving north on Horner Road, when he lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road, striking a utility pole, according to Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Calhoun was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries on August 23.

Calhoun was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to Prince William police. Speed was also found to be a factor in the crash.

Woodbridge man faces pro chefs on NBC’s ‘Food Fighters’

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Will Spencer is ready for a ‘food fight’.

Spencer, a Woodbridge resident and father of four, will be featured on NBC’s new cooking challenge show ‘Food Fighters’ on NBC on August 27 at 8 p.m.

“I’ve been cooking since I was about 14 – it’s been a passion throughout my life. In my family I’ve been the designated cook and barbecuer for a long time. Growing up in the area, I went away to college to play football and I came back and have been working in the area ever since, but I’ve never really given up that passion for food,” said Spencer.

The show pits Spencer against several well-known chefs in five rounds. If he can win all five rounds, he’ll receive $100,000.

“This show is really about that one dish that your friend or family member makes, that you truly believe is better than what anyone else can do. It’s taking the best home cooks, and their signature family recipes or signature dishing, and pitting them against professional chefs,” said Spencer.

According to Spencer, his cooking style is a fusion of soul food and Latin cuisine.

“I do classic soul food things like shrimp and grits, and smothered chicken and all of the slow cooked sides, but I also do a lot of fresh Latin food with plantains and mangoes and papaya. I like to work with seafood and right now I’m really trying to fuse those two culinary tastes together,” Spencer said.

While Spencer currently works as a personal trainer, he said that the show has pushed him to begin his culinary career.

“This Food Fighters opportunity has really kind of jumpstarted my passion…I’ve been working in fitness and doing meal prep. So my culinary background has been preparing meals for people to get in shape…I’ve been doing with the personal training and now I’m looking at expanding that,” said Spencer.

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