Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Dale City Local

News
Burning Dog Leads to House Fire

Dale City, Va. –– One man’s attempt to burn a dead dog lead to his house catching fire.

Fire and rescue crews were called to a home in the 4500 block of Kingston Road in Dale City at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Smoke billowed from the front of the two-story home, and fire crews also found flames in the rear of the house that extended into the attic, said Prince William Fire and Rescue Department Battalion Chief Joseph Robertson.

Crews were able to douse the flames which caused an estimated $70,000 in damage, but what crews they found next was a bit unusual.

The homeowner had tried to burn the body of a deceased Rottweiler that died sometime last week. In the back yard, the homeowner placed the dog’s body next to wood and used an accelerant for the fire.

However, fire accelerant pooled near the house and spread caught the structure on fire, said Robertson.

No one was injured, but the American Red Cross was called to assist the homeowner.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

News
Heat Advisory in Effect

James Fitzgerald and Brandon Corey load up the ice bins at Kangaroo Express on Va. 610 in North Stafford. They’ve had to use a bigger truck to keep up with demand that has more than doubled due to the unusually hot weather. (File Photo / Mary Davidson)

Call it another summer scorcher, as a heat advisory will go into effect from noon until 8 p.m.

Temperatures will hover in the middle 90s but heat index values (what it feels like when you factor in the heat and humidity) will be between 100 and 105, according to the National Weather Service.

This is the second of two very hot days in the Potomac Communities, and the last one we’ll have to deal with this week, according to the forecast.

In order to get through today’s hot weather, officials urge everyone to reduce strenuous outdoor activities until the early morning or late evening, wear light weight and loose fitting clothes and drink lots of water. Finding a cool, air conditioned place to spend the day in is also suggested.

On Wednesday, temperatures will fall into the upper 80s and into the low 80s on Thursday, according to the weather service.

News
Crime Watch: Taxi Driver Robbed, 2 Injured in Large Fight

Cab Driver Robbed
A taxi driver was robbed at knife point Monday in the Montclair subdivision.

The 44-year-old victim was driving three men to the 15000 Block of Mill Spring Drive, off Holleyside Drive and Spring Branch Boulevard at 3:34 a.m. when one of the men pulled out a knife and demanded money, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

After the robbery, the three fled the scene and police were able to locate the three men, one of which has been charged.

Nathan Robert McGill, 23, of 13002 Kimbrough Lane in Dale City, is charged with robbery, said Perok.

His court date was not released.

2 injured in fight involving 50 people, police said
Two men were taken to the hospital suffering injuries that were suffered during a fight that involved at least 50 people, police said.

The fight broke out at 12:39 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of Oak Tree Lane in the Southbridge subdivision outside of Dumfries.

Callers told police a fight was in progress, and police found the two victims – a 20-year-old man from Alexandria and 22-year-old man from Dale City – when they arrived.

Police don’t know what caused the fight and the victims were not able to provide descriptions of their attackers.

Cars, property vandalized in Dale City
Eight vehicles were tampered with in the 14500 block of Three Domers Court in Dale City, between 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

The vehicles were left unlocked and a laptop, speakers were reported mission from two of the eight vehicles, police said.

There were also several vandalisms to property on Saturday in the area of Birchdale Avenue and Burleigh Lane in Dale City.

Eleven vehicles on Birchdale Avenue, Burbank and Burligh lanes were vandalized, as were fences at homes in the area.

Damaged property is suspected to be valued in the thousands of dollars, said police.

Traffic
Church Lot Flops, New Commuter Lot Picked

Woodbridge, Va. –– What began as a celebrated commuter parking solution has come to an end after only four months.

Transit officials announced Prince William County has ended its five-year, $289,000 deal with the First Baptist Church on Minnieville Road near Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

Officials’ hopes that commuters forced from a longtime commuter parking lot at Potomac Mills mall would choose to park at the church never materialized.

To entice commuters to use the lot, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission in April launched an afternoon shuttle bus to ferry commuters from the popular Horner Road commuter lot off Interstate 95 in Woodbridge that would take commuters back to their cars at the church lot. It has also been cancelled.

More to the Story: Use our interactive commuter parking lot map to find a lot close to you.

“From the beginning, the church parking lot was intended as a temporary solution to the parking crunch created in February when Potomac Mills Mall eliminated approximately 750 spaces; however, few commuters were parking there,” said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

Just 250 commuter parking spaces remain at the shopping mall following the parking reduction.

But officials say they are working on a new temporary solution with “more promise” than the church parking lot, which was unpopular due to its distance from the highway.

Their new plan is lease 222 parking spaces in a lot adjacent to the popular commuter lot at Old Bridge and Minnieville roads in Lake Ridge starting Monday.

“Because PRTC already offers extensive commuter bus service at the Lake Ridge commuter lot, this addition will enhance the appeal of parking and slugging from there,” said Rodrigo.

At the same time officials announced commuters would be allowed to park at the church, they also announced a planned 600-space commuter parking lot near the Horner Road lot.

Traffic
State Won’t Fund Hybrid Cars

Stafford, Va. –– Local governments won’t get money from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s massive transportation plan to purchase new hybrid fleet vehicles.

Late last month, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted to withhold funding from a six-year transportation plan approved by the group in Richmond, reports Bloomberg Business Week.

“We’re not going to fix transportation by buying municipal fleets,” said Stafford County Supervisor Cord A. Sterling, who also represents the Fredericksburg District on the CTB. “We’ve got very limited resources and we’ve got a lot of needs.”

McDonnell’s $10 billion transportation plan will fund new road construction through 2017.

Stafford County began purchasing hybrid vehicles in 2005 and has continually bought hybrid cars over the past four years when available, said Stafford spokeswoman Cathy Riddle.

A portion of the county’s green vehicle purchasing policy states all hybrids under consideration for purchase must meet all federal, state and local emission standards and manufacturers must be able to deliver the cars within 90 and 120 days.

Traffic
New OmniRide Trips Eyed

OmniLink switch riders buses at the Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– As many as eight new morning trips could be coming to OmniRide in an effort to ease crowding.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the public agency that operates the commuter bus service from Prince William County to points in Northern Virginia and Washington, says 20 percent of their routes have long suffered from overcrowding –– a result of higher gas prices and congress’ decision to extend the $230 employer-sponsored commuter benefit for federal employees through 2011.

PRTC commissioners are expected to vote on the plan Thursday night.

Until now, all of the agency’s available buses have been in use during peak rush hour times. Last month, however, the transit agency received four new federally-funded buses meant to replace aging buses in PRTC’s fleet.

Instead of retiring the four older buses, OmniRide plans to keep three in service and use the forth to help speed up an ongoing mid-life bus restoration project, said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

The transit agency says a combination of scheduling efficiencies, higher than budgeted fare revenue and additional contingency hours already budgeted into the year’s budget schedule will make the additional trips possible.

If the change is approved, the new trips will be rolled out gradually and would be added to the system’s printed schedules in the fall, said Rodrigo.

News
Annual July 4th Parade Draws Hundreds

Craig Romero and 11-month-old daughter, Carmen, in his arms enjoy their first Independence Day parade in Dale City on Monday. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Dale City, Va. –– This was Carmen’s first Independence Day parade in Dale City. But the 11-month-old girl took to it like a pro, waving her flag as the marching bands, floats, motorcycles and politicians passed by and tossed candy to the patriotic crowd.

“She’s loving it,” said Carmen’s mother, Rochelle Romero. “As long as she’s being good we’re going to hang here and enjoy the parade.”

Romero and her husband, Craig, have lived in the Potomac Communities since 2004, but this was the first time they had come to the annual Dale City 4th of July Parade.

“As long as we’re living in the area this could be a new tradition for us,” she added.

Hundreds lined the parade route on Dale Boulevard to see the more than 130 participants in this year’s parade, showcasing the talents of the Marine Corps Marching Band to the Freedom High School Marching Band.

Parade organizers were scheduled to award more than 30 trophies for everything from the best float, best motorcycles, best step teams and many others.

Following the parade was the family fun area in the commuter parking lot on Gemini Way behind Center Plaza.

Leading the parade this year was grand marshal Cpl. Josh Himan, a graduate from C.D. Hylton High School who was injured in Iraq and welcomed home earlier this year with a hero’s fanfare.

This was the parade’s 44th year, and it is one of the largest Independence Day events in Virginia.

News
Storms Possible Before Fireworks

An overcast afternoon could lead to some summer storms this Independence Day.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Stafford County and points south until 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

At 5 p.m., doppler radar indicated a large area of rain moving from west to east that could affect the Potomac Communities before many of the fireworks shows in the region are set to begin at 9 pm.

For the latest weather updates from PotomacLocal.com, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

News
One Killed, Power Out After Storms

Powerful storms rolled through the Washington area Sunday night killing one and leaving hundreds in the Potomac Communities without power.

The unidentified storm victim was riding his bicycle along the C&O Canal in Montgomery County, Md. and was struck by a tree, reports the Washington Post.

Closer to home, about 600 Dominion Virginia customers in the Brooke and Widewater areas of Stafford County had their power knocked out. About 300 Dominion customers in the Dumfries area lost their power.

There were 498 NOVEC customers in Prince William County with power out about 10:30 p.m. and four customers in Stafford with their power out, according to the utility’s website.

The storms contained heavy downpours and lightening, and came after flirted with the low 90s across the region. The high temperature at Quantico measured 88 degrees at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The weather service has issued an air quality alert for Independence Day, as temperatures are expected to rise into the 90s. The air is expected to become unhealthy for children, older adults and those who suffer from asthma.

Those who may be sensitive to poor air quality conditions are urged to stay indoors tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.

Traffic
Drivers Face Long Delays

Drivers make a hasty entrance to Interstate 95’ High Occupancy Vehicle lanes near Potomac Mills.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Traffic headed south on Interstate 95 in Virginia has been backed up since 11:30 a.m.

A crash just south of Lorton snarled traffic between from the Occoquan River all the way to the Capital Beltway, and there are no signs traffic is easing as many commuters are making a break for the long holiday weekend.

The delays along the highway were so bad about 2 p.m. some drivers chose to drive off the highway, into a median and access the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes near Potomac Mills mall.

Anticipating afternoon crowding, Virginia Railway Express will add additional cars to Fredericksburg line train #303 leaving Washington’s Union Station at 3:35 p.m., and will also add more cars to Manassas line train #327 departing Union Station at 4:25 p.m.

The commuter railroad reminded riders Friday there will be no service Monday in observance of Independence Day.

Traffic
July 4th Get There Guide

Drivers travel north on Interstate 95 at Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Interstate 95 / 395 High Occupancy Vehicle lanes

  • HOV restrictions on I-66, I-95 and I-395 will be lifted on Monday, July 4. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Friday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 5.
  • Northbound/southbound schedule for the I-95/395 reversible lanes: Lanes will be southbound from 1 p.m., Friday until 2 p.m. Saturday; and northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday through 7:30 p.m. Monday. On Monday, the lanes will be northbound until 7:30 p.m., and southbound from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tuesday. The lanes will re-open northbound by 3 a.m. July 5.
  • July 4 event traffic: To accommodate travelers attending Fourth of July events in Washington, the Virginia Department of Transportation will coordinate and adjust signal timings at approximately 116 signalized intersections along major arterial roads, including U.S. 1, 29, 50 and Va. 7, 123, 236 and 244. Signals will be timed to help move traffic into the District during the day and then south and west from the city between 9:30 p.m. and midnight.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

  • Drivers are urged to travel to Maryland’s eastern shore / Ocean City, Md., Deleware Beaches using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge during off-peak times, before 2 p.m. Friday, before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Saturday, before 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Sunday.

Hampton Roads / Virginia Beach / Outer Banks, N.C.

Metro

  • The transit system says they’ll be geared up to handle the increased volume of riders on Independence Day.
  • Click here to see the Metro’s full service schedule for Monday.
  • The Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange lines will be closed until after the conclusion of the fireworks display on the National Mall. Metro urges riders trying to get downtown to see the fireworks to use Farragut North, Federal Center SW, Capitol South, L’Enfant Plaza, Archives Navy Memorial, Union Station or Judiciary Square stations.
  • All regularly scheduled track work for Monday has been canceled due to the anticipated volume of riders.

Virginia Railway Express

  • No service Monday

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission OmniRide, OmniLink

  • No service Monday

News
July 4th Holiday Weekend Events Guide

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Friday, July 1

  • Fabulous Fridays at Waterworks Waterpark in Dale City will be feature a “Happy Birthday USA” theme and includes food specials, giveaways and games from 5 to 9 p.m. when the park closes.
  • Not ready to be decked out in red, white, and blue quite yet? The Potomac Nationals 7:05 p.m. game will have a “Star Trek Night” promotion.

Saturday, July 2

  • Leesylvania State Park hosts their monthly Kid’s Fishing Tournament beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the marina. Children do not need game licenses, but adults who plan to “help hold the rod” should be sure to have one. Participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies.
  • Kick back and celebrate early with the Arts and Stripes Picnic at the Lorton Workhouse. The picnic is a free event, but a $5 donation is suggested. Parking will be available on site to picnic-goers who are asked to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. The event begins at 2 p.m. Entertainment will include interactive art demonstrations, the Navy Commodores, New Dominion Choraliers, and a keynote from Congressman Gerry Connolly.
  • At 3 p.m., head to the Spotsylvania Courthouse for the “Spotsylvania Stars and Stripes Spectacular” which will feature live music, fire trucks, children’s activities, pony rides and more. Admission is free, but some activities have an additional fee. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and plan to stay late for the fireworks display at 9:25 p.m. once the sun goes down. Avoid the crowds at the courthouse parking lot and use the free shuttle from Courtland High School for the least hassle.
  • Join the Potomac Nationals for their “History of Baseball” night featuring vintage jersey auction, bobbleheads for the first 1,000 fans and fireworks after the game, which begins at 6:35 p.m. Special tickets are available that include an all-you-care-to-eat picnic style dinner before the game.

Closed Saturday: Prince William County Neighborhood Libraries

Sunday, July 3

  • It’s everyone’s favorite mascot’s birthday, and Uncle Slam plans to celebrate in style. Special tickets are available that include an all-you-care-to-eat picnic dinner before a 6:35 p.m. Potomac Nationals game, which will feature mascots from around the area. After the game, be sure to stick around for fireworks!
  • The Village Anniversary Laser Show on the Spotsylvania Town Center Village Green will include patriotic music with neon light accompaniment and sneak previews of the upcoming shows at the Riverside Dinner Theatre. The events start at 6 p.m. and admission is free.

Closed Sunday: Prince William County neighborhood and regional Libraries

Monday, July 4

  • The Dale City Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. Dale Boulevard will be reduced from four to two lanes between Mapledale Avenue and Minnieville Road beginning at 8 a.m. Drivers should use alternate routes to avoid backups. The parade will feature between 150 and 200 floats and civic groups, and is being Grand Marshaled by hometown hero Marine Corporal Joshua Himan. Parking lots at Beville Middle and the Dale City Boys and Girls Club, and Center Plaza will be closed for event use, but any other plaza along the parade route may be used for parade viewing. The Center Plaza commuter lot will be the site of the annual Family Fun Day that follows the parade until 2 p.m.
  • Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., celebrate our nation’s birthday at the home of one of its founding fathers! Ferry Farm in south Stafford will have period actors, games, food, live music and more including appearances by an actor portraying General George Washington who called Ferry Farm his home. Admission is $1 but military families with proper identification get in free.
  • Celebrate America with Old Town Manassas. Starting at 2 p.m. at the train depot in Old Town there will be rides for children, food concessions and a “red, white, and blue hayride.” Bring your lawn chairs and blankets starting at 4 p.m. to get seats at the Manassas Museum lawn for the 9:15 p.m. fireworks display –– one of the largest in Northern Virginia. Festivities also include Jay Henley and the Stone Brook Band at 4:30 p.m. at the Harris Pavilion.
  • Stafford’s Pratt Park will have a “July 4th Spectacular” beginning at 6 p.m. and continuing until the conclusion of their fireworks display. Food vendors will be available, but picnic dinners are encouraged, so be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and plan to enjoy the evening full of music and fun.
  • Join the Potomac Nationals at 6:35 p.m. for the largest game of the season! Special tickets are available that include a picnic meal before the game, and be sure to stick around after the final pitch for a large fireworks show in honor of the 4th of July.

Closed Monday: Prince William County Government Offices, Prince William County courts, Prince William County Landfill, Prince William County Libraries, Dale City Recreation Center, Stafford government offices, Stafford Regional Landfill, Stafford Departments and Facilities, Stafford County courts.

Open Monday: Prince William County Fire and Rescue, Stafford County pools, Aquia Landing, Historic Port of Falmouth, Stafford Fire and Rescue, Stafford County Magistrate.

News
Fireworks that Could Land You in Jail

Woodbridge, Va. –– Prince William fire and rescue officials warn about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

During the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, officials plan to write summonses and place some behind bars for possessing illegal fireworks.

“On the Fourth of July weekend, fire marshals and police officers will patrol the region looking for illegal fireworks, which will be confiscated,” Prince William fire and rescue Assistant Chief Hadden Culp said. “The violator will then be charged with the offence and must appear in court. Locally, use of illegal fireworks in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, meaning a person could receive jail time of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,500.00.”

Every year, many multiple injuries are reported because of the use of illegal fireworks, officials say. Fires and even death are also to be blamed on illegal fireworks, the use of which has increased over the past 10 years.

So what fireworks can you have? Officials say cones, sparklers, sparkling devices and novelties are legal in some jurisdictions. Illegal are anything that shoots into the air, roman candles and firecrackers.

In the end, it’s up to the local jurisdiction to set the rules and users are urged to check first with local governments to find out what fireworks are legal to posses.

Police in recent years have confiscated more than $10,000 in illegal fireworks in Prince William County–– a fraction of the illegal fireworks confiscated in the Washington area, officials said.

Traffic
Teen Bus Passes Sold at Mall

Nick and Katie Gregory purchased their 2011 PRTC Teen Summer Passes from Katy Nicholson, PRTC’s marketing assistant. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. — Katie and Nick Gregory are going places this summer by way of OmniLink.

The brother and sister pair on Saturday were one of 11 people that purchased the Potomac and Rapphannock Transportation Commission’s Teen Summer Bus Pass at Potomac Mills mall.

The pass is good for unlimited rides on OmniLink buses in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

“I’ll be volunteering to help with a Special Ed class, so I’ll use the bus pass to get me back and forth between my home and the class,” said Katie, 17.

Nick, 15, says he’ll use the pass to get back and forth between his home and the Chinn Fitness and Aquatic’s Center in Woodbridge.

The transit commission sold passes for $25 on Saturday in honor of PRTC turning 25-years-old this fall, at five-dollars off the regular price.

This year marks the first time PRTC has sold passes at the mall in Woodbridge. On July 9, a representative will be on hand at Manassas Mall in Manassas to sell teen passes. Passes can also be purchased at the PRTC Transit Center on Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge.

The passes are also good for $1 off tickets at Potomac Nationals games every Friday night.

The passes sell for $30 each and are good through Sept. 3.

News
Police Search for Bank Robber

Dale City, Va. –– A Wachovia Bank on Dale Boulevard was robbed at gunpoint this afternoon.

Police say a man walked into the bank in the Ashdale Plaza near Interstate 95 at 2:19 p.m., threatened a clerk with a hammer and demanded money. He got it and then fled the scene.

No one was injured and police have now deployed K9 units and a helicopter to search for the intruder.

While police do not have yet images of the suspect they can release, they do say the man is black, between 30 and 40 years old, between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches tall, wearing a long sleeved shirt, dark pants and had tan fabric covering his face, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

News
Officer Burned by Cigarette Over Dog

Porsche Yevette Bealle (Submitted)

Dale City, Va. –– A woman apparently did not want to surrender her dog, and an animal control officer was injured in the process of trying to take it from her.

Officers were called to the 14800 block of Cloverdale Road in Dale City at 4:29 p.m. Friday to take custody of a dog. Police did not say why they were trying to take the dog nor did they say what breed it was.

But the dog’s owner became combative, and officers then tried to arrest her. She resisted and then burned one of the officers with a lit cigarette, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The woman was eventually taken into custody and the officer suffered minor injuries.

Porsche Yevette Bealle, 27, of Cloverdale Road in Dale City, is charged with assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and with resisting arrest, said Perok.

Police did not release her court date, but the Bealle was released on $2,000 bond.

News
Emails, Cell Phone Safety Messages Win Award

Fire and rescue officials in Prince William County were honored for their work on broadcasting safety messages.

The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue was honored with a Governor’s Transportation Safety Award for sending safety messages twice a day to all personnel through cell phones and email, reinforcing the county’s safety policies –– including the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.

“This is a dangerous job, but by sending out these messages is just one more tool in our toolbox to help a safer workplace,” said Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department Assistant Chief Hadden Culp.

The awards ceremony was held Wednesday in Richmond, and is an annual event that identifies and recognizes those working to make transportation safer in Virginia.

News
Crime Watch: Car Rammed with Child Inside

Domestic dispute leads to child endangerment charges
An apparent domestic dispute landed a woman in jail facing charges of child endangerment.

At 6:48 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies were called to the 300 block of Chatham Heights Road in Falmouth after a woman rammed the car of 27-year-old woman, police said.

Inside of that car was a 13-month-old child.

An argument between two women erupted and items thrown into the road and a 27-year-old woman from Florida –– the mother of the child –– was assaulted, said Stafford Sheriff’s Maj. David Decatur.

A man broke up the fight and told the two females to separate. The alleged attacker got into her 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier and rammed the victim’s car, a 2001 Toyota coupe, head-on, and then got out of the car and continued her assault on the victim, said Decatur.

The victim was able to run and barricade herself behind a door until police arrived.

Tristan Joy Wheeler, 28, of Rhodesville, is charged with malicious wounding, child endangerment, destruction of property and reckless driving, said Decatur.

She was jailed without bond.

Selvin Magdiel Morales-Mijangos

Woman beaten, man arrested
A Woodbridge man faces charges in a domestic dispute.

Police were called to the 2300 block of West Longview Drive in Woodbridge at 12:21 a.m. Wednesday after a 45-year-old woman and the man who now faces charges began arguing.

The argument escalated and the man struck the woman several times, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The victim was treated for her injuries. The man was arrested without incident.

Selvin Magdiel Morales-Mijangos, 30, is charged with malicious wounding.

He was held without bond and his court date was not released.

Spivey

2 face heroin charges
A stash of heroin and cash were discovered in Dale City.

Police stopped a car Tuesday, spoke with an occupant who was later charged with possession of heroin, and learned the location of the dealer.

Officers went to the home of the dealer, in the 13900 block of Longwood Manor Court in Dale City, and arrested him, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

At that home, police found cash and additional drugs, added Perok.

Christopher Spivey, 44, of Dale City, is charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of heroin, said Perok.

Fernandes

Tyler Jordan Fernandes, 18, of Manassas is charged with possession of heroin.

News
Schools Get New Start Times

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus
Schools and Education Reporter

Prince William County, Va. –– Some Prince William County Schools will be starting and ending their day at a different time next year.  Prince William County uses a three-tier approach when busing children to school which allows drivers to serve multiple routes.

High schools will begin between 7:20 and 7:30 a.m.  Middle school start times range from 8:10 to 8:20 a.m., and elementary schools have the widest range, with schools beginning their day anywhere from 8:15 to 9:20 a.m.

This year three schools will be beginning and ending at a new time. Antietam Elementary is one of three schools in Prince William County that will begin the day at 8:15 a.m., with 2:40 p.m. marking the end of the school day.

“It is typical that a couple of schools’ bell times have to be adjusted each year, particularly when we have additional schools coming online”, said Ken Blackstone for PWCS.

Patriot High School in Nokesville (opening this fall) and Marsteller Middle School in Bristow are the two other schools that will experience schedule changes.

Parents at the affected schools should have received notification via website about the changes.  The full schedule of start and end times for Prince William County Schools is available online.

News
Parents Must Re-Register for Schools Info

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus
Schools and Education Reporter

Prince William County, Va. –– In an ongoing effort to keep parents involved and informed in their child’s education, Prince William County Schools will be switching to Parent Portal, an online interface for parents.

Previously, PWCS has used EduLink, which was essentially a product that interfaced between SchoolFusion, which hosts individual county school’s websites.

This change comes along with an upgrade to a new student information system a sort of “mainframe” that holds all critical student information, a project that is a year in process.

“It has been many years since we have made such a change so the upgraded ability this will give us is significant in many ways.  Unfortunately, these abilities come with a price for parents, who will need to re-register their SchoolFusion accounts in order to keep receiving updates or log into their school’s website.  New accounts may be requested and passwords and login will be available from schools this fall,” said Blackstone.

In the meantime, Blackstone recommends parents follow the same procedure as in years past.

“Parents will need to back up any documents that they may have saved as part of their SchoolFusion classroom account…at the end of the year, the old classroom data, including these saved documents, are deleted in preparation for the next year’s data. We’ve posted directions on how to save the files, which is extremely easy to do,” he added.

Traffic
HOT Lanes Contractor Threatens to Pull Out

Photo: Mary Davidson

Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

The Australian company vying to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 is getting impatient.

The CEO of Transurban, one of the two contractors that has won the bid to build toll lanes between North Stafford and Edsall Road, told an Australian newspaper the company intends to pull out if the project is delayed once more due to a lengthy environmental review process, the Washington Examiner reports.

The project was delayed some 18 months while County Supervisors sued the state and federal governments citing a categorical exemption that allowed the lanes to be built without a proper environmental review.

In February, officials scrapped plans to build HOT lanes on I-395 in Arlington, and reduced the scope of the project to include I-395 only to Edsall Road.

A environmental review process currently underway should be finished by the fall, Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton told the Examiner.

Transurban’s announcement comes less than a week after Connaugton announced the state’s new Office of Public-Private Transportation Partnerships headquartered in Richmond.

The office was established to help officials speed up the delivery of PPTA projects within the laws, while improving transparency and accountability, according to a press release.

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