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Dale City Local

State Trooper Injured in Crash

Dale City, Va. – A Virginia State Police car was hit on Interstate 95 north in Dale City injuring a state trooper.

The crash happened at 3:25 p.m. Sunday at mile post 154 in Prince William County, near the truck weigh stations, as the trooper had stopped on the left shoulder to help the occupants of a wrecked Hyundai. As the trooper was stepping out of his marked patrol car, a 2004 Lexus sedan veered out of the left lane and hit the car pushing it 20 feet forward into the Hyundai. As a result of the impact, the driver’s side door closed on the leg of Trooper B.J. Norris, said VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller. Norris was treated at the scene for his injury.

Prior to hitting Norris’s police cruiser, the Lexus also hit another state police cruiser that was on the scene to help with the initial crash. The driver of the Lexus sideswiped the first cruiser and went onto collide with Norris’ car, said Geller.

The trooper inside the first car was not injured.

Inside the Hyundai, neither of the two children who were still sitting in the backseat at the time of the crash were injured. Their parents were standing outside of the car when state police cars were hit, said Geller.

Robert Korinchak, 70, of Burke, is charged with reckless driving and was not injured, said Geller. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

1 Hospitalized, 2 Flee After Pursuit

Dale City, Va. – One person was flown to a local hospital and police are looking for two other men after a crash at a rest stop in Dale City.

A Chevrolet Impala being pursued by Virginia State Police was struck by a tractor-trailer about 3:30 p.m. at a rest stop along northbound Interstate 95 on Friday. One person had to be extricated from the car while two other occupants were able to escape the wreckage. Problem is, the car was reported by Fredericksburg police earlier that afternoon to have been involved in a larceny in that city, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

When police issued a “be on the look out” for the car, a state trooper spotted the vehicle headed north on I-95 in Stafford County. He followed the car with lights and sirens activated to Dale City, where the Impala pulled into the rest stop, sped through the parking lot and then tried to get back onto the highway.

As the driver of the car tried to get back onto the highway it pulled into the path of the oncoming truck.

“The northbound tractor-trailer was unable to stop in time and struck the Impala,” said Geller.

The driver of the truck is not reported to be injured, but one of the occupants of the Impala became trapped and had to be pulled out and was later flown to a hospital. His condition has not been released.

According to initial reports, two other men who were also inside the car at the time of the crash fled into some nearby woods toward K-Mart on Dale Boulevard. They are described as black and wearing blue jeans, with one of them wearing a green sweatshirt, said Geller.

Police ask anyone who might have information on this incident to call Virginia State Police by dialing #77 on their cell phone or by calling 1-800-572-4510.

Wartime Museum Breaks Ground

Dale City, Va. — Shovels were put into dirt Wednesday breaking ground for the Americans in Wartime Museum that will be built off Interstate 95 and Dale Boulevard in Dale City.

“Today, we have reached a major milestone for the Americans in Wartime Museum,” said Museum Board Chairman Allan Cors. “Our leadership team and our many community partners have worked hard to bring the vision of the Americans in Wartime Museum to life.

Today, as we begin site preparation for the new Museum, we are another step closer to the day we open the doors to this incredible facility and offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The museum will aim to tell the story of Americans during wartime in the 20th century up until now, and will feature living history reenactments and working aircraft and armor, according to museum officials.

The museum is scheduled to open Veterans Day 2014, and when it does is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year and bring with it 50 jobs to the area.

But the museum does not come without controversy, as some Dale City residents that live near the museum site told Prince William County Supervisors last year they feared property values would decline because noise levels generated by working aircraft and artillery that will be used at the museum.

The Americans in Wartime Museum will and a National Museum of the U.S. Army are two of the planned museums set to be built along I-95 in Fairfax and Prince William counties. Just south of the Dale City museum site lies the National Museum of the Marine Corps, which opened in 2006 and since then has greeted 1.7 million visitors.

War Museum Plans Groundbreaking Ceremony





The Americans in Wartime Museum is planning a Groundbreaking Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26.  The community is invited to this innagural event of the museum, which will be housed on 70 acres near the intersection of Dale Boulevard and I-95 in Woodbridge.   The Museum will “tell the story of Americans in wartime from World War I through the present, using indoor and outdoor Landscapes of War plus an exceptional collection of working military vehicles to provide an interactive experience” according to a press release issued Thursday.  

Speakers will include Chairman Corey Stewart, Supervisor John D. Jenkins, and Museum Board Chairman Allan Cors.  Also, a working Sherman M4A3 tank will be put into service during the ceremony.  Parking for those wishing to attend the event will be available at the El Charro Mexican Restaurant which is near the K-Mart in Dale City. 

Information: or Contact:Kathy Bentz703-856-3402 (cell or text)

Ice Rink Reopens after Snow Collapse

The ice skating rink in Dale City that fell victim to a major snowstorm last year has reopened as Prince William Ice Center. (Photo: Kristina Schnack Kotlus)

Dale City, Va. — Children took to a fresh sheet of ice Saturday as the Prince William Ice Center welcomed their hockey teams back home.

With a certificate of occupancy fresh off the presses, hockey fanatics and new players alike broke in the new sheet of ice on the “NHL” side.

The second “Olympic” side will open this week and public skating will begin in two weeks, according to rink management.

Despite construction going on around them, players were at the rink as early as 7 a.m.

The Prince William Ice Center comes after the roof of the previous in the same spot on Dale Boulevard, the Prince William Ice Forum, collapsed during a major snowstorm in 2010.

Fan Sparks Fire

Dale City, Va. — Fire crews doused a blaze in the 14800 block of Edgewater Drive in Dale City on Wednesday night.

Crews were called to the single-story home at 7 p.m., where fire was showing from the front of the home. Once crews determined everyone had made it out safely they began their attack on the fire, said Prince William fire and rescue spokeswoman Kim Hylander.

Crews doused the blaze and no one was injured. One person inside the home was alerted to be fire when a smoke detector went off and smelled smoke.

The cause of the fire – a fan inside the home caught fire and the spread, officials said.

The home sustained $125,000 in damage.


Flood Victims Moved to Rec Center

Marumsco Mobile Home Park resident Pedro Lunacy, stands in front of his home that was destroyed when the Marumsco Creek flooded and left his neighborhood looking like a war zone. (Mary Davidson/

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Woodbridge, Va. — Due to recent flooding in our area, the Red Cross will be using the Sharon Baucom Dale City Recreation Center (SBDCRC) as an emergency shelter. The SBDCRC was closed to the public beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. The center will be used to provide temporary housing to Prince William County residents who lost their homes during the flooding, according to a Prince William County Park Authority press release.

The SBDCRC is projected to re-open to the public on Friday, September 16 at 1 p.m. All programs, excluding the state-licensed playschool held in the Center Annex, are cancelled until the center reopens to the public. Passholders may use the Chinn Aquatic and Fitness Center or the George Mason Freedom Center for no charge while the SBDCRC is closed.

After Thursday’s flooding in Woodbridge, 300 residents were evacuated to Woodbridge Senior High School in Lake Ridge.

School officials plan to close that shelter today to prepare it for the return of students who had the day off from school Friday due to the floods.

Neighbors Want More Protection After Man Found Dead

A man was found dead inside his home at the River Run Senior Apartments in Dale City.

Dale City, Va. — After a man was found dead inside his home late Thursday, neighbors say more needs to be done to protect their community. Police are investigating it as a homicide.

“We have asked many times for a night security guard to watch over things here at night, but we’re always told that if we don’t like it we can leave,” said one resident outside the Dale City’s River Run Senior Apartments on Friday – the complex where the victim was found.

The woman declined to give her name out of fear of being evicted for speaking out against the apartment complex’s management.

A representative from the apartment community was not immediately available early Friday.

Others who were at River Run on Thursday night say things were quiet, and they said police informed residents that the man was not shot, but beaten inside his own home.

Residents of the apartment complex on Friday said they fear a killer could be living among them.

“There is a code to punch into the door when you’re trying to come in at night, but it seems everyone in Woodbridge has it. Things are getting bad around here, at least a lot worse that they used to be,” said the resident who declined to give her name.

The River Run complex has three buildings with a mix of some small businesses but mostly residential homes.

Neighbors we talked to said they did not know the victim.

Roof Ignited During Storm

Dale City, Va. — A lightning strike sparked a blaze on the roof of a house in Dale City early Friday.

Fire and rescue crews were called about 2:30 a.m. to the 14700 block of Dodson Drive for a fire on the roof of the home, initial reports indicate. Crews were able to extinguish the blaze and there have been no reports of anyone injured.

The cause of the fire was confirmed this morning by Prince William fire and rescue Battalion  Chief Joseph Robertson.

The fire sparked during severe thunderstorm that blew into the Potomac Communities just after midnight. It brought severe lightning, high winds, hail and heavy downpours.

3 Killed in Crash

Fairfax County, Va. — A Dale City man and two others are dead after his Toyota truck crashed in Springfield on Wednesday night.

The 1993 pickup was headed south on Backlick Road, near the entrance to Interstate 95, when it crossed over a median and struck head on a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, then side swiped a 1996 Oldsmobile sedan.

The truck flipped and came to a rest on its side, said a Fairfax County police spokesperson.

The driver of the truck, 39-year-old James A. Cetto II, of Evansdale Road in Dale City, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Cetto’s passenger, an unidentified 41-year-old man, was ejected and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His name is being withheld until police are able to notify his next of kin.

The driver of the Cherokee, 52-year-old Katherine F. Miller, of Springfield, suffered severe head trauma and was also pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Oldsmobile, a 47-year-old man, was not injured.

The occupants of the Toyota were not wearing their seatbelts, however, the drivers of the Cherokee and Oldsmobile were, police said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

New Voting Cards in the Mail

Woodbridge, Va. — The recent decennial redistricting process has prompted Prince William officials to issue new voter cards.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . New voter cards are being mailed this week to all registered voters in Prince William County. Due to the recent redistricting, many election district boundaries and polling places have changed. The new voter cards will have the updated information including election district and polling place locations.

Another option to determine your election district and polling place is through This interactive tool will instantly give the correct election district and polling place location based on the address you supply.

The Republican Party will hold a primary on August 23, 2011 to select its candidates for the November General Election in the following races:

Board of CountySupervisors in Brentsville, Coles, and Gainesville districts, State Senate in Districts 13, 36, and 39 and House of Delegates in District 87.

The deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election has already passed. There will be no Democratic Primary this year.

To find out if you are currently registered to vote and what will be on the ballot in your polling place, visit

For more information, contact Voter Registration at 703-792-6470. The address is 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1, Manassas, VA 20110. Email questions can be sent to

-Press release

Tips to Beat Excessive Heat

As the mercury continues its climb toward the century mark,  officials are warning residents to do everything they can to keep cool.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch from noon today until 8 p.m. Thursday. With temperatures forecast to reach the mid to upper 90s Wednesday afternoon, heat index values (what it feels like outside when the humidity is factored in with the heat) are expected between 100 and 110 degrees.

The hot weather will remain in place for the remainder of the week, with temperatures hovering in the mid 90s to 100 degrees, according to the weather service.

Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mark Doyle issued tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

More to the Story: Check out’s Pool Guide 2011 to find a place near you to cool off.

Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who have a mental illness
  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Avoiding dehydration is essential signs of dehydration may include: Thirst, Dry or sticky mouth, Headache, Muscle cramping, Irritability, Extreme fatigue, Weakness, Dizziness, and Decreased performance. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15.


Crime Watch: Man Shoots at Neighbor’s Dog

Paul Ovellette (Submitted)

Reckless Handling of a Firearm
On July 16th at 1:58PM, police responded to the 4600 block of Whitaker Pl in Woodbridge (22193) for a call of shots fired. The investigation revealed that the accused had fired a shotgun at a neighbor’s dog as it ran onto a community parking lot. Other people were nearby but not injured. The dog was also uninjured. The accused was arrested and charged.


Paul Richard OVELLETTE, 59, of 4625 Whitaker Pl in Woodbridge

Charged with reckless handling of a firearm

Court date unavailable, released on personal recognizance

Strong Armed Robbery
On July 17th at 7:41PM, police responded to the 13500 block of Delaney Rd in Woodbridge (22193) for a robbery. The victim, a 14 year old male of Woodbridge, reported to police that he was walking home in the area above when he was approached by two other male juveniles, one of which was known to the victim – the accused. The accused and the other male threatened to beat up the victim if he didn’t hand over his money. The accused took an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency from the victim. No injuries were reported. The accused was identified as the suspect and charged. Investigation continues.

Arrested: (Juvenile)

A 13 year old boy of Woodbridge

Charged with robbery

Court date unavailable, held at a Juvenile Detention Facility

Burglary to Business
On July 17th at 9:03AM, police responded to Crystal’s Beauty Academy located at 14341 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Owner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 4:00PM on July 16th and 6:10AM on July 17th. Entry appeared to have been gained through a rear glass door which had been shattered. No property was reported missing.

On July 15th at 1:26PM, police responded to the 2700 block of Landings Point Lp in Woodbridge (22193) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:00AM on July 14th and 1:00PM on July 15th. Entry appeared to have been made through an unsecured front door. DVD’s, 2 TV’s and a Playstation valued around $1,500 were reported missing.

On July 14th at 8:59PM, police responded to the 16600 block of Fern Pl in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 3:30AMand 8:00PM. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. An undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency was reported missing.

On July 14th at 3:10PM, police responded to the 4600 block of Prather Pl in Woodbridge (22193) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 5:00PM on June 26th and 10:00AM on July 14th. Entry appeared to have been made through a rear patio door which had been forced opened. A XBOX and related games valued around $2,000 were reported missing.

-Prince William police

6th Graders Must Have Shots, Say Schools

Prince William County, Va. –– Parents are once again reminded that students entering sixth grade in Prince William County Public Schools this fall must present proof that they have had a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) booster shot within the past five years. By state law, without proof of this immunization, children will not be able to enroll in school for the 2011–12 school year.

If the last Tdap booster shot was administered more than five years from the beginning of the upcoming school year, this immunization must be administered over the summer. The booster shot may be listed as T, Td, Dtap, and/or Tdap. Parents are urged to call their child’s doctor or local health department if they have questions.

Shots may be obtained from a doctor, military clinic, or the Prince William County Health Department. Documentation should be taken to your child’s middle school or Central Registration.

The Prince William County Health Department may be reached at the following locations and telephone numbers: 9301 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110, 703.792.6301, and 4001 Prince William Parkway, Ste. 101, Woodbridge, Va. 22191, 703-792-7300.

-Press release

Extreme Heat Coming

Remember when the weather for the first part of this past weekend was relatively cool for summertime in the Potomac Communities: fair-weather clouds, a nice summer breeze and temperatures in the 80s? Now try and forget about it.

The forecasted heat index values this week should rise above the 100 degree mark, and it all begins Monday with forecasted temps in the 90s and a code orange air quality alert.

The outside air Monday may become unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children, seniors and those with heart and lung diseases, according to the National Weather Service.

Bottom line: stay indoors in the air conditioning if you can and avoid strenuous activity.

Over the next six days, expect a similar summertime weather pattern: extreme heat with the chance of afternoon and overnight thunderstorms.

Those 100-degree heat index values are forecast to kick in Thursday, while showers and thunderstorms could affect the Potomac Communities overnight tonight into Tuesday, according to the weather service.

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If your organization has an upcoming event that the Potomac Communities needs to know about, please email a press release or just a few simple paragraphs to include:

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Being a community resource while continuing the great original reporting you’ve come to expect from is just one more way we’re working to connect you to what’s happening where you live.

Thank you for your continued support of independent media in the Virginia’s Potomac Communities!

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Grease Fire Prompts Wegmans Evacuation

Woodbridge, Va. — A small grease fire forced the evacuation of Wegmans grocery store in the Potomac Town Center on Friday morning.

No one was injured, but those who were there for the evacuation were unable to go about their normal shopping routines.

The fire started in the Asian food section of the prepared foods section, we’re told.

One person on the scene said they counted 17 fire and rescue vehicles that were called out to assist.

There was no damage to the store, as the heat vent above the grill was able to pull the smoke from the store.

The grocery store was only closed for less than an hour following the fire.

Wegmans opened its Woodbridge location in June 2008 to large fanfare, and it remains one of the busiest grocery stores in the Potomac Communities.

In addition to a complete supermarket, the location also boasts a wine store, several restaurant-style eateries with a dining area as well as a home goods section.

Crime Watch: Rape, Burglary, Police Assaulted

Dale City, Va. –– A string of arrest were made in connection to the rape of a teenage girl and the subsequent burglary that occurred in retaliation to the rape, police said.

Rape / Burglary


On [Wednesday] July 13 at 10 a.m., police responded to investigate a rape which was reported to have occurred in the 4600 block of Pearson Dr in [Dale City.] The investigation revealed that the victim, a 16 year old female, had been sexually assaulted by the accused, a known acquaintance who had been renting the basement in the residence. The accused was arrested in charge in that incident. At 12:40[a.m.] on July 14, police responded to the same residence for a reported burglary in progress. The investigation revealed that the homeowner returned home to find the accused individuals running from his residence. The suspects were located by police and charged. It was later learned that this incident was in retaliation for the sexual assault against the victim.

Arrested in reference rape investigation: Daniel O’Neal STEWART JR, 26, of the 4600 block of Pearson Dr in Woodbridge, charged with rape, court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond.


Arrested in reference burglary investigation: Lionell Keith GRIFFIN, 18, of 5004 Lynwood Dr in Woodbridge, charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, burglary, grand larceny and 2 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor [for the 2 other accused], court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond.

Arrested: (Juveniles) in reference burglary investigation, a 15-year-old male of Washington, DC, a 17-year-old male of Woodbridge.

Both juveniles were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, burglary and grand larceny. Court date unavailable, both held at a Juvenile Detention Facility.


Malicious Wounding / Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officer [LEO]
On [Tuesday] July 12 at 9:56 p.m., police responded to the 14100 block of Madrigal Dr in [Dale City] for a domestic. The investigation revealed that the accused was acting violent in the front of the residence. During the encounter, the victims, a 52 year old man and a 53 year old woman, were assaulted by the accused as they tried to get him under control. Police arrived at the scene and attempted to gain control of the accused. The accused then spat in the face of an officer being restrained and transported. The victims sustained minor injuries. The victims and the accused are known acquaintances.

Arrested: Robert Matthew MORTON, 28, of 14112 Madrigal Dr in [Dale City], charged with malicious wounding, assault & battery on LEO, threats to burn, domestic assault & battery and obstructing police. Court date set for September 2, 2011, held WITHOUT bond

-Prince William police

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.

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.

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