Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Dale City Local

Parking reduction could force commuting, work changes

There are several commuter lots in the Woodbridge area.

Rhonda Reed is looking to cut her losses and move north because of the lack of effective commuter parking in Woodbridge.

Though she lives in the Virginia suburb she works in Friendship Heights, Md., just north of the Washington, D.C. line.

Use our interactive map of commuter lots in the Potomac Communities that could provide a you a parking alternative to the Potomac Mills mall commuter parking lot.

She leaves her house each weekday morning by 6:45 a.m. to get to the Potomac Mills mall commuter lot by 7:15 a.m. to get a parking space, before the lot becomes full. (more…)

Church could ease parking woes

(File) An OmniRide commuter bus bound for Dale City stops at 14th Street and New York Avenue in Downtown Washington and picks up about 20 passengers as slugs looked on.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Commuters that will be forced from the commuter lot at Potomac Mills mall could soon park at the First Baptist Church of Woodbridge.

The church is considering leasing to Prince William County up to 500 parking spaces in their 700-space lot for commuters to use on weekdays.

The church, with a 1,250-member congregation, sits at Minnieville and Elm Farm roads just off Prince William Parkway and stands to benefit financially from the deal.

“This is a deliberative process for us when we are considering annexing a large amount of spaces for commuter parking, and we also have to think about the impacts of our ministry,” said First Baptist Church of Woodbridge Executive Pastor Frank Johnson. (more…)

Tires slashed in Dale City

Dale City, Va. –– Tires were slashed on about 20 cars in Dale City, and now police want to know who’s behind the vandalisms.

Police were called at 2:42 p.m. Thursday to the Glendale area of Dale City after someone reported the tire slashing.

At least 20 vehicles all parked on Glendale Road, Granby and Greenwood drives, all had their tires slashed, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Prince William County Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700.

Fewer parking spaces got you bummed? You have options

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

Woodbridge, Va. –– The expansion of the Horner Road commuter lot in Woodbridge may provide some relief for commuters that will no longer be able to park at Potomac Mills mall.  But it won’t come fast enough to help those who will be put out on February 14.

Potomac Mills announced Thursday it would curtail commuter parking in their lots by 75 percent beginning Valentine’s Day. Afterward, mall managers suggested putout commuters take the bus.

But that may not be an option for many who would board OmniRide commuter buses near the mall, as nearly all of those early morning buses are full. (more…)

A ‘brother’ to be remembered

George Doughty's body was found in the woods in Dale City on Jan. 5, 2011.

Woodbridge, Va. –– George Doughty was a good friend, a sort of keeper of homeless community in Dale City, and was like a brother to the man who will lead his remembrance service Thursday.

Doughty was found dead of apparent medical problems in the woods off Dale Boulevard one week ago. He was homeless, and for at least the past three years had called those woods home.

A service will be held in his honor at 8 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge.

The church itself is the tallest building in that section of town, a fitting place to remember someone who was loved by so many. (more…)

Video: New ice rink anticipated

The Prince William Ice Center collapsed in February 2010 following a major snowstorm. (Prince William Ice Center)

Dale City, Va. –– On the day the Prince William Ice Center collapsed after a snow storm last February, emergency crews, skaters and the center’s owners couldn’t believe it was gone.

The weight of the snow on the center’s roof caused the building’s steel supports to buckle and the roof to collapse.
Those inside said they heard strange noises and said they could see twisting steel just before the roof fell. The sights of twisting steel sent everyone inside running for their lives.

They all made it out safely, but it marked an end a building that since 1996 provided a place for children, parents, hockey leagues and others to enjoy a day on the ice.

Now there are plans to rebuild the center in the same spot it once sat, near the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Ridgefield Road. (more…)

Dale City, Woodbridge on homes “hot” list

Woorbridge, Va. –– Home values in the Potomac Communities may be on the way up.

According to a report today in DCist, houses in the 22191 (Woodbridge) and 22193 (Dale City) zip codes have been selling on average just below their actual list prices, putting the neighborhood on Washington, D.C. – based real estate firm ZipRealty’s “cool list.” (more…)

D.C. forces slugs from 14th Street

An OmniRide commuter bus bound for Dale City on Tuesday stops at 14th Street and New York Avenue in Downtown Washington and picks up about 40 passengers as slugs looked on.

Washington –– Tensions rose Tuesday afternoon when Lake Ridge commuters were told they could no longer slug from a busy street in Downtown Washington.

About 15 slugs – commuters who ride in cars of three or more passengers so they can use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 – were handed fliers from the Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation, stating they could no longer stand and wait to be picked up on 14th Street, between H Street and New York Avenue.

The slug line will be relocated one block over, to the less-congested 15th Street, the flier stated.

The change, which officials say will be a two-week trial as they look to see if traffic flow on 14th Street improves without drivers stopping to pick up slugs, came as a surprise for many who now fear they’ll be left without a ride home. (more…)

Driver is victim of road rage, nail gun

Dionel Barrios is charged with brandishing a weapon during a case of road rage.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.–Police say a Dale City man used his car to ram another driver three times and then threatened him with a nail gun.

The case of road rage started on Smoketown Road in Woodbridge at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, when the victim called police to report his car had been rammed by a belligerent driver, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The attacking driver then brandished what appeared to be a handgun  and then drove off. (more…)

Dale City neighborhood gets storm drain labels

DALE CITY, Va. — The Prince William Clean Community Council, a local nonprofit organization in Woodbridge, led volunteers for “Week of Hope,” a volunteer effort to label more than 80 storm drains in Dale City’s Lindendale neighborhood.

Volunteers started during the early morning hours of June 24th and walked each street, labeling every storm drain in their path as part of a national effort to raise awareness about pollution in storm drains. (more…)

Dale City’s annual parade is tomorrow

A sign is posted on Dale Boulevard warning drivers that the annual Dale City Fourth of July Parade will take place Saturday.

It’s parade time in Dale City again, bringing with it the largest Independence Day event in Virginia.

For Prince William County Board Supervisor John D. Jenkins, this will be his 42nd year participating in the annual Fourth of July tradition.

“Obviously this is the biggest Fourth of July event that we have in the state. When I left this morning, we already had 135 units that had already signed up,” said Jenkins, who represents Dale City on the county board.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. tomorrow, staring at the Boys and Girls Club on Dale Boulevard. The three-mile parade route takes marchers and floats down Dale Boulevard, eventually to the grand viewing area in front of the Comcast building. (more…)

Video: Dale City fire chief remembered

When members of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department died, Chico Marrero worked with Assistant Chief Carl Persing to make plaques and memorials for their fellow fallen fire fighters and EMTs.

This week, Persing died from complications from colon cancer. He battled the disease three times in the past five years.

“I told him that ‘I never wanted to work on one of these for you.’ It looks like I had to make one anyway,” said Marrero, an 11-year volunteer with the department. With the help of volunteers, Marrero made a large poster in memory of Persing, with photos depicting him at work doing the job he loved.

It was placed under glass and presented at a remembrance gathering held for Persing  Wednesday night at  Dale City Fire Station 13.

Persing had volunteered with the Dale City department since 2001, joining the organization after taking medical leave from the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department where he worked for 23 years. He officially retired from Manassas in 2007, but wanted to remain active in the fire service.

“He was a great firefighter, he was a great leader, a great teacher and a good mentor to people. And he cared about his people, and unfortunately at times he didn’t worry about himself, but worried about other people,” said DCVFD Chief Christopher Hool.

Wednesday night’s memorial gathering drew about 100 people. Many who attended remembered Persing for the experience that he brought the job.

During his life, he volunteered with fire stations in Fairfax County, Ft. Belvoir, Woodbridge, the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and the U.S. Army.

He leaves behind two children, a mother and father, a brother and sister and a family of fire fighting professionals who will miss him.

A viewing for Persing will be held Tuesday June 29 at Dale City Fire Station 13, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

His funeral, with full honors, will be held the following day at 11 a.m., at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge.

*This story originally appeared on on Thursday June 24, 2010.

Fire chief dies from colon cancer

Assistant Chief Carl Persing, with Dale City's volunteer fire department, died from colon caner.

The Dale City Volunteer Fire Department lost a long-time member to colon cancer.

Assistant Chief Carl Persing died this week after fighting three bouts of colon cancer during the past five years. He was 53-years-old when he died, said DCVFD spokesman Steve Chappell.

Black cloths have been draped over Dale City’s four firehouses and Persing’s chief’s vehicle, said Chappell.

The department draped similar black cloth over their stations in 2008, after Dale City EMT Cecilia Turnbough died during a training exercise at the Prince William County Public Safety Center.

Funeral Arrangements for Persing are still being worked out.

He leaves behind two children, his parents, brother, sister and the fire department family, said Chappell.

Persing retired from the Manassas City Fire and Rescue Department in 2007. He joined DCVFD as a volunteer in 2001.

During his life, he also served with the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire Department and the U.S. Army.

*This story originally appeared on on Tuesday June 22, 2010.

Dale City Farmers Market draws crowds

There was no shortage of sweet corn, fruits, vegetables, popcorn or even dueling banjos at Sunday’s Dale City Farmer’s Market.

The popular open air market drew farmers from Central Virginia, Stafford and other points that all came to sell produce, flowers, seasonings and other goods they had produced.

Evelyn Scott with traveled from Saluda in Middlesex County, about an hour west of Richmond, to sell lilies, perennials and other fresh-cut flowers.

“I only set up shop at producer-only farmers markets because it would be hard to do business next to a wholesaler,” she said. “Since my flowers are all locally grown, you’ll get a better deal from me.”

At 11 a.m. at least 60 people were still strolling through the market that sits near the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Minnieville Road, sampling free tomatoes, flavored butters and homemade salsas.

In the process they were entertained by some very unlikely music.

“We just like pickin’ around,” said Martin Stamper, who along with band mate Travis Ferrell was dueling banjoes Bluegrass style. “We both live in Manassas, so it’s fun for us to just come here and play.”

The two have been playing together in their band, Stomper, for eight years, he said. They play mostly local gigs.

The market, which is featured on the state’s tourism Web site, opens each Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Its season lasts from April 4 through Nov. 21.

*This story originally appeared on on Tuesday June 15, 2010.

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