From Prince William police:
Homicide Investigation *UPDATE – On January 13, the body discovered along the Potomac River in the 1500 block of Cherry Hill Rd in Dumfries underwent an autopsy at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manassas. Based upon further examination of the victim’s body and the police investigation, detectives from the Homicide Unit are now classifying this death as a homicide. The victim was found on January 12 and appeared to have suffered trauma to his body. Preliminarily, the victim has been identified as an adult male. The victim’s identification will be released once a next of kin has been notified. The investigation continues. This is Prince William County’s first homicide of 2017.
Sponsored Post The Town of Dumfries is Hiring
Join a Great Team – The Town of Dumfries is presently accepting applications for the following positions:
— Building Official
— Chief of Police
— Code Compliance Officer
— Community Development Director
— Director of Public Works
— Information Technology Manager
— Police Officer
The staff at the Town of Dumfries do what they love and love what they do. While each person has a particular role, the staff also works together to support each other and the Town as a whole. You can find further information and details on how to apply on the Town’s website at .
News ‘The school division can and has purchased land for schools with nor need for BOCS involvement’
Lillie Jessie, the Occoquan District School Board representative, penned a post for Potomac Local last week that we titled ‘Instead of giving us money,…provide land needed to build new schools.’
We lifted the words for the headline straight from Jessie’s text. And then we started wondering: Is it always up to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (BOCS) to purchase land, or designate a site on which the Independent School Board should build a new school?
From Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits: (more…)
First on Potomac Local
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — When the Occoquan District Supervisor asked state officials to consider a small fix to ease a part of the region’s Interstate 95 traffic burden, she didn’t like the answer she received.
Ruth Anderson asked Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board to consider extending a fourth travel lane on Interstate 95 from the Occoquan River south to Prince William Parkway. After extending the 4th lane from Newington in Fairfax County south to the river in 2011, the Virginia Department of Transportation created a heavy bottleneck at the lane’s terminus at the busy Route 123/I-95 interchange.
Anderson stated that “at a minimum” a fourth lane extended south to the Parkway is a sensible solution as the six-lane road, and its highway interchange is better equipped than the Route 123 junction to handle more traffic. Officials in Prince William said they’ve long asked the state to widen the road to four travel lanes on the north and southbound sides through nearly the entire stretch of I-95 in Prince William County, from Occoquan to Dumfries.
Instead, the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes were built. Toll lanes in the center of the highway that regularly charge as much as $16 one way, and allows vehicles with three or more occupants to ride free. (more…)
From Prince William police:
Suspicious Death – On January 12 at 12:40PM, officers responded to the 1500 block of Cherry Hill Rd in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a death. The caller reported to police that while walking in the above area, a man’s body was observed along the shoreline of the Potomac River. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives from the Homicide Unit are investigating the death as suspicious. The body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination and autopsy. The victim’s identification will be released once confirmed and a next of kin has been notified. The investigation continues.
Detectives from the Homicide Unit are investigating the death as suspicious. The body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination and autopsy. The victim’s identification will be released once confirmed and a next of kin has been notified. The investigation continues.
The Department of Environmental Quality will host an information briefing on a proposed environmental permit for the Dominion Possum Point power station in Prince William County.
The meeting will be held at Potomac Senior High School, 3401 Panther Pride Drive, Dumfries, VA 22026 on January 26, 2017, beginning at 7 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the meeting will be held February 2, 2017, at the same location and time.
The meeting will provide information on a proposed solid waste permit that regulates the closure of the coal ash ponds. The closure of these ponds is necessitated by final coal ash regulations that were approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. The proposed permit addresses the closure of coal ash Pond D, which is closing in place, including the capping and post-closure care. The proposed solid waste permit also covers the remaining coal ash ponds, which are being closed through removal.
Winter Weather Advisories for late tonight and Saturday expanded. Snow in the advisory approximately 1-3 inches, 3-6 inches in the warning. pic.twitter.com/irzUo7daBD
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 6, 2017
From the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington office, updated 5:10 p.m. Friday:
Not much on radar at this time, though increasing coverage over the Great Smokies is making the 12Z GFS look more reliable. The surface low is not apparent yet, but should be developing over the western Gulf of Mexico. We are on the wester fringe of this storm with the surface low remaining off the Carolina coast and pushing NE from off Hatteras. Dry and cold air being drawn into the storm will limit snow for a majority of the LWX CWA. However, after midnight, swaths of snow will overspread southern and eastern portions of the area. The winter weather advisory was expanded to include central MD as well as the central Shenandoah Valley. 12Z guidance went a little farther west and the western edge will be tight, so these areas were the greatest targets at this time.
Snow will taper off from the west Saturday morning through the early afternoon. Snow ratios look to be 12-15 through the event across the area. So any shift with the storm edge will greatly affect snow totals.
North to northwest winds will remain up through the night with gusts 25 mph. Min temps teens west and low 20s east.
Virginia State Police are searching for a suspect who bailed out of a car in the area of Interstate 95 and Route 234, near Dumfries.
We’re told there is a heavy police presence in the area, and that police helicopters were called into the assist in the search.
More info as we have it.
One person is in custody, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
“I have been a resident of eastern [Prince William County] since 2008 and I’ve seen the county undergo many changes. What has become concerning to me is the panhandling situation. I come from NYC and have spent time in DC and I have never felt so harassed when I go shopping like I have in PWC. In the last month every time I visited Walmart, Target, Big Lots, 7-11, Hobby Lobby, etc I have been approach[ed] at MY Vehicle with a panhandle asking for money. It’s as if they are just waiting and don’t even give you a chance to exit your vehicle. I want to know what are the laws in the county on panhandling? Are other residents feeling harassed too? What are officials doing to stop this? Are they even aware of this problem? …Thank you in advance for addressing my concern.”
From Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant:
“…the County’s panhandling ordinances were repealed for legal reasons. Attached is a handout that the County Attorney’s Office provided on the issue.”
Sponsored Post Honor vets and active duty military at the Clubs at Quantico
On Tuesday, January 24 the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Salute to the Armed Forces Luncheon at the Clubs at Quantico & Crossroads Event Center, located on Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Presented by the Chamber’s Veterans Council, the luncheon features status reports from Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander, Colonel Angie Holbrook and Colonel Joseph Murray, Base Commander at Quantico. Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, John Harvey will be the Keynote Speaker. PenFed Credit Union is the Presenting Sponsor. All interested Prince William County and Manassas area residents and business leaders are encouraged to attend.
No one who lives or works in Northern Virginia can be unaware that the region is packed with veterans and military personnel, making it somewhat easy for residents to take for granted the safety and security we enjoy. Chamber staff agree, and said they believe that is why the Salute to the Armed Forces has become a favorite among the membership.
“The event is so very moving and that effect has not worn off, even after six years,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Andrea Short.
This will be the first year that the event will take place on the Marine Corps Base. Each year the Chamber utilizes this program to honor active-duty service members and Veterans from across the region.
The 2017 event will be no exception. From the moment guests walk through the doors they will recognize that this event is different from any other business luncheon or awards program. Veterans are given a badge so that fellow attendees know they have served.
Conversations around the lunch tables to the remarks from the podium; the room hums with moving accounts of personal connections to the U.S. military. Even the Marine Corps and Army Commanders carry the theme by honoring outstanding soldiers and Marines from their command.
In 2016, a young Marine who had almost single-handedly run the Toys for Tots program was honored by her Commander.
This year the Chamber’s Salute to the Armed Forces Keynote Speaker, John Harvey, will share what is being done by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration in terms of veterans-related issues and the ways in which the Commonwealth is working to ensure the maintenance of a productive relationship with military services and the federal Department of Defense.
The program will also feature remarks by World War II Navy Veteran Chilton Raiford who lived through two Kamikaze attacks and rescued fellow servicemen from a burning staircase.
The program concludes when retired Marine and Chamber member Harry Horning plays TAPS on his trumpet, honoring those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
In addition to PenFed Credit Union, Salute to the Armed Forces 2017 is sponsored by First Command Financial Planning, NOVEC, Prince William Living, Zeiders Enterprises, The Prince William Times and Dominion Virginia Power, among others. Tickets to the luncheon are $45 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, or $60 for non-members. Registration is available online at PWchamber.org. Questions? Contact the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600 or email email@example.com.
News ‘Kaine will visit Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center…Greater Prince William Community Health Center…about the negative impact a repeal of the ACA…’
Tomorrow, January 6, 2017, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine will make stops in Northern Virginia to discuss his efforts to prevent a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and strip health care away from tens of millions of Americans. Today, Kaine introduced an amendment to stop Republican efforts to fast-track a repeal and led a group of 13 moderate Democrats in a letter encouraging Republican Congressional leadership to discuss meaningful improvements, citing the bipartisan reforms he and his colleagues have supported in the past.
Kaine will visit Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Greater Prince William Community Health Center in Woodbridge. He will hear directly from health care professionals about the negative impact a repeal of the ACA without a replacement would have on local health care providers. (more…)
Check our Schools and Local Governments Twitter lists below for the most up-to-date closings posted by the respective school division or government agency.
For the open status of the Federal Government, click “OPM website” below.
Government closings and delays
Federal Government Operating Status
Sponsored Post Want More Prince William County?
Prince William County has established itself as an important part of the economic landscape of the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area and Northern Virginia. The County’s contributions to the Northern Virginia economy has resulted in the region singularly accounting for roughly 45 percent of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s total economic activity and 37 percent of all employment, as recently reported in the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report.
As Virginia’s second-largest and fourth-fastest growing County, Prince William County has grown consistently and continues to expand and diversify. Last year, Site Selection, cited one of Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development projects as “…the top project in capital investment [in Virginia] for 2016, to date, is a $350 million Iron Mountain data center going into Manassas.” SmartAssets also named Prince William County among the state’s top 5 investment locations.
In the last five calendar years [2011-2015], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record $2.7 billion and to create 2,900 jobs. 2015 was the fifth year in the Department’s history that it logged over half of a billion dollars in capital investment, with $660 million and more than 600 new jobs.
“Twenty years ago Prince William County recognized the importance of Economic Development and dedicated a new Department to work on defining a roadmap to its future,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Today, we are realizing the benefit of laying the foundation for a prosperous economy and continue in our dedication to raise the bar higher for our business community and citizens by delivering on increased capital investment and high-paying, highly-skilled jobs.”
“By concentrating in life sciences and information technology we are creating growth opportunities that are opening up new markets and new types of business opportunities, influencing other technology sectors and the region, as a whole,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Department of Economic Development, Prince William County. “The County’s growth is owed in part to its strategic location and excellent competitive edge, such as a ready supply of highly-educated young professionals, affordable and available land and competitive labor costs, all of which result in a strong value proposition.”
Throughout its growth, Prince William County has distinguished itself as a premier business destination, that has made significant strides in its new role as a thriving science and technology hub. There has also been a notable increase in employment opportunities within Prince William County. As of 2015, the County provided job opportunities for over 122,000 persons. In fact, over the period 2010-2015, job growth in Prince William County convincingly outpaced that of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area at 18% compared to 6%; as well as that of the state of Virginia which also saw a 6% increase. Similarly, the number of businesses in Prince William County increased by 20% over the same period compared to 11% growth in the Washington D.C. metro area and 12% growth for all of Virginia.
By all indications, Prince William County’s ability to generate job opportunities within its boundaries is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, based on the latest round of estimates released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. According to those projections, job growth in Prince William County is expected to outpace that of any of the other observed localities in the metro area. Over the 30-year period, 2015-2045, the County is expected to add an additional 114,000 jobs – an almost 80% increase.
Malicious Wounding | Shooting Investigation– On January 1 at 1:50AM, officers responded to investigate a shooting which occurred in the 15400 block of Wheatfield Dr in Dumfries (22025) earlier that evening. The investigation revealed that the accused was in the above area when he was involved in a verbal altercation with several subjects in a vehicle. During the encounter, the accused brandished a handgun and shot into the vehicle striking one of the occupants, a 19-year-old man of Woodbridge, in the upper body. The victim was transported to a local hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. Following the investigation, detectives with the Violent Crimes Bureau obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused. The accused was located and arrested without incident at his residence later that day.
Arrested on January 1:
Raquan Jamar BADIE, 21, of 13848 Delaney Rd in Woodbridge
Court Date: February 13, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond
Malicious Wounding | Stabbing Investigation – On December 29 at 9:26PM, officers responded to the 3600 block of Elm Farm Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 24-year-old man of Woodbridge, and the accused were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused cut the victim in the upper body with a pocket knife. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. The victim was transported to a local area hospital for further treatment. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without incident.
Arrested on December 29:
Jose Maria SANCHEZ, 46, of 13721 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge
Court Date: February 9, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond
— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) January 3, 2017
One person was flown to a hospital following the incident. A white powder found at the scene was determined to be laundry detergent, said Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.
More as we have it.
UPDATE: Route 1 is now open. Drive safely.
— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) January 3, 2017
After all the holiday festivities are over and the finery has lost its luster give your Christmas tree, wreath and other cut greenery another life as compost, mulch or habitat. Simply remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsel, nails and the tree stand and take the greenery to one of locations listed below to be recycled or repurposed.
The Prince William County Landfill at 14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas. Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670
The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility located at 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Monday – Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670
Leesylvania State Park located at 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge (off Neabsco Road). Trees may be dropped off at Shelter 2 and will be used for habitat.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) located at 5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville. Dec. 26 – Jan. 9. The drop off area is located in the front parking lot in the area outlined with the orange safety cones. NOVEC will deliver the wood-chip mulch to interested customer-owners at no charge, visit .
For all of you who wanted to know when 2016 will come to an end, here’s some news: 2017 begins on Sunday.
We can’t let the old year pass without our annual look back at our most-read stories on Potomac Local for 2016.
With 1.8 million page views from nearly 1 million readers, here are the most-read stories this year:
On June 6, members of the Prince William County Police Departments’ Special Victim’s Bureau and Intel Unit began a week a long operation targeting offenders of crimes involving children.
The fascination with Krispy Kreme doughnuts continued in 2016 as a post we wrote in 2015 ranked as this year’s 9th most-read story on Potomac Local.
Federal authorities said two men from Woodbridge intended to go to Syria to join ISIS.
One man was arrested at Richmond International Airport. The second man was arrested in Woodbridge after he returned from driving the first suspect to the airport.
Grief counselors were sent to Battlefield High School in October after a student took his own life.
A 7th-grade student at Metz Middle School told school officials she was beaten and bloodied in a school hallway.
Police found a body underneath a bridge that carries traffic on Route 1 over Powells Creek in Woodbridge.
On June 5, detectives from the Homicide Unit identified the suspect involved in the murder of Najee Mason which occurred in the 14900 block of Potomac Heights Place in Woodbridge.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Prince William County Police Officer Ashley Guindon, one of the officers involved in this evening shooting on Lashmere Ct, has died as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident.”
One man was shot outside a Food Lion at the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road in late November.
“On November 9, detectives from the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit and Special Investigations Bureau, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Manassas City Police Department and the City of Manassas Park Police Department, attempted to arrest several suspects involved in the murder of Edwin Ivan Chicas which occurred in the 7500 block of Quail Run Ln in Manassas on October 29.”
DUMFRIES, Va. — Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman is named in a lawsuit filed by a former town employee who claims he was wrongfully terminated.
Ray Jackson was hired January 18, 2016, to work as the town’s building code enforcement official. After retiring from the Prince William County Government after working a similar job, Jackson was hired to work 32-hours per week in a part-time, exclusive capacity. He says he was terminated via an email sent by Foreman in mid-September.
Jackson is now seeking at least $500,000 in punitive damages from the town — about 12% of the town’s annual $4 million budget. Foreman did not return a request for comment on Tuesday for this story.
During his time at building code enforcement in Dumfries, Jackson was to oversee compliance with town building codes for new and existing construction, according to court documents. The Dumfries Town Council unanimously approved Jackson’s hiring on July 5.
Jackson’s attorney Sid Kirstein said a building code official operates unlike other town employees and must have independence from the Dumfries Town Council to prevent any conflicts of interest.
Kirstein maintains that Jackson, by law, should have been given a hearing before the Town Council, where he is to be presented a list of grievances as well as the cause of his termination. To date, Jackson is unaware as to why he was fired, said Kirstein.
On October 5, the Dumfries Town Council voted unanimously to hire a new building official. The new building code enforcement official is not a town employee, according to Dumfries Town Clerk Dawn Hobgood.
Jackson maintains the job still belongs to him, according to court documents. He seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages following his dismissal in addition to the $500,000 punitive damages claim. He says the wrongful firing hindered his earning capacity and hurt his reputation. Jackson also wants his attorney’s and court fees paid by the town, according to court documents.
A copy of the alleged email from Foreman to Jackson notes the mayor asked to meet with Jackson before the email was sent, but the two did not meet. “Effective close of business on 26 September your services/employment are no longer required by the Town of Dumfries,” the email states.
The crux of the lawsuit asserts Foreman, acting alone as mayor and as one member of the seven-member Town Council, does not have the authority to terminate Jackson’s contract.
“Unlike me or you who work as at-will employees in Virginia, Mr. Jackson had contract and statutory rights not shared with other at-will employees of the town,” said Kirstein.
The alleged email from Foreman goes on to state that staff would review any back pay and benefits owed to Jackson following his termination. He has yet to be compensated, Kirstein said.
Kirstein says the Dumfries Town Attorney has until Jan 15 to make counter claims to Jackson’s suit or to request more time to review the case. The case could go to trial sometime in February or March.
In August, Foreman entered a Prince William County courtroom and pleaded no contest to trespassing charge following his arrest in April, when he was charged with petit larceny in connection with the disappearance of a campaign sign for his opponent running in the May 2016 Town Council elections.
DUMFRIES, Va. — Authorities are looking into the cause of a burnt out car in a secluded area near Dumfries.
From Prince William fire and rescue:
On Monday, December 26th, at 12:00 noon, fire and rescue crews were dispatched to a vehicle fire located at the 17500 block of Mine Road in Woodbridge.Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a burned vehicle on private property that did not belong to the homeowner.No injuries reported.According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, the vehicle was burned completely to the frame; the vehicle is a total loss with estimated damages of $10,000.The fire was incendiary and currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
From Dumfries Community Services Director Brittany Heine:
1. Aquia Service Unit
2. Girl Scouts Nations Capital
3. Girl Scouts 80-04
1. US Army Drum & Fife
1. Quantico Marine Corps Band
1. Dumfries Triangle Vol. Fire Dept
2. PWC Sheriff and Honor Guard
3. Prince William County Mounted Horse Unit
1. Freedom ROTC
2. Hylton AFJROTC
3. Stafford AFJROTC
1. Young Expressions
2. Graham Park Dance Team
3. All that and Jazz
1. Top Flight
2. Bates Trucking
1. Toys for Tots
2. Prince William Forest National Park
1. River of Grace
2. Triangle Baptist
3. Mt Zion Baptist
1. Veteran Park Swim Team
2. Nikkis Christian Daycare
2. Star of Bethlehem
1. Waggy’s Towing
2. TD Bank
3. DJ’s Towing
1. Luv-n-Laffs Clown Alley
2. Ronald McDonald
3. United Martial Arts
1.Dumfries Animal Hospital