WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Dumfries Local

Montclair Library rising behind shopping center

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Work continues on the $13 million Montclair Library. 

The new community center is located behind Lake Montclair shopping center on Waterway Drive. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for October 29.

A post-Civil War-era house sits behind the new structure taken from an African-American settlement. The home is being restored under a partnership with the library and Prince William County Public Works.

Officials say the building could be used as a reading room.

‘Little Bits’ of art appear in Downtown Manassas

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Little Bits of art are popping up all over Historic Downtown Manassas.

There’s a stylized snake coiled around electrical conduit painted by local artist Michelle Frantz near the newly opened Center Street Gourmet Wine and Cheese store on the corner of West and Center Streets.

A steel door on the rear of City Hall was painted in Trompe-L’oeil style to represent a lion head fountain by commission artist Stephen Morales and adjacent individual bricks have been painted by local artists including gallery owner Mary Reilly.

In front of Downtown favorite Okra’s restaurant is a fire hydrant stylistically rendered as a Dalmatian from Manassas Fire Company 501 by artist and gallery owner Mike Flynn.

Near CutRate Barbershop, a veteran owned business across Center Street from Carmello’s and Monza’s, is a sidewalk bench converted into an American Flag by City Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Michelle Frantz.

These are a just few of the completed and in-progress projects that are laying the groundwork for the City to attract artists from across the region to express their creativity using public infrastructure and private buildings as their canvass.

Manassas is seeking local artists who have an interest in contributing to the work going on Downtown. A local ad hoc committee comprised of City officials, artists and citizens has plenty of ideas about potential projects. These include painting utility boxes, light poles and tree grates.

“But we are really looking for artists to propose projects to us” says Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small. “Creativity and inspiration are some of the unique traits artists possess. I want people interested in participating to walk around Historic Downtown and develop their own ideas.”

Proposals must be submitted as a rendering or in descriptive enough a manner that the committee can visualize the project and the artist must identify the piece of infrastructure and the types of materials that will be used.  

Initially the committee has focused on small projects (#LittleBits) but hopes to expand into promoting murals and sculpture soon. Because Downtown is officially designated as an historic district, painting murals on buildings requires specific standards and a more official review process.

Manassas has an architectural review board that will consider ways to allow building owners to do this. While they can be complicated to produce, murals are really just paintings and do not affect the historic integrity of the structures.

This type of art is considerably more involved from a time and materials perspective so while there may be some artists willing to undertake a project using their own resources, generally murals are commissioned works. The committee hopes to identify businesses, building owners and donors willing to commission these works.  

Visit www.visitmanassas.org/artful-manassas or contact Patrick Small at psmall@manassasva.gov to learn how to participate.

Marine Corps museum expansion underway

Marine Corps museum to close January through March 2016 

Marine Corps Museum Exbibit Chief Chuck Girbovan shows a rending of what a new exhibit hall will look like.
National Museum of the Marine Corps is expanding.
National Museum of the Marine Corps is expanding.
National Museum of the Marine Corps is expanding.

Work is underway at the National Museum of the Marine Corps to complete the circle.

A new 128,000 square-foot expansion of the iconic museum is slated to be finished by 2017. A new exhibit gallery, art gallery, and large format theater should be open to the public a year later.

“We get asked all the time, “where is the story of my unit” and “where is the equipment I used,” said Marine Corps Museum Exbibit Chief Chuck Girbovan.

The museum opened in 2006 and showcased the U.S. Marine Corps during the years 1775 to 1975, up to the Vietnam War. The new exhibit hall will immerse visitors in time periods to include the Persian Gulf War of 1990, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.

An Iraqi village will be constructed inside a new 24,000 square-foot exhibit hall. Visitors will see how the nature of combat changed between fighting in Vietnam to fighting in Iraq, where troops took on more of a peacekeeping role and worked alongside other nations who had troops on the ground, said Girbovan.

Also included in the new exampsion will be a “Hall of Valor” where Medal of Honor Recipients will be recognized. There will also be an art gallery featuring watercolors and pastel paintings created by Marines serving on the front lines depicting war.

A new large format 350-seat theater will also be built. It will show a film that showcases what it’s like to be a Marine on land and at sea.

The $69 million addition will complete the original planned circular layout of the museum. Earth movers just outside the building are clearing the way for the expansion that will require cutting into a portion of a thick concrete wall at the end of the final exhit hall.

The museum will close January through March 2016 — a departure from it’s regular operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Christmas — so curators can bring in new artifacts like a 55-ton M60 tank, and an FA18 fighter jet that must have its wing clipped just to fit inside the building.

The museum opened nearly 10 years ago and with a mission to first feature the World War II and Korea exhibits. The idea was to showcase Marines who fought in these conflicts to honor those Marines who are still alive today,

“As spectacular as this museum is today, the building is unfinished, and we are here completing the mission,” said Marine Corps Heritage Foundation President Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman.

The foundation will fund and coordinate construction of the new expansion just as it did the original $75 million first phase of the Marine Museum. It will then hand over the operation and care of the expansion to museum staff.

Afterward, the foundation will explore new ways to bring the story of the Marine Corps on the road, possibly in the form of a traveling exhibit to military bases and state fairs.

“We’re going to take the influence this museum has beyond Exit 150 on Highway 95,” said Blackman.

About 500,000 people visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps in 2014. About 53,000 of them were school children, and about half of those were from outside Virginia, said Blackman.

Museum officials expect Marines will continue to come from all over the U.S, to see the museum. They also hope area residents will return to the museum in 2018 to see the addition and the many new exhibits and artifacts that will be on display.

A ribbon cutting for the new expansion was held in March. Hundreds attended a special ceremony inside Leatherneck Hall. An backhoe was used to break ground on the new expansion.

Lots of yummy fun at Prince William County Fair

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There is nothing like sausage, peppers, and onions when it comes to eats at the fair.

Served on a bun with fries and a cola, bangers are a time-honored classic at the county fair.

“Sausage. It’s fair food,” said Billy, of New York City, whose been travel across the U.S. making fair food for 47 years”They’ve been serving since this the 1800s.”

He starts cooking the sausage at least hours before the fairground opens to the public, and then adds the peppers and onions later in the process. Hand-dipped corn dogs and French fries are another fair delicacies you can find at Billy’s cart.

There’s a lot of food to eat at the Prince William County Fair. From burgers, chicken, turkey legs, and pizza, there’s enough here to make your cholesterol rise just thinking about eating here.

There’s also sweet treats to eat, like ice cream and funnel cakes.

It really about having the right batter, the right temperature, and the right technique, and you’ll get the perfect funnel cake,” said Corona Tidmore, of Lonestart, Texas, who travels up and down the east coast making funnel cakes at fairs.

She’ll make hundreds of funnel cakes over the course of the fair. She’ll put toppings like cherries, drizzled chocolate, and the most popular of toppings strawberries and cooked apples.

“The apples taste like apple pie and the starwberries — everybody likes strawberries,” said Tidmore.

The Prince William County Fair runs through Aug. 22, 2015.

Prince William County Fair opens

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The Prince William County Fair opens for its 2015 run tonight.

This is the 66th year for the county fair, which offers a little something for everyone — from carnival rides, animals, music, to demolition derby in the grandstand.

The runs Aug. 14 to 22 at the Prince William County Fairgrounds at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas. Everyone gets into the fair for $6 for opening night August, 14, 2015.

Here are the prices and special dates for the remainder of the fair:

General admission: $10
Child (ages5-13) and seniors (ages 60 or older) $6
Half-price day is Monday, Aug. 17, child/seniors $3 and adults $5
Tuesday is $2 admission, $2 per ride (no wristbands)
All ladies admitted free Wednesday, Aug. 19
All veterans admitted free Thursday, Aug. 20
Active duty military admitted free daily
There are several new attractions to the fair this year:

Welde’s Big Bear Show
Jeff Robbins Mountain Music
Ackmonster Chainsaw Artist
No-Joe’s Clown Circus
Jurassic Kingdom
Comedian Reggie Rice

The home arts exhibits are always popular at the Prince William County Fair. It’s where anyone can bring produce they’ve grown at home, food, and crafts into be judged. Prizes are awarded for everything from best-looking produce, best photography, best canned good, to tastiest jelly.

“The home arts department is a dying breed, especially here in Northern Virginia. It’s something that is truly unique to a county fair,” said spokeswoman Chrissy Taylor.

Some of the fair’s largest attractions — tractor pull, demolition derby, and “bulls ‘n barrels” show — will be featured in the grandstand and are free with admission.

Fair organizers listed this year’s events for the 10-day run.

Prince William shelter bursting with animals

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Jennette Skinner came to the animal shelter Wednesday in search of a new friend.

She adopted her pit bull from a shelter in Maryland, but he’s now passed on. She now hopes to rescue a small dog and a cat.

“We’ve always had big dogs, and now we want a small one because they’re easier to take care of,” said Skinner, of Manassas.

She was one of the several people lined up outside the door at the Prince William County Animal Shelter just before it opened at 11 a.m. There are about 200 animals inside the 40-year-old shelter to choose from, from dogs and cats to birds, and guinea pigs.

Summer is a busy time for the shelter, as the staff usually sees an influx of cats and other animals during the warmer months. Space here is at a premium, as the shelter wasn’t built to house as many animals as it does today.

About 2,000 animals per year came through the shelter when it opened in 1975. Today it sees about 6,000. Animals here are no longer euthanized due to space constraints.

“The way that sheltering has changed has created some problems with us,” said Suzette Kapp, head caretaker the shelter. “We don’t have enough space; we don’t have air circulation in some rooms,
and we’re understaffed.”

The shelter operates with about 40% fewer staff members than needed. Volunteers who filled out an online application and were later picked to work here help fill the void.

Dogs are usually adopted from shelters sooner than cats. But it was a cat Allison Wishon, of Purcellville, was searching for when she came to the Prince William shelter.

“We have two rescue cats at home, and we know there are so many more animals out there that don’t have homes,” said Wishon.

The shelter, and an animal shelter in Manassas, will participate in the “clear the shelters” adoption event on Saturday. It’s an event sponsored by NBC, and Kapp says she hopes national attention brought by the TV network will help to increase the number adoptions at the shelter.

The adoption event on Saturday is just one of several the shelter does over the course of the year. It also brings animals to festivals and fairs in the community, and posts photos of them on social media to get them adopted.

The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Those who wish to adopt should bring ID with their address printed on it. Animals that are not spayed or neutered will be sent to an area veterinarian where the animal will undergo the procedure. Those who adopt will need to pay the shelter adoption fee of $45, and a $140 spay or neuter fee for dogs or $100 for cats.

Next month, the shelter will celebrate its 40th anniversary on September 27. Rescue groups, children’s activities, and raffles will be featured during the event that is aimed at bringing more people inside the shelter.

The Prince William County Animal Shelter is located at 14807 Bristow Road near Manassas, just off Route 234 across from the county’s animal shelter.

Kitchen catches fire in Dumfries apartment

Prince William PWC Fire and Rescuefire and rescue were called to extinguish a cooking fire in Dumfries yesterday afternoon.

Responders were called to Islip Loop in Dumfries for a fire in the kitchen of one apartment unit, stated Prince William fire and rescue. According to Prince William fire and rescue, they found that the sprinkler system had been activated and put out the fire.

There was smoke and minor fire damage in the apartment, stated Prince William fire and rescue. No one was injured.

A Building Inspector stated that there was about $5,000 in damages, and declared two units unsafe because of the water damage.

Cooking was determined to be the cause of the fire, stated Prince William fire and rescue.

Man charged for Walmart sex assault in Dumfries

A man has been charged, following a sexual assault at a Walmart in Dumfries.

Prince William police were called to the Walmart at 17041 Jefferson Davis Highway on July 10 for the incident.

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 29-year old Woodbridge woman – told officers she was shopping in the store when 35-year old Richmond man Lane Dickson approached her.

During the incident, Dickson rubbed against the victim and touched her inappropriately, stated Prince William police. The victim was not injured.

When detectives went to arrest Dickson for his involvement in the assault, they found that he was already at the Rappahannock Regional Jail for a separate incident, stated Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Dickson is being charged with assault and battery, obscene sexual display and indecent exposure.

Manassas, Prince William vie for more weddings

Calling all brides to Harris Pavilion.

Manassas will host its first-ever bridal show underneath the popular destination. It’s the same spot where city employee Thomas Joyce wed his sweetheart Ashley Thiesing on live TV July 31.

It’s the next move for a city that is working to market itself as a wedding destination.

“The Harris Pavilion is a great wedding venue with the trademark Virginia LOVE sign hanging behind it. The Manassas Museum Lawn is also ideal for a large outdoor wedding (when Liberia Plantation is finished with restoration, it is another option for outdoor weddings). The Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory is another unique wedding venue for a smaller, more intimate wedding,” said Historic Manassas, Inc. spokeswoman Brittany Bowman.

The show on Sunday, Sept. 6 will feature local businesses like caterers, shops with unique wedding gift ideas, wedding dress boutiques, and spas. While most bridal shows are held in spring, organizers of the Manassas show wanted to take advantage of the still-warm September weather in hopes it will help bring out brides to be.

“We are hoping to attract recently engaged women who plan on getting married in the next 18 months searching for an authentic wedding,” said Bowman.

The city hopes to make the bridal show an annual event, she added.

Prince William County is also in the wedding business, of sorts. The county’s Historic Properties Division manages some of the most historic sites in the region, like the county’s first courthouse at Bristow, to the 18th-century tobacco plantation, and the oldest house ni Prince William County, Rippon Lodge.

“Our sites give people the option of an affordable location that has a great history, scenery, and originality. All of our sites are over 100 years old and have defined this community,” said historic properties spokesman Rob Orrison.

Open flames aren’t allowed in the historic buildings, but, surprisingly, alcohol is, with the proper permits. Users may visit the county’s website to reserve a historic and read a list of freqeuntly asked questions.

Manassas a magnet for creative, performing arts

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The Arts and Tourism District is in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Manassas already boasted the renowned Center for the Arts where visual and performing arts are taught, practiced and displayed as well as the highly regarded local studios and galleries, Creative Brush and ArtBeat. But local artists and community leaders wanted more.

The city council has a vision for Manassas to become known as an arts and cultural center in Northern Virginia, and beyond.

Last year the city converted the hallway on the first floor of City Hall into an art gallery aptly named “The Hall at City Hall.” The gallery has featured paintings, photographic art and works by local art students at Osborn High School and changes artwork every six weeks so there are regularly new displays.

Another example is the banner art displayed on light poles throughout Historic Downtown. The juried competition attracted artists from throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Sixty of the more than 130 entries were transformed into public art that is on display seasonally until winter.

Historic Manassas Inc., the city’s Virginia Main Street Program, oversaw the project and intends to repeat it annually. The top -ranked submission, as judged by a panel of professional artists, received a $1,000 cash prize and at the end of the season one artist will be awarded the “People’s Choice” prize of $500. Ballots for this are included in a brochure describing each piece and available at the City’s visitor center in the historic train station adjacent to the municipal parking garage.

But it’s not all just about the visual arts.

Manassas also boasts the second largest ballet company in Virginia. The work of the Manassas Ballet Theater is recognized in the national and international press.

This attention helps contribute to Manassas becoming known as a regional arts and tourist destination. Further, Manassas worked closely with George Mason University, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Prince William County to bring the Hylton Performing Arts Center from dream to reality. The city continues to provide support to ensure the performing arts venue remains an asset for the citizens of Manassas and the surrounding area as well as attracting visitors.

There are many other local performing and visual arts groups and businesses in the city too numerous to mention in this article; all of which exist to teach, promote or display the vibrant culture of this historic yet modern city.

Prince William schools surpass Virginia SOL scores

Prince William County Public School students beat the pass rates of counterparts statewide on the latest Standards of Learninga ssessments in almost all subject areas, and across most demographic groups, according to initial results released today by the Virginia Department of Education. [Read more]

Search continues for man in child sex assault, truck theft

A call about a missing vehicle turned into so much more in Dumfries.

On the morning of August 9, Prince William police were called to a home on Isle Royal Terrace in Dumfries about an unauthorized use of a vehicle.

According to Prince William police, an individual stated to officers that 33-year old Christopher Statzer IV, who was an acquaintance, took a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 truck without permission.  

Following an investigation into the incident, Prince William police also found that Statzer had sexually assaulted an 8-year old girl, while staying at a home on White Oak Drive in Triangle.

Prince William police have not yet been able to locate Statzer.

He is described as a white male, 6’0 and 150 pounds with a thin build, shaved head and blue eyes. Statzer may be driving the Dodge Ram, which is black with flame detailing, 22” chrome wheels and Virginia tag XFD5818, according to Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Statzer is wanted for aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

$376K slated for improvements to two Prince William fire stations

Two Prince William fire and rescue stations are getting a makeover.

Station 17 in Montclair is getting its roof replaced, and Station 3 in Triangle is getting upgrades to its communication and technology equipment, according to Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue’s Deputy Chief Tim Keen.

Both stations are part of the Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department.

The projects will cost $376, 353, and are being funded through the county’s fire levy, according to Keen.

According to county records, the roof at Station 17 is over 20 years old and has numerous leaks causing damage to the station’s interior including the apparatus bays.  The cost for the roof replacement project is $219,580, stated Keen.

Station 3 is receiving funds to improve communication and information technology equipment on-site, stated Keen.

Keen stated that the project at Station 3 will be upgrading the wiring for their alert system, and replacing the station’s phone system. The cost for these upgrades total $158, 726, stated Keen.

Potomac Local has reached for more information on the timeline of the projects, to Dumfries Volunteer Chief Miles Young, who did not return a request for comment.

Stop commuting to DC! SRA is Hiring!

SRA is seeking qualified professionals who currently hold a DoD TS/SCI clearance to work in the Stafford, VA, area in support of the newly awarded contract, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Information Technology Directorate Services (ITDS)

If you are cleared and have one of the following skillsets, we would like to meet you at our recruitment invitational which will take place multiple days next week.  Visit us at www.sra.com/careers where you can create a candidate profile against opportunity 5053: NCIS Event Requisition.  After receiving your resume, a SRA Recruiter will contact you within 24 hours.

We are looking for highly motivated people to fill the following positions:

Information Assurance Engineers Network Engineers
Systems Administrators Business Systems Analysts
Content Administrators Geospatial Engineers
Field Computer Specialists Software Developers
Systems Integrators Software Testers
Requirements Analysts

Database Administrators

User Support Specialists

VOIP Engineers

About SRA International, Inc. 

SRA International, Inc. is a leading provider of sophisticated information technology and professional services to the U.S. federal government. Our services help our government customers address complex IT needs in order to achieve their missions. We are inspired by our customers’ missions and strive to provide the best people, working together to generate the best ideas, to deliver the best possible performance – all driven by our enduring values of Honesty and Service®. SRA was founded in 1978. We are headquartered in Fairfax, VA and employ approximately 5,600 professionals.

The ladies who bring history to life at Civil War Weekend in Manassas

Civil War Weekend is not just about fighting and strategy.  It’s about the upheavals of lives and it’s about the lives of women during the Civil War.  

Living historians will portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble.  Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt will speak to audiences about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Inside the Manassas Museum, join museum curator Mary Helen Dellinger for Chats with the Curator.  These will highlight unusual items in the Museum collection. Prince William County Historic Site Operations Supervisor Rob Orrison will speak about the joint city-county exhibit, New World Aristocracy: The Carters of Virginia, and guest curator Chesney Rhodes will speak about her exhibit, Partisans Among Playmates: American Childhood and the Civil War.

At nearby Liberia Plantation, 8601 Portner Avenue, stroll through the shade-filled grounds and hear the accounts of well-known Confederate Spy Rose Greenhow, portrayed by Emily Lapisardi. A living historian who has presented historical impersonations in nine states and the District of Columbia, Lapisardi will tell the stories of Liberia’s connection to Civil War spy rings and Greenhow’s ability to glean information from Union admirers. 

Interpreter Marion Dobbins will bring to life a more local slave experience as she presents a portrayal of slave life at Liberia, once the largest slave-holding plantation in the area. Dobbins will also cook over an open fire, and talk about African-American “foodways” and culture.

Check manassasmuseum.org/civilwar for the weekend’s latest schedule.


Motorcyclist killed in Route 1 crash outside Quantico

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12:50 p.m.

Prince William police have identified the motorcyclist killed in this morning’s crash.

Following an investigation, Prince William police stated that a 2013 Honda Accord, driven by a 47-year old Fredericksburg man, was traveling south on Route 1, when it struck the victim, 31-year old King George man Dustin Schexnayder.

According to Prince William police, Schexnayder was driving in the middle of the roadway. Officers found the damaged motorcycle – a 2007 Hyosung GT650 – in a nearby wooded area.

Prince William police stated that while Schexnayder was driving the motorcycle, going south on Route 1, it left the roadway and hit a guard rail. After being hitting the guard rail and being separated from his motorcycle, the driver of the Honda Accord struck Schexnayder, stated Prince William police.

This is allegedly not the first time that Schexnayder has had an incident while driving a motorcycle. In July of 2014, he was involved in a crash with a driver in Georgia.Untitled

Prince William police are unsure if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash, or if Schexnayder was wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at the site of the accident.

9:35 a.m.

All lanes of Route 1 are now open in Stafford’s Russell Road area. Southbound lanes opened shortly before 9:10 a.m, stated VDOT.

8:55 a.m. 

Route 1 northbound lanes are now open, following this morning’s accident, according to VDOT.

The southbound lanes are still closed, and drivers are being detoured to Russell Road, so they can either access Interstate 95 South or Telegraph Road, stated VDOT.

Southbound Route 1 remains closed. Southbound motorists are being detoured to Russell Road, where they can access Interstate 95 southbound or Telegraph Road to proceed south on Route 1.

Russell Road remains open to all traffic traveling to Quantico Marine Corps Base, stated VDOT.

8:04 a.m.

A motorcyclist was hit and killed by a sedan underneath the Russell Road bridge, near the back entrance of Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford. 

Sources stated that the motorcyclist was dead at the scene, and that the driver of the sedan stayed at the crash site, for law enforcement officers to arrive. 

Three people were in the sedan at the time of the crash.

There is no further information at this time. More as we have it.

7:45 a.m.

Parts of Route 1 just outside of the Quantico Marine Corps Base are closed during this morning’s rush.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), on the section of Route 1 between Russell Road and Corporate Drive, both north and southbound lanes will be closed for the entire morning rush.

Prince William police stated that the road would remain closed while they are doing an investigation of a car accident that took place earlier this morning.

Drivers are encouraged to take alternative routes, stated VDOT.

More from a VDOT release:

Motorists are encouraged to use Interstate 95 as an alternate route. Russell Road remains open to all traffic traveling to Quantico Marine Corps Base. Message boards are being posted at Route 610 in Stafford and Joplin Road in Prince William County to alert motorists.

Detour routes are also in place at the scene. Route 1 northbound traffic is being detoured to Telegraph Road and Russell Road, where motorists can access a ramp to northbound Route 1.

Dale City crews roll up on car fire near Dumfries

Dale City Volunteer Fire Department crews last night spotted a car fire in a parking lot.

The crew was returning from another incident when they saw the car burning outside a Shoppers Food Warehouse in Fortuna Center Plaza off Route 234 near Dumfries.

No one was injured in the blaze. Dale City fire crews said they were able douse the flames without incident.

California Tortilla offers free burritos in Dumfries

Add another quick service restaurant to the shopping center on Fettler Park Drive near Dumfries.

California Tortilla will celebrate its grand opening on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and will offer free burritos and drink to its customers. The burrito giveaway will occur during the lunch and dinnertime hours on Tuesday.

The first 20 customers in line before the door open at 11 a.m. Tuesday will win free burritos for one year.
The restaurant is located at 3934 Fetter Park Drive, just off Route 234.

There are stipulations: people must be in line by 1:30 p.m. for lunch and 7:30 p.m. for dinner to get free burritos.

On Friday, a line of office workers stood outside the restaurant as workers inside provided free burritos during “test run” prior to opening, according to one employee. 

The Rockville, Md.-based restaurant serves burritos, quesadillas, and salads. Other nearby locations in the chain include Bull Run Plaza near Manassas and Lorton Station in Lorton.

The California Tortilla outside Dumfries joins a host of growing restaurant options to include Chick-fil-A, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, IHOP, and the Montclair Family Restaurant that acquired new ownership last year.

5 local spots for great seafood

Looking to savor great seafood without having to go very far to get it?  These hidden hideaways right here in Prince William & Manassas, will transport you to a seaside retreat to indulge in fruity cocktails and fresh seafood. With a wide variety of activities, live music and more there is sure to be something for everyone at one of these local eateries.

Tim’s Rivershore – Located in Woodbridge, this waterfront restaurant sits on one of the widest points of the Potomac River and offers panoramic views of the river. The view can be enjoyed from inside the restaurants dining room, on the outdoor deck or at the torch-lit tiki bar and beach. 

From monthly full moon bonfires on the beach to their annual “Not on the 4th” fireworks display there is a constant flow of events, live music and festivals held here every year. Serving fresh crabs, oysters, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and fish as well as steaks, burgers, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches this family-friendly restaurant is a must visit.

Blue Ridge Seafood – Find a southern twist on traditional seafood dishes in Gainesville, at Blue Ridge Seafood.  From fried frog legs to alligator bites and crawfish you are in for a treat when visiting this southern seafood hideaway.  More traditional fare such as fresh crabs, seasonal fish, hush puppies and french fries are also offered. 

Plan a night out with family and friends to enjoy live music on the back deck or stop in and pick up crabs and hush puppies to enjoy at home.  Their backyard tiki bar is the perfect backdrop to any happy hour too!

Crosby’s Crab Co. – Rated one of the best places to find fresh fish, lobster, crabs and oysters in Northern Virginia by Washingtonian Magazine, Crosby’s Crab Company prides itself on its fresh seafood selection.  In addition to a variety of local seafood to choose from they also have alligator, frog legs and octopus available for the brave and curious.

A more traditional seafood market, they offer carry out service only and can often be found at the Historic Downtown Manassas Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer months. Crosby’s is open year round to satisfy any seafood cravings.

CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill – A surf and turf restaurant offering coastal dining with a hometown feel, is what guests will find at CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas.  Offering a hint of the Outer Banks in Northern Virginia, diners can relax on the rooftop deck while enjoying freshly shucked oysters or a beer from one of the local breweries.

This family friendly restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood and southern style dishes from fried pickles to oyster po-boy sandwiches. It is a must visit next time you are in the mood for a convenient get away with great food and amazing views.

Madigan’s Waterfront – Whether you are looking for a special place for date night or a unique location for your next private event, this waterfront retreat can accommodate both.  Overlooking the Occoquan River and marina patrons can select from a variety of seafood dishes and seating options that are sure to please. 

The topside deck and tiki bar play host to live music and entertainment throughout the summer months, making it the perfect spot to sit back and relax. From candlelit riverside dining to karaoke and dancing there is a little something for everyone at this restaurant on the river.

To discover more about where to dine and shop visit discoverpwm.com.   

Southbridge Seals capture 3rd divisional title in 4 years

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The Southbridge Swim Team defended their 2014 Prince William Swim League Purple Division championship title with a win on Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Urbanna Swim Club in Manassas. The Southbridge Seals captured their third divisional title in four years against tough competition from the Lake Manassas Blue Dolphins and the Urbanna Otters. The final score was Southbridge 3691.5, Lake Manassas 3397, and Urbanna 2711.5.

Michael Skaines, speaking for the Southbridge Swim Team board shared, “We are incredibly proud of all our swimmers, parents and loved ones who pitched in to make the 2015 season such a huge success.” 

The 80 Southbridge swimmers in the water on Saturday recorded 34 “Top 25 County Times” for the league across all age groups and swim strokes.  Additionally, 12 of Southbridge’s relay teams scored Top 25 times.

Greg Giovinazzo, in his second year as head coach stated, “Even though Southbridge is a small team, we have incredible swimmers who inspire and encourage each other to strive for both personal and team goals while maintaining a healthy competitive spirit, camaraderie, and above all else, good sportsmanship.”

The Seals are the official swim team of Southbridge on the Potomac located in Southbridge, Va., and includes swimmers from the Southbridge, Potomac Shores and other surrounding communities in southeastern Prince William County.

Landfill plan: Give $3 million to Dumfries, close in 20 years

The Potomac Landfill wants to make a deal.

The 101-acre construction and debris landfill in Dumfries will soon be the largest landfill of its kind after the upcoming closure of a similar landfill in Lorton.

The growing pile of debris now stands at 220 feet. An order from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality states the landfill is too tall, and that it needs to be reduced to be a maximum of 195 feet tall.

Potomac Landfill President Philip C. Peet proposed a new deal with the Town of Dumfries that would allow him to continue piling up debris on the site, up to 250 feet tall over the next 20 years, when the landfill is expected to close.
In exchange for the increased height, Potomac Landfill will offer to pay Dumfries up to $3 million over 20 years. It will be the only construction and debris landfill in Virginia to pay a host fee.

The fees, about $2 per metric ton when the program is fully implemented in 2019, is expected to net $150,000 per year for the town. It would be paid based off the materials that end up in the landfill. Potomac Landfill sifts through and separates as much wood, concrete, dirt, metals, and cardboard from truckloads hauled into the landfill. It sells the materials to firms that will recycle it.

Peet said the landfill once had a conveyor belt and a team of people that sifted through the materials by hand. The job is now done with three front-end loaders and a handful of people.

A series of public meetings about the landfill’s proposal were held on July 27 and Aug. 4. This proposal differs from a 2012 plan that fell flat when landfill officials offered to close the landfill 15 years early and use only 39 of its total 58 acres of land, in exchange for being allowed to pile debris as tall as 310 feet.

“At that point, it just becomes too tall, and all you have is a peak, and you can’t do much with the land after that,” said Peet.
Reclaiming the land for future uses was as much a topic of discussion as how much the town stands to benefit from the deal financially. When the landfill closes, the land at the entrance to the landfill could be developed into retail shops, or a pay-to-play sports and recreation center, said Peet.

Baseball diamonds, tennis courts, or soccer fields could be built in a park on top of the mound. The landfill must be monitored for 10 years after it closes, but that would not delay construction of the park, Peet said.

Peet also said new muti-family homes, most likely apartments, could then be built on land now owned by the landfill, along Main and Duke streets in Dumfries.

Peet said he hoped the Town Council would approve his plan this fall. If it does, Potomac Landfill will begin paying Dumfries 50 cents per metric ton of debris buried at the landfill. Once plans are finalized with the DEQ, the town will get $1.50 per metric ton, and will be paid $2 per ton once all practices in place by 2019, said Peet.

Potomac Landfill also agrees remove a stipulation from a 1987 court order that would allow them to build a used tire recycling facility the company maintains it is allowed to build. Town Councilman Charles Brewer disagreed, and said the ability for the landfill to construct a used tire processing center was taken off the books many years ago.

If the plan is a approved, a new berm will be constructed to hold the additional debris to be piled into the landfill. The berm would change the elevation, which would be easily noticed by drivers on Interstate 95 and Route 234.

Residents at the meeting had few reservations about the landfill’s proposed plan. They did raise concerns sulfur odors that emanate from the landfill after heavy rains, dust, and truck noise.

Peet said he’s hired a street cleaning service to clean the entrance and exit of the landfill to reduce dust, and said only 2o odor complaints were investigated between December 2013 and June 2015. In 2011, Virginia officials investigated the landfill due to sulfur odors.

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