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Dumfries immigrant faces deportation

DUMFRIES — A Dumfries man now faces deportation from the U.S. after a visit to a federal immigration and customs office. 

From a press release: 

Fifty-seven-year old Juan Gutierrez Palomino will be deported to Peru after being detained during a routine ICE check-in in June. Juan is currently being held at the Farmville detention center.

A cherished member of his family, Juan has no criminal history. His wife and children are all U.S. citizens. His a 21-year old son is now serving in the Air Force and 13-year old daughter is an excellent student attending middle school. 

Juan was doing exactly as ordered when he reported to his ICE check-in. Now, he’s being treated as a criminal and will be forced to leave his family behind. Community members are preparing a fast and a vigil in Dumfries, where he lived with his family, on Saturday. Congregations throughout the state will be recognizing Pastor Juan and his family in their worship services to raise awareness.

We’re told, Gutierrez Palomino has lived in the U.S. for 21 years, and has not been a U.S. citizen during that time. Since 2011, Gutierrez Palomino has sought an “adjustment of status” from the Federal Government that would have permitted him temporary status to live with his wife, who has citizenship.

The fact that Gutierrez Palomino’s wife is a U.S. citizen does not mean he would have been granted automatic citizenship, according to a spokeswoman from the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, which sent us the press release.

At the June 18 visit to the ICE office in Northern Virginia, Gutierrez Palomino was detained and taken to Farmville.

We’ve asked Central Virginia Sanctuary Network for more information about where and when the vigil will be held. We’ll post that information when/if we receive it. 

News
County will acquire Potomac trail right of way through wildlife refuges

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WOODBRIDGE — Prince William County officials today will sign off on a 50-year right of way plan to build new segments of the Potomac Heritage Scenic Trail.

The new trail sections will run through the Occoquan Bay and Featherstone national wildlife refuges in Woodbridge, adding to some 13 miles of the trial already constructed in the county.

When completed, up to 45 miles of the trail along the Potomac River between the Chesapeake Bay and Pennsylvania will traverse the county.

The trail winds into Prince William from Fairfax County on a footbridge in Occoquan. In Woodbridge, the trail traverses urban terrain in the northern section and crosses Route 1 into Belmont Bay. Further south at Featherstone, the trail will incorporate the entrance Rippon Virginia Railway Express station.

“The Potomac Heritage Scenic Trail is not just your traditional scenic trail. We’re also incorporating everyday human uses, like transportation,” said Ryan Delaney, a trails planner with the Prince William County Government.

The trail will also be a new way to see the Potomac River, along with the national wildlife refuges, long hidden from view from view along busy Route 1 and Interstate 95. (more…)

News
Price for senior pass to National Parks to increase

Since 1994 the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass has been $10, but as a result of legislation passed in December of 2016, that price will increase to $80. The price hike is expected to take effect August 28 2017, so seniors are encouraged to act soon if they wish to purchase a senior pass. 

 

From Prince William Forest Park:

Seniors over age 62 may want to purchase a lifetime pass soon. The price goes up on August 28th, 2017. To qualify, you must be an American citizen or permanent resident of the United States and pay the $10 fee. This pass is a lifetime pass to National Parks and other federal recreation lands. When the supply at the Visitor Center is out, it’s out. (more…)

News
Suspect in felony child neglect eludes police

A woman, previously arrested for attempting to burn a mattress, is wanted by police for suspected felony child neglect.

From Prince William County police:

Felony Child Neglect – On July 15 at 12:24 p.m., officers responded to the 3500 block of Briarwood Drive in Dumfries to investigate a child neglect. When officers arrived, they located a 2-year-old boy and an 11-month old girl unattended outside of their apartment. Upon further investigation, officers located the children’s residence where the babysitter, later identified as the accused, was found asleep inside. (more…)

News
Message to the Prince William Chief of Police: Help us in Williamstown

WOODBRIDGE — A small but vocal minority brought the headlining issue to a public meeting with Prince William County’s police chief.

The message: There are problems in Williamstown, a neighborhood in Dumfries.

“No one has got hurt yet, but I’m afraid somebody will,” one resident told Potomac Local on the condition of anonymity in fear of retaliation.

In all, at least six Dumfries residents came to “A Conversation with the Chief” held Monday at the Ferlazzo government building in Woodbridge to voice their concerns about Williamstown. They say a gang of men ranging in ages between their 20s and 30s regularly walk up and down the streets, discharge firearms, loiter in the culdesacs, and intimidate others.

“They see you walking, they pick you out, and they know you’re not with them, not part of that lifestyle,” another resident told Potomac Local on the condition of anonymity,

Some of the men regularly walk up and down Old Triangle Road, loiter at bus stops, harass passersby, and lean on cars.

“I yelled at one of them to get off the car and and said ‘did you make the payment on [the car] this month?” one resident told a Prince William police officer. (more…)

News
Prince William County to sponsor Serious Play Conference

Prince William County is hosting for the first time the Serious Play Conference, a program that encourages the application of game mechanics for education and training.

The conference also looks to educate students of potential career options in the field, and bring together pioneers in the field to share what they’ve learned. 

From a press release:

Prince William County Department of Economic Development is proud to sponsor this year’s industry-leading Serious Play Conference taking place on July 18-20, 2017, at the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus, Prince William County, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

More than 100 thought leaders driving the adoption of game-based and simulation learning will gather to share experiences in implementing serious games. They represent leading public and private institutions including the U.S. DOD, private industry sectors and higher education, according to a press release.

DOD training leads, contractors, state and local government CIOs will share what they’ve learned training the country’s armed forces with developers and instructional designers from the serious games industry.

This year’s speakers include training personnel from the Office of National Intelligence; the Center for Deployment Psychology; Defense University; UCF; OPM; contractors from the Veterans Affairs Administration, the Army and the Navy; police departments; prisons; as well as companies implementing gamification programs, healthcare providers, researchers, developers, instructional designers and K-12 faculty using games in education, according to Serious Play. (more…)

News
Woodbridge VFW Post Commander achieves All-American status

From Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce, Charles P. “Chuck” Wilson has achieved “All-American” status as a Post Commander (2014-2017). Wilson, outgoing commander of Post 7916 in Occoquan, VA, is one of only 279 of 6,500 (Top .04%) VFW Post commanders worldwide to earn the title of All-American Commander. 

To achieve this honor, Post commanders must meet strict requirements in their role to include exceptional leadership, authentic accomplishment in membership growth and strong support of VFW core programs. Chuck Wilson is now Commander of District 10, Virginia’s largest District with over 8,000 Veteran and Auxiliary members. (more…)

News
Triangle man, 46, charged with aggravated sexual battery

From Prince William County police:

Aggravated Sexual Battery – On July 13 at 11:15 p.m., detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit responded to investigate a sexual assault which reportedly occurred at a residence located in the 3600 block of Wharf Lane in Triangle earlier that morning. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 15-year-old female juvenile, was inappropriately touched by the accused, an acquaintance, earlier that morning around 8:00 a.m. Following the investigation, the accused, was arrested without incident.

(more…)

News
Tiny island on Potomac River to host summer concert

WOODBRIDGE — A tiny island in the Potomac River will host a summer concert later this month. 

Holiday Island, a small privately owned piece of land on the Potomac just off the beach of Featherstone Shores in Woodbridge, is set to host The Stormin’ Norman Band and The Nesta Pine band on Saturday, July 29 at 3 p.m. The Nesta Pine Band will also be shooting a video for one of the band’s songs.

The island is too small to accommodate a crowd, but anyone with a boat is welcome to drop anchor and enjoy the music.  Immediately after, the concert will continue at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant at 8 p.m.

According to band frontman Norman Voss, “As soon as we’re done on the island we’re gonna get in our boats and head over to Tim’s, we’re gonna have a whole nother sound system set up, drums & guitars set up, and we’re gonna get there and start playing again, we’re gonna have another show right away.”

The concert will be free to attend.

News
Virginia Little League Tournament a win for sports tourism

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TRIANGLE — More than 1,000 people are expected to descend on Triangle next weekend for the Virginia Little League Championship.

Teams from across the state will travel to Prince William County, from as far as eight hours away, to play for the chance to win and move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

A total of 35 games will be played over the tournament’s five days, July 20 to 25. On the field, more than 500 children and teens will take the field and play baseball. Parents, friends, family members, and baseball players are expected to stay in area hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop at area stores.

Landing the tournament is a win for Discover Prince William, the county’s convention, and visitors bureau, which started a sports tourism program three years ago designed to attract such events to the county. The teams will play at the three-year-old Fuller Heights Park at 18511 Fuller Heights Road, just outside the main entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

“It has lots of parking, and restrooms, so it’s a great place to hold the tournament,” said one event organizer Brendon Hannifin. (more…)

News
No scheduled deviations for OmniLink trips on Tuesday

WOODBRIDGE — A software upgrade will prevent some riders for scheduling deviations from regularly scheduled OmniLink routes. 

From a PRTC statement: 

Software upgrades to some of PRTC’s operations and communications systems are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 18 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The work will temporarily impact our ability to communicate with passengers and serve locations other than signed bus stops.  During the work:

–Customer Service will be unable to schedule OmniLink off-route trips. For off-route trips onTuesday, July 18, orWednesday, July 19, passengers should call Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 prior to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 17.

–The Rider Express email and text message notification system will not be available. Any information about delayed trips, missed stops, etc., will be posted as a Service Update at PRTCtransit.org.

–PRTC’s interactive voice response phone system will not be available. Passengers who phone Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 must speak with a Customer Service Agent to get information about bus services. Riders also may contact Customer Service at Omni@OmniRide.com.

The planned software outage comes about a week after the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, operators of OmniLink, had phone problems at its Woodbridge headquarters. 



Ornery Brewery set the tone for brew pubs in Prince William

Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the third in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Prince William County’s first brewpub just did something every brewery wants to do: Distribute its beer on the wholesale market to local restaurants.

Now diners in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. can enjoy a cold glass of beer from Ornery Beer Company in Woodbridge. The brewpub — a combination brewery and restaurant with a chef-driven menu — opened near Potomac Mills in 2015.

“When we starting thinking about this business, this county didn’t have a brewpub. It had a brewery or two but not a brewpub that served delicious beer and food,” said Ornery Brewery owner Randy Barnette, of Gainesville.

Barnette was an investor in a brewpub in Falls Church and thought he could bring the same quality product to Prince William County. Before Ornery, Barnette operated the Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge for 15 years. That restaurant had run its course, he said, and Barnette gave the space an complete overhaul before opening Ornery Brewery.

Barnette knew how to run a restaurant, so he hired master brewer Chris Jacques to create Ornery’s 15 signature beer flavors. The brewpub serves everything from dark and beers to IPAs — just about anything a craft beer enthusiast would expect to find at a small brewery.

Last October, he promoted Ferdinand McAdoo to the position of head brewer, who has been Ornery since its opening.

A favorite of restaurant goers is Ornery’s Blonde Ale, a light beer that pairs well with just about anything.

“Prince William County has a very, very diverse demographic and our beers have to be very, very diverse,” explained Barnette. “We’re not as defined in our types of beer as you might see in some other places.”



Explore summer reading at your Prince William Public Library: Young Adults

 

Free food, prizes, and events all summer long!

How it Works:

Explore Summer Reading is happening now until August 19. A couple of weeks ago we talked about summer reading for kids, infants through students entering 5th grade.

Today it’s all about the teens! Young adults (entering grades 6 – 12), come to any library branch to register and pick up a Punch Card, and we’ll give you your first punch. Then each time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your card. At your second visit, we’ll give you a free food coupon. And at your sixth visit, more free food!

Grand Prizes

But wait, there’s more! We’re giving away a $100 prize at each of our 11 branches, plus one grand prize, a Beats™ Pill+. Each visit counts as an entry into the drawings, and you can earn punches for up to nine visits. Plus, write a book review and enter it on our Explore Summer Reading website, www.pwcgov.org/summerreading, and earn extra entries! You might also find your book review published to our Goodreads page, www.pwcgov.org/goodreads.

Weekly Challenges and Events

Come in each week of summer reading and complete the weekly challenge for the chance to win additional prizes. Then put your smartphone down and come to a free event, such as a cartooning workshop, art class, cooking demo, magic workshop, reptile show, laser tag party, and much more. For the full lineup, pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any library or visit our events page at www.pwcgov.org/library/events.

Then pick your smartphone back up and tag us #PWPLSsummer on social media. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tag us and we might repost! (more…)

News
Fire department reform would give chief ultimate say

WOODBRIDGE — Major reforms are coming to the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department.

After 16 months and meetings and deliberation, career and volunteer firefighters and medics appear to have a found a new model for the system that is charged with providing emergency services for the county’s nearly half a million residents.

Fire and rescue leaders told the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday it wants to adopt a new organizational model known commonly as the “strong chief” operation, which places one person solely in charge of career and volunteer firefighters. The move would also bring with it the formation of a new fire and rescue advisory committee which would help the chief in setting policy and guidelines for the entire department to follow and would provide counsel to McGee– whose been the county’s fire chief for the past 10 years.

The move would dissolve the county’s existing Fire and Rescue Association; a body made up of both career and volunteer officers who have voting and veto powers when it comes to developing and adopting rules for the operation of the combined department.

“This will be a significant change to our fire and rescue system,” McGee told the Board of Supervisors. (more…)

Traffic
Prince William joins the ranks of other areas with Virginia Scenic Byways

INDEPENDENT HILL — Twelve new blue signs mark the entrances to Prince William County’s first scenic byways.

The signs note the new street designation, featuring the state bird red cardinal, and were unveiled Tuesday morning at the intersection of Bristow and Joplin roads at Independent Hill. Six roads in all made the cut:

Aden Road – between Route 619 and Route 28
Bristow Road – between Joplin Road (Route 619) and Route 28
Joplin Road – between Bristow Road and I-95
Waterfall Road – Fauquier County line east to the intersection of Antioch Rd.
Antioch Road – from the Route 601 intersection south to Route 55
John Marshall Highway – from Route 681 to the Fauquier County line

These roads in Prince William County are now on par with others like the Blue Ridge Parkway. In all, Virginia has more than 3,500 miles of scenic byways.

The addition of these roads adds 40 miles to the overall scenic road network. Some of the notable stops along Prince William’s byways include Prince William Forest Park, working farms, historic churches, cemeteries, and Bull Run Mountain. (more…)



Who is the most beautiful baby? Sign up for the Prince William County Fair Baby Contest today!

The Prince William County Fair is right around the corner, and we want to see who has the cutest baby in Prince William County.

Potomac Local is proud to sponsor this year’s Baby Contest, and we want to know how cute is your baby.

The contest will be hosted over two days this year. Boys and girls ages nine to 18 months old be on Saturday, Aug. 12. We’ll have the girls contest at 3 and the boys at 4:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, we’ll judge boys and girls ages 18 to 36 months old. The girl’s contest is at 3 p.m. and the boys and 4:30 p.m.

To enter your child, print and fill out this application and then mail it to Prince William County Fair, 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, Va. 20112. All entries must be postmarked by July 14 to be considered.

You can also email your entry or fax it to 703-368-5534.

Be sure to include the registration fee of $5 per child, or $10 per child if you want the cool participant souvenir t-shirt.



Jeff Dove Leads African American citizens across Virginia in calling out Northam’s despicable racial attacks on Gillespie

Woodbridge, Virginia – African American congressional candidate, Iraq War veteran, and small businessman, denounced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam for using the Klu Klux Klan as political leverage in this year’s elections.

Jeff Dove who is seeking the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District, said Northam was giving the racist organization attention it neither deserved nor warranted. The Klan has said it will hold a rally in Charlottesville and Northam has tried to accuse Republican nominee Ed Gillespie of failing to sufficiently denounce the plan.

“The Ku Klux Klan is despicable. So is using them for political leverage the way Ralph Northam and the Democrats are trying to do,” Dove said.

“As an African American man I am well aware of the Klan and its origins in the Democrat-dominated deep south. I’m a Republican because it is the GOP that was founded to end slavery and has had to stand up to the Democrat party repeatedly to defend the concept of equality for all. Today, the Klan barely exists and Ralph Northam is giving them the attention they crave by trying to inject them into the governor’s race,” Dove said.

Kaylene Seigle, Harrisonburg School Board Member reacted to this incident by stating.

“We need leadership in Richmond who will rise above the type of politics that uses race-based accusations and innuendo. Our Commonwealth deserves better from the Ralph Northam campaign. Ed Gillespie is the type of leader our state needs to bring people together, not divide and tear us apart.”  (more…)

News
Updated: Phones out at PRTC; riders encouraged to email

WOODBRIDGE — There are phone problems this morning at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

The bus agency operates OmniLink local buses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Under normal circumstances, riders who use OmniLink may call ahead to schedule a pick-up anywhere along an OmniLink route, up to a quarter of a mile off the route.

OmniLink customers are encouraged to email the call center this morning, instead:

From PRTC:

PRTC is currently experiencing phone issues and is unable to receive calls on the Customer Service line at this time. While we are working to resolve the problem, customers may email us at Omni@omniride.com with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We’ll update this post with new information when we have it.

Update: The phone system is now working. 

News
Prince William police to deploy body worn cameras

From Prince William County Police Department Chief Barry Barnard:

The staff of the Prince William County Police Department remain committed to our mission of enhancing the quality of life here in the County by providing effective police services to our community members. We accomplish our mission by building upon our existing relationships, pledge to make new connections and continue our focus of enhancing trust with those we serve.

For quite some time, our organization has made community policing and building trust a primary focus with the people of Prince William County. We will continue this effort to improve our organization through proactive means and creating dialogue with our stakeholders. Over many years, your Police Department has seen positive satisfaction ratings from Citizen Surveys. While we deeply appreciate this support, we understand there are always ways we can improve our delivery of police services to the community.

To assist us with this important task, and after significant discussion and research, the Police Department will begin deploying Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) within our community as early as September 2017. Policing in today’s society has seen a dramatic change in technological advancements in our profession. These opportunities have shown to help law enforcement agencies improve upon their dedication to providing the highest level of professionalism to our public. (more…)

News
Sentara warns of phone scam

From an email: 

Earlier this week, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center received notification from community members they had been contacted by a would-be scammer offering a lower interest rate from a 703-670 prefix with caller ID displaying “Potomac Hospital.”

The caller reportedly told the recipients a lower interest rate was available if personal information, like a credit card or social security number, was given. In the course of the investigation, it was determined the caller had used old exchanges from when Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center operated as Potomac Hospital.

Sentara values our patients’ trust and are troubled that thieves would use our good name to commit fraud. Sentara does not call patients, or former patients, and ask for personal information. If you get such a call, hang up, never give personal information over the phone and contact your service provider with the caller’s details.  



MyLink – ‘There is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics’ without it

Teens who are striving for independence but lack a driver’s license or access to a vehicle need the MyLink Teen Summer Bus Pass! With the pass, teens can travel around the Prince William County area without relying on their parents for a ride!

Here’s a MyLink teen testimonial:

“I have used [a MyLink pass] for the past several years, and there is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics” without it, one teen told PRTC in 2016. “My dedication to the various aspects of my busy lifestyle has undoubtedly been made possible thanks to the Teen Summer Pass.”

Now in its 10th year, the MyLink program is offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The pass enables those ages 13-19 to get unlimited local bus rides all summer long for $30. In addition, teens who use a MyLink pass get credit for the local fare when traveling on PRTC buses to nearby Metro stations and destinations including Washington, D.C.

In a 2016 survey, 69% of teens who used a MyLink pass last summer said they bought it because they didn’t have a driver’s license. Half said they used their pass to spend time with friends and get to summer school or other school-related activities.

MyLink passes are loaded onto SmarTrip cards, making it easy for teens to transfer to Metro trains or other regional transit providers. If the teen doesn’t already have a SmarTrip card, there is an additional $2 fee to purchase one.

PRTC’s one-way local fare is $1.55. At that rate, a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a MyLink pass. The pass is valid through Saturday, September 2, 2017. (more…)

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