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Grill accident sets Dumfries home alight

From Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue:

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Buena Vista Drive Fire Photos 1

 

On Sunday, February 26th, at 6:40 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 5000 block of Buena Vista Drive in Dumfries.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire on the rear deck of the townhome that had extended to a second-floor interior bathroom and the attic. Firefighters initiated suppression and quickly extinguished the fire.

No injuries reported.

The occupant, home at the time of the fire, had just finished cooking on the grill and was in the kitchen when they noticed the grill on fire: they attempted to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful and called 911. (more…)

News
A great photo: Potomac Avenue in Quantico

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News
Deborah Wright is the new Library Director for Prince William County

Submitted: 

 

The Prince William County Library Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Deborah Wright is the new Library Director for the County’s Public Library System.

Wright has 14 years of experience in the Prince William Public Library System, including two years as the Assistant Library Director where she oversaw public services in 11 branches and had direct supervision of the branch administrators. Wright previously worked at the Prince William Public Library System as well as the Prince William County Schools before moving to the Newport News Public Library System serving as a Branch Administrator, and a Family and Youth Services Coordinator. She then made her way back to Prince William becoming the Branch Administrator for Chinn Park Regional Library.

Wright received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Roanoke College and her Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina. She is also a member of the Virginia Library Association and the American Library Association.

The previous Prince William County Public Library Director Connie Gilman retired in October, 2016


Check out Mad Mondays in March at Chick-fil-A Bristow

Download the PDF file .

Each Monday in March, there’s something special going on at Chick-fil-A Bristow!

Mad Hatter Monday — Monday, March 3, 2017

Wear your craziest hat and get a FREE chocolate chip cookie!

Luck O’ the Irish Monday — Monday, March 13, 2017

Wear green from head to toe and get a FREE soft drink!

B-Ball Jersey Monday — Monday, March 20, 2017

Wear your favorite team’s B-Ball Jersey and get a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich!

Crazy Bunny Ears Monday — Monday, March 27, 2017

Wear your craziest Bunny Ears and get a FREE IceDream!

News
Update: Mattei Makayla, 15, found after going missing from Dumfries home

15-year-old Makayla Mattei from Dumfries, reported missing February 17th, has been found.

From Prince William County Police:

*UPDATE*: Makayla Mattei, 15, who was reported to Prince William County police as missing and endangered on February 20, was located safe and unharmed in the Harrisonburg, VA area a short time ago.

Makayla was found in the company of Meiti Metsla, 21, who has since been arrested for a Prince William County police felony charge of using a communication device to solicit certain offenses involving children. During the investigation into Makayla’s disappearance, detectives learned of inappropriate online conversations involving Meiti Metsla.

Arrangements are currently being made to reunite Makayla with her family in Dumfries. The Prince William County Police Department would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Virginia State Police for their assistance in this investigation.

News
Service Authority to begin lining sewer mains in Dumfries

From Prince William County Service Authority:

Feb. 21, 2017
The Prince William County Service Authority will begin performing important rehabilitation work on the sanitary sewer system in the Tripoli Boulevard neighborhood of Dumfries this week.

Expected to take approximately four weeks to finish, the project entails lining sewer mains on Tripoli Boulevard, Dumfries Road, Wilson Street, Maple Street, Diamond Point Mews, Pine Street and Pine Court with Cured-In-Place-Pipe. The lining process is done in lieu of replacing the pipe itself, which is often a much more costly and disruptive measure for both customers and the utility.

Once completed, the resin-like substance used in the CIPP process hardens and essentially becomes a new pipe inside the existing sewer main. This protects the main from tree root intrusion and corrosion that can occur over long periods of time. CIPP also prevents groundwater infiltration into the sanitary sewer system during rain events, which helps reduce the amount of flow to the wastewater treatment plant.

The average sewer pipe lasts about 40 years, while CIPP can extend that lifespan to 90 years.
Each year, the Service Authority inspects more than a hundred miles of sewer line to determine where CIPP would be most effective. The Service Authority has lined more than five miles worth of sewer main in the last six months.

Traffic
PRTC submits proposed FY18 budget

From the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission:

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) Board of Commissioners voted February 9 to submit the agency’s proposed FY18 budget to its six member jurisdictions for their consideration. The member jurisdictions are Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties and the Cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Fredericksburg.

PRTC provides commuter and local buses and ridesharing services in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park. PRTC also operates the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), serving all six member jurisdictions. (more…)

News
Honored Prince William K9 Hawkeye dies

From Prince William police: 

GOODBYE HAWKEYE: It is with heavy hearts we announce that Retired K9 Hawkeye passed away this past weekend. Hawkeye served a distinguished career from 2006 – 2015, along with his partner Master Police Officer Bill VanAntwerp. Hawkeye passed peacefully, with his family by his side. He was 13 years old.

Hawkeye was a valiant K9 who worked diligently catching criminals who were wanted for serious offenses. He was an instrumental piece of an effective dog team handled by Master Police Officer William VanAntwerp. He was a dual purpose dog certified in narcotic detection and criminal apprehension. He made countless apprehensions, ultimately locating suspects in every possible environment. There was comfort knowing K9 Hawkeye was on the street patrolling at night.

See Hawkeye in action in 2010

News
Mattei Makayla, 15, missing from Dumfries home

From Prince William police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED JUVENILE: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing and endangered juvenile, Mattei Makayla. The investigation revealed that Mattei walked away from her residence located in the 2800 block of Banks Ct in Dumfries (22026) at approximately 6:45AM on February 17th 2017. Mattei left her residence voluntarily and may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Anyone with information on Mattei’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.

Mattei Makayla is described as a black female, 15 years of age, 5’04”, 180lbs with black hair and brown eyes.
Mattei was last seen wearing dark colored leggings, pink zip-up Georgia State hoodie and a black Georgia State backpack.


Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas

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Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas. This is a high-visibility, attractive leasing opportunity.

The space is situated along heavily trafficked Route 28 and is surrounded by many neighborhood amenities. Space is ideal for a bookstore, tutoring services, laundry mat, pet hospital, food services, or restaurant.

I’m looking to rent this 2,000-square-feet of retail space. Please call Irene at 703-225-9824.

News
Two adults, 6 children displaced by Montclair fire

From the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department: 

“On Friday, February 17th at 6:53 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 14400 block of Whisperwood Court in Montclair.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire on two levels of the mid-row two story townhome with basement. As firefighters initiated attack and extinguishment of the fire, they were informed the residents were not home.

No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $200,000; a total loss.

A Building Official has posted the home unsafe.

Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 2 adults and 6 children, displaced by the fire.

The fire started in the kitchen; the cause is undetermined. The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.”

News
Environmentalists disappointed by House’s coal ash bill

RICHMOND, Va. – A bill approved by the House on Friday would require Dominion Virginia Power to study whether its controversial coal ash ponds might pollute the water, but environmentalists say the legislation doesn’t do enough.

SB 1398 would require energy companies to identify the risks of heavy metals polluting the groundwater and alternatives methods of disposal when they apply for a permit to decommission a “coal combustion residuals unit,” commonly called a coal ash pond.

These ponds, a mixture of the byproduct of coal combustion and water, are often near rivers. Dominion has four sites around Virginia containing millions of tons of coal ash. The company hopes to close the ponds by treating and discharging the water and then burying the remaining coal ash with a protective seal. (more…)

News
Possum Point residents fight Dominion coal ash ‘cap in place’ plan

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Dumfries residents and local leaders spoke loud and clear: They don’t want state regulators to allow Dominion Power to leave behind toxic coal ash at Possum Point.

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality held a two-and-a-half hour public hearing that began at 7 p.m. Thursday at Potomac Senior High School in Woodbridge. It was a chance to go on the record about Dominion’s request to “cap in place” millions of tons of coal ash that the utility has consolidated in a 64-acre pool dubbed “Pond D.”

A new cap would be installed on the top of the pond to keep out rainwater and prevent spillage.

“The final cover for Pond D will contain a high-density polyethylene cap to prevent rainwater or any moisture from coming into contact with the ash,” Dominion Environmental Advisor Cathy Taylor told two representatives from DEQ. (more…)


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

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1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 



Historic Manassas reveals new logo

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Featured photos in slideshow: New logo, old logo

Over the last year, Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) has worked endlessly on their rebranding efforts and are excited to announce the release of their new logo. The new logo features a streetscape of Main Street as well as the welcoming historic water tower. To represent Historic Manassas’ close partnership with the City, their new tag line ‘Historic Heart. Modern Beat.’ was also incorporated into the logo.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, worked to create the perfect logo.

“We are humbled to be a part of this rebrand, excited that Manassas is undergoing a wonderful amount of growth and change, while still staying true to its history. We felt it was fitting to create a logo that married a vibrant energy to its beautiful architecture, and we are very proud of the result,” said King.

HMI began their rebranding efforts within the community by creating a survey last spring to determine who the community thought HMI was. The former logo, the downtown train depot, gave many the impression that HMI was just those who ran the train station or a committee involved with the museum and historic preservation within the City. Very few realized the involvement HMI has in the community including the numerous events that take over the streets of downtown each year.

Historic Manassas, Inc. was formed to promote a positive image of Historic Downtown Manassas and to perpetuate its revitalization. HMI feels this new logo helps to push forth its mission statement to engage the community in promotion, preservation, and enhancement of our vibrant Historic Downtown. Those interested in learning more about HMI’s four committees can find information here on their website.

Keep an eye out for the new logo and be sure to check out all of the events coming up in downtown. Next up is First Friday – March Madness on March 3!

News
Dumfries Library moving to Triangle Shopping Center

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DUMFRIES, Va. — The Dumfries Library will move across the street to the Triangle Shopping Center. 

From Prince William County Public Library spokesman Andrew Spence: 

“… the Library Board of Trustees is a governing board that oversees any relocation or major changes to the Library and its branches. However, the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) is responsible for the buildings and leased locations the library operates in.

On August 3, 2016, the BOCS did unanimously vote in favor of the new lease agreement (more…)

Traffic
School closings and delays for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

News
Woodbridge man wins $100,000

From Virginia Lottery:

There’s a good chance that Nixon Barahona will remember the numbers 5,9,12,19 and 26 for a long time. Those are the numbers with which the Woodbridge man won $100,000 in the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 game.

“I was in shock,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”

He bought his ticket at the 7-Eleven at 17105 Old Stage Road in Dumfries for the February 1 day drawing.
(more…)

‘Name the new elementary school the Betty D. Covington Elementary School’

From Tim Singstock, of Montclair:

The community has engaged in debate over naming the new elementary school under construction in the Potomac Shores Community. Prince William County is blessed to have two wonderful choices for the school naming: Betty Covington and John Harper.

I met Mr. Harper and his wife at the 2016 NAACP dinner in Quantico. As an Army veteran and son of a Vietnam Veteran, I honor Mr. Harper’s military and combat service. (more…)

News
‘Just Say It!’ initiative prompts Sentara to drop color codes

Submitted: 

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, a ‘Facility Alert’ or ‘Medical Alert’ or ‘Security Alert’ announced at any Sentara hospital in will plainly identify a situation and its location and advise staff and visitors what to do.

OVERVIEW
• Plain Language alerts will plainly identify events and locations and provide instructions.
• Plain language alerts enhance safety and reduce confusion for staff, visitors and patients.
• Plain Language alerts are a growing trend among hospitals.
• Only color codes to remain are universal Code Red (Fire Alarm) and Code Blue (Cardiac Arrest)

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, a ‘Facility Alert’ or ‘Medical Alert’ or ‘Security Alert’ announced at any Sentara hospital in will plainly identify a situation and its location and advise staff and visitors what to do.

The trend toward Plain Language is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The National Incident Management System (2008) and The Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy report and recommendations (2004) (more…)

News
Condolences sent for Dumfries Councilman William Murphy

Local leaders sent condolences for Dumfries Councilman William Murphy, who was found dead in his home on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

From Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood:

“It is with a tremendously heavy heart that I received the sad news of the passing of Councilman William Murphy on Friday February 3, 2017. I still cannot believed that he died so unexpectedly.

Councilman Murphy was a man who truly cared about the people in the Town of Dumfries. He has been a great asset to the Town and his presence will be missed on the dais and throughout this community.

My family and I offer our sincere prayers of comfort and sympathies to his family, friends and co-workers.”

From Prince William County Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan: 

“I received an email on Sunday morning about the passing of Councilman Murphy and I am still in disbelief.  He called me the day before his passing, as a citizen with concerns about the coal ash on Possum Point.  I told him of the meeting on February 16th at Potomac High School and looked forward to seeing him there.

He was a member of my church and dedicated to the Town of Dumfries.  He will be missed by many.”

 

Updated

Murphy’s obituary.

 
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