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News
Spend the holidays in the City of Manassas

During the holidays, the Historic Downtown of the City of Manassas becomes an iconic winter wonderland full of charm and excitement. As visitors wander down Center Street, the buildings are outlined in twinkling lights, shop windows are filled with homemade Gingerbread houses and one can smell the season in the air.

This holiday season; spend some time in Downtown Manassas. December 1 at 5:15 p.m., Santa Lights Manassas. Santa will arrive by VRE train to light the City. There will be hayrides, ice-skating, holiday performances and fun for the whole family.

December 2 brings the 72 nd Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. More than 100 floats, dancers, marching bands and assorted characters will travel along Center Street, heralding in the season.

Visitors are invited to take in the holiday charm with free horse-drawn carriage rides on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Shopping and dining in the Historic Downtown is sure to bring on the holiday cheer, especially with the new Secret Santa registry available in downtown stores. And, if there’s someone on the list who is hard to buy for, why not get them a ManassasOpoly game.

For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, visit visitmanassas.org. Hope to see you around the City of Manassas.

 


A final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead

There’s little information about their lives, but in death, five Prince William County residents were treated to a heroes’ funeral with an honor guard salute, two women singing hymns, two chaplains sharing prayers and even the Prince William County Sheriff taking time to speak.

It’s part of the county’s annual memorial service for the unclaimed. Thursday morning at Woodbine Cemetery in Manassas, a small group gathered.

A Memorial Service for Prince William County’s Unclaimed Citizens is a project that started last year. The program provides a final, permanent resting place for Prince William’s unclaimed dead. But, organizers say that term may be misleading. These are Prince William County residents who may not have been able to afford a funeral, outlived family members or were possibly homeless. Even though there are a number of possible, different scenarios, the county wanted to help provide, what Sheriff Glendell Hill calls, “a noble burial.”

This year, five people were laid to rest at Woodbine Cemetery: Willie Mae Miller, Edwin LyneConnor, Edwin Fay Gray, Robert E. Gross and Earl Miller. Sheriff Hill says during the course of investigating Earl Miller’s death, they found the ashes of his mother, Willie Mae Miller. Thursday’s service ensured the two were buried together.

Less than two dozen people gathered for the service. Among those, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s chaplain and decedent affair coordinator, Cindy Hardy. “I wanted to go and honor the lives that we may have worked with when they were alive,” she shares. In her role as chaplain, she often helps people through tough times. Thursday was no different when she was seated next to a friend of one of the deceased, “He was able to have a proper goodbye. He said he felt connected and glad that he was able to have these final moments with him and say a proper goodbye.” (more…)

News
13 things to do this Halloween to prepare winter’s horror

Some winters in the Washington area can be scary, and some of them downright horrifying.

Remember 2010? Snomageddon? Our region was buried underneath as much as 32 inches of snow. There even was more in some places.

So, while last year’s winter season didn’t come close to that nightmare, anything can happen this year.

The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is urging homeowners to take these 13 steps this Halloween week to prepare for the winter season that lurking just around the corner.

1. Batts in the Belfry

The U.S. Department of Energy says insulating is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy bills 10-50 percent. Insulate the attic floor with R60 fiberglass batts, loose-fill, rigid-foam, or spray-foam insulation. Install an insulated cover over pull-down stairs. Do not cover or block soffit vents, wires, motors or recessed lights. Consult an expert to determine the best insulation for the home’s construction.

2. Caulk Cracks

Caulk masonry cracks in walls and between the house and concrete foundation. Seal openings around plumbing pipes, ducts, vents, chimneys, and anything that goes through floors, walls, ceilings, and roof with caulk or insulating spray foam. (more…)

News
2,262 pounds of prescription medications collected in drug “Take-Back”

From Prince William County police:

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . A total of 2,262.2 pounds of expired or unused prescription medications was collected in greater Prince William County on Saturday, October 28th. The event was sponsored by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Prince William County Police Department, the City of Manassas Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center, Sentara Lake Ridge, and Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center.

 

  • Manassas City Police and sponsors collected 1,432 pounds of expired or unused
    prescription medications at the Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William
    Medical Center collection location in the city of Manassas.
  • Prince William County Police and sponsors collected a total of 830.2 pounds of expired
    or unused prescription medications:
  •  471.1 pounds at the Sentara Lake Ridge collection location in Woodbridge, and
  • 359.1 pounds at the Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical
    Center collection location in Haymarket. (more…)

News
Criminal justice presentation yields arrest for sexual assault

From Prince William County police:

Sexual Assault Investigation – On October 25, a detective with the Special Victim’s Unit gave a criminal justice presentation to a group of students in a local high school about the Special Victim’s Bureau. Following the presentation, a female student approached the detective and disclosed ongoing sexual abuse by a family member.

The investigation revealed that the victim was sexually assaulted by the accused on more than one occasion since August 2016. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Ubaldo SANCHEZ, was arrested without incident. (more…)



‘It was the murder of her younger brother which brought such intense grief into her life that she gained 170 pounds’

Aubrey Dewey had lost hope. And not just hope at being able to lose weight. She had lost hope in life.

When you ask her what she would tell her younger self now that she’s on the other side of her weight-loss surgery, her words are full of grace and empathy.

Aubrey’s strength and wisdom are apparent, and we see that this journey was about so much more than reclaiming her physical body; it was and continues to be, about re-establishing her sense of self-worth and self-love.

“I would first look at [my younger self] who is in so much pain and has lost all hope for anything better in life and tell her that she’s worth this effort [of weight-loss]. I would tell her that it’s okay to move forward. Healing doesn’t equal forgetting the one that was taken from you. I would tell her that freedom from a body that has become a prison feels better than she could ever begin to imagine. I would tell her that she absolutely can do this and that she’s going to see just how strong she really is.”

Aubrey gained this perspective through her work with the community at the Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The program became a safe space for Aubrey where she found the courage to face the intense pain that spurred her weight-gain.

Unlike many people who have life-long struggles with obesity, Aubrey spent most of her life at a normal weight. It was the murder of her younger brother which brought such intense grief into her life that she gained 170 pounds. At her peak before surgery, she weighed 340 pounds. For ten years, food was her haven, and her weight was a survival mechanism. (more…)

News
Police seek information regarding residential shooting

From Prince William County police:

Shooting into a Residential Dwelling – On October 24 at 8:37 a.m, officers responded to an apartment located in the 19000 block of Fuller Heights Rd in Triangle (22172) to investigate a destruction of property. A resident of the apartment reported to police that a loud noise was heard around 3:30 a.m. Later that morning, the resident discovered that a bullet entered the apartment through a window and was found lodged in an interior wall. Officers searched the surrounding area and did not locate any shell casings. No injuries or other property damage were reported. (more…)



Caregivers strive to reduce bath-time challenges for seniors

When it comes to helping older adults remain in their homes, bathing can be a challenging issue. But Tessa Lamb of Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas and Herndon has found those concerns can be overcome with the right combination of compassion and experience.

Lamb has been working with seniors since 1996, as long as she’s been a licensed practical nurse. During that time, she realized there are identifiable, key issues that impact bath time. By recognizing and addressing these concerns, home care providers can help their clients age with greater hope and success.

Respecting privacy and independence

Over the years, Lamb has worked with seniors aged 65 up to “the beautiful young age” of 96 who wanted to age in place. That taught her the value of having a good relationship with her clients, she said.

“They all cherish their independence,” she said. “Getting into and out of a shower can be difficult as we age and become less flexible. Many times requiring the standby assistance of a home health aid can be very daunting.”

At the same time, privacy is a key concern for clients. “They have been taking care of themselves for over 60 or more years and now someone needs to help them shower,” she explained. “This can be both frustrating and embarrassing.”

Neither giving nor receiving this kind of care is easy. That’s why cultivating a positive relationship is crucial to protect the dignity of those receiving care, as well as to enhance the quality of life for both seniors and their families throughout the caregiving experience.

Recognizing changes in sensory perception

As people age, the acuteness of the senses decreases, and that can have ramifications for both the person who is bathing and the person who is helping with the process. For example, Lamb pointed out, the ears serve two purposes – hearing and maintaining balance – so the loss of sensitivity affects balance as well as hearing. That can have a significant impact when it comes to bath time.

“If your balance is off, you are not going to want to go onto a wet, slippery surface,” she said.

The same holds true when it comes to vision loss. “The bathroom is a major fall risk area, and thus a very scary place for seniors,” Lamb explained.

Other senses also come into play. When the sense of touch changes, it can result in decreased temperature sensitivity. That means it can be difficult to tell the difference between water that is cool or cold and water that is hot or warm.

When the sense of smell is lessened, seniors might not be able to smell the odor of their body when they have not taken a shower in several days or weeks. Understanding these changes in sensory perception and how they affect a person’s ability or willingness to bathe can help offset concerns a senior may have when it comes to bath time.

Accounting for fatigue or dementia

Another factor that can impact the bathing process is the fatigue that can accompany many of the medical conditions or illnesses that seniors may develop. Even medications can cause people to become tired easily.

Helping bathe clients with dementia and memory impairment requires particular care, Lamb said. “It is very, very important to establish a rapport, trust and a relationship with them before any major task can be performed,” she explained. “Consistency is also key because of the short-term memory loss.”

In Lamb’s experience, a little bit of empathy goes a long way when it comes to overcoming the challenges surrounding bath time. “I recommend that you show seniors love, kindness, patience, respect – and allow them time,” she said. “Give them choices.”

Perhaps a client isn’t up to a bath at a particular moment. That’s when a caregiver should offer alternatives, such as a sponge bath, a warm face cloth, a chair bath or even a bed bath. The bottom line is that there are many options. A good caregiver will understand and offer alternatives, while also respecting the client’s concerns.

“There is also the option of ‘just not today,’” Lamb said. “It is more important to establish a relationship and build trust first than try to obtain the goal of a bath.”

For more information on Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas and to sign up for their newsletter with other helpful articles, visit their website.

News
Shootings into homes investigated in Dumfries, Woodbridge

From Prince Wiliam police: 

Shooting into a Residential Dwellings – On October 21 at 3:39PM, officers responded to the 2500 block of Sedgewick Pl in the Town of Dumfries (22026) to investigate a shots fired call. The investigation revealed that sometime between 5:00AM and 5:30AM, several shots were fired from behind the residences. Later that afternoon, several bullet holes were discovered on three townhomes. Officers searched the surrounding area and did not locate any shell casings. No injuries or other property damage were reported.

Shooting into a Residential Dwelling – On October 21 at 8:25AM, officers responded to the 4300 block of Eileen Ct in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a destruction of property. The investigation revealed that sometime between 3:00AM and 5:00AM, several shots were fired which struck a vehicle and a residence in the above area. Several shell casings were recovered from the roadway. No injuries or other property damage were reported.

Traffic
Virginia Railway Express apologizes after lengthy Friday commute

Commuters on Virginia Railway Express had to contend with long delays on Friday.

A portion of the track just south of Long Bridge across the Potomac River in Arlington caught fire, leaving passengers stranded for hours.

This morning, the transit agency issued an apology.

First, we would like to apologize to everyone affected by the service disruption last Friday evening due to the brush fires north of Crystal City. We know that some of our passengers got home some three to four hours late and understood this is a major inconvenience. As a follow-up, we would like to explain the timeline of events.

Once the fire was out, bridge inspectors were sent to make sure the bridge was stable enough to handle rail traffic, but they became stuck in traffic delays.

More from VRE: (more…)

News
‘The last day to vote in-person absentee is Saturday, Nov. 4.’

From an email from Prince William County Government: 

People whose work times will exceed 11 hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day, voters who have business or will be on vacation outside of the county on Election Day, and voters who have a disability or religious obligations don’t have to miss their opportunity to vote in this year’s General Election. They can vote by absentee ballot instead.

Those who would like to vote absentee by mail can request a ballot be mailed to them. Applications for mailed ballots can be found on the Office of Elections’ website. The application must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, and the ballot must be completed and returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

For those who would rather vote in person, absentee voting is available now at the Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue in Manassas, and the Woodbridge Department of Motor Vehicles located at 2731 Caton Hill Road. Additional in-person absentee voting locations will open on Oct. 23, including:

— Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge

— McCoart Government Center, 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge

— Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Road in Haymarket

— Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Road in Bristow

The last day to vote in-person absentee is Saturday, Nov. 4.

Items on this year’s ballot include races for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General for the state of Virginia and Virginia House of Delegates races.

Visit the Prince William County Office of Elections website at www.pwcvotes.com for a complete list of qualifications to vote absentee.

News
Police arrest man, 22, in connection with stabbing investigation

From Prince William County police:

Stabbing Investigation – On October 17 at 12:33a.m., officers responded to a hotel located in the 17100 block of Dumfries Rd in Dumfries (22025) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the victims, a 21-year-old man and a 24-year-old man both of Midland, and two other male acquaintances were involved in a verbal altercation at the hotel, which escalated.

During the encounter, the accused stabbed both of the victims in the upper body with a knife. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. When officers arrived, they detained the accused without incident. The victims were transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without incident.

(more…)

A member of the Felmley family has been involved with the hospital from before it was even built — that’s more than 45 years of service!

When Martha Felmley was invited to an introductory meeting for the Potomac Hospital Auxiliary in the early 70’s, she had no idea it would ignite a passion that would consume nearly half of her life and be passed down through the generations.

“We had fundraisers to make money and went door to door to collect money. In the beginning, it was all about money to build the hospital” remembers the soon-to-be 90-year-old, smiling.

For Martha Felmley, that commitment grew as the hospital did. Over the years, in addition to volunteering, she served on the Hospital Board of Trustees and worked in community relations, her family always by her side. That’s why it’s no surprise the hospital became a family affair, with Felmley’s daughter and granddaughter both eventually working here!

For Felmley’s daughter, Martha Moore, the connections to the hospital started before she could drive. “I used to babysit Howard Greenhouse’s children!” she remembers, laughing.

Moore, now a Cardiac Systems Coordinator for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, started out babysitting the head of the hospital board’s children. It was about that same time she was a candy striper at the hospital, and from there, she was a weekend cashier in the gift shop. (more…)



‘…concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress’

On Friday, November 3, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will host renowned economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute and members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for a discussion on regional trends and the economics of growing the commercial tax base in Prince William County.

Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their FY17-20 Strategic Plan which contains long-term goals for the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on topics ranging from economic development to public safety and education. Of particular interest to the business community is the economic development goal focused on increasing the ratio of commercial property tax to 35% of all collected revenues. Since the plan’s approval, the Chamber has hosted multiple meetings on this issue, hearing from County staff as well as industry leaders. 

View a September Opinion piece by the Chamber that explains more about the issue.

While growing business in the County is an important goal, and one which the Chamber supports, concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress. The Chamber has invited the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to attend the presentation to hear from Dr. Fuller in hopes that the targeted discussion will provide the necessary economic framework to inform future policy decisions regarding the expansion of the commercial tax base. (more…)

News
Prince William County leaders proclaim birth of Baha’ullah, founder of Baha’i Faith

WOODBRIDGE — When it came time to approve the consent agenda at last night’s meeting, the Brentsville District Supervisor stopped the show.

“What is this?” asked Jeanine Lawson.

The elected leader questioned a proclamation to praise the founder of Baha’i Faith, Baha’ullah, 200 years ago.

“I had never heard of it,” said Lawson. “I’m not questioning its existence, but I’ve not seen something like this in the past three years during my time on the Board.”

Lawson said she was concerned that the county Board of Supervisors would proclaim one religion, opening up the floodgates for proclamations to other faiths.

“With all due respect Supervisor Lawson, just because we haven’t recognized the Bellu’i Faith since you’ve been on the Board doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start now,” said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, who brought the proclamation to the Board.

Prince William County Attorney Michelle Robl was asked to weigh in. She said the proclamation was in line with what the Board had supported in the past.

“I don’t think this is putting the board behind a certain religion,” she said.

Lawson threatened to bring forward a resolution to requesting the Board of Supervisors honor Jesus Christ if this Board approved this particular resolution.

It did, with Lawson being the only leader to vote Nay.

News
Outdoor Food Festival to stock shelves for ACTS food pantry

From an email:

Manassas, VA– The Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Cuisine de Commerce on Thursday, November 2 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Chamber’s building at 9720 Capital Court near the Manassas Airport.

This year the event transforms from a luncheon into an outdoor food festival; complete with live music by classic rock cover band Type A, cornhole boards and all-you-can-eat samples from the area’s best restaurants, caterers and food trucks. Those attending should bring a donation of non-perishable foods. Burke & Herbert Bank is sponsoring a food drive at Cuisine de Commerce with donations benefitting the ACTS food pantry in Dumfries. (more…)

News
‘After this evening, it’s mainly a temperature forecast through the middle of the week, with attention paid to frost/freeze concerns’

From the National Weather Service: 

“DAY ONE…Today and Tonight Patchy frost is possible tonight, primarily away from the urban areas and away from the tidal waters. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Tuesday through Sunday Patchy frost is possible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, primarily away from the urban areas and away from the tidal waters.

SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/… After this evening, it`s mainly a temperature forecast through the middle of the week, with attention paid to frost/freeze concerns. High pressure will move in from the west tonight and then remain directly over the region through the middle of the week. Clouds will be minimal and winds light.

Have trended forecast toward colder guidance for overnight lows given what should be fairly good radiational cooling conditions. Tonight may be a little tricky since some wind is likely to linger, but it does look like calmer conditions are likely toward dawn. A Freeze Watch will be in effect for portions of the highlands tonight. Would not be surprised if there were some pockets of near-freezing temperatures in the rest of the western valleys as well. Will let the day shift determine which areas will need a Frost Advisory, with locations west of the Blue Ridge looking most favorable.

Temperatures will gradually moderate through the middle of the week, but not before another potential frost/freeze for outlying areas Tuesday night. Daytime highs will remain in the 60s Tuesday, but inch into the 70s for some areas on Wednesday.”

News
Do community service by playing in NOVEC HELPS’ Texas Hold’em fundraiser

From Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative:

MANASSAS, Va. – Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative’s group of employee volunteers, NOVEC HELPS, will hold its 7th annual Texas Hold’em fundraising poker tournament on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Prince William County Police Association Hall, 14288 Independent Hill Drive, Manassas. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. Games start at 6:30 p.m. The top 10 players will win prizes and other participants will win door prizes. Fee: $50 per player if registered before Oct. 20; $60 at the door.

NOVEC HELPS will give net proceeds to charitable, community, and school organizations supported by HELPS. Groups include: the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, ACTS, Northern Virginia Family Service, Britepath, and Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center. (more…)

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