WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Dumfries Local

Found photos illustrate Prince William County’s past

My beautiful picture
My beautiful picture

Photos by Ed Stallknecht

Pictured: NOVA Woodbridge Campus, Gordon Plaza at Route 123 and Horner Road in Woodbridge, Manassas Train Station in Old Town Manassas, Pilot House restaurant on Neabsco Creek (destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003), the old Holiday Inn in Dumfries.


Last fall, we saw some images of Prince William County taken more than 40 years ago appeared on Facebook. 

We wondered who took them, and how the photos wound up on social media so many years later.

Today, we have that story. 

From Historic Prince William President David Cuff: 

After a career in the Marines, Edward S. Stallknecht became a realtor based in Dumfries in the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Ed learned to fly while in the Marines and would rent airplanes from the Flying Club based at Quantico.

Besides just a love of flying, Ed used the flights to take pictures of the fast changing landscape below. He used the images in a slideshow presentation he would give to other realtors, associations, and clients looking for large tracts of land to develop.

I serve as the current president of Historic Prince William, and on a warm afternoon last May, I noticed an aerial image on the wall of Aden Grocery while getting a drink and e BLT sandwich. The image was an aerial photo of the store taken in 1972 and was signed “Ed Stallknecht, Flying Realtor.” Intrigued, I searched the internet for more information.


Three adults, 4 children displaced by fire on Harwood Oaks Court

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Sunday, February 5 th at 9:50 p.m. fire and rescue units were dispatched to an apartment fire located in the 16600 block of Harwood Oaks Court in Dumfries. Upon arrival, firefighters heard the smoke alarm sounding.

As they made entry, fire and rescue crews observed a kitchen fire that had been extinguished by a sprinkler head in the kitchen. Due to activation of the building’s sprinkler system, the fire was contained to the kitchen area and quickly extinguished. The occupants were not home at the time of the fire; no injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $40,000. A Building Inspector posted the home unsafe. Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 3 adults and 4 children, displaced by the fire.

The origin and cause of the fire was a cooking fire on a kitchen stove top and has been determined as accidental.

Join us at for a beer at Water’s End Brewery to talk about improving the Old Bridge Corridor/I-95

Forward Motion Commotion: Let’s Get Old Bridge Traffic Moving”…an event sponsored by Potomac Local in partnership with Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson.

Traffic Congestion Think Tanks for the Occoquan District started in 2016 and continued in 2017. We are determined to mitigate the rush hour congestion along the Old Bridge Road corridor for morning and evening commuters and residents trying to move about. A couple of improvements are in progress. Now, we need more.

Come and meet Prince William County Department of Transportation (DOT) and VDOT leaders who will explain how projects are vetted and funded. Other transportation experts will also attend. Potomac Local News Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate a panel discussion, with questions from area residents, focused on getting traffic moving again on Old Bridge Road.

Email your questions about traffic in the Old Bridge Road Corridor for the panel to potomaclocal[at]gmail.com.

Map and Input Stations will be staffed with people ready to document your ideas. Intersections and other known opportunities for improvement include:

— Intersection – 123/Old Bridge Road (OBR)

— Intersection – Occoquan Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Tanyard Hill Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Minnieville Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Prince William Pkwy/OBR

— Miscellaneous – Minnieville/Smoketown/Springwoods, etc.

— I-95 interchange with Route 123

— Public Transportation

Unlike last year’s series of Occoquan congestion think tank meetings, this event will be a one-time opportunity in 2017 to provide your input in person. Following the meeting, we will continue to take ideas via email, calls and on our website:  SupervisorRuthAnderson.com.  So, if you have concerns and/or ideas or want to learn more about the process of getting ideas to the drawing board…this Think Tank is your opportunity.

The event will take place at Waters End Brewery, located at 12425 Dillingham Square, Lake Ridge, Va., from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

**Limited space! You must register to attend. By registering you are saving your spot but you will also receive one complimentary beer from Water’s End.**

Dumfries Councilman William Murphy found dead inside home

DUMFRIES, Va. — Dumfries Councilman William Murphy was found dead inside his home.

Police and fire and rescue crews were at the appointed leader’s home at 18256 Linton Court at 3 p.m. today processing the scene where Murphy was found. Police said no foul play appears to be involved in Murphy’s death. They worked for hours to notify next of kin, while officers fanned out knocking on neighbors’ doors asking questions.

The cause of death is not known at this time. Two men from Mountcastle Funeral Home removed Murphy’s body from the home at 3:41 p.m.

Murphy spent five years on the Dumfries Board of Zoning Appeals before being appointed to the Town Council two years ago. A seat on the council opened following the resignation of Kristen Forrester.

In recent months as Republican’s formed a voting block on the Town Council, Murphy was more independent and often questioned Mayor Jerry Foreman. Most recently, Murphy voted no to changing the rules and allowing the Town Council to oversee the operations of the police department, removing the responsibility from the Town Manager. (more…)

Four adults and 1 child, displaced by fire on Nichols Court

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Thursday, February 2nd at 9:05 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire in a single family home located in the 4100 block of Nichols Court in Dumfries. Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke showing from the front of the home. As they made entry, firefighters discovered a fire in the kitchen and immediately extinguished it. No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $20,000. A Building Inspector has posted the home unsafe. Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 4 adults and 1 child, displaced by the fire. The origin and cause of the fire was a cooking fire on a kitchen stovetop and has been determined as accidental. 

‘Only two’ big names discussed for Potomac Shores elementary school

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

Suggested names for the new “Potomac Shores” Elementary School presented to the School Board on February 1 include famous Americans, U.S. Presidents, and local educators and activists. The names were submitted online to the Office of Planning and Financial Services or offered at the School Board Naming Committee public meeting on January 30, held at Potomac High School.

The School Board is scheduled to vote on its choice at its next regular meeting on February 15. Criteria for naming of school facilities and buildings are described in Regulation 854-1.

“Potomac Shores” Elementary School is scheduled to open this fall. The school is located in the Potomac Magisterial District at 2500 River Heritage Parkway, Dumfries.

Naming committee members for “Potomac Shores” are School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers, Loree Williams (Woodbridge), and Justin Wilk (Potomac).


Stream restoration will help reduce flood risk, improve fish passage on Dewey’s and Quantico Creeks

Photo by Prince William County Communications Office 


Restoration to improve the resiliency of the Possum Point Road culvert – located on Route 633 at the Prince William County and Town of Dumfries line – over Dewey’s Creek has wrapped up after nearly three months of work, interrupted by frequent heavy rainfalls and storms. Dewey’s Creek is a tributary of Quantico Creek, which is a tidal tributary of the Potomac River.

The restoration will improve sediment transport, water flow, and fish habitat. In addition, it will reduce flood risk to the surrounding community, which includes approximately 50 homes southeast of the culvert as well as the Possum Point Power Station, located on the banks of the Potomac River and serving the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Growing development within the watershed has increased the risk of culvert failure. Stormwater runoff from paved surfaces and yards causes flows to increase in the creek, leading to erosion, increased sediment accumulation at the culvert and constriction of water flow during high flow conditions.

Instead of replacing the culvert with something larger, the project involved restoring Dewey’s Creek for approximately 400 feet above the culvert. Stream banks were sloped and terraced to reconnect the creek to its floodplain, while rock elevation controls and riffles were constructed to eliminate sediment build-up at the culvert’s entrance and improve water flow and fish habitat.


Request for community support in honoring local superheroes

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On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the 31st Annual Prince William Valor Awards.

The event, which is open to the public, is held annually to recognize the men and women in uniform who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping our community and its people safe and secure: the local superheroes. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.

“This year we are hoping to fill the auditorium of the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the people of this community who appreciate the sacrifices made by public safety officials,” says Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and Prince William County Resident. “In a year when the climate on social media and across the country has been charged with fear and uncertainty, the Prince William region has been blessed to be served by forward-thinking and fair-minded public servants who also put their lives on the line in ways that we almost never hear about. Our Valor Awards shine the light on these brave and selfless individuals. I am asking that if you are at all able to attend the 2017 event, that you would strongly consider buying a ticket and joining us to show your appreciation.”

What should you expect when you attend the Valor Awards event?


Prince William gains 596 new jobs from economic development projects

The Prince William County Department of Economic Development today announced it logged $1.3 billion capital investment, added 596 new jobs and retained 80 existing jobs from 23 economic development projects in 2016.

From an agency press release: 

The 23 projects consisted of 18 new business attractions, 3 expansions of existing businesses and 2 business retentions. The projects spanned a range of industries (information technology, life sciences, data centers, distribution, recreation, federal contracting and manufacturing) – representative of the diversity of the underlying Prince William County economy.  Of the 596 new jobs to be created from these projects, approximately 70% will be in industry sectors targeted by the County.

In the last five calendar years [2012-2016], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record of nearly $4.0 billion and create approximately 2,600 new jobs


Speros D. Thomaidis

Every Obituary in Prince William County by:

Lt. Col. Speros D. “Spatz” Thomaidis (USMC-Ret.) of Dumfries, Va., passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, on Jan. 27, 2017. Spatz, age 86, joins his beloved wife, Kiki Zaharoolis Thomaidis, brother Nikos D. Thomaidis and “adopted brother” George Romanos, all who predeceased him.

The son of Greek immigrants, Spatz was born during the Great Depression in Highland Falls, NY, where he learned to speak English at public schools and, as a child, worked and lived at his family’s business, The West Point Arms Hotel and Restaurant. He graduated valedictorian of his high school class and went on to earn a degree from Cornell University, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Spatz epitomized the term “Semper Fi.”

He proudly and voluntarily served his country in the United States Marine Corps for 24 years — as a Platoon Leader in the Korean War and as a Battalion Commander in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for meritorious service in Vietnam. A dedicated husband, father and an excellent provider, he also worked for 18 years in the private sector. (more…)

Chill Seekers needed for Dumfries polar plunge

Photo by Plunge Virginia

From Special Olympics Virginia: 

Grab your best costume and your favorite flip flops and get set to get wet at the NOVA Polar Plunge® Fest, Feb. 25 at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse in Dumfries. We’re seeking brrrave fans to dash and splash in support of Special Olympics Virginia’s 27,000+ athletes with and without disabilities. With your support, we can reach our $100,000 fundraising goal, and create more Special Olympics champions.

The 2017 NOVA Polar Plunge® Fest, presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Virginia and the Prince William County Police Department, kicks off Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 am. Plunges will take place into the Potomac at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse at approximately 2 pm. Current Plunge teams include VISA volunteers, who are leading the way in fundraising, the Prince William County Police, a team made up of active members of the department, and many Special Olympics volunteers and athletes from across Northern Virginia. (more…)

‘2 adults and their pets, 2 dogs and 1 cat, displaced by the fire’

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Tuesday, January 31st at 2:19 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire in a single-family home located in the 18400 block of Running Pine Court in Triangle.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire blazing from the second floor at which time they were informed two people were trapped inside the home; a second alarm was immediately requested as firefighters initiated an immediate search and rescue. Two residents were located within the structure and were assisted down a ladder to safety.

Additional searches were conducted during extinguishment of the fire but were negative.

The occupants sustained smoke inhalation and were treated on scene and released without further medical treatment.

A Building Inspector has posted the home unsafe. Red Cross responded to assist 2 adults and their pets, 2 dogs and 1 cat, displaced by the fire. Preliminary damages are estimated at $25,000; the fire is currently under investigation] by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Prince William strategic plan: ‘Does it reflect the needs and wants of our citizens?’

For 25 years, Prince William County has produced a citizen-driven Strategic Plan, aimed at guiding the course of our budget and local legislation.  
The Board of Supervisors determines the issues important to our community’s success, then appoints two citizen volunteers per supervisor to study those issues.  
For the better part of 2016, the Strategic Plan Team explored and studied five topics: Transportation, Economic Development, Human Services, Education & Public Safety.
The result? The 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, unanimously adopted by the Board.  
But what does this Plan really do?   (more…)

Discover the area’s best-kept secret when planning your wedding

You’ve heard it before: planning a wedding can be expensive. According to  costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding is $26,645. Most couples plan to spend less than $10,000 for their big day, but the cost of everything associated with planning weddings adds up – and guess what, this price does NOT include the cost of the honeymoon!

So what money saving tips are out there for couples on a budget? How can they keep costs down and quality high? In other words, are there any corners you can cut while providing a top-notch, well presented, beautiful day for yourselves, your friends, and your families?

“After looking at between 15 and 20 venues, we chose the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Banquet Hall because the price was good,” says newlywed Anna Sandara. “The MPCC Banquet Hall fit into our budget, and although there was a limited amount of reviews on renting the Banquet Hall, we took a chance, and boy am I happy we did,” Sandra exclaimed.

“I really think the Manassas Park Community Center Banquet Hall is the best kept secret in our area,” stated Sandara, “Couples planning a wedding should really check it out because they will be pleasantly surprised just like we were.”

When you rent the MPCC Banquet Hall space, the price also includes access to a caterer’s kitchen and pre-function and patio areas.   (more…)

School closings and delays for Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

School divisions in Prince William and Stafford counties already have modified schedules today. 

Prince William County Public Schools — Teacher Workday today, NO School.

Stafford County Public School — Early release day for all grades /end of semester.

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. 

Souper Bowl is Back in Manassas for a third year

First Friday is back and it is time for the Third Annual “Souper Bowl!”

On Friday, February 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., merchants in Historic Downtown Manassas will be hosting restaurants and serving up soup. This year, 10 locations will feature soups, ranging from chili to gumbo and more.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at any participating merchant location and will entitle attendees to unlimited soup samplings. Once you have sampled the wide assortment of soup, you’ll be asked to vote for your favorite to crown the winning restaurant “Souper Bowl Champion.”

Last year, downtown’s newest restaurant, Mariachi’s, took home the crown with their Tortilla Soup. After being open for about a month, they also took home second place with their Spinach and Chorizo soup.

February kicks off the first First Friday of 2017. Souper Bowl is a great kick off for the year and gets the community excited about what is to come for future First Fridays. Street closures for First Friday will begin in April and run through October to allow pedestrian traffic in the streets.

The event is a great way for people to get a little sample of what each restaurant has to offer. A list of participating merchants and restaurants for Souper Bowl can be found at visitmanassas.org. This event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget to also stop by Ameriprise while on your tasting tour and sign up for a $25 membership with HMI! Memberships entitle cardholders to a discount at your favorite downtown restaurant and shops!

If you are looking for something to do on a First Friday, or any other day of the week, be sure to check out Historic Downtown Manassas – you just may find your new favorite restaurant and shops!

‘Silver Sparkles Family Fun Day’ in Woodbridge this year


pwcMoms.com, a local resource blog for families with over 10,000 followers, will again host its popular “Silver Sparkles Family Fun Day” on Saturday, February 18th from 1pm-5pm at Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center in Woodbridge, Virginia.  The event, organized by website owner Kristina Kotlus, raises money for brain cancer research, inspired by Kotlus’ own battle with the disease. “I was diagnosed with an ependymoma at 29, and going through the surgery, the radiation, and the recovery inspired me to help fight for a cure so that others won’t have to endure what I did.”

All the profits from the event are donated to the Race for Hope DC, which is held annually in May.  Kotlus and her family will also run in the 5k.  “We’ve participated in the Race for Hope since my diagnosis- including when I was still in treatment.  I think that my mid-radiation 5k time was 72 minutes- it’s definitely improved since then,” Kotlus noted. (more…)

Updated: Dumfries will hold Black History Month event

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DUMFRIES, Va. — The Town of Dumfries Mayor/Town Manager Jerry Foreman has reversed his recommendation to cancel the annual Black History Month Celebration.

Multiple sources said the town would move ahead with the event planned for Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at Dumfries Elementary School. Foreman earlier this week emailed his fellow elected officials and town staff with a recommendation to cancel the event.

Three of the invited speakers — Rep. Gerry Connolly, Prince William County School Board member Lillie Jessie, and Dumfries Elementary School Principal Marlene Coleman — had not RSVP’d for the event.

A spokesman for Connolly told Potomac Local earlier this week the congressman had not finalized his schedule for the day of the event. Jessie and Coleman did not reply to request for comment. (more…)

Montclair library time capsule going out ‘on a ledge’

From Prince William County Public Library System spokesman Andrew Spence: 

The Library is very excited about celebrating Montclair’s [Community Library, located at 5049 Waterway Drive] 1 year anniversary. On Saturday, February 4, 2017, the festivities will start at 1:00 p.m. There will be live music, face painting, crafts and games that are perfect for the whole family. In addition, there will be some cake and cupcakes to enjoy.

Along with all the fun, we will hold a ceremony to commemorate all the effort and dedication it took to bring such a wonderful community feature to the Potomac District. At the ceremony, we will be join by the Corinne Doerr, Library Board Potomac District Appointee, and Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, Potomac District Board of County Supervisor, who will speak at the event.

Now, the “time capsule” dedication is a unique endeavor. Since the majority of the grounds near the library is primarily associated with Montclair’s environmental buildout, as it is LEED Certified. The Montclair Library staff got together and arranged an alternative solution. They are collecting items for a storage trunk that will be sealed and stowed above on a ledge inside the building. It is a creative solution that will certainly attractive a curious eye.  

Triangle gunman apprehended without incident

Suspect in Triangle gunfight turned himself in to police.

From Prince William County police:

Malicious Wounding | Shooting Investigation

*ADDITIONAL ARREST – On January 19, JaShaun Ervin MCQUEEN, the second suspect involved in a shooting which occurred in the 3600 block of Wharf Ln in Triangle on January 18, turned himself into police without incident at the Gar-Field Station in Woodbridge.

Arrested on January 19:
JaShaun Ervin MCQUEEN, 19, of the 18100 block of Kilmer Ln in Triangle
Charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony

Court Date: March 8, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

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