Sponsored Post Holiday Inn Express North Stafford part of growing ‘select service’ hotel catering to business travelers
It’s been about a month since the Wingate Inn in North Stafford changed its name to Holiday Inn Express, and there’s already been a noticeable improvement.
The rooms are completely renovated, and the pool went from a chlorine-filled swimming hole to a salt water oasis, and the continental breakfast is now anything but bland.
The changes are part of an $6 million renovation project at the hotel located the heart of North Staford, across from Stafford Marketplace. Changing the brand of the hotel was a significant move to attract and cater to business travelers.
“If we’re going to do a full renovation we’re going to go for a higher brand,” said Amal Lambaraa, Managing Director of Lambaraa Hospitality LLC at the Holiday Inn Express in North Stafford.
The new name not only means fresh linens and a brighter coat of paint. It means a better, healthier complimentary breakfast with low-calorie pancakes, waffles, and grab-and-go healthy options like fruit and gourmet coffee.
“Some days, the breakfast you take away can also be your lunch. You can take your food with you, and that prevents you from needing to run out to a gas station to get food or coffee,” added Lambarra.
There is over $1 billion in new hotel construction happening across Virginia right now. Leading the pack are these types of “select service” hotels. (more…)
Submitted News Gainesville parking lot unavailable on March 10
From PTRC Transit:
The lot at the Gainesville United Methodist Church will be unavailable for parking by Gainesville OmniRide and Linton Hall Metro Direct passengers on Friday, March 10, 2017 due to a Boy Scouts mulch sale.
Alternate parking will be across the street at the rear of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. This alternate parking arrangement is for Friday, March 10 only.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sponsored Post 3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show
The 3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show is taking place on Sunday, March 12, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory. This free event is proving to be that the third times a charm for this growing event with a wide variety of 30 wedding-related vendors. In years past, the event has been held at two other potential wedding venues in the City – the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum Lawn. This year will be the first indoor show at another great downtown wedding venue – Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.
This year’s Bridal Show will make the most out of this unique, gorgeous location. The first floor of the Center for the Arts features a gallery ideal for a happy hour before the reception. Hop on the elevator to the third floor featuring the perfect space for a reception. With gorgeous exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, this space is perfect for a reception with around 120 guests.
This year’s show will feature 30 vendors located on both the first and third floors. Local downtown merchants including Amy’s Bridal Boutique, Shining Sol Candle Company, Scatter Seeds, Jirani Coffeehouse, Travel Place, and Okra’s Cajun Creole will be set up along with popular venues such as Morais Vineyards and Airlie. Photographers, bakers, entertainment providers, specialty gift providers and more will be set up as well. A complete listing of all participating vendors can be found here. (more…)
- Manassas Park Community Center
- Address: Manassas Park Community Center
- Phone: 703-335-8872
- Website: http://www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com/
Ask any Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation staff member what is the most popular program offered and without hesitation, they will respond, “The youth basketball league.”
The Manassas Park Youth Basketball League (MPYBL) is going into its 20th year, and lots of credit is owed to the community spirit the residents and employees of Manassas Park exude.
“Whenever we come there’s always a sense of family,” writes 2016-2017 MPYBL Coach Steve Gaskins, “There’s something here for everyone. It’s like a second home. The staff is always friendly and knowledgeable, and the building is organized and clean.”
Gaskins is not exaggerating. Generations of families have grown up with Manassas Park Parks and Recreation including children who enrolled in Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) preschool before the current building was built and are now graduating from high school. Children who participated in Extended Care and MP3, afterschool programs for school-age children and teenagers respectively, are now working part time jobs at the Community Center.
Many players return year after year to participate in the league. High school freshman Jonathan Ojo enjoys the basketball league for its great level of competition. (more…)
Sponsored Post Manassas City businesses shine, take home top awards
This past Tuesday evening, the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual business awards dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas to honor the best of the local business community. Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.
The City of Manassas presented its first “Business of the Year Award” to Management and Training Consultants Inc. (MTCI). For more than 15 years MTCI has specialized in federal and military recruiting, retention and personnel management. MTCI is led by Dalena Kanouse, President and CEO. Under Dalena’s leadership, MTCI has received a number of national and international certifications. She is passionate about ensuring the principle upon which MTCI was founded — “maximizing human potential” is at the core of everything they do. She truly believes the greatest asset of MTCI is the people who carry out the mission. 76 percent of the company’s associates are veterans; of those, 50 percent are retirees and 26 percent are combat veterans.
Additionally, many of the City’s businesses were nominated in the eleven categories of Chamber awards, including local favorite Jirani Coffeehouse for its commitment to enriching the lives of those in our community as well as Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services for providing outstanding professional services in the Greater Manassas region.
Four City businesses received top honors:
- Tech Company of the Year: Aurora Flight Sciences
Headquartered at the Manassas Regional Airport, Aurora Flight Sciences is a world-wide leader in the research and development of unmanned aircraft systems, robotics and autonomous flight technologies.
- Emerging Business of the Year: KO Distilling
Craft distillery KO Distilling opened their doors in the City of Manassas on September 12, 2015 with a 12,000 square foot facility featuring a state-of-the-art distilling plant, barrel storage, and tasting room. Co-founded by college classmates and long-time friends Bill Karlson and John O’Mara, KO Distilling is part of the emerging craft spirits industry in Virginia, providing exports as well as tourism revenue.
- Business Excellence Award (11+ Employees): Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, PC
From their start in 1986, one of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian’s goals was to become a sophisticated law firm providing top-notch work for the community’s legal needs. Over the years, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian has grown to include twelve practice areas and 29 employees who all work in concert to provide every client with the best possible outcome for their legal needs.
- Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Arts and Education: Center for the Arts
The mission of the Center for the Arts is to enrich the creative community by engaging people of all ages; celebrating diversity, fostering innovation and cultivating collaboration and communication. Where similar organizations may be focused solely on visual arts, or dance, or theatre with programs for either adults or children; the Center for the Arts is proud to offer programs for all ages, in a multitude of mediums.
Additional Nominees from the City of Manassas:
Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year: Historic Manassas Inc., Novant Health UVA Health System
Community Outreach Award: Jirani Coffeehouse, Mr. Handyman, Apple Federal Credit Union, Transaction Expert
Government Contractor of the Year: MTCI-Management and Training Consultants Inc.
Outstanding Professional Service: Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Twin Air LLC, Mr. Handyman
Tech Company of the Year: Tracen Technologies Excellence in Small Business: Transaction Expert Business Excellence Award: Hepburn and Sons, Apple Federal Credit Union
Chuck Colgan Visionary Award: Mike Vanderpool
Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Health and Human Service: Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Apple Federal Credit Union
GAINESVILLE, Va. — This won’t be an ordinary ribbon cutting.
When the new Cabelas Outfitters store opens in Gainesville on March 9, a professional archer will shoot an arrow at a ribbon attached to a clay target.
Aiming to hit the mark, he’ll be positioned on a tripod about 13 feet off the ground, about 15 feet away from the target.
“The worst part is going to be all of the attention that will be on me to make that shot the first time,” said Jeffery Ware, the man selected to make the opening shot.
Ware is a full-time Fairfax County firefighter and works part-time as seasonal Cabelas employee or outfitter, as they’re called. He competed against his fellow outfitters for the opportunity to shoot the grand opening arrow, a tradition at new Cabelas stores. (more…)
Sponsored Post Take these numbers to heart
There are important numbers that can give you an overall picture of your heart health. Keeping track of your numbers provides you with a history of your health and encourages you to continue working toward your goals.
Here are the healthy numbers you should aim for and what they mean:
BMI: Based on height-to-weight ratio, body mass index (BMI) is an overall indicator of healthy weight. BMI does not distinguish between women and men. Your BMI should be between 20 and 24.
Waist circumference: Extra waistline inches can indicate heart disease risk because abdominal fat has a harmful effect on vital organs. People with a normal BMI but a high waist circumference are encouraged to reduce abdominal fat. Women should have a waist circumference of less than 35 inches, and men should have a waist circumference of less than 40 inches.
Waist-to-hip ratio: This ratio is sometimes used instead of waist circumference. To calculate, measure the circumference of your waist at its smallest point and measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point. Divide waist measurement by hip measurement. (Example: waist circumference = 35, hip circumference = 40, 35/40 = .88). Women should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.8, and men should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.95. (more…)
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.
Sponsored Post Check out Mad Mondays in March at Chick-fil-A Bristow
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!
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
Sponsored Post Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas
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.
Sponsored Post The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice
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.”
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.
For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org
Read more from our series
Sponsored Post Historic Manassas reveals new logo
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!
From First Chesapeake:
“More than 1,000 high school students will converge on Battlefield High School to test their teamwork and ingenuity during the FIRST Chesapeake District Northern Virginia Competition Sponsored by Bechtel on March 4-5. This competition will bring together some of the best and brightest robotics teams from Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Free and open to the public 9am-6pm both days. Battlefield High School, 15000 Graduation Drive, Haymarket, VA 20169 FIRST Robotics Competition teams from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia will face off
Forty FIRST Robotics Competition teams from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia will face off at the FIRST Chesapeake District Northern Virginia Competition Sponsored by Bechtel. This is just one of seven district qualifying competitions hosted by FIRST Chesapeake, culminating in the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, April 7-8 at the Stuart C. Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. In
In addition to watching high school teams compete at this event, families are encouraged to the visit the FIRST LEGO League Jr. in Washington, DC and Virginia Expo on Saturday, March 5, from 10am-1pm, to see how some of our youngest future technology leaders are solving real world problems.”
From Prince William fire and rescue:
On Sunday, February 12th at 7:45 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire located at Sams Junk Yard in the 14500 block of Lee Highway in Gainesville.
Upon arrival, firefighters observed a mobile home fully involved. Fire and rescue crews initiated attack and extinguishment of the fire.
No injuries reported.
A Building Official has posted the trailer unsafe.
According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $25,000, a total loss.
The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
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.
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.
From Prince William fire and rescue:
On Monday, February 6 th , at 2:48 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to vehicle fire located in the 14200 block of Gardner Manor in Gainesville. Upon arrival, firefighters were informed all occupants were safely out of the RV. As fire and rescue crews made entry, they observed fire in the subfloor of the trailer that had extended to an interior bathroom. Firefighters initiated fire attack and extinguished the fire. No injuries reported.
The occupants, home at the time of the fire, heard a sparking noise from the kitchen and discovered sparks emitting from an outlet in which the refrigerator was plugged. One of the occupants attempted to locate the access point of the fire but was unable to locate and called 911. Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 2 adults and 1 child, displaced by the fire.
Sponsored Post Request for community support in honoring local superheroes
On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the and , together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the .
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?