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Hepatitis A case linked to Gainesville Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Health officials in Prince William County want to talk to anyone who purchased food or drink at Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Gainesville.

A male store employee in his early 20s this week was diagnosed with hepatitis A, a virus that attacks the liver and can be fatal in rare cases. Anyone who purchased anything at the restaurant between 28 and August 16 is see their doctor.

From the Prince William Health District:

Susceptible individuals who ate or drank anything from the Tropical Smoothie Café in Gainesville on August 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 or 18 may still benefit from vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A if received within two weeks of the date of exposure. Susceptible individuals who ate or drank anything at the restaurant on those dates should contact their health care providers, or may contact the Prince William Health District information line at 703-792-6345. Vaccine is available at various urgent care clinics and pharmacies in the community and at the Prince William Health District.

The Tropical Smoothie store that employs the infected worker, at 8069 Stonewall Shops Square, remained open on Friday afternoon. The store employee notified the owners of the store Dennis and Nicole Drake on Wednesday that his was showing signs of an illness.

The owners said the employee was told to stay home.

A lab test revealed he had contracted Hepatitis A, which can be transmitted by fecal matter or orally, according to health officials. The employee regularly handed food, and has worked at the restaurant since June, said Drake.

Customers who may not be showing symptoms now could develop them later. Those infected with hepatitis A may show symptoms between 15 and 50 days after contracting the virus, according to health officials.

The Gainesville infection comes as Virginia Department of Health officials last week traced the cause of 28 other Hepatitis A infections at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia to strawberries imported from Egypt.

“I never order anything with strawberries in it,” said Tyler Long, of Bristow, who purchased two smoothies on Friday from Tropical Smoothie in Gainesville.

Long works at a neighboring barbecue restaurant and goes to Tropical Smoothie each time he works, about four to five times a week.

The Drakes, owners of the Gainesville Tropical Smoothie, attended a press conference on Friday at the Prince Willaim Health District Office in Manassas. The husband and wife owner team said their store regularly passes state health inspections, that the company uses a private firm to perform additional health inspections, and that proper food handling training is administered to all employees.

“We’ve been impacted by this… it hurts us,” said Dennis Drake. “And it hurts more so than the business aspect… this is our food, these are our employees, and we’re all members of this community.”

The Drakes employee 17 people at their Gainesville location. The couple said they were at their Gainesville store until 2 a.m. Friday performing a “deep clean” of the restaurant.

News
Updated: Bodies of driver, dog found after crash causes house fire in Gainesville

Updated

Police identify the man found dead inside a house fire in Gainesville. 

From Prince William police: 

Death Investigation – On July 22 at 3:42PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 13200 block of Catharpin Valley Dr in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a single vehicle crash into a garage. When fire crews from the Department of Fire and Rescue arrived, the vehicle, a 2007 Hyundai Veracruz, and the residence were found to be fully engulfed in flames.  The driver was located inside the Veracruz in the garage and pronounced dead at the scene. A dog was also located deceased inside the residence. Other occupants of the home were able to evacuate the residence without injury. The remains of the driver were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further analysis. This incident is being jointly investigated by the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit, Crash Unit, and the Department of Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshals’ Office. The investigation continues.

Identified:

The victim has been identified as Eduardo TREMOLS, 52, of Gainesville

From Prince William police: 

Death Investigation – On July 22 at 3:42PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 13200 block of Catharpin Valley Dr in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a single vehicle crash into a garage. When fire crews from the Department of Fire and Rescue arrived, the vehicle and residence were found to be fully engulfed in flames.  

The driver was located inside the vehicle in the garage and pronounced dead at the scene. A dog was also located deceased inside the residence. Other occupants of the home were able to evacuate the residence without injury.

The remains of the driver will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further analysis and identification. The identity of the deceased will be released once confirmed and next of kin has been notified. This incident is being jointly investigated by the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit and the Department of Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshals’ Office. More information will be released when available.

The investigation continues.

News
The Children’s Therapy Center opening in Gainesville

Submitted The Children’s Therapy Center

My name is Alexandra Smith and I am the Marketing Coordinator at The Children’s Therapy Center. The first week of July we are opening a new office in Gainesville and would love to get news coverage on it.

The Children’s Therapy Center currently has two offices, one located in Springfield and the other in Sterling, Virginia. Seeing that your paper reaches areas surrounding Gainesville this story has a local angle and will also be newsworthy for many parents in the area.

Just some background information on our practice, it was established in 1979 and has been flourishing ever since! We offer Pediatric and Adolescent Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy.

News
Tin Cannon releases ‘Heart of the Lion’ brew in honor of fallen Prince William County Police officer

Submitted by Tin Cannon Brewery in Gainesville:

We recognize that many eager and willing officers are selflessly committed to doing whatever it takes to protect the general public, even it means sacrificing their own lives.

We would like to pay tribute to those officers with a special release beer called “Heart of the Lion,” recently brewed in honor of fallen [Prince William County police] Officer Ashely Guindon.

This event is geared toward people of all ages because our local police protects people of all ages. We hope to make this an annual event where the funds raised will go to support injured or exceptionally deserving officers.

This year, injured[Prince William County police] Officers, David McKeown and Jesse Hempen, will be in attendance and recognized for their service during this inaugural event.

We are hosting our first ever fundraiser called “For Those That Wear the Blue – We Salute You” on Sunday, June 26 from 2-6 p.m.! We’ve invited the entire community to come together to show our support and appreciation for the work that is being done everyday by our police department.

Donations are being accepted via our Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/for-those-that-wear-the-blue-we-salute-you-tickets-25873250589

News
The must-have necessities for a sign holder outside a Sports Authority going out of business

When you drive by the Sports Authority on Wellington Road in Gainesville, you’ll notice a “going out of business” sign.

It hits you that the staple sporting goods store that has been around in shopping malls since you were a child is closing. It was the go-to place for sporting goods, and clothing outfitter for gym teachers everywhere.

Its closing can be construed as a sign of the times for changing retail stores.

Chance Holt, 26, of Warrenton, stood outside Sports Authority in the warm 70-degree weather holding a sign of his own. In case drivers missed the “going out of business” sign on the building, don’t worry, because Holt has one, too.

Holt is not a Sports Authority employee. His full-time gig — a tax support agent for Intuit in Fredericksburg — the folks who make Turbo Tax software. He helps clients move tax data from the prior year to this year.

He holds a sign on his days off of work. A temp agency tells him where to go, and he shows up armed with the necessities: sunglasses, and an iPod playing a mix hip-hop, R and B, and some pop.

“Holding this sign makes me humble,” said Holt. “A lot of people work behind a desk all day, make a lot of money, and don’t know what it’s like to work outside.”

He admits holding the sign is not “hard work,” but it is a way to make extra cash. He and his fiance, a school teacher in Fairfax County, plan to get married and have a child.

The extra cash comes in handy to pay a bill and to put away to save up money for what he really wants.

“It will be nice to move out of our apartment and into a house,” he said.

Oh yeah, about Sports Authority — the Gainesville store has about six weeks left before it closes for good, he said.

News
Truck hits 800-gallon propane tank, causes leak

A pickup drove over an 800-gallon underground propane tank on Monday.

Fire and rescue crews were called to the scene int he 13000 block of Gables Green Way in Gainesville at 11:02 a.m. The truck caused a rupture in the tank.

“Readings indicated the leaking product did create a significant concern for nearby structures,” stated Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Matt Smolksy

Fire crews stopped the leak until repairs could be made. Crews stayed on the scene for about two hours on Monday

No injuries were reported.

News
Updated: Dogs shot and killed in Gainesville

Updated 2:20 p.m.

No charges will be placed in the shooting, according to Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.

Original post Noon

A homeowner shot and killed two dogs in Gainesville today.

Police were called to a home in the 8800 block of Brown Thrasher Court at 11:15 a.m.

Two mixed German Shepherds walked onto a property of the shooter and attacked a Pinscher and a Rottweiler, according to Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.

A handgun was used to shoot the dogs, according to initial reports.

An investigation is ongoing. More as we have it.

Candland announces first youth art contest

Supervisor Pete Candland would like to invite local children to participate in the First Annual Gainesville District Youth Art Contest. The contest is open to all children in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Entries will be accepted in any medium, painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. The contest theme for the artwork is Summer Vacation.

Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on June 8, 2016, at 6 PM at the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library. All entries will be displayed through the month of June at the library. Winners will receive a gift card and have their artwork displayed in Supervisor Candland’s office until June 2017.

Artwork should be submitted to Supervisor Candland’s office (7001 Heritage Village Plaza, Suite 210, Gainesville, VA 20155) by 6 PM on June 6, 2016.

Traffic
VRE to Haymarket: If you build it will home developers come to the Rural Crescent?

Those behind a study to expand Virginia Railway Express in western Prince William County say the region’s population numbers will explode.

The transit agency said it used statistics from the Prince William County Planning Office that show more 43 percent of the growth in the county between now and 2040 will be centered along a planned 11-mile extension of VRE’s Manassas line, from the city to Haymarket.

The proposed $550 million extension would have three commuter rail stations — one at Innovation Park, another at Gainesville near Virginia Gateway, and a terminus outside Haymarket. (more…)

2 main reasons to workout with a trainer at Manassas Park Community Center

With the temperatures warming up outside, it’s natural to feel the urge to get up, get out, and get active.

There is still plenty of time to reach your fitness goals before beach season hits, but as we get closer and closer to summer, you may find it difficult to stay on task and stay motivated. That’s where personal training can come in handy.

To help you reach your fitness goals, the Manassas Park Community Center will give you an additional 10 free 30-minute personal training sessions when you renew or purchase an annual Basic or All-Access Passport membership throughout the month of April.

If you’re like me though, you may not exactly understand what personal training is or how it can benefit you. I sat down with our Deputy Director, Jay Swisher, who has worked as personal trainer and oversees our personal trainers here at the community center and asked him some questions I had about personal training.

Shriner: So, what exactly is a personal trainer?

Swisher: A personal trainer is someone who provides not only guidance in the technical sense but also moral support to someone in an effort to help them reach their fitness goals.

Shriner: I’m fully capable of going to the gym and working out or running on the treadmill. What is the advantage of using a personal trainer versus just going to the gym on my own?

Swisher: There are two main reasons to work out with a trainer:

First, you’re working with somebody who is specifically trained in an exercise science based discipline. That specialized knowledge will allow them to prescribe the most effective program to help you fulfill your fitness goals. Exercise prescription includes everything about your workout routine – the recommended exercises, repetitions, sets, weights, frequency, and so on. This knowledge is derived from different places including past experience or background, which can include education and formal training.

Second, you’re gaining a support system. A trainer will motivate you and hold you accountable. Sure, you can go online and download sheets of exercises or watch YouTube videos but those videos aren’t going to text you to make sure you’re keeping up with your routine or encourage you to keep going when you feel like you’ve plateaued. In addition, your trainer will be able to monitor your form by demonstrating how to properly perform exercises. You can put yourself at risk by performing exercises incorrectly, but also incorrect form means you aren’t achieving your maximum potential and getting the most from each exercise.

Shriner: Okay, so I’m convinced. What do I need to look for in a personal trainer? How can I make sure I’m picking a good trainer?

Swisher: The first thing you want to do when you’re considering using a trainer, or even when you want to work out on your own, is figure out what your fitness goals are. Search for a trainer whose skill set best matches your needs. If you have very specific fitness goals, you’d want to seek out a personal trainer who has expertise in that same area.

It’s important to vet your trainer to make sure they are truly qualified. Check their background, ask about their experience and certifications. When it comes to certifications, check for reputable agencies such as AAFA, ACE, or ACSM. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a mini session. Tell them about yourself. Say you’re a 44-year-old male with high blood pressure who has been sedentary for the past 15 years and one of your goals is to lose 10 pounds. Listen to what the trainer would recommend and see what they demonstrate. How do you feel about their training style? Ask them about their fitness philosophies – do they make sense to you? What it boils down to is you need to ask questions, listen to the answers, and observe their style. (more…)

Live Well Festival to feature health and wellness activities, farm to table brunch

Spring has sprung and it’s time for the year’s first festival in historic downtown Manassas! The 10th Annual Live Well Festival, formerly known as Spring Cleaning Day, will be held Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. – 2 .p.m in the Harris Pavilion and along West Street. Health and wellness information, exercise classes, a farm-to-table brunch, and more will be available. (more…)

Manassas Farmers Market has more vendors, ‘Take-Out Tuesdays’

The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market is back for its 25th peak season. Running from April through early November, the market is open on both Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Thursday market will be housed at the Harris Pavilion beginning April 7, while Saturday shoppers can find all their market necessities in Parking Lot B, across from the Train Depot beginning April 9. (more…)

Who is Gar-Field Senior High School named after?

Gar-Field High School, located on Smoketown Road, was originally established near Cardinal Drive and Route 1 on land donated in 1949 by Martin Gilmer Garber and Grover P. Manderfield. (more…)

We Want to Help You Make it A Mother’s Day She’ll Never Forget!

Mother’s Day may be over a month away, but if you want it to be the most epic Mother’s Day ever then you want to start planning for it now.

Sit back and think to yourself, “What should I do to really make my mom happy on Mother’s Day?” Would she love to cook with gourmet olive oil? Has she been working so hard that only the best massage could relieve her 9-5 tension? Does she own the room when she shows up flawless in a gown? (more…)

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