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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.

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…)

News
‘Once the VIN has been etched on all the windows, a thief must strip and replace every piece of glass’

Help Eliminate Auto Theft by Protecting Your Vehicles Help eliminate auto theft in and around Manassas – protect your own vehicles from being stolen by taking advantage of MCPD’s free VIN etching service next Saturday, October 21, 2017. The event, sponsored by Manassas City Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police H.E.A.T. Program, is provided as a free service to all motorists, weather permitting.

Free Fall VIN Etching Event: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Home Depot Parking Lot 8805 Liberia Ave, Manassas, Va. 20110

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Etching is one of the most effective means to deter auto theft that is currently available. Etching is a fast, safe and simple process of having a vehicle’s VIN engraved onto its windows using a chemical solution.

Once the VIN has been etched on all the windows, a thief must strip and replace every piece of glass in order to profit off the sale of the stolen vehicle or its parts. Doing so is a time-consuming and expensive feat, which deters many thieves from stealing VIN-etched vehicles in the first place.

There is no need to preregister, but vehicle owners will need to bring their driver’s license and current vehicle registration. For questions or more information, contact SPO Charles Sharp (Manassas City Police) at 703-257-8110, or Ofc Jason Alicie (Prince William County Police) at 703-792-4425. Additional events throughout the Commonwealth can be viewed on the H.E.A.T. website.

Traffic
Public hearings scheduled for Transform 66 Outside the Beltway

From Virginia Department of Transportation:

 

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in partnership with I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP), will host Design Public Hearings on the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project regarding plans for the 22.5 mile corridor from I-495 to University Boulevard in Gainesville.

Public Hearing Dates and Locations

All hearing times are from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
A formal presentation will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a public comment period.

Monday, November 13, 2017
for project segment 3 from Route 50 to I-495
Oakton High School Cafeteria
2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181 (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
Temps headed to the mid 30s overnight, frost advisory issued

From the National Weather Service:

…FROST ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY…

* TEMPERATURES…Dropping into the mid 30s by dawn, especially away from larger bodies of water and urban areas.

* IMPACTS…A Frost Advisory means that widespread frost is expected. Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Frost Advisory means that widespread frost is expected. Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered.

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…)

Traffic
Leaked chemicals caused HAZMAT on Pageland Lane

Authorities report a HAZMAT situation on Pageland Lane this morning Gainesville is now in VDOT’s hands.

Emergency crews relinquished control of the HAZMAT scene to the state transportation agency.

Police provided us with the details on what led to the incident:

Pageland is closed for a two-vehicle accident. One of the vehicles involved was a lawn service truck and may have leaked some of the lawn application chemicals onto the roadway. HAZMAT cleanup of the fluid is underway. Traffic was being alternated on Sudley Rd past the scene. Traffic on Pageland is being diverted onto Thorton.

News
Update: Schools cancel public hearing on sale of excess land at 13th high school site

At its public meeting on Wednesday night, the Prince William County School Board is set to approve the sale of four and a half acres of unwanted land at the site of its soon-to-be-built 13th high school to NOVEC.

The new school will be located off Progress Court in Gainesville, near Jiffy Lube Live.

From school board documents: 

Summary: The Prince William County School Board recently purchased 101.5 acres of land for the 13th High School. Due to the extension of future University Boulevard, several acres of land will not be usable for the 13th High School. Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) owns and operates a substation on property adjacent to the unusable land and needs to expand operations to serve the high school, as well as other new businesses in the area. NOVEC has requested to purchase approximately 4.46 acres of the unneeded property for that expansion at 8225 Linton Hall Road and 7801 Limestone Road.

The School Board paid $158,558 an acre for the area of land across the future University Boulevard and, in turn, is selling the land to NOVEC for the same per-acre value, which amounts to a total of $707,168.

The School Board held a public hearing on the sale of excess School Board property and retention of proceeds from the sale on October 18, 2017.

From NOVEC spokeswoman Priscilla Knight: 

“…NOVEC’s customer base is growing in Prince William County.  The extra acreage will allow us to expand the existing substation at Linton Hall Road and Limestone Road to better serve our customers.”

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Road at Independent Hill.

Update: 

Schoo officials tell us they have pulled tonight’s sale of land to NOVEC from the agenda, so there will be no public hearing. 

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

The following agenda items have been removed from tonight’s School Board meeting agenda. Staff will be re-evaluating the sale price.

10. Public Hearing

10.01 – Public Hearing – Sale of Excess Vacant Land – Portion of 13th High School

14. Adoption of Consent Agenda

14.09 – Sale of Excess Vacant Portion of 13th High School Land

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
‘If one person looks at the pink rims, pink handcuffs, and decides they need to get a mammogram, it’s all worth it’

A total of 36 people participated in the 1st annual Haymarket Police Department Breast Cancer Walk.

Chief Kevin Lands said his mother died three years ago of breast cancer, and didn’t get regular mammograms. The effort to raise awareness for breast cancer is important to him, he told Haymarket Local.

All month, officers have been wearing pink badges, driving specialized pink police cruisers, and using pink handcuffs.

“If one person looks at the pink rims, pink handcuffs, and decides they need to get a mammogram, it’s all worth it,” said Lands.

More from the police department:

“The Haymarket Police Department would like to thank everyone that came out and participated in our 1st annual Breast Cancer 5K Walk. We had a great turn out as participants painted rocks at a booth sponsored by Suzanne Leake, took crazy pics at our photo booth, got refreshments from our hydration booth sponsored by State Farm Insurance and enjoyed lunch sponsored by Chick-Fil-A. We also had a representative from Congresswoman Barbara Comstocks office attend and read a letter from her praising the police department for putting this event together.

We had mobile medics on hand staffed by off duty nurse volunteers, and the police department lead the walkers on a 3 mile tour of our wonderful town and it’s beautiful neighborhoods.

We would like express our sincere gratitude to Kandice Michael, oncology program coordinator, and Jackie Glenn, breast health navigator of Novant Health: Haymarket Medical Center for passing out literature and for all the work they do for cancer patients in the area. We were able to raise $515 to give to them to buy gas cards to help local cancer patients get to and from their cancer treatments.”

Photos: Reader submitted

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…)

News
‘Patients at the new Lake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center will be introduced to a variety of revolutionary equipment’

From an email: 

The newLake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center located at 14935 Holly Knoll Lane is set to open, with an innovative design that revolutionizes rehabilitation recovery services for patients in Gainesville and surrounding communities. The project represents a $22 million dollar investment in the local community through the creation of new jobs and services.

The center brings 120 new full and part-time jobs to the area. With high tech therapy gym, access to 120 private rooms and private bathrooms, restaurant-style dining and more, this new Center is unlike anything in the area.

The community is invited to an upcoming open house to help celebrate. The free event will be held on October 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will include tours, free health screenings, speakers, demonstrations, food, and giveaways. (more…)

Traffic
Grand opening of The Wharf expected to delay OmniRide passengers

From a press release:

OmniRide passengers should anticipate significant delays this evening due to the grand opening of The Wharf, which is expected to bring 20,000 people to Southeast D.C., and Game 5 of the baseball playoffs at Nationals Park.

Some OmniRide buses that serve routes in that area later serve other routes, so any delays in getting into the District this afternoon and serving area bus stops could have a ripple effect for commuters on all OmniRide routes. (more…)


2017 Prince William County Youth Salute Winners

Osbourn Park High School senior Brightney Varghese, 2017 Prince William County Youth Salute winner, will represent Prince William County Schools at the National Council on Youth Leadership Summit in St. Louis, Missouri, October 21-24, 2017.

Varghese is among 108 Prince William County high school seniors, and ten finalists, honored for academic achievement, formidable leadership skills, and a strong commitment to service at the restored and renovated 30th Prince William County Youth Salute Awards.  She and three runners-up, Emmanuel Murphy, Jacqueline Days and Jarrett Lash, were chosen by the Prince William Youth Salute Council to receive a Youth Salute Council scholarship and plaque.

Ten finalists were selected based on their resumes and two essays they each wrote addressing topics such as leadership, personal accomplishment, role models, and challenges facing youth today.  The following students were honored before their peers, parents, special guests, and school administrators at a ceremony held at Forest Park High School on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

Winner – Brightney Varghese…Osbourn Park High School
1st runner-up – Emmanuel Murphy…Christ Chapel Academy
2nd runner-up – Jacqueline Days…Colgan High School
3rd runner-up – Jarrett Lash…Patriot High School
Breyana Hopkins…Potomac High School
Akosua Odei…Stonewall Jackson High School
Tiyam Assadpour …Patriot High School
Rida Subzwari…Gar-Field High School
Vera Bordoh-Ansah…Stonewall Jackson High School
Matthew Cinnamon…Forest Park High School

(more…)


News
The five creepiest places to visit in Prince William County

Looking for creepy haunts this Halloween? We asked the folks over at the Prince William County Tourism office about the creepiest, scariest, most fun places to visit in the county. 

They told us: 

1. Weems-Botts Museum

Location – 3944 Cameron St.Dumfries, VA 22026

Why – Get frightened at Weems-Botts Museum, the second most haunted home in Virginia. Once home to Parson Weems, the biographer for George Washington, today the museum is rumored to have paranormal activity. Civil War soldiers are said to haunt the nearby cemeteries and park while a child, who still talks to ghost hunters in the voice of a little girl, haunts the home. The house was featured on Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story” and offers ghost tours every October.

2. Ben Lomond Historic Site

Location 10321 Sudley Manor Dr. Manassas, VA 20109

Why – Opening and closing doors, phantom footsteps, and mysteriously relocating objects are part of the experience when exploring the history of the Ben Lomond Historic Site. Ben Lomond has a diverse history, from being a Civil War hospital to being the home of countless slaves. Today, many local residents claim that the house and grounds are haunted by spirits from the past.

Weems-Botts Museum

3. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre

Location– 12229 Bristow Rd. Bristow, VA 20136 

Why – Connect with Agness, the spirit who allegedly haunts the jail at this 28-acre site. Agness was one of 13 people executed outside the jail after she was tried and convicted of killing her master.. People claim they have heard voices coming from the jail or have seen faces in the windows of the building. The television show “Ghost Hunters” filmed here just a few years ago. 

4. Historic Occoquan

Location – 200 Mill St. Occoquan, VA 22125

Why – This quaint town along the Occoquan River boasts numerous ghosts and features walking ghost tours throughout the year. Get a glimpse of the Indian who allegedly appears in a bathroom mirror at a local restaurant, talk to store owners who have had their merchandise strewn around and look for the young man who haunts a busy street corner.

The Winery at La Grange

5. The Winery at La Grange

Location – 4970 Antioch Rd. Haymarket, VA 20169

Why – The house and property are rich with history and folklore. Many visitors share their stories of experiences with the ghosts that live here. Most of the encounters entail the piano in the parlor playing on its own, the ghost of a young girl who inhabits one of the upstairs rooms as well as the spirit of Benoni who guided the homes restoration project in the 1800’s. Benoni E. Harrison purchased the La Grange estate in 1837 and lived here until he died in 1869. Rumor has it that Benoni still haunts the manor house to this day. You will find a glass of red wine on the mantel in the Tasting Room, which is set out for his ghost each day to ensure the staff doesn’t encounter any mysterious phenomena while open to the public.



‘At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!’

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Nobilephoto-7371

Men and women, of all ages, races, and sizes gathered together to remember what used to be.

It was all part of the bariatric team’s annual, “A Gala, Celebrating You.” For the sixth year in a row, people came together for a Weight Loss Surgery Patient Reunion at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

More than 40 former patients and their loved ones came out to remember their weight loss journey and celebrate how far they’ve come.

It was a reunion for many, with patients coming up to one another and asking tentatively, “Do you remember me?” Plenty of hugs, laughs, and smiles were exchanged.

At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done- outside of marrying my husband!” chuckled Reva Gravelle.

Gravelle was just one member of a patient panel who spoke with the group and answered questions. She was 62 years old when she decided to move forward and get the surgery. Eight years later, she hasn’t looked back and says she feels healthier than ever! “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” she says smiling.

Just like Gravelle, everybody had their own story, but there was a common thread everyone could relate to. Patients shared varied firsts: having a lap for a grandchild to sit on, being able to get up by themselves when falling, flying without having to buy an extra seat or getting a seatbelt extender, different shopping options for clothing and being able to fit in a roller coaster seat.

Many patients credit their surgeon, Dr. Denis Halmi with helping them make the change, something he seemed little uncomfortable with, “I try to explain, it wasn’t me, because you are the one making the changes, because of what you are doing, it’s making the change. I’m here to help you, here to support you, but you’re the one who does it.”

While patients were in varied stages of their weight loss journey- some, having had their surgery years ago, while others had their surgery just months earlier, all know that this is a lifetime commitment. To that end, even the event’s food reflected their new lifestyle and featured healthy choices such as diced fruits and vegetables, shrimp, turkey meatballs and blended-to-order fruit smoothies.

This was also an uplifting event for those patients who may have gotten off track. Instead of beating up on themselves for diet missteps, patient speakers and health professional reminded everyone, while it’s nice to move numbers on the scale; this voyage is about more than that. It’s about getting healthy. Organizers reminded patients this event isn’t the only support available. The program hosts both weekly and monthly support groups for current and former patients. And, if those groups are too far for some to travel, the bariatric program has recently added a new virtual support group for the last Thursday of the month. It’s all in an effort to make sure people have the assistance they need to meet their health goals. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Photos: Dr. Halmi in the center, surrounded by patients who enjoyed a great time, and Dr. Halmi speaking to the group, sharing words of encouragement.

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