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You’ll be surprised at the local artifacts featured in the ‘Hometown Tourist’ exhibit in Manassas

Manassas Museum ‘Hometown Tourist” exhibit coming to Bull Run Regional Library 

Trade your suitcase for some walking shoes and be a Manassas hometown tourist this summer. If walking shoes aren’t an option, take a virtual tour.

The new Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour lets you click on a map to find in-depth information about the city’s eight historic properties. The tour includes photographs, little-known stories about people and places associated with the site, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and information about visiting in person. Visit manassasmuseum.org/tour to access the tour.

The Manassas Museum is taking to the road for a new summer travelling exhibit, Hometown Tourist, at the Bull Run Regional Library. The exhibit features artifacts, old post cards, and archaeology from nine area historic sites: The Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, the Stone House, the Manassas City Cemetery, the Manassas Museum (built on land where Eastern College once stood), the Manassas Industrial School, the former Grace United Methodist Church (now Bull Run Unitarian), and the Albert Speiden House.

Most of the City’s nationally significant historic sites are open free every day and offer interpretive signage that tells their story. Take along the mobile version of the Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour as you visit the Manassas Museum, the Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and the Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial to enhance your experience.

If you would like to learn even more about the sites, guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Manassas are offered every Thursday and Friday at Noon, and Liberia House tours are offered Sundays at Noon through the summer. Meet at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, for the Downtown tours, and at Liberia, 8601 Portner Avenue, for the Sunday tours.

Call 703-268-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org for more information.

News
More information on missing Nokesville teen

11392810_10207172977509227_5468513354319157529_nMore information surrounding the disappearance of 14-year old Thomas James “TJ” Sadler has come to light.

Sadler went missing from his home in Nokesville on June 3, and the family and law enforcement officials have not been able to locate him.

According to Facebook posts from the teen’s mother – Lynn Sadler – he took his grandfather’s pickup truck when leaving the home.

Lynn Sadler stated:

TJ took my father’s blue ford truck ranger. It was not noticed missing last night, I’m not sure when it was gone. Everything was so hectic with my father coming home from the hospital and all the stress. The police have not shared this info even though I found out hours ago. Please skate the info about the blue truck. It is an older model, 1987.

The pickup truck is registered with Virginia license plate tag ZMD-4856.

Additionally, Lynn Sadler pleaded with her son on Facebook, asking him to reach out.

TJ if you are reading this, please call me. It doesn’t matter what has happened, I’ve always stood behind you. I will still always protect you. You have no idea how this has affected me. Please call me, I will come get you wherever you are.

Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest with this case.

News
Gainesville man charged with 5 counts of arson

Today, Prince William County Fire Marshals arrested Gainesville man – Gerald Llewellyn Purvin – on five counts of arson.

The five counts of arson are on personal property valued at more than $200. This qualified as a class-4 felony, said Prince William fire and rescue.

Purvin was arrested related to a fire on May 1 of a recreational vehicle located on Livingston Road, stated Prince William fire and rescue. Multiple vehicles were destroyed in the incident.

More on the arson charge from Prince William fire and rescue:

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than 10 years and, subject to a fine of not more than $100,000.

Purvin was released on a $10,000 bond and will be arranged in county district court on June 8. The hearing for the case is scheduled for July 7, according to Prince William fire and rescue.

 

News
Prince William County CXO gets top nods, raise

Melissa Peacor leads the county government in Virginia’s second-largest county. Her bosses say she’s doing a good job and will get a raise.

Prince William County Executive Melissa Peacor reports to the Board of Supervisors, and the Board, just as many other employers do, conducted an annual review of her performance.

“She has done a great job,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart.

The positive review means Peacor will be awarded a 3% merit increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2o15, and a 2% cost-of-living raise.

“Ms. Peacor’s new salary is $244,667 for the remainder of FY2015, and will increase with the County market adjustment to $249,560 on July 1, 2015,” stated county spokesman Jason Grant.

The Board of Supervisors voted to approve the performance review. Peter Candland, of Gainesville, was the only Supervisor to vote against the subsequent pay increase.

Peacor has worked in Prince William County Government since 1985 and has held such jobs as Strategic Planning Coordinator, Budget Director and Deputy County Executive.

News
Endangered teen goes missing in Nokesville

Update

According to Prince William police, Sadler may be traveling in a 1987 blue Ford Ranger pickup truck with the VA license plate ZMD-4856. They are asking to call the police if you see this vehicle.

Original post

Prince William police are asking for assistance in locating endangered minor Thomas James “TJ” Sadler.

According to Prince William police, family members stated that Sadler left his home on Hickerson Lane in Nokesville around 12:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

Prince William police said that they believe that Sadler left the home voluntarily, but may need assistance.

Sadler is described as a 14-year old white male, 6’5” and 220 pounds with collar length brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red and black striped t-shirt, jeans and blue shoes.

Traffic
MyLink teen passes on sale, provide unlimited summer rides

The MyLink Teen Summer Pass is on sale. The pass allows teenagers unlimited rides on OmniLink buses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park between now and Sept. 1, 2015.

The pass costs $30 and is on sale at the following locations:

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Transit Center, located at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to  7 p.m.

Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, located at 13025 Chinn Park Drive in Woodbridge, Monday through Thursday 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sharron Baucom — Dale City Recreation Center, located at 14300 Minnieville Road in Dale City, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cash or credit only.

Ben Lomond Community Center, located at 10501 Copeland Drive in Manassas, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash or credit only.

Manassas City Hall Treasurer’s Office, located at 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash only.

OmniLink provides bus service along major routes in the area, including Route 1 in Woodbridge, Dale Boulevard in Dale City, as well as major routes in Lake Ridge, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

Those who purchase a My Link Teen Bus Pass will also receive discounts good for $1 off general admission to Potomac Nationals games, $2 off public skating at the Prince William Ice Center in Dale City, up to five free games per day at Bowl America, located at 13409 Occoquan Road in Woodbridge, and $1 off general admission to Stonewall Pool in Manassas.

Riders must be between the ages of 13 and 19 years old to use the pass. Teenagers use the pass to get rides to summer jobs, shopping centers, recreation centers, and libraries, according to a Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission press release.

Manassas City businesses rise and shine at appreciation breakfast

Close to 100 people gathered at the Center for the Arts for the inaugural Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast where they celebrated the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business community. The City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to recognize local businesses.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II thanked the audience for choosing Manassas and “for all that you bring to the community.” Beyond creating jobs and boosting the local economy, he acknowledged the many business leaders who serve on boards and commissions and participate in the robust calendar of events.

See photos from the event

Those in the room took a moment to welcome the newcomers to downtown, which include Amy’s Bridal, Totally Vintage Designs, and Scatter Seeds as well as the soon-to-open Cut Rate Barbershop and Jitterbug ice cream shop. H Mart and Firehouse Subs, which recently opened on Liberia Avenue, were recognized as well. Dalena Kanouse, the CEO of MTCI Management and Training Consultants, Inc., and incoming chair of the Prince William Chamber, pointed out that her well-established company was once a newcomer to the City of Manassas. She told the tight-knit business community that MTCI moved from Dumfries to take advantage of the opportunities in Manassas and are happy to be here.

Existing businesses in the City are flourishing, too. Fauquier Bank relocated within the City to accommodate its anticipated expansion. Malone’s opened a second floor to accommodate their growing business. Another expansion in the City is Aurora Flight Science who are sub-leasing the airport’s FlightWorks hanger and envision creating 50 new jobs over the next several years. B. Hayes Framme, advisor for infrastructure and development for the Commonwealth of Virginia, acknowledged that most businesses have “Chief ‘Everything’ Officers.” He also identified high-growth opportunities in Virginia like cyber security and biotechnology and discussed incentives and policies that support job creation.

The City strives to create a business-friendly environment and is always interested in speaking to prospective business owners who wish to join this supportive community. For more information, call the economic development department at 703-257-8881.

Traffic
Construction, detours expected for road projects in Gainesville

Expect to see some changes on the roadways in Gainesville over the next few weeks.

As part of a $230 million project, starting overnight on May 26, traffic traveling on the southbound lanes on Route 29 between I-66 and Linton Hall Road will now be moved on to the newly built bridge, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The new bridge crosses over the railroad track.

According to VDOT, the ramp that goes from eastbound I-66 to southbound Route 29 will also be reopened.

Additionally, VDOT is working to remove the traffic signal at Route 29 and Linton Hall Road, with all of the traffic on the Linton Hall/Route 55 section being moved to the new overpass.

After the shifts in traffic have been completed, crews will complete the ramps from Route 55 over to the southbound lanes of Route 29, as well as from northbound lanes on Route 29 to Linton Hall Road, said VDOT.

The ramp completion will cause some detours for drivers in the area.

According to a release from VDOT, drivers heading northbound on Route 29 to eastbound Linton Hall Road, and eastbound from Route 55 to southbound on Route 29 will all use temporary detour ramps.

Also, drivers going westbound on Linton Hall Road, headed to southbound Route 29 will be detoured to Wellington Road and University Boulevard, said VDOT.

The project is expected to be completed this summer.

News
Apple Federal Credit Union celebrates 1 year in Gainesville

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The Apple Federal Credit Union branch in Gainesville turned one-year-old this week.

A business after hours event held on Tuesday, May 12, attracted members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce lined up for networking. They also dined on fresh-off-the-bone barbeque catered by “The Bone” in Downtown Manassas.

The branch on McGraws Corner Drive in Gainesville is one of 23 branches in the company. It is one of the three Apple Federal banking centers in Prince William County. Others branches in Prince William are in Woodbridge and just outside Manassas.

Residents of Prince William and Fairfax counties may join the credit union, said Bill White, the bank’s regional vice president.

An Apple Federal Credit Union branch is soon to open in North Stafford, at Stafford Marketplace next to Firehouse Subs. Stafford residents cannot simply sign up to join the credit union as Prince William or Fairfax may, added White, due to banking rules.

21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival

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Can you hear the far off whistle? Can you feel the rumble as the train lumbers down the tracks?

Get ready! The 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas. This is a family-friendly celebration of railroad history.

There will be live performances on two stages. Folsom Prisoners, Justin Trawick and High Grass Bluegrass Band are a few of the performers lined up for the day. Enjoy great food and lots to see and do. Take a train ride on the  a VRE train with a princess for $6 per person, or just peruse the memorabilia and the model trains under the Harris Pavilion.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, the inaugural trips of the 611 Steam Train will be rolling through the City. Norfolk & Western 611 will pull passengers from Manassas to Front Royal and back. This is part of Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program.

Owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, 611 recently underwent a massive restoration after more than two decades in retirement. The Steam Engine will be available for photos near the Harris Pavilion after its Saturday trip. Tickets for both trips start at $109 and may be purchased online.

Whether you are a railroad enthusiast or just looking for something to do, this event is a great way to spend a Saturday.

On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.

On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food. For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, go to visitmanassas.org.

News
Prince William police seek to identify suspicious individual

Update

The individual has been located and identified. No crime took place. There is no need for public concern.

Original post

On the afternoon of May 5, Prince William police received a call at Creekbranch Way and Legend Drive in Gainesville to investigate a suspicious individual.

According to Prince William police, a 17-year old female juvenile told officers that she was walking in the area, when the individual approached her from behind. The man reportedly touched her arm and spoke with her briefly before leaving the scene in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Prince William police stated that the man was not forceful and did not attempt to harm the female.

They are seeking to identify this individual, and ask that anyone with information call 703-792-6500.

He is described as a Hispanic male, between 28 and 32, 5’5”, and 180 pounds with short black hair and an unshaven face.

News
Lightning strike starts fire at Gainesville home

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Early yesterday evening, Prince William fire and rescue were called to a fire at a home on Adirondack Court in Gainesville.

According to Prince William fire and rescue, when crews arrived, they saw a fire burning through the roof of the residence.

When crews began to deal with the fire, the flames engulfed the second floor, causing some of the floor to collapse. Firefighters were able to continue to put out the fire, said Prince William fire and rescue.

No one was injured.

The Red Cross was on the scene of the fire to help two adults that were displaced.

A building official has deemed the property unsafe. The Fire Marshal’s Office stated that the fire was caused by a lightning strike, and has been deemed as natural.

 

Traffic
Prince William leaders on board with VRE extension to Gainesville, Haymarket

Three new stations part of VRE extension plan

More than five years ago, many on the Haymarket Town Council wanted nothing to do with a planned westward expansion of Virginia Railway Express.

Then town leaders feared the traffic congestion a new VRE station could bring to the town.

Now, the town council appears to be on board with the idea of commuter rail to the tiny town.

“We’re excited about a study that will tell us more about the prospect of VRE coming out to Haymarket. We’ve had councils, in the past, that weren’t too excited, but this new council is looking forward to having VRE come here,” said Haymarket Mayor David Leake.

The process of getting VRE to Haymarket and Gainesville, both in the western portion of Prince William County, took a big step forward. The commuter railroad approved $4 million to pay AECOM Technical Services, Inc. to conduct a planning and engineering study of the planned project.

At least three new stations would be added as part of the extension — at Sudley Manor Drive, Gainesville, and in Haymarket. A fourth station at Prince William Innovation Park — home to the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus — has also been discussed.

If service is extended, the new rail line would be an extension of VRE’s Manassas line. It would run on Norfolk Southern railroad’s “B” line, which branches off from its main line at Wellington Road in Manassas. The “B” line runs parallel to Wellington Road, crosses underneath Sudley Manor Drive and then continues west underneath Prince William Parkway into Gainesville and Haymarket.

Trains headed west from Washington to Haymarket would service the train station in Downtown Manassas but not the Broad Run station at Manassas Regional Airport, as Manassas line trains do today.

Today, the “B” line is used by freight trains. Those trains would continue to use the line alongside VRE trains. A new bridge that carries cars on Route 28 over Wellington Road in Manassas was built wide enough to accommodate a second set of railroad tracks that could be built as part of VRE’s westward expansion.  

Prince William County taxpayers continue to be one of the transit system largest funding sources. Officials like the idea of expanding a popular commuter rail system with a major presence in their backyard.

“I think this would be a great step forward for the Brenstville District,” said district supervisor Jeanine Lawson. “It’s the ideal transportation solution to the traffic congestion we have on I-66.”

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland said riders that have embraced using VRE had helped to decrease the number of cars on I-66. He vows to work with other local officials, as well as residents, to gather input on the project.

“Tere are obviously a myriad of challenges that exist with such projects, including traversing wetland areas, impacts on existing communities, traffic and parking issues at a station, and the disruption on the quality of life for homeowners that would potentially be negatively impacted by the construction of a VRE extension in their community,” said Candland.

The planning and engineering phases of the project are slated to last through the end of 2017. Final design of the new phase is expected two years later. If construction were to begin in 2021, the expansion could open the following year, according to VRE spokesman Bryan Jungwirth.

Founded in 1992, VRE is Virginia’s only commuter rail system. It carries nearly 20,000 average daily riders on its two lines – Manassas to Washington and Fredericksburg to Washington.

News
Library Foundation gives libraries $14K for books, iPads

The Prince William Public Library Foundation, an area non-profit, has awarded the Prince William library system more then $14,000 to fund two new programs.

The first program, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, is a national early literacy program. The program provides books and ways to incorporate reading into a family routine. With the Library Foundation’s full funding of the program, around 2,000 preschoolers will be able to participate within the first year, said a release.

The second program coming to the Prince William public library system is the introduction of Apple iPads for use with electronic reading apps. All of the county’s libraries, including the upcoming Haymarket Gainesville and Montclair Community libraries, will be equipped with the iPads.

In addition to the reading apps, librarians will be able to instruct residents on how to use the device, and use them as tools during other program activities at the libraries, said a release.

“We are overjoyed with the Foundation’s leadership in funding two indispensable programs such as early literacy and electronic assistance. I can’t thank Bryanna [Altman, Foundation Board President] and the rest of the Board enough for their continued support,” commented Connie Gilman, the Prince William Public Library System director.

News
More breweries, distillery plan to open in Prince William

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In the next few months, a brewery and a distillery will open their doors in Prince William County.

Growling Bear Brewery

The microbrewery, Growling Bear Brewery, will be located at 14051 Crown Court in Woodbridge. The owners plan to open in the beginning of July.

According to the brewery owner, Mike Blivens, the idea to open the brewery came from his own experience with brewing at home.

“I’ve been a home brewer since 1998. I kind of got sick of my corporate job and figured I was going to go into something where I would enjoy going into work that I have a passion for,” said Blivens.

Growling Bear will offer 12 craft beers that are made on site, using equipment shipped over from Germany.

Blivens said that they plan to offer 4 core beers that they carry year round, 4 seasonal beers and 4 experimental beers.

“We are going to specialize in dark beers, and try to have at least four dark beers on tap all year long. A lot of breweries don’t do that for some reason – people stay away from dark beers until wintertime. But we tend to see that a little differently,” commented Blivens.

The brewery will offer a small menu, and they will be looking to have different food trucks come to the site during the weekends for customers looking to have some food with their beverages.

MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

On 7961 Gainsford Court in Bristow, co-owner Tom Murray is opening MurLarkey Distilled Spirits that will open its doors this month.

The distillery is located in the former Ferguson Electric building just off Wellington Road.

For Murray, the thought of opening up a local distillery was one that he had for a long time.

“I’m a former technology executive. My cousin and I founded the company [for the distillery] in 2013…it’s something that we’ve always been interested in…and it’s something we’ve been considering for a while,” said Murray.

At the distillery, they will be making hand-crafted vodka, as well as three varieties of infused whiskeys.

“We are using some traditional recipes that our grandparents brought over from Ireland,” Murray said.

Murray stated that while there is currently no ability to serve food, they would be working to do so in the future. There will also be a tasting area and special events on site.

More on the way 

Growling Bear Brewery will encompass 2,150 square feet of space inside the Prince William Commons business park near BJs wholesale club.

Mularkey Distilled Spirits will have 4,322 square feet of space when it opens.

In Woodbridge, county records show a Hard Times Café located in the Potomac Festival shopping center across from Potomac Mills mall applied for county permits to become Ornery Beer Company Public House. That’s a change from its usual fare of chili macs and billiards.

The new breweries and distilleries join similar businesses in Manassas that opened their doors for the first time or expanded their operation. BadWolf Brewery chose to expand in Manassas after Prince William County officials halted a possible expansion at the Tackett’s Mill Center in Lake Ridge due to rules on still on the books last fall.

County officials later changed their rules to allow craft breweries and distilleries to open in popular shopping centers.

KO Distillery in Manassas held its ribbon cutting this past winter, and several new breweries opened in Stafford County, too.

News
Incumbents keep seats in Prince William Firehouse Primary

The field of candidates for local elections in Prince William County is getting smaller.

Republicans held their “firehouse primary” in Prince William County on Saturday. The results of those races tell us which member of the GOP will go on to face their Democratic challengers in the November General Election.

Voting in the firehouse primary took place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at various locations across the county. The firehouse primary was held instead of a traditional primary on June 9 due to paperwork filing error on the part of the Prince William County Republican Party.

The results of the 2015 Prince William County Republican Firehouse Primary: (more…)

News
FedEx shipping facility near Gainesville to open by Christmas

fedexA FedEx Ground shipping facility should open this fall in Prince William County.

The new 168,000-square foot shipping hub under construction is now under construction and will be located at 7303 Cushing Road, just off Balls Ford Road and Interstate 66 near Gainesville.

When completed, standing at 35 feet tall, the center will represent a win for county economic development officials who have courted several logistics companies in an effort to lure them to the region.

“The Board of Supervisors made logistics a target industry for us, and since that time we’ve met with several industries to talk about the advantages of locating here,” said Prince William County Economic Development Director Jeffery Kaczmarek.

One of the reasons why the county is so desirable for shipping and transport companies – it’s access to both Interstate 66 and 95. FedEx will join several other logistics companies just off I-66 near Gainesville, including U.S. Foods and Martin Bower, which delivers foods to restaurants like McDonalds.

The new FedEx facility will be built as a shell building. When complete, FedEx will hire a contractor to come and complete the interior of the facility with the installation of shelving and conveyor belts, said Prince William County Development Services Director Wade Hugh

Hugh’s office is in charge of greenlighting building permits for projects like the FedEx facility. Work on the site began in November with an “early grading” permit that allowed crews to begin clearing trees and making roadway access to the site via Cushing Road while the remainder of the permits were still being approved.

In all, it can take up to four months to approve a project like this.

“They want to be up and ready to go before the Christmas shipping season starts,” added Hugh.

Some small road improvements to Balls Ford Road were proffered by the developer, to include the addition of a deceleration lane at Balls Ford and Cushing roads. Cushing Road recently saw the addition of a new commuter lot that provides drivers’ access to I-66, so the area around Balls Ford Road is growing.

“It appears, talking with the clients that we work with, that there is major capacity with existing [roadway] system. But if we’re going to continue to grow, the county road system needs to keep pace with that,” added Kaczmarek.

Manassas emergency workers used a hearse to respond to calls for help

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Starting May 1, the Manassas Museum will debut their newest exhibit on the fire, rescue and police equipment used in the community. 

The museum will be hosting a reception at 6 p.m. and serve refreshments to residents looking to learn more about public safety history in the City of Manassas.

One of the unique highlights of the exhibit is the fact that back in the 1960s, responders in a hearse answered emergency response calls.

Before the first public safety group, the Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, was created in 1966, it was the Baker Funeral Home that would bring patients for medical treatment and respond to emergency scenes. 

Manassas didn’t see a modernized police and fire department structure until the 1950s, and relied on mainly volunteer services.

This exhibit, which displays the evolution of Manassas and its public safety organizations, coincides with the World Police and Fire Games, which are being hosted in Prince William County this summer.

“Our Fire, Rescue and Police personnel run into a building when others run out,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  “It is that courage and compassion for others that helps keep this City safe and well protected.”

The Manassas Museum will showcase the exhibit until July 15.

“I hope visitors and residents will come out for this exhibit. Our Police, and Fire and Rescue staff are top in their field and our volunteers are some of the most dedicated people I’ve met,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. 

This promoted post is brought to you by the City of Manassas and Historic Manassas, Inc.  

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