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Three injured in partial building collapse in Gainesville

The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a call at 1:35 p.m. this afternoon about a partial building collapse in the Wentworth Green development on Senea Drive in Gainesville.

On a construction site for new townhomes in the development, the wind caught hold of roof trusses that were tacked into place on the third floor – which is standard practice – and caused the collapse, according to Thomas Jarman, Battalion Chief for Prince William fire and rescue.

“It really wasn’t a whole building collapse – it was houses under construction – and they had some of the roofing trusses collapsed,” said Jarman.

Jarman stated that Jim Forgo, the incident commander, and other responders arrived at the scene and found three adult males had been injured.

A rope system and elevated anchor point were used to retrieve the three victims, according to Jarman.

One of the victims has a lower body injury, believed to be a fracture, said Jarman.

The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Jarman.

“We actually ended up transporting a total of three patients. One was a little more serious – I believe there was a fracture. He was the one that was removed from the third floor of the townhouse,” Jarman said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are on the scene and investigating.

Stewart, Crawford; Nohe, O’Meara to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.

First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November.

You may submit questions for the Chairman’s Primary Debate.

At 6:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe will meet with Republican challenger Paul O’Meara to discuss streetlight issues facing voters in the Coles District, which spans from the mid-county area to neighborhoods around Manassas.

To date, no Democrat seeks the Coles District seat, so this could be the debate that helps voters decide who will become the next Coles District Supervisor.

You may submit questions for the Coles District Primary Debate.

The debates will be held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The event is co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local.

The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

  • Candidates will be introduced to the audience
  • Short bios for each candidate will be read
  • A candidate will be asked a specific question
  • The candidate will have two minutes to respond
  • An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
  • A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Potomac Local Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate the debates. The local online news organization will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The candidates, audience members, and all those involved in the debates are asked to adhere to the following rules:

  • Occupants of the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center must remove their footwear at the door and place footwear in a storage area inside the center.
  • Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the community center and must be removed upon event conclusion

RELATED:  Futrell, Qarni and McPike to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

Prince William Board takes up new homes, gas station, daycare issues

Prince William Supervisors will meet Monday night to for a series of public hearings on new construction projects in the county.

New homes at Hoadly Falls

One of them is a rezoning request for Hoadly Falls Phase II. The housing development would sit just off Prince William Parkway at the intersection of Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The Board must decide Tuesday to rezone about 28 acres of land from agricultural land to semi-residential land so developers may build 15 homes.

This new phase of Hoadly Falls would join a yet-to-be-built Phase I that will be constructed in the same area and will bring 16 new homes to 40 acres of land.

The county’s planning commission approved phase two earlier this month, but demanded developers consider reducing the density of the development to one home per two and a half acres of land, save more existing trees, and be more clear about where entry and exit points to the neighborhood will be built.

Developers are expected to pay about $572,000 in proffers to the county that will help offset impacts to county services like schools, water, fire and rescue, transportation, and libraries.

As for Hoadly Falls Phase I, officials Tuesday night must also decide if they will bar developers from creating an access point to the neighborhood directly from Prince William Parkway. An amended plan, if approved Tuesday, would eliminate the parkway entrance and the signal light that would come with it, and allow drivers access to the neighborhood via Davis Ford Road. The county’s planning commission approved the request earlier this month, and it’s now waiting for final approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Daycare problems

On the edge of the Town of Occoquan, Sammy’s House Home Daycare is fighting to exist. Prince William zoning officials last year denied a permit to allow the home daycare on Mount High Street to accommodate up to 12 children. On November 13, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors upheld that decision as county officials say the daycare is not in compliance with county zoning rules.


Manassas celebrates Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3

Manassas, virginia, city, visit

When you say the words “Founders’ Day” it brings back images of a kinder, gentler time when people shared stories on front porches. The City of Manassas is celebrating Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3, with restaurant specials, shops staying open late and, of course, birthday cake.

Stores and restaurants will be focusing on the history of the city and the buildings they inhabit.

This celebration is the brainchild of Councilman Ian Lovejoy. He was curious about the actual date the town was founded and in researching that date, found that the City was recognized as a town on April 2, 1873 by the General Assembly. The area was known as Tudor Hall, prior to that, until William S. Fewell, who owned the land, laid out the first six blocks and began selling lots.

The first official council meeting was held on May 17, 1873. Due to the town’s growth over the years, the town submitted a request to the General Assembly and in 1975 officially became the City of Manassas. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a half mile town concentrated along the railroad tracks, the City of Manassas grew to 10 square miles of homes, schools, shops and restaurants and more than 40,000 residents.

This Founders’ Day, come celebrate with the City of Manassas in Historic Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. The Manassas Museum will host a City of Manassas trivia contest and a book signing. Love, Charley will offer cake, The Bone will have a beer garden and City Square Café is offering a three course dinner special and encouraging diners to dress in period attire. These are just a few of the offerings for First Friday. For more offerings and information, visit

Cardinal Forest has 1,000 apartments and trusts JTC with IT infrastructure

Vanessa Zambrana is the On-Site Community Manager at Cardinal Forest, located in Springfield, Virginia.

Cardinal Forest is a large condominium association and community that manages over 1,000 condo units for its owners within Fairfax County.

Zambrana has worked at Cardinal Forest for nine years and during all of those years, Cardinal Forest has “always used” Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. (JTC, Inc.) for their services.
Recently, JTC, Inc. deployed a new server for Cardinal Forest. Zambrana was able to explain how the experience turned out for them.

“They do our monitoring of our server behind the scenes and everything and we got a notification from them that the current server we had, the software that runs the machine wasn’t going to be supported by Microsoft any longer,” said Zambrana. “So they basically told us we could use it up until the time that the support expires by Microsoft, or we could replace it, so we planned the replacement, I would say less than a year ago.”

“Our board of directors funded it through this year’s budget and then we decided, January 1, that we were going through the process to get it started.” I think Microsoft stopped supporting sometime in the summer, and we just wanted to be ahead of the game,” added Zambrana.

Cardinal Forest is professionally managed by Cardinal Management Group Inc. which also oversees residential association property management.

Cardinal Forest’s chose JTC, Inc. over other companies to an existing relationship it’s parent company had with the firm, so JTC was a natural fit.

Prior to replacing the old server, Zambrana, as well as the other staff at Cardinal Forest had to deal with slow Internet and an even slower server.

“Our old server was 10 plus years old, so everything was really slow. It would take the longest time just to open a file,” said Zambrana, “Now things are a lot faster.”

Thankfully, the process of JTC, Inc. going in and replacing the old server and transitioning to the new one, was efficient and painless to business operations.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Authorized Partner and utilizes Microsoft and Dell technology.

Judge rules against Prince William Republicans, Primary Election not likely

Updated with new information at 4 p.m. 



In keeping with what it calls the “status quo,” the Prince William Electoral Board will not allow local Republicans to hold Primary races in June.

The Prince William Electoral Board decided not to allow a Republican Primary Election after the Prince William Republican Party chairman missed a filing deadline on Feb. 24 to request the Primary Election. The Primary vote would have decided which GOP candidates would move on to face Democrats in November’s General Election.

Republicans filed a writ of mandamus asking for a judge to step in and allow a Primary Election. Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan, who is retired but agreed to hear the case in Prince William court, ruled against Republicans on Friday saying that it is up to the Prince William County Electoral Board to allow a Primary, and that a “mandamus is not the right way to proceed.”

Republicans argued state law allows incumbent candidates who have won a previous Primary Elections to automatically be allowed another Primary. The judge didn’t see it that way and said state law mandates a Primary Election must be requested by a party or candidate in advance.

Sheridan also denied a request to issue a declaratory judgement that could have ordered the local electoral board to a Primary.

“It is not for a judge, in light of all this, to tell [political] parties, state, or local organizations how to proceed,” said Sheridan.

Several incumbent Republicans are up for election this year. Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart, and Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, each face challengers. Incumbents Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan and Sheriff Glen Hill are also Republicans on the ballot.

After missing the filing deadline, Prince William Republicans appealed to the State Board of Elections in Richmond to allow them to hold a Primary. That agency deferred to the Prince William Board of Elections and said it was the only agency that had the had the authority to allow such a Primary. 

That Board in 2-1 vote, comprised of two Democrats and one Republican, ruled that it didn’t the authority to allow the Primary.

Republicans are now unsure how they’ll pick who will be on the ballot for local races in November. They now have options of holding a convention, or a “firehouse canvass” in instead of a Primary Election where voters would head to their regular polling places, or cast absentee ballots.

“This is an attempt by the Democratic Party to disenfranchise members of our military, the disabled, and those who will not be able to participate in this electoral process,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart.

Stewart added the Electoral Board has historically been non-partisan, but added that it is no more. He also voiced confidence that his fellow incumbent Republicans will win the local races.

Prince William County Electoral Board member Keith Scarborough said Republicans failed those who serve in the military overseas, or those who might not be able to participate in a nominating convention or firehouse canvass.  

“This was something that was forced on us by the failure of the republican committee to file paper work to request a primary,” said Scarborough. “We have enough to do we’re not going out to look to meddle in someone’s Primary process.”

Scarborough maintains the local electoral board doesn’t have the legal authority to allow for a Primary Election.

“If the situation was different and a Democrat missed these deadlines, I would feel the same way. Following the rule of law should not be a partisan thing,” added Scarborough.

It’s not clear if Republicans will appeal Sheridan’s decision. Stewart said the hearing was “fair.” 

Four VDOT projects to improve congestion for Prince William residents

There are currently four projects being worked on by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) that will help the flow of traffic and improve congestion in the western end of Prince William.

The projects – the Linton Hall Road Interchange, I-66 Widening project, Interstate 66/Route 15 Interchange, and Transform 66 project were all discussed at a recent town hall meeting in Haymarket.

The Linton Hall Road Interchange project began back in 2011 and is projected to conclude this summer. It’s budgeted for $230 million, according to the VDOT website. It includes four new bridges, a traffic signal removal, a concrete sidewalk, shared-use path, ten retaining walls, and new roadway lighting.

The Interstate 66/Route 15 Interchange project’s design process began back in 2014 and is set to cost $59 million, according to the VDOT website. Construction on the project began this spring and will be completed in 2017. The interchange improvements include ramp improvements, two longer bridges with crossover intersections, wider intersections at Heathcote Boulevard and Route 55, as well as a shared use path, according to the VDOT website.

For the I-66 Widening Project, there is work being done from Route 15 in Haymarket to Route 29 in Gainesville, which began in 2014. The project, according to the VDOT website, is budgeted at $73.5 million and will add one HOV lane and one regular in each direction of the road on that stretch.

The Transform 66 project will add two Express Lanes to the I-66 corridor, with a tolling system similar to the 495 and 95 Expressway, according to Director of Megaprojects, Susan Shaw. (more…)

OmniRide funding crisis not on Prince William officials’ radar screens

This week,two public hearings to announce the 2016 budget that included an increase in OmniRide and OmniLink fares, as well as the elimination of OmniRide’s Route One bus. 

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Executive Director Alfred Harf said all of the changes were necessary, including the elimination of the Route 1 bus.  

“Its ridership has always been very low,” Harf said. 

The trip carries an average of 15 people in the morning and six in the afternoon. Harf added that the route had survived for as long as it had because the nature of the route allowed for more federal funds. 

Recent changes in funding meant that the route had to be evaluated on its own merits.  In addition to it being the least productive route, there are also other options available, including the South Route 1 bus. 

Riders of OmniLink and OmniRide using SmarTrip will see an almost 8% increase in fares, while MetroDirect will see a 6.90% increase.  Reduced fares have similar hikes in prices, with OmniLink jumping 7.69%, OmniRide 7.79%, and MetroDirect 5.56%.  Cash fares hold similar spikes in price.  

Most citizens at the public heari’sngs had more questions rather than concerns. 

“It’s been very muted,” Harf said about reactions to the fare jumps.  “Everyone’s been accepting of the fact that everything on the table for the fiscal year of 2016 was well reasoned.” 

Concerned citizen Walter Carter said, “I don’t stand in opposition to what is being done, I’m a long standing supporter of the transportation system in this city but I’m trying to get a handle on this thing.”

Crawford to primary board Chairman At-Large Stewart for ‘lack of leadership’

Chris Crawford, a data scientist in the counter-terrorism industry, will be running against the current Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-Large Corey Stewart, for the Republican nomination for the board seat.

According to Crawford, there’s a lack of real leadership on the board.

“I have nothing against Corey [Stewart] personally – I just look at the results…we’ve been promised jobs here for a while…I hear talk about fiscally conservative values, but I see the taxes going up. I hear talk about how we should pull back the residential housing developments until our infrastructure can catch up and our schools, and I see people [on the board] still championing those initiatives…and I see that as a lack of leadership from the board of county supervisors. I feel like I can get us back on track,” Crawford stated.

Crawford, who currently works in Tyson’s Corner as a data scientist, graduated with his M.B.A. from Auburn University, and made the decision to move from business management to counter-terrorism after the events of 9/11. 

“After watching all of the things that were going on after [9/11], I decided I wanted to get in the fight. So I left Accenture and joined a defense contractor working for the Navy. And now for a little over 10 years I’ve been doing counter-terrorism work,” Crawford said. 

Currently Crawford serves as the Vice-Chair for the Brentsville district of the Prince William County GOP committee, a member of the Glenkirk Teacher Parent Advisory Council, as a representative to the Superintendent Advisory Council on Instruction, and as a member of the Nokesville Ruritan Club.

Crawford stated that his motivation to run came from seeing his family and other families in the community dealing with difficult issues, like overcrowding in schools and a lack of growth in the local economy.

“I’ve been living here in the county for a few years now, and my family – we really like living here…and I feel like this county has so much potential, but as I’ve gotten more involved with different groups…I’ve just started to notice some of the problems that were affecting me, were actually affecting a lot of people,” Crawford commented.

During his campaign, Crawford hopes to address several issues including economic development, expansion in education support, and a closer look at tax rate increases. To do this, Crawford has proposed going back to actively using the county’s strategic plan, which according to him, has fallen by the wayside. 

Crawford currently lives in Brentsville with his wife and three children.

It was recently announced that the Chairman of the county GOP committee forgot to file the paperwork for a state-run Republican primary race, and the format for this year’s Republican primaries are being determined, according to Crawford.


Transit buses will use I-66 shoulders for faster commute

If you’re a bus rider on Interstate 66, get ready the possibility of a faster commute at 25 mph.

If you’re a driver on I-66, get ready to see transit buses passing you on the shoulder.

A new pilot project called I-66 Bus On Shoulder starting March 23 will allow OmniRide commuter buses to use the shoulder lanes of I-66 when highway speeds drop below 35 mph. When these buses hit congestion, bus drivers will be allowed to pull onto the highway shoulders at certain sections and continue past traffic congestion at 25 mph.

Bus drivers will be able to utilize about six miles of a shoulder lane along I-66, and just over a mile of shoulder on a portion of the road that connects to Dulles Toll Road.

Here’s a complete breakdown of segments of highway transit bus drivers will able to use:

  • Extension of the existing shoulder use on the eastbound Dulles Connector Road where it ends at the West Falls Church Metro station to the merge onto eastbound I-66 near the Great Falls Street overpass
  • Eastbound I-66 from the US 29 overpass near Spout Run Parkway to N. Quinn Street
  • Westbound I-66 from beyond the Rosslyn Tunnel (N. Nash Street) to the US 29 overpass near Spout Run Parkway
  • Westbound I-66 from the N. Quincy Street underpass to the auxiliary lane beyond North Fairfax Drive

The I-66 On Shoulder project is a $600,000 pilot program that will test how allowing buses to use the shoulder lane to skirt traffic congestion will work. Later this year, more transit providers will be allowed to use the shoulders after agreements are formed by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the respective transit companies.

The shoulder traffic pattern was put in place on the Dulles Connector Road since 2000, according to officials. The program is modeled after a similar bus-on-shoulder traffic patter in Minnesota, which has about 300 shoulder lane miles open for transit bus use.

The get the highway ready for the new program, crews spent the better part of the past year trimming trees, relocating mileposts, placing new signs, and widening portions of the shoulders than needed them, according to officials.

The bus on shoulder program announcement comes after state officials announced they want to place express toll lanes in I-66, similar to the E-ZPass Express Lanes that opened on I-95 late last year

Manassas City Hall art exhibit: Water, water everywhere

manassas, virginia, art

Have you ever watched the Ebb & Flow of water as it laps against the bank, whether it is a river or the ocean? Photographer Hannele Lahti explores the visual fabric of life that is water in the next exhibit at The Hall at Manassas City Hall. Ebb & Flow is a photo exhibit capturing the fleeting moment when all of the variables meld together and are stilled. The exhibit opens on March 17 and runs through April 24 at City Hall, 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Virginia.

Hannele Lhati is a nationally-recognized documentary and fine art photographer who creates images that explore the wonder and fragility of the natural world. She is the owner of Hannele Lahti Photography and a contract photographer for National Geographic. As a child, Lahti grew up on a lake and learned to respect the natural world, to honor its beauty as she sat by the water’s edge with her grandfather.

Exhibits in The Hall rotate on a monthly basis and include different forms of visual art.   Visiting The Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later when evening meetings are held in the building.

manassas, virginia, art

The Occoquan Reservoir depicted in the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia’s City Hall

manassas, virginia, art

Lake Champlain depicted at the Ebb & Flow art exhibit will be held at Manassas, Virginia City Hall

Corey Stewart: ‘Budget needs to be something the community will accept, as close to perfect as possible’

stewart, prince william, supervisor

In a room full of differing opinions, wants, and needs Corey Stewart says his job is to broker a deal.

As the At-large Chairman of the Prince William County Board of  Supervisors, Stewart is in the middle of a nearly four-month effort to find common ground with taxpayers that want certain county services funded. He  also must bridge gaps with fellow Republicans and Democrats on his Board in the second largest county in Virginia who will decide in late April what will be funded in the upcoming fiscal 2016 budget — and what won’t be.

The Supervisors began talking about the budget in December, and ordered County Executive Melissa Peacor to create a proposed budget that contained for funding cuts in everything from new sports fields, parks, as well as for freezing county government employees’ salaries. Just days after Peacor presented the austere financial plan, it became clear the cuts and wage freezes weren’t going to happen, and many of the programs on the chopping block were restored.

The Board adopted an advertised tax rate of $1.122 of $100 of assessed property value on March 2. If it sticks when the budget is adopted April 21, the average tax bill will increase 3.88%. That will be about enough to fund the county’s five-year plan, but officials still search for savings.

“I’m a Republican, and I want low taxes, but we have to pay for high-quality schools, parks, and infrastructure,” said Stewart. “It’s a balancing act, but if we can provide the highest quality education, parks, and infrastructure, which is going to attract business.”

In other words, a little investment now will lead to a big payoff later. If the county invests, heads of major corporations could take notice relocate to Prince William, become familiar with it, and wish to relocate their businesses here, said Stewart. (more…)

Facing funding cliff, PRTC sets public hearings on bus fare increases, route elimination

Bus riders could soon pay more on OmniRide and OmniLink buses, and an OmniRide route faces elimination.

The agency that operates the buses, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, will hold two public hearing this week on its “austere” $68.2 million fiscal year 2016 budget. The transit agency states there are “major funding uncertainties” in the coming years, especially in 2017, such as 10% decline in state funding and flat federal funds.

Under the plan, SmartTrip users on OmniRide commuter buses who pay $5.75 for a one-way fare will see a nearly 8% increase to $6.20. A reduced fare would increase to $4.15.

Those who pay with cash on OmniRide would pay $8.30 for a one-way trip, up from $7.70.

OmniLink customers would see a 10 cent jump in the cost of a one-way fare to $1.40, and reduced fares would increase 5 cents to $.70 per fare.

Those who ride Metro Direct buses from Prince William County would see one-way SmartTrip fares increase to $3.10, up from $2.90, and cash users would pay $3.85, up from $3.60.

If fares escalate, it will mark the first increase since 2013, according to agency spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo. PRTC plans for fare increases every two years, so this one isn’t tied to the austere budget.

Route 1 bus elimination

A proposal to eliminate the Route 1 OmniRide bus is, however. The bus is “the least productive OmniRide route” with an average daily ridership of 21.5 trips. The bus has carried as few as 15 people on a morning trip as few as six on an afternoon trip.

If Route 1 service ends, riders could choose to use the South Route 1 bus or buses that serve a park and ride lot at Route 123 near Occoquan.

Prince William County is the largest jurisdictional funding source of PRTC and is slated to contribute $15.7 million in funds next year. The county uses a 2.1% motors fuels tax collected at the gas pump when drivers fill up their tanks to fund the transit service.

Gas tax funds running out

That fund is shrinking, in part, due to lower fuel prices. The county has also paid more into PRTC than what the motor fuels tax collected. Until 2008, the county had provided additional funding from the county’s general fund to supplement the motors fuels tax funding. The supplemental funding created a reserve fund that was tapped to cover the shortfall, according to PRTC documents.

PRTC officials warn that if a supplement is not reinstated, PRTC riders face major service cuts in 2017 when the motor fuels tax fund is expected to be depleted creating a $7 million shortfall. Those cuts have yet to be outlined.

The first public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at PRTC headquarters in Woodbridge 14700 Potomac Mills Road. A second will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Manassas City Hall, at 9027 Center Street in Manassas.

Prince William students running out of snow days

Thursday’s snowfall broke records, and classes in Prince William County Public Schools were canceled yesterday and today.

Now, with spring on the doorstep and summer not far behind, many parents wonder how if their children will need to make up school days missed due to inclement weather.

This statement was sent out by Prince William County Public Schools on Wednesday afternoon:

As of March 5, we will have closed school 8 times and opened late 9 times. Given that PWCS began the school year with time above the state requirements, about 15.6 hours or just over 2.6 days remain available for weather closing/delay time before we fall short of Virginia’s 990 hour minimum requirement for instructional time.

The reason PWCS has additional time this year is because the School Board approved the addition of 10 minutes to the instructional day for the 2014-15 school year and beyond. This added an additional 30 hours to the 2014-15 calendar compared to previous years. If PWCS had maintained the previous instructional day, we would currently be more than two full day’s worth of hours below the state minimum and would already require make-up time.

The calendar has two remaining built-in make-up days: Monday, April 6—the Monday at the end of Spring Break—is designated on the calendar as a make-up day, as is June 19, the day after school ends, should these become necessary.

Bottom line: If  students don’t want to begin making up school days, they better start thinking spring.

Snow storm breaks records at airports, brings several inches to area neighborhoods

Thursday’s snow was record breaking at all three Washington, D.C. area airports.

At total of 9.5 inches of snow fell at Washington Dulles International Airport, breaking the daily snowfall total at that airport set in 2001.

At Regan National Airport, 4.8 inches of snow was recorded breaking the old daily record of 4.4 inches set in 1888.

In Baltimore, 6.2 inches of snow fell breaking a the old record set in 1902, according to the National Weather Service.

The Washington area has recorded above average snowfall this winter. While winter was slow to bring snow to the area, 15.4 inches of snow have been measured at Reagan National and 22 inches of snow has fallen at Washington Dulles, according to the weather service.

Here’s a look at some local snow total as reported by the National Weather Service:


HERNDON 9.0 525 PM 3/05 PUBLIC




Bundle up today as high temperatures are expected to only climb into the high 20s, but we’ll have some sun. Tonight, temperatures will fall back down into the mid teens with clear skies.

Saturday will bring partly cloudy skies with a high of 46 degrees and light winds increasing throughout the morning hours. On Saturday night, expect partly cloudy skies with low near 31 degrees.  

Closings and delays for Friday, March 6, 2015

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Volunteer fire chiefs uneasy over plan to use fire levy to pay career firefighter salaries

Volunteer fire chiefs weighed in a on plan to use $4 million from the county’s fire levy to pay the salaries of some career firefighters.

The majority of the volunteer chiefs who spoke to the Executive Committee of the Prince William County Fire Rescue Association. It’s the organization that binds and governs the county’s volunteer and career fire services, headed by the County Fire Chief Kevin McGee,

The majority of the volunteer chiefs expressed fears that county officials will raid the fire levy, traditionally used to pay for daily operations and equipment purchases at the county’s 12 volunteer fire stations and one rescue squad.

The fire levy is expected to generate $34.4 million in fiscal 2016. About $30 million of the fire levy revenues generated in 2016 will go to fund fire and rescue operations costs.

The fire levy has a fund balance of $77.8 million and has been used to cash fund county fire and rescue projects such as building new stations and buying new apparatus.


Chiefs fear county could become dependent on funds 

County officials say that shifting $4 million from the levy is a needed move to help pay the salaries of career firefighters, more of which are being added to staff stations during what are traditionally volunteer hours, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and holidays, because volunteer companies cannot staff them.

“The [Prince William County Board of Supervisors] feels that when there’s an emergency, citizens want someone to respond to the call, and they don’t care whether or not it is a volunteer or career firefighter,” Prince William Deputy County Executive Christopher Martino told the volunteer chiefs.

The volunteer chiefs agreed.  They also warned that a reliance on levy funds to pay for salaries could lead to a growing dependence on the fund. That could mean having the needed number of career firefighters to respond to calls but not having the cash on hand to replace aging equipment.


Closings and delays for March 5, 2015

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