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‘Little Library creators are reporting a large turnover of the books’


How are Prince William County’s “Little Free Libraries” doing? 

From Prince William County Library Foundation Board member Candi Johnson: 

“First, let me say that the program is doing great. Many of our Little Library creators are reporting a large turnover of the books in their Little Libraries. Mom’s Organic Market is actually asking for book donations to fuel their ever-growing need. Earnie Porta is also reporting a big turnover in his Little Library in Occoquan and others are reporting the same thing. 
Right now the Foundation is doing a big push for Children’s books to get more of those available to the Greater Prince William Community Health Centers. It also needs to be noted that these Little Libraries are not, in any way, meant to replace our wonderful Prince William Public Library System – rather a way to improve literacy and get people reading books again. Hopefully, once adults remember how much fun it is to hold a book and read it, they will be using our brick and mortar Libraries more and more.” 
From Prince William County Library Board of Trustees member Patti Beattie:
“Though I have been a patron of the library system since becoming a Prince William County resident in 2000, I am a very recent appointee to the Library Board of Trustees and as such did not hear about the initiative originally.
I have seen one Free Little Library location around the community and it did not seem to be getting much use or traffic based upon appearances. The shop that was presenting it had it on the covered porch of their store which is housed in an old home in Occoquan. Though it was under cover of a porch, the elements did seem to be having an effect on the materials.
I also did not see any evidence of information about the public library system presented there and think that should be the case, thus offering this “free library” and encouraging use of our wonderful library system where access is free, too.”

‘The performances are Bohemian Rhapsody (a hard rock ballet to the music of Queen)’



I hope you have a moment to read Virginia National Ballet’s newest press release announcing two World Premiers coming in February at the Hylton, and our inclusion in the Virginia Commission for the Arts 2017-18 Touring Directory.

The performances are BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (a hard rock ballet to the music of Queen) and LA BOHEME (based on the gorgeous opera by Puccini, accompanied live by the OLD BRIDGE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA). 

If you could help us to spread the word about the performances, we would be most grateful!

The Town of Dumfries is Hiring

Town Seal_Color-w. borderJoin a Great Team – The Town of Dumfries is presently accepting applications for the following positions:

— Building Official

— Chief of Police

— Code Compliance Officer

— Community Development Director

— Director of Public Works

— Information Technology Manager

— Police Officer

— Sergeant

The staff at the Town of Dumfries do what they love and love what they do. While each person has a particular role, the staff also works together to support each other and the Town as a whole. You can find further information and details on how to apply on the Town’s website at

‘The school division can and has purchased land for schools with nor need for BOCS involvement’

colgan high school

Lillie Jessie, the Occoquan District School Board representative, penned a post for Potomac Local last week that we titled ‘Instead of giving us money,…provide land needed to build new schools.’

We lifted the words for the headline straight from Jessie’s text. And then we started wondering: Is it always up to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (BOCS) to purchase land, or designate a site on which the Independent School Board should build a new school?

From Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits: (more…)

‘Members of the family were home asleep at the time of the fire when they were awakened by the smoke detector sounding’


From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Wednesday, January 11th at 10:40 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire located in a single family home in the 12900 block of Vixen Court in Bristow.

Upon entry firefighters observed a fire in the kitchen microwave that extended to the kitchen cabinets. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

Members of the family were home asleep at the time of the fire when they were awakened by the smoke detector sounding. The occupants safely evacuated the home and called 911.

Although the fire was contained to the kitchen, the kitchen and dining room areas sustained smoke damage. According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $20,000.

No injuries reported.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Did anyone snap photos at the scene? Send them to

Yeah, the Haymarket DDI is not opening this weekend, either

From VDOT: 

UPDATE: The DDI will not open this weekend. The opening date for the DDI will be announced once weather conditions needed for final striping can be confirmed.

This is the latest in a series of weather-related delays

The weekend forecast from the National Weather Service office in Serling has multiple chances for winter weather:

Friday: Night A slight chance of rain before 1am, then a chance of rain, snow, and sleet. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northeast wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Saturday: Freezing rain and sleet likely. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Northeast wind around 6 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday: Night A chance of freezing rain and sleet. Cloudy, with a low around 30. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday: A chance of rain and snow before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday: Night A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Cabela’s grand opening of its new Gainesville store is Thursday, March 9



Cabela’s announced today plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Gainesville, Va., store on Thursday, March 9, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration offering events, giveaways, family activities, guest appearances and more.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela’s executives, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with the grand-opening ribbon being cut by an arrow shot from a bow by a local Cabela’s employee. Doors to the new store will open for business at 10 a.m.

Opening day will kick off a weekend-long celebration highlighted by special appearances, family events, giveaways, sales and more. A complete schedule of events will be available on when finalized.

The 79,999-square-foot store is located at 5291 Wellington Branch Drive, adjacent the Virginia Gateway Center. Upon opening, it will become Cabela’s first location in the Washington D.C. metro area and the third in the state of Virginia, joining stores in Short Pump and Bristol.

The store is being designed to offer customers an immersive outdoor experience, complete with Cabela’s signature Conservation Mountain and wildlife-display feature, dozens of museum-quality taxidermy mounts, vintage outdoor photos and memorabilia, and a regionally specific theme and habitat feature.

Additionally, the store will include an archery and firearm tech room, indoor archery range and Bargain Cave, along with thousands of high-quality outdoor products from a variety of well-known brands.

Cabela’s has employed approximately 175 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees to staff the location, most coming from the surrounding area. 

A concrete plant was demolished in 2015 to make way for the store. Then the company announced it would not build the store, and then backtracked and announced it would build it after all.

Updated: ‘A horse that was down in his stall, unable to get up’


From Nokesville Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department:

DATE: 01/07/2017
TIME: 1103HRS [11:03 a.m.]
BOX: 2528

DESCRIPTION: Engine 525 was dispatched to assist Little Fork Volunteer Technical Large Animal Rescue Team with a horse that was down in his stall, unable to get up. Working together, units successfully up-righted the horse.

The horse did not appear to be injured, but was going to be checked out more thoroughly by the vet.

Photos courtesy of Captain Kane.


Are you the owner of the horse or the vet who cared for it? Send us an email to and update us on the condition of the horse, and please give us the animal’s name. Potomac Local readers are asking if the horse is OK.

Update from Little Fork Volunteer Technical Large Animal Rescue Team Facebook page: 

The crews then pulled him out of the stall and into the field. You can see by the pictures that the snow was steadily increasing! The vet examined him and decided that we should turn him over to his other side. After performing this he began to eat — a good sign!

Once the sedative wore off, he stood on his own. He was administered fluids using a pike pole from our heavy rescue as an IV pole. We retrieved our gear as they prepared to transport him to Marion dupont Scott Equine Medical Center for continued evaluation.

We would like to thank Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue, Nokesville Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Prince William County Animal Control Officers, the vet, owner, and neighbors that assisted with this operation. We responded with Equine 1209 and Rescue 1209 with seven volunteers.

We would also like to recognize the six volunteers who staffed our EMS and Engine Company while we were out of the area (for the three hour incident). We would like to extend Romeo get well wishes.

‘Any shift with the storm edge will greatly affect snow totals’

From the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington office, updated 5:10 p.m. Friday: 

Not much on radar at this time, though increasing coverage over the Great Smokies is making the 12Z GFS look more reliable. The surface low is not apparent yet, but should be developing over the western Gulf of Mexico. We are on the wester fringe of this storm with the surface low remaining off the Carolina coast and pushing NE from off Hatteras. Dry and cold air being drawn into the storm will limit snow for a majority of the LWX CWA. However, after midnight, swaths of snow will overspread southern and eastern portions of the area. The winter weather advisory was expanded to include central MD as well as the central Shenandoah Valley. 12Z guidance went a little farther west and the western edge will be tight, so these areas were the greatest targets at this time.

Snow will taper off from the west Saturday morning through the early afternoon. Snow ratios look to be 12-15 through the event across the area. So any shift with the storm edge will greatly affect snow totals.

North to northwest winds will remain up through the night with gusts 25 mph. Min temps teens west and low 20s east.

Honor vets and active duty military at the Clubs at Quantico

Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security John C. Harvey, Jr.

On Tuesday, January 24 the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Salute to the Armed Forces Luncheon at the Clubs at Quantico & Crossroads Event Center, located on Marine Corps Base Quantico.  

Presented by the Chamber’s Veterans Council, the luncheon features status reports from Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander, Colonel Angie Holbrook and Colonel Joseph Murray, Base Commander at Quantico. Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, John Harvey will be the Keynote Speaker. PenFed Credit Union is the Presenting Sponsor. All interested Prince William County and Manassas area residents and business leaders are encouraged to attend.

No one who lives or works in Northern Virginia can be unaware that the region is packed with veterans and military personnel, making it somewhat easy for residents to take for granted the safety and security we enjoy. Chamber staff agree, and said they believe that is why the Salute to the Armed Forces has become a favorite among the membership.

“The event is so very moving and that effect has not worn off, even after six years,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Andrea Short.

This will be the first year that the event will take place on the Marine Corps Base. Each year the Chamber utilizes this program to honor active-duty service members and Veterans from across the region.

The 2017 event will be no exception. From the moment guests walk through the doors they will recognize that this event is different from any other business luncheon or awards program. Veterans are given a badge so that fellow attendees know they have served.

Conversations around the lunch tables to the remarks from the podium; the room hums with moving accounts of personal connections to the U.S. military. Even the Marine Corps and Army Commanders carry the theme by honoring outstanding soldiers and Marines from their command.

In 2016, a young Marine who had almost single-handedly run the Toys for Tots program was honored by her Commander.   

This year the Chamber’s Salute to the Armed Forces Keynote Speaker, John Harvey, will share what is being done by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration in terms of veterans-related issues and the ways in which the Commonwealth is working to ensure the maintenance of a productive relationship with military services and the federal Department of Defense.

The program will also feature remarks by World War II Navy Veteran Chilton Raiford who lived through two Kamikaze attacks and rescued fellow servicemen from a burning staircase.

The program concludes when retired Marine and Chamber member Harry Horning plays TAPS on his trumpet, honoring those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to PenFed Credit Union, Salute to the Armed Forces 2017 is sponsored by First Command Financial Planning, NOVEC, Prince William Living, Zeiders Enterprises, The Prince William Times and Dominion Virginia Power, among others. Tickets to the luncheon are $45 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, or $60 for non-members. Registration is available online at Questions? Contact the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600 or email

School closings and delays for Thursday evening Jan. 5, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017

Check our Schools and Local Governments Twitter lists below for the most up-to-date closings posted by the respective school division or government agency.

For the open status of the Federal Government, click “OPM website” below.

Government closings and delays

Federal Government Operating Status

(OPM website)

‘We have the first 2017 baby born at Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center’

Haymarket Medical Center 2017 First Baby


Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center’s first baby of 2017 is a boy, Colt Alan Hopkins born at 8:23 p.m. on January 3 delivered by Eugene Louie-Ng, MD and weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 ounces and 20 inches long. Parents are Heather and Alan Hopkins of Culpeper, Va. Older brother Tyler age two will welcome him at home.

‘A passerby noticed the fire and called 911’ for Haymarket house fire



On Saturday, December 31st, at 8:37 a.m., fire and rescue crews were dispatched to a structure fire in a two-story single family home located in the 3800 block of Delashmutt Drive in Haymarket.

Upon entry, firefighters observed fire in a second floor bathroom. The fire had extended to the attic and the floor between the kitchen and the bathroom. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

No injuries reported.

No one was home at the time of the fire; a passerby noticed the fire and called 911.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $25,000.

The fire originated in a second floor bathroom; the cause was electrical and has been determined as accidental.

Recycle your Christmas Tree in Prince William County

christmas tree grinding


After all the holiday festivities are over and the finery has lost its luster give your Christmas tree, wreath and other cut greenery another life as compost, mulch or habitat. Simply remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsel, nails and the tree stand and take the greenery to one of locations listed below to be recycled or repurposed.  

The Prince William County Landfill at 14811 Dumfries Road in Manassas.  Monday – Saturday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility located at 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Monday – Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The facility is closed New Year’s Day. 703-792-4670

Leesylvania State Park located at 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive in Woodbridge (off Neabsco Road). Trees may be dropped off at Shelter 2 and will be used for habitat.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) located at 5399 Wellington Branch Road in Gainesville.  Dec. 26 – Jan. 9.  The drop off area is located in the front parking lot in the area outlined with the orange safety cones.  NOVEC will deliver the wood-chip mulch to interested customer-owners at no charge, visit

Beer thief hits Catholic school in Gainesville


From police: 

Burglary to a School – On December 26 at 1:48PM, officers responded to the Holy Family Academy located at 10580 Pineview Rd in Gainesville (20111) to investigate a burglary. School staff reported to police that the burglary occurred sometime between 7:00PM on December 21 and 2:00PM on December 24. The investigation revealed entry was made into the building through a rear window which was found open. Minor damage was observed inside the center. Several bottles of beer were reported missing.

Okra’s expanding to Virginia Oaks golf course in Gainesville



Okra’s® Cajun/Creole restaurant Cajun/Creole restaurant, an Old Town Manassas anchor, will soon be opening a second location at the Virginia Oaks Golf Club in Gainesville.

New owners of the property have taken action to make the club a special place again by adding a proven golf management team and by recruiting Okra’s, a regional favorite in dining and nightlife to their team.

[Okra’s founder Charles] Gilliam started the brand in 1998 and its fame has grown ever since. The restaurant will be serving lunch and dinner daily and its menu will be in keeping with the original restaurant’s Cajun/Creole roots.

N’Awlins Fare such as Jambalaya, Shrimp and Grits, Red Beans and Rice, Po Boys, and their Famous Gumbo will be offered along with signature appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

Diners will enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner atop a waterfall overlooking an island green. The setting for the new location is secluded and a little off the beaten path, which simply lends to its charm and appeal. In addition to daily operations, large indoor and outdoor banquet facilities are available at Okra’s® Bistro for weddings, banquets, and golf tournaments.

Okra’s® will be hiring a full complement of staff to include every position. Although filling management positions is the current priority, resumes and applications are being accepted now with an anticipated opening date sometime in early Spring. Fifty full and part-time jobs are expected to be added to our economy.


Two adults, 3 children displaced in Bristow fire


From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Saturday, December 17th at 1:51 p.m., fire and rescue crews were dispatched to a structure fire in a single family home located in the 9900 block of Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

Upon arrival, firefighters observed fire showing from an attached garage that had extended into the home. Fire and rescue units began suppression and extinguished the fire.

Two adults and three children, displaced by the fire, were home at the time of the fire.

Red Cross was available on scene and assisted the displaced residents.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $150,000.

A Building Official has posted the home unsafe.

The fire started on the front of the home near a trash can; the cause is undetermined.

Pellet stove exhaust causes brush fire that burned Haymarket home


From Prince William fire and rescue:

On Saturday, December 17th at 12:46 a.m., fire and rescue crews were dispatched to a structure fire in a single family home located in the 17000 block of Duck Lane in Haymarket.

Upon arrival, firefighters observed fire showing from a first floor window. As they made entry, firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $600.00.

The fire originated from a pellet stove exhaust that ignited combustible material on the home’s exterior causing a brush fire that extended into the home.

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