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News
Valentine’s Day Events: Chocolate walk and couples art class

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Valentine’s Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to spice up a regular date night.

Our area lot to offer to make your Valentine’s Day weekend a success. From special restaurant deals, couples painting sessions, and chocolate tasting.

Historic Occoquan Chocolate Walk, Saturday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The third annual Chocolate Walk is taking place this Saturday in Occoquan. While strolling through the historic district of Occoquan you’ll be given the opportunity to sample chocolate goodies.

Over 40 shops and restaurants will be participating in the annual Chocolate Walk. You’ll be given the opportunity to register for a chance to win a prize, no purchase is needed to enter. This event is sponsored by the Business Guild of Occoquan. (more…)

Have Your Next Group Event at Manassas Olive Oil

This is a sponsored column written by Potomac Local for Manassas Olive Oil

The Manassas Olive Oil Company was founded on the notion that great olive oil should be shared with others.

Alex and his daughter Amanda, both military veterans, opened their shop on Grant Avenue in Manassas to share their passion for fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegar with their friends in thier sunlit tasting gallery.

A tasting is now an event that you can share with your friends and family. Manassas Olive Oil is available for bachelor parties, after-hour night time events, and culinary shows.

Becuase of Manassas Olive Oil, more people in and around Manassas are having fun while tasting delicious oils and vinegar. Recently, Manassas Olive Oil shared partnered with Love, Charley for a First Friday event featuring free tastings, raffles, and coupons. (more…)

Dumfries will cleanup Quantico Creek

This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

The Town of Dumfries has planned to participate in two events this April focused on fostering environmental awareness and sustainability.

Please join us as we strive to improve water quality and promote storm water management practices through our Quantico Creek Cleanup and the Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival.

28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup

On April 16, the Town will participate in the 28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Through this annual cleanup, participants from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC gather at various sites to cleanup portions of the Potomac River Watershed.

Last year, almost 24,000 volunteers joined together to support the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. The Town eagerly awaits the opportunity to once again participate in this event by engaging residents to cleanup Quantico Creek, a tributary to the Potomac. Volunteers will meet at the Simpson Community Center located at 17755 Main St. Dumfries, VA 22026 at 8:30 am on the day of the event.

Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival

Join the Town on April 23 at the 2016 Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival. This festival is sponsored by a local environmental non-profit, Keep Prince William Beautiful, in partnership with the Potomac Nationals. Admission to the event is free and will feature community businesses and vendors, educational showcases on recycling, litter awareness, beautification and water preservation, music from local artists, food trucks and more!

The Town will have a booth displaying brochures about storm water management initiatives and actions residents can take to help improve local water quality. The festival will be held at G Richard Pfitzner Stadium located at 7 County Complex Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22192 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit our website at www.dumfriesva.gov or contact the MS4 Coordinator, Shaina Schaffer, at sschaffer@dumfriesva.gov.

Dumfries events: Black History celebration, Easter Egg Hunt

This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, the Town of Dumfries will be hosting our Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Little Union Baptist Church located at 17150 Mine Road in Dumfries.

This ceremony will feature guest speaker Reverend Michael Sessoms, from Little Union Baptist Church as well as Ms. Phyllis Aggrey, Executive Director of the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. Ceremonies will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will feature performances by the Little Union Baptists Men’s Choir and the Dumfries Elementary Chorus.

A reception will follow immediately after the service at Little Union Baptist Church. (more…)

News
Panel to discuss Prince William’s pie made with your dough

Updated

The event is postponed due to expected inclement weather. Here’s a statement from event organizers. 

Given the risk of inclement weather on Monday, Our Prince William and Smart Chicks on Politics and Entertainmen thave decided to err on the side of caution and postpone the “Baking the Pie with Your Dough” Townhall scheduled for Monday, February 8th.  Given the enthusiastic response of potential audience-goers, we look forward to announcing a replacement date shortly.

Original post 

Prince William County officials are doing what they always do at this time of the year: prepare a budget for the coming year.

The new budget for fiscal 2017 starts July 1. The Board of Supervisors must approve it by April.

Last year, Prince William County approved a $2 billion budget to fund local government operations, and to help fund local education.

Over the next two months, the Board of Supervisors will decide what put into the budget and what to leave out. (more…)

Business is booming in Manassas

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

Historic Heart. Modern Beat.   These four words simply yet masterfully describe the City of Manassas.  In case you missed it, this is the City’s new tagline, and it’s pretty spot-on.      

Manassas is a city steeped in rich history and tradition and takes great pride in the pivotal role it played in our country’s defining war. 

Manassas is also transforming. 

It is attracting a creative class of entrepreneurs that are changing the face of our City.  They are authentic, eclectic, driven; and they are breathing new life into Manassas, most notably in Historic Downtown.  (more…)

Bach to Rock Music school ribbon cutting

In order to commemorate the grand opening of Bach to Rock Music School in Bristow, we have scheduled a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 1.

The ribbon cutting will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Bach to Rock Bristow located on 9070 Devlin Road, Suite 100, in Bristow.

Representatives of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to assist with the ribbon cutting.

After the official cutting of the ribbon, there will be a social time with refreshments.

Bach to Rock Bristow is America’s Music School- offering private lessons, studio recording, camps, and birthdays.

News
Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department dissolved, merged

The Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department was dissolved Tuesday.

Career Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue personnel will staff the station on Route 15 in western Prince William. A mix of career and volunteer staff had operated the station prior to the takeover.

Ongoing personnel issues at the volunteer fire and rescue department prompted the county staff to step in and take over, said Prince William County Fire Chief Kevin McGee, who couldn’t discuss the personnel matters. Those issues were brought to his attention multiple times during joint meetings of career and volunteer staff.

“I couldn’t let what I heard in those meetings rest with me, so I went to the county executive and the process to merge the departments began,” said McGee. (more…)

Programs & events coming up at Manassas Park Community Center in 2016

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year in full swing, we’ve been very busy getting ready for spring and summer programming! There are some important changes we’d like to share with you and we’d like to reveal a tiny bit of programming so you know what to expect in the coming year.

MOSAIC increased to 4 times per year

In response to customer feedback we’re switching things up with our program catalog, the MOSAIC. The MOSAIC will be coming out four times a year instead of two times a year.

This opens up more programming opportunities for our patrons as this gives us greater flexibility in creating new programs and finding instructors. In addition, many parents expressed that planning for summer camps in February (the typical release date for the spring/summer MOSAIC) was difficult.

We hope that by releasing the summer MOSAIC later in the year our loyal customers will find it easier to plan their summer vacations. The spring MOSAIC is scheduled to come out February 13th. The summer MOSAIC is scheduled to come out in April. (more…)

Beat winter blues with lecture series at Old Courthouse

In the winter of 2004-05, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division was in a programming quandary.

There were very few programs offered during the months of January, February, and March and there was, at least, one venue, the Old Manassas Courthouse that was underutilized during those months.

An idea was raised to offer during these months a series of lectures on Thursday evenings that would be free to the public in the upstairs Ball Room of the old courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas and the Winter Lecture Series was born.

The lectures featured topics that in some way tied to the county. Today the Historic Preservation Division will offer the 12th annual series which is now called the History Lecture Series because in has been extended into April. Topics have ranged from prominent people to historic events that shaped the history of the county, to world events that county citizens might have participated in.

This year is no different. (more…)

Local beans, great atmosphere key to Manassas coffee shop success

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

groundscentralstationPssst, slow down. Take a moment and smell the coffee… or the tea or even the great breakfast sandwiches made by Matt Brower and his team at Grounds Central Station in Downtown Manassas.

Go there for the coffee, go back again and again for the great people and experiences.

I originally found GCS in March 2015 while in Manassas on business. I had time between meetings and wanted a great cup of coffee and an equally good experience. Not being too familiar with Manassas I turned to Yelp for guidance and boom – I found GCS (with a 4.5 star Yelp rating to boot).

Over the past year, I have been back to GCS, oh, a couple of times! I have gotten to know Matt and his merry band of baristas pretty well.

One thing Matt serves – above and beyond a great Americano – is “community.” (more…)

Leela Nowka paintings on display at Manassas City Hall

Leela Nowka

Paintings from artist Leela Nowka, impressionistic painter from India, are on display in The Hall at City Hall.

Born in Niarobi, Kenya, Nowka graduated college in India from the Isabella Thoburn Women’s College. She had a long a career in the Indian Diplomatic Service and is currently retired and living in the City of Manassas.

Nowka studied art under impressionist painter Sylva Monteleon and realist painter Acharya Charles Pather. In 2008 she oversaw the “Object D’Art Cell” in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. The group provided art to dignitaries and Indian Embassies. (more…)

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OmniRide short on cash; doomsday scenario unveiled

There’s a lot of hope in the newly approved budget put forward Thursday night by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

Hope that Prince William County will magically find $6 million to help make up some of an annual $9.2 million budget shortfall, every year over the next five years. Hope the Virginia General Assembly will enact a gas tax “floor” to help the agency recoup and additional $3.5 million it lost when gas prices dropped.

If a floor is not found, there’s also hope that Prince William County will make up the entire budget shortfall, each year for the next five years. Prince William County residents are the majority users of the commuter bus service, while the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park don’t pay for the commuter bus service but do have residents that use it.

If those monies don’t come, transit officials spelled out a doomsday scenario. All OmniLink local bus service in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park would end. All OmniRide commuter buses to destinations like Washington, D.C., Arlington, and the Pentagon would be converted to serve only as shuttle buses to area Metro stations. (more…)

News
Prince William Fire Department turns 50

A new logo will be used to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department.

The department unveiled the new logo in a press release on Thursday. The words “Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue 50 Years, 1966 – 2016” are featured against a bright red background.

The department was the first on the east coast to introduce a 911 system in 1967, according to a press release. Over the years, the department grew and added specialty units and programs like swift water rescue, river boat rescue, HAZMAT, technical rescue for structural collapse, trench rescue, community safety, and the office of the Fire Marshal, which investigates arson. (more…)

News
Fire department: Stay off the ice

aquia habour, virginia, staffordf

Frozen ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams should not be used for outdoor ice recreation because of the risk factor to ourselves as well as rescuers. 

The safest place for ice recreation are pavillons, skating rinks, and other places designed for ice recreation, says the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue. 

Here is more in a press release:  (more…)

Find people you know, trust who have your success in mind

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Building a Business is a Team Effort — With a Little Help From Our Friends

My first lesson in the value of mentors came early – and hard. On July 3rd, 1985, I was enduring the first grueling week (called “Ground Week”) of the U.S. Army Airborne School. My Student ID – printed boldly across my helmet – was 141 (yes, 30 years later I remember my Student Number).

No matter the reason, I was a “NO GO” and did not qualify to advance to the second week (Tower Week) of training. The choice was mine – give up or repeat Ground Week.

Ugh! I wanted to quit, to give up, go back home and drink some beer with my friends and work so I could actually afford my next year of college expenses. Worse yet, if I decided to repeat Ground Week my Student ID label on my helmet would become 141”G” and everyone would know that I was “recycled.”

One of my Airborne Drill Instructors (we called them “Black Hats” ( I’ll leave you to guess why) came over and said to me) “Cadet, I know you are thinking about quitting. Heck I would be thinking it too if I were you.”  (more…)

Stay on the path to a New Year, New You at Manassas Park Community Center

“Shaping the Future” is a sponsored column written by Manassas Park Community Center Marketing Manager Jason Shriner. The column highlights the many ways you can have fun, get fit, and improve your life.

With the New Year, now is a great time to think about the year ahead. When I was younger, New Year’s Day didn’t really mean much more than partying, but now it’s a favorite time of mine where I like to set goals for myself. I especially like resolutions that involve learning something new or that result in a tangible finished product.

Over the past few years my resolutions have included listening to more podcasts and TEDtalks, learning to sew (this includes sewing a costume from scratch), creating my own board game, and learning sign language, photography and how to indoor rock climb. When you’re a kid, school can really make learning feel like a chore, but after I graduated college, I realized how much I missed learning new things and challenging myself. You don’t realize how easy it is to stand in one place until you look back on the year and realize it!

Make a promise to yourself this upcoming new year; find the new you! Here are some tips and strategies on choosing resolutions and seeing them through.

1. Be true to yourself and set resolutions you’ll enjoy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that if something feels like a chore, then I will find every excuse in the world not to do it. Motivation is an incredibly powerful thing, but it doesn’t come externally. Even when somebody else is encouraging you, you must ultimately want to do it for yourself in order to see your goals through. If you are an extrovert and you have fitness goals, participate in fitness classes! There is nothing more isolating than wearing headphones and working out – totally toxic to an extrovert’s success. Remember to set yourself up for success when choosing your resolutions!

One of my favorite fitness classes at the Manassas Park Community Center is bootcamp. In this high intensity class, the instructor challenges my classmates and me to perform a variety of strength training and cardiovascular exercises, all while maintaining an elevated heart rate. As a self-identifying geek, I never knew I was capable of doing some of the exercises until I participated. It’s not all excruciating work! I feel like we laugh constantly in the class as we awkwardly try new exercises and tease the instructor. Other popular fitness classes at the community center include Zumba, Aqua Zumba, and yoga.

2. Create a plan

Aside from fitness and learning something new, financial responsibility is another popular resolution. Whatever your resolution is, make sure you actually plan out how you’re going to achieve it. Ask yourself these questions to start. Is it fitness related – Where do I want to work out? Should I hire a personal trainer? If it’s learning something new – What time can I dedicate? What expenses are involved? If it’s fiscal What is a budget I can manage? Do I have monthly expenses that I can do without?

One method that helped me save money was to track my spending on a spreadsheet. True, this is a chore (although I do love a good spreadsheet), but knowing that I would eventually have to input a purchase into a spreadsheet where it will be staring back at me – possibly judging me – has been enough to deter me from certain purchases. Plus it’s pretty rewarding to see a year’s worth of spending slowly declining throughout the year! Another tip that I use to talk myself out of a purchase is equating how much an item costs to how much I make hourly. Is this new gadget really worth 2, 4, or 8 hours of my time at work? Cash and especially credit cards can be intangible concepts, but your sweat is pretty real!

Consider incorporating a class into your plan like the programs at the Manassas Park Community Center. INOVA will be teaching a free class called “Eating Better on a Budget” on January 5 or come check out People, Inc.’s free “Credit and Budgeting Workshop on January 20. Talking with professionals and researching ideas online, including articles, videos, and podcasts, are great ways to get fresh ideas to incorporate into your plan.

Belly dancing: Learning new dances, like belly dance, is a great new year’s resolution!
Try group exercise classes or working out with a friend if your routine gets stale
The Manassas Park Community Center recently built a second fitness room featuring all new exercise equipment – come try them out!
The personal trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center love finding new ways to shake up your workout – like boxing!
You can get 2 30-minutes personal training session as part of your membership to the Manassas Park Community Center
Try something you’ve always wanted to, like scrapbooking, by taking a class at the Manassas Park Community Center
Taking classes, like sign language, gives you a chance to meet people who share your interests and can help practice your new skills
Zumba is one of our most popular classes at the Manassas Park Community Center

3. Set realistic and measurable goals

Businesses are successful because employees have somebody holding them accountable. Excellent managers use plans with defined goals to set expectations that both the employee and the manager can agree upon. Similarly, anytime you sign a contract, you’re actually setting a level of expectations. These are expectations you are expected to perform as well as what you expect the other party to perform. Plans, goals, expectations, and accountability all result in getting things done. So why not do the same for your resolution?

I don’t expect you to draw up a contract between you and yourself for your new year’s resolution, but you should at least create an event in your phone’s calendar eight weeks from now that says, “Lose this many pounds,” “Save this much money,” or “Be able to ask for help in the grocery store in a foreign language.” When you have a goal, you have a real expectation with a real deadline for yourself to work towards as opposed to some nebulous concept of “lose weight,” “save money,” or “learn Spanish.” Don’t just set one goal either – set milestones leading up to your final goal so you have a timeline to reinforce your plan.

When setting fitness goals be sure to consult a professional so that you are setting safe and healthy goals. Your Primary Care Physician and the Personal Trainers at the Manassas Park Community Center are two good resources, and a fitness assessment is included free of charge with every membership at the community center.

4. Celebrate accomplishments and be flexible

Willpower is a limited resource. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can only deprive yourself of ice cream for so long. Torturing yourself like this is a surefire way to turn your resolution into a chore. If you reach a fitness milestone, treat yourself! Be flexible and don’t punish yourself for accommodating unexpected events. If your car gets a flat, replacing a tire isn’t a hindrance to your financial goal – emergencies are a reason you wanted to save money in the first place!

5. Don’t stop, won’t stop

It’s going to take persistence and practice to reach your final goal, so don’t give up! It’s said it can take an average of 66 days to form a habit – although this number can vary vastly depending on the habit. [1] If you find your motivation waning, try to focus on the end goal or try to find ways to make the project fun again. Getting a friend involved, changing locations, or switching up your routine can help keep your resolution enjoyable.

Finally, don’t stop once you’ve achieved your resolution. Keep working out, keep saving money, keep practicing that language, but also set a new resolution for yourself! Yes, even in the middle of July! Have you reached your target weight? Why not try hiking or indoor rock climbing? Keep learning and keep moving forward so that next December 31st you can look back and reward yourself for all the resolutions you’ve accomplished – and look forward to all the resolutions you want to try.

How Home Instead finds great people to care for their clients

Editors note: This paid promotional post was written by Potomac Local in collaboration with Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas, serving Prince William and Fauquier counites.

Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas is always looking for candidates searching for rewarding career.

Candice Johnson is the Regional CAREGiver Recruiter at Home Instead Senior Care. Home Instead Senior Care selects and places experienced CAREGivers to homes with seniors, from those who need just a little help and companionship to seniors who need around the clock, twenty-four hour care.

As a Regional CAREGiver Recruiter, Johnson does a lot of work and running around town to attract the best talent that the community has to offer.

“The recruiting process is a lot of repeating my same actions. So I do a lot of “flyering”, I advertise in papers and online, I participate in job fairs and speaking engagements at colleges, CNA schools, LPN schools. I’m really just getting the position out there,” said Johnson The most important part to Johnson’s role is that people know that Home Instead Senior Care is hiring and that many of the positions are flexible and can fit comfortably into anyone’s hectic schedule.

“So if they’re working full time or going to school full time, this is a job that will allow you to still keep your daily responsibilities but bring in some supplemental income on the side,” said Johnson.

Who is the ideal candidate that Home Instead looks for and hires? (more…)

How knowing ‘Why’ led website developer WIX to $1 billion

“Business Beat” is a sponsored column written by One Degree Capital CEO and President Rod Loges. His column examines ideas and best practices that help local businesses succeed.

Five, four, three, two, one… Happy New Year! Well, almost! The New Year is a great time to evaluate our business goals and make sure we know the answer to the question, “Why do we do what we do?”

Here is a great example: Avi, a business associate I met in 1999, said to me at the time, “Rod, I want to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

In 1999 that was easier said than done. But Avi and a few of his associates started a company that set out to do just that. While his company attracted millions in venture funding, they never gained a critical mass and eventually sold to a competitor.

Flash forward several years later to a phone call I received from Avi who proudly claimed, “Rod, I have finally found a way to make it easy and affordable for business owners to build and manage websites.”

Now, those who know me know that I am a bit of a tech snob. I remember looking at the phone thinking, “WOW, that is a big claim to make!”

Sure enough, Avi’s tenacity paid off. Today his company, WIX, trades on NASDAQ and has a value of just under $1 billion – that’s right – just under $1 billion.

One Degree Capital is a customer of WIX.com, and we love it.

Across three businesses and over 16 years, Avi always knew his “Why” and stuck to it. As quoted from the company’s website, Wix’s vision is “We make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence.”

A common thread that runs through most successful companies is that they know their WHY – the main reason they do what they do. They know and stay committed to their “Why.”

So here is a question for you: As a business owner do you know your “Why?” If you need some help, ask yourself the following questions:

— Why? Why does your business exist? Are you passionate about this?

— Who? Do you enjoy working with your target audience?

— How? Do you serve your customers in a unique and valuable way?

If you are interested in learning more about how to build your “why” here are several great resources:

Simon Sinek, internationally acclaimed author of “Start with Why,” has a powerful TED Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE that is sure to inspire you to action.

Jeff Parks, a Prince William County-based seasoned consultant and a Coast Guard veteran, says “Live your passion, give your gift.” www.performancebreakthroughs.com. Jeff has helped over 200 organizations define their purpose and build “High-Performance Organizations.”

Margie Warrell wrote this incredible article “Know Your Why – 4 Questions to Tap the Power of Purpose.” Also, she has written three books on Leadership, Life, Courage and Purpose.

Sharon Dilling, owner of Fairfax-based Ability Potentials helps people identify their unique skills, energies, and passions. It works! I took Sharon’s assessment test years ago, and it said I should be the general manager of a commercial finance company. She was right!

As the owner of One Degree Capital for the past six years, I can tell you that I LOVE working with my third hero: The American Small Business Owner. Sharon’s test was so helpful that I have paid for a number of people to take it.

The people who are open and willing to explore the suggested career paths have told me they later that they have truly found their “life’s work.”

What is your “Why?” If you know of any locally owned businesses that have a strong “Why” please share them in the comments section – I would love to learn more about the amazing business owners in our local area.

News
Shootout, tornado, and brew pubs; Potomac Local’s top stories of 2015

Another year has gone by, and Potomac Local continues to bring you important late-breaking news in your community.

We started 2015 off with heavy snows that left drivers stranded on the roads. As the weather improved, we saw more breweries pop up in shopping centers as local governments changed the rules that once prevented them from locating there.

New restaurants cropped up, and old ones plan to return.

It was also a busy year for the police and fire crews who work to keep us all safe.

Here is a collection of Potomac Local’s most viewed stories of 2015, ranked by number of clicks from you:

1. Shootout at Wings to Go kills 1, injures 2

wings to goA quiet Sunday afternoon in North Stafford was rocked on February 15 when three men inside two cars exchanged gunfire. 

One man who got out of his car was killed, and two others were wounded.

2. Woodbridge Army Reservist attacked in Norfolk

Colvin

Colvin

Potomac Local broke the story of London Colvin, an Army Reservist and graduate of Woodbridge Senior High School who was viciously attacked by police dogs after leaving a party in Norfolk.

The incident sparked an investigation at the Norfolk Police Department that ended with four city police officers losing their jobs.

Colvin was a student at Norfolk State University at the of the attack and required 43 stitches to close her wounds.

3. Woodbridge hookah bar brawl

11866258_889345217781579_8338679539284698514_nPotomac Local readers were following the story of 23-year-old Tiffany Conley who police said stabbed another woman outside a hookah bar.

Police said Conley and the 25-year-old victim got into a fight in August at a hookah bar on Golansky Boulevard in Woodbridge. The fight escalated and the victim was stabbed multiple times with a box cutter. 

The victim was taken to a local hospital and suffered injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.  

4. Manassas Council melts for Krispy Kreme 

Krispy KremeThe Manassas City Council in December approved a rezoning at the Davis Ford Shopping Center that cleared the way for the fast food favorite to be built between an Exxon gas station and an Arby’s Restaurant.

Our story lit up social media and readers shared their excitement about what will be the only Krispy Kreme Doughnuts location in the Greater Manassas area.

5. Witness describes mother’s last moments

erica sherwood

Prince William County’s first murder of 2015 came just minutes after midnight New Years Day. That’s when police said John Sherwood came to a house on Concord Drive in Dale City and killed his wife and mother of his child Erica Renee Sherwood (pictured on left).

Sherwood’s friend Sharae Harris took the witness stand in April to describe the horror that unfolded inside her home in the early morning hours of January 1. She said John Sherwood accused his wife of cheating, and that he cornered her in a bathroom and slit her throat.

John Sherwood’s case is set for trial in a Prince William County Courtroom on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

6. Marston goes missing 

martsonJames “Daniel” Marston went missing in late January, prompting Stafford County authorities to seek the public’s help in finding him.

The missing endangered teen left his home on Belle Plains Road near Fredericksburg on January 29. The next day, the Stafford sheriff’s office reported they had exhausted their search for the boy and that it was possible the teen left the area.

Marston was later found in the Richmond area. 

7. Tornado hits Bristow, Manassas

manassas-tornado-3A tornado that started in Bristow ripped through Manassas in June.

A wind gust as high as 61 mph was recorded during the summer storm, and it was enough to topple scoreboards and cause damage at baseball fields in Manassas.

No one was injured in the tornado.

The same storm also brought heavy rains and flooding to eastern Prince William County.

8. Stafford couple dies in murder-suicide

 

080911 Sheriff new carPotomac Local readers followed the tragic story of a murder-suicide in Stafford.

Authoriteis were called to the 300 block of Garrison Woods Drive in North Stafford on May 15 where the bodies of a man and woman were found.

The victims, a boyfriend and girlfriend, suffered fatal gunshot wounds, according to Stafford authorities.

The bodies were sent a medical examiner in Richmond.

9. Lewd animal acts land man in jail

amleyIn March, police said they found a man who used the internet to chat with a woman who agreed to perform sexual acts with his lab mix dog. The two agreed to meet, and while there the woman would perform the acts in front of a video camera that would record the encounter, police said. 

This wasn’t the first time the man had recorded sex acts with animals, police said. Investigators found other videos featuring animals on his computer at his home near Manassas, and the videos were distributed on the web, police said.

The suspect was charged, and the animals were seized by police and were put into the care of a veterinarian. 

10. Prince William’s first brewpub opens 

orneryfrontPrince William County changed its policy in late 2014 that banned breweries from opening in shopping centers. The change cleared the way for several breweries to open or expand.

Randy Barnette remade his Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge into Ornery Beer Company and Public House — Prince William County’s very first brewpub specializing in brews made in-house coupled with chef-inspired cuisine.

Our story was enough to get people talking about the demise of Hard Times, onces a bustling neighborhood bar, and to get them excited about the changes at the new place – including a new rule that a banned smoking inside the establishment.

More:

Top stories of 2014

Top stories of 2013

Top stories of 2012

Top stories of 2011

Top stories of 2010

 

News
Old Carolina Road bridge in Haymarket ready for drivers

A new bridge on Old Carolina Road in Haymarket is set to open, and that means Old Carolina Road will reopen, too. 

More in a Virginia Department of Transportation press release: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation will reopen the Old Carolina Road/South Jefferson Street bridge over I-66 Wednesday, December 23, nearly five months earlier than scheduled. The bridge has been closed since September 2014.

The bridge’s new shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists remains under construction and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

The bridge replacement is part of the$64.5 million project to widen I-66 from four to eight lanes between Route 15 in Haymarket and Route 29 in Gainesville. The project is scheduled for overall completion in the summer of 2016.

Also in Haymarket, there is ongoing work to improve the interchange at I-66 and Route 15.

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