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Winter Warm-UP Drive Benefits Local Students

Withfall in full swing and early morning temperatures near freezing, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce would like to remind you that there are many children who need our help to stay warm this winter.

Michelle Rao, of Laser Quest Corporation, co-chair of the Chamber’s Education & Innovation Committee, said that while many coat drives are conducted over the holidays, often-times local children lack warm clothing underneath. To meet this need, each year the Committee organizes a Winter Warm-UP online clothing drive. For only $10, donors can purchase a “kit” containing a hat, gloves and fleece, and sweat shirt.

The Committee, with the help of students from Manassas Christian School, then distributes these warm clothing “kits” to Title I schools in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The goal is to keep kids focused on learning by meeting one of their most basic needs; the need for warm clothing during cold weather months.

“We believe that strong business and strong community go hand in hand. These children are our future workforce, our future leaders. It is important that we let them know this is a community that values their education and stands ready to help them reach their full potential,” said Debbie Jones, President & CEO of the Prince William Chamber.

Last year, the Chamber raised enough money to purchase 501 kits through the program. This year, with the generous contributions from Lockheed Martin and the Prince William Education Association, the Education & Innovation Committee is hoping to exceed last year’s contributions for Winter Warm Up. All residents, community groups and businesses are invited to participate and help meet the goal and make a difference in the lives of local students.

Both long-time members of the Committee, Denyse Carroll, Prince William County Public Schools and Jamie McNealy, Invent Now, Inc, helped collect donations from attendees at the Chamber’s recent Cuisine de Commerce luncheon. They were pleased to report that in just over an hour, members of the local business community had given enough to purchase 10 kits just by pooling their pocket change.

To donate online, visit PWchamber.org and look for the Winter Warm-UP graphic in the homepage slider. Checks can also be mailed to the Chamber Headquarters at 9720 Capital Court, Suite 203, Manassas, VA, 20110, c/o Winter Warm-UP.

For questions about the Winter Warm-UP or other community outreach activities of the Prince William Chamber, visit PWchamber.org and click on the tab labeled “The Chamber” or call 703-368-6600.

News
Shops Inside Haymarket Town Center Getting Wet

HAYMARKET, Va. — The Haymarket Town Center has become a frequent site of flooding, but it’s more than just employees who work for the the tiny town’s government that is getting wet.

A real estate agency, a consulting firm, as well as a small shop called The Very Thing all rent space inside the Town Center located at 15000 Washington Street. The building is prone to flooding during moderate rain storms.

And that had a woman, who was identified by Town Manager Brian Henshaw only as an employee of The Very Thing, storming mad.

“If it was your business, you would want a quick fix,” said the woman to the Haymarket Town Council.

The building flooded when our area was drenched by several storms at the beginning of May, and again on May 16. No one was available from The Very Thing to provide comment for this story to tell us just how wet it got inside the shop.

The shop employee directed her comments at Town Councilman Jay Tobias who said he’s aware of the problem but would rather fix the flooding issues and improve the site overall.

“I’m not for putting a band aid…I’m not for doing temporary fixes…that’s a waste of money…it’s a slow moving process…it’s government,” said Tobias.

Officials said gravel was laid outside the building in an effort to curb the flooding but it didn’t work.

There is an overall Town Center Master Plan to, among other things, help stop the flooding. But it’s a costly one – to the tune of about $500,000, according to Henshaw.

A 2013 study prepared by J2 Egineers, of Chantilly, and Land Planning and Design Associates, of Sterling, outlined big improvements for the 12,300 square foot municipal complex at the center of town. Among them were improving traffic flow around the building as the area is known for vehicle congestion, and improving storm water runoff that causes the flooding.

“We’re in the process of deciding what our options are,” said Henshaw. “Some fixes have suggested we dig along the foundation, some have called for installing sump pumps, so we are really exploring options right now.”

Henshaw says its best if the town hold fund a big, overall fix rather than putting cash into small measures to mitigate only the flooding. A quick fix would only cause the water to go elsewhere to another site in town, he added.

Right now there is $250,000 in the town’s budget to design a fix for the problem based on solutions outlined in the Town Center Master Plan. It could also cover the start of construction that could begin as early as next spring, said Henshaw.

Tobis said perhaps members of the next elected Town Council could fast-track improvements to the Town Center.

‘Maybe the next council can work faster, in a more harmonious, a religious right way of doing things, its what the next council is preaching…” said Tobias, who said the the woman’s urge to fix the flooding problems was a “vested interest.”

News
Quist Only New Mayoral Face in Prince William’s Towns

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — In the wake of Tuesday’s town elections in Prince William County, much is still the same except in Occoquan.

That’s where Mayor-Elect Elizabeth A.C. “Liz” Quist will replace the retiring Mayor Earnie Porta, whose during his six-year term became the biggest cheerleader for the tiny town on the Occoquan River. He’ll most likely seek higher office during a later election.

Quist, a tax accountant, says she’ll champion issues like financial responsibility, as well as creating an operating budget that isn’t so dependent upon revenues generated from the town’s two highly attended spring and fall craft fairs.

“We’re a growing town, and we’ve got a great staff that’s put together, and it’s time we polish our procedures that we have in place to make sure they’re efficient,” said Quist.

Part of that new staff is Town Manager Kirstyn Barr who was hired earlier this year. And, serving as town crier over the past few years has been an email newsletter distributed by Porta – something Quist said she may try to replace but will never be able to duplicate.

“Earnie has done a lot of set us up… we’ve got a strong council, now…we have to make sure that we work together,” said Quist. “There will be some changes and people with feel that after having the same leader for six years, but I hope people won’t have to feel a huge shift.”

While Quist ran unopposed, the mayors of Prince William’s others towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, and Quantico all had candidates looking to unseat sitting mayors. All of the challengers failed.

Dumfries

In Dumfries, Gerald “Jerry” Foreman will hold onto his seat, after briefly dropping out of the race on April 1 before jumping back in, beating Vice-Mayor Willie J. Toney by 87 votes.

“This is a message from the voters telling the council members work with the mayor by saying ‘this is the mayor we want, you gave us a choice, and we’re telling you which mayor has the vision and which mayor which mayor is going to move us forward,’ and they’re telling the council move… and work with the mayor,” said Foreman.

All of the incumbent council members – Gwen Washington, Kristen Forrester, and Derrick Wood – will keep their seats after two write-in candidates – Cydny Neville and Christy Hart – failed to get enough votes to unseat them.

Quantico

Mayor Kevin Brown will keep his seat in Quantico, beating out former Mayor Isis Ross Tharpe by 46 votes of the 146 that were cast on Tuesday.

“I believe the outcome of the mayoral race shows that the people in town have recognized the progress made over the past two years and approve of the direction the town is headed in,” Brown wrote in a prepared statement.

Brown applauded residents for re-electing Vice Mayor Russell “Rusty” Kuhns, and noted he was surprised voters installed the husband and wife team of Councilwoman Peggy Alexander and Councilman-Elect Lucian G. “Alex” Alexander on the dais.

Haymarket

In Haymarket, Mayor David Leake will keep his seat despite being censured by his fellow councilmembers several times over an internal investigation involving the town’s police chief. He beat out challenger Josh Mattox by 68 of the 264 votes cast on Tuesday.

News
Police: Shaken Child Died, Father Charged

HAYMARKET, Va. –– A father is charged with murder in the death of his 3-month-old son last summer, according to police.

Here’s an unedited press release from Prince William police:

Murder | Felony Child Abuse – On August 5th [2013] at 2:18PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 14900 block of Keavy Pl in Haymarket (20169) to investigate an unconscious child. The caller, later identified as the accused, reported to police that his child, a 3 month old boy, was not breathing. The child was flown to an area hospital where it was discovered that he had sustained injuries consistent with being shaken. The child died on August 17th as a result of those injuries. Detectives from the Homicide Unit and Physical Abuse Unit conducted an extensive investigation into the victim’s death. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested on May 1st.

Arrested on May 1st:

David Michael SCHMIDT, 28, of 14959 Keavy Pl in Haymarket

Charged with murder and felony child abuse

Court date: unavailable | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

Identified:

The child was identified as Rhys SCHMIDT, 3 months (at the time of death)

 

 

News
2014 Town Elections Profiles: Kurtis Woods for Haymarket Town Council

Name: Kurtis Woods

Age: 26

Town of residence: Haymarket, Va.

Office seeking: Town Council

Campaign website: votehaymarket.com

Occupation: Systems Administrator

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Information Systems from Cedarville University

Community involvement: Involved in service with McLean Bible Church including community programs, serving on Sunday mornings and as a member of a search committee for a new worship pastor.

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

I bring a youthful perspective to the town council. I plan on living here for a long time and will endeavor to work for the good of the town’s future. I will respect the voice of every citizen, especially those with more experience and investment in the town.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

The town needs to take a look at it’s organization and find areas of duplication that can be removed. I support an organizational assessment to discover and tackle those issues.

There are several vacant properties in town, some of which are eyesores. Providing businesses with incentives and a friendly atmosphere could transform those vacant properties to be thriving and revenue creating locations.

The police department needs a serious look as well. We need to include it in the above mentioned organizational assessment to determined how it can be managed to serve the best interests of our town.

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

A town council member’s job description is, in my opinion, to listen to the citizens of the town and make informed decisions based on their desires and needs. It is to manage the town’s affairs in the best interest of the people. I would be able to contribute a young family’s perspective, my expertise as an IT professional, and a listening ear.

Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of town government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

I do not feel that the town is currently well informed. They need to make efforts to take advantage of more available avenues of communication to get the issues in front of the public. One proposed means of doing so is to personally visit the homes of the town residents during my term to talk with them about their needs and desires.

Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?

This is my first try at politics, and I have not yet had much chance to make public mistakes or be affected by them. However, in my personal life I always strive to own up to my mistakes and accept the consequences with grace.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

There is nothing like experience. I believe that simply by serving on the town council will make me into a better leader. I am surrounding myself with other leaders that I look up to, and I continually seek their advice.

Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

Novant Health Announces Opening of Haymarket Medical Center

 Novant Health Haymarket Medical Center opened its doors earlier this morning for care and services. The new four-story, 60-bed community hospital will serve the growing and diverse northern Virginia community. The 221,000-square-foot facility, designed to transform healthcare, houses a full complement of services, including emergency care, surgery, cancer care, women’s and children’s services, including maternity care, imaging, cardiac diagnostics, interventional radiology and critical care. Haymarket Medical Center strengthens Novant Health’s integrated healthcare network in northern Virginia complimenting its other acute care facility – Novant Health Prince William Medical Center, located in Manassas, Virginia.

Haymarket Medical Center, Novant Health’s fifteenth medical center and first prototypical hospital design, features all-private patient rooms with ample space to accommodate family and visitors. All rooms are equipped with computers for bedside documentation – thoughtfully designed to enable nurses to spend more time at the patient’s bedside. Patients are encouraged to play a role in their care with conversation and verification of information. The first floor has a 20-room emergency department, cardiac diagnostics, interventional radiology, a patient care unit, a café, a gift shop, conference rooms, an interfaith room of reflection, financial counseling and guest services. The second floor hosts surgical services with four state-of-the-art operating rooms and one procedure room on one end and women’s and children’s care on the other end with a labor and delivery unit, two dedicated cesarean section operating rooms, a well-baby nursery and postpartum unit. Again, thoughtfully designed to create efficiency for anesthesia services. The critical care unit, medical/surgical unit, inpatient rehabilitation and pharmacy are located on the third floor.

“We are fortunate to have had the vision of our board of trustees who had the foresight to bring care where it is needed – in western Prince William County,” said Melissa L. Robson, RN, BSN, MHA, president of Novant Health northern Virginia market. “Now, the communities we serve will no longer have to travel for high-quality care that is close to home.”

The hospital’s main entrance, at 15225 Heathcote Boulevard, provides ample space for vehicles to drop off and pick up patients. In addition, free valet service is offered Monday through Friday. Also located at the main entrance is a landscaped courtyard generously donated by the Novant Health Auxiliary. All entrances to the hospital, including the emergency room located at the rear of the facility facing Interstate 66, are located for easy patient access. A separate ambulance entrance nearest to the onsite helipad is away from the main entrance to provide patient privacy.

-Submitted by Novant Healhtcare

News
Haymarket Medical Center Set to Open

HAYMARKET, Va. — Novant Health’s $100 million hospital outside Haymarket on Heathcote Boulevard, aptly named the Haymaket Medical Center, is set to open.

This is the first new hospital to be built in Prince William, Loudoun, or Fairfax counties in the past 17 years.

The hospital has 60 beds, and staff recently held a ribbon cutting at the new facility to celebrate its grand opening.

More in a press release:

The four-story building, which employs a staff of nearly 300 is on-schedule to open to patients in March. During the event attendees enjoyed self-guided tours, free health screenings, information and educational tables, child-friendly activities, goodies, refreshments and more. Haymarket Medical Center is Novant Health’s first prototypical hospital design. The patient-focused, caregiver-driven design included input from patients, family members and the entire hospital care team. An innovative approach was used to return the nurse to direct patient care.

“Novant Health is striving to make the healthcare experience remarkable. One way we’re doing that is making it convenient by bringing healthcare to the communities we serve,” said Melissa L. Robson, RN, BSN, MHA, president of Novant Health northern Virginia market.”

Haymarket Medical Center will feature all-private patient rooms, including an emergency department with 20 rooms, a helipad, imaging, a multi-specialty cardiac and interventional radiology lab, a critical care unit with eight beds, a medical/surgical unit with 36 rooms, women’s health with 16 rooms and maternity care with seven labor and delivery suites and dedicated C-section operating rooms, a well-baby nursery with 16 bassinets, four operating suites and a separate procedure room, a Café, gift shop and an interfaith room of reflection.

Unique aspects of the facility include:

– Computers in every patient room for bedside documentation

– Supplies, medication and equipment are located at the bedside, which reduces travel distances for caregivers and promotes safety and quality

– Direct access elevator, which can take patients directly from the emergency room to the surgical floor or critical care

– High definition, digital and wireless video recording capabilities in the operating room

– Mini-refrigerators in post-partum rooms

North Carolina-based Novant Health purchased Prince William Hospital in Manassas in 2009 and, as of last year, operates it as Novant Health Prince William Medical Center.

 

News
Haymarket Mayor Censured, Withholds Information

Updated

HAYMARKET, Va. – Mayor David Leake was censured this morning in an special meeting of the Haymarket Town Council.

The censure stems from Leake withholding the names of two town employees. It appears those employees could be in trouble, though town officials are mum on who they are or what they might have done.

“Absolutely, It’s a very serious situation,” Leake told Potomac Local News when asked of the severity of the situation regarding the employees.

Prior to the Town Council’s vote to censure Leake for withholding the names, a special committee comprised of Vice Mayor Jay Tobias and Councilman Steven Aitken was formed and was charged with investigating personnel issues involving the two town employees.

Leake said the committee is not qualified to conduct such an investigation, and added he’ll only release the names of the town employees to a third-party investigator brought in on the council of the town’s hired attorneys. 

“Town council members handling the investigation…it’s out of their league and it’s out of their professionalism… it’s just not the right way to go,” said Leake.

Additionally, Leake said he is looking into overturning both motions made at today’s special town council meeting. The first: to create the investigative committee wtih Tobais and Aitken, and second: to reverse his censure. The Mayor said the town charter allows the mayor — who is not allowed to vote — to cast a veto by making his case in writing and presenting it within five days of the council’s vote.

Tobias made the motion Monday to censure Leake. When reached for comment, he said little about the investigation noting only that officials are looking into personnel maters, and added “it is certainly possible” the committee’s investigation could yield information on the good doings of the two town employees in question.

The censure comes after Mayor David Leake in October moved to censure and fine Tobias after he was charged with public intoxication at the town’s annual Haymarket Day.

News
Dumfries Parade Still on, Haymarket Holiday Festival Canceled

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The 37th Annual Dumfries Christmas Holiday Parade will take place rain or shine.

The parade begins at noon in front of Town Hall on Main Street and will continue to the Dumfries Shopping Plaza. The theme for this year’s parade is “the sights and sounds of Christmas.”

In the Town of Haymarket in Western Prince William County, a holiday event planed for today became a casualty of the weather. A holiday festival that included a parade that was to start at 4 p.m., a tree lighting ceremony, a music stage, children’s activities, and Santa Claus, was canceled.

“Due to weather and resulting safety issues on Saturday, we have no choice to but to cancel the holiday party event,” according to the organizer, Haymarket Fun.

The event was originally billed as rain or shine, according to Haymarket Fun’s website.

 

News
Pentagon’s SWAT Team Holds ‘Active Shooter’ Drill at Gainesville District School Building

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[Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

HAYMARKET, Va. — Dimly lit hallways, exposed brick, and shattered pieces of drywall and concrete lay on the floor at the Gainesville District School.

The building  built in 1935 and most recently served as Prince William County’s the PACE West School. After PACE West relocated, the building was sold last month to Quality Business Engineering, or QBE Global, a federal contracting and real estate firm.

And that’s when the Pentagon’s force protection SWAT team took interest. They, along with Prince William fire and rescue personnel, were training inside the building Tuesday for an “active shooter” scenario, inside a portion of the old school house that is being renovated and will later QBE’s corporate headquarters.

The SWAT team’s training scenario: someone inside the building is firing a gun, taking mass casualties and hostages. The force protection unit must go inside, immobilize the shooter, and afterward fire and rescue personnel will then be called into to remove and treat the shooting victims.

QBE employees donned in black projective masks and inoperable weapons were assigned to pose as victims, hostages, and bad guys.

“Fortunately, I have a large company with many employees who volunteered to be shot at,” said QBE owner Shawn Landry.

More like shooting paint ball than live fire, the Pentagon’s SWAT team was slated to use chalk projectiles that would leave a mark on their targets, said Landry. Several old chalkboards and whiteboards were cut up to create barriers to hide behind, creating an indoor maze among inside these dusty, dark, debris-filled corridors.

These training scenarios have become regular occurrences as of late at the Gainesville District School. Landy said he’s invited fire and rescue teams from the nearby Antioch and Nokesville fire departments to train here, utilizing a no-burning, artificial smoke approach to create real-life, hair raising scenarios that keep first responders on their toes.

“It’s not as easy to find places to train as it used to be,” said Lt. Jeff Howyshell, of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department.

There’s a moratorium in the county on burning old buildings that would create a smoky environment to train in. Other buildings that can be burned are riddled with asbestos, and fire departments must pay cumbersome costs to have the asbestos removed before they’re burned.

The Gainesville District School building is subdivided, with a preschool renting the rear of the building and a church renting the gymnasium and stage space. Landry said he plans to open a restaurant in the old cafeteria area that will be opened to the public once building renovations are complete.

The Pentagon’s Force Protection team is in place to protect some 35,000 employees housed at the world’s largest office building in Arlington. The team is often referred to as “ninjas” or “men in black,” and they are tasked with protecting more than 18 miles of hallways and corridors and the Pentagon Metro station and transit bus terminal.

News
Haymarket Vice Mayor Censured, Fined

HAYMARKET, Va. — Jay Tobias, Haymarket’s vice mayor, was censured and is now forced to pay a $250 fine for alleged misconduct stemming from public intoxication charges filed on the day of the town’s largest public celebration.

Town officials Monday voted 4-3 to force Tobias to pay the fine on our before Oct. 21. Officials also censured Planning Commission and former Town Council member Robert Wier after Mayor David Leake pressed charges on him, claiming he was standing on a public street in mid conversation when Wier walked up to him and began cursing at him.

Tobias, who on Monday questioned whether the town council had the legal authority to impose such a fine, was one of three dissenting votes on the measure.

Police said the charges stem from incidents that took place on Haymarket Day on Sept. 21, which is the largest annual event in the small western Prince William County town.

The town council will now review its code of conduct and ethics polices that elected officials need at adhere to, which have not been updated in many years, according to officials.

News of the arrests drew several comments from town residents who said the alleged incidents resulted in the black eye for the town.

“I don’t know the reasoning behind this kind of behavior but it’s an embarrassment to the town, it’s an embarrassment to us, and If we want to be represented in Prince William County and be taken seriously we need to start taking our town seriously,” said Pam Swinford.

She went on to say Tobias should be removed from office. Others said the arrest was bad for business.

“I’ve considered moving my business back to Haymarket, and moving me and my wife back to Haymarket. But recent events tell me this is not where we want to be…what is going on in Haymarket? We see this kind of thing in the capital, not Haymarket. We want some peace,” said Charlie DeGraw, of Manassas.

Ralph Ring, of Haymarket, said residents should wait until Tobias appears in court before making a judgment on his ability to lead.

“We should not be trying these things in the court of public opinion, we should wait until a court date happens, we should let all sides present their evidence, and let a judge determine it. Then, if you want to ask for dismissal based on what happens, go for it,” said Ring.

Tobias’ charge amounts to a misdemeanor. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 7.

 

News
Committee Members Wanted in Search for 2 New School Names

HAYMARKET, Va. — What’s in a name? The answer to that question will be up to a select group of people who will serve on one of two committees that will be tasked with coming up with the names for two of Prince William County’s newest schools.

Both in the west end and now known as Haymarket Drive Elementary School for its location on a street of the same name, and the K-8th grade school on Aden Road next to Brentsville High School, will need permanent names.

Prince William County school officials are opening up the naming process to anyone who wants to serve on the committees, and has put out a public requests for name ideas from the community.

More in a press release from the school division:

The Prince William County School Board is seeking eligible volunteers to serve on School Naming Committees for the schools currently under construction in Haymarket and Nokesville. Both schools are scheduled to open in September 2014. Specific attendance areas for the two new elementary schools have not been determined.

Those who are interested and eligible to serve on the School Naming Committees should submit their name, address, telephone number, email address, and role (e.g., teacher, parent, resident, etc.) to the Western Elementary School Office at 703.791.7234 or ferrellm@pwcs.edu. Please specify Haymarket or Nokesville committee. Membership on each committee is limited to 20 individuals.

The proposed School Naming Committees will be submitted by the Associate Superintendent for Western Elementary Schools to the School Board for approval on December 4, 2013.

Eligibility for “Haymarket Elementary School” Naming Committee

Any resident of the attendance areas for Alvey, Buckland Mills, Gravely, Mountain View, Piney Branch, or Tyler Elementary School is invited to submit his or her name for consideration prior to November 8, 2013.

Eligibility for “Nokesville K-8 School” Naming Committee

Any resident of the attendance areas for Nokesville, Bennett, or Loch Lomond Elementary School or Stonewall, Parkside, or Marsteller Middle School is invited to submit his or her name for consideration prior to November 8, 2013.

News
Vice Mayor Arrested on Haymarket Day

Update 5:30 p.m. 

A second town official and former Haymarket Town Councilman was also arrested following Haymarket Day.

Robert Weir, who is appointed as the head of the town’s planning commission, was served with a summons charging him with “curse and abuse,” according to Virginia court documents.

Haymarket Police Chief James Roop said only the cursing portion of the statue applies to this case as “there was no abuse.”

Weir

Weir

Town Mayor David Leake pressed those charges on Weir, and claimed he was on a town street having a conversation with Haymarket Councilwoman and Planning Commission member Rebecca Bare on Sept. 21 during the annual Haymarket Day celebration and Weir interjected and began cursing at both of them.

“It was an ugly incident…we had children in the street,” said Leake.

Potomac Local News has reached out to Weir will bring you any comments he might make in an update.

Weir, a Republican, told the Washington Post he sought to unseat Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart in 2009

Town Council reacts

Monday will mark the first meeting of the Haymarket Town Council since Vice-Mayor Jay Tobias was charged with public intoxication on Sept. 21. The council is expected to review the town’s code of ethics for elected officials during the meeting.

Leake said Tobias could be removed from council with a 2/3 vote on the seven-member governing board. Such charges for both Tobias and Weir would warrant such a vote, added Leake.

“We need to show the citizens that this is unacceptable behavior,” he added.

3:20 p.m. 

HAYMARKET, Va. — An elected official in Haymarket was arrested on the day of the town’s largest celebration, Haymarket Day.

Haymarket Vice-Mayor Jay Tobias was charged with public intoxication in public on Sept. 21, following an altercation with another man at Giuseppe’s Restaurant on Haymarket Day, an annual family-friendly event that draws thousands to the tiny western Prince William County town.

Tobias was involved in an altercation with another man about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 21, said Haymarket Police Chief James Roop. Afterward, Roop and another deputy separated the men and drove both of them to their respective homes.

“I instructed [Tobias] to stay home and not come back out that day,” said Roop.

Later that evening at 7:50 p.m., Roop spotted Tobias at Giuseppe’s Restaurant drinking a beer and arrested him, and then charged him with drunk in public, said Roop.

Tobias was taken before a magistrate that evening and released.

“At no time did he cross into the jail,” said Roop.

Roop described the incident as isolated.

Tobias said he had no comment about the arrest, and he is due in court on Nov. 7 for the charge. He faces a $250 fine, according to Roop. 

Tobias has lived in Haymarket since 2003 and works as an investment banker, according to the town’s website.

More than 1,800 people, including several community groups and schools, participated in this year’s annual Haymarket Day festival.

News
Several Activities Planned for Haymarket Day

HAYMARKET, Va. — More than 30,000 people are expected to descend on the tiny Town of Haymarket Saturday for the annual Haymarket Day.

The fall festival will kick off with a parade at 9:30 a.m along the town’s main street, Washington Street.

Afterward, four stages of live entertainment will be available around the festival, and a beer garden, childrens’ and family activities, and trolley and pony rides.

The festival will also raise money for the Rainbow Equestrian Center’s Children with Disabilities program, according to the festival’s website.

This is the largest event held in Haymarket each year. Washington Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

News
Fire Station Time Capsule Offers Glimpse into Haymarket’s Past

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Prince William County Preservationist Peter Krause, center, gently removes a newspaper from 1946 that was inside the firehouse time capsule. Looking on, from left to right, are Gainesville Supervisor Peter Candland, Haymarket Mayor David Leake, and Prince William Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. [Leigh Giza / For Potomac Local News]

HAYMARKET, Va. — A box sealed away inside a building for more than 65 years was recovered, and its contents provided a window into a community’s past.

About forty people gathered Thursday evening in the driveway of the old Haymarket Firehouse on Washington Street to witness the opening of the contents of a time capsule that were sealed inside the cornerstone of the building in 1946.

The cornerstone was removed from the building and its contents were carefully removed from it by Robert Krause, preservationist for Prince William County’s Public Works Department. With gloves on his hands to protect the items, he removed a folded, yellowed front page of the Manassas Messenger newspaper dated October 19, 1946, which featured a short article about the dedication of the building, which took place four days later on October 23. He also took out several coins that were inside the cornerstone.

After the items were removed from the cornerstone, they were placed on a table to allow attendees to get a close look at them. According to Krause, the capsule contents will be curated by the county before they are made available for public viewing, possibly in the Haymarket Museum.

Jeff Saylor, who works for the Buildings and Grounds Division of the county’s Public Works department, said it took him and one other person using a concrete saw “the whole day” on Wednesday to extricate the cornerstone in preparation for its removal from the building Thursday evening. He didn’t think it would take that long to do, but “it’s heavy,” he said.

The firehouse was completed in 1947, and it served the community until 1990, when a new one was built at a location about a mile southeast on Va. 55 (John Marshall Highway) in Gainesville. That station serves the Gainesville and Haymarket communities; there is another county fire station north of Haymarket on Va. 55 which serves the Evergreen, Bull Run Mountain and Catharpin communities.

The ceremony was held a month shy of the sixty-seventh anniversary of the cornerstone placement to ensure the contents of the time capsule would be removed before the building is purchased by its new owner. The firehouse is currently in the process of being sold by the county to a private owner who, according to Haymarket Mayor David Leake, plans to use the space to sell wines and cheeses.

Former and current Prince William County firefighters, Prince William Gainesville Supervisor Peter Candland, Haymarket Mayor David Leake, State Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Prince William, Manassas Park, and Prince William Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee all made comments during the ceremony.

News
Red Light Scam Alert

HAYMARKET,Va. –– Scam Alert issued by police, someone posing as a member of the Sheriff’s Office scammed a man out of $300.

More in a press release:

Obtaining Money by False Pretenses [Scam Alert] –

On September 8th at 9:45PM, police responded to the 1900 block of Ridge Rd in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a scam. The victim, a 69 year old man of Haymarket, reported to police that he received a phone call from someone claiming to be “Lieutenant Mike Stevens” with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect informed the victim that he was caught on a red light camera committing a traffic violation and had missed his court date. The suspect further told the victim that a warrant had subsequently been issued for his arrest.

The suspect informed the victim that he could have the warrant dropped if he obtained a prepaid card, valued over $300, and provide him with the card information. The victim complied with the suspect and gave the card information over the phone. This investigation continues.

The Prince William County Police Department would like to advise residents that any legitimate government agency or private business will never ask for a pre-paid or green dot card to pay for anything including outstanding bills or fines.

If you suspect that you are being scammed, we ask that verify the caller’s claim before sending any money or contact the police directly.

Traffic
Expect Increased Police Patrols on U.S. 15 This Weekend

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — U.S. 15 in Virginia is a popular north-south route for travelers hoping to sidestep the state’s busy Interstate 95 corridor. The road runs from the North Carolina border connecting towns like Haymarket, Warrenton, and Leesburg. Ultimately it links South Carolina to New York, and this weekend police from all six jurisdictions in which the highway traverses will increase patrols

on U.S. 15 in an effort to save lives.

Between midnight Friday through Sunday, police from six agencies including Virginia State Police, will be out conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols as well as other law enforcement duties in an effort to slow drivers and combat criminal behavior along this heavily traveled, non-interstate highway.

The enforcement efforts marks the first time police in all six states in which U.S. 15 is located have worked together on a major enforcement task like this. Last year, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia authorities launched the first such joint operation to patrol the highway and netted 509 speeders and 16 reckless drivers, according to Virginia State Police. In addition, seven drunken drivers in were arrested in Virginia and Maryland, and a total of 24 felony arrests to include two drug arrests were made.

Crashes are up 23 percent over 2011 along Virginia’s 230-mile stretch of U.S. 15, police said. There were nearly 400 crashes along the highway in Virginia last year, up from 2011’s 318 crashes. Five of the crashes in 2012 were fatal, said police.

U.S. 15 in Virginia alternates between a 2-lane and 4-lane road configuration. In Fauquier and Prince William counties, a portion of the roadway is shared with U.S. 29 before splitting off north toward Haymarket and Loudoun County.

News
700 Students Expected at New ‘Haymarket Drive’ Elementary School in 2014

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Picture 1 of 4

[Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

By URIAH KISER

HAYMARKET, Va. — With the population in western Prince William County steadily on the rise, officials on Tuesday broke ground for the county’s 57th elementary school.

Now known as the “Haymarket Drive” elementary school, all that’s here now is red clay, and construction equipment that will be used to transform this rural landscape into a bustling campus for children.

“The school division builds buildings, we build shells, we stack brick on brick, but it will be the members of this school community that build the Haymarket Drive elementary school,” said Prince William School Board Chairman Milton C. Johns.

The school board will be responsible for naming the building that is scheduled to open in September 2014. When it does, it’ll help alleviate overcrowding at nearby Buckland Mills Elementary School in Gainesville, said Schools Superintendent Steven Walts.

Sitting in Prince William’s rural Brenstville District, the 24-acre school site is near the Town of Haymarket, in a wooded area of Haymarket Drive – from which the site takes its name. The $19 million building is set to include 45 classrooms, activity rooms, community rooms, media center, computer lab, a baseball field, and two play areas – one with a concrete surface and the other a mulch surface playground.

More than 700 students are expected to call  this school, designed by Mosley Architects and to be built by Scheibel Construction, their home when it opens next year.

A second school already under construction in Nokesville will be the first in Prince William to house students in kindergarten through eighth grades. It will also open next year.

“We are still the second-largest School Division in Virginia. We anticipate enrolling over 2,000 additional students next year, bringing our projected enrollment to about 86,000,” said Walts, who noted the new Haymarket elementary school’s location’s close proxminity to the Fauquier County line.

“Each new school we open is a milestone, and demonstrates the commitment that Prince William County Public Schools has to Providing A World-Class Education in the best learning and teaching environment possible,” said Prince William Brentsville District School Board member Gill Trenum.

Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington was also at the ceremony and touted his Board of Supervisors increased support for education after a decision this year to allocate 57.23% of its budget to the county school system in an annual automatic transfer of funds, up from 56.75% in previous years.

 

News
Crime Watch: Woman Jailed After Target Practice; Thieves Hit Unlocked Cars in Manassas

Prince William County 

FROM POLICE REPORTS 

Justice

Justice

Armed Robbery | Att. Armed Robbery | Abduction – On January 27th at 9:09PM, police responded to the CVS located at 15250 Washington St in Haymarket (20169) for a robbery. Employees reported to police that an unknown, masked man entered the store then lit and threw a smoke bomb. The man then approached the counter, displayed a handgun and demanded pills from the pharmacy area. The man held 2 employees and a customer in the rear of the store where he continued to demand pills. The man eventually fled the store.No injuries were reported and no property was taken. A police K-9 and helicopter were utilized in the search for the suspects.

At 9:55PM, a separate robbery was reported at the 7-11 located at 4075 Sudley Rd in Haymarket (20169). There, employees reported to police that an unknown, masked man entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The man took an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency before fleeing the store. No injuries were reported.

A short time later, officers located the suspect vehicle in the area of Shelter Manor Ln. As officers attempted to detain the occupants, 1 fled on foot. Two additional suspects were detained at the scene. The suspect that fled was eventually located and arrested a short distance away from the scene. The investigation revealed that all 3 males were involved in both robberies, however, only 1 of the males, a juvenile, entered both stores to commit the robberies. The 2 remaining suspects waited nearby in a vehicle.

Arrested on January 27th: (Juvenile)

A 17 year old male of Manassas

Charged with [in connection to the CVS robbery] attempted robbery, using a firearm in commission of a felony, 3 counts of abduction, wearing a mask in a public place and possessing an explosive device

Charged with [in connection to the 7-11 robbery] robbery, using a firearm in commission of a felony and wearing a mask in public

Court date unavailable, held at a Juvenile Detention Facility

Arrested on January 27th:

Adam Doyle JUSTICE, 21, of 4564 MacKenzie Ct in Warrenton

Charged with [in connection to the CVS robbery] attempted robbery and using a firearm in commission of a felony

Charged with [in connection to the 7-11 robbery] robbery and using a firearm in commission of a felony

Court date set for March 20, 2013, held WITHOUT bond

Arrested on January 27th: (No Photo Available)

Adam Joseph GIZINSKI, 19, of 3911 Clifton Manor Pl in Haymarket

Charged with [in connection to the CVS robbery] attempted robbery and using a firearm in commission of a felony

Charged with [in connection to the 7-11 robbery] robbery and using a firearm in commission of a felony

Court date set for March 20, 2013, held WITHOUT bond

Mitchell

Mitchell

Reckless Handling of a Firearm | Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling – On January 26th at 2:00PM, police responded to the 11800 block of Nokes Rd in Nokesville (20182) for a shooting into an occupied dwelling call. Occupants reported to police that they were sitting in their living room when they heard the sound of glass breaking.

Upon checking out the noise, the occupants discovered, what appeared to be, a bullet hole. Officers determined that the round came from an address on Marstellar Dr where the accused was located.

The investigation revealed that the accused and a 16 year old female were outside targeting practicing when a round struck the other residence. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on January 26th:

Amberly Elizabeth MITCHELL, 34, of 12910 Marstellar Dr in Nokesville

Charged with reckless handling of a firearm, shooting into an occupied dwelling and contributing to the delinquency of a minor

Court date and bond information unavailable

Downing

Downing

Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On January 27th at 10:15PM, police responded to the 14300 block of Ferndale Rd in Woodbridge (22193) for a shots fired call. Several callers reported hearing multiple gunshots in the area. Officers arrived and located were the shots originated. The investigation revealed that the accused was involved in a verbal altercation with another member of the residence. The altercation took place in front of the residence. During the encounter, the accused fired a handgun into the air. No one was struck and no property damage was reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on January 27th:

Terrel Xavier DOWNING, 24, of 14324 Ferndale Rd in Woodbridge

Charged with reckless handling of a firearm

Court date set for March 19, 2013, held on a $3,000 secured bond

Attempted Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officer [LEO] – On January 25th at 8:21PM, police responded to the 4000 block of Camelot Ct in Dumfries (22025) for a suspicious person. Caller reported to police that there was an unknown man walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors. Police located the man, identified as the accused, sitting in a vehicle in the above area. As officers approached, the accused exited the vehicle and appeared intoxicated. During the arrest, the accused began to kick and spit towards officers. No injuries were reported.

Arrested on January 25th: (No Photo Available)

Harold Alton THOMAS, 23, of 4160 Agency Lp in Triangle

Charged with attempted assault & battery on LEO, resisting arrest and intoxication in public

Court date set for March 8, 2013, held WITHOUT bond

012913-ramirez-webFiling a False Police Report – On January 24th at 11:45PM, police responded to investigate a robbery which was reported to have occurred in the 8700 block of Sudley Rd in Manassas (20109). The victim, now the accused, initially reported to police that he was in the area above when he was approached by an unknown man with a knife. The accused stated he attempted to disarm the man when he was cut, causing an injury to his arm. Following the encounter, the man supposedly fled the area. The accused was transported to an area hospital where police were contacted. Officers were able to determine that no robbery took place and that the accused struck a tree with his fist following an argument with a friend.

Arrested on January 24th:

Jose Alonso RAMIREZ, 21, of 17 Johnny Cake Ln in Harpers Ferry, WV

Charged with filing a false police report

Court date set for April 5, 2013, held on a $1,000 secured bond.

042711 Stafford Sheriff's carStafford County 

Copper stolen, properties vandalized in Stafford

Stafford sheriff’s deputies were called to Greenbriar Drive in Stafford County about noon Monday for a report of stolen copper at a home construction site.

The deputy spoke with a construction crew that reported several shower diverters and about 80 feet of copper wire had been stolen from homes. Houses were also damaged in the process, as vandals caused about $3,500 in damage and stole $1,800 in copper, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

In a separate incident over the weekend, a company in south Stafford – the Fischel Company on U.S. 17 – told sheriff’s deputies someone also broke into a trailer located on their property by cutting the latch on the door and took 1,000 pounds of copper used to power streetlights, said Kennedy.

It’s estimated about $3,500 in damage and copper was lifted from the business. This is the third time in two weeks that copper had been stolen and that business vandalized, added Kennedy.

Investigators suspect the thieves broke into the trailer during this most recent heist sometime between Friday night and Sunday.

103012-Manassas-policeManassas 

FROM POLICE REPORTS 

Robbery

The Manassas City Police Department is investigating an attempted robbery, which occurred near the 8300 block of Georgian Court. Two sixteen year olds reported that they were walking in the area between 4:00PM and 4:30PM Sunday, January 27. They said they were followed from the pool and playground area off of Devonshire Court by two males. One suspect allegedly punched the male victim in the face and attempted to take his Jordan athletic shoes. The victim’s friend threw a drink at the suspects, who dropped the shoe and ran back toward Devonshire Court. The victim was not seriously injured and refused medical treatment. He and his friend described the first suspect as a light skinned male with crystal blue eyes, between 16 and 18 years old, wearing a gray jacket, jeans and purple low top shoes. They described the second suspect as a black male, 16 to 18 years old, wearing a black puffy jacket and blue jeans.

The investigation is ongoing.

Larcenies from Auto

The Manassas City Police Department is investigating the larceny of items from eight different vehicles parked in the following areas: 8900 block of Meadowview Drive; 10100 block of Allwood Court; 8500 block of Clearridge Lane; 9400 block of Flowerden Lane; 10000 block of Willa Lane; 9300 block of Flanagan Court. Residents reported that during overnight hours in the past week (January 20th through 27th), unknown suspect(s) went into their vehicles and stole cash and portable electronics. Seven of the eight cars were reported to have been left unlocked. There was no evidence of forced entry into the vehicle reported to have been locked.

Larcenies from vehicles are one of the easiest crimes to prevent if you follow some simple crime prevention tips. These are available in our most recent Public Service Announcement “Larcenies from Vehicles.” For a copy of this PSA, go to www.manassascity.org/pressroom.

 

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