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News
Do community service by playing in NOVEC HELPS’ Texas Hold’em fundraiser

From Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative:

MANASSAS, Va. – Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative’s group of employee volunteers, NOVEC HELPS, will hold its 7th annual Texas Hold’em fundraising poker tournament on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Prince William County Police Association Hall, 14288 Independent Hill Drive, Manassas. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. Games start at 6:30 p.m. The top 10 players will win prizes and other participants will win door prizes. Fee: $50 per player if registered before Oct. 20; $60 at the door.

NOVEC HELPS will give net proceeds to charitable, community, and school organizations supported by HELPS. Groups include: the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, ACTS, Northern Virginia Family Service, Britepath, and Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center. (more…)

News
Sunny Sunday? ‘Guidance indicates the low clouds will be very slow to lift today along the I-95 corridor’

From the National Weather Service: 

High pressure over the area will weaken rapidly through today. A cold front will push into the Mid Atlantic tonight followed by a return to high pressure early in the week and hold through the end of the week.

NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/…widespread low clouds with areas of fog and patchy light drizzle are present early this morning. Guidance indicates the low clouds will be very slow to lift today along the I-95 corridor. It will be much warmer today especially west of the Blue Ridge where low clouds/fog are expected to lift quicker and under SSW winds. [Cold front] will start entering the western areas late in the day with a slight chance of showers over the Potomac Highlands.

News
An additional 34 acres of land at Bristoe Station battlefield preserved

On the eve of the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station, The Civil War Trust announced it will preserve an additional 34 acres of land at the property near the intersection of Route 28 and Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

The land, which was marked for development, was donated to the trust, according to Civil War D=Trus t

From an email: 

“I’m excited to share with you today that the Civil War Trust has just preserved more land at Prince William County’s Bristoe Station battlefield.

Here’s what the county’s historic land steward had to say about this today:

“With this new property, the Civil War Trust has now worked to save 168 acres of the Bristoe Station battlefield,” said Rob Orrison, Prince William County’s historic site operations supervisor.  “This parcel is the first preserved land on the Union position during the Oct. 14, 1863, battle. The tract, which includes the position of Capt. Bruce Rickett’s  artillery and Gen. Alexander Webb’s 2nd Division of the 2nd Corps, will be crucial to interpreting the entire story of the Battle of Bristoe Station.”

Our national nonprofit announced today in a “Victory” email  to 53,000 members, supporters and other interested people. Saturday is the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station, which was a striking loss for the Confederate army. Prince William’s Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park invites the public to commemorate the occasion as its staff and volunteers light more than 1,000 luminary in honor of every fallen soldier from North and South on Saturday evening, and host living history and artillery events all weekend.

The trust intends to transfer this parcel to the county in the future for incorporation into the park.

The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the acquisition of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  To date, the Trust has preserved more than 47,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states, including 24,600 acres in Virginia. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.”

Photo: Flickr user Stephen Little

News
‘Patients at the new Lake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center will be introduced to a variety of revolutionary equipment’

From an email: 

The newLake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center located at 14935 Holly Knoll Lane is set to open, with an innovative design that revolutionizes rehabilitation recovery services for patients in Gainesville and surrounding communities. The project represents a $22 million dollar investment in the local community through the creation of new jobs and services.

The center brings 120 new full and part-time jobs to the area. With high tech therapy gym, access to 120 private rooms and private bathrooms, restaurant-style dining and more, this new Center is unlike anything in the area.

The community is invited to an upcoming open house to help celebrate. The free event will be held on October 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will include tours, free health screenings, speakers, demonstrations, food, and giveaways. (more…)

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Grand opening of The Wharf expected to delay OmniRide passengers

From a press release:

OmniRide passengers should anticipate significant delays this evening due to the grand opening of The Wharf, which is expected to bring 20,000 people to Southeast D.C., and Game 5 of the baseball playoffs at Nationals Park.

Some OmniRide buses that serve routes in that area later serve other routes, so any delays in getting into the District this afternoon and serving area bus stops could have a ripple effect for commuters on all OmniRide routes. (more…)


2017 Prince William County Youth Salute Winners

Osbourn Park High School senior Brightney Varghese, 2017 Prince William County Youth Salute winner, will represent Prince William County Schools at the National Council on Youth Leadership Summit in St. Louis, Missouri, October 21-24, 2017.

Varghese is among 108 Prince William County high school seniors, and ten finalists, honored for academic achievement, formidable leadership skills, and a strong commitment to service at the restored and renovated 30th Prince William County Youth Salute Awards.  She and three runners-up, Emmanuel Murphy, Jacqueline Days and Jarrett Lash, were chosen by the Prince William Youth Salute Council to receive a Youth Salute Council scholarship and plaque.

Ten finalists were selected based on their resumes and two essays they each wrote addressing topics such as leadership, personal accomplishment, role models, and challenges facing youth today.  The following students were honored before their peers, parents, special guests, and school administrators at a ceremony held at Forest Park High School on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

Winner – Brightney Varghese…Osbourn Park High School
1st runner-up – Emmanuel Murphy…Christ Chapel Academy
2nd runner-up – Jacqueline Days…Colgan High School
3rd runner-up – Jarrett Lash…Patriot High School
Breyana Hopkins…Potomac High School
Akosua Odei…Stonewall Jackson High School
Tiyam Assadpour …Patriot High School
Rida Subzwari…Gar-Field High School
Vera Bordoh-Ansah…Stonewall Jackson High School
Matthew Cinnamon…Forest Park High School

(more…)


News
The five creepiest places to visit in Prince William County

Looking for creepy haunts this Halloween? We asked the folks over at the Prince William County Tourism office about the creepiest, scariest, most fun places to visit in the county. 

They told us: 

1. Weems-Botts Museum

Location – 3944 Cameron St.Dumfries, VA 22026

Why – Get frightened at Weems-Botts Museum, the second most haunted home in Virginia. Once home to Parson Weems, the biographer for George Washington, today the museum is rumored to have paranormal activity. Civil War soldiers are said to haunt the nearby cemeteries and park while a child, who still talks to ghost hunters in the voice of a little girl, haunts the home. The house was featured on Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story” and offers ghost tours every October.

2. Ben Lomond Historic Site

Location 10321 Sudley Manor Dr. Manassas, VA 20109

Why – Opening and closing doors, phantom footsteps, and mysteriously relocating objects are part of the experience when exploring the history of the Ben Lomond Historic Site. Ben Lomond has a diverse history, from being a Civil War hospital to being the home of countless slaves. Today, many local residents claim that the house and grounds are haunted by spirits from the past.

Weems-Botts Museum

3. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre

Location– 12229 Bristow Rd. Bristow, VA 20136 

Why – Connect with Agness, the spirit who allegedly haunts the jail at this 28-acre site. Agness was one of 13 people executed outside the jail after she was tried and convicted of killing her master.. People claim they have heard voices coming from the jail or have seen faces in the windows of the building. The television show “Ghost Hunters” filmed here just a few years ago. 

4. Historic Occoquan

Location – 200 Mill St. Occoquan, VA 22125

Why – This quaint town along the Occoquan River boasts numerous ghosts and features walking ghost tours throughout the year. Get a glimpse of the Indian who allegedly appears in a bathroom mirror at a local restaurant, talk to store owners who have had their merchandise strewn around and look for the young man who haunts a busy street corner.

The Winery at La Grange

5. The Winery at La Grange

Location – 4970 Antioch Rd. Haymarket, VA 20169

Why – The house and property are rich with history and folklore. Many visitors share their stories of experiences with the ghosts that live here. Most of the encounters entail the piano in the parlor playing on its own, the ghost of a young girl who inhabits one of the upstairs rooms as well as the spirit of Benoni who guided the homes restoration project in the 1800’s. Benoni E. Harrison purchased the La Grange estate in 1837 and lived here until he died in 1869. Rumor has it that Benoni still haunts the manor house to this day. You will find a glass of red wine on the mantel in the Tasting Room, which is set out for his ghost each day to ensure the staff doesn’t encounter any mysterious phenomena while open to the public.



‘At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!’

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Men and women, of all ages, races, and sizes gathered together to remember what used to be.

It was all part of the bariatric team’s annual, “A Gala, Celebrating You.” For the sixth year in a row, people came together for a Weight Loss Surgery Patient Reunion at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

More than 40 former patients and their loved ones came out to remember their weight loss journey and celebrate how far they’ve come.

It was a reunion for many, with patients coming up to one another and asking tentatively, “Do you remember me?” Plenty of hugs, laughs, and smiles were exchanged.

At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done- outside of marrying my husband!” chuckled Reva Gravelle.

Gravelle was just one member of a patient panel who spoke with the group and answered questions. She was 62 years old when she decided to move forward and get the surgery. Eight years later, she hasn’t looked back and says she feels healthier than ever! “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” she says smiling.

Just like Gravelle, everybody had their own story, but there was a common thread everyone could relate to. Patients shared varied firsts: having a lap for a grandchild to sit on, being able to get up by themselves when falling, flying without having to buy an extra seat or getting a seatbelt extender, different shopping options for clothing and being able to fit in a roller coaster seat.

Many patients credit their surgeon, Dr. Denis Halmi with helping them make the change, something he seemed little uncomfortable with, “I try to explain, it wasn’t me, because you are the one making the changes, because of what you are doing, it’s making the change. I’m here to help you, here to support you, but you’re the one who does it.”

While patients were in varied stages of their weight loss journey- some, having had their surgery years ago, while others had their surgery just months earlier, all know that this is a lifetime commitment. To that end, even the event’s food reflected their new lifestyle and featured healthy choices such as diced fruits and vegetables, shrimp, turkey meatballs and blended-to-order fruit smoothies.

This was also an uplifting event for those patients who may have gotten off track. Instead of beating up on themselves for diet missteps, patient speakers and health professional reminded everyone, while it’s nice to move numbers on the scale; this voyage is about more than that. It’s about getting healthy. Organizers reminded patients this event isn’t the only support available. The program hosts both weekly and monthly support groups for current and former patients. And, if those groups are too far for some to travel, the bariatric program has recently added a new virtual support group for the last Thursday of the month. It’s all in an effort to make sure people have the assistance they need to meet their health goals. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Photos: Dr. Halmi in the center, surrounded by patients who enjoyed a great time, and Dr. Halmi speaking to the group, sharing words of encouragement.

News
Novant Health UVA Health System to host two evenings for Ladies’ Night Out

From a press release:

Events to be held in Manassas and Haymarket feature food, shopping, tours and mammograms

Novant Health UVA Health System will host Ladies’ Night Out – a shopping and beauty event exclusively for women from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in Manassas and Thursday, Oct. 19, in Haymarket. Attendees will have an opportunity to shop for jewelry and accessories, try the latest makeup trends, and sample appetizers and “mocktails.” Guests will also have an opportunity to receive a complimentary chair massages and win prizes.

Screening mammograms will also be available at the Ladies’ Night Out events. No physician order is required, and most insurance is accepted. Financial assistance may be available for the uninsured and underinsured. Additional health screenings, including BMI, blood pressure and A1C, will also be available. (more…)

News
Marsteller ‘evacuated as a precaution due to the fire alarm and smoky haze’

From an email: 

Marsteller MS, 14000 Sudley Manor Dr., Bristow, has been evacuated as a precaution due to the fire alarm and smoky haze in building. The Fire Department is responding. All are safe. Please check website for updates, https://marstellerms.pwcs.edu/.

Updated 12:45 p.m.

Staff and students have returned to the building at Marsteller Middle School following a precautionary evacuation. Normal activities have resumed. The alarm was triggered by smoke from a copy machine, which was removed from the building by the Fire Department.

Photo: Marsteller Middle School PTO

News
Prince William culinary tour owners present travel adventures online

From an email: 

Northern Virginia owners, George and Linda Meyers, of Cook in Tuscany, Cook in Mexico and Cook in Cuba debuted ‘Cook, Eat, Play, Travel’, their online, video diary of their worldwide travels and journeys.  They are always asked about life “outside” of their culinary tours in Tuscany, Mexico and Cuba, so they started documenting their adventures.  Named one of the top 15 Foodie Destinations by USA Today, the Meyers created Cook, Eat, Play, Travel to allow people around the world to experience some of their culinary travel adventures online. To view or learn more, go to www.cookeatplaytravel.com

“We’re fifty-somethings enjoying our second chapter in life, traveling, cooking, playing and enjoying every minute,” said Linda Meyers, co-founder of Cook, Eat, Play, Travel, and Cook in Tuscany, Mexico and Cuba. “Instead of buying things, we started buying experiences…and in the process, opened three different cooking schools in three different countries; now people can follow our adventures around the world,” said Meyers.

Retired United States Air Force pilot, George Meyers and his wife, Linda, retired Prince William County, Va. school teacher are natives of New Orleans and high school sweethearts. The Meyers’ shared a long-time passion for good food. The Meyers personally take guests on all tours, creating an immersive experience in Tuscan, Mexican and Cuban cuisine and culture. The week-long package tours are all-inclusive of hotels and food, not including air fare. Cook in Tuscany has expanded its class space, and now offers two classes during Cook in Tuscany travel weeks. Review the schedule at www.cookintuscany.com.

News
‘During the encounter, the accused brandished a handgun and fired one round into the air’

From police: 

Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On October 5 at 11:03PM, officers responded to the Liberty service station located at 3511 James Madison Hwy in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a shooting. The investigation revealed that the victims, a 55-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman both of Berrymill, reported to police that they were retrieving property from their vehicle which they had towed to the service station earlier that week. At some point, the business owner, later identified as the accused, arrived in his vehicle and became involved in a verbal altercation with the victims. During the encounter, the accused brandished a handgun and fired one round into the air. The victims fled the area and contacted police. When officers arrived and made contact with the accused, officers observed drugs and drug paraphernalia in plain view in his vehicle. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without incident. No injuries or property damage were reported. A shell casing and two handguns were recovered.

Arrested on October 6:

Omar Ali AWAD, 52, of 4580 Lawnvale Dr in Gainesville

Charged with and reckless handling of a firearm, possession of a firearm while in possession a controlled substance, and possession of a scheduled I or II narcotic

Court Date: December 5, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond



SNVMC President Kathie Johnson on how Potomac Hospital, now Sentara, is ‘45 years new’

 

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Sentara Susan Bahorich sat down for an interview with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center President Kathie Johnson.

Not only did Kathie celebrate her one year anniversary this summer, but Sentara is also preparing for our 45th hospital anniversary this fall, and she spoke frankly on several different topics and is very engaging and informative.

SB: You’ve been at the helm just over a year now. How has your first year gone?

KJ: It’s been absolutely wonderful. Very exciting- there are terrific people here to help with things and we’ve achieved a lot in one very short year.

SB: You’ve accomplished a lot in one year. What’s next?

KJ: Our vision is to be the healthcare provider of choice in our market, which is Northern Virginia. And what we’ve done is work with our community to identify services they would like us to bring to the community. Our goal is that people should not have to travel for healthcare, they should be able to get what they need right here. And, that’s actually what our #MySentara is all about – this is our hospital, we own it, we love it, we want it to be the best that it is and it’s also our community’s hospital, so we want to be here for the community and whatever they need.  

SB: What does that look like for the hospital and patients?

KJ: We have renovation projects going everywhere to support our ability to deliver the best and highest quality care to our patients. We’re also recruiting new providers to this market and bringing in new programs, so it’s very exciting. We’ve done a whole lot in a pretty short time.

SB: This year we’re celebrating our 45th Anniversary- not only remembering our past but looking to the future.

KJ: When you look to the future what we’re going to see is more services more acute services more preventative services, more outreach to our community. Our mission is to improve healthcare every day so we’re not just here when people get ill, we’re here to keep people well and work with our community to do that. We have a lot of partners in the community to help us there and that’s just a lot of strength that we can build on to be successful.

SB: Already there are a lot of people who have shared their love of Potomac, but there’s a lot of strength in Sentara and what we’ve been able to build and craft here.

KJ: Certainly, there are a lot of people who love Potomac. There are a lot of people who remember Potomac and when it started and have been here for many years and have dedicated a lot of services and a lot of heart and a lot of commitment to the hospital and to our patients, but the future is coming. Healthcare is changing. It’s growing, there are new therapies, there are new ways to stay healthy, there are new cures and we want to be at the forefront of bringing all of that to our community.

SB: As a not for profit hospital, what does that mean for our patients?

KJ: By not for profit, it means that any money that we receive, that doesn’t go for expenses, is invested back into the hospital so that we can continue providing services to our patients. We provide a lot of care that we do not receive payment for which is part of our mission is to reach out and do that for the community. We are very proud that we are able to do that and support other not for profit partners in the community in providing that care. So, not for profit means there are no shareholders or anything like that. It means that any money that we are able to keep, after all of our expenses, were able to give back to our patients and community.

SB: And, that means that no patient is ever turned away. 

(more…)

News
Novant Health UVA Health System seeks health grant applications

The Novant Health UVA Health System is set to award $50,000 in grants. 

From a press release: 

Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center Foundation is seeking proposals from community nonprofit organizations that are working to improve the health of low-income and at-risk populations in greater Prince William County. Grant awards range from $1,000 to $20,000.

“At Novant Health UVA Health System, we believe in our role as a good corporate citizen,” said Kelly Persons, director, Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center Foundation. “We recognize how important it is to work with local agencies and organizations to make our community a better place to live and work.”

The foundation is particularly interested in nonprofit organizations that address the top four significant health priorities identified in its 2016 community health needs assessment. Those areas include:

Diabetes

Obesity

Chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease and stroke

Mental health, including substance abuse

Organizations that apply must hold a 501(c)(3) designation for a minimum of two years and must be in good-standing within the community. Last year’s grant award winners include the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory and the Prince William Area Free Clinic.

Grant applications for the fall cycle are due Oct. 15, with grant awards announced in December.

To be considered for a grant, applicants must complete an electronic application and submit via email. Contact Kelly Persons, director of Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center Foundation, for an application at klpersons@novanthealth.org or 703-369-8791.

News
15-year-old shooting death: ‘what happened is not as you read in the news’

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WOODBRIDGE — Ruben Urbina, 15, was shot and killed by a Prince William County police officer Sept. 15.

After receiving a 911 call from a male who said they no longer wanted to live, had a bomb strapped to his chest, threatening to hurt others, police stated that they shot Urbina as he wielded a three-foot-long crowbar at them and ignored commands to drop the weapon.

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert called the shooting “justified.”

Urbina’s family, friends, a school teacher, and former pastor gathered outside the Prince William County Government Center Tuesday night to mourn his death,

His brother, Oscar, said this:

“We don’t agree with the story as reported in the news… what happened is not as you read in the news. The fact and truth of what happened will be uncovered.”

The family did not take any questions from the line of reporters who showed up to cover the vigil. No one wanted to talk about the events that led up to the shooting death of the 15-year-old.

Ruben attended school at Pace West in Prince William County. His brother, Oscar, said school officials placed his brother at PACE West because Ruben needed a school with fewer students to excel in his studies. (more…)

News
Brann steps aside: ‘It has been a pleasure to serve as the Acting School Board member’

Shawn Brann will be seated on the dais for a Prince William County School Board for the last time tonight. 

The acting Nokesville School Board member will step aside when Gil Trenum, the elected school board member for the district returns after a 1-year military deployment to Africa. 

From Brann: 

I will be serving as the Acting Board member for the Brentsville District for the meeting tomorrow night; Mr. Trenum will be back by the meeting on October 18.

It has been a pleasure to serve as the Acting School Board member for the Brentsville District over the past year.  I did my best to fill the big shoes of Mr. Trenum while he served our country.  As a Brentsville District resident, I look forward to having our most experienced School Board member return to the dais.  I appreciate the support that I received from so many over the past year, and the compliments that I have received as this year comes to a close.  This experience only further validated my belief that education has transformative power and can make a difference in the lives of our students.

Trenum’s 2o16 deployment did not come without controversy from his fellow school board members. 

Chairman Ryan Sawyers wanted the board to appoint a temporary fill-in for Trenum. But Trenum, backed by Republicans, wanted to choose his temporary appointment — which ended up being Brann.

State Senator Scott Surrovell requested a legal opinion on the matter from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring which stated the School Board was obligated to fill the seat and could not leave it empty until Trenum’s return. 

News
Sheetz opens Bristow store, renovates Haymarket location

A new Sheetz gas station is open in Bristow, while a Sheetz in Haymarket (the first Sheetz to be built in Prince William County in the mid-1990s) is being renovated. 

From an email: 

The Bristow store, located at 11627 Nokesville Road, is 6,478 sq. feet with indoor and outdoor seating.  It has the ability to fuel 12 vehicles at one time. 

The interior construction at the Haymarket store, located at 15315 Washington St., wrapped up last week.  That is also a 6,479 sq. foot store location with indoor/outdoor seating.  Work is currently being done at gas pumps at that store.  Work on the pumps is projected to wrap up in late November, and when completed, 20 cars will be able to fuel at the same time.

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