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Found photos illustrate Prince William County’s past

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Photos by Ed Stallknecht

Pictured: NOVA Woodbridge Campus, Gordon Plaza at Route 123 and Horner Road in Woodbridge, Manassas Train Station in Old Town Manassas, Pilot House restaurant on Neabsco Creek (destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003), the old Holiday Inn in Dumfries.

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Last fall, we saw some images of Prince William County taken more than 40 years ago appeared on Facebook. 

We wondered who took them, and how the photos wound up on social media so many years later.

Today, we have that story. 

From Historic Prince William President David Cuff: 

After a career in the Marines, Edward S. Stallknecht became a realtor based in Dumfries in the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Ed learned to fly while in the Marines and would rent airplanes from the Flying Club based at Quantico.

Besides just a love of flying, Ed used the flights to take pictures of the fast changing landscape below. He used the images in a slideshow presentation he would give to other realtors, associations, and clients looking for large tracts of land to develop.

I serve as the current president of Historic Prince William, and on a warm afternoon last May, I noticed an aerial image on the wall of Aden Grocery while getting a drink and e BLT sandwich. The image was an aerial photo of the store taken in 1972 and was signed “Ed Stallknecht, Flying Realtor.” Intrigued, I searched the internet for more information.

(more…)

News
‘The occupants…heard a sparking noise from the kitchen’

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

On Monday, February 6 th , at 2:48 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to vehicle fire located in the 14200 block of Gardner Manor in Gainesville. Upon arrival, firefighters were informed all occupants were safely out of the RV. As fire and rescue crews made entry, they observed fire in the subfloor of the trailer that had extended to an interior bathroom. Firefighters initiated fire attack and extinguished the fire. No injuries reported.

The occupants, home at the time of the fire, heard a sparking noise from the kitchen and discovered sparks emitting from an outlet in which the refrigerator was plugged. One of the occupants attempted to locate the access point of the fire but was unable to locate and called 911. Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 2 adults and 1 child, displaced by the fire.


Request for community support in honoring local superheroes

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On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the 31st Annual Prince William Valor Awards.

The event, which is open to the public, is held annually to recognize the men and women in uniform who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping our community and its people safe and secure: the local superheroes. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.

“This year we are hoping to fill the auditorium of the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the people of this community who appreciate the sacrifices made by public safety officials,” says Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and Prince William County Resident. “In a year when the climate on social media and across the country has been charged with fear and uncertainty, the Prince William region has been blessed to be served by forward-thinking and fair-minded public servants who also put their lives on the line in ways that we almost never hear about. Our Valor Awards shine the light on these brave and selfless individuals. I am asking that if you are at all able to attend the 2017 event, that you would strongly consider buying a ticket and joining us to show your appreciation.”

What should you expect when you attend the Valor Awards event?

(more…)

News
Prince William gains 596 new jobs from economic development projects

The Prince William County Department of Economic Development today announced it logged $1.3 billion capital investment, added 596 new jobs and retained 80 existing jobs from 23 economic development projects in 2016.

From an agency press release: 

The 23 projects consisted of 18 new business attractions, 3 expansions of existing businesses and 2 business retentions. The projects spanned a range of industries (information technology, life sciences, data centers, distribution, recreation, federal contracting and manufacturing) – representative of the diversity of the underlying Prince William County economy.  Of the 596 new jobs to be created from these projects, approximately 70% will be in industry sectors targeted by the County.

In the last five calendar years [2012-2016], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record of nearly $4.0 billion and create approximately 2,600 new jobs

(more…)

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VDOT’s take on the new Haymarket DDI at I-66

Photo by VDOT Northern Virginia

From VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis:

I’ve loved working on this project because it has so many up sides. Safer, faster, cheaper! We knew we would have to fight the misconceptions of it being dangerous, and how people wouldn’t understand, but so far they have. Since it is not completely done (still need to open third lane, finish multi-use path, overhead signs, mast arm signals, concrete islands) it’s hard for people to conceptualize the finished product. I for one didn’t grasp that I was on temporary pavement, and when it was complete in the spring, the intersection lines would be longer and leaner that what is there now.

I have followed the news articles and read the comments (looking for misconceptions that I can address), and all we have left are people that claim, despite all of the studies, that this will somehow be a dangerous intersection. The only thing to refute that is time, so we watch and wait.

I found this to be an interesting exchange on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/82552774911269274

News
Prince William strategic plan: ‘Does it reflect the needs and wants of our citizens?’

 
Submitted: 
 
For 25 years, Prince William County has produced a citizen-driven Strategic Plan, aimed at guiding the course of our budget and local legislation.  
 
The Board of Supervisors determines the issues important to our community’s success, then appoints two citizen volunteers per supervisor to study those issues.  
 
For the better part of 2016, the Strategic Plan Team explored and studied five topics: Transportation, Economic Development, Human Services, Education & Public Safety.
 
The result? The 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, unanimously adopted by the Board.  
 
But what does this Plan really do?   (more…)

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A busy day for police at the new Haymarket DDI intersection

Photo: VDOT Northern Virginia

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HAYMARKET, Va. — The first Diverging Diamond Interchange in Northern Virginia opened Saturday at Route 15 and Interstate 66 in Haymarket.

The interchange is unlike others in the state because it removes the need for drivers to make dangerous left turns across oncoming traffic. It also puts traffic on the opposite side of the street as drivers pass through the interchange. 

The new interchange is quickly becoming the standard in the state with another one planned at Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road in Stafford.

The new street configuration and traffic pattern changes today in Haymarket led to some confusion today, and police want drivers to be aware of the changes.

From Haymarket Chief of Police Kevin Lands: 

Here are some observations the Haymarket Police Department observed and handled during today’s rush hour traffic at the DDI. Any help getting the word out would be helpful. Thanks. 
 
VDOT detail- monitored A.M. rush traffic at the diversion diamond interchange. No crashes to report at this time. However other items of note were observed.
 
1) Incorrect use of the traffic pattern-
Three motorists claimed to be confused while entering or exiting the diamond on the Heathcote side. Two drivers stayed to the right while attempting to travel south on Rt.15 on a northbound portion. They were stopped prior to the I-66 eastbound ramps. Both drivers claimed to be confused and attempted to just stay right. The third driver was traveling north on Rt.15 and attempted to exit the diamond and ended up in the southbound lanes but was then able to correct.

(more…)



Discover the area’s best-kept secret when planning your wedding

You’ve heard it before: planning a wedding can be expensive. According to  costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding is $26,645. Most couples plan to spend less than $10,000 for their big day, but the cost of everything associated with planning weddings adds up – and guess what, this price does NOT include the cost of the honeymoon!

So what money saving tips are out there for couples on a budget? How can they keep costs down and quality high? In other words, are there any corners you can cut while providing a top-notch, well presented, beautiful day for yourselves, your friends, and your families?

“After looking at between 15 and 20 venues, we chose the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Banquet Hall because the price was good,” says newlywed Anna Sandara. “The MPCC Banquet Hall fit into our budget, and although there was a limited amount of reviews on renting the Banquet Hall, we took a chance, and boy am I happy we did,” Sandra exclaimed.

“I really think the Manassas Park Community Center Banquet Hall is the best kept secret in our area,” stated Sandara, “Couples planning a wedding should really check it out because they will be pleasantly surprised just like we were.”

When you rent the MPCC Banquet Hall space, the price also includes access to a caterer’s kitchen and pre-function and patio areas.   (more…)

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School closings and delays for Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

School divisions in Prince William and Stafford counties already have modified schedules today. 

Prince William County Public Schools — Teacher Workday today, NO School.

Stafford County Public School — Early release day for all grades /end of semester.

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 


Souper Bowl is Back in Manassas for a third year

First Friday is back and it is time for the Third Annual “Souper Bowl!”

On Friday, February 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., merchants in Historic Downtown Manassas will be hosting restaurants and serving up soup. This year, 10 locations will feature soups, ranging from chili to gumbo and more.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at any participating merchant location and will entitle attendees to unlimited soup samplings. Once you have sampled the wide assortment of soup, you’ll be asked to vote for your favorite to crown the winning restaurant “Souper Bowl Champion.”

Last year, downtown’s newest restaurant, Mariachi’s, took home the crown with their Tortilla Soup. After being open for about a month, they also took home second place with their Spinach and Chorizo soup.

February kicks off the first First Friday of 2017. Souper Bowl is a great kick off for the year and gets the community excited about what is to come for future First Fridays. Street closures for First Friday will begin in April and run through October to allow pedestrian traffic in the streets.

The event is a great way for people to get a little sample of what each restaurant has to offer. A list of participating merchants and restaurants for Souper Bowl can be found at visitmanassas.org. This event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget to also stop by Ameriprise while on your tasting tour and sign up for a $25 membership with HMI! Memberships entitle cardholders to a discount at your favorite downtown restaurant and shops!

If you are looking for something to do on a First Friday, or any other day of the week, be sure to check out Historic Downtown Manassas – you just may find your new favorite restaurant and shops!

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Haymarket DDI opens this weekend

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From VDOT: 

Northern Virginia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Interstate 66 and Route 15 will open to traffic Saturday, Jan. 28, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The new [$59 million] DDI alignment is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Jan. 28. The interchange will be closed overnight for final lane striping the night before beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Detour information is available on the project page.

Traffic will shift onto the new bridge, with two out of the three lanes opening Saturday. Work will still continue on the multi-use path, overhead signs, and concrete islands until summer 2017, when the third lane will then open.

The DDI’s innovative design shifts vehicles to the opposite side of the road and eliminates left turns that cross oncoming traffic. Two-phase traffic signals at each end of the interchange reduce time spent at red lights and move twice the number of vehicles as a traditional diamond interchange. VDOT recently completed its first two DDIs in Louisa and Roanoke, and has two more in the works in Blacksburg and Stafford.

News
Countdown to Cabelas

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All is quiet outside Cabelas in Gainesville, but it won’t be that way for long. 

The outdoor retailer announced it will open its doors March 9

The store is located at 5291 Wellington Branch Drive, behind the Virginia Gateway shopping center. The storefront is an easy view from Interstate 66.

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

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

From Prince William County Library Foundation Board member Candi Johnson: 

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

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

Submitted: 

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

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

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


The Town of Dumfries is Hiring

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

— Building Official

— Chief of Police

— Code Compliance Officer

— Community Development Director

— Director of Public Works

— Information Technology Manager

— Police Officer

— Sergeant

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Prince William fire and rescue: 

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

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

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

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

No injuries reported.

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

Did anyone snap photos at the scene? Send them to news@potomaclocal.com.

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

From VDOT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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