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Price for senior pass to National Parks to increase

Since 1994 the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass has been $10, but as a result of legislation passed in December of 2016, that price will increase to $80. The price hike is expected to take effect August 28 2017, so seniors are encouraged to act soon if they wish to purchase a senior pass. 

 

From Prince William Forest Park:

Seniors over age 62 may want to purchase a lifetime pass soon. The price goes up on August 28th, 2017. To qualify, you must be an American citizen or permanent resident of the United States and pay the $10 fee. This pass is a lifetime pass to National Parks and other federal recreation lands. When the supply at the Visitor Center is out, it’s out. (more…)

News
Prince William County to sponsor Serious Play Conference

Prince William County is hosting for the first time the Serious Play Conference, a program that encourages the application of game mechanics for education and training.

The conference also looks to educate students of potential career options in the field, and bring together pioneers in the field to share what they’ve learned. 

From a press release:

Prince William County Department of Economic Development is proud to sponsor this year’s industry-leading Serious Play Conference taking place on July 18-20, 2017, at the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus, Prince William County, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

More than 100 thought leaders driving the adoption of game-based and simulation learning will gather to share experiences in implementing serious games. They represent leading public and private institutions including the U.S. DOD, private industry sectors and higher education, according to a press release.

DOD training leads, contractors, state and local government CIOs will share what they’ve learned training the country’s armed forces with developers and instructional designers from the serious games industry.

This year’s speakers include training personnel from the Office of National Intelligence; the Center for Deployment Psychology; Defense University; UCF; OPM; contractors from the Veterans Affairs Administration, the Army and the Navy; police departments; prisons; as well as companies implementing gamification programs, healthcare providers, researchers, developers, instructional designers and K-12 faculty using games in education, according to Serious Play. (more…)

News
End of trailer classrooms on the horizon at Springwoods Elementary

LAKE RIDGE — Teachers and staff at Springwoods Elementary School in Lake Ridge are buzzing about an upcoming addition to the school building.

A total of 13 new classrooms and an activity room will be added to the school building in 2019. When complete, the $11.9 million renovations will allow 329 more students to attend classes at the school.

School staff recently took to Twitter to announce that some parents might see some movement of trailers on school property this summer, but it’s not related to the upcoming work:

Springwoods Elementary has seven trailers, also called learning cottages. When the new addition is complete, all of the trailers are expected to be removed.

The school located at 3815 Marquis Place in Lake Ridge opened in 1985 and currently holds 593 students. Prince Wiliam County has 128 trailer classrooms at its 60 elementary schools.

News
Woodbridge VFW Post Commander achieves All-American status

From Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce, Charles P. “Chuck” Wilson has achieved “All-American” status as a Post Commander (2014-2017). Wilson, outgoing commander of Post 7916 in Occoquan, VA, is one of only 279 of 6,500 (Top .04%) VFW Post commanders worldwide to earn the title of All-American Commander. 

To achieve this honor, Post commanders must meet strict requirements in their role to include exceptional leadership, authentic accomplishment in membership growth and strong support of VFW core programs. Chuck Wilson is now Commander of District 10, Virginia’s largest District with over 8,000 Veteran and Auxiliary members. (more…)

News
No scheduled deviations for OmniLink trips on Tuesday

WOODBRIDGE — A software upgrade will prevent some riders for scheduling deviations from regularly scheduled OmniLink routes. 

From a PRTC statement: 

Software upgrades to some of PRTC’s operations and communications systems are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 18 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The work will temporarily impact our ability to communicate with passengers and serve locations other than signed bus stops.  During the work:

–Customer Service will be unable to schedule OmniLink off-route trips. For off-route trips onTuesday, July 18, orWednesday, July 19, passengers should call Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 prior to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 17.

–The Rider Express email and text message notification system will not be available. Any information about delayed trips, missed stops, etc., will be posted as a Service Update at PRTCtransit.org.

–PRTC’s interactive voice response phone system will not be available. Passengers who phone Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 must speak with a Customer Service Agent to get information about bus services. Riders also may contact Customer Service at Omni@OmniRide.com.

The planned software outage comes about a week after the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, operators of OmniLink, had phone problems at its Woodbridge headquarters. 



Ornery Brewery set the tone for brew pubs in Prince William

Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the third in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Prince William County’s first brewpub just did something every brewery wants to do: Distribute its beer on the wholesale market to local restaurants.

Now diners in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. can enjoy a cold glass of beer from Ornery Beer Company in Woodbridge. The brewpub — a combination brewery and restaurant with a chef-driven menu — opened near Potomac Mills in 2015.

“When we starting thinking about this business, this county didn’t have a brewpub. It had a brewery or two but not a brewpub that served delicious beer and food,” said Ornery Brewery owner Randy Barnette, of Gainesville.

Barnette was an investor in a brewpub in Falls Church and thought he could bring the same quality product to Prince William County. Before Ornery, Barnette operated the Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge for 15 years. That restaurant had run its course, he said, and Barnette gave the space an complete overhaul before opening Ornery Brewery.

Barnette knew how to run a restaurant, so he hired master brewer Chris Jacques to create Ornery’s 15 signature beer flavors. The brewpub serves everything from dark and beers to IPAs — just about anything a craft beer enthusiast would expect to find at a small brewery.

Last October, he promoted Ferdinand McAdoo to the position of head brewer, who has been Ornery since its opening.

A favorite of restaurant goers is Ornery’s Blonde Ale, a light beer that pairs well with just about anything.

“Prince William County has a very, very diverse demographic and our beers have to be very, very diverse,” explained Barnette. “We’re not as defined in our types of beer as you might see in some other places.”



Explore summer reading at your Prince William Public Library: Young Adults

 

Free food, prizes, and events all summer long!

How it Works:

Explore Summer Reading is happening now until August 19. A couple of weeks ago we talked about summer reading for kids, infants through students entering 5th grade.

Today it’s all about the teens! Young adults (entering grades 6 – 12), come to any library branch to register and pick up a Punch Card, and we’ll give you your first punch. Then each time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your card. At your second visit, we’ll give you a free food coupon. And at your sixth visit, more free food!

Grand Prizes

But wait, there’s more! We’re giving away a $100 prize at each of our 11 branches, plus one grand prize, a Beats™ Pill+. Each visit counts as an entry into the drawings, and you can earn punches for up to nine visits. Plus, write a book review and enter it on our Explore Summer Reading website, www.pwcgov.org/summerreading, and earn extra entries! You might also find your book review published to our Goodreads page, www.pwcgov.org/goodreads.

Weekly Challenges and Events

Come in each week of summer reading and complete the weekly challenge for the chance to win additional prizes. Then put your smartphone down and come to a free event, such as a cartooning workshop, art class, cooking demo, magic workshop, reptile show, laser tag party, and much more. For the full lineup, pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any library or visit our events page at www.pwcgov.org/library/events.

Then pick your smartphone back up and tag us #PWPLSsummer on social media. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tag us and we might repost! (more…)

News
Two face charges in BB gun shootings

Rice, Devaughn
Marshall, Robert

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Prince William police say they arrested two men suspected in two BB gun shootings on Tuesday in the county. 

One occurred in Dale City, and the second at a Taco Bell at the corner of Sudley Road and Sudley Manor Drive near Manassas. 

More from a police press release: 

Malicious Wounding | BB Gun Shooting Investigations – On July 11 at 12:45PM, officers responded to the area of Darbydale Ave and Danville Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a shooting involving a BB gun. The investigation revealed that three adult males were struck by BB pellets as they were working in the above area. One victim was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The two other victims received minor injuries.

Later that afternoon around 3:10PM, officers responded to the area of Sudley Manor Rd and Sudley Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a second shooting involving a BB gun. The second investigation revealed that an adult male reported to police that he was walking in the above area when he was struck by a BB pellet in the upper body. The victim reported minor injuries.

(more…)

News
Fire department reform would give chief ultimate say

WOODBRIDGE — Major reforms are coming to the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department.

After 16 months and meetings and deliberation, career and volunteer firefighters and medics appear to have a found a new model for the system that is charged with providing emergency services for the county’s nearly half a million residents.

Fire and rescue leaders told the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday it wants to adopt a new organizational model known commonly as the “strong chief” operation, which places one person solely in charge of career and volunteer firefighters. The move would also bring with it the formation of a new fire and rescue advisory committee which would help the chief in setting policy and guidelines for the entire department to follow and would provide counsel to McGee– whose been the county’s fire chief for the past 10 years.

The move would dissolve the county’s existing Fire and Rescue Association; a body made up of both career and volunteer officers who have voting and veto powers when it comes to developing and adopting rules for the operation of the combined department.

“This will be a significant change to our fire and rescue system,” McGee told the Board of Supervisors. (more…)



Who is the most beautiful baby? Sign up for the Prince William County Fair Baby Contest today!

The Prince William County Fair is right around the corner, and we want to see who has the cutest baby in Prince William County.

Potomac Local is proud to sponsor this year’s Baby Contest, and we want to know how cute is your baby.

The contest will be hosted over two days this year. Boys and girls ages nine to 18 months old be on Saturday, Aug. 12. We’ll have the girls contest at 3 and the boys at 4:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, we’ll judge boys and girls ages 18 to 36 months old. The girl’s contest is at 3 p.m. and the boys and 4:30 p.m.

To enter your child, print and fill out this application and then mail it to Prince William County Fair, 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, Va. 20112. All entries must be postmarked by July 14 to be considered.

You can also email your entry or fax it to 703-368-5534.

Be sure to include the registration fee of $5 per child, or $10 per child if you want the cool participant souvenir t-shirt.



Jeff Dove Leads African American citizens across Virginia in calling out Northam’s despicable racial attacks on Gillespie

Woodbridge, Virginia – African American congressional candidate, Iraq War veteran, and small businessman, denounced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam for using the Klu Klux Klan as political leverage in this year’s elections.

Jeff Dove who is seeking the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District, said Northam was giving the racist organization attention it neither deserved nor warranted. The Klan has said it will hold a rally in Charlottesville and Northam has tried to accuse Republican nominee Ed Gillespie of failing to sufficiently denounce the plan.

“The Ku Klux Klan is despicable. So is using them for political leverage the way Ralph Northam and the Democrats are trying to do,” Dove said.

“As an African American man I am well aware of the Klan and its origins in the Democrat-dominated deep south. I’m a Republican because it is the GOP that was founded to end slavery and has had to stand up to the Democrat party repeatedly to defend the concept of equality for all. Today, the Klan barely exists and Ralph Northam is giving them the attention they crave by trying to inject them into the governor’s race,” Dove said.

Kaylene Seigle, Harrisonburg School Board Member reacted to this incident by stating.

“We need leadership in Richmond who will rise above the type of politics that uses race-based accusations and innuendo. Our Commonwealth deserves better from the Ralph Northam campaign. Ed Gillespie is the type of leader our state needs to bring people together, not divide and tear us apart.”  (more…)

News
Updated: Phones out at PRTC; riders encouraged to email

WOODBRIDGE — There are phone problems this morning at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

The bus agency operates OmniLink local buses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Under normal circumstances, riders who use OmniLink may call ahead to schedule a pick-up anywhere along an OmniLink route, up to a quarter of a mile off the route.

OmniLink customers are encouraged to email the call center this morning, instead:

From PRTC:

PRTC is currently experiencing phone issues and is unable to receive calls on the Customer Service line at this time. While we are working to resolve the problem, customers may email us at Omni@omniride.com with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We’ll update this post with new information when we have it.

Update: The phone system is now working. 

News
Prince William police to deploy body worn cameras

From Prince William County Police Department Chief Barry Barnard:

The staff of the Prince William County Police Department remain committed to our mission of enhancing the quality of life here in the County by providing effective police services to our community members. We accomplish our mission by building upon our existing relationships, pledge to make new connections and continue our focus of enhancing trust with those we serve.

For quite some time, our organization has made community policing and building trust a primary focus with the people of Prince William County. We will continue this effort to improve our organization through proactive means and creating dialogue with our stakeholders. Over many years, your Police Department has seen positive satisfaction ratings from Citizen Surveys. While we deeply appreciate this support, we understand there are always ways we can improve our delivery of police services to the community.

To assist us with this important task, and after significant discussion and research, the Police Department will begin deploying Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) within our community as early as September 2017. Policing in today’s society has seen a dramatic change in technological advancements in our profession. These opportunities have shown to help law enforcement agencies improve upon their dedication to providing the highest level of professionalism to our public. (more…)



MyLink – ‘There is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics’ without it

Teens who are striving for independence but lack a driver’s license or access to a vehicle need the MyLink Teen Summer Bus Pass! With the pass, teens can travel around the Prince William County area without relying on their parents for a ride!

Here’s a MyLink teen testimonial:

“I have used [a MyLink pass] for the past several years, and there is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics” without it, one teen told PRTC in 2016. “My dedication to the various aspects of my busy lifestyle has undoubtedly been made possible thanks to the Teen Summer Pass.”

Now in its 10th year, the MyLink program is offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The pass enables those ages 13-19 to get unlimited local bus rides all summer long for $30. In addition, teens who use a MyLink pass get credit for the local fare when traveling on PRTC buses to nearby Metro stations and destinations including Washington, D.C.

In a 2016 survey, 69% of teens who used a MyLink pass last summer said they bought it because they didn’t have a driver’s license. Half said they used their pass to spend time with friends and get to summer school or other school-related activities.

MyLink passes are loaded onto SmarTrip cards, making it easy for teens to transfer to Metro trains or other regional transit providers. If the teen doesn’t already have a SmarTrip card, there is an additional $2 fee to purchase one.

PRTC’s one-way local fare is $1.55. At that rate, a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a MyLink pass. The pass is valid through Saturday, September 2, 2017. (more…)

News
Fire crews called to roof fire in Lake Ridge on July 4

From a press release: 

Lake Ridge July 4, 2017 9:41 p.m. Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Department responded to the report of a house fire at 2255 Spinnaker Court, Lake Ridge. Initial units arrived on scene within minutes and reported fire from the roof. Crews worked quickly to fight the blaze which had spread over much of the roof. The fire was under control within 15 minutes.

Fire & Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD and PWC Department of Fire & Rescue and PWCPD, responded to the incident. No one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office.

Multi-family yard sale in Lake Ridge

Multi-Family Yard Sale, Saturday, July 8 from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 3221 Culbreth Court, Lake Ridge, VA: Appliances, Electronics, Baby clothes, and toys, exercise equip, much more 

Appliances, Electronics, Baby clothes, and toys, exercise equip, much more 

News
Man, 18, charged in Lake Ridge picnic table fire

From a press release: 

On, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, fire and rescue units were dispatched to an outside fire in the 12800 block of Clipper Drive in Lake Ridge.

Upon arrival, firefighters discovered the fire had destroyed a picnic table, valued at $650 and belonging to the homeowners’ association. Based on the situation and conditions observed, the fire crews called for the Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate the incident. The investigators were able to determine the fire was intentionally set and developed suspects based on the scene and interviews. The investigators were able to obtain a felony arrest warrant for one of the suspects in the case.

On June 23, 2017, members of the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Police Department, located the suspect and placed him under arrest without incident.

The investigation is continuing.

Arrested on June 23:
Hakeem Koroma, 18 years old, of Lake Ridge.

Charged with §18.2-81 to burn personal property greater than or equal to $200; a class 6 felony. Mr. Koroma was released on a $5,000.00 unsecured bond and ordered to be admitted into pre-trial services.

News
Volunteers 55+ needed to drive veterans to medical appointments in Prince William County

Good morning Prince William – have a safe and enjoyable July 4th celebration!

· Please mark your calendar for July 22 and join the Independence Empowerment Center for their 10th Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration. It will be held from 10am until 2pm at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas. Lots of fun is planned including a live singer, many informational vendors, games for children, and a silent auction. Phat Yummies will be back! Come visit after you leave the Farmers’ Market.

· House of Mercy has just kicked off their Shoes for Kids Drive and need your help collecting new, trendy school shoes by July 22nd for their kids. The goal this year is 192 pairs of fun shoes to start the new school year. You can drop them off at the center located at: 8170 Flannery Court Manassas or check out their website for more info at: houseofmercyva.org.

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is still looking for volunteers for the Area Agency on Aging’s Meal on Wheels program You can sign up for a regular day or be a substitute driver. It is easy to do just by picking up a few meals at the Senior Center kitchens in Manassas or Woodbridge and delivering to your route. Bring joy and combat hunger among our seniors! If you are age 55+ contact Jan at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team. Adults 54 and under please phone Melodee at 703-792-4583.

· RSVP is also in urgent need of volunteers aged 55+ who can drive veterans and/or their spouses to medical appointments in Prince William County. There is a particular need for volunteers in eastern PWC to help veterans retired from Quantico and Fort Belvoir. Volunteers pick up veterans at their home, take them to their appointment, and assist with filling a prescription (if needed) and transport the veteran safely home. It is wonderful way to say “thank you” to our veterans and their family members for their service, and it only takes a few hours out of a day. Contact Jan at 571-292-5302 for all the details.

· Helping Neighbors-in-Need Outreach Center needs volunteers to assist in the office Monday through Wednesday, 9:30am to 3:30pm. They had some great volunteers but guess what? They got jobs and had to move on! If you would like to assist the homeless, veterans, elderly, the most vulnerable rebuild their lives; the Outreach Center could sure use your help. There is a detailed position description available, please contact, Pastor Edmonds at 571-589-8146. (more…)

Traffic
Unusual I-95 delays have slowed OmniRide commuter buses since April

It’s common knowledge that traffic on Interstate 95 north is slow in the mornings as commuters head to work in Washington, D.C. In the afternoons, traffic on the interstate slows again as workers head south for home.

In the past month, however, that rule of the road has been tested. OmniRide commuter buses from Prince William County headed north on I-95 were delayed at least 12 times between May 25 and June 23.

The delays were caused by a mix of traffic congestion and crashes. The buses’ operator Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission relies on a smooth flow of northbound traffic in the afternoons to send empty, or “deadheaded” buses to Washington, D.C. to pick up evening commuters, and then turn around and use the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes to bring them home.

From PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo:

“Yes, there has been an increase in the number of days that PRTC buses have experienced afternoon traffic delays. The congestion is typically northbound in Newington from early afternoon until the evening. Later in the evening, the traffic is tending to back up northbound from the Pentagon to the 14th Street Bridge.

To maximize efficiency and minimize costs, many of our buses operate two separate trips in the afternoons – traveling from Woodbridge to D.C. early during the rush hour, dropping passengers off in the Prince William area, and then returning to D.C. to pick up more passengers.

These second rush hour trips are particularly vulnerable to traffic conditions because at that time of day the Express and [I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes] are pointed southbound. As a result, northbound PRTC buses are using the general lanes with everyone else.”

The delays have forced PRTC to re-assign bus drivers to other routes, as well as “constantly monitor” on-time performance. (more…)


Rippon Lodge’s annual World War II Days features free showing of ‘Stalag 17’ under the stars

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In a year of significant historical anniversaries, one thinks of World War II. This year alone, many will commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the Battle of Midway (June 4) and the Battle of Stalingrad (July ’42-Feb ’43). These, like many others, shaped the course of the war. Hearing the news of these conflicts on the Homefront was difficult for many people. There was a need to escape and remember there was still hope.

The music and film industries of the 1940s provided those much-needed outlets to find laughter and joy, although fleeting, during the war years. 75 years ago, on November 26, Casablanca, with Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall was released.

It took filmmakers only three months of principle photography to make the picture. Warner Bros. rushed Casablanca to theaters to take advantage of the Allied invasion of North Africa only weeks earlier.

With the classic line “Here’s looking at you,” and an all-star cast, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, and became one of the most iconic movies of all time.

Released 75 years ago, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, (with Anyone Else but Me)” was a hit of the Andrew Sisters. In actuality, it is a reworked song.

Originally written by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias, its first release was for the 1939 Broadway musical Yokel Boy. After the U.S. had entered the war, the songwriters modified the lyrics to their more popular form.

The song debuted to moviegoers in May 1942 where the Andrew Sisters performed it in the feature film, Private Buckaroo. The tune remained to be one of the most requested songs during the Andrew Sisters’ performing career. (more…)

KO Distilling celebrates Bare Knuckle American Rye release

Friends old and new gathered at KO Distilling in Manassas on June 17 to celebrate the release of the first rye whiskey bottled in the city since Prohibition.

Bare Knuckle American Rye Whiskey is the second in a line of spirits from the distillery, joining Bare Knuckle American Wheat Whiskey in the product line.

The whiskey release party featured live music, a barbecue food truck, tastings, and a cornhole game.

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