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A great photo: Potomac Avenue in Quantico

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News
Deborah Wright is the new Library Director for Prince William County

Submitted: 

 

The Prince William County Library Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Deborah Wright is the new Library Director for the County’s Public Library System.

Wright has 14 years of experience in the Prince William Public Library System, including two years as the Assistant Library Director where she oversaw public services in 11 branches and had direct supervision of the branch administrators. Wright previously worked at the Prince William Public Library System as well as the Prince William County Schools before moving to the Newport News Public Library System serving as a Branch Administrator, and a Family and Youth Services Coordinator. She then made her way back to Prince William becoming the Branch Administrator for Chinn Park Regional Library.

Wright received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Roanoke College and her Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina. She is also a member of the Virginia Library Association and the American Library Association.

The previous Prince William County Public Library Director Connie Gilman retired in October, 2016


Check out Mad Mondays in March at Chick-fil-A Bristow

Download the PDF file .

Each Monday in March, there’s something special going on at Chick-fil-A Bristow!

Mad Hatter Monday — Monday, March 3, 2017

Wear your craziest hat and get a FREE chocolate chip cookie!

Luck O’ the Irish Monday — Monday, March 13, 2017

Wear green from head to toe and get a FREE soft drink!

B-Ball Jersey Monday — Monday, March 20, 2017

Wear your favorite team’s B-Ball Jersey and get a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich!

Crazy Bunny Ears Monday — Monday, March 27, 2017

Wear your craziest Bunny Ears and get a FREE IceDream!

News
Honored Prince William K9 Hawkeye dies

From Prince William police: 

GOODBYE HAWKEYE: It is with heavy hearts we announce that Retired K9 Hawkeye passed away this past weekend. Hawkeye served a distinguished career from 2006 – 2015, along with his partner Master Police Officer Bill VanAntwerp. Hawkeye passed peacefully, with his family by his side. He was 13 years old.

Hawkeye was a valiant K9 who worked diligently catching criminals who were wanted for serious offenses. He was an instrumental piece of an effective dog team handled by Master Police Officer William VanAntwerp. He was a dual purpose dog certified in narcotic detection and criminal apprehension. He made countless apprehensions, ultimately locating suspects in every possible environment. There was comfort knowing K9 Hawkeye was on the street patrolling at night.

See Hawkeye in action in 2010


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

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1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 



Historic Manassas reveals new logo

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Featured photos in slideshow: New logo, old logo

Over the last year, Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) has worked endlessly on their rebranding efforts and are excited to announce the release of their new logo. The new logo features a streetscape of Main Street as well as the welcoming historic water tower. To represent Historic Manassas’ close partnership with the City, their new tag line ‘Historic Heart. Modern Beat.’ was also incorporated into the logo.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, worked to create the perfect logo.

“We are humbled to be a part of this rebrand, excited that Manassas is undergoing a wonderful amount of growth and change, while still staying true to its history. We felt it was fitting to create a logo that married a vibrant energy to its beautiful architecture, and we are very proud of the result,” said King.

HMI began their rebranding efforts within the community by creating a survey last spring to determine who the community thought HMI was. The former logo, the downtown train depot, gave many the impression that HMI was just those who ran the train station or a committee involved with the museum and historic preservation within the City. Very few realized the involvement HMI has in the community including the numerous events that take over the streets of downtown each year.

Historic Manassas, Inc. was formed to promote a positive image of Historic Downtown Manassas and to perpetuate its revitalization. HMI feels this new logo helps to push forth its mission statement to engage the community in promotion, preservation, and enhancement of our vibrant Historic Downtown. Those interested in learning more about HMI’s four committees can find information here on their website.

Keep an eye out for the new logo and be sure to check out all of the events coming up in downtown. Next up is First Friday – March Madness on March 3!

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School closings and delays for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

 

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. 

News
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
Join us at for a beer at Water’s End Brewery to talk about improving the Old Bridge Corridor/I-95

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Forward Motion Commotion: Let’s Get Old Bridge Traffic Moving”…an event sponsored by Potomac Local in partnership with Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson.

Traffic Congestion Think Tanks for the Occoquan District started in 2016 and continued in 2017. We are determined to mitigate the rush hour congestion along the Old Bridge Road corridor for morning and evening commuters and residents trying to move about. A couple of improvements are in progress. Now, we need more.

Come and meet Prince William County Department of Transportation (DOT) and VDOT leaders who will explain how projects are vetted and funded. Other transportation experts will also attend. Potomac Local News Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate a panel discussion, with questions from area residents, focused on getting traffic moving again on Old Bridge Road.

Email your questions about traffic in the Old Bridge Road Corridor for the panel to potomaclocal[at]gmail.com.

Map and Input Stations will be staffed with people ready to document your ideas. Intersections and other known opportunities for improvement include:

— Intersection – 123/Old Bridge Road (OBR)

— Intersection – Occoquan Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Tanyard Hill Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Minnieville Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Prince William Pkwy/OBR

— Miscellaneous – Minnieville/Smoketown/Springwoods, etc.

— I-95 interchange with Route 123

— Public Transportation

Unlike last year’s series of Occoquan congestion think tank meetings, this event will be a one-time opportunity in 2017 to provide your input in person. Following the meeting, we will continue to take ideas via email, calls and on our website:  SupervisorRuthAnderson.com.  So, if you have concerns and/or ideas or want to learn more about the process of getting ideas to the drawing board…this Think Tank is your opportunity.

The event will take place at Waters End Brewery, located at 12425 Dillingham Square, Lake Ridge, Va., from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

**Limited space! You must register to attend. By registering you are saving your spot but you will also receive one complimentary beer from Water’s End.**

News
Updated: New parkway elementary school site a threat to parkland, say conservationists

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Photo by Flickr user Prince William Public Library

From Prince William Conservation Alliance: 

Community Meeting
Tuesday, February 7, 4 to 6pm at Prince William Conservation Alliance, 2241F Tackett’s Mill Drive, Woodbridge

Planning Commission Vote
Wednesday, February 15, 7pm at McCoart Government Center, Board Chambers

Originally proposed to replace part of Chinn Parkland, this school is now slated for a site adjacent to Chinn Park, along PW Parkway between Kenwood Drive and Trowbridge Drive.

While this new site is preferable, concerns about impacts to Chinn Parkland and the surrounding community remain.

As currently proposed, damages to the adjacent parkland would be noteworthy. Despite significant impervious surfaces and highly erodible soils, no on-site retention of stormwater is planned, creating a situation that would devastate the creek.

Serious watershed impacts would extend far beyond the borders of the development site.

(more…)

News
Updated: 2-alarm fire at Lorton incinerator was ‘deep-seated and will take multiple days to extinguish’

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Photo  Tweeted by @ffxfirerescue by @mountainstwin1

We’re working to get more on this story from Fairfax County fire and rescue officials. Here’s what we know now. 

From Covanta

The I-95 Energy/Resource Recovery Facility, operating as Covanta Fairfax, Inc., began commercial operation in June 1990. The facility processes more than 3,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste for a population of more than 900,000 in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Fairfax County, Virginia. The 22.9-acre facility in Lorton, VA, sells more than 80 megawatts of renewable energy – enough energy to meet the needs of over 80,000 homes. It is the first Covanta facility to have a system to recover very small particles of non-ferrous metal for recycling. 

Update

From Fairfax County fire and rescue:  (more…)


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

PHOTO - Hi Res Ariel image of Prince WIlliam County

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…)



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

Banquet Hall rentals at the Manassas Park Community center include tables and chairs, but renters can also rent their own chairs as Sandara did to better coordinate with her wedding theme

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

Souper Bowl Slider 2017

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!

News
Stewart plans Virginia Gubernatorial Campaign launch in Occoquan

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart is making a run for the office of Virginia Governor.

From Corey Stewart for Governor Campaign:

You’re invited to join us this Monday night to kick-off our campaign to Take Back Virginia from the political elites, at our Northern Virginia Launch Party.

It will be this Monday, January 23rd at Bistro L’Hermitage, 12724 Occoquan Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192. You can sign up to attend here.

Come out and meet our team and learn how you can help Take Back Virginia. Appetizers will be provided.

WHAT: Northern Virginia Launch Party

WHERE: Bistro L’Hermitage
12724 Occoquan Rd
Woodbridge, VA 22192

WHEN: Monday, January 23rd at 7 PM

Traffic
Route 123 commuter ‘lot is simply not as convenient as the others’

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. — There’s always a plethora of open parking spaces at the commuter lot at the intersection of Route 123 and Interstate 95.

It sits right on the highway and might make one think that using it would be a no-brainer. But that’s not the case, according to Potomac and Rappahannock Transporation spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo: 

Each year PRTC performs a commuter lot usage count. Below are the observed counts for the I-95 and 123 Commuter Lot since 2007. (VDOT also does counts.) The greatest usage came after Potomac Mills reduced the number of spaces that allowed for commuter parking and prior to the opening of the Telegraph Road Commuter Lot.

Comparing utilization and location for this lot to others in I-95 corridor that are regularly over or very near capacity (Horner Road, Telegraph Road, Lake Ridge, 123 and Old Bridge, 234 and Route 1) you could come to the conclusion that the lot is simply not as convenient as the others.

(more…)

News
‘the accused grabbed the victim by the throat and threw her against a wall’

From Prince William police: 

Strangulation | Domestic Assault & Battery – On January 15 at 10:43AM, officers responded to an apartment located in the 1700 block of Shady River Ct in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a domestic assault. The victim, a 24-year-old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused grabbed the victim by the throat and threw her against a wall. The parties eventually separated and the victim contacted police. The accused fled the area prior to officers arriving. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was located and arrested a short time later without incident.

Arrested on January 15:

Juvar Ramone FLEMMING, 24, of the 1700 block of Shady River Ct in Woodbridge

Charged with strangulation

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

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