Read Us Daily for News in Prince William, Manassas, & Stafford

Lake Ridge

News
2,400 Area Children Need Christmas Gifts

DALE CITY, Va. — There is an increased need in our area this season to provide a bit of Christmas cheer for some needy children in Prince William County.

The area’s Un-Trim A Tree holiday gift giving program has seen a 24-percent increase in the number of children who need gifts this year. The program has over 5,000 children “adopted” or identified as needing gifts this year. For about 2,400 of the youngsters, Un-Trim A Tree organizer Mary Foley doesn’t know where the gifts will come from.

“This program is just about a little cheer for a kid- it’s a toy or new winter coat or fun stuff for a kid at Christmas,” she said.

The children who benefit from this program live in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Thought family income levels vary, many of the children come from low-income families in the Dale City and Woodbridge areas and quality for free school lunch.

Foley says residents can help a child this year by contacting the program and adopting a child. Some adopters like to find out exactly what the child would like and then go out and shop for it, while others make gifts of cash or gift cards which are just as welcome.

“I have families with one child and I have families with 8 children. I can provide whatever your little heart desires,” said Foley to those considering adopting a child enrolled in the gift program.

Donations for  Un-Trim A Tree can also be dropped off at IKEA Woodbridge at Potomac Mills mall.

The Un-Trim A Tree program is 25-years-old and is managed by Volunteer Prince William.

Traffic
New Transit Buses Arrive

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Bus commuters in Prince William County will now have new seats on 13 new buses.

Providers of OmniRide and OmniLink, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission said the new buses have been delivered to their headquarters in Woodbridge. They will not be used to increase service, but to replace older buses that are rapidly aging.

PRTC Director Alfred Harf said PRTC had one of the oldest bus fleets in Virginia 20 years ago, but now it has one of the newest and youngest thanks to state funding and federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

More in a press release:

Each of the new Gillig brand buses is 40-feet long with a seating capacity of 43, featuring low floors for easier boarding and disembarking. They will be used for commuter bus services.

The buses were purchased through the USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, which is part of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In May 2009, the USDOT announced that it had $1.5 billion in discretionary TIGER funding and would accept applications for projects that promised a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region. In late 2009, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) applied for $266 million for multiple projects in the region including $10 million for PRTC projects. In February 2010, the TPB was informed that its application was partially approved and that 100% of the PRTC proposals would be funded.

More than half of PRTC’s funding, $5.7 million, was used to purchase the 13 buses. With the remaining funds, PRTC has purchased security cameras for 15 commuter buses and a Computer Aided Dispatch / Automated Vehicle Locator (CAD/AVL) system for the entire bus fleet. The CAD/AVL system, which will allow passengers to receive real-time bus information, is expected to be complete in 2014.

PRTC contracts with Ohio-based First Transit, Inc. to operate and maintain their bus fleet.

 

News
Panel Will Address Local Government Transparency

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — After Prince William County has made moves to abandon its internal auditing department, questions have arisen about transparency in local government.

A report Tuesday in the Washington Post detailed a recent audit some claim was not made public because it details mismanagement of a $9 million pension program for county employees and volunteer firefighters.

Now the Prince William Committee of 100 will meet in Lake Ridge on Thursday night at a previously planned meeting to discuss transparency in local government.

More from the committee in a press release:

The Presidential and Congressional elections are over, but as it is often said, all politics are local. The PWC 100 is pleased to present a program on “Openness, Transparency and Conflicts of Interest in Local Government.” The panel will consist of two members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and a former County Attorney. Our moderator will be the Mayor of the Town of Occoquan.

Occoquan Mayor Earine Porta will moderate the panel, while Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May, Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, former Prince William County attorney Sharon Pandak, and Staff Attorney for the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisor Council Alan Gernhardt will speak as part of Thursday night’s panel.

The event will be held in a multipurpose room at Westminster in Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive, at 7:45 p.m. The show is free to attend, but a dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. that evening, and members of the committee will be asked to pay $25 and non-members $30 for attending the dinner social.

 

News
Giant Food Wants Drive-Up Grocery Service

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — If you’re already thinking about your Thanksgiving feast, Giant Food stores in Prince William County are thinking about new ways to get it to you.

The county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment to the county’s zoning plan that could allow for customers in the near future to drive to Giant grocery stores and pick-up their orders. Until today the practice has not been allowed these supermarkets in the county.

Sources familiar with the new shopping concept said Giant Food will soon allow customers to place their order online and then drive to the store to pick up. County documents state the service will offer a new level of convenience to customers:

A business has a new grocery retailing concept to provide a convenient way to offer customers the ability to pick up food and household items in areas that are not currently served by a grocery store or in areas that customers frequently travel.

The Board authorized what is known as a zoning text amendment on Tuesday. This will allow Prince William County staff to analyze a proposal from the grocer – a plan which must be approved by the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

*This story has been corrected.

 

News
Paper Ballots to be Used in Prince William

By URIAH KISER

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The Prince William County Electoral Board thought they had enough voting machines. Last night they admitted they didn’t, and that led to voters at Woodbridge’s River Oaks precinct waiting in lines for up to four hours to cast their ballot Election Day Nov. 6. The last ballot was marked at River Oaks at 10:45 p.m., marking it the most problematic of the county’s 84 77 voting precincts.

Long Lines and lengthy waits also prevailed at Beville Middle School in Dale City and Fred M. Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge where voters waited three hours to cast votes. There were also lines of up to two hours at 17 other polling places in the county.

“I think that gives you an idea of the hardship that citizens in this county suffered on Election Day, and I guarantee you this Board regrets that,” said Prince William Electoral Board Secretary Tony Guiffre.

Now, the Electoral Board will begin the process of switching from the electronic touch-screen voting machines used since 2004 to paper ballots. Officials said Fairfax County were using paper ballots on Nov. 6 when lines got long, because they have optical scanning machines to count the returns.

Prince William doesn’t have optical scanners, said Guifree, and the paper ballot wasn’t an option. Election officials admitted they are a year and a half behind the curve when it comes to replacing aging voting machines.

Prince William Voting Registrar Betty Weimer said outfitting a single precinct with new machines – individual voting machines and ballot scanners — will cost about $22,000. Officials said there is no timeline in place as to when to expect the new machines.

Weimer has also taken questions from Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi after it was learned a request for $350,000 to fund overtime for election workers. The request appears twice in public meeting minutes of the Electoral Board.

The money would have not went to buy new voting machines if it had been approved, and weimer on Tuesday said she needed to review the matter further before she commented on it.

Guifree also listed other issues that slowed things down at the polls. There was voter confusion following the decennial redistricting process that brought changes to where voters are supposed to cast their ballots.

At least 10,000 voters cards presented to poll workers were red flagged with some type of issue, he said.

Two constitutional amendments that appeared on the ballot also slowed things, as voters had to take the time to read and understand the measures they were voting for.

Maryland voters had seven questions to review and decide on, and some counties also had individual referendums put to voters.

A new law that requires voters to present ID before they vote did not present a problem, said Guifree. Officials in Prince William County said they will now look at creating voting centers where residents will be allowed to vote ahead of time, much like in-person absentee voting, no matter what precinct they live in.

 

News
Police Search Ends at Occoquan Park

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Police found a man behind the wheel of an SUV who was threatening suicide this morning. That man was said to be armed with a long gun.

Police in Prince William County were called about 7:45 a.m. to a house on Ripple Creek Court in Lake Ridge after a report of a suicidal subject. The man apparently left the house in an SUV prior to police arriving at the scene. According to initial reports, police were informed the man was armed, and they told the man’s wife to remain outside of her home in case he returned.

Police cruisers with sirens activated fanned out across the area searching for the SUV using information from the SUV’s license plates.

A Prince William police officer spotted the SUV on the Occoquan River bridge on Va. 123 about 8 a.m. Police followed the SUV into Occoquan Regional Park just across the bridge in Fairfax County where the man stopped for police.

The man will be evaluated and no charges are pending at this time, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

News
School Questions Swamp Budget Session

By AL ALBORN
Contributing Editor

I attended the latest in a series of fiscal year 2014 budget information meetings on Saturday at the Prince William County Government Center.

I always enjoy watching budget director Michelle Casiato’s mastery of the process. Prince William has three Triple A bond ratings and has won numerous awards for their budgeting process. I understand that the process is “bullet proof.” I also understand that the process has nothing to do with how much money Prince William County collects or what the government spends it on.

All things considered, I’m not sure if I take comfort in knowing that they are incredibly efficient at both ends of the process.

First, let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Casiato provided coffee and doughnuts. The coffee was excellent (which is unusual for stuff you get at government meetings) and the doughnuts were Dunkin, so this meeting was off to an excellent start.

Deputy County Executive Chris Martino was also in attendance and assured me that the coffee and donuts were not paid for with taxpayer dollars. My mind put at ease, I enjoyed two of them.

Dave Cline, Associate Superintendent for Finance & Support Services, Prince William County Schools, also joined us. He may reconsider ever returning to one of these meetings. The entire almost two hours was devoted to questions about sharing, maintaining, and paying for school system sports fields.

Topics also included the history, pros and cons, and future of the county’s current revenue sharing agreement with the School Board, student populations, school district planning and boundaries, construction projects, and the school board budget cycle.

Wallingford (as we say in the military) requited himself well under fire. He answered a broad range of questions without hesitation or assistance for the duration of the meeting. Two thumbs up.

I really don’t remember any questions about Prince William County’s budget during this meeting, although Casiato did provide detail and background on questions about the School Board budget.

It was also round one on Community interest in what happens to approximately half of the revenue collected by Prince William County, or that the 56.75 percent as provided in the existing revenue sharing agreement between the county’s Board of Supervisors and its School Board.

We may have ignored the School Board budget in the past; however, those days are over.

We’ll be back.

I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and a doughnut on the way out the door. This was a good meeting.

Addendum: Thanks to John Wallingford for showing up today. He didn’t have to. He was a good sport, handled a variety of levels of frustration with aplomb and a sense of humor, and was generally a group pleaser.

*This post has been corrected

News
Stewart’s Flat Tax Bid Means $9 Million in Cuts

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Major cuts to Prince William County’s budget have been proposed by the Chairman of its Board of Supervisors.

Corey A. Stewart, At-large, is working to build consensus for a new flat tax structure for the county’s fiscal year 2014 budget. He’s proposed slashing $9 million in spending to reduce tax bill growth in the latter years of the county’s five-year plan.

Stewart, in a letter to fellow Board Supervisors, said the county can no longer fund state responsibilities like the juvenile court services unit, or health departments to include non-profits. That would slash $4 million from the budget.

Some funds to the county’s community partners, which totaled $14 million in FY 2013, would also be cut. Northern Virginia Family Services, arts grants, youth mentoring services, and a marketing partnership are just some of the proposed cuts totaling $941,000.

Four police school resource officers who now work with middle school children would be placed back on patrol, saving $520,000. And there would also be cuts to parks and cultural services as all neighborhood libraries would close two days per week, sports tourism grants would be cut, and the popular Bluebird Seniors Bus Trips would no longer be funded – making for a cost savings of $400,000, according to Stewart.

Prince William County employees would also feel the pinch as they would have two fewer paid holidays– Presidents Day and Columbus Day – and would be placed on a similar calendar to that of the federal government which has just 10 paid holidays.

Funding for the Flory Small Business Center would shift from the economic development fund to an industrial development authority fund, according to the proposal.

The measure is expected to be taken up at Tuesday’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting in Woodbridge.

County officials are taking up the budget process much earlier this year than they have in years past. The staff of the Prince William County budget office recently compiled a list of “budget choices” which ranks funding needs based on their impact to the community.

Stewart is running to become the next Lt. Governor of Virginia. 

 

News
Fans Flock for Final Twilight Movie

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The fifth and final film adaptation of the Twilight book series was released in midnight showings Thursday. As our Kristina Kotlus shows us, fans lined up at AMC Theaters at Potomac Mills mall to see the Breaking Dawn Part II.

The parking lot was full well before midnight, and fans lined up inside for the movie.

Dubbed the “Twilight” series named after the first book, the books and films tell the stories of teenage vampires and werewolves.

Photo: Kristina Kotlus


A parking lot outside AMC Theaters in Woodbridge was full well before the midnight start of Breaking Dawn Part II. (Photo: Kristina Kotlus)

News
Virginia Writers Club Welcomes Prince William Authors

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Write by the Rails, a networking group of writers based in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, has been officially chartered as the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club.

The announcement was made at VWC’s annual meeting Nov. 3 in Richmond. Local members June Kilpatrick and Linda Johnston of Gainesville and Terry Reardon of Woodbridge were in attendance.

The club is a statewide organization that supports and stimulates the art, craft and business of writing in the Commonwealth. Write by the Rails joins nine other regional chapters of the club: Appalachian Authors Guild, Blue Ridge, Chesapeake Bay Writers, Hampton Roads, Hanover Writers, Northern Virginia, Richmond, Riverside Writers and Valley Writers.

Write by the Rails was co-founded in 2011 by individual writer members of the Prince William County Arts Council: Cindy Brookshire, Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Pete Pazmino and Sheila Lamb. The group has a Facebook page and maintains writebytherails.blogspot.com.

Members have participated in Arts Alive! at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, conducted a “How to Market Your Book” panel workshop, sold books at the Winery at La Grange and signed up to read books to school children for National Young Readers Day.

Currently, the group is producing New Departures, an anthology featuring the work of Robert Bausch, Carole Bellacera, Tracey E. Brooks, Chip Deyerle, Leigh Giza, Alexandra Hailey, Kelly Harman, Carole Keily, Paul Keily, Peggy Kimmey and others. Proceeds will benefit local non-profits. The group is sponsoring a book sales table at the City of Manassas 6th Annual Neighborhood Conference on Sat., Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Manassas Boys & Girls Club, which is located at 9501 Dean Park Lane in Manassas.

“I am delighted to have such a dynamic and active chapter join the Virginia Writers Club,” said VWC President June Forte, author and speech communication professor at Northern Virginia Community College. “Write by the Rails extends our organization’s reach into Prince William County and is a strong force of support for the Club’s mission of developing and encouraging the art, craft and business of writing within the county.”

The next monthly meeting of Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, is Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West Street in Manassas. The public is welcome.

News
Child ‘Future Delegates’ Invited to Info Session

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Delegate Richard Anderson said this one is for the children.

The Prince William County Republican Delegate will host an information session for his upcoming “Future Delegate Program” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Prince William County Government Center’s McCoart Building.

The program will take place during the upcoming legislative session in January and February.

——

If selected, students will spend an entire day with Del. Anderson and his staff at the Virginia State Capitol. During that time, the student will accompany the delegate to all sub-committee and committee meetings, press events, and the daily floor session of the Virginia House of Delegates. They will also have an opportunity to meet senior officials of the executive and legislative branches of Virginia state government.

The Virginia House of Delegates, which is the lower house of the General Assembly, meets for 45 days at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. The 2013 legislative session runs from January 9th through February 23rd. All students who apply for the 2013 Future Delegate Program will be able to participate on a date that is convenient to the student’s family. The day will provide each student with a first-hand look at the legislative process in Richmond. All students are encouraged to apply and participate, regardless of party affiliation or viewpoint on matters of public policy.

During the orientation session on November 14th, Del. Anderson will brief applicants and their parents, distribute application forms, and answer questions. Additionally, Anderson will brief parents on the House of Delegates Page Program in 2014 so that interested students may apply in 2013 for that two-month-long program that will take place at the Virginia State Capitol from January through March of 2014.

To discuss the 2013 Future Delegate Program before the orientation, parents and students may contact Del. Anderson at DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov or 703-730-1380.

-Anderson press release

 

News
Monies Would’ve Not Gone for New Voter Machines

Voters in Woodbridge’s River Oaks precinct waited in long lines to vote Tuesday at Potomac Middle School.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Officials failed to forecast the record turnout at polls on Tuesday.

Woodbridge’s River Oaks voting precinct has more than 4,000 active registered voters assigned to it and saw a 64 percent voter turnout rate Tuesday. Voters here waited in long lines, and in line before the polls closed at 7 p.m. waited for up to four hours to cast their votes.

President Barack Obama won handily over Mitt Romney with 84 percent of the vote at this precinct. Democrats also turned out in droves to other precincts in eastern Prince William County like Lynn in Woodbridge, and Godwin and Dale in Dale City.

The long lines – which were common across the country – initially sparked criticism during  final voting hours on Tuesday from Democrats who said voters were being suppressed because of the lack of the adequate  number voting machines.

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi blamed County Executive Melissa Peacor for not funding a request for an additional $350,000 for the county’s Electoral Board.

While mentions of the $350,000 show up in Electoral Board meeting minutes dating back to Oct. 2011, the full amount of money was never formally requested. If it had been, the minutes show the funds would have went to pay for overtime for election staff, extra training for poll workers, and to fund seasonal staff at the elections office — not for additional voting machines.

County officials did fund a request for $46,000 for voter software to be used on voting machines, and statement released last week denounced any claim the election office went unfunded.

“Uproar? Of course there is uproar. If you had to stand in line for as long as many voters did you would be mad, too,” said Prince William Electoral Board Secretary Guy Anthony Guiffre. “The buck stops with the Electoral Board. We are supposed to make the analysis and the analysis failed.”

The Electoral Board does not report to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (which, in part, is responsible for funding its work) and is appointed by the court.

Guiffre  admits voter turnout Tuesday was higher than it was in 2008, and takes full responsibility for long lines.

“We’re not going to blame the voters for showing up. We are supposed to provide elections that are accurate of the public’s will and to make it convenient to vote,” said Guiffre.

One voting machine per 750 people was used during Tuesday’s election. Now the Board will look at increasing the number of voting machines for future elections to avoid long lines.

The scene from Tuesday has politicians talking about how to ensure this never happens again. Principi said he will call a town meeting sometime in the future to discuss election procedure. Delegate Richard Anderson (R-Prince William) said he is aware of the public outcry over the long lines and will offer support from a state level if asked.

News
Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway is Saturday

(Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – For the fourth consecutive year, Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ is sponsoring ‘Tis the Season to Give Thanks – and giving away free turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday, Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.

The church is located at 1440 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge. In 2011, HTC provided more than 400 Turkeys for families in the Woodbridge area and our goal for this year is to double that amount with 700-800 turkeys.

Having purchased a new worship center in 2009, Holiness Tabernacle is committed to providing a helping hand to those in need.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that before we can meet the spiritual needs of people, we must first meet their physical needs,” said Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr., who feels God has called the church to minister to the total needs of the Woodbridge community, both natural (educational, social and economical) and spiritual.

The church’s Missions Department has also partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to host a free food distribution the second and fourth Monday of each month.

For more information on the Holiness Tabernacle Free Turkey Giveaway, please contact the church at 703-497-7928 or visit the church website at holinesstabernaclecogic.org.

-Press release

 

Traffic
Old Bridge Road Work Done by Year’s End?

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — The project to improve Old Bridge Road at Harbor Drive in Lake Ridge will be completed faster than originally planned.

Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May states the Virginia Department of Transportation could complete the work by the end of the year – not in April as was scheduled.

——

Our office has recently received a bit of good news regarding the work going on at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Harbor Drive and I wanted to take a moment to share it with you. VDOT reports that their project contractor has found a way to complete work on the westbound improvements much faster than originally anticipated.

Although VDOT estimated that this portion of the work would be completed by April of 2013, it now looks like the majority of the work will be done by the end of this year (weather pending of course). There will still be some miscellaneous work to be completed such as final surface pavement, pavement markings, signal work, and landscaping and this will continue thru April. However, these remaining operations will be done with temporary lane closures implemented at non peak hours when and if needed.

Hopefully, advancing the restoration of the west bound lanes will help mitigate the afternoon traffic congestion issues.

-Supervisor Mike May

——

 

News
Closures for Veterans Day 2012

Some government offices in the Potomac Communities will close Monday in observance of Veterans Day.

Manassas 

On Monday, Nov. 12, City of Manassas Government offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Yard waste will be picked up in the City on Monday. For questions about recycling or trash pick up visit www.manassascity.org/recycling.

The Manassas Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day and is free to veterans and active duty military all weekend.

Manassas Park Community Center

In observance of Veteran’s Day, there will be no Extended Care, Preschool or MP3 on Monday, November 12th.

Prince William County

All Prince William County Government offices and Courts will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12 for the Veteran’s Day holiday.

The landfill will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 12.

All neighborhood libraries will be closed on Saturday, Nov. 10. All libraries will be closed on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 11 and 12.

Stafford County

Stafford offices, departments and facilities will be closed on Monday, November 12, 2012, in observance of Veterans Day.

The Circuit Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and General District Court in Stafford will also be closed on Monday.

The following offices and facilities will remain open:

Fire and Rescue Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Sheriff’s Office Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Magistrate (540) 659-2968

The Regional Landfill, 489 Eskimo Hill Road, Stafford, VA 22554, and the Belman Road Recycling Center, 1200 Belman Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, will be open on Monday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

News
Old Bridge Christmas Parade is Saturday

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — The Old Bridge Christmas Parade is this Saturday, and it marks one of the first holiday traditions of the year.

The event featuring Santa will begin at 10 a.m., with marchers traveling on Old Bridge Road from Lake Ridge Middle east to Smoketown Road.

The parade is expected to impact traffic on the popular commuter route. The Virginia Department of Transportation Permit Manager Art Klos sent out an email about the parade:

——

The Lake Ridge community will be holding its annual Santa’s Old Bridge Parade. The parade will begin in front of Lake Ridge Middle School near Mohican Drive, proceed west on Old Bridge Road, and end near Smoketown Road at the Old Bridge Festival Shopping Center. During the parade, west bound traffic will be shifted to the east bound lanes. This is the same route that has been used since 1997.

Traffic control during the parade will be provided by the Prince William County Police Department. Message boards will be placed on Old Bridge Road advising the public of the upcoming event.

——

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Prince William police, and OWL Volunteer Fire Department, and others are expected to participate in the parade.

The parade was brought back last year first time after a brief hiatus due to inclement weather and logistical problems.

 

News
Suicidal Woman Missing from Lake Ridge

Cooke

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Police in Prince William County are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing endangered adult from Lake Ridge.

More now in a press release from the department:

MISSING ENDANGERED ADULT: Prince William County police detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing woman. Joanna Lynn-Marie COOKE was last seen on October 28 at 8:00PM as she left her residence in the 12800 block of Valleywood Dr in Lake Ridge in her vehicle. Ms. Cooke is believed to be suicidal but poses no threat to the public. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ms. Cooke is asked to contact police at 703-792-6500.

Lookout:

Joanna Lynn-Marie Cooke, 50

Described as a white female, 5’6″ / 125lbs, thin build with shoulder length brown hair and hazel eyes

No known clothing description

Vehicle:

2006 red, Ford Escape with VA-tags: WYL-2748

 

News
E Book Downloads Up In Prince William

The checkout counter at Chinn Regional Library in Woodbridge. (Photo: Prince William County)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Ahead of Superstorm Sandy on Monday came a influx of downloads of e Books from the Prince William County Library System.

Jean Ross with the library system said 276 e Books were downloaded Monday.  That’s up from their usual 180 per day.

PotomacLocal.com asked Ross about how the e Book system is used and why it’s so popular:

Q: Do you think the storm had anything to do with the demand?

A: We are quite sure that the combination of poor road conditions and office closures, with people stuck at home, contributed to this uptick.

Also, many people keep their e-readers charged and might have not had other entertainment options if their power was out, thus leading them to think about downloading an e-book. In addition, the Federal government offices were closed, and Federal workers had an unexpected day at home.

Q: How does the e book download option work?

A: You must have a current PWC library card and from there you go to the main library website and click on “Download and Go” or go directly to princewilliam.lib.overdrive.com.

Downloading is completely free and the steps required vary according to what device people are using (for example, iPads, Nooks, Kindles and others) Users can have up to 5 e-books checked out at any one time, and may place holds on e-books that are checked out.

Q: How long has Prince William allowed for e book downloads?

A:We have had free downloadable e-books since September of 2011, and the collection continues to grow, with new titles added constantly.

Unfortunately, there are some publishers who will not allow library circulation of their e-books, so we have some limits as to which titles we are able to buy.

We do, however, have a well-rounded collection of fiction, non-fiction, romance, science fiction, and other genres to offer users, and all are free with a library card.

Q. Why is this a popular service?

A: As e-readers have become more reasonably priced, more and more users are e-reading, and the library offers a source of free content for these e-readers, which has undoubtedly contributed to their popularity.

News
Utilities Promise All Power Restored by Thursday

Power is coming back on for the thousands in our area that lost it following Superstorm Sandy.

Outages by the numbers:

Dominion Virginia Power

Prince William County – 561

Stafford County – 0

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative

Prince William County – 1,086

Stafford County – 46

NOVEC tells us 26,000 customers lost power during the height of the storm, and that they expect to have every one of their customers back up and running Thursday night at the latest.

Dominion has restored power to 75 percent of their 322,000 customers affected by the storm and also has set a restoration deadline of Thursday night.

 

News
Halloween Still a Go for Area

A mask is a simple, but always effective last minute Halloween costume idea. (Photo: Stephanie Tipple/For PotomacLocal.com)

Happy Halloween. It’s not canceled.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy many had wondered if trick-or-treaters would still be welcome in neighborhoods – some of which on Tuesday were without power.

In Prince William County, officials there said they don’t have the power to cancel the candy-getting, costume-wearing festivities.

County spokeswoman Nikki Brown comments:

——-

The county doesn’t regulate Halloween or trick-or treating. We do recommend that people follow these safety tips: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/FR/Pages/Halloween-Safety.aspx.

In addition, due to the recent weather, people need to assess whether or not they think it’s safe to go out or take their kids out. If they do go out, they need to watch for any flooding or debris. Hopefully, power will be restored by then, but if not, people should be aware of that, as well.

——

Adversely in the gated North Stafford community of Aquia Harbour, police chief Patricia Harman did have the option to postpone Halloween but chose not to.

The neighborhood was impacted by a few power outages but it wasn’t enough to order children off streets tonight.

News
Roads Closed in Prince William County

Officials are telling people to stay indoors and keep of area roads so crews can clean up storm damage. And for good reason, as many roads in Prince William County are simply impassable due to downed trees, wires, and high water. A full list of closed or impacted roads in Prince William is below, provided by the county’s government’s communications office:

Ingram Dr at 1 lane bridge — High Water at the bridge

**NOT Passable**

Little River Rd / Log Mill Rd High Water / Tree Down

**NOT Passable**

Artemus Rd / Pageland Dr High Water – Cones

**NOT Passable**

2628 Alvey Dr Power pole down blocking road –

**NOT Passable**

Logmill Rd / Rock Hill Ln — Tree down on power line –

**NOT Passable**

Sudley Rd / Lee Hwy High Water

**Passable**

Logmill Rd / James Madison Hwy — High Water

**Passable**

Alvey Dr / Logmill Rd Tree down

**1 Lane Passable**

Antioch Rd / Camp Snyder — High water

**1 Lane Passable**

Featherbed Ln off Sudley near bridge — High Water

**NOT Passable**

Fayette St / Jefferson St — Lines down

**NOT Passable**

12769 Bren Forest Way — Tree on power lines –

**NOT Passable**

Bacon Race / Colonnade Ct Tree down wrapped in power lines

**NOT Passable**

North Point Rd / Purse Dr — Power Lines down

**NOT Passable**

8971 Westchester Dr — Trees down

Piper Ln / RR bridge — High Water

**NOT Passable**

6706 Groveton Rd — Trees, poles and lines down

**Passable**

Bethlehem / Balls Ford Rd — High Water

**Passable**

Sudley Manor / Garner Dr High Water

**1 Lane Passable**

Reid Ln at Vint Hill — High Water

**NOT Passable**

Fox Hound Dr / Owls Nest Rd — Power lines down

**NOT Passable**

Carver Rd / Lee Hwy — Pole & wires down

**Passable**

14992 Alaska Rd — Wires down –

**NOT Passable**

Jefferson Davis Hy/Featherstone Rd — Traffic light still out but falling light has been removed

13822 Botts Av — Tree & lines down

**NOT Passable**

18338 Sharon Rd — Trees down

**NOT Passable**

3804 Russell Rd — Large Tree down

**Passable**

Wellington Rd / Nokesville Rd — Traffic Light Out, Control Panel is underwater

 

Page 30 of 42« First...1020...2829303132...40...Last »