For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Lake Ridge

Children’s Choir Forming

DUMFRIES, Va. — The Prince William County Children’s Choir will begin its first season this fall for children ages five to 12-years-old.

Founder and Music Director Amanda Long will hold auditions August 25 and 25, and September 8 and 9. Participants are not required to have any music training to audition, only be able to read. Audition registration will open on August 10 and the choir has space for up to 60 participants for the first year; the first rehearsal will be held September 15.

The estimated cost per child to participate in the choir is $135 each. Once registered, the money is fully refundable until the first rehearsal on Sept. 15. In addition to learning and rehearsing choral music, children will also have performing opportunities in the community later this year. Rehearsal space with a piano is still being organized and sites are needed. If you know of a space in a church or municipal building with a piano, please contact Amanda Long at 571-318-6225.

Prince William County Children’s Choir is a non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible. There are many additional opportunities for community and parent volunteers, as well as an opportunity for an intern with interests in music, children’s education, or community outreach.

For all the most current details, visit



Swim Team Out at Lake Ridge Swim Club


LAKE RIDGE, Va. — A time of triumph and excitement for the Lake Ridge Lancers swim team turned into frustration and confusion for team families after they learned their team is no longer welcome at the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club.

Their home of 40 years, the swim club decided to cut ties with the team following the Lancer’s divisional championship win last week.

The Lake Ridge Community Swim Club opened its doors in 1970, and the swim team followed close behind, establishing themselves in 1972. But in a July 25 meeting of the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club Board, officials decided they would no longer host the team.

Parents and swimmers were surprised, as none of them were notified of the vote taking place until after the decision was made.

“Basically, we finished up our season on Saturday the 28th, and we won. We celebrated our banquet on Sunday and that evening, we got an email from the President of the [swim] club saying that they could no longer host us. There has always been some contention between the team and the club, for years and years. I don’t know if it’s a lack of communication, or personalities – I just don’t know,” said Lancer Swim Team Vice President Lori McDonald.

A previous statement from the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club noted the Lancer’s growing size as a concern. Swim club president Patty Parker today stated the strain on their facilities is also a problem.

“Many of our concerns have been typical of hosting pools – use of the lanes during common use time, delayed opening on days of swim meets, etc. There have been several issues that the swim team has resolved this season for which we are very appreciative. We are hoping to move forward from this point and work together to negotiate a contract that meets both the needs of the swim team and swim club,” said Paker. “The growth of the team has less to do with the number of swimers than with the demands on pool facilities to accommodate them. We are confident it can be amicably resolved.”

Growing pains

Perplexed by the swim club’s concerns that the team was growing too large, McDonald took a look at their numbers.

“I went all the way back to 2004, I have records dating back to then, and I can tell you that our set numbers in 2012 for this year we had about 190 swimmers on our competitive team: last year, we had about 190 swimmers. In 2010, 190 swimmers – in 2009, we had 190. In 2008 we had 180, in 2007 we had 184,” McDonald said.

Russ Vogel, the team manager, league representative and a Board member of the Swim Team, feels that this is really the outcome of many years of tension and conflict between the club and the team.

“For 15 years there has been serious tension, and the swim team has always contributed money toward our use of the pool, but more importantly what I think the current swim club underestimated is the amount of swim club members that come there because of the swim team,” said Vogel.

Vogel said the club Board in 2007 decided to remove one swim club Board member position, effectively removing the team’s ability to have a say in decisions made at the club.

Money matters

Facilities upkeep and the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club’s finances also play role in the decision.

“Now and in the past, the members of the swim team could be members of the club or non-members. The non-members of the club have been allowed to swim on the swim team and they’ve always paid an extra fee. We charge $25 for the first non-member child and cap it at $50 a family. Although we charge a non-member fee, it has not always been given to the pool. A couple of years ago [the club] asked for a financial contribution from the team, and we had no issue with that. Two years ago it was about $2,000; last year it was about $2,000. This year, it was $3,500 and we gave it to them,” McDonald stated.

“It’s all about the money. The club has for years not been managing the activities of the club well; membership has continued to decline. They have, for years, neglected the facilities, have not invested in the long term projects that would make that club exciting and interesting for new members. They always counted on us – the swim team – to bring in the new blood. We have, for 40 years, been successful in doing that,” said Vogel.

Disappointed children

Aside from what the reasoning for decision may be, it has left the entire Lancer community feeling hurt – especially the children on the team.

“My kids – they’re heartbroken. This is our first year on the team and recently, on the rainiest morning ever when we driving to practice, [my daughter] is in the backseat saying she can’t wait to sign up again next year,” said Jenni Booth, whose daughter, Maisy, swims with the Lancers.

“It makes me sad: even though I’ve been on the team for only this season, I’ve made a lot of friends, and I hate the thought of us all having to split up at different pools,” said Maisy.

An emergency meeting has been called by team members for Monday evening where options will be discussed with the Board. The Lancers are far from giving up, and they want the Board to know that there will be an impact on the club because of this decision.

“We’ve been members of the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club for about 6 years. This was the first year that our daughters joined the Lancer’s swim team and it was an outstanding experience for both of them. The camaraderie of the Lancer community reinvigorated our interest in the swim club,” said swim team parent Jason Booth

The Lancers said fees charged by the swim club have risen in the past year and that the team in June began looking fro another place to hold its events.


Chick-fil-A’s Cathy Postpones Appearance

PRINCE WILLAM COUNTY, Va. — Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has always been welcomed at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, he just won’t visit them this year.

With that, the chamber this afternoon answered mounting questions focusing whether or not it would host Cathy at speaking engagement in Manassas on Nov. 27. Cathy was scheduled to speak with local business leaders about the success of his fast food restaurant chain, but chamber members complained after following a public statement by Cathy noting marriage should only be between a man and woman.

Cathy’s appearance has been rescheduled in early 2013, and all of Cathy’s speaking engagements have been canceled for the remainder of the year, according to the chamber.

Additionally, rumors that the Prince William Chamber of Commerce was considering rescinding Cathy’s invitation were false.

“While we are disappointed at having to move the date of the event, we look forward to offering this opportunity to our membership early in 2013. We know that a great many of our members will understand that, as a business leader, there are times when you must pull back and focus on day-to-day operations. In light of recent events, particularly the loss of one of their long-time employees and top executives, we respect the decision of the Chick-fil-A leadership team in taking the time to do just that.”

The “recent events” Clapper referenced is last week’s death of Chick-fil-A’s long-time corporate spokesman Donald Perry, who had worked for the company for 29 years.

Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge agreed to sponsor Cathy’s Nov. 27 appearance, and will still sponsor Cathy’s scheduled appearance next year.

Prince William County has a unique tie-in with Chick-fil-A. The company’s highest grossing store is on Prince William Parkway near Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge.


Search On for Lake Ridge Arsonist

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — On Tuesday, July 31 at approximately 9:30 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire in a two-story single family home located in the 12100 block of Park Shore Court in Lake Ridge.

After the fire was extinguished by fire and rescue personnel, further investigation revealed someone attempted to break and enter the residence and intentionally set a fire.

No injuries were reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damage estimate is $10,000.00.

County police assisted fire marshals with the preliminary investigation and a joint investigation between agencies continues to identify the responsible party(s).

-Press release 

PRTC Upgrades Phone System

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — An upgrade to the phone system at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission provides riders easier access to vital travel information without having to wait to personally speak with a Customer Service Agent.

The upgraded phone system saves some passengers from waiting on hold to speak with PRTC staff and enables PRTC Customer Service Agents to devote more time to callers who need individualized attention.

The improved phone system enables passengers to:

• Receive scheduled bus arrival times based on the bus stop number or bus route;

• Learn about bus fares and passes;

• Hear service alerts; and

• Confirm or cancel previously scheduled off-route trips on OmniLink local buses.

PRTC’s OmniLink local buses can travel up to ¾ mile off the standard route to pick up and drop off passengers who are unable to access a regular bus stop. Passengers must call Customer Service at least two hours in advance to book OmniLink off-route trips.

To access information about OmniLink off-route bus trips, callers must speak once with a Customer Service agent to get their personalized phone system ID and password. Once callers have that information, they may confirm or cancel their scheduled trip at any time of the day or night. All other information on the phone system is available without an ID or password.

PRTC provides commuter and local bus services in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The Customer Service office is open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To speak with an agent or test the new phone system, call (703) 730-6664.

-Press release 


Dale City to Host I-95 HOT Lanes Kick Off


DALE CITY, Va. — Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will appear in Dale City on Tuesday to announce the start of construction for the Interstate 95 Express Lanes project.

The project, which will convert the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes between Dumfries and the Springfield Mixing Bowl to High Occupancy Toll, or HOT lanes, will forever change the way commuters travel on I-95.

Scheduled to join McDonnell at the 9:30 a.m. groundbreaking at a rest area on I-95 south is Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connnaughton, Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Rob Wittman, Delegate Bill Howell, of Stafford, and Prince William County Board of Supervisor Chairman At-large Corey Stewart.

The project will not only convert a portion of the existing HOV lanes between Dumfries and Edsall Road in Alexandria, but will extend the lanes nine miles south from Dumfries to Va. 610 (Garrisonville Road) in North Stafford. Also included in the construction will be eight new or improved access points to and from the express lanes at key interchanges, as well as the addition or expansion of commuter parking lots.

The finished project will result in 29 miles of HOT lanes which vehicles with three or more occupants can access for free. Vehicles with just one occupant can choose to pay a toll to use the lanes.

All vehicles will be required to have an E-Z Pass or E-Z Pass Flex to use the lanes, and the toll will vary depending on the amount of vehicles in the express lanes. For single drivers, the average commute is expected to cost somewhere between $5 and $6, according a press release.

The groundbreaking of the 95 Express Lanes comes as McDonnell finally announced the approval of the nearly $1 billion project on Tuesday, which for months had been the worst kept secret in transportation news.

The project in 2008 was marred in controversy and was placed on hold after Arlington County sued the state and pushed for more environmental impact studies to be done before construction could begin. Prince William County officials also opposed I-95 HOT lanes until concessions were made and a handful of new road improvement projects in the county were announced in early 2011.

Ultimately, Arlington officials dropped their lawsuit and state transportation officials redrew plans to end the I-95 HOT lanes facility at Edsall Road.

Calling it “a historical day for transportation and the economy in Virginia,” McDonnell stated that the project will provide congestion relief for Northern Virginia and will add close to 8,000 jobs during the two-year project, which is expected to be completed by 2014.

“The 95 Express Lanes combined with the nearly completed 495 Express Lanes will bring a transportation network that manages congestion efficiently, saving time and better connecting commuters with some of Virginia’s most important employment centers and military sites,” added Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton.

The $925 million project is a joint venture between Transurban Drive and Fluor Enterprises, Inc. The Virginia Department of Transportation will maintain ownership of the infrastructure and will continue to manage the project. Transurban and Fluor  will provide $854 million in funding, with VDOT providing the remaining $71 million in public funds, according to the press release.

Integrated in the funding is a traffic safety and enforcement program, which will include technology and crews needed for incident detection and response, as well as more Virginia State Troopers to help reduce the number of HOV violators.


Prince William’s Chief Deane Retiring


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The leader of the Prince William County Police Department, Chief Charlie T. Deane, one of the agency’s original officers when the department was founded in 1970, will retire. More from a press release:

Today, Prince William County Executive, Melissa Peacor, announced the retirement of Chief of Police Charlie T. Deane. Chief Deane is currently one of the longest standing police chiefs in the country. He has been chief for more than 24 years. During that time, Deane has overseen numerous investigations, such as the now famous D.C. Sniper Case, the East Coast Rapist Case, and more recently, he oversaw the County’s handling of the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Issue that has since become a hallmark of good policing. Deane was one of the original officers of the Police Department when he transferred from the Virginia State Police to the newly formed Prince William County Police Department as a detective in 1970. His last day as Chief of Police for Prince William County is Sept. 1, 2012.

MORE TO THE STORY: Aquia Harbour police Chief Trish Harmon recalls her 30 years of working with Deane

“This is a tough day for me personally and for the County. Chief Deane has served the citizens of this County with unparalleled integrity and commitment,” said Melissa Peacor, County Executive. “Chief Deane has been a stalwart of law enforcement in this community, this Commonwealth and this nation, bringing innovation and leadership to the business of Policing. Charlie has served with many County Executives over the years, and I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that he has been both a friend and an advisor”.

Since Deane started with the department, it has grown to more than 580 sworn and 300 civilians and has gained a sterling reputation under the guidance of Chief Deane, whose own reputation has grown to a national level. Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the prestigious Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a well-respected law enforcement think tank in Washington, D.C., said of Deane: “As the Vice President of our organization, Chief Deane has gained a solid national reputation as a fair, lawful and reasonable chief of police. His work on immigration has become a model for many other cities in the United States. Charlie is truly one of the great chiefs of police—a leader of excellent character, competence and caring.”

“I have been honored to work with Chief Deane over the past nine years,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. Chief Deane has provided outstanding service to the citizens of Prince William County and leadership to the Police Department and the entire organization. He has presided over a department known for its excellence and integrity, and although we are sad to see him go, he leaves us with a department made up of men and women who share his professionalism.”

Before deciding any future professional plans, Chief Deane plans on taking some time off, which he says will include some fishing, traveling and working on his family farm in Orange County.


HOV Lanes to Close 3 Nights This Week

The Virginia Department of Transportation will close the I-95 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes overnight starting on Wednesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 2, from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m., and again on Friday, August 3 from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., for traffic shifts.

Wednesday night August 1, and Thursday night, August 2, the I-95 HOV lanes will be closed from Exit 152, Dumfries Road (Route 234) to Exit 169, Franconia Road /Keene Mill Road (Route 644) from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. On Friday night, August 3, this closure will be in place from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m.

During night work hours the HOV lanes will be open heading north from the slip ramp on I-95 near Exit 169, Franconia Road/Keene Mill Road to the Washington, D.C. line.

On Saturday, August 4, all HOV lanes will reopen beginning at 9 a.m. heading north toward Washington, D.C.

-Virginia Megaprojects press release 

Crime Watch: Rape Probe Peers Back to 1990s



Rape / Aggravated Sexual Battery – On July 10th at 1:26PM, detectives from the Special Victims Bureau began an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred at two addresses in Woodbridge (22192) – one on Rainbow Ct and the other on Bancroft Ln. The investigation revealed that the victim, a now 34 year old woman of Gainesville, was sexually assaulted by the accused, a known acquaintance, in the 1990’s when she was between 5 & 19 years of age. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested on July 25th.


Michael Karl JEFFERSON, currently 50, of 13500 Kingsman Rd in


Charged with 5 counts of rape, 5 counts of aggravated sexual battery, 5 counts of

forcible sodomy and 5 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

Malicious Wounding – On July 24th at 8:39PM, police responded to the 8000 block of Ashland Ave in Manassas (20109) for a stabbing. The victim, a 69 year old man of Manassas, reported to police that he and the accused, a known acquaintance, were inside a residence in the above area when a verbal altercation escalated. During the encounter, the accused allegedly stabbed the victim in the torso. The accused was also injured in the altercation. The victim and the accused were treated at an area hospital for minor injuries.

Arrested: (No Photo Available)

Nathaniel Tyrone SMITH JR, 45, of 10151 Parkview Dr #6 in


Charged with malicious wounding

Court date set for September 21, 2012, held WITHOUT bond

Residential Burglary – On July 25th at 8:50AM, police responded to the 3600 block of Wharf Ln in Triangle (22172) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 3:00PM on July 24th and 8:30AM on July 25th. Entry appeared to have been made through a rear glass door which had been broken out. A moped, 2 TV’s, 2 laptops and other electronics, valued around $2,400, were reported missing.


Jury Text Messages Are False, police say

MANASSAS, Va. — Don’t pay any attention to that text message claiming to be from the courthouse: police say it’s a fake.

Prince William police this morning said text messages had apparently gone out to some residents in the area warning them they had missed jury duty and that are in trouble.

Police posted to a notice and said the Clerk’s Office at the Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas doesn’t send out text messages.

The alert from police:

*ALERT: The Prince William County Courthouse has received numerous phone calls this morning from concern citizens regarding a text message they received stating that they had missed jury duty at the “Manassas county courthouse” and are in violation.


The Clerk’s Office of the Courthouse does not send any text messages. If you receive a text message about jury duty, please ignore the message and contact the courthouse at


Ceremony Will Recognize Public Safety Promotions

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department on Thursday night will recognize 23 uniform members recently promoted to the ranks of Technician II, Lieutenant, Captain and Battalion Chief. Telecommunicators from the Office of Public Safety Communications will also be acknowledged for recent promotion.

A public ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at Forest Park High School near Dumfries. Retired Battalion Chief Hadden Culp will lead the ceremony and a reception will follow.

Department of Fire and Rescue Technician II

Yasmin Ahmady

Gregory Briney

Jay Byler

Bobby Cook

Terry Fuller

Daniel Gough

Kyle Kosinski

Matthew Livingston

Brendon Malone

Andrew Marsh

Timothy Moore

Robert Moreau

Joshua Owens

Helton Pereira

Brian Reader

Matthew Stewart

Jessica Weatherly

David Wesley


Andrew Jeremiah

Regina Miller


Gene Luckinbill

Chip Morrison

Battalion Chief

Curtis Brodie

Office of Public Safety Communications

Zachary Fuhrman, Telecommunicator II

Philip Hunnicuttt, Telecommunicator II

Karen Lackey, Telecommunicator II

Hesuk Kim, Telecommunicator III


New Grants Benefit Free Clinic, Midwifery

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A series of grants was awarded this month by the Potomac Health Foundation, based out of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, to local non-profit agencies in the Potomac Communities. More from the foundation’s press release:

The all-volunteer Board of Directors of Potomac Health Foundation approved grants to 17 not-for-profit agencies. This is only the second set of grants the foundation has awarded since its founding in December 2009. The total dollars awarded was $3,720,427 to support 21 health related projects.

The grants ranged in size from approximately $35,000 to $800,000. Grants were awarded through a competitive application process that began in January 2012. “The grant process was very successful,” said Dr. Carol Shapiro, who chairs the Grants Committee. “We were pleased to award grants to nine first-time agency recipients.” The funded projects will address three community goals of Potomac Health Foundation.

The first foundation goal is to increase access to primary health care for underserved and hard-to-reach populations. An example of an agency serving the first goal is Prince William Area Free Clinic. The Clinic received a grant of $802,603 to expand their clinic on Church Hill Drive in Woodbridge. The grant funded expansion will allow Prince William Area Free Clinic to consolidate clinical services and substantially increase the operating hours and number of patients served.

The second foundation goal is to reduce the incidence of preventable disease and illness. An example of an agency serving the second goal is Project Mend-A-House. The agency received a grant of $75,000 to provide medical alert equipment, assistive living equipment and home repairs so that seniors and persons with disabilities may live safely at home, at less risk of falling or injury.

The third foundation goal is to address emerging health needs and foster innovation innovative projects. An example of an agency serving the third goal is Manassas Midwifery. This agency received a grant of $195,720 to expand their Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting programs, which provide prenatal care to at-risk women and a continuum of care to mother and baby through the first year of life. The grant will allow Manassas Midwifery to open a new location in the Dumfries areas.


PRTC Helps Thousands Travel in Northern Virginia

Welcome to Northern Virginia. Expect delays. Residents here know there is no shortage of cars and that congestion on local roads and highways can be a way of life.

That’s why thousands of people each day rely on the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission to help ease their ride, whether it be to work, school, or play.


One of the most popular commuter bus services in the region, PRTC OmniRide allows commuters a one-seat ride from areas in Prince William County and the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park to their jobs in Washington, D.C., Arlington, and other stops in the close-in suburbs of Northern Virginia.

See OmniRide bus routes and schedules.  See OmniRide fares.

Whether riders catch the bus from a park-and-ride commuter lot or they walk to an OmniRide bus stop in their neighborhood, commuters have come to rely on this safe, quiet, and reliable ride. OmniRide buses use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstates 95, 395, and 66 to get where they’re going, breezing by other cars that often slow down or get stuck in traffic in regular travel lanes.

“Northern Virginia has infamous traffic congestion, and by offering commuter bus services, we hope to take people out of their cars and allow them a quicker and stress-free ride in the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes,” said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

PRTC Customer Service Agent Kenyetta Whitford takes a call from a customer. Whitford helps customers get where they need to go.

Tysons Express

OmniRide buses also take passengers to Tysons Corner, a job center full of financial, contracting, and technology firms as well as world-class shopping. Tysons Corner has become an overall economic juggernaut in the region, and it’s also where new highway construction as part of the I-495 Express Lanes Project and construction of the new Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project collide.

Tysons Express riders don’t need to worry about lane closures or finding parking.

See Tysons Express AM bus and PM bus schedules and fares.

Each weekday, Tysons Express buses pick up passengers at two commuter lots in Woodbridge, travel on the HOV express lanes on I-95, and then use a portion of the Capital Beltway to access Tysons Corner, all while passengers relax and enjoy amenities like free wireless internet access.

“Instead of just sitting behind the wheel stuck in traffic, listening to the radio, you can be online, be on your smart phone, be paying bills, you can be reading, you can nap.It’s time that gets put back into your schedule to do things that you need to get done every day,” said Rodrigo.

Many riders begin and end their commutes, or transfer to other PRTC buses at the agency’s Transit Center in Woodbridge.

Metro Direct

PRTC offers three options for those who need to travel to and from the nearby Metro stations. Those who live in eastern Prince William County have weekday connections with the Franconia-Springfield Metro, while those in the Manassas area have weekday connections with the West Falls Church Metro. And Gainesville area residents have rush-hour connections with the West Falls Church Metro.

See Metro Direct bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Linton Hall Metro Direct AM

Linton Hall Metro Direct PM

Manassas Metro Direct AM

Manassas Metro Direct PM 

Prince William Metro Direct AM

Prince William Metro Direct PM 

“The Metro station parking lots fill up early in the morning, but those who ride a Metro Direct bus don’t have to worry about parking because the bus drops passengers off near the Metro entrance,” said Rodrigo.

Many of the OmniLink local bus routes that serve eastern Prince William County stop at the PRTC Transit Center in Woodbridge.

OmniLink local bus service

Now we know how to get to and from Prince William, but what if you want to get around locally? From sun up to sun down OmniLink is your link around town.

From humble beginnings in 1995, OmniLink has grown to serve major transportation corridors in our area, including U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, Dale Boulevard in Dale City and Sudley Road in Manassas, taking passengers to popular destinations like Potomac Mills mall, government buildings, employment centers, schools, and colleges.

See OmniLink local bus routes and schedules. See OmniLink local bus service fares.

“We recognize that people are in one-car households but have two people working, or there’s a teenager who has a driver’s license but the family, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to have another vehicle…and then you have people just out of economic necessity or medical reasons who cannot have a driver’s license or a vehicle. Local bus service helps all of these people get around and do all of the things we do every day,” said Rodrigo.

PRTC training supervisor Delwyn Harvey, on left, goes over a safety check for one of the buses with prospective operators.

Cross County Connector

Those who need to travel between eastern Prince William and the Manassas area can rely on the Cross County Connector. The bus operates weekdays and connects Potomac Mills Mall and Manassas Mall with stops along Prince William County Parkway and Old Town Manassas.

See Cross County Connector bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Eastbound (Manassas to Woodbridge)

Westbound (Woodbridge to Manassas)

Dozens of OmniRide busses are lined up ready to go out on the afternoon runs at PRTC in Woodbridge.


Sometimes the bus doesn’t suit a person’s work schedule or destination. That’s why PRTC created the OmniMatch ridesharing service. Simply answer a few questions about your work hours, origination point and destination, and you’ll be entered into a regional database of commuters who are looking for carpools and vanpools. The service is fast, free and couldn’t be easier!


Employers looking for a recruiting and retention tool are turning to this free program! The OmniSmartCommute staff helps employers to create, implement and expand commuter strategies to save their staff members money and hassles. Some popular options are providing preferential parking for carpoolers, installing bike racks and showers for bicyclists, and offering flextime, compressed work weeks and telework.

On-The-Go Travel Training

Some people want to use public transportation but don’t ride because they are not familiar with the services and how they operate. PRTC’s new grant-funded travel training program is designed to help potential riders get over the hurdle of the unfamiliar and become confident users of public transportation. This free program provides one-on-one or group training sessions.

Easy to ride and pay with SmarTrip

No matter where you’re going, and no matter if you take a PRTC bus or Metro train, bring your SmarTrip card for an easy way to pay for your ride. SmarTrip is a rechargeable fare card used on multiple transportation systems in the Washington, D.C. region. One card makes it easy to connect with other services and makes travel outside our local community easier.

It also takes away the need to have exact change or proper fare, and riders can easily add more fare to their cards.

With so many options to choose from, PRTC has the Ride that’s Right for You!

PRTC’s offices and Transit Center are located at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge.


Crime Watch: Rape of Girl, 14, Investigated


Rape / Indecent Liberties – On July 19, detectives from the Special Victims Unit concluded an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 1300 block of Oregon Ave in Woodbridge (22191). The investigation revealed that victim, currently a 14 year old female, was raped by the accused, a known acquaintance, in March of 2010. Recently, in June of 2012, the accused sent the victim sexually explicit text messages. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested.

Arrested: (No Photo Available)

Gilberto ARANA MEJIA, 26, of the 1300 block of Oregon Ave in Woodbridge. charged with rape (for the March 2010 incident) and taking indecent liberties with a child (for the June 2012 incident). Court date unavailable, held without bond.

Residential Burglary – On July 18at 1:46AM, police responded to the 1300 block of East Longview Dr in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9 p.m. on July 16 and 1a.m. on July 17. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Entry is believed to have been made through an unlocked rear sliding glass door. A firearm, valued around $600, was reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 17 at 5:01 p.m., police responded to the 4700 block of Kirkdale Dr in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Entry is believed to have been made through an unsecured door. Miscellaneous items, valued around $200, were reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 16 at 2:45 p.m., police responded to the 13600 block of Garfield Pl in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 8:40AM and 2:40PM. Entry appeared to have been made through a sliding glass door which had been pried open. A laptop, jewelry and 2 cameras, valued around $1,400, were reported missing.

Attempted Residential Burglary – On July 18 at 12:46PM, police responded to the 15600 block of John Diskin Cl in Woodbridge (22191) for an attempted burglary. Homeowner reported to police that between 6:30AM and 9:00AM, an unknown person(s) attempted entry into the residence through the front door. Homeowner observed the door handle hanging from the door. No entry was made due to a secondary lock being in place. No items were reported missing.

Attempted Residential Burglary – On July 17 at 3:05PM, police responded to the 5100 block of Race Pointe Pl in Woodbridge (22193) for an attempted burglary. Homeowner reported to police that between 7:00AM on July 10 and 3:00PM on July 17, an unknown person(s) attempted entry into the residence through the front door. Homeowner observed drill holes in the deadbolt. No entry was gained into the residence and no items were reported missing.


Storms Leave Power Out, More on the Way

Another round of violent storms swept through the region late Thursday into early Friday morning causing more power outages.

At 5 a.m. Friday, 66 Dominion Virginia Power customers who live near Leesylsvania State Park in Woodbridge and four who live in the Brooke section of Stafford County, were without power. Eight Northern Virginia Electric Power customers in Prince William County were also without power.

Today, a flash flood watch is posted from noon today through this evening as more storms could bring heavy downpours and localized flooding, according to the National Weather Service. The showers and thunderstorms are expected between 1 and 11 p.m.

Tomorrow, they’ll be a break in the recent heat wave as temperatures should reach 79 degrees, with showers and thunderstorms still in the forecast.


Occoquan Schools Nominee a College Advocate


OCCOQUAN, Va. — A retired educator and administrator with 35 years experience at Prince William County Public Schools will make a run for the School Board.

Lillie Jessie, of Lake Ridge, will run as a Democrat to represent the School Board’s Occoquan District — one of eight seats on the countywide Board. She will face Michael E. Wooten, who was appointed to the Board this spring following the sudden resignation of Grant Lattin in May.

Working now as an educational consultant and small business owner, Jessie retired from Prince William schools as Principal of Elizabeth Vaughn Elementary School in Woodbridge. During her tenure with the school system, she focused her work on the U.S. Department of Education’s Title I program that works to ensure fair access to higher education.

“Middle-class kids, my kids, I know are going to go to college. But some children don’t have that chance,” said Jessie.

Candidate Jessie appeared publicly for the first time Sunday night at Occoquan Town Hall. There she noted Prince William’s public schools as some as the best in the nation.

If elected in November, she said she’d do more to educate parents on the inner workings of schools, show them what educational options are available to their children.

She also said students need fewer multiple choice test and more exams that require critical thinking.

“I’m sticking with Prince William County School’s ‘World Class’ motto, and if our schools are world class you’ve got to make them teach students to be competitive in a world market,” said Jessie.

A product of a segregated school system in Newberry, S.C., Jessie was the first in her family, and was one of only a handful in her graduating class to go to college, she said. She credits the encouragement of a teacher, and his help filling out college applications, as the reason she continued her education beyond high school.

Jessie also has ties to Virginia Tech, and she developed a program called “Kindergarten to College” where fifth grade students at Vaughn Elementary School traveled to the Blacksburg school annually.

Wooten, her opponent, served as Marine Corps officer, holds a Doctorate of Higher Education Management, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board at Northern Virginia Community College.

Jessie said her experience will make all the difference in this race.

“[Wooten] has a degree in education. I have a background in education, and my experience is documented,” she said.


Crime Watch: Woman Accuses Man of Indecent Exposure


Armed Robbery / Malicious Wounding – On July 11th at 11:30PM, police responded to the 18500 block of Old Triangle Rd in Triangle (22172) for a robbery. The victim, a 17 year old male juvenile of Triangle, reported to police that he encountered the accused, a known acquaintance, in the above area. The accused allegedly approached the victim from behind, punched him in the face, threatened him with a knife and kicked him numerous times in the head prior to fleeing the area on foot with the victim’s cell phone and wallet. Following an investigation, and utilizing a police K-9, officers were able to locate the accused in a wooded area nearby. The accused was subsequently arrested without incident. The victim was treated at an area hospital for minor injuries. The wallet and cell phone were recovered and returned to the victim.

Arrested: (Juvenile)

A 14 year old male juvenile of Woodbridge

Charged with armed robbery, malicious wounding and a probation violation

Court date unavailable, held at a Juvenile Detention Facility


Indecent Exposure – On July 10th at 2:23PM, police responded to the area of Forrest Hill Rd and Fox Ridge Ct in Woodbridge (22192) for an indecent exposure. The victim, 42 year old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she and three other female juvenile victims, between 8 & 10 years of age, were in the above area when they encountered an unknown man, later identified as the accused. During the encounter, the accused allegedly exposed himself to the victims before fleeing the area. Police were able to locate the accused who was subsequently arrested without incident.


Brion Louis BOYLES, 51, of 13209 Delaney Rd in Woodbridge

Charged with three counts of indecent exposure

Court date unavailable, released on personal recognizance


Narcotics Investigation – On July 11th, detectives from the Street Crimes Unit concluded a narcotics investigation into the selling of marijuana with the execution of a search warrant at 15918 Donald Curtis Dr in Woodbridge (22191). As a result of the search and investigation, marijuana, firearms and an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency were seized. The following arrest was also made without incident.


Tom Neil WEIR JR, 28, of 15918 Donald Curtis Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and a firearm with narcotics

Court date August 17, 2012, held on an $8,000 secured bond


Crime Watch: Shooting Arrest Made



Malicious Wounding ARREST – On July 6, detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau were able to identify and arrest a suspect in regard to the shooting which was reported to have occurred in the 15700 block of Tassleford Ln in Woodbridge from July 5. Following the investigation, warrants were obtained against the accused who was later located at his residence on Keating Dr and was arrested without incident.


Stephen Hyrum WEAVER, 22, of 13423 Keating Dr in Woodbridge, charged with aggravated malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

Malicious Wounding (Previously Released) – On July 5 at 8:56PM, police responded to the 15700 block of Tassleford Ln in Woodbridge (22191) for a shooting. The victim, a 17 year old male of Woodbridge, reported to police that he and other known acquaintances were involved in a verbal altercation with a group of unknown suspects which escalated. During the encounter, one of the suspects in the other group displayed a handgun. The victim and the group of known acquaintances ran from the suspects when the handgun was displayed. The suspect fired several shots towards the group and subsequently struck the victim in the lower body. All suspects fled the scene in a vehicle prior to police arrival. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported. The incident does not appear to be random. Investigation continues.

Malicious Wounding / Hit & Run – On July 7 at 2:54AM, police responded to the area of Spriggs Rd and Hoadly Rd in Manassas (20112) for a hit and run. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 19 year old man of Manassas, and another known acquaintance were involved in a physical altercation with an unknown suspect in the above area. During the encounter, the suspect returned to his vehicle while the victim and his acquaintance attempted to run from the suspect. The suspect allegedly drove his vehicle toward the victim and his acquaintance and subsequently struck the victim with his vehicle. The suspect fled the area in the vehicle prior to police arrival. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported. The incident does not appear to be random.

Investigation continues.


White male, between 18 & 25 years of age, 5’5” / 150 lbs, thin build with short black hair. Last seen wearing a white shirt and black pants

Vehicle Lookout: Newer model, silver, 4-door

Malicious Wounding – On July 8that 4:54AM police responded to the 13900 block of Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) for an assault. The victim, a 27 year old man of Woodbridge, was found, in the area above, unconscious with injuries to head. An investigation revealed the victim was involved in a physical altercation with a known acquaintance(s). The victim was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. This incident does not appear to be random. Investigation continues.

Armed Robbery – On July 7 at 1:00AM, police responded to the area of Bel Air Rd and Jeffries Rd in Woodbridge (22191) for a robbery. The victim, a 19 year old man of Woodbridge, reported to police that he was walking in the above area when he was approached by two unknown men. One of the men displayed a handgun, pointed it at the victim and demanded he empty his pockets. The men took the victim’s iPod touch and a cell phone before fleeing on foot. No injuries were reported.

Lookout: two  males, unknown race, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5’7”/160lbs, medium build. Both were last seen wearing a long sleeve shirt, jeans and a mask. Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling – On July 8 at 12:39AM, police responded to the Shell Gas Station located at 13313 Occoquan Rd in Woodbridge (22191) for a shooting. Witnesses reported to police that a group of unknown suspects were driving in a white sedan in the above area and fired several shots from their vehicle in the direction of the Shell Gas Station. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival. No injuries or property damage were reported.

No descriptions could be provided of the suspects. Investigation continues.

Residential Burglary – On July 6 at 8:41PM, police responded to the 13000 block of Lashmere Ct in Woodbridge (22192) for a burglary. A neighbor reported to police that the burglary occurred between 8:00PM on July 5 and 8:00AM on July 6. Entry appeared to have been made through rear basement window which had been broken out. No items were reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 6 at 4:27PM, police responded to the 15400 block of Wheatfield Rd in Woodbridge (22193) for a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 5:00AM on June 26 and 3:00PM on July 6. Entry appeared to have been made through a basement window which had been broken out. Jewelry and other items, valued around $8,900, were reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 5 at 3:33PM, police responded to the 1600 block of Horner Rd in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 2:45PM and 3:33PM. Entry appeared to have been made through the front door which had been forced open. Two televisions, valued around $1200, were reported missing.

Commercial Burglary – On July 5 at 7:44AM, police responded to the CITGO Gas Station located at 14101 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. An employee reported to police that the burglary occurred between 10:00PM and 10:30PM on July 4. Entry appeared to have been made through a door which had been forced open. Cigarettes, valued around $13, were reported missing.



County’s Swing Status Gets National Attention

OCCOQUAN, Va. — The Fox News Network was in Virginia’s Potomac Communities today showcasing area landmarks for an evening news show.

The network’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” broadcasted live from Maddigan’s Waterfront Grill in Occoquan from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday. The hour-long show came to Prince William County because the jurisdiction has been called a “swing county” that could determine or predict who will the presidency in the November General Election.

Baier visited the entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, and Georgio’s Restaurant in Montclair, covering topics such as what impact downsizing the federal government would have on workers in Prince William, a ordinance passed in 2007 that’s since been changed that required police to ask anyone for proof of legal presence, as well as regional and state issues.

The show also plans to make stops in Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada, all in states with jurisdictions said to be swing counties.


Truck off Road in Stafford Snarls I-95 South

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Its slow going on Interstate 95 south this afternoon after a truck reportedly ran off the road at mile post 147, just across the Prince William County line in North Stafford.

One southbound lane of the highway was closed because of the crash, Virginia’s highway department reports. We don’t have word yet from Stafford fire officials or state police, but we do know traffic is snarled from at least Prince William Parkway south to the scene of the crash. WTOP Radio reports traffic begins moving once again after drivers pass the crash site.


Gas, Charcoal Grills Banned on Balconies

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Fire officials remind condominium owners and apartment renters in Prince William County there are restrictions on grilling on balconies.

The reminder comes after a massive blaze displaced about 100 people and destroyed 24 homes at Woodbridge Station Apartments on Thursday. No one was injured and the American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the displaced residents.

The fire was linked to the use of a propane grill. 

Charcoal, gas, or propane grills are not allowed to be used on or under balconies, according to an existing county ordinance. Electric grills are allowed but they should still be used with caution, said Prince William fire and rescue spokeswoman Kim Hylander.

Anyone charged with violating the ordinance is required to appear in court, and can be fined up to $2,500 and face one year of jail.

Prince William Woodbridge District Supervisor noted in a statement on Friday that everyone who was impacted by the fire did have renters insurance, which he says will help the families rebuild their lives.


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