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Lake Ridge

Online Coupon Leaves Diner Hungry for Deal

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Lake Ridge, Va. — When Lauren Maher saw a deal for an online deals website for Los Toltecos Mexican restaurant in Lake Ridge, she decided she would get the coupon and treat a friend to lunch. However, when it came time to settle the bill, the restaurant staff refused her coupon.

“They told me that they were no longer accepting vouchers from”, said Maher. “But I purchased the certificate in August and there is no expiration date. They must have gotten this problem a lot because the man who dealt with us didn’t even let me speak and wouldn’t even take his sunglasses off to talk to us.”

Maher bought the $25 coupon for $10 from, an online couponing service, which allows customers to purchase a deal that offers buyers discounted meals.

Frustrated, Maher asked to see a manager at Los Toltecos. The manager didn’t accept the coupon but did give her $10 off her meal.

“It should have been a fun day out, but I left feeling frustrated and embarrassed,” said Maher.

When she got home, Maher checked too see if deals for Los Toltecos are still available for purchase on the website. They were, which made Maher think the restaurant was simply using false pretenses to lure new customers. Not true, according to Los Toltecos General Manager Noe Zarate.

“I canceled with effective the last day of October. They continue to offer this deal without my consent and now I have customers who are angry,” said Zarate.

Another Los Toletcos manager, Oscar Chavez , noted that the certificates had caused problems for the wait staff.

“There is supposed to be an 18 percent gratuity included on the price of the actual meal, but people are paying cash and only paying their bill and leaving a $1 or $2 tip. This isn’t good for our staff,” said Chavez.

Restaurants that sign up for the service can cancel, but that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be taken off the site, according to representative Christin Accomando. said that their website is dedicated to 100 percent customer satisfaction and would offer Maher the chance to exchange her coupon for one from another restaurant.

But Maher said that’s not good enough.

“Even if [] issued me another certificate for a different restaurant, that doesn’t change the experience that I had. They are responsible for making sure the content on their site is up to date and correct,” said Maher.

Would-be customers that have purchased deals from can call ahead to restaurants to make sure their coupons are still accepted.

Prince William Chamber of Commerce CEO & President Rob Clapper said concerns about online marketing are all too common.

“We hear a lot of questions about online marketing. It’s an ever evolving area, which can make it difficult to keep up with the learning curve,” said Clapper.

He noted that the next small business roundtable – a focus group held for chamber of commerce members — will focus on just this issue.

“We hope that programs like this, that bring entrepreneurs together to learn from one another, can help area businesses reap the rewards of online marketing while avoiding potential pitfalls.”

Potential online deal shoppers should also carefully check the refund or exchange policy on any website before making a purchase, and can always consult with the Better Business Bureau for website rankings before making a purchase, warns the UCLA Tech blog.

Prince William Parks Approves County Merger

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA (January 26, 2012) Based upon dialogue between members of the Board of County Supervisors and their respective appointees to the Park Authority Board on how best to deliver parks and recreation services to the residents of Prince William County, members of the Prince William County Park Authority Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting the merger of the Park Authority into County Government as a new Parks and Recreation Department.

“The goal of the Park Authority is to provide premier parks and recreation services to the residents of Prince William County,” said Brenda Gardziel, Park Authority Chair. “When you begin to factor in the number of residents we have to serve, the amount of park-land to develop and preserve, and the number of participants in our recreational activities, it becomes clear that by merging into Prince William County Government, there will be greater opportunities to meet the growing needs of our citizens.”

The Park Authority was established as a separate corporation in 1977, by the Board of County Supervisors, to provide the residents and visitors with quality recreational programs, parks and facilities. At that time, Prince William County had a population of over 150,000 residents and three parks. Today, Prince William County serves over 410,000 residents with 67 park properties comprising over 4,000 acres, and 289 fields. The majority of funding for the Park Authority comes from the County’s General Fund.

The resolution requests the end of the separate corporate existence of the Park Authority effective June 30, 2012. It further requests that effective July 1, 2012, the BOCS create a Department of Parks and Recreation to provide all the services currently offered by the Park Authority. At that time the Park Authority Board would be transformed into an advisory board to continue providing recommendations to the Board of County Supervisors on parks and recreation issues. Finally, the Board of County Supervisors would assume ownership of all Park Authority property and responsibility for all contractual obligations and liabilities effective July 1, 2012.

-Press release 

Fast Food Spot Under Renovations

McDonalds at Old Bridge Road and Prince William Parkway in Lake Ridge is closed for renovations. (Photo: Stephanie Tipple/

Lake Ridge, Va. — Those pulling into the drive through at a McDonalds restaurant in Lake Ridge could be in for a surprise when they find the fast food joint closed for renovations.

The work here has been going on for the better part of the month. It comes after several other McDonalds locations in the Potomac Communities have been renovated.

McDonalds has not responded to several requests from for information asking when the renovations will be complete.


Occoquan Reacts to Oaks III Rezoning

The seal of Prince William County, Va.

By Stephanie Tipple

Lake Ridge, Va. — Occoquan residents and the town’s mayor have reacted to Prince William officials’ decision to allow construction of an office building just outside the town limits.

Mayor Earnie Porta and many town residents opposed the rezoning approved on Jan. 10 by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. The ruling will allow construction of the three-story Oaks III office building and a single family home at the corner of Old Bridge and Tanyard Hill roads.

The rezoned property is owned by Ken Thompson, developer of the adjacent Oaks I and II properties. Thompson did not return repeated requests for comment for this story.

“Obviously, everyone on the Town Council is disappointed with the BOCS vote, but we are also very appreciative of Supervisor May’s steadfast and able support of the town and the surrounding community on the issue, and for Supervisor Principi’s and Supervisor Nohe’s considered and principled votes,” said Porta in an email.

Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May, whose magisterial district lies outside the town of Occoquan, and Prince William Supervisors Frank Principi and Marty Nohe supported Porta in opposing the rezoning, which ultimately passed the Prince William Board by a five to three vote.

Porta thanked Occoquan residents for their support in opposing the development.

“Of course, we are especially grateful to all the town residents, business owners, and friends from the surrounding community who wrote emails and attended the BOCS hearing to make their views known,” said Porta.

The mayor still expresses his concerns for the potential issues that may be brought about or exacerbated by the development.

“In addition to the traffic impacts the town will experience from this project, and the missed opportunity to address existing storm water problems to which the developer is currently contributing, it is especially unfortunate that a majority of the BOCS chose to reward developer behavior that should be strongly and actively discouraged in the county. The Town Council, residents, and businesses will, of course, be investigating all feasible options and paying very close attention to the project’s progress,” said Porta.

Porta, and Acting President of the Occoquan Society James Phelps, said Thompson could have done a better job at addressing town residents’ concerns about the development.

“He met once with the Town of Occoquan, to fulfill the requirement to offer a courtesy review of the plan, after he had been approved at the [Prince William County] Planning Commission. He made it clear at that meeting that he was there to explain the plan, not to alter it in any way. To this day, he has never appeared to explain the plan to the Occoquan Town Council, nor has he met with the adjacent land owners, or with any of the other communities affected by the development,” said Phelps.

The Jan. 10 Board meeting was attended by more than residents who opposed the rezoning.

Unpopular Oaks III Plan Approved

Lake Ridge, Va. – Despite overwhelming opposition, officials Tuesday night approved a land rezoning that will lead to the construction of an office building in Lake Ridge.

In a five to three vote, a portion of the three-acre parcel of land at the busy intersection of Old Bridge Road and Tanyard Hill Road – a commuter cut through route and an entrance to the Town of Occoquan – was rezoned from agricultural land to office use. The decision gives way to plans to build a 32,500 square foot office building on the site.

While the rezoning passed, more than 100 people came to the Prince William County Government Center to oppose the plan, and ultimately the office building that will be called Oaks III. They cited traffic concerns on the already busy Tanyard Hill Road and the overburdened commuter thoroughfare, Old Bridge Road, and cited concerns for storm water runoff from a creek that bisects the property – fears amplified by recent flooding.

“Since 1972 we’ve dealing with water coming down the Ballywhack Creek regularly, and flooding us out regularly…we’ve simply reached a tipping point in Occoquan: There’s nowhere else for any more water to go, there nowhere else for even one more car to go,” said Town of Occoquan Preservation Society Acting President James Phelps.

A sticking point with residents, Occoquan officials, and for some Prince William County Supervisors in whose county this land is located, were claims the developer did not work with area residents to hear and address their concerns for the project. Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May fought hard against the rezoning and drafted a failed resolution to oppose the action. Supervisors Principi and Nohe supported May in voting against rezoning.

Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large, supported the ultimate plan to build office space, and said for too long Prince William has lost out to neighboring Stafford County which has been successful in attracting federal contractors to their workforce. He noted the value of the land in Lake Ridge and that its proximity to Interstate 95 makes it attractive to potential employers who will be looking for more office space once the job market rebounds.

“Proposals to develop this piece of property will come back. They came in the past, they’re coming today, and they will come in the future unless we make a decision today,” said Stewart. “Folks, doing nothing does not preserve this property.”

Not all of the land on the property will be used for the office building, as more than 13 of the nearly 18 acres will remain zoned agricultural, and the land will then be placed into a conservation easement where it will remain untouched forever, said Stewart.

In addition to Occoquan, the land sits near two other office buildings with similar names, Oaks I and Oaks II, as well as the Thousand Oaks residential neighborhood.

Public Will Speak Tonight on Contentious Development

Prince William County documents show the proposed Oaks III development at the corner of Old Bridge and Tanyard Hill roads in Lake Ridge, outside Occoquan.

By Stephanie Tipple

Lake Ridge, Va. — Prince William Supervisors tonight will hear from the public about a developer’s contentious plan to construct an office building at a busy intersection in Lake Ridge.

Supervisors ultimately will decide whether or not to rezone a property at Tanyard Hill and Old Bridge roads, outside Occoquan, to make way for a 32,500 square foot office building. This proposed commercial rezoning has met with opposition from elected officials on the Occoquan Town Council who do not support the project.

Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta has expressed two main concerns: the negative impact the project will have on storm water drainage which leads into the town, and the increased traffic the development will bring to the already congested area.

Town officials also said the development will impede their attempt provide economic growth opportunities to residents, and that by approving of these development project, the county will be “rewarding a developer for just the kind of behavior the county should be discouraging,” according to a resolution drafted by town officials denouncing the project.

But the Oaks III developer, Ken Thompson, a Virginia resident and longtime Lake Ridge community environmentalist, said the development on his piece of property will in fact provide many benefits to the community. As per the most current rezoning request, 76 percent of the property owned by Thompson will be left untouched, instead being placed into a conservation easement.

Thompson also said all of the studies and assessments of the property that have been done in preparation for this rezoning request, addressing the concerns that the town of Occoquan has thus far expressed.

A public hearing will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince William County Government Center on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

The proposed building
Plans call for the buildings to look similar to nearby Oaks office buildings previously built by Thompson in the past. It will be three stories, like the older buildings, with the addition of six windows on either side of the building, three more than the older buildings. There are also plans to plant several trees on the site, to tuck the office building away and preserve the natural aspect of the area.

Flood concerns
The Ballywhack Creek which runs through the middle of the parcel and into the small Occoquan town flooded recently causing damage to the buildings in the small village. The town fears developing the land would lead to more flooding from the creek.

But a study conducted on the safety of the stream rezoning request was being developed found the expansion would have low impact development techniques like cisterns and infiltrated ditches that they will have the ability to make the run off of the parcel even less than the flooding that the land is currently experiencing, according to Thompson.

Traffic concerns
There was also a traffic impact analysis completed in this planning period, and this was done in conjunction with the county’s transportation department and the Virginia Department of Transportation, which would not be heavily impacted. This study is on file and was submitted to the county and accepted. “We feel like we have an excellent application,” Thompson said of the recent rezoning request.

Neutral Board of Supervisors
On the whole, the members of the Board of County Supervisors remain neutral on the plans defined in the rezoning request, waiting until tonight’s meeting to hear both sides. Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May, who does not represent the Town of Occoquan but rather a magisterial district in Prince William County by the same name, has expressed some concerns that mirror those of the town’s. May said the entrance of the development and modifications that have been discussed, but said he will remain neutral at the present time.

Power Outage Hits Lake Ridge

Lake Ridge, Va. — The power is back on in Lake Ridge after just 1,900 customers lost their juice Friday afternoon.

Dominion Virginia Power said customers who live and work in the area of Old Bridge Road and Springwoods Drive lost power about 3 p.m. due to a faulty piece of equipment.

Power was restored for a majority of the customers about 5 p.m., and about 200 customers were slated to have their power restored by 9 p.m., said Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson.

Anderson added the faulty piece of equipment had to be replaced in order for power to be restored.

The power outage came on an unseasonable day in January when temperatures soared above 60 degrees.

Rotarians Feed Children for Christmas

(Submitted photo)

Lake Ridge, VA – The Woodbridge Rotary Club hosted their Annual Christmas Dinner for the children of the Prince William County / Manassas Boys & Girls Clubs.

The event was hosted at the Westminster at Lake Ridge retirement community. Over 100 youth between the ages of 5 and 14 were in attendance. The youth were from the Manassas, Hylton (Dale City), and General Heiser (Dumfries) Boys & Girls Club branches.

Boys & Girls Club members received an excellent dinner prepared by Tom Weaver and the dining services staff at Westminster at Lake Ridge. 15 Rotarians volunteered their time to help serve dinner to the children.

Holiday music was provided by the New Dominion Choraliers. Santa arrived to hand out gifts, also sponsored by the Woodbridge Rotary Club, to each child in attendance.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Prince William County / Manassas serve nearly 4,500 youth through various programs and services. Membership to the Boys & Girls Club is just $30 year and no child is turned away if the family cannot afford to pay. The Woodbridge Rotary Club is a not-for-profit service club whose members believe in “Service above Self”, this event was made possible because of their generosity. Many of the youth in attendance come from disadvantaged families and for them this event truly helped to make a positive impact on their Christmas season.

-Unedited press release

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

Photos: Prince William Officials Sworn In

Prince William County, Va. — Prince William County on Monday night held a swearing-in ceremony for members of the county Board of Supervisors, Sheriff’s office, and other elected positions, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.


Prince William County Board of Supervisor Chairman At-large Corey A. Stewart is sworn in for his second term as At-large Supervisor. [Photo courtesy: Prince William County]



Prince William Sheriff Glen Hill is sworn in for his next term, a position he’s held since 2003. [Photo courtesy: Prince William County]



Prince William Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins, a member of the Board since 1982, is sworn in for his next four-year term. [Photo courtesy: Prince William County]


Prince William Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert is sworn in. [Photo courtesy: Prince William County]


Elected officials attend a swearing-in ceremony in Manassas on Monday night. [Photo courtesy: Prince William County]

Artist, Parrot, Teach Children

Edgemoor Art Studio founder Ruth Johnsen holds a new class mascot, Picasso, an eight-month-old parrot. (Stephanie Tipple/

By Stephanie Tipple

Lake Ridge, Va. — Though art education has, in a sense, fallen to the wayside in recent years, a local artist wants to change that.

Ruth Johnsen, an English-born artist with a family legacy, has lived in Virginia for 25 years and has spent this time teaching students the important lessons and skills to become artists. In 2010 Johnsen took a big leap of faith and started the Edgemoor Art Studio in her home. With the support of parents and a great deal of hard work, Johnsen upgraded and moved the Edgemoor to its current location at 12616 Lake Ridge Drive in Lake Ridge in January.

And why did Johnsen decide to take a business risk and open her own art studio? Because the kids need art, and art has the capacity to help children learn and grow, said Johnsen. But this isn’t just an hour or two of arts and crafts lessons – this is a place where children can grow their artistic capabilities and their technical artistry skills, while having fun in a creative and family oriented atmosphere with other community children.

“There’s no limit to what you can impart to someone else. I particularly believe, in all areas of education, that kids will rise to the expectations of the teacher, and the biggest thing is nurturing their creative spirit,” Johnsen said. “Everyone can come here, and grow and learn from the point that they’re at.”

To reinforce the child-friendly nurturing atmosphere, Edgemoor Art Studio has recently added a new mascot, Picasso, an eight-month-old Sun Conure Parrot, that the children absolutely love.

Johnsen frequently holds fun themed workshops, like the popular chocolate artwork workshop, also offering fun workshops and activities for small groups and parties. She is currently registering students for a winter session which runs from January to April.

Library, Clinic Ink Deal with Tacketts Mill

Lake Ridge, Va. — The neighborhood library that has had more homes than any other in Prince William County is about to move again.

The Lake Ridge Neighborhood Library will move from the Fairfield Office Park on Harbor Drive where it’s been since 1995 back to nearby Tackett’s Mill Shopping Center. The library recently inked a new lease with the shopping center’s management company, Rappaport Companies, and will move into a 3,500-square foot space on the upper level of the shopping center between a pizzeria and barbershop, near a Safeway grocery store.

“For years we’ve had people come in and say they have a hard time finding us, or call and say they can’t find us at all,” said library supervisor Lynn Casey.

The library has not announced a moving date , and officials with the county’s library office had been looking for a new space for at least the past six months, added Casey. The library will pay about $38,000 per year for the space, about $15,000 less than what they were paying to house the neighborhood facility in the office park.

The library’s relocation will benefit not only the shopping center but the neighborhood too, said Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

“…the location is much more visible and will attract many folks who might not have otherwise had occasion to visit this section of Tackett’s Mill. This will, in turn, benefit the other businesses that are located there–after people are done visiting the library, they may want to grab a bite to eat or stop in at one of the other shops. Hopefully the new library location brings new vitality and excitement to this part of the center,” said May.

The Lake Ridge Neighborhood Library opened in 1985 in Tackett’s Mill but moved the facility to the nearby office park in the mid-1990s due to budget cuts, according to the library’s webpage.

The library is one of six neighborhood libraries in Prince William County.

Also slated to open in Tackett’s Mill is Patient First Neighborhood Medical Center. With a location in North Stafford, the new location in Lake Ridge will be the walk-in clinic’s second site in the Potomac Communities.

Patient First will be built in the on a pad site where an old Shell gas station used to sit, said Rappaport Companies spokeswoman Sheryl Simeck.

$16 Million Radio Upgrade Proposed

The new public safety radio system eyed by officials in Prince William County would improve radio ability inside buildings, documents state. Areas in red indicate improved radio coverage with after a new radio system is implemented.

Prince William County, Va. — The communication system used by first responders in Prince William County could soon get an upgrade.

County officials want to replace the radio system used by county police, fire and rescue personnel, public schools, sheriff’s office and jail with a new system guaranteed to last 15 years. It comes with a $16 million contract price tag with nearly $6 million in incentives worked into the deal, according to county documents.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is expected to be briefed on the new system at their public meeting Tuesday.

In addition to agencies in Prince William County, Dumfries, Haymarket, Quantico and Occoquan will also use the system.

The new radio system, which could be implemented by the lower of two current bidding compaines, Motorola, will improve radio communication inside of buildings on the eastern and extreme western sides of the county, documents state. The new system would also include two new base towers to improve the radio system’s transmission abilities.

The county’s current radio system was installed in 1999 and was guaranteed a lifespan of 15 years. It will no longer be supported by its manufacturer in 2013, and county officials hope to have a new system in place by the end of its guaranteed lifespan.

County documents don’t address an option of encrypting the radio system to shield communications from public ears. If county officials do encrypt its radio frequencies, they will follow suit with neighboring Stafford Count which last year hushed police communications, preventing residents from monitoring the sheriff’s department’s actions and from getting up to the minute information about road closures over the public airwaves.

Molotov Cocktails Tossed at Home

Lake Ridge, Va. – Fire investigators want to know who threw explosive devices at home in Lake Ridge.

Police were called to the 2000 block of Mayflower Drive, off Clipper Drive and Old Bridge Road, about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday. The residents there told police they heard glass breaking in the front of their town home and then saw a small fire after they went to investigate, said Prince William fire and rescue spokesman Joseph Robertson.

The residents extinguished the fire and called 911.

After they arrived, police found Molotov cocktail style devices had been tossed at the home. Those devices usually consist of a bottle with gasoline inside, with a cloth that can be burned as a wick.

No one was injured in the incident, and the damage to the house was estimated to be $1,000.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call the Prince William County Fire Marshall’s Office at 703-792-6500.

Over the summer police arrested one man after Molotov cocktails were found at a middle school in Woodbridge.

Santa Appears in Lake Ridge

Lake Ridge, Va. – Santa made his first appearance in the Potomac Communities this year in Lake Ridge.

Residents lined the community’s main street, Old Bridge Road, to greet the man in the big red suit as well as floats from local businesses and organizations.

Santa arrived on the back of an OWL VFD fire truck with lights and sirens blaring as child children smiled and waved. Ahead of the jolly old elf was the Woodbridge Senior High School Army JROTC womens drill team, waving poms poms from the dancers at Woodbridge’s Dance, Tumble Cheer, and an OmniRide commuter bus driven by an elf who appeared to have five-inch finger nails.

“I liked seeing Santa and all of the old cars in the parade… even though my mom told me this year it was her who brings the presents and not Santa,” said 9-year-old Micheal from Dumfries.

Many who live in Lake Ridge found the parade an easy walk from their homes, and fitting way to ring in the holiday season.

“We live just two blocks up, and we found out about it online and realized it wasn’t far from the house so we brought the kids down to watch,” said Kristie Fay.

The parade began at 10 a.m. and lasted about 30 minutes, featuring about 30 organizations and a few floats. Its route brought it west down Old Bridge Road from Mohican Road to Smoketown Road.

The parade in past years was canceled due to inclement weather but made a triumphant return this year, said Prince William Occoquan Supervisor Mike May.

Santa to March down Old Bridge


Lake Ridge, Va. – The man in the big red suit is coming to Lake Ridge tomorrow as part of Santa’s Old Bridge Parade.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday ringing in the holiday season in this neighborhood. The parade route stretches down Old Bridge Road – Lake Ridge’s main street and a popular commuter road – from Mohican Road west to Smoketown Road.

“I’m really excited about the parade and look forward to seeing lots of Lake Ridge area families enjoying the event on Saturday,” said Prince William Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

While the parade is not new to Lake Ridge, this is the first time its been held in several years. In the past, the parade has been canceled due to inclement weather and logistical problems, said May.

At least 30 organizations will be represented in this year’s parade.

Robbery Leads to Fire

Lake Ridge, Va. — An overnight robbery at a gas station in Lake Ridge led to a fire in a car wash.

Fire and rescue crews were called to an Exxon gas station at 3514 Old Bridge Road just after midnight Friday to douse a blaze that had broken out at the car wash at that gas station.

No one was injured, and fire crews were able to bring the blaze under control within minutes of arriving on scene, said OWL VFD spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes.

No information about the robbery was released.


3 Injured in 3-Alarm Blaze

Lake Ridge, Va. — Three people are in the hospital tonight after a three-alarm blaze in Lake Ridge.

Fire and rescue crews at 3:40 p.m. were called to the 3400 block of Caledonia Circle, just off Cotton Mill Drive, after flames broke out in a three-story town house.

Three people were home at the time of the fire, and one person became trapped on the third floor of the house. Two others tried to rescue the victim but were injured and fled the burning house, said Prince William fire and rescue Battalion Chief Joseph Robertson.

After fire crews arrived, they were able to rescue the third person who was trapped on the top floor, said Robertson.

Two of the victims were flown and a third was taken by ambulance to local hospitals for evaluation. Officials did not say if their conditions were life threatening.

Six people were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is assisting them, said Robertson.

Fire officials are still working to determine the cause of the blaze.

School Warns of Bear Sighting

(Photo courtesy: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)

Lake Ridge, Va. — Headlining the websites of two elementary schools today are notices of a bear sighting in Lake Ridge.

A bear was sighted near Antietam Elementary School on Antietam Road on Friday morning. School officials say the mother bear and her cub were spotted near the school but were never on school property.

A message on the site for Lake Ridge Elementary School tells parents a headline on incorrectly states the bears were seen near that school.

According to state wildlife officials who have put together a website with tips on how to live with Black Bears in Virginia, bears are attracted to residential areas by bird feeders, garbage, pet food compost piles.

New Turn Lane Open

A new turn lane at Springwoods Drive and Old Bridge Road is open. (Uriah Kiser/

Lake Ridge, Va. — Right-turn makers rejoice: a new right turn lane from Springwoods Drive to Old Bridge Road has opened.

The new lane now allows drivers headed to Prince William Parkway the option to turn right immediately without having to wait in what was a center multi-directional turn lane, which can now only be used to continue straight or to turn left.

The view at Springwoods Drive and Old Bridge Road prior to construction of the new turn lane.

Prince William County authorities purchased the tract of land in which the turn lane now sits on from the Lake Ridge Parks and Recreation earlier this summer.

Work on a new sidewalk along the newly added lane also appears to be wrapping up.

1 Pulled from Burning Home




One person was rescued from a burning home in Lake Ridge tonight in the 3700 block of Avairy Way in Lake Ridge about 6:40 p.m.

Fire crews arrived on the scene to find one person who had already made it out of the home who told rescuers two additional people were inside.

However, one person was inside the home and the second person thought to be inside was safe at a neighbor’s house, said OWL VFD spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes.

No one was injured and the cause of the fire, reportedly a grease fire, is still being investigated.

Lake Ridge, Va. –– Two people were rescued from their burning house this evening.

Initial reports indicate a grease fire broke out at a home in the 3700 block of Aviary Way in Lake Ridge about 6:40 p.m. Two people that became trapped inside the home were pulled to safety, but we’re not clear if they were injured.

The blaze has been contained, according to initial reports.

More as we get it here and on our Facebook page.

New Voting Cards in the Mail

Woodbridge, Va. — The recent decennial redistricting process has prompted Prince William officials to issue new voter cards.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . New voter cards are being mailed this week to all registered voters in Prince William County. Due to the recent redistricting, many election district boundaries and polling places have changed. The new voter cards will have the updated information including election district and polling place locations.

Another option to determine your election district and polling place is through This interactive tool will instantly give the correct election district and polling place location based on the address you supply.

The Republican Party will hold a primary on August 23, 2011 to select its candidates for the November General Election in the following races:

Board of CountySupervisors in Brentsville, Coles, and Gainesville districts, State Senate in Districts 13, 36, and 39 and House of Delegates in District 87.

The deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election has already passed. There will be no Democratic Primary this year.

To find out if you are currently registered to vote and what will be on the ballot in your polling place, visit

For more information, contact Voter Registration at 703-792-6470. The address is 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1, Manassas, VA 20110. Email questions can be sent to

-Press release

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