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Lake Ridge

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

Shattered Glass Closes Pool

The swimming pool at Lake Ridge’s Canterbury Woods Community Center was drained and scrubbed after shattered glass was found on the pool deck. (Uriah Kiser/

The swimming pool at Lake Ridge’s Canterbury Woods Community Center was drained and scrubbed after shattered glass was found on the pool deck. (Uriah Kiser/

Lake Ridge, Va. — Would-be swimmers at Canterbury Woods Pool on Springwoods Drive were greeted Saturday with a padlock and a sign.

“Pool closed for four days due to broken glass found in the pool,” the sign stated.

Garret Sneed of Titan Pools spent his Saturday draining the pool and cleaning up a mess.

“The guards came in this morning to open the pool and found broken glass all over the pool deck,” said Sneed. The apparent work of vandals, Sneed thinks someone during the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday stood outside the fenced-in pool deck and lobbed beer bottles over the fence line onto the pool deck.

It appears no one broke into the pool, said Sneed.

The pool was open on Friday and closed at its regular time, at 8 p.m.

Following the apparent vandalism, the pool will be closed for the next three days, according to Sneed.

Once the pool reopens, it will resume its regular operating hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pool closes for the season Sept. 5.

It is operated by the Lake Ridge Property Owners Association and is open to Lake Ridge residents and their guests.

Fire Breaks Out in Kitchen

Lake Ridge, Va. — Smoke inside a home on Forest Hill Road on Monday night prompted a visit from the fire department.

Rescue crews were called to 12556 Forest Hill Road in Lake Ridge at 9:10 p.m. after someone reported a fire in a kitchen.

Smoke was seen billowing from the side of the home as crews arrived, prompting them to pull an attack line into the house and douse the flames, said OWL VFD spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes.

No one was injured the blaze was extinguished within three minutes, she added.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Tackett’s Mill Hoping for a Renaissance

The Old Mill at Tackett’s Mill is a staple that sets the shopping center apart from others in eastern Prince William County. (Mary Davidson/

Editor’s note: This is the second part of an ongoing series about redeveloping the Potomac Communities.

Lake Ridge, Va. — Tackett’s Mill shopping center in Lake Ridge was ahead of its time.

As redevelopment in the Potomac Communities has shifted from strip malls to walkable, urban centers, Tackett’s Mill — with its shopping, office space, residential neighborhoods within walking distance and transit connections – was the original town center.

Built in 1971, it was one of a only a handful of places to shop in eastern Prince William and was the only center to serve the developing Lake Ridge community. At the time of construction, the paved portion of Old Bridge Road (Lake Ridge’s thoroughfare) stopped at Antietam Drive at Woodbridge Senior High School, but continued west as a gravel road to the site of the present day Chinn Center, linking with Davis Ford Road, (now Prince William Parkway) said Rappaport Companies spokeswoman Sheryl Simeck.

Rappaport owns Tackett’s Mill Center and is in the process of repairing a walkway and elevator at the 40-year-old complex. The company aims to fill empty spaces at the center with new tenants.

The center, which was once home to a movie theater, has seen changes over the years. The theatre gone, a fast food restaurant boarded up and a empty pad site where a gas station once stood, officials hope things at the center will turn around.

“Tackett’s Mill is presently undergoing major renovations…It is also under new management, and I believe they have the desire to inject new life into the center. Time will tell, but between the improvements being made and the community’s renewed interest in walkabilty and ‘live, work, and play’ opportunities, you never know, Tackett’s Mill may very well be poised for a renaissance,” said Prince William County Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

The largest remaining store at the center, Safeway, is also undergoing some exterior renovations, and Statements The Salon recently expanded at the center. Negotiations are underway to bring a new tenant to the site of the old gas station, but Simeck is tight lipped about the project.

There are also rumors that the boarded up fast food restaurant, a Burger King, could reopen.

Photos By: Mary Davidson

Many say things started to go downhill for the center when another shopping center with a similar name, Potomac Mills, grew to not only be the dominant retail destination in the Potomac Communities but one of the largest in the state. Stores once at Tackett’s Mill moved to to the  mall in Woodbridge to have better access to shoppers traveling Prince William Parkway and Interstate 95.

And as charming as Tackett’s Mill is, with its old stone mill and lake, success for businesses hinges on traffic.

“While architecture is important, what matters from the retail side of the business is the center’s visibility, how many cars pass by it each day, the number of people who live near the shopping center and what their average incomes are — that can determine success for the center,” said Simeck.

Competition from nearby shopping centers makes it more difficult to find tenants for Tackett’s Mill, but Rappaport hopes to find a large, destination store to lease space at the center and surround it with smaller, locally-owned businesses that cater to a specific customer base, said Simeck.

Overall, Tackett’s Mill is only a portion of the redevelopment effort in Lake Ridge, in a neighborhood where residents say they want to use their cars less and walk more.

“We have added pedestrian paths along Old Bridge in front of Woodbridge High [Senior] School, and more sidewalks and walking paths are going to be constructed starting very soon between the Festival at Old Bridge and Mohican Road on the north side of Old Bridge. Once complete, these sidewalks and trails will form an interconnected pedestrian corridor, where folks can walk to the store or friends home without the need to get into their cars,” added May.

The series: Redeveloping the Potomac Communities
Part 1:  Emerging town centers in Woodbridge could spell trouble for small businesses

Bugs Test Positive for West Nile

WOODBRIDGE, Va. –– Some of the first mosquitoes this year test positive for West Nile Virus in the Potomac Communities have been found in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge.

Officials say an intensive treatment of the areas are now needed, and that the deadly virus can be spread to birds and humans through bites. has more on this story.


Lake Ridge Moms to Hold Open House

The Lake Ridge Moms Club is a group of moms that provides a fun, welcoming place for parents and kids to make friends, learn new skills, and get involved in the community. It is far more than just a playgroup. Our organization provides six main areas in which parents can participate: Community, Social, Babysitting Co-op, Fitness, Mommy Meals, and playgroup. There is definitely something for everyone!

Each month, we have a general meeting where we discuss upcoming activities and have speakers talk about topics important to families, programs to learn new skills, or time to just socialize and have fun. Membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Tall Oaks Community Center, except for our Open House which will be held Thursday, September 8.

Every Wednesday, our playgroup meets at Canterbury Woods community center or a local playground. The kids love to see each other, and the parents get a chance to relax and chat with each other. Sometimes the Playgroup Co-Chairs will arrange field trips to other nearby kid-friendly spots like Kids n’Motion, Chick-Fila, or even the National Zoo.

The social committee plans fun activities for the whole family. From a monthly Mom’s Night Out to couples nights to quarterly family parties, there are entertaining options throughout the year.

Our community committee works to identify needs in our community and organize ways for our club to meet those needs. Past projects have included coat and food drives, adopting families during the holidays, serving breakfast at a local shelter, walking the March of Dimes March for Babies, remodeling a room for an ACTS shelter, and raising funds for school supplies for underprivileged children. By getting involved in our community, we are encouraging our children to give back and making Prince William County a better place to live.

The Babysitting Co-Op provides an opportunity for families to exchange childcare services without exchanging money. Parents and children get to know and trust each other through Co-op meetings and events. Membership in the Co-Op is open to any current Moms Club member, however, the Co-Op is limited to 25 members.

Another way that our organization supports our members is by providing meals after a family has welcomed a new child, had a family member that has been hospitalized or ill, or for any other necessary reason. Our Mommy Meals chair coordinates our members who have volunteered to cook one or two healthy meals for the family and drop them off at the family’s home. It is a great way for us to encourage each other and provide a little help to our friends.

Our newest committee, Fitness, is another great way that we encourage each other. By planning day and evening work-out options, the Fitness committee makes it fun to exercise and stay fit.

You do not have to be a Lake Ridge Association member to join, so please join us at our Open House to meet our members and check out everything we have to offer. Please stop by, learn more about each committee, enjoy some refreshments and conversation, and hear about what we have planned for this upcoming year.

-Kerry Coleman-Proksch, Lake Ridge Moms Club president.

Police Help Cars to be a ‘Harder Target’

Lake Ridge, Va. — Don’t be surprised if you find a note from the police department on your windshield.

Police in eastern Prince William are canvassing the area helping motorists make sure their vehicles are less enticing to thieves.

Last week in Lake Ridge, brochures were distributed to several cars letting residents know the importance of locking their cars and keeping valuable items out of plain sight.

Those who live in apartments or single family homes are at high risk of auto theft, and so are drivers who park at shopping centers, restaurants and auto repair shops, according to the brochure from Prince William police.

“Officers go into previously targeted neighborhoods and check for unsecured vehicles. If your vehicle is found to be unsecured, the officer secures it and leaves information on how to deter crime. If the vehicle is secured, the brochure “you made it harder on a thief’ is left,” said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

In addition to the officer’s last name and badge number, if the car is found to be an easy target the officer checks off tips on what drivers can do to better protect their vehicle like closing open windows, removing keys from the ignition and parking in attended lots.

Police say thieves often enter cars through side and rear doors.

The crime prevention effort has been ongoing since earlier this year

Suggestions to help deter thieves

  • Take keys out
  • Lock your car
  • Remove valuables from plain view
  • Park in attended lots
  • Close car windows when parking
  • Use your garage
  • Local garage door and vehicle inside
  • Install car alarm
  • Engrave expensive accessories with identifiable number
  • Take out removable radios and face plates
  • Don’t park between large vehicles (large vehicles can provide cover for thieves)

-Prince William police


Tips to Beat Excessive Heat

As the mercury continues its climb toward the century mark,  officials are warning residents to do everything they can to keep cool.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch from noon today until 8 p.m. Thursday. With temperatures forecast to reach the mid to upper 90s Wednesday afternoon, heat index values (what it feels like outside when the humidity is factored in with the heat) are expected between 100 and 110 degrees.

The hot weather will remain in place for the remainder of the week, with temperatures hovering in the mid 90s to 100 degrees, according to the weather service.

Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Mark Doyle issued tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

More to the Story: Check out’s Pool Guide 2011 to find a place near you to cool off.

Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who have a mental illness
  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Avoiding dehydration is essential signs of dehydration may include: Thirst, Dry or sticky mouth, Headache, Muscle cramping, Irritability, Extreme fatigue, Weakness, Dizziness, and Decreased performance. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15.


Unopposed May: We Won’t Take Anything for Granted

Mike May kicks off his 2011 election bid. (Submitted)

OCCOQUAN, Va. –– A Prince William County Supervisor who is running unopposed held a campaign kickoff Sunday.

Republican Mike May said he’s made progress on the Board of County Supervisors over the past four years, and noted his vision to make Lake Ridge a more pedestrian friendly.

Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May held his formal campaign kick off on Sunday, July 17th. In announcing his re-election bid, May noted the progress that has been made in Prince William over the past four years, including: keeping taxes low while maintaining quality county services; overseeing the county’s bond rating upgrades to AAA; making Prince William a more attractive place for business; working to control the pace of growth and protect open space and the environment; keeping the crime rate low; and improving pedestrian access and walkability in the Occoquan District.

Still, May noted that there was more work to be done. “It’s all about protecting our quality of life and making county government more transparent and responsive to the needs of our citizens,” said May.

Even though May is currently unopposed for the seat, the incumbent gave no indication of slacking off on the campaign trail. “We will not take anything for granted,” said May. “Our campaigns have never been about who the opponent is—they have always been about reaching out to the community and discussing our positive message for the Occoquan District and Prince William County. So, it doesn’t really matter whether we have an opponent or not. We will still aggressively bring this positive message to the community by going door to door and meeting as many folks as we can on the campaign trail.”

May gave a special note of thanks to his hardworking staff and his supportive family. He thanked them for the sacrifices they have made to give him the opportunity to serve the citizens of the Occoquan District and concluded his speech by saying, “I look forward to continuing to serve for another term. Together, we can continue to make a positive difference for Prince William County,”

For more information, please visit

-Press release

6th Graders Must Have Shots, Say Schools

Prince William County, Va. –– Parents are once again reminded that students entering sixth grade in Prince William County Public Schools this fall must present proof that they have had a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) booster shot within the past five years. By state law, without proof of this immunization, children will not be able to enroll in school for the 2011–12 school year.

If the last Tdap booster shot was administered more than five years from the beginning of the upcoming school year, this immunization must be administered over the summer. The booster shot may be listed as T, Td, Dtap, and/or Tdap. Parents are urged to call their child’s doctor or local health department if they have questions.

Shots may be obtained from a doctor, military clinic, or the Prince William County Health Department. Documentation should be taken to your child’s middle school or Central Registration.

The Prince William County Health Department may be reached at the following locations and telephone numbers: 9301 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110, 703.792.6301, and 4001 Prince William Parkway, Ste. 101, Woodbridge, Va. 22191, 703-792-7300.

-Press release

Extreme Heat Coming

Remember when the weather for the first part of this past weekend was relatively cool for summertime in the Potomac Communities: fair-weather clouds, a nice summer breeze and temperatures in the 80s? Now try and forget about it.

The forecasted heat index values this week should rise above the 100 degree mark, and it all begins Monday with forecasted temps in the 90s and a code orange air quality alert.

The outside air Monday may become unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children, seniors and those with heart and lung diseases, according to the National Weather Service.

Bottom line: stay indoors in the air conditioning if you can and avoid strenuous activity.

Over the next six days, expect a similar summertime weather pattern: extreme heat with the chance of afternoon and overnight thunderstorms.

Those 100-degree heat index values are forecast to kick in Thursday, while showers and thunderstorms could affect the Potomac Communities overnight tonight into Tuesday, according to the weather service.

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May Election Kick-Off on Sunday

Mike May

Occoquan, Va. –– Prince William Supervisor Mike May is set to kick off his 2011 reelection bid.

May, a Republican currently running unopposed, represents Prince William’s Occoquan District and is Vice Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Voters go to the polls on Nov. 8.

Who: Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May

What: Supervisor May will officially kick-off his re-election campaign focusing on the issues that matter most to the community: protecting quality of life; keeping families safe; improving transportation; keeping taxes low and our county budget under control, and promoting transparency in local government.

When: Sunday, July 17, 2011

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: Occoquan Town Hall

314 Mill Street

Occoquan, VA 22125

-Press release

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