Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Occoquan Local

News
Woodbridge voter office future uncertain, again

WOODBRIDGE — A voter office in Woodbridge could once again be headed for the chopping block.

The Prince William County Electoral Board is prepared to be hit once more with rent fees from the Virginia DMV.

In March, the state asked for 14 years of back rent in the amount of $31,200 for a voter registration office inside the Woodbridge DMV Customer Service Center on Caton Hill Road. The office is also used as an absentee in-person voting center in the weeks leading up to November General Elections.

“We’ve been there rent-free for years,” said Prince William Electoral Board Secretary Keith Scarborough.

After the March notice, there were fears the only voter registration office on the eastern side of Prince William County would close. The closure was averted when DMV officials backed off, and county officials were told they had at least one more year to operate in the building.

“I think the call for rent was a ‘get out’ message,” said Electoral Board Chairman Robin Williams.

If it was, the election officials have few places has few places to go. The Board on Wednesday wrangled not only with finding what to do about the Woodbridge DMV site but also to find a new site to serve the western end of Prince William County in the growing Haymarket and Gainesville areas. (more…)

News
Adopt Me Wednesday: Reggie is neutered and gets along great with other dogs

The Stafford County Animal Shelter as a furry friend waiting for his forever home. 

Here’s what they had to say: 

His name is Reggie. He’s about 2-3 years old! Very energetic and playful!

Gets along great with other dogs, but we aren’t sure about kitties. He is neutered and up to date on his vaccines. He was found as a stray so we aren’t sure if he is housebroken or not.

Reggie also does better with older children as he can get a little rough with little ones when he plays

You can visit the animal shelter’s website for more information, as well as see operating hours so you can visit Reggie and other animals in Stafford County.

Local lender expands free Q&A series for business owners

Local business capital advisor and direct lender One Degree Capital is expanding their successful series “Capital Over Coffee.” These informal forums are hosted at local coffee shops throughout the DC Metro area providing local business owners an opportunity to ask questions about finding and securing business loans in an informal setting without the hassle and formality of going through a loan application process just to get feedback from a lender.

“Our first Capital Over Coffee event in Falls Church, Virginia, sold out quickly,” explains Rod Loges, co-founder, and president of One Degree Capital. “As word spread we had several other business owners asking when we would be hosting an event near them. It just seemed logical to expand into other areas in the DC Metro area.”

“There is a clear need for this type of forum in our area,” says Jenn Mathis, co-founder and vice president of One Degree Capital. “Business owners don’t need yet another loan option thrown at them. What they need is help objectively evaluating the dozens of options that exist today to determine what is best for their particular business situation right now.” (more…)

News
Saved Hands Foundation is preparing for School Back Pack Giveaway

· Good morning Prince William – Saved Hands Foundation is in the final week preparing for their Annual August Back to School Back Pack Giveaway! It’s as easy as picking up a few extra items this week and dropping them off starting at 12 noon on Saturday, August 12th at Potomac Library, 2201 Opitz Blvd. in Woodbridge. Please help a kid start the new school year with the basics to make them be successful. Contact Pamela at 703-895-6681 for more info.

· Merrimac Farm is looking for volunteers to help in the gardens on both Saturday, August 12th and August 26th, 9 a.m.- 12 noon. Come get your hands dirty and enjoy. Please call (703) 499-4954 for more info.

· Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has the best deal in town for all you crab lovers- come join their event at VFW Post 1503 on Minnieville Road for all you can eat crabs, flounder, wing dings, corn on the cob, potatoes, beans and much more for just $65 a ticket- wow! This event supports their scholarship and public service fund. Please check out their website at pwcacdst.org to purchase tickets.

· Habitat for Humanity in Manassas needs volunteers to help at the Restore. It’s a super fun, busy place. Please sign up on their volunteer calendar for the shift that works best for you: habitatpwc.org. (more…)

Time is running out for summer reading, but it’s not too late

Time is running out, but it’s not too late!

Explore Summer Reading 2017

With school just around the corner, it is time to dust off those thinking caps and get ready to learn. But don’t do it alone, stop by your closest Prince William Public Library branch and score some fun prizes while getting back in the groove.

In less than six visits (YES, six visits), you will have the opportunity to win some amazing food coupons, free books and be entered to win a brand-new flip laptop (for kids) or a Beats Pill by Dre® (for young adults).  Either visit pwcgov.org/summerreading or head on over to any Prince William Public Library branch to sign up. Once you have your passport (for kids) or punch card (for young adults), just tell us what you’re reading each time you visit the library and watch the stamps and punches roll in.

Don’t worry, adults, because you can participate in Explore Summer Reading, too! You don’t even have to register. Whenever you come into the library, fill out an entry form with the name of a book you’ve read. We will hold a drawing for a Target gift card at each of our eleven branches each week for all nine weeks of summer reading. (more…)



New Listing: 8510 General Way

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New listing!! 8510 General Way, Manassas Park, Va. 20111. Move-in ready three-level townhouse in excellent commuter location! Large eat-in kitchen with convenient pantry. Open and bright living room & dining room combination with sliding glass doors leading to oversized deck. Master suite with full bath and double closets. Full finished walk-out basement with den, laundry, full bath & family room overlooking brick paver patio, fenced backyard, backing to common area and playground. New roof, carpet & recent HVAC & H2O heater. Minutes to VRE,

Large eat-in kitchen with convenient pantry. Open and bright living room & dining room combination with sliding glass doors leading to oversized deck. Master suite with full bath and double closets. Full finished walk-out basement with den, laundry, full bath & family room overlooking brick paver patio, fenced backyard, backing to common area and playground. New roof, carpet & recent HVAC & H2O heater. Minutes to VRE, shopping, and restaurants.

Contact C.C. Bartholomew at 703-282-4800 or email cc@ccbartholomew.com email 



Bat Houses: Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever thought about installing a bat house? 

Bats are vital to our environment. People who install bat houses help sustain local bat populations.

They benefit bats, you, your family, local gardeners, farmers and the ecosystem. Bat populations have decreased significantly, and bat houses provide a secure habitat for bats to live.

Rest assured, it’s safe and helpful to have bats in your backyard.

Bats play an important role in keeping populations of night-flying insects in check. One bat alone can catch hundreds of insects in an hour. Bats also control species of moths and beetles that cost American farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually.

The best place to install a bat house is high up and oriented south/southeast. Make sure the bat house is a minimum of 10 to 12 feet high. Placing it even higher up, up to 20 feet, will increase chances of attracting more bats.

Ideally, the bats will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. Bats prefer a location that gets early sunlight and continues to get direct sunlight throughout the day.

Water should be within a quarter of a mile of the bat house. Viable water sources include, but are not limited to, creeks, small ponds, home garden ponds and possible even pools. Bat houses located near a large water source tend to be more successful.

Avoid placing the bat house on trees, as they attract predators and their foliage may block sunlight. Tree branches should be at least 20 to 25 feet away, as they are potential perches for aerial predators. A pole in the right location is a great place to put a bat house. However, do check to be sure the pole is NOT an active service pole.

Beware of attaching a bat house to your home – consider the excrement that bat colonies generate. Avoid placing bat houses above doors or windows because of this reason. Wood, brick or stone buildings work best.

Written by Beejal Ved, of the Prince William Conservation Alliance

Photo: Ann Froschauer/USFWS

News
Church members donate 7,000 pounds of food for families in need

From Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington:

“It’s the summertime, and a lot of people are on vacation, so to get this amount of food is impressive and greatly needed.”
-Vince A. Cannava
Program Director, St. Lucy Food Project

A weekend food collection for hungry children at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville has workers and volunteers thrilled at the St. Lucy Food Project, a program with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. A summer food drive at the church yielded an unprecedented 7,000 pounds in food donations for this time of year.

The food was collected after Masses on Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, by the Knights of Columbus council at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and then transported to the St. Lucy Food Project hub in Manassas. From there, the food will be distributed to local pantries and various pantries throughout the 21 counties and 7 independent cities of the Diocese of Arlington as needed.

The food was collected after Masses on Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, by the Knights of Columbus council at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and then transported to the St. Lucy Food Project hub in Manassas. From there, the food will be distributed to local pantries and various pantries throughout the 21 counties and 7 independent cities of the Diocese of Arlington as needed. (more…)

News
New members fill Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors

MANASSAS — There are some new members on the Habitat for Humanity Prince William County Board of Directors. 

From an email: 

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County recently held elections to its Board of Directors for Fiscal Year 2018.

New board members include Rob Major (L), President of Major Home Inspections, a family-owned business in Prince William County, who was elected to serve a three-year term ending in 2020. Mr. Major previously served on Habitat’s board from 2006-2012. He was also elected to serve as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for a one-year term. Chuck Rector (R), Vice President of Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services based in Manassas, was also elected to a three-year term and will serve as Treasurer of the Board for one year. Chuck has more than twenty-five years of experience as a commercial general contractor and developer and is well known in the business community for his service on non-profit and industry-related boards and committees.

Chuck Rector (R), Vice President of Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services based in Manassas, was also elected to a three-year term and will serve as Treasurer of the Board for one year. Chuck has more than twenty-five years of experience as a commercial general contractor and developer and is well known in the business community for his service on non-profit and industry-related boards and committees. (more…)


News
Adopt Me Wednesday: Patty is desperately searching for a permanent home

From the Manassas Animal Adoption Center

Patty is a beautiful, six year old girl that is desperately searching for a permanent home. She has been through a lot this past year and has been abandoned several times now. Patty is extremely sweet and affectionate but she does need to be the only pet in her new home. She is spayed, up to date on vaccines, and microchipped.

For more information on Patty, please contact the City of Manassas Animal Shelter at 703-257-2420.

News
Update: Alexandria man sought on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer

From Prince William County police:

The citizen asked the suspect for identification and the name of his supervisor. The suspect then immediately went back to his vehicle and left the area. – On July 31 at 6:41 a.m., officers responded to investigate a suspicious vehicle which was reported in the area of Williamson Boulevard and Duneiden Lane in Manassas. The investigation revealed a citizen was stopped at the traffic light on Sudley Road at Williamson Boulevard, attempting to make a left turn.

A driver of a blue, 2007 Ford Crown Victoria was also stopped at the same signal in an adjacent lane next to the citizen. When the vehicles made the left turn onto Williamson Blvd, the suspect vehicle got behind the citizen’s car and activated red and blue flashing lights which were mounted in the grill and visor area. (more…)

News
Occoquan’s Blue Arbor Café for sale

OCCOQUAN — One of the most talked about restaurants in Occoquan is for sale. 

From an email: 

After 15 years in business, Steve and Jeanette Power are selling the Blue Arbor Café. This quaint little café has been a part of Occoquan for decades, and as owners, we are looking for a buyer who will continue this great tradition in the Town of Occoquan by offering shopkeepers, residents, and visitors a fresh, tasty lunch in pretty little courtyard between Mill & Union Streets.

This “Taste Off the Beaten Path” needs someone who’ll love it as much as we have. We’re selling as we have family members back home in Ohio in need, and the proceeds will allow us to help those we love. As we begin our next big adventure in life, we wanted to reach out to you to see if you know of anyone who may be interested. 

Meanwhile, please stop in the café and enjoy your favorite sandwich. We’d love to see you again soon!

 

News
National Night Out activities planned in Prince William, Manassas

Prince William police tell us they will be out on Tuesday, August, 1 in the community meeting with residents. While the department has not told us about any large NNO celebrations, it did encourage neighbors to head outside and gather with each other to build a sense of community.

From Prince William police: 

The Prince William County Police Department will observe the 34th National Night Out celebration this year by encouraging County residents to lock their doors, turn on outdoor lights and spend the evening of Tuesday, August 1, outside with their neighbors as a symbol that they care about their neighborhoods. National Night Out – coordinated by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Police Department in partnership with the Prince William Crime Prevention Council – creates healthy neighborhoods block by block, to help neighbors know one another, to celebrate community, and to take steps to make neighborhoods safer for all residents. Additionally, National Night Out helps build positive relationships between the community and the Police Department.

Neighborhood Watch programs, and National Night Out, help to create a neighborhood network to prevent crime and enhance the quality of life in the County. Watches throughout the County will host motorcade stops and invite police officers and other law enforcement personnel for refreshments. For more information, call the Crime Prevention Unit at 703-792-7270.

From Manassas police: 

News
Occoquan the first regional arts hub in Virginia

OCCOQUAN — Occoquan is now an official arts hub.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance this month giving its blessing for the county, Occoquan Town, and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to create a special arts district.

This is a big deal because we are the first in the state to have this designation,” said Occoquan Mayor Liz Quist.

Earlier, we told you the creation of the district was a bi-partisan effort by Virginia State Senator George Barker and Delegate David Albo. The legislation allows special tax districts to be created to provide incentives in the regional arts hub.

Earning the designation is something Occoquan leaders have sought since the town developed its comprehensive plan in 2012, said Quist.

The partners in this new arts hub, to include Occoquan, the Workhouse Arts Center, and the regional park authority are developing future arts events. The details of those events will be forthcoming in a press release, Quist added.

Occoquan each year plays host to two craft fairs, while the nearby Workhouse Arts Center is a regional destination for fine and performing arts. 



‘Brew Republic’ a nation devoid of craft beer snobs

Prince William Beer Trail

Editors note: This is the fourth in a series of posts showcasing breweries in Prince William County, Virginia.

Inspired by familial ties in the industry and an obsession for beer, the Heisey family, and the Frederick family came together in a joint venture to create Brew Republic Beirwerks, a new brewery in Potomac Town Center.

Brew Republic’s roots are embedded in beer culture. The Heiseys had been home-brewing for many years, becoming natural experts on commercial brewing. The Frederick’s pursued a venture to revive an old Yuengling affiliated brewery.

The venture fizzled, but in junction with The Heiseys, the two families joined forces to create an establishment in an unlikely venue. Brew Republic’s edge over its competitors is its unique environment, courtesy of its location.

“We have created a hybrid between full-service brewpubs and industrial package breweries by bringing the production to an upscale retail town center,” said Frederick. “Ordinarily, breweries are located in industrial parks or agricultural areas, far away from the beaten path, or they exist as part of a large restaurant with a full menu and mixed drinks.” (more…)

News
500 officers will have body cameras by Thanksgiving

WOORBDRIDGE — Taxpayers will begin to see their $2.7 million investment into body-worn police cameras this fall.

Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard said up to 500 cameras will be given to patrol officers between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Officers who patrol the streets, work traffic enforcement, in the K9 division, and school resource officers will all be trained to use the body-worn camera system.

“The officers are required to turn on the camera whenever they are going to have what would be described as an enforcement encounter which could lead to reasonable suspicion or probable cause that there is criminal activity occurring or that an arrest may likely result,” said Barnard.

The department’s policy requires officers to activate their camera during traffic stops, car, and foot chases while making arrests, when taking suspects to and from jail, when an officer makes a show of force, or whenever else the officer deems a body-worn camera should be activated. (more…)

News
Man suspected of domestic related abduction arrested

Michael Kelly Puckett, previously sought for abduction and domestic assault and battery has been located and arrested by police, thanks to an anonymous tip. 

From Prince William County police:

Abduction | Domestic Related *ARREST – On July 25, officers located the accused, Michael Kelly PUCKETT, who was wanted in connection to a domestic altercation which occurred at a residence located in the 10400 block of Lonesome Road in Nokesville on July 23. Police received an anonymous tip, which ultimately led officers to his location where he was arrested without incident.

Arrested on July 25:
Michael Kelly PUCKETT, 48, of the 10400 block of Lonesome Rd in Nokesville
Charged with abduction, domestic assault & battery, and destruction of property
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Abduction | Domestic Related [Previously Released] – On July 23 at 3:30 a.m., officers responded to investigate a domestic call which occurred earlier that morning at a residence located in the 10400 block of Lonesome Rd in Nokesville. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 48-year-old woman of Nokesville, was involved in a verbal altercation with the accused, a family member, which escalated.  (more…)

News
Police charge man identifying himself as Cowboy’s player Lucky Whitehead

Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys was recently charged with petit larceny and wanted for failure to appear in court, or so Prince William County Police thought. According to police, an individual arrested for those crimes, not possessing identification verbally identified himself as Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. to include the date of birth and social security number. 

From Prince William County police:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. (more…)

News
Surovell: Voluntary background check system is a failure

In 2016, the General Assembly enacted a legislation requiring the Virginia State Police to staff gun shows and be available to conduct voluntary background checks upon request by private, non-federally licensed gun sellers as part of a broader compromise on concealed weapon permits. The law has been a total failure.

The legislation required the state to spend $300,000 to hire three new Virginia State Police employees to be present at all gun shows. What have we got for our $300,000?

In January, The Daily Press reported that as of January 1, 2017, one person was denied a purchase at 41 gun shows after thirty-nine checks. (more…)

News
Call if you can, but Text to 911 is now available in Prince William

From Prince William County:

Calling is still the best way to contact 911 in an emergency, but in certain situations, a text might be better. The Prince William County Office of Public Safety Communications can now accept text-to-911 emergency messages from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless customers who find themselves needing assistance in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The service should only be used when someone has a physical disability or special need where calling is not possible or when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger.

Certain communities will find text-to-911 particularly helpful, said Prince William Public Safety Communications Director Captain Alfred Miller. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, those with speech disabilities or who are unable to speak, and community service or suicide hotlines will find the service useful.

The texts can be up to 140 characters and should include the location and type of emergency. They should be short, with simple words, and without abbreviations or slang. People should be prepared to answer questions and follow directions provided by the 911 call taker. They should not text and drive. (more…)



Sell for FREE, shop at the Chick-fil-A Bristow Community Appreciation Yard Sale

Chick-fil-A Bristow will host its first-annual Community Appreciation Yard Sale on Saturday, August 5.

The community-staple restaurant will offer spaces for area residents to sell their wares at no charge — that’s right, FREE!

Each participant will be given a parking space where they can set up to sell their wares. Participants must bring their own table, up to a 10×10-sized tent, as well as bring items to sell, and remove any leftover items.

The yard sale is open to residents, crafters, and the community. There will also be a bounce house set up for children during the community yard sale.

Electricity to the vendor area and spaces will not be provided.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants should head over to Chick-fil-A Bristow’s website to register (click on Aug. 5) and RSVP to grab your FREE space.

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