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Gillespie takes a night out in Haymarket

HAYMARKET — Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie was in Haymarket on Tuesday for National Night Out

These photos, sent to us by the Prince William County Republican Committee, show the Republican with Prince William County Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, and Gainesville School Board representative Alyson Satterwhite, talking with residents.

Gillespie continues to visit Prince William County. He was in Occoquan last week to meet with veterans.


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.

Food supplier expands in Prince William County

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — US Foods chose Prince William County in which to expand and to bring 100 new jobs.

From Gov. Terry McAuliffe:

“Virginia’s distribution base remains strong and continues to grow, thanks to leading companies like US Foods that choose to reinvest in the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This important project was very competitive, and we are proud that major companies continue to recognize the advantage of Virginia’s strategic Mid-Atlantic location and extensive transportation infrastructure. As we celebrate another step forward in our ongoing efforts to build the new Virginia economy by promoting the growth of existing businesses, we thank US Foods for its continued partnership and growth in Prince William County.”

US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000 chefs, restaurants, and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed. With nearly 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, US Foods provides its customers with broad and innovative food offerings and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology, and business solutions. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois and generates approximately $23 billion in annual revenue.

The company employs 900 people across two campuses in Virginia, with one on Livingston Road in Prince William County near Manassas, and the other in Salem, near Roanoke.

More from a press release:

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Prince William County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $350,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Woodbridge Supervisor claims fast ferry to launch in October

WOODBRIDGE —  Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi on Tuesday did a lot of talking about a new fast ferry service that will supposedly launch in October.

But he was light on details.

The service, he said, would offer passengers rides between Woodbridge and Washington, D.C. A private company will invest $10 million and purchase four new catamaran boats to run the service. He declined to tell Potomac Local the name of the company or provide any other details.

Principi has long championed fast ferry service from Woodbridge to Washington on the Potomac River. Virginia transportation documents state such a service is not a priority.

Prince William County completed a fast ferry study in 2009. Test ferries were run on May 4, 5, and 6 of that year. Shallow water and speed restrictions were cited as two factors that caused the ferries to slow, operating at an average cruising speed of 32 to 34 mph. (more…)

U.S. 1 widening yields many benefits for the community

On August 3, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration is hosting a ribbon cutting to commemorate the widening of U.S. 1 through Fort Belvoir. The project’s completion is an important milestone for our community and has broad ramifications.

When I first ran for office in 2009, I stated that improving U.S. 1 was my number one priority. U.S. 1 is the spine of Mount Vernon, Lorton, Woodbridge, Dumfries/Triangle and Eastern Stafford’s central nervous system and a critical driver of not just transportation, but also access to employment, recreation, retail businesses and restaurants. U.S. 1’s fate can mean revitalizing area schools and housing and can enhance our overall quality of life from Stafford County to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

When the 2005 Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) transfers to Fort Belvoir were announced, many people justifiably had concerns about the impact of adding 15,000 new jobs and a billion dollar hospital to a densely-populated and congested area. Widening U.S.1 through Fort Belvoir happened because of a decade of work by former Fairfax County Supervisor Gerry Hyland and, my old boss, Congressman Jim Moran, who has said that this was the last earmark Congress ever approved. In some circles, earmarks are disparaged,but we would not have this improvement or an expanded Woodrow Wilson Bridge without earmarks. (more…)

NOVA launches weekend college program

From Northern Virginia Community College:

Beginning in the fall 2017 semester, Northern Virginia Community College students can advance their career at a much faster pace through NOVA’s Express Weekend and Evening College @ the Woodbridge Campus.

NOVA Express Weekend and Evening College @ The Woodbridge Campus enables students to take an entire semester of classes needed to earn a degree or certification, all outside of standard business hours. Adult learners who are busy balancing full-time jobs and family responsibilities can enroll in a 12-credit schedule, selecting from a wide variety of classes, including NOVA’s new business degree.

This new, innovative approach to accommodate the busy schedules of NOVA students offers flexible, hybrid (half classroom learning & half online) courses at 9 a.m. and/or 11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and after 6 p.m. on weekday evenings. Students can finish a semester in only 14 weeks, instead of the usual 16 and also receive support, advising and instruction from NOVA faculty and staff. (more…)

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…)

Roem gets ‘Trump bump’ after transgender military ban

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem can thank the president for an increase in campaign donations.

Roem is Virginia’s first transgender candidate and is running against Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince Wiliam, Manassas Park). 

From an email from Danica Roem: 

I’m excited to announce we raised $112,974.21 from 820 donations in July. That’s more money than even House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R) raised during the last reporting period, June 2-30 ($112,311).

In fact, the number of donations we received exceeded the total number of donations received by the top 18 Republican fundraisers from June combined.

Just on Monday, July 31, we received 135 donations totaling about $6,692, entirely from donations between $1-$250. That’s 108 more donations than Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) received from June 2-30 combined and about $2,000 more than he raised that entire month.

We’ve outpaced Del. Marshall in fundraising from the four communities that make up the 13th District – Manassas, Manassas Park, Gainesville, and Haymarket – from the greater Prince William County area, from the state and across the country.


Artist brings color, light to old Lorton prison guard towers

LORTON — Riding or walking along the Gerry Connolly Cross Country Trail by the Occoquan River one might be struck by the colors radiating off the old guard tower windows of what was Lorton Prison.

Martin Cervantez is counting on that.

Cervantez is a self-taught artist, has been painting since he was a child, and is currently a Studio Artist at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center.

Cervantez spent the past two and a half years at the Workhouse staring at the blank towers.

“I imagined color in the windows of the old guard towers, and I thought they were perfect candidates for placing some art there,” he said.

His latest project, “The Beacons of Peace, Love, and Strength” is doing just that. It is his largest project to date and his first outdoor design.

It’s also the first time he is not using paint for a project — an unusual venture for a painter. Cervantez is using transparent PVC tape to decorate the windows to stand up to the elements of exposure.

He started a GoFundMe in February to help offset the material costs and began the window project this past spring. To date, he’s raised $3,460 toward his $10,000 goal, and he is still seeking donations.

The Beacons of Peace, Love, and Strength name was born because he thought it was the perfect name for the prison reform art project.

“It is everything that is opposite of despair,” he explained. (more…)

Updated: Crash closes ramp from I-66 east to Sudley Road


Police are working a multi-car crash at Interstate 66 and Sudley Road near Manassas.

The crash occurred on the exit ramp from I-66 east to Sudley Road. The ramp is closed and the Virginia Department of Transportation urges drivers to find another way. 


Update 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017

From Virginia State Police:


At 4:22 p.m. Monday (July 31, 2017), Virginia State Police Trooper A.L. McInnes attempted to stop an eastbound 2016 Nissan Pathfinder on Interstate 66 at the Route 234 Bypass. The violation was for speeding, as the trooper’s radar registered the Pathfinder traveling 86 mph in a posted 60 mph zone. Its driver, Rodney Leroy Nelson, 33, refused to stop and sped away from the trooper in excess of 120 mph.

The suspect SUV took Exit 47 (Route 234 Business). As it was coming to the bottom of the ramp, the Pathfinder encountered slowed traffic and struck in the rear a BMW. This crash sparked a 7-vehicle chain-reaction crash of vehicles at the bottom of the exit ramp. There were no serious injuries sustained in the chain-reaction crash.

Meanwhile, the Pathfinder ran off the right side of the road, struck a street sign and finally came to rest against an embankment. Nelson then fled on foot. The trooper was able to apprehend Nelson a short distance from the crash site. As Trooper McInnes tried to take Nelson into custody, the male subject resisted and began fighting the trooper. Four nearby citizens came to the trooper’s aid, as the trooper tried to get Nelson under control and handcuffed. With the assistance of a second trooper, Nelson was finally taken into custody. (more…)

Fire crews called to gas leak

WOODBRIDGE — A gas leak has prompted the closure of Ginseng Way in Woodbridge.

Fire and rescue crews are on the scene of the gas leak near Hoadly Road about 1:30 p.m. 

Ginseng Way connects Websters Way with Baneberry Circle where about 50 homes sit. Police have stopped all traffic from entering the circle. 

At least one person has evacuated from their house.

More as we have it.

2:05 p.m. 

A crew from Washington Gas arrived on the scene and told fire and rescue crews the leak should be contained within 45 minutes, according to initial reports. 

2:28 p.m. 

Washington Gas crews tell fire and rescue repair ETA is now 5 p.m. 

Details on suspicious Triangle apartment fire

TRIANGLE — We first reported on Sunday that a weekend fire in Triangle is suspicious.

The cause of the fire leans toward “incendiary,” according to Prince William County fire marshal Matt Smolksy.  

Officials suspect someone set the blaze.

More from a press release:

On Saturday, July 29th at 12:38 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to an apartment fire at the Melrose Apartments located in the 18100 block of Purvis Drive in Triangle. Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire in one of the multifamily duplex units in which one was occupied and the other vacant. Firefighters initiated fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire. No injuries reported. According to the Fire Marshal’s Office two units sustained extensive damage estimated at $150,000. The Building Official has posted the home unsafe. Red Cross was on scene to assist one adult misplaced by the fire. The fire is still under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.  

Shots fired into car in Haymarket

From Prince William police: 

Attempted Malicious Wounding | Reckless Handling of a FirearmOn July 28 at 7:08PM, officers responded to the area of Market Ridge Blvd and Muir Dr in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a shooting. The investigation revealed the victim, a 27-year-old man, was involved in an altercation with the accused, a male acquaintance, in front of a residence on Bryson Cir. The parties separated and the accused retrieved a handgun from the home. The accused then exited the home and stood in front of the victim’s vehicle. At one point, the accused fired multiple rounds, striking the vehicle. The victim fled the area and parked at a nearby business where he called police. Officers located the vehicle unoccupied. A friend of the victim was eventually contacted and confirmed he was not injured. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Michael Donovan WINE, was arrested.

Arrested on July 28:

Michael Donovan WINE, 43, of 6802 Bryson Cir in Haymarket

Charged with attempted malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Unavailable

Updated: Pot hole a growing problem near Woodbridge Target store

First on Potomac Local 

WOODBRIDGE — A pot hole at Woodbridge shopping center is getting bigger, we’re told.

The pot hole sits at the intersection of Telegraph Road in Woodbridge and an entrance to Parkway Crossing West Shopping Center in the 15800 block of Telegraph Road, best known for its Target store.

The hole has been there for about three weeks, according to a spokesman for Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, who sent us the photos.

Anderson’s office was alerted to the pot hole by two constituents who called to complain about the hole. One of them damaged their car on the hole, according to Anderson’s spokesman.

The Supervisor’s office is working to find out who is responsible for fixing the pot hole. He tells us the buildings in the center, like Target, are individually owned.

Pete McCabe, of the Pruitt Group which owns the building that houses Appliance Connection, tells us they do not pay a fee for regular maintenance or upkeep of the parking lot.

More on this as we have it.

Noon Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017

We’ve heard from the Virginia Department of Transportation, and it says the pot hole is not it’s responsibility to fix.

From a VDOT spokeswoman: 

Our guys verified back in January that it belongs to the shopping center.

Miss Rivershore provides boat rides to Leesylvania park guests

WOODBRIDGE — Capt. Mark Perry is giving boat tours of the Potomac River.

His boat the Miss Rivershore leaves from Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge every other Sunday. Sightseers are taken on an eight-mile trip that loops from Freestone Point at Leesylvania south to Possum Point, and then back to Leesylanvia park.

The loop takes 75 minutes to complete. Perry makes a stop at the popular Tim’s Rivershore restaurant so riders can stop, get off the boat, eat and drink. When the boat makes a later pass, customers can get back onboard and be ferried back to Leesylvania.

“As you know, the park hosts a number of guests who are interested in a variety of day use pursuits related to the water,” Leesylvania State Park manager Karen Lambey tells Potomac Local. “Not everyone has the space, means, or desire to maintain a boat of their own, so the recreational boating tours provided by the Miss Rivershore allows these park guests to experience the Potomac River from a new perspective. The service also nicely compliments the other concessions operation at the park, Woodbridge Sailing, which provides sailing lessons and sailboat rentals but no actual boat rides.”

The Miss Rivershore began service from Leesylvania in June. Perry, the owner of the boat and the Rivershore Charters company, bid and won a five-year contract to be the exclusive boat concessionaire at the park. The Miss Rivershore is a 50-foot covered pontoon boat with room for 46 passengers.

Trips leave Leesylvania the first and third Sunday of the month at 11 a.m., 12;15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5:15 p.m. Tickets for adults cost $20 each, $15 each for seniors, $8 each for children between four and 10 years old. Children under age four ride free.

Everest College goes non-profit, changes name

WOODBRIDGE — A career college in Woodbridge is changing its name.

Everest College, located at 14555 Potomac Mills Road at Potomac Festival shopping center near Potomac Mills mall, offers courses in dental and medical assisting, as well as a medical administrative assistant program.The school’s new name will be Altierus Career College.

More in a press release:

Everest Institute-Chesapeake and Everest College-Woodbridge are changing their names to Altierus Career College. The new name, effective August 8, reflects the college’s updated and expanded offerings in high-demand medical and trade industries, including efforts to ensure that students are well-matched with career choices and develop the soft skills local employers value most.

The Chesapeake and Woodbridge campuses were acquired by Zenith Education Group nearly two and a half years ago and immediately transitioned to non-profit status. Since then, the soon-to-be Altierus campus has undergone many changes geared toward the ultimate vision of becoming a third pathway for nontraditional students for whom community colleges and for-profit schools have not worked, including helping students to develop many of the “soft skills” employers say they value most. Changes include: (more…)

Updated: One dead in early morning fire on Walnut Street


WOODBRIDGE — Police and the fire marshal’s office are investigating a fatal fire. 

Fire and rescue crews were called to 1501 Walnut Street in Woodbridge just before 6 a.m. where they found a body. 

More from a police press release: 

Death Investigation | House Fire – On July 30 at 5:56AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 1500 block of Walnut St in Woodbridge (22191) to assist the Department of Fire & Rescue with a fatal house fire. Fire crews initially responded to the home and discovered an occupant inside. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim’s identity is not known at this time and, when confirmed, will be released once a next-of-kin is notified. The investigations into the death and the cause of the fire are currently under investigation by Prince William County police detectives and the Department of Fire & Rescue, Fire Marshal’s Office. More information will be released when available.

Police tape surrounded the one-story, single family home on Sunday morning. An additional crew was called to deal with a possible collapse of the structure about 9 a.m. 

Fire crews grabbed chainsaws that could be heard running inside the home. All of the windows to the home had been shattered.

An official account from OWL Volunteer Fire Department describes its response: 

Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 1501 Walnut Street in Woodbridge.  Crews arrived within minutes and reported heavy smoke and flames on arrival. 

Upon entering the building, fire crews encountered fire engulfing the first floor. The fire was under control in approximately 20 minutes. The blaze is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office.   Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, Dumfries VFD, and PWCDF&R responded to the incident.

Investigators expect to remain on scene for the rest of the morning. A special K9 unit from Stafford County was called to the scene to sniff for the presence of accelerants that could have caused the fire.  

This morning’s blaze comes after a suspicious fire Friday night at the Melrose Apartments in Dumfries. 

Crews were called to the 18000 block of Purvis Drive 1t:38 p.m. for a report of a fire. It’s being investigated as a possible arson, and there was little damage done to the apartment where the fire was found, Prince William fire marshal Matt Smolksy told us.


From Prince William County Fire & Rescue:

The fire investigation is continuing, but there are no signs of suspicious activity. The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen/dining area. Only one smoke detector was found in the debris and it was undetermined if it was operational.

Death Investigation | House Fire *VICTIM IDENTIFIED – On July 31, the Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on the victim found deceased in a fire which occurred at a residence located in the 1500 block of Walnut St in Woodbridge on July 30.

Based upon the preliminary results of the autopsy, the cause of the victim’s death appears to be accidental resulting from the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Department of Fire and Rescue, Fire Marshal’s Office. No foul play is suspected at this time. The investigation continues.

The victim was identified as James Patrick MORROGH, 61

Updated: Dog bites man sought in attempted abduction

WOODBRIDGE — Police are searching a Woodbridge neighborhood after a girl was nearly abducted.

The victim told police she was walking her dog in the area of Rippon Middle School about 4:30 p.m. when a man walked up to her and attempted to abduct her, according to initial reports.

The dog bit the man, who fled toward Rippon Middle School.

We’ll post more information when we have it.

6:30 p.m.

From Prince William police:

Attempted Abduction — At approximately 3:50pm, the victim, a 10-year-old girl, was reportedly walking her dog in the 1800 block of Heather Glenn Ct in Woodbridge when an unknown man approached her and grabbed her arm. During the encounter, the victim’s dog bit the suspect who then released her and fled on foot.

A police K-9 checked the area. The suspect was not located. The victim was not injured.

The investigation continues.

Suspect Lookout:
Hispanic male, unknown age, 5’3″, 145lbs with a thin build, short brown hair and a goatee. Last seen wearing a white stripped shirt and light colored long pants.

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!


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