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Work to demolish the old Toby Keith’s restaurant begins


WOODBRIDGE — Things are starting to happen at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge as crews prepare to demolish the building that once housed Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. 

An Alamo Cinema and Drafthouse will soon be built. A pedestrian plaza that will be used for live events during summer ice skating in winter will replace the old restaurant building.

From Stonebridge spokeswoman Anastasia Paszkiewicz:

Construction fencing has gone up and the outer ring road around the property has been closed in sections to allow the site work (plumbing, storm water drains) to be moved first.  Once this is completed the outer ring road will be reopened and the road immediately behind the vacant Toby Keith’s will be closed so they can start tearing the building down. The whole construction project including the building of Alamo will last until early fall of 2018. 

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center opened in 2008 with the addition of a 138,000 square-foot Wegmans grocery store. Since then, apartments, restaurants, and retail shops to include an Apple Store opened at the mixed-use shopping center.

The Potomac Nationals Minor had been in negotiations with Prince William County officials to relocate the ballclub to a new 6,000 seat stadium at the shopping center, however, team owner Art Silber pulled the project from the discussion last week and is now reportedly in talks with Alexandria to bring the team there.

Student turns down $150,000, earns scholarship to dream school

WOODBRIDGE — A Woodbridge high school student turned down $150,000 in scholarship money to a prestigious school only to end up with more cash to attend the school of her dreams.

Shekinah Reese, 17, is a straight-A student who in June graduated Woodbridge Senior High School in Lake Ridge. She was captain of her high school dance team, a member of the track and field team, and attended Metropolitan School of the Arts for nine years to train in various levels of dance. She was also selected for the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts specialty program at Woodbridge Senior High School.

Reese has always had a love for film and TV, and the urge to study in the field. She took part in a high school summer program at Ithaca College in New York in 2016 for field production to earn college credit. There she had the opportunity to create a 15-minute documentary film about Ithaca’s downtown and its locals.

Afterward, impressed with her work, the college offered her more than $150,000 in tuition aid to attend the school. Reese was thrilled, but deep down she knew she was looking for something more.

“Elon has always been my dream school. They have a state-of-the-art School of Communications that reflects the education and standards that I’m seeking,” she said. (more…)

Prince William County to sponsor Serious Play Conference

Prince William County is hosting for the first time the Serious Play Conference, a program that encourages the application of game mechanics for education and training.

The conference also looks to educate students of potential career options in the field, and bring together pioneers in the field to share what they’ve learned. 

From a press release:

Prince William County Department of Economic Development is proud to sponsor this year’s industry-leading Serious Play Conference taking place on July 18-20, 2017, at the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus, Prince William County, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

More than 100 thought leaders driving the adoption of game-based and simulation learning will gather to share experiences in implementing serious games. They represent leading public and private institutions including the U.S. DOD, private industry sectors and higher education, according to a press release.

DOD training leads, contractors, state and local government CIOs will share what they’ve learned training the country’s armed forces with developers and instructional designers from the serious games industry.

This year’s speakers include training personnel from the Office of National Intelligence; the Center for Deployment Psychology; Defense University; UCF; OPM; contractors from the Veterans Affairs Administration, the Army and the Navy; police departments; prisons; as well as companies implementing gamification programs, healthcare providers, researchers, developers, instructional designers and K-12 faculty using games in education, according to Serious Play. (more…)

End of trailer classrooms on the horizon at Springwoods Elementary

LAKE RIDGE — Teachers and staff at Springwoods Elementary School in Lake Ridge are buzzing about an upcoming addition to the school building.

A total of 13 new classrooms and an activity room will be added to the school building in 2019. When complete, the $11.9 million renovations will allow 329 more students to attend classes at the school.

School staff recently took to Twitter to announce that some parents might see some movement of trailers on school property this summer, but it’s not related to the upcoming work:

Springwoods Elementary has seven trailers, also called learning cottages. When the new addition is complete, all of the trailers are expected to be removed.

The school located at 3815 Marquis Place in Lake Ridge opened in 1985 and currently holds 593 students. Prince Wiliam County has 128 trailer classrooms at its 60 elementary schools.

Woodbridge VFW Post Commander achieves All-American status

From Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce, Charles P. “Chuck” Wilson has achieved “All-American” status as a Post Commander (2014-2017). Wilson, outgoing commander of Post 7916 in Occoquan, VA, is one of only 279 of 6,500 (Top .04%) VFW Post commanders worldwide to earn the title of All-American Commander. 

To achieve this honor, Post commanders must meet strict requirements in their role to include exceptional leadership, authentic accomplishment in membership growth and strong support of VFW core programs. Chuck Wilson is now Commander of District 10, Virginia’s largest District with over 8,000 Veteran and Auxiliary members. (more…)

ACTS Dumfries is looking for a volunteer box truck driver

Good morning Prince William – ACTS in Dumfries needs a volunteer driver on Mondays for 2 hours to drive their box truck from the Thrift Store to mid-county. It’s really easy if you’ve ever driven a U-Haul truck. You’ll have helpers with you to load and unload. This is a critical job to help with the flow of donated goods! They could also use another volunteer later in the week for another 2 hours. Volunteer’s need a clean driving record and be at least 21 years old. Please call Ben at (571) 214-9087 to learn more.

· Catholic Charities – Hogar Immigrant Services has an urgent need for volunteers to teach English classes in Woodbridge, Dale City, Manassas and Springfield. Classes are held Monday-Thursday so you can pick the class and location most convenient. No foreign language or teaching experience needed as you’ll receive all the training needed to be successful. Please call Arielle at (703) 534-9805 ext. 225 to learn more.

· House of Mercy is in their final push of the Shoes for Kids Drive and need your help collecting new, trendy school shoes by July 22nd for their kids. The goal this year is 192 pairs of fun shoes to start the new school year. You can drop them off at the center located at: 8170 Flannery Court Manassas or check out their website for more info at:

· House of Mercy is also a cooling center during the day for anyone to drop by and enjoy the company. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm at 8170 Flannery Court in Manassas. (more…)

Revolutionary War uniforms will be on display at P-Nats game

The uniforms wore during the war for America will be on display soon at an upcoming game of America’s great pastime. 

From a press release: 

On 29 July 2017 at the pre-game ceremony honoring the Flag of the United States of America The Colonel William Grayson Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution will present  Colors at the baseball game between the Potomac Nationals and Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Presentation of Colors will be approximately 6:30 pm with the game starting at 6:35. The ceremony will be a colorful execution of presentation of colors led by men wearing the uniforms of their Patriot Ancestors including two members in Continental Army uniform, one in Continental Navy Uniform and one in typical Militia Uniform.The SAR team will Present the Flag of the United States of America, the Virginia State Flag, and the Colonel William Grayson Chapter Flag.  A Member of the Daughters of the American Revolution will wear a Revolutionary War era dress and present the DAR Flag. A member of the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) will wear typical young man’s clothing or Militia uniform and present the C.A.R. flag. Join us in a celebration to honor the United States of America and our Patriot Ancestors who won our Independence. (more…)

Heavy storms move across the region

As predicted, strong to severe thunderstorms are moving across the region this afternoon. 


While no storms have triggered a severe thunderstorm warning from the National Weather Service the storms are packing high winds and heavy rain. 

There have been some reports of power lines down, including on a portion of Garrisonville Road in Stafford County where a Dominion power pole fell onto the roadway. We’re still working to get more information on this from Stafford authorities. 

Send us your storm photos.

The weather outside is frightful now, but expect clearing as we head into the nighttime hours. 

5:45 p.m Wires down in front of Giant Food on Town and Country Drive in Stafford County

5:55 p.m. Westbound Garrisonville Road in Stafford County closed at Tech Parkway, wires down

Wires down on Flatford Road in North Stafford

6 p.m. Lots of power outages reported. Here is what Dominion Energy reports, and here is what NOVEC reports. 



Stewart wants Kaine’s seat: ‘The era of the kinder, gentler Republican is over’

WOODBRIDGE — After narrowly losing his bid to be the Republican nominee for Virginia Governor to Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart has his eyes on the U.S. Senate. 

Specifically, Stewart seeks to unseat Democrat Senator and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

Multiple reporters descended upon Stewart’s home in Woodbridge on Thursday when he made his campaign kick-off announcement. Just before, Stewart sent a press release to reporters that contained these statements:

“As an obedient servant to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Tim Kaine is the leading obstructionist against Trump’s America First agenda,” Stewart opened. “Virginians and citizens across the country need a fighter representing them in D.C. who will stand up to and defeat the smug Washington elites.”

“This last election proved that Virginians want a fighter who will stand for them. The era of the kinder, gentler Republican is over.”  

“Virginia needs a U.S. Senator who will work to fund the border wall, fix our tax code, repeal Obamacare, and get government out of the way so Americans can get back to work,” Stewart said. “That is why today, I am announcing as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia.” 

“The Clinton and Obama ideologues have controlled Virginia for too long, and it’s time to turn Virginia red again,” Stewart said, “and no weak-kneed Republican is up to that task,” Stewart asserted. “I will be the fighter the Republicans need to defeat the Democrats in Virginia.” 

Stewart is the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large, a role he’s served in since 2007. Stewart did better than political pundits in Virginia expect during his June Primary race against Gillespie and Virginia Beach Senator Frank Wagner, losing out to Gillespie by just over one percent.



Solar eclipse viewing party planned

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A rare solar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017.

The Prince William County Public Library doesn’t want the occasion to pass without a celebration. 

From an email: 

Prince William Public Library System wanted to host solar eclipse events because it is a momentous occasion in American history as well as an opportunity to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) elements into library programming.

NASA is encouraging public libraries to host solar eclipse events and, through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Google is providing special solar eclipse viewing glasses to be distributed (while supplies last) at our events. Using the glasses as a jumping-off point, Library staff used their experience to plan activities around this exciting theme. Bull Run Regional Library contacted a local eclipse enthusiast to give a presentation, and Haymarket Gainesville Community Library will show a live NASA webcast of the eclipse.

Our librarians have also planned crafts, stories, and other activities to get kids learning and pumped up for this exciting historic event. Notably, Central Community Library received several hundred extra pairs of eclipse glasses which will be distributed (while supplies last) beginning August 1.

— Andrew Spence, library spokesman

Here’s a full list of eclipse-related events at the libraries, including a viewing party in Woodbridge.

While you’ll have to go to South Carolina to sees the eclipse in totality, viewers in our area will be able to see a large portion of the sun blacked out by the moon.

Triangle man, 46, charged with aggravated sexual battery

From Prince William County police:

Aggravated Sexual Battery – On July 13 at 11:15 p.m., detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit responded to investigate a sexual assault which reportedly occurred at a residence located in the 3600 block of Wharf Lane in Triangle earlier that morning. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 15-year-old female juvenile, was inappropriately touched by the accused, an acquaintance, earlier that morning around 8:00 a.m. Following the investigation, the accused, was arrested without incident.


Occoquan could become a designated arts hub

OCCOQUAN — There’s a push to make the Occoquan area a cultural and arts district.

Following the passage of legislation from State Senator George Barker (Fairfax, Prince William), and Delegate Dave Albo (Fairfax), Ruth Anderson, the Occoquan District Representative on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors introduced a resolution to make the area an arts hub.

“The town of Occoquan, the Workhouse Arts Foundation, and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority [Occoquan Regional Park]. These three localities worked with the General Assembly to create the enabling legislation,” stated Andeson in an email.

The arts designation would create a better sense of place, and allow the organizations and local governments involved better work together to promote cultural and historical attractions. The small town on the banks of the Occoquan River is well known for its annual spring and fall craft shows, and the neighboring Workhouse Arts Center is building a reputation for its festivals and events. 

There’s also the opportunity for tax incentives contained in the new law. (more…)

Tiny island on Potomac River to host summer concert

WOODBRIDGE — A tiny island in the Potomac River will host a summer concert later this month. 

Holiday Island, a small privately owned piece of land on the Potomac just off the beach of Featherstone Shores in Woodbridge, is set to host The Stormin’ Norman Band and The Nesta Pine band on Saturday, July 29 at 3 p.m. The Nesta Pine Band will also be shooting a video for one of the band’s songs.

The island is too small to accommodate a crowd, but anyone with a boat is welcome to drop anchor and enjoy the music.  Immediately after, the concert will continue at Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant at 8 p.m.

According to band frontman Norman Voss, “As soon as we’re done on the island we’re gonna get in our boats and head over to Tim’s, we’re gonna have a whole nother sound system set up, drums & guitars set up, and we’re gonna get there and start playing again, we’re gonna have another show right away.”

The concert will be free to attend.

Virginia Little League Tournament a win for sports tourism


TRIANGLE — More than 1,000 people are expected to descend on Triangle next weekend for the Virginia Little League Championship.

Teams from across the state will travel to Prince William County, from as far as eight hours away, to play for the chance to win and move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

A total of 35 games will be played over the tournament’s five days, July 20 to 25. On the field, more than 500 children and teens will take the field and play baseball. Parents, friends, family members, and baseball players are expected to stay in area hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop at area stores.

Landing the tournament is a win for Discover Prince William, the county’s convention, and visitors bureau, which started a sports tourism program three years ago designed to attract such events to the county. The teams will play at the three-year-old Fuller Heights Park at 18511 Fuller Heights Road, just outside the main entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

“It has lots of parking, and restrooms, so it’s a great place to hold the tournament,” said one event organizer Brendon Hannifin. (more…)

Water restored to Sudley Road area

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Water has bee restored following a major water main break in western Prince William County. 

From the Prince William Service Authority: 

Water service has been restored. You may experience air in your lines or some sediment from your faucet when you turn it back on. Please let your faucet run for up to five minutes until the water is clear. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for this inconvenience.

Information about the cause of the break has not been released. The break happened on a day when the mercury climbed into the upper 90s, with heat index values making it feel like the triple digits outside. 

Prince William County Sudley North Government Center canceled all evening activities due to the outage. We’re also told the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College was impacted. 

Here’s a list of the streets affected by this afternoon’s water main break:  (more…)

No scheduled deviations for OmniLink trips on Tuesday

WOODBRIDGE — A software upgrade will prevent some riders for scheduling deviations from regularly scheduled OmniLink routes. 

From a PRTC statement: 

Software upgrades to some of PRTC’s operations and communications systems are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 18 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The work will temporarily impact our ability to communicate with passengers and serve locations other than signed bus stops.  During the work:

–Customer Service will be unable to schedule OmniLink off-route trips. For off-route trips onTuesday, July 18, orWednesday, July 19, passengers should call Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 prior to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 17.

–The Rider Express email and text message notification system will not be available. Any information about delayed trips, missed stops, etc., will be posted as a Service Update at

–PRTC’s interactive voice response phone system will not be available. Passengers who phone Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 must speak with a Customer Service Agent to get information about bus services. Riders also may contact Customer Service at

The planned software outage comes about a week after the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, operators of OmniLink, had phone problems at its Woodbridge headquarters. 

Warrenton man charged with attempted murder, says men sexually assaulted friend

While police are charged the suspect with attempted murder, they’re still looking into the alleged sexual assualt. 

From a press release: 

Attempted Murder – On July 10 at 10:26PM, officers received information that the accused, identified as Alec Michael SHRAUDER, was possibly driving to a residence located in the 15600 block of Crestview Ln in Haymarket (20169) with a firearm to confront two men who allegedly sexually assaulted a female acquaintance sometime between July 7 and July 9.

Officers responded to the residence while a police K-9 and helicopter searched the area for the suspect. Following an extensive search of the surrounding area, the accused was eventually taken into custody without incident on July 11 around 1:30AM and subsequently charged. A firearm was also recovered nearby. The investigation into the alleged sexual assault is still on going.

Arrested on July 11:
Alec Michael SHRAUDER, 21, of 5834 Chittenden Dr in Warrenton
Charged with 2 counts of attempted murder and 1 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony
Court Date: September 25, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Silber pulls Potomac Nationals stadium from agenda, deal not reached

Prince William County officials on Tuesday were to approve a deal with the Potomac Nationals baseball team’s plan to build a new stadium in Woodbridge. 

That’s not going to happen now after the team asked for the public hearing and subsequent vote to be removed from the agenda of Tuesday’s Board of County Supervisors meeting. 

Here’s the text of an email sent from the office of Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart to his fellow Board members: 

The applicant for the stadium proposal has requested this item be withdrawn from the July 18, 2017, Agenda and from further consideration.

Chairman Stewart has accepted this request and withdrawn the item from next week’s Board of County Supervisors’ Agenda.


Two shot in Occoquan today

Two people were shot this morning on Occoquan Road in Occoquan early this morning. 

From Prince William police: 

**INCIDENT: Shooting | Occoquan: 
Officers are currently investigating a shooting which occurred in the area of Occoquan Rd and Colonial Dr. One victim sustained a gunshot wound to the upper body and the other victim to the lower body. Both victims have been transported to an area hospital with non life threatening injuries. At this time, the incident does not appear to be random. There is no suspect information at the moment. Residents can expect a heavy police presence in the area as the investigation continues.

Ornery Brewery set the tone for brew pubs in Prince William

Prince William Beer Trail

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

Prince William County’s first brewpub just did something every brewery wants to do: Distribute its beer on the wholesale market to local restaurants.

Now diners in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. can enjoy a cold glass of beer from Ornery Beer Company in Woodbridge. The brewpub — a combination brewery and restaurant with a chef-driven menu — opened near Potomac Mills in 2015.

“When we starting thinking about this business, this county didn’t have a brewpub. It had a brewery or two but not a brewpub that served delicious beer and food,” said Ornery Brewery owner Randy Barnette, of Gainesville.

Barnette was an investor in a brewpub in Falls Church and thought he could bring the same quality product to Prince William County. Before Ornery, Barnette operated the Hard Times Cafe in Woodbridge for 15 years. That restaurant had run its course, he said, and Barnette gave the space an complete overhaul before opening Ornery Brewery.

Barnette knew how to run a restaurant, so he hired master brewer Chris Jacques to create Ornery’s 15 signature beer flavors. The brewpub serves everything from dark and beers to IPAs — just about anything a craft beer enthusiast would expect to find at a small brewery.

Last October, he promoted Ferdinand McAdoo to the position of head brewer, who has been Ornery since its opening.

A favorite of restaurant goers is Ornery’s Blonde Ale, a light beer that pairs well with just about anything.

“Prince William County has a very, very diverse demographic and our beers have to be very, very diverse,” explained Barnette. “We’re not as defined in our types of beer as you might see in some other places.”

Explore summer reading at your Prince William Public Library: Young Adults


Free food, prizes, and events all summer long!

How it Works:

Explore Summer Reading is happening now until August 19. A couple of weeks ago we talked about summer reading for kids, infants through students entering 5th grade.

Today it’s all about the teens! Young adults (entering grades 6 – 12), come to any library branch to register and pick up a Punch Card, and we’ll give you your first punch. Then each time you visit the library, tell us what you’re reading and we’ll punch your card. At your second visit, we’ll give you a free food coupon. And at your sixth visit, more free food!

Grand Prizes

But wait, there’s more! We’re giving away a $100 prize at each of our 11 branches, plus one grand prize, a Beats™ Pill+. Each visit counts as an entry into the drawings, and you can earn punches for up to nine visits. Plus, write a book review and enter it on our Explore Summer Reading website,, and earn extra entries! You might also find your book review published to our Goodreads page,

Weekly Challenges and Events

Come in each week of summer reading and complete the weekly challenge for the chance to win additional prizes. Then put your smartphone down and come to a free event, such as a cartooning workshop, art class, cooking demo, magic workshop, reptile show, laser tag party, and much more. For the full lineup, pick up a copy of Explore magazine at any library or visit our events page at

Then pick your smartphone back up and tag us #PWPLSsummer on social media. Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tag us and we might repost! (more…)

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