WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Prince William

Novant Health lifts flu-related visitor restrictions

From a Novant Health press release:

 As of Tuesday, April 18 at 7a.m., all Novant Health facilities have lifted the visitor restrictions that were put in place on February 24. During the height of this flu season, Novant Health asked the community to keep visitors age 12 and under out of all its hospital facilities. As a result of the declining number of flu cases seen over the past few weeks, these restrictions have been lifted.

The decision has been made in collaboration with other regional hospitals including Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Cone Health, High Point Regional Health System and Randolph Health.

Individuals exhibiting flu symptoms still should not visit patients. Those symptoms include fever, cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and/or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.

“We appreciate the continued support and flexibility of our patients, their families and the community,” said Dr. David Priest, medical director for infection prevention at Novant Health. “The visitor restrictions were necessary to protect our most vulnerable hospitalized patients, but now as we see the number of influenza cases continue to decline we are happy to welcome back visitors of all ages into our facilities.”

Rescue crews called to I-95 south at Dale City

Fire and rescue crews were called to Interstate 95 south at Dale Boulevard about 9:40 a.m. after a vehicle crashed and closed in the center and left lanes. 

The right southbound lane of traffic and the collector lane for drivers entering and exiting the rest area are the only lanes open to traffic. 

Fire and rescue crews positioned apparatus on the highway to facilitate the lane closures to assist the crash victim. 

More details as we have them.

Investigators believe children playing with lighters started house fire

On Sunday, April 16th at 12:17 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 10100 block of Sabin Drive in Manassas. Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire in the rear of a three-story mid-row townhouse. A second alarm was sounded as the fire extended into the home and into the roof. Firefighters initiated an attack on the fire and quickly extinguished it.

No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, damages were extensive estimated at $125,000. (more…)

For Governor hopeful Tom Perriello, a tough crowd of Democrats in Montclair

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Tom Perriello spent an hour and a half defending positions he once took as a Virginia Congressman, trying to convince Democratic voters that he’s changed his ways.

The Democrat who is running against current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in a June 13 Primary Election took center stage at the Southlake Community Center in Montclair on Friday night. He laid out a vision for the state that entails free two-year tuition for community college students, expanding Medicare, more school funding, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“What does $28,000 a year look like? Some call it $15 an hour. I call it dignity. When you’re looking at $28,000 a year, you can start to exhale,” said Perriello of people in Northern Virginia working two or more jobs to support their families.

The one-term congressman represented Virginia’s heavily red 5th District from 2008 until 2010. On Friday, Perriello described himself as a left of the Democratic party progressive, and that he thinks Virginia residents are now more accepting of new ideas and as liberal as they’ve ever been. (more…)

Woodbridge man charged with malicious wounding while brandishing a BB gun

From Prince William County Police:

Malicious Wounding | Abduction – On April 13 at 5:13 p.m., officers responded to a nearby hospital to investigate an assault. The victims, who were identified as 16 and 17-year-old juvenile males and an 18-year-old man, all of Woodbridge, reported to police that earlier that afternoon, they were driving in a vehicle near the intersection of Florida and Maryland Avenues in Woodbridge when a man, who was later identified as the accused, positioned his vehicle in front of their vehicle, preventing it from leaving. (more…)

Smith promises a clerks office that meets the needs of a growing county

Jacqueline Smith is running for the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court, Prince William County. 

She’s running in a Special Election against current House of Delegates member Jackson Miller. 

Voters will head to the polls tomorrow, April 18 to choose the next Prince William County Clerk of the Circuit Court following the death of Michele McQuigg

Smith and Miller received the same Project: Election survey. Smith’s responses are posted below the jump.


Prince William Free Clinic needs volunteers for annual health fair

Good morning Prince William – Spring is here so please join in all the fun special projects-

· Prince William Free Clinic is looking for volunteers to help with the Annual Health Fair on Saturday, June 1st 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Community partners will be present and clients of the clinic will have an opportunity to learn about available services. Your help is greatly needed to assist with various assignments. Please email Caitlin at: Caitlin.denney@pwafc.org for more info.

· Got Drugs? Saturday, April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is your chance to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. Take-Back drop off sites include: Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center, 8700 Sudley Rd., Manassas, Sentara Lake Ridge, 12825 Minniville Rd., Lake Ridge, and Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center. Unused prescription medications should not be disposed of in the trash where they can fall into the wrong hands and they should not be flushed as this contaminates water supplies. Take yours to a Take-Back location! (more…)

Prince William County Landfill Donation Place to reopen

Just in time for spring cleaning, the Donation Drop Spot, previously known as “The Donation Place,” will reopen on April 19. Located in the Citizens’ Convenience Area at the Prince William County Landfill, The Donation Drop Spot will reopen on April 19 for the collection of a variety of reusable household items and clothing.

The hours of collection at the landfill will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and an attendant will be there to assist donors and provide a receipt. The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility will have bins available from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for small household items and clothing.

Donations received at the Donation Drop Spot and bins will benefit the National Children’s Center and be operated by Savers. A full list of accepted items can be found at www.savers.com/donate/what-we-take. Although the Donation Drop Spot is in the same location as previous reuse programs at the landfill, the facility has undergone some improvements that will enhance work conditions and material storage.

Representatives for the National Children’s Center will be on hand Saturday, April 22 to celebrate the grand opening of the Donation Drop Spot. Light refreshments will also be served.

So, how did the for-profit Seattle-based thrift store chain Savers become involved with the landfill?  (more…)

Some water customers could experience ‘a slightly stronger chlorine taste and odor’

From Virginia American Water: 

Virginia American Water will begin flushing the water mains in its Alexandria and Prince William (Dale City) distribution systems beginning Monday, April 17. Flushing will take place until the end of June.

The annual system flushing helps to remove mineral deposits and sediment from water mains.

In both systems, the flushing will be performed Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. During flushing work, crews will open fire hydrants and will allow water to flow freely for a short period of time. The annual flushing program is being performed in conjunction with a routine change in the form of chlorine used for disinfectant in the water treatment process by Fairfax Water, Virginia American Water’s bulk water supplier. Fairfax Water will implement this change through mid-June.

Because of this treatment process change, customers might notice a slightly stronger chlorine taste and odor in their drinking water. Customers who are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine should keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerators. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, reducing the chlorine taste.

No interruptions in water service will occur as a result of the work. Virginia American Water advises that when crews are flushing nearby, customers might experience a drop in water pressure or some discoloration of their water.

If water is discolored, customers should open up faucets and let cold water run until clear before using it again, and refrain from doing laundry during that time. Before doing laundry, check for discolored water. If you have already started laundry and clothes become stained, do not let the clothes dry. Instead, wash them again in clear water using a rust remover, which can be purchased at grocery stores. If problems persist or customers have questions, call Virginia American Water’s toll-free, 24-hour customer service line at 800-452-6863.

Oxford Boathouse showing its age, needs repairs

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — About 400 people per year, from five high schools and an adult rowing club use Prince William County’s only boathouse.

The Oxford Boathouse at Lake Ridge Park sits on the Occoquan River, and at 30 years old is showing signs of age. The roof — already replaced twice in the building’s lifetime — is again showing signs of wear.

The building was never built to code and is supported by concrete footers, and the electric lines inside that provide power to the boathouse do not conform to building codes, either.

“The building was never permitted to code because there wasn’t any code back then for boathouses, so it’s kind of a catch-22,” explained Patricia Williams, of the Prince William Crew Association, which operates Oxford Boathouse.

Willams and others from the crew association — which rents the building from the Prince William County Government for $10 a year and is responsible for maintaining it — asked the county leaders for $300,000 to bring the building up to code and to fix roof damage.

The building is safe and not in danger of falling, explained Williams. But it is heavily used, and soon to be used by a sixth high school rowing team from Colgan Sr. High School. (more…)

NOVA students bridge the gap for seniors learning to better use smartphones to stay connected


It’s 1:30 p.m. in a college classroom near Manassas.

“What are you doing there? I swiped up, do I need to swipe down?” asked a grey-haired lady to the woman sitting next to her.

“Did find yours? It’s in setup, I think,” said a man in the crowd.

About 80 people all holding their smartphones, the majority of them in their sixties and seventies filled two classrooms on Friday in Parrish Hall at the Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus.

They’re students in a one-day class called “Are You Smarter Than Your Cell Phone?” where they learned about their iPhones and Android devices: How to use them, how to silence them at night, how to turn them off when not in use to save energy, and how to use them to not only talk to loved ones but to send text messages and photos to family members.

The teachers of the class: Millennials, those know-it-all daily users of technology, internet whiz kids helping to bridge the gap between college students and those who grew up in a time when many never thought a powerful computer would one day fit into their pocket.

Dan Wannamaker is in his mid-seventies and attended Friday’s class. In the early 1960s, he was an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas.

“The university had a big mainframe computer. It was so big and got so hot it used to sit in an air-conditioned cooler locker and students not allowed to use the computer, only professors were allowed. Do you know why?” Wannamaker asked his student teachers who looked back at him dumbfounded. (more…)

Fauquier man suspected of dumping fuel into sewer

From Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office:

Suspicious Person/Illegal Discharge: On, April 12, 2017, dispatch received a call of a suspicious person possibly dumping an unknown material into the sewer at the rear of the 7400 Block of Stream Walk Lane in Manassas. This call matched previous calls and in the area where there had been cases of possible illegal discharges already under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office and Prince William County Police. The ongoing investigation involved repeated discharges of petroleum

The ongoing investigation involved repeated discharges of petroleum products into Prince William County’s Storm Water Management system and retention ponds near the Stream Walk Lane area. This resulted in multiple calls for the Department of Fire and Rescue (DFR) Operations and Hazardous Materials teams to stem the environmental impact.

On Wednesday, April 12, after an extensive cooperative investigation that spanned several months between the Prince William County Police Criminal Investigations Division (CID), the Motor Carrier Division, Patrol, and the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office, a suspect was apprehended and an arrest was made for the illegal dumping on Stream Walk Lane in Manassas.

Arrested on April 12:

Thomas SULLIVAN, 40 years old, of Catlett, Virginia in Fauquier County.

Charged with 4 counts of stemming from illicit dumping, violations of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, and Environmental

Court Date: May 3, 2017 Bond: Released on $3000 Unsecured Bond. He is also listed as the responsible party for all clean-up and additional environmental mitigation measures.

How hospice social workers enhance end-stage quality of life

“People don’t know how to die in America.” 

That’s a pretty sobering statement, but it’s one Lorraine Krause of Capital Caring can make with confidence, having served more than a decade as a hospice social worker.

Providing quality holistic care in the mid-Atlantic, Capital Caring is among the top ten largest hospices of the 4,300 nationwide. The organization delivers in-home comprehensive care to more than 1,000 patients daily.

Each patient has a team of people customizing their care – including physicians, nurses, dieticians and spiritual advisers. This team of hospice workers helps manage medical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families at the end stages of their lives. In the center of all this, though not always noticeable, stand social workers.

Diverging paths to hospice social work

Linda Malone and Krause are both licensed clinical social workers for Capital Caring. Malone has been a hospice social worker for the past 17 years. Initially introduced to the idea of social work in high school, Malone worked in the mental health arena, library services, and hospital geriatrics before finding her passion in the field of hospice.

Krause’s path to becoming a hospice social worker was strikingly different and occurred later her life. Married for twenty years, she began volunteering at a women’s center in Blacksburg, Va., when she became initially curious about the idea of social work.


‘Land Use 101’ workshop offers expert advice for homeowners

  • Prince William Conservation Alliance
  • Address: P.O. Box 6351, 2241F Tackett's Mill Drive, Woodbridge, Virginia 22195
  • Phone: 703-499-4954
  • Website: http://www.pwconserve.org/

Do you ever wonder about the process by which land is developed?

Are you wondering if a buffer is required along streams? How can we prevent flooding?

What qualifies as open space?

Who approves waivers and why does it matter?

Land use rules are our best tool to create communities that are attractive, safe, and sustainable. And the process affects us all – from our backyard decks to our parks, schools, malls and offices.

You can’t play by the rules if you don’t understand them. How do fields and forests get transformed into subdivisions? Are the trees behind my house really protected? What is progress and what is sprawl?

Join us on Friday, April 28, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Prince William Area Realtors, 4545 Daisy Reid Avenue in Woodbridge, Va. to hear what the experts have to say. Meet people who are working to improve our communities, share stories, and learn how you can help.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Bring your questions and calling cards.

This workshop is free of charge, lunch is provided. It is sponsored by Prince William Conservation Alliance, Prince William Area Realtors, and Atkinson Insurance. RSVP is required to alliance@pwconserve.org, 703-499-4954.

Workshop Sessions and Speakers

The Honorable Ruth Anderson, Prince William
Board of County Supervisors, Occoquan District

Planning: The Big Picture
Charlie Grymes, Chair, Prince William
Conservation Alliance

The Role of Elected Officials
The Honorable Marty Nohe, Prince William
Board of County Supervisors, Coles District

The ABCs of Land Use Planning
Rebecca Horner, Planning Director,
Prince William County Planning Office
What Happens to the Trees? Buffers, Landscaping, and Open Space
Julie Flanagan, Arborist, Prince William County Watershed Management

Stormwater: Practical Tips for Homeowners, Developers, and Realtors
Marc Aveni, Branch Chief, Prince William County Environmental Services

Cluster Development
John McBride, Attorney, Odin, Feldman & Pittleman

Conservation Wordbook
Charlie Grymes, Chair, Prince William Conservation Alliance

Local businesses learn the ins and outs of eVA and selling to government


The process of selling goods and services to state and local governments in Virginia is different than selling to private business owners.

There are no early morning networking breakfasts, no after-hour cocktails and few business card-trading sessions with prospective clients.

“Save the paper for those who matter,” said Kimberly Madison, marketing and outreach manager for the Virginia Division of Purchases and Supply for the Department of General Services. “It is a challenge for businesses to come in and switch how they normally do things.”

Madison led a class in Woodbridge on Tuesday, April 4 designed to show local business owners how to

sell to the state. The key to the class is learning about “eVA” — on online procurement tool used by the state for all purchases. Everything from printing supplies to doughnuts is purchased through the system by the state’s 245 government agencies and colleges and can be used by the 770 local governments in the state.

With more than 13,000 users, the eVA system is not only complex; it’s powerful. The system is designed to provide “deep” transparency, to show users what agencies are purchasing products, who’s selling, and for how much they’re selling their services. (more…)

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema coming to Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Alamo Drafthouse will locate at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center.

From a press release: 

The JBG Companies is pleased to announce that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is joining the retail, restaurant and entertainment line-up at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, Virginia, Prince William County’s premier retail destination. The Austin-based chain of dine-in movie theaters will be opening a new eight-screen theater in late summer/early fall 2018 with over 865 theater seats.

JBG and Alamo will remove an existing vacant storefront and build the new, state-of-the-art Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that will include the first true Premium Large Format auditorium in the Alamo system consisting of a 65’ screen, Dolby Atmos sound and top of the line projection capabilities on Potomac Town Place, Stonebridge’s “Main Street,” near the REI store. JBG plans to add a Town Square, which will include a green space in front the theater for events and typical park use.

The new movie house will go into replace the old Toby Keith’s I love This Bar and Grill that closed in May 2015. The closest movie house to Stonebridge is AMC Theaters 18 at Potomac Mills mall. (more…)

Prince William approves trail deer hunt on county-owned property

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Hunters this fall will be allowed to bring their bows and arrows to three Prince William County properties to hunt for whitetail deer.

Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge, Locust Shade Park in Triangle, and Doves Landing, a county-owned preserve along Cedar Run outside Manassas will be the sites of the pilot archery deer management program. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the trial hunt at Tuesday’s meeting.

The whitetail deer population in recent years has exploded and had become a problem to both wildlife and humans, according to county documents. Officials will work over the summer to implement the trail hunt, as well as choose which hunters will be invited to participate in the program.

The hunt will take place in near the start of the hunting season in late November and early December. Both Rippon Landing and Locust Shade Park will be closed to the public during the hunts, and hunters will have designated areas in which to shoot. (more…)

Improperly disposed smoking material at fault for apartment complex blaze

From County of Prince William Department of Fire & Rescue:

On Tuesday, April 11th at 4:27 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to an apartment fire located in the 3600 block of Meandering Way in Woodbridge.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed an outside fire that had spread to the exterior entrance of the building. Firefighters quickly contained and extinguished the fire preventing extension into the apartment complex. (more…)

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