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News
Dogtopia expanding to new Gainesville location

Dogtopia, a one-stop shop for all things canine, will soon be opening a  location in Gainesville, VA. Dogtopia offers full or half-day dog day care, seven days a week. For dirty dogs, spa services will be included with boarding. The state-of-the-art facility is set to open soon although a date has not been listed. Company representatives have not returned requests for comment.

For those nervous about leaving their beloved dog alone, Dogtopia offers webcam access in each of their four playrooms so you can check in with your pet. Dogtopia’s indoor playrooms are fully climate-controlled, and the rubber flooring is designed for the dogs’ comfort and to ease stress on paws, joints, legs and hips. 

Dogtopia has nearby locations already open in Woodbridge, Springfield and Manasssas. 

News
Long & Foster’s Gainesville office hosts community service day

The Gainesville, Virginia, office of Long & Foster Real Estate, the largest independent residential real estate company in the United States, will take part in the company’s 20th annual Community Service Day on June 7, 2017. The Gainesville office will join the brokerage’s over 220 offices in the day of giving back by hosting a packing party for Comfort Cases.

Thousands of children enter the foster-care system each year, and most carry little more than the clothes on their backs. Comfort Cases was founded on a mission to provide the essentials to these brave children on their journey to find a home. Founder Rob Chasteen-Scheer, an adoptive father of four, experienced the foster care system first hand as a young adult which led to the formation of Comfort Cases.

“Our Gainesville Long & Foster agents appreciate our community’s support and this is our way of showing how much we appreciate our customers and clients,” said Managing Broker Zhanneta Lopez. (more…)

News
Police seek two suspects in armed burglary of Manassas home

From Prince William County police:

Burglary While Armed – On June 7 at 11:18 p.m., officers responded to the 7400 block of Pinehurst Ln in Manassas to investigate a home invasion. When officers arrived, they spoke with a victim, a 31-year-old man of Manassas, who reported that he was outside the residence when he was approached by two unknown men.

During the encounter, one of the men brandished a handgun and ordered the victim into the residence. Once inside the home, the men ordered the victim, and two other residents, a 29-year-old female and a 38-year-old man, both of Manassas, to the ground. The suspects took the victim’s cell phones, money, and clothing before exiting the home and fleeing on foot. (more…)

News
Leaders, residents, gather at Forest Park High School to discuss area opioid addiction problem

Prince William police in late 2011 began seizing more and more heroin on the streets.

It was an early warning sign that the drug was becoming a problem in the community. Since then across the state, the use of heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanyl have exploded. The use of fentanyl alone increased 147% between then and now, according to Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine.

Despite the fact that so many Virginia residents are now hooked on opioids, the stigma that the drugs are used only by the poor or less fortunate is a contributing factor to the spread of the problem. Opioid addiction impacts everyone and does not discriminate by race, color, gender, or social class.

“This is a bigger problem that affects everyone, not just by race like we saw with crack or PCP,” said Prince William County District Court Chief Judge William Jarvis. (more…)

News
Six town homes damaged in fire, crews call ‘mayday’

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A sea of fire and rescue and construction vehicles lined Pope Street just off Sudley Manor Drive today. 

A fire broke out and damaged multiple townhomes in a residential neighborhood. early this morning A collapse unit from the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department remained on the scene late this afternoon, as well as did fire investigators. 

Here’s more from a fire and rescue press release: 

“On Thursday, June 8th at 12:45 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 10900 block of Pope Street [near[ Manassas.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed a mid-row townhouse with heavy fire to the rear quickly spreading to adjoining townhomes. During interior operations, conditions quickly changed causing two firefighters to quickly exit the building.

During the exit the crew became slightly disoriented and declared a “Mayday.” The crew was able to self-exit with assistance from nearby personnel. Firefighters continued suppression and extinguishment of the fire.

Two firefighters and one resident sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to a local medical facility.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, six townhomes sustained damage estimated at approximately $1 million dollars.

A total of 6 townhomes sustained fire damage. The Building Official has declared 4 of the structures “unsafe” to occupy.
Red Cross was called to the scene to assist 12 occupants displaced by the fire.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.”

News
Sign remembers long-serving Lake Ridge crossing guard

A new sign honoring the life of a Prince William County crossing guard was erected Wednesday. 

The sign at the intersection of Hedges Run Drive and Mount Burnside Way remembers the life of Besty Rose, 62, a who served as a county crossing guard for 26 years. The sign was erected outside Lake Ridge Elementary School where she helped hundreds of children across the street. 

Rose

From Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson’s office: 

“The Occoquan District Office was approached with this idea from community members and made the calls to County Transportation and organized the event to celebrate Ms.Rose.”

Rose died in February, and the Prince William County Police Department posted this statement: 

“WE WILL NEVER FORGET: The Prince William County Police Department is mourning the loss of Crossing Guard Elizabeth “Betsy” Rose. Betsy, age 62, served in the Department’s Crossing Guard Bureau for 26 years. Most of that time, Betsy was assigned to the Lake Ridge Elementary School crossing located at Mt. Burnside Way and Hedges Run Drive. In addition, Betsy served in Parking Enforcement before becoming the Parking Enforcement Assistant in the office.

The Department will deeply miss her kindness, her professionalism, and her smiling face. Betsy truly loved being a Crossing Guard and having lasting interactions with the students, parents, and four-legged companions at her crossing. On February 1, Prince William County Executive Christopher Martino ordered all Prince William County Flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Crossing Guard Betsy Rose. Betsy was laid to rest today but her memory will live on in our hearts. Thank you, Betsy, for your service and dedication to our Prince William County community.”

News
Trivia contest wins over Literacy Volunteers fundraiser dinner

A 15-question trivia quiz turned out to be the star of the evening at an annual taste of the town dinner for Literacy Volunteers of America – Prince William.

The questions ranged from “Before they were the Potomac Nationals, what team was the Prince William Cannons affiliated with?” to “what do you call a word that has two meanings?”

The correct answers for this quiz: “Pittsburgh Pirates” and “auto-antonym,” respectively.

“Many of you thought that was an impossible question, but one team got it right,” said Ken Ikeda, the author of the trivia quiz and Chairman of the Literacy Volunteers Prince William Board of Directors.

More than 100 people cvame to the annual dinner event Wednesday night held VFW 1503 in Dale City. After sampling foods from more than 20 area restaurants, each table broke into teams and worked together to answer trivia questions as Ikeda read them aloud from a microphone on the stage. (more…)

News
Prince William landfill wants your torn, tattered flags

From the Prince William County Solid Waste Division

“In commemoration of Flag Day [June 14], and just in time to celebrate Independence Day with style, take a good look at your current flag. If the American Flag flying at your home or business is faded, torn, tattered or frayed, then it should be replaced and no longer displayed.

Prince William area residents and businesses can bring their old flags to special collection bins at the Prince William Landfill or the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility to be properly retired. The Boy Scouts in our area with the help of other civic groups like VFW and American Legion and the Prince William County Solid Waste Division will make sure that “the Stars and Stripes” gets retired with the respect it deserves.

David Byrne, Occoquan District Scout Master and flag center initiator urges, “Please do not throw our flag in the trash. Fold it neatly and bring it to one of the Flag Collection Centers during the facilities’ normal operating hours.”

The Prince William County Landfill is open Monday-Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility is open Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling for holiday closings and other Solid Waste programs and services.”

News
Armed robbers hit Nokesville 7-Eleven early Wednesday morning

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On June 7 at 3:41AM, officers responded to the 7-11 convenient store located at 13050 Nokesville Rd in Nokesville (20181) to investigate a robbery. An employee of the business reported to police that an unknown man entered the store, brandished a gun, and took an undisclosed amount of money before leaving the business on foot. A police K-9 searched for the suspect who was not located. There were no injuries reported.

Suspect Description:

White male, unknown age, 5’7’’, and unknown weight

Last seen wearing a grey jacket, black pants with white stripes, and black shoes”

Traffic
‘Metro’s oldest and least-reliable cars’ to be retired July 1

Metro says its oldest and most unreliable series rail cars will be retired sooner than planned. 

From Metro: 

“Every 1000- and 4000-series railcar — Metro’s oldest and least-reliable cars, respectively — will be decommissioned and permanently removed from passenger service by July 1, months ahead of original projections, Metro announced today.

Under Metro’s Back2Good program, announced earlier this year, Metro had accelerated the retirement of the 1000- and 4000-series railcars as new, more reliable 7000-series railcars arrive, resulting in improved service, fewer offloads and delays. New 7000-series cars are up to six times more reliable than the cars they are replacing, traveling more than 176,000 miles between delays in April. By contrast, Metro’s least-reliable 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016.”

News
Updated: ‘Ms. Robinson left her residence on Lynn St in Woodbridge and headed towards her grandmother’s residence’

From Prince William police: 

“*MISSING ENDANGERED ADULT: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing, endangered adult, Brandi Robinson.  The investigation revealed that Ms. Robinson left her residence on Lynn St in Woodbridge and headed towards her grandmother’s residence on Princess St. in Alexandria around 2:00PM

Ms. Robinson is believed to have left the residence voluntarily and may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Anyone with information on this person’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.

Brandi Robinson is described as a black female, 23 years of age, 5’4″, 200lbs with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white tank top, black leggings and black flats with a blue wristlet and black duffle bate

Update from Prince William police: 

“Brandi ROBINSON, who was reported missing and endangered, has been located and is safe.”

News
Governor signs anti-bullying bill into law at Forest Park High School

From a press release from the Office of  Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn: 

“On Tuesday, June 6, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1709 at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge. 

This law will require the policies and procedures prohibiting bullying that are contained in each school board’s code of student conduct to direct the principal to notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation.”

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

“Senator Jeremy McPike (District 29) and Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (District 41) bill sponsors, flanked the Governor as he signed Senate Bill 1117 and House Bill 1709.

McPike’s bill, SB 1117, requires school counselors to receive training in trauma, suicide, and substance abuse when renewing licensure from the state. Forest Park High School was selected as the site for the ceremony because it is well known for its annual Suicide Awareness Walk led by students, many of whom experienced a loss or knew someone who has.

Filler-Corn’s bill, HB 1709, requires School Boards to adopt policies to inform parents when a child is involved in bullying, either as a victim or perpetrator.”

From the Office of Sen. Jeremy McPike: 

“The Governor signed Delegate Filler-Corn’s bullying bill and Senator McPike’s suicide bill at Forest Park HS yesterday because of the ongoing work the FPHS students do on suicide prevention. This year was the third year… students organized the Suicide Awareness Walk along Spriggs Road. Senator McPike suggested Forest Park to give these students, as well as the advocates at Payton’s Project and the David J Cobb Foundation, the opportunity to witness the signing and meet the Governor.” 

News
New homes. Self-storage. It’s all part of the Apollo project near Prince William Parkway.

Up to 100 townhomes could be built near the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Hoadly Road.

Dubbed “the Apollo project” for its location on Apollo Drive, the project on 25 acres of land would bring a mix of townhomes, self-storage units, and retail to an area just across from a shopping center anchored by Harris Teeter grocery.

A former Walgreens pharmacy sits vacant adjacent to the Apollo project property and is not part of the overall project. The plan calls for a new restaurant that would be seen from Hoadly Road.

A public hearing for the project is scheduled for the June 20 meeting of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Leaders must approve a rezoning of the land from agricultural and planned business district land use to general business, light industrial, and residential.

The Apollo project won approval from the county’s Planning Commission May 3. As many as six homes per acre are planned for the neighborhood, along with walking trails, and a park.

The project comes with $2.5 million in proffers schools, fire and rescue, and other county services. It includes a mandate that the developer, Apollo Enterprises, improve the intersection of Hoadly Road and Apollo Drive, as well as improve the left turn lanes used by drivers on westbound Prince William Parkway turning left onto Hoadly Raod.

Plans also call for an extension of Ridgefield Village Drive from its current terminus at Pilgrims Inn Drive to Apollo Drive.

“I don’t think you’ll see proffers like this in the future,” said Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins.

The project was proposed under old proffer guidelines now defunct after the Virginia General Assembly last year voted to restrict how localities collect from developers.

Jenkins said he liked the $1.7 million in proffers for the school system, and half-a-million dollars for county parks.

The project has been under review for more than a year, and multiple community associations to include LOCCA/PELT, and surrounding homeowners associations have participated in the review process, according to county documents.

One of the most noted concerns about the project is about the planned self-storage lots on the property. A county report notes the self-storage facility as a weakness because it “does not significantly increase” the number of jobs in the area.

The developed abandoned a plan to build a 10-bay automotive service facility on the property as part of the overall project for the self-storage units, according to the report.

News
Market at Opitz Crossing sells for $29 million

From a press release: 

Sterling Organization, a vertically integrated private equity real estate investment firm has announced the sale of Market at Opitz Crossing, a 157,724-square-foot grocery-anchored shopping center in the Washington, D.C. MSA, to Klein Enterprises for $29.25 million. Market at Opitz Crossing was originally acquired on November 18, 2013, via Sterling’s institutional fund Sterling Value Add Partners, LP (“SVAP”) for $17.75 million. Geoffrey Millerd and Mat Adler of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the Sterling-managed fund in the recent disposition of the asset.

Located at the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway (US-1) and Opitz Boulevard just 1 mile east of Interstate 95 in Woodbridge, VA, Market at Opitz Crossing is anchored by Wakefern’s grocery concept PriceRite. During Sterling’s ownership, a new Chipotle Mexican Grill outparcel building was added and the occupancy of the shopping center increased from approximately 77% to 96%. (more…)



‘Explore Summer Reading program is all about celebrating the joy of reading for fun’

Ah, Summer! It’s time for flip-flops, popsicles, lazy days at the pool, and a break from school. It’s also time for Summer reading at your public library! We’re talking prizes for reading, fun weekly challenges and tons of events and activities all Summer long. And it’s all free, of course!

Before we get into the details, let’s talk about why Summer reading is so important to school-age students. Maybe you’ve heard of the “Summer slide”? It’s the learning loss that happens during the summer when kids and teens don’t read or participate in educational activities. But don’t worry, because public library Summer reading programs help combat Summer slide. Research shows that children who are engaged in Summer reading programs perform better academically when they return to school in the Fall. And the best part is that your kids and young adults get a quality experience at no cost. (more…)

News
Prince William vows to fight SCC over power line route

lThe Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 to reaffirm its support of the overhead and underground hybrid route plan for a new power line in Haymarket.

The I-66 Hybrid Alternative route would build the 234,000 volts, 10-mile power line overhead, connecting with an existing line near the intersection of Route 234 and Interstate 66. The line would then run underground near homes along I-66 until it makes its connection to a power substation near a Walmart in Haymarket.

The Board aims to block the construction of an overhead power line that along one of two routes favored by the State Corporation Commission (SCC): Along the Carver Road route, or along the railroad line route in Haymarket.

County residents at a special June 1 meeting of the Board of Supervisors urged officials to block attempts to build along either of these two routes favored by the SCC. They said it would adversely affect property values in neighborhoods along the routes like Hopewell’s Landing, Somerset, and Greenhill crossings.

“We’re going to fight this tooth and nail. Our job is to protect you and your property this fight has just begun. We’re not going to let Dominion or the SCC divide us, and we’re going to win,” said Board Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large.

Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan was absent from the meeting on a family vacation in Europe.

The SCC released its findings and noted its support for the Carver or Railroad routes in April. Prince William officials had 60 days to respond and did so by sending this letter to Dominion Energy.

The data center is said to be owned and operated by Amazon, Inc. will require 97% of the electricity piped in from the new line to operate. (more…)

News
Torch Run for Special Olympic Games set for June 8

From Prince William County Police:

The Torch that symbolizes the beginning of the Special Olympics Games in Richmond, Va., will be lit in Arlington and carried by police officers and Special Olympians down U.S. Route 1 to Richmond on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

In Prince William County, the torch will start at the Prince William-Fairfax line at U.S. Route 1 and end at the entrance to the U.S. Marine Corps Base at U.S. Route 1 and Fuller Road. Police Recruits in the current Criminal Justice Academy class will be participating in the Torch Run, and members of the Department’s Motorcycle Unit will escort the runners through the county. (more…)



Here is the ‘dirt’ about the Manassas Park Community Center Teen Garden

Teens want to be independent, and parents of teens may feel like they are in a constant tug of war for control! Parents of teenagers agree that teenage years present several unique challenges. However, there is one constant where parents of teenagers agree, and that constant is when you keep teens busy, they seem happier. So how do you get teens to become more involved in activities while they continue to stay busy with activities in their daily lives?

Luckily, the Teen Passport program at the Manassas Park Community Center is a place where Manassas Park teenagers can come after school, weekends, and throughout the summer. The emphasis is on recreation with creative programs and materials to encourage teen (grades 6-12) participation in many diverse activities including cooking club, drop-in basketball, and group activities. (more…)



Public Works Director

The Town of Dumfries, VA seeks a new Public Works Director.

The Town of Dumfries, VA, located 27 miles south of Washington D.C., offers an inviting atmosphere for its residents and visitors alike. The Town’s “Quality of Life” is highlighted by its friendly neighborhoods, affordable cost of living, outstanding educational opportunities and proximity and vast ranges of historical, cultural, and leisure activities. Although the Town is small in size, Dumfries enjoys a prominent place in history as Virginia’s oldest continuously chartered town.

Though considered a part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Dumfries continues to value its heritage and maintain a unique identity. Since it’s found in 1749, Dumfries has long been recognized as an ideal location for business making it one of the fastest growing areas in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region. Dumfries is committed to promoting a diverse and progressive community and to positioning their community as the “Place of Choice” for businesses considering relocating or expanding and for developers interested in finding the perfect location for their next project.

The Public Works Director, under the direction of the Town Manager, oversees the day-to-day operations and administration of the Public Works Department. The department encompasses transportation planning and project management, Storm-water, Site and building plan review and Inspections, Information Technology, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program efforts in accordance with the U.S. Clean Water Act, and Operations (Buildings & Grounds, Vehicle Maintenance, Engineering, and Streets Maintenance). The Director must ensure capital improvement projects and maintenance projects are performed according to project terms, in compliance with contract guidelines, and in a timely manner. The Director serves as the Town’s representative by working with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) on transportation related matters and projects.

The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or related field; supplemented by five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in public works operations and administration; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Experience working with the Virginia Department of Transportation on complex road projects as well as experience with storm-water management and drainage projects is needed. The Town of Dumfries is looking for candidates who possess the ability to synthesize, hypothesize, and/or theorize data along with applying principles of logical and synthesis functions. The successful candidate must be decisive, creative and have the ability to exercise judgement in critical and/or unexpected situations involving risk to the organization.

The salary range is between $65,000 – $75,000 DOQ/E, with benefits including participation in the Virginia Retirement System, vacation and sick leave, group life insurance, and medical insurance. Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume on-line at https://waters-company.recruitmenthome.com/postings/1337. This position is open until filled; however, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than June 14, 2017. For more information, please contact Miguel Ozuna at mozuna@waters-company.com, 214.842.6478 or Anne Lewis at richmond@waters-company.com, 804.726.9748.

Dumfries, VA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce!



Community Development Director

The Town of Dumfries, VA seeks a new Community Development Director

The Town of Dumfries, VA, located 27 miles south of Washington D.C., offers an inviting atmosphere for its residents and visitors alike. The Town’s “Quality of Life” is highlighted by its friendly neighborhoods, affordable cost of living, outstanding educational opportunities and proximity and vast ranges of historical, cultural, and leisure activities. Although the Town is small in size, Dumfries enjoys a prominent place in history as Virginia’s oldest continuously chartered town.

Though considered a part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Dumfries continues to value its heritage and maintain a unique identity. Since it’s found in 1749, Dumfries has long been recognized as an ideal location for business making it one of the fastest growing areas in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region. Dumfries is committed to promoting a diverse and progressive community and to positioning their community as the “Place of Choice” for businesses considering relocating or expanding and for developers interested in finding the perfect location for their next project.

The Community Development Director, under the direction of the Town Manager, oversees the day-to-day operations and administration of the Town’s planning programs and activities. The Director serves as Zoning Administrator and as such makes zoning determinations and directs enforcement of the zoning code. The Director performs technical, administrative, and research tasks associated with planning, zoning, and land-use matters, zoning code and comprehensive plan amendments, and ensures development plans and opportunities are complying with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan zoning code and land development standards.

The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree with course work in urban planning or related fields; supplemented by three (3) years of experience in planning, zoning and land use administration; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Candidates must have knowledge of principles, practices and techniques of modern land use planning and zoning and of municipal planning and land-use issues. Dumfries is seeking candidates with strong leadership and management abilities who are able to communicate clearly with the Town Manager, Town Council and citizens.

The salary range is between $65,000 – $75,000 DOQ/E, with benefits including participation in the Virginia Retirement System, vacation and sick leave, group life insurance, and medical insurance. Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume on-line at https://waters-company.recruitmenthome.com/postings/1357. This position is open until filled; however, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than June 14, 2017. For more information, please contact Miguel Ozuna at mozuna@waters-company.com, 214.842.6478 or Anne Lewis at richmond@waters-company.com, 804.726.9748.

Dumfries, VA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce!

News
‘U is for Undies’ drive-thru to donate underwear to elderly, poor

From a press release: 

House of Mercy on the Manassas/Gainesville border is hosting a day-long “drive-thru” on Thursday, June 8 “Do More 24” Day. People will purchase a new package of underwear, any type, any size, any gender, and drive through the parking lot on June 8 to throw them into a big bin. There will be friendly volunteers there to accept the donations, and provide a tax receipt, if required.

Felice Hilton, Assistant Director at House of Mercy stated, “We hope to make this an annual event, along with the School Shoes program and Christmas with Mercy. Unlike the other programs, “U is for Undies” helps all our clientele and not just children. A large need really does exist.”

Welfare workers and school nurses locally and around the U.S. report that around half of the U.S. population is “going commando”, and not out of choice. This anecdotally includes children at local Title 1 elementary schools. (more…)

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