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Church could ease parking woes

(File) An OmniRide commuter bus bound for Dale City stops at 14th Street and New York Avenue in Downtown Washington and picks up about 20 passengers as slugs looked on.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Commuters that will be forced from the commuter lot at Potomac Mills mall could soon park at the First Baptist Church of Woodbridge.

The church is considering leasing to Prince William County up to 500 parking spaces in their 700-space lot for commuters to use on weekdays.

The church, with a 1,250-member congregation, sits at Minnieville and Elm Farm roads just off Prince William Parkway and stands to benefit financially from the deal.

“This is a deliberative process for us when we are considering annexing a large amount of spaces for commuter parking, and we also have to think about the impacts of our ministry,” said First Baptist Church of Woodbridge Executive Pastor Frank Johnson. (more…)

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VRE changes probed

Virginia Railway Express wants  to change some of its policies, and has invited its riders to comment on the proposed changes.

The commuter railroad would like to eliminate the group fare, which allows passengers who ride in groups of 10 or more a discounted fare. Regular riders have complained about the policy.

VRE also wants to decrease the cost of an Amtrak step-up ticket from $10 to $5 to help ease crowding on VRE trains. The hope would be more riders would opt to ride Amtrak trains, pay a little more than the cost of a regular VRE ticket  and get to their destinations on a less-crowded train. (more…)

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Quantico officials target road improvements

Tom Rumora of the Quantico Growth Management Committee addresses officials from Prince William and Stafford counties.

Triangle, Va. –– Quantico Marine Corps Base had no choice but to prepare for the massive influx of federal workers set to descend upon the area in September, said base commander Col. Daniel J. Choike.

While construction is complete on a $300 million, 700,000 square-foot building on Telegraph Road that will hold several security agencies, looming traffic problems still concern officials and community developers who want more federal workers to relocate to the region after the military’s BRAC transition is complete.

A wider U.S. 1 and better communication with community leaders and residents are all ways officials plan to manage growth near the base. (more…)

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Body found in Mt. Vernon apartment

Calvin Johnson, 47, faces a murder charge in connection to the death of his roommate. (Submitted)

Update 4 p.m.
The man found dead inside a Mt. Vernon-area apartment on Monday has been identified as 55-year-old Kenneth J. Russell. Investigators delayed releasing his identification until after the victim’s next of kin had been notified.

Russell’s long-time roommate, 47-year-old Calvin John, has been charged in Russell’s death.

Update 11 a.m.
One man faces a murder charge in the death of a unidentified man who lived in Mt. Vernon.

Calvin Johnson, 47, is charged in connection to the victim. Police say they have been roommates for many years.

Johnson called police Monday afternoon and reported the crime, said Fairfax County police spokesman Bud Walker.

When police arrived at the scene, an apartment at 7554 Audubon Avenue #101, they discovered the victim had suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body.

Police have not offered a motive for the killing, but say they are having problems reaching the victim’s next of kin. When they do, police plan to release the identity of the victim, said Walker. (more…)

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Icy blast eyes region

Road conditions deteriorated fast was snow fell fast on Jan. 26, 2011, on Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) in North Stafford. (File) (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Another round of wintry weather is set to move into the region, and road crews will be out treating the roads before conditions worsen and ice forms. Crews in Fairfax and Prince William counties will begin treating the roads at 3 p.m.

In Stafford County, crews will come in and be on standby at 8 p.m.They will not pre-treat the roads as the precipitation forcasted to fall there is expected to start as rain and would wash away any chemicals used to pre-treat road surfaces, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tina Bundy. (more…)

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Intruder grabs woman in home

Police released a sketch of the man they say climbed through a window a grabbed a woman inside her Woodbridge home. (Submitted)

Woodbridge, Va. –– A woman told police someone climbed through a window and grabbed her Sunday.

It happened at a home in the 1400 block of G Street in Woodbridge, near the St. Paul United Methodist Church at 5:39 a.m., police said.

The 36-year-old victim heard a noise, went to check it out and then saw her front door was ajar. She then saw someone opening a window in her living room, trying to get access to the house.

A man climbed halfway through the window and grabbed the woman, but she then struck the man several times with a lamp post which caused him to flee, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. (more…)

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Neighborhoods want parking restrictions

North Stafford's Hampton Oaks subdivision sits off Mine Road and Northampton Boulevard.

North Stafford, Va. –– The Hampton Oaks subdivision wants to be the next to ban owners from parking commercial and pleasure vehicles on its streets.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is expected to set the date of a public hearing that would allow residents to comment on the proposal put forth by the neighborhood’s home owners’ association banning trucks, boats, trailers, motor homes, vehicles with missing parts and license plates from parking on any street in the neighborhood both public and private. (more…)

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Rain, snow, rain, then more snow?

There’s freezing rain, then snow, then rain and then some more snow in the forecast.

The first round of winter weather that’s expected to impact the area should start about 4 p.m. in the form of some freezing rain and sleet. After the sun goes down, some of that precipitation could changeover to snow though little accumulation is expected.

The wintry mess will hang around throughout the day Tuesday, with freezing rain expected before 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Tuesday night and Wednesday it’s still all rain forecasted to fall across the area.

Thursday will be sunny, but Friday and Saturday bring with it the possibility for more snow.

Just how much? It’s too early to tell.

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E-Verify bill moving forward

Del. Richard L. Anderson, R-Va. 51

Woodbridge, Va. –– A new bill sponsored by a Woodbridge lawmaker would force state agencies to verify that those contracted to work for them may legally do so in the U.S.

Del. Richard L. Anderson (R, Va.-51) has sponsored HB 1859, which would require any agency contracted to do $50,000 or more in work for the state submit their employees to an E-Verify check, which would determine their employment eligibility.

The bill remains in committee but is gaining traction among lawmakers. (more…)

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VRE’s week off to slow start

Woodbridge, Va. –– Delays this morning have plagued Virginia Railway Express passengers on the system’s Fredericksburg line.

Riders got early word from the transit system that train 308, which departs Fredericksburg at 6:30 a.m., was going to be late because of mechanical issues. It wasn’t long after that the train had been canceled altogether and riders told they could board Metro for free, by showing a valid VRE ticket.

In addition to the Metro option, riders still waiting on station platforms in Quantico and Woodbridge had the option to take an Amtrak train in place of the canceled VRE train as far as Union Station in Washington.

The next VRE train following the one that was canceled, train 312, was rolling along at 8 a.m. albeit 20 minutes behind its regular schedule.

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Stafford growth meeting rescheduled

Stafford County, Va. –– A snowstorm won’t stop Stafford officials from providing more information to residents about the county’s future growth plans.

After snow blanketed the region Jan 26 and forced the cancellation of the county’s second Urban Development Areas workshop, the event has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday February 7, at the England Run Library. (more…)

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95 lanes closing Tuesday for highway work

Lorton, Va. –– Weather permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation will be close the ramp from Interstate 95 south to U.S. 1 south (Exit 161) from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 to 5 a.m. Feb. 2 for steel beam erection as part of the I-95 Widening Project. The ramp from High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to U.S. 1 south will also close at 10 p.m.

Drivers on I-95 south headed to U.S. 1 south will be detoured to Prince William Parkway exit (Exit 158B), and should then follow signs back to I-95 north to Route 123 east (Exit 160) to U.S. 1. (more…)

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Tires slashed in Dale City

Dale City, Va. –– Tires were slashed on about 20 cars in Dale City, and now police want to know who’s behind the vandalisms.

Police were called at 2:42 p.m. Thursday to the Glendale area of Dale City after someone reported the tire slashing.

At least 20 vehicles all parked on Glendale Road, Granby and Greenwood drives, all had their tires slashed, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Prince William County Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700.

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Sex offender & former pastor gets probation

Jason Bolton plead guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child.

Dumfries, Va. –– A convicted sex offender was sentenced today to two years probation.

Jason Roy Bolton, a former pastor at a Woodbridge area Baptist church who plead guilty in October to taking indecent liberties with a minor, was sentenced to three years in jail with all three years suspended, according to Prince William County court records.

Bolton lives in Dumfries and his probation will be supervised, court records state.

Bolton was involved a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female in April 2010.

He was arrested and charged with sodomy in July.

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Stafford schools cancels activities

Updated
Prince William County Public Schools say they still plan to hold activities this weekend.

All Saturday and Sunday activities (January 29 & 30) in Prince William County Public Schools will continue on a normal schedule. Also, because of the recent school closures due to inclement weather, report cards will be delayed three days and will now be distributed on February 10.

Stafford County Public Schools have canceled all afternoon and evening activities today. While classes were not held in Stafford today, faculty and staff were required show up for work for a scheduled workday.

In a statement released Thursday, all scheduled weekend activities at the schools will go on as planned.

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Waste center meeting postponed

Fairfax County’s Energy Resource Recovery Center in Lorton is up for grabs, but one official says it will cost too much to buy it. (Fairfax County)

Lorton, Va. –– Residents are going to have to wait a bit longer to get more information about what’s going to happen with the waste-to-energy center in Lorton.

An information session that was scheduled Thursday night at South County Secondary School was postponed until 7 p.m. February 3.

The postponement comes after snow fell across the region Wednesday.

Fairfax County officials are considering purchasing the facility, and staff members from the county are scheduled to be on hand to discuss the potential purchase. (more…)

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Standoff ends, guns found

Update
An 8-hour standoff in Stafford ended peacefully late Thursday with one man in custody.

Just before midnight, a 35-year-old man who had earlier said he “wished to end his life and threatened to shoot anyone who came to his property” in the 700 block of Courthouse Road (Va. 630) surrendered to sheriff’s deputies, said Stafford County Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

No one was injured. The man has not been charged and was taken to a local hospital for a mental evaluation. (more…)

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Closings and Delays for Jan. 28, 2011

Prince William County Public Schools closed. Code Red for Employees. School Age Care Program will not be open. All students should come to school Monday Jan. 31.

Stafford County Public Schools says Friday will remain a workday, no school for students. All staff and faculty should report at 10 a.m. Activities, athletic and other events scheduled this weekend will be held.

Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Friday. Offices will be open, employees on unscheduled leave policy.

Have a closing or delay? Email it to us at news@potomaclocal.com

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VDOT to hit streets again tonight

Traffic was light at 7:50 a.m. Thursday Jan. 27, 2011 following the storm that forced many area drivers to abandon their cars on the roads. (VDOT)

Virginia Department of Transportation crews will be out in force once more this evening.

Tonight, 2,200 trucks will continue working to plow and address refreeze issues, with the goal of making all Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William subdivision streets passable for the a.m. rush tomorrow. Crews treating roads with salt and sand will also help prepare for the light snow expected to begin in the early morning.

VDOT reminds residents to shovel driveways to the right (when facing the street) to help prevent crews from plowing them back in. Also, residents should park in driveways if possible, or on the odd-numbered side of the street to give snowplows the most room to clear.

-VDOT

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Stafford schools: No Presidents’ Day holiday

The seal of Stafford County Public Schools.

Stafford County, Va. –– Due to inclement weather closures and delays this week, Stafford County Public Schools students have now missed the equivalent of six school days.  The Presidents’ Day holiday scheduled on Feb. 21 along with the early release days on Feb. 18, April 22 and May 27, are now full instructional days.

All Stafford County Public Schools and administrative offices will be open on Monday, Feb. 21.

Should Stafford County Public Schools miss further instructional time, the teacher work day on March 11 will become an instructional day. The teacher workday on Friday, Jan. 28, will remain a workday with no school for students.  All staff and faculty should report at 10 a.m. (more…)

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Park on the odd side of the street, please

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– Residents in the Mt. Vernon area should park their cars on of the sides of the streets with odd numbered addresses.

The request from Fairfax County officials comes following the snow that blanketed the region Wednesday night.

Leaving the even-numbered sides free of parked cars will allow snow plows to more easily access areas that need plowed, stated an email from Fairfax County Supervisor Gerry Hyland’s office.

The email also encouraged residents to clear snow from sidewalks, mailboxes and fire hydrants.

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