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News
3 Rescued from Belmont Bay

Lorton, Va. –– Two men and one woman were pulled from the Belmont Bay this afternoon after their sailboat capsized.

No one was injured and all three were wearing life jackets, say Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt.

The 19-foot boat capsized about noon, in the water three miles south of the Purple Heart Bridge that carries traffic on Interstate 95 across the Occoquan River.

Someone inside the boat was able to use a cell phone to call for help, sending rescue crews from the Mason Neck and Woodbridge areas, as well as Charles County, Md. to the scene.

Once out of the water, the boaters and their boat were all taken to the Fairfax Yacht Club on Old Colchester Road in Lorton

Traffic
Drivers Ticketed at Commuter Lots

Virginia State Police issued 12 tickets Monday to commuters they say illegally parked in the Staffordborough and Mine Road commuter lots. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Update 4:50 p.m.: Police cite more commuters than they did Monday

Ticketing at two commuter lots in North Stafford continued today as state police issued 20 parking summons.

Police say 21 parking tickets were issued to drivers who illegally parked at the Staffordborough commuter lot, and nine tickets were issued to drivers who use the Mine Road lot.

On Monday, Virginia State Police issued 12 tickets to drivers at both commuter lots.

The enforcement is part of a previously announced crackdown on drivers who park outside of designated spaces at the commuter lots.

Police say drivers will be towed if their parked cars impede traffic within the lot, but so far no one was been towed, said Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler.

Both commuter lots sit off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) and are popular destinations for commuters who work in points in Northern Virginia and Washington.

Original Post 1 p.m.
North Stafford, Va. ––
Virginia State Police in ticked 12 drivers who either didn’t get the message about a commuter crackdown, or perhaps ignored the warnings.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler said 12 tickets were issued at the Staffordborough Commuter lot and two issued at the Mine Road lot, both off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) in North Stafford.

No cars had to be towed from the lot, added Tyler.

Monday was the beginning of increased enforcement in at the two commuter lots, following an announcement late last month from Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton that the Staffordborough lot would be expanded by 1,000 spaces.

More to the Story: Use our interactive map of commuter lots in the Potomac Communities to help you find a less crowded place to park.

Commuters and area drivers have long complained about cars parked illegally in the lot, along shoulders or in the middle of traffic lanes in the lot.

The lots generally fill with cars each weekday morning by 8 a.m., with mostly bus riders or slugs (those who ride in cars of three or more occupants) bound for points in Northern Virginia and Washington.

Word of the enforcement came from state police last Monday, when police were scheduled to erect electronic message boards warning of the upcoming enforcement.

Police said vehicles would only be towed if they were impeding traffic.

News
Despite PETA Cries, Fish Out Will Go On

Lake Ridge, Va. –– An annual fishing event will go on despite cries from an animal rights group.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, says Lake Ridge’s annual “fish out” is in humane.

The neighborhood’s property owners association plans to bring 750 rainbow trout from a hatchery in Goshen in the western Virginia on Friday, drop them in a swimming pool at the Tall Oaks Community Center and let residents fish them out.

The property owners association started the event four years ago and says it’s a great way to bring families together prior to the start of the summer pool season.

“This is a fun event we started after I got an email from a friend in Texas that said they did something similar there, and that we had to check it out. We already do a doggie paddle in the pool, so anyone who knows me knows in not adverse to putting animals in the pool for fun events,” said Shirley Couteau, with the Lake Ridge Property Owners Association.

LRPRA sells bait and rents fishing poles for the family-oriented event, which begins at noon Friday and lasts throughout the weekend.

But PETA has placed the event on its popular action alert website, asking residents to contact the LRPRA and ask them to stop the event.

“What about impaling animals on a metal hook and dragging them into the open air to suffocate says ‘family fun’?” asks PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a press release. “With so many other pool activities to choose from, there’s simply no excuse for tormenting fish for entertainment.”

The organization says fish have the ability to communicate and to feel pain, and if dogs and cats were treated in the same manner residents participating in the event would most likely be charged with animal cruelty.

Couteau says the event is a friendly way to introduce people to fishing.

“We respect their opinion, and we’re sorry they decided to pick on us and put us on their radar. But the warm fuzzies we get from the event, seeing families together, outweigh the negatives,” said Couteau.

News
Conviction After Slain Woman Found in North Stafford

Jerryell Myesha Foster

The boyfriend of a woman found shot to death in North Stafford in 2010 was found guilty in her death.

Frederick Christian, of Baltimore County, Md., was convicted in Maryland on Monday after a jury concluded he shot 23-year-old Jerryell Myesha Foster and then dumped her body in a wooded area alongside Interstate 95.

Foster is the mother of Christian’s 2-year-old child, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Foster went missing sometime around Thanksgiving 2009. Her body was found March 2, 2010 in North Stafford, near the southbound ramp at Garrisonville Road (Va. 610).

Christian told a jury Foster went missing, and that he did know why he poured bleach on the carpets in her home and removed a love seat from the living room.

The murder weapon was never found, and prosecutors at Christian sentencing will aim for a life in prison without parole.

News
P Nats Rained Out After Loss

By Will Flemming
For PotomacLocal.com

Woodbridge, Va. –– Tonight’s Potomac Nationals baseball game at home in Woodbridge has been rained out. It’s the second time this opening season week a game has been postponed due to rain.

The P Nats were scheduled to take on the Winston-Salem Dash tonight, but that game has been postponed until 6:05 p.m. Wednesday. The next game will be a doubleheader.

While hometown baseball team won’t play tonight, they came up short last night in a 7-5 loss against the Dash.

Paul Demny will make his first start of 2011 in the opening game of the twinbill against Joe Seraphin. Today marks the Nationals’ second rainout in the season’s first four days.  Following the doubleheader, the Nats have an off day before they travel to Wilmington for a three-game weekend set.

Rick Hague slugged a two-run home run and Destin Hood went 2-3 with two doubles, but Potomac in front of the crowd of just over 1,000 at the Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge on Monday night.

The P-Nats drop to 1-2 and the Dash move to 3-1.

Cameron Bayne was dominating for the Dash. The starter went seven innings pitched, allowing only one hit and no runs. Potomac didn’t pick up its first hit until Destin Hood roped a double down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bayne walked Hood back in the second inning, so the perfect game was never really in play.

The P-Nats’ bats woke up as soon as, Bayne, a Hawaii native left the game. The first three batters all reached base in the bottom of the eighth, and Potomac pushed across its first run on a Cutter Dykstra single to score Stephen King.

Eury Perez followed with a RBI fielder’s choice to make it a 5-2 game. That’s when Hague launched his two-run, opposite field shot, cutting the lead to one heading into 9th.

But the Dash answered with two runs in the top of the ninth. Winston-Salem loaded the bases with two walks and a single, and then scored both runs on groundball by Ian Gac that slipped through the legs of shortstop Rick Hague and into left field, giving the Dash a 7-4 lead.

The two insurance runs ended up being critical, because Cutter Dykstra hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that would have tied the game at five, but instead made it 7-5.

Nationals’ starter Marcos Frias was the tough-luck loser. The righty allowed one run and four hits in six innings pitched. He also struck out two and walked one.

As for Tuesday’s rained-out game, fans with tickets can redeem them for another 2011 game by calling the Potomac National’s ticket office at 703-590-2311.

Will Flemming is the Director of Broadcasting for the Potomac Nationals.

News
Few Parents Worried Over School Sex Arrests

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Woodbridge, Va. — After two employees at a high school in Woodbridge last week were charged with having sex with students, the county’s school system is working to assure parents their children are safe.

A 27-year-old female English teacher, Tina Amato, and a 27-year-old male part-time track coach, Eric Lewis, are charged with having sex with two different Prince William County high school students.

Lewis, of Quantico, had sex with a student at Potomac Senior High School in 2008, while he was a substitute teacher there, police said.

Amato, of Stafford County, is charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student over the course of a year, and has worked at the school as an English teacher for the past three years.

Several phone calls from parents have been received by the staff at Gar-Field, but few have been from parents who are concerned about the arrests.

“The response has been quite limited. Mostly parents concerned about whether makeup work was received or wanting to know who the new teacher would be, in Ms. Amato’s case,” said Gar-Field Senior High School Principal William Bixby.

Bixby met with each of Amato’s classes to allow students to ask questions about the arrest, and in letters sent home to parents has encouraged a discussion about what happened here.

Between 2006 and 2009, Lewis worked as a substitute teacher at four high schools and five middle schools, including Forest Park, Gar-Field, Freedom and Potomac high schools, and Lake Ridge, Godwin, Beville, Woodbridge and Fred Lynn middle schools.

In both incidents, once school officials learned of the allegations against both teachers they took swift action in reporting it to police.

“This is something that is taken very seriously and it will not be tolerated at all, and there are great efforts to try to ensure this doesn’t happen in the in the first place, but if it does it is investigated and people are held accountable,” said Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Blackstone.

Before they are hired, the names of applicants who want to work for the county schools are checked against the National Sex Offender Registry as well as with the FBI.

Throughout the year, faculty and staff attend training focusing on sexual misconduct and harassment, said Blackstone.

While the allegations of sexual misconduct are serious, some parents aren’t panicked.

“Our schools have much bigger problems this. Bullying, for example, things that happen every day to every kid.  You can do background checks, but they’re not going to catch the people you really need to be afraid of.  The key is to stay involved with your kid, schools should do more, but you have to talk to your kids about how to handle situations like this,” said Tera Peacock, who has a child attending a middle school where Lewis once worked.

Another parent said it’s important to be open with their child.

“We as parents have to educate our children and stay close to them.  Talk to your kids and be involved at their schools…anywhere they spend time,” said Rebecca Barnes, who has a fifth grade student in Prince William schools.

News
Around Town

Stewart calls new senate maps unfair
Prince William County Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart says the county is being disenfranchised by the way Virginia State Senator George Barker has drawn the senate redistricting maps. Stewart says the plan “splinters” the county and reduces its influence in Richmond,” Virginia Virtucon reports.

ACLU: Stop blocking gay websites
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking Prince William County Public Schools to stop blocking students’ access to gay and lesbian websites, as part of their “Don’t Filter Me” campaign. The county school system representative told Insidenova.com the request is being reviewed.

University gets $1 million donation
Someone who graduated from the Mary Washington College in 1972 was made a $1 million donation to the school in hopes it will spur more opportunities for students to study abroad. The donor wishes to remain anonymous, Fredericksburg Patch reports.

News
Aide Resigns After Adult Video Store Joke

The MVC store in Woodbridge is one of nine MVC stores in Northern Virginia.

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– The assistant to a Fairfax County supervisor who pulled an unpopular April Fools Day joke has resigned after six years at his post.

Ron Fitzsimmons on Sunday gave his resignation to Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland. The resignation came 10 days after Fitzsimmons posted to his Facebook page –– Mount Vernon News –– that a chain of adult video and novelty stores, MVC, was looking to purchase the building that currently houses a Safeway grocery store in the Hollin Hall section of Fairfax County.

It was an April Fools Day joke, and no adult store was eyeing the area, officials later said.

But Fitzsimmons never let anyone in on the joke, and then removed the post from the page.

It caught the attention of business owners and the Mt. Vernon – Lee Chamber of Commerce, who complained and called the post inappropriate.

Fitzsimmons on Thursday afternoon issued an apology for making the post on his page, and apologized if some took it as offensive.

Fitzsimmons is said to have handed his resignation over voluntarily because he was looking to explore other opportunities, and not because of the erroneous Facebook post.

“On Sunday, Mr. Fitzsimmons on his own decided this was the best thing for him to do. Supervisor Hyland did not ask for his resignation,” said Hyland spokesman Brett Kenney.

Since 2004, Fitzsimmons worked in Hyland’s office as a part-time aide tackling housing issues, and issues having to do with the county park authority.

Fitzsimmons Facebook page is still active and polling residents about their options on local issues, such as Mount Vernon’s news county parks authority representative.

News
Storms in the Forecast

Today’s warm weather should give way to a round of thunderstorms into the overnight hours.

Some of those storms may be severe, and may produce damaging hail and wind, warns the National Weather Service.

At 1 p.m. Monday, the high temperature at Dulles Airport was 72 degrees with partly cloudy skies, as Mother Nature reminded residents spring is still in the forecast.

On Tuesday, showers and storms are likely mainly after 11 a.m., states the NWS.

Check back often with PotomacLocal.com for updates when severe weather threatens.

Traffic
Ticketing Begins at Commuter Lots

The Staffordboro commuter lot on Staffordboro Boulevard in North Stafford is filled to capacity. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

North Stafford, Va. –– Commuters were warned, now today Virginia State Police begin ticketing drivers who park illegally park at two commuter lots in North Stafford.

Last week, police began posting notices on cars illegally parked in the Staffordborough and Mine Road commuter lots off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610), as well as electronic messaging signs letting drivers know they would be ticked beginning April 11 if parked illegally.

Police will be out at the commuter lots throughout the day looking for cars parked illegally.

Parked cars that are impeding the flow of traffic will be towed, said Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler.

The parking enforcement comes after state transportation officials last month announced a planned expansion of the Staffordborough lot.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said $5.5 million will be spend to add an additional 1,000 parking spaces at the lot, providing relief for some drivers that are forced to park at a nearby shopping center because of lack of spaces at the state-maintained commuter lot.

The additional land for the commuter parking spaces will be acquired from the county’s school system, and construction of the expanded lot should begin next year.

News
Hello, Frank Principi Calling

Woodbridge, Va. –– Supervisor Frank Princpi will once again take to the phones to get a feel for what’s on his constituents’ minds.

The elected official will hold his second telephone town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday April 14.

Principi says 10,000 residents will receive an automatic call from his office that night, and those who wish to remain on the line to ask a question of the supervisor may do so.

Those who remain on the line will be added to a queue and will listen other ask questions as they wait for their time to speak.

Those who would like to participate in the conference may call ahead of time for more information, at 703-792-4646 or by going to the supervisor’s website.

Pricipi’s last tele-town hall took place in January, and many of the issues discussed were he loss of commuter parking at Potomac Mills mall and about day laborers who stand at the corner of Prince William Parkway and U.S. 1.

Some who questioned the supervisor wanted him to move the day laborer site, saying it was unappealing to have so many people standing at a high-traffic intersection.

Principi said he, along with the county, had few options to remove the day laborers from the post because they stand next to a convenience store that sits on private property.

During the last tele-town hall, fewer than 10 questions were answered during the conference. Principi invited those who did not have their questions answered to post them to his website to be answered at a later time.

News
Around Town

Emma Gajewski, 8, flies at kite at the Gunston Hall Kite Festival.

Cherry blossom parade photos
The National Cherry Blossom Parade went off without a hitch this past weekend despite worries a government shutdown that never materialized would force the cancellation of the annual event. The Washington Post has photos from the parade.

College students shaved their heads for cancer research
Area college students turned out recently to support funding cancer research by shaving their heads, reports NOVA Fortnightly.

Blogger: Can we get some real Thai food in Stafford?
After some bad experiences with Thai food in Stafford, one area foodie says she’s found a good Thai food restaurant in Woodbridge. Why can’t Stafford have one, she asks?

P-Nats lose home opener
In their home opener in Woodbridge on Saturday, the Potomac Nationals looked much like the championship winning team that came together last season. But in the end the team lost to their opponents from Lynchburg, Insidenova.com reports.

News
Governor Kicks Off Anderson’s Campaign

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell talks with Del. Richard Anderson and Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Governor Robert F. McDonnell came to Woodbridge on Saturday to help launch the campaign of a fellow Republican.

Richard Anderson (R-51) is vying to return to Virginia’s House of Delegates this fall and invited McDonnell to Appliance Connection on Prince William Parkway to speak on his behalf.

“The Republican Party is alive and well in Prince William County. I think back to the election in 2005, when I was running for attorney general, and I just squeaked by with 364 votes and Prince William helped us win. We had a similar situation in the last campaign in 2009,” said McDonnell.

It was a morning filled with talk of reducing the size of government and spending, growing the economy, lowering taxes and having faith in god –– principals Anderson said he also believes in.

Del. Richard Anderson is seeking reelection to Virginia’s 51st House seat this fall. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

“When I was going to leave the Air Force after 31 years, I was thinking about going into the aerospace defense and work in the private sector. But I turned down all offers and traded military service for public service,” said Anderson. “I took a look at my revenues and my budget, I cut them in half just like any good government should do.”

Anderson retired after 30 years in the Air Force and won his House seat in 2009.

This year in the state legislature, he saw several of his bills signed into law including a bill that closed a loophole in a older law requiring all drivers in the state to stop for school buses and a bill that requires contractors doing business with the state to submit to a federal immigration background check.

Anderson lives with his wife, Ruth, in Woodbridge and currently has no one running against him for the seat.

Appliance Connection is owned and operated by Marty Nohe, a Republican on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

News
Substitute Teacher Faces Sex Charge

Eric Lewis

Woodbridge, Va. –– A student at Potomac High School was a victim of a sexual assault in 2008, police say.

Her attacker: a 27-year-old substitute teacher that worked at the school, investigators add.

Police arrested the man on April 7 for  the alleged assault, after school officials became aware of the assault.

The victim is now 17-years-old.

Eric Lewis, of Quantico, is charged with two counts of crimes against nature and with two counts of carnal knowledge, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

His court date was not released and he was held without bond.

Traffic
Feds Can Commute but Won’t be Paid

A Virginia Railway Express train pulls into the Woodbridge station. (File Photo: Mary Davidson)

Area transit services will operate on a normal schedule if there is a shutdown of the federal government on Monday.

Virginia Railway Express says 35 percent of its riders are not federal employees and will continue to run trains on a regular schedule.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s OmniRide commuter bus service will continue to operate on a regular schedule on Monday and Tuesday, but ridership will be evaluated and necessary adjustments made on Wednesday morning.

“We plan to operate regular service for OmniRide commuter buses on Monday and Tuesday because many of our passengers do not work for the federal government and because other passengers who do work for the federal government will be deemed ‘essential’ personnel who are expected to report to work as usual.  Also, we understand that some federal agencies will have their employees come in for up to four hours on Monday morning to close up shop,” said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

Passengers who subscribe to OmniRide’s Rider Express email service will automatically be notified of any schedule changes that may be implemented Wednesday. Riders can also call 703-730-6664 for more information about scheduling.

Fairfax County Connector buses will also run on a normal schedule Monday despite any federal closure, the agency stated Friday.

The potential government shutdown would affect essentially stop paychecks for federal workers, contractors, and would close all of the National Parks.

It also means U.S. military service men and women and Department of Defense workers would not be paid until congress and the president come to an agreement on a funding measure.

If a funding bill is not passed by midnight to avert a shutdown, active duty and reserve military personnel will be paid what they earned prior to the shutdown, which amounts to about half of their normal mid-month paycheck, according to Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Any shutdown would not affect payments made to those retired from the military.

News
Bill Would Fund Gov’t One More Week

Robert J. Wittman, R-Va. 1

As a shutdown of the federal government looms, Robert Wittman (R-1) in the House of Representatives to pass legislation to fund the governmental operations through next week.

The spending bill, which passed the House and now moves onto the Senate, would fund the federal government through April 15.

In addition to the short-term funding fix, Wittman says the bill also provides for $12 billion in spending cuts.

“I firmly believe that the federal government must tighten its belt, but believe we can avoid a massive government shutdown and uncertainty for families across this country. As I have said, it is unconscionable to not pay our men and women who are risking their lives overseas to protect our freedom,” in a press release.

Lawmakers spent much of Thursday evening in emergency sessions looking to find ways to continue funding government operations. If a deal is not reached by midnight, a partial closure of the federal government will occur leaving many federal employees, contractors and military personnel without paychecks.

News
E-Verify Bill Signed Into Law

Sen. George Barker and Del. Richard Anderson are on hand as Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (center) signs the two legislator’s E-Verify bill into law. (Submitted)

Contract workers with the state will soon have to submit their employees to an immigration check.

A bill sponsored by Virginia State Senator George Barker (D-39) and Del. Richard Anderson (R-51) was signed into law this week, requiring all contractors working for the state to submit to an E-Verify check through the Department of Homeland Security beginning Dec. 1, 2013.

The bill was the lone immigration bill to survive in this year’s General Assembly session.

E–Verify is the same system used by the Social Security Administration to verify workers’ legal presence in the U.S.

“I have submitted E-Verify legislation every year since I entered the Senate of Virginia, and this is the first time that my bill has made it through the entire process.  It was a long journey, but standing with Gov. McDonnell was a satisfying moment for me and made the effort worthwhile,” said Barker in a press release.

The requirement would apply to all new companies who apply to work with the state, as well as companies with more than 50 employees working as part of a state contract valued at more than $50,000 during the past 12 months.

“This law moves us in the right direction by ensuring that companies doing work under a state contract are using employees who are lawfully present in the United States,” said Anderson in a press release.

News
Around Town

Budget looking good in Stafford
Stafford County is rolling in revenue thanks to a 1.3 growth in real estate values, reports Fredericksburg.com.

Trial date set for Woodbridge doctor
The trial date has been set for a Woodbridge doctor who several female patients said he tried to sexually abuse them during treatment, Insidenova.com reports.

Comments on Dumfries streetscape project wanted
What does your ideal Dumfries look like? Town officials want to know and are asking for public comments on the town’s proposed streetscape project, Insidenova.com reports.

News
Adult Video Store No Joke for Business Owners

The MVC store in Woodbridge is one of nine locations in Northern Virginia.

First on PotomacLocal.com

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– A Fairfax County supervisor demanded an apology from one of his own staff members after an April Fools Day joke bombed with business owners.

Ron Fitzsimons, a part-time aide to Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, last week posted on his Facebook page “Mount Vernon News” that the adult video and novelty store, MVC, was eyeing the purchase of a Safeway grocery store in the Hollin Hall area of Fairfax County.

It turns out it was an April Fools Day joke, but when the message mysteriously disappeared  from the site, and when Fitzsimmons didn’t let anyone in on the joke, many business owners complained.

“We were relived when heard it was a joke, but then irritated,” said Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Holly Dougherty. “When those kinds of rumors start it’s hard to stop them. People were concerned that this was happening, and then people are concerned that this is the type of community that welcomes these types of businesses.”

MVC brands itself a couples boutique that sells adult videos, lingerie and other novelty items.

Nearly a week later and after a call from PotomacLocal.com to Supervisor’s Hyland’s office, Fitzsimmons posted an apology to his Facebook page.

“Many of you know that I am a part time employee of the county. A reader has complained to the county about my April Fool’s post last week, calling it inappropriate. I want to make clear that everything I do on this page is on my own. It is in no way sanctioned by the county. If my post caused any discomfort, trouble, etc., please accept my apologies,” Fitzsimmons stated.

Regular posts on the Mount Vernon News page ask readers their opinions about Fairfax County Board of Supervisors actions, and on social issues –– such as “should gays be allowed to adopt children?”

Fitzsimmons has worked for Hyland for five years, and on Thursday afternoon remained an employee of Hyland’s, said office spokesman Brett Kenney.

“We are aware of the [Mount Vernon News] page. Supervisor Hyland told Mr. Fitzsimmons to remove the post and then to issue an apology,” said Kenney.

MVC has not returned phone calls about this story. The company has nine locations in the area, including Alexandria, Dumfries and Woodbridge.

News
Belvoir’s New Hospital to be Larger, Brighter

An artist’s rendering of the new Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital.

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– The hospital that will replace Ft. Belvoir’s aging Dewitt Army Community Hospital will be three times its size and will have the fourth largest pharmacy in the Department of Defense.

The new Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital on the Army base is nearing completion, and area business owners got a sneak peak of the new facility at a Mount Vernon – Lee Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.

The hospital is being constructed as part of the military’s BRAC relocation, which is will to bring 20,000 military and federal jobs to the region by the fall.

The facility will boast more well more than 120 beds, a recovery center and x-ray facility.

It’ll also be more open, with large windows that allow more sunlight to pass into the building ultimately aiding in the healing process, said Col. Susan Annicell.

“In my 30 years in healthcare I have never seen the level of care and detail placed into a facility like this,” said Annicell, who will lead the staff at the new hospital.

Col. Susan Annicell speaks about the new Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital at a luncheon of area business owners. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

The new hospital will be 1.3 million square foot larger than Dewitt, which will close once the new facility opens.

Hospital rooms will also be larger and more inviting, accommodating family members who want to stay overnight with patients.

The overall goal, explained Annicell, is to make the hospital and its surrounding campus a medical center by adding additional facilities like a 288-bed wounded warrior recovery center, and a 20-bed substance abuse recovery center.

Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital has also been designed to operate on a green scale, with its swooped roof doubling as a rainwater collector. Cisterns beneath the hospital collect the rainwater, process it, and then send it back to the surface where it will be used to water a series of gardens outside the facility.

News
Counties Join Together to Clean U.S. 1

U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, at the intersection of E. Longview Drive and Prince William Parkway.

Lorton, Va. –– Residents of Fairfax and Prince William counties will work together for the first time to clean up one of the region’s busiest highways.

It’s called the “Fairfax and Prince William Connecting Counties to Clean Up Route 1 Corridor” event, and it’ll take place beginning at 9 a.m. April 30 at various spots along the U.S. 1 corridor.

“Not only do we want to clean up Route 1, but we also want to highlight that there is a lot of trash along the road and it needs to be cleaned up consistently,” said Kayne Karnbach, with Prince William Clean Community Council. “It’s important to note that civic groups for a long time have worked to clean the area, but this is the first time we have come together and worked as a team.”

Members of the Mount Vernon – Lee Chamber of Commerce, those from Ft. Belvoir and Quantico, as well as the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association will all work in their respective teams to clean the roadway.

Churches have also been recruited into the effort, and many have all agreed to help clean in some portions between Ft. Belvoir south to Triangle, said Karnbach.

Those interested in volunteering to participate may call 571-285-3772 for more information.

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