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Old prescription drugs accepted today at mall, hospital

Woodbridge, Va. –– Going to Potomac Mills mall today? Take some old, unused prescription medication with you.

The outlet mall in Woodbridge, and the Stafford Hospital Center off U.S. 1 in Stafford, are two of more than 75 locations in Virginia where residents today can drop off unused prescription medications, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as part of the first-ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The initiative is designed to raise awareness of, and curb prescription drug abuse, officials said. (more…)

News
Storm drains labeled to curb pollution

Woodbridge, Va. –– Storm drains in a growing Woodbridge neighborhood got their proper labeling earlier this month.

Volunteers with the Prince William Clean Community Council spent Sept. 19 labeling drains in the Belmont Bay neighborhood, just off U.S. 1 in North Woodbridge. (more…)

News
Fire department awarded for “green” station

Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 10 off Dale Boulevard.

Dale City, Va. –– The Dale City Volunteer Fire Department knows what it means to go green.

The organization on Friday was awarded the Washington Business Journal Green Business Design Award for Fire Station 10 on Dale Boulevard – a building that was already awarded with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating.

“Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 10 is the first volunteer fire department to achieve a LEED Gold rating in the United States,” said DCVFD President and Captain Jeremy McPike.

McPike was instrumental in the construction of the $7.3 million building which opened last year. (more…)

Traffic
Traffic hot spots to avoid

Get ready for some road work in our area. Here is a list pf projects and places, provided to us from the Virginia Department of Transportation, you may want to avoid if you can.

Interstate 95 Widening

Nighttime work – Closures occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 south from Accotink Creek to Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va.123) – Two lanes closed Sunday – Thursday nights 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for  milling, paving and striping.

Weekday work – Closures occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. (more…)

Traffic
State urges use of Woodbridge – Tysons bus

The Woodbridge – Tysons Express Bus. (Urban Trekker)

Woodbridge, Va. –– As work on the High Occupancy Toll lanes continues on the Capital Beltway, state transportation officials want more drivers use the Tysons Corner Express bus to get around traffic delays.

The bus runs between the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express Station and Tysons Corner, and is one of two state-funded buses that provide free wireless internet to riders. It uses the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, but then uses the regular travel lanes on the Beltway to make it the rest of the trek.

“As part of our plan to keep traffic moving during this intense construction phase, we strive to move more people with fewer cars,” said Virginia Mega Projects Program Director John Lynch. “By providing vanpool incentives, express bus services and other ways to get around, commuters have more control over how they want to spend their time instead of getting stuck behind the wheel of a car.”

The push to get more people to use the bus comes while ridership numbers are going up. (more…)

News
Woman attacked in Lorton

The man who tried to snatch a purse from a Lorton woman, and then pushed her to the ground, looked like this. (Fairfax County police)

Lorton, Va. –– A woman told police a man tried to steal her purse, and now investigators have asked Lorton residents to keep an eye out for the would-be thief.

The victim was walking to her home in the 9400 block of Cherwek Drive, just off U.S. 1, at 8:50 p.m. Sept. 15, when a man approached her and grabbed her purse, said Fairfax police Franconia District spokesman Richard Henry on Thursday.

The purse was hanging around the woman’s neck by its strap, which prevented the man from taking it.

But a struggle ensued during the attempted theft, and the man grabbed the woman by the shoulder and threw her to the ground, said Henry. (more…)

News
New fire station logs 55 calls

Woodbridge, Va. — Dumfries Triangle Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, along with Prince William County opened their newest fire station on Sept. 11.

Since then crews at the station on River Ridge Boulevard in Woodbridge have been responding to emergency calls.

During its first week, through Sept. 17, fire and rescue crews responded to 55 incidents.

“The River Oaks Station 23 is filling a void area for fire and emergency medical services.  The station is providing relief to fire and rescue stations in Woodbridge, Dumfries-Triangle, and Dale City that previously responded to this area, said Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin J. McGee.

Those emergency calls were placed by residents who live within the station’s “first due” area, which includes River Oaks, Southbridge, Wayside Village, and Port Potomac.

Officials anticipate crews at the station will respond to about 5,000 incidents each year.

News
Weekend Finds

Miss Virginia Caitlyn Uze will appear at a talent show to benefit Children’s Miracle Network on Sunday at North Stafford High School. (Photo: Miss Virginia)

In this week’s Weekend Finds: It’s your chance to let the children watch a movie while you get dinner, one of the area’s largest craft shows comes back to town and Miss Virginia will stop by a talent show on Sunday to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Movie night equals smooth Friday night

You have worked a full week, and on Friday evening – once you make your way through traffic and pick up your child – treat yourself to a smooth evening by stopping by our local Wegmans to see the very entertaining movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid

This move is free, and dinner will be a breeze since Wegmans has plenty of tasty options to choose from.

Movie time begins at 7 p.m. at the large grocery store, at 14801 Dining Way in Woodbridge.

For more information call 703-763-5500.

(more…)

News
CoffeeBreak: Time flies as son turns into young man

Michelle Bond

How do I feel about school being back in session? I will simply say “yeah!” and do a “mommy-Moonwalk”.

This year my son started 9th grade.  He is now officially a high school student.

Last year my son was moved up from 7th to 8th grade.  A parent’s dream right?  Well, sort of.

The obvious fact would be that I am abundantly proud of my son, and am proud of the fact that he is able to learn and retain in a way I have never been able to accomplish.  I was never “that student,” you know – the student who would be expected to be on the honor roll. (more…)

News
Fairfax seeks input on “Great Parks” plan

A group of AmeriCorps volunteers clean up Mason Neck State Park in Fairfax County in May 2010. (Courtesy: Virginia State Parks)

Fairfax County is home to tens of thousands of acres of parkland, and officials are looking to improve them.

The Great Communities, Great Parks initiative was started in February 2007 as a way to guide park development between now and 2020.

Part of the plan will address how much new park land to acquire over the next 10 years, and how to protect the park land the county already owns.

Residents are invited to a meeting at the South County Government Center on U.S. 1, at 7 p.m. at Oct. 14. (more…)

News
Recession’s over, but homeless problem remains

By URIAH KISER

The recession may be officially over, but the homeless problem in Northern Virginia persists.

A new report out Monday declared the recession that has left many out of a job, struggling to pay the bills, ended in June 2009.

But many of those who lost their jobs are still without work, and a surprising number of Americans – 44 million – can’t afford to buy goods to feed their families.

Officials in Woodbridge are aware of the problem, as the area has a large homeless population that utilizes a cooling/warming shelter near a local bus terminal on Potomac Mills Road, and a homeless shelter on U.S. 1. (more…)

News
On a mission: Couple has helped others for 20 years

By URIAH KISER

Danny and Gayle Sanders say the linen closet at their Woodbridge homeless shelter is called Macy’s, making it easier for those who take donations to tell others where they got it from a familiar-sounding department store. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)It takes two very dedicated people to run the homeless shelter in Woodbridge.

Gayle and Danny Sanders since 1990 have managed the shelter on U.S. 1, between Optiz and Dale boulevards, known as the Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center.

The shelter didn’t get it’s official name until it was upgraded in 1999, but Gayle and Danny call their program “AfterShare,” because so many people who had once utilized the shelter’s services have come back to donate their time by sorting and gathering donations, and simply helping out where they’re needed.

It’s a place that few expect to end up living in.

“We see a lot of single parents and their kids come in here because apartment rents have gone up, and it’s hard for a single person to work a job and make enough money to live around here and support a family,” said Gayle Sanders. (more…)

News
Dumfries fire, rescue departments to share volunteers

By URIAH KISER

Dumfries Triangle Rescue Squad on Graham Park Road in Dumfries.

Dumfries, Va. –– Two volunteer rescue organizations in Dumfries have agreed to help each other.

A new signed agreement between the Dumfries Triangle Volunteer Rescue Squad and Dumfries Triangle Volunteer Fire Department will have volunteers from both companies working at both stations.

DTRS has been short handed as of late, and since fire volunteers are trained in rescue operations, the rescue squad will stand to benefit, officials said.

The agreement comes after the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue – the agency that funds the two departments when it comes to paying the bills for things like the lease, repair and maintenance of the buildings, utility bills, supplies and vehicle gas and maintenance – asked the two volunteer organizations to merge, said DTVFD President Virginia Hoskins. (more…)

News
Police want community feedback

Officials at the Franconia District Police Station in Fairfax want more neighborhood feedback.

They’re looking for more residents to become part of the station’s Community Advisory Committee, where they can share concerns about their community with police and increase communications between residents and the police department, said station spokesman Richard Henry.

During the meetings members are kept informed about safety issues in their neighborhood, and are encouraged to question officials during the meetings held every third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Call Sue Hotto at 703-354-1988 or email her sue.hotto@gallaudet.edu for more information.

Traffic
Try transit, win Amtrak tickets

If you pledge to try transit this week you could win tickets to ride Amtrak.

Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s OmniRide and OmniLink buses will be participating this week as part of Virginia’s third annual Try Transit Week.

Between now and Sept. 24, if you pledge to use transit your name will be put into a drawing for a pair of tickets for use on Amtrak Virginia, which provides service from the state to the Northeast U.S, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. (more…)

News
Storms could develop today

Strong to severe thunderstorms could sweep across the region this afternoon, bringing with them potentially damaging winds.

The storm risk will be at its highest this afternoon into the evening hours as an area of low pressure moves across the region, according to the National Weather Service.

If storms do develop, they will be the latest round of severe summertime weather to batter the Washington area in recent weeks. (more…)

News
3 charged in Craigslist robberies

Stafford County, Va. – Three men now face charges in a string of apparent Craigslist robberies, investigators say.

The attempted robberies date back to July 18, when two different victims were told to meet the suspects at a predetermined location in Stafford to pay for an iPhone and Playstation 3 the victims thought they had purchased on the popular trade services Web site, Craigslist, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. (more…)

News
Coastal flood advisory issued

Sunday morning’s rain has prompted a coastal flood advisory to be issued for the Potomac communities today.

According to the National Weather Service, the high tides along the Potomac River in Alexandria today will be at 1:14 p.m. and Aquia Creek in Stafford County at 11:28 a.m.

The rain will produce tides about 1 foot above normal and could cause minor coastal flooding in some areas, according to the weather service.

News
Friday Finds

In this week’s Friday Finds: It’s your chance to see a classic 80s movie outdoors, see a classic 80s rock band perform, and learn where you can take your children to a place where they can have fun and mom and dad can have a Friday night to themselves.

“Foosebumps” will play Yak-A-Doos in south Stafford on Aug. 19.

Back to the Future

What’s summertime without a free outdoor movie? Come to the lawn at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge for a showing of the 1980s classic “Back to the Future” and watch the teenage hero Marty McFly meet his parents when they were in high school in the 1950s, dance with a younger version of his mother at the high school dance, and with the help of a wild-eyed scientist, get back home to the year 1985. (more…)

News
Flash flood warning issued

7 p.m. UPDATE:

A flash flooding warning remains in effect for eastern Fairfax County until 8:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service noted a line of heavy rains and strong thunderstorms in the area just before 7 p.m.

The warning follows a long day of severe weather in and around the Washington area.

A tornado warning has been issued for Stafford County.

At 4:03 p.m., the National Weather Service says a storm that has produced a tornado near Aquia Creek has been spotted moving southeast at 25 mph.

The storm is moving in the area of Potomac Creek.

Residents in that area are encouraged to get indoors and take cover.

Traffic
New bus route proposed

Fairfax Connector

Fairfax Connector may soon have a new route between Huntington and the Engleside neighborhood.

Tranist officials will hold a public meeting at noon Saturday at the South County Center, at 8350 Richmond Highway, to discuss a newly proposed bus route, route 159.

The new route would bring changes to Fairfax Connector’s existing routes 151 and 152, according to a statement from the transit agency. (more…)

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