WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Prince William

Closings and cancelations

Forecasted snow totals for Jan. 11, 2011 (NBCWashington.com)

Update Wednesday 5:45 a.m.
Fairfax Public Schools will open two hours late. Offices open on time.

Prince William County Public Schools will open two hours late.

Stafford County Public Schools closed. Code 2 for employees.

Virginia Railway Express will operate on normal schedule Wednesday.

Update 6:45 p.m.
The meeting of the Stafford County School Board has been postponed until 7 p.m. Monday January 17, 2011.

Update 2:00 p.m.
Fairfax County Public Schools has canceled all after school and evening activities scheduled both on and off school grounds.

Update 12:50 p.m.
The Meet the Schools Superintendent event scheduled in Stafford has been canceled. The school board will still meet at 7 p.m.

Update 12:30 p.m.
Prince William County Public Schools have canceled all after schools and evening activities that were scheduled tonight.

Night school, GED and adult education classes also canceled.

The SACC program will close at 5 p.m.

Schools will not dismiss early today.

Original Post 10:13 a.m.

Stafford County, Va. –– Stafford County Public Schools will dismiss two hours early today.

Morning preschool will dismiss at 11 a.m., and there will be no afternoon preschool.

All evening and after school activities have been canceled.

The early dismissal comes as school officials had invited parents and members of the community to the school board headquarters tonight to meet Dr. Randy Bridges, the county’s new schools superintendent.

Bridges took over the county’s school system last month, after it had gone for four years under interim leadership.

There has been no word if the meet and greet session has been rescheduled.

Freezing rain to snow

(File) About two inches of snow fell across the Potomac Communities on Saturday Jan. 8, 2011.

Update 6:15 p.m.
We’re seeing freezing rain out there right now, in place of the snow that was supposed to develop by 4 p.m.

Because of it, the National Weather Service now says we could see less than the original forecasted amounts of  2 to 4 inches – we may now see only a dusting of snow.

The good news, says our friends at NBCWashington, the freezing rain – which is far more dangerous than snow – should changeover to snow within the next hour and a half.

Original Post 9:30 a.m.
While today’s snowstorm is looking like it won’t resemble anything like the winter wallops that hit us in 2010, snow is expected to begin falling this afternoon– about two to four inches – in the Potomac Communities.

At first, the snow is expected to be light, with the heaviest snow falling between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Wednesday. It should all taper off before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

It’ll be cold enough for snow, with temperatures hovering in the low 30s all day.

The entire region has been placed under a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service, which means wintry conditions are possible.

Our friends in New York City and New Jersey are under the much more serious winter warning, a winter storm warning. There, accumulations are expected to be higher, in the four to eight inch range.

Police nab man in Lake Ridge burglaries

Jason Thomas Blake, 29, of Woodbridge, faces charges in a string of burglaries that have occurred in that neighborhood since Dec. 16. (Submitted)

Lake Ridge, Va. –– An arrest has been made in case of a series of burglaries in Lake Ridge.

Jason Thomas Blake, 29, of Woodbridge, faces charges in a string of burglaries that have occurred in that neighborhood since Dec. 16.

During the spree, police believe at least 12 homes have been burglarized, and more than $60,000 in valuables taken from the homes combined.

Blake is one of two suspects police believe is behind the burglaries. He is charged with two counts of burglary, three counts of grand larceny, three counts of destruction of property, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses, drug possession charges and one contempt of court charge which stems from a previous arrest warrant for him reports NBCWashington.com.

Police are still looking for the second suspect in the case.

Most of the burglaries have taken place during daytime hours with the intruders entering the house through a rear door.

In some cases, the burglars have used bricks and rocks to smash windows and gain entry to homes.

Who hit the school bus?

Woodbridge, Va. –– Police say children were onboard a school bus when a car collided with it Friday and then sped off.

No one was injured, but police want to know who was driving the blue 4-door sedan that caused minor damage to the bus, about $100, when it collided with the bus at 2:32 p.m. in the area of Mount Pleasant Drive and Riggs Court, off U.S. 1 in Woodbridge.

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

Slug line changes on hold

(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.

Washington, D.C. –– Changes are coming this spring for commuters who slug home from Washington to Virginia.

The changes will affect multiple stops where slugs (passengers who ride in cars of three or more occupants to use Interstate 395/95’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes) are picked up each weekday afternoon, including one of the city’s busiest slug spots: 14th Street and Constitution Avenue.

See a map of the changes

That stop is being moved to 15th Street and Madison Drive, near the Washington Monument.

Other changes include moving the location of the stop D Street from 9th Street to 7th Street, the stop at 15th and New York Avenue onto actual New York Avenue, from 14th and F streets to F and 15th streets, and from the southern corner of 14th Street and Independence Avenue to the northern corner of the intersection.

The locations are being moved as the city is looking to improve traffic flow on its major thoroughfares, and because some of the slug traffic interferes with that of commuter and Metro buses, according to a report on Slug-Lines.com from the District Department of Transportation. (more…)

School textbooks up for review

The seal of Stafford County Public Schools.

Stafford County, Va. –– School officials in Stafford have invited parents to come review new textbooks that could end up in classrooms across the county.

The books up for review are math texts, technology education, music theory and choir, and family and consumer sciences.

The books will be on display at the England Run Library, Stafford Middle School and at the public schools administrative complex off U.S. 1 in Stafford, said schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim.

The following central review locations are accessible to the public as are the individual schools:

Mathematics (K-12)
England Run Library
Stafford Middle School Room 210 & Math Lab

Music Theory & Choir (9-12)
England Run Library
Alvin York Bandy Administrative Complex, PDC Building, Room 13

Family & Consumer Sciences
England Run Library

Technology Education (6-12)
Alvin York Bandy Administrative Complex, PDC Building, Room 13

52 cars crashed on 95 in Dale City

A 52-car pile up injured 10 people on I-95 today in Dale City.

Update 3:50 p.m.

Police now say 10 people were taken to the hospital this morning, and 52 cars involved in a crash that closed a portion of Interstate 95  in Dale City.

The crash happened at 8:08 a.m., when a truck slid into the rear of a tractor-trailer.

That crashed sparked a number of smaller crashes along the same stretch of road, resulting in the 52-car pile.

It all happened at the height of Saturday morning’s snowfall.  (more…)

Leesylvania to honor revolutionary Harry Lee

Woodbridge, Va. –– The father of confederate General Robert E. Lee was born in what today is considered Woodbridge.

Known as “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the historical figure served as a delegate to the continental congress, favored adoption of the U.S. constitution, and was Virginia’s ninth governor.

Leesylvania State Park, once a plantation on the Potomac River where Lee was born, will provide a tour of his birthplace, tell visitors of his life and accomplishments and showcase what life was like in colonial times.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Jan. 29, at the park’s visitor center. (more…)

Slide show: McDonnell, Redskins get fit

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell exercises with students from Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge as the Redskins donate a “Youth Fitness Zone” to the school. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell appeared alongside Redskins Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander on Thursday, when they donated a “Redskins Youth Fitness Zone” to a Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge.

The governor was joined by his wife, Maureen, and team owner Daniel Snyder and his wife, Tanya, were also on hand for the event.

While there, the McDonnell exercised with students inside the gymnasium.

He also told the crowd that his wife was a Redskins cheerleader when they met 35-years-ago. (more…)

Another Five Guys closes

Another Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant has closed.

After the company closed one of its Woodbridge locations last month, the popular Five Guys location in Salem, Va. (in southwest Virginia) closed its doors Dec. 31.

So far, the representatives from the Lorton-based burger chain have not said why they chose to close the locations.

A representative from the shopping center in Salem where the restaurant once sat told the Roanoke Times the burger joint appeared to be successful. (more…)

Dog ruling tough for parents who work full time

Ft. Belvoir, Va. –– Fairfax County Public Schools officials will allow 12-year-old Tyler Stevens, a student at Ft. Belvoir Elementary School, to bring his service dog to the classroom.

Alaya, the five-year-old German Shepard that assists Tyler – who suffers epilepsy, can be allowed in the school as long as both the boy and dog are accompanied by the child’s father, Army Sgt. Angelo Stevens.

The arrangement will be a difficult one because both of Tyler’s parents work full time jobs, NBCWashington reports.

School officials say the 12-year-old is not an adequate handler of the animal. (more…)

Video: New ice rink anticipated

The Prince William Ice Center collapsed in February 2010 following a major snowstorm. (Prince William Ice Center)

Dale City, Va. –– On the day the Prince William Ice Center collapsed after a snow storm last February, emergency crews, skaters and the center’s owners couldn’t believe it was gone.

The weight of the snow on the center’s roof caused the building’s steel supports to buckle and the roof to collapse.
Those inside said they heard strange noises and said they could see twisting steel just before the roof fell. The sights of twisting steel sent everyone inside running for their lives.

They all made it out safely, but it marked an end a building that since 1996 provided a place for children, parents, hockey leagues and others to enjoy a day on the ice.

Now there are plans to rebuild the center in the same spot it once sat, near the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Ridgefield Road. (more…)

Miss your chance to serve on the parks board?

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– If Fairfax Supervisor Gerald Hyland was looking to get a wide range of applicants who want to be his next appointee to the county’s park authority he didn’t leave them much time to apply for the job.

Hyland, in a press statement released Tuesday, announced Fairfax County Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Gil. S. McCutcheon told Hyland he would not serve a sixth term on the board, asking not to be reappointed.

The press release asked those who want to replace McCutcheon on the board should submit a resume and a one-page letter that states their views on public service and to identify key issues facing residents living in Hyland’s magisterial district. (more…)

Man’s body found in woods


Dale City, Va. –– A man was found dead Wednesday morning in Dale City.

The body of 60-year-old George Dwight Doughty was found at a homeless encampment behind Ashdale Plaza on Dale Boulevard.

Police said his death appears to be medical-related, but had no further information. (more…)

Governor, Redskins to be in Woodbridge

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell

Woodbridge, Va. –– Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will appear in Woodbridge on Thursday as the Redskins donate a new fitness facility to a local school.

The state’s top official and his wife, Maureen, will be on hand when the Redskins Charitable Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline donate the ‘Redskins Youth Fitness Zone” at Fred M. Lynn Middle School, at 1650 Prince William Parkway.

The event will take place at 3:30 p.m., according to McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson. (more…)

Victim ID’d, burglaries probed, crasher charged

Victim identified
The pedestrian struck and killed in Mt. Vernon on New Year’s Day has been identified as 58-year-old Marino Sorto-Reyes, of Alexandria.

Sorto-Reyes was killed after being struck by a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee as he was trying to cross U.S. 1 in the area of Janna Lee Avenue.

Police said the victim was not using a crosswalk. No charges have been filed. (more…)

High-speed rail board to set agenda Friday

The White House’s vision of high-speed rail in the U.S. in 2009.

Woodbridge, Va. –– The second meeting of the Virginia – North Carolina High-Speed Rail Compact will be mostly an organizational one, says one of the local legislators who represents Virginia on the board.

The 10-member board, which includes five members of the Virginia House of Delegates, an engineer and four members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, will meet Friday in Richmond.

Virginia Del. Richard Anderson, R-51 (Lake Ridge, Woodbridge) was tapped by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell to serve on the board.

The board is expected to identify what they will work on over the coming months at the meeting.

“We need to maximize any sort of federal grants we get so that we can press forward on the construction of high speed rail. I definitely agree with the Obama administration on high-speed rail. It’s something we need, and in our area, it’s much more doable than bringing Metro to Woodbridge,” said Anderson. (more…)

VRE brass to hold Web chat

VRE’s top official wants to hear from you tomorrow, and he wants to know how things are going on the rails.

Dale Zehner will hold one another one of his regular online chats will passengers of Virginia’s only commuter rail service Wednesday at noon.

In addition to Zehner, Keolis Transportation (the company charged with operating VRE trains) manager for the Manassas line Scott Treece, will also take part in the Web chat.

Riders can post their questions early to this page on VRE’s website. Questioners are urged to check back to the same link, as it is where the chat will take place, according to a VRE press release.

Related: The Virginia – North Carolina High-Speed Rail Compact is scheduled to meet Friday in Richmond to discuss a planned high-speed rail line between Washington and Charlotte, N.C.

Woman carjacked outside Safeway

Fairfax County, Va. –– A woman was carjacked at gunpoint outside a grocery store Wednesday.

The 38-year-old victim was coming out of a Safeway at 5980 Kingstowne Center in Fairfax County when a man approached her and then pointed a gun.

He demanded her purse, keys and cell phone, got them, and drove off her in her 1993 Toyota Camry. (more…)

Car slams into community center

A car slammed into a community center in Lake Ridge on Sunday. (Submitted)

Lake Ridge, Va. –– One person was taken to the hospital after their car crashed into building in Lake Ridge.

OWL Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department crews were called to an apartment complex on Sherbrook Circle just after 5 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, crews found a car had plowed into a community center, and rescue crews had to pull the unidentified driver to safety.

The driver was taken to a local hospital suffering injuries that did not appear to be life threatening, said OWL VFD Chief Jim McAllister.

No one was inside the building when the car plowed into the structure. (more…)

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