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Prince William

News
‘The accused poured a glass of wine on the victim then threw her to ground and choked her’

From Prince William police: 

Strangulation | Abduction | Burglary | Domestic Related – On July 2 at 1:26AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 16000 block of Pitner St in Haymarket (20169) to investigate a domestic assault. 

The investigation revealed that the accused, an acquaintance, broke into the residence of the victim, a 45-year-old woman of Haymarket, while she was out walking her dog. When the victim returned home and found the accused inside, a verbal altercation ensued.

During the encounter, the accused poured a glass of wine on the victim then threw her to ground and choked her. The accused eventually took the victim to an upstairs bedroom where he prevented her from leaving for several hours. The accused also took the victim’s cell phone preventing her from contacting police.

At some point, the victim was able to use another phone to contact police and the accused fled the residence prior to officers arriving. A short time later, an officer with the Haymarket Police Department located the suspect’s vehicle in the area of the Walmart located at 6500 Trading Sq.

A police K-9 responded to search the area for the suspect. An officer located the accused a short time later and took him into custody without incident. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on July 2:

Kenneth Clayton GRIFFIN II, 44, of 12813 Wishing Well Way in Bristow

Charged with strangulation, abduction, burglary with intent to commit assault, grand larceny, assault & battery, and preventing the summoning of law enforcement

Court Date: August 9, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

News
Police search for suspect in Monique’s Boutique robbery

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On July 1 at 10:51AM, officers responded to Monique’s Boutique located at 13239 Occoquan Rd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that two unknown man entered the business and approached the counter. During the encounter, the suspects began to take jewelry from the counter. When the employee attempted to stop the suspects, she was pepper sprayed by the suspects. The suspects then fled the business on foot. Minor injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the suspects who were not located. The investigation continues.

Suspect Descriptions:

Hispanic male, approximately 20 years of age, 5’09”, with a thin build
Last seen wearing a long sleeve button down blue shirt

Hispanic male, approximately 20 years of age, 5’07”, with a thin build
Last seen wearing a black hat, black shirt, and white shoes

News
Volunteers 55+ needed to drive veterans to medical appointments in Prince William County

Good morning Prince William – have a safe and enjoyable July 4th celebration!

· Please mark your calendar for July 22 and join the Independence Empowerment Center for their 10th Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration. It will be held from 10am until 2pm at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas. Lots of fun is planned including a live singer, many informational vendors, games for children, and a silent auction. Phat Yummies will be back! Come visit after you leave the Farmers’ Market.

· House of Mercy has just kicked off their Shoes for Kids Drive and need your help collecting new, trendy school shoes by July 22nd for their kids. The goal this year is 192 pairs of fun shoes to start the new school year. You can drop them off at the center located at: 8170 Flannery Court Manassas or check out their website for more info at: houseofmercyva.org.

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is still looking for volunteers for the Area Agency on Aging’s Meal on Wheels program You can sign up for a regular day or be a substitute driver. It is easy to do just by picking up a few meals at the Senior Center kitchens in Manassas or Woodbridge and delivering to your route. Bring joy and combat hunger among our seniors! If you are age 55+ contact Jan at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team. Adults 54 and under please phone Melodee at 703-792-4583.

· RSVP is also in urgent need of volunteers aged 55+ who can drive veterans and/or their spouses to medical appointments in Prince William County. There is a particular need for volunteers in eastern PWC to help veterans retired from Quantico and Fort Belvoir. Volunteers pick up veterans at their home, take them to their appointment, and assist with filling a prescription (if needed) and transport the veteran safely home. It is wonderful way to say “thank you” to our veterans and their family members for their service, and it only takes a few hours out of a day. Contact Jan at 571-292-5302 for all the details.

· Helping Neighbors-in-Need Outreach Center needs volunteers to assist in the office Monday through Wednesday, 9:30am to 3:30pm. They had some great volunteers but guess what? They got jobs and had to move on! If you would like to assist the homeless, veterans, elderly, the most vulnerable rebuild their lives; the Outreach Center could sure use your help. There is a detailed position description available, please contact, Pastor Edmonds at 571-589-8146. (more…)

Traffic
Passenger was ejected from vehicle in E-ZPass lanes crash

Authorities closed the northbound I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes on Friday after a crash. 

From Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller: 

At 5:45 a.m.Friday (June 30), Virginia State Police responded to a vehicle crash in the I-95 Express Lanes at the 159-mile marker in Prince William County.

A 2004 Ford Explorer was traveling north on I-95 when it ran off the left side of the road, struck the Jersey wall and overturned two times. As the vehicle overturned, the front-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle.

The front-seat passenger was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital for the treatment of life-threatening injuries.

The driver and two other passengers were transported to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation at this time.

Traffic
Unusual I-95 delays have slowed OmniRide commuter buses since April

It’s common knowledge that traffic on Interstate 95 north is slow in the mornings as commuters head to work in Washington, D.C. In the afternoons, traffic on the interstate slows again as workers head south for home.

In the past month, however, that rule of the road has been tested. OmniRide commuter buses from Prince William County headed north on I-95 were delayed at least 12 times between May 25 and June 23.

The delays were caused by a mix of traffic congestion and crashes. The buses’ operator Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission relies on a smooth flow of northbound traffic in the afternoons to send empty, or “deadheaded” buses to Washington, D.C. to pick up evening commuters, and then turn around and use the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes to bring them home.

From PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo:

“Yes, there has been an increase in the number of days that PRTC buses have experienced afternoon traffic delays. The congestion is typically northbound in Newington from early afternoon until the evening. Later in the evening, the traffic is tending to back up northbound from the Pentagon to the 14th Street Bridge.

To maximize efficiency and minimize costs, many of our buses operate two separate trips in the afternoons – traveling from Woodbridge to D.C. early during the rush hour, dropping passengers off in the Prince William area, and then returning to D.C. to pick up more passengers.

These second rush hour trips are particularly vulnerable to traffic conditions because at that time of day the Express and [I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes] are pointed southbound. As a result, northbound PRTC buses are using the general lanes with everyone else.”

The delays have forced PRTC to re-assign bus drivers to other routes, as well as “constantly monitor” on-time performance. (more…)

News
South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits Quantico, grateful to the Marine Corps for helping family

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Photos: Mary Davidson

South Korean President Moon Jae-in laid a wreath at Quantico Marine Corps Base on this first official visit to the U.S.

From a National Museum of the Marine Corps:  press release sent before the event: 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Wednesday to pay his respects to the Marine Corps for helping to evacuate his parents from North Korea in 1950.

During his first official visit to the United States President Moon will lay a wreath, dedicate a tree and deliver remarks at the Chosin Reservoir Monument in the Museum’s Semper Fidelis Memorial Park.

The president’s parents were evacuated from North Korea by the 1st Marine Division following the culmination of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He continues to be very grateful to the Marine Corps for its assistance to his family and he credits those actions as contributing to his success.

Also delivering remarks will be Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller. Korean War veterans will attend the ceremony at the invitation of President Moon.

The Museum’s Korean War Gallery offers an opportunity to better understand the war. The Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Jae-in called the rescue of his parents one of the greatest humanitarian aides of all time.

Potomac Local Photographer Mary Davidson captured the images in this post. 

Jae-in is in the U.S. to visit with President Donald Trump for the first time since taking office last month.

 


Rippon Lodge’s annual World War II Days features free showing of ‘Stalag 17’ under the stars

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In a year of significant historical anniversaries, one thinks of World War II. This year alone, many will commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the Battle of Midway (June 4) and the Battle of Stalingrad (July ’42-Feb ’43). These, like many others, shaped the course of the war. Hearing the news of these conflicts on the Homefront was difficult for many people. There was a need to escape and remember there was still hope.

The music and film industries of the 1940s provided those much-needed outlets to find laughter and joy, although fleeting, during the war years. 75 years ago, on November 26, Casablanca, with Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall was released.

It took filmmakers only three months of principle photography to make the picture. Warner Bros. rushed Casablanca to theaters to take advantage of the Allied invasion of North Africa only weeks earlier.

With the classic line “Here’s looking at you,” and an all-star cast, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, and became one of the most iconic movies of all time.

Released 75 years ago, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, (with Anyone Else but Me)” was a hit of the Andrew Sisters. In actuality, it is a reworked song.

Originally written by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias, its first release was for the 1939 Broadway musical Yokel Boy. After the U.S. had entered the war, the songwriters modified the lyrics to their more popular form.

The song debuted to moviegoers in May 1942 where the Andrew Sisters performed it in the feature film, Private Buckaroo. The tune remained to be one of the most requested songs during the Andrew Sisters’ performing career. (more…)

News
Dale City 4th of July Parade to honor Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert

Ebert

From an email: 

The annual Dale City 4th of July Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4th.  Lineup for the parade begins at 9:00 a.m. at Kirkdale Road and Dale Boulevard for parade participants and the parade will end at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commuter parking lot at Center Plaza in Dale City. 

This year’s parade committee has chosen to honor Commonwealth’s Attorney, Paul Ebert as the 2017 Parade Grand Marshal.    Family Fun Day during the parade is from 11 am to 2 pm at the Center Plaza VDOT Commuter Lot.

Drivers can also expect a traffic pattern change during the parade, according to Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. 

The eastbound lanes of Dale will be closed between 8:30 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m. between Mapledale Avenue and Gerry Lane. Traffic will be forced to use the westbound lanes which will be split in both directions with cones.

 

KO Distilling celebrates Bare Knuckle American Rye release

Friends old and new gathered at KO Distilling in Manassas on June 17 to celebrate the release of the first rye whiskey bottled in the city since Prohibition.

Bare Knuckle American Rye Whiskey is the second in a line of spirits from the distillery, joining Bare Knuckle American Wheat Whiskey in the product line.

The whiskey release party featured live music, a barbecue food truck, tastings, and a cornhole game.

Traffic
Updated: Girl, 13, struck and killed by VRE train

One person was struck by a commuter train near Manassas.

A pedestrian was struck on a truss bridge over the Bull Run River at 3:13 p.m. Fire and rescue crews were called to Lake Drive behind General’s Ridge Golf Course to respond to the incident.

Rescue crews initially called for a helicopter and later called off the helicopter.

The incident disrupted service on Virginia Railway Express’ Manassas line:

Update

The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at 4 p.m.

The incident was determined to be in Fairfax County, according to Prince William County Fire and Rescue spokesman Matt Smolksy.

Update from Fairfax County police: 

Detectives are investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl who was fatally struck by a train today, June 28, around 3 p.m. Our investigation determined the victim was hiking in the area of Bull Run Bridge, near Clifton, with two family members, a 13-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man. The two teens were walking on the bridge when a train approached. The boy was able to get out of the way; unfortunately, the girl could not get off the tracks and was struck.

The fire department responded and pronounced her dead at the scene. Our detectives responded to investigate and are working closely with family, our public safety partners in Manassas Park and the railway and railroad companies. The victim was a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School.

News
Updated: Bullets strike vehicle in Triangle

From Prince William police: 

Shooting Investigation – Currently, officers are on scene investigating a reported shooting which occurred at the Southampton Apartment complex located in the 4100 block of Southway Ln in Triangle shortly before 2:30pm. Three individuals, unknown ages, were transported to an area hospital with minor non-gunshot related injuries.

Officers have located evidence of a shooting in the area; however, no gunshot related injuries have been reported. The suspect is believed to have left the area in a vehicle, unknown description at this time.

The scene at the apartment complex is contained. This is not an active shooter incident.

More information will be released as it becomes available. 

Updated

From Prince William police: 

Shooting Investigation *UPDATE – Detectives remain on scene continuing their investigation into this incident. The preliminary investigation has revealed the three victims, two adults and one child, were in a vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex when the gunfire occurred.

The suspect, believing to be in a black or dark colored SUV with temporary tags, fled the scene following the shooting. The vehicle occupied by the victims was struck. The driver of that vehicle also left the immediate scene. The three victims drove to nearby Inn St off Joplin Rd where police were contacted.

The injuries sustained by the victims appear to be minor in nature, potentially caused from broken glass. No gunshot injuries have been reported at this time. The motive behind the shooting is not known. The investigation continues.



New Listing: 32315 Deep Meadow Lane

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New Listing!! Custom Jeff Hall built colonial on 6.6+ acre lot in gated Meadowland. 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths with formal living room, dining room and sun-filled Florida room.

Elegant two-story hardwood foyer with palladium window. Beautiful granite kitchen w/natural cherry cabinets, large island, glass cooktop, ceramic tile backsplash & pantry. Convenient main level master suite w/walk-in closet, double vanity and marble shower.

Cozy family room w/gas log fireplace, decorative pillars & built-in shelves. Huge upper-level master suite overlooking woods w/sitting room, vaulted ceiling, ceramic tile, cultured marble tub & shower, separate W/C, pocket doors.

Bright & open finished walk-out basement w/huge rec room, wood burning fireplace, true 5th bedroom, full bath, den/exercise room, mud/laundry room w/utility sink & ceramic tile. Stamped patio leads to private in-ground swimming pool surrounded by professional landscaping.

Extra features include a 50-year engineered septic system, 405’ well (expertly designed), whole house generator, high-efficiency HVAC system.

Original owners have maintained this beautiful home in immaculate condition!! Move-in ready, a true 10+

Contact C.C. Bartholomew at 703-282-4800 or email cc@ccbartholomew.com email 

‘I was horrified to see the hands raised in opposition to adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy for students and employees’

From an email: 

I attended the June 21 PWCS School Board meeting looking for inspiration at a time of opportunity for our County to demonstrate its values. A vote against non-discrimination is a vote for discrimination. I was horrified to see the hands raised in opposition of adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the Non-Discrimination Policy for students and employees. 
I feel pity for the opposing members that history will record their objection to protecting vulnerable students and employees, and that their legacies will be tainted by a burning and panicked hatred of Chairman Sawyers, a leader who has shown courage and foresight amidst an onslaught of outrageous attacks. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Erika Bukva
Prince William County

News
Historic Manassas needs volunteers July 4 ‘Celebrate America’ party

Good morning Prince William – Historic Manassas needs volunteers for their Celebrate America event on July 4th in Old Town Manassas. Duties include direct vendors from 11:30-3pm, escort characters around from 5:30-8:30pm, check-in contestants from 2:30-5:30pm and lastly VIP rooftop assistance from 4-10pm. Please email Erin at:erin@historicnabassasinc.org with your choice. Happy Birthday America!

· House of Mercy has just kicked off their Shoes for Kids Drive and need your help collecting new, trendy school shoes by July 22nd for their kids. The goal this year is 192 pairs of fun shoes to start the new school year. You can drop them off at the center located at: 8170 Flannery Court Manassas or check out their website for more info at: houseofmercyva.org.

· Discover Prince William Visitor’s Center is looking for volunteers to work in their Occoquan Center Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. It’s a fun, friendly job. Please call Tamika at (703) 491-4045 to learn more.

· The SERVE campus of Northern Virginia Family Service is in Urgent need of volunteers on Wednesday, June 28th, 2016 from 9AM-1PM and 1-4PM to help warehouse staff take a complete inventory of food and supplies in our 8,000 square foot warehouse. Up to 15 volunteers are needed each shift. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and should be prepared to do moderate lifting. This is a great one-time opportunity which will help the agency to improve its food assistance program to the 650+ households who visit each month for help! Volunteers can feel good knowing they are helping us to make sure fresh food is given to families. Volunteers will also help us identify urgent food needs for clients. Please click here to sign up: http://signup.com/go/TMXRPOP or contact Navara Cannon at ncannon@nvfs.org

· You don’t want to miss this! Join in the fun with Super Hero Bunco Game Night on Friday June 30th, 5:30-9pm at the Wellington Community Center. Sure to be a blast to support all the great programs at Project Mend A House. Please call Liz at (571) 264-9228 to reserve your tickets. (more…)

News
Dumfries waitress hits Virginia lotto, will pay bills, save cash

From a press release:

If Regina Wilner had only known that Virginia Lottery ticket she’d tossed in her purse was worth $250,000, she might have scratched it sooner. Instead, the Dumfries woman went about her business all day, leading to a big surprise that evening.

When she finally scratched the $250,000 Double Play ticket, she didn’t trust her eyes.

“I didn’t think I’d won,” she said. “I asked my brother, ‘Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?’”

She’d become the second player to win the top prize in $250,000 Double Play (game #1765), which means two top prizes remain unclaimed in this game. The game features prizes ranging from $5 up to $250,000.

Ms. Wilner, who works as a waitress, said she has no immediate plans for her winnings except to pay bills and save the rest.

The odds of winning the top prize in this game are 1 in 1,040,400. The odds of winning any prize in $250,000 Double Play are 1 in 4.32.

News
Man in hotel barricade dies from self-inflicted wounds

From Prince William police: 

Shooting Investigation *UPDATEOn June 25, the male suspect involved in the shooting at the Quality Inn located at 1109 Horner Rd in Woodbridge on June 12 died as a result of his injuries. Based upon the autopsy conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office on June 26, and the police investigation, the death of the suspect, identified as James Edward BISHOP, is being classified as a suicide. The investigation revealed that the victim and BISHOP were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, BISHOP shot the victim in the head before fatally shooting himself. The victim has subsequently been released from the hospital and is expected to recover.

Identified:

The deceased was identified as James Edward BISHOP, 55, of New York

News
Prince William Chamber urges officials support new Potomac Nationals stadium in Woodbridge

From a press release: 

This morning the Board of Directors of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce unanimously voted to endorse the proposed Potomac Nationals stadium in eastern Prince William County. After several months of meetings with representatives from the County and the project, Chamber Board members agreed the new stadium represents a significant economic opportunity that should not be missed by Prince William County.

“Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their new strategic plan. That plan calls for what the County has branded as their ‘moonshot goal’ of more than doubling the existing commercial tax base,” said 2017-2018 Chamber Chairman, Jim Elliott. “Projects like this one only come around but so often and if the County is serious about meeting their economic development goals, they should support these types of initiatives.”

The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee Chairman, Gary Jones, II, stated, “I hear from business owners regularly on how they would like to see our region be more aggressive in terms of our approach to economic development. I am glad that the Chamber’s Board voted to endorse the stadium. This project, along with the great work JBG Companies has already done in the corridor, has the opportunity to fundamentally reshape economic development in eastern Prince William County.” 

See attached letter sent to Prince William Board of County Supervisors.



Starting July 3, ask PRTC OmniLink for a pickup or drop off at Manassas Park Community Center

Beginning July 3, the Manassas Park Community Center will be an On Demand PRTC OmniLink Bus Stop.

PRTC (Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission) is a public bus transportation system in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.

OmniRide offers commuter buses going to DC, the Pentagon, Mark Center and Tysons. OmniMatch specializes in carpooling and vanpooling, and OmniLink is the designation used for local bus service. Remember Link = Local!

In a September 2015 survey, 40% of riders on Manassas OmniLink and Manassas Park OmniLink buses said they ride a PRTC bus 5 days/week, and another 31% ride 1 to 3 days/month. These riders also indicated that the places they travel via PRTC bus are: work 54%, shopping 45%, doctor or medical visit 26%, college or technical school 23%, social or recreational 15%, K-12 school 10%, and other 5%.

“PRTC buses are partially funded by tax dollars because the fare you pay on our buses is a fraction of the cost to operate,” said Christine Rodrigo, Public Relations Specialist for PRTC, “the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and Prince William County subsidize us so that we can keep our fares reasonable.”

PRTC responded to multiple public suggestions of adding another stop in Manassas Park at the Manassas Park Community Center. This new bus stop will be an On Demand stop. If you are not familiar with what an On Demand stop is, it simply means that the bus will not stop at an On Demand stop unless a rider requests the driver to stop there. (more…)

Traffic
A portion of Dale Boulevard closes Wednesday morning for future traffic light installation

From a press release: 

Westbound Dale Blvd (Route 784) between the off-ramp to southbound I-95 and the on-ramp from southbound I-95 will be closed Wednesday, June 28 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. to install a traffic signal pole and mast arm, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Drivers on southbound I-95 will still be able to exit onto westbound Dale Boulevard via Exit 156B, and drivers on westbound Dale Boulevard will still be able to exit onto southbound I-95.

The work is part of the project to realign the ramp and add a traffic signal so that traffic from southbound I-95 can merge more safely onto westbound Dale Boulevard. The project is scheduled for completion later this summer.

Traffic
Those standing on VRE trains need to get off, back on starting July 3

From an email: 

Queueing is when passengers stand at the doorway, making it difficult for others to detrain at their stop. Queueing on VRE trains is an ongoing issue that is frequently brought to our attention. As our ridership has risen, the problem has intensified.

Starting Monday, July 3rd, VRE will be enforcing a new policy:

All passengers standing at each stop will detrain.
This is to ensure that everyone who wants to get off can. Those who wish to resume the train ride will be let back on, but they must first detrain. Once everyone has boarded, the train can depart.

We appreciate your cooperation.

News
Fairfax police nab man suspected of stealing truck, impersonating cop

From Prince William police: 

Impersonating a Police Officer | Stolen Vehicle *ARREST – On June 23, detectives with the Intel Unit were notified by detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department that they had identified and arrested the suspect who had impersonated a police officer in the area of Prince William Pkwy and Reids Prospect Dr in Woodbridge on June 18 while driving a stolen white 2016 Chevrolet Silverado. The accused, identified as Tyson RASCHER, was charged by Fairfax for charges related to the stolen vehicle. Detectives with the Prince William Police Intel Unit subsequently obtained additional charges for impersonating a police officer and eluding police.

Arrested on June 23:

Tyson RASCHER, 19, of 6020 Martins Landing Ln in Burke

Charged with impersonating a police officer: 3rd offense and eluding police

Court Date: July 20, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

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