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News
Is Mt. Vernon right for a dog park?

Mt. Vernon, Va. –– Residents want a dog park in the Mt. Vernon area.

But first, officials say, there has to be a plan for one.

The 22-acre West Grove Park on Fort Hunt Road has long been eyed for a potential dog park, and if built would join seven others in Fairfax County that allow dogs to roam without the leash.

While residents want it, officials still need to make a master plan for West Grove Park that will govern what types of amenities are placed there, from playgrounds to facilities. (more…)

News
Can fire crews see your numbers?

Volunteer fire and rescue crews in Woodbridge are urging home owners to be prepared to be rescued.

If a fire or any other emergency breaks out at a home, rescue crews and fire fighters need to be able to clearly see the house number posted on each home as quickly as possible, officials said.

If the numbers aren’t posted, it could take longer for help to arrive in the event of an emergency. (more…)

News
NASA award goes to Stafford man

Stafford County, Va. –– A Stafford County man got top honors from NASA on safety.

Wayne Frazier, who works as a senior manager at the space agency’s headquarters in Washington, won NASA’s Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition award for 2010.

Frazier was recognized because he helped to manage a major revision to NASA’s safety manual, and developed a plan for mitigating the risks orbiting debris in space, stated a press release from the agency. (more…)

News
Chichester to retire

Stafford County Commonwealth Attorney Daniel M. Chichester.

Stafford, Va. –– Stafford’s key prosecutor is hanging it up after 40 years.

Daniel M. Chichester has served as the growing county’s Commonwealth Attorney since 1971, but announced Thursday he would not seek an 11th term in office.

Since taking the job Stafford’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office has grown from just him to an organization of 13 attorneys and a 14-member support staff. (more…)

News
Around Town

Powell's Creek in Woodbridge.

2 dead, others wounded in Manassas
Nearby News: Two people are dead and four wounded – including two females ages 15 and 77 — who suffered life-threatening wounds in Manassas on Thursday night.  The girl was shot and the woman had been cut with a machete, according to reports.

Stafford High School old and crowded
With so many people moving to the region because of the military’s BRAC relocation, will Stafford’s public schools be able to handle the extra students. One woman states she doesn’t think one county high school is up to the challenge.

And it’ll be a while for trash benefits
If Fairfax County decides to purchase the waste-to-energy plant in Lorton from the private agency which operates it now county taxpayers may not begin reaping the financial benefits from the purchase until 2036, financial planners say.

Stafford High School old and crowded

With so many people moving to the region because of the military’s BRAC relocation, will Stafford’s public schools be able to handle the extra students? One woman states she doesn’t think one county high school is up to the challenge.

News
Methane evacuees wait to return home

Stafford County Firefighter Lt. Mickey Carter uses a portable monitor to record methane levels around the row of evacuated town homes at the Woodstream subdivision on Feb. 9. (Marty van Duyne/For PotomacLocal.com)

North Stafford, Va. –– The occupants of five houses in North Stafford who were evacuated because of methane gas are still waiting to go home.

They were evacuated Tuesday night after someone reported a strange smell, which investigators from utility companies determined to be methane.

No one was sickened by the smell, but officials did remove those residents whose town homes were affected and placed them in a nearby hotel.

The American Red Cross is helping with the hotel tab, and the evacuees remained at the hotel Thursday afternoon.

County officials say they don’t know when they’ll be able to return to their homes as testing is still ongoing.

The homes sit in the area of Woodstream Boulevard and Short Branch Road, behind Stafford Marketplace off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610). (more…)

News
Doctor faces 5 charges in sex cases

Nizar Mohamed Hussain, 44, of McLean, faces charges in seperate sex cases, police say. (Submitted)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Police say three women were the victims of one doctor’s unwanted sexual advances, and in one case a woman was sexually assaulted.

The doctor inappropriately touched three separate victims – all adult women – on three different occasions last year, in his office at 2000 Optiz Boulevard in Woodbridge.

The alleged instances took place in March, September and December, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

In the September incident, a 52-year-old woman from Stafford was sexually assaulted, and In the March and December incident, the accused tried to kiss the victims – a 37-year-old woman from Lorton and a 37-year-old woman from Stafford, said Perok. (more…)

News
Mt. Vernon gets new parks representative

Lorton, Va.  — Linwood Gorham, a longtime resident of Lorton, will join the Fairfax County Park Authority Board as the Mount Vernon District Representative.  Gorham was named to the post by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland earlier this week. This is a four-year appointment and fills the post recently vacated by Gilbert McCutcheon, who retired. (more…)

News
Quantico center asks for rezoning

North Stafford, Va. –– The developer of the Quantico Corporate Center has asked Stafford County officials for a rezoning that would allow for office, retail and commercial space.

The developing center, at Boswell’s Corner in North Stafford, has done well amidst a down economy, and stands to blossom further when the military’s BRAC relocation is complete later this year.

The Fredericksburg Free-Lane Star has more.

News
Teachers honored

(Submitted)

Twenty-three Prince William County Public School teachers who earned National Board certification or recertification in 2010 and another 18 teachers nominated this year for “The Washington Post” Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award were recognized at a School Board reception on February 8 at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center in Prince William County.

School Board Chairman At-Large Milton C. Johns addressed the audience, saying, “It is teachers who, each and every day, touch the lives of our children. They are the ones who can truly make a difference. Teachers have a tremendous affect on students; theirs is an awesome responsibility.” (more…)

News
Woman dead after crash

Lorton, Va. –– A 57-year-old woman is dead this morning after she was involved in a crash on Ox Road (Va. 123). Police said speed could be a factor in the crash, but they do not expect alcohol to be involved. More from the official press release:

Police are investigating a fatal
crash that occurred around 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9. A
27-year-old man was driving southbound on Ox Road in a 2000 Chevrolet.
Sharon Parrish, 57, was driving northbound on Ox Road in a 2000 BMW.
Parish attempted to turn left onto Henderson Road when she was struck by
the Chevrolet. Sharon Parish, of 7998 Blooms Road, was dead at the
scene. The 27-year-old driver was transported to a local hospital with
minor injuries.

-Fairfax County police

Traffic
Commuters vent at town hall meeting

Brenda Higgins, a commuter affected by the parking changes at Potomac Mills mall, waits to add her comment at a town hall meeting held in Woodbridge on Wednesday. (Eric Spiegel)

By Eric Spiegel
For PotomacLocal.com

Woodbridge, Va. –– Brenda Higgins told a panel of officials she wouldn’t be shopping at Potomac Mills mall any time soon.

The panel was gathered for the commuter parking town hall meeting held in Woodbridge on Wednesday night.  Higgins was among many who were angered by the decision by outlet mall to reduce commuter parking from 1,000 spaces to 275. (more…)

Traffic
395 HOT lanes could still be considered

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton.

The idea of High Occupancy Toll lanes on Interstate 395 may not be entirely off the table.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton supports such toll lanes, and was a major player in finalizing the deal to transform the HOV lanes on I-95 to HOT lanes.

“If HOT lanes are as successful as we think they are going to be, then we will look more at the possibility of adding them to I-395,” said Connaughton.

His comments came less than 24 hours after Arlington County dropped its lawsuit that claimed the state and federal government officials did not complete a full environmental study of the proposed HOT lanesonce considered for  I-395. (more…)

News
Stafford, PWC schools closed

The seal of Stafford County Public Schools.

Stafford County Schools will be closed today, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011.

All staff and students should use caution when arriving at the school sites as parking lots and sidewalks may be slippery.

Other closings and delays:

Prince William County Public Schools closed today.

News
Around Town

Healthplex to break ground in Lorton
Inova Healthcare will begin construction of its long-awaited Lorton Healthplex later this summer.
The 50,000 square-foot, $20 million building has been planned since 2005, and will be smaller than its original concept.

One convicted in robberies, another trial to begin
A King George man was convicted in a string of robberies that took place in North Stafford.
He had an accomplice, and his trial will begin May 24.

Barn home wanted for cats
Fairfax County police need your help in finding homes for 22 feral cats seized in November.
The cats were seized during a hoarding investigation, and several have not been socialized with humans and are more suitable to barn homes.

News
Commuter town hall tonight

Commuters on Tuesday were greeted with yellow cones and barriers as they tried to park at a crowded parking lot at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge. (File)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Officials will hold a commuter parking town hall tonight in to update residents on the shrinking commuter parking situation in Woodbridge.

More to the story: Use our interactive map of commuter lots in the Potomac Communities that could provide a you a parking alternative to the Potomac Mills mall commuter parking lot.

It’ll start at 7 p.m. at the Ferlazzo Government Building at U.S. 1 at and Cardinal Drive.

Supervisors Frank J. Principi and Mike May will take questions from commuters who will be forced from parking at Potomac Mills mall, which last month announced they would decrease the number of commuter parking spaces there by 75 percent starting Monday. (more…)

News
Quinn’s opening new store

A lone worker Tuesday drilled into the façade of the new Quinn’s Goldsmith store.

A jeweler who’s been a staple of the Occoquan community for years is now expanding to Potomac Town Center.

Quinn’s Goldsmith plans to open its new store Thursday in the developing shopping center in Woodbridge, which is also home to Wegman’s grocers.

It won’t be a fanfare event (that will come on the store’s official grand opening date on March 2).

The new store will be a bit of a departure from their more traditional Occoquan store, targeting a slightly younger crowd, but the with same line of products their customers have come to expect from them over the years. (more…)

News
Five homes evacuated

Update 4:40 p.m.
Officials don’t know what caused methane gas to seep out of the ground causing the evacuation of five homes in North Stafford.

Gas crews, county and fire officials at a press conference Wednesday said they were working to find a solution to the problem and trying to locate the source of the gas. The utility company turned off services to the affected homes and that no one had gotten sick.

Those who had been evacuated could be back in their homes by tonight if utility companies gave the all clear, but it wasn’t clear if their utilities would be restored. (more…)

News
Bungalow hopes to open Thursday

The Bungalow Alehouse is Woodbridge is set to open.

The kitchen at Bungalow Alehouse in Woodbridge was cooking up food for members of the restaurant staff Tuesday night.

They, along with neighbors of the restaurant and lounge on Prince William Parkway, had been invited to opening night before the official opening night.

Bungalow plans to open to the public Thursday, after it acquires its license from the state’s ABC Board.

“It takes a lot of team work and it takes a great staff, and without their help we wouldn’t have been able to get where we are today,” said Bungalow manager Mike Halcomb. (more…)

Traffic
VRE hearing tonight

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

Virginia Railway Express will hold a public hearing tonight in Woodbridge about changes to its fare and bicycle polices.

The commuter railroad wants to reduce the Step-Up-Fare it charges those who opt to take Amtrak trains instead of VRE trains, from $10 to $5.

The hope is more riders will chose to board an Amtrak train bound for Washington, which will subsequently relieve crowding on the beleaguered commuter railroad. On many VRE trains it’s standing room only, say officials.

Officials also want to hear your comments about discontinuing the group fare policy, which allows riders in groups of 10 or more discounted fare. Many riders have complained about the special rate, VRE officials said. (more…)

News
Baseball clubhouse to get upgrade

G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge

Woodbridge, Va. –– Prince William officials have allocated money to pay for a portion of a $210,000 renovation of the Potomac National’s clubhouse.

In a vote Tuesday night, supervisors approved $70,000 for renovations to the locker rooms, restrooms and coaching offices at G. Richard Pfitzner baseball stadium in Woodbridge.

The team’s owner, Art Silber, and the Prince William Park Authority are expected to split the remaining two-thirds costs at $70,000 each. (more…)

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