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P.F. Changs coming to Woodbridge

An artist’s rendering of what Potomac Town Center will look like once fully developed. (Roadside Development)

Woodbridge, Va. –– P.F. Chang’s China Bistro will join a growing list of upscale retailers and restaurants in the expanding Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge Supervisor Frank J. Principi’s office in statement Wednesday morning confirmed the popular restaurant chain has signed a lease for a 7,000  square foot space with Roadside Development, developers of the town center, adding the restaurant to a list of seven other P.F. Chang’s locations in the Washington area, including Fairfax, Tysons Corner and Arlington, according to the company’s Web site.

The restaurant will join Wegmans grocery store, Uncle Julios Rio Grande Café, Zoes Kitchen, as well as retail stores like AT&T and clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank.

P.F.  Chang’s first opened its doors in an Arizona shopping mall in 1993. (more…)

Man found at Metro station shot himself

Fairfax County, Va. –– Police in Fairfax County say a man who was found in the parking lot of a Metro station earlier this month suffering a gunshot wound shot himself.

The 32-year-old victim was found by police in Alexandria at 10:24 p.m. Oct. 4, at the Huntington Station on Metro’s Yellow line, suffering a gunshot wound to his lower body, police said. (more…)

As homeless rate rises, volunteers work to beautify shelter

Volunteers donated their time Sunday to cleaning up the Volunteers of America Chesapeake Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/

Woodbridge, Va. –– J.D. nearly died last year after two decades of living in the woods.

His health failing after years of alcohol abuse and doctors telling him he had only weeks to live, volunteers with the AfterShare program in Woodbridge convinced him to come to the Volunteers of America Chesapeake Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter on U.S. 1.

It changed his life, and he has since moved out of the woods, is now recovering from alcoholism and rents a room nearby.

On Sunday he came back to the shelter, donating his time to clean up what was someone else’s campsite in the woods, which brought back memories of his own. (more…)

Across Town: Student-run credit union opens at Belvoir

Ft. Belvoir –– The credit union is once again open for business at Fort Belvoir Elementary School.

Belvoir Federal Credit Union reopened its student-run branch at the elementary school on the Army base, as it does every October, to provide students, faculty and staff the convenience of having a credit union on campus.

The branch also promotes financial literacy and responsibility to the students, said credit union spokeswoman Amy Shanks. (more…)

Doughnut shop burglar, shooting keep police busy

Lake Ridge, Va. –– A man with a baseball bat who police say climbed through the drive through window of a Dunkin Donuts, a shooting into a home and a home break in kept officers in Woodbridge busy this week.

At 1:55 a.m. Thursday, an employee at the doughnut restaurant on Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge told police he saw a man with a walk up to the window.

That employee ran from the window to the parking lot, and the man then climbed in, took an undisclosed amount of cash, and then fled the scene with two other men who were waiting outside in a car, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Police said two of the men were wearing ski masks, black jackets and blue latex gloves. A witness could not provide a description for the third man, police said. (more…)

Empty police car slows drivers

Officials in Fairfax County use an unmanned marked police car to encourage drivers to slow down. (Submitted)

Lorton, Va. –– Police in Fairfax County say the ghost cruiser works.

The unmanned marked police car was parked last month on Pohick Road, near the overpass of Interstate 95, as a part of a special traffic study.

During one phase of the two-part test, officers studied the speeds of the drives on Pohick Road without the squad car present. Then they parked the car and monitored speeds, and as if it were almost a no-brainer, people slowed down when they saw the car.

“The results indicated that the ghost cruiser had a significant impact on the speed of passing motorists. The average speed of the vehicles was reduced by over 9 percent, and the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph was cut in half,” said Fairfax police spokesman Richard Henry.

Officials have parked the car in a variety of places and police each time note a decrease in traffic and speeding violations. (more…)

Stalled frieght train affects commute

*This story has been corrected

Woodbridge, Va. –– Passengers onboard a stopped Virginia Railway Express have been told to get off at on the far track at the Rippon station.

VRE’s Fredericksburg line train had to work its way around a stalled freight train south of Woodbridge Thursday afternoon, said VRE spokesman Mark Roeber.

The train left Union Station in Washington at 4:40 p.m.

An earlier version of this story reported passengers were being forced off of the train at VRE’s Rippon station, which was incorrect.

Woman died from knife attack

Update 3:30 p.m. – Murder victim identified

Police now say it was a domestic dispute the led to the death of a Falls Church woman Wednesday night in a Springfield restaurant.

Tieu L. Nguyet, 37, of 3235 Kenny Drive was killed in a knife attack, said Fairfax County police.

She died after she suffered trauma to her upper body.

Police have charged 40-year-old Lam Dang, of 6801 Floyd Avenue in Springfield, with murder in connection to her death. (more…)

D.C. forces slugs from 14th Street

An OmniRide commuter bus bound for Dale City on Tuesday stops at 14th Street and New York Avenue in Downtown Washington and picks up about 40 passengers as slugs looked on.

Washington –– Tensions rose Tuesday afternoon when Lake Ridge commuters were told they could no longer slug from a busy street in Downtown Washington.

About 15 slugs – commuters who ride in cars of three or more passengers so they can use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 – were handed fliers from the Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation, stating they could no longer stand and wait to be picked up on 14th Street, between H Street and New York Avenue.

The slug line will be relocated one block over, to the less-congested 15th Street, the flier stated.

The change, which officials say will be a two-week trial as they look to see if traffic flow on 14th Street improves without drivers stopping to pick up slugs, came as a surprise for many who now fear they’ll be left without a ride home. (more…)

Mall ramps up commuter parking enforcement

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.

Woodbridge Va.  –– Those who arrived at the Potomac Mills mall commuter lot after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday were met with cones and barriers, and many were forced to park their cars elsewhere.

Members of the mall’s security force were out Tuesday corralling commuters, whom in recent days have apparently taken up more spaces than the mall allows.

“While Potomac Mills has an agreement with Prince William County to provide 275 spaces for commuter parking, we have been providing at least 975 spaces for several years, more than any other private property owner in the county. Also for several years, each weekday morning our security team has been placing barricades to clearly identify the 975 designated parking spaces, making it easier for commuters to understand in which spaces they may park,” said Potomac Mills spokeswoman Caroline Barry Green. (more…)

Wartime museum approved

Dale City, Va. –– The American Wartime Museum is coming to Dale City, and is slated to become another destination in a developing military history corridor along Interstate 95.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the $50 million museum Tuesday, which will sit on about 70 acres of land off Dale Boulevard and Interstate 95, behind a K-Mart store.

The museum is expected to attract hordes of money-spending visitors to the area, but some don’t want the museum in their backyard. (more…)

Church to be built taller, boast large signs

An artist’s rendering of what one of two new 20-foot high signs at Harvest Life Changers church will look like, once the church is constructed in off U.S. 1 in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Officials in Prince William County voted unanimously to allow a church to be built a bit taller, and to allow the congregation to erect two electronic signs along busy U.S. 1.

Harvest Life Changers church in Woodbridge, when finished, will be located on Neabsco Mills Road.

With the county Board of Supervisors’ approval Tuesday night, the church will now stand 80 feet tall – 35 feet higher than what a zoning ordinance in Woodbridge currently allows.

The new church will also boast two 20-feet high electronic message board signs, each with a 125-feet sign area, according to county documents.

After the board approved the request, at least 100 members of the churches congregation cheered. (more…)

Fatal Lorton fire caused by candles

Lorton, Va. –– The fire that killed a mother and her two children was caused by candles, officials said.

Those candles were left burning unattended in the home of 24-year-old Eileen Cecilia Langham-Anderson,  at 9639 Hagel Way in Lorton on Sept. 22, said Fairfax County Department of Fire and Rescue officials.

Langham-Anderson and her sons, 3-year-old Alfonso and 5-year-old Solomon all died in the blaze.

There cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation and burns to the body, said officials.

Their deaths mark 10 fatalities due to fire this year in Fairfax.

Woman e-mailed, then sexually assaulted

Woodbridge, Va. –– Police have investigated a possible connection between a series of sexually explicit e-mails and a sexual assault.

ABC 7 News reports a 21-year-old woman had just walked inside of her home in the 3000 block of Fox Lair Drive in Woodbridge, about 3:10 a.m. Sept. 22, when a man forced his way in behind her and sexually assaulted her.

That man got away, and is said to have been 6 feet 2 inches tall with a heavy build.

After the assault, the victim told police about the sexually explicit e-mails she had received, which propositioned her for sexual photos. (more…)

New slug line starts Oct. 19

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Commuters can rejoice as a new slug line to Alexandria starts Oct. 19. in their quarterly newsletter announced the new slug line, which for the first time will take commuters directly to Alexandria.

The new line is in addition to other slug lines that take Virginia commuters to Washington, Crystal City, The Pentagon and Rosslyn. (more…)

Fairfax to collect trash despite holiday

Just because Monday is a holiday it doesn’t mean the trash won’t be picked up in Fairfax County.

County officials want residents to know that customers who regularly have their solid waste picked up on Monday will still have it collected this Monday, Columbus Day.

They remind residents that all trash should be on the curb by 6 a.m. to ensure that’s it’s collected.

The county’s landfill at 9850 Furnace Road, and the county’s recycling center on West Ox Road, will also be open during normal business hours Monday.

The county’s administrative offices will be closed Monday in observance of the holiday.

U.S. 1 re-pavement project to finish in early Nov.

Fairfax County, Va. –– A large stretch of U.S. 1 near Ft. Belvoir now being repaved should be finished by early next month, officials said.

The 8-mile, $3.3 million project will see the re-pavement of the road surface between Mount Eagle Drive and Backlick Road in south Fairfax County comes as more than 20,000 jobs are expected to relocate to Ft. Belvoir by September 2011.

Work to repave the road began in early August, and it’s expected to be finished by the first week of August, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer McCord. (more…)

Worker pulled from trench

A worker became stuck in some mud Monday afternoon, prompting rescue officials to come pull him out. (ABC 7)

Update 4:30 p.m. – Man pulled from trench

Lake Ridge, Va. –– The man who became stuck in trench in Lake Ridge on Monday afternoon has been pulled to safety.

The victim was extricated from the muddy trench at 4:24 p.m. and was flown to Fairfax Innova Hospital, said Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department spokeswoman Kim Hylander.

The victim’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, and he was flown to the hospital as a precautionary measure, said Hylander. (more…)

One lane on I-95 reopened

A helicopter lands on I-95 in Dale City after a three-car crash forced the closure of the highway. (VDOT)

Update 3 p.m. – Highway opening back up

One lane of traffic has been reopened following a crash that injured a Virginia State Police trooper.

That lane, at exit 160 just north of Woodbridge, was reopened at 3 p.m., according to the Prince William police department.

The crash happened about 1:30 p.m., involved three cars, and forced rescue crews to take two people – including the state trooper – to the hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life threatening, according to officials.

The crash happened near mile post 158, at Prince William Parkway, and spurred delays of six miles or more, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. (more…)

Guilty plea entered in Popeye’s slaying

Daniel Lipscomb, 28, pled guilty to abduction in the 2008 death of a 23-year-old fast food restaurant manager. (News & Messenger)

Woodbridge, Va. –– The man charged in the 2008 murder of a fast food manager pleaded guilty this morning.

According to News & Messenger, Daniel Lipscomb, 28, pleaded gulty of abduction this morning in Prince William County court, and the judge accepted. That clears the way for him to be sentenced to five years in prison.

Lipscomb was charged after he entered the Popeye’s Chicken restaurant in Smoketown Plaza in Woodbridge on Jan. 22, 2008, demanded cash from the 23-year-old manager, and shot the manager in the head when he told Lipscomb he couldn’t open the safe, police originally reported.

The victim was rushed to Potomac Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

VRE addresses Fredericksburg line delays

More delays this morning prompted Virginia Railway Express officials to once again open the Metro option for its riders, which allows VRE passengers to board Metro for free with a valid VRE ticket.

This afternoon, the commuter railroad has issued an explanation of what prompted the move.

Monday’s delays also forced the agency to hand out free rides to those who were inconvenienced. (more…)

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