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Community comes together to plant pinwheel garden

Community members, Prince William County employees and county officials come together every spring to “plant” a pinwheel garden to remind people of the importance of the prevention of child abuse and neglect. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the blue pinwheel is used as a symbol to raise awareness about child abuse.

This year, about two dozen people gathered to place blue pinwheels in the ground in front of the McCoart Government Center to commemorate the month and bring attention to this important topic. (more…)

News
Prince William leaders defiant despite state approval of Haymarket power line: ‘We won’t back down’

HAYMARKET, Va. — Dominion Virginia Power is clear to build a new 234-kilovolt, nearly 10-mile electric transmission line in Haymarket.

Virginia State Corporation Commission officials said two of the alternative routes, the Railroad Route or the Carver Road Route “meet the statutory criteria” for the project.

The power line, if built along the either of the approved tracks, run above ground.

The railroad route will see the line stretched from an existing transmission line near the intersection of Interstate 66 and Route 234, across I-66, then along the westbound portion of the highway. The line will once again cross I-66 near the intersection of the Interstate and Route 28 in Gainesville and then will meander along the Norfolk-Southern Railway until the power line reaches its terminus at a new substation near a Walmart shopping center on Route 55 outside Haymarket.

The Carver Road route follows a similar path along down I-66 to the intersection of Route 29, runs a partial length down the railroad, but then branches off and traverses close to the Somerhill, Hopewell’s Landing, Kenard Ridge, and Haymarket Landing neighborhoods.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors didn’t support either route, but rather a hybrid route that would have seen a portion of the transmission line run above ground, and another part buried. Dominion officials at a series of community meetings in 2015 told the public that lines that run above ground last longer require less maintenance, and are more efficient. (more…)

News
Local police officer and husband arrested for domestic assault

Morbeto, Mark
Morbeto, Stephanie

From Prince William County Police:

Domestic Assault & Battery | Police Officer Arrest – On April 8 at 4:03 a.m., officers responded to a residence located in the 8100 block of Erika Drive in Manassas to investigate a domestic assault. The investigation revealed that two known parties were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, both individuals allegedly assaulted one another.

(more…)

News
Prince William County to hold a “Conversation with the Chief”

From Prince William County Police:

Board of County Supervisor Ruth Anderson of the Occoquan District and Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Old Bridge Elementary School located at 3051 Old Bridge Rd in Lake Ridge starting at 7:00 p.m.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from community members and residents. This is a great opportunity for the community to get to know their police department better.  (more…)

News
We’re now publishing all obituaries from every funeral home in Prince William County

For seven years since starting Potomac Local, one of the biggest complaints I heard from our readers and residents of our community is that there is no one single source to read all of the obituaries following the demise of the Potomac News / Manassas Journal Messenger newspapers.

Potomac Local just solved this problem by building a NEW, comprehensive obituaries section that automatically posts obituaries from all funeral homes in Prince William County and Manassas.

Here’s how it works:

— Funeral homes post the obituary to their respective websites

— Potomac Local picks up the obituary from the funeral home website and automatically and publishes the post to PotomacLocal.com

— The post appears in two places on our site:

1. Potomac Local Homepage
2. Potomac Local Obituaries section

— When Potomac Local readers click the obit, the user is taken to the respective funeral home website to read the obit/see the photo/read and sign the guestbook

— There is NO CHARGE to the funeral home or bereaved to have the obit posted by Potomac Local

Before the launch of our new obituaries section, Potomac local accepted submitted obituaries for a small fee.

It’s fair to say that I underestimated the value of featuring complete obituaries to our website.

The stories featured in our obituaries section are important because these are people who contributed to our community, and we should remember each and every one.

News
Bristow man hospitalized after plane crash

From Virginia State Police: 

At 1:40 p.m. Saturday (April 8, 2017), Virginia State Police were notified of a plane crash that occurred at the Culpeper Regional Airport in Culpeper County.  The plane was a 1949 North American T6G, fixed-wing, single-engine, two seater aircraft.  The aircraft was attempting to land at the airport when it ran off the side of the runway and overturned. 

There were two occupants in the aircraft at the time of the crash, the pilot is identified as Daniel Allen Haug, age 56 of Culpeper, Virginia and passenger as John Reed Reavis Jr., age 74 of Bristow, Virginia.  The pilot was transported to Culpeper Hospital and the passenger was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital.

The Virginia State Police along with and FAA are investigating the incident to determine the causative factors that lead to the crash.

Traffic
More info on major upcoming VDOT work to repair the I-95 bridge over Neabsco Creek in Dale City

From VDOT: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation urges drivers to avoid southbound I-95 in Dale City for two weekends, April 29-May 1 and May 5-8, as lanes will be closed for bridge deck repair. Congestion and delays are expected to be extensive.

· Southbound I-95 will be reduced from three to two lanes over Neabsco Creek (mile marker 156) from 9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 1, and again from 10 p.m. Friday, May 5 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 8.

· Ramps from eastbound and westbound Dale Boulevard to southbound I-95 will also be closed to all except emergency vehicles.

· The southbound car-only safety rest area will also be closed.

The bridge, originally built in 1963, has been regularly inspected and maintained, and remains safe, but is in urgent need of large-scale repairs to sections of the deck. The needed work will include saw-cutting and jackhammering out three bridge sections, the largest being 10 feet by 33 feet, replacing the reinforcing rebar, and pouring new concrete. Work will affect the bridge deck, joint, and abutment. (more…)

Traffic
McPike talks tough on toll lanes at Manassas town hall

MANASSAS, Va. — State Senator Jeremy McPike (D-Manassas, Prince William) took a hard stance against the E-ZPass Express toll lanes on Interstate 95.

“This is the biggest land giveaway I have ever seen,” McPike on Thursday, April 6 told a crowd of about 70 attendees at a joint town hall with Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, who’s also seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia Governor in the coming June 13 Primary Election.

“We’re going to have to find a way to uncouple ourselves from this deal,” he added.

The 2011 deal made before he was elected in 2015 to replace the long-serving Charles Colgan, handed over the exiting I-95 HOV lanes from Dumfries to the Pentagon to the private Australian firm Transurban to improve, and to toll for 80 years. The lanes were extended to Garrisonville Road in North Stafford, and a third toll express lane added between Prince William Parkway and Alexandria.

But the addition of a fourth lane to the regular southbound travel lanes, along a heavily congested two-mile stretch of highway between Route 123 in Lake Ridge and Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge, is what has the senator so riled. (more…)

News
Van slams into Pizza Hut in Lake Ridge

Six people were inside a Pizza Hut when a van crashed through the front window.

No one was injured when a van collided with the pizza delivery depot in Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge about noon Friday.

Fire and rescue crews were called to the scene about noon, and tell they tell us no one was taken to a hospital.

News
Judge denies former Dumfries building inspector motion for $500,000 in damages

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Former Dumfries Town Building Official Ray Jackson won’t be able to seek punitive damages or recoup attorneys fees in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Jackson claims that he was fired without cause or a hearing before the town council, as stipulated in state code, in September 2016. He was hired nine months earlier as the town’s part-time code enforcement officer and was promoted to building official in July 2016.

All of this has sullied his reputation and impacted in income, Jackson’s attorney Sid Kirstein said. Prince William Circuit Court Judge Steven S. Smith denied Jackson’s motion to collect $500,000 for punitive damages, and to recoup attorney fees.

Kirstein said he would continue to push to recoup his client’s lost salary, about $5,000 dating back to September 2016 through the conclusion of the trial. (more…)

VFW Post 7916 honors Vietnam veterans from the community

Veterans of Foreign War Post 7916 hosted the Vietnam Veteran Recognition Ceremony that honored Veterans who fought in the Vietnam War from the Woodbridge & Occoquan Community.

The honorees are: Marvin Coon, U.S. Army; Major David G. Cotts, U.S. Army; Wayne Dearie, Master Chief Boiler Technician U.S. Navy, Colonel Eugene Detrick, USAF; Harold “Ralph” Holecek, Boiler Technician Second Class U.S. Navy; LTC Mark H. Magnussen, U.S. Army; PFC John C. Prosch, Jr., U.S. Army; Captain Walter Schatz, U.S. Army; Captain Howard J.T. Steers, U.S. Army; Kenneth J. Strafer, U.S. Army and their families for their Vietnam service and sacrifice. (more…)

Come visit Congregation Ner Shalom

Congregation Ner Shalom is a diverse congregation reaching out to all people and making a conscious effort to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.

Rabbi Lizz Goldstein is a progressive and welcoming rabbi who relates to all age groups and all faiths. She has been the catalyst for interactive, interfaith and multi-cultural services that are a pure joy to attend. Have small children? Join the congregation for Tot Shabbat, an earlier Friday evening service for tots. (more…)

News
Suspect named in Gainesville stabbing

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding | Stabbing Investigation *SUSPECT IDENTIFIED – On March 31, detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau identified the suspect involved in stabbing that occurred in the 7600 block of Somerset Crossing Dr in Gainesville on March 22. Following the investigation, detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of this suspect, identified as James Bucky MCCLOUD. Attempts to MCCLOUD have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues.

Wanted: [Photo from December 2012]

James Bucky MCCLOUD, 31, of No Fixed Address

Described as a white male, 5’07”, 180lbs with hazel eyes and brown hair

MCCLOUD may be driving a 2004 blue Nissan Altima

Wanted for malicious wounding (more…)

News
Storms bring hail, tornado warnings, toppled trees

There are reports of dime-sized hail falling from the skies this afternoon. 

A hail storm moved across Stafford County about 3:15 p.m. following what appeared to have been clearing skies. An hour earlier, a tornado warning for portions of Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties in Virginia expired at 2:10 p.m. as a violent thunderstorm moved through the area. 

Afterward, the sun appeared under blue skies. Then clouds rolled in again bringing more thunder and lightening about 3 p.m. The hail storm began to fall shortly thereafter. 

There are also reports of toppled trees in the area and some road closures. 

Share your storm photos in our Flickr pool

 

News
Woodbridge DMV voting office will stay for now

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — An elections office serving Woodbridge will remain open to the public, at least for the next year.

Officials at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles announced it would leave the voter registration office in place inside the DMV Woodbridge Customer Service on Caton Hill Road. The office also serves as an absentee polling place.

Last month, DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb sent a letter to the Prince William County Voter Registrar Michele White threatening to close the office noting the agency was not collecting rent for space, and it could put the space to better use for DMV purposes. An agency spokeswoman said “budget challenges” were the reason why it wanted to recoup the space.

“The previous communication to the Registrar regarding the utilization of space at the DMV customer service center has been rescinded. The space will remain in its current status,” stated DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker in an email. (more…)

News
The bluebells are in full bloom

The bluebells are in full bloom around the region. 

Here’s a shot of the official Prince William County flower along the banks of Cedar Run in Nokesville. 

The annual Bluebell Festival, and event that attracts naturalists, outdoor lovers, and traditionally focuses on science and the environment, is this Saturday Sunday.

News
Updated: One in custody, antoher wanted in connection to homeless camp robbery

Salmon, Gianella
Huffman, Lorenzo

Photos: Huffman, Salmon

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On April 4 at 8:25PM, officers responded to investigate a robbery that occurred in a homeless camp located in the 8000 block of Sudley Rd in Manassas (20109) earlier that evening. The victim, a 19-year-old man of Manassas, reported to police that he was in the above area when he was approached by several acquaintances. During the encounter, the victim was assaulted. At one point, one of the suspects displayed a knife then took a cell phone and wallet from the victim. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, detectives with the Robbery Unit identified two of the suspects and obtained warrants for their arrests. The investigation continues.

Wanted:

Lorenzo Trey HUFFMAN, 20, of No Fixed Address [Photo from October 2016]

Described as a white male, 5’09”, 180lbs with a thin build, black hair and brown eyes

Wanted for 1 count of robbery, 1 count of abduction, 1 count of assault by mob, and 2 counts of credit card theft

Gianella Pamela SALMON, 18, of No Fixed Address [Photo from September 2016]

Described as a white female, 5’01”, 170lbs with a heavy build, black hair and brown eyes

Wanted for 1 count of robbery, 1 count of abduction, and 2 counts of credit card theft

Updated Thursday, April 6, 2017

Armed Robbery *ARREST – On April 5, Gianella Pamela SALMON, one of the suspects wanted in connection to an robbery that occurred in a homeless camp located in the 8000 block of Sudley Rd in Manassas on April 4, was located and arrested without incident.

Arrested on April 5:

Gianella Pamela SALMON, 18, of 10818 Campaign Ct in Manassas

Charged with 1 count of robbery, 1 count of abduction, and 2 counts of credit card theft

Court Date: May 8, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

 

 

News
Dumfries hires new police chief, officers

DUMFRIES, Va. — Nicholas R. Esposito will serve as the new Dumfries Police Chief.

The former Alexandria police officer was hired April 1 and took command two days later after a search ongoing dating back to August. Esposito’s resume states he gained experience in all facets of police work while in the Northern Virginia including interviewing victims, witnesses, enforcing traffic law, arresting suspects, and testifying in court.

Nine new police officers have been hired to work at the town’s police department, which works with Prince William County to patrol the 1.5 square-mile town. The new hires represent a rebound for an agency that saw its chief Rebecca Edwards quit late last summer after her salary was cut, and a majority of its officers followed her out the door.

The department had just two officers working this past winter, down from a fully-staffed complement of 11 officers last June.

The new hires also come at a time when the town voted to train its new officers at the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy in Fredericksburg. (more…)

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