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News
Two-alarm blaze breaks out at house off Prince William Parkway

Fire crews are battling a 2-alarm blaze at a home off Prince Wiliam Parkway. 

Here’s the official word from Prince William Fire and Rescue: 

Dispatch 5:56
6300 block Hemlock Ridge Ct.
no injuries reported
FD arrived on scene with an attached garage fully involved.
Fire was extending into the home.
Went to 2 alarms.
Still active operations at this time.
Single family dwelling.

The home was located nearest the newest Prince William County Fire Station 2g, which opened Sept. 30.

However, crews from Buckhall Fire Department on Yates Ford Road were first on the scene. 

More as we have it. 

Updated — More from Prince William fire and rescue: 

Damage is extensive. The cause is under investigation. The Red Cross was on the scene to assist the displaced family.

Photos: Prince William fire and rescue 

 

News
Does a pop-up store tarnish your impression of an ‘upscale’ shopping center?

When Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center opened in Woodbridge, community leaders sold it as a destination retail center that would be the model of future developments in Prince William County.

With its mix of restaurants, upscale shops, Wegmans grocery store, and homes, Stonebridge was going to be unlike other shopping centers that had come before it.

Some establishments in the shopping center, like Travinia Italian Kitchen, Golfsmith, and the flash-in-the-pan Toby Keith’s I love This Bar and Grill, have come and gone.

Some new ones, like Bar Louie and Spirit Halloween, have opened in their place.

In the case of Spirit, the Halloween shop is a seasonal operation.

From Spirit Halloween’s website:

“Spirit stores open in late August through early November each year, stocked with everything you can imagine for Halloween including costumes, masks, wigs, indoor and outdoor décor items, animatronics, makeup, collectibles, props and in-depth accessories.”

So, here’s the question: Does having a seasonal pop-up store at an upscale destination, near an Apple Store, tarnish the image of the shopping center?

Or, is it better to have a store fill a space on a temporary basis rather than having it sit empty, with the lights turned off?

Your thoughts in the comments, please.

News
Police arrest man, 22, in connection with stabbing investigation

From Prince William County police:

Stabbing Investigation – On October 17 at 12:33a.m., officers responded to a hotel located in the 17100 block of Dumfries Rd in Dumfries (22025) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the victims, a 21-year-old man and a 24-year-old man both of Midland, and two other male acquaintances were involved in a verbal altercation at the hotel, which escalated.

During the encounter, the accused stabbed both of the victims in the upper body with a knife. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. When officers arrived, they detained the accused without incident. The victims were transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without incident.

(more…)

A member of the Felmley family has been involved with the hospital from before it was even built — that’s more than 45 years of service!

When Martha Felmley was invited to an introductory meeting for the Potomac Hospital Auxiliary in the early 70’s, she had no idea it would ignite a passion that would consume nearly half of her life and be passed down through the generations.

“We had fundraisers to make money and went door to door to collect money. In the beginning, it was all about money to build the hospital” remembers the soon-to-be 90-year-old, smiling.

For Martha Felmley, that commitment grew as the hospital did. Over the years, in addition to volunteering, she served on the Hospital Board of Trustees and worked in community relations, her family always by her side. That’s why it’s no surprise the hospital became a family affair, with Felmley’s daughter and granddaughter both eventually working here!

For Felmley’s daughter, Martha Moore, the connections to the hospital started before she could drive. “I used to babysit Howard Greenhouse’s children!” she remembers, laughing.

Moore, now a Cardiac Systems Coordinator for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, started out babysitting the head of the hospital board’s children. It was about that same time she was a candy striper at the hospital, and from there, she was a weekend cashier in the gift shop. (more…)

News
NOVA Woodbridge to host An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe

From Northern Virginia Community College:

The NOVA Players of Northern Virginia Community College’s Woodbridge Campus will host the theatrical production of “An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe,” at the NOVA-Woodbridge Black Box Theatre, 2645 College Drive. Show dates are Oct. 26-28 and Nov. 2-5 at 7 p.m., with matinees Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. and Nov. 5 at 3 p.m.

“An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe” by Robert Mason & “Poe Connectives” is based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe with additional material included by David Tyson, assistant professor of communication studies and theatre arts at NOVA-Woodbridge.

“Edgar Allen Poe is the master of the macabre, but he’s also the father of the detective story genre, and an accomplished poet,” said Tyson. “Poe’s genius lies in his ability to capture the pain, despair, loneliness and transform it into a thrilling journey of self-discovery. This production looks at a number of his short stories and poems and dramatizes them for the stage, as we seek to discover the author and our darker selves.” (more…)

News
‘Once the VIN has been etched on all the windows, a thief must strip and replace every piece of glass’

Help Eliminate Auto Theft by Protecting Your Vehicles Help eliminate auto theft in and around Manassas – protect your own vehicles from being stolen by taking advantage of MCPD’s free VIN etching service next Saturday, October 21, 2017. The event, sponsored by Manassas City Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police H.E.A.T. Program, is provided as a free service to all motorists, weather permitting.

Free Fall VIN Etching Event: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Home Depot Parking Lot 8805 Liberia Ave, Manassas, Va. 20110

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Etching is one of the most effective means to deter auto theft that is currently available. Etching is a fast, safe and simple process of having a vehicle’s VIN engraved onto its windows using a chemical solution.

Once the VIN has been etched on all the windows, a thief must strip and replace every piece of glass in order to profit off the sale of the stolen vehicle or its parts. Doing so is a time-consuming and expensive feat, which deters many thieves from stealing VIN-etched vehicles in the first place.

There is no need to preregister, but vehicle owners will need to bring their driver’s license and current vehicle registration. For questions or more information, contact SPO Charles Sharp (Manassas City Police) at 703-257-8110, or Ofc Jason Alicie (Prince William County Police) at 703-792-4425. Additional events throughout the Commonwealth can be viewed on the H.E.A.T. website.

News
‘Chairman Ryan Sawyers is not present again’

From an email: 

HEADS UP: The regular Prince William School Board is meeting tonight. Chairman Ryan Sawyers is not present again. This means that he has not attended 3 of the School Board’s 4 meetings for the 2017-2018 school year. He’s missed the 9/6, 10/4 & 10/18 meetings. The only meeting he attended was 9/20.

From Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits: 

Chairman Sawyers is absent tonight. The meeting is being run effectively by the Vice Chair. No votes have yet been taken that did not win overwhelming and/or unanimous approval. Thus, his absence has not had a significant impact on any outcomes so far.

The School Board today also canceled a public hearing on the sale of excess land at the site of the 13th high school in Gainesville. 

News
Suspect arrested in connection with shooting in Garfield Station

From Prince William County Police:

Shooting Investigation *ARREST – On October 16, Randy Lamont JACKSON, turned himself into police without incident at the Gar-Field Station in Woodbridge. The accused was wanted for shooting which occurred in the area of Dale Blvd and Kerrydale Rd in Woodbridge on October 14.

Arrested on October 16:
Randy Lamont JACKSON, 35, of 504 Kings Crest Dr in Stafford
Charged with attempted malicious wounding and reckless handling of a firearm
Court Date: December 13, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond (more…)



‘…concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress’

On Friday, November 3, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will host renowned economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute and members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for a discussion on regional trends and the economics of growing the commercial tax base in Prince William County.

Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their FY17-20 Strategic Plan which contains long-term goals for the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on topics ranging from economic development to public safety and education. Of particular interest to the business community is the economic development goal focused on increasing the ratio of commercial property tax to 35% of all collected revenues. Since the plan’s approval, the Chamber has hosted multiple meetings on this issue, hearing from County staff as well as industry leaders. 

View a September Opinion piece by the Chamber that explains more about the issue.

While growing business in the County is an important goal, and one which the Chamber supports, concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress. The Chamber has invited the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to attend the presentation to hear from Dr. Fuller in hopes that the targeted discussion will provide the necessary economic framework to inform future policy decisions regarding the expansion of the commercial tax base. (more…)

News
Two tons of trash removed from Occoquan River/Reservoir

From an email: 

Comfortable fall weather brought out 212 loyal FOTO volunteers in full force[on October 14] to relieve the scenic Occoquan River/Reservoir of 2 tons of trash from both the water and the shorelines.

JROTC of Woodbridge High, Boy Scouts, Penn Elementary School’s Stem Class, Air Force Recruits, SEV1Tech, Rotary Club of Manassas, Osbourn Eagles Interact Club, Optimist Club, Marymount University students and several families cleaned up at all sites in Fairfax & Prince William County & the Town of Occoquan. Among the 158 bags of trash, 40 bags of recyclables, there were also 6 tires, hubcaps, a car radiator, 2 radios, 1 play-station, 3 chairs, pipes, foam pieces, buckets, oil cans, nets and fishing supplies and other materials collected. Special thanks go out to all the

Special thanks go out to all the above mentioned volunteers and Park Manager Mike Tiller who disposed of the trash the 146 Lake Ridge Park volunteers had collected, as well as Kirstyn Barr Jovanovich, Linda Murray, Renate Vanegas and Estrella Vasilescu who manned the signup stations. Thanks to Comcast TV’s Liz Lockhart, video and other photos are available on our website www.friendsoftheoccoquan.org.

News
Prince William County leaders proclaim birth of Baha’ullah, founder of Baha’i Faith

WOODBRIDGE — When it came time to approve the consent agenda at last night’s meeting, the Brentsville District Supervisor stopped the show.

“What is this?” asked Jeanine Lawson.

The elected leader questioned a proclamation to praise the founder of Baha’i Faith, Baha’ullah, 200 years ago.

“I had never heard of it,” said Lawson. “I’m not questioning its existence, but I’ve not seen something like this in the past three years during my time on the Board.”

Lawson said she was concerned that the county Board of Supervisors would proclaim one religion, opening up the floodgates for proclamations to other faiths.

“With all due respect Supervisor Lawson, just because we haven’t recognized the Bellu’i Faith since you’ve been on the Board doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start now,” said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, who brought the proclamation to the Board.

Prince William County Attorney Michelle Robl was asked to weigh in. She said the proclamation was in line with what the Board had supported in the past.

“I don’t think this is putting the board behind a certain religion,” she said.

Lawson threatened to bring forward a resolution to requesting the Board of Supervisors honor Jesus Christ if this Board approved this particular resolution.

It did, with Lawson being the only leader to vote Nay.

News
Outdoor Food Festival to stock shelves for ACTS food pantry

From an email:

Manassas, VA– The Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Cuisine de Commerce on Thursday, November 2 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Chamber’s building at 9720 Capital Court near the Manassas Airport.

This year the event transforms from a luncheon into an outdoor food festival; complete with live music by classic rock cover band Type A, cornhole boards and all-you-can-eat samples from the area’s best restaurants, caterers and food trucks. Those attending should bring a donation of non-perishable foods. Burke & Herbert Bank is sponsoring a food drive at Cuisine de Commerce with donations benefitting the ACTS food pantry in Dumfries. (more…)

News
Manassas man, 18, arrested on four counts of malicious wounding

From Prince William County police:

Malicious Wounding – On October 14 at 12:12 a.m, officers responded to a residence located in the 13000 block of Dane Valley Ct in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a fight. The investigation revealed that the victim, 19-year-old man of Woodbridge, was involved in a verbal altercation with the accused, an acquaintance, which escalated. During the encounter, the accused pushed the victim to the ground and kicked him in the mouth damaging several of the victim’s teeth.

The accused fled the area prior to officers arriving. On October 15 around 1:44 a.m., officers responded to investigate another fight which occurred at a residence located in the 13800 block of Holly Forest Dr in Manassas (20112). The investigation revealed that the accused arrived at another party where he was involved in a verbal altercation with a 19-year-old male and 17-year-old male. A fight broke out and the accused assaulted the victims with a crow bar and brass knuckles. (more…)

Traffic
Traffic snarled on Yates Ford Road this morning — incidents in two places

Two incidents snarled commuters on Yates Ford Road this morning.

The first was a crash at Esther Court.

From Prince William police:

“…occurred at Ethel Ct at 6:55AM. It was a three-vehicle accident. One of the drivers was cited for following too closely.”

The second was in Fairfax County.

From Fairfax County police:

“Around 9:11 hours this morning, Oct 17 in the area of Old Yates Ford and Kincheloe Rd, there was an 18 wheeler attempting to turn around causing traffic backup.”

@FixRoute28 sent us the featured image for this post showing the backup on Google Maps.

We’ll be talking about Yates Ford and Davis Ford Roads, and the regular traffic backups commuters face on this popular road linking Fairfax and Prince William counties, at our town hall event on Thursday.

If you drive this route on a regular basis, you should attend this free event.

News
Sunday’s AMBER Alert case: ‘The accused used a sharp instrument to deflate three tires of a vehicle belonging to one of the witnesses ‘

Prince William police tell us the missing 16-year-old girl who was the subject of an AMBER Alert across the state on Sunday was found that afternoon on a park bench in Dale City, along with her suspected captor. 

When police questioned the couple about their identity, police said both provided a fake name. 

More from police: 

Abduction | Amber Alert – On October 15 at 1:43AM, officers responded to the 14800 block of Danville Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a possible abduction. The investigation revealed the victim, a 16-year-old female, was attending a party at a home in the above area with the accused, an acquaintance.

According to witnesses, during the party, the victim and the accused got into a verbal altercation which escalated physically. Other attendees assisted the victim and the parties separated. At that point, the accused displayed a knife towards the witnesses and made claims to be a member of the criminal street gang MS-13.

The accused eventually left the area in a vehicle and returned a short time later with other associates. The accused used a sharp instrument to deflate three tires of a vehicle belonging to one of the witnesses who initially helped the victim. While at the residence, the victim and the accused came into contact and got into another argument. Witnesses then observed the victim being forcibly placed in the vehicle by the accused, seemingly against her will. Detectives listed the victim as missing and endangered and Virginia State Police issued an Amber Alert.

During the investigation, around 2:00PM, information was received indicating both parties were at an address on Barksdale St in Woodbridge. Officers arrived and located a female and male, both of whom provided a false identification to police. The individuals were eventually positively identified and questioned about the incident.

The victim was unharmed and reunited with her family. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Roberto Antoni MEDRANO-SEGOVIA, was arrested.

                Arrested on October 15:

                Roberto Antoni MEDRANO-SEGOVIA, 21, of No Fixed Address

Charged with abduction, gang participation, destruction of property and providing a false name to law enforcement

Court Date: November 7, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Traffic
‘adding roundabouts at the Davis Ford…Yates Ford Rd in Prince William County…Henderson Rd…Old Yates Ford Rd in Fairfax County will help’

In advance of our upcoming Occoquan District Congestion Think Tank for Davis Ford and Yates Ford Road at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 (you should come), here’s an idea to help traffic flow along the popular two-lane commuter route that links Prince William and Fairfax counties.

From Mark Scheufler/@FixRoute28

Would Rt. 28 improvements help Yates Ford drivers?

Any additional crossing of the Bull Run/Occoquan River will help commuters currently using Yates Ford Road as a cut through option.  The only new capacity planned are an additional High Occupancy Toll Lane (HOT) in each direction on I-66 and along Route 28 north of Yorkshire.  It is unclear how much capacity will be added across the Bull Run on Route 28.  It could be one lane in each direction or two lanes in each direction.  But improvements are not expected until at least 2024.   Improving the Route 1/Route 123/I-95 interchange would also help commuters currently cutting through Clifton to get to Fort Belvior.

Until major improvements are completed along the major thoroughfares adding roundaboutat the Davis Ford Rd and Yates Ford Rd in Prince William County and at Henderson Rd and Old Yates Ford Rd in Fairfax County will help manage the flow/spacing of traffic along the corridor. ge

News
‘Queen and Amri knew that Qamar had attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS in 2014, yet they lied to and misled the FBI…’

From an email from the Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia office: 

An owner of a Fairfax gaming center was sentenced to prison today for obstructing justice and making false statements involving international terrorism.

Michael Queen, 28, of Woodbridge, was sentenced to 2 years in prison. According to court documents, Queen and Soufian Amri, 32, of Falls Church, lied to FBI agents to prevent them from learning about and investigating their friend Haris Qamar’s attempt to travel to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Queen and Amri knew that Qamar had attempted to travel overseas to join ISIS in 2014, yet they lied to and misled the FBI by saying that the only person they knew who might travel to join ISIS was a “tall, thin, Indian” individual. Queen later told Qamar that Queen and Amri gave the FBI the name of a Hindu individual as someone who might support ISIS. Queen told Qamar, “I’m never going to throw a Muslim underneath the bus to try to do the right thing.”

Qamar was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison on February 17 for attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Amri is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Collen E. Garcia prosecuted the case.

News
Do community service by playing in NOVEC HELPS’ Texas Hold’em fundraiser

From Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative:

MANASSAS, Va. – Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative’s group of employee volunteers, NOVEC HELPS, will hold its 7th annual Texas Hold’em fundraising poker tournament on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Prince William County Police Association Hall, 14288 Independent Hill Drive, Manassas. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. Games start at 6:30 p.m. The top 10 players will win prizes and other participants will win door prizes. Fee: $50 per player if registered before Oct. 20; $60 at the door.

NOVEC HELPS will give net proceeds to charitable, community, and school organizations supported by HELPS. Groups include: the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, ACTS, Northern Virginia Family Service, Britepath, and Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center. (more…)

News
Puzzle Palooza outgrows Occoquan, expanding to a second location

From Puzzle Palooza:

We are very excited to be opening our second location in Manassas at 9411 Main St. Suite 101, the Trusler Hall Building, next to Philly Tavern. Our goal is to be open at 10 AM Monday morning November 13. We will be spending the entire weekend moving in and setting up shop. We will be open seven days a week starting at 10 AM till 7 pm M-F, with later hours in the evening on weekends.

As with their initial space, we will be featuring Puzzles and Puzzle accessories, books, brain teasers and puzzle games from four pieces to 40,000 pieces ranging from ages toddler to elderly. We started our first location in Occoquan 2013 and have watched it grow over the past five years into our own little empire.

We are listed as # 1 in “Things to Do in Occoquan” on Trip Advisor and feel honored and proud of the support from customers and the community. Puzzle building Is a common hobby/love for us since childhood and after visiting several out-of-state Puzzle/hobby shops, we knew that it was what we wanted to do. We quickly learned that it reconstituted the ideal framework of “family fun” and supported longtime traditions.
(more…)

News
Updated: ‘Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, both parties have been located in the Woodbridge area’

A 16-year-old girl was abutted from her Dale City home early this morning prompting an AMBER Alert. 

Here are the full details from Virginia State Police: 

CALL 7037926500 OR 911 IF SEEN|DARK HONDA CIVIC, POSSIBLY HATCHBACK|Last seen 14807 DANVILLE RD WOODBRIDGE|U/M,21YR,BROWN EYES,BLACK HAIR,ROBERTO MEDRANO SEGOVIA|U/F,16YR,5’02,125LB,BRO EYES,BRO HAIR,SINAHI AGUILAR CRUZ

THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AND VIRGINIA MISSING CHILDREN CLEARINGHOUSE HAVE ISSUED AN AMBER ALERT FOR A CHILD ABDUCTION ON BEHALF OF THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY POLICE IN WOODBRIDGE ON 10/15/2017 AT 01:43 AM.

THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY POLICE IS LOOKING FOR SINAHI AGUILAR CRUZ, WHI, female, AGE 16 years old, HEIGHT 5 feet 02 inches, WEIGHT 125 lbs, WITH BRO EYES AND STRAIGHT, LONG BRO HAIR, WEARING WHITE WITH PURPLE STRIPE LONG SLEEVE shirt, DENIM JEANS pants, LIGHT COLOR JACKET.

THE CHILD IS BELIEVED TO BE IN EXTREME DANGER AND WAS LAST SEEN AT 14807 DANVILLE RD, WOODBRIDGE, VA.

THE CHILD IS LIKELY ABDUCTED BY ROBERTO MEDRANO SEGOVIA, HISP, male, AGE 21 years old, WITH BROWN EYES AND SHORT BLACK HAIR wearing BLACK V-NECK TSHIRT shirt, BLUE DENIM BAGGY JEANS pants, WHITE NIKE JORDANS shoes.

THEY MAY BE TRAVELING IN A DARK HONDA CIVIC, POSSIBLY HATCHBACK

PLEASE CONTACT THE PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY POLICE AT (703)792-6500 OR THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AT 1-800-822-4453 (1-800-VACHILD).

YOU MAY FIND COMPLETE INFORMATION AT www.vaamberalert.com

P.S. VICTIM TAKEN AGAINST HER WILL, BELIEVED TO BE IN THE COMPANY OF MR MEDRANO SEGOVIA.

10:25 a.m. 

From Prince William police: 

Missing Endangered Juvenile | Possible Abduction – On October 15 at 1:43AM, officers responded to the 14800 block of Danville Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a possible abduction. The investigation revealed a female juvenile, identified as Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, was attending a party at a home in the above area with a male acquaintance. During the gathering, the two parties got into a verbal altercation and separated. At one point, the female exited the home where witnesses observed her being forcibly placed in a vehicle by the male acquaintance. The vehicle was described as a dark color Honda Civic, possible a hatchback. Detectives believe the female is with the acquaintance against her will. Virginia State Police have issued an Amber Alert in this investigation and the female juvenile is currently listed as missing and endangered. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-VACHILD.

Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz is described as a Hispanic female, age 16, 5’2”, 125lbs with long brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a purples tripe long sleeve shirt denim jeans and a light color jacket.

The male acquaintance was identified as Roberto Medrano Segovia, age 21, with short black hair and brown eyes. Last seen wearing a black V-neck style shirt, blue baggy denim jeans and white Nike Jordan shoes.

Update 3:15 p.m.

The AMBER Alert is canceled.

From Prince William police:

Reference the Amber Alert issued for Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, both parties have been located in the Woodbridge area. The female juvenile is safe. Detectives are currently conducting interviews to ascertain what occurred. The investigation continues. 

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