From Prince William Fire and Rescue:
On Thursday, April 27th at 2:51 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 2100 block of Gunsmith Terrace in Woodbridge.
Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke showing from the rear of the first and second floor. As fire and rescue crews made entry they encountered a small kitchen fire which was quickly extinguished.
One occupant was transported to a local medical facility for minor injuries. No additional injuries reported.
According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, the townhome sustained minimal damage estimated at $25,000. The Building Official has posted the home unsafe.
Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 3 adults, 5 children and their pet.
The origin and cause of the fire was unattended cooking on a kitchen stove top and has been determined as accidental.
From Prince William County Police:
Armed Robbery *ARREST – On April 26, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified and arrested the suspect involved in the robbery which occurred in the area of Vantage Dr and John Diskin Cir in Woodbridge on April 25. The suspect, identified as Demetrious Jerome DONIGAN, was arrested without incident.
Arrested on April 26:
Demetrious Jerome DONIGAN, 18, of 15481 Chopawamsic Ct in Woodbridge
Charged with robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony
Court Date: June 5, 2017 |Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond (more…)
From Prince William County Police Department:
The Crime Prevention Unit of the Prince William County Police Department is hosting a Neighborhood Watch training on Tuesday, May 2, at 7 p.m. The event should last about an hour.
Has it been awhile since you and your Watch members were trained? Are you a new coordinator taking over an existing Watch, or a new coordinator looking for training for everyone in your neighborhood? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then this training is for you! (more…)
It’s 9 a.m., and a quiet middle school cafeteria suddenly fills with the voices of hungry students making a dash for the breakfast line.
On the menu: Mini blueberry pancakes, fruit, milk, and juice. Students walk through the line, grab their favorite quick-serve breakfast items and find a table to sit, eat, and chat with their friends.
“I eat it every day. I love the pancakes,” said Christopher, 14.
The students at Grace E. Metz Middle School in Manassas sit for about 10 minutes, scarf breakfast, and then it’s back to class.
On Tuesday, Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and State Sen. Jeremy McPike joined them to recognize a nutritional milestone: getting more children to eat school breakfast.
The Manassas public school won its division in a contest to increase the number of students who eat breakfast. There were 19% more Metz students eating school breakfast between October and December 2016 versus the same time the year before. McAuliffe on Tuesday, along with “No Kid Hungry Virginia” announced the winners of the Virginia Breakfast Challenge, a campaign to increase school breakfast participation across the state. (more…)
Fare hikes are coming for bus riders in Prince William County.
OmniRide commuters paying with SmarTrip will pay $6.90, up from $6.50, and cash fares are up from $8.75 to $9.20. A single ride on local OmniLink bus would increase to $1.55, up from $1.50. Overall, it’s an average 5% fare increase for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.
There will also be service cuts to some routes, removing underused services such as the route between Manassas Junction shopping center and Manassas Mall, and the elimination of a route between Lindendale Road and the Dale City commuter lot on the system’s Navy Yard route.
The eliminations and reroutings are expected to save PRTC $200,000. (more…)
Drivers are urged 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. (more…)
Occoquan Elementary School Principal Hamish Brewer, already known for being an outgoing educator who likes to merge fun and learning in the classroom, earned national award for outstanding leadership Tuesday.
It was presented to him while we were covering Betsy DeVos’ visit to nearby Ashland Elementary. So, here’s a report from the Prince William County Public Schools Communications Office:
For the first time, Occoquan Elementary Principal Hamish Brewer was at a loss for words. He was stunned speechless when Jim Baldwin, executive director of the Virginia Association for Elementary School Principals, presented the National Distinguished Principal Award for Virginia to him at a surprise school assembly this morning.
“I’ll accept this for the team,” Brewer said, crediting students, staff, and parents for the school’s tremendous performance since he has been at the helm. Occoquan Elementary has high numbers of low-income families and non-English speaking learners. Earlier this year, the school was named a National Distinguished Title 1 School.
“I love beating the odds every day,” Brewer says. “We have a relentless passion for children, and a relentless passion for excellence.”
“Mr. Brewer has formed a magical collaboration and synergy of a village that has taken on the world to show that all children learn, love, and celebrate their educational experiences. He has created a high–octane, high–achieving and nurturing educational environment,” said an official with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, quoting from a letter nominating Brewer for the award. Students say Principal Brewer is visionary, caring, and relentless and they know that he loves them.
It took clever planning to pull off the surprise assembly this morning, but Occoquan Elementary School Assistant Principal Bill Knight, Associate Superintendent Craig Gfeller, and a handful of others managed to do that. While several staff members kept Principal Brewer in his office chatting, students quietly left their classrooms and assembled in the cafeteria.
“Why are we talking?” Brewer thought to himself. “We’ve got work to do!” Then a call came over the public address system asking him to come to the cafeteria; again, puzzlement: “What is this for?” Brewer thought, “It’s too early for the goodbye celebration….we’ve got SOLs coming up!” Little did he know.
From Prince William police:
**MISSING CHILD: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing child, Kamari Wells. On April 25 at approximately 6:00PM, officers responded to the 15000 block of William Bayliss Ct in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a missing child.
The investigation revealed that Kamari was last seen getting off of a school bus in the area of William Bayliss Ct at approximately 4:15PM that afternoon but did not return home. Anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.
Kamari Wells is described as a 7-year-old black male, 3’5’’, and approximately 60lbs. He has short, curly black hair and brown eyes. Kamari was last seen wearing black pants with rips around the knee area, a black & white striped shirt, a black & white hoodie with gray sleeves, and black tennis shoes with the white “Nike” logo. Kamari is also carrying a black “Ninja Turtle” backpack.
Updated 10 p.m.
UPDATE: Kamari Wells, who was reported missing earlier this evening, has been located with a family member and is safe. Thank you for your assistance.
Sponsored Post The near-fully restored Brentsville Jail, once home to moonshiners, horse thieves, and murderers will be opened to the public May 13
The project to restore the Brentsville Jail has reached the final stage, with completion expected any day now. It comes just a few short years before the community will celebrate 200 years of history.
From county seat to small rural town, Brentsville has seen a lot of change during that time. The one surviving building that best represents the changing role of this town is the two-story brick building commonly called the Brentsville Jail.
Brentsville served as the Seat of Prince William County from 1822 to 1893 and the Brentsville Jail housed those accused of everything from selling liquor without a license to horse stealing, to murder.
When the County Seat moved to Manassas, the use of the jail changed as well. The Courthouse was sold and converted into a private school for teachers, in-turn the jail was refitted to act as a student dormitory.
Later when the school moved on, the jail-turned-dormitory became a private residence until it was eventually purchased, given to the county to be used as office space. Today the Jail is in the final stages of the stabilization and restoration project that began in 2010, which will see the building used in yet another purpose; a public museum.
The future museum will explore the people whose stories are connected to the building. The main orientation room will not only explore the history of the jail but also tie it to the history of the town of Brentsville and larger story of Prince William County.
The adjacent room will be a historically furnished Jailor’s Office that will examine the lives of the various jailers and their families who at one time lived in the building as caretakers. Across the hall will be another historically furnished room, a criminal cell, in which an inmate was famously assassinated.
The final room downstairs will include STEM-based architectural activities that will highlight the building construction.
The exhibit will continue upstairs featuring a historically furnished debtor’s cell and early 20th dormitory room. An audio room will examine the stories of some of the individuals incarcerated in the jail, such as abolitionists, individuals suffering from mental illness, female criminals, and others.
The final room will explore the African-American experience in both Brentsville and Prince William County through most of the 19th century. Two interactive kiosks will also allow visitors to examine some primary documents that are not normally available to the general public.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre is hosting a special Jail Grand Opening on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Although the museum exhibits will not be installed by opening day, visitors will be allowed to explore the building and receive special tours. Also, special lectures will be offered throughout the day, covering many exciting topics. At 11 a.m., local historian Arwen Bicknell will talk about her new book: Justice and Vengeance Scandal, Honor and Murder in 1872 Virginia, which highlights a murder that took place in the Brentsville Jail.
At 1 p.m., Dr. Sherri Huerta will explore the African-American history of the building with “’Remanded to Jail’: How Enslaved Persons Experienced Life and Death in the Brentsville Jail.”
Finally, at 3 p.m. local historian Morgan Breeden will talk about his experience living in the jail when it was his family’s private residence.
The dedication begins at 10 a.m. and programs run through 4 p.m.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Finding childcare is this area is not only expensive, but it can also be nearly impossible.
That’s the message Air Force Lt. Col. Rojan Robotham brought to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday when she toured Ashland Elementary School near Woodbridge. The airman urged DeVos to continue funding childcare programs through the Department of Education.
When they’re not in school, Robotham, who lives in Prince William County and not on a military base, places her in children private day care. The cost for private daycare vs. the cost she would pay to use a child development center on a base is about double.
“I live in Woodbridge, and I can’t drive my kids to the closest CDC at Quantico and make it to work on time,” she said.
And in some cases, the need for private daycare is so great there’s often not enough to go around in the region.
Robotham was one of a handful of military members and their families who spoke with DeVos during roundtable session on Tuesday. With a concentration of military families who live nearby, the school was recognized for its ability to cater to the needs of military children and spouses who are used to moving around.
“I worry about the experiences my son is going to have, and if he is going to have the correct requirements to graduate high school after we move to California,” said Air Force Col. Ceir Coral.
Coral’s son now attends Forest Park High School, and his daughter goes to Ashland. He stated that they chose to move into the Ashland neighborhood because both schools had a reputation for being military-friendly.
The school is also known for recognizing military holidays and special events.
“We don’t [celebrate] Veteran’s Day. We do Veteran’s month,” quipped Jacks.
Andy Jacks, principal at Ashland, said he wore a red, white, and blue striped suit and posted a photo of himself wearing on Twitter to show families how military-friendly his school is. He led DeVos around the school on a guided tour that included stops in classrooms, a computer lad, and a reading room where DeVos sat on the floor and read to children.
DeVos, appointed Education Secretary by President Trump, was greeted by a group of protesters who stood in the rain holding signs that stated “Welcome Secretary DeVos” and “Fund Public Education.”
The secretary is a supporter of school vouchers and charter schools. She spent about an and a half today during her visit Prince William County. She did more listening to students, teachers, and parents than talking.
“It was a wonderful welcome here, and just to see the faces of the children I met here, that’s the best,” she told reporters.
Good morning Prince William – Happy National Volunteer Week! Thanks for all you do- we live in a wonderful community because of you!
· Leesylvania State Park needs volunteers to spruce up the fishing pier by replacing boards and power washing the pier. This pier affords fisherman year round access as well those early birds up to watch the sunrise. Please email Ben at: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
· Project Mend a House is registering participants in their Live Well Workshops. The is a free 6 week class to help you with several painful conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, chronic pain and heart disease. The next session begins May 9th at the Woodbridge Senior Center. Please call Jodie at (571) 494-5577 to learn more.
· Friends of the Kennedy Center need volunteers for their JFKC Open House on Saturday May 27th. This event will celebrate what would have been President Kennedy’s 100th Birthday. Please register on their website by May 12th- Kennedy-center.org. Jobs include check-in, artist liaison, information tables and more!
· Saved Hands Foundation needs volunteers to teach life skills to adults in Woodbridge two days a week from 4-5pm. Please email Pamela at:email@example.com to learn more about the great services given to the homeless clients in the community. (more…)
Sponsored Post Nominate your mother for the Manassas Park Community Center 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Makeover Contest
We first tipped you last week that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos will visit a Prince William County Public School on Tuesday.
Today, we learn that school is Ashland Elementary near Manassas, located at 15300 Bowman’s Folly Drive.
Here’s more in a statement from Prince William County Public Schools:
U.S. Education Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will tour Prince William County Public Schools’ Ashland Elementary to see the amazing work being done to educate every child, and especially to aid military-connected families during this “Month of the Military Child.”
“A tour by Principal Andy Jacks will allow the Secretary to join in classroom activities with teachers and students. The Secretary will also meet with military-connected students, parents, and staff members to learn of the outstanding ongoing efforts to serve this important part of the Ashland Elementary community.”
The tour is expected to last between 9:30 and 11 a.m. A total of 830 children attend Ashland Elementary School.
From Prince William police:
Indecent Exposure – On April 22 at 8:00AM, officers responded to the area of Rippon Blvd and Old Coach Rd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate an indecent exposure. The victim, a 63-year-old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she was walking her dog in the above area when she observed an unknown man standing in a nearby wood line exposing himself and making an obscene gesture. The suspect then followed the victim as she walked back toward her residence. The suspect eventually fled area and was not located by responding officers. No physical or verbal contact was made between the two parties. The investigation continues.
Black male, approximately 35 years of age, 5’11”, 150lbs with a thin build and a dark complexion
Last seen wearing a dark blue hoodie, jean shorts, and construction boots
United Bank today completed the acquisition of Cardinal Bank, rebranding multiple Cardinal Bank branches in our region to include Manassas, Woodbridge, and Stafford.
From a press release:
United Bankshares, Inc. (“United”) (NASDAQ: UBSI) announced the completion of its acquisition of Cardinal Financial Corporation (“Cardinal”), a financial services holding company, with $4.3 billion in assets, headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia. This transaction marks the 31st acquisition United has completed under the current administration and the tenth acquisition in the D.C. Metro region.
Today, United Bank, United’s Virginia chartered bank, added 22 newly acquired banking locations to its Greater Washington footprint. United Bank is the largest locally headquartered community bank and holds the #1 deposit market share among community banks in the Washington, D.C. MSA. In addition, United welcomed George Mason Mortgage, LLC, the largest locally headquartered home mortgage lender in the D.C. Metro region, to its family of companies.
United now has over $19 billion in assets with 145 full-service offices in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. United is the 38th largest banking company in the country based on market capitalization. In 2016, United increased dividends to shareholders for the 43rd consecutive year. This is a record only one other major banking company in the nation has been able to achieve. For more information, visit www.ubsi-inc.com.
After thunderstorms rolled through our region Friday night, there was quite the light show.
This photo was taken of storm cloud packed with lightning over North Stafford at 11:50 p.m., long after the thunderstorms that fired up earlier in the afternoon had rolled out.
The storms were not severe enough to produce major damage in our region, but storms intensified by the time they reached Virginia’s Northern Neck Penninsula.
The town of Colonial Beach on the Potomac River sustained $1 million in damage after a storm wreaked havoc on the small town. A curfew was set up to stop people from walking or driving into the most damaged areas of the small town.
There’s more rain in store for our areas as forecasters at the National Weather Service say 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible Monday and Tuesday. However, the storms are not forecasted to be severe.
It’s been a busy weather month so far this April as seven tornadoes touched down Virginia and Washington, D.C. April 7. A rarity for Washington, one of the tornadoes hit Arlington before crossing the Potomac River and blowing a roof off of a church.
Do you have photos to share? Post them to our Flickr page.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Power lines along Route 1 in Woodbridge are coming down.
A portion of the highway between Mary’s Way and Occoquan Road is being widened to six lanes. The utilities that used to run above ground are being buried as part of the project.
There’s also a lot more happening here during this $168 million effort.
“The project is continuing to install underground utilities, water, sewer, and drainages pipes and structures. This phase will continue for several months. In addition, retaining walls and stage 1 of the new bridge are underway,” said VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis.
The project began about a year ago and is expected to wrap up in fall 2019. When it’s finished, here’s a full list of improvements VDOT says drivers can expect to see:
–Enhanced access to the Woodbridge VRE kiss-and-ride facility
–A new Route 1 bridge at Marumsco Creek
–Improvements to Occoquan Road, including a median and turn lanes from U.S. 1 to south of Horner Road
–Additional through and turn lanes on Route 1 and Occoquan Road to improve traffic operations
–A ten-foot shared-use path and six-foot sidewalk
–Demolition of several vacant buildings along the corridor
Route 1 currently carries about 35,000 vehicles per day and will carry 75,000 by 2036, according to VDOT.
It cost about $12 million to bury the utility lines for the project. That’s money Prince William County leaders ultimately approved in 2015.
But it wasn’t without a fight. Originally approved in 2013 by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, two members of the Board — Peter Candland, of Gainesville and Jeanine Lawson, of Nokesville — attempted to get the Board to reverse its decision.
At the time, Candland argued the money could have been better spent on the county’s school division.
In a recent online list, Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge was ranked as one of the most “lesser known” parks in Virginia.
The park is located along the Potomac River in Woodbridge. It’s the site of the home of Major-Gen. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee who served in the Revolutionary War and as the ninth governor of the state. He was also the father of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Aside from its history, the park serves as a public gateway to the Potomac and is popular with fishers, and picnicking families.
“Leesylvania State Park (LSP) is well used and loved by many many people. I would guess the location makes a big difference. It’s located in a densely populated area of the County and is well suited to family picnics and gatherings,” said Kim Hosen, with Prince William Conservation Alliance. “LSP is easy to access, inexpensive and has a large open area with picnic tables and a nature center nearby. The only other site in this area suitable for this type of family gathering is the County-owned Vet’s Park, which also attracts large numbers of picnic-type family gatherings.” (more…)
Sponsored Post This year, celebrate Mother’s Day at Rangoli Indian Restaurant with the Grand Brunch Buffet
Mommy, Mummy, Mama, Amma, Aai, Mata, Madre, Eomeoni, Taayi or whatever name you call her with, Mother is the reason we are all here. Celebrate and cherish the lady who cares and loves us the most. It is rightly said, “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers!”
You may buy her the perfume or the cardigan, but you got to feed the lady who fed you.
Rangoli’s Mother’s Day buffet has been a special tradition for over eleven years. The spread includes an array of salads, fresh cut fruits, and condiments with Assorted Kebabs, the quintessential Butter Chicken, tender Goat Masala, succulent Fish Curry, aromatic Biryani and pilafs, a smorgasbord of vegetable side dishes and fresh bread baked for each table.
The buffet also includes South Indian delicacies like Idly, Vada, Sambar and on-the-spot Dosas. The pick is the favorite Indian street-side-pass-time of eating Pani Puri a.k.a Gol Gappas. Have unlimited pucchkas to your heart’s content.
Sweet endings include all time favorite Gulab Jamun and Kulfi Ice-Cream.
And while you are gorging on the tasty food, treat the lady to a Mimosa or fresh Bloody Mary at only $4 a glass. What’s not to be happy about this?
So, call ‘Rangoli’ now and add your name to the on-call list. The meal is super popular and Rangoli does not treat the advance callers as ‘Reservations.’
Their name is added to the wait list and bumped up when you show up. Large groups are encouraged to call in advance to enable quick seating.
Doors open early Sunday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m. and the Brunch is served through 3 p.m.
Call 703-957-4900 or Email Us!
Rangoli Indian Restaurant
Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Adults: $16.95 Kids: $8.95
10223 Nokesville Road
Manassas, VA 20110
Sponsored Post Open House: 9491 McGuinn Lane, Nokesville, VA
9491 McGuinn Ln, Nokesville, VA 20181
Listing Price: $510,000
Open House: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1-4pm
New Listing!! Awesome colonial on a VERY PRIVATE 6+ Acre lot, minutes to Route 234. This custom built home is three finished levels with 4 bedrooms, 2 full and one-half bath. Boasting a UNIQUE FIRST FLOOR MASTER SUITE!!
Upper level has 2 guest bedrooms, full bath, and huge playroom w/built in window seats and shelving. Remodeled kitchen w/granite counters, stainless appliances, tile backsplash & ceramic tile floor.
Finished bright and open walk out basement w/rec rm, den/office w/built-in shelving and tons of extra storage space.
The main feature of this property is the private lot!! Surrounded by trees, there are 2 huge decks, fire pit w/BBQ spit, 3 sheds (one w/power, ht & a/c) brick paver walkways, mature shrubs, extensive landscaping, GREAT FOR ENTERTAINING!!
Extra features include recessed lighting, upgraded light fixtures, crown molding, built-ins galore, chair rail, decorative columns, custom drapes and blinds.
Original owners have taken great care of this home, a true 10+. Must see.
Contact C.C. Bartholomew at 703-282-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From Prince William police:
Attempted Bank Robbery – On April 19 at 4:44PM, officers responded to the Wells Fargo Bank located at 13891 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate an attempted robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown woman approached the bank area then passed a note demanding money.
When the teller refused, the suspect fled the bank. No injuries were reported. During the investigation, detectives with the Robbery Unit identified the suspect as Amanda Renee SEGURA. The accused was located and detained without incident a short time later at a hotel in Dumfries. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.
Arrested on April 19:
Amanda Renee SEGURA, 32, of 306 Richelieu Ln in Wilmington, NC
Charged with attempted robbery
Court Date: June 28, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond