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Honored Prince William K9 Hawkeye dies

From Prince William police: 

GOODBYE HAWKEYE: It is with heavy hearts we announce that Retired K9 Hawkeye passed away this past weekend. Hawkeye served a distinguished career from 2006 – 2015, along with his partner Master Police Officer Bill VanAntwerp. Hawkeye passed peacefully, with his family by his side. He was 13 years old.

Hawkeye was a valiant K9 who worked diligently catching criminals who were wanted for serious offenses. He was an instrumental piece of an effective dog team handled by Master Police Officer William VanAntwerp. He was a dual purpose dog certified in narcotic detection and criminal apprehension. He made countless apprehensions, ultimately locating suspects in every possible environment. There was comfort knowing K9 Hawkeye was on the street patrolling at night.

See Hawkeye in action in 2010

News
Updated: Khushbu Amanullah, 16, missing, no longer endandered

From Prince William police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED JUVENILE: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing and endangered juvenile, Khushbu Amanullah. The investigation revealed that Khushbu walked away from her residence located in the 13700 block of Greenbriar Drive in [Dale City] (22193).

On February 12th 2017, Khushbu left her residence voluntarily.  On February 19th, additional information was received that she may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Anyone with information on Khushbu’s whereabouts is asked to call the police at 703-792-6500.

Khushbu Amanullah is described as a white female, 16 years of age, 5’06”, 142lbs with black hair and brown eyes.
It’s unknown what she was last seen wearing.

Update 10:11 a.m. 

From Prince William police:

“Upon receiving additional information and further investigation Khushbu Amanullah, who was reported as a missing and endangered juvenile on Sunday, February 19, is no longer considered endangered.” 


Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas

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Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas. This is a high-visibility, attractive leasing opportunity.

The space is situated along heavily trafficked Route 28 and is surrounded by many neighborhood amenities. Space is ideal for a bookstore, tutoring services, laundry mat, pet hospital, food services, or restaurant.

I’m looking to rent this 2,000-square-feet of retail space. Please call Irene at 703-225-9824.

News
ALDI expanding existing grocery stores

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At least two ALDI grocery locations in Prince William and Stafford counties are being expanded. 

In Stafford the Ali at 263 Garrisonville Road in North Stafford Plaza, and in Woodbridge at 13782 Smoketown Road are being enlarged, we’re told. The improved stores will feature a new concept layout. 

The move comes as the discount grocery chain has opened new stores, including one outside Dumfries, with floor plans that differ from their other locations, and as German competitor Lidl (pronounced Lee Dell) plans to open several new stores in the region this summer. 

From Jeff Baehr, Frederick division vice president for ALDI:

“We’re excited to share that we’re updating the ALDI store experience as part of our $1.6 billion nationwide plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 of our stores by 2020.

With approximately 20 stores in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia Region, we can’t wait to bring the new look of ALDI to shoppers who know and love us, plus new fans, as we make more room for a larger selection of fresh products, plus customer favorites like organics, gluten-free foods and premium baby items.

We know you’re eager to learn about plans for our store in Stafford, so we’ll be sure to reach out with more specific details at a later date.”

News
Two adults, 6 children displaced by Montclair fire

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From the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department: 

“On Friday, February 17th at 6:53 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a townhouse fire located in the 14400 block of Whisperwood Court in Montclair.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire on two levels of the mid-row two story townhome with basement. As firefighters initiated attack and extinguishment of the fire, they were informed the residents were not home.

No injuries reported.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary damages are estimated at $200,000; a total loss.

A Building Official has posted the home unsafe.

Red Cross was on scene to assist the family, 2 adults and 6 children, displaced by the fire.

The fire started in the kitchen; the cause is undetermined. The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.”

News
Motorcyclist killed on Mapledale Avenue in Dale City

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On February 18 at 1:38AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Mapledale Ave and Meadowbrook Rd in [Dale City] (22193) to investigate a crash involving two motorcycles.

The investigation revealed that both motorcycles were traveling southbound on Mapledale Ave approaching Meadowbrook Dr when one of the operators, an adult male, applied a hard brake in an attempt to turn onto Meadowbrook Dr. The second motorcycle, operated by an adult female, was following behind the first motorcycle and unable to stop causing a collision. (more…)

News
Possum Point residents fight Dominion coal ash ‘cap in place’ plan

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Dumfries residents and local leaders spoke loud and clear: They don’t want state regulators to allow Dominion Power to leave behind toxic coal ash at Possum Point.

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality held a two-and-a-half hour public hearing that began at 7 p.m. Thursday at Potomac Senior High School in Woodbridge. It was a chance to go on the record about Dominion’s request to “cap in place” millions of tons of coal ash that the utility has consolidated in a 64-acre pool dubbed “Pond D.”

A new cap would be installed on the top of the pond to keep out rainwater and prevent spillage.

“The final cover for Pond D will contain a high-density polyethylene cap to prevent rainwater or any moisture from coming into contact with the ash,” Dominion Environmental Advisor Cathy Taylor told two representatives from DEQ. (more…)


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

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1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 



Historic Manassas reveals new logo

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Featured photos in slideshow: New logo, old logo

Over the last year, Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) has worked endlessly on their rebranding efforts and are excited to announce the release of their new logo. The new logo features a streetscape of Main Street as well as the welcoming historic water tower. To represent Historic Manassas’ close partnership with the City, their new tag line ‘Historic Heart. Modern Beat.’ was also incorporated into the logo.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, worked to create the perfect logo.

“We are humbled to be a part of this rebrand, excited that Manassas is undergoing a wonderful amount of growth and change, while still staying true to its history. We felt it was fitting to create a logo that married a vibrant energy to its beautiful architecture, and we are very proud of the result,” said King.

HMI began their rebranding efforts within the community by creating a survey last spring to determine who the community thought HMI was. The former logo, the downtown train depot, gave many the impression that HMI was just those who ran the train station or a committee involved with the museum and historic preservation within the City. Very few realized the involvement HMI has in the community including the numerous events that take over the streets of downtown each year.

Historic Manassas, Inc. was formed to promote a positive image of Historic Downtown Manassas and to perpetuate its revitalization. HMI feels this new logo helps to push forth its mission statement to engage the community in promotion, preservation, and enhancement of our vibrant Historic Downtown. Those interested in learning more about HMI’s four committees can find information here on their website.

Keep an eye out for the new logo and be sure to check out all of the events coming up in downtown. Next up is First Friday – March Madness on March 3!

News
Two D.C. men, 2 teens charged in trespassing; wall into neighbor’s home destroyed

From Prince William police: 

Residential Burglary – On February 13 at 12:39AM, officers responded to a vacant residence located in the 15100 block of Wentwood Ln in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate multiple trespassers. As officers arrived, they observed several subjects inside. When officers challenged the subjects, they refused to exit the residence. As officers were investigating, noises were heard coming from a neighboring residence.

Upon checking the home, officers discovered that the suspects had broken through a wall into the neighboring residence. When officers challenged one of the suspects, they went back into the original residence. A short time later, officers with the assistance of a police K-9 made entry into the residence and detained all of the suspects without further incident. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, all of the suspects were arrested. (more…)

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PRTC service for Presidents’ Day

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From PRTC: 

In observance of Presidents’ Day, PRTC bus service will operate as follows on Monday, February 20:
OMNIRIDE COMMUTER BUS – NO SERVICE
METRO DIRECT – Regular service
OMNILINK LOCAL BUS AND CROSS COUNTY CONNECTOR – Regular service

No counter transactions will be processed at the PRTC Transit Center on Monday, February 20.
In preparation for the three-day weekend, PRTC will have a few extra PM OmniRide buses available for potential overflow on Friday, February 17.

Because PRTC experiences a significant increase in mid-day and early afternoon OmniRide passengers on the day before a three-day weekend, to avoid overcrowding you may want to consider taking Metrorail or other regional bus services and transferring to a Metro Direct bus to complete your commute.

For more information, call our Customer Service office at 703-730-6664 or send an email to Omni@OmniRide.com. Schedule information is available at www.PRTCtransit.org.

News
Boy, 14, charged with robbery, arrested

From Prince William police:

Update

Armed Robbery | Felony Hit & Run *ARREST – On February 12, detectives with the Robbery Unit received information on the whereabouts of Naseem Isaiah ROULACK, a juvenile sought in connection to an armed robbery which occurred in the area of Lindendale Rd and Leesburg Ct in Woodbridge on January 15. The accused was located and arrested without incident later that evening at a residence in the 14300 block of Fontaine Ct in Woodbridge.

“Armed Robbery | Felony Hit & Run *JUVENILE SUSPECT IDENTIFIED – Pursuant to a court order issued today, February 10, 2017, by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Prince William County, the Prince William County Police Department has received authorization to publicly release the below information identifying a juvenile sought in connection to an armed robbery which occurred in the area of Lindendale Rd and Leesburg Ct in Woodbridge on January 15. (more…)

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‘Pile driving will occur along Route 1’ in Woodbridge

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Photo by Prince William County

From VDOT: 

image004Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, pile driving will occur along Route 1 for construction of the new bridge over Marumsco Creek just north of Marys Way for approximately two weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The pile driving will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be monitoring noise levels associated with the pile driving in order to minimize disruption to nearby businesses and residences.

The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which will add a third lane in each direction between Marys Way and Annapolis Way. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

News
Girl, 9, victim of sex assault

From Prince William police: 

Sexual Assault Investigation – On July 28, detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit responded to investigate a sexual assault which occurred in Woodbridge (22191) between September 2015 and July 28, 2016. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 9-year- old girl, was inappropriately touched on more than one occasion by the accused, identified as a family member. The victim disclosed the incident to another family member who notified police. Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused on February 3. The accused was located and arrested without incident at his residence later that evening.

Arrested on February 3:

Luis Felicito VASQUEZ, 65, of 14308 Louisa St in Woodbridge

Charged with 3 counts of aggravated sexual battery

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

News
Updated: Missing endangered teen walks away from Woodbridge home

3:40 p.m. Update from Prince William police: 

Upon receiving additional information and further investigation, Sierra Kali Adams, who was reported as a missing and endangered juvenile early this morning, is no longer considered endangered.

From Prince William police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED JUVENILE: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing and endangered juvenile, Sierra Kali Adams. The investigation revealed that Sierra walked away from her residence located in the 2100 block of Gunsmith Terr in Woodbridge (22191) at approximately 8:20PM this evening. Sierra left her residence voluntarily and may be in need of assistance which qualifies her as being endangered. Anyone with information on Sierra’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 703-792-6500.

 

Sierra Kali Adams is described as a white female, 15 years of age, 4’09”, 120lbs with brown hair, brown eyes, and a piercing in the right side of her nose.

Sierra was last seen wearing a maroon and black hoodie with a yellow symbol on the front, black pants, and black Nike Sneakers.

News
Police identify brother as second robbery suspect

Suspect also charged in fatal Christmas Eve crash

From Prince William County police:

Strong Armed Robbery *ADDITIONAL SUSPECT IDENTIFIED – On February 3, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified a second suspect involved in the robbery which occurred in the area of Hoadly Road and Apollo Drive in Woodbridge on February 1.

Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Jesse James WYRICK. Attempt to locate the accused have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues.

Wanted: [Photo from August 2016]
Jesse James WYRICK, 31, of the 9700 block of Henderson Pl in Manassas
Described as a white male, 6’00”, 190lbs with blue eyes and brown hair
Wanted for robbery and malicious wounding (more…)

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School closings and delays for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

News
‘Just Say It!’ initiative prompts Sentara to drop color codes

SENTARA NORTHERN VIRGINIA MEDICAL CENTER, WOODBRIDGE

Submitted: 

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, a ‘Facility Alert’ or ‘Medical Alert’ or ‘Security Alert’ announced at any Sentara hospital in will plainly identify a situation and its location and advise staff and visitors what to do.

OVERVIEW
• Plain Language alerts will plainly identify events and locations and provide instructions.
• Plain language alerts enhance safety and reduce confusion for staff, visitors and patients.
• Plain Language alerts are a growing trend among hospitals.
• Only color codes to remain are universal Code Red (Fire Alarm) and Code Blue (Cardiac Arrest)

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, a ‘Facility Alert’ or ‘Medical Alert’ or ‘Security Alert’ announced at any Sentara hospital in will plainly identify a situation and its location and advise staff and visitors what to do.

The trend toward Plain Language is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The National Incident Management System (2008) and The Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy report and recommendations (2004) (more…)

News
Found remains belong to Woodbridge man missing since November

From Prince William police: 

Death Investigation *UPDATE – On February 6, 2017, the Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identification of the human remains found on February 4 in the 1100 block of Marseille Ln in Woodbridge as Alan Cohee.

Mr. Cohee was reported as missing and endangered to police on November 11, 2016 by family members. Since his disappearance, the Prince William County Police Department, with assistance from other local and state agencies, conducted numerous searches of the area without success.

Mr. Cohee was last seen on November 10 and had no known contact since that time. Based upon the autopsy conducted and the police investigation, the death of Mr. Cohee is being classified as a suicide.

                Identified:

                The deceased was identified as Alan COHEE, 61, of Woodbridge

News
Found photos illustrate Prince William County’s past

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Photos by Ed Stallknecht

Pictured: NOVA Woodbridge Campus, Gordon Plaza at Route 123 and Horner Road in Woodbridge, Manassas Train Station in Old Town Manassas, Pilot House restaurant on Neabsco Creek (destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003), the old Holiday Inn in Dumfries.

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Last fall, we saw some images of Prince William County taken more than 40 years ago appeared on Facebook. 

We wondered who took them, and how the photos wound up on social media so many years later.

Today, we have that story. 

From Historic Prince William President David Cuff: 

After a career in the Marines, Edward S. Stallknecht became a realtor based in Dumfries in the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Ed learned to fly while in the Marines and would rent airplanes from the Flying Club based at Quantico.

Besides just a love of flying, Ed used the flights to take pictures of the fast changing landscape below. He used the images in a slideshow presentation he would give to other realtors, associations, and clients looking for large tracts of land to develop.

I serve as the current president of Historic Prince William, and on a warm afternoon last May, I noticed an aerial image on the wall of Aden Grocery while getting a drink and e BLT sandwich. The image was an aerial photo of the store taken in 1972 and was signed “Ed Stallknecht, Flying Realtor.” Intrigued, I searched the internet for more information.

(more…)

News
Human remains found in Featherstone Shores

From Prince William police: 

Death Investigation – On February 4 at 2:50PM, officers responded to investigate human remains located in a wooded area in the 1100 block of Marseille Ln in Woodbridge (22191). The remains were recovered then transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination and identification. The identity of the deceased will be released once confirmed and next of kin is notified. There is no public threat or need for concern from the surrounding community as this incident does not appear to be random and no foul play is suspected at this time. More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.

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