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Woodbridge Local

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


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


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

Historic Manassas old

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!

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…)

PRTC service for Presidents’ Day

From PRTC: 

In observance of Presidents’ Day, PRTC bus service will operate as follows on Monday, February 20:
METRO DIRECT – 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.

Boy, 14, charged with robbery, arrested

From Prince William police:


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…)

‘Pile driving will occur along Route 1’ in Woodbridge

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.

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

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.

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…)

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. 

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


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.

• 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…)

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.


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

Found photos illustrate Prince William County’s past

My beautiful picture
My beautiful picture

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.


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.


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.

Police helicopter used to search for robbery suspect

Photo by Flickr user John Sonderman

From a Potomac Local reader: 

We live off the Prince William Pkwy near BJ’s. Any news on why there was a helicopter circling very low around 1 a.m.?

From Prince William police: 

*INCIDENT: A heavy police presense can be seen in the area of Cuddy Lp and Beaumont Rd in Woodbridge as officers search for a wanted juvenile suspect. A police helicopter is also assisting at this time.

We were looking for a juvenile who is wanted for robbery. He was not located.

Join us at for a beer at Water’s End Brewery to talk about improving the Old Bridge Corridor/I-95

Forward Motion Commotion: Let’s Get Old Bridge Traffic Moving”…an event sponsored by Potomac Local in partnership with Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson.

Traffic Congestion Think Tanks for the Occoquan District started in 2016 and continued in 2017. We are determined to mitigate the rush hour congestion along the Old Bridge Road corridor for morning and evening commuters and residents trying to move about. A couple of improvements are in progress. Now, we need more.

Come and meet Prince William County Department of Transportation (DOT) and VDOT leaders who will explain how projects are vetted and funded. Other transportation experts will also attend. Potomac Local News Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate a panel discussion, with questions from area residents, focused on getting traffic moving again on Old Bridge Road.

Email your questions about traffic in the Old Bridge Road Corridor for the panel to potomaclocal[at]gmail.com.

Map and Input Stations will be staffed with people ready to document your ideas. Intersections and other known opportunities for improvement include:

— Intersection – 123/Old Bridge Road (OBR)

— Intersection – Occoquan Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Tanyard Hill Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Minnieville Rd./OBR

— Intersection – Prince William Pkwy/OBR

— Miscellaneous – Minnieville/Smoketown/Springwoods, etc.

— I-95 interchange with Route 123

— Public Transportation

Unlike last year’s series of Occoquan congestion think tank meetings, this event will be a one-time opportunity in 2017 to provide your input in person. Following the meeting, we will continue to take ideas via email, calls and on our website:  SupervisorRuthAnderson.com.  So, if you have concerns and/or ideas or want to learn more about the process of getting ideas to the drawing board…this Think Tank is your opportunity.

The event will take place at Waters End Brewery, located at 12425 Dillingham Square, Lake Ridge, Va., from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

**Limited space! You must register to attend. By registering you are saving your spot but you will also receive one complimentary beer from Water’s End.**

‘Village Thrift Shop’ to become ‘2nd Avenue Value Stores’


Villiage Thrift in Woodbridge will soon become 2nd Avenue Value Stores.

The thrift shop located at is shifting its floor plan, upgrading its computer system, and instituting a customer rewards program as part of the changeover.
The changes should be completed in the next two weeks, according to a manager we spoke with. 
Another 2nd Avenue store recently opened in the Woodlawn area of Fairfax County on Route 1.
The company operates two other Village Thrift locations in Maryland — one in Bladensburg and the other in Camp Springs.

‘Only two’ big names discussed for Potomac Shores elementary school

From Prince William County Public Schools: 

Suggested names for the new “Potomac Shores” Elementary School presented to the School Board on February 1 include famous Americans, U.S. Presidents, and local educators and activists. The names were submitted online to the Office of Planning and Financial Services or offered at the School Board Naming Committee public meeting on January 30, held at Potomac High School.

The School Board is scheduled to vote on its choice at its next regular meeting on February 15. Criteria for naming of school facilities and buildings are described in Regulation 854-1.

“Potomac Shores” Elementary School is scheduled to open this fall. The school is located in the Potomac Magisterial District at 2500 River Heritage Parkway, Dumfries.

Naming committee members for “Potomac Shores” are School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers, Loree Williams (Woodbridge), and Justin Wilk (Potomac).


Updated: New parkway elementary school site a threat to parkland, say conservationists

Photo by Flickr user Prince William Public Library

From Prince William Conservation Alliance: 

Community Meeting
Tuesday, February 7, 4 to 6pm at Prince William Conservation Alliance, 2241F Tackett’s Mill Drive, Woodbridge

Planning Commission Vote
Wednesday, February 15, 7pm at McCoart Government Center, Board Chambers

Originally proposed to replace part of Chinn Parkland, this school is now slated for a site adjacent to Chinn Park, along PW Parkway between Kenwood Drive and Trowbridge Drive.

While this new site is preferable, concerns about impacts to Chinn Parkland and the surrounding community remain.

As currently proposed, damages to the adjacent parkland would be noteworthy. Despite significant impervious surfaces and highly erodible soils, no on-site retention of stormwater is planned, creating a situation that would devastate the creek.

Serious watershed impacts would extend far beyond the borders of the development site.


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