For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Woodbridge Local

News
Woodbridge Man Killed by Asphalt Roller

Fairfax County, Va. — A Woodbridge man was killed Saturday when an asphalt roller ran over him.

Police said 40-year-old Edgar Tobar, a construction employee, was standing near a roadway of a construction site when another employee operating an asphalt roller lost control of the machine and ran over Tobar, said a Fairfax County police spokesman.

Tobar was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Homicide investigators were called to the accident scene, in the 7300 block of Statecrest Drive in Annandale, and decided not to file criminal charges in Tobar’s death.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has taken over the investigation of Tobar’s death.

News
‘We Lost Everything’ after Floods

Photos by: Mary Davidson
Story by: Uriah Kiser

Woodbridge, Va. — Flood waters started building on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge when Marumsco Creek toppled its banks Thursday afternoon. Police closed the highway one lane at a time before it became impassable.

Buddy Sigmond has worked at A & M Auto Body, in the center of the flood zone, for the past 16 years.

“We lost everything, all of the equipment, a truck, I’ve never seen anything like it. Water in the building was seven feet high,” said Sigmond.

They didn’t have flood insurance and he wasn’t there when the flood waters began to rise.

“I wish I was, maybe I could l have saved some of the equipment, something, anything,” he said.

The waters didn’t just take businesses; they took the homes of more than 300 people now living in a Red Cross Shelter at Woodbridge Senior High School. Their mobile homes — across the street from the auto shop — have all been condemned after they were ripped from their foundations.

In the neighborhood Friday, those who appeared to have lost everything worked to pick up the pieces in muddy conditions that resembled a war zone.

After the homes were washed from their foundations, sewage problems have made the area uninhabitable, said Prince William spokeswoman Nicole Brown.

At the shelter, officials say it will be open for the remainder of the weekend. The Red Cross has asked residents not to bring donations of any kind to the shelter due to security concerns. Though they are appreciated, the aid agency says they have all they need to assist the victims, officials say.

Prince William County’s Department of Social Services has been charged with helping those displaced with finding a new place to live.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell declared a state of emergency last night, which allows state agencies to provide quicker emergency assistance to places like Woodbridge.

“After they declared a state of emergency, maybe we’ll get some kind of help here,” said Sigmond.

The flood waters claimed three lives, including the drowning death of a man whose body was found on Davidson Airfield at Fort Belvoir.

News
Retaining Wall Fails, Boil Water Advisory Issued

Gloria Hernandez, Deacon for Ebenezer Baptist Church in Occoquan, stands at the door of her church watching as the heavy rains cause run off from Commerce Street, flooding the church basement in Occoquan Thursday evening. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Update

The Area Agency on Aging, which serves PrinceWilliamCounty, Manassas and ManassasPark has issued the following announcement on its services for today:

The Woodbridge Adult Day Program is open.

The Manassas and WoodbridgeSeniorCenters are closed. Meals on wheels will not be delivered, however Meals on Wheels recipients have emergency meals on hand already.

All other services are operating without any interruptions.

Woodbridge, Va. — Residents are waking up this morning after massive flooding in their neighborhoods, especially in the Holly Acres and Marumsco mobile home parks on U.S. 1 in Woodridge where Marumcso creek rose rapidly Thursday forcing more than 100 from their homes.

Also in Woodbridge, a retaining wall in an apartment community on Breezy Ridge Way have way overnight substantially damaging units that had already been evacuated, said Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant.

At a temporary shelter at Woodbridge Senior High School in Lake Ridge, 51 people who were evacuated took shelter there overnight. Some still in their homes now have to contend with a boil water advisory issued by the Prince William Service Authority.

Here’s a look at what officials are telling us:

  • The Prince William Service Authority has issued a “boil water advisory” (see attached) for customers located in the Woodbridge area bounded by I-95 and Route 1, south of Occoquan Road and North of Prince William County Parkway. This area includes the neighborhoods of Marumsco Village, Millwood Estates, Maben Woods, and Ashford. Residents should bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and cool before drinking or used bottled water until further notice is given.
  • Marumsco Creek rose rapidly and water levels along Route 1 rose up to 15 feet above the road. Mobile homes in Holly Acres and Marumsco Mobile Home Park were flooded substantially and residents had to be evacuated. Several businesses, vehicles and personal property were substantially damaged due to the floods. The water has receded and damage assessments will begin tomorrow.
  • A retaining wall behind an apartment community onBreezy Ridge Way gave way and substantially damaged the property forcing some units to be evacuated.
  • Currently, 51 people are in the shelter located at Woodbridge High School. The shelter will remain open all night and into the morning. County officials will inspect the homes of those evacuated to make certain they are safe and habitable. Shelters will be provided for the short term as needed.
  • Several roads were flooded and VDOT will be performing road inspections throughout the region to insure the integrity of those roads.
  • Prince William County fire and rescue workers with mutual aid assistance from Fauquier County and Stafford County responded to 24 swift water rescue calls and 40 flood related hazard calls with no reported weather-related injuries. Police had to close several roads throughout the county and responded to 95 calls for service related to flooding.

-Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant

Occoquan also was not immune to flooding Thursday.

[Flood waters have closed] Poplar Lane, Occoquan Road, Center Lane, Union Street, Tanyard Hill Road, and parts of Mill Street [in Occoquan]. Union Street/Tanyard Hill Road will remain closed just to the south of Center Lane throughout the evening and into tomorrow (Friday). Poplar Lane near the town boundary will remain closed until downed power line(s) can be repaired.

If rain continues over the ensuing days, please exercise particular caution along Tanyard Hill Road, Center Lane, Union Street, and Mill Street.

Ballywhack Creek has been repeatedly and rapidly overflowing its banks, creating extremely hazardous conditions on each of those roadways, as well as washing away embankments, and flooding adjacent properties. In addition, flood conditions have arisen repeatedly on Poplar Alley behind the Tourist Information Center. Finally, there is noticeable debris in town, particularly along Union and Mill Streets.

-Occoquan Mayor Ernie Porta

 

News
Woodbridge Floods

SCHOOLS CLOSED, LOCAL EMERGENCY DECLARED

Woodbridge, Va. — It rained all week, but no one in the Potomac Communities – a place known for its location by the water – ever expected to be underwater.

Heavy rains brought flooding to the region Thursday, enough to cancel public school in Prince William on Friday. County officials declared a local state of emergency.

Streams and creeks topped their banks Thursday afternoon as slow moving thunderstorms inundated the region with heavy downpours, dumping up to six inches of rain on the area.

About 100 people in two mobile home parks near Marumsco Plaza along U.S. 1 were evacuated and offered a bus to a temporary Red Cross shelter at Woodbridge Senior High School on Old Bridge Road. Conditions further south on U.S. 1 weren’t any better, as swift water rescues were reported in the areas of Neabsco Road and Locust Shade Park near the Stafford County line, where at least six were reportedly pulled from their stalled vehicles.

Also in Woodbridge late Thursday, 12 apartments near the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Longview Avenue were being evacuated out of fears a retaining wall there could fail.

“Prince William County is experiencing heavy flooding, particularly on the east end near the Potomac River as heavy rainfall continues to overwhelm waterways and tributaries. Eastern Prince William County has already had over 12 inches of rain and an additional two inches is expected over the next four hours,” said county spokesman Jason Grant.

In Occoquan, streets flooded and the town’s mayor, Ernie Porta, stood out in the rain – refusing an umbrella – and turned away drivers, telling them to head for higher ground.

In Alexandria, flooding from Cameron Run forced the closure of a portion of the Capital Beltway. On I-95 south headed from south Fairfax into Prince William, lanes were open but the slow pace of cars made for a miserable commute home.

The flooding also claimed two lives in Northern Virginia on Thursday night.

The rains came from what was left of Tropical Storm Lee, the remnants of which stalled out of over the Ohio Valley and continued to bring up moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Add to that Hurricane Katia spinning near the eastern seaboard holding what was left of Lee at bay, it was the perfect scenario for the perfect storm, said WRC-TV Meteorologist Doug Kammerer.

Flood warnings from the National Weather Service were set to expire at 1:45 a.m. Friday, but forecasters kept the chance of additional showers and thunderstorms in the forecast through the weekend.

 

News
Prince William Schools Experience Flooding

Woodbridge, Va. — Water is a problem today at some Prince William County Public Schools, prompting officials to come up with a plan to deal with the mess.

Initial reports indicated some students were being moved from Woodbridge Middle School to another nearby school, however they were false. 

There are unconfirmed reports that children from Woodbridge Middle School are being moved to nearby Fred M. Lynn Middle School because of flooding at the school. We’re told the students who are moved there will be dismissed from Fred Lynn Middle.

School officials say they plan to make an announcement on their social networking services, via Twitter and Facebook, soon.

The reports come after days of drenching rains and flood warnings in the Potomac Communities.

While tomorrow’s forecast calls for less rain, there remains the chance for showers and thunderstorms in the forecast through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

News
Doctors’ Office Rock Star of Humor

Associates in Gastroenterology is at it again with another funny banner. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. — The doctor’s office in Woodbridge known for funny banners has done it again.

Hanging above the front entrance to Potomac Plaza on Smoketown Road, just across from Potomac Mills mall, is a banner that states: Potty like a rock star.

“It’s a simple play on words, but will hopefully bring bowel movements to center stage,” said Brittney Marthaller, spokeswoman for Associates in Gastroenterology

The doctor’s office has, as of late, become known for their quirky banners. This summer, the office hung a banner on its façade letting passersby know they could help them in case they had hemorrhoids.

The Associates in Gastroenterology office occupies half of Potomac Plaza, while the other half of the building that faces Smoketown Road remains empty.

The building was once home to the Potomac News, which changed its name to News and Messenger and moved to Manassas in 2010.

News
Connolly Awarded After Healthcare Grant

Greater Prince William Health Center Director Frank J. Principi (left) presents Rep. Gerry Connolly (right) with a national healthcare advocacy award. (Submitted)

Woodbridge, Va. — The staff at the Greater Prince William Health Center in Woodbridge on Tuesday thanked Rep. Gerry Connolly (D, 11 – Fairfax, Prince William) for helping them find $1.1 million to stay in business.

The congressman was presented an advocacy award from the National Association of Community Health Centers, and was nominated for the national prize by the staff at the Woodbridge health care center.

“The Greater Prince William Community Health Center and 100 other community health centers across the Commonwealth fill an important void in health care for tens of thousands of hard-working Virginia families by providing lower-cost access to quality medical services,” Congressman Connolly said in a press release.

Connolly secured the grant in 2009, which prevented the facility from closing.

The center’s director, who is also the Prince William County Woodbridge District Supervisor, Frank J. Principi, presented the award to Connolly.

The health center offers low cost health care to underserved residents of Prince William County.

News
Woodbridge Man Faces Terror Charges

Woodbridge, Va. — A man living in Woodbridge has faces charges after federal authorities allege he has ties with a known terrorist group.

Jubair Ahmad, 24, a Pakistani native who since 2007 has lived in Woodbridge, is charged with providing material to support Lashkar-e-Tayyiba – a designated terror organization, as well as making false statements during an investigation, according to U.S. Eastern District of Virginia Attorney Neil McBride.

In September, Ahmad made a video and uploaded to YouTube showing conversations with operatives believed to be connected to the terror group, said McBride. After several video exchanges between suspected members of the group and Jubair, the final video showed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’s leader, Hafiz Saeed, with trucks exploding after being hit with improvised explosive devices, said McBride.

More to the story: Read the entire affidavit from the U.S. court.

In October, Saeed asked Ahmad to revise the video and repost it to YouTube, said McBride. During an interview with federal authorities last month, Ahmad denied any involvement with the video in uncovered in Oct. 2010.

Federal authorities since 2009 have been investigating Ahmad on suspected involvement with the terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

News
Slide show: After Irene

Hurricane Irene brought a soaking rain, downed trees and power outages to the Potomac Communities.

Julie Bohn lives along the Occoquan River at the town that shares the same name. Though two tree limbs fell into her yard due to high winds during the height of the storm, she was happy things did not get as bad as they could have.

“We get a lot of big storms and then we get the flooding, but there is always something to fight down here. Living on the river has got its joys and its good points, and then, sometimes, you’ve got other things like this to deal with,” said Bohn.

More to the story: Mapping Irene: post your report to our Hurricane Irene Map.

Occoquan officials warned residents before the storm that town could flood, but a down Mill Street in Occoquan Sunday morning revealed no significant damage.

What’s left after Irene can be summed up with the various downed trees and power lines in the area. Dominion Virginia Power says they are responding to the 1.2 million people without power after the storm, and has asked anyone without power to call them.

Also in Occoquan was a downed tree hanging on a power line blocked a portion of Union Street leading into town.

More to the story: Few take refuge in an emergency shelter.

In the rural Arkendale area of North Stafford, a fallen tree closed a gravel section of Brent Point Road near Arkendale Road. An electrical cable also laid in the intersection of Arkendale and Widewater roads Sunday morning.

At 2 a.m., the long awaited brunt of the storm picked up bringing high winds to the area, but otherwise the storm brought some much-needed rain to the region.

 

News
Damage Surveying Begins

PL Box Logo

Update  11 a.m.

Stafford will open its landfill on Eskimo Hill Road until 3 p.m. today so residents can haul away any debris and other refuse materials.

Original post 8:25 a.m.

The storm has left the Potomac Communities with down trees and power outages in its wake.

In Prince William County, 2,700 Dominion Virginia Power customers were without power, and 1,800 NOVEC customers were without power – mostly along Interstate 95.

Most residents heeded the warnings to stay inside and off the roads as the hurricane worked its way through the County, and that greatly reduced the level of risk. As the storm now moves from our area, residents and property owners are encouraged to survey their properties and neighborhood for potential threats and damage caused by the storm. However, they are reminded that the threat of falling trees remains high due to the overly saturated ground conditions and potential erosion that could have occurred as a result of the water run-off. Those in wooded areas and with large trees should use extreme caution.

-Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant 

Residents should watch for downed trees and power lines; and if you come to a flooded road, turn around and look for another route.

The landfill on Va. 234 in Prince William County will open on time today for Prince William residents to haul away and debris.

Residents are reminded that removal of fallen trees or debris on their property remains the responsibility of the property owner. The County landfill will be open to residents during regularly scheduled hours for those needing to haul away debris from their properties. Those hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residential and non-commercial use only. Commercial users and refuse users may access the landfill Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. only.

If there are trees and debris in public rights of way, storm drains and streams, please contact the Public Works Department at 703-792-7070.

-Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant 

The landfill in Stafford County will remain closed today, as will county parks and recreation facilities, said county spokeswoman Cathy Riddle.

At 6 a.m. Sunday, Dominion reported 7,800 customers without power in Stafford. A Red Cross shelter that opened at noon Saturday took in five people overnight and was scheduled to close at noon Sunday.

Several downed trees were reported in the county, including on U.S. 1 in Boswell’s Corner and on Arkendale and Brent Point roads.

At least three storm-related deaths were reported in Virginia.

News
Marina a Haven for Boaters

John, and Garret Dewhurst, both of Woodbridge, decided to ride out Hurricane Irene at Hampton’s Landing Marina in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. — The place for some boaters to ride out Hurricane Irene was on the dock at Hampton’s Landing Marina.

It was here at 7 p.m. at least two boaters decided to batten down the hatches, tie up their boats to the dock, and wait out the storm – while having a few drinks.

“This is all we have, it’s everything to us,” said John who lives in Woodbridge and docks his large pleasure boat here.

It took John and another boater, D.J. Bryce of Springfield, about 20 minutes to secure their boat for the storm. Afterward, it’s time to wait it out.

“If you’ve been around long enough it’s not that bad. This is not my first hurricane, but it is my first one on the Potomac. It’s already high tide here, so I don’t think it’ll be that bad,” said Bryce.

The marina had staff on hand to watch over the marina during the storm and to make sure none of the boats broke loose from the dock, or ended up on the dock following a large storm surge.

It already high tide so it’s the worst it’s going to get

“I’ve got to watch everything. Got to make sure all of the lines are in place. Got to make sure none of the boats ride up on the dock,” said Garret Dewhurst of Woodbridge.

Stafford and eastern Prince William counties sat under a flood warning from the National Weather Service at 7 p.m. Saturday, as major flooding was expected from Irene.

Since Saturday morning, Quantico had picked up 1.38 inches of rain. By 7:50 p.m., Quantico was reporting sustained winds of 30 mph and gusts up to 51 mph.

News
HAZMAT Crew Called to Truck Crash

A tractor trailer crashed on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge on Friday night causing a fuel spill. (Submitted photo)

Woodbridge, Va. — A tractor trailer crashed into a telephone pole on U.S. 1 near Dumfries about 8:40 p.m. Friday, causing a large fuel spill on the highway.

Fire and rescue crews from Dumfries Triangle Volunteer Fire Department, as well as a HAZMAT crew, were called to the crash near the area of U.S. 1 and Powell’s Creek Boulevard following the crash.

At least 40 to 50 gallons of fuel spilled onto to the roadway after the truck’s side fuel tanks ruptured, officials said. Crews worked to contain and clean up the spilled fuel.

No word if anyone was injured. Police closed a portion of U.S. 1 for more than an hour following the crash, according to witnesses.

News
State Parks Closing Today Ahead of Irene

Seagulls fly over the Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge.

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Woodbridge,  Va. — With what is predicted to be a violent storm on the way, Virginia State Parks announced they will be closing several state parks by this afternoon.

Pocahontas, Lake Anna, Caledon, Leesylvania and Mason Neck State Parks will all be closing early. Those with reservations at Pocahontas or Lake Anna for this weekend are advised to not go to the park. Via Facebook, the State Park Service also reminded park guests “The safety of our visitors and staff is paramount! When a park is closed–that means CLOSED even if you consider the park your backyard. Please do not go beach combing, hike or bike on the trails during or after the storm until the park is officially re-opened.”

Closure status updates are available by calling 1-800-933-7275 or by visiting the parks’ individual web pages. Status may vary by park. Links to their individual websites are below:

Pocahontas

Lake Anna

Caledon

Leesylvania

Mason Neck

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/mas.shtml

News
9/11 Rememberances Planned

Prince William County Supervisors Maureen Caddigan, Corey Stewart, and John Jenkins herald the arrival of steel from the World Trade Center. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. — Prince William officials plan to honor the 22 residents from the county who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Nineteen of them were killed in a terrorist attack the Pentagon in Arlington and three at the World Trade Center in New York City.

“The 9/11 Liberty Memorial Committee, who originally worked on the memorial on the County Complex grounds, has been meeting since January to plan this event as it is the 10th Anniversary of that tragic day,” said Prince William County spokeswoman Patricia Prince.

The ceremony begins Saturday Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. on at the 9/11 Memorial at the County Government Complex off Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. It is open to the public.

Stafford County will also honor the fallen on Sunday, Sept. 11, with a wreath laying ceremony set to begin at 1 p.m.

The ceremonies come as the nation will honor the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In June, Prince William officials worked with their counterparts in New York City to bring pieces of steel once part of the World Trade Center to the county.

Nearly 3,000 victims along with 19 hijackers were killed in the attacks.

Program schedule:

Prelude
Prince William Community Band

Honor Guard
Prince William County Public Safety Honor Guard

National Anthem
New Dominion Choraliers

Invocation
Rev. Jeff Carter, Fire & Rescue Chaplain

Remarks
Chairman Corey A. Stewart

Sean Connaughton, Secretary of Transportation
Laurie Laychak

Candle Ceremony
Candles will be lit in memory of all those lost at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and in Pennsylvania.

Taps
Donna Flory

 

News
Flags Lowered to Honor Fallen Soldier

Prince William County, Va. — Flags in Prince William County are being flown at half staff today to honor a fallen solider with ties to Woodbridge.

Army Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino, 28, of New Jersey, was killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan on Aug. 8.

Plutino’s father lives in Woodbridge, said Prince William County spokesman Jason Grant.

Since the solider did not live or attend school in Prince William, his name will not be added to the county’s war memorial outside the government center on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

Plutino, an Army Ranger, died just two weeks prior to coming home to the U.S.

News
Skate Park Gets a Remake

Children, along with county and park officials, break ground at what will be a redesigned skate park at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. (Submitted photo)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Children gathered by the half pipe herald the redesign of the only public skate facility at a Prince William County park.

Since 2009, officials with the Prince William Park Authority have discussed remodeling the Skate Park at Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge.

On Friday, park officials, Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi and a handful of others dug into the dirt to break ground on the newly redesigned park.

Principi posted to Twitter following the groundbreaking ceremony.

‘Tried to keep it young with Veterans Park Skaters at the groundbreaking. Note: “Rad” is in, “Sick” is out, and no one knows “Old school”

Prince William Park Authority has more on the project to remake the skate park.

Since 2009, officials with the Prince William Park Authority have discussed remodeling the Skate Park at Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge.

On Friday, park officials, Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi and a handful of others dug into the dirt to break ground on the newly redesigned park.

Principi posted to Twitter following the groundbreaking ceremony:

Tried to keep it young with Veterans Park Skaters at the groundbreaking. Note: “Rad” is in, “Sick” is out, and no one knows “Old school.”

Prince William Park Authority has more on the project to remake the skate park.

News
Free Backpacks Offered at Grand Opening

Woodbridge, Va. — When it comes to big box stores in Woodbridge  it’s out with “Hi” and in with “B.”

Hi Mart, a former K-Mart store with many different vendors has changed its name to B-Thrifty.

Located at Station Plaza across the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station, the new store describes itself as a super thrift store and international bazaar.

The grand opening celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with free backpacks to the first 100 customers in line, $100 store credit, called B Dollars, for the first 10 customers and $50 in store credit for customers 11 through 50, according to Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi’s office.

Principi is scheduled to appear at the grand opening celebration.  

In addition to free food and drinks, the store will also hide several golden eggs throughout the building, each of them rewarding the finder with $25 in B Dollars.

In addition to the new store, the building also boasts a kabob restaurant and automotive shop.

 

News
Principi Holds Town Hall

Prince William County Supervisor Frank Principi speaks with supporter Bryanna Altman at his reelection kick off party at Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Café in Woodbridge. (File Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Woodbridge, Va. — For the past 22 years, Bulah Smith has lived on Horner Road near Prince William Parkway and Interstate 95.

She says her neighborhood street is rife with debris, drug paraphernalia and crime.

“It is often that we hear gunshots; I mean they are so close to our home here where you actually hear the bullet cutting limbs and leaves off of the trees,” said Smith

To combat crime on her dark street, she erected two street lights on her property and pays an additional $20 per month to the electric company to have them, she said.

Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi said a planned development for the neighborhood, an assisted living center, could help turn things around. In the meantime, he said he’ll have the police department see what else they can do to make the street safer.

“What I will commit to doing is number one: we need to get the police department out there to do a crime assessment, and a street lighting assessment and look at the current street lighting situation, and if it merits, and if we can get that bill put on the county bill, rather that you paying for it, we’ll certainly explore that,” said Principi.

Principi, a Democrat seeking this fall to hold on to his seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, held his third telephone town hall meeting Wednesday night. With 830 residents listening in, he fielded several questions on improving transportation, redeveloping U.S. 1, and whether or not property tax rates will be reduced in light of property values that have declined.

“Our property tax rate for [fiscal year] 12…is about a buck-twenty per $100 per assessed value. That is the same property tax rate that we had in 2007 and we have been able to, for the last four years, to maintain the property tax rate the same or slightly higher base on the rate of inflation,” said Principi. “We think that we on the Board of Supervisors are doing everything possible to hold down the property tax rates in this sour economy.”

During the town hall, about 10,000 residents were called and given the option to listen in on the call and submit questions, as well as respond to instant poll questions. Given the choice between bringing High Occupancy Toll lanes to the area, expanding area roads or extending Metro to Woodbridge, 66 percent of respondents said Metro is the most viable transportation improvement for the area, Principi said.

The supervisor announced a special Metro summit to be held in Woodbridge in late September with officials from the regional transit system.

Principi faces Republican challenger Chris Royse in the general election on Nov. 8.

News
Pitcher to Draw 9,000 Fans

Woodbridge, Va. — The man behind the most hyped pitching debut in baseball will play Friday night in Woodbridge.

Its Washington National’ s Steven Strasburg’s second rehab start since undergoing Tommy Johns surgery in September, and the stands at Pfitzner Stadium off Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge are expected to be filled with fans to see a pitcher whom Washington paid a record $15 million to sign.

“I would guess between 8-9000 fans Friday Night,” said Potomac Nationals General Manager Josh Olerud.

The gates to Pfitzner Stadium will open at 5 p.m. and the first 2,000 fans in the doors will get a raffle ticket to win a Strasburg autographed game jersey.

Additional police will also be on hand to direct traffic and for crowd control, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The 23-year-old Strasburg made his first rehab start Sunday with the Hagerstown Suns, where he allowed one earned run on three hits over an inning and two thirds and tossed 31 pitches, 25 of which were strikes, said Olerud.

During his opener with the Washington Nationals on June 8, 2010, Strasburg pitched seven innings with no walks and 14 strikeouts, allowing two earned runs. It set a new team record, and he was the first pitcher ever to strike out at least eleven batters with no walks in his professional debut.

News
Potomac Library Expanding

Potomac Community Library in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. — A new addition to Potomac Community Library in Woodbridge aims to make the building more of a community center.

The groundbreaking for the project, to develop the area behind the building into an outdoor plaza, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi.

The library on Optiz Boulevard just east of Potomac Mills mall was built in 1974 with an outdoor patio. But as the years have gone by the patio was rarely used, according to Prince William County officials.

The new plaza will include a stage that will allow for a wide array of events to be held there.

The $300,000 project should be complete in June 2012, and will increase the number of activities at the library from 400 to 424 per year. It is also expected to increase library attendance by 800 visitors, up from 19,000 per year, according to county documents.

Page 101 of 121« First...102030...99100101102103...110120...Last »