Covering the Greater Prince William County, Virginia Area

Woodbridge Local

Bill would push PWC immigration policy statewide

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Woodbridge) thinks Prince William County’s immigration policy – where everyone who is arrested is questioned about their immigration status – would work well in jurisdictions across the state.

He’s introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would not only require agencies to inquire about detainee’s immigration status, it would also allow them to hold those arrested without bond if authorities think they will not appear for a hearing.

The bill is still pending a hearing. has more on a University of Virginia study on Prince William County’s immigration policy that found crime in the county has decreased in recent years, but has also created a wider racial divide.

Students take limo to lunch

Woodbridge Middle School told us about a special limousine ride students took last month as a reward for selling items during a fundraiser.

On December 13, 2010 students from Woodbridge Middle School enjoyed a luxurious limo ride to Old Country Buffet as a reward for selling more than 30 items during the Fall Fundraiser. Schools need all the extra funding they can get in order to enhance the learning experience. Fund raising money is used to provide technology and library resources.

The next fund raising opportunity for Woodbridge Middle School will be the Sports Night on April 1st at 7:00.  This fun event pits students vs. teachers in games such as boys basketball, girls volleyball, and 6th grade tug of war.  It is an excellent night of family fun!

Fewer parking spaces got you bummed? You have options

OmniLink switch buses at the Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– The expansion of the Horner Road commuter lot in Woodbridge may provide some relief for commuters that will no longer be able to park at Potomac Mills mall.  But it won’t come fast enough to help those who will be put out on February 14.

Potomac Mills announced Thursday it would curtail commuter parking in their lots by 75 percent beginning Valentine’s Day. Afterward, mall managers suggested putout commuters take the bus.

But that may not be an option for many who would board OmniRide commuter buses near the mall, as nearly all of those early morning buses are full. (more…)

Woman escapes captor in Woodbridge

U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, at the intersection of E. Longview Drive and Prince William Parkway.

Lorton, Va. –– A woman from Lorton was abducted Wednesday and driven to Woodbridge, where she narrowly escaped her captor, police said.

It happened at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when the 20-year-old victim was walking along U.S. 1 south, near Woodside Lane in the Gunston area of Fairfax County.

While the woman was walking near a shopping center, the alleged captor yelled out to her while the car was still moving. As the car stopped, the woman walked over to the passenger side of the car to speak to the man. (more…)

Potomac Mills expansion to force out commuters

Commuters on Tuesday were greeted with yellow cones and barriers as they tried to park at a crowded parking lot at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge. (File)

Update 5 p.m.
We now know a bit more about why Potomac Mills mall decided to drastically reduce the amount of commuter parking there.

In a statement issued by the mall, officials say an increased demand for employee and customer parking, as well as the anticipated addition of several new retailers and restaurants in the coming year has driven the need to reduce the number of parking spaces commuters use each weekday by 75 percent from when commuter parking there was at its peak. (more…)

Principi will use phone for town hall

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi

It’s time to tell Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi what’s on your mind.

The county supervisor on Wednesday on his Twitter account said he would hold a telephone town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday January 25.

There is no word yet on how many people are expected to participate, or what number residents will dial to take part in the telephone conference.

According to Tele-Town Hall’s website, those who participate in Tele-Town Halls are able to pose questions and get answers from politicians while using their technology.

The firm says thousands of politicians nationwide use the Tele-Town Hall service.

Helping parents with college, disabled students

Navigating the wilds of college applications can be tough.

That’s why a town hall meeting aimed at tackling the financial aid process will be held for parents and students Thursday January 20 at 7 p.m. at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. The event is free.

There will also be a meeting for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school into college and post-school life.

The seminar will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday March 5, 2011 at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center near at Independent Hill.

The meeting will cover estate planning, college disability support services, career planning and other topics.

Reservations are suggested for the event.

There are a lot of other events going on in the area. Check them out and submit your own.

A ‘brother’ to be remembered

George Doughty's body was found in the woods in Dale City on Jan. 5, 2011.

Woodbridge, Va. –– George Doughty was a good friend, a sort of keeper of homeless community in Dale City, and was like a brother to the man who will lead his remembrance service Thursday.

Doughty was found dead of apparent medical problems in the woods off Dale Boulevard one week ago. He was homeless, and for at least the past three years had called those woods home.

A service will be held in his honor at 8 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge.

The church itself is the tallest building in that section of town, a fitting place to remember someone who was loved by so many. (more…)

Firefighter charged with DUI

Update 3:15 p.m.

The firefighter charged with DUI on Monday is a volunteer with OWL Volunteer Fire Department in Woodbridge, but officials stress he was not on company time when he was arrested.

OWL VFD Chief Jim McAllister said Pottier was operating his own vehicle and was not on duty, and when he was arrested, did not identify himself to police as a volunteer firefighter.

Original post 1:48 p.m.
Lake Ridge, Va. –– A volunteer firefighter in Prince William County has been arrested and charged with DUI, police said.

Nathan Collier Pottier, 25, of Vienna, was stopped at 11 p.m. Monday in the area of Hedges Run Drive and Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge.

When the officer questioned him, he determined Pottier to be driving under the influence of alcohol, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Police said Pottier is a volunteer firefighter in Prince William.

More on this story as we get it.

Leesylvania to honor revolutionary Harry Lee

Woodbridge, Va. –– The father of confederate General Robert E. Lee was born in what today is considered Woodbridge.

Known as “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the historical figure served as a delegate to the continental congress, favored adoption of the U.S. constitution, and was Virginia’s ninth governor.

Leesylvania State Park, once a plantation on the Potomac River where Lee was born, will provide a tour of his birthplace, tell visitors of his life and accomplishments and showcase what life was like in colonial times.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Jan. 29, at the park’s visitor center. (more…)

Slide show: McDonnell, Redskins get fit

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell exercises with students from Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge as the Redskins donate a “Youth Fitness Zone” to the school. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell appeared alongside Redskins Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander on Thursday, when they donated a “Redskins Youth Fitness Zone” to a Fred Lynn Middle School in Woodbridge.

The governor was joined by his wife, Maureen, and team owner Daniel Snyder and his wife, Tanya, were also on hand for the event.

While there, the McDonnell exercised with students inside the gymnasium.

He also told the crowd that his wife was a Redskins cheerleader when they met 35-years-ago. (more…)

Another Five Guys closes

Another Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant has closed.

After the company closed one of its Woodbridge locations last month, the popular Five Guys location in Salem, Va. (in southwest Virginia) closed its doors Dec. 31.

So far, the representatives from the Lorton-based burger chain have not said why they chose to close the locations.

A representative from the shopping center in Salem where the restaurant once sat told the Roanoke Times the burger joint appeared to be successful. (more…)

Governor, Redskins to be in Woodbridge

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell

Woodbridge, Va. –– Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will appear in Woodbridge on Thursday as the Redskins donate a new fitness facility to a local school.

The state’s top official and his wife, Maureen, will be on hand when the Redskins Charitable Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline donate the ‘Redskins Youth Fitness Zone” at Fred M. Lynn Middle School, at 1650 Prince William Parkway.

The event will take place at 3:30 p.m., according to McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson. (more…)

Victim ID’d, burglaries probed, crasher charged

Victim identified
The pedestrian struck and killed in Mt. Vernon on New Year’s Day has been identified as 58-year-old Marino Sorto-Reyes, of Alexandria.

Sorto-Reyes was killed after being struck by a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee as he was trying to cross U.S. 1 in the area of Janna Lee Avenue.

Police said the victim was not using a crosswalk. No charges have been filed. (more…)

High-speed rail board to set agenda Friday

The White House’s vision of high-speed rail in the U.S. in 2009.

Woodbridge, Va. –– The second meeting of the Virginia – North Carolina High-Speed Rail Compact will be mostly an organizational one, says one of the local legislators who represents Virginia on the board.

The 10-member board, which includes five members of the Virginia House of Delegates, an engineer and four members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, will meet Friday in Richmond.

Virginia Del. Richard Anderson, R-51 (Lake Ridge, Woodbridge) was tapped by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell to serve on the board.

The board is expected to identify what they will work on over the coming months at the meeting.

“We need to maximize any sort of federal grants we get so that we can press forward on the construction of high speed rail. I definitely agree with the Obama administration on high-speed rail. It’s something we need, and in our area, it’s much more doable than bringing Metro to Woodbridge,” said Anderson. (more…)

Free cab rides offered tonight

Plan on having a few too many tonight while ringing in the New Year? Some can get a free cab ride home.

SoberRide will offer free cab rides home (up to a $30 fare) from now until 6 a.m. Saturday.

While residents in south Fairfax and Woodbridge can get in on the free rides, no cab company in Stafford County is participating in the SoberRide program. (more…)

Late jazz musician frequented area high school

Dr. Billy Taylor, legendary jazz preformer and educator, died Wednesday at 89. (Credit: Travis Sullivan's Blog)

Woodbridge, Va. –– The legendary Dr. Billy Taylor died Wednesday at age 89.

The Washington native, renowned pianist and jazz educator often gave performances at C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge as part of “Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center Program.”

The educational show was televised nationally by the Prince William Network, a media services division of the county public school system.

“He was our favorite artist and was always a gentleman who was never demanding. But when working with him you knew you were working with a giant of the jazz world and you made sure everything was perfect for his performances,” said Prince William Network Director Ben Swecker.

Taylor lived outside New York City and died of apparent heart failure, according to his website. (more…)

Small toiletries help homeless in big ways

Gayle Sanders is the Director of the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– For those living in the woods, in transitional housing, or for those who don’t know where they’ll sleep tonight, small donations really add up.

The AfterShare program at the Volunteers of America Chesapeake Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center (always a mouthful) is collecting shampoo, toiletries and other small, everyday items many people may not even think to donate.

The collection is part of VOA’s 15 Days of Giving drive, which urges residents to donate to the organization before the Dec. 31 federal deadline.

While clothes and cash are always welcome donations, the shelter in Woodbridge is always in need of ethnic hair products and deodorant. (more…)

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