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Woodbridge Local

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…)

Vote: Top Stories of 2010 has been around nearly a year, and in that time we’ve managed to attract a lot of readers and responses to our stories.

Have a look at our poll, click your mouse and choose the what you think was the biggest story of the year.

Below our poll you’ll find the top five most read stories that appeared on our site this year, and we’ll also say please keep those clicks coming!

Top 5 Most Read Stories on in 2010

1. Photos of Krystal Ball surface on Web
2. A woman and her pet fox
3. Fire at FBI Academy at Quantico
3. Buffalo Wild Wings to open
3. Man defends woman then beat up

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…)

Buzzed driving could get you cuffed

Get ready to see more police officers stopping drivers this holiday season.

Police in Prince William County plan to set up sobriety checkpoints in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Dale City, Dumfries, as well as other portions of the county, hoping to find some very worthy “buzzed drivers.”

Even if you’ve had a few to drink and then get behind the wheel, police say “buzzed” driving is just as bad as drunk driving. (more…)

REI store to open in Woodbridge

Woodbridge, Va. –– Shoppers at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center will soon get a taste of the great outdoors.

Recreational Equipment Incorporated, better known as REI, plans to open a new location at the shopping center in spring 2012.

The store will boast two stories of camping, hiking, cycling, fitness and paddling gear, as well as clothing and accessories.

It will also include a bike shop for quick repairs, and an educational room where customers and community members will be able to see outdoor-related presentations and events.

The new store is expected to bring 50 new jobs to the area. Most of the hiring will take place three months prior to the store’s opening, company officials announced today. (more…)

After defending woman, man beaten

Fredericksburg, Va. –– Two Woodbridge men are charged in the brutal beating of a man who came to the aid of a woman.

A police officer saw four men beating a man who appeared to be unconscious outside Fatty J’s bar in Fredericksburg after it had closed at 1:06 a.m. Saturday, the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star reports.

Two of the attackers fled when they saw the police officer, but two others were arrested.

The victim was treated on the scene and declined to go to the hospital, according to the report.

As it turns out, the victim earlier that night saw a group of four men harassing a 24-year-old woman from Spotsylvania County who had also been inside the bar. He then approached the men and told them to leave the woman alone. (more…)

Woodbridge firefighters test smoke alarms

Woodbridge, Va. –– Firefighters in Woodbridge visited more than 20 homes Saturday to help residents test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a department spokeswoman said.

Many of the residents welcomed firefighters from OWL Volunteer Fire Department into their homes, and supplied new batteries to put into their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the changing your battery when you change your clocks” said OWL VFD Chief Jim McAllister.

The department urges residents to replace their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every 10 years. (more…)

2 carjacked in Woodbridge

Woodbridge, Va. –– An armed man forced a couple from their car Wednesday afternoon.

The victims, a 29-year-old woman from Alexandria and 29-year-old man from Woodbridge, were sitting in their car in the 13400 block of U.S. 1, near Station Plaza and Woodbridge VRE station, when two men approached at 3:23 p.m. and demanded they get out of the car.

One of the men showed a gun and both victims exited the vehicle, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Police were called, and officers later found the car about a mile way on James Street. (more…)

Parking fees waived at Leesylvania

Woodbridge, Va. –– Leesylvania State Park hopes free parking will draw some to the great outdoors Thursday.

In honor of Veterans Day, officials at the Woodbridge park will waive its $4 weekday parking fee charged when visitors enter the recreational area.

Officials hope residents will take advantage of the free admission and come to hike on one park’s many trails, take a boat ride on the Potomac River, explore some of the park’s rich history or simply have a picnic with family and friends, said Leesylvania State Park Chief Ranger Sarah Phillips. (more…)

1 charged, 2 others wanted in robbery

Antuan Jamal Pendergraph, 24, is charged in connection to robbery that happened Friday in Woodbridge. (Submitted)

Woodbridge, Va. –– One man has been arrested in a assault robbery that happened at a Woodbridge home, and police are still searching for two others believed to have been involved.

Antuan Jamal Pendergraph, 24, of 33 South Bragg Street in Alexandria, is charged with abduction, robbery and malicious wounding, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Investigators say Pendergraph is one of three other men who went to a home in the 1800 block of Tiger Lily Circle in Woodbridge about 5 p.m. Friday and assaulted the 33-year-old man who lives there.

The victim knew one of the men, police said, but shortly thereafter two additional men arrived. (more…)

Shots fired at Coast Guard recruiting station

Prince William police on Tuesday investigate a shooting at a Coast Guard recruiting station in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/

Woodbridge, Va. –– reports another shooting took place at a U.S. Military building, this time at a Coast Guard recruiting center near Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge.

The shots were fired overnight, and there have been no reports of injuries.

More from

Volunteers collect 1,180 pounds of trash

By Kayne Karnbach

Woodbridge, Va. –– A string of volunteers showed up to clean up the winter shelter on Potomac Mills Road.

Volunteers spent the morning picking up trash consisting of glass bottles, cans, and other recyclables from the wooded directly behind the shelter, including a heavily littered creek bed.

A total of 31 volunteer hours were spent removing 1,180 pounds of trash from around the shelter.


Dale City, Woodbridge on homes “hot” list

Woorbridge, Va. –– Home values in the Potomac Communities may be on the way up.

According to a report today in DCist, houses in the 22191 (Woodbridge) and 22193 (Dale City) zip codes have been selling on average just below their actual list prices, putting the neighborhood on Washington, D.C. – based real estate firm ZipRealty’s “cool list.” (more…)

Bus changes implemented today

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

Woodbridge, Va. –– Changes are coming to some OmniRide and some OmniLink buses today, as part of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s fall service change.

Here’s a list of the some of the changes that will affect riders in the Potomac Communities:

OmniRide Changes:
Dale City – Navy Yard – AM D-301 trip retimed.

Montclair and South Route 1 – PM Stop at 11th before G Street no longer served due to safety concerns.

Tysons Express – New shuttle connects locations in eastern Tysons with Tysons Express buses at West Park Transit Center. Promotional fares have been extended to June 2011. (more…)

Woman twice defrauds Medicaid

Woodbridge, Va. –– A woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year for defrauding Medicaid for second time was sentenced today.

Annette Fleming – McClatchey, 49, was ordered today to pay nearly $775,000 in restitution to Medicaid, and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

The sentence is in addition to the first time she plead guilty in 2008, when she was ordered to repay $3.7 million to Virginia’s Medicaid fund. (more…)

New slug line a non-starter

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– It’s a bust for a new commuter slug line from Woodbridge to Alexandria.

The new line, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Virginia Railway Express station in Woodbridge, was going to the first slug line to take commuters to Old Town Alexandria.

In the morning, slugs were to stand near the Woodbridge station and wait to be picked up. For their return trip home in the afternoon, slugs were supposed to wait at the VRE station in Alexandria to be picked up and be taken back to Woodbridge.

It appears few got the message. (more…)

Sex offender charged with touching girl, 15

Woodbridge, Va. –– A 15-year-old girl told police she was inappropriately touched Thursday by a man who offered her a ride to school.

The victim was walking to Freedom High School, at 15201 Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge, when a man approached her and said he would give her a ride, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

When the female got into the car, the man inappropriately touched her. (more…)

Middle school to hold chili cook off, offer adult English classes

By Annalisa Cleveland

Woodbridge, Va. –– A chili cook off will be held, and a series of free classes will be offered next month at Woodbridge Middle School.

The Chili Cook Off will be held for parents, friends, and family of students and faculty from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Student and teacher teams from every grade, as well as sports and extracurricular clubs will each host a booth full of chili with all the fixings.

Other refreshments will be sold there as well, and entertainment from the dance team, cheer team and a local Tae Kwon Do center will round out the evening. (more…)

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