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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.**

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

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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.

News
‘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).

(more…)

News
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.

(more…)

News
Updated: 2-alarm fire at Lorton incinerator was ‘deep-seated and will take multiple days to extinguish’

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Photo  Tweeted by @ffxfirerescue by @mountainstwin1

We’re working to get more on this story from Fairfax County fire and rescue officials. Here’s what we know now. 

From Covanta

The I-95 Energy/Resource Recovery Facility, operating as Covanta Fairfax, Inc., began commercial operation in June 1990. The facility processes more than 3,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste for a population of more than 900,000 in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Fairfax County, Virginia. The 22.9-acre facility in Lorton, VA, sells more than 80 megawatts of renewable energy – enough energy to meet the needs of over 80,000 homes. It is the first Covanta facility to have a system to recover very small particles of non-ferrous metal for recycling. 

Update

From Fairfax County fire and rescue:  (more…)

Obituary
Thomas Charles Vrtis

Thomas Charles Vrtis of Woodbridge, Virginia (formerly of St. Charles, Illinois) passed away at home on January 28, 2017. He was 87.

Tom was born on December 24, 1929, in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Charles and Anna (Kucera) Vrtis. He grew up in La Grange, Illinois, with seven brothers and sisters. After completing his elementary education at St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange and his high school education at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Tom attended Loyola University of Chicago and graduated with a degree in accounting in 1951. Following college, he served two years in the United States Army as a 1st Lieutenant, and was stationed in Germany as part of the post-WWII allied occupation forces. After returning home, Tom joined the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, which would be the first stop in his lifelong work as an accountant in the Chicagoland area. (more…)


Request for community support in honoring local superheroes

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On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the 31st Annual Prince William Valor Awards.

The event, which is open to the public, is held annually to recognize the men and women in uniform who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping our community and its people safe and secure: the local superheroes. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.

“This year we are hoping to fill the auditorium of the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the people of this community who appreciate the sacrifices made by public safety officials,” says Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and Prince William County Resident. “In a year when the climate on social media and across the country has been charged with fear and uncertainty, the Prince William region has been blessed to be served by forward-thinking and fair-minded public servants who also put their lives on the line in ways that we almost never hear about. Our Valor Awards shine the light on these brave and selfless individuals. I am asking that if you are at all able to attend the 2017 event, that you would strongly consider buying a ticket and joining us to show your appreciation.”

What should you expect when you attend the Valor Awards event?

(more…)

News
Prince William gains 596 new jobs from economic development projects

The Prince William County Department of Economic Development today announced it logged $1.3 billion capital investment, added 596 new jobs and retained 80 existing jobs from 23 economic development projects in 2016.

From an agency press release: 

The 23 projects consisted of 18 new business attractions, 3 expansions of existing businesses and 2 business retentions. The projects spanned a range of industries (information technology, life sciences, data centers, distribution, recreation, federal contracting and manufacturing) – representative of the diversity of the underlying Prince William County economy.  Of the 596 new jobs to be created from these projects, approximately 70% will be in industry sectors targeted by the County.

In the last five calendar years [2012-2016], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record of nearly $4.0 billion and create approximately 2,600 new jobs

(more…)

Obituary
Speros D. Thomaidis

Lt. Col. Speros D. “Spatz” Thomaidis (USMC-Ret.) of Dumfries, Va., passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, on Jan. 27, 2017. Spatz, age 86, joins his beloved wife, Kiki Zaharoolis Thomaidis, brother Nikos D. Thomaidis and “adopted brother” George Romanos, all who predeceased him.

The son of Greek immigrants, Spatz was born during the Great Depression in Highland Falls, NY, where he learned to speak English at public schools and, as a child, worked and lived at his family’s business, The West Point Arms Hotel and Restaurant. He graduated valedictorian of his high school class and went on to earn a degree from Cornell University, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Spatz epitomized the term “Semper Fi.”

He proudly and voluntarily served his country in the United States Marine Corps for 24 years — as a Platoon Leader in the Korean War and as a Battalion Commander in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for meritorious service in Vietnam. A dedicated husband, father and an excellent provider, he also worked for 18 years in the private sector. (more…)

News
Mohammad Sherdil, suspect in Dale City murder, nabbed in New York City

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding *ARREST – On January 31, detectives with the Violent Crimes Bureau received a tip from Crime Solvers which lead to the arrest of Mohammad Ekram SHERDIL by members of the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and NYPD detectives in New York [City].  The accused was wanted for a shooting which occurred in the 3500 block of Forestdale Ave in Woodbridge on December 9. The accused remains in custody in New York pending extradition back to Virginia.

Arrested on February 1: [No Photo Available]

Mohammad Ekram SHERDIL, 22, of 3507 Forestdale Ave in Woodbridge

Charged with 2 counts of aggravated malicious wounding

Court Date: Pending | Status: Pending Extradition

News
Carlos Castro to be presented with Leadership Vision Award

From Leadership Prince William spokesperson Kathy Bentz:

Carlos Castro, an alumnus of the Leadership Prince William Class of 2010 and a nationally recognized business leader, will receive the coveted 2017 Leadership Vision Award at the Evening of Excellence on Friday, June 16, 2017. The Leadership Vision Award is presented by Leadership Prince William and honors an individual who lives or works in Prince William County, Manassas or Manassas Park and whose leadership has had a positive impact in our community and beyond. (more…)

News
Prince William strategic plan: ‘Does it reflect the needs and wants of our citizens?’

 
Submitted: 
 
For 25 years, Prince William County has produced a citizen-driven Strategic Plan, aimed at guiding the course of our budget and local legislation.  
 
The Board of Supervisors determines the issues important to our community’s success, then appoints two citizen volunteers per supervisor to study those issues.  
 
For the better part of 2016, the Strategic Plan Team explored and studied five topics: Transportation, Economic Development, Human Services, Education & Public Safety.
 
The result? The 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, unanimously adopted by the Board.  
 
But what does this Plan really do?   (more…)


Discover the area’s best-kept secret when planning your wedding

You’ve heard it before: planning a wedding can be expensive. According to  costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding is $26,645. Most couples plan to spend less than $10,000 for their big day, but the cost of everything associated with planning weddings adds up – and guess what, this price does NOT include the cost of the honeymoon!

So what money saving tips are out there for couples on a budget? How can they keep costs down and quality high? In other words, are there any corners you can cut while providing a top-notch, well presented, beautiful day for yourselves, your friends, and your families?

“After looking at between 15 and 20 venues, we chose the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Banquet Hall because the price was good,” says newlywed Anna Sandara. “The MPCC Banquet Hall fit into our budget, and although there was a limited amount of reviews on renting the Banquet Hall, we took a chance, and boy am I happy we did,” Sandra exclaimed.

“I really think the Manassas Park Community Center Banquet Hall is the best kept secret in our area,” stated Sandara, “Couples planning a wedding should really check it out because they will be pleasantly surprised just like we were.”

When you rent the MPCC Banquet Hall space, the price also includes access to a caterer’s kitchen and pre-function and patio areas.   (more…)

News
‘I said that it is unusual for our local churches to stand on street corners and beg for money’

Photo by Al Alborn

From Joyce Entermont at Streetlight Community Outreach Ministries

“New Life Church” …”HELP THE HOMELESS”… I saw a guy at the intersection of PW Pkwy, by Taco Bell/Dick’s Sporting Goods. I rolled my window down to speak to him, and see what organization he was with. He talked so fast, begging me for money …. I didn’t get to ask, but I did notice the church name on the bucket.

When I got home, I called two New Life churches, and they knew nothing about such an activity. One of the gals I spoke with did tell me that a group had been doing the same thing near their church. (more…)

Traffic
School closings and delays for Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

School divisions in Prince William and Stafford counties already have modified schedules today. 

Prince William County Public Schools — Teacher Workday today, NO School.

Stafford County Public School — Early release day for all grades /end of semester.

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
School overcrowding threat spooks Prince William leaders, rezoning deferred

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The verdict is still out on whether to approve construction of 45 new homes on one of the last open spaces in eastern Prince William County.

The county’s Board of Supervisors deferred a vote that is now scheduled for Feb. 14, 2017, on approving Mia’s Meadow, a planned rezoning of 19 acres of agricultural land to planned mixed residential at the intersection of Minnieville and Spriggs roads. Single family homes tightly packed on the parcel, and new homeowners and residents would join their neighbors in nearby Hope Hill Crossing, a newer development located on what used to be a farm.

Residents and members of the Board of Supervisors are concerned about the number of new public school students the development could generate for already reeling with classroom overcrowding issues. Official numbers from county staff indicate Mia’s Meadow would generate 23 new elementary, nine high school, and seven new middle school students at Montclair Elementary, Hylton High, and Saunders Middle schools, respectively.

But Supervisors, already at odds with a county School Board that has repeatedly blamed them for approving multiple developments that have to lead to overcrowded classrooms in the eastern side of the county, asked for more time to review the numbers. (more…)


Souper Bowl is Back in Manassas for a third year

First Friday is back and it is time for the Third Annual “Souper Bowl!”

On Friday, February 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., merchants in Historic Downtown Manassas will be hosting restaurants and serving up soup. This year, 10 locations will feature soups, ranging from chili to gumbo and more.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at any participating merchant location and will entitle attendees to unlimited soup samplings. Once you have sampled the wide assortment of soup, you’ll be asked to vote for your favorite to crown the winning restaurant “Souper Bowl Champion.”

Last year, downtown’s newest restaurant, Mariachi’s, took home the crown with their Tortilla Soup. After being open for about a month, they also took home second place with their Spinach and Chorizo soup.

February kicks off the first First Friday of 2017. Souper Bowl is a great kick off for the year and gets the community excited about what is to come for future First Fridays. Street closures for First Friday will begin in April and run through October to allow pedestrian traffic in the streets.

The event is a great way for people to get a little sample of what each restaurant has to offer. A list of participating merchants and restaurants for Souper Bowl can be found at visitmanassas.org. This event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget to also stop by Ameriprise while on your tasting tour and sign up for a $25 membership with HMI! Memberships entitle cardholders to a discount at your favorite downtown restaurant and shops!

If you are looking for something to do on a First Friday, or any other day of the week, be sure to check out Historic Downtown Manassas – you just may find your new favorite restaurant and shops!

News
‘Silver Sparkles Family Fun Day’ in Woodbridge this year

Submitted: 

pwcMoms.com, a local resource blog for families with over 10,000 followers, will again host its popular “Silver Sparkles Family Fun Day” on Saturday, February 18th from 1pm-5pm at Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center in Woodbridge, Virginia.  The event, organized by website owner Kristina Kotlus, raises money for brain cancer research, inspired by Kotlus’ own battle with the disease. “I was diagnosed with an ependymoma at 29, and going through the surgery, the radiation, and the recovery inspired me to help fight for a cure so that others won’t have to endure what I did.”

All the profits from the event are donated to the Race for Hope DC, which is held annually in May.  Kotlus and her family will also run in the 5k.  “We’ve participated in the Race for Hope since my diagnosis- including when I was still in treatment.  I think that my mid-radiation 5k time was 72 minutes- it’s definitely improved since then,” Kotlus noted. (more…)

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