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Traffic
Overnight work planned for I-95 south Wednesday

Drivers headed south on Interstate 95 on Wednesday night should expect delays as crews work to restripe the highway. 

The delays will be heaviest between the Stafford Regional Airport and the Rappahannock River.

Here’s a statement from the Virginia Department of Transportation: 

Motorists should anticipate overnight travel delays and lane closures tomorrow night on Interstate 95 southbound in Stafford County for a mobile work zone to allow crews to install reflective pavement markings after a recent pavement project.

On the evening of July 12, crews will begin on the I-95 southbound on-ramp from Exit 136  (Centreport Parkway) at 9 p.m. The on-ramp will remain open. Motorists can expect just a slight narrowing of the ramp to allow the crew to install the pavement markings.

The mobile work zone will then move to I-95 southbound from Centreport Parkway to Exit 133 (Route 17/Falmouth) to the Rappahannock River Bridge.  The mobile work zone requires a double lane closure to allow crews to work safely and install the pavement markings among the traveling public.

Lanes on I-95 will be closed on the following schedule, weather permitting:

Wednesday, July 12

I?95 Southbound at Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) to Rappahannock River Bridge

  • On-ramp narrowed at 9 p.m.

  • Double lane closure with mobile work zone at 10 p.m.

  • All lanes re-open to traffic by 4 a.m.

News
Updated: Man charged after 911 callers say he threw himself in front of cars

If you were caught in traffic yesterday on Route 1 in Woodbridge about 3:30 p.m, here’s why. 

Police were called to Planet Fitness near the intersection of Village Drive for a report of a man hurling himself in front of cars.

It turns out the man was under the influence of drugs, according to police: 

The individual was under the influence of suspected narcotics and arrested. Any injury was self-inflicted. He was treated, released and transported to the [Adult Detention Center] in Manassas.

James A. Ellison Jr., 31, of 3113 Chesapeake Dr, #303 in Woodbridge is charged with DUI, according to police, who added it’s his second DUI in 10 years.

Ellison also faces charges of unreasonable refusal, suspended License, and subsequent offense, according to police.

Updated 2 p.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017

Her’es a video of the man who jumped in front of cars. It’s from a reader who posted it to Facebook and contains cursing.



Jeff Dove Leads African American citizens across Virginia in calling out Northam’s despicable racial attacks on Gillespie

Woodbridge, Virginia – African American congressional candidate, Iraq War veteran, and small businessman, denounced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam for using the Klu Klux Klan as political leverage in this year’s elections.

Jeff Dove who is seeking the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District, said Northam was giving the racist organization attention it neither deserved nor warranted. The Klan has said it will hold a rally in Charlottesville and Northam has tried to accuse Republican nominee Ed Gillespie of failing to sufficiently denounce the plan.

“The Ku Klux Klan is despicable. So is using them for political leverage the way Ralph Northam and the Democrats are trying to do,” Dove said.

“As an African American man I am well aware of the Klan and its origins in the Democrat-dominated deep south. I’m a Republican because it is the GOP that was founded to end slavery and has had to stand up to the Democrat party repeatedly to defend the concept of equality for all. Today, the Klan barely exists and Ralph Northam is giving them the attention they crave by trying to inject them into the governor’s race,” Dove said.

Kaylene Seigle, Harrisonburg School Board Member reacted to this incident by stating.

“We need leadership in Richmond who will rise above the type of politics that uses race-based accusations and innuendo. Our Commonwealth deserves better from the Ralph Northam campaign. Ed Gillespie is the type of leader our state needs to bring people together, not divide and tear us apart.”  (more…)

News
Updated: Phones out at PRTC; riders encouraged to email

WOODBRIDGE — There are phone problems this morning at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

The bus agency operates OmniLink local buses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Under normal circumstances, riders who use OmniLink may call ahead to schedule a pick-up anywhere along an OmniLink route, up to a quarter of a mile off the route.

OmniLink customers are encouraged to email the call center this morning, instead:

From PRTC:

PRTC is currently experiencing phone issues and is unable to receive calls on the Customer Service line at this time. While we are working to resolve the problem, customers may email us at Omni@omniride.com with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We’ll update this post with new information when we have it.

Update: The phone system is now working. 

News
Strangulation arrest also yields possession charge

From Prince William police: 

Strangulation | Domestic Related – On July 5 at 3:34 a.m., officers responded to a residence located in the 13500 block of Delaney Rd in Woodbridge to investigate an assault. The victim, a 48-year-old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated physically.

At one point during the encounter, the accused grabbed the victim by the throat. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, officers arrested the accused, identified as Tony Wayne SAUNDRES. During a search post-arrest, marijuana was located on the accused.

Arrested on July 5:
Tony Wayne SAUNDRES, 58, of the 13500 block of Delaney Rd in Woodbridge
Charged with strangulation, domestic assault & battery-3rd offense and possession of marijuana
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Unavailable

News
Prince William police to deploy body worn cameras

From Prince William County Police Department Chief Barry Barnard:

The staff of the Prince William County Police Department remain committed to our mission of enhancing the quality of life here in the County by providing effective police services to our community members. We accomplish our mission by building upon our existing relationships, pledge to make new connections and continue our focus of enhancing trust with those we serve.

For quite some time, our organization has made community policing and building trust a primary focus with the people of Prince William County. We will continue this effort to improve our organization through proactive means and creating dialogue with our stakeholders. Over many years, your Police Department has seen positive satisfaction ratings from Citizen Surveys. While we deeply appreciate this support, we understand there are always ways we can improve our delivery of police services to the community.

To assist us with this important task, and after significant discussion and research, the Police Department will begin deploying Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) within our community as early as September 2017. Policing in today’s society has seen a dramatic change in technological advancements in our profession. These opportunities have shown to help law enforcement agencies improve upon their dedication to providing the highest level of professionalism to our public. (more…)

News
Sentara warns of phone scam

From an email: 

Earlier this week, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center received notification from community members they had been contacted by a would-be scammer offering a lower interest rate from a 703-670 prefix with caller ID displaying “Potomac Hospital.”

The caller reportedly told the recipients a lower interest rate was available if personal information, like a credit card or social security number, was given. In the course of the investigation, it was determined the caller had used old exchanges from when Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center operated as Potomac Hospital.

Sentara values our patients’ trust and are troubled that thieves would use our good name to commit fraud. Sentara does not call patients, or former patients, and ask for personal information. If you get such a call, hang up, never give personal information over the phone and contact your service provider with the caller’s details.  

Traffic
Motorcycle crashes on exit ramp in Dale City

A motorcycle crashed at mile marker 156 south on Interstate 95 in Dale City. 

Fire and rescue crews were dispatched to crash reported to be on the exit ramp of 156-A. 

Traffic is already delayed in the area due to a heavy volume of cars traveling south.

More as we have it. 

Updated

One person was taken to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. We don’t know the extent of the victim’s injuries.

News
Former Redskins star Randle El speaks about fatherhood at Waterworks

From a press release: 

Former star football player for the Washington Redskins, Antwaan Randle El, spoke to a group of local fathers and their kids at the Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative’s ‘Dad’s Play Day’ event last Saturday. Randle El was the special guest for the third annual event at Leitch Waterworks Park in Dale City.

Antwaan Randle Ed played in the National Football League for nine years for the Redskins and also the Pittsburgh Steelers as a wide receiver and kick returner. He is the father of six children, and owns a nonprofit, called The EL Foundation, that does leadership development. At ‘Dad’s Play Day,’ Randle El encouraged the fathers to prioritize their responsibility as father above their careers and hobbies. He also encouraged the fathers to be sure to spend quality time with their kids as much as possible.

The Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative is also looking for volunteer leaders to help the Initiative grow and serve more fathers and children across the County. The Initiative’s mission is to empower fathers to do what is in the best interest of their children. When fathers are involved in the lives of their children, especially their education, kids learn more, have better self-esteem, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior, according to proven research. (more…)



MyLink – ‘There is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics’ without it

Teens who are striving for independence but lack a driver’s license or access to a vehicle need the MyLink Teen Summer Bus Pass! With the pass, teens can travel around the Prince William County area without relying on their parents for a ride!

Here’s a MyLink teen testimonial:

“I have used [a MyLink pass] for the past several years, and there is no way I would have been as successful in my academics, job, or even in my athletics” without it, one teen told PRTC in 2016. “My dedication to the various aspects of my busy lifestyle has undoubtedly been made possible thanks to the Teen Summer Pass.”

Now in its 10th year, the MyLink program is offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The pass enables those ages 13-19 to get unlimited local bus rides all summer long for $30. In addition, teens who use a MyLink pass get credit for the local fare when traveling on PRTC buses to nearby Metro stations and destinations including Washington, D.C.

In a 2016 survey, 69% of teens who used a MyLink pass last summer said they bought it because they didn’t have a driver’s license. Half said they used their pass to spend time with friends and get to summer school or other school-related activities.

MyLink passes are loaded onto SmarTrip cards, making it easy for teens to transfer to Metro trains or other regional transit providers. If the teen doesn’t already have a SmarTrip card, there is an additional $2 fee to purchase one.

PRTC’s one-way local fare is $1.55. At that rate, a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a MyLink pass. The pass is valid through Saturday, September 2, 2017. (more…)

News
Prince William’s Barnard to hold ‘Conversation with the Chief’

From Prince William poilce: 

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Monday, July 17, 2017 at the A.J. Ferlazzo Building located at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive inWoodbridge starting at 7:00PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the chief, and engage in conversation.

Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from the public and residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and Personnel Bureau will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches and recruitment.

The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County in the future. We look forward to having a productive discussion.

News
Woodbridge kitchen fire ‘had extended from the stove to the cabinets’

From a press release: 

Woodbridge, VA July 4th, 2017 12:03 p.m.: Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 1266 Everett Ave, Woodbridge. Initial units arrived on scene and found fire in the kitchen.

The fire had extended from the stove to the cabinets and was under control within minutes.

The cause of the fire was food cooking on the stove. Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD and [Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue] responded to the incident.

News
Fire crews called to roof fire in Lake Ridge on July 4

From a press release: 

Lake Ridge July 4, 2017 9:41 p.m. Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Department responded to the report of a house fire at 2255 Spinnaker Court, Lake Ridge. Initial units arrived on scene within minutes and reported fire from the roof. Crews worked quickly to fight the blaze which had spread over much of the roof. The fire was under control within 15 minutes.

Fire & Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD and PWC Department of Fire & Rescue and PWCPD, responded to the incident. No one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office.



PotomacLocal.com is the newest tenant at CENTERFUSE

PotomacLocal.com is the newest tenant at CENTERFUSE, the budding co-workspace in Downtown Manassas.

The seven-year-old digital media company with a focus on local news, politics, and transportation issues in the Prince William County region will not only produce news coverage and content at the Manassas co-working center but will engage with readers and local business owners there, too.

“My job as an entrepreneurial journalist on any given day requires me to be in multiple places in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. While a traditional office has never been in our plans, the flexibility, open work environment, and business support from the staff at CENTERFUSE are just what our company needs to grow,” said Potomac Local Media Founder and Publisher Uriah Kiser.

With Potomac Local’s acquisition of a dedicated workspace at CENTERFUSE, the company will launch a new podcast to discuss issues facing area residents. Additionally, Potomac Local will hold community events at CENTERFUSE to engage readers and residents, as well as hold scheduled publisher’s “office hours” where readers may visit with Potomac Local writers to share story ideas, as well as voice
neighborhood concerns in a one-on-one setting.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Potomac Local as our newest member of CenterFuse.  Our facility, located in Downtown Manassas lends a perfect opportunity for Uriah to connect with areas of Prince William County while working in a pristine location in the City of Manassas,” said Historic Manassas Inc. Director Debbie Haight. 

CENTERFUSE opened in early May and caters to entrepreneurs in need of shared workspace. Historic Manassas Inc. is contracted to provide small business support services to CENTERFUSE members.  

News
Virginia’s November GOP ticket stumps in Dale City

From a press release: 

This year’s Republican candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General [on Sunday, July 2, 2017] visited Dale City as part of their statewide kick-off tour for November’s election season. The kick-off rally featured Ed Gillespie (Governor), Jill Vogel (Lt. Governor) and John Adams (Attorney General) and was the first official event for the Republican ticket in Prince William Count since the June 13 Primary Election.

The location of the kick-off event, Mapledale Plaza in Dale City, will serve as a campaign headquarters for Del. Scott Lingamfelter and Ed Gillespie. The Gillespie campaign has indicated that they’ll commit a significant amount of resources to win Prince William County this year because of its importance to winning statewide elections. No one has won a statewide race in Virginia without winning Prince William County since 2001, when Mark Warner won the race for Governor.

“Prince William County is the second largest municipality in Virginia and an important bellwether for statewide elections,” said Prince William Republican Committee Chairman Dottie Miller. “We will fight for every vote including in precincts and areas of the County that normally vote more Democratic. Today’s kick-off in eastern Prince William is proof that we will compete for every single vote here.”

News
Police search for suspect in Monique’s Boutique robbery

From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On July 1 at 10:51AM, officers responded to Monique’s Boutique located at 13239 Occoquan Rd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that two unknown man entered the business and approached the counter. During the encounter, the suspects began to take jewelry from the counter. When the employee attempted to stop the suspects, she was pepper sprayed by the suspects. The suspects then fled the business on foot. Minor injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the suspects who were not located. The investigation continues.

Suspect Descriptions:

Hispanic male, approximately 20 years of age, 5’09”, with a thin build
Last seen wearing a long sleeve button down blue shirt

Hispanic male, approximately 20 years of age, 5’07”, with a thin build
Last seen wearing a black hat, black shirt, and white shoes

News
Volunteers 55+ needed to drive veterans to medical appointments in Prince William County

Good morning Prince William – have a safe and enjoyable July 4th celebration!

· Please mark your calendar for July 22 and join the Independence Empowerment Center for their 10th Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration. It will be held from 10am until 2pm at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas. Lots of fun is planned including a live singer, many informational vendors, games for children, and a silent auction. Phat Yummies will be back! Come visit after you leave the Farmers’ Market.

· House of Mercy has just kicked off their Shoes for Kids Drive and need your help collecting new, trendy school shoes by July 22nd for their kids. The goal this year is 192 pairs of fun shoes to start the new school year. You can drop them off at the center located at: 8170 Flannery Court Manassas or check out their website for more info at: houseofmercyva.org.

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is still looking for volunteers for the Area Agency on Aging’s Meal on Wheels program You can sign up for a regular day or be a substitute driver. It is easy to do just by picking up a few meals at the Senior Center kitchens in Manassas or Woodbridge and delivering to your route. Bring joy and combat hunger among our seniors! If you are age 55+ contact Jan at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team. Adults 54 and under please phone Melodee at 703-792-4583.

· RSVP is also in urgent need of volunteers aged 55+ who can drive veterans and/or their spouses to medical appointments in Prince William County. There is a particular need for volunteers in eastern PWC to help veterans retired from Quantico and Fort Belvoir. Volunteers pick up veterans at their home, take them to their appointment, and assist with filling a prescription (if needed) and transport the veteran safely home. It is wonderful way to say “thank you” to our veterans and their family members for their service, and it only takes a few hours out of a day. Contact Jan at 571-292-5302 for all the details.

· Helping Neighbors-in-Need Outreach Center needs volunteers to assist in the office Monday through Wednesday, 9:30am to 3:30pm. They had some great volunteers but guess what? They got jobs and had to move on! If you would like to assist the homeless, veterans, elderly, the most vulnerable rebuild their lives; the Outreach Center could sure use your help. There is a detailed position description available, please contact, Pastor Edmonds at 571-589-8146. (more…)

Traffic
Passenger was ejected from vehicle in E-ZPass lanes crash

Authorities closed the northbound I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes on Friday after a crash. 

From Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller: 

At 5:45 a.m.Friday (June 30), Virginia State Police responded to a vehicle crash in the I-95 Express Lanes at the 159-mile marker in Prince William County.

A 2004 Ford Explorer was traveling north on I-95 when it ran off the left side of the road, struck the Jersey wall and overturned two times. As the vehicle overturned, the front-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle.

The front-seat passenger was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital for the treatment of life-threatening injuries.

The driver and two other passengers were transported to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation at this time.

Traffic
Unusual I-95 delays have slowed OmniRide commuter buses since April

It’s common knowledge that traffic on Interstate 95 north is slow in the mornings as commuters head to work in Washington, D.C. In the afternoons, traffic on the interstate slows again as workers head south for home.

In the past month, however, that rule of the road has been tested. OmniRide commuter buses from Prince William County headed north on I-95 were delayed at least 12 times between May 25 and June 23.

The delays were caused by a mix of traffic congestion and crashes. The buses’ operator Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission relies on a smooth flow of northbound traffic in the afternoons to send empty, or “deadheaded” buses to Washington, D.C. to pick up evening commuters, and then turn around and use the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes to bring them home.

From PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo:

“Yes, there has been an increase in the number of days that PRTC buses have experienced afternoon traffic delays. The congestion is typically northbound in Newington from early afternoon until the evening. Later in the evening, the traffic is tending to back up northbound from the Pentagon to the 14th Street Bridge.

To maximize efficiency and minimize costs, many of our buses operate two separate trips in the afternoons – traveling from Woodbridge to D.C. early during the rush hour, dropping passengers off in the Prince William area, and then returning to D.C. to pick up more passengers.

These second rush hour trips are particularly vulnerable to traffic conditions because at that time of day the Express and [I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes] are pointed southbound. As a result, northbound PRTC buses are using the general lanes with everyone else.”

The delays have forced PRTC to re-assign bus drivers to other routes, as well as “constantly monitor” on-time performance. (more…)


Rippon Lodge’s annual World War II Days features free showing of ‘Stalag 17’ under the stars

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In a year of significant historical anniversaries, one thinks of World War II. This year alone, many will commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the Battle of Midway (June 4) and the Battle of Stalingrad (July ’42-Feb ’43). These, like many others, shaped the course of the war. Hearing the news of these conflicts on the Homefront was difficult for many people. There was a need to escape and remember there was still hope.

The music and film industries of the 1940s provided those much-needed outlets to find laughter and joy, although fleeting, during the war years. 75 years ago, on November 26, Casablanca, with Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall was released.

It took filmmakers only three months of principle photography to make the picture. Warner Bros. rushed Casablanca to theaters to take advantage of the Allied invasion of North Africa only weeks earlier.

With the classic line “Here’s looking at you,” and an all-star cast, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, and became one of the most iconic movies of all time.

Released 75 years ago, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, (with Anyone Else but Me)” was a hit of the Andrew Sisters. In actuality, it is a reworked song.

Originally written by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias, its first release was for the 1939 Broadway musical Yokel Boy. After the U.S. had entered the war, the songwriters modified the lyrics to their more popular form.

The song debuted to moviegoers in May 1942 where the Andrew Sisters performed it in the feature film, Private Buckaroo. The tune remained to be one of the most requested songs during the Andrew Sisters’ performing career. (more…)

KO Distilling celebrates Bare Knuckle American Rye release

Friends old and new gathered at KO Distilling in Manassas on June 17 to celebrate the release of the first rye whiskey bottled in the city since Prohibition.

Bare Knuckle American Rye Whiskey is the second in a line of spirits from the distillery, joining Bare Knuckle American Wheat Whiskey in the product line.

The whiskey release party featured live music, a barbecue food truck, tastings, and a cornhole game.

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