WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Woodbridge Local

Old prescription drugs accepted today at mall, hospital

Woodbridge, Va. –– Going to Potomac Mills mall today? Take some old, unused prescription medication with you.

The outlet mall in Woodbridge, and the Stafford Hospital Center off U.S. 1 in Stafford, are two of more than 75 locations in Virginia where residents today can drop off unused prescription medications, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as part of the first-ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The initiative is designed to raise awareness of, and curb prescription drug abuse, officials said. (more…)

Storm drains labeled to curb pollution

Woodbridge, Va. –– Storm drains in a growing Woodbridge neighborhood got their proper labeling earlier this month.

Volunteers with the Prince William Clean Community Council spent Sept. 19 labeling drains in the Belmont Bay neighborhood, just off U.S. 1 in North Woodbridge. (more…)

State urges use of Woodbridge – Tysons bus

The Woodbridge – Tysons Express Bus. (Urban Trekker)

Woodbridge, Va. –– As work on the High Occupancy Toll lanes continues on the Capital Beltway, state transportation officials want more drivers use the Tysons Corner Express bus to get around traffic delays.

The bus runs between the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express Station and Tysons Corner, and is one of two state-funded buses that provide free wireless internet to riders. It uses the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, but then uses the regular travel lanes on the Beltway to make it the rest of the trek.

“As part of our plan to keep traffic moving during this intense construction phase, we strive to move more people with fewer cars,” said Virginia Mega Projects Program Director John Lynch. “By providing vanpool incentives, express bus services and other ways to get around, commuters have more control over how they want to spend their time instead of getting stuck behind the wheel of a car.”

The push to get more people to use the bus comes while ridership numbers are going up. (more…)

On a mission: Couple has helped others for 20 years


Danny and Gayle Sanders say the linen closet at their Woodbridge homeless shelter is called Macy’s, making it easier for those who take donations to tell others where they got it from a familiar-sounding department store. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)It takes two very dedicated people to run the homeless shelter in Woodbridge.

Gayle and Danny Sanders since 1990 have managed the shelter on U.S. 1, between Optiz and Dale boulevards, known as the Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center.

The shelter didn’t get it’s official name until it was upgraded in 1999, but Gayle and Danny call their program “AfterShare,” because so many people who had once utilized the shelter’s services have come back to donate their time by sorting and gathering donations, and simply helping out where they’re needed.

It’s a place that few expect to end up living in.

“We see a lot of single parents and their kids come in here because apartment rents have gone up, and it’s hard for a single person to work a job and make enough money to live around here and support a family,” said Gayle Sanders. (more…)

Try transit, win Amtrak tickets

If you pledge to try transit this week you could win tickets to ride Amtrak.

Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s OmniRide and OmniLink buses will be participating this week as part of Virginia’s third annual Try Transit Week.

Between now and Sept. 24, if you pledge to use transit your name will be put into a drawing for a pair of tickets for use on Amtrak Virginia, which provides service from the state to the Northeast U.S, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. (more…)

3 charged in Craigslist robberies

Stafford County, Va. – Three men now face charges in a string of apparent Craigslist robberies, investigators say.

The attempted robberies date back to July 18, when two different victims were told to meet the suspects at a predetermined location in Stafford to pay for an iPhone and Playstation 3 the victims thought they had purchased on the popular trade services Web site, Craigslist, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. (more…)

Derailment impacts east coast travel

A freight train transporting coal derailed on CSX tracks within Quantico Marine Corps Base, Va. late Thursday afternoon, August 5, 2010. (Cpl. Sean P. Cummings/Quantico Public Affairs Office)

11:30 a.m. Update

Quantico, Va. – The coal train that derailed Thursday at Quantico has spurred cancellations and delays for most of the east coast.

Thousands of Amtrak passengers were left stranded overnight as crews worked to clean up the seven coal cars that toppled over about 3 p.m. Thursday. (more…)

Credit union closing branches in schools

Woodbridge, Va. – Belvoir Federal Credit Union will end its partnership with three Woodbridge area schools.

Branches of the credit union had been set up at Gar-Field and Woodbridge high schools, and Godwin and Woodbridge middle schools, under a partnership between the credit union and Prince William public schools. (more…)

Neighborhood jamborees planned tonight

Many residents across the region have planned National Night Out celebrations tonight.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office will hold a large gathering at the Stafford Marketplace off Va. 610 in North Stafford, from 6 to 9 p.m.

More than 30 businesses and community organizations will be represented at the fair, including the LifeEvac helicopter, local fire and rescue departments and an area animal adoption organization. (more…)

Lightning victim’s hands badly burned

Woodbridge, Va. – It could take up to a year for a man who was struck by lightning Sunday to make a full recovery.

The 47-year-old victim, Steve, and his wife were visiting the area last week and were two of the eight passengers aboard a 44-foot boat that cruised on the Potomac River last weekend, said the boat’s captain, and Steve’s brother, Terry.

Terry did not provide his last name, lives in Prince William County, and said his training in first aid and CPR allowed him to help his brother after he was struck by the lightning bolt. (more…)

County wants World Trade Center steel

A memorial to the 23 Prince William County residents who died at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 sits on the grounds of the county’s stadium complex. (Belch.com)

Woodbridge, Va. – Officials are planning to bring a piece of the World Trade Center to Woodbridge, just in time for the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

A piece of steel that was used to build the ill-fated center in New York City would be transported to the county for about $10,000, according to News & Messenger.

It would be featured as part of a new memorial at the county’s stadium complex – home to government offices and the Potomac Nationals minor-league baseball team – which would open before Sept. 11, 2011. (more…)

Iowa man charged in Woodbridge woman’s death

A 19-year-old Iowa man is charged in the death of a Woodbridge woman who was struck by a train in April.

Michael Caldron-Cody, of Ames, Iowa, is charged with a simple misdemeanor after police said he gave alcohol to 19-year-old Raven Gileau.

The night Gileau died, the Iowa State University student was walking back to campus with Caldron-Cody in the rain. Investigators said he left her under a railroad overpass to go and get a car to drive home. (more…)

Woodbridge fighters win big in Florida

Brian Van Hoven, 36, takes on an opponent in the practice ring. (Mary Davidson)

Brian Van Hoven says he knew someone was going to get knocked out when he last stepped into the ring. He’s glad it wasn’t him.

The 36-year-old mixed martial arts fighter from Woodbridge, weighing 155 pounds and standing 5 feet 9 inches tall, traveled to Orlando, Fla. three weeks ago and knocked out his opponent, Vinnie Samero, one minute and 55 seconds into the fight.

Everyone in the stands was stunned to see the hometown fighter – who is one year younger than Van Hoven, stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs the same – taken out so early, he said. (more…)

Celebration planned library’s 35th birthday

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The Potomac Community Library in Woodbridge will celebrate turning 35 in September, and they library’s staff have planned a series of events to commemorate the birthday.

Starting on Saturday Sept. 10, residents can come to the library to get a good deal on an old read, as the Friends of the Potomac Community Library will hold a book sale. (more…)

Lightning strikes man on Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va.–One man became the victim of an apparent lightning strike Sunday.

The 47-year-old man was boating with some friends off Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, and was floating in the waters of the Potomac River when a bolt of lightning stuck the water, injuring him, said Occoquan Woodbridge Lorton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jim McAllister. (more…)

Access to wildlife shelter sought

Kevin Parker, with binoculars in hand, leads a tour group at to the beach portion of the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge on the Potomac River in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson)

There is a wildlife refuge beyond the railroad tracks in Woodbridge and it could soon be opened to the public.

A new comprehensive conservation plan that officials are expected release in mid-September, which would govern how the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is managed for the next 15 years, could pave the way for public access to the natural haven.

But opening the refuge comes with challenges. (more…)

Blistering temps to grip region

James Fitzgerald and Brandon Corey load up the ice bins at Kangaroo Express on Va. 610 in North Stafford. They’ve had to use a bigger truck to keep up with demand that has more than doubled due to the unusually hot weather. (Mary Davidson)

If you prefer snow to sweat then you might want to stay indoors today.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat advisory for Saturday as temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees.

Because of the heat, Stafford officials canceled girls softball games that were scheduled to be played on county fields this weekend.

So why after a record-setting snowy winter are we getting such hot weather? (more…)

Pimp sentenced to 13 years

Mark Brickhouse, 32, and Julie McKenna, 21, were convicted for prostituting a 16-year-old girl. (Photo: Insidenova.com)

WOODBRIDGE, Va.–A New York man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for pimping out a 16-year-old girl.

Marc Shawn Brickhouse, 32, with the help of another one of his prostitutes, 21-year-old Julie McKenna, lured a girl from California to the east coast using an online social networking service to work as a prostitute, according to court records.

In February, the girl was brought to a hotel off Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge to be pimped out. She was able to escape to a Babies R Us store for help, according to police. (more…)

Baby, it’s hot outside

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

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

Temperatures on Friday could feel like they’re in the triple digits.

In addition to being a danger to those who are outside, it can also damage the roads you drive on.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that takes effect at noon and lasts until 9 p.m. for counties along Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia.

A combination of heat and humidity will push temperatures up into the high 90s, but it will feel like 105 degrees for most of the afternoon, stated the weather service.

The high temperatures also put road surfaces at risk of buckling, forcing transportation officials to warn drivers, especially motorcyclists, to beware. (more…)

Driver is victim of road rage, nail gun

Dionel Barrios is charged with brandishing a weapon during a case of road rage.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.–Police say a Dale City man used his car to ram another driver three times and then threatened him with a nail gun.

The case of road rage started on Smoketown Road in Woodbridge at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, when the victim called police to report his car had been rammed by a belligerent driver, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The attacking driver then brandished what appeared to be a handgun  and then drove off. (more…)

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