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News
Rippon Students Tops in VFW Writing Contest

Pictured left to right: David Smith, Jneva Norfleet and Shams Hamid. (Submitted)

Woodbridge, Va. — Students from Amy Wise’s seventh-grade language arts class at Rippon Middle School participated in the annual Veteran’s of Foreign Wars “Patriot’s Pen” Essay Contest. Patriot’s Pen is a nationwide youth essay-writing contest that gives students in grades 7 and 8 the opportunity to express their views on democracy. More than 85,000 students participate in the annual contest.

Contestants wrote a 300–400 word essay based on an annual patriotic theme, which was evaluated by veterans who have a deep personal connection with the idea of patriotism. This year students wrote an essay on the theme, “Does Patriotism Still Matter?”

Top national winners each receive a savings bond anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. The first place winner receives a $10,000 savings bond and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C.  Scholarships are also awarded to students at the local level.

Rippon Middle School participated in the contest sponsored by the officers and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, General Lewis B. Puller Post 1503. More than 80 students participated in this local contest with Rippon Middle School students capturing three of six possible awards.

Congratulations to the following Rippon Middle School students who received Scholarship Awards for their submissions:

David Smith, 2nd place, $250
Jneva Norfleet, 4th place, $150
Shams Hamid, 5th place , $100

-Submitted

Traffic
Teen Bus Pass Also Great for Baseball Fans

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

Woodbridge, Va. — It’s a teenager’s annual pass to getting around town, and it goes on sale Tuesday.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission is once again selling its OmniLink Teen Summer Pass.

The bus pass is good for unlimited rides on local buses that run along U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, on Dale Boulevard in Dale City, Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge, on OmniRide’s Cross-County Connector between Woodbridge and Manassas, as well on local buses in Manassas.

The pass costs $30 and is good for rides on OmniLink buses between June 1 and Sept. 3, said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

In addition to unlimited rides, it also guarantees $1 off Potomac Nationals tickets on Friday nights beginning June 10. Riders must show their passes at the ticket window before the game, said Rodrigo.

Teen passes are available at the following locations:

PRTC Transit Center, 14700 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge (next to Hylton Chapel)
-Mondays through Fridays, June 1 to August 5, 2011, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Potomac Mills Mall food court
-Saturday, June 11, 12-4 p.m.
-Saturday, June 25, 12-4 p.m.

Manassas Mall food court
-Saturday, June 18, 12-4 p.m.
-Saturday, July 9, 12-4 p.m.

News
Trees Fall into Houses

A tree fell onto a house at 13112 Orleans Street in Lake Ridge after a summer storm Friday.

Lake Ridge, Va. –– Vanessa Baez was lying in bed with her 3-year-old son Friday evening when the unexpected happened: a tree fell through the roof of their Lake Ridge home.

Immediately, Baez rolled over to protect her son, SiRian, from the falling debris. They both made it out safely and called the fire department.

By the time Baez’s mother got home from work to check on the two, the fire department would not let anyone back into the house. Everyone was thankful no one was injured.

The tree fell as a round of severe storms were moving through the Potomac Communities about 7 p.m. Friday.

The storm brought heavy rain and winds to the area, as well as many more downed trees.

A tree also fell into a house on Evergreen Court in Stafford, and another tree fell and caught fire, closing Courthouse Road (Va. 630), said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

Crews at 9 p.m. were still working to clear the mess from the roadway.

Dominion Virginia Power reported outages across the area following the storms, with more than 2,300 customers out in North Stafford at 9 p.m., as well as other outages in Woodbridge and Lake Ridge.

The storm also brought with it a tornado warning that expired at 7:15 p.m., but there have been no reports of any funnel cloud sightings.

A severe thunderstorm watch that was set to expire at 8 p.m. was extended to 10 p.m., but was later dropped.

The threat of storms remains in Saturday’s forecast, between noon and 4 p.m., according to the weather service.

Traffic
Storms Bring Downed Trees, Power Outages

Update 7:48 p.m.
Dominion Virginia Power reports more than 4,300 customers without power in Burke area.

Update 7:30 p.m.
Dominion Virginia Power reports more than 2,500 customers without power in North Stafford following severe storm that just moved through area. Utility crews report an estimated repair time between 9 and 11 p.m.

Original Post 7:15 p.m.
Fire and rescue crews have fanned out across Stafford County inspecting downed trees and reports of auto accidents after a strong storm moved through the area tonight.

There have been multiple reports of downed trees across the county, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

That same storm is now moving its north through Woodbridge and is expected to impact the Lorton and Springfield areas within the hour.

A tornado warning for North Stafford and the Dale City expired at 7:15 p.m. A severe thunderstorm warning continues for Woodbridge and southern Fairfax County until 7:45 p.m.

News
Crime Watch: Woman Abducted, Shots Fired

Warrants issued after woman abducted, assaulted
A woman was abducted by an acquaintance after an argument, police say.

Officers were called to a home in the 1500 block of Walnut Street in Woodbridge after the 33-year-old victim said she was assaulted by a male acquaintance that held her against her will.

The victim was eventually able to leave the house and call police the following day, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Police are unable to locate the man accused in the attack.

Investigators have issued warrants for Juan Carlos Ramirez, 24, of Woodbridge, charging him with abduction, intent to defile and malicious wounding, said Perok.

He’s described as Hispanic, between 5 feet 8 inches tall, with brown eyes and black hair.

Woman hears shots, finds bullet holes
A woman who was watching TV at her home Friday heard gunshots ring out, and then noticed a large hole in her bathroom window.

The shots were fired at 12:03 a.m. in the 3100 block of Chesapeake Drive in Woodbridge, just off Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1).

After seeing the hole in her bathroom window, she noticed another one in an adjacent window, police said.

No one was injured.

Home burglarized, cash missing from safe
Cash was reported missing from a safe at a home in North Stafford on Thursday.

Police say a home on Park Road in the Windsor Forest neighborhood was broken into between 8 and 11 a.m. Thursday.

The homeowner told Stafford sheriff’s deputies when he returned home items in the house were out of place, and saw that a window had been opened, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

Man robbed in Triangle
A 56-year-old man told police he was robbed in the 18200 block of Graham Court in Triangle at 12:50 a.m. Saturday.

The man was getting out of his vehicle when he was approached by a group of men that took his wallet, which had an undisclosed amount of money inside, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

The men fled on foot and the victim was not injured. The victim was not able to provide a description of any of the men, police say.

News
Downed Wires Snarl U.S. 1 Traffic

Update 5:25 p.m.
U.S. 1 in Triangle has reopened to traffic after power lines fell across the intersection of the highway and Joplin Road about 4 p.m.

Traffic was snarled as crews worked to repair the downed lines.

Original Post 4:25  p.m.
Triangle, Va. ––
Traffic is snarled at Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1) and Joplin Road in Triangle.

Wires were reported to be down across the roadway about 4 p.m. Thursday, and the backups reportedly extend four miles from intersection all the way north to Fox Lair Drive in Woodbridge.

Police were called to direct traffic in the area, according to initial reports.

Initial reports indicate traffic was being diverted from U.S. 1 to Joplin Road to Interstate 95 to get around the downed lines.

We’ll have more as we get it.

News
Potomac Local Pool Guide 2011

Summer has returned to the Potomac Communities, and in addition to the annual Memorial Day cookout with family and friends many will spend their dog day afternoons poolside. So, where are the public pools in your area? Our Potomac Local Pool Guide will help you find out where they are, when they’re open and how much it’ll cost you to take a dip.

Lorton

Pohick Bay Regional Park – Pirates Cove Water Park
6501 Pohick Bay Drive in Lorton
703-339-6104

Hours
May 28 – 30 Memorial Day Weekend 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
June 1 – June 16 Closed Monday – Friday, Weekends 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
June 17 – Aug 21 Open Daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July 4 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aug 22 – Sept. 2 Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat and Sun 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
September 3 – 5 Labor Day 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents of Northern Virginia Park Authority member jurisdictions, Alexandria, Arlington, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Loudoun, get into Pohick Bay Park free. Those outside jurisdiction pay $7 per car.

Daily and Holiday Fees
Jurisdiction Non-Jurisdiction
Under Age 2 Free Free
Ages 2 to 11 $6.00 $6.00
Ages 12 to 54 $7.00 $7.00
Age 55 & Over $6.00 $6.00

Eastern Prince William County

Birchdale Pool
14730 Birchdale Avenue in Dale City
703-670-5178

Hours
May 29 – June 13 Weekends and Holidays Only
June 18 – Sept. 6 Noon to 6 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays
Fees
Youth 2- 17-years-old $3.50
Adult $375
Senior 60 + $2.75
Evening Discount Rate (after 4 p.m.) $1.50

Graham Park Pool
3511 Graham Park Road in Dumfries
703-221-7550

Hours
May 29 – June 13 Weekends and Holidays Only
June 18 – Aug. 9 Noon to 6 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays
Fees
Youth 2 – 17 -years-old $3.50
Adult $3.75
Senior 60 + $2.75
Evening Discount (after 4 p.m.) $1.50

Hammill Mill Pool
1721 Carter Lane in Woodbridge
703-491-1074

Hours
May 29 – June 13 Weekends and Holidays Only
June 18 – Aug. 9 Noon to 6 p.m.
Closed Thursdays
Fees
Youth 2 – 17-years-old $3.50
Adult $3.75
Senior 60 + $2.75
Evening Discount Rate (after 4 p.m.) $1.50

Veterans Park Pool and Water slide
14300 Featherstone Road in Woodbridge
703-491-2183

Hours
May 29 – June 13 Weekends and Holidays Only
June 12 – Aug. 16 Noon to 6 p.m.
Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Aug. 16 – Sept. 6 Noon to 6 p.m.
Fees
Youth 2 – 17-years-old $4.00
Adult $4.25
Senior $3.50
Evening Discount (after 4 p.m.) $3.00

 

Water Works Water Park
5301 Dale Boulevard in Dale City
703-680-7137

Hours
May 28 – June 16 Weekends and Holidays Only 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
June 17 – Aug 4 Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jun 24 – July Special Friday Hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Aug. 5 – Aug. 12 Special Friday Hours 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
June 17 – Aug. 15 Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Holidays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aug. 15 – Sept. 5 Monday – Friday, Weekends  and Holidays Noon to 6 p.m.
Fees
0-1-years-old FREE
Under 48 Inches Tall $5.5o
Over 48 Inches Tall $7.00
After 4 p.m. $5.50
Passes
Family Pass (20 visit punch pass, will save $1 per admission after 4 p.m.) $120
Family Bargain Pass (20 punch pass, after 4 p.m. Mon-Fri only) $70

 

Stafford County

Curtis Memorial Park Pool
58 Jesse Curtis Lane in the Hartwood section of Stafford County
540-658-5114

Hours
May 28 – June 19
Weekends Only Noon – 6 p.m.
June 20 – Sept. 5
Everyday Noon – 6 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday night swim 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concession stand hours Noon – 5 p.m.

Woodlands Pool
2 Northampton Boulevard in North Stafford
540-658-4241

Hours
May 28 – Sept. 5
Monday – Friday Noon – 6 p.m.
Adult Lap Swim 6 a.m. to Noon  & 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday Night Swim 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Adult Lap Swim 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fees – Curtis Park and Woodlands Pool
Ages 2 and under Free
Ages 3 – 15, Age 55 + $4.00 Stafford Resident
$5 Non- Resident
Ages 16 – 54 $5.00 Stafford Resident
$7.00 Non-Resident
Summer Special Monday – Sunday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Half-price admission
24 Admission Punch Card (Stafford Residents Only)
Ages 3 -15, Age 55 + $72
Ages 16 – 54 $96
Annual Pool Passes (Woodlands Pool, Stafford Residents Only)
Ages 3 – 15 $110
Age 55 + $110
Single Adult Ages 16-54 $150
Family Passes (up to 4 members) $350
Each additional youth family member $50
Each additional adult family member $75

News
CASA Event Rescheduled for October

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Greater Prince William “Moms in Motion” event, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to October 15.

Event Coordinator Vicki Shoemaker noted Saturday was a full day for awareness events, and in order to ensure a successful event that benefits everyone involved, she felt a few changes were necessary.

“CASA is a program that matches a child with an advocate who does a home study, a school study, and speaks with the child to report back to the judge as an impartial third party on the best interests of the child”, explained Shoemaker. “We’ve grown tremendously and now have almost 500 children in the CASA program.”

The cost of providing services to each child in CASA is $1,200 per year.

The October 15 event, which has been renamed “All In Motion: AIM to Stop Child Abuse” to be more inclusive of community members who are not mothers, will feature belly dancing, Zumba, and more for a $30 participation fee.

Participants may also use microsites to raise additional funds through sponsorships.

All funds will go directly to CASA to assist children in our local community.  For more information or to register, visit casaofgpw.org.

News
Area High Schools Among Best in Region

Potomac Senior High School in Woodbridge ranked 40th overall on The Washington Post’s High School Challenge list of the area’s best schools.

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Several schools in the Potomac Communities have placed among the top 100 in the area according to the Washington Post’s “High School Challenge”.

The survey ranks high schools in the Washington area. C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge placed number 58 followed directly by Lorton’s South County Secondary School.  Gar-Field Senior High School in Woodbridge came in at number 84, Stafford’s Colonial Forge High School registered just behind that at 86, and Forest Park High School, also in Woodbridge, finished out at 99.

This year’s rankings featured some changes from the 2010 Challenge. Hylton’s position moved 10 places from last year’s 48th position.  South County also moved in the wrong direction from last year’s 44th.   Gar Field was in 77th position last year, although Colonial Forge held steady at 86th. Forest Park made a positive change, however, moving from 101 last year into the top 100 this year.

The annual challenge ratings are based on “a simple formula” according to The Washington Post, with rankings derived from dividing the number of college-level tests a school gave by the number of graduating seniors.  The Washington Post feels this rating “can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.”

Potomac Senior High School in Woodbridge ranked 40th overall on The Washington Post’s High School Challenge list of the area’s best schools.

Traffic
Seat belt Enforcement Campaign Underway

Prince William Police Chief Charlie T. Deane

Prince William County, Va. –– As the Memorial holiday weekend approaches, police in Prince William are taking no excuses about not wearing seat belts in vehicles.

Officers want drivers and passengers to know it’s the law, and that they’re cracking down.

“More than ever, we need to continue to make the case that seat belts really do work,” he said.

“We will do that by hitting the roads and enforcing all traffic laws 24/7, no excuses, no warnings, and we will be paying particular attention to seat belt use,” said Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane.

Prince William police say there have been five fatal car crashes during the first five months of the year, adding urgency to this year’s campaign.

Drivers should expect to see more police officers on patrol both day and night, from now until Monday June 6.

Seat belts are required in Virginia, and police also remind drivers:

– All children under the age of eight must ride in a secured safety seat that’s federally
approved.

– Children between eight and 15 must use a safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt no
matter where in the vehicle the child is riding.

-It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure all children age 15 and under are properly
secured.

News
JCPenney Closing Potomac Mills Store

Woodbridge, Va. –– JCPenney has decided to close its doors at Potomac Mills mall.

Mall officials have not yet said when the outlet store will close for good, nor have they announced what will replace the stores.

The outlet store offered discounted clothing and home goods found at regular JCPenney company stores.

Potomac Mills spokeswoman Loren Horsley says the store opened in March 1993.

It was a part of a newly expanded section of the sprawling shopping complex that at the time included Spiegel Catalogue outlet, Sakes Off Fifth Avenue, Marshalls and a large arcade, Planet Fun.

Of those stores, Saks Off Fifth and Marshalls are the only that remain in the portion that was expanded in the early 1990s.

Potomac Mills mall is the largest outlet shopping center in Virginia, offering 200 retail shops and specialty stores.

It originally opened in 1985, and quickly became a catalyst for growth in eastern Prince William County.

News
Cycling Commuters Treated to Coffee, Pastries

Jim Haugan of Village Skis and Bikes in Lake Ridge helps inspect a bicycle with Bike to Work Day Volunteers Marilyn Schultz and Mike Campbell.

Woodbridge, Va. –– It was Bike to Work Day across the Washington area today, and 29 people signed up to bike to work from the Chinn Fitness and Aquatics Center in Woodbridge.

This was one of 49 pit stops in Virginia, Maryland and Washington that had breakfast, coffee and t-shirts for those who traded in their cars for a pair of pedals.

“This is the first year we’ve done this, and we’ve had an awesome turn out this morning,” said Chinn Center General Manager Sally Wood.

Both pit stops in the Potomac Communities –– Chinn Aquatic Center and the Virginia Railway Express Rippon station –– were open from 6 until 9 a.m.

Jim Haugan owns Village Skis and Bikes in Lake Ridge, and says cycling has caught on among empty nesters (those whose children have moved out of the home) over the past 26 years he’s been in business.

“I wish we had more bike lanes and places to ride bikes in the area, but events like this help keep cycling the public eye,” said Haugan.

Bike to Work Day is a free event open to everyone, and riders are encouraged to sign up at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s website.

Everyone who registered received a free Bike to Work Day t-shirt.

Registrants for Bike to Work Day were also invited to make a weekend out of the event, and were offered discounts on participating in a larger group bike ride, Bike D.C. Day, to be held Sunday.

News
Learn To Write With NOVA Authors

By Kristina Schnack Kotlus

Aspiring writers and literature fans are invited to a series of talks and readings at Northern Virginia Community College’s Woodbridge Campus.

Authors Richard Bausch, Randall Kenan, Jill McCorkle and Alan Shapiro will lead “craft talks” on May 19th and 20th from 1:30 to 3 p.m.  The two days of presentations will be identical so that attendees may enjoy as many options as possible.  McCorkle will discuss “Memory and Fiction”, Shapiro “Technique of Empathy”, Bausch will cover “How to Write in 700 Easy Lessons” and Kenan will address “The So Called Truth”.

Between them, Bausch, Kenan, McCorkle and Shapiro have written over two dozen novels, nine books of poetry, and numerous short stories and essays.  Each is the recipient of several awards.  In addition to the craft talks, the team will also be presenting selections from their award-winning works on both days at 7 p.m. on the campus.

Reservations or tickets are not required for these free programs.  For more information, please contact Robert Bausch at rbausch@nvcc.edu.

News
Arson Causes $20,000 in Damage

Woodbridge, Va. –– Police want to know who set someone’s front porch ablaze Monday.

Fire and rescue crews at 1:06 a.m. were called to a home in the 1700 block of Averet Street, off Blackburn Road, and found a resident dousing the fire with a garden hose.

Damage to the home is estimated to be at $20,000, and no one was injured, said Prince William fire and rescue spokeswoman Kim Hylander.

The Prince William Fire Marshall is actively investigating this case.

News
Prince William Crime Rate Falls Slightly

Prince William Police Chief Charlie T. Deane

Woodbridge, Va. –– Overall crime in Prince William County fell slightly in the past year, according to newly released crime statistics.

Falling slightly was the number of rapes that were reported, down four from the five-year high in 2009 of 57 reported rapes in Prince William.

Police heralded the capturing the notorious East Coast Rapist that terrorized women for 14 years, and in his most recent suspected attack, raping two of three girls behind in woods behind a shopping center at gunpoint in Dale City on Halloween night 2009.

“This was a case that we put a lot of effort into…this is truly a stranger abduction, rape of the worst kind,” said Prince William Police Chief Charlie T. Deane.

As the county population increased over the past year, the county’s overall crime rate slightly fell from 19.5 to 19.2 percent. That continues a trend of a falling crime rate over the past five years, when it was at a recent high of 21.6 percent in 2006, according to the crime stats report.

The number of murders in the county fell last year by one to nine, and all of which have been solved, said Deane.

There were some categories of crime that rose last year, including larcenies (virtually any type of theft), and cases of aggravated assault.

Of the 224 people charged with aggravated assault last year, at least 20 of them used a firearm, knife or some type of cutting instrument.

Several illegal immigrants were arrested last year, including 274 for not having a driver’s license, six for rape and three for murder.

Prince William began keeping track of illegal immigrants who were arrested after county officials passed an illegal immigration ordinance in 2008.

News
Dominion Donates $150,000 to Woodbridge Park

Woodbridge, Va. –– Leesylvania State Park on Tuesday became a better place to play.

More than 100 volunteers from Dominion Virginia Power donated their time installing new pieces of fitness equipment to create a special exercise hiking trail for seniors, replacing old playground equipment, refurbishing the volleyball area and building new picnic sites.

And if that wasn’t enough, the organization also presented an oversized check for $150,000 to Leesylvania in honor of Virginia State Park’s 75th Anniversary Celebration.

“We have a very simple strategy in our profession, and we understand what customers expect: They want us to keep the lights on when they go out, they expect us to keep up with the growing demand for electricity in the commonwealth so more business can come and prosper, and they expect us to who reinvestment in the communities we serve,” said Dominion Vice President of Distribution Operations Rodney Blevins. “We’re a big company, and we’re a corporate citizen so volunteering is what we do.”

A catered lunch buffet was provided for the volunteers, some eager to replenish the energy spent that morning working on the trails.

“Many citizens and guests from out of state who come to our parks will never know of your contributions, but those that are close to you recognize the significance of your contribution and your unselfish act,” Del. Luke Torian (D-52, Dumfries) told volunteers.

Leesylvania State Park was opened in 1992 and sits along the Potomac River in Woodbridge.

In addition to a boat launch and marina, the park also plays host to a summer concert series held at the park’s Breakwater Store.

News
School Bus Driver Resigns Following Charges

Prince William County, Va. –– A Prince William County school bus driver has resigned after she was charged with assaulting two students.

Police say the 10 and 12-year-old boys were assaulted at 12:06 p.m. Friday while they were on the bus parked at Independent Hill School at 14800 Joplin Road, police said.

The driver resigned after four years on the job, said Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Ken Blackstone.

School officials would not comment on the extent of the children’s injuries because of privacy concerns.  Police say the children did not suffer any injuries.

Minnie Pearl McBride, 29, of Woodbridge, is charged with two counts of assault and battery, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Her court date was not released.

Pearl is the fifth Prince William schools employee to faces charges since April.

One week ago, a 13-year-old girl told police a teacher at Woodbridge Middle School inappropriately touched her. The teacher now faces charges.

News
Borders Could Close Remaining Stores

During its final days, many flocked to Borders Books at Stafford Marketplace on final deals on books, movies and music. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

In a cost cutting measure, Borders Books and Music closed several stores including its North Stafford location.

The store in Woodbridge remains open, as do other stores that performed better than the Stafford County location.

But now, company officials say all of the remaining stores may close if a bidder for the company is not found soon.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed additional locations in Washington and Tysons Corner by the end of April.

In Stafford, officials have not said what business may fill the large spot in the Stafford Marketplace left by Borders.

News
Elephants for Potomac Mills

Woodbridge, Va. –– The circus came to Potomac Mills this past weekend, and no, we’re not describing the driving conditions in the mall’s parking lot.

The Cole Brothers Circus put on a show under the big top for many who ventured out to see the live animals and performances.

We captured a photo of a trainer preparing one of the show’s many elephants prior to it entering the stage for its performance.

News
After 50 years, OWL Honors One of its Own

By Rebecca Barnes
For PotomacLocal.com

Woodbridge, Va. –– Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton VFD Auxiliary member Marguerite J. Arrington celebrating 50 years of service with the OWL VFD Auxiliary.  Rete was recently recognized at the Auxiliary’s Annual Installation of Officers and Banquet.

Rete, as she is known to her friends has a long standing history of dedication to the Woodbridge Community.  Not only is she a life member of the Auxiliary, having served as president, vice president, secretary, chaplain, and conductress, she also received the Auxiliary Member of the Year Award in 1976 and 2005.

Rete was also an active member of the Featherstone Elementary and Rippon Middle school Parent Teacher Associations and earned a life membership award in 1968.

Special guest, Del. Richard Anderson (R-51), presented a commendation from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, to commemorate her 50 years of service.

“Congratulations to Rete for her 50 years of selfless service,”  said Anderson, “and to the newly-installed officers of the OWL VFD and the volunteers of OWL VFD and the Auxiliary: you make Prince William a great place in which to live, work, and serve.”

“We are very proud of Rete, and all our Auxiliary volunteers. Her dedication exemplifies the spirit of OWL VFD,” said William Spicer, current President and past Chief of OWL VFD. “The auxiliary’s work helps us achieve our mission as a fire and rescue department.”

OWL VFD is one of the largest and busiest volunteer fire and rescue departments in the United States. OWL VFD provides fire suppression, EMS care, and rescue services to 80,000 residents in our 27-square mile area through the operation of three fire stations. OWL volunteer Firefighters and EMTs work the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift, five days a week, plus 24 hours on holidays and weekends.

News
Latest Sex Arrest Will Be Addressed by School Administrators

David F. Blount, 62, is charged with attempted indecent liberties by a custodian, police say.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Another Prince William County teacher has been charged with taking indecent liberties with a child.

This latest incident happened at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Woodbridge Middle School, when a 13-year-old female student told police her teacher inappropriately touched her.

The teacher was arrested the following day in North Stafford, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

David F. Blount, 62, is charged with attempted indecent liberties by a custodian and was held on $2,500 bond.

Bount’s arrest comes less than a week after a teacher at nearby Beville Middle School in Dale City was also arrested on similar charges.

Since April, Blount is the fourth teacher in Prince William County to face sex charges. Two teachers at Woodbridge’s Gar-Field Senior High School are also facing sex charges.

Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Ken Blackstone said the recent rash of sex arrests will be a addressed in a series of regularly scheduled meetings that will be attended by county school administrators.

“We have 10,000 employees, and after thorough background screening and ongoing professional development, ultimately, we rely on each of those 10,000 employees making a conscious choice to follow our policies, regulations, procedures, and – most importantly – the law. Since one violation is too many, we will continue to diligently remind all employees of the public trust for which they are accountable,” said Blackstone.

The county school division has an existing tip line for parents, students and school employees to use if they see in appropriate behavior. Callers may dial 703-791-2821 to report activity, and remain anonymous if they choose.

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