WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Woodbridge Local

Paying taxes late this year will cost you

Woodbridge, Va. –– Personal property taxes are due Tuesday, and if you don’t pay on time you’re going to pay more in the end.

For those in the Woodbridge area who pay late, a computer system notifies Prince William officials and a letter is then sent out telling the late payer they owe penalties and interest, and any amount they might have underpaid in their original payment, said county spokeswoman Nikki Brown.

Last year in Prince William, 3,700 letters notifying residents of late payments were mailed in October and November. (more…)

Buffalo Wild Wings to open

A sign on Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge heralds the coming of Buffalo Wild Wings, which will be located across from Potomac Mills mall.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Those looking for a job, a beer or some wings will soon be able to head over to a new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Woodbridge.

The popular restaurant chain with locations in Gainesville and Fredericksburg, and 40 others, is opening its newest location on Potomac Mills Road, at near the Outback Steakhouse in the Potomac Festival shopping center. (more…)

Heavy rains could slow trains

Woodbridge, Va. –– A flash flood warning has prompted Virginia Railway Express to warn passengers of possible service disruptions.

A large area of rain that is associated with Tropical Storm Nicole, which is moving its way up along the East Coast over the next 36 hours, will bring a deluge of rain, forecasters said.

A flash flood watch was put into effect for the Potomac communities by the National Weather Service earlier today. But if that watch is increased to a flood warning, train speeds on VRE’s trainlines will slow. (more…)

Update: Potomac trail could cost $5 million

Wooodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi on Saturday signs a new agreement that paves the way for the expansion of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Prince William County. (Submitted)

UPDATED: An 8-mile stretch of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Woodbridge could cost as much as $5 million.

According to one preliminary estimate, one stretch of the trail, between Neabsco Creek and Metz Wetlands, which would connect Rippon Lodge with Leesylvania State Park, would cost $2 million, said Wooodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi.

That cost is included in the original $5 million estimate.

“We are now in the middle of engaging engineers to better assess the ultimate costs of the projects.  While some funding exists, additional funding will be needed from federal and state grants, proffers, land donations, and volunteer association sweat equity in helping to build the trail,” said Principi.

The cost estimates come from the original planning organizations, which include the Prince William County Park Authority, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and U.S. Department of the Interior. (more…)

VRE is looking for a few opinionated riders

A Virginia Railway Express train pulls into the Woodbridge station. (File Photo: Mary Davidson)

Virginia Railway Express wants to know more about what’s on their passengers’ minds.

The commuter railroad is asking riders who board at the Quantico, Woodbridge and Lorton stations to consider joining its Passenger Alliance Coalition.

VRE plans to hold a PAC meeting this fall, with another to come later – possibly next year.

“Meetings take place twice a year in our Alexandria office and usually last between an hour and a half to two hours, with frequent email dialogue in between meetings,” said VRE spokesman Ryan Lang. (more…)

Man involved in U.S. 1 crash Tuesday

Emergency crews in Woodbridge on Tuesday strap an apparent crash victim to a stretcher. Officials would not comment on the extent of his injuries, but said he was not taken to a hospital.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Officials say a man who was involved in a crash Tuesday morning in Woodbridge was not taken to the hospital, despite rescue crews loading him on to stretcher alongside busy U.S. 1.

The crash happened shortly before 8:30 a.m., reportedly at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the 14500 block of U.S. 1 at Featherstone Road.

Emergency crews and police were on the scene across from the restaurant, in the parking lot of a Shell gas station, where they had one apparent victim strapped to a stretcher, and then loaded him into the back of an ambulance.

A Prince William police spokesman said a police crash investigation team did not investigate the crash, did not provided details of the crash, and would not comment on the extent of the man’s injuries.

Traffic did not appear to be affected by the crash.

225 pounds of drugs collected in Woodbridge

DEA Agent Tom Golden takes unused prescription drugs from a Woodbridge resident who declined to give her name Saturday.

Woodbridge, Va. –– Residents took old prescription drugs shopping with them Saturday.

At the collection center at Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge, DEA agents collected 225 pounds of old, unused prescription drugs as part of the first-ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Statewide on Saturday officials collected 5,500 pounds of prescription drugs at more than 75 collection sites, said DEA spokeswoman Melissa Bell.

More than 10,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.

It’s not known how many pound of drugs were collected nationwide, said Bell. (more…)

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…)

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