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Courthouse Road drivers will see new stoplight, lower speed limit

STAFFORD — A new stoplight will be erected along Courthouse Road.

The light will be installed at the intersection of Courthouse Road and Liberty Knolls Drive in Stafford, at one of the entrances to Colonial Forge High School.

From the Virginia Department of Transportation:

The signal will first be placed in flash mode the morning of Monday, Aug. 21 for 48 hours.

The signal will go into full operation at approximately midday on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

New pavement markings and pedestrian crosswalks will be installed at the intersection.

The new traffic signal is part of a project to widen Courthouse Road from two to four lanes from Ramoth Church Road to Cedar Lane and reconfigure the I-95 Exit 140 interchange to a diverging diamond.

The $185.3 million project will reduce congestion in the corridor and accommodate future growth.

(more…)

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Breakfast Links: No Harris Teeter tax incentives, Stafford’s Confederate flag

Tax incentives for Harris Teeter are no longer on the table in Stafford County. The county’s board of supervisors said a developer who initially wanted them to lure the grocer to Aquia Town Center withdrew its request [Free-Lance Star]

A controversial power line in Haymarket may be built overhead, along Interstate 66. Dominion is close to abandoning plans to build the line along Carver Road, where freed slaves lived after the Civil War. [Insidenova.com]

A large Confederate battle flag that waves high above Interstate 95 in Stafford County drew the ire of residents Tuesday. Residents asked leaders to denounce the flag that sits on private property or to introduce flag pole height restrictions. [Free Lance-Star]

The Mormon Temple will allow people outside the Mormon faith to come inside the castle-like structure for the first time in 40 years. Renovations at the temple on the, which resembles something seen in the Wizard of Oz, will mean visitors will get the chance to look inside the structure on the Capital Beltway in Maryland. [Bethesda Magazine]

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Adopt Me Wednesday: Goofy is a young pup eager for training

Spotsylvania Animal shelter has a furbaby in need of a forever family. Goofy is a hound mix, about a year and a half, and is neutered. 

Here’s a little about Goofy:

Goofy is still waiting for his forever family to come along. Goofy is a young pup, good with other dogs, has lived with cats around but is mouthy so needs older children and some training to break that bad habit. Please consider coming to meet/adopt him today before 4 p.m.

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Breakfast Links: School loses $20,000; Winning ‘architect’ coach dies

Bob Sherrill helped to earn Gar-Field Senior High School the nickname “school of champions” during the 1970s and 80s. He’s being remembered this week as the “architect” of the winning sports program after his death. He was 83 years old. [Prince William Times]

The murder of Wilfredo Guardado-Huezo, 25, of Manassas back in April was planned. Court documents show. His murder is related to the MS-13 street gang, which is showing a rebound in the Washington, D.C. region with recent crimes in Maryland and Virginia. [Washington Post]

Gar-Field Senior High School PTSO is out $20,000, and the former head of the organization could be to blame. Calanda Victoria James-Morgan, 40, of Nokesville, was indicted for six counts of embezzlement this month. She’s due in a Prince William County courtroom. [Prince William Times]

A 21-year-old Stafford woman died after a car crash on Saturday, August 12. The crash happened near the Grace Preparatory School when the driver crossed a double yellow line and struck a pick-up truck head on. The driver was pulled from the car and later died [Stafford County Sheriff’s Office]

Hobby Lobby will open a second location in Prince William County in Gainesville. It currently has a store on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. [Bristow Beat]

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BerkleyNet finds the secret to attracting and keeping talent — make them feel valued

Editors note: This sponsored post is the first in a monthly series written by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Potomac Local.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — An insurance company headquartered in Prince William County encourages young professionals to write on the walls.

This is not your typical coverage provider.

Started in a warehouse in Manassas in 2006, tech firm BerkleyNet is a leader in forward-thinking business growth in Prince William County. BerkleyNet is a member company of W. R. Berkley Corporation, a Fortune 500 company.

Headquartered in Innovation Technology Park in Prince William County, their business is entirely online, a unique concept for a firm that provides workers compensation insurance.

In just 11 years they have grown from six to over 200 employees. The majority are headquartered in Prince William County, with satellite offices in places like Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn. and Las Vegas.

John Goldwater, BerkleyNet’s former President, and CEO, has gone on to become an Executive Vice President of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Five founding employees remain on BerkleyNet’s senior leadership team.

The most unique aspect of their business growth? They hire curious problem-solvers, encourage ownership and invest in their employees. (more…)

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Makee is the GOP replacement candidate in Virginia House District 2

STAFFORD — He doesn’t have big political aspirations, but he stepped up to be the GOP’s man in a pinch.

Michael Makee (pronounced Mackie) retired as Naval Commander after 20 years and is the Republican replacement candidate in Virginia’s House District 2. The 47-year-old Naval Academy graduate stepped in after Laquan Austion dropped out of the race on Friday.

Makee moved to Stafford with his wife two years ago and is the father of six children ages 12 to 24. Mary Kathleen “Katy” Makee has been his wife for 25 years. He serves on the Stafford County Utilities Commission and is the treasurer of the Stafford County Republican Committee.

This is his first run for political office.

“I don’t have big political aspirations,” Makee told Potomac Local. “I understand the military side of how the government works, and now I will learn how the state and local side of the government,” said Makee. (more…)

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Virginia airplane owners get a tax break for repairs

MANASSAS — Airplane owners and repair shops will get a tax break.

Small airplane small repair shops and larger maintenance, repair, and overhaul aircraft facilities commonly referred to as MROs will get a break when they purchase parts, supplies, or engines to maintain an aircraft. Delegate Richard Anderson, an Air Force Colonel and former head of the Civil Air Patrol introduced the legislation during this year’s General Assembly.

The new law is expected to have an impact on economic development in the state and our region. Many airplane owners traditionally fly out of state to places like North Carolina for regular aircraft maintenance or repair.

“I am very proud to have worked with my partners in the General Assembly, the Virginia Aviation Business Association, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association in crafting this legislation. Virginia is home to several thousand general aviation aircraft, but has few major maintenance and repair operations,” said Anderson. (more…)

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Free admission today at the Prince William County Fair

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You can get in free this afternoon to the 68th Annual Prince William County Fair.

Everyone who comes between to 2 and 5 p.m. will get free admission to the fairgrounds as part of Free Gate Admission Day. Tickets are required once again after 5 p.m. and are sold for $10 for each adult or $6 for children or seniors.

The Power Wheels Derby will take place tonight in the grandstand. Children, ages 3 to 5 will participate in the first round at 5 p.m., and then children ages 6 to 10 will go at 5:30 p.m.

For the main event at 7 p.m. in the grandstand, yard warriors will bring their green machines for the annual garden tractor pull.

Other events in the far include No Joes Circus, the Butterfly Experience, chainsaw art, Jurassic Kingdom, the rides on the midway, and more.

Tomorrow night is ladies night at the fair. The gates open at 5 p.m. and all ladies are free. The demolition derby returns to the grandstand at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The fair is open today from 2 until 10 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., and on the final day of the fair Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m.

*Photos: Keith Walker, Prince William County Government