Nonstop Local News for North Stafford, Va.




Sheriff David Decatur runs with the Lions


From an email: 

The Lions of Stafford County, Virginia presented Sheriff D.P. Decatur with an honorary membership for exemplary service to the community on June 29, 2016.

This membership was extended by the Aquia Evening Lions Club, Greater Falls Run Lions Club, Aquia Harbour Host Lions Club and Stafford Lions Club.

The Stafford Lions Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month. A social starts at 6:30 p.m. and a formal meeting at 7:03 p.m.

Want to attend a meeting? You first must dial 540-752-7464 to find out the location of the meeting, according to the organization’s website.


Vinny’s: We’ve got no water


Vinny’s Italian Grill and Pizzeria in North Stafford is closed today.

The popular Italian food joint shut its doors due to a lack of water in the restaurant, a worker told us by phone.

This sign was spotted posted on the restaurant’s glass door:

A contractor with the Virginia Department of Transportation on Monday struck a water main nearby. Crews are working in the area to widen a portion of Route 610 from four to six lanes.

Crews are on the scene today trying to fix the water main break, said a Stafford County spokeswoman.

“I have no idea when we’ll reopen,” a Vinny’s employee told us.

The restaurant is one of several Vinny’s locations in the Fredericksburg area. They make mean pasta primavera.


HVAC problems forced Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center to close early



We’re checking to see if the delay is related to the HVAC and electrical work we reported on earlier. 

“We are looking into it.”

-Stafford County Spokeswoman Shannon Howell stated in an email.

Original post

Problems with electrical and HVAC systems forced the staff at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center to close early Tuesday.

The center is scheduled to reopen for business today at noon. It’s normal hours of operation are Monday – Friday 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new indoor gym and aquatics center named after Olympic swimmer and Stafford native Jeff Rouse opened in May. County taxpayers funded the construction of the $11 million facility while a private firm was contracted to operate the center. 


Dominion power to serve new Yyotta data center in Stafford

A new data center will open in Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford County. 

From an email: 

Yyotta, LLC (“Yyotta”), pronounced ‘why yotta’, an emerging Internet exchange point (IXP), data center and managed services company based in Stafford, VA and Dominion Virginia Power today announced the addition of Yyotta IXP facility to the Dominion’s energy grid. Yyotta will offer its IXP, network transport and managed service solutions through its iFortress TM modular data center, a facility used by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ clients, focused on developing a cyber security “community of practice” serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. The IXP will be open June 2016.


Yyotta’s IXP and data center consists of two (2) secure data center rooms encompassing 2,480 sq. ft. of computer room floor and 500 kW of UPS power capacity with access to more space and power for growth. The IXP is the only multi-tenant data center in Stafford, offering a highly compliant solution through a concurrently maintainable design. Yyotta’s Quantico Corporate Center customers have the option to choose from a 1Gig, 10Gig, or dark fiber connectivity solutions, delivered over private, low-latency networks to Washington, DC, Ashburn and Richmond, VA.

Here’s where traffic will stink in Stafford for June 26 – July 2, 2016

Va. 610 at I-95 in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/

From VDOT: 

Route 1

(Update) SundayThursday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will continue milling and paving Route 1 northbound from just north of the Falmouth Intersection to Route 652 (Truslow Road). Motorists should expect lane closures, a rough driving surface and brief delays in the work zone.

Route 17 Business

(Update) SundayTuesday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will be milling and paving on Route 17 Business northbound from the Falmouth Intersection to Wyne Drive. Motorists should expect lane closures, a rough driving surface and brief delays in the work zone.

Route 17

(Update) MondayThursday, daylight to dusk and Friday, daylight to noon. Crews will be milling on Route 17 northbound and southbound and along the side streets between McLane Drive and Stafford Lakes Parkway. Most work will be done behind the orange barrels and cones, however, motorists should expect intermittent lane closures in the work zone. Crews will be working daylight to dusk. 

Route 218 (Butler Road)

(Update) SundayThursday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will continue milling and paving on Route 218 (Butler Road) from Carter Street to the bridge over CSX Railroad, located just east of the WaWa. Motorists should expect lane closures and a rough driving surface in the work zone.

Sidewalk Improvements

(New) Monday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Work crews will install handicapped-accessible sidewalk ramps at Route 17 Business and Heartfields Lane

Route 610 (Garrisonville Road)

(Update) MondayThursday8 p.m. – 5 a.m. One lane will be closed intermittently on Route 610 eastbound and westbound at Onville Road. Motorists may periodically encounter brief delays in the overnight hours in this work zone.Crews are placing sewer lines in connection with the Route 610/Onville Road intersection improvement project.

Routine Maintenance

MondayThursday, 6 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Friday, 6 a.m. – noon. Stay alert for mobile lane closures. Crews will be performing routine maintenance activities in the following locations:

  • Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) – shoulder work

  • Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) – mowing

  • Route 608 (Brooke Road) – mowing and patching

  • Route 616 (Poplar Road) – mowing and patching

  • Route 612 (Hartwood Road) – mowing and patching

  • Route 648 (Dunbar Road) – mowing

Stafford Cardboard Boat Regatta is July 9

Cardboard boats race at Aquia Landing Park on the Potomac River in Stafford County. (File photo/Mary Davidson)

An email from John and Linda Schumaker

Thank you for your interest and support of the Stafford County Cardboard Boat Regatta. This is the 13th year that the Rock Hill Ruritan Club and the Stafford County Parks and Recreation department have partnered to conduct this family friendly event.
The Regatta will be on Saturday, July 9th at Aquia Landing in Stafford County.  The event opens at 10 am with boat registration. 
Opening ceremonies will include music by the Stafford Regional Choral Society’s SoundCheck group.  Boat awards and races will begin around Noon
Boats are made from cardboard, tape, glue and painted to make then, hopefully, water-tight.  Past creations have included traditional boats, battle ships, paddlewheelers, dragons, a whale, a giant cicada, Gilligan’s Island, and a bath tub.

Van slams into FBI agent’s car on I-95, so he chases suspect

An FBI agent headed south on Interstate 95 chased down a driver of a van that struck his vehicle, according to Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman MC Moncure. 

The male driver of the van stopped at the American Legion Road overpass, and he and female occupant of the van bailed into the treeline. The FBI agent called for help and gave chase: 

From Stafford sheriff’s office: 

An off-duty F.B.I. Agent traveling southbound on Interstate 95 on Friday afternoon, June 17, 2016 noticed a large white Dodge Ram Truck swerving between lanes and driving erratically. Shortly thereafter while traveling in the middle lane of the interstate the white truck ran into the back of the agent’s vehicle. The agent pulled over on the left shoulder and the truck pulled to the right shoulder. Then the agent observed the driver and the passenger of the truck, a man and woman respectively, abandoning their vehicle and fleeing on foot toward the wood line after the accident. The F.B.I. Agent crossed the interstate and began pursuing them on foot, identified himself as law enforcement, and ordered them to stop. The pair continued to run from the scene of the accident.

The agent caught up with the couple and attempted to detain them near the 1100 block of Ramoth Church Road. The man brandished a knife at the agent.

The Sheriff’s Office had been contacted by concerned citizens witnessing the foot chase and several units arrived on the scene. The situation was contained in minutes. Deputies searched both individuals and their belongs, finding drug paraphernalia in their possession.

The male suspect, identified as Isaac Brickley Moore, was taken into custody and charged with Felony Hit and Run, Driving on a Suspended License, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana and Assault and Battery. The truck was quickly identified as stolen from Southwest Washington, DC. An additional charge of Receiving Stolen Goods was added to Moore’s litany of charges.

Moore, age 18 of Barrows Court in Stafford, Virginia was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

The female occupant was not charged, said Moncure.

Tony Bennett, Kristin Chenoweth to perform with Mary Washington Philharmonic


From University of Mary Washington: 

Legendary singer Tony Bennett and award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will headline the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic’s 2016-17 season. The announcement was made at a special event for the Friends of the UMW Philharmonic on Friday, June 17.
Bennett will perform for the holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 9, in Dodd Auditorium. Winner of 17 Grammy Awards and seven Emmys, the celebrated singer has sold millions of albums worldwide. A jazz vocalist, Bennett recorded his first hit, “Because of You,” in 1951 and made a career singing standards, including his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” His career waned in the 1960s with the popularity of rock music, but rallied again in the 1990s. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 24 to the general public, Oct. 10 to Friends of the Philharmonic.

Chenoweth will perform with the Philharmonic as part of the Celebrity Series on Friday Saturday, March 18, in Dodd Auditorium.  The career of the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress spans film, television, voiceover and stage. She is best known for her inaugural role of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway show Wicked. Her many television roles include The West Wing, Glee and Disney’s The Descendants.

Three rescued from Rappahannock River Sunday night


Three people were rescued from the Rappahannock River late Sunday night.

Fire crews from Fredericksburg and Stafford County found three people stranded on a rock at 9:25 p.m. The family of two adults and a child used a cell phone to call for help.

The victims told 911 they were stranded east of the Interstate 95 bridge that crosses the Rappahannock River. Rescue crews rushed to the scene and later found them near the Virginia Outdoor Center located on Fall Hill Avenue, according to Fredericksburg Assistant Fire Chief Mike Jones.

Rescue swimmers used a raft to reach the victims and pull them ashore. All three were examined by an EMS unit from Stafford County and refused to be taken to a hospital, said Jones.

Searchers looked for a light emanating from the victim’s cell phone in order to locate the victims, according to initial reports.

The body of a 21-year-old Manassas man was pulled from the Rappahannock River earlier this month after he drowned. Those who venture out onto the river should always wear a personal flotation device, said Jones.

Those who kayak or canoe along the Rappahannock should also plan to let someone know where they plan to put their boat in the water and where they plan to take it out and say how much time they expect to be on the river.

“It’s a long stretch of the river north of the city where the Rapidan [River] meets and Rappahannock, and then past the city limits where they river on to King George and to Tappahannock. It helps us to have an idea where you are,” said Jones.

Having a flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone are also good tools to have, he added.

Reinboldt seeks to reclaim seat on Stafford School Board

Dana Reinboldt hopes to recapture her seat representing the Griffis-Widewater Distict on the Stafford County School Board. 

She announced her candidacy today in a special election to be held Nov. 8, 2016 to replace Emily Fallon who resigned earlier this year after allegations surfaced that PTA funds at Moncure Elementary School went missing while Fallon was PTA president.

Here’s Reinboldt’s press release: 

Stafford, Virginia –Wednesday, June 15, 2016—Dana Reinboldt of Stafford, has announced her candidacy for the Griffis-Widewater School Board Seat in the Special Called

election on November 8, 2016.

“I’m excited about the potential opportunity to once again represent the citizens of Griffis- Widewater. I believe it is crucial for our district to have a strong and effective voice on the School Board. The citizens of our community deserve a committed representative, with integrity, working on their behalf. My experience as an elected school board member will permit me to provide Griffis-Widewater residents immediate, effective representation.

I have lived in the Griffis-Widewater District of Stafford County for the past 28 years with my husband, John. My 3 children all attended, and graduated from Stafford County Public Schools. I have 24 years of extensive experience as a parent and a volunteer in Stafford County Public Schools.”

Reinboldt served on the School Board in the Griffis-Widewater seat from 2004 to 2015. Fallon beat Reinboldt in a November 2015 General Election with 1,235 votes to Reinboldt’s 961, according to the Stafford County Voter Registrar’ s Office.

Melissa Y. Ayres earlier this month was appointed to represent the Griffis-Widewater District as the area’s School Board member. Reinboldt sought the temporary appointment given to Ayres, she said.

Regal Garrison 12 movie theater to anchor new North Stafford development

regal cinemas

Stafford County is proud to announce that Regal Entertainment Group will open a 50,539 square foot luxury twelve screen movie theater in The Garrison at Stafford, formerly known as Stafford Village. The new 500,000 square foot mixed-use community, located off Garrisonville Road, is under development by The Pence Group.

The Garrison will be an exceptional mixed-use property. Regal’s reputation for providing a luxury movie-going experience will be most welcome in Stafford County,” stated Stafford Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Laura Sellers, Garrisonville District. “Stafford did a retail survey with citizens and a nice movie theater was one of the most requested businesses.”

The Regal Garrison 12 will feature luxury recliners with footrests and swivel tables for dining. The menu will feature enhanced food and beverage options as well as traditional cinema snacks. The lobby includes a lounge where guests can relax before or after the movie and table seating to accommodate appetizers, entrées, desserts, and drinks. When completed in 2017, the 1,230 recliner cinema will provide traditional and 3D films on all twelve screens. 

“We are pleased to bring the premium environment of Regal Garrison 12 to The Garrison and are excited about the potential entertainment and destination themed experiences interested in joining the project,” said Geoff Pence, President at The Pence Group.

Efforts to bring new retail options began in 2012, when the Stafford County Board of Supervisors approved the Stafford County Retail Attraction Initiative, designed to aggressively market Stafford County’s business advantages to retail developers, businesses, and real estate professionals.

“Regal is proud to be a part of this entertainment destination at The Garrison at Stafford.  With easy access off of I-95, we’re certain it will draw moviegoers from a wide area to this affluent community,” said Todd Boruff, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Regal Entertainment Group. 

Announcements of additional companies and stores that will be in The Garrison at Stafford complex will be publicized when leases are finalized.

Stafford appoints new school board member after abrupt resignation

The Stafford County School Board appointed a new member to represent the Griffis-Widewater District following the abrupt resignation of Emily Fallon, who was elected to the position in November 2015.

More in a press release:

On May 31, 2016, the Stafford County School Board appointed Melissa Y. Ayres to represent the Griffis-Widewater District as the area’s School Board member.

The appointment was due to the resignation of the previous Griffis-Widewater School Board member. Ms. Ayres will serve in this role until the outcome of the November 8, 2016,

Special Election as set forth in the Writ of Election entered by the Stafford County Circuit Court. Nine applicants submitted interest in serving and four candidates were interviewed on Tuesday evening.

“The Board is so pleased to have Ms. Ayres join us as the representative of the Griffis-Widewater District,” said School Board Chair Holly Hazard. “The Board was impressed with the credentials and commitment to the school community of each of the applicants. Ms. Ayres’ deliberative approach to decision-making and her military and business backgrounds will serve her well as she transitions into this important community position.”

Ms. Ayres is a resident of Stonebridge at Widewater subdivision and her daughter attends Widewater Elementary School. She is employed at Quality Technology Inc., headquartered in Largo, Maryland, and serves in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in Tucson, Arizona.

In her letter of interest for the position, Ms. Ayres stated, “It is very important for Stafford to continue to have a strong school system to help its constituents and leaders address many of our social and economic issues. As a parent and a professional, I am eager to address this broad range of children’s issues with my skills of the Stafford School Board.”

Updated: Plane crashes near I-95 in Stafford, pilot lives


Updated from Virginia State Police: 

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police Trooper J.P. Kletzke was called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

A single-seat, experimental aircraft was conducting a high-speed taxi on the runway of the Stafford Regional Airport, when the aircraft unintentionally lifted off the runway. The aircraft cleared the Centreport Parkway before crash-landing into an embankment alongside the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 137 mile marker.

The pilot, Roberta A. Boucher, 62, of Fredericksburg, Va., survived the crash and was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The FAA is responding to the scene. The NTSB was also notified. The crash investigation by state police remains ongoing at this time.

Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department

Original post: 

A small plane crashed tonight in Stafford County, near Interstate 95.

Here is the la test from Virginia State Police:

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police were called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

The small aircraft crash-landed against an embankment near the southbound lanes of I-95 at the 137 mile marker. The pilot survived the crash and has been transported to a nearby hospital.

The southbound lanes of I-95 were re-opened by 6:02 p.m.


Body of Manassas man pulled from Rappahannock River

The body of a 21-year-old Manassas man was pulled from the Rappahannock River. 

More in a police press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office reports that Emilio Francisco Velasco Cedillo, age 21, of Manassas, Virginia drowned this evening in the Rappahannock River.

The incident was initially reported at approximately 6:15 p.m., via a direct radio communication from a Parks and Recreation staff member at Historic Port of Falmouth to the Stafford County Emergency Communications Center.

Stafford’s Sheriff’s Office and Stafford Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

Stafford Fire & Rescue reports that rescue swimmers were deployed as early as 6:20 p.m. to begin the search where the man was last seen as he was crossing the river, approximately 15 feet from shore.

Fredericksburg Fire units were requested to respond to Old Mill Park and they deployed a diver who was able to locate the submerged victim.

The body was retrieved from the river and immediately transported to Mary Washington Hospital where both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support patient care was given. Valasco Cedillo was pronounced dead at the Hospital.

It appears that the Manassas man had been with several friends while in the river. He initially entered the river at the Historic Port of Falmouth. Witnesses state that he had successfully crossed the river to Old Mill Park. Later he attempted to cross back at another point in the river when he reportedly became submerged.

Stafford officials study fixes for failing Arrowhead dams


Tear them down or leave them up?

Two dams in the Lake Arrowhead subdivision in Stafford County are at risk of failing. The dams hold back water in Big Lake Arrowhead, and in Little Lake Arrowhead in the community of single family homes in the northwestern section of the county.

The large dam holding back “Big Lake Arrowhead” is a “high risk” dam while the smaller dam for the small lake is considered a low-risk dam. If the dams fail, homes in the adjacent Hidden Lake neighborhood will be in the path of rushing water and could be lost.

What to do about the failing dams became an election issue for Wendy Maurer, who won a seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors last fall. Mauer said she heard from residents who wanted to save the dams and by extension the small lakes they support. Others wanted to drain the lakes and leave the dams in a state of decay.

“The whole battle between the ‘fix the dam’ crowd and the ‘don’t fix the dam’ crowd came down to the fact that we did not know who much it was going to cost to fix the dams,” said Maurer.

After talking with a constituent, Mauer learned some residents of Lake Arrowhead between 1990 and 2009 had been paying $500 per year as part of a special sanitary tax district to improve neighborhoods streets. The home association dissolved, and the money — $500,000 — sat untouched in a county bank account, said Maurer.

The sanitary district is no longer in effect. County officials will use a portion of the cash to pave four streets in the neighborhood — Abrahams, Blizzard, Seymour, and Sparky courts. The improvements will bring the streets into the state road system and make them eligible for maintenance by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A portion of Boundary Drive that carries drivers over the small dam is in need of street repair but is not eligible for admittance to the state road maintenance program because it crosses the dam.

Officials will also examine the possibility of using the leftover money to repair the dams. A $30,000 study of the dams is now underway, the results of which will tell reveal the conditions of the dams. The study began in April and was expected to take two months.

County officials will present the needed fixes to the state, and if the county — by way of the residents — decides to fix the dams, the state will reimburse half of the cost of the study.

“I think you’re going to hear that we’re going to have enough money to fix the dams,” said Maurer.

However, a special tax district similar to the old sanitary district may be needed if there isn’t enough cash to cover the entire repair project. Stafford officials said they plan to send emails to residents about the dam repair project, publish information on its county website, and hold public meetings about the project.

If funded, the repair project could begin in 2017.

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