Stafford

VDOT still has a huge amount of catchup

Opinion

As the weather warms and summer nears, we are approaching the road mowing and paving season in Northern Virginia. Several paving projects are coming to eastern Prince William County and northern Stafford County in the 36th District.

VDOT plans to pave I-95 from Neabsco Creek to Smoketown Road, all of VA-123 and Old Bridge Road from VA-123 to Minnieville. Cardinal Drive will get a new surface from U.S. 1 to Minnieville as well.  Southbridge will see new blacktop in on Wayside Lane, Pine Ridge Boulevard and several surrounding streets.  VDOT will pave the entire length of Joplin Road from U.S. 1 to Bristow Road and all the streets of the entire town of Quantico. The Main Street between Curtis Drive and Quantico Gateway Drive through Dumfries is also scheduled to be repaved.

Many of Stafford County’s secondary roads are in better condition than streets in other areas since many are newer.  In northeastern Stafford County, VDOT will resurface half a dozen streets around Dorothy Lane and Anita Drive in Garrisonville with all of Stefaniga Road.

Legislature Addressed Road Neglect

Over 70% of Northern Virginia’s secondary roads, roads numbered over 600, have been rated as having substandard pavement quality and despite my efforts, the state legislature has not met the challenge. From 1987 to 2013, the Virginia General Assembly refused to raise Virginia’s $0.17/gallon gas tax to even keep up with inflation.  As salaries, the cost of materials and infrastructure needs all increased, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) had to prioritize funds for other critical maintenance needs.  As a result, VDOT limited grass mowing, prioritized primary and interstate highway maintenance and curtailed secondary road paving. Deficient road pavement has been a consistent, frequent complaint since I have been in office these last six years.

In 2013, the legislature replaced the retail fixed gas tax with a wholesale percentage gas tax plus an overall sales tax supplement, steps which restored some roads and maintenance funding .  We also passed a series of local taxes to fund transportation construction, but these taxes do not apply to Stafford County which is in the Fredericksburg Transportation District.  Last year, VDOT started a major phase of paving in our communities as the direct result of this infusion of funds.

VDOT tries to bid out paving projects based on need and geographic location.  Contractors may provide competitive bids when projects are conducted all within compact areas.  This is why VDOT usually does not repave random streets miles apart (there are some exceptions).  Also, typically, not but always, roads in entire neighborhoods tend to deteriorate at the same rate.     

If you would like to see a more detailed map including your specific street you can go to my online newsletter, The Dixie Pig at scottsurovell.blogspot.com or you can go to www.virginiaroads.org.

I am pleased that VDOT is finally taking steps to properly maintain our roadways, but VDOT still has a huge amount of catchup ahead.  Nearly every secondary road in Woodbridge still has substandard pavement quality and after this summer, and over 50 percent of Virginia’s 36th Senate District’s roads will still need repaving.  You can find a map of the 36th Senate District at https://scottsurovell.net/district-36.

If you review the entire Northern Virginia map at www.virginiaroads.org, you can see that we are very lucky to be getting attention this summer given the massive backlog.  I am working to make our area a continuing priority after this year.

Our experience over the last two decades is a basic lesson in the consequences of starving basic government services.  If we do not keep our revenues commensurate with our needs, from schools to health clinics to roads, infrastructure and quality of life will suffer.  In 2013, with bipartisan support, the state legislature addressed the transportation revenue shortfall and you are now seeing the results. These steps can likely save your family an alignment or a tire or two. 

If you have any questions or complaints, please contact me at scott@scottsurovell.org.  It is an honor to a state delegate and I look forward to earning your vote as your State Senator.

*Scott Surovell is currently serving as a delegate in Virginia, and is seeking a seat in the State Senate.

Moncure PTO president announces run for Stafford school board

News
Emily Fallon

Emily Fallon

The president of the Anne E. Moncure Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, Emily Fallon, has announced that she is running for the Stafford County School Board in the Griffis-Widewater district. Dana Reinboldt currently holds that position.

“The status quo is not good enough for our kids,” said Fallon in a press release. “Our kids and the taxpayers of Stafford County deserve schools that have a plan for excellence and milestones to measure our progress.” 

Fallon has been president of the Moncure PTO for three terms and has served as a substitute teacher in the county. She’s also worked as a paraprofessional in the D.C. Public Schools, according to her campaign. Additionally, Fallon has served as a member of the Stafford County Public Schools Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee, the SCPS Elementary School Redistricting Committee and was a founding member of the Stafford Special Education Parent Teachers Association known as SEPTA. 

“We need a real strategic plan for our schools, developed with the help of parents

and teachers, where we lay out a vision for Commonwealth-leading schools by bringing new technology to the classroom, increasing access for all SCPS students to our current programs,” stated Fallon in the release.

Some of Fallon’s main goals are: 

– The development of a five-year plan that sets the educational goals for the school division and aligns those goals with future funding expectations and metrics of success. 

– The expansion of student access to existing programs, regardless of their base school.

– A partnership with employers in the area to develop new programs and internship opportunities. 

– Making greater use of technology in the classroom. 

– A comprehensive review of SCPS Special Education programs to ensure the school system is meeting the needs of those with special needs.

“Special education is an area that is near and dear to my heart and is one of many areas that I think SCPS can and should be doing better in,” said Fallon. 

Fallon is a graduate of Strayer University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology. She reports that she’s a strong believer in lifelong learning.

Fallon resides in Aquia Harbour and has three children who are all currently attending Stafford County Public Schools. Her husband, Ben Fallon, works in Congressional Affairs for the Department of Defense.

Two new principals appointed in Stafford

News

The Stafford County School Board has appointed new administrators for two schools in Stafford – Terri Rivero and Brian Fitzgerald.

According to a release, Rivero – a graduate of Stafford County Public Schools – will serve as the new principal at Rockhill Elementary School.

Prior to her appointment, she worked as an assistant principal at Rodney Thompson Middle School, as well as Falmouth Elementary School. Rivero began as a teacher at H.H. Poole Middle School and Dixon-Smith Middle School.

Brian Fitzgerald was also appointed by the school board, as the new principal at Margaret Bren Elementary School, said a release.

Fitzgerald worked previously as the assistant principal at Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School. He started off his career as a teacher in Prince William County before coming to Mountain View High School in Stafford.

Animals for adoption at Stafford SPCA

News

Rachael
Leo
Found dog

Rachael is a 1 year old female, Jack Russell Terrier/Pomeranian mix. She is spayed, UTD on vaccines, and microchipped. She is a friendly and energetic little lady that loves treats and has a very sweet disposition. Rachael’s brother and sisters are also up for adoption.
 
Leo the Lion Cat is a gorgeous male yellow tabby that loves to chat and loves ear scratches. While Leo enjoys his quiet time, he can be quite the conversationalist! Leo is 7 years old, neutered, and UTD on all vaccines. This love bug is looking for his forever home…could it be yours?
 
Found Dog – Found off of Andrew Chapel Road in Stafford. No collar, no microchip, very sweet. If you have any information please call 540-657-7387.

-Information provided by the Stafford SPCA. Contact them for more information on any of the animals shown above.

4 injured in Stafford dump truck crash

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shelton shop road stafford crash

Four people were injured this morning in a crash involving two dump trucks and an SUV in North Stafford.

Four people who were traveling in two dump trucks were taken to a hospital suffering injuries that didn’t appear to be life threatening. The female driver of the SUV also involved in the crash refused to be taken to a hospital, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

A fuel tank on one of the dump trucks ruptured. A nearby sand a gravel business provided free sand to emergency crews tasked with cleaning up the fuel spill.

A portion of Shelton Shop Road was closed to traffic due to the crash. Traffic was redirected onto Oakwood Drive, as well as back to Garrisonville Road so drivers could find another way around the crash.

Virginia State Police are investigating the crash. We’re still waiting to find out if charges will be filed in this case.

 

Maurer, Bertoldi face off in Stafford primary

News
Maurer

Maurer

As the June 9 Primary Election nears, the candidates for Rock Hill District Supervisor have outlined the issues.

Both Wendy Mauer and Adela Bertoldi, both Republicans, seek to replace Cord Sterling on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.  

adela bertoldi

Bertoldi

Maurer is focused on recruiting and retaining new teachers. When it comes to development, Maurer said she will argue to first have roads and “adequate infrastructure” in place before development begins.

From her website:

Stafford is growing jobs faster than any other locality in the region. Businesses provide more tax revenue to Stafford than they use in county provided services.   As a small business owner, I understand what businesses need in order to thrive in our community.

Bertoldi is running on a platform of no new tax increases.

Here’s a snippet form her press release:

“Creating jobs and having business-friendly policies will be a top priority for me,” said Bertoldi.  “My focus will be on providing opportunity for families and small businesses through lower taxes and a less burdensome government.”  

Bertoldi signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge committing to oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

Both candidates live in the Augustine neighborhood.

The Rock Hill seat is the only one on the Board of Supervisors up for grabs this election season.

2 dead in apparent murder-suicide in Stafford

News

Authorities in Stafford County are investigating a murder suicide. 

Two bodies were found last night in North Stafford. 

Here’s the latest in a press release: 

At 11:37 last night, Friday, May 15 the Emergency Communications Center received a call that two individuals had been shot at 305 Garrison Woods Drive.  When deputies arrived on scene they found a male and female deceased from gunshot wounds.  The caller, a relative of one of the individuals who were shot, was notified by a juvenile who lived in the residence of the deceased people.  The juvenile had heard the shots and ran to the relative’s house just down the road.  The two decedents were boyfriend/girlfriend and lived at the residence.  The bodies were sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond where the exact cause of death will be determined.  Stafford Detectives believe that this case to be a murder/suicide.

The subjects who were shot have been identified as Ashley Deanna Hoffman, age 32 of 305 Garrison Woods Drive and Ramon Deandre Williams, age 34 of the same address.

This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Why you should expect new apartments, food trucks at The Town Center at Aquia

News

Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center

Part 2 Read part one.

Aquia Towne Center may finally be rescued from the eyesore it has become. North Stafford residents have been waiting for years for Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust to fulfill its promise to rebuild it. Ambitious plans for a mixed-use town center were put on hold not long after the recession hit in 2008. Since then, the center has consisted of old one-level buildings, vast spaces of asphalt, gravel and dirt, and one modern five-story office building.

Ramco is the company that owns most of the property, which is now known as The Town Center at Aquia. At this time, Ramco is keeping the office building, which also requires about 400 parking spaces. But much of the rest of the property may be going to two companies that plan to revitalize the dilapidated shopping center. If all goes well, the new town center will provide some desired retail establishments, host brand new apartments and improve property values for nearby subdivisions.

APARTMENTS

The Franklin Johnston Group of Virginia Beach has purchased the southeastern portion of the shopping center where it plans to build apartments. 

Stafford County Supervisor Jack Cavalier (I-Griffis-Widewater) said the residential component is likely to happen before the commercial component. Jeff Harvey, director of planning and zoning for the county, agreed and told Potomac Local News that the developer plans to break ground in two weeks.

“The proposed development includes 256 apartment units in eight multi-story buildings [that] include an in-ground pool with a community center,” said Harvey.  

The residential portion of the development is expected to take more than a year to complete.

FOOD TRUCKS

“I just built relations with the developer to allow food trucks in [The Town Center at Aquia],” declared Steven Cook of Steve-O’s BBQ, Burgers & Bacon, a mobile restaurant. Cook made the surprise announcement online May 13. “I will be coordinating a rotating schedule of trucks… during construction,” the post said.

Speaking to Cook via instant messaging, he shared that he has an agreement with Issac Pretter of Mosaic Realty Partners of Maryland to station food trucks in the town center at least until construction is complete. Mosaic plans to redevelop a large portion of the shopping center for commercial use.

TAXES

The Stafford Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $6.25 million in tax breaks to Mosaic Realty Partners, according to county documents. The tax breaks are an effort to get The Town Center at Aquia project out from under the rubble. 

“The Town Center at Aquia… has long been a key commercial gateway to the county,” stated the supervisors’ resolution for the tax break. “The board believes that an active and vibrant major commercial gateway located adjacent to Interstate 95, Route 1 and Garrisonville Road is in the best interest of the citizens of the county and that attractive mixed-use properties significantly increase the potential of attracting much-desired high-end retail to the county.”

It goes on to say the county worked hard to attract an investor for the property and that the board determined that incentives were necessary for the town center to be revitalized.

EASEMENT REQUIREMENT

The most anticipated component expressed by nearby residents is the possibility of a grocery store in the shopping center. 

Eron Sodie of Mosaic wouldn’t say which grocery store the company plans on bringing into the site, but he gave a few hints and let it slip that the grocery chain was based in North Carolina. Residents of Aquia Harbour, the neighborhood located behind the town center, have come up with a number of possibilities, but most seem to think Sodie was referring to Harris Teeter. 

But there’s a small hiccup. According to Cavalier, the grocery store that is expected to come into the center requires an easement that it will use to create a second entrance on Washington Drive, which is the road that leads into Aquia Harbour from Jefferson Davis Highway. Cavalier said the second entrance would sit approximately 400 feet outside of the Harbour’s front gate. Such a transaction would have to be made between Aquia Harbour and Mosaic since the Harbour owns that portion of the road. 

Supervisor Paul Milde III (R-Aquia) said the second entrance being proposed is supposed to be only for traffic in and out of Aquia Harbour.

Sodie said a traffic study will be done. He added that delivery trucks will not be allowed to use Washington Drive, though it’s unclear how that promise would be enforced.

According to site plans, the new grocery store would be built where the movie theater is currently located, at the rear of the shopping center. As for the businesses at the front of the shopping center, they are independently owned, according to officials. 

 

Stafford animal control officer rescues bald eagle

News
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An animal control officer for the Stafford County Sheriff’s office had a unique rescue experience this week on Driftwood Lane in Stafford.

Animal Control Officer Anthony McCall was dispatched to a home in the Widewater district, to investigate reports that an American bald eagle was seen on a pier.

According to McCall’s report, he arrived on scene and met with the caller, who showed him the area where he saw the eagle, saying that it had swum out to a tree.

McCall continued along the bank near the Potomac River, before sighting the eagle – which ran back into the water while he pursued it.

The officer was able to help catch the eagle, and bring it back away from the bank.

Bringing it back to the home of the caller, the officer was able to show them the eagle.

“The [caller’s] small child wanted to name the eagle ‘Steve’ and I advised them that the eagle would be taken by the Game Warden and taken to a rehabilitator,” said McCall in a report.

McCall then put the eagle in the custody of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, where it will receive medical care.

Marine Corps Historic Half marathon road closures may affect your weekend travel

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The Marine Corps Historic Half will begin by the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center located at 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway. The Historic 10K will start near the Quarles Petroleum parking lot at 1701 Fall Hill Avenue. And the Semper Fred 5K will begin at the Fredericksburg Shopping Center located at the intersection of Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway and Fall Hill Avenue. 

All running events begin at 7 a.m. All race-day road closures begin at 5 a.m. Roads will reopen as soon as the last runners pass each area of the courses. 

Road Closures for Sunday, May 17:

5:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Carl D. Silver Parkway (all lanes), from Fall Hill Avenue to Expo Center

5:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Traffic control point at Fall Hill Avenue and Carl D. Silver Parkway

6:30 AM to 7:15 AM

Gordon W. Shelton Parkway from Carl D. Silver Parkway to Celebrate Virginia

6:30 AM to 7:30 AM

Carl D. Silver Parkway southbound from Fall Hill Avenue to Cowan Boulevard

6:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Carl D. Silver Parkway northbound from Cowan Boulevard to Fall Hill Avenue

6:30 AM to 8:00 AM

Cowan Boulevard (eastbound) from Carl D. Silver Parkway to Keeneland Road

6:30 AM to 8:05 AM

Woodland, Keeneland and Westwood Roads from Cowan Boulevard to Route 3

6:30 AM to 8:10 AM

Route 3 (westbound lanes) from Westwood Road to William Street

6:30 AM to 8:35 AM

William Street (westbound) from Blue/Gray Parkway to Sunken Road

6:30 AM to 8:35 AM

Sunken Road northbound from William Street to Fitzhugh Street

6:30 AM to 8:40 AM

Fitzhugh Street between Sunken Road and Franklin Street

6:30 AM to 8:40 AM

Franklin Street between Fitzhugh and Madison Street

6:30 AM to 8:40 AM

Madison Street between Franklin Street and Littlepage Street

6:30 AM to 8:45 AM

Littlepage Street between Madison and Grove Avenue

6:30 AM to 8:45 AM

Grove between Littlepage and Kenmore Avenue

6:30 AM to 8:50 AM

Kenmore Avenue between Grove and William Street

6:30 AM to 9:00 AM

William Street between Kenmore Avenue and Washington Avenue

6:30 AM to 9:05 AM

Washington Avenue between William Street and Pelham Street

6:30 AM to 9:10 AM

Maury Street from Washington Avenue to Fall Hill Avenue

6:30 AM to 9:10 AM

Stuart Street from Washington Avenue to Fall Hill Avenue

6:30 AM to 9:10 AM

Pelham Street from Washington Avenue to Charles Street

6:30 AM to 9:10 AM

Fall Hill Avenue from Pelham Street to Prince Edward Street

6:30 AM to 9:20 AM

Canal Road from Prince Edward Street to Charles Street

* 6:30 AM to 9:20 AM

Prince Edward Street from Canal Road to William Street.

(Also the site of the Historic 10K start line)

6:30 AM to 9:25 AM

Princess Anne Street between William and Charlotte Streets

6:30 AM to 9:25 AM

Charlotte Street between Princess Anne and Caroline Streets

6:30 AM to 9:50 AM

Caroline Street between Charlotte and Van Buren Streets

6:30 AM to 9:45 AM

Amelia Street between Caroline and Sophia Streets

6:30 AM to 9:45 AM

Sophia Street between Amelia and Pitt Streets

6:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Riverside Drive from Woodford Street to Fall Hill Avenue

6:30 AM to 10:05 AM

Fall Hill Avenue from Riverside Drive to US Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway

* 6:30 AM to 10:15 AM

US Route 1 (southbound) from Fall Hill Avenue to Mary Washington Boulevard.

(Also the site of the Semper Fred 5K start line)

6:30 AM to 10:20 AM

Mary Washington Boulevard from Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway to Hospital Drive

6:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Hospital Drive from Mary Washington to Cowan Boulevards

6:30 AM to 10:50 AM

Cowan Boulevard (westbound) from Hospital Drive to Carl D. Silver Parkway

More information about the Marine Corps Historic Half is available at marinemarathon.com.  

Shuttles and Parking Information can be found HERE.

Aquia Towne Center to finally be redeveloped

News

Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center
Aquia Towne Center

Purchase of Rite Aid, Regal Cinema buildings at Aquia Towne Center expected to close this month

Part 1

For the better part of a decade Aquia Towne Center has been in limbo. Older businesses sat scattered among rubble and pavement while one modern office building towered above them like a beacon, which in a way actually made the preceding structures appear even more stale. It would be an immense understatement to say that residents of North Stafford and tenants of the town center have been annoyed at the lack of progress by Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, a Michigan company that owns most of the property. Some citizens of Aquia Harbour, the subdivision that sits directly behind the shopping center, have been downright angry about the matter. 

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors changed the zoning to mixed-use years ago so Ramco could build a totally new town center with offices, retail stores and residential apartments. Many tenants of Aquia Towne Center were told to vacate, and most of the strip mall type of buildings were demolished in preparation for the rebuild. 

Then the recession hit in 2008. It hit particularly hard in Michigan and other parts of the Midwest where Ramco does much of its business. 

A lone five-story office building was erected in 2007. The demolition of the strip buildings (with the exception of Rite Aid’s location) continued through 2008. Then construction appeared to stop. 

Occasionally, a construction vehicle would be seen pushing some dirt along an empty plat of land while rumors of a new movie theater or some other improvement would make its way around the community only for nothing to come of it.

Now, after years of rumors, hopes and let-downs, plans to revitalize Aquia Towne Center, renamed The Town Center at Aquia, may actually go through. 

Two separate companies have been in negotiations to purchase the available property since last year. One company reportedly just closed on a site and plans on building apartments within the boundaries of the shopping center. (More on that in Part 2.) While another company has plans to rebuild the commercial section.  Keep Reading…

Missing Stafford man found near West Virginia

News

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office has stated that the missing Stafford man – 33-year old Lance Calvin Buckley – was found near Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

Buckley was found in “good condition” according to Public Information Officer for the sheriff’s office, Bill Kennedy.

Today, the sheriff’s office had released photos that confirmed Buckley had made it to Howard University the morning of his disappearance.

Kennedy also stated that he was found alone, and there are no charges pending at this time.

According to a release, he was found in Frederick County by park rangers and the Brunswick police at the Brunswick Family Campground. He was located using tips given by witnesses that stated they saw a man matching his description in the area.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation, said Kennedy.

“At this point we’re so excited we have him safe and sound…his family is elated – as are we,” Kennedy commented.

Sheriff Charles Jett echoed Kennedy’s sentiments.

“We are truly pleased that Mr. Buckley was found safe and in good condition,” said Jett.

Buckley’s family is en route to see him, said Kennedy.

Photos capture missing Stafford man

News

Buckley was last seen at a commuter lot in Stafford.
The investigation into his disappearance continues.

More information has been released by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, in relation to the disappearance of 33-year old Howard University student Lance Calvin Buckley.

The information released may help piece together a better timeline of the events leading to Buckley’s disappearance on Tuesday.

Two security camera shots from the Howard University Hospital café show Buckley making an ATM withdrawal at 8:40 a.m. that morning. From what can be seen in the photos, he does not appear to be under duress, and there is no one visible in the shot with him.

Buckley was last seen around 7 a.m. that morning on the Staffordboro Commuter Lot, where he regularly slugged from to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The last contact that Buckley made with his wife was a text message at 10:16 a.m. – about an hour and a half after the camera showed Buckley at the ATM. Buckley did not make any contact with family after the message, and did not arrive at his scheduled meeting at 12 p.m. that day.

According to a Stafford sheriff’s office release, Buckley was electronically located via a cell phone ping briefly near Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Montgomery County, Maryland.

When Montgomery County police searched the area, they did not find Buckley. The police conducted a second search on the scene later that day, but had no further success.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the case.

Updated: Bus catches fire on I-95 in Stafford County

News

Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: Benjamin Kreuter]
Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: Trevor Mushung]
Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: Trevor Mushung]
Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: KJ Mushung]
Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: KJ Mushung]
Stafford bus fire on I-95. [Photo: KJ Mushung]

Update

The man taken to an area hospital suffering burns was a stowaway inside the baggage compartment of the bus that caught fire. 

Here’s more from Virginia State Police: 

A 2014 Greyhound bus was traveling south on I-95 south when the driver started to see and smell smoke coming into the cabin of the bus. The driver safely pulled to the right shoulder where all 28 passengers exited without incident. Stafford County Fire and Virginia State Police discovered the fire coming from the baggage compartment below the passenger compartment.

Inside the luggage compartment was a male subject. He was flown from the scene to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

Update

Details released by the Virginia State Police reveal that, as the 2014 Greyhound bus was traveling south on I-95, the driver started to see and smell smoke coming into the cabin. The driver then pulled over onto the right shoulder, where all 28 passengers exited without further incident, say police. 

Stafford County fire fighters and Virginia State Police noticed that the fire was coming from the baggage compartment below the passenger compartment. A man was found inside the luggage compartment. He was flown from the scene to the hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Initial reports say he had burns. 

Update

The Virginia State Police report that a male was inside the luggage compartment of the Greyhound bus that caught fire on Interstate 95 southbound this afternoon. He was flown from the scene to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for the treatment of life-threatening injuries.

There were 28 passengers on the bus at the time, according to the Virginia State Police. The passengers were transported elsewhere via a local school bus.

No further details are available. State police are investigating the incident.

Original Post

A Greyhound bus caught fire this afternoon while traveling on Interstate 95 south.

The bus caught fire near mile post 144, near Route 610 at Garrisonville. At least one person was injured, according to initial reports.

A helicopter was called to take at least one injured person to a hospital. Initial reports indicate the patient suffered burns.

The police temporarily closed all lanes of of I-95 near the crash scene around 3:30 p.m., so the MedStar helicopter could land.

Traffic on I-95 south is backed up to Quantico Marine Corps Base. Traffic congestion is also building along Route 1, which runs parallel to I-95.

School buses were called to carry passengers from the burned bus, according to initial reports.

We’ll have more on this as it develops.

Three area students win McDonald’s scholarships

News
From left: Local McDonald’s owner Craig Welburn, Precious Mathis, Craig’s wife Diane Welburn, and North Stafford High School Principal Thomas Nichols. [Submitted]

From left: Local McDonald’s owner Craig Welburn, Precious Mathis, Craig’s wife Diane Welburn, and North Stafford High School Principal Thomas Nichols.
[Submitted]

McDonald’s Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., have awarded 43 scholarships to students in the D.C. area, with three of them going to students in Prince William and Stafford counties. 

According to a release, more than 500 applications were received and reviewed by a panel of judges that included Greater Washington, D.C., McDonald’s owners and operators. Requirements for applicants included a completed application, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor or community service leader, plus two short essays. 

Scholarships in amounts of $1,500, $5,000 or $50,000 were awarded. The scholarship money will go directly to the college or university the student will be attending.

The local 2015 McDonald’s Educates Scholarship recipients are Rachel Dooley of C.D. Hylton Senior High School, Ammara Khursheed of Forest Park High School and Precious Mathis of North Stafford High School. Dooley and Khursheed each won a scholarship worth $1,500. Mathis won a $50,000 scholarship.

The scholarship winners were recognized at reception at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on May 5.

“As part of McDonald’s commitment to education and the community, the McDonald’s Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., believes it is important to recognize young people who try to make a positive contribution to their community,” said Cindy Levine, who is a franchisee and McDonald’s Educates Scholarship Committee member. “We are proud to honor those students through the annual scholarship program and celebrate their achievements.”

Stafford EDA to celebrate business community

News
Karen Jackson, Virginia Secretary of Technology.

Karen Jackson, Virginia Secretary of Technology.

Stafford’s Economic Development Authority will hold a special event at the Stafford Regional Airport to celebrate and congratulate Stafford’s business community.

The 2015 Business Appreciation Reception is sponsored by University of Maryland University College and will feature a keynote address by Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen R. Jackson. 

It will be held June 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the keynote address beginning at 3:30 p.m.

To register, e-mail econdev@staffordcountyva.gov or call the office of Economic Development-540-658-8681.

The Stafford Regional Airport is located at 75 Aviation Way, Stafford, Virginia.

Manassas says ‘thank you’ to city business owners over breakfast

manassas business breakfast

The City of Manassas partnered today with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce to recognize city business owners. 

A special breakfast was held at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory in Downtown Manassas.

Business owners were invited to attend the event free of charge. 

See photos from the event

Learn more about the city’s business appreciation breakfast

VDOT work creates lane closures this week at Falmouth intersection in Stafford

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Motorists traveling through the intersection of Route 1, Carter Street and Route 218 (Butler Road) in Stafford County can expect some delays this week due to ongoing construction work to improve the Falmouth intersection. Flaggers and/or electronic signs will direct motorists through the work zone. 

Route 1

Route 1 southbound will be reduced to a single lane at the Falmouth intersection so crews can place traffic signal poles at the intersection corners, today and tomorrow, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Overnight, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., traffic will be periodically shifted to the northbound or southbound side of the road for waterline installation. During the traffic shift there will be one lane open in each direction on either the northbound or southbound side of Route 1.

Carter Street

Carter Street will closed to traffic overnight, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., today and tomorrow between Butler Road and Gordon Street. Residents will be provided access to their homes during the closure.

Butler Road 

Motorists will be restricted to one lane on the westbound side of Butler Road at Carter Street now through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

For real-time updates on lane closures and work zones, please visit VDOT’s 24-hour traffic information website, www.511virginia.org or download VDOT’s 511Virginia free mobile app. Motorists can also access 511Virginia by calling 511 from any telephone in Virginia.

Stafford man goes missing

News

12:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the investigation as to the whereabouts of Lance Calvin Buckley continues.

Late yesterday afternoon, as the investigation continued, the phone that belonged to Lance Buckley was electronically located, very briefly, in the area of Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Montgomery County Police Department initiated a search in that area but Lance Buckley was not located. The investigation continues.

 

Update

According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, Lance Buckley may be in possession of a hand gun. The sheriff’s office stated that he is not a danger to anyone, and that detectives are still investigating his disappearance.

Original post

The Stafford sheriff’s office is requesting assistance to locate a missing Stafford resident, 33-year old Lance Calvin Buckley.

According to a Stafford sheriff’s office release, Buckley was last seen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, when he was dropped off at the Staffordboro Commuter Lot. Buckley slugs to Howard University from the commuter lot each day.

The Stafford sheriff’s office stated that Buckley’s wife received a text from him at 10:16 a.m. from the area near the university, which appeared to be written by him, but Buckley did not arrive at a meeting scheduled for 12 p.m. later that day. His family has not heard from Buckley since the text message.

Buckley is being described as a while male, 5’11”, 150 pounds with brown hair. The Stafford sheriff’s office stated that he was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark colored t-shirt and gray Converse sneakers.

The sheriff’s office is asking that anyone with information on his whereabouts should call their office at 540-658-4400, or Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020.

Brush fires plague Garrisonville businesses

News
Fire fighters inspect and extinguish a second mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy on May 4.  [KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Fire fighters inspect and extinguish a second mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy on May 4.
[KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Several small brush fires occurred along Garrisonville Road in North Stafford yesterday, two of them in the same place but hours apart. 

The first incident was a mulch fire on the side of the building where Alliance Physical Therapy is located in the North Stafford Plaza shopping center at around 3:15 p.m. 

Two hours later, the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department headed to a brushfire at 627 Garrisonville Road, in the area of Barton & Williams School of Dance.

Minutes after that call, another came in for a bush on fire in the parking lot of Home Depot in the Doc Stone Shopping Center. The main concern about this incident was that the burning bush was near parked cars. 

Around the same time as the Home Depot parking lot fire, a mulch fire by Alliance Physical Therapy, in the same location as before, was reported. 

A Home Depot employee said this was the bush that fire fighters doused earlier that evening. The ground around it was still wet. [KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

A Home Depot employee said this was the bush that fire fighters doused earlier that evening. The ground around it was still wet.
[KJ Mushung/Stafford Local News]

Each fire was extinguished in minutes. 

Although the causes of these fires have not been determined, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Doyle said that a lot of times in these situations the fire department will find “improper disposal of smoking materials” to be the cause. Since so few businesses allow smoking inside, people will go outside to smoke and then throw the cigarette on the ground. Sometimes the cigarette is burned up in the subsequent fire, so there’s no evidence to find. 

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