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Virginia and Family Pet Festival supports charity working to keep animals out of shelters

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Buster Wayne has a growth that needs to be removed.

He is a dog that belongs to a 17-year-old girl from Charlottesville who recently lost both of her parents who were killed in a car crash. Now in the care of a state social worker, Buster Wayne is all the 17-year-old girl has left.

Social services contacted the Saint Seton’s Orphaned Animals charity which works with Loving Touch Animal Hosptial in Route 1 in Stafford County. Buster Wayne was brought there three weeks ago, where veterinarians found the dog suffering from a tick-bourne disease.

The dog was placed on medication until it’s well enough to have the growth removed from its backside. When ready, veterinarians at Loving Touch will remove the growth.

“The people we work with — the disabled, low-income, wounded warriors — they rely on their pet for companionship. The cat or the dog is like their child… when its sick, they reach out to us,” said Jeanette Allard, executive director of Saint Seton’s Orphaned Animals.

Allard said her charity goes beyond providing low-cost vet care. Her organization wants to end the practice of people dropping off animals at a kill shelter because they can no longer care for them.

“We call it economic euthanasia,” said Allard.

Saint Seton, like all other organizations, relies on donations to keep going. The gifts help continue the work of the animal hospital and a “Meals on Wheels 4 Petz” that distributes pet food to neighbors in need.

The charity will hold the 2016 Virginia and Family Pet Festival in support of animals in need of veterinary care. The festival will feature bands, beer, and wine gardens, food, zip line, rock wall, slides, petting zoo, camel rides. Animal welfare organizations will bring dogs and cats available for adoption. The festival also features dog games, contests, and exhibitions, said Allard.

The festival will be held at the Stafford Regional Airport, located at 75 Aviation Way in Stafford County on Saturday, June 4 from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $5 per car. Wristbands for rides are $10 per person.

News
Udpated: Domestic leads to shooting in Stafford

Update

Austen Tyler Agnor, 20, of Chester, Va.,  was pronounced dead Friday night at Stafford Hospital. 

Authorities said he was shot outside an Exxon gas station at 1049 Courthouse Road in Stafford at 7:15 p.m. The shooting stemmed from a domestic situation, said Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure.

Moncure said the suspect — 27-year-old Corey Andrew Terry, of Richmond — fired several shots and then fled the scene, running down the a southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 95 located next to the gas station. He was arrested by a Virginia State Trooper two miles south of the shooting scene at the American Legion Road overpass on I-95 at 9 p.m. 

Original post

One person was shot near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road in Stafford County.

Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure stated the shooting took place at 7:15 p.m. Friday at a business, and that a shooter fled the scene but was later apprehended.

Authorities did not provide the gender or age of the victim. The shooting stemmed from a domestic situation, according to Moncure.

The shooter fled the scene on foot and was later arrested with the help of a police helicopter from Fairfax County and a K-9 unit from Spotsylvania County, according to Moncure.

Corey Andrew Terry, of Richmond, is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to Moncure.

An investigation is ongoing. More as we have it.

News
Stafford charges 2 with attempted indecent liberties with minors

Two separate investigations led to a Stafford Sheriff’s Detective charging two men in connection to online sex crimes.

Police began looking into these crimes in 2014, said Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure.

Here’s more in a press release:

For the past few months, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting online investigations into persons who target children for exploitation. Detective Darryl Wells portrayed juveniles in various social media and chat rooms to identify and locate individuals who are interested in such activity.

The investigation has culminated in two recent arrests. 

Allan Lewis Bentley, age 65, of Doraville, Georgia, was arrested on May 5, 2016 and charged with six counts of Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Juvenile, six counts of using an Electronic Communications Device to Solicit a Juvenile and 25 counts of Distribution of Child Pornography.

All of these charges are felonies under Virginia law. Arrest warrants were obtained for Bentley on May 5, 2016. He is being held in Georgia and has waived extradition. He will be tried in the Circuit Court of Stafford County. 

Bentley propositioned “the juvenile” that Wells was portraying and transmitted pictures of pre-pubescent children that meet the definition of Child Pornography under the Code of Virginia, while online.

Christopher Samuels Hawthorne, age 41 of Springfield, Virginia, was arrested on May 12 at his home.

Hawthorne was arrested on capiases from Stafford Circuit Court. A search warrant of the premises was executed and electronic devices were seized. Direct Indictments were delivered from the Stafford Grand Jury on April 4, 2106, for; two counts of Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor and four counts of the Use of Electronic Means to Procure Minor.

Hawthorne engaged the juvenile that Wells was portraying in sexual activity propositions while online. Hawthorne is now being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

The investigation into Hawthorne began in March 2016. The investigation into Bentley began in April 2016.

News
How does Stafford honor its Business of the Year? In front of its new indoor pool and sports facility.

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Access Eye Center is Stafford County’s Business of the Year.

Ophthalmologist Arash Mansouri and his wife Michele took home the annual business appreciation award given by Stafford County’s Department of Economic Development.

“This is the American Dream,” Michele Manouri, originally from Southern West Virginia. “My husband, an Iranian immigrant and me a small town girl.”

The two purchased the business in Falmouth in 1999, located inside an old fire station. Today the building on Route 1 is adorned with unique murals that make it stand out other cookie-cutter shopper centers located along the highway.

The Mansouri’s also have Access Eye Centers in North Stafford, and in King George and Spotsylvania counties.

The award was presented during Stafford County’s annual business appreciation ceremony. The new Jeff Rouse Indoor Swim and Sport Center served as the backdrop for the catered ceremony. The center, named after Stafford County Olympian Jeff Rouse, boasts one of eight Olympic-sized swimming pools in Virginia, as well as 11 turf fields outside the building.

The 2016 Cornerstone Business Award winner is Earl’s Hardware in Falmouth, formerly owned by Earl Broyles and his son, Wayne, and currently owned by Keri DeBenard.

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Olympian Jon Lugbill, whose face appeared on the front of Wheaties cereal boxes in 1986, was the keynote speaker for the event and touted the new center as a magnet for the growing “sports tourism” business. Thousands of parents and their children travel for hundreds of miles to attend soccer and other sporting events, said Lugbill. Soon, they’ll be going and competing at Stafford’s Rouse Center.

“They come for the sporting event but then they might come back to visit, or might come back on vacation, and then might come to Richmond after visiting Fredericksburg,” Lugbill joked,

Lugbill works for the Richmond Sportsbackers, a group that promotes sports tourism in that region.

News
How $3 million of schools’ money could be used to fix a deadly road

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James Hill is a section of Brooke Road that sits near Potomac Creek.

There have been nearly 60 crashes along the winding 2-lane road in Stafford County since 1996. The majority of the crashes involved personal injuries.

One of the most infamous crashes to occur here in 1995 and injured 15-year-old Molly Gill, of Aquia Harbour. Gill was paralyzed from the accident and later died after complications from surgery.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office now honors a victim of crime that has demonstrated resilience and perseverance with an award named in Gill’s honor.

In 2008, Stafford County’s Youth Driver Taskforce identified this section of Brooke Road to be in need of improvement. The task force called for the straightening of this section of Brooke Road, and for widening the lanes to 11 feet wide with six-feet shoulders.

The task force was the brainchild of then Stafford Board of Supervisors member turned Virginia Delegate Mark Dudenhefer, who also lost his daughter to a crash on a two-lane road in Stafford County.

Stafford leaders decided to fund the project. They purchased the needed land to widen the lanes and to relocate utilities and then moved them.

Then money dried up due to declining gas tax revenues and county leaders shelved the project. Now Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde wants to use about $3 million of unspent carryover funds from the School Board to finish the job.

Each year, the unspent money is returned to the Board of Supervisors for reallocation. Milde said the improving the roadway would benefit all drivers, including students, and he hopes the School Board supports the move.

“Hopefully, they will understand because the need is so unique,” said Milde.

The total price tag for fixing this portion of Brooke Road is about $6 million. The state promised about $3 million in matching funds if Stafford County put up half, said Milde.

The School Board has about $17 million in carryover funds from this year and last. The Board expects to spend $6 million of it before the end of the year ending June 30 to improve the track at Stafford High School, a parking lot at Hampton Oaks Elementary School, and to give each Stafford County Public Schools Employee a $300 stipend, said Falmouth District School Board member Scott Hirons.

Hirons said he saw no problem in spending the $2.8 million to fix the road. If the county doesn’t step up soon it will lose the state’s match funding for the project, said Milde, who plans to bring up the road project to the Board of Supervisors at the June 7 meeting.

However, Hirons said he hopes the Board of Supervisors will put their money where their mouth is and fund a $2 million rebuild of Anne E. Moncure Elementary School in North Stafford. Four years ago, the Board of Supervisors said it wanted to the land on which the 44-year-old school sits, along busy Garrisonville Road.

That land is better suited for mixed use retail development, county documents stated at the time. County officials the laid out plans to purchase about 22 acres of property on nearby Juggins Road, to lease the land back to the School Board at no cost, where a new school would be built.

It’s now 2016, and Moncure Elementary School hasn’t moved.

“The Board of Supervisors asked us to dedicate the money [for the new school] to make the [Capital Improvement Plan] work,” said Hirons, who added the new Moncure Elementary School is in the design process.

News
George Mason business incubator in Stafford’s future; County approves $500,000 grant

Stafford County leaders voted to infuse $500,000 into the county’s Tech and Research Park.

The money from the county’s Economic Opportunity Fund will be used to launch a co-working space and business incubator at the Quantico Corporate Center site in North Stafford. Incubators attract start-up companies and entrepreneurs looking for temporary office and meeting space to grow their firms.

Tim Baroody with Stafford’s Economic Development office told the County Board of Supervisors the George Mason Enterprise Center will be a component of the new addition to the tech park. (more…)

2 main reasons to workout with a trainer at Manassas Park Community Center

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With the temperatures warming up outside, it’s natural to feel the urge to get up, get out, and get active.

There is still plenty of time to reach your fitness goals before beach season hits, but as we get closer and closer to summer, you may find it difficult to stay on task and stay motivated. That’s where personal training can come in handy.

To help you reach your fitness goals, the Manassas Park Community Center will give you an additional 10 free 30-minute personal training sessions when you renew or purchase an annual Basic or All-Access Passport membership throughout the month of April.

If you’re like me though, you may not exactly understand what personal training is or how it can benefit you. I sat down with our Deputy Director, Jay Swisher, who has worked as personal trainer and oversees our personal trainers here at the community center and asked him some questions I had about personal training.

Shriner: So, what exactly is a personal trainer?

Swisher: A personal trainer is someone who provides not only guidance in the technical sense but also moral support to someone in an effort to help them reach their fitness goals.

Shriner: I’m fully capable of going to the gym and working out or running on the treadmill. What is the advantage of using a personal trainer versus just going to the gym on my own?

Swisher: There are two main reasons to work out with a trainer:

First, you’re working with somebody who is specifically trained in an exercise science based discipline. That specialized knowledge will allow them to prescribe the most effective program to help you fulfill your fitness goals. Exercise prescription includes everything about your workout routine – the recommended exercises, repetitions, sets, weights, frequency, and so on. This knowledge is derived from different places including past experience or background, which can include education and formal training.

Second, you’re gaining a support system. A trainer will motivate you and hold you accountable. Sure, you can go online and download sheets of exercises or watch YouTube videos but those videos aren’t going to text you to make sure you’re keeping up with your routine or encourage you to keep going when you feel like you’ve plateaued. In addition, your trainer will be able to monitor your form by demonstrating how to properly perform exercises. You can put yourself at risk by performing exercises incorrectly, but also incorrect form means you aren’t achieving your maximum potential and getting the most from each exercise.

Shriner: Okay, so I’m convinced. What do I need to look for in a personal trainer? How can I make sure I’m picking a good trainer?

Swisher: The first thing you want to do when you’re considering using a trainer, or even when you want to work out on your own, is figure out what your fitness goals are. Search for a trainer whose skill set best matches your needs. If you have very specific fitness goals, you’d want to seek out a personal trainer who has expertise in that same area.

It’s important to vet your trainer to make sure they are truly qualified. Check their background, ask about their experience and certifications. When it comes to certifications, check for reputable agencies such as AAFA, ACE, or ACSM. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a mini session. Tell them about yourself. Say you’re a 44-year-old male with high blood pressure who has been sedentary for the past 15 years and one of your goals is to lose 10 pounds. Listen to what the trainer would recommend and see what they demonstrate. How do you feel about their training style? Ask them about their fitness philosophies – do they make sense to you? What it boils down to is you need to ask questions, listen to the answers, and observe their style. (more…)

Manassas Farmers Market has more vendors, ‘Take-Out Tuesdays’

Farmers Market

The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market is back for its 25th peak season. Running from April through early November, the market is open on both Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Thursday market will be housed at the Harris Pavilion beginning April 7, while Saturday shoppers can find all their market necessities in Parking Lot B, across from the Train Depot beginning April 9. (more…)

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