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Do You Like our Wednesday Rainbow Shot? We Don’t



Our cell phone camera didn’t do it justice, but to be fair it wasn’t that bright in the sky.

A rainbow appeared briefly Wednesday night in the skies over North Stafford, following an afternoon of cloudy, rainy weather.

The color streaks appeared about 6 p.m. as the clouds and rain were exiting the area.

The photo shows the area of Route 610 in North Stafford in the direction of Interstate 95. If there was a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, judging by our vantage point, it would have been somewhere in the Potomac River.

Trail to Freedom to Honor African American History in Stafford

6 century-old churches to be recognized during daylong events


STAFFORD, Va. - Stafford County and the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee are inviting local residents to an all day “Trail to Freedom” event celebrating African-American history in Stafford County on this Saturday, Nov. 1.

According to organizers, the event will start out as a “motor coach tour” from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. of three separate locations; Jubilee Central, Port of Dreams, and the Crossroads of Virginia and parking will only be available at the Government Center located at 1300 Courthouse Road with the last motor coach leaving from the center at 2:30 pm. 

From 2 to 3 p.m., there will be a special ceremony held at Mount Hope Baptist Church to honor six 100-year-old African-American churches in the Stafford area. Mount Hope Baptist Church, however, will have no parking but shuttles will be available from the Government Center to the church, according organizers.

Later in the evening, a celebration honoring African-American history in Stafford County will take place at the Rowser Building at 1739 Jefferson Davis Highway, in Stafford from 5 to 8 p.m. The formal unveiling ceremony will occur at 5 p.m. and parking will be available at the Rowser Building once participants present this invitation, according to officials.


Stafford Sheriff: Take Precautions on Halloween

STAFFORD, Va. - On October 27, Stafford County sheriff spokesman William Kennedy issued a press release about the additional steps deputies will be taking this Halloween and what residents and their children can do to stay safe this Friday.

Kennedy wrote that there will be more deputies out on duty Halloween evening and at the Sheriff’s Office, located in the Public Safety Center at 1225 Courthouse Road, they will be x-raying candy to detect metal-like objects from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Kennedy also included helpful tips both residents and children can take to have a fun and safe Halloween. 

Below is the official press release from Stafford County Sheriff; 




Crows Nest Tour Registration Continues

A new parking lot at Crow’s Nest Natural Preserve in Stafford County will accommodate 20 vehicles. (Photo submitted by: Paul Milde)

A field day at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County will be held Nov. 8, starting at 9 a.m. Participants will see various plants and wildlife while on a guided hike through the preserve’s wooded landscape. The guided hikes offer views of the freshwater tidal marsh and open water surrounding the preserve.
The field day is free, but reservations are required. Call 804-786-7951 to reserve a spot. The event is limited to 80, and reservations are first-come, first-served. Driving directions will be provided to those who register.
Participants should wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes, and be prepared to walk up to 4 miles. The event will take place rain or shine.
Crow’s Nest is a peninsula between Accokeek and Potomac creeks. The 2,872-acre preserve contains mature hardwood forest and some of the best examples of diverse, intact wetlands in the Potomac River drainage basin. It supports habitat for a variety of species, including bald eagles, migratory birds, the federally endangered short-nosed sturgeon and 22 plant species important to Virginia’s Coastal Plain. 
Crow’s Nest was designated a natural area preserve in 2009 and is co-owned by Stafford County and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

DCR manages the property as part of the state’s natural area preserve system, which was established in the 1980s to protect significant natural areas and rare-species habitat. Today, the system comprises 61 preserves totaling 55,352 acres.

Stafford Woman Gets 143 Months in Prison

Robin Anne Krohn, 31, of Stafford, Virginia, was sentenced today to 143 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Charles E. Jett, Stafford County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris.

Krohn pleaded guilty on July 22, 2014.  According to court documents, Krohn is a former patient of Dr. Nibedita Mohanty, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, aiding and abetting health care fraud, and aiding and abetting money laundering on July 24, 2014. 

Krohn was a patient of Dr. Mohanty from approximately February 2010 through December 2011.  During that time, Dr. Mohanty prescribed excessive dosages of controlled substances to Krohn.  Krohn both abused the medication she was prescribed, snorting up to 150 pills per day, and distributed a large portion of the controlled substances prescribed by Dr. Mohanty for a profit, earning between $3,000 – $5,000 per week throughout the course of the conspiracy.

Knowing that Dr. Mohanty freely prescribed excessive dosages of controlled substances, Krohn was also responsible for recruiting a number of individuals to see Dr. Mohanty in order to obtain unnecessary prescriptions, which Krohn and her conspirators would later abuse and distribute for profit. 

This case was initiated and investigated by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and assisted by the FBI’s Richmond and Washington Field Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Rossi and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ballantyne and Nicole Grosnoff prosecuted the case.

Editor’s note: This story was written by the office of the United States Attorney’s Eastern District of Virginia.

Apartments at Aquia Town Center?

Aquia Town Center, Stafford, Virginia

New deal at Aquia Town Center includes 287 new apartments, luxury renovation of movie theater


There is new interest in the long dormant project to rebuild the Town Center at Aquia.

The once bustling shopping center’s owner Ramco has submitted to Stafford County officials a plan to build 287 new apartments at the center. The 1000-square foot units would help to make the town center a “mixed-use” development. The new apartments would join a movie theater, pharmacy, office building, and restaurants.

While Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, owner of Aquia Town Center, would build the apartments, another developer is said to be interested purchasing a portion of the property to build new commercial and retail buildings. They would replace the old strip mall retail stores demolished in the late 2000s.

Paul Milde, who represents Aquia on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, says he could not say which developer is nearing a close on the deal. If it goes through, he added, it would make Aquia Town Center a prime location for retirees and people just starting out in the workforce.

“We don’t want a family-oriented community there. We want something a little different – a mixed-use community with empty nesters and younger couples. That was our goal to minimize the impact on our public schools,” said Milde.

All told, there are a total of two interested developers Ramco is in talks with to construct the retail portion of the project. The decision on who will win the bid could be announced in a matter of weeks. The deal could go to closing by the end of the year, according to a county spokeswoman.

The deal also entails a complete renovation of the Regal Cinema at Aquia Town Center that would make it an upscale movie house similar to a theatre at Spotsylvania Towne Center in Spotsylvania County.

The Rite-Aide Pharmacy would remain the shopping center as Milde says “they are doing well,” but adds the store owners would like to have a standalone location similar to CVS Pharmacy on nearby Garrisonville Road (Route 610).

The apartment homes would be built around the center’s parking lot, much like similar mixed-use developments in Prince William County, said Milde.

Milde says there’s a great capacity for the center to do well because of the 2,500 homes in neighboring Aquia Harbour, a gated community that sits next to the town center.

Construction of new apartment units and the retail should also take place at the same time.

“There’s been more interest in the commercial and retail than the residential. And that’s unusual right now because everywhere else everybody wants to build new apartments without the retail,” said Milde.

Some businesses see the project as an opportunity to market Stafford County, a longtime bedroom community outside Washington, D.C., to a younger demographic. More people could also mean more sales at local shops.

“I think it will be great having new residents going up and down 610 doing their shopping is going to be great for business,” said Michael Pollaci, owner of Stafford Technologies.

Once known as a traditional shopping center anchored by a Shoppers Food Warehouse, the grocery store closed 10 years ago and moved to the newer Stafford Marketplace on Route 610.

Aquia Town Center in recent years has become more synonymous with piles or rubble, open fields, and empty parking lots. Last year, Milde said Stafford County needed to do more to put pressure on the owner of the center to hurry development at the site.


Missing Man Found on I-95 in Stafford County

Fairfax, police, stafford, missing, virignia, sliver alert

Ha Song found driving erratically on I-95


An 80-year-old missing from his home was found on Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

A Virginia State Trooper found Young Ha Song at 4:15 a.m. at mile post 137 near the Stafford Regional Airport. He was driving his vehicle “erratically across all lanes of the roadway,” according to police.

The trooper stopped Ha Song and then called Fairfax County police, which reported the man missing from his home in Fairfax on Friday afternoon. Police said the man was found safe.

Fairfax County police said Ha Song suffers from memory loss, and that he was driving a 2004 Honda Pilot. Ha Song speaks little English and also speaks Korean.

When Ha Song went missing, his case was elevated to Virginia’s Senior Alert program. It was created in 2007 as a tool for state authorities to notify media and the public about senior citizens who disappear from their homes.

At the end of last year, the FBI said they have more than 84,000 missing persons cases on file in the U.S. Of the missing juvenile cases, nearly 34,000 of them are cases for teens under the age of 18. There were 9,706 cases for missing persons on file for people between the ages of 18 and 20.

Anytime Fitness to Open in Stafford


Working out is about to get a lot easier. No more excuses about an inconvenient gym location or limited hours. Anytime Fitness is coming to Stafford.

Anytime Fitness franchisees, Alex Diaz and Brian Scanlon, confirmed that they have signed a lease for a 5,100 square-foot space at the Shoppes at North Stafford Shopping Center; located at 25 Tech Parkway. Construction will start in the next 6 – 8 weeks and be performed by Willow Brook Construction. The target date for the club’s grand opening is early 2015 with pre-sale promotions being announced in late 2014.

“What differentiates Anytime Fitness from other clubs is our focus on helping members get the results that they’re seeking,” said Scanlon. “Our gym will be small enough that we can provide personalized attention for all of our members. Whether weight-loss is your goal, or increased strength or improved balanced and flexibility – or a combination – we’re committed to helping you achieve those goals.”

Nationwide, the average Anytime Fitness club has about 800 members. The gyms are staffed roughly 8 hours a day, but members can access the club whenever they like – even during unstaffed hours – using a computerized key-fob system.

“We make it easy for our members to exercise whenever and however they like,” said Diaz. “We’ll have personal trainers available to help you learn how to use all of the equipment and to develop an individualized workout plan, if you like. We’ll also have a state-of-the-art video projection system that allows members to choose from dozens of video classes whenever it’s most convenient for them.”

Membership at one Anytime Fitness club gives members access to nearly 3,000 clubs worldwide at no extra charge.

The layout of every Anytime Fitness club is designed for quick and effective exercise. At the new club in Stafford, members will have full use of top-quality equipment and amenities, including:

• Circuit and resistance training machines
• Free weights
• Cardio equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes
• Small group fitness classes, including a dedicated functional area space
• Private bathrooms, changing rooms and showers

Membership and pre-sale specials is will be announced through facebook at www.facebook.com/anytimestaffordva or call directly at (540) 877-6933.

Fall’s First Major Storm Should be a Rain Maker

Image: National Weather Service

Flooding, high winds possible


Possible flooding is in the forecast for our area Wednesday as a large cold front is expected to march across our region tonight into tomorrow.

Damaging winds could also accompany the cold front, coupling with heavy rains to make Wednesday a complete wash out.

The rain should arrive during the overnight hours, and then we could see a thunderstorm after 5 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. During the day, Wednesday, the wind picks up with gusts up to 23 mph, and rainfall totals of a half to three-quarters of an inch are possible during the day.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue into the evening, until about 10 p.m., when we could see another half inch of rain. While it’s likely we won’t see severe thunderstorms from this weather system, the rain is expected to be heavy at times.

The storm bringing all this rain to our region is a low pressure system from the Great Plains region of the U.S. The cold front associated with the weather system is vast, stretching from the southern U.S. to southern New England.

Stafford Duo Arrested in Burglary

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - On October 13, officers found and arrested two suspects in connection to a burglary from the previous day. Police say a group of burglars broke into a home, three of whom were armed and caused minor injuries. Before leaving in two separate cars with two stolen cell phones, the home and residents were searched.   

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Malicious Wounding | Burglary while Armed with intent to Commit a Felony – On October 12th at 10:30AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 2700 block of McGuffey’s Ct in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary in progress. The homeowner reported to police that a group of armed individuals entered the residence through an unlocked door and began to assault him and another occupant of the home. Two of the suspects were reportedly armed with handguns while another had a rock in his hand which he used to strike the homeowner. During the encounter, the suspects searched the home and the residents before taking two cell phones and fleeing in two separate vehicles. Minor injuries were reported. Detectives from the Robbery Unit were able to identify two of the suspects involved in the incident. Both were arrested after a search warrant was executed at their home in Stafford County with the assistance of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives further learned that this altercation is believed to have stemmed from a previous incident between the residents of the home and the suspects. The investigation continues into the identity and arrest of the remaining suspects.

Arrested on October 13th:

10132014 hogan

Andre Regina HOGAN, 36, of 16 Wayside Ct in Stafford


10132014 logan

Trecomey Louis LOGAN, 32, of 16 Wayside Ct in Stafford


Both were charged with burglary with intent to commit a felonymalicious wounding anduse of a firearm in commission of a felony

Court date: November 25, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

Stafford Wawa Store Under Rennovation


Wawa to reopen Oct. 31 with deals on food, drinks


A busy convenience store on Garrisonville Road closed for remodeling.

The Wawa market and gas station at 105 Garrisonville Road will be closed for four weeks as crews work to update the popular roadside stop. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Oct. 31 with a new look on both its exterior and interior.

“We thank our customers for their patience while their Stafford Wawa was renovated,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO.  “In 2014, we made a vow to expand the Wawa experience to more customers than ever before, and we’re excited to complete the remodeling of 22 stores by year’s end…”

When it reopens, the store will have new items like milkshakes and more flavored fountain sodas. The store will also offer free coffee, fountain sodas for 89 cents each, and sandwiches under $3 each for 10 days.

Outside, the Wawa will have new fuel pumps as well as new signs and graphics. This location is one of 22 stores in the Wawa chain to be remodeled this year – the most the convenience store chain has done at the same time, according to Gheysens. The company plans to remodel 22 more stores next year as the company prepares to turn 50 years old.

The store at 105 Garrisonville Road opened in 2004. Another nearby Wawa on Garrisoville Road at Eustace Road remains open for business.

Another Wawa store is located in North Stafford on U.S. 1.

Stafford Rescue Crews Find Small Fire in Nursing Home

Mass casualty unit used to provide oxygen to patients 


A fire this morning at a nursing home in Stafford County caused an evacuation of the building.

Rescue crews were initially called at 8:18 a.m. to the Woodmont Nursing Home at 11 Dairy Lane in Stafford County, near Fredericksburg, for a medical emergency. But when crews arrived they learned of a fire in wing of the building different from the one where the initial medical emergency was reported, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

A fire and rescue officer went to investigate and found a small fire in a patient room inside the facility, and ordered an evacuation for the affected wing of the building, said Doyle. The fire was quickly extinguished, but five people were taken to a hospital, including the patient for whom rescue crews were initially called to the scene. Information about their conditions was not provided.

Doyle said a mass casualty support unit was used to provide oxygen for the displaced patients of the nursing home. The cause of the fire is being investigated. It caused $1,000 in damage, said Doyle.

Stafford Wings and Wheels Event Turning 10

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Event part of Stafford’s 350th anniversary celebration 


The Stafford Rotary Club has partnered with the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee to bring an extra special Wings and Wheels to the Stafford Regional Airport on Saturday, October 18. As part of Stafford’s 350th Anniversary, this year’s event will honor Stafford’s military heritage with highlights including a motorcycle and car show as well as a professional acrobatic air show. In addition to being part of Stafford’s yearlong 350th celebration, this year’s Wings and Wheels marks the event’s 10th anniversary in Stafford.  

“We are thrilled to join with the Rotary Club to be a part of this popular family friendly event,” said Harry Crisp, Chairman of the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee. “As a Stafford citizen, I have long been aware of the large military presence we have here and of the sacrifices our military families make. We thought Wings and Wheels would be the perfect venue to honor our military – both active duty and retired – and let them know how much we appreciate all they do for us.”

The gates at Wings and Wheels officially open at 10 am. and the event will run until 4:00 p.m. A full schedule of performers is planned throughout the day including the U.S. Army Parachute Team “Golden Knights,” 540 Boyz Motorcycle Stunt Group, and the Fly Radio Active Radio Controlled Aircraft demonstration. Headlining the day is the Bealeton Flying Circus Airshow, Scott Francis Airshows and the Nalls Aviation Harrier. In addition, the entertainment stage will have local performers and demonstrations throughout the day. A children’s area will have a video game trailer, moon bounce, face painting and other activities.

The Wings and Wheels Festival has evolved over the years to better serve the community but maintains its focus as a family-friendly event.  A car and motorcycle show and demonstrations as well as antique cars, trucks and Government and military vehicle displays and exhibits will return this year. Local car dealers will also display their latest vehicles in a special area. A “Fly-in” will bring vintage, experimental, military, and other civilian aircraft and helicopters to the airport. Trophies will be awarded in several categories for aircraft, motorcycles and cars. 

Back by popular demand, the Rotary Raffle’s grand prize of $5,000 in cash will be awarded to one lucky winner. Other prizes include a six-month family membership to the Rappahannock YMCA, a one-year pest treatment plan from PermaTreat, a full detail and 52 car washes from Rio Car Wash, two premiere level tickets per month for one year to the Paragon Village 12 and a two-hour Video Game Party from The E.D.G.E. Party Trailer.  Tickets will be available on the day of the event for $5 each or 5 for $20. Winners do not need to be present to win.

More than 75 vendors will be available with a variety of crafts, jewelry, activities for children and delicious food and beverages available for sale.  Attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs for the air show. 

Vehicles displaying a handicapped tag or license plate, as well as all motorcycles will be able to park at the airport. All other vehicles must park at the following off-site locations: Stafford County Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road; Brooke Point High School, 1700 Courthouse Road; North Stafford High School, 839 Garrisonville Road; and Stafford Hospital, 101 Hospital Center Blvd. Transportation to the airport will be provided by buses from these locations to the airport from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For more information about Wings and Wheels, please visit stafford350.com or staffordrotary.org. The event is free and open to the public. The Stafford Airport is located at 75 Aviation Way in Stafford.

Attempted Burglary at Aquia Episcopal Church

aquia church stafford virginia

STAFFORD, Va. - On Sept. 25, an attempted burglary occurred at Aquia Episcopal Church located on 2938 Jefferson Davis Highway in Stafford.

Stafford sheriff’s spokesman William Kennedy said that on Sept. 25, a deputy was sent to investigate an alarm activation at the church that occurred at 11:57 p. Kennedy explained that initially it appeared that the signal came from a perimeter door, but when the deputy spoke with the church pastor, it was determined that the alarm came from the church office.

Kennedy said that after the deputy spoke with the pastor, the deputy on-site discovered that the front door to the church was unlocked, which was unusual. Shortly after, other deputies arrived to clear the building and also found that the church rear door had been forced and pried open, but no suspects were found, said Kennedy.

One of the other deputies on the scene used a police dog to track the scent which led from the front door, then along the cemetery, and into the woods where the trail went cold, said Kennedy. Police believe that the attempted burglary happened between 8:30 pm and 11:57 pm after the last person left the church unlocked after 8:30 pm, said Kennedy.

The alarm may have scared the suspect or suspects away from the church as nothing was missing or tampered with, said Kennedy. If anyone noticed any suspicious activity or people running from the area between 8:30 pm and 11:57 pm, Potomac Local readers can contact Stafford sheriff or anonymously at Stafford Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020.


Colonial Forge Teacher Had Sex with Student: Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff’s office: Teacher also sent nude photos


A teacher is charged after school administrators told investigators a 16-year-old male student was involved in a sexual relationship with her.

The Colonial Forge High School teacher had sex with the student in February, May and again this month, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. The teacher also sent nude photos of herself to the student, according to Kennedy.

Erica Lynne Mesa, 27 of 410 Batley Court in Stafford County, is charged with three counts of custodian indecent Liberties and three counts of solicitation of a minor using a computer device. 

Mesa is currently being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

Stafford Banks Robbed, Deputies Investigate

Updated: Bank robber suspected of changing his shirt between robberies


New information 


From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office: 

At approximately 9:11 this morning multiple units from the Sheriff’s Office responded to a bank robbery alarm at the Wells Fargo Bank at 131 Garrisonville Road in north Stafford.  In this incident the male suspect handed the teller a note demanding money in large denominations. 

When the teller told the man she did not have the requested denominations the suspect walked out of the bank.  No weapon was displayed.  The suspect is described as a black male with a beard, wearing jeans and a gray hoodie.  The suspect was wearing a Clemson Tiger baseball cap and sunglasses, carrying a small zippered black bag.

At 9:41 this morning the same suspect entered the BB&T at 760 Warrenton Road in south Stafford and demanded money from a teller.  In this incident the subject stated that he had a weapon. The teller gave the suspect an undetermined amount of money. 

The male suspect had changed his shirt, now described as a blue/gray white striped 093014 stafford robber 2shirt and had changed his hat which was described as a black baseball cap.  The suspect was last seen walking out of the bank.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect.  If anyone has any information as to the identity of the suspect they are asked to Contact the Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, call Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 (callers may remain anonymous) or text “STAFFORD” + your tip to CRIMES (274637). 

Original post 

Two banks were robbed in Stafford County this morning.

The first was a Wells Fargo bank at 131 Garrisonville Road in North Stafford at 9:11 a.m. A black man wearing jeans, a gray hoodie, and sunglasses, walked into the bank and demanded money and then left on foot, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. No weapon was presented during the robbery, said Kennedy.

The second robbery occurred at 9:41 a.m. at 760 Warrenton Road in south Stafford, at a BB&T bank branch. In this robbery, a black man with a mustache and goatee, wearing a blue and gray stripped shirt, black hit with an Orioles baseball cap walked into the bank and demanded cash, said Kennedy. He left on foot, and it’s not clear if any weapon was used in this robbery.

Stafford sheriff’s deputies have closed the parking lots of both banks for their investigation into the robberies, said Kennedy. Residents in the area of the banks should expect an increased police presence for the next few hours.

More as we have it.

Stafford Shred It Event to Benefit Crime Solvers

Stafford County Crime Solvers announces the “Stafford Shred It Program- Drive Thru Style.”

The event is an opportunity for the citizens of Stafford County to shred unwanted documents, receipts or other official papers.  For $5 a box of papers, residents can come to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Parking Lot at 1225 Courthouse Road and have their unwanted papers shredded on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 from 8 a.m. until noon.

The limit for shredding is 100 pounds per vehicle with the proceeds of the day going to Stafford Crime Solvers.  If anyone has any questions feel free to contact Sgt. Darrell English at 540-658-4428.  This event will be held rain or shine. 

Stafford County Fire and Rescue Dept. Teams with Operation Warm to Provide Winter Coats to Children

STAFFORD, Va. – Did you know just $35 can buy a new warm winter coat for a child?

The Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department has teamed with several area organizations to provide winter coats to children for the upcoming winter season. And, if this winter is anything like the brutal cold and snow that befell us last year and kept children out of school for days on end, they’re going to need them.

“To date, Operation Warm has given new winter coats…throughout America. We invite you to be-come our partner, a hero in your community, and help us ensure that all children feel warm, healthy and valued,” Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle stated in a press release.

The Operation Warm organization aims to provide winter coats for more than 1.7 million children across the U.S. by the end of the year. Doyle said that, locally, the fire department is teaming with the following organizations to help get coats to kids who need them:

Stafford Professional Fire-fighters Association Local 4012

Stafford County Public Schools

Apple Federal Credit Union

The Wawa Foundation

Walmart Stores

“Providing brand new winter coats brings families facing challenges closer to reaching their goal of financial independence. Through community-based partner-ships, Operation Warm provides families with brand new winter coats for their children,” stated Doyle.

Donations can be made online

Dog Falls into Pipe

STAFFORD, Va. – A small dog fell into a pipe outside an apartment complex at the Villages of Aquia on Forreston Woods Drive, about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities in Stafford County say it’s not the first time this has happened, either. 

Here’s more in a press release.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division is requesting the public’s assistance in preventing incidents involving dogs or small animals from falling into uncapped 4-inch “clean out” pipes.

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 the Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division, Stafford Fire & Rescue and Stafford Utilities were contacted to assist in rescuing a small yorkie dog that had fallen into a 4 inch, uncapped, “clean out’ pipe. The dog’s owner had been walking the dog off leash, in an apartment complex, when the dog fell into the 8 foot deep pipe. Ultimately the dog was rescued by personnel on scene. In March of this year a similar incident occurred which resulted in an excavation and failed attempt to remove a small dog. Unfortunately in that incident the dog did not live. Once again multiple agencies had responded with shovels and digging equipment in an attempt to rescue the animal.

Citizens are requested, that if they have “clean out” pipes on their property, to make sure that they are capped properly. Citizens may contact Stafford County Utilities if they have questions about the type of cap to place on the exposed “clean out” pipes. It is the responsibility of the property owner to cap the open pipe. If citizens’ notice uncapped pipes on public property they are urged to contact Stafford County Utilities at 540-658-8630.

RACSB Plans Stafford Open House

STAFFORD, Va. – The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) will host a series of open house events their five outpatient clinics. The events are an opportunity for RACSB to provide local and state elected officials as well as community members with an update on the community-based mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, prevention, and early intervention services offered by RACSB. 

An event in Stafford will be held on Wednesday, October 29 at the Stafford County Clinic, Charles A. Cooper Building, 15 Hope Road from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Newton, Thomas to Perform at Celebration Stage

STAFFORD, Va. – Stafford County is proud to announce that one of its own, renowned bluegrass musician Mark Newton, and his partner, Steve Thomas, will perform the first concert held at Stafford’s new Celebration Stage at Pratt Park. Newton and Thomas are set to play the stage, an initiative of the Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

“We are delighted to have a wonderful venue to offer performances of this caliber to our citizens,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Jack Cavalier, Griffis-Widewater District. “I think it’s fitting that a native son of Stafford County performs the first concert at a stage that symbolizes our 350 years of history.”

Newton is a veteran of the Heights of Grass, Cabin Hill, the Knoxville Grass, Virginia Squires, Tony Rice Unit and even the Seldom Scene for a brief stint. Thomas has toured with award-winning artists such as Barbara Mandrell and Del McCoury. He’s played the Grand Ole Opry with Jim & Jesse and the Osborne Brothers. They bring with them years of musical experience, a Grammy nomination, a CMA nomination and multiple IBMA awards.  The duo formed in 2012 and just released their first album Reborn.

Tickets for the concert are $1 and may be purchased online, at a Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities office, or at the concert. No alcohol is allowed at the park and patrons are asked to bring their own chairs and blankets. Celebration Stage is located near the entrance to Pratt Park at 120 River Road, Falmouth, VA 22405.

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