Stafford

Stafford selling surplus from ‘old’ Stafford Senior High School

News

13389943Stafford is selling some items from the old Stafford Senior High School online.

The high school, which was built in 1972, was demolished to make way for a new high school, which will be completed in the 2015 – 2016 school year.

According to a Stafford schools release, furniture and other items that were used in the old high school that cannot be repurposed on the new site, are up for sale.

Stafford schools are using Public/Surplus, an online auctioning service, to sell the items.

Up for sale are wooden chairs, a generator and pottery wheels, according to the Public/Surplus website.

Currently there are wooden classroom chairs and a number of other items available. More items will be placed on this site as they become available. 

The bid for the chair pictured is currently $25.

National Night Out events coming Aug. 4

News

Several area police departments are participating in this year’s National Night Out.

National Night Out is an event that promotes community-police awareness across the country, and is held by localities each year during the first week of August.

We’ve got information about National Night Out celebrations in your area.

Prince William

National Night Out is Tuesday, August 4th. Check with your homeowners association to see if our motorcade is coming through your neighborhood or to register your event go to www.nno.org. We hope to see you.

Stafford

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office will once again be participating in the Annual National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. 17 different neighborhoods have signed up to host a National Night Out event in their neighborhood with most events starting in the late afternoon and going to the early evening.

The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Aquia Harbour Volunteer Rescue Squad, is also participating in a community wide National Night Out event at the TARGET parking lot of the Stafford Market Place. This is an open event that is also being held on Tuesday, August 4 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Everyone is invited to come by and enjoy numerous family fun activities. 149 different vendors, community organizations and businesses will be participating. That is an additional 59 over 2014.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. National Night Out sends a clear message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and participating in active crime prevention.

Manassas

National Night Out is August 4, 2015!
This just in! MCPD will be giving the first 20 families who bring a non-perishable food item and donate it towards the Team Summer Quest’s Food Drive 4 SERVE will receive a photoelectric (dusk-to-dawn) cell for their porch lights, FREE!

National Night Out (NNO) is “America’s Night Out Against Crime” – a time when neighbors come together and take a stand against crime. NNO helps send the message to criminals that the Manassas community does and will continue to fight back against crime. It also raises safety and drug awareness, strengthens community spirit, and enhances the partnership between residents and first-responders which makes every effort of safety possible.

August 4, 2015 will mark the third annual city-wide NNO event hosted by the City of Manassas. It is a community- and service-oriented, family-friendly gathering open to all. The event activities on the Museum Lawn, a food drive to benefit the Northern Virginia Family Service SERVE Food Pantry, demonstrations by first-responders, opportunities to meet the City staff and volunteers that help keep residents safe year-round, free Museum admission, food, and fun for all ages. The City also participates in individual neighborhoods’ grassroots NNO events upon request. Whether you’re planning to host your own event or to attend ours, mark your calendar and follow MPCD on Facebook and Twitter for updates in the weeks leading up to the event.

To receive your official organizational kit and stay connected with National Association of Town Watch throughout the year, register your neighborhood’s event at www.nno.org.

Manassas Park

Manassas Park Residents are invited to join in the National Night Out celebration,Tuesday, August 6, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Signal Hill Park, 9300 Signal View Drive, Manassas Park.
National Night Out (NNO), sponsored by Manassas Park Police (and McGruff the Crime Dog), features local, state and federal law enforcement exhibits, equipment and personnel. Also at the event will be civic outreach organizations, lots of food, fun and much more. 

Each year, localities across the country gear up to celebrate “community” and promote crime prevention and crime fighting awareness with National Night Out events. Manassas Park is no exception. The City’s 2012 NNO drew a crowd of 2,500 – 3,000.

Dumfries

On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, the Dumfries Police Department is asking Town residents to join in celebrating the vital role of the community in supporting and working with the Police Department to prevent and fight crime. We are asking communities to light up the night against crime by turning on their outside porch lights from 6:00 p.m. to midnight in a show of strength and unity.

We are also asking individual neighborhoods to get together and organize gatherings in their community that night to celebrate community pride. 

Neighborhood involvement could be as simple as a group of residents waiting outside to greet the motorcade as it drives through the community or a more formal gathering that might involve a community cookout or picnic, drinks and snacks, an ice cream social, etc.  The Dumfries Police Department is able to supply a variety of handouts such as coloring books to assist individual neighborhood efforts.

This is a great opportunity to demonstrate community unity and to stand together in support of effective police/community partnerships!

Please call the Dumfries Police Department (703) 221-1111 to let us know about your neighborhood celebration or with questions. 

Haymarket

The 2015 National Night Out Celebration will be held on Tuesday August 4, 2015 from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Town Hall/Police Department location, 15026 Washington Street, Haymarket, Virginia 20169. As always, we will have representatives from various agencies and lots of fun for the whole family. This year we will have a dunking tank for charity with some law enforcement officers and public officials making the sacrifice for a worthy cause, so please come out and help us reach our goal! We will also have a hula hoop contest, a drawing to win 1 of 4 new bicycles and 1 of 2 bicycle starter packs, Papa John’s pizza, live music, and lots more!!!

We look forward to another great time celebrating the Annual National Night Out with the community so please come join us!

VDOT announces $18M project to make two I-95 exits safer

News
stafford backup i-95

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to make changes to I-95 exits in Stafford and Fredericksburg.

Using $18 million from VDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, improvements will be made to Exit 130 (Route 3/Fredericksburg) and Exit 133 (Route 17/Falmouth).

“Last fall, VDOT reviewed crash data on Interstates 64, 81 and 95 to find spot locations with elevated crash rates where these federal funds could be applied,” said Stafford spokeswoman Shannon Howell.

These two highway exits had crash rates above the statewide average, stated VDOT Communications Manager Kelly Hannon.

During the project, VDOT would make four major changes.

More on the proposed changes, from Kelly Hannon:

Extend the acceleration lane on the interstate for Interstate 95 northbound traffic entering from Route 3 westbound, giving them more time to merge.

Extend the ramp entrance lane on Route 3 westbound for traffic entering the I-95 northbound cloverleaf ramp.

Increases the number of lanes exiting Interstate 95 southbound to Route 3 westbound

Separate, free-flowing ramp lane (divided) leading to the Carl D. Silver Parkway entrance at Central Park. This seeks to reduce the vehicle weaving and conflict point at the end of the ramp today.

Triple (3) lanes on the remainder of I-95 southbound exit ramp to Route 3 westbound.

These lanes would make a slight right turn onto westbound Route 3, controlled by a traffic signal. On a green light, this would give traffic exiting the opportunity to enter Route 3 westbound without any traffic conflict, eliminating the weaving. We have a similar pattern in place for traffic exiting I-95 SB at Exit 143/Aquia.

Extends length of deceleration lane for I-95 southbound traffic exiting at Route 3 westbound.

 Route 17 – Extends acceleration ramp on the interstate for I-95 southbound traffic entering from Exit 133, prior to the Rappahannock River Bridge.

Currently the design for the project’s improvements is being drafted. Construction will begin in 2016, and will finish in late 2017, stated Hannon.

Stafford man shot with his own gun during fight

News

Last night, units from the Stafford sheriff’s office were called to a shooting.

According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, the shooting took place on Minniear Court.

Deputies on the scene found 31-year old Stafford man Timothy Phelps, who had received a gunshot wound to the leg, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

After an investigation, deputies determined that Phelps accused a female who was staying at his home of stealing personal items. When the woman returned to Phelps’ home with several friends, an argument took place, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

During the incident, Phelps and a friend of the female fought, before going inside his home and getting a shotgun, according to the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps approached the group and began fighting again, and a struggle for the shotgun ensued. This led to the gunshot wound in Phelps’ leg, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

The Stafford sheriff’s office stated another individual – 20-year old Brian Blair – grabbed Phelps’ shotgun and fired a shot at a vehicle, which ended up hitting a nearby home. No one in the home was injured as a result of the shot.

Phelps was transported to a local medical facility for surgery, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Phelps is being charged with convicted felon in possession of a firearm, malicious wounding, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Blair is currently wanted by the Stafford sheriff’s office for charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting at a moving vehicle, and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Sentara merges with Pratt Medical Center

News
pratt-medical-center

Sentara Healthcare merged with Pratt Medical Center.

Pratt serves 66,000 patients in Stafford, Fredericksburg, King George, and Dahlgren areas. The healthcare began looking for a new partnership last year.

“Sentara and Pratt share a common commitment to improving the quality of health care in their communities,” stated Stephen D. Porter, corporate vice president, Sentara Healthcare in a press release. “The more we discussed a partnership, the more our natural fit became apparent, with both cultures focused on quality, innovation and a commitment to placing the patient at the center of all we do.”

The new company will operate under the name “Sentara Pratt Medical Group.” Nearly 40 multi-speciality providers will work under the new name, according to a press release.

Patients will see few changes, according to Sentara spokeswoman Corianne Pafford: 

We expect few changes for patients. They are likely to notice some minor administrative changes, such as signage, web migration and email address changes over the coming months. Patients have also been informed to verify that their insurance will participate in the new group.

Overall, all locations (addresses) and phone contact will remain the same, as well as our collective commitment to quality care for the Greater Fredericksburg area.

Pratt’s facilities will add to Sentara’s healthcare portfolio which includes Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, formerly Potomac Hospital, and Sentara Lake Ridge.

Pratt Medical was founded in 1937 by Dr. Frank C. Pratt.

Sentara operates more than 100 healthcare offices and 12 hospitals. Sentara purchased Potomac Hospital in 2009 and then changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in 2012. Sentara Lake Ridge opened the same year.

Stafford awarded $18K grant to help families obtain healthcare

News

More Stafford children and families will have access to healthcare.

The Stafford Department of Social Services received an $18,400 grant from the Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund as a grant this year, stated a county release.

The grant is part of the fund’s SHINE (Stafford’s Health Insurance Enrollment) program, according to a release.

With the grant funding, Stafford social services will be able to hire a benefit programs specialist worker for the next year. The worker will work with families to get them enrolled in Virginia sponsored health insurance programs, including Family Access to Medical Insurance Security and Medicaid, stated a county release.

“This grant makes it possible to help Stafford’s less fortunate children by giving them and their families access to state health insurance programs. We greatly appreciate the partnership and generosity of the Stafford Hospital Community Service Fund in helping us better serve our citizens,” said Stafford Director of Social Services Michael Muse in a release.

More on the SHINE program from a county release:

SHINE targets expectant mothers and families with children under age 18 in households with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Applicants may obtain applications for Medicaid/FAMIS by picking up an application from the Stafford DSS main office at the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554 or applying online at www.commonhelp.virginia.gov. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is located on a route served by the Fredericksburg Regional transit system (FRED). Interested applicants may also request that an application be mailed to them.

New homes could equal fixing a dangerous curve in Stafford

News
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A home developer has offered to fix one of Stafford County’s sharpest curves.

Winding Creek Road is a two-lane street that links Shelton Shop and Courthouse roads. It’s a back way for most drivers, and the street weaves through a series of neighborhoods.

There’s a sharp curve just east of where Winding Creek meets Walpole Street. The developer, Winding Creek Property Owner, LCC, has agreed to widnen Winding Creek Road at the dangerous curve.

The developer offered Stafford County nearly an acre of the right of way along Winding Creek Road for the widening. It amounts to 60 feet of space for the widened road, according to county documents that date back to January.

The street widening would come with 97 new homes on Winding Creek Road. The developer has applied for a special use permit from Stafford County for the project that would clear the way for the homes to be built.

The new development — with the road widening as a condition — must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The addition of 97 new homes also means the existing Fireberry Boulveard in the adjacent Autum Ridge neighborhood will be extended. The street was accepted into the state network of streets maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 2006.

winding-creek-1

The plan has always been to to extend Fireberry Boulevard, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kelly Hanon who provided this information on the project:

· The proposed Winding Creek subdivision is required to connect to Fireberry Boulevard under VDOT standards for new subdivision streets that are planned for state maintenance in the future.

· Fireberry Boulevard is an existing state-maintained road. The road was accepted into Virginia’s network of state-maintained roads in 2006 with the intention of being extended in the future. A sign noting the ultimate extension of this street has been present at the road’s future connection point, referred to as a stub, since 2006.

· The proposed Winding Creek subdivision is subject to Stafford County Subdivision Ordinance (Sec. 22-179, 186), which requires subdivisions to contain public roads that are built in accordance with VDOT standards, making them eligible for acceptance into the state maintenance system. The ordinance also requires (Sec. 22-190) streets to connect with adjacent properties.

· Based on the proposed 97-lot configuration, the ordinance requires Winding Creek to contain two connections to adjacent parcels. Winding Creek proposes to meet this requirement by providing connections to Fireberry Boulevard in the adjacent Autumn Ridge subdivision, and by leaving a future connection point to a separate neighboring parcel.

· VDOT regulations (24VAC30-92) require subdivision roads to connect with existing state-maintained stub roads in order to be accepted by VDOT for future state maintenance. Fireberry Boulevard qualifies as an existing state-maintained stub road.

Stafford County Garrisonville District Supervisor Luara Sellers said man of the residents who live along Fireberry Boulevard do not want to see the street extended. She said residents are petitioning VDOT not to extend the street as planned.

Hannon said an exception request not to extend the street must be submitted by residents to VDOT and approved by an agency administrator. No such request has been submitted, said Hannon.

The issue is expected to come before the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in August or early September. 

Animals to adopt at Stafford SPCA

News

Shae [Karen Presecan Photography]
Bitsy [Karen Presecan Photography]

The following animals are available for adoption at Stafford County SPCA. 
 
Bitsy is an approximately 9 week old, female, Bombay mix kitty. She is a very playful little gal, but is quick to cuddle up in your lap when she gets all tuckered out! Bitsy is FIV/FeLV negative, UTD on her kitten shots, and is looking for her forever home! We are currently accepting applications for Bitsy at: http://staffordspca.org/adoption-services/
 
Shae is an approximately 9 week old, female, Corgi/mystery mutt mix. Shae is a chill pup that loves to play with her brothers, sisters, and everyone she meets. She may or may not have supersonic hearing with those big ol’ ears! We are currently accepting applications for Shae and her siblings at http://staffordspca.org/adoption-services/
 
 

New skate park coming to Manassas

Vice Mayor Way, Councilman Wolfe and Councilwoman Bass stand with skater Oscar Medrano.

On Sunday, July 19, Vice Mayor Jon Way and Councilmembers Mark Wolfe and Sheryl Bass joined skater Oscar Medrano, a rising senior from Osbourn High School and others to break ground on a new skate park at Jennie Dean Park.  

This park will replace the Old Town Skate Park that had to be torn down to make room for the new Baldwin Elementary and Intermediate School.

This new park will feature a concrete surface, a huge upgrade from the asphalt surface from the previous skate park. It will also include several new features such as grind boxes, and new rail and bank ramps. In an effort to be earth conscious, the previous ramps will be refurbished and located within the new skate park.

Community Development Director Liz Via-Gossman credited skate boarders Oscar Medrano and Diego Patrick for coming forward when the new school was first being discussed to press City officials to provide a place for skateboarding. 

“The kids, most of them city residents from our schools, spoke at public hearings and hosted city officials at a skate competition to show us how important their skate park was to them,” said Via-Gossman.

The skateboarders formed a committee to work with City staff on the improved design within an acceptable budget.  The new skate park replaces two under-utilized basketball courts that will be replaced elsewhere in the park when Jennie Dean Park undergoes an updated master plan effort later in the year.

A grand opening is planned for Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015.  The park was designed by American Ramp Company from Joplin, MO and the new features are being constructed at their plant in Missouri.  The concrete work is being completed by Toro Concrete, Inc.  

Express Lane drivers see purple

News
Purple Lane Striping 3

There are new purple stripes on the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.

According to a Transurban release, the purple 4-inch stripes were added to the yellow and white road lines that precede entry points on to the Express Lanes.

The purple stripes were added to help signal to drivers that they are about to enter the Express Lanes, stated a Transurban release.

Stafford fire crews douse blaze on Longwood Drive

News

House fire on Longwood Drive. [Mark Doyle / Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department]
Several fire apparatus were dispatched to the fire. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
A fire broke out at a home at 138 Longwood Drive this morning. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
Smoke could be seen billowing for miles. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
The fire started on the second floor. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

Update 3:45 p.m. 

One firefighter was taken to a local hospital after becoming sick at a house fire on Longwood Drive. The firefighter was said to be in stable condition on Friday afternoon, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Original post 8:46 a.m. 

A fire broke out at a home at 138 Longwood Drive about 8:30 a.m.

Stafford County fire and rescue crews rushed to the scene off Route 610 in North Stafford. Smoke could be seen billowing for miles.

The fire started on the second floor of the home and extended into the attic. The home is vacant, according to initial information.

Several fire apparatus were dispatched to the fire. Officials were directed to call Prince William County, Quantico, and Fredericksburg fire departments to assist some of the Stafford County fire stations with temporary replacement crews. 

More as we have it.

Phone scammers posing as Stafford sheriff’s office

News

Scammers are posing as the Stafford sheriff’s office to take money from unsuspecting residents.

According to a Stafford sheriff’s office release, residents are getting calls from individuals posing as representatives from the office that are fundraising money for programs.

More from a Stafford sheriff’s office release:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is starting to receive calls from concerned citizens who have gotten calls from individuals who say they represent the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and are collecting money for a variety of programs.  Once the citizen commits to donating funds a follow up call then comes from the same individual who then states that they are calling on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police and they represent the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens that the Sheriff’s Office never solicits funds over the phone.  The Sheriff’s Office is requesting that if any Stafford County resident has received such a call to contact Detective Eric Chinault or Detective Joe Duggins at 540-658-4450.

Stafford touts strong economy for AAA bond rating upgrade

News
stafford-county-aaa-bond

Stafford joins an elite ranking of counties that have an AAA bond rating.

The new rating by Standards and Poors in New York City will allow the county to borrow money for capital projects and other needs at lower interest rates.

Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Snellings, George Washington District Supervisor Bob Thomas, and the chairman of the county’s budget and finance commission traveled to New York City to meeting with the financial rating agency just prior to the Independence Day holiday earlier this month.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to say as a result of that trip, and as a result of your hard work, Standard and Poors has awarded Stafford County with its highest distinction: a AAA bond rating,” said Snellings.

Stafford now joins 22 other counties in Virginia, including Prince William, that have AAA bond ratings. Stafford and Prince William are the only two counties in the Northern Virginia region to have been awarded the honor.

The credit rating agency credited Stafford’s strong economy, large cash reserves, and effective management.

“We never let the great recession hold us back,” said Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello.

Stafford officials also touted strong job growth at the AAA bond rating announcement on the steps of the county government center on Tuesday. Stafford now boasts 40,000 local jobs – one for each household — in the county. Romanello said efforts to attract new employers will continue to keep more commuters off the highways and to work locally.

Stafford’s bond rating was increased from AA+ to AAA. Romanello said only 4% of counties in the U.S. had been awarded this rating. His mission now, he said, is to secure AAA bond ratings with all three major credit rating bureaus.

“It’s difficult to achieve an AAA bond rating, and it’s even harder to maintain a AAA bond rating,” said Romanello.

Prompt action and cooperation needed to clean the Potomac River

Opinion

This past week, the senior member of Virginia’s congressional delegation introduced legislation to remove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to hold Virginia accountable for failing to clean up the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.  People should be deeply disturbed. The Potomac provides drinking water to five million people.

A Rich History

The Potomac River was once a bountiful asset and source of employment.  In 1604, Captain John Smith wrote of fish so plentiful he could spear them with his sword, oysters that “lay as thick as stones” and schools of fish so plentiful that his men attempted to catch them with frying pans. 

One of General George Washington’s most profitable operations was his fishery.  In 1772, he caught over one million herring and 10,000 shad.  In 1886, one report estimated that 750 million shad were taken from the Potomac River during the eight-week season.  At the turn of the century, a Northern Virginia fisherman used a net with over five miles of total sweep operated by 100 men and eight horses.  Pre-World War II census tables reveal hundreds of Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford County citizens employed in fishing and aquaculture.    

The River’s Decline

Between 1950 and 1970, the picture changed.   Potomac fish populations and employment plummeted because of degraded water quality.  Poor water quality in the Chesapeake Bay caused similar population crashes in other species such as oysters and menhaden.  Today, there is only one family on Mason Neck still licensed as commercial fishermen in Fairfax County. 

Each year, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality continues to list the Potomac estuaries as impaired for fish consumption and recreational uses due to PCB contamination and prevalence of e-coli bacteria and fecal coliform (largely from livestock and pet waste).  Lake Montclair in Prince William County is impaired for mercury in fish tissue.  Significant nitrogen loads frequently cause aquatic, life-killing algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay. 

Some causes begin with livestock practices in the Shenandoah Valley; however, some also lie here in Northern Virginia – pollution flowing into the river from our stormwater runoff.  Most pre-1985 neighborhoods have zero stormwater controls.  

Northern Virginia’s streams continue to suffer. Almost 70 percent of Fairfax County’s streams are in fair to poor condition.  In my lifetime, I found crawfish, turtles, eels and fish in the small streams in the Mount Vernon area.  Today, decades of abuse from massive stormwater flows have left many of our local streams as biologically dead, over-eroded, litter-filled ditches fed by uncontrolled sewers. 

Action Needed

The solution will require more than litter enforcement and voluntary trash cleanups.  Because of Virginia’s failure to take the major steps necessary to solve these problems, EPA is forcing action.  Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s effort to emasculate EPA’s ability to hold Virginia accountable is a giant step backward. 

Requiring farmers to keep their cows from defecating in Virginia streams should not be controversial.  An upriver community should not be able to use their portion of the river in a way that destroys the river for those who live downstream. 

Legacy sites such as Dominion Power’s coal ash dumps at Possum Point in Prince William County should not be tolerated.  Coal ash is clearly linked to water pollution, especially when coal ash holding ponds are near water.  Dominion’s proposal to place only a dirt cap on the Possum Point pond is inadequate. 

Northern Virginia also needs to act.  The construction of high-quality transit on U.S. 1 should be prioritized. Not only will it bring carefully planned redevelopment, it can also modernize storm water infrastructure. Localities also must actually fund the plans they created a decade ago to restore our watersheds by building real storm water controls, those using low-impact approaches.   

The EPA is the only agency which has the authority to force action across all state lines.  Its authority must not be undermined so that Virginia is not the only state taking action.   

We should work together to solve problems instead of fighting attempts at progress, weakening environmental protections or turning enforcement measures into partisan fights. Clean water is not a partisan issue.  The Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River are shared assets that bind the Commonwealth of Virginia together and clean water is fundamental to our survival. 

It is an honor to serve as your state delegate.  Please email me at scott@scottsurovell.org if you have any feedback.

*Surovell is a candidate for Virginia’s 36th senate district.

Stafford woman given 5-year sentence for welfare fraud

News

Stafford resident Linda Denise Ramsey was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail for welfare fraud.

According to a Stafford County release, in addition to the prison time, Ramsey is required to pay the Stafford Department of Social Services $28,567 in restitution.

Following sentencing, Ramsey was taken the Rappahannock Regional Jail to start her 5-year sentence, said a Stafford release.

More on the case from Stafford County:

An investigation by the Stafford Department of Social Services (DSS) revealed that Ms. Ramsey received Food Stamp benefits from July 2009 through January 2013. She had submitted fraudulent information about two addresses as well as her income to the Stafford DSS. The investigation found that she was not living at either of the addresses on her application. In fact, she had been living with her husband, and did not submit his wage information on her application for Food Stamps. His income made her ineligible to receive the benefit. In determining eligibility and benefit level for Food Stamp applicants, Stafford DSS is required to consider who lives in the household and available income and resources of all adult household members.

2 boaters missing from Stafford County

News
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CJdx7XkWsAAYopZ4:00 p.m.

According to Maryland Natural Resources Police (MD NRP) public information officer Candy Thomson, a second body – presumed to be Melissa Smarr – was found north of the boat on the Charles County side of the water.

The body was that of a female, confirmed Thomson.

Thomson stated that they are attempting to positively identify both bodies, and that families will give a positive identification tonight.

Investigation into the death’s of these two individuals is ongoing, no cause has been found said Thomson.

2:30 p.m.

According to the Maryland Natural Resources Police (MD NRP), presumably found the body of Charles Zintner – one of the two boaters who went missing on the Potomac River last night.

The MD NRP found Zintner’s body 1,000 yards away from the boat. 

Original post

The search is on for two boaters who went missing Wednesday on the Potomac River.

Charles “Charlie” Zintner, 58, and Melissa Smarr, 58, were due back at the Landmark Yacht Club on Aquia Creek in Stafford County at 5 p.m. Wednesday. At 11 p.m., the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office notified the U.S. Coast Guard that the 19-foot vessel the two were aboard never returned.

The vessel was later found by a Maryland State Police helicopter about a mile off Aquia Creek. Today along with the Coast Guard, authorities in Charles County, Md. and Stafford County are trying to find the missing boaters.

“We are trying to figure out in they’re in the water, if they swam to shore, or if someone else came along and picked them up and didn’t return. But it looked like someone had planned to return to the vessel,” said David Marin, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.

Both Zintner and Smarr frequented the tiny private marina on the Aquia Creek. It was not like the two of them to be out on the water late at night, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

The sheriff’s office towed a pickup that belonged to one of the missing boaters from the yacht club this morning. The truck will be searched for any clues that may shed some light on what led up to the couple’s boat trip and disappearance.

While the Coast Guard and authorities in Maryland are searching the water for the missing boaters, Stafford investigators are treating this as a missing persons case.

Potomac Local has learned Zintner is recently retired from the Marine Corps Systems Command after serving in the armed forces. He had also worked for the Department of Defense. 

Zintner and Smarr had been together for multiple years. Zintner loves dogs, riding horses and motorcycles, and the Green Bay Packers, according to a source. 

Keep Reading…

There’s yellow drinking water in south Stafford, officials say

News
IMAG0576

Some Stafford residents may see discolored yellowish water coming from their taps.

According to a Stafford release, the water is safe to drink and will not cause any problems, and there is no need to boil it first. But the county is asking that residents refrain from doing laundry because it could stain clothing.

Stafford County stated that the discoloration is because of a high level of manganese – which happens naturally – at the Lake Mooney Reservoir. The reason for the higher levels of manganese is the recent heavy rains, said Stafford spokeswoman Shannon Howell.

The Lake Mooney Reservoir primarily serves residents in southern Stafford.

Staff at the Lake Mooney Reservoir have made modifications at the facility to reduce the amount of manganese coming in, and are working to flush out the system to get the water cleared up, said a Stafford release.

Three arrested for Stafford bank robbery, following long K-9, helicopter search

News
Bankrobbers

Update

The identities of the three individuals arrested by the Stafford sheriff’s office – following a bank robbery yesterday – have been released.

The three individuals are 35-year old Richmond man Jerome Anderson, 28-year old Richmond man Anthony Washington and 21-year old Richmond man Tyrone Jones.

Anderson, Washington and Jones have all been charged with one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit a robbery, one count of possession of stolen property and one count of grand larceny.

The men are being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail with no bond.

More from a Stafford sheriff’s office release:

The charge of 1 Count of Possession of Stolen Property is the result of the fact that the three suspects were driving a car reported stolen out of Henrico County, Virginia.  The preliminary investigation indicates that the suspects were in the vehicle after leaving the bank but abandoned it on Truslow Road shortly after the robbery.

“The hard work of the Stafford Sheriff’s Office Deputies and the assistance of additional personnel from several other law enforcement agencies played a key role in locating these dangerous criminals,” states Sheriff Charles Jett.  “The other key factor in these arrests was the numerous citizens who took the time to call the Sheriff’s Office throughout the search and provide the possible location of the two suspects who were trying to evade capture.  The partnership between the citizens and the law enforcement community brought these suspects to justice.”

Original post

Yesterday afternoon there was a bank robbery at the Union 1st Market Bank on Warrenton Road in Stafford County.

According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, employees at the bank stated than an individual entered the bank and handed the employee a note to demand money.

The individual fled the scene and was last seen running through a field behind the bank, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

Deputies set up a perimeter around the bank and searched for the individual with K-9 units. According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, witnesses to the robbery stated there may be two additional individuals involved.

Shortly after the robbery, the individual matching the description by a witness was seen walking down Truslow Road, said the Stafford sheriff’s office. The individual was taken into custody.

Additional deputies, detectives and K-9 units, along with a helicopter provided by the Maryland State Police, searched the area where the individual was arrested to look for the two other potential suspects. Following a 4-hour search, the two individuals were spotted running into the wooded area of Abel Lake, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

A K-9 unit was able to locate the two individuals, who have been taken into custody, stated the Stafford sheriff’s office.

According to the Stafford sheriff’s office, units from the Fredericksburg Police Department, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police all participated in locating and apprehending the individuals.

Information about the suspects and their charges will be provided today, said the Stafford sheriff’s office.

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