Republican Presidental nominee Donald Trump held a rally in Fredericksburg on Saturday night.
Trump made an unannounced visit to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office prior to the rally.
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office issued the following news release and photo in this post upon the conclusion of the visit.
Stafford County Sheriff David Decatur and members of his department appear in that photo.
Here’s the press release:
On Saturday, August 20, prior to his appearance at the Fredericksburg Expo Center, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump visited Stafford County’s Sheriff’s Office. The campaign contacted the office and arranged a private meeting with the Sheriff and his personnel to discuss law enforcement issues.
“Today, law enforcement agencies across the country are faced with complex challenges, expanding demand on resources and increased public scrutiny. We want to be part of the conversation to help define the need and identify meaningful solutions,” said Sheriff Decatur.
“There are many issues that we face locally that need to be examined through a national lens. Heroin and opiate use is a public health crisis that tears at the fabric of families, mental health emergencies demand more and more attention of our personnel every day and we have not been immune to violence against our uniformed men and women. We welcome the conversation as we search for local, state and national solutions,” added Decatur.
— StaffordCoSheriff (@staffcosheriff) August 21, 2016
An expanded Route 17 in Stafford County is now open with three through travel lanes in each direction between Interstate 95 and Stafford Lakes Parkway.
Construction is near completion on a three-year, $47.2 million widening of Route 17. The highway was expanded from four lanes to six lanes over nearly 2 miles between McLane Drive and Stafford Lakes Parkway.
Construction began in June 2013. New travel lanes are opening to traffic approximately 3 months ahead of the required completion date of December 1, 2016.
Final construction tasks will be underway for several weeks. The 35 mph reduced speed limit signs will be removed upon final completion.
“We are grateful for the community’s support and patience while we carried out this project,” said Michael Coffey, P.E., Assistant District Administrator for Construction in VDOT’s Fredericksburg District. “Thank you to everyone who drove carefully through the work zone each day. Your attention and alertness helped us deliver this project safely.”
Other features added by the Route 17 widening project:
- A continuous right turn lane to assist drivers slowing to turn into businesses, or accelerating to rejoin the through travel lanes
- Double left turn lanes at high-demand intersections to move additional vehicles through intersections on each cycle, reducing driver delay
- New traffic signal equipment at each intersection, replacing signal equipment dating to the late 1990s-early 2000s
- LED traffic signals with a battery back-up power source, allowing the signal to stay operational for several hours even with power loss
- Signal equipment that connects to a master controller, which picks up on malfunctions faster, alerting technicians to make adjustments
- Signals with pre-emption equipment for public safety vehicles to trigger during emergencies
- Sidewalk along Route 17 northbound and southbound
- Landscaping and medians with a stamped concrete pattern
Route 17 carries approximately 39,000 vehicles a day, which is projected to grow to a daily travel volume of 96,000 vehicles a day by 2035.
The project contractor was Henderson Construction Company, Inc., of Stafford, Va.
Motorists may encounter brief overnight travel delays at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) in Stafford County for line painting and traffic signal work.
Mobile lane closures will be in place between 9 p.m. tonight and 2 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the intersection. Motorists should follow direction from law enforcement personnel at the scene.
Crews will be brightening pavement markings on Route 610 eastbound.
Over the weekend, a traffic signal pattern was restored at the intersection to allow Route 610 eastbound traffic at Route 1 to choose from a left turn lane, a shared left turn lane/through lane, a through lane, and a right turn lane.
Traffic signal equipment will also be installed tonight to better align with the restored Route 610 eastbound traffic pattern.
Work has been scheduled weather permitting. If weather cancels this work zone, it will be rescheduled to occur from 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10 to 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 11.
Stafford County leaders say they don’t get a fair shake when it comes to the region’s efforts to attract out-of-town travelers.
Members of the that county’s Board of Supervisors earlier this month took issue with visitfred.com, a regional website designed to attract tourists to the region. They said happenings in Fredericksburg City are highlighted more frequently than those in Stafford.
The Board voted to provide $30,000 — about two months worth of funding — in what County Administrator Anthony Romanello called a “good faith investment” while tourism officials review the visitfred.com website and address the Stafford Supervisors’ concerns. It’s a fraction of the $175,000 the county had budgeted this year for tourism.
“We are not getting our bang for our buck,” said Falmouth District Supervisor Meg Bohmke. “The website is woefully inadequate as far as Stafford is concerned.”
Among the most recent events highlighted on the visitfred.com website, designed to draw crowds to Stafford County, were school plays that took place back in March, said Bohmke. The county regularly boasts two wineries, a marina, a Civil War Park, and Gari Melcher’s Museum as top attractions.
Hartwood District Supervisor Gary Snellings said while be known to locals for its rich history — Stafford County the boyhood home of George Washington — the Fredericksburg name is the regional draw.
“If you’re living in California and you want to take a trip to the east coast, you’re not going to Google “Stafford County.” It’s just not going to happen. Fredericksburg is the draw. Fredericksburg is everywhere,” said Snellings.
The regional tourism partnership is a tripartite agreement between Stafford and Spotsylvania counties and Fredericksburg City. Staff members from each of the three respective jurisdictions that manage tourism efforts are expected to address the Stafford County Board of Supervisors’ concerns at its next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
If Stafford County were to bow out of the regional tourism partnership, county taxpayers would be on the hook for $50,000 to fund the cost of reprinting marketing materials. The new printed guides and brochures would be lacking the Stafford name.
The goal of the partnership is to increase the amount of transit occupancy taxes, called TOT taxes that are collected at hotels and are paid by travelers, collected across the Fredericksburg region. It could be in Stafford’s best interest to remain in the group.
“Visitors don’t know boundaries,” said Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant and Travel Association. “They don’t know where Fredericksburg starts, or where Stafford starts… they have no idea.”
And they don’t care, he added. Most travelers want to travel to a region, see the sights, eat a nice restaurant, and stay at a comfortable hotel.
“The more marketing muscle you can get by having more resources, the better off you are,” he added.
Submitted News Stafford’s Adventure Brewing expands to Fredericksburg
In January 2016 Adventure Brewing Company purchased Blue & Gray Brewing Company, the oldest brewery in the Fredericksburg area.
Since that time, the team from Adventure Brewing has kept the Blue and Gray moniker while the transition of federal and state licensing has taken place. As of July 16, the official name will become Adventure Brewing South.
The brewery celebrated the move at its first annual Adventure Summer Fest on Saturday, July 16 at the new location:, 3300 Dill Smith Drive in Fredericksburg.
Beers from Adventure and other area breweries such as Foothills Brewing, N.C., James River Brewing; Maltese; Forge Brew were featured.
Adventure Brewing Company opened in May 2014 as the first Stafford County brewery since 1766 and with a 3-barrel brewing system. Early into their second year of business, owners, Stan Johnson, Tim Bornholtz and John Viarella realized that the supply was not meeting the demand for their four flagship beers and the stream of seasonal and specialty beers that Adventure was producing under the guiding hand of Brian Link.
They began to seek opportunities to increase production. Enter Blue & Gray and the rumors of a sale. The owners of Adventure and the owner of Blue & Gray found a clear way forward to expand the Adventure production capacity and provide a smooth pathway to retirement for Blue & Gray’s owner, Jeff Fitzpatrick.
The purchase of Blue & Gray increases Adventure’s brewing capacity from a 3 barrel to a 20-barrel system. The advantage of the larger systems was immediately felt.
Stafford County is now a growing name within the Virginia craft brewery scene, with Adventure beer being served in restaurants around Stafford County and Fredericksburg. Adventure Brewing is ready and has the capacity to share their love of beer to a wider audience.
From the National Weather Service:
...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING... * HEAT INDEX VALUES...UP TO 108 DUE TO TEMPERATURES BETWEEN 95 TO 100...AND DEWPOINTS IN THE LOWER 70S. * IMPACTS...RISK OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS FOR THOSE WITHOUT AIR- CONDITIONING OR THOSE OUTDOORS FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE... RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK... THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY - CALL 911.
Construction begins today on a project to extend 95 Express Lanes in Stafford County by 2.5 miles, seeking to reduce congestion and driver delay at the facility’s southern terminus near Garrisonville Road.
The Virginia Department of Transportion has partnered with 95 Express Lanes operator Transurban to add operational and safety improvements where the facility merges with the main lanes of I-95.
The approximate 2.5 mile extension will carry traffic beyond the flyover ramp where 95 Express Lanes currently end, just north of Exit 143 at Route 610 (Garrisonville Road).
When the project is complete:
Northbound traffic in the main lanes will be able to enter 95 Express Lanes earlier at a new left entrance south of the Garrisonville Road overpass. The existing left entrance north of Garrisonville Road will remain.
Southbound Express Lanes traffic heading to the Fredericksburg area and south will be able to continue past Garrisonville and merge about one mile south of Garrisonville Road.
What Motorists Can Expect
Most construction will occur in the median of I-95 and within existing right-of-way. New tolling and regulatory signs will be installed along the northbound lanes of I-95, south of Garrisonville Road.
Travel lanes will remain open during morning and afternoon rush hour. Work requiring lane closures will be performed during off-peak travel times.
Early construction is beginning in permitted areas, including the installation of temporary concrete barriers along the north- and southbound left shoulders of I-95, and tree clearing in the median. Drivers should expect reduced inside shoulders in both directions on I-95, and should stay alert for slow-moving construction vehicles entering and exiting the travel lanes.
In May 2016, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a contract worth approximately $31.1 million to Branch Highways Inc., of Roanoke to design and construct the reversible extension of 95 Express Lanes at the southern terminus.
The southbound ramp is scheduled to open by early 2018, and the northbound ramp will open in summer 2018.
Live in the Arkendale section of Stafford County? Heads up:
Motorists traveling to the Widewater area of Stafford County July 25-29 may experience brief travel delays due to scheduled rail work at Arkendale.
Traffic at the intersection of Route 633 (Arkendale Road) and Route 658 (Brent Point Road) will use a temporary railroad crossing between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day on July 25-29.
The existing railroad crossing will be closed during the day to allow CSX to make improvements. At the end of each day, the crossing will be re-opened to traffic overnight.
The temporary railroad crossing will connect Arkendale Road and Brent Point Road slightly north of the existing intersection. It will be a one-lane crossing, and traffic will be directed by a flagging crew.
Additionally, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on July 25-29, traffic traveling to and from Brent Point Road east of the railroad crossing must use Route 633 (Arkendale Road) and Route 611 (Widewater Road). Through traffic will not be permitted on Brent Point Road west of the railroad crossing during the day.
Click here to view an online map of the temporary railroad crossing and detour route.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is coordinating closely with public safety and emergency response agencies. These agencies will be provided direct access in the event of an emergency.
Additional road construction is planned this fall in the Arkendale area. After the crossing work is completed, roadway patching will occur on Arkendale Road to prepare it for resurfacing. Trench widening and resurfacing is expected to begin on Arkendale Road in November and will be completed by mid-December. This planned work will add additional width to Arkendale Road between Widewater and Brent Point.
From Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman MC Moncure:
Jason Charles Sulser, age 39 of Wakefield Drive in Stafford was served with 51 total arrest warrants relating to the Possession and Reproduction of Child Pornography.
The Child Pornography investigation began on April 13, 2016 while Sulser was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail on a Violation of a Protective Order.
Sulser’s roommate was in the basement doing laundry and inadvertently bumped Sulser’s computer. The screen displayed a paused video with a pornographic image of a very young girl. He closed out the video and saw a library of thumbnail images and titles that indicated child pornography. He called the Sheriff’s Office to make a report.
An investigation began and computers in the residence were seized. Sulser was initially served with two arrest warrants for Possession of Child Pornography on April 15 while he was in jail. In the following weeks, in-depth computer forensics were performed and sufficient evidence was gathered to arrest Sulser on 49 more charges of Reproduction of Child Pornography.
Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello’s last day on the job is Sept. 8, 2016.
Romanello has overseen the operations of Stafford County Government since 2003. He’ll leave Northern Virginia for a new position as Deputy County Administrator in Henrico County outside Richmond.
Here’s his resignation letter:
States Garrisonville District Supervisor Laura Sellers:
“It is sad to watch him go. He will be missed. I am glad to see his departure on his terms with a great opportunity on the horizon. Team Stafford’s strength is much greater than one position. I believe in this team as much today as ever and know that we will get through this together.”
States Griffs-Widewater Supervisor Jack Cavalier:
“I was on the Board when we brought Anthony in as a Deputy County Administrator. He impressed all of us so much that just a few years later we selected him as County Administrator and I signed his first contract in 2007 when I was Board Chairman. He has always gone above and beyond to do the best for Stafford County. He will be sorely missed, but I wish him and his fine family nothing but the best as they return home for the next chapter in their lives in the Richmond area. Henrico County will benefit greatly through his leadership and expertise.”
States Rockhill Supervisor Wendy Maurer:
“In my short time on the board, I have found Anthony to be a true asset to Stafford County. He has built a great team committed to Stafford and I am grateful for the strong foundation that he is leaving behind. I am very happy for him and his family as they return home to an exciting new challenge.”
Romanello called Henrico County the “gold standard” and told Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star that he has family in the Richmond region. Romanello’s resignation follows that of Dumfries Town Manager Dan Taber who resigned Tuesday.
From an email:
The Lions of Stafford County, Virginia presented Sheriff D.P. Decatur with an honorary membership for exemplary service to the community on June 29, 2016.
This membership was extended by the Aquia Evening Lions Club, Greater Falls Run Lions Club, Aquia Harbour Host Lions Club and Stafford Lions Club.
The Stafford Lions Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month. A social starts at 6:30 p.m. and a formal meeting at 7:03 p.m.
Want to attend a meeting? You first must dial 540-752-7464 to find out the location of the meeting, according to the organization’s website.
Updated Sunday, July 3, 2016
We heard from Vinny’s this morning. Someone from the organization returned an email to us and said the restaurant reopened for business.
Vinny’s Italian Grill and Pizzeria in North Stafford is closed today.
The popular Italian food joint shut its doors due to a lack of water in the restaurant, a worker told us by phone.
This sign was spotted posted on the restaurant’s glass door:
— NickZ (@nickz) June 29, 2016
A contractor with the Virginia Department of Transportation on Monday struck a water main nearby. Crews are working in the area to widen a portion of Route 610 from four to six lanes.
Crews are on the scene today trying to fix the water main break, said a Stafford County spokeswoman.
“I have no idea when we’ll reopen,” a Vinny’s employee told us.
The restaurant is one of several Vinny’s locations in the Fredericksburg area. They make mean pasta primavera.
UPDATE – the building will open at 4:00pm today, Tuesday, June 28th. We apologize for the inconvenience. Our… https://t.co/3x32O2mgu6
— RouseSwim&Sport (@RouseSwimCenter) June 28, 2016
We’re checking to see if the delay is related to the HVAC and electrical work we reported on earlier.
“We are looking into it.”
-Stafford County Spokeswoman Shannon Howell stated in an email.
Problems with electrical and HVAC systems forced the staff at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center to close early Tuesday.
The Jeff Rouse Swim & Sport Center is closed this evening due to emergency maint. repairs. All classes & swim lessons are canceled tonight.
— Stafford County (@staffordvagov) June 27, 2016
This morning’s announcement:
Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center closed this morning for repairs. Classes & swim lessons canceled. The center is scheduled to open at noon.
— Stafford County (@staffordvagov) June 28, 2016
The center is scheduled to reopen for business today at noon. It’s normal hours of operation are Monday – Friday 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The new indoor gym and aquatics center named after Olympic swimmer and Stafford native Jeff Rouse opened in May. County taxpayers funded the construction of the $11 million facility while a private firm was contracted to operate the center.
A new data center will open in Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford County.
From an email:
Yyotta, LLC (“Yyotta”), pronounced ‘why yotta’, an emerging Internet exchange point (IXP), data center and managed services company based in Stafford, VA and Dominion Virginia Power today announced the addition of Yyotta IXP facility to the Dominion’s energy grid. Yyotta will offer its IXP, network transport and managed service solutions through its iFortress TM modular data center, a facility used by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ clients, focused on developing a cyber security “community of practice” serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. The IXP will be open June 2016.
Yyotta’s IXP and data center consists of two (2) secure data center rooms encompassing 2,480 sq. ft. of computer room floor and 500 kW of UPS power capacity with access to more space and power for growth. The IXP is the only multi-tenant data center in Stafford, offering a highly compliant solution through a concurrently maintainable design. Yyotta’s Quantico Corporate Center customers have the option to choose from a 1Gig, 10Gig, or dark fiber connectivity solutions, delivered over private, low-latency networks to Washington, DC, Ashburn and Richmond, VA.
(Update) Sunday – Thursday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will continue milling and paving Route 1 northbound from just north of the Falmouth Intersection to Route 652 (Truslow Road). Motorists should expect lane closures, a rough driving surface and brief delays in the work zone.
Route 17 Business
(Update) Sunday – Tuesday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will be milling and paving on Route 17 Business northbound from the Falmouth Intersection to Wyne Drive. Motorists should expect lane closures, a rough driving surface and brief delays in the work zone.
(Update) Monday – Thursday, daylight to dusk and Friday, daylight to noon. Crews will be milling on Route 17 northbound and southbound and along the side streets between McLane Drive and Stafford Lakes Parkway. Most work will be done behind the orange barrels and cones, however, motorists should expect intermittent lane closures in the work zone. Crews will be working daylight to dusk.
Route 218 (Butler Road)
(Update) Sunday – Thursday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. Crews will continue milling and paving on Route 218 (Butler Road) from Carter Street to the bridge over CSX Railroad, located just east of the WaWa. Motorists should expect lane closures and a rough driving surface in the work zone.
(New) Monday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Work crews will install handicapped-accessible sidewalk ramps at Route 17 Business and Heartfields Lane
Route 610 (Garrisonville Road)
(Update) Monday – Thursday, 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. One lane will be closed intermittently on Route 610 eastbound and westbound at Onville Road. Motorists may periodically encounter brief delays in the overnight hours in this work zone.Crews are placing sewer lines in connection with the Route 610/Onville Road intersection improvement project.
Monday – Thursday, 6 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Friday, 6 a.m. – noon. Stay alert for mobile lane closures. Crews will be performing routine maintenance activities in the following locations:
Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) – shoulder work
Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) – mowing
Route 608 (Brooke Road) – mowing and patching
Route 616 (Poplar Road) – mowing and patching
Route 612 (Hartwood Road) – mowing and patching
Route 648 (Dunbar Road) – mowing
An email from John and Linda Schumaker:
Thank you for your interest and support of the Stafford County Cardboard Boat Regatta. This is the 13th year that the Rock Hill Ruritan Club and the Stafford County Parks and Recreation department have partnered to conduct this family friendly event.The Regatta will be on Saturday, July 9th at Aquia Landing in Stafford County. The event opens at 10 am with boat registration.Opening ceremonies will include music by the Stafford Regional Choral Society’s SoundCheck group. Boat awards and races will begin around Noon.Boats are made from cardboard, tape, glue and painted to make then, hopefully, water-tight. Past creations have included traditional boats, battle ships, paddlewheelers, dragons, a whale, a giant cicada, Gilligan’s Island, and a bath tub.
Let those early risers on Sat & Sun – who go to the Landfill – know that blocking Eskimo Hill is not an option. pic.twitter.com/nHyjpPExBN
— StaffordCoSheriff (@staffcosheriff) June 22, 2016
The area outside the landfill is also known as a dumping ground for those who choose not to drive all the way into the landfill.
An FBI agent headed south on Interstate 95 chased down a driver of a van that struck his vehicle, according to Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman MC Moncure.
The male driver of the van stopped at the American Legion Road overpass, and he and female occupant of the van bailed into the treeline. The FBI agent called for help and gave chase:
From Stafford sheriff’s office:
An off-duty F.B.I. Agent traveling southbound on Interstate 95 on Friday afternoon, June 17, 2016 noticed a large white Dodge Ram Truck swerving between lanes and driving erratically. Shortly thereafter while traveling in the middle lane of the interstate the white truck ran into the back of the agent’s vehicle. The agent pulled over on the left shoulder and the truck pulled to the right shoulder. Then the agent observed the driver and the passenger of the truck, a man and woman respectively, abandoning their vehicle and fleeing on foot toward the wood line after the accident. The F.B.I. Agent crossed the interstate and began pursuing them on foot, identified himself as law enforcement, and ordered them to stop. The pair continued to run from the scene of the accident.
The agent caught up with the couple and attempted to detain them near the 1100 block of Ramoth Church Road. The man brandished a knife at the agent.
The Sheriff’s Office had been contacted by concerned citizens witnessing the foot chase and several units arrived on the scene. The situation was contained in minutes. Deputies searched both individuals and their belongs, finding drug paraphernalia in their possession.
The male suspect, identified as Isaac Brickley Moore, was taken into custody and charged with Felony Hit and Run, Driving on a Suspended License, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana and Assault and Battery. The truck was quickly identified as stolen from Southwest Washington, DC. An additional charge of Receiving Stolen Goods was added to Moore’s litany of charges.
Moore, age 18 of Barrows Court in Stafford, Virginia was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
The female occupant was not charged, said Moncure.