Digital solutions company JTC expands to Fredericksburg, Richmond

  • JTC, Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct. #305, Manassas, Va.
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website:
John Jewell is the president of JTC, Inc.

Jewell Technical Consulting will expand its market territory to include Fredericksburg and Richmond.

A Manassas, Virginia-based company, JTC, is the official IT provider of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and has long concentrated on the Northern Virginia market. The expansion marks the first time JTC has expanded into a new regional market.



Charles Sowers will lead the expansion and concentrate on growing the business in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Stafford areas in Central Virginia. Sowers will manage technical sales for JTC in these markets.

“I met Charles in 1995 when we were working on a project for Capital One Bank,” said JTC, Inc. President John Jewell. “We moved the bank from a Macintosh network and put it on a Windows network.”

JTC will market solutions to new customers in the medical and legal fields. The company will offer a wide range of solutions to include managed services of electronic medical records systems, disaster recovery, private cloud services, and IP telephone services.

“JTC Cloud is a private server. Unlike being on a Google, Amazon, or Rackspace server, we own the equipment, and our customers data is stored in a data center right here in Manassas,” said Jewell.

A large number of hospitals along the Interstate 95 corridor, and ancillary medical facilities that surround them made the area attractive to JTC. The expansion has been in the works for about a year, added Jewell.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Certified Partner.

Stafford could bury power lines along Route 1 at Courthouse


Stafford County will consider burying power lines as part of its Route 1 improvement project.

The $11.2 million project will widen, and add turn lanes to Route 1 between Courthouse and Bells Hill roads in Stafford. Work on the project would begin in 2018 and be finished a year later.

It would cost an additional $2 million to bury the power lines along the half-mile stretch of road.

“Right now we have estimated the cost to relocate the overhead utilities at $2.5 million. It would cost an additional $2 million to place the utilities underground,” stated Alex Owsiak, Stafford County transportation project manager in an email. “That additional $2 million cost was not included in the project cost estimate as Stafford County would be solely responsible for paying the additional cost to underground the utilities.”

Neighboring Prince William County approved $11 million of its budget to be used for burying power lines along a mile-and-half stretch of Route 1 in Woodbridge.

Stafford fire crews called to home on Ficklen Road

Ficklen Rd

A fire broke out at a home in the 900 block of Ficklen Road this morning,

Stafford County fire and rescue crews were called to the scene at 5:28 a.m. and found a single-family home with fire on the first floor. Fire crews went to work and doused the blaze in about 20 minutes.

A search of the house by fire crews revealed no one was home at the time of the fire, stated Stafford County Fire and Rescue Assitant Chief Mark Doyle in a press release. No one was injured.

Fire crews were initially called to nearby Harrell Road for what callers said was a fire. Crews later found the blaze on Ficken Road.

Fire crews from Falmouth, Stafford, Berea, Brooke, Mountain View, Rockhill, Hartwood, and two medic units all assisted in the fire operation.

The Stafford County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the incident. Officials did not name the cause of the fire.

Express Lane changes ahead for Labor Day weekend


Look out for some changes to the 95 Express Lanes for Labor Day weekend.

The lane reversal schedule for the weekend is available online.

More from a Transurban release:

On Monday, September 7 – Labor Day – there will be no reversal, which means that traffic will remain northbound all day on the 95 Express Lanes. For the full lane reversal schedule for Labor Day weekend, please visit:

To prepare for additional traffic volumes during the Labor Day weekend on I-95, here’s what drivers can expect when traveling southbound through Prince William and Stafford County during peak travel times:

Express Lanes travelers will see an advisory sign in advance of the Quantico/Joplin Road exit, which alerts drivers if congestion is present ahead on the Lanes. The sign will indicate approximately how far ahead the delays begin, for example “CONGESTION 3 MILES AHEAD”
Drivers can use the information on the sign to decide whether to exit the Lanes at the Joplin Road exit or continue to Garrisonville Road where the 95 Express Lanes end
If delays increase, signage before the Joplin Road exit will advise travelers to exit to the regular lanes using the message “EXIT NOW TO AVOID DELAYS”

Lane closures planned tonight for I-95 South


vdotlogo600pixelsExpect some traffic tonight on Interstate 95 southbound lanes near Fredericksburg.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic will be stopped overnight during certain times.

VDOT is currently working on a new overpass for Fall Hill Avenue, so traffic will be stopped so that concrete beams can be lifted over travel lanes.

More from a VDOT release:

Southbound I-95 travelers are advised to use Route 1 to avoid delays. Message boards on I-95 will provide advance notice of lane closures and detour routes.

The Fall Hill Avenue overpass is located at mile marker 131, between I-95 exit 130/Route 3 and exit 133/Route 17.

Tonight, a single lane of I-95 southbound will close at the overpass at 9:30 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close at 10 p.m.

Between midnight and 3 a.m. all traffic will be stopped four times so workers can lift beams over the travel lanes. Each traffic stop will last approximately 15 minutes. After each closure, the waiting queue of vehicles will be cleared from the scene.

All southbound lanes will re-open to traffic by 5 a.m. Wednesday.  

Virginia State Police are assisting with traffic control in the work zone.

I-95 Paving

Additionally, lane closures for interstate paving will be underway on I-95 northbound and southbound tonight in the Fredericksburg area.

Paving is scheduled between exit 136/Centreport Parkway and exit 140/Courthouse Road in Stafford County.

A single lane of I-95 northbound will close at 9 p.m. Two northbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

On I-95 southbound, paving will be underway between exit 126/Spotsylvania and exit 118/Thornburg. A single lane of I-95 southbound will close at 9 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheetz expanding in Bristow, Manassas, Stafford

sheetz ashton avenue

The popular gas station and convenience store Sheetz is expanding in the region.

A new store at the corner Sudley Manor Drive and Ashton Avenue outside Manassas is nearly two weeks on September 18. Company spokesman Allen Stevens said the new store will have:

— Expanded inside and outside seating
— A larger selection of freshly brewed coffee and iced tea
— Ice cream
— An aisle of beverage options including many frozen beverages
— A drive through window

The Pennsylvania-based company will also begin construction on a new store at the intersection of Balls Ford and Wellington roads in Bristow. Construction will begin this month, and the store should open in March.

A Sheetz at 8504 Centreville Road in Manassas Park will also get a makeover in the coming months. Prince William County officials are reviewing plans for a new Sheetz at the intersection of Route 28 and Bristow Road, added Allen.
A new Sheetz is under construction at the intersection of Garrisonville and Furnace roads in North Stafford.

Sheetz was founded in the 1950s, and today offers low-priced gasoline and cigarettes to its customers. The chain is also known for its made-to-order food that includes submarine sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, wraps, and chicken wings.

Other Sheetz locations in the region include Dale City on Prince William Parkway and Hillendale Drive, and on Route 15 and Washington Street near I-66 in Haymarket. There are also two Sheetz locations in Fredericksburg and one in the Ferry Farm section of Stafford County.

Do you know the street safety rules around school buses?

The school year in Virginia has just begun, and that means that school buses will be back out on the road.

Do YOU know the rules for driving and stopping around school buses?

When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign on the side of the bus, you must stop your vehicle from any direction, if you are on a highway, private road or school road. You must stay stopped until the area is clear, and the bus is moving again.

If a bus is loading or letting off passengers and the signals are not on, you still must stop.

If you are driving on a road in the opposite direction with a road that has a median or a barrier, and the bus is on the other side, then you do not have to stop.

School bus safety is the focus of many this week as children head back to school. The hashtag “#break4buses” is trending online.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire wants you to make sure you follow the rules of the road and be safe this school year.

Gov. McAuliffe holding roundtable at Brooke Point High School, inside new media center


Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
A new media center is under construction inside Brooke Point High School in Stafford.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will hold a parent roundtable at a newly renovated media center at Brooke Point High School.

The governor will meet with 13 parents of Stafford County school children. He’s expected to discuss standards of learning tests and holding schools more accountable for student success.

The governor’s roundtable will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. The event is open to the public.

Brooke Point High School is the only school in the county to have a newly refitted library, turned media center. The one-of-a-kind center looks more like a TV studio than a library, and will have large tables designed for student collaboration, and more than 30 computer workstations that allow everyone access to online services.

“It is cutting edge stuff, it really is,” said Stafford County Supervisor of Facility Design and Construction Quintin Sullivan.

Construction of the remodeled library turned media center began June 15, immediately after school dismissed for summer. Library books and other materials were removed from the room and stored inside three classrooms during construction.

The library will keep the same number of books it had before, but school officials say the new media center serves as a model of what new school libraries will look like in Stafford.

“There’re not a whole lot of books because that’s not what we 21st-century learning environment,” said Stafford County Public Schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim. “This is the only center of its kind in the county, and I don’t think it will be the last.”

How Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas

Chapel Springs

Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.
Chapel Springs builds a long-lasting relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas.

Eleven-year-old Edwin Martinez had been looking forward to the Georgetown South Family Day event on Saturday, August 22, but said the day turned out to be even better than expected.

Standing in line for the Wild Rapids inflatable water slide with a half-dozen friends, Edwin said the community’s pavilion area was like a party with lots of different ways to enjoy the day.

“I give it an A+,” he said of the event, which was hosted by Chapel Springs Assembly of God in partnership with Iglesia Vida.

Chapel Springs has hosted Family Day at Georgetown South since 2011 as a way to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community. This year’s free event featured the extremely popular Wild Rapids slide, two inflatable bounce houses and face painting along with hot dogs and “sno cones.”

Family Day is the culmination of a week-long day camp for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and gives church members a chance to connect with the families of those children, said Pastor Doug Dreesen. It’s also an opportunity to inform residents about the weekly English as a Second Language (ESL) classes hosted by Chapel Springs at the Georgetown South Community Center.

“Our goal is to come and help transform the community, really, for Christ. We want to tell them Jesus loves them, and we’re here to be His hands and feet, Dreesen said, adding that Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South.

Susana Ladino has lived in Georgetown South for three years, and stopped at the pavilion with her 6-year-old after they saw a group of children running toward the event.

“It’s beautiful. It looks very organized,” Ladino said through an interpreter.

Laura Leon also attended with her children. Leon has lived in the community for 11 years and has attended Family Day in the past. Through an interpreter, she said she was happy to enjoy a meal while her children played.

Sitting at a picnic table in the shade while children were enjoying activities nearby, Chapel Springs member Libny Fierro opened a Spanish Bible and led those seated around her to take turns reading from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians has wonderful instruction about how we should live everyday– things like watching what we say and wearing the “armor of God” – and that was thought-provoking for those at the picnic table, Fierro said.

Fierro and her new friend Norma Arriaga handed out nine Spanish Bibles before the event was over. Having Bibles in Spanish was wonderful, Arriaga said, because while an English Bible is fine for the younger generation, she prefers to read in Spanish.

Asked what she learned from her discussion with Fierro and others at the picnic table, Arriaga had a quick reply: “God has a purpose for us and we need to follow His example,” she said through an interpreter.

Many church-goers focus on who they know and what people are wearing instead of spiritual matters, so reading and discussing the book of Ephesians was eye-opening, Arriaga added.

Ed and Miriam Bosch attend Chapel Springs and are preparing to become missionaries to Ecuador. They both participated in the day camp and were on hand for Family Day to celebrate a successful week.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Ed Bosch said.

Chapel Springs member Denise Propps also volunteered to help at the day camp. She said it was important to her to attend Family Day and meet the families of the children she saw all week, noting that one child ran up and hugged her and said she had been looking specifically for her.

“It’s all about building relationships with the community,” Propps said. “We were made for relationships. We were made to love one another.”

And by building relationships, when someone has a need, we can pray for them as someone who knows them and cares for them, she added.

“I love it. It’s really what He’s called us to do, Propps said.

-Written by Christine Rodrigo

Stafford High School classes delayed 1 week

stafford high school

Stafford High School will delay its opening by two weeks. The school was unable obtain a permit to open its doors for the first time.

More in a press release from Stafford County Public Schools: 

As of 4 p.m. today, the general contractor (Hess) has failed to meet requirements for temporary occupancy of part or all of the new Stafford High School and the planned move of the administrative offices have been delayed until early next week. Stafford County’s Code Compliance Office has extended every effort in support of this project and is committed to continue to do so until the contractor meets the requirements for temporary occupancy.

In order to provide a positive educational experience for our students in a finished building, we have determined to delay the start of school for Stafford High School students until Monday, September 14, 2015. Instructional plans are being explored in the event that students must make up the time missed during this first week.  These options may include making up the time during the second semester, requesting a waiver from the Commonwealth and/or providing on-line opportunities for classroom instruction.

Teachers and staff will have access to the building as soon as temporary occupancy is achieved.  Teachers will work from home during teacher work week (August 31-September 4) until access to the building is possible. If the division staff are able to accelerate the moves to earlier dates, it will be done and information on any changes will be sent out to the community using a variety of media.

The Freshman Orientation and Open House scheduled for Thursday, September 3, will now be held on Thursday, September 10, 2015.  The freshman orientation will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The Open House will be held on September 10 with Seniors and Juniors arriving from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and with Sophomores and Freshmen arriving from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Freshmen who attend the orientation earlier in the day are not expected to attend the open house that evening as they will have received the information needed. Both of these events on September 10 will be dependent upon access to the spaces within the school.

Further details regarding instruction during the first week of school will be shared next week.

Virginia eyes Tropical Storm Erika


S115331tormy weather may be ahead for Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Tropical Storm Erika may become a hurricane by Monday, and has the potential to hit Virginia.

The storm is currently approaching the Dominican Republic, and is still impacting the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, stated the National Weather Service.

Tropical Storm Erika currently has wind speeds of 50 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

According to the track, released by the National Weather Service, the storm could impact Virginia by Monday.

Delays, closures expected tonight on I-95 South


vdotlogo600pixelsIf you’re traveling south on Interstate 95 overnight, expect some delays.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. traffic will be stopped near the Fall Hill Avenue overpass, so that crews can lift beams.

More from a VDOT release:

Southbound Interstate 95 traffic at Fredericksburg will be stopped intermittently tonight so concrete beams can be lifted over all travel lanes for construction of a new overpass at Fall Hill Avenue.

I-95 travelers are advised to use Route 1 to avoid delays. Message boards on I-95 will provide advance notice of lane closures and detour routes.

The Fall Hill Avenue overpass is located at mile marker 131, just south of the Rappahannock River bridges and Safety Rest Area. It is located between I-95 exit 130/Route 3 and exit 133/Route 17.

Tonight, a single lane of I-95 southbound will close at the overpass at 9:30 p.m. Two southbound lanes will close at 10 p.m.

Between midnight and 3 a.m. all traffic will be stopped four times so workers can lift beams over the travel lanes. Each traffic stop will last approximately 15 minutes. After each closure, the waiting queue of vehicles will be cleared from the scene.

‘Steve’ the eagle released at Widewater State Park today


"Steve" the Bald Eagle was released in Stafford.
"Steve" the Bald Eagle was released in Stafford.

The bald eagle rescued by Stafford Animal Control was released today at Widewater State Park.

An Animal Control officer found the eagle – named ‘Steve’ by the child of the caller who alerted the Stafford Sherriff’s office – on the Potomac River in May.

According to a Stafford release, Steve was staying at the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, for rehabilitation.

“Stafford County is blessed with abundant natural resources and with that comes an array of wildlife. Our Animal Control officers do a wonderful job everyday ensuring that all our residents, both citizens and animals, can co-exist peacefully and safely. We are very pleased this eagle is coming home,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Gary Snellings in a release.

More from a Stafford release:

Animal Control Officer Anthony McCall responded and flushed the bird from the water to the bank, where he was able to capture it safely. The bird was taken to the Wildlife Center where it was found to have a wrist injury and received medical care and rehabilitation services.

Stafford Animal Control handled 491 wildlife calls in 2014. Officers are trained in all types of animal investigations including criminal activity, cruelty, livestock, exotics and wildlife. Animal Control officers in Stafford are sworn law enforcement officers who conduct routine patrols in assigned areas and respond to complaints of citizens. Officers enforce the laws of the state and county for the purpose of compliance and education.

Stafford park closed due to sewage leak



The Historic Port of Falmouth Park will re-open tomorrow, according to a Stafford release. 

Testing done by Stafford County showed that the bacterial levels in the river are below state standards and the water is safe, stated a Stafford release.

Original post

The Historic Port of Falmouth Park in Stafford – which runs alongside the Rappahannock River – is closed today and tomorrow due to a sewage leak.

According to a Stafford release, the Stafford County Utilities Department found on August 24 that a sewage spill had happened in Falls Run. Falls Run is upstream from the Historic Port of Falmouth Park, according to the release.

The leak was due to a plug in the pipe system failing, according to a Stafford release.

Stafford stated that the leak has been repaired and there are other plans for repairs to be made, to prevent this from happening again.

Currently there is no evidence that sewage contaminated the river at the site of the park, but Stafford is doing water tests before reopening the park to visitors, stated a Stafford release.

The park could be reopened on August 27.

Drive throughs proposed at Aquia, Stafford office complex

Construction is underway at the site of the North Stafford Office Complex at Garrisonville and Furnace roads.

The Stafford County Planning Commission will a series of public hearings Wednesday.

There are two proposals to bring new businesses with drive-through windows. Two are in Town Center at Aquia — a pharmacy with a drive-through window and a grocery store with a drive-through window. The second is a food store that would be built next to a new Sheetz gas station under construction at the intersection of Garrisonville and Furnace roads.

Official documents don’t provide the names of the businesses that wish to locate to Stafford. Several calls to planning commissioners in the respective districts where these new businesses would be located went unreturned.

Town Center at Aquia

A conditional use permit is required for both new businesses to have a drive-through window inside Town Center at Aquia.
The pharmacy would be located near the front of the shopping center, closest to the entrance to Route 1. A new grocery store with a drive-through window is shown next to an existing movie theater near the rear of the plaza.

A Rite Aide pharmacy already exists inside the plaza. Shoppers Food Warehouse was once located inside the shopping center when it was known as Aquia Town Center. It moved to nearby Stafford Marketplace in 2004.

Much of Aquia Town Center was demolished in the mid-2000s. All that remains of the original complex is the movie theater and Rite Aid. A 5-story office building was added in the late 2000s.

North Stafford Office Complex

Next to where a Sheetz gas station is under construction, planners must review an application for a “retail food store” that needs a drive-through window.

The proposed 42,000 square-foot development would face Garrisonville Road. Much of the front of the property would be parking spaces.
A drive-through window would be located on the east side of the building, according to documents.

The North Stafford Office Complex was rezoned from agricultural land to urban commercial land in 2004. Until construction on the gas station began this year, the site remained untouched.

Another commercial development diagonally across the Sheetz gas station location has gone widely underutilized. Aside from government offices in the rear of the development and a new fitness center, many of the storefronts in the center are empty.

The Stafford County Planning Commission will begin the public hearings at 6:30 p.m. inside the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Stafford County Government Center located at 1300 Courthouse Road.

Why classes at Stafford High School could be delayed


Classes at the new Stafford High School could be delayed at least a week.

County officials did not issue the school division a temporary occupancy permit. That is keeping teachers and administrators out of the new $66.6 million school slated to open this year.

“The contractor did not complete the work as needed to open the school safely, so the county government did not issue the temporary occupancy permit,” said Stafford County spokeswoman Shannon Howell.

School division officials had hoped to be in the new building in May. As the start of the new school year in Stafford County approaches on September 8, the school’s contractor Hess Construction is being fined $5,000 per day until the work is finished.

“If by Thursday we don’t have an occupancy permit, then we will make a decision and announce the decision to, perhaps, delay school for students a week, perhaps more,” said Stafford public schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim.

Weather, and “self-inflicted” delays brought on by changes requested by the county school division and approved by the school board prompted the possible late opening of the new building, added Cottongim. The contractor is working hand-in-hand with the he school system to complete the school as soon as possible, she added.

The new school sits next to the old Stafford Senior High School build in the early 1970s. It opened under the short-lived notion of “open” classrooms, where students could collaborate with each other. Gar-Field and Woodbridge senior high schools in Woodbridge opened about the same time, under the same notion.

“That concept went out very quickly. We’ve made some innovations to the building over the years, but it made for some pretty choppy classrooms,” said Cottongim.

Student athletes are still using the old Stafford Senior High School’s gym, fields, and locker rooms to practice for fall sports. Students won’t be able to return to classes in the old building because much of the furniture, to include auditorium chairs and gym bleachers, were moved to the new school to be reused there.

The new Stafford High School is modeled after Mountain View and Colonial Forge high schools in Stafford County. The new school’s three-stroy academic wing is larger than both predecessors by one floor.
When the new school opens, it will have 21st-century amenities to include a lunch counter that will allow students to plug in their personal computing devices to work on assignments while at lunch. The old school will be demolished to make way for new parking lots and sports fields.

Cottongim posted these tentative dates for teachers, parents, and students leading up to the opening of the new school:

Division staff, with contract support, will continue moving operations of items from the existing school through the week of August 24.

SHS administrative staff equipment and materials are now scheduled to be moved into the new building on Saturday Aug 29, 2015. This is a change from moving them the weekend of August 22. Technical (computers/copiers/phones etc.) set up of the school front office and administration will be done on Sunday Aug 30, 2015.

Teachers will be invited into the new school to start unpacking their boxed materials and setting up classrooms on Monday August 31 (if able, we will attempt to allow teachers into the new school on Sunday August 30). Division staff will have support teams in the areas of the school that have been granted a temporary occupancy starting the weekend of August 29, 2015 to assist administration, teachers and staff in preparing the school and assisting with the move in, unpacking and set up of classrooms and other spaces.

New temporary access roads and new on-site transportation patterns will also go into effect on Saturday August 29, 2015. Although the temporary access road is open and the barricades for walking traffic are in place, the transportation patterns will not change until the move of the administrative offices on August 30th.

The Marching Band now is scheduled to move their equipment and materials into the new space the weekend of Labor Day, September 5 – 7. Fall athletic programs currently operating out of the existing SHS will also be moved the weekend of September 5 – 7, 2015. If staff is able to accelerate the move to an earlier date, it will be done and information on any changes will be sent out to the community via e-mail, Blackboard connect and websites.

The Freshman Orientation scheduled for Friday, August 28th, will now be held on Thursday, September 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Open House will be held on September 3, with Seniors and Juniors arriving from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and with Sophomores and Freshmen arriving from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Both of these events on September 3 will be dependent upon access to the spaces within the school.

Central Office and Stafford High School Staff are working together to develop a contingency instructional plan for a potential delayed opening of Stafford High School (the delay could be up to a week with school opening for students on September 14) if the general contractor fails to meet the requirements for temporary occupancy of all or key areas of the building. Staff will evaluate the general contractor’s status with respect to temporary occupancy at close of business on Thursday August 27, 2015.

Fire crews battle blazes in Lake Ridge, Stafford


Fire crews were called to a several house fires over the weekend.  

3681 Meandering Way in Lake Ridge


The blaze broke out at 3681 Meandering Way, behind the Dillingham Sqaure shopping center at 11:46 p.m. 

The fire was contained to one apartment building with no extension to a second building, however fire tactics required cutting the roof away on the adjoining building to stop the spread of fire, thereby making it uninhabitable.  Red Cross was called and working with 58 occupants and an undetermined number of pets. The fire is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office.  There were minor injuries to two firefighters. Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, PWCDF&R, Manassas City and Fairfax responded to the incident.

-OWL Volunteer Fire Department Spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes

2823 Madeira Court in Lake Ridge 


Fire crews on earlier in the day on Sunday were also called to Mederia Court in Lake Ridge for a fire at 12:46 p.m.

The fire was contained to one unit with no extension and the blaze was knocked down within 10 minutes.  The fire is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office.  There were no injuries. Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, PWCDF&R, Manassas City and Fairfax responded to the incident.

-OWL Volunteer Fire Department Spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes

15 Blacksmith Court in Stafford County 

Blacksmith Court fire.
Blacksmith Court fire.

Another fire broke out at 3:11 p.m. Friday at 15 Blacksmith Court, just off Austin Ridge Drive in Stafford County. 

The Deputy Chief of Training was the first arriving unit with a 6 minute response time. His initial size-up revealed active fire conditions on the second story of a 2-story single-family dwelling.

The occupants of the house had evacuated prior to the arrival of units. Engine 9 from the Aquia station was the first arriving fire suppression unit with a 7 minute response time.

Units deployed fire attack handlines to the second story of the building. A majority of the fire was extinguished 19 minutes after the time of dispatch.

The property was valued at $450,000.00 with damage estimated at $100,000.00. The cause was ruled accidental by the Fire Marshal’s office. The were no reported injures during the incident. The occupants consisting of two adults and two children were displaced but didn’t require assistance from the Red Cross.

-Stafford County fire and rescue Assistant Chief Mark Doyle

Updated: Afternoon VRE Fredericksburg line trains on ‘S’ schedule after pedestrian killed


A Virginia Railway Express train struck and killed a man this morning near the Leeland Road station in Stafford County. 

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller made this statement by email:

At 5:20 a.m. Monday, Virginia State Police responded to a fatal crash in Stafford County.  A northbound Virginia Railway Express (VRE) train struck and killed a pedestrian on the tracks. The incident is under investigation at this time.

Police did not release the name of the victim.

Trains on VRE’s Fredericksburg line were delayed due to the incident. The commuter railroad urged riders to find another way to work

The incident will have impacts on the afternoon commute, too. 


Trains on the Fredericksburg line resumed operation just before 10 a.m. 


Stafford plans ‘drug take back’ Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015

On Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Partners on Aging-TRIAD, and the Stafford Hospital Center will hold a National Drug Take Back Initiative.  

The National Take Back Initiative is a collaborative effort focused on removing potentially dangerous controlled substances from medicine cabinets all over the country. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., citizens may drop off expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled or non-controlled substances and other medications to Stafford deputies for destruction at the Stafford Hospital Center, located at 101 Hospital Center Blvd. in Stafford.  

Citizens can drive up to the drop off site and simply dump the medications directly into the disposal box, never having to leave their car. This method of destroying unwanted medications is safer for citizens and better for the environment.

Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box. If an original container is submitted, the individual is encouraged to remove any identifying information from the prescription label.  

Liquid products such as cough syrup, should remain tightly sealed in their original container.


Animals to adopt at Stafford County SPCA


Trinity and Bitsy

Roscoe is a 1 year old, lovable beagle mix who loves playing with other dogs and spending time with people, both indoors and out. Roscoe is looking for a new forever home because his former owners had to give him up when a serious illness struck their family. He is house-trained, crate-trained, neutered, microchipped, and UTD on vaccines. He is currently in a foster home, waiting for his forever family to come along!
Trinity is a 2 year old, black Bombay mix kitty that arrived at our shelter with 7 kittens. Bitsy is the last of Trinity’s litter, is approximately 13 weeks old, and is a “mini-me” of her mother. They both have heartbreakingly sweet personalities, and we would love to see them go home together! Trinity is UTD on all vaccines, spayed, and microchipped. Bitsy is UTD on all kitten vaccines.

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

River Road in Stafford closed August 20


River Road in StafUntitledford will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on August 20.

More from a Stafford release:

River Road will be closed to through traffic on Thursday, August 20, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail will also be closed to through traffic at the River Road crosswalk from Pratt Park to the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

A raised crosswalk is being installed on River Road between the two parks on the Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail. The entrance to Pratt Park on River Road will remain accessible to visitors as well as the entrance to the Historic Port of Falmouth Park. River Road will close just east of the Historic Port of Falmouth parking lot entrance and west of the Pratt Park entrance. No through traffic will be allowed on the Belmont-Ferry Farm Trail from the Pratt Park side to the Historic Port of Falmouth side.

Signs will advise motorists of detours on Chatham Heights Road and Butler Road/Route 17.

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