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Stafford News

‘After this evening, it’s mainly a temperature forecast through the middle of the week, with attention paid to frost/freeze concerns’

From the National Weather Service: 

“DAY ONE…Today and Tonight Patchy frost is possible tonight, primarily away from the urban areas and away from the tidal waters. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Tuesday through Sunday Patchy frost is possible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, primarily away from the urban areas and away from the tidal waters.

SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT/… After this evening, it`s mainly a temperature forecast through the middle of the week, with attention paid to frost/freeze concerns. High pressure will move in from the west tonight and then remain directly over the region through the middle of the week. Clouds will be minimal and winds light.

Have trended forecast toward colder guidance for overnight lows given what should be fairly good radiational cooling conditions. Tonight may be a little tricky since some wind is likely to linger, but it does look like calmer conditions are likely toward dawn. A Freeze Watch will be in effect for portions of the highlands tonight. Would not be surprised if there were some pockets of near-freezing temperatures in the rest of the western valleys as well. Will let the day shift determine which areas will need a Frost Advisory, with locations west of the Blue Ridge looking most favorable.

Temperatures will gradually moderate through the middle of the week, but not before another potential frost/freeze for outlying areas Tuesday night. Daytime highs will remain in the 60s Tuesday, but inch into the 70s for some areas on Wednesday.”

Sunny Sunday? ‘Guidance indicates the low clouds will be very slow to lift today along the I-95 corridor’

From the National Weather Service: 

High pressure over the area will weaken rapidly through today. A cold front will push into the Mid Atlantic tonight followed by a return to high pressure early in the week and hold through the end of the week.

NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/…widespread low clouds with areas of fog and patchy light drizzle are present early this morning. Guidance indicates the low clouds will be very slow to lift today along the I-95 corridor. It will be much warmer today especially west of the Blue Ridge where low clouds/fog are expected to lift quicker and under SSW winds. [Cold front] will start entering the western areas late in the day with a slight chance of showers over the Potomac Highlands.

‘Trooper John G. Sullivan, age 26, of Stafford County’ joins Virginia State Police

From an email: 

“Today, 30 new Virginia State Police troopers reported to their respective Division Headquarters to begin the final phase of their training. The 126th Basic Session celebrated their graduation Friday (Oct. 6, 2017), at the state police Academy in North Chesterfield County. Upon receiving their diplomas, the new troopers finished a rigorous 29-week training session. They received instruction in more than 100 different subjects spanning hundreds of hours. Academy training includes such areas as crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self- defense, cultural diversity and firearms.

Two troopers will begin their new assignments in the Culpeper Division today and will spend the next six weeks with a field training officer learning their new patrol areas and day-to-day duties.

Trooper John G. Sullivan, age 26, of Stafford County attended James Madison University prior to joining state police. His first assignment will be in Caroline County.”

‘The townhouse suffered severe fire damage to the majority of the basement and significant smoke damage’

We’ve got the first information from Stafford County Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Lockhart on a townhouse fire in the 700 block of Olde Forge Drive in Stafford County on Friday night. 

Lockhart emailed us: 

Units were dispatched at [5:49 p.m.], arrived at [5:54 p.m.] to find a working basement fire in a middle unit of a townhouse row. Crews worked to extinguish the fire and the fire was marked under control at 1814 hours.  

The townhouse suffered severe fire damage to the majority of the basement and significant smoke damage throughout the entire residence.  The fire was contained to the one townhome, there was no damage to any of the adjacent units.

The Red Cross responded and is assisting the family displaced by the fire.   Fire Marshal’s Office investigation revealed the cause to be an unattended candle in a basement bedroom. The resident’s dog alerted the resident to the fire. Damage is estimated at $35,000.

Stafford Volunteer Fire Company 2’s photo: “Engine 2’s crew during tonight’s fire. E2 arrived, and they conducted fire attack as the secondary attack line, supporting Engine 12’s crew. Once the fire was out, E2 conducted overhaul operations. Great job by all on scene.” 

Stafford deputies nab motor vehicle theft suspect after pursuit

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

Deputies with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a man on Tuesday in connection with the theft of a motor vehicle from a residence in southern Stafford. On October 10, 2017 at approximately 12:22 a.m., a deputy responded to a call regarding the theft of a motor vehicle.

The victim explained that she left her keys in her blue Jeep Cherokee and the doors unsecured after returning from the store. When her roommate later arrived at the residence, she notified the victim that she heard the vehicle driving away.

As the deputy en route turned on to Leeland Road, he observed a blue Jeep matching the stolen vehicle’s description pulling out of the 7-Eleven parking lot. The deputy pulled a U-turn and followed the vehicle, prompting the driver to accelerate and turn down Dawson Drive. Seconds after the deputy activated his emergency equipment, the Jeep careened off the road into a fire hydrant and the vehicle flipped onto its roof. A man climbed out of the passenger side window and began running away from the scene. (more…)

Updated: Driver dies Thursday morning in wrong-way crash on Interstate 95

One man was killed in an early-morning crash on Interstate 95 in Stafford County when he drove the wrong way onto the southbound traffic lanes.

From Virginia State Police: 

On Thursday October 12, Virginia State Police responded to a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 2:30 am on Interstate 95 Southbound just north of the Centreport Parkway exit at the 136 mile marker in Stafford County. 

The crash involved two vehicles.  The first vehicle was a 2003 Dodge Van that had entered I95 at the Centreport Parkway exit and was headed northbound in the southbound lanes.  Just north of the exit the van struck a southbound 2007 Peterbuilt tractor trailer head on the center lane.  Both drivers were transported to Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the identity is pending notification of the family. 

The crash closed the southbound lanes and southbound traffic was detoured at the Stafford Exit located at the 140 mile marker.  All lane of southbound I95 were open to traffic at 7:15 am.  The crash and its causative factors are still under investigation at this time by Trooper K. W. Comer who was assisted by VDOT, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Stafford County Fire and Rescue units.

The crash was cleared about 7 a.m. Prior to that, Virginia Department of Transportation crews worked to clean up a resulting fuel spill while traffic was redirected. 

From VDOT: 

All I-95 southbound traffic is being detoured to Route 1 southbound at Courthouse Road in Stafford. Traffic can travel Route 1 southbound to Centreport Parkway, where they can re-enter I-95 southbound at the Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) interchange.

A multi-vehicle crash occurred near Exit 136 on I-95 southbound. Crews are working to clear the scene and contain spilled fuel.  

Stafford area travelers should expect significant travel delays during the morning rush hour period on I-95 southbound and Route 1 southbound. Three miles of congestion exists leading up to the incident scene.


The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the crash at Mary Washington Hospital at 6:40 am.  The driver of the van is identified as Darwin William Hogan, age 21 of Fredericksburg, VA. 

The driver of the tractor trailer was treated for minor injuries at Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the tractor trailer is identified as Jeffery Dewayne Edwards, age 55 of Hillsborough, NC.

‘At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!’


Men and women, of all ages, races, and sizes gathered together to remember what used to be.

It was all part of the bariatric team’s annual, “A Gala, Celebrating You.” For the sixth year in a row, people came together for a Weight Loss Surgery Patient Reunion at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

More than 40 former patients and their loved ones came out to remember their weight loss journey and celebrate how far they’ve come.

It was a reunion for many, with patients coming up to one another and asking tentatively, “Do you remember me?” Plenty of hugs, laughs, and smiles were exchanged.

At one point in the night, every patient got up, said their name, and shared how much they’ve lost. All told, 3971 collective pounds had been shed!

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done- outside of marrying my husband!” chuckled Reva Gravelle.

Gravelle was just one member of a patient panel who spoke with the group and answered questions. She was 62 years old when she decided to move forward and get the surgery. Eight years later, she hasn’t looked back and says she feels healthier than ever! “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” she says smiling.

Just like Gravelle, everybody had their own story, but there was a common thread everyone could relate to. Patients shared varied firsts: having a lap for a grandchild to sit on, being able to get up by themselves when falling, flying without having to buy an extra seat or getting a seatbelt extender, different shopping options for clothing and being able to fit in a roller coaster seat.

Many patients credit their surgeon, Dr. Denis Halmi with helping them make the change, something he seemed little uncomfortable with, “I try to explain, it wasn’t me, because you are the one making the changes, because of what you are doing, it’s making the change. I’m here to help you, here to support you, but you’re the one who does it.”

While patients were in varied stages of their weight loss journey- some, having had their surgery years ago, while others had their surgery just months earlier, all know that this is a lifetime commitment. To that end, even the event’s food reflected their new lifestyle and featured healthy choices such as diced fruits and vegetables, shrimp, turkey meatballs and blended-to-order fruit smoothies.

This was also an uplifting event for those patients who may have gotten off track. Instead of beating up on themselves for diet missteps, patient speakers and health professional reminded everyone, while it’s nice to move numbers on the scale; this voyage is about more than that. It’s about getting healthy. Organizers reminded patients this event isn’t the only support available. The program hosts both weekly and monthly support groups for current and former patients. And, if those groups are too far for some to travel, the bariatric program has recently added a new virtual support group for the last Thursday of the month. It’s all in an effort to make sure people have the assistance they need to meet their health goals. To find a bariatric surgeon near you, call 1-800-SENTARA.

Photos: Dr. Halmi in the center, surrounded by patients who enjoyed a great time, and Dr. Halmi speaking to the group, sharing words of encouragement.

National Christmas Tree lighting ticket lottery opens this week

From the National Park Service:

Boys II Bow Ties, Mannheim Steamroller, U.S. Navy Band to Perform

WASHINGTON– You can win tickets to attend the 2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting simply by entering an online ticket lottery Oct. 12-16. The ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House). Performances by Boys II Bow Ties, Mannheim Steamroller, and the U.S. Navy Band are sure to delight with their unique spin on traditional holiday numbers. Additional entertainers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Free tickets for the event will be awarded to people across the country through an online lottery set to begin at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 12 and will close at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 16. To enter the lottery, go to and click the ‘TICKET LOTTERY’ link. For those without computer access, call 877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777) to enter the lottery. Lottery winners will be notified on Monday, Oct.30. (more…)

‘one of the worst rape cases in recent memory in Stafford County’

From a press release: 

A man who was charged in connection with a roadside rape in southern Stafford County last year entered an Alford plea in court on Tuesday.

Roberto Carlos Flores Sibrian, 27, was arrested in North Carolina in November 2016 on charges of rape and aggravated sexual battery. He allegedly sexually assaulted a young woman on the side of the road after their vehicles collided on State Route 3 early on October, 31, 2016.

The victim was dragged from her car and repeatedly assaulted in an attack that lasted at least 90 minutes. The attacker eventually drove away and left his shirt behind, which Flores Sibrian later admitted was his.

Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen described the incident as “one of the worst rape cases in recent memory in Stafford County.”

Flores Sibrian entered an Alford plea in Stafford Circuit Court to two counts of sodomy and one count each of rape, abduction with intent to defile and aggravated sexual battery.

He is scheduled for sentencing on January 5 and faces a maximum penalty of four life sentences plus 20 years in prison.