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Stafford

Stafford Airport Opens First Passenger Terminal, Airport’s First Since Opening in 2001

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Pilots and passengers will be greeted with a new terminal the next time they arrive at Stafford Regional Airport.

A new $3.6 million terminal officially opened on Saturday at the airport just off Interstate 95 at exit 136. The one-story building is complete with a new waiting area, passenger kiosk, pilot’s lounge, conference space, and offices. It’s a major upgrade for airport employees who, since the airport opened in 2001, have been housed in a triple-wide trailer where they conducted business.

“We’re a destination now because the passengers have a comfortable place to wait for their flights, the pilots now have a place where they can relax out of public view, and we have all of the electronics that the pilot needs to do his job efficiently as possible, and now as comfortably as possible,” said airport manager Ed Wallis.

The new terminal building has been years in the making. A ground breaking was held in late 2012 and an opening date was originally set for late 2013. But springtime rains last year delayed the project, said Wallis, pushing back the opening date to Saturday.

Stafford County officials in 2012 loaned the regional airport authority — which includes members from Stafford and Prince William counties and Frederickburg — $1.4 million to help offset construction costs of the new building.

“I think its money well spent and I think future dividends are going to pay off handsomely,” said Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Cavalier.

A mural on a wall in the passenger waiting area shows photos of destinations in Stafford County like Ferry Farm and the Belmont Plantation, and notes the county’s abolishment of such taxes like an airplane tax that used to be levied on those who parked their planes at the airport. A tax on pleasure boaters was also repealed by county leaders. On Saturday, those leaders said the removal of those taxes and this new terminal facility will help to spark economic growth in the region.

One of the largest public events held each year at the airport is the Stafford Rotary Club’s Wings and Wheels Festival that features hot rod cars, emergency vehicles, and small aircraft. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, and will be one of the many events planned in 2014 as Stafford County celebrates its 350th anniversary.

Stafford Board of Supervisors Moves Meeting

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021011 Stafford Courthouse

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors meeting that was canceled on January 21, due to inclement weather, will not be rescheduled.

The BOS will move all scheduled business to the Tuesday, February 4 meeting at 3 p.m. in the Board Chambers on Courthouse Road. Other Stafford County committees have moved their meetings as well.

Here’s a notice regarding the changes, published on the County website:

Stafford, VA – The Board of Supervisors will not reschedule the meeting that was canceled on January 21, 2014. All business scheduled for that meeting, including public hearings, will be moved to the agenda for the Tuesday, February 4, 2014, meeting. The Board will meet at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

The Public Safety meeting canceled on January 21, 2014, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in the County Administration Conference Room of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

The Finance, Audit and Budget Committee meeting canceled on January 21, 2014, has been rescheduled. The committee will meet on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in Conference Room ABC of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Members of the Board of Supervisors on the committee include: Bob Thomas, George Washington District; Cord Sterling, Rock Hill District; and Jack Cavalier, Griffis-Widewater District.

The Planning Commission meeting scheduled for January 22, 2014, was canceled. The meeting and agenda, including public hearings, have been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

The Technical Review Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room ABC of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

Homes in Sky Terrace Damaged in Fire

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Two homes in the Sky Terrace subdivision in North Stafford were damaged overnight in a fire.

The blaze broke out at 2:52 a.m. at a home on Frazier Drive. The first fire crews on the scene saw flames on the first and second floors of the 2-story home. After everyone was evacuated, fire crews went inside to douse the blaze and brought it under control within 10 minutes, said Stafford fire and rescue Assistant Chief Mark Doyle.

An adjacent house also sustained water damage.

The house fire victims were displaced but did not need help from the Red Cross. No one was injured.

 

No School for Stafford Tomorrow, Exams Canceled

News

Stafford County canceled classes for Friday as well as mid-term exams.

More in a statement from Stafford schools:

Due to the loss of instruction time during the inclement weather this week, Friday, January 24th, will now be a professional day/teacher work day, however; teachers will have the option to work from home. To allow for the parking lots and sidewalks to clear, all staff including teachers will report on a two-hour delay on Friday. All buildings and offices will open at 10 a.m.

There is no school for students on Friday, January 24th. All exams are canceled. Monday, January 27th will now be a regular school day (an X day for middle and high school students) and will be the last day of the first semester. All grades will be submitted by Friday, January 31st and report cards will be issued on February 11th.

The time lost from today’s (January 23) closure means that Stafford County Schools will be in session on Monday, February 17th, 2014 (the President’s Day holiday).

All scheduled activities for Friday, January 24, and Saturday, January 25, may continue as scheduled. This includes all high school athletic competitions, the SATs and the AP Mathematics Prep Sessions. For information regarding activities at a specific school site, please contact that school directly (or check their webpage).

 

‘Jimmy the Greek’ Wins Award for Service to Local Military Families

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012214-jimmy-greekLocal business owners Demitrios “Jimmy” and Elani Zotos were given the “Military Friendly Business of the Year” for their efforts to help military families in the area.

Working with organizations like Blue Star Moms and Home for Troops, Jimmy and Elani have donated food, collected money and held raffles to help build military families’ homes and send supplies to the troops.

The couple was bestowed the honor by the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce and the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

Owners of the Jimmy the Greek restaurant on Garrisonville Road in Stafford, the couple has spent more than 27 years in the restaurant business. Their commitment to aiding military families began when Elani became an U.S. citizen, creating a large handmade flag to display at their business.

In addition to their work with these organizations, they offer a 10% discount to all military personnel at their restaurant, and often purchase meals for military members that eat at Jimmy the Greek. They have even established a special parking space for wounded warriors at the restaurant.

“I love to help. They deserve it. Without the military, we’re nothing. They’re doing so much for our country,” Elani said.

To recognize their efforts, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council awarded them the “Military Friendly Business of the Year Award” at a ceremony at the University of Mary Washington.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors also commended them formally for their efforts at the December 17 meeting.

“We feel very good – very special. It feels very good to be recognized,” Jimmy said.

Photo: Demitrios “Jimmy” Zotos, by Stephanie Tipple

Major Roads in ‘Minor’ Condition with Icy Patches, Side Streets Snow Covered

News

Take it slow out there this morning as there are reports of minor ice patches on roads across the region.

In Prince William County, major roads like Va. 234 and Va. 123 all are reported to me in “minor” condition (low on the Virginia’s Department of Transportation’s worry index) but all of the major roads have icy spots on them.

The same goes for roads in Stafford County.

VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon of the Fredericksburg District, which covers Stafford County, released this statement this morning:

Motorists traveling this morning should use additional caution, as primary roads throughout the Fredericksburg District are mostly covered in snow, with complete snow coverage on most secondary roads and subdivision streets.

Interstate 95 is in minor condition, with isolated areas of snow on the pavement. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commuter lots have been plowed and treated.

List of closings and delays for today

Plow crews worked overnight to continue clearing streets, starting with the major thoroughfares that carry the most traffic. Side streets are still snow covered, so officials advise caution as you travel on them this morning.

VDOT’s goal is to have all roads plowed within 48 hours after the passing snowstorm which moved out last night, so crews will continue to work 24 hours a day in 12-hour shifts until the roads are clear.

 

Stafford Government Offices Closing at 1 p.m.

News

Stafford County Government offices opened today under a liberal leave policy, but now they will close at 1 p.m.

More in a press release:

Due to inclement weather, Stafford County offices, facilities and the Circuit Court will close at 1:00 p.m. today. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has already closed. The District Court will be open until the docket is cleared later this afternoon.

The Circuit Court is scheduled to open at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

The following offices and facilities will remain open:

Fire and Rescue Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Sheriff’s Office Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Magistrate (540) 659-2968

We Could See More Snow Than First Thought, says Weather Service

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A coastal low moving in from the Atlantic will meet the winter storm that is slated to bring us at least 4 inches of snow today.

That low will make the storm intensify, say meteorologists at the National Weather Service, and that has prompted them to increase forecast snow totals for the region.

On Tuesday, forecasters said we could see between four and six inches of snow. Tuesday night, totals were increased to five to eight inches.

Here’s the latest in a statement from the weather service:

When to Expect Snow in Our Region

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We could begin seeing winter weather develop across our area about 8 a.m.

Wintry precipitation will begin over West Virginia about 4 a.m. and the storm will gradually work its way east, according to a new graphic produced by the National Weather Service. The region should be seeing snow by 10 a.m. and it could accumulate anywhere between four and eight inches, according to the weather service’s most recent text forecast.

The heaviest snow will fall midday and then taper off by evening.

The graphic shows a 24-hour clock, so 13 equals 1 p.m, 14 is 2 p.m. etc. 

*Graphic: National Weather Service

Va. Transportation Officials Urge You to Stay Off Roads Tuesday

News

Transportation officials in Virginia are paying close attention to the weather tonight. By 4 a.m., VDOT says there will be more than 4,000 pieces of equipment out on area highways — salt trucks and plows. 

There is at least  four inches of snow in the forecast Tuesday, and VDOT officials say that after two inches of snow  has fallen residents can begin using the state’s plow map to see the status of snow plowing in their neighborhood.

Here’s more in a press release: 

Pre-treating

Crews pre-treat state roads in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. On interstates 66, 95, 395, and 495—including bridges and ramps prone to freezing such as the Springfield interchange, I-66 at Route 29 and the Capital Beltway interchange at Route 1—crews use liquid magnesium chloride. Problem spots on other major roads, such as the Fairfax County Parkway and routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50 and 123, are pre-treated with salt brine.

Driving tips

VDOT reminds drivers to telework or delay travel during winter weather, and:
• Check current weather, road conditions and traffic before leaving
• Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges

Get more information

• Get details on northern Virginia’s snow removal program.
• Follow @vadotnova on Twitter for northern Virginia news, and @511northernva for real-time traffic updates.
• Use the 511 app or visit www.511virginia.org.
• Report road problems to 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or novainfo@vdot.virginia.gov.

William Conner Shot Dead in Stafford County

News

STAFFORD, Va. — Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home at 636 Belle Plains Road in Stafford County, near Fredericksburg, at 10:18 p.m. Sunday for a report of a man who had been shot.

A friend of the victim told deputies that William Conner, 35, had been shot while on his front porch. The victim staggered off porch and was found dead in the yard, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

Police set up a perimeter and called in a Maryland State Police helicopter in an attempt to find the suspect following the shooting, identified as Mark Howsare.

Here’s more in a press release:

Units from the Sheriff’s Office maintained a perimeter around the suspect’s residence as numerous attempts were made to contact Mark Howsare. A helicopter from the Maryland State Police was called in to assist. Shortly after 1:25 this morning Mark Howsare was taken into custody by members of the Stafford Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, in his bathroom, still armed with a handgun. Howsare was taken into custody without further incident.

The initial investigation indicates that the victim in this incident, who frequently visited the residence, had gone to a local store to return an air mattress for Mr. Howsare but was unable to do so. When the victim returned to the residence he was locked out of the house. An argument then ensued with Mr. Howsare who was still inside. During that argument Mr. Howsare opened the door and shot a hand gun with several of the shots hitting the victim. The reasons for the argument are unclear at this time.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing. No other information will be available at this time.

Howsare, 62, of 636 Belle Plains Road is currently incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

Marinas to be Featured at Boat Show

News

The 9th annual Fredericksburg Boat Show will take place at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center from January 24 through 26.

Several local boating retailers in the area, including Prince William Marina and Fredericksburg Motor Sports, will be participating in the event, providing information and selling products.

More information from a press release:

Only at the Fredericksburg Boat Show can you get the lowest prices of the year and the areas largest dealers have special deals waiting for you. There is plenty of incentives to buy at the show. Don’t miss out on manufacturer rebates, no payments until april, special financing, up to $1000 in accessories, a free year of maintenance, free safety gear, free winterization, and last but not least a chance to win a 2014 Seadoo Spark worth over $5000.

Show times are Friday: 1p-8p, Saturday: 10a-7p and Sunday: 11a-4p. Tickets are good all weekend with Adults: $9, Seniors: $8 and Kids under 12 are always Free. To order your discounted admission tickets in advance, view additional info or print out a money saving coupon visit fredericksburgboatshow.com.

Photo credit: Fredericksbrug Boat Show

Drivers Warned of Delays, Sheriff’s Office Directs Traffic at Garrisonville

News

Update

The delays stemmed from a crash in Prince William County, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

A crash was reported after 4 p.m. on Interstate 95 near Quantico which lead to many traffic delays in the area.

6:50 p.m.

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Traffic delays lead to a heavy law enforcement presence in North Stafford tonight.

One lane of Garrisonville Road west at U.S. 1 was closed by the Stafford sheriff’s office about 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Law enforcement directed traffic through the intersection as driver faced delays in both the north and south directions of U.S. 1, as well as delays for drivers attempting to make their way out of the Aquia Harbour neighborhood.

The Prince William Scanner Bums Facebook page reported that rescue crews were called to a serious crash on Interstate 95 sometime after 4 p.m., and that a helicopter had to be landed on the highway to take at least one person to a trauma center.

Commuters headed south from Prince William County saw backups for about a mile from Sunnyside Nursery.

While there was no official word from the Stafford sheriff’s office as to why they were directing traffic at the intersection, an email alert from Stafford County Government was sent out about 4:20 p.m. warning drivers of heavy traffic on U.S. 1 south from Prince William into Stafford County, in the Quanitco area.

 

Stafford Government Offices, Courts Closed Monday for MLK Day

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021011 Stafford Courthouse

STAFFORD, Va. — The observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday will mean closures for Stafford County Government Offices.

More in a press release:

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Stafford offices, departments and facilities will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2014.

The Circuit Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, and General District Court in Stafford will be closed on Friday, January 17, 2014, in observance of Lee-Jackson Day, and on Monday, January 20, 2014, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

All offices of the Rappahannock Area Health District will be closed on Friday, January 17, 2014, and Monday, January 20, 2014, as well.

The following offices and facilities will remain open:

Fire and Rescue Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Sheriff’s Office Information (540) 658-4400

Emergency 9-1-1

Magistrate (540) 659-2968

Woodlands Pool Regular Hours – 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Regional Landfill and Belman Road Recycling Center in Fredericksburg will be open during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) on Friday, January 17, 2014, and Monday, January 20, 2014.

WaWa Store Opening in Stafford

News

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A new WaWa conveinece store will hold it’s grand opening Friday.

The new Stafford County location will offer free coffee for the first 10 days in operation as part of its many grand opening festivities.

Here’s more in a press release:

Wawa, Inc. today announced the grand opening of its new Stafford County store, located at 9 South Gateway Drive in Fredericksburg, Virginia [Stafford County]. The celebration will include fan fare, a charitable hoagie building competition between members of the Stafford County Fire & Rescue and Stafford County Sherriff’s Office and free coffee for the first ten days the store is open.

The Grand opening of its Stafford County store marks the first [WaWa] store to open in 2014. Throughout the year, Wawa plans to use its new store design prototype to bring the Wawa experience to more people than ever before, with 45 new stores opening throughout its market area by years-end.

The new location will join three others in North Stafford– two on Va. 610 and another on U.S. 1 near a U.S. Post Office.

The Sheetz company, which operates gas pumps and food stores similar to WaWa, late last year filed a permit to build a new store in Va. 610 at Tech Parkway.

Homeowner Chases Out 2 Intruders in Stafford County

News

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A homeowner chased out two intruders this morning at his home near Curtis Park.

The intruders used a basemen door to break into the home on Suntee Drive in the Hartwood section of Stafford County just before 2 a.m. Thursday.

A Stafford sheriff’s deputy called to the scene spoke with the homeowner who said that he was lying in his bed when he heard a noise, then got up to investigate, and then saw two men running down the staircase inside his home back into the basement, said sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

There were no reports of injuries or items stolen from the house.

Kennedy described the two men:

1. Black male, 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11 inches tall, average build, wearing dark clothes

2. Black male, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, heavy build, light colored sweatshirt, red bandana on face

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact Stafford County Crime Solvers.

Given No Cash, Would-Be Robber Walks Out

News

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A man walked into a BB&T Bank on U.S. 17 in Stafford County in an attempt to rob it. But investigators said the teller did not give the man any money and he left.

More in a press release from the Stafford sheriff’s office.

At approximately 2:00 pm today, Tuesday, January 14, 2014 multiple units from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the BB&T Bank at 760 Warrenton Road in Stafford for a report of an attempted bank robbery. Bank employees told responding deputies that a male suspect entered the bank, walked up to the teller window and demanded money. The teller did not present any money at which point the male suspect exited the bank and left the area on foot.

No weapon was displayed during the robbery. Stafford deputies set up a perimeter and notified all of the businesses in the area to be on the lookout for the suspect. A K-9 Officer and dog from the Stafford Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police and the Fredericksburg Police Department responded to the scene in an attempted to locate the suspect. No suspect was located.

The male suspect is described as a white male, wearing a black baseball hat, a black/gray North Face type jacket (with gray patches below the shoulder and at the elbows) and sunglasses. The suspect was alone at the time of the attempted robbery.

Thief Targets Stafford Churches

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Investigators are looking for a man who robbed parishioners at two churches in Stafford County.

The first robbery took place during the daytime hours of Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Mount Ararat Baptist Church when a parishioner told Stafford sheriff’s deputies his wallet was missing. The victim reported seeing a man come into the church on Garrisonville Road and then leave in a brown vehicle.

Then, at the Rock Hill Baptist Church on Sunday, several church parishioners reported to sheriff’s deputies that someone stole a wallet, a woman’s purse, and then nearly made off with a personal checkbook, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

A man walked into that church and told parishioners that he was considering moving to the area and was looking for a church to attend regularly. A man teaching a Sunday school class spoke with the man and later reported his wallet missing. A female parishioner also reported her purse missing, and told police she saw an unknown man leaving the church in a brown car.

A checkbook that was also reported missing was later found in a hallway inside the church, said Kennedy.

Similar descriptions of a suspect were given for both incidents. Kennedy said the thief is:

White

28-35-years-old

5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall

170 pounds

Short brown hair

Beard with sideburns

Blue jeans

Gray jacket

Gray hooded sweatshirt

Baseball cap

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Stafford County Crime Solvers.

 

Pipe Burst at Stafford Apartment Complex

News

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Several residents stood outside their apartment homes Wednesday afternoon after a pipe burst inside their apartment complex.

Fire and rescue crews were called Lusterleaf Court off Forreston Woods Drive, near a U.S. Post Office in Stafford County, after a pipe burst. Fire and rescue crews were on the scene helping to clean up, said spokesman Mark Doyle.

It’s unclear if any residents were displaced.

Schedule Change Friday for Stafford High School Students

News

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A closure this week of Stafford County Public Schools due to the cold weather has promoted a change for high school students.

On Friday, those expecting an “X” day for classes instead will have a “Y” day.

More in a press release:

Friday, January 10th, 2014, will be a “Y” day instead of an “X” day for alternating day classes. Most of the inclement weather days we have missed this school year have been “Y” days creating a deficit of classroom time for those classes.

Students will go to their “Y” day classes on Thursday, January 9, Friday, January 10, and Monday, January 13. Tuesday, January 14, will be the next “X” day.

Stafford Leaders Attend Va. Public Safety Memorial Groundbreaking

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The 20-year-old dream of a memorial to honor Virginia’s public safety workers is closer to become reality after a groundbreaking ceremony Friday in Richmond.

The memorial will be placed between the Capitol and the General Assembly buildings in Richmond and should be completed by the end of the year.

Retired Prince William County Firefighter Hadden Culp is President of the Virginia Public Safety Foundation, the group that has pushed for the memorial’s construction since 1993.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday was Chaplain Ron Thayer of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, who joined Sheriff Charles Jett at the ceremony. In 2012, Jett donated $20,000 in drug monies seized by his department to the memorial fund.

More from the foundation’s website:

Since its creation, VPSF has provided both line of duty death grants and education scholarships to the survivors of all public safety officers in Virginia who give their lives in service to their community. These two programs are VPSF’s “founding missions” and are our central focus.

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