Officer of the Week
Editor’s Note: Officer of the Week is a new feature on Potomac Local News that will recognize the work of members of law enforcement in our communities.
AQUIA HARBOUR, Va. – Officer Stephen DeBrular of the Aquia Harbor Police Department saved a life.
When a resident of the gated community in North Stafford went into cardiac arrest, DeBrular’s CPR and defibrillator training kicked in.
DeBrular had just left the scene of a call for shots fired when he received the cardiac arrest call.
“When I got the scene it was chaotic; [I had] the husband waving me down and when I got there, it was an older female – no breathing, no pulse, no response of any kind,” DeBrular said.
He immediately began performing CPR and using an AED, an automated external defibrillator, which uses electric therapy for those in cardiac arrest. It was a tense six minutes before the EMS arrived. “I was finally able to get a pulse and her breathing back,” DeBrular commented.
DeBrular, who has worked at the department for the past six years, has had a wealth of law enforcement experience including military police and state police work, so when he got a call for cardiac arrest this past Winter, he knew he had to act fast.
“What I was told by the doctors was that someone in cardiac arrest for the amount of time she was in and having the AED and CPR being done at that point was probably the key point in saving her life. They said she had a less than 20% chance at that point, which actually ended up being a less than two percent chance. If I hadn’t been there when I was, there was no way she could have survived,” said DeBrular.
Chief Patricia S. Harman of the Aquia Harbor Police Department has helped to create and maintain a team that certifies officers and local citizens in first aid, CPR and use of the AED machine. In a life-saving coincidence, “The cert team had just given us a refresher course – we had just recertified for CPR a couple of weeks to a month prior to this incident,” said Harman.
The woman did not return requests for comment to maintain her privacy, but has made a full recovery since the incident and has no after effects.
To celebrate DeBrular’s life saving actions, the department has nominated him for the AED Life Saver Award and the Stafford Sheriff’s Office Life Saver Award.
“It’s a great feeling. I don’t feel like I’m a hero or anything like that. I was glad I was able to do my job and I’m glad I had the training. I was just at the right place, at the right time, with the right training. It makes me feel really good that she can continue on with her life, so it’s a great feeling,” DeBrular said.
Stafford Deputy Sniffs Out Drug, Prostitution Suspects in Prince William
STAFFORD, Va. – Police tracked a wanted fugitive from Stafford County to a hotel in Triangle. Now behind bars, the woman faces new charges of prostitution and drug possession.
The woman was found to be at the Ramada Inn at 4136 Inn Street in Prince William County on April 3. According to police documents, Stafford County Sherriff’s Deputy D.A. Volpe, assigned to the sheriff’s office’s Special Problems Unit, found the woman’s car at the inn. The deputy then saw the woman leave the hotel a short time later and get into the car, documents state.
The officer followed the car as it pulled onto nearby Interstate 95 south headed for Stafford County. While following the car, the officer saw two more occupants inside of the vehicle – a female in the front passenger seat and a male in the rear passenger seat, documents state.
The officer pulled over the car and arrested the driver, identified in court records as 23-year-old Caitlyn Collins. She was arrested on outstanding warrants in Stafford County for failing to appear in court, according to Virginia court case records. The officer then questioned the two other occupants and learned they did not have a driver’s license, so a tow truck was called to haul away the car.
But during a search of the vehicle a small amount of marijuana was found in the passenger side door handle, documents state. The deputy called for backup, and continued searching the car and found “numerous small packages of suspected heroin,” according to court documents Kept in small baggies, the heroin was stuffed between the back side of the rear seat and the back seat cushion, according to court documents. The drugs were tested positive for heroin, according to police.
Afterward, the deputy placed the male passenger, identified in court documents as 40-year-old Bernard Young, under arrest. While being taken to the magistrate’s office, court documents state Young told an officer “that he had a ‘powder’ in his sock,” documents state. After arriving at the magistrate, the substance tested positive for cocaine that Young admitted to snorting, documents state.
The female in the passenger seat was not arrested.
Collins told police Bernard was staying in room 171 at the hotel in Triangle, and Prince William police were called to secure the room while a search warrant was being obtained to investigate the property. Once inside, police found rubber bands consistent with heroin packaging lying on the bed, as well as a scale, documents state. But despite suspicions, no one else was found hiding out in the room.
Collins is charged with prostitution, possession of a controlled substance, and with grand larceny, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. She is due in a Stafford County courtroom on May 30.
Young faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and manufacture and sale of a controlled substance, said Kennedy. He is also due in court on May 30.
By KEITH WALKER
For Potomac Local News
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Stafford County’s Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde doesn’t plan on yielding on his position on renovating Stafford Senior High School rather than building a new one.
Even though the board has voted several times to demolish Stafford Senior High School and build a new one in its place, Milde said he is determined to once again bring the matter before the board.
“I’ll make them vote on that,” Milde said.
In a recent editorial published at PotomacLocalNews.com, Milde wrote that it didn’t make sense opposition to tear down the 285,000-square-foot Stafford Senior High only to replace it with a new 275,000-square-foot high school at a cost of $66 million.
Milde wrote that renovating Stafford Senior High School would give the county afford the county better financial standing.
“Why tie up $66 million in County borrowing capacity to build a new school when renovating the existing facility would fulfill our needs for about a third of that?” he wrote.
In a recent phone interview, Milde said one reason he favors renovation is that the savings could be used to give teachers pay raises.
He said the savings in the monthly payments and interest on a $66 million loan, or the debt service, would easily pay for teacher pay raises for years to come.
“The debt service on that kind of money is $5 million. It’s four cents on the tax rate,” he said. “In the out years it’s a savings of $3 million a year in debt service for 20 years.”
Vice Chairman Robert Thomas favors building a new school while leaving the existing building in place, but he found that option unlikely. He said he had his staff evaluate the cost of land for a new school which would allow the county to keep the old building.
“I had them looking at different options and trying to find property on the outskirts of the existing school …but I can’t make that puzzle work to keep both buildings,” said Thomas, who represents the George Washington District.
Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Susan B. Stimpson, Garrisonville District Supervisor Ty Schieber and Hartwood District Supervisor Gary Snellings sided with Thomas in the board’s latest vote.
Griffis-Widewater Supervisor Jack Cavalier, sides with Milde on the issue.
One of the reasons he voted with Milde was because the county’s population isn’t growing as fast as it was a decade ago.
“We’re not in a ‘build-a-high-school’ mode right now like we were back in the early to mid-2000s,” said Cavalier who voted for renovation in the latest board vote. “I’m sure eventually we’re going to get there, but I don’t think we’re at critical mass right now.”
Rock Hill District Supervisor Cord Sterling said he would once again look at the county’s ‘0verall budget and what advances the county in its financial goals infrastructure,’ before deciding how he would vote if Milde sways the board toward reconsideration
“It depends on all of the factors that are going into this budget,” Sterling said.
Sterling doesn’t necessarily agree with the notion of borrowing money simply because interest rates are low.
“It doesn’t matter how cheap money is, if you can’t afford to pay it back, you go bankrupt,” he said.
Sterling, who voted in favor of renovation in the latest vote, went on to say that reversing the board’s decision to build a new high school would be “difficult.”
Cavalier said he understood that disagreement over the issue remained, but agreed with Sterling.
“It’s a fairly controversial topic. People have their opinions. It’s just like anything else with schools. It’s a hard decision. A decision’s been made and right now that’s the one we have to live with,” Cavalier said.
Milde said he would persevere.
“It’s not too late,” he said.
By MARY DAVIDSON
Potomac Local News Photo Editor
STAFFORD, Va. – It can be a stressful job, but Stafford County’s Telecommunicators are the front lines of emergency services.
They were recognized on Saturday during an open house at the Ford T. Humphrey Public Safety Center in Stafford during an open house. The event allowed residents to come inside the building that houses a 911 call center, and the sheriff’s and fire and rescue departments.
The open house is held to coincide with National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.
“We want to know first is where is the emergency, then we want to know what is the nature of the emergency, and everything else after that becomes an interrogation so we can get more information from the caller, to keep them calm, to provide CPR instructions, or whatever else the caller may need,” said Carol Adams, of Stafford, a communications supervisor in the call center.
After gathering the information, from their desks, dispatchers put that information into a CAD, or computer aided dispatch system to notify the proper emergency response, and then announce the nature of the emergency call over the county’s emergency radio transmitter.
Severe injuries, car crashes, or most anything involving small children can make for a difficult call to take. That’s why after help has been sent, there’s a nearby quiet room for call takers to take refuge where you’ll be hard pressed to find a TV, radio, or anything else that could break the silence, as the room is meant to be used to recoup after a tough call.
Interestingly enough, these call takers go through the same training as the sheriff’s deputies in the field, minus the physical testing law enforcement officers go through. Much of that training is done inside the Nick E. Stepaniak Communication Training Center adjacent to the 911 call center. Stepaniak, a decorated emergency call taker, passed away earlier this year after long battle with cancer, and officials here dedicated the training center in his honor.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week continues through Saturday.
By MIKE SALMON
As the 95 Express Lanes Project construction increases this summer, travelling on I-95 and on 395 from the Beltway towards Duke Street may be challenging. To deal with the impacts, consider carpooling, vanpooling or using transit. The folks at Megaprojects are aware of the challenges that come with a large project like the 95 Express Lanes, so they’ve come up with getaroundva.com- a new website for commuters in Northern Virginia that looking for alternatives to I-95.
Getaroundva.com is a one-stop shop for commuters offering different transit options that are available to get just about anywhere in Northern Virginia. Options are available for a variety of situations, whether it’s a difficult schedule, an attempt to keep expenses down or someone seeking an environmentally friendly commute. GetAroundVA.com has links to:
• Commuter Rail (click to learn about the new step-up fare between VRE and Amtrak)
• Park-and-ride lots (click for a map of lots in PW Co.)
• Ride sharing
• Reward systems
• Employers Solutions
• Military Solutions
• Additional Regional services
Although this stand-alone site resembles the Virginia Megaprojects website, getaroundva.com has a separate photo gallery and ticker bar for current transit focused news.
Photos By MARY DAVIDSON
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Stafford County Public Schools held it’s annual art show at Brooke Point High School on Saturday.
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Congested roadways in Stafford County this morning lead to students on school buses being late to class.
The county school division put out a notice to social media followers on Facebook:
Due to the traffic congestion on I95 and the overflow on county roads, our school buses are unable to get through the county and are delayed. Please be patient as our bus drivers work through their routes. Their job is to get your child safely to school! And take an umbrella to the bus stop with you–we’re having April showers today too!
The Virginia Department of Transportation reported a crash on Interstate 95 north near Dumfries about 6 a.m. When crews closed two lanes of traffic to respond to the crash, traffic backed apparently backed up in Stafford County.
It’s unclear how many buses and students were late to class this morning.
It’s tax day, and that means you’ll have to file your returns today or file for an extension. Area Post Offices will be open to accept those returns for those who opted not to file online.
More in a press release from the United States Postal Service:
Post Offices in the Northern Virginia area are prepared to handle additional volume for the April 15 federal tax filing deadline. There are 7 area Post Offices open later than 5:00 pm including:
Merrifield Post Office 8409 Lee Highway 8:00 PM
Alexandria Post Office 1100 Wythe Street 6:00 PM
Fairfax Chantilly Post Office 4410 Brookfield Corporate Drive 6:00 PM
Herndon Post Office 590 Groove Street 6:00 PM
Sterling Potomac Falls Post Office 46164 Westlake Drive 6:00 PM
Prince William Branch Post Office 3360 Post Office Road 6:00 PM
Winchester Post Office 340 N Pleasant Valley Road 6:00 PM
There are also several alternate access options available which include:
In addition to the 151 Post Office locations throughout Northern Virginia, customers can purchase postage stamps at many grocery stores and pharmacies. Visit www.usps.com and select the Find Locations tab to find a convenient location.
Automated Postal Centers (APC’s)
APC’s offer customers’ 24-hour access to Postal products and services. An APC can be used for most mailing and shipping transactions. To locate an APC or other alternate access location, visit www.usps.com and select the Find Locations tab.
Mailers using an Automated Postal Center (APC), or self service kiosks, should be aware that APC’s do not provide proof-of-mailing as the date of sale on the receipt does not necessarily represent the mailing date. A list of APC locations is provided on the next page.
Not ready to file today? The IRS does grant filers a six-month extension on filing provided they fill out a special form. The extension is only for more time to file and does not change the time in which you have to pay your tax liability.
TRIANGLE, Va. – As a way to celebrate Earth Day in a Franciscan manner, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle is presenting “Brother Earth Day” at the parish on Sunday, April 21.
During and after the Sunday, April 21, 2013, 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and noon Masses, there will be information tables with goodies to sample, including homemade, vegetarian muffins, cookies and brownies made from organic, local and/or fair trade ingredients, as well as handouts, displays, and demonstrations.
There will be information on how to conduct a home-energy audit, working with your utility company regarding energy conservation, and how to set up a home composting system.
There will also be hands-on activities, including the planting of a community flower and vegetable garden.
In addition, there will be a presentation at 10:00 a.m. by local environmental leaders that will address a host of issues.
The parish is also collecting and recycling old cell phones, shoes, printer cartridges, eye glasses, and batteries.
Everyone is invited to this free event. The parish is located at 18825 Fuller Heights Road, Triangle, Virginia 22172. For more information, please call the parish office at 703.221.4044.
“Pope Francis has asked us to be protectors of one another and of the environment,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “Brother Earth Day will inspire us to do just that.”
In September 2012, St. Francis of Assisi Parish was accepted into the GreenFaith Certification Program, the country’s first interfaith environmental certification program for houses of worship. New Jersey-based GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org) is an internationally recognized interfaith environmental coalition.
St. Francis of Assisi Parish is the first house of worship in Virginia to enter this prestigious certification program.
Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples gain recognition as environmental leaders when they receive GreenFaith certification by carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities over two years. From eco-themed worship services and religious education on the environment, to reducing consumption in their buildings and engaging in environmental justice advocacy, participants “green” their communities. When a congregation completes the program, GreenFaith officially acknowledges it as a religious-environmental leader..
St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s “Brother Earth Day” is in conjunction with the parish’s certification requirements.
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (www.stfrncis.org) is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957 to serve the military community at Quantico Marine Base.
By DANA CARLSON
Capital News Service
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to require abortion clinics to meet hospital building-code standards – rules that abortion rights activists said would force many of the state’s 20 clinics to close.
Abortion rights advocates responded to the board’s 11-2 vote by singing and waving signs. Security guards escorted the protesters, including Jeff Winder of the group Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, out of the meeting room at Perimeter Center in Henrico County.
“This is a sham,” Winder earlier told the board. “We pretend we are participating in a democratic process. You have caved in to the right-wing agenda of Ken Cuccinelli.”
Last summer, Cuccinelli, the state attorney general and the Republican nominee for governor, told the Board of Health not to exempt existing abortion clinics from the regulations approved in 2011 by the General Assembly. Among other things, the rules require renovations, such as wider hallways and doorways, that clinics say would be prohibitively expensive.
The Virginia Society for Human Life, an anti-abortion group, applauded Friday’s decision by the Board of Health to classify facilities performing five or more first-trimester abortions per month as hospitals.
“These reasonable regulations will begin to rein in reckless abortionists in Virginia,” Olivia Gans Turner, the society’s president, said in a statement. But she said the rules do not go far enough to “protect the unborn children who lives are taken during every abortion.”
Abortion rights advocates like Molly Vick said the rules were aimed at stopping abortions – not ensuring safe conditions at abortion clinics. Vick urged the Board of Health to exempt existing clinics from the costly structural modifications, as the state has done in regulating other health facilities.
“Please understand you are setting precedents,” Vick said. “We cannot have selective application of the law. When hospitals and nursing homes were regulated, new and existing were separated and old facilities were grandfathered in.”
Eileen Davis, a nurse practitioner, also urged the board not to be “capricious” in singling out abortion providers. She said the rules should be applied equally to facilities to provide liposuction, dental surgery and colonoscopies.
“I want to see the same care in any other outpatient facility,” Davis said.
Elizabeth Musselman, a physician, agreed: “You can’t regulate some businesses out of business because you don’t agree with them. That’s not fair and reasonable.”
On the other side of the debate, abortion opponents said the new rules would protect women having abortions.
“It’s not about pro-life or pro-choice; it’s about safety,” said Sandy Adams, a mother of six, grandmother of five and nurse of 24 years. “If my daughter chose to have an abortion, I would want her to go to a safe facility.”
Hours after the board’s board, Cuccinelli certified that the regulation complied with the law. The rules now must be approved by the state Department of Planning and Budget, Virginia’s secretary of health and human resources and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Democrats issued a statement condemning Friday’s decision.
“Today the Board of Health succumbed to Ken Cuccinelli and his extreme allies’ efforts to bully through an open assault on the health of women across this commonwealth,” said state Delegate Charniele Herring of Alexandria, who chairs the Democratic Party of Virginia.
By URIAH KISER
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Several inmates at the Rappahannock Regional Jail face charges after two uprisings late last month.
The uprisings occurred on March 28 and 30 at the Stafford County facility, and were the work of a coordinated effort by jailed members of the gang Bloodline Imperial Bloods.
During the incidents, correctional officers were in the process of completing regular searches of the inmates’ cells when a group of inmates refused to comply with the demands of the officers. A special response team was called to remove them from their cells, but prisoners fought back by creating shields with their mattresses, they wrapped their bodies with towels, covered their faces with shirts, and then proceeded to fight with the officers, said Stafford County Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.
During both incidents, while fighting with the jail officers, the inmates yelled at both the officers and other inmates in an attempt to incite other prisoners. A total of nine people face charges stemming from these incidents, stated Kennedy.
Roberto Roque, age 27 of Stafford County
Shawn Gatewood, age 28 of Charlottesville, Va.
Warren Williams, age 30 of Midland, Va.
Lorenzo Wheeler, age 23 of Crewe, Va.
Jaquan Nettingham, age 20 of
Stafford, Va., Justin Carey, age 24 of Oceanside, California
William Grimes, age 20 of Fredericksburg, Va.,
Colton Bragg, age 19 of Stafford, Va.
George Jackson age 23 of Fredericksburg, Va.
All have been charged with Gang Participation, Conspiracy to Entice a Riot and Rioting. Gatewood, Williams, Grimes and Bragg have also been charged with Assault and Battery on a Correctional Officer.
A convicted crowd
To say the inmates who caused two uprisings were a “few bad apples” would be putting it mildly. All nine are convicted criminals who were already serving out prior sentences. Some were about to be transferred from the local jail to a state prison. Now, all will hang out a little longer as they face new charges that include gang participation, assault on a correctional officer, and rioting.
Roque was ringleader
All nine are members of the Bloodline Imperials, and their apparent ringleader inside the jail is 27-year-old Roberto Roque. Already convicted of burglary with the intent to murder, robbery, and several probation violations, Roque was headed to court on the morning of the first riot on March 28. Rappahannock Regional Jail Superintendent Joe Higgs said Roque was afraid correctional officers were going to search his cell and remove his property, which amounted to books, paper, and some personal items.
“There was nothing in [the cell] that would indicate his reaction to our search, other than the fact he is a known gang member, and then he incited others to join him,” said Higgs.
Those others included 28-year-old Shawn Gatewood, of Charlottesville, who is serving time for using a firearm in commission of a felony, and for tampering with the jail’s fire protection system after he was incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail, said Higgs.
Warren Williams, 30, of Norfolk, is behind bars for identity fraud. Lorenzo Wheeler, 23, of Crewe, Va., stole someone’s ID to avoid being arrested, and has been convicted of assault and battery.
Justin Carey, 24, of California, was convicted of grand larceny. Carlton Bragg, 19, of Stafford, drove recklessly and stole money to land him in jail.
Lastly, George Jackson, 23, of Fredericksburg, abducted someone, assaulted a family member, neglected his children, and violated protective orders placed against him, said Higgs.
Each of these inmates are members of the gang, were being held in administrative segregation where each was confined to their own cell, and all were closely watched by the jail’s gang taskforce.
“Our gang taskforce is one of the best informed and trained taskforce in the commonwealth,” said Higgs. “I’ve got officers assigned to that who highly trained and skilled to approach, and identify gang activity.”
There are more gang members inside Rappahannock Regional, and that makes for “interesting housing” for the 1,500 inmates who live here, Higgs added.
During both uprising incidents last month, each of the nine inmates charged had to be extricated from their cells. Putting it into perspective, on average, Rappahannock Regional’s corrections officers perform about six inmate extractions per year.
Inmates serving 12 months or less typically serve out their sentences at Rappahannock Regional Jail. If sentenced to serve a year or more, many inmates are transferred to state prisons but, for some, the process could take up to a year, said Higgs
NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – The extension of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes from Dumfries to North Stafford took its next victim this week: a longstanding bridge that carried drivers on Telegraph Road between Quantico Marine Corps Base and U.S. 1 in Stafford County.
A portion of Telegraph Road will be closed for nine months as crews work to rebuild the bridge to accommodate a wider Interstate 95 below. A detour is in place to direct drivers around the construction.
A new replacement bridge is expected to be in place later this year. Overall construction of the extended lanes, known as the 95 Express Lanes, should be complete in early 2015, transportation officials report.
The bridge demolition comes as acres of trees have been cut down to make way for the new lanes. Because so many trees were cut down for the project, the private firm building the lanes vows to plant 1,000 trees in 1,000 days in places in the community.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).
As a participating organization, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Virginia state laws. These resources are available online and on nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org
Specifically, on April 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is welcoming the public for a free seminar about advance care planning and advance directive forms in the Hylton Educational Center, in the garden level of our facility.
Our presenters will include:
Dr. David Schwartz, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs
Tricia Hill, RN, Senior Director of Nursing
Alice Austiff, RN, Director of Care Coordination
Carol Willie, MAPM, Hospital Chaplain
“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Carol Wille, MAPM, SNVMC Hospital Chaplain. “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”
To RSVP for this special presentation or for more information, please call 703-523-0680.
DALE CITY, Va. – A Stafford County woman faces charges after police said she tried to ram another vehicle traveling on Interstate 95 following an argument.
More in a police press release:
Attempted Malicious Wounding | Destruction of Property – On April 9th at 12:29AM, police responded to the 2900 block of Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22193) for a hit and run. The victim, a 22 year old man of Dumfries, reported to police that while visiting a family member on Woodmark Dr he and the accused, a known acquaintance, got into a verbal altercation which escalated physically.
Following the encounter, the victim and a friend left the residence in the friend’s vehicle. The accused followed the victim and allegedly rammed the vehicle multiple times while both were traveling on I-95.
The friend of the victim was driving at the time of the incident and exited the interstate, proceeding to Ashdale Plz in the area above. Once there, the accused allegedly struck the vehicle again before exiting her vehicle and spray painting the trunk area of the other vehicle. Damage was estimated around $1,000.
The accused left the area prior to police arrival but returned to the scene at short time later where she was arrested without further incident. No injuries were reported.
Arrested on April 9th:
Allysha Brenise EDWARDS, 21, of 55 St Georges Dr in Stafford
Charged with 2 counts of attempted malicious wounding and destruction of property
Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond
By URIAH KISER
NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Located in a row of new hotels springing up along Stafford’s U.S. 1 corridor, the 16-year-old Hampton Inn can be sometimes get lost in all of the new construction.
It sits in a sort of crevasse at the entrance to three major roads: Interstate 95, U.S. 1, and Va. 610. Nearby, three new hotels have opened, and another is under construction at Quantico Corporate Center. All of them cater to business travelers and federal employees who stay for extended periods of time.
But Hampton Inn North Stafford owner-operator Amal Lambaraa refuses to be outdone, so she lobbied the parent company of her hotel, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, for funds to renovate inn and she won. Now, a nearly 10,000 square foot renovation of the Hampton Inn is underway, and planned are new meetings spaces, a game room, a larger swimming pool area, and probably most innovative of all, a new banquet hall and ballroom that will stand in an adjacent so that parties and events held there do not disturb hotel guests.
Of the three hotels Lambaraa owns a share of, including two Wingate Inns in Stafford County, she favors her stock in the Hampton the most. The Moroccan native said many of the departments, including housekeeping, the front desk, and marketing, run themselves thanks to a trusted staff of 25 people whom she’s cultivated and promoted from within.
“People have to move up in life, so when you have a chance to give back to people who have helped you, it’s important that you give back to them,” said Lambaraa.
The $9 million hotel renovation will mean 19 new rooms – three of them complete with jacuzzi spas. Lambaraa said those spas, coupled with a larger 1,420 square foot pool deck, should bring in more local residents who would to get away from their houses for a weekend“staycation.”
The hotel once hidden by trees is also now more visible thanks to the 95 Express Lanes Project which has taken many trees around the hotel for the construction of toll lanes that will connect with HOV lanes in Dumfries. New highway lanes and new nearby hotels will should also mean more business for the Hampton Inn.
“It’s a competition… it’s a race… one of us is going have to win and one of us is going to have to lose, but through competition, it’s the thing that makes you stronger,” said Lambaraa.
The renovations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
STAFFORD, Va. – Art, jazz, African drum ensembles, choirs, and dramatic performances – organizers said there is something for everyone at Stafford County’s Fine Art Festival.
The annual spring show features work from 5,000 students from kindergarten to seniors in high school. It’ll be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brooke Point High School in Stafford.
“Our visual art teachers put on stunning exhibitions, collecting student art work from the beginning of the year, matting, and labeling each piece carefully to prepare for the festival. Many volunteers help to make the event a success, including parent volunteers, students, and staff members,” said Annamarie Bollino, fine and performing arts coordinator.
The show is not a competition so there will be no judging happening. It’ll just be a place where the community can come appreciate the artistic talent of Stafford’s public school students.
“Stafford County has outstanding arts programs, thanks to the support of the community, our parents, and our talented teachers. Because of the strong commitment to the arts in our community our students are privileged to have the opportunities to pursue their artistic goals, said Bollino.
The show is free and is made possible by many parents, teachers, and community volunteers.
QUATNICO, Va. – What’s that burning smell? Officials at Quantico said it’s a brush fire crews are working to contain.
More from the Marine Corps Base:
Quantico Fire Department and Emergency Rescue Services responded to a fire crawling through the woods in Training Area 11 on the west side of Marine Corps Base Quantico on April 9, 2013.
The affected area was too large to extinguish outright so emergency responders limited the spread of the fire by bulldozing a “no burn” zone around it. After the zone had been crafted, firefighters fought fire with fire by “back-burning”, a controlled burn designed to rob the fire of fuel so it can be managed safely.
An official with the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department on Wednesday attributed the burning smell to the brush fire.
By KEITH WALKER
For Potomac Local News
STAFFORD, Va. – Applause isn’t allowed during discussions and meetings in the Stafford County Board of Supervisors chamber, so a room full of teachers held up little signs, with flat wooden handles and waggled them above their heads when they liked something they heard.
Judging by the sign waggling, the teachers liked hearing their fellow teachers talk about pay raises, overcrowded classrooms and teacher retention during citizens’ time at the evening Board session.
Many of the teachers told board members that Stafford County schools loses about 10 percent of its teachers each year to school districts that offer better pay.
Eric Herr, one of about 25 who spoke to the Board, brought along a visual aid which consisted of two mason jars, a rock, and some pebbles.
Herr’s rock was too big to fit into the smaller of the two jars.
Herr told board members that the rock represented the needs of Stafford County residents.
“The rock is appropriate because this is the rock that our children, our students and society is built upon,” Herr said.
Herr went on to say that the smaller jar represented the school budget and the rock represented the needs of the school system.
“If we can’t fit this rock into the budget, we’ve got a problem” said Herr, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot.
So Herr put the rock in the larger glass along with a handful of pebbles representing students to illustrate the need for more money to support the school system.
“We can take care of our students. We can take care of our teachers. My message is, let’s put our teachers first. Let’s do our job, take care of our students,” Herr said.
The signs, which bore messages written in red, with felt-tip markers, waggled.
This year’s school board budget include a request for $18.8 million more last year’s $244-million budget.
In a board meeting last month, School Board Chairman Stephanie J. Johnson, told the county board that, among other things, the extra money would be used to hire 15 special education teachers, to reduce class sizes for kindergarten through third-grade students at Ferry Farm Elementary School, and reinstate remedial summer school.
During that meeting, Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde told Johnson that scarcity of money prevented more finding for schools.
“You know as well as I do that we don’t have $18 million,” Milde told Johnson. “I know you need money, but you know that we literally don’t have it.”
Art Jackson dissented from most of the speakers Tuesday and told the Board he is taxpayer who “puts my hand in my pocket and gives you money.”
Jackson said he has a personal stake in quality education since his grandchildren attend Stafford County Public Schools.
Jackson went on to say that he thought the supervisors and school board members should talk with each other to resolve budgetary issues.
“I don’t think we can afford to have the lack of communication between the school board and this body. I think this body should be congratulated for the work that it’s done on the economic picture,” Jackson said.
Still, Jackson said he was worried about the quality of education in county schools.
“As I go around and talk to children in this community, I’m amazed at the lack of knowledge that they have on basic things,” he said. “History is an unknown quantity to them. When I grew up in the schools, all the classrooms had a picture of George Washington in there. Now we are lucky for them to know who George Washington was.”
Robert Thomas, a Stafford County physical education teacher who has a son who graduated from Stafford County Public Schools and a daughter who attends Mountain View High School, told the Board that teachers needed help if they were to continue giving students a quality education.
“Ya’ll got to give us a little bit of sometin’” said Thomas, who has taught in Stafford County schools for 20 years.
Laughter accompanied the sign waggling.
STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Two Stafford County High Schools recently received awards for their participation in the state wide 2013 Buckle Up, Drive Sober Challenge sponsored by the Youth of Virginia Speak Out youth leadership program.
These students, members of the Stafford High School YOVASO Club and the Mountain View High School YOVASO Club, developed various activities and programs directed to their classmates that dealt with the importance of always wearing seat belts when in motor vehicle, car safety seat checks at a local fire station, being on a local radio station and students signing a banner at the school pledging to “BUCKLE UP & DRIVE SOBER.”
Each YOVASO Club has a teacher sponsor as well as a deputy from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit.
Mountain View High School was awarded a $100 check for their regional YOVASO Award in the presence of Haley Glynn, YOVASO Marketing and Project Manager, numerous school administrators as well as Major David Decatur and several members of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.
Stafford High School was awarded a winner banner, plaque and recognition as the YOVASO Winner for the entire State of Virginia. Sheriff Charles Jett joined YOVASO’s Project Manager, school administrators, parents and Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit deputies at the award ceremony. Due to winning the YOVASO State Award, Stafford High School will have the use of an impaired driver simulator for an entire day that the students at Stafford high School may utilize.
NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Authorities say a second rabid cat has been found in the North Stafford area. An animal control officer was scratched when they picked up the cat, which has been euthanized.
More in a press release:
On Wednesday, April 3, 2013 a citizen contacted the Stafford County Sheriff’s Animal Control Office about a sick or injured cat that was on her porch on Bruce Street in the Stowe of Amyclae subdivision in North Stafford. The cat was picked up by an Animal Control Officer and taken to an area veterinarian’s office. While placing the cat in its carrier to go to the Animal Shelter the Animal Control Officer was scratched.
As the Health Department was notified the cat was quarantined at the Animal Shelter. The cat was euthanized in the following days due to its deteriorating condition. The cat was then sent to the state lab for rabies testing. The Animal Control Office received word today that the cat tested positive for rabies.
This is the second report of a rabid cat in Stafford County in the last two weeks. In the last incident reported on March 24, 2013, a group of feral cats was identified with one of the cats being found to have rabies. All of those cats in the feral group have been captured.
Citizens are reminded to not approach or try to capture stray or wild animals. This message should be shared with children especially with the weather turning warmer and more children outside playing.
Animal owners should always maintain the appropriate vaccinations for their animals and, if possible, keep animals confined to the premises to avoid the threat of rabies.
Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said the animal control officer is OK and is receiving rabies shots. The first rabid cat found recently was reported on March 24 in the area of Eustace Road.