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Fire breaks out on Clark Lane

clarklane

Fire and rescue crews were called to a blaze in North Stafford on Monday about 8:30 a.m. 

Here’s more in a Stafford fire and rescue press release: 

On Monday February 22, 2016 at 08:31:39 a.m., Stafford County Fire and Rescue  Department units responded to a reported structure fire at 63 Clark Lane The first arriving unit from the Aquia Station was on scene within six minutes reporting smoke showing from single family home.

Crews mounted an aggressive interior attack in conjunction with a search for the  occupants of the home. The fire was under control within 5 minutes and the search revealed the  home was unoccupied with the exception of a family pet that perished due to the fire.

The cause of the fire in under investigation and damage estimates are not available at this time. There were no civilian or public safety personnel injured during this incident.

Momentum Aerospace Group takes on the world’s most difficult problems

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From a sinking ferry on a great lake in Africa, 14 lives were saved.

Flying an unmanned aerial vehicle above Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in summer 2015, a sensor operator sitting next to the pilot noticed a sinking ferry 40 nautical miles from shore.

“We joke around and say he used the “force” because he’s not a maritime guy, not former Navy or solider,” said Joe Fluet, CEO of Momentum Aerospace Group (MAG).

A total of 21 people were aboard the ferry that was capsizing in the lake. The drone operators had been on a reconnaissance mission seeking out intelligence on an insurgent group on the other side of the great lake. They deviated from the mission, took another pass near the sinking ferry and provided the geo-location position data of the doomed boat to the Congolese coast guard.

“In much of the world, when ferries sink everybody dies because there are no radios, no way to get rescue and no way to contact anybody. Those 14 people got to go home and be with their families that night,” said Fluet.

That was a memorable day for MAG; a six-year-old company Fluet founded shortly after retiring from the Army Reserve. Now with more than 600 employees on five continents, operating about 100 aircraft, the company headquarters sits in Woodbridge, Va.

MAG has become the hub for people who want to work in remote areas of the world, taking on difficult challenges, with the mindset of “country first.”

“We’re not a lifestyle company,” Fluet said. “The happy MAG employee has two things in life: work and family. Someone who wants to come in at nine and leave at five won’t do well at MAG because they won’t be happy.”

Checking and responding to emails late at night, and working on projects on weekends is just the beginning of the workload for the type of employees MAG attracts.

The reward for this work is high. “MAG pays above market for most positions”, said Fluet. “There’s also the satisfaction in a job well done, with a focus of a mission is to “make the world smaller and a safer place.” His company’s interests align with those of the U.S., and he expects the same kind of patriotism from his employees.

Before founding his company, Fluet was tasked in 2004 by the Pentagon to set up the very first Aviation Special Operations Unit in Afghanistan. After two tours in the Army and now with the Army Reserve and National Guard, Fluet was tapped for the project because of his experience in the cockpit.

fluet4He spent one year in Afghanistan, where he called on the help of several contractors to get the job done. Unimpressed with the”mercenary” attitudes of many, the contractors he worked with were more about getting paid than providing a service to their country.

“I was unhappy with the contractors I hired at the time,” said Fluet. “I genuinely believed I could do it better than what I’d seen.”

When MAG began, Fluet found himself in Washington, D.C. almost on a daily basis, in meetings, providing support and winning contracts. Better communications technology today means he and his employees can work better remotely. His presence in D.C. has significantly diminished.

He chose to locate in Prince William County because of its business-friendly climate and proximity to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir Army Base and Marine Corps Base Quantico. There’s also plenty of military service members in the area to make it feel like home.

“I went for a run one morning, stepped out onto my block, and I counted 11 American Flags outside of houses,” said Fluet. “Where else do you see that?”

More companies like his are locating to Prince William County because there’s Class A office space for 25% less than the cost of similar spaces in Northern Virginia. MAG will continue pursuing business from the military, U.N., and NATO, all while working in more remote and non-permissive areas across the globe.

The region took notice of MAG earlier this month when Fluet took home a 2016 SmartCEO Future 50 Award. The ceremony recognizes the region’s fastest-growing mid-size companies. Collectively, Future 50 CEOs employ more than 8,000, and have a cumulative $2.3 billion revenue.

It’s difficult to list what MAG does in a 15-second elevator speech. Fluet says that’s both a curse and a blessing.

“If you hired me to fly to you to Indianapolis because you needed to interview someone there, I’m happy to do that for you. But there are literally 5,000 companies that can do that. I would prefer to be hired to conduct aerial surveillance in Yemen. Not a lot of companies can do that.”

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

Winning spinach and chorizo soup now on Manassas menu

Mariachi's

A frigid winter evening didn’t hold people back from coming to historic downtown Manassas for the 2nd Annual Souper Bowl, Friday, Feb. 5.

Crowds filled the sidewalks and shops as they explored downtown and tasted 13 different soups. In the end there had to be a winner, and this year’s Souper Bowl Champion was Mariachi’s Tequileria & Restaurant with their homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup, featured at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.

Mariachi’s is a new restaurant in Manassas opening just over a month ago in the old City Square Café location on Battle Street. They featured two soups at this year’s event – the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup as well as a spinach and chorizo soup.

Originally, the spinach and chorizo soup wasn’t a regular menu item, but after such positive praise at the Souper Bowl, owner Antonio Escamilla added it to the restaurant’s daily menu.

“We’ve had a few different groups of people come in since the Souper Bowl, saying they learned about us and our location after attending the event,” Escamilla said. Mariachi’s is owned by Escamilla, Rafael Martinez, and Primo Castlan who says their goal was to bring authentic Mexican cuisine and traditions to downtown Manassas – “it’s the food your grandmother would make” said Escamilla.

Every Friday and Saturday night a live mariachi band performs in the restaurant but on this First Friday they traveled to both Calico Jack’s and the Center for the Arts to supply an added ambience as attendees sampled the soups from both locations.

Head chef L. Fernando Babadilla says the key to the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup is his homemade tortilla recipe that he has had perfected for nearly five years. Chef Fernando’s secret to the spinach and chorizo soup – homemade chorizo. The chorizo mixed with the creaminess of the spinach makes for a soup packed with flavors everyone can enjoy.

This year’s Souper Bowl saw nearly a 20 percent increase in attendance with many already talking of their excitement for next year’s event.

It was a great kickoff for this year’s series of First Fridays, the next of which is Friday, March 4. Don’t forget to mark your calendars and come out to enjoy a fun evening in historic downtown Manassas! For a comprehensive list of events going on in Manassas this year, go to www.visitmanassas.org.

This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

News
Man wrestled outside courthouse

Stafford Courthouse

An unidentified man cut himself with a box cutter while standing outside the Stafford County Courthouse.

A Stafford sheriff’s deputy found the man at 9:57 a.m. Thursday was cutting himself. The deputy ordered the man to stop and then wrestled the man o the ground, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

The 57-year-old man resisted arrest, and it took a total of four deputies to get the man handcuffed and under control, according to the sheriff’s office. The man was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. The man is also expected to undergo a mental health evaluation.

No charges were filed against the unidentified man. He was due in court at 10 a.m. Thursday for a misdemeanor charge, accroding to authorities.

News
Sheetz opens on 610 in North Stafford

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Sheetz opened it’s 514th store in North Stafford.

Store employees, county officials, and curious residents who watched hte buidling rise out of the ground starting last fall cheered when a ribbon was cut to open the fast food fueling station at 11 a.m.

“Now we’re open, and we’re never going to close,” said Emily Sheetz, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The 24-hour pit stop offers not only lower priced fuel, but deli sandwiches, hamburgers, coffee, and a wide range of cold drinks — from soda to milkshakes. (more…)

To care for seniors, ‘we go in the snow’

home instead CAREGiver

For 96 hours the team repeated one mantra — “We go in the snow.”

The blizzard that crippled the Washington, D.C. region Jan. 22 to 25, 2016 halted business and travel in our area. But for some of our area’s most needy residents — seniors who are home alone — the storm didn’t stop CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas.

“The first thing we did was line up our cars,” said Gail Earhart, relationships manager at Home Instead. “We have five our fleet, but only two can go in the snow.”

The company rented one car to replace the cars that couldn’t go in the snow, and brought in two large SUVs from a friend. They were used to take CAREGivers to clients homes, and to take them back again.

Despite the 2-feet of snow that fell, Home Instead was able to serve 117 clients, 75% of its customer base for the weekend, to provide in-home care.

“We have customers that called and said ‘look, I’m in New Mexico, my mother is alone, what are you going to do ensure you get there?” said Earhart.

Home Instead matches the right CAREGiver to the right senior who lives at home. They help seniors by cooking, do light cleaning, making sure basic needs are met, and by merely providing them someone to talk to.

Sometimes, especially on weekends, someone may have a friend or loved one who lives in the area who may stop by to sit with the client, and the client may not need Home Instead’s services for that day.

However, the many seniors that Home Instead cares for may not have someone nearby. Especially when two feet of snow falls in the area.

Home Instead employees spent five days at the office during the snowstorm. They blew up mattresses to sleep on the floor, and drove SUVs to pick up CAREGivers, brought them to see their clients, and took them home again.

“At one point, we picked up two to three CAREGivers at a time in Woodbridge and bringing then across the county to care for their clients in Manassas,” said Earhart.

The wheels on the Home Instead SUVs were always turning during the storm.

“We know our clients have to be seen, and we’re going to everything it takes to get them there,” said Earhart.

This paid promotional post was written by Potomac Local in collaboration with Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas, serving Prince William and Fauquier counites.

Go green and refill your Manassas Olive Oil bottles

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Did you know you can return and refill your old olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles for a discount, and go green at the same time?

Manassas Olive Oil customers can now return and recycle their used oil bottles.

“The glass bottles we give you, you can refill them as long as they’re brought back clean and dry and refilling them gives you a 10% discount,” said Manassas Olive Oil General Manager Cameron Thompson.

Manassas Olive Oil says recycling old bottles is better for the environment because it keeps empties out of landfills and off sides of the road. (more…)

City of Manassas companies receive ‘Excellence in Business’ nominations

Vincent Consumano, FreshySites
This post is written by the City of Manassas as part of a paid content partnership between the City and Potomac Local to showcase businesses and economic development.

EXCELLENCE — most commonly defined as a talent or characteristic which is unusually high quality and which exceeds the average. It is often invoked, repeatedly strived for, but rarely achieved. 

On Feb. 25, 2016 two dozen Manassas City businesses will vie for this coveted designation during the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Awards dinner.  The awards recognize excellence in business, including categories for innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.    

Nominees include tech firms, fine dining restaurants, and government contractors from both the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park as well as from Prince William County.  They are small businesses, large employers and everything in between.    

Some have just recently opened their doors –like CJ Finz, while others have been around for more than 20 years, as is the case with Carmello’s and Little Portugal.  Both are located in Historic Downtown and both are nominated for “Outstanding Customer Service.”  (more…)

News
Valentine’s Day Events: Chocolate walk and couples art class

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Valentine’s Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to spice up a regular date night.

Our area lot to offer to make your Valentine’s Day weekend a success. From special restaurant deals, couples painting sessions, and chocolate tasting.

Historic Occoquan Chocolate Walk, Saturday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The third annual Chocolate Walk is taking place this Saturday in Occoquan. While strolling through the historic district of Occoquan you’ll be given the opportunity to sample chocolate goodies.

Over 40 shops and restaurants will be participating in the annual Chocolate Walk. You’ll be given the opportunity to register for a chance to win a prize, no purchase is needed to enter. This event is sponsored by the Business Guild of Occoquan. (more…)

News
Mother and son held at gunpoint during home invasion

Stafford Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating a home invasion robbery that occurred sometime after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

A mother and her young son were held at gunpoint while two white men rummaged throughout the home. According to police, the suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash and property a little less than 15 minutes after entering the home. 

Here is more in a press release:  (more…)

Have Your Next Group Event at Manassas Olive Oil

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This is a sponsored column written by Potomac Local for Manassas Olive Oil

The Manassas Olive Oil Company was founded on the notion that great olive oil should be shared with others.

Alex and his daughter Amanda, both military veterans, opened their shop on Grant Avenue in Manassas to share their passion for fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegar with their friends in thier sunlit tasting gallery.

A tasting is now an event that you can share with your friends and family. Manassas Olive Oil is available for bachelor parties, after-hour night time events, and culinary shows.

Becuase of Manassas Olive Oil, more people in and around Manassas are having fun while tasting delicious oils and vinegar. Recently, Manassas Olive Oil shared partnered with Love, Charley for a First Friday event featuring free tastings, raffles, and coupons. (more…)

News
33-year-old man shot and killed in North Stafford

Updated 7 p.m.

Tolliver turned himself into police, according to the Stafford sheriff’s office. 

Chancellor Tolliver was taken into custody this evening without incident after turning himself into authorities in Stafford County.  Tolliver is currently being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.   

Original post 

A 33-year-old man was shot and killed in Stafford County.

The victim was involved in an argument that took place in the area of 202 Garrison Woods Drive, just off Onville Road in North Stafford. The argument escalated, and the victim was at 4:48 a.m. Sunday, February 7.

Deputies called to the scene found the victim unresponsive. The man was taken to a local hospital but died while in route to the medical center, according to Stafford sheriff’s spokesman 1st. Sgt. Eric Quinn.

The victim was identified by the sheriff’s office as Maurice Williams Scott, of Stafford County.

Following the shooting, Stafford detectives obtained murder arrest warrants for the arrest of Chancellor Tolliver, 20, of Stafford, said Quinn.
Tolliver is said to be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Tolliver’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Stafford County Crime Solvers.

Dumfries will cleanup Quantico Creek

This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

The Town of Dumfries has planned to participate in two events this April focused on fostering environmental awareness and sustainability.

Please join us as we strive to improve water quality and promote storm water management practices through our Quantico Creek Cleanup and the Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival.

28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup

On April 16, the Town will participate in the 28th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Through this annual cleanup, participants from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC gather at various sites to cleanup portions of the Potomac River Watershed.

Last year, almost 24,000 volunteers joined together to support the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. The Town eagerly awaits the opportunity to once again participate in this event by engaging residents to cleanup Quantico Creek, a tributary to the Potomac. Volunteers will meet at the Simpson Community Center located at 17755 Main St. Dumfries, VA 22026 at 8:30 am on the day of the event.

Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival

Join the Town on April 23 at the 2016 Keep Prince William Beautiful Festival. This festival is sponsored by a local environmental non-profit, Keep Prince William Beautiful, in partnership with the Potomac Nationals. Admission to the event is free and will feature community businesses and vendors, educational showcases on recycling, litter awareness, beautification and water preservation, music from local artists, food trucks and more!

The Town will have a booth displaying brochures about storm water management initiatives and actions residents can take to help improve local water quality. The festival will be held at G Richard Pfitzner Stadium located at 7 County Complex Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22192 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, please visit our website at www.dumfriesva.gov or contact the MS4 Coordinator, Shaina Schaffer, at sschaffer@dumfriesva.gov.

Dumfries events: Black History celebration, Easter Egg Hunt

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This post was submitted and paid for by the Town of Dumfries to inform residents about community events. 

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, the Town of Dumfries will be hosting our Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Little Union Baptist Church located at 17150 Mine Road in Dumfries.

This ceremony will feature guest speaker Reverend Michael Sessoms, from Little Union Baptist Church as well as Ms. Phyllis Aggrey, Executive Director of the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. Ceremonies will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will feature performances by the Little Union Baptists Men’s Choir and the Dumfries Elementary Chorus.

A reception will follow immediately after the service at Little Union Baptist Church. (more…)

News
Man, dog fell through ice on Aquia creek saved

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A man’s dog fell through the ice on Aquia Creek, and he went to save it.

When he fell in, the man’s son grabbed a canoe and headed out onto the ice to try and save his father.

A Stafford County detective heard a 911 call and rushed to the area and was able to pull the man to shore. The man’s son was able to save the dog.

In a press release, here’s how it all went down: (more…)

Business is booming in Manassas

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This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.

Historic Heart. Modern Beat.   These four words simply yet masterfully describe the City of Manassas.  In case you missed it, this is the City’s new tagline, and it’s pretty spot-on.      

Manassas is a city steeped in rich history and tradition and takes great pride in the pivotal role it played in our country’s defining war. 

Manassas is also transforming. 

It is attracting a creative class of entrepreneurs that are changing the face of our City.  They are authentic, eclectic, driven; and they are breathing new life into Manassas, most notably in Historic Downtown.  (more…)

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