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Man Robbed and Shot in the Hand in Stafford

STAFFORD, Va - Around 11 p.m. on July 30, a man was shot in the hand and robbed and was later hospitalized at Stafford Hospital Center.

Stafford sheriff spokesman Bill Kennedy said that an unknown male dropped the victim off at the hospital and left soon after. The victim told authorities that he went to meet friends in the 1100 block of Providence Street, said Kennedy. Afterward the victim was walking to visit a relative in the 1500 block of Providence Street when two men robbed him, one of whom had a hand gun, said Kennedy.

Authorities are searching for two black men, one of whom was darker skinned who pulled out a gun, walked up to the man, said nothing and started to pistol whip the victim and stole the victim’s watch, said Kennedy. Kennedy then said that during the incident the pistol went off and victim was shot in his left hand. The victim said the lighter skinned male did not participate and wore a white t-shirt, said Kennedy.

Kennedy said the men left in an older model, gray-colored Jeep Cherokee and were described as similar height, 170 – 180 pounds, low cut hair and facial hair on the darker skinned male. The victim did not know why he was approached and then robbed, said Kennedy.


2 Adults, 4 Children Escape Blaze

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Two adults and four children fled a house fire in Stafford County on Tuesday.

Here’s more in a press release:

On Tuesday July 29, 2014 at 11:28 p.m., Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a reported structure fire at 215 Sleepy Hollow Trail. The first arriving unit from the Falmouth Station reported a two story, single family residential structure with fire in the garage, on the first floor, second floor and extending to the attic. Firefighters mounted an aggressive attack and the fire was brought under control within thirty-five minutes.

The home was occupied by two adults and four children who exited the home unharmed prior to the arrival of the Fire and Rescue Department. There were no reported injuries during this incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage estimates are not currently available. The family did not need assistance from the Red Cross.
The following stations responded: Falmouth, White Oak, Berea, Stafford, Rockhill, White Oak Rescue, Fredericksburg and Quantico

Former Stafford Hospital Medicine Chief Indicted

STAFFORD, Va. – The person once in charge of dispensing medicine at Stafford Hospital now faces charges after a federal grand jury indicted her.

Here’s more in a press release from the U.S. Eastern District of Virginia:

Nibedita Mohanty, 56, of Stafford, Virginia, was indicted on one count of participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances; one count of distributing and dispensing a controlled substance resulting in the death of a patient; two counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury (nonfatal overdoses); thirty-eight counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances; two counts of aiding and abetting health care fraud; and one count of aiding and abetting money laundering.

Mohanty faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine, if she is convicted of the major drug trafficking charge relating to the death of a patient after consuming oxycodone.

According to the indictment, Mohanty was a physician and served as the Chief of Medicine at Stafford Hospital from June 2009 to February 2013.  Starting in 2008, Mohanty represented herself as a chronic pain management doctor and treated over 100 patients.  In April 2013, the Virginia Board of Medicine suspended Mohanty’s medical license, and in September 2013, Mohanty surrendered her license for a period of three years.

According to court records, Mohanty distributed controlled substances, often for excessive dosages, to patients outside the bounds of professional practice and with no legitimate medical purpose, in exchange for cash sums paid by these patients for visits.  Mohanty also issued a number of prescriptions for controlled substances—such as oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine—despite knowing that her patients were abusing, misusing, distributing or selling the controlled substances.

Mohanty is no longer employed with the hospital.

Vandals Hit Porter Library Twice this Month

072414 porter library

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – For the second time in a month someone vandalized Porter Library.

A glass door was found shattered Monday evening by security guard. The vandalism was reported to the Stafford sheriff’s office, and a spokesman said the door was last seen intact about 5 p.m., on Sunday.

The library’s branch manager reportedly told the sheriff’s office that this is the second incident of vandalism at the library in the “last three to four weeks.” The branch manager declined to comment to PotomacLocal.com about the incident.

There were no reported injuries. Officials with the sheriff’s office said they did not have an estimated cost of repair for the door.

The library is located at 2001 Parkway Boulevard in the Park Ridge neighborhood.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Stafford County Crime Solvers.

Commercial Ambulance Collides with 2 Cars

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A commercial ambulance collided with two vehicles Monday on U.S. 1 in North Stafford.

The collision occurred at 3:45 p.m., in the 3800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway in the area of El Gran Charro restaurant and Aquia Towne Center, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

Two people inside the ambulance refused to be taken to a hospital. A total of three occupants inside the two other vehicles involved in the crash were taken to a local hospital for treatment, said Doyle.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation with the Stafford sheriff’s office, said Doyle.

Indie Pharmacy, HVAC Companies Named Area’s Best

Dan Singh opened the independent Dan’s Wellness Pharmacy in North Stafford six years ago and is now ready to expand his business. [Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – In a neighborhood of chain pharmacies, one the few independent pharmacists in the region was awarded Stafford County’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Dan Singh operates his business, aptly named Dan’s Pharmacy, on Va. 610 in North Stafford. He sits one block from a CVS Pharmacy that is currently expanding, and about three miles from another CVS Pharmacy. He offers the same prescriptions as the big guys, many of the same off-the-shelf products, and he also has a drive-through window where customers can pick up and drop off medications – just like the big guys.

“If there are a lot of prescriptions being filled in the area there are a lot of customers,” said Singh. “I don’t mind competing with the chains, I just don’t want to have to compete with another independent.”

For his, and many other businesses honored by Stafford County’s Department of Economic Development, it’s the ability for a company to provide excellent customer service that makes all the difference.

Dawn Richards has worked at Chidress Heating and A/C for 19 years. It’s a company started by her father, and she’s been working there since high school.

The company was recognized as being the best (small business) place to work in Stafford County. While the summer season can be busy, it’s a team atmosphere that helps things run smoothly.

When things get hectic, everybody just jumps in,” said Richards. “These guys run late into the evening to service our customers, but that is one of the reasons why our customers rely on us.”

A slow economy, wrangling with customers who late on their payments, and keeping a trough of well-trained employees at the ready are some of the challenges Childress Heating and A/C faces. Richards says she’ll tough it out, perhaps for another 19 years, because the family business is in her blood.

Geico Insurance, which has a large corporate office on U.S. 17 in Stafford County, was awarded the best (large business) place to work.

Software maker Intuit as awarded entrepreneur of the year for large business. The company has call customer call center that helps support the company’s many familiar products like Quicken and Turbo Tax. The news, however, is bittersweet, as the company on Tuesday announced it would lay off 159 employees as a cost-cutting measure.

Gathering Planned at Mainstreet to Remember 4-year-old Drowning Victim

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Friends, family, and supporters of the Rivera family are expected to gather to remember their son, Rico, who drown in an Aquia Harbour swimming pool.

A rally to remember the 4-year-old who was pulled from the swimming pool Sunday night and died at a hospital on Tuesday starts at 11 a.m. at Mainstreet Grill and Bar at 315 Garrisonville Road in North Stafford. A message about Saturday’s gathering was posted to PotomacLocal.com’s Facebook page and restaurant owner Crissy Sharon confirmed the gathering.

Here’s the unedited message posted to the Facebook page.

My dear brother & sisters please join me in a memorial ride for this cute little boy in this picture Rico! We will be meeting tomorrow 7/12 at 11:00 am at Mainstreet Grill &Bar 315 Garrisonville RD Stafford VA. Kick stands up at 11:30 as we ride to Rico’s viewing in Richmond VA at 2:00! We will than ride back to Mainstreet grill to celebrate his life. Please pass the word his grandpa is riding with us! May you RIP Rico.

The child was found floating in the swimming pool by a patron who handed off the child to lifeguards who began performing CPR, according to a report from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. Rescue crews took over CPR when the arrived and the child was later taken to a hospital in Richmond where he passed away.

A fund has been set up to help pay for the Rico’s burial expenses. So far, the fund has reached more than half of its $10,000 goal.

Would Be Vista Woods Abductor Tale a Hoax

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – The report of a strange man who police said pulled up to a young boy and told him to get into his pick up: Stafford authorities tell us the report was made up.

Here’s more in a statement issued by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that the suspicious person and suspicious activity incident reported in the Vista Woods subdivision in Stafford County on Wednesday, July 8, 2014 is a fabrication.

Stafford Detectives interviewed the 9 year old boy, who reported the incident, and determined that the youth made up the story of the male subject approaching him and telling him to get into his truck. Indications are that the young boy made up the story so that he would not get in trouble for an unrelated incident.

No charges have been filed in this case.

Express Lanes Work Enters Final Laps

Construction of express lanes on Interstate 95 in Fairfax County, Va. [Photo: Virginia Megaprojects]

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – The effort to add toll lanes to a 29-mile stretch of highway in Northern Virginia is entering its final phase.

Construction crews plan to work day and night over the next six months to put the finishing touches on the 95 Express Lanes, converting the High Occupany Vehicle lanes from Dumfries to the Pentagon to toll lanes, and adding new lanes from Dumfries south to North Stafford.

The express lanes run in the center of Interstate 95 and are slated to open in early 2015. They will allow drivers with three or occupants in their cars to ride free while single drivers will be able to pay a toll by using an EZ-Pass transponder.

Here’s more in a press release from Virginia Megaprojects:

To accommodate remaining construction activities, drivers should expect all lanes within the current I-95/395 HOV system, from the Washington, D.C. line to Dumfries Road, Route 234, to be closed during overnight periods and weekends. Critical work that will occur involves the installation of the Express Lanes’ tolling and traffic management equipment including 3.7 million linear feet of cabling and wire, 30 overhead toll gantries, more than 200 cameras used for detecting traffic incidents, over 220 gates, 190 lane control signals and more than 100 electronic message signs. Altogether, more than 950 tolling and traffic management devices will be deployed along the 95 Express Lanes corridor.

When all of the hardware is in place, crews will have to test it to ensure it works. Crews will also complete final paving and lane markings, as well as install guardrails, sound walls, and make sure all work on bridges is completed.

Child Dies Days After He Was Pulled from Aquia Harbour Swimming Pool

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A child found lifeless in a swimming pool and later taken to a hospital for treatment has died.

A patron of the Aquia Harbour swimming pool pulled 4-year-old Rico Rivera-Brayshaw from the water at 7:34 p.m. Sunday after he was found floating the pool, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy. Lifeguards at the pool began CPR on the child and fire and rescue crews summoned to the pool then took over, added Kennedy.

The child was later taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond where he died on Tuesday. A witness told Potomac Local News the child appeared to be lifeless once pulled from the swimming pool.

A GoFundMe page entitled “In Memory of Rico” has been established to assist the family with funeral costs to bury the child. The fund had reached more than $1,200 by 2 p.m. Thursday.

Today, in Aquia Harbour, was the first day the swimming pool reopened on their regular schedule. The gated community’s police chief Patricia Harman said lifeguards at the pool received additional training prior to the swimming pool resuming normal hours.

“As a result of incident analysis some procedures have been changed to enhance safety. In addition, our lifeguards have received refresher training and critical incident support,” Harman stated on Aquia Harbour’s Facebook page.

Harman’s small police department handed over the investigation into the incident to the larger Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. That office asked for the community’s thoughts and prayers for the child’s family at this difficult time.

Paving Work Scheduduled for Staffordboro Boulevard

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Road crews this weekend will do more paving work on Staffordboro Boulevard to improve the roadway that runs alongside an improved commuter lot just off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610).

Here’s in a press release:

Paving work will detour traffic on Route 684 (Staffordboro Boulevard) in Stafford County this weekend.  

Staffordboro Boulevard will be closed between Woodstream Boulevard and Alice Court from 7 p.m. on Friday, July 11 to until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 14.  

Motorists should follow posted signs along the detour route, which is Woodstream Boulevard to Pike Place to Staffordboro Boulevard.

This paving work is part of a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project to add nearly 1,000 new commuter parking spaces to the Staffordboro Boulevard Park & Ride lot.  

VDOT is requiring the contractor to enhance several segments of Staffordboro Boulevard with roller-compacted concrete as a base layer, which can withstand heavier vehicle weights.

Construction of the $12.9 million improvement project is on schedule to open by October 31, 2014. 

Stranger to Child: Get In My Car

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. -- A boy told Stafford County authorities we was standing with his bike when a stranger drove up and told him to get into his car.

Here’s more in an unedited press release:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a suspicious person and suspicious activity this afternoon in the Vista Woods Subdivision.

This afternoon July 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm, Stafford Deputies responded to Vista Woods Road for a report of a suspicious man.  When deputies arrived on scene they came in contact with a 9 year old male juvenile who told deputies that while he was standing with his bike along Vista Woods Road a man drove up to him and told the boy to “Get in, get in”.  The young boy immediately got on his bike and road through a yard to his house.  Inside the truck with the male subject were a female and a small child in the back seat.  At no time did the male try to grab the young boy.

Deputies saturated the area looking for the vehicle but were unable to locate it.  The vehicle the subject was driving is described as a black Toyota pickup with a dented front bumper area.  The male subject is described as white male, approximately 30 years of age with an orange shirt, brownish-black hair with a reddish-brown beard.  The female is described as a black female, approximately 30 years of age with long black hair and a black dress.  There was no description of the baby in the back seat.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public that if they have any information as to the identity of the individuals described or any information about the incident to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, call Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 (callers may remain anonymous) or text “STAFFORD + your tip to CRIMES (274637).

Hit & Run Suspect Charged with Assaulting Officer Tracked to Home

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Sheriff’s deputies tracked a woman suspected in a hit and run crash to her house and arrested her over the weekend.

The crash occurred at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the area of U.S. 17 and Banks Ford Parkway in Stafford County. A man told Stafford sheriff’s deputies that a car driven by a woman slammed into the rear of his car as he was coming to the stop at a signal light at the intersection, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

After colliding the with the car, the woman put her foot on the accelerator, drove around the car she hit, into some highway construction barrels at the intersection, and then continued on her way, said Kennedy.

After 911 was called and deputies arrived on scene, one of the deputies spotted a car fitting the description of the vehicle that slammed into the victim’s car, said Kennedy. As that car approached the signal light and came to a stop, the deputy looked over the female driver of the car and the driver looked down to the floorboard to avoid eye contact with the deputy, said Kennedy.

The deputy approached the driver and asked her if she had been involved in a hit and run crash and she told said no, said Kennedy. The woman then began to drive away while being questioned by police, and while the deputy’s hand was gripping the car door, said Kennedy. The deputy told the woman to stop be she ignored him, Kennedy added.

Law enforcement officers were able to track the car to its registered address. Deputies called and spoke to the homeowner and asked if a woman fitting the description of the female driver lived at the house, said Kennedy. The homeowner told investigators the woman was at the house, said Kennedy.

Sheriff’s deputies went to a home on Skyline Drive in the rural Hartwood section of Stafford County to find the driver.

Deputies knocked at the door, heard a TV on in the background, but no one answered, said Kennedy. A K9 deputy then entered the home through an unlocked window, announced the police presence and warned a K9 dog would be used to search for their suspect, and that’s when a woman came out and surrendered to investigators, said Kennedy.

Cheryl Ennis, 26, of Skyline Drive, is charged with driving on a suspended license, assault on a law enforcement officer, eluding with endangerment, and hit and run, said Kennedy. Further investigation revealed the woman was also wanted for violating probation, said Kennedy.

Ennis was held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

Student Driver Car Involved in Multi-Car Pile Up on Va. 610

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NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A collision involving five vehicles, including one with a “student driver” decal, resulted in injuries and blocked an intersection on Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) during morning rush hour in North Stafford today.

Orlando Reyes, whose wife was taken by ambulance to Mary Washington Hospital, said he and his family were travelling eastbound on Va. 610 to Interstate 95. He said a blue Honda with a student driver decal was travelling the wrong way – westbound – on Va. 610 and collided with his white van and several other cars. The collision occurred at the intersection of Brafferton and Garrisonville roads, in front of Brafferton Square Shopping Center around 8:30 a.m.

Another person was also taken to the hospital, according to Bill Kennedy, public information officer for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Jessica Posey, 19, and her mother, Jeanette Stalcup, didn’t witness the accident but saw its immediate aftermath. Posey said it appeared that two people in the front seat of the blue car (pointing to the student driver vehicle) hit their heads on the windshield. She said she saw both of them bloody and in neck braces.

Stalcup said the back seat of the blue car was in the back window. But it’s not clear whether that occurred before or after extraction. According to the emergency scanner, the driver of the blue Honda was trapped and at least one door and the roof of the car had to be removed in order to free that person, who has not yet been identified.

According to Posey and Stalcup, after the accident occurred, the blue Honda was facing in the opposite direction from the other vehicles (see photos).

Kennedy said he cannot confirm which direction the student driver vehicle was travelling, or any other details, until the investigation is completed.

UPDATED: Boy, 5, Pulled from Aquia Harbour Swimming Pool


Update —  A boy pulled from a swimming pool in Aquia Harbour was flown to Richmond for extensive medical treatment Sunday night.

The child was pulled from the swimming pool on Washington Drive inside the gated community in North Stafford at 7:34 p.m.

According to Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy, lifeguards at the pool spotted the child floating in the pool, pulled him from the water and began administering CPR.

EMS and police arrived five minutes after 911 was called and took over the administration of CPR.

The child was taken to a local hospital and later flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond. His condition was not released.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Aquia Harbour has closed both the Harbour Inn swimming pool, where the incident took place, and the country club swimming pool until Thursday.

10 p.m. Sunday

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A 5-year-old boy is clinging to life tonight after nearly drowning at a swimming pool inside the gated Aquia Harbour community.

The boy was pulled from the swimming pool about 7:30 p.m., and a lifeguard began administering CPR. An attempt to use a defibrillator failed and CPR was resumed. He was taken to a local hospital where he is being treated, said Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy.

More information about the child’s condition is expected to be released by the sheriff’s office on Monday morning.

Aquia Harbour Police turned over the investigation into the incident to the Stafford sheriff’s office. Aquia Police Chief Patricia Harman called the matter a “delicate situation.”

Located in North Stafford, more than 7,000 adults and 2,000 children call Aquia Harbour home. The community includes a marina and country club in addition to its swimming pool.

New Laws that Took Effect Tuesday Address Mental Health, License Plates, Solar Panels

The Virginia Capitol in Richmond. (Photo: KJ Mushung)

Can you feel it in the air? Things have changes as several new laws went into effect in Virginia on Tuesday.

There have been new laws passed on everything from amateur radio license plates to funding for funding for the mentally ill.

All of the changes are outlined in documents produced by the state.

Hybrid tax repealed

One of the more noteable laws that took affect for our area is repealing the $64 annual license tax levied on drivers of hybrid cars:

HB 975/SB 127. Annual license tax on hybrid electric motor vehicles. The law repeals the $64 annual  license tax levied on hybrid electric motor vehicles. A person who prepaid the tax for a hybrid electric  motor vehicle for any registration year beginning on or after July 1, 2014, may apply for a refund from  the Department of Motor Vehicles for the amount of the tax paid.

Currently, some hybrid vehicles are able to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Interstate 95 from Dumfries to the Pentagon without having to have three or more occupants inside during peak rush-hour times.

This, however, will change when newly converted HOV lanes become toll lanes in early 2015.Then, all vehicles must have a EZ-Pass transponder to enter the lanes. Single drivers will be charged a toll and drivers with three or more occupants inside their vehicle will be able to use the lanes free.

Mental health

There’s also a new law that mandates state-funded mental health facilities cannot turndown someone whose mental state has prompted the need for a temporary detention order. The law comes after Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds was attacked by his son last year. His son, who killed himself following the attack on his father, was denied a bed at a mental health facility prior to the attack.

HB 293/478/1172/1232 and SB 260. Determining facility of temporary detention. The law provides that an individual for whom a  temporary detention order is issued shall be detained in a state facility unless the state facility or an  employee or designee of the community services board is able to identify an alternative facility that is  able and willing to provide temporary detention.

The law also establishes a procedure for transferring custody of a person who is the subject of a temporary detention order from one facility to another  facility. Under no circumstances shall a state facility fail or refuse to admit an individual who meets the  criteria for temporary detention unless an alternative facility has agreed to accept the individual.

The state facility and the local community services board may continue to look for an alternative facility for  an additional four hours. The provisions of this law allowing for this additional four-hour period expire  on June 30, 2018.

Solar panels and home owners associations 

Another new law gives more power to those who want to install solar panels on their homes:

SB 222. Solar panels in community associations. The law clarifies a community association’s  authority to prohibit or restrict the installation of solar power devices. The law bars a community  association from prohibiting a property owner from installing a solar energy collection device on the owner’s property unless the community association’s recorded declaration establishes such a  prohibition.

And, you don’t have to have antennas large enough to contact moon attached to your car to sport amateur radio license plates.

Amature radio operators 

HB 608. Special license plates for amateur radio operators. The law eliminates the requirement that  vehicles must have radio transmitting and receiving equipment permanently installed in order to be  eligible for special license plates for amateur radio operators. 

Loud Noises Can Scare Dogs; Pay Attention to Your Pet on 4th of July

STAFFORD, Va. – With all of the fun to be had on Independence Day, dogs and pets with anxiety often get overlooked.

The sound of exploding fireworks can make some animals nervous, and that may cause some – especially dogs – to run away from home to escape the noise. That’s why stray dogs are a common problem this time of year.

If you know your animal has anxiety issues, you need to prepare for that,” said Capt. Mike Null, with Stafford County Animal Control. “You usually know if they do by gauging how they react to thunderstorms.”

There are ways to make a nervous Fido more comfortable during July 4th fireworks. Pet owners can allow their animals to hide under a bed or someplace in the home where the animal feels safe. Null also says to make sure the animal has plenty of water to help ease the anxiety.

There are also several homeopathic anxiety remedies like calming chews and solutions that are marketed as an all-natural treatment for animal anxiety.

If your dog or animal does run away, the best place to call is the closest animal shelter. In Stafford, the county animal shelter on Eskimo Hill Road is closed on Independence Day but reopens on July 5. There are also instances where neighbors will find stray dogs, take them in an notify animal control, and keep them until animal control finds the owner.

The owners of animals with nametags or those with an implanted microchip are contacted immediately by shelter staff, said Null.

State law mandates municipal shelters must keep dogs that show some sign of having an owner, like a collar around its neck, for at least 11 days before it can be put up for adoption. Null said no dog has been euthanized at the Stafford shelter between January and May 2014.

Elderly Stafford Woman Scammed

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A woman was scammed out of cash by two men posing as electric company employees.

Here’s more a in a press release:

On Monday, June 23, 2014, at approximately 3:30 pm, multiple deputies responded to an address in North Stafford for a report of a scam. When deputies arrived on scene they encountered an elderly woman who told deputies that two men, posing as workers from the power company, told the victim that they needed to check her lights and also mentioned something about having to lay power lines. 

The male suspects walked the victim around the residence having her turn the lights off and on in different rooms. One of the suspects had the victim go to the basement to check those lights as the other suspect stayed upstairs. The male suspect in the basement left the female victim and when she returned upstairs both men were gone.

The female, becoming suspicious of the entire incident, checked to make sure nothing was missing from the house. It was at that time that she realized that the two male suspects had stolen an undetermined amount of cash from the residence. The suspects have been described as two males, possibly Hispanic, ages 25 – 30, both wearing khaki pants. Deputies checked the entire area but were unable to locate any suspects.

If anyone has any information as to the identity of these suspects they are asked to contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, Stafford Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020  (callers may remain anonymous) or TEXT at “STAFFORD” + your tip to CRIMES (274637).

Investigators did not say how much money was taken from the victim.

‘The House,’ Community Colleges, Youth for Tomorrow Awarded Grants from Potomac Health Foundation

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The Potomac Health Foundation announced $2.7 million in funding for area organizations that provide access to better healthcare.

The grants were awarded to 26 organizations in what was dubbed a competitive application process that spanned December 2013 through June of this year.

Here’s more in a press release:

Earlier this year Potomac Health Foundation dedicated its annual large grant program to Mr. Howard L. Greenhouse. Mr. Greenhouse, who is a resident of Woodbridge, was a founding trustee of Potomac Hospital in 1972. He served continuously on the Potomac Hospital Board for more than 25 years, becoming Chairman Emeritus of Potomac Hospital Foundation in 1998. He is a founding and current Board member of Potomac Health Foundation.

The newly announced grants will be distributed to 26 health related programs serving residents of north Stafford, eastern Prince William County and Lorton communities. This year an emphasis was placed on programs designed to prevent illness and chronic disease in the areas [of] oral health, diabetes and obesity, congestive heart failure, and mental health.

Dr. Carol Shapiro, who chairs the Foundation’s volunteer Grants Committee, said “the Board is excited about the originality of the 8 new programs we are funding, and very pleased with quality of the 18 programs we are funding again this year.  Together these health programs will touch thousands of lives.”

Since 2011 Potomac Health Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in grants to 62 different programs to promote access to health care, disease prevention and innovation.

Potomac Health Foundation is an independent, 501 (c)(3) private health foundation, whose mission is to improve the health of the community. It serves the communities of eastern Prince William County, north Stafford and Lorton.

The Potomac Health Foundation was founded shortly before Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

Here’s a list of the grant winners:

Organization Program Grant Award

1 American Heart Association, CPR Anytime: $50,400.00
2 ASPIRA Association, Inc., Promoting Health and wellness by Empowering Latino Youth and Community: $90,341.50
3 Change in Action, Inc., Behavioral Management for Healthy Relationships: $181,813.00
4 Greater Prince William Community Health Center, Expanding Access to Dental Services in Prince William County: $70,510.00
5 Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, MCCP Foundation Project Pearly Whites – Lorton: $42,007.00
6 Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation: $47,158.00
7 Northern Virginia Family Service, Prince William HealthLink: $69,827.00
8 Nueva Vida, Inc., Reducing fragmentation and improving continuity of care across the breast cancer continuum: $91,076.00
9 Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Transportation Voucher Program, to facilitate access to health care needs: $401,701.00
10 Prince William County Dept of Social Services, Case Coordinator for Health and Supporting Services: Access for the most vulnerable homeless adults: $29,990.00
11 Prince William County Public Schools, Coordinated Mental Health Support for At-Risk Youth: $86,236.00
12 Prince William County Public Schools, Human Trafficking Prevention, Identification, and Referral: $78,713.00
13 Prince William County Public Schools,Prince William County School of Practical Nursing: $31,500.00
14 Prince William Health District BEAT Cancer Breast Education, Awareness & Treatment: $60,779.00
15 Prince William Soccer, Inc. The Courage F.U.N. Project: $25,777.00
16 Project Mend-A-House, Inc., Preventing Falls for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: $85,000.00
17 Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging The RAAA, Aquia Garrisonville Heathcare Project: $30,000.00
18 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center CHF, Care Transitions: $125,000.00
19 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Family Health Connection Outreach Worker: $25,367.00
20 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Hispanic Diabetes Outreach Program: $60,646.00
21 Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Sentara, Potomac Women’s Health Mammovan: $360,461.00
22 StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, Permanent Supported Housing & Respite Care for Medically Fragile Homeless Adults: $49,990.00
23 The Arc of Greater Prince William/INSIGHT, Inc., Medical Case Management: $68,000.00
24 The House, Inc. Student Leadership Center The House, Inc.’s EmpowerMEnt Center: $159,000.00
25 Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Potomac Health Foundation Fellows Program: $125,000.00
26 Youth For Tomorrow, YFT Diagnostic and Assessment Center: $213,123.50
Total: $2,659,416.00

Stafford Honors Fallen Marine Hero and ‘Wonderful Son’


STAFFORD, Va. – Kristine Stewart and her two children watched as six Marines pulled her husband’s flag-draped casket from a hearse.

Flanked by family, law enforcement and motorcycle riders who all escorted the body of her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. David Stewart, 34, killed June 20 in Afghanistan, she followed behind the funeral detail as they carried the casket into a funeral home.

Before walking across the threshold, Kristine Stewart held up a tiny U.S. flag and waived it for all to see, a show of defiant patriotism in the face of tragic loss.

Staff Sgt. David Stewart and two other Marines died in combat operations. On Friday, members of the Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club and local law enforcement officials traveled the nearly 400-mile round trip distance to retrieve Stewart’s body from Dover Air Force Base, Del., and bring him to his home county of Stafford.

The procession arrived by U.S. 1 in Stafford at 4:25 p.m., and was greeted by hundreds of onlookers wearing red, white and blue, as well as two ladder fire trucks that created an arch with a U.S. flag draped in the center.

“I can‘t tell you how thankful I am for the honor that was extended to David for the escort mission that you guys did,” said David’s father Nelson Stewart to those who escorted his son back home. “When you’ve lost a child there’s, of course, tremendous devastation and sadness but part of that comes from the fact that you don’t know if he’s going to be remembered. You don’t know who is going to remember him. Family is going to remember him and immediate friends are going to remember him, but who else is going to remember him? Who else even knows? But you guys, and the people along this route that, unfortunately, I cannot even possibly thank, have alleviated that part for our family by honoring David the way that you have.”

Nelson, who is also a U.S. Marine, said David is a “wonderful son.”

Stewart’s body was received at the Covenant Funeral Home on Va. 630 (Courthouse Road). The procession that brought it there traveled across the Bay Bridge in Maryland, down U.S. 301 across the Potomac River into Virginia, through Fredericksburg, and then to U.S. 1 for the final leg of the journey into Stafford County.

Stewart was deployed to his second tour in Afghanistan in April. He and the two other Marines killed — Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant, 19, of Peterborough, N.H., and Lance Cpl. Adam R. Wolff, 25, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa — were assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion (Forward) in the 2nd Marine Division.

Stewart is a graduate of North Stafford High School and had completed three tours in Iraq after joining the Marine Corps in 2004. A funeral service will be held for him at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1 at the chapel at Quantico Marine Corps Base with a burial at 2:30 p.m. at Quantico National Cemetery.

Welcoming David home

The iconic courthouse in Stafford served as a backdrop as the community gathered to receive the body of one of their own.

A large crowd of mourners and well-wishers gathered with U.S. Flags, donned in patriotic red, white and blue colors, to send the message that the community stands behind the wife and two children he left behind.

“My son was on the same mission as Staff Sgt. Stewart, so this hits very close to home for me,” said Nancy Kearney, of Stafford, who serves as the Fredericksburg Chapter of Blue Star Mothers, a support group of women whose sons and daughters are serving the in the U.S. military.

Kearney has two sons serving the in the Marine Corps. Her son in Afghanistan had his tour of duty extended, and Kearney doesn’t know when he’ll be coming home. She’s found personal strength in the friendships she’s made in the Blue Star group.

“…Morale is kind of low for [the troops] right now and we need to remind to them that we are there for them,” she added.

Among those who were paying respects to the fallen staff sergeant were some who cheered as the motorcycle procession arrived. Many here were not only mourning the loss of a community member, but also celebrating a man who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“We’re here to remember who our true heroes are, and never forget that,” said Susan Thorisson, who stood at the corner of U.S. 1 and Courthouse Road holding a sign and waiving to motorists.

Rallying the riders

A call for bikers to participate in the escort was made by the Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club, a group of current and past law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel that organized the funeral procession. The call was first published on PotomacLocal.com, and it helped to rally hundreds of bikers, as well as law enforcement and fire and rescue crews to participate in the procession.

Many of the bikers who stood outside the funeral home at the end of the procession said it was “a long day,” but the trip was worth it. Because there was no opportunity for bikers to stop and refuel due to safety and traffic concerns, some riders were coasting into town on fumes when they arrived.

U.S. Army reservist Aaron Crispin of Dumfries said he wanted to participate in the ride to show his support for a fallen serviceman. Crispin has served one tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and added that the military’s mission will continue despite the sad loss.

“The troops are going to go out and do what they’ve got to do regardless of how good or bad things back home are. It’s tough, but it’s the job,” said Crispin.

Mallory, Quinn Appointed New Roles at Stafford Schools


STAFFORD, Va. – At their meeting on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, the Stafford County School Board approved the appointment of Cessy Mallory as the assistant principal in charge of athletics and activities at Stafford High School.  She began her career as a professional educator in 2002 teaching special education classes in Prince William County.

She is currently a health and physical education teacher and department chair at Mountain View High School.  Ms. Mallory has been with Stafford County Schools for nine years and in addition to her current duties as department chair, she has served as a principal intern and managed responsibilities for attendance, in school suspension, expanded recognition opportunities for students and has served as an interim activities director.

Ms. Mallory holds a bachelor’s of science degree in sociology and pre-law from Longwood University.  She also earned a master’s of science degree in physical education from Pittsburg State University and a master’s of education in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Also during this meeting, the School Board approved the appointment of Dr. Christopher Quinn to the position of Director of Instructional Services.  Dr. Quinn has been a part of the Stafford Schools community since 2005 and will maintain his role as a major contributor to the school division’s instructional leadership.

“We appreciate Dr. Quinn’s great knowledge of learning strategies and will rely on his considerable talents and experience as we continue to move the school division forward to even greater success in the area of instructional services,” stated Superintendent Bruce Benson.

Dr. Quinn earned his bachelor of arts degree in history and master’s degree in secondary education from Augusta State University in Georgia.  He is a proud graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership.


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