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Ignoring small plumbing issues causes buckets of trouble

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If you wait until an emergency to contact a plumber, you could be left shivering in the shower or cleaning up a flooded room. Call a plumber at the first sign of a plumbing problem to avoid costly consequences.

5 signs you need a plumber

1. A funny smell: A musty smell or the odor of mildew points to water damage somewhere in the home.

2. Ceiling or wall stains: Yellow, brown or copper stains come from leaky pipes in the wall. These telltale blemishes, paired with a sagging ceiling, is a recipe for disaster.

3. Rust: Look for signs of rust around pipes, fuse boxes or appliances.

4. Damaged floors: Pay attention to the floors, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, to make sure there isn’t any water damage. Signs of water damage include spongy, stained or buckling floors.

5. Dripping faucet: A slow drip might not seem like a huge deal, but can be a drain on your wallet when the water bill arrives.

Risks of DIY plumbing

You may be tempted to fix the plumbing problem yourself, especially since the internet is overflowing with DIY plumbing tutorials, but be mindful of your experience level. A bad DIY plumbing job could be catastrophic. Before getting started, ask yourself the following questions:

— Do I have the right tools for the job?

— Have I done anything like this project before?

— Do I have the time to do this project right even if there are unforeseen complications? (Consider whether you’re taking your kitchen or only bathroom out of commission.)

If you decide to DIY a plumbing job, then follow this key advice from Ben Kelley, director of residential operations for CroppMetcalfe.

“Always shut off the main water supply valve before getting started, or if your home allows, you can isolate certain areas,” Kelley says. “Watching videos online helps, too, so you know how it’s done prior to trying.”

If you get in over your head and find yourself in hot water, put down the tools and pick up the phone. CroppMetcalfe has serviced the Washington, D.C., metro area since 1979. You’ll be plumb pleased with the service provided by our 5-star plumbing technicians.

News
Stafford’s new County Executive grew up in Dale City

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A new man will carry out the orders of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. 

From a Stafford County press release: 

Stafford County proudly announces the appointment of Thomas C. Foley to the position of County Administrator. Thomas Foley comes to Stafford from Albemarle County where he has served as County Executive. He will take over the reins from Interim County Administrator C. Douglas Barnes on February 1, 2017.

During Thomas Foley’s time at Albemarle County, Albemarle received its third ‘AAA’ bond rating, making it a triple ‘AAA’ rated community, a very prestigious financial designation. ‘AAA’ is the highest bond rating given to localities, allowing those communities to borrow money for projects at lower rates and freeing up money for other services. Stafford has two ‘AAA’ ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch and is aggressively pursuing a third with its responsible and accountable financial practices.

Foley has also led efforts to better organize the county government and was involved deeply with developing a combination career/volunteer fire department, all under the auspices of the principles of high performance, a long-time practice in Stafford County. He was instrumental in consolidating the shared services between schools and county government in Albemarle which is also a high priority for Stafford’s Board. Foley is recognized for his skill in building regional and community relationships, a valuable skillset to have as Stafford and area localities move forward with regional transportation and economic goals. 

Thomas Foley was appointed County Executive in Albemarle County in 2011. Before that, he was the Assistant County Executive for two years. He also served as County Administrator in both Caroline and Cumberland counties. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University.

Foley grew up in Dale City after he moved to Virginia from Massachusetts. 

He replaces Anthony Romanello who left Stafford for Henrico County in July. He served in the role of County Administrator for about nine years. Prior to that, he served as Deputy County Administrator in Stafford County.


Earn a Degree or Certificate in Less time with NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus

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Beginning in the spring 2017 semester, Northern Virginia Community College students can finish a semester’s worth of classes in only 14 weeks through the NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus.

NOVA Weekend College @ The Woodbridge Campus enables students to take an entire semester of classes in only two days. Adult learners who are busy balancing full-time jobs and family responsibilities can enroll in a 12-credit schedule of Friday and Saturday morning classes, with an option of selecting from a wide variety of classes needed to earn a degree or certification.

This new, innovative approach to accommodate those with busy schedules offers flexible, hybrid (half classroom & half online) courses that meet at 9 a.m. and/or 11 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with classes ending at 12:30 p.m. The rest of the work and class interaction is done at home using the internet.

“NOVA Weekend College @ the Woodbridge Campus offers a flexible schedule for busy working adults to take a full course load in only two mornings per week,” said Provost of the Woodbridge Campus, Dr. Sam Hill. “This new initiative provides an amazing opportunity for busy people in our region to earn a degree or certificate at a much faster pace, to advance and to become an expert in their chosen profession.”

Visit NVCC.EDU/WOODBRIDGEWEEKEND for more information. Online registration is open 24 hours a day at www.nvcc.edu/startstrong.

News
Maurer to push to save Lake Arrowhead dams

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — There’s enough support to save the dams.

Stafford County Rockhill District Supervisor Wendy Maurer said 86 percent of the people responded favorably to a survey of Lake Arrowhead residents asking if they would pay more in property taxes to save two dams that form man-made.

The ponds, Big Lake Arrowhead at 28 acres, and Little Lake Arrowhead at 6.5 acres are located in a subdivision of the same name in northwestern Stafford County. The lakes are held back by dams 304 feet, and 280 feet tall, respectively.

The large dam is failing, and state officials mandated it is repaired or demolished. If demolished, the smaller dam would also be removed as the large lake flows into the smaller body of water.

Neighborhood streets Lakeview and Boundary drives each cross the big and small dams, respectively. If the dams were demolished, a portion of those neighborhood streets would be lost cutting the neighborhood in two separate sections.

Stafford County officials made an offer to Lake Arrowhead property owners allowing the neighborhood, which does not have an HOA, to borrow $500,000 to cover some of the repair costs that could be as much as $700,000.

That loan would be paid back over 10 years, and a service district would be established for Lake Arrowhead as the taxing authority. Taxes would vary based on the property value of each home.

Look for the specifics of the loan to be worked out during the county’s upcoming budget season, to be discussed with members of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, said Mauer.

At a public meeting in October, Stafford County Administrator Keith Dayton said the dams could be repaired in full by the end of 2017 if taxpayers decided to accept the county loan.


How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

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This is the fourth of six stories in our series that will examine the unique assignments within the Prince William County Police Department.

When Assistant Chief Dawn Harman was growing up in Prince William County, she imagined a very different career path. Harman majored in veterinary science in college and was once with the Animal Control Unit of the Prince William County Police Department. Now Harman’s days are filled with duties that help keep the Prince William County Police Department a well-oiled machine.

All in a Day

Harman’s day may start with a series of meetings or just a clearing of ongoing matters on the desk in her office. She may also be called to Roll Call to speak on issues affecting the department.

Currently, this means fielding concerns about the heightened dangers of police work.

“People never call us when they are having their best day,” explained Harman. “The only difference between a cop and someone else is they [the perpetrators] have made a bad decision or had something bad happen to them.”

Harman wants those that are considering law enforcement as a career to know that public perception is hyped by media.

“People have always been fascinated with law enforcement,” she said, noting that officers are scrutinized every day by people with cell phone cameras, written about on blogs, and featured on social media. It is important to keep a sense of balance, remembering that the people they serve are no different than they are.

Up in the Ranks

From hiring to patrol to promotion, there is a sense of dedication, thoroughness, and fraternity, Harman said. While some also call the career a passion or a calling, Harman noted, “I think this is like any other job. You need skills.” Academy for new recruits is held in January and July. Harman said that through that process you can see who has skills and who will make the cut.

Also needed is the ability to take on opportunity. There are always job openings in different units, leading to some great opportunities. Harman knows this firsthand. Starting as an animal control officer, she moved up through different positions and ranks while juggling family and career, working in crime prevention and as Western District Commander while with the department.

Meeting the challenges of the job can definitely mean promotion. Others pay attention to rank, and Harman can remember considering it a big deal. Promotions are completely elective and based on consideration of skills as well.

“We try to balance everything the best we can,” Harman said about the promotion process, noting that they work with several different evaluation styles adjusting for issues, such as test anxiety.

When asked about rank, Harman called sergeant the toughest. The sergeant is no longer just ‘one of the troops,’ and a friendly detachment becomes necessary.

“It’s not the same relationship. You have to hold people accountable now,” she said. “You have to be straight forward. Some people aren’t comfortable with it.”

Sacrifice, Communication

There are sacrifices, too. Officers work set shifts, but family events and holidays may be missed because there’s a need in the department. Many people forgo certain positions or promotions because of the demands of both family and career. Harman shared that, while she has a great support system, she chose not to work in Criminal Investigations so she was not on call in the evenings.

“Challenges had to coincide with where I was with my family at the time,” she said.

Communication was big on Harman’s list of skills for which the department seeks. Good listening skills and the ability to ask constructive questions are important. The goal is to serve the community well. A successful encounter with the public includes the feeling that everyone is treated as a human being.

“You absolutely have to be an effective communicator, or you’re part of the problem,” she said.
Harman pointed out that some people want to be in Law Enforcement for power. “We
don’t want that.”

In the Community

Harman said that the people of Prince William County are very supportive of their police department, some even bringing food to officers earlier in the year after a fatal shooting of an officer.

“It’s a little morale boost,” she said.

This positive relationship may be directly related to the professional attitude that is widespread through the Prince William County Police Department, including by Harman, who has found the career to be very rewarding.

“I’d encourage people to go into the profession.”

For more information on career opportunities with the Prince William County Police Department, visit  www.joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

 

News
Founded in Stafford, Ricks Roasters ready for growth

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STAFFORD, Va. — The founders of Ricks Roasters will take the lessons learned in Stafford and use them as the company aims to expand into the Northeast.

“Our strategic vision from the beginning has been the replication of the model we’ve built in Stafford. We are a local coffee roaster providing an outstanding product while being integrated into the community. When opportunities to repeat that model present themselves, we will pursue them aggressively. We are currently pursuing such opportunities in Martinsburg, W. Va., New York City, and Jonestown, Pa,” stated Sean Ricks, a company co-founder, in email.

Their coffee can now be found at various locations in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and at the Virginia Railway Express station in Quantico. Ricks boasts 80 company partners that work with the roster including the Great Harvest Bread Company in Lorton and Agora coffee shop in Downtown Fredericksburg.

While the company roasts its special blend of coffees for smaller shops and restaurants, Ricks says their future lies in roasting large quantities of coffee beans.

“Though we have a coffee shop at the VRE station, our primary path to market is wholesale. We’ve been very successful at customizing coffees for businesses, often paired with their menus. We not only have custom blends for coffee shops and restaurants, but also mortgage brokers, realtors, and gyms. We see all of our customers as partners and do everything we can to help them grow,” stated Ricks.

The business started after a husband and wife couple began searching for something they could do togehter.

“In May 2013, Keely and I were searching for a business we would be passionate about and could work on together. We loved coffee and decided we’d pursue a coffee I used to drink in Indonesia while serving in the Navy. The day after we settled on coffee, my motorcycle broke down on the way to my job at the Pentagon. After making the necessary repairs, we went to Tim’s Rivershore for lunch where Ricks Roasters was sketched out on a napkin. What began as a little “side” business for us has taken off into an exciting small business employing several veterans and veteran dependents.

Growing the business has presented challenges along the way as the coffee couple kept their full-time jobs.

“I am still on active duty in the Navy, and Keely is a social worker by trade. From the beginning, we knew our full-time jobs would preclude our ability to run this business all on our own. We’ve had to hire more people than we would have had to had we been able to work full time.

Bringing on staff and the nature of getting roasted product in the bag have made our labor costs track linearly with our sales numbers. As always, limited cash flow has throttled our growth and made decoupling the sales and labor numbers challenging.”

As the company grew, Ricks says he’s learned a thing or two about shipping and inventory costs. Raw coffee is heavy when shipped, so Ricks Roasters had to find a way to cut down on the weight it shipped to keep costs under control.

“Our raw product is very heavy so early-on we did our best to maximize the amount of product we would bring in per shipment. While this did help keep the cost per pound in freight down, it had a major impact on cash flow. Ultimately, we found the sweet spot in shipment size that saved the most amount of money per pound while not presenting very large inventory purchase bills.”

The Facts
Start Date: May 2013
Owners Names: Sean & Keely Ricks
Roastery: 1304 Interstate Business Park, Fredericksburg, VA 22405 (Stafford County)
Retail Location: 550 Railroad Ave, Quantico, VA 22134
Phone number: 540-318-6850
Website: ricksroasters.com

*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.

Celebrate the Holidays here at the Manassas Park Community Center

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The bright red, orange, and yellow leaves are falling off the trees, and the days are growing shorter and shorter. There is a chill in the air as fall decorations are taken down to be replaced by holiday decorations. Most of us have already seen holiday decorations in the stores.

You know, the holiday decorations you pretend you don’t see before Halloween, and well, before we know it, we will be in full holiday mode.

Instead of stressing about the holidays, why not plan to join us here at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) for a variety of holiday events and programs.

The holiday fun begins here at the Community Center on Thursday, December 1, from 7 pm – 8:30 pm for the Dough Ornament Workshop.  Plan to be here to decorate and take home your own dough ornament. The staff at MPCC will supply all the materials; you supply all the creativity! Register for the workshop – it’s only $3 per ornament!

On Thursday, December 8th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm, the MPCC will be hosting our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party. We will have fun building and decorating with lots of sweet treats. Families will need to pre-register at least three days in advance! The cost for this event is just $5 per gingerbread kit.

Then on Saturday, December 10th at 5:45 pm, we will have our annual Light Parade. This amazing display of lights on wheels will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Our annual parade of lights is a crowd favorite among residents living in Manassas Park and surrounding areas.

Residents decorate their cars with festive holiday themes, and as the sun sets, the lights on the cars glow and the parade begins. The cost to participate is only $10 per car. The parade starts at the Carondelet Drive intersection and ends at the Manassas Park Community Center. Participants are still needed; please contact Kaitlyn Collier if you would like to participate.

And, this year, we are announcing something new: It’s our first annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration. It will immediately follow the Light Parade. At the Tree Lighting, there will be pictures with Santa, pictures with snow princesses, kid’s activities, and light refreshments for all who attend.

And the best part of this event is that it is absolutely FREE to attend. The MPCC staff is so excited to present this additional event and are hoping the weather cooperates! No ice or snow, please!

The following Saturday, December 17 from 9am-11am, bring the kids to the Community Center for Breakfast with Santa! There will be pancakes, photos, games, crafts, and lots of fun. Children of all ages are invited, and the cost is just $5 per person. Children under the age of 2 are included in their parent’s registration.

Later that same day (December 17) from 11:30 am-12:30 pm is Santa Paws where you can bring your puppy for pictures with Santa! It only costs $5 per pup!

You will have to enter through the patio located behind the Community Center. Don’t worry; there will be signs up directing you and your furry friends so that you won’t miss the fun.

With all of these fantastic holiday events scheduled here at the Manassas Park Community Center, let us handle the stress while you get into the holiday spirit. We’re looking forward to seeing you at Manassas Park Community Center throughout the month of December.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, Va.

Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

News
Stafford Technologies closes offices, now a virtual company

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NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — A computer repair shop on Garrisonville Road has closed its offices in North Stafford and changed its business plan.

From Stafford Technologies Owner Micheal Pollaci: 

After a lot of thought and consideration, we have decided as a family that the store was simply taking too much time away from the more important things like spending time together. We are going back to focusing on the one thing we LOVE to do – Web Development and Internet Marketing.

There is no way we can say thank you enough to the loyal customers and friends we have made over the past few years. You can visit our new site at www.StaffordTechnologies.net for more information on the services we now offer. 

We would like to refer our computer and cell phone repair customers to Rockit Repair. We have met with their management, toured their facilities, inspected their work and spoke to their employees. We are now confident that they will be your best alternative to Stafford Technologies.

The offices of Stafford Technologies that were located near the intersection of Garrisonville and Onville roads in North Stafford are closed permanently. 

Pollaci stated in an email to Potomac Local that Stafford Technologies will now operate as a virtual company.

News
Body found on Brooke Road in Stafford County

From Stafford sheriff’s office: 

On November 25, 2016 at approximately 8:52 a.m. patrol units responded to the 1400 block of Brooke Road. When deputies arrived on the scene they observed a male subject lying in the front yard of a residence.

Hugh Wesley Musselman, II, age 32 of Kings Highway in King George, was declared dead on arrival.

The cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy will be performed by the Richmond Medical Examiner. The investigation continues.

Traffic
Crash closes portion of Route 610

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NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Two cars collided Tuesday night at the intersection of Route 610 and Shelton Shop Road.

The accident happened about 8 p.m. It’s unclear how the crash occurred, of if anyone was injured. 

Fire and rescue crews and Stafford sheriff’s deputies closed a portion of Route 610 west for a crash investigation and clean up.

We asked the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office for more information about this crash. We’ll post the details once we gey them.

Traffic
Northern Virginia traffic signals re-timed for holiday shopping season

From VDOT: 

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the Virginia Department of Transportation will re-time signals to help drivers enter and exit major shopping centers around northern Virginia more quickly.

Using traffic data gathered during last year’s holiday season, VDOT developed time- and location-specific signal-timing plans at 223 intersections.

Engineers will use traffic cameras and traffic sensors to monitor conditions and make adjustments in real-time, even on holidays, to help keep traffic moving in especially congested areas such as Tysons, Virginia Gateway and Fair Oaks Mall.

Holiday signal-timing will be in effect from Nov. 24, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017 at the following shopping centers:   

 

  • Tysons and Galleria Shopping Centers
  • Reston Town Center
  • Fair Lakes Shopping Center
  • Fair Oaks Mall
  • Potomac Mills Mall
  • Manassas Mall
  • Springfield Town Center
  • Cascades Town Center
  • Potomac Run Center
  • Dulles Town Center
  • Leesburg Outlets
  • Dulles 28 Centre
  • Virginia Gateway Shopping Center

Also in time for Black Friday, VDOT’s six travel information displays at Tysons Corner Mall have been refreshed with a revised, easier-to-read layout and relocated to more convenient locations throughout the mall. The screens display real-time Metrorail and bus arrivals, as well as a rotating display of bus locations, travel times, traffic cameras, road conditions and incidents near Tysons.

News
Grief counselors available for Rockhill Elementary students after child murdered

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The public school division in Stafford County will make available counselors to students at Rockhill Elementary School. 

Claire Buckley, 5, was a student at the school. She was killed on Thursday, along with her 17-year month-old sister Abagail, mother Amy, and her father Lance who is believed to have called 911 to report a murder-suicide prior to taking their lives. 

From Stafford County Public Schools: 

The entire Stafford County Public School community is saddened about the fatal incident involving Claire Buckley, a Rockhill Elementary School student. Although the incident did not occur on-campus, we know it can have an impact on our school community. The grief responders’ team is available at the school to help students and staff cope with the loss. A letter was sent home to parents and guardians informing them of the incident and steps the school is taking to help students. Supporting our school community is a top priority at Rockhill Elementary and all schools in SCPS.

 

News
Bodies of once-missing Stafford man, his family, found inside home

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The bodies of a man who went missing for days last year, and his family were found Thursday in a Stafford County home.

A call came into the Stafford County dispatch center at 8:41 a.m. the scene of the crime, at 8 Wilderness Court. A voice on the line told an operator that his name was Lance Buckley, and that he wanted to report three murders and a suicide and then he hung up, according to a press release from Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman MC Moncure.

Authorities rushed to the home only to find the bodies of Amy Buckley, 30, Claire Buckley, 5, Abigail Buckley, 17-months old, and the body of Lance Buckley in the lower level of the home. Authorities did not say how the victims were killed. 

Detectives are still working an active investigation into the murder-suicide case. They were at the home the majority of the day on Thursday.

Lance Buckley in May 2015 was located a campground in West Virginia after he went missing two days before being found. Buckley on the day of his disappearance left his Stafford home and went to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

After located two days later, authorities said he was in “good condition.”

Amy Buckley listed Fredericksburg as her hometown on her Facebook page. When her husband was located by police last year, she took to the social media network to thank those who searched for him.

“LANCE HAS BEEN FOUND!!! He is alive, and we are so grateful for all of your prayers!”

News
Update: Man, woman, 2 children found dead inside Stafford County home

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — The bodies of four people were found inside a home this morning.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is the sole investigating agency on the scene at 8 Wilderness Court, just off Longwood Drive in the Windsor Forest subdivision.

Authorities are withholding a lot of details in this case until they notify the victims’ next of kin. There was no sign of forced entry at the house, and there is no cause for the public to be alarmed, said sheriff’s spokeswoman MC Moncure.

Stafford County Sheriff David Decatur was called to the scene. So was the county’s animal control division to manage multiple animals, including a horse, that was found alive at home. The horse roamed within the confines of its pen located next to the single family house were investigators concentered their attention.

A worker who had just finished installing a new floor at a nearby home said the sheriff’s office was on the scene as early as 9 a.m. Thursday.

“I’m shocked to see this, ” said Crystal, a passerby who told us she just moved to Windsor Forest from Arizona two months ago.

The neighborhood is filled with single-family homes on large lots.

Update 5:30 p.m. 

From the Stafford Sheriff’s office:

The preliminary investigation has determined the incident was a domestic related murder-suicide. The ages of the deceased are a 35-year-old male, a 30-year-old-female, a five-year-old female and an 18-month-old-female.

Additional information will not be released today.

News
2 Stafford schools win statewide ‘Save Your Tailgate, Buckle Up’ contest

Everybody Buckles BackWhite Shirt Hunter Bradshaw, Middle Michael Scholes, Foreground Olivia Lataste
Car Rider Reminders Parent Packets
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Great Message via Great Artwork

STAFFORD, Va. — Two Stafford County schools are celebrating wins after being recognized in a statewide contest that encourages children to buckle up.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office sent us this information from a press release: 

“Stuarts Draft High School in Augusta Co. and Dixon-Smith Middle School in Stafford Co. are the statewide winners of the 2016 “Save Your Tailgate, Buckle Up” (SYT) campaign sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), the Virginia State Police (VSP), and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office in partnership with State Farm Insurance. Stuarts Draft placed first in the high school division and Dixon-Smith placed first in the middle school division.

Liberty High School in Bedford Co. placed second in the high school division and Turner Ashby High School in Rockingham Co. placed third. A.G. Wright Middle School in Stafford Co. was second in them middle school division and Central Academy Middle School in Botetourt Co. was third.

As the statewide winners, Stuarts Draft and Dixon-Smith will each receive $500 and a congratulatory prize banner. Liberty, Turner Ashby, A.G. Wright, and Central Academy will receive smaller cash prizes and a banner.

All prizes for the “Save Your Tailgate” Campaign were funded by donations and by a grant from State Farm.”

 

“Seventy-two schools participated in the annual campaign that ran from September 19 to October 14.
Winners were selected based on their Creative Event, which was developed by students and emphasized the Save Your Tailgate campaign theme and messaging.” 

 

News
Stafford to open $170,000 inclusive playground at Chichester Park

Submitted: 

Stafford County, in conjunction with Stafford County Public Schools, will hold a ceremony to mark the grand opening of a $170,000 inclusive playground at Chichester Park with a little help from some special students and vendors on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. The playground is designed to be accessible to all children and adults, regardless of ability.

Alexa and Rob Harris are the parents of Nathanael Harris, a fourth-grader at Falmouth Elementary School. They have always looked for ways for their son to participate in events in his community and for opportunities for inclusion. A small team of teachers, physical therapists and Alexa Harris formed an unofficial “Playground Committee” to pursue this idea.

Stafford’s parks are integral to the Board of Supervisors priorities for the county. Their efforts to increase recreational opportunities make Stafford more appealing to potential residents as well as businesses, making Stafford a great place to live, work and play.

The inclusive playground is located at 125 Ralph Williams Drive, Falmouth, VA 22405. There will be face painting and the following vendors providing resources for families: Stafford County Parent Resource Center; DisAbility Resource Center; Special Olympics; Ainsley’s Angels; and the Stafford County Parent Teacher Association.

News
Suspect in Stafford Halloween roadside sex assault arrested in North Carolina

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Authority in Stafford County say they have one person in custody in an hours-long sexual assault that occurred on Halloween. 

From Stafford Sheriff’s spokeswoman MC Moncure: 

After developing a lead, Stafford County Detectives located the suspect, Roberto Carlos Flores Sibrian, in North Carolina and, along with partner agencies, participated in his arrest.

Flores Sibrian was arrested on November 10 at a construction site in Sanford, North Carolina. He has been charged with Rape and Aggravated Sexual Battery and is being detained in the Lee County Jail on a $100,000 secured bond and an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detainer. Flores Sibrian, age 26 has no fixed address, but was living in the Fredericksburg Region prior to the incident on October 31.

Approximately 100 leads were developed with the assistance of an aware and supportive public. All leads were investigated and the Sheriff’s Office gratefully acknowledges the vital role engaged citizens play in helping protect our community.

The Sheriff’s Office also commends the efforts of our partner agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Lee County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, the King George County Sheriff’s Office, the Fredericksburg Police Department, the Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshal Service.

This is an active investigation and in order to protect the integrity of the case and the privacy of the victim no further information will be released at this time.

 

 

Traffic
Right turn lane added at Route 1 and 610

From VDOT: 

A second right turn lane opened this morning on Route 1 southbound in Stafford County at the intersection with Route 610 (Garrisonville Road).

This $800,000 project added a second right turn lane to reduce driver delays on Route 1 southbound approaching Garrisonville Road during the afternoon peak travel period.

This project was locally administered by Stafford County. The intersection of Route 1 and Garrisonville Road was identified as the highest volume intersection in Stafford County in September 2014.

News
New neighborhood emerging in Stafford with addition of Aquia Fifteen, planned stores

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STAFFORD, Va. — There are more signs of life at Aquia Town Center now than have been in the past 10 years. 

A new apartment building called Aquia Fifteen opened for business and residents are moving in. 

The building’s bright exterior may be a metaphor for the good things to come for an old shopping center changing into an emerging mixed-use neighborhood. 

In recent years, Aquia Town Center has became known for dormant piles of dirt and rock as property owners decided what, and when redevelop Aquia Town Center. Now, with a new condo building, and the closure of the Regal Aquia 10 movie theater that will be demolished to make way for a new Harris Teeter grocery store, things are changing.

Here’s more from Christopher Beckwith, a spokesman for the Aquia Fifteen development:

The parcel [on which Aquia Fifteen sits] was rezoned to allow for a mixed-use development that could support up to 725,000 square feet of residential, office and retail. The REIT recently sold off the adjoining residential piece, which is currently being developed into a 256-unit Class A, multifamily project named, Aquia Fifteen Apartments at Town Center.

Aquia Fifteen Apartments began leasing June 2016, and as of today, the development is 50% leased, construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, and is expected to be fully leased by the end of Q1 2017. This apartment community offers one, two, and three bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,125 to $1,500 per month.

Apartment interiors feature fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, energy-efficient appliances and digital programmable thermostats, and full-size washer/dryer included in each apartment home. Community amenities include a two-story state-of-the-art clubhouse featuring a fitness center, lounge, business center, conference room, and a resort-class swimming pool. 

Long before Aquia v was envisioned, Aquia Town Center was a bustling shopping center in the 1980s and 90s anchored by a Shoppers Food Warehouse and Rite Aid Pharmacy.

The center was a hub for artists, music lovers, and Java fans who were drawn to the center’s unique Gargoyles Coffeehouse.

Shoppers Food in 2003 moved to a new shopping center called Stafford Marketplace, less than a mile west of its old location. Dwindling traffic at the shopping center led Gargoyles to close its doors.

Today, with new owners, and many of the old shopping center buildings at Aquia Town Center razed, new stores — including a new Harris Teeter grocery store — will soon open.

From Beckwith: 

In May 2015, Mosaic purchased Aquia Towne Center (“Aquia”). Aquia is a 25-acre development site off the I-95 interchange at Garrisonville Road (Route 610) in Stafford County, Virginia. This I-95 exit is the southern terminus of the recently complete express lanes. Current tenants are Regal Cinemas and Rite Aid. A public REIT purchased the property in 2006 and partially razed what was was then a 200,000 square foot neighborhood shopping center. Before the redevelopment, this parcel was an abanded shopping center and parking lot that will now support dozens of new businesses and provide convenience for Stafford County residents.

Mosaic is bringing a 76,000 square foot grocery store that is new to the Stafford market to Aquia. The end result will be a 160,000 square foot, grocery-anchored town center with a total of 6 commercial buildings with an opening date of 1st Quarter 2018.

Existing businesses include:
· Aquia Fifteen Apartments at Town Center
· Exxon Gas
· Tires Plus
· McDonalds
· PNC Bank
· Carlos O’Kelly’s
· KFC
· Ruby Tuesday
· El Gran Charro
· Mick’s
· Best Western

Delivering 3rd Quarter 2017 to 1st Quarter 2018:
· Harris Teeter Grocery
· Petco
· Hair Cuttery
· Coffee Cup
· Philly Subs
· Eyewear Etc.
· Buffalo Wings Sports Bar
· Rite Aid Pharmacy
· Burrito Border
· FroYo
· Salads and Wraps
· Fruit Smoothies

 

Traffic
Expect road work at Bells Hill

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From VDOT: 

Motorists can anticipate brief delays on Route 631 (Bells Hill Road) in Stafford County over the next two weeks for trench widening and paving.

Bells Hill Road will be reduced to a single lane between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, and on Tuesday, Nov. 15 ? Thursday, Nov. 17.

On Friday and Saturday, Bells Hill Road will be slightly widened through trench widening to create a wider shoulder. Paving will be underway next Tuesday through Thursday.

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