Independent Local News for North Stafford, Va.




Updated: Plane crashes near I-95 in Stafford, pilot lives


Updated from Virginia State Police: 

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police Trooper J.P. Kletzke was called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

A single-seat, experimental aircraft was conducting a high-speed taxi on the runway of the Stafford Regional Airport, when the aircraft unintentionally lifted off the runway. The aircraft cleared the Centreport Parkway before crash-landing into an embankment alongside the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 137 mile marker.

The pilot, Roberta A. Boucher, 62, of Fredericksburg, Va., survived the crash and was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The FAA is responding to the scene. The NTSB was also notified. The crash investigation by state police remains ongoing at this time.

Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
Photo: Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department

Original post: 

A small plane crashed tonight in Stafford County, near Interstate 95.

Here is the la test from Virginia State Police:

At 5:33 p.m., Monday (June 6), Virginia State Police were called to the report of a plane crash near Interstate 95 in Stafford County.

The small aircraft crash-landed against an embankment near the southbound lanes of I-95 at the 137 mile marker. The pilot survived the crash and has been transported to a nearby hospital.

The southbound lanes of I-95 were re-opened by 6:02 p.m.


Body of Manassas man pulled from Rappahannock River

The body of a 21-year-old Manassas man was pulled from the Rappahannock River. 

More in a police press release: 

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office reports that Emilio Francisco Velasco Cedillo, age 21, of Manassas, Virginia drowned this evening in the Rappahannock River.

The incident was initially reported at approximately 6:15 p.m., via a direct radio communication from a Parks and Recreation staff member at Historic Port of Falmouth to the Stafford County Emergency Communications Center.

Stafford’s Sheriff’s Office and Stafford Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

Stafford Fire & Rescue reports that rescue swimmers were deployed as early as 6:20 p.m. to begin the search where the man was last seen as he was crossing the river, approximately 15 feet from shore.

Fredericksburg Fire units were requested to respond to Old Mill Park and they deployed a diver who was able to locate the submerged victim.

The body was retrieved from the river and immediately transported to Mary Washington Hospital where both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support patient care was given. Valasco Cedillo was pronounced dead at the Hospital.

It appears that the Manassas man had been with several friends while in the river. He initially entered the river at the Historic Port of Falmouth. Witnesses state that he had successfully crossed the river to Old Mill Park. Later he attempted to cross back at another point in the river when he reportedly became submerged.

Stafford officials study fixes for failing Arrowhead dams


Tear them down or leave them up?

Two dams in the Lake Arrowhead subdivision in Stafford County are at risk of failing. The dams hold back water in Big Lake Arrowhead, and in Little Lake Arrowhead in the community of single family homes in the northwestern section of the county.

The large dam holding back “Big Lake Arrowhead” is a “high risk” dam while the smaller dam for the small lake is considered a low-risk dam. If the dams fail, homes in the adjacent Hidden Lake neighborhood will be in the path of rushing water and could be lost.

What to do about the failing dams became an election issue for Wendy Maurer, who won a seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors last fall. Mauer said she heard from residents who wanted to save the dams and by extension the small lakes they support. Others wanted to drain the lakes and leave the dams in a state of decay.

“The whole battle between the ‘fix the dam’ crowd and the ‘don’t fix the dam’ crowd came down to the fact that we did not know who much it was going to cost to fix the dams,” said Maurer.

After talking with a constituent, Mauer learned some residents of Lake Arrowhead between 1990 and 2009 had been paying $500 per year as part of a special sanitary tax district to improve neighborhoods streets. The home association dissolved, and the money — $500,000 — sat untouched in a county bank account, said Maurer.

The sanitary district is no longer in effect. County officials will use a portion of the cash to pave four streets in the neighborhood — Abrahams, Blizzard, Seymour, and Sparky courts. The improvements will bring the streets into the state road system and make them eligible for maintenance by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A portion of Boundary Drive that carries drivers over the small dam is in need of street repair but is not eligible for admittance to the state road maintenance program because it crosses the dam.

Officials will also examine the possibility of using the leftover money to repair the dams. A $30,000 study of the dams is now underway, the results of which will tell reveal the conditions of the dams. The study began in April and was expected to take two months.

County officials will present the needed fixes to the state, and if the county — by way of the residents — decides to fix the dams, the state will reimburse half of the cost of the study.

“I think you’re going to hear that we’re going to have enough money to fix the dams,” said Maurer.

However, a special tax district similar to the old sanitary district may be needed if there isn’t enough cash to cover the entire repair project. Stafford officials said they plan to send emails to residents about the dam repair project, publish information on its county website, and hold public meetings about the project.

If funded, the repair project could begin in 2017.

Updated: Stafford woman, 60, killed in crash


Stafford County authorities released the name of the woman killed Wednesday on Garrisonville Road. 

A two-car collision occurred at approximately 2:50 p.m. yesterday claimed the life of Carole Stewart Beresh, a 60-year-old Stafford woman. The accident occurred at the corner of State Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) and Eustace Road.

Beresh was traveling westbound on Garrisonville Road and struck an oncoming vehicle while turning left onto Eustace Road. Beresh was unrestrained, was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the second vehicle was also transported to the Stafford Hospital Center with nonlife threatening injuries.

No charges are being filed in the accident and the investigation is complete.

Original post 

A 60-year-old woman, of Stafford, died in a car crash Wednesday afternoon.

The victim was involved in a crash while traveling on Route 610 at Eustace Road at 2:50 p.m. A second victim in the crash was taken to Stafford Hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure.

The fatal victim’s name, the type of cars involved in the crash, or the circumstances of the crash were no released.

An investigation is ongoing. Stafford County authorities said more details will be provided “in the future.”

Credit card stolen from Stafford Hospital used at grocery store

Stafford Hospital Suspect Image 1 05312016

Someone used a stolen credit card obtained from a patient at Stafford Hospital and used it at a grocery store.

The card was reported stolen Friday, May 27. The card was later used at a Food Lion grocery store on Route 17 in south Stafford.

Investigators did provide details on how the credit card was stolen, or provide information about whom the card belongs.

Investigators released the photos we’ve published in this post. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information about the suspect in the photos to contact authorities.

Big donation pushes Stafford War Memorial closer to construction fundraising goal


Stafford County will create a place to honor its residents who served and died in war.

The Silver Companies donated $100,000 to the effort to construct an Armed Services Memorial at the Stafford Government Center. The donation brought the fundraising campaign more than 70 percent to its $675,000 goal of fully funding the memorial.

“It allows us to go ahead to have those ceremonies, to have those special events, and even for the good government workers in the Gordon Building [Stafford government center] who serve us so well in Stafford County, a great place for them to have lunch,” said Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas, USMC (Ret.), who serves on the memorial commission. “For us, it will be a wonderful place to take your children and grand kids, to sit back and recognize service and sacrifice and recognize those who took the time to serve to make our country is the great country it is today.”

Atlantic Builders also donated $25,000 to the memorial. The company will sponsor a flag pole that will be erected at the memorial site.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors initiated the memorial project appropriated $225,000 to the cause.

“An initiative of the Stafford Board of Supervisors, the memorial grew out of a request from grieving parents who wanted to honor their son, Marine Corps Sergeant Donald James Lamar, II, who was killed in fighting in Afghanistan. The Board decided to create a memorial to honor all who have served, going back to the Revolutionary War.”

“The Board appointed three citizens to serve on the Armed Services Commission: Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas, USMC (Ret.); Delegate Mark Dudenhefer; and Supervisor Gary Snellings, Hartwood District.”

The memorial commission tapped the talents of area high school students to design the memorial.

“The commission held a memorial design contest in 2013 among Stafford’s high schools as a way to draw in the future of Stafford County. Five designs were selected as finalists. Elements of the students’ designs were incorporated into the final design of the memorial. Three of the finalists attended the breakfast this morning: Aaron Brown attended North Stafford High School and is now a student at Virginia Tech; Abriel Maldonado attended Brooke Point High School and is now a student at James Madison University; and Donald Kelley, III, attended Stafford High School and is now an employee of Dominion Virginia Power.”

The winning designers, public officials, members of the memorial commission, and Larry D. Silver of the Silver Companies gathered at a special ceremony at the Stafford Regional Airport on May 26 to announce the Silver Companies $100,000 donation.

A plumber helped Stafford fire crews rescue people from burning apartments

Apartment residents called Stafford fire and rescue crews when smoke trapped them inside their homes.

Fire crews were called at 8:20 a.m. Thursday to apartments at 202 Chesterfield Lane in the Stafford Meadows section of North Stafford. Crews used hoses to extinguish the blaze and ladders to the second and third floors to rescue the occupants, stated Stafford fire and rescue Battalion Chief Mark Doyle.

One person was taken to a hospital after he was injured while escaping the blaze. All other victims were evaluated my EMS crews but refused to be taken to a hospital.

One dog was pulled from the apartment building and was reunited with its owner, said Doyle. Building inspectors deemed eight apartments unsafe to occupy.

The fire was discovered by a plumber working in the area. The plumber stayed on the scene to help fire crews with their rescue efforts. Stafford fire officials did not release the name of the plumber or of the company.

The cause of the fire, and how much damage it did is still under investigation. The apartment building’s solid wall construction helped prevent the spread of fire, said Doyle.

Virginia and Family Pet Festival supports charity working to keep animals out of shelters


Buster Wayne has a growth that needs to be removed.

He is a dog that belongs to a 17-year-old girl from Charlottesville who recently lost both of her parents who were killed in a car crash. Now in the care of a state social worker, Buster Wayne is all the 17-year-old girl has left.

Social services contacted the Saint Seton’s Orphaned Animals charity which works with Loving Touch Animal Hosptial in Route 1 in Stafford County. Buster Wayne was brought there three weeks ago, where veterinarians found the dog suffering from a tick-bourne disease.

The dog was placed on medication until it’s well enough to have the growth removed from its backside. When ready, veterinarians at Loving Touch will remove the growth.

“The people we work with — the disabled, low-income, wounded warriors — they rely on their pet for companionship. The cat or the dog is like their child… when its sick, they reach out to us,” said Jeanette Allard, executive director of Saint Seton’s Orphaned Animals.

Allard said her charity goes beyond providing low-cost vet care. Her organization wants to end the practice of people dropping off animals at a kill shelter because they can no longer care for them.

“We call it economic euthanasia,” said Allard.

Saint Seton, like all other organizations, relies on donations to keep going. The gifts help continue the work of the animal hospital and a “Meals on Wheels 4 Petz” that distributes pet food to neighbors in need.

The charity will hold the 2016 Virginia and Family Pet Festival in support of animals in need of veterinary care. The festival will feature bands, beer, and wine gardens, food, zip line, rock wall, slides, petting zoo, camel rides. Animal welfare organizations will bring dogs and cats available for adoption. The festival also features dog games, contests, and exhibitions, said Allard.

The festival will be held at the Stafford Regional Airport, located at 75 Aviation Way in Stafford County on Saturday, June 4 from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $5 per car. Wristbands for rides are $10 per person.

Udpated: Domestic leads to shooting in Stafford


Austen Tyler Agnor, 20, of Chester, Va.,  was pronounced dead Friday night at Stafford Hospital. 

Authorities said he was shot outside an Exxon gas station at 1049 Courthouse Road in Stafford at 7:15 p.m. The shooting stemmed from a domestic situation, said Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure.

Moncure said the suspect — 27-year-old Corey Andrew Terry, of Richmond — fired several shots and then fled the scene, running down the a southbound entrance ramp to Interstate 95 located next to the gas station. He was arrested by a Virginia State Trooper two miles south of the shooting scene at the American Legion Road overpass on I-95 at 9 p.m. 

Original post

One person was shot near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road in Stafford County.

Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure stated the shooting took place at 7:15 p.m. Friday at a business, and that a shooter fled the scene but was later apprehended.

Authorities did not provide the gender or age of the victim. The shooting stemmed from a domestic situation, according to Moncure.

The shooter fled the scene on foot and was later arrested with the help of a police helicopter from Fairfax County and a K-9 unit from Spotsylvania County, according to Moncure.

Corey Andrew Terry, of Richmond, is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to Moncure.

An investigation is ongoing. More as we have it.

Stafford charges 2 with attempted indecent liberties with minors

Two separate investigations led to a Stafford Sheriff’s Detective charging two men in connection to online sex crimes.

Police began looking into these crimes in 2014, said Stafford sheriff’s spokeswoman M.C. Moncure.

Here’s more in a press release:

For the past few months, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting online investigations into persons who target children for exploitation. Detective Darryl Wells portrayed juveniles in various social media and chat rooms to identify and locate individuals who are interested in such activity.

The investigation has culminated in two recent arrests. 

Allan Lewis Bentley, age 65, of Doraville, Georgia, was arrested on May 5, 2016 and charged with six counts of Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Juvenile, six counts of using an Electronic Communications Device to Solicit a Juvenile and 25 counts of Distribution of Child Pornography.

All of these charges are felonies under Virginia law. Arrest warrants were obtained for Bentley on May 5, 2016. He is being held in Georgia and has waived extradition. He will be tried in the Circuit Court of Stafford County. 

Bentley propositioned “the juvenile” that Wells was portraying and transmitted pictures of pre-pubescent children that meet the definition of Child Pornography under the Code of Virginia, while online.

Christopher Samuels Hawthorne, age 41 of Springfield, Virginia, was arrested on May 12 at his home.

Hawthorne was arrested on capiases from Stafford Circuit Court. A search warrant of the premises was executed and electronic devices were seized. Direct Indictments were delivered from the Stafford Grand Jury on April 4, 2106, for; two counts of Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor and four counts of the Use of Electronic Means to Procure Minor.

Hawthorne engaged the juvenile that Wells was portraying in sexual activity propositions while online. Hawthorne is now being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

The investigation into Hawthorne began in March 2016. The investigation into Bentley began in April 2016.

How does Stafford honor its Business of the Year? In front of its new indoor pool and sports facility.


Access Eye Center is Stafford County’s Business of the Year.

Ophthalmologist Arash Mansouri and his wife Michele took home the annual business appreciation award given by Stafford County’s Department of Economic Development.

“This is the American Dream,” Michele Manouri, originally from Southern West Virginia. “My husband, an Iranian immigrant and me a small town girl.”

The two purchased the business in Falmouth in 1999, located inside an old fire station. Today the building on Route 1 is adorned with unique murals that make it stand out other cookie-cutter shopper centers located along the highway.

The Mansouri’s also have Access Eye Centers in North Stafford, and in King George and Spotsylvania counties.

The award was presented during Stafford County’s annual business appreciation ceremony. The new Jeff Rouse Indoor Swim and Sport Center served as the backdrop for the catered ceremony. The center, named after Stafford County Olympian Jeff Rouse, boasts one of eight Olympic-sized swimming pools in Virginia, as well as 11 turf fields outside the building.

The 2016 Cornerstone Business Award winner is Earl’s Hardware in Falmouth, formerly owned by Earl Broyles and his son, Wayne, and currently owned by Keri DeBenard.


Olympian Jon Lugbill, whose face appeared on the front of Wheaties cereal boxes in 1986, was the keynote speaker for the event and touted the new center as a magnet for the growing “sports tourism” business. Thousands of parents and their children travel for hundreds of miles to attend soccer and other sporting events, said Lugbill. Soon, they’ll be going and competing at Stafford’s Rouse Center.

“They come for the sporting event but then they might come back to visit, or might come back on vacation, and then might come to Richmond after visiting Fredericksburg,” Lugbill joked,

Lugbill works for the Richmond Sportsbackers, a group that promotes sports tourism in that region.

How $3 million of schools’ money could be used to fix a deadly road


James Hill is a section of Brooke Road that sits near Potomac Creek.

There have been nearly 60 crashes along the winding 2-lane road in Stafford County since 1996. The majority of the crashes involved personal injuries.

One of the most infamous crashes to occur here in 1995 and injured 15-year-old Molly Gill, of Aquia Harbour. Gill was paralyzed from the accident and later died after complications from surgery.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office now honors a victim of crime that has demonstrated resilience and perseverance with an award named in Gill’s honor.

In 2008, Stafford County’s Youth Driver Taskforce identified this section of Brooke Road to be in need of improvement. The task force called for the straightening of this section of Brooke Road, and for widening the lanes to 11 feet wide with six-feet shoulders.

The task force was the brainchild of then Stafford Board of Supervisors member turned Virginia Delegate Mark Dudenhefer, who also lost his daughter to a crash on a two-lane road in Stafford County.

Stafford leaders decided to fund the project. They purchased the needed land to widen the lanes and to relocate utilities and then moved them.

Then money dried up due to declining gas tax revenues and county leaders shelved the project. Now Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde wants to use about $3 million of unspent carryover funds from the School Board to finish the job.

Each year, the unspent money is returned to the Board of Supervisors for reallocation. Milde said the improving the roadway would benefit all drivers, including students, and he hopes the School Board supports the move.

“Hopefully, they will understand because the need is so unique,” said Milde.

The total price tag for fixing this portion of Brooke Road is about $6 million. The state promised about $3 million in matching funds if Stafford County put up half, said Milde.

The School Board has about $17 million in carryover funds from this year and last. The Board expects to spend $6 million of it before the end of the year ending June 30 to improve the track at Stafford High School, a parking lot at Hampton Oaks Elementary School, and to give each Stafford County Public Schools Employee a $300 stipend, said Falmouth District School Board member Scott Hirons.

Hirons said he saw no problem in spending the $2.8 million to fix the road. If the county doesn’t step up soon it will lose the state’s match funding for the project, said Milde, who plans to bring up the road project to the Board of Supervisors at the June 7 meeting.

However, Hirons said he hopes the Board of Supervisors will put their money where their mouth is and fund a $2 million rebuild of Anne E. Moncure Elementary School in North Stafford. Four years ago, the Board of Supervisors said it wanted to the land on which the 44-year-old school sits, along busy Garrisonville Road.

That land is better suited for mixed use retail development, county documents stated at the time. County officials the laid out plans to purchase about 22 acres of property on nearby Juggins Road, to lease the land back to the School Board at no cost, where a new school would be built.

It’s now 2016, and Moncure Elementary School hasn’t moved.

“The Board of Supervisors asked us to dedicate the money [for the new school] to make the [Capital Improvement Plan] work,” said Hirons, who added the new Moncure Elementary School is in the design process.

George Mason business incubator in Stafford’s future; County approves $500,000 grant

Stafford County leaders voted to infuse $500,000 into the county’s Tech and Research Park.

The money from the county’s Economic Opportunity Fund will be used to launch a co-working space and business incubator at the Quantico Corporate Center site in North Stafford. Incubators attract start-up companies and entrepreneurs looking for temporary office and meeting space to grow their firms.

Tim Baroody with Stafford’s Economic Development office told the County Board of Supervisors the George Mason Enterprise Center will be a component of the new addition to the tech park. (more…)

2 main reasons to workout with a trainer at Manassas Park Community Center


With the temperatures warming up outside, it’s natural to feel the urge to get up, get out, and get active.

There is still plenty of time to reach your fitness goals before beach season hits, but as we get closer and closer to summer, you may find it difficult to stay on task and stay motivated. That’s where personal training can come in handy.

To help you reach your fitness goals, the Manassas Park Community Center will give you an additional 10 free 30-minute personal training sessions when you renew or purchase an annual Basic or All-Access Passport membership throughout the month of April.

If you’re like me though, you may not exactly understand what personal training is or how it can benefit you. I sat down with our Deputy Director, Jay Swisher, who has worked as personal trainer and oversees our personal trainers here at the community center and asked him some questions I had about personal training.

Shriner: So, what exactly is a personal trainer?

Swisher: A personal trainer is someone who provides not only guidance in the technical sense but also moral support to someone in an effort to help them reach their fitness goals.

Shriner: I’m fully capable of going to the gym and working out or running on the treadmill. What is the advantage of using a personal trainer versus just going to the gym on my own?

Swisher: There are two main reasons to work out with a trainer:

First, you’re working with somebody who is specifically trained in an exercise science based discipline. That specialized knowledge will allow them to prescribe the most effective program to help you fulfill your fitness goals. Exercise prescription includes everything about your workout routine – the recommended exercises, repetitions, sets, weights, frequency, and so on. This knowledge is derived from different places including past experience or background, which can include education and formal training.

Second, you’re gaining a support system. A trainer will motivate you and hold you accountable. Sure, you can go online and download sheets of exercises or watch YouTube videos but those videos aren’t going to text you to make sure you’re keeping up with your routine or encourage you to keep going when you feel like you’ve plateaued. In addition, your trainer will be able to monitor your form by demonstrating how to properly perform exercises. You can put yourself at risk by performing exercises incorrectly, but also incorrect form means you aren’t achieving your maximum potential and getting the most from each exercise.

Shriner: Okay, so I’m convinced. What do I need to look for in a personal trainer? How can I make sure I’m picking a good trainer?

Swisher: The first thing you want to do when you’re considering using a trainer, or even when you want to work out on your own, is figure out what your fitness goals are. Search for a trainer whose skill set best matches your needs. If you have very specific fitness goals, you’d want to seek out a personal trainer who has expertise in that same area.

It’s important to vet your trainer to make sure they are truly qualified. Check their background, ask about their experience and certifications. When it comes to certifications, check for reputable agencies such as AAFA, ACE, or ACSM. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a mini session. Tell them about yourself. Say you’re a 44-year-old male with high blood pressure who has been sedentary for the past 15 years and one of your goals is to lose 10 pounds. Listen to what the trainer would recommend and see what they demonstrate. How do you feel about their training style? Ask them about their fitness philosophies – do they make sense to you? What it boils down to is you need to ask questions, listen to the answers, and observe their style. (more…)

Manassas Farmers Market has more vendors, ‘Take-Out Tuesdays’

Farmers Market

The City of Manassas Farmer’s Market is back for its 25th peak season. Running from April through early November, the market is open on both Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Thursday market will be housed at the Harris Pavilion beginning April 7, while Saturday shoppers can find all their market necessities in Parking Lot B, across from the Train Depot beginning April 9. (more…)

Page 3 of 10612345...102030...Last »