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‘Band Together’ Marks 2nd Year in Stafford

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

STAFFORD, Va. – Students and the community came together at Mountain View High School to see marching bands perform, and to help the hungry.

Band Together to Fight Hunger kicked off Monday night, marking the second year students from all five Stafford County high schools gathered on one field to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

SEE ALL PHOTOS by clicking this link. 

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)



Stafford Businesses Line Up to Help Sandy Victims

(Photo: Hope for Warriors)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Some of the coastal landmarks Michael Pollaci grew up with are gone – swept away by Hurricane Sandy.

Now the Stafford County businessmen, and others, are collecting goods and supplies to help residents of the battered northeast coastline.


When I see the pictures of what is going on I get very choked up nearly on the verge of tears. I lost contact with my Mom and it was a very anxious time for me. Thankfully, she is on the other side of the Island and only lost power for a few days but I can tell you the ‘not knowing’ is the worst part when family is involved.

Also, there are so many memories I have of the beachfront in Staten Island and now a lot of those landmarks and places I visited are gone – it’s like losing a part of your self.

My entire childhood and most of my adult life are there and it is all just devastated.

-Michael Pollaci


Pollaci lived on Staten Island for 39 years before moving to Stafford. He’s using his Stafford Technologies computer repair shop as a drop-off point to collect clothes, blankets, toiletries and stuffed animals for children, and he’s hoping the community will donate more.

Help for heroes 

Chrissy Sharon is also hoping the community also donates these items. At her Mainstreet Grill and Bar, she’s collecting items for Hope for the Warriors – a charity organization collecting items for U.S. military service members impacted by Sandy.

In addition to basic necessities, the organization is also looking baby formula, diapers, and gift cards to home improvement stores.

Both Stafford-based businesses aim to begin shipping out their items to the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week.

IF YOU KNOW of businesses or organizations in the Potomac Communities collecting donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, please comment below and share the info!

Stafford Deputies Kill Knife-Wielding Teen

Virginia State Police photograph a crashed Hyundai believed to be involved in a shooting investigation early Friday morning. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Evan F. Newsom, 17, of Stafford has been identified as the victim in the police shooting in Fauquier County.

4:30 p.m.

A Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed a 17-year-old male who was wielding a knife.

The deputies were called to a home in the 12000 block of Tacketts Mill Road in Fauquier County about 4 a.m. Friday.

There, Stafford deputies joined Fauquier County law enforcement already on scene who had found an abandoned Hyundai Elantra car in a ditch at Tacketts Mill and Aquia Roads, just across the Fauquier County line from Stafford County.

Fauquier deputies were initially called to investigate a possible DUI crash, but after finding the abandoned car their investigation led deputies to the home on Tacketts Mill Road, Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler.

Fauquier deputies waited outside the door of the home while Stafford deputies entered and found a 17-year-old male wielding a knife.

The knife was used to slice a Stafford County Sheriff’s deputy who was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries.

After the deputy was cut, one of the deputies inside the house pulled a gun and then shot and killed the unidentified teenager, said Tyler.

The teenager died at the scene.

Tyler did not say why sheriff’s deputies entered the house or what connection the 17-year-old had to the property. It’s also unclear if he was the driver of the abandoned car.

Officials did not say if alcohol is believed to be a factor in this incident.

Fauquier sheriff’s office Lt. James Hartman said Stafford deputies were called to provide mutual aid assistance in their investigation because of the proximity of the crime scene to the county line.

Hartman said both departments routinely provide mutual aid to each other.

1 p.m. 

Video of this morning’s press conference. Next police press conference is at 3 p.m. 

10 a.m. 

Some Virginia State Police crash investigators spent the early portion of their morning taking photos of a late model Hyundai Elantra that had crashed into a ditch.

It crashed on the Fauquier – Stafford County line about a half-mile away from where sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man believed to have been the driver shortly after 4 a.m.

Authorities in both counties said deputies were called to investigate a drunken driver in the area of Va. 610 and Tacketts Mill Road.

Fauquier sheriff’s deputies assisted by Stafford authorities arrived on the scene and the suspect fled on a foot to a nearby home on Tacketts Mill Road.

It was there in the 12300 block of Tacketts Mill Road that the man pulled a knife and cut one of the deputies.

Another deputy pulled out his gun, shot and killed the man, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

Both Fauquier and Stafford sheriff’s Ray Fox and Charles Jett both came to the crime scene early this morning. Shortly there after Virginia State Police took over this investigation.

Authorities could not tell us if deputies were initially called to investigate the crashed car, or why the man fled on foot, or if there is any connection between the deceased the house where he was shot.

The deputy who was cut suffered injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.

Virginia State Police are scheduled to provide an update on the case shortly before 11 a.m.

Jack Deskins, a construction worker who lives where the Hyundai crashed, said he assumed police were investigating a robbery before he learned of the fatal shooting.

“We get robberies from time to time, but I’ve lived here for 20 years and never seen anything like this,” he said.

6:45 a.m. 

STAFFORD COUNTY,Va.– One man is dead and a deputy sliced with a knife this morning.

It happened at 4 a.m. at theFauquierCounty/Stafford County line in the 12000 block of Tacketts Mill Road.

Deputies were called to an address on Tacketts Mill Roadfor a report of a drunken man. It’s unclear if the man was behind the wheel of a car or if he was on foot, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

When law enforcement arrived, a foot chase of the man ensued and the man pulled out a knife a sliced one of the deputies called to the scene, said Kennedy.

A deputy then pulled out a gun, shot and killed the man, Kennedy added.

The deputy suffered minor injuries, and Kennedy did not say if the deputy who pulled the trigger was from Stafford or Fauquier.

Stay with PotomacLocal.com on this developing story.

Stolen Plates Lead to Capture of Bomb-Throwing Suspect

Sheriff Charles E. Jett announces the capture of Laurence Stewart, II, in Montana. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)


STAFFORD, Va. – A manhunt ended today with a suspect lobbing pipe bombs at police officers near the Canadian border.

Police in Montana captured 25-year-old Laurence Stewart, II, just before 2 p.m. Thursday.

He’s suspected throwing three pipe bombs that exploded at homes in Fredericksburg and Stafford County early Tuesday.

Two Stafford County law enforcement officers and an ex-girlfriend appeared to have been targeted in the attacks, but were uninjured. 

Stewart was stopped at 1:15 p.m. by a police officer in Cascade County, Mont. who found stolen tags on his the vehicle. Stewart then sped when questioned and a police pursuit ensued, said Stafford County Sheriff Charles E. Jett.

From behind the wheel, Stewart lobbed pipe bombs at police officers similar to the ones used in the attacks in Virginia. At least four detonated but no one was injured.

Stafford authorities tipped off about the pursuit from police in Montana sat in their offices Thursday afternoon and listed to live audio from the pursuit.

Officers eventually used spike strips and disabled the car’s tires. Stewart, armed with a handgun, fled on foot but was captured near Great Falls, Mont., at 1:49 p.m. after a brief chase, said Jett.

Officers caught their man in a town just two hours south of the U.S. – Canada border.

He remains in Montana where he faces charges in addition to the capital murder charges filed against him in Stafford County.

Planning for weeks

Investigators said Stewart most likely left Virginia immediately following the pipe bomb attacks in Fredericksburg and Stafford County.

It’s not yet known why Stewart fled to Montana.

It was a pair of license plates that were reported stolen from a Walmart store in Montana that caught the attention of a law enforcement officer who initiated the traffic stop the led to the apprehension.

Investigators said Stewart was driving a 2013 red Hyundai when he fled Virginia, but could not confirm Thursday night if it was the same car he was driving when he was captured. 

The suspect does have a record of domestic violence with his ex-girlfriend, and on two occasions this summer was charged after sheriff’s deputies said he exposed himself to shoppers at Stafford Marketplace on Va. 610.

Jett said his ex-girlfriend initially lured him to Stafford, but he added Stewart for weeks had been planning the Tuesday pipe bomb attacks where the suspect’s girlfriend and the two Stafford law enforcement officers – a detective and deputy – were targeted.

While Virginia issued the state’s first Blue Alert to speed the apprehension of the suspect, the FBI’s National Crime Information Database is credited with getting the word out to police about the suspect.

Others involved

Following the Tuesday attacks, there was a “great deal of uneasiness” among law enforcement, said Jett.

Jett said Stewart made disparaging statements about other people whom he felt were out to get him. He did not elaborate on what was said.

Jett described the officers targeted in this case as upstanding members of the force.

“The Deputy and the detective that were involved in this are extremely professional law enforcement officers. And though this is an very personal attack on law enforcement, as we take it as such, our investigation wasn’t altered in any way, shape, or form as if this were have occurred to anyone else,” said Jett.

First Blue Alert Issued in Stafford Bombings

Stafford fire and rescue Acting Chief Mark Lockhart, Sheriff Charles E. Jett, and ATF Special Agent Richard Marianos appear at a press conference in Stafford. [File photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com]

STAFFORD, Va. – Virginia for the first time issued a Blue Alert for a man who authorities said tired to kill two police officers and his ex-girlfriend.

The alert, which joins the ranks of Amber and Silver alters when children or senior citizens go missing, is a call to action to find 25-year-old Laurence Stewart who is charged in the bombings of three houses.

The intended targets of the explosions were two Stafford County Sheriff’s law enforcement officers and Stewart’s 23-year-old ex-girlfriend, said investigators.

Stewart is wanted for murder, is said to be extremely armed and dangerous, is 5 feet 11 inches tall, 220 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Authorities are searching Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states but admit the do not know where he is.

Stewart could be driving a 2013 red Hyundai Accent with Virginia license plate WXA-8249, or Pennsylvania tag HLM-1923.

The Blue Alert was issued about 10 p.m. Wednesday, and it’s the first time Virginia State Police have issued the warning, said spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The Blue Alert system was designed to speed the capture of anyone who has killed or seriously injured a law enforcement officer.

Authorities from Stafford County, Virginia State Police, ATF, and other agencies are all searching for Stewart.


Police, Ex-Girlfriend Target of Pipe Bombs


STAFFORD, Va. – More than 24 hours after three homes were bombed, authorities described a suspect who they say is an armed and dangerous threat to society.

Laurence Alan Stewart, II, 25, faces multiple charges in connection to a of series pipe bombings at three homes early Monday.

Those homes belonged to a Stafford County Sheriff’s Detective, a sheriff’s deputy, and Stewart’s 23-year-old ex-girlfriend – all whom are believed to be targets in these attacks.

No one was injured but each home sustained damage.

The first bombing took place at 4 a.m. in the 3100 block of Normandy Avenue in Fredericksburg. The force of the bomb damaged three rooms and blew off the house’s roof, but police said a woman and a dog that were inside the house made it out unscathed.

The second two bombings occurred at homes in Stafford County’s Kings Grant subdivision in Hartwood  and Country Ridge neighborhood in North Stafford at 4:33 a.m. and 5:33 a.m., respectively.

Authorities say the bombs were thrown at each of the houses, all of which were occupied — at least one of them with children  – when the bombs exploded. In the third bombing on Vie De Rosa Drive in North Stafford, the explosion rattled residents

In the first incident on Normandy Avenue in Fredericksburg, it appears Stewart did not know his intended target no longer lived at the address.

But Investigators said they still have enough evidence to charge Stewart with two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. he also faces a stack additional attempted murder and arson charges. 

“We believe this person is extremely dangerous. We know that he is armed and that he is carrying explosive with him. We know he has demonstrated he is capable of attempting to commit murder or kill others, and we have no reason to believe he is going to stop,” said Stafford County Sheriff Charles E. Jett.

Criminal past

Stewart is already wanted in two separate incidents in Stafford County from this past summer. Authorities said he flashed shoppers at the Stafford Marketplace on Va. 610 once in July and then again in August. The sheriff’s department released that information on Oct. 10.

Jett added Stewart is wanted in a domestic violence case involving his 23-year-old ex-girlfriend where he violated a protective order.

No fixed address

There was no address provided on any of Stewart’s wanted posters. That’s because authorities said he doesn’t have one.

He attended school at Temple University, and later took law school classes in North Carolina. It was his ex-girlfriend, whom he met while in school, that drew him to Stafford County, said Jett.

Because of the out-of-state ties, more than 50 ATF agents in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states have joined in the search.

“ATF takes any crime targeting law enforcement very seriously. ATF will use every federal resource available to bring this dangerous individual to justice and take him off our streets,” said special agent in charge of Washington Field Division Richard Marianos.

Authorities did not release the names of the law enforcement officers who were targeted, and did not say who which of the two homes bombed in Stafford County belonged.

Fredericksburg, Stafford, and federal authorities are all looking for Stewart. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Stafford County Crime Solvers.

Pipe Bombs Disturb Neighbors

Eric Young and his 2-year-old daughter, Sarai, were awoken early Tuesday when a pipe bomb exploded a house near his in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

A house on Vie Di Rosa Drive in North Stafford sustained damage after a pipe bomb was set off.

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Sheriff Charles E. Jett today is expected to address two pipe bombings that occurred in Stafford County early Tuesday morning.

A press conference that has been called for 3 p.m. where his department is expected to announce the name or names of those suspected in the bombings and the charges they face.

UPDATE: See our coverage of the press conference

Police said yesterday at least one person threw or placed homemade bombs at two homes in Stafford County where they exploded.

Another pipe bomb exploded at a house in Fredericksburg, and investigators said all three cases might be related. Remarkably, no one was injured in the attacks.

Sources said the alleged attacker has been in trouble with the law before, and targeted both Stafford law enforcement personnel and woman whom he once shared in a relationship.

Disturbed North Stafford neighborhood

A sheriff’s deputy kept watch outside one of the homes that was bombed Monday on Vie Di Rosa Drive.

No one came to the door at the home for comment late Wednesday morning.

Neighbor Eric Young and his two-year-old daughter, Sarai, were disturbed early Monday when the pipe bomb went off at the home across the street.

I heard a loud bang and I thought someone got shot, honestly,” said Young who has lived on the street for two years.

Following the explosion, fire and rescue crews were called to the house. Hours later, Young said he saw several ATF agents and unmarked cars positioned outside his neighbor’s house.

At the house on Vie Di Rosa Drive, damage the house sustained had been covered up by a black tarp.

Stay with PotomacLocal.com for coverage of the sheriff’s department press conference.


Utilities Promise All Power Restored by Thursday

Power is coming back on for the thousands in our area that lost it following Superstorm Sandy.

Outages by the numbers:

Dominion Virginia Power

Prince William County – 561

Stafford County – 0

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative

Prince William County – 1,086

Stafford County – 46

NOVEC tells us 26,000 customers lost power during the height of the storm, and that they expect to have every one of their customers back up and running Thursday night at the latest.

Dominion has restored power to 75 percent of their 322,000 customers affected by the storm and also has set a restoration deadline of Thursday night.


Halloween Still a Go for Area

A mask is a simple, but always effective last minute Halloween costume idea. (Photo: Stephanie Tipple/For PotomacLocal.com)

Happy Halloween. It’s not canceled.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy many had wondered if trick-or-treaters would still be welcome in neighborhoods – some of which on Tuesday were without power.

In Prince William County, officials there said they don’t have the power to cancel the candy-getting, costume-wearing festivities.

County spokeswoman Nikki Brown comments:


The county doesn’t regulate Halloween or trick-or treating. We do recommend that people follow these safety tips: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/FR/Pages/Halloween-Safety.aspx.

In addition, due to the recent weather, people need to assess whether or not they think it’s safe to go out or take their kids out. If they do go out, they need to watch for any flooding or debris. Hopefully, power will be restored by then, but if not, people should be aware of that, as well.


Adversely in the gated North Stafford community of Aquia Harbour, police chief Patricia Harman did have the option to postpone Halloween but chose not to.

The neighborhood was impacted by a few power outages but it wasn’t enough to order children off streets tonight.

Pipe Bombs Explode in Fredericksburg, Stafford

STAFFORD, Va. – Three homes were damaged in separate incidents after pipe bombs exploded this morning.

A woman inside of her home in the 3100 block of Normandy Avenue in Fredericksburg called 911 at 4 a.m. when she heard an explosion and the rooms inside her house began to fill with smoke. She made it safely outside her home with her dog and was not injured, said Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natia Bledsoe.

The single-story home was damage, and police that a pipe bomb had been thrown or placed inside the home. Bomb-sniffing dogs went searched the house but found no other bombs.

Within the next two hours, two other pipe bombs exploded – this time at a home in Stafford County. Stafford’s full sheriff’s report on the incident is below, and authorities said a link between the all three incidents is probable but it is still being investigated.

No one was injured in any of the pipe bomb incidents.


The first incident occurred at 4:33am this morning when Stafford County Deputies responded to an address in the Kings Grant subdivision for a report of a shot fired into a residence.

The caller reported hearing, what was believed at the time, a shot fired outside the residence, coupled with glass breaking inside the home. The preliminary investigation revealed that a homemade incendiary device was placed or thrown outside of the residence.

None of the occupants inside the home were injured and the home sustained minor damage from the explosion.

The second incident occurred at 5:53 am, just an hour and twenty minutes later. The Sheriff’s Office responded to an address in the Country Ridge Subdivision for a report of an explosion outside a residence.

The preliminary investigation has revealed that a homemade incendiary device was placed or thrown to the rear of the residence.

None of the occupants inside the home were injured and the home sustained minor property damage.

Both these crimes are believed to be related to the incident that occurred at approximately 4:00 am this morning at the 3100 block of Normandy Avenue in the City of Fredericksburg.

-Stafford sheriff’s office report



Stafford Shelter Closing, Power Outages Decrease

STAFFORD, Va. – Twelve took shelter inside of a refuge set up by Stafford County officials during Sandy. Road crews are working to clean up, and the lake levels at they county’s two reservoirs are still below normal.

The latest from Stafford County spokeswoman Cathy Vollbrecht:


Stafford County will close its shelter at Gayle Middle School at 9:00 a.m. today. There were 12 people in the shelter last night, and all have left this morning.

Stafford’s Emergency Operations Center continues to be staffed and is transitioning from response to recovery mode. Here is a summary of the County’s current situation:

Outages (these continue to decrease)

Novec – 1,217

Northern Neck – 0

Dominion – 1,293

Current Road Closures

Harrell Road due to debris

Portion of Brooke Road due to a tree

VDOT indicates these should be open later this morning.


No disruption in service

Smith Lake – up 4.5′ (still 4′ below normal)

Abel Lake – up 4’2″ (still 22″ below normal)

Government offices

Stafford County Government offices are open during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). All courts in Stafford are closed. Woodlands Pool is closed this morning. The Regional Landfill on Eskimo Hill Road is open today and will be open until 6:00 p.m. The Health Department is closed today, as are all offices of the Rappahannock Area Health District, including the City of Fredericksburg, King George, and Spotsylvania. Aquia Landing Park and Little Falls boat ramp is closed today.

Fire and Rescue staff reminds everyone that carbon monoxide poisoning from gas-powered appliances and generators can be deadly. Use generators or grills outside, away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning units that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Citizens can dial 311 or (540) 658-HELP (4357) for non-emergency questions. If anyone has a life-threatening emergency, they need to call 911 immediately.


Sandy Leaves Power Outages, Closed Roads

National Weather Service Sterling, Va. radar image at 8 a.m.

10 a.m. 

Prince William County will close the Ferlazzo Shelter at 11 a.m. this morning. A total of 40 residents used the shelter last night.

In addition, the Department of Social Services will open the Winter Shelter two days early due to the cold weather. The Winter Shelter is typically open Nov. 1 through March 31.

9 a.m. 

Prince William County will close the Stonewall Jackson High School shelter at 10 a.m. today. A total of 17 people used the shelter last night. No residents are at the shelter currently.

8 a.m.

The worst of Sandy has passed our region, but the remnants of the storm will continue to dump rain today on the Potomac Communities.

Sandy roared through our area with high wind gusts before 10 p.m. Fort Belvoir recorded one of the region’s highest wind gusts at 63 mph at 9:29 p.m., and Quantico clocked a gust at 49 mph at 7:15 p.m.

Rain will taper off later today but the National Weather Service warns flooding will be an issue for those living on or near the Potomac River.

Power outages

One of the largest areas without power this morning is in southern Fairfax County near Occoquan, where more than 3,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers are in the dark.

Some Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative customers are also without power in Prince William and Stafford counties.

By the numbers as of 8 a.m.:

Dominion Virginia Power

Prince William County – 7,059

Stafford County – 1,293


Prince William County – 8,285

Stafford County – 1,217

Statewide conditions

Virginia State Police have been monitoring the situation all night long and released this latest information:


Statewide from Sunday, Oct. 28, thru 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, troopers have responded to 2,549 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles, and received a total of 4,605 calls for service.

During the height of the storm, state police were fielding 155 calls for service an hour.


There are more than 143 secondary roads in Prince William and Fairfax counties closed this morning due to storm impacts, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.


Shoppers Stock Up Ahead of Sandy


DALE CITY, Va. – As Hurricane Sandy moves its way toward the Potomac Communities, families and companies all over Northern Virginia are preparing.

Prompted by the derecho this past June that took many off guard, and leaving several people without power and supplies for extended periods, there is a bigger sense of preparedness for Hurricane Sandy.

At Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City supplies are flying off the shelves; with batteries, flashlights and candles being among the top most purchased items, according to Meagan Stephens, a cashier at the store. Another popular item many are flocking to are sand bags.

“People are especially buying those to keep from flooding,” Stephens said.

While they have plenty of flashlights in stock, the store is currently out of propane tanks.

Dominion Virginia Power and NOVEC are also taking preemptive measures – and are urging their customers to do the same. A press release issued Saturday by Dominion Power warned this storm is likely to be long lasting, and that customers need to be ready for long term outages.

“This storm system will build in intensity over time and will remain a force for days, not just hours, causing major damage and extensive power outages,” said spokesman Rodney Blevins. Dominion has made a commitment to have teams on the ground as soon as the worst of the storm is over, to help restore power to affected communities.

NOVEC is also prepared with teams to fix any damage and outages in the Northern Virginia area, and has stressed safety and emergency preparedness. One tip that NOVEC offered all customers was to get in touch with NOVEC and ensure that they have your up to date contact information on file, so they can get in contact with you and restore your service as quickly as possible.

“If you use a cell phone, call us at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to associate your number with your account,” the press release states.

Take a look at these hurricane preparedness tips, published by NOVEC:

? Designate the safest shelter location. Be prepared to leave a mobile home for better protection. Develop a plan for someone disabled.

? Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches, and first aid. If applicable, have enough prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items.

? Have identification and documentation ready to grab. Keep Social Security information; birth certificates; home, car, and life insurance files; and other important documents in a water-proof file box.

? Cordless phones do not work when power is out; keep cell phones charged.

? Before a storm hits, unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave oven, and computers to protect them from power surges and lightning strikes.

What to do if Power Goes Out

? Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, or report the outage online at novec.com if you have access. The Outage Center will provide updates.

? Only open freezers and refrigerators when necessary.

? Use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.


Stafford Official Cavalier Emerges from Hospital

Walter Kreutzer chats with Jack Cavalier at Aquia Harbour's Oktoberfest on Oct. 27, 2012. (Photo by: KJ Mushung)



NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Board of Supervisors member Jack Cavalier made his first appearance since being hit by a tractor-trailer in September at Aquia Harbour’s Oktoberfest celebration Oct. 27.

Cavalier was promptly greeted by neighbors and friends. He said that he was released from the physical rehab facility just the day before and he wanted to come to the festival because he comes every year.

The Aquia Host Lions and Aquia Evening Lions Clubs hosted Oktoberfest, which was held in Lions Park. Cavalier is a member of the Lions Club and a resident of Aquia Harbour.

Area Conditions to Worsen Sunday Night

Sandy is on again, off again as the massive tropical cyclone is once again upgraded to a hurricane. Showing signs of weakening at 5 a.m. Saturday, by 8 a.m. Hurricane Sandy was once again a category one storm 335 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C. with sustained 75 mph winds.

As the storm is expected to pick up speed and make its way closer to Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic states, it’s also expected to bring a storm surge of two to four feet to the lower Chesapeake Bay, heavy rain between four and 12 inches in some spots, and high wind.

Conditions in the Potomac Communities are expected to start downhill Sunday night as rain moves in and wind picks up. Wind and rain is expected to pick up Monday as Sandy moves over the area.

As of 9 a.m., there were no watches or warnings for the Potomac Communities.

Cold air will filter into the region following the storm. The high temperature forecast for the Potomac Communities on  Tuesday is 48 degrees. 


Public schools in Prince William and Stafford counties have told parents, students, faculty and staff to monitor their respective school divisions websites for closure information. No cancelations for either institution have been posted yet.

Utilities prepare

Power crews Dominion Virginia Power, NOVEC, and crews from Manassas have all said they are monitoring the storm. In Manassas, there is a focus on monitoring Lake Manassas’ levels to prevent flooding as well as clear storm drains of debris.

The city is fortunate to have 80 percent of their power lines underground as major power outages are forecast for the region. The city issued a statement late Friday afternoon:


The Manassas City Police Department has canceled all training activities for Monday and Tuesday. This will allow for more officers on the street to assist residents. The City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Department Emergency Management staff will be monitoring the storm throughout the weekend.

Fire & Rescue personnel will be checking equipment and preparing for extended operations. Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue will have swift water rescue response boats and equipment staffed and available to assist the City of Manassas and the region should they be needed.


Stafford County fire and rescue officials also urged residents to also closely monitor the storm


Lines at the grocery store on Friday afternoon were beginning to back up as shoppers gathered supplies.

Batteries, non-perishable foods, and water were just some of the items on shoppers’ lists. It’s recommended to freeze water in prior to the storm so it will be cold in the event power goes out. Officials also urged residents to have a NOAA weather radio in the event of a power loss or loss of cell phone communications, as was the case during June’s Derecho storm.


Stafford School Board Member Resigns

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – An elected official who reportedly moved out of her district has resigned.

Doreen Phillips held the Hartwood District seat on the Stafford County School Board and resigned today after it came to light she no longer lived in the county, but instead has a Fredericksburg address. Virginia law states elected officials must live in the district they represent.

Stafford County Public Schools released a statement about Phillip’s resignation.


In a letter to the School Board, Ms. Phillips stated that this decision to resign has not been easy. She said, “At no time did I intentionally take any actions that would not allow me to fulfill the duties required of me by the voters in the Hartwood district.”

“But if remaining on the Board will take time and effort to prove my intentions, rather than the focus remaining on educating the children of our school division, I will gladly step aside. The attention of the school division should be first and foremost on providing quality educational opportunities for our students, and not the actions of School Board members,” she stated.

Ms. Phillips continued, “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of the Hartwood District for the past seven years. I have tried to serve them well, while knowing I was also responsible for all of the students in our school division.

“I am confident that the school board and our professional staff will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students. I will remain a loyal supporter and hope we can continue the mission of being one of the best school divisions in Virginia,” she concluded.


Phillips was elected to the School Board for the first time in 2005 and then again in 2009. The county school system is now accepting applications from citizens who live in the Hartwood District to be appointed to fill the seat.

Comments on U.S. 1 Wanted by Friday

Photo: Federal Highway Administration EFLHD

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. -- A better U.S. 1 between Stafford and Prince William counties – they’re studying the possibility.

Federal officials want to hear from the public by Friday on plans to improve the four-lane highway corridor of U.S. 1 between Telegraph Road in Stafford County and Joplin Road in Prince William County. The portion of roadway is highly trafficked by those who work in and around Quantico Marine Corps Base.

There are two separate studies underway in the corridor – one that looks at the whole stretch of road spanning both counties, and another which focuses on U.S. 1 at Telegraph Road, commonly known as Boswell’s Corner.

Officials have made PDFs of presentation documents available for download on their website. After reviewing them, drivers and residents are encouraged to submit their feedback electronically to addresses listed on the site.


I-95 Reopens in Stafford After Fuel Spill

UPDATE 8 a.m.

Virginia State Police were called to a two-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-95 at the 138 mm in Stafford County that occurred at 11:30 pm. A 2006 Honda CRV was northbound in the left lane when it lost control and ran off the right side of I-95. The Honda then overcorrected and struck a northbound tractor-trailer in the center lane of I-95. The impact caused the tractor-trailer to jackknife and block all three northbound lanes. Meanwhile, the Honda continued on and struck a guardrail before finally coming to rest on the right shoulder.

The crash caused the tractor-trailer’s fuel tank to rupture with approximately 150 gallons of fuel spilling out. Stafford County hazmat crews and VDOT responded to the scene to clean up the spill.

The driver of the Honda, Ahmed Mohammed, 24, of Falls Church, Va., was cited for reckless driving by Trooper M.A. Oliver. Mohammed was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment. A 23-year-old female and 20-year-old male passengers were transported for treatment.

The tractor-trailer driver was not injured in the crash.

-Virginia State Police


STAFFORD, Va. – Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department alerted Twitter followers they were responding to a tractor trailer crash at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

That crash turned out to be a major incident on Interstate 95 in Stafford County that injured two people and closed a portion of the highway for much of the overnight.

A tractor trailer jackknifed across the northbound lanes at mile post 138, just before the exit for Courthouse Road in Stafford. Fuel spilled across the highway prompting crews to clean it up.

The lanes reopened to traffic at 6:30 a.m., according to Stafford County officials.

There are traffic delays on the northbound portion of the highway right now coming out of Fredericksburg and into Stafford County. Drivers will see heavier delays as they travel north into Prince William County, well past the crash site.


Food Bank to Benefit from Stafford Band Show

Marching bands from Stafford County high schools came together for the first time in 2011 to raise money to fight hunger in their communities. (File photo: Mary Davidson)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Students in Stafford County once again this year will come together to fight hunger in their communities.

More than 400 students will descend on Mountain View High School at 7 p.m. November 5 for the second annual Band Together to Fight Hunger. The show will feature band students from all five of Stafford’s high schools, and all proceeds from the show will benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

The price of admission to the show will be one non-perishable food item. Mountain View High School is located at 2135 Mountain View Road in Stafford.

More in a press release from Stafford County Public Schools:

Gates will open at 5:30 pm with a wide offering of concessions provided. Admission requires one non-perishable food item. Monetary donations will be accepted that evening or at fredfood.org

All proceeds will go to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank and provide food back to the hungry of our community.

This event is not designed simply to showcase musical talent, or highlight individual school band programs, but as a way to bring our Stafford Community together in the effort to raise awareness of the challenges in relation to food and hunger that 40 in 100 of citizens in Planning District 16 are facing daily.


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