Cicada Season Nearing Peak


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[Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

If you haven’t yet heard them or seen them, there is no doubt – the cicadas are here.

This particular brood of cicada comes around every 17 years, and this year they can be found in Virginia counties from Prince William to Pittsylvania on the North Carolina border. Some other broods can pop up every 13 years.

These large, beady-eyed bugs don’t sting, but their mass emergence from the ground can overwhelm their predators – mostly birds, the Virginia Cooperative Extension states. The bugs start appearing in May with their numbers peaking in June. By July they’re mostly gone, the Cooperative Extension states.

Creepy, the bugs live below ground for years, and when it’s time to appear, they work together and use mud to build a “cicada hut” in which to emerge from. Once out, the bugs shed their skins – often seen left behind on tree trunks or limbs – and live for about four weeks.

The bugs aren’t known to cause much damage as they feed, and the male cicadas actually sing by “vibrating membranes on the sides of the first abdominal segment,” according to the Cooperative Extension. Females don’t sing, and after mating they lay their eggs – up to 400 per bug – inside of tree branches.

When the new bugs, called nymphs, hatch 10 weeks later, they fall to the ground where they burrow to feed.

Tell us where you’ve seen cicadas in our area, and share your photos on our Facebook page

Area Candidates Out of LG Race as Delegates Pick Winners


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Corey Stewart addresses the convention. [Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]



In the heated race for the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, it wassn’t meant to be for candidates in our area.

Two from Prince William County – Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart – lost their bids for the number two spot. Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Susan Stimpson was also forced to bow out of the race at Saturday’s Republican Party of Virginia Convention in Richmond.

Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson was the victor over the field of seven candidates by the final round of balloting, beating out Pete Snyder of Fairfax County who hung in there for three rounds of balloting, beating out Stewart and Stimpson, before falling to Jackson.

He will join Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, of Prince William County, and Attorney General Candidate Mark Obenshain, of Harrisonburg, on the ticket to run against Democrat Terry McAuliffe and selected company this fall. Virginia Senator Ralph Northam, of Norfolk, and Aneesh Chopra, of Arlington who served at the Chief Technology for the U.S. appointed by the president, will face off in a Democratic primary next month.

Prosecutor Justin Fairfax, of Northern Virginia, and Virginia Senator Mark Herring, of Loudoun County, both seek the Democratic Attorney General Seat, and who will take it will also be decided in next month’s primary.

Back in Richmond on Saturday, after GOP candidates bowed out, there some confusion if any of them lent their endorsements to those left standing in the competition. Scott Lingamfelter immediately lent his support to Peter Synder, passing over Stewart or Stimspon from nearby Stafford County. Synder’s campaign was quick to capitilze on the short-lived momentum by printing fliers distributed to delegates still on the floor noting Lingamfelter was now on their side.

But Snyder’s campaign reportedly messed up when they then printed fliers noting Corey Stewart had joined their side as well. Not true, as Stewart, after bowing out of the contest, was seen on the convention floor shaking hands with and endorsing the ultimate winner of the Lt. Governor contest, E.W. Jackson.

Stimpson did not endorse any other candidates and reportedly challenged the results after delegates were led to believe she did poorly in the second round of voting.

The convention ran into the late hours of the night. There were multiple problems with technology and vote counting machines. A lack of food vendors at the venue, the Richmond Coliseum, made for long chow lines.

The energy in the room, while palpable during the candidates speeches early in the day, was fleeting during the mid afternoon hours as delegates waited for more than two hours for first-round balloting results.

As the evening wore on and the results of more balloting rounds came in, many supporters took to the convention floor to cheer and hold up signs for their respective candidates. About 7 p.m., signs for Stimpson were pulled from the floor, and a signs for Lingamfelter was quickly covered with those of Peter Snyder.


RICHMOND, Va. –– E.W. Jackson, of Chesapeake, has emerged as an early leader in the race for the GOP nomination for Lt. Gov, handily beating out challengers Susan Stimpson and Corey Stewart in only the first round of balloting.

Delegates at a statewide convention in Richmond today began voting about 1:30 p.m. following speeches from all seven Lt. Governor candidates. With 8,149 delegate ballots cast in the first round, the initial breakdown was:

E.W Jackson 3,732 votes

Susan Stimpson 1,798 votes

Corey Stewart 1,769 votes

Peter Synder 1,739 votes

Scott Lingamfelter 1,375 votes

Jean Marie Davis 861 votes

Steve Martin 662 votes

Both Davis and Martin bowed out of the race once they learned of the final first round numbers, a Republican spokesman said.

Delegates who remain on the floor went back into the voting process to cast votes for the remaining five contenders.

Technology problems have plagued this convention and slowed processes here considerably. During the first round of voting, an optical scanner that reads ballots stopped working. As the second round got underway, a receipt printer used to confirm ballots were properly received quit operating.

A Republican spokesman also said voter ID rules that required delegates to pull out convention credentials from a plastic holder attached to a lanyard before their vote could be cast also slowed the process.

After the second round of voting is complete, a third round will commence. Once a Lt. Governor is chosen, Republican Govenor Nominee and current state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, of Prince William County, is expeted to join Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain, of Harrisonburg, on stage for remarks.

Jackson, a minister, electrified the crowd during his speech by recounting portions of the U.S. Constitution, and reminding attendees is a sovernig state

“We do not need to ask the government’s permission to get our coal, our oil, and our gas… we do not need permission to sell our products, and we do not need their permission to have a pond on our property or a party in our house,” roared Jackson.

Stimpson followed his comments and drove home her message of grass-roots policitcs, and a connection with conservatives who support Congressman Rand Paul.

“… I will passionately defend women and their unborn children because all life is sacred,” said Stimpson.

Stewart walked on stage with his wife and family with a theme song: the final countdown. During his seven minutes, he spoke about leading Prince William County – which went for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 – and called it larger than most congressional districts in the state.

He also talked about his signature issue, immigration, that won him national attention when he fought crackdown on illegal immigration in Prince William in 2007.

“It was not easy. 3,000 people protested my office, my Board meeting… people from across the United States labeled me a racist, a bigot, and, yes, even a third world despot, but I did not back down,” said Stewart.

4 Vehicles Collide on Garrisonville Road


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — An accident involving a dump truck, a mail delivery vehicle, a Ford Taurus and a Nissan pick-up truck snarled traffic on Garrisonville Road and Green Acre Drive during rush hour today. A Stafford County deputy talks with both the truck drivers.  [Mary Davidson /]

Truck Hauling Corrosive Material Crashes Closing I-95


1 p.m.

All lanes of Interstate 95 are open following the crash.

9:30 a.m. 


D COUNTY, Va. — It’s been a mess all morning long on Interstate 95 south in Stafford County. It will remain closed at mile post 133 just before Fredericksburg until at least noon today following a HAZMAT spill.

More in a press release from Virginia State Police:

At 5:12 a.m. Friday (May 17), Virginia State Police were called to the scene of a two-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 south of Exit 133/Falmouth in Stafford County. Two southbound tractor-trailers collided with one another. The two tractor-trailers came to a stop on the right shoulder of I-95. Both tractor-trailers are upright and neither driver was injured.

 One of the tractor-trailers is hauling barrels of an organic, corrosive, liquid material. The impact of the crash caused several barrels to fall off the tractor-trailer and land in the right southbound lane. Stafford and Fredericksburg HazMat crews are on scene working to contain and clear the minor leakage from at least one of the damaged barrels.

 The southbound lanes of I-95 are estimated to remain closed until approximately noon Friday.

Crash remains under investigation at this time.

Due to the crash, traffic is being rerouted onto nearby roads, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation:

All southbound traffic is being detoured at Exit 133 to southbound Route 17 Business, and then  onto southbound Route 1. Traffic can return to southbound I-95 at Exit 130/Route 3 or Exit 126/Spotsylvania.  

Due to the additional traffic, heavy congestion is expected on southbound Route 17 Business and southbound Route 1 this morning in the Fredericksburg area.

Swim Facility, Playing Fields Proposed for NOVA Woodbridge Campus

Northern Virginia Community College's Woodbridge Campus [Photo: NOVA]

First on Potomac Local News


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College, already expanding with the addition of a new building, wants to grow even larger.

The college, commonly referred to as NOVA, is exploring the possibility of adding a community recreational facility complete with swimming pools, a fitness center, and outdoor playing fields at its campus off Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge. Campus Provost Dr. Sam Hill recently met with Prince William Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins and County Executive Melissa Peacor to discuss the proposed addition, according to county officials.

Hill did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Before construction on such a facility could begin in Woodbridge, a feasibility study must be completed. That is expected to cost $400,000, sources said.

Currently, no money has been budgeted by Prince William County for the study, and a presentation about the proposed fitness facility has not yet been made to the full Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said spokesman Jason Grant.

More than just Prince William County, the college is expected to also seek project funds from the state and private donors. The center could be marketed as a potential revenue generator, as a place for private sports leagues to come practice and play.

Surveyed in 2008, students at NOVA’s Woodbridge said they enjoyed being close to Potomac Mills mall, spoke highly of the campus’ lake and surrounding green space. But students also said the campus lacked an activities center that included a basketball court, gym, lounge and food court – amenities found on many four-year institutions.

The newly proposed fitness facility would be similar to the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center on the George Mason University Campus in Manassas. The 110,000 square-foot facility opened in 1999 as a partnership between the university, Manassas and Prince William County, and offers two pools, a full gym, cardio and strength training exercises, as well as programs for youth and adults. Memberships to the facility range between $25 and $48 per month.

NOVA celebrated in 2011 when it broke ground for Phase III of the Woodbridge campus – a long awaited addition to the campus 25 years in the making. The new 84,000 square foot building will house a new lecture hall, science labs, cafeteria, photography department, and theatre and study rooms. It had a planned completion date of August 2012.

NOVA’s Woodbridge campus continues to be one of its busiest. The number of registered students at the campus tops 11,000 and nearly 5,000 of them are enrolled full time. It’s the second largest campus by enrollment in the college system, second to its Loudoun campus.

NOVA remains Virginia’s largest college by enrollment with 77,000 students at all of its six campus, topping Virginia Commonwealth University – the state’s largest four-year institution with 30,000 students — and the University of Virginia’s 21,000 students.

Expect Road Work at Joplin Road Tonight and Tomorrow Night

Interstate 95 south at Dumfries [Photo: Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]

QUANTICO, Va. — Drivers can expect delays tonight and tomorrow night on Interstate 95 south at Joplin Road.

More in a press release from Virginia Megaprojects.

Starting tonight, May 15, and Thursday night, May 16, from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., and again on Friday night, May 17, from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close a single right lane of I-95 south at Joplin Road, Exit 150 for approximately a half-mile. This will allow crews to safely install concrete beams for a new 95 Express Lanes bridge over Joplin Road.

On Joplin Road, (Route 619) two-way traffic will be directed by flaggers during overnight work hours.

All closures are weather permitting. Police will be on site for motorists safety. 


Quantico Office Buildings LEED Certified

Submitted News

Buildings at 925 Corporate Drive and 1000 Corporate Drive are each approximately 140,000 square foot office buildings located in Quantico , and are the first two office buildings in Stafford County to achieve LEED for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance Silver certification. Both buildings achieved EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certification in 2012 and are the only office buildings in the county to hold this achievement.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). 925 Corporate Drive and 1000 Corporate Drive are WRIT’s third and fourth LEED EB Certifications. WRIT currently has five LEED EB certified buildings bringing their total square footage of LEED certified space over one million square feet.


Support for Transportation Reform Yields $286 Million in Improvements in Stafford County

Traffic on U.S. 1 north crosses the Falmouth Bridge over the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg into Stafford County, at the Falmouth intersection which will soon be expanded. (Photo: Jim Lawrence/For


STAFFORD, Va. — After Delegate Mark Dudenhefer stood behind Virginia’s governor and voted for an $800 million transportation reform package last winter, Stafford County will receive some of the spoils.

In a press release today, Dudenhefer, R-Stafford, Woodbridge, outlined $268 million in new transportation funds coming to the county as part of the deal. With it, Stafford County’s six-year transportation plan will be updated to reflect the changes.

The projects include:

Repair and Paving:

1) $28.7 million to replace or rehabilitate structurally deficient bridges, including:

– Route 1 over Rappahannock Canal in Fredericksburg

– Route 1 over Potomac Run in Stafford County

2) An estimated $45-55 million a year is expected from combined construction and maintenance funds for interstate, primary, and secondary paving over the next six fiscal years. In addition, $20.5 million is targeted for Interstate 95 in the region. Among the pavement improvements that will be seen as soon as 2013:

– Route 1 in Stafford

– Route 3 in Stafford

– Numerous secondary and subdivision streets, in all 14 counties

New Construction Projects:

1) $184 million to reconstruct the Interstate 95 interchange at Route 630 (Courthouse Road) in Stafford County.

2) $55 million to fully fund preliminary engineering work and right-of-way on the Rappahannock River Crossing improvements on I-95 between Route 17 in Stafford and Route 3 in Fredericksburg.

3) $2.2 million to advance the study and design work for the addition of a fourth travel lane on I-95 between Garrisonville Road and Centreport Parkway in Stafford, as well as shoulder widening.

4) Route 17 Widening in Stafford County

5) Staffordboro Boulevard Commuter Parking Lot Expansion in Stafford County

6) Falmouth Intersection Improvement Project in Stafford County

“I am pleased to see that the decision we made in Richmond to improve and adequately fund Virginia’s transportation needs is bearing fruit. Less congestion and safer roads in the region is no longer a fantasy. We can now see real improvements on the horizon. None of this would have been possible without passage of the transportation bill,” said Delegate Dudenhefer stated in a press release.

The transportation bill divided Republicans in the General Assembly because the final version of the bill will bring higher taxes – a jump in sales taxes from 5 to 5.3% statewide and to as much as 6% in the state’s most congested regions in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Also under the new transportation law, the gas tax not touched since 1986 will be replaced with a 3% tax on fuel at the wholesale level. Democrats supported the bill as the GOP agreed to compromise for an expansion of Medicare in the state.

Dudenhefer also represents Woodbridge, and is the Republican Delegate from Prince William County who voted for transportation reform.

‘Orange Cones, No Phones’ Unveiled on I-95 Where Texting Remains ‘Vexing’ Problem

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton reminds drivers of the need for highway workers’ safety in the I-95 Express Lanes Corridor. [Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

DALE CITY, Va. — What once worked in construction zones on the Capital Beltway is now in use on Intestate 95: Orange Cones, No Phones.

The program sponsored by the builders of new Express Lanes coming to the interstate highway is meant to call attention to distracted drivers who use their cell phones to text, email, or talk behind the wheel. With $1 billion in construction happening along 29-mile express lanes corridor from Va. 610 in North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexandria, officials said drivers need to pay attention while on the roads.

“According to this report, distracted driving remains a significant problem and vexing problem in the D.C. metropolitan area, particularly in construction work zones. I probably don’t have to tell you that navigating work zones is extremely challenging and requires full time and attention, and anyone who drove the Express Lanes work zones on the Capital Beltway knows what we are talking about,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson.

Express Lanes on the Beltway opened in November, and now the concept is being expanded to I-95. The report Anderson references is authored by AAA Mid Atlantic and Fluor-Transurban, the builders of the Express Lanes. It surveyed 943 drivers between Feb. 27 and March 7. It found:

— Nearly one in five drivers on I-95 text while behind the wheel

— 17% of respondents admit to reading texts while behind the wheel

— 11% admit to writing text messages while driving

— 24% of I-95 drivers surveyed say they talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving

— 39% of those surveyed say they talk while using a hands-free device

— Three out of four drivers recalled using their phones while behind the wheel in the previous week

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton called attention to the safety of highway workers along the 95 Express Lanes corridor.

“In this work zone alone, almost 1,500 workers are out here pounding the work site. Every one of them is out there doing great work for the people of the commonwealth, making sure we get transportation improvements, helping make sure we help the quality of life and the economy of Virginia, at the same time they’re putting their lives in danger,” said Connaughton.

He cited a new texting while driving law set to take effect July 1 championed by Prince William County Delegate Richard Anderson that will make it a primary offense, and beef up fines for drivers caught by police texting behind the wheel.

Officials hope the Orange Cones, No Phones message is received by drivers as the busy summer construction season is ramping up. In the 95 Express Lanes corridor, drivers will see increased work on new flyover construction, barrier work, utility relocation, and sound wall installation that will cause delays.

The new Express Lanes, which will replace the current HOV lanes between Dumfries and the Pentagon, and see the construction of new lanes nine miles south of Dumfries to North Stafford, are expected to open in early 2015.

Yard Sale Map — Saturday, May 18, 2013


View Yard Sale Map in a larger map

Yard Sale Map for Saturday, May 18, 2013


17622 Rose Hill Circle in Dumfries

Yard Sale. Located at 17622 Rose Hill Circle, Dumfries. GREAT STUFF, Tools, Collectibles, Furniture, Artworks, Too much to list. Saturday, May 18, 2013. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.. Easy to get to, just off U.S. 1!

 Get your yard sale listed on the Potomac Local News Yard Sale Map!

Schools Superintendent Bridges Resigns, Headed Back to North Carolina


STAFFORD, Va. — Stafford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bridges is out.

The county school board accepted Bridges’ resignation and noted in a press release he would serve through the end of July.

“Dr. Bridges commented that being away from his family for extended periods of time over the past two and a half years has proven to be increasingly more difficult,” the press release stated.

Bridges held the post for two years. He came to Stafford after serving four years as the Superintendent of the Alamance-Burlington School System in Burlington, N.C. School officials said he’s become wary of being away from his back home in the Tar Heel State.

He accepted the job in Stafford County following and replaced Andre Nougaret who served as interim superintendent for four years prior to Bridges’ arrival.

“I have been fortunate to work with some extraordinary educators during my career, and my professional colleagues in Stafford are amongst the best,” stated Bridges in a press release.

Officials said the school board will develop a plan to replace the outgoing superintendent and to search for a replacement. Stafford County has five public high schools, eight middle schools, and 17 elementary schools.


Fatal Collision at Shelton Shop and Courthouse Roads Kills Stafford Man

Photo: Mary Davidson

STAFFORD, Va. — A Stafford man died Friday when his car collided with another.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said a 2005 Honda Accord driven by 35-year-old Jeffery L. Bolling, 35, crossed the double yellow lines of Shelton Shop Road near Courthouse Road and collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche traveling in the opposite direction at 11:59 a.m.

Bolling died at the scene. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt and said alcohol was a factor that led to the crash.

Geller did not offer any further details on the occupants of the Avalanche.


Aquia Harbour Man Arrested on Child Sex Assault


By KJ Mushung

STAFFORD, Va. – Stafford County sheriff’s deputies arrested a fugitive and extradited him to Raleigh to face serious charges of child sexual assault.

Joseph Darin Jenkins, 44, was arrested April 20 in Stafford and recently charged by Raleigh, N.C., police with three counts of first-degree sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a with a minor.

The alleged victim is currently 10 years old, according to Jim Sughrue, director of public affairs at the Raleigh Police Department. Reports say the sexual contact allegedly took place in Raleigh between December 2011 and February of this year, which means she was 9 years old or younger when it began.

Sughrue said he could not release details but said, “It was criminally inappropriate behavior.” He added that Jenkins knew the girl before the alleged crimes took place.

Raleigh police released Jenkins’ address as being 1004 Santa Maria Drive, Stafford, which is in Aquia Harbour. However, research by Potomac Local News shows his last several addresses as being in Virginia Beach. Phone numbers that had been listed for other people at the Aquia Harbour address were disconnected, as were several phone numbers listed for Jenkins in Virginia Beach.

Raleigh police personnel told Potomac Local News they are unsure of how they came to have that address for him but that it might have been given to them during processing. It’s also possible that Jenkins began staying there recently or was just renting a room.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office has not yet responded to inquiries.

Jenkins is being held in the Wake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Husband Charged in Shooting Death 4 Weeks Later


STAFFORD, Va. — Charges have been brought against a Stafford County man who shot his wife late last month, investigators said.

A grand jury in Stafford today indicted 42-year-old Arthur Gonzales, of 59 Alderman Drive, in the death of his estranged wife, Julie Serena Gonzales. Stafford sheriff deputies found the woman shot to death inside Gonzales’ home on April 19. The suspect told 911 operators that his wife attacked him and that he shot her after an argument, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

Julie Serena Gomez was found with gunshot wounds and was taken to a local hospital where she died. The suspect and the victim were the only ones inside the house at the time of the shooting, investigators said in April.

While detectives have been investigating the case since the beginning, it wasn’t until today that charges were formally filed. Gonzales today turned himself into police and is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail with no bond.

Kennedy said no further information on the case would be provided by his department.


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HOV Closures Continue Tonight

Photo: Mary Davidson

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Traveling Interstate 95 in our area tonight? Watch out for more closures on the HOV lanes from Dumfries to Washington.

Starting at 11 p.m., the HOV lanes will close until 10 a.m. Saturday, when the lanes will reopen at the Franconia-Springfield Parkway for drivers headed south into Prince William County. The northern section of the lanes from Springfield to Washington will stay closed until 5 p.m. that afternoon, when the lanes will reopened in their entirety in the northbound direction, according to a press release from the Virginia Megaprojects office.

Traveling on I-395 between the Capital Beltway and Seminary Road in Alexandria? One left lane of that portion of highway will also close at 11 o’clock tonight and reopen at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

All of these closures will allow crews working on the 95 Express Lanes Project to install new signage, and perform work on drainage, grading, and barriers along the project corridor which extends from North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexandria.

Transportation officials urge drivers to expect delays and find alternate routes if possible.


Stafford Doctor Indicted on 95 Charges in Narcotics, Overdose Case


STAFFORD, Va. —  A doctor in Stafford County was arrested this morning after police said she over-prescribed medications that lead to a patient overdose.

In all, the suspect faces 95 indictments against her that were handed down from a Stafford County grand jury Monday. The suspect, Dr. Nibedita Mohanty, 54, of 441 Marlborough Point Road in Stafford, was arrested outside of her office on Courthouse Road this morning, said sheriff’s office spokesman Bill Kennedy.

The arrest comes after investigators raided her riverfront home and office on Garrisonville Road earlier this year. Today, she is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

An ongoing criminal investigation points to Mohanty’s “illicit distribution of prescription pain narcotics in the Stafford County region to include surrounding jurisdictions,” Kennedy penned in a press release. He went on to say detectives learned the doctor was dispensing “substantial quantities” of pain medication “without appropriate medical oversight.”

Police also allege the recipients either abused the narcotics or turned around and sold them for profit. Investigators did not provide any information on who allegedly died after being prescribed the medication.

Members of the FBI and DEA participated in this investigation. Mohanty is charged with 72 counts of felony distribution of a schedule two narcotic, 22 counts of felony obtaining money by false pretenses (involving insurance fraud), and one count of involuntary manslaughter, said Kennedy.


Exhibit Featuring Works of Strauss, Hock, Opening at Workhouse Arts Center

Curacao [Photo: Kathy Strauss]

Submitted News

Opening on June 1 and on exhibit until June 30, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton will showcase an exhibition by artists, Kathy Strauss and Maria Bennett Hock. Their show, Weddings & Destinations celebrates brides, the wedding process and all of the sights & sounds a couple can see on their honeymoon. Maria’s traditional oil painting & Kathy’s photography integrate various antique techniques with modern digital methods. The result is a bright combination of artistic expressions that celebrate all of the happenings of a wedding.

"I Hope You Dance" [Image: Maria Bennett Hock]

“I Hope You Dance” [Image: Maria Bennett Hock]

Both artists will be on hand to talk about their work and the processes they used at the opening reception on June 8, 2013. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. in W16 in the Vulcan Gallery. The Workhouse Arts Center is located at 9601 Ox Rd. in Lorton. Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri.: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m; Sun: 12-5 p.m.

The artists have created pieces that will stimulate conversations, spark imagination, and bring smiles to all who see their work. Kathy says, “Have you ever walked by a scene & what you see takes your breath away? You remember these images in your dreams, they might be clear, they might be small & slightly out of focus… but for some reason it sticks with you… you feel it’s energy… it makes you feel good. I try to capture this energy in each piece I create — allowing the viewer to feel.”

Kathy Strauss is the Creative Director and Partner at ImageWerks. Her work is informed by 30 years of experience as a designer, photographer, creative coach, artist, teacher, business owner and community volunteer. Her graphic design background gives her imagery a distinct clean style that electrifies each image with precision and harmony. In her pieces, she uses a digital technique called High Dynamic Range to exaggerate the linear aspects of the scene, invigorating just the right spark, to bring each image to life. She is an Associate Artist in Gallery 902 at the Workhouse Arts Center where she exhibits her work. She exhibits her work at festivals and other galleries throughout the Washington Metropolitan area and mid-Atlantic. Both her work and business have garnered numerous awards.

Maria Bennett Hock specializes in painting portraits that convey emotion. Along with commissions and gallery exhibits, Maria is an Associate Artist in Gallery 902 at the Workhouse Arts Center, and is also a member of the Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, Springfield Art Guild, Torpedo Factory Art Center and volunteers as a docent at the Workhouse Art Center. Maria is also a Copyist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. She has studied in Europe and Asia as well as throughout the United States. She has a Bachelors degree from George Mason University with a degree in Art and Visual Technology.

For more information about the artists or the Workhouse visit:

Dense Fog Advisory Expires at 10 a.m.


The region is under a dense fog advisory from the National Weather Service.

Until 10 a.m., visibilities are expected to stay at a quarter a mile or less.

Traffic on area highways like Interstate 95 and 66 were moving without incident about 6:45 a.m. Thursday. The weather service still urged drivers to slow down in the face of dense fog to prevent accidents.

The sun has been absent from our area for most of the week. Thunderstorms are once again possible for today, but warmer temperatures near 80 degrees are on the way today.


Active Shooter Drill Planned for Quantico Middle/High School


QUANTICO, Va. — There will be loud noises coming from Quantico Middle/High School tomorrow.

The Marine Corps base of the same name on which it sits and emergency first responders scheduled an active shooter drill beginning at noon. Quantico officials warn the exercise is only a drill, and asked residents not be alarmed.

“Participating agencies will include but not be limited to Fire and Rescue Departments, Marine Base Quantico’s Crisis Management Team and the Provost Marshal’s Office,” a base spokesperson released in a statement.

Quantico officials describe the exercise as “full-scale,” and say it’s one that has been planned for more than a year to improve preparedness and response times in the event a shooter were to ever appear on campus.

The school has 308 students enrolled in classes in grades six through 12.


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