WE ARE LOCAL News in Stafford, Virginia



Stafford set to break ground on armed services memorial


Stafford, Va. – Stafford County is set to break ground on its $838,000 Armed Services Memorial located to the rear of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford. A special groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.

“This effort began five years ago when the grieving family of Donald Lamar, a Marine sergeant killed in Afghanistan, asked if Stafford County could honor their son in some way. The Board of Supervisors decided we would honor Donald as well as everyone else who has served,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers on the Armed Services Memorial Commission and the Working Group. They started fundraising last May, exceeded their goal and set a new one. Thanks to them, we are beginning the construction of this memorial earlier than we had anticipated and it will have extra enhancements due to their success at fundraising.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be Daniel Chichester, chairman of the Armed Services Memorial Working Group. Special guests will be Fredericksburg Christian School’s Enduring Freedom Honor Team, ROTC Honor Guards from Stafford’s high schools, the American Legion Honor Guard, the Wildcat Chorus from Mountain View High School and vocalist 1st Lt. Talia Bastien of the United States Marine Corps.

The Profiles of Honor History Mobile from the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission will also be visiting the Government Center parking lot that day.

“We decided to honor those who have served, are serving and will serve in the future, as well as their families,” said Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas, USMC-Ret., member of the Armed Services Memorial Commission. “I am so appreciative of my colleagues on the commission and the working group as well as Stafford County and all those who have made donations for enabling this beautiful memorial to be built to honor the best and the bravest.”

The memorial will feature markers recognizing nine major conflicts, beginning with the Revolutionary War. As well, an art contest was held for the design that will be etched into the granite wall located at the end of the memorial. The dedication is scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 2017.

Sponsorships are available for the enhancements and citizens may buy bricks to honor loved ones and friends. The bricks will line the walkways throughout the memorial. For more information on sponsorships or buying a brick, please visit StaffordArmedServicesMemorial.com

Man arrested for attempted malicious wounding of two Stafford Deputies

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

On March 20, 2017, at 11:54 p.m., Deputy W.C. Betush was stopped in the parking lot of 1739 Jefferson Davis Highway when a Honda CRV pulled into the lot and parked approximately 10 feet away from his marked cruiser. Deputy Betush felt that the subject was possibly in need of assistance and he exited his cruiser in order to speak with the driver. (more…)

Mikes Diner demolished to make way for wider Stafford Route 610

A backhoe ripped through Mikes Diner on Monday, what was one of the only independently owned restaurants in North Stafford. 

The staple eatery popular with its regulars for its breakfast is demolished to make room for a wider Route 610. 

An unsuccessful effort was launched last year to save the diner from demolition. 

Also demolished this week was a house that sat across the street from Mikes Diner. It, too, was taken so that Garrisonville Road can be widened from four to six lanes between Onville and Eustace roads. 

Holiday Inn Express North Stafford part of growing ‘select service’ hotel catering to business travelers

Primary Dinning
Front Door
IHG Lobby
Front Desk
Guest room 1
Meeting 3
Coffee area

It’s been about a month since the Wingate Inn in North Stafford changed its name to Holiday Inn Express, and there’s already been a noticeable improvement.

The rooms are completely renovated, and the pool went from a chlorine-filled swimming hole to a salt water oasis, and the continental breakfast is now anything but bland.

The changes are part of an $6 million renovation project at the hotel located the heart of North Staford, across from Stafford Marketplace. Changing the brand of the hotel was a significant move to attract and cater to business travelers.

“If we’re going to do a full renovation we’re going to go for a higher brand,” said Amal Lambaraa, Managing Director of Lambaraa Hospitality LLC at the Holiday Inn Express in North Stafford.

The new name not only means fresh linens and a brighter coat of paint. It means a better, healthier complimentary breakfast with low-calorie pancakes, waffles, and grab-and-go healthy options like fruit and gourmet coffee.

“Some days, the breakfast you take away can also be your lunch. You can take your food with you, and that prevents you from needing to run out to a gas station to get food or coffee,” added Lambarra.

There is over $1 billion in new hotel construction happening across Virginia right now. Leading the pack are these types of “select service” hotels. (more…)

Traffic accident leads to muliple charges

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

On March 19, 2017, at 1:24 a.m. Deputy M. R. Flick responded to a reported hit and run in the area of 2862 Jefferson Davis Highway behind McDonald’s.

Upon arrival, Deputy Flick observed a silver Nissan situated on top of a median. He also observed uprooted shrubs and a broken McDonald’s entrance sign. There were two male subjects standing near the Nissan’s driver’s door. As he approached, one of the males walked away. (more…)

Stafford man wins $492,919 lotto prize


It may be the most memorable lunch break Shaun Bennett has ever taken.

The Stafford carpenter was working on a roofing project when he stopped at the Wawa at 275 Butler Road in (Stafford County). He bought two Virginia Lottery tickets and won $5. So he bought another ticket and won $25. He took $10 of that and bought a 20 Years of Cash ticket. That ticket won the top prize of $2,500 per month for 20 years.

He had the choice of taking the monthly payments or a one-time cash option of $492,919 before taxes. He chose the cash option.

As he waited for his check at the Virginia Lottery’s Northern Virginia Customer Service Center in Woodbridge, he bought another Scratcher ticket and won an additional $25.

The 20 Years of Cash Scratcher is one of dozens of games available from the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $5 all the way up to $2,500 per month for 20 years. Mr. Bennett is the first player to claim the top prize in this game, which means three more remain unclaimed.

The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 2,080,800. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 4.21.

Law ensures Virginians can resell tickets

In a defeat for Ticketmaster, a new state law will allow Virginians to resell tickets they’ve bought for concerts, football and basketball games, and other public events.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed two bills that would protect people involved in reselling tickets – a practice critics call scalping. The law also says you can’t be turned away if you show up at an event with a ticket you received from someone else. (more…)

9-1-1 Call hang up results in concealed weapon arrest

Stafford, VA. On March 10, 2017, at 8:29 p.m., Deputy K.J. Simpson and Deputy S.P. Whitt responded to a 9-1-1 call from a residence on Poplar Road. The call had disconnected before deputies arrived on the scene. As is the routine practice, the deputies were outside interviewing the husband and wife about the circumstances that led to the call.

A short time later, an uninvolved male subject exited the residence and approached Deputy Simpson. As the male approached, he began using very explicit and abusive language toward law enforcement. (more…)

‘While none of it is funny, comedy…gets people to stop talking…and literally act’


Rahmein Mostafavi has been bringing headlining comedy acts to venues in Northern Virginia since 2011.

His shows at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, in Arlington, Fredericksburg, and other locations have introduced area residents to acts who have been featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and others.

We talked to Mostafavi about his recent efforts to use laughs to raise money for a serious cause — helping children in war-torn Syria.

PL: What inspired you to start the “All for Aleppo” fundraising campaign?

Mostafavi: Quite simply the horrifying images of the country and it’s suffering people. Especially the children.

PL: How much money did you raise?

Mostafavi: $11,976

PL: What was the best thing about doing this campaign?

Mostafavi: Seeing the people come out for a cause that has nothing to do with their daily lives. We can all just watch the news and even get sad, but to take the time to go out and do something, even as simple as attending a comedy show, is action.

It was truly heartwarming to see people give, $5, $10, $20, and
often much more than that to people that, at this time, need if far more than we do.

PL: What’s a big challenge you had to overcome with this endeavor?

Mostafavi: Honestly, it didn’t take much. The DC comics are very supportive and wonderful people. The minute I put the word out about these shows, I had more than enough talent to produce great shows. Our talent pool runs extremely deep in DC.

I suppose the challenge was taking time away from my kids to do these non-profit shows. They are old enough to know when daddy is gone, so they got a bit less daddy time during this run. However, it provided me a perfect opportunity to sit them down to talk
about exactly what I was trying to do.

They are smart boys. They got it and became supportive too. When I’d get home from a fundraiser, they’d ask me how much I’d raised for
the people of Syria.

PL: Where are you performing next?

Mostafavi: I’m kind of all over. Locally my next shows are my productions that I’m hosting in Leesburg, Lorton, and Fredericksburg. Details at coolcowcomedy.com.

PL: Was it a bit awkward to use comedy as a way to raise funds for such a tragic endeavor?

Mostafavi: At first, I had those concerns as well. But it’s like any fundraiser. Whether it’s the Orlando shooting, Katrina, etc…we gather for the cause. While none of it is funny, comedy is simply the magnet that
gets people to stop talking or posting about a given situation and literally act.

PL: When did you start your business Cool Cow Comedy?

Mostafavi: About six years ago.

PL: What’s next for you and Cool Cow Comedy?

Mostafavi: More of the same I suppose.

PL: If someone wants to donate to your campaign how/where do they do that?

Mostafavi: At this point, no more fundraiser shows are scheduled. Please donate directly to whatever cause inspires you. The three I focused on where Islamic Relief, Doctors Without Borders (with Syrian focus), and Handicap International (with Syrian focus).

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

Bingo mixed with aerobics keeps seniors active during winter months

The winter months can be a difficult time for seniors.

Cold temperatures and wintry weather conditions can make it difficult to go outside or to take regular shopping trips and excursions.

The Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care Center near Manassas recognizes this can be a problem and works to keep their residents active and engaged on gray winter days.

One of the ways it does so is by gathering residents in a dining area and playing “Arringo,” an activity that mixes aerobics with bingo to engage the mind, body, and soul.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas