Your Local News Fix in Prince William, Manassas, and Stafford, Va.




Stafford County Fire and Rescue Dept. Teams with Operation Warm to Provide Winter Coats to Children

STAFFORD, Va. — Did you know just $35 can buy a new warm winter coat for a child?

The Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department has teamed with several area organizations to provide winter coats to children for the upcoming winter season. And, if this winter is anything like the brutal cold and snow that befell us last year and kept children out of school for days on end, they’re going to need them.

“To date, Operation Warm has given new winter coats…throughout America. We invite you to be-come our partner, a hero in your community, and help us ensure that all children feel warm, healthy and valued,” Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle stated in a press release.

The Operation Warm organization aims to provide winter coats for more than 1.7 million children across the U.S. by the end of the year. Doyle said that, locally, the fire department is teaming with the following organizations to help get coats to kids who need them:

Stafford Professional Fire-fighters Association Local 4012

Stafford County Public Schools

Apple Federal Credit Union

The Wawa Foundation

Walmart Stores

“Providing brand new winter coats brings families facing challenges closer to reaching their goal of financial independence. Through community-based partner-ships, Operation Warm provides families with brand new winter coats for their children,” stated Doyle.

Donations can be made online

Dog Falls into Pipe

STAFFORD, Va. — A small dog fell into a pipe outside an apartment complex at the Villages of Aquia on Forreston Woods Drive, about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities in Stafford County say it’s not the first time this has happened, either. 

Here’s more in a press release.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division is requesting the public’s assistance in preventing incidents involving dogs or small animals from falling into uncapped 4-inch “clean out” pipes.

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 the Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division, Stafford Fire & Rescue and Stafford Utilities were contacted to assist in rescuing a small yorkie dog that had fallen into a 4 inch, uncapped, “clean out’ pipe. The dog’s owner had been walking the dog off leash, in an apartment complex, when the dog fell into the 8 foot deep pipe. Ultimately the dog was rescued by personnel on scene. In March of this year a similar incident occurred which resulted in an excavation and failed attempt to remove a small dog. Unfortunately in that incident the dog did not live. Once again multiple agencies had responded with shovels and digging equipment in an attempt to rescue the animal.

Citizens are requested, that if they have “clean out” pipes on their property, to make sure that they are capped properly. Citizens may contact Stafford County Utilities if they have questions about the type of cap to place on the exposed “clean out” pipes. It is the responsibility of the property owner to cap the open pipe. If citizens’ notice uncapped pipes on public property they are urged to contact Stafford County Utilities at 540-658-8630.

RACSB Plans Stafford Open House

STAFFORD, Va. — The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) will host a series of open house events their five outpatient clinics. The events are an opportunity for RACSB to provide local and state elected officials as well as community members with an update on the community-based mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, prevention, and early intervention services offered by RACSB. 

An event in Stafford will be held on Wednesday, October 29 at the Stafford County Clinic, Charles A. Cooper Building, 15 Hope Road from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Newton, Thomas to Perform at Celebration Stage

STAFFORD, Va. — Stafford County is proud to announce that one of its own, renowned bluegrass musician Mark Newton, and his partner, Steve Thomas, will perform the first concert held at Stafford’s new Celebration Stage at Pratt Park. Newton and Thomas are set to play the stage, an initiative of the Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

“We are delighted to have a wonderful venue to offer performances of this caliber to our citizens,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Jack Cavalier, Griffis-Widewater District. “I think it’s fitting that a native son of Stafford County performs the first concert at a stage that symbolizes our 350 years of history.”

Newton is a veteran of the Heights of Grass, Cabin Hill, the Knoxville Grass, Virginia Squires, Tony Rice Unit and even the Seldom Scene for a brief stint. Thomas has toured with award-winning artists such as Barbara Mandrell and Del McCoury. He’s played the Grand Ole Opry with Jim & Jesse and the Osborne Brothers. They bring with them years of musical experience, a Grammy nomination, a CMA nomination and multiple IBMA awards.  The duo formed in 2012 and just released their first album Reborn.

Tickets for the concert are $1 and may be purchased online, at a Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities office, or at the concert. No alcohol is allowed at the park and patrons are asked to bring their own chairs and blankets. Celebration Stage is located near the entrance to Pratt Park at 120 River Road, Falmouth, VA 22405.

On U.S. 1, Police Find Drugs, Firearm Inside Truck

STAFFORD, Va. – In the early morning of Sept. 6, a male suspect was arrested on Jefferson Davis Highway on several drug charges and possessing a firearm after a Stafford County Sheriff deputy saw the suspect’s car weaving in between lanes. 

Major David P. Decatur said that at around 2 a.m., a Stafford County Sheriff deputy saw a car identified as a “silver-colored Dodge Ram pickup truck” that was traveling south bound on Jefferson Davis Highway. Decatur further said that the deputy on duty noticed that the driver of the car had difficulty staying in the designated lane which prompted the deputy to perform a traffic stop.  

As the deputy conducted the stop and searched the car, multiple drugs and a firearm were found which added up to three separate charges and in addition, the driver of the car will face added legal penalties for hazardous driving, said Decatur.  

During the investigation, the deputy found many items in the car that included a rifle, an unknown amount of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, as well as a large amount of money on the suspect, said Decatur. Lastly, Decatur identified the suspect as Kenneth Wayne Kissenberger, 27, of 5284 Browning Road, of Culpeper and he was sent to Rappahannock Regional Jail while being placed on a $2000 bond.

Yankees Back in Falmouth This Weekend

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — This weekend, Sept. 13 and 14, teach President Lincoln how to take a “selfie” at the 7th Annual “Yankees in Falmouth! And Some Confederates Too!”

This family-friendly and free event in Stafford County interprets the Union Army’s occupation of the Rappahannock River community of Falmouth during the Civil War. The event will be held on the grounds of the Moncure Conway House, an Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Historical Site, and the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

Bring your family out to the event and engage them in history while they capture pictures of a variety of reenactors, including Union and Confederate soldiers, President Lincoln, the 14th Brooklyn, also known as “The Red Legged Devils”, 23rd USCT African-American regiments, 8th Virginia Infantry, 13th Virginia Infantry, 47th Infantry, Edenton Bell Battery/Artillery, and 3rd U.S. Regulars. Some of the military reenacting units will portray the historical counterparts that were encamped and quartered in Falmouth during the Civil War. Event activities will include daytime and nighttime artillery firing demonstrations, period music by Evergreen Shade, special lectures, strict military impressions, period telegraph display, encampments, civilian living history interpretation, and other special activities.

On Saturday, two presentations will be given: “Civil War Union Women in Falmouth and Stafford” by Al Connor and “Servant Call Bells and the Southern System” by Lenetta Schools. On Sunday at 11 a.m., a Civil War Church service will be held and the general public is encouraged to attend.

Saturday’s daytime event is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday will also feature a special night time cannon firing at 8:30 p.m. at the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

Sunday’s event is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, visit For more information about the “Yankees in Falmouth! and Some Confederates Too!!” annual event and other Civil War activities in Stafford County, please visit the or contact Stafford County Tourism directly at 540-658-8681.

River Road in Stafford County Closing for Tree Removal

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — A section of River Road in Stafford County will be closed to traffic on Thursday, Sept. 11 and Friday, Sept. 12 for tree removal.

River Road will close between Route 3 Business, near Chatham Bridge, and the entrance to Pratt Park between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. this Thursday and Friday. The River Road entrance to Pratt Park will remain open to traffic approaching from the Route 1 area.

A contractor will be removing trees along River Road as part of a U.S. Department of the Interior project.

Next week, River Road will close again at the same location from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15 and Tuesday, Sept. 16. 

Stafford County Opens Citizens Academy Registration

021011 Stafford Courthouse

STAFFORD, Va. — The Stafford County Citizens Academy is now open for student registration. The academy is a series of classes taught by Stafford County employees designed to familiarize citizens with the services that they provide to the community. 

The academy will run once a week in October. Classes focus on educating residents, business owners and interested individuals who work in Stafford on how the operations of their daily county government contribute to building a better community. Topics will include an introduction to local government, as well as information on various County departments and programs, the County budget, and history and tourism.

Classes are free and take place on Thursday evenings in October, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

Space is limited and students are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The minimum age to participate is 16. To register, please contact Jeff Shover, Citizens Assistance and Volunteer Services Manager, at (540) 658-4516 or  

It’s Transition Time at North Stafford Commuter Lot — Starting Monday

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Park at the Staffordboro Road commuter lot near the Stafford Marketplace shopping center? 

There are some big changes you need to know about. Here’s the latest from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Traffic will be transitioned to a new parking section in the Staffordboro Boulevard Park & Ride lot in Stafford County beginning Monday, Sept. 8.

New parking spaces will open as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) closes the existing Park & Ride lot for refurbishment.

This is the final stage in an 18-month construction project to add nearly 1,000 spaces to the lot. Work is anticipated to finish on time with all parking spaces open by late October 2014.  

“We encourage motorists to arrive a few minutes early on Monday, Sept. 8 to meet their carpool, vanpool or bus, or to use the new HOV carpooling pickup area,” said Michael Coffey, P.E., VDOT Assistant District Administrator for Construction, Fredericksburg District. “We appreciate the public’s patience while we finish this final phase of construction. We look forward to opening the entire lot in October with new pavement, bright lane markings, and more than 1,800 parking spaces.”

VDOT has posted a map online of the new parking section and traffic patterns that will be in place during the transition period.

What Lot Users Need to Know

  • The existing Park & Ride lot will close at 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5.
  • The existing lot will remain closed until the end of the project. VDOT is paving the lot and painting new lane markings.
  • There is no net loss of parking spaces. Before this phase of construction, 882 parking spaces were available, and 912 spaces will be available on Monday, Sept. 8.
  • HOV carpooling (also known as slugging) will move to a designated area in the new section of the lot. Signs will be posted to direct users to this pickup area.
  • Buses should collect passengers at the new bus bay area, and follow the recommended traffic patterns to enter and exit the lot.
  • The number of handicapped accessible parking spaces will double to 28 spaces.

About the Project

Construction began in May 2013 on a $12.9 million expansion of the Staffordboro Boulevard Park & Ride facility, which is maintained by VDOT.

When fully open in October, the finished lot will have 1,865 parking spaces.

While the project was under design, VDOT invited Fredericksburg area commuters to submit suggestions to promote safe and orderly traffic flow. The expanded commuter lot will include:

  • A consolidated, central location for carpool pickup and dropoff  

  • A bus pickup and dropoff bay that can accommodate 4 passenger buses

  • An extended sidewalk along Staffordboro Boulevard

  • Left and right turn lanes into a new lot entrance on Staffordboro Boulevard

  • A roundabout that connects the commuter lot to Doc Stone Road, Juggins Road and Moncure Lane, improving access management to the site. 

Anne Kadis Wins Stafford County 350th Art Competition

Local artist Anne Kadis envisioned marrying Stafford’s rich history with modern day life in her award-winning work “History Lessons.” Ms. Kadis won the Commemorative Art Piece Competition sponsored by 350th Anniversary partner The Professional Artists and Artisans Association of Stafford County (PAAASC). Limited edition prints of “History Lessons” will be offered as a thank you to the many volunteers who have helped make the 350th Anniversary a success.

“Without our many volunteers, we would not have been able to pull off the events and programming this year,” said Chairman of the 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee Harry Crisp. “We wanted to do something special for them and I think this lovely print will remind them of this special year and their important role in it.”

Ms. Kadis said this is the first painting she completely staged. She wanted to depict the strong roles of African-American women in the lives of children like the young George Washington as well as pay tribute to the role of Stafford County as being part of the “Freedom Trail” slaves used to escape. The quilt in the painting is an heirloom belonging to Ms. Kadis’ family. The setting for the painting is the front porch of Concord, a home built in 1790 in Stafford that belongs to local historians Rick and Jerrilynn MacGregor. The original painting is on display in the lobby of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

Stafford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration is still going strong! The Wings and Wheels Festival takes place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, where Stafford will honor its strong military heritage. The Trail to Freedom Tour and the Rowser African-American History Wall dedication follow on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Personalized bricks are still available to support these two events as well as other 350th Anniversary programming. The bricks will be placed at the Rowser Building. For more information, visit 

It’s Too Hot Outside This 1st Day of School for Outdoor Activities

082711 Brooke Point High School

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — It’s the first day of school and already some activities are already canceled. 

This is what SCPS posted to their Facebook page: 

 All Outdoor Activities Canceled at Stafford Schools for Tuesday, September 2 All outside activities at all Stafford County Schools have been canceled due to heat index/temperatures. This includes elementary school recess, all physical education classes, and middle and high school after-school athletic and after-school activities. High School games will be rescheduled and afternoon and evening practices may be moved indoors. Please contact the individual school with any questions regarding rescheduling or practices.

At 1:30 p.m., the temperature in Stafford County was 90 degrees with scattered thunderstorms in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service. I’ll be hot again tomorrow with highs in the upper 80s. 

Stafford County Parents Greeted by New Security System at Schools

It’s the first day of school across the area today. For nearly everyone — especially those with children — summer has come to a close.

Students in Stafford County are going back to school today, and the school division wants parents to know their child is a bit safer thanks to precautions put in place at the front door of the school. 

Here’s more in a press release:

In an effort to increase the security of its schools and facilities, Stafford County Public Schools is installing a video intercom entry system at each of its 30 schools and 4 operating sites.

The system, called AIPHONE, will be installed at the main school entrance and allow the main entrance doors to be locked during the school day and still permit visitors to enter (all exterior school doors are locked during the school day).  Visitors will push a button on an intercom located on the wall by the main front door of the school.  A security camera at the door will allow a school staff member to view the visitor on a screen inside the building.  The visitor will be asked for identification and the reason of the visit.

Once the visitor is approved by the staff member, an electronic door lock will be released so that the visitor may enter the building.  As is current practice, upon entry into the school, visitors will sign-in at the office and obtain a visitor’s badge. A photo identification card (driver’s license, state ID card or military ID) is required to sign-in.  In the event school staff believes the person requesting entry is a danger to the students or staff, entry into the building will not be allowed.

Installation of this system is taking place this summer for the majority of schools and facilities.  Several schools will have the system installed in 2015 and 2016 as part of ongoing or planned construction projects.  

SCPS asks for the cooperation of all parents and school visitors as this security enhancement is implemented.  We encouraged parents to visit their child’s school prior to the school year to become familiar with this new security feature.  

Stafford Spending $101,340 on Modems for Waste Water Pump Stations

One of Stafford County's 89 pump stations. [Photo: Stafford County Government]

STAFFORD, Va. — Computers, your cell phone and, yes, even waste water pump stations rely on transmitting data wirelessly.  

Stafford County is giving $101,340 to Sterling Engineering Solutions – the sole bidder on a project, according to county documents — to replace modems on 89 waste water pumping stations at various locations around the county.

The radio modems currently in use transmit information from the stations back to a central computer. But, those modems are over 10 years old and are no longer compatible with newer equipment purchased in recent years, according to county documents.

At the cost of about $1,139 per new modem, the county will pay about 27% more for the modems than they did 10 years ago. The winning bidder will install the modems and help Stafford County’s utilities department workers bring them online.

Prior to the modems, utilities workers had to collect data the old-fashioned way: they actually had to drive out to wastewater collection stations for maintenance, stated county spokeswoman Cathy Vollbrecht in an email.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors approved the contract at their August 19 meeting.

North Stafford’s Brafferton Center Sells for $22.3 Million

[Submitted photo]

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — That shopping center you drive by on Garrisoville Road — you know the one with Sport and Health gym, restaurants like Mainstreet Grill and Bar, and North Stafford’s late-night staple Dunkin Donuts – we bet you didn’t know it was called Brafferton Center. We also be you didn’t know it just sold for $22.3 million.

Mosaic Realty Partners, based in Baltimore, bought the new center. We were tipped off to the sale in the press release from Larry Lichtenauer, president of Lawrence Howard & Associates, Inc., in which this information was included:

Located at the intersection of Garrisonville Road (Route 610) and Brafferton Boulevard, the retail center is currently 98% occupied and anchored by Sport & Health, a health and fitness club which occupies approximately 50% of the project. Additional tenants include Dunkin’ Donuts, Massage Envy, Avis Car Rental and Sweet Frog. The center is within close proximity to North Stafford Plaza, Walmart, Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement and is less than one mile from the Garrisonville Road exit of Interstate 95.

Brafferton Center is comprised of a retail strip of stores containing approximately sixteen separate retailers, as well as two free-standing out parcels that house an additional eight retailers. Approximately 70,000 consumers and 23,000 households reside within a five-mile radius of the project with an average household income of more than $112,000.

 “Brafferton Center is positioned within a high density residential section of Stafford County, and the entire retail group has established a loyal and consistent consumer following in the community,” explained Neil Markus, Principal of Finmarc. “The new owner acquired an excellently-maintained and visible asset contained within an environment that features among the most recognizable retail brands in the country.”

“Our team was able to identify a number of viable buyers for this asset with Mosaic Realty Partners, a locally-owned and managed real estate company, emerging as the most suitable purchaser,” stated Mat Adler, of the KLNB Retail Investment Sales Group. “This property, which represents the firm’s initial acquisition in the Virginia area, complements the company’s existing portfolio.”

The photo we used in this post is, we’ll admit, kind of polished, but we used it anyway since we don’t have a file photo of Brafferton Center. It was also submitted to us by Lichtenauer.

Bum Gun Used in Robbery Outside North Stafford Gas Station

STAFFORD, Va. – On August 27, a 51-year-old man, originally from North Carolina, was hospitalized at Stafford Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries after being robbed at a Kangaroo Express on 34 Prosperity Lane in Stafford. 

Major David P. Decatur said that deputies went to the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel where the victim was staying at located on 3097 Jefferson Davis Highway. The victim said that he was involved in a fight as he was bleeding from multiple places on his face and body, said Decatur. Between 10 and 10:30 pm, the victim went to the Kangaroo Express to put air in his tires and upon putting money in the air machine, someone approached him and shouted at him to empty his pockets, said Decatur.

The victim turned around to see that the suspect had a handgun pointed at his face as he kept shouting demands, said Decatur. A fight started between the victim and the suspect, causing the gun to fall on the ground, when another suspect came with a revolver, said Decatur. The revolver did not go off as the suspect was pulling the trigger because the victim kept hearing clicking noises which indicated it was not loaded or shooting correctly, said Decatur.

Once the victim got on the ground, the suspects dragged and assaulted him before leaving the scene on foot, said Decatur. After the incident, the victim blacked out and upon regaining consciousness, drove back to the hotel, said Decatur. There at the hotel the victim discovered more injuries, as well as his cash and cell phone missing, said Decatur. 

The victim could not give any description of a car present and a very limited description of the total of three suspects, said Decatur. The victim was able to recall the weapons as a black semi-automatic handgun and a smaller black revolver, said Decatur.

Children Given to Mother after Serious Road Rage Case

STAFFORD, Va. – On August 20, a man was charged and arrested following a road rage incident on Interstate 95 near Courthouse Road Commuter Lot. 

Stafford County Sheriff spokesman William Kennedy said that the victim of the road rage incident told a deputy that while he was traveling south on I-95, a car began to tailgate him. Kennedy then said the victim slowed down his car by releasing the gas but not pressing the brakes until the car decided to pass him.  

The driver of the car passed the victim on the right lane and as the driver was passing, the driver slowed down so he could be side-by-side with the victim, said Kennedy. Kennedy said that the driver then pointed a handgun at the victim’s direction and mouthed something. When the victim saw this, the victim slowed down at the nearest exit and immediately called the police, said Kennedy.

Kennedy further said that while speaking with the deputy, the victim gave the description of the driver and the car and later on two deputies found the suspect driving south on I-95. The deputies stopped the car that matched the description given and identified the suspect from the road rage incident, said Kennedy. While in custody, deputies identified the suspect as Maurice Knight, 27, of Sterling, Va., and they found two small children in the back of the car, a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, said Kennedy.

The children were turned over to the mother while Knight was taken in to speak with the Deputy at the scene about the incident and when police searched him they also found marijuana, said Kennedy.

Knight was charged with 2 counts felony child neglect, brandishing a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of marijuana and was sent to Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $2000 secured bond, said Kennedy. 

Aquia Harbour Rescue Squad Station 9 Building, Land to be Conveyed to Stafford County

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — The Aquia Volunteer Rescue Squad building and the land it sits on will soon belong to Stafford County.

A deal brokered between the gated community’s Aquia Harbour Property Owners Association and local government officials will lead to the 22-year-old building, known as Station 9, being upgraded within the next 10 years, according to county documents. Volunteers and career fire fighters from Stafford County will continue to use the building for fire and rescue operations.

County officials say this is one of many fire and rescue stations owned and operated by the county. Most of the volunteer-related expenses, such as continued training, will continue to be paid for by the volunteers themselves.

The fire station is staffed by volunteers between 18 to 25 percent of the time, primarily on nights and weekends, and the rest of the time by a paid career crew made up of county firefighters. There are no plans to add additional staff at this time and, though the contract stipulates the building will be improved, county officials did not have information outlining what those improvements would be.

Aquia Harbour resident Mike Shepherd said the building sits on coveted land inside the neighborhood next to the main, guarded entrance to the subdivision. The roadway in and out of the neighborhood, Washington Drive, may need to be widened at some time in the future, said Shepherd, and that may be harder to do now that the county owns the building.

“Why should we give up that spot right there? It’s on the main road and it’s adjacent to the guard shack where people come in and out of,” said Shepherd.

According to the agreement between the county and property owners association, the building and its land will be conveyed back to the association if fire and rescue operations ever cease at the site, and the county cannot amend the current lease of the building to the Aquia Harbour Volunteer Rescue Squad without the approval of the property owners association.

A check of the property under county records shows the land and building value as zero as property taxes are not levied on the station.

This is not the first fire station in Stafford County to have its ownership conveyed to the county government. Potomac Hills Station 10 has also been conveyed to the county.

The county owns outright Stafford Station 2, Berea Station 12 in south Stafford, and Station 14 on Shelton Shop Road in North Stafford.

Residents inside Aquia Habour also pay to fund their own state-accredited police force.

KJ Mushung contributed to this report.

Updated: Expect Road Work, Delays on U.S. 1 in Boswell’s Corner Postponed

U.S. 1 at Telegraph Road in Stafford County [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

Updated Thursday, Aug. 21

From the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Lane closures at Route 1 and Telegraph Road in Stafford County scheduled for this weekend have been postponed due to forecasted weather conditions. The work will be rescheduled for a later date.

All lanes of Route 1 and Telegraph Road will remain open this weekend. 

Original post Tuesday, Aug. 19

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Drivers who take U.S. 1 on weekends should prepare for some delays in North Stafford. 

The Virginia Department of Transportation says roadwork in Boswell’s Corner area will cause minor delays this weekend: 

Motorists may experience minor travel delays Friday evening and Saturday at the Route 1 and Telegraph Road intersection in Stafford County’s Boswells Corner area due to road construction.

Between 10 p.m. Friday, August 22 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, southbound Route 1 will be reduced to one travel lane for several hundred feet at the Telegraph Road intersection.

Also, Telegraph Road will be reduced to one travel lane between Route 1 and the Interstate 95 overpass. Traffic will alternate driving in the remaining open lane, directed by a flagging crew.

This project is adding turn lanes at the intersection of Route 1 and Telegraph Road. It is being administered by the Federal Highway Administration-Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division. This weekend, lane closures are needed so workers can build a right turn lane from Telegraph Road to southbound Route 1.

Construction work is expected to conclude in fall 2014. For more information, please visit the EFLHD project webpage

Boswell’s Corner is just south of the Prince William County line and the rear entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

With Indoor Pool, Rec Center & Fields, Stafford Aims to Bring Fitness to the Center of the County

112613 embrey mill park

STAFFORD, Va. — The shovels are ready and Stafford County leaders have been summoned to toss dirt to herald the construction of a new $12 million indoor / outdoor recreation center.

The 76,000-square foot center will be located at the county’s new Embrey Mill Park, located in the new housing development of the same name just off Mine Road.

Here’s a description of the new facility, according to county documents:

…the Embrey Mill Indoor Recreation Facility to include three pools, one of which is a competition class, 50-meter deep water pool capable of attracting major regional swim meets to the county.

The 76,000 square foot facility will also include a shallower pool suitable for family activities, and a therapy pool, along with exercise, physical conditioning, instructional rooms, and locker room facilities.

The Facility is to be located on the same 50- acre site as a rectangular field complex, with shared parking, utilities, and stormwater management. The field complex is planned for eleven rectangular fields, including up to four artificial turf fields, capable of hosting major regional tournaments in a variety of sports. 

Stafford’s parks and recreation Director Jamie Porter says the new centrally-located facility just off Interstate 95 will provide a place for year-round swimming lessons for children, and will help to ease the burden on already crowded swim lanes in the county.

“We don’t have the capacity to manage the high school swims teams that we have. We hold meets at Woodlands and Curtis [the only publically-maintained swimming pools in the county] but parking is an issue,” said Porter.

Providing more swimming lanes will also open up opportunities to attract new, private swimming leagues as well as ones that have been turned away in the past due to lack of space, she added.

As for the 11 new fields, a county study found that more parents want county parks that have a variety of fields serving sports that catering to multiple age groups. Right now, many younger teams play on fields at one park while other teams with older children play at other parks, said Porter.

And, while the project is all systems go, there isn’t any money in the current county budget to hire the needed parks employees that will work at the new facility. The parks department requested two maintenance workers for the new recreation center but elected officials decided not to fund the positions.  

In all, Porter says three full-time positions, as well as a few part-time staff will be needed to operate the center.

Construction on the new center is expected to be complete by fall 2015.

Stafford Locals say Brewing is an Everyday Adventure


STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — At 150 degrees, the enzymes inside begin to break down and sugars start to separate from the grains. What remains is poured into a boil kettle where the batch begins to boil at 210 degrees. Hops are added for flavor and then removed.

In the end, there will be 85 to 90 gallons of Backpack Wheat – it will be the only batch made this week, and it will last them just as long.

“Everything we do is done here… beer is brewed here… it’s served here,” said Stan Johnson, co-owner of Adventure Brewing Company in Stafford.

“Backpack” is a refreshing beer meant to quench thirsts and is one of at least five brewed here in this warehouse just off U.S. 1, by a group of guys who work by day in technology and are beer craftsmen by nights and weekends.

The beer makers also pride themselves on their IPA, stout, and “Super Power Pale Ale.” Each batch made is like a small science project as the crafters try to get the brew to measure up to the last batch. But science didn’t always come easy.

“I was terrible at chemistry,” said Adventure Brewing Company co-owner Tim Bornholtz. “I’m now going back to take graduate-level courses on chemistry – it’s hard.”

Never planned on opening a brewery

Johnson, Bornholtz, and John Viarella are the brew masters at “Adventure.” Johnson, Bornholtz say they’re from Stafford County, and they all began brewing beer together in the late 1990s for friends at parties and barbeques.

Later, “life happened,” said Bornholtz, and the guys had children and raised families.

“It was purely a hobby, something that we did and then we got a batch beer at the end of end of it. Never did we have plans to open a brew house,” said Bornholtz.

They guys got back together in 2011 and began brewing again and decided to make their dream of a production brewery and tasting room a reality. A new law passed in 2012 allowed Virginia breweries to have a tasting room and that, and a rezoning order passed by Stafford County officials, were the catalysts to spring Adventure Brewing into life.

Bar a sycamore cut down nearby Stafford Courthouse

The guys tele-commnute to their day jobs which allows them to work out of the brewery during the days. At nights and on weekends they open the tasting room so beer enthusiasts can sample some local brew.

There are several beer taps connected to several cold kegs all containing genuine Stafford County brewed beer. The bar is a 186-year-old sycamore tree cut down nearby the Stafford County Courthouse.

And, just like those who go to wineries, brew house customers are discerning.

“People go from brewery to brewery, come in and want to try something they’ve never had before,” said Bornholtz. “If they come in and nothing is new, they’ll say ‘OK, see you next week.”

Plans to expand to restaurants

“Adventure” opened in May and is one of two breweries in Stafford County. A third is in the works.

While they perfect their beer, unlike wineries, don’t look for food to be served here anytime soon. Food trucks park sometimes outside the brewery on weekends and sell food to beer drinkers.

“We’re a production brewery. Getting beer out to people whether in kegs or bottles is what we do. We make beer. Period,” said Bornholtz.  

Drinkers may one day within the next two years see Advenutre’s beers on taps at area restaurants – most likely at a craft beer bar, the kind of place that has at least 30 taps, said Bornholtz.

While customers wanting tastings fill the brewery on Saturdays, Thursday nights are quickly becoming popular for a “geeks who drink” trivia night. If you want to go, it costs $6 for a growler and $12 to fill it. A pint costs $6 and $2.50 for a six-once taster.

The tasting room is open Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. 

The Five Costly Mistakes of Car Ownership (Promoted Post)


If a modern car is treated with care, it can last for over 100,000 miles without needing major costly repairs. However, neglecting you car’s maintenance needs can leave you with a large bill that could have been avoided. Do you really want to be spending extra money?

Here are five commonly-made mistakes to avoid. Doing so will not just save money, but keep you and your passengers safe as well.



Putting off an Oil Change

While oil technology has improved dramatically over the past couple of decades, it is still important to change your oil as recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Motor oil gradually breaks down as it is circulated through your engine. After a certain number of miles, the oil doesn’t provide adequate lubrication. In modern engines, many manufacturers use some form of variable valve timing or hydraulic pressure from the oil pump to help make the cars more powerful and efficient. Not changing the oil greatly affects these systems. Changing your oil is one of the kindest, simplest things you can do for your vehicle to insure your engine performs like it is supposed to for a very long time. Skipping this simple task can shorten the life of your car.

oil change

Regular oil changes are one of the easiest ways to maintain the life of your vehicle.

Changing Tires without an Alignment

An alignment ensures that the wheels of your car are positioned properly on the road. When a car is out of alignment, the tires wear out prematurely or in places where they’re not supposed to. If you are replacing two or more tires it is important to have this checked to get the most life out of the tires.

Installing Oversized Aftermarket Wheels

While some aftermarket wheels are carefully designed to be compatible with certain vehicles, getting the wrong wheels can harm your vehicle’s suspension and ride comfort. Also, if you buy wheels that are too large for your car, you can damage your fenders and wheel wells. Even though, the wheels and tires may technically fit on the vehicle it puts more force on the wheel bearing and brakes and can make them wear out prematurely although it looks cool, (and I agree) be prepared for some extra repairs.

jump start kit

A portable jump start device is great to keep with you in your vehicle.

Buying a Cheap Battery

A dead battery is a huge hassle. Often times, it means waiting for a jump start, or having to wait for a ride to get a battery to put in your car. And it’s important to find the exact battery for your car. A less expensive battery generally has fewer cells and less reactive material in it then a higher end battery so therefore the cold cranking amp ability and the longevity will generally be less. Going to a garage with ASE certified technicians with the right battery test equipment can help you avoid an inconvenient break down.

Getting Cheap Body Work

If you have a dent on your car, sometimes you can be approached by a “professional” in a shopping mall parking lot, or a friend might offer to take care of the problem. Beware, because sloppy body repair can cost more to correct than the original damage. Once an amateur has damaged the paint, a dent that could have been repaired by a professional for $100 dollars or (3 egg laying hens, and 5 pounds of bacon) * according to google July 29th, 2014, might now cost five times as much to be fixed.

At HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire we perform auto and truck repair service such as brakes, alignments, oil changes, shocks and struts, electrical work, check engine light diagnostics, tires and much more.  We are SWAM (small woman and minority certified).  We are locally owned and operated.  Learn more at

This content was written and produced by Hometowne Auto and Tire, which supports’s mission to cover news in the communities we serve.

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