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MyLink teen summer bus pass helps teens and parents

  • Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission
  • Address: 14700 Potomac Mills Road
  • Phone: (703) 730-6664
  • Website:

Teens get unlimited local rides plus discounts for regional travel with MyLink teen summer bus pass

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is expanding its teen summer bus pass program in 2016, enabling teens to not only travel locally, but to also get discounted fares when traveling to nearby Metro stations and Washington, D.C.

PRTC is the public transportation provider in the Prince William County area. With a MyLink teen summer bus pass, teens (ages 13-19) can get unlimited local bus rides for three months for one low price. The pass is accepted between June 6 and September 3, 2016.

“I am thankful that you all have this program,” one MyLink teen wrote to PRTC in September 2015.

“It’s pretty awesome since I can’t drive right now. It gives me more freedom and This year, the MyLink pass will be loaded onto a SmarTrip card – the rechargeable fare card that is used by nearly all transportation agencies in the Washington metropolitan area. When a SmarTrip card is tapped to the PRTC farebox, the farebox will recognize the MyLink pass for local travel and will not charge a fare. When traveling outside the local area, riders will need to have additional money loaded onto the SmarTrip card to pay the difference between the local and commuter bus fares.

“With MyLink, teens who can’t drive or don’t have access to a vehicle don’t have to ask their parents and friends for rides. MyLink enables teens save money and have a safe, reliable ride to get to summer jobs, shopping centers, recreation centers, libraries and lots of other places they want to go,” said PRTC Interim Executive Director Eric Marx.

The MyLink pass costs $30 if the teen already has a SmarTrip card, otherwise there is an additional $2 fee to purchase the card. PRTC’s one-way local fare is currently $1.40; it will increase to $1.50 in July. At that rate, a teen who takes more than 10 local round-trips over the summer will save money with a MyLink pass.

All PRTC buses run Monday through Friday, and some routes offer Saturday service. Local OmniLink routes serve Dale City, Dumfries, Manassas, Manassas Park, the Route 1 Corridor, and Woodbridge/Lake Ridge. There is also Cross County Connector bus service connecting eastern Prince William with the Manassas area.

Routes traveling outside the region include Metro Direct buses serving the Franconia-Springfield and Tysons Corner Metro stations, as well as OmniRide commuter buses to Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, Arlington, and points in Northern Virginia including Tysons Corner and the newest destination – the Mark Center.

For more information about MyLink or any of PRTC’s transportation services, contact Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 or visit

Homeowner closes on Habitat for Humanity home in Manassas

A year ago, the Board of Directors voted to approve Armando Vargas as Habitat for Humanity’s fifteenth homeowner. And on Friday, May 27, he settled on his property on Bragg Lane in Manassas.

Sixty volunteers worked with Armando and Construction Team Leader, John Blake, to rehab the home over the course of five months, putting in nearly 1,400 hours of labor. Armando worked well over the required 250 hours that he needed for “sweat equity.” Not stopping there, and even after closing on his own home on Friday, Armando has volunteered at the latest Habitat for Humanity worksite, the rehab of a home in Woodbridge with family partners Wudasie Retta and Tesfaye Abuye.

While Armando has been a U.S. citizen for fifteen years, his wife, Maria Dolores, and their son, Fabrizio, are Mexican citizens. In just two days, as part of the Visa process, Maria Dolores and Fabrizio will complete a formal interview at the U.S. Consulate. Soon, they will join Armando in the home he has worked so hard to purchase for them! volunteer-button donate-button Family-Story-button

Make memories with your family at the Father Daughter Dance

There are so many ways to create lasting memories for everyone in your family, but here’s one that focuses on Dad and it is perfect–since Father’s Day is right around the corner!

It is the Father Daughter Dance at the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) on Friday, June 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. An event like this is a great way to start a tradition in your family; similar to how it began in mine. You see, once upon a time, my husband and daughters signed up for the Father Daughter Dance.

Each daughter wore her favorite dress and took turns dancing with their dad while their brother and I stood to the side and took lots of photos. My younger daughter balanced her tiny feet on her dad’s shoes and swayed from side to side. Meanwhile, her older sister led the way by dancing circles around her dad. Today, both of my girls often reminisce about what fun they had at their special dance with their dad.

The Father Daughter Dance is especially for young ladies, school ages kindergarten through fifth grade with their fathers or their favorite male guardian which could be an uncle, brother, or godfather. All you need to do is to pre-register at the Community Center (MPCC).

The cost is $15 for residents and $20 for non-residents. While you are able to pay at the door, it is strongly encouraged that you pay when pre-registering.

Then set aside this time for some dancing!

An event like this is a great way to start a tradition in your family
An event like this is a great way to start a tradition in your family
An event like this is a great way to start a tradition in your family

What else can you expect once you arrive? There will be photos taken, cookies to decorate, DJ music, Father’s Day cards to make, games including one where you try to guess each other’s favorite things, AND corsages for each young lady. There will also be refreshments served. 

What a great deal!

So, plan to attend and create lasting memories at MPCC on Friday, June 10 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Fathers and their daughters will cherish this time together while creating some wonderful memories!

Follow the event on Facebook for more information!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, and wellness areas as well as a variety of special events and programs. For more information visit us at or call at 703.335.8872.

This promoted post was written by Maria Bosack for the Manassas Park Community Center. 

We’ve got cloggers, belly dancers, wintry princesses, and train rides at the Heritage Railroad Festival in Manassas

The Heritage Railway Festival is back in Manassas for its 22nd year! Enjoy the rich railroad history of Manassas Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. surrounding the Train Depot.

A day full of family-friendly fun, the Railway Festival will feature a community stage on West Street hosting Premier Martial Arts, Wildlife Ambassadors, Bull Run Cloggers, and Magnificent Belly Dancers. Take an excursion train ride to Clifton and back featuring two wintry princess.

Tickets are available for purchase online and in person at the Train Depot. Excursion trains will leave at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.. After your train excursion, walk over to the Harris Pavilion and view the memorabilia and model train displays. Stop by the Farmers Market, enjoy children rides, shop novelty vendors and more!

A new addition to the festival this year, is the chance to win a tea party with the two wintry princesses between the morning and afternoon trains. Bags of Hershey Kisses are being sold at numerous downtown merchant locations with winning bags containing blue Hershey Kisses. Winners will have a one-hour tea party at The Things I Love for additional time with the princesses.

Back again this year is the Norfolk & Southern J-Class 611 Steam Train. The Steam Train will take passengers on a half day excursion to Front Royal and back Saturday morning and return around noon to remain as a static display for the duration of the festival. The Steam Train will then take two excursions on Sunday, June 5. A limited number of tickets remain for the three Steam Train excursions and can be purchased online at

Whether you love trains and railroads or are just looking for some family fun, this event is a great way to spend your Saturday and see all that Historic Downtown Manassas has to offer. For more information on this and other events in the City of Manassas, go to

Mall walking keeps seniors fit, healthy (and humorous!)

You can see them bright and early, at 8 o’clock most mornings — walking, talking and laughing in Manassas Mall, enjoying the new layout and the mall extension. They are the mall walkers, an informal group of retirees who are into staying active and getting some social time in, too.

This particular group of mall walkers met each other initially by good, old fashioned, in-person introduction, and before long they formed a strong bond. Members have been walking the mall anywhere from five years all the way up to 20 years. They range from ages 65 to 90 years old and tend to walk alongside those who have similar paces.

While they may not have discovered the fountain of youth, these seniors recognize a healthy habit when they see one. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “The loss of strength and stamina attributed to aging is in part caused by reduced physical activity. Inactivity increases with age. By age 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.” These stats don’t apply to the mall walkers.  

The benefits of walking are substantial. A study by University College London suggests that walking for an hour or two daily might lower the risk of stroke in both men and women by as much as one-third. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston say women who walk 30 minutes a day reduce their risk of stroke by 20 percent. If they engage in brisk walking, that benefit increases to 40 percent. And a study at the University of Colorado at Boulder found that post-menopausal women who walk up to two miles a day can lower their blood pressure by about 11 points in 24 weeks.

Walker Ruby Willbanks may or may not know about the stats, but she does know what advice to give. “Never give up,” she says. “Just keep moving.

The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.
The benefits of mall walking are substantial.

The Social Side

Charles Willbanks half-jokingly says he started walking because his wife Ruby told him to. But he is evidence of what the CDC reports on seniors staying fit: “Social support from family and friends has been consistently and positively related to regular physical activity.”

“I come to the mall because I know where it is,” jokes Richard Perry, who also belongs to a gym. On a more serious note, he adds, “This is social. I don’t know anyone at the gym.”

Mary Griffith, who says she has seen a lot of changes in the mall over the years, has been a faithful mall walker for two decades. Twice a week she also goes to the Manassas Senior Center to take a class called “Stand Tall and Don’t Fall.” She meets her walking friends at the food court for coffee and conversation after their brisk walks.

Most of the group grew up in the area, but there are people from all over the world and from different backgrounds.

Jacob Mathai is from India. He has been walking the mall for about four years. Sporting an iPhone he uses to track his miles, he says, “We come here for exercise, networking and fun. We’re here for each other. The people who come just feel better about life.”

“Every day is a good day,” says Ruby Willbanks.

Rev. Ralph Benson, Pastor of Brentsville Presbyterian, joins the group. He is former military and a former Pentagon chaplain. When asked what the group talks about, he says frankly, “politics and religion.”

The walkers also go on what they call field trips. On the last Friday of each month, they eat at IHOP in the mall. They visit museums together, like the Air and Space Museum, the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and others. They carpool together. Fridays are “hat days” when everyone wears different hats.

The quote they chose for their particular little group?  “Everyone makes us happy — some when they come, some when they leave.”

But, Charles Willbanks adds more seriously, “Everyone is welcome.”

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers stabilized a stream bank in Nokesville

In partnership with the Prince William County Department of Public Works, Habitat for Humanity volunteers stabilized a stream bank in Nokesville on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Stream erosion can carry away irreplaceable soil, degrade the appearance of a community and pose a hazard during floods whereas a healthy stream can be an important water resource for humans, livestock, fish and wildlife. Members of the Kappa Lambda Chi Military Fraternity stabilized three stream sections and rerouted the stream flow

at one section. IMG_0953

A second group of volunteers cleared away a huge pile of logs, limbs and branches and stacked the logs from a tree that was cut down. Our many thanks to Habitat Volunteer Team Leader Diane Nelson and Tim Hughes, Engineering Assistant from the Watershed Management Branch and Environmental Services Division of Prince William County’s Public Works Department, for leading the groups.


Shown here with Team Leaders Nelson and Hughes, volunteers from Kappa Lambda Chi included Zackery Friend, Robert Coleman, Demarcus Benson, Darryl Alexander, Michael VanHorn, Shaun Hickman, Xavier Jones, Rick Roger, James Lott and Jimmy Coates.


Pictured here with Team Leader, Diane Nelson, afternoon volunteers included Jessica Say, Mary Ta and Bryan Vu. To learn how your group can be involved in Habitat for Humanity’s Community Development projects, give us a call at 703-369-6708 or send an e-mail at

volunteer-button donate-button

Coaching your kids can be tough. Competitive Edge offers insights on being a better coach and parent.

The coaches at Competitive Edge in Woodbridge, Virginia are changing the way young athletes train.

Competitive Edge is a youth performance center offering 18,000 square feet of skill-building space, indoor batting cages, pitching tunnels, a full weight room, running lanes and a multi-use sports court, all which enables athletes to practice and train for baseball, track and field, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis and more.

But expert coaches are the real game changers at Competitive Edge. These coaches have more than just coaching skills; They also have unique parenting skills because they are coaches to their own children.
Expert coaches are the real game changers at Competitive Edge.
Expert coaches are the real game changers at Competitive Edge.
Expert coaches are the real game changers at Competitive Edge.
Expert coaches are the real game changers at Competitive Edge.

Monte-1Monte Evans, Co-owner and Director of Sports Management

Over the years, Monte Evans has learned a thing or two about coaching. As a dad to three athlete daughters, he co-founded the Dale City Track Club in 2010. He saw how much his twin daughters enjoyed running and began looking for clubs. When he saw there weren’t a lot of options, he started his own club.

Now over 300 strong, the club participates in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field, with members from ages six to 18.

Evans says there are several things he’s learned as a parent, a coach and now a co-owner of Competitive Edge. First, he advises parents who are coaching their kids to let others coach their children, too.

This allows the kids to acknowledge other coaches and know other coaching styles, he says. He also advocates for separating roles.

“Have an understanding with your child that when you correct them as a coach, it’s as a coach and not a parent…When you’re putting on the father hat, do something totally different and develop another relationship with them to balance things out.”


Darnell-1Darnell Washington, Director of Athletic Performance

Washington coaches his oldest child’s football travel team. At 13, his son is in basketball, too, but Washington only coaches him in football right now.
“I try to be involved in coaching, but I try to be hands off….parents have to learn that line,” he said.

He acknowledges that “being there as a father and being supportive while treating your child equal to the others on the team can be difficult.” But, Washington says, “You want the kids to be disciplined and want to treat people equally so other players don’t think you are playing favorites.”

Similar to Evans, Washington advises parents to differentiate between the parent and coach roles. “You kind of realize they need a different voice,” Washington says, so he also steps back and allows other coaches to coach his son.

What else is important? “Keep it fun for them, and keep the activity as an activity,” he says. “If you’re down their back, the kids won’t be successful, the team won’t be successful. Let kids know they are out there to have a good time. Coaching is a teaching tool. But don’t make it so it’s not fun anymore.”

Maurice-1Maurice Briddell, Director of Baseball


Briddell has been coaching his teenage son’s travel baseball team for the past 8 years and has walked the fine line between coach and parent, even recognizing that he needed to take a step back to assistant coach. Briddell says he learned that lesson when his son was 12.

“I was coaching all the time…in the car, going to the game, in the game, coaching on the way home, coaching him at home…that didn’t work for me. That didn’t work for our relationship,” he said.

Briddell says he was coaching more than parenting, and this was confirmed when his son would only go to his mother for things he needed and for advice. Once he took a step back, he says, his parent-child relationship improved.

Bridell advises other parents not to fall into the same pattern he did.

Magnus-1Magnus Ellerts, General Manager


Ellerts has been coaching his two boys ages 15 and 10 since they were in T-ball. He also advises parents not to coach outside of the field. He says if you do, children don’t hear what you’re saying when you’re on the field.

Regarding any conflict of being both dad and coach, Ellerts says, “Whether or not it’s my son out there with them, they are just a team at that point. You can’t be Dad to one of them and Coach to the rest. Some of that is the child’s responsibility. If you want Dad to be Dad in the car, you need to have Dad as Coach on the field.”

Ellerts also suggests parents take a step back and remember that “these players are kids. Winning or losing doesn’t matter. You just want them to get better and learn something.”

For more information on Competitive Edge, visit

Sentara Medical Center performs first Stemless Shoulder Replacement in Virginia

It’s not exactly a hidden secret to those in the Woodbridge area. Northern Virginia residents have access to top notch medical care in their community, thanks to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. But what many people don’t know are the stories behind the patients. Charles Harris is one such patient. It’s because of Sentara, with its dedicated staff and innovative surgical techniques, that Mr. Harris got a new shoulder.

Mr. Harris had been suffering from chronic, painful shoulder arthritis. After finding no relief through other avenues, in November 2015, Mr. Harris met Dr. Cyrus Press, an orthopedic surgeon at NoVa Orthopedic and Spine Care, a division of The Centers for Advanced Orthopedics. Dr. Press performs shoulder replacement surgeries at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

At his meeting with Dr. Press, Mr. Harris learned that he was a candidate for a new procedure called stemless shoulder replacement. The procedure is so new, it is critical to find a medical center that has the expertise necessary to make this type of surgery successful. If Mr. Harris agreed to the procedure, he would be the first patient in Northern Virginia to receive it.

“I didn’t even know you could replace a shoulder,” said Mr. Harris. After extensive research about his options for shoulder replacement procedures, as well as orthopedic surgeons, Mr. Harris scheduled his stemless shoulder replacement with Dr. Press for December 3, 2015.

Dr. Press is enthusiastic about this new surgical technology. He said, “It [surgery] provides me an innovative new option that I can discuss with my patients who suffer from shoulder arthritis. Being able to offer my patients the ideal surgery for their specific problem gives me great satisfaction and provides the patient the best opportunity to have a successful outcome.”

Dr. Press developed a good rapport and made Mr. Harris feel comfortable from the start. “I did my research on him, asked around to find out what kind of guy and what kind of surgeon he is, and I heard nothing but praise,” said Mr. Harris. Everyone told me, ‘He’s the best.’ And I’ve absolutely found that to be true. Dr. Press is both a remarkable surgeon and a great man.”

Immediately following the surgery, Dr. Press visited Mr. Harris in his hospital room to see how he felt post-surgery. “That meant a lot to me,” said Mr. Harris. “He was genuinely concerned with how I was doing. Not only as a patient, but also as a person. And that showed me that he’s every bit as good as people told me he was.”

Mr. Harris was amazed that he felt no pain from the incision itself, which was the pain he worried about most. The surgery was so successful that Mr. Harris went home the very next afternoon on December 4.

“I knew the strength would come back slower than the range of motion,” said Mr.Harris. “And, yes, that’s frustrating, but I honestly don’t feel that inconvenienced. I’m very focused on my recovery. I know I’ll be sailing this summer and throwing around the football with my grandson.”

Sentara’s unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality care for the Northern Virginia community is demonstrated each day through a coordinated care approach provided by a team of experienced surgeons along with specially-trained nurses, therapists and technicians. Mr. Harris is just one patient who has benefited from the enhanced patient experience at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

For more information on this approach, the Sentara OrthoJoint Center and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, visit

Manassas wants to know what keeps you coming back to Downtown, and what more you want to see.

Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) is in the process of re-branding itself and wants public input.

HMI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit contracted by the City of Manassas, but many people are unaware of what HMI does for the community.

However, much of what the community participates in is planned and coordinated by HMI.

“Many people hear ‘Historic’ Manassas and automatically think we run the museum and the historical landmarks in the City, but that’s not us,” said Executive Director Debbie Haight.

HMI created a short survey to gather a general idea of what people that HMI is, what draws them to a great downtown area, and more. The survey is designed to take no longer than 15 minutes of one’s time and also provides for an opportunity to win a gift card to the shops and restaurants in historic downtown Manassas.

HMI’s survey has only been up and running for less than a week, but the response has been incredible.

“The responses we’ve received so far have already shown us that people are confusing what our organization does,” said Haight. “However, it’s exciting to see so many people invested in the downtown district and we can’t wait to show them what they are helping us to create.”

After a brief look at the results many people are excited about all that has happened in Downtown Manassas over the last few years with new events and art initiatives and all that is to come.

If you have a few moments, consider taking this short survey and getting your opinions and thoughts heard here  The survey will be up through Sunday, May 29.


Roof, sidewalk repairs meet Woodbridge Habitat for Humanity home


Volunteers completed 75% of the roof repairs last week at Habitat for Humanity’s Central Park Drive Rehab so plans are set for this week to finish up the roof, to remove the cracked front sidewalk and to pour a new one.

Next week, trades will be in to work on the electrical and HVAC systems. Volunteers will start on bathroom renovations and prep the kitchen for when the new cabinets arrive. Visit the Volunteer Calendar to register as a volunteer and to get involved! Groups or individuals are welcome.


Lunch donors, please help us feed our hungry volunteers. Bringing lunch is a great way to make a whole lot of people happy and to receive a deduction for your contribution to a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit! We’re grateful to Susan Allersmeyer for donating lunch to the worksite last Thursday. She made enough meatball subs to feed the volunteers on Friday, too!


Volunteers learn new skills or practice and teach the ones they know! We’re thankful for the help of these volunteers on the Central Park Drive Rehab this week: Family Partner Tesfaye Abuye; Arthur Butt; Dave Williams; John Driscoll; Barbara Beverage; Megan Beverage; Geenelle Calliste; Maggy Machado; Joyce Hudson and Jefferson Thompson.


Don’t have time to volunteer but would like to contribute? Sponsorships and funding are needed for the Central Park Drive rehab and upcoming home repairs. Click Here to Donate. Call 703-369-6708 or send an e-mail if you’d like further information.

Fiducial building in Downtown Manassas sells for $1.3 million

“The possibilities and opportunities it offers are almost endless”

ECU Communications, a full-service digital marketing and advertising firm, and Whitlock Wealth Management, a full-service Ameriprise financial planning firm, have jointly purchased the historic building located at 9073 Center Street in the heart of Downtown Manassas. ECU and Whitlock Wealth Management will share the second floor of the building, and rehabilitate the ground floor for future rental.

The unoccupied building sold for $1.3 million. 

Built in 1915, the building occupies a prime location at the intersection of Center and Main Streets, just two blocks from the Manassas train station and parking garage and surrounded by restaurants, shops and art galleries. The building will serve as Manassas-based ECU Communications’ headquarters and a second location for Whitlock Wealth Management, which has its main office in Lake Ridge. City Manager Pat Pate underscored that “the addition of these two professional firms to Downtown Manassas exemplifies the continuing diversification of the City’s business base, as more and more firms choose this historic, vibrant location”.

“We’re working with the City to make the most of the building’s location, history and character. The possibilities and opportunities it offers are almost endless,” said Jackie Krick, president of ECU. “This acquisition will also help ECU continue to grow our private sector and local client base,” Ms. Krick added. Bennet Whitlock, principal of Whitlock Wealth Management, concurred. “Not only is this a great location,” Mr. Whitlock said, “but it allows us to significantly expand our business footprint into the City of Manassas and central Prince William County, which will help us serve more investor clients.”

As an Ameriprise Advisor, Whitlock Wealth Management specializes in retirement and estate planning, wealth preservation strategies and comprehensive investment planning. ECU Communications specializes in digital and multicultural advertising and marketing, serving government, corporate and nonprofit clients. For more information about Whitlock Wealth Management, please phone 703.492.7732 or visit online at For more information about ECU Communications, please phone 703.754.7728 or visit


Engineering for Kids in Woodbridge is not your average STEM education

Battling robots. Launching rockets. Video game design. Does all this sound like something your kids would be interested in?

How about you, too?

Welcome to Engineering For Kids. With locations throughout the U.S. and the world, Engineering For Kids provides STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) enrichment programs for children ages 4 to 14.
Kids participate in STEM-inspired activities like computer science, robotics and other fun, educational activities to pique their interest in engineering programs.

There are over 300 different lessons with diverse subject matter, including robotics, aerospace activities, chemical engineering, science experiments and even classes based on the popular online game, Minecraft.

With all this to offer, it’s no wonder why Engineering For Kids appeals to a variety of kids. Marketing Coordinator Bonnie Schule says, “We see all different ages. We have girls and boys.”

Civil construction
Egg drop
Paper tower challenge
Building robots

City of Manassas celebrates its business community in May

Recognizing that businesses are the backbone of Manassas, the Manassas City Council recently issued a proclamation night declaring May “Business Appreciation Month.”

“The strength of the City of Manassas relies on the strength of its business community,” says Mayor Harry J. Parrish II. “Our businesses create jobs and make the City a great place to live, work, and do business.” (more…)

Sudley Road named after forgotten Sudley community

Like many road names throughout Prince William County, Sudley Road and Sudley Manor Road find their beginnings with the influential Carter Family.

In the 1750s, Landon Carter was deeded a portion of land from the Middle Bull Run tract in northern Prince William, eastern Loudoun, and western Fairfax counties. While Landon primarily lived in Richmond County at Sabine Hall, the task of developing the Middle Bull Run tract was given to two of his sons: John Carter and Landon Carter II. (more…)

Jail house life recreation one of several events during Prince William Historic Preservation Month

May is Historic Preservation Month, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions that historic preservation has made in strengthening local communities.

Prince William County is lucky to have many organizations that help preserve our community’s history, including a County Historic Preservation Division. The Prince William County Historic Preservation Division is the caretaker of nearly a dozen historic sites and properties that interpret the history of all of Prince William County’s residents from the pre-colonial era to today.

The early history of our county is best showcased at Rippon Lodge Historic Site in Woodbridge. The 1747 estate of a colonial elite, Rippon Lodge was restored in 2007 and follows the history of the building and the county as new sections were added in the following 200 years. (more…)

7 reasons to choose sports camps at Manassas Park Community Center

It’s that time of year. Summer camp season is upon us, and the excitement builds up in the household.

I can recall my youth and the constant annoyance I became to my parents to please put me into a summer sports camp. I attended Elite basketball camps in Pittsburgh all the way down to Orlando, Fla. I also participated in sports camps from soccer to football and I met a variety of great coaches and staff.

I developed numerous friendships with other campers whom would later turn out to be some of the same men and women that became star athletes respectively in their sports. (more…)

Dance, improv comedy, music part of bigger Manassas Gallery Walk

Gallery Walk is back and bigger than ever in historic Downtown Manassas on Friday May 6 from 6 to 9 pm. Residents and visitors are invited to come out and explore all of the arts this vibrant downtown has to offer.

This year, along with stationary visual arts, there will also be live performances of dance, music, and improv comedy throughout the streets.

Partnering with the Prince William County Arts Council, this year’s Spring Gallery Walk event has attracted a larger number of artists thus adding excitement for all that there is to see throughout the evening. (more…)

Louisiana flair, fun coming back to Manassas for ‘Cajun Occasion 2’

Okra’s will throw a Louisiana-style picnic again this year in Historic Downtown Manassas.

The celebration — Okra’s Cajun Occasion 2 — invites residents to the lawn of the Manassas Museum where they can be with family and friends, listen to live music, and treat themselves to a bounty of Louisiana fare.

“This is the kind of thing where everyone can come down, bring a lawn chair, listen to live music and get their dance on, or they can go to our all-you-can-eat buffet and feast on our lagniappe,” said Okra’s Cajun Creole Restaurant Owner Charles Gilliam. (more…)

Virginia Governor’s restoration of voting rights also will affect gun rights

  • Goodall, Pelt & Carper, P.C.
  • Address: 1259 Courthouse Road, Ste 101 Stafford, VA 22554
  • Phone: 540-659-3130
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Gov. Terry McAuliffe allowed more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election last week.

This single action marks one of the biggest steps taken by a state to instantly restore voting rights. The change applies to all felons, violent and non-violent, who have completed their sentences and been released from supervised probation or parole. Furthermore, with the signing of this executive order, McAuliffe eliminated the need for an application for those that had completed their sentences.

“Once you have served your time and you’ve finished up your supervised parole...I want you back as a full citizen of the commonwealth,” McAuliffe said. “I want you to have a job. I want you paying taxes, and you can’t be a second-class citizen.”

Along with restoring voting rights, the governor’s action restores the right to serve on a jury, become a notary public and run for public office. The new rights also apply to felons convicted in another state and living in Virginia.

However, this action alone does not automatically return the Constitutional Rights found in the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. According to Virginia State Law, the Governor does not have the power to restore firearm rights to convicted felons. Pursuant to Section 18.2-308.2 Code of Virginia, convicted felons who have been granted restoration of their political rights can then petition the Circuit Court where they reside and request a hearing on restoration of firearm rights by the Circuit Court Judge. The court may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, grant such petition and issue a permit.

With the Governor’s blanket political restoration, I would expect that many of those 200,000 felons will now petition their Circuit Courts for the restoration of their firearm rights. Our law firm is ready to assist these individuals in regaining this important right.

With the political restoration completed, the process to petition the court is rather simple. An attorney will draft the petition, give notice to the Commonwealth Attorney, and then notice the case for a hearing.

I would expect to be before a judge in less than 30 days from filing. In my 15 years of practice I have successfully petitioned for this right on behalf of my clients many times.

Goodall, Pelt & Carper, P.C. offers this service in the City of Fredericksburg, and Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, and Caroline counties. The standard fee for this service is $500. Once the petition is granted the felon will have the right to purchase and possess firearms legally in Virginia.

“The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and now, thanks to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, is attainable to many more Virginians.”

This post is written by Jason M. Pelt. Senior Partner Goodall, Pelt & Carper, P.C.

Aden’s origins remain a true mystery

Was Aden ever more than a Country Store?

Traveling on the back roads toward Nokesville from Route 234, there is a four-way stop at the crossroads of Aden Road and Fleetwood Drive. (more…)

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