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3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show

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The 3rd Annual Historic Manassas Bridal Show is taking place on Sunday, March 12, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory. This free event is proving to be that the third times a charm for this growing event with a wide variety of 30 wedding-related vendors. In years past, the event has been held at two other potential wedding venues in the City – the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum Lawn. This year will be the first indoor show at another great downtown wedding venue – Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.

This year’s Bridal Show will make the most out of this unique, gorgeous location. The first floor of the Center for the Arts features a gallery ideal for a happy hour before the reception. Hop on the elevator to the third floor featuring the perfect space for a reception. With gorgeous exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, this space is perfect for a reception with around 120 guests.

This year’s show will feature 30 vendors located on both the first and third floors. Local downtown merchants including Amy’s Bridal Boutique, Shining Sol Candle Company, Scatter Seeds, Jirani Coffeehouse, Travel Place, and Okra’s Cajun Creole will be set up along with popular venues such as Morais Vineyards and Airlie. Photographers, bakers, entertainment providers, specialty gift providers and more will be set up as well. A complete listing of all participating vendors can be found here. (more…)


Manassas Park builds community, finds success with youth basketball

Ask any Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation staff member what is the most popular program offered and without hesitation, they will respond, “The youth basketball league.”

The Manassas Park Youth Basketball League (MPYBL) is going into its 20th year, and lots of credit is owed to the community spirit the residents and employees of Manassas Park exude.

“Whenever we come there’s always a sense of family,” writes 2016-2017 MPYBL Coach Steve Gaskins, “There’s something here for everyone. It’s like a second home. The staff is always friendly and knowledgeable, and the building is organized and clean.”

Gaskins is not exaggerating. Generations of families have grown up with Manassas Park Parks and Recreation including children who enrolled in Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) preschool before the current building was built and are now graduating from high school. Children who participated in Extended Care and MP3, afterschool programs for school-age children and teenagers respectively, are now working part time jobs at the Community Center.

Many players return year after year to participate in the league. High school freshman Jonathan Ojo enjoys the basketball league for its great level of competition. (more…)


Manassas City businesses shine, take home top awards

This past Tuesday evening, the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual business awards dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas to honor the best of the local business community. Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.

The City of Manassas presented its first “Business of the Year Award” to Management and Training Consultants Inc. (MTCI).  For more than 15 years MTCI has specialized in federal and military recruiting, retention and personnel management. MTCI is led by Dalena Kanouse, President and CEO.  Under Dalena’s leadership, MTCI has received a number of national and international certifications.  She is passionate about ensuring the principle upon which MTCI was founded — “maximizing human potential” is at the core of everything they do.  She truly believes the greatest asset of MTCI is the people who carry out the mission.  76 percent of the company’s associates are veterans; of those, 50 percent are retirees and 26 percent are combat veterans.

Additionally, many of the City’s businesses were nominated in the eleven categories of Chamber awards, including local favorite Jirani Coffeehouse for its commitment to enriching the lives of those in our community as well as Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services for providing outstanding professional services in the Greater Manassas region.

Four City businesses received top honors:

  • Tech Company of the Year: Aurora Flight Sciences

Headquartered at the Manassas Regional Airport, Aurora Flight Sciences is a world-wide leader in the research and development of unmanned aircraft systems, robotics and autonomous flight technologies.

  • Emerging Business of the Year: KO Distilling

Craft distillery KO Distilling opened their doors in the City of Manassas on September 12, 2015 with a 12,000 square foot facility featuring a state-of-the-art distilling plant, barrel storage, and tasting room. Co-founded by college classmates and long-time friends Bill Karlson and John O’Mara, KO Distilling is part of the emerging craft spirits industry in Virginia, providing exports as well as tourism revenue.

  • Business Excellence Award (11+ Employees): Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, PC

From their start in 1986, one of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian’s goals was to become a sophisticated law firm providing top-notch work for the community’s legal needs. Over the years, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian has grown to include twelve practice areas and 29 employees who all work in concert to provide every client with the best possible outcome for their legal needs.

  • Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Arts and Education: Center for the Arts

The mission of the Center for the Arts is to enrich the creative community by engaging people of all ages; celebrating diversity, fostering innovation and cultivating collaboration and communication. Where similar organizations may be focused solely on visual arts, or dance, or theatre with programs for either adults or children; the Center for the Arts is proud to offer programs for all ages, in a multitude of mediums.

Additional Nominees from the City of Manassas:

Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year: Historic Manassas Inc., Novant Health UVA Health System

Community Outreach Award: Jirani Coffeehouse, Mr. Handyman, Apple Federal Credit Union, Transaction Expert

Government Contractor of the Year: MTCI-Management and Training Consultants Inc.

Outstanding Professional Service: Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Twin Air LLC, Mr. Handyman

Tech Company of the Year: Tracen Technologies Excellence in Small Business: Transaction Expert Business Excellence Award: Hepburn and Sons, Apple Federal Credit Union

Chuck Colgan Visionary Award: Mike Vanderpool

Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Health and Human Service: Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Apple Federal Credit Union


Take these numbers to heart

There are important numbers that can give you an overall picture of your heart health. Keeping track of your numbers provides you with a history of your health and encourages you to continue working toward your goals.

Here are the healthy numbers you should aim for and what they mean:

BMI: Based on height-to-weight ratio, body mass index (BMI) is an overall indicator of healthy weight. BMI does not distinguish between women and men. Your BMI should be between 20 and 24.

Waist circumference: Extra waistline inches can indicate heart disease risk because abdominal fat has a harmful effect on vital organs. People with a normal BMI but a high waist circumference are encouraged to reduce abdominal fat. Women should have a waist circumference of less than 35 inches, and men should have a waist circumference of less than 40 inches.

Waist-to-hip ratio: This ratio is sometimes used instead of waist circumference. To calculate, measure the circumference of your waist at its smallest point and measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point. Divide waist measurement by hip measurement. (Example: waist circumference = 35, hip circumference = 40, 35/40 = .88). Women should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.8, and men should have a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.95. (more…)


Check out Mad Mondays in March at Chick-fil-A Bristow

Download the PDF file .

Each Monday in March, there’s something special going on at Chick-fil-A Bristow!

Mad Hatter Monday — Monday, March 3, 2017

Wear your craziest hat and get a FREE chocolate chip cookie!

Luck O’ the Irish Monday — Monday, March 13, 2017

Wear green from head to toe and get a FREE soft drink!

B-Ball Jersey Monday — Monday, March 20, 2017

Wear your favorite team’s B-Ball Jersey and get a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich!

Crazy Bunny Ears Monday — Monday, March 27, 2017

Wear your craziest Bunny Ears and get a FREE IceDream!


Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas

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Retail space for rent on Zimbro Avenue in Manassas. This is a high-visibility, attractive leasing opportunity.

The space is situated along heavily trafficked Route 28 and is surrounded by many neighborhood amenities. Space is ideal for a bookstore, tutoring services, laundry mat, pet hospital, food services, or restaurant.

I’m looking to rent this 2,000-square-feet of retail space. Please call Irene at 703-225-9824.


The Prince William K-9 Unit: Ready at a moment’s notice

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1st Sgt. Michael Blake and K-9 partner Luke make a great team. Blake has been with the Prince William Police Department for almost twenty years. Luke is a German shepherd rookie – he will only be two in March. But Blake has already said when it’s time, he wants to retire with Luke.

The Journey and Training Begin

The Prince William County Police Department doesn’t buy dogs like Luke at the local pet store. They bring these intelligent animals from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and parts of Eastern and Western Europe. The male dogs bought from this region are worth the $7,000 price tag because there is less chance of them having inherited conditions like hip dysplasia. Since German Shepherds are active dogs, a condition like hip dysplasia could limit their mobility early in life.

The dogs have an average lifespan of ten to twelve years. This means that K-9 German Shepherds are career dogs because they typically work until they are nine to ten years old unless they get hurt.

Dogs that work in the K-9 unit undergo training to go out “on the job.” Luke completed fourteen weeks of full-time training to graduate to support the patrol officers. Luke continues to attend reinforcement training two days per month.”

Home Life

K-9 officers get to bunk with their handlers. The dogs do best if they are integrated with the family, Blake said, so Luke lives at home with Blake and his family. Blake and Luke bond over playing in the backyard, and tummy rubs. But when it’s time to work, Luke can be at attention and sprint off in a matter of seconds.

“The bond you create with these guys is incredible,” Blake said. “We’re inseparable at home.”

Luke loves to play with his toys. His favorite toy is a “Kong,” a kind of rubber ball. “He’ll do anything and everything for that ball,” said Blake, “but he has to do what I ask him to do first.”

In this way, Luke learns discipline in both work and play.

On the Job Experience

On and off the job, Luke follows verbal commands like “heel.” He also follows hand signals to sit and stay.

But a police K-9 isn’t there to do tricks. Police dogs are trained to sniff out different things. Luke supports the Patrol Unit by sniffing out the human scent to help locate suspects and items a suspect might have touched. And when it comes to apprehending a suspect, dogs like Luke are taught to bite.

Like most police dogs, Luke is trained on a “bite sleeve,” a special padded sleeve that protects an officer’s arm during training. During the interview, Luke demonstrated some of his bite sleeve skills.

Sgt. Heath Oyler volunteered to wear a bite sleeve. Luke first started on a lead when he lunged and bit onto the sleeve. After he was let off the lead, he sprinted towards Oyler, bit the sleeve hard and would not let go. Blake encouraged Luke, saying, “Hold him, buddy!”

Then Oyler let the sleeve slip off while Luke held on to it. When the dogs bite, they bite to hold, not to tear, Blake said.

In another practice drill, a credit card was thrown into the field at the Manassas Western District Station, and Luke ran around the field, sniffing and hunting. When he found the card, he didn’t pick it up in his mouth – he laid down next to it, waiting for Blake.

Even though Luke must stay alert, be prepared and ready to go, Blake said the department is only allowed to use dogs in certain circumstances.

When they do, they must announce to the suspect that they are releasing the dog. They give the warning in English and Spanish. Blake said most suspects are smart enough to stop and put their hands in the air once they know the dog has been released.

A Popular Unit

The K-9 Unit is often coveted by recruits eager to work with the dogs. However, not all on the waiting list will be eligible for the position. First, officers must serve two to three years in the Patrol Unit before applying.

Then, they must pass a specific agility test. Those with tactical experience are preferred. They must also live in the county in order to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The greater lead time a suspect has to get away, the harder it is for the dogs to find the suspect’s scent or items the suspect has left behind, so K-9 Unit officers must be local.

See more about the Prince William Police Department K-9 unit.

Read about last year’s K-9 graduates.

For more information and to apply online, go to joinpwcpd.org

Read more from our series

Prince William County Police detectives chosen to work for a higher cause

Prince William on patrol: ‘This Job is About Integrity’

Prince William County Police Digital Forensics team puts heart, soul, and mind into solving cases

How a love for animals and a vet degree spawned a career as a Prince William County Police officer

 



Historic Manassas reveals new logo

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Featured photos in slideshow: New logo, old logo

Over the last year, Historic Manassas, Inc. (HMI) has worked endlessly on their rebranding efforts and are excited to announce the release of their new logo. The new logo features a streetscape of Main Street as well as the welcoming historic water tower. To represent Historic Manassas’ close partnership with the City, their new tag line ‘Historic Heart. Modern Beat.’ was also incorporated into the logo.

Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, worked to create the perfect logo.

“We are humbled to be a part of this rebrand, excited that Manassas is undergoing a wonderful amount of growth and change, while still staying true to its history. We felt it was fitting to create a logo that married a vibrant energy to its beautiful architecture, and we are very proud of the result,” said King.

HMI began their rebranding efforts within the community by creating a survey last spring to determine who the community thought HMI was. The former logo, the downtown train depot, gave many the impression that HMI was just those who ran the train station or a committee involved with the museum and historic preservation within the City. Very few realized the involvement HMI has in the community including the numerous events that take over the streets of downtown each year.

Historic Manassas, Inc. was formed to promote a positive image of Historic Downtown Manassas and to perpetuate its revitalization. HMI feels this new logo helps to push forth its mission statement to engage the community in promotion, preservation, and enhancement of our vibrant Historic Downtown. Those interested in learning more about HMI’s four committees can find information here on their website.

Keep an eye out for the new logo and be sure to check out all of the events coming up in downtown. Next up is First Friday – March Madness on March 3!


Prince William, Manassas partner for History Symposium to highlight depth of local history

Photo by Flickr user Jimmy Emmerson.

On Saturday, March 25, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division is co-hosting a day-long history symposium with the Manassas Museum, Historic Prince William, and the Prince William County Historic Commission.

Join us for an educational and interesting Symposium that will highlight various local history topics that spread the breadth of the history of Prince William County and the City of Manassas.

The topics and speakers include:
“The Washingtons of Prince William County” by Dr. John Maass, “The JEB Stuart Christmas Raid” by Robert O’Neill
“The Great Manassas Fire” by Lisa Sievel-Otten
“The Marines of World War I” by Stephen Girard
“The Courageous Four, Desegregation of Prince William County Schools” by Norma Fields.

(more…)


Now hiring full-time assistant engineer in Manassas

Now Hiring!

FULL-TIME ENTRY LEVEL ASSISTANT ENGINEER POSITION for government facility in Manassas, VA

Must be able to speak English, a US Citizen/Permanent Resident, pass a background investigation and drug screening.  $14.00/hour to start.  Includes health benefits, vacation, and holiday pay.  Please send your resume and/or previous work experience to stacy@evergreen4u.com.  For telephone inquiries, please leave a message with your name and contact information at (703) 475-EV4U.


Request for community support in honoring local superheroes

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On March 23 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, together with the police, fire and rescue communities serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, will gather for the 31st Annual Prince William Valor Awards.

The event, which is open to the public, is held annually to recognize the men and women in uniform who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping our community and its people safe and secure: the local superheroes. For the third year in a row, the event will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas.

“This year we are hoping to fill the auditorium of the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the people of this community who appreciate the sacrifices made by public safety officials,” says Chamber Chairman C.C. Bartholomew, a local realtor and Prince William County Resident. “In a year when the climate on social media and across the country has been charged with fear and uncertainty, the Prince William region has been blessed to be served by forward-thinking and fair-minded public servants who also put their lives on the line in ways that we almost never hear about. Our Valor Awards shine the light on these brave and selfless individuals. I am asking that if you are at all able to attend the 2017 event, that you would strongly consider buying a ticket and joining us to show your appreciation.”

What should you expect when you attend the Valor Awards event?

(more…)



Discover the area’s best-kept secret when planning your wedding

You’ve heard it before: planning a wedding can be expensive. According to  costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding is $26,645. Most couples plan to spend less than $10,000 for their big day, but the cost of everything associated with planning weddings adds up – and guess what, this price does NOT include the cost of the honeymoon!

So what money saving tips are out there for couples on a budget? How can they keep costs down and quality high? In other words, are there any corners you can cut while providing a top-notch, well presented, beautiful day for yourselves, your friends, and your families?

“After looking at between 15 and 20 venues, we chose the Manassas Park Community Center (MPCC) Banquet Hall because the price was good,” says newlywed Anna Sandara. “The MPCC Banquet Hall fit into our budget, and although there was a limited amount of reviews on renting the Banquet Hall, we took a chance, and boy am I happy we did,” Sandra exclaimed.

“I really think the Manassas Park Community Center Banquet Hall is the best kept secret in our area,” stated Sandara, “Couples planning a wedding should really check it out because they will be pleasantly surprised just like we were.”

When you rent the MPCC Banquet Hall space, the price also includes access to a caterer’s kitchen and pre-function and patio areas.   (more…)


Souper Bowl is Back in Manassas for a third year

First Friday is back and it is time for the Third Annual “Souper Bowl!”

On Friday, February 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., merchants in Historic Downtown Manassas will be hosting restaurants and serving up soup. This year, 10 locations will feature soups, ranging from chili to gumbo and more.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at any participating merchant location and will entitle attendees to unlimited soup samplings. Once you have sampled the wide assortment of soup, you’ll be asked to vote for your favorite to crown the winning restaurant “Souper Bowl Champion.”

Last year, downtown’s newest restaurant, Mariachi’s, took home the crown with their Tortilla Soup. After being open for about a month, they also took home second place with their Spinach and Chorizo soup.

February kicks off the first First Friday of 2017. Souper Bowl is a great kick off for the year and gets the community excited about what is to come for future First Fridays. Street closures for First Friday will begin in April and run through October to allow pedestrian traffic in the streets.

The event is a great way for people to get a little sample of what each restaurant has to offer. A list of participating merchants and restaurants for Souper Bowl can be found at visitmanassas.org. This event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget to also stop by Ameriprise while on your tasting tour and sign up for a $25 membership with HMI! Memberships entitle cardholders to a discount at your favorite downtown restaurant and shops!

If you are looking for something to do on a First Friday, or any other day of the week, be sure to check out Historic Downtown Manassas – you just may find your new favorite restaurant and shops!


Don’t miss these Black History Month events in Prince William County

Celebrate Black History Month with Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division

Prince William County has a unique and extensive African American history that is preserved and interpreted through its surviving buildings. Enslaved African Americans worked at plantations within the county including Rippon Lodge and Ben Lomond. At Brentsville, both enslaved and free African Americans were placed on trial for various crimes, though they were unable to testify against their white neighbors.

Lucasville and the Barnes House preserve examples of how free African Americans built homes and communities to establish a life for themselves, and began to challenge racism and segregation after the Civil War in Prince William County.

Throughout the year, the community can visit Prince William County’s Historic Sites to learn about the African American experience in this region. Visitors may also join us in February as we celebrate Black History Month at many of our sites.

For more information, please call Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division at 703-792-4754.

Weekends in February
Lucasville School Open House

On Saturdays and Sundays in February from 11am-4pm, visit the only surviving building of the Lucasville community and learn about the people who were impacted this small, but significant, symbol of the community. With a special performance by the Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 11, at 11 a.m., visit the 19th century schoolhouse and learn surprising facts about African American history in Prince William County and the Northern Virginia region.

Each weekend, enjoy several different activities in the schoolhouse including tours, photograph exhibits, and crafts. Lucasville School is located at 10516 Godwin Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110; admission is free.

February 18
Every Day Full of Work: The African American Experience at Ben Lomond

During this special tour, explore the historic home and slave quarter to learn about the enslaved population living at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War. Visit spaces not ordinarily open to the public, and participate in hands-on activities to learn about some of the chores that enslaved men, women, and children were expected to complete.

Learn how, under slavery, they were forced to live emotionally and physically challenging lives in which freedom and choice were taken away. Tours will be offered on the hour from 11am-4pm. Ben Lomond Historic Site is located at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA 20109; admission is $5 per person.

February 25
Barnes House Hard Hat Tours

Get a hard hat tour of Prince William County’s newest “old” building. The Barnes House was the home to an African American family after the Civil War. Learn about the family’s amazing history during the Reconstruction-era and about the restoration of the building. This is a rare opportunity to see preservation in action!

Tours will take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Barnes House is located at the Montclair Community Library, 5049 Waterway Drive, Dumfries, VA; $5 suggested donation.


Smart Beginnings supports starting children off strong

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Many people can remember the days of working on reading skills in school and the wonderful adventures that opened as a result. But that’s not every child’s experience, because not every child is ready for Kindergarten. And it’s often not just about age or maturity. The fact is, children who enter Kindergarten healthy and ready to learn have better success educationally and as adults.

Kendra Kielbasa, Director of Smart Beginnings of Greater Prince William (SBGPW), knows this and wants to make sure every child is prepared for a quality education. To do this, parents, caregivers, and educators need to start early.

Crucial Needs of Children Ages 0-5

According to Kielbasa, 90 percent of a child’s brain has formed by age five.

“We need to get the word out and raise community awareness of the importance of early childhood,” said Kielbasa. “This is the time in which the foundation is laid for future learning.”

A loving, secure environment where children are engaged and social-emotional bonds are formed with parents and caregivers has a profound effect on a child’s future, said Kielbasa. Unfortunately, underserved children in the community are found to have a 3-million-word gap compared to children that have access to strong social-emotional supports and quality early learning environments. This gap can mean the difference between successful learning and an environment that a child finds frustrating and inaccessible. Parents and caregivers should talk, sing, and read to young children every day.

Kielbasa said that children in the literacy gap may need remedial care in other ways, too. Social-emotional bonding affects kids ages 0-5 and may be lacking for many reasons, putting children in a position to perform poorly in an educational environment.

“Children that are consistently behind are often unable to catch up by grade three,” she said. “This inability to close the gap can lead to grade repetition, leading to higher incidences of expulsion, dropout or late graduation. Other social problems, such as health issues and criminal behavior, also are tied to the literacy gap.”

Using the Tools

SBGPW encourages routine screenings that address both developmental milestones and behavioral skills at key developmental increments. The sooner a delay is identified, the greater the opportunity for support and optimal outcome for the child, Kielbasa said.

SBGPW encourages the use of these screening tools in childcare centers and health centers. They also partner with GMU MAPs clinic at Manassas Park Community center to provide screening to all children under age five.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is a tool used to aid in finding literacy gaps. PALS is given to children at the start of Kindergarten to gauge which children have reading deficiencies, including number and letter recognition. The assessment is not about reading levels, but more about recognition issues that may lead to reading problems.

Closing the Literacy Gap

SBGPW has set three priorities to support kindergarten readiness: pre-literacy; high-quality childcare/early learning programs; and initiatives or programs that support health and well-being.

Strong pre-literacy tools help children to be ready for school, and reading to children beginning at birth supports healthy brain development. That’s why SBGPW has distributed over 4,000 first books through the Books 4 Babies program at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center and Greater Prince William Community Health Center. It’s also the reason they support and partner with other literacy projects such as the Prince William Public Library System’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

SBGPW is also supporting early childhood professionals who want to focus on continuous quality improvement for the children and families they serve. They provide critical professional development training in conjunction with NOVA-Manassas. They also offer an ongoing Director’s Forum for early childhood directors to collaborate, learn and obtain resources for their staff, families, and centers.

Organizations interested in becoming a community partner should email Kendra Kielbasa at kkielbasa@smartbeginningsgpw.org. More information can be found at smartbeginningsgpw.org.


The Town of Dumfries is Hiring

Town Seal_Color-w. borderJoin a Great Team – The Town of Dumfries is presently accepting applications for the following positions:

— Building Official

— Chief of Police

— Code Compliance Officer

— Community Development Director

— Director of Public Works

— Information Technology Manager

— Police Officer

— Sergeant

The staff at the Town of Dumfries do what they love and love what they do. While each person has a particular role, the staff also works together to support each other and the Town as a whole. You can find further information and details on how to apply on the Town’s website at www.dumfriesva.gov.


‘Prince William County’s Critical Home Repair program’

  • Habitat for Humanity Prince William County
  • Address: 10159 Hastings Dr Manassas, Virginia
  • Phone: (703) 369-6708

Through Habitat for Humanity Prince William County’s Critical Home Repair program, critical systems that impact health and safety are repaired, replaced or built for families who could not otherwise afford to accomplish these tasks. Please visit http://habitatpwc.org/programs/ to learn more!


Honor vets and active duty military at the Clubs at Quantico

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security John C. Harvey, Jr.
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On Tuesday, January 24 the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Salute to the Armed Forces Luncheon at the Clubs at Quantico & Crossroads Event Center, located on Marine Corps Base Quantico.  

Presented by the Chamber’s Veterans Council, the luncheon features status reports from Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander, Colonel Angie Holbrook and Colonel Joseph Murray, Base Commander at Quantico. Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, John Harvey will be the Keynote Speaker. PenFed Credit Union is the Presenting Sponsor. All interested Prince William County and Manassas area residents and business leaders are encouraged to attend.

No one who lives or works in Northern Virginia can be unaware that the region is packed with veterans and military personnel, making it somewhat easy for residents to take for granted the safety and security we enjoy. Chamber staff agree, and said they believe that is why the Salute to the Armed Forces has become a favorite among the membership.

“The event is so very moving and that effect has not worn off, even after six years,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Andrea Short.

This will be the first year that the event will take place on the Marine Corps Base. Each year the Chamber utilizes this program to honor active-duty service members and Veterans from across the region.

The 2017 event will be no exception. From the moment guests walk through the doors they will recognize that this event is different from any other business luncheon or awards program. Veterans are given a badge so that fellow attendees know they have served.

Conversations around the lunch tables to the remarks from the podium; the room hums with moving accounts of personal connections to the U.S. military. Even the Marine Corps and Army Commanders carry the theme by honoring outstanding soldiers and Marines from their command.

In 2016, a young Marine who had almost single-handedly run the Toys for Tots program was honored by her Commander.   

This year the Chamber’s Salute to the Armed Forces Keynote Speaker, John Harvey, will share what is being done by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration in terms of veterans-related issues and the ways in which the Commonwealth is working to ensure the maintenance of a productive relationship with military services and the federal Department of Defense.

The program will also feature remarks by World War II Navy Veteran Chilton Raiford who lived through two Kamikaze attacks and rescued fellow servicemen from a burning staircase.

The program concludes when retired Marine and Chamber member Harry Horning plays TAPS on his trumpet, honoring those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to PenFed Credit Union, Salute to the Armed Forces 2017 is sponsored by First Command Financial Planning, NOVEC, Prince William Living, Zeiders Enterprises, The Prince William Times and Dominion Virginia Power, among others. Tickets to the luncheon are $45 for members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, or $60 for non-members. Registration is available online at PWchamber.org. Questions? Contact the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600 or email ashort@pwchamber.org.


Want More Prince William County?

Prince William County has established itself as an important part of the economic landscape of the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area and Northern Virginia.  The County’s contributions to the Northern Virginia economy has resulted in the region singularly accounting for roughly 45 percent of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s total economic activity and 37 percent of all employment, as recently reported in the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report.  

As Virginia’s second-largest and fourth-fastest growing County, Prince William County has grown consistently and continues to expand and diversify.  Last year, Site Selection, cited one of Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development projects as “…the top project in capital investment [in Virginia] for 2016, to date, is a $350 million Iron Mountain data center going into Manassas.”  SmartAssets also named Prince William County among the state’s top 5 investment locations.

In the last five calendar years [2011-2015], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record $2.7 billion and to create 2,900 jobs.  2015 was the fifth year in the Department’s history that it logged over half of a billion dollars in capital investment, with $660 million and more than 600 new jobs. 

“Twenty years ago Prince William County recognized the importance of Economic Development and dedicated a new Department to work on defining a roadmap to its future,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Today, we are realizing the benefit of laying the foundation for a prosperous economy and continue in our dedication to raise the bar higher for our business community and citizens by delivering on increased capital investment and high-paying, highly-skilled jobs.”

“By concentrating in life sciences and information technology we are creating growth opportunities that are opening up new markets and new types of business opportunities, influencing other technology sectors and the region, as a whole,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Department of Economic Development, Prince William County.  “The County’s growth is owed in part to its strategic location and excellent competitive edge, such as a ready supply of highly-educated young professionals, affordable and available land and competitive labor costs, all of which result in a strong value proposition.”

Throughout its growth, Prince William County has distinguished itself as a premier business destination, that has made significant strides in its new role as a thriving science and technology hub.  There has also been a notable increase in employment opportunities within Prince William County.  As of 2015, the County provided job opportunities for over 122,000 persons.  In fact, over the period 2010-2015, job growth in Prince William County convincingly outpaced that of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area at 18% compared to 6%; as well as that of the state of Virginia which also saw a 6% increase.  Similarly, the number of businesses in Prince William County increased by 20% over the same period compared to 11% growth in the Washington D.C. metro area and 12% growth for all of Virginia. 

By all indications, Prince William County’s ability to generate job opportunities within its boundaries is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, based on the latest round of estimates released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  According to those projections, job growth in Prince William County is expected to outpace that of any of the other observed localities in the metro area.  Over the 30-year period, 2015-2045, the County is expected to add an additional 114,000 jobs – an almost 80% increase. 

Want more Prince William County?  Check out our latest video, sign-up for newsletters or visit us at: www.PWCEconDev.org or @PWCDED.


Competitive Edge gives girls in sports an edge

  • Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center
  • Address: 14849 Persistence Dr. – Featherstone Industrial Park Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Phone: 571-398-2813
  • Website: http://www.competitiveedgeva.com/
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Laila Jewett may only be an 8th grader, but she has big plans. Jewett wants to be a professional basketball player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Jewett’s hard work and dedication has landed her on Christ Chapel Academy’s high school varsity team. In addition, Jewett plays for an AAU travel basketball team that competes locally and nationally. These teams are incredibly competitive, with college scouts watching the progress of these players. Jewett recently played in the Next Sports Phenom’s She Got Game Middle School Classic and received the “Most Outstanding Player Award.” Jewett said “You always have to play your best.” She does exactly that, with help from her training sessions at Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center.

Sports Performance Training

Jewett has been a member of Competitive Edge for approximately 11 months. Competitive Edge believes in developing the complete athlete. Their mission is to encourage youth to keep their edge strong in both athletics and academics. Competitive Edge athletes see benefits in enhanced speed, strength, increased endurance, as well as improved flexibility and coordination.

Jewett takes part in their Sports Performance Training program. She works on perfecting fluidity in her movements through drills developed specifically for her age and skill level. Sessions can include agility ladder footwork, speed endurance drills and working with resistance bands to build strength and explosiveness, i.e Vertimax jump training. Jewett also attends Competitive Edge’s Sports Flex sessions, which is their version of Yoga where they encourage the athletes to partake in to increase flexibility and injury prevention.

The training sessions consist of both boys and girls. The performance trainers demonstrate drills for the groups, showing them the correct form to use. Once the athletes begin their work out, the trainers encourage them to complete all the drills.

“You can start again if you make mistakes,” Jewett said. “The coaches are really nice. They make sure I’m doing the moves right so I don’t injure myself, even if that means going slow.” When Jewett was asked about working out in a mixed group, she said, “I don’t think there’s much difference between boys and girls in sports, except boys are more physical. They are faster and stronger.” Jewett gives girls in sports simple advice. “Be in the gym as much as you possibly can, because that’s how you get better.”

Girls and Sports

Competitive Edge creates a supportive environment in which young women can be in training and work on their sports goals next to young men. In 1972, Title IX was enacted, changing the landscape of women’s sports, especially in high schools and universities, throughout the United States.

Mother Jones reported in 2012 that at the time Title IX was enacted, just under 295,000 girls participated in high school sports. In 40 years, this number has increased dramatically, to nearly 3.2 million. Yet the opportunities afforded boys for sports still top the number of girl’s opportunities. MotherJones.com also reports that, despite this, there are more women playing collegiate sports than ever before. NCAA schools have increased female sports participation from less than 30,000 to over 193,000 since 1972.

Girls with big sports goals like Lailah Jewett are reaping the benefits. She is growing up with boys and girls being equal in sports, making it, as she said, “no big deal.” Competitive Edge knows it is a big deal. They know that providing training that benefits the success of both boys and girls can help build positive attitudes and other life habits that are essential to the development of youth athletes, such as fostering new friendships and encouraging academic success and improved self-esteem.

For more information on Competitive Edge, visit www.competitiveedgeva.com.

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