WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



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PRTC Helps Thousands Travel in Northern Virginia

Welcome to Northern Virginia. Expect delays. Residents here know there is no shortage of cars and that congestion on local roads and highways can be a way of life.

That’s why thousands of people each day rely on the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission to help ease their ride, whether it be to work, school, or play.


One of the most popular commuter bus services in the region, PRTC OmniRide allows commuters a one-seat ride from areas in Prince William County and the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park to their jobs in Washington, D.C., Arlington, and other stops in the close-in suburbs of Northern Virginia.

See OmniRide bus routes and schedules.  See OmniRide fares.

Whether riders catch the bus from a park-and-ride commuter lot or they walk to an OmniRide bus stop in their neighborhood, commuters have come to rely on this safe, quiet, and reliable ride. OmniRide buses use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstates 95, 395, and 66 to get where they’re going, breezing by other cars that often slow down or get stuck in traffic in regular travel lanes.

“Northern Virginia has infamous traffic congestion, and by offering commuter bus services, we hope to take people out of their cars and allow them a quicker and stress-free ride in the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes,” said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

PRTC Customer Service Agent Kenyetta Whitford takes a call from a customer. Whitford helps customers get where they need to go.

Tysons Express

OmniRide buses also take passengers to Tysons Corner, a job center full of financial, contracting, and technology firms as well as world-class shopping. Tysons Corner has become an overall economic juggernaut in the region, and it’s also where new highway construction as part of the I-495 Express Lanes Project and construction of the new Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project collide.

Tysons Express riders don’t need to worry about lane closures or finding parking.

See Tysons Express AM bus and PM bus schedules and fares.

Each weekday, Tysons Express buses pick up passengers at two commuter lots in Woodbridge, travel on the HOV express lanes on I-95, and then use a portion of the Capital Beltway to access Tysons Corner, all while passengers relax and enjoy amenities like free wireless internet access.

“Instead of just sitting behind the wheel stuck in traffic, listening to the radio, you can be online, be on your smart phone, be paying bills, you can be reading, you can nap.It’s time that gets put back into your schedule to do things that you need to get done every day,” said Rodrigo.

Many riders begin and end their commutes, or transfer to other PRTC buses at the agency’s Transit Center in Woodbridge.

Metro Direct

PRTC offers three options for those who need to travel to and from the nearby Metro stations. Those who live in eastern Prince William County have weekday connections with the Franconia-Springfield Metro, while those in the Manassas area have weekday connections with the West Falls Church Metro. And Gainesville area residents have rush-hour connections with the West Falls Church Metro.

See Metro Direct bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Linton Hall Metro Direct AM

Linton Hall Metro Direct PM

Manassas Metro Direct AM

Manassas Metro Direct PM 

Prince William Metro Direct AM

Prince William Metro Direct PM 

“The Metro station parking lots fill up early in the morning, but those who ride a Metro Direct bus don’t have to worry about parking because the bus drops passengers off near the Metro entrance,” said Rodrigo.

Many of the OmniLink local bus routes that serve eastern Prince William County stop at the PRTC Transit Center in Woodbridge.

OmniLink local bus service

Now we know how to get to and from Prince William, but what if you want to get around locally? From sun up to sun down OmniLink is your link around town.

From humble beginnings in 1995, OmniLink has grown to serve major transportation corridors in our area, including U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, Dale Boulevard in Dale City and Sudley Road in Manassas, taking passengers to popular destinations like Potomac Mills mall, government buildings, employment centers, schools, and colleges.

See OmniLink local bus routes and schedules. See OmniLink local bus service fares.

“We recognize that people are in one-car households but have two people working, or there’s a teenager who has a driver’s license but the family, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to have another vehicle…and then you have people just out of economic necessity or medical reasons who cannot have a driver’s license or a vehicle. Local bus service helps all of these people get around and do all of the things we do every day,” said Rodrigo.

PRTC training supervisor Delwyn Harvey, on left, goes over a safety check for one of the buses with prospective operators.

Cross County Connector

Those who need to travel between eastern Prince William and the Manassas area can rely on the Cross County Connector. The bus operates weekdays and connects Potomac Mills Mall and Manassas Mall with stops along Prince William County Parkway and Old Town Manassas.

See Cross County Connector bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Eastbound (Manassas to Woodbridge)

Westbound (Woodbridge to Manassas)

Dozens of OmniRide busses are lined up ready to go out on the afternoon runs at PRTC in Woodbridge.


Sometimes the bus doesn’t suit a person’s work schedule or destination. That’s why PRTC created the OmniMatch ridesharing service. Simply answer a few questions about your work hours, origination point and destination, and you’ll be entered into a regional database of commuters who are looking for carpools and vanpools. The service is fast, free and couldn’t be easier!


Employers looking for a recruiting and retention tool are turning to this free program! The OmniSmartCommute staff helps employers to create, implement and expand commuter strategies to save their staff members money and hassles. Some popular options are providing preferential parking for carpoolers, installing bike racks and showers for bicyclists, and offering flextime, compressed work weeks and telework.

On-The-Go Travel Training

Some people want to use public transportation but don’t ride because they are not familiar with the services and how they operate. PRTC’s new grant-funded travel training program is designed to help potential riders get over the hurdle of the unfamiliar and become confident users of public transportation. This free program provides one-on-one or group training sessions.

Easy to ride and pay with SmarTrip

No matter where you’re going, and no matter if you take a PRTC bus or Metro train, bring your SmarTrip card for an easy way to pay for your ride. SmarTrip is a rechargeable fare card used on multiple transportation systems in the Washington, D.C. region. One card makes it easy to connect with other services and makes travel outside our local community easier.

It also takes away the need to have exact change or proper fare, and riders can easily add more fare to their cards.

With so many options to choose from, PRTC has the Ride that’s Right for You!

PRTC’s offices and Transit Center are located at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge.


JTC’s New Ops Center Keeps Customers up and Running


A new network operations center took six months to build at JTC, Inc. in Manassas.


Several improvements now make it easier for a local technology firm to better serve their customers.

In its early days, Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. (JTC) was a break-fix shop, meaning customers would bring in their broken computers and then pick them up whenever the virus, malware, or any other host of other computer ailments was fixed.

But now the company is a fully managed IT provider complete with Tier 3 engineers ready to assist remotely when issues arise.

“Many companies will make their customers start with Tier 1 technical support. As the customer’s frustration grows due to the Tier 1 tech being unable to solve the issue, they will then escalate to a higher level tech support,” said company spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.

With the addition of a new network operations center at a cost of about $100,000, JTC is now able to send customers directly to a higher tier level to resolve the problem as quickly and efficiently. The company said this has resulted in more satisfied customers.

The new operations center allows JTC to proactively manage the client’s server and systems, as well as monitor for any downtime or interruption in their business. The center is also used to manage the company’s fleet of vehicles and gives them the ability to dispatch a technician that is closest to their customer’s place of business.

“This is benefiting the customer in the long-run. They are better able to budget their IT needs and not worry about their equipment costing them valuable time while it isn’t working properly” said Maxey.

The build-out and setup of the network operations center was planned about a year ago and took six months to complete.


Heart Event to Offer Free Health Screenings


Delyana Keller Watkins


The Town of Dumfries through a partnership with Big Sis & Company will hold a special this Saturday that will feature free screenings and wellness information aimed at helping residents live a heart healthier lifestyle.

“Getting to the Heart of the Matter: A Symposium to Better Heart Health” will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Dumfries Community Center 17755 Main Street. The event is free to attend and will feature a panel of great speakers.

Panel of Speakers

Delayna Keller-Watkins

Delayna Keller-Watkins is a global and award-winning Registered Nurse and Certified Wellness Coach in the areas of self-care and personal wellness. For over twp decades Keller-Watins has been serving wellness seeking women and young girls through her seminars, products and programs.

She is an author, motivational speaker, and founder of Delayna Keller Watkins, Inc. and Healthy Soul, LLC a lifestyle company designed to help women achieve optimal health and wellness through the integration of mind, body and spirit.

Since pursuing her passion, she has been featured in the Women’s Journal Magazine and appeared as a Women’s Self-Care expert on several Internet Radio Shows and Local Public Television.

Keller-Watkins has provided seminars or presentations for companies such as Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), Dimensions Healthcare, Sisters4Sisters, Inc., Prince Georges County Public Schools, Kennedy Foundation, Inc., Sisters Network, Akoma Project, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Georgetown University, and others.

Carrie Lee
Manassas Clinical Research

Manassas Clinical Research center is a private practice of internal medicine and clinical research. The organization serves Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area, and is a subsidiary of Burke Internal Medicine.Dr. Andrawis and his wife, Dr. Gabra, who are primary care physicians.

One out of every six people in this country never see the doctor for a regular check up since they do not have medical insurance. As a result many diseases with no symptoms like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol go undetected.

These diseases are silent killers since they can cause heart attack, stroke or even sudden death if untreated. It’s important to detect and treat these silent killer diseases in people with no medical insurance who never see a doctor because of the cost of medical care.


Dumfries Summer Youth Employment Program Deadline Nears


DUMFIRES, Va. — The Dumfries Summer Youth Employment Program will provide an opportunity for our area students to get an in-depth, hands-on experience on the internal workings of Town Hall, provide insight to the daily operations of local government and develop leadership skills through service based learning.

The students will be exposed to all aspects of Town Hall operations by working in some of the Town’s various departments to include, Community Services, Economic and Community Development, Public Works, and the Police Department. In addition, program participants will have the unique opportunity to be mentored by Town Council, during the length of the program.

Participants will be paid an hourly wage of $8 an hour for a 15-hour work week. The workplace schedule will be: two days a week, Monday-Thursday at Town Hall – for a total of ten hours, and each Friday at Weems-Botts Museum, for a total of five hours. Work hours will be between the hours of 9am-3pm. (Exact hours at Town Hall, will be determined after selection of program participants).

The Summer Youth Employment Program offers gainful summer employment for six weeks, in a positive, engaging atmosphere.

Eligibility Requirements

Students who are 15 -18 years of age, who are residents of the incorporated Town of Dumfries, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. Students must have no history of serious criminal or other antisocial behavior that might endanger their safety or that of others; have or be able to obtain a work permit as required under the laws of Virginia; have a Social Security number or have completed an application to secure one; must not be a relative to any Town of Dumfries employee, or Council member; be willing and able to work scheduled duty hours and participate in all assigned tasks.

How to Apply

To apply, students meeting these qualifications should complete the Summer Youth Employment Program application form, submit the 500-word essay along with two reference forms and return it by Wednesday June 13 at noon. Applications must be mailed to:

Town of Dumfries
Summer Youth Employment Program
Attn: Ms. Cydny A. Neville, MAEd
17755 Main Street
Dumfries, Virginia 22026

Win a Diamond at Monday’s Steak ‘N’ Stake


Have you ever wondered if there could be a diamond at the bottom of your champagne glass?

At 6 p.m. Monday, at the 23rd annual Steak ‘N’ Stake Charity Dinner at the Boys and Girls Club in Manassas, you just might find one.

Jewelry by Design along with Justice Title and Escrow will present a chance to win a $1,500 diamond during the charity event. Fifty glasses will be filled with non-alcoholic champagne, at $50 each, and one lucky sipper will find a diamond at the bottom of their glass. All of proceeds will benefit the Prince William / Manassas Boys and Girls Clubs “Send a Kid to Camp” program, said Regional Director Glenn Vickers.

In addition to this contest, the evening will feature a silent auction, and fine dining with area leaders and business owners. Live coverage and video of the event will be carried on PotomacLocal.com and U Stream.

Those who cannot attend the event are encouraged to visit Steak ‘N’ Stake’s webpage where charitable donations can be made online.

The Boys and Girls Club’s mission is “to help boys and girls of all backgrounds, especially those who need us most, build confidence, develop character and acquire the skills needed to become productive, civic-minded, responsible adults.”

Prince William County / Manassas Boys and Girls Clubs would like to recognize the following $1,000 event table sponsors:

Ronald & Carol Shingler
BAE Systems of Manassas
BB&T Bank
Compton & Duling LC
Executive Moving Systems
Justice Title
Betty Covington/Branscome Paving
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Woodbridge Alumni Chapter
Manassas Kiwanis Club
Manassas Men’s Club
Montclair Lions Club

Steve’s Auto Repair
Supervisor Maureen Caddigan
Supervisor John Jenkins
Supervisor Marty Nohe
Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh PC
Woodbridge Plumbing
Woodbridge Rotary
Welburn Management
Darden Restaurants
M&T Bank


Free Festival Celebrates Art in Prince William


MANASSAS, Va – The Prince William County Arts Council and Hylton Performing Arts Center will present Arts Alive! 2012 from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, at the Hylton Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas. Arts Alive will include performances, exhibits, hands-on activities and demonstrations by local artists and arts organizations.

Inside and outside the Hylton Center, Arts Alive will feature 18 performances on three stages; visual art on display and for sale; local authors reading their work and telling stories; and food for purchase from local vendors. Performances by Arts Council members will range from ballet to belly dancing, from orchestra to a drum and bugle corps, from children’s theater to choral music:

Arts Alive will be more than just a place to view art: there will be many opportunities for families to actively participate. Children and adults will enjoy art projects, classes and demonstrations throughout the festival. Admission to this family-friendly event is free and plenty of free parking is available at the Hylton Center.

The festival will also include presentation of the 2012 Kathleen K. Seefeldt Awards for Arts Excellence. Bob Madigan of WTOP and Tracee Wilkins of NBC4 will emcee the award ceremony, which recognizes outstanding efforts by artists, arts organizations, advocates and business supporters of the local arts. The awards presentation will take place at 2:30 p.m.

Sponsors of Arts Alive 2012 include United Bank, the Prince William County/Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Burt & Peacock PLC, the Ferde Grofé Foundation, Inc., Northside Auto Sales and Bentz Communications LLC.

The event will be held rain or shine, although some outdoor activities may be canceled in case of rain. Participants are encouraged to dress comfortably given the range of locations and activities. For more information and a full schedule of the day’s performances and activities, visit PWCArtsCouncil.org or email the Arts Council.

Hylton Happenings – April 2012 from Elizabeth Lockard on Vimeo.

Belly Dance Fun, Healthy for Every Woman


Owner, Magnificent Belly Dance

Belly dance, oriental dance, Raks Sharki, the names are different but the dance is essentially the same: graceful feminine moves intertwined with muscular articulation punctuating the beat of the music.

Why would you, the everyday woman, want to belly dance with the ladies at Magnificent Belly Dance?

At Magnificent Belly Dance, you have the opportunity to be feminine, to be outrageous, to be graceful, to be yourself and to do something just for you in the company of other everyday women. Background, size, skill level and age are unimportant. Where else can a 16-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman feel equal and be friends?

All of this gloriously fun dancing comes with health benefits for the body in addition to the newfound freedom of the spirit and feminine energy. We use your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes to hold us steady as we dance.

The fact that we are on our feet and moving, makes belly dance a weight-bearing exercise, strengthening bones. Throw in some hip pops or hip lifts and the glutes are increasingly engaged. The movement of hip drops, hip circles, figure eights, and shimmies puts the lower back and hips through a full range of gentle, repetitive motion increasing the flow of fluids to the joints.

Just think about our slow graceful arm movements — snake arms, caresses, hand undulations, hand circles — all building strength and flexibility of the shoulders, neck and upper back. In belly dance we use our torsos in rib circles, rib slides, chest lifts, snake arms, rib figure eights, undulations, and belly rolls. We are exercising our back and abdominal muscles evenly, promoting good posture and balance. Our beautiful feminine dance accomplishes all of this and is low impact.

Whether you are the extrovert who will likely be out there dancing with the Suburban Gypsies Dance Troupe or the introvert who will be content and comfortable keeping belly dance private, the question becomes, why wouldn’t you want to belly dance?


Van Doren Jewelers Mothers Day Event


Van Doren Jewelers is located at 4216 Merchant Plaza in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Piccadilly Circus Coming to Dumfries


Piccadilly Circus brings Big Top fun to town, to the Dumfries Shopping Center on U.S. 1 April 18-22.

This edition of Piccadilly Circus is called “Blast” for good reason. The Producers who also produce the world famous Ice Capades promise non-stop fun, comedy and nuclear thrills. Racing camels, the largest herd of performing camels in the world is one of the animal features of the show.

Oka, a 9,000 pound Asian elephant stands atop a 3-foot round ball and rolls across the circus ring, showing the amazing balance of these giant behemoths. Oka is joined by a herd of African and Asian elephants and dancing zebras.


The Romanian Olympic High Bar Team performs feats that prove why these athletes deserved all their medals. The giant catapult sends acrobatic daredevils flying high in the air while others dive from the very heights of the Big Top; a Big Top that soars 80 feet in the air.

Motorcycles defy gravity, showgirls on stilts tower above the audience and giant wheels of death rotate at breathtaking speeds. It’s all designed to keep you on the edge of your seats and gasping in awe.

Comedy reigns with the world’s funniest circus comedian! If your sides don’t split and your belly doesn’t ache and your jaws aren’t sore — you just don’t have a funny bone. And wait till you see the smallest bike on the planet. It’s comedy for the whole family.

Piccadilly Circus has German wheels, Russian swings, African and Asian elephants, Romanian Olympians, U.S. Motorcycle extreme air-daredevils, Cossack riders, and … well you better bring your passport.

Two hours of surprises with sound, lights, music and special effects that’ll blow you away. Piccadilly Circus is presented in a brand new European Big Top that soars over 80 feet into the air. Every seat is theatre style. The Big Top is climate controlled and the feeling is up close and filled with fun, and excitement.

Come early with the family and enjoy the Circus Fun Zone with elephant, camel and pony rides, and a free petting zoo. Tickets and show times are available online at thefuncircus.com or by phone at 877-373-0477. All seats are general admission. Advance deals include free kids and two-for-one adult tickets.


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