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‘Books 4 Babies’ encourages parents to read to their young children

As part of its mission to advance quality early learning initiatives for the region’s young children, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW) partners with business leaders, health professionals, schools, childcare providers and other community stakeholders to help young children start school healthy and ready to learn.

Early literacy is a key component of school readiness and several programs are currently underway in the region, including “Books 4 Babies” and “Reach Out and Read.” Books 4 Babies, a program of SBGPW, provides many families with their baby’s first book as a way to encourage parents to read to their young children from Day One. Over 1,900 books and other educational materials, such as a bookmark about a baby’s brain development and a wheel describing developmental milestones from birth to age five, have been distributed to newborns at Novant Health Prince William Medical Center since October 2013.

The Books 4 Babies program has been expanded in 2015 to include expectant mothers participating in Centering Pregnancy groups at the Greater Prince William Community Health Center. Reach Out and Read is a program for medical providers to promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms.

Pediatricians read a book to young children during a well-child checkup, integrating children’s books and advice to parents about fostering a love of books and reading from an early age.

“Each child, until the age of five, receives an age-appropriate book at every well-child visit,” said Dr. Anastasia Williams of Olde Towne Pediatrics, which has offices in Manassas and Gainesville. “We encourage parents to talk to their children and also to read, sing and rhyme to them everyday. This will significantly increase the child’s vocabulary and promote healthy brain development, among many other benefits.”

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William is also participating in a campaign currently running between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (May 20-June 21) called Smart Beginnings Start with Families: Healthy Children are Ready to Learn. The campaign, which is sponsored by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics-Virginia Chapter, focuses on the importance of building a strong foundation for good health in the early years, so that young children will start kindergarten healthy and ready to learn. Parents can download free resources and tip sheets at

“Business leaders, educators, health professionals and other community stakeholders are working together to ensure a healthy start for Virginia’s young children, giving them the best opportunity for school, life and workforce success,” said Kendra Kielbasa, Director of Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William.

For more information about local early learning initiatives, visit

Brandy Station Foundation presents ‘The Spirits of the Graffiti House’

On Saturday, October 24th from 6 PM-9 PM, the Brandy Station Foundation presents the “Spirits of the Graffiti House” at the Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station, VA 22714.

Featured events for this free family event include ghost stories in rooms with Civil War graffiti; a fortune teller; a campfire with marshmallows, and the continuous screening of the video produced by “The R.I.P. Files” from their Graffiti House investigation.

Special guest Mark Higgins, an investigator with The R.I.P. team, will talk about the show, the paranormal in general and answer any questions people may have. The R.I.P. Files is a paranormal reality show that documents the adventures of the Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (R.I.P.) Team, a different group of ghost hunters based in Washington, D.C.

The R.I.P. team conducts investigations at private residences, business locations, and historic sites. They filmed at the Graffiti House in 2011 for The R.I.P. Files Season 1 which aired in Australia & New Zealand last year and will air on Spring TV in Thailand. 

Refreshments will be provided.

The Graffiti House was built just before the Civil War; the walls contain inscriptions, drawings, messages, and signatures of Civil War soldiers, hence the name “Graffiti House.” It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Brandy Station Foundation website is

Join Historic Dumfries for a ‘spirited’ ghost walk and haunted museum overnight lock-In

Join Historic Dumfries for a “Spirited” Ghost Walk and Haunted Museum Overnight “Lock-In” Are you are brave enough?

Take a walking tour through Dumfries Haunted Heights, visit Weems-Botts — listed as the second most haunted site in Virginia by the Fredericksburg Star, and featured on “My Ghost Story” in the Spring and Summer of 2013, and on CBS, “Spirited History.”

Hear local tales of ghostly wonder and mystery along the way. Learn about the most haunted house in Dumfries and it’s most recent occurrences.

Finish with hot chocolate and cider by the campfire in eerie and haunted Merchant Park. Share your own ghost encounters with other visitors!

Walks are $10 per person, $5 for students and free for kids under 6 years of age.

If you want to test your bravery, spend the night in our “Haunted House.” $75 per person, reservations are required. It does include Pizza in the evening and breakfast at 6:00 a.m. Join us for this fun and unique fundraiser for the Weems-Botts Museum.

Dates: Ghost Walks -October 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30,31 Time: 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. Museum Lock-In – October 10, 17, 24 and 31st RSVP to 703-221-2218

‘Haunt Away Hunger’ casino night benefits Haymarket Food Pantry

The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is hosting its fifth annual “Haunt Away Hunger” Casino Night on Friday, October 30, 2015.

This prize packed event, the largest single fund raiser for the Food Pantry, will be held at the Evergreen Country Club located at 15900 Berkeley Drive, Haymarket, Virginia. The cost to attend is $60 per person and includes drink tickets, elegant hors d oeuvres, casino cash and plenty of fun.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and conclude at 11 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry a 501(c) 3 organization located on Washington Street in the Town of Haymarket.

This fun-filled event features Roulette, Craps and Black Jack. Also back by popular demand is the Texas Hold’em table available by reserved seating at $25. Haunt Away Hunger includes a Live Auction hosted by a professional auctioneer who will be featuring fantastic prizes including a weekend at King’s Creek Plantation for four, a two season membership to the Manassas Performing Arts Society, a dinner prepared for six by a five star chef, a four hour consultation from Main Street Landscape, an eight person pass to Pev’s Paintball and foursomes to local golf courses.

To heighten the fun, Haunt Away Hunger will also include Raffles and a Silent Auction for prizes such as a European Facial and Sugar Eyebrow treatment from Salon Nordine, passes to Skate-N-Fun Zone, as well as a 10 pass- punch card to Jump-N-Jimmy’s.

Two other favorites, back this year are the Restaurant Frenzy and Wine Pull where each participant is guaranteed a gift card to local restaurants – among them Firebirds and BJ’s Brewery or a bottle of wine valued in excess of $25.

The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry (HRFP) is an ecumenical and community based ministry dedicated to eliminating hunger by providing food to individuals and families in Haymarket, Gainesville and the surrounding areas. Our organization is comprised entirely of volunteers, and we rely wholly on our donors for food and financial support. 

Chruches band together to collect food for needy, youth on ‘Day of Service’

On September 26, hundreds of volunteers across our local communities gathered to help their neighbors in a Day To Serve.

But planning for the service had begun months earlier and involved intense coordination. Ken and Fran Gardner of Gainesville were project managers for the 11 area LDS congregations.

Says Ken, “Although there are lots of details, the part I enjoy most is to be associated with the hundreds of volunteers,” adding that out of the planning, “five meaningful projects emerged that benefited many needy families residing in our neighborhoods.”

Joe E. Dionne, President of the Centreville Virginia Stake (similar to a Dioceses) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated, “To broaden our reach for good, we attempted to partner our efforts with other faith-based groups. And what we learned in the process is that we really have much more in common than any differences.”

If the accumulated food and monetary donations of the projects are an indication then much good has come of the efforts. Two Latter-day Saint congregations collaborated with the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Warrenton to put together 50,000 meals to be distributed to food relief organizations in Fauquier County.

A Centreville congregation of the LDS Church and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community partnered to create 1,500 Power Packs for children in need. These were donated to the non-profit, Food For Others, who will make the packs available to Fairfax County Schools which distributes them to at-risk elementary schools throughout the school year.

Two Manassas Latter-day Saint congregations partnered with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington for a food drive that benefitted the St Lucy Project, headed by Catholic Charities. Another was a project designed to help local food banks raise enough food to deliver 600 Thanksgiving dinners to families for this coming holiday.

“The donated food was then taken to the Gainesville meetinghouse of the LDS Church and assembled into kits that will be delivered to local food banks where they will be provided to families in need during the holiday,” said Cindy Lake, one of the Gainesville area coordinators.

Lee Ann Renfro, one of the volunteers who helped collect food donations at the Safeway in Bristow told of her experience.

“I came to see what good we can do with just a little effort. At the store entrance we handed out cards with suggested grocery items for the Thanksgiving baskets. And at one point I, too, entered the store to buy some donation items. While walking around pushing my basket I noticed people earnestly looking down at the cards we had handed out and I could tell that they were eager to help. Perfect strangers who had one thing in common: doing something kind for someone else.”

When asked about the ends results Ken Gardner noted, “Often the giving is anonymous and we rarely get a chance to meet those helped by the efforts. But today outside a local supermarket a man approached me and said that he had been assisted by the donations we had facilitated in previous years. He thanked me and said he hoped to be in a better position soon so that he too could help another in need.”

Cindy Lake’s assignment was to coordinate the collections at stores.

“I just couldn’t believe that some customers would go into the store for one item for themselves and then donate entire bags of groceries for our food drive as they exited,” she said.

Two high school students, Mali Smith and Whitney Thomas organized a youth group who collected donations at the Giant in Manassas.

“The most awesome thing was the increased youth participation. We had more than 15 youth who joined us who hadn’t even signed up to help. It is cool to see how the word gets out and people want to join in to help.” Mali Smith added, “We learned that when we are serving together we all feel good about ourselves, it helps us see that there are bigger issues in the world than things that may be bothering us personally at the moment.”

Ashes in trashcan to blame for Bristow blaze

On Tuesday, September 29th, at approximately 4:30 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a structure fire in a two-story single family home located in the 8700 block of Lords View Loop in Bristow.

Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed smoke with fire blazing from the side and rear of the home that had extended through the roof. Firefighters proceeded to attack and extinguish the fire.

The fire was discovered by a neighbor who spotted flames soaring from the roof and alerted the family enabling them to safely evacuate the home.

No injuries reported.

Red Cross was called to assist, 1 adult and 2 children and their cat.

A Building Official has posted the home unsafe.

According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, preliminary reports indicate the fire originated on the rear of the home ignited by ashes placed in a trash can next to the house earlier in the day.

The fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Prince William County Fire & Rescue Chief Kevin McGee would like to remind residents when disposing of fire pit/fireplace ashes keep these safety tips in mind:
• Douse and saturate the ashes with water.
• Allow ashes to cool (at least 4 days) before disposing.
• Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container.
• Place the ash container a safe distance from your home (at least 10 feet).
° DO NOT store in or around your home, garage or other nearby buildings.

-Submitted by Prince William fire and rescue 

Prince William Chamber PAC releases endorsements in 2015 race

Updated Oct. 9, 2015

Prince William County Board of Supervisors, At-large — Corey Stewart 

“In his most recent term, Chairman Stewart has demonstrated tremendous leadership and made great strides in establishing Prince William as an emerging business location,” said Brian Gordon, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA) of Metropolitan Washington, and the Chairman of the Prince William Chamber PAC.  “In the face of a challenging economic environment, Chairman Stewart and the Board of County Supervisors have helped to position the County to be on the forefront of economic development in strategic growth sectors.  The Chamber PAC is pleased to endorse his candidacy for reelection so that he may continue to build on these successes, maintain a positive, business-focused public discourse and work to further improve the local business climate.” 

Virginia Senate 29th District — Hal Parrish 

“Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park have been privileged to be represented for so many years by Senator Colgan,” said Brian Gordon, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA) of Metropolitan Washington, and the Chairman of the Prince William Chamber PAC.  “Mayor Parrish is best suited to carry on in his tradition and further his lasting legacy of fighting for Prince William and promoting a strong economy while maintaining the highest level of statesmanship.  While the PAC was impressed with both candidates, only one possessed a proven track record of working with and on behalf of the business community to grow our local economy and strengthen our community.” 

Candidate endorsements were determined through a questionnaire and interview process and an evaluation and comparative analysis of the policy platforms and records of each candidate as they related to that of the region’s business community. 


Original post

The Prince William Chamber Political Action Committee, the political arm of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, announced its endorsements of candidates for the Virginia General Assembly and Board of County Supervisors.

Candidate endorsements were determined through a questionnaire and interview process and an evaluation and comparative analysis of the policy platforms and records of each individual as they related to that of the region’s business community.

Potomac District – Maureen Caddigan

28th Senate District – Richard Stuart

Coles District – Martin Nohe 39th Senate District – George Barker

Neabsco District – John Jenkins

2nd House District – Mark Dudenhefer

Occoquan District – Earnie Porta

31st House District – Scott Lingamfelter

Woodbridge District – Frank Principi

40th House District – Tim Hugo

50th House District – Jackson Miller

51st House District – Rich Anderson

52nd House District – Luke Torian

87th House District – John Bell

“Prince William County is blessed to have so many strong candidates, willing to dedicate their time and service to elected office,” said Brian Gordon, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA) of Metropolitan Washington, and the Chairman of the Prince William Chamber PAC. “The candidates endorsed by the Chamber PAC demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the region’s economic challenges and put forward substantive plans and proposals for improving our local business climate.”

The Prince William Chamber PAC was established in 2014 by members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. The PAC promotes and facilitates the accumulation of voluntary contributions from members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and others. Contributions are used primarily in support of issues and candidates for local and state offices who have taken positions consistent with the Chamber’s public policy positions regarding the private enterprise system.

Singstock collects community endorsements for Nov. 3

Tim Singstock, candidate for Chairman – At Large of the Prince William County School Board has collected numerous bi-partisan and community endorsements since beginning his campaign in December 2014. These Prince William community leaders are supporting Tim Singstock for School Board Chairman-At Large in the November 3rd General Election:

U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman (1st CD)

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (10th CD)

State Senator Richard Black (13th SD)

State Senator Richard Stuart (28th SD)

Delegate Tim Hugo (40th HD)

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (31st HD)

Delegate Jackson Miller (50th HD)

Delegate Rich Anderson (51st HD)

Former Delegate Jeff Frederick (52nd HD)

Dumfries Mayor, and candidate for 36th State Senate District, Jerry Foreman

Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart

Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan

Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe

Occoquan District Supervisor, and candidate for Commonwealth Attorney, Mike May

Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland

Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson

Former Woodbridge District Supervisor Hilda Barg

Former Gainesville District Supervisor John Stirrup

School Board Chairman-At Large Milt Johns

Gainesville District School Board Representative and Vice-Chair Alyson Satterwhite

Coles District School Board Representative Dr. Michael Otaigbe

Brentsville District School Board Representative Gil Trenum

Former Neabsco District School Board Representative Julie Lucas

Former Occoquan District School Board Representative Mike Wooten

Former Brentsville District School Board Representative Lyle Beefelt

Prince William County Sheriff Glenn Hill

Prince William Clerk of the Court Michele McQuigg

Quantico Town Councilwoman Earlene Clinton

Dumfries Town Councilman Cliff Brewer

Haymarket Town Councilman Matt Caudle

Former Dumfries Mayor Nancy West

Darrell “DJ” Jordan, Virginia Board of Social Services

David Byrne, Chairman of the Boy Scouts Occoquan District

Dalena Kanouse, President & CEO MTCI Inc.

Paul Colangelo, Coach, Parent, and 36 year Prince William County resident

– Submitted by the Tim Singstock campaign

Wreaths Across America Fallen Veterans Ride

Every Year on the second Saturday of December, Wreaths Across America performs a ceremony to pay tribute to our Fallen Veterans by placing hand made wreaths from Maine on the veterans grave sites.

This year the ceremony will be on December 12 at noon at Oak Hill cemetery located at 1902 Plank Road Fredericksburg.

Along with the ceremony, there will be a remembrance ride for our local Fallen Veterans escorted by the City of Fredericksburg police starting at 10:30 a.m. from the VFW located at 2701 Princess Anne Street in Downtown Fredericksburg.

The ride will be approximately 18 miles long and will be passing through Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties and ending at the Oak Hill cemetery for the ceremony.

Please come and join us whether you ride 2 or 4 wheels in paying tribute to our Fallen Veterans.

Prince William NAACP interfaith prayer breakfast Oct. 17

The Prince William County Branch NAACP invites the Prince William Community to an Interfaith Prayer Breakfast,

“Together as one we pray for our nation and community” will be held Saturday, October 17 at 9 a.m.

Guest speaker Janice Brooks, wife of NAACP president Cornell Brooks, will deliver remarks at the breakfast hosted in the Manassas Mosque Community School Hall, 12950 Center Entrance Court, Manassas, Virginia.

This is a ticketed, no cost event open to everyone.

Sentara Lake Ridge to participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back

Do you have unused or expired prescription medications? Improper disposal of these medications can create a public safety issue, potentially leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. So what is the proper way to dispose of them?

On September 26, Sentara Lake Ridge will join with Prince William County Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the 10th Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back, providing a safe way for people to dispose of their unused and expired medications.

Sentara Lake Ridge, a state-of-the art ambulatory campus offering advanced imaging, lab services and 24-hour emergency care, will serve as a collection site. The event will talk place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“At Sentara, we are committed to the wellness and safety of our community, and we are pleased to participate once again in the DEA’s Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back.” said Dynette Rombough, director of emergency services for Sentara Healthcare in Northern Virginia.

During this initiative, prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications (i.e. tablets and capsules) will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted. Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will also not be accepted during National Take-Back Day.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. This nationwide prescription drug Take-Back initiative seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft. According to the Prince William County Police Department, last September more than 1,080 pounds of expired prescription drugs and other medicines were collected in our county during the DEA’s fall “Take-Back” initiative.

Find more information on this program, including updates on collection sites. You can enter your ZIP code to find the collection site nearest you. 

Downey, of Triangle, named to St. Bonaventure University Board of Trustees

St. Bonaventure University alumnus Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., has been named to the Board of Trustees at his alma mater. He is serving a three-year term. Fr. Kevin is pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va.

A friar with Holy Name Province, Fr. Kevin’s previous pastoral assignments included serving as pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, N.Y., and parochial vicar at St. Francis Parish in Raleigh, N.C. A 1973 graduate of St. Bonaventure, Fr. Kevin was appointed assistant vice president for University Relations from 1982-1983.

He also spent eight years, from 1983 to 1991, at Quincy University, Quincy, Ill., where he served as vice president for development and executive vice president. 

Prince William & Fauquier businesses: Become ‘Alzheimer’s Friendly’

Free Trainings for Businesses Aim to Reduce Isolation Among Families Impacted by Alzheimer’s For the 15 million Americans providing care for their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease, isolation is a serious risk.

With the unpredictable nature of the disease, symptoms such as memory loss, repetition and poor judgment lead many to choose to avoid the outside world rather than risk the possibility of unpleasant, awkward or even frightening situations in public.

In fact, in a recent survey of Alzheimer’s caregivers, 74 percent reported that they and their loved ones have become more isolated from the community as a result of the disease. Furthermore, 85 percent reported that they feel a reduced quality of life due to isolation.

As a community, we cannot allow this to happen to our neighbors, friends and loved ones. We can change these frightening statistics here at home. To do just that, the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Prince William and Fauquier Counties is helping launch the Alzheimer’s Friendly BusinessSM program.

The program includes a training for local businesses that is designed to help employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to ensure customers with Alzheimer’s are treated with compassion and respect. The training itself is quick and can be done for businesses in as little as 30 minutes, but the impact on families in our community can be long-lasting.

For a family coping with Alzheimer’s disease, going to a restaurant where a hostess will know the best place to seat you to prevent your loved one from becoming confused can lead to a much-needed night out of the house. Errands to the bank may seem less overwhelming when you know the teller on the other side of the counter can recognize and politely respond to an unexpected behavior as a result of Alzheimer’s, where others in that same situation might be confused or even rude.

Businesses in Prince William and Fauquier counties can work directly with the local Home Instead Senior Care office to arrange an in-person training for their employees, and an online version of the training is also available at

Once the training is completed, businesses will receive a window decal with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business logo, allowing those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia to easily recognize these businesses taking the lead in making our community more Alzheimer’s friendly.

For more information about Home Instead Senior Care’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program, including information on what to look for in an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business, visit or call 703-596-1217.

Pollinator plants to be placed at Dale City rest stop on I-95

Over 8,000 plants to be planted Tuesday, Sept. 29

Why: Pollinator habitat is dwindling, and so are pollinators. We rely heavily on pollinators for our food production in the U.S. and recreating habitat for these animals and insects is a way we can assist in bringing back some of the most threatened, like the Monarch Butterfly.

All of the plants used in this project are native to Virginia and the goal of the site is for it to become naturalized in a few years so that intervention by humans is not necessary. There will also be two small areas near the rest station building planted as education stations, so visitors can learn about the project that VDOT intends to implement statewide.

VDOT, Dominion Virginia Power, Virginia Native Plant Society, Plant NOVA Natives, and others will place pollinator-friendly plants at the I-95 northbound rest area at Dale City (car only) in Northern Virginia on Sept. 29. The site will serve as a “way station,” or refuge, for monarch butterflies and other threatened pollinators by providing nectar and shelter to protect and boost populations.

Dominion is providing a cadre of volunteers; Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and the Plant NOVA Natives Campaign are providing additional technical expertise; and VDOT is providing the project management, site preparation, the land, volunteers, and staff to plant the new habitat. 

Mandy North to serve as Pastor of Faith Formation at Manassas Church of the Brethren

Manassas Church of the Brethren joyfully announces the call of North Dell’Uomo North to serve as Pastor of Faith Formation beginning October 1, 2015.

North has a passion for the faith formation of youth and young adults as they recognize, explore, and strengthen their relationship with God in Christ. She has worked as a volunteer with youth and children ministries at Manassas Church of the Brethren since 2007 and as Coordinator of Youth Ministries (2008-2009) and Coordinator of Special Ministries (2010-2011).

She served as interim pastor at Nokesville Church of the Brethren, from 2014-2015. She has been an active leader in district youth events and in 2014 she authored the junior high youth lesson plans for Shine, children and youth curriculum published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia.

North received her Master of Arts in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary (2013), her Bachelors of Science from Bridgewater College (2002) and has attended various courses with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

She is a group leader in MOPS, and part of the Prince William County Mothers of Multiples club ( She lives with her husband, Sean and their boy/girl twins.

Public info session scheduled for I-95 Stafford Courthouse Road interchange

The public is invited to learn more about upcoming Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) road improvements in the Courthouse Road area of Stafford County on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

A design public hearing will be held on the proposed Interstate 95/Courthouse Road Interchange Relocation project. This project would reconstruct the existing interchange at Exit 140 as a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). The intersection of Courthouse Road and Route 1 would be moved south to align with Hospital Center Boulevard.

At the same time, VDOT will hold a citizen information meeting on the Courthouse Road widening project. Courthouse Road will be widened from two lanes to four lanes west of I-95, between Cedar Lane and Ramoth Church Road/Winding Creek Road. VDOT is holding an information meeting to update the public on its status.

The design public hearing and citizen information meeting will be held together:

Tuesday, Sept. 29
5-8 p.m.
Colonial Forge High School
550 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22554
A brief presentation will be delivered at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The meeting will be an open house format. Stop by anytime between 5-8 p.m. to review project maps and ask questions. Staff will be available to answer questions and address concerns.

Public comment

Written or oral comments may be submitted at the design public hearing on the proposed I-95/Courthouse Road Interchange Relocation project.

After the hearing, comments will be accepted through close of business on Oct. 15, 2015. Comments can be emailed to VDOT at fredericksburginfo@VDOT.Virginia.Gov with “I95/Route 630 Interchange Project” in the subject line.

Comments may be mailed to:

Ms. Michelle Shropshire
Project Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation
87 Deacon Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Mailed comments must be postmarked no later than Oct. 15, 2015.

Haymarket student finalist in photo contest, work featured at Hylton Arts Center

Ten students from local high schools have placed as finalists in the Nature Visions Photo Expo (NVPE) Student Photography contest and will receive a $50 gift card fromDistrict Camera, of Burke, Va.

The 10 finalists were chosen out of more than 60 submissions, representing schools from Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The winner will receive a $100 District Camera gift card and will be announced at NVPE at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Va., held on Sat., Nov. 14 and Sun., Nov. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

All finalists’ photography will be on display at NVPE. General admission is free to view the photo exhibits and visit more than 20 local and national photography vendors.

Class fees range from free to $85. Merchant Hall three-day passes are also available at $160 per person and allow access to 11 presentations. Purchase passes at

NVPE finalists include: two-time finalist, Gabriel Arias, 17 of Potomac, Md., attending Winston-Churchill High School for his photos, Harmony and Bloom

Sai Charan Gurrapu, 15, of Chantilly, Va., attending Chantilly High School, for Blossom

Two-time finalist, Kevin Hackler, 18, of Herndon, Va., graduate of Chantilly High School, for Glory and Connections

Alicia Kay, 17 of Vienna, Va., attending Oakton High School , for Monet

Abby Keller, 18 of Springfield, Va., graduate of West Springfield High School, for Frozen in Time

Alyssa Prouty, 18, of Haymarket, Va., graduate of Paul VI Catholic High School, for Freedom

Andrew Savino, 17 of Fairfax Station, Va., attending The Howard Garner School, for Eastern Screech Owl

Jess Taylor, 17, of Vienna, Va., graduate of Winston Churchill High School, for Stranded

The Expo presents nature photography exhibits from eight of the DC-area’s best camera clubs, as well as free classes for beginners, two free Lightroom seminars and 23 more instructional sessions on topics from the iPhone to landscape photography.

More advanced lectures by notable professional and freelance nature photographers, including keynote speaker Joe McNally, veteran photojournalist of the book, Faces of Ground Zero and renowned, freelance photographer for National Geographic and LIFE magazines, do charge a fee.

In addition to the seminars and lectures, photographers will have the chance to focus their lenses on hawks and owls in a natural setting, just outside the Hylton Performing Arts Center. All proceeds go to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia to support their animal rehabilitation programs.

“Like painting, music and the performing arts—photography is an art-form to be enjoyed and practiced,” said Tom Shevock, president of Nature Visions Photo Expo. “We all look to capture a moment with our camera, whether it’s a professional shot or just a quick click of the cell phone–our Expo offers something for everyone.” 

2 charged with grand larceny after landscaping contract

 A round up of incident report from Manassas City police: 

Burglary – Arrest

On September 21, 2015, Manassas City Police arrested two suspects involved in a burglary that took place on September 5, 2015.  On September 7, 2015, officers met with the reporting party on the 8800 block of Center St in reference to a burglary that occurred in the past.  The reporting party told officers that on September 5th, a crew of three individuals was contracted out to perform landscaping on the property, was paid, and left without incident.  On September 7th, the victims returned to their residence to find that the three subjects had returned uninvited.  When the victims arrived, two subjects emerged from the house and all three left in a small gray truck with tools in the back.  After entering the residence, the victims found several items to be missing: jewelry, an impact drill, and money, valued together at over $1,600.00.  Through further investigation, officers identified the two suspects as Roger Lee BRUMMERT (35) and Jacob Michael GARRISON (19).

Suspect #1:         BRUMMERT, Roger Lee (35)
Address:              2370 Somerville Rd, Locust Grove, VA 22508
Charged with:   Breaking and Entering and Grand Larceny
Bond:                    None
Court date:         October 27, 2015

Suspect #2:         GARRISON, Jacob Michael (19)
Address:              125 Market St #341, Manassas Park, VA 20111
Charged with:   Breaking and Entering and Grand Larceny
Bond:                    $10,000.00
Court date:         October 27, 2015

More reports:

Attempted Fraud

On September 17, 2015, Manassas City Police met with a resident on the 9100 block of Firethorn Ct for a report of an attempted fraud.  The reporting party told officers that she had received three phone calls from an unknown male subject claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The caller then told the resident that she owed money to the IRS, and offered to meet her later in the day for payment.  The resident did not comply or provide any additional information to the caller.

Attempted Breaking & Entering

On September 19, 2015, Manassas City Police met with a resident on the 8900 block of Virginia Ave for a report of a breaking and entering that had occurred the night prior.  The victim stated that she was awoken by a loud noise and two males outside.  Through further investigation, officers determined that the two subjects entered the resident’s backyard, causing $500.00 in damage to the fence and gate, then proceeded to shatter a portion of the back door, causing an additional $600.00 in damage.  The suspects then fled on foot in an unknown direction.

                Description of suspects: (1) Light-skinned male, 20s, 5’8” -5’11”, 150-180lbs; (2) Light-skinned male, 20s, 5’8”-6’3”, 170-190 lbs

Johnson charged with malicious wounding

A round-up of incident reports from Prince William police: 

Attempted Malicious Wounding – On September 19th at 2:18PM, officers responded to the 3100 block of Chesapeake Dr in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a fight with weapons. The victim, a 24 year old woman of Dumfries, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in verbal altercation in front of the apartment complex building in the above area. During the encounter, the accused pulled out a knife and advanced towards the victim in a threatening manner. Other witnesses to the incident were able to separate both parties while police were contacted. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested without further incident.

Arrested on September 19th:

James JOHNSON, 58, of 3101 Chesapeake Dr, #204 in Dumfries

Charged with attempted malicious wounding

Court Date: November 2, 2015 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond


More reports: 


Malicious Wounding | Strong Armed Robbery – On September 19th at 9:04PM, officers responded to the 13900 block of Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate an assault. The victim, a 30 year old man of Woodbridge, reported to police that he was assaulted by four unknown Hispanic men in a wooded area near the above location. As a result of the confrontation, the victim sustained a laceration to his head. The men also took the victim’s cell phone and destroyed it before fleeing.  The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries. Officers checked the area and no suspects were located. The victim was unable to further describe the assailants.

Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On September 19th at 3:09AM, officers responded to the 7600 block of Cass Pl in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shots fired call. The caller reported to police that a large group was observed outside of the apartment building in the above area. A short time later, gunshots were heard and the group dispersed. Officers arrived in the area and located multiple shell casings on the sidewalk. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Residential Burglary – On September 19th at 6:01PM, officers responded to the Quality Inn located at 10653 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a burglary. A resident of the motel reported to police that his room was entered sometime between 6:50AM and 5:00PM. The investigation revealed that there were no signs of forced entry into the room. Entry is believed to have bene made through an unsecured door. A wireless printer was reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On September 17th at 2:35PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 13200 block of Conrad Ct in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:00AM on September 16th and 2:00PM on September 17th. The investigation revealed that entry was made into the residence through a door which was found damaged. A shed on the property was also entered and a gas powered tiller was reported missing. No property was reported missing from the main residence.

Gar-Field High School receives authorization to offer the IB’s newest program

 Gar-Field High School Receives Authorization to Offer the IB’s Newest Programme

Prince William County Public Schools has received notification from the International Baccalaureate Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that Gar-Field Senior High School has been fully authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme.

This news comes after a year-long formal authorization process.

Administrative Coordinator of IB at Gar-Field, Brian Bassett, said, “The authorization process is a tough journey. The IBO makes you plan it, build it, then measure it; sends in an inspection team, then makes you go back and successfully address any issues that may exist, then authorizes you. This was the result of several years’ worth of work and professional development by curriculum supervisors in CTE and Specialty Programmes; Principals, both past and current; and teachers.”

Gar-Field Senior High School is the 7th school authorized to offer the IBCP in Virginia, 75th in the United States, and 103rd globally. The IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) began as a pilot program in 2004 and became available in 2012 to all interested IB World Schools offering the Diploma Programme.

“Similar to the IB Diploma Programme, the IBCP is another option for our students in grade 11 and 12,” GF IBCP Coordinator Michelle Schneider explains. “Students must take a rigorous academic schedule that includes Diploma Programme courses and an approved career-related program. These two components are bridged by a set of specially designed IBCP core requirements that include second language development, service learning, an Approaches to Learning course, and a reflective project in their chosen career pathway.”

“The IB Career-Related Programme will help us reach an even broader student population by allowing students with passion in various CTE fields an earlier opportunity to specialize in a particular chosen career field,” says Gar-Field Principal, Dr. Cherif Sadki.

Current career pathways available to Gar-Field students interested in pursuing the IBCP Certification include: Project Lead the Way Pathways, Marine Corps Junior ROTC, Teachers for Tomorrow, and over 10 different career clusters offered through the Virginia Department of Education.

“Receiving our authorization is a shared achievement. The collaboration between core academic subjects and CTE electives is where we need to be in order to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow. I am encouraged with the dialogue and potential for authentic interdisciplinary learning and application. To me, it is one more way an IB education helps break down walls of communication and perception,” says Bassett.

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