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Prince William GOP collects school supplies

As students prepare for the start of a new school year, the Prince William County Republican Committee and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) conducted a back-to-school supply drive to benefit some of the County’s neediest students. The Committee collected a large amount of supplies and delivered them on Wednesday to Parkside Middle School and Sinclair Elementary School, both in Manassas.

“I thank the Prince William County Republican Committee for putting this important back-to-school supply drive together and helping the students of Prince William County grow academically,” said Congresswoman Comstock. “It was an honor to join the initiative. These supplies will help low-income families, so every child has the tools for success. I hope the Prince William County community has a wonderful year of learning.”

This is the third year that local Republicans have collected supplies for Title 1 schools or schools with a high population of low-income students. They donated to Occoquan Elementary School and Rippon Middle School in 2015 and Vaughn Elementary School and Fred Lynn Middle School in 2014. Title I schools are academic institutions with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families.

The Prince William Republicans are grateful to be able to serve the community throughout the year through various projects and activities,” said GOP Chairwoman Dottie Miller. “This school supply drive is a great way for us to use private sector resources to support education, because these students will be Prince William’s leaders of tomorrow.

Items collected included backpacks, pens, no. 2 pencils, water-based markers, glue sticks, three-ring binders,

pocket folders, and loose-leaf notebook paper. Any Prince William County resident can participate in the Committee’s Community Service Initiatives no matter what their political affiliation is.

Dumfries Applebee’s helps authors launch new book

F. Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope Parente have sent Private Investigator Sam Osborne on yet another quest in Treasured Fate, the fourth book of The Fate Series. In the current book, Sam helps a farmer friend who advertises for a wife and gets a lot more: a battle against a murderer and a search for a missing treasure.

The Dumfries, VA Applebee’s is helping the authors celebrate by inviting local residents to the launch of the book September 15.

Swope and Parente are a mother/daughter duo who began writing late in life: Swope is now 88 and Parente is 62. Since the successful launch of the first book in the series, Twist of Fate, the two have made it their mission to encourage others to seek their dreams regardless of age or other limitations. Swope is legally blind from macular degeneration and is physically limited, yet she and her daughter have traveled all over Northern Virginia to speak and to sell their books.

“I never could have imagined that I’d have a book series as well as a book of short stories published in just a few years,” Swope said.

Both Swope and Parente have always wanted to publish fiction, but didn’t make the dream come to life until inspiration came from the success of children’s book author Allyn M. Stotz, who is another of Swope’s daughters and who now has six books under her belt. Although the elder Fate Series author has always been creative and active, pursuing quilting, painting, pottery and genealogy, just to name a few, she also has had numerous characters and plots running around in her head.

“Getting them down on paper and into the minds of readers is a joy,” she said. “I would encourage anyone who has wanted to write their stories to find a way to make it happen—hopefully before they are 82 years old!”

Swope was a columnist and helped to run her hometown newspaper in Ohio with her husband for most of her career. Parente is a full-time freelance writer and editor, who is working on her own young adult series.

The Dumfries Applebee’s hosted book three of the series, Violet Fate. The restaurant is acknowledged in several of the Fate Series books because the authors meet there regularly to fine-tune their mysteries.

“The staff has had to listen to us come up with devious new ways to kill off characters, steal, kidnap, hide evidence and now, hide and retrieve a treasure. We figure they’ve been part of our story,” Parente said.

The book launch is 4 to 7 at 3330 Pine Bluff Drive, Dumfries, VA.

Stafford’s Adventure Brewing expands to Fredericksburg

In January 2016 Adventure Brewing Company purchased Blue & Gray Brewing Company, the oldest brewery in the Fredericksburg area. 

Since that time, the team from Adventure Brewing has kept the Blue and Gray moniker while the transition of federal and state licensing has taken place. As of July 16, the official name will become Adventure Brewing South.

The brewery celebrated the move at its first annual Adventure Summer Fest on Saturday, July 16 at the new location:, 3300 Dill Smith Drive in Fredericksburg. 

Beers from Adventure and other area breweries such as Foothills Brewing, N.C., James River Brewing; Maltese; Forge Brew were featured. 

Adventure Brewing Company opened in May 2014 as the first Stafford County brewery since 1766 and with a 3-barrel brewing system. Early into their second year of business, owners, Stan Johnson, Tim Bornholtz and John Viarella realized that the supply was not meeting the demand for their four flagship beers and the stream of seasonal and specialty beers that Adventure was producing under the guiding hand of Brian Link. 

They began to seek opportunities to increase production. Enter Blue & Gray and the rumors of a sale. The owners of Adventure and the owner of Blue & Gray found a clear way forward to expand the Adventure production capacity and provide a smooth pathway to retirement for Blue & Gray’s owner, Jeff Fitzpatrick.

The purchase of Blue & Gray increases Adventure’s brewing capacity from a 3 barrel to a 20-barrel system. The advantage of the larger systems was immediately felt. 

Stafford County is now a growing name within the Virginia craft brewery scene, with Adventure beer being served in restaurants around Stafford County and Fredericksburg. Adventure Brewing is ready and has the capacity to share their love of beer to a wider audience.

Prince William Science Accelerator welcomes Celetrix, LLC

From Prince William County Department of Economic Development: 

Adding to its growing portfolio of life sciences companies, the Prince William Science Accelerator is set to welcome yet another resident – Celetrix LLC (Celetrix) – a biotechnology company. The company will be the fifth tenant located within the brand new wet lab facility.

“We view our decision to locate in the Prince William Science Accelerator as critical to our continued success. Our new location allows us the opportunity to foster and leverage relationships with other tenants within the Science Accelerator,” said Celetrix Chief Executive Officer, Jian Chen. “Moreover, it places us within close proximity to strategic assets in Innovation Park such as the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Laboratory, the Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences Northern Laboratory as well as George Mason University’s (Mason’s) Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine; while enjoying the benefits of a cost effective, state-of-the art wet lab space; and access to a talent pipeline that is second to none.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Celetrix to our diverse and growing life sciences community here in Prince William County,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “When we launched the Science Accelerator in 2014, it was generally anticipated that it would be a success based on the expressed need for commercially available wet lab space in the County. However, the fact that we are approaching full occupancy within such a short space of time, has been a welcome boon.”

“The mix of life sciences companies we’ve attracted are all at various stages of research, development and/or commercialization within their respective specialties, which allows for more meaningful information sharing and mentorship that can make a material difference in the success of early stage companies. This is what we envisioned when we embarked on this initiative and I am happy to see it come to fruition,” added Kaczmarek.

Celetrix’s flagship product is an electroporator which is used to deliver DNA, RNA and proteins into cells. Electroporators are widely used in the study and application of molecular and cellular biology, immunology, hematology, neuroscience, cancer research and drug discovery. However, Celetrix’s device is decidedly unique. Whereas traditional electroporators can be highly toxic to cells due to the destruction of cell membranes when delivering DNA, RNA and proteins into cells, the Celetrix electroporator solves this problem, thereby achieving high-efficiency, low-toxicity electroporation. The company has already achieved success in marketing its electroporator within the United States and increasing sales foretell a breakthrough year in 2016. Most recently, Celetrix was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant in the amount of $186,180.

About Celetrix LLC
Celetrix LLC was founded in 2012 in Virginia to commercialize new types of high efficiency electroporators. The company has a team of accomplished biomedical scientists. Celetrix has revamped the traditional procedures of cell electroporation with the introduction of innovative electroporation devices and methods. Besides the electroporation products, Celetrix provides development services to biotech companies and research institutions. Celetrix is also a proud participant of the NIH SBIR/STTR grant program. To learn more visit: www.celetrix.com

To learn more from the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, Virginia Science and Technology entrepreneurs are invited to attend a Lunch & Learn with Lab Tours to be held at Mason’s Science and Technology Campus, from 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 pm on September 22, 2016. To receive E-Newsletters visit us at: www.PWCEconDev.org or follow us on Twitter @PWCDED.

Local Authors Unite to Sell Books and Donate to Cancer Charity

Eight authors from Write by the Rails, the Prince William County chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, are scheduled to appear on July 30, 2016, at McKay Used Books in Manassas, Virginia, where they will donate $1 of each book sale to the American Cancer Society. Authors will sign copies of their books to patrons and thank them for their contributions to cancer care and research.

Scheduled to attend are Antonia Kilday, Natalina Reis, Zachary and Mickey Tamer, P.M. Hernandez, Carol Covin, Maria Yeager, Lincoln Farish, and Victor Rook. These authors have written books in a wide range of genres: romance, mystery, poetry, children’s books, sci-fi, horror, and more. Organizer Victor Rook explains why they’ve decided to make this event a charitable event.

“In the past year we’ve lost two of our members to various forms of cancer. Most recently we lost Robert F. Dorr, author of over 75 books on aviation and hundreds of articles. In October of 2015 we lost author Marvin Josaitis. Both attended last year’s group signing at McKay’s. We’ve also had several of our current members touched by cancer over the past few years.”

Author Carol Covin is one of those members, and she will be signing copies of her book “Who Gets to Name Grandma?” Carol had received treatment for breast cancer and is also working on a book documenting her experience titled “Cancer Should Come with a Secretary.”

The “Super Summer Author Fair” will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 30, 2016, at McKay Used Books, 8345 Sudley Rd., Manassas, VA 20109.

Manassas author honored in 2016 ‘Sundance’ of indie book publishing awards

Manassas author Belinda Miller shares news about her award for her book series the Ragwort Chronicles. 

The Ragwort Chronicles, Along the Way: Roscoe’s Journey, by Manassas resident Belinda Miller has been named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group as one of the best indie books of 2016. Upon notification of the award, the author said, “I am humbled and honored to be considered amongst the most talented in the indie arena. Thank you.”

Along the Way, Roscoe’s Journey is a finalist in the Children’s Picture Book (ages 6-10) and Overall Design categories in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the world’s largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors. The awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many coming from long-standing careers with major publishing houses, to identify books that deserve to reach a wide audience.

“Our awards program is known as the ‘Sundance’ of the book publishing world,” says Catherine Goulet, Chair of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards program. The Ragwort Chronicles, Along the Way: Roscoe’s Journey, is a fantasy adventure book for elementary school children — the second of three in the Ragwort Chronicles series, and is complementary to Miller’s original series, “Phillip’s Quest.”

The characters are the whimsical Ragwort gnome-brothers of Brokenfell village, each with their own personalities, ideas and journey, but all with the same goal — to get to Twistedoak. The adventurous gnome, Roscoe, takes his journey from Brokenfell, through the Dark Forest and Bandersnatch Swamp. Along the way, he finds out about true friendship and the meaning of being “rich.”

Published by Winterfrost Publishing, the book features the brilliant illustrations of Canadian artist, Annie Wilkinson and was designed, formatted and printed by BookLogix of Alpharetta Georgia.

 The number of self-published titles produced annually in the U.S. has increased dramatically, growing 437% from 2008 to 2013. The awards were presented on May 11 in a ceremony at Chicago’s Newberry Library. In addition to the grand prize winners, top indie books were named as winners and finalists in 70 publishing categories ranging from Action/Adventure to Young Adult.

A complete list of 2016 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at www.indiebookawards.com. 

Sung Lee joins Whitlock Wealth Management

Sung H. Lee, has joined Whitlock Wealth Management, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., as a financial advisor.

His office is located at 12848 Harbor Drive, Lake Ridge VA 22192. Lee began his career at Ameriprise in August 2001. He is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia PA with a BS in Finance.

Originally from Baltimore, Lee recently moved to Prince William County with his wife and son. As a financial advisor, Lee provides financial advice that is built on a solid understanding of client needs and expectations, and provided in one-on-one relationships with his clients. For more information, please contact Sung Lee at Sung.H.Lee@ampf.com, or (703) 492-7732. 

Drink for charity: ‘Share a Brew and Fight Cancer Too’ raises $500 at BadWolf Brewery

From Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy: 

Share a Brew and Fight Cancer Too, a fundraiser to benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Center, raised several hundred dollars, says Councilman Ian Lovejoy, one of the event’s organizers.

Held at Badwolf Brewery on Kao Circle on June 3, the event drew a crowd despite torrential rain.

“I have to give credit to Badwolf Brewery, who was gracious in letting us use their space on a Friday night for this cause. They also donated a percentage of sales to the charity as well”, said Councilman Lovejoy.

Donation jars, scattered throughout the space, were full, contributing to over $500 raised in just a few hours.

“The atmosphere was laid back, fun and definitely for a good cause” stated event attendee Karen Mercer.

“I’m incredibly proud of our business community for stepping up and working with engaged citizens with events like this,” concluded Councilman Lovejoy, “you don’t have to look hard in Manassas to see we’re a true community.”

This event is one in a series of fundraisers to help raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Center on behalf of Osbourn High School Student Joseph Davis and the Charity Skateboard Tournament he will be hosting on Saturday, June 18th at the Dean Skate Park. Joseph a remarkable young man, and avid skateboarder, has independently worked with community leaders to hold the city’s first charity skateboard event.

The event, lasting from 10am – 1pm at the newly re-located Dean Skate Park and will feature prizes, raffles, food and more. All money raised will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Research Center. The series of fundraisers will conclude after the Skateboard event with Bar Louie donated a portion of June 18th sales to the cause. For more information about the Skateboard Tournament, email us at jdawgtourney@yahoo.com or call 571-206-8433 to sign up or for more information!

Systaaq Diagnostic Products Inc. is newest life sciences company at Innovation Park

Prince William County today welcomed Systaaq Diagnostic Products Inc. (Systaaq), a molecular diagnostics company that specializes in developing early diagnosis for infectious diseases, to the Prince William Science Accelerator in Innovation Park.

Systaaq is the newest tenant in the Prince William Science Accelerator that will benefit from an innovative and synergistic community of scientists within an already well-established life sciences industry cluster and access to George Mason University Science & Technology Campus, uniquely located at the epi-center of Innovation Park.

The company joins existing wet lab space tenants: Ceres Nanosciences; ISOThrive; and Virongy located at 9385 Discovery Blvd., Manassas, Va. 20109.

“Having outgrown our existing space in Baltimore, Md., we needed to find adequate, cost-effective, wet lab space preferably in an environment that was best-suited to the groundbreaking work we do,” shared Systaaq’s President, Dr. Shahid Aziz. “The Prince William Science Accelerator is the ideal choice for us as it provides the highest-value, lowest-cost option within the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area.”

“We are thrilled to be part of such a vibrant research ecosystem surrounded by other similar, new and established life sciences companies, not to mention George Mason University and its associated research programs,” added Aziz.

“It is with a great deal of excitement that we welcome Systaaq to the Prince William Science Accelerator and to Prince William County,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “Their work in developing timely and accurate diagnoses particularly with respect to infectious diseases has the potential to significantly reduce costs, improve wellness and above all, save lives. Considering the profiles of the other life sciences companies currently located in Innovation Park and the game-changing research already taking place, I have no doubt that Systaaq will be a natural fit within our life sciences cluster and I eagerly await the synergistic opportunities that will naturally arise.”

Established in 2014, the Prince William Science Accelerator supports the growth of early-stage and small life science companies. It features approximately 9,000 square feet of wet lab space subdivided into nine labs. Wet labs range in size from 439 sq. ft. to 1,141 sq. ft. and have shared amenities such as conference rooms, a reception and receiving area.

The addition of Systaaq will allow for two-thirds occupancy with full tenancy expected by the end of 2016, given strong interest in the remaining three labs. To learn more from the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, Virginia Science and Technology entrepreneurs are invited to attend a Lunch & Learn with Lab Tours, to be held at Mason’s Science and Technology Campus, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 pm on June 14th, 2016. 

Manassas resident publishes ‘Sour’ poetry collection

We’re told that “SOUR” is exactly what it claims . . . “a book of bitter little love poems” – sometimes very bitter.

These poems give a brutally honest account of what we endure in the depths of a relationship, and frequently only have the power to rage against once the relationship is over.

Manassas resident, Amanda Valerie Judd, recently released her first collection of poems; “SOUR – A Book of Bitter Little Love Poems.” The collection of sour love poems was released on Valentine’s Day, and Ms. Judd says the irony of the release date was intentional.

Several of the poems touch on the verbal abuse suffered by many women at the hands of men who supposedly love them. Some of the poems are hard to read.

“They were even harder to live through,” says the author. “While it was cathartic to write them, it was almost painful to release them to the world.” While she says some of the poems are autobiographic, others are just observances she made of the relationships of her friends. “Abuse of women by the men they love is an epidemic in this country, and some women don’t even realize they are being abused.”

While she never intended for the book to be a voice for the cause, Ms. Judd is more than happy if she and her book can somehow help support the cause.

Ms. Judd grew up in northern Indiana, attending Indiana University at South Bend, where she received her Paralegal Studies Certificate.

She has worked for over 20 years in the legal community, a career which eventually brought her to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.

While she loves the law, she feels the time has come to devote herself completely to her writing. She has been writing poetry since she was a child, and although she also writes short stories, and is at work on her first novel, she considers herself a poet, first and foremost. Her poems have previously been published in a few different literary journals and anthologies, most recently in the international anthology, “The Poetic Bond V.”

Her poetry book is currently available on www.Amazon.com.

Ms. Judd lived in several Virginia cities before settling in Manassas, which she says she loves because of its small town feel. “I spend a lot of time in Old Town Manassas. I love all the little shops, and the fact that the owners actually get to know their customers.”

The coffee shops, Central Grounds and Jirani, have been especially supportive of local authors frequently hosting events for the group “Write by the Rails,” which is the local chapter of the Virginia Writer’s Club, and of which, Ms. Judd is a member.

“I credit the group with giving me the final push I needed to follow my dream.” Words of praise for “SOUR” – “Quite unique, and . . . refreshing to read.” John M. Mills, author of several books, including the award-winning, “The Year Without Christmas.”

Ms. Judd will be attending the upcoming “Beer & Books” Night at Bad Wolf Brewery on Saturday, June 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. along with several other local Prince William County writers. For more information about Ms. Judd, please visit her website www.amandavjudd.com.

Manassas schools will serve breakfast, lunch as part of summer food program

Manassas City Public Schools is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Meals will be provided, at a first come, first serve basis, at the sites and times as follows:

  • Haydon Elementary School –9075 Park Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Baldwin Elementary School – 9705 South Main Street, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Weems Elementary School – 8750 Weems Road, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Round Elementary School – 10100 Hastings Drive, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Dean Elementary School – 9601 Prince William Street, Manassas, VA 20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

  • Metz Middle School – 9950 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA  20110

July 25 – August 12, 2016

Breakfast:  8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Regal Garrison 12 movie theater to anchor new North Stafford development

Stafford County is proud to announce that Regal Entertainment Group will open a 50,539 square foot luxury twelve screen movie theater in The Garrison at Stafford, formerly known as Stafford Village. The new 500,000 square foot mixed-use community, located off Garrisonville Road, is under development by The Pence Group.

The Garrison will be an exceptional mixed-use property. Regal’s reputation for providing a luxury movie-going experience will be most welcome in Stafford County,” stated Stafford Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Laura Sellers, Garrisonville District. “Stafford did a retail survey with citizens and a nice movie theater was one of the most requested businesses.”

The Regal Garrison 12 will feature luxury recliners with footrests and swivel tables for dining. The menu will feature enhanced food and beverage options as well as traditional cinema snacks. The lobby includes a lounge where guests can relax before or after the movie and table seating to accommodate appetizers, entrées, desserts, and drinks. When completed in 2017, the 1,230 recliner cinema will provide traditional and 3D films on all twelve screens. 

“We are pleased to bring the premium environment of Regal Garrison 12 to The Garrison and are excited about the potential entertainment and destination themed experiences interested in joining the project,” said Geoff Pence, President at The Pence Group.

Efforts to bring new retail options began in 2012, when the Stafford County Board of Supervisors approved the Stafford County Retail Attraction Initiative, designed to aggressively market Stafford County’s business advantages to retail developers, businesses, and real estate professionals.

“Regal is proud to be a part of this entertainment destination at The Garrison at Stafford.  With easy access off of I-95, we’re certain it will draw moviegoers from a wide area to this affluent community,” said Todd Boruff, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Regal Entertainment Group. 

Announcements of additional companies and stores that will be in The Garrison at Stafford complex will be publicized when leases are finalized.

Krispy Kreme to offer sweet treats at Manassas Neighborhood Conference ahead of new store opening

Krispy Kreme

At this year’s free City of Manassas Neighborhood Conference on June 11 at Jennie Dean Elementary School, building community may just begin with dipping donuts.

The conference aims to bring together citizens interested in improving their neighborhoods, Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) representatives who will share the schools’ newest initiatives, and experts in building better communities, landscape beautification, and wellness. Krispy Kreme Donuts, which will soon open a Manassas store, will set up a dipping station where company representatives hope to meet their new neighbors and share their sweet treats.

Recognizing that neighborhoods and schools need to work together to be successful, this year’s conference spotlights the efforts of MCPS to help all its students shine. Shayma Bautista, MCPS Community Liaison, and Dr. Melissa Saunders, MCPS Director of Curriculum and Instruction, will talk about the Footsteps-2-Brilliance, an initiative that better prepares pre-K students for kindergarten, and other resources that serve all the schools’ populations. Jennie Dean Elementary Principal Dr. Zella Jones, will also welcome attendees and answer their questions about the upcoming school year.

Keynote speaker Zuzana Steen, University and Academic Relations Manager at Micron Technology and President of the Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation, will talk about investing in the success of schools. The Community Association Institute, an international association dedicated to improving communities, will also be on hand to lend advice and ideas to neighborhood associations. And LA Fitness will offer wellness exercises, tips to get ready for summer, and maybe a way to work off those donuts.

Participants can attend one of three afternoon workshops. One teaches participants how to analyze a neighborhood’s strengths and weaknesses through a block walk. Another outlines ways to play in neighborhood parks, keep neighborhoods beautiful, and avoid property code violations. A third workshop discusses how today’s students learn with more than books and blackboards.

Conference attendees can enjoy a free lunch and a chance to win raffle prizes like free summer camp registration, thanks to generous sponsorships from community partners. Those who register before the conference will also receive a free t-shirt.

City of Manassas Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro says community members wanted to see the conference return this year after piloting the Neighborhood Recreation Expo. “The conference is a chance for community members to get together, see what others are doing, get questions answered, and see how we can work together to build a better community.”

Bristow Station resident Nicole Smith agrees, saying, “We are always looking for ways to improve our neighborhood and the conference is a great opportunity for all of us to receive training and meet other community leaders.”

The Neighborhood Conference will be held at Jennie Dean Elementary School, 9601 Prince William Street, on June 11 from 9 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. and is free. Visit www.manassascity.org/neighbor or call 703-257-8240 to register.

Pilot lands at Manassas Regional Airport after flight around the world

On June 7, 2016, Adrian Eichhorn finished his solo trip around the world in a single-engine airplane at Manassas Regional Airport.

Eichhorn, a decorated pilot, commercial pilot, instructor and a military veteran, began his journey on April 10, 2016 from Manassas Regional Airport.  He took six-weeks to become the 121st pilot to fly solo around the world and the 114th pilot to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane.

The trip included five continents, 21 countries, 3,150 gallons of fuel, 25,000 air miles, and 225 hours of flight.  Fellow pilots, airport staff, friends, family and others gathered to welcome him home this afternoon. 

Eichhorn flew in a reconfigured 1962 V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza he nicknamed Gina.  He purchased Gina in 1989 and has been working on her ever since.  Eichhorn kept a photo blog of his trip around the globe at http://flybluehorizons.com.

Volunteers work on trail connecting Benton, Coles, Colgan schools

Dominion employee-volunteers took a respite from their normal daily responsibilities to work along a two-mile trail that connects the new Colgan High School to Benton Middle School and Coles Elementary School in Prince William County.

Volunteers constructed an 8 x 12-foot shed at the entrance of the trail at Colgan High School, as well as built two kiosks positioned at each end of the trail. In addition, volunteers:

?Built six benches and installed them throughout the trail.

?Installed four special trees/effects signs along the trail.

?Installed 60 tree marker signs along the trail on short 6×6 posts.

Dominion employees routinely volunteer to enhance the many communities they serve, work in and where they rear their families. Dominion volunteers have participated in more than 200 projects to improve the environment in their communities. Last year, Dominion employees logged more than 100,000 hours of volunteer time.

Flory Center holds ‘common questions’ conference series

Nury Mena, Branch Manager for Fulton’s Manassas Branch, presented the check to Flory Small Business Centre President Linda Decker.

Nury Mena, Branch Manager for Fulton’s Manassas Branch, presented the check to Flory Small Business Centre President Linda Decker.

This summer, the Flory Center is hosting a to address the most common questions and concerns that small business owners, new and old, have. As with all services offered by the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. these conferences will be offered at no charge to the participant, however pre-registration is required.

Each conference will feature speakers who are experts in the field, from bonding experts to a master of etiquette and including a presentation from a member of the Prince William County Police Department. Running from 9:00am – 1:00pm, these conferences will cover the essentials skills and knowledge needed to better navigate through the finer details of running your own small business.

The schedule for the summer small business conference series is as follows:

Friday, July 15th – U.S. Census Research and Intro to Quickbooks
When writing a business plan or applying for a loan it is essential for businesses to understand not only their competition and their industry, but whether they have grown or declined over time. The U.S. Census website provides a wealth of free information for business owners to track and document these trends to their advantage. This website can be intimidating at first glance, but the Flory Center and a representative of the U.S. Census will show attendees how to navigate the site and use it to one’s advantage.

In the Flory Center Inc.’s ‘Intro to Quickbooks’, a certified CPA will walk attendees through the often intimidating process of using Quickbooks. The Flory Center, Inc. knows how important it is for companies to not only save money by knowing how to use accounting tools, but also how to read, understand and use the outputs. By using Quickbooks well, one can access the current standing of their company at any point in time – a crucial tool for all small businesses.

Friday, August 5th – How to Read Financial Statements
In the final conference of the summer, the Flory Center will seek to answer one of the most commonly asked questions by clients and start-up entrepreneurs – How do you read and understand financial statements without a background in accounting? Led by a Senior Vice President of Union Bank and Trust, this conference will inform attendees how to review and analyze the core financial statements that affect their company on a regular basis. For small business owners with big ideas, the most difficult, or most intimidating, part of owning or starting a small business is often the numbers – most people just don’t know where to start. This conference will help alleviate the fears that numbers can bring and allow business owners to feel confident in knowing the financial standing of their business at all times.

Registration for these conferences is available by phone at (703) 335-2500 or email at florycenterfrontdesk@verizon.net

A session on business etiquette and crime prevention was held June 3, and a session on bonding and 8(a)/HUBZone applications was held May 6.

The Flory Small Business Center, Inc. was created by the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority in 1991 as an “economic gardening” program and the IDA continues to provide over 50% of the Center’s funding with non-taxpayer dollars. Economic gardening fosters the idea that economies can be grown locally by local entrepreneurs. The Center’s 25-year-old program is based on the needs and requests of the small businesses they serve and is the recipient of state and national awards.

The Flory Center is funded by Prince William County, the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Mrs. Decker points out that local entrepreneurs are fortunate that our jurisdictions are committed to assisting the potential “start-up” as well as the existing small business owner.

The Flory Center works with referrals from organizations such as banks and elected officials who understand what they do and want to ensure that small businesses have access to the information and resources that they need to start, grow, and thrive. The Flory Center has been a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration since inception. For more information and to sign up for upcoming start-up workshops and conferences, contact the Flory Small Business Center, Inc. at 703-335-2500 or by email at florycenter@verizon.net.

Southland Concrete to invest $6 million in Prince William for new corporate headquarters and yard

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently announced Southland Concrete Corp. will invest $6 million and add 30 new jobs to Prince William County.

The Southland Concrete corporate headquarters and yard is newly located at 12775 Randolph Ridge Lane, near Manassas. Prince William County was selected above other regional jurisdictions due to the ease of access to transportation corridors and a readily available, highly-skilled workforce.

The company plans to use the existing building on-site for its headquarters and lease nearby land for a yard. The headquarters will employ 30 staff in addition to approximately 225 field employees.

“We are excited to be in our new headquarters facility in Prince William County. The County has been great to work with, it has many options with the zoning we need and outstanding amenities nearby, as well as, excellent transportation and a workforce that is second to none, in the area,” said Randy Green, Southland CEO and President.

“With more than 40 years as a key player in the construction industry, Southland Concrete has an established market profile and product reputation that is a valued and welcome addition to our business community,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “We are committed to supporting its future growth.”

Corporate headquarters are categorized as a Targeted Industry in Prince William County. As such, the Board of County Supervisors signed a conditional performance agreement with Southland Concrete to be administered by the Prince William Industrial Development Authority.

The agreement includes a $40,000 incentive grant for relocation, renovation and equipment costs from the County’s Economic Development Opportunity Fund. Southland Concrete is a recognized leader in the construction industry and manufactures cast-in-place concrete for a variety of commercial structures in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area.

The company performs tilt-up concrete construction for a variety of applications including warehouse, data centers and blast-proof progressive collapse office buildings, foundations and flat work for steel frame construction, podium construction, specialty projects such as parking garages, museums, retaining walls and other commercial structures.

Southland Concrete projects in Prince William County include the Montclair Community Library, Tribute at Heritage Village, Novant Health Prince William Medical Center, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Heritage Hunt, FBI Training Facility, George Mason University, Jiffy Lube Live and many others over its 40+ year history.

To learn more from the Prince William County Department of Economic Development sign-up to receive email newsletters or follow us on Twitter @ PWCDED.

Candland announces first youth art contest

Supervisor Pete Candland would like to invite local children to participate in the First Annual Gainesville District Youth Art Contest. The contest is open to all children in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Entries will be accepted in any medium, painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. The contest theme for the artwork is Summer Vacation.

Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on June 8, 2016, at 6 PM at the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library. All entries will be displayed through the month of June at the library. Winners will receive a gift card and have their artwork displayed in Supervisor Candland’s office until June 2017.

Artwork should be submitted to Supervisor Candland’s office (7001 Heritage Village Plaza, Suite 210, Gainesville, VA 20155) by 6 PM on June 6, 2016.

Locally-owned Jirani Coffeehouse celebrates grand opening

Jirani Coffeehouse recently celebrated their Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting in Manassas.

Located at 9425 West Street in the Manassas Historic District, Jirani’s proprietors, Ken and Detra Moorman are excited for the local community to see the place that they envision as much more than just a space for coffee and conversation.

Jirani is the Swahili word for neighbor or neighborhood – Ken and Detra hope it will become a neighborhood hub and a center for arts and culture. They started Jirani Coffeehouse with the mission of bringing people of all ages and interests together in a “third space” – that welcoming atmosphere that you love to frequent outside of home and work.

From their shared workspaces to the open library-style shelves to live group performances an open mic nights on weekend evenings, Jirani has something for everyone throughout the day and evening.

The Grand Opening event kicked off with the arrival of Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish and Virginia Delegate Jackson Miller in a Mercedes limousine provided courtesy of All About You Limousine Service. Mayor Parrish welcomed Jirani to the Manassas Historic District noting the comfortable and inviting atmosphere Ken has created in his coffee shop compared to the more austere setting of large chain coffee stores.

In addition, Delegate Miller urged Ken to savor the grand opening festivities as he looks to the future to envision a long and prosperous business for Jirani. The audience listened to the elected speakers, as well as Ken’s speech, with rapt attention, and often humorous remarks.

Committed to building other small businesses as well as their own, the Moorman’s have created their own small incubator for other local businesses who bake on site in Jirani’s space. Baked goods are made by local businesses including Works of Wonder Bakery, Sweet Pearlz Cheesecakes, and Pies + Petals. These businesses utilize the Jirani kitchen to make their goods which are also sold at Jirani.

6Robins Photography and Mosemak Creative have also found a home from which to promote their businesses within Jirani’s space.

Jirani is already welcoming a clientele eager to enjoy the coffee and baked goods in a comfortable, refreshing environment. There is even a private event space that can be rented for your next corporate meeting or community group – it’s known as “the Bean Box” and makes a great place to gather! Jirani’s open mic nights and scheduled singers offer entertainment for a diverse range of musical tastes and genres.

Stop by and see all that is happening at Jirani: Their business hours are: Friday, 5:30am to 2am, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Manassas & Manassas Park Democrats announce nomination process for 2016 local elections

The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses to nominate Democratic candidates for Manassas and Manassas Park races in the November 8, 2016 General Election.

Specifically, the MMPCDC seeks to nominate Democratic candidates for mayor and city council in each city and for Manassas City treasurer (subject to a special election for that office being placed on the November 8 ballot). In each city, three city council seats and one mayoral seat are up for election this November.

Candidates who seek the Democratic Party nomination for any of those offices must submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form and a $250 filing fee to the MMPCDC by Friday, May 27 at 5 pm. Complete details–including the Call to Caucus, the Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Caucus Rules-are posted on the MMPCDC website, manassascitydemocrats.com.

If more than one candidate for any elected office should properly file for the Democratic nomination by the May 27th deadline, an assembled caucus will be held to select the nominee. The caucuses for Manassas City nominations are scheduled for Monday, June 6, 7:00 pm, at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St, in the first floor Council Chambers.

The caucuses for Manassas Park nominations are scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at the Manassas Park Police Station, 329 Manassas Dr, in the 1st floor conference room. For both sets of caucuses, the doors will open at 6:30 pm for check-in and close promptly at 7:00 pm. Voting will be open to all registered voters from the respective city who sign a standard Democratic declaration form and arrive for voting before 7:00 pm.

If the number of qualified candidates who file for a race by the May 27 deadline does not exceed the number of available seats, the Chair may declare those candidates to be the Party’s nominees and cancel the respective nominating Caucus. If there are no contested races for any seat, the Chair may cancel the Caucus entirely. A notice of all such caucus cancellations will be posted on the MMPCDC website by May 27 at 7:30 pm. For more information, call 571-358-9893 or visit http://www.manassascitydemocrats.com/?p=1258.

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