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Updated: Driver found, charged after fatal crash near Haymarket

Updated 7:35 p.m.

Police said they found their missing driver. 

From a press release:  *DRIVER ARRESTED – Investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit have charged the driver involved in this morning’s fatal crash in Gainesville that killed a 38-year-old man of Warrenton. The accused was located shortly after 1:00PM by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office walking along a roadway. The accused was not injured and was detained without incident. Speed and alcohol use are believed to be contributing factors in the collision. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

                Arrested on February 12:

                Vicente Martir VIDES VASQUEZ, 21, of the 300 block of Jackson St in Warrenton

                Charged with involuntary manslaughterhit & run causing death and driving without a license

                Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Updated 1:55 p.m. 

Police identified the man who was ejected from the car. 

Fatal Crash Investigation *VICTIM IDENTIFIED – Investigators from the Crash Investigation Unithave identified the passenger killed in this morning’s fatal crash in Gainesville as Jose Nelvin ROMERO MALDONADO, 38, of Warrenton. The front seat passenger was identified as a 30-year-old man of Warrenton. The suspected driver of the vehicle was located a short time ago by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. The driver will be interviewed by Prince William County police investigators regarding the crash this afternoon. The investigation is continuing.

We’ve just learned the details of a fatal crash near Haymarket this morning. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On February 12 at 2:42AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of James Madison Hwy and Thoroughfare Rd in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a single vehicle crash.

The investigation revealed a 2001 Toyota 4-Runner was traveling northbound on James Madison Hwy in the above area when the driver lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway and rolled. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene prior to officers arriving in the area.

A backseat passenger, identified as an adult male, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained from the crash. A front seat passenger, identified as an adult male, was wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment and has since been released.

A Prince William County police K-9 and helicopter assistance from Fairfax County Police responded to search for the driver who was not immediately located. Investigators are actively working to identify the driver. The identity of the deceased will be released once a next-of-kin has been notified. The investigation continues.

Suspect in custody, charged with shooting and killing brother in Stafford

We got notification of a homicide that happened yesterday. From the Stafford sheriff’s office press release:

Stafford, VA.  A suspect is in custody for shooting and killing his brother in the area of Holly Drive in Stafford County.  

On February 6, 2018 at approximately 8:58 p.m., deputies responded to the area of Holly Drive after the Roanoke Police Department notified the Stafford Sheriff’s Office that they had a subject in custody who had admitted to shooting and killing his brother in Stafford.

Stafford detectives said an unknown dispute occurred between the suspect, William Jackson Veronee, 21, of Aiken, South Carolina, and the victim, Christopher Andrew Veronee, 33, of Stafford. Detectives believe the suspect shot and killed his brother on Monday afternoon.

Following the homicide, the suspect stole his brother’s vehicle, which broke down while traveling in the area of Roanoke, Virginia. Police were notified of a suspicious subject by staff at a cold weather shelter. The subject spoke with responding officers, and was then taken into custody by Roanoke Police.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office was notified and deputies then located the deceased victim at his home on Holly Drive. The stolen vehicle was recovered by Roanoke Police.

The suspect has been charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He is currently being held in the Roanoke City Jail.

The incident is still under investigation by the Stafford Sheriff’s Office.  


Updated: School bus driver killed in Prince William County

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A school bus driver was struck and killed this morning at a Prince William County bus depot.

The unidentified victim struck by a bus back out of a service bay shortly after 7 a.m. at the McCuin bus depot on Piney Branch Lane in Bristow. 

Family members of the victim have been contacted. The school division is awaiting notification of next of kin before the driver is identified, said Prince William County Schools spokesman Phil Kavits.

The school division was operating this morning on a two-hour delay due to icy conditions overnight. 

The McCuin school bus depot is one of three in the county where drivers park their personal vehicles, board their respective buses, and begin their morning routes. The other two school bus depots are located at Independent Hill and Potomac Senior High School in Woodbridge.

We’ll update this post as more becomes available.

Update — Statement from the school division

We are sad to report that a PWCS bus driver was killed this morning by a bus reportedly backing out of the service bay at McCuin Transportation Center. An investigation is underway.

We are withholding the name pending full notification of family members. A Critical Incident Team was dispatched to provide support to those dealing with the sad news. We are all saddened by the loss of our PWCS family member and our thoughts are with his family, friends, coworkers and student passengers.

Update 3:39 p.m. 

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On February 5 at 7:31AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the Prince William County Schools McCuin Transportation Center located at 7900 Piney Branch Ln in Bristow (20136) to investigate a crash involving a County school bus. The investigation revealed that a driver of a 2014 Freightliner school bus was backing out of a service area within the center when another employee, who was standing behind the bus, was struck. The employee who was struck was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was not injured. No children were on the bus at the time of the incident. At this time, no charges have been placed. The investigation continues.


                The employee was identified as Richard Lee PROFFITT, 62, of Manassas

                The driver of the school bus was identified as a 60-year-old man of Nokesville

Winter weather delays and closings information for Jan. 17, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Fredericksburg City Public Schools, Spotsylvania County Public Schools, King George County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, King George County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Fredericksburg City, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes to be extended to Fredericksburg

Drivers on Interstate 95 will see the E-ZPass Express Lanes extended from Stafford County into Fredericksburg, across the Rappahannock River. 

The new project announced today includes constructing a new bridge and replacing the existing bridges over the river.

From a press release: 

FREDERICKSBURG – The Commonwealth Transportation Board has awarded a contract worth approximately $101.6 million to Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc., of North Dinwiddie, to build the Interstate 95 southbound Rappahannock River Crossing project in Stafford County, the City of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County.

The project seeks to reduce I-95 congestion in the Fredericksburg area by providing local traffic with additional lanes to travel between Route 17 and Route 3 without merging into the interstate’s general purpose lanes.

The Rappahannock River Crossing will build three new general purpose lanes for I-95 south stretching six miles in the current median of I-95. The new lanes would begin in the vicinity of Truslow Road, just north of Exit 133 at Route 17 in Stafford. The new lanes will end 1.2 miles south of Exit 130 at Route 3 in Fredericksburg, with the project terminus in Spotsylvania.

The three existing I-95 southbound lanes in this area will be converted to local traffic lanes, also known as collector-distributor lanes.

A new bridge will be built over the Rappahannock River parallel to the existing I-95 southbound bridge to carry the new general purpose traffic lanes.

Additionally, the bridges that carry I-95 north and south over Route 17 will be replaced as part of the project. Both bridges are structurally deficient, which does not imply that the bridges are likely to collapse or are unsafe, but that there are elements of the bridges that need to be monitored and/or repaired.

Construction will begin in summer 2018 and will be completed in 2022.

The I-95 southbound Rappahannock River Crossing will be the next project to start construction as part of the Atlantic Gateway suite of projects. Virginia was awarded a $165 million FASTLANE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in 2016 for Atlantic Gateway, a $1.4 billion set of highway, transit and rail projects in the I-95 corridor.

The USDOT’s FASTLANE competitive grant program, is part of a $4.6 billion, five-year program created by the FAST Act, which was signed into law in December 2015 and makes large-scale national investments to improve freight and highway mobility across the United States. Every grant under the program will be subject to a 60-day congressional review before final grant awards are announced.

For more information on the I-95 southbound Rappahannock River Crossing, and to see project designs, please visit the project page online at

Our premium membership content tier launches Jan. 10, 2018

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, we will introduce our premium content tier. I hope you will choose to become a member!

Here, our best and most informative work to cover our community — from local government to new and fun things to do with your friends and family — will be featured in our premium content tier.

Gaining access to our premium content tier is easy, and it’s priced at a great value: $6 a month, or save 10% and pay up front at just $65 a year.

Only selected content will appear on our premium membership tier. Many of the features you have come to expect from Potomac Local, including the police blotter, reader questions, and emails, our popular Breakfast Links email will continue to be sent at 5 a.m. each weekday, will remain free.

So, if you already get it you’ll keep getting it. If you don’t, sign up free.

We first told you about membership and our upcoming premium content in early December.

In addition to access to great local news coverage, members will also be eligible for special offers and discounts from area businesses and will be invited to special events.

Your membership — valued at less than two cups of coffee month — is vital for Potomac Local to not only to continue to cover our community with trusted, unbiased, objective local news but also to expand our coverage in traffic and transportation news, something that affects all Northern Virginians.

I had the pleasure of speaking with many readers about the change shortly after I announced it in December. I’m always available to answer any questions you might have regarding this first-of-its-kind change on Potomac Local, so please email me at ukiser[at]

Thank you for your continued support of Potomac Local over the years, and for becoming a sustaining member of our local news organization.

School delays and closures for Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

Updated: Icy threat prompt public schools to close early Monday

Prince William County Public Schools will close three hours early today. All afternoon and evening activities are canceled. SACC will be closed today. 

The school division said it will attempt to serve lunches. 

The decision to close early comes as a winter weather advisory will go into effect today at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

From the National Weather Service:


* WHAT…A wintry mix with freezing rain and sleet is expected. The ice will result in very slippery conditions on sidewalks, roads and bridges. A light glaze of ice is expected.

* WHERE…The Washington DC metropolitan area, and northern Piedmont and central foothills of Virginia.

* WHEN…From 3 PM to 9 PM EST Monday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Even if air temperatures rise above freezing, the ground and other surfaces are still extremely cold due to the recent Arctic blast. This increases the likelihood of a glaze of ice on surfaces.

Prince William County Public Schools opened on time today while Stafford County Public Schools delayed its opening by two hours, and Fairfax Loudoun, and Fauquier schools closed today.

Updated 11:48 a.m 

Stafford County students will also get an early day today, 

From the school division: 

All Stafford County Public Schools will dismiss two hours early due to impending weather conditions. Stafford County is currently under a Weather Advisory. All after school and evening activities are canceled. Afternoon preschool classes are canceled.  

Dismissal time for Head Start students is 12:00p.m.

Dismissal time for Elementary students is 1:40 p.m.

Middle School dismissal time is 12:50 p.m.

High School dismissal time is 12:15p.m.


Winter weather delays and closings information for Friday, Jan. 5, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

Winter weather delays and closings information for Jan. 4, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

Updated: Woman found dead inside Stafford apartment prior to police shooting on I-95


From a press release: 

At 11:31 a.m., Thursday (Dec. 28), Virginia State Police received a Be On the Look Out bulletin for an SUV that was possibly related to an ongoing criminal investigation in Stafford County. A state trooper spotted the suspect vehicle traveling north on Interstate 95 near the 137 mile marker and, with the assistance of a Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy, attempted a traffic stop. 

As the State Trooper and Stafford County Deputy activated their emergency lights to initiate the traffic stop, the SUV pulled off to the shoulder near the 138 mile marker in Stafford County. The driver of the SUV got out of his vehicle and began shooting at the trooper and deputy – striking the trooper’s windshield. Then the driver jumped back into the SUV and fled northbound on I-95. The suspect vehicle crashed and overturned near the 142 mile marker in the northbound lanes of I-95 in Stafford County.

The driver of the suspect vehicle is being flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

No law enforcement or other motorists were injured in the shooting or pursuit. No law enforcement fired their weapons during the course of the incident.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

From VDOT: 

Update: I-95 northbound remains closed. Traffic detoured at Exit 140/Courthouse Road to Route 1 northbound. Expect major delays on Interstate 95 northbound and Route 1 northbound.

Updated 7 p.m. 

From Stafford sheriff’s office: 

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic-related shooting on Thursday morning at England Run North Apartments that later led to a pursuit and motor vehicle accident on Interstate 95 northbound.  

At approximately 11:24 a.m., Stafford deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the area of Heron Drive in the southern end of the county. Upon arrival, deputies observed a woman with three gunshot wounds to the chest. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies learned the adult male suspect had driven away in a black SUV.

Shortly after the Sheriff’s Office issued a Be On The Lookout bulletin, Virginia State Police Trooper Z.G. Torrance located the suspect’s vehicle heading northbound on Interstate 95. When he attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the suspect fired multiple shots at the trooper. One bullet penetrated the windshield of the trooper’s vehicle, narrowly missing the trooper, and became lodged in the driver’s seat.

After Stafford Deputy Cody McCormick joined the pursuit, the suspect again leaned out of his window and fired his weapon. A bullet penetrated the windshield of the deputy’s vehicle and narrowly missed the deputy. The bullet was later found lodged in the driver’s side headrest.

Both the trooper and deputy escaped the incident uninjured, and neither fired their weapons at the suspect.


The woman shot and killed inside her Stafford County apartment on Thursday is 36-year-old Melissa Dee Lee. 

The man accused of shooting and killing her, as well as fleeing the scene and shooting at police is 42-year-old Gregory Lee. He was shot by police on Thursday and flown to a local hospital where he later died.

Lee was convicted of attempted rape in an Alexandria court in 1999 and was listed on the state sex offender registry. 

Prince William County school teacher Atif Qarni named Virginia Education Secretary 

A Prince William County School teacher will be Virginia’s next Secretary of Education. 

Gov.-Elect Ralph Northam came to Beville Middle School in Dale City about 1:30 p.m. Thursday to announce Atif Qarni, an 8th-grade civics teacher at the school, would oversee the state’s education department. 

It is very important to me that we have a secretary of education in the Commonwealth of Virginia that understands the classroom,” said Northam. Someone who knows K-12 education and has a vision of where to take K-12 in the coming years”

A Marine, educated at George Washington and George Mason University, Qarni has long been active in local politics. In 2013, he challenged Bob Marshall for the 13th District House of Delegates seat, soon to be held by Danica Roem. Two years later, he ran and lost in a Primary Election against State Senator Jeremy McPike, who went on to win the General Election against Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish.

Northam, a pediatrician, says career development for teachers and addressing overcrowded classrooms — of which Prince William County has the most overcrowded classrooms in the Washingon, D.C. region — are top priorities for his education office. 

Qarni received a phone call on Wednesday telling him he had been selected for the job after a two-week interview process. It is a job the 8th-grade teacher applied for because he feels he can use his experience from the classroom to make positive changes in Richmond.

“I’m looking forward to using the things I’ve learned in the last 10 years as a classroom teacher,” he said.

His students gathered in the library of the school where Northam stood at a podium to make the announcement. They all cheered when they saw their teacher be recognized by the incoming governor. 

Qarni helped to organize a candlelight vigil for 15-year-old Ruben Urbina outside Prince William County Government Center in October. Urbina was shot and killed by Prince William police after police said he wielded a three-foot-long crowbar at them and ignored commands to drop the weapon.

Qarni has also organized multiple mock elections for students at Beville Middle School in an effort to impress upon students the importance of civic participation.

Two-alarm blaze breaks out at house off Prince William Parkway

Fire crews are battling a 2-alarm blaze at a home off Prince Wiliam Parkway. 

Here’s the official word from Prince William Fire and Rescue: 

Dispatch 5:56
6300 block Hemlock Ridge Ct.
no injuries reported
FD arrived on scene with an attached garage fully involved.
Fire was extending into the home.
Went to 2 alarms.
Still active operations at this time.
Single family dwelling.

The home was located nearest the newest Prince William County Fire Station 2g, which opened Sept. 30.

However, crews from Buckhall Fire Department on Yates Ford Road were first on the scene. 

More as we have it. 

Updated — More from Prince William fire and rescue: 

Damage is extensive. The cause is under investigation. The Red Cross was on the scene to assist the displaced family.


The home sustained extensive damage estimated at $500,000. The Building Official has posted the home unsafe.

The occupants were not home at the time of the fire; Red Cross is assisting the family, 2 adults and 4 children, displaced by the fire.

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

Photos: Prince William fire and rescue 


Updated: ‘Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, both parties have been located in the Woodbridge area’

A 16-year-old girl was abutted from her Dale City home early this morning prompting an AMBER Alert. 

Here are the full details from Virginia State Police: 










10:25 a.m. 

From Prince William police: 

Missing Endangered Juvenile | Possible Abduction – On October 15 at 1:43AM, officers responded to the 14800 block of Danville Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a possible abduction. The investigation revealed a female juvenile, identified as Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, was attending a party at a home in the above area with a male acquaintance. During the gathering, the two parties got into a verbal altercation and separated. At one point, the female exited the home where witnesses observed her being forcibly placed in a vehicle by the male acquaintance. The vehicle was described as a dark color Honda Civic, possible a hatchback. Detectives believe the female is with the acquaintance against her will. Virginia State Police have issued an Amber Alert in this investigation and the female juvenile is currently listed as missing and endangered. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-VACHILD.

Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz is described as a Hispanic female, age 16, 5’2”, 125lbs with long brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a purples tripe long sleeve shirt denim jeans and a light color jacket.

The male acquaintance was identified as Roberto Medrano Segovia, age 21, with short black hair and brown eyes. Last seen wearing a black V-neck style shirt, blue baggy denim jeans and white Nike Jordan shoes.

Update 3:15 p.m.

The AMBER Alert is canceled.

From Prince William police:

Reference the Amber Alert issued for Sinahi Aguilar-Cruz, both parties have been located in the Woodbridge area. The female juvenile is safe. Detectives are currently conducting interviews to ascertain what occurred. The investigation continues. 

Shots fired call prompts heavy police presence in Downtown Manassas

MANASSAS — Police swarmed Downtown Manassas about 4 p.m. after a report of shots fired.

A neighbor who lives on Main Street just south of the railroad tracks near the Manassas Museum called 911 to report hearing gunfire. Police were unable to find a gun. However, they were able to locate juveniles whom they believed were involved in the incident.

Police believe a pellet gun was used in the incident, according to city spokeswoman Patty Prince.

No one was injured.

Officers were posted near the intersection of Center and Main streets, and Liberty and West streets for the shots fired investigation.

About a block away on Liberty Street, police and fire and rescue crews were called to a separate incident at a water tower for a report of trespassing. It appeared police had one juvenile in custody.


Updated: Driver dies Thursday morning in wrong-way crash on Interstate 95

One man was killed in an early-morning crash on Interstate 95 in Stafford County when he drove the wrong way onto the southbound traffic lanes.

From Virginia State Police: 

On Thursday October 12, Virginia State Police responded to a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 2:30 am on Interstate 95 Southbound just north of the Centreport Parkway exit at the 136 mile marker in Stafford County. 

The crash involved two vehicles.  The first vehicle was a 2003 Dodge Van that had entered I95 at the Centreport Parkway exit and was headed northbound in the southbound lanes.  Just north of the exit the van struck a southbound 2007 Peterbuilt tractor trailer head on the center lane.  Both drivers were transported to Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the identity is pending notification of the family. 

The crash closed the southbound lanes and southbound traffic was detoured at the Stafford Exit located at the 140 mile marker.  All lane of southbound I95 were open to traffic at 7:15 am.  The crash and its causative factors are still under investigation at this time by Trooper K. W. Comer who was assisted by VDOT, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Stafford County Fire and Rescue units.

The crash was cleared about 7 a.m. Prior to that, Virginia Department of Transportation crews worked to clean up a resulting fuel spill while traffic was redirected. 

From VDOT: 

All I-95 southbound traffic is being detoured to Route 1 southbound at Courthouse Road in Stafford. Traffic can travel Route 1 southbound to Centreport Parkway, where they can re-enter I-95 southbound at the Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) interchange.

A multi-vehicle crash occurred near Exit 136 on I-95 southbound. Crews are working to clear the scene and contain spilled fuel.  

Stafford area travelers should expect significant travel delays during the morning rush hour period on I-95 southbound and Route 1 southbound. Three miles of congestion exists leading up to the incident scene.


The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the crash at Mary Washington Hospital at 6:40 am.  The driver of the van is identified as Darwin William Hogan, age 21 of Fredericksburg, VA. 

The driver of the tractor trailer was treated for minor injuries at Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the tractor trailer is identified as Jeffery Dewayne Edwards, age 55 of Hillsborough, NC.

“Dead!!!” was painted in gold spray paint’ on “Stonewall” Jackson monument

From an email: 

The National Park Service (NPS) is actively working to remove paint that was poured and sprayed on the General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson monument at Manassas National Battlefield Park. The vandalism happened overnight and was discovered at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 4.

Vandals poured a large quantity of white paint on three of the four sides of the polished granite base, and “Dead!!!” was painted in gold spray paint. NPS law enforcement park rangers are investigating the incident; anyone with information is asked to call 301-714-2235.

NPS preservation experts have started to remove the paint from the monument, and are assessing the best methods to remove remaining paint, oils and residue.

The monument was erected in 1940 at the site where Jackson first received the nickname “Stonewall,” at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861.

Photo: National Park Service 

CONFEDERATE FLAG: “take it down” and “racist” spray painted on the base of the pole’

From a press release: 

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of vandalism involving a flag pole that flies a large Confederate flag on private property near Interstate 95 in the Falmouth area.  

On Sunday, October 1, 2017 at approximately 4:00pm, Deputy George Motley was called to the property and observed “take it down” and “racist” spray painted on the base of the pole. The rope used to hoist the flag was also damaged and rendered useless. It appears there may have been an attempt to remove the plaque on the pole that reads “Virginia.”

The landowner, Hubert Cash, informed the deputy that the pole is owned by the Virginia Flaggers organization and he had agreed to have the flag and pole on his property. The property line and pole itself feature a number of no-trespassing signs.  

Cash told the deputy he first noticed the damage at approximately 3:00pm that day and the last time he had seen the pole undamaged was on September 24, 2017. He said he is unaware of who caused the damage, but knows there are a lot of people who do not like the flag.

The flag and the 80-foot pole on which is attached has been at the center of a debate among Stafford County residents since the United the Right protest in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. 

Many residents have called on county officials to remove the flag or to pass new rules limiting the height of flagpoles in the county. 

Late last month, Stafford County Attorney Charles Shumate said the flag was on private property, was permitted by the county, and that the county’s Board of Supervisors had no right to forcibly remove the flag. Any restrictions on flagpoles, he added, would not apply to the flag as it would be grandfathered.

We reported this morning that a Stafford County woman also won approval from the county to erect a similar 80-foot flagpole on which, she says, she will erect a “Black Lives Matter” flag.


Kline development public hearing deferred ‘to date uncertain or date certain’

MANASSAS — The Prince William County Planning Commission will not hear the Kine Property case on Wednesday as originally scheduled. 

The proposed development would bring 400 new homes on 100 acres of land at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue just outside Manassas. 

Those who were going to attend the 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 Planning Commission meeting, or will view its upcoming agenda will not that the Kline development remains on the agenda. 

From Prince William County Scott Meyer: 

The Applicant requested deferral, just before we were about to dispatch our reports for 10/4 Planning Commission.

However, since the 10/4 PC public hearing has already been advertised, upon our e-portal/scheduled, and posted with public hearing signs, the Planning Commission still needs to officially take action on the deferral request at the 10/4 meeting.   Although we do not know the actual timeframe for when it would go back to PC, it may possibly be as early as November 15th.   But, we do not know at this time…   It all depends on how it is deferred —  to date uncertain or date certain.

We are in discussion with the applicant and looking at alternative layouts.

We’ve called the applicant Stanley Martin Homes, left a message and requested a comment. We’ll post here once we receive it. 

‘The driver of the 2005 Ford Ranger was eventually flown to an area hospital where he died as a result of his injuries’

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On September 29 at 2:14PM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the 9300 block of Brentsville Rd in Manassas (20112) to investigate a two vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that the driver of a 1997 Ford F350 was traveling westbound on Brentsville Rd when the vehicle crossed over the double yellow line and collided head on with the driver of a 2005 Ford Ranger who was traveling eastbound on Brentsville Rd. The driver of the 2005 Ford Ranger was eventually flown to an area hospital where he died as a result of his injuries on September 30. The driver of the Ford F350 was also flown to an area hospital with serious injuries. It is unknown at this time if speed or drug use are factors in this crash. Charges are pending. The investigation continues.


The driver of the 2005 Ford Ranger was identified as Terry Lee CUNNINGHAM, Jr., 23, of Woodbridge

The driver of the 1997 Ford F350 was identified as a 35-year-old man of Bristow

Updated: ‘Fourteen adults and five children have been displaced’

From an email: 

At 2:57 a.m. City of Manassas Fire and Rescue units responded to a two-alarm fire in the 9000 block of McRae Court.  Upon arrival, units saw fire showing from a middle unit to the rear of the house.  In total, fire damaged three town homes.  Fourteen adults and five children have been displaced.  Currently, the families are attempting to find shelter with friends and family. Fire Marshal Hartnett is on scene.

Update 4:10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, 2017

From city officials: 

It was determined to be accidental.  There was an electrical failure in an extension cord.

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