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Wanted felon captured at Woodbridge supermarket

WOODBRIDGE — Police captured a man wanted for armed robbery.

Officers tracked the suspect to J&J International Market at 16593 River Ridge Boulevard in Woodbridge just before 3 p.m.

Police evacuated the store and sent in K-9 units to find the suspect. He was reported to be inside the store, however, it’s unclear where the suspect was found.

Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus says the suspect was taken into custody without incident. He did not release the suspect’s name.

Before the arrest, police did a door-to-door search of businesses next to J&J Market in the River Oaks shopping center searching or their man. He was said to be wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans, and a backpack.

Police dispatched K-9 units to the rear of the store to search for the suspect. Police also searched the nearby Chesapeake Apartments.

Virginia State Police troopers and officers from the Dumfries Town Police Department assisted in the search. 

Probus told us more information about the suspect will be released on Wednesday, July 28. 

City leaders sign letter of intent to move P-Nats to Fredericksburg

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One shot in Dale City on Monday afternoon

DALE CITY — One man was shot today near a Pizza Hut in Dale City on Monday. 

What we know now from police: 

*INCIDENT: Shooting | Woodbridge;
Officers are currently on scene investigating a shooting in the area of Filarete St and Forestdale Ave. Male victim sustained a gunshot wound and was flown to an area hospital. Condition unknown.

No suspect description available at this time.

Residents in the area can expect a heavy police presence as the investigation continues.

 

Stafford government center shut down after air conditioner fails

STAFFORD — The mercury is expected to climb into the high 90s today with heat index values reaching 105 degrees. 

A lack of air conditioning has forced the closure of the Stafford County Government Center today. 

From an email: 

Due to a malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the George L. Gordon, Jr., building, most of the building is without air conditioning.  As of 10:30 a.m., the Gordon building is closed for business. Other departments located outside the Gordon building will remain open and continue serving citizens.

The meeting of the Telecommunications Commission scheduled for tonight has been canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 6, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. inthe County Administration Conference Room of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

The meeting of the Architectural Review Board scheduled for tonight has been canceled. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 6, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room ABC of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.

 

Flood debris removed, River Road reopens

FALMOUTH — Crews in Falmouth bottom are done mopping up the mess. 

The portion of River Road that had been closed after this past weekend’s flooding on the Rappahannock River, between Gordon Street and the entrance to Pratt Park, is now open to traffic once again. 

The river spilled its banks and crested at 25 feet on Sunday. The waters brought tree trunks and debris from upstream, west of Fredericksburg, an area that was hard hit by heavy rain.

When the water receded, tree limbs and logs were left piled on River Road. Portions of the pavement were showing signs of buckling after being submerged under water.

We were in Falmouth on Monday to watch some of the clean-up efforts. Heavy equipment was called in to remove the trees, while officials at the Stafford County Government worked with the Virginia Department of Transportation to remove the debris and get the roadway open once again. 

A series of homes along River Road near the intersection of Gordon Street was also flooded. On Monday, we saw those homeowners working hard to pump out the remaining water in their basements. 

River Road is the popular cut-through route that carries 5,700 cars per day, according to VDOT. The road links Route 3 at the Chatham Bridge to Falmouth, Route 1, and Route 17.

The Fredericksburg Nationals? City aims to lure baseball team from Woodbridge.

FREDERICKSBURG — They’re clearly excited in Fredericksburg.

City officials on Tuesday posted to their Facebook page announcing the city was in the works to sign a letter of intent with the Potomac Nationals. That agreement would move the team from their home in Woodbridge, where they’ve been since 1984.

The partnership was announced at a Fredericksburg City Council meeting. The team could relocate to a new stadium to be built somewhere on a tract of undeveloped land called Celebrate Virginia South, near the city’s convention center and Mark’s and Harrison Amphitheater.

According to fredericksburgbaseball.com, if the team reaches an agreement with the city it would remain in Fredericksburg for 30 years. The deal would include a new 5,000-seat stadium for the team similar to what the team had envisioned to be built at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge.

Potomac Nationals Team Owner Art Silber could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

News of the potential move comes about a year after Prince William County officials failed to come to an agreement with Silber on a financing package for his new stadium in Woodbridge. It would have been located behind Wegmans at the town center, and, for the team, it would be a replacement for Richard G. Pfitzner Stadium, where the P-Nats have called home since moving to Woodbridge from Alexandria in 1984.

The team has talked about the need for a new stadium for about 20 years.

The Fredericksburg City Council is expected to review and vote on the letter of intent at its July 10 meeting, according to the city’s Facebook page.

This is not the first time Fredericksburg has tired to lure a team to the city. In 2013, officials were in negotiations with the Hagerstown Suns, of Maryland. But negotiations fell through when costs for a new 5,000-seat stadium grew beyond the initial $30 million price point, something similar to what happened during the P-Nats negotiations with Prince William leaders.

The Fredericksburg City Treasurer is set to begin selling parcels on the land on which the new P-Nats stadium would be built. The owners of undeveloped property owe more than two years of back tax payments.

Fredericksburg officials posted this logo to the city’s Facebook page on June 26, 2018.

Officer shot in leg after his pistol discharges inside courthouse

STAFFORD — A jail officer is recovering after he shot himself in the leg.

It happened about 3 p.m. in the basement of the Stafford County Courthouse. Authorities were called to help an unidentified Rappahannock Regional Jail Officer who was suffering a gunshot wound.

The officer was in the process of removing a pistol from a box and placing it in his holster. While doing so, the gun discharged shooting the officer in the leg, said Stafford County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo.

The officer was taken to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound where he remains in good condition, she added.

Vicinanzo described the portion of the courthouse where the shooting happened as a “secure area” that is off-limits to the public.

No one else was injured.

The accidental shooting comes one day after two people were shot in Stafford County. One of the victims who was suffering multiple gunshot wounds was flown to a local hospital, and a second walked into Stafford Hospital suffering at least one gunshot wound to the back.

Vicinanzo said both men remain hospitalized, but it’s still unclear if the two men were shot in the same incident.

The victim who suffered multiple gunshots was shot at 303 Knollwood Court, just off Highpointe Boulevard behind the North Stafford Walmart. 

Male shot multiple times in North Stafford neighborhood

NORTH STAFFORD — One man suffered multiple gunshot wounds at a Stafford County home.

Sheriff’s deputies were called a townhome at 303 Knollwood Court off Highpointe Boulevard at 5 p.m. Monday for a report of shots fired.

They arrived to find “young black male” shot multiple times, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo. The victims as flown to an area hospital where his condition remains unknown tonight.

Vicinanzo didn’t know the age of the victim. Detectives combed the neighborhood following the shooting talking with neighbors. Neighbors gathered stood outside their homes on Knollwood Court following the incident and watched investigators go door to door.

Shortly after deputies found the first victim, another man walked into Stafford Hospital suffering a gunshot wound to the back, said Vicinanzo. It’s unclear if the second victim’s case is related to the shooting on Knollwood Court, she added.

 

Update

The two men who were shot in Stafford County on Monday, June 25 were still in the hospital late Tuesday, June 26.

It’s still unclear if the shootings that injured both me were related, said county sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo. 

More as we have it. 

 

Crews kick River Road flood clean up into high gear as street surface buckles

FALMOUTH — It was clean-up time on the banks of the Rappahannock River on Monday.

The river spilled its banks over the weekend leaving large debris like trees covering the River Road in Falmouth. Large dump trucks, earth movers, and chainsaw operators were called into to remove the debris while the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office turned away motorists hoping to use the popular cut-through street that links Route 3 with Routes 1 and 17.

The thoroughfare carries 5,700 cars per day, according to a 2017 traffic count. 

Officials with the sheriff’s office and the Virginia Department of Transportation say the situation here is so bad, it could take a week or more to clean up.

Now that the roadway was submerged, authorities are worried about the stability of the pavement on River Road.

“I know my superintendents and I put some eyes on a few areas this morning where the road is actually buckling up in a few places,” said Kyle Bates, from VDOT’s Fredericksburg residency.

The worst hit in this flooding, as in most flooding cases, is Historic Port of Falmouth, a county park popular with swimmers. After the flood waters receded, the damage to the parking lot and signage in the park became clear.

“This flooding down here is the worst that I’ve seen during my tenure at the sheriff’s office,” said Stafford County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Forman, who’s overseeing the clean-up effort for the department.

Amy’s Cafe in Falmouth remained open and was not affected by the flood waters. It offered an escape for the workers and residents of Falmouth bottom that spend their Monday pumping water from the interior of their homes.

The flood waters came from the west, where upriver in Culpeper, that area got more than two inches of rain Friday and Saturday. The water quickly rushed downstream and by Saturday night the river crested at 25 feet.

This is the second bout of flooding on the Rappahannock earlier this month. On June 3, a major rainstorm caused the Rappahannock to spill its banks, however, the flooding was not as severe as this past weekend’s flooding. 

In the northern portion of Stafford County, the rains also washed out a portion of Bells Hill Road when a slope failed. It caused the concrete to buckle. 

The road is still closed and told us today that the fix will be both expensive and could take months. 

Remains identified as belonging to Palmer Marsh

NOKESVILLE — The search for 16-year-old Palmer Marsh is over.

The badly decomposed remains found Tuesday in Nokesville are those of the missing teenager who left his parent’s home just over a month ago.

From Prince William police:

Death Investigation *UPDATE – On June 7, the Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the human remains located in the 14800 block of Glenkirk Road in Nokesville on June 5. The remains were positively identified as Palmer Curtis MARSH, 16, of Nokesville. Palmer was reported missing to police on May 4 after he was last seen leaving his residence on foot toward a wooded area of the family property in Nokesville on May 2. Since then, multiple ground and aerial searches were conducted in and around the area. At this time, no foul play is suspected in his death. Detectives are awaiting final results of the Medical Examiner’s report to confirm cause and manner of death. The investigation continues.

Because Palmer left the house on his own, police did not consider the teen to be missing and endangered. However, the department dispatched search teams to look for the boy.

Later in the month, police changed Palmer’s status to missing endangered and brought in outside resources to include police helicopters, adding them to the search effort.

Human remains found during search for missing boy

From Prince William police: 

Found Human Remains – On June 5 at approximately 3:00PM, Prince William County detectives, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, located unidentified human remains in a wooded area near the 14800 block of Glenkirk Road in Nokesville (20181).

The area was being surveyed by detectives regarding the ongoing investigation into the missing person’s case of Palmer Marsh. Due to the condition in which the remains were found, police are unable to confirm the identity of the individual at this time.

The remains were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manassas for further analysis in order to identify the person and determine their cause of death. There is no known threat to the public.

More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.

Updated on Round Elementary: ‘Manassas City Police are following up on leads on the suspect’

From an email: 

Tuesday, June 5, at approximately 1:00pm, Manassas City Police received a call from Prince William County Police Emergency Communications Center advising they received a 911 call from an unknown male stating he had a gun and was experiencing a mental health crisis near a Manassas City Public School.

The phone call was disconnected before PWC could obtain any further information from the male subject.  Manassas City Public Schools immediately implemented a lockdown at all City schools. Officers responded to all City schools and after thorough searches, deemed all schools safe.

At no point in time did anyone witness a subject with a gun near any City school. Students and staff will be on a delayed release schedule, officers will remain on scene at all schools until such time.

The incident is still under investigation at this time and a subject has not been located.

Updated 5 p.m. 

From Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince: 

Update on school lockdown:  at this time, Manassas City Public Schools are releasing students to their parents and bus students on a modified release.   Students who walk will not be released until a parent is present

Updated 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 6

From city spokeswoman Patty Prince 

By about 7 pm [Tuesday] all students had been picked up or transported home.  Manassas City Police are following up on leads on the suspect.  There is an extra police presence at all Manassas City Schools out of an abundance of caution.

We’re working to get more information from Manassas police and we’ll post it here when we have it.

Updated June 8, 2018

From Manassas police: 

On June 5, the Manassas City Police Department’s Investigative Services Division began conducting an investigation into the report of a male subject with a gun near a Manassas City Public School. Detectives identified and interviewed a subject in connection to this case and have determined there is no longer a threat to school safety related to this incident.

‘All Stafford County Public Schools are closed today, June 4, 2018’

From an email: 

All Stafford County Public Schools are closed today, June 4, 2018.  Employees are on Code 2 with liberal leave in effect.

Administrative offices will open at 10:00 a.m. Due to the heavy rain, most of the roads are passable; however, there are two roads that are impassable. They include Bells Hill and Holly Corner Roads.  The recommendation from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Sheriff’s Office is to not allow heavy equipment on the two roads for fear of collapse. 

VDOT will reassess the roads at 7:30 am.  We apologize for the late notice.  Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Woman, 19, killed on Prince William Parkway

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On May 30 at 1:16AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the Prince William Pkwy near Scenic Point Pl in Manassas (20112) to investigate a single vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that a 2005 Honda Accord was traveling northbound on the Prince William Pky in the above area when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle veered to the right off the roadway where it struck an embankment and rolled. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Speed was a factor in this crash. Is it unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were factors. The investigation continues.

Identified:

                The driver of the 2005 Honda Accord was identified as Bonnie Elizabeth MCCAFFERTY, 19, of Manassas

One dead in stabbing on Prince Cole Court

One person is dead this morning, the victim of a stabbing. More as we have it. 

From Prince William police: 

INCIDENT: Homicide Investigation | Manassas 

Officers are currently investigating a fatal stabbing in the 7500 block of Prince Cole Ct. Two victims were stabbed during an altercation, one has died. Suspect not in custody.

Investigation is continuing.

Update from Prince William police: 

Homicide Investigation – On May 16 at 4:58AM, officers responded to the 7500 block of Prince Cole Ct in Manassas (20111) to investigate a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and located two victims, both identified as adult males, suffering from stab wounds.

Both victims were transported to an area hospital where one of the victims died as a result of his injuries. The other victim is expected to survive.

The altercation appeared to have occurred outside in a parking lot. At this time, no suspect has been identified. Detectives from the Homicide Unit are actively investigating the stabbing to determine what led up to the altercation. The investigation continues.

Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact Prince William County Police at 703-792-6500.

 

Body recovered from burned car in Woodbridge park

From Prince William police: 

Suspicious Death Investigation – On March 15 at 7:47AM, officers responded to assist the Department of Fire & Rescue at Veterans Park located at 14300 Veterans Dr in Woodbridge (22191) with a vehicle fire. A citizen contacted the Public Safety Communications Center to report that a vehicle appeared to be on fire inside the park.

Fire crews responded and located the vehicle fully engulfed. When the fire was extinguished, fire crews located a body inside the vehicle and contacted police. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau are currently investigating the cause of the victim’s death. The body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

The victim’s identity is not known at this time. This incident is currently under investigation by Prince William County police detectives and investigators from the Department of Fire & Rescue, Fire Marshal’s Office. More information will be released when available.

The investigation continues.

Exclusive: After a nearly 4-year delay, Potomac Shores will get its VRE station 

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Ryan Sawyers, Prince William County School Board Chairman, resigns

2:30 p.m. Prince William Democratic Committee issues statement

“Like most other people, we were surprised by Mr. Sawyers’ resignation this morning. We wish him well and hope he resolves the personal and professional concerns that caused him to come to this decision. It is our hope that his replacement is someone who shares our community values and will work with the other members of the School Board to place our children and their education first.”

11:45 a.m. School division issues statement

“School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers surprised PWCS Wednesday by posting announcement of his resignation on his personal Facebook page. He attributes the action to personal and professional reasons.

Under PWCS policies and the Virginia Code, Vice Chairman and Occoquan District Representative, Lillie Jessie, will perform the duties of the Chair, until the School Board appoints an Interim Chairman. Those duties are presiding over Board meetings, signing legal documents, as authorized by the Board, and leading agenda-setting meetings.

The Board Clerk is accepting applications for the interim position from any county resident who is a qualified voter. Since the School Board Chairman is elected at-large, applicants can come from any magisterial district. Interested candidates must submit their resumés to the Clerk of the School Board by March 17.

The Virginia Code requires the School Board to appoint an Interim Chairman within 45 days, otherwise the Circuit Court will make the appointment. The interim appointee will then perform all duties of the Chair, until the position is filled in a special vote, as part of the general election in November 2018.”

10:20 a.m. Gray announces his bid for chairman 

John Gray, a Lake Ridge-based CPA announces his bid to run for School Board Chairman when and if a special election is called. 

From an email: 

Uriah: I am announcing my intention to run for the Chair of the Prince William County School Board in the Special Election to be held in the near future.    

As Chair I will lead the Board to focus on addressing class size reductions, improving SOL scores, increasing teacher pay, improving ACT & SAT scores, fixing underperforming schools in low-income areas, putting resources into disabled children’s education, creatively expanding new school construction to increase student capacity at lower costs, getting to zero-based budgeting, and reducing costs by cutting overstaffed positions in the Kelly Leadership Center.  

Presently and bluntly, the School Board is in chaos. The School Board internally is in disarray within its ranks. It needs NEW, cohesive, decisive and non-political leadership. I have “lived, worked and played”  in PWC for thirty years now. I know our community and our County. Our four children graduated from PWC schools. I am a military veteran, having served in the USMC in 1969 to 1973. I am a Vietnam veteran. I am a self-employed CPA who business is located in Lake Ridge since 1989. I know the County Budget, I know the School Board budget. I know [Prince William County].”

Gray ran for the Occoquan District School Board seat in 2015 against Lilly Jessie. 

10:10 a.m. Prince William GOP: ‘Today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents ‘

Dottie Miller, Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee, today made the following statement on the resignation of Prince William School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers:

“Today, we’re pleased that Democrat Ryan Sawyers has resigned from the School Board. Since Ryan was sworn in as chairman of the Prince William School Board on December 11, 2015, he has engaged in controversy after controversy. Whether it be school-naming fights, disrespect of Gil Trenum’s military service, law suit after law suit, or teacher intimidation and retaliation, Ryan Sawyers has been more partisan bully than education leader or consensus builder. Ryan Sawyers’ disastrous leadership is an example of what happens when overly-partisan Democrats are given responsibility of local governance. His leadership was so poor that it resulted in an historic bipartisan censure over ethics. Multiple Prince William leaders and residents have urged Sawyers to resign for more than a year; today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents who simply believe our children deserve better. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents want a School Board that is more focused on our students than their own political career. Hopefully now we can restore our School Board to a responsible governing board that is focused on education.”

9:30 a.m. 

The Prince William County School Board may request to hold a special election to replace Sawyers. 

The special election must be approved by a Circuit Court judge and cannot fall within 60 days of the upcoming June 12 Primary Election, said Matt Wilson, at the Prince William County Voter Registrar’s office.

9:20 a.m. 

The Prince William County Republican Committee will meet within the hour to discuss Sawyers resignation and the next steps. Multiple sources tell me Gainesville District School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite is being encouraged to seek the Chairman’s seat. 

“Alyson Satterwhite will make a great Chairman when elected,” said Willie Deutsch, the Coles District Representative on the School Board.

Satterwhite could not be reached for comment. 

Original post 9:08 a.m. 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers resigned today. 

Sawyers posted this message on Facebook: 

 

His resignation today caught staff at the county’s school division headquarters by surprise. The school board is set to meet tonight at 7 p.m

Officials there plan to issue a statement later today. Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie told Potomac Local she will serve as chairman at tonight’s meeting.

The Democrat’s resignation comes about a week after he dropped out of his bid for the 1st Congressional seat now held by Republican Rob Wittman.

Sawyers was elected in 2105 and has long been embroiled in multiple lawsuits with school division personnel during his tenure as chairman.

Prior to him dropping out of his congressional race, he called for the resignation of Prince William County School Administrator Dr. Steven Walts after he was involved in a car crash while driving a car owned by the school division last fall. He accused Waltz of not reporting the crash, something Waltz denies. 

We’ll have more as it becomes available. 

Prince William Forest Park temporarily closed; Damage worse than Sandy

Prince William Forest Park in Triangle will be closed to visitors for at least the next two weeks following last weekend’s windstorm. 

From a press release: 

Fallen and hazardous trees, downed power lines and damage to historic cabin camps  from last week’s windstorm have prompted the National Park Service (NPS) to immediately close Prince William Forest Park to all use out of concern for public safety.

The park is expected to be closed for 2-3 weeks. After addressing the most immediate safety risks, crews will work strategically to begin reopening the most heavily used areas of the park. The Prince William Forest RV Campground on Rt. 234 remains open, but some areas within the campground are currently closed off.


“The safety of our visitors and staff is our absolute first priority,” Prince William Forest Park Superintendent Tanya Gossett said.  “Our crews are working with determination to clear hazardous trees from roads and trails and to replace electrical lines in campgrounds, cabin camps and picnic areas, so the public can safely enjoy the park.”

Damage caused by last weekend’s windstorm in Prince William Forest Park is significantly greater than other recent storms, including Hurricanes Isabel and Sandy and the 2012 derecho. Shallow-rooted trees, such as the Virginia pines throughout the park, have difficulty withstanding the 60-plus mph wind gusts the park experienced. Since Saturday, crews have removed about 500 trees from park roads.

“We are all eager to open the park again, but ask area residents and visitors to please respect these closures,” Gossett said. “If someone enters the park and gets hurt it will be extremely difficult to get them help and it will further delay reopening the park to all visitors.”

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