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Haymarket police parody ‘Top Gun’ in lip sync video

Like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, officers of the Haymarket Police Department “feel the need for speed.” 

And they say that in a newly created video parody of the 1986 movie made for the police lip sync challenge, a series of viral videos featuring officers in departments across the U.S. lip syncing to familiar songs. 

The Haymarket video stars Police Chief Kevin Lands who not only mouths the words to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” but also shreds the guitar during the song’s bridge. 

Locally, Fairfax County and George Mason University Police have made lip sync videos and posted them on Facebook. Manassas police told its social media they were working on a video of their own.

VRE goes to the dogs in Manassas

Public safety officials and K-9 units trained on Tuesday at the Broad Run Virginia Railway Express station to combat threats on the rails. 

More from a press release: 

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) hosted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on a canine training event at the VRE Broad Run train yard in Prince William County today as part of a continuous effort in interagency surface training. This training opportunity is one of many law enforcement related training events hosted by VRE with local, state and federal partner agencies in the area.

The training consisted of TSA explosives detection canines sweeping train equipment and a station to help familiarize the dogs and their handlers with railroad environments. TSA trains explosives detection canines as one of its many measures to secure the national transportation system. This training is unique because the dogs come to the train yard so they can learn to easily adapt to railroad settings in the event a security situation occurs.

For the past several years, VRE has partnered with FBI, DHS, local law enforcement authorities, Capitol Police, NIH, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, CSX police, NS police, Amtrak police, Secret Service, TSA and many other agencies by hosting training activities to detect narcotics and explosives. These training activities help law enforcement officials and canine units become familiarized with VRE equipment and security procedures to ensure the protection and safety of VRE riders.

Burglar steals money from B-Thrifty safe

From Prince William police: 

On July 17 at 7:00PM, officers responded to the B-Thrifty located at 13412 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. An employee reported to police that an unknown suspect entered the business around 1:45AM that morning. The investigation revealed that there were no signs of forced entry. The suspect took moneybags from a safe before fleeing the business on foot. The investigation continues.
Suspect Description:

Black with light skin, black hair with a mustache and a beard. Last seen wearing a bright neon green Nike shirt.

Chick-fil-A is #1 again. How they do it in Bristow.

Chick-fil-A ranks as the number one restaurant on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index released this month. 

It’s the second year the fast-food restaurant won the top spot, beating out competitors Panera Bread, Subway, and Arbys, respectively. 

It’s good news for Chick-fill-A at Bristow owner Mike Lovitt, who says the place known for its chicken sandwiches aims to convert guests into raving fans of Chick-fil-A. 

It starts with clean restaurants, and greeting customers with a smile and an enthusiastic greeting “Welcome to Chick-fil-A!” and “How may we serve you?” when they approach the front counter.

“And, the food’s gotta taste good,” said Lovitt. 

But excellent service also means always being vigilant, says the retired U.S. Army Colonel.

“We must consistently treat our guests to a clean restaurant, fast service, attentive and courteous team members, and good tasty food. Our team members execute “second-mile” mile service which goes above and beyond what is expected by our guests to strive for the “Wow” factor.” In our restaurant, we also go to great lengths to treat everyone with honor, dignity, and respect”.

The top nod also goes to a restaurant adheres to the principle of closing on Sunday on Sundays to allow its employees to spend time with family and friends. 

And unlike other fast food franchises, it’s uncommon to see owners with multiple Chick-fil-A stores. That allows owners to focus on guests, service, and food quality. 

And when it comes to finding the right owners for restaurants, “Chick-fil-A has a long, detailed interview process and is looking for people with good character,” he added.  

Chick-fil-A at Bristow is located at 9939 Sowder Village Square just outside Manassas. They’re open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to  10 p.m., and Saturdays 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Public transit is still underutilized. So, how could OmniRide grow by becoming innovative?

This summary of the Masabi Research report from April 2018 was presented to the PRTC Board of Commissioners at its meeting on June 7, 2018.

Summary: “Key Factors Influencing Riders in North America: The emerging urban mobility ecosystem.”

Masabi issued a Google Surveys poll in the fall of 2017 to a diverse group of over 1000 US residents in order to gain an overview of the trends taking place in regards to public transit ridership across North America. The survey included both people who use public transit services and those who do not. All respondents, however, did have access to public transit services. Those who did not have access were excluded from taking the survey.

The survey was conducted to isolate the macro trends that are currently impacting public transit ridership and to indicate subgroup trends taking place, which might highlight behavior occurring and may spur others to conduct more in-depth research.

Topline findings include:

• Citizens are mostly optimistic about public transit services
• Public transit is still underutilized
• Convenience is the top priority for passengers when choosing to ride public transit
• Ridesharing is connecting public transit for many, facilitating multimodal journeys
• Convenience enablers attract riders (combining modes of transit through an app, mobile ticketing and location tracking)
• Private car ownership vs. ridesharing and public transit: The use of shared mobility services vastly increases the likelihood of riding public transit, pointing to a growing urban mobility system.

This report states that convenience, more than cost and necessity is the number one driver behind public transit ridership across all of the respondents. Riders with multiple options for transportation – the ones that are most rapidly reducing their reliance on public transit – are concerned first and foremost with convenience, not cost or comfort. While this means public transit agencies are vulnerable to losing riders to more convenient options, it also means that even minor improvements in convenience can boost ridership numbers.

Per this report, the bad news for public transit agencies is that their ridership numbers are indeed being impacted in some capacity by the increasing popularity of ridesharing services – nearly 10% of all consumers with access to public transit are using ridesharing on a weekly basis. The good news, however, is that there’s a major opportunity to play to the trend of combining ridesharing and public transit by creating first/last mile partnerships.

The report concludes that agencies can take a lesson from some of the convenient features that ridesharing apps provide, like location tracking and seamless payment, and deploy them relatively easily within their own systems. Increasing ridership by boosting convenience would have a positive impact on street congestion, while ridesharing can serve to replace personal vehicles in the first/last mile and in places underserved by public transit.

So what? How could OmniRide grow by becoming innovative?

The report’s findings clearly paint a picture of urban transit that is growing increasingly complex. Given what we know about the importance of convenience, it’s clear that many consumers who are not strictly motivated by price are combining public transit and ridesharing.

While fare reductions and service hour changes could certainly be cost prohibitive, technology changes are relatively inexpensive to implement and have also measurably increased ridership based on the data in this report. OmniRide is currently in the process of implementing a real-time arrival and location tracking application, but could also benefit from a mobile ticketing solution and first/last mile partnerships.

There is much more potential moving forward for interoperability between public and private services to enable full first/last mile journeys with public transit at its core. Not to mention the fact that relatively small changes in convenience – the addition of location tracking or convenient ticket purchase options, for example – could result in a major ridership boost for OmniRide in the short term. Increasing ridership, even marginally, is a must for OmniRide for the sake of our congested county.

Through better public/private partnerships and a more integrated transit system in general, it is possible to reduce overall congestion while enabling growth in Prince William County by:
• Increasing the use and ridership of OmniRide, starting with easier to deploy, consumer-facing features that increase convenience and build goodwill
• Recognize that OmniRide has been suffering from years of investment neglect, but that immediate changes can be made to start moving things in the right direction
• Facilitating partnerships between different modes of transit to increase efficiency
• Moving towards a more integrated transit model with closer partnerships between public and private organizations

There is no reason to be focused on one transportation mode or another. Instead, improving the current situation should be about facilitating seamless mobility and enabling consumers to use the best mode for each situation, thereby increasing convenience. This is absolutely critical to converting the riders who aren’t using public transit every day out of necessity – a huge growth opportunity that OmniRide can start taking advantage of right now.

28-year-old killed crossing Manassas street

From Manassas police: 

Fatal Hit and Run

On July 14, 2018 at approximately 2:11 a.m., officers of the Manassas City Police Department responded to the area of Dumfries Rd and Winterset Dr for a report of a hit and run involving a pedestrian. During the investigation, it was determined the victim was crossing Dumfries Rd on foot when he was struck by a vehicle travelling northbound on Dumfries Rd. The suspect vehicle fled the scene, but the driver was later identified. The victim was transported to a local area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The victim is identified as FOY, Lashun a 28 year-old resident of Manassas. The investigation is on-going.

The railroad gate on Balls Ford Road is need of repair

From the Virginia Department of Transportation: 

Flagging will occur along Balls Ford Road between Wellington Road and Prince William Parkway (Route 234) Sunday, July 22 from 8 a.m. to noon for repairs to the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

There will be one lane of alternating traffic during the flagging. Drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

Midday mess snarls traffic for miles on I-66

CENTREVILLE — Five vehicles piled on top of each other on Interstate 66 on Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency crews from Fairfax and Prince William counties were called to milepost 53 where two tractor-trailers and three other vehicles collided in near Route 28 before 2 p.m.

All of the vehicles were traveling on I-66 west toward Manassas.

It’s unclear if anyone was injured or charged in the crash.

Traffic backed up for about 10 miles, from the scene of the crash to at least Oakton at milepost 60.

Tow trucks were brought to remove the crashed cars, and heavy equipment to remove debris from of the trucks that ran off the highway into trees on the right side of the road.

Gas crews called for leak in Dale City

DALE CITY — A small gas leak closed a portion of Crescent Street.

Fire and rescue crews and police were called to the street in Dale City just off Cloverdale Road about 3 p.m. for a report of an outside gas leak.

They closed a portion of the street preventing drivers to cross into the affected area. We’re told the gas leak was underneath the street.

A project to repave the street was underway prior to the leak.

Crews from Washington arrived on the scene about 4:30 p.m. and took over for police and fire crews.

A spokesman for the company told us there were no customers affected by the leak.

Ruszczewski accused of stabbing man, woman outside hotel

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding *ARREST – On July 17, Jeffrey Scott RUSZCZEWSKI II turned himself in at the Adult Detention Center in Manassas. The accused was wanted for a stabbing that occurred at the Best Western located at 10820 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas on July 15.
Arrested on July 17:

Jeffrey Scott RUSZCZEWSKI, 29, of 8414 Bussenius Rd in Pasadena, Maryland

Charged with 2 counts of malicious wounding

Court Date: August 15, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

  • Malicious Wounding [Previously Released] – On July 15 at 1:36PM, officers responded to the Best Western located at 10820 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the accused was involved in an ongoing verbal altercation with an acquaintance, identified as a 21-year-old woman, after attending a concert in the area. At some point, the accused left the hotel and returned to find the woman speaking with another unknown male, identified as24-year-old man. During the encounter, the accused retrieved a knife and stabbed both of the victims in the upper body causing non-life threatening injuries. The parties eventually separated and the police were contacted. The accused fled the area prior to officers arriving. Following the investigation, officers obtained arrest warrants for the accused, identified as Jeffrey Scott RUSZCZEWSKI II. Attempts to locate the accused were unsuccessful.

Suspect identified in Tuesday manhunt in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE — Potomac Local was on the scene when Prince William police arrested an armed robbery suspect.

Officers and K9 units swarmed the J&J International Market on River Ridge Boulevard about 3 p.m. Tuesday and arrested 30-year-old Antuan Jamal Pendergraph.

He’s suspected in a series of robberies in the Dumfries area.

More from Prince William police:

Commercial Burglaries | Armed Robbery *ARREST – On July 12, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified the suspect involved in an armed robbery of the Shell service station located at 3186 River Heritage Blvd on July 1. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for the accused, identified as Antuan Jamal PENDERGRAPH. Attempts to locate him at the time were unsuccessful. Upon further investigation, detectives from the Property Crimes determined that the accused was also involved in two commercial burglaries that occurred in the Prince William Square Shopping Center in Woodbridge on July 16 and obtained additional arrest warrants. On July 17 at 2:21PM, a detective was in the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and River Ridge Blvd when he observed the accused walking on the side of the road. When responding officers arrived and challenged the accused, he attempted to flee the area on foot. Additional officers quickly saturated the area and eventually determined that the accused had run inside of the J & J International Market located at 16593 River Ridge Blvd. The business was evacuated, and the accused eventually was located and arrested without further incident when he attempted to exit a rear door of the business. The investigation continues.

Arrested on July 17:

Antuan Jamal PENDERGRAPH, 30, of no fixed address

Charged with 1 count of robbery, 2 count of burglary, 1 count of grand larceny, and 2 count of destruction property

Court Date: August 21, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond 

  • Commercial Burglaries [Previously Released] – On July 16 at 2:49AM, officers responded to the Sprint store located at 14214 Smoketown Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate an alarm activation. When officers arrived, they discovered that the front glass door had been shattered by a rock. When officers canvassed the shopping center, the front glass door of the Subway was also found shattered. Money and cell phones were taken from the Sprint store. Money was taken from the Subway. No suspects were located when a police K-9 searched the businesses and surrounding area. The investigation continues.

  • Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On July 1 at 6:11AM, officers responded to the Shell service station located at 3186 River Heritage Blvd in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown male shattered a glass door with a large block, entered the business displaying a knife, and then demanded money from the employee. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area on foot. No injuries were reported. Officers searched the surrounding area for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Pendergraph has a lengthy rap sheet in both Prince Willam Circuit and General District courts. He pleaded guilty to robbery in 2012 and was sentenced to four years in jail, with two years and six months suspended. 

Three years later, he was found guilty of petit larceny, according to court records. 

Helping seniors through change and loss

Change happens to us all. So does loss. But for seniors, it starts happening more frequently, becoming an often unwelcome part of everyday life.

Whether it be the change in appearance as a result of aging, the loss of mobility or the death of a friend, life gets shaken up when things don’t remain the same. Sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes, when loss is involved, it causes grief. Especially if you care for a senior, here’s what you need to know.

Grief happens in stages

Most people have heard that grief comes in stages. What’s lesser known though, is these stages don’t have to come in any specific order and can be revisited multiple times.
 
The stages of grief can include shock, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Shock – Shock occurs initially when the loss happens, whether it is expected or not. It’s hard to deal with, but probably the best thing you can do is just be there for the senior in your care and acknowledge the reality of what has happened.

Anger – Anger can have many roots and various expressions. For example, a lack of preparation for a loss often fuels anger. If you’re caring for a senior who is angry about loss, validate that it is okay to be angry.

Denial – Denial occurs when a person does not want to recognize the truth. In this case, the senior in your care might not want to acknowledge loss. As a caregiver, it’s not your job to bring anyone down with harsh reminders. Gently referring to the loss, you can help by pointing out happy memories that remain.

Bargaining – Bargaining is an often misunderstood stage of grief. The senior in your care might try to offer something to change the reality of the loss, in hopes that the circumstance will remain the same. For example, they might say, “If my friend makes it out of surgery, I’ll never utter a bad word about her again.” You can help just by listening.

Depression – Depression is common for seniors, as it is for anyone faced with grief. This emotional stage is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. While depression is normal to some extent, lingering depression is unhealthy. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to find things they like to do.

Testing – Testing is a mechanism people use when they are coming to terms with loss. Seniors in the testing stage cautiously consider the reality that staying in a deep, dark hole forever is not an option. When testing is successful, they start coming up with alternatives that will help them feel better. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to talk and explore their feelings and perceptions.

Acceptance – Acceptance happens when the loss is incorporated into the sum of the person’s experience. In this stage, the senior in your care might recognize the loss as just another part of life. Once this happens, they can move on.

Navigating through these stages can be tricky.  At times seniors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of losses they have to process. It is important to provide supportive, nurturing outlets for seniors, so they can get through this natural part of life.  A listening ear and a helping hand go a long way to getting your senior through this trying time.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Summer storm leads to crashes, downed wires

OCCOQUAN — Tanyard Hill Road maybe a shortcut into Occoquan, but the steep hill is no picnic after a summer rain.

The driver of a Lexus SUV found that out about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when he lost control of his vehicle and spun out into an embankment. The driver appears to have been traveling up the hill, leaving the small town.

A summer storm that rolled in about an hour earlier had just passed. 

Police were called to the scene. And so was the driver of a Ford F-250 pickup.

The pickup driver attached a chain to his tow hitch and the other side of the chain to the SUV. He got in the truck and stepped on the gas.

His tires spun once, but he was able to pull the SUV from the embankment.

“I put it in four-wheel drive,” the driver told a police officer on the scene.

No one was injured. The driver of the SUV drove his car back down the hill into Occoquan.

Police and rescue crews spent much of the afternoon cleaning up the damage left behind by the storm, to include downed wires on Horner Road in Woodbridge.

These cars have got to go. A new commuter lot is set to open.

From the Virginia Department of Transportation: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Park & Ride lot on Courthouse Road in Stafford County is moving to its new permanent location, east of the Interstate 95 interchange at Exit 140 on Monday, July 30.

The new commuter lot is being relocated as part of the ongoing construction project to build a diverging diamond interchange at Exit 140.  

The new lot is located at the intersection of Courthouse Road and Wyche Road. It will open with approximately 600 parking spaces, which is 50 more spaces than the existing commuter lot.

Once construction is complete by July 2020, the final lot will have a total of 850 parking spaces. It will also include a dedicated carpool, vanpool and bus pickup and drop-off area to assist with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) use.

A temporary signal will be activated at the intersection of Courthouse Road and Wyche Road to make it easier for drivers to enter and exit the new location.

This is the first of two commuter lots being built as part of the project. A smaller lot with an estimated 250 parking spaces will be located on the opposite side of Courthouse Road.  Together, the two lots will offer a total of approximately 1,100 parking spaces.

Vehicles must be removed from the existing commuter lot by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31. 

Message boards will be posted this week to alert users about the upcoming move. 

Tagless Mercedes leads police on pursuit through North Stafford

From the Stafford sheriff’s office: 

A suspect was arrested on numerous charges after attempting to elude a Stafford Deputy on Saturday, July 14, 2018 around noon.  Deputy B. U. Demirci was on routine patrol in the area of Route 1 and Coal Landing Road when he observed a white Mercedes sedan with no front tag displayed.  The deputy positioned himself where he could then observe the rear tag and had dispatch run it through DMV.  The tag returned as not being on file. Deputy Demirci activated his emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop.  The driver immediately accelerated the Mercedes and began attempting to elude the deputy. 

The chase continued north on Route 1 through the Garrisonville Road intersection with the suspect passing other vehicles on the shoulder and weaving in and out of traffic.  Once north of the I95 interchange, the suspect vehicle made a u-turn and began traveling south.  While attempting to enter the I95 northbound ramp, the driver lost control and crashed into numerous trees.  He was quickly apprehended by Deputy Demirci and his K-9 partner, Steel.

Casildo Agosto, age twenty six of Dumfries, was not injured in the crash.  He advised the deputy that he ran because he did not have a license and there was marijuana in the car.  He was charged with Eluding Police, Driving with no License, Driving an Unregistered Vehicle, Reckless Driving and Possession of Marijuana.

Parents charged after crack cocaine, heroin, meth found in car

From Prince William police: 

Felony Child Neglect – On July 15 at 7:06PM, officers responded to a parking lot located 6500 block of Trading Sq in Haymarket (20169) to investigate an unconscious person.
 
The investigation revealed that one of the accused, identified as Erica D. BRIGHT, was found unconscious in the passenger seat of a vehicle by a citizen. When officers arrived, the female had awoken and refused medical attention.
 
Further investigation by officers determined that the female, identified as Erica D. BRIGHT,

John Allen Bright, Jr.


was under the influence of a narcotic. A small child was in the vehicle at the time and was unharmed.
 
Officers searched the vehicle and recovered crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The child’s father, identified as John Allen BRIGHT, returned to the vehicle a short time later and was also detained. Following the investigation, both of the parents were arrested.
 
The child was eventually released into the custody of another family member.
Arrested on July 15:

John Allen BRIGHT, Jr., 30, of the 9100 block John S Mosby Hwy in Upperville, Virginia
Charged with 1 count of felony child neglect and 2 counts of possession of a schedule I or II narcotic
Court Date: August 27, 2018| Bond: Held on a $5,000 secured bond

Erica D. BRIGHT, 26, of the 9100 block John S Mosby Hwy in Upperville, Virginia
Charged with 1 count of felony child neglect, 1 count of possession of marijuana, and 3 counts of possession of a schedule I or II narcotic
Court Date: August 27, 2018| Bond: Held on a $7,500 secured bond

Locals graduate University of Alabama

From an email: 

The University of Alabama awarded some 5,436 degrees during spring 2018 commencement May 4-6.

With a beautiful campus, dozens of challenging academic programs, expert faculty and numerous opportunities for service and growth, The University of Alabama is a place where legends are made. UA offers its students a premier educational, cultural and social experience with more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

The campus gives students the opportunity to interact with nationally renowned faculty performing cutting-edge research.

Among the recipients are:

Zenia Boswell of Woodbridge, VA (22191), M.S. in Human Environmental Sciences

Kyra Briddell of Woodbridge, VA (22192), Bachelor of Arts Communication

Jessica Gray of Manassas, VA (20112), B.S. in Education

Christopher Harley of Bristow, VA (20136), B.S. Commerce Business Administration

Paige Kyzer of Gainesville, VA (20155), Bachelor of Arts Communication

Kiara Lawson of Woodbridge, VA (22191), Bachelor of Arts

David Lewis of Gainesville, VA (20155), B.S. in Aerospace Engineering

Brittanie Malloy of Gainesville, VA (20155), B.S. in Human Environmental Science

Emily Moessner of Woodbridge, VA (22191), Bachelor of Arts Communication

Meighan Parker of Woodbridge, VA (22193), Juris Doctor

Jasmine Turk of Woodbridge, VA (22191), B.S. Commerce Business Administration

Jacob Underbakke of Stafford, VA (22554), B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

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