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Call to Action: Whether you’re into art, wine, jazz or something else, volunteer ops await

Good Morning Prince William – Project Mend A House is gearing up for their Spring Gala and need 25 volunteers to assist before and during the event on Saturday April 25th.
The 2018 Art, Wine and All That Jazz Celebrity Awards Gala promises to be fantastic with Dionne Warwick and Jerry Mathers who we of a certain age remember him as that darling “The Beaver” character.  There will be a VIP Reception and Celebrity Meet and Greet before the gala, silent auction and desert reception.  Musicians Marcus Johnson, Caleb Green and Kevin Sasaki as well as artist John Joseph Holohan III will be featured.  Please call Gina at (703) 792-7663 to register for this fun volunteer opportunity.
·         Serve our Willing Warriors is having their next volunteer orientation on Wednesday march 28th from 6-7pm at the Retreat in Haymarket.  Come learn about all the super programs and services they provide to the members of the military.  Please email them at: if you plan to attend. They also are having their next Ambassador training on Wednesday April 18th at 6-7pm. This is the perfect way to enjoy community events and spread the word about all the good things happening at the Retreat.
·         Care Net is having their Run 4 Hope. Walk for Life 5K fun run and 1  Mile walk on Saturday April 14th beginning at 8:30 am at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas. It’s a fun way to start your weekend.  On line registration is just $15 and at the door is $20. Free T-shirt and wristband with registration. Kids 12 and under are free.  Please register at: or email them for more info.
·         Keep Prince William Beautiful has a fun new program for fitness enthusiasts to take action to be environmental stewards.  This volunteer team is called Prince William Ploggers. Please call Lynda at (571) 285-3772 to get your Plogger team going.
·         Hey Teens – there are still a few volunteer spots available to help at the ICan Bike event during Spring break at Colgan High School. It’s a great way to help new bike riders and have tons of fun during spring break- March 26-30.  Please register to volunteer at: You can call Jennifer or Yukiko at (571) 989-3618 to learn more.
·         The Autism Society of Northern VA is gearing up for the annual walk in the fall and need volunteers to join their planning committee.  Tasks include coordination, outreach, recruitment, promotion, fundraising and logistics management. Please email them at: to learn more.
·         Manassas Parks, Culture and Recreation is looking for volunteers to serve as instructors or assistants for a basic tech class for seniors. The curriculum includes navigating the internet, online banking, reading emails and attachments as well as basics of Microsoft Word.  Please call Jean at (703) 257-8451 to learn more.
·         CASA Children’s Intervention Services is looking for volunteer advocates to work with children in crisis.  They have an extensive training program to give you all the needed skills.  Please come to their next volunteer information session on March 21st from 6-7pm at 9415 West Street Manassas. Please email Suzanne at: to learn more.
·         The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry invites you to their 40 days of Giving Campaign- 2018 Lenten Challenge.  Gather your friends and family to pledge either a can a day or a dollar a day to support the many families in need.  This campaign started February 14th and goes through April 1st- Easter Sunday.  Suggested items are all the usual’s you know!  A full list and additional info can be found on their website at:
·         The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th.  Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate.  You can choose either morning or afternoon shift.  Please visit: for the link to register. They also need donations to buy the meal components.  Please call Patti at (703) 200-3077 to learn more.
·          Occoquan Watershed Clean-up is hosted by Rebekah a 13 yr. old Girl Scout on March 10th 10am-12;30 at Lake Ridge Park.  Come support her litter prevention project!  Please email Rebekah to volunteer or for more info at:
·         Save the date! April 21st for the 9th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up – 9am-2pm. This extensive project has a whole number of places to start the day. Trash bags, water, gloves and refreshments provided.  Please visit their website at: to register and get all the specifics for the day. Please email Ed at to learn more.
·         The ARC Greater Prince William invites you and your family to their 5K Run/Walk/Roll on Saturday April 28th, 8am at Potomac Nationals Stadium. $25 for the first 100 participants, $30 early-bird registration before April 1stand then $40 regular price.  Please visit for more info and to register today!
·         Mark your calendars for April 18th at Chick-Fil-A in Lake Ridge to find more volunteer opportunities from area agencies.  The event is 9am-10:30am.  Bring your friends for free coffee.
·         The Bull Run Rotary Club invites you to their annual Manassas Runway 10K, 5K or 1 mile run on the Manassas Airport Runway on Sunday April 29that 8am. Please register online at:
If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

‘To encourage technology-based businesses, Manassas has designated the entire City a Technology Zone’

Economic development is fiercely competitive.  As a result, localities develop creative programs and strategies to differentiate themselves.  The City of Manassas offers a robust Economic Incentive package to attract new and retain existing businesses by offsetting the costs of expanding and relocating.  We know that our economic success is tied to growth in the private sector and believe that the limited use of incentives can be the game changer for businesses deciding between one community and another.
To encourage technology-based businesses, Manassas has designated the entire City a Technology Zone.  This program gives Manassas the opportunity to support the businesses and industries of tomorrow.
Tourism is vital to our local economy-few communities have such a defining role in US history.  To support growth in this industry, Manassas established two Tourism Zones; at the Landing at Cannon Branch and in Historic Downtown.  As a VA Main Street Community the City has also designated a Downtown Arts and Tourism District to attract artists, boutique retailers and charming restaurants.
Businesses that support these industries are eligible for cash grants, fee waivers, tax exemption and permitting assistance.
For additional information on this, and other pro-business initiatives, visit our website at 

Woman yelling, baby crying in Dumfries hotel room alert officers

From the Prince William police press release:

Felony Child Neglect – On March 8 at 9:20PM, officers responded to the Days Inn located at 16925 Old Stage Rd in Dumfries (22025) to investigate an unknown situation. Officers arrived and could hear an unknown female yelling for help and a baby crying inside one of the rooms. After numerous attempts to make contact with the female inside the room, she eventually opened the door. Officers quickly determined she was under the influence of an unknown narcotic. Upon entering the room, a 3-month-old child was located in a car seat in the bathroom in close proximity to drug paraphernalia. Officers detained the accused and requested fire and rescue personnel to examine the child. No injuries were reported. A search warrant was subsequently executed on the room and narcotics were recovered. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Tiffany La Shawn CLEVELAND, was arrested. Child Protective Services was notified and released the child into the custody of another family member.

Arrested on March 8:

    Tiffany La Shawn CLEVELAND, 34, of the 9500 block of Nittany Dr in Manassas

Charged with 1 count of felony child neglect and 2 counts of possession of a schedule I or II narcotic

    Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Two suspects, two hotels, two robberies equal arrests

From the Prince William police press release:

Armed Robberies *ARRESTS – On March 5, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified two suspects involved in two separate robberies that occurred at the Rimpal Inn and Suites located on Old Centreville Rd on December 5, 2017, and the Holiday Inn located on Balls Ford Rd on December 7, 2017. Following the investigation, detectives obtained multiple arrest warrants of both suspects, identified as Brendon M. PAINE and Robert Jamal JACKSON. On March 8, PAINE was arrested without incident following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Fairfax. Further investigation determined that the firearm used in the robberies was recovered when JACKSON was arrested on December 13 following a traffic stop for a traffic violation. JACKSON remains incarcerated at the Adult Detention Center and was served with the additional charges.

Arrested on March 8:

    Brendon M. PAINE, 19, of 6515 Terry Dr in Springfield

    Charged with 2 count of robbery and 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony

       Robert Jamal JACKSON, 24, of 8529 Piney Point Ct in Manassas

    Charged with 2 count of robbery, 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and 2 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

    Court Date: April 10, 2018 | Bond: Both were held WITHOUT bond

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 7 at 12:22AM, officers responded to the Holiday Inn located at 10424 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man entered the business and approached the front desk. During the encounter, the suspect brandished a handgun and then demanded money. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area on foot. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 5 at 11:44PM, officers responded to the Rimpal Inn located at 7399 Old Centreville Rd in Manassas (20111) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown male wearing a mask jumped over the front counter and brandishing a handgun at the employee. During the encounter, the suspect forced the employee to open the register to obtain money. The suspect then fled the business on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 responded to search for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Vavoline and Taco Bell have something in common – this Woodbridge suspect

From the Prince William police press release:

Strong-Armed Robbery *ARREST – On March 9, detectives with the Robbery Unit were able to review video surveillance of the robbery that occurred on March 7 at the Taco Bell located at 17380 Dumfries Rd in the Town of Dumfries. Upon viewing the video, patrol officers were able to identify the suspect as Carlos Alberto BENSUSAN who had been arrested on March 8 for an unrelated burglary that occurred at the Vavoline in Woodbridge on March 7. Following the investigation, the accused was charged and remains incarcerated at the Adult Detention Center.   

    Arrested on March 9:

    Carlos Alberto BENSUSAN, 33, of 1523 Margaret St in Woodbridge

    Additionally charged with robbery

Court Date: April 10, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Strong-Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On March 7 at 9:38PM, officers responded to the Taco Bell located at 17380 Dumfries Rd in the Town of Dumfries (22026) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man went behind the counter and pushed an employee away from the cash register. The suspect then took an undisclosed amount of money from the register before fleeing the business on foot. No injuries were reported.  A police K-9 searched for the suspect who was not located.

    Commercial Burglary [previously Released] – On March 7 at 7:51AM, officers responded to the Vavoline located at 14103 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. Video surveillance revealed that a former employee, identified as Carlos Alberto BENSUSAN, kicked out one of the garage door panels then entered the business at 11:57PM on March 6. The accused took an undisclosed amount of money before leaving the business on foot. Following the investigation, officers obtained an arrest warrant for the accused. The accused was subsequently located at his residence and arrested without incident on March 8.

    Arrested on March 8:

    Carlos Alberto BENSUSAN, 33, of 1523 Margaret St in Woodbridge

    Charged with burglary

Court Date: May 14, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond


Got kiddos? Education-based child care programs coming to Stafford.

From the press release:

Stafford, VA (Grassroots Newswire) March 6, 2018 — Kiddie Academy®, the leading provider of comprehensive education-based child care programs, is coming soon to the Stafford area.  

“We are so thrilled that we will soon open and provide our unique services to children in the Stafford area,” said Azza Sandhu, owner of the Kiddie Academy® coming to Stafford. “This is a really exciting time for us and we look forward to introducing our well-trained, attentive staff to local area parents and their children. In the near future, we look forward to assisting local children in developing the confidence and self-esteem necessary they need to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

Kiddie Academy®, founded in 1981, began with the idea to combine learning with child care, and made a commitment to be a leader in the industry. Kiddie Academy® has developed a comprehensive education-based child care program for its academies, which are structured to respond to the increasing demand for child care. The Stafford location utilizes a curriculum created to promote each child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth. According to Sandhu, the programs emphasize continuous, open communication between teachers and parents concerning each child’s development.

“We invite children to embark on the Kiddie Academy® journey that will enable them to learn and grow socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually,” Sandhu added.

For more information about the new Kiddie Academy® location in Stafford, please contact Program Director, Martha Masterson at 540-628-8693 or email

About Kiddie Academy®
Since its inception, Kiddie Academy® has been a leader in educational child care.  The company serves families and their children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, offering full-time care, before-and after-school care, and summer camp programs.  Kiddie Academy’s proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum, supporting programs, methods, activities, and techniques help prepare children for life.  Kiddie Academy has received corporate accreditation from the globally recognized AdvancED accreditation system, signifying its commitment to quality education and the highest standards in child care. For more information, visit or find Kiddie Academy on Facebook at

About Kiddie Academy® Franchising
Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising is based in Maryland and has 200 open academies located in 27 states, including the District of Columbia. With 40 more Academies expected to open in 2018, Kiddie Academy’s network will grow to more than 240 open and operating locations next year. For more information, visit

A $14 million plan to expand the Mine Road Commuter Lot while the one across the street goes underutilized

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With 130 proposed homes, Prince William leaders again delay a decision on rural area change 

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Make local travel easier for the senior in your life

We know what it’s like to live in this area. Between the busyness of everyday living, the demands continuously made of us and the traffic, it’s enough to try the sanity of even the most level-headed among us. So imagine what it’s like for the senior in your life who has to travel locally with you. Not only can they feel your stress, they have their own issues to manage.

We’ve worked with families enough to know that no one wants tempers to flare or plans to be disrupted, especially over something that could have been avoided by implementing some simple strategies. Because we understand how easy it is to get derailed by even the little things, we’ve put together these tips and reminders to help make traveling locally with your senior as smooth and painless as possible. Let’s get started.

One week or more before the trip – Yes, prep starts this early. It begins by being judicious about setting appointments or scheduling errands. Based on the needs of the senior in your care, book appointments and activities in segments that are reasonable. Don’t try to cram multiple appointments in on the same day if you don’t have to. And avoid running from one side of town to another if you can group your errands geographically. If you don’t plan this part wisely, the whole local travel experience can quickly become a tiresome exercise in frustration that rarely ends well.

48 to 12 hours before the trip – This is probably going to be mostly a period of observation. Pay attention to how the senior in your care is feeling emotionally and physically. If they have been having specific challenges close to the scheduled local travel, you’ll want to judge whether or not the plans you’ve made still make sense. Address any issues as soon as possible. Even if all is well, during this period you’ll want to remind your senior about the plans you’ve made together. It’s good to jog the memory as often as needed, and doing so can give the senior in your care something to look forward to.

Four to three hours before the trip – Depending on the needs of the senior in your care, you will need to allow plenty of time for getting ready. Choosing clothing, then bathing, dressing, eating, and discussing plans again, can be time consuming. Decrease stress by allowing enough time to get everything done at a comfortable pace.

Two hours before the trip – This is a good time for the senior in your care to relax a little while you do things like ready yourself and gather necessary items for the excursion. Veteran caregivers keep a physical or mental list of must-have items for the drive. These can include medical equipment, medication, snacks, books, checkbooks, credit cards, phones, extra clothing and sanitary items. Make sure you have enough of everything. You don’t want to run out of necessities like oxygen or blood sugar testing strips before you return home.

One hour before the trip – Remind the senior in your care that you are getting ready to leave. Take care of any last minute toileting or hygiene. Don’t expect to be able to rush out the door and jump into the car. Give yourself plenty of time to address any mobility issues. This is also a good time to reassess your senior’s mood. Some seniors become anxious as it gets closer to leaving the home where they know they have everything they need. Remind them you’ve planned and packed, and review with them what you have on hand. If your senior reminds you of something you’ve overlooked, be grateful they told you before you walked out the door!

In the car – Help the senior in your care into the vehicle. Make them comfortable and assist with the seatbelt, double checking to ensure it is fastened correctly. Play soothing music or enjoy a light conversation. Drive safely. And don’t be surprised if you need to stop prior to reaching your destination. If you’ve planned ahead, you know this is a possibility, and you’ll have plenty of time to take care of those emergency bathroom breaks.

Upon arrival – Arrange everything so that when you help the senior in your care out of the vehicle, you don’t have to leave them standing unassisted while you rush around and gather the items you’ve packed. If this means they have to sit in the car for a few moments while you prepare, that’s fine. Better to have everything organized so you’ll have free hands to help out your fellow traveler.

When you look at this list, you might say, wow. That’s an awful lot of preparation just to run a few errands or make it to an appointment. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re right. Traveling with seniors requires more work and strategy than many younger people are accustomed to. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more enjoyable your time spent together becomes. It’s these little local adventures that can mean a lot to the senior in your life. And that makes the effort well worth it.  

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