For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.
Reaching 150,000+ Monthly Users. Proudly Serving 170 Paying Subscribers.


Go to the park, go to the landfill (and more) on President’s Day in Stafford

From the Stafford County press release:

Stafford, Va. – Stafford offices, departments, facilities and all courts will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2018, for the President’s Day holiday. All offices of the Rappahannock Area Health District will be closed as well.

The following offices and facilities will remain open:

Fire and Rescue Information                          (540) 658-4400

Emergency 911

Sheriff’s Office Information                            (540) 658-4400

Emergency 911

Magistrate                                 (540) 659-2968

Regional Landfill                      (540) 659-5279

All parks will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Development hopes pinned on $64 million Woodbridge interchange. Will it make a ‘sense of place?’ Or is it a waste of space?

Subscriber Only Content

SUBSCRIBE TODAY and get full access to Potomac Local! Support quality local journalism with a $6 monthly subscription, or SAVE with a $65 annual subscription. It costs less than a good cup of coffee.


Try us FREE for 14 days!

Or log into your account.

Prince William employee arrested on suspected embezzlement

From the Prince William police press release:

Felony Embezzlement | Arrest of County Employee – On January 7, detectives from the Property Crimes Bureau began an investigation involving equipment reported missing by the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue. The investigation revealed a civilian employee, assigned to the Logistics Section located at 9027 Euclid Ave in Manassas (20110), sold County owned equipment through a personal online E-Bay account for personal gain. Between October 2017 and January 2018, the employee is alleged to have sold approximately $20,000 worth of equipment online. The employee is also alleged to have used the County’s prepaid delivery account to send personal items and stolen items to E-Bay purchasers at an estimated $800 expense. Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of the employee. On February 14, the accused, Charles Bryan MARCUS, was arrested without incident.

Arrested on February 14:

Charles Bryan MARCUS, 69, of 13238 Kurtz Rd in Dale City

Charged with 2 counts of felony embezzlement

Court Date: Pending | Bond: $50,000 unsecured

Tip leads to shooting suspect’s arrest

From the Prince William police press release:

Shooting Investigation *ARREST – On February 13, detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau received a tip which ultimately led to the identity of the suspect involved in the shooting that occurred in the 8300 block of Sudley Rd in Manassas on January 28. Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of this suspect, identified as David Alfredo RODRIGUEZ RAMOS. On February 14, the accused was located in Fairfax County and arrested without incident. A search warrant was subsequently executed at the residence of the accused on Heritage Crossing Ct in Manassas.

Arrested on February 14:

    David Alfredo RODRIGUEZ RAMOS, 37, of 8316 Heritage Crossing Ct in Manassas

    Charged with aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and discharging a weapon near a roadway

    Court Date: March 13, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Shooting Investigation [Previously Released] On January 28 at 2:33AM, officers responded to the 8300 block of Sudley Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a shooting. When officers arrived, they located an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds to the arm and lower body. Officers used their Department issued trauma kits to provide immediate first-aid to the victim before rescue crews arrived on scene.  The victim, identified as a 24-year-old man of Manassas, was flown to an area hospital with serious injuries. The initial investigation by detectives with the Violent Crimes Bureau determined that the victim and an unknown male were involved in a verbal altercation inside of the Uptown Alley located inside of the Manassas Mall. When the business closed, another altercation between the two parties occurred in the parking lot. During that encounter, the unknown male brandished a firearm and shot the victim before fleeing the area. Officers searched the area for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Virginia may create ombudsman to help with student loans

RICHMOND – Virginia legislators are seeking to mitigate the personal and economic consequences of their constituents’ student loan debt by creating a state-level ombudsman to troubleshoot problems and educate borrowers regarding college loans.

In 2017, more than 1 million Virginians owed more than $30 billion in student loan debt, state officials say. Nationally, student loan debt is more than $1.3 trillion and climbing.

“Virginians owe more on student loans than we do on credit cards or car loans, but only student loans lack consumer protections,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, a liberal advocacy group.

This week, the Senate and House each passed bills to create the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman and establish a Borrower’s Bill of Rights. SB 394 passed the Senate unanimously on Monday; HB 1138 cleared the House, 94-5, on Tuesday.

Supporters say the ombudsman’s office would help college students secure loans and understand how to pay them off. They said the office also would establish a culture of transparency, fairness and open communication between loan providers and borrowers.

Besides reviewing and resolving borrower complaints, the ombudsman would educate loan borrowers about their rights and responsibilities and about potential problems such as late payments.

By December 2019, the ombudsman would develop a course for borrowers, half of whom are under 25.

“Too many student borrowers sign their names on the dotted line at only 18 or 19 years old without fully comprehending their rights and responsibilities associated with that debt, but also knowing that without those loans they would not be able to earn their degrees,” said Del. Maria “Cia” Price, D-Newport News, who sponsored HB 1138.

In addition, the Senate unanimously approved SB 362, which would require companies that handle the billing and other services on student loans to obtain a license from the State Corporation Commission.

Virginia is not the first jurisdiction to experiment with measures to protect student loan borrowers. Washington, D.C., established a student loan ombudsman and Borrower’s Bill of Rights a year ago.

The bipartisan approval of the legislation marks a win for Gov. Ralph Northam, who included the creation of a student loan ombudsman among his top priorities for the 2018 session.

Price also sponsored a bill that aimed to create a state agency to help Virginians refinance their student loan debt. HB 615 was killed on a 5-3 party-line vote in a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Week five: a deal on misdemeanor-felony threshold, coal ash continues

The fifth week of session brought a furious pace to legislating including some of the most contentious bills of the session as we approached “crossover” – the day the Senate and House are required to complete action on legislation originating in each chamber.  It was mostly a successful week for me.  Twenty-one of my bills are now set to pass the Senate to be considered by the House of Delegates.

First, Governor Northam announced an agreement to raise Virginia’s threshold between misdemeanors and felonies from $200 to $500.  Once enacted, Virginia’s threshold will still be the second lowest in the United States.  I have introduced this legislation every year for nine sessions I was pleased it is finally going to be enacted into law. 

My legislation to place a 36% interest rate cap on all consumer finance loans was sent back to committee for “additional vetting” after the online lending industry retained a top Richmond lobbying firm.  Luckily, my bill re-escaped the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with only three “no” votes and I hope it will finally pass this week.

All six of my coal ash bills were heard this week.  Ultimately, I mediated a compromise between Governor Northam, Dominion and environmental groups to continue the moratorium on closing coal ash ponds for twelve months, required Dominion to issue requests for proposal from coal ash recycling companies to recycle ash, and convene a joint committee of Senate and House members to investigate the coal ash problem over the next twelve months.  My bill also allowed the closure ponds where ash has already been removed so we do not continue to have open holes in the ground.

While I was disappointed that we did not completely resolve the issue this session, the ultimate disposition of these ponds will cost ratepayers billions of dollars and it is important to proceed carefully to both build support and make sure the correct outcome in justified.  I am hopeful that the information generated last year and over the coming months coupled with other legislators focused on resolution will help generate a consensus.   

Unfortunately, my bill to impose a four-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for natural gas east of Interstate 95 was rereferred to the Senate Finance Committee where it died on a tie (8-8) vote.  Some members were concerned it constituted a government “taking” although similar legislation has passed in numerous states and survived numerous litigation challenges.  I will try again next year.

The Health and Education Committee passed my legislation to allow low income high school students to take online classes without paying any fees and requiring schools to provide them with computers.  I introduced the bill after I discovered Fairfax and Prince William Counties charge free and reduced lunch families fees up to $345 to take online classes and do not provide computers.  The bill will be on the floor of the Senate this week.

The Equifax data hack highlighted the vulnerability of personal information environment.  My legislation to require credit bureaus to freeze credit at no charge was amended to a $5 fee and my legislation to clarify the process for freezing children’s credit was passed.  The bill passed committee and should pass the full Senate this week. 

Finally, the Senate passed major legislation repealing the cap on electricity rates that the General Assembly enacted in 2015 due to uncertainty created by President Obama’s Clean Power Plan that the current Administration has taken steps to repeal.  While there were some parts of the bill I did not like, the legislation takes all of Dominion’s over-earnings and reinvests it into necessary grid modernization, will increase Virginia’s renewable energy production by ten-fold (500 MW to 5,000 MW), increases Dominion’s shareholders’ payments towards low-income energy assistance, directs Dominion’s profits towards $450 million of coal ash cleanup expenses, and expands Dominion’s Strategic Undergrounding Program in ways that could lead to underground power lines on U.S. 1. 

You can always reach me at if you have any feedback.  It is an honor to serve as your state senator. 

McClendon rises in rank as Stafford’s new County Attorney

From the Stafford County press release:

Stafford County announces the appointment of Rysheda M. McClendon to the position of County Attorney. Rysheda McClendon has served as Deputy County Attorney for Stafford County since 2015 and worked in the County Attorney office for seven years. She will replace retiring County Attorney Charles L. Shumate on March 1, 2018.

“Stafford County is advancing in many areas – economic development, needed improvements to our infrastructure, meeting the service needs of an expanding population and much more. Rysheda McClendon has both the legal expertise and the institutional knowledge to guide us as Stafford continues to progress,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke. “She has been an integral and outstanding member of the County Attorney team for years, and we look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.”  

Ms. McClendon has had many accomplishments during her tenure in the County Attorney’s Office. She was the draftswoman of the County’s successful 2011 redistricting ordinance which adopted new election district boundaries and polling place locations. Ms. McClendon drafted a shared radio services agreement for emergency and public safety services that resulted in approximately $285,000 in annual savings. She developed and presented a new system of methodology to assist the Board, Planning Commission and County staff with analyzing proffers under new legislation.

“I am familiar with the growing pressures placed upon the County’s infrastructure. I believe innovative ideas and multidisciplinary approaches are necessary to address those needs. I am forward thinking and offer my experience, dependability, and firsthand knowledge to aid the County in handling upcoming issues,” said future County Attorney Rysheda McClendon. “It is my privilege to serve Stafford County and the Board of Supervisors, and I thank them for this opportunity, as well as my predecessor Charlie Shumate, from whom I have learned a great deal.”

Ms. McClendon holds a Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from George Mason University.