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Tscherch was a decorated Marine with three deployments to Iraq

Updated Dec. 14, 2017

Tscherch was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion at Joint Base Myers-Henderson Hall in Arlington. He was working in aviation, Yvonne Carlock, a deputy communications strategy officer at Quantico, tells Potomac Local.

Original post 

QUANTICO — We’ve learned that Lt. Col. Kevin Tscherch was a decorated Marine with three deployments to Iraq.

Tscherch was found dead at Quantico Marine Corps Base early last week after police reported him missing from his Stafford County home.

NCIS is investigating Tscherch’s death and has released few details in the case.

We do know Tscherch was promoted to his rank of Lieutenant Colonel on May 1. He joined the Marine Corps in March 1991.

Tscherch was most recently assigned Headquarters and Service Battalion on base. The battalion, among other things, includes working on suicide prevention efforts, as well as working with Marines who are leaving the corps, awaiting disciplinary action, or hospitalized.

While Tscherch was assigned to this battalion, he worked in aviation.

Tscherch served three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February to September 2003, August 2004 to March 2005, February to August 2006.

He also had these honors:

-National Defense Service Medal (x2)
-Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
-Presidential Unit Citation
-Iraq Campaign Medal (x2)
-Navy Unit Commendation
-Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (x2)
-Humanitarian Service Medal
-Joint Meritorious Unit Award
-Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
-Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (x3)
-Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (x3)
-Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x3)
-Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (x3)
-Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Breakfast Links: How we could see a lot of snow this winter

Here’s one way D.C. could get a lot of snow this winter [Washington Post]

Ice cream, pizza launched into space from Virginia [Washington Post]

Capital One Financial Corp. says it will get out of the home lending business and close a customer contact center in Texas, eliminating about 1,105 jobs. [Washington Business Journal

Meet Diesel — the Prince William County Animal Shelter Pet of the Week [YouTube]

Brothers charged in Manassas homicide

Two brothers are charged in the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man in Manassas. 

Erick Moises ROMERO, 27

Police tell us an argument led to the stabbing. 

More in a press release: 

At approximately 5:10 a.m. on November 11, 2017, the Manassas City Police responded to the 9700 block of Bragg Ln for a report of a male subject lying on the sidewalk.  Upon arrival, Officers located an adult male victim suffering from an apparent stab wound.  The victim succumbed to

Richard Gamaliel ROMERO SORTO, 23

his injury, and was pronounced dead on the scene.  The victim has been identified as Elvin Ulises REYES-REYES, a 24–year-old resident of Manassas. 

The investigation revealed the victim approached a group of individuals inside a residence on the 9700 block of Bragg Ln and a verbal altercation ensued.  The argument escalated and turned physical outside the residence.  During the encounter one of the individuals, later identified as Erick Moises ROMERO,   produced a knife and stabbed the victim. A second suspect involved in the encounter was identified as ROMERO’s brother, Richard Gamaliel ROMERO SORTO, a 23-year-old resident of Maryland.

Erick Moises ROMERO was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder, possession of a knife in the commission of a felony, and is currently being held without bond.  A court date has been set for December 29, 2017.

Richard Gamaliel ROMERO SORTO was also arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder and is currently being held without bond.  A court date has been set for December 29, 2017.

Kline development heads for public hearing Wednesday at Planning Commission

About a month and a half after its scheduled debut, the proposed Kline Development is now ready for prime time.

The Prince William County Planning Commission on Wednesday is scheduled to hear from developer Stanley Martin about its request to rezone 100 acres of land at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue just outside Manassas and build 392 new homes.

They would be a mix of single-family and townhomes constructed in a mix-use setting. Multiple businesses are proposed to be built on the property adjacent to the new homes to include a new Sheetz gas station, CVS Pharmacy, and a self-storage lot.

A revised proposal also outlines the possibility of the dedication of a new elementary school site. Under the old plan, the developer was going to provide enough cash to add one trailer classroom to Signal Hill Elementary School to help offset the influx of new children the development would bring to that school.

Additionally, a plan for a drive-through restaurant was slashed from the proposal.

Stanley Martin was to appear before the Planning Commission for a rezoning public hearing on Oct. 4, 2017, but requested more time to review and amend its proposal.

The proposed land rezoning, which would change the designation of the old Kline dairy farm from agricultural to planned mixed-use and general business development has sparked an outcry from citizens who oppose the project.

Eighty emails to county staff from residents opposed to the project and one for the project have been collected by county planning office staff. The big objection comes as Kline would put more cars on the region’s already congested roadways.

The development is now estimated to generate some 15,480 new trips on area roadways, including Route 28, which has been dubbed the most congested road in Northern Virginia.

Stanley Martin Homes didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

County staff recommended approval of the Kline development because, as it states, the project will ease traffic as there are a series of bus stops planned for the center. Also, because it’s a mixed-use development and because it supports the county’s goal of adding new businesses to attain a commercial tax base of at least 35 percent.

The plan needs to pass the Planning Commission before it can move ahead to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. If it doesn’t pass, the land cannot be developed as proposed, however, another developer could bring forth a new plan for consideration at a later date.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Prince William County Government Center’s McCoart Administration Building.

How NOVA, Prince William County Landfill are working together to create a pipeline of new construction workers for the region

When it comes to talented workers to fill open construction jobs, there just aren’t enough to go around.

Heavy equipment operators are high-demand in the Washington, D.C. region due to new and ongoing construction initiatives in the area. Construction projects like the development and maintenance of buildings, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, bridges, and roads.

Two road construction initiatives — adding toll lanes on Interstates 66 and 395 in Northern Virginia will create an additional demand for local heavy equipment operators.

The I- 66 project dubbed, Transform 66 – Outside the Beltway will modify nearly 23 miles of I-66 providing two express lanes alongside three regular lanes from I-495 to Route 29 in Gainesville. There will be dedicated express lane access points and space in the median reserved for future transit. The I-66 express lanes are scheduled to open in 2022.

The I-395 project includes extending the Express Lanes for eight miles north from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road to Eads Street in Arlington. The project will also convert the two existing HOV lanes and add an additional third lane to express lanes. These newly extended lanes are on track to open in the Fall of 2019 and the entire I-395 project is set for a summer 2020 completion.

“Two thousand five hundred heavy equipment jobs go unfilled in the region due to a shortage of heavy equipment operators. This shortage is expected to double as projects on Interstate 66 and Interstate 395 begin,” stated Ken Garrison, Executive Director of the Heavy Construction Contractor Association, in an article on Prince William County’s government website. “With the jobs averaging $65,000 to $70,000 a year, that would mean an influx of $325 million into the economy annually and the money would stay in the local economy,” said Ken Garrison,

In an effort to help fill this job demand in our region, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Workforce Development is creating a six-week Heavy Equipment Operator Certification Program to provide students will the skills necessary to safely operate heavy equipment in the construction industry. Melanie Stover, Director of Business Engagement for NOVA said the curriculum development assessment began out of a request from local businesses and the Heavy Construction Contractors Association (HCCA).

“The HCCA estimates the need for heavy equipment operators to be in the thousands for our area, due to contracted construction projects. Heavy equipment operators not only work on buildings but also infrastructure projects, such as road and bridges, and land development.”

Partnering with Construction Industry Experts

NOVA Workforce Development partnered with Mike Steigerwald a Training Specialist from The Lane Construction Corporation on the development of their Heavy Equipment Operator Program curriculum.

“Steigerwald was highly recommended by the HCCA for his focus on equipment safety and industry certifications,” said Esther Perantoni, Director of Curriculum Design and Implementation for NOVA Workforce. “We didn’t want to just create a program – we wanted to create a pipeline that would give students the certifications they need to succeed in the construction industry and provide area businesses properly trained resources.”

Stover agrees. “We want to provide our students a jumpstart to their career and an accelerated approach to the construction industry. We already have businesses like Atlantic Contracting and Materials Inc., Superior Paving Corporation and SW Rogers Company wanting to interview our students towards the end of our program for jobs.”

Asked what the Heavy Equipment Operator Program entails, Perantoni said, “Students will graduate from our program with the following National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certifications: NCCER Core, NCCER Heavy Equipment Level 1 and VA Basic Flagger. These are national and industry-wide certifications which are a great value to our students.”

Collaborating with local resources

“Students will be able to get hands-on experience using various pieces of heavy equipment at Prince William County Landfill,” said Stover.

The landfill already provides local fire departments training in the trench for confined space rescues.

“The Solid Waste Division is pleased to be a resource for job training and economic development in the County,” Deborah Campbell, Public Relations Specialist for Prince William County Solid Waste Division said.

“We often work with universities such as George Mason, Virginia Tech and James Madison, as well as Prince William County schools on projects that help make the landfill a valuable community resource and learning experience,” said Campbell.

Empowering students

NOVA Workforce’s first Heavy Equipment Operator Program is on track to launch in February or March of 2018. Classes will have a ratio of eight students to one instructor. Program participants are required to be 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license and have transportation to get to various work sites.

“We already have people waiting in the queue for our program to begin. Veterans, women support organizations and local skills sourcing centers have all shown interest in this new program. We foresee this initial program as being a launch pad for additional heavy equipment operator programs as we continue to move forward” said Peratoni.

Interested participants will be able to find information and certification costs on NOVA’s Workforce Development website in the coming months once the program details are solidified.

Sentara celebrates medical center’s 45th birthday

Forty-five years ago, Woodbridge looked like a different place.

“There was a little old house at the bottom of Jefferson Davis Highway and Opitz Boulevard where we bought chicken eggs. And there was probably two stoplights on all of two stop lights on Route 1 — one at Marsumsco, and the other at Longview Drive,” said Carol S. Shapiro, director of the Sentara Northern Virginia Wound Healing Center.

She was one of the founders of what was Potomac Hospital, which opened in 1972. On Thursday, the community gathered at what is today Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary during a celebration called “45 Years New.”

Shapiro, a plastic surgeon who completed her residency at Georgetown University Hospital, was working as the physician for the Gar-Field High School Football Team when she was asked to be apart of a new community hospital.

Shapiro recognized early on the need for Potomac Hospital and she never saw Woodbridge as a two-stoplight town.

“When those kids got injured during a football game, they had to go all the way up to Alexandria. So, there was a real risk of them not getting good medical care,” she said.

Some of the first meetings of the hospital steering committee were held at the old Virginia Power building at the corner of Route 1 and Reddy Drive in Woodbridge. It was there a Board of Directors was founded, and fundraisers held to raise cash to start Potomac Hospital.

“The money that was raised to get this hospital started were community funds. The community wanted this hospital. The community paid for this hospital,” she said.

Things have changed since 1972, Norfolk-based Sentara purchased the Potomac Hospital in 2009 and changed its name to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Today, the center serves a diverse population, more racially diverse than of Sentara’s other locations across the state.

Thursday’s celebration featured Prince William County Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins, as well as current and former hospital staff, and members of its founding team.

The Manassas Christmas Parade needs volunteer marshals to help

Good Morning Prince William – The Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift program is in full swing! We have 1,900 children available for adoption. Share the joy of the season by sponsoring a child and making their wishes come true. You’ll be given the two wishes for toys or clothes valued up to $75 for a little boy or girl up to 12 years old. These children live here in our community. Come join the fun. Please visit for more info and to download the donor form.

· Mark your calendars for the next Volunteer Mobilization Center Training on Saturday, December 9th, 9am-12noon at Volunteer Prince William. Come learn how to man the center to dispatch volunteers in the event of a disaster to best utilize time, talent and meet human needs. Please call Bonnie at (571) 292-5302 to learn more.

· Calling all adult service groups! – The Manassas Christmas Parade needs volunteer marshals to help on Saturday, December 2nd. This is a super fun event kicks off the 2017 Holiday Season in Old Town Manassas. It’s just a couple of hours in the morning that is sure to put you in the spirit! This is the perfect opportunity for a large group as they need 40-50 volunteers! Please email Nora to learn more at

· Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is looking for empathetic volunteer age 55+ to assist as a Senior Link Volunteer. This position has flexible hours and can be done at either the ACTS Manassas or Dumfries locations. Duties include calling home-bound seniors to check on them. Training is provided by ACTS and is scheduled in December. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about your community and reach vulnerable seniors. Please call Jan to learn more at 571-292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· The Salvation Army is also in full swing with their holiday programs. Volunteers are needed to man the Red Kettles at over 20 convenient locations across the community. They also need volunteers to man the Angel Trees at either Manassas Mall or Potomac Mills Mall. Great opportunities for volunteer groups. Please Call George at (703) 580-8991 to learn more.

· Take the I Recycle pledge! At and you could win $300-$800! But more importantly, improve our community, conserve natural resources and create green jobs.

· Willing Warriors invites you and your family to the next volunteer orientation is Wednesday, November 29th, 6-7pm and their Open House is Sunday, December 3rd, 1-4pm. Please email them at if you plan to attend.

· Project Mend-A-House needs handy volunteers to help with their fix-up projects across the community. Both skilled and unskilled are most welcome on weekends and during the week. Also mark your calendars for their Holiday Open House on December 4th- 4:30-7:30. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity has opened their new Restore in Woodbridge so now you have two great locations to donate and more importantly volunteer in the store. Please visit their website to book your next shift at

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to organize and facilitate a monthly or quarterly get together at Jirani Coffeehouse in Manassas for individuals with brain injuries. It’s a great opportunity for someone who has an interest in music, small group facilitation and working with people with disabilities. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext. 232 to learn more.

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 project 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.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Breakfast Links: Outspoken Corey Stewart speaks on Roy Moore

Outspoken Virginia Republican Corey Stewart this weekend defended U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a teenage girl. [Washington Post]

Stafford County registrar Greg Riddlemoser denied in a statement late Saturday that his office improperly disqualified a batch of absentee ballots. [Free Lance-Star]

Monday vote count will set process in motion to decide control of the Virginia House of Delegates [Richmond Times-Dispatch]