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Balls Ford Road recycling center reopens after massive fire

Updated 9:30 a.m. 

The Prince William County Balls Ford Road Compost facility is now open. There will be no sale of mulch and compost available until further notice, according to the Prince William County Deapartment of Solid Waste. 

Orignal post 8:54 a.m. 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — A fire at an aggregate recycling and aggregate plant quickly spread to a Prince William County recycling center.

Fire crews were called to large brush fire the Commonwealth Recycling and Aggregates plant in the 7800 block of Piney Branch Court off Balls Ford Road near Gainesville at 4:36 p.m. Friday, April 6.

The fire quickly spread, jumping over Balls Ford Road to a Prince Willam County recycling center for yard waste. The fire ignited several mulch piles and heavy earth moving equipment at the recycling center.

The fire was contained and no one was injured. As of Monday, fire and rescue units have cleared the scene of the fire, but there may be some residual smoke due to the amount of mulch that was smoldering.

We don’t yet know the value of the equipment lost at the recycling center. The center is closed until further notice from the county’s department of solid waste.

During the closure, residents can deliver trash, recyclables, and yard trimmings to the Prince William County Landfill, located at 14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas.

Call to Action: Saved Hands Foundation has the perfect excuse not to cook lunch or dinner

   Good Morning – ACTS in Dumfries needs handy volunteers to help with sprucing up around the Food Pantry and Hunger prevention Center. It’s a great get your hands dirty project that will help them immensely. Come join the folks at ACTS by filling out the volunteer registration form on the website: actspwc.org or email Tamika at: tmartin2@actspwc.org to learn more.

·          You don’t want to miss the Osbourn High School Theatre Company’s performance of Fiddler on the Roof next weekend, April 12-14 at 7pm each night.  It’s all my favorite songs: If I were a rich man, Sunrise, Sunset and Matchmaker, Matchmaker.  Tickets are just $10 for adults and $8 for students.  Please visit: osbourntheatre.com for more info.

·         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: voice4life.org or email them at: drc@carenetprcs.org for more info.

·         CASA Children’s Intervention Services invites you to attend a volunteer information session at various locations during the month of May.  Learn how you can make a difference in the life of a child suffering from abuse or neglect.  Please visit their website at: casacis.org or email Suzanne at smitchell@casacis.org to learn more.

·          Community Services and the Prevention Alliance is looking for a graphic designer and/or website designer to create a logo and internet presence for the coalition.  The Prevention Alliance’s mission to promote mental health and reduce substance abuse in the greater community.  They are a committed group with a big vision and would greatly appreciate your time and talent.  Please call Heather at (571) 641-7019 or via email at: hmartinsen@pwcgov.org to learn more.

·         Youth for Tomorrow is looking for volunteers to share hobbies and interests with the kids on weekends. If you have a little time please bring your interest to share with them such as sewing, gardening, cooking, golf, arts & crafts, jewelry to name just a few.  Please fill out the volunteer application with your resume at: youthfortomorrow.org.

·         The Live Well Festival needs volunteers on Saturday April 21st. for a number of fun positions including directional assistants in the morning, helping folks drop off to the shredding truck for the morning or afternoon shift and assisting the cooking demos that also have a morning or afternoon shift.  Please email Melissa at:melissa@historicmanassasinc.org to learn more.

·         Comcast Cares Day is Saturday April 21st from 7:30am-1pm at the Georgetown South Community in Manassas.  This wonderful partnership with Leadership Prince William brings together hundreds of volunteers to do supper stuff throughout the community.  Grab your friends, family and colleagues to join in the fun.  Tasks for the day include mulching 45 playgrounds, planting the community garden and window boxes, painting and personalizing 30 picnic tables in the green space but most importantly putting house numbers on the rear of all 840 homes in the community for added security and safety. Please register online at: leadershipprincewilliam.org/event/Comcast-cares-day or by calling the Community Center at: 703-361-4500.  It doesn’t get any easier to accomplish so much more.

·         Saved Hands Foundation has the perfect excuse not to cook lunch or dinner on Thursday April 19th.  Come join them at Bobby’s Burger Palace at Potomac Mills for fun and food to support their wonderful work.  All the proceeds of this event will enable them to purchase school supplies for the Back Pack giveaway to needy children next school year.  Please tell them you’re coming at: groupraise.com/events/57276 by April 16th.

·         Virginia Cooperative Extension is having their next volunteer training starting May 9th.  Come share your knowledge and gain new tips to help families get back on their feet. Please register at: pwcgov.org/money.  Or you can call Victoria at (703) 792-4799 to learn more.

·          Volunteers needed on  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: pwtsc.org to register and get all the specifics for the day. Please email Ed at efdandar@verizon.net 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: volunteer@asnv.org 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.

·         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 1st and then $40 regular price.  Please visit arcgpw.org for more info and to register today!

·         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 29th at 8am. Please register online at: bishopseventregistrations.com

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. 2, 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 www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

And the Winners Are: Micron Technology, Inc., Tech Company of the Year

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Make downsizing a step up for the senior in your life

Seniors have specific challenges that we often don’t think about when we’re younger. One of those is downsizing. Often, after the kids are grown and have moved out or a larger home just becomes too much to manage, seniors opt for smaller living spaces. This transition can prove stressful for all concerned, but especially the senior homeowner. Here are some ways you can help ease that move from big to small.

Strategize – This is the first step after the downsizing decision is made. Think about reasons for downsizing and formulate goals with the senior homeowner. Reasons could include financial, accessibility, health, proximity to family, maintenance or something else. Set goals that match the reasons. Would a one-level, two-bedroom home three miles from the grandchildren work well if it had wheelchair accessibility? Or would a condo be a better option? Is assisted living the best choice? Don’t make any decisions before you have a strategy.

Bring in the pros – You have your expertise, and others have theirs. Get a team of professionals behind you to help ease the transition for everyone concerned. Start with a good real estate agent to help with selling and buying. Be sure the agent is familiar with senior moves and up-to-date on communities that support seniors. Ask people you trust for recommendations on lenders and moving companies that are experienced in downsizing.

Manage the process – As a loved one of the senior who is downsizing, it can be difficult to hand over the reins to someone else. But sometimes, it’s better to let a third-party oversee the details. Timing the move, changing over utilities, notifying doctors and others of the new address, organizing packing, etc. can become overwhelming. Consider hiring a transition specialist or moving manager to coordinate the many aspects that go into moving.

Get prepped – Downsizing isn’t just about packing and shipping, unpacking and organizing. It’s about acclimating to a life in a new setting. Help your senior loved one by preparing them for what to expect. Talk about emotions and concerns. Get a plan of the smaller home and draw out where belongings will go. This will help determine what needs to be given away, as well as help the senior homeowner adapt emotionally and physically.

Respect belongings Downsizing usually means you can’t keep everything, but that doesn’t mean everything should get tossed. Once you have helped your senior homeowner separate items into keep/give away/sell/throw away, pack what is going. Then ask your senior to give family members opportunity to take what they like. After, get ready to donate, but remember that selling some items could be a viable option, too. When it does come time to donate, be sure to let your senior help decide where.

Set up to settle in – Don’t let your senior move into chaos. Before they arrive to the new home on moving day, set up as much as possible. Make sure the main living spaces are inhabitable and recognizable, especially if there are memory issues. Put things in familiar arrangements and intuitive places. Make rooms attractive and practical. Remind your senior homeowner that they can rearrange things if they want so they feel comfortable but empowered.

Downsizing doesn’t have to be a depressing life event if handled correctly. A little planning, a lot of patience and tons of TLC will help you relocate your loved one to a place they can enjoy calling home.

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



Sentara hernia surgery kept one man from missing his workouts and got him back to the gym, better than before…

Joshua Goad and his wife are always on the go.

“We are very active. I’ve got a sailboat, a kayak. We enjoy going to the gym and working out. It keeps us young,” says the 56-year-old, smiling.

It was during one of his usual workouts when something unusual happened.

“I was at the gym and overexerted myself lifting. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but then, I started to notice a bulge near my groin region,” he recalls.

Like a lot of people, Joshua Goad thought the problem would fix itself and heal on its own until it didn’t. It was about this time, he started to realize he might have a hernia. 

“I would get to the point where I was lifting, exerting and I could actually feel it tightening up on my intestines, the intestine that was hanging out. At that point, I said, if I strangulate this thing, I could be in a world of trouble,” he says, remembering.

That’s when he made an appointment with board-certified, Sentara Medical Group surgeon, Dr. Steven Nakao. Dr. Nakao quickly diagnosed Joshua with an inguinal hernia.

Dr. Nakao says hernias aren’t that uncommon, “A hernia is when an intra-abdominal organ, or fatty tissue, protrudes through a muscle defect.  This can occur in numerous areas of the body, the abdominal wall, diaphragm and in the groin.  Patients can have a single hernia or numerous hernias at one time.”

While asymptomatic hernias can be observed for some time, Joshua and Dr. Nakao discussed the options and decided surgery would be best. That’s when Dr. Nakao shared with Joshua, he was a candidate for robotic surgery.

“We can tackle all types of hernias using this method. We can approximate the muscles due to the advances in technology and be able to sew easily in the abdomen and then place mesh, if appropriate, through the small incisions,” said Dr. Nakao. “So we get both a return of muscle function and repair of a hernia through small incisions.  This is great for both post-op pain and time off work.”

Joshua had his surgery at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in December 2017. He says he suffered some discomfort those first few days after his procedure, but it wasn’t long until he was back to exercising.

“The weekend after my surgery, my wife and I went to the gym and I was pretty much able to do a limited workout,” says Joshua smiling.

Now, four months later, he says he’s doing better than ever before and doesn’t know why he waited so long.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better, I was very confident in Dr. Nakao and his abilities. And, he and his team were very helpful. The whole process was smooth,” says Joshua.

And, he has this advice for people living with a hernia: “I should never have let it go for so long. I guarantee it (your hernia) will not get any better. What are you waiting for?”

You shouldn’t live in pain, that’s why Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is hosting three, free hernia screenings over the next few months on the mornings of April 14 and May 19. The screenings are free, but you must register.