For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.
Reaching 150,000+ Monthly Users. Proudly Serving 202 Paying Subscribers.

News

Manassas woman who worked at a car wash struck and killed

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On March 24 at 8:45AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to Soaps and Suds Carwash located at 9725 Liberia Ave in Manassas (20110) to investigate a pedestrian involved crash.

The investigation revealed that a male employee of the business was attempting to move a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the back entrance of the carwash after the vehicle had been washed. As the vehicle proceeded forward, it collided with a 2011 Dodge Ram which then hit a 2011 Scion XD.  

The vehicle then struck a female employee who was in the parking lot of the business. The female employee was transported to an area hospital where she died as a result of her injuries from the collision. A female customer sustained minor injuries as she moved to avoid the collision.

The owner of the Jeep remained on scene and was uninvolved in the incident. At this time, the cause of the collision is under investigation. The investigation continues.
Identified:

The deceased employee was identified as Paula Margarita ROGEL, 38, of Manassas

The other employee was identified as a 19-year-old man of Manassas

The customer was identified as a 56-year-old woman of Manassas



Façade and landscape improvement grants attract new businesses, encourage expansion

The City of Manassas strategically uses local incentives to attract new businesses and encourage expansion of existing ones. 

Two of these incentives focus specifically on enhancing the aesthetics of highly visible properties within the City’s gateway corridors.  The Façade and Landscape Improvement Grant programs were launched in 2016 to encourage local businesses owners to reinvest in their properties. 

Since that time the programs have been highly successful, resulting in private investment in real property that otherwise may not have occurred. 

The City has funded 13 projects totaling $108,549; leveraging $1.4million in private investment. 

Awarded projects include:

  • Landscape improvements along the berm on Wellington Road between Dumfries and Hampton
  • New paint on the exterior of the building, trim and window replacement and repair of broken sidewalks at Sinistral in Historic Downtown
  • New paint and replacement of rotting cornice of Okra’s and Zandra’s in Historic Downtown   
  • Major renovations (including paint and awnings) as well as significant landscape improvements to Wellington Station

The Façade and Landscape Improvement Grants provide incentives in the form of matching grants to (1) encourage the improvement of landscapes along major thoroughfares and at gateway entrances to the City of Manassas and (2) visually enhance the streetscape and increase interest in the designated area. The initiative also serves as a tool in supporting and retaining small businesses.

For additional information on these and other Manassas incentives, please visit choosemanassas.org.

Leadership Prince William needs volunteer for Comcast Cares Day

Good Morning  – Comcast Cares Day is Saturday, April 21 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.
  • ACTS in Dumfries needs handy volunteers to help with sprucing up and maintaining the facilities on either Tuesdays or Thursdays.  They also need admin help at the front office during traditional business hours.  Come join the great 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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, 5Kor 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.

 

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

Our subscribers love us. Now you can try us free for 14 days.

First of all, thank you to all of you who subscribed to Potomac Local and trusting me to continue to provide local news for the community where I grew up.

Your subscription shows that you value our service. From our exclusive reporting on traffic and transit, our coverage of local government, or insight into the local business community, it tells me that you want essential local news that makes an impact — not just stories you can get on any other news website.

Here is just some of what our subscribers are saying: 

You are doing a great job in reporting on local news in Prince William County.  I am glad I paid for the subscription.  I like the Breakfast Links in general, and your daily featured news in particular.
Thanks!

Eric Fagerholm
Montclair, Va.

 

 

You can continue to count on us for this kind of reporting as I am indeed working for you.

When adding a subscription service became an option, I spent the majority of 2017 studying local news websites across the U.S. and Europe with subscription services.

I examined business models and studied what types of news readers would pay for and how they wanted it delivered.

I thought about what reader revenue would mean for us, and what new products and services, like or new personalized weekday Breakfast Links email and new podcast, I could offer our subscribers.

And, I agonized over the prospect of losing readers once we added our subscription service.

However, since our subscription service launched in January, I’ve seen the number of subscribers continue to rise steadily. This must mean we’re doing something right.

But I’ve also heard from some readers who have two common concerns.

1. Our subscribers see the value in our news but they’re shy when it comes to sharing our stories on social media because they’re afraid others won’t like it when they’re asked to subscribe to read.

2. They’d like to try us out before committing to a monthly or annual subscription. 

To the first point, I say sharing our news with your friends who may or may not be subscribers is no different than going to your favorite restaurant, taking a photo of an amazing dish, posting it to social media, and then telling your friends “you gotta try this place.”

The second, free trials are good (hey, even I like a free trial when I’m using new software for home or my business) and that’s why I’ve added a 14-day FREE trial option that will give you full access to our site for — you guessed it — 14 days.

Afterward, you’ll be charged $6 a month for full access to our reporting. Should you wish to save some dough and upgrade to an annual subscription, you can do that, too.

Your support is vital to our mission of bringing you local news and is always appreciated.

Challenges of the Sandwich Generation

Here’s a term you might not be familiar with — the sandwich generation. It typically refers to the generation that cares for both children and aging parents.

Traditionally, the generation is made up of people in their thirties and forties. But with technology, advanced healthcare and a wide span of years during which parents decide to have children, the sandwich generation can include people in their twenties and fifties, maybe even sixties, in some cases. The Pew Research Center says, “Who is the sandwich generation? Its members are mostly middle-aged: 71% of this group is ages 40 to 59. An additional 19% are younger than 40 and 10% are age 60 or older.”

No matter what age you are, though, there is no doubt that sandwich generation caregivers experience some significant challenges.

Time is not on our side

There are only so many hours in the day, and so many days in the week. Even if you break that down into minutes, sandwich generation caregivers might still find themselves operating at a deficit. The senior parent in your life might need to see a specialist with limited availability twenty minutes before  your youngest is due to play the final game of the baseball season.

Both need rides, both need to be there on time or earlier, and both want you to be there with them. You can’t reschedule either activity, and your spouse is slated to be out of town for the week. Yes, you can probably find a ride for your baseball star, but you don’t know how your mother will feel after her appointment or how long the appointment will take, so you may not be able to make the game, even late.

Sometimes, even though you’ve planned better than an agent undertaking mission impossible, the situation is still very much impossible. You can’t be in two places at the same time, at least at this point in human evolution.

Money is finite

If you’ve ever been in the position of standing in the checkout line only to realize you didn’t have enough in the bank to cover the purchase and you weren’t sure whether you’d reached your credit limit on your card, then you know what it’s like to start sweating over finances. That’s the feeling many sandwich generation caregivers have when they are financially supporting children and parents. Twelve-year-old Jennifer needs braces, but 83-year-old dad needs prescriptions that Medicare doesn’t cover. Long-term care benefits are running out, and you haven’t even started thinking about pitching in to cover your oldest child’s college tuition this semester.   

While this scenario doesn’t fit everyone, even when aging family members bring with them enough to support themselves financially, cash flow can be a constant exercise in strategy, paperwork and patience. Budgeting requires careful attention to expected and unexpected life events. Factor in time for forms and payments to be processed, and you could start feeling like a harried business owner who has never taken a business course.

Attention is valuable

From your youngest tugging at your pant leg to your mother calling you from the other room, it’s pretty obvious you are needed. It seems like dad always wants to talk just as the kids are coming through the door from school. Why is it that whenever you try to read to your mother, your kids start duking it out in the living room? Maybe it’s more like your college-age kid is blowing up your phone with texts while your father is asking you again about tomorrow’s plans, while your high-school-age child wants to know what’s for dinner.

The more you look around, the more you see that you being there for the ones you love is greatly valued. But how do you manage to give everyone what they need without burning yourself out?

You are not alone

According to the Pew Research Center, “Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older).”

And, “…nearly four-in-ten (38%) say both their grown children and their parents rely on them for emotional support.”

If you feel exhausted half the time, this could be the reason why. And while these challenges are common, they can lead to caregiving fatigue, especially if you don’t have enough support. That’s not a road you want to travel. If you feel you’re headed in that direction, be sure to reach out. Friends, family, doctors, local agencies and other organizations are there to help you find an extra pair of hands, ears and wheels when you most need them.

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

 

Shots fired into cars on I-395 HOV lanes

From an email: 

Virginia State Police are seeking the public’s help with a shooting incident that occurred Thursday evening (March 22) in the northbound main lines of I-395 prior to the northbound HOV entrance in Arlington County.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell phone or by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov

At approximately 7:53 p.m., the Virginia State Police Fairfax Division received a call about a shot being fired at a vehicle. When Virginia Troopers arrived on scene, they found a white Toyota Corolla and a gray Hyundai Sonata stopped on the right shoulder of the northbound I-395 HOV lanes at the 9 mile marker. The Hyundai Sonata had a hole in the front seat, driver’s side window and another hole in the front seat, passenger side window. Further investigation confirmed that the holes were the result of a bullet entering the vehicle on the driver’s side and exiting the car through the passenger side window. 

The driver in the Hyundai was not injured. No bullet was found inside or outside the vehicle, nor were there any other bullet holes in the Sonata.

The Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Corolla were traveling together at the time of the shooting. Neither driver could provide any description or license plate of a suspect vehicle. 

Arlington County Police and Pentagon Police responded to the scene to assist State Police with the investigation, which remains ongoing at this time.

Firefighters work for nearly an hour to control Woodbridge blaze

From a press release: 

Woodbridge, VA March 22, 10:39 p.m. – Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 13309 Greenacre Dr in Woodbridge.  Crews arrived within minutes and reported fire showing from the side and roof of the house.  

Crews entered thru the front door to fight fire on the second floor and attic.  Crews accessed the roof and cut a hole in the roof to fight the fire. The fire was under control within 50 minutes.   

The blaze is under investigation by the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office. A family of eight was displaced.  Red Cross was called for assistance. Fire and Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, PWCDF&R, responded to the incident. 

Northern Virginia population shows no signs of slowing

RICHMOND – Population is booming in Northern Virginia and shrinking in many rural localities in the southern and southwestern parts of the state, according to data released Thursday by the U.S Census Bureau.

The population of the city of Falls Church grew 5.2 percent between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, the data showed. That was more than any U.S. county with at least 10,000 residents. (The Census Bureau puts Virginia’s cities in the same geographic category as counties.)

Three other Virginia localities grew more than 3 percent over the past year: Loudoun County and Manassas Park near D.C., and New Kent County east of Richmond.

Since 2010, Loudoun County’s population has increased more than 27 percent, to more than 380,000. That percentage increase ranks fourth among all U.S. counties with at least 200,000 people.

The growth in Northern Virginia [intractive map] is largely due to large employers located there and in Washington, said Hamilton Lombard, research specialist at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, which worked with the U.S. Census Bureau on the population estimates.

“A lot of that is still commuters to D.C., but you have big job centers now in Northern Virginia by itself,” Lombard said. “Fairfax has more people in it than D.C. does.”

Since the census in April 2010, the population of Fairfax County has grown more than 6 percent, to almost 1.15 million, the Census Bureau’s estimates show. The District of Columbia has about 694,000 residents; however, its population has increased more than 15 percent since 2010.

Like the nation’s capital, Virginia’s state capital has shown robust growth after decades of population decline.

Since 2010, the population of the city of Richmond has increased more than 11 percent – more than the suburban counties of Chesterfield (less than 9) percent, Henrico (almost 7 percent) and Hanover (6 percent).

Lombard said Richmond’s turnaround reflects a national trend of more investment in cities.

“It had a higher vacancy rate, a lot of empty homes – it was losing population for decades,” Lombard said. “You get around to the time of the housing crisis, and a lot of people couldn’t buy; they had to rent. That also made Richmond more attractive, because they had more rentals. It’s quite remarkable how it’s turned around and started growing.”

Lombard attributed part of the growth to the redevelopment of historic properties.

“Virginia has a very generous tax credit system that encourages redeveloping historical buildings,” Lombard said. “That’s created a lot of new residential units and really pristine historic areas.”

Of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities, 78 gained population over the past year – and 71 have more residents now than in 2010. Fifteen localities have grown by more than 10 percent since 2010 – including Fredericksburg (17 percent), Prince William County (15 percent), James City County (12 percent) and Charlottesville (11 percent).

In contrast, 62 of Virginia’s localities – mostly in the south and southwestern regions of the state – have seen a decrease in residents since 2010. The population has fallen about 9 percent in Bath and Tazewell counties and almost 11 percent in Buchanan County and the city of Emporia.

August Wallmeyer, author of “The Extremes of Virginia,” which focuses on the economic development of the state’s rural areas, said there are many reasons for the population decrease, such as a lack of economic opportunity and a decline in “low tech” industries such as coal mining, tobacco farming and textile manufacturing.

“The principal reasons are lack of jobs and economic opportunity,” Wallmeyer said. “The jobs part, I think, is related primarily due to the poor public education system that has not prepared people in these areas for modern-day, information-centered, technological-type careers.”

Wallmeyer said younger people are fleeing these areas due to what he sees as poor public education systems that lag far behind the schools in the wealthier areas of the state.

“I quoted in my book the chancellor of Virginia’s community college system as saying that if you looked at the poorer areas of the state, and considered those areas as a state by themselves, in terms of educational attainment, they would be dead last in the nation,” Wallmeyer said, “while the rest of Virginia – the urban quarter, the wealthier part of Virginia – would rank No. 2 in the nation.”

Wallmeyer said efforts by federal and state governments and regional coalitions to improve the economy in these poorer, rural areas have been largely unsuccessful.

“There are some people I have talked to in my research, some public officials, who say, only half-jokingly, ‘In my little county, the last person to leave, please cut off the lights, because there’s nothing left,’” Wallmeyer said.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, Virginia remains the 12th most populous state with about 8.47 million residents. That is an increase of less than 6 percent since 2010 and less than 1 percent over the past year – about the same as the U.S. as a whole.

Lombard said one big takeaway from the new data is how much slower Virginia has grown this decade.

“We’re getting close to eight and a half million, but the growth rate we’re hitting annually is really the lowest it’s been since before the Great Depression,” Lombard said. “The country’s population has been gradually slowing down a little bit just because of the population aging, but Virginia has slowed down a lot more quickly than the rest of the country.”

As for predictions, Lombard expects more people will be living in Northern Virginia.

“By our projection, by 2040, half of Virginia’s population should live in Fredericksburg, or north of it,” Lombard said.