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Police searching for Woodbridge man accused of human, sex trafficking

From the Prince William police press release:

Human Trafficking – In October of 2017, officers began to investigate reports of sex trafficking at the Quality Inn located at 1109 Horner Rd in Woodbridge (22191).  The investigation revealed that the accused arranged for a prostitute, a 19-year-old woman, to meet with two males at the above location. Following the investigation, officers obtained multiple arrests warrant for the accused, identified as Maurice Lamont COTTON. Attempts to locate the accused have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues.

Wanted: 

Maurice Lamont COTTON, 36, of the 12800 block of Island House Lp in Woodbridge

Described as a black male, 6’02”, 210lbs, with brown eyes and black hair

Wanted for human trafficking, commercial sex trafficking, and receiving money for procuring a person

Home and brush catch fire in Woodbridge

From the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department press release:

Woodbridge, VA March 3, 2018 — 7:00 p.m. Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department  responded to the report of a house fire at 2004 Horner Road, Woodbridge. Initial units arrived on scene within minutes and reported a house well involved with fire. Crews responded in a defensive attack.  Not only was the house on fire, but firefighters had to contain a brush fire due to the wooded and heavy brush area around the home.   

Fire & Rescue units from OWL VFD, Dale City VFD and PWC Department of Fire & Rescue and PWCPD, responded to the incident. No one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation by  the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s office.

OWL VFD is one of the largest and busiest volunteer fire departments in the United States with almost 300 members. OWL VFD provides fire suppression, EMS care, and rescue services to 80,000 residents in our 27 square mile area through the operation of three fire stations. OWL volunteer Firefighters and EMTs work the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift, five days a week, plus 24/7 holidays and weekends.

For more information on OWL VFD, visit www.owlvfd.org or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/owlvfd

This coal ash pond closure moratorium bill was the only one to survive the 2018 session

RICHMOND — A bill extending the moratorium on the permanent closure of coal ash ponds has won House approval and awaits the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam to become the only legislation on the issue to survive the 2018 session.

The House on Tuesday unanimously voted in favor of SB 807, sponsored by Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, and co-sponsored by Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield. Surovell said he was happy for the extension and hopes the bill, which has been supported by Dominion Energy and environmental groups, is a “net positive for everyone.”

“We can come up with a coal-ash solution which not only resolves the problem forever but also creates jobs to clean the environment at the same time,” said Surovell, referring to the positions that would be created to recycle the coal ash.

Robert Richardson, a spokesman for Dominion, said the utility will provide the state with information on coal ash recycling costs.

“We are fully committed to closing these ponds in a manner that is protective of the environment,” Richardson said.

Coal ash is a toxic byproduct of coal-burning power plants.

Among its provisions, the bill requires Dominion to file an RFP, or a request for proposal, to assess the costs of recycling ash in the ponds. Though Dominion already recycles a portion of its total coal ash, it remains in favor of “cap-in-place” measures of permanent closure. This method of closing the ponds with a protective seal has been targeted as unsafe by environmental organizations concerned about groundwater contamination.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters, which has opposed “cap-in-place” policies, supported the bill. Lee Francis, the league’s communications manager, said the organization has worked with Surovell and that the bill gives legislators the tools needed to make a decision.

“I think this bill will help give us clarity on how to start going forward, and hopefully lawmakers will have more information when we address final closure options,” Francis said.

Lawmakers tried addressing the coal ash issue from many angles this session but ultimately settled on extending the moratorium as a way to get more information before acting.

Stafford man stabbed in Woodbridge robbery

Police are searching for three suspects in an armed robbery of a Stafford man. 

More in a press release: 

Armed Robbery – On March 7 at 2:16AM, officers responded to investigate a robbery that occurred in the 3000 block of Chesapeake Dr in Dumfries (22026) earlier that morning.

The victim, a 26-year-old man of Stafford, reported to police that he was in the above area when he was approached by an unknown man. During the encounter, the suspect struck the victim in the face causing the victim to fall to the ground. Once on the ground, two more suspects appeared and began to assault the victim.

Nothing was taken from the victim, however, during the struggle the victim had been stabbed. The suspects left in an unknown direction on foot. Officers searched the area for the suspects who were not located. The victim reported minor injuries. The investigation continues.

Suspect Descriptions:
Suspect 1: Black male, between 25 & 30 years of age, 5’10”, and a medium build. He was last seen wearing a True Religion brand hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Suspect 2 and 3: Black males, between 25 and 30 years of age. Last seen wearing all black clothing.



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  • Regularly monitors, analyzes and interprets website, email, and other online marketing reports as well as competitive programs to make appropriate recommendations to clients.
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Student ‘overheard another student making statements about placing a bomb in the school’

We’re hearing about an “uncredible threat” at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge where a student faces charges after police say he told another student he had a bomb on school property. 

From police: 

Threats on School Grounds – On March 5 at 1:00PM, a School Resource Officer received information of a potential threat of violence at Gar-Field High School located at 14000 Smoketown Rd in Woodbridge (22192).

A student reported to the School Resource Officer that he overheard another student making statements about placing a bomb in the school. The officer subsequently identified the student who made the statements and quickly determined that the threat was not credible.

A search warrant was subsequently executed at the residence of the student. Following the investigation, the School Resource Officer obtained a petition for the student who was served without incident.

Arrested on March 6: [Juvenile]

A 15-year-old male of Woodbridge

Charged with knowingly communicating a false threat to bomb

Court Date: Pending | Status: Held at the Juvenile Detention Center

This latest incident follows a case at Covington-Harper Elementary School in Potomac Shores when a child was accused of making threats to bomb on school grounds. 

Potomac River commuter ferry next stop: JBAB?

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Ryan Sawyers, Prince William County School Board Chairman, resigns

2:30 p.m. Prince William Democratic Committee issues statement

“Like most other people, we were surprised by Mr. Sawyers’ resignation this morning. We wish him well and hope he resolves the personal and professional concerns that caused him to come to this decision. It is our hope that his replacement is someone who shares our community values and will work with the other members of the School Board to place our children and their education first.”

11:45 a.m. School division issues statement

“School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers surprised PWCS Wednesday by posting announcement of his resignation on his personal Facebook page. He attributes the action to personal and professional reasons.

Under PWCS policies and the Virginia Code, Vice Chairman and Occoquan District Representative, Lillie Jessie, will perform the duties of the Chair, until the School Board appoints an Interim Chairman. Those duties are presiding over Board meetings, signing legal documents, as authorized by the Board, and leading agenda-setting meetings.

The Board Clerk is accepting applications for the interim position from any county resident who is a qualified voter. Since the School Board Chairman is elected at-large, applicants can come from any magisterial district. Interested candidates must submit their resumés to the Clerk of the School Board by March 17.

The Virginia Code requires the School Board to appoint an Interim Chairman within 45 days, otherwise the Circuit Court will make the appointment. The interim appointee will then perform all duties of the Chair, until the position is filled in a special vote, as part of the general election in November 2018.”

10:20 a.m. Gray announces his bid for chairman 

John Gray, a Lake Ridge-based CPA announces his bid to run for School Board Chairman when and if a special election is called. 

From an email: 

Uriah: I am announcing my intention to run for the Chair of the Prince William County School Board in the Special Election to be held in the near future.    

As Chair I will lead the Board to focus on addressing class size reductions, improving SOL scores, increasing teacher pay, improving ACT & SAT scores, fixing underperforming schools in low-income areas, putting resources into disabled children’s education, creatively expanding new school construction to increase student capacity at lower costs, getting to zero-based budgeting, and reducing costs by cutting overstaffed positions in the Kelly Leadership Center.  

Presently and bluntly, the School Board is in chaos. The School Board internally is in disarray within its ranks. It needs NEW, cohesive, decisive and non-political leadership. I have “lived, worked and played”  in PWC for thirty years now. I know our community and our County. Our four children graduated from PWC schools. I am a military veteran, having served in the USMC in 1969 to 1973. I am a Vietnam veteran. I am a self-employed CPA who business is located in Lake Ridge since 1989. I know the County Budget, I know the School Board budget. I know [Prince William County].”

Gray ran for the Occoquan District School Board seat in 2015 against Lilly Jessie. 

10:10 a.m. Prince William GOP: ‘Today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents ‘

Dottie Miller, Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee, today made the following statement on the resignation of Prince William School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers:

“Today, we’re pleased that Democrat Ryan Sawyers has resigned from the School Board. Since Ryan was sworn in as chairman of the Prince William School Board on December 11, 2015, he has engaged in controversy after controversy. Whether it be school-naming fights, disrespect of Gil Trenum’s military service, law suit after law suit, or teacher intimidation and retaliation, Ryan Sawyers has been more partisan bully than education leader or consensus builder. Ryan Sawyers’ disastrous leadership is an example of what happens when overly-partisan Democrats are given responsibility of local governance. His leadership was so poor that it resulted in an historic bipartisan censure over ethics. Multiple Prince William leaders and residents have urged Sawyers to resign for more than a year; today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents who simply believe our children deserve better. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents want a School Board that is more focused on our students than their own political career. Hopefully now we can restore our School Board to a responsible governing board that is focused on education.”

9:30 a.m. 

The Prince William County School Board may request to hold a special election to replace Sawyers. 

The special election must be approved by a Circuit Court judge and cannot fall within 60 days of the upcoming June 12 Primary Election, said Matt Wilson, at the Prince William County Voter Registrar’s office.

9:20 a.m. 

The Prince William County Republican Committee will meet within the hour to discuss Sawyers resignation and the next steps. Multiple sources tell me Gainesville District School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite is being encouraged to seek the Chairman’s seat. 

“Alyson Satterwhite will make a great Chairman when elected,” said Willie Deutsch, the Coles District Representative on the School Board.

Satterwhite could not be reached for comment. 

Original post 9:08 a.m. 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers resigned today. 

Sawyers posted this message on Facebook: 

 

His resignation today caught staff at the county’s school division headquarters by surprise. The school board is set to meet tonight at 7 p.m

Officials there plan to issue a statement later today. Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie told Potomac Local she will serve as chairman at tonight’s meeting.

The Democrat’s resignation comes about a week after he dropped out of his bid for the 1st Congressional seat now held by Republican Rob Wittman.

Sawyers was elected in 2105 and has long been embroiled in multiple lawsuits with school division personnel during his tenure as chairman.

Prior to him dropping out of his congressional race, he called for the resignation of Prince William County School Administrator Dr. Steven Walts after he was involved in a car crash while driving a car owned by the school division last fall. He accused Waltz of not reporting the crash, something Waltz denies. 

We’ll have more as it becomes available.