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City of Manassas, Prince William Chamber recognize multiple Manassas businesses

On Wednesday evening February 28, 2018 the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 7th annual business awards dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas to honor the best of the local business community.  Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.
 
The City of Manassas presented its “Business of the Year Award” to Shining Sol Candle Company.  Shining Sol Candle Company opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in Historic Downtown Manassas a year and a half ago.  Owner Pete Evick is a life-long resident of Manassas and is committed to building a strong sense of community, which has already become evident with the huge amount of success he’s had.  Since opening Shining Sol, he has experienced a 70% increase in year-over-year revenues. Shining Sol has been a tremendous addition to Historic Downtown always striving to be a “good neighbor” and thinking outside the box when it comes to promotion, extended hours of operation and cross-merchant advertising. 
 
This unique line of hand-poured, wooden-wick, all-natural soy candles are crafted in true artisan fashion, one at a time or small batched and are 100% made in Manassas.  The store offers a wide selection of candle accessories, wax melts, candle tins and apparel, in addition to the soy candles. Evick regularly gives back to the community through fundraising and apprenticeship programs. 
 
Additionally, City businesses received top honors in 8 of the 11 Chamber categories:
 
·        Tech Company of the Year: Micron Technology
Micron Technology is a global leader in the semiconductor industry and a major employer in the City of Manassas, employing over 1,300. Their memory products are the #1 export in Virginia and they are the #2 manufacturer of memory in the world.  The company continues to be a great partner within the community, specifically within education.  Micron knows that education and a strong community are vital to the success of both society and innovative companies and they remain an ardent partner in Manassas and the surrounding jurisdictions.

 

·        Excellence in F/I/RE: Weber Rector
Weber Rector is one of the most established commercial real estate brokerage firms serving the Northern Virginia market (Prince William County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Fauquier, Culpeper & Stafford – as well as the surrounding area).   Established in 1994, Weber Rector has brokered over $600 million dollars’ worth of commercial real estate transactions.  Paramount to this success has been the foundation upon which they operate: integrity, professionalism and knowledge, as well as the strong partnerships they have fostered within the community.

 

·        Community Outreach Award: Jirani Coffeehouse
Since Jirani Coffeehouse opened its doors in Historic Downtown Manassas in 2016, owners Ken and Detra Moorman have been committed to fostering a strong sense of community.  They started Jirani Coffeehouse with the mission of bringing people of all ages and interests together in a “third space” – that welcoming atmosphere that you love to frequent outside of home and work. Their unique coffee shop is not only a place for excellent coffee and conversation, but has become a neighborhood hub and a center for arts and culture.  

 

·        Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism: Mariachi’s Tequileria & Restaurant
Mariachi’s attracts both local and regional tourists, many from outside the DMV area, to Historic Downtown Manassas.  Their authentic Mexican cuisine and popular festivals and events have attracted many a new demographic of first time and repeat visitors to the area, which has positive spillover impacts on surrounding businesses.

 

·        Business Excellence Award (11+ Employees): Hepburn and Sons LLC
Hepburn and Sons is a small veteran-owned company with a combined 175 years of DoD experience, 140 years direct Navy support ranging from deep concept development to fielding, sustaining and disposing of ships/systems within the entire cradle-to-grave acquisition life cycle, including Navy Command and operational experience. Hepburn and Sons was founded in Manassas and has grown steadily in Historic Downtown.

 

·        Innovative Practice or Partnership of the Year: CoWork LLC
CenterFuse is a business accelerator designed to stimulate the establishment and growth of start-up businesses and emerging ventures. It is a public-private partnership between CoWork, LLC; Historic Manassas, Inc. and the City of Manassas and is the first of its kind in the greater Manassas region.  

 

·        Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Health and Human Services: Action in Community Through Service
ACTS (Action in Community Through Services) founders began by addressing the most basic human needs of food and shelter.  As the community grew, ACT’s services expanded to include the only comprehensive domestic violence program serving citizens of the City of Manassas as well as Prince William County and the City of Manassas Park.

 

·        Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Arts and Education: IMPACTO Youth
IMPACTO Youth serves socially and economically disadvantaged youth in the greater Manassas area.  It aims to create leaders and productive members of the community and empower youth to obtain their goals. 

Wind warning in effect today — Find delays and closures in this post

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Fredericksburg City Public Schools, Spotsylvania County Public Schools, King George County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, King George County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Fredericksburg City, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

FEMA: Stafford residents receive reduction in flood insurance premiums

From the FEMA press release:

PHILADELPHIA – Residents of Stafford County, Virginia have received a reduction in their flood insurance premiums through increase of various floodplain management measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees the NFIP, which administers a program called the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum NFIP requirements. “The Community Rating System change for Stafford County shows their commitment to protecting themselves from the dangers of flooding,” FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney stated. “We would like to thank Stafford County for taking actions to protect lives and property which has reduced their risk to flooding, and as a result they have seen a drop in their insurance premiums to reflect those efforts.” The program includes 10 different class rating levels based on the number and type of activities voluntarily initiated by the participating community. Each level corresponds to a percentage discount on National Flood Insurance policy premiums within the municipality.

Under the CRS, local officials are asked to meet three goals: (1) reduce flood losses; (2) facilitate accurate insurance rating; and (3) promote the awareness of flood insurance.  Communities can earn a CRS rating by submitting an application explaining the projects they have in place or development.  Once the information is verified and approved, FEMA provides flood insurance premium discounts through the NFIP.  The amount of a property owner’s policy discount is based on the community’s CRS rating.

As a member of the Community Rating System, Stafford County is within an elite group of 25 Virginia communities and counties that have received this recognition. With the steps taken by Stafford County to protect its citizens and increase its resiliency, it has entered the CRS program as a Class 7 participant. For each Class that a community moves up to, it provides its residents with an additional 5% reduction in their flood insurance premiums up to the 45% reduction that a Class 1 community receives. As a Class 7 community, Stafford County enables its residents to receive a 15% reduction on their flood insurance premiums.

The Class 7 rating qualifies eligible NFIP policy holders in Stafford County an average of over $250 in savings on their annual premiums. In addition, each policy written in the non-Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) zones of Stafford County receives a 5% annual premium discount, for an average saving of $45.00. Overall, entering CRS as a Class 7 rating results in a total savings of over $39,187.00 annually.

For information about flood insurance, property owners should contact their insurance agent, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program , or call the NFIP’s toll-free information line at 800-427-4661. To learn more about the CRS, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.

Four more 15-minute activities to do with the senior in your life

In our last article, we talked about four activities you can enjoy with the senior in your life to increase quality of life. We started off with conversation, sketching, reciting and singing. Here are four more ideas to try.

Stretching – If you have been caring for a senior for a while, chances are you know a little about their physical strengths and challenges. Put this knowledge to good use. Lead a little stretching session. You might be able to do whole body stretches (reach high up over the head, point palms to ceiling and gently wiggle the fingers) or focus on a particular body part, like the foot. Point the toes, flex the ankle, whatever feels good. Be sure to go slowly and ask your senior how each movement feels. The point is to loosen the muscles and to engage in conversation about sensations. Note, it is recommended you ask a physical therapist or doctor what kind of movements they would recommend before you engage in this activity.

Gift making – Giving makes most people feel good, and giving handmade gifts can feel even better. Help the senior in your life enjoy both. Put together some simple gifts for birthdays, holidays or just because. You might help your senior arrange items in a gift basket, wrap it and put a big bow on it. Or you could try creating a centerpiece using a candle, silk flowers and a plate. For some people, just wrapping a gift and tying a nice ribbon is enough. No matter what you choose, this activity is good for maintaining motor skills, and it can stimulate different kinds of conversation.

Cooking – For many seniors, cooking is a challenge. Manipulating utensils can be painful or awkward. Forgetting how to prepare food or operate the oven is often a problem, too. Let the senior in your life be part of the process by simplifying it. For example, take all the ingredients out for a sandwich and have your senior assemble it. Prepping for a party? Maybe your senior can dip strawberries in chocolate and set them up to dry. Maybe chopping carrots is too much, but peeling is fine. Whatever the case, safely involve your senior in short stints in the kitchen to increase their sense of independence as they use smaller muscle groups.  

Sensory games – Humans are grounded through the senses, and what we experience through them leaves a lasting impression. There are all sorts of ways you can use the senses to evoke memories, feelings and expression. Play an old album and talk about the time period the music reminds your senior of. Lightly spray some of their favorite perfume or cologne in the air and ask them what they like or remember about the smell. If your senior is an animal lover, arrange a short visit with a gentle dog, cat or therapy animal and encourage petting. Offer different foods for the senior in your care to sample. Listen to and watch reactions closely. All these short activities involving the senses can encourage word recall, stimulate conversation and provide enjoyment.

As we noted in our previous article, not all activities will be appropriate for all people. Consider what you know about the senior in your life and offer alternatives based on that. The more activities you do together, the more you will learn about their likes and dislikes and you will be able to offer more options. You’ll see that short bursts of activity can go a long way towards improving quality of life.

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

Legislator opposes Confederate flag along I-95

STAFFORD – A state legislator who represents Stafford County said she agrees with activists who unsuccessfully urged county officials on Tuesday to order the removal of an 80-foot-high Confederate flag flying along Interstate 95.

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, said she is against flying the flag towering next to I-95 north of Fredericksburg because she believes it sends the wrong message about the area.

“In Stafford, and all of Virginia, we want to send a message that we are open for business,” Carroll Foy said. “We don’t want signs of division. We don’t want flags being flown that represent racial inequality or symbols of hatred or racism.”

Carroll Foy, whose 2nd House District includes parts of Prince William and Stafford counties, reflected the feelings of more than a dozen people who participated in a series of demonstrations against the flag Tuesday.

The flag has been a source of controversy among residents since it was erected by the Virginia Flaggers Association in 2014. Demands to remove it ramped up after neo-Nazis and other white supremacists held a rally in Charlottesville in August.

Tuesday’s protests were organized by the Stafford NAACP and Stafford Indivisible Community Action Network. The demonstrators met near the county courthouse throughout the afternoon in preparation for a hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

“I was there in Charlottesville during the Unite the Right movement, and I watched the white supremacists walk by me with their Confederate flags and Nazi flags in tandem,” said Bill Johnson-Miles, a lead organizer for community action network. “We feel that the flag is so huge, it’s not really protected by the First Amendment. It’s really a zoning violation.”

The demonstrators wanted the board to overturn a decision made by Stafford County last year to keep the flag in place.

“This isn’t the first time we are asking the county to do this,” said Kim Wyman, a Spotsylvania resident and regional activist with the community action network. “I’m all for personal freedom of speech, but 80 feet high is a megaphone and we need a sound ordinance.”

Wyman said she understands the county may not remove the flag because of free-speech protections. But she said she would like to see Stafford County sponsor a billboard that disavows what she views as a hate symbol. Otherwise, drivers on I-95 will get the wrong impression, she said.

“People driving by think it’s the town. They don’t realize it’s just one guy or one organization,” Wyman said.

At Tuesday evening’s meeting, the Board of Zoning Appeals dismissed the complaint before it was heard, much to the frustration of the activists. Stafford County officials say they have found no legal basis to remove the flag.

“They decided the applicant (of the appeal) did not have standing, and they dismissed it,” said a county spokeswoman. “It was a thorough examination, and we just didn’t find any determination of a zoning violation. So for us, there is nothing we plan on doing further.”

Bill Farrar, director of strategic communication for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, said the organization takes issue with what the Confederate flag represents. At the same time, the ACLU strongly supports the First Amendment, he said.

“There is heightened sensitivity currently towards things which promote white supremacy, and we actively work against that and work towards racial justice,” Farrar said. “But we also firmly believe that the right to free speech is foundational. And if we limit that right based on any particular viewpoint, then we limit that right for everyone.”

Multiple reports of fraud plague Manassas

From the Manassas City Police Department report:

Fraud

On February 26, 2018 and February 28, 2018, the Manassas City Police Department received reports of phone scams. The victims received phone calls from a subject claiming to be a sergeant with the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect told the victims they had missed jury duty and were told to pay “bond” through pre-paid cards or they would be immediately arrested. In each case, the victims were told to pay fines in the amount of $1,000 or more.

 

Fraud

On February 26, 2018, the Manassas City Police Department received a report of an attempted fraud. The victim told police she received an email from someone claiming to represent a debt collection agency. The email stated she owed several hundred dollars to an online business. The victim provided her debit card number as payment. The victim later realized the transaction was part of a scam and contacted police.

‘One of the most powerful windstorms in years’ headed our way

The coming wind storm appears to be the real deal as the National Weather Service continues to ratchet up its warnings across the region. 

A high-wind warning will go into effect at midnight through 6 a.m. Saturday. 

Damaging hurricane gusts of wind are possible from the early morning hours through Friday. 

Here’s the statement on the high-wind warning from the weather service: 

 

...HIGH WIND WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM
EST SATURDAY...

* TIMING...Midnight tonight through Friday night.

* WINDS...Northwest 25 to 40 mph with gusts around 60 to 70 mph.
  The strongest winds will be Friday morning through Friday
  evening.

* IMPACTS...Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines.
  Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be
  difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A High Wind Warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected
or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts
of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.


Maryland’s Emergency Managment Agency issued these tips ahead of the storm: 

  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends if possible, especially those who might be seriously affected by a power outage.
  • If you must be out during the storm, let family and friends know of your destination, route, and expected arrival time.
  • Know how to contact your electric supplier if the power goes out. For a list of power company contacts or to keep track of outages (for the Potomac Local user area Dominion Energy, NOVEC, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
  • If you do not already have one, consider using a car charger to keep devices charged if you lose power for a long time.
  • If you use a generator during a power outage, make sure to follow all safety recommendations and never run a generator inside a building or near windows and vents.
  • Make sure not to leave pets outside during the storm.

Accused drunk driver ‘spit on and struck officer in face’

From the Prince William police report:

Assault & Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer [LEO] – On March 1 at 12:40AM, an officer conducted a vehicle stop in the area of Lee Highway and the Fairfax County line. When the officer made contact with the driver of the vehicle, he determined the driver was intoxicated. Following the investigation, he was arrested. While being processed at the Adult Detention Center, the accused spit on and struck the officer in the face. The accused was eventually detained without further incident and admitted to the Adult Detention Center. No injuries were reported.

Arrested on March 1: [No Photo Available]

Adam Phillip JONES, 35, of 1812 Forrest Rd in Parkville, MD 21234

Charged with 2 counts of assault & battery on a LEO, 1 count of driving under the influence and 1 count of unreasonable refusal

Court Date: April 20, 2018 | Bond:  Held WITHOUT bond