For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.


6 tips for good health from Mary Washington Healthcare

Dr. Vranian’s Quick Tips for Good Health

1. Minimize meat consumption

2. Avoid “white” foods — Foods that have had the shell of the grain removed

3. Eat plenty of colored vegetables

4. Stay away from saturated fats, like heavy dressings and sweets

5. Exercise 30 minutes/day at least 3 – 5 days per week

6. Find some thing or somebody to love

– by Dr. Robert Vranian, Cardiologist, Mary Washington Healthcare

KO Distilleries opening in the City of Manassas

KO Distilleries

On Jan. 29, KO Distilleries, a new business in the City of Manassas, opened their doors for a “keel laying.” This is a nautical term for the start of a ship’s construction and is appropriate for this business as both owners are graduates of the Merchant Marine Academy.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II as well as other City Council members, business owners and residents were onsite to welcome this new industry to the City of Manassas. KO Distilleries, located at 10381 Central Park Drive, will manufacture, store and sell distilled spirits, including bourbon, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, gin, vodka and rum. The distillery will have a visitors center for tours, tastings, merchandise sales and special events.

Owners Bill Karlson and John O’Mara will open their doors in the spring of 2015. This is only the 19th distillery in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is on the forefront of an emerging industry trend. Historic Manassas, Inc. helped the City and KO Distilleries with the event and many members of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce welcomed the new owners as members of the Chamber.


The preceding post was written by the City of Manassas. 

Help CASA save children at Capitol Steps comedy show

All proceeds raised for show help CASA, other area organizations 

capitol steps, hylton, rotary

The Capitol Step will perform at the Hylton Performing Arts Center thanks to Bull Run Rotary.

The Capitol Steps are coming to the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Feb. 21. Its’ a show organized by the Bull Run Rotary Club in Manassas, and a sell-out show will raise funds for organizations helping our neighbors in need. 

Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, is one of those organizations helping children in Prince William.

CASA Children’s Intervention Services has been appointed to and worked with over 3,000 abused, neglected and abandoned children in Greater Prince William since 1994.

More than 150 specially trained advocates gave over 20,000 hours to help insure that nearly 500 abused children, before the court, are kept safe, are provided needed services to overcome the impact of their maltreatment and have all they need to become physically, mentally and emotionally strong. CASA investigates, monitors, reports and is a special friend to child victims who have been beaten, starved, burnt, raped, trafficked, born drug exposed, imprisoned in their homes and more. CASA advocates providing hope, help and advocacy for these hurting children. According to a report by the Attorney General, children with a CASA spend less time in foster care, receive more services, are less likely ever to be reabused and are more likely to be adopted if they cannot return home.

CHILDREN STARVED, ABANDONED Cassie lived in fear that she would starve, she was 4. One day Cassie did not get dressed quickly enough. Cassie’s mom told her she could not have any food that day as punishment.

Mom made her sit and watch as she prepared and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner for herself. The longest she remembered not eating was 3 days. It was reported, the court appointed a CASA for Cassie. Mom told the court she did not want Cassie anyway.

The CASA advocated for help for Cassie. She lived in fear of not surviving and not being loved. The CASA visited this child, every week for over 2 years, met regularly with her service providers and foster parents, advocated at all the hearings, and worked to help insure a successful adoption where she was asked by the adoptive parents with whom she had worked so closely to be Cassie’s Godmother.

CHILDREN RAPED A mother had some evidence that her three year old child had been sexually molested by her new husband. The advocate began an investigation for more information which took her by phone to six states and uncovered eight previous girlfriends or wives, whose children had allegedly been sexually assaulted by this same man. Some were never proven in court, for lack of sufficient evidence, and therefore not on record.

Finally, in one state, her investigation found a mother who had discovered this man in bed with her 12 year old daughter and had successfully prosecuted him. She found reports of this man’s regular presence outside a local school and his picking up a young girl to take her home.

This information, not previously known to the court, helped to keep the child in Prince William from further harm as the man fled the state and was later asked for by a neighboring state as they sought to prosecute him for offenses in their state.

CHILDREN BORN SUBSTANCE EXPOSED Two children were removed from their parents. The parents were drug abusers whose last child was born substance exposed and who were reported several times for being under the influence for days at a time leaving their 3 year old to fend for himself. The parents took the children from their placement and disappeared.

Weeks passed and they were not found but there was serious concern for their safety. The advocate journeyed from door to door following lead after lead to help find the children. After three weeks of diligent searching, he found them hiding with the children in a shack in the middle of debris with no electricity, running water or heat for the cold winter weather. The advocate alerted police and the children were safely retrieved.

CHILDREN BEATEN When a Prince William child, severely physically and mentally disabled from severe physical abuse, was moved to a facility in another state, the presiding Judge was very concerned that he could not be certain how the child was doing when he was so far away from the court that sought to protect him. The advocates, a husband and wife team, at their own expense, traveled each month to the institution to visit him.

Well after the court was involved, the couple continued to be the only “family” the young man had still visiting on his birthday, Christmas and several other times each year.

The goal

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of. They cannot do it alone!

Order tickets online or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event please contact Steve Chapman, by Feb. 10.

Marine Corps Museum at Quantico ready for MRE cook-off

In the field, most Marines consider MRE’s required sustenance. At the National Museum of the Marine Corps, they’re practically gourmet.

The museum at Quantico will hold “Meals Ready to Eat” (MRE) Cook-off on Feb. 7. They started this event three years ago in order to draw more attention to the Museum during the cold winter months.

“We’re always looking for new and interesting things to offer here at the Museum, especially during the slower winter months. Michele Flynn, our Visitor Services Chief, came up with this idea. With cooking reality shows being such a big hit and MREs being such a big part of military life, it is a natural fit for us” said museum spokeswoman Gwenn Adams.

Participants in this event randomly draw two MREs from a box. Participants are allowed to dress up their meal by bringing any additional ingredients they would like to have with them during the event. However, it’s essential that it fits in a gallon sized bag, as glass containers are not allowed.

The gallon bag is important to the Museum because it’s the volume of the utility uniform’s cargo pocket which is where Marines store everything that they need to go into the field. The Museum is supplying a can of sterno as well as a folding sterno camp stove to assist in the process of cooking the entrées.

“Some examples of MRE packs are Beef Patty with Jalapeño Pepper Jack, and Southwest Style Chicken Stew. Each package usually included an entrée, a side, a dessert and a drink powder” said Adams.

The event starts at noon and is free attend. All museum-sponsored events are open to the public. For more information, email Michele Flynn at,


Popular ‘Attack the Fat Challenge’ starts Monday at Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas
Do you know about the Attack the Fat Challenge? It’s one of the most popular, effective, and fun weight-loss programs at the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center
It’s open to anyone, at any fitness level.
Robin Frey is a fitness program coordinator, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and the director of Freedom Attack the Fat Challenge at Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center in Manassas. We spoke with her to get the 


What is the Attack The Fat Challenge?

“It’s more of a full spectrum weight loss program and it runs for eight weeks…it’s based on focusing on weight loss but the overall effort that we do is that we want to promote and create lifestyle changes, not just during the eight weeks. For most people it’s just the starting point. A lot of people do it repeatedly because it works for them…and depending on the amount of weight they wish to lose, it may not happen in eight weeks.”   
What do participants do while in Attack The Fat Challenge? 
“Well actually the whole concept is they do train…and it’s based on percentage of weight loss…we make it a challenge so that it has some competitive edge to it but the overall focus is just to create a balance of accountability…to continue with fitness efforts for health, not necessarily for fitness. In other words, this is based on health and wellness, getting people appropriate nutrition and just trying to create a consistent effort with lifestyle change, it’s long term.”
 How much does the program cost?
“It [the program] breaks down to 20 dollars a session and the total cost is $480 but you’re getting 24 sessions, 24 full one-hour sessions…then in addition to that they get the support through nutrition tips and guidance…and body composition testing as well.” Frey also mentioned that there is an additional cost to non-members of the Freedom Center. 
 Attack-the-Fat-2015-flyer-791x1024How long does the challenge last? 
“Participants train three days a week with a trainer so it’s three one-hour sessions so they’re basically getting 24 training sessions as a group within that eight weeks, three times a week. In addition to that support that we offer is through our smart lab for evidence based testing for body composition or those types of things and also we do weekly weigh-ins”.
Is the Attack The Fat Challenge a seasonal program? 
“It’s twice a year, typically we do it  in February, March and then again in September.”
Is it too late to sign up? 
“The Attack The Fat Challenge  starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Registration does require you to be registered prior to the program but we work with people as well.”
Why did Frey get involved with the Attack The Fat Challenge?
“Well I started it, actually it’s been six years running now. I just felt that there was a need here at the Freedom Center to create programming in small groups that could be something that could bring more of an effort of accountability to each other, that tends to help. People can do training all the time but when they have other people depending on them to be part of their team, their group, it’s very successful. The success rate is much higher as far as them making the sessions, having to be responsible for that weekly weigh-in and then they bond and create groups that continue to train after that. We just didn’t have anything happening here in that capacity in programming.”
How does the Attack The Fat Challenge stand apart from similar programs?
“We were probably the original in this area. I know other facilities have programs similar to what we do, it’s a basic concept of accountability, through training, weigh-ins, and nutrition information…it’s just been very, very successful for us here. This our sixth year I believe, might even be longer. It tends to work. We provide a variety of workouts through different types of training. We may have them in the pool, TRX suspension training, circuit training, functional core…in other words we do a little bit of everything that we offer here…within those 24 sessions they’re getting a very large variety of different modalities of training.”
Why do people sign up?
Participants will] form groups and become friends and bond in that respect and want to continue to do it again, that kind of thing….plus we’ve had people that have lost over 100 pounds…it’s been very effective overall.” 


Manassas First Friday February: It’s the ‘Souper Bowl’

  • Historic Manassas, Inc.
  • Address: 9431 West Street, Manassas, Virginia
  • Phone: 703-361-6599
  • Website:
manassas, souper bowl, festival

Historic Downtown Manassas is putting on the Soup for First Friday February.

On Feb. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., city restaurants are pairing up with downtown merchants to offer a soup for sampling. Five-dollar wristbands allow participants to sample the soups from each location and vote to name a champion of the “Souper Bowl.”

A list of participating merchants for Manassas First Friday is available at

Inspired by the success of the monthly event concept held in other localities, First Friday in Historic Downtown was created by the Historic Manassas, Inc. promotions committee to enhance tourism and entertainment offerings in the City of Manassas. The initial First Friday event was held in February 2014 and has grown and evolved. Some months feature roving musicians and caricature artists, while other months feature sidewalk art or special foods, like this month.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

After McDonalds robbery, young mom shown path to a degree

degree, credit, mcdonalds

Amercian National University (ANU) student Jazmin Lopez works toward her medical associates degree.

ANU provides young mother flexibility, path to medical assisting degree     

Jazmin Lopez, 20, of Manassas, knew that she needed to make a change in her life, and ANU offered her an opportunity to work toward her degree in a growing field.
Her neighbor was the first to recommend American National University, which has a campus in Manassas located on Liberia Avenue.

“They were promoting the school [at Gold’s Gym], when [my neighbor] met a recruiter from ANU,” Lopez said, continuing, “She was giving me information, but I wasn’t so sure about going to school.”

Lopez had made an appointment to meet with the recruiters on the campus, but still wasn’t sold about pursuing her degree.

Then, one night while working at a McDonalds, she was robbed.

“I wasn’t  speaking at the moment,” Lopez said of the experience, which traumatized her. “I thought it was time to change, and turn my life around,” Lopez said, prompting her motivation to get out of the fast food industry and earn her degree.

A few days after the incident, Lopez did meet with an ANU ad visor about the school’s opportunities for her. The robbery proved to be a turning point in her life that made her want to seek new opportunity and a higher education.

“The recruiter asked me why it took me so long to finally decide to go back to school. And I enrolled that same day…I thought it was really a great idea, because it’s only five minutes away from my house. And it caught my eye because they have really small classes, which means more attention for us as students,” said Lopez.

For her, the flexibility of the classes and assistance that the school has provided her, have allowed her to continue her education as a working young mother.

While still working at McDonalds, Lopez is currently obtaining her Medical Assistant degree, as a member of the class of 2016.

credit, mcdonalds, degree

This Manassas woman was robbed while working at a McDonalds. It was then she decided she need to change her life. She went to ANU in Manassas for a better opportunity.

Teen wins NYC trip with “Say I Won’t” video with Manassas City Police Department

#SayIWont, manassas city police department

Captain Trey Lawler and Chief Doug Keen stand behind Mark Johnson.

In December, City of Manassas resident Mark Johnson had an idea for the #SayIWont video contest put on by Grammy Award winner Lecrae Moore and Reach Records. The video contest asked participants to make a 15 second video showing how “you’re not scared to be different.” Mark’s video featured members of the Manassas City Police Department.

Mark Johnson had the idea, in light of current happenings in other areas of the country, to show a positive relationship between the Manassas City Police Department and a City resident. His video shows him coming into MCPD Roll Call and encouraging the officers about to go out in the field.

Mark went to Osbourn High School in the City of Manassas. After a rocky start, including being expelled from school, Mark went back to Osbourn to finish high school with an advanced diploma. When asked why he chose the Manassas City Police Department to feature in his video, Mark said he remembered the great conversations he had in high school with Officer Cahill and he used that contact to make the video happen. 

On Dec. 12, while attending the Manassas City Police Department holiday luncheon, Mark received a phone call from Reach Records saying he had won the national video contest and had won a trip to New York City to accompany Lecrae Moore to a Brooklyn Nets game.

“We are honored that Mark chose the MCPD to feature in his video,” said Chief Doug Keen from the Manassas City Police Department. “Mark Johnson’s video sheds a positive light on relationships with police officers and those relationships are something we want to promote in the City of Manassas. We congratulate Mark on his award winning video.”

Johnson traveled to New York City in December.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Picture your art here to win

Winning artwork to be featured on light poles in Manassas

Have you seen the banners that hang on the light poles in the Historic Downtown area of the City of Manassas and in other cities? If you are an artist or aspiring to be one, the art you create could be hanging on one of those light poles.

Historic Manassas, Inc. and the City of Manassas have launched an art contest to fill the banners in Historic Downtown with original pieces of art. The contest will be juried so that one artist will be awarded a grand prize of $1,000 and there will also be “people’s choice award” of $500. The contest deadline has been extended to Feb. 1, 2015.

This contest is part of an effort to promote art and tourism in the City of Manassas. The winning 50 pieces will be featured on the light pole banners and in a walking tour brochure that includes information on the piece and the artist. Information about the contest can be found at

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

John Jenkins will have a locomotive named after him

All aboard the John Jenkins Express.

Jenkins, the longest currently serving Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is recognized for his participation on the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board. He and eight other VRE Board members who played key roles in the development of the commuter railroad since its founding in 1992 will have their names affixed to the front of VRE locomotives.

Here’s a full list of names that will soon appear on commuter trains:

  • Edwin King – Prince William County (Original Member)
  • James Hugh Payne Sr. – City of Manassas (First Elected City of Manassas Member)
  • Bernard Cohen – VA House of Delegates (Original Member)
  • Bob Gibbons – Stafford County (First Elected Stafford Member)
  • Sally H. Cooper – VDOT (Original Member)
  • Sharon Bulova – Fairfax County (Original and Continuously Serving Member)
  • John Jenkins – Prince William County (Long Serving Member)
  • Hilda Barg – Prince William County (Long Serving Member)
  • Elaine McConnell – Fairfax County (Long Serving Member – previously recognized)

The operations board approved adding the names to the locomotives at their monthly meeting this morning.

“Naming locomotives to honor those who helped establish or ensure the success of VRE is a small token of the appreciation we have for the foresight and public service these Board Members have provided in creating VRE,” said  VRE Operations Board Chairman Paul Milde in a press release.

The names that will be affixed to the locomotives belong to those who “played a key role in establishing VRE service, were early or long-tenured members, or whose extraordinary efforts contributed to its success, will be honored by having their names placed on the front of VRE locomotives.”

Virginia Railway Express trains carried more than 320,000 riders in November. Over the past year, the commuter railroad carried 2 million riders.

Declining birth rate no big deal for Prince William region

Fewer women in the U.S. are having babies.

The national birth rate declined in 2013 to 3.93 million births, continuing a six-year drop off. Women between the ages of 15 and 44 last year bore  an average of 1.86 babies, and that’s below the 2.1 average the National Center for Health Statistics said is necessary for a stable population.

Locally, the number of live births at Novant Prince William Medical Center in Manassas fluctuated over the past five years. The hospital was the only local medical center in Prince William and Stafford counties to respond to our records request. The hospital  averaged nearly 2,040.8 babies born over the past five years.

Over time, the numbers have remained steady with the exception of this year’s number, which accounts only for the first 11 months of 2014. Take a look at the numbers the hospital submitted to Potomac Local:

  • 2010=2,177
  • 2011=2,305
  • 2012=2,135
  • 2013=2,015
  • 2014 (through November) =1,572

The down economy is to blame for the decrease in the birth rate. Many millennials are trying to find work or move up at their current job, and that, for some, means putting off starting a family.

In other parts of the U.S., a declining birth rate spells trouble for city populations, as well as companies looking to find workers to fill jobs. In the Washington, D.C. area, things are a bit different. People keep moving here and that, at least for now, offsets any the effect of any population decrease.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen changes in what drives population growth in our metro area,” said Jeannette Chapman, with the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis.

Domestic migration in the Washington area – people moving here from other places in the U.S. – has dropped off while international migration to the area has increased.

Locally, Prince William County and Manassas City has seen more cases of international migration over the past two years while Stafford County to the south has seen more cases of domestic relocation. A number of factors could play into Stafford’s case, including home prices and housing inventory, said Chapman.

The Center for Regional Analysis compares the Washington, D.C. to Houston, Phoenix, and Seattle. In Virginia, military bases have been impacted by sequestration and thousands of jobs have been lost due to federal cutbacks. 

Historically, when the economy tanks federal agencies here ramp up to find a solution to the problem, and that brings in more workers and people.

So, that declining birth rate?

“It’s not a big deal for us; that’s only part of the story,” said Chapman. “If in the longer term things continue to decline, that will change the national narrative, and that could have an effect on our economy here.”

Community leaders meet Quantico officials in Woodbridge

Marines met the public last night in Woodbridge.

The Civilian-Military Council evening social was held at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building and was attended by local elected officials and Quantico Commander Col. David W. Maxwell.
Several staff members from Quantico mingled among the public at last night’s meeting.

Santa arrived following an invocation by Rev. Luke Torian from 1st Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, and remarks from Col. Maxwell and Prince Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan.

Local Lions Club lays wreaths at Quantico National Cemetery

On Dec. 6, members of the Lake Jackson/Mid-County Lions Club were on hand at Quantico National Cemetery to participate in the wreath laying for the Sgt. Mac Memorial Foundation.

Club members taking part in the ceremony were Lions David Penman, Roy Sundberg, Russ and Judy Holt. Also representing Lions of Virginia: District 24-A were District Governor, Jim Ryan, Past District Governor, Phil Schrack, and club members from the Woodbridge, Mason Neck and Dumfries Lions Clubs.

Over 400 volunteers took part in laying 8,600 wreaths to honor our nations fallen service men and women.

Marines Grand Marshals of Dumfries Christmas Parade

40th Dumfries Christmas Parade has global theme


Some of Quantico’s most decorated officers will lead the 40th Annual Dumfries Christmas Parade.

Col. Allen Broughton and Sgt. Maj. Mark Byrd will be the grand marshals for the parade starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Broughton is the Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps National Capital Region and is based at Quantico. Byrd is Sgt. Major of Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Here’s more information about Broughton taken from a profile provided by Quantico:



He has combat tours in Somalia and Iraq where he deployed as the Commanding Officer of a HMH-363. For their actions while deployed to Al Asad Iraq, HMH-363 was awarded the 2008 Marine Corps Aviation Association “Commandant’s Aviation Trophy.”

Colonel Broughton has advanced degrees from the Marine Corps War College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His has also attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and Marine Corps Command and Control System Course (Advance Communication Officers Course).

Colonel Broughton is married to the former Michelle Lyon of Salt Lake City, Utah and they have three children Victoria (23) a math teacher for Stafford County VA; Cullen (20) a senior at the Virginia Military Institute; and Emma (18) who is a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago.

Here’s more information about Byrd taken from a profile provided by Quantico:



Sergeant Major Byrd reported to Manpower Management Division at Quantico, Virginia in October 2011. He was assigned as the senior enlisted for Manpower Management Support Branch 30 (MMSB-30). He was the subject matter expert on the Marine Corps Performance Evaluation, and fitness reports.

Sergeant Major Byrd assumed his current billet as the SgtMaj of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on 18 December 2013.

Sergeant Major Byrd’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal two gold stars in lieu of third award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Broughton and Byrd joined the Marine Corps in 1982 and 1985, respectively. Both men have agreed to replace Col. David Maxwell, the commanding officer of Quantico Marine Corps Base, who was first offered the role of parade grand marshal but could not attend due to “unexpected obligations,” according to a town resolution.

The theme for the Dumfries Christmas Parade is “Christmas Around the World.” The parade will follow an annual tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.

For Marine Corps, a Piece of Cake

Marine corps, Quantico, museum

On the Marine Corps’ 239th birthday, cake was served at Quantico.

And, much like everything else that comes with Marines, there was a ceremony stemmed in tradition that was held before anyone took their first bite.

The annual cake cutting at the National Museum of the Marine Corps is a special day. Both the youngest and the oldest Marines present are honored during the ceremony.

“The first piece of cake is given to the oldest Marine present to symbolize our heritage and our history, and then the oldest Marine gives that piece of cake to the youngest Marine symbolizing that we pass down our tradition and our knowledge so that they can carry on the traditions of the Corps,” said museum spokeswoman Gwenn Adams.

The youngest Marine to eat cake on Monday is 20 years old and is preparing to become an officer.

And while Charlie Quick, 79, of Arlington served in the Corps during the Korean War, from 1951 to 1960, he wasn’t the oldest this time. “I can’t get that first piece of cake. I’ll be 80 on my next birthday so maybe I’ll get it next time,” said the regular museum visitor.

Since it opened in 2006, the Marine Corps museum has become a national destination for those who served in the Corps. Commemorative bricks were used to fund a portion of the construction, and many come here to see the ones they’ve purchased.

“This is my first time east of the Mississippi,” said Jack Price, of Avon, Mont., a Marine who served from 1951 to 1954. He came to the east coast specifically to see the museum.

The museum attracts travelers and school children from across the country. It’s so busy t that it is about to grow again as the construction of the final wing of the planned museum is set to begin.

The new area will complete the circular design of the base of the museum, its architecture modeled from an Associated Press photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of Marines raising the U.S. Flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The final 126,000 square foot phase of the museum will include a 350-seat theater, art galleries, and new classrooms that will open in 2017. Historical galleries, a new exhibit showcasing a time between WWI and WWII, and a changing exhibit area will open in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.

Marine musuem cake 2 Marine museum cake 5 Marine museum cake 4 Marine museum cake 3

Drivers Sit in Jammed Traffic at Quantico

Quantico Marine Corps Base stalls at 2 gates 


Drivers getting off Interstate 95 heading for the back gate of Quantico slowed early on Wednesday.

A line of cars formed on the shoulder of the northbound side of the highway before exit 148 at the Stafford / Prince William County line. Below the highway, a sea of cars sat on Russell Road with drivers all trying to make their way on to Quantico Marine Corps Base about 7:30 a.m.

Further north at exit 150 at Dumfries / Triangle, another line of cars headed for the main gate of the Marine Corps base formed on the shoulder of the highway. Surrounding roads leading to the main gate Joplin Road and Route 1 were also jammed due to the congestion.

So, what was happening to cause such big delays at both main entry points?

“There was nothing going on. Absolutely nothing,” said Maj. Andrew J. Bormann, a Quantico Marine Corps Base spokesman. “Some days it’s like that, some days it’s not.”

The congestion cleared up after drivers passed the entry gates to the base, added Bormann. Military police guard the gates and check drivers’ IDs and permits affixed to car windshields that permit military personnel and civilian employees access to Quantico.

There was no heightened security at Quantico on Wednesday, and military police were not randomly stopping drivers for security purposes, according to information provided by Bormann.

In 2013, the a federal traffic study was conducted at Quantico’s main gate and along Route 1 ad at Russell Road at Quantico’s back gate, and at nearby Boswells Corner in Stafford County. It found that the traffic operates at “acceptable” levels except in the area of Joplin Road.

If nothing is done to improve overall traffic flow in the area, all of the intersections will be overcapacity by 2040, the study states. Work is underway to widen Route 1 at Boswells Corner, and work to widen Route 1 in Triangle from four to six lanes was recently completed.

Drivers wait in delays at Route 1 and Joplin Road before entrering Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Drivers wait in delays at Route 1 and Joplin Road before entrering Quantico Marine Corps Base.


FBI Investigates ISIS Fliers at Quantico

Fliers that appear to be connected to the so-called Islamic state or ISIS, appeared to have been found at Quantico.

A government employee on Wednesday afternoon stumbled upon seven fliers while in the Town of Quantico, geographically located inside Quantico Marine Corps Base. Officials said the fliers contained the ISIS symbol and Arabic text.

The leaflets displayed the Islamic State’s symbol and were accompanied with the Arabic text, “We are here from Mexico, and came by train,” Maj. Major Andrew J. Bormann, Quantico Public Affairs director, stated in an email.

The fliers were found along River Road in the town and later turned over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Bowman said the fliers could be a hoax, but added the fliers are being taken very seriously and added the protection of the base, Marines, and base employees are a top priority.

No arrests have been made in connection with the fliers. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is looking into the validity of the fliers.

Town officials are also watching developments in this case.

“The town intends to take all necessary steps to assess the authenticity of the leaflets and to communicate all relevant information to town and base residents as well as the general public,” said Quantico Mayor Kevin Brown. “At this time there does not appear to be any increased risk persons or property.

Quantico officials said the level of security at the base has not been heightened due to the discovery of the fliers. Officials also did not say in which building the fliers were found.

I-95 Delays Expected for Arrival of World Trade Center Steel

Motorcycle procession headed to Marine Corps Museum as part of dedication 


The arrival of a piece of steel from the World Trade Center is expected to cause delays this weekend on Interstate 95.

The steel will be brought from New York City to the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico. It’s part of a new memorial that commemorates 17 New York City firefighters who also were Marines.

Here’s more in a press release:

The steel will be brought from Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 4 and will be accompanied by approximately 800-1000 motorcycles in the final Iron and Steel Run. The convoy is expected to be approximately five miles long and may cause significant impact to traffic on Interstate 95. Virginia Department of Transportation will be closing the HOV lanes to accommodate the convoy which is expected to arrive at the National Museum at approximately 4 p.m.

A dedication for the steel memorial will be held at the museum beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The service is open to the public. Prior to the ceremony at 9:30 a.m., a procession of motorcycles will ride from Quantico Corporate Center in North Stafford to the museum at Quantico.

Modern Day Marine is Largest Marine Corps Expo




Hundreds of companies featured at Modern Day Marine


Modern Day Marine is called the premier expo for all things military.

Held Sept. 23 through 25 this year, the event showcases arms, equipment, drones, clothing and gadgets that the Marine Corps will use in war fighting both here and overseas.

There are hundreds of exhibitors that come to the Modern Day Marine event. Exhibitors like the Solarwinds company monitors the security of networks and is able to identify communication problems that may be uncounted by war fighters in the field. Samsung, developer of everything from TVs to cell phones, is also listed as an exhibitor at Modern Day Marine as it looks integrate more, smaller technology like computer hardware, into the hands of the nation’s military.

While the Modern Day Marine expos on full display at Quantico each year, there are also two other Modern Day Marine expos in the U.S. Marine West is held at Camp Pendleton in California and Marine South is held at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Potomac Local went to this year’s Modern Day Marine at Quantico and snapped these photos and put them into a slide show.

Quantico Hosting Blockade Run Kayak and SUP Races

QUANTICO, Va. — The Town of Quantico is pleased to partner with the Ft. Belvior/Quantico Chapter of Team River Runner and the American Canoe Association (ACA) in hosting the 2nd Annual Blockade Run Kayak and SUP Races on Saturday Sept. 20, from 3 to 7 p.m. 

This event will include the following races: 1K kayak race, 1K kayak 4-person team relay race, 1K SUP race, 1K SUP 4-person team relay, 250M Kids kayak race and 250M Kids SUP race. An awards ceremony will follow the races.

All equipment will be provided and is included in the registration fee. The registration fee for this event is $20 for adults, kids race for free. Same day registration will be available on race day. This event is open to the public.

Children eight years old and over are welcome to participate but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This event will be held at Raftelis Potomac River Park 408 River Road in Quantico. Team River Runner (TRR), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, gives active duty service-members and veterans an opportunity to find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating and other paddling sports. Participants/individuals wishing to learn more about the mission of Team River Runner are encouraged to visit 

To register, please contact Mayor Kevin Brown at cell/text (571) 334-3432 or Find out more about this and other town events by visiting or by searching for “Town of Quantico” on Facebook.

Alfredo N. Fernandez, of Montclair, Completed U.S. Navy Basic Training

Navy Seaman Apprentice Alfredo N. Fernandez, son of Claudia Fernandez of Montclair, Va., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Fernandez completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is “Battle Stations”. This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. “Battle Stations” is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly ”Navy” flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor. 

Fernandez is a 2011 graduate of Forest Park Senior High School, Woodbridge, Va. 

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