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OmniRide passengers moved off stalled bus at I-66 and I-495

FAIRFAX COUNTY — Some OmniRide passengers had to get off their bus this afternoon at the busy intersection of Interstates 66 and 495 near Tysons Corner.

A commuter coach carrying passengers traveling on I-66 eastbound for the Portsmouth Commuter Lot near Manassas broke down on the highway leaving passengers stranded. A second OmniRide commuter bus was sent to pick up the passengers.

Those passengers exited the bus just before 2 p.m. into the pouring rain and got on the second bus that pulled up behind the disabled bus, which had broken down on the left shoulder of I-66.

“We always check first with [the Virginia Department of Transportation] to make sure roadway conditions are safe enough for us to allow passengers to get off the bus,” said OmniRide spokeswoman Katy Nicholson.

Traffic on I-66 where the bus had broken down was slow and congested as passengers de-boarded their bus.

It’s unclear how many passengers were on board the bus when it broke down.

Rape, unlawful filming charges filed in two cases involving minors

From Prince William police:

Rape | Abduction with Intent to Defile – On June 20, detectives from the Special Victims Unit began an investigation into a rape which was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the Woodbridge (22193) area of Prince William County. The investigation revealed the victim, 12-year-old girl, was raped by the accused, a family member, on more than one occasion in April and June of 2018. The incidents were recently disclosed and police conducted an investigation in the allegations. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Jose Hector GONZALEZ ORTIZ, was arrested.
Arrested on June 21:
Jose Hector GONZALEZ ORTIZ, 35, of the Woodbridge area
Charged with 2 counts of rape and 1 count of abduction with intent to defile
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond
Also from Prince William police, a separate incident: 
Aggravated Sexual Battery | Unlawful Filming – On June 6, detectives from the Special Victims Unit began an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the Manassas (20109) area of Prince William County. The investigation revealed the victim, an 11-year-old girl, was inappropriately filmed by the accused, an acquaintance, on more than one occasion between November 2016 and June 2018. On one of the occasions, the accused sexually assaulted the victim. The incidents were recently disclosed and police conducted an investigation in the allegations.
Following the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Esteban CARRILLO ZAPETA.  The accused was located and arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at an address in Hyattsville, Maryland on June 21.
The accused will remain in custody in Maryland until extradited back to Virginia.
Arrested on June 21: [No photo available]
Esteban CARRILLO ZAPETA, 32, of no fixed address
Charged with aggravated sexual battery, unlawful filming, and production of child pornography
Court Date: Pending | Status: Awaiting Extradition

Crews lay 10 feet of new pipe in water main repair

DUMFRIES — Water crews mopped up a mess in Dumfries.

Workers fixed a burst 12-inch water main Wednesday evening that snarled traffic in Virginia’s oldest, continuously chartered town. The pipe, located between Tripoli Boulevard and Old Stage Coach Road, ruptured about 1:30 p.m. Crews had the water shut off about 15 minutes later, but the damage to the afternoon commute had been done.

Authorities closed Route 1 in both directions Wednesday afternoon while the Prince William Service Authority made its repairs. The work was completed about 9 p.m.

Very few customers went without water during the repairs.

“A handful of businesses and residences of were out of service that afternoon, including the Liberty Village commercial park,” a Prince William Service Authority spokesman told us.

Water to those customers was restored about 6:30 p.m. Crews laid a total of 10 feet of new pipe during the repair.

Wound Healing Center opens at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Today, Thursday, June 21, 2018, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially unveiled its newly renovated and expanded Sentara Wound Healing Center during a ribbon cutting attended by current and past Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Board members, the Potomac Health Foundation Board, administration, physicians, community members and members of the team. 

The Sentara Wound Healing Center has a history of offering its patients a comprehensive, specialized team approach in dealing with non-healing and difficult to heal wounds. This recent renovation permits easier access for patients and staff with larger doorways and halls. The expansion also includes more storage space and room for the introduction of an advanced treatment option:  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

The addition of Sentara Wound Healing Center’s two hyperbaric oxygen chambers will allow new opportunities for patients with slow healing, hard to treat wounds.

Being able to treat patients with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a huge advancement for our organization,” explains Dr. Carol Shapiro, Medical Director of Sentara Wound Healing Center, “This is an exciting technology and even in our short experience, we are already seeing results.”

In Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, patients receive daily treatments of 100% oxygen delivered under pressure. The purpose of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is to promote healing in wounds which are stalling like, areas treated with radiation or because of a systemic disease, like diabetes. By breathing this 100% oxygen, wounds heal quicker, opening diseased or injured blood vessels.

For patients like Larry Boomer, an amputee and diabetic who has been fighting slow healing wounds for years, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has given him a new lease on life.

“In the short time I’ve been doing this treatment, my wounds have healed up so amazingly. I had surgery on my foot and had a wound which was open for six months. Now, within 34 days, the wound is just about completely closed. I’m just amazed!” says Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy patient, Larry Boomer.

“This advanced technology is an incredible addition to the community and the Sentara Wound Healing Center. It wouldn’t be possible without months of hard work by our dedicated team,” says Kathie Johnson, President, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

The state-of-the-art Sentara Wound Healing Center brings together a diverse team of doctors and specialists who work with a patient’s own physicians to develop a customized treatment plan and provide expert care for hard to treat wounds.

“The addition of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy aligns with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s mission and vision: to Improve Health Every Day and be the provider of choice for our community. The Sentara Wound Healing Center does this by elevating patient care and providing these important treatment options right in our patients’ own backyards,” says Johnson.

If you or a loved one has a wound that just won’t heal, don’t hesitate. Contact the experienced doctors, nurses and staff at the Sentara Wound Healing Center: 703-523-0660.

Updated: Verizon customers having problems calling 911 in Prince William

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Have a cell phone on the Verizon network?

You won’t be able to use it to call 911 in Prince William County. When Verizon customers dial 911, the call doesn’t go through.

Instead, Verizon customers are urged to dial the county’s non-emergency number to get through to the 911 call center. That number is 703-792-6500.

A Manassas spokeswoman tells us the city is experiencing similar problems with Verizon users. All 911 calls to the city are processed through the county’s 911 call center. City residents are encouraged to call 703-257-8000 to report emergencies. 

We’ll post updates here when we get them.

Updated 1:30 p.m. 

The phone lines are now working like they’re supposed to, according to an email from Prince William police. 

However, if you’re still having issues dialing 911 from your Verizon cell phone, or a cell phone on any carrier, you’re encouraged to dial the county’s non-emergency number to reach the 911 call center. That’s 703-792-6500.

Woman struck in hit and run on I-95 cited for ‘being a pedestrian on the interstate’

A woman from Lorton was struck after she pulled off on the side of Interstate 95 south at the Purple Heart Bridge over the Occoquan River. 

We don’t yet know why she stopped. 

More from Virginia State Police: 

Virginia State Police is investigating a report of a pedestrian struck on I-95 in Fairfax County.

At approximately 3:49 p.m. on May 20, 2018, Breeja R. Wilkins, 21, of Lorton, Va. had pulled onto the right shoulder of I-95 South at the 161.2 mile marker near the Occoquan Bridge and exited her vehicle.  A Toyota Tacoma, driven by Robert T. McGee, 51, of Lorton, Va., entered the highway from Route 1 in the lane adjacent to Wilkins.

A verbal altercation between Wilkins and McGee ensued. The state police investigation revealed Wilkins walked into the merge lane to where McGee’s vehicle was located. She was subsequently struck by his vehicle.  

McGee left the scene in his vehicle. 

Wilkins was transported to a nearby hospital in her vehicle by one of her passengers. She was treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

During the course of the trooper’s investigation, video of the incident was obtained from a passing vehicle. The video is not being released as it is part of the ongoing investigation.

State police did receive a 911 call about the incident, but when the trooper arrived on scene both vehicles and parties had left the scene. 

State police has charged McGee with one felony count of hit & run and one misdemeanor count for assault.

Traffic summons for being a pedestrian on the interstate and improper stopping on the interstate have been issued for Wilkins.

The incident remains under investigation.

Prince William honors longest-serving police chief by naming new station after him

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New father at Holy Family Catholic Church doubles as dad

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Get full access to Potomac Local and support quality local journalism with a $6 monthly subscription, or SAVE with a $65 annual subscription. It costs less than a good cup of coffee.


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Pepper spray unleashed at Fraleys Furniture Gallery

From Prince William police: 

Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance – On June 18 at 11:30AM, officers responded to Fraleys Furniture Gallery located at 17696 Main St in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a disorderly.
The victim, a 64-year-old man, reported to police that he and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated. During the encounter, the accused retrieved pepper spray and proceeded to spray the victim in the face. The parties eventually separated and police were contacted. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Erica Althea GARDNER, was arrested.
Arrested on June 18:
Erica Althea GARDNER, 38, of no fixed address
Court Date: August 21, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

‘For colored and for white’ — How Prince William preserved poll books used in 1902


Sarah Nucci, a preservationist in Prince William County, joins us today on the Potomac Local Podcast.

She discusses an award-winning effort to preserve poll books used to track Prince William County voters during the turn of the 20th century.

And, as any student of U.S. history might expect, blacks were not treated the same as whites at this time.

Three ways seniors can stay healthy and fit

Aging comes with many inevitable changes in the body. As we get older, our metabolism slows down and gaining weight becomes almost imminent, especially if we are not accustomed to exercising regularly.

As we get older, our bodies are also more prone to illness. Many seniors experience loss of strength in the bones, which can put them at risk of injury. With lack of exercise, seniors may lose the energy to perform simple daily tasks, such as walking up and down stairs, carrying groceries, or even walking for extended periods of time. Fortunately, these things can be avoided by taking classes that make exercising comfortable and easy on the body.

Yoga is a perfect example of a class that exercises the body without the stress of heavy lifting. Yoga is a type of exercise routine that uses a variety of stretching poses focusing on flexibility and core strength, both of which are key factors for seniors to have comfortable mobility. It’s also a perfect way to increase balance and reduce joint pain. Aside from giving the body a workout, yoga is also used to stay relaxed.

If you enjoy aquatics and being in the water, there are also classes that take place in the pool. Classes like Aqua Zumba and Aquasize help give you a great low-impact, full-body workout. Water classes are different in the sense that the water itself adds resistance. It is as if you are lifting weights, without the strain-free weights put on your body. 

Of course, some seniors may not feel comfortable in a group exercise setting. If so, a great way to remain healthy is simply by walking, and doing it often. Walking is likely the easiest way for seniors to stay active, as it has great heart benefits.

A good way to keep track of your health is to set gradually increasing goals as the weeks go by, so you can see how much you improve as you walk for longer distances and times. Joining a Walking Club may even help you meet new friends as you achieve your fitness goals. Walking in trails surrounded by nature is particularly beneficial.

According to a study by Holli-Anne Passmore and Dr. Andrew J. Howell, spending time in nature helps to relieve stress, and puts your brain in a state of calmness that helps it refresh after a busy day. A good pair of comfortable shoes and water are all you need!

The Manassas Park Community Center offers many classes that focus on senior health at an affordable price. All of the group exercise classes mentioned above are offered at no additional cost to members. They are also available to non-members for a $4 drop-in rate. It is never a bad time to start! We hope we can be a vital part of your fitness journey!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at or call at 703-335-8872.

Find your Passion…as a Doctor!

Join us to meet the local top docs! Find your Passion as a Doctor!
(Shadow for a Day Series)

9071 Center St., Manassas
Tues., June 26th, 5:30pm to 6:30 pm

Hosted by Theresa Ellis, Tackle Management PR Marketing

Students: Hear about job-shadowing opportunities.
Community members; Learn about healthcare updates.

Our top Novant Health UVA Health System physicians include:

  • Mike Perez, MD Family Medicine
  • Mark Bartolozzi, MD General Surgery
  • Joanne Gutliph, MD Gynecology
  • Ahsan Jafir, MD Cardiology


Free with snacks and refreshments.

Heat wave to impact area just before start of summer

The heat is on.

Temperatures on Monday will rise into the mid-90s with a heat index value as high as 102 under mostly sunny skies. That means temperatures will feel like they are in the triple digits. 

Monday night, low temperatures will drop into the high 70s.

Tuesday brings a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Still hot, high temperatures will hover in the low 90s across the region.

On Tuesday night, we’ll feel temperatures in the low 70s.

It’ll be relatively cooler on Wednesday with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. Rain showers are in the forecast on Wednesday through the weekend.

Summer officially arrives on Thursday.

The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department on Friday reminded parents and drivers to never leave children or pets inside hot cars and to always check the back seat before getting out of the car.

People exposed to high temperatures are also more susceptible to hypothermia. The symptoms include sudden dizziness, cramps, or fatigue.

Fire and rescue officials also remind residents to check on elderly residents and make sure they have electric fans or to take them to air-conditioned buildings like shopping malls, libraries, or other community facilities.

At last but not least, drink plenty of water all day long.

Woodbridge man killed in motorcycle crash

From Virginia State Police: 

Virginia State Police Trooper N.A. Dayes is investigating a fatal motorcycle crash in Fairfax County. The crash occurred June 12, 2018, at 9:57 p.m. on Interstate 66, less than a mile east of the Dulles Toll road.

According to witnesses, two motorcycles were westbound on I-66 and traveling at a high rate of speed. One of the motorcycles, a 2011 Suzuki GSX, sideswiped a 2001 Jaguar XK8 traveling west on I-66. The impact of the crash caused the motorcycle to run off the left side of the interstate and strike the guardrail. 

The motorcyclist, Jorge Ranulfo Sanchez Jr., 27, of Woodbridge, Va., died at the scene. Sanchez was wearing a helmet.

The driver of the car was not injured in the crash.

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center tops in treatment of heart attack patients

American College of Cardiology NCDR ACTION Registry Platinum Award recognizes high standards of patient care

Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2018.

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is one of only 203 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

The award recognizes the Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that Sentara Heart and Vascular Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

To receive the ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has demonstrated sustained achievement in the ACTION Registry for eight consecutive quarters and has performed at the top level of standards for specific performance measures.

Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

“As a Platinum Performance Award recipient, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has shown it is a leader in implementing standards of care and protocols for its patients,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, Chair, ACTION Registry; Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center; and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. “By meeting the requirements set forth in the registry and establishing a culture of providing guideline-recommended therapy, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is saving lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients.”

The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

“The Cardiac Catheterization lab achievements in the ACTION Registry is an attestation of all hard work poured into the endeavors of the EMS, Emergency Department and Cardiovascular service line.  The efforts of all of our health care team cannot be overstated in providing state-of-the-art, lifesaving procedures to the most common and lethal disease of our century.  We praise and support all the staff who devoted their time and hearts to raise the level of care in our beloved community,” said Dr. Khalid Abousy, Medical Director of the Interventional Cardiology at Sentara Heart and Vascular Center in Woodbridge, Virginia.

ACTION Registry empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.

Police chief Barnard to strike up another conversation with residents

From an email: 

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the Lake Jackson Volunteer Fire Department located at 11310 Coles Road inManassas beginning at 7:00PM.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the Chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from residents.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and recruiters will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches, and employment opportunities for those interested in a career in law enforcement.

The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County this year. We look forward to seeing you and having a productive discussion.

Prince William Conservation Alliance Named ‘One of the Best’ nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy

From a press release: 

After a careful vetting process, the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has selected Prince William Conservation Alliance to be part of the Class of 2018-19. Prince William Conservation Alliance has undergone a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 120+ experts in the local philanthropic field, and has met the Catalogue’s high standards.

Potential donors can be confident that the nonprofits in the Catalogue are worthy of their support. Prince William Conservation Alliance’s mission is to inspire community action and create sustainable communities for all.

This year the Catalogue celebrates its 16th anniversary: since its inception it has raised $40 million for nonprofits in the region. It also offers trainings, neighborhood-based opportunities for collaboration, and a speakers series for individuals who want to learn about and engage with the needs, challenges, and accomplishments of our shared community.

This year, reviewers helped select 77 charities to feature in the print edition, 38 of which are new to the Catalogue this year. It also selected an additional 49 nonprofits to be re-featured on its website. The network now includes 400+ vetted nonprofits working in the arts, education, environment, and human services sectors throughout Greater Washington.

“People want to know where to give and they need trusted information. Based on our in-depth review, we believe that Prince William Conservation Alliance is one of the best community-based nonprofits in the region,” says Bob Wittig, Executive Director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy.

Executive Director Kim Hosen says, “Prince William Conservation Alliance is delighted to recognized by the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Since 2002, our work has opened doors to community action, from reclaiming native habitats to support for smart growth initiatives. This important recognition highlights the value of our hard work and helps us advance our goals over the next 16 years.”

A new look for Prince William Medical Center

MANASSAS — It’s almost like having a new hospital.

Officials on Thursday gathered at Novant/UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center in Manassas on Tuesday to usher a new era at the medical facility.

Among the new features is a fully redone building facade facing Sudley Road, and a healing garden designed to provide green space and respite for hospital visitors.

The new glass facade modernizes the 56-year-old building and is fully new glass to brighten up the place. Inside, there’s a new patient corridor and mechanical enhancements that hospital officials said will provide a better private room experience.

The building is also now more energy efficient, and it features, last but not least, a newly redesigned gift shop.

Community leaders gathered at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 for a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of the changes at the hospital.

The healing garden was designed and planted in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener’s program.

The total cost of the renovations at the hospital is $38 million.

Prince William Medical Center is located at 8700 Sudley Road in Manassas.

Star Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Reverend Dr. Henry P. During Jr. to be honored

From a press release: 

Senator Scott Surovell will present a proclamation honoring Reverend Dr. Henry P. During Jr. for 10 years of service to Star Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, June 24, 2018.  

Reverend Dr. Henry P. During Jr., a lifelong resident of Prince William County, became the pastor of Star Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in 2008. Prior to that, Reverend During was serving his church as acting pastor until he was officially elected. Before he became the pastor in any capacity, Reverend During attended Garfield Senior High School and went on to accomplish many things after he graduated from the Prince William County School system. After high school, he attended Hampton University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Triangle Bible Institute (Bachelor of Divinity), Regent University (Master of Education), and Southwest Bible College and Seminary (Doctorate in Christian Education). Currently, he is a Leonard N. Smith fellow at the Virginia University of Lynchburg, where he is working towards his Doctor of Ministry Degree.  

In addition to serving as the pastor of Star Bethlehem Missionary Church, Reverend Henry P. During is the principal of the Star Bethlehem Christian Academy, as well as president and faculty member of Triangle Bible Institute in Triangle, Virginia.

Guided by the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), Reverend During shows his love for the community in various ways. He shares his ministry throughout the country and around the world as a revivalist, conference speaker, and instructor.    

Event Details
Honoring of Reverend Dr. Henry P. During Jr. 
Sunay, June 24, 2018
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

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