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Dale City Local

New Classroom in Boys & Girls Club will Focus on STEM Education


DALE CITY, Va. – A fully renovated multipurpose classroom where children and teenagers will be able to learn, study, and grow opened for the first time Saturday.

In an celebration featuring local business owners and elected officials, a ribbon was cut for the Wellburn Management Learning Center inside the Hylton Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in Dale City. With brand new desks, tables, and cozy chairs, the center offers a classroom setting complete with SmartBoard technology, a library, and a special childrens’ reading room. Made possible by Wellburn Management, a firm which owns several McDonalds restaurants in Prince William County, students here will be able to focus their learning on science, technology, and math, also known as STEM.

“We are very exited for the STEM program to begin” said Teja Washington, a five-year member of the Boys and Girls Club. “We now have a dedicated place to do homework, to fill out college applications, and to study.”

The learning center is on the second floor of the two-story building off Dale Boulevard. Overall, the renovation will be able to accommodate a growing customer base as the club has doubled the number of children enrolled in programs there in the past 30 days.

“This room will allow us to expand our educational through STEM, or GED, and all-around new educational offerings right here in Dale City,” said Prince William / Manassas Boys and Girls Club Director Glenn Vickers.

Diane Wellburn of Wellburn Management said the learning center came from a vision of helping children succeed.

“We wanted to make a place for children to learn, because with everything going on in the world right now, so many of them are distracted and don’t have a place to come and do homework,” said Wellburn.

The STEM learning program is just getting underway and club officials plan to release more information on the programs that will be offered here in the near future. Vickers said all three of the Boys and Girls Clubs he helps to oversee – the one in Dale City, a branch in Dumfries, and one in Manassas – serves 4,500 children between the ages of 5 and 18 with an annual membership fee of $30.

The Hylton Boys and Girls Club is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and is closed Mondays.

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Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News

Driver Suspected in Chain Reaction Crash Turns Himself In


The driver that police said slammed into the back of four cars causing a chain reaction crash and then fled the scene turned himself in to police.

More on that, and the victims in the crash in a press release from police:

Hit & Run Multiple Vehicle Crash – On February 20th at 8:00PM, police responded to the area of Dale Blvd and Cloverdale Rd in Woodbridge (22193) for a multi-vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that the driver of a 1989 Toyota Camry was traveling eastbound on Dale Blvd at a high rate of speed when the vehicle struck a 2005 GMC Yukon from behind.

This collision caused a rear end chain reaction with a 1998 Jeep Cherokee, a 1996 Honda Civic, and a 2003 Honda Accord. The driver of the Toyota fled the scene shortly after the crash. The vehicles were originally stopped at the intersection because of a red traffic light. After the collision the drivers of the Accord and Civic exited their vehicles to check on the occupants of the other vehicles.

At that point, the driver of a 2000 Dodge Caravan was traveling eastbound, approaching the crash, and had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid colliding with the vehicles involved in the original crash. In the process, the Caravan struck the drivers of the Accord and Civic. The drivers of the Accord and Civic, in addition to, a passenger from the 1989 Toyota Camry (injury sustained in original crash) were flown to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

A passenger in the GMC Yukon was ground transported to an area hospital also for non-life threatening injuries. Investigators were able to identify the driver of the Toyota who fled the scene. Following the investigation, warrants were obtained. On February 21st, the accused turned himself into police without incident.

Arrested on February 21st: (No Photo Available)

Elmer E HERNANDEZ, 37, of 4657 Whitaker Pl in Woodbridge

The driver of the 1989 Toyota Camry

Charged with hit & run, reckless driving, no seatbelt, and driving with an open container

Court date and bond information unavailable


The passenger of the 1989 Toyota Camry was identified as a 20 year old man of Woodbridge

The driver of the 2005 GMC Yukon was identified as a 42 year man of Woodbridge

The passenger of the 2005 GMC Yukon was identified as a 40 year old woman of Woodbridge

The driver of the 1998 Jeep Cherokee was identified as a 56 year old man of Woodbridge

The driver of the 1996 Honda Civic was identified as a 20 year old woman of Woodbridge

The driver of the 2003 Honda Accord was identified as a 25 year old man of Woodbridge

The driver of the 2000 Dodge Caravan was identified as a 43 year old man of Woodbridge

10:25 p.m. 

DALE CITY, Va. — A serious crash on Dale Boulevard on Wednesday night left four people injured.

It happened just before 9 p.m. when three vehicles – a Honda car, Jeep and Chevrolet Suburban SUVs all headed east on Dale Boulevard in Dale City — were stopped at a signal light at the intersection of Cloverdale Road. Then, an older model Toyota Corolla slammed into the back of the Suburban causing a chain reaction impact, forcing the Suburban into the Jeep, and then Jeep into the Honda, said Prince William police 1st Sgt. Martin Douglas.

Police were unclear early into the investigation if the signal light was green or red at the time of the crash.

Driver of the Toyota fled the scene leaving behind a passenger, who along with the other occupants of the stricken vehicles, got out to check on the condition of everyone involved in the crash.

About the same time, a Dodge minivan cane up from behind, and when the driver saw the pedestrians in the middle of the road, the driver then swerved into a left turn lane to avoid hitting the pedestrians, said Douglas.

At least two people were standing in the turn land and were struck, and so were two others on the scene. Two victims were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital and two others were taken to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Their conditions were not released.

Police put out a search for the driver of the Toyota but had not located him as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Douglas said the passenger in that car was one of the people flown to a hospital, and police suspect he had been drinking prior to the crash.

Police closed a portion of Dale Boulevard between Darbydale Avenue and Cloverdale Road headed east, and Benita Fitzgerald Drive and Cloverdale Road during crash investigation.

The westbound portion of Dale Boulevard was reopened to traffic shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Police did not immediately have information on charges in this case.

The incident was one of several pedestrian-involved crashes in Prince William on Wednesday night. Another crash was reported in the Manassas area at the intersection of Lomond and Garner drives. We’ll bring you more information on that crash once we have it.

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4 in Custody after Vehicle Slams into House

Update 1:30 p.m. 

This morning’s ordeal that ended in a pick-up being crashed into a home in Woodbridge began just after midnight at an emergency shelter in Manassas.

More in an unedited press release from Prince William police:

Felony Eluding | Stolen Vehicle | Hit & Run – On February 19th at 12:32AM, police responded to the Molinari Emergency Shelter Home (MESH) located at 8642 Wellington Rd in Manassas (20110) for a missing juvenile report.

Staff reported to police that five juveniles (four females and one male) had walked out of the facility. During the course of the evening, the juveniles stole a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado from an address on Reynolds Pl in Manassas City.

The juveniles returned to the area of Williamstown in Dumfries where one of the female juveniles left the group. This morning, at 7:42AM, multiple calls were received about a vehicle, matching the description of the truck, driving in a reckless manner on Kilpatrick Pl in Dumfries. The vehicle had reportedly struck an unoccupied vehicle on the street and fled the area.

An on-duty Prince William County Sheriff’s deputy located the vehicle just after 8:00AM on Jefferson Davis Hwy approaching Cardinal Dr. The deputy attempted a traffic stop and the driver ignored the deputy’s emergency equipment and fled.

The vehicle made a left onto Cardinal Dr and continued to Choate Ct where the driver lost control and drove into a single family home. All four occupants fled the vehicle but were apprehended a short time later.

There were four occupants inside the residence at the time of the crash. Responding officers acted quickly to remove the residents from the home. No injuries were reported. The Red Cross has been called to assist with the displaced family. Officers have also since located the fifth juvenile who was not involved in the crash.

All five juveniles are being interviewed at this time and charges are forthcoming. The investigation continues.

Update 10:30 a.m.

From Prince William County Public Schools: Fitzgerald Elementary School has lifted the secure the building status. All are safe and school activities continue as usual.

9 a.m. 

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Police in Woodbridge have four suspects in custody Tuesday morning after a pick-up ran into a house on Choate Court, off Cardinal Drive in Woodbridge about 8 a.m.

Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said the suspects were not being pursued at the time their truck careened into the house, but did say the four will be questioned in connection to several incidents that took place this morning which police are investigating. Perok did not say what those incidents were.

No injuries have been reported in crash. According to initial reports, the occupants of the home were taken to a nearby police station.

Fairfax County’s police helicopter was called into search for the suspects.

A nearby school, Fannie Fitzgerald Elementary, is operating in a secure the building mode while police are in the area. School officials tell us all students and staff are safe.

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A truck slammed into a house at the corner of Cardinal Drive and Choate Court in Woodbridge. [Photo; Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News}


Missing Woman, 78, Suffering Alzheimer’s Found

Update 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

Prince William police said a woman missing from her home last night was found and is doing fine this morning.

10:30 p.m. 

DALE CITY, Va. — Police are in Dale City tonight searching for a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s who wandered away from her home tonight, according to our sources.

The woman has been missing since 6 p.m. According to scanner traffic, police called in the assistance of Fairfax County’s police helicopter and searched an area above Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in the Woodbridge / Dale City area.

Prince William police have yet to release details on this case. We’ll bring you more information as soon as we get it.


Hylton Boys & Girls Club Plans Final Bingo Night

DALE CITY, Va. — All good things come to an end, and so is true for bingo at Hylton Boys and Girls Club in Dale City.

The popular Friday night attraction will end it’s run on Feb. 15. The final session will be called, appropriately, Achy Breaky Bingo.

“We’ve invited all of our old volunteers who gave a lot of their life and energy to making it a success,” said Prince William / Manassas Boys and Girls Clubs Director Glenn Vickers. “It will be good to have them all back for this.”

The Clubs once relied on the funds generated from bingo night, but an increased need to serve the community in other ways, and an increased enrollment at the Boys and Girls Clubs has prompted the organization to find new ways of raising funds, said Vickers.

“At one point, bingo made up six to eight percent of our annual funding, but now the clubs take into account for our formula for impact and have changed the way we fund our Clubs,” Vickers added.

Staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs will now focus winning more grant funding for the facilities.

The bingo sessions at the Hytlon Club begin at 6 p.m. and the players have their rituals, as many bring family photos and other family heirlooms to set up on tables to bring them luck.

Most games dole out prizes of $100, and a jackpot prize of $1,000 is also awarded at the bingo sessions.

3rd Suspect Nabbed in Dale City Homicide

2:30 p.m.


Murder *3rd SUSPECT ARRESTED – On February 5th, members of the Prince William County Police Street Crimes Unit and the U.S. Marshals’ Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested the accused in connection to the murder which was reported to have occurred in the 15000 block of Cardin Pl in Woodbridge on January 15th. The accused was located at an address on Fullerton Rd and was arrested without incident. The investigation continues.

Arrested on February 5th:

Douglas HERNANDEZ, 25, of no fixed address

Charged with 1st degree murder

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

11 a.m. 

DALE CITY, Va. — Two men have already been charged after a man was found dead in a Dale City street last month. Now, police have identified a third suspect in this brutal case that police have classified as a murder.

More from a Prince William police press release:

On February 4th, detectives identified the 3rd suspect involved in the murder. The accused, HERNANDEZ, is believed to be the 2nd man that was with DIAZ when the victim was left in the roadway. A warrant has been obtained against HERNANDEZ. The investigation continues.

Wanted: (Photo from 2010)

Douglas HERNANDEZ, 25 (or 23), of 3694 Delmar Dr in Woodbridge (Last Known Address)

Described as a Hispanic male, 5’7”, 160lbs, with a thin build, black hair and brown eyes

Wanted for 1st degree murder

The victim in this case has been identified as 47-year-old Barbaro Lupe Alonso-Iraola. He was found dead about 11 p.m. Jan. 15 in the 15,000 block Cardin Place in Dale City suffering trauma to his face as a result of someone using a blunt force object and a knife, police state.

NOVA Hockey Team Retiring Founder’s Jersey at Prince William Ice Center

For Potomac Local News 

DALE CITY , Va. — On Saturday, hockey players, students, and fans will gather at Northern Virginia Community College to watch the final game of the season and to honor former team captain Rob Lucier who died in October. Lucier’s #3 will officially be retired during a ceremony prior to the game.

“Rob was more than a Captain; he was a friend. Rob loved to talk about how he came up with the idea for a program- it was the pride of his life,” said NOVA Head Coach Barrett Haga. “Everywhere he went he talked about NOVA Hockey. Rob loved the game so much that he would teach hockey to his friends, and many of those friends play for NOVA today. His influence on the program will be felt for generations.”

Rob, who had recently relocated to Spartanberg, SC, tragically took his own life.

In 2009, Rob Lucier worked with officials at NOVA to use $3,000 from the student budget to buy 10 practice slots and fund one game. More than 30 interested students showed up to try out for the team and the NOVA hockey program was declared a success.

Current team co-captain Steve Morales appreciates how hard Lucier worked for the sport and for the school.

“I try not to take my time on this Earth for granted,” Morales said. “Rob put a lot of time and energy into this program and I’m sorry I never got to meet him.”

Head Coach Haga went on to say, “Rob was so proud of how far the program has come since that first practice at Mt. Vernon so long ago. We spent countless hours putting in the pieces needed to build this program. Retiring his jersey is the right thing to do to honor his memory.”

Lucier’s parents Gary and Debbie will be at the game in February and are touched by the retirement of his number.

“Although Rob certainly left a great legacy in the NOVA sports program, his direct or indirect impact on individual lives is what inevitably will mean the most,” said the Luciers. “We remain forever grateful to all those who befriended, advised, coached, and instructed our son Rob during his time at NOVA”

The hockey team will play against George Mason University at the “Battle of Northern Virginia” at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Prince William Ice Center in Dale City, states the team’s Facebook page.

Fleeing Suspect Leads to Friday’s Commotion on I-95, Child Neglect Charges

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — We know more about what led to a commotion on Interstate 95 on Friday afternoon, when traffic nearly came to a halt during a police investigation at Prince William Parkway.

Here’s more in a press release from Prince William police:

Felony Child Neglect | Felony Eluding – On January 18th at 3:20PM, a Prince William County police officer attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Jefferson Davis Hwy and Dumfries Rd in Dumfries (22026) for a traffic violation.

The driver ignored the officer’s emergency equipment and proceeded onto I-95 northbound. Officers followed the vehicle as the driver proceeded onto the HOV flyover ramp, near the Opitz Blvd interchange, and towards oncoming HOV southbound traffic.

The driver was stopped by lowered barriers at the end of the ramp. At that point, the driver, identified as the accused, fled on foot across northbound interstate traffic and into the wooded area adjacent to the interstate.

A police K-9 was utilized in the search for the accused, who was not located. Inside the vehicle were 3 other adults and 2 small children, two 2 year old boys, all were unharmed.

Following the investigation, warrants were obtained against the accused. The accused was arrested on January 20th in Fairfax County.

Arrested on January 20th:

Daejon Tyrie JONES, 19, of 3107 Chesapeake Dr in Dumfries

Charged with 2 counts of felony child neglect, felony eluding, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and failure to secure a child in a safety restraint

Court date and bond information unavailable

One Pulled from SUV, Dale Boulevard Traffic Rerouted

Update Monday 

The driver involved in a crash on Dale Boulevard has died from injuries stemming from a broken neck, according to information obtained by Potomac Local News. 


Crash – Fatality – On January 19th at 9:27AM, police responded to the 4100 block of Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22193) for a crash. The investigation revealed that the driver, and only occupant, of a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder was leaving the bank in the area above when he suffered an apparent medical emergency. The vehicle continued forward and ran off the side of the parking lot and into an embankment. The driver was transported to an area hospital where he died later that afternoon.


The driver has been identified as Herman GOODWIN, 87, of Woodbridge

Update 11:45 a.m.

Police said the driver of an SUV that crashed on Dale Boulevard today may have had a medical emergency behind the wheel.

The unidentified victim has been taken to a hospital where they are being treated, according to police.

Initially, emergency crews thought they had lost their patient. But first responders were able to once again find a pulse and then took the victim to a hospital, according to information obtained by Potomac Local News.

Traffic along Dale Boulevard is moving once again. The crash remains under investigation, Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said.

10 a.m.

DALE CITY, Va. — A red SUV ran off Dale Boulevard, over an embankment and into woods near Forestdale Plaza and Bank of America in Dale City about 9:30 a.m. today.

Rescue crews pulled at least one occupant from the vehicle and then performed CPR on the victim, initial reports stated.

It’s not clear the extent of the victim’s injuries or what caused the crash.

The eastbound portion of Dale Boulevard had been closed by emergency crews and traffic redirected down Forestdale Avenue, according to initial reports.


McPike Considering Run to Unseat Lingamfelter in 31st House District



DALE CITY, Va. — For Jeremy McPike, Virginia’s 31st House District begins and ends at fire station 10.

The district spans the area between Dale City in Prince William County and New Baltimore in Fauquier County, and a fire station 10 lies in each of the respective communities.

Now, after years of service as a volunteer firefighter in Dale City and working as the Director of General Services in Alexandria, McPike is considering a run to unseat long-serving Republican Scott Lingamfelter.

Quality of life, transportation, education, and energy are all hot-button items on his agenda.

“We’ve seen a diminished quality of life in our area and people are upset about it, and they have a right to be. Virginia’s position as the best place to do business has slipped from first to third over the years,” said McPike, a Democrat.

Funding road fixes and removing bottlenecks along Interstates 95 and 66 are also important for the future of business in the state, he said.

As Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s put forward a plan to abolish the gas tax and raise the state’s sales tax from 5 to 5.8% to meet the road funding need, McPike said it’s time the leadership in Richmond acknowledges the problem with the lack of road funding.

“I applaud Governor McDonnell for creating transportation and education funds, and that more in the state are recognizing the need for them. We know the gas tax is no longer adequate and money for roads will be gone by 2017,” said McPike.

He also urges reforms to the state’s redistricting process and allowing for an independent panel to make suggestions to the General Assembly on how to redraw voting districts in a transparent process and do away with a perceived notion of Gerrymandering. As it sits now, politicians redraw their own districts.

McPike touts his time working in local government as making him familiar with “streetlight” issues — the things that he says most constituents are concerned with.

In Prince William, he’s had experience working in the community as he oversaw the construction of the $7.5 million LEED certified, revered Dale City fire “Station 10,” which opened in 2009. It’s one of six energy efficient buildings he’s helped to construct.

A big green energy supporter, but drilling for oil off Virginia’s Atlantic coast is OK as as long as it doesn’t impede cargo and naval ships traveling in and out of Norfolk’s ports, said McPike.

And he’s fully against lifting Virginia’s ban on uranium mining.

“Fauquier has one of the largest deposits of uranium in the state. If there was a problem with the mining process or runoff, it would run right into the Occoquan River, right into our drinking water,” said McPike.

A Captain in the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department, serving his community while “running calls” with fellow volunteers is where he feels most at home — so much so he may use one of the stations as a backdrop to officially announce his candidacy.

McPike, a Dale City native, has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 12 years. He met her on a Halloween night in 1990 and said they have been best friends ever since. The couple’s three daughters, ages 4, 7, and 11-years-old are also very excited about his run but will have to adjust as their father readies for a campaign that will place him under the community microscope.

He says he’ll need to get out and door-knock, attend community events, and spearhead a grassroots campaign if he plans to unseat Lingamfelter, who also lives in Dale City and has served in the 31st District since 2002. Lingamfelter is on a crowded list of candidates to be Virginia’s next Lt. Governor.

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Two Charged in Dale City Homicide

10:30 a.m. Thursday — Arrest made in Dale City homicide 


On January 16th, detectives from the Violent Crimes Bureau were able to identify and arrest 2 suspects involved in the homicide which was reported to have occurred in the 15000 block of Cardin Pl in Woodbridge on January 15th. The investigation revealed that the accused, FLORES, was involved in the murder of the victim. The second suspect, DIAZ, aided FLORES after the murder took place but is not the second suspect seen on Cardin Pl by witnesses. The white van used in the murder did belong to DIAZ and was used without his consent by FLORES. The victim sustained trauma to his face as a result of a blunt object and a knife. Detectives are still working to identify and arrest the second suspect. This case has been classified as a murder. The investigation continues.

Arrested on January 16th:

Juan Carlos FLORES, 25, of no fixed address

Charged with 1st degree murder and unauthorized use of a vehicle

 Jose Miguel DIAZ, 28, of 14347 Westminister Ln #2 in Woodbridge

Charged with accessory after the fact to murder

Court date for both is set for February 20, 2013, both were held WITHOUT bond


The victim has been identified as Barbaro Lupe ALONSO-IRAOLA, 47, of no fixed address

UPDATE 9 a.m. Thursday

Police said two arrests have been made in connection to a body found on Cardin Place in Dale City late Tuesday night. We’ll bring you more once we have it. 


The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in providing information about a homicide which was reported to have occurred in the 15000 block of Cardin Place in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County.

On January 15th at 11:03PM, police responded to the 15000 block of Cardin Pl in [Dale City] (22193) for an unresponsive male. Caller reported to police that he walked outside of his residence and discovered an unknown male lying in the street in front of his residence.

Officers arrived and determined that the man, the victim, was suffering from trauma and was not responsive. Rescue personnel responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Witnesses reported to police that 2 unknown men pulled up to the location in a van and left the victim before fleeing the area. 

The victim is an adult male. Further identity of the victim is currently unknown pending examination from the Medical Examiner’s Office. This incident does not appear to be random. Detectives are investigating this case as a homicide. The investigation continues.


1st man was Hispanic, unknown age, 5’5”-5’7”, thin build with black curly hair

Last seen wearing a black sweatshirt with a hood

2nd man was Hispanic or white, unknown age, 5’5”-5’7”, thin build

Last seen wearing a black short sleeve t-shirt with a square design with red and white colors and a black stocking cap

Vehicle Lookout:

A white, older model mini-van, “rounded” in shape

Anyone with information relating to this case is asked to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700 or 1-866-411-TIPS. You don’t have to give your name, just the information. You could earn up to a $1,000 cash reward.

Prince William’s Stewart, Gun Dealers say Politicians Grandstanding on Gun Issue


DALE CITY, Va. — As the call for gun buybacks gets louder, Prince William County’s leader said politicians should stop making a tragedy in Connecticut a political issue.

To the north, Fairfax County leaders are talking about a gun buyback program to help to get firearms off streets. One county leader suggested holding a buyback event annually.

Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William, also called for a gun buyback last month following the death of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December.

But don’t look for any kind of gun buyback program in Prince William County. The police department has never held such an event, and Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart said they are a waste of time.

“There is no evidence, that I’ve seen, that gun buybacks work. This is a local issue, [Congressman Connolly] ought to stay out of it, and he should stop politicizing the tragedy in Connecticut,” said Stewart.

Also in December, Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell on WTOP Radio voiced his support for arming staff members inside school buildings.

Stewart, once more, cried foul.

“The governor should keep his fingers out of it too… all of these jerks, from the state to the federal level, who are trying to politicize the tragedy…it just pisses me off,” said Stewart, who is running to be the state’s next Lt. Governor. 

Reversal of position

Stewart had a change of heart when it comes to police officers in Prince William County schools. On Tuesday, Stewart said he will withdraw his proposal to cut the school resource officer program. Initially, Stewart saw the move as a cost-effective move to put more officers on patrol. Now he wants to expand the program.

“The county staff and school staff, I would like to direct that you get together for a top-down review of school security in the county and look at recommendations on how we can cooperate and improve,” said Stewart at a meeting of the Board of County Supervisors.

Stewart, who lives in Woodbridge, has two children in Prince William County Public Schools and says he feels they are safe there.

Gun owners fear sales will be limited 

Those who do not feel safe in the post Sandy Hook climate: gun owners who feel the government will pass new legislation to limit or stop the sale of semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

In Dale City this weekend, thousands came to a gun show at the VFW Post 1503 on Minnieville Road. Small firearms and accessories dealers set up tables and displayed their wares. Many said there has been a run on firearms in recent weeks.

“What happened at Sandy Hook is a tragedy. No one can dispute that, but we have a lot of people in Washington trying to politicize this issue and many don’t know what they are talking about,” said James Stoll, a small firearms dealer from Stafford.

Handguns, shotguns, rifles, and ammunition are all flying off the shelves and it’s becoming harder to replenish the inventory. Many dealers fear a panel in Washington led by Vice-President Joe Biden will recommend limiting the sale of firearms, though Stroll said he expects no major gun law changes from state lawmakers in Richmond, as Virginia is a “firearm friendly state,” said Stroll.

Buying for protection

Bob Watson, of Woodbridge, leads a firearms safety training certified by the National Rifle Association. About 50 percent of his customers are women, a changing trend in his customer base.

“It’s good to see more and more people come to us to learn that this piece of equipment they’ve purchased has a proper operation and storage procedures,” said Watson.

He doesn’t know why more of his customers are female, but people in their 40s and 50s are buying weapons to protect their families, and those in their 60s are buying guns because many feel vulnerable, Watson said.

Before heading to the shooting range for the day-long training, a brief kum-ba-ya session where people talk about why they purchased a firearm and where they plan to use it.

Gun purchase

When it comes to purchasing a gun, the first part of the transaction is about conversation. Small gun dealers like Stroll are the last in line to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. Before the sale, he talks with his customers about what type of gun they are interested in, and can usually get other background information like job, recreation interests, and past gun purchase information.

“When I do sit with a customer, it can seem like I’m chatting them up. It’s not a chat, it’s an interrogation,” said Stroll.

Everyone who purchases a gun in Virginia is entered into the state police V Check system at the point of sale, after they fill out federal and state forms. A photo ID (in most cases a Virginia’s driver’s license) and a second form of ID that mirrors the information on the photo ID are required at the time of sale.

The V Check system bills itself as one of the most complete records repositories in the nation capable of checking criminal histories and rendering immediate information about who has legal access to firearms.

Stroll once red flagged a customer after feeling uncomfortable about a potential sale — a Marine sergeant whom appeared unfamiliar with the $3,000 in guns that he wanted to purchase from him. But a check of the V Check database cleared the Marine, and Stroll’s suspicion proved to be unfounded.

Drivers Warned of Possible Delays for Ongoing Transportation Projects in Region Next Week

Virginia transportation officials warned drivers today about three construction projects that could cause delays, including a full closure of a portion of the Capital Beltway, and about a change to an ongoing repair project on interstate 95.

More about the Beltway closure in a press release from the Virginia Megaprojects office:

All lanes on I-495 South, Outer Loop, will close before Exit 50, Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) during overnight hours this Sunday night, Jan. 13, into early Monday morning, Jan. 14, to safely complete joint repair work. All traffic will be directed to use the access road adjacent to I-495 just north of the Route 50 Exit.

The closure and detour are scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Drivers are advised to follow detour signs and use caution.

Commuters should also know about a project to install storm drain pipe along Seminary Road near Mark Center in Alexandria:

Beginning on or about January 14th, the left turn lane on Seminary Road (Route 420) west to Mark Center Avenue will be temporarily closed for the construction of two concrete medians and installation of storm drain pipe as part of the Mark Center transportation improvements projects.

The turn lane will be closed each day, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 thru Thursday, Jan. 17, and again each night, Monday thru Thursday, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Over that weekend, the turn lane will be closed on Friday and Saturday nights, Jan. 18 and 19, from 9:30 p.m. to 9 a.m., and Sunday night, 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Motorists will be detoured past Mark Center Avenue to make a left turn on N. Beauregard Street, then left on Mark Center Drive, and follow signs to Mark Center Avenue.

This turn-lane improvement is part of the Mark Center Mid-Term Improvements Project. The project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2013. For more information on this project, go to

In Stafford, an ongoing project to repair a slope on the side of Interstate 95 will continue. More in a press release from Virginia Department of Transportation’s Fredericksburg office:

Work to stabilize an embankment along Interstate 95 southbound in Stafford County will continue for several weeks to halt erosion near the travel lanes.

The right lane of I-95 southbound will be closed at mile marker 147 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, just south of Exit 148/Quantico Marine Corps Base. Lane closures will be lifted whenever congestion surpasses 3 miles. No lane closures will occur Friday-Sunday.

Police Issue Missing Person Alert for Daniel Sosa


Mr. Daniel Razjooyan-Sosa was last seen on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 1 PM. He is a 27 year old male, 5’11”, weighing 192 pounds.

He was last seen wearing white pants, a white sweatshirt, and a green hat. He travels on foot and has been known to frequent the Tacketts Mill, Woodbridge area, as well as walking on I-95 toward Fairfax.

He is endangered due to a medical condition. Please call 911 if you see Mr. Sosa.

School Employee Injured While Students Participate in Fire Drill

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Chemicals used in a fire suppression device inside a kitchen at Saunders Middle School left one employee sick and after school activities canceled Wednesday.

School administrators held a planned fire drill at 1:30 p.m. and staff and students had all safely made it outside the building. But during the drill, a fire suppression system was accidentally activated inside of the cafeteria kitchen and an employee had a reaction to the fire suppressant substance, said Prince William schools spokeswoman Irene Cromer.

Fire and rescue crews were called to the school to evaluate the employee, and since crews were still on scene when school dismissed, the school’s principal canceled afterschool activities, said Cromer.

However, a concussion training was still held at the building at 7 p.m. as planned because fire and rescue crews had cleared the building by that time. The condition of the school employee was not released.

Groundwork, Fundraising for Americans in Wartime Museum Underway in Dale City

A depiction of the proposed American Wartime Museum. (Courtesy image)

A depiction of the proposed American Wartime Museum. (Courtesy image)

DALE CITY, Va. — A new Americans in Wartime Museum hopes planes and tanks will draw automobiles.

Groundwork preparation for the $80 million facility has already begun on a 70-acre site behind a K-Mart store on Dale Boulevard in Dale City. The museum, once complete, will tell the story of people who fought in every U.S. war since World War I, as well as first responders on the homefront, featuring fully restored military vehicles, a “landscapes of war” exhibit that will allow visitors to experience what war fighting conditions were like on the ground and in the trenches, and the museum will feature tours and lectures led by wartime veterans.

When complete, The Americans in Wartime Museum will join the ranks of the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico and a planned Army museum at Fort Belvoir. Tourism officials have dubbed the stretch of Interstate 95 on which the museum will sit between Fairfax and Stafford counties Virginia’s “wartime corridor.”

“It’s also a very large site and, trust me, we’ll be able to take advantage of all 70 acres as you’ll see with a lot of the outdoor activities we have planned,” said museum spokeswoman Kathy Bentz.

The museum is the brainchild of Allen Cors whose collection of fully restored military vehicles, aircraft, as well as fire and rescue vehicles that were called to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, will be at the centerpiece in the museum’s collection. Those vehicles have been featured in recent years at an annual “tank farm” event in Nokesville, at a property the museum owns and will keep as a vehicle and exhibit maintenance facility.

102711 Wartime museum“As long as I’m alive the tank farm will exist. We’ll use it for the nasty, dirty work of restoring vehicles, and we’ll save the cleaner work for the restoration buildings that will be on site for this museum,” said Cors.

Cors serves as the chief fundraiser for the organization and said, so far, $32 million has been spent on groundwork at the museum site and another $50 million must be raised before the attraction opens. A fully non-profit organization, Cors said he’s traveled the country to solicit donations for the museum. Once he receives another $30 million (60 percent of his final funding goal) buildings will begin popping up at the museum site, said Cors.

Overall, the museum plans to bring at least 50 jobs to the area, will provide opportunities for veterans to serve as docents, and will provide internship opportunities for students at George Mason University. The completed museum will also serve as a new gateway for the Dale City community.

Cors and others involved in the project said they will continue to collect artifacts for the museum, as well as spread the word to military members and veterans about the planned museum.

“This place is not about tanks, this is about people. It’s about telling their story,” said Cors.


A rendering of the Americans in Wartime Museum grounds showing it located behind a K-Mart store in Dale City, with Interstate 95 to the south, Dale Boulevard to the east.

Hockey Great Roenick Appears as Prince William Ice Center Continues Rebound


DALE CITY, Va. — On the day NHL players and league officials broke the ice on a new deal to end a nearly five month player lockout, one of the greatest to ever play the game came to Dale City to give back.

All-Star Jeremy Roenick came to the Prince William Ice Center to coach a game from the bench, skate with fans, sign gear, and to inspire the next generation of hockey lovers.

Roenick grew up in Fairfax County where his love of hockey took root. While playing for teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Los Angeles Kings, Roenick, a now retired TV hockey analyst, is one of only four U.S.-born players to ever score over 500 goals in his NHL career.

Roenick said the Prince William Ice Center was impressive.

“We didn’t have anything like this. This arena is spectacular. Hockey was just getting going [when growing up in Fairfax], but I think with the emergence of guys like [Washington Capital’s Alexander] Ovechkin, hockey is getting more popular,” said Roenick.

The All-Star is six feet tall and he towered over children who were wearing hockey gear, jerseys, and carrying sticks. Roenick spent an hour signing his autograph on whatever the children and their parents handed him. Then he put on his skates and got out onto the ice where once again the pro was swarmed by fans.

“It’s nice that they’re out as kids, and this gives them something to do. There exploring a competitive aspect to their lives, teaching them about the trials and tribulations of not just sports but life: you have to overcome adversity and overcome different things in their lives,” said Roenick.

Trials and tribulations are something the hockey star knows something about. In a previous player lockout during the 2004 and 2005 season, Roenick took heat when he lashed out at fans who said hockey players had become spoiled. He later made waves when he claimed he was excluded from the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, he got attention when he said an NLH coach was biased against American-born players, and was later tied to a nationwide gambling ring.

He retired from the NHL in 2009 having scored 513 goals, 703 assists, playing in more than 1,300 games. Roenick talks about those experiences in his new book, “J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in hockey.” It’s a story he’s never told before.

“Everybody knows what I did on the ice. I tried to tell people what life was like for me away from the rink, in the locker rooms, on the planes, in the restaurants, in the bars, with my friends and my family, and my relationships. I think that’s what people want to know. They see one thing when you play but they want to know about the person, too. I think that’s intimacy I brought to the book,” said Roenick.

He signed copies of the book on Sunday, and his presence brought nearly 400 people to the Prince William Ice Center – a larger than usual crowd for a Sunday.

The center itself is on the rebound. A snow storm in 2010 led to the collapse of the center’s roof. Remarkably, everyone who was inside on the day it collapsed made it out without injury. But the center was ruined.

The absence of a hockey rink left many children without a place to play, and league hockey teams without a home. But the owners were undeterred and rebuilt the center better than it was before, and in late September 2011 reopened the doors. They credit a strong hockey brand in the area, as well as great community relationships with being able to attract top talent appear at their center, and to their overall second time around success.

“Bigger and better than ever… we got a plan, we have focused on our plan…we’ve made the right investments and the right relationships… our program is as big as it’s ever been…” said Prince William Hockey Club President Randy Wood.

When Roenick eventually got off the ice to sign copies of his book, some children still remained skating. It’s them who will carry on the love of the ice.

“Whether any of them ever make it to the pros, it’s an extreme long shot, but there’s always that diamond in the rough,” said Roenick.

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[Photo: Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]

Hockey All-Star Jeremy Roenick to Appear at Prince William Ice Center on Sunday

DALE CITY, Va. — A hockey great is coming to the Prince William Ice Center this weekend.

Jeremy Roenick, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and one of only four American-born players to score over 500 goals in his career in the National Hockey Leauge, will sign copies of his new book at the skate center at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Roenick’s new memoir, “J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey” is an autobiography about his career as a nine-time NHL All-Star player, and the book also delves into his 18 seasons with teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Fliers Flyers, and Los Angeles Kings.

Prior to the book signing, Roenick is slated to coach on the bench for the Prince William Hockey Club’s Travel Bantam against a team from Chevy Chase, Md. at noon. The public is invited to watch the game for free.

Here’s more about Roenick’s book in a press release:

In his new memoir J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey, Roenick, alongside Kevin Allen, shares his life story in this frank and unflinching autobiography. Holding nothing back in this often hilarious book, he tells of his rise to stardom as an 18-year-old playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. After being traded to several other teams – including the Philadelphia Flyers and L.A. Kings – Roenick used his skills to thrill fans on the ice with his flashy style and his take no-prisoners approach to playing hockey. Before finishing up his career as a player Roenick managed to rack-up 513 goals, the second most for any American-born NHL player. Now in this revealing autobiography Roenick takes his fans behind the scenes, bloody noses and all, of his illustrious career from the ice to the microphone.

The event is being brought to the region by the Prince William Hockey Club, which is a non-profit youth sports organization that plays at the Prince William Ice Center on Dale Boulevard in Dale City.

Dale City Civic Association Seeks Applications for Youth Awards


The Dale City Civic Association (DCCA) is seeking applicants for the Annual Youth Environmental and Conservation Award.

This award will be presented at DCCA’s Annual Recognition Banquet to be held on Jan. 26, 2013. Former Delegate David Brickley will be sponsoring a $500 cash prize with this award.

Open to Dale City youth, the criteria includes a youth’s major commitment to environmental, conservation or energy issues; community involvement, good scholastic grades; and a positive student role model or leader.

Applications should be limited to two pages describing the student’s community or school related environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation or energy project. The youth must be nominated by a teacher, counselor, youth or community leader.

Nominations should be sent to DCCA, P.O. Box 1822, Dale City, Va. 22195 by January 9th. Additional information can be provided by Ernestine Jenkins at 703-670-6907 or David Brickley at

Click here to submit news.

10 Most Clicked Stories of 2012

Powerful storms, car crashes that injured and killed youth, the opening of new restaurants, the loss of a familiar face at one of the area’s most famous restaurants, and the changing landscape of Woodbridge topped the list of the most clicked news stories of the year on

See the list below of the top 10 stories and tell us what should get an honorable mention.

Double Fatal Crash Investigated in North Stafford

On an early morning in September, a car crashed on Va. 610 in Stafford County, collided with a tree, and instantly killed a 15-year-old girl and 23-year-old man. Several others were injured.

4 Seriously Injured in Aquia Crash

The site of twisted metal wrapped around a tree jolted the Aquia Harbour neighborhood in July. Police said 19-year-old Daniel Ringler had just bought a new car, loaded it with some friends, and went for a drive.

The car crashed, two passengers were ejected, and police said alcohol appeared to have been involved in the crash.

New Dumfries Clinic on Schedule to Open

The Dumfries area got a lot of attention this summer when a new military health clinic relocated there from Woodbridge. The Dumfries Health Center is expected to serve 47,000 patients and is part of the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital System.

Connolly Calls on USPS to Release Hidden Report

The U.S. Postal Service completed a study that examined the impacts of cutting back mail delivery service from six days to five days per week. When the agency tried to keep the results of the survey a secret, it didn’t sit well with one area congressman.

Gloria Spooner Dies

If you’ve lived in the Potomac Communities for any length of time, especially if your path took your through Quantico – the crossroads of the Marine Corps – you know about the Globe and Laurel Restaurant.

Our area lost one of the faces that made the destination eatery what it is today.

Strong Storms Blow Through Region

It would become known as the Great Derecho Storm of 2012, but all we knew the night it blew in to our area was it was one of the strongest wind gusts we had ever felt here. The storm hit after dark on the last day of June, and when it left it took power, cell phone service, and peace of mind with it. Forth of July fireworks shows were canceled, boil water advisories were issued, and it was hot outside. Our continuous coverage of the storm’s aftermath was highly viewed.

Diner of TV Fame to Reopen in January

It may be the most famed diner in the Potomac Communities, but it has historically been one of the most unlucky businesses in the region. Now known as County Café, it opened as County Fare and was featured on the popular TV show Restaurant Impossible in 2011. After years of struggling to make a profit, the owner closed up shop. But when news came of a new owner coming to the spot, it got your attention.

Stonebridge Altering Woodbridge Landscape

It’s the town center that sprung up from nowhere. Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center made lots of headlines this year as many stores and restaurants in the new complex at Dale Boulevard and Interstate 95 opened their doors for the first time.

More than just stores, the complex also boasts housing making it a true mixed-use neighborhood.

Cheesecake Factory to Anchor Potomac Mills Renovation

Not to be outdone, the folks across the street from Potomac Town Center at Potomac Mills mall – a retail shopping staple in Woodbridge since 1985 – also announced some changes. Mall officials announced a new outdoor walkway that would be built in front of the mall, and would be anchored by a very well known restaurant.

102812-Sandy-radar Sandy: The Latest

Just as voters were making up their minds as to who they would choose to lead the nation over the next four years, Mother Nature decided she would blow Hurricane Sandy toward the Northeast, putting millions of people on alert.

While the Potomac Communities were spared the brunt of her damage, residents in New York and New Jersey weren’t so lucky. Our continuing coverage of the day kept readers in Prince William and Stafford counties informed.

Community Rallies for Injured Patriot High School Student


NOKESVILLE, Va. — Patriot High School freshman Danno Wernecke is working to overcome severe injuries from an ATV accident.

The Nokesville resident, who was known for his title as MVP of the freshman football team, was taken by helicopter to West Virginia Medical Hospital after being ejected from an ATV, which caused serious head trauma and leg injuries. The crash happened earlier this month in Maryland.

After several medical procedures to stabilize Danno, he has made progress on the long road to full recovery.

Nicknamed “D-Legend” after the accident, Danno will need to undergo occupational and speech therapy at the Mt. Vernon Rehabilitation Center to work on his memory and other cognitive functions.

“He’s getting better everyday – he’s awake, he’s very stable. He’s weeks ahead of schedule both on his leg and with his cognitive therapy,” said Danno’s father, Karl Wernecke.

While Danno will be able to overcome his injuries, the experience has been very trying for his family and the entire local community has reached out to the Wernecke family to show their support.

Members of the community have brought meals, worked on hotel accommodations for the family’s stays near the hospital, and even decorated their home for Christmas.

“It’s overwhelming. I think we are humbled that so many people care about our family, and [the community] has just gone above and beyond to support us; offering us rides, making dinners,” Karl said.

In order to keep family and community members updated, the Wernecke’s created a Facebook page as a way to report on Danno’s progress. On the page people have shared stories of their own injuries and accidents, giving the Wernecke family information about rehab centers and providing support.

“I’m a big believer in that I’d much rather give than receive. There’s so much giving right now towards our family and I’m just not used to it. It’s been a very humbling experience for us, to receive such overwhelming support. I think the most important thing has been the emotional support; every time we start to feel down, somebody will contact us or post something on the [Facebook] site that lifts our spirits again. It’s as if [the community] is carrying us on their shoulders,” Karl said.

In addition to bringing meals and gifts, members in the community have created a website with fundraising events in an attempt to raise money for the medical costs associated with Danno’s treatment. The website features D-Legend merchandise for sale, as well as all of the details of upcoming events to support Dano through fundraising efforts.

A “Do it for Danno Night” has even been created, set for February the 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Patriot High School which will allow community members to raise more awareness and proudly display their Danno emblem.


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