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Dale City Local

Acting Police Chief Named

Prince William County Police Department Acting Chief Lt. Col. Barry Barnard

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Prince William police Lt. Col. Barry Barnard has been named Acting Chief of the department.

The announcement comes a week after longtime Chief Charlie T. Deane announced his retirement from the force. Deane is one of the longest-serving police chiefs in the nation, holding the position since 2008. More now from a county press release:

Deputy Police Chief Lt. Col. Barry Barnard has been named Acting Police Chief effective Sept. 1, 2012. Last week, current Chief of Police Charlie Deane announced his retirement effective Sept. 1, 2012.

Barnard has been a member of the Prince William County Police Department since 1976, and has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. He has been Deputy Chief of Police since 2009, and served as Assistant Chief of Police from 2000 to 2009 as a Commander of both the Operations and Administrative Divisions.

Barnard is a graduate of George Mason University with a master’s degree in Public Administration. In addition, he has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy; the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute; the University of Richmond Professional Executive Leadership School and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute.

Barnard is a member of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Alumni and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Crime Watch: Racial Slurs Painted

FROM POLICE REPORTS:

DALE CITY 

Armed Robbery – On August 7th at 10:30PM, police responded to investigate a robbery which was reported to have occurred in the area of Kenwood Dr and Kenmar Dr in Woodbridge (22193) around 9:50PM. The victims, a 19 year old male and a 19 year old female – both of Woodbridge, reported to police that were in the above area to meet a known acquaintance when they were approached by an unknown man who displayed a shotgun and demanded money. The man took both victims cell phones and an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency before fleeing the area. After the incident, the victims drove to the police station to report the incident to police. No injuries were reported. This incident does not appear to be random. The investigation continues.

Lookout:

White male, between 17 & 21 years of age, 5’7” / 185lbs, medium build with short black hair and an unshaven appearance

Last seen wearing a white t-shirt, gray pants and a white skull mask

LAKE RIDGE

Residential Burglary – On August 6th at 6:26PM, police responded to the 3100 block of Rivanna Ct in Woodbridge (22192) for a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 12:10PM on August 2nd and 3:49PM on August 4th. There were no signs of forced entry. Three televisions and various electronics, valued around $3,000, were reported missing.

STAFFORD

Racial slurs and depictions of male genetailia was painted on neighborhood signs in the Hunters Pond and Seven Lakes neighborhoods on Stefaniga Drive. Stafford sheriff’s deputies received multiple calls about incidents of vandalism where “KKK” was painted on signs in the area, between late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. Mailboxes and street signs were also spray painted. Two homemade wooden wagon wheels were also destroyed. Cases of vandalism were also reported on Mountain View Road and Autumn Drive during the same time period.

 

I-95 HOT Lanes Construction Underway

By URIAH KISER

DALE CITY, Va. — It’s going to take two years and about $1 billon, but the effort to put toll lanes on Interstate 95 in Virginia is underway.

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell was in Dale City today for the kick off of the 95 Express Lanes project. The public-private effort between the state and road builder Transurban-Fluor will see the conversion of the High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes on I-95 between Dumfries and Edsall Road in Alexandria to toll lanes. The lanes will be extended an additional nine miles south to Va. 610 in North Stafford, and will include two new flyover ramps at Joplin Road in Triangle and Va. 610. The ramps should alleviate one of the the region’s worst bottlenecks on I-95 at the HOV merge in Dumfries, officials said.

It’ll cost about $5 per vehicle to use the lanes on the entire express lane span on I-95 once they’re completed in 2014, and they’ll be built in sections. The tolls single drivers will pay will change depending upon the amount of traffic in each section – the higher the traffic volume the higher the toll.

Drivers who enter the toll lanes at one price will be able to bail out of the express lanes if they later deem the posted price for the next section is set too high.

Buses and vehicles with three or more occupants will be able to use the lanes for free as they have on the HOV lanes for years, but when the new HOT lanes open, every vehicle will be required to have an E-Z Pass or E-Z Pass Flex in order to use them.

“We are one of the most business-friendly states in America and we’ve got challenges that we’re trying to overcome, and transportation infrastructure is at the top of the list. If you can’t move people and you can’t move goods quickly to market you’re not going to get the businesses to come here…and it’s going to affect the quality of life for all of us,” said McDonnell.

A toll lane network

Once completed in 2014, the 95 Express Lanes (High Occupancy Toll lanes or HOT lanes) will join HOT lanes on I-495 in Virginia that should open later this year. It’ll be the first time carpoolers and bus riders will be able to travel on a dedicated span of express lanes from the Potomac Communities in Stafford and Woodbridge to Tysons Corner, said Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton.

The first phase of construction, which Connaughton urged officials to begin today, will entail clearing brush and trees from the median at the current HOV merge at Dumfries south to Stafford County. That’s where new asphalt will be laid to make way for two new lanes that will take drivers to Va. 610 in North Stafford.

The portion of HOT lanes between Dumfries and Prince William Parkway will remain two lanes, however, the section of lanes between Prince William Parkway and Edsall Road will be restriped to accommodate a third lane of traffic.

A 76-year operating agreement with Transurban-Fluor and the mandates vehicles must maintain a speed of 55 mph at all times in the lanes, said Connaughton.

Jobs

Officials said the new lanes will not only ensure employers will want to come to the area, the project to build the lanes will also create new jobs. Of the nearly 8,000 jobs expected to come as part of the project, 2,600 of them will be in Prince William County and 900 will come to Stafford County.

With these new lanes, toll lanes opening soon on I-495, and talk of adding new HOT lanes on I-64 in Hampton Roads, transportation crews from around the world have come to Virginia to learn more about these public-private partnerships.

“This is going to be the model for transportation projects all over the world,” said Connaughton. “It’s not just Hampton Roads that’s considering adding HOT lanes, leaders from many international countries have come to Virginia to see what were doing with transportation.”

 

Crime Watch: Phone Threat Arrest Made, BBs Damage Windows

FROM POLICE REPORTS:

DALE CITY

Shooting at an Occupied Vehicle – On August 5th at 10:19PM, police responded to the area of Dale Blvd and Minnieville Rd in Woodbridge (22193) for a shooting at an occupied vehicle. The victim, a 27 year old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that while driving in the above area she heard a loud noise and discovered the rear window of her vehicle had been shattered. Following an investigation, police determined that the damage to the window was caused by a BB gun. No injuries were reported. The origin of the shot is unknown.

Reckless Handling of a Firearm – On August 5th at 1:58AM, police responded to the 13500 block of Kingsman Rd in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a firearms violation. Caller reported to police that several gunshots were heard in the area. The investigation revealed that an unknown suspect(s) fired multiple shots from a firearm while driving a vehicle in the above area. After the shots were fired the suspect(s) fled the area. While checking for property damage, officers discovered an unoccupied, parked vehicle in the above area which had been struck. No injuries were reported.

Vehicle Lookout:

Nissan or Toyota, 4-door, box style vehicle, tan or gold

Attempted Malicious Wounding / Unlawful Wounding – On August 4th at 8:05PM, police responded to the 4800 block of Kellogg Dr in Woodbridge (22193) for a fight. The victim, a 21 year old man of Woodbridge, reported to police that the accused, a known acquaintance, attempted to strike him with a vehicle while in the above area. The victim was able to get out of the way to avoid being hit. The accused then parked the vehicle, grabbed a metal yard stick and struck the victim in the arm causing minor injuries. Following the encounter, the accused returned to his residence nearby where he was located by police and arrested without incident.

Arrested:

Moises Alexander RIVAS ALFARO, 27, of 4810 Kellogg Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with attempted malicious wounding and unlawful wounding

Court date set for August 29, 2012, held WITHOUT bond

Indecent Exposure – On August 5th at 2:26PM, police responded to the K-Mart located at 5851 Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22193) for an indecent exposure. The victim, a 51 year old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she was inside the store when she encountered an unknown man, later identified as the accused. During the encounter, she observed the accused making inappropriate gestures. The accused then left the store in a vehicle prior to police arrival but was located a short distance away. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested.

Arrested:

Isaac RUIZ, 51, of 191 Ontario St #6 in Providence, RI

Charged with indecent exposure

Court date set for September 21, 2012, held WITHOUT bond

DUMFRIES

Residential Burglary – On August 4th at 12:55AM, police responded to the 3600 block of Jurgensen Dr in Dumfries (22026) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 2:30PM on August 3rd and 12:50AM on August 4th. Entry appeared to have been made through the front door which had been pried open. A DVD player and jewelry, valued around $13,000, were reported missing.

INDEPENDENT HILL

Phone Threats – On August 2nd at 2:56PM, police responded to the Edward L Kelly Leadership Center Building located at 14715 Bristow Rd in Manassas (20112) to investigate threats made against a Prince William County School official. The investigation revealed that that the accused had called the office of the school official and made the threats to a secretary. The accused was a former employee of the school system. Following an investigation, a warrant was obtained. The accused turned himself into police on August 3rd without incident.

Arrested:

Christopher Edward CARPENTER, 45, of 6558 Hickory Ridge Rd in

Spotsylvania

Charged with phone threats

Court date unavailable, held on a $5,000 secured bond

LAKE RIDGE

Strong Armed Robbery – On August 3rd at 9:28PM, police responded to the 2200 block of Tacketts Mill Dr in Woodbridge (22192) for a robbery. The victim, a 35 year old man of Lorton, reported to police that he was approached by an unknown man in the parking lot of the above location. During the encounter, the man put his arm around the victim’s neck and demanded money. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency from the victim before fleeing on foot. No injuries were reported. The investigation continues.

Lookout:

Black male, between 17 & 22 years of age, 5’8” / 130lbs, thin build

Last seen wearing a black mask, black shirt and black pants

NORTH STAFFORD

Windows Damaged — Stafford sheriff’s deputies were called to the area of Chadwick Drive and Goosepond Road in the Sky Terrace subdivision sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning after someone took a BB gun and tired to shoot out windows on various homes. There was also damage to vinyl siding on homes made by BBs fire at sides of the houses.

WOODBRIDGE

Residential Burglary – On August 4th at 4:50AM, police responded to the 2100 block of Mayflower Dr in Woodbridge (22192) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 11:30PM on August 3rd and 4:30AM on August 4th. Entry appeared to have been made through a rear window which had been broken out. A laptop, gaming console, jewelry and other items, valued around $4,000, in addition to, an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency were reported missing.

 

Stafford Expects Biggest ‘Night Out’ Yet

Eileen Hutchinson, 5, wearing a cow hat, visits a clown at the National Night Out celebration at Stafford Marketplace in 2010. (File)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — An annual National Night Out celebration in North Stafford will be the biggest yet.

Starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, 69 businesses and organizations – including fire departments, the county’s sheriff’s office, retailers, and volunteers organizations like the Stafford County SPCA, will set up booths and tables at Stafford Marketplace on Va. 610.

They’ll not only welcome area residents for music, demonstrations, and games, they’ll also welcome Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker.

Community participation in this year’s event will be much larger than last year’s.

“Each year we have grown by a few extra, but this year we exploded! In 2011, we were at 43 participants and this year, as noted, 69!” stated organizer Nick Zumwalt in an email.

This is the largest National Night Out Celebration in Stafford County, but several other smaller celebrations were held in neighborhoods throughout the county and are encouraged by Sheriff Charles Jett.

No large celebrations are planned for residents in Prince William County, but the celebration does not go unnoticed as the county’s police department has asked residents to turn on their porch lights, lock their doors, and spend the evening outside among neighbors.

Dumfries will celebrate National Night Out a day late, and encouraged children to participate in a poster contest. The posters will be judged Wednesday at the town’s community center.

Stafford celebration’s history

Event organizer Patricia Copeland said her Aquia Harbour Volunteer Rescue Squad began participating in the “night out” celebration in 2002. It was held at Stafford Marketplace for the first time in 2006.

“Last year we had over a 1,000 people join us. I am hoping for an awesome turnout this year,” said Copeland.

Copeland said Stafford’s “night out” event has won an award every year since 2008.

National Night Out was first celebrated nationwide in 1984 as a way to build communities and raise awareness about drug and crime prevention.

 

FEC Clears Indie Gibson to Run in 11th

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Mark Gibson – independent candidate for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District (VA-11) – received confirmation from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that it received and processed his principal campaign committee’s Statement of Organization, known as FEC Form 1.

Gibson’s committee will now file regular financial reports that contain all receipts and disbursements by the committee as required under the Federal Election Campaign Act. These reports can be accessed by the public at www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/imaging_help.shtml. Though not mandatory, Gibson voluntarily posts near-real-time campaign expenditures and donations under the “Finances” link of his website – www.Gibson4congress2012.com.

Gibson is now accepting contributions but only from individual 11th District voters, saying, “This campaign is based in the neighborhoods and communities that make up this District. As an independent, I’m not looking to any political movement, organization, or outside supporter. I’ll only consider local financial help.” Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, Gibson is permitted to accept contributions from a wide array of individuals and groups but has voluntarily chosen to limit contributions to those that may vote for him.

-Press release 

Children’s Choir Forming

DUMFRIES, Va. — The Prince William County Children’s Choir will begin its first season this fall for children ages five to 12-years-old.

Founder and Music Director Amanda Long will hold auditions August 25 and 25, and September 8 and 9. Participants are not required to have any music training to audition, only be able to read. Audition registration will open on August 10 and the choir has space for up to 60 participants for the first year; the first rehearsal will be held September 15.

The estimated cost per child to participate in the choir is $135 each. Once registered, the money is fully refundable until the first rehearsal on Sept. 15. In addition to learning and rehearsing choral music, children will also have performing opportunities in the community later this year. Rehearsal space with a piano is still being organized and sites are needed. If you know of a space in a church or municipal building with a piano, please contact Amanda Long at 571-318-6225.

Prince William County Children’s Choir is a non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible. There are many additional opportunities for community and parent volunteers, as well as an opportunity for an intern with interests in music, children’s education, or community outreach.

For all the most current details, visit pwcchildrenschoir.org.

-Submitted 

 

Chick-fil-A’s Cathy Postpones Appearance

PRINCE WILLAM COUNTY, Va. — Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has always been welcomed at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, he just won’t visit them this year.

With that, the chamber this afternoon answered mounting questions focusing whether or not it would host Cathy at speaking engagement in Manassas on Nov. 27. Cathy was scheduled to speak with local business leaders about the success of his fast food restaurant chain, but chamber members complained after following a public statement by Cathy noting marriage should only be between a man and woman.

Cathy’s appearance has been rescheduled in early 2013, and all of Cathy’s speaking engagements have been canceled for the remainder of the year, according to the chamber.

Additionally, rumors that the Prince William Chamber of Commerce was considering rescinding Cathy’s invitation were false.

“While we are disappointed at having to move the date of the event, we look forward to offering this opportunity to our membership early in 2013. We know that a great many of our members will understand that, as a business leader, there are times when you must pull back and focus on day-to-day operations. In light of recent events, particularly the loss of one of their long-time employees and top executives, we respect the decision of the Chick-fil-A leadership team in taking the time to do just that.”

The “recent events” Clapper referenced is last week’s death of Chick-fil-A’s long-time corporate spokesman Donald Perry, who had worked for the company for 29 years.

Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge agreed to sponsor Cathy’s Nov. 27 appearance, and will still sponsor Cathy’s scheduled appearance next year.

Prince William County has a unique tie-in with Chick-fil-A. The company’s highest grossing store is on Prince William Parkway near Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge.

 

PRTC Upgrades Phone System

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — An upgrade to the phone system at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission provides riders easier access to vital travel information without having to wait to personally speak with a Customer Service Agent.

The upgraded phone system saves some passengers from waiting on hold to speak with PRTC staff and enables PRTC Customer Service Agents to devote more time to callers who need individualized attention.

The improved phone system enables passengers to:

• Receive scheduled bus arrival times based on the bus stop number or bus route;

• Learn about bus fares and passes;

• Hear service alerts; and

• Confirm or cancel previously scheduled off-route trips on OmniLink local buses.

PRTC’s OmniLink local buses can travel up to ¾ mile off the standard route to pick up and drop off passengers who are unable to access a regular bus stop. Passengers must call Customer Service at least two hours in advance to book OmniLink off-route trips.

To access information about OmniLink off-route bus trips, callers must speak once with a Customer Service agent to get their personalized phone system ID and password. Once callers have that information, they may confirm or cancel their scheduled trip at any time of the day or night. All other information on the phone system is available without an ID or password.

PRTC provides commuter and local bus services in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The Customer Service office is open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To speak with an agent or test the new phone system, call (703) 730-6664.

-Press release 

 

Dale City to Host I-95 HOT Lanes Kick Off

By LAURA CIRILLO

DALE CITY, Va. — Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will appear in Dale City on Tuesday to announce the start of construction for the Interstate 95 Express Lanes project.

The project, which will convert the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes between Dumfries and the Springfield Mixing Bowl to High Occupancy Toll, or HOT lanes, will forever change the way commuters travel on I-95.

Scheduled to join McDonnell at the 9:30 a.m. groundbreaking at a rest area on I-95 south is Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connnaughton, Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Rob Wittman, Delegate Bill Howell, of Stafford, and Prince William County Board of Supervisor Chairman At-large Corey Stewart.

The project will not only convert a portion of the existing HOV lanes between Dumfries and Edsall Road in Alexandria, but will extend the lanes nine miles south from Dumfries to Va. 610 (Garrisonville Road) in North Stafford. Also included in the construction will be eight new or improved access points to and from the express lanes at key interchanges, as well as the addition or expansion of commuter parking lots.

The finished project will result in 29 miles of HOT lanes which vehicles with three or more occupants can access for free. Vehicles with just one occupant can choose to pay a toll to use the lanes.

All vehicles will be required to have an E-Z Pass or E-Z Pass Flex to use the lanes, and the toll will vary depending on the amount of vehicles in the express lanes. For single drivers, the average commute is expected to cost somewhere between $5 and $6, according a press release.

The groundbreaking of the 95 Express Lanes comes as McDonnell finally announced the approval of the nearly $1 billion project on Tuesday, which for months had been the worst kept secret in transportation news.

The project in 2008 was marred in controversy and was placed on hold after Arlington County sued the state and pushed for more environmental impact studies to be done before construction could begin. Prince William County officials also opposed I-95 HOT lanes until concessions were made and a handful of new road improvement projects in the county were announced in early 2011.

Ultimately, Arlington officials dropped their lawsuit and state transportation officials redrew plans to end the I-95 HOT lanes facility at Edsall Road.

Calling it “a historical day for transportation and the economy in Virginia,” McDonnell stated that the project will provide congestion relief for Northern Virginia and will add close to 8,000 jobs during the two-year project, which is expected to be completed by 2014.

“The 95 Express Lanes combined with the nearly completed 495 Express Lanes will bring a transportation network that manages congestion efficiently, saving time and better connecting commuters with some of Virginia’s most important employment centers and military sites,” added Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton.

The $925 million project is a joint venture between Transurban Drive and Fluor Enterprises, Inc. The Virginia Department of Transportation will maintain ownership of the infrastructure and will continue to manage the project. Transurban and Fluor  will provide $854 million in funding, with VDOT providing the remaining $71 million in public funds, according to the press release.

Integrated in the funding is a traffic safety and enforcement program, which will include technology and crews needed for incident detection and response, as well as more Virginia State Troopers to help reduce the number of HOV violators.

 

Prince William’s Chief Deane Retiring

BREAKING NEWS

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The leader of the Prince William County Police Department, Chief Charlie T. Deane, one of the agency’s original officers when the department was founded in 1970, will retire. More from a press release:

Today, Prince William County Executive, Melissa Peacor, announced the retirement of Chief of Police Charlie T. Deane. Chief Deane is currently one of the longest standing police chiefs in the country. He has been chief for more than 24 years. During that time, Deane has overseen numerous investigations, such as the now famous D.C. Sniper Case, the East Coast Rapist Case, and more recently, he oversaw the County’s handling of the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Issue that has since become a hallmark of good policing. Deane was one of the original officers of the Police Department when he transferred from the Virginia State Police to the newly formed Prince William County Police Department as a detective in 1970. His last day as Chief of Police for Prince William County is Sept. 1, 2012.

MORE TO THE STORY: Aquia Harbour police Chief Trish Harmon recalls her 30 years of working with Deane

“This is a tough day for me personally and for the County. Chief Deane has served the citizens of this County with unparalleled integrity and commitment,” said Melissa Peacor, County Executive. “Chief Deane has been a stalwart of law enforcement in this community, this Commonwealth and this nation, bringing innovation and leadership to the business of Policing. Charlie has served with many County Executives over the years, and I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that he has been both a friend and an advisor”.

Since Deane started with the department, it has grown to more than 580 sworn and 300 civilians and has gained a sterling reputation under the guidance of Chief Deane, whose own reputation has grown to a national level. Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the prestigious Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a well-respected law enforcement think tank in Washington, D.C., said of Deane: “As the Vice President of our organization, Chief Deane has gained a solid national reputation as a fair, lawful and reasonable chief of police. His work on immigration has become a model for many other cities in the United States. Charlie is truly one of the great chiefs of police—a leader of excellent character, competence and caring.”

“I have been honored to work with Chief Deane over the past nine years,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. Chief Deane has provided outstanding service to the citizens of Prince William County and leadership to the Police Department and the entire organization. He has presided over a department known for its excellence and integrity, and although we are sad to see him go, he leaves us with a department made up of men and women who share his professionalism.”

Before deciding any future professional plans, Chief Deane plans on taking some time off, which he says will include some fishing, traveling and working on his family farm in Orange County.

 

HOV Lanes to Close 3 Nights This Week

The Virginia Department of Transportation will close the I-95 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes overnight starting on Wednesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 2, from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m., and again on Friday, August 3 from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., for traffic shifts.

Wednesday night August 1, and Thursday night, August 2, the I-95 HOV lanes will be closed from Exit 152, Dumfries Road (Route 234) to Exit 169, Franconia Road /Keene Mill Road (Route 644) from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. On Friday night, August 3, this closure will be in place from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m.

During night work hours the HOV lanes will be open heading north from the slip ramp on I-95 near Exit 169, Franconia Road/Keene Mill Road to the Washington, D.C. line.

On Saturday, August 4, all HOV lanes will reopen beginning at 9 a.m. heading north toward Washington, D.C.

-Virginia Megaprojects press release 

Jury Text Messages Are False, police say

MANASSAS, Va. — Don’t pay any attention to that text message claiming to be from the courthouse: police say it’s a fake.

Prince William police this morning said text messages had apparently gone out to some residents in the area warning them they had missed jury duty and that are in trouble.

Police posted to a notice and said the Clerk’s Office at the Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas doesn’t send out text messages.

The alert from police:

*ALERT: The Prince William County Courthouse has received numerous phone calls this morning from concern citizens regarding a text message they received stating that they had missed jury duty at the “Manassas county courthouse” and are in violation.

**THIS MESSAGE IS NOT AN OFFICIAL MESSAGE AND WAS NOT SENT BY COURTHOUSE STAFF**

The Clerk’s Office of the Courthouse does not send any text messages. If you receive a text message about jury duty, please ignore the message and contact the courthouse at circuitcourt@pwcgov.org

 

Child Shooting Victim Identified

3 p.m. Thursday 

Police today identified Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, 4, of the 14800 block of Empire St in Dale City, as the child who accidentally shot and killed himself outside his home Wednesday afternoon.

5:30 p.m. Wednesday 

At 3:25 p.m., a family member called police to report that the victim, a 4-year-old boy of Woodbridge, was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. The victim sustained severe injuries and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

At this time, it appears this is an accidental shooting and that the injury was self-inflected.

The scene appears to be isolated to a vehicle parked on the street. No other injuries were reported.

-Prince William police 

DALE CITY, Va. — A child has been “severely injured” in what’s being described as an accidental shooting in the 14800 block of Empire Street in Dale City.

We know the child is being treated for his injuries, but police have released few other details about the case.

We’ll have more on this developing story as it becomes available.

 

Ceremony Will Recognize Public Safety Promotions

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — The Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department on Thursday night will recognize 23 uniform members recently promoted to the ranks of Technician II, Lieutenant, Captain and Battalion Chief. Telecommunicators from the Office of Public Safety Communications will also be acknowledged for recent promotion.

A public ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at Forest Park High School near Dumfries. Retired Battalion Chief Hadden Culp will lead the ceremony and a reception will follow.

Department of Fire and Rescue Technician II

Yasmin Ahmady

Gregory Briney

Jay Byler

Bobby Cook

Terry Fuller

Daniel Gough

Kyle Kosinski

Matthew Livingston

Brendon Malone

Andrew Marsh

Timothy Moore

Robert Moreau

Joshua Owens

Helton Pereira

Brian Reader

Matthew Stewart

Jessica Weatherly

David Wesley

Lieutenant

Andrew Jeremiah

Regina Miller

Captain

Gene Luckinbill

Chip Morrison

Battalion Chief

Curtis Brodie

Office of Public Safety Communications

Zachary Fuhrman, Telecommunicator II

Philip Hunnicuttt, Telecommunicator II

Karen Lackey, Telecommunicator II

Hesuk Kim, Telecommunicator III

 

Mother Cleaning up Street after Losing Son

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SATURDAY CLEAN UP

DALE CITY, Va. — It’s been a long road back to normal for Carol Hakenson, and now she’s adopted a road of her own in memory of her late son.

On a September night in 2009, Hakenson brought dinner to her son who was living with friends in a house on Kentwood Drive in Dale City. When she pulled up to the house she saw the unthinkable – ambulances and fire trucks staged outside her son’s home.

That night 27-year-old Alan Joshua “Josh” Weaver died in a drug overdose. It changed Hakenson’s life forever.

“He was humble, his laugh was engaging, but he just chose to get involved with the wrong thing,” she said.

Hoping to call attention to her son’s drug addiction in a warning others, and to keep Josh’s memory alive, Hakenson adopted a portion of Kerrydale Road between Dale Boulevard and Kentwood Drive. It’s now up to her, Josh’s friends, and volunteers to clean litter from the street four times a year.

Hakenson hopes the community will join her at Kerrydale Elementary School on Kerrydale Road at 7 a.m. Saturday, where she’ll provide volunteers gloves, vests, juice, and snacks in exchange for helping them keep clean a portion of this neighborhood street.

“The grieving process has been a long one, but another mother I know has done this and she talked me in to this as a way to keep his memory alive,” said Hakenson.

Josh went to Godwin Middle School and later moved to Fairfax County to live with his father. He later moved back to a condo in Lake Ridge, and then to the house in Dale City to live with his friends.

Hakenson hopes to go into the same schools her son attended to share her story with students, illustrating for them the dangers of drug abuse, and showing them what life is like when drugs take the life of someone you love.

“A lot of parents like me don’t want  to think their children are doing anything wrong, but if I can help just one parent avoid a loss like mine then I think I’ve done something good,” she said.

 

Arrests Made in Armed Robbery, Burglary

Ferrufino

Two men have been arrested in connection with two separate incidents in Prince William County. More from police reports:

Armed Robbery* ARREST – On July 20th, detectives from the Robbery Unit arrested one of the suspects, the accused, involved in the armed robbery which was reported to have occurred in the 1800 block of Clarinet Ct in Woodbridge on June 12th. The accused was arrested without incident.

Arrested:

Edgardo Salomon FERRUFINO, 21, of 7060 Lakota Ct #404 in

Woodbridge

Charged with armed robbery and the use of a firearm in commission of

a felony

Court date set for August 23, 2012, held WITHOUT bond

 Armed Robbery (Previously Released) – On June 12th at 11:46PM, police responded to the 1800 block of Clarinet Ct in Woodbridge (22191) for an attempted robbery. The victim, a 27 year old female of Woodbridge, reported to police that he was walking in the area of the Prince William Plaza when she was approached by 2 unknown men. One man produced a gun and demanded money from the victim. When it was determined the victim had no money on her person she was released without incident. No injuries were reported and no property was taken.

Helms

Residential Burglary *ARREST – On July 21st, police arrested a suspect, the accused, involved in the burglary which was reported to have occurred in the 4700 block of Kirkdale Dr in Woodbridge on July 17th. The accused was arrested without incident.

Arrested:

Brandon Kyle HELMS, 24, of 13314 Packard Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with burglary and grand larceny

Court date unavailable, held on a $10,000 secured bond

 

Residential Burglary (Previously Released) – On July 17th at 5:01PM, police responded to the 4700 block of Kirkdale Dr in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:15AM and 11:30AM. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Entry is believed to have been made through an unsecured door. Miscellaneous items, valued around $200, were reported missing.

New Grants Benefit Free Clinic, Midwifery

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A series of grants was awarded this month by the Potomac Health Foundation, based out of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, to local non-profit agencies in the Potomac Communities. More from the foundation’s press release:

The all-volunteer Board of Directors of Potomac Health Foundation approved grants to 17 not-for-profit agencies. This is only the second set of grants the foundation has awarded since its founding in December 2009. The total dollars awarded was $3,720,427 to support 21 health related projects.

The grants ranged in size from approximately $35,000 to $800,000. Grants were awarded through a competitive application process that began in January 2012. “The grant process was very successful,” said Dr. Carol Shapiro, who chairs the Grants Committee. “We were pleased to award grants to nine first-time agency recipients.” The funded projects will address three community goals of Potomac Health Foundation.

The first foundation goal is to increase access to primary health care for underserved and hard-to-reach populations. An example of an agency serving the first goal is Prince William Area Free Clinic. The Clinic received a grant of $802,603 to expand their clinic on Church Hill Drive in Woodbridge. The grant funded expansion will allow Prince William Area Free Clinic to consolidate clinical services and substantially increase the operating hours and number of patients served.

The second foundation goal is to reduce the incidence of preventable disease and illness. An example of an agency serving the second goal is Project Mend-A-House. The agency received a grant of $75,000 to provide medical alert equipment, assistive living equipment and home repairs so that seniors and persons with disabilities may live safely at home, at less risk of falling or injury.

The third foundation goal is to address emerging health needs and foster innovation innovative projects. An example of an agency serving the third goal is Manassas Midwifery. This agency received a grant of $195,720 to expand their Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting programs, which provide prenatal care to at-risk women and a continuum of care to mother and baby through the first year of life. The grant will allow Manassas Midwifery to open a new location in the Dumfries areas.

 

PRTC Helps Thousands Travel in Northern Virginia

Welcome to Northern Virginia. Expect delays. Residents here know there is no shortage of cars and that congestion on local roads and highways can be a way of life.

That’s why thousands of people each day rely on the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission to help ease their ride, whether it be to work, school, or play.

OmniRide

One of the most popular commuter bus services in the region, PRTC OmniRide allows commuters a one-seat ride from areas in Prince William County and the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park to their jobs in Washington, D.C., Arlington, and other stops in the close-in suburbs of Northern Virginia.

See OmniRide bus routes and schedules.  See OmniRide fares.

Whether riders catch the bus from a park-and-ride commuter lot or they walk to an OmniRide bus stop in their neighborhood, commuters have come to rely on this safe, quiet, and reliable ride. OmniRide buses use High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstates 95, 395, and 66 to get where they’re going, breezing by other cars that often slow down or get stuck in traffic in regular travel lanes.

“Northern Virginia has infamous traffic congestion, and by offering commuter bus services, we hope to take people out of their cars and allow them a quicker and stress-free ride in the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes,” said PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo.

PRTC Customer Service Agent Kenyetta Whitford takes a call from a customer. Whitford helps customers get where they need to go.

Tysons Express

OmniRide buses also take passengers to Tysons Corner, a job center full of financial, contracting, and technology firms as well as world-class shopping. Tysons Corner has become an overall economic juggernaut in the region, and it’s also where new highway construction as part of the I-495 Express Lanes Project and construction of the new Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project collide.

Tysons Express riders don’t need to worry about lane closures or finding parking.

See Tysons Express AM bus and PM bus schedules and fares.

Each weekday, Tysons Express buses pick up passengers at two commuter lots in Woodbridge, travel on the HOV express lanes on I-95, and then use a portion of the Capital Beltway to access Tysons Corner, all while passengers relax and enjoy amenities like free wireless internet access.

“Instead of just sitting behind the wheel stuck in traffic, listening to the radio, you can be online, be on your smart phone, be paying bills, you can be reading, you can nap.It’s time that gets put back into your schedule to do things that you need to get done every day,” said Rodrigo.

Many riders begin and end their commutes, or transfer to other PRTC buses at the agency’s Transit Center in Woodbridge.

Metro Direct

PRTC offers three options for those who need to travel to and from the nearby Metro stations. Those who live in eastern Prince William County have weekday connections with the Franconia-Springfield Metro, while those in the Manassas area have weekday connections with the West Falls Church Metro. And Gainesville area residents have rush-hour connections with the West Falls Church Metro.

See Metro Direct bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Linton Hall Metro Direct AM

Linton Hall Metro Direct PM

Manassas Metro Direct AM

Manassas Metro Direct PM 

Prince William Metro Direct AM

Prince William Metro Direct PM 

“The Metro station parking lots fill up early in the morning, but those who ride a Metro Direct bus don’t have to worry about parking because the bus drops passengers off near the Metro entrance,” said Rodrigo.

Many of the OmniLink local bus routes that serve eastern Prince William County stop at the PRTC Transit Center in Woodbridge.

OmniLink local bus service

Now we know how to get to and from Prince William, but what if you want to get around locally? From sun up to sun down OmniLink is your link around town.

From humble beginnings in 1995, OmniLink has grown to serve major transportation corridors in our area, including U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, Dale Boulevard in Dale City and Sudley Road in Manassas, taking passengers to popular destinations like Potomac Mills mall, government buildings, employment centers, schools, and colleges.

See OmniLink local bus routes and schedules. See OmniLink local bus service fares.

“We recognize that people are in one-car households but have two people working, or there’s a teenager who has a driver’s license but the family, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to have another vehicle…and then you have people just out of economic necessity or medical reasons who cannot have a driver’s license or a vehicle. Local bus service helps all of these people get around and do all of the things we do every day,” said Rodrigo.

PRTC training supervisor Delwyn Harvey, on left, goes over a safety check for one of the buses with prospective operators.

Cross County Connector

Those who need to travel between eastern Prince William and the Manassas area can rely on the Cross County Connector. The bus operates weekdays and connects Potomac Mills Mall and Manassas Mall with stops along Prince William County Parkway and Old Town Manassas.

See Cross County Connector bus routes, schedules, and fares:

Eastbound (Manassas to Woodbridge)

Westbound (Woodbridge to Manassas)

Dozens of OmniRide busses are lined up ready to go out on the afternoon runs at PRTC in Woodbridge.

OmniMatch

Sometimes the bus doesn’t suit a person’s work schedule or destination. That’s why PRTC created the OmniMatch ridesharing service. Simply answer a few questions about your work hours, origination point and destination, and you’ll be entered into a regional database of commuters who are looking for carpools and vanpools. The service is fast, free and couldn’t be easier!

OmniSmartCommute

Employers looking for a recruiting and retention tool are turning to this free program! The OmniSmartCommute staff helps employers to create, implement and expand commuter strategies to save their staff members money and hassles. Some popular options are providing preferential parking for carpoolers, installing bike racks and showers for bicyclists, and offering flextime, compressed work weeks and telework.

On-The-Go Travel Training

Some people want to use public transportation but don’t ride because they are not familiar with the services and how they operate. PRTC’s new grant-funded travel training program is designed to help potential riders get over the hurdle of the unfamiliar and become confident users of public transportation. This free program provides one-on-one or group training sessions.

Easy to ride and pay with SmarTrip

No matter where you’re going, and no matter if you take a PRTC bus or Metro train, bring your SmarTrip card for an easy way to pay for your ride. SmarTrip is a rechargeable fare card used on multiple transportation systems in the Washington, D.C. region. One card makes it easy to connect with other services and makes travel outside our local community easier.

It also takes away the need to have exact change or proper fare, and riders can easily add more fare to their cards.

With so many options to choose from, PRTC has the Ride that’s Right for You!

PRTC’s offices and Transit Center are located at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge.

 

Crime Watch: Rape of Girl, 14, Investigated

FROM POLICE REPORTS 

Rape / Indecent Liberties – On July 19, detectives from the Special Victims Unit concluded an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 1300 block of Oregon Ave in Woodbridge (22191). The investigation revealed that victim, currently a 14 year old female, was raped by the accused, a known acquaintance, in March of 2010. Recently, in June of 2012, the accused sent the victim sexually explicit text messages. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested.

Arrested: (No Photo Available)

Gilberto ARANA MEJIA, 26, of the 1300 block of Oregon Ave in Woodbridge. charged with rape (for the March 2010 incident) and taking indecent liberties with a child (for the June 2012 incident). Court date unavailable, held without bond.

Residential Burglary – On July 18at 1:46AM, police responded to the 1300 block of East Longview Dr in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9 p.m. on July 16 and 1a.m. on July 17. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Entry is believed to have been made through an unlocked rear sliding glass door. A firearm, valued around $600, was reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 17 at 5:01 p.m., police responded to the 4700 block of Kirkdale Dr in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. There were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Entry is believed to have been made through an unsecured door. Miscellaneous items, valued around $200, were reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On July 16 at 2:45 p.m., police responded to the 13600 block of Garfield Pl in Woodbridge (22191) for a burglary. Homeowner reported to police that the burglary occurred between 8:40AM and 2:40PM. Entry appeared to have been made through a sliding glass door which had been pried open. A laptop, jewelry and 2 cameras, valued around $1,400, were reported missing.

Attempted Residential Burglary – On July 18 at 12:46PM, police responded to the 15600 block of John Diskin Cl in Woodbridge (22191) for an attempted burglary. Homeowner reported to police that between 6:30AM and 9:00AM, an unknown person(s) attempted entry into the residence through the front door. Homeowner observed the door handle hanging from the door. No entry was made due to a secondary lock being in place. No items were reported missing.

Attempted Residential Burglary – On July 17 at 3:05PM, police responded to the 5100 block of Race Pointe Pl in Woodbridge (22193) for an attempted burglary. Homeowner reported to police that between 7:00AM on July 10 and 3:00PM on July 17, an unknown person(s) attempted entry into the residence through the front door. Homeowner observed drill holes in the deadbolt. No entry was gained into the residence and no items were reported missing.

 

Storms Leave Power Out, More on the Way

Another round of violent storms swept through the region late Thursday into early Friday morning causing more power outages.

At 5 a.m. Friday, 66 Dominion Virginia Power customers who live near Leesylsvania State Park in Woodbridge and four who live in the Brooke section of Stafford County, were without power. Eight Northern Virginia Electric Power customers in Prince William County were also without power.

Today, a flash flood watch is posted from noon today through this evening as more storms could bring heavy downpours and localized flooding, according to the National Weather Service. The showers and thunderstorms are expected between 1 and 11 p.m.

Tomorrow, they’ll be a break in the recent heat wave as temperatures should reach 79 degrees, with showers and thunderstorms still in the forecast.

 

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