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Dumfries Local

Shoppers Stock Up Ahead of Sandy


DALE CITY, Va. — As Hurricane Sandy moves its way toward the Potomac Communities, families and companies all over Northern Virginia are preparing.

Prompted by the derecho this past June that took many off guard, and leaving several people without power and supplies for extended periods, there is a bigger sense of preparedness for Hurricane Sandy.

At Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City supplies are flying off the shelves; with batteries, flashlights and candles being among the top most purchased items, according to Meagan Stephens, a cashier at the store. Another popular item many are flocking to are sand bags.

“People are especially buying those to keep from flooding,” Stephens said.

While they have plenty of flashlights in stock, the store is currently out of propane tanks.

Dominion Virginia Power and NOVEC are also taking preemptive measures – and are urging their customers to do the same. A press release issued Saturday by Dominion Power warned this storm is likely to be long lasting, and that customers need to be ready for long term outages.

“This storm system will build in intensity over time and will remain a force for days, not just hours, causing major damage and extensive power outages,” said spokesman Rodney Blevins. Dominion has made a commitment to have teams on the ground as soon as the worst of the storm is over, to help restore power to affected communities.

NOVEC is also prepared with teams to fix any damage and outages in the Northern Virginia area, and has stressed safety and emergency preparedness. One tip that NOVEC offered all customers was to get in touch with NOVEC and ensure that they have your up to date contact information on file, so they can get in contact with you and restore your service as quickly as possible.

“If you use a cell phone, call us at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to associate your number with your account,” the press release states.

Take a look at these hurricane preparedness tips, published by NOVEC:

? Designate the safest shelter location. Be prepared to leave a mobile home for better protection. Develop a plan for someone disabled.

? Have an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights, fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches, and first aid. If applicable, have enough prescription drugs, pet food, and baby-care items.

? Have identification and documentation ready to grab. Keep Social Security information; birth certificates; home, car, and life insurance files; and other important documents in a water-proof file box.

? Cordless phones do not work when power is out; keep cell phones charged.

? Before a storm hits, unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave oven, and computers to protect them from power surges and lightning strikes.

What to do if Power Goes Out

? Call NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, or report the outage online at if you have access. The Outage Center will provide updates.

? Only open freezers and refrigerators when necessary.

? Use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.


Area Conditions to Worsen Sunday Night

Sandy is on again, off again as the massive tropical cyclone is once again upgraded to a hurricane. Showing signs of weakening at 5 a.m. Saturday, by 8 a.m. Hurricane Sandy was once again a category one storm 335 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C. with sustained 75 mph winds.

As the storm is expected to pick up speed and make its way closer to Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic states, it’s also expected to bring a storm surge of two to four feet to the lower Chesapeake Bay, heavy rain between four and 12 inches in some spots, and high wind.

Conditions in the Potomac Communities are expected to start downhill Sunday night as rain moves in and wind picks up. Wind and rain is expected to pick up Monday as Sandy moves over the area.

As of 9 a.m., there were no watches or warnings for the Potomac Communities.

Cold air will filter into the region following the storm. The high temperature forecast for the Potomac Communities on  Tuesday is 48 degrees. 


Public schools in Prince William and Stafford counties have told parents, students, faculty and staff to monitor their respective school divisions websites for closure information. No cancelations for either institution have been posted yet.

Utilities prepare

Power crews Dominion Virginia Power, NOVEC, and crews from Manassas have all said they are monitoring the storm. In Manassas, there is a focus on monitoring Lake Manassas’ levels to prevent flooding as well as clear storm drains of debris.

The city is fortunate to have 80 percent of their power lines underground as major power outages are forecast for the region. The city issued a statement late Friday afternoon:


The Manassas City Police Department has canceled all training activities for Monday and Tuesday. This will allow for more officers on the street to assist residents. The City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Department Emergency Management staff will be monitoring the storm throughout the weekend.

Fire & Rescue personnel will be checking equipment and preparing for extended operations. Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue will have swift water rescue response boats and equipment staffed and available to assist the City of Manassas and the region should they be needed.


Stafford County fire and rescue officials also urged residents to also closely monitor the storm


Lines at the grocery store on Friday afternoon were beginning to back up as shoppers gathered supplies.

Batteries, non-perishable foods, and water were just some of the items on shoppers’ lists. It’s recommended to freeze water in prior to the storm so it will be cold in the event power goes out. Officials also urged residents to have a NOAA weather radio in the event of a power loss or loss of cell phone communications, as was the case during June’s Derecho storm.


Comments on U.S. 1 Wanted by Friday

Photo: Federal Highway Administration EFLHD

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. –– A better U.S. 1 between Stafford and Prince William counties – they’re studying the possibility.

Federal officials want to hear from the public by Friday on plans to improve the four-lane highway corridor of U.S. 1 between Telegraph Road in Stafford County and Joplin Road in Prince William County. The portion of roadway is highly trafficked by those who work in and around Quantico Marine Corps Base.

There are two separate studies underway in the corridor – one that looks at the whole stretch of road spanning both counties, and another which focuses on U.S. 1 at Telegraph Road, commonly known as Boswell’s Corner.

Officials have made PDFs of presentation documents available for download on their website. After reviewing them, drivers and residents are encouraged to submit their feedback electronically to addresses listed on the site.


Prince William Withholds Names in Search for Police Chief


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — One man’s push for transparency in government has been met with pushback.

Resident blogger Al Alborn asked Prince William County officials to the see the names of county residents who were asked to serve on a special interview panel that will help to decide the next chief of the Prince William County Police Department. The panel comes as Chief Charlie T. Deane retired Sept. 1.

The panel will also include several local government officials who will interview candidates and bring their final decisions to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors — the county’s governing board that is expected to select a new chief early next year.

“I had heard that a panel was formed to select our next Police Chief. Since it isn’t ‘rocket science’ that whomever is on that panel will influence the nature of the decision, I sent a quick email to my supervisor, Marty Nohe, asking who was on it,” Alborn penned in his blog.

That simple request was elevated to a full Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application that was sent to County Attorney Angela Horan. She wrote back to Alborn and told him, just as county officials told when asked about names of those on the interview panel, that information was off limits.

Alborn posted Horan’s response on his blog and that got the attention of Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland who demanded the information be public.

“…it was my understanding that the names of those individuals who were under consideration to serve on this citizens panel would be confidential until the members had agreed to serve and the panel commenced functioning…” Candland stated in a letter to Horan.

The elected leader apparently sent the letter after he read Alborn’s blog post.

Immigration debate

The changeover of a new police chief comes as the Department of Homeland Security placed Prince William’s 287(g) program – where inmates at the county’s jail have their immigration status screened by trained sheriff’s deputies – under review.

Residents like Alborn supported Deane who oversaw a department with overall high satisfaction ratings. Deane also protested a 2007 decision that was later overturned to have his officers question anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

That created friction between Prince William’s At-large Supervisor, Corey Stewart, who said one’s stance on illegal immigration will be a “litmus test” in deciding who the county’s next police chief will be, and blames the president for the putting the 287(g) program at risk.

“It’s obviously important to me that whoever we hire is a strong believer of immigration enforcement. We’ve had problems with illegal immigrants committing crimes in the past, we have a program in place which is now in jeopardy because of the Obama administration, but if we’re able to get that decision overturned by a Romney administration we expect whoever we hire is going to be a proponent of our efforts,” said Stewart.

Stewart was not in favor of releasing the names of anyone on the interview panel keeping with concern aired by county officials that if the names get out, those on the panel, and their decision, may be unduly influenced by friends and neighbors.

The police department

Prince William’s police department is currently headed by Acting Chief Barry Bernard. He’s been with the department since 1976 and served as its assistant chief from 2000 until 2009. The department has 750 sworn and civilian members that make up its ranks.

The county is no longer accepting applications for the chief’s position but has left a job description on its website to serve as a source of information about the job.

Dumfries Meets Candidates Over Lunch


DUMFRIES, Va. — The candidates for Dumfries Town Council met for lunch Friday.

During a special luncheon for senior citizens two of the three candidates vying for two open seats on the Town Council – incumbent Gwenn Washington and write-in candidate Derrick Wood—addressed the crowd.

Washington took heat from former council member Dorothea Barr over the governing board’s decision to stop televising work session meetings of the Town Council. Barr said she was concerned residents who could not attend regular work session would not understand the


issues, or why council members vote for or against an issue, once it made it to a regular televised Council meetings.

“I’m asking you to trust the council and the mayor so we can come up with more productive meetings for the town… But if [the no televised policy] doesn’t, we are not opposed to revisit this issue,” said Washington.

Council members maintain by not televising work sessions meetings can be more productive, council members are more willing to work through an

issues when cameras are off, and there is less infighting – something the Council has become known for in recent years.

Washington said the Town needs to work with more local, state, and federal officials to apply for grants to help improve and beautify the town. An effort to increase civic participation, especially from students at Dumfries Elementary School where she is on staff, and a focus on public safety would be top priorities in a new council term.

Wood was asked no questions after his address, but made it clear why he was running to be on the council.

“I think it a shame the name of our district was changed because people didn’t want to be associated with Dumfries,” said Wood.

Last year, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors changed the magisterial district Dumfries lies in from “Dumfries” to the Potomac Magisterial District. Wood said it was a blow to Virginia’s oldest town.

Wood arrived in Dumfries in 2001 after spending eight years in the Marine Corps. After watching development in the nearby Woodbridge in Prince William County largely pass by the incorporated town, he wanted to make changes, he said.

Wood operates a mobile barbeque catering company which serves locations in and around Dumfries.

Incumbent Louis Perino is also a write-in candidate for the Town Council. He was out of town and was unable to attend Friday’s luncheon.

Several changes on the Town Council have led this election. Now looking for a permanent seat on the council, Washington was appointed last year to fill former council member and Vice Mayor Nancy West’s seat following the death of Mayor Fred Yohey.

West served until she lost a special May 2012 election to council member Jerry Foreman.

Louis Perino was later appointed to serve on the council to fill an open seat, and following the resignation of Councilwoman Michelle Jurgensen, Washington was retained by the council upon to fill that seat.


Girl Assaulted in Triangle, Police Hunt Suspect


On October 18 at approximately 10 PM, officers responded to a report of an abduction.  Three females (aged 21, 17, and 15) from the Dumfries area were walking along Fuller Heights Road near the intersection of Mockingbird Heights Road reported that a lone suspect stopped them at gunpoint and attempted to rob them.  

He also took one of the girls away from the others and assaulted her.  He fled on foot when he saw the lights of responding police cars approaching the area.   

Suspect description – Black Male, light to medium complexion, 5’ 8” to 5’ 10” in height, 18 – 25 years of age, wearing a large dark colored hooded sweatshirt and dark colored faded baggy

jeans and a bandana or ski mask obstructing a portion of his face.  He was armed with what appeared to be a black and silver handgun.

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.

Flex Office Space Under Construction in Dumfries

Flex office space sits at Crown Court in Woodbridge.


DUMFRIES, Va. — Construction is underway on one of the only new flex office spaces in the area.

Interstate Drive is the only office space of its kind within two miles of Quantico and will be marketed to cyber security, intelligence firms as the building will be built to the latest Department of Defense security requirements. The building will sit on Interstate Drive, just off U.S. 1 in Dumfries and will be seen from I-95.

“The Quantico market from 234 down to 610 does not have any flex-type buildings at all… and that’s been a longtime need that both Quantico, DoD, and event defense contractors…” said I-95 Business Parks Director of Leasing Traci Morris Cole.

Other flex office spaces sit at Crown Court in Woodbridge, where a recent economic development showcase was held, and in southern Stafford County.

The building will offer 135,000 square feet of space and look similar to it’s counterpart on Crown Court, which is also owned by I-95 Business Parks, and will be completed in October 2013. Cole expects to market the building to a single tenant, but the space can hold up to four tenants, she said.

The leasing company says larger companies should consider this new office space as an option now, while smaller users can typically wait six to nine months prior to the opening of the building.

The leasing structure for tenants will be a triple net lease where occupants pay a common maintenance fee. Office space here is expected to range between $18 and $22 per square foot.


Police Warn of Sudden Burglary Increase

Police in the Woodbridge and Triangle areas are warning residents about a rash of burglaries in their neighborhoods. More from a press release:


There have been recent reports of residential burglaries in the South Woodbridge and Dumfries/Triangle areas between Sept. 13 and Oct. 16, 2012. The times vary; however a large number have been during the workday hours. The affected streets are: Uppsala Court, Flotsam Lane, Gloucester Court, Chesapeake Drive, Oak Tree Lane, Clancy Drive, Stonewall Manor Drive, Cabin Road, Sapling Way and Old Triangle Road.

Noticeable forced entry was used in only three of the burglaries; the majority of the cases involved no sign of forced entry or an unlocked/open entry point.


Keep all doors and windows locked, even if at home.

If you hear something, do not investigate. Go to a safe room in your home, call the police (911) and stay on the line.

Be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activity during the day as well as during evening hours.

REPORT all suspicious persons or activity to the police.

What do I do if I am the victim of a burglary?

Do not enter the house.

Call the police immediately.

While waiting for the police do not touch anything or allow anyone to enter your home.

What can I do to help prevent a burglary?

If your community has a Neighborhood Watch, volunteer to participate. If your community does not have one, start one.

The most important thing you can do is call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity. You are the eyes and ears for your community.

Boys & Girls Clubs Will Match Donations in Fundraising Effort

DUMFRIES, Va. — When it comes to raising funds, the Boys and Girls Club will put their money where they mouth is.

For every donation made to the Prince William County / Manassas Boys and Girls Club over the next four months, the organization’s Board of Directors will match it. The goal is to raise $50,000 — $25,000 of which will be matched by Board — to fund an organization that allows children to create robots, shadow leaders of Fortune 500 businesses, and participate in challenging sports programs.

“Our Clubs impact thousands of youth each year that benefit from our $30 annual Club membership,” said Regional Board President Rhett Pfitzner. “That membership is what keeps our youth of all backgrounds participating in education, career, sports, character, technology and arts programming.”

The clubs also provide childcare and a summer camp program, and are supported, in part, by a “Steak ‘N Steak” fundraiser held annually.

The Boys and Girls Clubs have locations in Dale City, Dumfries, and Manassas.


JoJo’s Ice Cream For Sale

DUMIFRES, Va. — JoJo’s Ice Cream Shop could have a new owner by the end of the week.

Real Estate Agent Rich Juliano has listed the Dumfries institution on the market at $225,000. The roadside ice cream stand along Main Street will go to the right owner for the right price, said Juliano.

The sale of JoJo’s comes as owner Joseph Ruhren faces 14 charges of child sex abuse. He’ll stand trial for those charges on March 27.

So far several interested parties of come forward to purchase the property, and at one offer has been turned down.

“They just couldn’t get near the price we were looking for,” said Juliano.

The Realtor was referred to sell the property and then spoke with Ruhren. He said everyone is aware of Ruhren’s situation, but a new owner could carry on the business in this location and do well.

A new owner could add on to the property but, for the most part, the ice cream shop will remain. The owner could choose a new name, added Juliano.

The ice cream shop already has a great working relationship with area schools but has seen sales fall in recent months, said Juliano.

Last year, JoJo’s took to their Facebook page and alluded the shop was for sale.


Prince William to Start Largest Stream Restoration

Photo: Prince William County

DUMFRIES, Va. — Environmentalists will work to bring back a stream on the brink.

Next fall, Prince William County plans to spend $2 million to restore Dewey’s Creek – a small stream that flows for about a mile from U.S. 1 in Woodbridge to Quantico Creek in Dumfries.

At 6,400-feet long at a cost of $300 per restored foot, this is the largest stream restoration project the county has ever attempted. The greatest completed so far was a stream 1,200 feet long.

Photo: Prince William County

Dewey’s Creek is littered with debris, old TV sets and trash, and log jams. Because the stream water flow has shifted direction so many times, cables anchoring power lines to the ground now sit in the middle of the water.

Especially troubling is the condition of the ground at a culvert where the stream flows underneath U.S. 1. Soil along the stream bank is pulling away from the concrete and that could cause the culvert to become unstable. Trees that sit along the stream bank are already having a hard time staying rooted in the ground due to erosion.

“A lot of these [culverts] were born out of the best intentions, but was we find after years of research, it shows us the ways streams were designed to manage storm water, it’s no longer the best practice,” said Prince William Environmental Engineer Clay Morris.

Morris is leading the effort to restore the stream, and said Prince William is one of a handful of counties in the area using their own funds for stream restoration. Because the project is being handled “in house,” Morris’ team can begin working once the project has reached the 60-percent completion rate in the design phase.

The restoration effort will be broken up into four segments, and each has a different set of challenges.

Segment one will entail creating a new channel for the stream to flow through to get water away from power lines, then filling in older portions of the stream. They’ll also build a Newberry Riffle, as crews will add new rocks in the center of the stream to control water flow.

Segment two will see the addition of a Bankfull Bench, which actually lets water out of the stream bank in cases of heavy rainfall and flood.

Subsequent sections of the stream will see reforestation and other improvements.

Dewey’s Creek eventually spills into Quantico Bay, which as of late has been the focus of Dumfries officials who want to fight an invasive underwater plant, Hydrilla. While officials have urged dredging Qauntico Bay to rid the waterway of the weed, there are no plans to in place to do so.

The restoration could take about a year to complete.

Saturday’s I-Walk Benefits ACTS in Dumfries

DUMFIRES, Va. — A Dumfries church will hold a walk to help families in need.

Image Church once again this year will hold I-Walk on Saturday at Merchant Park at Cameron and Duke Streets in Dumfries on Saturday. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the 2 and a quarter-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m.

All of the proceeds raised from registered participants will go to benefit ACTS of Prince William County. For every two I-Walk registrations received, the church will help ACTS to provide housing for one person for one night.

“It’s very eye-opening to realize that the things we can so easily take for granted like shelter and food so many people in our community are without. Participating in I-Walk is an easy and fun way that we can make a direct impact for families struggling to make ends meet,” said Image Church Deconess Kate Shifflett.

A $25 registration fee will be charged for those ages 25 or younger, a $30 fee will be charged for those aged 30 and older.

A free community festival will follow the walk featuring music, moon bounces for children, family crafts, and a video game van.

Image Church located 17650 Possum Point Road in Dumfries launched the I-Walk event last year in an effort to support ACTS.


Invasive Plant Plagues Bay as Dumfries Faces Steep Dredge Costs


Video by

Hydrilla is often tangled in boat motors making it difficult for pleasure boaters to navigate Quantico Bay. (Mary Davidson/

DUMFRIES, Va. — Call it Quantico Bay or Quantico Creek, the Hydrilla is taking over. Hydrilla verticillata is a submerged aquatic weed, and it’s clogging what was once a major port and economic resource.

In order to see the extent of the problem, Dumfries Mayor Gerald Foreman, Delegate Mark Dudenhefer (R-2nd, Stafford, Prince William) and Prince William Potomac District Supervisor Maureen S. Caddigan and other officials toured the creek in a pontoon boat on a clear late September morning while the tide was still high.

The tour was arranged by Foreman, Robert and Susan Hart, along with Tony and Eileen Thrall. Eileen Thrall is the head of Friends of Quantico Bay, a local advocacy group. Tony Thrall serves as chairman of the Prince William County Wetlands Board. The Harts own EZ Cruz Marina in Woodbridge.

The waterway, seen along Possum Point Road, has been gradually filling up with silt and sub-aquatic vegetation to the point that it’s almost unnavigable by small boats favored by waterfront homeowners. With the amount of Hyrdilla on the rise, the concern is that the creek is disappearing and so is a chance to develop the area economically.

Dumfries Mayor Gerald Foreman and Congressional Candidate Chris Perkins tour Quantico Bay, once a major waterway in Dumfries now invasive with the river plant Hydrilla. (KJ Mushung/

A changing waterway

These days the waterway is now known to many as Quantico Creek because it has more characteristics of a creek than a bay.

Eileen Thrall noted that in 1999 only the edges of the creek were covered in Hydrilla, however it’s grown so much since then, especially in the last five years.

Several times during the low-speed boat ride, the boat’s engine overheated trying to cut through the Hydrilla, which could be seen covering the propellers when lifted from the water. Boat traffic can actually aggravate the situation by cutting up the weed, causing it to spread and establish more colonies.

Both Foreman and Former Prince William County Supervisor Hilda Barg (Woodbridge District) noted that people purchase property on the water only to find that they can’t use it the way they intended.

“If the tide gets too low, you can’t go out [on the water] at all,” said Barg.

The weed does more than interfere with boat engines. As sediment runs into the water, instead of passing downstream into the Potomac River, it hits the Hydrilla and settles to the bottom. So the Hydrilla is adding to the buildup of silt on the bay floor.

Once a major port

Dumfries, Va., once rivaled Boston, Philadelphia and New York as having the nation’s leading deep-water port. Its depth went more than 20 feet down in some parts, according to Town Historian Lee Lansing Jr. Now, however, during high tide much of Quantico Bay is only about 4 feet deep and, according to Tony Thrall, its deepest point is around 12 feet, located underneath the railroad bridge near the Possum Point Power Station.

Dumfries was a bustling city in the 1700s. Named after Dumfries, Scotland, it had the nation’s first girl’s finishing school as well as the first interracial school. There were also grist mills, hotels, a theater, a shipyard and, most importantly, the Port of Dumfries in a time when people and goods traveled overseas by boat and the nation was still so young that many goods had to be imported.

The Town of Dumfries was charted in 1749 and is the oldest continuously chartered town in the Commonwealth.

According to a 1998 study by the Prince William County Planning Office, tobacco farmers settled here to be near the town’s tobacco warehouses. Tobacco was usually planted on the waterfront. But the development of these plantations led to the removal of numerous trees and damage to the soil, which lead to erosion and runoff. After a while, ocean vessels could no longer move through the harbor.

Today, part of the town that used to be underwater is now U.S. 1 near Dumfries Town Hall, according to Foreman.

(Mary Davidson/

Dredging cost could top $2 million

Officials presented several possible solutions to the problem: Dredging the waterway, harvesting the Hydrilla, using sterile grass carp to eat up the weed or using a chemical herbicide to kill it off.

Clearing the waterway would allow for all sorts of recreational possibilities, Foreman said enthusiastically, adding that the area could have sports fishing, schools could row on the creek and homeowners could use their boats more often.

Most of the officials on the boat favored dredging after seeing how much Hydrilla was in the water and how shallow it was near high tide.

Barg prefers the bay be dredged because the money is better spent since it’s a long-term solution. “Harvesting is a short-term solution, though it’s better than no solution,” she said.

A handout from Friends of Quantico Bay said harvesting the plant can actually spread it if fragments are not contained.

Robert Hart said that dredging is a start in order to get a defined channel. Chemical application would then keep the channel open. “It’s a granular chemical that gets down and sits on the bottom,” he noted.

Hart said he realizes that the word “chemical” has a negative connotation to some people but that it’s being used in a number of places in Florida and other parts of Virginia. However, there still may be environmental concerns given that Quantico Bay is a tributary.

Grass carp, although sterile and therefore unable to reproduce, could swim out into the Potomac River and eat vegetation there instead of in the bay.

According to Foreman, who favors dredging, it will cost approximately $2 million to dredge Quantico Bay and dispose of the sediment. However, one landowner along Possum Point Road reportedly wants to use the sediment as part of a development project. So that, said Foreman, would bring the cost down to $1 million.

Robert Hart pilots his pontoon on Quantico Bay while talking with retired Woodbridge District Supervisor Hilda Barg about the invasive Hydrilla infestation in and around the bay. (Mary Davidson/

Dredging must be partnership

Because the town of Dumfries has only a $4 million annual budget, dredging the bay would be unfeasible for the town alone. “It’s got to be a partnership,” said Foreman. The town, however, could afford to maintain the waterway after it’s been dredged.

But for Eileen Thrall, part of the problem is that “there are too many players in the game.” Dumfries, Prince William County, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Dominion Virginia Power (which owns and operates the Possum Point Power Station) all have property along the water. Add numerous homeowners to that mix and it’s a lot of voices in the debate.

“This has gone on for years,” said Caddigan. “We need to have federal government, state and local working together to come up with a conclusion.”

Caddigan said the projected cost of $1 million to dredge the creek is doable and that when all the agencies work together, it can be done.

“A project like this, from what I’ve seen, they normally try to do it in steps so they don’t have to throw a million [dollars] at it,” said Dudenhefer. “But in this case you can’t just come in and do a little piece of it. You have to do the whole thing… That will make it a little more difficult.”

Foreman is adamant that dredging is the only long-term fix.

“Everything else is a patch. We only have limited resources and don’t have time and resources to do anything twice,” he stated.

Much of the Hydrilla will die off for the winter but be back in the spring. When it dies, it sinks to the bottom with the silt, according to Eileen Thrall.

Economic development aside, some worry that if the waterway is not preserved it’s not going to be there for future generations of river rats. And for those on board that boat who have spent decades on the water, that’s not an option.

Friends of Quantico Bay will meet Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., at the Dumfries Community Center, which is the white building next to Dumfries Town Hall. Speakers will include Mayor Foreman, Eileen Thrall and Environmental Engineer Tom Dombrowski.


Motorcyclist Killed on Graham Park Road


Crash – Fatality – On October 5th at 9:12PM, police responded to the 3600 block of Graham Park Rd in Triangle (22172) for a single vehicle crash involving a motorcycle.

The investigation revealed that the driver of a 2005 Honda VTX1800 was traveling eastbound on Graham Park Rd when the motorcycle left the roadway and struck support cables for a utility pole. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to an area hospital where he died. Alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in this crash.


The driver of the 2005 Honda motorcycle was identified as Dewayne Joseph RABOTEAU, 50, of Triangle

-Prince William police press release 


2 Helicopters Called to Highway Crash Scene

QUANTICO, Va. — Two helicopters were called this morning to fly two injured patients to a hospital following a crash.

The crashed happened in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 at Quantico at 8:21 a.m., said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

All lanes of the northbound portion of the highway at the crash scene were closed so rescue crews could attend to the victims and the crash.

Two lanes were reopened at 9:19 a.m. so traffic could get by the crash, and all lanes reopened about 20 minutes later.

Details of the crash have not been released and the victims have not been identified.


Answers Sought on Park Delay



A construction contract for Fuller Heights Park could be awarded by Jan. 1, according to a Prince William County Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman.

If construction of the park remains on track, the park facilities could be open as soon as 2013. Four little league baseball fields and a large rectangular field should open one year later after grass grows on them.

The park is slated to have a playground, basketball courts, walking trails, a concession building and restroom, stated the spokeswoman.

Prince William Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan

Prince William Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan


TRIANGLE, Va. — A delay in construction on a planned park in Triangle has drawn ire from an elected leader.

On Tuesday, the Supervisor said she demanded answers from a not always so responsive county parks department on why the project has been delayed.

Caddigan said she has penned newsletters to her constituents in her Potomac Magasterial District, which includes Dumfries, telling them of the coming park and its scheduled opening date scheduled sometime next year.

Caddigan said the park could be on track to opening in 2013, but decisions on whether or not to use grass seed or sod for the playing fields at the park could determine when they open. The fields are scheduled to open in 2014, according to county documents.

Prince William County Executive Melissa Peacor told Caddigan she would report back to her on the cost of using grass seed vs. using sod.

Fuller Heights Park is expected to cost $4.5 million to build and about $3 million to operate between 2013 and 2018. The park will be located at Fuller Heights and Old Triangle roads outside the main entrance of Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Construction of the park was approved by voters during a bond referendum in 2006.

New Rule Ensures Seized Lands Used for Public Good

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A problem in Norfolk has found a solution in Prince William County.

The county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed an ordinance that will guide leaders on how eminent domain – the taking of private lands for a public purposes — is used.

Board Chairman Corey Stewart is the driving force behind the new ordinance that mandates Prince William County Government now must only take private property for uses like public roads, utilities, or buildings that “benefit the public as a whole.”

A similar proposed revision to the Virginia Constitution called the Virginia Property Rights Amendment will come before voters on Election Day Nov. 6. But, if voters do not support it statewide, Tuesday’s Board action ensures the amendment will be law in Prince William.

Stewart, who is also running for Virginia Lt. Governor, added the county is the largest jurisdiction in the state to adopt such a resolution, and acknowledged Fairfax County leaders and the Virginia Association of Counties does not support the measure.

“It’s certainly true that this Board has never abused its eminent domain authority by taking from one private land owner and given it to another in the name of economic development, however, one could argue that’s exactly what’s happening in the City of Norfolk,” said Stewart.

He’s referring to the owners of the 78-year-old Central Radio Company in Norfolk, which is being muscled out by city leaders who want to condemn the business and give the land on which it sits to Old Dominion University for future development.

So far, a case like this hasn’t appeared in Prince William County, and Transportation Director Thomas Blaser said less than one percent of eminent domain cases in Prince William have ended up in litigation.

“We have done a certificate of take literally hundreds of times…If the public purpose [of a project] was questioned, I think everybody would be more cautious about starting a project than just doing what we call a ‘quick take’ if we thought the ramifications would bigger than the risk was worth,” said Blaser.

Prince William has long funded construction of their own roads, including the widening of U.S. 1 in Triangle and the construction of Prince William Parkway.

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi was the lone dissenter on the Board Tuesday and said this decision could have a “chilling effect” on the county’s efforts to build new roads, and on future economic development.

“We should not be fixing what’s not broken. We have voted for years now…in favor of these road building projects…and I don’t know why we have to change our position today,” said Principi.

The issue may come down to a battle between the federal government and the states. According to Tuesday’s resolution, the Supreme Court upheld a decision to allow local governments to seize privately-owned land, homes, or small businesses and transfer them to a new owner for the uses of economic development.


Dumfries Rescue Squad under Review after Ice Cream Shop Ban

DUMFRIES, Va. — Prince William fire and rescue officials will sit on one side of the table and Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad leaders on the other.

That’s the way Prince William County Fire Department Chief Kevin McGee said a special taskforce assembled to review “internal organizational issues” at the Rescue Squad will conduct business. The review panel will be led by Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Chief Christopher Hool who will address Dumfries Chief Charles Derek Ester and Assistant Chief Steven Chasin.

Hool, Ester, and Chasin did not return requests for comment for this story.

McGee said the internal concerns were brought to the attention of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Association — a hybrid group made up of the county’s 12 volunteer fire and rescue organizations and Prince William’s 506-member career fire and rescue department. McGee would not provide specifics on what the panel will review, but assured residents that it does not stem from any type of crime or injury to fire and rescue personnel.

The inquiry comes after in August reported Ester sent a memo to his uniformed volunteer staff banning them from patronizing Jo Jo’s Soft Serve ice cream in Dumfries. Shop owner Joseph Ruhren is set to go on trial in a Prince William County courtroom at 10 a.m. March 27, 2013 where he’ll face 14 child sex abuse charges, which include forcible sodomy, indecent liberties, and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.

Ruhren is a former Dumfries police officer who has been in trouble with the law several times, and now faces those charges after a 27-year-old man claimed he was sexually abused by Ruhren as a child between 1996 and 2001.

Sources told there are concerns from members inside the Rescue Squad about Ester and Chasin’s leadership ethics and fiscal responsibility and that’s what prompted  the formation of the review panel.

Nearby Dumfries-Triangle Fire Department does not allow their uniformed volunteers to frequent establishments that serve alcohol.

“DTVFD has no formal policy regarding patronage of any specific establishment by our uniformed members with exception to those that that serve alcohol as their main source of revenue. Patronage of any establishment by our members should promote a professional image within the community and does not necessarily imply our department’s endorsement,” a department spokesman told

It’s not clear when the inquiry panel will meet, and McGee said the internal issues will not be resolved in just one sitting. The Executive Committee meeting of the Fire and Recue Association meets at 6 p.m. at the Prince William County Government Center’s McCoart Building.

Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad and Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department are the only volunteer organizations in Prince William County that do not have a combined fire and rescue operations under one roof.

Coke Out, Pepsi In at Tim’s Rivershore

DUMFRIES, Va. — Pepsi lovers can head down to the river shore to quench their thirsts.

Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant near Dumfries is trading Coca-Cola products for Pepsi. The change of brands is the first in the popular crab shack’s 18-year history.

“Sometimes, the longer you have something on the menu the less and less demand there is for it,” said restaurant owner Tim Bauckman.

It’s not that Tim’s regular customers complained about Coke. Bauckman said he received poor customer service from the Coca-Cola distributors that serviced his restaurant and the change was a business decision.

“We now have three stores and Pepsi was bending over backward for us, while it took forever, it seems, for [Coca-Cola] to service us. My dad was in customer service for years, and I know how important it is when you’re running a business,” said Bauckman.

In addition to his restaurant on the Potomac River Prince William County, Bauckman owns Tims II at Fairview Beach and another restaurant on Virginia’s Lake Anna.

His restaurant in Prince William is about to see some major changes as a new development called Potomac Shores will be built near the restaurant. Tim’s Rivershore was once a riverside outpost at the end of a windy two-lane road but will soon be located at the end of what soon will be called Potomac Shores Parkway, surrounded by new homes, and condominiums, and a town center.

The developer and owner of the land, SunCal, also owns the land Tim’s Rivershore sits on. A SunCal spokesman said last month the developer has no changes planned for the popular eatery.


Prince William Using Risk Scores to Determine Budget

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Prince William County will bring back a numbers system to decide funding priorities for the fiscal 2014 budget.

Michelle Casciato with the county’s Office of Management and Budget told officials Tuesday her office use will a risk assessment system that will examine what programs and agencies are being funding now, how they relate to the core function of local government, and then assign each scores between four and 20.

An evaluation scale will be used to score what’s already being funded in the county’s $2.4 billion budget, examining its risk to the community, risks to individuals, financial and legal risks, and whether or not what’s being funded is essential to the mission of local government, according to documents presented Tuesday to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Each agency or program’s risk score is expected to be shown at the next meeting of the Supervisors on Oct. 2. The report will also show the probable community impacts on agencies or programs if, for example, the county’s 1.209 percent tax rate is reduced, or if Supervisors decide to no longer fund a program, said Casciato.

According to Casciato’s examples of programs currently funded by the county government, the Child Protective Services program scored an overall 19 because individuals aided by the program are considered to be at risk. There are also large public safety risks to the community and legal risks to the county if the program went underfunded, added Casciato.

In contrast, Prince William’s Bluebird Senior’s Bus program, which officials said costs taxpayers about $30,000 annually, scored a four because of it’s low financial risk (county officials said the program is paid for mostly by user fees) and because it’s not essential to the core function of local government.

The risk assessment score was developed in 2009 and used for the implementation of the 2010 fiscal year budget. It was not used in the implementation of the 2011 or 2012 budget processes, but officials once more want it to be included in the budgetary process.

Prince William County operates on a $2.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2013 with an effective property tax rate of 1.209 percent. The annual tax bill for residents is expected to remain flat over the next five years, but is expected to be adjusted for inflation by four percent each year.

Casciato points out if property assessments rise in Prince William, the county’s tax rate can be lowered so Prince William collects the same amount of projected revenue over the next five years.

Officials at today’s Board meeting said it was unusual to begin talking about the next year’s budget process so soon, adding many Supervisors do not form their budget committees don’t form until December. 

Infant in Critical Condition, Woman Charged


Malicious Wounding | Felony Child Neglect – On September 13th at 12:38PM, police responded to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center located at 2300 Opitz Blvd in Woodbridge for an unconscious baby. Family members brought the victim, a 5 month old baby girl, to the hospital because she became unresponsive.

Upon further investigation, detectives from the Physical Abuse Unit learned that the victim had sustained internal injuries consistent with abuse while with the accused, a family member, at her address in the 18100 block of Purvis Dr in Triangle (22172).

The investigation revealed that earlier that morning, the accused was attempting to get the victim to sleep. The victim began to cry, at which point, the accused squeezed the victim tightly several times and forcibly put the victim back into her bed.

The victim became unresponsive later in the day while with other family members. The victim remains in critical condition at an area hospital. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently charged.


Monique Diane COACHMAN, 20, of the 18100 block of Purvis Dr in Triangle

Charged with aggravated malicious wounding and felony child abuse

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

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