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Dumfries Local

Video: Dumfries Youth Club Celebrates Makeover

DUMFRIES, Va. — On the heels of the start of their summer camp for area youths, the Boys and Girls Club in Dumfries celebrated some life improvements on Saturday.

IKEA of Woodbridge renovated two rooms at the General Joseph M Heiser, Jr. Boys and Girls Club – a teen lounge for those 13-years-old and older and a multipurpose game room. New couches, computer desks, decorative linens, a new TV set, and a new video game system were added to the building. The makeover was part of a $10,000 “Life Improvement” grant from the Swedish furniture maker and distributor, and the Dumfries club was one of nearly 100 applicants for the grant, said IKEA Woodbridge spokeswoman Wendy Rogers.

Unlike it’s counterparts in Dale City and Manassas, the Dumfries Boys and Girls Club is not a full-time facility. It offers only morning and after-school activities for children and teens.

With the community’s help and more interest form children, teens, and their parents, Dumfries club Program Aide Romona Goodwin said they aim to seek full accreditation and seek more activities.

“Hopefully, by this fall, we’ll have everything up to par and up to code so we can be a full-service club like the one in Manassas and Dale City,” said Goodwin.

The Heiser Club reopened last year after being closed down for about two years.

Saturday’s event was filled with musical performances, free child ID services by the Prince William County Sheriff’s Department, and a host of local business vendors.

 

Dumfries Youth Club Plans Open House

DUMFRIES, Va. — The General Heiser Boys and Girls Club Branch in Dumfries will hold a special open house event for the community on Saturday.

The event, which will promote the club’s “Send a Kid to Camp” program, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will showcase a new kitchen and other improvements installed inside the club which have been donated by Ikea of Woodbridge.

There will also be two local artists performing throughout the day. One of the two groups will feature residents from the nearby Williamstown neighborhood who were once members of the Heiser Club.

A voter registration booth will be set up at the event, and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center will conduct allergy screenings, said a club spokeswoman.

The Heiser Club reopened last June after being closed for two years.

Woman Tries to Abduct Child on Bus

DUMFRIES, Va. — A Triangle woman is accused of trying to steal a baby from a bus and then punching a police officer in the face.

On Friday, a 16-year-old Dumfries girl called 911 after a woman tried to grab a child on an OmniLink bus. The caller said the suspect asked if she could hold her six-month-old son, according to police documents.

The suspect then grabbed the child, but the caller was able to hold onto the seat and prevented her from taking the child, police stated.

The bus driver stopped the bus and ordered the suspect off. Police later caught up with the woman in the area of Quantico Gateway Drive where she punched a Dumfries police officer in the face causing minor injuries, police documents state.

The initial abduction happened while the bus was in the area of Main Street and Graham Park Road.

Terrie Diane Wilder, 49, of 18430 Lotus Court in Triangle is charged with attempted abduction and assault & battery on law enforcement officer, according to police documents. She was held without bond.

 

Live Music, Free Food at Dumfries Rolling Thunder Rally

DUMFIRES, Va. — It’s an annual rallying point for one of the year’s most moving tributes.

The Rolling Thunder Rally, an annual Memorial Day event that attracts hundreds of bikers and military veterans to the Pentagon by way of their motorcycles, will once again come to Dumfries. Cyclists will gather starting tomorrow at East Coast Harley Davidson on Main Street in the small town. The event always attracts a crowd.

During the motorcycle shop’s annual open house starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, residents and attendees will be treated to live music, and free hot dogs and chips starting at 11 a.m. The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office will sell raffle tickets for a motorcycle, and Prince William police will be on hand for a bike demonstration, said East Coast Harley spokeswoman Megan Shankle.

Disabled American Veterans will also be on hand to provide counseling assistance for veterans.

The idea for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally began in 1987 as a way to honor Vietnam troops left behind in Southeast Asia. When bikers make their trek into Washington and then to the Pentagon on Sunday, the event will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

To accommodate Rolling Thunder traffic, the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 and 395 will be closed to regular traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Crime Watch: Girl, 10, Sexually Assaulted

FROM UNEDITED POLICE REPORTS:

Aggravated Sexual Battery – On May 22nd at 4:56PM, detectives from the Special Victims Unit began an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 3500 block of Buffalo Ct in Woodbridge

(22193). The investigation revealed that the victim, a 10 year old girl of Woodbridge, was sexually assaulted by the accused, a known family member, the night prior. Following an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested.

Arrested:

Jason Edward BOXLEY, 37, of the 3500 block of Buffalo Ct in Woodbridge, Charged with aggravated sexual battery, forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration and indecent liberties

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

Hall

Assault and Battery – On May 18th, detectives from the Physical Abuse Unit began an investigation into an assault which was reported to have occurred at Kerrydale Elementary School located at 13199 Kerrydale Rd in Woodbridge (22193) on May 17th. The investigation revealed that on that date the victim, a 10 year old male student, was assaulted by the accused, a teacher at the

school. The victim sustained minor injuries as a result of the assault. Following

an investigation, the accused was subsequently arrested on May 22nd.

Arrested:

Cynthia Farris HALL, 35, of 11809 Golden Eagle Ct in Woodbridge

Charged with assault & battery

Court date unavailable, released on a $2,000 unsecured bond

Johnson

Narcotics Investigation – On May 22nd, detectives from the Prince William County Police Street Crimes Unit and the ATF Task Force, concluded a narcotics investigation into the selling of marijuana and cocaine with the following arrest which was made in the 2700 block of Potomac Mills Cl in Woodbridge (22192). As a result of the search, ecstasy and marijuana were recovered.

Arrested:

David Hakeem JOHNSON, 22, of 1502 Monroe Ct in Fort Washington, MD. Charged with 2 counts of distribution of a schedule I or II narcotic [cocaine & ecstasy], distribution of marijuana and possession of a firearm with narcotics Court date set for August 17, 2012, held WITHOUT bond

Narcotics Investigation– On May 22nd, detectives from the Street Crimes Unit conducted a vehicle stop in the 13900 block of

Noel

Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191). As a result of the encounter, two of the vehicles occupants, the below listed accused individuals, were arrested on drug charges. A search of the vehicle resulted in marijuana, heroin, cocaine and an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency being recovered.

Arrested:

Calvin Lawrence NOEL, 32, of 14782 Candlewood Ct in Woodbridge

Charged with possession with intent to distribute a schedule I or II narcotic [cocaine] andpossession of marijuana Court date set for July 20, 2012, bond information unavailable Delvon Martez MCCORMICK, 33, of 13917 Mount Peasant Dr in Woodbridge. Charged with possession of schedule I or II narcotic. Court date set for July 20, 2012, bond information unavailable

Kwatchey

Abduction / Domestic Assault & Battery – On May 23rd at 9:49PM, police responded to the 3300 block of Mystic Ct in Dumfries (22026) for a domestic. The victim, a 44 year old woman of Dumfries, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused allegedly assaulted the victim and prevented her from leaving the residence or calling police. Police were eventually contacted and responded to the residence. No injuries were reported. The accused was arrested without incident.

Arrested:

Daniel KWATCHEY, 40, of the 3300 block of Mystic Ct in Dumfries

Charged with abduction and domestic assault & battery

Court date and bond information unavailable

Fire Burns Vacant Building in Triangle

TRIANGLE, Va. — A fire in a vacant building this morning had the attention of firefighters in Triangle.

Crews were called to 4008 Graham Park Road, near St. Francis of Assisi Church, after a building became fully involved in fire, according to initial reports.

The fire was doused and no injuries were reported.

The blaze broke out just before 5 a.m. Friday.

 

Dumfries Changes Prayer Policy

By URIAH KISER

COUNCILMEMBERS, ATTORNEY QUESTION LEGALITY OF CLOSED MEETING

DUMFRIES, Va. — Religion and the fear of litigation prompted Dumfries Mayor Gerald Foreman to lead three councilmembers into a backroom session that was described as illegal.

The Town Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to amend its invocation policy and adopted an ordinance that states a “moment of silent prayer and reflection” will be held prior to each council meeting. It changes a 2010 rule that barred anyone from evoking “Jesus Christ” or making “any recognizably Christian” references during meetings, though the terms god, providence, heaven, and creator have always been allowed.

Two Councilwomen, Dorothea Barr and Michele Jurgensen, did not follow the Mayor into closed session where the changes were discussed, after Town Attorney Christine Sanders said the lack of pending litigation on this issue made a closed session unwarranted under Virginia ‘s Freedom of Information laws.

Barr described the meeting as “illegal.”

“I don’t think my religion here matters…it matters to be, but it shouldn’t necessarily matter to you or how I perform this job,” she said.

Sanders eventually agreed to a closed session to discuss an email Councilwoman Kristen Forrester said had been sent by the American Civil Liberties Union. Forrester said the email – which was not made public — threatened litigation, but no lawsuit has been filed against the town on this issue, said Town Manager Daniel Taber.

“I would just again reference the email this week, sent by the ACLU, that if we head in any other direction than what they advised us to do, which was pretty clear in that email, than they will seek an injunction against us. It’s been threatened; I don’t know how this can be any clearer on the issue,” said Forrester.

Officials invited Woodbridge lawyer Doug Anderson to the closed meeting to discuss the town’s invocation policy. Anderson told the council he was working on a pro bono basis. Officials eventually emerged from closed session and passed the amended invocation policy.

A letter was sent to the town Monday from ACLU Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg — its entirety read into the public record at the Tuesday night meeting — that stated prayers must not reflect any one religion, and it reminded Dumfries leaders the ACLU recently won a federal injunction against Pittsylvania County, Va., where officials there were ordered to “cease its practice of explicitly Christian prayers before Board meetings.”

A letter from the Alliance Defense Fund, a non-profit legal organization, was also presented to the public Tuesday. That organization has offered to work with any government body whose prayer policies are being challenged, and stated local governments should not abandon invocations before public meetings.

Prince William, Stafford Pools Open Saturday

Public swimming pools across the Potomac Communities will reopen Saturday.

In Prince William, all of the county’s waterparks and community pools open Saturday and will continue operating on weekends only through June 16. The summer schedule begins June 16 and runs through Sept. 3, according to Prince William County Park Authority spokeswoman Diane Cabot.

Admission fees at community pools during peak hours are set at no more than $4.25 for children ages 2 – 17-years-old, and $3.75 to $4.50 for adults. Evenings are discounted at the pools at rates of $1.50 to $3.25 after 4 p.m., and seniors 60 years and older are also given discounts.

North Stafford’s Woodlands Pool will open also open Saturday, and often fills to capacity early.

Children two and under are free, while Stafford residents 3 – 15-years-old, and 55 years and older pay $4 each, $5.50 each for non-residents. Adults ages 16-54-years-old pay $5 each for Stafford residents, $7 for non-Stafford residents.

Most pools owned or operated by home owners’ associations, as well as other non-public swimming pools, normally operate under their own sets of rules.

 

Outdoor Movie Planned for Dumfries

DUMFRIES, Va. — The Muppets are taking Dumfries.

The town, along with Pillar Church, will present the latest Muppet movie on June 9 at 7 p.m. at Garrison Park behind Town Hall.

The movie is free, and so is the popcorn that will be passed out to those who come. Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be sold, said Dumfries spokeswoman Cydny Neville.

“The Muppets,” released by Disney last fall, is the latest incarnation of the popular TV and film series started in the 1970’s, starring Jim Henson’s Muppet’s Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. This updated tale of the signing puppets takes place in Los Angeles, where Muppets learn Tex Richman wants to drill for oil underneath the famed Muppet Theater.

 

Sex Crimes Investigated

FROM POLICE REPORTS:

Rape / Aggravated Sexual Battery – On April 23rd, police began an investigation into two sexual assaults which were reported to have occurred in the 14200 block of Lindendale Rd in Woodbridge (22193) between 2004 and 2006. The investigation revealed that the victims, a 5-8 year old girl and a 7-10 year old girl at the time of the offenses, were both sexually assaulted by the accused, a known family member, on several occasions during the time frame above. Following an investigation, warrants were obtained against the accused who was located and arrested in Fredericksburg on May 17th. The accused is currently awaiting transport back to Prince William County.

Arrested: (No Photo Available)

Dennis Rene ASTURIAS, 37, of 3006 Village Ln in Fredericksburg

Charged with rape and aggravated sexual battery [in reference to the case involving the 7-10 year old victim] and aggravated sexual battery and attempted forcible sodomy [in reference to the case involving the 5-8 year old victim] Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

Rape / Indecent Liberties – In April of 2012, detectives from the Special Victims Bureau received information about a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 15000 block of Cardin Pl in Woodbridge (22193) between February 1st and 29th of 2012. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 14 year old girl of Washington D.C., was living at a residence in the above area during that time frame and was sexually assaulted by the accused, a known acquaintance. Following an investigation, warrants were obtained against the accused who was located and arrested in Washington D.C. by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force on May 16th. The accused is currently awaiting extradition back to Virginia.

Arrested: (No Photo Available)

Reginald Alfred SCHOOLS, 46 – no fixed address, charged with rape and taking indecent liberties with a child. Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond.

Blanco-Cerna

Aggravated Sexual Battery / Indecent Liberties – On May 14th, detectives from the Special Victims Bureau began an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 17800 block of Lounsbery Dr in Dumfries (22026) on April 21st. The investigation revealed that on that date, the victim, a 12 year old girl of Alexandria, was sexually assaulted by the accused, a known acquaintance, while the victim was staying at the residence of the accused in the above area. Following an investigation, warrants were obtained against the accused who was located and arrested on May 17th.

Arrested:

Francisco BLANCO-CERNA, 28, of 17878 Lounsbery Dr in Dumfries

Charged with aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties by a custodian

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

Jose Odil Diaz

Indecent Liberties – On May 17th, detectives from the Special Victim’s Bureau began an investigation into a sexual assault which was reported to have occurred in the 15000 block of Catalba Ct in Woodbridge (22191) between September of 2010 and June 2011. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 13 year old female at the time of the offenses, was sexually assaulted and propositioned several times during the time frame above. Following an investigation, a warrant was obtained against the accused who was located and arrested on May 17th.

Arrested:

Jose Odil DIAZ, 44, of the 15000 block of Catalba Ct in Woodbridge

Charged with indecent liberties with a child

Court date unavailable, held WITHOUT bond

New Program Acquaints Residents with OmniLink

By STEPHANIE TIPPLE

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — OmniLink buses are an easy and convenient way to get around Prince William County. But some residents may not know how to use them.

Now, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission – the agency that operates the OmniLink local and OmniRide commuter buses – has launched a new program to acquaint residents with all of the features of the buses and routes, and to promote use of the public transit system in the county.

The new, free program called “On the Go,” will allow residents to take a bus ride with trained drivers, as well as show them how to understand bus schedules, know which route to take, and even schedule a trip.

“We are trying to increase the transportation options of the people in Woodbridge, and the Prince William service area. We are teaching service providers about PRTC options, and we’re also going out and doing one on one travel training and group training for people with disabilities, to make sure they understand PRTC as a viable transportation option for them,” said Robyn Bernardy, travel trainer for the On the Go program.

While many of the trainings are geared towards those with disabilities, or those who need assistance, training is available for any commuters or local residents who wish to utilize PRTC’s bus service.

On the test drive, the driver will explain all of the safety features of the bus, fare prices, the schedules available on the buses, special deviation stops, bus stop signage, and all of the steps of riding and getting off of the bus.

In addition to this program, the PRTC is looking to improve ease of use for their riders, with color coded schedules to avoid confusion on the different routes, discounts for seniors and disabled riders, special off route stops for a small surcharge at local hubs, like grocery stores.

Training is offered in both group and individual settings, and typically consists of one and a half, to two hours sessions with the PRTC trainers.

Those interesting in learning more about the training on OmniLink buses can visit PRTC’s website or can call 703-730-6664.

Woman Faces Unlawful Wounding Charge

DUMFRIES, Va. — A woman faces an malicious unlawful wounding charges after an argument turned violent Saturday morning.

Police were called to the 3500 block of Briarwood Drive, near Va. 234 near Dumfries, after a 21-year-old man said he was involved in an altercation with a 19-year-old woman about at 10:30 a.m.

During the argument, police said the 19-year-old woman picked up a pair of scissors and stabbed the male victim in the shoulder causing injuries that were not life threatening.

The suspect fled the scene but was found by police officers nearby, according to police documents.

Jennifer Lynn Ragusa, 19, of Dumfries, is charged with unlawful wounding, according to police. Her court date was not posted and she was released on a $3,500 secured bond.

 

Sticky Situation for Unwanted BBQ Vendors in Dumfries

By URIAH KISER

DUMFRIES, Va. — Saturday will be a good day for roadside barbeque vendors in Dumfries. The annual Charter Day celebration will be held there tomorrow, and that means grill masters can set up shop and satisfy the cravings of those who love slow-smoked meats in savory sauce.

But on the majority of days when there is no festival, roadside food vendors are not wanted here, though many if not all have the proper licenses and approvals from the health department. Even if they have permission from a private property owner, these roving vendors will be told to pack up and leave.

“They do a wonderful job, they have their health certificates on display, the food is wonderful, the competition is great, Dumfries is becoming the mecca for barbeque smokiness,” said Dumfries Mayor Gerald M. Foreman.

The town’s code prevents officials from issuing business licenses to roadside food vendors, many of whom make barbeque. It’s a bit odd, since last weekend the town held its “Dumfries Barbeque Battle” during its third annual Multicultural Festival.

Barbeque stand owners have complained, town staff has been forced to look at ways to change the code, and all this has made politicians worry that the town is sending the message: closed for business.

“This is money we are instantly losing because they’re going down the street to Prince William County and setting up there…it’s unfortunate because we’re driving businesses out to a location that they’ll maybe enjoy more,” said Town Council member Kristin Forrester.

Town staff has been working to address the issue since last month, when it was brought to the attention of the Town Planning Commission. But, since there are so many issues with the town code to be addressed in this matter, changing the barbeque rule will take time, officials said.

“If it’s part of an event, then they’re under the umbrella in the code that allows them to be there as part of an event. But right now the code does not permit them to have an established business on the side of the road,” said Dumfries Economic Development Director Debi Sandlin.

On the bright side, the Charter Day celebration will be held Saturday in the town’s Merchant Park next to the Weems-Botts Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. And, yes, we’re told there will be barbeque.

 

Dumfries Proposed Noise Threshold Increased, Penalties Unchanged

By URIAH KISER

DUMFRIES, Va. — It’s more than just loud music at parties that can get police attention – car alarms that won’t shut off, heavy machinery, even the sound of a large vehicles on U.S. 1 using their brakes can draw the ire of town residents.

Now, for the first time since 2007, the town police department wants to update its noise ordinance – a document that dictates how loud noises can be within town limits, and what fines or penalties violators have to pay.

Dumfries Police Chief Robert E. Forker proposes putting clearer decibel limits on sounds in residential, commercial, and industrial areas, making the town’s ordinance identical with Prince William County’s. While nighttime sound levels in the newly proposed document are permissible at 55 decibels in residential areas, the ordinance increases the allowed nighttime sound levels in commercial and industrial areas to 60 and 72 decibels, respectively.

The new ordinance, as Forker originally proposed it, would’ve also brought stiffer penalties for violators, making it a class two as apposed to a class three felony for violators. It would have imposed an increased fine of $1,000, up from $500, and the possibility of up to six months in jail if convicted.

This, however, did not sit well with members of the Town Council who unanimously motioned Forker slash those changes and maintain the class three felony punishment, which brings with it a $500 fine. Council members also moved to make it mandatory police give warnings to first-time violators before summons are issued or arrests made.

“There should be a warning the first time…the first encounter telling me that I’m wrong based on how I present myself, or based on his interpretation of me, I think that’s too much [of a] police state,” said Vice Mayor Willie J. Toney.

Forker, and Town Manager Daniel Taber, said police officers use discretion when responding to noise complaints.

“What generally happens is, police officers will respond and they will tell the individuals to cut the noise off and shut the party down,” said Taber.

If police have to ask again, a summons could be issued and an arrest could be made, he added.

The proposed noise ordinance is slated to be revised and presented again to the Town Council at a later date.

 

Biking Students Offered Healthy Snacks

DUMFIRES, Va. — It’ll be a bike-to-school day in Dumfries on Wednesday.

The town is encouraging students to bike to school with their parents to get some much needed exercise, see their community, and get a free, healthy after school snack.

Between 3 and 4 p.m. Wednesday, students who biked to their school can stop by the town’s community center next to Town Hall, at 17757 Main Street, to grab a snack.

“The town is pleased to serve as a pit stop on the ninth for children to grab an after school snack to take home. We strongly encourage parents to ride with them, to ensure their safety,” said Dumfries Director of Community Services Cydny Neville.

Those who work in Dumfries are encouraged to bike to work May 16, as the community center will serve lunch to adults who biked to work, between noon and 1 p.m.

Two days later, the Washington, D.C. region will recognize the annual Bike to Work Day. For this event put on by Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, there will be several pit stops set up during the morning hours to help get riders water and treats.

In the Potomac Communities, pit stops will be set up at the Rippon and Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express stations and the Chinn Center in Woodbridge.

Potomac High School Students Champion Debaters

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — If you want to get your point across in any argument, take a cue from skilled debaters at Potomac High School. Two Potomac students have honed their research and speaking skills, composure, and competitive drive sufficiently to best the best at local, regional, state, and Collegiate National Invitationals.

It is no small feat to master the art of debate. Our country’s history is filled with stories of great debaters as far back as Colonial times; and students of ancient history and philosophy likely know well the works of great orators. Perhaps we will find the young standouts someday taking on a leadership role in the great debates about our nation.

Gustavo Sanchez and Rob Dyer, seniors at Potomac High School, have achieved top honors in debate, earning points that distinguish them as winners of the National Forensic League All American Award. Recipients must reach Superior Distinction Rank; have a 3.8 grade point average or higher; and achieve a 2000 or higher score on the SAT or a 27 or higher score on the ACT. Sanchez has earned Premier Distinction, the highest rank. Dyer is close to achieving Premier Distinction and will likely reach that goal before the end of the season.

Read the whole story at the Prince William County Public Schools website.

Dumfries Mayor Swear-In Set for Tuesday

DUMFRIES, Va. — Virginia’s first town is ready to induct it’s new mayor.

On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Gerald “Jerry” Foreman will be sworn in as mayor of the small town. Interim Mayor Nancy West, who has served as interim mayor since the death of Mayor Fred Yohey in November, is expected to step down from the Town Council.

Other seats on the council are expected to change hands after July 1, when Dorothea Barr and Gwen P. Washington are expected to step down from the council. Washington did not seek reelection, but newcomer Helen Reynolds will take her seat on the council for the first time, and past council member Charles Brewer has once again been voted to the Council.

The swearing in ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall.

Top Home Sales in Eastern Prince William

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Woodbridge area has long harbored a reputation of having low home values, but this appears to be the year that changed.

According to varealestatetalk.com, the top home sales of the year so far in Prince William County have all been homes located in the eastern portion of the county. It’s a departure from years past when the highest valued homes were sold in developing neighborhoods in western Prince William County.

The biggest gaining neighborhoods in eastern Prince William in terms of home sales this year have been Beaver Creek, River Falls and Coventry Glen, according to the website.

The median home price in Woodbridge continues to hang around the $250,000.

While the area has long been known for its single family residential homes located near strip shopping centers, newer developments like Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center are rising and changing the landscape of the area.

Photos: Dumfries Multicultural Festival

DUMFRIES, Va. — Vendors, crafters, musical acts, dancers, and barbeque restaurateurs all converged on Garrison Park in Dumfries on Saturday for the Third Annual Dumfries Multicultural Festival.

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

 

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

(Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Steak Brings Boys & Girls Clubs Online Donation Options

MANASSAS, Va. — For the past 32 years at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Prince William County, the food of choice at their annual charity dinner has been steak. It’s a house favorite for many, but even vegetarians can appreciate the good work happening at the clubs that serve over 5,000 people each year through community engagement and club programs.

The Steak and Stake Dinner, planned for 6 p.m. Monday May, 21 at the Manassas Boys and Girls Club, will honor three stakeholder local businesses that have generously donated their time, money, and effort to making the Boys and Girls Clubs in Prince William County – The General Heiser Branch in Dumfries, Hylton Club in Dale City, and the Manassas Club – a success.

“We credit a lot to community partnerships. It takes a village to build what the Boys and Girls Clubs is able to provide through quality programming, as well as all of the other activities the clubs are able to provide,” said regional director Glenn Vickers.

Wellburn Management owns several McDonalds restaurants in Dumfries and Woodbridge, while Gino Manzo is the Director and Manassas Site Executive at BAE Systems, and Patrick Girard is a vice president of sales at Staples. All three will be honored at the event for their efforts supporting the clubs.

The event also draws a long list of community members, politicians, as well as business owners, but it comes at a time when the clubs are operating in the red. With 3,200 registered members in the Prince William, the organization has been impacted by rising operating costs as well as per-member costs of about $1,500 each, said Vickers.

The charity dinner normally nets the organization between $40,000 and $50,000, and this year the Boys and Girls Clubs will open up new donation portals online and on mobile devices to make it easier for the community to give.

Through programs like Send a Kid to Camp, as well as educational and sports and fitness efforts, the Prince William Boys and Girls Club gets little funding from its national parent organization but still maintains itself as a fun, safe environment where club members build strong relationships, are recognized, and move on to college, said Vickers.

Tickets for the event are $100 for individuals, $500 for half table, and $1,000 for a full table.

Live coverage of the event will be featured here on PotomacLocal.com, which is an event coverage sponsor.

Foreman Wins in Dumfries Election Upset

By URIAH KISER

DUMFRIES, Va. — Gerald Foreman has been chosen Mayor of Dumfries during a town election that saw heavy voter turnout.

Foreman won with 57 percent of the vote and faced Interim Mayor Nancy West who has served as interim mayor since November following the death of Mayor Fred Yohey. West also served on the Town Council since 2008 and has lived in the town since 1963.

Foreman, who currently serves as a Town Council member, ran on a platform of lower taxes, abolishing the Business and Professional Licensing Tax, or BPOL – a tax on business gross receipts – as well as placing the town’s needs in the forefront, and in some cases, on the same level as the needs of the county it sits in, Prince William. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

More to the Story: See election results from the Town from the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Three Town Council seats were also up for grabs on Tuesday. The only incumbent council member that will return to the governing body is Vice Mayor Willie J. Toney.

“This is a diverse community, and each one of these diverse neighborhoods all need certain things, like sidewalks and a sound wall, and you have to listen to them. Because if you’re talking too much they won’t know you’re listening to them,” said Toney.

A former Dumfries Town Council member, Charles C. Brewer, and newcomer Helen Reynolds will fill seats that will be vacated by current council members Dorothea Barr, and Gwen P. Washington who did not seek reelection.

During the last hour of voting on Tuesday, crowds gathered outside town hall which served as a polling place. As police officers directed in and out of the tiny establishment, election officials inside reported 400 people had come to cast their ballots by 6 p.m. – which is an unusually large amount of ballots cast during town elections normally held in May.

Many of the late voters said they cast their ballots for Nancy West, a retired school system employee who they hoped would be able to do more for children in the town.

“We need more activities for children,” said Dumfries resident David Miles. “We don’t vote straight Republican or Democrat, we look at the person and then make a decision.”

Other residents said they cast their vote in hopes elected leaders would conduct themselves more professionally during meetings.

“I think it would be wonder to have a Town Council that could just work together on the issues facing Dumfries, without all of the infighting and squabbling,” said Dumfries resident Michelle Wheeler.

The newly elected mayor and council members will be seated July 1.

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