DUMFRIES, Va. — It may the first day of summer on Wednesday, but officials in Dumfries are already thinking fall.
Once again this year, Dumfries will offer food, live music, and wine tasting as part of its 11th Annual Fall Festival.
The festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Garrison Park behind Town Hall. While there, festival goers will be able to participate in the town’s “Dumfries Has Talent” competition. There are two categories, one for adults and one for children ages 14 and under, with prize money ranging between $100 and $300 in the youth category and up to $500 in the adult category.
“Please keep in mind that the town festival is a continual “work in progress. Our goal is to make the day’s event a fun, family day for all citizens to enjoy,” stated a flier distributed by town staff promoting the event.
Area wineries will once again be welcomed in the baseball field area of Garrison Park, and those with valid ID can pay $1 per tasting to enjoy wines produced by local wineries. Tasters over age 21 will receive a wrist band that will allow them to be inside the roped-off wine tasting area, and the wineries will follow all Virginia ABC rules, said Neville.
Vendors at the festival will be charged $30 for a 10×10 space, and food vendors must have a food vendor permit issued by the state.
Festival parking will be available for attendees in the parking lot between Town Hall and Garrison Park. Vendors will not be allowed to park in this area.
This festival compliments an annual spring festival held each year in the town.
DUMFRIES, Va. — A McDonald’s restaurant will stand where there once was a restaurant named “True Grit.”
Construction is underway for the new fast food eatery at the Triangle Shopping Plaza, where the Dumfries Police Station is located. The building that housed the old True Grit restaurant has been demolished which cleared the way for the new fast food eatery.
“The new McDonald’s will help to offset the tax burden on the residents through increased sales and meals taxes,” said Dumfries Economic Development Director Debi Sandlin.
The restaurant was able to locate in the shopping center thanks to a deal brokered between McDonalds and owners of the Triangle Shopping Plaza, Curtis Brothers Investment. Sandlin also credits the town’s effort to fast-track the site planning process as a key element that lured McDonalds to the small town.
The new restaurant will replace a McDonalds that was demolished as part of Prince William County’s $65.8 million effort to widen U.S. 1 to six lanes in Triangle near the National Museum of the Marine Corps. It will compliment another McDonald’s location on Va. 234 at Interstate 95.
A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant is also planned for the Va. 234 corridor near Dumfries.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Women in Prince William County will soon have more access to Breast Cancer screenings.
A $750,000 grant from the Potomac Health Foundation will go to fund a mammography van that will visit area businesses to provide screenings and care for insured employees. Afterward, patients can learn where to go for any follow-up diagnoses and treatment.
“The mammography mobile unit is a 40-foot coach that has full digital mammography with computer aided detection,” said Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Senior Director Marty Ward in a press release. “We will partner with the Family Health Connection to serve those with little or no insurance and we’ll also partner with communities, organizations, businesses and houses of worship to make access even more convenient for Northern Virginia residents.”
Ward says there is a lack of early detection and treatment of Breast Cancer in Prince William, especially for low-income women, and that can lead to high cancer death rates. Locally, data show more serious cancers are detected at a later stage, she added.
Annual mammograms are recommended for women 40-years-old or older.
The van comes as Sentara Northern Virginia Comprehensive Breast Center was granted a three-year, full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The center provides comprehensive care and information about clinical trials and treatment options.
TRIANGLE, Va. — Patches of unpaved road and orange traffic barrels remain, but the ribbon has been cut heralding the official opening of a widened U.S. 1 in Triangle.
County officials and residents gathered on the corner of U.S. 1 and Joplin Road June 6 to celebrate the improved roadway.
The $65.8 million project to widen the heavily used stretch of road at the entrance of Quantico Marine Corps Base, and between Joplin and Brady’s Hill roads from four to six lanes, was approved by voters in 2006 as part of a bond referendum.
The project’s initial $47 million cost ballooned when crews ran into utility relocation issues along the corridor. Higher costs can also be attributed to the nearly $50 million spent on right-of-way acquisition, officials said.
The widening brought the demolition of fast food restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores that once lined U.S. 1 in the area. Officials hope the new street improvements and new sidewalks will make the area into a more pedestrian-friendly village nestled outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps – a big tourism draw for Prince William County and the region.
The first phase of that village-like development was approved by county leaders earlier this year, when in March the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved a new zoning a three-acre development that is slated to include street-level retail spaces, as well as office space and a daycare center.
The wider U.S. 1 will improve traffic flow in the area, as well as address prior flooding problems in the area, according to a Prince William County press release.
Drivers can expect to see the final paved lane configuration markings and orange barrels removed by June 29.
DUMFRIES, Va. — A driver was pulled from his car this afternoon after it ran off the road near Dumfries.
The crash happened about 3 p.m. in the area of Va. 234 and Waterway Drive, at the entrance to the Montclair neighborhood.
The driver appeared to have had a seizure and was pulled from the wrecked vehicle, according to initial reports.
DUMFRIES, Va. — One of two new family health centers expected to serve 47,000 military personnel will open in Dumfries on July 2.
Located just outside the town on Fettler Park Drive, The Dumfries Health Center will outpatient primary and specialty care, as well as laboratory, radiology, and specialty health services for military members and dependents enrolled in TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Plus insurance programs.
With the opening of this new center, a The Woodbridge Family Health Center across from Potomac Mills mall and operated by CRAssociates for the past 10 years will close, and new company – Spectrum Healthcare – will operate the new Dumfries facility.
CRAssociates has fought the takeover of the operation, and a case slated to go before Circuit Court in November will address a zoning issue that some – including Delegate Scott Lingamfelter – feared would prevent a pharmacy at the new clinic. Lingamfelter, R-Woodbridge, Fauquier, penned a letter to Prince William County At-large Supervisor Corey Stewart urging the Board to rule on a zoning decision that would allow pharmacy at the new facility. County officials this week, said, however, a pharmacy is permitted in the new clinic per zoning rules, as it would be contained inside of the newly built facility.
According to Spectrum Healthcare, the transition to the new facility will be easy for patients.
“All patients currently enrolled at the Woodbridge Family Health Center will be automatically enrolled at the new Dumfries Health Center. We have made great efforts to ensure continuity of their care, and the vast majority of healthcare providers are transitioning to our new center. We are confident our dedicated healthcare team and the new facility will exceed our patients’ expectations,” said spokesman Raighne C. Delaney.
The Dumfries Health Clinic will be associated with Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. A second clinic will open at 10580 Arrowhead Road in Fairfax.
DUMFIRES, Va. — The Dumfries Summer Youth Employment Program will provide an opportunity for our area students to get an in-depth, hands-on experience on the internal workings of Town Hall, provide insight to the daily operations of local government and develop leadership skills through service based learning.
The students will be exposed to all aspects of Town Hall operations by working in some of the Town’s various departments to include, Community Services, Economic and Community Development, Public Works, and the Police Department. In addition, program participants will have the unique opportunity to be mentored by Town Council, during the length of the program.
Participants will be paid an hourly wage of $8 an hour for a 15-hour work week. The workplace schedule will be: two days a week, Monday-Thursday at Town Hall – for a total of ten hours, and each Friday at Weems-Botts Museum, for a total of five hours. Work hours will be between the hours of 9am-3pm. (Exact hours at Town Hall, will be determined after selection of program participants).
The Summer Youth Employment Program offers gainful summer employment for six weeks, in a positive, engaging atmosphere.
Students who are 15 -18 years of age, who are residents of the incorporated Town of Dumfries, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. Students must have no history of serious criminal or other antisocial behavior that might endanger their safety or that of others; have or be able to obtain a work permit as required under the laws of Virginia; have a Social Security number or have completed an application to secure one; must not be a relative to any Town of Dumfries employee, or Council member; be willing and able to work scheduled duty hours and participate in all assigned tasks.
How to Apply
To apply, students meeting these qualifications should complete the Summer Youth Employment Program application form, submit the 500-word essay along with two reference forms and return it by Wednesday June 13 at noon. Applications must be mailed to:
Town of Dumfries
Summer Youth Employment Program
Attn: Ms. Cydny A. Neville, MAEd
17755 Main Street
Dumfries, Virginia 22026
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Elected officials in Prince William County today voted to do away with discretionary funds.
In a letter from At-large Board Chairman Corey Stewart, the county’s top official announced the Board banned the monies known as slush funds from their budgets. The funds were not in the best interest of the county government or taxpayers, stated Stewart.
The Board also put in place tighter restrictions on how staff members who work at offices of Prince William Supervisors enter into contracts. The latter move was to fend off additional criticism of the Board, whose eight members have come under fire for the use of discretionary funds to pay for pet projects.
As part of the new rules, each Supervisors office will receive $20,000 less per year to bring funding in line with that of the At-large Chairman. In a press release, officials outlined how Supervisors may spend monies going forward.
• Funds may not be appropriated in cash or through in-kind donations to any non-governmental organization or any governmental entity that is the recipient of appropriated funds in the Prince William County budget:
• Funds may not be used to sponsor events or advertise in any publication associated with events;
• If a Supervisor is to attend an event in furtherance of the official duties of the District Supervisor, funds may be used to purchase a single ticket for admission to the event for the individual District Supervisor and/or designated staff member;
• Fund balances currently existing in District Office expense accounts for the current fiscal year or carried over from prior years may be transferred to a currently approved Capital Improvement Project fund or approved future Capital Improvement Projects;
• Fund balances remaining in District Office expense accounts at the end of each future fiscal year shall be automatically transferred to the County Revenue Stabilization Fund or to an approved Capital Improvement Project at the request of the District Supervisor;
• Board members will not pay nor incur a legal obligation to pay overtime or allow incurred comp time to Board office employees;
• No Board member will employ or retain any full-time or part-time employee on the County payroll who owns, is employed by, or is a contractor to any company which offers services for hire to any political campaign of that Board member;
• No Board member will engage or retain any vendor services using County funds where the vendor has been retained or is currently retained by the political campaign of that Board member;
• Every Board member will follow County Personnel Manual policies regarding nepotism in hiring employees and managing Board offices;
• Board members may retain up to 10% of salary and benefits cost on an annual basis to cover any unintended staff costs year-to-year.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.