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Burglary popular over past two days in Prince William County

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY – (Press Release) On October 11 at 9:31AM, officers responded to Toy Trains and Collectibles store located at 7216 New Market Ct in Manassas (20109) to investigate an attempted burglary. An employee reported that it appears entry was attempted into the business through the front glass door, which was damaged. No entry was made into the business and no property was reported missing.

Residential Burglary – On October 10 at 2:22PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 17000 block of Takeaway Ln in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a burglary. The homeowner reported to police that entry was made into an attached garage through an open door. The garage was rummaged through. No property was reported missing. During a canvass of the neighborhood, video surveillance was recovered showing three black males wearing hoodies and jeans walking around the neighborhood around 2:00AM checking car doors. The investigation continues.

Commercial Burglary – On October 10 at 7:55AM, officers responded to the Middlegroup Company scrap metal recycling center located at 13856 Dawson Beach Rd in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a burglary. An employee reported to police that video surveillance revealed that two unknown suspects entered the office of the business through a window, which was found damaged, around 12:44AM. The suspects took cash then fled the business on foot. The investigation continues.

Suspect Descriptions:

Suspect 1 is described as a white male, 5’06”, 220lbs, last seen wearing a short sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and gloves.

Suspect 2 is described as a white male, 5’09, 185lbs, wearing a short sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and gloves.

Residential Burglary | Domestic Related – On October 10 at 11:58AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 13600 block of Bentley Cir in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a domestic. The victim, identified as a 21-year-old woman, reported to police that she was leaving her residence when she was approached by the accused, an acquaintance. During the encounter, the accused grabbed the victim’s cell phone and threw it on the ground breaking it. When the victim went back inside of her residence, the accused forced his way into the residence and assaulted the victim. The accused eventually fled the residence on foot. Following the investigation, officers obtained arrest warrants for the accused, identified Germaine Creadle PALMER. The accused was eventually located later that evening in the area of Smoketown Rd and Prince William Pkwy by officers and arrested after a short foot pursuit, which ended on Shoppers Best Way.

Arrested on October 10:

Germaine Creadle PALMER, 25, of 3101 Butterfly Way in Dumfries

Charged burglary, domestic assault & battery, and destruction of property

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

How Sentara improves the prognosis in cases of Her2+ breast cancer

Pearl Hawver believes in the power of a positive attitude.

She also believes in the strength of preventative care, that’s why every year on her birthday she gives herself the best gift possible by making sure to get a mammogram.

That gift paid off in January 2015, when her routine mammogram discovered a lump in her in her right breast.

“My doctor said, ‘You have breast cancer.’  And I said, ‘Ok, what next?’ She said, ‘I’m waiting for you to react.’ I said, ‘You don’t call a person to tell them their mammogram was okay. So, I figured I had something.”

It’s that same direct, no-nonsense approach Pearl used to face her diagnosis of Her2+ breast cancer. She turned to the team of Dr. Farn Chan and Dr. Masoom Kandahari, Triple-Board Certified Hematology and Oncology Experts.

“The mission of our team is to implement a patient-centered environment where patients are at the core of discussion and decision making,” explains Dr. Kandahari, Medical Staff President at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, who has been treating patient in the Woodbridge area for almost 30 years.

“We often know all the cancer patients and share the responsibility in taking care of them, so patients won’t be with a completely new doctor who is not familiar with their case if one of us is not available. It also provides a unique opportunity for patients to have a second opinion in their care, without literally having to go to a separate location,” adds Dr. Chan, Chairman of the Cancer Committee and breast program leadership member of the hospital.

With Pearl’s diagnosis of HER2+ breast cancer, the doctors were able to consult with one another to determine the best course of action.

“Her2+ breast cancer tends to be more aggressive, associated with higher risk of recurrence and poorer prognosis in the absence of systemic therapy. However, prognosis has improved with the availability of Her2 targeted therapy.”

Pearl’s personalized medical plan included: six months of chemo, a lumpectomy, receiving radiation and then following up with a year of Her2 chemo. Her positive attitude helped lead the way.

“I did really well on chemo,” recalls Pearl, “I’m pretty laid back. I don’t let anything rent space in my head. I give it to God and we go from there. I don’t worry about things, I let the doctors take care of that,” says Pearl.

Pearl says part of the reason things went so well was because of the support she received from her family, especially her younger sister, Phyllis. Phyllis, also a breast cancer survivor, helped Pearl get to her assorted appointments, sat with her through chemo and provided the emotional and moral support she needed.

In the wake of Pearl’s recovery, Phyllis has even helped her channel her sewing talents to help fund breast cancer research.   

“Right now, I’m making pin cushion hats for Relay for Life,” says Pearl, “Last year, I did five tote bags and they went for $100 each!”

The 78-year-old is living her life to the fullest, spending time with her three kids, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, thanks to the team approach of Dr. Chan and Dr. Kandahari.

“Cancer is a journey and they are right there with you,” explains Pearl. “They were on top of everything and they were very good! They were considerate and kind. Plus, Sarah, the clinical nurse manager, was just wonderful during the chemo treatments.”

The multi-disciplinary team approach, in the office and within the Sentara Cancer Network, allowed Pearl to get state-of-the-art care. Sentara Healthcare is the first system in Virginia to be accredited as an Integrated Network Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, meaning connections to a network of doctors, researchers, and groundbreaking clinical expertise. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center was the first in the area to offer Xoft® Radiation Therapy System for patients with early-stage breast cancer. This, coupled with the exemplary patient care of an Oncology Nurse Navigator, who guides patients and their family through the sometimes daunting experience of a cancer diagnosis, is all in an effort to improve health every day.

To schedule an appointment, call 703-523-1560 or visit Sentara.com for more information on women’s health imaging near you.

Multiple incidents of strangulation, abduction in Prince William County

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY – (Press Release) On October 9 at 2:30PM, Glen Felix CORUM, wanted for a strangulation that occurred earlier that morning, was located and arrested after he had returned to the residence located in the 15100 block of Lee Hwy in Gainesville.

Arrested on October 9:

                Glen Felix CORUM, 37, of no fixed address

Charged with for 1 count of attempted malicious wounding, 1 count of strangulation, 1 count of abduction, and 2 counts of attempting to stab in commission of a felony

Court Date: November 28, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond 

Attempted Malicious Wounding | Strangulation [Previously Released] – On October 9 at 4:30AM, officers responded to investigate an assault that was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the 15100 block of Lee Hwy in Gainesville (20155). The victim, a 42-year-old woman, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated. During the encounter, the accused placed a razor blade and a knife against the victim’s neck. At one point, the accused also attempted to strangle the victim and prevented her from leaving the residence. The victim was eventually able to flee the home and flag down passing motorists for assistance. Minor injuries were reported. Officers responded to the offense location and determined the accused fled prior to their arrival at the home. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Glen Felix CORUM. Attempts to locate the accused were unsuccessful.

Strangulation | Domestic Related *ARREST –  On October 6, Dwayne Leyonel BUCK, wanted for a strangulation that occurred at a residence located in the 14700 block of Barksdale St in Woodbridge on April 12, was located and arrested by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland. The accused remains incarcerated in Maryland pending extradition back to Virginia.

                Arrested on October 6: [No Photo Available]

                Dwayne Leyonel BUCK, 25, of no fixed address

                Charged with strangulation and destruction of property

Court Date: Pending | Status: Awaiting Extradition 

Strangulation | Domestic Related [Previously Released] – On April 12 at 11:38PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 14700 block of Barksdale St in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a domestic. The victim, a 36-year-old woman, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation, which escalated. During the encounter, the accused pushed the victim then took her cell phone and damaged the screen. As the victim turned to walk away, the accused grabbed her and placed her in a chokehold. The parties eventually separated and the accused fled the area on foot. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, officers obtained arrest warrants for the accused, identified as Dwayne Leyonel BUCK. Attempts to locate the accused have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues. 

Strangulation | Domestic Related – On October 8 at 12:20AM, officers responded to an apartment located in the 1900 block of Gableridge Turn in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a domestic. The victim, a 28-year-old woman, reported to police that she and the accused, a family member, were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated. During the encounter, the accused grabbed the victim by the neck. The parties eventually separated, and the police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Milton Mardoquedo FIGUEROA BAIRES, was arrested without incident.

                Arrested on October 8:

                Milton Mardoquedo FIGUEROA BAIRES, 25, of the 1800 block of Gableridge Turn in Woodbridge

                Charged with strangulation and domestic assault & battery

                Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Strangulation | Abduction | Domestic Related – On October 6 at 11:23AM, officers responded to investigate an assault that occurred between 8:00PM on October 3 and 1:55AM on October 4 in the area of Hillendale Dr and Dale Blvd in Woodbridge (22193). The victim, an adult female, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated while they were driving in the above area. During the encounter, the accused struck the victim several times before brandishing a gun at her. When the victim exited the vehicle, the accused forced her back into the vehicle at gunpoint. At some point, the accused also choked the victim. The accused eventually let the victim go then drove away. The victim responded to the Charlie T. Dean Station on October 6 to report the incident. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, officers obtained additional charges for the accused, identified as Paulo Roberto Castellani LISBOA, who had been previously arrested on October 4 for a robbery that occurred at the Sheetz on Prince William Pkwy a short time after this incident. The accused remains incarcerated at the Prince William – Manassas Adult Detention Center located at 9320 Lee Ave in Manassas.

Arrested on October 7: [No Photo Available]

                Paulo Roberto Castellani LISBOA, 20, of 14510 Duran Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with strangulation, abduction, malicious wounding, brandishing a firearm,  and assault & battery

                Court Date: November 26, 2018 | Bond: Remains incarcerated 

Abduction | Domestic Related – On October 7 at 5:36PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 1900 block of Heatherbrook Ct in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate an abduction. The victim, a 30-year-old woman, reported to police that she and the accused, an acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated. During the encounter, the accused took the victim’s cell phone and damaged it. The accused and the victim eventually got into a vehicle and began driving around the Lake Ridge area. When the victim attempted to exit the vehicle on several occasions, the accused pulled her back into the vehicle. At some point, the victim was able to exit the vehicle in the 12500 block of Gordon Blvd, and the accused fled the area. The victim later returned to her residence where police were contacted. Following the investigation, officers obtained warrants for the arrest of the accused, identified as Dallas Deonte COX, who turned himself in at the Gar-Field Station without incident on October 9. Minor injuries were reported by the victim and the accused.

                Arrested on October 9:

                Dallas Deonte COX, 32, of 205 Sunny Hill Ct in Stafford

Charged with abduction, robbery, destruction of property, assault & battery, and preventing the summoning of a law enforcement officer

Court Date: November 20, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

OmniRide wants to shift its western center from Manassas Mall to downtown

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Wawa Foundation announces Wawa Foundation Virginia ‘Hero Awards’

(Press Release) The Wawa Foundation, Wawa’s non-profit through which its charitable giving is channeled, is thrilled to announce the Virginia “Hero Awards.” The awards will honor Virginia Non-Profits that assist others and help to advance their communities. The Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Awards are being launched during Wawa’s 20-Year Virginia “Wawaversary”—marking two decades since the grand opening of its first store in the state of Virginia.
 
Three awards will be presented, one in each of the markets Wawa serves, recognizing the important role non-profits and all citizens have in improving and building stronger communities. The following grant awards will be presented: One Hero Award ($20,000 grant) and three Runner-Up Awards ($5,000 each) in each of the following markets: Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, and the Peninsula & Hampton Roads.
 
“Since we opened our first store in Virginia, Wawa has made connections with millions of customers across dozens of communities. Our Virginia Hero Awards are a way for us to say thank you to those area non-profits that do so much for the communities we serve across Virginia” said Jay Culotta, President of The Wawa Foundation.
 
Non-profit organizations may apply by submitting a video and/or a short story with background on the organization’s work with, and impact on, the community. Four finalists will be featured in a final voting round in each market. Community members will be invited to cast their vote between November 20th and December 4th for the everyday hero they believe has had the greatest impact on their community. The organization receiving the highest number of votes in each market will be recognized with The Wawa Foundation Hero Awards at events to be held the week of December 17, 2018.
 
“At Wawa, we were founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and we are honored to serve another great Commonwealth for the past 20 years here in Virginia,” said Chris Gheysens, CEO. “We strive to provide for our communities by supporting the common good, not only through the quality food and convenience of our stores, but through our Wawa Foundation’s mission to build stronger communities.”
 
The deadline for submissions is October 24, 2018. For more information on The Wawa Foundation Virginia Hero Awards and eligibility requirements, criteria and submission process, please visit www.TheWawaFoundation.org.
 
About The Wawa Foundation
The Wawa Foundation is an extension of Wawa’s commitment to making the world a better place by fulfilling customers’ lives every day. The Wawa Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded by Wawa, Inc. to support the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities – and ultimately to help build happier, stronger communities. The Wawa Foundation focuses its support on organizations committed to health, hunger and everyday heroes through local, state and national grants and in-kind donations. Since 2014, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have donated more than $58 million to causes supporting health, hunger and the heroes who serve our communities every day.
 
The first Wawa store in Virginia is located on Carl D. Silver Parkway in Fredericksburg.

Call to Action: Can you lend a few volunteer hours?

Good Morning Prince William –
 
The Prince William County Eatz & Brew event is Saturday October 13th, 12-7pm at Manassas Mall. Come enjoy live music, special food vendors, giveaways, contests, games and kid’s activities.  This will be held in the parking lot in front of Sears and promises to be fun for the whole family.
 
Virginia Service invites you to nominate your favorite volunteer for the 2019 Governor’s Award in Volunteering Excellence.  The categories include Adult, youth, senior, family, faith-based organization, educational institution, community organization, small business and corporation.  Nominations are due by December 15th.  Please visit http://www.virginiaservice.virginia.gov for all the specifics.
 
The Greater Washington Heart Walk needs volunteers on November 3rd on the Mall as course marshal, set-up, sponsor assistance and more.  Volunteers must be 16 yrs. or accompanied by an adult. Please register on-line at: greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org and click on detailed info for all the specifics.
 
Hurricane Florence is at the top of everyone’s mind along the east coast.  My colleagues at the Cape Fear Volunteer Center in Wilmington, NC will be managing volunteers when it is safe to proceed. If you are interested in clearing debris, serving food, transporting supplies, answering phones and mucking out basements then please register on their website: http://www.capefearvolunteercenter.org. PLEASE DO NOT SELF DEPLOY!  Keep the first responders safe and wait to be called.  This is going to be a very long recovery.
 
Youth for Tomorrow is looking for male mentors to share their time and talent with a young man.  This promises to be a rewarding few hours per month, providing male youth with a positive role model to emulate.  Please fill out the volunteer application at youthfortomorrow.org.
 
Prince William Conservation Alliance needs volunteers for the continuing buffer restoration on Minnieville Road on 10/ 20 from 10am-12pm.  Please RSVP to: alliance@pwconserve.org.
 
Prince William Recycles Day on Saturday October 13th from 10am-2pm needs volunteers ages 12 and up to help with all the fun activities.  This is a great teen project! Please contact Keep Prince William Beautiful at (571) 285-3772 or via email at: info@kpwb.org for all the latest info.
 
Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver noon meals to homebound seniors throughout the community.  These meals are delivered Monday-Friday, no weekends, holidays and during periods of inclement weather. It takes about 2 hours to do your route and certainly can pick you day.  This is a perfect job if you can flex out of work for a little extra lunch period.  Please call Melodee at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.
 
Soroptimists International of Manassas is hosting Family Night Out events at local restaurants this fall.  Visit Jukebox Diner in Manassas through Nov. 22 and The Bone in Old Town Manassas Oct. 25 – a portion of your receipt will help this organization with their scholarship fund.  It’s a great way to get out of fixing dinner and support a worthy cause!  Please email vlatimer6069@gmail.com for more information.
 
Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William is seeking volunteer tutors.  Give the gift of literacy to local adults! Previous experience is not necessary.  The next Tutor Training Workshop is November 3rd, 8:45 am-4pm and November 17th, 9am-12pm.  Attendance both days is required. Please register at (703) 670-5702 or lvapw@aol.com.
 
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is on Saturday October 20 in Old Town Manassas.  Volunteers are needed for set-up, refreshments, advocacy, finish line brigade and route monitoring.  You can sign up online at http://bit.ly/ALZWalkManassas or email Ben at: bedonnelly@alz.org to learn more.
 
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to deliver noon meals through the Meals on Wheels Program.  Shifts are just 2-3 hours and available in throughout the greater area.  RSVP members receive a mileage reimbursement and additional insurance coverage at no cost to the volunteer.  Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 to learn more.
If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William.  Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like.  Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 2, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3.
 
Please visit our website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org.  Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Prince William County firefighters to join students in International Walk to School Day

Prince William County – (Press Release) Firefighters in Prince William County will join students from around the county to celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 10, 2018. Approximately 10,000 students from 30 Prince William County Public Schools will be walking and rolling to school on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, along with parents, teachers, community leaders and members of the Department of Fire & Rescue.

The event will begin at various times corresponding with the school’s opening. Kids, parents and community leaders will walk from meeting points along the walker’s route. Walkers at some schools will be joined by Fire & Rescue personnel as they exit the buses and enter the schools for the day. Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.

“The Walk to School activities that each participating school undertakes heightens the importance of safe routes to and from school each day while encouraging all students to walk and be active for their health as well as their safety, states Prince William County Fire & Rescue Chief Kevin McGee. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community. We thank our partner, Prince William County Public Schools for the support and commitment to the safety and health of our students here in Prince William County.”

For additional local information and a complete list of schools participating, please contact Christopher Brothers at 703-792-7736 or Kim Hylander at 703-792-6162. For additional information, please visit these websites:

Walk to School Day in the USA

www.walkbiketoschool.org

National Center for Safe Routes to School

www.saferoutesinfo.org

About International Walk to School Day

  • Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
  • In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
  • The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the United States.
  • Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
  • Organizations supporting International Walk to School Day, in the United States, include America Walks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

 

Velocity Urgent Care Expands to Northern Virginia with Woodbridge location

WOODBRIDGE — Velocity Urgent Care is pleased to announce its newest walk-in urgent center in Woodbridge, Virginia at the Intersection of Daisy Reid Avenue and Prince William Parkway, just 1 mile west of Old Bridge Road.  The center will open for business on September 3, 2018, at 4565 Daisy Reid Avenue.  Velocity is eager to serve the needs of Woodbridge and Prince William County with the first of multiple planned new centers in Northern Virginia. 
 
Velocity Urgent Care features on-site digital x-ray, EKG, a basic menu of laboratory services, and its clinicians provide a full complement of urgent care services for unexpected injury and illness.  Velocity Urgent care is focused on the delivery of fast, quality and cost-effective health care for conditions that cannot wait for a primary care appointment but are not medical emergencies.  Common conditions treated include flu symptoms, coughs, earaches, headaches, sprains, strains, fractures, minor cuts, scrapes, and rashes.  Most insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, and there is also a “no surprises” self-pay option. 

What differentiates Velocity Urgent Care from “run-of-the-mill” urgent care centers is its focus on what’s important to the patient.  “We put patients first in everything we do,” said Alan Ayers, Chief Executive Officer. “We know today’s health care consumer is extremely busy and nobody has time to be sick, so our goal is to get you back to ‘life’ as quickly as possible.”

As a partner with Sentara Healthcare, Velocity Urgent Care works with primary care physicians, providing a copy of the patient’s chart with authorization, and maintains referral relationships with local specialists and facilities for patients who require a higher level of care.  “The partnership between Velocity Urgent Care and Sentara Healthcare improves access, coordination, and affordability of care in Prince William County,” said Kathie Johnson, President of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

Velocity’s first Woodbridge location will be open 7-days-a-week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.  Wi-fi and refreshments are available.  Patients seeking care can simply walk in or reserve their spot online at www.velocityuc.com. 
 
About Velocity Urgent Care 
Velocity Urgent Care currently has 13 locations across Virginia including Williamsburg, Virginia Beach (3), Carrolton, Gloucester, Newport News, Norfolk (2), South Boston, and Suffolk with additional locations planned.  Each center provides high-quality, walk-in medical for illness or injury that cannot wait for a primary care appointment but not severe enough to warrant an emergency room visit.  Licensed medical providers treat the flu, strep throat, rashes, dehydration, ear infections, concussions, sprains, strains, minor fractures and more.  For more information, visit velocityuc.com.

Monday is Columbus Day. Here are 10 great ways to enjoy your day off.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this latest Potomac Local List. 

We probably don’t need to remind you that Monday is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Make the most of it. Here are 10 great ways to enjoy your day off.

Visit an escape room – Escape rooms are growing in popularity and are popping up all over Prince William County. The Great Xcape in Manassas will be open from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. that day and will offer escape adventures like “The Mystery of the Missing Millions,” “Mad Scientist,” “The Following,” and “Shipwrecked,” according to their website.

The Escape Room Manassas will be open by appointment only. 

“For the escape room, all reservations are made through our website. Our escape room is the amulet room, where you find a mystical amulet in a haunted library,” according to their general manager.

Don’t forget about Escape Room Woodbridge for those who live in eastern Prince William County. Here too, games are by appointment only, and gamers have three rooms to choose from. The escape room is open Thursday 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5:30 p.m. 

Enjoy nature – The weather is finally cooling off so that you can enjoy crisp autumn days outdoors. There are many local places where you can go for a day hike in Prince William County.

Prince William Forest Park offers hiking, on and off-road biking, tent, RV and cabin camping, fishing, picnic areas, orienteering and wildlife watching, according to their website.

Tour a local historical site – Prince William County has many historic sites that are educational and family-friendly.

The Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Columbus day, according to their website.

“Museum tours include an overview of Dumfries’ significant colonial history as well as a detailed look into the house’s historic past. Visitors travel through time as they tour period rooms decorated in 18th, 19th, and 20th century styles while learning about how the property was used as a vestry by the colonial church, possibly as a bookshop by Parson Weems (George Washington’s first biographer and author of the cherry tree story), as a law office by Benjamin Botts (Aaron Burr’s youngest defense attorney during his 1807 treason trial) and as a home for nearly a century by the Merchant Family,” states their website.

Have a nice meal out – There are so many quality restaurants in the county. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can likely find it locally.

Passion Fin is a new sushi and hibachi restaurant. Owner Jay Lin recommends diners try their sashimi and one of their signature sushi dishes, the “Red Skins Roll,” a shrimp tempura, spicy crab meat, spicy tuna, and avocado roll.

If you’re in the mood for Thai, Bann Thai Old Town is the newest Thai place in Occoquan. Their signature dishes include Pad Thai, a rice noodle based dish, and Kapraw, a Thai basil-based dish, according to owner Nalinrat Pienthumdee.

Visit a winery – Virginia is home to some award-winning wineries. The Winery at Bull Run offers history, stunning natural views, and award-winning wines.

“We’re a working farm vineyard focused on crafting fine Virginia wines while paying tribute to the history and preservation of 19th century pastoral Fairfax County,” states their website.

Catch the latest movie – Woodbridge is now home to The Alamo Drafthouse, where you can dine and enjoy beverages while watching the movie. Their website says, “Forget dinner and a movie, it’s all about dinner AT the movie.”

Paint and sip – Enjoy beer, wine or soda while you paint your own masterpiece at Muse Paintbar in Woodbridge. Their class on Columbus day starts at 7 p.m., according to their website.

Revamp your fall wardrobe – Prepare yourself for sweater weather at one of the areas malls or town centers like Potomac Mills Mall or Virginia Gateway Promenade.

Pick a home improvement project – Pick a simple home improvement project that can be completed in a day and dig in. A great one-day project is fall planting.

Meadow Farms Nursery in Manassas “offers a full selection of shade and flowering trees, native plants, Japanese maples, shrubs, groundcovers, and perennial and annual flower selections, including options from the Proven Winners and Simply Beautiful lines,” according to their website.

Donate your time – Volunteering is a wonderful way to spend a day off from work. There are many local organizations looking for generous people to help out their causes. Read more about them in our recent article about volunteer openings in Prince William.

Haymarket shoe drive aims to raise cash for students

Tonya Carter and Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority President Lorraine Jackson

HAYMARKET — A Prince William County service groups have their feet on the ground and is taking donations of used shoes.

The Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority partnered with Funds2Orgs to raise funds for students in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

The group aims to collect $1,000 for local students by collecting bags of used shoes, said Tonya Carter, a spokeswoman for the sorority.

“Each bag contains 25 pairs of shoes.  Funds2orgs will then write a check for the weight of the shoes collected, approximately $1,000 for 100 bags of shoes.  Funds2orgs then provides the shoes to any of 26 impoverished countries that they are partnering with to create micro-businesses in order to help their economic state.  The majority of the shoes tend to go to Haiti, Ghana, and Bolivia,” states Carter, in an email. 

The sorority will accept donations of shoes on Thursday starting from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Carter’s home at 6753 Edgartown Way in Haymarket. Afterward, crews will begin bundling the shoes for pick up.

“Our Chapter President, Lorraine Jackson, challenged us to find new and different ways to raise funds for scholarships and programs.  She felt strongly that this effort mirrors much of what we stand for, and I took the lead to get it going.  As the lead, I’ve been working out of my home to manage this project, so the shoes are stored there.  Between my husband’s shop, Carter Fleet Services, and our garage, we were able to store all of the shoes without an expense, which is very important to a non-profit organization,” states organizer Tonya Carter in an email.

To reach her $1,000 goal, Carter hopes to collect thousands of pounds of shoes.

“This amount comes from collecting 2,500 pounds, which comes to about 100 bags.  Because Funds2orgs is driving from Florida to pick them up, if we do not hit the 2500 lbs., they will withhold $250 from the proceeds to cover the cost of the trip.  We would like to maximize our efforts, so we will continue to bundle shoes until the truck arrives in order to do so.” 

Prince William County to hold Parks and Recreation community forum

Prince William County, Virginia — The Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is hosting a community forum on Saturday, October 6th from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the James J. McCoart Administration Building. Part of a broader Parks & Recreation community needs assessment, this forum is an opportunity for residents to help shape the future of Prince William County’s recreational and facility offerings.

Input from this facilitated discussion will be used to update the County’s Comprehensive Plan, which will inform the next 10 years of park development.

“Prince William County operates 55 developed parks and facilities, spanning more than 4,000 acres, that provide playgrounds, trails, marinas, fitness centers, skate parks, sports fields, and many other amenities, ” says Seth Hendler-Voss, the County’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “As we plan for the future, it is critical we understand how well we are meeting our residents’ needs for both passive and active recreation opportunities today, and develop a full grasp of the needs of tomorrow. “

“Parks are central to positioning Prince William County as a vibrant community of choice where families choose to live and businesses choose to locate,” added Hendler-Voss.

Virginia sees Express Lanes as future autonomous cars test track

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Preschool at the Manassas Park Community Center

The Manassas Park Community Center is devoted to bringing quality programs to families. Our Preschool has been a staple program for years. We had the chance to sit with two of our Preschool teachers, Arely Angel and Ragan Rohland, to discuss key points about the program.

Angel has seven years of experience working at the Manassas Park Community Center. She has a CDA (Child Development Associate) certificate, along with over 50 college credits on Early Childhood Education. She is currently working towards her Associate’s Degree. Rohland has six years of experience in early childhood development. She began her career at the Community Center working in Kids Korner, which is a childcare option for parents as they take part in various classes. After a few months, she transitioned to the Preschool division while obtaining an Early Childhood Certificate and an Associate’s Degree. They participated in numerous continuing education opportunities to aid in the growth of our Preschool program.

“Our Preschool program is a licensed and Virginia Quality rated program. Our curriculum emphasizes recreation with creative programs that encourage participation,” shared Angel. When asked about the importance of preschool, Rohland said “Preschool is an extremely important aspect of growth and development for children by preparing them for school. Within preschool, there is a focus on the developmental domains to help them transition into kindergarten.” Referring to specific aspects in the curriculum, Angel emphasized, “Children learn the value of education and respecting others’ thoughts and opinions. They also learn the value of self-awareness and confidence. Lastly, they learn the value of community, family, and independence.”

We prepare our classroom to create a welcoming, safe, and age-appropriate environment for our students by childproofing doorknobs and disinfecting all surfaces. It’s important to note that our classrooms are a peanut-free zone!

When asked about other events outside of the regular curriculum, Rohland said, “We host several events during the school year that promote community and family involvement. The first few Preschool events we have are the Pumpkin Patch, Harvest Dinner, and the Holiday Party. Spring events start with our Valentine’s Day Party, Easter Egg Hunt, Mother’s Day tea, Donuts with Dad, our Pool Party. At the end of the school year, we have our Senior Preschool Graduation to celebrate our kids.”

Applications for Preschool are accepted year round! If you have any questions regarding the program, contact Sue Jurjevic via email at s.jurjevic@manassasparkva.gov or Arely Angel at a.angel@manassasparkva.gov.

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at www.ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

Surrounded by unmarked graves, ghosts stir inside Ben Lomond House

Editor’s note: We’re featuring the stories of some spooky hunts in our region during October. 

It was after a bloody battle a few miles north of Manassas Junction on July 21, 1861, that a young Confederate soldier named Edward Craighill found himself attending to the wounded at Ben Lomond.

Craighill was a medical steward assigned to the house that was forcefully commandeered as a field hospital after the battle. Shortly following the battle and after a long shift, an exhausted Craighill tried to find a spot next to a campfire close to the house between some trees.

Miserable, wet and cold, Craighill found “a place between two sleeping soundly” and himself fell asleep:

“The next morning when I awoke the sun was high in the sky, but I noticed that neither of the men I was between had stirred, and upon examination found they were stone dead. Neither moved when I took my place between them, and I have never known whether they were dead then or had died in the night from their wounds, which I found the next day to be frightful. They were carried out and buried in the Pringle garden the next day, with others, very likely, almost certainly ‘somebody’s darlings’ whom I expect to this day, are wondering what became of the after the battle. A bloody battle is a dreadful experience…”

What became known as the First Battle of Manassas left over 3,500 men injured or killed between the Union and Confederate forces. For those poor soldiers who succumbed to their wounds, many were interred in unmarked graves making the location hallowed ground.

Today the house and the surrounding six acres comprise the Ben Lomond Historic Site, operated by Prince William Historic Preservation Division, where visitors are invited to learn about nineteenth-century medicine and experience the sounds and smells of this horrific part of Northern Virginia’s Civil War history.

But for some guests, the historic interpretation and engagement of the physical senses provided by the site staff is just the formal part of the program. A visit to the recovery rooms where soldiers dealt with hardship, despair, and anguish, or the surgery room where they encountered excruciating pain, can appeal to other, more subtle, senses.

Moving through the rooms conjures up more than tangible impressions. As some visitors explore the hospital, they claim to feel the energy of soldiers who may still reside in the hallways.

The list of names of men who walked, or were carried, through the doors of Ben Lomond is long and saddening, but surely the list of those unknown soldiers whose mortal remains never left the site is much longer and daunting. Maybe those poor souls, to whom Craighill alluded, are still trying to find a way home.

For more information about Ben Lomond Historic Site or to learn about fall programming at the site, please visit pwcgov.org/history or call 703-367-7872.

Call to Action: A lot going on Oct. 6, many opportunities to give back

Good Morning Prince William – CASA Children’s Intervention Services is hosting a volunteer information session on Monday October 9th, 6pm at the Chinn Park library. Come learn about being an advocate for an abused or neglected child.  This is a wonderful program and you’ll hear firsthand from seasoned volunteers with the program. Please email Suzanne at: smitchell@casacis.org  for more info.

·         Historic Manassas needs volunteers next Saturday October 6th to help at the Manassas Jubilee Festival.  First shift is 6:45-10am to help direct crafters to their spot.  Second shift is 9:30-1pm to help at the stage check-in and last shift is 12:30-5pm also at the stage check-in.  Please email Melissa at: melissa@historicmanassasinc.org with your name and time you can volunteer.

·         Prince William County Public Works needs volunteers on Saturday October 6th at 8am for a clean-up event at the Neabsco Creek Wetlands. Equipment and beverages provided but please wear comfortable boots or shoes, dress for the weather, bring gloves and safety goggles. This is a very rewarding environmental project.  Please call (703) 499-9812 to register.

·         The Autism Society of Northern Virginia needs volunteers on Saturday October 6th for their Annual Walk & Family Festival at the PWC Fairgrounds. Please email them for all the specifics at: volunteer@asnv.org.

·         The Greater Washington Heart Walk needs volunteers on November 3rd on the Mall as course marshal, set-up, sponsor assistance and more.  Volunteers must be 16 yrs. or accompanied by an adult. Please register on-line at: greaterwashingtonheartwalk.org and click on detailed info for all the specifics.

·          Hurricane Florence is at the top of everyone’s mind along the east coast.  My colleagues at the Cape Fear Volunteer Center in Wilmington, NC will be managing volunteers when it is safe to proceed. If you are interested in clearing debris, serving food, transporting supplies, answering phones and mucking out basements then please register on their website: www.capefearvolunteercenter.org. PLEASE DO NOT SELF DEPLOY!  Keep the first responders safe and wait to be called.  This is going to be a very long recovery.

·         Youth for Tomorrow is looking for male mentors to share their time and talent with a young man.  This promises to be a rewarding few hours per month, providing male youth with a positive role model to emulate.  Please fill out the volunteer application at youthfortomorrow.org.

·         Prince William Conservation Alliance needs volunteers for the continuing buffer restoration on Minnieville Road on 10/ 20 from 10am-12pm.  Please RSVP to: alliance@pwconserve.org.

·         Prince William Recycles Day on Saturday October 13th from 10am-2pm needs volunteers ages 12 and up to help with all the fun activities.  This is a great teen project! Please contact Keep Prince William Beautiful at (571) 285-3772 or via email at: info@kpwb.org for all the latest info.

·         The Salvation Army is gearing up for their Angel Tree Program this fall.  Volunteers are needed to register families for just 2 hours a day on October 9, 10, 11 and 15th. at their Lake Ridge location.  Please contact Shawnte Brown at (703) 580-8991 to share the joy of the season.

·         The SERVE Shelter in Manassas is looking for volunteer groups to purchase, prepare and serve meals to the residents of the shelter. The dates needed are brunch on 10/6and 10/7, dinner on 10/14 and 10/28.  Gather up your favorite recipes and friends to share with the families at SERVE.  Please call Julie at (571) 748-2674 for more info.

·         Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver noon meals to homebound seniors throughout the community.  These meals are delivered Monday-Friday, no weekends, holidays and during periods of inclement weather. It takes about 2 hours to do your route and certainly can pick you day.  This is a perfect job if you can flex out of work for a little extra lunch period.  Please call Melodee at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.

·         Soroptimists International of Manassas is hosting Family Night Out events at local restaurants this fall.  Visit Jukebox Diner in Manassas through Nov. 22 and The Bone in Old Town Manassas Oct. 25 – a portion of your receipt will help this organization with their scholarship fund.  It’s a great way to get out of fixing dinner and support a worthy cause!  Please email vlatimer6069@gmail.com for more information.

·         Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers to help them at community fairs and festivals by manning their booth for a couple of hours each day.  You’ll receive all the training and information needed and this is a fun way to get out and meet people.  Some of the dates needed are 10/8 and 10/13.  Please call Nicole to learn more at (571) 285-3772.

·         Give the gift of literacy to local adults!  Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William is seeking volunteer tutors.  Previous experience is not necessary.  The next Tutor Training Workshop is November 3rd, 8:45 am-4pm and November 17th, 9am-12pm.  Attendance both days is required.  Please register at (703) 670-5702 or lvapw@aol.com.

·         Mark your calendars for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday October 20 in Old Town Manassas.  Volunteers are needed for set-up, refreshments, advocacy, finish line brigade and route monitoring.  You can sign up online at http://bit.ly/ALZWalkManassas or email Ben at: bedonnelly@alz.org to learn more.

·         The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to deliver noon meals through the Meals on Wheels Program.  Shifts are just 2-3 hours and available in throughout the greater area.  RSVP members receive a mileage reimbursement and additional insurance coverage at no cost to the volunteer. 

Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 to learn more.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William.  Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like.  Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 2, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3.  Please visit our website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. 

Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Prince William School Board candidates aim to turn the page on Sawyers, talk funding, security

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FBI Agent battles Lymphoma 17 years after September 11th with the help of the Sentara Cancer Network

“I’ve seen a lot of pretty bad situations. I’ve worked explosive cases all around the world: the Embassy bombing in Africa, the Unabomber case, plane crashes in New York and Mexico. I’ve seen a lot of bad things in my 25 years as an agent, I don’t want to say I’m used to it, but that’s kind of the job I am there to do,” says FBI explosives expert, Thomas Mohnal.

Seventeen years ago when the planes hit the twin towers on September 11th, he received orders to get to New York City as soon as possible. As Mohnal sat in traffic that morning on Interstate 395, the unthinkable happened, another plane crashed, this time into the Pentagon.

“I’m parallel with the Pentagon in stopped traffic and I watched the plane crash. I was the first one to call into FBI headquarters and notify them that a plane just hit the Pentagon,” he recalls. The series of events made the Prince William County resident the first FBI agent on the scene, as well as one of the first, first responders.

“The flames and the fire burning was tremendous. I’ve done a lot of testing with explosive and gas-enhanced explosives, but I can’t even describe to you how big the fireball was when the plane hit,” he vividly remembers. “It pretty much encompassed the majority of the Pentagon.”

For next month and a half, Mohnal spent his days working recovery and investigating the Pentagon scene.

“The jet fuel that was burning, plastics, metals, and the debris were all airborne. It was bad,” he recalls.

As the years have passed, the survivors and first responders of that day have had to deal with another challenging reminder of our nation’s tragedy. According to the World Trade Center Health Program, more than 87,000 Americans have been diagnosed with severe health conditions, including cancer, in the wake of the attacks. Thomas Mohnal is one of them.

A miracle found within a ruptured appendicitis

It started nearly two years ago. In August 2016, the now 61-year-old came to the hospital with a ruptured appendix. In the course of his care, doctors had ordered a CT scan to assess the situation. It was there Mohnal learned he was dealing with more than just appendicitis.

“Sentara’s radiologist actually noticed at the very top of the CT scan, I mean the very top! Luckily, he was able to see it. He noticed three tumors and said it was consistent with lymphoma,” explains Mohnal.

The husband and father went from requiring surgery and consulting with a General Surgeon to meeting with Dr. Farn Chan, a Triple-Board Certified Hematology and Oncology Expert and Chairman of the Cancer Committee for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“Here I’m expecting a surgery for an appendix, and I was a little worried about the rupture, but now they’re telling me, ‘You also have lymphoma.’ It was a lot, but they did it in such a way that they calmed me, saying we caught it early,” remembers Mohnal.

Personalized Medicine for fighting lymphoma

Before Mohnal knew it, he was on a regimen to attack his tumors and combat his cancer. His tumors, which ranged in size from 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ inches, didn’t respond to the first combination of drugs, that’s when Dr. Chan made the decision to change his therapy to “R-CHOP,” commonly used in the treatment of lymphoma.

“I lost all my hair. It was pretty bad, but the good thing about it was all was the nurses. Dr. Kandahari and the oncology nurse, Sarah, at Cancer & Blood Specialists of NOVA, are just perfect. They make the treatment very smooth and calming. Everyone is so professional and so knowledgeable,” says Mohnal.

Even though it wasn’t always the easiest of roads, Mohnal prides himself with never having missed a day of work while on his treatments.

“I can’t say enough good things about my care,” says Mohnal pausing, thinking about the what-ifs. “The way I’m looking at it, the radiologist who caught these tumors gave me a jump on my treatment. I never had symptoms, my physical and blood work were clear, if these tumors weren’t spotted when they were, they could have grown and spread to other organs, the treatment would’ve been a lot harsher, I can tell you that.”

Today Mohnal is feeling good. He’s living with his cancer and on a maintenance regimen which involves three-hour infusions, every eight weeks. His recent scans show one of his tumors is gone and the other two have decreased in size. 

“It’s the best news I’ve gotten in two years, I’ll tell ya that!” says Mohnal smiling. “Both Dr. Chan and Dr. Kandahari were thrilled to death. That was the best they were expecting, the results we’re getting are amazing.”

While Mohnal doesn’t know what the future holds, he doesn’t second-guess the past. When asked if he would change his actions from all those years ago, if he knew what it would mean for his health, his answer is simple.

“Never crossed my mind. I never thought about it. But once again, I was an FBI agent and that’s kind of what we do. Would I do it again? Absolutely,” he said.

September is Lymphoma Awareness Month. Lymphoma is a cancer of a part of the immune system, also called the lymphatic system. Lymphoma may develop in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It’s estimated nearly 75,000 people are diagnosed with NHL every year. In NHL, white blood cells, called T cells or B cells, become abnormal. There are more than 61 types of NHL.

To learn more about lymphoma, visit the Lymphoma Research Foundation website lymphoma.org

Sentara Healthcare is the first system in Virginia to be accredited as an Integrated Network Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, meaning connections to a network of doctors, researchers, and groundbreaking clinical expertise. To learn more or find the provider that’s right for you, call 1-800-Sentara or visit Sentara.com/cancer.

Get a free flu shot at Veterans Park Community Center

MANASSAS — (Press Release) The Prince William Health District encourages everyone to protect themselves, those they love, and those around them by getting an annual flu shot. The health district is offering free flu shots for those six months and older at the Veterans Park Community Center on Thursday, October 11 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., or while vaccine supplies last. The Community Center is located at 14300 Veterans Drive in Woodbridge. No appointment is necessary and the shots are free.

The flu is a contagious illness caused by a virus and is spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal discharge. Symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose. Anyone can get the flu, but those at greatest risk of complications are children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications,” said Alison Ansher, M.D., director, Prince William Health District. “When more people get vaccinated, there is less virus present in the community to infect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as infants under 6 months old. This helps protect everyone from this potentially deadly disease.”

The health district offers these tips from the Centers for Disease Control for staying healthy during flu season:

·       Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

·       Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from school or work for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

·       Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

·       Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy food. 

The Prince William Health District serves residents of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/Prince-William. Follow the health district on Twitter @PrinceWilliamHD and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrinceWilliamHealthDistrict.