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Manassas co-work space CenterFuse wins Virginia Main Street award

CenterFuse, a co-work space and small business incubator located in Historic Downtown Manassas, took home top honors in the Outstanding Business of the Year category at the recent Virginia Main Street (VMS) Conference in Harrisonburg, VA.  CenterFuse is a cooperative/collaborative workspace that offers professional services and support to start-up businesses and emerging ventures.  It also serves as office space for telecommuters or small businesses that prefer a full-service working environment in lieu of fast food restaurants and coffee houses.  

CenterFuse was founded by the principals of ECU Communications and Whitlock Wealth Management as a for-profit venture.  The City of Manassas provided an economic development grant to offset initial startup costs because of the economic benefit that comes from having an entrepreneurial center in Downtown.  Historic Manassas Inc., the City’s Virginia Main Street program, manages the space in keeping with the non-profit’s goal of promoting economic vitality.  All three public/private partners see the co-work space as an opportunity to promote an entrepreneurial culture and to home grow small businesses throughout the Greater Manassas region.  This unique partnership is a large part of what led to the award and recognition by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as being the best-in-class Business of the Year.

The award was presented by Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Cassidy Rasnick, and DHCD Director Erik Johnston.  ECU’s Ken Krick, Whitlock Wealth Management’s Bennett Whitlock, Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Historic Manassas, Inc.’s (HMI) Executive Director Debbie Haight attended the luncheon to receive the award. 

CenterFuse has long and short-term space rental available as well as day passes for the occasional user.  The range of services includes access to business equipment, conference space with audio/visual capability, a receptionist, mail boxes and a free coffee bar and kitchenette.  One of the most appealing features of CenterFuse is its location near the VRE station and the bustling activity of the nearby restaurants and shops in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Haymarket police parody ‘Top Gun’ in lip sync video

Like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, officers of the Haymarket Police Department “feel the need for speed.” 

And they say that in a newly created video parody of the 1986 movie made for the police lip sync challenge, a series of viral videos featuring officers in departments across the U.S. lip syncing to familiar songs. 

The Haymarket video stars Police Chief Kevin Lands who not only mouths the words to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” but also shreds the guitar during the song’s bridge. 

Locally, Fairfax County and George Mason University Police have made lip sync videos and posted them on Facebook. Manassas police told its social media they were working on a video of their own.

Chick-fil-A is #1 again. How they do it in Bristow.

Chick-fil-A ranks as the number one restaurant on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index released this month. 

It’s the second year the fast-food restaurant won the top spot, beating out competitors Panera Bread, Subway, and Arbys, respectively. 

It’s good news for Chick-fill-A at Bristow owner Mike Lovitt, who says the place known for its chicken sandwiches aims to convert guests into raving fans of Chick-fil-A. 

It starts with clean restaurants, and greeting customers with a smile and an enthusiastic greeting “Welcome to Chick-fil-A!” and “How may we serve you?” when they approach the front counter.

“And, the food’s gotta taste good,” said Lovitt. 

But excellent service also means always being vigilant, says the retired U.S. Army Colonel.

“We must consistently treat our guests to a clean restaurant, fast service, attentive and courteous team members, and good tasty food. Our team members execute “second-mile” mile service which goes above and beyond what is expected by our guests to strive for the “Wow” factor.” In our restaurant, we also go to great lengths to treat everyone with honor, dignity, and respect”.

The top nod also goes to a restaurant adheres to the principle of closing on Sunday on Sundays to allow its employees to spend time with family and friends. 

And unlike other fast food franchises, it’s uncommon to see owners with multiple Chick-fil-A stores. That allows owners to focus on guests, service, and food quality. 

And when it comes to finding the right owners for restaurants, “Chick-fil-A has a long, detailed interview process and is looking for people with good character,” he added.  

Chick-fil-A at Bristow is located at 9939 Sowder Village Square just outside Manassas. They’re open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to  10 p.m., and Saturdays 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Public transit is still underutilized. So, how could OmniRide grow by becoming innovative?

This summary of the Masabi Research report from April 2018 was presented to the PRTC Board of Commissioners at its meeting on June 7, 2018.

Summary: “Key Factors Influencing Riders in North America: The emerging urban mobility ecosystem.”

Masabi issued a Google Surveys poll in the fall of 2017 to a diverse group of over 1000 US residents in order to gain an overview of the trends taking place in regards to public transit ridership across North America. The survey included both people who use public transit services and those who do not. All respondents, however, did have access to public transit services. Those who did not have access were excluded from taking the survey.

The survey was conducted to isolate the macro trends that are currently impacting public transit ridership and to indicate subgroup trends taking place, which might highlight behavior occurring and may spur others to conduct more in-depth research.

Topline findings include:

• Citizens are mostly optimistic about public transit services
• Public transit is still underutilized
• Convenience is the top priority for passengers when choosing to ride public transit
• Ridesharing is connecting public transit for many, facilitating multimodal journeys
• Convenience enablers attract riders (combining modes of transit through an app, mobile ticketing and location tracking)
• Private car ownership vs. ridesharing and public transit: The use of shared mobility services vastly increases the likelihood of riding public transit, pointing to a growing urban mobility system.

This report states that convenience, more than cost and necessity is the number one driver behind public transit ridership across all of the respondents. Riders with multiple options for transportation – the ones that are most rapidly reducing their reliance on public transit – are concerned first and foremost with convenience, not cost or comfort. While this means public transit agencies are vulnerable to losing riders to more convenient options, it also means that even minor improvements in convenience can boost ridership numbers.

Per this report, the bad news for public transit agencies is that their ridership numbers are indeed being impacted in some capacity by the increasing popularity of ridesharing services – nearly 10% of all consumers with access to public transit are using ridesharing on a weekly basis. The good news, however, is that there’s a major opportunity to play to the trend of combining ridesharing and public transit by creating first/last mile partnerships.

The report concludes that agencies can take a lesson from some of the convenient features that ridesharing apps provide, like location tracking and seamless payment, and deploy them relatively easily within their own systems. Increasing ridership by boosting convenience would have a positive impact on street congestion, while ridesharing can serve to replace personal vehicles in the first/last mile and in places underserved by public transit.

So what? How could OmniRide grow by becoming innovative?

The report’s findings clearly paint a picture of urban transit that is growing increasingly complex. Given what we know about the importance of convenience, it’s clear that many consumers who are not strictly motivated by price are combining public transit and ridesharing.

While fare reductions and service hour changes could certainly be cost prohibitive, technology changes are relatively inexpensive to implement and have also measurably increased ridership based on the data in this report. OmniRide is currently in the process of implementing a real-time arrival and location tracking application, but could also benefit from a mobile ticketing solution and first/last mile partnerships.

There is much more potential moving forward for interoperability between public and private services to enable full first/last mile journeys with public transit at its core. Not to mention the fact that relatively small changes in convenience – the addition of location tracking or convenient ticket purchase options, for example – could result in a major ridership boost for OmniRide in the short term. Increasing ridership, even marginally, is a must for OmniRide for the sake of our congested county.

Through better public/private partnerships and a more integrated transit system in general, it is possible to reduce overall congestion while enabling growth in Prince William County by:
• Increasing the use and ridership of OmniRide, starting with easier to deploy, consumer-facing features that increase convenience and build goodwill
• Recognize that OmniRide has been suffering from years of investment neglect, but that immediate changes can be made to start moving things in the right direction
• Facilitating partnerships between different modes of transit to increase efficiency
• Moving towards a more integrated transit model with closer partnerships between public and private organizations

There is no reason to be focused on one transportation mode or another. Instead, improving the current situation should be about facilitating seamless mobility and enabling consumers to use the best mode for each situation, thereby increasing convenience. This is absolutely critical to converting the riders who aren’t using public transit every day out of necessity – a huge growth opportunity that OmniRide can start taking advantage of right now.

Helping seniors through change and loss

Change happens to us all. So does loss. But for seniors, it starts happening more frequently, becoming an often unwelcome part of everyday life.

Whether it be the change in appearance as a result of aging, the loss of mobility or the death of a friend, life gets shaken up when things don’t remain the same. Sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes, when loss is involved, it causes grief. Especially if you care for a senior, here’s what you need to know.

Grief happens in stages

Most people have heard that grief comes in stages. What’s lesser known though, is these stages don’t have to come in any specific order and can be revisited multiple times.
 
The stages of grief can include shock, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Shock – Shock occurs initially when the loss happens, whether it is expected or not. It’s hard to deal with, but probably the best thing you can do is just be there for the senior in your care and acknowledge the reality of what has happened.

Anger – Anger can have many roots and various expressions. For example, a lack of preparation for a loss often fuels anger. If you’re caring for a senior who is angry about loss, validate that it is okay to be angry.

Denial – Denial occurs when a person does not want to recognize the truth. In this case, the senior in your care might not want to acknowledge loss. As a caregiver, it’s not your job to bring anyone down with harsh reminders. Gently referring to the loss, you can help by pointing out happy memories that remain.

Bargaining – Bargaining is an often misunderstood stage of grief. The senior in your care might try to offer something to change the reality of the loss, in hopes that the circumstance will remain the same. For example, they might say, “If my friend makes it out of surgery, I’ll never utter a bad word about her again.” You can help just by listening.

Depression – Depression is common for seniors, as it is for anyone faced with grief. This emotional stage is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. While depression is normal to some extent, lingering depression is unhealthy. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to find things they like to do.

Testing – Testing is a mechanism people use when they are coming to terms with loss. Seniors in the testing stage cautiously consider the reality that staying in a deep, dark hole forever is not an option. When testing is successful, they start coming up with alternatives that will help them feel better. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to talk and explore their feelings and perceptions.

Acceptance – Acceptance happens when the loss is incorporated into the sum of the person’s experience. In this stage, the senior in your care might recognize the loss as just another part of life. Once this happens, they can move on.

Navigating through these stages can be tricky.  At times seniors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of losses they have to process. It is important to provide supportive, nurturing outlets for seniors, so they can get through this natural part of life.  A listening ear and a helping hand go a long way to getting your senior through this trying time.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Parents charged after crack cocaine, heroin, meth found in car

From Prince William police: 

Felony Child Neglect – On July 15 at 7:06PM, officers responded to a parking lot located 6500 block of Trading Sq in Haymarket (20169) to investigate an unconscious person.
 
The investigation revealed that one of the accused, identified as Erica D. BRIGHT, was found unconscious in the passenger seat of a vehicle by a citizen. When officers arrived, the female had awoken and refused medical attention.
 
Further investigation by officers determined that the female, identified as Erica D. BRIGHT,

John Allen Bright, Jr.


was under the influence of a narcotic. A small child was in the vehicle at the time and was unharmed.
 
Officers searched the vehicle and recovered crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The child’s father, identified as John Allen BRIGHT, returned to the vehicle a short time later and was also detained. Following the investigation, both of the parents were arrested.
 
The child was eventually released into the custody of another family member.
Arrested on July 15:

John Allen BRIGHT, Jr., 30, of the 9100 block John S Mosby Hwy in Upperville, Virginia
Charged with 1 count of felony child neglect and 2 counts of possession of a schedule I or II narcotic
Court Date: August 27, 2018| Bond: Held on a $5,000 secured bond

Erica D. BRIGHT, 26, of the 9100 block John S Mosby Hwy in Upperville, Virginia
Charged with 1 count of felony child neglect, 1 count of possession of marijuana, and 3 counts of possession of a schedule I or II narcotic
Court Date: August 27, 2018| Bond: Held on a $7,500 secured bond

Drastic 2017 crime stat swings: Rapes increase while murder rate plunges

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Helping first-time homebuyers navigate a tight market: 3 key steps from The Fauquier Bank

When it comes to purchasing a home, Mary Ann Andrews of The Fauquier Bank recommends buyers come in for a personal consultation, especially those who’ve never previously been through the complex process.

Buying a home can be daunting, between learning the lingo and understanding the financing. And given the current market conditions and limited housing inventory — which has sparked multiple offers and price bidding — it’s essential to know what you’re doing.

That’s where Andrews comes in.

“There’s so much you need to know,” says Andrews, NMLS # 482462, a TFB vice president and mortgage originator. “I like to sit down and explain how the process works.”

With first-time buyers, she adds, “I go over everything, just to get them comfortable with the language and the process.”

For tech-savvy potential buyers, it may seem tempting to do things online. But Andrews says there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

“You can understand their needs,” she explains. “You can give them so much more information and discuss so many more options.”

Andrews can meet potential buyers at any of TFB’s 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

For first-time buyers, Andrews follows a specific process. First things first: do your homework.

“Do your research and check out the area where you’re looking,” she advises. “You need to get with a realtor. And you need to find out what the taxes are and find out what the HOA fees are.” 

First-time buyers should follow these three key steps:

1. Prepare Financially: Begin by checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and figuring out how much you can afford to spend. Then meet with a mortgage originator to get pre-approved.

2. Understand Mortgages: Evaluate the different types of mortgage loans that are available and which works best for your situation.

3. Start Shopping: Look for a house that fits your needs and budget, then put in an offer. Gather the necessary documents for the loan processing and closing process.

NMLS #462668

Join us for a First-Time Homebuyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at BadWolf Brewing Company, 9776 Center St. in Manassas. Our mortgage originators will be available to answer questions. RSVP at 540-349-0202.

Enlarged prostate happens to every guy. There’s a new way to treat it at Sentara.

It’s one of the most common health issues for men as they grow older.

“As gentlemen age, the testosterone that’s in their body fuels the growth of their prostate so every guy that has testosterone and a prostate, it will eventually get larger. It happens in different rates in different people, but happens,” explains John B. Klein, M.D. of Potomac Urology.   

Even though it may not be commonly discussed, every day Dr. Klein sees patients suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH.)

Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting and stopping urination, inability to completely empty the bladder and frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

“Urinary symptoms do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer, a majority of the time they’re from benign enlargement of the prostate. However, you can have prostate cancer and benign enlargement of the prostate –so it’s important to evaluate for both concurrently,” explains Dr. Klein.

Once the prostate screening comes back negative, there are a number of options to treat an enlarged prostate, everything from daily medications and in-office procedures to outpatient surgeries.

Dr. Klein was recently recognized as a Rezum Center of Excellence for his expertise in treating BPH. While pills to treat BPH have been around for years, Dr. Klein finds many of his patients discontinue taking those medicines because of side effects like dizziness and adverse effects to sexual function.

Rezum® is one of the minimally invasive procedures offered in office and takes just minutes to perform using steam to decrease the prostate. Laser enucleation of the prostate is another option.

Dr. Klein says this outpatient procedure has been offered at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center for the last 11 months and is ideal for patients with moderate and larger prostates. The newest option Sentara Northern Virginia is offering BPH patients is Aquablation, a surgery using water to resect the prostate.

The developments are exciting for Dr. Klein who looks forward to sharing the news with the community.

“This is one of the only centers in Northern Virginia that performs all three of these treatments options. It basically gives people a one-stop shop for their treatment, no matter size and shape of their prostate.”

Volunteers needed for the Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 21

Good Morning Prince William – Volunteers needed for the Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 21st.  This event is sponsored by The Philadelphia Tavern, Sinistral Brewing and Volunteer Prince William to benefit The Un-Tim-A-Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids. Duties include selling drink tickets and checking IDs.  3 shifts available- 12noon-3pm, 3pm-6pm and 6-pm-9pm.  This is a fun, family event on Main Street, Old Town Manassas with raffles, giveaways, games, food, drinks and Santa!  Please sign up to help at mfoley@volunteerprincewilliam.org.  This promises to be great fun!

Prince William Soil & Water Conservation is having their next water quality monitoring event on Thursday July 12th at Evergreen Acres in Nokesville, 9:30-noon. Come learn about the health of local streams and how they interact with land uses.  Please call Veronica at (571) 379-7514 for more info.

ACTS needs volunteers to remove the flower beds in front of the thrift store on Tuesday and Thursday mornings starting July 10th. Please email Tamika for more info at: tmartin@actspec.org.

RSVP – The retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to deliver noon meals through the Meals on Wheels Program. Shrifts 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.

CASA Children’s Intervention Services needs volunteer advocates to help protect abused and neglected children in our community. You’ll receive fantastic training to give you all the skills needed to help these kids.  Please email Suzanne at: smitchell@casacis.org to learn more about the program and register for the next orientation session.

PW Conservation Alliance has several fun workdays coming up.  Please join them on the workdays of   July 20 and August 4th at Merrimac Farm, 9am-12noon.  It feels good to get your hands dirty.  Please RSVP for these events at (703) 490-5200 or via email at: alliance@pwconserve.org.

Care Net PRCs is looking for bilingual volunteers to help in their office in Manassas.  They are also having a movie event on July 14th, 7pm at Manassas Baptist Church. Come see the inspiring movie – I can Only Imagine.  Please email Kirk at crc@carenetprcs.org for more info.

K9s Serving Vets in Triangle, Virginia supports the process of partnering the vet with a service dog.  They assist from start to finish that will in the end change the veteran’s life.  Please consider donating to them on line at: k9sservingvets.org.

The PW Crime Prevention Council is looking for new volunteer members to promote safe communities.  The Council meeting the 2nd. Monday of the month at 7:30pm at 1 County Complex. Please register on the website at: pwcpc.org.

Virginia Cooperative Extension needs volunteers to lead financial seminars in Manassas and/or Woodbridge area.  Please email Victoria for more specifics at: smartmoney@pwcgov.org.

Mark your calendars for Saturday August 25th for the 3rd Annual Farm to Table event to support the Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation at Windy Knoll Farm. The event runs from 3-8pm with 2 seating’s for dinner.  Tickets are just $40 for adults, $20 for children 13-18 and free for kids under 12.  There will be local vendors, artisan and farm sponsors and antique equipment.  It promises to fun for the entire family.  You can buy tickets on line at: princewilliamfarm2table2018.eventbrite.com.

The Manassas Senior Center is looking for a volunteer to teach crafts to the members of the center each week.  Come share your love of knitting, crocheting, painting, ceramics and such with others. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.  They also would love a volunteer to teach Sign Language class as well.  It’s a great way to share your skill. Please call Sue at 703-792-7154 to learn more.

Youth for Tomorrow is looking for volunteers to share hobbies and interests with the kids on weekends. If you have a little time please bring your interest to share with them such as sewing, gardening, cooking, golf, arts & crafts, jewelry to name just a few.  Please fill out the volunteer application with your resume at: youthfortomorrow.org.

The Greater Prince William Medical Reserve Corps needs both medical and non-medical volunteers to join their ranks.  These volunteers are trained to respond to public health emergencies as well as day to day health department activities.  They offer tons of training topics to build your skillset.  Please call Isabella at (703) 792-7341 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.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Executive Director Mary Foley.

It cost nearly half a million to build, and it’s the part of Jiffy Lube Live you never want to see

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‘Pamphlets depicting hate propaganda’ found on Carver Road

GAINESVILLE — Police on Sunday found pamphlets filled with hate speech strewn across Carver Road in Gainesville.

The neighborhood in Prince William County is well known for being one of the first places freed black slaves settled after the Civil War.

Police officers were called to the area at 8:28 a.m.

Prince William police tell us:

“…several suspicious pamphlets depicting hate propaganda found at the ends of multiple driveways in the Gainesville and Bristow areas.

A caller reported to police that they had located a bag that contained birdseed and pamphlets that appeared to be recruiting material for the Ku Klux Klan.

The bags were seemingly thrown at random on driveways sometime during the overnight hours of July 7 into July 8 in the Gainesville area along several residential streets off of Lee Hwy between Carver Rd and Old Carolina Rd.

Similar bags were also located in the Bristow Village neighborhood in the Bristow area. The birdseed appeared to have been used to weigh the bags down, possibly in an attempt to throw the bags from a vehicle.

No suspicious persons or vehicles were reported in the area around this time.

The pamphlets did not contain any threats and did not appear to target anyone specific in the neighborhood.

No property damage was reported. A similar incident occurred on April 28 in the 4500 block of Forestburg Ln in Triangle. The investigation continues. 

Carver Road is a narrow, rural route in Gaienesville connecting Route 29 to Old Carolina Road.

Nicholas Soller of Gainesville named to the University of New Hampshire’s Dean’s List

From an email: 

Nicholas Soller of Gainesville has been named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire for earning Honors for the spring 2018 semester. Soller is majoring in Undeclared.

Students named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire are students who have earned recognition through their superior scholastic performance during a semester enrolled in a full-time course load (12 or more graded credits). Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.85 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.65 to 3.84 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.5 through 3.64 are awarded honors.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.

Praise sounds for Prince William County’s official Bugler

WOODBRIDGE    At a recent meeting of the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Donna Flory was named as the Prince William County Volunteer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2018. Donna was nominated by Desiree Wolfe with the Office of Executive Management and the award was presented by Gail Macdonald, the county’s Senior Human Resources Manager, for Donna’s service as Prince William County’s official Bugle and Trumpet Player.

The award reads:

“Over the last two decades, Donna has played in various ceremonies and dedications in honor of Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and 9/11.  Her rendition of ‘Taps’ continues to bring dignity and meaning to these very important events.  When asked to perform Donna has always answered ‘yes’ no matter the day.  Donna has always said it was her honor and privilege to play for Prince William County employees and citizens as we honor those who died for our freedom. Donna’s time and talent has helped make each ceremony memorable, especially for those who have lost a loved one.  For her ability to bring grace and reverence during the most solemn occasions we award Donna Flory the Prince William County Volunteer of the Quarter Award.”

Donna began volunteering as the Prince William County official Bugler in 1992.  Her first event was the original dedication ceremony of Prince William County’s War Memorial. 

Following the presentation, Donna thanked Desiree Wolfe for this very special nomination. Donna then acknowledged her longtime friend, Jane Beyer, and thanked her for getting her regularly involved in Prince William County events that honor those that have served our country and those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

The City of Manassas is home to two of Virginia’s leading industries

Two of the Commonwealths leading industries are major economic generators in the City of Manassas. 

According to a recent report from the Virginia Employment Commission, Manassas-based companies in the professional and technical services offer the 4th highest wages in the state. 

Healthcare and social assistance wages in Manassas rank in the top 10. 

Companies like Micron, Lockheed Martin, and Novant Health UVA Health system drive local economic growth and employ thousands in Manassas; thanks in part to the availability of skilled labor and the City’s pro-business climate. 

These fields account for nearly 25% of total employment and $77 billion in total wages state-wide.  As innovation and technological advancement continue to be made employment and wages are expected to rise. 

The City of Manassas works closely with its major employers, Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University to ensure current and future workforce needs are met and the companies continue to grow and thrive.   

To read the full report, click here.   

 

Army vet takes control of her pain with the help of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Yolanda Smith is a take-charge kind of woman. The retired Army veteran, mother of three and current Human Relations contractor is used to getting things done.

So, when her fibroids turned painful, she knew she had to take action.

“I’ve had fibroids for a number of years. I’ll say at least 10, but in the last 18 months they’ve increased their size dramatically and the pain had become unbearable,” explains Smith.

Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. It’s estimated between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed.

In the majority of the cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous), but the symptoms can be severe.  While some women have no or mild indicators, other women have severe and disruptive symptoms including heavy, prolonged menstrual cycles, abnormal bleeding between periods, pelvic and/or back pain and frequent urination. Smith suffered through many of these symptoms.    

“The pain became unbearable during my cycle and the bleeding was extreme. I cramped beyond belief. I was exhausted, I would stay home from work because I was so exhausted,” she remembers.

That’s when she turned to her doctor for help when an ultrasound showed three fibroids had increased in size. He gave her three options:

  1. Live with the pain

  2. Have surgery

  3. Have a hysterectomy

Dr. Venu Vadlamudi

Smith knew that a hysterectomy wasn’t the right treatment option for her, that’s when her primary care physician recommended “UFE” or Uterine Fibroid Embolization and referred her to the specialists at the Heart & Vascular Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“I had never been to Sentara before, I’m used to military hospitals where I’m in my safe zone.  But, from the time I called to get a consultation with a physician there, Tina went above and beyond to make sure I got an appointment and got the necessary paperwork needed. She actually followed up with my military hospital to assure that documents were forwarded to Sentara to aid me in seeing a doctor there. I just thought that was exceptional,” said Smith.

Following clinical consultation, it was decided Dr. Venu Vadlamudi, an Interventional Radiologist, would perform the procedure.

“Interventional radiology is a field where we perform minimally invasive procedures using radiology guidance,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “I tell patients to imagine me as a plumber, working completely inside of the pipes.”

In Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) as it’s also known, Dr. Vadlamudi goes in through the artery with a catheter and blocks the blood flow to the fibroids using embolic agents (small particles or beads).” With the flow of blood compromised, the fibroids begin to shrink, taking with them the pain and symptoms.

“Over a matter of a few months’ time, these fibroids die away because you’ve taken away their blood supply. But again, nothing is physically tied, it’s not like putting a suture on top of the blood vessel or going from the outside, it’s all done from the inside of the blood vessel,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “We find it’s very rare new fibroids develop. So the overall success rate, especially from a technical standpoint, is well above 98 percent.”

In Smith’s case, Dr. Vadlamudi went in through a point above her wrist, leaving just a small nick after the procedure was completed.

“I don’t have a scar, just a little dot where he went into my arm,” she says.

After a short hospital stay, Smith went home to recover with doctor’s orders to start easing back into her routines. After almost two-weeks, she returned to work with her pain fading each day, but her admiration for the team continues to grow.

“It was just one of the best hospital visits I have ever had,” says Smith. “From the tech staff on down, everyone at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center was very attentive. They were very kind. Their bedside manner was exceptional.”

And, she offers this advice to other women living with fibroid pain.

“If you’re suffering from fibroids, definitely do your research, consider UFE, and consider UFE at Sentara, they have the best staff!” she adds.

If you’d like to learn more about Interventional Radiology or what Sentara Heart & Vascular can do for you, call 1-800-Sentara or visit Sentara.com.

Amid state’s lowest unemployment since 2008, Virginians search for jobs in Manassas

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American Legion Post 1799 of Haymarket/Gainesville sends participants to Boys, Girls State programs

From an email: 

Six boys and two girls, sponsored by American Legion Post 1799 of Haymarket/Gainesville, have completed the Virginia Boys State and Girls State programs of the American Legion Department of Virginia.  

Boys State, held at Radford University and Girls State, held at Longwood University, each from June 17-23, provides delegates with an immersive experience designed to enshrine within them with knowledge of the rights and privileges, duties, and responsibilities of citizens of Virginia.  

Delegates have the opportunity to run for election for various offices including mayor, city council, sheriff, Supreme Court justice, delegate, senator, attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor.   Attendees participate in mock legislative and court sessions designed to provide a real-world experience that simulates the functions of state government.  

In addition, delegates have the opportunity to participate in recreational activities ranging from band and chorus to athletics.  Delegates are also afforded the opportunity to attend classes in public speaking and parliamentary procedures.  

This year’s guest speakers included Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Governor Ralph Northam as well as several members of the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate.

Post 1799 annually selects delegates from Battlefield and Patriot High Schools, based on the applicant’s academic performance, interest in civics, and demonstrated a commitment to public and community service.  

This year’s Boys State attendees were Blake Brown (elected State Delegate), Casey Cho, Austin Gonzales (elected Mayor), Nathan Hakimpour (elected State Senator), Norideen Hussny-Hunt,  and Robert Lazar (elected to City Council).  Girls State attendees were Victoria Witmer and Claire Graser.

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