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Prince William County 13th high school: What will it look like? Where will it be?

 

Prince William County plans to open its 13th high school within five years.

The school division has three-and-a-half months to get a final location and design approved to stay on schedule.

The first of two community input meetings was held Monday night at Battlefield High School in Haymarket. The 13th high school, if opened as planned in fall 2020, would help alleviate overcrowding at Battlefield, Patriot, and Stonewall Jackson Senior high schools in Prince William.

The county’s 12th high school, Charles J. Colgan High School on Hoadly Road near Woodbridge will include the much debated $11 million aquatics facility, and will open fall 2016.

The Stonehaven site 

The school division has two locations available for the 13th high school. The first is on land in a proposed development in the Linton Hall Road corridor called Stonehaven. An 85-acre school site — large enough to accommodate the school building and all traditional sports and practice fields — was proffered to the county by the housing developer in exchange for a land rezoning that would allow the company to construct 1,006 homes.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors deferred a vote on the Stonehaven rezoning last fall leaving the future of the 13th high school site uncertain.

Prince Wiliam County Public Schools Associate Superintendent David Cline told the nearly 20 residents at the presentation Monday that the division is in need of the new school because enrollment in Prince William – now at 87,000 students — continues to grow about 800 per year.

“This is a sensitive and sometimes political topic,” said Cline. 

The Rollins Ford site

With the Stonehaven site uncertain, Prince William County Supervisors Jeanine Lawson and Peter Candland last month offered a 69-acre site off Rollins Ford Road. The land was proffered to Prince William County to be used as a park, and the county has already spent about $4 million to develop the new park. 

The school division must reimburse Prince William County that cash if the site is used for the 13th high school. And the school division must give up 60 acres of land — dubbed the Avondale school site near the intersection of Route 28 and Vint Hill Road – where a new elementary and middle school is slated to be built.

The Avondale site would become the site for a new community park, and would be built next to the Grizzly Sports Complex. If the Rollins Ford site is chosen, that leaves the school division searching for new sites for a new elementary and middle schools at the cost of about $10 million.

The Rollins Ford school site also comes with more complications than the Stonehaven site. The soils at the site are not suitable for construction and would have to be dug up and replaced with new soil at a cost of $1 million. The site in the rural crescent — an area largely devoid of water and sewer connections — must also be placed on public sewer if the school is built there.

“We’re still compiling the engineering data on what it would take to do that, but it’s not a small feat,” said Prince William County Public Schools facilities chief Dave Beavers.

School officials don’t yet have an estimated cost for a water and sewer extension that would pipe in from a nearby residential subdivision.

The Rollins Ford school site is not large enough to accommodate all of the practice fields needed for the high school. The school could be built on site without the usual fields, or the school division could spend upward of $2 million more for additional land for the fields. In all, it could cost at least $16 million to address the initial issues with the Rollins Ford site. 

The site could also be impacted by new power lines planned by Dominion.

“I want the site that is going to get us a school built on time.” said Gainesville School Board Representative Alyson Satterwhite. “I think that if we were to going the Rollins Ford park direction, Stonehaven might be interested in offering us a middle school site. That’s my personal opinion.”

How should the new school be built? 

school prototype

The Prince William County School Board must also decide how to build the new school.

Two prototypes for the new building are under consideration: a school modeled after Patriot High School in Nokesville and the new Colgan High opening next year, and a model based on Battlefield High School in Haymarket and Freedom High School in Woodbridge.

Nearly all who spoke Monday night argued for the more updated “Patriot” model due to its more modern layout, larger classrooms and open space, and wide windows to allow for more natural light.

Colgan High School will open next year with a final price tag of $111 million, including the aquatics facility. Without it the pool, the price tag is about $90 million.

If the more than 20-year-old Battlefield design is chosen, originally used in Prince William for the design of C.D. Hylton High School which opened in 1991, originally Beavers said it must be brought up to current-day building codes. No matter which design is chosen, the new school could wind up costing about $10 to $15 million more than the $90 million cost of the 12th high school due to increased construction costs, said Beavers.

“This is a no-brainer,” said Jeff Smith, who said he anticipates his children will someday attend the new school when it opens. “It seems pretty clear to me you take the site that doesn’t cost anything” Instead of taking the site that costs $16 million, and you take the money you save to build a better school. I don’t even know why you present a design that was used 20 years ago.”

School Board Chairman candidate Tracy Conroy argues the school system should focus on building new schools at a lower cost, faster, to accommodate the growing student population.

“Looking at the 2005 [Prince William County Public Schools Capital Improvement Plan], it had the high school we’re talking about tonight opening in 2014. It had Colgan [High School] open in 2012, and Patriot [High School open] in 2009. None of those was open on time, and [the need for these schools was] based off of student projections,” said Conroy. “So we spend most of our time saying this is a problem with developers and the county. However, in 2005 we knew these homes were coming, and we projected to build what was needed.”

Beavers said the schools did not open late but opened as planned due to budget and circumstances that changed over time. The school division is on track to present their recommendations to the School Board in three weeks. The School Board must make a decision on the new site by January to stay on track to open the new school in 2020.

A second community input meeting will be held at Patriot High School tomorrow September 23 at 7 p.m. in Nokesville.

How to make sure your legal billing software is up to date

  • JTC Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct #305, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

When you turn on your computer, do you ever see a window, telling you it’s time to update? Every software program requires updates at some point, while new features are added and vulnerabilities in the program are fixed.

And for those that run a legal firm, having software on your side for billing purposes can be a huge help. Programs like Amicus, TimeMatters and Sage Timeslips will allow you to accurately track billing for any meetings, research or calls made to your clients far more efficiently than tracking it with pen and paper or your own spreadsheet.

But even excellent programs like these need maintenance and updates in order to continue functioning properly.

“Just like any other software, they usually have integrated update notifications,” said Chris Dittrich, a solution architect for JTC, Inc.

These updates typically include annual upgrades, patches, bug fixes, and new operating system updates.

While you could handle the updates on your own, if you want to eliminate any potential error that could severely impact your ability to rely on the software, then it’s best to allow an IT company, like JTC, Inc., to handle software upgrades to your legal billing software for you.

“We subscribe to the software. When we’re working with a software platform, we have an email that goes to the engineers that will give us updates and tell us when there’s been a service update,” said Dittrich.

Especially with a full caseload, it makes more sense from a time management perspective.

“If you have a company that’s using the software, it’s advisable for them to put their IT company team on as a contact for the software vendor, so the IT company can adequately assist them in making sure those updates get done,” said JTC, Inc. spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.

Additionally, trusting the updates of your legal billing software with a company like JTC, Inc. will ensure that your system is free from any bugs or viruses.

“We want to eliminate any potential vulnerabilities that there are inside of the software,” said Maxey.

Save yourself time and effort and make sure you’re always billing your clients with up-to-date software by utilizing the services of an IT company like JTC, Inc.

Haymarket hires new police chief

The Town of Haymarket hired a new police chief. 

Here’s more in a press release issued by town officials: 

Mayor David Leake announced the appointment of Eric S. Noble as Police Chief. Chief Noble was selected from a highly qualified pool of over 50 applicants to oversee the police department of the Town of Haymarket, VA.

Chief Noble’s first day will be September 14, 2015.

“Eric’s background and experience makes him a perfect fit for our town. The Town Council and I expect the Chief to build upon the transformation over the past year and to bring the police department to the next level,” said Mayor David Leake. “He has served with distinction for over 27 years in law enforcement and I am confident the town will benefit from his leadership and expertise.”

Chief Noble’s prior experience includes being Division Commander and Assistant Division Commander with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. He holds a B.S. in Commerce from UVA, Charlottesville, VA and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in 2009. Chief Noble is a four time Valor Award recipient; an award honoring local heroes. He received three awards from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and a fourth award from the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Noble takes over from interim chief Greg Smith, who served in the role for about a year, according to Town Manager Brian Henshaw. Smith remains employed by the police department and will assist Noble during the transition. Afterward, he will resign, said Henshaw. 

Jim Roop served as the town’s police chief for 17 years. He resigned in July 2014.

 

Reduce, reuse, repair: How yard sales can make our community a greener place

When it comes to exploring options to improve our personal impact on the environment the old adage, “Reduce, reuse, recycle” rings as true as when it was first heard in kindergarten.

Looking from the outside, one might not make the connection on how the three R’s apply to yard sales. The R’s are indeed there having an impact even if it is simple or subtle.

The greatest impact one can have when going green is to reduce.  Typically this means that one should avoid purchasing new items or reduce consuming resources like water or electricity.

Another perspective is to reduce clutter within the home. Clearing out unused appliances, for example, means fewer items plugged into power strips slowly using energy.

Even turned off appliances can still be using energy to run background tasks or maintain WiFi connectivity. A half-empty chest freezer, a TV that is never used or a treadmill bought with the best of intentions can all be slowly consuming energy without providing any real benefit.

Reduce their impact by clearing them out!

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Clearing out is just the first step. Now the question becomes what to do with it. Properly disposing of the item is an option.

For example, there are facilities and services that take electronics like computers to break down for their components. Another option is to reuse it! The more items kept out of landfills; the healthier our environment becomes.

Reusing also reduces the pressure to gather new materials and harvest new resources. A great place to see reusing in action is at a yard sale. If somebody is looking for a chest freezer to store their bulk purchased frozen foods then a yard sale vendor selling their underutilized chest freezer is a perfect match!

The vendor makes a little money, the purchaser gets an item they were seeking for a discount and less pressure is applied to the environment.
That’s a win all the way around.

Sometimes an item is in disrepair or functions poorly. The piece overall is still in good shape, but perhaps there’s a tear in the fabric of a chair.

The handier people in our community can reach out and enact the third R – recycle. Suggesting somebody reupholstering a chair is the same as recycling may be a bit of a stretch but all one has to do is look at the myriad of Pinterest projects to see how well reusing and recycling go hand in hand.

Maybe for the purposes of this article the third R should be repair. The underlying fact still remains true: The less pressure that is put on the environment to supply brand new items the greener it will be for future generations.

Come see how you can apply the three R’s at the upcoming yard sale at the Manassas Park Community Center on September 19th from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Will you be a vendor reducing the clutter in your home?

Perhaps you’ll be a shopper looking to reuse, recycle and repair? Whichever role you assume, hopefully from now on you’ll look at yard sales with green tinted lenses.

This promoted post is written by Jason Shriner, at the Manassas Park Community Center.

Battlefield playmakers lead game, win in Woodbridge

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A Friday matchup between two, 2-0 teams, was kicked off with a specialty ceremony in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by the Woodbridge marching band, color guard, players and cheerleaders.
 
Kalel Grant, received the kickoff for Woodbridge to start the game. Despite a fumble on the second down of the drive, Woodbridge was able to recover and start another set of downs on their 30-yard line. Unable to convert, Battlefield received the ball quickly.
 
With their first possession, and 5:08 left in the first quarter, Battlefield scored the first touchdown of the game by running back, Chris Ferrill. A turnover on downs by Woodbridge, put Battlefield in great field position, mid-field, and allowed for a 50-yard touchdown within 3-minutes of their previous score. 
 
At 9:52 in the second, Kalel Grant received a deep pass to the right and picked up an additional 20 yards to put the Viking’s on Battlefield’s 20-yard line. Another first down moved the chains inside the ten for a first and goal opportunity. 
 
However, Battlefield’s defense held Woodbridge to only a field goal late in the second quarter. Two strong running plays by Brandon Berry, set the Bobcats up for an additional scoring opportunity. A touchdown scored by Collin Parker and the extra point, placed a total of 3 scores on the board for Battlefield. 
 
A deep pass by quarterback, Brandon Pitt to Wide Receiver, Dominic Benson put the Vikings on the 3-yard line with a fresh set of downs. For the second time in the game, the Vikings were unable to score in the red zone. On fourth down, Brandon threw an interception to Mason Crawford and ended the half.
 
Bobcats led at halftime, 21-3.
 
In the second half, Battlefield received the kickoff. A long run by Berry put the Bobcats on the Vikings 30-yard and in close scoring position. Kicker, Brendan Freehan added to the Battlefield score and increased the lead by 21 points.
 
Woodbridge continued the fight in the second half with a broken up pass by Kalel Grant, holding Battlefield and giving Vikings control of the football on the 41-yard line.
 
An injury to Pitt, allowed for back-up quarterback, Ousmane Barry to come into the game midway through the third quarter.
 
A poor punt by Woodbridge put the Bobcats in Viking’s territory easily. With 7:38 left in the game, Battlefield’s kicker put a 31-yard field goal on the scoreboard.
 
With a little more than 7 minutes left in the game, Woodbridge found themselves on the 11-yard line and in scoring position. Vikings found themselves in another 4th down situation. Choosing to go for the score, instead of kicking the field goal, netted zero points.
 
The final score of the game was 27-3, Battlefield.

 

Players: Woodbridge football improved under Wortham

Tacketts Mill #FootballFriday — Live coverage from Woodbridge Senior High School starts 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11

The varsity Vikings are playing to win tonight.

They’ll have home field advantage when the Battlefield Bobcats from Haymarket come to Lake Ridge. The game starts at 7:30 p.m at Woodbridge Senior High School.

The Vikings are, for the most part, a new team. Coach Gary Wortham now leads these young men on the field. He came here after five years as head football coach at nearby Freedom High School.

“Woodbridge is home, and I’m glad to be home. It’s a great opportunity for me. It’s a dream job. And I’m living the dream,” said Wortham.

He was an assistant football coach at Woodbridge from 1995 to 97, and again from 2003 to 2010, before leaving for Freedom.

Wortham has developed a team he says focused on both the running and passing game. It’s a way to make sure all of those on the field are “playing honest.”

Both Woodbridge and Battlefield are 2-0 in this early season. Tonight’s match-up is an out of conference for the teams. And while both teams will play for a win, one of them will walk off the field tonight with its first loss of the season.

“You’ve got two very good teams. it should be an exciting game,” said Wortham.

His players are focused on the task at hand. The confident senior defensive tackle Kyree Campbell, 17, followed Wortham from Freedom to Woodbridge and had already committed to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It was on of 42 schools that made him an offer.

“This is a game where I’ve got to be selfless. I’m Kyree Campbell, and nobody can block me,” he said.

Campbell said the team gelled over the summer by not only working out on the field but eating dinners together and going to the movies. The family base and the fan base at Woodbridge is better, he said.

Senior running back Jay-Jay Burris, 18, said he uses the energy on the field to get him excited to play well. If’s he’s breaking tackles, as he’s done so this season on a regular basis, he’s doing his job.

“…when I run the ball…as long as my team is on the sideline rooting for me, I’m going to clap it up when they get into the game,” said Burris.

Cameron McAfee, 18, a senior, has been on the varstiy squad for three years, and a team captain for two years. He plays left guard on the defensive line. He’s focused and determined not to make his teammates or his coaches look bad.

McAfee says the football program at Woodbridge has improved under Wortham.

“He was hard on us at first, and then we learned he was cool.. he wants the best for us,” said McAfee.

Fire marshal assaulted in Bristow, D.C. man wanted

Update 2 p.m Sept. 11, 2015

Police made an arrest in the case. The latest from Prince William police: 

Arrested on September 11th: [No Photo Available]

Devaughn Jemar BROWN-GRAY, 28, of the 1500 block of 16th St SE in Washington, D.C.

Charged with assault & battery on a LEO, eluding police, reckless driving, and aparking violation

Court date: pending | Status: awaiting extradition

Original post

A Prince William County fire marshal was assaulted outside a store in Bristow. 

The law enforcement officer had just written a parking ticket and placed it on the suspect’s car just before it happened. 

Here’s more in a Prince William County Police Department press release: 

Assault & Battery on a Fire Marshal – On September 2nd at 3:15PM, officers responded to the 10400 block of Bristow Center Dr to investigate a reckless driver. The investigation revealed that a Prince William County Fire Marshal was in the above area when he observed an unoccupied vehicle parked in the fire lane obstructing a fire department water connection.

As the Fire Marshal was writing a parking citation, the vehicle owner returned and attempted to leave.  The driver was told to exit the vehicle at which point he placed the vehicle in drive and began moving toward the Fire Marshal.  As the Fire Marshal attempted to move out of the path of the vehicle, the driver stopped then placed the vehicle in reverse.

The vehicle then proceeded in reverse into oncoming traffic before eventually driving onto an adjacent sidewalk and stopping. At that point, the driver then attempted flee the area.  When the Fire Marshal attempted to stop the vehicle, the accused continue to flee before driving out of sight. Following the investigation, the driver was identified as the accused and warrants were obtained for his arrest. Attempts to locate the suspect have been unsuccessful.

Wanted: [Photo from July 2008]

Devaughn Jemar BROWN-GRAY, 28, of the 1500 block of 16th St SE in Washington, D.C.

Described as a black male, 6’00’’, 280lbs with a heavy build, black hair, and brown eyes

Wanted for assault & battery on a LEO, eluding police, reckless driving and parking violation

Millennials find walkable downtown, new apartments near transit in Manassas

Old Towne Square
Old Town Heights
Messenger Place

 

For the past decade, city planners have been discussing the ways that Boomers and Millennials are going to reshape communities.

These two demographic groups comprise almost half of the U.S. population — the Census Bureau estimates there are 75.4 million Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and 83.1 million Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000).

Despite the age difference between Millennials and Boomers, they share similar preferences regarding where and how they want to live. Walkable neighborhoods with amenities such as coffee shops, restaurants, arts venues and shopping are at the top of the list. The less people need to get into a car to enjoy those amenities, the happier they are. This is why more people are relocating to small cities and towns with defined downtown districts.

The City of Manassas is a perfect example of what people are seeking in a vibrant downtown. Residents in and around the historic district have a short walk to the growing array of downtown restaurants and shops, festivals and events, markets, galleries , and more. In fact, Historic Downtown Manassas has a Walkscore of 85, which is considered “Very Walkable.”

Responding to these lifestyle trends, real estate developers have become increasingly willing to diverge from typical suburban development to smaller and denser urban renewal projects. Conceived during the economic downturn, several new (but different) housing developments in the Downtown Historic District cater to both demographics.

Prescott Court, a 33unit garagestyle townhome development offers homes priced around $300,000 and is still under development. Old Towne Square, a 58unit townhome development featuring two and threebedroom units with Georgianstyle architecture was priced slightly higher. Old Towne Square began construction in 2013 and the last unit was sold in August.

“The neat thing about this community is that it encompasses an entire city block in the heart of the historic district. We were excited about the location because it is walkable to so much in downtown Manassas,” says Candy McCracken of Van Metre. “We worked in partnership with the City to come up with the right product on this site. Everybody is happy with it and homeowners love it.”

Millennials are more transient now than ever before and find apartment living appealing. The City of Manassas offers downtown apartments to meet their needs.

The Courts at Historic Manassas offers 139 luxury rental units priced from $1,400-$2,000 per month. These units are close to all of the amenities that Downtown offers while also being conveniently located to major employers and the VRE.

Renting allows residents to become acclimated to a new area before buying, provides housing without the financial and maintenance burdens of home ownership, and grants flexibility for relocation without worrying about selling a home. Interestingly, the flexibility afforded by apartment living also appeals to Boomers who like to travel extensively.

Highlighting these trends, two more apartment projects in the Historic Downtown are in preliminary development. Messenger Place will replace the vacant News & Messenger Building at 9009 Church Street and will bring 94 apartments to downtown75 two-bedroom units and 19 one-bedroom units. It will be a five-story building that will feature 3,500 square feet of retail on the ground level. Residents will enjoy a 24-7 gym facility, lounge, and office area. Rents will range from $1,500 to $2,000. The developer, Coleman Enterprises LLC, anticipates construction to start before the end of the year and for units to become available in July 2016.

Finally, 105 apartments will be coming to Prince William Street, replacing the ABC Building. Manassas Station will anchor this edge of downtown with a three-story building by Christopher Land LLC. It will offer a combination of one- and two-bedroom units featuring granite countertops, walk-in closets, and balconies. Manassas Station will offer residents a fitness center; a community room with a TV and wet bar; and a “cyber café” for working remotely. Rents are anticipated to be comparable with the other two developments and the project is anticipated to be completed in late 2016.

Battlefield ready to take on Woodbridge: Both teams undefeated

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Tacketts Mill #FootballFriday — Live coverage from Woodbridge Senior High School starts 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11

First-year football coach Jared Van Acker is focused forging a solid team and taking the reins of a well-respected head coach.

Van Acker took the helm this year from longtime Battlefield High School coach Mark Cox who stepped down this year as head coach. Cox still works at the school, and Van Acker consults him on a regular basis.

The Haymarket team is 2-0 so far this season, beating Gar-Field Senior High School in Woodbridge by 32 points last week, and shutting out Hylton High School 28-0 during week 1 of play.

Van Acker’s roster is not full of returning players this year. He’s fostered a quarterback competition, and it’s Alex Gutierrez whose stepped up to make plays for the team.

“He’s had a lights-out performance last week and is able to get the ball out to the playmakers. We’ve not had too many turnovers, and they’re protecting the football, and that’s very crucial,” said Van Acker.

There’s a big focus on defense for this team. Returning all-state wide receiver, Zac Kerxton is a big part of the team’s playbook.

“Things really seem to be going our way this year,” said Kerxton, noting the that he doesn’t want to “jinx” the team by saying that. “They’ve been pressuring me a lot as a wide receiver, and that’s been opening up the run game, and that opens up the passing game. “So it’s really like ‘pick your poison’ out there and then, we can win the games.”

Kerxton grew up playing football with quarterback Gutierrez, and he says they work well together. The wide receiver has two touchdowns this season.

Brett Reid brings a lot of confidence to the game and has three interceptions so far this season. He credits his team for their victories this past two weeks over their opponents.

“Hylton is obviously always good. We’re better,” said Reid. “We play as a team. We just came out fired up, more pumped up about the game and we won. And we’re more talented than Gar-Field, and we know that.

This week the Battlefield Bobcats take on the 2-0 Woodbridge Vikings in Viking territory. The Vikings put up 37 more points on last week’s win over Stafford High School.

Van Acker says his team will treat this game, like all others, as a playoff competition. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Woodbridge Senior High School located at 3001 Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge.

Come to Williams Ordinary in Dumfries September 12 & 13 for history, artillery demonstations, food, and beer

How many times have hopped off Interstate 95 south and taken Route 1 through Dumfries? 

Have you ever noticed that just after the median splits in two, a large brick building rises on your right – so close to the road it looks like it’s going to jump in front of you? 

That’s the headquarters for Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division – and if you’ve ever wanted to learn more or take a peek inside, stop by on September 12 and 13.

For those two days the Williams Ordinary will reemerge as a busting stop it was in the 18th century. The building has seen a lot of change – built by John Glassford and Company in the mid 1760’s the structure was a popular store through the Revolutionary War.  

George Washington stopped at “the storehouse” in Dumfries to resupply on his way to victory at Yorktown at the end of the war. Just a few years after the war the building would become a Ordinary, or tavern, providing food, drink, and a place to lodge for people passing through area.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 12 and 13 you’ll find William’s Ordinary and the nearby Weems-Botts House a bustle of people that would have passed through here during its early history. 

Infantry, artillery, medical and cooking demonstrations will be on the two sites. At the Ordinary you can stop inside the recreated tavern room and meet George Washington, our Tavern keeper Alexander Henderson, or any number of other characters from our past.  

On Saturday at 1 p.m., Author John R. Mass will be discussing his latest book “The Road to Yorktown.”

Don’t miss the one of a kind event after the sun goes down on September 12; join us at the Ordinary for historic beer, appetizers, and live music for a chance to get a taste of the 18th century. 

Call 703-792-4754 to make your reservations – just $35 per person.

Parking is available at Dumfries Elementary School for both the day and evening events, with shuttle service to Williams Ordinary, located at 17674 Main Street, Dumfries, VA 22026

Friends, family ride for fallen Nokesville man in cancer fundraiser

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A group of Prince William residents and family members of Jim Breslin are raising funds for ‘The Ride to Conquer Cancer’.

The bike-riding fundraiser, which benefits John Hopkins University’s Cancer Center, will be a more than 150-mile ride on September 19 and 20.

Tim Breslin’s brother – Jim Breslin – was the inspiration for him to ride, because Jim Breslin passed away in March 2014 from esophageal cancer. This will be Breslin’s second year participating in the cancer fundraiser.

“One of my sisters saw the ad for ‘The Ride to Conquer Cancer’ [in 2014] which benefits John Hopkin’s Cancer Center, and my brother was being treated there. So she thought it would be a great thing to do – and neither of us were bike riders – but we signed up to do that,” said Breslin.

According to Breslin, his brother was a Nokesville resident, a retired responder from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, and a bus route manager for special needs children for Prince William County Public Schools.

Breslin said that his brother a selfless man who always put the needs of others before himself.

Breslin’s team was able to raise $38,000 last year for the event, and hope to continue to raise funds for this year’s ride.

This year, Breslin will captain the team, which includes Jim’s son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and former colleagues from Fairfax County fire and rescue.

People interested in getting involved can donate online.

What happens when lawyers update a database without a good backup?

  • JTC Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct #305, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

When a lawyer walks into the courtroom, they need to know that they have all of their information and records they need. In many cases this is sensitive information that can have a big impact on a client’s case. But what if that information were to vanish during a system update?

This is something a law firm really can’t afford, when it comes to building their business, and providing a reputable service that clients can count on. And this is why law firms and lawyers need to have a good backup of all of their records and files available, in case something goes wrong.

“If you don’t have a backup, you’re taking a huge risk of losing data,” said JTC, Inc. spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.

If a lawyer is utilizing legal billing software or an electronic records platform, you’re going to have to update these programs from time to time, as updates and patches are released. And if you don’t utilize the services of an IT company, like JTC, Inc. you may end up accidentally wiping some of these crucial records.

Especially when you’re doing a big update to one of these databases, it’s important to have both a local and off-site backup of your records. That is something that JTC, Inc. can manage.

“You have the potential for corrupting files. Because when you’re updating a database, there are sometimes what’s called ‘schema’ changes, which is changes to the format of the database itself. When you do a large update like that, there’s always a risk or potential for corruption because you’re doing mass changes to the database,” said JTC, Inc. Solution Architect Chris Dittrich.

JTC, Inc. will not only help with installation, but they will manage and alert you about system updates, assist with the updating process, and maintain an off-site copy of the records you need.

As a growing business, don’t risk losing your data. Legal billing software can save you time, and JTC, Inc. can keep your software and databases backed up and secure.

Fall for Manassas! So many great events happening this season

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Children are already back in school and now the sun sets earlier and earlier. Why does summer always go by so quickly?

Don’t lament digging out your coats and putting away your flip flops. With autumn comes plenty of festivals and events to get you in the mood for fall.

First Friday

To kick off September, there is a First Friday on Sept. 4. Enjoy the last of the warm weather by strolling the streets of downtown where you can enjoy live music, shopping, and dining from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Downtown.

Bridal Showcase

Here’s a gift to all the brides-to-be is a one-stop shop for bridal research. Discover what Manassas businesses offer that will make the wedding of your dreams at the Historic Downtown Manassas Bridal Showcase on Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Buy tickets.

Bands, Brews & Barbecue

How does a roasted porter with a vanilla finish or a seasonal ale with layers like a pumpkin pie sound? Sample the best beer that the region has to offer at Bands, Brews & Barbecue on Sept. 12 from noon until 6 p.m. Hourly BBQ pairings are featured in the VIP tent. Manassas Museum Lawn. Buy tickets.

Dog-a-pool-ooza

Cool off the dogs of summer at the Dog-a-pool-ooza at Stonewall Pool. The afternoon of Sept. 13 is the only day pups are allowed in the pool before it closes ($5/dog). Stonewall Park.

Greek Festival 

Interested in a Big, Fat, Greek Weekend? Visit the Annual Greek Festival on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the Taste of Greece and East the following day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opa! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Antique car meet

What’s more American than an apple pie? An antique car show! Come check out 150 four-wheeled beauties at the Annual Edgar Rohr Memorial Antique Car Meet on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s feature car is a 1941 convertible Buick Phaeton and you can watch a team assemble a Model T Ford. There is still time to register to show your car for a small fee. Manassas Museum Lawn. Free.

Rev it up

Enjoy more classic cars as well as food trucks, cold beer, and live classic rock music at Bull Run Rotary’s Rev It Up for Rotary charity event benefitting CASA, Habitat for Humanity, and BARN from 5 to 9 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Chili cookoff 

Nothing says “fall” more than chili! Don’t miss the annual Chili Cookoff on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Think you have the best batch? It isn’t too late to join. Enter as a professional cook, amateur cook, or nonprofit organization. Sampling starts after 1 p.m. Harris Pavilion. Free.

Latino festival 

Salsa your way to the Annual Latino Festival on Sept. 27 from noon to 5:30 p.m. You will find tons of games for children, tasty foods, piñatas, and live music and dancing all day! Harris Pavilion. Free.

Fall Jubilee 

Pick a perfect pumpkin at the Annual Fall Jubilee. Enjoy the crisp air as you browse cool crafts, play games, and enjoy live music on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Downtown. Free.

Open house 

On Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., swing by the City of Manassas Utilities Open House at 8500 Public Works Drive to enjoy free food, a huge pumpkin patch where you can pick out a free pumpkin, children’s activities, and a chance to check out the cool utility trucks. Free.

Farmers market 

Don’t forget the farmer’s market is still open on Thursdays in the Harris Pavilion and Saturdays in Parking Lot B from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up your favorite fall veggies before grabbing lunch at a nearby spot.

Digital solutions company JTC expands to Fredericksburg, Richmond

  • JTC, Inc.
  • Address: 9720 Capital Ct. #305, Manassas, Va.
  • Phone: (703) 794-1225
  • Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/

Jewell Technical Consulting will expand its market territory to include Fredericksburg and Richmond.

A Manassas, Virginia-based company, JTC, is the official IT provider of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and has long concentrated on the Northern Virginia market. The expansion marks the first time JTC has expanded into a new regional market.

Sowers

Sowers

Charles Sowers will lead the expansion and concentrate on growing the business in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Stafford areas in Central Virginia. Sowers will manage technical sales for JTC in these markets.

“I met Charles in 1995 when we were working on a project for Capital One Bank,” said JTC, Inc. President John Jewell. “We moved the bank from a Macintosh network and put it on a Windows network.”

JTC will market solutions to new customers in the medical and legal fields. The company will offer a wide range of solutions to include managed services of electronic medical records systems, disaster recovery, private cloud services, and IP telephone services.

“JTC Cloud is a private server. Unlike being on a Google, Amazon, or Rackspace server, we own the equipment, and our customers data is stored in a data center right here in Manassas,” said Jewell.

A large number of hospitals along the Interstate 95 corridor, and ancillary medical facilities that surround them made the area attractive to JTC. The expansion has been in the works for about a year, added Jewell.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Certified Partner.

Softball tournament funds scholarship named after fallen Prince William firefighter

Prince William County firefighter Kyle Wilson dedicated his life to community service by becoming a Prince William County firefighter when he was just 23 years old. 

It was a commitment that ended his life a year later as he searched a smoke and flames for the residents of a burning home in Woodbridge.

Wilson became the first Prince William County career firefighter to die in the line of duty. But his pledge to the community did not die.

His friends, family and the entire community are carrying on his passions for community service and education this weekend through the Kyle Wilson Softball Tournament and Kyle Wilson Endowed Scholarship in honor of the George Mason University alumnus.

The fifth annual softball tournament, Sept. 5 and 6, 2015, will be held at Valley View Sports Complex 11930 Valley View Drive in Nokesville. The park has five softball fields and aims to field 30 teams.

“If you want an old-fashioned Labor Day full of food, fun, and Adult Softball, drive over to Nokesville,” said Cherish Green, tournament coordinator.

Green there will also be plenty of raffles going on throughout the day from products donated from the business community. Green, whose husband is also a Prince William County firefighter, said the annual event has grown every year, as the community gathers to honor a home-grown hero.

“This has been a 5-year labor of love by Kyle’s friends, family, and members of the community to show our love and appreciation for this selfless young man,” said Green.

The tournament is one of three annual events that funds the Kyle Wilson Endowed Scholarship in George Mason University’s School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism. The scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student who exhibits Wilson’s leadership, values, academic achievement, and passion for physical fitness and who has been admitted to the professional phase of the Athletic Training Education program.

Wilson graduated from George Mason University in 2005 with a BS in Athletic Training. Wilson died in 2006 when conditions suddenly worsened as he conducted a room-to-room search of a Woodbridge home.

All seven residents of the burning home escaped unharmed.

To donate to the scholarship, please make a tax deductible donation online at supportingmason.gmu.edu (write in “Kyle Wilson Scholarship” under “Other Established Fund”) or send your gift to: Kyle Wilson Memorial Scholarship George Mason University Foundation 4400 University Drive, MS 1A3 Fairfax, Va. 22030

Haymarket power line: ‘Every resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is a Dominion customer will be paying for this project’

It will be up to Virginia’s State Corporation Commission to decide where a new electric transmission line will run in Haymarket.

The project, which has been met with an outcry from the community, currently has five different routes that are on the table, according to the Dominion Power website.

Recently, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution stating that they would only support the ‘I-66 Alternatives’ plan, which would bury the transmission lines underground near I-66 and Route 29.

Other routes would potentially place large overhead transmission lines through residential areas, according to Dominion Power maps.

Why the need for a new transmission line?

The purpose of bringing a transmission line project to an area would typically be to increase capacity and service for all residents in the area, but this may not be the sole reason for the project in Haymarket.

In a Washington Post article, it is reported that the transmission lines are being built for the benefit of one customer – Amazon – as it is reported that they are building a new data center in Haymarket that will need additional power capacity.

Senator Dick Black and Delegate Bob Marshall have even stated that they believe Amazon is the reason for the project and have written letters to Amazon’s owner Jeffrey Bezos.

Amazon did not return Potomac Local’s request for comment.

Who pays for the project?

According to Dominion Power spokesman Chuck Penn, there is no official cost for any of the proposed routes – but it will be at an upward of $140 million.

“We do not have cost estimates for each route…initially when we first announced the project – the so-called ‘railroad route’ – was in the neighborhood of $60 million…and the preliminary cost for the ‘hybrid route’ was $140 to $142 million. But since then, we’ve determined that that estimate is low,” said Penn.

And according to Penn, this cost is going to be passed to all of the rate-payers, regardless of if the transmission line is being built for the benefit of one business, like Amazon.

“We don’t view it as being for any customer – it’s a block lode increase…ultimately, the cost of the project will be passed on to the rate-payer. And when I say rate-payer, that’s across the entire Dominion footprint – across all of Dominion’s customers…every resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia that is a Dominion customer will be paying for this project,” said Penn.

According to Penn, Dominion Power does not get the final say on the route chosen for the project. The route is decided by the State Corporation Commission.

“There’s been a very robust and healthy exchange of information, with regards to this project, and we have benefitted greatly from these ongoing interactions with the community. And it translated into three of the routes that were under consideration that we’re going to recommend to the State Corporation Commission…the reality of it is that it’s very rare, that any transmission project is universally endorsed by all parties,” Penn said.

Currently, there is no set timeline for the commission to select a route.

Minimally invasive heart surgery benefits Mary Washington Healthcare patients

Dr Alex Na, cardiovascular surgeon at Mary Washington Healthcare, talks about how patients benefit with minimally invasive heart surgery.

“They have less pain, and they have less wound-healing problems, they have less bleeding complications, and they less pulmonary complications,” said Na.

Mary Washington’s comprehensive heart center offers surgical excellence and advanced treatment options close to home and family.

“If you look at those complex cases, our outcomes are as good or better than most of the big institutions,” said Na.

While caring for each patient with dignity and compassion, our heart center continues to advance.

“The hospital is committed to bringing in the new technologies and keeping our cardiac surgery program as state of the art as possible. We’re doing all these things because it’s better care for the patients.”

Mary Washington Healthcare. Here for you. Always.

Do you know the street safety rules around school buses?

The school year in Virginia has just begun, and that means that school buses will be back out on the road.

Do YOU know the rules for driving and stopping around school buses?

When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign on the side of the bus, you must stop your vehicle from any direction, if you are on a highway, private road or school road. You must stay stopped until the area is clear, and the bus is moving again.

If a bus is loading or letting off passengers and the signals are not on, you still must stop.

If you are driving on a road in the opposite direction with a road that has a median or a barrier, and the bus is on the other side, then you do not have to stop.

School bus safety is the focus of many this week as children head back to school. The hashtag “#break4buses” is trending online.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire wants you to make sure you follow the rules of the road and be safe this school year.

How Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South in Manassas

Chapel Springs

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Eleven-year-old Edwin Martinez had been looking forward to the Georgetown South Family Day event on Saturday, August 22, but said the day turned out to be even better than expected.

Standing in line for the Wild Rapids inflatable water slide with a half-dozen friends, Edwin said the community’s pavilion area was like a party with lots of different ways to enjoy the day.

“I give it an A+,” he said of the event, which was hosted by Chapel Springs Assembly of God in partnership with Iglesia Vida.

Chapel Springs has hosted Family Day at Georgetown South since 2011 as a way to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community. This year’s free event featured the extremely popular Wild Rapids slide, two inflatable bounce houses and face painting along with hot dogs and “sno cones.”

Family Day is the culmination of a week-long day camp for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade and gives church members a chance to connect with the families of those children, said Pastor Doug Dreesen. It’s also an opportunity to inform residents about the weekly English as a Second Language (ESL) classes hosted by Chapel Springs at the Georgetown South Community Center.

“Our goal is to come and help transform the community, really, for Christ. We want to tell them Jesus loves them, and we’re here to be His hands and feet, Dreesen said, adding that Chapel Springs is building a long-term relationship with Georgetown South.

Susana Ladino has lived in Georgetown South for three years, and stopped at the pavilion with her 6-year-old after they saw a group of children running toward the event.

“It’s beautiful. It looks very organized,” Ladino said through an interpreter.

Laura Leon also attended with her children. Leon has lived in the community for 11 years and has attended Family Day in the past. Through an interpreter, she said she was happy to enjoy a meal while her children played.

Sitting at a picnic table in the shade while children were enjoying activities nearby, Chapel Springs member Libny Fierro opened a Spanish Bible and led those seated around her to take turns reading from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians has wonderful instruction about how we should live everyday– things like watching what we say and wearing the “armor of God” – and that was thought-provoking for those at the picnic table, Fierro said.

Fierro and her new friend Norma Arriaga handed out nine Spanish Bibles before the event was over. Having Bibles in Spanish was wonderful, Arriaga said, because while an English Bible is fine for the younger generation, she prefers to read in Spanish.

Asked what she learned from her discussion with Fierro and others at the picnic table, Arriaga had a quick reply: “God has a purpose for us and we need to follow His example,” she said through an interpreter.

Many church-goers focus on who they know and what people are wearing instead of spiritual matters, so reading and discussing the book of Ephesians was eye-opening, Arriaga added.

Ed and Miriam Bosch attend Chapel Springs and are preparing to become missionaries to Ecuador. They both participated in the day camp and were on hand for Family Day to celebrate a successful week.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Ed Bosch said.

Chapel Springs member Denise Propps also volunteered to help at the day camp. She said it was important to her to attend Family Day and meet the families of the children she saw all week, noting that one child ran up and hugged her and said she had been looking specifically for her.

“It’s all about building relationships with the community,” Propps said. “We were made for relationships. We were made to love one another.”

And by building relationships, when someone has a need, we can pray for them as someone who knows them and cares for them, she added.

“I love it. It’s really what He’s called us to do, Propps said.

-Written by Christine Rodrigo

How Downtown Manassas changed empty buildings into a regional entertainment destination

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When people visit the farmer’s market at the Harris Pavilion or navigate the crowds during First Fridays, they are surrounded by a beautiful historic downtown, thriving businesses, and lots of friends and neighbors. It is hard to believe that just 30 years ago, the streets of historic Manassas were desolate, buildings were in disrepair, and almost half of the storefronts were empty and boarded up.

How did downtown turn around?

In 1985, a group of business owners, residents, and City leaders rallied. Determined to revive the heart of Manassas, they needed to lure businesses and customers back from the sprawling strip malls and shopping malls. A series of community meetings explored both problems and opportunities before crafting a vision for a vibrant, walkable downtown filled with restaurants, shops, arts, and a city square

To realize this vision, the City embraced the Main Street Four-Point Approach that was designed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to revive struggling historic downtowns. At this time, Historic Manassas Inc. (HMI) was born.

In 2003, HMI was nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for revitalization excellence. Downtown Manassas was held up as a model when it won a Great American Main Street Award for rehabbing 54 buildings, dropping the vacancy rate to zero, creating 350 new jobs, and spurring $12

million in private investment.

These successes are attributed to HMI’s strong public-private partnerships, committed vision, and volunteer support. Main Street programs like HMI rely on dedicated community members who volunteer on committees and the board of directors to help carry out its work together with staff.  

The Main Street Approach is also unique in that it tackles multiple problems throughout the community at once. Instead of relying on a single “white knight,such as a stadium or a company to save a community, Main Street rebuilds a downtown by leveraging its local assets like heritage, historic buildings, independent businesses, walkable streets, and events. Community projects and improvements are done incrementally

Gradual successes over time have made Manassas a place where people want to spend time and money again.

Downtown’s revitalization got a jump start in the 1990s when Virginia Railway Express started commuter service and the museum was built, which created an attraction for new visitors. Businessman Loy E. Harris sustained the momentum by restoring three historic buildings, including the 1906 Opera House. 

This motivated others to fix up their buildings, too, and new businesses began opening. Later, the community was given a place to gather when a vacant half-acre lot in the heart of downtown was transformed into the city square and an all-season pavilion, which was named after Harris.

HMI isn’t resting on its laurels; it continues to work in partnership with the City and local businesses to strengthen the downtown. It hosts a full calendar of events all year long and supports those produced by others

In September alone, the Historic Downtown Manassas Bridal Showcase will show off the local businesses that make Manassas a perfect wedding destination, while Bands, Brews & Barbecue turn the City into a regional entertainment destination. Manassasgrowing cluster of restaurants was made even stronger when the Battle Street enhancements created space for outdoor dining. And, excitement continues to grow with each new piece of public art, arts-oriented venue, and gallery.

Ribbon cutting for Chris Yung Elementary School set for Thursday

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Chris Yung Elementary School will welcome students, parents, and teachers for the first time this year.

A ribbon cutting for the new school will take place Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the school located at 12612 Fog Light Way in Bristow.

The school is named after Prince William County Police Officer Chris Yung who was killed in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve 2012. His family will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, according to Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is open to the public.

Chris Yung Elementary School is the only new school opening this year in the Prince William school division. The elementary school was formerly known as the “Devlin Road elementary school” while it was under construction.
Community members urged school officials to name the new school after the fallen police officer.

Yung, 35, was responding to a call for help on his police motorcycle when he was hit by a minivan, outside a Target store on Sowder Village Way in Bristow.

Yung was a Marine and was known for his kindness and dedication to the police force and the community. His death brought together community members for a series of vigils, a memorial parade, and a massive funeral in remembrance of the fallen officer.

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