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Haymarket Local

National Night Out events coming Aug. 4

Several area police departments are participating in this year’s National Night Out.

National Night Out is an event that promotes community-police awareness across the country, and is held by localities each year during the first week of August.

We’ve got information about National Night Out celebrations in your area.

Prince William

National Night Out is Tuesday, August 4th. Check with your homeowners association to see if our motorcade is coming through your neighborhood or to register your event go to www.nno.org. We hope to see you.

Stafford

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office will once again be participating in the Annual National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. 17 different neighborhoods have signed up to host a National Night Out event in their neighborhood with most events starting in the late afternoon and going to the early evening.

The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Aquia Harbour Volunteer Rescue Squad, is also participating in a community wide National Night Out event at the TARGET parking lot of the Stafford Market Place. This is an open event that is also being held on Tuesday, August 4 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Everyone is invited to come by and enjoy numerous family fun activities. 149 different vendors, community organizations and businesses will be participating. That is an additional 59 over 2014.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. National Night Out sends a clear message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and participating in active crime prevention.

Manassas

National Night Out is August 4, 2015!
This just in! MCPD will be giving the first 20 families who bring a non-perishable food item and donate it towards the Team Summer Quest’s Food Drive 4 SERVE will receive a photoelectric (dusk-to-dawn) cell for their porch lights, FREE!

National Night Out (NNO) is “America’s Night Out Against Crime” – a time when neighbors come together and take a stand against crime. NNO helps send the message to criminals that the Manassas community does and will continue to fight back against crime. It also raises safety and drug awareness, strengthens community spirit, and enhances the partnership between residents and first-responders which makes every effort of safety possible.

August 4, 2015 will mark the third annual city-wide NNO event hosted by the City of Manassas. It is a community- and service-oriented, family-friendly gathering open to all. The event activities on the Museum Lawn, a food drive to benefit the Northern Virginia Family Service SERVE Food Pantry, demonstrations by first-responders, opportunities to meet the City staff and volunteers that help keep residents safe year-round, free Museum admission, food, and fun for all ages. The City also participates in individual neighborhoods’ grassroots NNO events upon request. Whether you’re planning to host your own event or to attend ours, mark your calendar and follow MPCD on Facebook and Twitter for updates in the weeks leading up to the event.

To receive your official organizational kit and stay connected with National Association of Town Watch throughout the year, register your neighborhood’s event at www.nno.org.

Manassas Park

Manassas Park Residents are invited to join in the National Night Out celebration,Tuesday, August 6, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Signal Hill Park, 9300 Signal View Drive, Manassas Park.
National Night Out (NNO), sponsored by Manassas Park Police (and McGruff the Crime Dog), features local, state and federal law enforcement exhibits, equipment and personnel. Also at the event will be civic outreach organizations, lots of food, fun and much more. 

Each year, localities across the country gear up to celebrate “community” and promote crime prevention and crime fighting awareness with National Night Out events. Manassas Park is no exception. The City’s 2012 NNO drew a crowd of 2,500 – 3,000.

Dumfries

On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, the Dumfries Police Department is asking Town residents to join in celebrating the vital role of the community in supporting and working with the Police Department to prevent and fight crime. We are asking communities to light up the night against crime by turning on their outside porch lights from 6:00 p.m. to midnight in a show of strength and unity.

We are also asking individual neighborhoods to get together and organize gatherings in their community that night to celebrate community pride. 

Neighborhood involvement could be as simple as a group of residents waiting outside to greet the motorcade as it drives through the community or a more formal gathering that might involve a community cookout or picnic, drinks and snacks, an ice cream social, etc.  The Dumfries Police Department is able to supply a variety of handouts such as coloring books to assist individual neighborhood efforts.

This is a great opportunity to demonstrate community unity and to stand together in support of effective police/community partnerships!

Please call the Dumfries Police Department (703) 221-1111 to let us know about your neighborhood celebration or with questions. 

Haymarket

The 2015 National Night Out Celebration will be held on Tuesday August 4, 2015 from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Town Hall/Police Department location, 15026 Washington Street, Haymarket, Virginia 20169. As always, we will have representatives from various agencies and lots of fun for the whole family. This year we will have a dunking tank for charity with some law enforcement officers and public officials making the sacrifice for a worthy cause, so please come out and help us reach our goal! We will also have a hula hoop contest, a drawing to win 1 of 4 new bicycles and 1 of 2 bicycle starter packs, Papa John’s pizza, live music, and lots more!!!

We look forward to another great time celebrating the Annual National Night Out with the community so please come join us!

Leadership Prince William children donate to car crash victim

It was a like a scene from movie.

Greg Powell was in the kitchen making dinner when a knock came on the door. It was a police officer was waiting tell him that his wife and 12-year-old son had been involved in a serious car crash.

Katherine Hennessa, 54, and her son Carson were on their way back home from having ice cream on Route 29 in Gainesville on June 1. Thier car was t-boned by another driver, sending Katherine and Connor to a hospital.

Connor underwent therapy, was released, and is still recovering. Katherine, a teacher at Centreville High School in Fairfax County, remains in the hospital where she was in a coma for six weeks. She’s suffered a post-traumatic brain injury and memory loss.

Greg Powell and his oldest son, Clayton, 15, were on hand Friday at Youth for Tomorrow, where a check for $2,764 was presented. The money is to help the family with medical costs.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to us that you have decided to do this,” Greg Powell told the Leadership Prince William Campers on Friday.

The check came from a group of children who fresh out of the Leadership Prince William Summer Youth Academy, a two-week long camp where area youth are introduced to the workings of local government and business.

Children raised the money during “leadership lemonade,” where two teams of campers competed to see who could sell the most lemonade to raise money for the Powell family. The children selected the Powell family as the benefactors of the event.

The campers graduated from the camp at a special ceremony at Youth for Tomorrow on July 24.

In addition to leadership lemonade, the children toured several locations across the county including the Occoquan Town Hall and the Prince William County Adult Detention Center.

“I’ve never even been to most of these places, or knew they existed,” said one child.

Haymarket to explore town-wide wireless broadband service

What would you do if you could pay for wireless internet service in your home the same way you paid for water or electric service?

A new committee formed by the Haymarket Town Council will explore that question.

Haymarket Mayor David Leake said the panel will weigh the options of rolling out wireless broadband internet service in the town. Visitors, residents, and business owners could potentially use the WiFi service.

Comcast is the only provider of broadband internet services in the town.

Verizon provided its Fios product to homes just outside the town limits but decided not to offer the service inside the town, said Leake.

“The Greenfield Crossing community of about 400 homes, half is in Gainesville and the other is in Haymarket. About half the homes [in Haymarket] do not have Fios,” said Leake.

Manassas offered a similar wireless program in its downtown area. The program was canceled years ago, said city spokeswoman Patty Prince.

A report by Cisco states the rollout of municipal wireless is becoming more popular. Not only can municipal wireless be used to connect computer users in parks and other public places and in private homes, town employees may also use the WiFi broadband to perform their job duties.

Leake said the wireless broadband committee is just forming and, and that a date for the committee to report their findings has yet to be set.

Haymarket bridge replacement underway

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Work to replace the Old Carolina Road overpass bridge is well underway in Haymarket.

The new $2.7 million bridge will carry drivers on Old Carolina Road onto Jefferson Street in the town, over Interstate 66.

It will be two lanes, and will have shared use paths for bicycling and hiking to connect Piedmont and Somerset Crossing communities on the north side of I-66.

The bridge replaces an old two-lane bridge of the same name.

The new bridge is part of the Interstate 66 widening project that will add one new high occupancy vehicle lane on each direction on I-66, between Route 29 in Gainesville and Route 15 in Haymarket.

“This bridge is a critical artery to our town, and businesses in our town have been impacted since its closure,” said Haymarket Mayor David Leake.

Shops in the town have seen about a 30% reduction in revenue since the old bridge was closed and work on the new bridge began, said Leake.

During construction, drivers must use a the Route 15 bridge over I-66.  That route is congested during the morning and evening rush hours.

Haymarket will also maintain the new lighting that will be installed on the bridge. The lighting will be similar to the lighting scheme in the town, said Leake.

The new bridge is expected to be complete in spring 2016.

Also part of the I-66 HOV lane project, the Catharpin Road overpass is also being reconstructed as part of the project. Virginia transportation officials also estimate a spring 2016 completion date for that project.

Marriage isn’t a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give.

Marriage should be serious fun.

That’s the premise behind a series of classes called ‘Married People,’ hosted by Chapel Springs Church in Bristow.

The classes are hosted on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m., and are open to all married couples.

Pastor Josh and Leah Wesley both work in the ministry at Chapel Springs, and recently hosted one of the ‘Married People’ classes.

The Wesleys have been married for 15 years, after meeting through a mutual friend in ministry.

“We really became best friends and got to the point where, ‘I just don’t want to live life without you. I don’t want to experience anything about life without you by my side’ and that was it,” said Leah Wesley.

According to Pastor Josh Wesley, the classes are for all married couples who want to make their marriage better.

“We’re trying to help people – not just from the slant of ‘come fix your broken marriage’ – but also we’re being proactive in helping people continue to nurture healthy marriages. Marriage gets a lot of flack for being the ‘ball and chain.’ We really believe that marriage opens and unlocks a lot of opportunities…we’re helping people develop their relationships,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

Here’s some advice from the Wesleys about marriage.

1. Stop comparing your marriage to other people’s marriages. The way that you have fun and enjoy your lives together is unique.

2. Develop the ability to give.

“Marriage is not a give-and-take. It’s a give-and-give. And when we both are giving equally, everybody’s being blessed,” said Pastor Josh Wesley.

3. Make the decision to put your spouse first every day, and value them.

4. Developing your imagination and creativity, and explore new ways to have fun.

“In marriage we kind of tend to get very hum drum. We tend to do the same thing over and over again. We go to work – we have responsibilities. And we forget to be creative and to spark that love and enjoyment with one another,” said Leah Wesley.

5. Know that marriage requires a lot of hard work.

6. Your marriage needs to be above all relationships, including the relationship with your children and parents.

Chapel Springs Church, with locations in Bristow and Stafford, is committed to offering marriage enrichment opportunities and helping people heal fractured marriages. Next Wednesday, July 29, concludes the “Married People” series with a session at 7:30 pm in the Bristow auditorium. All married couples are welcome to attend.

Free marriage resources.

 

‘Hybrid’ power line urged for Haymarket

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is not going to spend a lot of money on something just to make a small group of people happy,” said Ray Geier, a Haymarket property owner.

Dominion agrees that the hybrid plan would more to build. An initial cost analysis of the hybrid plan showed a price tag of $140 million to build. Revised estimates show it could cost between $80 and $100 million more to build the hybrid line. And those costs would ultimately be passed along to consumers.

“It could be one customer, it could be 10,000 customers. The fact is we have to meet the demand for electricity in this area,” said Dominion spokesman Charles Penn.

Many who came to the meeting said a data center is a business that typically doesn’t create a lot of jobs, and that it wouldn’t add too much to the economic base of the community. Residents accuse Amazon of attempting to drive up otherwise low electric utility rates in the area.

“It’s Amazon not dealing with rising electricity costs in California,” said Elizabeth Ward, of Haymarket, and who also serves on the Prince William County Soil and Water District Board of Directors.

When it’s built above or below ground, the power line will include several 110-foot tall galvanized steel structures that will support the power lines along the route. Dominion says above-ground lines are more reliable, four to 10 times less expensive than buried lines and have double the life expectancy of a buried line.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the final in a series of public forums held by Dominion over the past year. The utility will take feedback gathered at these sessions and will submit a final report to the SCC in Richmond. That agency will conduct an independent cost analysis and choose which option will be built.

Once the SCC makes a ruling, the new line could take a year and a half to two years to construct.

Proposed towing fees higher in Prince William

Two truck companies could soon be allowed to charge you more to tow your car in Prince William County.

Here’s a breakdown the of newly proposed fees:

Proposed fee Current fee  
$135 $125 For vehicles with gross weight of 10,001 pounds
$250 $175 For vehicles with gross weight between 10,001 and 26,001 pounds
$475 $300 For vehicles with gross weight of 26,001 or more pounds

Tow companies would also be allowed to charge drivers an additional $25 if their car is towed between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. weekdays, on weekends, or holidays, according to the proposal.

Tow companies are not allowed to charge storage or impound fees for the first 24 hours. Companies may then charge $50 per each 24 hours thereafter. 

If the driver of a tow truck offers to release a vehicle before it is towed away, the owner of the car will have the option of paying a release fee up to $50 to have the vehicle released from the tow truck, according to the proposal.

A towing advisory board comprised of various towing companies and the Prince William County Police Department review towing fee on an annual basis.

The public hearing on the matter is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Prince William County Government Center. The new fees must be approved by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

20 orgs win Prince William County arts grants

A total of $193,000 was provided to arts groups in Prince William County. 

The grant money is built into the annual county budget, and is awarded on the recommendation of the Prince William Arts Council County Parks and Recreation Department.

Each organization submitted a grant application. About $270,000 was requested, or about 140% of the total funds available. 

Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson questioned whether or not some of the grant benefactors located in Manasssas were being funded by similar grants awarded by that city.

“I don’t have anything against these. I just want to know they’re carrying the weight themselves,” said Lawson.

Prince William County Parks and Recreation Director Debbie Andrew said Manassas does not offer the same type of arts grant as Prince William. She also told Lawson applicants must prove their arts programs regularly serve residents of Prince William County.

And the grant winners are: 

Applicant  Amount awarded
Center for the Arts $50,000
Manassas Ballet $60,000
Youth Orchestras $19,413
Woodbridge Flute $776
Cabin Branch Quilters $3,137
Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra $2,964
Castaways Repertory Theatre $2,301
Prince William Arts Society $886
Manassas Symphony  $10,695
Manassas Chorale $13,453
Woodbridge Dance $3,839
Celebration Singers $2,382
Prince William Little Theatre $5,250
Asaph Dance $5,522
New Dominion Choraliers  $3,618
Bull Run Cloggers $1,382
Woodbridge Music Club $1,211
Woodbridge Comm. Choir  $1,981
Gainesville Ballet $780
Shenandoah Sound $3,410

 

Prince William County welcomes the world to the 2015 Quicken Loans National PGA Tour

  • Prince William County Economic Development
  • Address: 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 240, Gainesville, Va. 20155
  • Phone: (703) 792-5500
  • Website: http://www.pwcecondev.org/
Quicken Loans National PGA Tour , Prince William County

The countdown is on to when the global spotlight will be on Prince William County!

Beginning July 27 and running through to August 2, 2015, the Quicken Loans National PGA Tour will be held at the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia. 

The golf tournament, in its ninth year, promises to be a history-making event as some 100,000 spectators attend and an estimated 1 billion households tune in to see 120 PGA TOUR players vie for the $6.7 million purse.  Nestled along the banks of picturesque Lake Manassas, RTJ is a prestigious venue providing world-class amenities and breathtaking scenery. 

The golf course itself is no stranger to professional golf as the birthplace of the Presidents Cup tournament in 1994 and having hosted the tournament three times subsequently in 1996, 2000 and 2005.

The event is a welcomed opportunity to showcase the entire community, not only to visiting patrons, but to the rest of the world.  Spectators, clients and families alike will discover that Prince William County’s abundant economic opportunities are as diverse as the top-flight recreational and cultural amenities, which makes it a unique place to Live. Work. Play and Stay!

Billed as this summer’s largest outdoor party in Prince William County, the tournament promises to provide the ultimate fan experience with upgraded concessions, lawn games, a putting experience for spectators and even private cabanas. 

This year, the tournament will introduce the Quicken Loans National summer concert stage outside of the main entrance gate from Thursday to Saturday, which will feature local bands during tournament week; and the Quicken Loans Hole-in-One House will return for its second year, which will be situated between the 18th green and the clubhouse and will feature live tournament streaming and more.

Beyond the course, Prince William County is also well known for several national outdoor recreation retail destinations – Golfsmith, Gander Mountain, REI and, coming soon – Cabela’s.  The County is home to 21 golf courses including a publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at the Potomac Shores Golf Club.  It is estimated that the local golf industry generates some $36 million in sales annually and employs over 700 people. 

So the stage is set and the countdown is on.  Come and be part of history being made while basking in the warmth, hospitality and charm of Prince William County.  We look forward to welcoming you to what will undoubtedly be an experience to remember, after which, you will know why we proudly call Prince William County home.

$11M Gainesville library to open in October

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Western Prince William is getting an $11 million library.

The Haymarket/Gainesville Community library – which will be located at the intersection of Route 15 and Lightnet Road – is under construction and will be completed in October 2015, according to Andrew Spence, a spokesman for the Prince William library system.

The location will be 20,000 square feet and will offer their normal range of services, including checkout materials and children’s programming, as well as electronic services.

“In addition to the system’s traditional services, the Haymarket/Gainesville Community Library will provide access to our digital resources (databases, electronic books and magazines, and more), web-based library services (digital catalog), self-checkout, public Internet access, community/room space and wireless public Internet access,” said Spence.

According to Spence, the $11 million in funding for the library came from various sources, including debt financing and proffers.

“A 2006 bond referendum, approved by voters, provides $9,940,000 debt financing for the new Haymarket/Gainesville Community Library. Additionally, Prince William County Government’s General Fund provides $50,000 and developer contributions (proffers) provide $1,823,405 for the new library,” stated Spence.

This library is the second ongoing library project in Prince William, as the Montclair Community Library will also be completed this fall. Spence stated that the library is being built to meet the growing need for the services in the western end of the county.

“The library system recognizes that the Haymarket/Gainesville area has grown over the last decade creating an opportunity to provide this community with increased library services such as literacy materials, community space, reference assistance and civic engagement,” said Spence.

Similar to the new Montclair library, the Haymarket/Gainesville library will have a historic property on the site for visitors to see, called the “Bushy Park House”.

“[The house] is a 200 year-old Gainesville farmhouse planned to become a history interpretive center for our visitors,” said Spence.

Haymarket woman charged with entering stranger’s home

In the afternoon on June 22, Haymarket police were called to a home on Gap Way for a call for unlawful entry of a residence.

According to Haymarket police, the homeowner stated that he saw a female open the rear door of his home and partially enter. When the homeowner confronted the woman, she asked to use the telephone.

Haymarket police stated that the female had no connections to the home.

After an investigation, Haymarket police identified the female as 22-year old Chelsey Davis.

Davis was located at her residence on Washington Street and has been charged with unlawful entry.

Celebrate America in style in Manassas July 4

Fireworks show, watermelon, and pie contests planned 

On Saturday, July 4, 2015, Celebrate America with the City of Manassas from 3 to 10 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas.

The celebration begins with the Bicycle Decorating contest. At 5 p.m. visitors are invited to take part in a Watermelon-eating contest.

Next, Judges from around the City will lend their culinary expertise to judge the Apple and Peach Pie Baking Contest. This is Americana at its best. To sign up for these contests, visit visitmanassas.org.

Visitors can bring a blanket or a lawn chair to lay claim to a spot for viewing the best fireworks in Virginia. Beginning at 3 p.m., there will be children’s rides, food vendors, and other vendors. The celebration centers around the Harris Pavilion, the Manassas Museum and the Train Depot.

The City of Manassas loves pets, but pets do not love loud noises. Their ears are more sensitive and the City asks that pets be left at home in the air conditioning. This time of year, streets and sidewalks are hot enough to burn puppy paws.

Two injured from church roof collapse in Haymarket

On June 18, Prince William fire and rescue responded to a call for a building collapse on Regency Club Drive in the Dominion Valley Market Square Shopping Center in Haymarket.

When Prince William fire and rescue crews arrived on scene, they saw a partially collapsed roof of a church building that is under construction.

During the collapse, two employees were injured.

One employee had minor injuries and the second employee fell two-stories during the collapse, said Prince William fire and rescue. The employee was flown to a medical facility for treatment.

Prince William police were also on site to secure the scene.

A Building Inspector was called in, along with an Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) inspector.

 

Northern Virginia families needed for visiting French teens

Waiting for lift-off in the Virginia countryside. In three short weeks, American families and their French students can become lifelong friends.
Donatien, 16, of Versailles, enjoys swimming, tennis, reading, and video games. He has lived in India, and also studies Chinese, and is in a scientific specialization in school.
Joris, a lively and sociable-14 year old, enjoys swimming, canoeing, sailing, camping, mechanics, animals, history and plays the electric guitar.
Hugues and Sebastian prepare for a watermelon seed-spitting contest at a host family picnic last year.
LEC student Paul, left, enjoys his first American hamburger at a Virginia Red Robin restaurant.

Early July is that exciting time of year when French teenagers sponsored by LEC (Loisirs Culturels a L’Etranger, founded in 1972 and based in Paris, France) will be arriving into Dulles Airport for a fun-filled three weeks in the Northern Virginia area.

But to do so they need local families willing to open their hearts and homes now.

LEC has five students, ages 14-19, who still need welcoming homes from July 7–27. They all speak English, are fully insured, bring ample spending money, and would like to participate as a member of an American family – your family!

But what does that entail?

Our families provide room and board, of course, but even more importantly friendship and the desire to include the student in their daily activities, thus giving the student a wonderful introduction to American life.

Families will receive a weekly stipend of $125 to help cover typical hosting costs. For more information or to apply, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or ksweer@aol.com TODAY. We need Host families immediately to ensure that every student can visit the US. For more information, please see LEC-USA.com.

It is always fun to observe the group of teens searching for their host families in the airport crowd. Some of the students have corresponded and ‘met’ their families in advance. They have received pictures, and have heard about some of the upcoming plans for the 20 days that they will be in the Northern Virginia area. Others will shyly meet their American families for the first time once they leave the International Arrivals area.

Either way, excitement is in store for both students and families as both share in the daily activities and traditions of the family and have fun learning about each others’ cultures.

Trips to the local swimming pool, bowling alleys, family reunions, and food stores may be just as much fun as trips to amusement parks, museums, the White House and baseball games. Even introducing your student to corn on the cob, American barbecue, or the joys of s’mores can be fun. All are new and exciting to our students! Let your imagination guide you!

Aurelie, a student from Paris who was housed in Chantilly last year, formed a strong bond with her host family who admitted that they had known little about France and had been nervous about opening their home to a student they had never met.

“We decided to go for it,” host mother Joan stated, “ and the 20 days just flew by. In the end, we wished Aurelie could have stayed much longer!”

Again, please contact Karen Sweer, LEC General Coordinator, at 717-795-7089 or ksweer@aol.com TODAY. Please help so we don’t disappoint a single student! See you at Dulles on July 7!

 

Storms in the forecast Tuesday

Update

It looks like the area will be seeing some more stormy and hot weather.

According to the National Weather Service, scattered and severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening.

There may also be damaging winds and large hail. Additionally, there could be thunderstorms with significant rainfall and flash flooding.

Along with the stormy weather, the National Weather service has announced a heat advisory for the entire Interstate 95 corridor.

It is expected that the temperature will rise to 105 degrees.

The advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

More from the National Weather Service:

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE.

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE…RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT

STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK…THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS

IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKEIS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911.

Original post

Sweltering hot temperatures and more potentially dangerous storms are in the forecast.

We’ll see a high of 96 degrees on Tuesday. Factor in the heat index, and we could be looking at temperatures that feel like 101 or better.

The hot temperatures could also bring severe thunderstorms much like we saw on Saturday night, said National Weather Service Baltimore-Washington office forecaster James Lee.

According to the weather service, the movement of a cold front across the region could determine when we could see some nasty weather. The storms could come during the afternoon or evening, so keep an umbrella handy for the drive home from work on Tuesday.

This latest threat of stormy weather comes days after a massive line a damaging, potentially tornado-causing weather moved through the region Saturday night. That storm — remnants of Tropical Storm Bill that slammed into Texas last week — caused flooding, topped trees and structures, and lightning from the storms sparked several house fires.
We are well into the summer season now, and the weather pattern setting up for the remainder of the week reflects the season.

While not nearly as hot as Tuesday’s forecasted temperatures in the high 90s, the rest of the week will bring temps in the high 80s, as well as more chances for thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday.

Your weekend should be warm with highs in the low 80s, with a chance of showers on Saturday and Sunday.

3 resign from Prince William Committee of 100

wiggins

Wiggins

Three members of the Committee of 100 Board of Directors resigned on Saturday.

Vice President Marlo Thomas Watson, treasurer Harry Wiggins, and committee program chair Bill Golden all walked away from the group when it met Saturday at the Montclair Country Club.

Watson

Watson

Their resignations come weeks after newly elected committee president James Young turned to Facebook to post opinions on a move by the Alabama government’s decision to stop issuing state marriage licenses after federal government forced the state to recognize same-sex marriages.

Young, a 20-year member of the Committee of 100, called the

Golden

Golden

move by the state an “assault on marriage” and an attempt to “force acceptance of sexual deviancy.”

Wiggins, who also is the Prince William County Democratic Committee Chairman, took exception with Young’s comments. The committee has always billed itself as a bi-partisan group that fosters community conversation.

Young

Young

“As soon as I read that, I called James and told him ‘you’re the president of the Committee of 100. You have gay members who are a part of the committee.’ It was like taking to a brick wall,” said Wiggins.

James Young had no comment for this story.

Marlo Thomas Watson said she resigned her position as vice president, but declined to elaborate on why she left.

“I will continue to work to bring together people of all races, colors and creeds,” said Thomas Watson.

She will consider attending Committee of 100 events and functions in the future, and she said her resignation was “met with sadness.”

For the past year, committee program chair Bill Golden organized many of the programs and political debate hosted by the organization.

“I did indeed step down early as the Committee of 100 Program Committee Chair.  I was given the opportunity to continue on for the next program year, but felt it best that the new leadership under President James Young put together its own team for the new program year,”said Golden. “Under the prior board of directors, I had a lot of freedom and support to craft programs designed to appeal to the public as well as the membership.”

Golden said he will remain active in the committee despite resigning his leadership position.

The resignations come on the heels of a very well attended committee program earlier this year on the homelessness problem in Prince William County. Also held at the Montclair Country Club, the event brought together community residents, activists, and politicians on a dialogue on what can be done for those living in the woods just off major highways in the county.

The Committee has also been instrumental in hosting political debates featuring candidates for local, state, and congressional offices. Many politicians and prominent community members list committee membership on their resumes.

Membership in the Prince William Committee of 100 has grown by 10% over the past year.

As the November General Election inches closer, Wiggins said Democrat candidates vow not to participate in any debate or political function hosted by the Committee of 100 after Young made his comments online.

Fires rip through homes during severe storms

Send us your storm reports / photos

9:20 p.m. 

Fire on Belmont Bay Drive in Woodbridge caused by lightning strike. Fire in attic. Flames doused by fire crews. Homes have water damage due to rain.

The fire ignited prior to the severe thunderstorm that rolled through the area. The call for help went about about 6:20 p.m., said OWL VFD spokeswoman Rebecca Barnes.

9:15 p.m. 

Four people who went kayaking earlier today on the Occoquan River and were reported missing have been located safe. 

9:10 p.m. 

Storm reports reported by the Baltimore/Washington National Weather Service office in Sterling: 

A 62 mph wind gust was recorded at Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Downed tree on Route 1 and Jason Lane in Stafford.

Tree down on Spruce Lane near Manassas.

Tree down on Sudley Road near Pageland Lane in western Prince William County.

Tree down on Sudley Road at Misty Acres Lane near Gainesville.

Tree down on Sudley Road at Catharpin Road.

8:52 p.m. 

At least 30 people were displaced in the Belmont Bay neighborhood in Woodbridge after a fire ripped through a condo building.

The fire occurred after 7 p.m. in the 500 block of Belmont Bay Drive in Woodbridge. It happened about the same time a round of severe thunderstorms roared through the region bringing torrential rains, wind, and lightning. It’s not clear if anyone was injured.

Fire crews are also working a major house fire near Gainesville, in the 1300 block of Fieldstone Way in the Heritage Hunt retirement community.

“The units where the fire occurred are normally occupied by at least two people,” said Prince William fire and rescue spokesman Thomas Jarman.

Jarman didn’t have any information about possible injuries, or how many people were displaced because of the blaze. The fire was a “major working incident,” Jarman said.

Jarman also said two people kayaking on the Occoquan River went missing about the same time the storm hit. He said Fairfax County officials were working that incident.

Potomac Local called Fairfax County authorities to get more information. We’re waiting to hear back from them.
The region was under a tornado warning for about an hour tonight. While there were no reports of serious wind damage just before 9 p.m., Jarman said these storms contained dangerous wind and hail, and that more damage reports are possible.

If you see storm damage, safely take a photo of it and submit it to news@potomaclocal.com.

Prince William supervisors talk giving themselves a pay raise

Update

Following publication of the original story, county spokesman Jason Grant asked that certain points that were made in the article be clarified.

“The question I think was, ‘Can they talk about their salaries in closed session?’ And so, to that question, yes – they can talk about salaries in the closed session. Now the specifics the discussions may entail – that I can’t comment on. But that’s why they have legal counsel, so that certain discussions in closed session remain appropriate to the exemption,” said Grant.

In regards to his comments about the lawfulness of supervisors speaking about what occurred in closed session, Grant clarified, “I’m very careful not to articulate what’s lawful or unlawful. I don’t know what – legally – what they can or cannot articulate. If it’s a question of whether a supervisor can discuss the items in closed session…I don’t know if that’s Virginia Code specifically or aspects of it, but I can say that the closed session is confidential, and we’re not to disclose – as staff. And we’re told whatever happens in closed session stays in closed session. Now what can be discussed specifically [in terms of] what the board does report out, sometimes…I don’t know where the specifics lie as to what can or cannot be discussed.”

Original post

On Tuesday night, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors went into closed session – which caused quite a stir.

Two members of the county’s highest governing body stormed out. They claimed the other five board members were talking about giving themselves a pay raise, and that such matters should be discussed in public and not behind closed doors.

During a closed session, members of the public and press are not allowed to attend, and there is no recording made available of what has been said. The session is typically called for private or personal matters of a sensitive nature that supervisors may not be able to discuss publicly.

Pay raises for supervisors

Prior to the calling of the closed session, the acting County Attorney Michele Robl announced that among the four items to be discussed, “legal advice in a personnel matter regarding salaries,” was listed.

On the board agenda for the meeting, a pay raise for supervisors was listed under Supervisor’s time, but it was not discussed in Tuesday’s public session.

It was on the agenda because the supervisors want to be sure their compensation is comparable to other localities.

Fairfax County leaders in March voted to give themselves a pay increase. Starting in January 2016, Chairman At-large Sharon Bulova will receive $100,000 annually while other board members will get $95,000 per year.

In Prince William, the last time the board voted to approve a raise for the supervisors was in 2007, according to county documents.

Chairman At-Large Corey Stewart is paid $49, 452 a year, and the other supervisors are paid $43,422 a year.

It’s fair to point out Fairfax County Supervisors work at their jobs full time, while Prince William supervisors have other full-time jobs outside their local government duties, or are retired. 

Why the closed session?

With the item of pay raises listed as an open session agenda item, many asked why the supervisors decided to call for a closed session to talk about compensation. They also wanted to know whether or not it was legal for them to do so.

According to county spokesman Jason Grant, the supervisors were legally within their rights to call a closed session to speak about salaries, because they fall within the category of public officers – which have an allowable clause in the Virginia Code.

“The County Attorney didn’t want to comment to [the media] because they can’t discuss what’s discussed in closed session. No one is supposed to be talking about what’s in closed session…I have no idea what’s discussed or not…the County Attorney stated during that meeting…there were four items. One of those items was public officers – so it’s discussion of salary of public officers…the Virginia Code does allow discussion of salaries of public officers to be held in closed meetings. It also allows for consultation with legal counsel by a public body,” said Grant.

So, we were curious and checked state law to see what the Prince William County Board of Supervisors could talk about in closed session.

Section 2.2-3711.1 and 2.2-3711.7 of the Virginia Code states:

Public bodies may hold closed meetings only for the following purposes:

Discussion, consideration, or interviews of prospective candidates for employment; assignment, appointment, promotion, performance, demotion, salaries, disciplining, or resignation of specific public officers, appointees, or employees of any public body; and evaluation of performance of departments or schools of public institutions of higher education where such evaluation will necessarily involve discussion of the performance of specific individuals. Any teacher shall be permitted to be present during a closed meeting in which there is a discussion or consideration of a disciplinary matter that involves the teacher and some student and the student involved in the matter is present, provided the teacher makes a written request to be present to the presiding officer of the appropriate board.

Consultation with legal counsel and briefings by staff members or consultants pertaining to actual or probable litigation, where such consultation or briefing in open meeting would adversely affect the negotiating or litigating posture of the public body; and consultation with legal counsel employed or retained by a public body regarding specific legal matters requiring the provision of legal advice by such counsel. For the purposes of this subdivision, “probable litigation” means litigation that has been specifically threatened or on which the public body or its legal counsel has a reasonable basis to believe will be commenced by or against a known party. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit the closure of a meeting merely because an attorney representing the public body is in attendance or is consulted on a matter.

The part that crosses into gray area is not the supervisor’s speaking about salaries as public officers in a closed session, it’s what exactly that gets discussed that could potentially be a legal issue.

“Can they talk about salaries? Yes. Now what the specific discussion is – there may be [gray] areas,” said Grant.

Supervisors react

During the closed session, two supervisors – Pete Candland, of Gainesville, and Jeanine Lawson, of Brentsville – abruptly left the session.

According to Candland, he left because he felt uncomfortable about the things being discussed in the closed session.

“When they brought up the salary increases, they brought up two issues. One – the legality of whether we can give ourselves increases – and what the time frame is. And I made it clear that I’m fine talking about whether we can legally do it…what I’m not comfortable with is whether we should do it, or the specifics around it…I informed the rest of the board if that was going to be any part of the discussion, that I was going to leave…,” said Candland.

“I will say that they started discussing numbers and people started expressing opinions about it, and that’s where I felt it just went too [far]. And anything that happened after that, I’m not sure – I was not there for [it]…nobody thought there was any problem [with the discussion] enough to leave or to protest the discussion besides myself and Supervisor Lawson,” he added.

Candland admitted that he was not in the room to overhear anything about specific discussion on pay raises for the supervisors, so he cannot verify that it was discussed in closed session.

Additionally, it is unlawful for supervisors to disclose information given in a closed session unless it is a general statement or there is a majority consensus from the board, stated Grant.

Lawson stated that she did not want to comment on her decision to leave the closed session, but did say she was planning to vote down any measure for pay raises for the supervisors.

“I was planning to vote against [the raise], but a vote wasn’t taken,” said Lawson.

Board Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart asserted that everything discussed within the closed session was legal and that it followed the allowances made for talk of salaries in the Virginia Code.

“As you know, Board members cannot discuss the contents of our closed sessions. I can say, however, that the Board followed the advice of the County Attorney and that the Board complied with the law,” said Stewart.

Potomac Local called other members of the Board of Supervisors. They did not return requests for comment.

Do the supervisors deserve a raise?

While the rationale for parties in favor and opposed to giving the supervisors a raise, the question still stands – do they deserve it?

According to Candland, they don’t.

“I don’t think we deserve [a raise]. We’ve raised taxes the last four years – I don’t think we’ve earned a pay increase,” said Candland.

Regardless of what was discussed in closed session, any further movement to provide a pay raise to the supervisors would have to take place by July 1, and would have to be voted on in an open meeting, stated Grant.

Candland said that the item for supervisor pay was not on the draft agenda for the next board meeting.

“I get a feeling that this discussion is probably dead now,” said Candland.

Manassas awarded for Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration

The City of Manassas, along with Prince William County, were the recipients of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission’s Leadership Award for the area’s efforts in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War during the past seven years.

The City of Manassas partnered with Prince William County, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and many area museums, parks, and historic sites to coordinate dozens of local events that brought history to life for thousands of residents and visitors from across the country. The Prince William County/Manassas Committee began meeting in 2007, and helped plan and promote the signature 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration at multiple sites across the city and county.

The local committee also fostered a strong partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. The Manassas Museum hosted both the Commission’s traveling exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, and the Legacy Project, an effort to scan and archive the Civil War-era documents of local residents. The city also twice hosted another of the Commission’s traveling exhibits, the award-winning Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors a day attended events in the city during the four-day July 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration despite an average heat index of 103 to 105 degrees. The city saw a 14% increase in meals taxes and a 55% increase in sales taxes during the month of the event, and garnered significant national media attention for its expansive free programs.

The annual Manassas Civil War Weekend, scheduled for August 21-23 this year, was created as a result of the popularity of the 2011 and 2012 Sesquicentennial commemorations held throughout the City of Manassas. The Weekend’s program tells the story not just of Civil War battles, but of the War’s impact on civilians and African-Americans.

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created by the General Assembly to plan and commemorate Civil War events in the Commonwealth. The Commission officially ended its work this year with a Memorial Day award ceremony and concert on the Capitol steps in Richmond. Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell served as Chairman, and State Senator Charles J. Colgan, Sr., served as Vice-Chairman of the Commission.

How to do a tasting at Manassas Olive Oil Company

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Find perfect pairings for salads, chicken, even ice cream

At Manassas Olive Oil Company, you have the opportunity to sample over 45 flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

From mild to robust, these oils fill up metal fusties that are placed throughout the room. Empty bottles are lined up beneath them, and tasting cups are waiting to be filled with fresh oils and vinegar.

A tasting experience can vary.

You may end up spending an hour with friends sampling a large variety, or you might just be looking for something to create a perfect marinade for tonight’s chicken entree.

“We encourage people to spend as much time as they want finding what they love in here,” says store manager Cameron Thomson. “If you don’t want to spend an hour and change in here tasting everything, I can ask you what you’re looking to use it for and then help you find what you’re looking for.”

Thomson says it’s an experience that most people aren’t expecting. “Typically most people, what they’ve had their whole life is nothing like this, so they’re going to be caught very off guard by what they’re about to taste,” Thomson says.

To sample any of the olive oils or balsamic vinegar, you just have to fill up a small plastic ramekin of the flavor you want. Thomson says it’s important to smell it before taking a swig. He also suggests slurping the oils in order to really discern their tastes.

For people that might be put off by drinking the oils on their own, there are jars of bread available for tastings. You can dunk the small pieces of bread into the various flavors in order to get a sense of their taste.

“Sometimes it’s good to break up the taste of it,” said Thomson. “Some of the oils have very strong flavor by themselves, so sometimes its good to have something neutral to taste it with.” 

After sampling a variety of flavors, you may end up with a French Walnut olive oil and Black Cherry vinegar pairing that will make a perfect dressing for your salad, a Mushroom Sage as marinade for tomorrow night’s pork dinner, and a raspberry vinegar to drizzle on that vanilla ice cream in your freezer.

After narrowing down your choices, employees will help you fill the empty glass bottles with the fresh balsamic vinegar and olive oils.

Thomson says this is something fun and new that everyone will love trying out.

“Open up your mind to the new possibility of tasting very fresh olive oil,”he said.

Manassas Olive Oil Company opened its doors in May. Hours are Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Walk for Prince William raises 20,000 pounds of food

On May 30, Rapproaching the finish lineise Up Prince William held their 3rd Annual Walk for Prince William.

The 36.5-mile walk throughout Prince William county took participants just over 13 hours to complete.

According to a release, the walk began at the Wegman’s in Woodbridge and ended Quality Business Engineering headquarters in Haymarket.

The event participants were able to raise more than 20,000 pounds of food and supply donations for the community.

“As I walked across the County, I was truly amazed and humbled by the generosity and the spirit of community service shown by the people of Prince William County.  From all the volunteers, to those who happily bought groceries to support those in need, we are blessed to live in an area where people care about helping others.  I want to thank everyone who helped make the Walk for Prince William a success again this year,” said Supervisor Pete Candland in a release.

The participating charities included:

Cooperative Council of Ministries, an affiliation of 27 churches whose mission is to serve the new and chronically homeless in eastern Prince William County.

Don Bosco Center, a Youth Apostles outreach program that provides an integrated program of academic support and reinforcement, faith formation and character development that incorporates healthy recreational activities during the week to Hispanic middle schoolers in Manassas.
Haymarket Food Pantry, whose mission is to eliminate hunger in their community and surrounding areas by acquiring and distributing food to those who seek aid.
Manassas Baptist Church Food Pantry, dedicated to aiding those less fortunate
Transitional Housing BARN, Inc, an organization committed to providing families with transitional housing and access to supportive services to promote healing, growth, and self-sufficiency.

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