On May 30, Rise 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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It may come as a surprise, but in many backyards free, local, nutritious food is growing!
Many plants that people consider weeds are edible, and with a little bit of knowledge, those weeds can become delicious sustenance. For instance, Autumn Olive is an invasive shrub that has become very common in Northern Virginia. But did you know that in the fall it produces loads of edible berries that can be used to make jams and fruit leather?
Or consider the dandelion. Not many people realize it, but every part of the plant is edible. You can add the flowers and leaves to your salads, and the roots can be processed into a coffee-like drink.
Of course, before you start pulling up weeds and eating them, it’s important to know what you’re doing. It is essential to identify plants correctly, harvest them safely and ethically, and prepare them properly. There are many plant identification books on the market; however, the best way to learn about wild edibles is from an experienced forager.
In the coming weeks, Earth Village Education, a nonprofit nature education center located near Marshall, Virginia, will conduct two classes about wild edible plants.
The first class on Saturday, June 20, will be a great introduction to the subject. Students will learn plant identification and safety principles, then go for a plant walk, visiting fields, forests, and wetlands to find and harvest a variety of plants that are in season.
The second class from Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, July 12, will cover the same basics in greater depth, and will also feature information about the medicinal uses of wild plants. No prior experience is necessary for either class, and the fee for each class is on a sliding scale.
For more information and to register, visit EarthVillageEducation.org, and transform a stroll in your backyard into a foraging adventure!
Manassas Museum ‘Hometown Tourist” exhibit coming to Bull Run Regional Library
Trade your suitcase for some walking shoes and be a Manassas hometown tourist this summer. If walking shoes aren’t an option, take a virtual tour.
The new Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour lets you click on a map to find in-depth information about the city’s eight historic properties. The tour includes photographs, little-known stories about people and places associated with the site, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and information about visiting in person. Visit manassasmuseum.org/tour to access the tour.
The Manassas Museum is taking to the road for a new summer travelling exhibit, Hometown Tourist, at the Bull Run Regional Library. The exhibit features artifacts, old post cards, and archaeology from nine area historic sites: The Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, the Stone House, the Manassas City Cemetery, the Manassas Museum (built on land where Eastern College once stood), the Manassas Industrial School, the former Grace United Methodist Church (now Bull Run Unitarian), and the Albert Speiden House.
Most of the City’s nationally significant historic sites are open free every day and offer interpretive signage that tells their story. Take along the mobile version of the Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour as you visit the Manassas Museum, the Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and the Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial to enhance your experience.
If you would like to learn even more about the sites, guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Manassas are offered every Thursday and Friday at Noon, and Liberia House tours are offered Sundays at Noon through the summer. Meet at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, for the Downtown tours, and at Liberia, 8601 Portner Avenue, for the Sunday tours.
Call 703-268-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org for more information.
Sadler went missing from his home in Nokesville on June 3, and the family and law enforcement officials have not been able to locate him.
According to Facebook posts from the teen’s mother – Lynn Sadler – he took his grandfather’s pickup truck when leaving the home.
Lynn Sadler stated:
TJ took my father’s blue ford truck ranger. It was not noticed missing last night, I’m not sure when it was gone. Everything was so hectic with my father coming home from the hospital and all the stress. The police have not shared this info even though I found out hours ago. Please skate the info about the blue truck. It is an older model, 1987.
The pickup truck is registered with Virginia license plate tag ZMD-4856.
Additionally, Lynn Sadler pleaded with her son on Facebook, asking him to reach out.
TJ if you are reading this, please call me. It doesn’t matter what has happened, I’ve always stood behind you. I will still always protect you. You have no idea how this has affected me. Please call me, I will come get you wherever you are.
Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest with this case.
Melissa Peacor leads the county government in Virginia’s second-largest county. Her bosses say she’s doing a good job and will get a raise.
Prince William County Executive Melissa Peacor reports to the Board of Supervisors, and the Board, just as many other employers do, conducted an annual review of her performance.
“She has done a great job,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart.
The positive review means Peacor will be awarded a 3% merit increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2o15, and a 2% cost-of-living raise.
“Ms. Peacor’s new salary is $244,667 for the remainder of FY2015, and will increase with the County market adjustment to $249,560 on July 1, 2015,” stated county spokesman Jason Grant.
The Board of Supervisors voted to approve the performance review. Peter Candland, of Gainesville, was the only Supervisor to vote against the subsequent pay increase.
Peacor has worked in Prince William County Government since 1985 and has held such jobs as Strategic Planning Coordinator, Budget Director and Deputy County Executive.
According to Prince William police, Sadler may be traveling in a 1987 blue Ford Ranger pickup truck with the VA license plate ZMD-4856. They are asking to call the police if you see this vehicle.
Prince William police are asking for assistance in locating endangered minor Thomas James “TJ” Sadler.
According to Prince William police, family members stated that Sadler left his home on Hickerson Lane in Nokesville around 12:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.
Prince William police said that they believe that Sadler left the home voluntarily, but may need assistance.
Sadler is described as a 14-year old white male, 6’5” and 220 pounds with collar length brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red and black striped t-shirt, jeans and blue shoes.
The MyLink Teen Summer Pass is on sale. The pass allows teenagers unlimited rides on OmniLink buses in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park between now and Sept. 1, 2015.
The pass costs $30 and is on sale at the following locations:
Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Transit Center, located at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, located at 13025 Chinn Park Drive in Woodbridge, Monday through Thursday 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sharron Baucom — Dale City Recreation Center, located at 14300 Minnieville Road in Dale City, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cash or credit only.
Ben Lomond Community Center, located at 10501 Copeland Drive in Manassas, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash or credit only.
Manassas City Hall Treasurer’s Office, located at 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash only.
OmniLink provides bus service along major routes in the area, including Route 1 in Woodbridge, Dale Boulevard in Dale City, as well as major routes in Lake Ridge, Manassas, and Manassas Park.
Those who purchase a My Link Teen Bus Pass will also receive discounts good for $1 off general admission to Potomac Nationals games, $2 off public skating at the Prince William Ice Center in Dale City, up to five free games per day at Bowl America, located at 13409 Occoquan Road in Woodbridge, and $1 off general admission to Stonewall Pool in Manassas.
Riders must be between the ages of 13 and 19 years old to use the pass. Teenagers use the pass to get rides to summer jobs, shopping centers, recreation centers, and libraries, according to a Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission press release.
Close to 100 people gathered at the Center for the Arts for the inaugural Manassas Business Appreciation Breakfast where they celebrated the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and thriving business community. The City of Manassas and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to recognize local businesses.
In his opening remarks, Mayor Harry J. Parrish II thanked the audience for choosing Manassas and “for all that you bring to the community.” Beyond creating jobs and boosting the local economy, he acknowledged the many business leaders who serve on boards and commissions and participate in the robust calendar of events.
Those in the room took a moment to welcome the newcomers to downtown, which include Amy’s Bridal, Totally Vintage Designs, and Scatter Seeds as well as the soon-to-open Cut Rate Barbershop and Jitterbug ice cream shop. H Mart and Firehouse Subs, which recently opened on Liberia Avenue, were recognized as well. Dalena Kanouse, the CEO of MTCI Management and Training Consultants, Inc., and incoming chair of the Prince William Chamber, pointed out that her well-established company was once a newcomer to the City of Manassas. She told the tight-knit business community that MTCI moved from Dumfries to take advantage of the opportunities in Manassas and are happy to be here.
Existing businesses in the City are flourishing, too. Fauquier Bank relocated within the City to accommodate its anticipated expansion. Malone’s opened a second floor to accommodate their growing business. Another expansion in the City is Aurora Flight Science who are sub-leasing the airport’s FlightWorks hanger and envision creating 50 new jobs over the next several years. B. Hayes Framme, advisor for infrastructure and development for the Commonwealth of Virginia, acknowledged that most businesses have “Chief ‘Everything’ Officers.” He also identified high-growth opportunities in Virginia like cyber security and biotechnology and discussed incentives and policies that support job creation.
The City strives to create a business-friendly environment and is always interested in speaking to prospective business owners who wish to join this supportive community. For more information, call the economic development department at 703-257-8881.
The Haymarket Police department has arrested two individuals involved with the possession of narcotics.
On May 24, a Haymarket police officer stopped a suspect – 24-year old Grace Dryden – for a traffic violation on James Madison Highway. According to Haymarket police, during a search of Dryden’s vehicle, marijuana and other controlled substances were found.
Dryden has been charges with possession of marijuana and possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, and was released on a $2,500 bond.
On May 25, Haymarket police arrested 21-year old Kaleigh Reagan for driving under the influence on Washington Street. Haymarket police stated that during the arrest, an officer saw a controlled substance in her possession that was not prescribed to her.
Reagan is being charged with possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and driving under the influence. She was held without bond.
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Can you hear the far off whistle? Can you feel the rumble as the train lumbers down the tracks?
Get ready! The 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas. This is a family-friendly celebration of railroad history.
There will be live performances on two stages. Folsom Prisoners, Justin Trawick and High Grass Bluegrass Band are a few of the performers lined up for the day. Enjoy great food and lots to see and do. Take a train ride on the a VRE train with a princess for $6 per person, or just peruse the memorabilia and the model trains under the Harris Pavilion.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, the inaugural trips of the 611 Steam Train will be rolling through the City. Norfolk & Western 611 will pull passengers from Manassas to Front Royal and back. This is part of Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program.
Owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, 611 recently underwent a massive restoration after more than two decades in retirement. The Steam Engine will be available for photos near the Harris Pavilion after its Saturday trip. Tickets for both trips start at $109 and may be purchased online.
Whether you are a railroad enthusiast or just looking for something to do, this event is a great way to spend a Saturday.
On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.
On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food. For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, go to visitmanassas.org.
Three new stations part of VRE extension plan
More than five years ago, many on the Haymarket Town Council wanted nothing to do with a planned westward expansion of Virginia Railway Express.
Then town leaders feared the traffic congestion a new VRE station could bring to the town.
Now, the town council appears to be on board with the idea of commuter rail to the tiny town.
“We’re excited about a study that will tell us more about the prospect of VRE coming out to Haymarket. We’ve had councils, in the past, that weren’t too excited, but this new council is looking forward to having VRE come here,” said Haymarket Mayor David Leake.
The process of getting VRE to Haymarket and Gainesville, both in the western portion of Prince William County, took a big step forward. The commuter railroad approved $4 million to pay AECOM Technical Services, Inc. to conduct a planning and engineering study of the planned project.
At least three new stations would be added as part of the extension — at Sudley Manor Drive, Gainesville, and in Haymarket. A fourth station at Prince William Innovation Park — home to the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus — has also been discussed.
If service is extended, the new rail line would be an extension of VRE’s Manassas line. It would run on Norfolk Southern railroad’s “B” line, which branches off from its main line at Wellington Road in Manassas. The “B” line runs parallel to Wellington Road, crosses underneath Sudley Manor Drive and then continues west underneath Prince William Parkway into Gainesville and Haymarket.
Trains headed west from Washington to Haymarket would service the train station in Downtown Manassas but not the Broad Run station at Manassas Regional Airport, as Manassas line trains do today.
Today, the “B” line is used by freight trains. Those trains would continue to use the line alongside VRE trains. A new bridge that carries cars on Route 28 over Wellington Road in Manassas was built wide enough to accommodate a second set of railroad tracks that could be built as part of VRE’s westward expansion.
Prince William County taxpayers continue to be one of the transit system largest funding sources. Officials like the idea of expanding a popular commuter rail system with a major presence in their backyard.
“I think this would be a great step forward for the Brenstville District,” said district supervisor Jeanine Lawson. “It’s the ideal transportation solution to the traffic congestion we have on I-66.”
Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland said riders that have embraced using VRE had helped to decrease the number of cars on I-66. He vows to work with other local officials, as well as residents, to gather input on the project.
“Tere are obviously a myriad of challenges that exist with such projects, including traversing wetland areas, impacts on existing communities, traffic and parking issues at a station, and the disruption on the quality of life for homeowners that would potentially be negatively impacted by the construction of a VRE extension in their community,” said Candland.
The planning and engineering phases of the project are slated to last through the end of 2017. Final design of the new phase is expected two years later. If construction were to begin in 2021, the expansion could open the following year, according to VRE spokesman Bryan Jungwirth.
Founded in 1992, VRE is Virginia’s only commuter rail system. It carries nearly 20,000 average daily riders on its two lines – Manassas to Washington and Fredericksburg to Washington.
On the morning of May 5, Haymarket police officers responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle on Lea Berry Way in Haymarket.
According to Haymarket police, when officers made contact and searched the car, they saw what they suspected to be narcotics, and items used with narcotics.
Two individuals, 33-year old Liden man James Boardwine, and 37-year old Front Royal man Glenn Sovereign were arrested.
Boardwine is being charged with possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of controlled paraphernalia.
Sovereign is being charged with possession of controlled paraphernalia.
The Prince William Public Library Foundation, an area non-profit, has awarded the Prince William library system more then $14,000 to fund two new programs.
The first program, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, is a national early literacy program. The program provides books and ways to incorporate reading into a family routine. With the Library Foundation’s full funding of the program, around 2,000 preschoolers will be able to participate within the first year, said a release.
The second program coming to the Prince William public library system is the introduction of Apple iPads for use with electronic reading apps. All of the county’s libraries, including the upcoming Haymarket Gainesville and Montclair Community libraries, will be equipped with the iPads.
In addition to the reading apps, librarians will be able to instruct residents on how to use the device, and use them as tools during other program activities at the libraries, said a release.
“We are overjoyed with the Foundation’s leadership in funding two indispensable programs such as early literacy and electronic assistance. I can’t thank Bryanna [Altman, Foundation Board President] and the rest of the Board enough for their continued support,” commented Connie Gilman, the Prince William Public Library System director.
The Virginia Department of Transportation will close the historic Aden Road bridge over Norfolk Southern Railroad Friday, after an inspection has revealed further deterioration of the 132-year-old structure. Read more at Bristow Beat.
Dozens of Prince William County residents occupied the seats of Patriot High School’s auditorium Tuesday night for the Brentsville District Public Safety Town Hall Meeting. Read more on Bristow Beat.
The field of candidates for local elections in Prince William County is getting smaller.
Republicans held their “firehouse primary” in Prince William County on Saturday. The results of those races tell us which member of the GOP will go on to face their Democratic challengers in the November General Election.
Voting in the firehouse primary took place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at various locations across the county. The firehouse primary was held instead of a traditional primary on June 9 due to paperwork filing error on the part of the Prince William County Republican Party.
The results of the 2015 Prince William County Republican Firehouse Primary: (more…)
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Starting May 1, the Manassas Museum will debut their newest exhibit on the fire, rescue and police equipment used in the community.
The museum will be hosting a reception at 6 p.m. and serve refreshments to residents looking to learn more about public safety history in the City of Manassas.
One of the unique highlights of the exhibit is the fact that back in the 1960s, responders in a hearse answered emergency response calls.
Before the first public safety group, the Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, was created in 1966, it was the Baker Funeral Home that would bring patients for medical treatment and respond to emergency scenes.
Manassas didn’t see a modernized police and fire department structure until the 1950s, and relied on mainly volunteer services.
This exhibit, which displays the evolution of Manassas and its public safety organizations, coincides with the World Police and Fire Games, which are being hosted in Prince William County this summer.
“Our Fire, Rescue and Police personnel run into a building when others run out,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II. “It is that courage and compassion for others that helps keep this City safe and well protected.”
The Manassas Museum will showcase the exhibit until July 15.
“I hope visitors and residents will come out for this exhibit. Our Police, and Fire and Rescue staff are top in their field and our volunteers are some of the most dedicated people I’ve met,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate.
So much has changed in Prince William County in just the past 10 years, that the Prince William County Committee of 100 came together April 16 at the Montclair Country Club to discuss what the future of the county may look like and what it may need to succeed.
The Prince William County Committee of 100 holds regular non-partisan, educational forums to study interests, problems and goals of the citizens of Prince William County, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. It has been functioning for more than 25 years.
“The rapid growth in Prince William County over the past decade has presented enormous challenges in overcrowded classrooms, efficient commuter traffic patterns, shortages of public amenities and over-stressed public safety resources,” read a description of the forum on the committee’s web page. “Jobs and housing are the two drivers of the future economy in Prince William County. The current economic conditions threaten growth in quality jobs, housing values and expanding business opportunities. The future for Prince William County will, in large measure, be determined by how Prince William County adapts its policies to protect the future of our community.”
The panelists were Robert Buchanan, Principle of Buchanan Partners LLC and President of the 2030 Group; Dr. Terry L. Clower, Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University; G. Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission; and Ralph Stephenson, Chairman and Co-Founder of Citizens for Balanced Growth.
Brendon Shaw, director of government relations for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, served as moderator.
Each panelist gave their take on the future of Prince William County — what it may look like and what it will need. At one point, a joke was made that more Millennials should have been invited.
One focus of the discussion was the trend of Millennials moving back into cities instead of expanding into the suburbs as previous generations have. Gibb said a “demographic inversion” is underway. For the last 50 years the region saw the people moved out of the cities to suburbia but is now seeing a population shift toward the Beltway.
If you want people to come to Prince William County, then you have to develop areas that they want to come to, Gibb remarked. “Do you want to [be] a suburban area or be more like an area that provides amenities for these new Millennials?”
Clower told the group the county needs balance, and balance comes through planning. He said land-use plans need to tie into the region’s economic development strategies, which in turn need to tie into the transportation strategies.
“That can put you ahead of the game,” said Clower. “Economic development is a process… It doesn’t ever stop.”
The next meeting will be held the evening of May 21 at the Wyndham Garden in Manassas. Visit PWC100.org for more details.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will approve the final budget and tax rate tomorrow, April 21, at their regularly scheduled meeting.
The approved budget will now include $1 million allocated specifically for reducing class sizes in Prince William County Public Schools.
As the budget period for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors comes to a close, Supervisors Candland and Lawson took the opportunity to speak on their own budget draft with a 2.5% tax increase. In March, the board announced their advertised ceiling tax rate increase of 3.88%, and the difference between the 2.5% and the 3.88% is about $14.6 million.
Budget draft to address school overcrowding
Lawson and Candland stated their draft of the 2016 budget is focused on a plan to address overcrowding in county public schools.
The budget draft would invest county funds into reducing class sizes over the next five years, drawing funding from the Recordation Tax revenue. Under the original proposal given by Candland and Lawson, the board would invest $30 million over the 5-year period, starting with $2 million in 2016. The board decided to halve this amount – giving $1 million – and requiring the school board to match the funds.
Virginia charges a tax on the recordation of deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, leases, and contracts, which provide the funding source Candland referenced. Currently, the Recordation Tax in the county’s budget goes toward paying for transportation projects and other small line items in the budget, stated a release. (more…)
The Boy Scouts of America are hosting the National Capital Area Sporting Clays Tournament on May 7-8 in Haymarket.
The competition will take place at Camp William B. Snyder on both days.
On May 7, participants will take part in a VIP clinic with Redskins Hall of Famer Dave Butz, and on May 8 will clay shoot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
According to a release, there are 4 shooters allowed per team.
Prizes for the top shooting teams and individuals will be awarded at the end of the competition.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for those that wish to support the Boy Scouts of America.
Contact Phillip Duggins at 540-220-9904 for more information.
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On May 1, the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation and the Virginia Quail Recovery Initiative are hosting a workshop in Nokesville, to help residents learn about what they can do to create wildlife habitats in their backyards.
“Our goal is trying to spread the word about wildlife habitat work that can be done even on a small scale…what we’re trying to do with this workshop is try and give folks some options. For example, converting [their land] into a wildlife meadow for continual bloom and beauty from May to October, while also providing a great habitat for songbirds and pollinators, monarchs as well as other species,” said David Bryan, a private lands wildlife biologist for the USDA-NRCS.
The workshop runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes free food.
“What we’re going to do at the workshop is we’re going to have an outdoor walk and talk, on the farm where we’re hosting it – which has done some habitat work – and talk about the types of things you can consider doing in your backyard,” commented Bryan.
After a walk on the property, participants will be able to engage in a conversation about landowner options and hear from a panel of landowners from surrounding counties about the habitat work they’ve done on their land.
According to Bryan, the program still has room for 25 to 30 people, and registration is required.
Residents can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.