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Lake Ridge

Virginia Transportation Chief to Speak in Woodbridge

Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Lane will appear at a town hall meeting in Woodbridge.

The secretary is expected to discuss several transportation projects taking place in the region, like the EZ-Pass Express Lanes on Interstate 95 set to open later this month to the widening of Route 1 in Woodbridge.

“There is a lot of investment around transportation in the Woodbridge District. We will have a Q&A with Secretary Layne and a panel discussion with VDOT, Transburban, PRTC, and PW County Transportation. We will talk about what to expect from upcoming transportation projects.”

— Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Princpi

The meeting is being organized by the Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association. It will be held Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Freedom High School in Woodbridge.

Many Unfamiliar with EZ-Pass Express Lanes at Opening

The 95 Express Lanes will open in December. We just don’t know exactly on which date drivers will need to be sure to have their EZ-Pass affixed to their windshields.

The two-and-a-half year project to convert the HOV lanes on Interstate 95 to toll or EZ-Pass Express Lanes, as well as build new lanes from Garrisonville Road north to Dumfries, is coming to an end.

Gov. Terry McAulliffe is scheduled to speak on Dec. 10 at the ceremonial opening of the express lanes. He’ll be joined by Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Lane, as well as County Board of Supervisors Chairmen Sharon Bulova, of Fairfax and Corey Stewart, of Prince William.

However, the lanes will not open to traffic until sometime after that date, said project spokesman Michael McGurk.

All drivers who use the lanes will need an EZ-Pass or an EZ-Pass Flex inside their car. The lanes will be tolled 24 hours a day, and carpoolers with three or more people inside the car will travel free with the EZ-Pass Flex. The pass be switched between a carpool mode that tells the road’s all-electronic tolling system there are three people inside the car, or to single-driver mode to incur a charge.

Toll rates will vary depending upon how much traffic is in the lanes, just like the EZ-Pass Express Lanes on Interstate 495 between Springfield at Dulles Toll Road.

New research from the builders of the lanes, Fluor-Transurban, and from the Virginia Department of Transportation, shows drivers are unprepared to use the new lanes.

Here’s more in a press release:

Only 32 percent of carpoolers have an E-ZPass Flex:

  • All drivers will need an E-ZPass to use the Express Lanes.  Carpoolers will need an E-ZPass Flex and three or more passengers to travel toll-free.
  • E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex are available at 75 convenient Northern Virginia retail locations including Wegmans, Virginia DMVs and Giant Food Stores; at E-ZPass Customer Service Centers; online or by calling Virginia E-ZPass at (877) 762-7824.   Only 51 percent of 95 drivers know that the Express Lanes will be reversible and just over half (55 percent) understand that the Express Lanes will replace the existing HOV lanes on I-95:
  • The existing HOV lanes are being converted to Express Lanes.  The lanes will reverse as they do today.  Learn more about the lane reversal scheduleNearly a quarter of I-95 drivers think the tolling and HOV-3+ requirements will only be in effect during rush hour:
  • The Express Lanes rules of the road are in effect 24/7.  Read more about the new rules.
     
    Less than a quarter of I-95 drivers are aware of what happens at the transition area on I-395 just north of Edsall Road where the Express Lanes end and the I-395 HOV lanes begin :

  • North of the 95 Express Lanes, the rules on the I-395 HOV lanes will be the same as they are today.
  • When the HOV restriction is in effect, drivers traveling alone or with one passenger will need to exit from the Express Lanes to avoid entering the HOV lanes.
  • HOV-3+ and eligible clean fuel plate vehicles can travel in the I-395 HOV lanes as they do today.
  • For more information about the transition area just north of Edsall Road on I-395, visit:  95ExpressLanes.com/transition.

License Plate Reader Limits Could Hamper Investigations

A Prince William County legislator is seeking statewide uniformity on how license plate readers collect and store data that has been linked to solving crimes.

Delegate Richard Anderson told the Prince William Committee of 100 that he and Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen will submit new legislation that would address how police agencies, like Prince William County’s, collect and store photos of license plates collected from cars in parking lots and from vehicles driving on county streets.

How LPRs work

Prince William police have 12 license plate readers, or LPRs, in use. Eleven are mounted to police cruisers, and a 12th is attached to a trailer that is moved to different locations in the county.

Each unit is a camera that quickly snaps photos of license plates and stores them on a computer inside the police car. If the computer matches the license plate number with a plate that has been reported stolen, officers know to pursue the stolen car immediately.

At the end of the day, the data is transferred to a database at the police department and is kept on file for six months. Prince William Police Chief Stephan Hudson said his ability to collect and store this data had allowed his investigators to use the data to help solve crimes. He said the data has also come in handy when police need to locate missing persons.

Fears of police tracking

Frank Knaack from the American Civil Liberties Union urges caution against using the machines. He said police can create a “digital fence” around a certain area to track drivers to determine travel patterns, giving authorities a clear idea of where a driver works, shops, as well as which groups he or she may associate with.

“Cars with license plates readers can drive through parking lots and can track cars at church, and police have a good idea that you go to that particular church every Sunday,” said Knaack.

Statewide limits would address privacy concerns

That’s where Anderson’s new legislation comes in. Earlier in the year, he, Petersen, and others formed the Ben Franklin Privacy Caucus in Richmond to address such privacy concerns. Anderson wants to impose a three month statewide limit on how long police may keep the license plate data on file.

“We need to tackle the issue of what triggers the [data] collection,” said Anderson. “It should be one of two things: It ought to be with a court order, or if a crime is in progress that requires law enforcement to spring into action in a given moment, so they have the intelligence they need to solve a crime.”

Historical data important to police chief

Chief Hudson said he’s “OK” with the three-month limit but prefers keeping the data on file for six months, as his department does now. He also said obtaining a court order each time data is collected could diminish the effectiveness of how LPRs are used today.

“My concern is that with such parameters we would have no historical data. And much of the benefit to having the historical data is going back to look at something days, weeks, even a couple months old and, if it was governed by that trigger, I wouldn’t even have that information,” said Hudson.

Police Search for Fast Fuels Robbers

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Prince William police are investigating a robbery that occurred at a gas station at the intersection of Old Bridge Road and Route 123 near Occoquan.

Here is more in a press release from Prince William poilce:

Armed Robbery – On November 23rd at 6:16PM, officers responded to the Fast Fuel Service Station located at 1320 Old Bridge Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that three unknown men entered the business and approached the counter. Two of the men display handguns while the third took money from the register and a purse belonging to an employee. Following the encounter, all three men fled the store on foot. No injuries were reported.

Suspect Descriptions:

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 5’10” with a thin build

Last seen wearing a black HH winter coat with a hood, tan brown pants and black & white shoes

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 6’0” with a thin build and short dreadlocks

Last seen wearing a black hooded jacket over a green hooded shirt and blue jeans

Black male, between 25 & 29 years of age, 5’8” with a medium build

Last seen wearing a black long coat, red shirt, black mask and tan work boots

Hudson: Recent Prince William Murders Not a Trend

Chief praises police officers for hard work following murders

 

Two murders back to back, less than a week apart, has some Prince William County residents talking about safety.

On Nov. 10, a Woodbridge Senior High School student was shot and killed on a walking path just outside the school. Police said the victim was killed in a drug-related robbery. Five people, including a 16-year-old girl, were arrested and charged in connection to Williams’ death.

In the early hours of Nov. 16, Christopher Nathaniel Weaver, 19, and a 15-year-old boy were shot in Dale City. Both were taken to a hospital where Weaver died, and a 15-year-old suffered injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.

One shooting suspect was arrested the following day in Arlington, and the second was taken into custody last night in Manassas.

The two shootings were not related.

In an interview with Potomac Local, Prince William Police Department Chief Stephan Hudson says the county has seen some troubling incidents in recent days, but says crime in the community continues to be at historically low levels.

“Even with two recent murders that have occurred within five or six days of each other, we still are at a total of six murders for the entire year. Historically, over the past 30 plus years, [the number of] our murders vary every single year. They’ve gone from lows of one and two to a high of 16. So, I am not overly concerned that this represents some kind of a trend that we need to be concerned about,” said Hudson.

Statistically, Prince William is on par with having the same number of murders this year as last. A total of 16 people were murdered in Prince William in 2006, and 12 people were murder in the county in 2008. Those two years, out of the past 10, saw the most murders in the county.

The department’s policy of directing a massive amount of resources to the county’s most violent crimes immediately after they occur is what helped detectives to quickly track down suspects in the two most recent murders. (more…)

Beer Boon: Craft Brewers Now Welcome in Prince William

Restrictive zoning ordinance amended

It is now legal to open a craft brewery in a shopping center in Prince William County.

In what seemed like a happy hour session, that last call of the night for the County Board of Supervisors was to amend zoning laws that once prevented small craft breweries, like Bad Wolf Brewing in Manassas, from opening in commercial or retail district.

Unlike bars or restaurants, most craft breweries stick to serving only beer. New legislation signed earlier this year by Gov. Terry McAuliffe now allows these small breweries that were once banned under Virginia ABC laws.

“We’re always trying to catch up with the market,” said Nick Evers, with Prince William County’s planning office.

Like small wineries, craft breweries are growing in popularity and have sprung up in Manassas City and Stafford County. Recently, Bad Wolf Brewery in Manassas chose to expand its operation in that city. But not before exploring their options to expand at Tacketts Mill in Lake Ridge only to be told no due to the old zoning law.

“We’ve already lost potential business in this development area,” said Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May.

Small craft breweries allowed to make 10,000 barrels per year, and are no longer restricted to being located in industrial zones in Prince William. For brew masters that grow their ingredients for their beers on farms with two acres of land or more, those breweries can make 15,000 barrels of beer per year, said Evers.

But it’s not all Miller time yet for the Supervisors on this issue. As the Board voted to allow small craft breweries, they also voted to revisit the issue to refine the language that states exactly what types of alcoholic beverages may be brewed in the county.

Chairman Corey Stewart, At-large, said the language in the new law does not address breweries that make alcoholic cider, or Mead, a drink rooted in ancient history throughout Asia and Europe made by fermenting honey with water.

“Yeah, it’s coming up. They make Meade,” said Stewart.

Craft breweries will be allowed to host beer tastings at their facilities but will need to obtain a permit for events with more than 100 people in attendance.

Updated: New Arrests Made in Murder of Woodbridge High School Student

wilson

Wilson

10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 17

Two teenagers wanted in connection to the shooting death of Brenden Wilson have been arrested. 

More from Prince Wiliam police: 

Murder Investigation *ARRESTS – On November 14th, the remaining juvenile suspect sought in connection to the November 10th murder of Brenden Wilson turned himself into police without incident. Detectives from the Homicide Unit have further connected a 5th suspect, identified as a 16 year old juvenile female, to this incident. All arrested suspects were determined to have been present during the shooting of Wilson and knowingly setup the incident as a robbery under the guise of a drug transaction. During the encounter, the victim was fatally shot and killed.

Arrested on November 14th: [Juvenile]

A 17 year old male juvenile of Woodbridge

A 16 year old female juvenile of Woodbridge

 

Both were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony

Court date: pending | Status: held at a juvenile detention facility

First arrests made

New arrests have been made in the murder of a 16-year-old Woodbridge Senior High School student.

After taking Kawain Tyrell Smalls, 20, of Woodbridge into custody on Tuesday – the day after the murder of Brendan Wilson, of Lake Ridge, police made another arrest and released this information:

On November 12th, detectives from the Homicide Unit identified four suspects in connection to this case. The investigation revealed that the shooting was drug related and that all parties were known to one another. Police have located and arrested three of the suspects in this case. The fourth, identified as a juvenile, is still being actively sought. This is Prince William County’s 5th murder of 2014. The investigation continues.

Arrested on November 11th:

 

Kymothy-Tyriq Desean WILSON, 18, of 13816 Breeze Ridge Way in Woodbridge

Charged with conspiracy to commit a felony

Court date: January 25, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

Moses

Moses

Arrested on November 11th: [Juvenile]

A 17 year old male juvenile of Woodbridge

Charged with conspiracy to commit a felony

Court date: pending | Status: held at a juvenile detention facility

 

The fourth juvenile’s, a 16-year-old boy, saw his name released to the public yesterday. In the statement below, Prince William police say he remains wanted:

 

Pursuant to a court order issued today, the Prince William County Police have been authorized to publicly release the below information on the juvenile suspect sought in connection to the November 10th murder of Brenden Wilson. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police. This suspect may be armed and dangerous.

Wanted: [Photo from November 2013]

Deion Nathaniel MOSES, 17, of Woodbridge

Described as a black male, 5’8”, 175lbs with a medium build, dark complexion, short black hair, brown eyes and may have earrings in both ears

Wanted for conspiracy to commit a felony

Police said the kiling was drug-related. 

Youth Scouting Membership Declines

The number of Girl Scouts is on the decline nationally, but that isn’t the case in Prince William County.

The number of Girl Scouts “remained steady” in Prince William, while the numbers of girls joining the ranks of the scouts has declined 6% in the last year, down from 2.9 to 2.8 million Girl Scouts nationwide. Overall, the membership numbers have fallen 27% from its peak of 3.8 million in 2003.

There were 3,192 Girl Scouts in Prince William County last year supported by 1,000 adult volunteers. The 102-year-old organization prides itself on maintaining its core values while educating girls in the changing fields of science, technology, and math, commonly known as STEM.

“We remain committed to our mission: building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Girls continue to learn new skills and earn badges, participate in the outdoors and provide service to their community,” Girl Scouts spokeswoman Nancy Wood told Potomac Local.

It’s not quite the same story for the Boy Scouts in Prince William. Their membership numbers fell nearly 2% last year, a bit lower number when compared to the 2.5% decline in membership seen in Boy Scout troops across the U.S.

The Boy Scouts have also embraced STEM education as part of their curriculum, but the Boy Scouts also knows activities for participants must also be fun.

“We have been working on a number of projects to bolster the numbers of young men and women in our program,” said Ben Hazekamp, a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Region. “We are working on new units at schools that currently do not offer a scouting program, so that we can offer the scouting experience to every youth. We are also working on several strategic partnerships through our Explorer’s program, which offers young men and women the opportunity to explore potential careers from the ages of 14 to 21.”

Another program open to Boy Scouts came about from a partnership with Prince William police, where boys get to explore the field of community policing.

There are 4,774 active youth members in the Boy Scouts organization in Prince William. It’s an average of 2.5 children to every one adult, according to Hazekamp.

The Boys Scouts recently held a fundraiser dinner honoring two women in our community, Ernestine Jenkins and Melissa Robson, awarding them the “Good Scout” award. The dinner served to raise awareness of scouting and also raised $10,000 for the local organization.

Arrest Made in Woodbridge Student Murder Case

The murder of a 16-year-old student was drug related, said police.

Officers arrested Kawain Tyrell Smalls, 20, of 12704 Dulcinea Place in Lake Ridge and charged him in the shooting death of Brenden Michael Wilson, 16. Wilson was shot and killed Monday outside Woodbridge Senior High School in Lake Ridge near Smalls’ home.

Here’s the latest in a statement from Prince William police:

The investigation into this case has indicated that the shooting was drug related and that both parties were known to one another. The investigation continues.
Arrested on November 11th:
Kawain Tyrell SMALLS, 20, of 12704 Dulcinea Pl in Woodbridge
Charged with murder, use of a firearm incommission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police arrested Smalls without incident. Investigators continue to search for additional suspects.

Police posted this statement to their Facebook page:

Detectives have not stopped investigating this case and will continue into tonight. More arrests are likely. As of now we have released all info we can make public. We hope to have more in the morning

Classes at Woodbridge Senior High School were not in session today in observance of Veterans Day. When they resume tomorrow, grief counselors will be on hand to speak with students.

“Will have a critical incident team on hand to help students and staff cope with the loss tomorrow,” stated Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits.

Woodbridge Senior High School Student Shot, Killed

Police work a crime scene outside Woodbridge Senior High School where a 16-year-old student was shot and killed. [Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local]

Police work a crime scene outside Woodbridge Senior High School where a 16-year-old student was shot and killed. [Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local]

8 p.m.

Several shots were fired outside Woodbridge Senior High School this afternoon.

When the gunfire stopped, the body of a 16-year-old Brenden Wilson, a student, lie lifeless, facedown, on a walking path behind the school.

“They must have emptied a whole magazine into him,” said Jerry King, who lives on Oakwood Drive at the scene of the shooting.

He was watching TV when shots rang out about 4:30 p.m. He ran to his sliding glass door to look out onto his backyard, and that’s when he saw one person running toward the street where pickup truck was waiting. King said the person jumped in, and the truck sped off to the top a hill and then drove out of sight.

“There was at least seven or eight shots,” added King.

Detectives at the scene were still examining the victim’s body at 7:30 p.m. It lies on the ground in what neighbors said is an area where teenagers go to use drugs.

“In just the last year, I’ve witnessed drug acts…I’ve witnessed three sex acts down here, there are kids that urinate here, and they don’t care,” said King.

King said his house had recently been broken into, and $3,000 in electronics were stolen. Police later captured the suspect who did it, he added. The burglar shoved snow for King prior to the theft.

“This place is getting pretty bad,” he resident of 40 years said.

King moved into his home just before Woodbridge Senior High School opened in its current location in 1974.

7:05 p.m.

The shooting victim is a student at Woodbridge Senior High School, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. The victim’s family has been notified and police are expected to release the name of the victim shortly.

6:54 p.m.

Crime scene tape surrounds a portion of the parking lot at Woodbridge Senior High School.

Nearby the parking lot about 4:30 p.m. a 16-year-old male was shot to death on a walking path that bridges the gap between the school and Oakwood Drive in Lake Ridge.

We don’t yet know if the victim was a student at the school, as police have not released the teenager’s identity.

The suspects in this case were said to have fled the scene in a pickup truck. Two of them are black and a third is white, according to Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. A search continues for the suspects.

The shooting victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

“We know the age of the victim so we’re obviously concerned it could be a student,” said Prince William Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits.

Nearby, Old Bridge Elementary School still had children inside the building at the time of the shooting. The school was placed into “secure the building” mode and the children inside, part of a school-aged daycare program, were not allowed to picked up by their parents until police have an all clear.

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Winter Warm-UP Drive Benefits Local Students

Withfall in full swing and early morning temperatures near freezing, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce would like to remind you that there are many children who need our help to stay warm this winter.

Michelle Rao, of Laser Quest Corporation, co-chair of the Chamber’s Education & Innovation Committee, said that while many coat drives are conducted over the holidays, often-times local children lack warm clothing underneath. To meet this need, each year the Committee organizes a Winter Warm-UP online clothing drive. For only $10, donors can purchase a “kit” containing a hat, gloves and fleece, and sweat shirt.

The Committee, with the help of students from Manassas Christian School, then distributes these warm clothing “kits” to Title I schools in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The goal is to keep kids focused on learning by meeting one of their most basic needs; the need for warm clothing during cold weather months.

“We believe that strong business and strong community go hand in hand. These children are our future workforce, our future leaders. It is important that we let them know this is a community that values their education and stands ready to help them reach their full potential,” said Debbie Jones, President & CEO of the Prince William Chamber.

Last year, the Chamber raised enough money to purchase 501 kits through the program. This year, with the generous contributions from Lockheed Martin and the Prince William Education Association, the Education & Innovation Committee is hoping to exceed last year’s contributions for Winter Warm Up. All residents, community groups and businesses are invited to participate and help meet the goal and make a difference in the lives of local students.

Both long-time members of the Committee, Denyse Carroll, Prince William County Public Schools and Jamie McNealy, Invent Now, Inc, helped collect donations from attendees at the Chamber’s recent Cuisine de Commerce luncheon. They were pleased to report that in just over an hour, members of the local business community had given enough to purchase 10 kits just by pooling their pocket change.

To donate online, visit PWchamber.org and look for the Winter Warm-UP graphic in the homepage slider. Checks can also be mailed to the Chamber Headquarters at 9720 Capital Court, Suite 203, Manassas, VA, 20110, c/o Winter Warm-UP.

For questions about the Winter Warm-UP or other community outreach activities of the Prince William Chamber, visit PWchamber.org and click on the tab labeled “The Chamber” or call 703-368-6600.

Rules Changing for Drivers on I-95 HOV Lanes

The rules of the road are changing for those who use HOV lanes on Intestate 95.

When the newly built 95 Express toll lanes open in December, a 29-mile stretch of the road from Route 610 in North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexnadria, to include a large portion of the existing HOV lanes, will be tolled 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Nearly everyone will need an EZ-Pass to use the lanes — even drivers of hybrid cars. Under the old rules, vehicles with three or more occupants, hybrid cars with a clean fuel designation printed on them, and motorcycles could use the lanes at all times. Under the new rules, motorcyclists can ride free but all other vehicles need an EZ Pass or EZ-Pass Flex.

Here’s more from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Carpoolers: 

  • Carpools need an E-ZPass Flex
  • Carpools with three or more people can travel toll-free on the Express Lanes with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.   
  • E-ZPass Flex works like a standard E-ZPass but allows carpoolers to switch between HOV and toll-paying modes. The switchable E-ZPass Flex lets the Express Lanes operator know which vehicles are HOV-3+ so that they aren’t charged a toll.  

Drivers of Hybrid Vehicles with Clean Fuel Plates: 

 

When the 95 Express Lanes open, hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 must pay a toll or have three people in the car to use the Lanes.  The rules affecting hybrids are as follows:

  • Hybrid drivers can ride toll-free on the 95 Express Lanes with three people in the vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode; or,
  • They can pay the toll with an E-ZPass if traveling with fewer than three people in the vehicle.
  • The 95 Express Lanes will end just north of Edsall Road. From Edsall Road to Washington, D.C., the HOV lanes will exist with the same rules that are in effect today. Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 will continue to be allowed to use the HOV lanes without three people in the vehicle on the I-395 HOV lanes. For more information about the transition area just north of Edsall Road on I-395, please visit: 95ExpressLanes.com/transition

Drivers of Trucks, Commercial/18-Wheel Vehicles:  

  • Vehicles with more than two axles – including 18-wheel trucks – will not be permitted to access the 95 Express Lanes.
  • Small and mid-sized trucks with two axles may use the Express Lanes as toll paying customers or they may travel toll-free if they have an E-ZPass Flexset to HOV mode and three or more people in the vehicle.

Law Enforcement Officials: 

  • Local, state or federal law enforcement officials will not be exempt from toll and HOV requirements on the 95 Express Lanes unless in the direct pursuit of their duties, which does not include commuting to and from the workplace.
  • Law enforcement officials can contact the Express Lanes pre or post travel for trips they believe qualify as exempt.  Please contact customercare@expresslanes.com for more information.

Motorcycles: 

  • Motorcycles do not need an E-ZPass.

Unlike the existing HOV lanes, the rules of the road for the new 95 Express Lanes will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends.  Vehicles may not tow trailers on the 95 Express Lanes. HOV-3+ vehicles with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode, motorcycles and transit will have toll-free access to the Express Lanes at all times; drivers with fewer than three occupants can choose to pay a toll with E-ZPass to use the lanes on occasions when they need to get somewhere on time.

Get an E-ZPass:

Drivers can get an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex at more than 75 convenient Northern Virginia retail locations including Wegmans, select Giant Food Stores, or at one of the E-ZPass Customer Service Centers, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles; online or by calling Virginia E-ZPass at (877) 762-7824.  Visit www.ezpassva.com or call the Customer Service Center for more information – (877) 762-7824.

The 95 Express Lanes are being delivered through a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban with Fluor-Lane 95, LLC constructing the Express Lanes.  For more information on how I-95 drivers can use the 95 Express Lanes please visit  www.95ExpressLanes.com.  For up-to-date construction information please visit  www.vamegaprojects.com.

 

Veterans Day Eve Dinner Scheduled Nov. 10

The Prince William County Republican Women’s Club will host a Veterans Day Eve Dinner on Nov. 10 for local veterans and active military members, and their families, to honor their service to our nation and community.

This barbeque dinner is part of the Prince William County Republican Committee’s 2014 focus on community service.

In addition, Republicans are collecting donations to support Serve Our Willing Warriors, a local charity which has established the Bull Run Warrior Retreat in Haymarket serving wounded, ill and disabled warriors and their families. Ideas for donations can be found on their registry with Bed, Bath & Beyond. Donations and/or financial support contributions will be received at the Prince William County Republican Committee headquarters at 4431 Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge until Nov. 10 or at the Veterans Day Eve Dinner.

The Veteran’s Day Eve Dinner will take place on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Christian Academy at 12368 Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge. A legislative update on veterans and military policy for the upcoming 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly will be provided by Delegate Rich Anderson (R-Prince William).

There is no cost to veterans, active duty military, and their families. To attend, RSVP by Sunday, Nov. 9 by emailing msg.apsrs@gmail.com or calling 703-680-7388.

 

Woodbridge Rotary Sells Chips for Charity Tickets

This year’s Chips for Charity fundraiser will take place at the Harbor View Event Center in Woodbridge.

The annual event is scheduled from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Woodbridge, the Greater Prince William Health Center, and the Prince William F.U.N. Project, the gathering helps to raise funds for several area causes:

Greater Prince William Community Health Center — The Health Center provides access to affordable primary, OB-GYN, dental, and behavioral care for all residents of the Greater Prince William Area, regardless of income or insurance.

Rotary Clubs of Woodbridge Rotary support:

ACTS (Action in Community Through Service)

Good Shepherd Housing

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Project Mend-A-House

Red Cross of the National Capital Region, Prince William Chapter

Salvation Army of Prince William County

The ARC of Greater Prince William

The Chesapeake Bay Conference

The Vocational/College Scholarships Program

Wounded Warriors

The Courage FUN Project Foundation — This foundation provides resources so that children and families in our community who need it the most have opportunities to play organized soccer.

“Chips for Charity” features several table games, prizes, musical entertainment, food and drinks. Tickets to the event are $90 each and include $10,000 in gaming money to be used during the event, two tickets for prize drawings, as well as food, music, and dancing.

Lake Ridge Race Benefits Students, Provides Scholarships

Quincy Foundation race begins 8 a.m. at Lake Ridge Middle School

 

The Quincy Conner Foundation (TQCF) is pleased to announce the third annual ‘5Q’, a 5K run/walk, which will be held at Lake Ridge Middle School in Lake Ridge, Va, on Nov. 1 beginning at 8 a.m.

New this year, a Kids Costume Fun Run for ages 4-12. The ‘5Q’ is a USATF Certified Course.

The ‘5Q’ is one oftwo annual fund-raising events that TQCF has hosted since their inception in 2009. This race intends to bring the Lake Ridge community together to help make “strides in students’ lives.”

TQCF is a 501(C)(3) organization that is devoted to the remembrance of Quincy Conner, a Woodbridge native, devoted son, father, husband, and friend, whose life ended suddenly at the age of 28 from a massive heart attack in December of 2005. The Foundation’s goal is to raise money through various events and award scholarships to high-school students.

“Being a member of the TQCF board is an honor. It’s amazing to be involved with a group of friends to do great work in honor of a friend whose life was cut too short,” said Tracey Watson, 5Q chair. ”We hope to see lots of runners, walkers, and kids in costumes on November 1 to carry on the spirit of our friend, Quincy Conner.” 

The community is invited to join us on Saturday. A childrens costume run will immediately follow the 5K run and walk.

For more information on the ‘5Q’ or the Foundation, visit The Quincy Conner Foundation web site, TheQuincyConnerFoundation.com, where you can register for the race and make donations to help support this charity.

TQCF would like to thank Confections Bakery, VA Runner, the Wall family, Jenni Toole, the Kidder family, Kristin Gartner, Bright Horizons Consulting, LLC, Marigold and Grey, and DJ Jeremy Whitham for supporting this year’s race as the sponsors.

TCQF is a 501(C)(3) charitable foundation that raises education dollars, awarded in the form of college scholarships.  The foundation was established in 2009 to honor the late Quincy Conner, a young father, husband, beloved son and cherished friend. 

-Press release submitted by the Quincy Foundation.

Whitlock Wealth Management Holding Ribbon Cutting

Whitlock wealth managment, financial, lake ridge, tacketts mill

Whitlock Wealth Management celebrating 20 years in business

 

Whitlock Wealth Management will hold a ribbon cutting for their newly renovated offices in Lake Ridge.

The company is celebrating 20 years in business, and the ribbon cutting event is free to attend.

The celebration will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at their offices 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101, in Lake Ridge, near Tacketts Mill shopping center.

For more information visit whitlockwealth.com.

Man Attempts to Sexually Assault Woman, 37, in Lake Ridge

 LAKE RIDGE, Va. – On October 15, police arrested a man for forcing a 37-year-old woman into a bedroom and attempting to sexually assault her. According to the report, the two were arguing before the incident and minor injuries were caused. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Attempted Rape | Abduction – On October 15th at 6:27PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 12100 block of Greatbridge Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate an attempted sexual assault. The victim, a 37 year old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she and the accused, a known acquaintance, were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated. During the encounter, the accused forced the victim into a bedroom where he attempted to sexually assault her. At one point, the victim tried to callpolice but the accused took the phone from her and left the room. The victim was eventually able to contact police. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on October 15th:

Evert Emmanuel VENTURA-MEJIA, 25, of the 12100 block of Greatbridge Rd in Woodbridge

Charged with attempted rape and abduction

Court date: December 23, 2014 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

 

Man Charged with Assault after Police Officer Pushed

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – On Oct. 6, police were in the area investigating an apparent domestic assault and battery when they found and arrested the suspect when he pushed an officer in the chest and resisted arrest while in handcuffs. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer / Resisting Arrest – On Monday, October 6 at 10:37 PM, officers were investigating a possible domestic assault and battery that occurred at Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge (22192).  During the course of that investigation, officers located James Horton III at his residence on Allspice Court, also in Lake Ridge.   Mr. Horton pushed the investigating officer in the chest and then began to actively resist being handcuffed after being told he was under arrest.  The officer was not injured in the course of arresting Mr. Horton.

                Arrested on October 7th:

                James Pierce Horton III, 45, of 12235 Allspice Court in Lake Ridge

                Charged with Resisting Arrest and Assault and Battery on a LEO

                Court date – 11/18/2014   Bond – $5,000 secured bond

Lake Ridge Church Counts 400 Waiting at Door for Charity Event

Lake Ridge Church Latter Day Saints Charity Sale

Church fills tables with linen, toys, games for community

 

On Friday, Sept. 12, the chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge, filled with 120 teens and many adults preparing for the annual community Gifts of the Heart event. 

Sister Pam Gauch, the Relief Society President for the local Woodbridge Virginia Stake, addressed them briefly to explain the spiritual nature of the service they were about to perform.

“The important thing is to keep things moving,” said Gauch.

The youth, some of whom were not of the LDS faith, then spent the next two hours unloading donated items from cars, trunks, and the backs of minivans. Soon tables in the large church gym were piled with clothes, another room filled with shoes, others with linens, toys and games.  Well over 1,100 volunteer hours went into orchestrating this year’s Gifts of the Heart clothing exchange, a free event open to the public that is done in conjunction with the Day to Serve project. 

The community donated all of the items available at the exchange. Additionally, during Gifts of the Heart, the community also donated over 240 pounds of food for the Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) food pantry.

“This year I brought a friend from school.  It’s a good representation of what our church is about: family, service, the pure love of Christ,” said Rebecca Prymak, a 16-year-old junior at Gar-Field Senior High School.  This was her fourth year volunteering during Gifts of the Heart. A total of 148 youth, and 264 adults volunteered to make the event possible.

When the doors opened the next day at 9 a.m., there were over 400 people in line.  Many had come early, in hopes of finding certain needed items. 

“If you’re looking for something you really need, you’ll find it here,” said volunteer Will Marda, of Lake Ridge. 

“This is our fourth time coming.  If something doesn’t fit, we always pass it on.  This year we’re looking for winter coats and shoes,” said Michelle Sackrider, sifting through the wares. 

“It’s a beautiful thing to do, especially for free, it helps everyone,” said Digna Ruiz, through a translator, of Woodbridge.

This was her second year benefiting from items that the community donated to Gifts of the Heart. By the time the event ended, and all of the left-over, donated clothing and other things were packed into a truck for AmVets, more than 1,150 people were able to shop the Gifts of the Heart exchange.

 

Editors note: This story was submitted by the community relations department at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Woodbridge.

Weapon Appears at Lake Ridge Middle School

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – On Sept. 22, staff at Lake Ridge Middle School told police that they saw a young male student with a pellet gun near school grounds. Police arrived on the scene as the student was stopped by school staff and it was determined that this same student and another male student were connected to a previous incident at the school on Sept. 21. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Weapon on School Property – On September 22nd at 2:41PM, officers responded to Lake Ridge Middle School located at 12350 Mohican Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a report of someone with a gun near the school. School staff was able to detain the person, identified as a male juvenile student from Woodbridge Senior High School, prior to police arriving in the area. The weapon in his possession was also quickly determined to be a pellet gun. No injuries were reported and the pellet gun was never pointed towards the school, students or staff. The investigation revealed that during a scheduled fire drill, staff observed the older student walk out of a nearby wooded area carrying, what was believed to be, a weapon. Staff immediately called police and were able to detain the student without incident. While investigating this incident, officers were able to connect the same student to an incident the prior evening. On September 21st at 7:28PM, officers responded to Lake Ridge Middle School after a caller reportedly observed a juvenile male shooting a pellet gun at a can near the school’s track area. As police were responding to the incident, the student fled into the wooded area where he reportedly left the pellet gun. The student then went to retrieve the gun the next day where he was seen by the school’s staff during the fire drill. Another male juvenile from Lake Ridge Middle School was also connected to the incident on September 21st. This case has been turned over to the Juvenile Court System for review and further action.

Burglars Force Themselves into Home, Two Teens Robbed

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – On September 13, two teenage victims told police that during the night three male suspects forced themselves into the home, one of which had a handgun, and stole multiple pairs of shoes and cell phones before fleeing the scene. Police say that the victims knew the suspects and that this was not a random incident. 

Here’s the latest from Prince William police:

Armed Robbery | Residential Burglary – On September 13th at 12:37PM, officers responded to investigate a robbery which was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the 12100 block of Dapple Gray Ct in Woodbridge (22192) on September 12th around 11:30PM. The victims, a 16 year old male juvenile and a 15 year old male juvenile – both of Woodbridge, reported to police that three known male acquaintances forcibly entered their residence in the above area. During the encounter, one of the men pulled out a handgun. The men took several pairs of shoes and cell phones before fleeing the home. No injuries were reported. This incident was not random.

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