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Brew Republic Bierwerks to host National Guard unit en route home

A National Guard unit returning from a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan will be making a pit stop at Brew Republic Bierwerks in Woodbridge. Here’s what the general manager has to say:

My name is Scott Melice, I am the general manager here at Brew Republic Bierwerks in Woodbridge, VA. We were forwarded the following article that was recently written about the MD National Guard Unit, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-national-guard-special-ops-returning-20180125-story.html. We were contacted by the spouse of one of those brave soldiers and asked us if we would be able to host the unit on their way back from deployment. Being a veteran owned business and having one of our private investors also close with those soldiers, we of course were more than happy to accommodate their group.

They will arrive in our taproom on March 4th around 12-1 pm and staying for a couple of hours to relax and recuperate after their deployment.

 

Proposals seek to spur growth in Virginia distillery industry

RICHMOND — Virginia distillers ?may soon be toasting the General Assembly after the Senate passed a bill to let liquor manufacturers keep more of the money from selling their spirits in tasting rooms.

Currently, distilleries must sell their bottles to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, then buy them back at full retail price before pouring samples inside their tasting rooms. The markup averages 69 percent and can be as high as 93 percent, according to ABC.

But distilleries could keep the price markup under Senate Bill 803, introduced by Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Fredericksburg. The Senate voted 23-16 in favor of the measure Friday. It is now before the House Appropriations Committee.

ABC currently takes about 55 percent of the gross revenues that distilleries make in their tasting rooms, said Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in the Loudoun County town of Purcellville. After overhead and worker pay, he said, most Virginia distilleries lose money on such operations.  

Distilleries are a growing enterprise in Virginia, which considers itself the birthplace of American spirits. After serving two terms as president, George Washington returned to Mount Vernon to brew his own whiskey.

The industry does more than $160 million a year in business in terms of creating jobs, buying agricultural products and selling spirits, according to the Virginia Distillers Association.

Still, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared with neighboring Kentucky. Distilleries there have an annual economic impact of $8.5 billion, the Kentucky Distillers Association says.

Kentucky is one of the country’s largest producers of distilled spirits and, unlike Virginia, the industry is not controlled by the state government. Harris said Virginia distilleries are hampered by a “punitive landscape.”

Curtis Coleburn, a lobbyist for the Virginia Distillers Association, said SB 803 could  spur major growth in the commonwealth’s spirits industry.

“When the distilleries make a sale, half of the money goes to the state through taxes and profits because it’s managed through ABC,” Coleburn said. “Senate Bill 803 would allow the distillers to keep more of the proceeds for sales at the distillery stores and will enable them to hire more Virginians and expand their plans and grow the industry.”

Virginia distillers say they would like to make and sell their products on their premises at the cost of production. This would allow them to have profitable tasting rooms and generate tourism, said Amy Ciarametaro, executive director for the Virginia Distillers Association.

“We have to educate our legislators that, in order for the distilled spirits industry to really be a powerful economic generator for the commonwealth — and it can be — we’ve got to make these distillery stores profit generators for their operators,” Ciarametaro said.  

Belle Isle Moonshine in Richmond does not have a store on premise, but co-founder and CEO Vince Riggi said reducing the regulations on tasting room sales would benefit all distillers in the commonwealth.  

“We want to market Virginia spirits,” Riggi said. “We want to elevate the brand and showcase it to the consumers in the state.”

 

Music in the “Air” this Sunday, as Youth Orchestras of Prince William perform

Hear from some talented youth this Sunday at Hylton Performing Arts Center. Here’s more from the press release:

Youth Orchestras of Prince William County Winter Concert Announcement
SUNDAY, February 18 at 3:00 P.M. AT THE HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Youth Orchestras of Prince William’s (YOPW) Music Director and Youth Symphony Orchestra interim Conductor, Mr. John Murton, will present the orchestra’s winter concert Air on Sunday, February 18 at 3 pm. Air is the second performance of the season and features all of the YOPW ensembles.

The concert includes a complementary reception and music by the YOPW Chamber Quintet at 2 p.m. in the lobby area. The main performance is scheduled to begin 3 p.m. and begins with the youngest instrumentalists, and culminates with the prestigious Youth Symphony Orchestra, a roster of some of the area’s finest rising musicians.

Tickets:

Tickets prices are $20 for adults and $12 for seniors and active/retired military. Youth, 18 and under receive free tickets. For ticket sales visit www.hyltoncenter.org

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located at 10960 George Mason Cir, Manassas, VA 20110

About Youth Orchestras of Prince William County (YOPW)

Youth Orchestras of Prince William is celebrating its 36th year of music excellence in the Prince William County. YOPW promotes quality music education, provides a range of performance opportunities, fosters musical awareness and appreciation, and produces cultural experiences for our region. The goal of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William is to be an exceptional instrumental program for the youth of our region.

YOPW Interim Conductor John Murton is a graduate of Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. His conducting credits include Assistant Conductor on the 2016 mainstage production of The Cunning Little Vixen and Conducting Fellow for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra during the 2016-2017 Season.

Bob’s Discount Furniture Woodbridge 5-day grand opening offers family fun, giveaways

Bob’s Discount Furniture is hosting a grand opening celebration from Thursday, February 15 – Monday, February 19, 2018 in honor of its new store at 14500 Potomac Mill Road, Woodbridge, VA. This will be the third Bob’s Discount Furniture store in Virginia.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. and special appearances by Washington Redskins Alumni, Gary Clark and Ravin Caldwell will take place on Monday.

Bob’s grand opening guests will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of family fun entertainment and free giveaways throughout the weekend, including a chance to win Washington Redskins season tickets. In addition, the Bob’s Outreach team is giving away 200 copies of the new book “The Bobs and Tweets” at each store opening celebration.

In conjunction with the grand openings, the Bob’s Outreach team is donating $10,000 to local children’s charities and over $90,000 to local children’s charities and schools in the nine new communities Bob’s is launching new stores in. The principal from Mary G. Porter Traditional School, will be receiving an outreach donation for $2,500 at the grand opening ceremony.

The full schedule is as follows:

      • Check presentation on Thursday, February 15 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, February 15 at 9:45 a.m.
      • Family fun entertainment:
        • Thursday and Friday, from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
        • Saturday – Monday, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
      • WASH street team appearance on Friday, February 16 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
      • Redskins Alumni appearance on Monday, February 19 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
      • Free giveaways – Washington Redskins season tickets, “Bobs and Tweets” books, T-Shirts, Ice Scrapes, and more throughout the long weekend

About Bob’s Discount Furniture

Bob’s Discount Furniture provides a wide variety of quality furnishings – including living room furniture, bedroom furniture, dining room furniture, mattresses and home accents – at everyday low prices. The stores also offer a unique and enjoyable shopping experience featuring cafes in each store with free gourmet coffee, ice cream, cookies and candy. Since 1991, Bob’s has built strong customer loyalty by offering the highest-value home furnishings at the lowest possible prices. With 98 furniture stores located throughout New England, Delaware, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, the Manchester, Conn.-based company has become the 12th-largest U.S. furniture chain and proudly holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Bob’s is committed to supporting communities where its stores are located through a variety of charitable giving efforts. Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation has anchored the company’s philanthropic work for more than 20 years. In addition, the Bob’s Outreach program was created as a separate entity to help schools and children-related charities. The company donates more than $2.75 million to charities through these programs each year. For more information on Bob’s charitable programs, visit http://www.bobscares.org.

LOVE is in the air at Potomac Mills as sculpture is about to be unveiled

The public is invited for the unveiling of Virginia’s newest LOVE sculpture and a celebration of travel and tourism to be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 . The sculpture will be unveiled at Potomac Mills, 2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge, VA, 22192.

The LOVEworks program is a state-wide branding initiative, designed to promote historic life experiences and destinations in Virginia. The sculpture will resemble other LOVE sculptures throughout the Commonwealth, such as the one in historic Manassas.

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2016, tourism generated $24 billion in revenue, supported 230,000 jobs and provided $1.7 billion in state and local taxes for the Commonwealth.

Potomac Mills is Virginia’s largest outlet mall, located minutes from the heart of Washington D.C. The center features an indoor shopping experience with more than 200 stores, including Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, kate spade new york and Nike Clearance Store. Shoppers can also enjoy quality dining and entertainment from any of the Mills’ 25 eateries and 18 Theatre AMC. Located immediately off of I-95, Potomac Mills serves the Washington, D.C. / Northern Virginia region and also welcomes guests from all over the world.

For more information, please call 703-496- 9330.

Manassas 7-Eleven robbed at gunpoint, search for suspect continues

From the Prince William police press release:

Armed Robbery – On February 12 at 9:02PM, officers responded to the 7-Eleven located at 10420 Portsmouth Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. The employee reported to police that a male wearing a mask entered the store and brandished a handgun toward the employee. The suspect forced the employee to open the cash register to obtain money before fleeing the business on foot. No injuries were reported. A Prince William County police K-9 and helicopter from Fairfax County Police responded to search for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.   

Suspect Description:

    Male of an unknown race or age, 5’07”, 220lbs with a medium build

    Last seen wearing a red bandanna covering his face, black jacket with a hoodie, blue jeans, and black and white shoes with white soles

Suspect in fatal Gainesville crash charged

From the Prince William police press release:

Fatal Crash Investigation *DRIVER ARRESTED – Investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit have charged the driver involved in the fatal crash in Gainesville that killed a 38-year-old man of Warrenton on February 12. The accused was located shortly after 1:00PM that afternoon by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office walking along a roadway. The accused was not injured and was detained without incident. Speed and alcohol use are believed to be contributing factors in the collision. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on February 12:

Vicente Martir VIDES VASQUEZ, 21, of the 300 block of Jackson St in Warrenton

Charged with involuntary manslaughter, hit & run causing death and driving without a license

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Fatal Crash Investigation [Previously Released] – On February 12 at 2:42AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of James Madison Hwy and Thoroughfare Rd in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a single vehicle crash. The investigation revealed a 2001 Toyota 4-Runner was traveling northbound on James Madison Hwy in the above area when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway and struck an embankment causing the vehicle to roll multiple times. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene prior to officers arriving in the area. A backseat adult male passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained from the crash. A front seat adult male passenger was wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment and has since been released. A Prince William County police K-9 and helicopter assistance from Fairfax County Police responded to search for the driver who was not immediately located. The suspected driver of the vehicle was located at approximately 1:00PM on February 12 by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. The driver will be interviewed by Prince William County police investigators regarding the crash. The investigation is continuing.

Victims Identified:

The passenger killed is identified as Jose Nelvin ROMERO MALDONADO, 38, of Warrenton

The front passenger is identified as a 30-year-old man of Warrenton.



This mindset guides our process and allows the FreshySites team to grow from within

The fourth part of the FreshySites Ethos is Grow From Within. We’re always open to welcoming new members to the FS team if we’re hiring. But once you’re on team Freshy, a lot is expected of you – because our clients expect a lot from our company.

The Freshy team is highly motivated, reliable, extremely organized, creative, collaborative and so much more.

As we’ve stated before, the FS team comes to work each day ready to serve the customer in any way possible, constantly looking for ways to help them and show them their value. This requires us to be ego free, always treating clients, and each other, with the utmost respect and kindness.

Our unity in these mindsets allows us to effectively ask for more in our daily process, pushing ourselves to be the best we can be, pushing FS forward as well. More than anything else, our asking for more lends itself to growing from within.

In order to push our company forward, our employees have to push themselves, each day, to be as thoughtful, efficient and productive as possible in their individual roles and responsibilities.

Having this mindset guide our process allows the FS team to effortlessly grow from within because our team members are consistently surpassing expectations – both internally and externally – growing their individual skills and capabilities, as well as our team’s collective talents and abilities.

Our team is constantly growing in our capabilities, skills, talents and so much more.

More importantly, though, our employees are growing individually, far beyond their official titles – from junior web designers into web designers for example – but in their responsibilities within the company, becoming even more productive, hard-working, incredible members of our team with each passing day.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, growing our team from within.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!”

Updated: Driver found, charged after fatal crash near Haymarket

Updated 7:35 p.m.

Police said they found their missing driver. 

From a press release:  *DRIVER ARRESTED – Investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit have charged the driver involved in this morning’s fatal crash in Gainesville that killed a 38-year-old man of Warrenton. The accused was located shortly after 1:00PM by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office walking along a roadway. The accused was not injured and was detained without incident. Speed and alcohol use are believed to be contributing factors in the collision. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

                Arrested on February 12:

                Vicente Martir VIDES VASQUEZ, 21, of the 300 block of Jackson St in Warrenton

                Charged with involuntary manslaughterhit & run causing death and driving without a license

                Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Updated 1:55 p.m. 

Police identified the man who was ejected from the car. 

Fatal Crash Investigation *VICTIM IDENTIFIED – Investigators from the Crash Investigation Unithave identified the passenger killed in this morning’s fatal crash in Gainesville as Jose Nelvin ROMERO MALDONADO, 38, of Warrenton. The front seat passenger was identified as a 30-year-old man of Warrenton. The suspected driver of the vehicle was located a short time ago by deputies from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. The driver will be interviewed by Prince William County police investigators regarding the crash this afternoon. The investigation is continuing.

We’ve just learned the details of a fatal crash near Haymarket this morning. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On February 12 at 2:42AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of James Madison Hwy and Thoroughfare Rd in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a single vehicle crash.

The investigation revealed a 2001 Toyota 4-Runner was traveling northbound on James Madison Hwy in the above area when the driver lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway and rolled. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene prior to officers arriving in the area.

A backseat passenger, identified as an adult male, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained from the crash. A front seat passenger, identified as an adult male, was wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment and has since been released.

A Prince William County police K-9 and helicopter assistance from Fairfax County Police responded to search for the driver who was not immediately located. Investigators are actively working to identify the driver. The identity of the deceased will be released once a next-of-kin has been notified. The investigation continues.

Bills killed: expanded protections for LGBTQ Virginians in housing, workplace

From the press release:

House Panels Reject LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Bills

By Deanna Davison

Capital News Service

 RICHMOND – Subcommittees in the House of Delegates killed several bills this week that would have expanded protections for LGBTQ Virginians in housing and the workplace.

Two bills had passed the Senate late last month. Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, sponsored SB 202, which would have prohibited public employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-Loudoun, sponsored SB 423, which would have included discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity as unlawful housing practices under the Virginia Fair Housing Law.

Both bills were tabled Thursday on 5-2 party-line votes by a subcommittee of the House General Laws Committee.

“It is painfully evident today that Virginia is not for all lovers,” Wexton said afterward. “Simple access to a place to live without discrimination is a basic fundamental right of all people. It is shameful that the House Republicans killed this in subcommittee when it passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.”

Also on 5-2 votes, the General Laws subcommittee rejected HB 401, introduced by Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, and HB 1547, by Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax. Those bills aimed to add the same protections in employment and housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Simon, who introduced his legislation for the fourth consecutive session, said the National Association of Realtors amended its code of ethics in January 2014 to guarantee nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That guarantee should be included in Virginia’s Fair Housing Law to protect individuals seeking housing from people who aren’t Realtors, he said.

Bill Janis of the Family Foundation of Virginia, a faith-based nonprofit, said such anti-discrimination bills were unnecessary because of existing regulations.

“The largest employers in the Richmond area, Capital One and Virginia Commonwealth University . . . already have good hiring policies involving these issues,” he said. “They’re already hiring, in large measure, based on the qualifications and merits of the applications of the positions, not based on other criteria.”

Another bill regarding nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity was killed Tuesday in a House Commerce and Labor subcommittee. HB 1466, sponsored by Del. Debra Rodman, D-Henrico, would have prohibited health insurance providers from denying or limiting coverage to transgender Virginians.

Rodman’s bill was rejected on a 5-3 vote, also along party lines.

Bipartisan deal will raise felony theft threshold

RICHMOND – Virginia is one of two states where people convicted of stealing items valued at $200 become felons. But a bipartisan deal to raise the threshold and improve restitution will help some people recover from an otherwise life-altering mistake, a delegate says.

The agreement announced Thursday by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would increase Virginia’s felony theft threshold – the lowest in the nation – to $500 and improve assurances that victims would receive restitution.

In a compromise Northam called a “breakthrough for common-sense criminal justice reform,” members of both parties in the General Assembly will get legislation their counterparts previously blocked.

Republicans agreed to advance bills to raise the bar for what is considered grand larceny theft. In exchange, Democrats agreed to bills that would stiffen laws to give crime victims their court-ordered restitution.

Under current Virginia law, a person who steals an item valued more than $200 can be charged with felony grand larceny. That threshold is tied with New Jersey for the lowest in the nation, according to a 2015 report by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The new threshold would be $500; anything less would be a misdemeanor under HB 1550 and SB 105, introduced by Del. Leslie Adams, R-Pittsylvania, and Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke, respectively.

“At $200, Virginia’s current felony larceny threshold is the most severe in the nation,” said Del. Joe Lindsey, D-Norfolk. “By raising it, we are sending a clear message that theft is a serious crime, but stealing one phone or pair of boots should not ruin a person’s life.”

Republicans would not have agreed to a deal on raising the threshold without changes to restitution laws, said Parker Slaybaugh, a spokesman for Cox. HB 483 would require the state locate victims of crimes and pay them restitution. HB 484 would require defendants to pay restitution before getting off probation or court supervision. Both were introduced by Del. Robert Bell, R- Albemarle.

The Virginia ACLU, which supports raising the grand larceny threshold, is reluctant to support the agreement. Spokesperson Bill Farrar said a $500 bar – which would be the first change to the law since 1980 – would still be too low compared to inflation. Additionally, Farrar said, Bell’s legislation could put poor people in a position of being on probation for the rest of their lives if they can’t pay restitution.

Crime victims in Virginia’s state courts are owed more than $400 million in outstanding restitution, according to a 2016 Crime Commission report.

“This is money that crime victims need to pay their bills and rebuild their lives,” Bell said. “They have to come to court, testify under oath, and many have to describe the most frightening moment of their life to strangers, only to be cross-examined and scrutinized in the media. The least we can do is ensure that they receive the restitution that the justice system promises to them.”

 

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