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Cohee still missing, police seek help from public

From police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED ADULT – UPDATE #2: The Prince William County Police Department continues to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Alan Cohee, who was reported as missing and endangered by a family member on November 11. Since Mr. Cohee’s disappearance, the Prince William County Police Department, with assistance from other local and state agencies, have conducted multiple searches of the immediate area surrounding his home. On December 29, Prince William County officers, with helicopter and K-9 assistance, conducted another search around Mr. Cohee’s residence on Featherstone Rd in Woodbridge and the immediate area. Nothing of note was located. There has still been no known contact with Mr. Cohee since he was last seen on November 10. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr. Cohee is asked to call the non-emergency line at 703-792-6500.

Tell us what new businesses you want to see in 2017

We’ve seen multiple of breweries open in Prince William County in 2016, and there’s more to come.

New chain retail stores like At Home moved into the old Kmart space in Dale City, and new additions like Uptown Alley and Autobahn Indoor Speedway opened at Manassas Mall. Duluth Trading Company which opened on Bulloch Drive near the Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus.

Just yesterday, we posted Sweeto Burrito is expanding in the county.

Is Prince William County ripe for chain stores, or is there room for smaller, independent shop owners to make a go of it? 

So, as we hope for new things in 2017, what new businesses do you hope will open in Prince William County or Greater Manassas?

Rant and rave in the comments section below.

The most-read posts on Potomac Local in 2016

For all of you who wanted to know when 2016 will come to an end, here’s some news: 2017 begins on Sunday. 

We can’t let the old year pass without our annual look back at our most-read stories on Potomac Local for 2016. 

With 1.8 million page views from nearly 1 million readers, here are the most-read stories this year: 

10. Seven arrested in Prince William internet sting

On June 6, members of the Prince William County Police Departments’ Special Victim’s Bureau and Intel Unit began a week a long operation targeting offenders of crimes involving children.


9. Fresh, hot, glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts coming to Manassas

The fascination with Krispy Kreme doughnuts continued in 2016 as a post we wrote in 2015 ranked as this year’s 9th most-read story on Potomac Local.


8. Two Woodbridge men charged in connection to ISIS

Federal authorities said two men from Woodbridge intended to go to Syria to join ISIS.

One man was arrested at Richmond International Airport. The second man was arrested in Woodbridge after he returned from driving the first suspect to the airport. 

7. Grief counselors at Battlefield High School after student death

Grief counselors were sent to Battlefield High School in October after a student took his own life. 

6. Manassas student tells school board she was beaten in hallway

A 7th-grade student at Metz Middle School told school officials she was beaten and bloodied in a school hallway.

5. Body found in Powells Creek under Route 1 in Woodbridge

Police found a body underneath a bridge that carries traffic on Route 1 over Powells Creek in Woodbridge.


4. Najee Mason killed in Woodbridge

On June 5, detectives from the Homicide Unit identified the suspect involved in the murder of Najee Mason which occurred in the 14900 block of Potomac Heights Place in Woodbridge.

3. Rookie Officer Ashley Guindon killed in domestic shooting

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Prince William County Police Officer Ashley Guindon, one of the officers involved in this evening shooting on Lashmere Ct, has died as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident.”


2. Fatal shooting outside Dale City Food Lion

One man was shot outside a Food Lion at the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road in late November. foodlionshooting

1. Suspected MS13 gang members rounded up, charged in murder of Edwin Chicas

“On November 9, detectives from the Prince William County Police Homicide Unit and Special Investigations Bureau, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Manassas City Police Department and the City of Manassas Park Police Department, attempted to arrest several suspects involved in the murder of Edwin Ivan Chicas which occurred in the 7500 block of Quail Run Ln in Manassas on October 29.”



Top stories of 2015

Top stories of 2014

Top stories of 2013

Top stories of 2012

Top stories of 2011

Top stories of 2010


Roadside makeover: Manassas businesses approved for new facade, landscaping grants

MANASSAS, Va. — Manassas City is scheduled to award $77,410 in matching grants to local business who agree to improve the facades of their buildings, exterior signage, and landscaping.

Multiple businesses applied for the city’s Local Incentives Program help Grant. When the winners of the grants complete the work and then show receipts to the city’s office of economic development, the grant money will be reimbursed to the respective business.

Wellington Station shopping center managed by Rappaport Companies, one of the largest retail management centers in the region, was awarded up to $40,000 — a total of $25,000 for the facade, and $15,000 for landscape improvements.

Rappaport has up to 10 years to complete the $1 million facade improvement project. The landscape project is expected to cost $200,000, according to city documents.

Rapport spokeswoman Jarnell Bonds says her company is actively looking for new tenants for the shopping center ahead of the restoration work.

From an email:

What new tenants are being pursued the property? We are seeking a variety of uses including restaurants, medical, fitness, retail, automotive, day spa, and dry cleaners.

What facade / landscaping improvements will be completed? Concerning landscaping, we have hired LandGarden, a landscape architect, to design a complete plan for the entire shopping center. This includes the islands throughout the parking lots, including the fast food pads, the entrances, the areas around the pylon and monuments signs the green areas along Dumfries and Wellington Roads. We are painting the facade and roof as well as removing the awnings and replacing them with an EIFS detail. Roof painting is complete. Façade painting is underway. EIFS detail is about to be submitted for permit.

Here are the rules laid down by the city for grant eligibility: 

— Façades proposed for improvement must be visible from the public right of way
— Property must be current with City taxes and fees
— Property may not have outstanding codes violations* (exception: FIG will be used to rectify)
— Property is identified as commercial, industrial, office, or mixed-use
— Property is an existing improvement – new construction is not eligible

The Manassas Junction Bed and Breakfast located at 9311 Prescott Avenue applied for landscape improvement grant funds but was not approved for because the business is not visible from the public right of way, according to city documents. 

Here are the rest of the grantees for the facade improvement program:  (more…)

Smash and grab: Ellerbe charged in a string of robberies in Woodbridge

From police: 

Strong Armed Robberies *ARREST – On December 27, detectives with the Robbery Unit identified the suspect involved in a series of “snatch and grab” robberies which have occurred in the eastern part of Prince William within the last several months. Following the investigation, detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of the suspect, identified as Ricky Alphonso ELLERBE. Detectives with the Street Crimes Unit and Robbery Unit arrested the accused without incident at his residence later that afternoon. A search warrant was subsequently executed at the residence.  Additional charges are pending. The investigation continues.

                Arrested on December 27:

                Ricky Alphonso ELLERBE, 34, of 2200 Valor Way, Apt 3112, in Woodbridge

Charged with 4 counts of robbery

                Court Date: February 27, 2017 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond


Strong Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 24 at 10:12AM, officers responded to the Tropical Smoothie Cafe located at 2966 Prince William Pkwy in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man entered the business and approached the counter to order food. When the employee opened the register to complete the transaction, the man struck the employee in the face knocking her to the ground. The suspect then grabbed a handful of money from the register before fleeing the business. No injuries were reported and no weapon was seen. The investigation continues. (more…)

Competitive Edge gives girls in sports an edge

  • Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center
  • Address: 14849 Persistence Dr. – Featherstone Industrial Park Woodbridge, VA 22191
  • Phone: 571-398-2813
  • Website:

Laila Jewett may only be an 8th grader, but she has big plans. Jewett wants to be a professional basketball player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Jewett’s hard work and dedication has landed her on Christ Chapel Academy’s high school varsity team. In addition, Jewett plays for an AAU travel basketball team that competes locally and nationally. These teams are incredibly competitive, with college scouts watching the progress of these players. Jewett recently played in the Next Sports Phenom’s She Got Game Middle School Classic and received the “Most Outstanding Player Award.” Jewett said “You always have to play your best.” She does exactly that, with help from her training sessions at Competitive Edge Athletic Performance Center.

Sports Performance Training

Jewett has been a member of Competitive Edge for approximately 11 months. Competitive Edge believes in developing the complete athlete. Their mission is to encourage youth to keep their edge strong in both athletics and academics. Competitive Edge athletes see benefits in enhanced speed, strength, increased endurance, as well as improved flexibility and coordination.

Jewett takes part in their Sports Performance Training program. She works on perfecting fluidity in her movements through drills developed specifically for her age and skill level. Sessions can include agility ladder footwork, speed endurance drills and working with resistance bands to build strength and explosiveness, i.e Vertimax jump training. Jewett also attends Competitive Edge’s Sports Flex sessions, which is their version of Yoga where they encourage the athletes to partake in to increase flexibility and injury prevention.

The training sessions consist of both boys and girls. The performance trainers demonstrate drills for the groups, showing them the correct form to use. Once the athletes begin their work out, the trainers encourage them to complete all the drills.

“You can start again if you make mistakes,” Jewett said. “The coaches are really nice. They make sure I’m doing the moves right so I don’t injure myself, even if that means going slow.” When Jewett was asked about working out in a mixed group, she said, “I don’t think there’s much difference between boys and girls in sports, except boys are more physical. They are faster and stronger.” Jewett gives girls in sports simple advice. “Be in the gym as much as you possibly can, because that’s how you get better.”

Girls and Sports

Competitive Edge creates a supportive environment in which young women can be in training and work on their sports goals next to young men. In 1972, Title IX was enacted, changing the landscape of women’s sports, especially in high schools and universities, throughout the United States.

Mother Jones reported in 2012 that at the time Title IX was enacted, just under 295,000 girls participated in high school sports. In 40 years, this number has increased dramatically, to nearly 3.2 million. Yet the opportunities afforded boys for sports still top the number of girl’s opportunities. also reports that, despite this, there are more women playing collegiate sports than ever before. NCAA schools have increased female sports participation from less than 30,000 to over 193,000 since 1972.

Girls with big sports goals like Lailah Jewett are reaping the benefits. She is growing up with boys and girls being equal in sports, making it, as she said, “no big deal.” Competitive Edge knows it is a big deal. They know that providing training that benefits the success of both boys and girls can help build positive attitudes and other life habits that are essential to the development of youth athletes, such as fostering new friendships and encouraging academic success and improved self-esteem.

For more information on Competitive Edge, visit

Sweeto Burrito adding two new locations in Prince William

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — Sweeto Burrito will expand in Prince William County.

Two new locations — one at Dillingham Square in Lake Ridge and the second at Potomac Festival in Woodbridge, across from Potomac Mills mall — should be open by February, said Sweeto Burrito Virginia Director of Operations Micheal Wetherill.

The new restaurants will be the second and third locations in Virginia. The fast-food chain opened its first store at Staples Mill shopping center at the intersection of Minnieville and Spriggs roads in 2015.

The company plans to open as many as 26 locations across the state within the next 10 years but doesn’t expect to open more in Prince William after February, according to Wetherill.

The Lake Ridge location will open where a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza was located. The Woodbridge location will open in a space once occupied by Golden Tech Computers, which relocated next to Outback Steakhouse. 

The North Dakota-based company began as a food truck in 2011 before franchise rights to the business were sold. Burritos on the menu feature meats like beef, chicken, steak, and bacon, and other ingredients like eggs, tater tots, onion rings, and siracha sauce.

The most popular item on the menu in Dale City is the Carnivore, a burrito with steak, chicken, bacon, pepper jack cheese, white rice, cilantro ranch, and siracha sauce, said Wetherill.


Wetherill called us Thursday and told us the company could open more locations in Prince William County following the opening of its new stores in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge.