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Metro in doubt and CTE on the rise, Prince William rethinks economic development

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Castaways Repertory Theatre performing ‘The Madwoman of Chaillot’

Castaways Repertory Theatre will be performing “The Madwoman of Chaillot, a comedic play that divides the world between artists and men of business. From the press release:

Castaways Repertory Theatre Presents

THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT
By Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc
Director Harry Kantrovich

A beautifully comedic play of stark contrasts in human character, The Madwoman of Chaillot divides the world sharply between the artists and the men of business. The businessmen, whom are called by their profession rather than by name, are interested only in finding new ways to become wealthier. They do not tolerate anyone but their own kind. On the other hand, the poets, musicians, vagabonds, and artists only want to create and to love and enjoy one another. The bohemians are a vanishing lot; the businessmen are taking over and corrupting everything that is pure and full of life. The Prospector, the Broker, and the President have discovered oil beneath the streets of Paris and seek to destroy whatever they must in order to get it. Their nefarious plans come to the attention of Countess Aurelia, the benignly eccentric madwoman of the title. She is an aging idealist who sees the world as happy and beautiful. But, advised by her associate, the Ragpicker, who is a bit more worldly than the Countess, she soon comes to realize that the world might well be ruined by these evil men—men who seek only wealth and power and acts as the core of creative thought to stop the darkness from taking control of their world.

Mainstage* Performances: Sep 21, 22, 28, 29 and Oct 5, 6 at 8:00 pm.
Sep 23, 29 and Oct 7 at 2:00 pm.

The Cast by Name and Character :
Claudine Andola – Police Woman/Little Person
Brenda Brummer- Broker
Nancy Cahill – Countess Aurelia
Journey Cole – Flower Girl/Street Singer
Jan Dylewski – Josephine
Becky Farris – Gabrielle
Jill Jago – Waiter
Kieran Weldon – Pierre
Rachel Johnston – Deaf Mute
Dee McCollum – President
Ed Johnson – Prospector
Courtney Petko – Irma
Walter Stewart – Dr. Jadin
Eric Trumbull – Ragpicker/Sewer Man
Sallie Willows – Baroness/Lady
Denise Wilson -Morgan- Constance
Wendy Labenow – Peddler/Doorkeeper

The performance will take place at the Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Dr., Woodbridge.

‘Jasper’ the Pit Bull gets second chance as police K9

Jasper, a two-year-old Pit Bull mix has a second chance and a job as a police K9. From the Prince William Humane Society press release:

The Prince William Humane Society teamed up with Off Leash K9 Training and the Throw Away Dogs Project to repurpose, train, and relocate one of their own rescue dogs to an Indiana Police Department.

Jasper is a two-year-old Pit Bull mix who was originally found as a stray and turned into the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Through their community partnership with the county shelter, the Prince William Humane Society transferred Jasper to their offsite adoption center and immediately set out to find his forever home. It became clear early on that his extreme high level of energy, loyalty, and ball drive made him destined for something unique and with a purpose to serve.

After two initial assessments by Nick White at Off Leash K9 Training, he paired us up with the wonderful people at the Throw Away Dogs Project who specialize in repurposing, training, and relocating unique dogs to positively impact our communities. Jasper’s progress through the program over the past several weeks has been amazing; the potential that this shelter dog demonstrated to his trainers is now becoming a reality.

Our K9 Jasper now has a job. Upon completion of his Narcotic Detection Training with the Throw Away Dogs Project, Jasper will head to Indiana to meet his new handler, live happily in his forever home, and serve the citizens of Kennard, Indiana as a member of the Kennard Police Department. From shelter to service – Jasper is the epitome of why all of us involved in animal welfare do what we do. Congratulations to Jasper and the amazing team at Throw Away Dogs Project for giving this sweet boy a second chance on life.

Crash investigation leads to alleged assault on law enforcement officers, drug arrest, more

A crash investigation lead to an alleged assault on law enforcement officers, drug arrest and more. From the Prince William police report:

Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) – On September 17 at 12:51AM, officers responded to the 13600 block of Mapledale Ave in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a single vehicle crash. Officers subsequently responded to a residence located in the 5300 block of Qualey Pl in an attempt to make contact with the registered owner of the vehicle. When officers arrived, they made contact with a woman standing outside of the home. During the encounter, the woman, identified as Demetria Le Rhonda BRYANT, became agitated and disorderly. Officers further determined that BRYANT was intoxicated and arrested her. As officers were attempting to place BRYANT into a police cruiser, she resisted and kicked an officer in the arm. Officers deployed pepper spray and secured the accused without further incident. No injuries were reported. During a subsequent search of BRYANT, narcotics were recovered. A short time later, a resident of the home, Shatie Nicole THROWER, also became disorderly towards officers. When officers attempted to place her under arrest, she resisted and began kicking and swinging her arms at two officers. A TASER was deployed and THROWER was eventually detained without further incident. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, both BRYANT and THROWER were transported to the Prince William – Manassas Adult Detention Center without further incident.

Arrested on September 17:

Demetria Le Rhonda BRYANT, 26, of 14455 Minnieville Rd in Woodbridge

Charged with assault & battery on a LEO, possession of a schedule I or II narcotic, obstruction of justice, and intoxicated in public

Court Date: October 26, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Shatie Nicole THROWER, 30, of 5302 Qualey Pl in Woodbridge

Charged with 2 counts of assault & battery on a LEO, disorderly conduct, and intoxicated in public

Court Date: November 7, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

 

 

Prince William’s ‘moonshot goal’ to increase commercial tax base too ambiguous

On September 12th the Prince William Chamber of Commerce hosted its Policy Committee Meeting where we heard and engaged in a conversation with senior Prince William County Staff on the topic of the County’s Strategic Plan and more importantly, discussed the County’s “Moonshot Goal”.

The “Moonshot Goal” is to increase the percentage of commercial tax revenues to 35% of the County’s existing tax receipts. It is the only quantifiable goal in the approved plan, and it is ambiguous. The approved plan did not specify whether the goal was limited to real property taxes or to all taxes paid by businesses. The business community’s share of taxes is currently about 16% of all county real estate taxes, and roughly 24% of all general fund taxes collected.

In 2017 when this goal was first approved by the Board of County Supervisors, the Chamber’s Board of Directors was opposed to it…and, after hearing from County Staff on the “ins and outs” of the proposal, reaffirms that position.

An economic development goal for reducing the tax burden on county residents is laudable but goals should be achievable, strategic and measureable. Rather than relying on real estate taxes at a time when businesses are moving substantial portions of their infrastructure to the internet, the county needs to carefully review its policies and procedures to be sure that the government is strategically targeting those things that are important to the community and consistent with its long term goals. That will mean in large part that the county will update outdated policies and procedures to adapt to the new economy and diversify County revenue streams. In addition to the 35% goal being unattainable, focusing on a specific number for property taxes, like the “Moonshot Goal” will not create a diversified tax base, and will simply add to the cost of consumer goods and services within the community.

The 35% is a measurement, not a strategic goal. We strongly reaffirm our position from 2017 and encourage the Board of County Supervisors to revisit this issue and replace the measurement with a set of achievable, sustainable and measurable objectives for economic growth that will facilitate continued success for the business community and our residents.

Sincerely,

Betty Dean
Chairman
Prince William Chamber of Commerce

UMW poll shows Kaine ahead of Stewart, but race ‘likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer’

The survey, conducted September 4-9 for UMW by the national research firm SSRS, found that Kaine had a 51 percent to 33 percent margin among registered voters and a 52 percent to 36 percent margin among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Matt Waters received 5 percent support in both subsets of Virginians.

Among all respondents, Kaine held a 49 percent to 30 percent advantage. The remaining respondents were uncertain or declined to express a preference.

“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that Tim Kaine remains popular in Virginia,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “But any statewide election in ‘purple’ Virginia is likely to tighten up as the contest draws nearer.”

About one-third of those surveyed said that President Trump would be a major factor in their Senate vote, and Kaine had the support of those voters by a 60 percent to 35 percent margin. Stewart has the support of 92 percent who said they voted for Trump two years ago, while 93 percent of the Hillary Clinton supporters back Kaine, who was Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016.

The Clinton-Kaine ticket carried Virginia by more than five percentage points that year.

Among Democrats, 90 percent support Kaine. Stewart has the support of 73 percent of Republicans, and Kaine picks up 15 percent.

“By September, successful candidates usually have their partisans locked down,” Farnsworth said. “That so many Republicans favor Kaine at this point in the election is terrible news for Corey Stewart.”

There is evidence of a substantial gender gap in voter preferences. Women favored Kaine by a 52 percent to 27 percent margin. Among men, Stewart was ahead, 55 percent to 47 percent.

Among Stewart supporters, 39 percent said that immigration was the most important problem facing the country, followed by 18 percent identifying the economy and jobs. Among Kaine’s supporters, 29 percent said health care was the most important issue, as compared to 17 percent saying the economy and jobs.

Kaine has a huge advantage in Northern Virginia, where he enjoys a 63 percent to 20 percent margin, and in Tidewater, where he enjoys a 50 percent to 28 percent margin. Respondents in the western regions of the state backed Stewart by a 44 percent to 33 percent margin, his best regional performance.

Among levels of education, Stewart did best with those who did not graduate from high school, where he had a 42 percent to 29 percent advantage over Kaine. Kaine did best with those who had at least a college degree, where he had a 61 percent to 24 percent advantage.

White respondents were divided, with 42 percent expressing support for Kaine and 41 percent expressing support for Stewart. African Americans favored Kaine by 71 percent to 4 percent for Stewart, as compared to a 51 percent to 11 percent margin favoring Kaine among Latinos.

Survey Information:

The University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Survey Fall 2018 obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 801 adults, ages 18 or older, living in Virginia. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (281) and cell phone (520). The survey was conducted by SSRS. Interviews were done in English from September 4 to 9, 2018. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 4.6 percentage points. For resulted based on registered voters [N=704] the margin of sampling error is ±5.0 percentage points. For resulted based on likely voters [N=512] the margin of sampling error is ±5.8 percentage points.

Prince William County encourages voting in-person, absentee

WOODBRIDGE — (Press Release) There is a general election on Nov. 6, and Prince William County encourages all eligible residents to vote. If you aren’t available to vote on Nov. 6, there are plenty of opportunities to vote absentee, which starts on Sept. 21.
 
The list for those who are eligible to vote absentee is rather broad and allows for absentee voting under a wide array of circumstances. Those include people living outside of the country, students attending college, commuters who will be away from the county for more than 11 hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Election Day, first responders, those with a disability or illness, people with a religious obligation, and active duty military and their spouses, among others. Visit the Prince William County Office of Elections website at http://www.pwcvotes.com for a complete list of absentee voting qualifications.
 
People who wish to vote absentee will need to fill out an application https://www.elections.virginia.gov/Files/Forms/VoterForms/VirginiaAbsenteeBallotApplication.pdf and return it to the Office of Elections, located at 9250 Lee Avenue in Manassas, by Tuesday, Oct. 30, in order to request that a ballot be mailed.
 
The application can be completed in several ways. Registered voters, with the appropriate identification, who wish to vote absentee in-person can fill out the application at their designated absentee voting location and vote the same day. Designated absentee in-person voting locations in the county include:
 
· Office of Elections at 9250 Lee Avenue in Manassas
· Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library at 14870 Lightner Road in Haymarket
· Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles Office at 2713 Caton Hill Road in Woodbridge
 
People with a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles license or identification card can register to vote online https://www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/index.html at the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Those who are not registered to vote will have to wait five days for a ballot to be issued, with the exception of military and overseas voters, according to the Virginia Department of Elections website.
The following is a list of significant voting dates:
 
Sept. 21, 2018 – Absentee voting begins.
Oct. 8, 2018 – The Office of Elections and all absentee voting locations are closed.
Oct. 15, 2018 – The last day to register for the November General Election.
Oct. 30, 2018 – The deadline to request a ballot by mail for the November General Election.
Nov. 3, 2018 – The last day to vote absentee in-person for the November General election.
Nov. 6, 2018 – Election Day.
For more information, call the Prince William County Office of Elections at 703-792-6470 or email pwcvote@pwcgov.org. Find sample ballots at https://www.pwcvotes.com/copy-of-photo-id.

Eagle Scout installs medicine collection dropbox at Express Pharmacy in Lake Ridge

My name is Parth Patel, a resident of Dumfries, Virginia. I am a rising senior at Forest Park High School and a Boy Scout of America, Troop 501, Woodbridge, Virginia.

Goal:

As you may have heard that the highest rank in Boy Scout of America is the Eagle Award which includes a community service project. I am proud to inform you that I am currently pursuing to achieve this rank. The purpose of any Eagle Scout project is to help the local community in a positive way, gives an opportunity to Boys Scout to obtain a lifetime experience and develop leadership skills.

Project Details:

My project will include to purchase a medicine collection dropbox and to install it at Express Pharmacy, [Lake Ridge], Virginia. I will also be organizing a one-day event when the people of our community can come and dispose of their unwanted medication in a safe and secure disposal box located at this location. Through this event, my other scout members can educate our community the right way to dispose of their unwanted/expired medications.

Purpose of this project:

Many citizens of our community believe flushing their medication down the toilet is a safe and effortless way of disposing of but in reality, it can end up polluting our water, impacting aquatic species and contaminating our food and water supplies.

Some medications are thrown in the household trash which does not ensure that curious kids can’t get to them. There’s an epidemic of accidental poisonings from medicines from in our homes – and children are the most common victims. Human medications are the leading cause of pet poisonings, most often from trash-related toxic exposures. It is also unwise to keep those expired medications at home especially around children at home because they might find it and see those medications as candy and might try to eat it.

Project requirement:
As part of completing my eagle scout project, one of the requirements is to get the signature from a non-profit organization. I would like to request local police department to sign as beneficiary. There will be NO COST to the police department for this project.

Call to Action: Hurricane Florence, volunteer needs

Hello Prince William – Hurricane Florence is at the top of everyone’s mind along the east coast. My colleagues at the Cape Fear Volunteer Center in Wilmington, NC will be managing volunteers when it is safe to proceed. If you are interested in clearing debris, serving food, transporting supplies, answering phones and mucking out basements then please register on their website: http://www.capefearvolunteercenter.org. PLEASE DO NOT SELF DEPLOY! Keep the first responders safe and wait to be called. This is going to be a very long recovery.
 
· Youth for Tomorrow is looking for male mentors to share their time and talent with a young man. This promises to be a rewarding few hours per month, providing male youth with a positive role model to emulate. Please fill out the volunteer application at http://youthfortomorrow.org.
 
· Prince William Conservation Alliance needs volunteers for the continuing buffer restoration on Minnieville Road on 9/26, 10/3and10, 20 from 10am-12pm. Please RSVP to: alliance@pwconserve.org.
 
· Prince William Recycles Day on Saturday October 13th from 10am-2pm needs volunteers ages 12 and up to help with all the fun activities. This is a great teen project! Please contact Keep Prince William Beautiful at (571) 285-3772 or via email at: info@kpwb.org for all the latest info.
 
· The Salvation Army is gearing up for their Angel Tree Program this fall. Volunteers are needed to register families for just 2 hours a day on 9/17, 18, 19, 20 October 9, 10, 11 and 15th. at their Lake Ridge location. Please contact Shawnte Brown at (703) 580-8991 to share the joy of the season.
 
· The SERVE Shelter in Manassas is looking for volunteer groups to purchase, prepare and serve meals to the residents of the shelter. The dates needed are brunch on 10/6and 10/7, dinner on 10/14 and 10/28. Gather up your favorite recipes and friends to share with the families at SERVE. Please call Julie at (571) 748-2674 for more info.
 
· Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver noon meals to homebound seniors throughout the community. These meals are delivered Monday-Friday, no weekends, holidays and during periods of inclement weather. It takes about 2 hours to do your route and certainly can pick you day. This is a perfect job if you can flex out of work for a little extra lunch period. Please call Melodee at (703) 792-4583 to learn more.
 
· Soroptimists International of Manassas is hosting Family Night Out events at local restaurants this fall. Visit Jukebox Diner in Manassas through Nov. 22, Foster’s Grille in Old Town Manassas Sep. 27 and The Bone in Old Town Manassas Oct. 25 – a portion of your receipt will help this organization with their scholarship fund. It’s a great way to get out of fixing dinner and support a worthy cause! Please email vlatimer6069@gmail.com for more information.
 
· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers to help them at community fairs and festivals by manning their booth for a couple of hours each day. You’ll receive all the training and information needed and this is a fun way to get out and meet people. Some of the dates needed are 9/23, 9/29, 9/30, 10/8 and 10/13. Please call Nicole to learn more at (571) 285-3772.
 
· Give the gift of literacy to local adults! Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William is seeking volunteer tutors. Previous experience is not necessary. The next Tutor Training Workshop is November 3rd, 8:45 am-4pm and November 17th, 9am-12pm. Attendance both days is required. Please register at (703) 670-5702 or lvapw@aol.com.
 
· Prince William Forest Park is hosting National Public Lands Day September 22, 8:30am-1:00pm at Cabin Camp 2. Volunteers must be at least 10 years old. Please email Kerri at kerri_syrus@nps.gov to learn how you can help.
 
· Hylton Performing Arts Center is hosting Songwriting Series for Military Children, a three-part series of music and songwriting. Scheduled dates are September 22, October 6 and October 20, 1pm-3pm each day. The workshop is Free and open to military children ages 8-17. Kids can create their own song during the series and share it at Celebrating Veterans and the Arts at the Hylton Center on November 10. No prior experience necessary, and what a great way to honor our veterans! Please visit http://hyltoncenter.org/veterans for more information and to register.
 
· The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation needs volunteers to help at the Prince William Half Marathon Sunday, September 30. This super fun event is at Jiffy Lube Live! Tasks include handing out water to the runners or manning the beer garden. This is a family-friendly event for all ages 12 and up. Please visit their website for all the specifics at http://princewilliamhalfmarathon.com.
 
· Mark your calendars for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday October 20 in Old Town Manassas. Volunteers are needed for set-up, refreshments, advocacy, finish line brigade and route monitoring. You can sign up online at http://bit.ly/ALZWalkManassas or email Ben at bedonnelly@alz.org to learn more.
 
· ACTS is seeking volunteer groups of all sizes to assist with ongoing landscaping and beautification of the Beverly Warren Emergency Shelter. Weekday/weekend opportunities are available. It’s a wonderful team project for your office, and a great way to give back to the community! Please visit http://actspwc.org, click on Volunteer and fill out a group application for consideration, or contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.org to learn more.
 
· The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to deliver noon meals through the Meals on Wheels Program. Shifts are just 2-3 hours and available in throughout the greater area. RSVP members receive a mileage reimbursement and additional insurance coverage at no cost to the volunteer. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 to learn more.
 
· If you’re an administrative genius, Streetlight Community Ministries wants to meet you! They have an urgent need for volunteer office workers on weekdays to help with basic admin duties, along with those fun, last-minute projects that always spring up. Not only will you be supporting the staff, you’ll also be helping to support the homeless clients Streetlight serves, a win-win all around! Please email cbenner@thestreetlight.org to learn how you can make a difference.
 
If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 2, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our website at http://www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Woodbridge and Manassas college students keeping busy

Two college students, one from Woodbridge, one from Manassas, are staying busy out of state. From two press releases:

Jade Graves, of Woodbridge, VA, started coursework at Fort Lewis College, Colorado. Graves’s major is Writing.

Nicholas Alford of Manassas, VA, studied Arabic language & culture in Morocco during summer 2018. Alford is a junior majoring in modern languages/Arabic at University of North Georgia (UNG).

Chick-fil-A Bristow’s charity golf tournament will benefit Patriot High School students working to make a better life

James Newman dreams of becoming a pilot. 

The 17-year-old student at Patriot High School is interested in all things aviation. Like most his age, he’s into video games. His favorite — a flight simulator. 

But before he can work is way into a career in the field of aviation, this teenager, like most is working a part-time job. He’s a barista at Starbucks. 

But, unlike other students, Newman is getting school credit for his work. 

He’s enrolled in a class called EMPLOY and life skills, where as many as 40 Patriot students, all with varying places on the autism spectrum, learn everything from basic life skills to the wherewithal of going out into the real world and working a job. 

“I come in with a smile. Even if its a crappy day, I try to make the customers happy,” said Newman.  

He’s worked at Starbucks for a year. Thanks to the EMPLOY class and his instructors, he’s learned simple tasks like how to make the correct change from a cash register to larger responsibilities, like household budgeting. 

“I knew what a paycheck was. I knew how to spend a paycheck but I didn’t know how to budget it,” he adds. 

Ryan Carter, 16, is also in the class. He’s into cooking food and riding rollercoasters. He’s got a YouTube channel of videos dedicated to the more than 80 coasters he’s ridden. 

To reach that number, he had to overcome his initial fear of coasters. Now, he hopes he can put that same determination into his future career. 

“I want to be a chef,” he said. 

He’s known for his own version of shrimp scampi, which includes a mixture of jumbo shrimp and jalapeño poppers. At home, and here at school, he’s encouraged to try new things. 

Tricia Weate and Brook Bell run the program at Patriot High School. Some students are enrolled in the life skills program where they get coaching on how to develop social skills and perform regular tasks. 

They learn the basics of kitchen food preparation and cooking, starting with washing hands, wearing gloves, using measuring cups, and it ends with making a meal.

They work the school’s mailroom, slotting mail for staff members to 237 mailboxes. They help set up and break down lunch shifts in the cafeteria.

In their classroom, they run a screen printing operation where they make t-shirts to raise awareness for autism.  

Other students in the program leave campus and go to restaurants and retail stores, where they work alongside their fellow employees. At Nando’s Peri Peri in Gainesville, some students greet restaurant guests, while others make food. At Fosters Grill, students deliver food. 

“They’re brilliant. We just want the community to see what we see,” said Bell. 

And some businesses have, like Smoothie King, which began providing their EMPLOY student workers with instructions on how to make drinks using color codes. It makes the process easier for them to understand. 

The instructors work with at least 20 community businesses and are always looking for more on which to partner. Some students are paid, while some work for class credit. 

“It’s not free labor. It’s also not ‘you’re so cute, let me help you out,” said Weate. “We want them to treat them like they treat their own staff.” 

“We don’t want sugar-coating. We want the real deal,” added Bell. 

The instructors are always looking for more funding for materials to teach their students, whether it be measuring cups or a replacement cash register to use in the classroom, something the program is in need of. 

The Second Annual Chick-fil-A Bristow Charity Golf Tournament on September 22 at Broad Run Golf & Practice Facility aims to do just that. The 18-hole four, four-person team event will welcome players at 8 a.m. for registration, and then they’ll take to the course for a 9 a.m. shotgun start. 

Chick-fil-A Bristow is looking for golfers for the event. It’s $75 for the public, $60 for cardholders, and $40 for full Broad Run Members. It includes a golf cart, range, and a lunch buffet. 

They’re also in need of corporate sponsors for the event. If you’re interested in playing or sponsoring, Chick-fil-A’s Susan Campbell would love to hear from you.

The proceeds from this charity golf tournament will go to benefit the children enrolled in the EMPLOY and life skills program at Patriot High School. 

“Without them starting this EMPLOY program, I would not have a job,” said Newman. “This class shows me there are many options out there for me.” 

Caustic substance attack, unlawful filming, school threats, shooting investigations in Woodbridge, Dumfries

September 8 through 12, investigations were launched on cases involving a caustic substance attack, unlawful filming, two school threats and a shooting in Woodbridge and Dumfries. From two Prince William police press releases:

Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance – On September 11 at 8:15PM, officers responded to the area of Minnieville Rd and Prince William Pkwy in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate an assault of a Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) bus driver. The driver, a 55-year-old man, reported to police that he was operating a PRTC bus in the above area when he observed an unknown male running alongside the bus. When the bus stopped at the intersection due to traffic, the male began banging on the bus and demanded that the door be opened. When the driver refused, the male stood in front of the bus blocking it from moving. The male then returned to the bus door and kicked out one of the lower windows on the door. The suspect was then able to reach inside and open the door. The suspect then entered the bus, sprayed the driver with an unknown substance causing minor injuries to the driver, and then fled the area on foot. A police K-9 responded and searched for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

                Suspect Description:

Black male, in his 30s, 6’00”, with short black hair and brown eyes

Last seen wearing white shirt and pants

Unlawful Filming – On September 8 at 5:24PM, officers responded to the Walmart located at 17041 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Dumfries (22026) to investigate an unlawful filming that occurred earlier that evening around 4:30PM. The victim, a 22-year-old woman, reported to police that she was using the restroom inside the store when she observed an unknown man slip a cell phone underneath the stall door and possibly record or photograph her. The victim immediately ran out of the restroom and notified a store employee who contacted police. No additional contact was made between the victim and the suspect. Officers searched the area for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

                Suspect Description:

White male, middle aged, 5’7 and 160lbs, with a medium build, dark hair, and full beard

                Last seen wearing black shirt, grey jeans, and round glasses

Threats to School Grounds – On September 10 at 6:12PM, officers received information from the Connecticut State Police concerning a potential threat of violence at an unspecified school in Connecticut. The investigation revealed that a 17-year-old male of Dumfries was playing the online video game “Fortnite” with another juvenile gamer who lived in Connecticut when he threatened an act of violence at the school of the other gamer. Officers subsequently located the accused and determined that the threat was not credible. Following the investigation, the accused was charged. The case will be handled through Juvenile Intake.

Charged on September 11: [Juvenile]

A 17-year-old male of Dumfries

Charged with threats over public airways

Threats to Bomb on School Grounds – On September 12 at 11:38AM, a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Potomac Middle School located at 3130 Panther Pride Dr in Dumfries (22026) was notified by school staff of a note that was found written on a piece of paper in one of the classrooms threatening to bomb the school. Students, faculty, and staff were immediately evacuated from the building as a precaution. The SRO quickly identified the suspect involved as a 12-year-old male student and determined that the threat was not credible. Following the investigation, the SRO obtained a petition for the student who was served and released to the custody of a family member. The case will be handled through Juvenile Intake.

Charged on September 12: [Juvenile]

A 12-year-old male of Dumfries

Charged with knowingly communicating a false threat to bomb

Shooting Investigation | Armed Robbery – On September 11 at 1:18AM, officers responded to the 16800 block of Jefferson Davis Hwy in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a shooting. The victim, a 25-year-old man, reported to police that he was sitting in his vehicle, which was parked in the 3100 block of Chesapeake Dr, when he was approached by three males brandishing handguns. During the encounter, the suspects assaulted the victim and took the victim’s keys, cell phone and money when they rummaged through his pockets. When the victim run away from the suspects, several shots were fired. The victim ran into a nearby business where he contacted police. A short time later, a responding officer located the victim’s stolen vehicle in the area of Larkin Dr. The vehicle drove to the dead end of Yew Grove Dr where the driver and a passenger bailed out and fled the area on foot. A police K-9 searched for the suspects who were not located. No injuries or property damage were reported because of the shooting. Minor injuries were reported by the victim. The investigation continues.

            Suspect Descriptions:

One white male with long brown hair and two black males – no further descriptions are available at this time

Dedicated to her job, motivated by family, Sentara tech celebrates son’s recent success

It’s National Environmental Services Week. Environmental Service technicians play a critical role in the day to day operations of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

While you may see these members of the team focused on keeping our hospital clean and free of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), there is more to this dedicated staff, filled with people like Barbara Boateng.

For the last two years, Barbara has worked at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. She’s quick to offer a smile and a helping hand, making sure the medical offices and hospital rooms are cleaned to Sentara Healthcare’s rigorous standards.  

“Barbara is truly one of our shining stars within Sentara and the Sentara Northern Virginia Environmental Services Department. She exemplifies everything wonderful about working in healthcare,” explains Barbara’s boss, Kevin Smith, Director of Environmental Services.

While Barbara is dedicated to her job, she’s motivated by her family. She and her husband, Clement, immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana to provide a better life for their three children. Earlier this summer, years of hard work paid off when the family’s eldest son, Akwasi, graduated from college with a criminal justice degree and a minor in information technology.

“We were so happy! It’s exciting to see your son striving to fulfill his dreams and then accomplishing them. We were so proud!” says Barbara, remembering the moment she saw her son crossing the stage and receiving his diploma from Radford University.

It’s a hope every parent has for their child.

“The dream I have for my children is for all of them to become successful in the future in everything they pursue,” explains Barbara.

Her son graduating from college is the culmination of that. It’s something he realizes.

“After all the hard work, I could finally say I made it across the stage. I was very grateful to have them by my side to support me throughout my college years. It was definitely a joyful moment, I felt like a proud son,” Akwasi explains.

This achievement is something Akwasi doesn’t take for granted, he realizes the immense sacrifices his parents have made for him, his brother and sister.

They have dedicated their lives to helping us achieve, by supporting us in everything we do and making sure we get everything we need.”

Smith sees Barbara’s hard work and determination every day.

“Barbara working at Sentara to put her son through college and watching him graduate is truly a wonderful achievement and should be an inspiration to many, that anything is possible in this country.”

Smith says Barbara represents the commitment that exists within his department and the hospital.

“Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, just like the community it serves, is home to a very diverse workforce. The diversity of our staff allows the hospital team to reach our patients in some ways that many hospitals may struggle. Barbara is a perfect example of how you can come to this country, work hard, and achieve things for yourself and your family that may not be possible in your country of origin.”

This Environmental Services Week (September 9 – 15), Smith is celebrating his team and heralding their accomplishments.

Multiple service techs have earned the national healthcare accreditation, “CHEST,” or Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician.  Several others will participate in another CHEST training later this year. The certification indicates the user is skilled in the most effective and innovative technologies in infection prevention. 

“Our Environmental Service technicians are the first line of defense and have played a vital role in Sentara Healthcare initiatives. I’m just so proud of my team!” says Smith.

To learn more about joining Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s award-winning team, visit sentaracareers.com.

Public hearing for Neabsco Mills Road widening planned

WOODBRIDGE — (Press Release) The Prince William County Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing regarding the design of the proposed Neabsco Mills Road widening project between

U.S. 1 and Smoke Court. The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Freedom High School, 15201 Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge, from 7-9 p.m.
 
The proposed project would widen 4,300 feet along Neabsco Mills Road from a two-lane street to a four-lane divided roadway with a five-foot sidewalk
on one side of the road and a 10-foot multi-use path on the other.
 
During the meeting, the department will touch on the effects the proposed project will have on properties along the route, environmental concerns, and historical impacts. The meeting will include a presentation, a question and answer session and a breakout group session for discussion about the project.
 
The public can preview the public hearing plans at the Department of Transportation’s office at 5 County Complex Court, Suite 290, Prince William, Va.,
22192, prior to the hearing. Please call 703-792-6825 for staff availability.
 
Written or verbal comments about the project will be received at the meeting, and can also be submitted to the transportation office or emailed to GArboleda@pwcgov.org  Please reference “Neabsco Mills Road Widen to Four Lanes Design Public Hearing Comments” in the subject heading.
 
The project, which the county’s transportation department is administering for the Virginia Department of Transportation, is estimated to cost roughly
$35 million in local, regional, state and federal funding, said the department’s Project Manager Gladis Arboleda. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020 with a completion date set for the fall of 2022.
 
People are ready for the improvements, Arboleda said. “They really want this project to be done as soon as possible because Neabsco Mills is just two
lanes. We also have the high school and Northern Virginia Community College there. So, the shared-use path and sidewalk will benefit students.”
 

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William Executive Director Kendra Kielbasa relocates

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William’s Executive Director Kendra Kielbasa has decided to relocate with her husband who has accepted a new position in Pennsylvania. She will continue to support the organization during the transition. From the press release:

Leadership Transition at Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
From Larry Hughes, Chairman Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW)

It is with mixed emotions that I share this update with you. Kendra Kielbasa, our Executive Director, has moved to State College, Pennsylvania to join her husband who accepted a new position in that area. While we are happy for Kendra and the opportunities that await her, we are very sad to see her leave. Fortunately, Kendra has agreed to continue to provide support to SBGPW during the transition.

Under Kendra’s leadership, we have made great strides for young children and their families in our community. We are grateful for her relationship-building skills that have fostered partnerships and collaborations and have brought in a team of highly adept volunteers who provide the backbone for our programs and initiatives. We wish to thank Kendra for dedication which resulted in numerous achievements, including:

An increase of over 1,100% of at-risk four-year-olds who receive quality pre-school through Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)
Providing over 6,000 newborns their first book and literacy support kit through Books 4 Babies
Launching Directors Forums which support the professional development, networking, and collaboration of area child care directors
Partnering with higher education (NOVA) to provide professional development and training to over 300 early childhood professionals
Establishing of our School Readiness Committee which provides Parenting Education and Support, and professional development to Early Childhood Professionals
Distributing over 2,000 literacy kits to rising kindergarteners who have never been to preschool
Smart Beginnings 4 Tomorrow’s Workforce, a sold-out event highlighting the business case for early childhood. Key-note speakers and collaborators were from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Center for Education and Workforce
Healthy Initiatives and Obesity Prevention training through CDC and Nemours Health Initiative, benefiting thousands of area children in a childcare setting.

It is our intent and priority to continue the work and growth that SBGPW is experiencing. This is a priority for Kendra and our entire Board of Directors. Here is what you need to know:

Our priorities remain the same; 1) Increase pre-literacy skills, 2) Increase access to high quality early learning, 3) comprehensive health, and 4) increased community awareness of the critical window of opportunity that exists during early childhood.

Kendra, kkielbasa@smartbeginningsgpw.org will continue to support SBGPW with consulting and coordination services on a modified schedule until a new Executive Director is identified.
 
Gina Parr, gparr@smartbeginningsgpw.org remains as our part-time Outreach Liaison.
 
Sharon Henry, Executive Director, SPARK, remains as the fiscal agent for SBGPW.
 
The following initiatives will continue as follows throughout the current school year:
 
School Readiness Committee – Chairman, Debi Stepien, dstep211@gmail.com. Typically meets the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Head Start Offices, 14715 Joplin Rd., Manassas, 20112 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am. The next meeting is on September 25th.
 
Parent Training and Engagement will continue through the School Readiness Committee. There is a calendar of scheduled presentations throughout the school year.
 
The Directors Forums will continue a regular schedule. This committee is part of the School Readiness Committee.
 
Books 4 Babies will continue to provide books and support materials to newborns at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center and Novant Health UVA Haymarket Medical Center.
 
In-person representation on advisory boards, committees, boards, etc. will be picked-up by SBGPW Board members or Volunteers. Please reach out to Kendra to see how this will best work for your organization.
 
We can not thank Kendra enough for her leadership, dedication, and passion. She will truly be missed by the Board, staff, volunteers, and partners. We look forward to following her and are happy about the opportunity for Kendra and her family. With your continued support, we will remain diligent in our quest to increase kindergarten readiness, both as an educational initiative and as a workforce development initiative. If you have questions during this transition, you may reach out to Kendra at kkielbasa@smartbeginningsgpw.org or Sharon Henry at henrysw@pwcs.edu.
 
Sincerely,
Larry Hughes, Chairman, Board of Directors, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
 
From Kendra Kielbasa, Executive Director, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
 
After nearly seven years with Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW), it is time to transition to a different role. I’ll be joining my husband in Pennsylvania where he has relocated due to a new career opportunity. While I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter, I am confident the forward momentum in our local early childhood initiatives will continue to grow at an increasing rate.
 
I am so grateful to those individuals and organizations who have been supportive of both SBGPW and me personally over the years. This gratitude extends to board members, volunteers, partners, and funders. You have grown this organization, made it what it is, and the laid the groundwork for what is yet to come. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to lead this organization as we have grown in both awareness and improved early childhood well-being in our area. I look forward with much anticipation to see the growth that I know is coming.
 
All the best,
Kendra

Stewart proposes $1 billion bond for county infrastructure spending

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New ad campaign aims to change the stigma of senior living centers

 
The thought of checking mom or dad into a senior living home usually doesn’t evoke smiles. 
 
A new advertising campaign aims to change that.
 
Thrive Senior Living, the company that owns and operates Tribute at The Glen in Woodbridge and Tribute and Heritage Village in Gainesville, has launched a new tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign to call attention to the changing face of senior care.
 
Their campaign features cheeky statements like, “They built you a mother-in-law suite. Too bad it comes with a son-in-law,” and “There’s a very good chance she could leave it all to the dog. We’ll give you a leg up.”  
 
“At Thrive, we believe standards for senior living have been too low for too long,” said Les Strech, President of Thrive, in a press release. “The benchmark of ‘providing great care’ causes residents to feel like objects in need of care — rather than individuals with a purpose and a great deal to offer others.  Thrive creates an environment where older adults can build new and meaningful relationships, and ‘great care’ follows as a natural result. Our new campaign intentionally crosses a line and illustrates our non-traditional approach. While we can grow gardenias and bake a killer cupcake with the best of them, this campaign illustrates our commitment to our residents’ greater wellbeing and sense of purpose.”
 
“When I first got involved with the senior living industry, I was honestly mortified, and I started looking into what our competitors were like. There was no life in the building, there was no energy, there was no excitement, you could tell there wasn’t a lot of thought put into the design. With that very first community I vowed, I’m going to do this differently,” said Jeremy Ragsdale, president and founder, in an interview on the company’s YouTube channel.
 
Thrive Senior Living provides assisted living and memory care communities that are disrupting the industry of elder care. Rather than simply providing a care facility, they are creating communities where seniors can thrive instead of just surviving. Seniors enjoy amenities like cocktail hours and fine dining. They promote independence and assist their members 24 hours a day.  
 
Thrive currently operates communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
 
This post is brought to you by Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas whose caregivers work with senior residents at Tribute at The Glen in Woodbridge and Tribute and Heritage Village in Gainesville every day. 
 
 

First CEO appointed to National Museum of Americans in Wartime expects visitor center built by 2019

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Weekend brings cases of malicious wounding, indecent exposure, threats to bodily harm, strangulation

Prince William police were involved in cases of malicious wounding, indecent exposure, threats to bodily harm and strangulation over the weekend. From the Prince William police report:

Aggravated Malicious Wounding – On September 9 at 2:54AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 12900 block of Robert Ridge Ct in Bristow (20136) to investigate a fight. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 53-year-old man, was attending a party at a residence in the above area when he was assaulted by two unknown men. During the encounter, one of the men struck the victim on the head with a glass bottle. Both of the men continued to assault the victim after he fell to the ground. The parties eventually separated and the police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, officers identified one of the men and arrested him without incident at his residence later that morning. The investigation continues.

                Arrested on September 9:

                Brian Alexis SALAZAR, 27, of 8665 Night Watch Ct in Bristow

                Charged with aggravated malicious wounding

                Court Date: October 26, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Indecent Exposure – On September 7 at 9:35PM, officers responded to the area of Dumfries Rd and Exeter Dr in Dumfries (22025) to investigate an indecent exposure. Several callers reported to police that an unknown man was seen walking around without any clothes on. Officers arrived and located the accused walking in the area naked and intoxicated. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Eric James PEZELEY, was charged.

                Arrested on September 7:

                Eric James PEZELEY, 33, of no fixed address

                Charged with indecent exposure and public intoxication

                Court Date: November 7, 2018 | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Threats of Bodily Harm – On September 7 at 7:16PM, officers responded to a residence located in Woodbridge (22193) to investigate a report of threatening text messages. The victim, a 27-year-old woman, reported to police that she had received several threatening text messages from the accused, an acquaintance, which suggested an act of violence against the victim and her two children. Following the investigation, officers obtained arrest warrants for the accused. When officers responded to his residence, he barricaded himself inside of an upstairs bedroom. Officers with the Crisis Intervention Team and Crisis Negotiation Team attempted to convince the accused to come out unsuccessfully. After several hours, members of the SWAT team forced entry into the room and detained the accused without further incident. No injuries were reported. The accused was also wanted on an unrelated charge of felony child neglect.

Arrested on September 8:

Michael Brian ALLEN, 27, of 3209 Burbank Ln in Woodbridge

Charged with 3 counts of communicating a threat of bodily harm over electronic means

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

Strangulation | Domestic Related – On September 7 at 4:20PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 15700 block of John Diskins Dr in Woodbridge (22191) to investigate a domestic assault. The investigation revealed that the accused was involved in a verbal altercation with two family member, identified as a 43-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl, which escalated. During the encounter, the accused began to punch the 43-year-old woman. When the 12-year-old girl intervened, the accused struck the girl in the head then put her in a chokehold. The accused continued to kick the girl as she was on the ground. The parties eventually separated and the police were contacted. Minor injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused, identified as Amr Bakr MOHAMMED, was arrested.

                Arrested on September 7:

Amr Bakr MOHAMMED, 51, of the 15700 block of John Diskins Dr in Woodbridge

Charged with 1 count of strangulation, 1 count of malicious wounding, and 2 counts of domestic assault & battery

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT bond

 

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