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Helping seniors through change and loss

Change happens to us all. So does loss. But for seniors, it starts happening more frequently, becoming an often unwelcome part of everyday life.

Whether it be the change in appearance as a result of aging, the loss of mobility or the death of a friend, life gets shaken up when things don’t remain the same. Sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes, when loss is involved, it causes grief. Especially if you care for a senior, here’s what you need to know.

Grief happens in stages

Most people have heard that grief comes in stages. What’s lesser known though, is these stages don’t have to come in any specific order and can be revisited multiple times.
 
The stages of grief can include shock, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Shock – Shock occurs initially when the loss happens, whether it is expected or not. It’s hard to deal with, but probably the best thing you can do is just be there for the senior in your care and acknowledge the reality of what has happened.

Anger – Anger can have many roots and various expressions. For example, a lack of preparation for a loss often fuels anger. If you’re caring for a senior who is angry about loss, validate that it is okay to be angry.

Denial – Denial occurs when a person does not want to recognize the truth. In this case, the senior in your care might not want to acknowledge loss. As a caregiver, it’s not your job to bring anyone down with harsh reminders. Gently referring to the loss, you can help by pointing out happy memories that remain.

Bargaining – Bargaining is an often misunderstood stage of grief. The senior in your care might try to offer something to change the reality of the loss, in hopes that the circumstance will remain the same. For example, they might say, “If my friend makes it out of surgery, I’ll never utter a bad word about her again.” You can help just by listening.

Depression – Depression is common for seniors, as it is for anyone faced with grief. This emotional stage is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. While depression is normal to some extent, lingering depression is unhealthy. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to find things they like to do.

Testing – Testing is a mechanism people use when they are coming to terms with loss. Seniors in the testing stage cautiously consider the reality that staying in a deep, dark hole forever is not an option. When testing is successful, they start coming up with alternatives that will help them feel better. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to talk and explore their feelings and perceptions.

Acceptance – Acceptance happens when the loss is incorporated into the sum of the person’s experience. In this stage, the senior in your care might recognize the loss as just another part of life. Once this happens, they can move on.

Navigating through these stages can be tricky.  At times seniors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of losses they have to process. It is important to provide supportive, nurturing outlets for seniors, so they can get through this natural part of life.  A listening ear and a helping hand go a long way to getting your senior through this trying time.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Wanted suspect captured at Woodbridge supermarket

WOODBRIDGE — Police captured a man wanted for armed robbery.

Officers tracked the suspect to J&J International Market at 16593 River Ridge Boulevard in Woodbridge just before 3 p.m.

Police evacuated the store and sent in K-9 units to find the suspect. He was reported to be inside the store, however, it’s unclear where the suspect was found.

Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus says the suspect was taken into custody without incident. He did not release the suspect’s name.

Before the arrest, police did a door-to-door search of businesses next to J&J Market in the River Oaks shopping center searching or their man. He was said to be wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans, and a backpack.

Police dispatched K-9 units to the rear of the store to search for the suspect. Police also searched the nearby Chesapeake Apartments.

Virginia State Police troopers and officers from the Dumfries Town Police Department assisted in the search. 

Probus told us more information about the suspect will be released on Wednesday, July 28. 

Fire crews work to save cats at Lake Ridge townhouse fire

LAKE RIDGE — At least 10 cats were pulled from a burning townhouse about noon Monday.

Fire and rescue crews were called to the 12600 block of Dulcinea Place in Lake Ridge at 11:48 a.m. for a report of a kitchen fire.

The fire was brought under control shortly after fire crews arrived. No one was injured.

Fire found multiple cats inside the house. Crews worked to resuscitate some of the cats.

The home was occupied by one elderly woman at the time of the fire, according to initial reports.

‘Roderick McCree of Woodbridge, Va. graduated with an online BS Business Management from Grantham University’

From an email: 

Roderick McCree of Woodbridge, Va. graduated with an online BS Business Management from Grantham University, a 100% online university.

“The Grantham family congratulates Roderick on this accomplishment!” said Scott Andrews, Grantham University president and chief executive officer. “It gives us great pleasure for our graduates to embark on the next exciting chapter of their lives, with quality education that will help set them up for success.”

Grantham provides flexible, attainable online education options that allow students to complete their degree and graduate each week of the year. In fact, the University’s undergraduate tuition has remained the same since 2007, and its graduate-level tuition has stayed the same since 2011. Students may choose from more than 50 online undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs at Grantham University.

Body found near path in Marumsco Acre Lake Park

From Prince William police: 

Death Investigation – On July 13 at 6:47AM, officers responded to investigate a body that was located in the 14400 block of Melbourne Ave in Woodbridge (22191). A citizen called police after discovering the body while walking along a path in Marumsco Acre Lake Park. The body, an adult male, was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manassas for an autopsy and further analysis to determine the cause of death. The victim’s identity will be release once next-of-kin has been notified. At this time, there is no public threat or need for concern. More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.

Woodbridge Army vet gets free home roof replacement

An Army veteran who lives in the 13000 block of Bottner Court in Woodbridge, just off Horner Road, had her roof replaced for free on Friday, July 13, 2018.

From an email: 

Owens Corning Platinum Contractors are working with Purple Heart Homes to provide new roofs to veterans in need and their families as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project.

Blanca Davila-Pabon, who served as a staff sergeant in the Army, will receive a new roof on Friday, July 13, from Dreamhome Remodeling Inc., an Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Contractor. This nationwide effort is a way to show gratitude and honor the veterans who served our country and the families who support them.

Owens Corning Roofing and its network of independent Platinum Contractors, along with support from the Owens Corning Foundation, are donating roofing materials and labor to replace roofing shingles on the homes of military veterans and their families throughout the country. Through a partnership with Purple Heart Homes, Blanca Davila-Pabon was selected and approved as the recipient for the roof replacement.

Drastic 2017 crime stat swings: Rapes increase while murder rate plunges

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Helping first-time homebuyers navigate a tight market: 3 key steps from The Fauquier Bank

When it comes to purchasing a home, Mary Ann Andrews of The Fauquier Bank recommends buyers come in for a personal consultation, especially those who’ve never previously been through the complex process.

Buying a home can be daunting, between learning the lingo and understanding the financing. And given the current market conditions and limited housing inventory — which has sparked multiple offers and price bidding — it’s essential to know what you’re doing.

That’s where Andrews comes in.

“There’s so much you need to know,” says Andrews, NMLS # 482462, a TFB vice president and mortgage originator. “I like to sit down and explain how the process works.”

With first-time buyers, she adds, “I go over everything, just to get them comfortable with the language and the process.”

For tech-savvy potential buyers, it may seem tempting to do things online. But Andrews says there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

“You can understand their needs,” she explains. “You can give them so much more information and discuss so many more options.”

Andrews can meet potential buyers at any of TFB’s 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

For first-time buyers, Andrews follows a specific process. First things first: do your homework.

“Do your research and check out the area where you’re looking,” she advises. “You need to get with a realtor. And you need to find out what the taxes are and find out what the HOA fees are.” 

First-time buyers should follow these three key steps:

1. Prepare Financially: Begin by checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and figuring out how much you can afford to spend. Then meet with a mortgage originator to get pre-approved.

2. Understand Mortgages: Evaluate the different types of mortgage loans that are available and which works best for your situation.

3. Start Shopping: Look for a house that fits your needs and budget, then put in an offer. Gather the necessary documents for the loan processing and closing process.

NMLS #462668

Join us for a First-Time Homebuyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at BadWolf Brewing Company, 9776 Center St. in Manassas. Our mortgage originators will be available to answer questions. RSVP at 540-349-0202.

Trailers, trash truck burn on Featherstone Road

WOODBRIDGE — It wasn’t quite a dumpster fire, but burning garbage was a hot problem Thursday.

Fire and rescue crews were called to a moving an storage firm at 1250 Featherstone Road in Woodbridge at 11:34 a.m.

A garbage truck caught fire and flames extended to two nearby tractor trailers, said Battalion Chief Jason Reese. 

No one was injured.

The trailers contained cardboard boxes. It’s unclear what was on the garbage truck. 

The fire is under investigation.

By 1 o’clock, Prince William County fire and rescue crews had the blaze well under control. Fire crews were seen drinking water to stay hydrated in temperatures that hovered in the mid-80s.

 

 

 

Updated: Girl, 15, missing from Woodbridge home

From Prince William police: 

*MISSING ENDANGERED JUVENILE: The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing and endangered juvenile, Ana Maria HERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ.

The investigation revealed Ana Maria was last seen at her residence on Stafford Street in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County at approximately 1:18PM on July 5. Ana Maria is believed to be missing under circumstances that indicate her physical safety may be in jeopardy, which qualifies her as being endangered.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of this juvenile is asked to contact Prince William County police at 703-792-6500 or your local police department.

Ana Maria HERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ is described as a white female, 15 years of age, 5’3”, 100 lbs with black hair and brown eyes. Last seen wearing a white shirt and black capri pants.

Updated July 15, 2018

From Prince William police: 

*UPDATE: Ana Maria HERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, who was reported as missing and endangered, has been located and is safe

Enlarged prostate happens to every guy. There’s a new way to treat it at Sentara.

It’s one of the most common health issues for men as they grow older.

“As gentlemen age, the testosterone that’s in their body fuels the growth of their prostate so every guy that has testosterone and a prostate, it will eventually get larger. It happens in different rates in different people, but happens,” explains John B. Klein, M.D. of Potomac Urology.   

Even though it may not be commonly discussed, every day Dr. Klein sees patients suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH.)

Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting and stopping urination, inability to completely empty the bladder and frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

“Urinary symptoms do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer, a majority of the time they’re from benign enlargement of the prostate. However, you can have prostate cancer and benign enlargement of the prostate –so it’s important to evaluate for both concurrently,” explains Dr. Klein.

Once the prostate screening comes back negative, there are a number of options to treat an enlarged prostate, everything from daily medications and in-office procedures to outpatient surgeries.

Dr. Klein was recently recognized as a Rezum Center of Excellence for his expertise in treating BPH. While pills to treat BPH have been around for years, Dr. Klein finds many of his patients discontinue taking those medicines because of side effects like dizziness and adverse effects to sexual function.

Rezum® is one of the minimally invasive procedures offered in office and takes just minutes to perform using steam to decrease the prostate. Laser enucleation of the prostate is another option.

Dr. Klein says this outpatient procedure has been offered at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center for the last 11 months and is ideal for patients with moderate and larger prostates. The newest option Sentara Northern Virginia is offering BPH patients is Aquablation, a surgery using water to resect the prostate.

The developments are exciting for Dr. Klein who looks forward to sharing the news with the community.

“This is one of the only centers in Northern Virginia that performs all three of these treatments options. It basically gives people a one-stop shop for their treatment, no matter size and shape of their prostate.”

Volunteers needed for the Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 21

Good Morning Prince William – Volunteers needed for the Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 21st.  This event is sponsored by The Philadelphia Tavern, Sinistral Brewing and Volunteer Prince William to benefit The Un-Tim-A-Tree Holiday Gift program for needy kids. Duties include selling drink tickets and checking IDs.  3 shifts available- 12noon-3pm, 3pm-6pm and 6-pm-9pm.  This is a fun, family event on Main Street, Old Town Manassas with raffles, giveaways, games, food, drinks and Santa!  Please sign up to help at mfoley@volunteerprincewilliam.org.  This promises to be great fun!

Prince William Soil & Water Conservation is having their next water quality monitoring event on Thursday July 12th at Evergreen Acres in Nokesville, 9:30-noon. Come learn about the health of local streams and how they interact with land uses.  Please call Veronica at (571) 379-7514 for more info.

ACTS needs volunteers to remove the flower beds in front of the thrift store on Tuesday and Thursday mornings starting July 10th. Please email Tamika for more info at: tmartin@actspec.org.

RSVP – The retired and Senior Volunteer Program is looking for volunteer’s age 55+ to deliver noon meals through the Meals on Wheels Program. Shrifts 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.

CASA Children’s Intervention Services needs volunteer advocates to help protect abused and neglected children in our community. You’ll receive fantastic training to give you all the skills needed to help these kids.  Please email Suzanne at: smitchell@casacis.org to learn more about the program and register for the next orientation session.

PW Conservation Alliance has several fun workdays coming up.  Please join them on the workdays of   July 20 and August 4th at Merrimac Farm, 9am-12noon.  It feels good to get your hands dirty.  Please RSVP for these events at (703) 490-5200 or via email at: alliance@pwconserve.org.

Care Net PRCs is looking for bilingual volunteers to help in their office in Manassas.  They are also having a movie event on July 14th, 7pm at Manassas Baptist Church. Come see the inspiring movie – I can Only Imagine.  Please email Kirk at crc@carenetprcs.org for more info.

K9s Serving Vets in Triangle, Virginia supports the process of partnering the vet with a service dog.  They assist from start to finish that will in the end change the veteran’s life.  Please consider donating to them on line at: k9sservingvets.org.

The PW Crime Prevention Council is looking for new volunteer members to promote safe communities.  The Council meeting the 2nd. Monday of the month at 7:30pm at 1 County Complex. Please register on the website at: pwcpc.org.

Virginia Cooperative Extension needs volunteers to lead financial seminars in Manassas and/or Woodbridge area.  Please email Victoria for more specifics at: smartmoney@pwcgov.org.

Mark your calendars for Saturday August 25th for the 3rd Annual Farm to Table event to support the Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation at Windy Knoll Farm. The event runs from 3-8pm with 2 seating’s for dinner.  Tickets are just $40 for adults, $20 for children 13-18 and free for kids under 12.  There will be local vendors, artisan and farm sponsors and antique equipment.  It promises to fun for the entire family.  You can buy tickets on line at: princewilliamfarm2table2018.eventbrite.com.

The Manassas Senior Center is looking for a volunteer to teach crafts to the members of the center each week.  Come share your love of knitting, crocheting, painting, ceramics and such with others. Please call Jan at (571) 292-5307 for more info.  They also would love a volunteer to teach Sign Language class as well.  It’s a great way to share your skill. Please call Sue at 703-792-7154 to learn more.

Youth for Tomorrow is looking for volunteers to share hobbies and interests with the kids on weekends. If you have a little time please bring your interest to share with them such as sewing, gardening, cooking, golf, arts & crafts, jewelry to name just a few.  Please fill out the volunteer application with your resume at: youthfortomorrow.org.

The Greater Prince William Medical Reserve Corps needs both medical and non-medical volunteers to join their ranks.  These volunteers are trained to respond to public health emergencies as well as day to day health department activities.  They offer tons of training topics to build your skillset.  Please call Isabella at (703) 792-7341 to learn more.

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 www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Executive Director Mary Foley.

Praise sounds for Prince William County’s official Bugler

WOODBRIDGE    At a recent meeting of the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, Donna Flory was named as the Prince William County Volunteer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2018. Donna was nominated by Desiree Wolfe with the Office of Executive Management and the award was presented by Gail Macdonald, the county’s Senior Human Resources Manager, for Donna’s service as Prince William County’s official Bugle and Trumpet Player.

The award reads:

“Over the last two decades, Donna has played in various ceremonies and dedications in honor of Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and 9/11.  Her rendition of ‘Taps’ continues to bring dignity and meaning to these very important events.  When asked to perform Donna has always answered ‘yes’ no matter the day.  Donna has always said it was her honor and privilege to play for Prince William County employees and citizens as we honor those who died for our freedom. Donna’s time and talent has helped make each ceremony memorable, especially for those who have lost a loved one.  For her ability to bring grace and reverence during the most solemn occasions we award Donna Flory the Prince William County Volunteer of the Quarter Award.”

Donna began volunteering as the Prince William County official Bugler in 1992.  Her first event was the original dedication ceremony of Prince William County’s War Memorial. 

Following the presentation, Donna thanked Desiree Wolfe for this very special nomination. Donna then acknowledged her longtime friend, Jane Beyer, and thanked her for getting her regularly involved in Prince William County events that honor those that have served our country and those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Planned street extension, road widening would provide better access to Horner commuter lot

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Grammy recording artist, Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman to perform

From an email: 

WHAT: Grammy Award®-winning recording artist and producer Will Ackerman presents a reflective, heartfelt performance in Merchant Hall. The highly regarded founder of Windham Hill Records and pioneer of the New Age music movement showcases his remarkable musical vision and “thorough love of the mystery of making music” in this special Hylton Center EXTRA! performance. Ackerman will be joined onstage by guitarists Shaun Hopper and Vin Downes.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason University, Manassas VA 20110

TICKETS: $45

DETAILS: Tickets are currently available to Friends and subscribers of the Hylton Center only. Tickets go on sale to the public on August 1 at HyltonCenter.org or by calling 703-993-7759.

SPONSORS: NOVEC | Buck and Julie Waters, The Waters Foundation

Lauryn Laslie of Woodbridge makes Peach Belt Conference Honor Roll

From an email: 

The Peach Belt Conference released the 2017-18 PBC Presidential Honor Roll, and Lauryn Laslie, from Woodbridge, VA, made the Bronze Scholars list.

Laslie’s major at the University of South Carolina Aiken is Special Education.

The Presidential Honor Roll honors all student-athletes at the 12 PBC member institutions who had a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the academic year.

The honor roll has been divided into four groups: Presidential Scholars, Bronze Scholars, Silver Scholars and Gold Scholars. All student-athletes with a GPA from 3.0 to 3.24 are Presidential Scholars while Bronze Scholars are 3.25 to 3.49; Silver 3.50 to 3.74 and Gold Scholars are those with a 3.75 to 4.00.

USC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to more than 3,500 students in 50 programs of study. USC Aiken is ranked the #1 public regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide “America’s Best Colleges.” The 2018 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 20th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and the 13th time in first place.

The City of Manassas is home to two of Virginia’s leading industries

Two of the Commonwealths leading industries are major economic generators in the City of Manassas. 

According to a recent report from the Virginia Employment Commission, Manassas-based companies in the professional and technical services offer the 4th highest wages in the state. 

Healthcare and social assistance wages in Manassas rank in the top 10. 

Companies like Micron, Lockheed Martin, and Novant Health UVA Health system drive local economic growth and employ thousands in Manassas; thanks in part to the availability of skilled labor and the City’s pro-business climate. 

These fields account for nearly 25% of total employment and $77 billion in total wages state-wide.  As innovation and technological advancement continue to be made employment and wages are expected to rise. 

The City of Manassas works closely with its major employers, Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University to ensure current and future workforce needs are met and the companies continue to grow and thrive.   

To read the full report, click here.   

 

Army vet takes control of her pain with the help of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Yolanda Smith is a take-charge kind of woman. The retired Army veteran, mother of three and current Human Relations contractor is used to getting things done.

So, when her fibroids turned painful, she knew she had to take action.

“I’ve had fibroids for a number of years. I’ll say at least 10, but in the last 18 months they’ve increased their size dramatically and the pain had become unbearable,” explains Smith.

Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. It’s estimated between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed.

In the majority of the cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous), but the symptoms can be severe.  While some women have no or mild indicators, other women have severe and disruptive symptoms including heavy, prolonged menstrual cycles, abnormal bleeding between periods, pelvic and/or back pain and frequent urination. Smith suffered through many of these symptoms.    

“The pain became unbearable during my cycle and the bleeding was extreme. I cramped beyond belief. I was exhausted, I would stay home from work because I was so exhausted,” she remembers.

That’s when she turned to her doctor for help when an ultrasound showed three fibroids had increased in size. He gave her three options:

  1. Live with the pain

  2. Have surgery

  3. Have a hysterectomy

Dr. Venu Vadlamudi

Smith knew that a hysterectomy wasn’t the right treatment option for her, that’s when her primary care physician recommended “UFE” or Uterine Fibroid Embolization and referred her to the specialists at the Heart & Vascular Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“I had never been to Sentara before, I’m used to military hospitals where I’m in my safe zone.  But, from the time I called to get a consultation with a physician there, Tina went above and beyond to make sure I got an appointment and got the necessary paperwork needed. She actually followed up with my military hospital to assure that documents were forwarded to Sentara to aid me in seeing a doctor there. I just thought that was exceptional,” said Smith.

Following clinical consultation, it was decided Dr. Venu Vadlamudi, an Interventional Radiologist, would perform the procedure.

“Interventional radiology is a field where we perform minimally invasive procedures using radiology guidance,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “I tell patients to imagine me as a plumber, working completely inside of the pipes.”

In Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) as it’s also known, Dr. Vadlamudi goes in through the artery with a catheter and blocks the blood flow to the fibroids using embolic agents (small particles or beads).” With the flow of blood compromised, the fibroids begin to shrink, taking with them the pain and symptoms.

“Over a matter of a few months’ time, these fibroids die away because you’ve taken away their blood supply. But again, nothing is physically tied, it’s not like putting a suture on top of the blood vessel or going from the outside, it’s all done from the inside of the blood vessel,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “We find it’s very rare new fibroids develop. So the overall success rate, especially from a technical standpoint, is well above 98 percent.”

In Smith’s case, Dr. Vadlamudi went in through a point above her wrist, leaving just a small nick after the procedure was completed.

“I don’t have a scar, just a little dot where he went into my arm,” she says.

After a short hospital stay, Smith went home to recover with doctor’s orders to start easing back into her routines. After almost two-weeks, she returned to work with her pain fading each day, but her admiration for the team continues to grow.

“It was just one of the best hospital visits I have ever had,” says Smith. “From the tech staff on down, everyone at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center was very attentive. They were very kind. Their bedside manner was exceptional.”

And, she offers this advice to other women living with fibroid pain.

“If you’re suffering from fibroids, definitely do your research, consider UFE, and consider UFE at Sentara, they have the best staff!” she adds.

If you’d like to learn more about Interventional Radiology or what Sentara Heart & Vascular can do for you, call 1-800-Sentara or visit Sentara.com.

Police to hit the water this weekend looking for drunken boaters

WOODBRIDGE — Prince William County police were on the Occoquan River on Thursday. 

Officers on the county’s police boat could be been on the water talking with other boaters that were anchored in Belmont Bay in Woodbridge. The patrols came the before the start of a larger enforcement effort — Operation Dry Water. 

This weekend, just before the biggest holiday of the summer, police will patrol the Potomac River and its tributaries in Prince William County making sure boaters are operating their crafts safely, and not under the influence of alcohol. 

More in a press release: 

Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round, boating-under-the-influence, awareness and enforcement campaign. Its mission is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.

Operation Dry Water’s heightened awareness and enforcement three-day weekend takes place annually around Independence Day. This year the campaign begins Friday and runs through July 1. Prince William County Police will be out on all navigable waters in the County, including the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers as well as at parks and businesses that front them.

The purpose of the heightened enforcement component of the Operation Dry Water campaign is to deter boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When boaters chose to boat impaired they are endangering not only themselves but also other boaters on the water.

Since the launch of Operation Dry Water in 2009, the number of boating fatalities with alcohol named as a contributing factor has decreased in the United States. However, alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States.

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