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Woodbridge Local

Long Ball Dooms Potomac in 10-5 Loss

WOODBRIDGE, Va – The Winston-Salem Dash pounded out a season-high five home runs and 17 hits en route to their eighth straight win beating the Potomac Nationals 10-5. Winston-Salem has beaten Potomac in all five matchups this season.

Winston-Salem had five players with multi-hit games highlighted by Dan Black’s 4-for-5 night with a home run and Brady Shoemaker’s first multi-home run game of the season. Black now has seven home runs on the season and the Dash have scored 66 runs during their eight-game winning streak.

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Coach Expands at Potomac Mills

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Coach store at Potomac Mills mall, a boutique long known for carrying a wide array of women’s handbags and accessories has expanded to suit the handbag needs of men.

The expanded store in Woodbridge, in the mall’s fashion district, now spans 9,000 square feet and carries leather goods such as wallets, satchels, business and travel accessories, watches, and shoes, according to a press release from Potomac Mills.

Those who have shopped Potomac Mills during early openings of the mall on Black Friday in November know that long lines form to get in to the store that day – one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Coach, Inc. last week reported their third quarter earnings ending March 31. The company announced sales of $1.11 billion for the third fiscal quarter in 2012, with a new income $225 million.


Train Strikes Man in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A man was struck by a train in Woodbridge on Sunday night.

Prince William police reported going to the scene on Featherstone Road, near a CSX train railroad crossing, where a man was hit by a train. The extent of his injuries were not released, and the victim was flown to a local hospital.

The railroad tracks where the man was hit are the same tracks that carry Virginia Railway Express trains from Fredericksburg to Washington. VRE trains, however, were not operating on Sunday.


Swynenberg Shines in Win

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Matt Swynenberg delivered his strongest outing of the season as he threw a complete game allowing one run as the P-Nats knocked off the Myrtle Beach Pelicans by the final score of 2-1. Potomac has won two games in a row after their six-game losing streak.

In a game that lasted just an hour and 53 minutes, Swynenberg (2-1) allowed no hits after the second inning as he retired 19 batters in a row at one point and 22 of the final 23. He gave up just three hits on the afternoon while walking one and striking out three. The start was the longest of the season by a P-Nats starter as no previous starter had finished seven innings. Swynenberg used just 94 pitches.

Swynenberg outdueled Pelicans right hander Roman Mendez (1-3), who was the hard-luck loser allowing two runs on four hits while striking out nine batters in six and two-thirds innings.

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Wang Throws 4 in P-Nats Win

WOODBRIDGE, Va.  – Chien-Ming Wang threw four strong innings in his first rehab start in 2012 as the Potomac Nationals ended their six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Wang threw 49 pitches and allowed one run on four hits while striking out three batters.

Wang came out after a 57 minute rain delay and needed just 16 pitches to toss a scoreless first inning. He struck out one batter and the only player to reach was Odubel Herrera on an error by first baseman Justin Bloxom.

Despite giving up a one-out single to Brett Nicholas, Wang threw only six pitches in the second inning as he got Yefry Castillo to bounce into an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.

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Myrtle Beach tops Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – On a chilly night in Woodbridge, the Potomac Nationals gave up three unearned runs in the final three innings as they fell 5-4 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The P-Nats wasted a strong start from Adam Olbrychowski and have now dropped six straight contests.

Potomac had a chance in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game with a two-out rally. Wade Moore brought home Justin Bloxom with an RBI single to make it 5-4 but Kevin Keyes struck out swinging with the tying run at second base.

Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh inning, the Pelicans tied up the game at 3-3 on a double by Josh Richmond. Santiago Chirino was able to score from first base because of a fielding error by Randolph Oduber.

Jake Skole gave Myrtle Beach the lead in the top of the eighth with a sacrifice fly that scored Odubel Herrera. Herrera advanced to third base earlier in the at bat courtesy of a two-base error by Potomac pitcher Rob Wort.

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Potomac Mills Collecting Prescription Drugs

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Residents can take back their unwanted or unused prescription drugs this weekend.

Potomac Mills mall will serve as a prescription drug take back drop off point, where residents can bring their unused prescription drugs to be destroyed by state and federal officials.

Residents on Saturday are welcome to bring their prescription drugs to the main patio entrance of the mall, by the food court, at 2700 Potomac Mills Circle in Woodbridge between 10 a.m. and noon.

Those collecting the drugs said the event will be free, and those who turn them in will remain anonymous. The event is an effort to discourage pill abuse, theft and hazardous disposal, officials said.

A similar drug take back event was held at the mall last year. In September 2010, more than 5,000 pounds of drugs were collected throughout the state during a prescription drug take back event.

Cheesecake Factory Announcement Premature

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Apparently it was too soon to report that Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze restaurants were coming to the Potomac Mills area.

Posted to Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi’s Facebook and Twitter pages this morning was an announcement that both popular restaurant chains were eyeing Woodbridge and could open as early as fall. The posted information, which was reposted to’s social media profiles, had been removed from Principi’s Facebook page but remained on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.

“While we do have several exciting announcements coming down the pike in the next few weeks, at this point it is a bit premature to provide specifics. We have already spoken with Supervisor Frank Principi’s office, and they have retracted the information that was posted,” stated Potomac Mills mall spokeswoman Lauren Horsley.

Potomac Mills said they plan to release more information on new shops and restaurants coming to the area as details become available.

Last year, the popular shopping mall ended an agreement with Prince William County that allowed commuters to park at the mall’s front, underused parking lot on weekdays. The number of spaces at the lot was reduced from 1,000 to just 250, forcing commuters to find other places to park in the area.

At the time, Potomac Mills officials said they needed the additional spaces for new development.


Man in Driver Seat Robbed

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A driver was robbed while sitting in the driver seat of his car by a man asking for directions, police said.

The robbery took place at the intersection of Telegraph Road and Morse Lane in Woodbridge, behind a Target store, at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday.

The 48-year-old victim stopped to make a turn at the intersection and was then approached by a man who had been sitting in a car parked on the shoulder of the road. The man walked up to the victim and initially asked for directions but then brandished a handgun and demanded cash, according to police documents.

After taking cash, the robber fled the scene. The victim was not injured.

The gunman is described as black, between 28 and 28-years-old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 160 pounds, with a thin build and brown eyes. He was wearing a light blue jacket and blue jeans, according to police.


95 Express Lanes Builder Invited to Apply for Loan

Photo: Mary Davidson

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The private developer of the 95 Express Lanes project has been tapped by the federal government to apply for a loan to help pay for the lanes.

Transurban-Fluor will convert the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, from Dumfries to Edsall Road in Alexandria, to toll lanes. The lanes will be extended from Dumfries to Va. 610 in North Stafford to complete the 29-mile, $940 million 95 Express Lanes corridor.

The loan is called a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA loan, from the U.S. Department of Transportation. If awarded to Transurban-Fluor, would cover $928 million of the total cost of the project.

In December, Virginia officials announced taxpayers would float $97 million of the project cost.

“President Obama called for ‘an America built to last,’ and the TIFIA program can help us achieve that,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood. “A little TIFIA goes a long way for communities that use these loans to leverage additional funding so they can tackle the big picture transportation projects this country needs.”

Work on the lanes is already underway, as a portion of the HOV lanes from Springfield to Dumfries has been closed each night this week for initial test boring.

When complete, the lanes will be tolled 24-hours a day for single drivers. Vehicles with three or more occupants will be able to use the lanes for free. Currently, use of the lanes is restricted to vehicles with three or more occupants between 6 and 9 a.m., and 3:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Kaine in Triangle, Woodbridge Today

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Timothy Kaine will be in Triangle and Woodbridge today taking about the economy.

The former Democratic Virginia governor turned U.S. Senate candidate will stop at Group W, Inc. at 10:30 a.m. to speak with employees about their experience with the federal procurement process.

At 12:30 p.m., Kaine will head north on U.S. 1 to The Palace Bar and Grill for a roundtable discussion with Latino bossiness owners in Woodbridge. That discussion will include workforce development and immigration reform issues, according to Kaine campaign staffers.

Kaine faces Republican George Allen and TEA Party candidate Jamie Radke in the General Election this fall.


Candland: Back Room Dealings Lead to Budget Increase

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Prince William’s new kid on the political block has done more to distance himself from this fellow Board members.

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland is serving his first term on the Board of County Supervisors and cast the lone vote against raising the county’s average tax bill about $110 per year. The six seven other members of the Board voted to increase taxes for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, adopting a tax rate of $1.209 per assessed property value. The new budget includes monies for a new police station, new school funding, and raises for county staff for the first time in four years.

Candland, in a statement released late Tuesday night, accused fellow Board members of back room dealings and threats. According to Candland, he was told if he didn’t go along with the budget increase his district would lose out on construction funding for a new Catharpin Park. That park, one of nine that was to be funded in this year’s budget, is no longer funded, he said.

“I stood up in the face of backroom deals and political retributions to fight for a park that’s critical to the families of the Gainesville District, and I’ll continue to push to find ways to get Catharpin Park funded and built as soon as possible. I’m saddened that petty politics won the day, but it’s the taxpayers of Prince William County who will suffer the brunt of these tax increases,” said Candland in his statement.

County officials stated Tuesday that real estate taxes in Prince William County are 28 percent lower than they are in similar counties in Northern Virginia. When adjusted for inflation, the average tax bill is lower than it was in 2009, according to officials.

Police: Alleged Sex Abuse Went Unreported

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A Prince William County elementary school teacher turned herself into police after being accused of not reporting sexual abuse among students.

The alleged abuse happened was reported to the teacher by her students at Marumsco Elementary School in Woodbridge on March 30, police documents state. That’s when two students independently came to the teacher and reported the alleged abuse following a “Hugs and Kisses” presentation, a play coproduced in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Social Services. The play focuses on avoiding and reporting inappropriate situations. 

Prince William County Public Schools spokesman Phil Kavits said the alleged abuse was reported at the school but is believed to have taken place elsewhere. 

Police documents state the teacher waited until April 12 to inform anyone about the reported abuse. Police said teachers in Virginia are required to report abuse within 72 hours of being notified of an occurrence. A warrant was obtained for the teacher and she turned herself in April 20, police documents state.

Esther Geovanni Castillo, 46, of 7040 Lakota Drive #404 in Woodbridge is charged with failure to report suspected abuse to authorities. The charge is a civil offense, police add. She was released on a summons and is expected to appear in court May 31.



Nationals Back in Woodbridge after Washouts

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Potomac Nationals return to Woodbridge tonight after a two-in-a-row wash out.

Rainy weather over the weekend forced the postponement of two games, on Saturday and Sunday, between the Salem Red Sox. Both games ill be made up later this season, stated Potomac Nationals spokesman Tim Swartz.

Fans can exchange tickets for any other game except for the July 4th contest, he added. The Salem Red Sox will be back at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge for a three-game series Friday through Sunday June 8 – 10.

The Potomac Nationals are back on the field at 7 p.m. to face the Winston-Salem Dash. After tonight’s game, they’ll be back on Friday for a 10-game homestand against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.


What Should Go Here?

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — At the top of a hill on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge, just past several car dealerships sits an open field and a closed fast food restaurant.

Now boarded up, the Burger King that once served customers along this busy highway has been closed for years. Unlike its counterpart at Tackett’s Mill in Lake Ridge, it shows no sign of coming back.

So, as we continue our series about redeveloping brown spots in the Potomac Communities, we want to know from you “what should go here?”

Please comment below and tell us.


KONY 2012 Signs Appear in Woodbridge


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The worldwide KONY 2012 protest has come to the Potomac Communities.

Signs synonymous with the protest sprung up overnight along U.S. 1 in Woodbridge and on signs along Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge.

The protest are part of the “Cover the Night” campaign meant to draw attention to Ugandan leader Joseph Kony, who is accused of turning children into soldiers, using them as sex slaves, and killing them. A video produced by the group “Invisible Children” went viral earlier this year and urges world leaders to have Kony arrested before the end of the year.

KONY 2012 posters and chalk graffiti also appeared this morning in Fredericksburg’s Central Park, where police said it could take some $3,000 to remove from privately owned buildings.

In Woodbridge, the Fearcliff indoor skate park on Friday served as an informal rallying point for KONY 2012 protesters. KONY 2012 posters line the front of the skate shop on U.S. 1 near Featherstone Road.

“We had about 100 posters printed up, so we wanted to do something to further the movement,” said Fearcliff owner Thomas Kemper. “Right now, we’re focusing on getting our shop open but if Invisible Children wants to do anything else, we’ll support them.”

The skate shop is set to open May 12.

Salem Tops Potomac 13-4

By Tim Swartz
Potomac Nationals  

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Sean Coyle had a season-high six RBIs as the Salem Red Sox scored a season-high in runs and ended the Potomac Nationals three-game win streak with a 13-4 victory. Coyle combined with Christian Vasquez and Drew Hedman to drive in twelve of Salem’s thirteen runs.

Salem sent ten batters to the plate in the top of the first against P-Nats starter Adam Olbrychowski and pounded out six hits. Sean Coyle drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double that scored Jackie Bradley Jr. Later with the bases loaded, Vasquez hit a two-run double to left field to increase the lead to 3-0. Hedman stepped to the plate next and delivered the biggest hit of the inning launching his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, to double the Red Sox advantage to 6-0.

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HOV Lanes to Close this Weekend, Again Next Week

Photo: Mary Davidson

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A portion of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes will close again tonight and tomorrow as work on the 95 Express Lanes project ramps up.

The HOV express lanes facility is normally open to southbound drivers Friday night through Saturday afternoon. Tonight and tomorrow beginning at 11 p.m., however, the lanes will close from Franconia-Springfield Parkway to Va. 234 in Dumfries as crews complete test boring work.

Drivers will have to use the regular travel lanes to get where they’re going until 10 a.m. Saturday, and again on Sunday, when the HOV lanes are reopened for regular use.

But work on the HOV lanes doesn’t stop this weekend. It will continue throughout next week as the HOV lanes will close from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and again from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. next Friday and Saturday, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

By 11 p.m. during the planned work next week, drivers headed north on Interstate 95 will be able to enter the HOV lanes north through an entrance just past Exit 169 in Springfield. Drivers who use Franconia-Springfield Parkway will also be able to enter the northbound HOV lanes by 11 p.m., VDOT states.

When complete, the 95 Express Lanes will charge single drivers a toll to use the lanes at all times while vehicles with three or more occupants will be able to use the lanes for free. The express lanes will also be extended nine-miles south from Dumfries to Va. 610 in North Stafford.

Currently, vehicles must have three or more occupants to use the lanes between 6 and 9 a.m., and 3:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Drivers can use the lanes for free during all other times.


Rock Star Bandit Hits Pizza Shop

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A delivery pizza restaurant was robbed by a man wearing a Kiss mask Wednesday night.

The robber walked in at 8:42 p.m. to the delivery location at 16693 River Ridge Boulevard off U.S. 1 near Dumfries, displayed a handgun and demanded money, according to police documents.

The man fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police used K9s to search the area but were unable to find the man.

The man is said to be black, 6 feet tall, 155 pounds, with a thin build, wearing black jeans, a black jacket, black and white shoes, and a mask molded after make-worn by members of the rock band, Kiss.


Hylton High School Celebrates 20 Years

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Staff and alumni will celebrate Hylton High School’s 20-year anniversary at a Hylton family homecoming on Saturday, April 28 at the school. The ticket price of $40 per person includes dinner catered by Carrabba’s, appetizers, and soft drinks. Guests will be able to take a walk down memory lane as they view the Hylton Museum displays of artifacts gathered over 20 years, as well as enjoy video footage of events since 1991. All four Hylton High School principals, former and current, will join the special occasion. Hylton High School is located at 14051 Spriggs Road in Woodbridge.

The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and entertainment at 7 p.m., and finally dancing. A band of four current faculty members, whom guests will recognize, have been rehearsing for several months to provide a musical performance to remember.

Contact Meg Holt at or call 703-580-4000 for additional information. Checks, payable to C. D. Hylton High School, should be sent to the attention of Meg Holt at the school.

-Press release 

Sex Assaults Investigated in Woodbridge


WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A series of sexual assaults are being investigated by police in Woodbridge.

Police on April 13 were called to a home in the 2800 block of Woodmark Drive in Woodbridge, where two 7-year-old girls were walking near a park when they were approached by a man. One of the girls was touched inappropriately, according to police. The suspect never said anything to the girls and then walked away.

Officers on the scene were able to find the suspect and arrest him without incident.

Ronald Rubelio Garza-Cortez, 23, of 2807 Woodmark Drive #303 in Woodbridge, is charged with aggravated sexual battery and with assault and battery. His court date was not released.

The day before, police were called for a separate incident, to a home in the 13200 block of Kinnicutt Drive in Woodbridge. The victim in the case, an 8-year-old girl, had been sexually assaulted by a known acquaintance while inside of her home, according to police.

Usman Imran Butt, 20, is charged with aggravated sexual battery and with indecent liberties by a custodian. He was held without bond.

See more Prince William police reports.

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