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Podcast: The plastics problem in Prince William County

On this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast, reporter Olivia Briscoe joins me to talk about her reporting on the Prince William County Landfill, and about how plastics are piling up there. 

She reported this week that, since a decision made by China earlier this year to stop accepting used plastics for recycling, that waste has been piling up at the local landfill. 

What’s being done about, and how you can help recycle better on this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast.

Birds! At the Prince William County Fair.

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We’re getting a tour of the poultry barn at the Prince William County Fair on this episode of the Potomac Local Live Podcast.

Find out what goes into judging the best bird in Prince William County. There’s a lot more to it than you think.

And check out this week’s events at the Prince William County Fair now through Saturday, August 18.

The fairgrounds are located at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas.

Gates open at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, with free admission until 5 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $6 for children and seniors after 5 o’clock. Ride wristbands are $18.

Cows! At the Prince William County Fair.

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When it comes to our food, many of us know what we’re eating but a lot of us don’t know where it comes from. 

We get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to raise show beef cattle entered into competition at the Prince William County Fair.

These cows are local, from Fauquier County, and on display at the Prince William County Fair.

Here’s a full schedule of this year’s events at the 69th Annual Prince William County Fair. 

The fair is located at the Prince William County Fairgrounds located at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas.

National Night Out is the largest event for the Stafford sheriff’s office

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From a press release: 

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office will once again be participating in National Night Out, an annual event that promotes police-community relationships and neighborhood camaraderie and safety.

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, communities throughout the county will hold neighborhood celebrations throughout the late afternoon and early evening. Events and activities can include block parties, cookouts, exhibits, flashlight walks, contests, and more.

This year, neighborhoods participating in National Night Out include: Carriage Hill, Celebrate by Del Webb, Vista Woods, Augustine North, Colonial Forge, Falls Run, Garrison Woods, Lake Estates, Stafford Oaks, Village at England Run, and Woodlawn.

There will also be a community-wide event from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Target parking lot located at Stafford Marketplace, located near the intersection of Garrisonville Road and Interstate 95 in North Stafford. The event will include music, food, activities, dozens of vendors, over one hundred exhibitors, and more. Stafford Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office both bring equipment for children and adults to check out. Everything—including the food—is free.

Manassas going to the dogs this First Friday

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We’re entering the “dog days” of summer as August begins. 

The folks at Historic Manassas, Inc. made that the theme of this month’s First Friday celebration, the monthly event that brings hundreds to the city’s downtown. It will be held in Downtown Manassas from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018.

And, because it’s the dog days, it’s all about pets this First Friday. They’ll be treats, a doggie pool, a K9 costume contest and more. 

We talk to Laura Coates, of Historic Manassas, Inc. to get all the details of First Friday in this edition of the Potomac Local Live Podcast.

Sinkhole and slope failure: An unusually rainy season for VDOT

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A sinkhole measuring 18 feet deep and 25 feet wide has crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation working overtime. 

The hole formed last week in North Stafford after heavy rains in the area, and subsequently forced the transportation agency to close a portion of Eustace Road between Northhampton Boulevard and Legal Court. 

With all of the rain we’ve seen this summer, VDOT tells us it’s been a uniquely challenging, an unusual season. The agency is working on two major repair projects in Stafford County following heavy rains — a sinkhole, and a slope failure on Bells Hill Road. 

We talk about all of it in this edition of the Potomac Local Live Podcast. 

‘For colored and for white’ — How Prince William preserved poll books used in 1902


Sarah Nucci, a preservationist in Prince William County, joins us today on the Potomac Local Podcast.

She discusses an award-winning effort to preserve poll books used to track Prince William County voters during the turn of the 20th century.

And, as any student of U.S. history might expect, blacks were not treated the same as whites at this time.

Podcast: OmniRide’s rebranding, and its future growing beyond transit buses

In this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast, I talk with OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider about the transit agency’s new look, how it is overcoming internal struggles in its organization, and a new service that will operate more like Uber than a transit bus.

We recorded this podcast at the OmniRide Transit Center, home of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission in Woodbridge, on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Podcast: Manassas goes from ‘investing’ to ‘maintaining’ in this year’s city budget


Last year, Manassas City officials passed a budget that increased the average real estate tax bill by an average of $198. It was called an “investing year” as the budget included multiple capital improvement projects that included the construction of a new police public safety center, a new fire station, and funding for a project that would remake Grant Avenue — once a main entrance to the city prior to the construction of Prince William Parkway in the 1990s.

This year’s budget process is about “maintaining” the funding the city council committed to funding last year. And, that means city residents are on the hook to pay about $60 more per year on their real estate tax on average.

The proposed tax rate is also about 2.6 percent higher than last year due to another commitment the city council made with the city’s school board to fund the schools with an additional $1.4 million a year for three years.

The city is in year three of that agreement and is in the process of deciding whether or not to keep it up. If the deal is kept and is unchanged, the city’s tax rate could increase up to seven cents on the dollar over the next three years.

Manassas City Manager Patrick Pate talked with us for this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast and gave us an idea as to where officials are in city’s budget process. The budget is set to be approved by city council on May 14.

We tap into the health of the Prince William craft brewery industry

We’re talking about the health of local craft breweries on today’s Potomac Local Podcast.

The founders of Waters End Brewery in Lake Ridge: Ryan Sharkey, Zack Mote, and Josh Fournelle join us to talk about their brewery business model.

The timely conversation comes as two other breweries in nearby Woodbridge — Ornery Brewery Public House and Heroic Aleworks — closed their doors earlier this year. And just last week, the region’s first brewery — BadWolf Brewery in Manassas — announced it is downsizing and abandoning its plans for distribution to store shelves on regional bars and restaurants.

Has the bubble burst on the local craft brewery industry? Is it too late for aspiring craft brewers to get int the game? And what’s the difference between the larger destination breweries vs. s small neighborhood tap house?

I hope you enjoy this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast.

What’s being done to help the homeless in Prince William County?

Prince William County has a homeless problem. 

About 400 people in the county live in shelters, or in wooded areas around major roadways and shopping centers. 

As more development occurs in the county forcing some out of their tents in wooded encampments, the county’s government aims to do more to help the homeless get access to education, training, basic services, as well as work to prevent facing homelessness from going without a roof over their heads. 

On this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast: 

Tony Turnage, Prince William County Homeless Services Division Chief 

Jacob Moser, Assistant to the Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson 

Juan Rivera talks about adding a charter service, and the future of the Manassas Regional Airport

The Manassas Regional Airport is the largest general aviation airport in Virginia.

For years, the airport has attracted pilots and their clients who are looking for an alternative to larger airports like Regan Washington National or Dulles airports. 

We talked to the airport’s director Juan Rivera who told us that while the airport has little room left to expand its land footprint, it is looking to add new services like a charter plane service. 

It’s all in this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast.

Supervisor Anderson, Police Chief Keen talk traffic safety, enforcement on the first Potomac Local Podcast

Traffic congestion and enforcement is a growing problem in Prince William County.

As the population continues to increase, so do the number of fatal car crashes. There were 26 fatal crashes in the county in 2016, a whopping 145% increase over the prior year.

One local leader, Supervisor Ruth Anderson of the Occoquan District, says it’s no longer enough to address the speeding problem on a case-by-case, localized basis, and has called for the creation of a new panel made up of police, transportation officials, residents, and media to examine the problem and proposed new solutions.

Mrs. Anderson joins us today on the Potomac Local Podcast to discuss her new initiative, to tell us what it will mean for drivers, and for those who want safer roads.

Also joining us on the Potomac Local Podcast today is Manassas Police Chief Douglas Keen.

He’s been the city’s police chief for the past eight years, and he started his law enforcement career in Manassas in 1989.

It’s fair to say he’s seen a lot of change in the region, especially when it comes to traffic.

We talk to Mr. Keen about the challenges of traffic enforcement, and about what new tactics his officers are using to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe.