[Photo: VDOT]
The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced scheduled road work from July 21 to 27, 2024, including lane closures on I-95, Route 1, and other key routes for maintenance and construction. Work will occur in various counties, such as Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg, with traffic directed by flagging crews and possible delays expected. Read More


July is National Grilling Month, and the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System reminds residents to practice grill safety year-round to avoid fires and injuries. Key safety tips include using grills only outdoors, keeping them away from flammable materials, maintaining a three-foot safety zone, and never leaving the grill unattended.

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Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious? Our dedicated team of mental health professionals is here to help you navigate life’s challenges and achieve emotional balance from the comfort of your home. We offer a wide range of services tailored to meet your unique needs, including individual therapy, couples counseling, group therapy, and specialized programs for anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma.

At Peaceful Mind Solutions we have a team of therapists ready to help you with your mental health needs. We offer a free 15-minute consultation to ensure our services fit your goals. We used an evidence-based approach to work on the root of your problem so we can help you get the mental clarity you need.

At our practice, we use Cognitive behavioral therapy. (CBT) is a great way to identify negative thought patterns and then change them with the help of a therapist working through them each week. We will give you the tools to make lasting changes in your life so you can get back to living without roadblocks.

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The Crime Prevention Unit of the Prince William County Police Department is set to host a virtual Community Watch presentation on Monday, July 22, 2024, at 6 p.m. This informative session, which will last approximately one hour, aims to equip residents with the knowledge and tools necessary to enhance community safety.

To participate in the virtual meeting, interested individuals must register by visiting this link and entering the session password “safe.” The Crime Prevention Unit can be reached at (703) 792-7270 for further inquiries.

Topics Covered

The upcoming training session will focus on three critical areas:

1. Situational Awareness: Enhancing the ability to identify and avoid potential dangers.
2. Crime Reporting: Instruction on effectively reporting incidents to the police to contribute to a safer community.
3. Home Security: Practical strategies to improve home safety and reduce crime risk.

Community Watch in Prince William County

Prince William County boasts over 400 recognized Community Watch groups, each playing a vital role in maintaining neighborhood safety. These groups vary in participation levels but collectively contribute to a safer environment for all residents.

How to Form a Watch Group

Residents interested in forming or joining a Community Watch group are encouraged to attend one of the monthly training sessions. These meetings, alternating between in-person and virtual formats, provide essential education on situational awareness, crime reporting, and home security. Detailed information about these sessions can be found on the police department’s website and social media platforms.

The Importance of Community Watch

The Community Watch program has been a cornerstone of public safety in Prince William County since the 1970s. Recognizing the challenges of modern life, the program is evolving to serve the community’s needs better. The police department is transitioning from the traditional “Neighborhood Watch” to the more inclusive “Community Watch.” This rebranding emphasizes collective responsibility and aims to foster greater community engagement.

One significant change in the program is the shift from relying on a single group coordinator to a more direct communication model. Information will be sent directly to each Community Watch member, ensuring timely updates and improved coordination. This structural change and the new “Community Watch” branding reflect a commitment to inclusivity and collective effort in crime prevention.


As the Stafford Education Foundation (SEF) approaches the tenth anniversary of its annual fundraising golf tournament, the organization continues to enhance educational opportunities for students and educators in Stafford County Public Schools. The foundation, dedicated to providing scholarships, grants, and innovative programs, remains committed to addressing the evolving needs of the community. This year, sponsors are able to donate directly to the scholarship they would like to encourage.

Executive Director Stephanie Johnson explained SEF’s latest initiative, the CHAMP program, exemplifies their approach to education. This healthcare career pathway program for high school students was launched in collaboration with Mary Washington Healthcare and the Clark Moore Foundation. Designed to address critical gaps in mental health career pathways, the CHAMP program is a direct response to a community health assessment that highlights these needs. The program will welcome its first cohort of students this fall.

In addition to CHAMP, SEF continues to support future educators through targeted scholarships for students who have actively pursued their interests in teaching. The foundation also offers innovative teaching grants, funding creative projects that give students hands-on learning opportunities. Johnson said these grants empower educators to implement impactful teaching methods that enhance student learning.

The foundation’s commitment to diversity is evident in initiatives like the diversity licensure program, funded by a private donor, which aims to increase the diversity of teachers in the district. Additionally, the county’s Model UN program, open to all middle school students in Stafford County, reflects SEF’s dedication to providing enriching extracurricular opportunities for all students. Johnson said some larger Model UN programs restrict participation to students who are in gifted programs.

Strategic partnerships play a vital role in SEF’s success. The golf tournament, a key fundraising event, has evolved to include targeted sponsorships, allowing businesses to support specific educational programs that align with their interests. This approach has enabled the foundation to effectively channel resources into areas of greatest need.

The tournament will be Thursday, Oct. 3 at Augustine Golf Club. Players can register ahead of time, or on-site. Sponsors and donors are encouraged to visit the SEF website to learn more.

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Haymarket Medical Center in Prince William County

Updated 1:20 p.m. — UVA Health says its medical centers in our region are affected by the global CrowdStrike computer outage. The firm operates hospitals in Manassas, Haymarket, and Culpeper.

From UVA Health:

UVA Health is being impacted by a worldwide system outage affecting computers that run on Microsoft Windows. As a result, UVA Health is operating on a modified schedule Friday, July 19. Some ambulatory clinics will be closed today. Patients and team members can find the latest schedule updates at

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge and its ancillary regional offices usually operate.

We are closely monitoring the IT outage linked to the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.

Sentara does not utilize CrowdStrike so our IT systems are not directly impacted.

However, we are currently in the process of evaluating the impact on third-party providers and partner organizations who do work with this vendor.

Normal operations remain in process at Sentara hospitals and facilities.
Meanwhile, flights were grounded across the country due to the outage, affecting Windows operating system computers.

Mary Washington Healthcare, which operates hospitals in Stafford County and Fredericksburg, is not affected.

There has been no word yet from Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Meanwhile, the computer outage has not affected local government operations in our region.

Representatives from governments in Prince William and Stafford counties and Manassas and law enforcement agencies in the counties tell us it’s business as usual.

Virignia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued this statement:

Amidst the global tech outages, overnight we have conducted an initial assessment to determine impacts across government agencies and departments for functionality,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Critical health and safety systems, including 911 call systems and transportation infrastructure, are operational. However, airlines continue to experience significant disruptions. The assessment determined that government administrative functions are experiencing disruptions, and we are coordinating with local, regional and federal authorities and private sector critical infrastructure partners in order to reestablish normal operations. As a result of the administrative disturbances, Virginians may experience delays and we ask everyone to remain patient as we work to remedy and reestablish the high standards that Virginians deserve.

Photo: Photo by Irvan Smith on Unsplash


Prince William County Public Library is hosting spine-chilling events as part of its Summer Scares series, promising a frightfully good time for all ages. The series, which runs from Friday, July 19, through the weekend, features a variety of events at several library locations.

Friday, July 19: A Full Day of Horror

The Summer Scares series begins today with a day packed with events across multiple libraries:

  • Potomac Library: Adults can dive into a day of horror with the “2 Sentence Spooky Book Review: J Edition.” This event is a perfect opportunity for horror enthusiasts to share their thoughts on their favorite spooky reads.
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library – Juvenile Books Area: Young readers aged 8-11 are invited to explore a special horror book display and write a two-sentence review for a chance to win a prize.
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library – Teen Area: Teens aged 12-18 can participate in a similar contest, sharing their spooky book reviews and competing for prizes.
  • Montclair Library: This location offers a variety of events for grades 6-12, ages 8-12, and adults, celebrating the horror genre with book displays and review contests.
  • Chinn Park Library: Open to all ages, Chinn Park Library invites everyone to enjoy horror book displays and join in the fun of Summer Scares.

Saturday, July 20

The horror-themed activities continue on Saturday, with events running all day at the following locations:

  • Potomac Library: Adults can again enjoy the “2 Sentence Spooky Book Review: J Edition.”
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library – Juvenile Books Area Children aged 8-11 can check out the horror book display and enter their reviews to win prizes.
  • Haymarket Gainesville Library – Teen Area: The teen contest continues, allowing ages 12-18 to share their spooky book insights for a chance to win.
  • Montclair Library: This location will again cater to grades 6-12, ages 8-12, and adults, featuring horror book displays and review contests.
  • Chinn Park Library: Open to all ages, this library will continue to offer horror book displays and encourage participation in Summer Scares activities.

Sunday, July 21

The weekend of horror concludes on Sunday with events at:

  • Chinn Park Library: All ages are welcome to enjoy horror book displays and participate in the Summer Scares festivities.

Haunt the Library for More Fun

Library visitors can also visit the event page to see upcoming contests for kids and teens and an exciting adult horror trivia night. With events tailored for different age groups, everyone can find something to enjoy during the Summer Scares series.

“We’ve been having a frightfully good time with our Summer Scares displays!” said a library representative. “We encourage everyone to haunt our event page and participate in the fun.”

Click here for library locations and hours.

The Fredericksburg City Council

Friends of the Rappahannock and the Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club will host an educational event on Wednesday, July 24, 2024, focusing on the data center’s impact on the community. The event will occur from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1201 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg.

The event will feature a one-hour presentation delivered by staff members from both organizations. Following the presentation, attendees can participate in a Q&A session to address any inquiries or concerns.

The session aims to provide insights into how data centers affect the local environment and community dynamics. It is open to all public members interested in learning more about this topic.

Regional Proliferation


The planned public meeting will take place after Fredericksburg Mayor Kerry Devine requested city staff to study the feasibility of establishing data centers during a July 9 city council meeting. This proposal aims to explore the potential economic benefits and address concerns related to data center development.

The centers, built in campuses, most of which are multiple football fields in size and more than 70 feet tall, power the Internet. They use large amounts of electricity and water to cool the computer servers. They employ only a handful of people and are mostly stacked with computer servers.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of data centers in surrounding counties like Prince William and, more recently, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. Elected officials are drawn to the prospect of data centers in their communities because of the promise of higher tax revenues, with little or no public infrastructure investment. The centers don’t generate traffic due to the few people they employ.

For data center operators like Microsoft, money appears to be no object. They spent nearly half a billion dollars on 124 acres across from the popular outdoor music venue, Jiffy Lube Live. The purchase has multiple Prince William County leaders (where the concert venue sits) asking if the venue will eventually be razed to make way for a data center.

Mayor Devine’s Proposal

Devine introduced the idea of data centers in the city, highlighting the significant investment in neighboring regions’ data centers. “Data centers are all around us at this point,” said Devine. “About 20 million square feet is being planned in Stafford, Spotsy, Caroline, King George, all around us. Billions of dollars will be invested in those data centers in our region.”

Economic Benefits

The mayor noted that these investments could bring substantial economic benefits, including lower tax rates and increased economic development. “Millions of dollars flowing into those communities can significantly impact and lower their tax rates. It will add very much to their economic development prospects,” Devine added.

Water Usage Concerns

One of the key concerns mentioned was the water usage of data centers. Devine addressed this by pointing to Stafford’s recent developments using water reuse and recirculation processes, which mitigate water use concerns. “Many of us were able to see that some of the ones that we looked at were developed with water recirculation, which lowers the concern about water use if it’s recirculated water,” Devine explained.

Potential Site for Development

Devine proposed Celebrate Virginia South, near the Fredericksburg Nationals stadium and Rappahannock River, as a potential site for data center development, noting that it includes about 300 acres of economic development opportunities. “If with further study from staff and recommendations, if it gets to where we develop a data center, that could significantly add to the city’s revenue and potentially lower the residential tax burden over time,” she said.

Council Members’ Support

Several council members expressed support for the mayor’s request. Council member Timothy Duffy agreed, emphasizing the need to diversify revenue streams. “I think it’s incumbent on all of us to find ways to diversify our revenue streams and not rely so heavily on property taxes. So I’m all in favor of your request and support it,” Duffy said.

Council member Jonathan Gerlach echoed this sentiment, stating, “I’ve been advocating that we find other sources of revenue for the city to relieve the burden on our taxpayers. If there is a way to bring a data center to Celebrate South in an environmentally responsible manner, I would be all in favor of it.”

Vice Mayor Charlie Frye also voiced support, mentioning the importance of exploring revenue opportunities to fund city services. “If there’s another opportunity to bring some revenue to the city, I say we go for it,” Frye stated. He also suggested informing the public about the land requirements for data centers in future meetings.

Council member Will Mackintosh believes data centers will produce many jobs. “Data centers produce many fairly highly trained and well-paid jobs. I think we should not overlook data centers as a potential employment generator in our city,” Mackintosh said. He emphasized the importance of aligning city school programs with the skills needed for these jobs.

Mayor Devine concluded the discussion by stressing the preliminary nature of the study and the need for further staff research. “Again, this is looking at this very preliminary to ask staff to study it, and they’ll come back to us with a report,” she said.

The council unanimously approved the proposal, directing city staff to proceed with the study and report their findings.


[Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash]
Police found the body of an 18-year-old girl lying in a street near Manassas on Thursday, July 18, 2024.

They believe she was shot on the scene and left for dead.

More from Prince William police:

Homicide Investigation – On July 18 at 8:23PM, officers responded to the area of Pineview Rd and Cregger Ln in Manassas (20111) to investigate a shooting. Officers arrived on the scene and located an 18-year-old woman in a nearby wooded area suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body. The woman was pronounced dead on the scene. No other injuries or property damage were reported, and no suspects have been located at this time. Detectives are actively investigating the incident to determine what led up to the shooting and are seeking to speak with anyone who can aid in the investigation. Preliminarily, the incident does not appear to be random. More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.


The deceased was identified as Ashlin Yamileth PAZ, 18, of no fixed address.


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