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Stafford County’s Planning Commission will meet Wednesday, July 24. The full agenda and notes are available online.

A request to rezone 503 acres from A-1 (Agriculture) to M-2 (Heavy Industrial) has been submitted by Stafford Technology Campus. The 503 acres are from two parcels – 38-124 and 38-29A. The land is located in the Falmouth district, on the east side of Richmond Highway across from Sage Lane. Proposed proffers would allow the height of data center buildings to be 105 feet, allow six substations on the property and set requirements for substations, and establish tree preservation and noise limit standards. They will also consider compliance for up to six electric substations on 476 acres in lot 38-124.

Vulcan Materials is seeking a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow heavy industrial and manufacturing uses not otherwise listed, in regards to a ready-mix concrete plant.

The Commission will also consider a subdivision of 107 lots planned for Rocky Run Village off of Celebrate Virginia Parkway. The site of 56 acres is already zoned R-1 (Residential).

The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. at the George L. Gordon, Jr. Government Center at 1300 Courthouse Road.

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[Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash]
Spotsylvania County

Early this morning, deputies responded to a shooting in the 11200 block of Ashby Drive, about four miles from Riverbend High School, finding a man and woman with multiple gunshot wounds. The suspect shot the victims during an argument outside their home, ran over the female victim with his vehicle, and later turned himself in, police said. Both victims are in stable condition at a trauma center.

Jackson

Deputies responded to a reported shooting this morning shortly after 1:00am in the 11200 block of Ashby Drive. Deputies arrived to find an adult male and female suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victims were transported to an area trauma center with serious injuries, but are listed in stable condition. Witnesses advised that an acquaintance arrived at the home where several people were and was asked to leave. The subject refused to leave and an argument ensued outside the home in the front yard where he brandished a gun and shot the two adult victims multiple times. The suspect then left the property and while doing so, ran over the female victim with his vehicle. The suspect later turned himself into authorities. Joseph Alfonza Jackson, age 43 of Spotsylvania was arrested by Detectives for malicious wounding (3 counts). Jackson was incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

Prince William County

A 37-year-old man struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Oasis at Montclair Apartment complex parking lot on July 20 has died from his injuries. Investigators located the stolen vehicle involved in the incident. They obtained surveillance images of a man believed to be connected, actively seeking public assistance to identify the suspect as the investigation continues.

Fatal Hit & Run Crash Investigation *SUSPECT SOUGHT – On July 22, crash investigators were notified that the 37-year-old man struck by a hit & run driver in the parking lot of the Oasis at Montclair Apartment complex located in the 16400 block of Stedham Cl. in Dumfries (22025) on July 20, had died. The victim remained hospitalized until succumbing to his injuries sustained after being struck by a suspect who stole his 1999 gold Lexus RX 300. On the morning of July 23, officers were on an unrelated call when they located the vehicle sought in connection to the incident on Ashdale Cl. In Woodbridge. Additionally, investigators obtained surveillance images of a man believed to be involved in the incident which were obtained in the area of the incident on Stedman Cl. Investigators with the Violent Crimes Unit are actively investigating the incident to determine what led up to the encounter and are seeking to speak with anyone who can identify the suspect or otherwise aid in the investigation. More information will be released when available. The investigation continues.

Corum-Hill

Police arrested a woman, they said, in a July 23 assault case involving an acidic substance that occurred on June 26 at a home on Bellona Road in Woodbridge. Corum-Hill has been charged with assault and battery with a caustic substance and is being held without bond, with a court date pending.

Assault with a Caustic Substance *ARREST – On July 23, the suspect, identified as Tahjaia CORUM-HILL, who was sought in connection to the assault with a caustic substance that was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the 14300 block of Bellona Rd. in
Woodbridge (22191) on June 26, was arrested.

Arrested on July 23:
Tahjaia CORUM-HILL, 24, of the 4400 block of Kenwood Dr. in Woodbridge
Charged with assault & battery with a caustic substance
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Fredericksburg

At 12:06 a.m. on July 23, Fredericksburg Police and EMS responded to a report of a teenager with a gunshot wound. A 16-year-old resident claimed to have been shot in the leg, but EMS found no visible wounds. Detectives determined four bullets had been fired into the residence in the 1000 block of Rampasture Drive, but no one was injured.

Further investigation revealed the juvenile had a firearm and marijuana. After being medically cleared, the juvenile was charged with felony possession of a firearm while in possession of narcotics and unlawful possession of marijuana while under the age of 18. The investigation is ongoing.

On July 23, 2024, at 12:06 a.m., our E-911 Center received a report of a shooting with an injury in the 1000 block of Rampasture Drive. Police and EMS responded to find a juvenile resident claiming to have been shot in the leg.

The juvenile stated they heard gunshots outside their home. As officers and EMS arrived on scene, they found the juvenile on the floor of a bedroom, claiming injury. An initial examination showed no visible gunshot wounds. The juvenile was taken to a nearby hospital, and was medically cleared.

Further investigation revealed that four rounds had been fired into the home, but fortunately, no one was injured. As detectives continued their investigation, it was determined that the juvenile was in possession of a firearm and marijuana. Upon receiving medical clearance, officers obtained petitions and transported the juvenile to the detention center.

The juvenile, 16, of Fredericksburg, was charged with felony possession of a firearm while in possession of narcotics and unlawful possession of marijuana while under the age of 18.

This investigation is still ongoing. If you have additional information, please contact the police at 540-373-3122. To make an anonymous tip, send a text to “847-411” and text “FPDtip” followed by your tip.

Stafford County

Flores

A wanted Stafford man was arrested on July 22 during a traffic stop on Northbound I-95. The suspect, who was wanted for failure to comply with a pretrial condition, was found in possession of controlled substances, THC products, a large amount of cash, a loaded firearm, and additional ammunition.=

On July 22nd at approximately 7:58 p.m. First Sergeant A.I. Assur was able to locate a wanted suspect behind the wheel of a black Ford Explorer as he entered onto Northbound I-95. The suspect was identified as Jeremy Flores, 20, who was wanted out of Stafford County for failure to comply with a pretrial condition.

First Sergeant Assur provided live updates on the vehicle’s travel as deputies staged near mile marker 140. As soon as the vehicle was in the area, deputies activated their emergency equipment and conducted a high-risk stop. The driver was confirmed to be Flores and he was placed into handcuffs without incident.

During an inventory search of the vehicle, numerous items of interest were located, including suspected controlled substances, THC products, a large amount of cash, a loaded firearm, and additional ammunition. Using TruNarc, a drug identification device, the controlled substance was identified as cocaine.

Flores was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm while in possession of controlled substances, as well as, served on his outstanding warrant. He was held at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

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Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has extended a swimming advisory for Lake Anna as a harmful algae bloom continues. The VDH cautioned this algae bloom is not connected to the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) outbreak that occurred after Memorial Day.

According to the VDH, some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rashes and gastrointestinal illnesses. Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless; however, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or bluish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.

The VDH’s Harmful Algal Bloom map shows which areas to avoid, and VDH provides a status report containing the updated advisory areas.

The sections of the lake currently under a swimming advisory due to unsafe levels of cyanobacteria are:

North Anna Branch (advisory extended)

  • Upper North Anna Branch – From the upper inundated waters of the North Anna arm, to include the “Sandbar” of the lake and downstream to the Route 522 Bridge.
  • Upper and Middle North Anna Branch – From the Route 522 Bridge, to include Route 719 (Holladay Bridge), to Lumsden Flats at Rose Valley Drive

Pamunkey Branch (advisory added)

  • Upper-Upper Pamunkey Branch- From the upper inundated waters of Pamunkey Branch to Runnymede Park
  • Upper Pamunkey Branch – From Runnymede Park to the confluence with Terry’s Run
  • Middle Pamunkey Branch – From confluence with Terry’s Run to Route 612 (Stubbs Bridge)

The VDH will lift the advisory when algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Follow-up monitoring above Route 208 on the lake is planned (weather permitting) for the week of August 15.

The warning comes after children were sickened and hospitalized at the popular vacation destination on Memorial Day, prompting The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to investigate. On July 2, VDH reported the case closed and noted that recent water samples from Lake Anna showed no presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, leading to the conclusion of their STEC outbreak investigation linked to Memorial Day weekend.

VDH noted it had been over 20 days since the last reported illness from the lake, and laboratory tests did not find STEC O157 bacteria in the samples. However, a swimming advisory remains in effect for the upper section of the North Anna Branch of Lake Anna due to unrelated harmful algal blooms (HABs).

VDH advises the public to follow safe water practices, such as avoiding swallowing untreated water, washing hands frequently, and avoiding swimming after heavy rain. Enhanced public health surveillance would continue through mid-July. VDH and the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force will keep monitoring water quality.

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Update July 23: City Council members will attend the CSX public statement on July 24. The event is at 3 p.m. in the gravel parking lot behind VRE Lots G and H. The entrance is at the corner of Prince Edward and Frederick Streets.

Mayor Kerry P. Devine addressed the recent train derailment behind Fredericksburg’s Cobblestone Square apartment complex, expressing concern for the community’s safety.

Mayor Devine commended the prompt response from local and mutual aid emergency services, noting no injuries were reported. The mayor emphasized the city’s commitment to a thorough and transparent investigation, with city leadership actively coordinating with federal and state officials, as well as CSX Transportation. She said she and the City Council “expect an investigation into how this derailment occurred and will continue to work to ensure that our community remains safeguarded against future emergencies along our rail lines.”

Mayor Devine assured residents that the city would continue to provide updates and encouraged everyone to subscribe to emergency alerts.  Her full statement is available online. 

A public address by CSX Transportation is scheduled for July 24th at 3 p.m. at the VRE parking lot near the incident.

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I-95 Exit 143 (Google Maps)

Stafford County’s Planning Commission will hold its next meeting on July 24. On the agenda is a new telecom tower off the Interstate 95 (I-95) exit 143A ramp.

The 23-acre lot is currently not zoned. VDOT owns the vacant buffer zone between Route 1 and I-95. Nearby land is zoned B-2 (Neighborhood Business) and contains a business park and mixed commercial properties.

Milestone Towers proposes a 165’ tall monopole that will accommodate a minimum of four wireless telecommunications carriers, including Verizon Wireless. A new access road will be built off of Route 1 to allow access to the facility. Verizon plans to install six antennas on the tower, and the facility can accommodate three more wireless providers. This plan will expand Verizon’s services in eastern Stafford County.

The western part of Stafford County was the focus of a $5 million project in 2022 where Stafford and Comcast brought high-speed internet to the Hartwood and Rock Hill districts.

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Update 1:30 p.m. — CSX, the corporation that owns the railroad, just provided us with a statement. The incident involved no hazardous materials or injuries, with first responders swiftly addressing the situation while the cause is under investigation.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. yesterday , a CSX train derailed several rail cars near Cobblestone Dr. in Fredricksburg, VA. A garage structure adjacent to the rail line was impacted by the incident. No hazardous materials were involved and there were no reports of injuries. CSX appreciates the swift response of the Fredricksburg City first responders. The safety of response personnel and the surrounding community is our top priority as we work to recover the derailed cars and work to completely restore the area. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Updated 8 a.m. Sunday: A freight train derailed and collided with buildings at the Cobblestone Square apartment complex near the city’s train station. No one was injured.

More from Fredericksburg police:

On July 20, 2024, at approximately 8:50 p.m., the Fredericksburg Police Department’s E-911 Center received a call about a train derailment. Police officers and the fire department arrived at the scene, located at Cobblestone Square, at 8:54 p.m. They found that a CSX Freight Train had derailed and collided with the garage buildings on the property.

The property is separated from the train tracks by a large wall located behind the garage buildings. Five cars of the CSX Freight Train had derailed and crashed into the large wall, causing it to collapse into four garages. Thankfully, there were no injuries since the train had no passengers on board.

The Fire Department conducted a preliminary search of the area and found no injuries, only property damage. Although hazardous materials were found on the train car, they were secure and were not part of the derailed cars.

At the time of this release, the Fire Department, Police Department, and building officials were still at the scene. CSX will be taking over the investigation.

Amtrak, which also uses the line, tells us there is no disruption in service.

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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, grant, or program they would like to encourage.

Executive Director Stephanie Johnson explained SEF’s latest initiative, the Community Health and Mental Professionals (CHAMP) Center 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 Claude Moore Foundation. Designed to address critical gaps in mental health, biomedical science, and nursing 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 Reflect Stafford, a 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 or costs more than some families can afford.

Strategic partnerships play a vital role in SEF’s success. The “Tee Off for Education” 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 “Tee Off for Education” 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.

Finally, Facebook removed this post from our page (see below). Don’t rely on Facebook to get your local news. Sign up for our FREE email newsletter and never miss a post!

 

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Updated 1 p.m. Friday, July 19 — A Spotsylvania man faces multiple charges after being found passed out in a car with controlled substances in South Stafford. Despite attempts to flee and resist arrest, deputies subdued him with OC spray. They took him to the hospital for evaluation before taking him into custody at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

A Spotsylvania man collected a plethora of charges during an incident in South Stafford yesterday afternoon. On July 18th at 3:14 p.m. Deputy D.S. Jett and Deputy C.S. Harding responded to Argyle Heights subdivision for an unknown medical emergency. A resident had contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report a stranger passed out in a black Chevy Impala completely blocking the ingress and egress to her residence. The deputies observed the 46-year-old male passed out behind the wheel with suspected controlled substances next to him.

The man was startled as he awoke to find the deputies at the side of his car. He was instructed to exit the vehicle, but declined the invitation and remained nonplussed. The drugged driver was informed it was not a request and he needed to exit the car. Instead of getting out, the belligerent motorist started the car, put it in gear and sped down the driveway to the home. This proved to be fruitless, as the home was surrounded by large trees preventing any avenue of escape. The suspect had no known association to the home.

Deputies maneuvered their patrol cars behind the ornery operator and continued to give commands to surrender. However, after the brief pursuit the antagonistic automobilist had returned to a slumbering state.

Deputies breached the windows of the vehicle and tactically extracted the suspect from the vehicle. The suspect became increasingly hostile upon being awoken and continued to thrash about as deputies applied handcuffs. Due to the continued struggle, the suspect received a dose of OC spray, which did little to calm his hostility. After an intense struggle, the suspect was placed in a patrol car, but returned to a lethargic state. Due to the concern of an overdose, the suspect was transferred to medics and was transported by ambulance to the hospital for evaluation.

The suspect was identified as Russell McFadden II. McFadden was charged with DUI second offense in 5 to 10 years, possession of a controlled substance, two counts of assault on law enforcement, obstruction, driving revoked, eluding, fleeing from law enforcement, driving revoked and expired registration. He was turned over to the custody of the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond. A mugshot is not currently available.

Excellent teamwork by the deputies to get this suspect off the streets of Stafford County. Thank you to our partners at Stafford County Fire and Rescue for their assistance at this incident.

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Hood Drive and Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania

Route 636 (Hood Drive) in Spotsylvania County will reopen to two-way traffic on the morning of Friday, July 19. The reopening will allow southbound traffic to travel from Route 208 (Courthouse Road) to Route 1. Westbound Courthouse Road traffic can turn left onto southbound Hood Drive or make a U-turn to eastbound Courthouse Road.

Hood Drive had been limited to northbound traffic only since July 2023 for construction. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) says two road improvement projects are nearly complete, with full completion expected by August 2024. The projects involved adding new turn lanes, a raised median, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossing equipment. Hood Drive sees about 11,000 vehicles daily.

VDOT:

Route 636 (Hood Drive) in Spotsylvania County will reopen to two-way traffic during the morning of Friday, July 19.

The reopening means southbound traffic can again use Hood Drive to travel from Route 208 (Courthouse Road) to Route 1.

For traffic on westbound Courthouse Road, the reopening of the southbound lane of Hood Drive means westbound traffic can again turn left onto southbound Hood Drive. As part of the Hood Drive reopening Friday morning, westbound Courthouse Road traffic will be permitted to turn left onto Hood Drive or make a U-turn to eastbound Courthouse Road on a green arrow signal or after yielding to oncoming traffic on a flashing yellow arrow signal.

Hood Drive was limited to carrying northbound traffic only in July 2023 to provide space for construction crews building turn lanes at several intersections.

Two road improvement projects on Hood Drive are nearing completion, with all construction activity expected to be finished in August 2024.

A $6.5 million project funded by Spotsylvania County is adding new right and left turn lanes on Hood Drive at an entrance to a U.S. Veterans Health Administration outpatient clinic under construction.

A $6.1 million project at the intersection of Courthouse Road and Hood Drive is building additional turn lanes on northbound Hood Drive approaching Courthouse Road. A raised median on Hood Drive will separate northbound and southbound traffic. Additional sidewalks will be installed along a portion of Hood Drive and at the Courthouse Road intersection, and crosswalks and pedestrian crossing equipment will be installed. This project is funded through Virginia’s SMART SCALE transportation funding program.

According to a recent VDOT traffic count, approximately 11,000 vehicles a day travel on Hood Drive.

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