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Prince William Police Department:Fatal Crash Investigation *DRIVER CHARGED – On August 29, crash investigators obtained charges for one of the drivers involved in the fatal crash that occurred in the area of Catharpin Road and Fallen Oaks Place in Gainesville (20155) on August 26. The drivers of the initial vehicles involved were found to have been traveling well above both the posted 40 MPH speed limit, and the recommended posted 30 MPH safe speed for roadway conditions at the curve where the crash occurred. The driver of the third vehicle, which was traveling in the opposite direction, was found to be operating their vehicle, a 2006 Scion, properly, and was uninvolved in the driving behavior of the other two drivers. The collision killed the 19-year-old driver of a 2016 Hyundai Elantra and injured a passenger inside the vehicle, who were both not properly wearing their seatbelt in the vehicle. Following the investigation, crash investigators charged the driver of the 2015 Toyota Corolla, identified as a 16-year-old male juvenile, who was also found to have been driving the vehicle without a license. Charged on August 29: [Juvenile]

A 16-year-old male juvenile of Haymarket [driver of the 2015 Toyota Corolla]. Charged with reckless driving and no operator’s license. Court Date: Pending | Status: Charged/Petitions Obtained. Identified: The deceased driver of the 2016 Hyundai Elantra was identified as Qais  JAILANI, 19, of Haymarket. The passenger of the 2016 Hyundai Elantra was identified as a 19-year-old man of Gainesville. The driver of the 2006 Scion was identified as a 50-year-old woman of South Riding.”

Fatal Crash Investigation [Previously Released] – On August 26 at 1:10 a.m., crash investigators responded to the area of Catharpin Rd and Fallen Oaks Place in Gainesville (20155) to investigate a crash. The investigation revealed the drivers of a 2015 Toyota Corolla, and a 2016 Hyundai Elantra were traveling southbound on Catharpin Road at a high rate of speed when driver of the Corolla passed the Elantra, crossing over the double yellow line. The driver of the Elantra then attempted to overtake the Corolla in a ‘No Passing’ zone when the Elantra made contact with the rear of the Corolla as it began to pass. The Corolla then rotated and struck
a 2006 Scion that was traveling the opposite direction. The Elantra left the roadway and traveled down an embankment before striking a tree. The driver of the Elantra later died at an area hospital as a result of his injuries. A passenger in the Elantra sustained non-life threatening injuries. The drivers of the Corolla and the Scion were not injured. Speed is a factor in the collision. The investigation continues.”

Armed Robbery – On August 28 at 3:16 p.m., officers responded to the 2900 block of Potomac Mills Close in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a robbery. The preliminary investigation revealed the victim, a 38-year-
old man, was allegedly robbed by three unknown men while in the above area. During the encounter, one of the men was reportedly armed with a knife, while another had a handgun. At one point, the victim was cut on his finger and back. The victim’s money and phone were taken before the parties dispersed and the suspects fled in dark-colored BMW sedan. Minor injuries were reported. The suspects were described as three Hispanic males between 15-25 years of age.”

Armed Robbery – On August 26, officers responded to investigate a robbery that was reported to have occurred in the area of Irongate Way and Winchester Court in Manassas (20109) on August 25 at approximately 10:30 p.m. The investigation revealed the victim, a 22-year-old man, was walking in the above area when he was approached from behind by an unknown man who brandished a firearm. During the encounter, the suspect demanded the victim’s shoes before fleeing on foot. The victim left the area and contacted the police the following day. Suspect Description: A Hispanic male, approximately 24 years old, 5’5, 170lbs., with long straight hair, and a beard.
Last seen wearing a black ball cap, a green shirt, and black shorts.”

Strong-Arm Robbery – On August 28 at 9:04 p.m., officers responded to the 8600 block of Parkland Street in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. The investigation revealed the victim, a 21-year-old man, was
walking in the above area when he encountered an unknown man who struck him from behind. The suspect was joined by another unknown man and the two suspects took the victim’s backpack before fleeing on foot.
The victim reported minor injuries. The backpack was recovered later with the victim’s money and food items removed. The suspects were described as two Hispanic males who were wearing black clothing.”

Residential Burglary – On August 27 at 6:27 p.m., officers responded to a residence located in the 10900 block of Mission Ridge Drive in Manassas (20109) to investigate a burglary. The investigation revealed sometime between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. entry was made into the home through an unsecured kitchen window. A phone, a THC vape cartridge, Apple Air Pods, and jewelry were reported missing.”

Payton Alexander RHODES

Malicious Wounding – On August 25, officers concluded an investigation into an assault that was reported to have occurred at a residence located in the 14800 block of Danville Road in Woodbridge (22193) on July 1 at approximately 3:30 a.m. The investigation revealed the victim, a 34-year-old man, observed a verbal altercation between an unknown man and woman in his driveway. During the encounter, the male suspect used a bat to strike the victim in the head before the female suspect struck the victim with her hands. The parties dispersed, and the suspects left the area with the bat which originally belonged to the victim. While investigating the incident, officers identified the male suspect and obtained arrest warrants. On August 25, the male suspect, identified as Payton Alexander RHODES, was arrested. The investigation remains active as officers attempt to identify the female suspect. Arrested on August 25: Payton Alexander RHODES, 23, of 14820 Danville Road in Woodbridge. Charged with malicious wounding and petit larceny. Court Date: Pending | Bond: Unavailable. Suspect Description: A Hispanic female, approximately 5’0, with straight long brown hair. Last seen wearing a grey tank top and blue jeans.”

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Prince William police: “Death Investigation – On July 27 at 7:14 p.m., officers responded to the 11700 block of Antietam Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a death. The investigation revealed a body was found floating in the water behind an address in the above area.”

“Fire and rescue responded and removed the body from the water and confirmed the death. Preliminarily, there were no signs of foul play. The deceased, identified as a 40-year-old man, was confirmed as a missing person who had been reported to police earlier that morning after it was discovered he had left his home on Pineneedle Ct in Woodbridge sometime after 9:30 p.m. the evening prior, on July 26.”

“At the time of the initial report, there were no indications the individual was endangered. Family members were checking areas their loved one was known to frequent when the body was discovered. The cause of death is not immediately known and will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Identified: The deceased was identified as James Lloyd MOORE, 40, of Woodbridge

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Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus

The Center Square: “Tuition is increasing at Virginia community colleges for the first time in five years due to a unanimous decision from the State Board of Community Colleges.”

“Virginia’s 23 community colleges are increasing their tuition by $4.61 per credit hour, about 3% of the previous in-state tuition rate. For most of them, tuition will be $158.61 per credit hour for the 2023-24 school year or $2,379.15 for a 15-credit-hour semester. Other mandatory fees will vary, depending on the college.”

“Eight of the colleges decided not to modify their tuition differential rates. Though the tuition increase is the same for those schools, the total tuition rate is not, and their tuition rates will be posted on their websites.”

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Andrews

Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce: “The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce will host the 7th annual First Responders Appreciation Breakfast on August 23rd from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Fredericksburg Convention Center.”

“The business community comes together to honor and thank our region’s first responders for their outstanding contributions to our safety and well-being. “

“Awards will be presented in the following categories: Heroism (Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards; Meritorious Civilian Award); Investigative (Excellence in Criminal Investigation Award; Merit Award; The Business of First Responding Award); and the Citizen Valor Award.

“[Virginia] Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alisicia Andrews will provide the event’s keynote address.”

Andrews is a United States Marine Corps veteran with an MBA and Cybersecurity Management Certificate from Georgetown University. Andrews ran as a Republican in 2020 in an attempt to unseat Democrat Jennifer Wexton, who still holds the seat representing Manassas and western Prince William County in congress.

Register for this event here

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[Left to right: Madina Habib, Jacqueline Vontersch, Amelia Breeden, and PLN Founder and Publisher Uriah Kiser. Back row: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin]
The Potomac Local News team got one-on-one time with Gov. Glenn Youngkin in Manassas on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

My interns, Amelia Breeden and Madina Habib of Osbourn High School and Jacqueline Vontersch of Elon University, a Woodbridge native, joined me at the ribbon cutting of RapidFlight. The firm uses 3-D printers to make unmanned aerial drones and announced a $5 million expansion, adding more than 100 new employees.

The student interns spoke with the governor, who encouraged them to pursue their studies in school and in local journalism. More than 200 people attended the event, which allowed the interns to photograph and meet other business leaders and elected officials from their community.

Our interns conducted themselves with professionalism and grace and served as shining examples of our work here at PLN and in their respective schools. Breeden and Habib joined PLN in February as part of the Manassas City Public Schools Word-based Learning Program.

Vontersch joined PLN this month as a meeting reporter.

PLN works with students and members of our community in multiple ways.

Work-based learning Program: Students learn web publishing tools, copy editing, deadlines, and time management and are responsible for posting community news to our website.

Interested college and high school students may apply here for this unpaid internship.

Meeting Reporters Program: Our meeting “documenters” are trained and paid to attend, photograph, and take notes (document) public meetings in Prince William and Stafford counties, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Fredericksburg sites.

Interested residents may apply here to participate in this program

Thank you to our interns and meeting reporters who shine a light on news and events happening in our communities, continuously working to hold our elected leaders accountable.

And thank you for being a PLN member who ensures we may continue training the next generation of local news reports while continuing to bring you the local news and information you trust.

Please click here and become a member today and thank you.

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The Marine Corps Marathon 17.75K run in Prince William Forest Park [Photo: Marine Corps Marathon]

Marine Corps Marathon Organization: “The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) announced that registration for the Turkey Trot 10K and Mile will open to the public today at noon EST on marinemarathon.com. The event will run aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on November 18.”

“The 6.2 mile event celebrates Thanksgiving, providing participants one final calorie burning exercise before kicking off the holiday week. Interested runners are encouraged to make it a family affair with the Turkey Trot Mile, perfect for any aspiring runner.”

“The live Turkey Trot 10K marks the final qualifier for the 2023 Distinguished Participant medal. To qualify for this coveted title, runners must complete a race from every MCMO event weekend. Registration for both the live and virtual Turkey Trot 10K is $47, and open to ages 10 and up. Virtual runners will have from November 4 to 19 to complete the 6.2 mile distance. The Turkey Trot Mile is live only, and open to all ages for $25.”

“All participants will receive the official event shirt, a spectacular finisher medal and more.”

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Manassas Mall at 8300 Sudley Road near Manassas.

Dill Dinkers Pickleball: “Dill Dinkers, the leading provider of dedicated indoor pickleball in Maryland, has signed a 10-year lease with Spinoso Real Estate Group for its first location, Manassas Mall. The facility will be located at 8300 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109, in spaces A3 and A4, across from Autobahn Indoor Speedway, and is scheduled to open in early 2024.”

“The 16,485 square foot space will include six regulaQon-sized pickleball courts with fences and an outdoor surface, bathrooms, private event space, a pro shop, a ball machine, and a state-of- the-art reservation system. The facility will offer clinics, private and semi-private lessons, and leagues. A Director of Pickleball is on staff at each locaQon to ensure the pickleball programming is in line with Dill Dinkers’ high standards.”

“Dill Dinkers, which recently announced the opening of its fourth locaQon, has exploded on the scene as the leader in dedicated indoor pickleball faciliQes on the east coast. “Our vision is to spread the joy of pickleball worldwide,” said Will Richards, Co-Founder and CEO.”

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[Scott Rodgerson/Unsplash]
WRDE-TV: “Five people were arrested in Ocean City, including four teens, after multiple police agencies responded to stop a car that they say ran from officers. Two handguns were recovered by officers.”

“The car continued moving, so police drove to the Route 90 bridge to make sure that it would not become disabled on the bridge, as one tire was deflated. Though the bridge is marked with signs that prohibit pedestrians, police said four people got out of the car and threw a bag over the edge into the bay below. A different driver continued on Route 90.”

“The group of people on the bridge included a 16-year-old and 17-year-old from Lorton, Va., another 17-year-old from Alexandria, Va., and 19-year-old Ibrahim Kanu from Woodbridge, Va. Police said Kanu threw the bag and had a loaded handgun on him when they searched the group.”

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Vontersch

Please welcome our newest meeting documenter, reporter Jacqueline Vontersch, who comes to us from Elon University and lives in Prince William County. PLN meeting documenter reporters are a community of trained and paid residents who report on local government meetings in PLN’s coverage area.

Q: Why do you think community journalism is essential?

Vontersch: Journalism holds governments and corporations accountable to the public, and without it, a democratic country will fail.

Q: What’s your past professional experience? (work experience, school or civic clubs, education level, etc.)

Vontersch:  I have worked with Elon Local News, Elon’s school newspaper. I interned in production for Bonnie Erbe’s To The Contrary in Washington, D.C. I write, record, edit, and report in my Journalism classes at Elon University.

Q: What do you like best about the community in which you live?

Vontersch: The Prince William County/ Northern Virginia people I’ve known are resilient. We are fighters. These people do their best with what they’ve got and are unafraid to strike out on their own to honor their sense of right and wrong.

Q: What do you like to do for fun when not working?

Vontersch: I love singing, and I love music. Some of my favorite moments are singing along to songs in the car with my good friends, making up harmonies (and often failing). If we’re lucky, we can dance along too.

Q: When you leave PLN, what is one thing you hope to have accomplished?

Vontersch: I hope to understand better the ins and outs of a regular reporting job for local news, and I hope to have a better sense of newsworthiness and how to recognize it in the everyday proceeding of local governments.

Do you want to join our team of dedicated documenter meeting reporters and be trained and paid to report the news of our communities? Please complete our quick application form today.

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