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Route 1 south in Stafford County.

Stafford County will adopt a Secondary System Six-Year Program (funding plan) for side roads on Tuesday, May 17.

The county has identified 11 road projects for funding. Staff will use unspent funds from last year, as well as new “TeleFees,” monies from telecommunications companies paid to the state for the use of the public right-of-way for its utilities, to speed up the road construction process.

The county has over half a million dollars in its secondary road funding budget for the Fiscal Year 2023, starting July 1, about $60,000 more than it had last year.

The Board of Supervisors is set to approve the worklist during its 3 p.m. meeting.

Here are the road projects ranked by priority:

  • Brent Point Raod: Brent Point Road past Potomac Point Winery, in a rural section of the county near the Potomac River, will be paved by the end of the year using leftover funds from the Fiscal Year 2022.
  • Windemere Drive: A total of $250,000 in TeleFees funding is being used to fund the cost of the new Windermere Drive on the Brooke peninsula as part of the construction of a new emergency access drive.
  • Shelton Shop/Winding Creek: Improvements will come to the intersection of Shelton Shop Road and Winding Creek Drive, one of the most dangerous in the county due to poor visibility of oncoming cars.
  • New Hope Church Road is scheduled for paving in FY2023
  • Monroe Farm Road has been accelerated by one year and is now scheduled for paving in Fiscal Year 2024
  • Re-alignment of the Harrell Road and Forbes Street intersection has been accelerated by 1 year for construction in Fiscal Year 2024.
  • Lynhaven Lane has been accelerated by one year and is now scheduled for paving in Fiscal Year 2024
  • A new project to wedge-widen Richards Ferry Road was added to the Secondary System Six-Year Program and is scheduled for improvements in the Fiscal Year 2025.
  • Paving of Cedar Grove Road has been accelerated by 1 year and is now scheduled for paving in the Fiscal Year 2026.
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Madden [Photo: Stafford sheriff’s office]
A man was shot and stabbed early Saturday morning in Stafford County.

Police are just telling us about the incident at 3:06 a.m. Saturday, May 14. Deputies went to a medical emergency on Fox Run Lane in the Woodlawn subdivision, about three miles outside Downtown Fredericksburg.

They found a man in a home’s driveway, bleeding profusely, with life-threatening injuries, police said. Deputy K.P. Hall rendered first aid until medics from Stafford Fire and Rescue arrived and transported the man to the hospital.

Meanwhile, deputies were alerted to a disturbance inside the home and learned a man was acting irrationally and had assaulted a resident. Deputies detained the man, and he became irate as he was placed in a patrol car, police said.

During the arrest, the man head-butted a deputy and broke out a patrol car window. A deputy was treated for his injury by medics at the scene.

The suspect was initially charged with assault and battery, assault and battery on law enforcement, and vandalism. During a search of the suspect at the jail, a pill suspected to contain powder of psilocybin mushroom was found, police said.

The shooting victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive the injuries. A detective McBride determined the irate man inside the home, an acquaintance of the victim, had shot the man, police said.

Ryan Madden, 23, of Spotsylvania, is charged with unlawful wounding, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance by a prisoner. He is being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

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Construction continues on a new storage facility at 700 Garrisonville Road in North Stafford.

Utility work at a new storage facility built on Garrisonville Road in North Stafford is complete, and a detour is no longer in place.

Crews completed the work on Friday, May 13, 2022. Meadow Lane, between Garrisonville Road and Lark Lane, has reopened to traffic

The work was to accommodate Greenspace storage facility at 700 Garrisonville Road, near Meadow Lane.

Meadow Lane had been closed to traffic on May 2, so crews could connect the new storage facility with the county with sewer lines.

The road closure will remain in place through Friday, May 13, weather permitting. Signs will be posted to guide motorists along the detour route, less than one mile.

The new storage facility is the first of its kind in our area for the Greenspace storage firm, based in Texas. Unlike most storage facilities built chiefly of brick and mortar, when the new Greenspace facility is made of old shopping containers.

When complete, glass and steel will surround the storage containers making them sound for use and making the building look like other nearby storage facilities. The new facility should open later this year.

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I-95, north of Route 17 in Stafford County [Photo: VDOT]
Here’s a look at highway work in our area from Sunday, May 15 to Saturday, May 21. All work is scheduled, weather permitting.

I-95 Southbound

Exit 140 (Courthouse Road)
Single-lane closure near the interchange for express lanes construction. Monday – Thursday, 9 p.m. – 10 a.m. Thursday – Friday, 9 p.m. – 4:30 a.m., and Friday – Saturday, 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. On Wednesday, May 18, a single lane will close at 9 p.m., followed by double lane closures at 10 p.m. Double lane closures will end at 4:30 a.m., while a single lane will remain closed until 10 a.m. Thursday, May 19.

Exit 130 (Route 3) Local and Through Lanes
Sunday – Thursday, 9 p.m. – 3 p.m. Various lane closures on the local and through travel lanes near this interchange for final paving activities for the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing project. The lanes will be closed at the following schedule:

  • 9 p.m. – Single lane closure
  • 10 p.m. – Double lane closure on both local and through lanes
  • 4:30 a.m. – Two lanes open, with a single lane closure in place
  • 10 a.m. – All southbound lanes open

Exit 130 (Route 3) 24-Hour Lane Closure
24-hours. A single lane of I-95 southbound at mile marker 131 will remain closed 24 hours a day through Friday, May 20, in the local travel lanes just south of the Rappahannock River bridge. The right lane is closed for motorist safety as crews work along the interstate shoulder. An emergency maintenance repair is underway to address severe erosion. Read the release here.

I-95 Northbound

Exit 133A (Route 17) Off-Ramp Closure
Tuesday – Wednesday, 11 p.m. – 3 a.m. The I-95 northbound off-ramp to southbound Route 17 will close. The ramp closure is necessary for significant debris removal operations. Drivers will be detoured to Route 17 northbound and U-turn at the Falls Run Drive intersection to travel south on Route 17 towards Falmouth.

Exit 148 (Quantico)
Monday – Thursday, 9 p.m. – 4:30 a.m. Single-lane closure followed by double lane closure near the interchange for express lanes construction. All northbound lanes will reopen by 4:30 a.m.

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Ronald Green [Photo: Stafford County Sheriff’s office]
A man who authorities said hopped over a counter at a pharmacy to steal narcotics is behind bars.

On Friday, May 13, at 3:08 p.m., Stafford sheriff’s deputies went to Giant Food at 550 Celebrate Virginia Parkway. The initial information from witnesses described an armed robber jumping the pharmacy counter and stealing oxycodone and OxyContin.

The suspect then ran to a white Enterprise Rental van and fled. Witnesses provided deputies with a description of the suspect and the van, including a partial license tag.

Deputy G.W. Motley was in the vicinity and saw the van on Celebrate Virginia Parkway. He followed the suspect onto Sanford Drive as other deputies maneuvered into positions to assist.

Deputies prepared spike strips to deflate the suspect’s tires if he tried to flee. Pursuit vehicles were also staged nearby.

According to authorities, deputies stopped the suspect at Sanford Drive just before Warrenton Road, and the suspect complied. He was taken into custody without incident by the joint efforts of Deputy Motley and Deputies J.C. Curtis, M.E. Gordon, C.M. Hidalgo, and A.W. Sypolt.

Ronald Green, 31, of Philadelphia, is charged with robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle in Stafford and served a warrant of extradition for Maryland. The van he was driving was reported stolen from Pennsylvania, police said. Additionally, Green was wanted in Baltimore County, Md., for robbery and theft.

Green was held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Before deputies arrested him, they closed Sanford Drive at Warrenton Road to traffic to prevent motorists from entering a potentially volatile scene.

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The Stafford County Board of Supervisors is once again turning its eye to a familiar problem: overcrowded parking at the Historic Port of Falmouth Park.

The Board has had several discussions over the last two years on alleviating problems of overcrowding and parking at the beach.  Since then, the county has made some strides, including sectioned-off parking areas, adding drop-off areas and no parking signs, and towing away illegally-parked cars.

The county has also made additions aimed at the beach's cleanliness and safety, including dog waste stations, loaning personal flotation devices, and providing EMS staff from the Fire and Rescue Department to monitor park activity on the weekends.

All these steps and others have cost the county money, and now they're looking for ways to continue funding the beach.

Some Board members, such as Hartwood District Supervisor Darrell English, have proposed to close the beach entirely. English spoke to the high operation costs mentioning items such as the upkeep of 18 port-a-potties and county employees picking up trash five hours a day which, according to the Supervisor, gets worse during the summer.

"There's a lot that we spend on there, and we've kicked the can so many times, and it's been an issue," says English. "I suggest we start charging or close the beach because it's costing too much money to run this. I think it's going to get worse this year."

English would suggest charging for parking and estimated that a fee of $20 or $25 per car from 80 cars over the course of the day could bring in $2,000. This estimate is based on how many cars would park at the beach during the summer.

George Washington District Supervisor Tom Coen responded that the county would not be allowed to close the park due to a deal with an entity that no longer exists, the Fredericksburg-Stafford Park Authority. Coen believed that the county would also not be able to charge parkgoers from nearby Fredericksburg but got clarification that the county would not charge residents of the city more than they would potentially charge county residents.

One option was charging non-residents of the county and Fredericksburg for parking. Garrisonville District Supervisor Pamela Yeung was against the idea, saying that the park was for everyone.

On the opposite end was Aquia District Supervisor Monica Gary, who noted that the park was already paid for by local taxes and didn't have an issue with charging out-of-towners for parking. Falmouth District Supervisor Meg Bohmke also attested to the trash collection at the park and favored charging out-of-towners.

Any solution that the board would come up with would not go into effect until Summer 2023. The timing of the Board's attention to the issue wouldn't allow the county to implement any change for the Summer 2022 season.

The matter will come back to the board as unfinished business at their next meeting on May 17.

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A driver was charged with eluding and several other offenses after a low-speed pursuit in North Stafford.

On May 11 at 2:37 a.m., Deputy S.C. Jett went to a Red Roof Inn at 153 Garrisonville Road to report a suspicious person. A witness said a man was slumped over in a black Infiniti sedan parked next to dumpsters.

According to authorities, the vehicle registration returned to a suspended driver and expired in April 2021. As the deputy approached his patrol car, the driver, now alert, pulled out onto Greenspring Drive.

The deputy attempted to stop him, but the man continued toward Salisbury Drive. He briefly stopped in the intersection, but as Deputy Jett exited his patrol car to approach the vehicle on foot, the suspect made a U-turn and headed back toward the Red Roof Inn.

At a speed of 20 mph, the suspect failed to outrun the deputy and pulled into the parking lot of Buffalo Mo’s at 33 Wicomico Drive. The suspect parked the Infiniti catawampus in a parking spot.

Demirci responded with K-9 Titan and performed an article search for anything Sharrier had thrown from the open window during the brief, low-speed pursuit. K-9 Titan located additional baggies in the area, also containing a suspected controlled substance.

Adwain Sharrier, 38, of Stafford, is charged with DUI, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, eluding, obstruction, and driving revoked. According to authorities, as Sharrier was booked into the Rappahannock Regional Jail, an additional suspected controlled substance was found on him.

Likewise, an additional warrant for possession of a chemical compound by a prisoner was obtained. Sharrier was held without bond.

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Kayakers on the Rappahannock River [Photo: Friends of the Rappahannock]

The Rappahannock River Ecological Park, also known as RIVERE, has approached Stafford County leaders to create an ecological center on the banks of the Rappahannock River.

Company representatives made their case at a meeting of the county’s Community and Economic Development Committee earlier his month to make it case that the park would be a help with tourism in the community as well as its importance in ecological research.

RIVERE is seeking to lease a portion of Duff McDuff Park which is currently owned by the county due to its position on the Rappahannock River. Duff McDuff is currently home to the local Patawomeck Tribe, which is currently building up a cultural center. The 60-acre plot of land that the organization seeks to lease is adjacent to the tribe’s land. The land owned by the county has been assessed to be valued at $83,900.

RIVERE has already obtained a 14-acre site near Duff McDuff from the University of Mary Washington.

Should the county agree to lease the plot to RIVERE, the organization plans to set up a center dedicated to ecological research and education. Among its efforts, RIVERE will place sensors along the river and its tributaries, effectively creating the first “smart river” using AI technology. The goal of this transformation is to carefully monitor those areas in real-time for pollutants that could endanger the river’s health.

The data could be used to identify pollution sources and create responses and measures through predictive modeling to inform and guide authorities on the challenges that freshwater bodies deal with regularly. The sensors would be installed along the length of the Rappahannock River to the organization’s headquarters at the Chesapeake Bay.

The organization would work alongside Stafford County as part of the Virginia Smart Community Testbed, which is focused on the development of new technologies. Representatives for RIVERE also mentioned potential benefits for the county in tourism, not just of the center itself but of other county sites of interest, such as Chatham Manor.

Some concerns were made by members of the committee, which included Garrisonville District Supervisor Pamela Yeung, who had questions about the effect the sensors themselves would have on the surrounding ecosystem and the affordability for local students to visit the new eco-center.

Representatives of RIVERE responded that they were making formal relationships with many public and private organizations and could partner with local youth organizations such as the 4-H Club, which was one way they could create a route for affordable, educational tours for local students.

Falmouth District Supervisor Meg Bohmke questioned the organization’s representatives about those partnerships when she noticed that the George Washington Regional Commission was listed as having a partnership with RIVERE.

Bohmke sat on the board of the GWRC and reported that its board had seen no notice of a partnership with RIVERE. While both she and the organization clarified that the agreement with the GWRC was on the staff level Bohmke suggested that a presentation to its board might be in order.

Plans have been made to hold more talks between RIVERE and the county before it goes to the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, the organization plans to compile more information in order to answer questions that the committee may have going forward.

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The Stafford Soap Box Derby will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022, for the first time in Stafford County, Virginia.

Hosted by the Regional Soap Box Derby Organization, racers will be challenged as they race on Reservoir Road in front of the Rocky Run Elementary School, located at 95 Reservoir Road, Fredericksburg, Va., 22406. All information and registration for the Stafford Soap Box Derby can be found at TourStaffordVA.com/event/SoapBoxDerby. 

This annual event marks 25 years celebrated in the Rappahannock Region. Racer registration is open to those between the ages of 7 to 20 years old. The deadline to register is Sunday, May 1, 2022. Registrants must fill out the form, attend a clinic, and pay a $50 registration fee. 

The Soap Box Derby is a family experience and event that provides a positive experience for everyone who is involved. This event lasts one day but creates a lifelong impact and memories. 

“The Soap Box Derby is a family event that benefits the whole community and teaches kids STEM skills as well as sportsmanship,” stated Keith Burgess, President of Rappahannock Regional Soap Box Derby.

The Soap Box Derby is held for the first time in Stafford, which will provide a unique racing experience. The Rappahannock Regional Soap Box Derby committee looked for a location with a long enough straight hill that would provide ample spectator space and comfort. The Rappahannock Regional Soap Box Derby partnered with Stafford County’s Tourism office and found the perfect venue at Rocky Run Elementary School. 

“The track at Rocky Run Elementary School will be a fast track with speeds approaching 25 mph which will be exciting, especially for the kids,” said Burgess.

The top three winners from the Stafford Soap Box Derby will travel to Arkon, Ohio in July to represent Stafford County at the International Soap Box Derby Race. 

Tour Stafford is a proud sponsor of this event. For more and to register for the Stafford Soap Box Derby, visit TourStaffordVA.com/event/SoapBoxDerby.

The International Soap Box Derby® is a youth gravity racing program that has run nationally since 1934.

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