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Local News.
Posts from June 2014
by By MARK SHERMAN Associated Press posted Jun 30 2014 10:40AM
     WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
 
     The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.
 
     Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.
 
Filed Under :
Location : Washington
People : Barack Obama
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 30 2014 9:28AM

If you see your own phone number or one of a local business you haven't contacted on your caller ID, don't pick it up.
If you do, you'll hear a recorded voice offering you a better interest rate or telling you about a bill you owe. The Virginia BBB says the scammer buys a list of cell and home phone numbers and uses a Caller ID spoofing company to trick us into picking up the phone. There has been a big spike of them reported in Spotsylvania.
 
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Location : Caller
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 30 2014 9:24AM

If you like to fish or just hang out at Fredericksburg's City Dock off Sophia Street, you'd better get in your fun this week.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be closing the public boat landing there, right after the July Fourth holiday, for about two months. The concrete boat ramps and piers will be replaced and a wheelchair accessible fishing trail will be added, along with the shoreline fishing stations. 
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 30 2014 9:23AM
 The driver in the March bus crash on I-95 near Stafford Regional Airport, that sent 58 people to the hospital, has plead guilty to reckless driving.
As part of the plea agreement, Qilong Xiao a charge of driving while disqualified was dropped. The reckless charge, for speeding, carries a possible sentence of a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. He'll be sentenced in September. 
 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 30 2014 9:20AM
It wouldn't be much of a Fourth of July without fireworks, but you should put safety first if you're thinking of going the DIY route. 
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is out with a report that shows a spike in fireworks related deaths and injuries. It's also got safety tips on fireworks, that include never letting young children set them off alone. Yes, that even means sparklers, snakes or smoke bombs. Get all the info at www.cpsc.gov.
The ligh shows may be beautiful for us to look at, but the loud noises and flashing can scare a lot of our pets. If yours is afraid of thunderstorms, chances are they'll be afraid of fireworks, so leave the at home, inside. If Fido does go, keep them clear of DIY shows, since they might try to bit or run at fireworks. If you're going out into crowds, make sure they have a collar and tags, in case they run off. 
 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 30 2014 9:19AM

You'll probably start noticing more room on your VRE ride from Fredericksburg.
Officials there say they've looked at past summer months ridership patterns and are adding trains. Fredericksburg train 304 will have 7 cars, it's 8 on trains 306 and 303. And train 309 will be running with 7, staring today, for the rest of the season.
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:12AM
 
Between 2 and 3:30 p.m. local resident April Bartlett Deane has organized a Facebook event to help us honor the return of Fallen Marine David Stewart back home. More than 30 people have already said they'll come bearing flags, posters or just their American spirit to honor the the life of a Hero. They'll be lining Cool Springs Road in Stafford to show their respect. If you're are not in that area, feel free to line up anywhere along Rt. 3 into Stafford, Butler Road, and North Rt. 1 up to Stafford's Covenant Funeral Home. 


This is the event post that started it all. Okay, we would like for everyone to meet at The Fraternal-Order Eagles, 21 Cool Springs Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405 at 2:00!

Starting at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, we would like to line up as many "people" as possible and work our way down to Rt. 3!

Please consider the weather and bring chairs, water, sunblock, bug spray.

We will have crayons, banner paper, and some paint for the little ones.

Please bring your own flags and signs!

We (Rita and myself) are aiming to be at the Eagles around 1:30.

Please know that according to the update from Stafford Sherrifs Office, they plan on arriving in Stafford County around 2:30...they may arrive a little later or sooner. We just don't know at this time. Once they arrive, I wouldn't expect it to last longer than 30 minutes.

According to an update from one of the participant riders there were 200+ bikes this morning at the rest area.

Pray all of our riders have a safe trip and see you soon!!

Bring the kids, family, any and everyone!

I've also been informed that there maybe a set up at Fas Mart Rt. 1

The bulk of the route will be Rt. 301 South through MD, crossing the Harry W. Nice Bridge at approx. 1400 (2:00 PM). From there, Rt. 3 west to Cool Springs Rd, Butler Rd, and then Rt.1 North to Courthouse Rd in Stafford. Stafford/Fredericksburg Area folks please encourage people that are not riding to stage anywhere along the route in Stafford County.”

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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:09AM
Want to find something fun but educational for your kids? Check out the Stafford Trailblazers booklet. It expands knowledge of local history for kids in kindergarten through 6th grade. It's got a q&a to go along with visits to four local sites and a chance at prizes. You can get a book at any of the libraries in the Central Rappahannock system.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:08AM
You'd think you're safe as you head into and out of your favorite movie this weekend, but a man from Mineral would probably tell you look out and be careful.
He was getting in his car outside Central Park's Regal, after a late night show Wednesday, when four men tried to rob him. The victim was able to pull out and drive away, but the back of his car was hit with bullets. Two of the suspects are described only as black and the race of the other two is unclear.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:07AM
If you don't take care of your pets and keep them on a leash or in your house, you could lose them. It's the tragic reality for the Spotsylvania owner of the Chow mix accused of attacking a smaller dog and killing it  this week. "Linkin" was put down this week by animal control, with his owner's permission. She says it was a tragic accident that her yard's gate was left open, but it doesn't excuse Linkin's unacceptable behavior. 
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:06AM
 It was just a test, but one north Stafford couple have seen firsthand the devastation a tornado can do to your stuff and your house. A fake tornado ripped through and destroyed Abe and Amelia Anderson's Austin Ridge home, but local and state emergency officials it's what happened to many there in 2008. It tested the county's emergency response, a command center and how to best get residents to emergency shelters.
We've had our share of some strong storms already, that have knocked out power and caused some damage in the region. The lightning that comes with them can be dangerous too. If you hear thunder, remember that lightning's close enough to strike, so get inside. Then stay off land line phones and away from running water. A single bolt can reach over five miles and carry a hundred million volts of electricity.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:05AM
You can show your love for the Smithsonian's National Zoo by getting a limited edition Metro SmarTrip card.
They're being issued to  celebrate 125 years of welcoming visitors from all over the world to the zoo. You pay ten bucks and each reusable card comes pre-loaded with 8-dollars in stored fare. They've got pictures of popular zoo babies including: giant panda cub Bao Bao, African lion cubs, and a gray seal pup named Rona.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Bao Bao
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:04AM
 The chance to catch an after work concert during the week is on the way at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle this summer.
The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's first performance of the series is the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and Silent Drill Platoon on July 17th. Shows are also July 24th and August 14th and 28th. They are all free and open to the public with no tickets required.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:03AM
Feel like you've got too many passwords? Have trouble remembering them? You're far from alone. Frustration over the growing list of letter-number-and-symbol codes we have to create to get into devices and online accounts is common.
One Computer Scientists with Villanova University says to get around it, some people use programs that generate and recall passwords to various accounts for them. Good passwords don't have to be something you'll forget though. Try typing in a sentence you can remember, including spaces and punctuation.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 27 2014 11:02AM
Now that kids are out of local schools, make sure you keep close tabs on them to keep them safe when you're not around. 
You need to know where they're going and when they'll be back. It also pays to know their friends and to avoid strangers. Remember though, a stranger could be somebody they know, but don't know very well. They also need to be aware while they're out playing at neighborhoods and even at theme parks, water parks or the pool. If a child gets grabbed by someone, and it only takes a second, teach them to try and break free and yell loud "I don't know you," to alert people nearby. Kids should also always have a safe place in the neighborhood to run too and the phone number of a neighborhood adult, if you're at work.
They can also be in danger in their virtual worlds, so use the SAFE method to keep your kids that way on social media sites. Secure your computers data and check their privacy settings. Ask questions about what they're doing online. Remember that "friends" and fans don't always have their best interest in mind. And Educate them on the dangers of cyberbullying and online stalking.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:21AM

While most of us have World Cup fever, some folks in Fredericksburg have it to train our student athletes to reach that competition one day.
The pavilion and expansion at the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association Park on Routes 2 and 17 should bedone this month, with the help of lots of local businesses. Area student athletes that want to learn more can be trained there this year by college coaches from 12 states, as part of the Girls Collegiate Soccer Camp. 
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Topics : Sports
by Raphael Okure posted Jun 26 2014 10:19AM

Swimming advisory signs are usually posted at Virginia beaches when the bacteria levels make it unsafe, but a new water quality report shows only 5% of 46 tested have issues.
The Natural Resources Defense Council's report shows problem plaguedFairview Beach in King George still runs about 20 percent above normal though. Dewey Beach in Delaware ranks the best. 
You can see the full report at http://www.nrdc.org/beaches.
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Location : DelawareVirginia
People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:14AM

Between vacation travel and new driver fender-benders, summer is a big car rental season. You'll be asked if you want to buy the supplemental rental car insurance, so what's the answer?
You can check with your car insurance provider to seewhat they cover. And all four major credit cards also offer coverage. You've got to book it with that card and there are some rules. That Ferrari might not be covers and how long you're renting.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:13AM

If you ride a motorcycle, you can help honor the service and ultimate sacrifice of a local Marine Staff Sergeant, killed in the line of duty last week.
The Strength & Honor Motorcycle Club and Stafford Sheriff's Office are organizing the procession. It will accompany David Stewart's family as his body is transported from Delaware, back to Stafford. If you want to be part of the journey, visit the Strength-Honor-Motorcycle-Club Facebook page. 
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:11AM
Lots of you are sending your kids off to to a rite of passage...summer camp.
There are lots of things that can make them sick though. So, make sure they're current on all their vaccines. Pack sunscreen, bug spray and other things they need, like EpiPens and Benadryl. Talk to them and camp counselors about risks and add a label to their water bottle so a sick kid doesn't drink out of it.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:11AM

If you want to see what's going on in local government, but can't make it out to meeting of lawmakers, there's a new convenience in Spotsy.
Its' Board of Supervisors meetings will now stream live through www.regionalwebtv.com. You could already catch meetings in Fredericksburg and Stafford too. Check with the county or city where you live to see if they offer the service.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:09AM

If you ride Metro's Blue Line from Virginia, look for some big changes when the Silver Line comes on next month.
Trains already run every 20 minutes on the weekends, and during rush hour, now a 12 minute wait will start on all others. Some riders fear it will spell disaster, so it's launched the "Say Hello to Yellow" campaign. It wants you to switch to that  line and then back if the next Blue train is more than three minutes away from your station. 
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:08AM

 A Spotsylvania County dog owner facing multiple charges and fines after his Chow mix attacked and killed a Chihuahua, should be a reminder to leash your dog.
The woman was walking her small dog on one in Sheraton Hills East Tuesday night when it happened. Animal Control took the dog into custody and it is being quarantined at the animal shelter. 
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Location : Spotsylvania County
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:08AM

If you're getting married and want to be treated like a princess, it can happen here in Fredericksburg, for a small fee. Just ask Jill Duggar Dillard from TLC's "19 Kids and Counting."
The youngest child on the show found her wedding dress at Ava Laurenne Bride in the Galleria on Caroline Street. Twice a month, any bride can pay 500 bucks for the store to themselves and up to 15 friends to shop, complete with a spread of food, music and surprises. Jill's taped experience might be on a show episode this fall.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:07AM
 An upcoming launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore is testing new suborbital rocket technologies. NASA says it's expected to take place between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Saturday. The technologies being testedduring the launch include a deployment system for forming vapor clouds that help track winds. 
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:06AM

Want to be among the first passengers to ride the Silver Line?  Metro's got a way for you to do it.
The service officials will randomly select 10 winners to be part of the July 26 grand opening ceremony and ride on the first Silver Line train. Each winner and a guest will receive reserved seating and an unlimited Metrorail one-day pass for travel to and from the inaugural activities. To sign up, visit www.silverlinemetro.com.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 26 2014 10:06AM
You'll probably start seeing some Women for Warner shirts and bumper stickers around the region.
The Senator's wife helped launch the program to give hard working women a voice in this November's election. Right now, more than four in 10 families rely on women as the sole breadwinner in their house. 
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Topics : Politics
People : Mark Warner
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:48AM
Spotsylvania County Public Schools employees soon will be able to receive disability benefits faster, thanks to a revised leave policy.
Starting July 1st, it eliminates the current sick leave bank in favor of a new short- and long-term disability policy. It also makes adjustments to the policies for sick or extended leave, so after missing seven days for a physical disease, injury, pregnancy or mental disorder, you are eligible for disability insurance.
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Location : Spotsylvania County
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:46AM
 
More DUI enforcement is likely in Westmoreland County after three arrests of school staff in recent months.
Washington & Lee High School's principal was convicted of DUI and got her license suspended. She has resigned, effective nextMonday. A Washington and Lee High Psychologist failed to take a breathalizer and goes to court next month. A Language Arts teacher from Montross middle faces the same fate in September, after his car ended up in a pond. 
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Topics : EducationLaw_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:44AM

If you kids go to a Stafford County high school they've got some good news about their freedom. They will get to test out relaxed restrictions on cellphone use for one year.
During the pilot, they will be able to use their phone between classes, at lunch and before and after school. Middle school students will also be able to use them, but just before and after school.  
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Location : Stafford County
People : Stafford Schools
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:43AM

It's going to cost you more money to fly for business and pleasure starting next month, thanks to the TSA is putting in new rules that will hike the September 11th security fee. Instead of $2-50 per non-stop flight and $5 dollars for a connecting flight, the TSA will be charging a flat $5-60 each way. And if you have a connecting flight with a layover of more than four hours, it applies every time you change planes.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:42AM
If you have to drive to Central Park from the east, are tired of dealing with the detour along U.S. 1 and Cowan Boulevard and then onto Carl D. Silver Parkway? Sadly, we'll have to deal with it longer than expected. The contractor says bad winter weather set back a November 10th reopening. Now it will be sometime later in December. 
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People : Carl D. Silver
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:41AM

There will be less female blue crabs in the dozens and bushels that you go to buy steamed over the next year and the price could be a little higher.
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission votes to lower that harvest by 10 percent over the next year, starting next weekend. They hope it will help increase spawning potential and reverse the depleted condition of less than 70 million females in the Chesapeake Bay. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:40AM
If you find a tick on yourself, don't panic, but get it off quickly, with clean tweezers, by pulling the head and body from your skin. Doctors say it takes quite a few hours after it latches on, before it starts transmitting any nasty diseases it hasto you.
Depending on the type, they can carry Lyme Disease, an ailment called STARI and the potentially-deadly Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:39AM
 
A reminder to be careful of what you do on the beach. A Fredericksburg man has died on a Cape Hatteras National Seashore Beach after trying to dig a sand tunnel between two holes. It collapsed on and buried David Frasier in about six feet of sand this week.
The National Park Service says when wet sand dries out from the sun, it can easily collapse, so holes should not be dug any deeper than the knees and filled in at the end of the day. 
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People : David Frasier
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:11AM
We know not to drink and drive, but don't even think about having one and getting behind the wheel in Spotsylvania.
The Sheriff's Office has been cracking down, after Roger Harris made it a priority when he took office over two years ago. In the last 60 days, deputies have arrested 32 people for suspected drunk driving.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Spotsylvania County
People : Roger Harris
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 25 2014 9:11AM
Two men posing as power company employees got an undisclosed amount of money from an elderly woman at her home in Stafford Monday afternoon.
The men told her they needed to check her lights and mentioned something about having to lay power lines. One had her walk around and turn switches on and off, the other got the cash. They're only described as 25 to 30 years old, possibly Hispanic and wearing khaki pants. Remember, always request id and a phone number, before letting anyone in your house. 
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People : Be Careful
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:25AM

Your kids are probably enjoying the summer break already, but you might be thinking about what classes they;ll take next year. For some a dual enrollment class might be a smart idea. Germanna Community College is one of the area's schools that recognize the program. Many classes give kids credit in high school and toward their freshman year in college.
It might be too early, but many of you in the Fredericksburg area will soon here "Mom, Dad, I'm bored" from your kids. Going to the zoo or an amusement park can get expensive, so you might need to think outside of the box. So, remember what made you laugh and have fun as a kid and your family can have some do-it-yourself fun. Think about having an old fashioned water hose or water balloon fight. A day at the river or a family car wash could also be fun.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:24AM

Celebration Stage in Stafford's Pratt Park, off River Road, is set for its' big grand opening this Wednesday night.
The county's first covered ampitheatre is opening as part of the county's 350th anniversary celebration. The family festival kicks off at 5 p.m., with short plays, dance and music on stage. There will also be lots of kid's activities and food. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:23AM
We've heard alot about all the recalls from GM, now Honda, Mazda and Nissan are joining the list, recalling millions of vehicles for defective airbags manufactured by its' Takata Corp. supplier, because they could possibly explode. Honda's recalling some 2000 and 2005 year models. It's some Nissan 2001 through 2003s and some Mazda vehicles from 2002 through 2004.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:22AM
 State Police are reminding us to slow down, pay attention and be aware of posted speed limits after a fatal weekend crash takes the life of a Fredericksburg native.
They say 46 year old Bruce Dickenson's Dodge Caravan was taking the 156Aexit ramp in Prince William, when it ran off the right side of the road. It apparently hit the ditch and rode the embankment before overturning. The cause of the crash is still being investigated. 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:20AM

Do you still feed your pup treats made with jerky? There are lots of flavors and many of us do, but a local vet says you might not know, they're dangerous.
The first case of pet illness from them was reported in 2007 and more than 3,600 dogs have gotten sick or died from eating them. It's traced to product in them from China. The FDA hasn't issued a recall yet, but Petco and Petsmart say they'll phase them out within two years.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:18AM
Lots of folks seem less than impressed with digital signs overhead on I-95 in our region that went live in recent weeks.
Some drivers polled like the  signs telling them what to expect and about delays, but others think the messages are bogging down traffic and causing wrecks. Before these, there were already several others, that had been drawing the same complaints.There are eight new real-time signs in the Fredericksburg area.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:18AM

The National Weather Service says three small tornadoes did touch down in Southwest Virginia last week as thunderstorms ripped through the area.
They were pretty small, but twisted up some trees and did a little damage. Meteorologists say more arepossible this summer and we should be ready. A tornado watch means one is possible, so stay alert. A warning means one's been spotted where you live. Last year more than 900 happened across the country. 
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Location : Southwest Virginia
People : Virginia Last
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:17AM
If you want to expand your knowledge in your job, get new skills to promote or certifications to change jobs, Germanna Community College is ready to help.
Its' Center for Workforce and Community Education has opened registration for July classes. They range from everything from writing grants and Linked-in Marketing to Mobile Web and Apps for Business to Intro. to U.S. Intelligence.
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Topics : EducationLabor
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:16AM
Veterans from Operation Iraq Freedom around the beltway and country want you to email your Senators and representatives in Congress.
They are thrilled in the recent vote on Capitol Hill to expand vets' healthcare at facilities across the country. It followed a petition Votevets.org circulated to give the VA authority to hire more doctors and nurses to keep up with demand.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:15AM
 Do you get your kids vaccinated? Most Fredericksburg area schools require it, but the national debate has heated up and many parents have joined the anti-vax movement. Some are afraid of them causing autism or a vaccine overload, but it's dangerous. U.S. Whooping cough cases alone are up 24 percent across the country and the anti-vax movement likely contributed to the measles outbreak a couple of months ago.  
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:15AM

If you get recruited for jury duty in the county, town or city where you live, you'd better be careful about what you tweet.
The American Bar Association has ruled that lawyers will now be allowed to scan social media sites for juror postings.But lawyers can't "follow" or "friend" them to gain access to private posts. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 23 2014 9:14AM
Teachers in Stafford could stand to earn more money and step increases in the coming years after a joint meeting of county and school lawmakers late last week.
Compensation and benefits have come to the front after teachers have showed up at at recent meetings. For many in their first year, others in Spotsy are paid a little more. A bachlelor's degree in Stafford means just over $37,000 a year. In Fauquier they'd make almost $10,000 more. 
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Topics : EducationLabor
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 20 2014 11:45AM

Before you hit the road to travel to your holiday destination next weekend, make sure your car is ready.
In addition to a charged battery, make sure your tires have enough tread and that your fluids are clean. Even if you don't have a roadside service with your car warranty, think about Triple A or ask your insurance company if it's a benefit option. 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 20 2014 11:43AM

Tickets are still for sale online, at ten bucks a pop, for the rare VRE Firecraker trains into DC from Fredericksburgon July 4th. They will leave from the Leeland, Brooke, Quantico, Woodbridge and Lorton stations, starting by 3:45 p.m. The last train gets back at 12:33 a.m.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 20 2014 11:40AM
How many of you use a towel to turn off the water and leave a public bathroom?
It's a habit we should also teach our kids and it's smart to show them the right way to wash their hands. Singing the birthday song twice is long enough to washaway the thousands of germs they pick up in a day that might make them or your other family sick.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 20 2014 11:37AM
Most of us in the Fredericksburg and northern Virginia region that lost power after last night's rough storms have it back. Lots of people in the southeastern part of the state and the Richmond area weren't that lucky though. Dominion Virginia Power says more than 10,000 of its' customers are still without. More than 44,000 were in the dark after the height of the storm. 
Some damage was reported, especially in parts of Spotsylvania and Alexandria, but even one really bad storm during the hurricane season could get expensive. If you live in an area where your basement or lower levels of the house flood, the state department of emergency management says elevate expensive equipment that could get water damage and tie down anything outside.
The National Weather Service is still trying to decide what caused a tree to fall on a Prince William house. It could have been caused by straight-line winds, defined as the downdraft of a fast-moving thunderstorm. They're similar to what happened during the Deracho in Fredericksburg in 2012 and some gusts were reported up to 60 mph. The National Weather Service in Wakefield says spotters reported nickel-size hail, while trees fell across roads and onto homes in several areas.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 19 2014 9:46AM

If you live in part of downtown Fredericksburg, you might notice your water is a little cloudy today and even tomorrow.
If it is, it's from the The Department of Public Works flushing some fire hydrants. It's still safe to drink, but you might want to hold off on laundry. You can also let cold water faucets to run for several minutes at a time to let water in the lines clear.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 19 2014 9:36AM

 If you ride Metro's Blue Line to and from Virginia, you've probably noticed lately that the overhead signs always list when the next blue train will arrive. It's unusual for that arrival time to be listed if it's two or three trainsaway. Officials say it's to help riders decide if they want to  take the next train and transfer back at another station.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 19 2014 9:33AM
The strong line of storms that came through northern Virginia last night certainly did their damage. 
VDOT is still reporting downed limbs, trees and som dark intersections. Its' crews made lots of progress, starting with more than 11,000 homes and businesses in the dark early this morning. A line of storms could get to the Fredericksburg area by late this afternoon and could be severe. Mike Jones with Fredericksburg Fire and Rescue says get ready now. Always get any toys, grills and law furniture secured or out of harms way when bad weather is forecast this summer. You should also have an emergency kit, with battery powered lanterns.
When more extreme heat returns this summer, here in Virginia working outside in it can be deadly. The National Weather Service says workers and employers need to prepare ahead. OSHA reports show that most outdoor workers who die because of heat stress are in a new job and have not had time to adjust to the conditions.
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People : Mike Jones
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:56AM

If you've got an aspiring college student in a local high school, some good news is on the way if they've got good grades, but have problems with tests.
Virginia's Old Dominion University is starting a program that will grant admissionwithout SAT or ACT scores. Students with a GPA of at least 3.3 won't have to take the standardized tests, during the test-optional policy pilot, launched in the fall. 
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Topics : Education
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:55AM
Do you have a talented teen at home for the summer that's into fantasy games and the arts? You might want to check out the Pegasus Productions contest to help create the new ELFLANDEA fantasy card game App.
They will look for details and images of magic and adventure to go along with its script. There will be three winners of a total of $1,200 bucks. Sign them up by joining the Elf Original Arts Submission group on Facebook.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:51AM
 Photo courtesy of fredericksburg.com
The eight-year-old from Stafford that has battled cancer and got national attention to get access to a non-FDA approved drug, has turned a corner.
Aimee Hardy says her son Josh didn't need dialysis Monday and she hopes the same thing will happen tomorrow. It's a big step because it means his kidney function is returning and he could get rid of catheters, which would give him a lot of freedom.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:49AM
 Local police are giving us another reminder to stay aware when we get out of our cars, after we get home from work or anywhere else.
A Culpeper man was robbed by two men, at gunpoint, outside his house on Alum Springs Road late Sunday night.Both of them ran off with an undisclosed amount of money. There's no description of them was available, but police are still looking for clues.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:48AM
Colonial Beach School parents and alumni are taking to the "Save Our Schools" Facebook group to talk about their frustrations over money challenges.
The Town Council and School Board is meeting to revamp the budget again. Not knowing what the insurance company will pay for the fire damage that happened at the condemned high school there is causing even more problems. Now its high school principal and superintendent have resigned.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:48AM
 Photo courtesy of fredericksburg.com
If you were in the area of William and Sophia Streets in Fredericksburg after 3:30 yesterday afternoon, you might have wondered what all the fire equipment was about.
A three vehicle crash started the problem, when one of them hit an electrical transformer between the Old Stone Warehouse and another building. It burst into flames and then flames started climbing up the wall of the building. It was put out with foam and nobody was hurt. 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 17 2014 9:45AM
A scorcher of a day ahead across the region. 
Staying hydrated is key in these extreme temperatures. The average person needs to drink two to four glasses of water, juice or a sports drink every hour. Some of the signs of dehydration are headache, profuse sweating, extreme thirst, and even nausea or vomiting.
Extreme temperatures inside enclosed areas can rise quickly, so pets, kids and others should never be left unattended. Heat exhaustion is usually fixed by getting out of the heat and drinking fluids. Heat stroke, which can be cause by being in those enclosed hot areas can be very different. It's a medical emergency that can lead to unconsciousness or even death.
We could beat some pretty old record highs, before temperatures slowly cool down a little by Friday. An air quality alert is already in effect today: Code Orange for sensitive groups across northern Virginia. This includes the young the elderly and those with asthma, heart or lung ailments.
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Topics : Environment
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 16 2014 11:20AM
Kids now home for the summer mean that parents need to be extra vigilant to keep them safe. Stafford Sheriff's Spokesman Bill Kennedy says it is not like the school year when there are extra pairs of eyes on your children. If it is age appropriate to leave them unsupervised at home for short periods, make sure doors are locked and access to pool areas is restricted.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 16 2014 11:14AM

After our delightful weekend, we're about to pay for it and a big change in our weather pattern is on the way. 
As high pressure slides offshore, a southerly wind will pump in heat and humidity from our south. The first heatwave of the season is likely. So how is that defined, when daytime highs reach 90°, or higher, for three consecutive days. Stay hydrated and get inside often. If you are out and get overheated or start to feel dizzy, call 911.
Your ride home on VRE might be a little longer in the next few days too. The trains will likely run about 10 miles an hour slower than normal, if heat restrictions are put in place. That happens when temperatures are over 90 degrees, in case it causes sun kinks in the rails. The delay would only be two minutes back to Springfield, but turns into an 11 minute lag by the time trains to Fredericksburg.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 16 2014 11:09AM
 Do you want a job that pays a middle class wage? Many people who lost their jobs in the recession have not been able to find full-time employment. The folks at Taskforce Staffing in Fredericksburg tell us some of the best jobs might be close to home and you might not need a college degree, but you need the skills for them. Maintenance people, electricians, plumbers and equipment repair people are in high demand. Physical therapist and home health care workers are also on the list.
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Topics : LaborSocial Issues
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 16 2014 11:08AM
Charges, surgery and a jail cell all prove that love can turn dangerous in Fredericksburg. The two men and women were believed to be in a love triangle when the two men shot each other in the Forest Village Apartments on Fall Hill Avenue. One man apparently came in and opened fire. The men ended up with head and leg wounds. A police dog found the guns. They face charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling and other felonies.  
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 16 2014 9:29AM

 Senator Mark Warner's re-election campaign is in full swing across Virginia and now 16 former Republican lawmakers are backing him for November.
On the list to support the Democrat: John Warner, John Chichester and former governor Linwood Holton. Mark Warner is a Virginia business leader and entrepreneur that served as the Commonwealth's Governor from 2002 to 2006. 

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Topics : Politics
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:58AM
If you had planned to run in the Marine Corps Marathon this fall but something has come up and you can't, here's some good news.
A transfer program is open to pass your bib on to another willing participant. The new runner will pay a transfer fee, but you won't get a refund of what you already paid. If interested, go to www.marinecorpsmarathon.com.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:57AM
A National Weather Service team is heading to northwest Virginia to see if a tornado touched down north of Winchester and into West Virginia's Berkeley County.
The thunderstorm there Wednesday pelted the region with hail the size of golf balls. Investigators will be looking for downed trees and any that are uprooted or twisted off at the top. They are typical indicators a twister touched the ground.
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Topics : Weather
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:47AM
First it was the Wawa chain of stores, now it looks like Sheetz is taking over the Fredericksburg region.
The newest one opened in Spotsy at Route 17 and Hospital Boulevard yesterday. Another one, with a drive thru, opens next Thursday at Route 1 and Massaponax Church Road. Even more stores are already approved in Stafford, at Garrisonville Road and Furnace Road, and King George, at U.S. 3 and Dahlgren Road.
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People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:46AM
Tomorrow' annual Free Lance-Star/Cox Classic Regional Soap Box Derby will be fun for racing kids and parents, but some hiccups for your drive around the city though.
William Street from College to Washington Avenues will be closed from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Entrances to Sunken Road, Littlepage Street and Kenmore Avenue will also be closed. Brompton Street will only be open to residential traffic. The full race schedule is at www.fredericksburgsoapbox.com.
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Location : Derby
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:45AM
Dad might want some time with the family or maybe with the tv or workshop on his day Sunday. Leading up to it, you can help the whole family find its' zen in though. Healing Arts Yoga is doing outside classes for all ages, every Saturday this month. They're in the James Monroe Museum Garden in downtown Fredericksburg from 9 to 10 a.m. It's eight bucks and you can pay at the gate. 
There's also a big festival he might like. The "Grapes and Grains Trail" is at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, off Route 2 in Fredericksburg, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. They'll have craft beer, cocktails, wine, food, cigars for sale classic cars and live music. 
If you're taking the cooking into your own hands for Dad's Father's Day meal remember, the meat matters. Pass on prepackaged hamburger and buy the "ground beef" label or have it done by a butcher. Mix your spices into burger patties before grilling. Form loose, round balls and press them to 3/4 to an inch thick. Never press them down or flip them too much.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:42AM
The months of debate and delay in Richmond that has put lots of local school and government spending decisions on hold is coming to a close.
The Senate Finance Committee advanced a new state budget yesterday, without Medicaid expansion in Virginia. The two-year, $96 billion-dollar plan goes to the Senate and House of Delegates floors next Thursday. Without a new one by June 30th, it could mean a partial government shutdown. 
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:41AM
 Listen carefully, do you hear those cheers in the distance? It's probably the sound of hundreds of local kids being excited about their last day of school today. 
We get a break from buses on the roads until summer school starts next month, but lots more young drivers. Nearly 20 of the deadlist days a year on Virginia roads for young people fall between now and Labor Day. Drive Smart Virginia says they want parents to lead by example and avoid driving distracted, especially in neighborhoods. Put the address of where you're going in the GPS before you leave. If you get lost and need to look at your phone, always pull over.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:25AM
Another piece of historic local battlefield is a step closer to being saved.
The Civil War Trust has almost hit its $3 million goal to preserve 665 acres from the May 1864 battle of North Anna, in Doswell. It would include the entire combat area of Jericho Mill, of both banks of the North Anna River.
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Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 13 2014 8:24AM
Shoppers beware. Your personal financial information and passwords might be at risk from rising cases identity theft.
Identity theft experts say your password should never be as simple as 123456 and abcdef. More to avoid: words that are found in the dictionary in all lower case or all upper case letters. Strong passwords are 8 characters or more and a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and symbols things like explanation points and asterisks.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:43AM
 The countdown is on and the grand opening of Stafford's first covered amphitheater is only two weeks away.
Celebration Stage at Pratt Park opens June 25th, with a family festival and live performances. It's part of the county's year-long 350th anniversary celebration. The festivities start at 5:00 p.m. and the official opening's at 7:00 p.m.  
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:42AM
If you feel brave enough to get a mullet, a mohawk or shave your head altogether, you can get it done this weekend for a good cause...our military.
"Bic Honors" does the shaving this Saturday and Sunday at a tent at the Meadow Event Parkin Caroline, during the Virginia Tough Mudder obstacle event. If Bic gets ten-thousand people to commit this year, they'll donate 100-grand to the Wounded Warrior Project.
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:41AM
Dagwood move over, there's about to be a new sandwich in town, when ten local restaurants compete in Fredericksburg's first summer "Sandwich Invitational."
It's on July 31st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Market Square and you're invited to take samples and vote for a "People's Choice" award. A panel of judges will crown the "Sandwich King" and hand out the grand prize. It kicks off the two courses for 20 bucks restaurant week, from August 1st through the 10th. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:33AM
Your middle and high school kids might get a little more freedom to use their cell phones in Stafford schools, but it looks like teachers surveyed are the most concerned about policing new rules. Right now, they can carry one, but can't use it without permission. Next month, the school board will consider a one year pilot to let phones be used between class and during lunch. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:31AM
Another strong reminder to know where your kids are at night, after two 14 year old boys from Stafford are headed to court.
Their parents didn't know they were gone, when police found them  skateboarding and playing basketball inside the gym of A.G. Wright Middle School. Neither one's being named, since they're juveniles, but are charged with breaking and entering and trespassing. 
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:31AM
The DMV is getting ready to enforce some major changes to the way we're licensed in Virginia.
Starting July 1st, you might get some money back if you've got a hybrid vehicle you licensed for multiple years. The $64 tax on them was nixed, so you might get a refund. And people convicted of a DUI will be required to put an ignition interlock system in their vehicle, even if the court doesn't require it.  
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:30AM
The same al-Qaida-inspired militants who have seized two key cities in northern Iraq continue their march on to Baghdad. They already control Tikrit and Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. In Baghdad, lawmakers are convening to consider a request by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to declare a state emergency. One University of Mary Washington International Affairs Professor tells WFLS that it could spell disaster for the U.S. military, already in the process of the major troop draw down from the country.
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Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
Location : BaghdadMosulNorthern IraqTikrit
People : Nouri al-Maliki
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 12 2014 9:28AM
Earlier this morning, thousands of people across the state woke up to the reality that they couldn't make a cup of coffee or a hot shower, after heavy storms rolled through last night. The outages even closed Wilderness Elementary in Spotsylvania for the day. Dominion Virginia Power's customers were hardest hit around Richmond. 
More storms forecast today mean a threat of flash flooding on some are roads and a threat for the VRE. VDOT also tells us that you should slow down and look out for standing water. Last night's storms also caused some tree limbs to fall. If you get onto a road that wasn't posted as closed, but is flooded or blocked, turn around and report it to 1-800-FOR-ROAD.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 11 2014 11:12AM
You'll have to dole out a little more to use the Sophia Street parking garage in Fredericksburg daily.
The City Council vote nixes the early-bird parking rate of $5 and bumps the cost by $3 for commuters who stay all day. It's also hiking the cost of a monthly permit, but city residents will get discount. It's aimed at moving commuters and leaving more room for people shopping, eating and doing business in the Burg'.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 11 2014 11:11AM
Students at Virginia Tech are among the 15 teams to be finalists in a competition called "Eco Car 2, Plugging into the Future" It's a wind down of a three year event to build an eco-friendly car.  
Team member Leah Johnson tells WFLS, they're re-engineering a 2013 Chevy Malibu to run on gas and electric. She thinks it's important, since green energy and the products are becoming more a part of everyday life.
The winners will be announced tomorrow evening. 
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Location : MalibuVirginia
People : Leah Johnson
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 11 2014 11:07AM
We're getting a little break from the heat this week, but temperatures are sure to soar again soon, so get your house ready.
Northern Virginia Electric tells us that using a programmable thermostat, kept at about 76 degrees, can save you a bunch. Keeping it too high and turning it way down in the heat of the day can cost you more though. Reverse your ceiling fans and replace air conditioner filters often. 
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Location : Northern Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 11 2014 10:59AM
Another incumbent Republican has gone down this primary season, and this time it's the GOP's number-two man in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor. 
Congressman Cantor is beaten in northern Virginia's seventh district race by David Brat, a Tea Party-backed economics professor with less than $200,000 to spend.
Locally, turnout was low for the Fredericksburg area 1st District House race and Electoral Board Member Amanda McGrady tells WFLS, she's not surprised. She says primary races usually bring less people to the polls and it's made worse by having them in June. Nonetheless, Congressman Rob Wittman hangs onto the bid, with 276 votes, to challenger Anthony Riedel's 71. 
In northern Virginia, Former Lieutenant Governor and Democrat Don Beyer will be on the ballot for the 8th district in November. He beat out six other people to take vye for the spot that will be vacated by long-time representative Jim Moran.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:54AM

The City of Fredericksburg is about to launch its six month test of once-a-week curbside recycling and trash collection.
The thousand wheeled carts star rolling in Darbytown and College Heights on June 25th. During the pilot, customers in those neighborhoods have to wheel their trash and recycling to the curb for once-a-week pickup on Wednesdays. Currently, city customers have their trash picked up twice a week.
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Location : DarbytownFredericksburg
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:54AM

Here's your chance to do something fun with your family in town and be a little patriotic this Saturday.
The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg will join the largest group sing of the national anthem in hisory. It's to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the American Flag. Get there at 3:45 p.m. and everybody gets a free kazoo, the the sing along starts at 4:00 p.m.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:53AM

If you had to scramble after your kid's days got longer in Spotsy after 15 snow days this school year, they're getting ahead of the game for next year.
The School Board has approved a proposal to set next January 26th as the first snow makeup day and February 16th as the second. Snow days 3 through 7 will not have to be rescheduled thanks to banked time, and the eighth will be made up on April 3rd. 
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Topics : EducationWeather
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:52AM
Wives of cops across our region rally together tomorrow to get blood donations.
Wives Behind the Badge is co-sponsoring the Blood Drive at the Public Safety Community Building at the Spotsy Administration building. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and all types are needed. If you want to give, get hydrated and eat well today, and register at red-cross-blood-dot-org.
 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:50AM
 
When you put together your emergency kit in case a hurricane threatens Virginia this year, make sure you think about your pets.
Folks at the Fredericksburg SPCA tell us, talk to your vet and consider microchipping. Always pack their vaccine records, any needed meds, a current picture, their collar, leash, carrier and tags. During Hurricane Katrina, more than 200,000 were separated from their families. 
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:49AM
You might be shocked to hear that about 11 percent of adults in the Fredericksburg area can't read, but a local group wants to change that statistic.
Goodskills Literacy Corps is recruiting volunteers in Fredericksburg and Stafford to tutor reading, writing, language skills, math, computer proficiency, and other subjects. Volunteers are expected to help out for one or two hours each week, for at least six weeks. Learn more at www.AmeriCorps@fredgoodwill.org.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:48AM
You'll probably notice new pavement markings at six points, north of Springfield, to get onto the 495 Express Lanes.
The purple-painted markings of the E-ZPass logo are 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and have been laid down to make it easier fordrivers to see the E-ZPass-only Express Lanes or staying on the regular Capital Beltway. They come after a 72-year-old woman was hit and killed last month, after she braked getting onto the lanes. 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 10 2014 8:43AM

Polls are open across Virginia to help pick the Republicans and Democrats that will challenge the people in office now in several congressional districts.
Locally, Rob Wittman and Anthony Riedel will be on your ballot in the First Congressional District Republican primary. Wittman's represented Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford since 2007. 
In Orange, Culpeper and Richmond it's the 7th district and the 8th district in Alexandria and Arlington is to find a Democratic challenger. Polls will close at 7:00 p.m.
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Topics : Politics
Location : AlexandriaArlingtonVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:45AM
Looking for a little sugar rush? It's National Doughnut Day and one local shop is going all out. Krispy Creme is offering you a free doughnut of your choice throughout the day. The tradition was started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served them to soldiers during World War I.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:44AM
Plan for some extra time if you'll be seeing the sites in DC this weekend and getting there by train.
Metro is making adjustments to continue work on rails, ties, platforms, signals, escalators and communication systems. Allow an extra 20 minutes from the Blue Line ride from and to Virginia. It's 24 minutes on the Orange Line and also 20 minutes on the Red and Yellow lines.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:43AM
Look for lots of extra traffic in north Stafford on and off from 9:15 this morning, until 1:45 p.m. It's for a procession leading up to an 11:30 a.m. funeral at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church on Garrisonville Road and then burial at Quantico National Cemetery. It will honor the life of a firefighter and past chief of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department. John "Johnny  Mac" McDonald, who died in the Line of Duty on May 30th.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:42AM
Hundreds of young people will take their walk across the stage to get high school diplomas today and tomorrow.
Graduations are being held at five schools in Spotsylvania alone. And so much for the days that grandparents had to scale bleachers or worry about a long drive to get there. All of Spotsylvania's will be shown on a live stream computer link.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:42AM
You may have already noticed the eight digital signs on some of your drive north and south on I-95 in the region today.
VDOT says they're refreshing real-time, every five minutes, to give you a preview of conditions on the road ahead. Northbound they're at Mile markers 100, 122, 129 and 134 to get you all the way to Manassas. South, they're just north of Route 610, all the way to the exit in Spotsylvania. 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:21AM
You'll see the names of Rob Wittman and Anthony Riedel on your ballot in the First Congressional District Republican primary next Tuesday and the winner will be on the November 4th ballot.
Wittman has represented the district, including Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford since 2007. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. next week. If you still need to vote absentee in-person, do it by tomorrow. Most local registarar's offices will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Ballots will also be cast to find the GOP challenger of House Speaker Eric Cantor in the 7th congressional district race in Richmond and its' suburbs, including Culpeper and Orange. In northern Virginia, voters in Alexandria will pick a Democratic representative for the  8th congressional district.
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Topics : Politics
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:19AM
The Museum of Culpeper History is reminded the hard way and sends a warning to us to be careful of what we buy at auctions.
It purchased slavery items at one in Pennsylvania that have turned out to be fakes. The collection was bought with donated taxpayer money, but the auction company has offered a full refund. Lots of those phony items were made in the 1970s. 
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Location : Pennsylvania
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:18AM
If you want some family time and to get a little dirty with the kids this weekend, you've got until 12:30 p.m. today to sign up for the Big Muddy Challenge.
It's at Belvedere Plantation from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. tomorrow and has obstacles that are a challenge, but good for all ages. It's just under $80 a pop, but the money will benefit Rappahannock Big Brothers, Big sisters. Sign up at www.bigmuddychallenge.com.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:17AM
You may have seen lots of folks running along Route One in the region from 6:00 through noon today.
The police are doing it as a fundraiser, as the Special Olympics Torch is carried to light the cauldron tonight for the summer games in Richmond. It started at the Prince William Stafford line at 6:30 a.m. and got to the Falmouth Bridge around 8:30 a.m. It continued to be handed off from sheriff's to officers in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Caroline and then it's driven to the Hanover Line, just after noon. Those officers continue the journey to light the flame of hope.
Even before today, police in Virginia were lending a hand. While most of us were bundled up in sweaters over the winter, lots of them were putting on bathing suits. Like the Torch Run, annual Polar Plunges raise money to see people jump into frigid water and both raise money and awareness for olympians.
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Location : Virginia
People : William Stafford
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 6 2014 8:13AM
If you're used to buying cigarettes at the commissary at the Quantico Marine Corps Base or another military installation in Virginia, that convenience could be going away. Nixing tobacco sales on the bases and Navy ships are part of a plan being considered by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, but some members of congress are saying no to the change. 
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Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
Location : Virginia
People : Ray Mabus
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 9:06AM

Still looking for something to do with the family this weekend?
The Kids' Market and Art in the Park is at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market at Hurkamp Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. You can buy fresh meat and veggies from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. though.
They'll have music, face painting and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library and Fredericksburg city schools folks will be there to answer parents questions.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 9:02AM
You're about to get a leg up to get the best deal at Walmart.
It's expanding an online tool that checks prices on thousands of products. The Savings Catcher service is expanding nationwide and will be phased in over a few months. It will offer more products in the price search and if the tool finds a lower price somewhere else, it refunds the difference to shoppers in the form of a store credit.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 9:01AM
If you thought there were already enough cars on the interstate, more could be on the way north of Stafford.
Ground could be broken this year on a redevelopment of the former Lorton prison site. It would bring new townhomes, apartments, houses andretail space. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has cleared the way to rezone the land to allow for development.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 9:00AM

Hurricane season is here, so if you haven't downloaded the free Ready Virginia mobile App, it could help you after a storm and even save your life. It was among three in the country presented to President Barack Obama last week at a FEMA conference. It gives real-time weather, helps you make a family emergency plan and gives you GSP enabled escape routes.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 9:00AM

You'll have to make a little drive to get there, but a new low-fare airline at Newport News/Williamsburg Airport will offer some amazing deals.
PEOPLExpress has started selling tickets for flights, on 150 seat Boeing 737-400s, to and from Newark, Boston and Pittsburgh on June 30th. On July 15th, it adds West Palm Beach, Atlanta on August 1st and New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida August 28th.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:59AM

What Fredericksburg's future Riverfront Park will look like is a little more clear.
The Riverfront Task Force met this week and agreed to the plan that's a little less expensive. It would sit on 3.6 acres between Sophia Street and the Rappahannock River. The design firm has a deadline of August 1st to produce a final design. Get more on the plan at www.fredericksburgva.gov/riverfrontpark.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:54AM

Visibility may have been what helped lead to the crash of a ski boat that killed a Marine Corps contractor and hurt a Stafford woman last weekend on Aquia Creek.
She is recovering and now tells investigators there was just a sliver of moonlight and two dark channel markers, just before the wreck. Some in the boating community there say the lights on markers 10 and 12 had been out for some time.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:51AM

Two unique ways to see Fredericksburg are launching this summer... PedalFred and the Fredericksburg Food Tour.
PedalFred starts next month. You get on a 16-seat bike at Caroline and Charlotte Streets. It starts with one vehicle, about 10 employees, and operates daily.
The Fredericksburg Food Tour will be a guided culinary travel downtown, combining a walking tour with history, architecture, culture, and the opportunity to sample food from area restaurants.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:50AM
Most of us have heard about the idea of fracking to release natural gases underground by now.
King George is one of five counties, east and south of Fredericksburg, where a Dallas company wants to do it, but hundreds of residents are worried aboutthe affect. So now a state panel is stepping in and wants companies to disclose every chemical they plan to use and make it public before the start.  
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
Location : Dallas
People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:49AM

Grab the kids or your honey, a rod and reel and get ready to hit the water this weekend. The whole family can fish for free on any state body of fresh or salt water, expect for stocked trout ponds. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says it's to help families bond and show them what's out there. All seasonal weight and catch limits still apply, but it's free tomorrow, through Sunday.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 5 2014 8:49AM

In the past 20 years the Geico office on Route 17 in Stafford has gone from 700 employees to 3,500 and plans to hire 350 more by December.
It celebrated the milestone yesterday and announces a $1,000 donation to the Stafford County public schools' fine arts programs and another $30,000 to Stafford's 350th anniversary efforts. The county surprised Geico officials too, with a Cornerstone Award for have a positive impact on the community.  
Filed Under :
Topics : Human InterestLabor
Location : Stafford County
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 4 2014 10:53AM
Are you planning to fly this summer?
Then pack your hand sanitizer and be careful. Researchers implanted some germs on the seat armrest, plastic tray table, window shade, seat pocket and the metal toilet button on some planes to see how long they would live. Brace yourself...the MRSA staff infection bacteria and E-coli lasted from 96 to 168 hours. It could help them find new ways to protect us on planes down the road.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 4 2014 10:50AM
If you drive north of Stafford through the Telegraph Road intersection, you might be curious about how the future construction there will affect your commute.
There's a "pardon our dust" meeting tonight at the Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford from 7 to 8 p.m. Transportation officials and the contractor will be there. Info is also at www.boswellscornerproject.com.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 4 2014 10:48AM
Stafford's Assistant Fire Chief wants you to make sure you've tested your smoke alarms to make sure they're working well and batteries have enough juice.
They helped save two parents, two kids and pets get out of a fire at their DeaconRoad house, just before 3:00 this morning. Someone driving by called it in to them. Mark Doyle says crews knocked down the fire within 10 minutes.
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People : Mark Doyle
by Frank Hammon posted Jun 3 2014 11:32AM
Another new business is making plans to construct a location in the Shops at Ladysmith Center on U.S. 1. 
Advance Auto has submitted plans for a 69-hundred square foot store to built on a pad site at the front of the center. 
The store's design would be in keeping with the Ladysmith plan outlined in 2008 in that landscaping and the rail fence on the site would be retained when the store is completed. The plan still has to meet approval with the county planning commission. 
Several months ago Verizon started work on a store next to the Food Lion and is expected to soon open.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 9:01AM

If you are an active duty or retired military member or reserve, National Guard or one of their dependents, within 150 miles of Washington, that likes golf you're in luck.
tarting tomorrow, Quicken Loans will give away first come first-served FREE tickets to the 2014 Congressional Country Club PGA tour. Tickets are good for one day from the 25th through the 29th and they're limited to four per person. Get them at Q-L-National-dot-com and click on the military box at the bottom.
Filed Under :
Topics : PoliticsSports
Location : Washington
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 9:01AM

If you're a Colombia Gas of Virginia customers, you'll see a little bump in your bill, starting this month. The hike of just over two dollars is based on seasonal usage. If you have a problem with the bills, the company offers a budget payment plan and rebates for buying energy efficient products at home.
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 9:00AM

If you hear this and know a firefighter in and around the Fredericksburg region, you might want to let them know about the 2014 Steak-umm® Firehouse Challenge. The best Steak-umm® recipe, made by firefighters, could win them 20-grand. There are two second place prizes of two-thousand-bucks and one fan favorite will get five grand. Firefighters can enter through July 5th and you can vote on Facebook September 10th through the 30th. The winners list comes out in October.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 8:59AM
The weather is warming up and schools are letting out and that means summer vacations for millions. 
American Express says about 75% of us will take a summer vacation this year and that's way up from just a couple of years ago. AAA says the average American will spend 1,246 dollars on the trip. Airline tickets are up 6 per cent and hotels are up about 5 per cent. Need some good news? Rental cars and gas prices are about where they were a year ago.
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 8:58AM
Your meal at Panera restaurants in Fredericksburg, Stafford and across the country's about to get a little healthier.
The chain says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food within two years. It's making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it's unveiling today that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.    
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 8:57AM

If you're headed to a northern beach, or other spot from here to Maine, for a summer vacation, you could be facing a travel nightmare.
Officials have done an emergency closing of the I-495 bridge over the Christina River in Wilmington, Delaware, after discovering four supporting columns were tilting. There's no word on how long it'll will be closed, but it carries 90-thousand cars a day that will end up back on I-95.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 8:54AM
Remember hearing about the bottle bombs being set off at five movie theatres in Virginia and Maryland?
A 20 year old man from Maryland has confessed to being involved in all of them. Manuel Joyner is already charged in at least two counties. Police say the soda bottles filled with acid were detonated between March and May and caused panic and mass evacuations. His bail was set at $50 million, but now a judge has denied it altogether. 
Filed Under :
Location : MarylandVirginia
People : Manuel Joyner
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 3 2014 8:52AM
You might see some unusual activity around the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Louisa today, but don't worry. It's a dress rehearsal for a real test on July 8th. The real exercise will test state and local response plans and procedures in the event of a radiological emergency. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:50AM
If you'll be driving a boat on area waters this summer, go slow and pay attention.
A contractor from the Quantico Marine Corps Base is dead and a woman from Stafford hurt after the 19 foot ski boat they were on hit a channel marker on the way from Aquia Creek to the Potomac Saturday night. Witnesses say the boat was going at a high rate of speed, right before the crash.
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:48AM
How would you feel to find out that drugs were being dealt near your child's daycare?
The news came as a shock to parents of kids at the Little Angels Daycare in Prince William. A Locust Grove man's wife runs it and his child gets care there. He's plead guilty to charges of distributing Oxycodone to somebody in exchange for care for their kid there too. The 38 year old faces up to 20 years in jail and a million dollar fine.
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
People : William
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:48AM
Most of us think of Miss Piggy and Kermit from the Muppets, but there are also P3 Orion Aircraft in the sky this time of year by the same name. 
They're owned by NOAA and are similar to a military style plane, but are equipped with weather tracking devices and radar. They are deployed off the coast of Virginia, Maine, North and South Carolina and Florida during hurricane season, which started yesterday.
The hurricane hunters study storms up close and use doplar weather radar. The info is transmitted real-time to the National Weather Service in Wakefield. It gives them an edge on the the latest on the storm and extra time to issue watches, warnings and evacuations.
Filed Under :
People : Piggy
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:46AM
If you're looking for a last minute gift for Dad in time for Father's Day or for a graduate you know, what think about their hobbies or what they do.
Technology and gadgets are high on the list. Keurigs are under a hundred bucks, digital cameras are still popular and anything health related. If they like to hit the green, Matt McLane with Best Buy says the Golf Swing analyzer weighs less than an ounce. 
Gift cards are also great, since you can pick their favorite stores or a Visa or Mastercard. They can also pool the cards for a big ticket item. They can make a wish list and you can buy them at www.cardhub.com. 
Filed Under :
People : Matt McLane
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:43AM
Police across the region will be cracking down over the coming graduation weekend for Chancellor High and several others in our region. 
Drinking under 21 is illegal and binge drinking can be deadly. Make sure that your young people have the phone number of a trusted adult or parent in their phone, in case they get in trouble. Using or trying to use a fake i.d. is also illegal. A conviction for teens could cause problems with scholarship applications, getting into college, landing a future job and lead to car wrecks. Adults are in danger too though. If you provide the alcohol and get caught, it could mean a year in jail and a hefty fine.
Filed Under :
People : High
by Deirdre Blake posted Jun 2 2014 10:37AM
Do you wait on a platform to catch a VRE train everyday? How do you feel about the service? 
If you ride a train and have questions, there is a chance to ask them on-line on the first Wednesday of every month from noon until 1. Visit www.vre.org/chatterbox to participate. Just click the "Ask" button to submit a question, or just sit back and watch the Q&A from others. 
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