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Posts from July 2013
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 11 2013 4:02PM
We previously told you that slowing down on part of Route 17 in Stafford could mean you'll avoid a ticket. VDOT now tells us it's for a shorter distance.
The new 35 mile an hour limit is from Celebrate Virginia Parkway to StaffordLakes Parkway, near Geico. It has been lowered to make it safer for workers in that zone, as part of the Route 17 widening project. The reduced speed limit will shift from north to southbound lanes as work continues.  
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 10 2013 5:30PM
As expected, lawmakers in Caroline okay some changes to the State fair of Virginia at the Meadow Event Park this fall.
The "Kidway" will be moved away from the main midway area and made more family friendly. The livestock exhibit also will move closer to the horse area, placing all the animals and competitions in one place.
This year's fair runs September 27th through October 6th.
 
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 10 2013 12:25PM

 (Photo courtest of Bob Martin with the Free Lance-Star)
The body is pulled from water near Old Mill Park Wednesday afternoon is identified as 56 year old Jose Hernandez.
The Stafford Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and Spokesman Bill Kennedy says a resident called in the discovery around 3:00 p.m. He says a couple was walking on a path near the Old Mill Park soccer fields when they saw the body floating and pulled it from the water.
The investigation continues and the State Medical Examiner's Office is working to determine the cause of death.
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by Frank Hammon posted Jul 10 2013 9:11AM
 
Charles County, maryland, authorities are trying to identify the woman who is accused of calling in a bomb threat at the Charles County courthouse last Friday. No bomb was found.
The woman called the District Court in Allegany County on a borrowed cell phone.
The suspect, pictured below, is believed to be in her twenties. If anyone knows this person they are asked to contact Detective Feldman at (301) 609-6474. 
 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 10 2013 2:30AM
The dream of bringing minor league baseball to Fredericksburg will wait a while longer. 
After hearing from Fredericksburg City staff and the owner of the Hagerstown Suns, Bruce Quinn, City Council listens to more than 40 local residents. They all come to take about the proposed $30 million publicly funded baseball stadium at one of two Celebrate Virginia locations. The comments and debate that follows go on for nearly three hours. 
Many of the speakers are for the idea of baseball here, but have concerns about the deal on the table. While some supporters and the owners argue their is nothing set in stone, a tentative lease deal has been in the works for months. A special tax district that would cause Central Park businesses to pay more is one sticking point. If the funding ends up as general obligation bonds for 30 years instead, the money could come from local residents in the way of higher real estate taxes. If the city issues the bonds, it would use up more than 28 percent of its' remaining bonding power. A big chunk was already spent on the new courthouse, a high school and elementary school. Others are concerned about traffic impacts and noise brought in by games, concerts and other events at the multi-use stadium.
The Suns' owner tells us he thinks Fredericksburg is a great fit for their hometown team to relocate. The lease on its' stadium in Hagerstown is up at the end of next year and a new one in the Burg' could take 18 months to complete, from start to finish.
The City Council was to vote Tuesday on whether to send the plan to local Planning Commissioners, but decided to wait. It needs to decide whether to amend the comprehensive plan to make the stadium possible in the area. Already private entertainment venues, like Funland, are allowed in Central Park, but a publicly funded entertainment facility would need to be added to the plan.
Council members on a five to four vote, with one member absent, give the nod to allow continuing negotiations. That means that a memorandum of understanding and an exclusive contract with the Suns stays in place for another month. Councilman Fred Howe and Vice Mayor Brad Ellis will continue meetings with the team. They have agreed that any and all funding options, including public bonds are on the table. Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Councilman George Solley have indicated they won't likely support any such option.
The council will address the issue again on August 13th. If it gets the go ahead to move to the Planning Commission, there will be another public hearing there and back at City Council again before a final deal is closed. 
The Suns' Quinn had hoped to have everything wrapped up by this October and have a stadium built by the start the 2015 season.  
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 9 2013 1:34PM
 Photo courtesy of The Free Lance-Star
 Photo courtesy of Bob Martin with The Free Lance-Star
Still no missing child report has been filed by a parents or guardian, but more than 60 local, state and federal authorities continue the search for the 12 to 13 year old boy that was potentially abducted from the Hollybrooke subdivision around 1:30 p.m. last Thursday.
Spotsylvania Sheriff's Captain Jeff Pearce and FBI Special Agent in charge, Jeff Mazanec say that the Endangered Missing Child Media Alert in the case was sent all through Virginia from late Thursday through late on Friday. A nationwide Amber Alert can't be issued since the child was never reported as missing.
The original witness tells authorities that the boy with a slight build and sandy blonde hair was wearing a red and white striped shirt and dark pants. He had either been riding a bike found at the scene or was walking with it, but the rear tire is flat. The witness also says a van pulled up, a man got out and grabbed the child, pulling him inside, as the boy held onto the bike, screaming for help. The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, 5'10" to 6' tall and about 180 to 200 pounds. He was wearing a black tank top and dark pants, both of which were covered in dirt and mud, as if he had just been on a construction site. The van is described as full sized and  medium blue in color. It has 2 swing out doors on the back and no window. About 2/3 the way down the door is a patch of a light colored bondo, leading authorities to think it recently had work done. The initial report to the sheriff's office is that the entire incident lasted about 10 seconds before the van left the neighborhood at a high speed. Multiple other people say they have seen the child described, the black bike he was with and the blue van in the area in recent days.
The Sheriff's Office and FBI are urging anyone that saw the incident or has seen the boy, suspect of van to call 911. If this could end up being a situation where the suspect is someone that knows the boy, they still want confirmation that the child is alright. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Virginia
by AP, Frank Hammon posted Jul 9 2013 9:35AM

     CINCINNATI (AP) - Kroger says it has agreed to buy Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. for about $2.44 billion in cash.
 
     Kroger will pay $49.38 for each of its rival supermarket chain's shares. The price represents a 2 percent increase over the company's Monday closing stock price. The deal has been approved by both companies' boards.
 
     Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter operates 212 stores in southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets, along with a pair of distribution centers and a dairy facility. Its fiscal 2012 revenue totaled about $4.5 billion.
 
     While it has no stores in the Fredericksburg area, Harris Teeter operates a transfer station in Spotsylvania County that services stores in Northern Virginia, Charlottesville and Maryland.

     At one time it had plans to build a 500,000 square foot distrbution center in King George County, but scrapped those plans in 2010. It operates centers in Charlotte and Greensboro, NC.
 
     Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. says it expects the deal to result in cost savings of $40 million to $50 million over the next three to four years.
 
     Kroger will finance the deal with debt and plans to assume Harris Teeter's outstanding debt of about $100 million.
 
    
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 8 2013 10:54AM
The public will have its first formal opportunity to weigh in on a proposed baseball stadium in Fredericksburg. City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday.
The Hagerstown Suns in Maryland have proposed a 30-year lease for a publicly financed, 5,000-seat stadium.
The Free Lance-Star reports that baseball supporters plan to hold a rally at 6 p.m. Tuesday outside City Hall. Suns majority owner Bruce Quinn and his brother-in-law, team minority owner Jeff Nelson, are scheduled to appear at the rally.
Filed Under :
Topics : Social IssuesSports
Location : Maryland
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 8 2013 10:53AM
The University of Mary Washington plans to offer a Bachelor's degree in nursing in the fall of 2014. It's a way for those with Associate's Degrees in nursing to earn a bachelor's in as little as a year.
The Free lance-Star reports it's seen as a way to increase the quality of health care in Virginia and expand the university's course offerings in a way to benefit the community.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 8 2013 10:42AM
Dominion Virginia Power residential customers can stay cooler this summer and earn cash by having their home heat pump tuned-up for better performance or by replacing it with a new high-efficiency unit.
Dominion is offering a $90 rebate to help pay for heat pump maintenance. The utility is also paying up to $250 for replacing a system with one that is more energy-efficient.
The rebate programs are open to residential customers with electric heating and cooling with a heat pump. Details are available at Dominion's website at www.dom.com/savenowVA.
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 8 2013 10:28AM
A worker digging for the installation of fiber optic lines in Spotsylvania was severely burned this morning.
The accident happened before 9 a.m. at 7418 Heathrow Drive when the worker struck a power line. 
Spotsylvania Deputy Fire Chief Scott Heckler says the worker received second and third degree burns over 30-35-percent of his body. He was flown via helicopter to MCV Hospital in Richmond for treatment. The victim's identity has not been released.
Authorities continue to investigate the accident.
Filed Under :
People : Scott Heckler
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 5 2013 6:45PM
UPDATE: Possible Child Abduction Investigation in Spotsylvania County IS still underway.
Media outlets and people signed up for Spotsy Alerts have been getting notification that the Endangered Child Alert has been cancelled. A Virginia State Police spokeswoman says the change is in compliance with the program guidelines. The Alert is only to be run for 24 hours and that window expired Friday afternoon. This does not mean the search/investigation into the incident has ceased. We resume our news broadcasts at 5 a.m. Monday on 93.3 WFLS and at 9:03 a.m. on 1350 AM. This weekend we will continue to monitor the situation and bring you the latest as it develops.
 
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 5 2013 12:35PM
Three people were reported to have been assaulted by a mob Wednesday afternoon along Airport Avenue in Fredericksburg.
The three and a fourth who witnessed the attack were chased from a convenience store on Dixon Street by about 15 men and women.
One of the victims was taken to Mary Washington Hospital, where minutes later a disturbance involving a large group, possibly connected to the earlier incident.
Police continue their investigation.
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
by Frank Hammon posted Jul 5 2013 9:46AM
Prince William police are investigating a double drowning at Lake Montclair last night. A neighbor found a 9-year-old child screaming at a walkway leading down to the lake at about 8:30 p.m.
The neighbor took the child to her home to wait for the rest of the family. When they didn't return and attempts to locate them failed they called police after 11 p.m.
A while later the police SCUBA team located two bodies a 40-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter, close to the dock near the home. Their names have not been released.
 
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
People : William
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 4 2013 4:37PM

POSSIBLE ABDUCTION UPDATE: A single witness tells authorities that a 12 to 13 year old boy was pulled into a blue work van in the Hollybrooke subdivision just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday and was yelling and screaming before the van drove away at a high speed. The bike the boy had stopped by still lies on the ground as a helicopter searches from above. Though there has been no missing child report on the boy, the sheriff's office is treating this as an abduction and doing a door-to door search too. The boy is described as a white male, with light brown hair and a slight build. He was wearing a red and white striped shirt and blue cargo pants. The suspect is described as white or Hispanic, in mid 20s or early 30s, wearing a black open neck undershirt with dark pants or jeans. 
Anyone with information should call Spotsylvania 911 or 540-582-7115.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 4 2013 2:25PM
Spotsylvania deputies on the scene of the abduction this afternoon of a 13 year old boy.
They say it happened at the intersection of Hollybrooke and Kenwood Drives in the Hollybrooke subdivision, off Smith Station Road just before 1:30 p.m. The getaway vehicle is described as a blue work van with a white spot.
A statewide Amber Alert is being issued. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Spotsylvania Sheriff's emergency line at 911 or 540-582-7115.
Filed Under :
People : Amber Alert
by Associated Press posted Jul 4 2013 12:14PM
  DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A preliminary report from federal investigators says a wing walker and aerobatic pilot killed in a fiery crash at an Ohio air show practiced their performance the previous day and reported no mechanical problems. 
 
     The June 22 crash at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton was witnessed by thousands of horrified spectators and captured on video. 
 
     An accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the plane was turned upside-down and positioned to cross in front of the crowd when the nose pitched slightly and the plane abruptly rolled and struck ground. The report does not address the cause of the crash.
 
     Federal Aviation Administration records showed clean safety records for the 64-year-old pilot, Charlie Schwenker, and 44-year-old performer Jane Wicker. Both were from Virginia. 
 
Filed Under :
Location : DaytonOhioVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 4 2013 11:54AM
Women who serve in the Marine Corps will be honored this morning at 10:30 when a life sized monument of "Molly Marine" is dedicated at the Mational Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle. The highest ranking woman in the marines today, Major General Angela Salinas will be on hand. The original statue, located in New Orleans, was the first of a female servicewoman erected in the U.S. 
 
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
Location : New Orleans
People : Angela Salinas
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 3 2013 3:51PM
Students and teachers surveyed across the country help rank Fredericksburg's University of Mary Washington as one of 41 "best buy" colleges in the Fisk Guide to Colleges.
It gets the award for the fourth year based on academics and prices, but this year is the only college in Virginia, Maryland and DC to make the list.  
 
Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : MarylandVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 3 2013 3:37PM
 
If you have the dream of opening a business in Fredericksburg, but need some financial backing, here's your chance.
The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce will award ten grand to the winner of its' Business Plan Competition on October 24th. The finalists will pitch their plan to several local business owners that will act as judges, like ABC's the "Shark Tank."
Applications are available on madeinfredva.com before September 5th.
 
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 3 2013 3:30PM
Be careful if you go fishing along the Rappahannock River, especially alone.
A Locust Grove man was attacked by four masked men in an attempted robbery Tuesday afternoon along the riverbank, off fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg. One man apparently put him in a headlock while another punched him and demanded money. When the 20 year old victim fought back, the men ran away.
Fredericksburg Police were not able to get a description on any of them but are looking for information on anyone that saw what happened, just after 4:30 p.m.
 
Filed Under :
People : Rob Fisherman
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 3 2013 12:37PM
The Fourth of July is the deadliest day on the roads in the U.S. according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 
Spokesperson Anne McCartt says heavy traffic is a factor, but there are some others. Often drivers are rushing to get to their holiday destination, others are speeding, some are too tired to drive. McCartt says worst yet, many are driving under the influence.
She says it is important to always wear your seatbelt and be aware of the behavior of other motorists. Remember not to follow too close and never drink and drive.
 
Filed Under :
People : Anne McCartt
by Associated Press posted Jul 2 2013 3:21PM
Free and low cost swimming pools and water parks military members and their families use to cool off in Quantico, at Fort Belvoir and other bases in Virginia are in danger.
They could be the next on the chopping block to help save money with federal spending cuts. The Defense Department says any savings from closures would come from paying less for lifeguards.
 
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 2 2013 3:08PM
Nearly a million people will still hit the road for the holiday weekend and it could kick off for some of you as early as Wednesday. 
VDOT is helping you get south and to the water with its' Reach the Beach program. Look for signs well in advance of where you need to make a final decision to head toward your destination. Spokeswoman Kelly Hannon says it may be quicker, for example, to take the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Tunnel than the Hampton Roads Tunnel. 
You can also access the Reach the Beach information and other incidents, traffic or accidents by calling 511 from a cellphone or going on-line to 511virginia.org. If you do check the information on-line from a smartphone on the road, let a passenger do it or pull over. This is the first holiday weekend in Virginia where it is illegal to text and drive as a primary offense. That means a cop pull you over and give you a ticket just for seeing you texting and driving.
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 2 2013 3:03PM
One of the popular events in Fredericksburg this Fourth of July will not take place as planned.
As part of Heritage Day festival downtown, the July 4th Jaycees Rappahannock River Raft Race is being postponed. Unsafe river conditions are being cited as the reason. The popular event usually draws lots of participants and attendees, but will now be held on Saturday July 20th at 11:30 a.m. at the Falmouth Waterfront Park.
 
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by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 2 2013 2:35PM
Metro plans to run extra trains this Thursday for those of use heading to DC for Fourth of July festivities.
It will run a weekend schedule that day, opening at 7 a.m. instead of 5, but will stay open until midnight and run at near rush hour service levels. More than five thousand people are projected to ride the rail to the district.
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 2 2013 1:37PM
If your kids are becoming couch potatoes or want to spend more time playing video games or on a hand held device than outside, it could take you changing to help them.
Nutritionist Pam Beanum with Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center says that just like eating healthy, kids' behavior starts from what they learn at home.
As for food, make sure you start healthy eating early, pack them healthy snacks for school and for when they get home. Remember with young kids, if can take introducing a food 20 to 30 times before they actually end up liking it, so be patient. Getting them involved in grocery shopping or buying veggies at the farmer's market can also help. If they help you in the kitchen to prepare healthy food, it also might make them more willing to eat what's in front of them.
Getting active also starts with parents. Plan some weekend outings to hike, bike, go to the beach or just get involved with them playing outside.
 
by Deirdre Blake posted Jul 2 2013 1:33PM
New data shows more people are getting back to work across the Fredericksburg region.
The area unemployment rate is just over 5 percent for May, down slightly from a year ago, but still up a bit from April. The numbers could be higher in many areas of the state because of more college students entering the workforce. Spotsylvania County has the region's lowest rate and Fredericksburg again has the highest.
 
 
Filed Under :
Topics : Labor
Location : Spotsylvania County
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