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Local News.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 18 2014 7:52AM

Are you ready for some fresh local produce, meat, eggs and honey? The farmer's market at the Stafford Hospital Center opens this Sunday. Spotsylvania's Gordon Road lot is already open on Saturday's and the one at the Spotsy Regional Medical Center opens May 7th. Fredericksburg's market at Hurkamp Park starts next Saturday. The one at King George Elementary opens next Sunday and in Caroline, it's off Main Street on Saturdays. Get more at
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 18 2014 7:47AM

Some more good news for local beer lovers. A Sedona Taphouse is planned at the corner of William and Winchester streets in Fredericksburg's Amelia Square development. The owner plans to buy the land and build the restaurant, hiring 30 people and bringing 850 grand in tax revenue to the city over five years. It would be expected to open within a year.
Just in time for Saturday's Fredericksburg Brewfest at the Fredericksburg Fairfounds, here are some weird ale laws. In Nebraska, it's illegal for you to sell beer unless you also happen to be making a pot of soup. In Iowa you could get a fine if you pop into bed with your wife after just three sips of beer. And in Russia, until recently beer wasn't considered alcohol but a foodstuff instead, sold 24 hours a day and okay to drink in public.
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Location : IowaNebraska
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 18 2014 7:22AM
If you've stored your lawn mower all winter and are breaking it out on the move this weekend, make sure it's ready. Check and top off all the fluids and be sure there is no left over debris stuck underneath. Wear secure shoes when you mow since sandals and flip flops increase your risk of getting hurt. And with weedeaters and other lawn tools, always use the right gas or 50/50 mix, depending on the directions.
Decided it's time to shell out some cash for a new mower this year? Then you've gotta decide between gas and electric. Gas is more expensive, louder, emit extra pollution and is harder to maintain. The electric version is easier to store and makes you a little more green, but the need to plug it in or charge it could make it more of a pain too.
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Topics : Environment
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 18 2014 7:19AM
Get ready for lots of cars on the roads as people head off for the holiday, but also for Spring Break. It's underway for most kids at area schools. If you child is headed off with their friends, make sure they know how to stay safe. Of course drinking under 21's illegal, but stress that hard liquor should absolutely be avoided. Safety tips and fun quizes are online at
They and your are probably in need of the break, but parents need to make sure they stay on track. For kids, it's the jump off to summer, but make sure they don't try to coast through the rest of the school year. Let them have some fun, but talk about what they've got to do to be a success between now and June.
As for the fun you'll have if the week will be spent closer to home, be ready if camping is your thing. The weather makes it tricky this time of year, so bring a tarp and waterproof tent, a warm sleeping bag and a sleeping pad. Looking for a short overnight or day trip? The Science Museum of Richmond or any of the ones in DC are an option and most are free. Of course exploring Luray Caverns or Natural Bridge could be fun too. Looking for the water? The Chincoteague National Wildife Refuge is open year round and just outside you can learn about rockets at the NASA Visitor Center at the Wallops Flight Facility.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 18 2014 7:06AM
If you've got to get from downtown Fredericksburg to the Ferry Farm area or from King George into the city today, be ready for another slow down.
Crews will continue inspections on the Chatham Bridge from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. They're needed after an overweight tractor trailer got stuck there last weekend, closing the road span for more than three hours. The driver is facing a $40,000 fine.
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People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 11:00AM
How do you feel about Medicaid being expanded in Virginia? Lawmakers in Richmond still can't agree and it's leaving alot hanging in the balance.
Now the owner of Fredericksburg's Old Town Butcher hopes to help. He's delivered a petition, signed by over 450 Virginia small business owners, asking the Speaker of the House to get it expanded. If they don't decide by July 1st, the government could shut down.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:57AM
Have you've been worried that what you have to pay to drive on the Dulles Toll Road will keep going up?
You can rest a little easier for now since transportaton officials say the current jump to $3.50 will stay for four more years. Then it'll go to almost five bucks in 2019. The money raised is helping pay for Metro's Silver Line rail project.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:55AM
Are you a woman that wants to give back to the community and learn something new, like construction skills.
It's not just a man's job anymore and the University of Mary Washington's Build Team will prove that on May 3rd. It's welcoming women from all ages, with no experience necessary to build local houses for Habitat for Humanity. Get more at
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:55AM
Keep your eyes peeled for people on bikes and on foot in the coming weeks across the region and in northern Virginia.
Cops from here, DC and Maryland are launching the Street Smart campaign today to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists today. Now through May 11th, police will be looking for drivers who break traffic safety laws. The fines range from 40 to 500-bucks.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:54AM
You might watch "Dancing with the Stars," but chances are that's not what you'll look like for the first dance on your wedding day.
Trying to is a new trend though and more couples are hiring choreographers to train them. Not getting one, think about how long the brides dress is, whether there's a DJ or a band, what kind of dance and how big the floor is. More than 40 percent of people in a "Modern Bride" poll still say they'll wing it instead.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:53AM
If you're in the Historic Half next month or the Marine Corps Marathon in October, you better hang on to your race bib.
Two men are accused of swapping bibs at the 17.75K in Prince William last weekend and the winner lying about who he was. They're both disqualified from the October race and any other Marine races this year. A man and woman from Virginia will now get bumped to first and second for last weekend's event.
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Location : Virginia
People : William
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2014 10:52AM
Expect some extra cars on local roads and the interstate with folks traveling for Easter, as early as this afternoon.
Triple A is warning us to buckle up, use child safety seats, pay a attention and have a charged cell phone. If you do have a car problem, try to get to the nearest exit and if you can, stay away from the road while you wait for help. And never wait inside your car.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2014 6:43AM
Photo courtesy of
Here's your chance to help out a local family that lost their six month old daughter, Eleanor Mae; their house, cars and almost everything they owned in an accidental fire last month.
Mention the Avery family and anything you spend from 5 to 8 p.m. April 16th at the Chick-Fil-A on Rt 17 will go to them. This Saturday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., they get the admissions paid at Cavalier Family Skating Center. May 4th Chili's and Margaret Brent Elementary School PTO will team up to hold a fundraiser. All three Chili's restaurants in the Fredericksburg area will donate 20 percent of food and drink sales to the family's relief fund. More details will come later.
May 17 - Community Yard Sale at Cardinal Forest subdivision pool house. More details will follow on this sale. To donate items to the sale, check out the family relief fund's Facebook site. The Avery's older kids went to Margaret Brent Elementary School, which is offering some other ways to help the family. The school is collecting change during this week's book sale, to buy some books for the kids, who lost all of theirs in the fire.
If you can't get to a fundraiser, but still want to help the family, you can mail donations to the: Avery Family Fire Relief; c/o Wells Fargo, Celebrate Virginia Branch on Banks Ford Pkwy in Fredericksburg.
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by Frank Hammon posted Apr 15 2014 12:02PM
An 81-year-old man suffering from dementia is being sought by his family.
The family recently moved from Texas to Spotsylvania and the man might appear lost and confused since he was reported missing on Monday.
He last used a his credit card in New Market, VA
Displaying Jess Gratehouse  Missing person.Flyer.jpg
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Topics : Human Interest
Location : Texas
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:27AM
You might want to head to the Fredericksburg City Council to speak out tonight if you own a house in the city.
It could advertise a real estate tax rate of up to 15 cents for every 100,000 your house is worth. The tax is already about $1,700 a year for a $241,000 home. The hike could push that number over two grand.
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Topics : Business_FinanceLabor
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:24AM
Some of corporate America is trying to let us know they feel our pain today as some of us dole out 2013 tax money to the government.
Deals are all over the place from free snack sized curly fries at most Arby's stores and half off slushies at Sonic to a "tax day chicken meal" at Boston Market and even a $10.99 large pie at Pizza Hut.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:23AM
Do you love "America's Got Talent?" Then here's your chance to the season 6 winner in person, close to home.
Season six winner Landau Eugene Murphy, that went from car wash worker to Vegas, will perform as part of the "Culpeper's Got Talent" finale next weekend. Get tickets for next Saturday's show on
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People : Eugene Murphy
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:21AM
Dishes from two downtown Fredericksburg restaurants are now in the quarterfinals in the "Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness" contest.
The Bavarian Chef's braised pork shank goes head to head against a fried chicken dish from Hampton. Foode's Fredericksburger is up against a fried green tomato BLT. You can still vote through Friday at virginia-dot-bracketeers-dot-com.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:21AM
Kids in Caroline will start going to school before Labor Day this year, on August 20th, but will also get out for the summer next year a month earlier.
The School Board made the decision last night. The county's eligible for a waiver from the state Department of Education to start before Labor Day because of the number of days missed over the past 10 years.
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Topics : EducationPolitics
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:18AM
A heated arguement between a Fredericksburg couple turns dangerous for the husband Sunday night.
Fredericksburg police say witnesses saw the woman drive her van into him as he was walking along Dixon Street. When a state trooper stopped, to find her standing over him and kicking him, he called city cops. The 21 year old is accused of attempted first-degree murder. Her husband had to have ankle surgery and has a head injury.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:12AM
Even though pot is being made legal in more states, it's synthetic version is still on the illegal list in Virginia.
In 2010, the DEA banned the sales of Spice, since it's effects aren't known and it was spiking visits to the ER. Now Caroline County narcotics detectives seized more than 13-grand worth of suspected synthetic marijuana at two convenience stores.
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Location : Caroline CountyVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2014 10:12AM
You might be sad to hear we're gonna get a little Spring cold snap, but it's not uncommon. The last 36-degree reading in Virginia can range from April 9th all the way to June 1st. And in June of 1966, it got to 34, killing beans, tomatoes and some other garden plants. When the water inside freezes, it causes ice crystals that can break the cell walls. When it warms up, the liquid seeps out and those cells die.
If you already planted stuff, while the weather was nice, make sure you protect it tonight. Agriculture experts say cover it with a cardboard box or a trashcan. You can also use a blanket, but don't just wrap it around the bottom of trees and bushes. Instead, drape it over the top and make sure it touches the soil on all sides. Hold it down with some boards or bricks.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:24AM
Most of us felt the unusual 5.8 earthquake here in 2011, now repairs are coming to a close for some teachers and students in Louisa, where it happened. The steel frame is in place at Louisa High School, set to open next August. Thomas Jefferson Elementary cost over $13 million and it'll open for the next school year.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:23AM
The Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg is right around the corner and if you're a history buff, there's even more reason to sign up.
The Fredericksburg Area Museum will offer free admission Friday, May 16th, through race day on the 18th for all runners. If you live the in Fredericksburg area and race, you can also get a free year-long membership.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:23AM
Those of us that are suffering from Spring allergies might be hoping tomorrow's rain will help, but doctors say don't put away the tissues yet.
The next several weeks are still likely to be a bear. The wacky winter weather made it a utopiafor all kinds of allergens, speeding growth. Over the counter Zyrtec or Claritin might give you a little relief.
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Topics : EnvironmentWeather
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:22AM
You'll have to stay up late or take a nap to see it, but you're shot at a glimpse of a lunar eclipse is tomorrow morning at 3:06 a.m. The moon will be eclipsed by Earth's shadow for about 78 minutes, but clouds and rain might cause some problems. This is one of four though and the next one is in October.
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Topics : Weather
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:21AM
Are you happy for the return of fresh produce, but dreading the crowded sidewalk at the Fredericksburg Farmer's Market at Hurkamp Park? Here's some good news. The city will close Prince Edward Street in front of the park on Saturday mornings thisyear. It opens for the season next Saturday.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:21AM
Are you trying to quit smoking with a E-cigarette and having success? It might put you on a path to better health, but could be dangerous for kids.
The number of calls to 911 centers for accidental poisoning of kids under 5, from the liquid nicotine in them, has spiked. The CDC wants them to be made more child proof. In the meantime, keep them out of reach of toddlers.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:20AM
Here's a warning if you own a VAIO laptop.
Sony hasn't announced which ones are affected yet, but says the battery packs in some of them can overheat, when they're plugged in, and fry the hard drive. It's making a plan to either repair or replace them, or give your money back. More details are coming a couple weeks.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:18AM

If you're into comic books, here's good news.
Amazon is buying digital comics company comiXology and plans to offer more and better digital comic books and graphic novels. ComiXology offers digital comic books from more than 75 publishers,including industry giants Marvel and DC, plus independent creators.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:18AM
Your chance to speak out on a planned hike in real estate taxes and water and sewer fees in Stafford County is tomorrow night. The Board of Supervisors is holding the public hearings. There's a proposed stormwater district and a half-cent tax that would go toward cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.
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Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Stafford County
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:17AM
One of the first of its' kind all women operated and run counterterrorism training companies has opened a division in Stafford.
CP2S most recently helped the feds stop a new home grown threat by al Qaeda to bomb cars in DC and Virginia. Its' CEO says it's critical that school, hospital, arena and business staffs know what to look for so and IED isn't let in.
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Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:15AM
Authorities are still investigating a small plane crash that injured two people in Louisa County Friday evening. State Police mechanical failure says a problem with the single-engine plane's engine may have been the cause. The pilot and a passenger suffered minor injuries.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 14 2014 7:14AM

Tuesday is d-day to file federal income taxes for 2013, so what if you still haven't filed?
A Virginia IRS Spokesman says ask for a six month extension electronically. If you can't pay the full amount now, pay what you can and make an arrangement for the rest. In addition to lowering the balance, it also brings down the hefty interest charges and the penalty. Ignoring the bill will cause bigger problems and the penalty and interest could build up to be higher than the amount you actually owe. If you don't pay for some time, you could even have your wages garnished to cover the bill.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:18AM
Do you have a classic car you want to show off or maybe just like checking them out?
The 8th Annual SkillsUSA Car Show is at North Stafford High School tomorrow. Car registration is from 8 a.m. til' noon and costs 15 bucks. The club's chapters at Stafford and North Stafford High teach leadership and professionalism to vocational students.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:17AM
There's still time to register your kids for a local summer camp. Some are pretty inexpensive at your local parks and rec department.
They're also at the Fredericksburg Field House, the local YMCAs and even maybe through your kid's school. Others offer horseback riding and sports training. Remember, talk to your child about what they want first to make sure it's a success.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:17AM
Have you still gotta file your federal taxes by Tuesday? You might want to use online software or see a local tax preparer. Both can catch deductions and errors you might have missed.
The federal IRS site has links to some that will let you do them for free, depending on what you make. The Rappahannock United Way also has local sites. As for state taxes, check out free-file on their website.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:15AM
Pack up your younger kids and their car seats and head over to the annual Baby Palooza at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center from 9 to noon tomorrow.
They'll have over 40 local companies, raffles, a kid's festival, moon bounces, facepainting and a fashion show. The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office will also be there to do free safety checks of car seats.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:14AM
Today is Teach Children to Save Day, but what age is too young?
From a piggy bank or a bank account to talking about money, experts say start at about three years old. Once they are in high school, encourage a part-time job and make them responsible for car insurance or maintenance. And look for scholarships and grants for college, to avoid massive student loan debt.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:14AM
A plan to make women's pay at work more equal to mens' was signed in DC by the President this week and a Virginia Senator is talking about what it means.
Tim Kaine is coming to Fredericksburg today at 12:15 to hold a roundtable with femalebusiness owner at Kybecca Wine Bar on William Street. They'll also talk about the minimum wage and some other things.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:11AM
It's earth month and environmentalists want you to think about preserving it by going green. Ahead of Earth Day on the 22nd, the EPA wants you to help them get that message out. It will say " For Earth Day, I commit to protect the climate."Google Thunderclap, then visit the site and click on the Earth Day icon. Once it meets the goal, the mass message will be e-mailed out that day at noon.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 7:10AM
Before you pick out and buy what your landscaping with this Spring, you might want to think about plans that are bee friendly.
A recent conference in DC highlighted the decline in them. Remember, they pollinate local flowers, help plants grow and many make honey. Everything from bulb flowers, lavender and sunflowers to fruit trees and mint are on the list.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 6:56AM
If your teen goes to a local school, they're probably excited about prom weekend.
If they don't go to a school sponsored after party, they have to be careful. Of course, drinking under 21 is illegal and if they drink something pre-mixed ata friends house, they don't know what's in it. Natatia Bledsoe with the Fredericksburg Police Department says the law will be tough on them and any adult that gives them access.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 6:55AM
Were you hoping to see a giant Ferris Wheel in Virginia Beach?
You might be out of luck. Planners have rejected a company's proposal to build the 200 foot SkyWheel at the Oceanfront. Planning commission members are concerned it's planned too close to hotels and riders might see into rooms. The City Council still gets the final say, next month.
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Location : VirginiaVirginia Beach
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 6:54AM
It could cost more to send your teen to the University of Mary Washington in the next academic year.
The Board of Visitors is proposing a 6 percent tuition increase. If approved, it would mean $792 more for in-state students and $1,564 for out-of-state students. The final decision won't come until state lawmakers agree on their budget, to see how much money the school will get.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 11 2014 6:53AM
Even if you're going to the hospital for a routine surgery or an unexpected illness, you could be in danger.
The CDC says nearly four percent of all people get a hospital related infection, in their lungs, stomach, urinary tract or related to the surgery. So, don't be afraid or embarassed to ask your doctors and nurses to wash their hands.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 11:05AM
Do you like craft beer and locally grown produce? Then you're in luck in Fredericksburg. Former Marine Spencer Devon is opening his microbrewery of the same name in the old Fatty Js space on George Street. Construction started this week, his four homebrews to be on tap will start brewing soon. He's working with a chef and local farmers and will rotate the menu monthly. It could be open by October.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 11:04AM
Pollen counts have been soaring across the Fredericksburg area and many of us have been suffering.
If you have asthma this time of year can be dangerous. Have your medicine filled in advance. Try to stay inside in the morning, keep car windows up and change your clothes as soon as you get home. And always take a shower before bed to wash pollen out of your hair.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:57AM
It's some sad news for area teachers and the crafty type. The Scrapdoodles store has been in Fredericksburg, in Central Park, for 15 years, but now it's closing its' doors. A going-out-of-business sale is underway and the doors will close forthe final time, probably in May.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:57AM
It's common to fight about money in a marriage and partnerships, especially when you live together. A new survey says that's about three times a month.
To avoid bickering about money, financial bloggers say set a weekly budget meeting withyour mate. Talk about short and long-term financial goals and to plan upcoming spending. Give each other a little leeway too, maybe an allowance system.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:56AM
Little Josh Hardy from has been battling cancer and made national news for a rare infection and a drug in trials, that was finally approved to help him.
Now he's reached a milestone, celebrating his 8th birthday March 31st, just days after being moved out of ICU at St.Jude Children's Research Hospital. Now a benefit is planned at Shane's Rib Shack in Central Park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 22nd, Twenty five percent of that day's proceeds go to his family.
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People : Josh Hardy
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:54AM
Are you trying to lose some weight, but haven't been successful?
How about your workplace. Do you make lots of microwave lunches or popcorn and find your hand in the candy bowl? Try thinking thin. Only eat when your body feels hungry and don't skip meals, try snacking every few hours and pack a homemade lunch to avoid fast food.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:53AM
You don't have alot of control over the decisions your kids make after they leave the house, so make sure they're developing good judgement.
Psychologists say talk to them, especially about drugs. A 17 year old from King George is charged after he sold some pot and an unknown liquid that turned fatal for a 16 year old that overdosed. Police say it might have been pcp or lsd.
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People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2014 10:52AM
The first annual "Community Give" Day, sponsored by the Community Foundation is approaching quickly.
It's being run all on-line and the money raised on May 6th for 24 hours will go to non-profits across our region. Already 85 companies have signed up to participate and the deadline for any more is this Friday.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 10:17AM
Authorities say a Stafford man was arrested at BWI Airport after a loaded handgun was found in his carry-on bag at a security checkpoint.
The TSA says he was stopped Sunday afternoon and the gun was loaded with seven rounds, but there's no indication it was packed on purpose. The 36 year old was charged with interfering with security procedures and wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun.

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People : Stafford Man
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:58AM
There's a chance to help some local restaurants get honored in the first Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness contest.
You've got to vote today by midnight though. Foode's "Fredericksburger" is in it, along with a pork dish from the Bavarian Chef.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:57AM
Do you have a loved one running in the Marine Corps Historic Half, here's your chance to cheer them on in advance and on May 18th.
Now through May 5th, you can post the message on Pohanka Nissan's Facebook page. Then they'll print and hang them on the newest car and SUV models from their Fredericksburg, Stafford and Woodbridge offices and park them along the course on race day.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:55AM
Are you trying to quit smoking without success or just started and want some moral support? A local group could help. It's being held in the Mary Washington Hospital Cafe every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. During the free session, you can share advice and get advice from a specialist.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:55AM
If you vote at the Ward 4, VFW post, at the end of Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg, you'll have to drive an extra fives miles if you're voting in the May 6th primary.
The Electoral Board says there's no time now to approve a temporary polling place, because of the Canal Bridge closure. It will meet again Friday to talk about creating one before November.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:52AM
If you're one of the 20 million people with DirecTV that missed the Weather Channel, after it was gone for three months during a fight with producers, it's back today. The return cuts reality programming by half on weekdays - and will focus more on, well, the weather. The DirecTV's subbed in WeatherNation will continue too.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:51AM
It's more proof you need to know what your teens are doing on their phones, if you bought them one.
Police say over 100 of them in Virginia are caught up in a six-county "sexting" investigation that involves more than a thousand picsand videos. The Louisa County Sheriff's Office says only three or four of them will likely get charged.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:50AM
The money that will be given to schools and local governments by the state later this year is still up in the air with lawmakers.
The Virginia Senate approved its version of the nearly $100 billion budget yesterday, including an expansion of Medicaid to 400,000more people. That's still causing problems in the House.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:48AM
There might be some closer to home shopping coming if you live along Courthouse Road in Stafford, but also more traffic.
A more than 40 acre commercial real estate development is being planned, just west 95. It would have a massive anchor retail building, some restaurants and a bank. More cars are also coming from new houses being built in Embrey Mill and Colonial Forge and maybe the future George Washington Village development.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:34AM
A better on-line and on screen internet and tv experience is a little closer if you're a customer of Comcast or Time Warner Cable.
Comcast is presenting the case for its $45 billion takeover of its' competitor to the FCC. The company says it would allow them to boost internet speeds and provide better video on demand.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:33AM
For the first time, an orange-and-black ensemble Marian Anderson wore during her historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial 75 years ago is going on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1939, the classical singer was kept out of Washington's D.A.R. Constitution Hall because she was black. Eleanor Roosevelt then resigned her membership in protest and invited Anderson to perform at the memorial instead. The two-piece concert attire is part of a collection recently donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:32AM
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is the target of a new TV ad by Americans for Prosperity, a tea party nonprofit backed by billionaire conservative activists Charles and David Koch.
Its' Virginia chapter says it will be airing TV ads statewide criticizing McAuliffe for his support of expanding Medicaid eligibility, a key part of the Affordable Care Act.The group has also aired radio ads criticizing McAuliffe.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:32AM
The NFL's no doping policy gets another player in trouble and this time it's another Redksin.
Defensive lineman Brandon Moore has been suspended for the first four games of next season by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Moore has yet to play a down in the NFL. The NFL has levied 10 drug-related suspensions against Redskins players since 2011.
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Topics : Sports
People : Brandon Moore
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2014 9:31AM
Virginia State Police say a pilot escaped injury when his small plane crashed at an airport in Leesburg.
Troopers say 52 year old Robert L. Bailey Jr. of Fairfax Station was approaching Leesburg Executive Airport yesterday for landing. Police say a strong gust of wind forced the single-engine Cessna to crash off the runway and overturn.
by Frank Hammon posted Apr 7 2014 4:53PM
Two people have been charged with the shooting death of a 10-year-old in Orange County.
The incident happened Sunday night after 11 p.m. at a home along Matthews Mill Rd.
36-year-old Tina Marie Toombs and 37-year-old Billy Joe Lee face charges in connection with the death.
The juvenile's name has not been released.
The investigation is continuing.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Orange County
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 7 2014 10:48AM
Listen up if you've got a little one that will be old enough to start kindergarten in the fall. Contact the school they'll attend for times, but tomorrow is the day to get them registered in Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford andCaroline. They've gotta turn 5 before September 30th to go. Bring their birth certificate and your driver's license or photo id to sign up.
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People : CarolineGeorgeStafford
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 7 2014 10:47AM
Do you live in and around Fredericksburg? Then this week's your chance to make it look a little nicer.
Community Cleanup Week kicks off today and runs through Friday, so special containers will be placed around the city to help residents and businesses. You can take furniture, tires, appliances, scrap materials and brush from yards to them. Household trash, paint and hazardous materials should not be placed in the containers.
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Topics : Environment
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 7 2014 10:46AM
If your child goes to an elementary or middle school in the region, they'll be required to take less standardized tests starting next year.
The plan to reduce it from 22 to 17 has been signed into law by the governor. The penalties will also be tough if somebody fires a gun to celebrate a sports victory or a holiday. They're among hundreds of new laws that go into effect on July 1st.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 7 2014 10:44AM
They aren't calling it a kill switch, but Samsung is adding two new safeguards to its newest smartphones, like Verizon and U.S. Cellular have done. It's designed to help stop thefts and it says users will be able to launch "Find My Mobile" and "Reactivation Lock" to protect the new Galaxy 5 S. It goes on sale next week.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 7 2014 10:43AM
Are you already opening your windows and storm doors to let Spring in and air out the house? The screens will keep bugs out, but might not keep your kids or pets inside.
Local fire and rescue officials tell us you should keep toys and anything that kids could climb on away from them. Also think about putting in window guards and make sure your outside balcony railings are less than four inches apart.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 10:18AM
A massive fire that took the life of a six month old in Stafford is ruled accidental.
The Fire Chief says it started outside and quickly engulfed the house with 10 minutes, which then completely collapsed. A family member tells the Free Lance-Star the baby's mother tried to climb a burning and crumbling staircase, to scale the porch roof to the second story and busted a window attempting to get to Eleanor Mae Avery. Two of the other children at home with the flu escaped, along with one of their dogs. The other two children got home from school while fire engines were still on the scene.
The Avery's second dog, who never left the baby's side, also perished in the blaze and they lost everything else inside and their vehicles. A Facebook page-Avery Family Fire Relief- has been set up to collect donations to help the family with costs not covered by insurance.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:57AM
When you see lots of smoke in the air over the next few weeks, when you're driving on I-95 from Fredericksburg to Richmond and back, don't panic. It'll be coming from two areas of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, but it won't be from Civil War reenactors. The National Park Service is doing prescribed burns to maintain the landscape.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:52AM
Lots of events are still going on for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival in DC and today you can see the buds formed on the Tidal Basin's famed Yoshinos.
The peak bloom is still forecast for next Tuesday through Saturday. So how long will they stay? Cool, calm weather can extend the length of the bloom, but a rainy, windy day can bring it to an abrupt end.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:51AM
If you've uploaded some pics to Instagram in the past few days, but can't see them on your mobile App, there's a reason.
Instagram says it is fixing a bug that caused the problem. Your stuff is still showing on your Instagram profile on the Web. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app has 200 million users who share an average of 60 million photos a day.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:50AM
If your rising freshman say they want to play a sport next year, you might be worried about them getting hurt, but in our area, there are already steps to make sure it doesn't happen. Some parents of kids in school in Stafford tell WFLS there are base line tests performed every time before their kids play and after they get hit or hurt. Players aren't ever allowed back on the field until it's safe.
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Topics : EducationSports
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:46AM

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Overland Campaign is hard to understand, but this weekend the local battles will be explained.
The complex battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House will be discussed Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Some historians and participant descendants will gather at Salem Baptist Church in Spotsylvania County for the fifth annual "Years of Anguish" speakers forum.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:43AM
Bad news if you're a chicken lover and eat it out at area restaurants. You might want to ask what brand it is for a few weeks, or avoid it altogether.
More than eight thousand pounds of the AdvancePierre Foods bulk cases of frozen "Our Down Home Style Chicken Breast Fritters" have been recalled for misbranding and undeclared allergies. The ones produced March 14th to the 21st were sold to restaurants here and in 14 other states.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:34AM
You can stop worrying if the people that buy Paul's Bakery in Fredericksburg will have rights to the signature glazed doghnut recipe.
It was put up for sale last year, but an update on the Paul's Bakery Facebook Page yesterday says it's off the market and more details will come later. The more than 40 year old business is owned by the Glancy family.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2014 9:33AM
Does the thought of helping a sick child make you smile?
Make A Wish Greater Virginia is in need of Wish Granter volunteers. You would work directly with kids and their families and help plan, create and fulfill their wishes. Volunteers spend an average of one to three hours per month.
Training is set for next Saturday. For more information, e-mail Penny at
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Topics : Social Issues
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:54AM
The National Zoo says giant panda cub Bao Bao could soon start venturing outside for the first time with her Mom.
The zoo says the cub will have access to Mei Xiang's yard this week starting each day about 8:00 a.m. Animal keepers have "cub-proofed" the panda yards. While Bow Bow will have the option of go outside, zookeepers say it could take several weeks before she is outside regularly.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Bao BaoBow BowMei Xiang
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:53AM
If you live in Stafford and are tired of having to drive to get the weekly deals at Walgreens, good news could be on the way.
The couty Planning Commission will look at plans this month for one at the intersection of U.S. 17 and Commerce Parkway. The 15,000-square-foot store, would have a drive-through and is planned on a 1.5-acre parcel next to Truckin Thunder.
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Location : Stafford
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:51AM
If you like fresh baked goods or are already a loyal customer of the Mason-Dixon Cake and Baking Company in Spotsylvania's Bowman Center it's coming closer.
Owner Kelly Hunt says her lease is up in June and she'll move to the former Family Diner and Captain Sid's on Princess Anne Street. It'll get longer restaurant's hours, a bigger menu and dinner service will be added.
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People : Kelly HuntSid
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:50AM
You can get your hands dirty this Spring and summer and help a good cause.
The new "Grow For Your Neighbor" program, will help families buy a complete kit to plant square-foot gardens and donate part of the bounty to over 30,000 people that get food at the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. They need to be ordered by this Thursday and picked up at the Fredericksburg Home Depot on May 3rd.
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Topics : Environment
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:50AM
Good news if you have a kid that will want to go to a university in Virginia when they graduate high school.
Enrollment in Virginia's prepaid college tuition program for this year has been extended from yesterday to Sunday. It lets families topay for future in-state tuition and fees at Virginia public colleges and universities, locked in at this year's prices.
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Topics : Education
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:48AM
Spring allergies are already here for some of us and fast on the way for others, but hey at least you're lucky if you don't live in Richmond.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America places it number eight on the top ten list of worst cities for allergies nationwide. The D.C. are moves down a spot from last year, to 67th place. Tree pollen is the biggest problem.
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Location : Richmond
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:48AM
Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner is bringing his pressurized balloon capsule from his record-setting jump to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
The exhibit opens Wednesday and includes the Red Bull Stratos capsule that took Baumgartner to the edge of space, and one of his pressure suits. The Austrian parachutist reached a speed of more than 843 mph during his October 2012 jump over New Mexico. That's 1.25 times the speed of sound.
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Location : New Mexico
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:47AM
The Prince William County Police Department wants you to wear orange this month to help raise awareness of animal cruelty.
It doesn't just have to be phsyical abuse, but also includes animals tied in the yard without enough water or shelter. If you see and instances, contact your local police or animal control departments.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:46AM
Non-profit groups and clubs in the area have a chance to help the community, environment and make some cash in the next few months.
Spotsylvania County Litter Control is sponsoring the Litter-thon on Saturdays this month and the next. All the bagsof trash picked up are $5 a pop. They provide the bags, you provide the people and register in advance.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 7:26AM
Some more problems for those of you that own a GM vehicle, another recall.
This one is because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working, making them harder to steer. 2004-2005 and some 2006, 2008 and 2009 Chevy Malibus, 2010 Cobalts, some of its Saturn Auras and Ions are on the list along with some Pontiacs. You'll get a notice in the mail. The latest recall brings the number to 6.3 million since February.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2014 6:52AM
It's an even bigger reason to avoid driving distracted on local and state roads this Spring and Summer.
VDOT says it is important to look out for signs, orange cones and barrels and to slow down. Especially with more of them on I-95, along with the HOT lane work and pothole repairs. Between drivers and employees in work zones, accidents kill hundreds of people every year.
When you're driving, you're the first step in stopping injuries and fatalities. Look out for construction ahead signs and slow down. Never try to change lanes in one and don't drive distracted.

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