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Local News.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 21 2015 10:43AM
According to Fredericksburg General District court records, the man accused of killing 20 year old University of Mary Washington student Grace Mann will not be out from behind anytime soon.
Steven Vander Briel appears for a brief arraignment this morning, through a video feed, from jail. He has requested a public defender and was denied bond. The continued arraignment will mean that he will stay in custody until a preliminary hearing on May 19th.
Mann is the daughter of a Fairfax County judge. She was honored on the University of Mary Washington campus with flowers, signs and stuffed animals, in a makeshift memorial. The college junior funeral is at the Temple Rodef Shalom this morning and she will be laid to rest in King David Memorial Gardens. The funeral is being streamed live through http://www.templerodefshalom.org/live/ and will be archived for viewing later.
Police are still investigating and looking for a motive in her death. The state medical examiner's office has deemed Mann' death as asphyxia by stangulation.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 10:51AM
A Caroline County deputy is flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, after being hit by a car outside Caroline High this morning.
The Caroline County Sheriff's office says Deputy Sergeant Chris Hall was directing traffic, around 7:10 a.m., when it happened. He is in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver who hit the deputy, 86-year-old Herbert Hines of Ruther Glen, is charged with reckless driving.
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Location : Caroline County
People : Caroline High
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:42AM
The University of Mary Washington will lose its' president on June 30th of next year.
Rick Hurley made the announcement to the Baord of Visitors at its' meeting last Friday. He took over in 2010 after issues with former presidents, Judy Hample and William Frawley. Hurley has been with the school in numerous jobs for a decade, before being tapped as president.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:41AM
A mail carrier has returned to his home in Florida, where he'll wait for his next hearing after flying his gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol lawn. Doug Hughes was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and violating national airspace after landing his gyrocopter in Washington last Wednesday. The 61 year old starts house arrest today and will wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet until a May 8 court hearing back in Washington.
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Location : FloridaWashington
People : Doug Hughes
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:38AM
Crowds poured into Nationals Park to see the Nationals beat the Phliies yesterday, even though they had to pull more money out of their wallets.
It was the first of 13 Sunday home games where fans are now paying to park outside the stadium this season. There are also two more holidays where it will be charged. The DC Department of Transportation will have meters outside the game running, even if they are off across the rest of the city.
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Topics : Sports
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:36AM
An Army vet from Stafford is remembered as a loving Dad and loyal friend.
Twenty six year old Brian Joseph Kurick was killed when an SUV his 21 year old girlfriend was driving crashed into a house in the White Oak area last Monday. He was thrown out and pronounced dead in the yard. That house is still not safe to live in and Jessica Meagan Agley is charged with manslaughter and DUI. She will be in court June 26th and is being held without bond. Kurick was laid to rest over the weekend.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:35AM
If you have a swing set or jungle gym in the yard make sure you inspect it this Spring to make sure the kids are safe. They can age over the winter and get rough patches that could get caught in kids clothes with drawstrings and cause a fall. Make sure they are supervised too and that there is something underneath, in case. Every year more than 200,000 kids are treated in the ER for playground related injury.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:33AM
A benefit for Wounded Warriors of Virginia will offer help close to home this weekend.
The event sponsored by the group and Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office kicks off at the Spotsylvania Towne Center Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Booths will be set up to help vets with everything from buying cars, getting private health or car insurance, banking, golfing and finding out more about local and state agencies. There will also be a display of World War II vehicles and helicopter.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:32AM
Members of the Stafford School Board and county lawmakers are trying to find out how to close a gap of nearly a million-dollars in its' budget proposal. Residents are still calling for teacher raises though. A vote on what will be given to schools and the rates residents will pay to own a home and car there is expected tomorrow afternoon.
It could be also be more expensive to own a home in the City of Fredericksburg, if members of the City Council vote to raise the real estate tax rate by three or four cents, for every hundred thousand dollars a house is worth. Water and sewer rates could also go up, but personal property taxes would be unchanged. Your chance to speak out on the rates there happens tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m., in council chambers.
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Location : Fredericksburg
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:31AM
If your kids are into comics and you don't have the time or cash to take them to Awesome Con in DC next month, there's another option nearby this Saturday. CRRL-Con is at the England Run Library from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. There will be pictures with tv and comic character cut outs, a costume contest, comic book dealers facepainting and DIY comic hero buttons.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:30AM
If you feel like you spend much of your life on 95 driving to work or even on the way to and from a local store, it's because you probably do.
A Triple A Foundation study shows it's about 46 minutes a day and more traffic is on the way. By2040, a population survey shows that Spotsylvania will grow by 137% and it's 141% for Stafford.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:29AM
If you were planning to head out when the 2015 selling season gets underway at the North Stafford Farmer's market this weekend, you'll have to leave Fido at home for now.
The chair of Stafford's Agricultural Committee tells a WFLS listener that it's because of complaints that dogs were peeing on produce. Whether you are for or against the change, you can speak out next Monday at the committee meeting, on Courthouse Road, at 7:00 p.m.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:26AM
Extra security will be on hand again today at the Boston Marathon, following the 2013 bombing.
Former owner of Off da' Couch training in Spotsylvania, Katie Ayala, weighs in on what it's like today. She says the running community is strong and resilient. Ayala and others in that community hope that race organizers there and in ones nearby find a balance with safety. The same increased precautions will also happen again next month at the Marine Corps Historic Half, here in Fredericksburg.
Organizers of the Marine Corps Marathon in October and the Historic Half are still looking for volunteers. They work alongside Marines doing everything from manning water points, food or medical stations and runner hospitality areas. They get a commemorative t-shirt and certificate. Get more and sign up at www.marine marathon.com.
The sentencing phase of the case against the sole remaining convicted Boston Marathon bomber gets underway tomorrow.
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Topics : Sports
Location : Boston
People : Katie Ayala
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 9:22AM
The Secret Service says a would-be White House fence jumper didn't get very far.
The agency says it happened at 10:25 p.m. last night and the suspect was "immediately arrested." Lawmakers plan to look at how to make the area after, after a series of security lapses, including one last September. Then, a man with a knife jumped a fence and ran inside the executive mansion.
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Topics : Politics
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 20 2015 7:10AM
Monday 4-20-15 Steven Vander Briel is formally charged with first degree murder and abduction in the death of 20 year old Grace Mann. She was found unconscious a bedroom of their Washington Avenue house, just after 3:00 p.m. Friday.
She and Briel were among the roomates that lived in the 1900 block, but police do not suspect that the pair had a real personal relationship. Thirty year old Briel is a former University of Mary Washington student that recently moved back from Washington state and was reenrolled in classes there for the Spring.
Mann was honored in a touching memorial on the school's Fredericksburg campus on Saturday. She will be remembered as an outspoken voice for women's rights and as a good friend. The state medical examiner has still not released her formal cause of death. A funeral for the McLean native is set for tomorrow at the Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church. She will be laid to rest at King David Memorial Gardens.

FRIDAY 4-17-15- 6:00 p.m.Fredericksburg residents are still on edge this evening, even after the suspect of a homicide on Washington Avenue is taken into custody.
Police Spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe says a young woman was found unconscious in a home in the 1900 block, around 3:00 p.m. today. She died after being taken to a local hospital.
The male suspect, Steven Vander Briel, was seen fleeing the scene on foot before the police arrived. The search caused James Monroe High School to go on lockdown and residents to be warned to stay on alert. A heavy police presence canvassed the area and Vander Briel was found in the 500 block of Riverside Drive, across Route 1, around 5:30 p.m. Bledsoe says he has been taken to the local Police Headquarters for questioning.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2015 12:09PM
If you are a long-time local resident that went to Chancellor Elementary School in Spotsylvania, you're invited to be a part of its 75th anniversary celebration next Saturday.
Anniversary event organizer Kathy Holland tells us they are looking for items to go into a room that will be set up like a museum. They have been collecting memorabilia and pictures from before the school even opened, to put on display.
You may contact Chancellor Elementary for more information on donating anything you might have to be included. The museum event and a full scale carnival, to benefit the school's PTA, is next Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The carnival is family friendly and will have: a crafters village, games, a barrel train and fire truck and a bounce house.
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Topics : Education
People : Kathy Holland
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2015 11:44AM
You may have seen flashing lights near one eantrance to Spotsylvania Towne Center Wednesday morning and it was for police responding to a high speed chase.
A concerned citizen saw a 22 year old Woodbridge man speeding out of Central Park with boxes of tvs hanging out the back of the trunk and tried to stop him. Fredericksburg Police say Bijan Bello lost control and crashed through a fence by Regal Cinemas. The tvs had been stolen from Walmart and Bello faces numerous charges.
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People : Bijan Bello
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2015 11:37AM
Classes are going on as scheduled today at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, after an early morning scare.
The message went out to students through the campus alert system, just after 4:30 a.m. when gunshots were reported in the area. No injuries were reported and police did not find anything in the area of Franklin and Harrison Streets.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 17 2015 7:31AM
Even if you read your favorite books on a Kindle or a Nook, do you have a collection of hardback or paperbacks and like the feel of one in your hand?
You can update your bookshelf at low prices, starting this weekend, at the annual Big Spring BookSale at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library downtown. Monday is 1/2 price day. Tuesday a whole box is $5 and what's left on Wednesday is a dollar a box.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:14AM
The latest incident at the Capitol in DC is apparently to bring attention to campaign finance corraption.
Police arrest a 61 year old Florida postal worker, after he flew through restricted airspace, near the National Mall. Doug Hughes was orderedto land on the Capitol lawn, before being taken into custody. His website says he was hoping to deliver letters to all 535 members of Congress.
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Location : Florida
People : Doug Hughes
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:12AM
High School baseball teams in Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Caroline will take time to honor the late great Jackie Robinson tomorrow.
Baseball players will wear pre game jerseys with Robinson's iconic number 42. Special ceremonies will also be held to to recognize Robinson's lasting impact on major league ball. Celebrations will happen at the Brooke Point at Stafford; Colonial Forge at Mountain View; North Stafford at Riverbend and Caroline at James Monroe games. Crowdfunding helped raise $3,000 for the events.
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Topics : EducationSports
Location : Mountain View
People : Jackie Robinson
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:10AM
Now that your 2014 federal tax return is done, it's time to turn your attention to the May 1st state tax deadline. There is a way to talk to an agent for help a little easier, even from at home in your pjs. The online live chat option lets you hook up with a real-time live operator. It's active from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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Topics : Social Issues
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:04AM
Have you paid the new fees to bring trash to the Eskimo Hill or Belman Road drop off sites yet? It's been controversial and now even more money is needed. The local R-Board is asking lawmakers in Fredericksburg and Stafford to each to finance $2 million in debt. It would help build one new trash cell at the landfill, but even more options may be needed. It could even raise the cost for curbside trash pickup too.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:02AM
A 21 day sit-in at Fredericksburg's University of Mary Washington campus ends in arrest. Virginia State Police say two students and a local resident were taken away in handcuffs, just after 6:30 last night.
They want to encourage the school tostop investing in the coal industry by next year. About 160 people circulated in and out during the sit-in and students had recently been sleeping in a hallway and refused to leave.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 8:00AM
Make sure your wallet is in your front pocket and that you don't leave your purse in the shopping cart at area stores.
The warning comes after a list of new shoplifting arrests. Fredericksburg Police Spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe says five people have been taken into custody, ranging in age from 27 to 53, in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsy and Locust Grove in recent days.
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Topics : Social Issues
People : Natatia Bledsoe
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 7:58AM
We'll get a chance to see what projects the Commonwealth Transportation Board hopes to spend money on over the next six years.
The draft plan sets aside almost $13 billion for everything from highway, road, rail and bridge repairs or building to bike paths. Public hearings are at Germanna Community College's Workforce Development Center in Fredericksburg on April 30th and at its Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper on May 11th. Both start at 6:00 p.m.
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Topics : Labor
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 7:55AM
The eight year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting on the Virginia Tech campus is tomorrow.
The ceremonial remembrance candle will be lit on the Virginia Tech campus tonight at mignight and stay that way through tomorrow's 8th anniversary of the shooting. The Tech website has information about the 32 students and faculty members lost. They ranged in age from 18 to 76.
Those lives are also being remembered this Saturday morning on its campus in the "2015 3.2 Mile Run in Remembrance."
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 7:53AM
The Spotsylvania planning commission is listening to concerns from people that live in Waverly Village, off Route 3, and now a local developer is scrambling.
Doug Janney has two weeks to come up with a new entrance for the proposed 98 home Avalon Woods, or commissioners would shoot it down. Residents say as is, it would add too much traffic to their streets. They want the entrance on Harrison Road instead. They'll discuss it again in a special meeting on April 27th.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 16 2015 7:52AM
A strong reminder to know what your kids are doing and who they are with, after a 16 year old girl from Mechanicsville disappears Monday night.
Victoria Anne Creps is found safe yesterday in Ohio, but with a 20 year old convicted sex offender. Shewas held until her parents could get there and Shawn LittleJohn is being brought back to Virginia. He's wanted for a felony court order violation in Hanover.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : MechanicsvilleOhioVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 8:37AM
Some local history buffs had a frown after the Fredericksburg Area Museum closed its' doors Friday over money troubles.
Now it plans to ask lawmakers in the City to approve a million and a half dollars to help it reopen nearby in January. The rest will requested in the form of donations from its members and others in the local community. The cost of merging into two buildings, renovations and new exhibits put the museum in the hole.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:22AM
You'll see at least one new face behind the counter at the Olde Towne Butcher in Fredericksburg. Owner Lee Russell has sold it to a man that has sold commercial real estate and run a tech business.
Keith Lebor of Fredericksburg tells the Free Lance-Star that he remembers going to butcher shops like this one as a kid and appreciates what this one does for its' employees and local farners and residents. Russell will stay on for a bit longer to get him up to speed and then plans to retire to Florida.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:21AM
You may have seen the beefed up security in and around the Capitol, if you have been into DC since the two hour lockdown there Saturday. Police have identified the man that took his own life in front of it as 22 year old Leo Thornton, of Lincolnwood, Illinois. He was apparently carrying some sort of social justice sign when he took his own life in front of about 60 people, just after 1:00 p.m.
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Location : IllinoisLincolnwood
People : Leo Thornton
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:19AM
Unless something changes, we could see different voting equipment at local precincts this fall. The governor order the State Board of Elections to investigate the AVS WINVote mahines after major complaints of voting irregularities at the polls back last year. Right now, the machines are used in 560 precincts in 30 localities throughout the state.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:17AM
Crowded classes will likely continue to be a reality in Spotsylvania, now that the approved county budget gives schools a whole lot less than requested. It could also make a planned hiring of 58 new positions unlikely. Homeowners can expect a real estatetax hike of just over a penny.
Stafford schools will have to close a gap of nearly a $1 million in its' proposal, but residents are calling for teacher raises. A vote on that county's budget is expected next Monday.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:12AM
The maiden voyage of the new Metro 7000 series cars, our of the Springfield/Franconia station yesterday morning is being called a success.
WMATA placed the initial order for the new set of railcars back in 2010. So far, it's ordered 528 and has the option to add 220 more. The first 64 cars will add capacity for the Silver Line, set to open in 2018. The rest will replace aging 1000 and 4000 series cars.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:09AM
A new bridge, being built over I-95 on Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg, is a step closer to being named the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge.
Members of the City Council give the final okay last night, in a six to one vote. Councilman Matt Kelly was the only nay vote, wishing a local civil rights pioneer would get the recognition instead. Signs, that will be added, will be seen by drivers on the interstate and on Fall Hill Avenue. The Commonwealth Transportation Board gets a final say on the plan, before action is taken.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : JrMatt Kelly
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 7:04AM
The calendar shows April 15th, so what if you haven't filed on your 2014 federal tax return? Don't worry. If you're due a refund, it isn't much of a deadline at all.
If you do owe, Eric Smith with the IRS tells us you do need to file by midnight though. The fee and penalty for not filing can be hefty and interest continues to build on the unpaid portion too. You could file for a six month filing extension. If you only need 30 days to pay, just file and wait for a bill. Installment agreements for over 120 days charge a fee, but ask if you qualify for a waiver of penalty or interest through the IRS Fresh Start Initiative.
Today is also the last day for a contribution to an IRA, 401K or health savings account, to lower your liability.
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People : Eric Smith
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 15 2015 6:50AM
If you were stuck in the massive delays on I-95 south, to get back home to Fredericksburg yesterday, you have an overturned crane to thank.
VDOT says it happened at the 144 mile marker in Stafford, around 3:00 p.m. VDOT says it took almost three hours to get the 1995 Gradall upright, clean up the fuel spill and make some road repairs. State Police say that the crane was trying to miss another car that lost control on the wet road. Some of the delays because of it went on for even longer. One man tells us it took him nearly five hours to get home from DC. Its' driver, 51 year old Dana Gaddy of Colonial Beach, was taken to Stafford Hospital with non life threatening injuries. No one else was hurt and a police investigator does not expect any charges will be filed.
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People : Dana Gaddy
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:42AM
If you like to gamble, get dressed up and have fun, you can do it this Saturday to help raise money for Germanna Community College.
The 21st Annual Germanna Community College Educational Foundation Scholarship Monte Carlo Night is the biggest fundraiser of the year. The black tie casino night is from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. at the schools' Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper. Tickets are $90 a piece on the Germanna Community College Foundation website.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:41AM
James Madison University's is the latest in the state to make it more expensive to get a degree. Its board has approved undergraduate tuition and fee increases for the 2015-2016 academic year.
In-state students living on campus will pay just over $19,000 a year. The 2.6% bump to out of state students will mean over $34,000 a year.
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Topics : Education
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:40AM
Good news for history lovers. The nonprofit Virginia Department of Historic Resources will help the state manage 48 acres in Orange County near the Wilderness Battlefield.
The agreement with Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield will maintain the land that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. donated to the state in 2013. It's best known as the place where Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant first met on the battlefield.
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Topics : War_Conflict
Location : Orange County
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:39AM
If you are still scrambling to finish your 2014 federal tax return by the Wednesday deadline, the IRS is warning that scam artists are still on the prowl.
Remember to look out for fake emails or websites looking to steal your personal information.Fake charities also come out of the woodwork this week too, so check them out at www.Irs.gov. And if a tax prep company offers you a refund that sounds to good to be true, it probably is bogus.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:32AM
Four once Blackwater security guards face decades in prison when they are sentenced in Washington today for their roles in a 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians. Three of the guards face mandatory sentences because of firearm convictions. A fourth faces a life sentence after being found guilty of first-degree murder. They are charged in the deaths of 14 Iraqis and were convicted in October after a long legal battle.
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Topics : Law_CrimeWar_Conflict
Location : Washington
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:24AM
The Potomac Nationals are celebrating a 5-0 weekend home opening win over Lynchburg and later this week they honor the military men and women around the beltway.
A military appreciation day game is at 7:05 p.m. this Friday night, with themed giveaways, and patriotic uniforms. Military members may also buy deeply discounted Nats tickets through MWR and ITT offices at area bases and the Pentagon.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:23AM
Expect to hear the extra noise, that started over the weekend, in and around the Fort A.P. Hill installation in Caroline for most of the summer. Active Army, Army National Guard, reserve and active and reserve Marines will be using indirect fire weapons and flying planes that are conducting flight operations.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:20AM
Have you have seen the electronic sign in front of Central Park advertising Heartchase Fredericksburg and wondered what it's all about?
The University of Mary Washington event benefits the American Heart Association and teaches your family heart health with a fun digital race. Your team registers at www.heartchasefredericksburg.org, gets sponsors and gathers at Jefferson hall on April 25th.
A smartphone app takes you through a ten station scavenger hunt challenge. Last year it raised $70,000 for the cause.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:19AM
The family of a woman from Woodford is grieving today after she was killed in a crash around midnight yesterday, off Route 605 in Caroline.
Virginia State Police say that Lori B. Guess' 2002 Hyundai was trevling west when it ran off the road. She apparently overcorrected and the car rolled three times. The 54 year old was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:14AM
Put down that cup of coffee, soda or sandwich and keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
More local and even state police will be patroling the roads as part of April's Distracted Driving month. It can be dangerous, even fatal and tickets for it can jack up your insurance premiums. And, If you are found partly or totally responsible for a wreck, the higher rates could stay in place for up to three years.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:12AM
Police in Prince William need your help to find the man suspected in shooting two seventeen year olds and a 20 year old on Forestdale Avenue in Woodbridge, just after 2:30 yesterday morning.
One man was walking and the other two were in a vehicle when it happened. The passenger of a light colored SUV that pulled up had the gun and opened fire. The suspect is described as a black, heavy set, with dreadlocks, wearing a black or dark colored hoodie and green shorts.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : William
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 13 2015 7:11AM
If you were at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday or just sightseeing and saw the commotion around the Capitol if was because of a security concern with a tragic ending.
Secret Service called in a bomb squad after a man with a rolling suitcase, backpack and a social justice sign took his own life, around 1:00 p.m. The name of the victim has not been released, but there were about 60 people nearby when it happened.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2015 7:59AM
Stay alert in local shopping centers, even when it's light outside.
A woman had just put her granddaughter in a car seat, outside the Stafford Marketplace Target Wednesday around 7:00 p.m. She stood up to see a stranger standing there and when she denied his request for some change, he pulled a gun and demanded everything she had in her purse.
He ran toward the Route 610 Wingate with some cash and is described as thin and black, 30 to 35 years old and between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 9 inches tall.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 10 2015 7:58AM
Police say an alleged kidnap victim is safe after what looks like a domestic incident that started in Maryland and spread into D.C., killing a U.S. Census Bureau guard in the process.
D.C.'s Police Chief says the guard was shot when he approached a car that matched the description of the kidnap vehicle. Lawrence Buckner died later at a hospital. A chase and shootout that followed, left the gunman and a DC cop wounded.
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Location : Maryland
People : Lawrence Buckner
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2015 11:12AM
Your kids are safer online in Spotsylvania, after four men are arrested in an online sex sting.
A sheriff's detective posed as an underage girl in a chat room, looking for predators. Captain Jeff Pearce says they were arrested separately over three months, when the came to meet the would-be teen.
Each of the suspects arrested are charged with felony counts of Indecent Liberties and Using a Communication System to Facilitate Certain Offenses Involving Children.
The latest suspects arrested are Tyler Martin, 21 from Richmond; John Howell, 44 from Fredericksburg; Toby Parker, 46 from Manassas and Robert Catanzaro, 55 from Fredericksburg.
Tyler Martin

John Howell

Toby Parker

Robert Catanzaro
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2015 10:53AM
You can get a glimpse of a major league baseball player this season a little closer to home, at a Potomac Nationals game.
Washington National's Outfielder, Jason Werth is assigned to the team for rehab, after shoulder surgery back in January. The P-Nats 2015 roster had 13 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders before the addition of Werth. Today is the team's opening day.
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Topics : Sports
People : Jason Werth
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2015 10:28AM
The economy may have gotten a little better across our region, but the affects of the recession in past years is hitting a local history icon.
The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, off William Street in downtown, will suspend operations at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. Its' president says the nonprofit has to be restructured to continue operating. It plans to give up its' biggest building and reopen in the revamped Town Hall in January.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2015 10:14AM
Are you an area VRE rider that uses a Transit Link Card to have a combination ticket for your commuter rail and Metrorail travel?
It could become a thing of the past as part of Metro's 2016 budget proposal. It's part of the effort to eliminate all paper/magnetic Metrorail fare cards. If it's passed, the last TLC cards would be issued this December. You can comment on the budget and card plan until April 13th at www.wmata.com/budget-survey.
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Topics : Social Issues
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 9 2015 10:13AM
Now that a jury convicts Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, after 11 and a half hours of deliberation, the penalty phase will start.
He is found guilty of 30 counts, including conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of the charges are punishable by death. Jurors could start hearing evidence on Monday.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has blamed his brother Tamerlan's influence on his involvement that fateful day. The older brother was killed in a police shootout after the bombing, then run over by an SUV, being driven by Dzhokhar, and is buried in nearby, at a Caroline County cemetery.
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Topics : Law_CrimeWar_Conflict
Location : BostonCaroline County
People : Tamerlan
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 10:22AM
Dorris Buffet's Sunshine Lady Foundation is doling out cash again and it will let 108 low-income students at Spotsylavania and James Monroe High Schools graduate high school, with an associates degree too, by 2018.
The $2 million grant will partner Germanna Community College with the Gladys Todd Academy for mentoring, tutoring and dual enrollment classes, starting this fall. It's geared toward students who would be the first in their families to attend college, particularly black males.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 10:21AM
Have you checked the batteries in your smoke detectors? They are credited with saving the lives of a family in Spotsylvania, after a massive fire early yesterday morning.
A neighbor noticed the blaze and called 911 and a family member heard the alarm and got everyone out. It's still being investigated, but started on the back deck, and the house was a total loss.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 10:00AM
4-8-15 Update: Authorities identify the Maryland man that drowned in the Upper Lake of Wilderness Presidential Resorts in Spotsylvania this week. Fifty-eight year old Tyler Wilson was here visiting, when the boat he was on capsized Monday evening. CPR efforts failed and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Even though it was warmer outside, cold water temperatures may have been a factor and there's still no word on whether Wilson has on a life vest.

One of the regions first drownings of the season, in Spotsylvania, is a reminder not to boat alone and to make sure someone knows where you are going.
When emergency responders got to Uppper Lake of Wilderness Resorts, just after 5:30 p.m. Monday, the man visiting from Maryland was already pulled from the water and was getting CPR. More advanced efforts failed too and the 58 year old was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause is still being investigated.
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Location : Maryland
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 9:43AM
Get ready to pull out your wallet to pay for street parking for Nationals games, even on weekends and holidays.
The Distric Department of Transportation says the meters outside Nationals Park will run even if others in the city are free. You will see temporary signs outside to alert you to the cost. The first game day holiday charged is on Emancipation Day, April 16th. There are also July 4th and Labor Day games, along with 13 home games on a Sunday.
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Topics : Sports
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 9:42AM
If you are into the idea of a dirty workout, like running and obstacles and family fun, registration for the annual Run Amuck opens today.
The four mile intense Marine Corps Marathon event takes you through mud, obstacles, trails and hills. It's even complete with mud pits and water blasts. The mini run amuck is for all ages. Registration is $45 and $25 for the June 13th runs. Sign up at www.marinemarathon.com.
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by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 9:40AM
Looking to send your teenage to a Virginia college? Some of them offer a solid education and won't break your wallet.
A Smartasset survey ranks The University of Mary Washington the eighth-best college in Virginia, in terms of bang for your buck. Its' graduates earn an average starting salary of $44,000 after graduation and in-state tuition is under $10,000. Topping the list on its' affordability score, is the University of Virginia.
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Topics : Education
Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 9:33AM
If you have eaten at Food on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg before, you probably know why its' famous chicken and waffles is the winner of this year's Virginia Culinary Madness Challenge. It beat out an apple brie and bacon burger from southwest Virginia, with 50.9% of the vote. The pool of 100 nominees, back on March 2nd was taken down to 32, before final face off. In all, 33,000 online votes were cast.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 8 2015 8:14AM
If you got caught up at Union Station to catch a VRE train for the ride home to Fredericksburg yesterday, it was because of a power outage on 14 of Metro's 91 stations.
It also knocked 28,000 homes, businesses, some Smithsonian museums across the DC region and even the White House. The Homeland Security Department rules out terrorism and says a heavy transmission line that fell to the ground in Charles County, Maryland is to blame.
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Location : Charles CountyMaryland
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 6 2015 11:56AM
Today is your last chance to support local eating by casting an on-line vote in the 2015 Virginia Culinary Madness Challenge.
More than 25,000 of them have been cast since March 2nd and Fredericksburg's FoodE is in the final two. Its' chicken and waffles face off against an apple brie and bacon burger from a restaurant in South Hill. The website is open until midnight and a winner will be announced this week.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 6 2015 11:55AM
The controversial story about a fraternity house rape on the University of Virginia campus published in Rolling Stone last year is being retracted.
A Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism review calls the "journalistic failure that was avoidable." Some students there are worried that the story failed to investigate all the facts and could cause problems for real reports in the future.
Police in Charlottesville say they found no evidence of the accused rape of victim "Jackie", by seven men, in 2012.
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Location : CharlottesvilleVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 6 2015 9:24AM
Two Spotsylvania parents will not be allowed any sort of unsupervised contact with their three kids, that have all been in foster care since December.
The 17 month old, three and four year olds were taken from their parents, after being locked in a single dirty room and fed through a baby gate. Despite social issues and a rash, the Commonwealth's Attorney says they were found healthy.
Their parents, Scott Suggs and Brandy Kangas', are given six year suspended sentences late last week and $2,500 fines.


by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 10:17AM
If you have a gift card for the Cache store in the Village Shops, on Route 3 in Spotsylvania, you better go shopping fast.
It's one of the stores affected by its' parent company filing bankruptcy and will only take those pre-loaded cards through this Sunday. No closing date is set there, but a liquidation sale there and at the Deb store inside the Spotsysylvania Towne Centre is underway.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 10:16AM
If you like baseball, you can go cheer on some local young people that could make the sport more than a hobby some day.
The annual Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run competition is at Fredericksburg's Sunshine Ballpark on Fall Hill Avenue tomorrow. Boys and girls from 7 to 14 will compete between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Winners can advance to a regional competition and maybe the MLB's All-Star PH&R contest.
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Topics : Human InterestSports
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 10:13AM
Spotsylvania teen Ryan McCall's fatal plane crash near the Orange Airport last weekend was the first time he planned to fly alone from one airport to another one.
A preliminary report by investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board shows that the Riverbend High student had 30.6 hours of accompanied flight experience. It has deemed the crash an accident, but the formal report of what happened will still take some time.
The 16 year old's family received friends at an area funeral home last night. He is being laid to rest at 11:00 a.m. this morning at Oak Hill Cemetery in Fredericksburg. Donations of love and remembrance are requested to Skyline Aviation, at the Orange Airport.
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People : Ryan McCall
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 9:42AM
Do you own a small local business or maybe you have thought about starting one? An upcoming seminar at the University of Mary Washington's Center for Economic Development could help. It will cover everything from legal forms and record keeping to laws and regulations. The registration deadline for the April 13th event is next Friday and it will cost $30.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 9:39AM
Prom, graduation and wedding season is upon us and that means lots of folks will try to rent a limo.
Kenny Blainey, Owner of Anytime Limousines in Fredericksburg, says ask the right questions first. How long have the been in business? Are they are licensed, insures and bonded in Virginia? Do they have DOT authority to cross state lines and are they a member of the Virginia Limosine Association. Most companies listed through that site meet requirements. If you do need a limo, plan ahead. Blainey says their busiest months are April through October.
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Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Virginia
People : Kenny Blainey
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 3 2015 9:28AM
Some tense moments at the Princess Anne Street Relax Inn for the Fredericksburg Police Department's Special Equipment and Tactical Team Thursday evening.
They got there around 5:00 p.m., after a call about a man that has barricaded himself in a room in the motel. They were armed with an emergency protective order, issued by the local magistrate.
They did not know initially if the 53 year old was armed, alone or if it was a hostage situation. A command post was set up across the street and Princess Anne Street was closed in the 1900 block. Negotiators spent five hours trying to talk him out and he finally surrendered just after 10:00 p.m., but will not face criminal charges. The man was taken to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 2 2015 7:37AM
If you are in the market to buy a new house? Do your homework first. Kevin Breen Jr. with Caldwell Banker Elite here in the Fredericksburg area says you have to be patient and ask the right questions that are sometimes tough. You need to know how how old the hot water heater and heating and air system is and about the energy efficiency of the windows.
Also consider a getting a buyers agent to help you negotiate. They often have real time information and the experience to know what could get you into trouble. Also never fall in love with the first house that you see. It could end up being more than you can afford and you might not be getting the best deal. Also, don't run from a house just because you don't like the interior. The red color that the current or previous owner may have decided on could scare off other potential buyers and out you in a better spot.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Kevin Breen Jr.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 2 2015 7:28AM
- The streets of northern Virginia are a little safer after the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office announces its' made one of the biggest drug busts in the history of the county.
The Sheriff says a 3-month investigation ended with them seizure of more than 2.5 pounds of powder cocaine, a 1-kilo brick of cocaine, 5 ounces of crack cocaine, 1.5 ounces of heroin, 6 pounds of marijuana, 5 ounces of PCP, 429 ecstasy pills, prescription pills, and $60,000 in cash.
It happened on Tuesday at a motel in Sterling and two men were arrested. One is from New London, Connecticut and the other is from Brooklyn, New York.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2015 9:53AM
A proposed school budget in Spotsylvania would mean a 2% pay hike on July 1st, for any county employee that has at least a satisfactory performance rating. Next year the money could be more if their performance is rated higher. County officials have alsoset aside money for one-time bonuses, equal to 1% of an employee's salary. A 3% hike is proposed for teachers and all other schools employees. A vote on the county's budget and cash for schools is on April 14th.
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Topics : EducationLabor
Location : Spotsylvania County
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2015 9:50AM
Tim Smith's Climax Moonshine that gained fame in the Discovery Channel's "Moonshiner's" tv show is coming to the region.
He will greet fans and sign bottles of his namesake spirit at the Culpeper ABC store, in the Southgate Shopping Center, this Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The legal shine goes on sale there, in Richmond and Williamsburg for just under 35-bucks a bottle.
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2015 9:47AM
If you or someone you know owns a registered and certified service animal, you need to know about The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists plan to keep their eyes healthy next month. The goal is to provide as many free screening exams as possible, all through May. This year, some clinics and hospitals around Fredericksburg are on board. Registration opens today through April 30th, on www.ACVOeyeexam.org.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2015 9:46AM
If you are among the 20-thousand people that took the I-95 or 495 Express Lanes on March 21st, you helped support local fire and rescue workers in a big way.
Lane operator Flour Transurban's "Drive to Donate Campaign donated all the moneycollected to local organizations that help keep the lanes safe. It means over $26,000 each to the Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Departments.
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People : Stafford FireWilliam
by Deirdre Blake posted Apr 1 2015 8:32AM
County Lawmakers in King George are now planning to raise the real estate tax by two cents, to 61 cents for event $100,000 your house is worth.
The talks started over a concern for too few new jobs being proposed in the budget plan. The additionalmoney could pay for new firefighters and go to schools. Lawmakers don't have to approve it though and want to hear local feedback at a public hearing on April 21st.
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People : George
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