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Potomac Local Podcast
22 minutes | 2 months ago
Baldwin seeks Delegate seat in Pr. Wm., Fauquier, pushes to re-open schools 5 days a week
From repealing voter ID laws, passing California-like vehicle emission standards, to closing public schools to in-person learning, Democrats that have controlled Virginia’s government for the past two years have been busy. “What we’ve seen come out of Richmond over the past two years is really something that has worked to muddy the waters and will get people out to vote,” said Ben Baldwin, a conservative Republican running unopposed for the 31st District Virginia House of Delegate seat. The district includes a portion of eastern Prince William County in Dale City and stretches into Fauquier County. The seat is held by Elizabeth Guzman, a Democrat in the progressive wing of the party. While mounting a Primary Campaign in a crowded field of Democrats vying to be the state’s next Lt. Governor, she’s simultaneously running to keep her seat in the 31st District, according to a campaign spokeswoman. Roderick Hall, another Democrat, is also vying for the seat. Virginia Democrats in recent years have been able to win, says Baldwin, because, under Donald Trump, much of the political conversation had been about national issues. The pandemic–with its business lockdowns and forced school closures that have led to children failing courses or simply giving up altogether–has shifted the conversation, opening doors for conservatives like him. “It wasn’t the Federal Government that [forced lockdowns and closed schools], that was Richmond, Baldwin told PLN this week during an interview. “We’ve sacrificed our children’s education,” he added, noting children should return to the classroom for in-person instruction five days per week. Baldwin, a political newcomer, will focus on winning every vote, he says, because of what happened the last time this seat was up for grabs in 2019. That’s when Republican DJ Jordan nearly the seat, losing by just 1,505 votes, a five-point loss. “It’s only a handful of votes who decides who wins and loses,” said Baldwin. A graduate of Virginia Tech, Baldwin was an officer in Marine Corps, where he served for 10 years as a F/A-18D Weapons Systems Officer. Baldwin is married to his wife Nikki, of 11 years, and they have a 7-year-old son, Cameron. He is a member of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, where he participates on the Veterans Council and Economic Development Committee.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
Cox seeks Pr. William Delegate seat, says GOP is party of legal immigration
Tim Cox is hoping Prince William County voters will meet him in the middle. The 34-year-old conservative is running for the 51st District House of Delegates seat. As it sits today, the district includes a large swath of the county, from the county’s east side that favors Democrats, to the west side which largely votes Republican. All political districts in the state will be redrawn soon as part of the decennial redistricting process. Cox hopes his campaign is enough to draw out both moderates and Republicans who don’t feel represented in Richmond. “I don’t think Virginia is as blue as people would make it out to be,” Cox told PLN. “We need to step up and get out the vote.” The race for the 51st seat is a contested one. Cox faces competition from within his party from Jeff Dove, who previously ran in 2018 in a failed attempt to unseat Gerry Connolly (D-11, Fairfax, Prince William) and lost. The two will likely faceoff this spring during a Primary Election. For years worked for Connolly as a congressional aide, Briana Sewell seeks to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands. She’s currently the top aide to Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler. Hyla Ayala (D) won the seat in 2017, beating Richard Anderson, who held it for seven years. Ayala is not seeking re-election to the seat, opting to focus on her run for Virginia Lt. Governor. Cox, who describes himself as “conservative to the core,” says he wants Republicans to be the party of legal immigration. His wife of four years, a doctor and in the U.S. on a green card, as well as his time spent overseas working on mission trips for his church, are the driving forces behind his desire to attract more working immigrants. “Many immigrants are scared of the GOP because they think they are the anti-immigrant party,” said Cox. “We need to look at policies that facilitate the entry of skilled immigrants.” In recent weeks, men, women, and children have flooded the southern U.S. border in light of President Biden’s immigration policies. And while immigrants children are contained at the border waiting to enter the country, children of Virginia residents continue to wait to attend school in-person five days a week. “I’ve talked to many of my neighbors, and they tell me their son or daughter [who have opted to return to school for in-person learning] are the only students in the classroom. Some teachers are also teaching [to in-person students] remotely.” Prince William County has sent back to class all students who opted to return to in-person learning, about 30% of the county’s public school students. Not until everyone must return will children return to a sense of normalcy, he adds. “If you go to Walmart, there are people everywhere…the fatality rate is so low, and yet we have restrictions on religious gatherings,” said Cox. “People are observant, and they’re just seeing that [the pandemic] is not as dangerous as the media, or other parties would make it out to be. Cox came to Woodbridge in 2016 to finalize his seminary capstone project at Occoquan Bible Church in Lake Ridge. At the same time, he worked to complete a master’s degree at The John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. As a Navy Reserve officer, he was also assigned to a senior unit at the Pentagon working under the Chief of Naval Operations. After growing up in Brazil as a missionary kid, Cox graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio with a degree in Global Economics & International Business. He commissioned in the U.S. Navy and toured various countries throughout the Asia Pacific region. Eventually, he set down roots in Prince William County. Cox lives with his wife, Ingrid, and two children aged 6 months, and 2 years old.
22 minutes | 5 months ago
Heather Mitchell for Virginia House of Delegates: Prince William, Stafford “a miniature version of the entire state”
Heather Michell is hoping the second time the charm, as the Republican makes her making a second run at the Virginia House of Delegates in a Special Election on January 5. After current seatholder, Mitchell quickly became the GOP nominee, Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) said she would resign from the position to focus full-time on her run for Virginia Governor in 2021. Mitchell lost to Carroll Foy by more than 20 points in November 2019. Since then, things have changed, to include a global pandemic, and she’s now hoping to connect with voters during an abridged election season of less than a month. We talked with Mitchell about her campaign in this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast.
10 minutes | a year ago
Save your pipes: the 3 P’s of flushing
We don’t need to tell you people have been spending more time at home recently. With the outbreak of the new coronavirus, those who provide water and sewer to our homes have seen more items being flushed into the sewer system that shouldn’t be there. From those “flushable” wipes that aren’t so flushable to fats, oils, and grease, we talk with Kathy Bentz, of the Prince William County Service Authority, about what you can do to save the pipes in your home and the ones in your community.
10 minutes | a year ago
Reopening Virginia’s economy amid coronavirus pandemic
In this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast, the group “Reopen VA” plans to hold a protest on Wednesday, calling for Gov. Ralph Northam to reopen the state’s economy after ordering closures of non-essential businesses, and schools for more than a month ago. The protest will come as legislators will return to Richmond for a special session. Here is a video version of the Potomac Local Podcast.
11 minutes | a year ago
Special Coverage: Virginia reports 8 coronavirus cases, area hospitals on alert
Virginia health officials are now reporting eight cases of suspected coronavirus in the state. That number is up by three from earlier this morning. The newest cases include a “presumptive” case in Loudoun County and two in Virginia Beach. In Loudoun, the presumptive positive case is a patient is in their 40s who is believed to have come in contact with a person with coronavirus while attending Christ Church in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. The Loudoun County Health Department learned about this patient early Tuesday morning following testing for the novel coronavirus by the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond, the county states in a press release. On Sunday, two patients were tested at a Virginia Beach hospital and the tests came back positive. The positive test results returned today are considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the state health department. Last night, officials reported the first cases in Spotsylvania County, adding to reports of two other cases in Fairfax County. The cases are not related, we’re told. The two patients from Fairfax (a male in his 60’s and female in her 50’s) traveled on a Nile River cruise, which recently reported COVID-19 cases. They returned to the U.S.on March 5. The first case of coronavirus reported in Virginia was made public Sunday night when health officials said a U.S. Marine stationed at Quantico was being treated at Fort Belvoir for symptoms. As reports of new cases continue to come in, hospital emergency departments are on high alert. “People are concerned they might have coronavirus, and they’re concerned they have the flu. And right now, we’re still seeing a lot of flu,” said Dr. Karla Lacayo, emergency department medical director for Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center. If someone walks into the emergency room complaining of respiratory issues, that patient is then given a mask. Then doctors begin asking questions about the patient’s recent travel, specifically, whether or not the patient has been to a region identified by the CDC as a coronavirus hot zone. “If a patient would tests positive because of travel, then take patients to an area in the facility that is separate from where other patients are,” said Lacayo. As of now, there have been no reported cases at Haymarket Medical Center, or at any hospital in Prince William and Stafford counties, or hospitals in the cities of Fredericksburg or Manassas. Lacayo echoed these safety precautions from the Virginia Department of Health: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
11 minutes | a year ago
Podcast: Tax time preps, how to get your kids to work for your business
It’s tax season and that means you’re running around the home office looking for documents, receipts, and other pieces of paper that may have fallen behind your desk over the past year. While it’s not ideal, trust us, tax time doesn’t have to be a hassle. We talked with Potomac Local Supporting Partner Chris Peden, of Peden Accounting Services about how to best prepare for tax season.
38 minutes | 2 years ago
Election Podcast: Heather Mitchell, R-Va. HD2 candidate (Stafford, Woodbridge)
Heather Mitchell is the Republican candidate for who’s running for the House District 2 seat, to represent portions of Prince William and Stafford counties. The seat is currently held by Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy.
26 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 17: Vanpooling grows in Northern Virginia
Vanpools are becoming a more popular way to commute in Northern Virginia. OmniRide’s Vanpool Alliance program has more than 600 vans registered and in use with its program. The majority of the vans use the Interstate 95/395 corridor, ferrying commuters to and from their offices in Washington, D.C., and Arlington. However, new E-ZPass Express Lanes are set to open on I-66 in 2022, and the number of vanpools registered with the program could more than double, said program manager Joe Stainsby. The new lanes on I-66 and new commuter parking lots along the corridor will open up new transit options for those living along that highway — slugging/ridesharing, vanpool, and commuter more bus service — options that have been widely available for I-95 commuters since the 1970s. Standby joined me on this latest edition of the Potomac Local Podcast to talk about how vanpool work to reduce traffic congestion, and who they will play a role in the future of mobility in our region.
13 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 16: The Rural Crescent
On this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast, we take our reporting deeper with an interview with longtime Prince William County Realtor and one-time candidate for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors Scott Jacobs. He’s been at the center of the debate on how to preserve the Rural Crescent — the last rural tract of land in a growing county of just over a half-million people located outside Washington, D.C. The crescent-shaped land tract encompasses an area of more than 80,000 acres stretching from Quantico Marine Corps Base to Manassas National Battlefield Park. As we reported in June 2019, tensions were high at another meeting of Prince William County officials and residents of the Rural Crescent Some who live there want the two-lane roads, and the land where many dairy and cattle farms used to operate, to be preserved in time. Others — especially the farmers who used to operate but no longer do because of changing market conditions and encroachment from residential and commercial development — want to sell the land for a fair market price and leave. All of this puts the county in the middle, trying to figure out how best to appease these constituencies while preserving the open land — something that’s becoming more difficult to find as the years pass.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
OmniRide chief Dr. Bob Schneider on future of Metro, commuter ferry, Stafford bus service
Today on the Potomac Local Podcast, we talk with Dr. Robert “Bob” Schneider, executive director of OmniRide. The 30-minute discussion tackles these topics: 1. The opportunity the shutdown of Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines has created for OmniRide. 2. The potential for a Metro extension to Woodbridge and an envisioned “transit triangle” for the community. 3. An update on the much-talked-about commuter ferry service from Woodbridge to Washington, D.C. 4. New commuter bus service in Stafford County. 5. The future of transit in our region, including the transformation of Interstate 66 and how it will affect the Route 28 corridor. It’s a jammed-packed discussion. Please download, kickback, and enjoy.
11 minutes | 2 years ago
Roem pushes for shield law to protect journalists
By Saffeya Ahmed Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two delegates, both former journalists, introduced legislation Monday to protect student journalists from censorship and shield reporters from having to disclose confidential sources. Dels. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, and Danica Roem, D-Prince William, urged the General Assembly to pass such legislation. “Journalism matters. Facts matter,” Roem said. “We have to get this right.” Sponsored by Roem, House Bill 2250 — introduced for the second year in a row — would protect members of the press from being forced by courts to reveal the identity of anonymous sources. “The whole point of the shield law is to protect reporters from being jailed for protecting confidential sources,” said Roem, a former reporter with The Prince William Times. In 1990, Roem’s former editor Brian Karem served jail time for withholding the names of anonymous sources while reporting in Texas. “He did it to protect his sources’ confidentiality,” Roem said, “and to keep his word.” Virginia is one of 10 states that does not implement shield protections for members of the press; Roem also pointed out that a federal shield law does not exist. HB 2250 includes a clause requiring sources to be revealed when there is an “imminent threat of bodily harm,” Roem said. In addition to shield laws, Hurst said it’s urgent the legislature also pass HB 2382, which he is sponsoring. The bill would safeguard the work of student journalists from administrative censorship. If the bill passes, Virginia would join 14 other states in providing protections for high school or college students. Half of the states with current protections for student journalists passed legislation in the last four years. “Thorough and vetted articles and news stories in student media shouldn’t be subject to unnecessary censorship by administrators,” Hurst said. Hurst has advocated for measures close to his heart since election to office in 2017. A former anchor and reporter for WDBJ 7 news in Roanoke, Hurst was dating Alison Parker, a fellow WDBJ reporter who was fatally shot on live TV in 2015, along with photojournalist Adam Ward. The bill would create the freedom for student journalists to publish what they please without fear of administrative retaliation.The institution would be allowed to interfere only if content violates federal or state law, invades privacy unjustifiably, creates clear danger or includes defamatory speech. While the current legislation focuses on implementing protections for student reporters in public schools and universities, Hurst said he wants the protections to eventually encompass private institutions. He said the legislation was “something that would, as fast as possible, put protections in place for student journalists at our public schools, our public colleges and universities.” These pieces of legislation come at a time when professional journalists are increasingly targets of violence. A 2018 report by Reporters Without Borders — a nongovernmental organization that promotes journalistic free speech worldwide — found nearly 350 journalists were detained, 80 killed and 60 held hostage by November. More than 250 reporters globally were jailed in 2018, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
14 minutes | 3 years ago
Podcast: The plastics problem in Prince William County
On this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast, reporter Olivia Briscoe joins me to talk about her reporting on the Prince William County Landfill, and about how plastics are piling up there. She reported this week that, since a decision made by China earlier this year to stop accepting used plastics for recycling, that waste has been piling up at the local landfill. What's being done about, and how you can help recycle better on this edition of the Potomac Local Podcast.
3 minutes | 3 years ago
Birds! At the Prince William County Fair.
Subscribe to the Potomac Local Live Podcast We’re getting a tour of the poultry barn at the Prince William County Fair on this episode of the Potomac Local Live Podcast. Find out what goes into judging the best bird in Prince William County. There’s a lot more to it than you think. And check out this week’s events at the Prince William County Fair now through Saturday, August 18. The fairgrounds are located at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas. Gates open at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, with free admission until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $6 for children and seniors after 5 o’clock. Ride wristbands are $18.
4 minutes | 3 years ago
Cows! At the Prince William County Fair.
Subscribe to the Potomac Local Live Podcast When it comes to our food, many of us know what we're eating but a lot of us don't know where it comes from. We get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to raise show beef cattle entered into competition at the Prince William County Fair. These cows are local, from Fauquier County, and on display at the Prince William County Fair. Here's a full schedule of this year's events at the 69th Annual Prince William County Fair. The fair is located at the Prince William County Fairgrounds located at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas.
5 minutes | 3 years ago
National Night Out is the largest event for the Stafford sheriff’s office
Subscribe to the Potomac Local Live Podcast From a press release: The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office will once again be participating in National Night Out, an annual event that promotes police-community relationships and neighborhood camaraderie and safety. On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, communities throughout the county will hold neighborhood celebrations throughout the late afternoon and early evening. Events and activities can include block parties, cookouts, exhibits, flashlight walks, contests, and more. This year, neighborhoods participating in National Night Out include: Carriage Hill, Celebrate by Del Webb, Vista Woods, Augustine North, Colonial Forge, Falls Run, Garrison Woods, Lake Estates, Stafford Oaks, Village at England Run, and Woodlawn. There will also be a community-wide event from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Target parking lot located at Stafford Marketplace, located near the intersection of Garrisonville Road and Interstate 95 in North Stafford. The event will include music, food, activities, dozens of vendors, over one hundred exhibitors, and more. Stafford Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office both bring equipment for children and adults to check out. Everything—including the food—is free.
3 minutes | 3 years ago
Manassas going to the dogs this First Friday
Subscribe to the Potomac Local Live Podcast We're entering the "dog days" of summer as August begins. The folks at Historic Manassas, Inc. made that the theme of this month's First Friday celebration, the monthly event that brings hundreds to the city's downtown. It will be held in Downtown Manassas from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. And, because it's the dog days, it's all about pets this First Friday. They'll be treats, a doggie pool, a K9 costume contest and more. We talk to Laura Coates, of Historic Manassas, Inc. to get all the details of First Friday in this edition of the Potomac Local Live Podcast.
7 minutes | 3 years ago
Sinkhole and slope failure: An unusually rainy season for VDOT
Download and Subscribe to the Potomac Local Live Podcast A sinkhole measuring 18 feet deep and 25 feet wide has crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation working overtime. The hole formed last week in North Stafford after heavy rains in the area, and subsequently forced the transportation agency to close a portion of Eustace Road between Northhampton Boulevard and Legal Court. With all of the rain we've seen this summer, VDOT tells us it's been a uniquely challenging, an unusual season. The agency is working on two major repair projects in Stafford County following heavy rains -- a sinkhole, and a slope failure on Bells Hill Road. We talk about all of it in this edition of the Potomac Local Live Podcast.
21 minutes | 3 years ago
‘For colored and for white’ — How Prince William preserved poll books used in 1902
Nucci Sarah Nucci, a preservationist in Prince William County, joins us today on the Potomac Local Podcast. She discusses an award-winning effort to preserve poll books used to track Prince William County voters during the turn of the 20th century. And, as any student of U.S. history might expect, blacks were not treated the same as whites at this time.
41 minutes | 3 years ago
Podcast: OmniRide’s rebranding, and its future growing beyond transit buses
In this episode of the Potomac Local Podcast, I talk with OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider about the transit agency’s new look, how it is overcoming internal struggles in its organization, and a new service that will operate more like Uber than a transit bus. We recorded this podcast at the OmniRide Transit Center, home of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission in Woodbridge, on Monday, April 30, 2018.
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