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Issue 128

Friday, August 12, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

When I look at my Chair's Calendar section below, one word comes to mind - celebrating. From communities, school, family, culture, and a first-time grant, there have been so many reasons to celebrate in our County. It doesn't stop there. In the County News section there is exciting economic, financial, and wildlife announcements. 

Yes, there are many great things happening in Prince William County and I am grateful for all the residents who support those efforts.  Together, we are the future of Prince William County.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

An Evening of Community

Tuesday, August 2, The Office of Chair Wheeler participated in the PWC Police Department annual National Night Out.


Thursday, August 4, Chair Wheeler attended the PWC Public School summer graduation commencement exercises. The event was held at Gar-Field High School. You can watch a one-minute video recap here.

Cultural Festival

Sunday, August 7, Chair Wheeler attended the 2022 Salvadorian American Festival in Woodbridge. 

On July 18, 2006, the United States Congress, through resolution HR721, declared August 6 National Salvadoran-American Day. In 2021, the Salex Foundation organized the first celebration of the Day of the Salvadoran in the United States in Woodbridge.

Salex Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization in Manassas. Its vision is to create awareness in Salvadoran citizens living abroad, to get involved in civic and cultural activities, to empower new community leaders who are a positive influence for its communities in the different countries and cities of residence. Profits are destined to aid projects in El Salvador.

Special Family Member Day

Sunday, August 7, Chair Wheeler stopped by Grandkids Day at Regency of Dominion Valley in Haymarket.

Welcoming New Educators

Wednesday, August 10, Chair Wheeler spoke at the PWC Public School (PWCS) Launching Learning Leading Induction Conference welcoming its nearly 900 new educators. 

The new educators are joining the more than 5700 returning educators and staff. PWCS is currently working to fill 318 school-based instructional openings. More than 170 instructional positions were added to the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. 

Grant Award

Thursday, August 11, Chair Wheeler participated in the Agriculture & Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) Grant Announcement held at Farm Brew LIVE. Special guest Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and ForestryMatthew Lohr (standing with Chair Wheeler in top left photo) shared news that MurLarkey Distilled Spirts has been awarded a $250,000 AFID grant. This is PWC’s first AFID Facility Grant.

Be sure to read about the rest of the exciting things happening at MurLarkey in the County News section below.

The AFID Fund was created as an economic development incentive specifically for agriculture and forestry value-added or processing projects and to help local governments support new and expanding businesses. Since the fund’s inception in 2012, over 77 projects have been awarded funding.

"MurLarkey has always had the pioneering spirit, so it's no surprise they are Prince William County's first AFID Facility Grant award. We are thrilled to embrace and invest in agribusinesses that make our county a destination for residents and visitors from around the region.”

Ann Wheeler 

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors 

Education Fair

Thursday, August 11, Chair Wheeler attended the PWC Public School Community Fair for families and administrators of Hampton Middle School and neighboring elementary schools.


New Guidance

Thursday, August 11, the CDC announced streamlined COVID-19 guidance help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. The CDC noted that while COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, with so many tools available for reducing COVID-19 severity, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death compared to earlier in the pandemic.

The New Guidelines Includes:

Recommending that instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.

Recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. 

  • If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end.
  • You should wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
  • Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.
  • Screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures is no longer recommended in most community settings.
  • Physical distance is just one component of how to protect yourself and others. It is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local COVID-19 Community Levels and the important role of ventilation, when assessing the need to maintain physical distance.

Latest Data

The Virginia Department of Health Variant Dashboard dated Friday, August 5, the breakdown by variant in Virginia from July 9 through July 30 showed 66.2% of cases were the BA.5 Omicron Variant. This is xxx from the 66.2% of the cases from Saturday, July 9 through Saturday, July 30.

The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Cases Dashboard for the Prince William Health District dated Friday, August 12, showed a slight decrease in case numbers in the past week. The 7-day average posted on Friday, August 12 was 161. On Friday, August 5, it was 172.14.

The CDC Community Level Tool dated Thursday, August 11, showed Prince William County's community level continues to be medium. This tool looks at hospital beds being used and hospital admissions, as well as number of new cases. You can check the community levels in other areas here

Protecting Yourself and Others:
Latest Data:

How to Get Vaccinated:

How to get tested:

Next Meeting

Tuesday, September 6

2:00 pm

Links to the agenda and to register to participate in Public Comment Time remotely will be shared in issue prior to the meeting.

Stroke Smart County

During the Tuesday, August 2, meeting, the BOCS proclaimed Prince William County a Stroke Smart CountyLife-saving treatments must be administered within three to four hours once symptoms begin. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of patients get to the hospital within the treatment window because the majority of people do not know how to spot a stroke or the importance of calling 911 immediately. To address this, the BOCS is supporting Stroke Smart Virginiaa public health initiative to reduce pre-hospital delays associated with stroke by educating the public to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and early 911 activation. 

Did You Know? 

  • One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime.
  • Someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.
  • Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke.
  • Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability.

Spot-a-Stroke, Stop-a-Stroke, Save-a-Life

What is the best way to stop a stroke? Call 9-1-1 immediately!

County News

Economic Development Announcement

Thursday, August 11, the highly awarded MurLarkey Distilled Spirits announced it is relocating from Bristow to the Farm Brew LIVE campus in Innovation Park, Manassas. There it will construct a 25,000 square-foot distillery and tasting room. The project represents nearly a $8.1 million investment and 42 new jobs. The company sources 100% of its grain from Virginia farms, and through this project, will increase its production eight-fold over the next three years.

Founded in 2013 by brothers Mike and Jim Larkin and their cousin Tom Murray, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits is a family-owned business using exclusively Virginia-grown corn, rye, and barley to produce spirits representative of the founders’ Irish heritage. Through the work of Jim Larkin their COO and Master Distiller George “Papi” Zwetkow, MurLarkey has earned dozens of top awards for their spirits and their visitor experience.

The company received PWC’s 2020 Human Rights Award (issue 49) for providing more than 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to the community during the pandemic. In addition to supporting Virginia farmers through a major increase in production, the company will continue to offer all its spent grain to local farmer’s free-of-charge for use as cattle feed.

Settlement Funds

PWC is receiving a $144,599.40 for Payment Year 1 in a Virginia settlement with the drug distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp., and Cardinal Health, and the prescription opioid manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceutical. Last year, the Office of the Virginia Attorney General successfully partnered with each of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties to reach 100% agreement in support of a structured program for distributing opioid settlement funds. 

 In all, Virginia and its localities will receive approximately $530 million over a period of years to be distributed as follows: 

  • 15% of will be allocated to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • 30% of will be allocated to Virginia’s cities and counties, and at least 50% must be spent on community-based opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.
  • The remaining 55% of settlement funds will be administered by the new Opioid Abatement Authority.

According to the Virginia Department of Health:

  • 14,541 Virginians died from opioid-related overdoses between 2007 and 2021.
  • 1,478 Virginians died from fatal opioid overdoses in 2020, a 17% increase over 2019 and an average of four fatal overdoses per day.
  • Nearly 10,000 people were treated for opioid-related overdoses in Virginia hospital emergency rooms in 2020, a 33% increase over 2019.

“The opioid epidemic has affected families and communities throughout the Commonwealth, including here in Prince William County. Although this settlement cannot adequately compensate for those who have died from opioid overdose deaths, we hope our efforts to invest the funds to combat the opioid crisis will be a small comfort to their loved ones.”

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Public Comment Period Open

Through Sunday, September 18, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is seeking public input on Northern Virginia’s long-range transportation plan, TransAction. The plan's goals are to enhance mobility, increase accessibility, and improve resiliency by planning for an equitable, sustainable, and safe multimodal transportation network. The draft, which is updated every five years, addresses regional transportation needs through 2045.

 You can view the Plan Draft, Project List (includes sortable version), and Interactive Map here. The public is invited to provide one comment submission per person during the Public Comment Period.

Public Hearing

Thursday, September 8, at 7:00 pm, the public is invited to provide either remote or in-person testimony at a TransAction Public Hearing at NVTA’s offices, at 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200, in Fairfax. The public must register to provide testimony by:

  • Submitting the online form or calling 703-642-4652 by Tuesday, September 6 at 5:00 pm (preferred).
  • Signing-up in-person before the hearing at the NVTA’s Offices on Thursday, September 8, from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Back to School

Monday, August 22, is the first day of the 2022-2023 PWC Public School (PWCS) year. The annual Back-to-School Packet, where parents/guardians can review emergency cards, update contact information, and complete annual policy reviews and acknowledgments, is now available in ParentVUE. All families should complete the Back to School Packet by Friday, September 16.

The PWCS Back-to-School website is a great starting point to set you and your student up a successful school year. Below are a few specific resources that may be of particular interest:

Calling All Birders

Leopold's Preserve in Haymarket (issue 109) has just been added to the Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail. Over 180 bird species have been documented at the 380-acre nature conservancy. Located within the Piedmont Region, the Preserve is part of the Culpepper Loop, which includes two other PWC sites, the Bull Run Mountains State Natural Area Preserve and the Conway-Robinson State Forest. Learn more about the Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trails at Leopold's Preserve here

The Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail is part of the Virginia Department of Wildlife, which maintains Wildlife Management Areas for the benefit of all citizens for a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. With over 225,000 acres across the state, these wild places and uncrowded spaces are prime for adventure. 

Career Fair

Saturday, August 27, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, PWC is hosting a public safety career fair at Potomac Mills Mall (Neighborhood 2, near the TJ Maxx store) in Woodbridge. Learn more about career opportunities with the Police Department including Crossing Guards, the Department of Fire & Rescue, the Sheriff’s Office, Public Safety Communications, and the Adult Detention Center

Representatives from all of the above public safety agencies will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on careers that protect and serve the community. Visit here to view all open positions.

County Happenings

County Fair

Friday, August 12, through Saturday, August 20, the Prince William County Fair will be at the PWC Expo and Fair Grounds in Manassas. The largest county fair in Virginia, the annual event includes livestock exhibits, home arts exhibits, tractor pulls, a rodeo, demolition derbies, baby contests, live music, a variety of midway shows, games, and carnival rides. Tickets for country music artist Tracy Byrd's Thursday, August 18, concert can be purchased here.

August Concert

Friday, August 19, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, come out to the Sean T. Connaughton Plaza at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge for the next Fridays at 5 Summer Concert Series. In addition to live performances by MagneLove and the Air Force Band, Max Impact, the event will include food trucks, a beer garden, and face painting. Admission is free and free parking will be available onsite. Bring your chairs and picnic blankets and be ready to kick back and enjoy the evening.  

Upcoming Programs

Monday, August 15, at 10:00 am to 11:00 am, come out to Ben Lomond Manor for Museum Kids Monday!: Old Time Games. Children five to nine will learn and play indoor and outdoor games of the past. Adults must be able to participate with children. Fee is $5.00, and reservations are not required.

Saturday, August 20, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, ages thirteen and up can participate in the Second Manassas Campaign Bus Tour. The tour will cover the ground of the soldiers of both armies prior to the Battle of Second Manassas, which is coming up on its 160th anniversary. The bus will leave from Brentsville Historic Courthouse Centre and visit battlefields and camp sites. Advanced registration is required. Fee of $70.00 includes lunch and transportation.

Start Planning for Autumn

Does the Summer heat have you dreaming of crisper temperatures and pumpkins? If so, the PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism has you covered with its Fall 2022 Leisure magazine. Its brimming with new and time-honored events such as the Kids for Kids Triathlon, Neabsco Boardwalk Holiday Light Show, Brentsville Bluegrass Festival, Arts Alive!, and the Great Pumpkin Party. You'll also find things like sports, wellness and educational programs, birding, computer animation, dance, baking, archery, and kayaking. If you find something you like, use the easy 'Registration Link' in the top corner of each page.

Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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