February 23, 2001
pileup — Weather cripples area with traffic accidents
Dave Ellis/Staff Photographer
Jerry Gordon, left, a safety engineer, and Paul Stephens,
a Fredericksburg tow truck driver, survey some of the damage caused by a
late morning pile-up on the southbound lanes of I-95 in Stafford on Thursday.
More than 100 vehicles were involved in the accident, which resulted in
at least one death and the shutting down of that part of the interstate
for most of the day.
The lack of salt or sand on area roadways early in Thursday’s snowstorm
caused all types of vehicles to slip and slide toward the edges of back
streets and the shoulders of major thoroughfares.
Although the Virginia Department of Transportation was poised with 1,010
trucks at strategic locations throughout the area, driving during the storm’s
outset before the roads were treated was dicey at the safest spots and downright
dangerous everywhere else.
According to VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris, the salt trucks need to wait
until a 1/4 inch layer of snow covers the roads before they can begin spreading
case sent to grand jury
By Patrick Wilson
MANASSAS – A Triangle woman accused of planning the murder of a Dumfries
man last year told a detective she lured him into the woods for sex to set
him up for a gunman, according to testimony from a Thursday court hearing.
Prince William General District Court Judge Wenda K. Travers found enough
evidence to send a murder charge against Rhonda Y. Stewart, 30, to the grand
jury that will meet in March.
Thursday’s preliminary hearing for Stewart was the latest event in the
strange case. Stewart, who was having sex with victim Ronald Lee Hogan just
before he was shot, had given a detective five different names of people
she said fired the gun.[more]
beverage bill gets killed
The Virginia General Assembly Monday killed a bill that would disallow
open containers of alcohol in motor vehicles.
“Drunk drivers rejoice. Your right to drink and drive in Virginia
has been upheld,” said Kurt Erickson, Executive Director of the Vienna-based
Washington Regional Alcohol Program, and a staunch supporter of the bill.
The Virginia House of Delegates’ Militia and Police Committee quashed
a bill authored by Sen. Tommy Norment, R-Williamsburg, which sought to ban
open containers of alcohol from the passenger compartment. Norment’s bill
would have created a $25 fine for opening containers of alcohol in the passenger
compartment of vehicles, but would have allowed alcoholic beverages to be
carried as cargo in either the trunk of a vehicle or behind the last upright
swims into kids’ book business
Tiffany Schwab/For the Manassas Journal Messenger
Ann Marie Stephens stands in front of a picture of the
main characters in her recently published children’s book, “Surprise
MANASSAS – Ann Marie Stephens has had loads of practice writing children’s
stories. As a first-grade teacher, she often creates short stories or rhymes
for her students as reading-comprehension lessons.
“Maybe we’d be working on rhyming, so I’d write a rhyming story
about rats,” she explained.
Tackling a children’s book seemed like second nature, a dream she’s had
since high school.
The Round Elementary School teacher got her chance to break into the
business a few years ago after talking with local author Lezlie Evans, who
has published five books of her own.[more]
alleges discrimination in county schools
MANASSAS – The National Association for Advancement of Colored People
is holding a town meeting tonight to discuss its allegations of discrimination
in the Prince William County School System.
The meeting will focus on the “unfair discipline” of African
students and the lack of African American staff and coaches in the school
system, said Ira Patterson, president of the Prince William County Branch
of the NAACP.
The allegations grew out of the expulsion of four black students at Gar-Field
High School who were involved in a fight with a white student in 1999. The
white student was not disciplined. Assault charges were filed against the
black students by police. Police said the white student was the victim in
the incident and no charges were filed against her.[more]
|Tigers, Cougars ready to rumble
wrestling coach Thad Kiesnowski shrugged off his team’s narrow loss in the
Bull Run District tournament last Saturday. His team did the same.
The Tigers were two points shy of claiming their second district title in
three years. But Clarke County, who had only two grapplers win individual
district titles, managed to hold on for the 192-190 victory.
Initial disappointment in the Tiger contingent was evident. It is never
easy to lose.
Yet, there are no long faces in Nokesville. Not with the Region B tournament
a day away.
“(The tournament loss) didn’t have any effect on the team,” Kiesnowski
said. “That was a close loss. We wrestled real well. Things just didn’t
go our way.”[more]
— Community theaters collaborate to hold first awards celebration
Ellen Young had
acted in Los Angeles and New York City. Ashley Sherry had acted in children’s
theater. Gary Crawford had never acted in his life.
These Prince William residents came to community theater with a wide range
of experiences, but now they share at least one thing in common: Each received
an outstanding achievement award nomination for acting last year.
The 2-year-old Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) group will
announce the winners March 4, when it debuts the awards ceremony it patterned
after the Academy Awards in Alexandria.
WATCH designed the public event to acknowledge the best work in community
theater and garner recognition for its volunteer society.
“We’re trying to show that it’s a serious business,” said Don
Wilson, the Prince William Little Theatre’s liaison to WATCH. “Some
of the best are cutting their teeth in community theater and going on to
For this reason, Wilson led his Manassas-based troupe to a partnership that
grew to 13 companies in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area at the beginning
of this year. The Prince William Little Theatre was nominated for 12 awards.
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