manassas journal messenger 12/18/00



December 18, 2000




recognized for help in plane crash


Chris Newman




During the Presidents Cup last October, President Bill Clinton came

to the area on a DC-9 jet to Manassas airport, shutting down the airport’s

flight operations to other traffic for 15 minutes.

While Air Force One was three minutes out on final approach, a home-made

plane in a holding pattern over the Nokesville area developed mechanical


The 43-year-old pilot Haim Primo turned his small mono-wing plane toward

the airport, but a mile out, he was forced to attempt an emergency landing

in a field. The plane crashed, hitting a fence and trees and rolling over

in a field.

Manassas Police Officer J.J. Morris, who was assigned to the tower with

a Secret Service agent, was the only person to spot the troubled plane,

as tower personnel had to track Air Force One, as well as another DC-9 in

flight, and two Air Force helicopters around the airport, a police press

release said.

Morris rushed out to the scene and freed Primo, trapped in the plane

by a jammed rudder pedal. Morris was named the city police employee of the

month for the incident. He was unavailable for comment.

Morris got to the plane in four minutes in the off-road location using

his own four-wheel drive vehicle, and six minutes before other personnel

could arrive.

“Officer Morris placed himself at personal risk when he entered

the aircraft wreckage knowing there was fuel spilling from the overturned

craft, and made not one but two entries to successfully free the pilot,”

the release said.

On the president’s travel arrangements, Airport Operations Specialist

Joe Lee said they are not allowed to comment on the specifics involved.

He did say that it was literally five seconds from the time Clinton walked

off the jet to when he got in the awaiting limousine and whisked away.

“It was very interesting to see how they handled that,” said

Lee, who coordinated with the Secret Service to prepare the airport before

Clinton’s arrival. “It was a pretty exciting day, all told.”

Lee said a twin-engine DC-9 is smaller than the 747 jet that the president

normally travels on, but he explained whatever plane the president is on

is called Air Force One.

City Manager Larry Hughes said the president has come to Presidents

Cup in years past by helicopter, but this year he was coming from a USS

Cole memorial in Norfolk, Va.

What other famous people came through the airport during the Presidents

Cup? The airport has a maintained a policy to not disclose passenger information

for privacy, but Lee said he did not see Tiger Woods. Now that would have

been news, he said.

· Contact Chris Newman at [email protected].


price is right for Lions Club fundraiser


Keith Walker




More than 200 people gathered at the clock court in the Manassas Mall on

Saturday to see if their bids won the showcase sponsored by dozens of local

merchants and the Park West Lions Club.

In its showcase, the Park West Lions Club, in association the Manassas

Mall, displayed products ranging from lava lamps to freezers. In the style

of the game show, “The Price is Right” the Lions asked the public

to come in and cast bids on the total price of all the prizes in the store

front near Target.

Rick White, of Swart, Leland and Associates, a Manassas accounting firm

that determined the total price of the items in the showcase, presented

the secret numbers to Jim Williams, the Park West Lions president. Before

announcing the winner, Williams asked White if the numbers had remained

secret during the bidding process.

“These have been kept in a hermetically sealed Mason jar, guarded

by wild dogs,” Williams asked White.

“Something like that,” White said.

Linda Boyd, who won the showcase with a bid of $22,931.77, wasn’t present

when White, along with Williams, announced the actual price for the showcase

was … $22,971.77.

Since the rules for the game said that contestants needn’t be present

to win, Williams tried to call Boyd on a cellular phone to tell her the

good news. Boyd wasn’t home.

“She’s probably Christmas shopping, not realizing she doesn’t have

to,” he said.

Williams tried several times to contact Boyd without success. He finally

decided to leave the good news on her answering machine.

Sharon Welch placed a couple of bids and came to the 5 p.m. ceremony

to see if she got lucky.

“I think it was a unique idea. I don’t really care if I win. I’m

just glad it was done for the kids,” Welch, 44 of Nokesville said.

The cost to enter the showcase was $5 per bid or three guesses for $10.

The Lions raised $7,800 for local charities. Williams said the Lions will

have the contest again next year. He said many of the local merchants reported

that consumers came to their stores to shop after they saw some of the donations

in the showcase.

“It’s been a real good win win situation for the community. We’ll

do it at least another year,” he said.

Amanda Stuart, along with more than 12 others, won gifts from local

merchants in door-prize drawings before the ceremony began. She didn’t want

The Potomac News to reveal what she won.

“I’m going to wrap it up and give it to my Mom, because I didn’t

get her enough gifts for Christmas,” the 19-year-old mall worker said.

· Keith Walker is a staff writer for the Potomac News in Woodbridge.


Toy drives


Chris Newman



Holiday shoppers are busily marking off their lists and checking them

twice – and also giving to local causes.

The two major toy drives in the area are Toys for Tots and Angel Trees.

· The Marine Corps Toys For Tots Campaign, the largest toy drive

in the area, has collection sites for unwrapped presents running until Dec.

21. Drop-off sites include Potomac Mills mall, the Northern Virginia Community

College Campus in Manassas, and the Manassas Coldwell Banker Stevens at

7696 Streamwalk Lane. Call (703) 784-2798 or (703) 784-2799 for more drop-off


· The Prince William Salvation Army Corps has Angel Trees with

gift card requests for needy children located at Manassas Mall, area Wal-Marts,

BJ’s and supermarkets. Call (703) 221-2267 for more information.

· The newly opened YMCA in the Portsmouth Station Shopping Center

at Portsmouth and Sudley roads takes unwrapped present donations and is

open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Call (703) 393-6677 for more





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