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Canceled Candidates, One-Man Police Department, Traffic Fatalities, Duggar Family Trail and More on the W&OD

Top news of the week from our Patches around Virginia and Washington.

Michael Youlen started the Manassas Housing Police Authority, a private police department, in Manassas in 2012.
Michael Youlen started the Manassas Housing Police Authority, a private police department, in Manassas in 2012.

Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and Washington. Here are some of the top stories from around the region this week.

Roundabout Proposed at ‘Failing’ Centreville Intersection

The intersection of Braddock and Pleasant Valley roads in Centreville is considered problematic and is now the subject of a $4 million improvement project that could transform it into roundabout. The intersection, which is near Cox Farms, is currently a four-way stop, with a single lane in each direction, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) data shows. Problems occur during peak hours on weekday morning and evenings, when the intersection becomes extremely congested, causing backups on Braddock Road.

Officer Starts His Own Private Police Department in Manassas

Michael Youlen is a force to be reckoned with—a police force, that is. Youlen, a former Manassas Police officer and private detective, started his own police force, the Manassas Housing Police Authority, in Manassas just over a year ago. Through the agency, he is equipped with arresting powers, a private dispatch service and the ability to call for mutual assistance from neighboring law enforcement.

Hemorrhoids, Fungus, Dog Poop More Popular Than Congress, Poll Reports

What are some things more popular than Congress right now? Hemorrhoids, toenail fungus and dog poop among other items, according to Public Policy Polling released Tuesday. The North Carolina-based polling institute surveyed 502 registered voters between October 4-6 on their opinions on how Congress is doing. The survey found that of the registered voters polled, 85 percent disapprove of Congress.

Fairfax City Petland Lawsuit and Countersuit Both Thrown Out of Court

The brakes were put on two dueling lawsuits Wednesday between the Fairfax City Petland store and one of its customers, who purchased a $2,400 Maltese puppy named Ty back in May that died 13 days later of multiple causes including an upper respiratory sinus infection and hypoglycemia. Petland’s management is suing customer Kevin Mulcahy for the $1,100 balance on the puppy, while Mulcahy is countersuing for the initial $1,300 deposit he put down as well as vet bills, supplies and several days of lost wages to care for the sick puppy and appear in court. Judge Thomas Gallahue in Fairfax County civil court threw both lawsuits out on a technicality because they were filed under individuals’ names and not under the corporation that owns the Petland store.

Tysons Corner's CustomInk Named Top Place to Work

Tyson’s Corner-based CustomInk was named one of the top places to work. The custom T-shirt company was ranked eighth out of 25 medium-sized workplaces on the Great Place to Work list. The company was profiled due to employee perks like weekly meals, parties, tuition reimbursement, and an informal dress code, according to the list.

New Ghostly Stories on Haunted Occoquan Tour

Local ghost tour guide and paranormal investigator Kay Pietrewiczhas collected even more ghostly tales this year, just in time to guide visitors through the haunted streets of Occoquan during Halloween season.

Third Accident Raises Fatality Total in Loudoun Over Weekend to Five

Another fatal accident over the weekend reported by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office raises the total to five. An accident in Aldie Friday afternoon killed a Texas woman on a weekend when two additional accidents too the lives of four other people in Loudoun County, according to reports from the LCSO and Virginia State Police.

Mars Candy Heiress Was Driver in Fatal Crash Friday in Loudoun

The driver of a Porsche SUV that struck a minivan occupied by several Texas women in Aldie on Friday has been identified as Jacqueline Mars, one of the richest women in the world and a co-owner of Mars Inc., the world’s largest candy company. One of the passengers from the minivan died in the accident, and prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine whether charges should be filed.

Man Stable After Falling 15 Feet Through Grate in Ballston

A man in his mid-50s fell through a grate in the small grassy area between 950 N. Glebe Road and an adjacent building shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday. Rescue workers were able to pull the man to safety and transport him to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was in stable condition. The man was walking to a meeting when the grate collapsed under him, Arlington County Fire Capt. Bill Shelton said. Shelton could think of only one other similar instance of something like this happening in the last 17 years.

Police: Arlington Man Sexually Assaulted Roommate While She Slept

A 31-year-old Arlington man has been accused of sexually assaulting his roommate while she slept. Police say Allister Kennedy entered his 24-year-old roommate's bedroom at about 11:50 p.m. Monday. Kennedy allegedly pinned the woman down while she slept and sexually assaulted her. The woman eventually fought him off and called 911, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

Guest Stars: You Never Know Who You Might See Making a Cameo in NextStop's '39 Steps'

The Elden Street Players recently became a professional theater company under the name NextStop Theatre, and they’ve been having a fun time with their debut production, "The 39 Steps," based on the Alfred Hitchcock film. Audiences have been treated to a number of surprise cameos during the show’s first two weekends, including Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon); owner of the popular Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern restaurant, Jimmy Cirrito; and Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. Rumor has it, Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel may be one of the next cameos, as well as a couple other secret guests. The show has been getting rave reviews and still has one weekend left, with closing night set for Sunday, Oct. 20.

Beloved Reston Watering Hole to Close After 22 Years

The Lakeside Inn, the neighborhood bar and restaurant for a generation of Restonians, announced it will be closing by the end of October.

Updated: Comstock-Murphy Forum Canceled Due to Anticipated Crowding, 'Outside Disruption' 

A candidate forum between incumbent Republican state Del. Barbara Comstock and Democratic challenger Kathleen Murphy in Great Falls for Tuesday night was canceled due to the anticipated crowd being too large for the venue. One email from the Great Falls Citizens Association's debate team that was forwarded to Patch blamed the cancellation on "outside disruption." The move has angered gun safety advocates, who had planned a small demonstration outside of the event and wanted to pressure the incumbent into talking about her record.

2 Killed, 1 Seriously Injured in Crash on Van Dorn Street Outside Alexandria

Two people were killed and a third person injured early Sunday morning when a car crashed into a bridge pillar on Van Dorn Street near Vine Street, police said. Devin Austin, 21, of Triangle, and Aminata Sesay, 23, of Alexandria, were pronounced dead at the scene, Fairfax County Police spokesman Bud Walker said in a news release. A back seat passenger who was not identified was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police: Alexandria Man Charged with Sexual Battery

Fairfax County police responded to a call around 6:40 p.m. Monday in the Huntington area of Alexandria after a woman reported she was inappropriately touched. The 31-year-old woman was riding a public transit bus in the 2500 block of Huntington Avenue when another passenger touched her inappropriately, according to the recent FCPD daily activity report.

Man Charged in Deadly Crash on I-95 in Stafford

Virginia State Police charged a Hampton man with reckless driving in a Tuesday morning four-vehicle crash on I-95 which killed one, injured two and snarled the morning commute for hours. A 2004 Mercury sedan was traveling south on Interstate 95 at about 5:30 a.m. when it ran off the left side of the highway, crossed the median, struck an embankment and continued into the northbound lanes of I-95 where it struck a 2010 Toyota sedan, Corinne N. Geller, public relations director with the Virginia State Police, said. The Toyota subsequently collided with a northbound 2008 Chevrolet HHR and then a northbound 2013 two-axle box truck.

Police Charge Two Drivers with DWI in Annandale

Two drivers were charged with DWI during a Fairfax County Police Department drunk driver checkpoint on Little River Turnpike and Medford Drive in Annandale on Saturday. A total of 775 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, according to the latest daily crime report released Monday by FCPD. The checkpoints are conducted in each of the districts in Fairfax County by police to curb the amount of drunk driving and alcohol-related crashes in the county.

Teenager Robbed, Assaulted on Old Blacksmith Drive in Burke

A 16-year-old boy was robbed and assaulted while walking on Old Blacksmith Drive near Villagesmith Way in Burke Monday. The teenager was ambushed by three people around 6:40 p.m. and had his property stolen, according to the daily crime report released by Fairfax County Police Department Tuesday. Additionally, the teen sustained a non-life threatening injury during the assault.

Readers React to Jogger-Cyclist Crash on W&OD Trail

After Patch ran a story last week on a serious collision that took place on the Washington & Old Dominion trail that sent a cyclist and a jogger to the hospital, hundreds of Patch readers clicked on the story and some weighed in. Police are stepping up their presence on the popular trail after the serious crash between a cyclist and jogger Sunday before last, according to a news release from the City. Police Chief Mary Gavin announced last week the additional deployment of bicycle and motorcycle officers along the popular (W&OD) trail, to educate and enforce park and traffic laws.

Duggar Family to Visit Woodbridge to Support Ken Cuccinelli 

As part of their recently-announced Virginia Values Bus Tour, theDuggar family, stars of the TLC reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting," will be visiting Woodbridge next Wednesday to raise support for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. The oldest son, Josh Duggar, recently moved to the DC area to work with the Family Research Council.

3 Dead in Triangle Trailer Fire

Three adults were found dead in a Triangle trailer after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning, Prince William County Fire and Rescue officials said. Firefighters responded to a fire at the mobile home near the 18700 block of Fuller Heights Road around 3:22 a.m. The units fought the blaze while the firefighters searched the home for occupants. They were able to extinguish the fire, but found three adults dead inside the building. Officials believe the three victims, who are unidentified at this time, were residents of the home.

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