1 dead, 1 injured in head-on collision in Manassas

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MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — One person is dead and one injured after a head-on collision in Manassas.

Prince William County police say the wreck occurred at about 2:15 p.m. on Friday on the 9300 block of Brentsville Road when a 35-year-old man was traveling westbound in a Ford F350, crossed the double yellow line and collided head on with 23-year-old Terry Lee Cunningham, who was driving a Ford Ranger. Cunningham was flown to a local hospital and was pronounced dead on Saturday. The driver of the other car was also taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

Police are investigating the cause of the wreck, and charges are pending.

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Saturday’s Scores

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PREP FOOTBALL

Bishop Ireton 32, St. Stephens-St. Agnes 0

Buffalo Gap 62, Page County 18

Flint Hill 50, St. Albans, D.C. 0

Norfolk Christian 42, Fredericksburg Christian 0

Woodberry Forest 52, Paul VI 6

Woodside 39, Warwick 7

___

Some scores provided by Scorestream.com, http://scorestream.com/

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Keywords: Virginia, Boys, Football, Prep Scores, High School

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Springfield man sentenced 13 years for stalking, kidnapping

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WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County man was sentenced to prison for stalking, domestic violence and possession of ammunition.

Nam Quoc Hoang, 41, of Springfield, Virginia, will spend a total of 13 years in prison for his actions against a former girlfriend.

Nam stalked his ex-girlfriend starting in December 2013. He and another person, Khoa Dang Vu Hoang, traveled from Virginia to Maryland to stalk Nam’s ex-girlfriend throughout January 2014, which included breaking into her home twice and taking personal items.

Khoa was convicted of interstate stalking and conspiracy and sentenced to five years in prison last July.

Nam threatened to post sexually explicit pictures of the victim on social media unless she paid him money. When she refused, he posted the photographs and continued to post them after they were taken down.

On Jan. 26, 2014, Khoa observed the victim going to a night club in D.C. through Facebook. The men drove to D.C. and waited for the victim to leave the club. They followed her and at a traffic light, Nam approached the victim’s car and displayed a weapon.

The woman let Nam in the vehicle and once inside, he hit her and threatened her and her family.

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Friday’s Scores

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PREP FOOTBALL

Amherst County 35, Rustburg 0

Clarke County 29, Warren County 21

Colonial Beach 22, West Point 6

Colonial Forge 42, Brooke Point 14

Dinwiddie 28, Thomas Dale 0

East Rockingham 35, Stuarts Draft 28

Edison 34, Wakefield 21

Floyd County 28, Carroll County 0

Fort Chiswell 35, Auburn 7

GW-Danville 70, Patrick County 7

Giles 28, Radford 14

Goochland 24, Buckingham County 7

Graham 30, Princeton, W.Va. 0

Grassfield 46, Great Bridge 7

Grayson County 49, Bland County 7

Gretna 39, Altavista 0

Hampton 31, Kecoughtan 0

Handley 48, Fauquier 27

Heritage-Lynchburg 48, Liberty-Bedford 0

Hopewell 28, Matoaca 0

King’s Fork 46, Nansemond River 7

Magna Vista 41, Franklin County 14

Manchester 59, James River-Midlothian 15

Middlesex 25, Northampton 22

Millbrook 40, Kettle Run 13

Nansemond-Suffolk 48, St. Annes-Belfield 28

Narrows 50, Holston 0

Northern Virginia HomeSchool 34, Massanutten Military 14

Nottoway 49, Cumberland 14

Oscar Smith 56, Hickory 0

Phoebus 25, Lake Taylor 7

Quantico 47, Richmond Christian 0

Randolph-Macon 54, Fishburne Military 20

Salem 55, Christiansburg 14

West Springfield 49, McLean 14

___

Some scores provided by Scorestream.com, http://scorestream.com/

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Keywords: Virginia, Boys, Football, Prep Scores, High School

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Smart911: Where it’s spreading, and why first responders want you to join

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WASHINGTON — Alexandria, Virginia, is the latest locality in the D.C. area to join Smart911, a system that allows users to create a safety profile that first responders see when responding to calls for help.

Information you can load in the system might include medical conditions, pets, emergency contact numbers and hazardous materials first responders might encounter, such as oxygen tanks and floor plans.

“You can put in information about your location beyond the address,” City of Alexandria spokesman Craig Fifer said — “if you live in a basement apartment or if you have a guest residence in an outbuilding [in] your backyard. All of these pieces of information could help responders find the person who’s placing the call.”

D.C. joined the Smart911 system in 2012, and the former Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe has a statement on the system’s website about why you should sign up.

“One of the things we fail to think about is the fact that when a person is dialing 911, it can be a very chaotic environment and there could be a lot of panic involved. If they have preloaded a profile that automatically populates for our responders, we have useful information, even if the person cannot relay all needed information to us,” Ellerbe says.

It’s recommended you register a safety profile for all your potential phone numbers — for mobile phones, as well as phones at home, work and school.

“Because you never know what number you might be calling from when you call 911,” Fifer said.

Information in Smart911 is universally available to certified 911 operators in any participating locality across the country.

To see whether Smart911 is available in a spot you visit, find the “services in your area” Zip code search function on the Smart911 website under “How It Works.”

In addition to Alexandria and D.C., nearby localities offering the service include Frederick County, Maryland, and Orange County, Virginia, in the Fredericksburg area.

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Sailor charged for alleged role in 94K gallon jet fuel spill

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Navy sailor has been charged for his alleged role in a 94,000-gallon (356 cubic meters) fuel spill in Virginia that cost nearly $4 million.

The Navy said in a statement Friday that the unidentified sailor faces charges that include dereliction of duty while making his rounds to check on a pipeline. A special court-martial is expected later this year.

The Navy has said a total of nine sailors will face discipline for the spill at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

A switch left in the wrong position sent fuel from a nearby barge into the wrong storage tank, causing it to overflow. About 25,000 gallons (95 cubic meters) poured off the base, killing wildlife and prompting nearby residents to voluntarily leave for as long as two weeks.

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Police: Suspect groped woman on Fairfax Co. trail

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WASHINGTON — Police are searching for a suspect who sexually assaulted a woman on a Fairfax County trail Thursday evening.

Fairfax County police say a woman was walking alone on a bike and walking trail near Waples Mill and Random Hills roads around 5:10 p.m. when a man grabbed her from behind and groped her.

The suspect fled when a passing car spooked him, police said. The suspect was last seen running westbound along Random Hills Road.

The victim was not injured.

Responding officers couldn’t locate the suspect. He is described as white, between 18 and 30-years-old with a thin build and around 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet tall. He had dark blonde or light brown hair, was unshaven and wore jeans and a white T-shirt at the time of the assault.

This assault is one of several recent groping cases on Fairfax County trails. Over the past two weeks, there have been five assaults in which the victims’ buttocks were grabbed. Those cases generally occurred after 4 p.m. as the women were exercising along the trail, police said.

Detectives are working to determine if there is a link between Thursday’s case and the other recent assaults.

Police ask trail-goers to remember the following safety tips:

  • Run, jog or walk in familiar areas and with a friend.
  • Do not run, jog or walk in a poorly lit or secluded area or after dark.
  • Do not wear a headphones or earbuds.
  • Switch up your route and pattern so your actions aren’t predictable.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

Anyone with information about the most recent case or any others can contact police at 703-591-0966.

Below is a map with the location of the incident:

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zoom: 13,
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var trafficLayer = new google.maps.TrafficLayer();
trafficLayer.setMap(map);
var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
position: lnglat,
map: map,
title: ‘trail sexual assault’
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}

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APNewsBreak: Disputed East Coast pipeline likely to expand

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The developers of a disputed natural gas pipeline on the U.S. East Coast are considering a major expansion of the project into South Carolina, according to remarks made by an energy company executive and interviews with others in the industry.

Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline said that raises questions about whether Dominion Energy, the project’s lead developer, has withheld important information from the public and whether the pipeline is even needed as initially proposed. But business leaders say the pipeline would help lower energy costs and boost economic development in South Carolina.

Dan Weekley, Dominion Energy’s vice president and general manager of Southern pipeline operations, told attendees at a recent energy conference “everybody knows” the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — currently slated to pass through Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina — is not going to stop there, despite what the current plans say.

“We could bring in almost a billion cubic feet (28 million cubic meters) a day into South Carolina,” Weekley said, according to an audio recording The Associated Press obtained from a conference attendee. The attendee requested anonymity out of concern for not wanting to harm business or personal relationships.

The remarks appear to be the Richmond, Virginia-based company’s most direct public signal to date that it intends to expand the pipeline, though industry analysts said the potential has been discussed for years.

“It just fits into the whole idea that we’ve never really believed that Dominion is telling us the whole truth about the project and the gas and where the gas might go,” said David Sligh, conservation director of Wild Virginia, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Virginia’s national forests.

Dominion has told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate natural gas pipelines, the gas is mostly for power plants in Virginia and North Carolina, said Greg Buppert, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

“Is the real intent to move most of the gas into South Carolina?” Buppert asked.

Tamara Young-Allen, a spokeswoman for the commission, said if the developers want to expand the pipeline into another state, they will have to go through the full application process again.

Dominion spokeswoman Jen Kostyniuk said “absolutely no decision has been made about a potential expansion” of the pipeline.

Weekley’s remarks during the South Carolina Clean Energy Summit in Columbia indicated otherwise.

“Even though it dead-ends at Lumberton (North Carolina) — of course, 12 miles (19 kilometers) to the border — everybody knows it’s not going to end in Lumberton,” he said.

Weekley said the pipeline could go toward the coast or into the mid-state region of South Carolina, depending on power needs. “You tell me, we’ll turn one way or the other,” said Weekley, who wasn’t available for an interview, according to pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby.

As initially proposed, the approximately $5 billion pipeline is a huge infrastructure project that’s been enthusiastically endorsed by business and political leaders but sparked strong opposition from environmental groups and many landowners in its path. With sections up to 42 inches (107 cm) in diameter, it would start in West Virginia, cross through the heart of Virginia — including national forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail — then bend through eastern North Carolina. Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet (42.5 million cubic meters) of natural gas it could transport each day would be used to generate electricity in Virginia and North Carolina.

Analyst Shar Pourreza, managing director and head of North American power for Guggenheim Securities, said he expects that the pipeline will eventually be expanded as far into the southeast as Georgia or Florida, in part because the closures of coal-fired power plants are increasing the demand for natural gas.

Natural gas, which is cleaner than coal, has been embraced by politicians from both parties and touted as a bridge fuel toward greater use of renewable energy. Pipelines are also lucrative projects — developers can frequently recoup around a 14 percent rate of return.

Leaders of business groups including the South Carolina Energy Users Committee, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance told the AP they had discussed the pipeline with Dominion.

“If we want more industrial development, we’re going to need the kind of infrastructure that Dominion can bring to the state,” said Lewis F. Gossett, President and CEO of the manufacturing alliance. “The pipeline is essential.”

But environmentalists and others are increasingly questioning the need for more natural gas infrastructure.

“It depends on whose economics you believe, I guess,” said Lew Freeman, Executive Director of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, a coalition of groups that oppose the pipeline.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is being developed by Dominion and three other major U.S. energy companies: Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas.

The federal regulatory commission issued an environmental review over the summer that was largely favorable for developers, and is widely expected to grant a certificate needed for the project to proceed this fall.

____

Associated Press Writer Alan Suderman contributed to this report.

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Voting like it’s 1999: Va. jurisdictions to back up ballots on paper

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WASHINGTON — It’s all about security. Or rather, the perception of security.

“Until security on the internet feels like something the people can trust … paper is the future,” said David B. Bjerke, director of elections and general registrar of voters of Falls Church, Virginia.

Paper — or lack of it — was one of the reasons that several models of voting machines were suddenly decertified by Virginia’s State Board of Elections. The tipping point came over the summer, when hackers at the DEFCON gathering in Las Vegas demonstrated how they could compromise the security of direct recording electronic machines.

“I understand why the Virginia State Board of Elections made their decision,” said Bjerke.

“The security that was involved in these DREs, the direct recording electronic machines, hadn’t been updated since 2004. So, obviously, technology has increased since then. And the ability to hack equipment in general has increased. And so, without updating those security protocols, I understand why they wanted to make all DREs decertified.”

Falls Church, which has only about 10,000 registered voters, lucked out: It has already purchased new voting machines, to be delivered in January.

“We already had this in the plan,” said Bjerke. “There was no scrambling for money that had not been accounted for.”

He says it was simply a matter of moving up the delivery date, which the vendor was able to do.

Bjerke says the voting process will take a bit longer next month.

“Voters used to just go to the machine, get their ballot and cast it right there at the machine. Now we have to hand out pieces of paper, have privacy booths everywhere and then watch the flow to make sure that the voters make it to the scanner and aren’t leaving ballots elsewhere.”

Paperless voting machines were supposed to speed up and simplify the entire process. But the entire system is built on voter confidence, Bjerke said. So he’s OK with going back to the future.

“I think the paper-based system is good because you do have a tangible ballot that can be used for audits, for recounts. You don’t have to trust the machine,” said Bjerke. “You really have to make the voters feel confident in this system. And the paper-based system, I think, makes more voters feel confident than the old DRE systems.”

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Volunteers find hair braids, clothing in search for missing Md. woman

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WASHINGTON — Volunteer searchers have found possible clues in the disappearance of a 19-year-old woman from Prince George’s County, who went missing in Norfolk almost two weeks ago.

Ashanti Billie, who graduated high school in Maryland, moved to Virginia Beach to study culinary arts.

Ashanti Billie has been missing since Sept. 18, 2017. The FBI has released a recent driver’s license photo. (Courtesy FBI Norfolk)

She was last seen Sept. 18, as she drove onto Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek — Fort Story, where she works at a Blimpie sub shop.

The FBI in Norfolk said Billie never showed up for work, and missed her scheduled college classes.

Surveillance video showed Billie’s Mini Cooper leave the base, although it is unclear if she was in the car. Her cellphone was found later that day in a dumpster in Norfolk, less than three miles from the base gate.

On Sept. 23 her car was found in a Norfolk neighborhood, five miles from the base.

On Thursday, friends and family of Billie found potential clues as they searched near the dumpster.

Volunteers found hair braids and a piece of clothing, which have been turned over to investigators.

The FBI, which is leading the investigation, released a recent photo of Billie, from her driver’s license, showing her with braids — some of them dyed.

On Wednesday, Blimpie added $10,000 to the FBI’s $10,000 reward fund, for information about Billie.

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