Over the Fencepost Newsletter

Community Focus

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Press Releases

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 29

The proper disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can prevent accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. That’s why the Prince William County Police Department works with other local and federal partners to hold events in the spring and fall where they collect unused medications. This is part of a nationwide initiative called Take-Back Days.

The next Take-Back day is April 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and drop off points will be at the following locations:

  • Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center, 8700 Sudley Road in Manassas

  • Sentara Lake Ridge, 12825 Minnieville Road in Lake Ridge

  • Novant Health System Haymarket Medical Center, 15225 Heathcote Blvd in Haymarket

Prince William Police Sgt. Ben Grantham said people shouldn’t ignore the potential danger of having unused medications laying around. The majority of people abusing prescription drugs get them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. “You want to get that out of your home so that it’s not abused by a child or another member of the household.”

Grantham also said the drugs could threaten drinking water, if they’re not disposed of properly. “The problems exist when they get flushed into the water system and they get into our water supply. Small amounts of the medications start to show up in our drinking water, and it becomes a problem. They need to be turned over and disposed of in a proper way.”

Prince William Police Officer Marcia Whaley said that they hope people will take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of unwanted medications. “Everyone is eligible to drop off their unused prescription medications.”

“We encourage everybody to reach out to friends and family and let them know what we’re doing,” Grantham said. “The more that we can spread the word, the more we can get into these communities and get rid of these excess medications that may be causing problems.”

After collecting the unwanted medications, the police turn the drugs over the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, for proper handling, Whaley said. “We take the medications … to the DEA, and they then take the bags from us. The drugs are then driven to where they’re incinerated.”

For more information about the prescription drug take-back days, visit or call the Crime Prevention Unit at 703-792-7270.

Know Who Maintains and Plows Your Road

With potential snow in the forecast, it’s important to know who maintains the roads for plowing purposes. The Prince William County Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, Division recently updated the road closure application to include road maintenance information. Residents can now visit to see which organization or jurisdiction is responsible for taking care of each road in the county.

“There is a new section in the application showing who the responsible party would be to maintain those roads,” said Malcolm Echaluce, GIS Administrator. “It shows, for example, if the road is maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, or the county or the towns, or if it’s privately owned or maintained.”

The application also shows phone numbers for those organizations responsible for the road maintenance, such as snow plowing, pothole repair or other road work. The roads on the maps are color-coded so people will be able to easily tell who they should contact for road issues. “If there are particular roads that people happen to be driving on and perhaps there’s a pothole issue or another service related issue, they would know exactly who to contact or who the responsible party is. That way they’re not left to figure out who’s supposed to be taking care of it,” Echaluce said.

In order to see the road maintenance information, the user must click on the icon of the triangle with the exclamation point. To see a specific road, users can zoom into the appropriate area or use the search feature.

Go to to see road maintenance information, current road closures and to sign up to receive road closure notifications.


Animal Shelter Fall Festival

The Prince William County Animal Shelter will host a Fall Festival on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, from Noon to 4 p.m. The Shelter is located at 14807 Bristow Road in Manassas (20112).

The event includes a rabies clinic, sponsored by the Prince William Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PWC SPCA).Bring your dogs and cats to get a rabies vaccine and certificate for just $10. This clinic will run from 1 to 3 p.m.

You can also get your pets’ nails trimmed for just $5 per animal. For the safety of everyone, all dogs that attend must be on a leash; all cats that attend must be in carriers.

There will be vendors, family fun activities, and free giveaways of pet-related items, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Children’s Library, which is also sponsored by the PWC SPCA.Additionally, the Shelter will have animals for adoption. Come select your “fur-ever” friend!

For more information, visit the Animal Shelter’s and the Police Department’s Facebook pages.You can also call the Shelter at 703-792-6465, or send an email to

Animal Shelter


Before and After School Camp at Chinn Offers Fun and Unique Activities for Kids

The Before and After School Camp at the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center will offer kindergartners through eighth graders all kinds of things to do when they’re not in school once the school year begins.

Campers will have access to amenities like the pool, outdoor play and the gymnasium at Chinn. There will also be library visits and a nature trail for hikes and learning.

Activities at the camp will include homework time, drama classes, arts and crafts, special events and community projects in a safe place for children to be before and after school, said Rob Belcourt, a recreation specialist for children’s programs with the Department of Parks and Recreation. “We take a lot of pride in making sure that our program is unique from other competitors in the area. Part of that is swimming, and getting them involved in structured homework time in the afternoon so the kids can have that time to get it done before they have to go home at the end of the day.”

The schools served by the program at Chinn include Antietam, Old Bridge, Lake Ridge, Porter and Westridge elementary schools and Beville, Lake Ridge and Woodbridge middle schools and Porter Traditional School, Belcourt said. Daily transportation to and from participating schools will be provided.

Full day options will be available on teacher work days and inclement weather days. The ratio at the camp is one staff member for every 10 campers.

Registration forms and costs are available on the Parks & Recreation website.


The Prince William County Animal Shelter is joining other animal shelters in the Washington, D.C., metro area – and with NBC4 – to encourage the public to visit local animal shelters and adopt a pet on Saturday, July 23, for the second annual, nationwide “Clear the Shelters Day” event.

There are many loving pets waiting to meet you!

Thanks to the support of NBC4, NBC-owned television stations, and Telemundo, hundreds of shelters in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are teaming up to take part in a national push to find homes for pets in need. With the support of the Prince William Humane Society, the Prince William County Animal Shelter is able to waive the adoption fee for this one-day event, organized in partnership with NBC4.

Clear the Shelter is a great way to raise awareness about the many cats and dogs in need of permanent homes,” said Captain Fred Miller, Animal Control Director, “Partners like NBC4 and Prince William Humane Society play a key role, but we need the support of the community to adopt from the shelter in order to make events like this a success.”

All adoptable animals at the Prince William County Animal Shelter also receive a full medical screening, vaccinations, a microchip, and a behavioral evaluation.

The Prince William County Animal Shelter is one of several shelters taking part in “Clear the Shelters Day” activities. For a list of all participating locations, visit

The Animal Shelter wishes to thank NBC4 for helping to spread the word about the importance of animal adoptions, and the Prince William Humane Society for making it possible for the Animal Shelter to waive the adoption fees on “Clear the Shelters Day.”

Free Paws and Whiskers Series Provides Information About Caring for Pets

Over the next few months, the Prince William County Animal Shelter will be presenting the free, monthly “Paws and Whiskers” pet series to teach people about shelter adoptions, responsible pet ownership, how to handle aggressive dogs, being a good neighbor and more. The series of seminars will be held at Chinn Park Regional Library where expert volunteers will provide people with a wide variety of information about caring for their pets.

The “Small Animal Care” seminar at 1 p.m. on July 16 will teach people how to care for rabbits, Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice and other small animals, to include proper feeding, exercise and socialization.

The “Responsible Pet Ownership” seminar at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22 will offer people the chance to learn about proper housing, vaccinations, veterinarian care, diet exercise and more tips for the health and welfare of their pets.  

At noon on Sept. 24, folks from the animal shelter will bring some adoptable animals to the library for people to meet and perhaps adopt.

The “Aggressive Dog Handling and What to do with Lost and Found Pets” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 will teach people the dos and don’ts of handling a dog that appears aggressive. There will also be information on who to contact about lost and found pets and a breakdown of laws concerning keeping a found pet.

During the “Being a Good Neighbor” seminar at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, people will be able to learn what to do about loose dogs, barking dogs, wandering cats and cleaning up after their pets.

Beate Begley, the Prince William County Animal Shelter’s Animal Rescue Manager, said the program is open to anyone who has an interest in supporting the animal shelter and learning more about their pets. “The goal of the program is to get the community more involved in the animal shelter – how to help us help the animals.”

Visit the Chinn Library website for more information on what the Prince William County libraries have to offer.