Manassas Park continues to boast the state's lowest unemployment rate with 2.2 percent in May, a slight increase from the 1.7 percent rate reported in April, according to statistics from the Virginia Employment Commission. The city of Manassas posted the highest unemployment increase in the Prince William County area, going from 2.9 percent in April to 4 percent in May. Prince William's rate rose from 2.3 percent to 2.7 percent. In May, the report said, only 97 of Manassas Park's civilian work force of 4,360 were unemployed. Manassas had 444 unemployed out of an 11,167-member work force; the county reported 2,676 unemployed out of a work force of 98,633.

The Manassas Park School Board last week unanimously chose E. Allen Newcomb as chairman and Florence Mullins as vice chairman on the recommendation of former chairman Alma Dunn, who declined renomination. School Superintendent Jimmy Stuart of Dunn said, "She did a good job and supported everything we were doing. I hope she will continue to be active just as a board member." Stuart also praised the new chairman, a former teacher turned attorney who is married to a teacher. "Mr. Newcomb is knowledgeable and low-keyed and he understands education. I think he'll work well with the board."

The long-awaited Grant Avenue four-lane underpass under the Southern Railways railroad was completed last week. The underpass, on Rte. 234 through Manassas, experienced several delays during its yearlong construction. Road crews are still on the site, but traffic is able to travel in both directions without being stopped by a train. The project has caused traffic tie-ups and short tempers during construction, a spokesman said.