Pr. William County releases crime statistics for 2013

Violent crime in Prince William County rose last year, even as the overall crime rate dropped for the sixth straight year to a 15-year low of 16.14 percent (the number of crimes per 1,000 residents), according to the police department’s annual report released at a news conference Tuesday.

Violent crimes, which account for 7 percent of the Index Crimes, increased from 438 to 480. The county had six murders in 2013, up from two in 2012. Rapes decreased from 67 to 58, but aggravated assaults rose by nearly 12 percent.

“I am pleased to report a continued downward trend in the crime rate,” Police Chief Stephan M. Hudson said in a statement. “Although the crime rate has declined, the number of violent crimes increased this past year. As is always the case, we must continue to be diligent in addressing crime in collaboration with the community and our strategic partners.”

Home Instead sponsoring food drive for needy seniors

Home Instead Senior Care’s summer food drive is underway. The Manassas-based company will collect canned food for local seniors in need and match the amount of food donated.

Donations may be dropped off through June 30 at the Home Instead office, 9817 Godwin Dr., No. 202, Manassas.

Home Instead’s summer food drive is part of the 2014 Home Instead Gives Back campaign.

Manassas receives award for Main Street project

The City of Manassas recently received the Award of Excellence from the Virginia Downtown Development Association for the Main Street Streetscapes project, which was completed in October.

The project, which was finished on time and on budget, widened the sidewalks on Main Street to allow for outdoor dining and pedestrian traffic. Nineteen trees were planted, and brick crosswalks were added to the intersections.

Blackburn Road sidewalk project gets $560,000 grant

Prince William County recently received a $560,000 grant for constructing a sidewalk along Blackburn Road in Woodbridge. The project will connect the existing sidewalk at Rippon Boulevard and Blackburn Road to the sidewalk on the new Virginia Department of Transportation bridge over Cow Branch Creek.

“This is another win for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Network in Woodbridge,” said Supervisor Frank Principi (D-Woodbridge). “Building up our sidewalk and trail infrastructure is not only about improving safety for those that walk and bike, but it also helps revitalize the Route 1 corridor.”

Grant funding has also been secured for a footbridge across Powell’s Creek at Route 1. Sidewalks are being built as part of the Route 1 widening projects, and by a local developer along Opitz Boulevard. Improvements also will be made at Opitz Boulevard and Montgomery Avenue, along with a new crosswalk at River Ridge Boulevard and Route 1 later this summer, officials said.

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— Compiled by Sarah Lane