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No kidding, county uses goats to clean up vegetation

- In a pilot program to determine whether goats can effectively bring properties with overgrown yards into compliance, the Prince William County Department of Public Works recently hired a herd of them to do the work of tidying up a cited property in the Triangle area.

Accident results in one cyclists death, two critically injured

- One bicyclist is dead and two are still in critical condition after an accident at today's 2015 World Police & Fire Games. On July 2 at 12:20 p.m., investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to Prince William Forest Park located in Triangle to investigate a crash involving multiple bicyclists participating in an event for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games.

Federal report cites ‘serious safety lapses’ at Metro

- The Federal Transit Administration has released a damning report of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), citing “serious safety lapses” and a lack of right-of-way access to perform inspections, testing and maintenance activities. The report led federal lawmakers from the region to call for rolling heads at WMATA, the second-largest heavy rail system in the U.S.

Movies at sunset

- The Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College will present a series of movies on Saturday evenings at the Mary Louise Jackson Amphitheater, 6901 Sudley Road in Manassas.

Gainesville interchange project wrapping up

- Travelers who faced construction barrels, lane shifts, detours and work crews to watch out for over the past four years during construction of a new interchange in Gainesville will be happy to know that the end is in sight. Though some finishing touches at the interchange for U.S. 29 and Linton Hall Road at I-66 will continue, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony on July 9.

VA Shamrocks look locally for newest talent

- Since spring and summer in 2014, Prince William County has made a name for itself collectively with one of the most elite travel softball programs in Northern Virginia. That's when the Virginia Shamrocks developed a 16U team coached by long-time area travel baseball and softball coach Troy Toureau, best known for his work developing players with the Gainesville Cannons.

Comstock hacked in two separate incidents

- Western Prince William Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) has been subjected to two cyberattacks in recent months, and the first-term lawmaker said she's not even sure exactly what personal information of hers has been compromised. “You don't know who's doing what with it,” Comstock told the “Times” in a June 18 interview. “We are living in a new world and environment, and we have to get 21st century systems in place.

Occoquan becomes PW’s bellwether for 2015

- While Democrats have consistently topped the Republicans in Prince William in federal and state-wide elections with only one exception since 2006, the dynamics on the ground locally are much different in local elections. At a time when the Republicans hold a 6-2 majority on the Board of County Supervisors, GOP candidates at the local level have found success in areas that should be, on paper, leaning toward the Democrats.

Townsend makes education top campaign priority

- A common trait among first-time candidates for local elected office is often that an event or series of events spurs the decision to run with the idea that "I can do better than this." For Catlett resident Sara Townsend (D), her decision to run for the House of Delegates came down to two issues.

Lingamfelter points to record, seniority in re-elect bid

- When the 2016 regular session of the General Assembly convenes next January, only one of the 13 legislators from Prince William County will have served in Richmond before the turn of the century. The retirements of state Sens. Chuck Colgan (D-29th) and Toddy Puller (D-36th) mean Prince William loses decades of seniority in the upper chamber.

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No kidding, county uses goats to clean up vegetation

Courtesy Photo/PWC
The Scapegoats work crew ate the vegetation for about $600 less than the price a human team would have charged to haul it away.
In a pilot program to determine whether goats can effectively bring properties with overgrown yards into compliance, the Prince William County Department of Public Works recently hired a herd of them to do the work of tidying up a cited property in the Triangle area.

Charlotte Del Duca of Scapegoats, LLC recently turned her little herd of goats out on the property so they could eat vines, which were climbing head-high to the top of a chain-link fence, thigh-high grass, ground covering weeds and all manner of vegetation growing in the yard of an abandoned house on Corby Street.

Prince William County Public Works spokeswoman Deb Oliver said Del Duca’s herd was new to the business of clearing lots for the county. “It’s their first government job,” Oliver said of the goats’ starting day on the job on June 18.

Paul Lynch, chief of Neighborhood Services, said a local contractor placed the cost to clear the property at $2,400. Del Duca priced the job at $1,865, so the department hired her and her goats, Lynch said. “It’s less money and it helps us fulfill some of our environmental initiatives. It’s a good way to handle areas that are difficult to mow.”

Barbara Gion, who lives next door to the abandoned property, watched from her screened-in porch as Del Duca put up a temporary fence to keep the goats in check and then turned them loose to eat.

Gion, whose lawn is mown with a garden in the side yard, said she was pleased that the county was cleaning up the brush next door even if the method was a little out of the ordinary.

“It’s fine with me if it gets rid of it. It’s a good thing,” she said.

A week after their start date, the goats were finishing up and Gion said she was happy with the progress.

“They’re doing a good job over there,” she said. “I’m very pleased with it.”

Oliver said the goats drew some attention while they were at the property.

“The neighbors were wonderful. They were all bringing ice water up to Charlotte, making sure the goats had water and offering to refill jugs for the goats. The neighbors seemed to really appreciate what she was trying to do,” she said.

The department learned that using goats was a good way to get rid of brush and weeds, Oliver said.

“It really is a good way to clear overgrown stuff as opposed to bringing in a lot of gas-powered equipment,” she said. “We’ve learned that it’s a very viable option. It takes a little bit longer, but as long as there’s not a pressing deadline, it’s a good option.”

- PWC
More Local News

No kidding, county uses goats to clean up vegetation

Accident results in one cyclists death, two critically injured

Federal report cites ‘serious safety lapses’ at Metro

Movies at sunset

Gainesville interchange project wrapping up

VA Shamrocks look locally for newest talent

Comstock hacked in two separate incidents

Occoquan becomes PW’s bellwether for 2015

Townsend makes education top campaign priority

Lingamfelter points to record, seniority in re-elect bid

After two losses, P-Nats bounce back

As BD AD retires, former director’s son takes over

Prince William Guide



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