BY CHRISTOPHER MELE
The Independent News won three awards – two for news and one for photography – from the Virginia Press Association at a ceremony on Saturday, April 8, in Short Pump.
The honors were given for works published in 2016, the first year The Independent News was eligible to compete. It began publishing in April 2015 to provide news to southern Virginia Beach, particularly to the area south of Dam Neck Road, and Knotts Island, N.C.
John-Henry Doucette, the newspaper’s founder, publisher and editor, won two second-place awards in the categories of general news writing and news writing portfolio.
The general news writing award recognized a series of stories about the light rail referendum in Virginia Beach that highlighted how proponents of extending the Tide from Newtown Station to Town Center were able to withhold the names of donors from voters because of a conflict between state election law and guidance for politically active nonprofits.
The portfolio award was for a variety of articles, including one on the kinds of guns Virginia Beach police encounter on the streets, such as those stolen from vehicles, many of which were unlocked, and a story about farmers who raised hogs and grew soybeans on city land without permission.
The Independent News won a third-place award in the general news photo category for a picture taken by Doucette of a child peeking around his mother’s feet during voting in the November general election at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Creeds.
The Independent News won its awards in the specialty publication division.
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