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Editorial: Virginia Beach should not move City Hall to Town Center

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS “We have an opportunity to make a major consideration,” City Manager Dave Hansen said Tuesday, June 6, while briefing the City Council about an Armada Hoffler proposal to move City Hall to Town Center. The City Council… Continue Reading

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Drive through appeals can mean personal property tax savings for Virginia Beach residents

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – The drive-through tax appeals tent is bringing people hoping to save on their personal property tax bill to the municipal center, though this year the operation is in a new location — 2581 George Mason… Continue Reading

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Column: With festival, a celebration of the value of Virginia Beach agriculture

Ed. note — This column ran in print shortly before the 34th annual Pungo Strawberry Festival. BY DAVID TRIMMER VIRGINIA BEACH — It is a great time of year as we approach Memorial Day. Our daylight grows by the day, the agriculture… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach farming industry saw overall growth, some changes in past year; budget anticipates restored agricultural reserve program dollars

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Agriculture in Virginia Beach had an estimated $124.6 million economic impact in 2016, an increase of $3.8 million or 3.1 percent from the previous year, according to the local cooperative extension office. The estimate from… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach police chief discusses role of citizens advisory committees

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – Sometimes good things can evolve from bad things, Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera said on Tuesday, April 4, during a meeting of the First Precinct Citizens Advisory Committee at the municipal center. Cervera said… Continue Reading

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Specialized prosecution team focuses upon DUI cases in Virginia Beach

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle says a new team of prosecutors is helping provide special attention to cases involving drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. The effort will help a problem that occurs disproportionately here, Stolle said… Continue Reading

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Bogus Benjamins: Fake money meant for films can be bought online — and some try to pass it off as the real deal

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Our scene opens on a January day in the 5800 block of Newtown Arch in Virginia Beach. A small exchange is about to be made. A woman expects a buyer to show up for her iPhone. Arrangements… Continue Reading

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Budget: Virginia Beach proposal would raise taxes for all day kindergarten, restore agricultural reserve money

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen on Tuesday, March 28, unveiled a spending plan that would raise real estate taxes to help establish full-day kindergarten throughout the city while redirecting money from a previous property… Continue Reading

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In big and small moments, Virginia Beach’s volunteer emergency medical rescuers give to their neighbors

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Gary Wilks, a native New Yorker who recently turned 61, and Eric Llanes, 42, originally from Maryland, rode together in an ambulance, Unit 523 from Station 5 in the Courthouse area from the evening of Saturday, Feb… Continue Reading

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Targeted approaches in First Precinct to address different challenges in Ashville Park, Sandbridge

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Police Capt. David Squires, commanding officer of the First Precinct, said police are working in two different neighborhoods in southern Virginia Beach that are facing challenges involving different property crimes.  In Sandbridge, a residential neighborhood that… Continue Reading