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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 officials tell Sandbridge civic league members sand replenishment is planned for 2018

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE SANDBRIDGE – City officials this past month briefed civic league members on plans to conduct the next major sand replenishment project here. The target remains 2018 — though whether federal dollars will help is uncertain. Dan Adams, coastal… Continue Reading

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Gooden, commonwealth’s ag secretary, meets with farmers in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO – Dr. Basil Gooden, the state agriculture and forestry secretary, visited Virginia Beach to meet with the city agriculture staff and state extension representatives and tour local farms in the southern end of the city. The… 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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Column: Continuing the work of connecting Hampton Roads law enforcement, LGBT communities

BY MICHAEL BERLUCCHI Departments in all seven major Hampton Roads cities have now appointed liaison officers to serve as a bridge between police and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, people. The latest to step into this role is… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach again considers cutting support to historic homes, museums

Ed. note — This story was updated to reflect the difference in funding sources between the aquarium and historic houses within the overall departmental budget and correct an erroneous percentage in a description of funding changes. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia… Continue Reading

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Sandbridge beach may get more sand next year, but will there be federal help when it comes time to pay the bill?

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Since the days before the modern city, Virginia Beach has paid to add more sand to the beach – and it ultimately entered into formal arrangements with the federal government that include cost sharing and cooperation… 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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In Ashville Park subdivision near Pungo, an effort to end rise in property crimes involving unlocked autos

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE ASHVILLE PARK — Local Girl Scouts were among those who visited this neighborhood off Princess Anne Road near Pungo on Saturday, March 11, to knock on every door. They delivered a simple pitch. Though it was cookie… 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