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The Farrier: Virginia Beach police officer with unusual specialty reaches the end of his service in uniform

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO — Before he retired as a master police officer with a unique specialty, Chuck Lauchner spoke about his boyhood back when you didn’t have to look all that hard to find a farm in Virginia Beach. There… Continue Reading

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2017 Primary: Questions for candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to the 81st Virginia House of Delegates District on June 13

Ed. note — The Independent News asked candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to the 81st Virginia House District in the Tuesday, June 13, primary to answer questions about a range of issues. The following responses initially appeared in print on Friday, May 26.… 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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Strawberries: Prized local fruit stars in three dishes at The Whiskey Kitchen

  BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE VIRGINIA BEACH — Southern Virginia Beach marks the arrival of spring by the ripening strawberries, and locals celebrate the season by hitting the fields with buckets and baskets in hand.   Many pick pounds at a… Continue Reading

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From the Vault: Strawberry tacos a draw for Charity United Methodist Church at Pungo Strawberry Festival

Ed. note — This story originally ran in the June 10, 2016, print edition of The Independent News. THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO — The taco shell is made from a waffle cone, and what fills it is sweet – fresh local strawberries,… Continue Reading

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We celebrate the sweet taste of Pungo during this year’s strawberry festival

Ed. Note – The following is adapted from remarks during the Thursday, May 11, press conference announcing this year’s dignitaries and the theme for the 34th annual Pungo Strawberry Festival, Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, in “downtown” Pungo. … Continue Reading

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PAINCast: Virginia Beach author Toni Guagenti guests on latest podcast

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO – The second episode of PAINCast, an occasional podcast of The Independent News, features Toni Guagenti, author of a 100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die. Guagenti serves as media manager for Mayor… Continue Reading

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From the Vault: Small pigs, big heart in annual racing tradition during the Pungo Strawberry Festival

Ed. note — This story originally ran in the June 10, 2016, print edition of The Independent News. BY VENI FIELDS PUNGO — Brad Keithly’s hands were trembling slightly as he walked up a set of metal stairs and leaned into the… Continue Reading

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Pungo Strawberry Festival arrives this weekend; meet the dignitaries

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO – Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Frank Davis started participating in the Pungo Strawberry Festival, including overseeing parking, back in 2002 – about a year after the retired Navy master chief joined the sheriff’s office, initially… Continue Reading

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Delivery truck driver charged with involuntary manslaughter, DUI following deadly crash in Pungo

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS PUNGO — Police accused a delivery truck driver of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence following a crash on Indian River Road on Friday, May 19, that left a woman dead and another woman critically injured.… Continue Reading