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Ignoring farmers, City Council approves event venue on land zoned for agriculture in rural city

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — Moments after a stunning reversal by the Planning Commission, the City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 25, voted to approve a conditional use permit so an event business can operate on land zoned for agriculture in… Continue Reading

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Abbott: Let Virginia Beach citizens say via referendum whether district voting should change

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — The Virginia Beach City Council may consider putting a referendum on the November ballot that could lead to big changes to the way people choose local elected leaders representing specific voting districts. A proposal by… Continue Reading

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Updated: Wagner, Kowalewitch will challenge incumbent Dyer in Virginia Beach mayoral race

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Two people will challenge Mayor Bobby Dyer in this year’s mayoral election. Following City Councilmember Aaron Rouse’s recent announcement that he is ending his campaign for mayor, two candidates – businesspeople Jody Wagner and Richard “R.K.” Kowalewitch… Continue Reading

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Breaking: Rouse ends campaign to be Virginia Beach mayor

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — City Councilmember Aaron Rouse is ending his campaign for mayor of Virginia Beach. Rouse today made the announcement in a social media statement that initially caused some confusion about whether he was dropping out. The… Continue Reading

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In a devastating time for restaurants, dining rooms are empty while some turn to takeout, if they can

Ed. — This story originally appeared in print on Sunday, March 29. The City Council has scheduled a special meeting via distance communication technology at 3 p.m., on Tuesday, April 7, to discuss tax deferrals, suspending the meals tax and other… Continue Reading

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Political Notebook: Dem prez primary absentee voting; fines for late reports by VB pols; School Board candidate bows out

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS Absentee voting for Virginia’s Tuesday, March 3, Democratic Party presidential primary is underway in Virginia Beach — and voting opportunities will expand in the coming month. More on that in a moment. First, a word about a… Continue Reading

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Divided Virginia Beach City Council backs symbolic Second Amendment resolution

Ed. — This initially ran in the Friday, Jan. 17, print edition. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — A divided City Council — following in the footsteps of more than 100 other local governments around the commonwealth — this month passed a resolution voicing… Continue Reading

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Virginia Beach City Council approves independent investigation of shooting

Ed. — This archived story originally appeared in the July 5 print edition. BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – The City Council on Tuesday, July 2, authorized an independent investigation into circumstances surrounding the recent mass shooting in which an employee killed… Continue Reading

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The elegy and the promise

A horrific act leaves 12 people dead and four wounded, as well as a community in mourning. Ed. — This originally ran in print on Friday, June 7. A gallery of photos that ran with the original story appears at the… Continue Reading

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Political Notebook: Rouse offers running commentary on the chase for the Iron Throne, best tweet ever

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS Virginia Beach City Councilmember Aaron Rouse, serving his first term in an at-large seat, has been an enthusiastic Game of Thrones live tweeter. Sample tweet: I WANT MORE DRAGONS! And I WANT THEM NOW! Rouse crafted that… Continue Reading