Roundtable tackles future of monument in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – In the coming months, a committee formed by the historic preservation commission is considering the future of a Confederate monument near the historic courthouse at the municipal center — and how other elements of local… Continue Reading


Us: Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond, founder of the African American Cultural Center of Virginia Beach

What can we do in the New Year to help build inclusive communities amid a time of polarization? BY AMELIA ROSS-HAMMOND From the beginning of time, humans joined together to form communities because it gave a sense of security. The… Continue Reading


Us: Building inclusive communities in 2018 amid a time of division

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS Because we see deep division and language that has fueled a rise in hateful harassment — even violence — The Independent News posed a question to community leaders, writers and artists.  What can we do in the… Continue Reading


After end of Virginia Beach City Council service, Ross-Hammond looks forward to continued service, work with coming African American cultural center

BY VENI FIELDS KEMPSVILLE — Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond’s phone started ringing early on Wednesday, Nov. 9, a day after newcomer Jessica Abbott was voted into the Kempsville District city council seat Ross-Hammond had occupied for the last four years. “People wanted… Continue Reading


New Virginia Beach councilperson in Kempsville District lists drainage, transparency among her priorities

BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE COURTHOUSE – Biking and hiking trails, improved drainage and driverless busses are priorities for newly-elected City Councilmember Jessica Abbott, who was sworn in this month to represent the Kempsville District.  Abbott said she would like to… Continue Reading


Beach voters reject extending light rail from Newtown Station to Town Center

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Virginia Beach voters rejected efforts to extend The Tide from Newtown Station to Town Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The result of the advisory referendum reflects a repudiation of efforts by the city to expand the light… Continue Reading


2016 Virginia Beach Elections: Questions for candidates for Virginia Beach City Council, Kempsville District

Ed. note — The Independent News asked candidates for the Virginia Beach City Council Kempsville District seat on the ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to answer questions about issues in the city and, specifically, the city’s southern communities. This appeared in print… Continue Reading


Blessing the land, looking ahead to the future home of African American Cultural Center in Virginia Beach

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE VIRGINIA BEACH — During the ceremony this past month, before the blessing of 4.8 acres of Lake Edward Park that someday will be the home of the African American Cultural Center, young people worked at a row of… Continue Reading


Virginia Beach council poised to consider arena deal changes tonight following public hearing

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – The city is scheduled today to vote upon whether to accept changes to the financing plan to build an Oceanfront arena that will let  developer United States Management pursue unrated bonds rather than bonds rated… Continue Reading


Council urges quicker delivery, more public input for comprehensive plan

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Amid delay in the process developing a new comprehensive plan to guide land use and development, members of the City Council say they want a quicker turnaround.  The Planning Commission, supported by the city staff, recommends… Continue Reading