Hope grows at hop yard in Back Bay to help retreat for warriors while supplying local craft brewers

BY VENI FIELDS BACK BAY — LZ-Grace Warriors Retreat founder Lynn Bukowski’s expression of panic high above the ground in a Facebook photo began, you might say, with a pesky weed in Donald Noha’s back yard. Both contributed to a new… Continue Reading


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


In Virginia Beach, a Sandbridge dance class has tapping feet and camaraderie — and it always ends with a kick

BY VENI FIELDS SANDBRIDGE — It was a fun little miracle in Sandbridge. It came with a pair of 52-year-old tap shoes. Tina Ciccone had been searching for a while for just the right dance class to have a little fun… Continue Reading


From the Editor: Thanking the Virginia Beach agriculture department and Excellence in Agriculture committee; The Indy heads to Richmond

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE PUNGO — Jane Bloodworth Rowe wrote a story in a recent paper about the Morris family, who earned the 2016 Excellence in Agriculture Award for generations of work.  And coverage of the banquet this past month appeared in… 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


In addition to police work, Virginia Beach’s mounted patrol delivers community cheer

BY VENI FIELDS VIRGINIA BEACH — Between the lettuce and tomatoes she was stacking on a row of turkey on white sandwiches, Kaiya Putman noticed movement outside the plate glass window at the Jersey Mike’s Subs in Landstown.  When she glanced… Continue Reading


Column: For PTSD sufferer, finding a proper fit for care while understanding diagnosis

BY VENI FIELDS VIRGINIA BEACH — Lesson No. 1, after seeking help for an April 2008 diagnosis of anxiety: Not all therapists are created equal.   More lessons piled up after that.  Most of them were unpleasant. I had been physically… Continue Reading


New effort for generations of a farming family on First Colonial

BY VENI FIELDS VIRGINIA BEACH — Naturally the sky would open up. And the truck would break down. And the wind would just about blow a gale. Curtains of rain poured over wide, green and white awnings on Friday, April 22,… Continue Reading


At the Tar Roof, art, events, coffee meet in the heart of Pungo

BY VENI FIELDS PUNGO — Niche filled. The owners of the Tar Roof in Pungo didn’t plan it that way.  But since the three Beach photographers opened the doors of the former Burroughs family farmhouse as a gallery and small event… Continue Reading