Event honoring Virginia Beach’s volunteer rescue members becomes announcement of bigger thanks: Rock the Squads, coming in May

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — Volunteer rescue squad members and their families visited the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center last month, part of an annual thank you to the city’s 10 all-volunteer squads — and an announcement of a bigger… 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


Virginia Wesleyan College will add two master’s degree programs in 2017

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE – Virginia Wesleyan College, a private liberal arts institution on the Virginia Beach-Norfolk border, will introduce its first master’s degree programs next year. A master of arts in education program begins in the summer, with four… Continue Reading


Virginia Beach need to address short-term rentals draws concern from some in divided Sandbridge community

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE COURTHOUSE — Virginia Beach is seeking ways to deal with short-term rentals, an effort complicated by an existing, largely unregulated online rental marketplace whose beneficiaries have sought to work directly with state lawmakers.  This past month, Virginia Beach… 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: Candidates for Virginia Beach mayor respond to questions

Ed. note — The Independent News asked candidates for mayor of Virginia Beach to answer questions about issues in the city and, specifically, the city’s southern communities. This appeared in print on Friday, Oct. 28. Responses to question have not been edited.… Continue Reading


New Virginia Beach city office with innovation focus to use data for tranparency, decisions

Ed. note – The following is adapted from a letter City Manager Dave Hansen wrote to Mayor Will Sessoms and members of the city council on Friday, Sept. 23, regarding the creation of a new office within the city government.… Continue Reading


Out of the Darkness walk in Virginia Beach makes strides for awareness of depression, suicide

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE MOUNT TRASHMORE — Before the walk began, Tasha Frederick of Sandbridge tied a ribbon into the hair of 9-year-old Laney Frederick. They were there to raise awareness and remember someone lost to suicide during Out of the Darkness… Continue Reading


Virginia Beach implements cap on agricultural land valuation

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS COURTHOUSE – Virginia Beach will impose a ceiling upon land use tax values for agricultural land of either $1,800 per acre or a commodity-determined value, if it is lower than that sum. The value that determines taxes… Continue Reading


A new book offers its readers a unique Virginia Beach bucket list

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE OCEANFRONT — A new bucket list for the Beach is coming in book form – 100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die. The new book was penned by Toni Guagenti, a writer who also serves as… Continue Reading