Virginia Beach


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia have charged a second former congressional campaign staffer with election fraud in a case that clouded the race for Virginia's 2nd District in 2018.

A special prosecutor overseeing the case in Virginia Beach confirmed Tuesday that Roberta Marciano faces two counts of election fraud.

Marciano worked on the re-election campaign for freshman Republican Scott Taylor in the district along Virginia's coast.


RICHMOND, Va. (The Virginian-Pilot) — Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation that will create a new license plate with the slogan “VB Strong” honoring the victims of a mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the bill sponsored by Sen. Bill DeSteph passed unanimously out of both chambers and heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The plates won’t be available until 450 people apply for them and pay a $10 fee that goes toward Department of Motor Vehicles operations by Nov. 20.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (The Virginian-Pilot) — An upcoming ad campaign for Virginia Beach will feature a new song by hometown star Pharrell Williams.

A city official tells the Virginian-Pilot that Williams contacted the city last year asking how he could help after the mass shooting at a municipal building in May.

That led to a a multi-year plan involving the singer in tourism and economic development initiatives.

As part of that, the singer will narrate two 60-second commercials with his soon-to-be-released song, “Virginia."


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — An engineering consulting firm says Virginia Beach will have to consider multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects and other efforts to face the threat of sea-level rise.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports the $3.8 million study also points to restricting new development in some parts of the city and purchasing properties in danger of flooding.

City Council and the planning commission still need to OK the report, which will serve as a framework for the city’s overall plan.

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(AP) Virginia Beach officials are asking for the public's help in identifying locations around the city where homeless people live.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct an unduplicated count of the homeless population known as the Point-in-Time Count.

The information submitted by the public will help guide teams of volunteers during the 2020 count.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Beach SWAT team conducted a training exercise in the same building where 12 people were shot and killed in a mass shooting.

The Virginian-Pilot reports officers appeared in tactical gear and carried rifles on Wednesday to train with at least one K-9 unit as a small number of information technology workers were inside the building, evoking memories of the shooting on May 31.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Police in Virginia are investigating after a body washed up on a beach on the Chesapeake Bay.

WAVY-TV reported Thursday that the man's body came ashore in the Chic's Beach area of Virginia Beach.

Police dispatchers had received a report that the body was found about 6:45 a.m. near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Virginia Beach police are at the scene. No other information was released.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The Coast Guard has called off a search for a missing yachter who went into the water more than 500 miles (805 km) off Virginia Beach.

The Coast Guard's 5th District Command in Portsmouth said it spent the better part of Wednesday searching for the man after receiving a report at 4 a.m. that he was missing.

The sailing vessel In Tune sent out a mayday message after three boaters went overboard.

A tanker, the Stena Progress, responded to the call and rescued two of the yachters before the Coast Guard arrived.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - An independent probe into Virginia Beach's mass shooting fails to offer clear answers for exactly why a city engineer opened fire in his workplace.

Chicago-based security firm Hillard Heintze concluded its investigation into the May 31 shooting and offered a 262-page report Wednesday to Virginia Beach's City Council.

DeWayne Craddock killed 12 people before he died in a gunbattle with police. He had submitted his resignation that day.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A young whale has washed up dead in Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday that the juvenile humpback came ashore on the north end of Virginia Beach. The spot is along the Atlantic Ocean and just south of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The whale may have been the same animal that someone spotted floating near the bay's mouth earlier in the week.

Alexander Costidis of the Virginia Aquarium said the whale was "pretty decomposed."


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Democrat running for Virginia's state Senate is invoking the recent mass shooting in Virginia Beach in a new television spot.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that the ad is from Democrat Missy Cotter Smasal. She hopes to unseat Sen. Bill DeSteph, a Republican who represents part of Virginia Beach.

The TV spot focuses on a woman who was in the building during the shooting. She criticizes DeSteph for failing to "do something" on gun safety laws.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy wants to build what it says would be the largest offshore wind project in the United States off the Virginia coast.

The company told The Associated Press ahead of a public announcement Thursday that it is seeking regulatory approval to build about 220 wind turbines in federal waters it has already leased 27 miles (43 kilometers) off Virginia Beach.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - An advocacy group that wants to overhaul of how Virginia draws its legislative and congressional maps is holding a series of town halls to promote a compromise plan state lawmakers tentatively approved earlier this year.

OneVirginia2021 is set to host a town hall in Virginia Beach next week with similar events planned in the future.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach's police chief says the department's investigation into late May's mass shooting is nearly complete.

But he says the department may hold off on releasing all of the details immediately. Police are concerned some information could influence an independent investigation into the shooting.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Beach city council has ordered an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a recent mass shooting that killed 12 people.

News outlets report the council unanimously voted Tuesday to have the city auditor hire an independent contractor to investigate gunman DeWayne Craddock. The probe will analyze Craddock's employment and workplace history, city policies and how to prevent similar violence.

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(AP) The city of Virginia Beach may soon commission an independent investigation into the mass shooting that claimed 12 lives last month, but the findings might not come out quickly enough for some victims' families, state lawmakers and city officials. 

City Council members delved into a debate Tuesday over how a third-party probe would proceed. One contentious issue is whether police would have control over when the separate investigation could begin.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Bereaved families are beginning to hold services and lay to rest the 12 people who were killed during a mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

A funeral is scheduled Thursday for 42-year-old Katherine Nixon. The mass will be at a Catholic church about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the scene of the shooting in a municipal building.  

An obituary said Nixon was a compliance manager for the city. She was married with three children.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for a special legislative session on gun control and is insisting that his proposals be voted on by the entire state legislature. He says Friday's killings in Virginia Beach call for "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers."

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Police in Virginia say they've arrested an 80-year-old man for the slaying of two young women more than 45 years ago.

The Virginia Beach Police Department announced the arrest Tuesday of Ernest Broadnax of St. Albans, New York, on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of rape. He is awaiting extradition to Virginia.

Janice Pietropola and Lynn Seethaler were both 19 years old and on vacation from the Pittsburgh area when they were found dead June 30, 1973, in a cottage near the Atlantic Ocean. 

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest city has passed sweeping new laws to regulate short-term rentals that are found on sites like Airbnb.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that Virginia Beach's regulations mark the first time the issue has been recognized in the city's laws. The city of nearly half a million people sits along the Atlantic Ocean in a tourist-heavy region.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Fishing boats off the East Coast recently encountered a rare sight: Two great whites feasting on a 50-foot dead whale.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday that the whale was bloated and floating about nine miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The fishermen said the whale was too decomposed to determine its species. They said one of the great whites was about 12 feet long.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia has moved one step closer to launching its first offshore wind project.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that Dominion Energy has filed for approval from the State Corporation Commission to erect two wind turbines.

The initial demonstration project would stand about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. If approved, electricity would begin to flow in 2020.

The power company has teamed up with Orsted, a Denmark-based energy firm.

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VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest city is opening a shelter for residents in the wake of flooding from excessive rain and wind-driven tides.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday that southern portions of Virginia Beach have been impacted by flooding. The city has already closed some roads. And residents say water has begun to enter some structures.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Police in Virginia Beach have made an arrest in the apparently random shooting of six people walking in a Fourth of July crowd near the oceanfront.

Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Linda Kuehn tells news outlets that 21-year-old Ladarius Malik Trisvan of Emporia was arrested Tuesday. He's accused of shooting into the crowd shortly after midnight on July 5th. Four men and two women were wounded.

Kuehn says police aren't aware of a motive, and do not believe the six were targeted.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A judge has ruled a sheriff's office cannot force-feed a hunger-striking Virginia man convicted of fatally poisoning his ex-girlfriend.

WAVY-TV reports Judge Steven Frucci issued the ruling Tuesday in the case of 30-year-old Joseph Merlino III.

Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle had asked that staff to be allowed to force-feed Merlino after he began refusing meals in mid-April. Court documents say Merlino had expressed fears someone was trying to poison him, though jail staff said his explanation kept changing.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia GOP state lawmaker says he's not going and run for mayor of Virginia Beach because he doesn't want Republicans to lose their slim majority in the House of Delegates.

Del. Glenn Davis announced Tuesday that he's decided not to run. Davis said he had "significant concern" that his departure from the House would alter the partisan balance of power.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking mariners to slow down off of Virginia Beach to protect a group of five endangered right whales seen in the area.

NOAA says the animals were spotted 69 nautical miles northeast of Virginia Beach on Tuesday. It's asking vessels to route around the area entirely or transit through it at 10 knots or less.

There are also mandatory speed restrictions in place, including one in Cape Cod Bay and another off of Block Island.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia sheriff says an inmate who died in jail was mentally ill, and he's criticizing the state's mental health system.

Sheriff Ken Stolle said in a statement that 69-year-old Joseph Sisson Jr.'s mental illness was the cause of his incarceration. He called Virginia's mental health system "broken and ill-equipped to help all those who need it."

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The lawyer for Virginia's largest city says a Confederate monument outside an old courthouse cannot be moved.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that Virginia Beach's attorney has given his interpretation of a state law aimed at protecting war memorials. Such laws have spawned an ongoing debate across Virginia over local power to remove Confederate statues and memorials.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Some are calling for the removal of another Confederate monument in Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that a rally is scheduled for Thursday afternoon to demand the removal of a Confederate soldier statue in Virginia Beach.

Confederate veterans built the 27-foot-tall structure in the early 1900s. It's located near a former county courthouse that now serves as city office space.