New open-data portal increases transparency in Virginia Beach

You don’t have to be a journalist or a Freedom of Information Act expert to access public records in Virginia Beach, thanks to a new open-data portal that launched Monday.

The portal provides Virginia Beach residents easy access to many public records normally available through a FOIA request. The idea is to cut the middle man, putting information at residents’ fingertips and encouraging city employees to look at ways to improve services, said Virginia Beach Director of Management Services Catheryn Whitesell.


The Virginian-Pilot sues FBI over denied request

The Virginian-Pilot has filed a lawsuit against the FBI seeking information about a training exercise last year off the coast of Virginia Beach that claimed the lives of two agents.

The newspaper submitted a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act shortly after the May 17, 2013, deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw. The paper sought "any reports or memos regarding the training accident," which involved the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team.