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Local News

  • VDOT says you're merging into traffic the wrong way

    By JOANNE KIMBERLIN, Landmark News Service

    You hate me. I can feel it.

    Every time I roll by in the deserted lane next to you, heading to the front of the bottleneck, while you sit dutifully, lined up for the squeeze ahead.

    But here’s the thing. I’m only doing what traffic engineers want: the zipper merge – a tactic that could help ease interstate congestion, if only it didn’t make us feel so rude.

  • Budget vote divided by school money disagreement

    Approval of a budget amendment once again brought up disagreements among Galax City Council members over the school system’s spending for a new football field and the purchase of a piece of land for a school project that was later abandoned.

    There were no speakers at a public hearing for a fiscal year 2018 budget amendment at council’s Dec. 11 meeting, but a transfer of funding to Galax City Public Schools prompted one council member to raise objections and resulted in a split vote on the amendment.

  • Supervisors have high praise for fair

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – Kevin Semones, market manager for the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market in Hillsville, received nothing but compliments when he appeared before the Carroll County Board of Supervisors to give a report on this year’s Carroll County Agricultural Fair.

    “The fair just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year,” Semones told the supervisors at a recent meeting, “with between 18,000 and 20,000 people attending this year’s event.”

  • Governor addresses teacher shortage

    Landmark News Service and Staff Reports

    As Virginia schools struggle with a dearth of teachers, Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants colleges and universities to be able to fast-track the training of aspiring educators.

    McAuliffe signed an executive order Dec. 11 directing the state Board of Education to adopt emergency rules that would allow colleges and universities to offer a four-year undergraduate degree in teaching, rather than a five-year master’s program.

  • Citizens oppose county selling beer, wine

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – Carroll County is considering sales of beer and wine at the Blue Ridge Plateau Visitor Center, but two citizens expressed their opposition to the plan at the Dec. 11 meeting of the board of supervisors.

    A public hearing was held to give people the opportunity to make comments about the county tourism department’s application to sell beer and wine for the purpose of featuring regionally produced products.

  • Water rates rising to pay for project

    Galax residents might need to expect a slightly higher water rate rise than initially expected, according to information brought forth at the Dec. 11 city council meeting.

    A public hearing regarding this proposed rate change is set for Jan. 8.

  • Suspects charged in third B&E

    INDEPENDENCE — Two suspects recently charged with breaking and entering at different locations in Grayson County have been linked to another break-in reported in the Town of Independence.

    According to a report from the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, William David Loggins, 30, of Piney Creek, N.C., and Taylor Nathaniel Tower, 31, of Fries, will face additional charges in connection with another incident.

  • Man charged with indecent exposure in parking lot

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE — A Galax man has been charged with multiple sexual offenses, after allegedly exposing himself in front of four juveniles in the parking lot near Subway in Independence earlier this month.

    According to a report from the Independence Police Department and data obtained from New River Valley Regional Jail’s website, Justin Andrew Roten, 36, of Galax, has been charged with three counts of indecent exposure, and one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor.

  • Repass plea hearing postponed again

    HILLSVILLE — Eric Sean Repass might be in custody, but he’s still a wanted man.

    The Wytheville man’s presence is required in courtrooms throughout Southwest Virginia, which has made scheduling a plea hearing for his 25 Carroll County charges something of a challenge.

    The local crimes are related to a May police chase in Carroll. Among other things, Repass, 45, is charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, for allegedly shooting at a Carroll deputy.

  • Free clinic seeks support for expansion

    The Free Clinic of the Twin Counties is seeking donations for new supplies and equipment to expand its dental and lab services.

    “It is because of the generous support of the community that we have been able to provide care to over 500 patients this year,” said clinic director Melissa Deal, who pointed out that the clinic in Galax relies solely on donations and does not receive any state or federal funding.

    “Without the support of our community, we would have to shut our doors,” she added.