Local News

  • Study recommends paid help for volunteer firefighters

    Radford University students who conducted a study about firefighting came to the Galax firehouse, slept in it overnight, went on a call in gear with firefighters, and generally made it their business to understand their research topic.

    The result is a report on the future of volunteer firefighting and the cost to localities for operating paid fire departments.

    At the March 14 Galax City Council meeting, the students presented their findings.

  • Town budget includes utility rate increase

    HILLSVILLE – Water and wastewater funding will continue to be a strain for the Town of Hillsville’s upcoming budget, as well as declining revenue from meals and transient taxes.

    Town Manager Retta Jackson and Town Treasurer LeAnna Surratt presented the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget draft to town council in a budget workshop on March 31.

  • Grayson considers school calendar changes

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County schools could switch from a six-week to a nine-week grading period to better align with the system’s pacing guide and give a more accurate picture of student performance.

    If approved, it would also mean a later start for the school year and less work for teachers.

    Susan Funk, supervisor of education and state/federal programs, presented the first reading of the proposed 2016-17 school calendar at the Grayson County School Board meeting on March 14.

  • Fries tourism plans include farmers' market

    FRIES — It is a busy year in Fries for tourism, as Tourism Director Marie Isom detailed in a recent report in March.

    Website updates, festival schedules and business growth in the town are just a few of the items Isom highlighted.

    The town is in the process of updating and changing its websites. “Our www.friesfestivals.com will be phased out and all information on that site will be incorporated into www.friesva.com,” Isom said. A redirect will be implemented for those who visit the older link once the phasing is complete.

  • Apartment fire leaves families homeless

    An apartment fire gutted the interior of a Galax building and left four families homeless at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

    The apartment was unoccupied when John Ayers, owner of Creek Bottom Brews on Meadow Street, located in front of the small brick apartment building off Givens Street, noticed smoke.

    “I came around the corner and thought somebody had started a [yard] fire and found out it wasn’t,” said Ayers.

  • Budget will allow Galax schools to grow

    Galax City Schools will be able to both offer raises and hire more positions, thanks to a dramatic increase in funding from the state, Superintendent Bill Sturgill told school board members in a brief budget meeting on March 22.

    The budget as presented at the meeting was preliminary. The final proposed budget will be voted on at the next board meeting and presented to Galax City Council for official approval at the April 25 meeting.

  • Carroll IDA fills vacancy

    HILLSVILLE – The Carroll County Industrial Development Authority met on April 5 with a full board for this first time since a state code oversight resulted in the loss of two members in January.

    The oversight nullified the positions of Larry Chambers and Barry Hicks, the chairman at the time. Chambers and Hicks were both employed by Carroll County, which made them ineligible to serve on the authority.

    Hicks resigned from his position on the board to retain his employment, while Chambers resigned from his employment to remain on the board.

  • Police: driver wrecked after blacking out

    Staff Report

    A single-vehicle accident on Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. on Pridemore Road left one person injured and charged with reckless driving, according to Virginia State Trooper S.M. Cochran.

    Allison Renae Rutherford, 21, of Galax, was traveling on Pridemore towards Hebron Road when, according to Cochran, Rutherford said she blacked out.

    “She ran off the road, hit a mailbox, struck the embankment and ended up where she was at,” said Cochran.

  • Preliminary county budget has $3.5 million deficit

    HILLSVILLE – Officials in Carroll County will need to work diligently to make up a $3.5 million deficit in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2017. The budget committee met April 1 and learned that the proposed budget is sitting around $42.2 million with total revenue around $38.7 million.

  • Carroll school budget totals $42.5 million

    HILLSVILLE – Carroll County Public Schools’ proposed budget for 2016-2017 totals $42.5 million, up around $1.9 million from the current year.

    The school board submitted its proposed budget to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors on March 29. The total includes $11.8 million in local money, an increase of $228,900 over the current year’s budget.

    The good news is that state funding will increase. Challenges include increasing special education needs, salary increases and larger class sizes.