Local News

  • Murder suspect's record includes violence

    Staff Reports

    WYTHEVILLE — John R. Lewis is expected to appear in Wythe County General District Court on Thursday to be arraigned on charges including first-degree murder in the death of a local woman.

    No hearing date has been set, according to court records.

    Court records also reveal Lewis, 34, of Wytheville, has a criminal history that includes violent offences.

  • Boy hit by car in coma, recovering

    An 11-year-old child is still in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while riding his bicycle last week.

    State police and other responders were called to the scene of an accident on Meadow Creek Road in the Grayson County community on Aug. 23. Joseph Randolph Poole, 11, had been hit by a car after riding his bike out of his driveway in front of the vehicle. The driveway was positioned in a blind curve, and police did not charge the driver in the accident.

  • Police chase ends in crash, assault

    Staff Report

    A police pursuit ended with a motorcycle crashing into a Grayson County deputy's car and a fight between the suspect and an officer.

    Around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Grayson County Sheriff's Office deputies were involved in a chase with a subject on a motorcycle that began on Delhart Road. The pursuit ended on Justice Road in the Oldtown community near Galax.

    The suspect reportedly crashed his motorcycle in front of a Grayson patrol car, which then struck it. The suspect then fought with an officer.

  • Hillsville prepares for flea market crowds

    Staff Report

    HILLSVILLE — Hillsville expects to draw more than 500,000 visitors this holiday weekend for the annual Labor Day Gun Show & Flea Market, and the town is offering some tips and information to help both locals and those attending.

    The market “consumes the entire town,” cautions the website hillsville.com. “Antique dealers, gun dealers and traders of all kinds make this one of the largest shows in the southeast.”

  • Sheetz opening Wednesday in Galax

    After three years and lots of anticipation, the Twin County area is getting its first Sheetz today, Wednesday, at 11 a.m., with a grand opening ceremony at 10:45 a.m.

    The company sent out a news release saying, “The shelves are stocked, beverages are on ice and our top-notch team of employees is ready and waiting to give you the best customer service in convenience dining.”

    Food services in the store will include a coffee bar serving various hot, iced and frozen non-alcoholic drinks, a made-to-order kitchen and a drive-thru.

  • Nofsinger pleads guilty to child porn charges

    ABINGDON — Richard Denny Nofsinger Jr. of Galax has pleaded guilty to three of the eight federal counts of producing child pornography leveled against him by federal prosecutors, according to a plea agreement logged in the federal court system.

    According to the plea agreement, which was signed by Nofsinger on Aug. 23, the suspect agreed to plead guilty on the three counts in exchange for dismissal of the other five, and for the United States to grant him a two-level reduction in his offense level.

  • Carroll teacher charged with sex offense

    Staff Report

    HILLSVILLE – A Carroll County teacher has been arrested and charged with a felony regarding indecent liberties with a child under 18 years of age.

    According to a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Jeff. D. Sexton, 51, was arrested on a Class 6 felony based on substantiated evidence received from an anonymous report.

    The Carroll County High School website currently lists Sexton as a World History teacher.

  • Dog mauling case sent to grand jury

    INDEPENDENCE — The felony cases against John Terry Underwood and Terra Lynn Connell, both charged in the Jan. 6 dog attack death of 15-month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers, will move on to consideration by the grand jury, following a preliminary hearing Tuesday at the Grayson County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

  • Governor names Galax fire chief to state board

    David Hankley, Galax Volunteer Fire Department chief and the city’s commissioner of the revenue, has been appointed to the Virginia Fire Services Board by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

    The board is a policy-making group within the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and consists of 15 appointed positions to represent the fire service organizations throughout the commonwealth, as well as the general public. Hankley was chosen to represent the Virginia Municipal League.

  • Fries woman dies after being run over by truck

    Staff Reports

    A Fries woman died Aug. 24 after being run over by a truck, and the driver — who left the scene — is charged with first-degree murder.

    Virginia State Police Trooper W.B. Deskins responded to a fatal crash in Smyth County at 8:50 a.m. last Wednesday.