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Local News

  • Church gets to root of mystery

    Within a week, what could be dubbed “The Mystery of the Copper Beech” has been solved – though only part of the answer is public knowledge.

    A few weeks ago, Galax Presbyterian Church discovered that its copper beech tree, planted in the site’s front yard for its centennial in 2005, was missing. It had been cut off cleanly, almost level with the ground, and taken away.

    There was concern among some church members, and puzzlement among all; who would do this, and why?

  • Cars overturn in two recent crashes

    Two single-vehicle accidents left their drivers, both of whom were alone, with minor injuries and totaled cars, according to Virginia State Trooper C.H. Campbell.

    The first, on May 5 at 9:50 p.m., took place on Pipers Gap Road, when a 1996 Toyota Forerunner, driven by Ashley Lanier, 27, of Galax, ran off the right side of the road. Lanier overcorrected, crossed over the road and struck an embankment. The Toyota ended up on its side at the top of the embankment.

  • Council hears safety concerns at Life Center

    A resident of Galax who spoke to city council at its April 24 meeting declared that he and his wife did not feel safe after Life Center residents had shown up on their property.

    David Stone addressed Galax City Council about what he considered an invasion of his home’s safety. He informed council that twice within the past two months, residents of the Life Center of Galax, a drug and alcohol rehab center, had knocked on his family’s door.

  • Grayson gets rid of vehicle decals

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors has approved a motion to discontinue the county’s vehicle decals, following a public hearing in April.

    Though no one signed up to speak during the hearing, Treasurer Kelly Haga shared that he’d heard many positive reports from citizens who have visited his office.

    “As we’ve gone through this year’s decal season, [citizens] seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of doing away with it,” Haga told the board.

  • Three spring scams to avoid

    As bright springtime flowers bloom, so do new dark, weed-like scams, warns the Better Business Bureau. Scammers will be going door-to-door with plans to rip off local residents for services from discounted food deliveries to repairing weather damaged shingles. The BBB advises consumers that now is the time to be on your guard.

    Door-to-Door Meat Selling Scams

  • Storm brings down trees, causes property damage

    Caitlin Jennings said the May 9 storm caused damage to fences and trees at her home on Pine Knoll Drive in Galax, as shown in the photo she submitted.

    The high winds also destroyed a swing set and blew a trampoline from the front yard to the back, dropping it in the top of a pine tree.

    Trees were down all over the Twin Counties and the storm left thousands without power in the region.

  • Galax church stumped by missing tree mystery

    Dr. Tom Whartenby’s wife, Mary Elizabeth, was at Galax Presbyterian Church, where her husband is pastor, about three weeks ago, when she made an alarming discovery: the tree the planted 12 years ago in the churchyard was gone.

    A small copper beech purchased from Monticello, it was cut down and removed by someone with professional skill, as the trunk was cut smoothly across, almost level with the ground.

  • Underwood to serve 7 years in dog attack case

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – The Grayson County Courthouse was filled with tears last Thursday during the sentencing of John Terry Underwood II, 52, of Independence, who was charged in connection with the dog mauling death of a 15-month-old girl on the night of Jan. 6, 2016.

  • Carroll holds hearing on 2018 budget

    HILLSVILLE – Delinquent personal property taxes, trash pickup and a recreational facility were topics of discussion during the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on the proposed county budget.

    The board held a public hearing on the budget at its regular May monthly meeting on Monday night. One citizen spoke during the hearing and another spoke about the budget during citizens’ time.

    The hearing brought Carroll citizen Jimmy Alderman to the floor. He had prepared a handout of his proposals to provide the board.

  • Hillsville police bust illegal gambling operation

    HILLSVILLE – Two North Carolina women face multiple charges in Carroll County after an investigation by the Hillsville Police Department led to the discovery of an illegal gambling operation.

    According to Hillsville Police Chief Wesley Yonce, his department discovered an illegal gambling site at the strip mall next to the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market at Interstate 77’s Exit 14 in Hillsville. The site was being operated inside a vape shop called Taste The Vape at 231 Farmers Market Road, Suite 6.