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Local News

  • School prayer bill passes in Senate

    RICHMOND — A divided Virginia Senate’s approval of a bill to vouchsafe student prayer in schools and give forums for faith speech at school events signified the first cultural battle of the year in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.
    Sen. Bill Carrico’s SB 236 moves to the House of Delegates after it passed on a 20-18 vote after roughly 30 minutes of debate Tuesday when supporters lauded it as a religious freedom measure and foes called it an unnecessary endorsement of one faith tradition.

  • Petitions push to save Kroger

    Frustrated with the news that the Kroger in Galax will close in late March, locals took to social media websites to voice their concerns, and are attempting to cause enough of a stir to convince executives to think twice about their decision.
    Representatives from Kroger made the announcement on Jan. 17, after several attempts to gain more profits from the store failed.

  • Save the History project reaches goal of $16,000

    A local campaign has raised all of the required funding to convert thousands of old local newspapers into a digital archive.
    John Nunn, head of the project “Save the History,” recently announced that, thanks to the donations of many local businesses and individuals, a total of $16,000 has been raised to convert 44 rolls of microfilm containing 3,500 old issues of The Gazette into digital format. When the digital archiving is complete, the issues, which date back to the 1930s, will be available to view and search online.

  • Flooding fix underway in Galax

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    As another harsh winter threatens with unpredictable snow and rain in the Twin Counties, city crews are working hard to fix and restore the roads and stormwater system to benefit residents and business owners in the low-lying “Bottom” area of Galax.
    At the Jan. 13 city council meeting, City Manager Keith Barker gave an update on the ongoing Bottom Neighborhood Revitalization Project.
    “We are happy that we are moving through the project and getting close [to completion],” Barker told council.

  • Police flush out drugs at Independence motel

    Five suspects have been arrested on drug charges at a Grayson County motel.
    Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said in a news release that county deputies recently observed suspicious activity during the early morning hours at Grayson Inn & Suites on Rainbow Circle in Independence.
    Cpl. Alan Graham, along with deputies Jordan Johnson and Eric Testerman and drug-sniffing dog Gauge, investigated the case further.

  • Thousands join 'Save Kroger' effort

    Galax citizens have taken their comments and concerns to social media this week, following the news that the Kroger grocery store on East Stuart Drive will be closing in late March, due to decreased profitability.

    The announcement last week has sparked pleas from the store's loyal shoppers, and other members of the community who are concerned about what effect the store's closure could have on other nearby businesses.

  • PSA finds use for leftover Fancy Gap funds

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll Public Service Authority members decided to extend Fancy Gap water to three extra roads and buy a portable generator, pending Rural Development approval.
    Armed with information about what the leftover funding from the water project could be spent on, the authority members considered the possibilities at the Jan. 13 meeting, after stating a preference at the December meeting to extend water lines to more customers, if possible.
    County Administrator Gary Larrowe referred to a list of roads left off the original scope of the project.

  • House panel disarms bevy of anti-gun bills

    RICHMOND — The House of Delegates panel widely known as the graveyard of gun-control bills consigned a slew of them to oblivion on Jan. 16.
    The Republican-controlled subcommittee of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee tabled a series of gun-control measures, meaning they are unlikely to be revived.
    The hours-long session delighted pro-gun forces, arrayed on one side of the room wearing “Guns Save Lives” stickers, and infuriated gun-control advocates on the opposite side wearing “Background Checks Save Lives” stickers.

  • Historical Society could preserve Allen House

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County Historical Society and an heir to the Sidna Allen home report progress in talks to preserve the historic Queen Anne-style home in Fancy Gap.
    While still negotiating on the exact language, the parties hope to have good news to share soon, according to Bill Webb, a board member with the historical society.
    Bonnie Wood, one of two heirs of Bert and Marlene Widener, said that the legal work continues, but did not want to comment further until after an agreement is sealed.

  • 'Beerfest' OK, but name hard to swallow

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    The name of a proposed festival in Galax left a bad taste in a Galax City Council member’s mouth, who worried that “Beerfest” would invite the wrong sort of crowd.
    A discussion about the city’s 2014 festival and street closure calendar led to a debate during council’s Jan 13 meeting, when members received a request from the Galax Downtown Association (GDA) for a craft beer festival.