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Local News

  • Renovations continue at Fries Theater

    FRIES — A year after renovations to the Fries Theater began, visitors are already enjoying the extensive improvements that have been made to the inside of the building.

  • Grayson's development plans move forward

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County is nearing the halfway point of its five-year comprehensive plan that guides development, and county supervisors recently got an update on the previous year’s progress.

    Elaine Holeton, director of planning and community development, presented the update, highlighting the major points of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.

  • Andrews Farming bankruptcy raises questions

    Staff Reports

    ROANOKE — Court documents show that Andrews Farming of Hillsville has filed for bankruptcy, with a list of creditors that includes Carroll County, the Virginia Tobacco Commission and other state agencies and numerous produce vendors.

    The produce company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 5 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Roanoke. Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code provides for liquidation of a company — the sale of a debtor’s property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.

  • Fries family charged for drugs, child endangerment

    Staff Reports

    FRIES — Following a complaint by a child protective services worker from the Grayson County Department of Social Services, investigators discovered alleged evidence of drug activity and child neglect at a home in Fries.

    Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said that, prior to the complaint, officers knew that one of the residents at 165 West Main Street had pending charges for illegal possession of methamphetamine, which is a Schedule II controlled substance.

  • Bryson shares advice, encouragement for GHS grads

    This year’s graduation speaker at the Galax High School commencement ceremonies is Col. Eric Bryson, veteran, active officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, father and GHS graduate.

    Bryson, who grew up in Galax’s Oldtown community, will speak at the ceremony to be held Saturday morning.

    Bryson took a few minutes to answer questions and discuss the things that matter most to him with The Gazette. In true military style, Bryson’s words were clipped, factual and to the point.

  • One driver injured, another charged, in U.S. 58 crash

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE ― A Fries woman was charged with failure to yield the right of way, following a wreck on U.S. 58 at the intersection of Route 274, just across from Grayson Express on June 1.

    According to a police report from Virginia State Police Trooper J.A. Vaughan, Melinda L. Moore, 41, operating a 2012 Nissan, pulled into traffic from Grayson Express and struck a 2006 Mercury operated by Julia Phipps Bonham, 63, of Mouth of Wilson. The accident occurred at approximately 2:05 p.m.

  • Court ruling could affect restroom policy

    Staff Reports

    RICHMOND – The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of Virginia will not rehear the case of a Gloucester County transgender high school student suing his school board over discriminatory restroom policies.

    This action could affect a policy adopted in May by the Grayson County School Board, which says all students must use the restroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate.

  • Tree removal part of U.S. 58 project

    Drivers have seen, and Gazette Hotline callers have noted, the removal of pine trees along the Reserve Boulevard section of U.S. 58 in Galax, and many are asking what’s going on.

    As it happens, the question was answered at a Galax City Council meeting story way back in June of last year: the tree removal is part of the overall U.S. 58/Reserve Boulevard safety improvement project that the city is working to complete with assistance from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

  • Ordinance will allow patrons to pig out

    Barbecue lovers will still be able to get a free taste at the annual state championship in Galax, after city council passed an ordinance exempting the locality and non-profits from a state code that could have prohibited giving away food.

    Ron Passmore — co-owner of The Galax Smokehouse and one of the coordinators of Smoke on the Mountain, the Virginia State BBQ Championship held every year in mid-July — presented the food service ordinance to Galax City Council at the May 23 meeting.

  • Independence laundromat damaged in fire

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE — Kirk’s Laundromat in Independence recently sustained heavy damage as the result of a structure fire, according to the Independence Volunteer Fire Department.

    According to a report, the department was dispatched to the laundromat at 5:11 p.m. on May 30. When Engine 82 arrived on scene, firefighters saw heavy smoke billowing from the structure.

    Firefighter Kevin Newman, Second Lt. Brandon Thompson and the team set to work dousing the flames.