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Local News

  • Nine seeking seats on Fries Town Council

    FRIES — Nine candidates are vying for seven seats on Fries Town Council this year, with many shared objectives in seeing the town grow through recreational and business development through several ongoing projects.

    Fries has made headlines many times over the past year with the sale of the old mill property and other downtown properties; the implementation of a “LOVEWorks” sign; a new information center; and most recently, the announcement of the long-awaited Fries Depot project being put up for bids.

  • Arrests include drugs, ‘bizarre’ behavior, sleeping in church

    Staff Reports

    According to a report issued by the Galax Police Department, arrests last week included drug charges, a man who was found sleeping in a church and an individual “acting in a bizarre manner.”

    Ernest Joseph Harber, 26, of Galax, was arrested by officers Tyler Houk and John Reavis for misdemeanor trespassing on April 8 at 1:25 a.m.

  • Galax budget balances

    Galax City Council decided that the first budget meeting of the year on April 4 need be its only budget meeting of the year.

    Most years, council members meets at least twice to go over its spending plan, but this year’s document didn’t require as much discussion. Council voted Monday night to cancel a second budget workshop, but did not approve the budget.

    In presenting the balanced budget to council last week, City Manager Keith Barker laid out information in a concise fashion, with each section explained.

  • Driver rams police car in chase

    HILLSVILLE – A Michigan man faces multiple charges after a chase in Hillsville on Sunday that resulted in the total loss on a Hillsville police vehicle.

    According to a release from Capt. James Alderman with the Hillsville Police Department, officers received a call at 8 a.m. on April 10 from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office dispatch regarding a reckless driver. The vehicle was reported to be on the U.S. 58 bypass near the U.S. 52 exit and driving aggressively.

  • 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.