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Local News

  • Carroll school budget totals $42.5 million

    HILLSVILLE – Carroll County Public Schools’ proposed budget for 2016-2017 totals $42.5 million, up around $1.9 million from the current year.

    The school board submitted its proposed budget to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors on March 29. The total includes $11.8 million in local money, an increase of $228,900 over the current year’s budget.

    The good news is that state funding will increase. Challenges include increasing special education needs, salary increases and larger class sizes.

  • Democrat ends campaign, backs Republican opponent

    Staff Report

    A candidate formerly seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 9th Congressional District race has dropped out and is endorsing Republican incumbent Morgan Griffith.

    D. Clay Pugh of Sugar Grove announced March 31 that he was suspending his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The 9th District includes the City of Galax and Carroll and Grayson counties. Griffith is running for a fourth term in the November election, and Democrats will choose a nominee in Wytheville on May 21.

  • Galax police make felony arrests

    Staff Report

    According to a report released by the Galax Police Department, felony arrests in Galax last week included:

    • Elizabeth Mae Brooks, 28, of Hillsville, was arrested by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office on March 27 at midnight for failure to return leased property valued at greater than $200.

    • James Lee Payne, 41, of Hiwassee, was arrested on March 30 at 2:59 p.m. by Officer Drew Burnett for possession of Schedule I/II drugs. He was released on bond pending his arraignment in Galax General District Court.

  • Students get extra math help in city schools

    Galax Elementary School students are getting plenty of hands-on math education, according to teacher Tina Hampton.

    The educator recently made a presentation to the Galax School Board, featuring video of the elementary students learning math.

  • Wind storm left 6,200 powerless

    Staff Reports

    At the height of a turbulent wind storm on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Appalachian Power reported a total of 6,200 customers without electricity in Galax, Fries, Hillsville, Independence, Pipers Gap and Cana.

    The winds, which gusted to around 60 mph, also caused tree damage, with limbs blocking roads and taking out power lines.

  • Attacks renew debate over pit bulls

    Landmark News Service and Staff Reports

    Recent pit bull attacks in the Twin Counties and elsewhere have sparked a fierce debate about whether the fault lies in the dogs’ owners or in a genetic predisposition to violence.

  • Harper trial set for five days in July

    INDEPENDENCE — The trial date for George Albert Harper III, who is charged in the 2002 first-degree murder of Brandon Billings, will be held the week of July 25 in Grayson County Circuit Court, according to a review of the case last week.

    The Grayson County Circuit Court scheduled a review for Harper’s case on March 31, which Harper’s attorney, Edgar DeHart, said was to confirm everything was in order before the trial and to confirm the date.

    The courtroom has been reserved for five days.

  • City to replace entrance signs

    The City of Galax will remove and replace its entrance signs, which have welcomed visitors for more than 20 years.

    The new signs will keep the same theme — a fiddler representing the city’s musical heritage — but will last much longer.

    At the March 14 Galax City Council meeting, Chris Pollins, chairwoman of the city’s Public Arts Committee, ask the city for approval of the project.

  • Radio station changes name, format

    If you tune in to 1360-AM on April 1 and hear “Stairway to Heaven” instead of “Amazing Grace,” it’s not an April Fool’s Day prank and you’re not having a flashback to the radio station’s format from the 1970s.

    At noon on April 1, the Galax station is changing its format from gospel to classic rock, and its call letters from WWWJ to WCGX, “The Cat.”

    The new station will launch by playing Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

  • Grayson school board passes $20M budget

    INDEPENDENCE — After weeks of tracking funds, restoring order and prioritizing the needs of the school system, the Grayson County School Board and school administration have agreed on a budget for the 2016-17 school year.

    The budget approved by the school board on March 21 totals approximately $19.9 million; and includes federal funds totaling $2.4 million, state funds totaling $11.1 million and local funding of $5.7 million.