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Local News

  • Audit shows Hillsville financially fit

    HILLSVILLE — An audit report shows that Hillsville ended the 2017 fiscal year with a fund balance of $3 million, an increase of $544,000 from the previous year, putting the town at a healthy starting point for planning its 2018-19 budget.

    Juan Garcia, with the firm Hicok, Fern, Brown & Garcia, presented Hillsville Town Council with the audit report for the 2017 fiscal year, which included no negative notes.

    “Everything looked great this year,” Garcia said at council’s Jan. 22 meeting.

  • Grand jury indicts 24 in Grayson

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE – A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury met Jan. 26 and handed down indictments against 24 suspects on drug violations, burglary and other charges.

    The grand jury also indicted several suspects and sealed the indictments until arrest warrants can be served.

    Among those indicted were two men charged in December 2017 with breaking and entering at different locations in Grayson County and Independence.

  • Ruritans to host 20th annual bazaar

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    WOODLAWN — Planning is underway by the Woodlawn Ruritan Club for its 20th annual Spring Bazaar.

    The club met Jan. 16 at the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church for their regular meeting and to enjoy a supper of biscuits and gravy and all the trimmings prepared by Bill Lundy and his wife Mary. The Lundys have prepared many meals for the Ruritan Club and other groups over the past several years.

  • Galax makes changes to downtown parking rules

    City council has approved changes to parking in downtown Galax, including fines for those who don’t move their cars every four hours.

    Council recently approved the parking resolution as presented by City Manager Keith Barker, which had been discussed in previous meetings last year.

    The resolution included maintaining the four-hour parking limit along downtown streets — Main Street from Washington to Calhoun, Rex Lane, Grayson Street from Jefferson to Carroll streets; and East Oldtown Street to Carroll Street.

  • Va. Senate rejects Medicaid expansion

    Capital News Service and Landmark News Service

    RICHMOND — Republicans in the Virginia Senate on Jan. 25 tabled legislation that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of lower-income residents of Virginia.

    Voting along party lines, the Senate Education and Health Committee indefinitely postponed action on the proposal. The eight Republicans on the panel voted to kill the measure; the seven Democrats voted to keep it alive.

  • Police investigate GHS threat

    Rumors of a threat from a student on Thursday at Galax High School proved to be without merit, according to Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

    At 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 25, School Resource Officer Vickie Taylor became aware that a student, who was absent that day, had made threatening remarks. She immediately began an investigation.

    Because the information was received after school hours, said Clark, it “changed the way we reacted. If it had been during the school day, we would have handled it differently.”

  • Grayson SOL scores rising

    INDEPENDENCE ― Student test scores are climbing in across the board in Grayson County schools, when compared to the previous year’s first semester.

    During the school board’s Jan. 15 meeting, Grayson Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore began his monthly address by presenting board members with a list of state Standards of Learning (SOL) test scores for the first semester of 2017-18, in direct comparison with the first semester of 2016-17.

  • Carroll looks at budget challenges

    By ETHAN CAMPBELL, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – Solutions ranging from eliminating positions and requiring county stickers to billing county residents for fire and EMS services have been proposed by the Carroll County Board of Supervisors to pay for capitol improvement and balance the budget for the upcoming 2019 fiscal year.

    The board and county leaders met for a work session on Jan. 22, to begin developing plans of action to balance the county’s budget.

  • Bill would affect pay for deputies

    RICHMOND — Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) is petitioning for the creation of a salary fund for deputy sheriffs during this year’s session of the Virginia General Assembly.

    According to the state’s Legislative Information System, a bill (SB 495) for the creation of a Deputy Sheriff Supplemental Salary Fund was prefiled Jan. 9 and offered to the Virginia Senate on Jan. 10. It has since been referred to the Committee on Finance for further consideration.

  • Keepers' trial for teen's death set for September

    CHRISTIANSBURG — The trial of Natalie Keepers, tentatively scheduled to start in the Montgomery County Circuit Court on Feb. 5, has been moved to Sept. 17.

    Keepers is charged with being an accessory to murder before the fact and concealing a body in the 2016 death of Nicole Lovell, 13, of Blacksburg. Lovell’s body was found off Route 89 in Surry County, N.C., seven miles south of Galax and a little over a mile outside Grayson County.