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Local News

  • Volunteers will help with insurance enrollment

    HILLSVILLE — Volunteers with Commonwealth Covered, a project sponsored through Enroll Virginia, will visit Carroll County this week to discuss enrollment options through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Feb. 15 is the deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan for 2015, and families who wait too long to sign up or choose to opt out of coverage will receive a tax penalty for the year.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway visitation increases

    By SHAINA STOCKTON and SHANNON WATKINS, Staff

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is showing the first increase in visitation since 2011, and some local venues and parkway-adjacent merchants are seeing an uptick in businesses.

    The national park reported that it attracted more than 13.9 million visitors in 2014, an increase of about 1 million from 2013.

  • Bill advances to keep training center open

    RICHMOND — A bill seeking to keep two of Virginia’s training centers for the mentally handicapped open was referred to the House of Delegates’ Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday, following a hearing in Richmond where the bill was received by the Health Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee.

  • City to go after late utility bills

    Galax City Council is looking at new measures to collect overdue utility bills.

    At Monday’s council meeting, Director of Finance Judy Taylor-Gallimore requested that council approve measures to collect or dismiss overdue utility bills. Gallimore-Taylor recommended bills more than three years old be written off.

    Currently, the city has about $67,000 in arrears from what she estimated to be about 500 customers.

  • Poll: citizens question leaders' honesty

    Many registered voters in Virginia question the honesty of their elected leaders and want stricter controls on gifts to them, according to a poll this week.

    In the January survey conducted by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy, voters also favored term limits for state legislators and an independent panel to draw lines for legislative districts.

  • Fuel spill contained at Hess station

    A mechanical failure in an automobile was responsible for a hazardous material spill at a Galax gas station on Wednesday morning, according to Galax Fire Department Capt. Mike Ayers.

  • BB&T: account errors will be fixed

    UPDATED 1/28/15:

    Some BB&T customers had alarming experiences with their bank accounts on Tuesday, such as discovering their accounts held less funds than they should have, sometimes to the point of being overdrafted with fees.

    The problem was caused by what BB&T Corporate Communication Strategist Brian Davis referred to as “a processing issue.”

  • Johnson named Hillsville's citizen of the month

    HILLSVILLE — Hillsville Interim Police Chief Wesley Yonce selected Jeff Johnson as the town’s Citizen of the Month for January.

    Yonce made his presentation at town council’s Jan. 12 meeting.

    After 22 years of conducting his business in the area, Johnson has become “a pillar of the Twin County business community,” said Yonce.

  • Va. Senate kills gun control legislation

    RICHMOND — The Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee spent several hours Monday killing Democratic gun control bills and advancing a measure that would allow concealed weapon permit holders to obtain a lifetime permit.

    “It was an awesome day,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League.

  • KKK recruitment fliers causing concern locally

    The dispersal of literature from the Ku Klux Klan in the Twin Counties caused concern and resurrected unpleasant memories in several members of the community last week.

    The KKK, a classified hate group, is associated with white supremacy, violence and various forms of prejudice.

    Galax resident Dolores Vass found a pamphlet from the KKK in her mailbox, criticizing the late Martin Luther King Jr., and she says it sparked several painful memories from her past, involving acts of racism from the community towards herself and her family.