Local News

  • 'Zombie outbreak' teaches crisis skills

    HILLSVILLE – A mutated strain of the Zika virus is causing the infected to exhibit zombie-like behavior, and it’s up to a team of middle school students to handle the outbreak.

    It’s not the plot of a movie; it’s the scenario presented to students at Carroll County Middle School, as they participated in a project that demonstrated all the effort and hard work that it takes to deal with public safety and combat severe or dangerous situations.

  • Three more sentenced for drug conspiracy

    ABINGDON ― Three more locals were sentenced to federal prison last week, resulting from Operation Rolling Thunder, a joint investigation into a local methamphetamine distribution network.

    The defendants were sentenced March 6 in the Western District of Virginia Federal Court in Abingdon, in proceedings held before Judge James P. Jones. All pleaded guilty last year to charges conspiracy to distribute meth.

    They include:

  • Land bought for new school could still benefit students

    As the city moves forward with plans to renovate and expand Galax Elementary, what will become of the property the school system initially bought to build a new school?

    The school system bought 62 acres of land near Fries Road that was originally going to be the site of a new GES, before cost estimates made it clear that renovating and upgrading the existing building would be much more feasible.

    At a recent school board meeting, Superintendent Bill Sturgill said he still felt good about the land purchase, and talked about alternative plans for its use.

  • A year after death, deputy still inspires

    A year ago, on March 9, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Bartlett died in the line of duty when his cruiser hit a tractor-trailer while responding to a call for help from his fellow officers, who were engaged in a pursuit.

    Curtis, a veteran, law enforcement and school resource officer, personal trainer and internet fitness celebrity, was beloved by the community. His funeral at Galax First Baptist Church — where his father, Sam Bartlett, is pastor — drew expressions of grief, sympathy and support for his family, friends and coworkers.

  • 2017 a dangerous year for local police

    The March 2017 crash that killed Carroll County Deputy Curtis Bartlett was part of a dangerous trend for Twin County law enforcement in 2017.

    In case after case, suspects would flee the scene or refuse to stop, causing officers to chase them down at high speeds. In some cases, the suspects rammed police vehicles, shot at officers or got into physical altercations.

    “Sadly, it just keeps getting more dangerous every year,” said Carroll Sheriff J.B. Gardner. “It would be a tremendous blessing if we never had to chase anyone ever again.”

  • Ballots set for May elections

    Staff Reports

    The deadline for candidates to file for this year’s town council races has passed, and the ballots are set for the May election.

    March 6 was the deadline for candidates to turn in their paperwork to local voter registrars, and each locality has at least one challenger going up against incumbents seeking re-election.

    Incumbents C.M. Mitchell (who serves as mayor), Willie Greene (who serves as vice mayor) and John Garner are seeking re-election in Galax, joined on the ballot by newcomers Travis Haynes and Sharon Ritchie.

  • What are the 5 germiest places during flu season?

    Flu season is in full swing, and health officials say the best way to fight it is to get vaccinated.

    It takes two weeks for the shot to become effective, so in the meantime, the best protection is good hygiene.

    Frequently touched surfaces at work or school should be cleaned and disinfected especially if someone is ill. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. They can infect you from six feet away.

  • Bill could lower some prescription drug costs

    Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – A bill aimed at helping customers pay the lowest price possible on prescription drugs is headed to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.

    Identical bills have been passed by the House and Senate.

  • Rally honors victims, calls for gun law reform

    HILLSVILLE – A group of concerned citizens gathered together Sunday to let their freedom of speech ring across Hillsville, while they marched along Main Street and U.S. 58 advocating for the reform of current firearm laws.

    The Rev. Kevin Campbell of Hillsville Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Amanda Moore of Hillsville Christian Church led the gathering.

  • Grayson to connect falls with rec park

    INDEPENDENCE ― Land recently purchased by Grayson County will connect the waterfall property on Powerhouse Road, a popular stop for tourists and locals in Independence, to the Grayson County Recreational Park.

    According to a recent announcement, the county bought around 11 acres of land in Independence, which previously separated the falls from the recreational park, from a private landowner for $160,000.