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Local News

  • The Brandon Billings Case: Year by Year

    Few crimes have captivated the Twin County community more than the unsolved killing of Kyle Brandon Billings in 2002.
    The teen’s death sparked 11 years of rumors and conspiracy theories among those speculating about the case and more than a decade of false leads and dead ends as police strove to solve it.
    The case remains unsolved, but on Jan. 10, authorities in Grayson County announced they had the first solid, actionable evidence yet.

  • Electric bills could rise by $4 per month in May

    Appalachian Power Company is seeking a rate increase in connection with two requests to make improvements to transmission lines and infrastructure.
    One of the requests could mean a monthly increase of about $4 for an average residential customer’s bill, beginning in May.
    The other proposal would allow the power company to make improvements to 36 miles of transmission line between its Cloverdale substation in Botetourt County and a point in Rockbridge County where it connects with a line owned by Dominion Virginia Power.

  • How healthy is area's healthcare?

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

    The Community Advisory Groups of Carroll, Grayson and Galax held a joint meeting at Twin County Regional Hospital on Jan. 9 to discuss topics for a community health needs assessment.
    This assessment is Twin County Regional Healthcare’s newest project, which has been taken on in an effort to pinpoint health concerns in the community. Over the next three years, the hospital will partner with research group Stratasan to collect data and form a plan.

  • APCo customers set new all-time peak demand

    Appalachian Power customers set an unofficial all-time peak demand of electricity usage during last week’s Arctic blast.
    Cold weather across the company’s service area helped push electricity consumption to 8,410 megawatts at 8 a.m. last Tuesday. The previous record of 8,308 megawatts was set on Jan. 16, 2009.

  • Bill would require more testing for older drivers in Virginia

    RICHMOND — A Virginia state senator has filed a bill that would require older Virginia drivers to test more often to renew their licenses.
    The bill would lower the age to 75 from 80 for mandatory in-person license renewal with a vision test, and require anyone 75 or older to renew every five years rather than the current eight-year mandate.
    It would provide for a course in crash prevention for older drivers and make that course an option in levying sentences for driving offenses.

  • Bids received for Exit 1 water improvements

    HILLSVILLE – Bids have been received by the Carroll County Public Service Authority (PSA), which will allow future growth at the  Exit 1 interchange on Interstate 77.
    Eight companies submitted base and additive bids for the project, which were opened by the authority Dec. 17. The additive bid was for the addition of pump station/tank monitoring and control equipment.
    Eastern Tank & Utility Service Inc. of Princeton, W.Va., submitted the apparent low bid of $720,394 and additive bid of $47,000.

  • Sen. Carrico files school prayer bill

    RICHMOND — A state senator who has waded into religious freedom issues in past legislation wants to add language protecting students’ expressions of faith while in school, according to the text of Senate Bill No. 236.
    Sen. Bill Carrico, a former state trooper who serves District 40 in the Virginia Senate, previously sought to overturn a Virginia State Police administrative order telling its chaplains to deliver non-denominational prayers at official events while still in the House of Delegates.

  • Supervisors question late agenda items, nepotism

    INDEPENDENCE — After the last month’s rather divisive Grayson County Board of Supervisors meetings, this Monday’s organizational meeting was calm by comparison.
    However, some lingering tensions simmered beneath the surface.
    For example,  Oldtown District Supervisor and former chairman Kenneth Belton inquired about establishing an anti-nepotism policy, while Wilson District Supervisor Glen Rosenbaum questioned whether the board could amend its rules of procedure to allow items to be added to the board’s agenda at a meeting.

  • Carroll PSA names new chairman

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll Public Service Authority welcomed a new chairman for the new year Monday, while the board of supervisors chose to continue with the same chairman as in 2013.
    In two short organizational meetings, the supervisors went first and expressed their satisfaction with Chairman David Hutchins.
    Supervisor Phil McCraw quickly nominated Hutchins to return to the chair.

  • Watch the road, while your car watches you

    A vast majority of motorists wants tougher laws to prevent sharing of vehicle data that is being sent out by the new generation of “connected cars.”
    A new poll by the American Automobile Association shows Virginia motorists are expressing strong concerns over the ownership and privacy of the data.