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Local News

  • Regional tourism project gets $34K marketing grant

    A regional partnership has received $34,000 from the state to aid in tourism marketing.
    Gov. Bob McDonnell recently announced that “Niche Markets & Networking- Blue Ridge Plateau” has received a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC).
    The governor this year increased funding for the program aimed at increasing economic development through tourism.

  • Absentee voting begins for Nov. 5 election

    Absentee voting has started for the Nov. 5 general election in all of Virginia’s 133 localities.
    In order to vote absentee, voters must be registered to vote in Virginia and meet one of the eligibility requirements listed on the Virginia absentee ballot application.
    The application and additional information about absentee voting are available at www.sbe.virginia.gov.
    Eligible voters may cast their absentee ballot by mail or in person at their local registrar’s office. Applicants must list a qualifying reason for voting absentee.

  • New prison officially opens

    WITH VIDEO

    River North Correctional Center opened on Wednesday as Virginia’s first new prison since 2007, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Grayson County area.
    River North, lead by Warden Ben Wright, opened as a Security Level IV facility and will house around 1,000 offenders.

  • Virginia Produce to expand in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday announced that Virginia Produce Company, a family-owned agricultural produce wholesaler located in Hillsville, will more than quadruple the size of its operating facility and create 75 new full-time positions.
    During the three-year project, Virginia Produce will invest more than $2.54 million in capital improvements and buy an additional $12 million of produce from Virginia farms.

  • PSA chairman responds to utility project allegations

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

    HILLSVILLE — The chairman of the Carroll County Public Service Authority is standing up for a county sewer utility project that was recently criticized by a Fancy Gap resident.
    Stephen Gregson has asked for an investigation of the approval process for a sewer project in the Fancy Gap area, which he claims was not properly bid or publicized. He also claims an extension of the utility project personally benefitted a Carroll official. He has sought opinions from state and federal authorities.

  • Fancy Gap utility project questioned

    A Fancy Gap resident has made a complaint to state agencies that the Carroll Public Service Authority did not follow proper procedures in extending a county sewer utility project to Joy Ranch Road.
    Stephen Gregson shared a letter with The Gazette that he sent to Rural Development representative Robert Hilt on Aug. 22 and with Jeffrey Gargiulo of the Virginia State Inspector General’s office on Sept. 18. The investigation is now in the hands of the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, because the matter involves federal funding.

  • Carroll to make economic development announcement

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County officials are planning an economic development announcement for next week, according to invitations issued on Wednesday.
    The invitation sent out to community leaders and local media says that the Carroll Board of Supervisors, the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority and “special guests” will be on hand for the event on Sept. 25 at 11:30 a.m.
    The announcement will be made at the Carroll County Industrial Park.

  • Carroll deputies bust pot operation

    HILLSVILLE — A tip about a marijuana growing operation in Laurel Fork led to a Sept. 11 arrest, according to Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
    Information about a potential pot growing effort led to deputies getting a search warrant for 573 Shady Lane in Laurel Fork, according to information from the sheriff’s office and court records.
    Deputies found about 20 plants.
    As a result of the investigation, deputies charged Tommy Joe Strother with felony manufacture of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

  • Prison to hold ribbon cutting, open house

    INDEPENDENCE — Gov. Bob McDonnell will participate in ribbon cutting ceremonies slated for Sept. 25 at the River North Correctional Facility in Independence at 3 p.m.
    Officers from the Virginia Department of Corrections and other elected state and local officials are expected to participate.
    Prison Warden Ben Wright said participation in the ribbon cutting is by invitation only, but an open house for the public will be held Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
    Tours of the $100 million-plus prison facility will be conducted during the open house.

  • Drug investigation ongoing after Monday raid

    By SHAINA STOCKTON and BRIAN FUNK, Staff

    Police tactical teams wearing body armor and brandishing automatic rifles were on the scene as investigators searched a business, vehicles and at least one residence in Galax.
    The tactical units from Galax and Carroll County were serving drug-related warrants on behalf of the Twin County Drug Taskforce as part of an ongoing investigation, police on the scene reported.