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Local News

  • Fire destroys home

    Firefighters have not officially determined the origin, but they believe a wood stove could have caused a fire that destroyed a Carroll County family's home last Thursday.

    Carroll Emergency Services Director Joe Roma said the call came in at 10:39 a.m. at a home owned by Phil Reece.

    Fire was showing when firefighters arrived, Roma said.

    Hillsville Fire Department responded, with assistance from Carroll County EMS, Laurel Fork Fire Department and Laurel Fork Rescue. The Galax Fire Department was on standby at Hillsville's station.

  • Grayson considers IVFD sub-station

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors will likely decide at its regular meeting in January whether to turn Bridle Creek Elementary School over to the Independence Volunteer Fire Department when the school closes next month.

    Kevin Spurlin, chair of the school facilities committee — a committee formed to recommend what to do with old school buildings once they close — brought a proposal to the supervisors earlier this month to turn the school over to IVFD for a sub-station.

  • Combs charged with murder in overdose

    HILLSVILLE — A 59-year-old Woodlawn man, who just pleaded guilty to drug-related offenses in Carroll court, now faces a second-degree murder charge after the grand jury met Dec. 14.

    Gregory Harris Combs, also known as Radar, faces two new felony indictments — charges that were sealed until they could be served by authorities.

    The indictment states that Combs, while engaged in another felony, accidentally killed Warren Travis Anders, 23, in a September 2003 incident.

  • Galax man found dead, sister arrested

    A 21-year-old Galax woman has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of her brother.

    According to the Galax Police Department, Danielle Nicole Ilene Jones, of Neptune Drive in Galax, was arrested after authorities found the body of her brother, Mathew Jackson Jones, 18, of Center Street in Galax, early Monday morning.

    A press release issued by the department states that officers responded to a home at 202 Kenbrook Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Monday. Responding officers found the body of Mathew Jones, who appeared to have been shot.

  • Wreck reveals alleged drug trafficking

    FANCY GAP — A wreck in Carroll County resulted in Virginia State Police troopers discovering the transportation of illegal drugs.

    Troopers charged Earnest Rahsaan-Jamal Little IV of Ararat with two counts of possession of a schedule II drug and possession with the intent to distribute a schedule II drug, according to First Sgt. Mike Musser.

  • 'Miss G' named Carroll teacher of the year

    FANCY GAP — The Fancy Gap Elementary School librarian leads anything but a quiet life — and now she's in the spotlight as Carroll County Public Schools' 2009 teacher of the year.

    Kathy Giambattista of Hillsville — also known as Miss G — heard the cheers of the students as administrators surprised her with news of the award Dec. 8.

  • Nautilus plant to stay open until Jan.

    INDEPENDENCE — Fitness company Nautilus Inc. will continue manufacturing cardio equipment in Independence beyond a previously set potential closing date of Friday.

    In October, the company issued the federally mandated 60-day notice to its employees that the plant may not operate past Dec. 18.

    Wayne Bolio, senior vice president of the Vancouver, Wash.-based company, told The Gazette in October that the company was "actively marketing" its commercial business and that, if a purchaser was not found, the plant could potentially be shut down.

  • Fatal crash blamed on ice

    HILLSVILLE — Black ice on U.S 58 claimed a long-time dairy delivery driver while on his rounds early Monday, Virginia State Police troopers say.

    Guy Horton, 70, of Woodlawn, driving a delivery truck owned by H&S Dairy Distributors of Mount Airy, N.C., lost control of the vehicle on a glaze of black ice in a curve near Princess Drive at about 6:15 a.m., according to First Sgt. Mike Musser.

    Police believe that Horton was heading to businesses in Vesta to drop off supplies.

    The weather conditions, which also included fog, contributed to the accident.

  • Christmas in the mountains

    Hundreds lined up outside of First Baptist Church in Galax on Monday for the annual free Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund event, this year featuring country music artist Kellie Pickler.

    The first person in line, Chris Larue, arrived to the front doors at 7 a.m., holding a Pickler CD in hopes of getting her autograph.

    Some, like Robert and Wanda Tilley of Madison, N.C., drove two hours and waited five hours in line to see the concert.

    And 10-year-old Madison Bullis, who attends Gladeville Elementary, decided to take the day off to attend her first concert.

  • APCo rate hike now in effect

    As of Saturday, Appalachian Power Co. is charging an average residential customer a total of about 15.5 percent more per month for electricity — a calculation based on a residential customer who consumes 1,000 kilowatt hours a month.

    According to Appalachian, the monthly electric bill for this customer will increase from $100.14 to $115.78.