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Local News

  • $14.3 million in budgets for Grayson prison

    Key committees in the General Assembly have advanced proposed revisions to Virginia’s two-year budget that include opening a mothballed state prison in Grayson County.
    The original request called for opening the prison by 2014, but a House of Delegates committee wants it to be operational later this year.
    Republican-controlled budget committees from the Senate and House of Delegates produced plans on Feb. 3 that build upon Gov. Bob McDonnell’s amendments to the state’s two-year, $86.5 billion budget.

  • Health officials say well water should be boiled after flood

    One precaution that homeowners who experienced flooding may need to take is boiling their well water before drinking, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
    State officials have urged residents with wells and septic systems to take precautions following last week’s heavy rains that caused high water and flooding in some Southwest Virginia communities, according to a news release.

  • Dogs' deaths spark call for shelter improvements

    By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    On Jan. 24, the Twin County Humane Society posted a message on its Facebook page that shocked and outraged members of the community and led to a petition to oust the regional animal shelter’s director.
    “Sadness and frustration is on our minds tonight. We desperately need the members of our community to step up and demand change at our shelter,” the heartfelt letter began.

  • Carroll wants to control animal population

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County will consider trying to nip the stray animal population in the bud through the 2014 budget, supervisors discussed at their meeting Jan. 14.
    Providing funds for a spay and neuter program could help save the locality money later, from the animal control officer not having to take so many animals to the shelter, Supervisor Bob Martin explained after the meeting.
    Right now, Carroll spends a lot of money on animal control response, but little on prevention, he noted.

  • Prayer protection advances in Senate

    RICHMOND — A proposed state constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to pray in public schools and government meetings cleared a Virginia Senate committee on Jan. 29, beginning a vigorous debate about the intent and reach of the legislation.
    The amendment resolution is co-sponsored by two senators representing part of the Twin Counties, Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) and Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County.)

  • Pros, cons of wind power debated

    HILLSVILLE — A wind energy workshop on Monday gave citizens an opportunity to vent about Carroll’s proposal to ban tall structures on ridge tops, a response by county officials to the possibility of a wind turbine farm being developed on Stoots Mountain.
    An idea by EDP Renewables to study a wind farm caused the neighbors and other citizens some concerns, which were shared at several meetings with the Carroll Board of Supervisors.
    The wind farm could have as many as 24 turbines that reach nearly 500 feet tall.

  • Bill allowing home-schoolers to play public school sports clears subcommittee

    RICHMOND – Who should qualify to play school sports was at the center of several committee meetings last week in the Virginia General Assembly.
    Home-schooled students made their pitch for eligibility to play sports for their local schools, a request under consideration in both houses under so-called “Tim Tebow” legislation. The bills are nicknamed for the NFL quarterback who was allowed to participate in public school athletics as a Florida home schooler.

  • Police investigate fire, death in Grayson

    UPDATE: The Grayson County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that a man found burned at the scene of a fire last week died of a massive heart attack.
    Sheriff Richard Vaughan announced the results of the medical examiner’s office on Feb. 1.
    Ted Wright, 81, was burned by a grass fire at his home on Pine Mountain Road on Jan. 29. It appeared that he had been burning brush. Investigators were not sure if Wright died as the result of the fire or a medical condition.
    The body was sent for an autopsy at the state lab in Roanoke.

  • Hillsville land use taxation can begin in 2014

    HILLSVILLE — Special use land assessments can apply to Hillsville properties in January 2014, after the town council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance earlier this month.
    The ordinance set out the requirements for the long-sought special assessments for land owners to match those offered in Carroll County.
    Localities in Virginia are allowed to assess real estate based on the “use value” instead of fair market value.

  • Electoral bill appears headed to defeat

    RICHMOND — A bill that would allocate Virginia’s presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than statewide popular vote appears headed towards a bipartisan rejection.
    Though it would have meant a GOP victory for Virginia in the past election, even a few Republicans seem hesitant to support the changes to the system of awarding the commonwealth’s Electoral College votes proposed by Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County).