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Local News

  • Law would keep fast lane from slowing down

    RICHMOND — One of the quickest proposals to emerge for the 2014 General Assembly tells slow drivers to stay out of the left interstate lane.
    Early filings from Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-5th District), who represents Grayson County, authored House Bill 51.
    The proposal adds a line into the section of state law covering minimum speed limits, according to a filing made Dec. 3.
    No person shall operate a motor vehicle “at less than the posted maximum speed limit in the left-most lane of any interstate highway,” according to the text of HB 51.

  • Galax must come up with stormwater funding plan

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    City officials are still reviewing options for a new stormwater program that is required of all state localities by next summer.
    Carolyn Howard of Draper-Aden Associates paid a visit to Galax City Council in November, where she proposed a utility fee for city residents to cover the costs of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP). This fee would not only pay for the project, but it would also allow city workers to repair and strengthen an aging stormwater system.

  • Women's shelter in the works

    The Galax Hope House of the Good Shepherd, a faith-based ministry that offers a men’s shelter and a variety of other services to anyone in need, will soon have a refuge for women, as well.
    Construction on a new women’s shelter has been confirmed by the group, and they are hoping to have it finished and ready for occupants by March 2014. At this time, crews and volunteers are working to bring the three-bedroom house up to code.

  • Governor proposes mental health reforms

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell plans to revamp Virginia’s mental health system by lengthening the time a person in crisis can be held for evaluation, providing $38 million more for support services over two years, and creating a task force to recommend changes in the aftermath of a shocking tragedy.
    He announced those plans Tuesday during a news conference held weeks after the son of state Sen. Creigh Deeds stabbed his father before taking his own life at their Bath County home on the morning of Nov. 19.

  • Federal agency refuses to return money to Carroll

    HILLSVILLE — Rural Development officials, after clawing back approximately $280,000 from the Fancy Gap sewer project for an overlooked environmental report, have so far refused to return the money to the Carroll Public Service Authority.
    After the authority members went into a closed session at their regular December meeting on Monday to discuss the situation with Rural Development, they talked about continuing their appeal to the federal funding agency.

  • Firefighters quell explosion at Turman Hardwood Flooring

    The Galax Volunteer Fire Department was called to an explosion at Turman Hardwood Flooring on Boyer Road in the city at 10:29 p.m. last Thursday evening.

  • Galax takes first swing at golf cart ordinance

    Galax City Council members are not sure if a proposed golf cart ordinance would be beneficial to the community, but they are exploring the possibility of allowing carts in smaller sections within the city limits, such as downtown.
    Council members heard recommendations from Galax Police Chief Rick Clark, a member of the Traffic Safety Committee, about a golf cart ordinance at their Monday night meeting. If approved, the ordinance would allow golf carts on any approved road within the city limits.

  • Foster home, water park proposed for mill site

    FRIES — After being on the market as a potential business location for years, the old Washington Mill property in Fries is now being considered as a potential location for a children’s foster home and water park, after a citizen approached Fries Town Council with the building plans last Tuesday.
    Catrinna Shupe, a resident of Fries who takes care of foster children, asked for the council’s blessing and support to proceed with her vision of creating “Kiddie Cats Cove.”

  • Va. highway projects face legislative roadblocks

    RICHMOND — A fight over landmark road funding legislation resolved late in this year’s General Assembly term evidently was just the opening round as two bills were prefiled last month seeking to take away some, or all, of its revenue.
    The transportation plan added a method for raising another $40 million for U.S. 58 projects. If passed, the bills could take away the funding mechanisms that would have provided that money.

  • Local tree growers resist rot

    INDEPENDENCE — The elevations and steep slopes of Grayson County, Virginia’s most fertile ground for Christmas tree growing, provides local farmers with a “competitive advantage” over other places in the United States, according to information from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.