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Local News

  • Authority takes out option on Exit 19 land

    Potential job creation at the Wildwood Commerce Park has already served to leverage funds for water and sewer service at Interstate 77's Exit 19, and now Twin County officials are studying what Wildwood itself may become.

    What kind of business or industry may locate there, how to set up utilities in the commerce park, its general layout and the land's highest and best use are questions that the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority seeks to answer through engineering work, according to the organization's director, Ken McFayden.

  • EPA cleaning up chemical dump

    LAMBSBURG — Carroll County officials declared an emergency Monday evening as officials dealt with unstable barrels of hydrochloric and nitric acid found at a former business in the Lambsburg community.

    A crew of environmental cleanup workers in white haz-mat suits and breathing masks sealed off the property on Tuesday and began unloading barrels of acid and chemicals from a half-dozen parked trailers on the property.

  • Acid cleanup puts church on hold

    LAMBSBURG — The intervention of the Environmental Protection Agency at a contaminated Lambsburg site is another example of God's hand guiding the future of Truth to New Life Church, the church's leader believes.

    Richard Cavey had his eye on the block building at 496 Old Pipers Gap Road as the site for a new church and its planned outreach programs after relocating to Lambsburg from Maryland.

  • UPDATED: Despite rumors, religious floats welcome in Galax parade

    UPDATED 10/12/09

    The Galax Downtown Association still proudly uses the word "Christmas" to describe its annual December parade, not the controversially generic "holiday" or "winter."

    The parade — with the theme "Music, Memories and Miracles" — welcomes churches to enter floats and even has a category for best religious float.

    In fact, a Christmas theme isn't just suggested for entry — it's kind of a requirement.

  • Chemical cleanup continues

    HILLSVILLE — An Old Pipers Gap Road business that deconstructed computers and used acid to reclaim the gold used on circuit boards was not supposed to have any hazardous materials on site, according to the contract with his landlord.

    Carroll County officials declared a local emergency as Environmental Protection Agency contractors began to assess and clean up the many open and leaky containers of hydrochloric and nitric acid once used to strip the precious metals from old computers.

    In all, 300 barrels of hazardous materials were found in six box trailers.

  • State cuts could help Grayson prison

    INDEPENDENCE — A plan released last month by Gov. Tim Kaine to close a $1.35 billion shortfall in the state budget may benefit the new prison under construction in Grayson County.

    Earlier this year, state officials said Virginia's General Assembly did not include operating funds for the county's new prison in the fiscal year 2010 budget.

    Virginia Department of Corrections Spokesman Larry Traylor told The Gazette that without further funding action, the opening date could be delayed — meaning nearly 350 jobs expected to come next year may have to wait.

  • Fries to discuss decal fee increase

    FRIES — The Town of Fries planned to consider a proposal to increase its vehicle decal fee at its next regular meeting — but the increase may not be necessary after all.

    Fries Town Manager Brian Reed spoke briefly about the increase during council's regular meeting Oct. 6. Reed said it appeared the town would need to increase their decal fee from $20 to $25 to mirror the county's amount.

    Much like what neighboring Hillsville did when Carroll County increased its fee, Reed said Grayson could charge Fries residents the $5 difference — if it existed.

  • Dugspur woman dies after crash

    PULASKI — An 81-year-old Dugspur woman died Oct. 8 after her 1996 Chevy Beretta collided head-on with a dump truck on Virginia 100 in Pulaski County.

    Violetta P. Quesenberry of Dugspur died the same day after the 8:10 a.m. accident on 100 near Virginia 654.

    The Virginia State Police report by Trooper E.P. Ellison states that Quesenberry's vehicle crossed the center line and struck the dump truck, a 2001 Peterbilt driven by Carol Marie Farmer of Max Meadows.

    Emergency officials transported Quesenberry for treatment to Roanoke.

  • Parade 'boycott' issue resolved

    A Fries pastor and the Galax Downtown Association are now on the same page when it comes to Christmas parade rules.

    The downtown merchants' association tried to head off what officials mistakenly understood to be a threatened boycott of its annual parade over rules that were interpreted as banning or limiting religious floats.

    Pastor Ben Haga of Grace Baptist Church, on the other hand, says he never called for a boycott, despite what others heard or misunderstood.

  • Were acid concerns ignored?

    HILLSVILLE — A Lambsburg resident had some acid words for Carroll County officials who he said ignored problems at a business with hazardous wastes, which recently prompted an emergency clean up.

    Guy Clark told county supervisors that residents in the Lambsburg community felt their previous complaints about the site — made weeks before the clean-up began — went unheard.

    Clark said barrels of acid on the site were not hidden from view, and county officials should have done something sooner.