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Local News

  • Grayson schools could cut 56 positions, reduce pay

    INDEPENDENCE — State funding cuts have led Grayson County school administration to propose 56 personnel reductions and what equates to a 6 percent decrease in pay for all employees retained.

    Grayson Superintendent Elizabeth Thomas spoke about the upcoming budget with the school board at a budget work session held Monday night.

    Thomas explained that, based on former Gov. Tim Kaine’s proposed spending plan, the school system’s budget will be reduced by $2.3 million.

    The bad news, she continued, is that additional cuts are likely coming.

  • Galax schools achieve excellence

    Galax City Public Schools is just one of 17 divisions statewide to receive the 2010 Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award.

    Seventeen of 33 divisions in Virginia met all state and federal benchmarks for at least two consecutive years to qualify for the distinction.

    Galax Elementary was among 288 schools to earn the excellence award, the second-tier honor in the Virginia Index of Performance program. It was the second consecutive year that GES received the honor.

  • Weather halts trash collection

    INDEPENDENCE — Last year it was a new fee on trash collection that caused a stink in Grayson County, but this year it's the lack of collection that has residents and supervisors up in arms.

    Supervisor Joe Vaughan took the opportunity to bring up the concern during the supervisors' regular meeting last Wednesday night.

    Vaughan said some arrangement needed to be made to let people know when — and if — their trash is going to be collected on a given day.

  • Education on ice: Missed days pile up

    With a brief thaw this past weekend, students in Carroll and Galax returned to school on Monday, while Grayson schools remained closed.

    Winter snowstorms that began Dec. 18 and the two months of sub-freezing temperatures that followed have kept thousands of students and hundreds of teachers home.

    As a result, school systems are having to redraw their calendars for the remaining year.

    The Grayson County School Board will have some decisions to make in the coming weeks on how students there will make up more than two dozen days of school.

  • Galax tourism director resigns

    Galax Tourism Director Chuck Riedhammer has decided to resign, effective March 3, to accept a position with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission, a new initiative headed up by Sen. William Wampler.

    The commission encourages the economic development of Southwest Virginia through the expansion of cultural heritage ventures and tourism efforts, such as the Southwest Virginia Artisan Center, the Crooked Road and 'Round The Mountain, and venues that promote entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.

  • Carroll, Hillsville going to court

    HILLSVILLE — Attorneys for Carroll County and Hillsville continue to gird up for a three-day civil trial to finally settle a seven-year-old utilities billing disagreement.

    After Hillsville sought payment for water and sewer services to the Interstate 77 area in 2003, Carroll County declined.

    Hillsville appealed the matter to Carroll County Circuit Court, and Carroll County responded with a counterclaim, saying that the town had been over-billing the county for service for years.

  • Can Do Spirit

    HILLSVILLE — If life gives you extra broccoli, then why not use the Carroll County cannery to make broccoli soup, Judy Dalton asks.

    All the ingredients to do more with the cannery already exist, notes the Laurel Fork resident and long-time user. Carroll County has a bounty of locally grown food and processing facilities, so the potential is there.

  • Parkway closed due to weather

    Blue Ridge Parkway officials announced the temporary closing of most sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Tuesday due to heavy snowfall along the entire length of the parkway.

    Travel is not advisable on the recreational road.

    Although parkway staff is working to open sections of the road with available equipment, many sections have enough snowfall to cause delays in reopening.

    The temporary closure is necessary for the safety of visitors and parkway staff and is in effect “during the current period of inclement weather,” the parkway said.

  • AmerLink official admits fraud

     WILMINGTON, N.C. ee* A senior official with AmerLink log home manufacturing pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to committing bankruptcy fraud, apparently in an effort to keep the company on track for reorganization instead of a liquidation, according to a press release from a U.S. District Attorney's Office.

  • School plan could save millions

    HILLSVILLE — Financial analysts believe there's a way for Carroll schools to finish and pay for its facility improvement program without raising taxes, but time to take advantage of potential savings will run out by the end of the year.

    Federal Recovery Act measures — like the government helping localities pay more than a third of the interest on Build America Bonds — will change in 2011, according to a presentation to the Carroll School Board Tuesday by Joe Niggel of Southwest Securities and Brent Jeffcoat of McGuire Woods.