Local News

  • Localities recycle 29.8% of waste

    A real newspaper — instead of the online version you're reading now — is one of the many items we toss in the trash every day that could be reused.
    If you take a newspaper to one of the numerous recycling drop-off sites in the Twin Counties, it will be shipped to a recycling plant, where it will be doused in warm water and chemicals to remove the ink.
    The resulting mush will then be bleached, squeezed, dried and pressed into a new form of newsprint that, one day, will wind up in another reader's hands.

  • Trees disappear from Christmas tree farm

    HILLSVILLE - Joy Ranch officials are praying for the thieves that stole an estimated $2,600 Christmas trees or more over the weekend - however Grinch-like those thieves may be.
    The first Bible verse that occurred to Joy Ranch employee Sandra Farris after hearing of the Sunday theft from the Dixon's tree farm outside of Galax was Psalm 10:15: "Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out."
    She had a second thought after that.

  • Is plan too much or not enough?

    HILLSVILLE — Some speakers thought the final draft of Carroll's comprehensive plan smacked of totalitarian controls, while others recommended the county officials assert more control over growth and development.

    A few even recommended that it's time to think about adding zoning to the mix.

    Phil McCraw, owner of Virginia 500 Fruit Market in Cana, compared Carroll's proposed comprehensive plan to the United Nation's Agenda 21 environmental initiative that began in 1992.

  • Carroll will keep out of real estate reassessment

    HILLSVILLE — When it comes to Carroll's next real estate reassessment, county officials will take a more hands-off approach.

    The Carroll supervisors, at their Nov. 11 meeting, approved advertising a request for proposals seeking reassessment services.

    The reassessment that came out in 2008 was done in-house.

    County officials have calculated a cost of $312,500 for the required reassessment, spread out over two years.

  • Citizens fighting flouride

    Alleghany County citizens made it plain to the Virginia-Carolina Water Authority last week — they don't want fluoride in their water.

    They cited health concerns with adding fluoride, which is aimed at promoting dental health.

    A regional water system is under construction to provide water to the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C., and Grayson and Alleghany counties. The Water Authority is made up of eight members representing the four jurisdictions. 

  • Sweepstakes businesses taking a gamble in Va.

    HILLSVILLE — While Internet sweepstakes businesses in Virginia currently fall into a legal gray area, Carroll County has seen the number of such operations increase five-fold.

    State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued opinions saying that some kinds of sweepstakes activities that constitute gambling are illegal, but other practices are allowed under law.

    Carroll Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad hopes that the General Assembly will act to write a law that ends the confusion.

  • Authority to take over grants

     HILLSVILLE — Carroll County's grant writer position will move under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, as grant writing services go regional.

    Paperwork before the Carroll County Board of Supervisors for approval at its Nov. 11 meeting outlined the reasons for the change — streamlining operations and increasing efficiency.

  • Fire system fixed, but prison remains on ice

     INDEPENDENCE — A certificate of occupancy for a state prison in Grayson County has been delayed because of problems with the fire prevention system.

    As a remedy, engineers have completed additional work and testing on the system and contractors last week requested that the Town of Independence provide additional water to the facility in the event of a fire.

  • Officials pitch annexation plan

     HILLSVILLE — Local officials' job Tuesday was to convince the Commission on Local Government that the annexation agreement between Carroll County and Hillsville is in the best interests of all.

  • Tax relief for elderly could expand

     INDEPENDENCE — More Grayson County residents could soon be eligible for a tax relief program.

    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet brought a recommendation to the board of supervisors on Nov. 10 to increase various aspects of a program that provides relief for elderly residents of the county who struggle to pay their taxes on fixed incomes.

    Sweet said he and Commissioner of Revenue Larry Bolt recommend that the board consider increasing all three phases of the program.