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Local News

  • Grayson raises real estate tax levy

    INDEPENDENCE – To the displeasure of nearly a dozen citizens in attendance, the Grayson County board of supervisors approved a 44 percent increase in real estate taxes last Wednesday night after months of meetings and work sessions.
    Last week, the county administrator called the tax increase — part of a $20.5 million budget — “unavoidable,” as dozens of citizens turned out and spoke in protest of the change.

  • ARC co-chair visits Twin Counties

    The federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission visited the Crossroads Institute last week to hear the story of regional cooperation in the Twin Counties.

  • 'Save Green' expo a success

    INDEPENDENCE — Despite early misting rain and strong wind gusts, May 8 turned into a sunny day for the first "Save Green: Money & Energy" expo at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence.

  • Carnival to return after 2009 fiasco

    After suffering through one of the Galax Volunteer Fire Department's most embarrassing and revenue-deficient years, Chief David Hankley says the agency plans to bring some changes to the annual July Fourth week carnival, slated for June 29-July 3.

  • Carroll keeps tax rates the same

    HILLSVILLE — The tax rates remain the same for Carroll taxpayers after the county supervisors approved the $72.5 million budget.
    That includes a $32.8 million budget for the general fund, plus the previously approved $39.6 million for the schools, according to information from county officials.
    Supervisor David Hutchins made the budget motion to adopt the tax rates and approve the budget.
    The supervisors approved the budget unanimously.

  • United Way agencies face deep cuts

    Twin County United Way, like so many charitable organizations nationally, has fallen victim to sharply reduced contributions as the regional economy continues to sputter.
    TCUW’s most recent fund-raising campaign, which ended March 31, fell more than 50 percent shy of its $215,000 goal due to losses in fundraisers, donors and the decline in jobs.
    As a result, the charity has had to reduce by 25 percent — or $20,000 — its funding to 26 Twin County community agencies it supports, and dipped into reserves to keep from having to make even deeper cuts.

  • Littrell objects to subdivision ordinance change

    HILLSVILLE — The June 14 vote on the proposed changes to Carroll's subdivision ordinance was unanimous, even though one supervisor voiced his personal objection to shrinking minimum lot sizes.
    Planning commission members and county supervisors had already tweaked the language of the ordinance — meant to control residential developments — once since making more sweeping changes last year.
    The supervisors considered another three revisions at its regular June meeting and held a public hearing before making their decision on this round.

  • Projects apply for state funding

    Three Twin County projects have applied to the Virginia Tobacco Commission for more than $3 million in funding to move the economic, education and community development efforts forward.
    Two of the applications originated with projects at the Crossroads Institute, including the now-familiar effort to develop the Wildwood Commerce Park at Interstate 77's Exit 19 in Carroll County.
    That application requests a grant of $2.5 million to further prepare the site for business and industry.

  • Town calls for Hillsville Rescue to disband

    HILLSVILLE — The Hillsville Rescue Squad has been given up for dead as town officials end their attempts to resuscitate the long-shuttered volunteer emergency medical service.
    Carroll County and Hillsville officials moved to close the rescue squad about eight years ago, after learning the captain had inappropriately used an ambulance to move furniture from Marion to an apartment in town.

  • Zoning hearing turns into religious debate

    INDEPENDENCE — An application for a special use permit in Grayson County turned into a religious debate on Thursday night, as an estimated 175 citizens turned out for a public hearing regarding a proposed spiritual educational community in the Wilson District.
    The Oracle Institute's plans involved an 11-acre retreat teaching spirituality and ethical environmental practices.