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Local News

  • Crooked Road gains national attention

    FLOYD — For a few hours Wednesday, men and women in suits and dress clothes filled a dance floor usually reserved for mountain cloggers.

    At the Floyd Country Store, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named The Crooked Road — a heritage trail linking towns and music venues in Southwest Virginia — one of 2010’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

  • New school might not open this semester

    INDEPENDENCE — First it was August. Then, it was January.

    Now, a new school under construction in Grayson County may not open until April, and one school board member says it's "crazy" to do so then.

    Setbacks and weather delays have kept Grayson Highlands School — under construction in the western end of the county — from opening.

    The school will close Mount Rogers Combined School and Bridle Creek Elementary, consolidating the students and staff into the new school.

  • APCo bill passes House and Senate

    RICHMOND -- Both houses of the General Assembly have passed legislation requiring Appalachian Power Co. to suspend an interim rate charge it began collecting in December, but lawmakers killed measures that would subject the utility to more stringent state regulations.

    Responding to outrage about dramatic spikes in electric bills, the state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed emergency legislation (Senate Bill 680) that would provide Appalachian customers with some short-term relief. The House of Delegates passed an identical bill (House Bill 1308) on Tuesday.

  • Self-help project expands

    HILLSVILLE — The forecast for water coming to Pridemore Road soon remains good, as officials prepare to launch Carroll County's second self-help utility project.

    On the heels of a self-help program to Happy Hollow Road that wrapped up last summer, 30 people on Pridemore plan to work together to bring public water to their own community this year.

    Starting in March, weather permitting, neighborhood residents will help install the 9,800 linear feet of six-inch waterline to the 23 residences there.

  • GCEA: bad time to request salary increase

    INDEPENDENCE — Raises may not have been in the request from the Grayson County Education Association for the upcoming school year, but increases in other areas were.

    Facing a potential $2.3 million reduction in its budget, the Grayson County Public Schools is preparing for the possibility of possible reductions in positions.

    GCEA President Rebecca Absher was the only speaker at a public hearing concerning the school system's 2010-11 school budget on Feb. 8.

  • Getting ready for the real world

    Galax High School is helping to prepare juniors and seniors for all the challenges that come with going to college.

    Cathy Parks, the school system's reading specialist, told Galax School Board members at last Tuesday's meeting that she wanted to come up with a way to get students to think about the future.

    So, she and GHS Principal Bill Sutherland looked through past yearbooks and sought out alumni now attending college. They invited the GHS graduates to speak with high school students about their college experiences.

  • Grayson plans for the worst

    INDEPENDENCE — Facing more than $2 million in possible reductions to its budget, the Grayson County Public School System could be looking at double-digit position losses for the upcoming year.

    While hopes are to cut those positions through attrition and retirement, school administration has prepared a policy it would follow if it becomes necessary to lay off staff.

    The school system's Director of Personnel Chad Newman brought the “Reduction In Force” policy to the school board at its regular meeting Feb. 8.

  • Locals face federal drug charges

    HILLSVILLE — Four Galax residents and two Hillsville men face distribution of methamphetamine charges, according to an 11-count federal indictment.

    The Jan. 14 indictment lists those charged as Michael Samuel Sawyers, Antreyhue Dane Davis, Kenneth Joe Kennedy and Stephanie Nicole Bean Davis, all of Galax; and Benjamin Lee Hancock and Bobby Wayne Thompson Sr., both of HIllsville.

  • Mission of Mercy

    Dina Slusher, Barry Newman and Dwayne Harmon can't get the horrific images of Haiti out their heads, after going on mission trips to the country in 2009 and early this year.

    The places where they provided assistance and stayed during their weeks in Haiti have now been lost in the earthquake.

    Some of the children and families that they grew attached to died in the disaster.

    So many children that they've seen, touched and fed have died.

  • Guardian cuts 52 workers

    Guardian Industries of Galax, also known as Consolidated Glass & Mirror Corp. laid off 52 employees Tuesday.

    This reduction was directly related to the challenging economic conditions facing the country over the past three years, according to a press release issued today, Wednesday.