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Local News

  • New chief plans changes in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — There’s one main idea that Chief Greg Bolen wants to enforce about the Hillsville Police Department — that it’s a part of the community.
    In the coming months, the department will have more police walking the beat, bike patrols will return to the streets, officers will assist with keeping school zones safe and the agency will launch a Facebook page. The goal of these programs is grounding policing and public safety efforts in the community.
    It all goes back to the fact that the department exists to serve, Bolen said.

  • Bills aim to keep training centers open

    More supporters of the Virginia training centers have stepped up efforts to convince the General Assembly to protect the facilities for the intellectually and developmentally disabled from closing.
    Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed closing four of the state-run facilities, including the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County, and reducing the fifth to 75 beds as part of an idea to shift more residents to community care situations.

  • Governor proposes ending gas tax

    RICHMOND — Virginia’s gasoline tax would be eliminated and its retail sales tax would increase from 5 percent to 5.8 percent under a transportation funding plan Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled Tuesday.
    The governor’s proposal also would increase vehicle registration fees, impose a $100 annual fee on alternative fuel vehicles and shift revenue from the state’s general fund to provide more dollars for roads, rail and transit.

  • Ending Gas Tax: Reader Reaction

    The governor's proposal was one of the most talked-about topics on The Gazette's Facebook page this week. Here's what some readers had to say:

  • AAA predicts lower gas prices in 2013

    Gasoline prices this year will be less expensive than in 2012 as a result of increased domestic oil production and lower demand, according to the American Automobile Association.
    The national average price of gasoline should peak at $3.60-$3.80 per gallon barring any significant unanticipated events, which compares to a peak of $3.94 a gallon in 2012.
    Gasoline prices should rise steadily through April or early May, but at a slower pace than last year.

  • Family loses home, animals to blaze

     

  • Hope House helping family that lost home

    The Galax Hope House is collecting donations for the family of Andres and Christy Mendoza, who suffered a major financial loss when the house they were renting caught fire on Dec. 30.
    Their family of nine — including seven adults, a three-year-old child and a two-week-old infant — wasn't harmed, but the house was completely destroyed, along with all of the family’s belongings.
    Hope House is accepting item donations, such as clothes, diapers and formula, for the family.

  • General Assembly 2013 Preview

    RICHMOND — A big political year in Virginia begins in earnest today, Wednesday, when the General Assembly opens its 2013 session and confronts a host of contentious and controversial issues.
    Over a period of 46 days, lawmakers will decide whether to lift Virginia’s ban on uranium mining and try again to find a fix for the state’s chronic transportation funding problems.
    Last month’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school will revive debates over school safety and gun control.

  • McDonnell's unfinished business: education and transportation

    RICHMOND — For Gov. Bob McDonnell, his final full year in office is about unfinished business.
    The Republican who campaigned under the slogan “Bob’s for Jobs,” has taken stock of his own job performance and assessed “what’s left to fix” to keep Virginia economically competitive.
    “It’s two things,” McDonnell said during an interview Jan. 4 in his office. “It’s work force, which is education. And number two, it’s transportation gridlock.”

  • House trailer found burned to ground

    HILLSVILLE — Responding to a report of a structure fire on Stone Ridge Road early Sunday morning, Hillsville Fire Department members found a collapsed house trailer and no property owner.
    The volunteers received a call to the 2900 block of Stone Ridge Road at approximately 1:41 a.m., where a house trailer had already burned to the ground, according to Mike Musser, the assistant chief.
    It was an abandoned property, he said, but firefighters hadn’t been advised of any controlled burns.