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Local News

  • It's checkup time for Affordable Care Act in Va.

    The rubber hits the road this week for the Affordable Care Act, as most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
    But the health care law’s journey began nearly four years ago, and many tenets of the 900-page legislation have already taken effect.
    Here’s a look at its impact in Virginia so far:

    Closing the Medicare doughnut hole
    The doughnut hole is a gap in coverage from Medicare prescription drug plans. In most cases, recipients must pay a larger portion of drug costs at this stage.

  • Pay for insurance or pay a penalty?

    Not everyone must be covered by health insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.
    People who pay a tax penalty can go on their merry way.
    The health care law is meant to extend coverage to an estimated 29 million Americans by 2016. It will allow another 30 million people to remain uninsured.
    Most of them will be exempt from the individual mandate and will owe the government nothing for their choice.

  • Va. ABC sets another record for alcohol sales

    For the 15th consecutive year, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s stores have had record-setting sales, according to a news release.
    Gross sales increased to $769 million, up $35 million from the previous fiscal year. Profits have risen to $134 million, which is an increase of $2 million from last year.

  • United Way campaign nears goal

    With only two weeks left of the 2013 campaign, United Way Virginia Highlands’ Twin County region has topped 75 of its goal by raising more than $114,000 to date.
    With less than $36,000 left to raise, United Way staff and volunteers aren’t celebrating just yet.   
    “This has been an exciting and successful year for the Twin County Region, but we’ve still got a ways to go,” said Chris Brown, resource development manager of the Twin County Region.

  • Woman charged for drugs, child endangerment

    A Galax woman has been arrested on drug possession and child endangerment charges, according to a report from Police Chief Rick Clark.

  • APCo requests rate hike

    ROANOKE – Appalachian Power filed a request with the Virginia State Corporation Commission on Dec. 18 seeking recovery of electric transmission costs.
    The rate change is the first sought by the company since 2009 for transmission infrastructure improvements, according to a press release.

  • Zoning repeal talk heats up

    INDEPENDENCE — One of the many controversial discussions during the Dec. 12 meeting of the Grayson County Board of Supervisors resulted in a 3-2 vote to task the planning commission with forming an ordinance to repeal the county’s zoning law.
    Last week, planning commission members voted not to recommend that the board repeal zoning. Citizens spoke passionately about the topic at a hearing — with one threatening a lawsuit if the county moves forward with the zoning repeal.

  • Family loses home to fire

    DUGSPUR — Smoke alarms went off in a home Dec. 17 on Panther Creek Road, just after parents put their child to bed, according to Hillsville Fire Department officials.
    Investigating the reason for the alarms in the single-wide trailer, members of the Ayers family looked in the bathroom and discovered a wall inside burning.
    The flames were “going up the wall,” Richard Ayers told authorities.
    The three family members made it outside without injury and then called the fire department.

  • Stabbing investigated in Pipers Gap area

    A 16-year-old male was taken into custody on Dec. 20 by Galax Police Department officers and Carroll Sheriff’s Department deputies after police received a report of a possible stabbing, according to a press release.

  • $10 billion budget increase proposed

    RICHMOND — Your household budget may not be growing in this era of flat wages, but Virginia’s is.
    Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed budget for the next biennium totals nearly $96 billion, an increase from the $86 billion for the current two-year cycle that runs through June 2014.