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Local News

  • Police investigate alleged nursing home abuse

    Two people were arrested July 30 in an alleged abuse case at Waddell Nursing & Rehab Center in Galax, after the Galax Department of Social Services received an anonymous complaint that employees of the nursing home had taken pornographic photos of patients, using cameras on cell phones, without their consent, according to Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

    Sharon Ann Walker, 29, of Fries, was charged with two counts of knowingly and intentionally photographing a non-consenting person who was nude or in a state of undress. The violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

  • US Cellular keeps deal with Fries

    FRIES — U.S. Cellular will honor its part of the agreement to put a new roof on the Town of Fries’ Recreation Center now that its cell phone tower has received permanent approval.

    Dick Gibson, lawyer for the cell phone company, told The Gazette by e-mail that U.S. Cellular is working with Fries Mayor Mike Spears and Town Manager Brian Reed on all three projects under the agreement—including an additional $17,000 for a Transportation Enhancement Project and $4,000 for the Heritage Tourism Signage Project to inform visitors about historical sites within the town.

  • Hillsville, Carroll renew lawsuit

    HILLSVILLE — Having to renew a circuit court case over disputed utility payments seems to have reignited discussions between Carroll County and Hillsville about shared interests.

    The county and the town had to reinstate by July 16 the case surrounding water and sewer service payments sought by Hillsville to the Carroll County Industrial Park for 2001 and 2002.

    Hillsville's appeal to the circuit court stems from a refusal by Carroll to pay a bill that county officials disagreed with for water and sewer service at the industrial park in the town.

  • Prison's security level could be elevated

    INDEPENDENCE — The Virginia Department of Corrections is considering an upgrade in security level at the new Mount Rogers Medium Security Facility under construction outside of Independence.

    “We are considering upgrading this facility from a Security Level 3 to a Security Level 4 facility,” said Larry Traylor, spokesman for the DOC, in an e-mail to The Gazette. “It would still be considered a medium security facility.”

    The men’s prison will have 1,038 general population beds and 20 segregated beds.

  • Search warrant turns up drugs

    FRIES — A Fries man has been charged with two counts of felony distribution of a schedule II drug (oxycontin) after a search warrant was executed on his home last Thursday.

    Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan said members of his department, the Twin County Drug Task Force and Fries Police Chief Bobby Jones searched the residence of Daniel Frank Ferguson, 51, of 340 Grayson St. in Fries on July 30.

    Vaughan said numerous prescription medications and cash were seized from the residence, leading to Ferguson being charged with two counts of felony distribution.

  • Hillsville rescue reopening difficult

    HILLSVILLE — Mayor Bill Tate is getting impatient with the town's inability to relaunch the Hillsville Rescue Squad.

    Officials closed the town's rescue squad a few years ago after learning that a captain has used an ambulance to haul furniture from Marion to Hillsville, but last year town council members started a push to reopen the agency.

    That effort ran into a roadblock when Carroll County officials denied to issue a "certificate of need" for the rescue squad.

  • Public record for 7/29/09, 8/5/09 and 8/12/09 editions

    Editor’s Note: This information is taken from open court records and is a matter of public record.

    The listings are complete. The newspaper, as a matter of fairness, will not honor requests to omit any listing. 

    For information on this column or questions, call 236-5178, ext. 213.

    Land Transfers

    These land transfers were recorded June 10 – July 10 in the office of Carolyn H. Honeycutt, clerk of the Carroll County Circuit Court, Hillsville:

  • Regional water project flowing

    INDEPENDENCE — Work continues to progress on a new regional water system that will serve the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C.

    Bobby Lane, of Lane Engineering, updated Independence town council during its regular meeting July 14 on the project, noting that it was about 50 percent complete.

    Lane said the Virginia/North Carolina Regional Water Authority hopes to advertise for the water plant and intake within the next month, and that the water lines between Sparta and Independence are currently under construction.

  • Farmers' Market a growing concern

    HILLSVILLE — The state of the farmers' market and county fair and the future of agriculture in Carroll County is strong, officials said at the July 13 county board meeting.

    County Administrator Gary Larrowe and Southwest Virginia Farmers' Market Manager Kevin Semones gave the Carroll supervisors updates on two linchpins of county farming — the produce cooling program and the upcoming county fair.

  • AmerLink: Carroll crucial to reorganization

    Officials with log home manufacturer AmerLink are still telling the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that its Carroll County location remains central to its Chapter 11 reorganization plans.

    The lawsuit that Carroll County filed in Richmond Circuit Court last November — in order to get back $600,000 in state incentive monies and 32 acres of land conveyed to AmerLink in a 2005 economic development deal — has been officially consolidated with the log home company's bankruptcy proceedings in federal court in North Carolina, where the company is now based.