Local News

  • Extension changes explained

    BLACKSBURG — Carroll County residents have expressed worries about the loss of access and services should Virginia Tech's plan to restructure the Cooperative Extension Service proceed, but Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, says the plan faces budget realities with the goal of improving customer service.
    While the Extension restructuring plan would go to a more regional network of offices, lots of local offices are already short staffed, Grant noted in a phone interview with The Gazette.

  • Family loses home, belongings in fire

    INDEPENDENCE — A Grayson County couple and their four children lost their home, a family pet, clothes and possessions in a Tuesday night fire.
    Independence Volunteer Fire Department responded at 9:55 p.m. to a fire at the home of Aaron and Samantha Davis on Wilson Highway.
    Nearly 20 firefighters were on the scene until around 3 a.m. Wednesday, an IVFD spokesman said.
    Tankers from Piney Creek, N.C., Fire Department and Rugby Volunteer Fire Department also responded. Elk Creek Volunteer Fire Department was on standby.

  • Authority to wait on fluoride decision

    INDEPENDENCE — The Virginia/Carolina Water Authority agreed last week not to take any action concerning fluoride until the new recommended levels could be decided.
    A handout from Jerry Brooks of the People for a Cleaner Environment stated that the nation’s top health official, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, had announced plans to lower the agency’s maximum recommended fluoride level from 1.2 milligrams per liter of water to 0.7.

  • Carroll supervisors shut down speaker

    HILLSVILLE — While citizens’ public speaking time at the Carroll Supervisors meetings is usually the forum for constituents to comment on issues or ask questions, it didn’t turn out that way Thursday for a citizen who wanted to share concerns about what he sees as a conflict of interest.

  • $120M in road funds on the way

    RICHMOND — Of the nearly 900 road projects listed in the governor's $4 billion transportation plan, a dozen of them are proposed for the Twin Counties, including improving portions of U.S. 58 in Carroll County.

    With work still underway to complete the five-mile stretch on the south side of Hillsville, Gov. Bob McDonnell's program promises significant investments for three U.S. 58 projects in Carroll County.
    According to information from Gov. Bob McDonnell's office, these include:

  • Barrels explode, starting fire at Vaughan-Bassett


  • Health officials: influenza 'widespread' in Va.

    Far Southwest Virginia health districts have announced that this season's influenza activity has reached the “widespread” stage and has been rising locally.

    “Widespread” means there has been laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the state.
    This flu season is getting off to a slower start than in some years, which means that it may last longer into the spring.

  • College panic out of context

    WYTHEVILLE — Police were called to Wytheville Community College Tuesday after a student received an alert about a gunman on campus.
    However, the student failed to read further in the message to see that the alert was from a news station in Maryland referencing a community college there — not WCC.
    The student contacted someone, who posted a message on Facebook alerting students of a possible gunman on WCC's campus, and the story mushroomed from there, according to a statement from the college on Wednesday.

  • County's loss is Galax's gain

    The City of Galax has hired grant administrator Brenda Marrah, after Carroll County eliminated her position in November 2010.
    Marrah brought in a total of $11 million in grants and loans in 2009 for Carroll County, but the county moved the position under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Economic Development Authority for regional grant writing services to save money and share the cost with the authority.

    Galax City Manager Keith Barker said the city has talked about hiring a grant administrator for the past couple of years.

  • Candidates file early, file often for primary

    HILLSVILLE — Two contested races in the Carroll County Republican Primary emerged immediately after filing began Monday.

    Seven candidates for the Republican nominations to elected positions in Carroll showed up at the treasurer's office at noon or shortly afterwards to sign up for the party primary in May.
    Three Carroll County Sheriff's Office personnel were among the first to arrive to file their papers to seek the party's nomination for sheriff through the preferential primary.