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Local News

  • DEQ: high zinc level not harmful to New River

    ABINGDON  — New River water quality will not create any health problems for Southwest Virginia residents, despite a high level of zinc being swept by heavy rains into a tributary in Austinville from mining waste, a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality supervisor tells The Gazette.

  • Bear breaks into home in Elk Creek

    ELK CREEK – It’s frightening enough to see a bear in your yard, but downright scary when it comes into your house.
    That’s what happened on July 29 at the home of Tim and Marcia Sutherland, who live at 692 Caty Sage Road in Elk Creek.
    Sutherland, who works at the East Independence branch office of Grayson National Bank, has been popular lately as people asked about her bear.

  • Funding needed for prison chaplain

    INDEPENDENCE — Members of the recently established River North Ministry Council (RNMC) has made it their mission to install a prison chaplain at River North Correctional Facility by the day the first inmate arrives, but the biggest challenge facing the group is finding individuals and groups to pledge funding for the position.
    RNMC, including pastors and residents of the Twin Counties and surrounding areas, met Aug. 22 at Independence First United Methodist Church to elect an executive council and discuss other new developments.

  • Galax-Grayson EMS wins award

    Also: Governor names EMS chief to state advisory board

  • Urban archery season begins Sept. 7 in Galax

    The Galax Police Department is aiming to remind the public that its new urban archery season will begin Sept. 7.
    This action was voted on by Galax City Council earlier this year, in order to help control the overpopulation of deer in the area.
    The department’s public notice, issued last week, touched on important rules for the community to keep in mind when the season begins:
    • Deer hunting and/or the discharge of archery equipment on city property are prohibited.


  • Mayor will keep seat, despite state charge

    HILLSVILLE — A misdemeanor charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer would not lead to the mayor of Hillsville losing his elected position, even if it led to a conviction, according to state law.
    Hillsville Mayor Gregory Nelson Crowder faces the charge after a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control investigation into an as yet unspecified set of circumstances that arose on March 14 in Bristol.
    The only statement made in the matter is from Crowder’s Bristol-based attorney, Bob Ward.

  • Programs for elderly facing cuts

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

    The District Three Governmental Cooperative Board of Commissioners adopted a leaner budget for next year, resulting in a lack of funding for programs geared towards the region’s aging population.
    This will be the third year in a row that these programs will see a cut, according to a press release.
    In contrast, funding for the public transit program budget has grown by $68,000, which is about 3.5 percent.

  • Wilson join race for Grayson treasurer

    INDEPENDENCE ― Gary Wilson recently became the sixth and final candidate for the office of Grayson County treasurer. He will run as an independent.
    Wilson graduated from Fries High School in 1974 and began studies in business administration while working part time with his father at the country store known as Green Valley Grocery, or  “Bob’s Store,” near Fries.

  • Second year of U.S. 58 work begins in Carroll

    LAUREL FORK — Branch Highways celebrated the 100 jobs supported by the $120 million, U.S. 58 widening project that spans three counties, including eastern Carroll.
    The Roanoke-based construction outfit is beginning its second of four years working on the 8.2-mile project, according to a news release from the company.

  • Independence buys McKnight lot

    INDEPENDENCE — Independence Town Council has finally reached an agreement with the McKnight family to purchase a lot in the middle of town.
    Town Manager Jerry Hughes said the purchase price for the less-than-an-acre McKnight lot is $90,000.
    Hughes said town officials and town council have been negotiating with Tommy McKnight, the son of Gene T. “Fuzzy” McKnight.
    The town has been using the lot for several years for different festivals and the weekly farmers’ market.
    Hughes said uses for the corner were “unlimited.”