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Local News

  • Measure would close gun permits to public view

    RICHMOND — What started out as an uncontroversial measure to protect people threatened with domestic violence has been rewritten by the General Assembly’s most gun-friendly committee to close off all public access to concealed-handgun permits.
    If passed by the state legislature, it would be a sweeping change to the state’s decades-old system of regulating conceal ed weapons, a system whose records have always been public.

  • Prison funds survive in budget proposals: Updated

    RICHMOND — Both houses of the Virginia General Assembly approved budget proposals last week that include funding to open a long-delayed state prison in Grayson County.
    The Virginia Senate voted 36-4 to pass its budget plan, which includes Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposal for $14.3 million to open the River North Correctional Facility near Independence, which was completed in 2010 and then mothballed because the state could not afford to operate it.

  • Natural gas service closer to completion

    HILLSVILLE — A motion relating to the natural gas service line approved Feb. 4 by the Carroll Industrial Authority gives a hint to the new utility’s future.
    The IDA took action in 2012 to provide natural gas service to the Mohawk plant after years of inaction by private companies, and now the effort only lacks about 3,000 linear feet from making that connection.

  • Carroll's back taxes total $2 million

    HILLSVILLE  — Though a figure of $10 million in delinquent real estate taxes yet to be paid to Carroll County has been tossed around recently, the treasurer puts the actual amount at less than a fifth of that.
    Localities can go after taxes for 20 years before writing them off.
    During the last two decades, Carroll Treasurer Bonita Williams calculates that of the approximately $162.9 million in real estate taxes owed, the county has collected more than $160.9 million.

  • Redistricting scheme fails with House speaker's ruling

    RICHMOND — The Republican speaker of the House of Delegates quelled a partisan firestorm over a controversial Senate redistricting scheme last week, making a procedural ruling that killed the GOP-engineered plan without a vote.

  • General Assembly Update: Feb. 10

    Virginia petroleum dealers support gas tax increase
    As Virginia legislators struggle to agree on a fix for the state’s chronic transportation funding problems, a trade association for petroleum dealers is taking a stand in the debate.
    It wants the General Assembly to raise the gasoline tax.

  • Carroll faces challenging budget year

    HILLSVILLE — Reduction in real estate values after reassessment and the resulting decrease in tax revenues will create challenges for Carroll County officials for fiscal year 2013-2014, they discussed at a budget committee meeting Tuesday.
    The recent reassessment reflected a drop in Carroll real estate values of nearly $277.7 million, County Administrator Gary Larrowe noted in the preliminary budget talks on Feb. 5. That could cause tax revenue to decrease as much as $1.65 million.

  • Mcdonnell's transportation plan hits pothole in Senate

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation funding plan hit a pothole in the Capitol on Tuesday, failing to win support in the politically divided state Senate.
    McDonnell’s plan and two Republican-sponsored alternatives were defeated in the Senate, hours after the House of Delegates narrowly approved a revised version of the governor’s bill. The House bill will be sent to the Senate, where McDonnell and his allies have their work cut out for them trying to keep the legislation alive.

  • Gun show compromise rejected

    RICHMOND — A Senator’s attempt to reach a compromise on gun show background checks was shot down by a Senate committee, taking fire from members in both parties.
    By a vote of 11-3, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed Sen. John Edwards’ last-ditch effort to settle a long-running debate over the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows private sellers at gun shows to sell firearms without a criminal records check on the buyer.

  • Welfare drug testing bill defeated, and other General Assembly action

    RICHMOND — On a party line vote, the Virginia Senate has killed legislation that would require local social services agencies to screen welfare recipients for possible drug use and subject some to drug tests.
    Senate Bill 721 is sponsored by Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County).
    The bill died on a 20-19 vote, with all of the Senate’s Democrats opposing it. One Republican senator was not present for the vote in the evenly split Senate.