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Local News

  • Galax gets grant for Felts Park stage

    The City of Galax and the Galax Moose Lodge, sponsor of the annual Old Fiddlers' Convention, have decided the traditional big, yellow circus tent will remain for the event next year — even after a permanent stage is built in Felts Park.

    When the planning process for the stage began several months ago, Galax City Council worried that it would eliminate the traditional yellow tent that hovers over the stage during the Old Fiddlers' Convention, a symbol of the convention for decades.

  • Fries seeks $1M grant for new firehouse

    FRIES — The Town of Fries is seeking a $1 million grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to build a new 10,000-square-foot fire department.

    Town Manager Brian Reed said officials from DHCD and the Fries Volunteer Fire Department met last Monday night and reached an agreement for the town to obtain the grant money, build the fire hall and then swap land with the department.

  • Carroll court unseals indictments

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County Circuit Court recently released indictments that had been previously sealed.

    It's common practice for the court to seal direct indictments until the persons named can be served with warrants.

    An indictment is only a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

    Unsealed indictments include:

    • Gregory Harris Combs — distribution of imitation controlled substance, representing it to be methamphetamine, and conspiracy to violate the drug control act.

  • Galax police launch info system

    Most text messages or Twitter alerts are pretty mundane — what someone's having for lunch or when to meet up for dinner or a movie.

    But what if an alert in your inbox warned you of a criminal on the loose in your neighborhood, the approach of a dangerous storm or a street closing?

    The Galax Police Department has launched a new Community Information Service designed to deliver important and timely information to residents using the latest technology.

  • Two possible 'swine flu' cases in Grayson schools

    INDEPENDENCE — A second possible case of the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as "swine flu," has been identified in the Grayson County School System.

    School officials are awaiting confirmation of the illness.

    "At this time, we do not have information from the Virginia Department of Health that the possible H1N1 or swine flu cases in Grayson County are confirmed," Grayson Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas said.

  • Carter Home close to opening

    HILLSVILLE — The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Foundation is on the verge of two milestones — opening the first two floors of the historic home of the late coal magnate to the public and hiring a program manager.

    The original structure on Main Street next to the historic courthouse pre-dated the Civil War, but it went through a major transformation when Southwest Virginia rail and coal magnate George L. Carter renovated it to serve as the Hillsville home for him and his wife Mayetta.

  • Grayson grand jury certifies charges

    A Galax man was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual battery against a female younger than age 13 by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury last Friday.

    William Estil Crigger, 29, of Skyline Highway, was one of 15 people indicted by the grand jury on a total of 20 charges.

    An indictment is a formal charge and not a finding of guilt.

    Other charges alleged in indictments:

    • Jason Scott Cornett, eluding police, disregarding a command to stop.

    • Donald Zane Roberts, Jr., driving while intoxicated, third offense within 10 years.

  • Carroll Relay raises $69,700

    HILLSVILLE — The Galax-Carroll Relay for Life raised a respectable $69,700, given the harsh economic climate gripping the nation and the region.

    About 500 people turned out last Friday at the Carroll County High School athletic field for opening ceremonies for the all-night walk against cancer, according to organizer Judy Beasley.

    "I think it was a bigger crowd than usual," she said.

    The most popular events of the evening were the dunking booth and the jail and bail booths, which together probably raised $1,000 of the total.

  • 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.