Local News

  • Immigrants can no longer use employment papers to get driver's license

    Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer accept a federal employment document provided to immigrants as proof of legal presence as part of an application for a state driver’s license or identification card.
    That mandate from Gov. Bob McDonnell comes amid concerns about whether the document reflects a person’s status in the country.
    In a statement, the governor’s office said that an individual can possess that work authorization form even if deportation is pending.

  • Red Cross helping fire victims

    Red Cross disaster workers were called to an evening fire at The Pine Crest Apartments on South Main Street in Galax on Aug. 29 to assist families affected by the event.
    Sharon Burns of the Wood’s River Chapter of the American Red Cross said the agency was alerted that seven families housed in the 13-unit complex were in need of shelter, food and clothing.
    According to Galax Fire Chief David Hankley, the department sent five trucks and 30 firefighters to the call and found heavy fire showing from a single ground floor apartment.

  • Power line objection withdrawn

    The Virginia Marine Resource Commission has approved a permit for Appalachian Power Co. to move power lines in the area around the new bridge over the New River, replacing the old Carico Memorial Bridge in Grayson County.

  • Alternative energy options explored

    Matthews State Forest near Galax could house alternative energy projects if the Appalachian Regional Commission approves a grant application.
    On Aug. 16, Galax City Council approved a letter of support for the effort after hearing from Gary Boring and Dr. Jim Nuckolls, who are working on the application for an ARC Alternative Energy Grant for the New River Highlands Resource Conservation District.

  • High-speed Internet coming to Grant

    INDEPENDENCE — Residents of the Grant community in Grayson County will soon have access to high speed internet.
    Supervisors held a public hearing last month regarding an application by the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority to construct a tower on the property of Oak Hill Academy.
    Zoning Administrator Lisa Barker said that the tower would serve Grayson Highlands school and help improve communications for the sheriff’s department and rescue squads in the western end of the county.

  • Workers await bridge's fate

    The Virginia Department of Transportation will soon know the fate of a permit to enable Appalachian Power Co. to relocate electrical lines to make way for a new bridge over the New River between Galax and Fries.
    The new structure will replace the aging Carico Memorial Bridge on Virginia 94.

  • Three to run for Carroll sheriff

    HILLSVILLE — Sheriff Warren Manning will retire at the end of his term in 2012, but three potential successors already work in Carroll law enforcement.
    "I'm retiring in a year and five months," Manning told The Gazette on Monday.

    But, he noted that three of Carroll's long-term officers have shared with him their intentions to run for sheriff next year.
    They are Investigator Fred Bobbitt, School Resource Officer J.B. Gardner and Chief Deputy Glenn Nester.

  • McDonnell: budget conservatively, despite surplus

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell told state lawmakers Thursday that most of Virginia’s budget surplus has been spoken for and urged caution as the state deals with fiscal and economic uncertainty.
    Virginia finished the fiscal year with a surplus of $403.2 million because of stronger-than-expected tax collections and spending restraint by state agencies.

  • Streambanks on road to recovery

    HILLSVILLE — Because the U.S. 58 bypass project south of Hillsville plowed under and paved over wetlands, the Virginia Department of Transportation must replace those habitats.
    The requirement set down by the Clean Water Act means that VDOT officials had to seek out places to mitigate the five-mile bypass project's environmental impact.

  • Governor's panel to help implement health care law

    Gov. Bob McDonnell, an outspoken critic of the federal health care overhaul passed by Congress, has appointed an advisory council to develop strategies for implementing it.
    McDonnell on Monday named 24 members of a Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council, assembling a group that includes hospital and insurance executives, business leaders, state officials and legislators from both parties.