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Local News

  • McDonnell and GOP win state races, sweep Twin Counties

    Bob McDonnell steamrolled Creigh Deeds in Tuesday's gubernatorial election as part of a dominating night for Republican candidates who prevailed in the other two statewide races and gained seats to increase the party's majority in the House of Delegates.

    The Republican ticket swept the City of Galax and Carroll and Grayson counties, as well.

    "Working together as Virginians, we will find those new ways to solve the problems that face us and to create more jobs and new opportunities," McDonnell told supporters during his victory speech.

  • Police respond to CCIS threat

    HILLSVILLE — The school day at Carroll County Intermediate came to an abrupt end after staff at the school opened an envelope with a double threat inside.

    It contained both a white powder and a written bomb threat, according to Kevin Harris, director of personnel, who was on scene helping with the response alongside Virginia State Police with a bomb search dog, Hillsville police officers, Carroll County deputies, Carroll EMS, school and county officials and more.

  • Man charged with child porn possession

    A Galax man has been charged with possession of child pornography after officers searched his home.

    Richard Lee Taylor, 37, of 752 Beech Grove Lane, was charged with possession of child pornography after investigators found numerous child pornography files on his computer.

    Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan said investigators received information that an individual at the above address was downloading child pornography from the Internet.

  • Rec roof bids under review

    FRIES — Bids to put a new roof on the Town of Fries' recreation center remain under review after coming in much higher than expected.

    Fries Town Manager Brian Reed was asked about the process during the town council meeting Tuesday night and, while he didn't have much new information, he said bids continue to be reviewed.

    In August, bids were received for the project after a four-year battle for permanent authority ended when the Federal Communications Commission dismissed all petitions to deny U.S. Cellular's tower placement across the New River from the town.

  • Medicaid fraud case investigated

    HILLSVILLE — A local psychologist has pleaded guilty to medical assistance fraud and repaid more than $38,000 in Carroll County Circuit Court on Oct. 28.

    Jeanne Marie Watson, a licensed professional counselor and Medicaid provider of testing and counseling services, had previously operated the Appalachian Psychological Trauma Center in Hillsville, according to information from Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad.

    Originally charged with 12 counts of fraud, Watson pleaded guilty to three counts.

  • Irwin files for recount of Wilson District results

    INDEPENDENCE — The wheels are in motion for a recount of the Wilson District election results in Grayson County.

    Challenger Kate Irwin, a Democrat, told The Gazette on Friday that she has started the process of filing for a recount, after losing the election by four votes to incumbent Mike Maynard.

    "I feel it was a really great race, and because it's so close, I feel I owe it to everyone who voted for me and supported me to make sure the count is accurate," she said.

  • Parkway 75th events planned

    FANCY GAP — With a million more visitors expected to roll down the Blue Ridge Parkway for its 75th anniversary, that means more tourism for the Twin Counties, as well.

    After all, Carroll County already boasts the second-most-used parkway entrance at Fancy Gap, and the Blue Ridge Music Center serves as a major attraction.

    The challenge — as any representative of a gateway community can attest — is getting the visitors to stop.

  • Visitors' center to open soon

    The visitors' center in downtown Galax is expected to be complete and open by the end of the year or January, according to Keith Barker, interim city manager.

    John Parsons, whose father once operated a law firm there, donated the building to the city about a year ago for the purpose of a visitors' center.

  • Nelson pleads guilty to solicitation of minor

    ROANOKE — A 38-year-old Hillsville man could end up serving life in prison after pleading guilty Monday in federal court to multiple charges of soliciting a minor online.

    Dewey Edward Nelson was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts, stemming from two periods in February and May.

    Nelson was accused of crossing state lines to find a girl less than 18 years of age to bring her back to Hillsville and have sex with her, according to the indictments in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

  • Weather blamed for chain reaction crashes

    LAMBSBURG — Three related wrecks on Interstate 77, blamed on the wet weather, tied up traffic for hours on Veterans Day in Carroll County.

    A team of Virginia State Police troopers who responded to the scene were still sorting out the mess late Wednesday afternoon, but First Sgt. Mike Musser said a tractor-trailer hauling ceramic tiles overturned in heavy rain at about 9:30 a.m., causing a number of crashes behind it.

    It's tiles were strewn over about 200 yards of the interstate near milemarker 3, and the tractor trailer got hit by at least three other vehicles.