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Local News

  • Transportation plan includes I-77/I-81 overlap fix

    RICHMOND  — A chunk of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation funding under the “Virginia’s Road to the Future” plan could go towards improving the overlap of interstates 77 and 81 in Wythe County.
    Instead of finding free flowing traffic at the point where 77 and 81 meet, motorists can run into significant backups.
    Under this plan, McDonnell would provide the Virginia Department of Transportation with $1.28 billion in new funding for 158 highway projects.

  • Governor proposes $2M more for veteran programs

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell proposes to pump $2 million into programs that aid veterans.
    Among them are initiatives to help veterans find employment, provide home improvement grants to certain wounded vets and to increase funding to assist military survivors and dependents with education expenses.
    McDonnell has said his objective is “making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.”

  • Training center report questioned

    RICHMOND — Virginia officials point to positive outcomes in transitioning intellectually and developmentally disabled people from training centers, as they seek to close four such facilities and shrink a fifth to 75 beds.
    The state faces resistance from parent groups that opposed the idea of moving residents from these facilities — like the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County — into community-based care.

  • Bill to keep training center open fails this year

    RICHMOND — A bill to spare the Southwestern Virginia Training Center from closing has been laid aside by the General Assembly, according to the legislation’s patron.
    Del. Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville) reported that House Bill 1669 has been tabled, apparently for the duration of this year’s legislative session.

  • Snow socks the Twin Counties

    UPDATED 1/21/13 — Four days after the Jan. 17 storm that dumped a foot of snow on the area, Appalachian Power Co. reported on Monday that Grayson County still had the most people in the region without electricity.
    There were an estimated 2,355 powerless in Grayson, or about 23 percent of customers, down from 6,000 outages the day of the storm.
    On Monday, Carroll County had 858 customers without power (down from 2,300 on Jan. 17)  and Galax had 311 (up a bit from the 243 without power the day of the storm.)

  • No more cleaning house in Carroll elections

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County will have a big election and a smaller election with the beginning of staggered terms this year.
    This move will mean voters will not be able to elect an entirely new slate of supervisors or school board members in one election, as has been the case in the past.

  • Grayson pays bonuses after saving on insurance

    INDEPENDENCE – The Grayson County Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance earlier this month allowing the county the option to provide bonuses to its employees.
    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet prefaced the public hearing on Jan. 10 by pointing out that, according to state law, the county must pass the ordinance in order to provide any type of bonus above the salary for any of its employees.
    Sweet said the ordinance was brought up by the fact that most jurisdictions provide their employees with some form of bonus, usually around the holidays.

  • State tax refunds will arrive as debit cards this year

    If you usually receive your state tax refund by check, you’ll have to choose a new option.
    The 2012-2014 Appropriations Act approved by the 2012 General Assembly eliminated paper refund checks to save money.
    The state issued more than 1.2 million refund checks last year, and will save about $200,000 in printing and mailing costs annually under the new law.

  • Bipartisan effort seeks to restore felons' civil rights

    UPDATE 1/15/13:

    RICHMOND — Legislation endorsed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to return civil rights to nonviolent felons emerged from a Virginia Senate subcommittee without a recommendation Tuesday.

    A motion to recommend the bill failed on a 3-3 vote, with all of the votes against the measure coming from McDonnell’s fellow Republicans. The tie vote was enough to keep the measure alive for the full Privileges and Elections Committee.

  • Bipartisan effort seeks to restore felons' civil rights

    UPDATE 1/15/13: