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Local News

  • Will Carroll, Hillsville stick with decals?

    HILLSVILLE — Citizens speaking to Carroll Supervisors' Chairman David Hutchins about county decals for personal vehicles have been blunt about their feelings.

    "I've had numerous people tell me the stupidest thing Carroll County's ever done is put those decals on there," he recalls.

    Hutchins said that statement was often followed by the suggestion that the county should just get rid of the decals and collect the revenue another way.

    Hillsville Town Council will also look into the possibility.

  • Grayson schools still need to trim spending

    INDEPENDENCE — Nearly 75 people packed the Grayson County courthouse for a public hearing on the 2009-10 budget for the school division.

    Twelve people spoke during the 45-minute hearing, all of whom asked the board of supervisors to consider passing the entire $4.6 million budget requested by educators.

    Prior to opening the floor for discussion, Supervisors’ Chairman Mike Maynard made a few remarks about where the board stands with the school budget process.

  • Carroll woman target of murder-for-hire plot

    CHATHAM — A charge of criminal solicitation to commit the murder a Hillsville woman has been certified to the Pittsylvania County grand jury, against her ex-husband — a former Green Rock Correctional Center inmate.

    The charge was filed against David Eugene Huff, 41, in January as the result of an investigation by a special agent from the Virginia Department of Corrections' Office of the Inspector General, according to the criminal complaint

  • Twin County projects get $7.3 million in stimulus funds

     Carroll County will receive $7 million in a grant and a low-interest loan for its regional water project, and Hillsville and Fries will get $552,900 and $300,000, respectively, for wastewater system improvements.

  • Fries man charged with 2nd-degree murder

    FRIES — A 22-year-old man is charged with second-degree murder in a death caused by a drug overdose.

    Daniel Laymond Ferguson, of 340 Grayson Street in Fries, was indicted by a Grayson County grand jury April 24 for the murder charge and one count of distributing a Schedule II drug.

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

  • Galax council approves school budget, city projects

    Galax City Council adopted the $13 million 2009-2010 budget for Galax schools during Monday's meeting, which included a small increase in local funding.

    A public hearing on the proposed spending plan was held April 13, but council heard no comments.

    The school board requested city funding in the amount of $3.96 million, an increase of $125,000 from the current year's budget. The increase is mostly for debt service for the renovation of Galax High School.

  • Barriers prevent propane explosion

    A possible disaster was avoided April 25, after a car plowed over heavy metal barriers buried in about two feet of concrete protecting two large propane tanks.

    One of the tanks was moved by the front of the car, but no gas leaked.

    The incident occurred behind Wal-Mart in Galax about 8 p.m.

    Galax police said a 1998 Ford Taurus, driven by Christopher Jordan Walker, 19, of Hillsville, was traveling at an estimated 45 mph when he lost control in the parking lot near the lube and tire department. Walker was not injured.

  • VDOT begins layoffs

    RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation began notifying wage employees Tuesday of layoffs that are aimed at closing a $2.6 billion budget shortfall over the next six years.

    So Tuesday and Wednesday, Hillsville Residency Administrator Bob Beasley gave the notifications from Richmond to the four 1,500-hour wage employees locally that will have their positions eliminated by June 6 at the latest.

    One of the affected employees has worked for the Hillsville residency office for 15 years.

    "It's a tough day," Beasley said.

  • Health problem caused fatal crash

    HILLSVILLE — A former commercial truck driver's seizure behind the wheel apparently resulted in a fatal head-on collision between two tractor-trailers on Interstate 77 in Carroll County on Feb. 17.

    Following the investigation of the accident that left the driver of the other truck dead, Virginia State Police charged Brian Scott Grubbs, 39, of Anderson, S.C., with involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.

    Grubbs appeared with his attorney, Nathan Lyons, in Carroll County General District Court on Tuesday to answer the charges.

  • Schools prep for swine flu outbreak

    Though no cases of the swine flu have been reported in Southwest Virginia, at this point Galax schools are taking a proactive position to prevent any cases of the disease, Superintendent Bill Sturgill told The Gazette on Friday.

    Administrators of the school division met Thursday to discuss the swine flu, using the guidelines of the Virginia Department of Education's health plan. “It was a discussion of what do we do now and to prepare in terms of precautionary measures,” Sturgill said.