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Local News

  • Jackson named new Hillsville town manager

    HILLSVILLE — Travis Jackson is retiring as the area director for USDA Rural Development after 32 years to become the new Hillsville town manager.
    Town council members unanimously approved hiring Jackson on Monday night, after a motion by Vice Mayor Ed Terry, taking only a few short minutes to fill the position that had been vacant since June.
    Town officials quietly celebrated the circumstances that led to being able to hire Jackson.

  • Virginians have mixed views on gun laws

    Nearly half of Virginia voters favor stricter state gun laws and two-thirds support putting armed police officers in public schools, according to a new statewide poll released last week.
    In the Quinnipiac University survey, a majority of registered voters voiced support for national bans on assault weapons and sales of high-capacity magazines. But 50 percent of voters believe gun ownership helps protect people from crime.

  • New chief plans changes in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — There’s one main idea that Chief Greg Bolen wants to enforce about the Hillsville Police Department — that it’s a part of the community.
    In the coming months, the department will have more police walking the beat, bike patrols will return to the streets, officers will assist with keeping school zones safe and the agency will launch a Facebook page. The goal of these programs is grounding policing and public safety efforts in the community.
    It all goes back to the fact that the department exists to serve, Bolen said.

  • Bills aim to keep training centers open

    More supporters of the Virginia training centers have stepped up efforts to convince the General Assembly to protect the facilities for the intellectually and developmentally disabled from closing.
    Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed closing four of the state-run facilities, including the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County, and reducing the fifth to 75 beds as part of an idea to shift more residents to community care situations.

  • Governor proposes ending gas tax

    RICHMOND — Virginia’s gasoline tax would be eliminated and its retail sales tax would increase from 5 percent to 5.8 percent under a transportation funding plan Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled Tuesday.
    The governor’s proposal also would increase vehicle registration fees, impose a $100 annual fee on alternative fuel vehicles and shift revenue from the state’s general fund to provide more dollars for roads, rail and transit.

  • Ending Gas Tax: Reader Reaction

    The governor's proposal was one of the most talked-about topics on The Gazette's Facebook page this week. Here's what some readers had to say:

  • AAA predicts lower gas prices in 2013

    Gasoline prices this year will be less expensive than in 2012 as a result of increased domestic oil production and lower demand, according to the American Automobile Association.
    The national average price of gasoline should peak at $3.60-$3.80 per gallon barring any significant unanticipated events, which compares to a peak of $3.94 a gallon in 2012.
    Gasoline prices should rise steadily through April or early May, but at a slower pace than last year.

  • Family loses home, animals to blaze

     

  • Hope House helping family that lost home

    The Galax Hope House is collecting donations for the family of Andres and Christy Mendoza, who suffered a major financial loss when the house they were renting caught fire on Dec. 30.
    Their family of nine — including seven adults, a three-year-old child and a two-week-old infant — wasn't harmed, but the house was completely destroyed, along with all of the family’s belongings.
    Hope House is accepting item donations, such as clothes, diapers and formula, for the family.

  • General Assembly 2013 Preview

    RICHMOND — A big political year in Virginia begins in earnest today, Wednesday, when the General Assembly opens its 2013 session and confronts a host of contentious and controversial issues.
    Over a period of 46 days, lawmakers will decide whether to lift Virginia’s ban on uranium mining and try again to find a fix for the state’s chronic transportation funding problems.
    Last month’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school will revive debates over school safety and gun control.