Local News

  • Citizens fighting flouride

    Alleghany County citizens made it plain to the Virginia-Carolina Water Authority last week — they don't want fluoride in their water.

    They cited health concerns with adding fluoride, which is aimed at promoting dental health.

    A regional water system is under construction to provide water to the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C., and Grayson and Alleghany counties. The Water Authority is made up of eight members representing the four jurisdictions. 

  • Sweepstakes businesses taking a gamble in Va.

    HILLSVILLE — While Internet sweepstakes businesses in Virginia currently fall into a legal gray area, Carroll County has seen the number of such operations increase five-fold.

    State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued opinions saying that some kinds of sweepstakes activities that constitute gambling are illegal, but other practices are allowed under law.

    Carroll Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Goad hopes that the General Assembly will act to write a law that ends the confusion.

  • Authority to take over grants

     HILLSVILLE — Carroll County's grant writer position will move under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, as grant writing services go regional.

    Paperwork before the Carroll County Board of Supervisors for approval at its Nov. 11 meeting outlined the reasons for the change — streamlining operations and increasing efficiency.

  • Fire system fixed, but prison remains on ice

     INDEPENDENCE — A certificate of occupancy for a state prison in Grayson County has been delayed because of problems with the fire prevention system.

    As a remedy, engineers have completed additional work and testing on the system and contractors last week requested that the Town of Independence provide additional water to the facility in the event of a fire.

  • Officials pitch annexation plan

     HILLSVILLE — Local officials' job Tuesday was to convince the Commission on Local Government that the annexation agreement between Carroll County and Hillsville is in the best interests of all.

  • Tax relief for elderly could expand

     INDEPENDENCE — More Grayson County residents could soon be eligible for a tax relief program.

    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet brought a recommendation to the board of supervisors on Nov. 10 to increase various aspects of a program that provides relief for elderly residents of the county who struggle to pay their taxes on fixed incomes.

    Sweet said he and Commissioner of Revenue Larry Bolt recommend that the board consider increasing all three phases of the program.

  • Commission gathering annexation data

     HILLSVILLE — The Commission on Local Government's information gathering phase for the Carroll County-Hillsville boundary adjustment got off to a quiet start Monday. 

    All boundary changes go through this state commission, including the proposal to expand the town's borders west beyond the busy commercial area at Interstate 77's Exit 14 and a second residential area on Howlett Street.

  • Woodlawn residents breathing easier

     HILLSVILLE — Woodlawn smells better after work by the Carroll Public Service Authority to correct an odor problem there, a citizen reported at the PSA meeting last Thursday.

    Community resident Robin Whittington shared his take on the rotten egg odor that started after the Woodlawn sewer system came online this year.

    Whittington has been one of several citizens who brought the smell to the PSA's attention, but as of Nov. 11 he had gotten a whiff of improvement.

  • Project could address flooding

     A flood damage reduction program would help to prevent flooding of Chestnut Creek, Galax City Manager Keith Barker told Galax City Council last Monday. 

    About two years ago, city staff met with representatives of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, staff from Rep. Rick Boucher's office and the Army Corps of Engineers in regards to maintenance of Chestnut Creek. 

  • Citizens voice tax increase opposition

     INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County supervisors approved a tax increase last summer and residents continue to express their displeasure as they threaten to choose new leaders during the next election.

    Twelve residents spoke before the Board of Supervisors last Wednesday night and all had the same general comments — the 44 percent tax increase last summer is unacceptable.

    Many of the residents who spoke noted that, with the most recent reassessment and the 44 percent increase, their taxes effectively doubled.