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Local News

  • McDonnell: Virginia hasn't approved Medicaid expansion

    RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell wants the Obama administration to know that Virginia has not approved expansion of Medicaid under the federal health reform law, and that he won’t authorize it “given the vast reform required to make our program cost effective.”

  • Grayson developing 'roadmap to the future'

    The Grayson County Planning Commission is developing a "good roadmap to the future" through its yearlong effort to update its comprehensive plan.
    "The goal is to produce an action-based plan that addresses the current needs and future challenges," said Elaine Holeton, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Community Development.
    State code requires each locality in Virginia to draft a comprehensive plan at least once every 10 years. Grayson’s last plan was drafted in 2005, with re-adoption in 2009.

  • Study: trail plan won't infringe on property rights

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    The Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail, has proposed that its coverage region of 19 counties and four cities in Southwest Virginia be designated as a National Heritage Area, “based on the region’s unique musical heritage and its significant role in the formation of American music,” according to a press release provided by the organization.

  • Medical board reprimands three local physicians

    The Virginia Board of Medicine reports that three physicians practicing in the Twin Counties were reprimanded for pre-signing multiple blank prescriptions for a nursing home, in violation of state code.
    The prescriptions were to be used only for emergencies, but were “not dated or signed by [the doctors] on the day when issued, as required by the Code [of Virginia],” the board found.
    The board issued the reprimands in June 2012. All three physicians are still permitted to practice medicine, and their licenses were not revoked or suspended.

  • 'Bottom' project is a top priority for Galax

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    With the high volume of floodwaters early this year because of heavy rainfall, plans for the Galax Bottom Neighborhood Revitalization Project seem more urgent than ever.
    The low-lying "Bottom" neighborhood beside Chestnut Creek includes flood-prone Givens Street and is bordered by Caldwell, Meadow, Shaw and Grant streets.

  • Carroll sees pros of putting cons to work

    HILLSVILLE — Day reporting is kind of like a temp service through the courts, and Carroll County’s new coordinator is looking for tasks for convicts who qualify.
    Day reporting is an alternative sentencing option that keeps those convicted of minor crimes from going to jail if they agree to do community service instead.
    Glenn Edmonds, a Carroll deputy who has served as a bailiff in the courts, will now coordinate the program for the county. He started in this new capacity March 1.

  • Bill cracks down on texting behind the wheel

    RICHMOND — Legislation that would strengthen enforcement and increase penalties for texting while driving has been sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk.
    By a vote of 28-12, the state Senate recently passed House Bill 1907, which already had been passed by the House of Delegates. The bill would allow police to stop drivers for using a “handheld personal communications device” to send or view text messages and e-mails.

  • Cohabitation ban repealed

    RICHMOND — Unmarried couples living together may soon be doing so legally under a measure that passed the General Assembly.
    The House voted 62-25 in favor of repealing the law making it illegal for unmarried couples to live together. Virginia code says doing so is punishable by a $500 fine for a first offense and up to a year in jail for subsequent infractions.
    The U.S. Supreme Court has deemed the law unconstitutional, and prosecutors haven’t used it for years, said Del. Scott Surovell, a Fairfax County Democrat.

  • Making filing less taxing

    With tax season now in full swing, many Americans will seek professional help to file their federal and state returns. But sometimes that professional help can take a chunk out of a taxpayer’s wallet.
    AARP annually offers a free solution for low- to moderate-income taxpayers through its nonprofit Tax-Aide program.
    District coordinator Carol Sheahan has been helping area AARP tax preparation sites for about 13 years. She became involved with Tax-Aide when she found an ad for a volunteer opportunity to prepare taxes for seniors.

  • Memorial organizers seek help

    HILLSVILLE — The monument being built at the Galax Public Library honors all Twin County veterans, including those from Hillsville and Carroll County, project organizers say.
    Gary Lowe and Frank Plichta of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 245 brought that message to Hillsville Town Council’s Feb. 25 meeting.