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Local News

  • Family of 9 loses home to fire

    By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    The Galax Fire Department responded to a house fire on Cricket Lane in the Oldtown Community of Grayson County on the afternoon of Dec. 30.
    The home, rented by the immediate and extended family of Andres and Christy Mendoza, was completely destroyed by the fire, according to Galax Fire Chief David Hankley.
    The home was occupied by seven adults, a three-year-old child and a two-week-old infant.

  • New year, new plans for New River Trail

    With visitation to the New River Trail State Park topping the 1 million mark again last year, 2013 could be the year when the 57-mile-long linear facility becomes the most-used park in Virginia.
    That’s not a New Year’s resolution on the part of park manager Sam Sweeney — it’s more of a long-term goal.
    While that milestone might not happen in 2013, the park has a lot of work planned for the next 12 months to prepare for even more public use.

  • Training offered for job seekers

    By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    Valley On-The-Job Training, a program offered by the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board, will help find jobs for people who are capable of working in manufacturing or healthcare, but may lack a skill or two they could learn quickly.
    The program seeks to offer more employment opportunity, while protecting the financial security of potential employers.

  • Red Cross director retiring after 23 years

    Maybe Joan Isom can go back to enjoying snow again after the New Year arrives, instead of fearing the worst of traffic snarls happening on Interstate 77.
    In the past, Isom — as executive director for the Woods River Chapter of the American Red Cross and as the manager for disaster services — had been responsible for finding places for the stranded motorists to stay if the interstate got shut down and if their vehicles broke down.

  • Regional jail members want more state funding

    DUBLIN — It has been two years since the eight localities that are members of the New River Valley Regional Jail authority stopped paying for state-responsible inmates. And now they’re asking state legislators to move those inmates out of the jail or pay up.
    Until December 2010, the localities — consisting of the counties of Pulaski, Giles, Carroll, Wythe, Grayson, Bland and Floyd and the city of Radford — were paying for state inmates that were being housed in the jail because state facilities did not have room for them.

  • Many living without basic needs

    By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    To make sure all area residents have the opportunity for a healthy living environment, Rooftop of Virginia offers help through an Indoor Plumbing and Rehabilitation Program.
    The goal is to provide assistance to locals who either do not have indoor plumbing or have failing water delivery or waste disposal systems.
    “We believe that everyone should be entitled to a home that fulfills basic human needs,” said program coordinator Opal Kegley.

  • Fries birding trail plans move forward

    FRIES — A proposed birding trail in Fries is moving forward, as town council members learned at their Dec. 4 meeting.
    In November, organizers of the trail brought their plan to council, but town officials were reluctant to give approval without some clarification that a state transportation grant could be used for the project.
    Council received a response from consultants the Lane Group concerning the status of the $185,000 Virginia Department of Transportation grant for a birding trail and river walk.

  • Galax applies for more Safe Routes funding

    The city is working to improve sidewalks and increase health and safety for students.

  • Grayson budget on track

    INDEPENDENCE — Halfway through the county’s fiscal year, Grayson has expended 41 percent of its budgeted dollars.
    That number, however, could be misleading as expenses could still be on the horizon.
    At the board of supervisors’ December meeting, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet pointed out that, at the mid-point in the budget year, only three departments are overspent — the electoral board, circuit court and local support.

  • Citizens take aim at firing range

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson citizens continue to reload their ammunition as the county continues its pursuit of a public shooting range near the old landfill site.
    Four citizens spoke in opposition of the proposed location during a public comments period at the Grayson Board of Supervisors meeting on Dec. 13.
    Tony Goodman spoke first and, although his home is in Baywood, he owns land adjacent to the proposed location.