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Local News

  • Help is out there for healthcare enrollment

    The much-anticipated new healthcare marketplaces, previously known as exchanges, opened for business on Tuesday.
    Created by the Affordable Care Act, they’re hubs where people who don’t have coverage from government programs or their employers can buy health insurance to take effect next year. That’s when the health law requires most people to be covered or pay a tax penalty.

  • Prison opening came after long wait

    INDEPENDENCE — After years of anticipation and struggles for funding in the General Assembly, River North Correctional Center in Independence officially became operational last week following a ribbon cutting Sept. 25.
    The $105 million, 1,024-bed, medium security (Level 4) facility was open to hundreds of state and local dignitaries and officials for the afternoon ceremony and guided tours of the facility.

  • Art school gets $125K for woodworking studio

    After close to a year of campaigns and grant applications, Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) has secured the final funding piece to move forward with a new woodworking studio in Galax.
    The final grant was awarded on Sept. 26 by the Virginia Tobacco Commission in the amount of $125,000; which topped off the required $877,000 needed to get the project started.

  • Grayson holds first candidate forum

    TROUTDALE — The Grange Hall in Grant played host to a full house last Thursday night for the first of three candidate forums in Grayson County leading up to the Nov. 5 election.
    Nine of the 10 candidates who will appear on the Wilson District ballot on Election Day were in attendance. Each candidate was allowed up to seven minutes to talk about their campaigns, and the order of speakers was decided by drawing straws.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway attractions closed by government shutdown

    Visitors centers, attractions and campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway closed on Tuesday due to the federal government shutdown, and will remain closed until the issues are resolved.
    The parkway is one of the 401 national parks that have been affected by the government shutdown. All visitor facilities including all historic sites, park hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, picnic areas and restrooms — everything except the road itself — are closed.

  • Grayson will handle George murder case

    Law enforcement officials could charge by indictment a suspect in the death of a 33-year-old Fries woman. If so, the charge would be placed and prosecuted in Grayson County.
    Investigators in both Carroll and Grayson counties have been looking into the disappearance and subsequent death by homicide of Desia Rae George. A cause of death has not be released.

  • Regional tourism project gets $34K marketing grant

    A regional partnership has received $34,000 from the state to aid in tourism marketing.
    Gov. Bob McDonnell recently announced that “Niche Markets & Networking- Blue Ridge Plateau” has received a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC).
    The governor this year increased funding for the program aimed at increasing economic development through tourism.

  • Absentee voting begins for Nov. 5 election

    Absentee voting has started for the Nov. 5 general election in all of Virginia’s 133 localities.
    In order to vote absentee, voters must be registered to vote in Virginia and meet one of the eligibility requirements listed on the Virginia absentee ballot application.
    The application and additional information about absentee voting are available at www.sbe.virginia.gov.
    Eligible voters may cast their absentee ballot by mail or in person at their local registrar’s office. Applicants must list a qualifying reason for voting absentee.

  • New prison officially opens

    WITH VIDEO

    River North Correctional Center opened on Wednesday as Virginia’s first new prison since 2007, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Grayson County area.
    River North, lead by Warden Ben Wright, opened as a Security Level IV facility and will house around 1,000 offenders.

  • Virginia Produce to expand in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday announced that Virginia Produce Company, a family-owned agricultural produce wholesaler located in Hillsville, will more than quadruple the size of its operating facility and create 75 new full-time positions.
    During the three-year project, Virginia Produce will invest more than $2.54 million in capital improvements and buy an additional $12 million of produce from Virginia farms.