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Local News

  • Federal anti-gang bill hits a snag

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott's two-year effort to refocus the battle against juvenile and gang crime to prevention programs that would cost billions of dollars appears to be picking up steam.

    More than half the members of the U.S. House — 234 lawmakers — have signed on as co-sponsors of the Virginia Democrat's bill.

    Scott's legislation would spend $2 billion over five years to underwrite what he calls "evidence-based prevention programs" to reach high-risk youths before they turn to gangs and crime.

  • New chapter begins at Galax library

    Melanie Hemingway, the new director of Galax-Carroll Regional Library system, said she is hoping to increase public awareness of what the library has to offer.

    Hemingway, who took the position in October, replaced Laura Bryant, who retired as long-time director this past summer.

    “I would like to see the library become the focal point for information,” said Hemingway. “I'm open to hearing from anyone about improving library services and to aim for the goals the public has.”

  • You can do this!

    As the new year begins, many smokers will resolve to quit for good in 2010.

    Some will be able to quit easily, even if they've been puffing away for years. For others, it will be like giving up breathing.

    Breaking the habit becomes even more important in 2010, as both Virginia and North Carolina have banned smoking in most restaurants and bars.

    Not to mention, you'll smell better and you'll have more money in your pocket. Who wouldn't want that?

  • Ground broken for firehouse

    FRIES — The Town of Fries took the first step in redeveloping the old mill town into an economic destination with a groundbreaking on a $1.2 million fire department Wednesday morning.

    The fire department owns the land and building of the existing fire hall and will simply swap with the town for the new land. Fries will then turn the old fire department building over to the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, which will market the property, much like it is doing with the old mill site.

  • New U.S. Attorney to represent SWVA

    Crime is like most problems, new U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy figures: It's more efficient to head it off than to pick up the pieces afterward.

    Stitch in time, limited federal dollars being put to their best use, that sort of thing.

    The question facing the former University of Virginia law professor is how to translate such widely accepted sentiments into the day-to-day workings of his office, where deterrence is more often described in terms of imposing harsh punishment on wrongdoers in order to scare off any who might copy their misdeeds.

  • TCRH going tobacco -free

    Twin County Regional  Healthcare and affiliates announced more than a year ago plans to join neighboring hospitals and health systems to become tobacco-free campuses on January 1, 2010.

    Just two days before the ban, the countdown continues.  

  • Estimates don't add up for GC projects

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County and its public school system are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to expectations for total cost of Phase I of the school system's long-range facilities update — but in the end, the bill will have to be paid.

    On the heels of budget adjustments to all constitutional officers in Grayson, supervisors held a special called meeting last week to express total cost expectations for Phase I of the school system's long-range facilities improvement plan.

  • Fire damages home

    HILLSVILLE — A family pet was lost in a house fire on Christmas Day in Hillsville, according to David Young of the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department.

    The HVFD was called out to 200 Virginia Street the afternoon of Dec. 25 after Michael Howlett passed the home and called 911 to report that smoke was coming out of it.

    When Hillsville police arrived on the scene, they let the fire department know that the house was on fire and that the family was out — but there were three pets still in the home.

    Young said a female dog, Kali, lost her life.

  • Backpack Buddies

    The number of Galax students participating in Backpack Buddies rose from 65 in September to 135 this month, and the number keeps growing, said Alison Bolen, an organizer of the program.

    Bolen and friends Jacquie Roberts and Stepahannie Dees came together to start up the program to help feed every hungry child in the community. Roberts, Dees and Bolen, along with a slew of volunteers fill backpacks with kid-friendly snacks and meals each Friday at Galax Presbyterian Church, where Bolen is a member, to send home with children in need.

  • Public record for 1/6/10 edition

    Editor’s Note: This information is taken from open court records and is a matter of public record.

    The listings are complete. The newspaper, as a matter of fairness, will not honor requests to omit any listing. 

    For information on this column or questions, call 236-5178, ext. 213.

    District Court

    These sentences were recorded in May in the Galax General District Court Office, Galax. Sentences may be appealed: