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Local News

  • Bank robbery suspect back in VA

    A suspect in the robberies of three banks in Southwest Virginia — including one in Galax — is back in the state after being transferred from a jail in North Carolina.

    William Myrl Smitherman, 19, of Lewisville, N.C., is accused of robbing First Citizens Bank in Galax. He is also a suspect in connection with bank robberies in Roanoke City and Bedford County Virginia.

    Smitherman was returned to Virginia last Wednesday and formally charged for the Jan. 2 Galax robbery.

  • Supervisors debate 620 truck restriction

    HILLSVILLE — The effort to keep tractor-trailers from getting stuck on Lambsburg Mountain hit a roadblock in May when Carroll supervisors learned it would apply to dump trucks, too.

    Tractor-trailers are simply too long to make it through the doubleback curves on Virginia 620 near the base of the mountain, as Virginia Department of Transportation's Bob Beasley and the Virginia State Police First Sgt. Mike Musser have said.

  • Cooper, Hawks plead guilty

    HILLSVILLE — Two people entered pleas in Carroll County Circuit Court on May 21 to charges stemming from a 2008 vehicle vs. pedestrian incident on dead-end Spring Branch Road that left one with severe injuries.

    James Charles Hawks, 37, of Hillsville was charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated malicious wounding in the incident where a Ford Explorer hit Warren Clyde Meredith on the road in front of his home.

    Driver Amy D. Cooper, 36, of Hillsville was charged with aggravated malicious wounding after the incident.

  • Taxes, fees going up in Galax

    When Galax City Council began work sessions last month for the 2009-2010 budget, the city had a spending plan that required more than $2 million from reserves to balance, but proposed tax hikes and rate increases would close the gap to $550,000.

    “This shortfall was the result of a slump in the city’s economy and declining tax revenues, since many larger industries started closing in the early 2000s, and tax rates that had not kept up with inflation or need for capital improvements and maintenance,” said City Manager Keith Holland.

  • Sweet ready to meet Grayson's challenges

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County will welcome only its third county administrator in history on June 1, as Jonathan Sweet returns home.

    Sweet moved to Grayson County in 1994, finishing his junior and senior year at GCHS. After graduating high school, he went to Radford University, where he majored in communications, with a minor in economics.

  • Creeks rise as rain soaks in

    A National Weather Service hydrologist got an eyeful of Chestnut Creek in Galax and Carroll County after more than three inches of rain dropped from the skies on May 27.

    Peter Corrigan drove a dark blue Ford F150 down from the weather service office in Blacksburg to check out a U.S. Geological Service gauge in Chestnut Creek in the city limits. He made the visit to verify reports and improve future forecasts.

  • Beamer succumbs to illness

    HILLSVILLE — Emily Page Beamer, 11, of Hillsville passed away Tuesday at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson, N.C.

    Emily had been diagnosed with pineoblastoma brain tumor on March 13, 2008, and had been undergoing chemotherapy at Duke University.

    Despite being diagnosed while in the fifth grade at Fancy Gap Elementary, she continued to study and graduated with her class.

    She remained an inspiration for her family members by staying positive and strong and smiling through the hardships.

  • DUI charge results in leave of absence

    HILLSVILLE — The executive director of the Carroll Wellness Center has taken a leave of absence after allegedly hitting a parked police car while drunk on May 22.

    Carroll County Deputy C.E. Edwards charged Gregory Randall Hampton, 45, of Galax with driving while intoxicated, second offense in five years, according to Carroll County General District Court paperwork.

    The deputy noted in the report that Hampton had hit a parked police car and that the smell of alcohol was present.

    A test yielded a blood-alcohol concentration of .10, the court papers said.

  • County sets public hearing on vehicle stickers

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll supervisors have scheduled a public hearing for their regular June meeting to hear comments on a plan to do away with vehicle decals.

    Assistant Administrator Nikki Shank, Finance Director Pam Smith, Treasurer Bonita Williams and Commissioner of Revenue Louise Quesenberry have all met to discuss the best way to end the requirement to put decals in personal vehicles, while still retaining the fee.

    County Attorney Jim Cornwell reported on the resulting proposal.

  • Carroll studies wind power

    HILLSVILLE — Locals are used to thinking of Carroll County as a windswept place — and researchers studying wind energy production say that's partly true.

    It's not unusual to hear about wind knocking down high-profile vehicles on Interstate 77. The latest incident just happened, when gusts caused a loaded trailer to shift, roll and wreck. 

    Fancy Gap residents say wind and fog are the community's weather issues.