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Local News

  • Hearing set on APCo rate proposal

    RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will hold a public hearing on July 1 in Wytheville to gather comments about Appalachian Power's request to increase the portion of the electric bill that pays for the fuel used to generate electricity.

    The hearing will give members of the public in APCo.'s Southwest Virginia service territory a more convenient location to offer testimony as public witnesses, according to an SCC press release. The Wytheville hearing will be in addition to a hearing on the request already scheduled for June 30 in Richmond.

  • Town trashes county's garbage fee proposal

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County is proposing to charge all residents of the county $3 a week for trash pickup, but Independence Town Council members feel they should have been included in negotiations.

    Now, the Town of Independence pays the county $3,000 a month to pick up residential trash in town limits.

    If the $3 weekly fee is approved, that amount would jump from $36,000 a year to more than $64,000 — a 78 percent increase, according to Town Manager Kenneth Vaught — and town residents would foot the bill instead of Independence.

  • Pursuit ends in charges

    INDEPENDENCE — A driver faces four charges in Grayson County after allegedly attempting to elude police officers the night of June 3.

    According to Cpl. Matthew Adams of the Independence Police Department, a vehicle occupied by Jason Scott Cornett, 26, of Independence pulled out in front of his police cruiser around 9:45 p.m. on Main Street.

    Adams said he attempted to stop the 1991 Chevy pick-up, but the vehicle continued west on Main.

  • Carroll eases subdivision restrictions

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll supervisors had the last say in the back-and-forth on the county's subdivision ordinance at their regular June meeting Monday, and they opted for several less restrictive standards.

    A majority of supervisors voted to lower minimum road widths and lot sizes in Class B subdivisions — which replaces the loose recreational subdivision category — and minimum sizes for lots to be served by well and septic systems in class A subdivisions.

  • Re-peeled: Carroll drops decals

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll supervisors voted to peel off county decals off vehicle windshields for good Monday.

    The supervisors held a public hearing on the idea to do away with the requirement of county decals and adding the related fee to a resident's personal property tax bill.

    One person — Guy Clark of Lambsburg, a former resident of the Tidewater area —supported the idea enthusiastically.

  • Grayson sets hearing on tax rate, fee increases

    INDEPENDENCE — After months of adding and subtracting from various department budgets, the Grayson County Board of Supervisors is ready to advertise its 2009-10 spending plan.

    Supervisors voted to move forward with the advertisement of the public hearing, set for June 9 at 6:30 p.m. The budget totals $16.38 million and includes various increases to taxes and fees that will affect Grayson residents.

    Among those increases are:

    • a 4-cent increase on the real estate levy.

    • a 25-cent increase on personal property tax.

  • Along The Watchtower

    INDEPENDENCE — Plenty of changes are evident at the 252,088-square-foot state prison being built outside of Independence since The Gazette last visited in February.

    Doyle Sandifer, assistant superintendent of the project, took The Gazette on a third tour of the prison site last week.

    Changes since the February visit include:

    • all buildings are now under roof.

    • paint is going on several interior walls. Walls will be white, with all metals painted a dark shade of red called "Sun Dried Tomato."

  • Lambsburg Rescue questions remain

    LAMBSBURG — Lambsburg residents are still wondering what they can do to restart their rescue squad, which Carroll County decided not to dispatch anymore after an alleged breach of protocols.

    Members of the rescue squad held a community meeting last Friday, inviting representatives of the county and the state to attend.

    Squad members beforehand said they wanted to get answers about their status, but nothing new came out at the community meeting.

  • Nelson indicted in Internet solicitation case

    ROANOKE — A 38-year-old Hillsville man already facing state charges for soliciting a teenage girl from Kansas over the Internet has been indicted on four counts by a federal grand jury.

    If found guilty, Dewey Edward Nelson could spend at least 10 years in federal prison, because two of the charges have a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, according to federal officials.

    The FBI and the Hillsville Police Department teamed up to investigate allegations that Nelson went to Kansas to pick up a juvenile he met on the Internet and brought her back to Virginia.

  • Citizens oppose Galax tax, rate increases

    Reducing the city's budget gap from nearly $2 million to $550,000 by raising taxes and rates had a handful of city residents and restaurant owners speaking out during Monday's budget hearing.

    They told Galax City Council that they feared tax increases, especially the 1 percent meals tax hike, could do more harm than good.