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Local News

  • Leaf & String adds wine to festival mix

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

    The City of Galax has granted a request from the Galax Downtown Association to allow alcohol sales during the annual Leaf & String Festival in June.
    Ray Kohl spoke on behalf of the GDA at a recent Galax City Council meeting, detailing other changes to the festival focused on local music, art and literature. “We are trying to make Leaf & String more of a local event that highlights things that happen in our area,” he explained.

  • Subdivision ordinance changes proposed

    HILLSVILLE — Two citizens shared their property rights issues about Carroll County’s subdivision ordinance at the May 13 meeting, as the board of supervisors considered adopting several changes.
    Planning Commission members have proposed several modifications to the regulations meant to control growth, explained Ronald Newman, Carroll’s planning official.
    The additions to the subdivision ordinance included:

    • adding language to define commercial lots, flag lots, flag pole and industrial lot.

  • Tow truck driver struck, killed on I-77

    FANCY GAP — A historically dangerous stretch of Interstate 77 in Carroll County claimed another life over Memorial Day weekend, a man who was often called on to rescue victims and their wrecked vehicles on the deadly road.

    Tow truck operator Russell Nelson, 75, owner of Russell’s Garage in Hillsville, was struck by a car and killed on May 25, while on a call on I-77. He had been in the towing business for more than 30 years, coworkers said.

  • Wind farm proposal too close to zoning

    HILLSVILLE — The winds on regulating tall structures on Carroll County ridge lines have shifted again, with county officials deciding that proposal sails too close to zoning.
    Carroll supervisors at their May 13 meeting basically made the decision to scuttle the tall structures proposal that arose after it became public knowledge that EDP Renewables was considering the Stoots Mountain area for a wind farm.
    Officials previously said they would not make a decision on the matter in May, so they put off the vote on the proposal until June.

  • Search for woman comes to tragic end

    The body of Desia Rae George, 33, of Fries, was found last Thursday in a creek alongside Brush Creek Road in Grayson County.
    With that discovery, the investigation shifted from a missing person search to a criminal case.
    George had been missing since April 15.
    It appears that George’s body was dropped off on the side of a road, which leads police to believe that foul play may have been involved, said Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner.
    Investigators are now putting together what happened leading up to that.

  • Primary elections to be held June 11

    Absentee voting has started for the June 11 statewide Democratic primary.
    The statewide primary is to select Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
    There are also numerous primary elections for the House of Delegates and local offices in various areas of the state.
    Among them is the 6th District House race to select the Republican nominee for the November election. Incumbent Annie B. Crockett-Stark of Wytheville is retiring. The 6th District includes all of Carroll and Wythe counties and part of Smyth County.

  • Carroll supervisors pass budget

    HILLSVILLE — With action to adopt the budget at the May 13 meeting, Carroll supervisors cemented the fiscal year 2014 real estate tax rate at 68 cents.
    The supervisors quickly adopted two budget-related motions proposed by the two elected officials on the county budget committee at that meeting.
    Supervisor Phil McCraw made a motion to approve the approximately $39.12 million general county budget, which was approved. Including the $39.6 million funding for schools, the total Carroll budget comes in at about $78.8 million.

  • Local relief on the way to Oklahoma

    Firefighters are joining with a local church and a Galax industry to collect and deliver much-needed supplies to victims of deadly tornados in Oklahoma.
    This week, pastor Michael Morris, announced that Cornerstone Church in Galax was joining with the Galax Volunteer Fire Department and God’s Pit Crew to collect supplies on Saturday. They will be at Walmart in Galax starting at 8 a.m.
    The local Woods River Chapter of American Red Cross also is collecting monetary donations from the community to help with disaster relief.

  • Local pastors planning prison ministry

    INDEPENDENCE ― A meeting is planned for June 6 to discuss plans to open a prison ministry at the new River North Correctional Center in Independence.
    According to reports, neither the Virginia Department of Corrections nor Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia has funds to place a chaplain at the prison.
    The Rev. Terri Gregory, pastor of the Independence United Methodist Church, said plans are to organize a “River North Ministry Council” made up of ministers and laypeople in the surrounding counties of Virginia and North Carolina.

  • Grayson County balances budget

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County has managed to close the deficit in next year’s budget without a tax increase, dipping into its reserve account or affecting any core services.
    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said the board’s two favorite words last week when he told supervisors there was a “balanced budget.”
    Though the supervisors began budget talks facing a potential $1.4 million shortfall between requested expenditures and projected revenues, the county staff able to close that gap.