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Local News

  • AmerLink files for bankruptcy

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Log home manufacturing company AmerLink filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, counting among its more than 200 creditors including Carroll County, Va., a total debt of $20 million.

    The Battleboro-based company that makes and sells log houses petitioned the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh Feb. 11.

  • Carroll pins hopes on stimulus funds

    HILLSVILLE — Hoping that federal stimulus funds might trickle down to Carroll County, the Public Service Authority made a cascade of decisions Feb. 9 on water and sewer projects.

    One of the goals of the federal stimulus package is creating jobs through "shovel-ready" projects.

    Authority member David Hutchins — fresh from visits with federal and state legislators in Washington, D.C., and Richmond — said nobody knew yet how the federal funds would be disbursed.

  • VDOT cuts go deeper in Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — In an effort to keep from giving county residents false hope that more projects on the Virginia Department of Transportation's six-year plan will be complete within that time frame, VDOT has opted to not hold a public hearing regarding Grayson's plan this year.

    Matthew Cox of VDOT gave the Grayson Board of Supervisors more grim news regarding the state budget cuts at the Feb. 12 meeting.

    Cox estimated that VDOT will see a reduction of more than $2 billion in state funding for fiscal year 2009.

  • Sturgill named new Galax school chief

    The Galax School Board named Bill Sturgill as the division's new superintendent on Monday, and the former Galax High School principal began his new job the next day.

    The board also appointed Bill Sutherland, formerly assistant principal, as GHS's new principal during a short board meeting on Monday.

    Sturgill succeeds Sam Cook, who retired in December and returned to his hometown in Franklin County.

    Sturgill signed the contract for the superintendent's job during the meeting.

  • Galax unemployment among highest in state

    RICHMOND — Galax was one of the Virginia localities posting double-digit unemployment figures for December 2008, according to a report issued last week by the Virginia Employment Commission.

    The city’s rate for that month was 10.9 percent — the sixth-highest in the state.

    Unemployment rates for the counties also rose from November to December, putting Carroll at 9.6 percent and Grayson at 9.1 percent.

    Virginia merchants reported the worst holiday sales since 1969 in December, the VEC reported.

  • Bid awarded for water intake plant

    INDEPENDENCE — A Martinsville company was recently awarded the bid to construct the intake for the new water treatment plant that will eventually serve the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C., as well as the new state prison being built in Grayson County.

    According to the Virginia/Carolina Regional Water Authority Chairman Bryan Edwards, a total of six bids were received on the intake.

    Prillaman & Pace, Inc., of Martinsville, submitted the low bid of $129,888 (including a base bid of $85,546 and an additional alternate bid of $44,342.)

  • Crime down overall in Galax

    Galax's overall crime rate for 2008 was down by 15 percent from the previous year, but property crimes rose by 15 percent and violent crimes — including assault, rape and murder — increased by 25 percent,

    Galax Police Chief Rick Clark presented his annual report to Galax City Council on Feb. 9.

    Violent crimes, Clark told council, are typically in relation to alcohol-related activity. The number of violent crimes reported last year totaled 206, with increases in aggravated assault, sexual assault and assault by threat.

  • Burke to serve 2 life sentences

    HILLSVILLE — Clinton Eric Burke, 22, seemed weighed down by his manacles when he walked into the Carroll Circuit Courtroom for sentencing Thursday for his convictions in the Nov. 12, 2007 shooting deaths of two teens in Fancy Gap.

    At the conclusion of the two-day trial in November 2008, the jury recommended two life sentences plus 43 years after finding Burke guilty on seven charges in the killing of George Adam Fulton, 19, and Dustin Bond, 17, as well as wounding Amanda Bond, at Fulton's mobile home on Frog Spur Road.

  • Grayson urged not to neglect teachers

    INDEPENDENCE — Last month, Grayson County Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas spoke of a possible reduction in pay and/or a personnel cut to offset the expected $1.2 million shortfall from Governor Tim Kaine's proposed budget cuts.

    Those possibilities were on the minds of two people who spoke at a public hearing concerning the county's 2009-10 school budget on Feb. 9.

    Grayson Education Association President Rebecca Absher spoke first, representing the GCEA and the 156 teachers and other school employees who are members.

  • Tractor-trailers collide on I-77, killing one

    HILLSVILLE — Virginia State Police have called in an accident reconstruction team to investigate a fatal wreck involving two tractor-trailers on Interstate 77 Tuesday in northern Carroll County.

    The investigation is still underway and as of Wednesday, Sgt. Mike Conroy expected it to take some time to play out.

    In the meantime, Conroy released the name of the driver of the 2002 Peterbilt truck that crashed through the guardrail from the northbound lanes and through the median.

    He was identified Brian Scott Grubb, 39, of Anderson, S.C.