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Local News

  • Murder appeal nixed

    HILLSVILLE — Yet another legal option has been denied for a former Hillsville woman seeking to overturn her 2006 conviction for second-degree murder of a prominent Carroll County farmer.

    Elva Rosemary “Chick” Nixon has exhausted another of her options with the court system on her conviction in the Jan. 5, 2004, ambush that led to the death of 75-year-old Donald Brady from four gunshot wounds.

    A jury sentenced Nixon to 33 years in prison as punishment for the death, as well as robbery and use of a firearm.

  • Fighting the meth epidemic in Galax

    Sure, Galax has a methamphetamine problem, Megan Brown said as she stood on her porch a few minutes' drive from the city's busy downtown.

    "I don't know hardly anyone who hasn't used it," she said.

    Galax is more widely known for its furniture industry, the Christmas tree farms that dot surrounding counties, and the annual fiddlers' convention that draws thousands of people from around the world.

  • N.C. man acquitted in fiddlers' fracas

    INDEPENDENCE — A jury in Grayson County last week found a North Carolina man not guilty of all charges stemming from an Aug. 10, 2007 incident at the Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention.

    Galax police had charged Teddy Ray Nixon of Jonesville, N.C. with malicious wounding, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident after Nixon allegedly struck a pedestrian with his vehicle near Felts Park.

    According to a police report, Capt. James Cox was on bike patrol in the park when he heard screaming from the back gate off Railroad Avenue.

  • Will Carroll, Hillsville stick with decals?

    HILLSVILLE — Citizens speaking to Carroll Supervisors' Chairman David Hutchins about county decals for personal vehicles have been blunt about their feelings.

    "I've had numerous people tell me the stupidest thing Carroll County's ever done is put those decals on there," he recalls.

    Hutchins said that statement was often followed by the suggestion that the county should just get rid of the decals and collect the revenue another way.

    Hillsville Town Council will also look into the possibility.

  • Grayson schools still need to trim spending

    INDEPENDENCE — Nearly 75 people packed the Grayson County courthouse for a public hearing on the 2009-10 budget for the school division.

    Twelve people spoke during the 45-minute hearing, all of whom asked the board of supervisors to consider passing the entire $4.6 million budget requested by educators.

    Prior to opening the floor for discussion, Supervisors’ Chairman Mike Maynard made a few remarks about where the board stands with the school budget process.

  • Carroll woman target of murder-for-hire plot

    CHATHAM — A charge of criminal solicitation to commit the murder a Hillsville woman has been certified to the Pittsylvania County grand jury, against her ex-husband — a former Green Rock Correctional Center inmate.

    The charge was filed against David Eugene Huff, 41, in January as the result of an investigation by a special agent from the Virginia Department of Corrections' Office of the Inspector General, according to the criminal complaint

  • Twin County projects get $7.3 million in stimulus funds

     Carroll County will receive $7 million in a grant and a low-interest loan for its regional water project, and Hillsville and Fries will get $552,900 and $300,000, respectively, for wastewater system improvements.

  • Fries man charged with 2nd-degree murder

    FRIES — A 22-year-old man is charged with second-degree murder in a death caused by a drug overdose.

    Daniel Laymond Ferguson, of 340 Grayson Street in Fries, was indicted by a Grayson County grand jury April 24 for the murder charge and one count of distributing a Schedule II drug.

    An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

  • Galax council approves school budget, city projects

    Galax City Council adopted the $13 million 2009-2010 budget for Galax schools during Monday's meeting, which included a small increase in local funding.

    A public hearing on the proposed spending plan was held April 13, but council heard no comments.

    The school board requested city funding in the amount of $3.96 million, an increase of $125,000 from the current year's budget. The increase is mostly for debt service for the renovation of Galax High School.

  • Barriers prevent propane explosion

    A possible disaster was avoided April 25, after a car plowed over heavy metal barriers buried in about two feet of concrete protecting two large propane tanks.

    One of the tanks was moved by the front of the car, but no gas leaked.

    The incident occurred behind Wal-Mart in Galax about 8 p.m.

    Galax police said a 1998 Ford Taurus, driven by Christopher Jordan Walker, 19, of Hillsville, was traveling at an estimated 45 mph when he lost control in the parking lot near the lube and tire department. Walker was not injured.