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Local News

  • Sheriffs: Cuts could impact public safety

    RICHMOND — In a sign of the severity of the Virginia budget shortfall, state officials have turned to cuts in core services — in classrooms and on the roads.

    The recent announcement that Twin County schools would be losing millions of dollars in state funding has been followed by the proposition that sheriff's departments won't be fully funded, either — possibly to the detriment of public safety, say local sheriffs.

  • Stimulus funds sought for U.S. 58

    RICHMOND — Del. Ward Armstrong — like most states and localities — has an economic stimulus package wish list, and it includes completing improvements to U.S. 58 east from Hillsville to Stuart.

    That dovetails well with the desire of Carroll County officials for federal money to pay for "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects to create jobs.

  • Public record for 1/21/09 edition

    Editor’s Note: This information is taken from open court records and is a matter of public record. The listings are complete. The newspaper, as a matter of fairness, will not honor requests to omit any listing. 

    District Court

    These sentences were recorded in August in the Carroll County General District Court Office, Hillsville. Sentences may be appealed:

    Jamie Charles Hawks of Lowgap, N.C., guilty of public swearing/intoxication; $25 fine and $91 costs.

  • Smith: School plans depend on federal funds

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll Supervisors’ Chairman David Hutchins asked twice at a Jan. 12 meeting to be sure: construction plans for three schools will go ahead only if federal stimulus package monies are made available to the county.

  • Neighbors reject Spirit Harbor plans

    INDEPENDENCE — Developers are hoping to bring a 252-site Christian-based senior recreational park to Mouth of Wilson, but neighbors aren’t being very welcoming.

    The land in Grayson County is zoned Rural Farm, and a mobile home park is permitted under a special use permit.

    Spirit Harbor LLC approached the Grayson Planning Commission asking for a special use permit to be granted for the proposed park on 148 acres off Fox Wood Lane.

    Citizens packed the house Tuesday night to speak in opposition of the development.

  • Forensics lab says paint matches

    INDEPENDENCE — Reports from the state forensics lab have been filed with the Grayson Circuit Court, and it appears paint taken from a hand truck found near a murder suspect's campsite matches that of a gun safe found at the scene of a 2008 triple homicide at a Christmas tree farm in Mouth of Wilson.

    According to documents filed Jan. 5 in the Frederick P. Hammer case, “it is considered unlikely that the paint in item [debris from hand truck] originated from any source other than the source represented by item [paint scraping bottom of safe].”

  • GVFD begins 'Deanna Project'

    The Galax Volunteer Fire Department is starting the “Deanna Project” in response to the Jan. 12 mobile home fire that killed a family of three, including 4-year-old Deanna Lafferty.

    The goal of the GVFD is to visit every mobile home in its coverage area and offer to install a smoke detector at homes that do not have one. If one is already installed, department members will install new batteries and check its operation.

  • Local schools brace for state budget cuts

    It's a challenging year when school division superintendents talk about losing $1.9 million from state funds as being the best case scenario, but that's the situation that Carroll County finds itself in as work continues on fiscal year 2009-2010 budget, according to figures provided by Superintendent Greg Smith.

    Should Gov. Tim Kaine's so-called "stop-loss" funding idea fail, then the Carroll school system could see its funding from the state drop by another $550,000.

  • Chief responds to Mexican gang report

    Despite a recent article in The Washington Times that pinpoints Galax as being highly concentrated with Mexican drug cartels and gangs, drug arrests were down for 2008 in the city.

    The Justice Department was the source of information for the article — “Obama faces Mexican drug wars” — that many local residents read and became concerned about.

    There are reasons why Galax, despite low drug and violent crime arrests compared to other cities, is making national headlines about Mexican drug cartels, said Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

  • School water option chosen

    INDEPENDENCE — Residents of Grange Hollow Road will have to wait until bids are received to see if they will be included in the new water system from the Town of Troutdale to the new school being built in the western end of Grayson County.