Local News

  • Write-in candidate wins seat in Independence

    INDEPENDENCE — A surprise write-in candidate won one of three Independence Town Council seats in the May 4 election.

    Independence residents elected a mayor and three council members last Tuesday.

    Of the 86 write-in votes cast by citizens, 42 wrote in votes for Jeremy Walters.

    That was enough to oust council member Cecil Adams, who received the lowest number of votes, 36.

    Also elected were W. F. “Buddy” Halsey, former vice mayor, with 43 votes and Tom E. Maxwell, current vice mayor, with 44 votes.

  • Man attacked while sleeping

    HILLSVILLE — Armed robbers broke into a home on Bronco Road early last Thursday, assaulted a resident and took $300 after a struggle, according to Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning.

    Police have 27-year-old Kimberly Ann Edwards, no address given, in custody, but are still searching for 31-year-old Chris Robert Childress of Hillsville in connection with the incident, the sheriff said.

    The break-in occurred during the early morning hours at the home of Robert Caldwell, according to a press release. At the time, Caldwell was at home sleeping.

  • Grayson considers 49 tax levy

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County residents will likely see a 44 percent increase in their real estate taxes next year, a decision that came last Wednesday as supervisors began winding down the budget process.

    The board of supervisors welcomed Corbin Stone of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates — the firm completing a financial forecast for the county — to its budget work session on May 5.

    Stone presented the board with a draft of the county’s financial forecast, which projects Grayson’s fiscal health over the next five years.

  • Community programs face major cuts

    To June Donithan, it feels like she has just moved into a new home, she says, as a weatherization crew of Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program and others work to repair her 1970s- model trailer by replacing windows and doors, and putting in insulation, fire and carbon monoxide detectors and energy-efficient lights.

    “It’s like a miracle,” said Donithan, 82, of Galax. “It’s a blessing that God would send these people here so I might have a better way of living and paying for heating and electric bills.”

  • No time to waste on construction loan

    HILLSVILLE — There's a lot to do to qualify for a federal loan, and not much time to do it, said Rural Development's Travis Jackson in a visit to the Carroll Board of Supervisors meeting Monday.

    There's some urgency if Carroll County officials want to qualify for the loan to renovate two schools and get a 35 percent rebate on interest from the federal government, Jackson noted, when joining Carroll Schools Superintendent Greg Smith in a presentation to the county board.

  • Fall opening a slim chance for school


    The Grayson County School Board did not discuss or take any action on the Grayson Highlands School issues at its meeting on May 13.


    It could happen.

    The new Grayson Highlands School could open in August.

    That’s what school officials indicated to parents, community members and other interested citizens attending the school’s first community meeting on May 6.

  • Walmart shooting victim released from hospital

    Rita Carico, who was shot in the face and chest while working in the dairy section of Walmart about 10 p.m. on May 1, has been released from Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

    The gunman, A.G. Anderson, 64, of Galax died at North Carolina Baptist Hospital from a self-inflicted wound to the head.

    Clark said investigators have not yet interviewed Carico, 57, of Galax about the events and will not comment on a motive or the relationship between Anderson and Carico until she has been interviewed.

  • Man faces federal firearm charge

    ABINGDON — A 41-year-old Galax man faces a federal charge of possession of a firearm, arising from a traffic stop and sobriety check last August.

    Galax Police Department Officer Jody Poole stopped a 1978 Ford pickup on Meadow Street, leading to the charge against Joe Jackson Gambill, according to federal court documents.

    During the traffic stop, Poole noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Gambill, the complaint states.

    While the officer conducted a records check, he observed an SUV pull up to the scene. Gambill's wife got out and approached the Ford pickup.

  • Agreement a bright spot amid wastewater fued

    HILLSVILLE — At one point in the ongoing utility disagreements between Carroll County and Hillsville, county officials decided they would rather switch providers.

    As the lawsuit between the two localities goes to trial in circuit court, construction workers have made the final connections between the new Woodlawn sewer system and the Galax treatment plant.

    That will allow the Carroll County Public Service Authority to send its sewage to Galax for treatment, instead of to Hillsville.

  • McDonnell nixes police prayer policy

    To the delight of some faith groups and the dismay of other activists, a Virginia State Police directive that instructed chaplains to deliver nonsectarian public prayers when representing the law enforcement agency was rescinded at the behest of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

    That reversal on Wednesday enables troopers who serve as chaplains — a volunteer aspect of their job — to deliver faith-specific prayers at government-sanctioned public events.