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Local News

  • Vaughan-Bassett to expand in Galax

    It was the kind of announcement that hasn't been heard in Galax — nor in the furniture industry nationwide — in a long time.

    On Friday, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture announced that it will invest $2.15 million to expand its manufacturing facility in Galax, creating 100 new jobs over the next three years, saving 500 existing positions and upgrading and purchasing equipment.

  • Towe waives hearing in manslaughter case

    HILLSVILLE — A 41-year-old Cana man, accused of manslaughter and driving while drunk in the death of a 26-year-old Middlesex, N.C. woman, waived his right to a preliminary hearing last Tuesday.

    Stephen Edwin Towe of Cana appeared in Carroll General District Court briefly on Feb. 17 with his attorney, Dawn Davis Cox, on the charges stemming from a wreck on Woodlawn Road near U.S. 58 that killed 26-year-old Jessica Ruth Bowyer.

  • County deciding Elk Creek's fate

    INDEPENDENCE — The future use of the closed Elk Creek school building is still up for debate, but citizens of that Grayson County community are excited about the possibilities.

    Kevin Spurlin, member of the School Facilities Committee — formed to help determine what to do with old buildings after schools are closed — updated the board of supervisors Feb. 12 on where things stood in Elk Creek.

    A public forum was held on Jan. 26 and 58 people attended.

    Spurlin said several things were currently known about the building, including:

  • Tire recycling idea gets rolling

    HILLSVILLE — A garage owner in Hillsville wants to expand his business ventures from rotating tires to recycling them into new products.

    The machine central to Ben Bryant's new endeavor is parked by his garage at Finishline Automotive, but if everything goes as planned he'll be moving it to a valley near Buckwoods Road within a couple months to shred tires.

    Perhaps you've seen the trailer with the mechanical equipment on it while driving by the garage on U.S. 58 in town — it looks like a big circular metal tumbler.

  • Stimulus spending ideas flood state site

    Anyone can make a suggestion for Virginia's use of federal stimulus funds thanks to stimulus.virginia.gov, and projects relating to the Twin Counties — totaling tens of millions of dollars — have been posted there since the Web site's launch.

    Gov. Tim Kaine opened the discussion about what to do with federal stimulus package money to everyone with a computer and an Internet connection. A web-based submission form on the site makes it easy.

  • Murder investigation leads to Grayson

    MARTINSVILLE — Authorities in Martinsville have officially closed a 34-year homicide and robbery investigation, after their search for suspects and evidence led them to Galax, Hillsville and Baywood.

    The "cold case" was reopened two years ago, according to a press release from the Martinsville Police Department. Four suspects were identified, but police say no charges were filed because all are deceased.

  • Fire truck wrecks on US 52

    A 37-year-old Hillsville man has been charged in connection with a three-vehicle accident that occurred during a heavy snowstorm last Sunday.

    A report by Virginia State Police Trooper C.M. Delp said the accident occurred at about 1:50 p.m. on  March 1 when a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, driven by Kevin Shockley, went out of control on the snow-covered U.S. 52 near Madison Road.

    The truck crossed the double yellow line and struck a four-door 2007 Ford Escape, driven by Jay Montgomery of Fancy Gap.

  • Grayson won't cut teachers

    INDEPENDENCE — Positions will be cut across the Grayson County School Division, but administration hopes all can be done without any current personnel losing their jobs.

    After original estimates showed Grayson County schools would lose more than $1.2 million in state funding, the school board received better news last Thursday.

    Grayson Schools' Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas presented the board with the proposed 2009-10 budget, which included a smaller — $649,387 — reduction in state aid.

  • Communities, parkway connect for 75th anniversary

    Wanted — communities to pitch in with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of "America's Favorite Drive."

    Reward — millions of revelers spending billions of dollars along the 29 counties that "world-class asset" the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through.

    On a normal year, an estimated 20 million visitors to the 469-mile-long scenic road create a $2.3 billion economic impact in Virginia and North Carolina.

  • Fancy Gap looks to cash in on parkway

    FANCY GAP — Public water or no, Fancy Gap business owners and community members will do what they can to get visitors to detour off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Owners continue to invest capital in their own business. Plans to re-open a visitor center should come to fruition by April.

    Interested parties want to organize new community events, put together a brochure about Fancy Gap, do beautification and improve curb appeal — anything they can do to get the millions of travelers that pass through the area to stop.