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Local News

  • Fire victims' names released

    A 4-year-old child, her mother and father were found dead inside their mobile home the morning of Jan. 12 after it caught fire.

    Larry Stephen Lafferty, 39; Amy Stoneman, 28; and their 4-year-old daughter Deanna Lafferty were all found deceased at the scene.

    A state police arson investigator was called in to examine the scene and determine the cause, but Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan said he does not suspect foul play.

    Lafferty's aunt, Linda Maddox, and brother Scott spoke briefly with The Gazette on Monday afternoon.

  • Grayson considers 3 school water options

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson has three options for getting water to the new school being built in the Western end of the county.

    Kevin Heath of Adams-Heath Engineering Inc. in Galax provided the board of supervisors with their options during a meeting Jan. 8.

    The first option is to simply run the line from the Town of Troutdale along Virginia 16 to the school.

    Heath said this option would provide a domestic and fire water line to the school, as well as 40 potential customers along the way.

  • Scholarship honors departing superintendent

    Galax City Council has set up a scholarship through the Galax Foundation for Excellence in Education to honor former Schools Superintendent Sam Cook, who retired in December.

    The city has pledged up to $2,500 to match private donations raised throughout the community to fund a scholarship for a deserving Galax High School senior in Cook's name.

  • Judge resigns after arrests

    RICHMOND — A judge who found himself on the wrong side of the law twice in 2008 resigned at the end of the year.

    Michael Keith Blankenship had been serving as a juvenile and domestic relations court judge in the 27th Judicial District — which includes Carroll, Grayson and Galax — when he was charged with misdemeanor crimes after two separate motor vehicle incidents last year.

  • Public record for 12/24/08 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.  

    Land Transfers

    These land transfers were recorded Nov. 8-26 in the office of Susan M. Herrington, clerk of the Grayson County Circuit Court, Independence:

    Garnett L. Rakes and Irene M. Rakes to James C. Adams and Melissa G. Adams. 13.431 acres in the Oldtown District. $260,000.

  • Regional water plant site chosen

    INDEPENDENCE — A site has been landed for a new regional water plant on the New River, but Virginia/Carolina Water Authority members haven't let many details flow.

    Independence Town Manager Kenneth Vaught told The Gazette in an e-mail last week that “the authority passed a resolution to acquire property and a conservation easement.”

  • Two charged in Galax purse snatching

    Two local women have been arrested and charged in connection with a purse snatching that occurred on Jan. 3 in Galax, according to the Galax Police Department.

    Galax Police were notified at 9:30 p.m. that 61-year-old Joyce Bunn had been knocked two the ground by two females and her purse stolen while Bunn was walking to her home on Grayson Street.

  • Goody's going out of business

    After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Goody's Family Clothing will lay off its employees and close its doors — including its Galax store — the company announced this week.

    Management at Goody's Family Clothing in Galax was given orders not to provide any further information, but the assistant manager did say that the last day the store will be open is not certain at this time.

    Goody's will begin a going-out-of-business sale today, Friday.

  • Goody's closing will leave 30 jobless

    Goody's Family Clothing in Galax was crowded throughout the weekend as shoppers hunted for bargains during the retail store's going-out-of-business sale.

    Brandi Cartwright, manager of the Galax store, and Felicia Bowers, assistant manager, said they are still in shock about last week's announcement that the clothing chain planned to close all of its stores, including the one in Galax, which Cartwright said will put 20 to 30 employees out of work in Galax.

  • Grayson to return water plant grant

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County will use $150,000 from its Community Development Fund to pay back money to the Virginia Tobacco Commission owed by Universal Food and Beverage Co.

    The company owned a water bottling plant in Independence before filing for bankruptcy about three years ago.

    Grayson National Bank purchased the plant, located off U.S. 21, following a public auction in November.

    Grayson is obligated to repay the money after Universal broke promises made in a performance agreement, which included creating hundreds of jobs.