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Local News

  • Shank named Carroll assistant administrator

    Just before 2009-2010 budget work sessions begin for Galax, the city's Director of Finance, Nikki Shank, has decided to resign and take a position as assistant county administrator in Carroll County.

    Shank said she put in her notice Feb. 5 and her last day will be Feb. 27.

    “The opportunity came up, and I'm looking forward to going to Carroll,” she said. “It's sad to be leaving the city .”

    Before becoming the city's director of finance in August 2004, Shank worked seven years as assistant finance director for the Town of Pulaski.

  • New school won't be ready by fall

    INDEPENDENCE — Despite earlier hopes that the Grayson Highlands School being built in the Western end of Grayson County would be complete prior to the start of the 2009-10 school year, contractors are now saying it will be December at the earliest.

    Mark Vannoy and Rodney Childress of J.R. Vannoy and Sons and Frank Williams of Pinnacle Architecture fielded questions from the Grayson School Board during its regular meeting Monday night.

    Board Member Shannon Holdaway wasted no time asking the tough questions and wanted to know the exact date construction began.

  • Virginia legislators disclose gifts

    General Assembly members reported accepting $222,937 in freebies last year, according to statements of economic interest filed by legislators in January.

    Virginia law allows politicians to receive gifts intended for their personal benefit, and does not limit the amount they can accept from special interests. The state requires only that any expenditure of $50 or more be reported.

    Lawmakers representing the Twin Counties accepted gifts in 2008 ranging from $53 for a single dinner to nearly $4,800 in dinners, speaker fees and NCAA tournament tickets.

  • Drugs, guns seized near school

    HILLSVILLE — Local police charged four people and seized nearly six pounds of marijuana, 28 guns and $12,800 in cash when they searched a home at 604 Woodlawn Road at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning reports.

    Carroll Investigators Fred Bobbitt and Venton Smith — working with colleagues from the Hillsville Police Department and the Virginia State Police — got the search warrant for the home of Charles Terry Caudill, 52, the sheriff said.

  • Lambsburg Rescue still in limbo

    HILLSVILLE — While a Lambsburg resident objected strongly to the halt on dispatching his community's volunteer rescue squad, the Carroll supervisors at their Feb. 9 meeting stood by the administrative decision to put a stop to the agency's emergency medical response.

    The action followed an alleged breach of protocol in December 2008, when Lambsburg Rescue Squad members did not provide necessary advanced life support on a call involving a heart attack.

  • Town officials question decision not to re-open Hillsville Rescue

    HILLSVILLE — In trying to restart the town's rescue squad, Hillsville officials find they do not have the necessary support from Carroll County.

    Officials closed Hillsville Rescue Squad four years ago after a former captain inappropriately used an ambulance to haul furniture from Marion to Hillsville, but last year Hillsville Town Council members started a push to reopen the agency.

    The process of reinstating the squad, however, required a "certificate of need" from the Carroll Board of Supervisors.

  • Hillsville dog breeder charged again

    HILLSVILLE — The commercial dog breeder from Hillsville who was convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty and neglect in 2008 faces 15 new misdemeanor charges after a surprise Jan. 27 inspection, according to Carroll's commonwealth's attorney.

    Lanzie Carroll Horton Jr. was previously convicted of 14 counts of animal cruelty and 25 counts of neglect in Carroll General District Court. Those convictions were upheld in Carroll circuit, and Horton has asked the Virginia Appeals Court to overturn the initial ruling.

  • Judge accepts Hammer motions

    INDEPENDENCE — Two motions were accepted in Grayson Circuit Court Wednesday morning related to a man charged in connection with three shootings deaths at a tree farm in Grayson County last January.

    Frederick Hammer — along with his four attorneys — appeared in court last Wednesday to file more paperwork regarding a list of expenses on another trip the investigators took.

    Also during the hearing, Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler accepted two motions filed earlier this month, including:

  • 'Spirit Harbor' location clarified

    INDEPENDENCE — While it may have appeared to some that a proposed Christian recreational park for seniors would be located in the Cox's Chapel area of Grayson County, residents there say it would not fall within their community.

    "From an accuracy standpoint, not a single individual who spoke at the planning board's public hearing or sent letters in opposition to the Spirit Harbor project is from Cox's Chapel," resident George Haydt told The Gazette.

    The 148-acre site is just west of the community, in what is known as the Fox Knob community.

  • Proposed bill would tax Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — A proposal to repeal the Business, Professional and Occupational License tax for localities in House Bill 2205 was enough to make Hillsville officials nervous.

    The bill submitted by Del. Jeffrey Frederick (R-Woodbridge) was tabled in the House Finance Committee, but that doesn't preclude it from being brought back up on the floor of the General Assembly, said Town Manager Larry South in a discussion at the Jan. 26 Hillsville Town Council meeting.