Local News

  • From Vision to Action

    More than 500 jobs have been created since the inception of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority over two years ago, announced BRCEDA Chairman Mike Maynard during the fifth annual economic development meeting at the Crossroads Institute on Monday.

    Among many local and state officials at the meeting were Galax City Council members, Grayson and Carroll supervisors, state senators William Wampler and Roscoe Reynolds, Del. Bill Carrico and a representative from 9th District Rep. Rick Boucher's office.

  • Enterprise zones could expand exits

    HILLSVILLE — The road map to bringing new businesses to Carroll County includes a drive to add economic development incentives to two Interstate 77 exits.

    With plans in place for water and sewer systems to serve developable land at Exit 8 and Exit 19, the Carroll Board of Supervisors decided to seek enterprise zone designations there, too.

    County Administrator Gary Larrowe explained before a public hearing at the Carroll supervisors' meeting Nov. 16 that the enterprise zones would become part of the mix to market these places to new and expanding companies.

  • Grayson-grown tree decorates governor's mansion

    A Grayson County-grown Christmas tree will help decorate the Executive Mansion of Virginia this holiday season.

    Virginia First Lady Anne Holton welcomed local Christmas tree growers Rodney and Cynthia Richardson outside the Executive Mansion Nov. 16.

    As Grand Champions of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association's annual tree competition, Richardson won the honor of presenting the First Lady with the tree.

  • Portion of trail closed until spring

    A three-mile section of the New River Trail State Park near Gambetta will remain closed for 150 days for safety work on the former rail line tunnel there.

    The closure effects the portion of the linear state park from Fries Junction at mile marker 39.8 to Gambetta Road at 42.3 until May 1 of next year, according to park officials.

    This work arose from the issuance in 2002 of a general obligation bond by the state to repair bridges and tunnels on the New River Trail, explained Jimmy Elliott, the park's assistant manager based at Cliffview.

  • Carroll plans for future

    HILLSVILLE — Community members will have many opportunities to be involved in the next comprehensive plan, Carroll officials discussed at their Nov. 16 meeting.

    A comprehensive plan is designed to help localities plan for 20 years into the future, County Administrator Gary Larrowe explained. "Of course, you know the comp plan is one of the most important things that this board could ever accomplish."

  • Manager hired for Day Report Center

    INDEPENDENCE — A former board of supervisors candidate in Grayson was chosen from among more than 30 applicants to lead the county's Day Report Center. The program would reduce the escalating cost of sending prisoners to the New River Valley Regional Jail.

    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said that Emil Butler, a 30-year resident of Grayson County, was hired last week as the new manager of the DRC.

    Butler served in the U.S. Navy before retiring from IBM, where he worked as an engineering manager for 30 years.

  • When the wall came down

    Susan Gleason of Fries is German Director of the German-American ePal Program. She wrote this account of witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the event. Gleason was 27 years old and working as an interpreter and translator in Cologne, West Germany, when the Berlin Wall came down.

    On November 9, 1989, I was sitting at a stoplight, two blocks from my apartment.  Suddenly, the music stopped and an announcer cut in, saying, “Folks, you’re not going to believe this, but the Berlin Wall is down.” 

  • Hillsville man barricades himself in, shoots up apartment

     A 36-year-old Hillsville man faces charges after barricading himself in the Hillcrest Apartments on Nov. 27, according to a press release from the Hillsville Police Department.

    Police officers received a report at approximately 11:30 p.m. after the man had reportedly fired a weapon inside his apartment and barricaded the door with furniture to prevent anyone else from getting in.

    When officers arrived, they found the man's girlfriend and juvenile daughter had already fled the apartment.

  • Conservatory begins 'Nutcracker' rehearsals

    While most children are eating bowls of cereal in front of the television watching Saturday morning cartoons, students of The Conservatory of Dance & Theatre in Galax are busily rehearsing for their upcoming ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

    Composer Peter Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” blares from a stereo system, overpowering the excited voices of more than 40 children, dressed in leotards and tights and pale, pink ballet shoes.

    “Circle, circle,” instructs Conservatory owner and artistic director Barbara Johnson.

  • Man charged with graffiti tagging

    Mac Ray Sizemore, 21, of Galax, has been arrested and charged with five counts of vandalism in connection with graffiti tagging that was reported on Nov. 12, according to the Galax Police Department.

    The reported cases occurred at Cissy’s Food and Friends and a city-owned building, both on Oldtown Street; Persinger's and Suzi's Auto Clean Up, both on Grayson Street; and Sure Flo Inc. on Depot Avenue.

    Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said Sizemore tagged the buildings with different phrases, none of which the police department would associate with gang activity.