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Local News

  • State grants two AEP hikes

    State regulators last week approved two rate increases sought by Appalachian Power Co., and later this month will hold a public hearing on a third proposal that could increase customers' electricity costs by an average of nearly 24 percent.

    The approved rates were less than the company originally requested, but spokesman Todd Burns said the electric utility supported the State Corporation Commission's decisions.

    One case involved Appalachian's request for a fuel rate increase.

  • Grayson school behind schedule

    INDEPENDENCE — Grading is nearly complete, a source of water has tentatively been agreed upon and rebar is on the ground at the site of the new Grayson Highlands School in the Volney community of Grayson.

    Grayson Schools' Director of Personnel Chad Newman updated the school board at its regular meeting Oct. 13 and said he expected the concrete building pad to be complete in the near future.

    “I was told we were a month behind,” said Board Member Shannon Holdaway.

  • VDOT planning leaner operation

    Virginia officials expect state and federal transportation revenues to decrease by as much as $2.6 billion over the next six years, leading to more cuts in the state's road-building plan and reduced services at the Virginia Department of Transportation.

    "Every county, every city, every town will have reduced services, fewer projects and, arguably, fewer opportunities as a consequence of this," said Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer in an Oct. 15 presentation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

  • Driver charged in fatal crash

    WOODLAWN — A 41-year-old Cana man faces multiple charges, including involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence, after a two-vehicle accident last Friday that killed a 26-year-old Middlesex, N.C., woman.

    Stephen Edwin Towe of Cana was taken to the New River Valley Regional Jail after being released from Roanoke Memorial Hospital Friday.

    Virginia State Police Trooper J.H. Bledsoe identified the woman killed in the 10:30 a.m. wreck on Woodlawn Road as Jessica Ruth Bowyer, who died at the scene.

  • Absentee ballots will be counted

    RICHMOND — A false rumor has been circulating about Virginia’s absentee ballots not being counted if one candidate is winning the election by a large margin.

    This rumor is false, says Susan S. Pollard, director of communications for the Virginia State Board of Elections.

    In Virginia all absentee ballots, properly cast, will be counted.

  • Grayson schools miss AYP benchmark

    INDEPENDENCE — For the second consecutive year, Grayson County Schools missed federal adequate yearly progress (AYP) benchmarks — but the system did improve on accreditation.

    Benchmark pass rates are set by the No Child Left Behind Act for standardized tests in math and English.

    “The benchmark goes up every year,” said Grayson Director of Instruction and Assessment Stephen Cornett. “As we go up the scale, [making AYP] gets tougher every year until 2014 when it reaches 100 percent.”

  • Rec park move could create opportunities

    HILLSVILLE — Traveling team tourneys could bring significant revenue into Carroll, but members of the recreation committee suggested Tuesday that the county would need a new and larger park to host those games.

    Myron Dalton spoke for the recreation committee at the regular October board of supervisors meeting, and suggested a new recreation center, developed in stages, and the goal of adding new outreach for adults and seniors.

  • Carroll puts down 43 dogs

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County authorities report that 43 dogs with highly contagious cases of mange have been seized and euthanized.

    A court order issued by Judge E.M. Turner III on Oct. 1 authorized Animal Control Officer Terry Woods to enter two properties in Fancy Gap to take action needed to keep the disease from spreading and to spare the dogs from further suffering.

    The properties on Elk Spur Road are owned by brother and sister George Daniel Rigney, 76, and Ruth R. Robertson, 74.

  • Galax considers Glendale plans

    Galax City Council has scheduled a public hearing tonight, Monday, to consider an alternate plan for improvements to Glendale Road.

    The improvement project has been part of the Virginia Department of Transportation's six-year improvement plan for several years.

    The project originally called for a realignment of the intersection of Glendale Road and U.S. 58 (West Stuart Drive) and the intersections of Valley Street and Glendale Road, and widening Glendale from two lanes to four lanes to Cliffview Road, with sidewalks, curb and gutter.

  • Dutton appeals murder conviction

    HILLSVILLE — A man convicted of surprising his estranged wife and killing her Jan. 3, 2007, in her Ivanhoe home has filed an appeal.

    Robert Allen Dutton, 57, was convicted in Carroll County Circuit Court of first-degree murder, use of a firearm and statutory burglary in the death of his wife of nearly eight years, Sandra Kay Dutton, 41, from gunshot wounds to the head and back.

    Carroll deputies found her body on her bed, her keys in the lock on the open outside door, and her pocketbook and packages on the floor just inside an otherwise tidy house.