Local News

  • Parkway closed due to weather

    Blue Ridge Parkway officials announced the temporary closing of most sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Tuesday due to heavy snowfall along the entire length of the parkway.

    Travel is not advisable on the recreational road.

    Although parkway staff is working to open sections of the road with available equipment, many sections have enough snowfall to cause delays in reopening.

    The temporary closure is necessary for the safety of visitors and parkway staff and is in effect “during the current period of inclement weather,” the parkway said.

  • AmerLink official admits fraud

     WILMINGTON, N.C. ee* A senior official with AmerLink log home manufacturing pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to committing bankruptcy fraud, apparently in an effort to keep the company on track for reorganization instead of a liquidation, according to a press release from a U.S. District Attorney's Office.

  • School plan could save millions

    HILLSVILLE — Financial analysts believe there's a way for Carroll schools to finish and pay for its facility improvement program without raising taxes, but time to take advantage of potential savings will run out by the end of the year.

    Federal Recovery Act measures — like the government helping localities pay more than a third of the interest on Build America Bonds — will change in 2011, according to a presentation to the Carroll School Board Tuesday by Joe Niggel of Southwest Securities and Brent Jeffcoat of McGuire Woods.

  • APCo bill passes House 98-0

    RICHMOND — Legislation introduced by Del. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) to end Appalachian Power Co.'s ability to impose interim rates passed the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

    House Bill 1308 passed without a single vote cast in opposition and Carrico noted how important it is to protect customer's bills.

    "I am pleased to see the unanimous support from my House colleagues on this bill," Carrico said. "This legislation has always been about coming together to help the people of Southwest Virginia in a difficult time."

  • Crooked Road gains national attention

    FLOYD — For a few hours Wednesday, men and women in suits and dress clothes filled a dance floor usually reserved for mountain cloggers.

    At the Floyd Country Store, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named The Crooked Road — a heritage trail linking towns and music venues in Southwest Virginia — one of 2010’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

  • New school might not open this semester

    INDEPENDENCE — First it was August. Then, it was January.

    Now, a new school under construction in Grayson County may not open until April, and one school board member says it's "crazy" to do so then.

    Setbacks and weather delays have kept Grayson Highlands School — under construction in the western end of the county — from opening.

    The school will close Mount Rogers Combined School and Bridle Creek Elementary, consolidating the students and staff into the new school.

  • APCo bill passes House and Senate

    RICHMOND -- Both houses of the General Assembly have passed legislation requiring Appalachian Power Co. to suspend an interim rate charge it began collecting in December, but lawmakers killed measures that would subject the utility to more stringent state regulations.

    Responding to outrage about dramatic spikes in electric bills, the state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed emergency legislation (Senate Bill 680) that would provide Appalachian customers with some short-term relief. The House of Delegates passed an identical bill (House Bill 1308) on Tuesday.

  • Self-help project expands

    HILLSVILLE — The forecast for water coming to Pridemore Road soon remains good, as officials prepare to launch Carroll County's second self-help utility project.

    On the heels of a self-help program to Happy Hollow Road that wrapped up last summer, 30 people on Pridemore plan to work together to bring public water to their own community this year.

    Starting in March, weather permitting, neighborhood residents will help install the 9,800 linear feet of six-inch waterline to the 23 residences there.

  • GCEA: bad time to request salary increase

    INDEPENDENCE — Raises may not have been in the request from the Grayson County Education Association for the upcoming school year, but increases in other areas were.

    Facing a potential $2.3 million reduction in its budget, the Grayson County Public Schools is preparing for the possibility of possible reductions in positions.

    GCEA President Rebecca Absher was the only speaker at a public hearing concerning the school system's 2010-11 school budget on Feb. 8.

  • Getting ready for the real world

    Galax High School is helping to prepare juniors and seniors for all the challenges that come with going to college.

    Cathy Parks, the school system's reading specialist, told Galax School Board members at last Tuesday's meeting that she wanted to come up with a way to get students to think about the future.

    So, she and GHS Principal Bill Sutherland looked through past yearbooks and sought out alumni now attending college. They invited the GHS graduates to speak with high school students about their college experiences.