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Local News

  • Chief responds to Mexican gang report

    Despite a recent article in The Washington Times that pinpoints Galax as being highly concentrated with Mexican drug cartels and gangs, drug arrests were down for 2008 in the city.

    The Justice Department was the source of information for the article — “Obama faces Mexican drug wars” — that many local residents read and became concerned about.

    There are reasons why Galax, despite low drug and violent crime arrests compared to other cities, is making national headlines about Mexican drug cartels, said Galax Police Chief Rick Clark.

  • School water option chosen

    INDEPENDENCE — Residents of Grange Hollow Road will have to wait until bids are received to see if they will be included in the new water system from the Town of Troutdale to the new school being built in the western end of Grayson County.

  • Carroll approves fire truck purchase

    HILLSVILLE — Getting a new engine for the Hillsville Fire Department was something of an emergency in itself, based on the Jan. 12 discussion initiated by Carroll's emergency services coordinator.

    Joe Roma asked the county board of supervisors to take emergency steps to resolve the mechanical problems with two fire department trucks. This need was further aggravated by a broken-down pump on the department's ladder truck.

  • Grayson advertises top job

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County will begin advertising for the position of county administrator Feb. 1.

    The board of supervisors voted unanimously during its regular meeting earlier this month to begin looking for a replacement for retiring County Administrator Bill Ring.

    Last summer, the board hired Mitch Smith as assistant county administrator. “The playing field is level and Mitch will have to apply just like everyone else and compete with the candidates,” Ring said.

  • Gun show bill passes senate committee

    RICHMOND — A Senate committee on Monday endorsed legislation that would require criminal background checks for nearly all firearms purchased at gun shows like the annual Labor Day event in Hillsville, advancing a bill advocated by families and survivors of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.

  • Public record for 1/14/09 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.  

    District Court

    These sentences were recorded in July in the Grayson County General District Court office, Independence. Sentences may be appealed:

    Kenneth Ray Patton of Independence, guilty of failure to register as a sex offender; sentenced to 30 days in jail; pay $516 costs.

  • Rescue squad on hold pending review

    HILLSVILLE — Lambsburg Rescue Squad is not being dispatched on emergency medical calls until further notice because of an unspecified breach of protocol, Carroll County officials discussed at the Jan. 12 supervisors meeting.

    The new operational medical director for most squads in Carroll, Dr. Jason Edsel, briefly referred to a recent matter involving the Lambsburg Rescue Squad when discussing the need for uniform medical protocols and training with emergency medical services, mostly staffed by volunteers.

  • Regional water authority reaches agreement

    INDEPENDENCE – The Virginia/Carolina Regional Water Authority officially announced last Thursday that it has reached an agreement with a property owner for an option to purchase land to build a new regional water plant.

    In the authority’s regular meeting Jan. 8, Chairman Bryan Edwards — who also serves as Sparta, N.C., town manager — said testing is still needed on the proposed site, and should be finished around April 1.

  • Fancy Gap a tourism hot spot

    HILLSVILLE — Fancy Gap is the garden spot for business in Carroll — and it needs water to grow, said the county's business developer on Jan. 12.

    Investment in both water and sewer could bring new jobs and businesses to Fancy Gap, as the Blue Ridge Parkway prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010, Bernie Deck told the county supervisors at their regular meeting, as many Fancy Gap business and property owners watched from the audience.

  • Galax making charter changes

    Galax City Council, which recently hesitated to approve changes to the city's 55-year-old charter, held a hearing on the proposed amendments at its Monday's meeting.

    Most of the changes included fine-tuning and updating the charter's language to make it easier to adopt ordinances, said City Manager Keith Holland.

    “The hesitation was about the time, whether or not we'd get it in on time,” said Holland. The deadline to submit the changes to the General Assembly for approval was Jan. 14.