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Local News

  • Murder suspect arrested in Grayson

    MOUTH OF WILSON – A man wanted in connection with a murder in Smyth County on March 21 was arrested without incident in Grayson County today, Thursday.

    According to Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan, members of the sheriff’s office received information of the possible whereabouts of James Steven Armstrong, who was wanted for a murder earlier in the week.

    Chief Deputy Mike Hash, Lt. Tim Sawyer and deputies Jeff Merilic and Alan Graham arrested Armstrong without incident at a residence on Kendrick Mountain Road in Mouth of Wilson.

  • Nautilus cutting 40 jobs

    INDEPENDENCE — Just months after an announcement that the Nautilus plant in Independence would expand, the fitness equipment manufacturer has reduced its workforce by 40 positions.

    According to Nautilus Senior Vice President and General Manager Tim Joyce, employees were notified Thursday of the reduction.

    “We had a reduction in workforce up at that plant, which consists of both full- and part-time folks,” Joyce told The Gazette.

  • Phone calls have ring of scam to them

    The automated telephone message said the car’s warranty was expiring and this was the last notice.

    It said to press 1 to talk with a representative. The guy on the other end gave only a first name, but Caller ID showed his number as (416) 523-1121.

    He asked a lot of questions, wanting the make, model, year of the car and other details.

    He’ll call again, tomorrow or the day after, even if told to stop.

    The Federal Trade Commission and other groups are trying to find and stop these folks, but the agency doesn’t appear to be succeeding.

  • Carroll develops school crisis plan

    HILLSVILLE — What to do during a school emergency?

    It's spelled out in the 200-page crisis and emergency management plan for Carroll County Public Schools.

    As a part of the plan, parents have received a school emergency guide — a trifold brochure telling what happens in case of a lockdown, a shelter-in-place, an evacuation or a student dismissal and how they can reunite with students after an incident.

  • Grayson County questions school spending

    After holding a joint meeting with the Grayson board of supervisors, the county's school board revisited its 2009-10 budget and made minor changes.

    The school board met with the supervisors on March 16 to present the $24.2 million budget and requested level funding from the supervisors.

    Supervisors, however, felt that in a tough budget year the school system could make a few more cuts — and also questioned why the amount saved from the closure of Elk Creek Elementary School didn't match what was promised.

  • Local church struck by scammers

    Two men under arrest in North Carolina for fraud reportedly attended a Galax area church and scammed members of the church congregation out of money.

    Sgt. Mike Conroy of Virginia State Police said Wednesday that he has received a report about alleged father-and-son con artists David and Travis Twitty.

    The local church did not wish to be named — and might not prosecute the case — but Conroy said the men “attended services and told their sob story, and after services members of the congregation gave them money.”

  • Speakers voice concern over ordinance

    HILLSVILLE — Don't change the whole subdivision ordinance at once, several speakers told the Carroll supervisors at a public hearing last Monday.

    Allen Caudill encouraged the supervisors to avoid a wholesale revision of the subdivision ordinance, meant to guide future residential development.

    He'd rather see the county officials identify the problems with the existing ordinance and fix them one at a time.

    Several other speakers agreed with that assessment during the 80-minute meeting.

    The subdivision ordinance proposal contains language that would:

  • Counterfeit payroll checks circulating

    No one has been arrested so far after several individuals cashed counterfeit payroll checks — appearing to be from Vaughan-Bassett Furniture — at three local businesses a couple of weeks ago.

    According to Galax Police Captain James Cox and Sgt. Chris Brown, several Hispanic subjects cashed about eight checks worth a total of $4,500 at such businesses Horton's Super Market in Galax and Latina Tienda on Glendale Road. They also attempted to cash a check at BB&T bank in Galax.

  • Stimulus saves Galax teaching positions

    Before Galax City Schools gained $245,952 in federal stimulus funds for the 2009-2010 budget, newly-named Superintendent Bill Sturgill feared that cuts to staff, programs and even school supplies would have to be made.

    “Before the stimulus, we were looking at having to make cuts in areas that would have the least impact on students and the community,” he told The Gazette. “These cuts were not just layoffs, but materials and having to absorb retirement positions.”

  • Crossroads Institute celebrates 100th business

    The Small Business Development Center at Crossroads Institute has helped gain funding for 100 new and expanding businesses in Galax and the Twin Counties — topping all of Virginia’s SBDC offices.

    While a remarkable achievement on its own, despite the downturn in the economy, 96 of these businesses — all started within the past three years — remain open. Some are even expanding.