Local News

  • Galax fees could go up instead of taxes

    A proposed $13.17 million budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year will not call for raising taxes, cutting services, laying off city employees or taking furlough days, according to Galax City Manager Keith Barker.

    The budget is down from $16.02 million this fiscal year, an 18 percent decrease.

    During the first budget work session last Monday, Barker announced that the city recommends raising trash collection and city decal fees and increasing water and sewer rates, which would not impact the customer using 6,000 gallons and below.

  • New school yields to Fries renovations

    INDEPENDENCE — A turning lane that must be in place before Grayson Highlands School can open in August has reached a dead end, as school officials shift dwindling construction funds to Fries Middle School.

    School leaders say the move could save millions of dollars in additional costs associated with securing the Fries construction site if work immediately stopped there.

  • No tax increases proposed in Carroll's spending plan

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County officials have proposed a 2011 budget with no tax increase that covers core services — but just barely, according to a presentation by the financial management director.

    The budget includes little or no contingency for emergencies, and it does not contain one extra hour of pay for part-time employees to put in a little more time on the clock, Pam Smith reported while introducing a thick packet breaking down the 2011 proposal Monday evening for the Carroll Board of Supervisors.

  • Dangerous weekend for motorcycles

    Motorcycles have taken to the streets and country roads with the onset of warm weather, leading to three accidents with injuries over the weekend.

    A passenger who was riding a 2007 Suzuki remained in critical condition as of Monday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the driver is in good condition after a collision with a pickup truck.

    This incident occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Virginia 608, according to a Virginia State Police report from Trooper Dean Horton.

  • Grayson courthouse awarded 'green' grant

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County will receive more than $808,000 in energy conservation grants to assist with a $1.2 million courthouse enhancement project that make the government building a learning lab for advanced “green” technologies.

    Grayson will work with Wytheville Community College to develop solar and other renewable energy technologies.

  • Road repairs to begin in Galax

    Repairs to the roads in Galax will begin sometime after April 12, when asphalt plants begin production, according to City Manager Keith Barker.

    For now, potholes and pavement hazards on main roads in the city, including East Stuart Drive and Main Street, are being sealed with cold patch asphalt.

    This is a temporary fix, Barker said, because the pliable cold patch material can easily sink in or be pulled out of the road.

    City road crews will spend a majority of the spring patching potholes caused during the harsh winter.

  • Treading lightly on the environment

    When it comes to his waste tire disposal business, owner Ben Bryant refuses to think small.

    Estimates say there are as many waste tires in Virginia as people each year, meaning there's plenty of potential business out there for New River Tire Recycling.

    Tires act as mosquito magnets when full of water. They burn hot in a fire and can be a nuisance to dispose of.

    But those are three problems that Bryant's business can solve.

    "We'd love a million if we were really shooting for the stars," he said about the volume of business he wants to do.

  • Mebane, N.C., man dies in fatal accident

    A 52-year-old Mebane, N.C., died as the result of injuries sustained in a high-speed, single-vehicle crash on Interstate 77 in Carroll County Tuesday night, according to a Virginia State Police Report.

    Terry Vaughn Black was not wearing a seat belt as he headed north bound on Interstate 77 at 85 mph, driving a 1992 Jeep Cherokee, according to an incident report by Trooper C.H. Campbell.

    The accident occurred at about 11:26 p.m. around the 21 mile marker.

  • Man dies in tractor accident

    HILLSVILLE — A well-known farmer in Carroll County fell victim to an accident last Saturday while working on his tractor.

    Kenneth Owen Dalton, 47, of 3534 Terry's Mill Road in Meadows of Dan, was found under his tractor tire, said a report by Carroll County Sheriff's Office deputies. He had been working on his dual-wheel tractor at the time of the accident.

    A family member returned home to find Dalton had suffered the accident at about 3:13 p.m.

  • State recognizes online classroom

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County Public Schools' foray into online teaching has been recognized in the Virginia School Boards Association 2010 Showcases of Success, detailing educational highlights from around the state from the past year.

    Called the Virginia Virtual Academy, also known as VAVA, Carroll educators got interested in an online curriculum as a way to reach out to the 200 families who home-school in the county.

    Families in Carroll can enroll in the virtual school for free, and courses are also available to students outside the county for a fee.