Local News

  • Nautilus extends closing deadline

    INDEPENDENCE — Nautilus employees have now been told that the plant could shut down in mid-February if a buyer is not found.

    The company provided employees the federally mandated 60-day notice of possible closure last October. The original date of Dec. 18 was extended as the company continued to seek a buyer for its commercial division — including the plant in Independence.

    Last Wednesday, a letter was given to all employees updating them on the process.

  • Sounding the alarm

    HILLSVILLE — Improving Carroll County’s fire and rescue services would benefit from elected officials actually listening to the volunteers, two members of the Emergency Services Board believe.

    ESB Chairwoman Debbie Brady Goad and member Markel Cochran have studied the volunteer emergency services issues since their appointments, but are taken aback by the changes imposed by the Carroll supervisors in January.

  • Papershapers

    HILLSVILLE — Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq get a regular care package containing greetings from Hillsville with love.

    The return address is "From Our Hearts."

    A senior activities group, crafters known as the Papershakers, at the Carroll Wellness Center becomes a miniature greeting card factory when they meet in the aerobics room every month.

    The group, facilitated by Stampin' Up! crafting demonstrator Karen "Kavi" Coulson, started out making cards with their own hands for their personal use.

  • Planning vs. the status quo

    HILLSVILLE — Having listened patiently to two planners speak for more than two hours about why Carroll County should update its vision for the future, citizen Phillip McCraw used the last few minutes of the kickoff meeting to say what was on his mind.

    Mike Chandler of Chandler Planning and Bruce Peshoff of Planning Works shared the reasons for updating Carroll's comprehensive plan, the goals, the methods and the process on Jan. 14 in the county's high school cafeteria, but McCraw noted he's already experiencing some frustration when it comes to planning issues.

  • Thomas responds to delay

    INDEPENDENCE — Times may be tough fiscally in Grayson County, but school leaders remain optimistic that their facilities improvement plan will save taxpayers money in the long run.

    Earlier this month, the Grayson County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution postponing Phase II of the school system's long-range facilities improvement plan, which includes additions and renovations to Independence Elementary and a new school similar to the one being built in the western end of the county.

  • Celebrating King's Dream

    Churches in the community united on Jan. 17 at Gospel Temple #2 in Galax to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the progress in Civil Rights that has been made throughout the years.

    Even though the event is held annually, the black community had something new to celebrate — the election of the first black president.

  • New River 'icebergs' break loose, cause damage

    A campground and several fishing areas have been destroyed along the New River after enormous pieces of ice broke apart and drifted downstream early this week.

    New River Trail State Park rangers are blaming the destruction on wildly shifting temperatures, mixed with near record snowfall last month.

    The area saw anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of snow in December, followed by single digit temperatures for several weeks.

  • Restrictions stick at Carroll Industrial Park

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll Industrial Park's development restrictions lacked one day of expiring before county officials renewed them for another 20 years, much to the consternation of two businessmen.

    The Carroll supervisors and the Industrial Development Authority held a public hearing on the covenants on Jan. 11, one day before the 20-year period on the restrictions would have expired.

    Without the approval of the two boards, the county would not have been able to put the covenants in place again, County Attorney Jim Cornwell said near the end of the discussion.

  • Virginia seeks halt to testing benchmarks

    If Virginia gets its way, the requirement that pass rates on state tests increase each year will screech to a near halt.

    A centerpiece of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation is that all schools will need to reach 100 percent proficiency on state tests by 2014. Virginia has required increases of a few percentage points annually or biennially for schools to make “Adequate Yearly Progress” toward that mandate.

  • One last hearing set before VDOT closing

    HILLSVILLE — There's time for one last secondary road public hearing before the Virginia Department of Transportation's Hillsville residency closes.

    Residency Administrator Bob Beasley appeared before the Carroll supervisors Jan. 11 to schedule the last such hearing before oversight is transferred to the Martinsville VDOT residency.

    "I can't believe a year has gone by, but it has, and we now have to schedule another public hearing," Beasley told the supervisors.