Local News

  • First-time homeowners settle in

    For James and Suzanne Smith, their new home is everything they thought it would be.

    The house on Middleton Street in Galax is just what they needed — two bedrooms, two baths, vinyl siding, their own front yard and back deck.

    The house even had enough space for a “Navajo room,” where James — a full-blooded Navajo Indian — stores pictures and crafts to reflect on his heritage.

    The Smiths showcased their new home in an open house tour for National Homeownership Month in June, sponsored by USDA Rural Development.

  • Only one seat contested in Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — Only one incumbent will face a challenger this year on two Grayson County boards.

    According to Grayson Registrar Debbie Phipps, board of supervisors Chairman Mike Maynard, a Republican, has filed to run for a second term as supervisor for the Wilson District.

    Maynard will run opposite Democrat Kate Irwin in this fall’s election.

    Incumbent Supervisor Brenda Sutherland will run unopposed, as she seeks her first full term as the Elk Creek supervisor.

  • Bassett: APCo increase would be 'job killer'

    WYTHEVILLE — Appalachian Power depends on coal as an electricity-generating fuel.

    But desperation fueled much of the public testimony generated at a hearing last Wednesday night in Wytheville about a proposed "fuel factor" rate increase by the utility.

    The Virginia State Corporation Commission's three commissioners listened as customer after customer protested APCo's latest request to charge more for the electricity it delivers.

  • Broadband initiative gets grant

    A federal grant of $99,540 will help the regional Wired Road Authority to establish high-speed wireless Internet service for 360 homes and businesses in Carroll and Grayson counties and the City of Galax.

    The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Rural Development Agency.

    The funding will allow the Wired Road Authority to provide high-speed Internet services to more customers.

  • Rio Grande coming to I-77 area

    HILLSVILLE — A new business, a Mexican steakhouse, will locate on land formerly owned by Carroll County near the U.S. 58 and Interstate 77 interchange, the Carroll Industrial Development Authority learned Monday.

    Developer Marshall Lineberry gave the IDA members an update on the shops at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market that he continues to build there, and he threw in the information about the new Rio Grande that will go in on the east side of the interstate.

  • Grayson adopts amended trash fee

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County residents will pay $3 a week for trash beginning July 1, after the board of supervisors unanimously approved the addition to the Solid Waste Ordinance last Thursday night.

    The vote came a day after a public hearing on the proposed charge for trash collection.

  • Man pleads guilty to arson of own home

    HILLSVILLE — A 26-year-old Woodlawn man accused of burning down his own home after a domestic dispute last September pleaded guilty to that and other charges in Carroll County Circuit Court last Thursday.

    Travis Ray Hall appeared in circuit court to answer for various charges before Judge Brett Geisler. Hall pleaded guilty to the arson — a fire started in piles of clothes in a couple of spots inside the mobile home, according to information from investigators.

    The home had major smoke and water damage, and it was thought to be a total loss.

  • Carroll rejects firefighter's reinstatement

    HILLSVILLE — A majority of membership of the Hillsville Fire Department were ready to give a volunteer a second chance, but Carroll County's administrator and the Emergency Services Board were not.

    County Administrator Gary Larrowe confirmed Friday that he administratively suspended Roger Hawthorne from being on county emergency service property or operating county equipment as of June 25.

    Following that action, the county's Emergency Services Board upheld Larrowe's decisions on such matters dating back to May 1.

  • Grayson schools will absorb cuts

    INDEPENDENCE — After weathering recent cuts in state funding, the Grayson County School Board weathered an additional $217,000 cut in its 2009-10 budget — all without losing any jobs or reducing employees' pay.

    Grayson Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas reminded the school board during its regular meeting earlier this month that the county board of supervisors had only approved a contribution of $4.03 million to the school system.

    The board had originally asked for level funding, which would have been $4.6 million.

  • Federal funds get water flowing in Carroll

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even as Virginia's senators announced the $1 million grant to help build the regional water system last week, 9th District Rep. Rick Boucher made preparations to visit Carroll County for another infrastructure announcement.

    Both Carroll and federal officials invited people to the new announcement today, Monday, at the board of supervisors meeting room at the governmental center at 1 p.m.