Local News

  • Galax appropriates 2009-2010 budget

    Galax City Council on July 13 appropriated its 2009-2010 budget, which includes several tax and rate increases.

    City council met during public sessions to work on the proposed budget. After holding a public hearing about the budget on June 8, council approved the $19.5 million spending plan.

    The new tax rates and fees went into effect July 1:

    • Real property: $0.57 per $100 of assessed value.

    • Personal property (motor vehicles): $1.68 per $100 of assessed value.

  • Down on the farm

    HILLSVILLE — Down on the Carroll schools farm, students, teachers and volunteers have set their shoulders to build a fence and donned boots to wade through the overgrown pasture.

    The seeds for the farm planted, they work at various chores to make the place ready for more school and community activities.

    Corn for the maze is about halfway grown on the hillside near Hillsville Elementary School on Floyd Pike. The farm shares the 96 or so acres on the campus of Carroll’s newest elementary school.

  • Worried Grayson taxpayers should check escrow

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County homeowners are being encouraged to contact their mortgage companies regarding their escrow accounts and the county’s new semi-annual tax collection.

    County Treasurer Junior Young said his office sent out letters to all mortgage companies that requested residents’ tax bills last year, but said it wouldn’t hurt if homeowners contacted their mortgage company themselves.

  • Stimulus funds drive Grayson road projects

    More than $6 million in American Restoration and Recovery Act funding was allocated to Grayson County for infrastructure projects.

    Gov. Tim Kaine announced the funding as part of a more than $1 billion allocation to the entire state.

    “These projects are beginning at a time when we are facing a national economic crisis, and they are putting Virginians to work,” Kaine said. “The projects also will pay long-term dividends to all of us, in the form of improved bridges and highways, railways and other transit, sewage treatment and drinking water.

  • VFW rallies the troops

    HILLSVILLE — The Grover King VFW may need to muster more troops to man all stations for the 42nd Labor Day Gun Show and Flea Market this year.

    Commander and flea market Manager Bill Davis has put out the call for all Post 1115 members and even non-members to sign up for flea market detail.

    Davis has scheduled a planning meeting for Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. regarding the Sept. 4- 7 event that will no doubt draw tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of visitors to Hillsville.

  • Art school makes big plans for opening

    After nearly five years of anticipation, grand opening plans are finally underway for the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

    A two-day event that includes an impressive black-tie affair and a big parade will be held April 16-17 in downtown Galax.

    “This will be big, if not bigger than, any of the street festivals,” said Penny Moseley, associate director for the school.

  • Dutton murder appeal denied

    RICHMOND — The Virginia Supreme Court has declined to hear of a 58-year-old Ivanhoe man convicted in the Jan. 3, 2007, shooting death of his wife.

    Robert Allen Dutton was convicted of first-degree murder of Sandra Lambert Dutton, 41, in Carroll County Circuit Court in a jury trial.

    Dutton was also found guilty of burglary and use of a firearm. As a result, he was sentenced to two life terms plus three years in prison.

  • Grayson begins search for new school site

    INDEPENDENCE — Cassell Real Estate Services will research and obtain suitable property for a new school in the eastern end of Grayson County.

    The company's fee of 6 percent of the purchase price was the lowest of three agents who submitted bids to the Grayson School Board for consideration.

    The new school is part of Phase II of the school system's long-range facilities update plan.

    Phase II is scheduled to begin next year, after Grayson Highlands School is complete and renovations and additions to Fries Middle School are finished next spring.

  • Woman sentenced in fatal stabbing

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A 39-year-old Winston-Salem woman has pleaded guilty to an August 2007 stabbing that resulted in the death her 49-year-old neighbor, a former Carroll County, Va., resident.

    Julialynn Ruth Veach entered an Alford plea in Forsyth Superior Court July 8 in the death of Joel Bryan Melton, formerly of Pipers Gap and a 1976 graduate of Carroll County High School.

    An Alford plea is an admission by a defendant that prosecutors have enough evidence to get a conviction, but the defendant does not admit to wrongdoing.

  • Crashes claim two Twin County drivers

    Traveling Southwest Virginia's roads proved deadly for local drivers in two unrelated traffic fatalities on Saturday morning.

    Virginia State Police identified the victim in the single-vehicle accident as Jerry Wayne McKinney, 65, of Hillsville.

    The wreck occurred at approximately 5:45 a.m. on Virginia 753, about 0.3 mile south of Virginia 767.

    The 1998 Buick Century that McKinney was driving drifted off the road to the right, according to a report by Trooper K.D. Blackburn.