Local News

  • State: Grayson can afford to pay more

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County may not be alone when it comes to a decrease in state funding, but it didn't make the news any easier to swallow.

    Julie Bear, the school system's finance director, brought the bad news to the school board Monday night: the school system's composite index has risen nearly 22 percent, which means the state has calculated that Grayson County should be able to pay more towards the school system's budget than it has previously.

  • Man charged with providing alcohol to Hillsville teens

    HILLSVILLE —  A 54-year-old Hillsville man faces charges after police investigated a report of intoxicated juveniles Dec. 12, according to the town police.

    Officers responded to a call on Saturday evening and found two juveniles who appeared intoxicated, according to information from the Hillsville Police Department.

    While gathering information about what had happened, a parent called police to report two more children that had returned home intoxicated.

  • New school won't be too tardy

    INDEPENDENCE — Setbacks and weather delays will keep Grayson Highlands School from opening in the first week of January, but school administration is hoping to be ready by Jan. 18 to open the doors.

    Bill Ring, serving as clerk of the works for the new facility under construction in the western end of Grayson County, brought both good and bad news to the school board during its regular meeting Dec. 14.

    Ring began with the good — the building is taking shape and he expected carpet to be installed within the next week, essentially completing the building.

  • A Home for the Holidays

    For some staying at the homeless shelter in Galax, this will be the best Christmas they've had in a long time.

    Deborah Payne, director of the Hostel of the Good Shepherd, is making an effort to see that these residents have a blessed Christmas — and she is asking the community to help out.

    Nestled into a residential area in Galax, the hostel on West Center Street is starting to feel more like home for the residents, said Payne. Along with hope, that's the feeling she wants to give them this Christmas — a sense of belonging.

  • World War II soldier sought by historian

    Galax historian John Nunn is helping a French citizen find out more about a local soldier who was killed while liberating the man's village during World War II.

    Alban Bagy sent an e-mail to Nunn after Bagy found Nunn's Web site, ecommunitiesonline.com/galax, while searching for information.

    Nunn shared the e-mail with The Gazette in an effort to help Bagy learn more about PFC Dan J. Weatherman, who was killed in action in 1944 while fighting to take back a village from German control.

  • Fire destroys home

    Firefighters have not officially determined the origin, but they believe a wood stove could have caused a fire that destroyed a Carroll County family's home last Thursday.

    Carroll Emergency Services Director Joe Roma said the call came in at 10:39 a.m. at a home owned by Phil Reece.

    Fire was showing when firefighters arrived, Roma said.

    Hillsville Fire Department responded, with assistance from Carroll County EMS, Laurel Fork Fire Department and Laurel Fork Rescue. The Galax Fire Department was on standby at Hillsville's station.

  • Grayson considers IVFD sub-station

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors will likely decide at its regular meeting in January whether to turn Bridle Creek Elementary School over to the Independence Volunteer Fire Department when the school closes next month.

    Kevin Spurlin, chair of the school facilities committee — a committee formed to recommend what to do with old school buildings once they close — brought a proposal to the supervisors earlier this month to turn the school over to IVFD for a sub-station.

  • Combs charged with murder in overdose

    HILLSVILLE — A 59-year-old Woodlawn man, who just pleaded guilty to drug-related offenses in Carroll court, now faces a second-degree murder charge after the grand jury met Dec. 14.

    Gregory Harris Combs, also known as Radar, faces two new felony indictments — charges that were sealed until they could be served by authorities.

    The indictment states that Combs, while engaged in another felony, accidentally killed Warren Travis Anders, 23, in a September 2003 incident.

  • Galax man found dead, sister arrested

    A 21-year-old Galax woman has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of her brother.

    According to the Galax Police Department, Danielle Nicole Ilene Jones, of Neptune Drive in Galax, was arrested after authorities found the body of her brother, Mathew Jackson Jones, 18, of Center Street in Galax, early Monday morning.

    A press release issued by the department states that officers responded to a home at 202 Kenbrook Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Monday. Responding officers found the body of Mathew Jones, who appeared to have been shot.

  • Wreck reveals alleged drug trafficking

    FANCY GAP — A wreck in Carroll County resulted in Virginia State Police troopers discovering the transportation of illegal drugs.

    Troopers charged Earnest Rahsaan-Jamal Little IV of Ararat with two counts of possession of a schedule II drug and possession with the intent to distribute a schedule II drug, according to First Sgt. Mike Musser.