Local News

  • BEHIND BARS: A Look Inside the Building of Grayson's State Prison

    INDEPENDENCE — How many people does it take to build a 252,088-square-foot state prison? According to Project Superintendent Rick Bandy, 229 people are working on the $104.5 million project just outside of Independence.

    Bandy took The Gazette on a second exclusive tour of the prison site and provided updates on progress last week.

    Since December 2008 — the last time The Gazette visited the site — nearly all buildings are under roof.

  • Vaughan Furniture partners with Kathy Ireland

    Vaughan Furniture Company is hoping its sales and distribution business will increase after signing a licensing agreement to market and manufacture furniture under the highly recognized name brand Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a $1 billion corporation.

    This partnership covers imported bedroom, dining room, occasional and youth furniture to be marketed as Kathy Ireland Home from Vaughan Furniture.

    The announcement comes a week after KIWW and case goods importer and manufacturer Standard Furniture announced they were ending an eight-year partnership.

  • Fries hears mill site development ideas

    FRIES — More than 30 people attended an exclusive preview Thursday of potential development plans for the old Washington Mills site in Fries. Unfortunately, most attendees were citizens rather than developers.

    The presentation of a master plan for the 13.3-acre site was by Craig Wilson, vice president of K.W. Poore & Associates of Richmond.

  • Carroll authorities make $750,000 pot bust

    HILLSVILLE — A sophisticated marijuana distribution effort with 313 pounds of marijuana packaged in mustard and coffee grounds and hidden in a 53-foot tractor-trailer still didn't fool Carroll authorities Tuesday.

  • Nixon petitions for release from prison

    HILLSVILLE — A former Hillsville woman found guilty in 2006 of second-degree murder will try a different tactic to get her convictions overturned.

    No appeals remain open to Elva Rosemary Nixon, found guilty in the Jan. 5, 2004 ambush that led to the death 75-year-old Donald Brady from four gunshot wounds.

    A jury sentenced Nixon to 33 years in prison as punishment for the Carroll County man's death.

  • Speakers fight for teachers

    HILLSVILLE — It became obvious at the Carroll School Board's Feb. 10 meeting that both citizens and educators feel anxious about what the Virginia budget shortfall means for the county.

    The board held its first public hearing on the coming 2009-2010 fiscal year, and several people showed up to voice support for the teachers.

    Citizen Nancy Rouse, has children at Hillsville Elementary and Carroll High. She said that, as the co-president of the PTSO at the elementary, she's talked to teachers about their concerns with the budget.

  • Three locals up for judgeship vacated by Blankenship

    The New River Valley judgeship vacated at the end of last year by Michael Keith Blankenship is still up for grabs, and three from the Twin Counties — two attorneys and a former prosecutor — are among the six being considered for his replacement

    The position for a juvenile and domestic relations court judge to sit in the 27th judicial circuit is scheduled to be filled next week in the General Assembly.

    But that's not likely to happen because nearly every legislator and bar association that represents the district is backing a different candidate.

  • Hillsville studies rescue relaunch

    HILLSVILLE — State code does not seem to support the idea that Carroll County has to sign off on reactivating Hillsville Rescue Squad, at least the way town officials read the law.

    Officials closed the Hillsville Rescue Squad four years ago after a former captain inappropriately used an ambulance to haul furniture from Marion, but last year Hillsville Town Council members started a push to revive the agency.

  • Seven seek Galax School Board seats

    As the terms expire in June for Galax School Board vice chairwoman Theresa Lazo and chairman Ray Kohl, seven candidates — including one incumbent — are vying for the two seats.

    Lazo has decided not to seek reappointment.

    After interested citizens submitted letters of interest, a public hearing was held during Monday's Galax City Council meeting to hear a brief introduction from and conduct interviews with each of the candidates.

    With seven people to interview, the council meeting lasted until 11:15 p.m.

  • Two plead guilty to home invasion robbery

    ABINGDON — Two Blacksburg residents pleaded guilty last week in federal court to charges stemming from a home invasion robbery in Carroll County last year.

    U.S. Attorney Julia C. Dudley said Donnell Edward Callaham, 26, and Korie Lee Hodges, 19, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to charges of conspiracy, being in possession of stolen firearms and being in possession of stolen firearms with the serial number removed or obliterated.