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Local News

  • Voter registration deadline nears

    Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election, which for local voters will include choosing the president and vice president, a U.S. Senator for Virginia, a U.S. representative for the 9th District of Virginia and — in one Grayson district — a supervisor.

    To be eligible to register to vote in Virginia a person must:

    • be a resident of Virginia (A person who has come to Virginia for temporary purposes and intends to return to another state is not considered a resident for voting purposes)

    • be a U. S. citizen

  • Bautista-Perez convicted of murder

    INDEPENDENCE — Raphael Bautista-Perez, 28, of Galax, was found guilty last Thursday of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison for the Oct. 1, 2007 stabbing death of Jason Smith, also of Galax.

    In Grayson County Circuit Court last Wednesday, the first day of the murder trial, Marty Smith testified that the day of his brother’s murder, he, Jason Hill, Jason Smith and a friend named Miranda had stopped by the home at 104 Greenville Road in West Galax shared by Bautista-Perez and girlfriend Pamela Blankenship Ramirez.

  • Woodlawn utility project gets go-ahead

    HILLSVILLE — Both the Carroll supervisors and the Public Service Authority members made several pivotal project decisions in a special joint meeting Sept. 24.

    In quick succession, the county officials:

    • gave the go-ahead to build the long-delayed Woodlawn sewer project, which includes service to Exit 19

    • approved a self-help water project on Happy Hollow Road

    • approved a micro-enterprise loan program administrated by People Inc.

  • Cottage Crafts opens at farmers' market

    HILLSVILLE — Need a handcrafted birdhouse, a fall wreath, dog biscuits, a rack puller with "Hillsville, Va." inscribed on it, or a started tomato plant (in season)?

    SWVTC Cottage Crafts, the newest vendor at the Southwest Virginia Farmers' Market, has all those items and others, and all at a reasonable price.

    The booth arises as a logical extension of work projects involving residents of Southwest Virginia Training Center, said vocational instructor Lee Beeman.

  • New rule not seen as blessing

    Thou shalt not mention specific deities in public prayers.

    That command was handed down recently to Virginia State Police troopers who work as chaplains, prompting several to resign the religious part of their jobs because they are forbidden to mention a particular god by name.

    Republican legislators blasted the policy, marking the latest flare-up in the debate over how much religion is appropriate in government.

    Del. Charles W. "Bill" Carrico Sr., R-Grayson, declared the decision an "attack on Christianity" and is leading a campaign to have it reversed.

  • Buyer doesn't want bridge after all

    FRIES — It appears nobody is in need of an aging bridge near Fries, even after the state offered to pay someone to take it over and move it to another location.

    Virginia Department of Highways representatives earlier this month said a local man expressed interest in the J.P. Carrico Memorial truss bridge on Virginia 94.

    The 81-year-old bridge is set to be replaced beginning in 2010 and VDOT representatives hoped someone would move the bridge to avoid demolishing it.

  • Police hunting abduction suspect

    Police are still searching for a suspect who allegedly held his girlfriend at gunpoint in Galax on Sept. 29.

    Pablo Aguilar-Ramirez is wanted for felony violation of protective order and abduction, as well as a misdemeanor violation of protective order charge.

    Since the incident, police also have filed two new charges against Aguilar — use of firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order.

    Capt. James Cox of the Galax Police Department said on Wednesday that Aquilar is still at large.

  • Job-seekers flock to fair, but who's hiring?

    By APRIL WRIGHT

    Staff

    A cabinet-making company is interested in moving into the area, depending on whether the available workforce is sufficient for the industry, said Bill Webb, director of the Virginia Employment Commission office in Galax.

    Webb said Monday that no details — including the name of the company — could be released.

    He estimates that the company would need to see at least 600 applicants to reinforce its interest in the community.

  • Funding flows for 52 water project

    HILLSVILLE — Funding is flooding in for a project to improve water service along U.S. 52 on the south side of Hillsville, including better pressure, larger lines and increased flow to aid in fire protection.

    One factor driving the improvement project is the U.S. 58 bypass under construction in Hillsville, which is expected to spur new construction on the south side of town. So, engineers with Anderson & Associates designed a project that will improve service now and answer future needs.

  • Nixon appeal request denied

    HILLSVILLE — After Virginia's Supreme Court denied a request to hear an appeal in Elva Rosemary Nixon's January 2006 convictions of second-degree murder, robbery and use of a firearm, she appears to have exhausted all opportunities in state courts to get the case overturned.

    In a week-long jury trial, Nixon was convicted in the ambush of Donald Brady, 75, on his farm in the Keno section of Carroll County.

    Brady died while he was being treated for gunshot wounds that he suffered during the attack.