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Local News

  • Police intervene as street gangs target youth

    When Galax Police Chief Rick Clark took his position eight years ago, he never imagined he would be holding a town hall meeting resulting from an outbreak of street gangs.

    But after street gang evidence, such as graffiti tagging, arose nearly four years ago on Grant and Givens streets, gang activity has escalated to the point of making it into the school system, a concerned Clark told listeners at a special gang symposium Thursday.

    Then, members begun to readily admit that they were a part of a gang.

  • Hundreds attend prison job meeting

    INDEPENDENCE — Hundreds of people showed up for a meeting Tuesday with Virginia Department of Corrections officials and representatives from surrounding colleges to learn how to become qualified to work at the new state prison set to open outside Independence in July 2010.

    Jo Ann Monk lost her job at Vaughan Furniture last March — just three days shy of working there 31 years.

    “It’s hard to be back out here looking for a job,” she said.

  • Puppy mill case re-tried, with same result

    HILLSVILLE — The appeal Tuesday by the owner of Horton's Pups for his prior 40-misdemeanor-count conviction had the same outcome in Carroll Circuit Court as the original trial, which resulted after a puppy mill investigation last fall.

    After hearing about six hours of testimony, evidence and arguments by the attorneys, Judge Brett Geisler upheld the conviction against Hillsville resident Lanzie "Junior" Horton of 25 counts of neglecting animals at his commercial breeding facility, 14 counts of cruelty and a single count of exceeding his county-issued kennel license.

  • Carroll officials pumped about new jobs

    HILLSVILLE — More than 100 manufacturing jobs will flow into Carroll County in the coming months, when AmeriPumps LLC relocates its corporate headquarters from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Hillsville.

    County and town leaders, state officials and AmeriPumps owners gathered Tuesday afternoon to announce the new manufacturing plant, which is already under construction in Carroll’s industrial park in Hillsville near Interstate 77.

  • Locals charged in Wythe assault

    WYTHEVILLE — Four Carroll County residents have been charged in connection with beating a father after he asked them not to curse in front of his children at a convenience store, according to the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.

    Three of the suspects are being held in the New River

    Valley Regional Jail in Dublin without bond.

    Wythe Sheriff Doug King said 30-year-old John D. Mullins of Birchleaf told officers he had stopped to get gas at the store at Exit 24 off Interstate 77 just after midnight on July 19.

  • Rescue squad to bill for services

    INDEPENDENCE — Beginning Aug. 1, Independence Volunteer Rescue Squad will bill patients for transport services.

    The change is the result of years of research and months of consideration, said member Robby Wingate.

    With declining membership and financial support, billing citizens' private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare will allow the all-volunteer squad to meet its continued goal of improved service, including reducing response times.

  • Minimum wage rises

    The federal minimum wage rose from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour beginning Thursday.

    The increase is part of legislation approved last year, which raises the minimum wage over two years to eventually reach $7.25 per hour by July 2009.

    "Americans who work hard and play by the rules should be able to earn enough to provide for their families," said Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) in a press release.

  • Grayson unveils visitors' guide

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson took a step forward in trying to attract more tourism to the county by unveiling its 2008 Visitor’s Guide on July 14.

    Congressman Rick Boucher was on hand to unveil the guide. “We are here today to unveil a key milestone for Grayson County in the area of tourism.”

  • 'Praisin' In The Park' starts Sunday in Galax

    Area churches have joined together for a community-wide four-day Bible school called “Praisin’ In The Park,” for rising kindergarten through sixth grade students.

    The event starts Sunday and continues through July 31 from 6-8 p.m. each day in Felts Park in Galax.

    Robin Pack, organizer of the event and member of participating church Mount Vale United Methodist, has a vision to use an outreach program to get children involved in church, setting denominations and backgrounds aside to help people get to know the Lord.

  • Carroll theater's fate still unknown

    HILLSVILLE — Partners in the Mayberry Opry project have requested one last meeting with Carroll officials to see if the proposal to locate the music venue at Exit 14 off Interstate 77 could move forward.

    Weststar Investments and builder RGM Erectors already have land in Pulaski County near Exit 98 at Dublin where the 600-seat opry could go, but Mended Wings Productions representatives want to meet one more time with Carroll officials to see if anything can be worked out, Marshall Lineberry of Weststar Investments said Wednesday.