Local News

  • Grayson prepares for state cuts

    INDEPENDENCE — After riding out a wave of state financial cuts through local tax increases, Grayson County will once again be forced to dig deeper into its pockets after additional cuts announced by Gov. Tim Kaine.

    Earlier this month, Kaine released a plan to close the gap on a $1.35 billion shortfall in the state. The plan called for one day of unpaid leave for most state workers and a reduction in contributions to the state employee pension plan and another withdrawal from the rainy day reserve fund.

  • Wanted man apprehended in Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — A routine traffic stop in Hillsville resulted in the apprehension of a 26-year-old Lawrenceville, Ga., man wanted on federal drug trafficking charges, according to police.

    Capt. Jason Hawks watched a 2007 Honda make an improper left turn at Main Street and U.S. 58 at 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 19, police said. Hawks stopped the vehicle and found Timothy Maldonado, who is wanted by the U.S. Marshall Service.

  • Crash victims' family donates equipment

    HILLSVILLE — It's about taking it one day at a time, said an emotional Terry Marcum, who, more than a year ago lost her mom, sister and brother-in-law in a collision on Interstate 77 near the Fancy Gap exit.

    “Our mom raised me and my siblings to not quit and to keep going,” Marcum said. “We're able to make it through with the love and support of churches and family, and everybody has been good to us.”

  • United Way kicks off campaign

    Twin County United Way started its annual campaign kickoff this month at Grayson National Bank locations, in hopes of raising $215,000 by March 31, 2010, to provide funds for 27 local agencies.

    Representatives from the agencies gathered at the “thermometer” sign set up at Grayson National Bank’s Carrollton Pike location in Galax last Wednesday.

    Thermometers will indicate progress TCUW makes toward the goal. As funds increase, the thermometer will rise, said Celeste Amburn, executive director of TCUW.

  • 'Threat plan' targets Grayson budget issues

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Administrator Jonathan Sweet has released a 10-point Financial Threat Mitigation Plan to be implemented immediately to help the county weather the most recent state cuts.

    Earlier this month, Gov. Tim Kaine released a plan to close the gap on a $1.35 billion budget shortfall in the state. The plan includes reductions across the board, as well as one day of unpaid leave for most state workers and a reduction in contributions to the state employee pension plan.

  • Authority takes out option on Exit 19 land

    Potential job creation at the Wildwood Commerce Park has already served to leverage funds for water and sewer service at Interstate 77's Exit 19, and now Twin County officials are studying what Wildwood itself may become.

    What kind of business or industry may locate there, how to set up utilities in the commerce park, its general layout and the land's highest and best use are questions that the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority seeks to answer through engineering work, according to the organization's director, Ken McFayden.

  • EPA cleaning up chemical dump

    LAMBSBURG — Carroll County officials declared an emergency Monday evening as officials dealt with unstable barrels of hydrochloric and nitric acid found at a former business in the Lambsburg community.

    A crew of environmental cleanup workers in white haz-mat suits and breathing masks sealed off the property on Tuesday and began unloading barrels of acid and chemicals from a half-dozen parked trailers on the property.

  • Acid cleanup puts church on hold

    LAMBSBURG — The intervention of the Environmental Protection Agency at a contaminated Lambsburg site is another example of God's hand guiding the future of Truth to New Life Church, the church's leader believes.

    Richard Cavey had his eye on the block building at 496 Old Pipers Gap Road as the site for a new church and its planned outreach programs after relocating to Lambsburg from Maryland.

  • UPDATED: Despite rumors, religious floats welcome in Galax parade

    UPDATED 10/12/09

    The Galax Downtown Association still proudly uses the word "Christmas" to describe its annual December parade, not the controversially generic "holiday" or "winter."

    The parade — with the theme "Music, Memories and Miracles" — welcomes churches to enter floats and even has a category for best religious float.

    In fact, a Christmas theme isn't just suggested for entry — it's kind of a requirement.

  • Chemical cleanup continues

    HILLSVILLE — An Old Pipers Gap Road business that deconstructed computers and used acid to reclaim the gold used on circuit boards was not supposed to have any hazardous materials on site, according to the contract with his landlord.

    Carroll County officials declared a local emergency as Environmental Protection Agency contractors began to assess and clean up the many open and leaky containers of hydrochloric and nitric acid once used to strip the precious metals from old computers.

    In all, 300 barrels of hazardous materials were found in six box trailers.