Local News

  • Fries transferring mill site to development authority

    FRIES — Town council has taken the final two steps to secure a $700,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

    Council members voted Nov. 4 to transfer the old mill property to the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority.

    Transferring the land had caused some concern among citizens in Fries, as well as a couple of council members.

    Council Member Frankie Fortner noted during council's meeting in October that it needed to be made clear that if the property were not developed, it would revert back to the town.

  • Fries opposes airport change

    FRIES — Originally in favor of the proposed realignment of the Twin County Regional Airport Commission, the Town of Fries voted Nov. 4 to oppose the change.

    The commission has requested that its membership be changed from six localities, to only the “big three” members — Galax, Carroll and Grayson.

    During council's meeting Nov. 4, Member Nancy Hawks said “there are too many unanswered questions.”

  • Crossroads earns award

    An economic development program from the Crossroads Institute in Galax beat out those from 13 Appalachian states to win the Jerry W. Davis Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

    The $10,000 award for "outstanding accomplishment in entrepreneurial development in the Appalachian Region" was presented Nov. 6 to representatives from Crossroads.

    The Davis Award is sponsored by the University of North Alabama and the federal Appalachian Regional Commission.

  • Thomas heads to India

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County School System’s leader is one of 13 school superintendents who will be traveling to India on a fact-finding trip about globalization at the end of November.

    Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas will join Virginia Secretary of Education Thomas Morris and 12 other Virginia school division superintendents on the trip at no cost to the Grayson school system. The purpose is to visit businesses and schools in India during Nov. 28-Dec. 8.

  • Broadband is the medicine TCRH needs

    Twin County Regional Hospital is expected to be a primary user of the regional broadband utility being planned by the Wired Road Authority.

    However, its need for fiber optic services is far ahead of construction plans and beyond the authority’s fiscal capabilities.

    “They have a great need for broadband just for their medical and telemedicine purposes,” Keith Barker, assistant city manager and member of the authority, told Galax City Council in requesting a $260,000 loan to place a fiber optic connection.

  • Talks take in annexation topics

    HILLSVILLE — Circumstances have changed since the last time Hillsville and Carroll County sat down to talk about water and sewer billing disagreements.

    For one, Carroll County has made strides to be able to provide its own water and sewer service to the industrial park near Interstate 77 and U.S. 58 — a matter from which part of the billing disagreements stemmed.

    Still up in the air is the possibility of annexation and changes in distribution of tax revenue from commercial businesses at the interchange. The monies are being split by Carroll and Hillsville.

  • Nov. 4, 2008 Election Results



    John McCain (R) — 54.81%

    Barack Obama (D) — 43.81%


    Jim Gilmore (R) — 31.84%

    Mark Warner (D) — 67.23%


    Rick Boucher (D) — 98.69% (unopposed)


  • APco agrees to smaller increase

    Appalachian Power Co. officials will embrace a tentative, negotiated settlement that could mean customers' electric bills would increase by about 17 percent instead of by about 24 percent.

    That figure would include a recent increase in the utility's fuel factor.

    John Shepelwich, a spokesman for APCo., emphasized that the 17 percent "is a ballpark estimate."

  • Alleged gambling operation busted



    A 47-year-old Galax man has been indicted for operating an "illegal gambling enterprise," stemming from a Sept. 16 search of Blue Ridge Lanes bowling alley in Galax.

    An indictment from the Carroll County grand jury, which met in a special session Oct. 16, identified the man charged as Michael Howard Bobbitt of the Hebron section of Carroll County.

    Initially sealed by the court, the indictment was released on Friday. An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

  • Landmark suspends sale of media properties

    Landmark Media Enterprises LLC announced Wednesday that it has suspended the search for buyers for most of its properties, including community newspapers The Gazette and The Declaration, citing the "credit crisis."

    But the company is continuing negotiations to sell The Virginian-Pilot.

    "We are having discussions regarding The Virginian Pilot with an interested buyer," said Landmark's vice chairman, Richard F. Barry III, on Wednesday. "The buyer is encouraged about obtaining financing."