Local News

  • School board, county disagree over funds

    INDEPENDENCE — The debate continued Monday night over how much money the school system should return to Grayson County from the savings of closing three schools.

    The money saved from the closings was expected to offset the cost of a new school in the western end of the county, which is already underway.

    At a joint meeting between the Grayson Board of Supervisors and school board to discuss the 2009-10 budget, one thing was certain — nobody knows how much money should be saved as each school in the county is closed.

  • Turtles slowing progress on truck stop

    LAMBSBURG — Paperwork pertaining to development of Exit 1 has slowed to a crawl awaiting state and federal agencies' certification that the project will not damage a bog turtle habitat.

    Southwestern Virginia is among the locations where the endangered reptile lives, and that status requires additional review by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to Carroll Public Service Authority Director Ronald Newman.

  • Will Grayson prison be delayed?

    INDEPENDENCE — Nearly 350 jobs expected to come to Grayson County in July 2010 could be put on hold if state funding isn’t made available.

    According to Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, the state did not include operating funds for the county's new prison in the fiscal year 2010 budget.

  • Hillsville, Fries on stimulus priority list

    It appears two local projects still in the running to get state water and sewer stimulus funds belong to Hillsville and Fries.

    The state received a total of 294 applications, requesting more than $1.36 billion for water and sewer projects, but Virginia only received a total of $77 million from the federal government.

  • Huddle House still considering Galax

    Huddle House, a full-service family restaurant, could open in Galax by the end of the year if negotiations go smoothly, said Jim Bullock, franchise development director.

    Huddle House began advertising in The Gazette last summer to find a local franchise owner, and after speaking with several prospective local entrepreneurs, the company is in promising negotiations with one local, who should sign contracts within a couple of months.

    Construction should begin by early fall, said Bullock.

  • AmeriPumps retooling expectations

    HILLSVILLE — AmeriPumps announced it would open a facility in Hillsville last July and the company began ramping up as the recession started to squeeze businesses across the nation.

    Now, the market for the industrial pumps that AmeriPumps assembles and distributes throughout the Western Hemisphere has changed.

    These massive pumps run on Caterpillar diesel engines and feature patented Sykes Pumps from England.

  • Carroll court unseals charges

    HILLSVILLE — Several unsealed indictments have been released by the Carroll Circuit Court.

    Indictments are typically sealed until warrants can be served to those named in the court papers.

    An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

    The unsealed indictments named:

    • Brenda Dawn Bowers — obtaining drugs by false pretenses, four counts.

    • Robert T. Mabe — two counts of embezzlement from the Commonwealth of Virginia

    • Marshall Nelson Sheets — obtain money by false pretenses

  • Auto industry uncertainty drives dealership changes

    Selling its Ford dealership in Woodlawn in November and closing its Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership in Galax last month were not only ways of dealing with economic challenges facing the auto companies, but also a way to better focus on customers, said Johnson Family of Dealerships owner Jeff Johnson.

    He also owns Johnson Automotive in Hillsville and Jeff Johnson Chevrolet in Woodlawn, and these dealerships offer the largest variety of vehicles in Galax and the Twin County area.

  • Carroll considers fire fees

    HILLSVILLE — Fees for fire department services, charged to insurance companies, might be on the agenda in Carroll County in the near future.

    Included in the April board meeting packet for the Carroll County Supervisors as an informational item is a draft ordinance written by Emergency Services Director Joe Roma.

    The draft states that the idea is to "offset the continued cost of providing emergency fire protection services and to provide funds to equip and operate such services to promote the public health, safety and welfare."

  • People Inc. offers 'micro loans' for small businesses

    The team of Twin County localities and People Inc. will make available a small business loan program, after the state chipped in $200,000.

    Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development provided the grant and community action agency People Inc. of Southwest Virginia matched that with $120,000 borrowed from the Small Business Administration, said Robert Goldsmith, People Inc.'s president and CEO.