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Local News

  • Motions filed in Galax murder case

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler ruled on several motions Friday relating to the jury trial for Rafiel Bautista-Perez, who is charged in the fatal stabbing of Jason Smith on Oct. 1, 2007, after an argument erupted amongst a group of friends.

    Around 3 p.m. on Oct. 1, police officers were dispatched to a reported argument at 104 Greenville Road in West Galax. While en route, a second 911 call reported that someone at the house had been stabbed.

  • Utility projects planned

    INDEPENDENCE — A new wastewater system could be in the works for the Fairview community of Grayson County, while an extended water system could be coming near Fries.

    Two meetings were held last week — one at the Fairview Ruritan Building Aug. 4, and the other in Fries Aug. 5 — to pass on information gathered by engineers on the possibilities of both systems.

    The first plan involves placing a new wastewater system in Fairview, while the other would be a new water system in the Stevens Creek community, near Fries.

  • Carroll seeks citizen input

    HILLSVILLE — Citizens can get involved and provide input on the next step in proposed updates to Carroll’s subdivision ordinance.

    This will happen at a joint meeting between the county supervisors and the planning commission.

    The subdivision ordinance sets out the rules and the regulations for new developments in Carroll, in an effort to promote health and public safety.

    So far, County Attorney Jim Cornwell and the planning commission have provided the only input about the document.

  • Fries Fiddlers' Convention kicks off Friday

    FRIES — As summer winds down, musicians and music lovers in Fries are just gearing up for the Twin County area's last fiddlers’ convention of the year.

    The Fries Fiddlers' Convention — an annual old-time and bluegrass competition and festival, always held the third weekend of August — is sponsored by the Fries Volunteer Fire Department.

    The event is scheduled to kick off Friday and continue through Saturday. The convention is held at the Fries Ball Park, located just off Main Street.

  • WCC, Crossroads offer tests for potential prison workers

    INDEPENDENCE — Tutorials are now available online for anyone wishing to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.

    Individuals hoping to get hired on at the new medium-security prison being built in Grayson are highly encouraged to obtain the certificate prior to applying.

    According to Neal Satterwhite, director of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, those who have the certificate prior to applying will stand out above those without.

  • Hammer faces new murder charge

    INDEPENDENCE — A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury indicted Frederick Phillip Hammer, 48, of Crumpler, N.C., on a new capital murder charge last Friday.

    According to Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught, Hammer now faces an additional charge of capital murder — this time for committing more than two murders within three years.

    This brings his total capital murder charges to four.

    “The original charges that go the preliminary hearing on Monday are for murder while committing a robbery,” said Vaught.

  • Carroll prison study group meets

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll's first prison study committee meeting on Monday posed the questions that the group will have to answer in its work.

    Carroll Supervisor Andy Jackson suggested the idea to form a committee to study the pros and cons of trying to bring a state prison to the county, similar to what Grayson did to attract the prison that's under construction outside of Independence.

  • Carroll Relay for Life raises $81,000

    HILLSVILLE — When participants in the Carroll-Galax Relay for Life circled the track at Tommy Thompson Field at Carroll County High School on Friday and Saturday, they raised $1,000 an hour to add to the money that will go toward cancer research and programs, organizers said.

    Robin Minter, the community manager for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, said the $12,000 raised in the 12-hour relay put the event close to its overall goal of $85,000.

  • Cell tower granted another extension

    FRIES — The battle for permanent authority for U.S. Cellular to operate a tower in Fries will continue for at least another six months.

    According to Dick Gibson — the attorney representing U.S. Cellular in the case — the Federal Communications Commission reissued a Special Temporary Authorization regarding the cell tower in Fries on July 18.

    The temporary authority will now expire Jan. 29, 2009.

  • Citizens help themselves to water

    People on Happy Hollow Road haven’t been happy about what’s been coming out of their wells, and they’re fixin’ to do something about it.

    Residents of the Sulphur Springs District road will become the first in Carroll County to help install public water under the self-help program, with construction tentatively scheduled to start Sept. 15.

    Volunteers will operate the shovels at the jobsite and install the pipes, with the Carroll Public Service Authority supplying the equipment needed, an equipment operator and supervision.