Local News

  • Art school makes big plans for opening

    After nearly five years of anticipation, grand opening plans are finally underway for the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

    A two-day event that includes an impressive black-tie affair and a big parade will be held April 16-17 in downtown Galax.

    “This will be big, if not bigger than, any of the street festivals,” said Penny Moseley, associate director for the school.

  • Dutton murder appeal denied

    RICHMOND — The Virginia Supreme Court has declined to hear of a 58-year-old Ivanhoe man convicted in the Jan. 3, 2007, shooting death of his wife.

    Robert Allen Dutton was convicted of first-degree murder of Sandra Lambert Dutton, 41, in Carroll County Circuit Court in a jury trial.

    Dutton was also found guilty of burglary and use of a firearm. As a result, he was sentenced to two life terms plus three years in prison.

  • Grayson begins search for new school site

    INDEPENDENCE — Cassell Real Estate Services will research and obtain suitable property for a new school in the eastern end of Grayson County.

    The company's fee of 6 percent of the purchase price was the lowest of three agents who submitted bids to the Grayson School Board for consideration.

    The new school is part of Phase II of the school system's long-range facilities update plan.

    Phase II is scheduled to begin next year, after Grayson Highlands School is complete and renovations and additions to Fries Middle School are finished next spring.

  • Woman sentenced in fatal stabbing

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A 39-year-old Winston-Salem woman has pleaded guilty to an August 2007 stabbing that resulted in the death her 49-year-old neighbor, a former Carroll County, Va., resident.

    Julialynn Ruth Veach entered an Alford plea in Forsyth Superior Court July 8 in the death of Joel Bryan Melton, formerly of Pipers Gap and a 1976 graduate of Carroll County High School.

    An Alford plea is an admission by a defendant that prosecutors have enough evidence to get a conviction, but the defendant does not admit to wrongdoing.

  • Crashes claim two Twin County drivers

    Traveling Southwest Virginia's roads proved deadly for local drivers in two unrelated traffic fatalities on Saturday morning.

    Virginia State Police identified the victim in the single-vehicle accident as Jerry Wayne McKinney, 65, of Hillsville.

    The wreck occurred at approximately 5:45 a.m. on Virginia 753, about 0.3 mile south of Virginia 767.

    The 1998 Buick Century that McKinney was driving drifted off the road to the right, according to a report by Trooper K.D. Blackburn.

  • Town dumps on Sweet over garbage fee

    INDEPENDENCE — Independence will request proposals for solid waste collection after county officials told town council that the trash fee for all Grayson County citizens — including town residents — “is what it is.”

    Grayson County Supervisors last month approved an addition to the county's Solid Waste Ordinance that attached a $3 weekly fee for trash removal on all Grayson residents.

  • Restaurant responsible for sewer work

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County Public Service Authority declined to put in a small sewer line across U.S. 58 to serve the new Gallaher's steak house, but approved the concept with conditions.

    Gary Larrowe, executive director of the authority, passed along a request from Mike and Barbara Gallaher to install an 1.5-inch line from the restaurant's location in the former clothing store on the north side of U.S. 58 near Interstate 77, where their coffee kiosk used to be.

  • Grayson educators look at exam exemptions

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County school administrators will look at the exam exemption rule, after school board members raised concerns during their meeting Tuesday.

    Board Member Hobert Bailey was the first to speak about the rule — which exempts any student with perfect attendance from taking the final comprehensive exam — noting that he's heard several complaints from former students.

  • Grayson school could open on time

    INDEPENDENCE — Nearly 90 percent of all building framing is complete at Grayson Highlands School, under construction in the western end of the county.

    Grayson County Schools' Director of Personnel Chad Newman updated the school board on the progress during the board's regular meeting July 13 and said that work continues to go "really well."

    There are more than 50 people working busily on the site, trying to make up days lost during the bad parts of winter and ensuring the building is ready to open by January 2010.

  • 32 lose jobs at Hillsville plant

    HILLSVILLE — The Virginia Employment Commission office in Galax reports that 32 Bucyrus employees from the company’s plant in Hillsville sought help after being laid off from the international heavy equipment maker.

    “All I know is they walked in one day last week and the employees told us there were 32 employees laid off permanently,” explained Bill Webb of the VEC.