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Local News

  • Rescue squad funding leads to squabble

    INDEPENDENCE — After the Town of Independence proposed cutting its annual $10,000 funding to Independence Volunteer Rescue Squad, town council voted May 13 to put the money back in the budget.

    During a budget session held April 15, the discussion arose that the squad only answered about 30 percent of its territory calls, according to council members Evelyn Hughes and Tom Maxwell.

    Both Maxwell and Hughes said they’ve received numerous complaints from citizens about the squad and its response times.

  • GHS drama students present 'Grease'

    Even though the school year is almost over and some graduating seniors will move on to concentrate on the real world, Galax High School drama students are gearing up for one last exciting performance.

    The GHS theatre department, along with Galax Parks & Recreation, will present the concert version of “Grease” this weekend at the Rex Theater.

    “What better way to end the year than with a fun show,” said B.J. Carroll, GHS drama teacher. “Fun is the byline for this show.”

    Carroll is also the show’s vocal director.

  • Bypass brings changes to Hillsville traffic

    HILLSVILLE — Early traffic reports along U.S. 58 at Hillsville on Labor Day weekend will tell motorists on the way to the massive flea market and gun show to expect delays.

    Because of the effect of U.S. 58 bypass construction on roads and traffic patterns, state and local officials have already started preparing for the large number of visitors that come to town for the summer event, police Chief Steve Williams told Hillsville Town Council members at their May 12 meeting.

  • Water line project needs to get started

    HILLSVILLE — In terms of the timing of building connector lines to a regional water plant in Austinville, Carroll Public Service Authority officials already feel they are “behind the 8 ball.”

    Chairman David Hutchins asked for an update on the process of the regional water project that’s being developed in conjunction with Wythe County and Wytheville, right at the start of the PSA’s May 12 meeting.

    Engineer Kevin Heath said two sets of water lines are involved.

  • County vehicle involved in crash

    An accident on May 12 left a Grayson County vehicle totaled, but no charges were filed.

    According to State Trooper J.A. Vaughan’s accident report, Grayson Animal Control Officer Glen Richardson, 35, of Galax, was driving on Route 715 about one mile west of U.S. 58 when he met a 1994 Ford Pickup driven by Lynn Mast, 44, of Hillsville.

  • Flush with pride?

    INDEPENDENCE — After nearly a year and half of trying, Independence has been named the home of Virginia’s official Grand Privy Race.

    House joint resolution Number 76, agreed to by the House of Delegates on Jan. 18 and the Senate on Feb. 26, officially recognizes the Town of Independence for its annual outhouse race.

  • Horton convicted of animal cruelty charges

    By CHRISTOPHER BROOKE

    Staff

    HILLSVILLE — Found guilty of 14 counts of animal cruelty and 25 counts of neglect, a commercial dog breeder from Hillsville received 14 years of probation and saw his kennels limited to 250 dogs and puppies by a Carroll County General District Court judge Friday.

    These misdemeanors against Lanzie Horton Jr. of Hillsville — plus a charge for exceeding his Carroll County-issued kennel license — were brought after a covert video taken by animal advocates spotlighted Horton's Pups in a probe of Virginia puppy mills.

  • New Grayson school gets name, colors, mascot

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson Highlands School will be the name of the new facility being built in the Volney area of the county, with silver and burgundy as the school colors and the eagle as its mascot.

    After sending sheets home with every student and faculty member at Bridle Creek Elementary and Mount Rogers Combined School, Grayson Schools’ Director of Personnel Chad Newman took the top three choices for the name, school colors and mascot

  • Fuel, other costs rising for Galax schools

    With a slumping economy and high fuel costs, Galax Schools' Superintendent Sam Cook is concerned about receiving enough state sales tax revenue to help fund the proposed $13.73 million budget that has been approved by Galax City Council.

    The revised 2007-08 school budget included $1.01 million in sales tax revenue. This year, the school system hopes to receive $1.03 million, an $18,000 increase.

    The city and school board also estimate the following revenue:

    • $8.51 million from state funds including sales tax, a $1,038,848 increase

  • Local judge in trouble again

    M. Keith Blankenship, 43, of Wytheville, is in trouble with the law for the second time in the past two months.

    Blankenship is a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge for the 27th Judicial District, which includes Grayson, Bland, Carroll, Floyd and Wythe counties.

    Blankenship was arrested at his home on May 3 and charged with one count of misdemeanor hit-and-run following the alleged incident that occurred April 27 in Powhatan County, near Richmond.