Local News

  • State spares funding for arts

    Artists and the organizations that promote and educate them breathed easier Monday after learning that the Virginia Commission for the Arts had not been erased entirely from the state budget.

    The House of Delegates originally proposed eliminating funding for the commission, which provides grants to arts organizations throughout the state, but legislators agreed on March 14 to a budget that cuts those grants by 16 percent.

    About 300 arts advocates, including a group from the Twin Counties, flocked to the General Assembly last month to plead for the arts commission.

  • Length of school day unchanged in Carroll

    HILLSVILLE — Hours of daylight have gotten longer as spring nears, but for now, the length of the Carroll County school day will remain the same.

    Severe winter weather has caused Carroll schools to miss 20 days, to close early six days and to open late seven days, said Superintendent Greg Smith. To make up missed instructional time, he proposed making up instructional time by extending the school day by 30 minutes.

    Extending the school day would provide 16 additional hours of instruction, the superintendent noted.

  • Grant Would Transform Downtown Fries

    FRIES — It may have cost two members of Fries Town Council a spot on the governing body, but a grant application to be filed later this month could transform downtown Fries.

    Council met during a special called meeting Tuesday night to hold a public hearing on the application to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

    Craig Wilson of K.W. Poore & Associates, Inc. was on hand to explain what the grant application would entail.

    The idea is to apply for $1 million to update and renovate various buildings in the downtown district.

  • Fire damages downtown Galax building (with video)

    Galax firefighters were on the scene of a major fire on South Main Street Friday morning.

    The Galax Volunteer Fire Department was called to 217 S. Main around 7 a.m., where a thick column of gray smoke billowed from the roof and upstairs apartment windows of the building.

    Soon, fire broke through the roof and out the windows, turning the smoke pitch black.

    Police and firefighters broke down a basement door and got the downstairs tenant out of the building, along with a box of puppies, but would not allow him to return to rescue the dogs' mother.

  • Homeland Security grant to buy armored vehicle

    Criminals will see an intimidating new presence on the street when the Galax Police Department gets an armored vehicle, as part of a statewide package of $4.9 million in Homeland Security funds.

    Carroll and Grayson sheriffs' departments will each be able to scan for suspect vehicles with new license plate recognition cameras paid for out of the same grants.

  • Hearing held, but no road funds available

    HILLSVILLE — Lack of any new Virginia Department of Transportation funds didn’t throw up a roadblock for two citizens at a public hearing for the six-year plan earlier this month.

    The public hearing at the regular March Carroll Board of Supervisors meeting was more perfunctory than anything, a legal requirement even though there’s nothing new to highlight in the secondary road improvement budget.

    Hillsville residency administrator Bob Beasley moderated the last public hearing before the April closure of the VDOT office.

  • Parents protest budget cuts

    Grayson County school administrators may still be crunching numbers when it comes to cuts in state and local funding, but schools’ staff, parents and students already are feeling the squeeze.

    Fairview Elementary School parents and supporters are organizing to protest the school system’s proposed 2010-11 budget cuts.

  • Community takes pride in project

    For those installing water lines in the Self Help program on Pridemore Road, the temperature in the trench felt warmer than under the tent set up for the official groundbreaking March 11.

    With community residents installing the line with assistance from Carroll Public Service Authority workers, the backhoe had moved Pridemore a ways from its intersection with Hebron Road by the time representatives of the county showed up on site.

    Staying in the trench kept the workers out of the chilly winds at least.

  • Stimulus money 'rollover' will soften cuts in Galax

    Rolling over $353,133 in stimulus funds from this fiscal year to the next means Galax schools will not endure layoffs and wage or program cuts, but will instead continue to implement innovative programs, said Galax Schools’ Superintendent Bill Sturgill.

    The proposed 2010-2011 budget for Galax schools will have a reduction in funds of $755,000 from the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

    Budget figures for 2009-2010 show Galax schools received $6.761 million in state aid and $1.845 million in federal aid.

  • Sheriff tackles fleeing suspect

    WHITETOP — One man was arrested on meth charges after Grayson County deputies responded to a fight in progress in Whitetop last Tuesday.

    Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said he and Patrol Lt. Tim Sawyer responded to the call off of Whitetop Gap Road.

    Upon arrival, Ronald Dean Taylor, 51 of Robin Lane was located in the driveway. While Sheriff Vaughan and Lt. Sawyer were conducting a consent search of the residence, Taylor bolted out the back door ran through a briar thicket and into a field containing Christmas trees.