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Local News

  • Grayson allocates more money for kids in need

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson supervisors approved an additional appropriation for funding to the county’s Comprehensive Services after recent expenditures show the initial $700,000 may not be enough.

    Department of Social Services director and Community Policy and Management Teams (CPMT) chair Tony Isom made the request to the board during its regular meeting last Thursday.

  • Civil, voting rights restored to 5,100 ex-offenders

    RICHMOND – Virginia has restored the civil and voting rights of over 5,100 ex-offenders, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced major changes to the restoration of rights application process for offenders of more serious crimes, including shortening the application from 13 pages to just one page and removing burdensome requirements such as notarization and letters to the governor.

  • Legislature won't hear training center bill this session

    HILLSVILLE — Although a bill introduced in the General Assembly this year by Del. Jeff Campbell to keep the Southwest Virginia Training Center open has been tabled, local government officials are stepping up their efforts to save the facility.

    The Carroll County Board of Supervisors discussed House Bill 1614 — which made it through multiple subcommittees before being tabled for the session — at the Feb. 9 meeting.

  • Raising vehicle registration fee will pay for more troopers

    RICHMOND — The state Senate voted 30-6 on Tuesday to raise the vehicle registration fee $1.25 per year through 2024 to pay for raises for State Police troopers.

    Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) a former trooper, said the fee would add 70 troopers a year. “This will help us to retain the qualified, dedicated men that are increasingly leaving,” he said. “We don’t have enough troopers to protect the citizens of this commonwealth.”

    The current annual registration fee for most vehicles is $33.

  • Population report shows local gains and losses

    According to a study done by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Virginia’s population has increased by less than 1 percent each year since 2010 — the commonwealth’s lowest growth rate in decades.

    Locally, Grayson County and Galax gained residents, while Carroll County lost some.

    With more than 8.3 million residents as of July 1, 2014, Virginia remains the nation’s 12th-largest state and ranks 10th in numerical gain between 2013 and 2014.

  • Galax City Council honors Eagle Scouts

    At Monday night’s meeting, Galax City Council awarded special recognition to Boy Scout Troop 188, especially five of its members who attained the rank of Eagle Scout — Jack Haga, Tate Haga (who was unable to attend), Denver Nuckolls, Graham Parks and Ian Schaeffer.

    The Scouts each received a certificate of recognition from council.

  • Five vehicles involved in two wrecks

    Two separate motor vehicle accidents occurred Sunday evening at almost the same time; both happened on U.S. 58 at 58 Grocery and Deli, according to Virginia State Trooper D.A. Phipps, who investigated both incidents.

  • Senate OKs bill to freeze electricity rate, halt reviews

    RICHMOND — The Senate voted Friday for a five-year timeout on state reviews of a majority of electric utilities’ profits, while freezing base electric rates for the same time period.

    SB1349, sponsored by Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), passed 32-6. It now goes to the House of Delegates for review and a vote.

  • American Mirror cited for worker's death

    American Mirror in Galax has received a Virginia Occupational Safety & Health Administration citation regarding the 2014 death of a maintenance worker, according to the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry, which is still conducting an investigation.

    Benjamin Lee Hancock, 37, of Hillsville, died on July 23, 2014, at the company’s plant on East Stuart Drive in Galax, when he became trapped in a piece of equipment and suffocated, according to Galax Fire Chief David Hankley.

  • Vamoose, vultures: fireworks, dead birds used to disperse ‘infestation’

    Some of Galax’s most unwanted visitors for the past couple of years has been a large flock of vultures — as many as 100 — that roosts in trees near Twin County Regional Hospital and on the roof of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture’s Shaw Street warehouse building.

    The black-winged birds have been circling overhead for weeks, but their creepiness isn’t what prompted city officials to seek a way to disperse the flock — they’re causing damage to the furniture plant’s roof.