Local News

  • From home, Virginians can keep an eye on legislators

    Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – It may not offer the drama of “House of Cards,” but an initiative at the Virginia Capitol is lifting the curtain on the workings of the General Assembly.

    In January, the House and Senate started live-streaming and archiving videos of committee hearings. On a computer or cellphone, Virginians can now watch – from the comfort of their homes or offices – what used to require a trip to the Capitol.

  • Traffic stop nabs homicide suspect

    Staff Report

    A routine stop for a traffic violation in Galax this weekend resulted in the arrest of a man wanted for a 2017 homicide in Mexico.

    On Feb. 17, Officer Tyler Houk stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on Stuart Drive, shortly after 9:50 p.m., according to a Galax Police Department report.

    The operator could not produce a valid Virginia operator's license, the report said. After a check of the Virginia DMV data base, police determined that Joel Miguel Miguel, 38, was driving on a suspended license.

  • SWVA's $1 billion tourism industry

    Staff Report

    A 56 percent increase in tourism spending in Southwest Virginia since 2004 is highlighted in new report by the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Friends of Southwest Virginia.

    The annual report for 2017 outlines the regional economic impact of the tourism economy and spotlights economic, community and tourism development initiatives, regional marketing and branding.

  • Training center bills fail to advance

    RICHMOND — Legislative efforts to save the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County have failed, after three bills from local lawmakers were not advanced in the General Assembly.

    Dels. Jeff Campbell (R-6th District, who represents Carroll County) and Israel O’Quinn (R-5th District, who represents Grayson County and Galax) filed bills this year in attempt to keep the mental health facility open.

  • Carroll sets budget goal

    HILLSVILLE – At its second meeting to discuss the operating budget for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, the Carroll County School Board heard a report on how education is linked to economic development.

    Tammy Quesenberry, finance supervisor for Carroll County Public Schools, presented an analysis highlighting intended budget goals.

    According to the report, the school system would like to focus on support instruction, which promotes student achievement in a safe learning environment.

  • GOP softens resistance to Medicaid expansion

    Staff Report

    The chances that Virginia will join 32 other states in expanding Medicaid improved slightly last week, when on key Republican legislator endorsed the plan, which most GOP lawmakers have opposed.

    “We have to step up, we can’t be the party of ‘no.’” said Del. Terry Kilgore, adding that at least 15 Republicans in the House of Delegates will likely vote with him on the issue, according to an Associated Press report.

  • Twin Counties in proposed I-81 tax zone

    Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – An additional fuel tax of 2.1 percent would be levied in western Virginia, including the Twin Counties, under a Senate bill that creates a regional transportation fund to help pay for improvements on busy Interstate 81.

    The legislation sponsored by Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) passed the Senate 24-16 on Tuesday. It would create the Western Virginia Transportation Fund to improve conditions on the state’s longest interstate, stretching from Bristol to Winchester – mostly two lanes in each direction.

  • 4-H teaches youth about drug, alcohol dangers

    HILLSVILLE – Carroll County Middle School (CCMS) hosted an extensive youth awareness program throughout this week to educate students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

    4-H Agent Jonette Mungo of Virginia Cooperative Extension led the awareness program with the help of CCMS’ health and physical education staff.

  • General Assembly Halftime Report 2018

    Landmark News Service

    RICHMOND — We’ve reached crossover, the halfway point of the General Assembly session when each chamber finishes its own bills and hear bills from the other chamber.

    The budget bill is the lone exception that doesn’t have to be complete yet – that has to be done by Sunday.

    Major agreements have come together around raising the felony threshold and reducing red tape in certain state departments.

  • Grayson builds up vocational program

    INDEPENDENCE — A few new initiatives have sparked in the Grayson County Career and Technical Education (CATE) Center’s building trades program, and with them ride the hopes of seeing an uptick in the program’s interest in upcoming years.

    In response to lower enrollment numbers in the building trades program last year, two new efforts were recently put into place. Overall, the class underwent a major transition last semester as staff considered the option of putting together larger commissionable building projects for Grayson County citizens.