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Local News

  • Wind storm left 6,200 powerless

    Staff Reports

    At the height of a turbulent wind storm on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Appalachian Power reported a total of 6,200 customers without electricity in Galax, Fries, Hillsville, Independence, Pipers Gap and Cana.

    The winds, which gusted to around 60 mph, also caused tree damage, with limbs blocking roads and taking out power lines.

  • Attacks renew debate over pit bulls

    Landmark News Service and Staff Reports

    Recent pit bull attacks in the Twin Counties and elsewhere have sparked a fierce debate about whether the fault lies in the dogs’ owners or in a genetic predisposition to violence.

  • Harper trial set for five days in July

    INDEPENDENCE — The trial date for George Albert Harper III, who is charged in the 2002 first-degree murder of Brandon Billings, will be held the week of July 25 in Grayson County Circuit Court, according to a review of the case last week.

    The Grayson County Circuit Court scheduled a review for Harper’s case on March 31, which Harper’s attorney, Edgar DeHart, said was to confirm everything was in order before the trial and to confirm the date.

    The courtroom has been reserved for five days.

  • City to replace entrance signs

    The City of Galax will remove and replace its entrance signs, which have welcomed visitors for more than 20 years.

    The new signs will keep the same theme — a fiddler representing the city’s musical heritage — but will last much longer.

    At the March 14 Galax City Council meeting, Chris Pollins, chairwoman of the city’s Public Arts Committee, ask the city for approval of the project.

  • Radio station changes name, format

    If you tune in to 1360-AM on April 1 and hear “Stairway to Heaven” instead of “Amazing Grace,” it’s not an April Fool’s Day prank and you’re not having a flashback to the radio station’s format from the 1970s.

    At noon on April 1, the Galax station is changing its format from gospel to classic rock, and its call letters from WWWJ to WCGX, “The Cat.”

    The new station will launch by playing Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

  • Grayson school board passes $20M budget

    INDEPENDENCE — After weeks of tracking funds, restoring order and prioritizing the needs of the school system, the Grayson County School Board and school administration have agreed on a budget for the 2016-17 school year.

    The budget approved by the school board on March 21 totals approximately $19.9 million; and includes federal funds totaling $2.4 million, state funds totaling $11.1 million and local funding of $5.7 million.

  • Adult, minor charged with vandalism in Galax

    Staff Report

    Daniel Dean Meredith, 18, of Galax, has been charged with several misdemeanors in conjunction with vandalism, reports of which were received by Galax police on March 21.

    Charges are pending against a juvenile, as well.

    Meredith is charged with vandalism at Waddell Nursing Home, The Friends Church, Tropical Tanning Salon, 311 W. Webster Street and 205 W. Oldtown Street, according to a Galax Police Department report.

  • Carroll, Grayson schools on list of high achievers

    Staff Report

    The Virginia Board of Education is honoring 55 Title I schools and one school division for raising the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students.

    The list includes Oakland Elementary in Carroll County and Independence Elementary in Grayson County.

    The awards are based on student performance on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, according to a news release. Each school will receive a certificate celebrating its status and achievement.

  • Galax earns national Safe Routes award

    Taking a walk or a bike ride might net you better health and the peace of mind that comes with fresh air and (sometimes) sunshine, but seldom do you get an award for it.

    Last Wednesday at the Galax Elementary School gym, however, the Safe Routes to School program received one: the James L. Oberstar Award from the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

  • Murder suspect to be extradited to Va.

    Staff Reports

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Greyling Dwayne “Beany” Davis will be extradited from North Carolina to Virginia in seven to 10 days.

    Davis, 52, who is charged with first-degree murder and malicious wounding, among other charges in Grayson, is being held in Alleghany County, N.C., after he was arrested there.

    At a court appearance in N.C. last week, he refused voluntary extradition.