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Local News

  • Worker dies in American Mirror accident

    UPDATED 7/27/14:

    The death of a Carroll County man in an industrial accident is being investigated by the Galax Police Department and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.

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

    Fire and rescue personnel extricated Hancock from the machine, but could not revive him.

  • Core bringing 250 jobs to Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today, Wednesday, that Core Health & Fitness LLC, a leader in developing and marketing advanced strength and cardio equipment for the fitness industry, will invest $2 million to expand the former Med-Fit operation in Grayson County.

    A news release announcing the deal said that Virginia successfully competed against California and China for the project, which will create 250 new jobs.

    At its height of production, Med-Fit employed around 100 people at the plant.

  • New mayor has plans for Fries

    FRIES — At the beginning of the month, members of Fries Town Council selected Richard Farmer as the town’s new mayor.

    Effective Sept. 1, Farmer will fill the spot formerly occupied by Gary Sumner.

    A native to the area, Farmer grew up in the town and spent most of his free time at the Fries Recreation Center, or as he called it, the YMCA. “It was my home… I grew up there,” he said.

    After graduating from Fries High School in 1965, Farmer moved away from the area, where he fulfilled a number of life goals.

  • Governor asked to slow training center closures

    Members of congress from Virginia are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to consider slowing the closing of several training centers for the developmentally disabled, including a facility in Carroll County.

    One of those signing the bipartisan letter is Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-9th District), who represents Carroll and Grayson counties and the City of Galax.

  • After 69 years, veteran receives WWII medals

    FRIES — This year, during Independence Day celebrations in Grayson County, a World War II veteran and former prisoner of war from Fries received the medals he’d earned nearly 70 years ago.

    The towns of Independence and Fries each held celebrations to commend and honor Coy Shaffner on July 4. Shaffner was invited to ride in both the Independence and Fries parades, and ceremonies were scheduled to follow both parades, in which Shaffner was honored with his medals and ribbon board.

  • Details pending on Nautilus plant purchase

    UPDATED 7/21/14:

    INDEPENDENCE — Former Med-Fit Systems employees are being called back to work at the reopened Nautilus plant in Independence, but company representatives and Grayson County officials said no details about the fitness equipment facility’s future could be released before Wednesday.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office was set to announce the sale on Wednesday.

    For the full story, see www.galaxgazette.com Wednesday morning or pick up Wednesday's edition of The Gazette.

  • Galax/Carroll Relay for Life set for this weekend

    HILLSVILLE — The 2014 Galax/Carroll Relay for Life will be held on July 25-26 at Carroll County High School.

    Preceding the main event, a Survivor’s Banquet will be held to honor the area’s cancer survivors and their caregivers on July 23, at the Hillsville First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall from 4-6 p.m. The church is located at 225 Fulcher Street in Hillsville, across the road from Trinity Mission and up the hill behind the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department.

  • Galax citizens reform beautification committee

    Longtime Galax residents will remember the efforts of Eloise and Frank Vass — a married couple, now retired to a nursing facility in Charlotte, N.C. — who spearheaded efforts to beautify the city in years pass.

    Mary Guynn — Eloise’s sister, and formerly a city council member — remembers their work well, and she wants to evoke the spirit of the Vasses through her own latest project: another beautification committee.

  • Grayson weighing bleacher options

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County Public Schools will hire an engineering group to provide options for bleacher replacement after school board members approved the expense at their regular meeting this month.

    The school division has been looking at using some leftover grant money (roughly $206,000) for the bleachers at the high school – which are in dire need of replacement and pose a safety hazard.

    Superintendent Kevin Chalfant previously provided the board with three options:

  • BBQ contest expanding this year

    The Smoke on the Mountain, Virginia’s state BBQ championship, has received more space in downtown Galax for this weekend’s event after city council voted to allow an expansion at Monday night’s meeting.

    Owing to its growing number of contestants, Smoke on the Mountain Site Director Ron Passmore asked the City of Galax to afford the festival more space in the downtown area.