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Local News

  • Split vote on budget with tax hike

    HILLSVILLE – In a 3-2 split vote on Monday night, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors approved and appropriated the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget for the county, which will raise real estate taxes by 2 cents to 68 cents

    The board scheduled this second June meeting with the purpose of approving and appropriating the budget and setting the tax rates and levy. The real estate tax was the only tax affected in the vote and other tax rates remained the same.

  • Trail rider dies after being thrown from mule

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    TROUTDALE – A 61-year-old Bristol woman was killed June 23 when she was thrown by a mule on national park property in western Grayson County.

    Lt. Todd Perkins of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department said Michelle Childress was riding the mule with some friends in a remote area, near Cabel and Wilson Creek trails.

    Perkins said something evidently spooked the mule, causing it to go down an embankment. Childress was thrown off the mule and hit her head in the accident that occurred about 11:20 a.m.

  • Police recover stolen truck, suspect in custody

    Staff Reports

    An Independence man is charged in connection with a burglary at Ramey Plumbing & Heating and the theft of a work truck.

    According to police reports, someone broke in to the business on South Main Street last week and stole a white 2003 Ford F-150 pickup, along with chainsaws.

    The Galax Police Department released photos of the suspect, taken from security cameras, and on June 22 received information from the Independence Police Department about the suspect’s identity.

  • Audit looks at consolidation of postal facilities

    Staff Report

    The U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General has begun a review of the consolidation of the Roanoke mail processing operations into the Greensboro processing and distribution center, which would affect the delivery of mail in the Twin Counties.

  • VDOT projects underway in Carroll

    Staff Reports

    The Virginia Department of Transportation has issued a list of ongoing summer road projects that motorists in Carroll County should be aware of.

    These include projects on Interstate 77, Route 58 and various improvements and maintenance on roads in the county. According to the release, VDOT advises motorists that work schedules and construction project timelines are always subject to change and weather dependent.

    Motorists should be aware of the possibility of VDOT crews on the roadways at all times.

  • Ralph Stanley, bluegrass icon, passes away at 89

    Staff Reports

    Ralph Stanley, the influential, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass musician, died June 23, 2016. He was 89.

    Stanley’s death was announced by his grandson, Nathan Stanley. “My heart is broken into pieces,” Nathan wrote last Thursday in a post on Facebook. “My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago. He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with skin cancer.”

  • Federal court: restroom rules violate constitution

    RICHMOND ― A federal district court in Virginia last week ordered the Gloucester County School Board to let a transgender student use the same restrooms as other boys at his school.

    The June 23 ruling could have an impact on a restroom policy the Grayson County School Board approved in May, which says all students must use the restroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate.

    The student in the Gloucester case was born female, but identifies as male.

  • Galax man indicted for burglary, larceny

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – A Galax man has been indicted on two charges by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury, according to court records unsealed after nearly a year.

    According to court records, Bobby Lee Hawks, 29, was indicted on charges of statutory burglary of property owned by Aaron Phillips and grand larceny. The grand jury met July 24, 2015 and returned the indictments, which were sealed until now.

  • Shelter warns of disease outbreak in cats

    Staff Report

    ROANOKE — A regional animal rescue shelter that serves Southwest Virginia — including the Twin Counties — has closed temporarily after nearly 40 cats tested positive for an infectious and sometimes fatal disease.

    According to a news release, on June 15, Angels of Assisi in Roanoke transferred in 38 cats and kittens from area shelters, many of them rural.

  • New schools in Grayson's 10-year plan

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County school system’s 10-year plan includes a new elementary school and new high school, along with smaller short-term goals, like improving teacher salaries.

    At the Grayson County School Board’s June 13 meeting, Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore updated the board on the plan.

    Wilmore highlighted several goals, including heating and cooling system improvements; a new turf athletic field; a new reading program; an improvement of teacher salaries; and, eventually, a new elementary school and high school.