Local News

  • Judge: GOP can require 'loyalty oath' in primary

    Landmark News Service

    A federal judge’s ruling Thursday in Richmond clears the way for state election officials to send out absentee ballots that include a Republican loyalty pledge.

    Judge Hannah Lauck denied a request for a preliminary injunction blocking the use of the loyalty pledge in Virginia’s March 1 GOP presidential primary.

    The ruling was issued one day after Lauck heard arguments in her courtroom.

    Virginia does not register voters by party and allows anyone to participate in a primary election.

  • Car hits house, wreck results in DUI charge

    Staff Report

    A single-vehicle accident resulted in a DUI arrest on Jan. 11, when Officer Drew Burnett was dispatched to the intersection of Parkwood Drive and McArthur Street in Galax, according to a Galax Police Department report.

    A 2012 GMC SUV driven by Regina Leigh Ayers, 42, of Galax, left the road, struck the home of Debbie Baker-Puckett and appeared to knock the foundation in approximately one inch, the report said. Ayers then allegedly backed off the house and into the front porch, also destroying a boxwood bush.

  • Snow causes single-vehicle crash

    A single-vehicle accident this morning left one person with unknown injuries, according to Galax Police Officer Mark Burnett.

    First responders were dispatched at 9:13 a.m. today to a single-vehicle wreck on South Main Street near the Pipers Gap intersection for an SUV that had run off the road.

    “She was traveling south on South Main Street. It was slick [from snow], and she started spinning, came off the road, went down the embankment, the vehicle flipped over on its side into a stump.”

  • State code discovery disqualifies Carroll IDA members

    HILLSVILLE – A state code oversight has left the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) short two long-time members and halted operations for the time being.

  • Head Start opens new center in Independence

    INDEPENDENCE — Town and county officials recently joined members of Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program at Independence Elementary School to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s new Head Start program.

  • Legislators expect to find common ground in 2016 session

    Landmark News Service

    RICHMOND — Leaders in both political parties said they expect to find common ground, especially in writing a new two-year budget, when the 140 lawmakers of the Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday for the 2016 session.

  • Murder charges filed in dog attack death

    Staff Reports

    INDEPENDENCE — The babysitters whose dog killed an infant in their care last week now face second-degree murder charges, in addition to felony child neglect.

    The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office filed the new charges on Wednesday after an investigation of the Jan. 6 incident, which resulted in the death of 15-month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers.

  • Drugs found during shoplifting arrest

    Staff Report

    On Dec. 30 at approximately 11:30 p.m., Galax Officer Jeremiah Foutch was called to Walmart by Officer Tyler Houk, who was off-duty, in regards to a possible shoplifter.

    According to a police report, upon arrival Foutch spoke with loss prevention employee Lavenda Young, who stated that she had observed a male suspect walking through the store concealing goods in a Walmart bag.

  • Sutherland new chair of Grayson supervisors

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors elected officers and reviewed rules of procedure during an organizational meeting Jan. 4 at the Matthews State Forest Meeting Center.

    County Administrator Jonathan Sweet asked for nominations to elect a chair for the board. Supervisor Kenneth Belton nominated Supervisor Brenda Sutherland. After Sutherland accepted the nomination, and no other nominations were cast, the motion was approved by all members present.

  • A Citizen's Guide to the 2016 General Assembly

    Landmark News Service & Staff Reports

    Professional lobbyists aren’t the only ones who can have a voice at the General Assembly in Richmond. Thanks to the Internet, you can see what legislators are up to and share your opinions.

    Here’s a guide to the basics for this year’s session, which begins Jan. 13 and runs through February

    Do Your Homework

    Become familiar with the legislation beyond what you read or hear.