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Local News

  • Fire leaves Hillsville man homeless

    HILLSVILLE — A fire in Hillsville left a resident homeless early Sunday morning.

    Galax Fire Department responded at 1:59 a.m. to assist the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department at 1570 Old Galax Pike, a cinderblock house with additions built on.

    According to Hillsville Unit 1 Chief Donnie Spangler, a neighbor reported the fire. The resident took refuge in his car.

    “We don’t really know how it started,” said Spangler. “Everybody was out.”

  • VSP responds to 23 crashes over weekend

    Virginia State Police responded to 23 accidents in Carroll and Grayson counties last weekend, according to a statement from First Sgt. Mike Musser on Monday.

    Another snow and ice storm on Feb. 20-21 made travel hazardous, and some roads refroze after thawing on Feb. 22.

    “We responded to 23 accidents from Friday morning until Sunday evening. Of those 23, seven were on the interstate, and the rest were on primary and secondary roads,” Musser said in an email to The Gazette.

  • House, Senate conferees agree on state budget

    RICHMOND — House and Senate budget conferees have agreed on a 2 percent pay raise for state employees, restoration of $30 million in funding to local governments that had been cut and a deposit of nearly $130 million to the rainy day fund, Republicans said on Monday.

    They said a vote could be held in each chamber as early as Thursday.

    In a statement, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) and Senate Finance Chairman Walter Stosch (R- Henrico County) said the budgets approved by each chamber earlier this month were already in close alignment.

  • Foggy Top fire under investigation

    A house fire on Foggy Top Lane in Grayson County left no injuries or fatalities but extensive property damage, said Galax Fire Department Capt. Mike Ayers on Monday evening.

    Galax firefighters responded to the siren at 5:08 p.m. on Monday. After extinguishing the fire, which Ayers said started in a front room, the fire department summoned investigators from the Grayson Sheriff’s Office. According to Ayers, this was because the fire department was unable to discern the fire’s cause.

  • Life-saving dispatchers honored in Congress

    It’s amazing where just doing your job can get you.

    For two local police dispatchers, their life-saving efforts got them recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    As previously reported by The Gazette, Galax police dispatchers Tim Webb and Justin Wooten were working dispatch on Dec. 29, 2014, when an emergency call came through from the Skyland Estates section of Fancy Gap. Cheri Grable, watching her sick grandson, was on the line, desperate for help.

  • Grayson sheriff reports on 2014 activities

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Sheriff’s Department made 93 drug arrests last year according to the 2014 annual report released by Sheriff Richard Vaughan.

    Vaughan said deputies responded to 5,669 calls for service and served 6,253 warrants (1,145 criminal and 5,108 civil).

    Drug arrests topped the list of arrests, followed by larceny and burglary, which combined for a total of 54.

  • Panel votes down automatic rights restoration

    RICHMOND — A legislative panel has rejected a proposal that could lead to automatically restoring rights of nonviolent felons after they have completed their sentences.

    Those qualified still must petition the governor to restore their rights.

    The resolution (SJ238) sought a constitutional amendment allowing the General Assembly to decide whether to automatically restore some rights, such as the right to vote, for nonviolent felons who have fully completed their sentences, including probation.

  • State completes investigation of fatal accident

    FRIES — C&B Lumber in Fries has received a citation from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program, after an investigation of an accident resulting in the death of an employee in 2014.

    The citation involved paperwork, and the company was not found to be at fault in the worker’s death.

  • Few children in Va. haven't been vaccinated

    A flurry of measles infections around the country— most linked to the exposure of several dozen people to the virus at Disneyland in California — has made national headlines.

    But Virginia has yet to report a single case this year. One possible reason, according to public health officials: few children in the state are opting out of the school-required vaccine.

    In the 2013-14 school year, 446 kindergartners in Virginia applied for a nonmedical exemption from vaccines, a low number compared with other states.

  • Where's the fire? Siren activity often weather-related

    Galax citizens may have noticed an unusually high rate of activity by the city’s siren lately. So, where’s the fire?

    According to Capt. Mike Ayers of the fire department, often there isn’t one.