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Local News

  • Abducted child found, alert canceled

    FANCY GAP — Local authorities joined in a search for a missing child from the Critz area of Patrick County on Wednesday, after a tip led authorities to believe that the child and his abductor were at a residence in Fancy Gap.

    Tommy Lee Able Engle, age 3, had been missing since Monday evening, according to the Virginia Amber Alert website. The alert was issued Tuesday at 6:10 p.m., and then cancelled Wednesday afternoon after the child was safely located in Pikeville, Ky., according to a news release from Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith.

  • Hillsville man charged with meth possession

    A Hillsville man was arrested Aug. 3 in Galax on drug charges.

    According to the Galax Police Department, Harley David Phillips, 34, was arrested and charged with violating the Drug Control Act.

    Phillips was charged by Officer Chris Hines, who had responded to a residence on Petty Road in Galax. During Hines’ investigation, he discovered a quantity of suspected methamphetamine, according to a police report.

    “Phillips admitted that he had distributed a portion of the substance before it was discovered by Hines,” the report said.

  • Grayson approves commercial recreation events

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County supervisors have unanimously approved a special use permit that will allow various recreational events in Fries after a trial event went off without any issues earlier this year.

    Crystal Leonard applied for a permanent special use permit for a parcel of land that is zoned Rural Farm Zone, after a successful ‘mud bog’ event held earlier this year was successful.

  • Charges issued in chain-reaction crashes

    Names and charges were released Monday morning as the result of multiple accidents that occurred within two-tenths of a mile of each other on Interstate 77 in Carroll County last Friday.

    According to Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. Mike Musser, the string of incidents began at 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 1, in the southbound lane between mile markers 2.6 and 2.8.

  • Moped driver killed in U.S. 52 wreck

    HILLSVILLE — A moped driver was killed in a collision with a logging truck on U.S. 52 today, according to police at the accident scene.

    Virginia State Police identified the victim as Aubrey Lee Matney of Hillsville.

    According to Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.B. Phipps, Matney was driving a moped south on 52 — south of Hillsville, near Sunnyside — in the far right lane.

    The log truck, operated by Andrew Belford Lawson of Hillsville, was following the moped, and attempted to go around him.

  • 'Mud bog' a success, seeks long-term permit

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Planning Commission has approved a long-term special use permit to allow year-round commercial recreation events on the property of James Carico, near 206 Cattle Drive in Fries.

    After the property hosted a “Mudder’s Day Mud Bog Festival” that attracted more than 500 attendees in May, event organizer and zoning applicant Crystal Leonard contacted the commission about obtaining the permit so that the location could host future activities and festivals.

  • Galax, Independence plan 'National Night Out'

    National Night Out, celebrated across America — and even on some U.S. military bases on foreign soil — is coming to Galax again on Aug. 5.

    “National Night Out started by bringing law enforcement and the community together against crime,” said Galax Police Capt. James Cox. “It gets the public out and lets them know who their public safety officials are. It’s a meet and greet.”

  • Multiple wrecks cause backup on I-77

    FANCY GAP — Virginia State Police responded to a series of four accidents that occurred within two-tenths of a mile on Interstate 77 early Friday.

    According to State Police First Sgt. Mike Musser, the string of incidents began at 5 a.m. in the southbound lane at mile marker 2.8 in Carroll County. A flatbed tractor-trailer carrying aluminum framing for solar panels was traveling southbound when rain caused a passenger car in front of the tractor to hydroplane.

  • Friends pitch in for memorial

    In 2006, Gazette reporter Christopher Brooke snapped a photo of 15-year-old Jamie Lineberry of Hillsville, airborne on his skateboard.

    There, his friends and family say, was his favorite place to be — in the air, with his trusty board beneath him.

    That same photo is just one of the ways his loved ones now keep him immortalized in their hearts.

  • Historic 1908 Courthouse gets makeover

    INDEPENDENCE — For the first time in 20 years, the exterior white trim on the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence is being completely repainted.

    Phillip Osborne of Hemlock Construction has begun the job using two different kinds of lifts to reach the highest points on the building more than 50 feet above ground.