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Local News

  • Fries clears obstacle to property sale

    FRIES — The Town of Fries held a public hearing on Jan. 5 to receive comments about removing a possible reverter clause from the deed to the town’s mill property and adjacent 40 acres.

    The mill and corresponding land — along with downtown properties in Fries including the bingo hall, former fire station and garage — are pending sale to a local buyer for development.

  • Bill would return Confederate flag to plates

    Staff Report

    RICHMOND — Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) has filed a bill that, if approved, would allow motorists to once again display the Confederate battle flag on their license plates.

    Senate Bill No. 45, which was pre-filed by Carrico on Dec. 15 and will be offered during the General Assembly session that begins Jan. 13, seeks to “amend and reenact § 46.2-746.22 of the Code of Virginia, relating to Sons of Confederate Veterans special license plates; logo or emblem on plate design.”

  • Firefighters respond to car blaze

    On Jan. 4, at 6:05 p.m., the Galax Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a reported vehicle fire in the 3600 block of Skyline Highway, according to Capt. Mike Ayers.

    Members arrived to find an SUV on fire. The driver indicated he was traveling north on Skyline Highway (Virginia 89) when he noticed smoke coming from under the dash. He pulled off to the side of the road and walked to a nearby house to call for assistance. In the meantime, a passing motorist called in the fire.

  • SCC sets lower fuel rate for Appalachian Power

    The State Corporation Commission approved a two-phase decrease in the fuel rate requested by Appalachian Power Co.

    The company’s fuel factor of 2.953 cents per kilowatt hour was reduced by the SCC to 2.586 cents on an interim basis for service rendered on or after Oct.1, 2015. It will be further reduced to 2.301 cents for service rendered on or after Feb. 1, 2016.

    The revised fuel rate decreased the monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity by $3.67, or approximately 3.2 percent, effective October 1, 2015.

  • Clinic offers help signing up for health insurance

    The Tri-Area Community Health Centers will host several informational sessions in January to answer questions about enrolling in benefits through the health insurance marketplace and informing area residents about possible exemptions from the tax penalty. These sessions will be held in multiple area locations.

    As of Dec. 19, 2015, the number of Virginians enrolled in health insurance through the marketplace was 375,891. The deadline for open enrollment ends Jan. 31.

  • Fatal wreck not discovered until morning

    A single-vehicle wreck overnight resulted in the death of Independence resident. The wreck wasn't discovered until Thursday morning.

    Virginia State Police Senior Trooper J.A. Vaughan is investigating a single-vehicle fatal crash in Grayson County.

    According to a report from state police, a 1997 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck was traveling along Hardin Road during the night when it ran off the right side of the road, struck an embankment and went over it. The truck overturned and landed on its roof.

  • Car turns over in New Year's Eve crash

    Staff Reports

    FRIES — A Fries man received a driving under the influence charge on New Year’s Eve, following a single vehicle wreck that left his car on its side on Liberty Hill Road.

    According to a report from State Trooper S.E. Kinney, Ronnie T. Taylor, 45, of Fries, was operating a 2006 Ford Explorer on Dec. 31 when his vehicle ran off the right side of the road, struck a bank and overturned.

  • Bills target same-sex marriage

    Staff Reports

    RICHMOND — A local legislator has filed two bills in the General Assembly that would allow court clerks and wedding officiants to refuse service to couples if the union goes against their religious beliefs.

    This would apply to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

  • Galax-Grayson EMS earns top state honor

    Staff Reports

    Galax-Grayson EMS (GGEMS) was one of only six agencies in the state, and the only one in Southwest Virginia, to receive recognition as an Agency of Excellence this year by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.

    The agency received this award at the Virginia EMS Symposium in Norfolk on Nov. 14.

    “I’m very proud,” said GGEMS Chief Ron Passmore. “It was a team effort. I’m very proud that we all pulled it together.”

  • Legislators push for more healthcare competition

    Landmark News Service
    RICHMOND — Republicans in the House of Delegates say they will push a legislative package this year designed to enhance competition in Virginia health care.
    Republicans said a series of bills, if passed, would phase out most state laws requiring what’s called a “certificate of public need” (COPN) for hospitals, surgery centers and medical-imaging services.