Local News

  • Buses, capital improvements among school needs

    INDEPENDENCE — Now that the state’s final budget for the year has been approved by the General Assembly, Grayson County Public Schools officials are crunching the numbers in their own spending plan in the hopes of funding capital improvement projects over the next year, and providing a 1 percent raise for staff.

  • Wreck causes chain reaction crashes on I-77

    A wreck on Interstate 77 in Wythe County caused traffic backups early last Thursday morning, which resulted in two subsequent crashes in Carroll County.

    According to reports from the Virginia State Police, a wreck occurred in Wythe County in the northbound lanes of I-77 sometime before 7:30 a.m. On March 9. Officials in Carroll County were then notified of two accidents that occurred in the traffic backup from the original wreck.

  • Survey examines seniors' needs

    Economic concerns dominated responses to a survey of senior citizen needs conducted by District Three Governmental Cooperative in February.

    However, many of the seniors gave positive responses about quality of life and family support systems.

    A total of 198 responses were received from senior citizen program participants, caregivers, service providers, agency staff, public officials, and others with an interest in aging issues.

  • Keepers' trial will be delayed

    Staff Report

    BLACKSBURG — The trial of Natalie Keepers, 20, of Laurel, Md., accused in the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell of Blacksburg, has been postponed.

    Originally, it was scheduled for March 27. No new date has been set.

    Keepers is charged with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder and concealing a body. Lovell’s body was found beside Route 89, just south of Galax, a few days after her disappearance in January 2016.

  • Schools solve bus loading dilemma

    INDEPENDENCE — Recent updates were made to Independence Elementary and the middle and high schools’ bus parking lots by the Grayson County Public Schools transportation department, allowing for smoother loading and departure at the end of the school day.

    During the Grayson County School Board’s Feb. 13 meeting, Charles Dickson of the school system’s transportation department, gave a brief summary of what had been done to improve the traffic from the parking lot.

  • Crime rate falling in Galax

    While the city had two homicides in 2016 — the first in several years — the Galax Police Department saw an overall decrease of 26 percent in total crimes reported last year, according to an annual report from Chief Rick Clark.

    Clark made his presentation at the Feb. 27 Galax City Council meeting. He said that last year, there were a total of 978 offenses, as opposed to 1,330 offenses in 2015.

  • Carroll County deputy dies in crash

    HILLSVILLE — Curtis Bartlett, a Carroll County Sheriff’s Department deputy, died in the line of duty last Thursday night, killed when his patrol car collided with a tractor-trailer while on the way to assist fellow officers involved in a chase.

    Though he met a tragic end, Carroll Sheriff J.B. Gardner said Bartlett, 32, died doing what he lived for: “He wanted to chase bad guys and catch them.”

  • Maintenance worker charged with sexual battery

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE ― An Independence man has been charged with one count of sexual battery, after allegedly making inappropriate contact with a tenant at Grayson Manor Apartments.

    Sgt. Matthew Adams of the Independence Police Department, who investigated the incident, said that he responded to a complaint on Jan. 3. The suspect, Dylan Michael Privett, was employed as a maintenance worker for the apartments, Adams said.

  • Juvenile charged in Railroad Ave. crash

    Staff Reports

    A two-vehicle accident on Feb. 27 at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and E. Grayson Street left one vehicle a total loss, according to Galax Police Capt. James Cox.

    A 2004 Peterbuilt 330 truck, operated by a Galax juvenile, was traveling west on Grayson Street and attempted to turn south onto Railroad, when it turned into the path of a 1989 Buick LeSabre operated by Ricky Lynn Bell, 59, of Fancy Gap, traveling east on Grayson, and struck it.

  • Carroll's fund balance shrinking


    HILLSVILLE – Carroll County, like many other localities across the United States, is experiencing a time when expenditures are increasing at a higher rate than revenues.

    During the Feb. 13 meeting of the Carroll Board of Supervisors, Gordon Jones — a CPA who works at the Blacksburg office of the auditing firm of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates — presented a county audit report with figures that didn’t reflect positive results.