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Local News

  • Meth found in popcorn box leads to arrest

    ROANOKE — A Hillsville man faces 40 years in federal prison and up to a $5 million fine after probation officers found methamphetamine hidden inside a microwave popcorn box in his home.

    According to documents on file in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Keith Joseph Snyder, 37, was already on probation at the time for a previous federal drug trafficking conviction.

  • Bid For A Cure auction set for March 17

    By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE — The 17th annual Bid for a Cure charity auction will be held on March 17 in the Grayson County High School auditorium in Independence.

    For more than 20 years, the local Bid for a Cure event has raised funds to help researchers and doctors as they develop more and better treatments and gain ground in their race for a cure for cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that can impede breathing and normal physical growth.

  • Rescue squad requests help to match ambulance grant

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Rescue Squad is raising money to provide a grant match for the purchase of new ambulance.

    The squad was recently awarded a partial grant from the Virginia Office of Emergency Services’ Rescue Squad Assistance Fund. According to Captain Robby Wingate, the award will allow the rescue squad to replace the oldest of their three ambulances, a 1993 model. The last ambulance purchase for the squad was made in 2007.

    The grant requires a 20 percent match from the rescue squad, which totals $43,000.

  • Accidents on 89 delay traffic

    Two tractor-trailer accidents on Route 89 in North Carolina have partially blocked the road and delayed traffic.

    According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, one involves property damage but no known injury, and was reported at 8:54 a.m.

    There is no information yet available regarding the second accident, which appears to involve a car trapped under a tractor-trailer’s payload.

    More information will be posted as it becomes available.

  • Chase reaches 120 mph, ends in crash

    HILLSVILLE– A high-speed pursuit on March 6 around 2:45 p.m. led to an arrest by Hillsville Police Department, after a driver tried to elude law enforcement, eventually crashing along Interstate 77.

    According to a report by HPD Capt. Shannon Goad, the driver; Dennis Lee Waiters Jr. of Charlotte, N.C., was traveling at nearly 90 mph in the northbound lanes of I-77 around Exit 14 in Hillsville when Officer David Johnson detected the offense while running stationary radar.

  • 'Zombie outbreak' teaches crisis skills

    HILLSVILLE – A mutated strain of the Zika virus is causing the infected to exhibit zombie-like behavior, and it’s up to a team of middle school students to handle the outbreak.

    It’s not the plot of a movie; it’s the scenario presented to students at Carroll County Middle School, as they participated in a project that demonstrated all the effort and hard work that it takes to deal with public safety and combat severe or dangerous situations.

  • Three more sentenced for drug conspiracy

    ABINGDON ― Three more locals were sentenced to federal prison last week, resulting from Operation Rolling Thunder, a joint investigation into a local methamphetamine distribution network.

    The defendants were sentenced March 6 in the Western District of Virginia Federal Court in Abingdon, in proceedings held before Judge James P. Jones. All pleaded guilty last year to charges conspiracy to distribute meth.

    They include:

  • Land bought for new school could still benefit students

    As the city moves forward with plans to renovate and expand Galax Elementary, what will become of the property the school system initially bought to build a new school?

    The school system bought 62 acres of land near Fries Road that was originally going to be the site of a new GES, before cost estimates made it clear that renovating and upgrading the existing building would be much more feasible.

    At a recent school board meeting, Superintendent Bill Sturgill said he still felt good about the land purchase, and talked about alternative plans for its use.

  • A year after death, deputy still inspires

    A year ago, on March 9, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Bartlett died in the line of duty when his cruiser hit a tractor-trailer while responding to a call for help from his fellow officers, who were engaged in a pursuit.

    Curtis, a veteran, law enforcement and school resource officer, personal trainer and internet fitness celebrity, was beloved by the community. His funeral at Galax First Baptist Church — where his father, Sam Bartlett, is pastor — drew expressions of grief, sympathy and support for his family, friends and coworkers.

  • 2017 a dangerous year for local police

    The March 2017 crash that killed Carroll County Deputy Curtis Bartlett was part of a dangerous trend for Twin County law enforcement in 2017.

    In case after case, suspects would flee the scene or refuse to stop, causing officers to chase them down at high speeds. In some cases, the suspects rammed police vehicles, shot at officers or got into physical altercations.

    “Sadly, it just keeps getting more dangerous every year,” said Carroll Sheriff J.B. Gardner. “It would be a tremendous blessing if we never had to chase anyone ever again.”