Local News

  • Harper murder case won't proceed

    INDEPENDENCE ― George Albert Harper III, who was charged with first-degree murder in the 2002 shooting death of Brandon Billings, has pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury for giving conflicting testimony to Grayson County grand juries.

    As a result, the prosecution will not go forward with the murder charge against Harper and a charge for using a firearm in commission of a felony was amended to reflect one of the two perjury charges.

  • Lodge for sale as Galax Elks downsize

    Prospective commercial property buyers checking out local listings aren’t imagining things: the Galax Elks Lodge #2212 building is for sale.

    However, noted Elks Exalted Leader Jim Ward with a chuckle, the group as such has no plans to fade away.

    “We just have the building available if anyone’s looking,” said Ward. “We’re going to build a new building. We have plenty of land behind [the current site]. We just don’t need as much space.”

  • Simultaneous wrecks block I-77 traffic

    Staff Reports

    A two-vehicle accident at 1:10 p.m. on July 12 at the 21 mile marker on Interstate 77 in Carroll County left one driver with non-life threatening injuries, according to Virginia State Trooper S.M. Phillips.

    It was one of two multi-vehicle wrecks that occurred at the same time that day on I-77.

    Jacob Dean, 35, of Max Meadows, was driving a 2003 Volkswagon Passat behind a 2016 Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by Joseph Dobbs, 36, of Apex, N.C., when Dobbs slowed due to a backup in traffic, according to the report.

  • Driver charged with DUI in trailer park wreck

    Staff Reports

    A two-vehicle accident at Hanes Road Trailer Park in Galax left one man with minor injuries on July 4 at 1:47 p.m., according to a report logged by the Officer John Reavis of the Galax Police Department.

    Lorne Pernell Linville left his residence in the park in a yellow 1997 Ford F-150 pickup and traveled west through the park. The report said he had a seizure, which caused the pickup to accelerate and run out of control.

  • Galax City Council agenda includes budget, zoning, taxes

    At the July 11 Galax City Council meeting, Mayor C.M. Mitchell and Vice Mayor Willie Greene were both reappointed to their respective positions by council, after Judge. J.D. Bolt swore in members.

    The council members were the re-elected Sharon Plichta and Bill Davis and the newly-elected Ches Helmick.

    At the end of the meeting, a new resident of Galax, Josepha Thompson, rose to speak, after being introduced by Greene as a friend.

    “She’s interested in just being involved, and I appreciate her coming,” said Greene.

  • Fire smokes up Creek Bottom Brews

    A fire on Friday at 3:07 p.m. at Creek Bottom Brews on Meadow Street in Galax left a lot of smoke but not much apparent damage and nobody injured, according to Galax Volunteer Fire Chief David Hankley.

  • Galax police capture man with 24 warrants

    Staff Reports

    A man with 24 outstanding warrants was captured Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Galax after officers retrieved him from a creek.

    Jonathan Thomas Choate, 32, of Sparta, N.C., was arrested after an incident on South Main Street, according to a Galax Police Department news release.

    “Officer Drew Burnett had observed the suspect involved in a suspicious activity while on patrol in West Galax,” the release said. “When Burnett stopped and returned to investigate his observations, the suspect had fled.”

  • Carroll could reclaim training center land


    HILLSVILLE – Doug Smith of Woodlawn presented an opportunity Monday night for the Carroll County Board of Supervisors to obtain usable land around the Southwestern Virginia Training Center, which is scheduled to close in less than two years.

  • Fries Town Council members sworn in

    FRIES ― New and returning members of the Fries Town Council were sworn in by Grayson County Circuit Court Clerk Susan Harrington during the July 7 meeting.

    Those re-elected in May include Richard Farmer, William Davis, JoAnn Gunter, Nancy Hawks and Marie Isom. New member Cynthia Grant and returning member Gary Sumner (who served in several aspects in the past, including mayor), were also welcomed at the meeting.

    At the end of the meeting, council voted on appointments for mayor, vice mayor and clerk/treasurer.

  • Galax has no plans for annexation

    An existing moratorium on city-initiated annexations and county declarations of immunity from annexation has been extended to 2024, thanks to legislation passed during the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session.

    According to a report issued by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the law affects independent cities like Galax and surrounding counties, but not townships.