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Local News

  • Fries rec reboots as community center

    FRIES — In the wake of the Fries Recreation Center Board’s dissolution in December, a new group has worked to continue the town’s recreational and tourism operations under a new umbrella.

    At Fries Town Council’s Feb. 3 meeting, Denny Brooms, chairman of the newly formed Fries Community Center Board, gave the mayor and council members a summary of their activities since January.

  • VSP fields more than 2,200 calls in snowstorm

    RICHMOND - From 4 p.m. Monday through 4 a.m. Tuesday, Virginia State Police troopers and dispatchers statewide fielded 2,231 calls for service statewide, according to a news release.

    During the 12-hour period, Virginia troopers responded to 825 traffic crashes and 620 disabled vehicles. The majority of the crashes involved damaged vehicles only. Due to vehicles losing control on slick roadways, two VSP troopers were struck and injured, the release said. Police also confirm one traffic fatality in Loudon County.

  • State police respond to 34 crashes in weekend snow

    Virginia State Police responded to dozens of wrecks throughout Carroll and Grayson counties over the weekend, when a mixture of ice and snow created hazardous road conditions throughout the Twin Counties.

    First Sgt. Mike Musser reported a total of 34 crashes in Carroll and Grayson in an email to The Gazette on Monday.

    Of the reported wrecks, Musser noted that the most severe crash was not weather-related. On Feb. 13, police responded to a severe crash on U.S 21, a half-mile south of Virginia 654 in Grayson County, at approximately 3:45 p.m.

  • Supervisor: time to give Mitchell a second chance

    HILLSVILLE — It has been 18 years since former Carroll County administrator Billy Mitchell was indicted on federal embezzlement and money laundering charges for a scheme to take more than $400,000 from the county.

    After serving out his prison sentence and returning as an active member of the community, one Carroll supervisor believes Mitchell deserves a second chance at public service.

    Supervisor Bob Martin’s motion to appoint Mitchell to serve on the Carroll Planning Commission was tabled during the Board of Supervisors’ Feb. 9 meeting.

  • Free credit monitoring offered in Anthem breach

    Anthem announced that former and current customers whose personal data may have been hacked in a cyberattack can sign up for two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

    Anthem’s Virginia spokesman, Scott Golden, said the health insurer is working with a vendor to provide services to those potentially affected by the attack, which is estimated to be some 80 million former and current customers and employees.

  • Grayson allocates more money for kids in need

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson supervisors approved an additional appropriation for funding to the county’s Comprehensive Services after recent expenditures show the initial $700,000 may not be enough.

    Department of Social Services director and Community Policy and Management Teams (CPMT) chair Tony Isom made the request to the board during its regular meeting last Thursday.

  • Civil, voting rights restored to 5,100 ex-offenders

    RICHMOND – Virginia has restored the civil and voting rights of over 5,100 ex-offenders, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced major changes to the restoration of rights application process for offenders of more serious crimes, including shortening the application from 13 pages to just one page and removing burdensome requirements such as notarization and letters to the governor.

  • Legislature won't hear training center bill this session

    HILLSVILLE — Although a bill introduced in the General Assembly this year by Del. Jeff Campbell to keep the Southwest Virginia Training Center open has been tabled, local government officials are stepping up their efforts to save the facility.

    The Carroll County Board of Supervisors discussed House Bill 1614 — which made it through multiple subcommittees before being tabled for the session — at the Feb. 9 meeting.

  • Raising vehicle registration fee will pay for more troopers

    RICHMOND — The state Senate voted 30-6 on Tuesday to raise the vehicle registration fee $1.25 per year through 2024 to pay for raises for State Police troopers.

    Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County) a former trooper, said the fee would add 70 troopers a year. “This will help us to retain the qualified, dedicated men that are increasingly leaving,” he said. “We don’t have enough troopers to protect the citizens of this commonwealth.”

    The current annual registration fee for most vehicles is $33.

  • Population report shows local gains and losses

    According to a study done by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Virginia’s population has increased by less than 1 percent each year since 2010 — the commonwealth’s lowest growth rate in decades.

    Locally, Grayson County and Galax gained residents, while Carroll County lost some.

    With more than 8.3 million residents as of July 1, 2014, Virginia remains the nation’s 12th-largest state and ranks 10th in numerical gain between 2013 and 2014.