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Local News

  • Saving green in Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — Recycling has a payoff to Grayson County.

    This year alone, Grayson has made $49,398 in revenue and saved $22,550 in landfill fees from citizens who recycle cardboard, newspapers, magazines, plastic, aluminum and steel.

    “The $156 fee on everyone’s property tax bill for yearly trash pickup has not gone up since 2008 because of recycling revenues,” said Assistant County Administrator Mitch Smith, at a public tour of Grayson’s recycling facility. “The more we recycle, the more money we save for our citizens.”

  • Vehicle fire closes part of I-77

    A tractor-trailer fire of unknown origin caused part of Interstate 77 around mile marker 6.7 to be shut down on Friday, according to Virginia State Police Sgt. Mike Musser.

    Musser said the vehicle was coming up the mountain around 7 a.m. when the truck caught fire. The driver pulled over and exited the cab, which burned, along with part of the payload, said Musser.

    “He just noticed it started smoking,” Musser said. “Nobody was hurt. The driver pulled over and jumped out.”

  • Firefighters, tenants participate in drill

    Residents of downtown Galax saw smoke but no fire last Tuesday night when the Galax Fire Department conducted an intensive training session at an apartment building on Center Street.

    The training was set up to simulate “a large fire on the third floor with possible civilian entrapment” according to Capt. Mike Ayers. “Last night’s training was a culmination of several previous trainings that we have had this summer,” he said Oct. 22, listing them as “search and rescue, hose advancement, ladder rescues and mayday.

  • Music to help internationally at The Rex

    Not all international relief effort is aimed at the more practical aspects of offering help to those in need abroad. Some of it is downright fun.

    Operation Christmas Child (OCC) — a program under Samaritan's Purse, a Christian international relief organization — seeks to pack shoeboxes full of small Christmas presents to be distributed to needy kids in countries throughout the world.

  • Man charged with vending machine burglaries

    A Galax man has been arrested and charged with a series of crimes that were first reported on Oct. 15.

    The Galax Police Department investigated numerous complaints of damage to vending machines across the city, and damage at two car washes.

    Michael Darin Haynes, 39, was arrested after an investigation conducted by Officer John Reavis, who viewed surveillance tapes and obtained a description of the suspect’s vehicle. The vehicle was located by Sgt. Mark Burnett on South Main Street in Galax on Oct. 20, according to a police report.

  • Ministry raising money to buy old Hillcrest Church

    McMillian Ministries has spent its time and energy so far trying to be a dynamic spiritual force in the community. This Saturday evening, it’s asking for just a little help back.

    The ministry boasts an active youth program, including a June conference, and is famed for its formal Winter Ball in February at the Elks Lodge, which Pastor Sue Greene describes as no less than “a black tie event.”

    Pretty impressive for a church whose congregation has no building of its own.

  • Galax 5K has been running 25 years

    Blue skies with puffy clouds and a crisp wind characterized the weather for the 25th Annual Twin County Regional Healthcare Galax Autumn Days 5K Run last Saturday.

    The race, which started and ended in Felts Park, with a circuit extending through part of downtown Galax, drew past competitors and new entrants. After registering and receiving number tags, the runners awaited the race eagerly.

  • Distracted while driving? Hands off, says legislator

    Convinced that phones behind the wheel endanger everyone on the road, the legislator who championed a stronger anti-texting law for Virginia in 2013 wants to take them out of drivers’ hands altogether next year.

    Del. Richard Anderson told a conference on distracted driving in September that he will introduce a bill to ban all use of handheld devices by motorists in the commonwealth, as 14 other states and Washington, D.C., have done.

    Phone calls by hands-free technology would remain legal.

  • CCMS sets goal for new soccer team

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County School Board is considering a request for a soccer program for Carroll County Middle School.

    Information about the potential program was presented by Dr. Mark Burnette, who turned the floor over to middle school principal Marc Quesenberry at the school board’s Oct. 14 meeting.

  • Ebola unlikely, but local agencies prepared

    As a meme going around Facebook proclaims, more people have been dumped by pop star Taylor Swift than have caught the Ebola virus in the U.S.

    On a more sober note, Ebola, worldwide, has caused slightly more than 4,500 deaths from 1976 to mid-October this year out of more than 7,000 reported cases — most of them in West Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). By contrast, the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 infected 500 million people across the globe and killed at least 50 million of them in that time frame alone, according to the CDC.