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Local News

  • 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

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    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.

  • Arrests include escape, larceny and abduction

    Staff Reports

    A Woodlawn man charged with grand larceny now faces additional charges after police say he escaped from custody last week.

    According to a Galax Police Department report, Codie Nathaniel Fletcher, 19, was arrested on March 3 by Officer Terry Woods and charged with felony breaking and entering a dwelling with intent to commit larceny, felony grand larceny by stealing property valued at more than $200 (not from a person), two counts of misdemeanor revocation of suspended sentence and probation and misdemeanor contempt of court.

  • Hungry Farmer Restaurant closed after fire

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    CANA – A popular Cana restaurant remains closed after an early morning fire last Friday caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.

    An employee spotted the fire in the basement of the Hungry Farmer Restaurant, located on U.S. 52, and called 911 at 5:06 a.m. on March 3.

    Richard Sowers, chief of the Cana Volunteer Fire Department, said it took firefighters about 10 minutes to bring the fire under control.

  • Delaware man charged with grand larceny

    Staff Reports

    A Delaware man has been arrested for grand larceny in connection with a vehicle theft that occurred on Feb. 22.

    While on patrol, Sgt. Jody Poole of the Galax Police Department discovered a vehicle that had been involved in an accident on East Center Street. There was no operator or occupant around the vehicle, which was discovered at 4:30 a.m., according to a police report.

  • Amendment fails, but final hope remains for SWVTC

    RICHMOND — Another General Assembly session has passed without a definitive answer about the fate of Virginia’s training centers for the disabled, but one final hope remains, thanks to a budget amendment.

    In developing a final budget, members of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates included a new amendment that would direct the state to look at operating a full-time, albeit smaller, training center. The Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville and the Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights are set to close.