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Today's News

  • APCO customers to see 4 percent drop in average bills

    ROANOKE – Appalachian Power Company (APCO) announced Thursday that residential customers in Virginia will see a decrease of about 4 percent in their total electric bills beginning this month. The decrease is the result of the reduction or expiration of three Rate Adjustment Clauses (RACs).

  • S.C. man charged with car theft, break-in

    HILLSVILLE — A South Carolina man was arrested Feb. 21 after local authorities responded two related incidents, involving the theft of a vehicle from one residence and the breaking and entering of another home that same day.

    Police said the man allegedly stole a car the owner left running in his driveway, then broke into a house and was found in the bathroom dyeing his hair.

  • Grayson's finances get A+ in audit

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County’s annual audit revealed a continued upward trend of stability for a county once on the brink of a major financial crisis.

    The turnaround hasn’t been easy – and tax rates once the lowest in the state are now more on par with other localities – but through tight spending and adjusted tax rates, the county now has a healthy fund balance in place.

    Deanna Cox and Scott Wickham of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates provided the annual audit report to county supervisors during their regular meeting this month.

  • Visual journals a medium for art, reflection

    Journal Fodder Junkies came to Chestnut Creek School of the Arts last weekend, providing visual journal enthusiasts with lots of ideas and hands-on experience in two day-long workshops.

    “Journal Fodder Junkies is just myself and David [David R. Modler],” said Eric Scott, JFJ’s other co-founder. “Dave got me into visual journals, and we’ve been doing it for the last 17 years now.”

  • Foggy Top fire under investigation

    A house fire on Foggy Top Lane in Grayson County left no injuries or fatalities but extensive property damage, said Galax Fire Department Capt. Mike Ayers on Monday evening.

    Galax firefighters responded to the siren at 5:08 p.m. on Monday. After extinguishing the fire, which Ayers said started in a front room, the fire department summoned investigators from the Grayson Sheriff’s Office. According to Ayers, this was because the fire department was unable to discern the fire’s cause.

  • State police field 801 calls during snowstorm

    RICHMOND - Since midnight Tuesday, Virginia State Police troopers and dispatchers statewide have fielded 801 calls for service statewide.

    During the period statewide, Virginia troopers responded to 238 traffic crashes and 191 disabled vehicles. The majority of the crashes involved damaged vehicles only. There have no reported traffic fatalities.

    Between midnight and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the VSP Division IV office in Wytheville — which covers Galax, Carroll and Grayson — answered 78 total calls for service, including 15 crashes and 33 disabled vehicles.

  • Fire leaves Hillsville man homeless

    HILLSVILLE — A fire in Hillsville left a resident homeless early Sunday morning.

    Galax Fire Department responded at 1:59 a.m. to assist the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department at 1570 Old Galax Pike, a cinderblock house with additions built on.

    According to Hillsville Unit 1 Chief Donnie Spangler, a neighbor reported the fire. The resident took refuge in his car.

    “We don’t really know how it started,” said Spangler. “Everybody was out.”

  • VSP responds to 23 crashes over weekend

    Virginia State Police responded to 23 accidents in Carroll and Grayson counties last weekend, according to a statement from First Sgt. Mike Musser on Monday.

    Another snow and ice storm on Feb. 20-21 made travel hazardous, and some roads refroze after thawing on Feb. 22.

    “We responded to 23 accidents from Friday morning until Sunday evening. Of those 23, seven were on the interstate, and the rest were on primary and secondary roads,” Musser said in an email to The Gazette.

  • House, Senate conferees agree on state budget

    RICHMOND — House and Senate budget conferees have agreed on a 2 percent pay raise for state employees, restoration of $30 million in funding to local governments that had been cut and a deposit of nearly $130 million to the rainy day fund, Republicans said on Monday.

    They said a vote could be held in each chamber as early as Thursday.

    In a statement, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) and Senate Finance Chairman Walter Stosch (R- Henrico County) said the budgets approved by each chamber earlier this month were already in close alignment.

  • Gwyn sentenced on federal drug charges

    ROANOKE ― A Cana man has been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Roanoke following a guilty plea for a federal charge of possession of a Schedule II drug.

    Robert Lee Gwyn Jr., 40, of Cana, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of oxycodone, a Schedule II drug, with the intent to distribute, according to Brian McGinn, a public affairs specialist of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Western District of Virginia.