Today's News

  • Statue relieved of duty

    INDEPENDENCE — The Confederate statue that guarded the south lawn of the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence for nearly a century has been taken down — but only temporarily.

    Erected in 1911, the statue has never before been removed.

    Just before noon on July 7, a crane removed the statue from its perch for the first time.

    For the past three years, the Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation has been raising money to restore the statue.

  • Tea steeped in tradition

    Ask Derrick Davis anything about tea, and he can tell you all about it — the flavors, the health benefits, the quality, the history and the traditions.

    Davis, co-owner of the family-owned and -operated Stringbean Coffee Shop and Shamrock Tea Room in downtown Galax, will host a series of tea cupping/tasting classes this summer to share his knowledge of the thousands of tea varieties.

    “Tea is fun and enjoyable, and cupping is a way for people to get to know what they like to make the best purchase,” said Davis.

  • BBQ Battle

    It takes a lot of practice and a lot of prayer to make sure slow-cooked barbecue comes out just perfect for competition, said a nervous Cody Cline, whose team, Nervous Wreck, will compete in this weekend's Smoke On The Mountain state barbecue competition in downtown Galax.

    Barbecue teams will battle this Friday and Saturday for the handmade banjo trophy and a chance to enter the 2010 “Memphis In May” World Championship in Tennessee.

    With a fitting team name, Cline said he's as worried as always, even after years of competing.

  • Regional water project flowing

    INDEPENDENCE — Work continues to progress on a new regional water system that will serve the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C.

    Bobby Lane, of Lane Engineering, updated Independence town council during its regular meeting July 14 on the project, noting that it was about 50 percent complete.

    Lane said the Virginia/North Carolina Regional Water Authority hopes to advertise for the water plant and intake within the next month, and that the water lines between Sparta and Independence are currently under construction.

  • Farmers' Market a growing concern

    HILLSVILLE — The state of the farmers' market and county fair and the future of agriculture in Carroll County is strong, officials said at the July 13 county board meeting.

    County Administrator Gary Larrowe and Southwest Virginia Farmers' Market Manager Kevin Semones gave the Carroll supervisors updates on two linchpins of county farming — the produce cooling program and the upcoming county fair.

  • AmerLink: Carroll crucial to reorganization

    Officials with log home manufacturer AmerLink are still telling the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that its Carroll County location remains central to its Chapter 11 reorganization plans.

    The lawsuit that Carroll County filed in Richmond Circuit Court last November — in order to get back $600,000 in state incentive monies and 32 acres of land conveyed to AmerLink in a 2005 economic development deal — has been officially consolidated with the log home company's bankruptcy proceedings in federal court in North Carolina, where the company is now based.

  • Man to serve 20 years on federal charges

    ABINGDON — A 46-year-old Draper man received a sentence of 20 years in federal prison, wrapping up a 2007 drugs-and-guns investigation from Carroll County, according to U.S. Attorney Julia Dudley.

    David Tobias May has been in federal custody since 2007, after an investigation in Carroll County into activities involving possession of guns while distributing methamphetamine.

  • Tate: Carroll gutted subdivision ordinance

    HILLSVILLE  — The majority of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors caved to pressure from developers when they approved a subdivision ordinance with relaxed restrictions in June, a citizen said at the county board’s July meeting.

    Janet Tate, who criticized the supervisors during citizens’ time at the July 13 meeting, closely followed the county’s process of updating the ordinance for several years.

  • Galax appropriates 2009-2010 budget

    Galax City Council on July 13 appropriated its 2009-2010 budget, which includes several tax and rate increases.

    City council met during public sessions to work on the proposed budget. After holding a public hearing about the budget on June 8, council approved the $19.5 million spending plan.

    The new tax rates and fees went into effect July 1:

    • Real property: $0.57 per $100 of assessed value.

    • Personal property (motor vehicles): $1.68 per $100 of assessed value.

  • Down on the farm

    HILLSVILLE — Down on the Carroll schools farm, students, teachers and volunteers have set their shoulders to build a fence and donned boots to wade through the overgrown pasture.

    The seeds for the farm planted, they work at various chores to make the place ready for more school and community activities.

    Corn for the maze is about halfway grown on the hillside near Hillsville Elementary School on Floyd Pike. The farm shares the 96 or so acres on the campus of Carroll’s newest elementary school.