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Today's News

  • Tougher DUI laws making a difference

    Ten years ago, state lawmakers looked at a high-profile DUI case, listened to law enforcement and said, “Enough is enough.”

    A bipartisan group drafted more than 70 bills seeking to stiffen penalties and enact near-zero-tolerance for repeat offenders.

    Did it work?

    DUI fatalities in Virginia have dropped by 21 percent since 2005, according to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles statistics. Crashes related to drinking and driving have fallen about 30 percent. Convictions for the offense have stayed relatively steady.

  • Grayson weighing bleacher options

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County Public Schools will hire an engineering group to provide options for bleacher replacement after school board members approved the expense at their regular meeting this month.

    The school division has been looking at using some leftover grant money (roughly $206,000) for the bleachers at the high school – which are in dire need of replacement and pose a safety hazard.

    Superintendent Kevin Chalfant previously provided the board with three options:

  • Galax citizens reform beautification committee

    Longtime Galax residents will remember the efforts of Eloise and Frank Vass — a married couple, now retired to a nursing facility in Charlotte, N.C. — who spearheaded efforts to beautify the city in years pass.

    Mary Guynn — Eloise’s sister, and formerly a city council member — remembers their work well, and she wants to evoke the spirit of the Vasses through her own latest project: another beautification committee.

  • Carroll wins appeal, will get back federal funds

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County Public Service Authority has won its appeal of a take-back of $266,167.20 that federal officials initially said had been improperly used for a utility project.

    PSA Chairman Sam Dickson was notified that a federal appeals hearing officer has reversed the USDA-Rural Development decision that said the PSA improperly used funds allocated in the Fancy Gap sewer project for construction of the Joy Ranch Road sewer line extension.

    As a result, the PSA will receive all of the disputed money back in a refund from USDA-RD.

  • Grant will let Grayson add more trails

    INDEPENDENCE – Grayson County will use federal funding to make significant enhancements to its recreational park after supervisors unanimously approved a resolution authorizing application for grant money last week.

    At the July 10 meeting, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet presented the board with a resolution authorizing the county to seek assistance from the Recreational Trails Programs of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for the construction of recreational trails and trail related facilities.

  • Vandalism suspects charged

    Galax police investigated property damage at three locations that occurred the night of July 11.

    The athletic track and a stop sign at Galax High School, the tennis courts at the Galax Recreation Center, and the skate park on South Main Street were vandalized with spray paint.

    Officer Chris Hines investigated and has charged a single adult and will be seeking juvenile petitions on two Carroll County youths resulting from the investigation.

  • U.S. 58 project included in governor's funding package

    Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last month that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved funding on the development of significant projects that will improve safety and traffic flow in the Salem region.

    The projects are part of the Six-Year Improvement Program, which allocates $13.1 billion to transportation improvements statewide over the next six years. The funding was available July 1.

    Included in the list of projects funds is nearly $670,000 for planning U.S. 58 Corridor Development projects.

  • 10 years later, patients still discovering free clinic

    The Free Clinic of the Twin Counties, opened in 2004, is still alive and kicking, though coordinator Latonia Marshall wishes more people knew that.

    “We still to this day have people tell us they didn’t know we were here,” said Marshall.

    In fact, the clinic has been around for about 10 years, founded by Dr. Robert Pryor of Carilion Internal Medicine, Marshall said.

  • Grayson authorities discover stockpile of illegal drugs, prescription pills

    ELK CREEK — Grayson County authorities arrested two men last week, after finding stockpiles of illegal substances, including methamphetamine, at an Elk Creek home.

    According to the police report, Grayson County Deputy Eric Testerman encountered a suspicious individual at Clark Hill Service Station on U.S. 21 North on July 9.

    Testerman identified the subject as Adam James Woods, 28, of Troutdale. “Woods appeared very nervous, so Testerman asked him for consent to search his backpack and Woods agreed,” said the report.

  • Readers' Hotline 7/21/14

    Out of control
    The U.S. government is out of control and the fault lies on both of the main parties. The U.S. is being sold down the river. Unless we throw out an anchor, we are going over the falls. Big government is not an answer. It is the big problem. The economy of the U.S. is strangled with regulations and unsure taxes and now insurance problems. All the problems come from what were originally good ideas but the results of overzealous leaders have resulted in death of the U.S.

    No free rides