Today's News

  • Hammer faces new charges

    INDEPENDENCE — Frederick Hammer returned to Grayson County General Circuit Court on Oct. 31 to answer to two additional charges of capital murder while committing a robbery.

    A grand jury, meeting in session Oct. 24, returned the two charges in the deaths of Frederick Hudler, 44, and a farm worker, John Steven Miller Jr., 25, both who lived in West Jefferson, N.C.

    Hammer now faces a total of 16 charges in connection with the shooting deaths of three men on a Christmas tree farm in Mouth of Wilson on Jan. 24.

  • Saving Grace

    Decades have passed since the telegram arrived at the Roberts' home in Woodlawn announcing the death of PFC John Roberts while fighting in Italy.

    His sister, Grace Cole, had the front page of her World War II scrapbook reserved for news about her brother's service.

    The scrapbook remained stored underneath a table in her living room, where the rest of her albums are kept.

    The pages have yellowed over time, the glue has dried out and some of the clippings have come unstuck.

  • Parsons donates building to city

    When the City of Galax purchased a property behind the Citgo gas station on Oldtown Street in downtown Galax earlier this year, its intent was to construct a visitors' center.

    But since the vacant Parson's building — located across from the Galax Municipal Building on East Grayson Street — is being turned over to the city today, Monday, it is reconsidering the location.

  • Grayson grand jury issues indictments

    INDEPENDENCE — A Galax man was indicted by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury on Oct. 25 on five sex charges that allegedly occurred in the early 1990s.

    Donnie Ray Anders, 36, was indicted for aggravated sexual battery, two counts of object sexual penetration, sodomy by force and sodomy of a child under the age of 13.

    The offenses allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 1990 and Dec. 31, 1991.

    Other indictments included:

    • Toby Joe Barley, possession of a schedule I drug.

    • Christopher Aaron Blevins, embezzlement.

  • Art school bids lower than expected

    With an architect’s estimate of $800,000 to transform the old First National Bank in downtown Galax into Chestnut Creek School of the Arts by next summer, City of Galax officials were pleased that the lowest construction bid they received — from South End Construction Inc. of Roanoke — totaled $661,509.

    City Manager Keith Holland said, after opening the bids on Oct. 30, that the city received interest and bids from nine construction companies.

  • Elk Creek voters pick Sutherland for board

    INDEPENDENCE — Citizens of the Elk Creek District in Grayson County picked Democrat Brenda Sutherland as their new supervisor through a special election on Tuesday, beating two opponents.

    Sutherland received 47.5 percent of the vote, ahead of independent Fred Weatherman with 35 percent and Republican Emil Butler with 17.4 percent.

    “I am excited about serving the wonderful folks from the Elk Creek District and Grayson County as a whole,” Sutherland told The Gazette on Wednesday.

  • McCain carries Twin Counties

    HILLSVILLE — The Democratic president-elect failed to win even one precinct in Carroll or Grayson counties.

    Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) trounced Barack Obama (D-Illinois) in the heavily Republican Carroll County, tracking true with other rural Virginia localities.

    The best vote tally that the next president of the United States could manage in Carroll came from the Hillsville D precinct, where Obama got a total of 121, or 40.33 percent, according to unofficial results from the state Wednesday.

    That’s compared to McCain’s 175 votes, or 58.33 percent.

  • Obama wins Virginia as voters pack polls

    Sen. Barack Obama may not have carried the Twin County region against Sen. John McCain, but he won Virginia's 13 electoral votes Tuesday, capping a remarkable shift in the state's politics.

    Virginia went for a Democratic candidate for the first time since 1964.

    In barely two years, both Republican U.S. senators have been replaced by Democrats, and back-to-back Democrats have been elected governor.

    Obama received 52 percent of the popular vote in Virginia, to McCain's 48 percent.

  • Carroll works to save money

    HILLSVILLE — In the midst of an economic crisis, Carroll County supervisors took a cue from the state by voting to freeze wages until next year.

    In an unrelated financial matter, the county officials also moved to pay off Carroll's part of the landfill closure debt in cooperation with its partners on the Solid Waste Authority.

    Supervisor Tom Littrell, at the county board's Oct. 14 meeting, took notice of the state's delay in implementing raises for government employees.

  • Driver charged in fatality

    HILLSVILLE — A 25-year-old Laurel Fork woman has been charged by indictment in connection with a death in a Sept. 9 traffic accident on Pleasant View Road.

    Bethanie Coulson, 18, was a passenger in a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner that ran off the road, overturned and struck a tree, according to a Virginia State Police accident report by Trooper J.R. Alderman. Coulson was not wearing a seat belt.