Today's News

  • Study recommends paid help for volunteer firefighters

    Radford University students who conducted a study about firefighting came to the Galax firehouse, slept in it overnight, went on a call in gear with firefighters, and generally made it their business to understand their research topic.

    The result is a report on the future of volunteer firefighting and the cost to localities for operating paid fire departments.

    At the March 14 Galax City Council meeting, the students presented their findings.

  • Town budget includes utility rate increase

    HILLSVILLE – Water and wastewater funding will continue to be a strain for the Town of Hillsville’s upcoming budget, as well as declining revenue from meals and transient taxes.

    Town Manager Retta Jackson and Town Treasurer LeAnna Surratt presented the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget draft to town council in a budget workshop on March 31.

  • Grayson considers school calendar changes

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County schools could switch from a six-week to a nine-week grading period to better align with the system’s pacing guide and give a more accurate picture of student performance.

    If approved, it would also mean a later start for the school year and less work for teachers.

    Susan Funk, supervisor of education and state/federal programs, presented the first reading of the proposed 2016-17 school calendar at the Grayson County School Board meeting on March 14.

  • Fries tourism plans include farmers' market

    FRIES — It is a busy year in Fries for tourism, as Tourism Director Marie Isom detailed in a recent report in March.

    Website updates, festival schedules and business growth in the town are just a few of the items Isom highlighted.

    The town is in the process of updating and changing its websites. “Our www.friesfestivals.com will be phased out and all information on that site will be incorporated into www.friesva.com,” Isom said. A redirect will be implemented for those who visit the older link once the phasing is complete.

  • The nature (or nurture?) of the beast

    Recent news stories in the area concerning pit bull attacks have reawakened the tireless debate about whether the dog breed is a safe choice for a pet. Some believe that the fault of a pit bull attack rests on the shoulders of a neglectful or careless owner; while others believe that the breed has a predisposition to violence and that an attack is inevitable.

  • Apartment fire leaves families homeless

    An apartment fire gutted the interior of a Galax building and left four families homeless at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

    The apartment was unoccupied when John Ayers, owner of Creek Bottom Brews on Meadow Street, located in front of the small brick apartment building off Givens Street, noticed smoke.

    “I came around the corner and thought somebody had started a [yard] fire and found out it wasn’t,” said Ayers.

  • Hope Ladies serve up food, blessings at Rooftop kitchen

    Hope Ladies founder and president Kisha Johnson and vice president Delina Parks, who is also Johnson’s mother, are parked at a table in the kitchen area of God’s Storehouse and Community Kitchen, located in the basement of Rooftop of Virginia in Galax.

    Clad in matching Williams-Sonoma aprons, they look like they should be hosting a mother-daughter version of “The Barefoot Contessa,” one of the Food Network’s most beloved anchor shows. As it turns out, though, feeding the hungry and needy is far more to their taste.

  • Budget will allow Galax schools to grow

    Galax City Schools will be able to both offer raises and hire more positions, thanks to a dramatic increase in funding from the state, Superintendent Bill Sturgill told school board members in a brief budget meeting on March 22.

    The budget as presented at the meeting was preliminary. The final proposed budget will be voted on at the next board meeting and presented to Galax City Council for official approval at the April 25 meeting.

  • Barn raising lifts spirits

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County is exactly the kind of community Don Call says he’s been searching for; the kind of community where people greet one another with a friendly wave and a smile, where people are as warm and welcoming as the mountain landscapes he has sought out in other areas of the country throughout his life, and where neighbors are there for him just like members of a big family.

    Most recently, it has been the kind of community that enthusiastically gathers for a barn-raising in Call’s back yard in Independence, just for the fun of it.

  • Carroll IDA fills vacancy

    HILLSVILLE – The Carroll County Industrial Development Authority met on April 5 with a full board for this first time since a state code oversight resulted in the loss of two members in January.

    The oversight nullified the positions of Larry Chambers and Barry Hicks, the chairman at the time. Chambers and Hicks were both employed by Carroll County, which made them ineligible to serve on the authority.

    Hicks resigned from his position on the board to retain his employment, while Chambers resigned from his employment to remain on the board.