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Today's News

  • State police facing shortage

    The arrival of a new year is typically seen as a time of positive change, but as 2011 dawns, state police officials are braced for what they see as a bad situation about to get worse, even in Southwest Virginia.
    On Jan. 1, their sworn ranks of 262 uniformed personnel are scheduled to shrink by another 13 across the state because of retirements. That drop comes at a time when officials say their numbers are already too lean.

  • Bullion to serve 4 years on drug charges

    ROANOKE — A Hillsville man has been sentenced to spend four years in a federal prison as a result of a two-year illegal drug investigation.
    Stacey Harold Bullion of 63 Lewis Lane heard his sentence in U.S. District Court on Monday, after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, according to Brian McGinn, spokesman for the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Roanoke.
    A federal grand jury issued a six-count indictment naming Bullion, as well as Hillsville resident Rigoberto Ruiz-Ruvalcaba, last March.

  • Evans to challenge Reynolds in rematch

    FIELDALE — Jeff Evans, a former Carroll County supervisor, will again challenge Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-Henry County) for the 20th District seat in the Virginia General Assembly.
    Evans formally announced his intention to seek the Republican party nomination Thursday in Bassett.

    (Reynolds has said he will seek re-election.)
    Evans' motivation for seeking the office is unchanged from his earlier candidacy, he told The Gazette in a phone interview.

  • Drug conspiracy defendant found dead before sentencing

    FRIES — A 53-year-old Galax man, who pleaded guilty to illegal drug charges in U.S. District Court and who faced a potential 10-year stint in federal prison, was found dead Tuesday.
    Police say Donald Scott Vaughan's death was self-inflicted.

    Vaughan faced charges in both state and federal courts after police set up a multi-agency drug bust at Interstate 77 Exit 14 last April.
    Carroll deputies arrested Vaughan after the suspect left the scene at high speeds through areas of Woodlawn and the Laurel sections of the county to the Galax area.

  • Galax police armor up

    The steel gray Lenco armored vehicle that rolled through Galax on Wednesday for the first time will be housed by the Galax Police Department and used within the region as an incident response vehicle.
    The Galax Police Department received a $251,792 grant from the Department of Criminal Justice Services Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program to buy the vehicle to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives threats.

  • Breakin' Up Christmas: An Appalachian Tradition

    Over a half century ago, people in the mountains of Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina celebrated Christmas with house parties that included old-time string music, song and dance over a period of two weeks during the holiday season.

    “Breakin’ Up Christmas” is both a name for the 12 days of partying, dancing and music-making after the holiday, and a song sung during that period.

  • Public record for 1/5/11 edition

    Editor’s Note: This information is taken from open court records and is a matter of public record.  The listings are complete. The newspaper, as a matter of fairness, will not honor requests to omit any listing.  
    For information on this column or questions, call 236-5178, ext. 213.

    District Court

    These sentences were recorded in September in the Carroll County General District Court Office, Hillsville. Sentences may be appealed:

  • Fortners celebrate anniversary

    Gilbert and Betty Fortner celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Dec. 23, 2010.
    They were married Dec. 23, 1950, in York, S.C.
    Their children honored them with a celebration dinner at Shatley Springs Nov. 25.

    Attending were Phyllis and Kenneth Pierce, Aaron Pierce and children Madison and Blake; Roland and Laura Fortner, Jack and Lily; James Fortner; Sandra and Terry Knowlton and sons, Chuck, John and Mike Knowlton.

  • Littrell to lead Carroll supervisors

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll supervisors made their 2010 vice chair the 2011 chairman and shifted the start of their regular meetings to one hour earlier at their organizational meeting Monday.
    The supervisors met briefly first thing and unanimously promoted Tom Littrell to the chairman's position.
    Having turned the meeting over to the county administrator, outgoing Chairman Wes Hurst made Littrell's nomination.

  • Grant will help Carroll schools

    HILLSVILLE — Before appropriating an additional $622,000 federal grant to the Carroll schools last month, the county supervisors first had some questions for the superintendent.
    One month after the supervisors said they would require categorical funding for the schools, Superintendent Greg Smith appeared before the county board at its December meeting about receiving a portion of the federal jobs grant.