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Today's News

  • Tougher penalties for texting while driving

    A stricter law on texting while driving took effect in Virginia July 1.
    The General Assembly this year revved up the state’s 4-year-old ban on typing or reading text behind the wheel, making the activity a primary offense and raising the fine for first-time offenders to $125 from $20.
    Subsequent violations are now punishable by a fine of $250, rather than $50.
    Before, police had to have another reason, such as speeding, to stop a driver and issue a ticket for texting. That no longer is required.

  • Local gas prices among Virginia's lowest

    Gasoline prices in Hillsville and Galax have plunged in recent days, with service stations in the Twin Counties offering some of the lowest-cost fuel in Virginia.
    While officials at the American Automobile Association (AAA) fully expected that gas costs would work out to be six cents cheaper after the state gas taxes changed from a retail to wholesale tax, the drop seen in the per gallon price locally has moved aggressively lower, as if there might be a pricing war going on here.

  • Grayson men killed in accidents

    Two Grayson County men were killed in separate accidents last week, and both died after being pinned under vehicles.
    On the afternoon of June 26, Earl Bronson Cornett, 70, was mowing his yard on Gem Stream Road in Elk Creek.
    According to a report by Sgt. Arnold Peters of the Grayson County Sheriff's Department, Cornett was mowing a steep bank when his tractor went over a wall, trapping him under it.
    According to the report, an EMT was on the scene in four minutes and found no pulse.

  • Fourth of July Events Planner

    Fourth of July celebrations are abundant this Thursday, with parades, fireworks, music and more in multiple locations. Here’s a guide to the Fourth festivities in Independence, Galax, Hillsville, Fries, Lambsburg and Ivanhoe

    Independence
    The Town of Independence will offer a full day of events.
    The festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with the annual parade, which will start at the intersection of U.S. 58 and U.S. 21 at the 1908 Courthouse and end at the Food City parking lot at the Guynn Shopping Center.

  • New Virginia laws in effect July 1

    Judging by the coming impact of new laws the General Assembly approved this winter, 2013 could be characterized as the year of the car in Virginia.
    Policymakers further toughened penalties for prohibited behaviors behind the wheel — such as texting and drunken driving — and voted to make consumers pay more to buy vehicles as part of a financing plan to raise new revenue for state roads. They also voted to place new conditions on the use of mopeds.

  • Grayson supervisors' chairman Mike Maynard dies at 64

    INDEPENDENCE — Memorial services have been scheduled, and the Grayson County flag will fly at half staff this week following the passing of Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Maynard on June 28.

    Maynard, who represented the Wilson District on the board for nearly eight years, suffered a stroke in late June and was placed in intensive care at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. He then suffered another massive stroke last Thursday and passed away at the hospital on Friday evening.

  • Readers' Hotline 7/1/13

    Caring and generous

  • HVAC work causes calendar change

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll County has delayed its fall school opening until Aug. 13 to give contractors at the high school extra time to complete demolition of the existing heating and air system, school board members decided last Thursday morning.
    The changes to the 2014 calendar came at the school board’s end-of-year close out meeting on June 27, where the members also approved the board’s part in facilitating the replacement of the high school’s close-to-obsolete mechanical system.

  • Grayson will back new police positions

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Supervisors approved a plan on June 27 that would accept grant money to add two school resource officers and a crime prevention officer to the sheriff department.
    Earlier this month, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that Grayson was among 24 localities that received a grant from the state Criminal Justice Services Board, which would pay a portion of the salaries and benefits for two additional school resource officers (SROs).

  • Police say Howard confessed to killing wife

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A search warrant has revealed that a North Carolina man charged with his wife’s murder confessed to the killing when arrested by police in Galax last year.
    According to a report by Raleigh TV station WRAL, Sonny Howard admitted to the crime just moments before Galax officers found his wife’s body in the back of his pickup truck.
    Howard, 42, of Wake County, N.C., is charged with first-degree murder in the May 23, 2012, death of his wife, 50-year-old Sherry Howard.