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Today's News

  • Man charged in hit-and-run crash in Galax

     

  • Parole board must justify denials

    RICHMOND — Starting this summer, the state’s Parole Board will have to justify why it has denied a prisoner’s petition for release under a bill that passed the General Assembly last month.
    HB2103 requires the board to conduct a “timely and thorough review” of parole petitions and, if denied, to provide specific reasons.
    Virginia did away with parole in 1995, but several thousand prison inmates – about 4,500 in 2012 – sentenced prior to that remain eligible for early release each year.

  • Readers' Hotline 3/4/13

    Speed trap
    Can you have an investigative reporter determine why the bypass around Hillsville speed limit is only 55 when most areas that have similar features would have a 60 or 65 mph speed limit. I’m concerned that every time I use the bypass it has become a speed trap for the Hillsville Police Department to spend their time trying to catch people doing 55 on a highway that is designed for higher speeds.

    Walk your talk

  • Medical board reprimands three local physicians

    The Virginia Board of Medicine reports that three physicians practicing in the Twin Counties were reprimanded for pre-signing multiple blank prescriptions for a nursing home, in violation of state code.
    The prescriptions were to be used only for emergencies, but were “not dated or signed by [the doctors] on the day when issued, as required by the Code [of Virginia],” the board found.
    The board issued the reprimands in June 2012. All three physicians are still permitted to practice medicine, and their licenses were not revoked or suspended.

  • 'Bottom' project is a top priority for Galax

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    With the high volume of floodwaters early this year because of heavy rainfall, plans for the Galax Bottom Neighborhood Revitalization Project seem more urgent than ever.
    The low-lying "Bottom" neighborhood beside Chestnut Creek includes flood-prone Givens Street and is bordered by Caldwell, Meadow, Shaw and Grant streets.

  • Tablet opens world for autistic teen

    HILLSVILLE — Having autism is kind of like being in a foreign country and not speaking the language, but one parent has found that an iPad can help bridge the communication gap.
    Jennifer Dobbs hopes that www.thepuzzlingpiece.com can provide an iPad that son Tyler can use at home, after seeing a benefit from using one in Carroll County Public Schools.
    The website was created by Melissa Winter, a mother of an autistic child who wanted to raise and funds to help children and families affected by autism.

  • Carroll sees pros of putting cons to work

    HILLSVILLE — Day reporting is kind of like a temp service through the courts, and Carroll County’s new coordinator is looking for tasks for convicts who qualify.
    Day reporting is an alternative sentencing option that keeps those convicted of minor crimes from going to jail if they agree to do community service instead.
    Glenn Edmonds, a Carroll deputy who has served as a bailiff in the courts, will now coordinate the program for the county. He started in this new capacity March 1.

  • Bill cracks down on texting behind the wheel

    RICHMOND — Legislation that would strengthen enforcement and increase penalties for texting while driving has been sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk.
    By a vote of 28-12, the state Senate recently passed House Bill 1907, which already had been passed by the House of Delegates. The bill would allow police to stop drivers for using a “handheld personal communications device” to send or view text messages and e-mails.

  • Cohabitation ban repealed

    RICHMOND — Unmarried couples living together may soon be doing so legally under a measure that passed the General Assembly.
    The House voted 62-25 in favor of repealing the law making it illegal for unmarried couples to live together. Virginia code says doing so is punishable by a $500 fine for a first offense and up to a year in jail for subsequent infractions.
    The U.S. Supreme Court has deemed the law unconstitutional, and prosecutors haven’t used it for years, said Del. Scott Surovell, a Fairfax County Democrat.

  • With open arms

    It has been said by many that the Twin Counties are rich in hospitality.
    In fact, it is commonly quoted by those who return to this area after traveling to other places, that they "have finally come home."
    Looking back over events that have taken place over the past couple of months, it is easy to see why people feel this way. Not only do local businesses, organizations and residents welcome newcomers with open arms, but in the most dire situations, their doors swing open, too.