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Today's News

  • Court cases lead to deportations

    HILLSVILLE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has taken an interest in several recent cases coming out of Carroll County and Galax courts.

    Where convictions were obtained against undocumented aliens who committed crimes, the punishment will include deportation back to their countries of origin — though their sentences may involve prison time in the U.S. first.

    Take, for example, Ramiro Rodriquez Carvajal, lately of Hillsville.

    Back in 2005, Galax Officer Mark Burnett charged Carvajal for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

  • Carrico's chaplain bill fails

    RICHMOND — A bill that would have permitted sectarian prayer at events sponsored by the Virginia State Police was left in committee for this session of the General Assembly.

    Last week marked the midpoint of the 2010 legislative session. Any bill that had not passed its respective house by Feb. 16 was considered dead.

  • Deadlines looming for PSA projects

    HILLSVILLE — Upcoming deadlines were much on the minds of Carroll Public Service Authority members at their Feb. 9 meeting.

    The authority members discussed the cutoff date for citizens to sign up in a push for a water system to Fries and Cliffview roads — but even more of a concern was the date Landform Construction would finish its part of the Woodlawn sewer project.

  • Grayson schools could cut 56 positions, reduce pay

    INDEPENDENCE — State funding cuts have led Grayson County school administration to propose 56 personnel reductions and what equates to a 6 percent decrease in pay for all employees retained.

    Grayson Superintendent Elizabeth Thomas spoke about the upcoming budget with the school board at a budget work session held Monday night.

    Thomas explained that, based on former Gov. Tim Kaine’s proposed spending plan, the school system’s budget will be reduced by $2.3 million.

    The bad news, she continued, is that additional cuts are likely coming.

  • Galax schools achieve excellence

    Galax City Public Schools is just one of 17 divisions statewide to receive the 2010 Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award.

    Seventeen of 33 divisions in Virginia met all state and federal benchmarks for at least two consecutive years to qualify for the distinction.

    Galax Elementary was among 288 schools to earn the excellence award, the second-tier honor in the Virginia Index of Performance program. It was the second consecutive year that GES received the honor.

  • Weather halts trash collection

    INDEPENDENCE — Last year it was a new fee on trash collection that caused a stink in Grayson County, but this year it's the lack of collection that has residents and supervisors up in arms.

    Supervisor Joe Vaughan took the opportunity to bring up the concern during the supervisors' regular meeting last Wednesday night.

    Vaughan said some arrangement needed to be made to let people know when — and if — their trash is going to be collected on a given day.

  • Education on ice: Missed days pile up

    With a brief thaw this past weekend, students in Carroll and Galax returned to school on Monday, while Grayson schools remained closed.

    Winter snowstorms that began Dec. 18 and the two months of sub-freezing temperatures that followed have kept thousands of students and hundreds of teachers home.

    As a result, school systems are having to redraw their calendars for the remaining year.

    The Grayson County School Board will have some decisions to make in the coming weeks on how students there will make up more than two dozen days of school.

  • Bland guns down Tide 66-41

    WYTHEVILLE -- Through eight minutes of Thursday night’s Region C Division 1 semifinal match the ladies from Galax hung with the top-seeded Lady Bears.

  • Medicaid cuts harmful

    I am writing to express concerns former Gov. Kaine's budget reduction proposal as it pertains to Medicaid home- and community-based programs.

    Any one of the proposals would have an extremely negative impact on providing care for some of Virginia's most frail and vulnerable citizens.

    In combination, they will devastate Virginia's home- and community-based care system.

    I am keenly aware of the commonwealth's fiscal condition and recognize that this past year has been challenging.

  • Galax tourism director resigns

    Galax Tourism Director Chuck Riedhammer has decided to resign, effective March 3, to accept a position with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission, a new initiative headed up by Sen. William Wampler.

    The commission encourages the economic development of Southwest Virginia through the expansion of cultural heritage ventures and tourism efforts, such as the Southwest Virginia Artisan Center, the Crooked Road and 'Round The Mountain, and venues that promote entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.