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Today's News

  • School to test for drugs

    HILLSVILLE — Drug testing linked to student counseling starts this month with random screenings of those enrolled in the Regional Alternative Education Center, Carroll educators say.

    The educators, who filled in the Carroll County School Board of their intentions at a March 9 meeting, explained that they hope this pilot program will give students a reason to avoid illicit drug use.

  • Financial forecast stormy in Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — There's a storm on the horizon for Grayson County in terms of its financial stability, according to preliminary information from a financial forecast.

    Corbin Stone, of the firm Robinson-Farmer-Cox, was on hand during the Grayson supervisors' meeting last Thursday night to provide the board with a few updates as he works on the county's financial forecast.

    Stone explained that the idea is to look at the county's financial history and begin to project into future years what revenues and expenses the county will likely face.

  • Worker deals with layoff

    MEADOWS OF DAN — Employees let go from a large manufacturer in Meadows of Dan wonder where their next job is going to come from.

    People laid off from RotoMetrics foresee long commutes, or maybe even having to move to find an open position.

  • State spares funding for arts

    Artists and the organizations that promote and educate them breathed easier Monday after learning that the Virginia Commission for the Arts had not been erased entirely from the state budget.

    The House of Delegates originally proposed eliminating funding for the commission, which provides grants to arts organizations throughout the state, but legislators agreed on March 14 to a budget that cuts those grants by 16 percent.

    About 300 arts advocates, including a group from the Twin Counties, flocked to the General Assembly last month to plead for the arts commission.

  • Length of school day unchanged in Carroll

    HILLSVILLE — Hours of daylight have gotten longer as spring nears, but for now, the length of the Carroll County school day will remain the same.

    Severe winter weather has caused Carroll schools to miss 20 days, to close early six days and to open late seven days, said Superintendent Greg Smith. To make up missed instructional time, he proposed making up instructional time by extending the school day by 30 minutes.

    Extending the school day would provide 16 additional hours of instruction, the superintendent noted.

  • Grant Would Transform Downtown Fries

    FRIES — It may have cost two members of Fries Town Council a spot on the governing body, but a grant application to be filed later this month could transform downtown Fries.

    Council met during a special called meeting Tuesday night to hold a public hearing on the application to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

    Craig Wilson of K.W. Poore & Associates, Inc. was on hand to explain what the grant application would entail.

    The idea is to apply for $1 million to update and renovate various buildings in the downtown district.

  • Fire damages downtown Galax building (with video)

    Galax firefighters were on the scene of a major fire on South Main Street Friday morning.

    The Galax Volunteer Fire Department was called to 217 S. Main around 7 a.m., where a thick column of gray smoke billowed from the roof and upstairs apartment windows of the building.

    Soon, fire broke through the roof and out the windows, turning the smoke pitch black.

    Police and firefighters broke down a basement door and got the downstairs tenant out of the building, along with a box of puppies, but would not allow him to return to rescue the dogs' mother.

  • Homeland Security grant to buy armored vehicle

    Criminals will see an intimidating new presence on the street when the Galax Police Department gets an armored vehicle, as part of a statewide package of $4.9 million in Homeland Security funds.

    Carroll and Grayson sheriffs' departments will each be able to scan for suspect vehicles with new license plate recognition cameras paid for out of the same grants.

  • Hearing held, but no road funds available

    HILLSVILLE — Lack of any new Virginia Department of Transportation funds didn’t throw up a roadblock for two citizens at a public hearing for the six-year plan earlier this month.

    The public hearing at the regular March Carroll Board of Supervisors meeting was more perfunctory than anything, a legal requirement even though there’s nothing new to highlight in the secondary road improvement budget.

    Hillsville residency administrator Bob Beasley moderated the last public hearing before the April closure of the VDOT office.

  • Parents protest budget cuts

    Grayson County school administrators may still be crunching numbers when it comes to cuts in state and local funding, but schools’ staff, parents and students already are feeling the squeeze.

    Fairview Elementary School parents and supporters are organizing to protest the school system’s proposed 2010-11 budget cuts.