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Today's News

  • Violent crimes rising

    Roads in Galax were safer in the past year, but crime in the city increased significantly, Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said in his annual report to Galax City Council.

    The police department recorded increases in assault, up 27 percent; intimidation, 18 percent; burglary, 35 percent; larceny, 12 percent; embezzlement, 82.5 percent; and larceny by false pretense, 88 percent.

    Other increases were in violent crimes, 241, up from 206; property crime, 404, up from 371; narcotics, 145; and other, 738. There were 1,873 arrests for misdemeanors and 253 for felonies.

  • CoCo & LeRoy: A tail of friendship

    ELK CREEK — It was about an hour before the big game on Super Bowl Sunday when John Travers opened his back door and began yelling for CoCo, his 12-year-old black labrador.

    Travers had let out CoCo and companion LeRoy — a 10-year-old Beagle — about two hours earlier to run among his 30-plus acres.

    After calls for the dog produced no sign of her, Travers said he noticed LeRoy was running back and forth from the pond just over the hill and his back yard.

    “I began yelling louder for CoCo, and I heard her whining,” Travers said.

  • 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.