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Today's News

  • Hillsville bank robber gets 12.5 years

    A career bank robber was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison today by a federal judge who said, "He just keeps doing it."

    Richard Hawes, 50, of New Castle, was sentenced to 151 months in prison for the August robbery of Grayson National Bank in Hillsville. U.S. District Judge James Turk in Roanoke also ordered Hawes to repay $9,605 he stole in the stickup and $17,000 he still owes from previous robberies.

    Hawes blamed the holdup on his bipolar disorder and apologized. He asked the judge for another chance at a law-abiding life.

  • Marketers using texts to reach customers

    HILLSVILLE — If a business is having a slow day, Robert Turbyfill suggests sending out an instant mobile coupon.

    That's what Turbyfill does if his dealership, Twin County Ford, isn't getting enough service appointments in a day's time.

    To boost interest, he can turn to his other business endeavor — a messaging service geared to local “mom and pop” shops.

    Turbo Advertising and Marketing can send out an announcement of, for example, an oil change special to bring more customers through the door.

  • No timetable yet for bridge replacement

    The Virginia Department of Transportation is awaiting approval from the Federal Highway Administration to proceed with an emergency contract to replace the Carico Bridge.

    The Virginia 94 bridge, which crosses New River in Grayson County, closed March 11 after a highway department inspector noticed damage to the crossbeams, apparently the result of a too-tall vehicle driving across the bridge. The bridge is closed indefinitely while VDOT pursues an emergency bridge replacement.

  • Grayson supervisors set 2010 goals

    INDEPENDENCE — Strengthening the county's fiscal well-being and bolstering economic and community development top the list of goals set forth by the Grayson County board of supervisors.

    Board members discussed the goals briefly during their regular March meeting.

    They include:

    • developing a financial forecast, which is currently being done.

    • developing a budget process.

    • seeing productivity gains in each county department.

    • performing a public utilities audit and conducting necessary rate studies.

  • Hillsville anticipates future utility troubles

    HILLSVILLE — Losing Carroll County as a water and sewer customer will probably cause future rate increases for other users in Hillsville, the town manager warns, but for the upcoming fiscal year the budget proposes holding the line on both fees and taxes.

    The fiscal year 2010-11 budget proposal is a lean one, according to Town Manager Larry South in his annual budget message. On top of the challenging national economy, Hillsville will also take a hit with Carroll County's decision to change water and sewer service providers.

  • Our Heritage On Display

    This weekend is a very big event for Galax and the Twin Counties. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is holding its grand opening, with a colorful black tie gala on Friday night and then a Parade of the Arts on Saturday, with something for everyone.

    I do hope that you will be coming to celebrate!

  • Art school announces grand opening events

    Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will celebrate its official opening in downtown Galax with a black tie gala on Friday evening and a community celebration of the arts on Saturday.

    The Colorful Black Tie Gala is planned for Friday evening from 7 to 10. The school will host “Women of the Blue Ridge Plateau,” the opening exhibit for “Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.”

  • Convictions lead to deportation

    HILLSVILLE — A Kernersville, N.C., man pleaded guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court last Thursday to several charges related to an April 16, 2009, shooting.

    The Carroll County grand jury indicted Emilio Rubio-Gonzalez, 25, on multiple charges in December, according to information from the court.

    Those charges include:

    • two counts of attempted second-degree murder against Jimmie W. Grunden and Mark E. Hunley

    • three counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle

    • two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

  • What's down the road for VDOT in Carroll?

    HILLSVILLE — As staff get ready to lock the doors and turn off the lights for the last time at the Virginia Department of Transportation office in Carroll County, a spokeswoman says the state agency has not made all the decisions about how the shutdown process will unwind.

  • Kohl named new Galax tourism director

    Ray Kohl of Galax has been named director of the Galax Visitor Center, and is replacing the position of Galax Tourism Director, last held by Chuck Riedhammer, who resigned last month.

    Kohl was hired last Thursday and will begin in the new position today, Monday.