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Today's News

  • Real work begins

    Last week it was announced that California-based Med-Fit Systems, Inc. had come to the rescue of more than 100 people about to lose their jobs in Grayson County.

    Leaders of the 23-year-old physical therapy and senior care products provider offered 115 of the 170-plus employees a position with the newly named business in Grayson and vowed to return to full staff within 36 months.

    Grayson leaders worked diligently for several months to keep as many jobs as possible in an area suffering from a 12 percent unemployment rate.

    Now the real work begins.

  • Business students accrue benefits

    HILLSVILLE — The Twin Counties has a business incubator at the Crossroads Institute, but young entrepreneurs can build their business portfolio even before they leave Carroll County High School.

    All students can benefit from business classes that are part of the career and technical education offerings, no matter what their academic track, educators say.

    Students can learn about possible careers and how to land those jobs, financial literacy, the importance of savings, possibilities of investing, and take in ideas about workplace benefits.

  • House leader takes on Boucher

    Virginia House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith’s campaign for Congress became official Friday when the Salem Republican filed as a candidate for the GOP nomination in the 9th Congressional District.

    The Republican nominee will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon, who has held the seat since 1983.

    Griffith lives just outside of the 9th District, which stretches from the Southwest Virginia coalfields to Roanoke County. But he does not have to live in the district to run.

  • 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.