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Today's News

  • Local road projects chosen for priority list

    By SHANNON WATKINS & SARA BLANKENSHIP, Staff

    Virginia’s new data-driven prioritization process scored nearly 300 transportation projects proposed by localities and regional planning bodies across the state, and a few local projects made the cut.

    The scoring is a key part of a new law, known as House Bill 2, developed on a bipartisan basis to invest limited tax dollars in the right transportation projects.

  • Galax seeks NFL grant for football field

    Galax High School’s capital fundraising campaign for the football field through NFL grants is bolstered by the fact that Coach Mark Dixon is a former player for the Miami Dolphins.

    “Believe me, it is very difficult to get a phone number that goes to the Miami Dolphins,” said Superintendent Bill Sturgill at the Galax School Board’s Jan. 12 meeting. “There’s not an email address on the website. The number is an answering machine, and calling it daily does not get you anywhere.”

  • 'Stand Up, Dub' fundraiser succeeds

    You can almost hear Melanie Sumney waving her hands over the phone as she talks.

    “Can you tell people we’ve got what we need, so they don’t have to keep sending in money?” she asks.

    Like most Twin County natives, she’s both passionate about her cause and thoughtful of causing others any inconvenience.

    Sumney is a family friend of E.W. “Dub” Shupe, a wheelchair-bound Lowe’s employee who is in need of a track chair to improve his health and mobility.

  • Supervisors oppose new concealed carry rules

    Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors has unanimously adopted an official resolution in strong opposition to Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision to revoke concealed handgun permit recognition from 25 reciprocal states, effective Feb. 1.

  • Music center drawing more fans to parkway

    Staff Report

    More than 35,000 patrons visited the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax last year to explore the Roots of American Music exhibit, listen to Midday Mountain Music and plan their parkway journey at the visitor center during the May through October season.

    Total concert attendance at the amphitheater was 6,130, an increase of 10 percent from the 2014 concert season, said Rita Larkin of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, which coordinates programming at the center.

  • Woman dies as result of fire

    Staff Reports

    INDEPENDENCE — Police say a woman found at the scene of a burning apartment on Thursday died as a result of injuries sustained from smoking while using oxygen.

    The Independence Volunteer Fire Department was sent to extinguish a fire at Grayson Manor Apartments on Nichols Drive at 2:01 a.m. on Jan. 21.

    Cpl. Matthew Adams of the Independence Police Department said the victim, Jessie Dancy, 71, was found in the apartment. He said the fire started as a result of Dancy smoking while using oxygen.

  • Crews respond twice to Woodlawn house fire

    WOODLAWN – Fire crews from Hillsville and Galax responded twice to a single house fire in Woodlawn on Thursday morning.

    According to Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Musser, the first alarm for the fire was received at 4:45 a.m. Crews from HVFD and GVFD worked the scene on Mount Zion Road, off Coulson Church Road (Virginia 620), for about two hours.

    Crews left the scene and received the second alarm at roughly 7:30 a.m., said Musser. Both crews responded again to the blaze, which resulted in a total loss of the home.

  • Con artists using jury duty scam to extort money

    Staff Report

    “We will come to your home, you will be handcuffed, and you will have to wear a jumpsuit.”

    Con artists are once again targeting the region with scam calls masquerading as law enforcement officers, claiming their targets missed jury duty and must pay or face arrest.

    One Roanoke woman told the Better Business Bureau that the caller claimed he was from the sheriff’s department and sounded very professional. At first she believed him.

  • State reptile could soon be a snake

    Landmark News Service

    Twice, the Eastern box turtle came up short in its crawl toward designation as Virginia’s official state reptile.

    This year, a creature of a different order will slither home with the prize if state Del. Brenda Pogge has her way.

    She’s betting on two other long-revered symbols of Virginia’s natural beauty and the passion of an 11-year-old boy to help win the fight.

  • Tips to keep pipes from freezing

    Freezing temperatures are here, and while you’re thinking about keeping your animals and tender vegetation safe, you should also be making sure frozen pipes won’t ruin your home.

    A frozen pipe can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a short period of time.

    These recommendations from State Farm could help:

    • Allow a slow drip from hot and cold faucets. This will relieve pressure on the system and allow water to circulate.

    • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes.