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Today's News

  • Judge accepts Hammer motions

    INDEPENDENCE — Two motions were accepted in Grayson Circuit Court Wednesday morning related to a man charged in connection with three shootings deaths at a tree farm in Grayson County last January.

    Frederick Hammer — along with his four attorneys — appeared in court last Wednesday to file more paperwork regarding a list of expenses on another trip the investigators took.

    Also during the hearing, Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler accepted two motions filed earlier this month, including:

  • 'Spirit Harbor' location clarified

    INDEPENDENCE — While it may have appeared to some that a proposed Christian recreational park for seniors would be located in the Cox's Chapel area of Grayson County, residents there say it would not fall within their community.

    "From an accuracy standpoint, not a single individual who spoke at the planning board's public hearing or sent letters in opposition to the Spirit Harbor project is from Cox's Chapel," resident George Haydt told The Gazette.

    The 148-acre site is just west of the community, in what is known as the Fox Knob community.

  • Proposed bill would tax Hillsville

    HILLSVILLE — A proposal to repeal the Business, Professional and Occupational License tax for localities in House Bill 2205 was enough to make Hillsville officials nervous.

    The bill submitted by Del. Jeffrey Frederick (R-Woodbridge) was tabled in the House Finance Committee, but that doesn't preclude it from being brought back up on the floor of the General Assembly, said Town Manager Larry South in a discussion at the Jan. 26 Hillsville Town Council meeting.

  • New life for Hillsville thrift store?

    HILLSVILLE — The thrift store in the old Bassett Walker building supports the New Life Ministry’s food bank, but Brother Leon Goad could see the warehouse space serving another purpose in the future.

    Feeding the more than 400 people who come to the food bank each month since the severe downturn in the national economy is important work, but Goad would also like to see the building used to create jobs again.

    Nobody’s being spared by what has been termed a national recession.

  • Hiring on hold for Grayson prison

    INDEPENDENCE — Last summer, the Virginia Department of Corrections announced it would soon begin hiring correctional officers for the new state prison being built just outside of Independence to allow potential employees the opportunity to gain experience prior to the July 2010 opening.

    Now — six months later — nobody has been hired and the department of corrections is unsure when hiring may take place.

    According to DOC Director Gene Johnson, the department is continuing to work hard towards opening the new prison, including a plan to hire early.

  • Hillsville talks growth, annexation

    HILLSVILLE — There should be no boundaries in the updates to Hillsville's comprehensive plan that stand in the way of future annexation, town officials discussed at the Jan. 26 council meeting.

    When planner Howard Kohn brought a map showing expanded town limits, Hillsville representatives seemed surprised that the drawings didn't reflect the probable inclusion of the Interstate 77-U.S. 58 inside the municipal boundaries.

  • Woman charged with embezzling from United Way

    INDEPENDENCE — A Galax woman was indicted by a Grayson County grand jury Jan. 23 charging her with the alleged embezzlement of funds from Twin County United Way.

    According to the indictment, Tammy Lynn Warf allegedly embezzled more than $200 from the United Way between March 1 and Dec. 4, 2008.

    An indictment is a legal accusation only. It does not establish guilt or innocence.

    Also, Shannon Dwaune Porter of Galax was indicted on seven charges involving two businesses in Galax.

  • Grayson awards FMS renovation bid

    INDEPENDENCE — Nine bids were received for renovations at Fries Middle School, with the low bidder coming in more than $1 million lower than previous expectations.

    During the school board's regular meeting Jan. 26, the low bid of $5.08 million was awarded to Blue Ridge Enterprises, Inc. — nearly $1.4 million below the amount expected.

  • Fries in choice location

    FRIES — A market study of the potential development of the old Washington Mills site on the New River in Fries indicates that the location is within 150 miles of 9.2 million people and 314,000 college students.

    The study was done by K.W. Poore & Associates of Richmond and is part of the town's Revitalization Master Plan, which calls for significant improvements in downtown Fries and on the mill site.

  • In re-vote, school board picks new chair

    INDEPENDENCE — After a procedure used in January to elect a chairperson for the Grayson County School Board was deemed to be unfit according to Virginia state law, the board held another election on Monday night.

    This time, things turned out differently.

    Misty Cassell will serve as chair of the board for 2009 after receiving three votes to former chairwoman Wynn Combs’ two.