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Today's News

  • Taxes, fees going up in Galax

    When Galax City Council began work sessions last month for the 2009-2010 budget, the city had a spending plan that required more than $2 million from reserves to balance, but proposed tax hikes and rate increases would close the gap to $550,000.

    “This shortfall was the result of a slump in the city’s economy and declining tax revenues, since many larger industries started closing in the early 2000s, and tax rates that had not kept up with inflation or need for capital improvements and maintenance,” said City Manager Keith Holland.

  • Sweet ready to meet Grayson's challenges

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County will welcome only its third county administrator in history on June 1, as Jonathan Sweet returns home.

    Sweet moved to Grayson County in 1994, finishing his junior and senior year at GCHS. After graduating high school, he went to Radford University, where he majored in communications, with a minor in economics.

  • Creeks rise as rain soaks in

    A National Weather Service hydrologist got an eyeful of Chestnut Creek in Galax and Carroll County after more than three inches of rain dropped from the skies on May 27.

    Peter Corrigan drove a dark blue Ford F150 down from the weather service office in Blacksburg to check out a U.S. Geological Service gauge in Chestnut Creek in the city limits. He made the visit to verify reports and improve future forecasts.

  • Beamer succumbs to illness

    HILLSVILLE — Emily Page Beamer, 11, of Hillsville passed away Tuesday at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson, N.C.

    Emily had been diagnosed with pineoblastoma brain tumor on March 13, 2008, and had been undergoing chemotherapy at Duke University.

    Despite being diagnosed while in the fifth grade at Fancy Gap Elementary, she continued to study and graduated with her class.

    She remained an inspiration for her family members by staying positive and strong and smiling through the hardships.

  • DUI charge results in leave of absence

    HILLSVILLE — The executive director of the Carroll Wellness Center has taken a leave of absence after allegedly hitting a parked police car while drunk on May 22.

    Carroll County Deputy C.E. Edwards charged Gregory Randall Hampton, 45, of Galax with driving while intoxicated, second offense in five years, according to Carroll County General District Court paperwork.

    The deputy noted in the report that Hampton had hit a parked police car and that the smell of alcohol was present.

    A test yielded a blood-alcohol concentration of .10, the court papers said.

  • County sets public hearing on vehicle stickers

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll supervisors have scheduled a public hearing for their regular June meeting to hear comments on a plan to do away with vehicle decals.

    Assistant Administrator Nikki Shank, Finance Director Pam Smith, Treasurer Bonita Williams and Commissioner of Revenue Louise Quesenberry have all met to discuss the best way to end the requirement to put decals in personal vehicles, while still retaining the fee.

    County Attorney Jim Cornwell reported on the resulting proposal.

  • Team approach helps autistic student advance

    INDEPENDENCE — Three years ago, Parker Carico was diagnosed with autism and had a vocabulary of five to 10 clear words.

    Now — after a team effort between home and school — Parker can speak more than 300 words and use some full sentences.

    Parker is a kindergarten student at Independence Elementary.

    This past fall, the school system helped implement a program with Dr. Chris Layne, director of the Lake Norman Counseling and Autism Center.

  • Galax fighter shatters opponent's undefeated record

    Mixed martial artist Cesar Llamas of Galax brought home the title last Saturday, putting his 5-0 opponent in a submission hold in the second round, during a competition sponsored by Carolina Fight Promotions in Wilmington, N.C.

    This is the fourth fight for Llamas, who has trained at Elite Combat Martial Arts in Galax for three years and now has a 4-0 record. The muay thai fighter describes his style as “vale tudo,” which is Brazilian for “anything goes.”

  • SWVTC recognizes volunteers of the year

    HILLSVILLE — The community and the Southwestern Virginia Training Center strengthen each other.

    That was the message at the training center's volunteer reception dinner April 23, as officials recognized the special efforts of a handful of community members and thanked the residents for their work for the good of the community.

  • Letter to the Editor for 5/18/09

    Junk yard ruining Cana

    I was entering Cana on U.S. 52 North and I noticed a sign that read “Entering Virginia’s Entrepreneurial Region.”

    This sign is located right next to the biggest eyesore in Carroll County.

    I have counted a total of five fields full of junked buses, fire trucks, ambulances and garbage trucks. If we are supposed to be the Entrepreneur Region of Virginia, then we must clean our county up and hide this eyesore.