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Today's News

  • Virginia legislators disclose gifts

    General Assembly members reported accepting $222,937 in freebies last year, according to statements of economic interest filed by legislators in January.

    Virginia law allows politicians to receive gifts intended for their personal benefit, and does not limit the amount they can accept from special interests. The state requires only that any expenditure of $50 or more be reported.

    Lawmakers representing the Twin Counties accepted gifts in 2008 ranging from $53 for a single dinner to nearly $4,800 in dinners, speaker fees and NCAA tournament tickets.

  • Drugs, guns seized near school

    HILLSVILLE — Local police charged four people and seized nearly six pounds of marijuana, 28 guns and $12,800 in cash when they searched a home at 604 Woodlawn Road at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning reports.

    Carroll Investigators Fred Bobbitt and Venton Smith — working with colleagues from the Hillsville Police Department and the Virginia State Police — got the search warrant for the home of Charles Terry Caudill, 52, the sheriff said.

  • Lambsburg Rescue still in limbo

    HILLSVILLE — While a Lambsburg resident objected strongly to the halt on dispatching his community's volunteer rescue squad, the Carroll supervisors at their Feb. 9 meeting stood by the administrative decision to put a stop to the agency's emergency medical response.

    The action followed an alleged breach of protocol in December 2008, when Lambsburg Rescue Squad members did not provide necessary advanced life support on a call involving a heart attack.

  • Town officials question decision not to re-open Hillsville Rescue

    HILLSVILLE — In trying to restart the town's rescue squad, Hillsville officials find they do not have the necessary support from Carroll County.

    Officials closed Hillsville Rescue Squad four years ago after a former captain inappropriately used an ambulance to haul furniture from Marion to Hillsville, but last year Hillsville Town Council members started a push to reopen the agency.

    The process of reinstating the squad, however, required a "certificate of need" from the Carroll Board of Supervisors.

  • Proactive Police Force

    Galax Police Chief Rick Clark opened his annual crime report to city council last Monday by first noting that he was accused by a caller in The Gazette's Reader Hotline for being oblivious to some forms of crime that happen in Galax.

    But instead of knocking the Galax Police Department, we should take the time to praise the officers for being proactive and for stepping into harm's way for their fellow citizens.

    The department is not just watching crime happen. It is doing something about it.

  • Tide survives another Bland scare

    MAX MEADOWS "" Under the bucket and in traffic with a chance to give Galax the win with either a layup or a free throw, Deion George kicked the ball 20 feet outside to Scott Alouf. By going backwards, the Maroon Tide is going forward.

    Alouf calmly drilled a 3-pointer at the horn as Galax took a thrilling 56-53 win in the Mountain Empire District semifinals Wednesday at Fort Chiswell High School. The Maroon Tide will face Fort Chiswell, an 89-83 winner over Grayson County, in tonight’s championship game at 6 p.m.

  • Devils fall to Pioneers

    MAX MEADOWS –– Tyler Akers, Andrew White and Hody Viars combined to score 72 of Fort Chiswell’s 89 points and the Pioneers outlasted Grayson County 89-83 in the Mountain Empire District semifinals Wednesday.

    The second-seeded Blue Devils (15-8) and the No. 3 Pioneers (9-13) battled through nine ties and 13 lead changes before Fort Chiswell took the lead for good with 2:15 left in the third period when Andrew White scored from close range for a 52-51 Pioneer lead.

  • Revenue Up In Smoke

    It was encouraging to see Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly clear the air between them and compromise on a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

    What for so long was denounced as a challenge to personal choice and a detriment to businesses was finally seen for what it really is — a public health issue. Choosing to smoke is a personal choice, but doing it in a confined space can infringe on others' rights to be healthy and smoke-free.

  • Tide lives to play another day

    Having just watched her team squeak past Grayson County, Galax coach Jamie Dotson had precious few positive things to say about the night. Among them, her girls hit some key free throws, and they were disappointed in themselves.

    Add to that the fact they did move on to the next round.

    In a perfect example of surviving and advancing, the fourth-seeded Maroon Tide fought off a spirited effort by No. 5 Grayson County and advanced to the Mountain Empire District semifinals, holding off the Blue Devils 45-34 in a play-in game Monday night.

  • Bowman, McGuire win region wrestling titles

    RIDGEWAY –– As a freshman a year ago, Blake Bowman’s first varsity wrestling season was cut short by a shoulder injury. Bowman the sophomore is making the most of it this year.

    Becoming a regional champion in his first opportunity to do so, Bowman claimed the 130-pound title Saturday in the Region IV tournament at Magna Vista.