Today's News

  • Eye of the Beholder

    A bold mural being painted on front of the Jeff Matthews Museum has caused an uproar among Galax residents, city staff and the museum's board of directors.

    The mural, started last month, remains unfinished until the Galax Planning Commission decides if artists David and Brigette Payseur should continue the painting.

    However, since the mural has gone up, it has attracted attention from many tourists, as well as locals, who never knew the museum even existed.

  • Firefighters, police rescue man from roof

    Galax emergency crews and police had to subdue a man who would not come down from a three-story roof of an apartment house at 111 Painter Street on Tuesday.

    Police officers used ladders to scale the steep roof and talked to the man for several minutes. If they approached, he would edge closer to the deadly drop off the back side of the house.

    Mostly he sat, talking loudly, wrapped in a white towel.

    Eventually, police officers and Galax Fire Chief David Hankley tackled the combative man, using tasers several times to subdue him.

  • Grant will expand Galax Farmers' Market

    Galax has been awarded a $99,000 USDA Rural Development grant to update the city's farmers' market by constructing restrooms, upgrading landscaping and adding a food preparation area.

    Coinciding with the revitalization project in downtown Galax, the farmers' market last year underwent a makeover — bike racks were installed to welcome visitors from the New River Trail, signs were repaired, columns were repainted and the facility received electrical upgrading to accommodate large festival events, such as Smoke on the Mountain.

  • Late blight strikes local tomato crop

    Tomato plants with a fungal disease that's ravaging gardens this year need to be disposed of properly, lest they damage next year's crop, Virginia Cooperative Extension agents warn.

    Gardens in the Twin Counties and throughout the East have experienced a "tremendous loss" of garden tomatoes due to late blight, said Extension agent Kevin Spurlin.

    "Unfortunately, the disease is quite devastating with complete crop losses common," he said. "There are measures that home gardeners need to take soon to limit the infection potential next year."

  • Festival honors music legend

    WHITETOP — Family and friends of a late and legendary fiddler and instrument maker are gearing up for the event that bears his name, the 2009 Albert Hash Memorial Festival in Whitetop this weekend.

    The festival enters its third year at Mount Rogers Combined School (MRCS) in Whitetop, and honors the life of one of Grayson's finest musicians and luthiers, born in 1917 in Rugby.

  • Exit Strategy

    LAMBSBURG — Development at Interstate 77’s Exit 19 got off the starting line first, but Exit 1 has taken the lead as construction work recently began for Love’s truck stop.

    Exit 19, home of the planned Wildwood Commerce Park, had the early advantage, with more than 1,300 acres of land graded in preparation for development by Mike Turman and Don Branscome, But work in Lambsburg revved up quickly last week as footers were poured for Love’s on its 21 acres in southern Carroll.

  • Bank robbery suspect waives right to hearing

    HILLSVILLE — A 50-year-old New Castle man accused of robbing a Hillsville bank has waived his preliminary hearing.

    Richard Donald Hawes faces a charge of robbery after he demanded money from a teller at Grayson National Bank in Hillsville Aug. 6.

    Police traced Hawes to New Castle and arrested him on a warrant at his home there, though the suspect had obscured many of his features behind a cap, large sunglasses and a bandanna and other generic clothing.

  • State seeks input on APCo increases

    In November, the Virginia State Corporation Commission plans to venture out from Richmond again to solicit comments from residents of Southwest Virginia about a proposed rate increase by Appalachian Power Co.

    On Nov. 18, the commission will hold a public hearing in Abingdon. The next day commissioners will convene a hearing in Rocky Mount. Both will begin at 6 p.m.

    The SCC said the hearings will provide residents of Appalachian’s service territory in Southwest Virginia “more convenient locations to offer testimony as public witnesses.”

  • City halts museum mural painting

    Jeff Matthews Museum, located on West Stuart Drive in Galax, saw more 200 visitors just during the week of the Old Fiddlers' Convention, and curator Tony Burcham believes the increase is due to a large, unfinished mural painted on the building and the publicity it's receiving.

    Before the mural, the plain brick building near the Galax Public Library was hardly identifiable.

    Local artists David and Brigette Payseur started the painting last month when they were approached by the museum's board of directors.

  • Hampton resigns, faces 3rd DUI charge

    The former executive director of the Carroll Wellness Center resigned his post several days before being charged with his third count of driving under the influence since December.

    Greg Hampton, who had been with the wellness center for six years, now faces a new charge of DUI, a felony, as well as misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license, stemming from an Aug. 28 incident in Galax, according to court records.