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Today's News

  • State sales tax holiday is Aug. 7-9

    Virginia’s sales tax holiday begins Friday.

    The holiday runs through the weekend and exempts certain school supplies, clothes and shoes from sales tax.

    The holiday also exempts hurricane and emergency preparedness items along with certain energy efficient appliances.

    School supplies must be $20 or less per item and clothes or shoes must be $100 or less per item. To learn more and get lists of qualifying items for all three categories, see www.tax.virginia.gov.

  • Carroll bus vandalism causes thousands in damage

    Staff Reports

    HILLSVILLE — Sorry, kids, but a few defaced buses won’t keep school from starting back this week in Carroll County.

    The Hillsville Police Department has charged two juveniles with vandalization and damaging property.

    According to a police report, officers were dispatched to the Carroll County High School bus garage on Virginia Street on July 16 at 8:32 a.m.

  • Readers Hotline 8/3/15

    One sign only

  • Grayson school chief to look at hiring policy

    By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – Dr. Larry Massie, interim superintendent for Grayson County Schools, has responded to concerns expressed by the Grayson County Education Association (GCEA) about rehiring teachers.

    He says some teachers cut during a “reduction in force” earlier this year have been re-hired.

    Rebecca Absher, president of the GCEA, told school board members at a recent meeting that the decision not to re-hire teachers who were on the reduction in force list was causing a lot of undue stress.

  • How can presidential candidates win in Va.?

    Landmark News Service

    With Virginia’s emergence as a presidential battleground, a report says the nominees won’t be able to rely solely on loyal Democrats or Republicans to win the state.

    They will need to build a coalition from seven distinct voter groups.

    “Whoever wins Virginia is not going to win even with all the ardent partisan warrior voters. They’ve got to go to the less-partisan middle,” said Quentin Kidd, director of Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy.

  • National Night Out to be held Aug. 4 in Galax, Independence

    Staff Reports

    Galax will hold its annual National Night Out event Tuesday evening on downtown streets from 6-9 p.m. The public is invited to attend the free event.

    National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, better places to live. The celebration is to help the public meet and become familiar with the local police force.

  • Woodlawn School pitched as FFA/Ag center

    HILLSVILLE – A proposal for the future use of Woodlawn School was presented to the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) at a recent meeting.

    John Carpenter, an FFA teacher at the Carroll County Intermediate School, presented a proposal to turn the school into the Smith Hughes FFA/Agriculture Center.

    Carpenter explained that the first vocational education program, located at Woodlawn, was funded by the Smith Hughes Agriculture Education Act in 1917. This led to the Future Farmers of Virginia and then to Future Farmers of America in 1928.

  • Robbins' photos capture musical moments

    Professional photographer Mark Robbins isn’t a Southwest Virginia native, but that doesn’t stop him from making the trip to the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention every year.

    Originally from Norfolk, Robbins lives in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, and comes to the Twin Counties in what he refers to as a “stag weekend with my guy friends.”

  • Fewer contestants at fiddlers' convention this year

    Staff Reports

    Registration for the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention is down by 90 contestants from 2014, a smaller drop than last year, when 141 fewer signed up for the event.

    Last year’s decrease was one of the largest drops in the past four years. This year’s total is 1,585.

    Registration numbers have been declining slowly but steadily after topping out at 2,004 contestants for the event’s 75 anniversary in 2010. The number of contestants dropped to 1,909 in 2011, then decreased to 1,675 by 2014.

  • Allow cut teachers to reapply for jobs

    It’s no secret in today’s society that lack of employment continues to be a nagging source of stress for families, especially in small communities like ours. Job scarcity is especially difficult for families in this area, many of whom make the difficult choice to relocate away from their families and friends just for the opportunity to gain employment.