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Today's News

  • Carroll works to save money

    HILLSVILLE — In the midst of an economic crisis, Carroll County supervisors took a cue from the state by voting to freeze wages until next year.

    In an unrelated financial matter, the county officials also moved to pay off Carroll's part of the landfill closure debt in cooperation with its partners on the Solid Waste Authority.

    Supervisor Tom Littrell, at the county board's Oct. 14 meeting, took notice of the state's delay in implementing raises for government employees.

  • Driver charged in fatality

    HILLSVILLE — A 25-year-old Laurel Fork woman has been charged by indictment in connection with a death in a Sept. 9 traffic accident on Pleasant View Road.

    Bethanie Coulson, 18, was a passenger in a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner that ran off the road, overturned and struck a tree, according to a Virginia State Police accident report by Trooper J.R. Alderman. Coulson was not wearing a seat belt.

  • VDOT cuts put brakes on 58 funding

    Funding for new road projects has been driven off the proverbial cliff during the national economic crisis, crashing hopes for new improvements to U.S. 58 as an economic development tool for Southwestern Virginia.

    Local representatives agree that maintenance on existing roads will come first — new projects like four-laning 58 east of Hillsville and over Lovers Leap Mountain to Stuart will have to wait because the Virginia Department of Transportation's budget will be slashed by up to $2.6 billion over the next six years.

  • Fries transferring mill site to development authority

    FRIES — Town council has taken the final two steps to secure a $700,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

    Council members voted Nov. 4 to transfer the old mill property to the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority.

    Transferring the land had caused some concern among citizens in Fries, as well as a couple of council members.

    Council Member Frankie Fortner noted during council's meeting in October that it needed to be made clear that if the property were not developed, it would revert back to the town.

  • Fries opposes airport change

    FRIES — Originally in favor of the proposed realignment of the Twin County Regional Airport Commission, the Town of Fries voted Nov. 4 to oppose the change.

    The commission has requested that its membership be changed from six localities, to only the “big three” members — Galax, Carroll and Grayson.

    During council's meeting Nov. 4, Member Nancy Hawks said “there are too many unanswered questions.”

  • Crossroads earns award

    An economic development program from the Crossroads Institute in Galax beat out those from 13 Appalachian states to win the Jerry W. Davis Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

    The $10,000 award for "outstanding accomplishment in entrepreneurial development in the Appalachian Region" was presented Nov. 6 to representatives from Crossroads.

    The Davis Award is sponsored by the University of North Alabama and the federal Appalachian Regional Commission.

  • Fries hires full-time director

    FRIES — The Fries Recreation Center has hired its first full-time director in years — but didn’t have to search long to find the man for the job.

    Randy Shinault was recently named the full-time director. Longing to obtain the position one occupied by his mentor, long-time director Sap Jones, Shinault dreamed of the day he might take over the reins.

    At 12-years-old, Shinault began working at the rec center as a pin setter. Since then, he has done everything, from cleaning, mowing grass, umpiring and coaching.

  • Thomas heads to India

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County School System’s leader is one of 13 school superintendents who will be traveling to India on a fact-finding trip about globalization at the end of November.

    Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas will join Virginia Secretary of Education Thomas Morris and 12 other Virginia school division superintendents on the trip at no cost to the Grayson school system. The purpose is to visit businesses and schools in India during Nov. 28-Dec. 8.

  • Broadband is the medicine TCRH needs

    Twin County Regional Hospital is expected to be a primary user of the regional broadband utility being planned by the Wired Road Authority.

    However, its need for fiber optic services is far ahead of construction plans and beyond the authority’s fiscal capabilities.

    “They have a great need for broadband just for their medical and telemedicine purposes,” Keith Barker, assistant city manager and member of the authority, told Galax City Council in requesting a $260,000 loan to place a fiber optic connection.

  • Former fire chief, radio station manager dies

    Joe Crockett, a longtime firefighter and station manager of Galax's WBOB-AM, died on Nov. 8 at the age of 88.

    Joseph Pierce Crockett is remembered as the driving force behind the modern Galax Volunteer Fire Department, to which he dedicated nearly 60 years of his life — 32 of those as chief.

    He was a civic-minded man with a passion for the fire department and the annual “Galax Community Christmas Party” charity event.

    Crockett was in the radio business in Galax for 38 years, during which he served as station manager of WBOB — now WWWJ-AM.