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Today's News

  • Fries Fiddlers' Convention kicks off Friday

    FRIES — As summer winds down, musicians and music lovers in Fries are just gearing up for the Twin County area's last fiddlers’ convention of the year.

    The Fries Fiddlers' Convention — an annual old-time and bluegrass competition and festival, always held the third weekend of August — is sponsored by the Fries Volunteer Fire Department.

    The event is scheduled to kick off Friday and continue through Saturday. The convention is held at the Fries Ball Park, located just off Main Street.

  • WCC, Crossroads offer tests for potential prison workers

    INDEPENDENCE — Tutorials are now available online for anyone wishing to obtain a Career Readiness Certificate.

    Individuals hoping to get hired on at the new medium-security prison being built in Grayson are highly encouraged to obtain the certificate prior to applying.

    According to Neal Satterwhite, director of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, those who have the certificate prior to applying will stand out above those without.

  • Get ready for 2010

    Local representatives are working diligently to ensure jobs will be available to local citizens when the new state prison opens in Grayson.

    This week, Wytheville Community College announced that tutorials for the Career Readiness Certificate would be offered online, and for that we commend the hard work of WCC and the Crossroads Institute.

    One promise made when the prison was being planned was that the majority of the 350 jobs would go to local citizens.

  • Blair's musical message: 'We Are One'

    Where many people see only the things that divide us — race, class, gender, belief — musician Tremayne Blair sees the common spirituality that binds human beings together.

    The Galax-born singer and songwriter is pursuing a dream of spreading that message to the masses — one audience or congregation at a time, if necessary.

    On Aug. 2, Blair will host a concert at Cliffview Church of God in Galax.

  • Hammer faces new murder charge

    INDEPENDENCE — A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury indicted Frederick Phillip Hammer, 48, of Crumpler, N.C., on a new capital murder charge last Friday.

    According to Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught, Hammer now faces an additional charge of capital murder — this time for committing more than two murders within three years.

    This brings his total capital murder charges to four.

    “The original charges that go the preliminary hearing on Monday are for murder while committing a robbery,” said Vaught.

  • Carroll prison study group meets

    HILLSVILLE — Carroll's first prison study committee meeting on Monday posed the questions that the group will have to answer in its work.

    Carroll Supervisor Andy Jackson suggested the idea to form a committee to study the pros and cons of trying to bring a state prison to the county, similar to what Grayson did to attract the prison that's under construction outside of Independence.

  • Carroll Relay for Life raises $81,000

    HILLSVILLE — When participants in the Carroll-Galax Relay for Life circled the track at Tommy Thompson Field at Carroll County High School on Friday and Saturday, they raised $1,000 an hour to add to the money that will go toward cancer research and programs, organizers said.

    Robin Minter, the community manager for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, said the $12,000 raised in the 12-hour relay put the event close to its overall goal of $85,000.

  • String Stranglers & Cobbler Gobblers

    The fiddlers’ convention brings out the weird in us sometimes, from jam sessions in Port-A-Johns and kazoo parades to naked bathing in Chestnut Creek and flinging flaming instruments — all real traditions of the 73-year-old event’s colorful past.

    One constant of Galax’s annual festival is the freaky and fanciful names musicians give their bands.

    They range from the funny to the obscure to the possibly perverted — if we only understood what they meant.

  • Help yourself to water

    In an age where people are looking for alternative ways of doing things, the self-help program seems like an inexpensive and practical way to get smaller water projects done in Carroll County.

    The cost of everything is shooting through the roof, not the least of which is construction-related efforts.

    The rise in gas prices makes it more expensive to run equipment and ship materials on any construction work, but Carroll County Public Service Authority and community members have apparently found a way around that by using the self-help program for Happy Hollow Road.

  • Convention making a comeback?

    Registration for the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention increased overall for the first time in five years.

    Last year was the fourth year in a row that registrations for the convention declined. Registrations for 2007 were down 130 from the previous year.

    But for the 73rd annual event, overall registrations were 1,817 — up 52 contestants from 2007.

    Officials with the convention’s sponsor, Galax Moose Lodge #733, say the registration numbers have never reflected actual attendance.