Today's News

  • Door to the past makes pit stop in Galax

    The thousands of customers beating a path in and out of the Galax Wal-Mart last Wednesday through Saturday probably had no idea they were just a few feet away from Jimmy Johnson and his race car.

  • Let's Hope It Works

    Carroll County educators remain hopeful that federal stimulus funds will work as advertised.

    That's a good thing to hope for. The long-stated purpose of the stimulus funds, after all, involves saving or creating jobs.

    Educators have pointed out that using money coming directly from the federal government, along with the funds going through the state, could save around 20 positions in Carroll County Public Schools alone.

    In a region that continues to fight job losses, every position spared seems like the silver lining in the dark economic cloud.

  • Grayson picks Sweet for administrator

    INDEPENDENCE — Former Grayson County High School student Jonathan Sweet will return home to take over as county administrator on June 1.

    Sweet — who has spent the last six years working as Bland County administrator — was one of 30 applicants for the job to replace 27-year veteran of the county Bill Ring.

    Ring is set to retire at the end of May.

  • New manager lands at airport

    HILLSVILLE — Dave Ritter saw the world with the Marines before he landed the job as the new Twin County Airport manager.

    A Willis native who now lives in Hillsville, Ritter, 48, came almost full circle when he returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains after being a jet engine mechanic for the corps in Memphis, California and Hawaii and then serving as head of the embassy guard in Nepal, among other military assignments.

    Now, Ritter sees one of his missions at the airport as getting more people involved in the public facility.

  • Court official charged with DUI

    HILLSVILLE — An officer of the Carroll County Circuit Court was charged with driving while intoxicated last Friday after a deputy saw a vehicle driving recklessly on Training Center Road near U.S. 58 in the county.

    Charged was James Thomas Ward, 53, of Galax, who serves as commissioner of accounts — an appointed officer of the Carroll County Circuit Court.

    Carroll Deputy B.R. Melton observed a vehicle crossing the center line and the outside line four times each, according to a warrant filed in Carroll County General District Court.

  • Ground broken for Fries Middle expansion

    FRIES — Grayson County Public Schools broke ground on renovations and additions to Fries Middle School last Friday afternoon.

    The project is part of Phase I of the school’s long-term facility updates plan, which involves the additions, renovations and building of a new school currently under construction in the western end of the county.

  • Developers eyeing old Sawyers plant in Galax

    A proposed training facility at the former Sawyers Furniture Co. factory in West Galax could provide opportunities through career-based training, certifications, on-the-job training and job placement.

    An integrated manufacturing plant would also create 200 jobs in the first month and generate $8 million per year, said Charles Cecil, who has partnered with C.R. Newman in hopes of starting up the training center/environmentally-friendly manufacturing plant called Deserved Services.

  • Murder suspect arrested in Grayson

    MOUTH OF WILSON – A man wanted in connection with a murder in Smyth County on March 21 was arrested without incident in Grayson County today, Thursday.

    According to Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan, members of the sheriff’s office received information of the possible whereabouts of James Steven Armstrong, who was wanted for a murder earlier in the week.

    Chief Deputy Mike Hash, Lt. Tim Sawyer and deputies Jeff Merilic and Alan Graham arrested Armstrong without incident at a residence on Kendrick Mountain Road in Mouth of Wilson.

  • Nautilus cutting 40 jobs

    INDEPENDENCE — Just months after an announcement that the Nautilus plant in Independence would expand, the fitness equipment manufacturer has reduced its workforce by 40 positions.

    According to Nautilus Senior Vice President and General Manager Tim Joyce, employees were notified Thursday of the reduction.

    “We had a reduction in workforce up at that plant, which consists of both full- and part-time folks,” Joyce told The Gazette.

  • Phone calls have ring of scam to them

    The automated telephone message said the car’s warranty was expiring and this was the last notice.

    It said to press 1 to talk with a representative. The guy on the other end gave only a first name, but Caller ID showed his number as (416) 523-1121.

    He asked a lot of questions, wanting the make, model, year of the car and other details.

    He’ll call again, tomorrow or the day after, even if told to stop.

    The Federal Trade Commission and other groups are trying to find and stop these folks, but the agency doesn’t appear to be succeeding.