Today's News

  • Pumped-Up Prices

    In 2008, the average Virginia family will need an additional $835 in their annual budget just to keep a car filled with gas, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

    On Jan. 2, AAA reported a 33 percent increase in gas prices over the same day in 2007. Gas prices rise and fall throughout the year, but AAA encouraged families to budget for gas costs with the prices increases in mind.

    In Galax, as of Monday, gas prices were around $3 a gallon.

    Jim Alley of Fries was a bit shocked at the AAA estimate.

  • Local events

    What's Happening

    Tuesday, Jan. 15

    Twin County Diabetes Support Group meets, 7 p.m., Twin County Room, Twin County Regional Hospital. Topic is make 2008 great by beginning new lifestyle changes, with Brenda Worrell, LCSW speaking. 23608181, ext. 3565.

    Winter wonderland story hour and Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Galax Public Library. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Indoor archery practice, Tuesday and Thursday, New River Wildlife building, 7107 Riverside Drive, 6:30 p.m., $3. (276) 744-7158.

    Wednesday, Jan. 16

  • Two dead in Carroll murder-suicide

    HILLSVILLE Two people from Cana died after a double shooting early Monday that Carroll deputies have determined was a murder-suicide.

    Brandy O'Neal had gone with a family member to pick up their children, ages 4 and 8, to her ex-husband's home on Flinthill Road in Cana, according to Sheriff Warren Manning.

    O'Neal had been staying with her parents in North Carolina.

    Brandy O'Neal went into the home of Kevin Dean O'Neal and left her sister outside.

    The sister told deputies that she heard two shots and called authorities at about 1 a.m.

  • Drug taskforce cracks down in Galax

    Four of the 17 people in Galax and Carroll County arrested last week on multiple state and federal drug charges appeared in U.S. District Court under federal charges on Jan. 10.

    Those four federal defendants include Tommy Lamont Jones, Gordon Ray Jones Jr., Danny Lee Peoples and Tony Michael Brown. They are charged with distribution of crack cocaine in the past year.

    Authorities have not released the names of the remaining 13 people charged by sealed indictment on state drug charges, or the ages or addresses of the four federal defendants.

  • Board questions Vaughan's request

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson’s new sheriff wants the county to earmark certain monies received by his department for special police activities, but county supervisors said they were concerned that deputies would raise money for the department by writing more traffic tickets.

    Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan asked the Grayson County Board of Supervisors last week to create a “Police Activity Fund,” but the board requested more time to make a decision.

  • New sheriff brings changes to Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — Richard Vaughan may still be learning the new computer system at the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department, but other changes have been smooth since the 37-year-old officially took office as sheriff on Jan. 1.

    Vaughan hit the streets almost immediately after his term began.

    At 12:40 a.m. on Jan. 1, Vaughan said he and newly appointed Chief Deputy Mike Hash stopped a driver in Fries, charged the driver with DUI and found marijuana in the vehicle.

    “We got off to a good start,” Vaughan said.

  • JAM Sessions

    In a nation where pop music dominates the young crowd, the Virginia Junior Appalachian Musicians classes exist to give youngsters a firsthand knowledge of their own front porch musical heritage and traditions.

    JAM program director Tony Hatcher said musical heritage can be taken for granted and overlooked, even if it is right at your door. But this program is already proving it can open eyes and change perspectives.

  • Don't let state go to the dogs

    Proposed state legislation on companion animal breeders would make more work for animal control officers, but it seems like a simple and common sense way to address the problems that the Humane Society of the United States documented at Virginia operations that kept animals in less-than-healthy conditions.

    Animal control officers around the state would be responsible for regular inspections of breeding facilities.

  • 'Puppy mill' bills under review in Richmond

    RICHMOND — Carroll County officials predicted that legislative proposals would arise in the wake of a statewide probe into “puppy mills” by the Humane Society of the United States.

    And their predictions were right.

    The Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday began considering new requirements and enforcement measures as proposed by Del. Ward Armstrong.

    Animal advocates had taken secret video at commercial breeding operations in Virginia in 2007, and they pronounced the state had a puppy mill problem with more than 1,000 such operations.

  • High School Sports Round-Up: 1/14/08


    Pocahontas 84, Grayson County 88

    Jhas Robinson scored nine of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lift Grayson County over furiously charging Pocahontas for an 88-84 Mountain Empire District win Wednesday.

    The Blue Devils (2-11 overall, 1-1 district) watched an 18-point lead wither away in the fourth quarter and Pocahontas (6-4, 0-2) actually pulled ahead with 1:54 to play before Robinson helped pull off the win. Tyler Rutherford scored 15 points, Chris Anders 13 and Jesse Blizzard 12 for Grayson County.