Today's News

  • Water concerns grow as county wells run dry

    HILLSVILLE — When the water table is being depleted, what are large subdivisions going to do for a supply in the future, a Virginia Health Department official asked the new Carroll Public Service Authority at its inaugural meeting Monday.

    Greg Gibson, who works for the health department on wells and septic systems for new construction, said water even in deep wells has been ebbing.

    In his 37 years with the health department, he’s seen a lot of growth and around 20,000 water and sewer systems as a part of the growth.

  • Haga convicted on sexual battery charges

    INDEPENDENCE — A jury has recommended that a man charged with sodomy and animate object sexual penetration of a child under age 13 and two counts each of indecent liberties with a child in September 2005 should serve 20 years in prison.

    Ralph Haga was found guilty on five counts of aggravated sexual battery on Jan. 11, after a three-day jury trial in Grayson County Circuit Court.

    Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught said the trial started Jan. 9 with jury selection. The process took about three hours and the court broke for lunch before opening arguments began.

  • Galax revamps tourism Web site

    Coinciding with Galax’s downtown revitalization project, the city is improving not just buildings, but also other aspects, like its upgraded Galax tourism Web site and online events calendar.

    The rebuilt site has been up and running since Jan. 4.

  • Hillsville sells old jail

    HILLSVILLE — A Florida couple now owns the old Carroll County Jail, after Hillsville Town Council accepted an offer to sell the building on Monday night.

    Little interest had been shown until December 2007,when Town Manager Larry

    South informed council members that an offer had been received.

    Council voted unanimously on Monday night to accept an offer of $50,000 from Bob and Ann DeGrosa of Merritt Island, Fla.

    Hillsville had acquired the jail from the county as a part of the first phase of its downtown revitalization.

  • 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.