Today's News

  • Nautilus plant to stay open until Jan.

    INDEPENDENCE — Fitness company Nautilus Inc. will continue manufacturing cardio equipment in Independence beyond a previously set potential closing date of Friday.

    In October, the company issued the federally mandated 60-day notice to its employees that the plant may not operate past Dec. 18.

    Wayne Bolio, senior vice president of the Vancouver, Wash.-based company, told The Gazette in October that the company was "actively marketing" its commercial business and that, if a purchaser was not found, the plant could potentially be shut down.

  • Fatal crash blamed on ice

    HILLSVILLE — Black ice on U.S 58 claimed a long-time dairy delivery driver while on his rounds early Monday, Virginia State Police troopers say.

    Guy Horton, 70, of Woodlawn, driving a delivery truck owned by H&S Dairy Distributors of Mount Airy, N.C., lost control of the vehicle on a glaze of black ice in a curve near Princess Drive at about 6:15 a.m., according to First Sgt. Mike Musser.

    Police believe that Horton was heading to businesses in Vesta to drop off supplies.

    The weather conditions, which also included fog, contributed to the accident.

  • Christmas in the mountains

    Hundreds lined up outside of First Baptist Church in Galax on Monday for the annual free Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund event, this year featuring country music artist Kellie Pickler.

    The first person in line, Chris Larue, arrived to the front doors at 7 a.m., holding a Pickler CD in hopes of getting her autograph.

    Some, like Robert and Wanda Tilley of Madison, N.C., drove two hours and waited five hours in line to see the concert.

    And 10-year-old Madison Bullis, who attends Gladeville Elementary, decided to take the day off to attend her first concert.

  • APCo rate hike now in effect

    As of Saturday, Appalachian Power Co. is charging an average residential customer a total of about 15.5 percent more per month for electricity — a calculation based on a residential customer who consumes 1,000 kilowatt hours a month.

    According to Appalachian, the monthly electric bill for this customer will increase from $100.14 to $115.78.

  • Officers closing state budget gap

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County's constitutional officers have dug deeper into their budgets to eliminate additional expenses after the most recent cuts in state funding.

    In September, Gov. Tim Kaine released a plan to close the gap on a $1.35 billion shortfall in the state.

    The plan included reductions across the board, including a 6.9 percent decrease in sheriffs and regional jails, 9.9 percent for commonwealth's attorneys, 15.6 percent for circuit court clerks and 17.6 percent for treasurers, finance directors and commissioners of revenue.

  • Carroll PSA looks back on 2009

    HILLSVILLE — Many water and sewer projects got off the ground in 2009, but one or two efforts don't seem to be generating much community interest, Carroll Public Service Authority members reflected at their December meeting.

  • Bassett shares principles for business success

    Even before the recession, the domestic furniture industry struggled to survive, but Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. held on.

    Now, with the industry on its last legs and an economy in crisis, the Galax-based company is still holding on — thriving, even.

    It remains one of the largest employers in Galax with 574 workers, and this year Vaughan-Bassett announced that it would reopen part of its Elkin, N.C., manufacturing plant and create some new positions in Galax. A possible expansion of its Galax plant has also been mentioned.

  • Creating the future

    Sometimes the realization of years of planning and working and dreaming are not announced with fireworks or fanfare.

    Sometimes, you just realize that a long-promised change in the state of things has happened.

    Such is the case with Galax's mission to become a "cultural district," a community devoted to the visual and performing arts, centered around the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts downtown.

    The school is still months away from its grand opening, but already there's a feeling in the air, an electricity sparked by creative minds.

  • Davis waives hearing in drug/firearm case

    HILLSVILLE — A Galax man facing drug and gun charges waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Carroll County General District Court on Tuesday.

    Autreyhue Dane Davis faces charges of possession of a gun with a schedule I or II drug, distribution of marijuana and manufacturing a schedule I or II drug after a search of a residence at 204 Cross Ridge Lane by the Virginia State Police and the Twin County Drug Task Force, according to court records.

  • Grayson man dies in fire

    WHITETOP — A Whitetop man died after a fire broke out in his home early Wednesday morning.

    Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said Herman Dean Rupard, 70, of 15971 Highlands Parkway, was found deceased in his home after neighbors spotted flames underneath his mobile home.

    Vaughan said the power went off in the Whitetop community about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, and Rupard had apparently retrieved a kerosene heater to warm his home.

    Investigators believe Rupard put some fuel in the heater — spilling some near where it stood — and then went back to bed.