Today's News

  • Grayson sets hearing on tax rate, fee increases

    INDEPENDENCE — After months of adding and subtracting from various department budgets, the Grayson County Board of Supervisors is ready to advertise its 2009-10 spending plan.

    Supervisors voted to move forward with the advertisement of the public hearing, set for June 9 at 6:30 p.m. The budget totals $16.38 million and includes various increases to taxes and fees that will affect Grayson residents.

    Among those increases are:

    • a 4-cent increase on the real estate levy.

    • a 25-cent increase on personal property tax.

  • Along The Watchtower

    INDEPENDENCE — Plenty of changes are evident at the 252,088-square-foot state prison being built outside of Independence since The Gazette last visited in February.

    Doyle Sandifer, assistant superintendent of the project, took The Gazette on a third tour of the prison site last week.

    Changes since the February visit include:

    • all buildings are now under roof.

    • paint is going on several interior walls. Walls will be white, with all metals painted a dark shade of red called "Sun Dried Tomato."

  • Lambsburg Rescue questions remain

    LAMBSBURG — Lambsburg residents are still wondering what they can do to restart their rescue squad, which Carroll County decided not to dispatch anymore after an alleged breach of protocols.

    Members of the rescue squad held a community meeting last Friday, inviting representatives of the county and the state to attend.

    Squad members beforehand said they wanted to get answers about their status, but nothing new came out at the community meeting.

  • Nelson indicted in Internet solicitation case

    ROANOKE — A 38-year-old Hillsville man already facing state charges for soliciting a teenage girl from Kansas over the Internet has been indicted on four counts by a federal grand jury.

    If found guilty, Dewey Edward Nelson could spend at least 10 years in federal prison, because two of the charges have a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, according to federal officials.

    The FBI and the Hillsville Police Department teamed up to investigate allegations that Nelson went to Kansas to pick up a juvenile he met on the Internet and brought her back to Virginia.

  • Citizens oppose Galax tax, rate increases

    Reducing the city's budget gap from nearly $2 million to $550,000 by raising taxes and rates had a handful of city residents and restaurant owners speaking out during Monday's budget hearing.

    They told Galax City Council that they feared tax increases, especially the 1 percent meals tax hike, could do more harm than good.

  • Carroll rejects Log Cabin Homes' site plan

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll Industrial Development Authority rejected Log Cabin Homes owner Tom Vesce's submitted site plan last Thursday, but county officials said they would work with the company on a second attempt.

    Vesce had raised objections in local newspapers to his treatment at the hands of county officials after they declined to attend a ribbon cutting at a site in the industrial park his company obtained last year.

  • No bailout for Carroll pool this summer

    HILLSVILLE — Opening up the pool this year would drain too much revenue from the county, members of Carroll’s finance committee discussed last Wednesday.

    The committee, which includes Supervisors’ Chairman David Hutchins and Supervisor Wes Hurst and county staff, decided to recommend the pool remain closed this year.

    The committee members met to consider concerns raised by citizen Jamie Waters, who spoke at a public hearing for the 2009-2010 budget, as well as a petition against the pool closing that gathered more than 150 signatures.

  • Burglars to serve prison time

    ABINGDON — Four burglars who tried to raid a Dugspur home in August 2008, only to be discovered by the homeowner, all received prison time in federal court in Abingdon last Tuesday.

    The four men charged after trying to break into the home of David Branscome in Dugspur last Aug. 26 include three brothers from Mount Airy, N.C. — Christopher Ryan Music, 21; James Russell Music, 20; and William Lloyd Music, 24 — and Corey Keith Smith, 20, also of Mount Airy.

  • Independence dentist faces drug charges

    INDEPENDENCE — A two-month investigation by the Bureau of Drug Enforcement Services (DES) of the Virginia State Police has resulted in charges against an Independence dentist.

    Sgt. Mike Conroy of Virginia State Police said that Dr. Gordon J. Miniclier, who operates a dental office at 150 W. Main St., was arrested June 4.

    Conroy said special DES agents executed search warrants at Minclier’s office and his home at 1690 Rim Rock Road.



    The 8th Annual Galax Leaf & String Festival will continue to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the region by showcasing local musicians, artisans and authors on Friday and Saturday in downtown Galax.

    And this year, with a banner presentation being held and a tribute to The Crooked Road featuring regional musicians, Leaf & String is being designated a partner of the state's heritage music trail.