en N.C. man drowns in New River <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> FRIES &ndash; A North Carolina man drowned in the New River near Fries on Saturday during a family floating trip.</p> <p> According to a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office, dispatch received a call at 6:20 p.m. of a possible drowning on the New River on July 23. The incident occurred just above the low water bridge in Fries.</p> Grayson grand jury indicts 11 <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="97" height="85" /><p> <strong>By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff</strong></p> <p> INDEPENDENCE &ndash; A Galax man was indicted on two counts of rape last Friday by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury.</p> <p> Jovanni Martinez Garcia, 28, was indicted on the two charges that involved a female less than 13 years old. One count allegedly occurred on or about April 4, and the other on or about April 7, 2016.</p> <p> The grand jury indicted a total of 11 people on 18 charges, in addition to several sealed indictments that will be opened later after warrants are served.</p> 'Trespass' pot operations a growing problem <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="65" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Reports</strong></p> <p> The Virginia Farm Bureau and police in Southwest Virginia are urging farmers to be on the lookout for marijuana &ldquo;trespass grows&rdquo; on their property.</p> <p> Among rows of corn and between hay bales all over the region, growers are planting marijuana without the land owners&rsquo; knowledge.</p> Sign shines light on Fries history <img src="" alt="The community center used the sign lighting as an opportunity to illuminate important people in Fries&#039; history." title="The community center used the sign lighting as an opportunity to illuminate important people in Fries&#039; history." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> FRIES ― After the sun set and the rain cleared on the evening of July 2, a large crowd of Fries residents and supporters gathered together outside of the Fries Community Center (known also by Fries natives as the &ldquo;Y&rdquo; or the &ldquo;Rec Center&rdquo;), to celebrate the lighting of the newly-refurbished Fries Theatre sign.</p> Galax police report arrests <img src="" alt="Austin Doyle West" title="Austin Doyle West" align="left" hspace="6" width="61" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Reports</strong></p> <p> According to a report issued by the Galax Police Department, arrests last week included drug and firearms violations and revocation of a suspended sentence.</p> <p> Karen Sue Hawks, 44, of Lowgap, N.C., was charged on July 15 by Sgt. Shawny Jones for two counts of possession or transportation of firearms or ammunition by a convicted felon. The arrest resulted from a traffic stop conducted by Jones.</p> Tax revenue shortfall means no state money for raises <p> Due to the state&rsquo;s overestimation of this fiscal year&rsquo;s budget, the school system&rsquo;s dreams of expanding positions and giving raises out of state funds will be put on hold this time, according to Galax City Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill.</p> <p> Instead, the Galax School Board will have to rework its budget to pay for the raises with local funds.</p> Shelter closed due to disease outbreak <p> The Galax-Carroll-Grayson Animal Shelter will be closed until July 27 due to an outbreak of parvovirus, according to City Manager Keith Barker.</p> <p> Parvo is a very contagious, life-threatening illness that affects dogs and cats.</p> <p> There are strains that can affect humans, but these are different from those that pets can catch and carry.</p> Ordinance would ban animals from events in Hillsville <p> HILLSVILLE &mdash; After some citizens had bad encounters with animals, Hillsville is considering an ordinance banning all animals at town events.</p> <p> The ordinance would still allow service animals.</p> <p> Council Member Greg Yonce brought up the issue at the July 11 meeting, saying he had been contacted by citizens who wanted a &ldquo;no dogs&rdquo; ordinance for the town&rsquo;s monthly classic car cruise-ins.</p> <p> &ldquo;That pit bull with a logging chain on it scared a lot of people,&rdquo; Yonce said, referring to an animal that was at the July cruise-in.</p>