http://www.galaxgazette.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en GES project could require tax increase http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/ges-project-could-require-tax-increase <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/wm2a_-_5_0.jpg" alt="A concept design from architectural firm WM2A shows its proposal for upgrading and expanding Galax Elementary. " title="A concept design from architectural firm WM2A shows its proposal for upgrading and expanding Galax Elementary. " align="left" hspace="6" width="151" height="85" /><p> Galax could refinance debt and raise the tax levy to pay for a proposed $17 million expansion of the elementary school.</p> <p> At a Feb. 13 joint meeting with Galax City Council and the Galax City School Board, accounting firm Davenport &amp; Company gave a presentation on how the funding for the Galax Elementary School renovation and upgrade might be achieved.</p> Grand jury indicts man for running driver off road http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/grand-jury-indicts-man-running-driver-road <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/file_jan_03_3_05_19_pm_1.jpeg" alt="Police said this car was run off the road and through a house by suspect Travis Coulson on Jan. 3. The driver sustained serious injuries." title="Police said this car was run off the road and through a house by suspect Travis Coulson on Jan. 3. The driver sustained serious injuries." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> <strong>By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff</strong></p> <p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; A man who allegedly chased another driver off the road and caused him to crash through a house in Galax was indicted by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury that met Jan. 27.</p> <p> Four sealed indictments against Travis Dale Coulson, 38, of Galax were recently opened, in connection with a chase that occurred Jan. 3 in the county and city. The charges were sealed until Coulson could be served with warrants.</p> General Assembly to honor CCHS girls softball team http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/general-assembly-honor-cchs-girls-softball-team <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/carroll_girls_softball_team.jpg" alt="The Carroll County Cavalier girls softball team won the 2015 VHSL Group 4A state title in 2005 and posted a record of 22-1 last year." title="The Carroll County Cavalier girls softball team won the 2015 VHSL Group 4A state title in 2005 and posted a record of 22-1 last year." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> <em>By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff</em></p> <p> HILLSVILLE &ndash; The Carroll County Cavalier girls&rsquo; varsity softball team has received several honors over the last two years, and will add another one on Tuesday.</p> <p> In 2015, the girls were undefeated with a 26-1 record and won the Virginia High School League Group 4A state championship. They followed up their dream season with a 22-1 record last year.</p> State legislators designate Suicide Prevention Week http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/state-legislators-designate-suicide-prevention-week <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/virginia_suicide_facts.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="110" height="85" /><p> <em>Capital News Service</em></p> <p> RICHMOND &ndash; Joshua Alburger grew up in a large, supportive family in Goochland, says his sister, Marcie Allen. &ldquo;We were nurtured, loved, respected and made to feel safe.&rdquo;</p> <p> Their parents had five children of their own while raising an additional five, Allen said. She said that later in life, Alburger developed a mental illness and struggled with suicidal thoughts. In 2013, at age 32, he died by suicide, leaving behind a wife of 10 years and three children.</p> Cana man charged with two car thefts http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/cana-man-charged-two-car-thefts <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/caitlin_joe_moncus.jpg" alt="Caitlin Joe Moncus" title="Caitlin Joe Moncus" align="left" hspace="6" width="56" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Reports</em></p> <p> A Cana man is in custody after police say he stole two cars last week and eluded police after he was spotted driving the second vehicle.</p> <p> On Feb. 12 at approximately 7:10 p.m., deputies with the Carroll County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office were dispatched to the new Dollar General Store in Laurel Fork on U.S. 58 to take a stolen vehicle report, according to Sheriff J.B. Gardner.</p> Drivers urged to 'Zone In' near Galax schools http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/drivers-urged-zone-near-galax-schools <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/srtszone.jpg" alt="Signs like this have been placed on Parkwood Drive near Galax schools, to remind drivers to pay attention." title="Signs like this have been placed on Parkwood Drive near Galax schools, to remind drivers to pay attention." align="left" hspace="6" width="134" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> Galax students and parents dropping them off at school may not be aware that, just a few blocks from the campuses, Galax Safe Routes to School has yard signs posted in the Parkwood Street neighborhood urging drivers to &ldquo;Slow Down! Keep our kids safe,&rdquo; and the message behind it goes deep.</p> Local banks to become Skyline http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/local-banks-become-skyline <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/gnb_main_branch_independence_0.jpg" alt="Grayson National’s Independence branch. GNB and Bank of Floyd merged last year." title="Grayson National’s Independence branch. GNB and Bank of Floyd merged last year." align="left" hspace="6" width="116" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Since the announcement came in November 2015 that Grayson National Bank and Bank of Floyd would combine their 200-plus years of banking experience, the two entities have put many hours of time and effort into a smooth transition, as well as appropriate new branding that reflects their shared core values.</p> <p> This week, the two banks announced that their new, combined name will be Skyline National Bank: a nod to the local communities they will continue to serve.</p> Virginia Senate OKs 'religious freedom' bill http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/virginia-senate-oks-religious-freedom-bill <p> <em>Capital News Service</em></p> <p> RICHMOND &ndash; Democratic officials and the American Civil Liberties Union blasted Republican senators after they passed a &ldquo;religious freedom&rdquo; bill that would protect people who refuse to marry same-gender couples.</p>