en Grayson restroom policy opens doors to debate <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="85" height="85" /><p> <strong>By D.T. CLARK and SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

</strong></p> <p> INDEPENDENCE ― A new policy regulating which facilities transgender Grayson County students can use was brought to the school board by a state senator who says he worries about his daughter&rsquo;s safety.</p> <p> State Sen. Bill Carrico (R-40th District) of Grayson County brought his concerns to the Grayson County School Board last week, and the board held a special meeting with Carrico and a representative from a conservative activist group on Friday evening.</p> Capital murder cases rare in Twin Counties <img src="" alt="The killing of a 21-month-old girl is the first capital case in two decades. Capital murder is punishable by death in Virginia." title="The killing of a 21-month-old girl is the first capital case in two decades. Capital murder is punishable by death in Virginia." align="left" hspace="6" width="97" height="85" /><p> A suspect in the homicide of a 21-month-old Galax girl is the first person charged with capital murder in Carroll County in more than 20 years.</p> <p> Richard Nofsinger was arrested last week and charged with the capital murder of Anastasia Alley and first-degree murder of her mother, 28-year-old Alyssa Kenny.</p> <p> Capital murder is not a charge often seen by courts in the Twin Counties.</p> Hearing set in Grayson homicide <img src="" alt="Greyling Davis" title="Greyling Davis" align="left" hspace="6" width="50" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Report</strong></p> <p> INDEPENDENCE ― Greyling Dwayne &ldquo;Beany&rdquo; Davis of Galax, charged with the first-degree murder of Karen Cates at her Grayson County home, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Grayson County General District Court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m.</p> <p> Davis also is charged with the malicious wounding of David Patton and other offenses across two states.</p> <p> An arraignment hearing was held on May 2 for Davis, where Jonathon Venzie of Independence was appointed as his defense attorney, according to the court.</p> Double homicide suspect arraigned <img src="" alt="Richard Nofsinger" title="Richard Nofsinger" align="left" hspace="6" width="53" height="85" /><p> Independence attorney Jonathan Venzie was assigned to defend double homicide suspect Richard Denny Nofsinger Jr. in an arraignment on Friday in the Galax General District Court.</p> <p> Court Clerk Michelle Crawford Cox said the state also appointed a capital defense team to assist Venzie. Nofsinger, 36, of Galax was advised of the charges against him before his defense was assigned.</p> <p> Nofsinger is charged with capital murder in the death of 21-month-old Anastasia Alley and her mother, Alyssa Kenny, 28. Both were found dead in their Laurel Street home on March 10.</p> Galax firefighters handle two calls at once <img src="" alt="The fire department responded when machinery filled the plant with smoke." title="The fire department responded when machinery filled the plant with smoke." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> The Galax Volunteer Fire Department spent a busy Sunday afternoon fighting two fires back-to-back.</p> <p> Engines were first dispatched to a two-story home&rsquo;s flue fire on Fairview Road, which Capt. Mike Ayers said did not cause any monetary damage.</p> <p> &ldquo;We used the tower [ladder truck] to get up and start dropping chimney bombs, which put it out,&rdquo; said Ayers. &ldquo;We try to use water only as a last resort in a flue fire. The flue was cleaned out after being totally stopped up.&rdquo;</p> Hearing delayed in dog mauling case <img src="" alt="Terra Lynn Connell" title="Terra Lynn Connell" align="left" hspace="6" width="50" height="85" /><p> Staff Report</p> <p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; A preliminary hearing date has been set for Terra Connell and John Underwood of Independence, who both face several charges in the Jan. 6 dog attack that resulted in the death of 15-month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers.</p> <p> On Aug. 23, Connell, 29, will attend a preliminary hearing at Grayson County General District Court for a charge of owning a vicious dog, as well as a charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.</p> Carroll, Galax schools in no rush to pass restroom policies <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="85" height="85" /><p> <strong>By SHANNON WATKINS and SARA BLANKENSHIP, Staff </strong></p> <p> In contrast to the Grayson County school administration, Carroll and Galax school systems are adopting a cautious approach.</p> <p> Galax Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill said any action taken will be within a framework of tolerance and acceptance.</p> <p> He pointed out that the letter of guidance from the U.S. Department of Education was partly created to help school systems figure out how to handle the issue of transgender students in a sensitive manner.</p> Drug task force makes arrests <img src="" alt="Cristhian David Diaz-Pineda" title="Cristhian David Diaz-Pineda" align="left" hspace="6" width="60" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Report</strong></p> <p> Members of the Twin County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a Galax residence on Monday.</p> <p> The warrant, obtained by Galax Police Detective J.B. Greer, was served with assistance of the Galax Police Emergency Response Team.</p> <p> According to a police report, after a search of the residence on Calloway Street, two Galax men were arrested:</p>