Local News

  • New state laws take effect July 1

    Several new state laws, passed by the 2014 session of the General Assembly, are likely to affect the daily lives of Virginia citizens. The state Division of Legislative Services put together a list of legislation that has been signed by the governor and, for the most part, will go into effect on July 1.

    Alcoholic Beverage Control

  • Galax native named state Director of Family Services

    “I think always my goal ever since I started is that we serve children and families at every point we touch their lives,” said Galax native Carl Ayers, of his career in social work.

    As Floyd County’s director of social services, he’s clearly made a good impression doing just that; the state is ready for him to assume his new position as the director of the Division of Family Services under the Virginia Department of Social Services.

    Ayers, a resident of Woodlawn, said he starts on July 10 and will relocate to Richmond.

  • U.S. 58 project moving forward

    LAUREL FORK — Vehicles will be driving on new sections of U.S. 58 in Carroll, Floyd and Patrick counties by the end of 2014.

    Branch Highways is entering its third season of construction on the widening 58 project in Laurel Fork, said Pete Copes, general superintendent of Branch Highways Inc., which is under contract with the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen the 8.2 mile section.

  • Three tractor-trailers involved in I-77 wrecks

    FANCY GAP — A tractor-trailer jackknifed around the southbound 2.4-mile marker on Interstate 77 Tuesday afternoon during heavy rain, causing another wreck involving two more tractor-trailers immediately after, according to Virginia State Police.

    Trooper F.M. Cochran reported that a 2013 Freightliner driven by Bobby Gray Smith of North Carolina hit the guardrail and went into the median, partly blocking both lanes. There were no injuries.

  • Sebert Sisson, former Hillsville mayor, dies at 97

    HILLSVILLE — Sebert Sisson, the former mayor of Hillsville and a citizen who was always heavily involved with bettering his community, passed away on June 23 at the age of 97.

    Hillsville Town Council members took a moment to remember Sisson at their meeting that evening, just after they had heard about his passing.

    Council Member Greg Yonce asked those in attendance to keep Sisson’s family in their prayers. In February, Yonce selected Sisson and wife, Ruth, as his choice for the town’s Citizen of the Month award.

  • Independence man arrested on drug charges

    An Independence man was arrested for possession of a Schedule II drug on June 20, according to a report from the Galax Police Department.
    Officer Jacob Vaughan stopped Brian Patrick Graff, 29, for a traffic infraction. Vaughan’s observations caused him to conduct further investigation, which resulted in the discovery of Dilaudid, a Schedule II narcotic, and drug paraphernalia.
    Graff was released on bond pending his appearance in Galax General District Court.

  • Jackson to remain as consultant

    HILLSVILLE - Former town manager Travis Jackson began his new part-time position with the town as a temporary special consultant on May 16.

  • Growing the Economy: Officials call SWVA Farmers Market a model facility


    Southwest Virginia Farmer's Market is a success story that has become a model for other markets, as it generates between $20 and $30 million in revenues each year, and has successfully partnered with local grocers such as Food City.
    Federal officials paid a visit to the Hillsville market and other local farmer's markets in the Twin Counties on June 17 to discuss the opportunities that local food systems have in creating jobs, improving community health and boosting economic growth.

  • Grayson schools receipts missing

    INDEPENDENCE — An audit of Grayson County Public Schools’ 2012-13 school year activity fund revealed that several purchases lacked receipts, according to a report to the Grayson County School Board at its June 9 meeting.

  • Mayor Crowder Enters Plea To Disorderly Conduct

    BRISTOL – Hillsville Mayor Greg Crowder entered an Alford plea to an amended charge of disorderly conduct before the Bristol Circuit Court on Friday, and has received a four-day jail sentence, according to a news release.
    Crowder was originally charged with impersonating an ABC agent, and was found guilty by the Bristol General District Court and sentenced to 90 days in jail with 60 days suspended and a $500 fine.