Local News

  • One-time fix may cause future budget hole

    HILLSVILLE — Federal and state stimulus package money could make up approximately two-thirds of Carroll County Public Schools' $1.34 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2009-2010, if educators are allowed to spend the one-time funds that way.

    Educators proceeded to plug the stimulus fund numbers into the proposed budget in order to minimize the impact of the slowing economy on Carroll County.

    They hope to save jobs and programs that way, said Superintendent Greg Smith at a budget public hearing Tuesday.

  • Grayson school behind schedule

    INDEPENDENCE — The opening date of the new Grayson Highlands School in the western end of Grayson County continues to be pushed back — and now, school board members have been told the contract does not have a penalty clause if the contractor goes over the proposed deadline.

    Grayson County Administrator Bill Ring, who is also serving as the school system's clerk of the works at the school construction site, updated the board on the progress at the school last Monday.

  • Grayson sheriff asks for more money

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan was among department heads presenting county supervisors their budget requests for the 2010 fiscal year on March 11.

    Last year, the sheriff's office was granted $684,238.

    Vaughan — whose $53,689 department request was 7.8 percent higher than last year — explained his reasoning for the increase to the board of supervisors.

  • Grayson rec park seeks help with salaries

    INDEPENDENCE — A youth employment program could help out this summer with salaries at the Grayson County recreation park.

    Director Keith Weatherman presented his annual budget request to the board of supervisors earlier this month.

    In that budget, Weatherman requested roughly $39,000 for part-time salaries during the summer months — the busiest part of the year.

  • Carroll road projects shrink to just two

    HILLSVILLE — While closure of the Hillsville residency is in the forecast, so too are changes for the Virginia Department of Transportation's services.

    The number of roads on the six-year plan will basically shrink to two — and both of those involve spending federal funds to improve Virginia 620 at Exit 19, Bob Beasley, VDOT resident administrator, told the Carroll supervisors in an appearance at Monday's meeting.

    Maintenance will make roads with more than 10,000 vehicles on them the focus.

  • Carroll, Hillsville oppose closing VDOT office

    HILLSVILLE — Concerned Carroll County citizens and government officials will ask the Virginia Department of Transportation to spare the Hillsville residency office from a proposed $2.6 billion in cuts.

    The economic downturn caused the Commonwealth Transportation Board to consider a restructuring of VDOT, closing residency offices and rest areas and laying off 450 employees to address the budget shortfall.

    The consolidation would close the Hillsville office and shift its services to Martinsville.

  • Helen Kyle to join Galax School Board

    After spending nearly three hours in closed session on Feb. 23 interviewing seven candidates for two seats on the Galax School Board, city council appointed Helen Kyle and reappointed Ray Kohl during Monday's meeting to fill the positions.

    The terms for Kohl, who serves as school board chairman, and vice chairwoman Theresa Lazo are set to expire June 30. Lazo decided not to seek reappointment.

    This is Kyle's second stint in public office. She previously served on Galax City Council.

  • Hammer defense requests paint analysis, special litigator

    INDEPENDENCE — The defense team for Frederick Phillip Hammer — charged with the shooting deaths of Ronald Hudler, his son Frederick Hudler and a Hudler farm worker John Steven Miller — asked Judge Brett Geisler during a motions hearing on Wednesday to allow for extra analysis of a paint chip and a litigator to rebut allegations that Hammer would be a danger in the future.

    Defense Attorney Robert Finch said he would like to send a paint chip to Microtrace LLC in New York for thorough testing.

  • Smith: use stimulus funds with caution

    HILLSVILLE — The nearly $1.6 million in funding from the federal stimulus package could save jobs in the Carroll County Public School System, and educators remain hopeful that the government will allow more flexibility in the recovery effort.

  • Horton appeal denied

    HILLSVILLE — The 14 cruelty to animal convictions against a Hillsville businessman in a puppy mill case have been upheld by a Virginia Appeals Court judge.

    This makes the second time a court has refused to overturn the 14 misdemeanor convictions against Lanzie Carroll Horton Jr. resulting from a trial in Carroll General District Court.

    Those animal cruelty charges, as well as the 25 animal neglect convictions that went uncontested in this appeal, stem from a national Humane Society and Virginia PAWS campaign to expose puppy mills in the state.