Local News

  • Murder appeal denied

    RICHMOND — A 58-year-old Ivanhoe man has no more opportunities to appeal his murder conviction after the Virginia Supreme Court declined to hear his case recently.

    Robert Allen Dutton was convicted in the Jan. 3, 2007, shooting death of his estranged wife, 41-year-old Sandra. The two had been living apart for several months when the incident took place at the home they had shared at 47 Jasper Lane in Ivanhoe.

    Dutton was also found guilty of burglary and use of a firearm. He was sentenced to two life terms plus three years in prison.

  • Carroll PSA increases utility rates

    HILLSVILLE — No citizens showed up at Monday's Carroll Public Service Authority meeting to speak on proposed water and sewer rate increases, but the authority members still approved the higher fees "with heavy hearts."

    County Administrator Gary Larrowe repeated just before the public hearing started that the authority basically has to implement the increases to continue getting federal Rural Development funding for the many ongoing water and sewer projects in Carroll.


    INDEPENDENCE — You won't see it sailing up the New River, but the U.S. Navy's latest war ship will be commissioned early next year with support from a Grayson County town that bears its name.

    The navy will commission, or formally put into service, the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Independence on Jan. 16, 2010.

    The ship is one of two models the navy is considering for its next generation of shallow-water warships and was built at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.

  • Juvenile stabbed in Grayson

    MOUTH OF WILSON — A Mouth of Wilson man has been charged after allegedly stabbing a 17-year-old male three times the night of Nov. 15.

    Grayson County deputies were called to a home in Mouth of Wilson around 11:47 p.m., according to Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan.

    Deputies Arnold Peters and Alan Graham, along with Virginia State Trooper Jerry Sowers, responded to the scene.

    Vaughan said the juvenile and Efrin Sanchez-Cruz, 26, of 1983 Troutdale Highway, reportedly got into an argument over beer.

  • Va./N.C. regional water authority awards bids

    INDEPENDENCE — The Virginia Carolina Water Authority has awarded the final five contracts to finish a regional water system between the towns of Independence and Sparta, N.C.

    The bids — which put the project $784,385 over budget — were approved during the authority's regular meeting Nov. 12.

    Bobby Lane of Lane Engineering told Independence Town Council at its regular meeting two days before that the project total of $8.96 million exceeded the funds available, but that the impact on the Independence water rates would not be affected.

  • Emergency volunteers voice concerns

    HILLSVILLE — Concerned emergency services personnel, mostly rescue squad members, got to speak their minds Nov. 12 about Carroll County withholding funds, using a portion of billing receipts to buy ambulances for different squads, titling of vehicles, reporting requirements and the threatening tone of letters sent from the administrator’s office to the Emergency Services Board.

    Mack Tolbert from Pipers Gap Rescue Squad acted as the spokesman for the other volunteer emergency medical agencies in the county as he brought these issues to the board.

  • Hillsville fire chief resigns

    HILLSVILLE — Hillsville Fire Chief Mike Musser says he decided to resign his post and step down from Carroll County's Emergency Services Board due to what he characterized as the county's lack of trust in his leadership.

    The Carroll supervisors this week sidestepped the issue of reinstating Hillsville firefighter Roger Hawthorne, who Musser said deserved a second chance.

  • Connections free for a limited time

    INDEPENDENCE — Residents of the Grant community in Grayson County are being urged to hook up to the new public water project under construction now to save money.

    The Grayson board of supervisors unanimously approved increasing the fee for a new water connection throughout the county.

    Previously, the county charged $750 for both same-side and opposite-side connections. With the approved increase, residents will be charged $850 for both types of connections countywide.

  • Veterans honor prisoner of war Talmage Sexton

    INDEPENDENCE — It’s not every day that a memorial service is held without a soldier, but it happened at the Saddle Creek Cemetery on U.S. 58 west of Independence on Oct. 30.

    A color guard from Independence VFW #7726 conducted the service for Talmage Johnson Sexton, honoring him for his service to America.

    Sexton served in the Korean War, and when it ended more than 50 years ago, the enemy never returned or accounted for more than 8,000 American servicemen.

  • Restaurant will serve free meal on Thanksgiving

    On Thursday, as some of us dig into a big turkey dinner, hundreds of people in the community will not be able to afford such a feast.

    Others may not have any friends or family in the area to celebrate with.

    A Galax restaurant is stepping up to make sure everyone, regardless of their situation, can have a Thanksgiving meal this week.

    Crawdaddy's Cajun Cafe, on Washington Street in Galax, will open its doors to anyone on Thursday for a free meal.

    Chaz Cecil, owner and chef at Crawdaddy's, is a Fries native who trained extensively as a chef in New Orleans.