Local News

  • Whitetop blasting continues

    INDEPENDENCE — A rock quarry in Whitetop was granted permanent permission from the Grayson Board of Supervisors to blast after a six-month probation period.

    Tim Miller owns the quarry on Middle Fork Lane and approached the board back in April for an amendment to his special use permit to allow blasting.

    During the meeting in April, several residents voiced their concerns and asked the supervisors to look at requirements that Miller had not met from his original special use permit before granting an amendment.

  • Phipps free after verdict overturned

    INDEPENDENCE — Tony Byron Phipps II, 20, of Independence has been released from police custody after winning his appeal of a malicious wounding conviction and being granted a new trial.

    Phipps appeared in Grayson County Circuit Court Dec. 4 for a bond hearing. Judge Brett Geisler set a secured bond of $25,000, which was later posted. Phipps was released after serving more than 12 months in prison.

    He was convicted in May 2007.

  • Animal cruelty charges taken under advisement

    HILLSVILLE — A Carroll General District judge on Nov. 25 took animal cruelty charges against a brother and sister from Fancy Gap under advisement for six months.

    George Daniel Rigney, 76, and Ruth R. Robertson, 74, had more than 50 dogs at their Fancy Gap properties on Elk Spur Road, and many of those animals were suffering from highly contagious cases of mange.

  • Vaughan-Bassett plans to increase Galax production

    Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company says the Galax plant will have to increase production and employees will go back to working on a full-time schedule, as the Elkin, N.C., factory closes down, resulting in 400 people losing their jobs.

    “We are now facing both Asian competition and a severe and possibly prolonged recession, producing the worst slump in the furniture business in at least 30 years,” said Wyatt Bassett, president and chief executive officer.

  • State can't hold seized dogs

    HILLSVILLE — Because state authorities failed to get a court date within the required time for a matter involving 63 dogs seized from a Carroll County man, possession of the dogs will return to the owner.

    A judge declined to go on with a civil hearing about the matter Tuesday because the state missed its deadline.

    It appears that David Winesett, from whom the dogs were seized during a Virginia State Police investigation into conditions at kennels at 4207 Coulson Church Road, will get his animals back as a result of the decision.

  • Terrorist attack cancels India trip

    INDEPENDENCE — Instead of touring India this week, Grayson County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas can be found at her desk in Independence — far from the turmoil and violence that erupted in that country last week.

    Thomas was one of 13 Virginia superintendents who had planned to be in India right now. The superintendents were to join Virginia Secretary of Education Thomas Morris for the trip to learn about globalization.

  • Nine convicted in Grayson/N.C. drug conspiracy

    ABINGDON — The final two defendants in a nine-member methamphetamine conspiracy case were convicted by a federal jury in Abingdon on Dec. 4.

    Jessee Dane Cox, 33, and Robert Cox, 35, both of Crumpler, N.C., were two of nine defendants indicted in January for their participation in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Grayson County and Ashe County, N.C.

    Jessee Cox was convicted of conspiracy to possess meth with the intent to distribute and of distributing 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.

  • Town DMV staff rewarded for office's success

    INDEPENDENCE — Three town employees will receive a 25 percent bonus from extra profits made through the Department of Motor Vehicles office.

    Independence Town Council called a special meeting Nov. 21 to consider the proposal on what to do with money being made by the town's DMV Select office.

    After more than 90 minutes in closed session discussing the proposal, Vice Mayor Tom Maxwell motioned to accept the DMV funds as proposed. The motion was seconded by Council Member Jason Cassell and passed with a 3-0 vote.

  • WCC to offer new scholarships

    A new program funded by the Virginia Tobacco Commission will allow Wytheville Community College students — who don’t qualify for traditional financial aid, but still have financial needs — the opportunity to receive scholarships, announced Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-Henry County) at a press conference at the Crossroads Institute on Monday.

  • Burglary suspects indicted

    HILLSVILLE — A Carroll County grand jury on Monday indicted four men who were allegedly discovered breaking in to a Dugspur home Aug. 26 in daylight and then tried to elude police.

    The grand jury certified multiple counts against three brothers and another man in connection with the break-in.

    An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.

    The incident happened at the home of David Branscome Jr., who returned home that day to discover the men.