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Local News

  • Horton convicted of animal cruelty charges

    By CHRISTOPHER BROOKE

    Staff

    HILLSVILLE — Found guilty of 14 counts of animal cruelty and 25 counts of neglect, a commercial dog breeder from Hillsville received 14 years of probation and saw his kennels limited to 250 dogs and puppies by a Carroll County General District Court judge Friday.

    These misdemeanors against Lanzie Horton Jr. of Hillsville — plus a charge for exceeding his Carroll County-issued kennel license — were brought after a covert video taken by animal advocates spotlighted Horton's Pups in a probe of Virginia puppy mills.

  • New Grayson school gets name, colors, mascot

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson Highlands School will be the name of the new facility being built in the Volney area of the county, with silver and burgundy as the school colors and the eagle as its mascot.

    After sending sheets home with every student and faculty member at Bridle Creek Elementary and Mount Rogers Combined School, Grayson Schools’ Director of Personnel Chad Newman took the top three choices for the name, school colors and mascot

  • Fuel, other costs rising for Galax schools

    With a slumping economy and high fuel costs, Galax Schools' Superintendent Sam Cook is concerned about receiving enough state sales tax revenue to help fund the proposed $13.73 million budget that has been approved by Galax City Council.

    The revised 2007-08 school budget included $1.01 million in sales tax revenue. This year, the school system hopes to receive $1.03 million, an $18,000 increase.

    The city and school board also estimate the following revenue:

    • $8.51 million from state funds including sales tax, a $1,038,848 increase

  • Local judge in trouble again

    M. Keith Blankenship, 43, of Wytheville, is in trouble with the law for the second time in the past two months.

    Blankenship is a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge for the 27th Judicial District, which includes Grayson, Bland, Carroll, Floyd and Wythe counties.

    Blankenship was arrested at his home on May 3 and charged with one count of misdemeanor hit-and-run following the alleged incident that occurred April 27 in Powhatan County, near Richmond.

  • Days after her rescue, woman saves another's life

    WOODLAWN — The rescued became the rescuer May 5 when Donnie Rosenbaum had a heart attack outside of a Woodlawn home.

    It was that home’s resident that Rosenbaum credits with keeping his heart beating until emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene.

    The Galax man had been to the home of Starr Heavner to look at an entertainment center for sale, but suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing after he got in a vehicle to leave.

  • Carroll receives forfeited drug money

    HILLSVILLE — While turning over forfeited money from the sale of illegal drugs to Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning, an assistant U.S. Attorney expressed satisfaction that something good could arise from something so bad.

  • Budget amendment could fund Hillsville road

    RICHMOND — Improvements to a proposed connector road to the Hillsville bypass got a foot in the door of the state budget recently.

    As their last official act before terms expired in December, four members of the Carroll Board of Supervisors asked the General Assembly to provide funding to connect U.S. 221 and Virginia 100 via Virginia 669.

    They want it to be built at the same time as construction to widen U.S. 58 to four lanes on the south side of Hillsville.

  • Council splits on parking request

    HILLSVILLE — As a rule, Hillsville Town Council members don’t split on a vote very often, but they did Monday over a request for two 10-minute parking spaces.

    The parking spaces on Court Street were requested by Council Member Greg Yonce, on behalf of the owners of Court Street Coffee Company.

    Yonce also brought up the request Jan. 14 in the form of a motion to approve the 10-minute spaces, but at the time no other council member wanted to take up a vote and the motion died without a second.

  • Carroll puppy mill owner charged

    HILLSVILLE — Even as a bill to regulate puppy mills continues to make progress in the Virginia General Assembly, Carroll County officials charged a Hillsville dog breeder with multiple counts of animal cruelty and neglect.

    Charges against Lanzie Carroll Horton Jr., also known as “Junior,” came Thursday as the result of covert video taken by animal advocates at Horton's Pups in Hillsville, one of the so-called “puppy mills.”

    Additionally, an employee for Horton’s Pups was charged by warrant on Friday.

  • Evidence collected at crime scene, murder suspect's home

    INDEPENDENCE — The man charged with three counts of capital murder at a Grayson County tree farm last month has drawn scrutiny from police in other cases.

    According to Pennsylvania court documents, Frederick Phillip Hammer, 48, previously served prison time after being convicted of killing an off-duty Philadelphia police officer in 1978. Six years later, a judge ordered a new trial at which Hammer was acquitted of charges.