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Local News

  • GHS renovation on schedule

    Galax High School Principal Bill Sturgill and Galax School Board Superintendent Sam Cook couldn't hide their excitement as they walked through the hallways of GHS, pointing out each recently restored classroom, rooms that are undergoing construction and the soon-to-be main entrance.

    This is all a part of an $8 million renovation project, which is expected to be complete in October. The school was built in the 1950s and hasn't had much of an update since.

  • Citizens allege wasteful spending

    HILLSVILLE — Besides accusing Carroll supervisors of being late to their public hearing on the fiscal year 2008-09 budget proposal, citizens also slammed the board for wasteful spending.

    The speakers at Monday’s hearing took the opportunity to share with the supervisors their opinions about the budget proposal that features a 59.5-cent real estate tax levy, following close on the heels of a land reassessment that pushed property values higher by an average of 40 percent.

  • Board rejects new school bids

    INDEPENDENCE — After receiving initial bids for the new school to be built in the Volney community of Grayson County, school board members opted to readvertise for construction bids after making some changes to the plan.

    Bids were due on June 3 for constructing the new facility, originally proposed to cost $6 million. The school board received three bids — all of which were far more than the proposed amount.

  • Republicans pick Butler for Elk Creek supervisor

    Elk Creek Republicans nominated Emil Butler as their choice for Grayson County supervisor during a mass meeting on June 5.

    Grayson will hold a special election for the Elk Creek district supervisor’s seat during the November general election.

    Supervisor Ralph Tuggle was in the midst of his second term when he resigned Nov. 20, 2007 to spend more time with his wife, Nancy, who was suffering health problems.

    Supervisors appointed Chris Morton to fill the vacancy for one year, as required by law. Morton decided not to seek election.

  • Hillsville designated 'Preserve America' community

    HILLSVILLE — The town's history has landed it a significant designation, becoming one of the country's newest "Preserve America" communities.

    Mayor Randall Gravely announced the achievement at Monday's meeting of Hillsville Town Council, and read a congratulatory letter from First Lady Laura Bush, honorary chairman of Preserve America.

    "This will allow Hillsville to apply for grants that we couldn't have otherwise," Gravely said. "We're going to put this to good use."

  • Asbestos discovery stalls prison construction

    INDEPENDENCE — Workers have stopped construction at a medium-security prison site near Independence after discovering naturally occurring asbestos in rock there.

    Workers found the naturally occurring asbestos vein on May 9, said Virginia Department of Corrections Director Larry Traylor.

  • Galax changing signals

    Throughout the next few weeks, the City of Galax will phase out the current loop system at intersections along East Stuart Drive (U.S. 58) and install cameras above traffic signals to improve the traffic flow patterns and help save the city money.

    Installing cameras at one intersection each time, it may take six to eight weeks to install all of the cameras. The city will start at the Cranberry Road/East Stuart Drive intersection on Monday, closing one lane of traffic for the installation.

  • Carroll PSA flushes fees

    HILLSVILLE — Service fees got flushed — for the time being — and alternative sewage treatment options resurfaced at a special Carroll Public Service Authority meeting on Tuesday.

    Authority members resolved several outstanding water and sewer system questions at the meeting, like scheduling a public hearing on changes in fees and rates.

  • Adult abuse too often ignored

    Each year, elders and incapacitated adults are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation by caretakers and others.

    Signified by a purple ribbon, May is recognized as Adult Abuse Prevention Month, and social services departments in Galax, Carroll and Grayson get out information to make the public aware of the overwhelming statistics and what can be done to prevent abuse.

    Byron Fowler, a social worker at the Galax Department of Social Services, said he has posted information on church bulletins and provided information to the staff of local nursing homes.

  • Arrest rumors refuted

    INDEPENDENCE — Despite several rumors that spread on Wednesday — that a person of interest had been named in the 2002 murder of Brandon Billings — Grayson Commonwealth Attorney Douglas Vaught said that was not the case.

    “The investigation into the Brandon Billings murder is continuing, although no persons of interest have been identified. Both the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Grayson Sheriff’s Office continue to extend their support to the Billings family,” said Vaught in a press release Wednesday.