Today's News

  • Why Virginia needs a farm bill now

    By J. Calvin Parrish, state executive director for the USDA Farm Service Agency; and Ellen Davis, state director for USDA Rural Development


    INDEPENDENCE — Charges have been placed in the 11-year-old unsolved murder case of Brandon Billings, a Galax High School student found shot to death in his truck in 2002.

    According to Grayson Commonwealth's Attorney Doug Vaught, a Special Investigative Grand Jury convened by the Grayson County Circuit Court returned separate indictments charging that Chad Allen Reeves, 33, and George Albert Harper III, 40, did “with malice aforethought, kill and murder” Kyle Brandon Billings at some time between Oct. 5 and 6, 2002.

  • Cheerleaders center of attention at ACC game

    CHARLOTTE –– Eighteen cheerleaders from Carroll County were among a squad of nearly 300 to perform during pregame festivities at the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium in December.

    Individual cheer squads were selected for the performance based on the awards they received at Universal Cheerleaders Association camps over the summer. The cheerleaders – 285 in all – participated in the ACC FanFest and got to watch a Sarah Evans concert, then spent several hours practicing together on the Carolina Pathers’ practice field.

  • Carroll girls block Titan upset bid

    ROANOKE –– Haley Turman blocked two shots in the final seconds to help Carroll County hold off Hidden Valley for a 40-39 road win in a River Ridge District girls’ basketball game Friday.

    Turman’s first rejection resulted in a dead-ball rebound for the Titans, but she was there again to swat a Hidden Valley attempt at the horn.

    Turman scored all six of her points in the fourth quarter to go with eight rebounds. Her assist set up Crysta Guynn with what would prove to be the winning backet with 30 seconds to play.

  • Shorthanded, Galax pulls away

    With eight healthy bodies in uniform for Wednesday’s Mountain Empire District game with Fort Chiswell, Galax coach Yerrick Stoneman channelled his inner Norman Dale.

    “My team is on the floor,” he said later, quoting the coach from the 1986 movie “Hoosiers.”

    Unlike Coach Dale, Stoneman didn’t have Jimmy Chitwood coming off the picket fence to nail the game-winning shot. He did have Carleigh Pack coming off the bench to nail Fort Chiswell with a career night.

  • Tide bounces back against Fort

    Following a lackluster performance Friday at Graham in which Galax saw a two-point third-quarter deficit turn into a 15-point loss, the Maroon Tide players experienced a little chewing out after the game and in practice the following Monday.

    The Tide responded by doing a little chewing up on Wednesday.

    Galax clamped down defensively on Fort Chiswell to the tune of just two first-half field goals, racing out to a 28-point halftime lead and bouncing back with a 70-47 Mountain Empire District win.

  • Bids received for Exit 1 water improvements

    HILLSVILLE – Bids have been received by the Carroll County Public Service Authority (PSA), which will allow future growth at the  Exit 1 interchange on Interstate 77.
    Eight companies submitted base and additive bids for the project, which were opened by the authority Dec. 17. The additive bid was for the addition of pump station/tank monitoring and control equipment.
    Eastern Tank & Utility Service Inc. of Princeton, W.Va., submitted the apparent low bid of $720,394 and additive bid of $47,000.

  • Sen. Carrico files school prayer bill

    RICHMOND — A state senator who has waded into religious freedom issues in past legislation wants to add language protecting students’ expressions of faith while in school, according to the text of Senate Bill No. 236.
    Sen. Bill Carrico, a former state trooper who serves District 40 in the Virginia Senate, previously sought to overturn a Virginia State Police administrative order telling its chaplains to deliver non-denominational prayers at official events while still in the House of Delegates.

  • Supervisors question late agenda items, nepotism

    INDEPENDENCE — After the last month’s rather divisive Grayson County Board of Supervisors meetings, this Monday’s organizational meeting was calm by comparison.
    However, some lingering tensions simmered beneath the surface.
    For example,  Oldtown District Supervisor and former chairman Kenneth Belton inquired about establishing an anti-nepotism policy, while Wilson District Supervisor Glen Rosenbaum questioned whether the board could amend its rules of procedure to allow items to be added to the board’s agenda at a meeting.

  • Hall retires after 38 years at Extension

    HILLSVILLE — Those recognizing Sallie Hall for her 38 years with a nutrition program through the Virginia Extension Service served up a heaping helping of fun on Jan. 4.
    Organizers lured Hall to the Carroll Senior Citizens Center for a “roast,” as well as a spaghetti dinner dished out of a row of crockpots.
    Hall took time to greet each of the approximately 50 people in attendance, before opening gifts presented by storyteller Vickie Town and hearing memories by Matthew Miller, an Extension agent who worked with her for about six years.