Today's News

  • Court sets aside 4-6 weeks for Hammer trial

    INDEPENDENCE — Independence attorney Jonathon Venzie, one of the lawyers representing Frederick Hammer on five charges of capital murder and 11 other charges, told Grayson Circuit Judge Brett Geisler that Hammer's trial could last between four and six weeks.

    The charges against Hammer stem from the killings of Ronald Hudler, 73; his son, Frederick Hudler, 44; and farm worker John Miller Jr. , 25, on Jan. 24.

  • Tempest in a tree stand

    HILLSVILLE — The latest dust-up between Carroll County and Hillsville is all tied up with a Christmas bow. Two days after Hillsville held its annual Christmas tree lighting, county officials insisted the town's artificial

  • State to appeal dog custody case

    HILLSVILLE — Dogs being held in the state's care as the result of an investigation into a Carroll County man appear to be in legal limbo at the moment.

    In investigating reports of poor conditions in kennels owned by David Winesett of Coulson Church Road, Virginia State Police seized 63 dogs.

  • Responsible spending

    In response to your Nov. 24 editorial “Policing the budget,” I’m disappointed that it was filled with such a lack of understanding about local government budget management.

    Our board never criticized the Sheriff for “needing the money.” Any comments made were related to a well-founded concern about the sheriff’s budget exceeding expenses the county had budgeted.

    We expect every department of Grayson County government to abide by the budget passed. In Grayson County, budgets are firm.

  • 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.