Today's News

  • Hillsville, Fries on stimulus priority list

    It appears two local projects still in the running to get state water and sewer stimulus funds belong to Hillsville and Fries.

    The state received a total of 294 applications, requesting more than $1.36 billion for water and sewer projects, but Virginia only received a total of $77 million from the federal government.

  • Huddle House still considering Galax

    Huddle House, a full-service family restaurant, could open in Galax by the end of the year if negotiations go smoothly, said Jim Bullock, franchise development director.

    Huddle House began advertising in The Gazette last summer to find a local franchise owner, and after speaking with several prospective local entrepreneurs, the company is in promising negotiations with one local, who should sign contracts within a couple of months.

    Construction should begin by early fall, said Bullock.

  • AmeriPumps retooling expectations

    HILLSVILLE — AmeriPumps announced it would open a facility in Hillsville last July and the company began ramping up as the recession started to squeeze businesses across the nation.

    Now, the market for the industrial pumps that AmeriPumps assembles and distributes throughout the Western Hemisphere has changed.

    These massive pumps run on Caterpillar diesel engines and feature patented Sykes Pumps from England.

  • Carroll court unseals charges

    HILLSVILLE — Several unsealed indictments have been released by the Carroll Circuit Court.

    Indictments are typically sealed until warrants can be served to those named in the court papers.

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

    The unsealed indictments named:

    • Brenda Dawn Bowers — obtaining drugs by false pretenses, four counts.

    • Robert T. Mabe — two counts of embezzlement from the Commonwealth of Virginia

    • Marshall Nelson Sheets — obtain money by false pretenses

  • Auto industry uncertainty drives dealership changes

    Selling its Ford dealership in Woodlawn in November and closing its Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership in Galax last month were not only ways of dealing with economic challenges facing the auto companies, but also a way to better focus on customers, said Johnson Family of Dealerships owner Jeff Johnson.

    He also owns Johnson Automotive in Hillsville and Jeff Johnson Chevrolet in Woodlawn, and these dealerships offer the largest variety of vehicles in Galax and the Twin County area.

  • Carroll considers fire fees

    HILLSVILLE — Fees for fire department services, charged to insurance companies, might be on the agenda in Carroll County in the near future.

    Included in the April board meeting packet for the Carroll County Supervisors as an informational item is a draft ordinance written by Emergency Services Director Joe Roma.

    The draft states that the idea is to "offset the continued cost of providing emergency fire protection services and to provide funds to equip and operate such services to promote the public health, safety and welfare."

  • People Inc. offers 'micro loans' for small businesses

    The team of Twin County localities and People Inc. will make available a small business loan program, after the state chipped in $200,000.

    Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development provided the grant and community action agency People Inc. of Southwest Virginia matched that with $120,000 borrowed from the Small Business Administration, said Robert Goldsmith, People Inc.'s president and CEO.

  • Bench still empty in 27th Judicial District

    The General Assembly made no appointment to fill the vacant 27th Judicial District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judgeship before adjourning this year's session.

    That means that no action has been taken to find a permanent replacement for Michael Keith Blankenship, who resigned from that post at the end of last year.

    Legislators normally make the judicial appointments, but the state senators and delegates could not come to a consensus on the pool of candidates for the judgeship.

  • Owner hopes changes bring customers to Journey's End

    INDEPENDENCE — In tough economic times, people are quick to give up many things, one of which is eating out.

    Taphne Taylor owns and operates the Davis Bourne Inn and Journey's End Restaurant in Independence, and knows all about the hard times. In recent months, she has been working overtime to come up with new ideas to bring business to both her restaurant and inn.

    One recent change was to hire a new chef to cook at her restaurant.

  • Letters to the Editor for 4/6/09

    Boucher voting record 'pro-abortion'

    At a town hall meeting in March, Rep. Rick Boucher responded to questions about the inappropriately named Freedom of Choice Act.

    He stated opposition to radical proee'abortion provisions in question and denied that such a bill existed.