http://www.independencedeclaration.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en New deadline approved for real estate taxes http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/new-deadline-approved-real-estate-taxes <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/kelly_haga_0.jpg" alt="Kelly Haga discusses delinquent taxes, decals at the March board meeting " title="Kelly Haga discusses delinquent taxes, decals at the March board meeting " align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Grayson County Treasurer Kelly Haga returned to the Board of Supervisors this month to finalize discussions on the county&rsquo;s policy of putting real estate up for auction with the Code of Virginia.<br /> Following a discussion between Haga and the board, the board approved shortening the time frame from five years of delinquency to three years &mdash; two years after properties become delinquent, plus an additional year after a lien has been placed.<br /> Plans for outdoor recreation project on hold http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/plans-outdoor-recreation-project-hold <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/fries_project_2.jpg" alt="Steve Clark and Eileen Colonna approached the board at a recent meeting to present a proposal for leasing the property behind Fries School " title="Steve Clark and Eileen Colonna approached the board at a recent meeting to present a proposal for leasing the property behind Fries School " align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> <strong>By LARRY CHAMBERS and SHAINA STOCKTON<br /> Staff</strong><br /> <br /> INDEPENDENCE &ndash; The Grayson County School Board has delayed action on a request to lease property behind the Fries School for outdoor games.<br /> Steve Clark and his wife Eileen Colonna approached the school board last month with a proposal, requesting to lease the old tennis/basketball court riverside property in Fries.<br /> County hires new Planning, Community Development Director http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/county-hires-new-planning-community-development-director <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/will_crawford.jpg" alt="Will Crawford" title="Will Crawford" align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Grayson County staff recently welcomed Will Crawford to their staff, who will serve as the county&rsquo;s new Planning and Community Development Director.<br /> Crawford fills the empty seat left last December by Elaine Holeton, who served as the director for five years before accepting a new position with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).<br /> Grayson Glades preserve gains 22 acres http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/grayson-glades-preserve-gains-22-acres <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/grayson_glades_1.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="91" height="85" /><p> FAIRVIEW &mdash; In December of 2016, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) acquired a 22-acre parcel that expands the Grayson Glades Natural Area Preserve. The acquisition, funded by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), increases the preserve to 53 acres.<br /> Schools request funding for sign http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/schools-request-funding-sign <p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Members of the Independence Town Council were approached by Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore this month, who requested help with upgrading the old sign in front of the high school.<br /> Wilmore explained to the council that he was looking for financial assistance to upgrade or replace the sign with a digital one, to notify the community of upcoming events for not just the school, but the town as well.<br /> Wilmore has already looked into pricing for this upgrade, and revealed that the total cost for a new sign would range from $15,000 - $20,000.<br /> Grayson schools, Discovery Center to host science fair http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/grayson-schools-discovery-center-host-science-fair <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/brdc_science_fair_2.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="151" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash;&nbsp;The Blue Ridge Discovery Center (BRDC), in partnership with Grayson County Public Schools, will hold the first-ever BRDC Science Fair at Independence Middle School April 7. Parents and family are encouraged to attend the fair.<br /> This event will give students a chance to exercise their creative thinking skills, learn more about their interests and share their discoveries with others.&nbsp;Project questions arise from the participant&rsquo;s own experience and context, and students are encouraged to tackle challenges related to the Blue Ridge region.<br /> Community and family values http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/community-and-family-values <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/p1060738.jpg" alt="Students in Jamey Wingate&#039;s class partnering with Grayson County 4-H " title="Students in Jamey Wingate&#039;s class partnering with Grayson County 4-H " align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; A new mentoring program through a partnership between the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Grayson County Career and Technical Education (CATE) Center, is seeking to build positive relationships between high school students and their younger peers, as well as their families.<br /> Beginning this year, the CATE Center&rsquo;s Parenting and Child Development Class will be the central hub for a student mentorship program. Students, ages 9-12, may choose to participate in the mentorship for 30 6th graders from Independence Middle School.<br /> Trail project Phase II completed http://www.independencedeclaration.com/content/trail-project-phase-ii-completed <img src="http://www.independencedeclaration.com/sites/www.independencedeclaration.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/p1060768.jpg" alt="Pictured from left to right: Elaine R. Holeton, John Fant, Mike Hash, Kenneth Belton, Mitch Smith, Shirley Gordon Will Crawford, Jimmy Moss, Brenda Sutherland" title="Pictured from left to right: Elaine R. Holeton, John Fant, Mike Hash, Kenneth Belton, Mitch Smith, Shirley Gordon Will Crawford, Jimmy Moss, Brenda Sutherland" align="left" hspace="6" width="111" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Town of Independence and Grayson County officials gathered at the Crooked Road Kiosk off of Morton Drive in Independence last Thursday, to celebrate the completion of Phase II with the Grayson County Enhancement Trail Project. The milestone was celebrated with a brief ceremony, and a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon.<br /> Phase II of the Grayson County Enhancement Trail project is part of a three-phased approach. This completed portion connects Nautilus Way Rd. and travels along Grayson Parkway to the entrance of the Industrial Park.<br />