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Michael Howlett

Position: Staff Writer
E-Mail Address: mhowlett@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: (276) 779-4013

Latest Stories by Michael Howlett

Ricky Thomas, president and owner of Thomas Automation Management, LLC (TAM), announced during a press conference on Dec. 18 he will invest $1 million to expand his operation in Carroll County. The expansion will create 15 new jobs.
TAM is a firm that provides updates for control systems and builds new systems to replace obsolete technology. In ad

TAM expansion will create 15 new jobs

Ricky Thomas, president and owner of Thomas Automation Management, LLC (TAM), announced during a press conference on Dec. 18 he will invest $1 million to expand his operation in Carroll County. The expansion will create 15 new jobs. TAM is a firm that provides updates for control systems and builds new systems to replace obsolete technology. In ad

About 10 days ago, we began our Christmas decorating, adorning our home inside and out with festive lights, greenery, Santas of various sizes, reindeers that light up just like the real ones and, of course, elves of suspect gender.
Now, we don't purposely use elves of suspect gender, it's just that with elves it's hard to tell what gender you're d

Christmas preparations take a nasty turn

About 10 days ago, we began our Christmas decorating, adorning our home inside and out with festive lights, greenery, Santas of various sizes, reindeers that light up just like the real ones and, of course, elves of suspect gender. Now, we don't purposely use elves of suspect gender, it's just that with elves it's hard to tell what gender you're d

Jackson Thompson, son of Charles and Monica Thompson, was crowned Carroll County Public Schools Geography Bee champion during competition on Dec. 4.
Jackson, who was the Hillsville Elementary School champ, bested runners-up Thomas Montgomery and Jadon Kee. Montgomery, son of Shawn and Chenoa Montgomery, was the Fancy Gap Elementary School champ an

Thompson wins county's Geography Bee

Jackson Thompson, son of Charles and Monica Thompson, was crowned Carroll County Public Schools Geography Bee champion during competition on Dec. 4. Jackson, who was the Hillsville Elementary School champ, bested runners-up Thomas Montgomery and Jadon Kee. Montgomery, son of Shawn and Chenoa Montgomery, was the Fancy Gap Elementary School champ an

The 31 members of the Carroll County High School Chorus earning all-district honors were recognized during the Carroll County School Board meeting on Dec. 9.
“I'm very proud of the kid, they've worked so hard,” said CCHS Choral Director Chandra Harmon. “We had the second highest number of students chosen behind Abingdon who had m

CCHS has 31 students named to all-district chorus

The 31 members of the Carroll County High School Chorus earning all-district honors were recognized during the Carroll County School Board meeting on Dec. 9. “I'm very proud of the kid, they've worked so hard,” said CCHS Choral Director Chandra Harmon. “We had the second highest number of students chosen behind Abingdon who had m

The float winners for the Hillsville Christmas Parade have been announced.
The theme of the parade was “Family Traditions” and the first-place winner in that category belonged to Foothills Chiropractic of Pulaski. Second place went to Little Tykes and third place to Pet Partners.
Woodlawn Pentecostal Holiness Church placed first in th

Hillsville's Christmas Celebration Impressive

The float winners for the Hillsville Christmas Parade have been announced. The theme of the parade was “Family Traditions” and the first-place winner in that category belonged to Foothills Chiropractic of Pulaski. Second place went to Little Tykes and third place to Pet Partners. Woodlawn Pentecostal Holiness Church placed first in th

Senior citizens get a lot of heat for being bad drivers. They are accused of driving too slow, turning without making sure there is no oncoming traffic and, of course, flipping on their turn signal miles ahead of Fast Eddie's Denture World.
While this may be unfair, I must admit that I am among those who may be casting seniors as a bunch of bad dr

Driving is in my blood

Senior citizens get a lot of heat for being bad drivers. They are accused of driving too slow, turning without making sure there is no oncoming traffic and, of course, flipping on their turn signal miles ahead of Fast Eddie's Denture World. While this may be unfair, I must admit that I am among those who may be casting seniors as a bunch of bad dr

The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation will be holding its first Christmas Open House on Dec. 13-14. The open house runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.
“We've had lot of people say they would like to visit the Carter home, but didn't know when to come. We just want people to have a chance to come and see what we h

Carter Home to hold Christmas open house Dec. 13-14

The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation will be holding its first Christmas Open House on Dec. 13-14. The open house runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. “We've had lot of people say they would like to visit the Carter home, but didn't know when to come. We just want people to have a chance to come and see what we h

The words Hillsville and corporate headquarters don't normally go together in a sentence. However, thanks to Brian Spencer that is about to change.
Spencer, president of Young and Associates, an employed-owned company, is moving the headquarters of his Shoney's franchise, from Bristol, Tenn., to Hillsville.
“I just wanted to bring attention

Shoney's headquarters moving to Hillsville

The words Hillsville and corporate headquarters don't normally go together in a sentence. However, thanks to Brian Spencer that is about to change. Spencer, president of Young and Associates, an employed-owned company, is moving the headquarters of his Shoney's franchise, from Bristol, Tenn., to Hillsville. “I just wanted to bring attention

The Golden Harvest Thrift Shop opened its doors 31 years ago, but by the end of the year the store that so many people from Carroll and surrounding counties have relied on will be out of business.
Golden Harvest, which was opened as an outreach effort by the Carroll County Ministerial Association in 1983, will not accept any donations after Dec. 9

Golden Harvest shutting its doors after 31 years

The Golden Harvest Thrift Shop opened its doors 31 years ago, but by the end of the year the store that so many people from Carroll and surrounding counties have relied on will be out of business. Golden Harvest, which was opened as an outreach effort by the Carroll County Ministerial Association in 1983, will not accept any donations after Dec. 9

David Young, Hillsville town councilman from the Pipers Gap District and owner of Fancy Gap Auction, presented $500 to the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) at Carroll County Middle School (CCMS) during the council's meeting on Nov. 24.
Young said when he learned that the NJHS was raising money to help needy students at Christmas from his grand

Young, Fancy Gap Auction donation to benefit National Junior Honors Society

David Young, Hillsville town councilman from the Pipers Gap District and owner of Fancy Gap Auction, presented $500 to the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) at Carroll County Middle School (CCMS) during the council's meeting on Nov. 24. Young said when he learned that the NJHS was raising money to help needy students at Christmas from his grand

Jeff Montgomery has been involved in music just about his whole life.
A Carroll County native, he began singing when he was three years old, influenced by his father, the late Gerald Morris Montgomery, who was a member of the Montgomery Family Gospel Group.
“He is now gone to be with loved ones and with Jesus, but as a child I loved to hear

Montgomery signs recording contract with AMC

Jeff Montgomery has been involved in music just about his whole life. A Carroll County native, he began singing when he was three years old, influenced by his father, the late Gerald Morris Montgomery, who was a member of the Montgomery Family Gospel Group. “He is now gone to be with loved ones and with Jesus, but as a child I loved to hear

I came across an article the other day about the strange majors that colleges across the land were offering these days. This, of course, caught my attention since strange is very appealing to me and college is a place where a lot of strange happens.
Although being allowed to major in something like paranormal studies, comedy or comic book art at a

Colleges opening up new fields for study

I came across an article the other day about the strange majors that colleges across the land were offering these days. This, of course, caught my attention since strange is very appealing to me and college is a place where a lot of strange happens. Although being allowed to major in something like paranormal studies, comedy or comic book art at a

The Carroll County girls' basketball team will once again be a force to deal with this season, not only in the River Ridge District but beyond.
The Cavaliers are deeper and more versatile this year than last when a loss in the Group 4-A North Regionals to Charlottesville ended their season at 19-5.
“I really felt we should have won that gam

Sky's the limit for Lady Cavs

The Carroll County girls' basketball team will once again be a force to deal with this season, not only in the River Ridge District but beyond. The Cavaliers are deeper and more versatile this year than last when a loss in the Group 4-A North Regionals to Charlottesville ended their season at 19-5. “I really felt we should have won that gam

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for something new on Thanksgiving. Sure, I love turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes. I love cakes and pies. I love it when Aunt Edna has one too many hot toddies, strips down to her underpants and begins to careen around the yard screaming “I'm the queen of Montana!”
Nobody in the family knows wh

Looking to spice up Thanksgiving

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for something new on Thanksgiving. Sure, I love turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes. I love cakes and pies. I love it when Aunt Edna has one too many hot toddies, strips down to her underpants and begins to careen around the yard screaming “I'm the queen of Montana!” Nobody in the family knows wh

Carroll County High School's Eustaica Smith has decided to continue her volleyball career on the collegiate level at the University of Virginia-Wise. Smith signed on Nov. 20 after choosing the Cavaliers over Ferrum College and Roanoke College.
Although Smith was also a standout softball player, she said volleyball was the sport she wanted to play

Smith signs with UVA-Wise

Carroll County High School's Eustaica Smith has decided to continue her volleyball career on the collegiate level at the University of Virginia-Wise. Smith signed on Nov. 20 after choosing the Cavaliers over Ferrum College and Roanoke College. Although Smith was also a standout softball player, she said volleyball was the sport she wanted to play

Carroll Christmas Fund a blessing for needy families

With Christmas just over a month away, the Carroll Christmas Fund is working at full speed to once again help make the holiday season much nicer for those families in need. “It's early, but it looks like the need is going to be about like last year,” said Dennis Ward, head of the Christmas Fund. “Every year we hope there is less

TCRH counselors available to help with Marketplace enrollment

Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace began on Nov. 15 and Twin County Regional Hospital (TCRH) is reaching out to the community, offering assistance to anyone seeking help securing low-cost health coverage. The hospital's five certified application counselors will be available to help people navigate the application process, re-enroll o

Council denies rezoning request for Edgewood Drive

Hillsville Town Council rejected a rezoning request for property on Edgewood Drive during its Nov. 10 meeting following a recommendation from the Hillsville Planning Commission to do so. Ann Largin, chair of the planning commission, said since the Oct. 27 public hearing on the rezoning request by Al Wyllie that 18 people had voiced their oppositio

Business owners voice concerns over Main Street parking

Several citizens addressed Hillsville Town Council during its Nov. 10 meeting about the parking situation on Main Street. Laura Sinclair, owner of Sunny Cove Designs, said there were two parking spaces in front of her business, one was reserved for handicapped parking and the other doesn't allow truck parking. “Furniture is delivered to my





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