Michael Howlett

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

Latest Stories by Michael Howlett

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

Hillsville Town Manager Retta Jackson was arrested and charged with a DUI and failure to update her license in Wytheville on Nov. 16. Jackson was taken to New River Valley Jail and released on her own recognizance later that day.
According to a crash investigation report by the Virginia State Police, Virginia State Trooper J.J. Graham was called t

Town manager charged with DUI

Hillsville Town Manager Retta Jackson was arrested and charged with a DUI and failure to update her license in Wytheville on Nov. 16. Jackson was taken to New River Valley Jail and released on her own recognizance later that day. According to a crash investigation report by the Virginia State Police, Virginia State Trooper J.J. Graham was called t

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

I guess by now everyone has heard about a list of words that employees are forbidden to use while working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. The list, which has now apparently been proven to be fake, contained slang commonly used by young people, most of which are used only in youth-oriented conversations or in the Urban Dictionary.
Since I despise Chic

Holy fanny adams, I'm zooped

I guess by now everyone has heard about a list of words that employees are forbidden to use while working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. The list, which has now apparently been proven to be fake, contained slang commonly used by young people, most of which are used only in youth-oriented conversations or in the Urban Dictionary. Since I despise Chic

Fred Mitchell, who teaches chemistry at Carroll County High School, has been named the school system's Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship and other central office staff surprised Mitchell with the award during class on Nov. 14. The group also brought along cupcakes and other assorted goodies to share with Mitchell's pupils

Mitchell named Carroll's Teacher of the Year

Fred Mitchell, who teaches chemistry at Carroll County High School, has been named the school system's Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship and other central office staff surprised Mitchell with the award during class on Nov. 14. The group also brought along cupcakes and other assorted goodies to share with Mitchell's pupils

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

Laura Beth Parnell was named Hillsville's Citizen of the Month for November by Town Manager Retta Jackson during town council's meeting on Nov. 10.
“My citizen of the month is someone who is very active in the community,” said Jackson. “After she attended Virginia Tech and graduated from Radford University in 2006, she and her hu

Parnell named Citizen of the Month for November

Laura Beth Parnell was named Hillsville's Citizen of the Month for November by Town Manager Retta Jackson during town council's meeting on Nov. 10. “My citizen of the month is someone who is very active in the community,” said Jackson. “After she attended Virginia Tech and graduated from Radford University in 2006, she and her hu

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

This year's change in Hillsville's Christmas celebration drew an angry response from the Downtown Merchants Association during the town council meeting on Nov. 10.
In prior years, the Christmas Parade had a 4 p.m. start and was followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony. However, this year's plans call for the tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. with the parad

Merchants upset with change in town's Christmas celebration

This year's change in Hillsville's Christmas celebration drew an angry response from the Downtown Merchants Association during the town council meeting on Nov. 10. In prior years, the Christmas Parade had a 4 p.m. start and was followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony. However, this year's plans call for the tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. with the parad

You know, I've tried to help those of you out there who didn't have a special someone. I've written about online dating sights, I've given tips on what not do on first dates, and discussed ways you could make yourself more attractive to that special someone. But it has come to my attention that, apparently, some readers are still missing a cutie-pi

Natashas still the queens of mail-order brides

You know, I've tried to help those of you out there who didn't have a special someone. I've written about online dating sights, I've given tips on what not do on first dates, and discussed ways you could make yourself more attractive to that special someone. But it has come to my attention that, apparently, some readers are still missing a cutie-pi

After 13 years as an attorney, Brad Dalton will soon be viewing the law from a different perspective, thanks to his commission as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations court judge for the 27th Judicial District of Virginia.
“I'm excited about the challenge and the opportunity to, hopefully, have a positive impact on the lives of children and adu

Dalton named Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court judge

After 13 years as an attorney, Brad Dalton will soon be viewing the law from a different perspective, thanks to his commission as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations court judge for the 27th Judicial District of Virginia. “I'm excited about the challenge and the opportunity to, hopefully, have a positive impact on the lives of children and adu

God's Helping Hands Kitchen, which serves free meals twice a month, is a result of God's will, according to Elnor Martin.
“God told me to do this. He called me to feed people in Hillsville,” said Martin, who lives in the Dugspur area of Carroll County.
After Martin and her daughter, April, a opened a new business, Watt's The Idea?, in

God's Kitchen serving free meals

God's Helping Hands Kitchen, which serves free meals twice a month, is a result of God's will, according to Elnor Martin. “God told me to do this. He called me to feed people in Hillsville,” said Martin, who lives in the Dugspur area of Carroll County. After Martin and her daughter, April, a opened a new business, Watt's The Idea?, in

There are big changes in store this holiday season for the Town of Hillsville's annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony.
“The Friends of Hillsville, Carroll County and the Town of Hillsville have all come together for a new approach to our festivities,” said Jessica Talley, the town's events coordinator.
The theme of this y

Big changes in store for town's Christmas celebration

There are big changes in store this holiday season for the Town of Hillsville's annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony. “The Friends of Hillsville, Carroll County and the Town of Hillsville have all come together for a new approach to our festivities,” said Jessica Talley, the town's events coordinator. The theme of this y

What do you get when you mix an avid bow hunter with a high school chemistry teacher? Well, in the case of the husband-wife team of Clinton Farris and Myra Martin, you get a breakthrough in hunting technology.
Up until the two put their heads together to invent Invisiboil, hunters had been using cover scents to mask their presence in the field. Ho

Hunters now have better way to avoid detection thanks to local invention

What do you get when you mix an avid bow hunter with a high school chemistry teacher? Well, in the case of the husband-wife team of Clinton Farris and Myra Martin, you get a breakthrough in hunting technology. Up until the two put their heads together to invent Invisiboil, hunters had been using cover scents to mask their presence in the field. Ho

It's hard to open a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing something about how fat Americans are. Whether it's an ad, an infomercial or a talk show, we constantly are told how fat we are. Now, I could have said overweight or slightly plump or, possibly, referred to an eating disorder, but let's not kid ourselves, we Americans are a bunch of fatt

Panties in a wad a serious health threat

It's hard to open a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing something about how fat Americans are. Whether it's an ad, an infomercial or a talk show, we constantly are told how fat we are. Now, I could have said overweight or slightly plump or, possibly, referred to an eating disorder, but let's not kid ourselves, we Americans are a bunch of fatt

Carroll County threw a scare into Patrick Henry on a rainy Halloween night, but it just wasn't enough to prevent the Patriots from escaping with a 21-0 victory.
Field position was a big factor all night. Patrick Henry started six of its 10 possessions in Carroll territory, while the Cavaliers began seven of their 11 possessions between their own t

Cavs suffer tough loss to Patriots

Carroll County threw a scare into Patrick Henry on a rainy Halloween night, but it just wasn't enough to prevent the Patriots from escaping with a 21-0 victory. Field position was a big factor all night. Patrick Henry started six of its 10 possessions in Carroll territory, while the Cavaliers began seven of their 11 possessions between their own t

McTeacher Night on Oct. 28 at the McDonald's in Hillsville proved to be big success Laurel Elementary School.
As part of the nationwide event, teachers from Laurel, along with McDonald's employees, worked the cash registers from 5-8 p.m. Twenty-five percent of all sales went to the school.
By the end of the teachers' shift, they had earned $756.5

Laurel Elementary earns $1,000 on McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night on Oct. 28 at the McDonald's in Hillsville proved to be big success Laurel Elementary School. As part of the nationwide event, teachers from Laurel, along with McDonald's employees, worked the cash registers from 5-8 p.m. Twenty-five percent of all sales went to the school. By the end of the teachers' shift, they had earned $756.5

Jessica Talley was named Citizen of the Month for October by Councilman David Young during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on Oct. 27.
Young said Talley, a Hillsville resident since 2007, “has served the town and the surrounding area in many different ways.”
Talley was a board member on the Hillsville Christian Family Fun Day from

Talley named October Citizen of the Month

Jessica Talley was named Citizen of the Month for October by Councilman David Young during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on Oct. 27. Young said Talley, a Hillsville resident since 2007, “has served the town and the surrounding area in many different ways.” Talley was a board member on the Hillsville Christian Family Fun Day from





Featured Businesses


Poll



Info Minute



Gas Prices

Hillsville Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com