Features http://www.galaxgazette.com/features/todaysfeatures en Letters to Santa 2015 http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/letters-santa-2015-0 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/santa_letters_art_1.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="63" height="85" /><p> <strong>Ms. Patton&rsquo;s Second Grade</strong></p> <p> <strong>St. Paul School</strong></p> <p> <strong>Cana, Virginia</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Dear Santa,</p> <p> My name is Victoria. I have been a very good girl this year. I cleaned my room and even made my bed. What I would most like for Christmas this year is an art set. I would also like a tablet, an X Box 360 and a DDS. My house is the white one with a brown roof and no chimney. I promise to leave a card on Christmas Eve. Please say hi to Rudolph for me.</p> <p> Merry Christmas,</p> <p> Victoria</p> Mount Rogers Recreation Area celebrates 50 years http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/mount-rogers-recreation-area-celebrates-50-years <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/mount_rogers_50th_anniversary_logo.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="122" height="85" /><p> For 50 years, the USDA Forest Service&rsquo;s Mount Rogers National Recreation Area has been providing recreation experiences for visitors to southwest Virginia.</p> <p> May 31, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and District Ranger Beth Merz is proud to be a part of the celebration. &ldquo;My staff and many of our partners are hosting activities throughout the year with special celebrations and presentations, from Memorial Day weekend thru the first weekend of June.&rdquo;</p> Four sets of twins set to graduate from GHS http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/four-sets-twins-set-graduate-ghs <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/twinsnow.jpg" alt="2016: From left are (front row) Hannah and Ethan Jones, David and Cecilia Chavez-Ponce; (back row) Austin and Kayleigh Funk, Sydney and Hunter Kinser. " title="2016: From left are (front row) Hannah and Ethan Jones, David and Cecilia Chavez-Ponce; (back row) Austin and Kayleigh Funk, Sydney and Hunter Kinser. " align="left" hspace="6" width="69" height="85" /><p> Twelve years ago, The Gazette ran a picture of something remarkable: six sets of twins, identical and fraternal, all going through the Galax school system, all in elementary school.</p> <p> Now, poised at the brink of their senior year&rsquo;s end, four sets of them are still in the school system and agreed to recreate the original picture.</p> Students learn rules of the road http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/students-learn-rules-road <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/p1010961.jpg" alt="Instructor Charlie Demchock gives students a chance to sit behind the wheel of a tractor trailer and learn about blind spots." title="Instructor Charlie Demchock gives students a chance to sit behind the wheel of a tractor trailer and learn about blind spots." align="left" hspace="6" width="108" height="85" /><p> INDEPENDENCE &mdash; Sixteen years and three months: this is the minimum age requirement set by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a driver&rsquo;s license, which makes 16 an age of important milestones for both teenagers and their parents.</p> <p> This is a time when students begin taking on important responsibilities for the safety of themselves and others, while parents simultaneously begin to step back and trust their kids to handle these responsibilities.</p> He's two http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/hes-two-12 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/luke_harvey_ward_0.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Luke Harvey Ward turned two on Jan. 28. He celebrated with a farm animal birthday party with his family and friends.<br /> <br /> He is the son of Kris and Mary Lynne Ward of Independence. He has two older brothers, Braeden and Levi. His grandparents are Harry Cox, Bo and Susan Moxley, and Harvey and Jill Ward. His great-grandparents are Mary Jane Hollingsworth, Odell Moxley, Danna Ward and Lacy and Dreama Bowman.</p> Celebrate 50 years http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/celebrate-50-years <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/farmer_anniversary.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Roger and Carolyn Horton Farmer of Woodlawn celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 6.<br /> They have two sons and six grandchildren.<br /> <br /> They plan to celebrate with a trip out west this summer.</p> She's five http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/shes-five-9 <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/paisley_snider_b-day_0.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Paisley Brooke Snider turned five Feb. 1. She celebrated with a Scooby-Doo party with family and friends Her parents are Curtis and Lori Snider. She has an older sister, Palin Snider. Her grandparents are Danny and Linda Deskins of Dugspur and Harold and Joyce Snider of Dublin and the late Kathy Snider. Her aunt is Holly Choate.</p> Hope Ladies serve up food, blessings at Rooftop kitchen http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/hope-ladies-serve-food-blessings-rooftop-kitchen <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/hopeladieskitchen.jpg" alt="Kisha Johnson (left) and Delina Parks" title="Kisha Johnson (left) and Delina Parks" align="left" hspace="6" width="144" height="85" /><p> Hope Ladies founder and president Kisha Johnson and vice president Delina Parks, who is also Johnson&rsquo;s mother, are parked at a table in the kitchen area of God&rsquo;s Storehouse and Community Kitchen, located in the basement of Rooftop of Virginia in Galax.</p> <p> Clad in matching Williams-Sonoma aprons, they look like they should be hosting a mother-daughter version of &ldquo;The Barefoot Contessa,&rdquo; one of the Food Network&rsquo;s most beloved anchor shows. As it turns out, though, feeding the hungry and needy is far more to their taste.</p>