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Today's Features

  • Jayden Anthony celebrated her first birthday with family and friends at the home of her great-grandparents, Jerry and Bobbie Fridley.

    She is the daughter of Breanna Guthrie. Her grandparents are Amy and Steve Moretze.

  • INDEPENDENCE — “Venus, stop peeing in the sacred circle!”

    Laura George, founder of The Oracle Institute, pauses while giving a tour of the interfaith organization’s grounds to admonish her pet.

    She can’t keep a straight face and neither can the two institute volunteers – Donna Montgomery, the Mystery School Coordinator, and Katie Kennedy, the Interfaith Coordinator – accompanying her; all three are giggling.

  • INDEPENDENCE — “Venus, stop peeing in the sacred circle!”

    Laura George, founder of The Oracle Institute, pauses while giving a tour of the interfaith organization’s grounds to admonish her pet.

    She can’t keep a straight face and neither can the two institute volunteers – Donna Montgomery, the Mystery School Coordinator, and Katie Kennedy, the Interfaith Coordinator – accompanying her; all three are giggling.

  • Ted and Mary Alice “Mousie” Russell celebrated 50 years of marriage during 2014.
    They were married on May 2, 1964, at Welcome Home Baptist Church.

    In April, they celebrated with a thrilling 800‑foot‑long zipline ride at Massanutten Resort in Harrisonburg.
    On May 3, they were surprised with a 50th year anniversary celebration given by their family at First Baptist Church in Hillsville.
    Other celebratory experiences included a trip to Sea World, Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios in October.

  • On Jan. 1, all 36 Virginia State Parks will offer hiking opportunities, contests and special events.

    This is the fourth year Virginia State Parks has participated in this America’s State Parks initiative to get people outdoors and into parks.

    Grayson Highlands State Park and the New River Trail State Park, which passes through Galax and Carroll and Grayson Counties, both will be participating in the First Day Hike event.

    New River Trail will offer a 10-mile bike ride. Participants can use their own bike or rent one from the park.

  • Galax Police Officer Darrin Alley helped reunite an owner with his lost dog in time for the holidays this year.

    After rescuing a beagle pup from the middle of U.S. 58 in Galax, a photo of the rescue taken by a citizen circulated the web, and gained the attention of animal-lovers throughout the community. Less than two days after the pup was rescued, he was reunited with his owner, according to posts from the police department’s Facebook page.

  • Last year, The Gazette was approached by a World War II veteran from Florida, who asked for help to locate a lost pen pal from Galax.

    Jack Sutherland, who now lives in Florida, had corresponded with a woman from Galax while he served in the U.S. Navy, on a Pittsburgh heavy cruiser with the ship number CA-72.

  • Joy Ranch’s annual live Nativity on Dec. 13 was a well-crafted spectacle for the faithful.

    Set up in a drive-thru format, cars stopped at each tableau. The scenes featured a scribe who read the nativity passage from a scroll, shepherds watching their flocks, a choir of angels, wise men with camels, a robed traveler with a live donkey, a pair of Roman soldiers taking a census for Caesar, innkeepers with no room and the infant Jesus with his family, in a stable topped with a star.

  • Santa’s elves are taller than you’d think: dozens of firefighters and citizen volunteers crowded into one of the Galax Fire Department’s bays to help pack Community Christmas Food Fund boxes for 550 needy local families on Dec. 18.

    Helpers of all ages loaded boxes onto a conveyor system, stocked the boxes with food and household items, kept them moving and stacked them when full. The boxes were delivered on Sunday.

  • This year, students at Gladeville Elementary School were given an important mission to spread holiday cheer to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who will likely not be home in time for the holidays.

    According to school counselor Judy Neal and art teacher Amy Jackson, who partnered for the project, around 70 Christmas cards were sent to a group of soldiers in an undisclosed location this year, thanking them for their service and wishing them a Merry Christmas.