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Today's Features

  • It was one of the most important events of Tino Sauter's life, and he was about to miss it.

    On Jan. 17, Tino, his dad Bob and brother Jaisen — all of Galax — headed to Charlotte, N.C., where the 15-year-old ballet dancer was to audition for the prestigious Joffrey Ballet of New York City.

    But when their car broke down a mile away from the audition venue and only a few minutes before he was to perform, Tino thought he would never make it.

    “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I was going to miss it,” he thought.

  • Katherine Stone was known as the “flag lady of Mount Dora.”

    That's the name people gave her when she lived in Florida, after many years of adorning her yard with thousands of American flags and her front porch with red, white and blue for Independence Day and any other patriotic holiday.

    Now, they've brought their tradition to their new home on Calhoun Street in downtown Galax.

  • Guy Russell gave his first pint of blood 52 years ago, when his uncle suffered injuries from a car accident.

    Soon after, the Galax resident made a wonderful habit and legacy of donating blood.

    When Russell worked at a local factory, he recalls that his boss would come to each person and ask them to give blood for the American Red Cross — all on the company’s time.

  • It made perfect sense that this year's pet show at the Galax Public Library was dedicated to the late Dr. Don Fincher, a beloved Galax veterinarian who passed away last month.

    Fincher, as you'd expect, loved animals and caring for their well-being. He also loved books, making the site of the pet show the ideal venue.

    The critter competition was once an annual feature of the library's summer reading program, but it hadn't been held for a few years. Children's librarian Carlene Poole brought it back to coincide with the last summer program under her direction.

  • INDEPENDENCE — The Confederate statue that guarded the south lawn of the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence for nearly a century has been taken down — but only temporarily.

    Erected in 1911, the statue has never before been removed.

    Just before noon on July 7, a crane removed the statue from its perch for the first time.

    For the past three years, the Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation has been raising money to restore the statue.

  • Ask Derrick Davis anything about tea, and he can tell you all about it — the flavors, the health benefits, the quality, the history and the traditions.

    Davis, co-owner of the family-owned and -operated Stringbean Coffee Shop and Shamrock Tea Room in downtown Galax, will host a series of tea cupping/tasting classes this summer to share his knowledge of the thousands of tea varieties.

    “Tea is fun and enjoyable, and cupping is a way for people to get to know what they like to make the best purchase,” said Davis.

  • It takes a lot of practice and a lot of prayer to make sure slow-cooked barbecue comes out just perfect for competition, said a nervous Cody Cline, whose team, Nervous Wreck, will compete in this weekend's Smoke On The Mountain state barbecue competition in downtown Galax.

    Barbecue teams will battle this Friday and Saturday for the handmade banjo trophy and a chance to enter the 2010 “Memphis In May” World Championship in Tennessee.

    With a fitting team name, Cline said he's as worried as always, even after years of competing.

  • They are as different as, say, the next five or six people you’d meet on the street. And yet they have joined forces — and stayed joined for seven years — to promote a common goal.

    That goal is to support and encourage each other in their creative work, and to share the labor and rewards of marketing it.

    They are songwriters and potters, calligraphers and artists; they produce cut-paper art and unique lampshades, turned wooden bowls, and woolen rugs and mats.

  • Professional barbecue teams from all over the country will come to Galax this weekend to compete for the coveted handmade banjo trophy, bragging rights and a chance to take their team to the 2010 “Memphis In May” World Championship in Tennessee.

    Smoke On The Mountain, held each year in downtown Galax, is Virginia's official barbecue competition.

    The event is sponsored by the Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Galax Smokehouse restaurant and the City of Galax.

  • The short metal shovels had dug foxholes and trenches on battlefields around the world, but on Memorial Day they turned the earth to create a peaceful place to reflect on veterans' service to their country.

    Called entrenchment tools by the military, the folding shovels have been carried by U.S. soldiers for decades, as much a part of their gear as the rifle, helmet and canteen.

    They were dented, worn and some of them a little rusty. The olive drab paint was chipped.