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Today's Features

  • The national credit crunch has idled some construction crews around the Twin Counties, according to a count of permits issued by local building officials' offices.

    In Carroll County alone for 2008, new housing starts fell by more than a quarter from the year before.

    From January to mid-December of this year, the number of building permits issued totaled 98, paperwork from the building official's office shows. That same construction category amounted to 169 for 2007.

    That's a decline of 42 percent.

  • It’s just not like the good old days when times were stress-free.

    Kids spent their time on the farm chasing fireflies, playing hide-and-seek, milking cows and riding horses; and at school, kids played jump rope and tag.

    Now all that's left is memories — Pat Robinson's inspiration for pencil drawings of country settings.

  • HILLSVILLE — Eight-year-old Presley Talley's Down syndrome turned out to be a blessing in disguise, after it likely spared him from the worst ravages of leukemia.

    As Presley's family prepares to celebrate the child being declared cancer-free, they are contemplating the role that the genetic abnormality played in saving him from one of the most feared diseases.

    It looked like Presley had been dealt a bad hand from the start.

    At birth in November 2000, he looked normal to his parents, Greg and Theresa Talley — of Hillsville and Woodlawn, respectively.

  • After months of planning, designing, fundraising and overcoming challenges regarding the placement of the veterans monument, Galax City Council approved a resolution Monday to award an architectural and engineering services contract to Doug Williams of Galax, putting the city one step closer to building the Twin County Veterans Memorial.

    In October 2008, council approved the site for the veterans' memorial on the grounds of the Galax Public Library and decided to move forward with securing the services of a consulting engineer.

  • Galax’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration is always a time for the black community to rejoice, remember a painful past and look forward to a brighter future.

    But this year — maybe more so than any time since the passing of Civil Rights laws of the 1960s — was a time to lift every voice and sing about the fulfillment of King’s dream of equality for all races.

  • Galax High School performing arts students are back on top of their game this year with a performance of “The Diviners,” a play by Jim Leonard Jr.

    “The Diviners” is a tribute to the Great Depression, small towns and the blessings of life. In the play, C.C. Showers abandons his career as a minister during the Great Depression and stumbles into the small Indiana town of Zion to look for work — only to find that the town has been without a preacher for 10 years.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County School System will be represented in a national education program with NASA.

    Grayson Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas said Daniel Brown, a high school chemistry teacher, was selected to participate in the recently unveiled NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project (ESTCP).

    The project awards more than 40 fellowships each year to educators contributing to the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to the project's Web site.

  • It's every parent's worst nightmare — losing a child.

    Ella Ruth Stoneman lived that nightmare last Monday morning when officers came to her work to tell her that her daughter, Amy Stoneman, 28, had been killed in a fire.

    The accident also took the life of Ella Ruth's granddaughter, 4-year-old Deanna Lafferty, and the little girl's father, Larry Stephen Lafferty, 39.

    "She loved to work and she loved her kids," Ella said of her daughter.

  • INDEPENDENCE — You could say that Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan has been tested right from the start.

    Just 40 minutes into his first day as sheriff in Grayson, he participated in a drug bust.

    It was a positive beginning, one of those things that went a long way toward showing Vaughan was the right man for the job.

    But, nothing could have prepared the law enforcement veteran for what came next.