.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • Rescue squads working to improve

    In areas across the commonwealth, volunteer rescue agencies are struggling against the perfect storm: a rise in calls for service and a fall in recruitment.

    Due to financial strains and federal regulations, it’s even harder now than it was several years ago for rescue squads to find volunteers. Though people are willing to sign up, some just don’t have the money or the time to complete the necessary training for certification.

  • Tragedy takes emotional toll on first responders

    Editor’s note: On March 5, a Galax fire claimed the lives of three children, one at the scene and two who passed away later. Police and firefighters made valiant attempts to rescue the children, without any protective gear, but were overcome by flames and smoke. We share the sentiment expressed in Rick Clark’s moving statement, and commend them for their bravery and sacrifice. We wish them well as they cope with the aftermath of this tragedy.

    By Rick Clark, chief of the Galax Police Department

  • Commission nomination controversial

    You have to wonder what Pine Creek District Supervisor Bob Martin was thinking when he nominated Billy Mitchell to serve on the Planning Commission last month.

    Mitchell, a former county administrator, was convicted 17 years ago for embezzling more than $400,000 from the Carroll and served time in federal prison.

    Martin has gone on record with his belief that Mitchell has been paying his dues and deserves a second chance.

  • Vaccinate for everyone's sake

    Doing everything you can to avoid spreading disease is among the most basic requirements of membership in a civil society. It has been for millennia.

    Trying to prevent the transmission of pathogens explains the laws in Leviticus, the development of modern sewer systems and the use of quarantine to stem epidemics.

    Throughout history, a person’s duty to prevent the spread of disease to his neighbors has been so fundamental that it has been largely uncontroversial. Then came modern America, which is in the middle of an entirely preventable measles outbreak.

  • State taking crimes against animals seriously

    Last week, The Gazette published yet another heartbreaking story from someone whose family pet fell prey to an unknown suspect who thought nothing about bringing harm to another living being.

    Daisy Mae, a boxer/lab mix, was on her owners’ property while they were at work when someone came into the yard, aimed a gun at her heart and pulled the trigger, killing her.

  • Those who wish to stay at training center should have that option

    Last week marked a milestone in an ongoing fight to save the Southwest Virginia Training Center — one of five state facilities for the developmentally and intellectually disabled.

    Del. Jeff Campbell filed House Bill 1614, which seeks to prohibit the closure of the Hillsville facility, along with the Southeastern Virginia Training Center in Chesapeake. So far, the bill has made its way to the House of Delegates’ Committee on Appropriations.

  • Boucher: first step in ending gridlock

    Rick Boucher, former Democratic congressman from Virginia’s 9th District, is co-chair of the Virginia Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government, appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. In Congress, he represented the Twin Counties and Southwest Virginia for more than two decades.

    The gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts is a bipartisan offense. Members of the Virginia Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government are proposing a bipartisan solution.

  • Rural mail will suffer with more plant closures

    John Edgecombe Jr. is president of the National Newspaper Association and publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, Neb.

    A friend of mine from South Dakota noted that the U.S. Postal Service delivered a lump of coal to many small towns last Christmas when it proceeded to eliminate overnight mail in most of the nation in 2015.

    That was a good description. USPS will slow delivery by one day for first class and periodicals mail. Many members of Congress have asked it to hold off. But USPS is plowing ahead.

  • 2014 EDITORIAL AWARDS

    Looking back, 2014 was full of things we’d love to forget — ice bucket challenges, “Let It Go,” Kim Kardashian’s butt, rioting, Ebola and shirtless Vladimir Putin.

    Other low points: Kim Jong Un tried to keep a movie out of theaters and local officials wanted The Gazette to put an end to the Readers’ Hotline.

    Neither plan worked.

  • Trafficking in human lives

    Attorney General Mark R. Herring recently announced a statewide campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Virginia.

    Human trafficking, also referred to as modern slavery, is a practice in which people are forced or tricked into hard labor, prostitution or pornography in exchange for little to no money.