• We can't erase our history

    Amid the debate about the Confederate flag flying over state and public buildings in the South, some have called for Confederate monuments to come down, too. However, those statues and obelisks — like those that stand on historic courthouse lawns in Hillsville and Independence — are more than simple monuments to generals or soldiers. They’re part of Virginia’s complicated history and should be preserved. This editorial first appeared in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

  • School, county leaders move past recent strife

    The past several months have been anything but easy for Grayson County Schools, but in recent weeks we have finally started to see some relief in terms of budget solutions.

  • Teacher cuts hurting students

    Dear Grayson County School Board, I am 16 and my best friend is a teacher.

    I met her when I was in seventh grade at Piney Creek Elementary School in Alleghany County, N.C. We are two extremely different people, but there is something in her that turns on lights when my dark is too deep to see any further ahead.

    I was scorekeeper for her as she coached the girls basketball team. While on the team activity bus, other girls sat with their friends, but I sat in the front seat, next to her.

  • Litter is more than just an eyesore

    The community celebrated Earth Day this year through a countywide effort to tidy up cluttered roadsides, and the fruits of that labor were definitely hard to miss. According to the paperwork filed for this year’s roadside project in Carroll County, more than 300 citizens collected more than 1,300 bags of trash, and numerous large items including tires and furniture during the months of April and May.

  • Work together to fix Grayson schools

    Earl Cherry Jr. of Elk Creek is a Grayson County native who is working toward a master’s degree in history and an M.Ed. in education curriculum and instruction at Virginia Tech. His goal is a career as a high school teacher and administrator. His family was voted Virginia Tech’s “Family of the Year” for 2015. Cherry adapted this letter from his remarks to the Grayson School Board April 16.

    It has come to my attention recently that Mrs. Brandi Ray’s job [as Grayson County High School principal] is in jeopardy.

  • Superintendent explains school budget situation

    Kevin Chalfant is superintendent of Grayson County schools

    As superintendent of Grayson County Public Schools, my focus is on providing the best possible education for our students.

  • School board should take county's offer

    You hear a lot this time of year about the stress students are being put through as they take state tests; about the anxiety and sleepless nights as they worry about their future.

    This year, in Grayson County, the teachers and staff are the ones concerned about their fates as the school system tries to find a way to balance a budget while faced with a funding shortfall.

  • Clearing up the First Amendment

    There is often confusion about what the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution actually protects.

    Among other protections, it prohibits the government from making laws that infringe on freedom of speech or freedom of the press. The government can’t tell you what to say or not say, nor can it tell a newspaper what to publish.

    However, this does not apply to a private company or group, nor to an online forum or a reader comments section. It only applies if the government is doing the prohibiting.

  • Coyote killing program a waste of money

    Editor’s note: This week’s guest editorial is by Kathy Dowell of Galax, who has been an outspoken critic of Grayson County’s coyote bounty program, and a “killing contest” that rewards the hunter who turns in the most dead coyotes. After the program recently ran out of its first $5,000 allocation, county supervisors put $5,000 more into it. With that money gone now, too, one supervisor has donated his own money to the fund and the county is asking citizens to donate prize money, too.

  • 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.