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Columns

  • Faith community's mission is to be more inclusive

    Editor’s note: This letter from the Carroll County Ministerial Association was read by the Rev. Amanda Hatfield Moore at a prayer vigil in Galax on July 24 held by Hearts United, which seeks to break down barriers between people and promote unity and peace. The movement began locally, in the wake of police shootings of black suspects around the country, and recent attacks on police officers.

    To the People of Carroll County:

  • Who will protect and serve police?

    Every law enforcement officer who buckles into a patrol car today does so with a heavy heart.

    Everyone who pins on a badge will do so with a mixed sense of frustration and exhaustion, anger and exasperation.

    These men and women have an incredibly difficult job. “Protect and serve” may be the mission, but the responsibilities we place on their shoulders are greater than many of us can imagine.

  • Information isn't flowing freely

    Dick Hammerstrom, a retired editor, is vice president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government and chairman of the FOIA Committee of the Virginia Press Association. This column first appeared in the Free-Lance Star of Fredericksburg.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe did not list transparency as a major theme in his campaign for the top elected office in the state. Of course, as any governor-elect would, he told reporters that he planned to run “an open and transparent administration.”

  • Schools, county overcome deficit with teamwork

    Grayson County Public Schools suffered financial turmoil last year with a $900,000 shortfall, which left many in the community concerned and desperately seeking answers as to where so much money disappeared.

    To say things are looking up for the school system just one year later is putting it mildly.

    Last week, school officials announced that they had managed what they were told was impossible: they eliminated the deficit this year, with a closeout budget that landed at an estimated $8 - $11 in the black after covering bills and payroll.

  • Supervisors should have asked before accusing

    It’s something even an elementary school student knows: don’t show up at school without doing your homework.

    Also: never take a test without studying the material.

    A kid can be forgiven for forgetting these rules, and even adults sometimes misunderstand facts. But, we have to hold grown-ups to a higher standard — especially those we elect to hold public office.

  • School board chairman responds to supervisors’ comments

    Carroll County School Board Chairman Brian Spencer released this response at the board’s June 14 meeting in response to criticisms the previous night from members of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors. Some supervisors alleged that the school board deliberately overlooked additional state funds during their budget process.

  • Tariffs alone won't restart U.S. economy

    By Nancy Liebrecht, Galax

    During an oil change at Hines Tire in Fries, I was chatting with the guys there when one fellow, a former textile worker, remarked that tariffs will bring back manufacturing to the US.

  • Carroll sheriff responds to questions

    Editor’s note: The Gazette asked Carroll Sheriff J.B. Gardner to reply to this Hotline caller’s comments, and he wrote the following lengthy explanation. Here is the original call:

  • Restoring rights to felons: redemption or politics?

    Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, has represented Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District since 2011. The district includes Carroll and Grayson counties and Galax. He previously was majority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates.

  • A legal, moral authority to restore rights

    This editorial first appeared in the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.

    Sometimes in politics, the most effective maneuver is to do nothing. Especially when your adversary is making a huge mistake.

    Republican lawmakers in Richmond are desperately trying to make hay of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore the civil rights of 200,000 ex-convicts who have served their time and completed all requirements for supervised release, probation or parole.