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Columns

  • Face facts, tell story of shootout

    If it's true that for decades that Carroll County people just didn't talk about the 1912 courthouse shootout, maybe it's time for that taboo to change.
    One fact is inescapable as we approach the 100th anniversary: Ignoring the effects of the melee and bloodshed that arose from Floyd Allen announcing that he would defy a court-imposed jail sentence sure hasn't made this bit of Carroll's past go away.
    Perhaps, in a way, it should be embraced.

  • A celebration of song, service

    People often refer to the Twin Counties' collective pool of talent as a "family" of musicians, and at no time is that description more apt than when one of their own is in need.
    You see it all the time, when performers volunteer their time to play for benefits for those in bad health or who have lost their homes.

  • Convention defined by rich past, bright future

    In three-quarters of a century, the annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention has grown into a weeklong event that draws thousands of tourists from all over the country to Galax.
    It has become an American institution; a means of preserving and promoting bluegrass and old-time music.
    The Galax Moose Lodge works hard every year to put on the event and it’s a beloved part of summer for music fans and people who use the event as an enormous family or class reunion.

  • Get involved with planning process

    Citizens may not realize it, but they can act now and have an impact on Carroll County’s future.
    This impact will reach 20 years into the future, as that’s the duration of the period covered by the new comprehensive plan.
    People have trickled out in dribs and drabs to related countywide and community meetings held around Carroll that started last winter. Eight, 10, 30 folks at a time showed up to speak on a variety of planning issues.

  • 'Miracle' worker

    Teachers are known for dipping into their wallets and purses to pay for supplies for their classes. If construction paper or paintbrushes aren't in the school budget, they gladly sacrifice for the good of their students.
    But this year, the needs in the financially struggling Grayson County school system required more than some spare change — it brought about a change in the way the community looks at funding education.

  • Putting ICE on it

    Illegal aliens that commit crimes shouldn't be able to slip through the dragnet with the advent of the Secure Communities initiative.
    Law enforcement officials everywhere — even Arizona — have no doubt hailed the announcement of the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement effort.
    A new database launched by ICE will streamline the process of identifying criminal aliens involved in police investigations.

  • A generous gesture

    After a long search for a site to create a visitors' center for Galax, the city has been given the perfect building in a surprise move by a philanthropic downtown property owner.

    Johnny Parsons has provided the ideal spot for a visitors' center in his donation of his former law office at the corner of East Grayson Street and Rex Lane.

  • Covering Costs

    While many residents of the Twin Counties are living paycheck to paycheck, it appears local governments are, as well.

    Grayson County was forced to borrow $1.6 million to cover the bills for the month of October, but not because of a budgetary problem.

    County officials are adamant that the problem lies in the shortfall in cash flow, something that is common during the months leading up to the tax deadline of Dec. 5.

  • More than green

    Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company has become more environmentally conscious and has found more benefits in its practices than just protecting the environment.

    The Galax and Elkin, N.C.-based company that is the largest manufacturer of wooden adult bedroom furniture became certified in the program called Enhancing Furniture's Environmental Culture.

    The program requires all employees to work together towards their “go-green” goal. The company has found that it’s crucial to set an example to be a good steward of the environment, for obvious reasons.

  • The Road Ahead

    For much longer than six years, the Glendale Road improvement project has languished on the state's six-year plan, so it's encouraging to hear that it could start as "soon" as 2011.

    It's also a wise decision on the city's part to consider a scaled-back $1.2 million version of the original $10.6 million plan, which would free up several million dollars to tackle some other road projects.

    Closing and relocating the aggravating "slip lane" intersection near Subway is still in the plan, which should make many drivers —and their sore necks — happy.