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Features

  • The annual multi-church celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was held at McMillian Ministries on Sunday, with music and talks on the theme, “I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear,” as said by King himself.

    McMillian Ministries’ Pastor Sue Greene presided over the service with her characteristic verve and openheartedness.

  • The lights are dim, the music low and tranquil with a meditative, Eastern flavor, and the instructor – yoga teacher and local potter Donna Ellis – is thoughtfully presenting lessons with her back turned to the qigong class, making it easier to mimic her motions as she slowly moves through a series of poses.

    “Now, this time,” says Ellis, addressing the class, “we want to position our arms like we’re holding a big, invisible ball of energy, and move it around in a circle.”

  • The Galax Volunteer Fire Department’s HQ was host to the Community Food Fund box packing on Dec. 15, as community members volunteered to load up boxes with donated goods and groceries for 550 families in need in the area.

    Capt. Mike Ayers, who kept track, said that the packing occurred in record time this year: 1,100 boxes in one hour and two minutes, down from last year’s one hour and 13 minutes.

  • By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – More than 200 volunteers showed up last Thursday night to pack boxes of food to be distributed to less fortunate families in Carroll County.

    The group first had to sort the hundreds of cans of food and other items, placing them in different bins to be placed in the boxes that came down a conveyor belt.

    The Carroll Christmas Fund is held each year to solicit funds to pay for the food boxes.

  • By SARA BLANKENSHIP & LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    HILLSVILLE – Students at Carroll County High School helped to make Christmas a little brighter for children in need.

    Through a collaboration with the Carroll Christmas Fund, students set up donation boxes throughout the county’s schools to collect donated toys.

  • Galax Parks & Recreation Director Dave Nelson, who will retire on Dec. 31, recently took a few minutes to discuss his career and what he’s loved about the job.

    “Thirty-seven years and one month is what’ll it’ll be,” said Nelson. “I came here as the sports and athletic coordinator in 1979. The director at that time was Richard Black.”

  • A weekend of holiday festivities is ahead, with Christmas parades, tree lightings, music and visits from St. Nick.

    Hillsville

    The Town of Hillsville will celebrate the Christmas season with its annual tree lighting and Christmas parade on Dec. 3.

    The festivities will start at 5 p.m. with stocking stuffing along North Main Street. The first 300 children to check in at town hall will receive a free stocking to get stuffed by local merchants and those set up along the street. Stocking stuffing will last until 6 p.m.

  • Staff Report

    Ms. Blankenship’s 7th graders at Fries School joined Blue Ridge Discovery Center (BRDC) staff at the New River for a day of aquatic study on Nov. 11.

    Students rotated through stations set up along the river just below the school and participated in citizen science activities.

  • Staff Reports

    The High Country Lights are returning to Felts Park in Galax this year with plenty of shimmering holiday pageantry, according to Parks & Recreation Director Dave Nelson.

    “We are pleased to announce that William Bottomley has agreed to bring his Christmas light show back to Felts Park for the 2016 season,” said Nelson. “The show will begin on Thanksgiving Night and run through Jan. 2.”

  • FRIES ― U.S. Army veteran Coy Shaffner, 94, had to think for a moment on the exact year he joined the armed forces, but when he was asked how many days he spent as a prisoner of war, he recalled the number instantly: 203 days.

  • INDEPENDENCE — A gravestone will be returned to its rightful home in a Troutdale cemetery, thanks to the work of a good Samaritan and several other helpful resources and supporters of genealogy.

    But: how did a grave marker from the 1870s, from a cemetery in Grayson County — missing since the 1920s — end up in a field in Carroll County in 2016?

  • Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE ― Grayson County Churches are banding together again this month to prepare and deliver Thanksgiving dinners to more than 1,200 people.

    This annual event began 10 years ago, and has expanded from its initial preparation and delivery to about 200 families in the area. Through the years, it has grown to feeding about 10 percent of the Grayson County population, according to a news release.

  • A Veterans Day ceremony was held at the Blue Ridge Veterans Memorial in Galax on Nov. 11, featuring American Legion Post #245, the Galax JROTC unit and color guard and the Galax High School Band.

    The memorial is located next to the Galax Public Library.

    Prior to the ceremony, the band played a selection of music as the crowd gathered. The JROTC presented colors and the band played the “National Anthem” while the crowd saluted or placed their hands over their hearts.

  • Daniel Harrison, pastor of Hearts United Church in Galax, wants people to know that the storefront worship center is open.

    Way open.

    The church is an offshoot of the Hearts United movement, wherein Hispanic, black and white churches came together this summer to push racial hatred and dissent aside in favor of praise and a healing dose of Christ’s love. Hearts United Church goes even further, as the homemade paper banner hanging its window states: “All welcome here: Immigrants, Muslims, LGBT, People of Color.”

  • HILLSVILLE – Students from Carroll County participated in a FIRST Lego League (FLL) scrimmage on Oct. 29 at Carroll County Middle School. The theme for this years’ challenge was Animal Allies.

  • Galax and the towns of Hillsville and Independence invite kids of all ages to Halloween night fun on Monday.

    The Galax Downtown Association is planning this year’s Downtown Halloween Bash that is set for 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

    Local businesses, churches and organizations are encouraged to gather downtown to play games, give treats to children of all ages and enjoy an outing for the entire family. The bash offers children a fun and safe place to enjoy the evening’s festivities and to gather treats.

  • Landmark News Service

    Can Halloween tell us who’ll win the White House? Apparently, the sale of candidate masks is an eerily accurate crystal ball.

    According to one costume industry index, mask sales have correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996. According to another index – which goes back further – they’ve been right since 1980, when Ronald Reagan’s mug outsold Jimmy Carter’s by 20 percent.

    Being No. 1 this year, however, might indicate something else.

  • Baywood Ruritan Club will host its 27th annual fall festival Oct. 1.

    There is no admission charge.

    Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. at the Ruritan shelter. Bring a chair.

    The festival features live music, food, tumbling acrobats and more. There will be antique tractors and cars and a mule-drawn wagon offering rides.

    Apple butter will be made, and faces and pumpkins will be painted.

    The astronomy club will have telescopes for people to see. There will be a pet show and a petting zoo.

  • HILLSVILLE – Fall has officially arrived and one of the season’s traditional comfort foods will be in abundance in Hillsville this Saturday, at the second annual Historic Hillsville’s Chili Shootout.

    The Friends of Hillsville event will include competitions for chili, salsa, cornbread and the popular backyard game of cornhole.

  • The Galax American Legion #245 and Independence Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7726 came together Sept. 17 at twilight to remember and honor prisoners of war and those missing in action.

    The service was held at the Blue Ridge Veterans Memorial next to the Galax Public Library. Coy Shaffner was introduced as a former POW of Germany during Word War II.