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Features

  • Galax High School students showed off their unique styles at the 2015 prom, held May 2 at the Galax Golf Course country club.

  • By DON RICHESON, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE — About 300 danced the night away at Grayson County High School’s annual Junior-Senior Prom on April 25.

    The prom’s theme this year was “If Only for One Night.” The event was coordinated by GCHS teacher Amanda Brewer, who was assisted by many volunteers.

  • HILLSVILLE — For Heather Ramirez, last year’s Second Chance Prom was her first real prom experience.

    “The funny part for me was that I wasn’t able to attend my first prom, but I helped decorate for it in high school,” she told The Gazette. “But it worked out, because the first time actually going to the prom, I went with my husband.”

  • Emma Jean Catron, Jane Michelfelder and Junior Bullion are seasoned at their trade.

    Except it’s not, technically, a trade, and it only pays back in satisfaction.

    They’re all volunteers with the Twin County Regional Healthcare, each working a slightly different job. Since April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week.

    Under the aegis of TCRH Director of Volunteers Linda Belcher, they came together to describe what they do.

  • Nine months after Galax resident Penny Nixon’s cat, Rhudy, disappeared from her former home in Edinburg, she resigned herself to the belief that she would never see him again. But one night, a phone call out of the blue changed everything: her pet was alive and waiting for her in a veterinarian’s office in McLean… more than 90 miles from where he’d first disappeared.

  • HILLSVILLE — The Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church in Hillsville will present an Easter play, “The Last Days of Christ” this weekend at its new sanctuary on 203 Virginia Street.

  • WHITETOP — The annual Whitetop Maple Festival will launch Grayson’s 2015 festival season, which continues throughout the summer and into the winter season, with over 38 events to choose from.

    The Maple Festival is March 28-29 in the county’s highlands. It begins at Mount Rogers School (11245 Highlands Parkway, Whitetop) at 8 a.m. each day. Enjoy a pancake breakfast with genuine maple syrup, tapped fresh from the highest peaks in Virginia.

  • By D.T. Clark, Staff

    This year marks the area’s 14th annual Cystic Fibrosis Auction, and according to main-man-in-charge Freddy Hall, it will be the kind of event regular customers know to expect and newcomers will be surprised to discover.

    Up for auction will be toys, games, memorabilia, collectibles, furniture new and antiques, building supplies (anyone need a sink?) and services ranging from private concerts to some time behind the steering wheel (stick?) of a military tank.

    Really.

  • In an effort to prepare both staff and public for a new future, Bogeys, Galax’s answer to fine dining, held a private, small-plate dinner with wine pairings.

    Owner Kenneth Belton, who was one of the restaurant’s four owners before buying out the others late last year, was on hand along with consultant Judy Brannock; new chef J.C. Botero (born in Colombia, raised in south Florida and lately of Olde Mill Resort); sommelier Steve Foster of Andes Importers of Salem, who was responsible for the wine pairing; and new staff members.

  • WOODLAWN — Joy Ranch Christian Home for Children welcomed Brian Allen to the staff as the facility’s new director on Monday.

    This new addition has concluded a lengthy search for a director for the children’s home and ministry in Carroll County. Allen will fill the position left by Tim Lewis, and filled temporarily by Mary Hutchins.

  • Hillsville Town Council Member David Young took these photos of the staff at Classic Creations as they worked hard at producing thousands of NFL Super Bowl shirts for the Feb. 1 event.

    “I couldn’t be more proud,” said Young of the business that he and Mayor Greg Crowder helped bring to the town a little more than a year ago.

    Classic Creations received its first NFL T-shirt order last year with the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl win.

  • HILLSVILLE — The mysterious tenants of Hillsville’s Night Watch Haunt are back and ready to celebrate the holidays in a way that will live in the community’s nightmares long after the stuffed animals, cards and chocolate go on clearance at the store.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., born in poverty in Atlanta and killed by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis at age 39, spent his life traveling through America as a Baptist preacher and Civil Rights activist who sought justice and racial equality for African-Americans.

    His “I Have a Dream” speech established him as one of the greatest orators in American history, and his work shed a light that is still a beacon today.

  • INDEPENDENCE — “Venus, stop peeing in the sacred circle!”

    Laura George, founder of The Oracle Institute, pauses while giving a tour of the interfaith organization’s grounds to admonish her pet.

    She can’t keep a straight face and neither can the two institute volunteers – Donna Montgomery, the Mystery School Coordinator, and Katie Kennedy, the Interfaith Coordinator – accompanying her; all three are giggling.

  • On Jan. 1, all 36 Virginia State Parks will offer hiking opportunities, contests and special events.

    This is the fourth year Virginia State Parks has participated in this America’s State Parks initiative to get people outdoors and into parks.

    Grayson Highlands State Park and the New River Trail State Park, which passes through Galax and Carroll and Grayson Counties, both will be participating in the First Day Hike event.

    New River Trail will offer a 10-mile bike ride. Participants can use their own bike or rent one from the park.

  • Galax Police Officer Darrin Alley helped reunite an owner with his lost dog in time for the holidays this year.

    After rescuing a beagle pup from the middle of U.S. 58 in Galax, a photo of the rescue taken by a citizen circulated the web, and gained the attention of animal-lovers throughout the community. Less than two days after the pup was rescued, he was reunited with his owner, according to posts from the police department’s Facebook page.

  • Last year, The Gazette was approached by a World War II veteran from Florida, who asked for help to locate a lost pen pal from Galax.

    Jack Sutherland, who now lives in Florida, had corresponded with a woman from Galax while he served in the U.S. Navy, on a Pittsburgh heavy cruiser with the ship number CA-72.

  • Joy Ranch’s annual live Nativity on Dec. 13 was a well-crafted spectacle for the faithful.

    Set up in a drive-thru format, cars stopped at each tableau. The scenes featured a scribe who read the nativity passage from a scroll, shepherds watching their flocks, a choir of angels, wise men with camels, a robed traveler with a live donkey, a pair of Roman soldiers taking a census for Caesar, innkeepers with no room and the infant Jesus with his family, in a stable topped with a star.

  • Santa’s elves are taller than you’d think: dozens of firefighters and citizen volunteers crowded into one of the Galax Fire Department’s bays to help pack Community Christmas Food Fund boxes for 550 needy local families on Dec. 18.

    Helpers of all ages loaded boxes onto a conveyor system, stocked the boxes with food and household items, kept them moving and stacked them when full. The boxes were delivered on Sunday.