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Features

  • Hundreds of African-American students from Galax, Grayson and Carroll were bused to Scott Memorial and Wytheville Training School until public schools were fully integrated in the early 1960s. The schools held their 60th reunion this weekend.

  • HILLSVILLE — Shoppers by the thousands are expected to descend on the Hillsville gun show and flea market, as well as the Sylvatus flea market and numerous yard sales, this weekend.
    Roads in the vicinity are expected to be clogged with shoppers galore, so the Virginia Department of Transportation issued the following traffic advisory.
    Travelers heading to the annual Labor Day weekend flea market should be prepared for considerable traffic delays.

  • Seniors 50 and older in the Twin County area have an opportunity to participate in the first-ever Twin County Senior Olympics on Sept. 14 and 15, but time is running out to register.
    The deadline for registration is this Friday — Aug. 31.
    The recreation departments from Carroll, Galax and Grayson, along with the Hillsville Rotary Club and Carroll Wellness Center, have teamed up to sponsor the Olympics. “They have worked very hard to make this a reality for us,” said Dennis Ward of Hillsville, the event’s organizer.

  • WOODLAWN — Three years ago, when the Joy Ranch children’s home in Carroll County added a quilt auction and children’s inflatables to its annual open house and alumni reunion, organizers wanted a catchy name and an appealing attraction for the newly created event.
    Thus “JoyFest” began, with the theme of “Up!” in its first year and hot-air ballooning activities as its leading feature.

  • HILLSVILLE — One evening of the 2012 Carroll County Fair will go to the mat with NWA wrestling bouts.
    The fair will take place at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market Aug. 22-26, with the wrestling as a feature event for Sunday starting at 3 p.m.
    Colorfully named characters like “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant, Dr. Death, “Man Scout” Jake Maning, Major Havoc, Stan Lee and others will appear.
    The event is free with a paid fair admission, according to promotional materials.

  • HILLSVILLE — 84-year-old Dorothy Lewis has done her part to support Joy Ranch with a year’s worth of her collecting-and-crafting hobby.
    It takes a little bit of explaining, but her little diorama landscapes, wall hangings and baby baskets all come from Lewis picking up mementos, doodads and inexpensive items at stores to make a some kind of decorative arrangement.
    Born and raised in Raleigh, Lewis followed her son’s family to Carroll County as they pursued their life at the home for children.

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  • FANCY GAP  — David Gelly saw possibilities in the famous fog of Fancy Gap — as a shroud of mystery for the setting in his fictional murder thriller.
    He’s often driven up U.S. 52 from Winston-Salem, N.C., to his getaway in the mountains, having to slash through fog where he couldn’t see two feet ahead.
    Like many drivers who have ended up in the multi-vehicle pileups on Interstate 77 or those who struggled to stay out of accidents in the area, the weather made an impression on Gelly.

  • A Galax native has explored his hometown’s darkest corners to reveal tales of terror and the unknown.
    Brandon Ayers hopes these legends, extracted from locals and presented by professional storytellers and guides, will educate and enthrall during the Ghosts of Galax Haunted Historic Walking Tour.

  • A college student is organizing an effort to raise clothing and school supplies to host a Back-to-School Bash on Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at Cornerstone Community Church in downtown Galax.
    With many being unable to afford clothing and school supplies, Cornerstone Community Church member and Liberty University student Abigail Cox has spearheaded the event and recruited volunteers in order to help reach the physical needs of the community.

  • Becky McLendon couldn’t stand the thought of a child going to bed hungry, or someone going without food for days.
    After her husband, Sam, accepted a job as Carroll County tourism director and they moved to Galax from North Carolina three months ago, her first goal was to start a soup kitchen at Rooftop of Virginia
    God’s Storehouse Soup Kitchen will open Aug. 30, and food will be served from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Rooftop, on North Main Street in downtown Galax. The kitchen will be operate Mondays and Thursdays and may expand to other days of the week.

  • By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff

    Dona Cox of Independence reached a milestone that many people never reach in their lifetime – she celebrated her 100th birthday on June 12 with a party attended by her many friends and family at the Log House Restaurant in Wytheville.
    During her lifetime, she has observed history in the making.
    When she was born in Macon, Ga., William Howard Taft was president of the United States.

  • After several falls that resulted in two major surgeries, Norma Jean Carico found the solution to prevent her from losing her balance.
    She trained her 2-year-old pit bull, Peanut, to become her assistance dog.
    Peanut is the love of her life. In fact, a necklace around her neck with Peanut’s picture on it is engraved with “True Unconditional Love.”

  • Once weighing more than 400 pounds, Steve Hooks is now glad he stumbled across spinning class at the Galax Recreation Center.
    Hooks, 50, of Galax, was considering gastric bypass surgery to shed the weight before he started spinning classes in January. He has since lost about 50 pounds through the help of Weight Watchers and Doris Spangler, his spinning instructor.
    A casual bike rider, Hooks was tired of lugging the excess weight along the New River Trail. Now, he can go faster and farther than before.

  • This past weekend, about a dozen teams from all over the country pitted their pit-smoked pork against each other at the city’s 8th Annual Smoke on the Mountain, a contest of flavor, showmanship and technique.
    Teams are evaluated by professional judges both on-site and in blind competition, with points in categories like appearance, tenderness and flavor determining the winners.
    The top three teams in each of the three main categories go to the finals, and a grand champion is chosen from among those finalists.

  • Manage your resources, learn to solve problems, help your neighbors solve their problems and learn the land and its history.
    That’s the advice Daniel Boyer, 18, the youngest member of the Matthews Farm Museum Board, has to offer to his peers.
    Boyer and other board members are gearing up for the Matthews Farm Museum Heritage Day on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the 21-acre working farm.

  • As sales slowed and fewer customers trickled in, Rooftop of Virginia management came close to shutting down its craft shop.
    But when a new committee took on the job of creating a business plan, the craft shop reopened last month after being closed for six months.
    Rooftop’s craft shop, which opened more than 40 years ago, will be returning to its original vision — to give people in the community the opportunity to display and sell their made-from-scratch items.

  • HILLSVILLE — Two recent actions have started educators down the path of building a new walking trail at the Carroll County Schools Farm next to Hillsville Elementary School.
    The New River Highlands Resource, Conservation and Development Council, the Virginia Department of Forestry and Carroll schools’ agriculture teachers and students recently installed a small stream crossing bridge at the site that will become part of the recreational trail.

  • Experience “BBQ With Altitude” this weekend at the 8th Annual Smoke on the  Mountain event in downtown Galax — Virginia’s official state barbecue championship.
    The event will run July 20-21, and the food, music and fun goes all day, from 10 a.m. to midnight.
    Galax has always been known for pleasing the ear as the world’s capitol of bluegrass and old-time music, and its natural beauty is a feast for the eyes. With Smoke on the Mountain, the city adds the smells and tastes of barbecue to its symphony for the senses.

  • Long-time WBRF-98.1 FM bluegrass radio host Jay Allen said goodbye on Friday to his listeners.
    Twenty-three years ago, Allen began his career at 98.1 by filling in at the studio during the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.
    “At the time, I was just doing odd jobs,” said Allen. “WBRF manager Zane Bennett called and asked if I could fill in during Old Fiddlers’ Convention week. After a few days, I thought that would be it.”