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Features

  • Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will celebrate its official opening in downtown Galax with a black tie gala on Friday evening and a community celebration of the arts on Saturday.

    The Colorful Black Tie Gala is planned for Friday evening from 7 to 10. The school will host “Women of the Blue Ridge Plateau,” the opening exhibit for “Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.”

  • The Young Actors Co-op — a group of talented, young actors — will ham it up in Victorian-era theater costumes and show off their juggling and unicycle-riding skills in the Parade of the Arts on Saturday at noon, a featured event of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts' grand opening.

    The parade will begin at the Galax Recreation Center and head north on Main Street, turning onto Center Street and then onto Grayson Street.

    “This parade is going to be full of fun and surprises,” said Sandra Hankley, a volunteer for CCSA.

  • A diverse line-up of artisan demonstrators — from potters to painters to weavers and wood turners — will show what Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is about and what it has to offer during a street fair Saturday from 1-4:30 p.m., as part of the art school's grand opening.

    Demonstrators will set up on Grayson Street and inside CCSA to share their talents and showcase the wide range of classes offered at the new art school.

  • When local DJ and emcee Harold Mitchell was bedridden with rheumatic fever at six years old, the radio kept him company as he listened to the legends on the Grand Ole Opry.

    During the five-hour radio program, he would hear greats such as Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells and comedians and radio announcers. However, it was the harmonies of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys that caught his ear, and that’s when he fell in love with bluegrass.

    From then on, he knew one way or another he was going to be in the radio business.

  • WOODLAWN — The new after-school program at Woodlawn will use all available school and community resources to help students progress academically and have some fun, too.

    Woodlawn School will use a recently announced $172,920 21st Century Learning Centers grant to boost math and English scores and provide participating students with some fun after-school activities.

    The AWARE program, which stands for Afterschool at Woodlawn: Arithmetic, Reading and Enrichment, commences at 3:10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, at the end of the school day.

  • The memory of Carolyn Peddy, a generous teacher who lost her battle with cancer, will live on at Oakland Elementary with Think Pink Day.

    Principal Junior Gentry and teacher Sheila Hommema came up with the idea to ensure that educators, parents and students wouldn't forget the quiet contributions that Peddy made during her time at Oakland.

    If Peddy saw one of her students wearing worn-out shoes, she'd find a suitable pair, put them in the child's cubby and point them out to the student as if someone else had left them, Hommema said.

  • Galax Middle School students get a kick out of seeing their friends stand in front of the green screen, as they watch them take a “trip” on a computer monitor to Hollywood or China, using chroma key techniques and special software during a podcasting Focus class.

    They learned how to create podcasts, slideshows and video during a history lesson on the Civil War. One group delivered the news, acting as TV reporters Matt Lauer (6th grade student Charles Harris) and Katie Couric (Lexie Brown) while they interviewed Abraham Lincoln (David Ponce) about the subject.

  • On a cool Saturday morning in April, more than 53 years ago, history was made for one young pilot and witnessed by only one other pair of eyes at the old Galax airport.

    The teen dubbed the “Youngest Pilot in Galax” at the time took to the air by accident, and showed his skill and resolve by coming back down to earth in one piece.

    On Aug. 8, Ted Hall — now 71 years old and living near Baltimore, Md. — realized a dream of recreating his first solo flight in a J-3 Cub.

  • Paper artist Karen Poe of Hillsville says homemade gifts have saved her hundreds of dollars, and her friends and family have been raving about the personal gifts they receive from her each year—all it takes is paper.

    Sixteen years ago, a friend invited Poe to her home to make gift cards, and she's been doing it ever since.

    It started with cards, and now it's notepads, gift boxes, calendars and anything else she can think to do with paper.

  • Soldiers on the battlefield keep in their hearts a reminder of what they're fighting for:

    God. Country. Freedom.

    Their sweetheart back home.

    And... biscuits and gravy?

    From the flight decks of aircraft carriers and the beaches of Normandy to the jungles of Vietnam and the deserts of Iraq, soldiers from Galax longed for a taste of home.

    Forget apple pie, that most patriotic of dishes.

    A Southern soldier's belly rumbles like a Sherman tank for pinto beans and corn bread, pork tenderloin and fried chicken.

  • Photos from the Galax Christmas Parade on Dec. 4, 2009, by April Wright.

  • The first Christmas Gathering, sponsored by the Galax Downtown Association and Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m., featuring door prizes, refreshments and entertainment throughout downtown Galax.

    The event, originally set for Saturday, was postponed due to the snowstorm.

    Christmas music will be performed by local guitarist Brandon Davis, and names will be drawn to win all sorts of items, even Christmas trees and gift certificates.

  • The prospects are good for digging into an interesting hobby at Laurel Hill Gem Mines.

    That’s where Gladesboro resident Robert Dale Bowman hopes that sharing his unique pastime with others will pan out.

    The mountains of Carroll County are far removed from the Yukon of the Gold Rush days. But Bowman hopes to impart some nuggets — of insight, not necessarily of gold — about searching for precious metals and minerals.

  • Friends Jacquie Roberts, Alison Bolen and Stephannie Dees share a common goal: to feed every hungry child in the Galax community.

    Roberts was touched by the story about Backpack Buddies she saw a few months ago on the “Today Show,” as it showed how communities are coming together to help battle hunger in children.

    That’s when she called Bolen, a member of Galax Presbyterian Church, who immediately spread the word.

  • A Dugspur woman was known for six months as "No Nails" as she trudged and climbed the 2,178 miles of the Appalachian Trail — despite her bad back, hurt ankle and fear of heights — and recently returned home triumphant.

    Following the tradition of trail hikers, Cathy Shouse adopted a colorful nickname to go by while slogging from Springer Mountain in Georgia through the Mid-Atlantic and New England to Katahdin, the trail's northern terminus in Maine.

  • Joe Wilson has spent much of his life preserving the legendary music of America's past, and this week the nation returns the favor.

    The folklorist, who lives in Fries, is set to receive the “Living Legend” award today, Friday, from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

  • Tanya Gonyo was just seven months old when her grandfather Kyle Creed, a local old-time music legend, passed away in 1982.

    But when Gonyo, now 27, of Richmond, stepped into the Stringbean Coffee Shop on Sept. 12 and saw hundreds of old pictures and banjos her grandfather made, the overwhelming feeling brought tears to her eyes as she realized what his banjo playing and instrument making has inspired.

  • BAYWOOD ee* Students at Baywood Elementary showed their pride to be citizens of America during a Constitution Day program held at the school last Thursday.

    The program was hosted by Mrs. Fleming's third-grade class and had been performed for the school's Parent Teacher Organization earlier that week.

    The celebration was part of a national day that celebrates the birth of the United States' government. It was on Sept. 17, 1787, that the 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created.

  • Most every Friday night, the sounds of the mountains ride the radio airwaves down the backroads of Virginia and North Carolina, from the Blue Ridge Mountains down to the Piedmont.

    For a decade, that traditional string music has been broadcast from Galax on WBRF-98.1 FM, which sends out 100,000 watts of old-time and bluegrass music from the stage of the historic Rex Theater in downtown Galax.

    The powerhouse radio station, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, will celebrate a decade of promoting and presenting the traditional string music that Galax is known for.

  • HILLSVILLE — A big goal of the Regional Community Support Center is to maintain the smile on peoples' faces.

    The support center's base of operations at the Southwestern Virginia Training Center provides assistance to people from 17 counties with intellectual disabilities.

    The dental program has left a big impression on many, as clients travel from as far as Lee County for checkups, cleanings, extractions — basic dental services, said dental director Roger Kiser.