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Features

  • 2010 Smoke On The Mountain
    Virginia State BBQ Championship Winners

    Grand Champion — Bubba Grills, Haddock, Ga.
    (Because this team has already won a place in next year's event, runners-up Killer Hogs of Olive Branch, Miss., will represent Galax and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 2011 Memphis Barbecue Network world championship.)

    Whole Hog
    • Killer Hogs — 1st
    • Bubba Grills — 2nd

  • The first day of summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway was warm, extraordinarily sunny and quiet. Maybe a little too quiet.
    "When does the travel season begin?" wondered Debra Anker, a parkway visitor from Fredericksburg, whose family had stopped at a visitors’ center on their way home from North Carolina.
    "It's very quiet today. I don't mind having the road to ourselves."

  • At seven years old, Galax native Kylene Barker set her sights on the crown after she saw her aunt crowned Miss Teen Roanoke.
    It was an image she couldn't forget, and would eventually become a reality for her.

  • HILLSVILLE — A Girl Scout working on her Gold Award recently launched a project to help victims of domestic violence at the Family Resource Center in Wytheville.

  • LAUREL FORK — Olde Mill has kicked its culinary offerings up a notch with Chef Ed Badgett heading up the kitchen.

    The golf course continues adding housing and an array of amenities as it transitions to a fully fledged resort community, and the vision for the place has captivated the chef.

    Not only does Badgett serve as chef and live onsite, he's taken the lead in blogging and tweeting about happenings and has even shown the new housing to clients. "I do as much as I can without sacrificing being in the kitchen."

  •  Watch for more graduation photos in Friday's edition of The Gazette on the Twin County Living page.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Few people in Grayson County remember when Sheriff Charles C. McKnight was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1933.

    There were no plaques that honored him, which concerned Sheriff Richard Vaughan.

    Several weeks ago, he started a project to remember the late sheriff and, after extensive research, a large bronze plaque bearing McKnight’s picture and the date he was killed now hangs in the front lobby of the Grayson County Courthouse.

  • HILLSVILLE — An investigation by a Carroll deputy has ensured that one of his fellow officers will be properly remembered for his service.

    The name of Carroll Deputy Emery Mabry had been carved into the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Washington, D.C., with a description that didn't accurately tell the story of how he died in the line of duty.

    The deputy stopped a suspicious vehicle, soon after his watch ended on April 22, 1974.

  • HILLSVILLE — In order to become a centerpiece of the community for cultural and historical activities, the Carter Home Foundation needs more community involvement.

    The foundation that oversees the home associated with coal and railroad magnate George L. Carter holds non-profit status. A recent facelift has refreshed the exterior and the first two floors of the interior of the home originally built by Fielden Hale in 1845.

  • DUGSPUR — A new Crooked Road partner has mounted up on Virginia's traditional music trail.

    Crooked Road co-founder Joe Wilson will visit the Kanawha Valley Arena, known for its equestrian pursuits, to present a banner celebrating its designation as an affiliated partner on the self-guided driving trail focusing on Virginia's musical heritage.

    The presentation will occur at 7 p.m. Saturday, prior to a performance by The Bolt Brothers, according to a Crooked Road press release.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Sharon Reeves, a teacher at the CATE Center, has been named the Grayson County school system’s teacher of the year for 2010.

    The announcement came May 4, during the annual reception to honor distinguished teachers from each of the 10 schools in the system.

    Stephen Cornett, director of instruction and assessment, complimented the teachers “for their caring attitudes and their strong commitment to give students the best education possible.”

    Cornett said teachers had to meet extensive criteria as part of the selection process.

  • The Arts Council is hosting a variety showcase of eight Twin County female performing arts groups at Galax High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Saturday.

    Groups include singing by the Yazoo Sisters, Highland Camerata Ensemble, Galax High School Girls Barbershop Quartet, and Earth Mama; music by Mountain Marimba and Blew Ridge Brass; and dances by the Conservatory of Dance and Bint El Samra

    Admission is free, donations appreciated.

  • INDEPENDENCE — A veritable 'Who’s Who' of renewable energy speakers will be featured and a variety of earth friendly vendors will demonstrate energy saving, carbon footprint reducing products and services at Saturday’s 3rd Annual Independence Earth Day and "Save Green: Money and Energy" Expo at the 1908 Courthouse.

    The event is sponsored by Grayson Land Care and the Town of Independence Special Events Committee.

  • With the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway just around the corner — and as many as 20,000 people expected to visit the area this year as part of the parkway's celebration — the Crossroads Institute will host a series of events, starting tomorrow, Thursday, to get locals in touch with the area's heritage.

  • Being a lineman means having a career where people look up to you, Eddie Reavis of TCR Management likes to say.

    Twenty years working with utility companies in the field has given Reavis a bird's eye perspective on the industry, and he knows there's a high demand for these kinds of skilled laborers.

    That led to the creation of TCR Management at the Crossroads Institute to start with the basics for groundsman training, the first step on the way to become a lineman.

    It's hard work, but good opportunities are available for those willing to tackle it.

  • Plans are underway for the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary weekend celebration during Sept. 10-12, marking the anniversary of construction on Sept. 11, 1935.

    The Blue Ridge Music Center (milepost 213), the Cumberland Knob Recreation Area (milepost 217), and neighboring communities of Fancy Gap, Hillsville, Fries, Independence and Galax will be among sites for this multi-day, multi-venue celebration.

    Included will be regional music, crafts, storytelling, children’s activities and foods from the Blue Ridge.

  • As a young boy growing up in Kentucky, local music legend Willard Gayheart, scraped up $3 to purchase his first guitar, and even though he didn't do much with it then, when he moved to Galax in 1962 he got hooked on learning bluegrass and old-time music.

    Gayheart, now a renowned musician and pencil artist, shared his story with a crowd at last Thursday's first Bluegrass Gravy & River Quilts event at the Crossroads Institute in Galax.

  • HILLSVILLE — Juggling just isn't for the clowns and the circus. It's for artists, athletes, hobbyists and just about anyone — and the Flanagans can attest to that.

    As local Glen Luke Flanagan swirls a handful of bean bags through the air and tosses them behind his back, showing off his juggling skills, he explains how the hobby has become about sharing, showing and coming together.

    He never misses a beat as he demonstrates his tricks, manipulation skills and choreography.

  • The creative economy being developed throughout the area is one industry that can't be exported overseas, said Chris Shackelford, director of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

    CCSA has and will continue to bring new businesses into the area, add jobs, create mixed-use buildings and improve the quality of life as Galax works toward transitioning into a place of entrepreneurial development and tourism, Shackelford said.

  • In the “Memories: The Blue Ridge Parkway in Retrospect” juried art show at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, a watercolor painting by local artist Jarrod Wilson depicts a classic Plymouth pulled to the side of the road on the parkway with a blanket spread out on a grassy knoll.