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Features

  • 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.

  • Mixed martial artists Team PVT (Pyles Vale Tudo) of Galax rocked the cage last month at the Gladiator Fight Club’s MMA “Battle of Wills” event at the Sportplex Indoor Sports and Event Center in Winchester.

    Team PVT is part of Elite Combat Martial Arts in Galax, which specializes in martial arts, combat stunt fighting, MMA, aerobics and weight training, competitive sport karate and self defense.

    The business was established 16 years ago by owner and instructor is Grand Master Dean Pyles and his wife, Master Heather Pyles.

  • The Gerald Anderson Band will perform at the Rex Theater at 5 p.m on April 17 as part of the grand opening celebration for the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

    Anderson will be joined by Jimmy Edmonds on fiddle, Butch Barker on bass and Paul Trianosky on mandolin.

    Anderson, accomplished guitar player and luthier, has made more than 25 recordings and has more than 200 ribbons from musical competitions — the most prestigious being the award for best guitar player at the 2003 Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention.

  • 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.