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Features

  • 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.

  • 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.