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Features

  • Smoke on the Mountain, Galax’s annual barbecue contest, has drawn fierce but friendly competitors for a decade. This year, the stakes have been raised.
    “We just received an email from the Memphis Barbecue Network in the last month,” said Smoke on the Mountain Site Director Ron Passmore.

  • INDEPENDENCE — A graduating class of 136 students received diplomas on May 31 at Grayson County High School — and some have completed two years of community college already.

  • Irvin Jennings, a resident at Golden Living Center—Blue Ridge, received a surprise gift this year.

  • HILLSVILLE — The 1944 Allied landing at Anzio, Italy, was only supposed to last for a few weeks, but instead troops were stranded on the beach for four months, as wave after wave of enemy soldiers stormed the beachhead in opposition.
    Seventy years later, veterans of that battle are still gathering. This year, they met in Hillsville — possibly for the last time.

  • Flipping through pages and clicking through websites, William Edward “Ed” Weaver of Galax suddenly stopped, his eyes coming to rest on an image of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress named “Abroad with Eleven Yanks,” one of more than 500 bomber planes that flew over Osaka, Japan, on June 1, 1945 during World War II.

  • Kenneth Young Tomlinson, who rose from a childhood in Galax to become editor of Reader’s Digest and director of the Voice of America, died May 1 in Winchester. He was 69.
    His career at Reader’s Digest spanned 28 years and he became its editor in 1989.

  • Do age and cunning really beat youth and exuberance?
    Or does it work the other way around?
    Linda Mock, Galax’s Safe Routes to School coordinator, doesn’t really care; she’s just happy people showed up to try.

  • HILLSVILLE — Uniformed officers lined up inside the Grover King VFW Post 1115 on the morning of May 15, as the smell of crisp bacon, country ham, sausage, biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs and donuts wafted from the kitchen.

  • Gripes from Circle Drive

  • Thirty Galax swimmers have been honored as record holders for their collaboration with more than 35,000 swimmers across the globe in an attempt at breaking the record for the world’s largest swim lesson on June 18, 2013.

  • WOODLAWN — A normal day at Jeff Johnson Chevrolet turned into a rescue mission when employee Ray Laboube discovered a stray dog and her puppies searching for food in a nearby dumpster on May 5.
    “We were all at work here, and all of a sudden around 11:30 a.m. these three female dogs ran through the garage with three puppies following behind them,” he told The Gazette.

  • Local heroes were celebrated at Hearts Empowered to Rescue Others (H.E.R.O.) Day on May 3 in Hillsville. The day celebrates everyday heroes, including police, fire and rescue departments.

    The field on Farmer’s Market Drive in Hillsville was packed with various stations where visitors could learn about the local emergency departments and what they do each day to keep our neighborhoods safe.

  • Last November, missionary Doug Donithan — originally from Grayson County — made the dangerous trek back to his home city of Tacloban in the Philippines to help his neighbors deal with the devastating aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan (also called Typhoon Yolanda).
    Because of the chaos and debris that the storm had left behind, many relief efforts had trouble reaching the communities to help. To get back home, Donithan had to fly to another island, travel to his island by boat and then hire a van to drive back to his house.

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  • HILLSVILLE — The annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on April 10 at the Southwestern Virginia Training Center sang the praises, quite literally, of community services provided to the residents there.
    Andrew Shannon, director of volunteer services and gospel singer himself, conducted the mostly musical recognition of more than 400 volunteers much like a revival.

  • The Galax Recreation Center celebrated the grand opening of its bicycle library on March 28, part of the city’s Safe Routes to School program.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

  • HILLSVILLE — Local non-profit organization “Live for Life” is hosting a day-long music festival for child abuse awareness and suicide prevention called “Live for Life - Don’t Hasten Death” on April 4 at the Grover King VFW Post in Hillsville.

  • This story was written by Penelope Moseley and was submitted for the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation.

    HILLSVILLE — The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation is reopening Mayetta’s Market on April 3 after a winter break.
    The market features quality handmade original art and crafts in many forms, as well as publications by local talents.
    Laura Cassell, who turned age 94 in January, has worked tirelessly this brutal winter to replenish her inventory at the market.

  • HILLSVILLE — Mava S. Vass touched many lives as an educator and community volunteer over the years, all the while keeping humble about her achievements.
    At the March 10 meeting of Hillsville Town Council, it was time to shine the spotlight on Vass and publicly thank her.