• There’s an awful lot of bald fellows wandering around Galax and environs lately … is it a new fashion trend?

  • HILLSVILLE – Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church broke ground on its new addition on Sunday.

    The church has been in its Virginia Street location since 2014. According to Pastor Jeff Pickett, on Oct. 19, 2014, the day of the first service, it was apparent that the church would need more room to accommodate the rapid growth in children’s classes.

    “And we knew we could not accommodate all of the church family for any meals in a timely fashion in the temporary fellowship hall,” said Pickett.

  • Staff Report

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Farmers Market is up and running, even during the cold winter months.

    The online winter market has had $4,000 in sales since opening for the season on Oct 18. There are 14 vendors and two community fundraisers.

    Customers can place orders anytime from Friday afternoon until Wednesday evening. This gives the vendors time to prepare orders for customer pickup at the 1908 Courthouse on Fridays from 10 a.m. until noon.

  • You might already have seen the T-shirts around town, along with business marquee signs with messages of support.

    You’ve probably seen the logo on Facebook: a cartoon boy’s face, colored green, with a shaggy dark haircut and a tough, determined smile, bearing the hashtag #MightyMax.

    Now meet the kid behind the commotion.

    Max Brown, 4, of Galax, has been mostly healthy in his young life. He’s fond of staying over at his paternal grandmother’s home on Saturday nights with his cousins to play with them, as any kid would.

  • You can almost hear Melanie Sumney waving her hands over the phone as she talks.

    “Can you tell people we’ve got what we need, so they don’t have to keep sending in money?” she asks.

    Like most Twin County natives, she’s both passionate about her cause and thoughtful of causing others any inconvenience.

    Sumney is a family friend of E.W. “Dub” Shupe, a wheelchair-bound Lowe’s employee who is in need of a track chair to improve his health and mobility.

  • The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration was held Jan. 18 among many local African-American churches at the former Hillcrest Baptist Church building, now owned by MacMillian Ministries. The theme this year was “Fight On for Righteousness, Fight On for Justice, Fight on for Truth.”

  • The Glenwood Galax Church building, located on Coal Creek Road, dates back to around 1885. This is good for a sense of continuity and history, but bad for structural integrity: for years now, a downstairs wall has been in need of repair.

    The building is still the original, said Glenwood member Mason Nester Sr. “I’ve heard there were several churches in there, including Quakers. I’m not sure if it was originally built as a Methodist church.”

  • E.W. Shupe, known affectionately as both “Dub” and “E.W.” to his friends, came home from work one Friday in 2003, feeling sick and feverish. He had just turned 21 and had a four-month-old daughter.

    A week later, the Fries resident had bounced from Twin County Regional Hospital to the New River Valley Medical Center outside Radford and wound up in Roanoke, where he spent time in intensive care while physicians worked to figure out what was wrong with him.

  • Grayson County leaders took a pie in the face for the United Way cause during the agency’s annual campaign celebration.

    Dishes of whipped cream soared and splattered into the faces of Grayson County leaders during the county’s United Way Campaign Celebration in early December.

  • A local couple put in countless hours of hard work to make Christmas more special for a less fortunate family this year.

    For two months, John and Dorothy Frost, both in their 80s and without any children of their own, collected and shelled walnuts to sell in the area. After completing the daunting task, the couple was able to raise about $600 and decided they wanted to provide Christmas presents for some local children.

  • Chad Tate of Fries has used his artistic talents to bring a piece of “Star Wars” from a “galaxy far, far away” to Twin County Cinema III in Galax.

    Tate built a 7-foot-tall scale model of an Imperial AT-AT (All-Terrain Armored Transport) from the original “Star Wars” films to celebrate the opening of the seventh film in the franchise, “The Force Awakens,” which opens this week.

  • An episode of the syndicated talk show “Dr. Phil” featuring a Galax woman is set to air today, Wednesday.

    Christy Adams won a contest to appear on the show, after donating to a cause that helps abuse victims.

    Adams, a West Virginia native, Galax resident and local author, describes the need to address and end domestic violence as “something that’s just really close to my heart.”

  • WOODLAWN – Blue Ridge Fellowship Church will host a Christmas celebration on Friday and Saturday in conjunction with its ongoing Christmas light display.

    The lights and Bethlehem Village are in their second year, but have grown significantly and the church hopes to continue to expand the display off Glendale Road in the future.

  • Staff Report

    Sara Morrison Ward, one of Galax’s past but most well-known and loved music teachers, turns 100 today.

    In her eventful life, Ward also has been a composer, Peace Corps volunteer, novelist, poet and choir director.

    Born on Dec. 9, 1915 in Barnet, Vt., one of three children, to Paul Knight Morrison and Ethel Merrill Morrison, her extraordinary musical ability won Ward a State of Vermont Scholarship to the University of Michigan.


    Localities celebrated the holiday season last weekend with a series of festive parades. Fire and rescue agencies, churches, bands and antique vehicles were just a few of the features of this year’s lineups in Galax on Dec. 4 and in Hillsville, Independence and Fries on Dec. 5. Gazette photos by Sara Blankenship, Shaina Stockton and Shannon Watkins.

    Click HERE to view the slideshow

  • Staff Reports

    Christmas festivities abound this weekend in the Twin Counties, and much of the holiday cheer continues throughout the month.

    Dec. 4 will be a busy day for holiday activities in Galax, with a Christmas parade, the grand opening of a new woodworking studio and a First Friday event with live music and specials in downtown shops.

    The annual Galax Christmas Parade will be held Friday evening at 7, preceded by a tree-lighting ceremony in front of the police station on North Main Street.

  • The results of the ninth annual United Way Celebrity Bagging Challenge are in, and judges have confirmed that Galax and Independence were the top Food City stores in gathering donations for United Way Southwest Virginia this year.

    According to Ashley Bartee of United Way SWVA, the top three highest revenue-generating stores out of the eight participating venues for 2015 (which includes all event and pre-event dollars raised) are Galax in first place, Independence in second and Tazewell in third.

  • When William Bottomley’s Christmas light display outgrew his home, he moved his thousands of twinkling bulbs, trees and Santas to a fire station.

    When it outgrew the fire station, he took over an entire park.

    This year, Bottomley’s annual synchronized musical light show, featuring nearly 100,000 LED bulbs, moved to Felts Park in Galax. The show opened on Thanksgiving night and runs through Jan. 1.

  • The High Country Light Show will bring Christmas cheer to Felts Park in Galax beginning Thanksgiving night.

    The lights will be on display through Jan. 2, from 6-11 p.m. nightly.

    The synchronized musical light show, featuring nearly 100,000 LED lights, is privately owned by William Bottomley.

    Thousands of visitors, including many from Galax and the Twin Counties, made the drive to Glade Valley, N.C., each year to view the lights at Christmas. Bottomley hosted the lights there for the past decade.

  • HILLSVILLE – A first grade class at Oakland Elementary is asking for the help of social media to bring a country musician to Carroll County.

    Teacher Amy Gordon and her students are asking Luke Bryan, a popular and award-winning country music artist, to come and read to her class if they get a specific response on social media. “We are asking for 1,000 likes and 1,000 shares,” said Gordon.