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Features

  • It’s just not like the good old days when times were stress-free.

    Kids spent their time on the farm chasing fireflies, playing hide-and-seek, milking cows and riding horses; and at school, kids played jump rope and tag.

    Now all that's left is memories — Pat Robinson's inspiration for pencil drawings of country settings.

  • HILLSVILLE — Eight-year-old Presley Talley's Down syndrome turned out to be a blessing in disguise, after it likely spared him from the worst ravages of leukemia.

    As Presley's family prepares to celebrate the child being declared cancer-free, they are contemplating the role that the genetic abnormality played in saving him from one of the most feared diseases.

    It looked like Presley had been dealt a bad hand from the start.

    At birth in November 2000, he looked normal to his parents, Greg and Theresa Talley — of Hillsville and Woodlawn, respectively.

  • After months of planning, designing, fundraising and overcoming challenges regarding the placement of the veterans monument, Galax City Council approved a resolution Monday to award an architectural and engineering services contract to Doug Williams of Galax, putting the city one step closer to building the Twin County Veterans Memorial.

    In October 2008, council approved the site for the veterans' memorial on the grounds of the Galax Public Library and decided to move forward with securing the services of a consulting engineer.

  • Galax’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration is always a time for the black community to rejoice, remember a painful past and look forward to a brighter future.

    But this year — maybe more so than any time since the passing of Civil Rights laws of the 1960s — was a time to lift every voice and sing about the fulfillment of King’s dream of equality for all races.

  • Galax High School performing arts students are back on top of their game this year with a performance of “The Diviners,” a play by Jim Leonard Jr.

    “The Diviners” is a tribute to the Great Depression, small towns and the blessings of life. In the play, C.C. Showers abandons his career as a minister during the Great Depression and stumbles into the small Indiana town of Zion to look for work — only to find that the town has been without a preacher for 10 years.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County School System will be represented in a national education program with NASA.

    Grayson Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas said Daniel Brown, a high school chemistry teacher, was selected to participate in the recently unveiled NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project (ESTCP).

    The project awards more than 40 fellowships each year to educators contributing to the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to the project's Web site.

  • It's every parent's worst nightmare — losing a child.

    Ella Ruth Stoneman lived that nightmare last Monday morning when officers came to her work to tell her that her daughter, Amy Stoneman, 28, had been killed in a fire.

    The accident also took the life of Ella Ruth's granddaughter, 4-year-old Deanna Lafferty, and the little girl's father, Larry Stephen Lafferty, 39.

    "She loved to work and she loved her kids," Ella said of her daughter.

  • INDEPENDENCE — You could say that Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan has been tested right from the start.

    Just 40 minutes into his first day as sheriff in Grayson, he participated in a drug bust.

    It was a positive beginning, one of those things that went a long way toward showing Vaughan was the right man for the job.

    But, nothing could have prepared the law enforcement veteran for what came next.

  • HILLSVILLE — It's been many a mile since the Carroll Wellness Center opened almost five years ago, and the non-profit fitness facility remains in step with the community's needs.

    Members have put 1 million miles behind them on the 10 treadmills in those years, for example, said Executive Director Greg Hampton.

    In just the first year, exercisers climbed 29,400 stories on the wellness center's step-mill alone — that's roughly equal to 288 Empire State Buildings.

  • Measuring 10 feet long and cruising with an unmistakable roar, monster is an apt description for the pro-street bike known as "The Dragon."

    Built in Carroll County in the steel garage of Super V Custom, with its Ultima-powered 127-cubic-inch displacement 140-horsepower engine, reptilian scales and eyes and crocodile skin covered seat, The Dragon isn't just a theme bike — it's a dream chopper for Mark Mabry of Max Meadows.

  • A roast of Galax Superintendent Sam Cook, who retired in December and will return to his hometown in Franklin County, turned into a fitting farewell at a Galax schools faculty and staff dinner on Jan. 5, as Cook's friends delivered their heartfelt thanks and appreciation for his 13 years of serving the school system.

    School faculty, city staff, friends and even some students were there to say goodbye to Cook and look back on the successes, memories and famous sayings Cook will leave behind.

  • LAUREL FORK — The owners of Olde Mill stand ready to drive a their idea to make the Carroll County sporting staple into a golf resort community.

    Opened in 1972, the designs always called for creating a golfing community along the course that encompasses 800 acres, including a 54-acre lake, according to Hagen Giles, Olde Mill's general manager.

  • Hillcrest Baptist Church in Galax is providing grocery relief through Angel Food Ministries to everyone bogged down by the rising costs of groceries and other bills during these tough economic times.

    People from all income levels gather at Hillcrest Baptist each month — some waiting an hour before the door opens to pick up their supply of food.

  • The City of Galax, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, will hold a “How to Apply” workshop for businesses located in the city's recently expanded enterprise zones on Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Crossroads Institute.

  • Dear Santa,

    I want a pencil holder and a Hana Montana Guitar I have been a good girl I have 2 Brothers Ethan and Danyon they are good too we want a real puppy.

    Love,

    Mychaela Paschall

    age 7

    Dear Santa,

    I want a Hana Montana Guitar a real puppy I have been good I have 2 Brothers + 2 sisters they are good to

    Stephinie Lawon

    age 6

    Ms. Martin’s Fourth Graders

    Fairview Elementary

    Dear Santa,

  • LAUREL FORK — The Laurel Fork community library may be the first that measured its books in pounds.

    That's because an early summer move drove home the weightiness of its collection. Organizer Annetta Stanley estimated the books would tip the scales at more than 5,000 pounds.

    That's about 3,000 books total.

    A Laurel Fork native who lived in North Carolina until her return to the area about nine years ago, Stanley actually Freecycled her way into creating a community library.

  • Conservationists cringed two years ago when the state considered building a prison along the New River in the Cox’s Chapel community of Grayson County.

    Now they can celebrate the fact that the riverfront property has been protected from future development.

  • Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is accepting reservations through Friday for area artisans wishing to participate in instructor orientation.

    All area musicians, artists and crafts people are invited to participate on Jan. 22 from 5-9 p.m. at Crossroads Institute on East Stuart Drive in Galax.

  • The three lead dancers in the upcoming fairy tale production “The Nutcracker” may all still be in high school, but their talent as experienced dancers would make the audience think otherwise.

    Performances of “The Nutcracker” by the Conservatory of Dance & Theatre will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Galax High School.

    To Taylor Edwards, Tino Sauter and Beth Galyean, “The Nutcracker” is more than just a dance recital. It is part of their way of life.