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Features

  • Brightly colored steel benches, planters, banners, entry arches and flower boxes are just some of the potentially inexpensive design concepts that could transition the dark, unattractive downtown alleyways into vivid, lively corridors for Galax visitors.

    A few months ago, the state awarded Galax a Community Development Block Grant to make improvements to storefronts.

  • CVFallout.com will rock the youth ministry at Cliffview Church of God with a series of concerts beginning today, Friday.

    The jams kick off with all-girl Christian band Ilia appearing with Galax’s own Shadow of Eternity, starting at 8 p.m.

    Organizer Rob Swiger wanted to raise excitement levels and reach youth through the music, he explained to The Gazette in an e-mail. The opportunities to minister through Christian rock are better than ever.

  • HILLSVILLE — In the midst of treatment for a brain tumor, Emily Beamer's spirit remains untouched.

    In fact, Emily — in typical fashion — inspires good morale among her family members by staying positive and strong, says mother Malinda.

    The recent graduate from Fancy Gap Elementary and rising Woodlawn sixth grader keeps on smiling, despite being diagnosed with pineoblastoma in March.

    "Emily's always smiling, she's always bright and positive," Malinda said. "She's always been that way."

  • ELK CREEK — Nestled in the woods of Elk Creek is a 40-acre farm that offers anyone the opportunity to walk with and learn about goats.

    Paul and Mary Cottenier spent their lives in the hustle and bustle just outside Tampa, Fla. After retiring, the couple began looking for a calmer place to settle down.

    With family in Boone, N.C., the couple first looked for places there. After having no luck, they began looking in the mountains of Virginia.

  • The Blue Ridge Music Center launched its 2008 summer concert series on Saturday. This season, visitors from all over the world will have a chance to hear and learn about many types of Blue Ridge music and to meet people associated with it from this region.

    The visitor center and interpretive museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After Memorial Day weekend it will be open daily. There will be music at the music center daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • For many high school students, finding the right college or career path — or just filling out a financial aid form — can be overwhelming.

    But now, the Virginia Community College System provides high schools with career coaches to help students make future plans. Wytheville Community College offers the career coaches program throughout the area, including at Galax High School.

    Career coaches are on hand most school days.

  • What's Happening

    Monday, Jan. 28

    Rooftop of Virginia CAP Board of Directors meet, Rooftop of Virginia CAP, Main Street, Galax, noon.

    Red Cross Bloodmobile, 11 a.m., Hillsville VFW Post 1115.

    Tuesday, Jan. 29

    Indoor archery practice, Tuesday and Thursday, New River Wildlife building, 7107 Riverside Drive, 6:30 p.m., $3. (276) 744-7158.

    Make Me Warm story hour and Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Galax Public Library. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Wednesday, Jan. 30

  • What's Happening

    Friday, Jan. 25

    Red Cross blood drive, Independence VFW Post 7726, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donors are entered to win a 42-inch HDTV and a donation to the military support center will be made for each donor who signs in.

    Pinto bean supper and auction rescheduled for Friday at Fries Middle School, 3 to 7 p.m. (276) 744-2542.

    Saturday, Jan. 26

    Hospice volunteer training, session II, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mountain Valley Hospice, Mount Airy, N.C., office. (336) 789-2922 or (888) 789-2922.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Two Grayson County farms that guard the scenic view and water quality along five miles of the New River will be forever protected in their natural state, thanks to conservation easements donated by their owners in 2007.

    Grayson County was one of the region’s leaders in land conservation in 2007 with nearly 1,392 acres protected, according to the New River Land Trust.

  • Local churches united on Jan. 20 to celebrate the legacy of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in an event that honored those who fought for the freedoms that the black community enjoys today.

    The annual celebration included songs of praise, speeches from local black leaders and a remembrance of King’s dream of equality, dignity and integrity for people of all races

    This year’s event was held at The Redeemed Church on Mockingbird Lane in West Galax, a place with historic significance to the local black community.

  • What's Happening

    Wednesday, Jan. 23

    Grayson County TRIAD meeting, 10 a.m., Fries Volunteer Fire Department bingo hall.

    Tri-Area Pregnancy Resource Center will hold Bible study, Galax Presbyterian Church, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Childcare is provided free.

    Cold Animals story hour and Mother Goose, Galax Public Library, 10:30 a.m. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Thursday, Jan. 24

    Cold Animals story hour and Mother Goose, Galax Public Library, 10:30 a.m. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Friday, Jan. 25

  • For most singles, just hearing the words "Valentines Day" — which is quickly approaching — is dreadful.

    However, Parrott Bay Restaurant & Nightclub in Galax may prevent some singles from being dateless Valentine victims when it hosts its first “speed dating” event on Friday.

    Speed dating, a formalized matchmaking process, is growing in popularity, especially in metropolitan areas. And it seems to be the quick, hip way to meet other singles without rejection.

  • Many people want to join dance classes just for fun, but some feel that strict dance forms are just not for them.

    Middle Eastern dance instructor Iara Kendrick, who also goes by the stage name of Samra, has opened a dance studio in Woodlawn — the Moving Arts Center — that incorporates culture, fitness, creativity fun and free-form dance styles.

    Belly dancing, cheerleading and world dance classes allow people of all capabilities, sizes and ages to study and enjoy movement.

  • What's Happening

    Wednesday, Jan. 16

    Winter wonderland story hour and Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m., Galax Public Library. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Carroll County Genealogy Club meets, 6:30 p.m., Carroll County Public Library, North Main Street, Hillsville. The program will be a documentary, Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp. 236-3033.

    Thursday, Jan. 17

    Oldtown Lodge 68, Galax, will have a called communication for work in the entered apprentice degree.

  • In 2008, the average Virginia family will need an additional $835 in their annual budget just to keep a car filled with gas, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

    On Jan. 2, AAA reported a 33 percent increase in gas prices over the same day in 2007. Gas prices rise and fall throughout the year, but AAA encouraged families to budget for gas costs with the prices increases in mind.

    In Galax, as of Monday, gas prices were around $3 a gallon.

    Jim Alley of Fries was a bit shocked at the AAA estimate.

  • What's Happening

    Tuesday, Jan. 15

    Twin County Diabetes Support Group meets, 7 p.m., Twin County Room, Twin County Regional Hospital. Topic is make 2008 great by beginning new lifestyle changes, with Brenda Worrell, LCSW speaking. 23608181, ext. 3565.

    Winter wonderland story hour and Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Galax Public Library. 236-5319, ext. 201 or carlene@wiredog.com.

    Indoor archery practice, Tuesday and Thursday, New River Wildlife building, 7107 Riverside Drive, 6:30 p.m., $3. (276) 744-7158.

    Wednesday, Jan. 16

  • In a nation where pop music dominates the young crowd, the Virginia Junior Appalachian Musicians classes exist to give youngsters a firsthand knowledge of their own front porch musical heritage and traditions.

    JAM program director Tony Hatcher said musical heritage can be taken for granted and overlooked, even if it is right at your door. But this program is already proving it can open eyes and change perspectives.

  • What's Happening

    Saturday, Jan. 12

    Al Birddog Jennings will sign his book, Saturday My Day to Wear the Underwear, noon, at Back Porch Gallery in Fries. Light refreshments will be served.

    Tuesday, Jan. 15

    Twin County Diabetes Support Group meets, 7 p.m., Twin County Room, Twin County Regional Hospital. Topic is make 2008 great by beginning new lifestyle changes, with Brenda Worrell, LCSW speaking. 23608181, ext. 3565.

  • Since the early 1990s, Buford Wilson has spent hours upon hours trudging through cemeteries, researching court records and obituaries in an attempt to discover his roots.

    And with the help of the Grayson County Heritage Foundation, he has compiled the book “Those Who Sleep Here: Cemeteries of Galax, Virginia,” which lists all 16 Galax cemeteries and more than 6,000 people buried within the city limits.