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Features

  • INDEPENDENCE — One thing’s for sure – when it’s time for a baby to be born, it’s going to happen when it’s time, whether it’s in a hospital or in the back of a rescue squad ambulance.
    This was the case early June 6 when the Independence Volunteer Rescue Squad was en route to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax with a maternity patient.
    The squad was dispatched to the residence of Jessica Billings on Old Bridle Creek. They loaded her onto the ambulance at 2:10 a.m.

  • Local churches are uniting to bring a four-night youth event back to Galax on July 21-24, this year with a focus on extreme sports and skateboarding.

  • Fourth of July celebrations are abundant this Thursday, with parades, fireworks, music and more in multiple locations. Here’s a guide to the Fourth festivities in Independence, Galax, Hillsville, Fries, Lambsburg and Ivanhoe

    Independence
    The Town of Independence will offer a full day of events.
    The festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with the annual parade, which will start at the intersection of U.S. 58 and U.S. 21 at the 1908 Courthouse and end at the Food City parking lot at the Guynn Shopping Center.

  • The annual Galax Firemen’s Carnival begins its festivities on June 24 and continues through June 29 at Felts Park in Galax.
    Normally held on the week of July 4, the carnival was pushed back this year due to scheduling conflicts, according to the fire department. “Normally, when a carnival is booked, it is from a previous year with a city or town. We have recently been carnival shopping and these dates are what we got,” department officials explained on the GVFD’s Facebook page.

  • WALES, United Kingdom — The team that won a competition to highlight the importance of a copperworks in the Industrial Revolution drew its focus from Jared Bowers, a Carroll County native and 2001 graduate of Carroll County High School.
     Bowers is a doctoral candidate at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.

  • Dozens of swimmers participated in an attempt at breaking the record for the world’s largest swim lesson on June 18 at the Galax Recreation Center’s indoor pool.
    Beginning at 11 a.m., aquatics coordinator Trace Lumpkin led a class of 32 into the water for their lesson at the same time as other participating instructors in more than 700 locations around the world.
    The current Guinness World Record is held by Team WLSL (USA), which tallied 19,322 participants in 235 locations throughout the world on June 14, 2011.

  • The annual Galax Firemen’s Carnival begins its festivities on June 24 and continues through June 29 at Felts Park in Galax.
    Normally held on the week of July 4, the carnival was pushed back this year due to scheduling conflicts, according to the fire department. “Normally, when a carnival is booked, it is from a previous year with a city or town. We have recently been carnival shopping and these dates are what we got,” department officials explained on the GVFD’s Facebook page.

  • Cruisin’ and Groovin’ in Galax begins this Friday at 5 p.m. in downtown Galax.
    This is the first of three Cruisin’ and Groovin’ classic car cruise-in events planned in Galax this year, with two others scheduled for July 12 and Aug. 16.
    Streets will close and car registration will begin at 4 p.m. The cruising event begins at 5 p.m., with music by The Attractions beginning at 6 p.m.

  • HILLSVILLE — Members of the Grover King VFW Post 1115 and Ladies Auxiliary held a special ceremony on Flag Day to honor a beautiful symbol of the United States’ national pride, according to organizer Don Dobbins.
    The Stars and Stripes is the fourth-oldest banner in the world, older than even the flags of Great Britain and France.
    “Their countries might be older than ours, but our flag is older than theirs,” he said.

  • Twin County Wellness Center has partnered with The Gazette to offer 2 people each a free, 12-week personal training session!

  • In January, Vatress Williams of Woodlawn handed the Carroll Chapter of Project Linus over to Sarah Melton of Independence.

    Williams had served Project Linus for about five years and got the chapter to supply 4,030 blankets to children in the area.

  • HILLSVILLE — Lilias Turman, 90, reported to the Grover King Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1115 at 5 a.m. on May 15 to help cook breakfast for the many law enforcement representatives that attended the Peace Officers Memorial Day observance.
    It’s for actions like this in a busy schedule of helping her community that Turman’s sisters in the VFW ladies’ auxiliary recognized her as volunteer of the year in Loyalty Day activities.

  • Luke Hampton, an Alleghany County wrestler paralyzed after his spine was injured during a match, is now running his own business and training young grapplers. On Sunday, a free concert in Sparta, N.C., will benefit Alleghany Special Olympics in honor of Hampton.

  • Beginning on May 21, the Galax Recreation Center is offering a new exercise program designed to improve the health of current and former breast cancer patients.
    Leading the class is cancer exercise specialist Renee Stoneman, a fitness guru who is dedicated to improving and maintaining cancer patients’ health.

  • WHITETOP — Grayson Highlands State Park is a beautiful place to visit, hike, camp or just get away from your regular routine. Just be sure to keep your eye to the sky for fast changing weather conditions and always go prepared.
    After my many visits there, I always had a lingering disappointment in the back of my mind every time I was about to make my way down the long winding road out of the park – I still had yet to see the infamous wild ponies that inhabit the balds of the mountain top, which I had heard so many stories about.

  • Randall Zelmer Warf, a World War II veteran who had seen the world past “the Ridge,” had a dream of getting out of the Gossan mines for his family’s sake after returning to the Carroll County community.
    Warf never got to fulfill that dream because he died at 27 in a mining accident in the early morning hours of May 1, 1947, according to family members.

  • Moving a mountain with steam shovels and explosives and hollowing out the earth below through tunneling presented danger and challenges at Gossan Mines in Carroll County.
    Work was periodically interrupted as various kinds of emergencies would occur.
    Newspaper archives on the mines held by the Carroll County Historical Society Museum contain articles on different kinds of problems that arose at Gossan Mines.

  • Gossan Mines shaped life in the Iron Ridge community of Carroll County for 57 years, while workers hauled pyrrhotite ore out of the ground for General Chemical.
    Mine superintendent Fred E. Johnson oversaw the day-to-day operations at Gossan as part of an international mining career.
    Always associated with the extractive industry in his professional life, Johnson earned the moniker “Hardrock.”

  • DURHAM, N.C. — “Bertha” and “Bobby” no longer have to be tethered to Samantha Riggs' side, after she pulled through transplant surgery with a brand new heart at Duke University Hospital.
    Riggs and family had nicknamed the ever-present and cumbersome medical monitoring equipment that were Samantha’s constant companions for months. They joked that it was high time Bertha and Bobby went off on their own.

  • Virginia Tech article, reprinted with permission
    BLACKSBURG — International agriculture education may be a tool for national security, according to research by Austin Larrowe of Woodlawn, a junior at Virginia Tech.
    Larrowe is one of 72 students representing 66 U.S. colleges and universities and selected by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress to be part of the Presidential Fellows program for 2012-13.
    Each student has worked on an individual research project throughout the year and will turn in their completed paper in May.