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Features

  • This year, the Galax Downtown Association (GDA) will still host the city’s annual Halloween celebration, but the merchants’ organization members will make it a community event instead of trying to do it all themselves.

  • Twin County homeowners may want to keep a vacuum handy this fall in case the most recent insect invader wants to take refuge somewhere cozy.
    Virginia researchers studying the kudzu bug have mostly confined their work to the effect of the rapidly spreading insect on row crops, according to Virginia Extension Service and Virginia Tech entomologist Ames Herbert.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

    It’s official: The Galax Smokehouse has become a popular hangout for many people in the community — perhaps even those who are no longer with us.
    Restaurant co-owner and operator Dan Milby confirmed that the downtown Galax business will be featured this weekend on a new episode of “My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera,” a paranormal series on the Biography Channel.

  • Two winners were chosen to transform themselves through personal training, and The Gazette is following their progress. With less than a month to go, Travis Haynes has nearly reached the end of his 12-week journey, while Treva Osborne has been medically cleared to begin a transformation of her very own.

  • Three happy babies flashed their winning smiles and dimples on Friday, when they took first, second and third place in voting for The Gazette’s 2013 Beautiful Baby Photo Contest.
    This contest is an annual effort to raise funds to support The Gazette’s Newspapers in Education program, which helps to provide newspapers to local schools for educational purposes.

  • When the mail arrives for soldiers stationed overseas, the contents of the mailbag can make or break the mood at camp that day.
    A letter from husbands, wives, parents, children or even a stranger is all it takes to give a soldier that important connection to the home they are fighting for, along with the means to escape their surroundings for a minute or two.

  • HILLSVILLE — Hookah Hook-up owner Ayman Anwar’s vision for his second Main Street business isn’t hazy at all — he says it’s all about the atmosphere.
    The idea to open the smoking lounge next door to his Italian restaurant, Juliano’s, is unique in the Twin Counties, he said. But, he believes a unique attraction is something the town could benefit from.

  • The annual Labor Day Gun Show & Flea Market was in full swing this weekend in Hillsville.

  • FRIES — Oral-B has gone to the far reaches of the United States to visit locations named  “Manual Road” to promote its fall marketing campaign, which is intended to encourage manual toothbrush users to switch to its new product, the Deep Sweep electric toothbrush.
    The company visited Manual Roads in Erath, La.; Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and Standford, Ky.; before making their fourth stop at Manual Road in Fries on Aug. 17.
    The nationwide “WOW Experiment” tour is also a chance to film locals for the product’s new commercial.

  • Locals who have kept up with the new Food Network series “The Shed” will see familiar surroundings on Monday night, as the next episode will chronicle the barbecue team’s visit to Galax in July for the 2013 Smoke on the Mountain competition.

  • Scenes from the Carroll County Agricultural Fair, held Aug. 21-26 at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market in Hillsville. For more information: carrollcountyvafair.org

  • Two winners were chosen to transform themselves through personal training. The Gazette is following their progress. This is the first report since Travis Haynes and Treva Osborne began their journeys.

  • The Rotary Club of Hillsville will observe its 75th anniversary on Thursday.
    The club was chartered on Aug. 8, 1938. Club meetings were held at the Hillmont Hotel on Main Street for several years.
    Other meeting venues have included Mountain Top Restaurant, Blue Ridge Tavern, the Red Barn, Corner Restaurant, the Tompkins House, Shenandoah Restaurant, Captain Pete’s Seafood Restaurant, Peking Palace and Countryside Restaurant.

  • MOUTH OF WILSON ― Park officials, volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts gathered at Grayson Highlands State Park on Saturday to introduce the Split Rock Trail, a new 1.3-mile loop trail that offers both hiking and climbing opportunities to the public.

  • Galax and Independence will both hold National Night Out Against Crime events on Aug. 6.
    National Night Out, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is a community-police awareness event that takes place in areas all over the United States. It is always held the first Tuesday of August.
    The events are organized by local police departments, non-profit organizations and volunteer departments. The goal is to increase awareness of police programs in the community, including drug prevention, neighborhood watches, and other crime prevention efforts.

  • Creek Bottom Brews will host the first-ever Galax Rhythm and Brews Fest on Saturday from 1-8 p.m., at its location on Meadow Street.
    The event is sponsored this year by the Galax Downtown Association, and will feature craft brews from six different breweries and two cideries, along with live music and food for everyone to enjoy.
    Participating breweries include Green Flash Brewing, Parkway Brewing, St. George Brewing, Foothills Brewing, Blue Mountain Brewery and Ommegang Brewery.

  • Twenty-three barbecue teams from all over the country were lined up shoulder to shoulder last weekend for the first-ever dual competition at the 9th Annual Smoke on the Mountain contest in Galax.
    This year’s event featured both Memphis Barbecue Network and Kansas City Barbecue Society contests. The MBN winner in Galax is also named the Virginia state champion each year.

  • A fifth grader from Laurel Elementary School created the art for an anti-tobacco campaign going up in areas of Southwest and Southside Virginia.
    A project of the American Lung Association in Virginia, the Healthy Grounds for Our Youth effort seeks to keep the use of tobacco products off school campuses, even outdoors, according to Billie Murray, project manager.

  • A total of 22 teams competed on July 19-20 in Galax at the 9th Annual Smoke on the Mounatin BBQ Championship. Barbecue teams from all over — from local contenders to nationally known celebrity cooks — gathered for the city's first dual contest, featuring both the traditional Memphis Barbecue Network competition and, for the first time in Galax, a Kansas City Barbecue Society contest. Below are the winners in each category. Watch The Gazette on Wednesday for photos and coverage of the event.

  • FRIES — Blue Cat on the New has reeled in the contract for a pilot program to increase accessibility on the New River Trail State Park.
    Only this outfitter, with locations in Fries and Draper, has received permission from the state to host tours of portions of the popular trail using golf carts.
    Business owner Donnie Turner’s application was accepted last winter when the state park system sought proposals.
    The tours out of the Fries location can stretch to about 2.5 hours and extend as far as Byllesby Dam and the Gambetta area.