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Features

  • 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.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    Like most farmers, Donald Brady harvested vegetables and milked cows.
    But what really brought the money in was the business that Brady kept hidden throughout his life: making moonshine.
    Debby Brady Goad, daughter of the late Donald Brady, took the stage at the March 21 “Bluegrass Gravy and River Quilts: Old Home Remedies and Recipes” event, and took listeners back in time to when she was a young girl growing up on her daddy’s farm in Carroll County.

  • WYTHEVILLE — The RFD-TV show “Tough Grit” will feature the Erica Greer of Austinville giving advice, all the while clad in her red work vest, on the proper ways to work with sheep.
    Greer, store manager for the Wytheville Tractor Supply, is a resident of the Carroll side of Austinville.
    The show, a partnership between the retail chain and Grit Magazine  — yes, the same Grit that used to depend on youth to sell subscriptions door-to-door — provides tips on all the chores rural Americans face on a regular basis.

  • Bunnies aren't always the best choice for an Easter present. A Galax rescue group offers a second chance for rabbits who have been abandoned, abused or neglected.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    FANCY GAP — In 2005, Mark and Cheryl Manning decided to make their life-long dream of owning their own campground a reality.
    Soon after, they found the perfect place to start: a campground on Fox Trail Loop in Fancy Gap, off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Carroll County, that had been there since the 1950s.
    Along with help from the rest of their family, they set to work turning it into the campground they had always imagined.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    The Music Ministry of the First Baptist Church of Galax will present its annual Easter musical this weekend, beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. with repeat performances on Saturday and Sunday.
    “The Way” will tell about the life of Jesus Christ through drama, choir and orchestra performances.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    The semi-circle of children gathered around Sarah Largen were at full attention as the Galax Public Library’s new youth services coordinator animatedly led them into the wacky world of Dr. Seuss.
    As the whimsical rhyming continued, several small gasps were heard from the audience. Small fingers pointed towards the door, where the Cat in the Hat stood, waving.

  • The Matthews Living History Farm Museum will host a Civil War Living History weekend on March 16 and 17.
    “The event will demonstrate life in a Civil War encampment, including period costumes and living quarters, weapons, demonstrations, music and cooking,” according to a news release for the event.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    Five years ago, a seed was planted that started the process of turning Noel and Peggy Belcher’s dream of owning a winery into a reality. Three years ago, the foundation was put down and the walls went up, creating a home for that dream. Two years ago, Mt. Vale Vineyard’s doors finally opened.
    Today, the founders’ dream continues to grow and thrive. After Peggy Belcher’s passing in 2012, each success becomes a fitting tribute to her memory.

  • HILLSVILLE — Having autism is kind of like being in a foreign country and not speaking the language, but one parent has found that an iPad can help bridge the communication gap.
    Jennifer Dobbs hopes that www.thepuzzlingpiece.com can provide an iPad that son Tyler can use at home, after seeing a benefit from using one in Carroll County Public Schools.
    The website was created by Melissa Winter, a mother of an autistic child who wanted to raise and funds to help children and families affected by autism.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    It all began when John Ayers of Galax visited a brew pub in Charlotte, N.C.
    He was used to beer that can be found in any grocery store, such as Budweiser, Coors and Miller, he said. But when he tried a variety of samplings at the restaurant, his enthusiasm for craft beer began.
    After traveling and sampling the hundreds of brews that are available, he began crafting his own styles in preparation to start his own brewery back home.

  • HILLSVILLE — Growing up during the Great Depression, Velma Bowman Horton worked hard to get the dimes and nickels to go school and become an educator.
    As a teacher and guidance counselor, Horton did her utmost — working constantly and tirelessly — to help Carroll County students get they best education they could, too.
    That’s why friends and family believe that the Velma B. Horton Memorial Scholarship is the perfect way to honor the woman who helped countless people during her 40 years in education.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    On a recent morning, Tammy Harmon saw a strange sight on her way to work.
    “Way down the street, I saw someone walking very slowly,” said Harmon, director of Hope House of the Good Shepherd in Galax. “I didn’t think much about it, and I went inside.”

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    In keeping with his promise, Galax Rite Aid pharmacist Dustin Thomas sat on a chair while coworker Amy Parsons sheared off his locks with a set of clippers. Since the goal was to shave him completely bald, Thomas told her to “have fun with it.”
    And she did.
    “It’s not every day you get to shave your boss’ head,” laughed Parsons. She grinned mischievously as another employee replayed a video of the haircut taken with her phone.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    It all starts with one question and one answer:
    “Will you marry me?”
    “Yes.”
    Many brides agree that this is one of the easiest decisions they will ever make. However, this decision is quickly followed by several other questions that aren’t as easy to answer.
    Where the wedding will take place?
    Who will provide the food?
    What flowers should be bought?

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    For Randy Harmon of Galax, life has almost always been on a fast track. From motocross to race car driving, he has worked to leave quite a memorable impression on the circuits long after the dust clouds settle.
    To continue what seems to be a growing family tradition, Harmon is now shifting more of his focus on to the next generation. His son, Derek, is now following in his father’s tire tracks, and it has already been said by some that he could someday qualify against the titans of racing — NASCAR.