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Features

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    Years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream of racial equality with the world. Society since that time has changed drastically, making King’s dream a reality.
    Decades after his death, many still find the strength in his words to pursue their own dreams, no matter how difficult they may seem.

  • New River Trail State Park attracted more than one million visitors and had nearly 6 percent more attendance than in 2011.
    The trail that passes through Carroll and Grayson counties and Galax followed the trend that allowed Virginia State Parks to set a new attendance record in 2012.
    State parks attracted 8.366 million visitors, an increase of 7 percent. The new record is a 4 percent increase over the previous attendance record of 8.065 million visitors, set in 2010.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    Groups of black silhouettes circle the air over the hospital and hover around local businesses and residences, roosting in trees and giving some people the creeps.
    During the winter months, scavenger bird sightings in the Twin County area have become more common. As vultures and buzzards settle in for their long winter’s nap, the community is not feeling quite as comfortable.

  • Twin County Regional Hospital welcomed the first baby of 2013 on Jan. 1 at 9:20 a.m.
    Aubrey Nicole Vaughan, daughter of Danielle Atkinson and Tyler Vaughan Sr. of Woodlawn, was born closest to the midnight mark that brought us into the new year.
    Aubrey came into the world weighing seven pounds, eight ounces, and measured 20-and-a-half inches long, according to the press release.
    She was delivered at the hospital by Carlos J. Blattner, MD, of Blue Ridge Physicians for Women.

  • HILLSVILLE — Organizers of Christian Family Fun Day have tagged their next event, bringing a famous wrestler to Carroll County High School for the “Ring of Truth.”
    After wrestling with the likes of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson in the original “Four Horsemen” and winning titles as a team member and on his own, Tully Blanchard now describes himself as “a champion of Christ.”
    Blanchard wrestled from 1977 to 1989 in the WCW and the WWE until his drug and alcohol usage sort of pinned him to the mat.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    Through her extensive volunteer work through Appalachian Independence Center (AIC), Leigh Ann Heath of Galax now feels confident in her ability to make a positive difference for others.
    “Before, I felt like I wasn’t a part of my community,” she said. “Now, I have more confidence in myself. I’m not afraid to go out in public like I used to. I an get up in front of others and talk about what I do without feeling insecure about myself.”

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    After years of hard work and preparation, Alfonzo “Fonzi” Hernandes Cobos of Galax is climbing the ladder as a bodybuilder.
    On Nov. 3, 2012, he took first place in the lightweight class bodybuilding competition at the Elite Muscle Classic in Greensboro, N.C. He also placed second in the overall competition.
    Cobos, 23, was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. He is a graduate of Galax High School.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    With my eyes closed and my mind clear, I focus on the task in front of me: confronting an emotion that most people don’t put at the forefront of their mind, at least if they can help it.
    The feeling in question: doubt, an emotion that plagues everyone at certain points in their lives.
    “Allow yourself to feel doubt in your mind, to completely feel it, and let me know when you are there,” coaches Cindy Halley.

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON
    Staff

    White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford prepared a selection of fine foods from every corner of America for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s 24 holiday dinners and receptions this year, and cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy of Galax will be featured on the menu.

  • Santa isn’t scary if you’re sleepy, as this little tot found out at the annual Galax Elks Lodge Christmas party, where Toys for Tots helped deliver presents to children.

    Toys, hot dogs, anti-drug comics, coloring books, fruit and candy stockings were given to an estimated 385 children.

    Twin County Toys for Tots assisted Santa and the Elks with delivering presents to children at the party.

  • Volunteers in Galax and Hillsville packed boxes of food and other essentials on Dec. 20, for the Galax Ys Men’s annual Community Christmas Chest and the Carroll Christmas Fund.
    Carroll Christmas Fund volunteers first organize the donations into categories and then fill the 630 boxes that went to deserving families to ensure that they enjoyed a happy holiday season.

  • "I believe that we all have God-given instincts. We just have to stay calm and listen to them," said Angela Crowder, who had to deliver her daughter's baby when she went into premature labor Dec. 3.

  • The coordinators of the local Toys For Tots campaign are working to raise money and collect toys to serve 1,038 needy children in Galax, Carroll and Grayson this year.
    Bob Hines and Kendy Sawyer said they anticipated serving 500 children, but the need was greater than expected.
    On Wednesday, they bought a carload of toys at Roses department store in Galax, enough for 174 children from ages 0-3.

  • AUSTINVILLE — Virginia Department of Forestry workers harvested the Virginia Capitol’s Christmas tree off Coulson Church Road on Monday, which means it will be the second time this Colorado blue spruce will take a holiday turn.
    The tree’s donors let the foresters know this tree helped a family celebrate the holiday in a past Christmas.

  • Friday

    The Galax Christmas Parade is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7. The route is from North Main Street to Felts Park.
    Prior to the parade, the city Christmas tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m. at Police Plaza on North Main.
    Any groups or individuals wishing to participate in the parade need to complete an application, available from A Place in Time Antiques or the Galax Downtown Association office. For more information, call 236-0668.
    There will be a $10 fee for business entries, and all entries will be judged.

  • The Galax Downtown Association will begin its holiday activities with a “Downtown Open House” this Friday-Saturday.
    Downtown stores will have special sales and displays, and volunteers will offer gift-wrapping in the lobby of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts both days, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    A donation of cash, peanut butter or juice boxes for Backpack Buddies is requested, in exchange for gift-wrapping.
    Wrapping is offered for any downtown purchases and for Angel Tree gifts. Bring the Angel Tree tag with your gifts.

  • HILLSVILLE  — A large network of Carroll County volunteers has already mobilized to help deserving families have a merry Christmas, according to organizers.
    As soon as the calendar turned to November, Dennis Ward sent out a letter to Carroll Christmas Fund volunteers, asking them to do their thing again this year.
    The letter stood in for an organizational meeting. Ward noted it’s difficult to get people together for a meeting this time of year.

  • Unveiling of first phase of Blue Ridge Veterans Memorial is an emotional and long-awaited time.

  • WOODLAWN — Voting can work up an appetite for the many people who come to the precinct at Woodlawn School, members of the United Methodist Church just across the road have long understood.
    For around 15 years, serving a spaghetti lunch at the Woodlawn church has been an Election Day tradition for food, fellowship and fundraising.

  • A medical issue tipped the Lopez household budget into negative territory, but the Galax family can get back on track with a little help on two utility bills.
    Ceasar Lopez said his wife Miriam recently had complications from her benign-but-growing brain tumor.
    Though Miriam had a large tumor removed in 1985, the problem reoccurred in 2007, Ceasar said. Doctors have been watching it and noted the tumor has grown by one millimeter since last check.
    Lopez spread two fingers about two inches apart to show big the tumor is now.