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Features

  • 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.

  • Cliffside estate and property set for auction Nov. 8-9, including the mansion, cottages, furniture and other items.

  • UPDATED: Due to the remnants of Hurricane Sandy passing through on Wednesday and expected temperatures in the 30s, several Halloween activities — including those in Independence and Galax — have changed venues:

    Oct. 30: Grayson Children's Center

  • FRIES — Local artist Chad Tate and his crew of maniacs have created a truly terrifying haunted house at the Fries Recreation Center this year.
    The Scream Asylum opened Oct. 19, with a massive “Pumpkin King” greeting visitors outside the rec center, complete with a light-up head Tate carved out of a foam block. The wood and chicken wire monstrosity also billows smoke from its head.

  • Billy Mitchell of Galax devoted much of his life to helping the Lions Club, until his health forced him to stop. Last week, the club honored his service.

  • When Galax High School alumnus Harold Eugene Leonard passed away last year, he left a list of generous bequests to several organizations, including the Galax Foundation for Excellence in Education.

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff

  • HILLSVILLE — Of the dozen or so dogs and one cat in attendance at the Blessing of the Animals Saturday, Stephanie Burnette thought her companion might be the poster child.
    Maddie had been diagnosed with cancer in June, and Burnette learned that the dog might have days or weeks to live.
    Despite that, Maddie continues to hang on and to receive treatment for her malady.
    “She plays,” Burnette said. “She enjoys life. To me, it’s been a miracle, an absolute miracle.”

  • The members of the Galax Volunteer Fire Department take their motto to heart.
    “Pride in Our Past, Dedicated to the Future” is emblazoned on signs and trucks, but it’s more than words.
    As for the pride in the past, firefighters speak reverently of those who came before, building the organization from a bucket brigade to a fire company in 1912, after much of the city’s wood buildings were destroyed by fire.

  • The 61st Annual Lord’s Acre Harvest Sale on Saturday will feature home-baked pies and cakes, home-canned goods, fresh-cooked foods, handmade crafts and bushels of fall produce for sale at Felts Park in Galax.
    The event supports local churches, and is sponsored each year by the Carroll-Grayson United Workers for Christ Association.
    The day begins with a worship service at 9:30 a.m., followed by the sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Take a video tour of the Devil's Den cave in Carroll County with guide Michael Gravley, in this video produced by The Gazette's Shaina Stockton. (Video link is at end of story.)

  • By SHAINA STOCKTON

    Staff

    HILLSVILLE — People from all over the region gathered at the Hillsville VFW on Saturday to celebrate the first-ever Christian Family Fun Day.
    The event, sponsored by dozens of churches in the Twin Counties and beyond, kicked off with a parade at 10:30 a.m., followed by free food, games and entertainment from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
    People smiled from their decorated vehicles while others followed on foot and distributed pamphlets for their respective churches along the parade route.

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  • Cindy Halley of Galax is sharing her story of hope and inspiration through the book, “The Faces Behind the Pages that Inspire.”
    Halley owns GODpillow in downtown Galax, embroidering words of courage and motivation onto pillows of prayer. GODpillow promotes healing through prayer and meditation.
    Starting in October, Halley and dozens of other women will travel around the country and around the world, leading people on a journey as they tell their inspirational stories.

  • Firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel in Galax hold memorial service.

  • Writer Michael Abraham talks about “Providence, VA,” the story of a massive power outage that strikes the Galax area and forces people into self-reliance.

  • Hundreds of African-American students from Galax, Grayson and Carroll were bused to Scott Memorial and Wytheville Training School until public schools were fully integrated in the early 1960s. The schools held their 60th reunion this weekend.