http://www.galaxgazette.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Woodlawn School pitched as FFA/Ag center http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/woodlawn-school-pitched-ffaag-center <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/woodlawn_school_ag_building.jpg" alt="The old vocational agriculture shop building is located behind Woodlawn School." title="The old vocational agriculture shop building is located behind Woodlawn School." align="left" hspace="6" width="156" height="85" /><p> HILLSVILLE &ndash; A proposal for the future use of Woodlawn School was presented to the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) at a recent meeting.</p> <p> John Carpenter, an FFA teacher at the Carroll County Intermediate School, presented a proposal to turn the school into the Smith Hughes FFA/Agriculture Center.</p> <p> Carpenter explained that the first vocational education program, located at Woodlawn, was funded by the Smith Hughes Agriculture Education Act in 1917. This led to the Future Farmers of Virginia and then to Future Farmers of America in 1928.</p> Grayson school chief to look at hiring policy http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/grayson-school-chief-look-hiring-policy <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/larry_massie_0.jpg" alt="Larry Massie, interim superintendent of Grayson County Schools" title="Larry Massie, interim superintendent of Grayson County Schools" align="left" hspace="6" width="54" height="85" /><p> <strong>By LARRY CHAMBERS, Staff</strong></p> <p> INDEPENDENCE &ndash; Dr. Larry Massie, interim superintendent for Grayson County Schools, has responded to concerns expressed by the Grayson County Education Association (GCEA) about rehiring teachers.</p> <p> He says some teachers cut during a &ldquo;reduction in force&rdquo; earlier this year have been re-hired.</p> <p> Rebecca Absher, president of the GCEA, told school board members at a recent meeting that the decision not to re-hire teachers who were on the reduction in force list was causing a lot of undue stress.</p> Robbins' photos capture musical moments http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/robbins-photos-capture-musical-moments <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/10639679_10205054217185441_4399061912527387559_n.jpg" alt="These photos were taken at the 79th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention in 2014. Find more of Mark Robbins’ work at www.markrobbinsphotography.com. " title="These photos were taken at the 79th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention in 2014. Find more of Mark Robbins’ work at www.markrobbinsphotography.com. " align="left" hspace="6" width="137" height="85" /><p> Professional photographer Mark Robbins isn&rsquo;t a Southwest Virginia native, but that doesn&rsquo;t stop him from making the trip to the Galax Old Fiddlers&rsquo; Convention every year.</p> <p> Originally from Norfolk, Robbins lives in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, and comes to the Twin Counties in what he refers to as a &ldquo;stag weekend with my guy friends.&rdquo;</p> Fewer contestants at fiddlers' convention this year http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/fewer-contestants-fiddlers-convention-year <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/screen_shot_2015-08-02_at_5.33.02_pm.png" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="87" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Reports</strong></p> <p> Registration for the Galax Old Fiddlers&rsquo; Convention is down by 90 contestants from 2014, a smaller drop than last year, when 141 fewer signed up for the event.</p> <p> Last year&rsquo;s decrease was one of the largest drops in the past four years. This year&rsquo;s total is 1,585.</p> <p> Registration numbers have been declining slowly but steadily after topping out at 2,004 contestants for the event&rsquo;s 75 anniversary in 2010. The number of contestants dropped to 1,909 in 2011, then decreased to 1,675 by 2014.</p> National Night Out to be held Aug. 4 in Galax, Independence http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/national-night-out-be-held-aug-4-galax-independence <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/nno15_logo.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="109" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Reports</strong></p> <p> Galax will hold its annual National Night Out event Tuesday evening on downtown streets from 6-9 p.m. The public is invited to attend the free event.</p> <p> National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, better places to live. The celebration is to help the public meet and become familiar with the local police force.</p> How can presidential candidates win in Va.? http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/how-can-presidential-candidates-win-va <p> <strong>Landmark News Service</strong></p> <p> With Virginia&rsquo;s emergence as a presidential battleground, a report says the nominees won&rsquo;t be able to rely solely on loyal Democrats or Republicans to win the state.</p> <p> They will need to build a coalition from seven distinct voter groups.</p> <p> &ldquo;Whoever wins Virginia is not going to win even with all the ardent partisan warrior voters. They&rsquo;ve got to go to the less-partisan middle,&rdquo; said Quentin Kidd, director of Christopher Newport University&rsquo;s Wason Center for Public Policy.</p> Suspects charged with officer assault, escape attempt http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/suspects-charged-officer-assault-escape-attempt <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/screen_shot_2015-07-30_at_2.53.30_pm.png" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="149" height="85" /><p> <strong>Staff Reports</strong></p> <p> Galax police handled three recent cases involving the assault of an officer, an attempted escape from custody, illegal drugs and burglaries.</p> <p> On July 24, Arley Jason Simpkins, 29, of Galax, was arrested by Capt. James Cox on several charges, according to a police department report.</p> Stuffed with love: sewing group helps kids http://www.galaxgazette.com/content/stuffed-love-sewing-group-helps-kids <img src="http://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/animals.jpg" alt="Rhonda Todd has volunteered every week. She also sews at home and brings in new patterns to try out." title="Rhonda Todd has volunteered every week. She also sews at home and brings in new patterns to try out." align="left" hspace="6" width="78" height="85" /><p> Mandy Archer and Grace Kirk are upstairs at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, merrily sorting through a scrap box, trying to place out squares, strips and odd-shaped pieces of cloth left over from previous projects for further use.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s my first night!&rdquo; says Archer, picking through a handful of cloth. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m following Ms. Grace here, she&rsquo;s my teacher.&rdquo;</p> <p> Kirk explains, holding up an irregular but good-sized scrap, &ldquo;The little bitty ones are trash, but [Penney Klaproth] told us not to throw the other ones away.&rdquo;</p>