• Staff Reports

    Celebrations are planned in communities throughout the Twin Counties for July 4.

    In Galax, the Galax Fire Department will sponsor three activities.

    The day begins with the annual Great Galax Duck Race at 10 a.m., when dozens of rubber ducks are dumped into Chestnut Creek from the Grayson Street bridge. Those who have purchased the ducks root for them to cross the finish line downstream at the East Stuart Drive bridge on U.S. 58 next to CVS.

  • HILLSVILLE – In support of the American Cancer Society, residents from Carroll County, Hillsville and Galax teamed up this past weekend to raise awareness for the Relay for Life campaign; a grassroots, community-based team event that provides encouragement for cancer patients and raises money for research.

    Many downtown business owners participated in Hillsville’s “Paint the Town Purple” campaign, in which storefronts and other properties were decorated with purple to show patronage for the cancer society and its mission.

  • HILLSVILLE – An abundant number of items were added to the Carroll County Historical Society and Museum this weekend, as chronicles and pieces of local history from 50 years ago were displayed.

    Citizens gathered at the entranceway of the old Carroll County Courthouse for an opening by Tom Jackson, alongside previous Carroll Drug Company owner Bill Copeland.

    A time capsule was buried in 1968 to commemorate the grand re-opening of Carroll Drug. It was excavated last month.

  • The Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia are home to a great many traditions that preserve the old-fashioned lifestyles of those that first settled in the area.

    Last Saturday morning, residents, friends and family members in Carroll County celebrated the old ways by rounding up their horses for a log pull followed by a country-cooked meal.

  • HILLSVILLE – Saturday evening was full of excitement in the town of Hillsville as residents reminisced to the sound of hotrods and classic tunes, leading up to the revealing of the 1968 time capsule on Main Street.

    Mayor Greg Crowder opened with a warm welcome to the town and a brief history. “This time capsule was buried here when I was three years old. I can remember that and I thank the Lord that I made it that long,” to see it unburied.

    The capsule was buried in front of Shining Star Salon, formerly Carroll Drug.

  • INDEPENDENCE — During the month of April, the public is encouraged to learn about the complexities of autism spectrum disorder as part of National Autism Awareness Month. In Grayson County, a local mom lends her voice to this cause.

  • Two Galax high school students have created a swinging senior project: a four-man captain’s choice benefit golf tournament, to be held on April 14 at the Blue Ridge Country Club.

    Skylar Morgan and Sarah Wyatt are the organizers, even though, as they both admit with giggles, Wyatt isn’t much for golf. The funds raised will become a cash donation to the Galax Department of Social Services foster care program, which both of them have some experience with.

  • Members of the community congregated last Saturday evening at Mt. Zion Holiness Church of God on Calloway Street in Galax to celebrate Black History Month and hold a time of reflection to honor the many achievements of African-American society throughout the nation’s history.

    Dionne Tucker opened the Feb. 17 event with an inspirational celebration of religious and cultural background, expressed in song and dance by the Daughters of Zion. She described it as “something one may have been likely to hear during the slave era dating up to the Civil War.”

  • They weren’t teenagers, mutants or turtles, but the American Ninja Warriors came to the Galax firehouse last weekend, and the spectacle they brought was loudly appreciated by residents of the Twin Counties and beyond.

    The Ninja Warriors’ visit was a ticketed fundraising event for the Curtis Bartlett Memorial Fitness Center project, which will ultimately put a workout space on Galax High School property in memory of Bartlett, a fitness celebrity, personal trainer and Carroll County deputy who died in the line of duty last year.

  • Ninjas usually work in the shadows, but the ones coming to Galax this week want to be seen.

    Three competitors from the popular NBC show “American Ninja Warrior” will be in town for several activities throughout the weekend of Jan. 27-28 that will benefit the Fit to Serve 122 campaign, an effort to raise money for the Curtis Bartlett Memorial Fitness Center project at Galax High School.

  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, hosted by McMillian Ministries in Galax on Sunday, was lighter in attendance and shorter in duration than in past years, but still filled with spirit and song.

  • HILLSVILLE — Hezekiah Goad, almost 3 years old, will be taking a trip to Disney World in mid-January with his family, thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation, which exists to grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions.

    “Kiah loves to watch Mickey Mouse,” said his mom, Carrie, using the family’s nickname for her son. “That’s about the only thing we know he loves. He doesn’t know really [that we’re going]. But I have faith he is going to love it.”

  • Staff Report

    A Galax skating rink that has been part of the community for nearly 40 years closed this weekend, but before it did, dozens of people came out for one last skate.

    Galax Roller Land owner Ronald Vaught is recovering for a few weeks in a nursing home after suffering a stroke around Thanksgiving. He has decided to close the business, but family and friends organized a fundraising skate for Dec. 30 to raise money for Vaught.

  • By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    Earlier this month, Lexi Hale, Summer Caudell and Jackie Dorsey answered an invitation, made to them last summer, to participate in a holiday parade in Walt Disney World Resort.

    The Galax High School cheerleaders’ report on what happened and how they feel about it might be summed up in Hale’s single sentence: “It was a life-changer.”

  • By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    Beverly Billings is the epitome of those people about whom you say, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”

    She’s a working nurse, wife and mother who’s studying to earn an additional degree.

  • FRIES — The Fries community’s daily bustle ground to a halt on Nov. 30, when the sight of the Fries Bell — a familiar town landmark — riding down the street in a parade-like fashion on the back of a tractor trailer piqued citizens’ curiosities.

    The familiar artifact was en route from the Fries Mill site to the spot where the town’s long-awaited Fries Depot project is planned.

  • For one glorious day, the Galax Volunteer Fire Department had an extra firefighter at their side — 16-year-old Tyson Ford.

    Tyson, who has Down’s Syndrome, has been fascinated with firefighters since he was three, said his mom, Kyla.

    She and her husband, Steven, have been teaching Functional Fitness classes at the firehouse on Wednesday nights. The discipline is meant to incorporate moves the firefighters would naturally engage in as part of their jobs, and strengthen their ability to perform these actions.

  • With Thanksgiving behind us and merry lights already sparkling, it’s time to kick off the Christmas season in the Twin Counties. This weekend will feature several holiday happenings:


    The Town of Hillsville, Carroll County and the Friends of Hillsville have partnered this year to present the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony, along with a day of holiday events on Saturday.

    This year’s parade theme is “A Bluegrass Country Christmas.”

  • By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    MOUTH OF WILSON – In the rural high country of western Grayson County, the earth trembles under the wheels of farm vehicles pulling loads of produce out of the fields, to one of several loading areas. From there, “big rigs” are hauling load after load of seasonal stuff to markets.

    It started in October, when huge cardboard boxes of pumpkins rumbled towards town.

  • By D.T. CLARK and BRIAN FUNK, Staff

    William Bottomley, who designs and sets up the High Country Lights display in Galax, has some traditional pieces, some new pieces and one big surprise in store for visitors to Felts Park this holiday season.

    Bottomley said that he’s added a figure of that little yellow bird, Woodstock, to his Peanuts display, because, he said, “what’s Peanuts without Woodstock?”