https://www.galaxgazette.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Jury recommends 40 years for Keepers https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/jury-recommends-40-years-keepers <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/keepers_on_stand.jpg" alt="Natalie Keepers took the stand for the first time in her trial on Friday, and apologized to the family of Nicole Lovell. “Words cannot express how sorry I am. I never intended for this to happen,&quot; Keepers said." title="Natalie Keepers took the stand for the first time in her trial on Friday, and apologized to the family of Nicole Lovell. “Words cannot express how sorry I am. I never intended for this to happen,&quot; Keepers said." align="left" hspace="6" width="77" height="85" /><p> CHRISTIANSBURG &mdash; A jury on Friday recommended that Natalie Keepers serve 40 years in prison for her role in planning the death of a Blacksburg teen, whose body was found near Galax in 2016.</p> <p> Keepers, 21, of Maryland, was convicted of being an accessory to first-degree murder before the fact, following a four-day trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court.</p> <p> On Friday, the jury deliberated about her sentencing recommendation after hearing testimony from both the defense and prosecution and &mdash; for the first time &mdash; Keepers herself.</p> Father, son from Lowgap charged with murder https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/father-son-lowgap-charged-murder <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/screen_shot_2018-09-23_at_5.49.33_pm.png" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="100" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> LOWGAP, N.C. &mdash; A father and son face murder charges after a woman&rsquo;s body was found in Surry County last week.</p> <p> Jimmie Calvin Anderson, 71, and Jimmie Andrew Anderson, 30, both of 160 Timber Lane in Lowgap were charged with first-degree murder on Saturday, according to Surry Sheriff Jimmy Combs.</p> <p> The victim has been identified as Jennifer Carol Sandberg Bright, 59, of 110 Lonely Hearts Trail, Mount Airy, N.C., and formerly of Galax, Va.</p> Apple Butter Time at Mountain Plains https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/apple-butter-time-mountain-plains <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_9756.jpg" alt="Church members cook apples at the cannery." title="Church members cook apples at the cannery." align="left" hspace="6" width="99" height="85" /><p> HILLSVILLE &ndash; A local church that has kept seasonal traditions alive for nearly 70 years will be holding its annual fall festival on Saturday.</p> <p> The tradition of apple butter making started at Mountain Plains United Methodist Church back in the 1950s. The tradition has thrived, and the church members and people from the community still use the same recipes and procedures that were developed almost seven decades ago to cook apples over an open flame.</p> Blevins rebuilds after flooding https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/blevins-rebuilds-after-flooding <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/blevins_flood_damage_5.jpg" alt="A photo taken by a Blevins Building Supply employee shows the extent of damage to the warehouse area following the Sept. 8 flood." title="A photo taken by a Blevins Building Supply employee shows the extent of damage to the warehouse area following the Sept. 8 flood." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> In the days following a sudden burst of heavy rain throughout the Twin Counties, a downtown business in Galax has been hard at work restoring their building from extensive flood damage.</p> <p> Blevins Building Supply, located on 302 S Main Street in downtown Galax, suffered a major loss due to flooding at their business as a result of the storm on Sept. 8, but management assures customers that they are still up and running. Cleanup is still ongoing; but customers can still access the business from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.</p> Galax business competition takes off https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/galax-business-competition-takes <p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> Entries are open for the Jump! Galax Business Competition, which was announced last month.</p> <p> The competition, funded by $43,000 in grant money from the governor, is to help draw more businesses to the downtown area.</p> <p> Applications are available at GalaxVa.com or at BRCEDA.org. They may also be obtained from Jessica Milby at (276) 238-8130 or jmilby@GalaxVa.com. Regardless of where they are obtained, applications must be returned to Milby by Sept. 26.</p> Grayson Highlands Fall Festival celebrates 42 years https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/grayson-highlands-fall-festival-celebrates-42-years <p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> MOUTH OF WILSON &mdash; Grayson Highlands State Park&rsquo;s 42nd annual Fall Festival will be held Sept. 29-30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.</p> <p> There is a $10 per day parking fee. The event is sponsored by the Rugby Volunteer Rescue Squad, Fire Department, and ladies auxiliary.</p> <p> Live bluegrass and old-time music will be featured on Saturday. Music starts at 10 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.</p> <p> This year&rsquo;s lineup includes:</p> <p> &bull; 10 a.m. - Recorded music</p> <p> &bull; 11 a.m. - To be announced</p> Man charged for tampering with 19 vehicles https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/man-charged-tampering-19-vehicles <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/david_lee_glass.jpg" alt="David Lee Glass" title="David Lee Glass" align="left" hspace="6" width="56" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> A man found sleeping in a car in Galax was charged with tampering with 19 vehicles in the city.</p> <p> David Lee Glass, 20, of Galax was charged after officers Silverio Gonzales and Sara Patton responded to a report of a man sleeping in a vehicle on Sept. 11, according to a Galax Police Department report.</p> <p> Glass was detained by Gonzales and Patton and placed under arrest for tampering with a motor vehicle and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.</p> Absentee voting begins for Nov. 6 mid-terms https://www.galaxgazette.com/content/absentee-voting-begins-nov-6-mid-terms <img src="https://www.galaxgazette.com/sites/www.galaxgazette.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/vote_icon_7.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="84" height="85" /><p> <em>Staff Report</em></p> <p> Absentee voting for the Nov. 6 General Election starts statewide today, Friday.</p> <p> Qualified Virginia voters may vote absentee in-person at their local voter registration office or vote absentee by mail. To vote absentee, registered voters must meet one of the 20 eligibility requirements listed on the Virginia Absentee Ballot Application.</p>