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Today's Features

  • TROUTDALE — When Wayne Sheets and his siblings were growing up, their father, Jerry Sheets, encouraged them to pick up creative hobbies.

    “Supposedly, hobbies keep you out of trouble,” Jerry says. But not only that, a good hobby leads to feelings of accomplishment, and perhaps a little bit of revenue if they break into the business of selling their crafts; which is exactly what this family does.

  • SPARTA, N.C. — The 50th anniversary of the St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Sparta, N.C., was celebrated with a special Sunday Mass on Sept. 25, followed by a reception and fellowship.
    The church was first dedicated on Sept. 25, 1966, and brought local Catholics a formal venue for worship in Sparta. St. Frances of Rome was built in memory of Frances Payne Darr, mother of Ed Darr, and sister of Anne Payne Robertson. In the past 50 years, the parish has grown to approximately 152 families.

  • By D.T. CLARK, Staff

    TROUTDALE — There’s a progression that takes place in most of us: first, you’re a baby interested only in food and sleep, and then you’re a kid fascinated with toys and games, and then you’re a teen and discover the opposite sex, and then, before you know it, you’re middle-aged (or older) thinking: what happened?

  • INDEPENDENCE -- Now in its seventh year, the Independence Farmers Market is off to a strong start this year. Addressing the Independence Town Council last week, Market Manager Michelle Pridgen told them the market’s season opening day this month drew record numbers.

  • INDEPENDENCE -- With wonderful spring weather blooming everywhere in Grayson County, you might have thought everything winter-related was long gone. Not so on the local music scene – there’s still one concert left in the Historic 1908 Courthouse’s “winter” concert series. A performance featuring New Traditions Saxophone Quartet was originally set for February, but was canceled due to snowy conditions. It is now set for 3 p.m. this Sunday, May 10.

  • INDEPENDENCE -- About 300 attended Grayson County High School’s annual Junior-Senior Prom, dancing this past Saturday night away in the school’s old gym, which was specially decorated for the event.

    The prom’s theme this year was “If Only for One Night.” The event was coordinated by GCHS teacher Amanda Brewer, who was assisted by many volunteers.

  • TROUTDALE – In its glory days in the early 1900s, Troutdale had nearly 3,000 residents, a department store, hotel and movie theater. As its lucrative logging operations in time dwindled -- along with its status as a train hub -- it lost all these businesses and many more. It’s an interesting tale of boom and bust and an exciting historic backdrop to a town its longtime mayor believes will one day again grow and prosper as a gateway to nearby Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

  • WHITETOP – Officially shuttered to school children in 2010, Mount Rogers School springs to life again during the last weekend of the month every March when it serves as the headquarters for the annual Whitetop Mountain Maple Festival. More than a thousand people turn out for the annual fundraiser, enjoying pancakes made in the old school’s cafeteria kitchen and browsing through arts and crafts displays in its for classrooms. Proceeds go to support the Mount Rogers Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

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    By Cynthia Taylor

    Guest Ciolumnist

    GRAYSON COUNTY -- When I moved to our farm in Grayson County last year, my new neighbors suggested I go to a Grayson LandCare meeting. The speaker that night discussed plants you could grow in the forest and then harvest and sell as medicinal plants -- a topic that motivated me to begin planting in the woods on our farm with hopes to supplement our income in the coming years.

  • INDEPENDENCE -- The new Independence-based overseer of the public library system serving Grayson County is eyeing all sorts of upcoming upgrades – everything from adding current bestsellers to obtaining better public computers. But he knows getting the money for it will be a challenge. “The libraries are not bad, but they need more money,” Wythe-Grayson Regional Library System Director Tom Eggers, said. “The real problem I got is that they’re on a shoestring budget.”