Today's Features

  • ENNICE, N.C. -- When Joye Edwards walked out of her Ennice, N.C. home and saw the giant, dirty handprint on the back of her vehicle, the first thing she felt was anger.

    She’d just spent the prior evening washing and polishing the blue Jeep to a sparkling shine.

    As she got closer to the vehicle though, her anger quickly turned to confusion, fascination and fright.

    About 10 inches in length, the handprint seemed to dwarf the taillight of her car.

  • He heard the creature long before he ever saw it.

    A sound unlike anything he’s ever heard before.

    What was it?

    “I can’t say,” a Glade Valley man, who doesn’t want to be named, says during a telephone interview. “It’s a yell, a holler. I’ve never heard anything like it – not even on television.”

    For years, he heard the strange animal-like noise – and then he saw something, not once, but three times, over the past two years.

  • A Virginia organization that investigates alleged Sasquatch sightings and encounters is interested in visiting the area.

    Billy Willard, director of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, describes the organization as a Bigfoot and wildlife scientific field research association.

    He contacted the newspaper after reading reports about strange incidents in the Ennice, N.C. area in The Declaration.

  • Red Bull racers got wings and flew across the finish line to win a trophy and $500 cash during the annual Grand Privy Race held Saturday in Independence, the home of Virginia's official outhouse race. The unique race is organized as part of the town's annual Mountain Foliage Festival.

    Coming in a close second was Fox Creek General Store. Third place went to Alleghany Memorial Hospital.

    The race lasted nearly two hours as hundreds in attendance lined Main Street, braving chilly temperatures and cool winds to see one of the state's most unique festival events.

  • Some of the first settlers to migrate west into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia told stories of large apes who threw rocks at their settlements.

    The Cherokee Indians reportedly had two names for giant apelike creatures: “Nun Yunu Wi” (the Stone Man) and “Kecleh-Kudleh” (the Hairy Savage).

    Loggers in the early 1900’s described apes living along the mountain ridges of Virginia and West Virginia.

  • The Conservatory of Dance & Theatre, a Galax-based dance education program dedicated to preserving the cultural traditions of ballet, will perform its 5th annual ballet, The Nutcracker, on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Galax High School Auditorium.

  • Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry by far, with nothing else coming a close second.

    The industry has an economic impact of $55 billion annually and provides more than 357,000 jobs in the Commonwealth, according to the Department of Agriculture and Agriculture and Consumer Services. The industries of agriculture and forestry together have a total economic impact of $79 billion and provide more than 501,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. Every job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.5 jobs elsewhere in the Virginia economy.

  • It’s not every day that a memorial service is held without a soldier, but it happened at the Saddle Creek Cemetery on U.S. 58 west of Independence on Oct. 30.

    A color guard from Independence VFW 7726 conducted the service for Talmage Johnson Sexton honoring him for his service to America.

    A tombstone was erected at the cemetery bearing Sexton’s name, beside his father’s grave, Walter Sexton.

    Dan Boyer, commander of Post 7726, conducted the service at the cemetery. The color guard fired their guns in the air as part of a salute to Sexton.

  • I was working as an interpreter and translator in Cologne, West Germany, when the Berlin Wall came down.

    On Nov. 9, 1989, I was sitting at a stoplight, two blocks from my apartment. Suddenly, the music stopped and an announcer cut in, saying, “Folks, you’re not going to believe this, but the Berlin Wall is down.” I was stunned. What? This is incredible! Then, everyone starting honking their horns, and I joined them. The air was electric! Soon, church bells rang throughout the country.

  • The Conservatory of Dance & Theatre introduces Audrey Clark and Whatley Ozer as Clara, in the girls’ first solo performances in “The Nutcracker.”

    Clark and Ozer will share the role of Clara, a young girl who receives a

    nutcracker from her godfather Drosselmeyer, then dreams of a handsome prince and a land of enchantment and sweets.