• Guest column: Saving our poorest localities

    Over the past 50 years, the economy in most of rural America has been in steady decline. Specifically, Virginia’s coalfields and surrounding counties have experienced a mass exodus of industry and population. Some localities have lost nearly 50 percent in population.
    The reasoning for such a decrease has been and will continue to be debated by economists and politicos. Either way, the actual loss is reality.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Another one wipes the dust’

    I’m willing to bet that most of us have had the following conversation with a friend when they were over for a visit. Usually, it happens after one of those flight-of-the-bumblebee, stuff and fluff cleaning rushes when you get about 20 minutes notice that someone is coming over. Maybe you forgot you were having company, or maybe it was last-second planning. But somehow, despite the time crunch, you manage to stuff all of the crap lying around your house into the nearest broom closet and transfer your pile of dirty breakfast dishes under the sink before the doorbell rings.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Quoth the Raven’

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Think outside the boxes’

    This weekend, as I was in the middle of a random post-midnight YouTube binge, I came across a nifty video that reminded me of a lesson I learned early on as a neat freak: there really is such a thing as going too far with organizing.
    Basically what I’m getting at here is, don’t let the idea of organizing your space give you permission to go out and acquire even more crap.

  • Editor’s column: ‘Back to school shopping’

    I want to start out this week’s column by wishing my friend and now-former coworker Sara the best of luck at her new job.
    Prior to this job, I reported on the Carroll County beat for our sister paper, the Galax Gazette. Sara took my place when I moved to my position as editor of the Declaration, and she absolutely rocked it out of the park. During her time with our little news family, we bonded over things like tattoos, Disney and our love for animals; but one topic we always seemed to land on was our shared obsession with office supplies.

  • Editor’s column: ‘Safety in covers’

    Most of the time, giving my house a good cleaning once-over is enough to put me in a good mood. But sometimes, it takes something a little extra.

  • Editor’s column: ‘And now, for something completely different’

    When I first started writing this column, I’d originally meant it to be what the new generation would call a weekly “blog,” of sorts; mainly to keep tabs of the ever growing bucket list I’ve been keeping since I was 16. Obviously, given my content over the past year or so, that idea (thankfully) expanded into something that I hope is a little more useful. But to be honest, I feel connected to this community enough now that when something big happens in my life, I want to share it with you. So, here goes.

  • Editor’s column: ‘Smell you later’

    When keeping a clean house, making it smell nice is typically half the battle – especially if you and yours are as on-the-go as much as my family.
    During a typical work week, my husband and I each juggle our work schedules, along with grocery runs and pick-ups and drop-offs for the kids. So we definitely enjoy coming home at the end of the day.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘And now for our feature presentation’

    Unless you missed it somehow, I’m somewhat of a movie freak. And by movie freak, I mean that I’m pretty sure I’ve put the corporate heads behind Best Buy, FYE and Redbox in enough dough to send all of their kids off to college.

  • Editor’s Column: ‘Fidget, don’t fret’

    Ladies and gents, I have a little-known factoid about myself that I want to share with you this week: I have been the proud owner of a “fidget” toy for years. And no, it’s not a spinner.