• President's salary low, fringe benefits immense

    Someone asked me the other day how much money President Obama was paid each year.
    It’s kinda hard to figure the actual amount because of all the perks, you know, living in the White House, traveling around the world in Air Force One, and the list goes on.
    According to a U.S. government website, President Obama draws a $400,000 annual salary and has an expense account of $50,000.
    Then you get into the fringe benefits.

  • Emergency workers face many dangers

    Being in the news business, I never know when a news story will break.
    I was home last Thursday night about 7:30 watching the Hyundai PGA Tournament of Champions golf tournament in Hawaii, and, of course, wishing I was there.
    Then the Galax Volunteer Fire Department was called out to a car accident on East Stuart Drive near the Galax Elks Lodge with the victim trapped.
    It was cold but there was no wind, something unusual.
    And like always, you never know what kind of situation you will face.

  • Beware of scammers

    The Grayson County Sheriff’s Department is urging citizens to become educated about, and aware of, a number of scams in which scam artists try to take your money or gain personal information such as Social Security numbers.
    For example, Investigator Todd Perkins of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department reported that one such scam involves paying $49.95 for coupons on the Internet; however, those coupons don’t exist.
    Other scams include:

  • District Three a vital service for senior citizens

    I was reading a news release from the District Three Governmental Cooperative and it looks like it was a vital program for senior citizens in Grayson County and the surrounding area.
    The Coop provided core services such as meals and home repairs to 6,571 area seniors, while District Three’s Transit Division logged more than 200,000 trips.

  • Child safety seat laws pointed out

    I cringed the other day when I passed a woman on Main Street in Independence and she had her small child standing beside her in the front seat of a pickup truck.
    I guess I notice things like this more since I have a 13-month old grandson and realize the importance of having them strapped securely in a safety seat.
    Here are some of the major requirements of Virginia’s Child Safety Seat law according to the Virginia Department of Health Web site:

  • Children need homes

    RICHMOND– Gov. Bob McDonnell recently proclaimed November as Adoption Awareness Month in Virginia. The Commonwealth is celebrating significant gains in the number of children adopted from foster care into permanent and loving homes.  Still, more than 1,400 children across the Commonwealth are waiting for a “forever family.” To introduce them to prospective parents, the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has added a special feature to its website for November.

  • Thanksgiving: a time to help your neighbors

    It amazes me to watch people in Grayson County work to help their neighbors and in many cases, people they don’t even know.
    Several churches in the area joined together to provide a Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate families in Grayson County, Galax and parts of Carroll County.
    The number of dinners provided increases each year, with about 1,000 dinners provided last Tuesday, cooked and delivered from the First United Methodist Church in Independence.
    It took more than 100 volunteers to make this project such a success in a short period of time.

  • I-77 crashes are a danger to all drivers

    Listening to the police scanner last Tuesday brought back old memories about covering accidents on Interstate 77 in Carroll County.
    In 1997, while working at The Gazette, there was a chain-reaction accident that involved several cars and tractor-trailers.
    The fog was so thick that the only way I could take pictures was to wait for the wind to move the fog.

  • Flu vaccines available

  • Goodbyes are hard

    My sister, we’ll call her The Ballerina, once said that goodbyes are like dances. They can be difficult and emotional. In some instances they can even be exciting. Wise words considering they come from a teenager.

    The Ballerina recently graduated from Alleghany County High School. Oh, the memories.

    When I graduated, The Ballerina was just getting ready to turn four, and I was bound for Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C.