• GALAX – Law enforcement officers and firefighters who serve Galax and the Twin Counties were honored Feb. 28 during special ceremonies sponsored by Galax Elks Lodge #2212.

    Area officers and firefighters were applauded for their efforts to their communities during the Police and Fire Officers Appreciation dinner held at the Elks Lodge.

  • The Young American Creative Patriotic Art Scholarship program is a national competition for college scholarships that is offered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary. This contest is open to all students in grades nine through 12, as well as home schooled students. This is a chance to express your patriotism through art. You also have a chance to win some money and a scholarship.

  • The American Red Cross bloodmobile will visit Galax and the Twin Counties three times during March.

    Dates and locations of blood drives include:

    Mar. 19 -- VFW building on Klondike Road, Independence – Noon – 5 p.m.

    Mar. 20 – First Christian Church, Galax – 10 a.m. -- 4 p.m.

    Mar. 29 – Victory Way Baptist Church, Hillsville – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Baywood Elementary School


    Dear Santa,

    Please bring me a doll my size, a pink dress, and a doll house that is really big and a big kitchen. That’s all.


    Chloe Shaffner

    Dear Santa,

    I want a red bike.


    Ashley Alley

    Dear Santa,

    I want a TV for my room that I can hook-up.


    Lakota Pridgen

    Dear Santa,

    I want a new Playstation with a dirt bike game.


    Dakota Horton

    Dear Santa,

  • RICHMOND — A Grayson County man’s artwork is on display in the General Assembly Building in downtown Richmond.

    Todd Price — business owner, sign maker and fine artist and designer — was recently invited to feature a collection of his artwork in the state’s capital.

    Price’s paintings will be on display throughout the Virginia General Assembly’s legislative session, Jan. 13 through March 13.

  • Big Foot in Grayson County?

    No one knows for sure but the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department received a call last Thursday night reporting Big Foot or some other furry, upright creature.

    Sheriff Richard Vaughan said the sheriff’s office received a call about 9:30 p.m. from a Grayson County man who said his wife, another woman and a young boy were traveling north on Route 89.

    The caller reported that while traveling between the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge and Edmonds Road they spotted a huge creature that was about 7 feet tall, hairy all over and black.

  • For the first time ever, a select group of well-known local musicians--several of them world-renowned--will take the stage at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence.

    Hard Cider, a new acoustic music group based in Grayson County, will host The Courthouse Opry on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

    This all-star music review will feature, among others, performances by Wayne C. Henderson, The Yazoo Sisters, Brian Grim, Tim and Debbie Grim Yates, Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham, and Casey Hash, as well as Hard Cider.

  • 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.

  • The Mountain Foliage Festival will kick off on Friday, Oct. 9 with a pie baking contest.

    Have your granny’s famous apple pie recipe or your church groups fried pie recipe? Enter one or all of three categories of pie being judged this year including apple, pumpkin and fried pies. Contestants can drop off their pies at the Historic 1908 Courthouse’s gazebo before 12:30 p.m. Judging begins at 1 p.m. A “silver” keepsake spatula along with other prizes will be awarded in each category. Pre-register a pie entry with Carol Lundgren by emailing lundgren@ls.net.

  • Grayson County musicians will take center stage during a Blue Ridge Music Center showcase beginning 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4. Admission is free.

    Kilby Spencer and the Crooked Road Ramblers will perform as part the Fall Heritage Music Series.

  • The confederate statue that guards the south lawn of the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence has been taken down — but only temporarily.

    Erected in 1911, the statue has stood tall on the south lawn for nearly 100 years, without ever being removed.

    Just before noon on July 7, a crane removed the statue from its perch for the first time.

    The Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation has been fundraising for the past three years, attempting to raise enough money to restore the statue.