Recent Headlines

Like the traveling vibrations of a fiddle, Appalachian music reaches far and wide, even to the most unexpected places. Russ Rentler, born and raised in New Jersey and now living in Pennsylvania, has embraced the lyrics and sounds of Appalachia and, over the past 55 years, has learned how to … Read more

I am a product of the Franklin County school system: Shout-out to the Class of 1993! I now live in Maryland and run a foundation that assists high poverty school systems and Title I schools with their literacy efforts. Read more

Standing at my kitchen window one evening earlier this month, I spotted an eight-point buck 25 yards away eating clover under a soaring tree. A younger male sporting four velvety points munched nearby. Watching them, I shifted slightly. The bucks, hyper-sensitive to sound and movement, insta… Read more

The very first call I received Monday morning was a bad one. I learned that Adam Wright, 33, son of long-time NASCAR crewman Pete Wright, was killed in a single-car accident Sunday night in Thomasville, North Carolina, where he lived. Adam wasn’t married. Read more

This summer, from my position here at the library circulation desk, I noticed an uptick in the number of audiobooks patrons are borrowing and requesting. Then I happened to read a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting that audiobooks are the fastest growing format in publishing. Clear… Read more

After all I wrote about last week’s bad experience about my weekly Wednesday visit to the Blue Ridge Cancer Care (BRCC) in the Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital’s medical center, I maybe should keep my mouth shut. Read more

I got up at 3:15 a.m. Friday morning expecting great things to happen to me medically. The two women at Blue Ridge Cancer Care in Rocky Mount who work on the scheduling had solved a major problem and I felt good about it. Read more

The Franklin County Library received an extremely generous donation from the estate of longtime patron Helen Minnick who passed away recently. Helen’s daughters came by the Library recently and we discussed how best to honor her memory with this donation. We talked about Helen for a little while. Read more

Two trips through the rapids (for they were indeed rapids, despite what the advertising said) had provided several key insights into how NOT to get down the river. First, I’d learned that tying myself to my inner tube to prevent losing it was unwise; a tube empty of its occupant is incredibl… Read more

Summer is a time for having fun and getting together with those people that you love. It can also be a wonderful time to get your family history updated, especially if you are having a family reunion. July is a month full of unusual holidays… there is National Ice Cream Day on July 16, Natio… Read more

Last week I wrote about how my family performed two simultaneous feats of magic at once: they transformed a foot-long harmless fish into a menacing shark and made all the beachgoers disappear at the same time. I promised my stepdad I’d tell one on myself this week, just to balance things out… Read more

The Franklin County Library recently announced an initiative to launch a classic American fiction reading group that will read the best of the best. Unlike traditional book clubs with monthly gatherings and consistent membership, the reading group will tackle a collection of five books, oper… Read more

It’s summertime and nearly everybody I know is heading to the beach. Me? I made my trek to the beach back in February for some reflection time and then again in April with family to celebrate Easter. I won’t be joining the human tide descending on the shores from New England to Florida this … Read more

Lifelong learning is a phrase that is used frequently and one that can be interpreted a number of ways. Does it mean taking classes your entire life? Or, as a parent’s fear, children staying in college way longer than four years? Taking one’s entire lifetime to figure something out? From the… Read more

Recently I had finished my rather lengthy Sunday evening telephone call with my sister Sandra in Peoria, Arizona. Before ending the conversation, we devoted some time to the subject of “texting,” something she does and I don’t. Read more

It’s that time of the year. Franklin County students have been on summer break for almost a month, and shouts of “Hooray!” are quickly turning into complaints of “I’m bored.” Parents and caregivers all over the county are running out of things to do to keep their tots and teens occupied. Not… Read more

Want to zip through the human body at microscopic size, travel through black holes, walk with dinosaurs, or watch cosmic collisions? Then come to Dome Theater’s first-ever stop in Franklin County on June 24 at the Franklin County Library’s Main Branch. Dome Theater is a NASA-endorsed portabl… Read more

It’s hard to believe but I’ve been writing news stories and taking pictures for 60 years, including 17 years on the promotional side of stock car racing. All of my years were spent in the newspaper profession. Read more

Fight, flight or freeze? For some of us who live in Southwest Virginia that is the question that matters most when it comes to black bears. Virginia is home to approximately 17,000-18,000 black bears. Driving last week in Glade Hill, I saw my first bear of the season. On hind legs, peeking o… Read more