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Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Pencils Down . . . the past, present and questionable future of standardized testing in Virginia

The scene is familiar: rows of students hunched over desks, a completely silent room aside from the beads of sweat dropping off furrowed foreheads and landing as pencil-filled dots on pastel scantron sheets. Of course most testing is now conducted online, but the sweaty foreheads part is likely still on point. Testing in childhood education

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Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Homework: Love it or Loathe it?

Is homework really necessary? Research has been unclear as to whether homework improves student performance, particularly at the elementary school level. Paula Bolte (a.k.a. the Toylady) of Imagination’s Toys in Blacksburg says: “Homework is just not the...

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Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Celebrate Agriculture 7 ag-focused ways to get involved

From the food on your table to the clothes on your back, agriculture provides a variety of things you eat, wear and use daily. Those items don’t magically arrive in the New River Valley at the store...

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Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Trail Champion outdoor enthusiast Ralph Robertson leads Giles County in adventure

In 1987, Ralph Robertson was featured in Outdoor Life Magazine for float fishing the New River. Now he is instrumental in efforts like ReNew the New and River Cleanup and often volunteers his time to teach interested...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

History Repeats Itself

Van and Kayla Munsey were married at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Chapel on July 20, 2019, hardly an unusual event. But there is a remarkable back story. “My parents got married there in 1985, and I...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Moss Arts Center ~ 6 years later

The arts can change people’s hearts, change their minds, and change their lives.  – P. Buckley Moss, artist and philanthropist   Famous American composer and pianist Philip Glass was the opening performer in the Moss Arts Center...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

The Wonderful World of Wonder Universe

At Wonder Universe, the newly revamped children’s museum now open at New River Valley Mall, 5-year-old Merriweather Skabelund points to Blacksburg Fire Department’s Engine 3 and asks: “Can I go in that, Mom?” The shiny red kid...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

A Design-and-Build Adventure

A man in Illinois was tearing down a 150-year-old barn and selling the hand-hewn beams on eBay. Bob and Mary Menees of Pembroke bought the entire load. A winery owner was only too happy to pass along...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

A Steady Drone . . . drone popularity takes off over the New River Valley

It has become a recognizable whir, one we hear at football games, festivals or walking across a parking lot. The buzz is similar to that of a flying stink bug, if amplified 100 times. But it’s not...

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Thursday, January 16th, 2020

There’s No Place Like Home …for this wedding

Love is always a central theme in weddings, but for Brogan Dinger and Nathan Shifflette, it went beyond the love they had for each other to include their families, their community and its economy and the environment....

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