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A few years back, a home here in Floyd County was broken into in the absence of the residents. Among other items, several firearms were stolen. The burglary was reported to the Sheriff’s Office and an investigation followed. When the resident was asked for serial numbers of the firearms, the…

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The last day of coon season ended a week ago, midnight, March 10th. It’s kind of a bitter sweet moment to come out of the woods knowing we won’t be able to do this again for seven months.

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In 1981, my Dad was working on his doctorate in abstract psychology at the Baptist College in Charleston, South Carolina. His IQ level had been established at high superior, just short of genius. One afternoon, while in the cafeteria at the college, he keeled over. Long story short, he was e…

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First, I’d like to publicly thank Brian Craig, a deputy with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and the next Sheriff of Floyd County, for his suggestion of this article. With respect to purchasing, owning and carrying firearms, there’s quite a bit to know concerning age limits. Let’s start at…

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Have you noticed the subsequent stories in the news about people that commit mass murders? “He had ten guns in his house!” And then people are amazed at that and think this guy was planning on killing everybody in the city.

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I once saw a video on Youtube of a woman walking in a mall. She had her phone in her hand and was texting as she was walking. The woman walked right into an indoor fountain pool and fell in! Yeah, it is funny. But, it’s also a bit scary that her attention level was that low.

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I am constantly amazed at people’s ignorance of the law. And what I find even more amazing is that the information people need to make good decisions is readily available and easy to find. Yet people will believe what anyone will tell them. I call it the “Uncle Bill Syndrome.” “Uncle Bill to…

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I was recently asked what states recognize Virginia Concealed Handgun Permits. That’s a good question, and I admire someone that’s thinking ahead. You can get yourself in some really big trouble by carrying a concealed handgun in a state that doesn’t recognize a Virginia CHP.

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I’ve heard people saying things about silencers that just aren’t true. This is based on repeating what they’ve heard without getting the facts. Oddly enough, the facts are easily found.

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My first article was published a year ago. I find it difficult to believe I’ve found 52 subjects to run my mouth about. But then, those that know me well know that’s not really a challenge for me. Hey, if you can’t poke fun at yourself, you sure ain’t gonna handle it comin’ from others.

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School starts on August 11th here in Floyd County. It’s been a while since I’ve written about firearms on school property, so I thought a timely and friendly reminder would be in order. I won’t waste space and time publishing the statutes again. Suffice to say, I’m trying to keep you out of …

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I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance about using deadly force in self defense against an intruder. My friend said he had been told that if someone is trying to break in, shoot the intruder and drag the body inside to make it look like the intruder was already inside when you sh…

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Memorial Day is a special day we set aside to remember those that gave their lives in defense of our freedoms, rights and liberties. Although there’s nothing wrong with having the day off, relaxing and doing some burgers on the grill, this is a rather somber day for me. It’s a day to honor a…

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It’s that time of year again. With the warming of spring, the groundhogs are making their appearance. And this provides the hunter the opportunity to get in a little off season hunting.

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There’s a lot in the news recently about gun owners wanting concealed carry to be allowed without a permit. A few states already allow that. As always, there are two schools of thought on this debate.

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With all the news about guns being used in violence and people wanting guns banned and/or outlawed, you’d pretty much have to live in a cave to not know that untold numbers of people are scared to death of firearms. In terms of decades, this thinking is relatively new. What has caused this c…

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Virginia is an open carry state. Provided you are not in a place where handguns are prohibited, strapping your sidearm on your hip in plain view is just as legal as going to church. However, what’s legal is not always smart.

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February 16th, 2015, I lost one of the best friends I ever had, Harold Agnew. You may be prompted to ask “What’s this got to do with guns?” Aside from the fact that Harold had a Federal Firearms License and sold guns, nothing. But Harold became a wonderful friend and meant the world to me. S…

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Firearms are hand held, manually operated machines. Like all machines, firearms consist of moving parts. And any machine or device with moving parts needs to be kept cleaned and oiled if you expect it to continue to operate.

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New Year’s Eve! So, how many of you are planning on going out this evening and doing a little celebrating? Oh, there will be a lot of that going on. People will be attending parties, going to clubs and, of course, indulging in a few adult beverages. There’s a time and place for that, but ple…

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WISE, Va. — The steel and concrete frame of the new library at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise already looms large over its surroundings; when complete, the structure will be the tallest building on campus.

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When I was 12 years old, my father gave me a Czechoslovakian made pellet rifle for Christmas. I was the proud owner of a brand new rifle. I was somebody!

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As a law abiding firearms owner, you should know where you are not allowed to carry firearms. The various places listed below prohibit all firearms, including your handgun, concealed or not.

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I read over the weekend that the Rotary Club of Huon Valley in Tasmania raises money by holding apple races every year. Supporters buy apples for $3 each. The apples are tagged with the owners’ names. Then the apples are launched from a bridge into the Huon River for a 327-yard float to the …

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Every year at this time, lots of people get upset about keeping Christ in Christmas. As if the word "Christ" does a better job of that than using the symbol "X." In a day and age when we use all kinds of short symbols to communicate -- texting, chatting, and so on -- it's even more surprisin…

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Greetings from Hickory Ridge. The “Oscar” awards for children’s books are coming up very soon. The winners of the Newbury and Caldecott medals, as well as several major awards, will be announced in late January.

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The onset of winter ended most military operations east and west; Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s force, advancing into upper east Tennessee continued to skirmish with various Federal elements and in southwest Virginia, Brigadier General William W. Averell renewed an attempt to sever t…

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Almost 15 years ago now, I was honored as a high school sophomore to induct my freshman friend Tanner Schlindwein into the George Wythe High School chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. I still have a picture of us from that day. I always liked Tanner for his wicked sense of humor, v…

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I think Black Friday started when Kohl’s Clothing Stores discounted all its black leather coats on the day after Thanksgiving. Now, Black Friday is the biggest thing in retailing. Walmart is offering Black Friday deals a week early. “Black Friday is our Super Bowl, and we plan to win,” said …

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A few years ago, a friend of mine published his first book. Within its pages, J.S. Moore interweaves stories of bootleggers, hard times, crafty survival, strong men, and the stuff of regional legend. Memoir, family history, and cultural reflection all at once, Understanding Apples serves as …

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The Battle of Missionary Ridge ended with General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee seeking refuge in the mountainous region of northwest Georgia. As one Confederate force prepared for winter quarters, another launched a futile assault on a Federal bastion in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lieutenant…

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I was honored to be back at Wolf Creek Indian Village in Bastian a couple of weeks ago for their annual Blessing Day, signing books alongside my fellow author and friend Kim Thompson, credited to readers as K.R. Thompson.

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Greetings from Hickory Ridge. Award-winning author/artist Brian Floca gives us another stunning fact-based picture book, “Locomotive,” just in time for holiday giving.

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Recently, there has been a great deal in the news about food expiration dates and whether consumers are wasting when throwing away food that may still be safe to eat but past its expiration date. Americans, in general, have the misconception that a date on foods equates to food safety. In mo…

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At this point in my life, my peers and I seem to spend equal amounts of time reflecting, being in the moment, and anticipating what comes next.

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It seems to me that bartenders are an unappreciated lot. They hear a lot of sad stories and have to exercise great tact. Like psychiatrists, they must listen without taking sides or getting the customer mad.

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Major General U.S. Grant’s wait for the arrival of Major General William T. Sherman’s troops finally ended as “Cump” neared Chattanooga during the waning days of November. Grant, determined to break through the siege lines of General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee, destroying …

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As a local self-published author, I consider the work of Rosa Lee Jude to be the standard to which others in my position should set themselves. With the release of Deception, the third of her five-book collaboration with Graham Mansion director Mary Lin Brewer detailing the thrilling tales o…

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It is estimated that food allergies affect 2 percent of adults and 4-8 percent of children in the United States. Allergies usually develop within the first one or two years of life. For reasons not quite understood, some children can outgrow their childhood allergies. Studies have shown that…

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At precisely half-past eight o’clock on Sunday morning, there she stood. Upon the threshold between our room and the hallway stood the 9-year-old: dressed, ready, bed made, breakfast eaten, hair brushed, (did I mention “bed made”?) and hand on hip. We were still groggy from sleep. She insist…

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Greetings from Hickory Ridge. In the autumn, the hickory nuts falling on our roof sound like thunder. The squirrels hide them away in pots left on the deck and in flower beds. Surely some go in their nests for the winter, but we hope that in the process they reforest the ridge, as well.

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Given the contentiousness of the two political parties in Congress…given the resulting paralysis of government…given that we have a financial crisis now every three months…given that the pain of the recent shutdown is still fresh, I have come up with another of my brilliant ideas.

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Nov. 19 dawned on a day, which would produce a gathering of an estimated 15,000 people into the Pennsylvania crossroad town of Gettysburg for the dedication of a new national cemetery. Edward Everett delivered the keynote address, and President Abraham Lincoln offered “a few appropriate rema…

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With the United States in a recession, more and more people are looking for ways to spend less money and get a better bargain at the same time. In a time where prices are higher, 'recession gardens' are becoming increasingly popular, echoing the victory gardens which were planted during Worl…