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Today's Features

  • About 2 million people were on hand for President Barack Obama’s inauguration, but  only saw him on a TV screen. Cory Watkins, of Bedford, saw President Obama from about 20 feet away.

        Watkins, a 2006 Liberty High School graduate, is a member of the Hampton University Marching Force, the university’s marching band. The junior, majoring in business management and  minoring in Spanish, plays clarinet, the instrument he took up in sixth grade.

  • LaCarol Wynne wasn’t about to miss the inauguration of President Barack Obama last Tuesday so Monday afternoon she and two others set out from Bedford for Washington D.C.

        “It was so overwhelming,” she said of the event, which drew an estimated crowd of at close to 2 million people. “We didn’t get any sleep, but it was worth it.”

  •     Bedford Ride could use some more volunteer drivers, according to Ira Doom, the non-profit’s director.

        Bedford Ride, which first got rolling in the early autumn of 2001, provides non-emergency medical transportation for people who have trouble getting to medical appointments or to get to a pharmacy to get a prescription filled. Doom is one of the organization’s two paid employees. The rest are volunteers. The volunteer drivers use vehicles that are provided, and fueled, by Bedford Ride.

  • A local band that began in 1977 as the Love of God Singers has been reborn as L.O.G.O.S.

        According to Dan Snyder, of Forest, this name was chosen because band members wanted a name with initials that would spell something. L.O.G.O.S spells the Greek word that is translated “Word” in the first chapter of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

  •     The Wharton Memorial Foundation and the Bedford Academy for the Arts ended the old year by becoming one. The merger took place in September.

        The Wharton Memorial Foundation was formally organized in 1997, according to Fred Duis, the foundation’s vice president and a founding member. Its roots go back to the desire to set up a public garden.

  •     Austin Wiese, a 2004 Jefferson Forest High School (JFHS) graduate, decided during his freshman year of high school to seek a career in the armed forces.

        “What better way to serve and to defend our nation’s values than to be in the military?” he commented.

        Wiese said that his paternal grandfather, Colonel William Wiese, was a major influence in that decision. Col. Wiese, an Air Force officer, flew combat missions in Vietnam in the F-105.

  • Shayne Tracy is a different kind of massage therapist. His clients are big, big as a horse. In fact, they are horses.

        Tracy started out with people and did massage therapy on humans for 20 years. After doing some research, he began working with horses.

        “It relaxes them,” he said.

  • Paul D. Helsel, who heads up the Elks organization nationwide, was sure that there would be a line of cars near the Elks National Home full of people hoping his remarks would be brief. He was right. As soon as he pressed the switch that turned on the lights Friday night, a steady stream of cars began rolling into the Elks Home property.

  • Calvin Rice has worked along the Blue Ridge Parkway for half a century.

        He’s currently the dining room manager at the Peaks of Otter Lodge.

        Rice started working at a service station along the parkway at Otter Creek, near Big Island, right out of high school. This is 28 miles north of the Peaks and the parkway was not yet complete at that time. There was not yet a bridge carrying the road over the James River and motorists, upon reaching that point, had to get off, cross the James elsewhere and then return to the parkway.

  • Bedford area residents welcomed in the holiday season Saturday as the streets were lined with those attending the Bedford Christmas Parade.

        “It’s nice to see the community come out,” noted Bedford Main Street Executive Director Linda Exley. “The comments were very positive.”