Thumbs up to the volunteers with the group Friends of Campbell County Animal Control as they work with the dogs at the county shelter prepare for one of the scariest of times for a pooch: summertime fireworks season.

Anyone who is owned by a dog knows that fireworks of any kind — whether a bottle rocket the kid next door launches or the giant displays that the Hillcats put or that Liberty University stages to celebrate the Fourth of July — can scare the daylights out of a dog. Indeed, shelters say one of their busiest nights of the year is the Fourth of July when spooked dogs break free from their backyards or their leashes.

Members of the Friends organization work with the dogs at the shelter, using a variety of techniques to keep them calm during fireworks: ThunderShirts, the playing of calming music, playing with them to distract their attention from the noise ... basically, anything to soothe their frazzled nerves.

All their training will be put to the test tonight when there’s a community fireworks display just off U.S. 29 in Yellow Branch. While thousands of folks are “ooohing” and “aaahing” over fireworks, a legion of Friends volunteers will be with the animals at the shelter, doing all they can to calm the frazzled canine nerves.

And next week, when there’ll be fireworks displays across Central Virginia for Independence Day, do all you can to keep your canine pals at peace. If you need any tips or are interested in volunteering with the Friends of of Campbell County Animal Control, just call (434) 485-6242.

Your pup will appreciate it.

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Thumbs up to the Heritage High School students in teacher Jon Roark’s art classes on the completion of their two-year-long project, “Let Your Trumpets Blow.”

Roark told The News & Advance the project had its genesis in the aftermath of the deadly Aug. 12, 2017, white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in which a neo-Nazi ran down a counterdemonstrator with his car and killed her. “I really wanted to teach [my students] about their community more than anything,” Roark said. “... A community that has sort of labored in obscurity because of Jim Crow, that needed to be known about.”

The students set about creating portraits and artwork celebrating the African American pioneers in the history of Lynchburg and Central Virginia. Those immortalized include the late M.W. Thornhill, the city’s first black mayor; Jim Bibby, World Series pitcher and longtime Hillcats coach; and Dr. Clarissa Wimbush, the first black female dentist in Lynchburg.

The portraits are on display at the Legacy Museum of African American History, 403 Monroe St., through Aug. 16. The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Visit the museum’s website at

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