The Roanoke Times

The following articles were published in The Roanoke Times daily newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia.

Changing the world, one Roanoke house at a time
Sixteen-year-old Jim Busic’s knees shook as he and his gang of high schoolers knocked on a stranger’s door in Northwest Roanoke. The homeowner eyed the teens warily. “Is there anything you’d like us to pray about today?” asked Busic.

Chickpeas becoming a hot crop for Virginia
FINALIST: SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS’ MARK OF EXCELLENCE AWARD, REGION 2 (2013)
Mack Smith’s family has farmed fields near Natural Bridge, Va. for six generations. But Smith’s crops recently caught the eye of Sabra Dipping Company, one of the largest hummus producers in the U.S. Sabra and Smith are now partners in an experimental chickpea crop that could revolutionize Virginia’s agriculture industry.

Dog days of Roanoke County lemonade stand
Armed with pitchers, tubs of lemonade mix and an old card table, three grade-school entrepreneurs quenched thirsts and collected quarters at a neighborhood lemonade stand for four years. They’ve now collected more than $700.

Science camp students get medical school experience
A group of middle school students crowded around a large black table at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute. They saw a human body in front of them. One by one, the kids took turns poking, spinning and slicing the figure to a chorus of “Ooh!” and “Cool!” and “Gross!”

Roanoke County physical therapist gives health care in Guinea
A back surgery for his congenital birth defect, spina bifida, left 16-year-old Abe confined to a bed for weeks. Roanoke County physical therapist Courtney Waldron taught Abe how to walk again, all while floating aboard an aquatic hospital, complete with X-ray scanners, operating rooms and recovery wards.

Help Wanted: Auto technicians in demand Part One / Part Two
Advances in automotive technology have paved the way for aspiring auto technicians. But employers are having a hard time finding qualified candidates, said Bob Warren of Duncan Ford near Roanoke, Va. “It used to be that if Johnny wasn’t doing well in school but he was bright, you sent him to work on cars. Those days are over…They basically need an electrical engineering degree,” he said.