Ralph Berrier Jr., The Roanoke Times

Ralph Berrier Jr.

The Roanoke Times

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Past articles by Ralph:

Virginia State Park checklist for family summer fun

The Virginia State Parks system celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. The first six state parks opened on June 15, 1936, with three of those parks opening in western Virginia — Douthat, Fairy Stone and Hungry Mother. → Read More

Leap Year fun facts

By late summer of 1752, the English calendar was seriously out of date. → Read More

The story of HeLa: Roanoke native and scientific marvel Henrietta Lacks

Children play and frolic on swings not far from where an immortal woman was born. → Read More

Minions don their Fashions for Evergreens

The North Pole is under siege by Minions. → Read More

Q&A with the real 'Factory Man,' John Bassett III

John Bassett III is still making it in Galax. The company that bears the family name, Vaughan-Bassett, still builds bedroom suites. The factory still employs 700 people down in the bottom land next to Chestnut Creek. → Read More

Parkway remains closed this weekend because of weather; some events canceled or moved

A 60-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway from Botetourt County to Rocky Knob will remain closed this weekend because of this week’s flooding. → Read More

Longtime Roanoke Times columnist Ben Beagle turns 88

Happy birthday, Ben Beagle! Old No. 36 turns 88 today. Beagle, the once-semi-hysterical reporter long since retired, is a true legend of The Roanoke Times, best-known for his humor column that ran from 1957 until 2010. → Read More

Local WW II veterans get ball caps

When Carlos Showalter served with the 4th Marine Division during World War II, he fought from “the equator to the front door of Japan,” he likes to say. → Read More

Mill Mountain Zoo hires new executive director

Lucy Cook, who raised millions of dollars for public broadcasting, parks and other non-profit groups in Buffalo, New York, has been hired as Mill Mountain Zoo's new executive director. → Read More

New book tells the stories of Virginia's rail trails

The first time Joe Tennis wrote a story about a rail trail, he didn’t even know what a rail trail was. → Read More

Mill Mountain Star turns 65

In the spring of 1949, there was no star. Only a wish. → Read More

The historic bridges of Roanoke

Roanoke’s bridges soar across railroad tracks, creeks and the Roanoke River, creating a network of concrete and steel sinew that connects people to neighborhoods, businesses and each other. → Read More

Channel 10 brings back noon newscast

For the first time in more than four years, WSLS-TV (Channel 10) will air the news at noon. → Read More

Gentle cat is there for veterans at Salem VA

As Edwin Gehlert drew his last breaths in a hospital bed at the VA Center, the World War II veteran was surrounded by his wife, daughter, son-in-law, a nurse — and an orange tabby cat named Tom. → Read More

Bug Boy heads to Hokie BugFest

Andrew Pfeifer has a collection of nearly 25 praying mantises, which is actually fewer than he had a few months ago. That’s because some of the females did what female praying mantises sometimes do — they ate their male companions. → Read More

Dadline: Spank or spare?

I remember watching my father cut a thin limb from the maple tree growing in our front yard. He stripped off the leaves and cut away protruding branches with his pocket knife. When he was finished, the limb was as smooth and limber as a whip. → Read More

Parkway visits up this year, but managers still face challenges

So far, 2014 has been less bumpy for the Blue Ridge Parkway than last year, but potholes still loom. → Read More

Dadline: A fair to remember

I learned an important truth this summer. Deep-fried Oreos are delicious. → Read More

Tom Hanks will produce "Factory Man" miniseries for HBO

And you thought it was a big deal when Tom Hanks merely tweeted how much he liked "Factory Man." → Read More

Radford Theatre wins $25,000 grand prize in Wells Fargo competition

The Radford Theatre won a $25,000 cash award that the theater's owners will use to re-open the classic movie palace's long-closed balcony. → Read More