Erosion at an abandoned mine in Pound. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.

Here’s a round-up of business (and other) briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send items for possible inclusion to

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Initial work completed on abandoned mine that was threatening homes in Wise County

The Virginia Department of Energy reports that contractors have completed work on the first phase of dealing with an abandoned mine in Wise County that was threatening two nearby homes.

The department’s Tarah Kesterston says: “All trees that were endangering homes have been removed. The contractor remains on the scene to ensure water running off from the historic mines is diverted in order to stabilize the slide for the spring project of reclaiming it. This work should be completed within the week, depending on the weather.”

The department reported last week that the land over an abandoned mine near Pound was destabilizing, and the erosion was threatening some nearby homes.

The area was an active surface mine in the early 1960s and materials from the operation were not placed back properly to prevent erosion, the department said in a statement. Over time, that material started sliding and water from that site, as well as from a nearby historic underground mine, caused the material to move more, taking trees down with it. Those trees threatened homes, power supply and road access.

The department sent in crews to cut nearly three acres of trees to reduce the weight and stress on the landslide.

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Roanoke County names new county administrator

Richard Caywood

Roanoke County has appointed assistant county administrator Richard Caywood as the new county administrator, effective Feb. 1.

He succeeds Daniel O’Donnell, who is retiring. Caywood has served as Roanoke County’s Assistant County Administrator since March 2013.

“I share the Board’s vision to drive responsible growth and prosperity while preserving the outstanding natural assets that cause so many of us to call Roanoke County home,” he said in a statement.

Caywood received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of
Virginia and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Michael Porter of Porter’s Lawncare, LLC.

VCEDA Seed Capital Grant Approved for Porter’s Lawncare, LLC

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has awarded a $6,500 seed capital matching grant to Porter’s Lawncare, LLC of Clintwood in Dickenson County.

Porter’s Lawncare, LLC is owned and operated by Michael Porter.  He used the seed capital funds toward equipment purchases.

“Porter’s Lawncare, LLC provides services of benefit to both homeowners and businesses, making it an ideal candidate for a seed capital grant,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Porter’s Lawncare projects one full-time and two part-time jobs within three years.”

Porter worked with the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College in the development of his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.

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Griffith announces service academy nominations

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, has announced the names of his nominees to the United States Service Academies:

U.S. Air Force Academy

D.J. Albert — Narrows

Nicholas Brians — Blacksburg

Morgan Dales — Cedar Bluff

Brenna Mills — Radford

Trenton Watkins — Marion 

Audrey Williams — Weber City

U.S. Naval Academy

Camden Cormany — Radford

Jack Thompson — Blacksburg

In order to receive an appointment, nominees must meet all entrance requirements of the specific Academy. 

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Tyler Carlin

Tyler Carlin joins LeadPoint Digital as Business Development Manager

Roanoke Marketing Agency LeadPoint Digital has announced the addition of Tyler Carlin as Business Development Manager.

Carlin will guide regional and national businesses to reaching their audiences through strategic partnerships and comprehensive marketing strategies, the company said in a release.