Here’s a round-up of news items from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Furniture manufacturer expands in Floyd County; create 8 jobs

Phoenix Hardwoods, Inc., an artisan manufacturer of furniture and home goods made exclusively from Virginia-grown hardwoods, will expand its production facility in Floyd County and open a new retail storefront in the Farmer Supply store in downtown Floyd, Gov. Ralph Northam has announced.

The project will create eight jobs, lead to $100,000 in new capital investment and allow the company to purchase an additional $76,000 of Virginia-grown hardwoods over the next three years, according to a release from the governor’s office.

“Phoenix Hardwoods makes such beautiful furniture,” Northam said in a statement. “Each piece displays the essence of the tree, sourced near Floyd, celebrating the Blue Ridge, and made right here at home in Virginia. Our team has worked hard over four years to bring business opportunities across Virginia, and we are working hard until the very end. We’ve pushed to recruit large, global companies to Virginia — attracting more than $80 billion in new investment and 100,000 new jobs — but we get really excited about the small, family-run Virginia companies, like Phoenix Hardwoods.”

The company was founded in 2002 by Bill and Corinne Graefe. After nearly twenty-years in business, the founders were retiring and planning to close the company. In January 2020, longtime friends of the Graefe’s, Jeff and Annie Armistead, acquired the business.

Northam approved a $10,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the project, which Floyd County will match with local funds. 

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Pittsylvania-Danville Health District to hold two additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics in January

Pittsylvania-Danville Health District is hosting vaccination clinics at two area elementary schools this month.  

“Vaccines are highly effective against severe illness and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting everyone ages 5 years and older vaccinated can protect families and communities,” said Director of Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside Health Districts Scott J. Spillmann, MD, MPH.

The clinics will offer first, second, additional primary and booster doses at no cost to the public. The Moderna vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson are available for anyone 18 and older. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for anyone 5 years and older. A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18. The clinics will be held:

Saturday, January 22              9 to 11 a.m.                 Schoolfield Elementary School
                                                                                    1400 West Main St., Danville

Saturday, January 29              9 to 11 a.m.                 Gibson Elementary School
                                                                                    1215 Industrial Ave., Danville

Register in advance at If you have any trouble registering or need additional assistance, call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available in more than 100 languages.

Appointments are highly recommended, but walk-ins are also welcome. Those with an appointment should plan to arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to the appointment time.

The experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be very similar to the experience of getting routine vaccines. Parents can check out these tips on talking to their child about what to expect.  For more about vaccinating children and teens, parents can visit the CDC website.

The Pfizer BioNTech booster vaccine can be obtained by anyone 16 and older at least six months from the date of their second mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine or at least two months from the date of their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster vaccine can be obtained by anyone 18 and older at least five months from the date of their second mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine or at least two months from the date of their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster dose may choose which vaccine product they would like to receive as a booster. For those individuals that choose a different product than their primary series, VDH urges you to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider who can assist you in making the best decision for your own situation.

If you are coming for your second, third or booster dose, please bring your vaccine card to confirm the date and type of vaccine you received in previous doses.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, its safety and answers to frequently asked questions at VDH’s website and CDC’s website.

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Appalachian Regional Commission awards $500,000 grant for Dungannon waterline replacement

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $500,000 to the Town of Dungannon in Scott County for improvements to its water distribution system. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, made the announcement.

According to the commission, the project includes the installation of 13,840 linear feet of waterline to improve service for 42 households and 25 businesses. Benefits will include a reduction in system-wide water loss, replacement of inoperable valves, lower maintenance costs, and increased pressure.

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Wytheville Community College seeks nominees for 2022 Distinguished Service Awards

Wytheville Community College is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Distinguished Service Awards Program. The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 4, 2022.

This program, which consists of a teaching award and a service award, was established in 1990 by Nathaniel W. Pendleton, Jr., and his family in memory of his father, Nathaniel W. Pendleton, Sr., who was a Wytheville construction company executive and member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He was instrumental in passing legislation in 1962 that established Wytheville Community College and provided its operating funds.  He passed away in 1968. 

The Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Service Awards carry cash prizes.  The program is intended to recognize excellence in teaching and to acknowledge outstanding service to the college. Any full‑ or part‑time WCC faculty member is eligible for the Teaching Award, and the recipient will also receive a special fund to be used for personal academic enhancement. The Service Award may be conferred upon any current or past employee of WCC, local board or foundation board member, alumnus, or friend of WCC.

Award descriptions and nomination forms for the Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Service Awards may be accessed at the college’s website:

Completed nomination forms must be received by February 4, 2022. Forms may be  returned by mail to the WCC Foundation Office, 1000 East Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia 24382 (postmarked on or before February 4, 2022), or forms may be submitted via email to Questions should be directed to the Foundation Office at 276-223-4771.

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Washington and Lee announces MLK Day events

Washington and Lee University has announced several events in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The W&L Law School will also host MLK Reflections on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room in Sydney Lewis Hall. The event allows community members to reflect on the lessons of King’s life and work. Each year leaders are invited from the campus and the Lexington communities to participate in offering a brief commentary on their view of King’s legacy.

The annual MLK Shabbat will take place on Jan. 21. W&L Hillel and the Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement invite all members of the W&L and Lexington communities to join them for a Shabbat dinner and service honoring the life and legacy of King. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Hillel sanctuary. Seating is limited, register in advance at

On Jan. 22 at 7 p.m., the African Society will host its first annual African Society Charity Benefit Showcase in Evans Hall, featuring a fashion show, step performance, DJ and more. Admission to the event is $10, and all proceeds will go to various trusted charities in Africa. Registration is required and can be accessed online

The centerpiece of the week’s celebrations will be a keynote address on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on the W&L campus. The speaker will be announced on the W&L website.

For updates about all of the week’s events see

All individuals, including fully vaccinated ones, are expected to wear masks in public indoor spaces on the W&L campus, according to a release from W&L.