danville community
Danville Community College logo. Courtesy of DCC.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

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Danville Community College gets federal grant to create new cybersecurity program

Danville Community College’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the United States Department of Labor to create the DCC Cybersecurity Short-term Training Initiative, the college has announced.

In earning this grant from the fderal government, the college will develop a virtual program, certified by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, providing a 16-week training program of cybersecurity experts.

The 16-week program would permit the College to offer 60 students the opportunity to complete a certificate program in Cybersecurity Studies. Specifically, the program would:

  • Enable graduates to identify security risks to computing resources
  • Assess threats and develop countermeasures aimed at protecting data and assets
  • Develop networking and security solutions, 
  • Balance business concerns and design infrastructure including devices and protocols.  

Graduates of the program would be eligible for employment with the more than 400 cybersecurity positions available within two hours of Danville.

The $850,000 grant is the result of support from Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, according to the college.

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VDOT to hold public hearing May 26 on entrance change to Greenfield in Botetourt County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing for a project that would covert the intersection at Route 220 and Route 839/Route 1126 (International Parkway/Ashley Way, the entrance to the Greenfield business park) in Botetourt County to a restricted crossing U-turn, known as an RCUT.

The hearing will be held on Thursday, May 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Botetourt County Administration Office located at 57 S Center Drive in Daleville. The hearing will be held in an “open-house” format, and VDOT representatives will be present to answer questions. 

An RCUT is an intersection that would eliminate left turns from Route 839 and Route 1126 onto Route 220 and eliminate through movements across Route 220. Motorists who currently turn left onto Route 220 or drive straight across would make right turns onto Route 220 and proceed to make a U-turn at a pair of new U-turn locations located approximately 650 feet north and south of the intersection. 

The project also includes modifying an existing crossover about 0.2 mile south of the intersection and adding a Route 220 pedestrian crossing. For more information about the project, visit the website

Comments about the project may be submitted at the meeting or until June 5, 2022, to Kelly Dunn, Project Manager, 731 Harrison Avenue, Salem, VA 24153. Comments may also be emailed to Kelly.Dunn@vdot.virginia.gov. Please reference “Route 220 at International Parkway Public Comment” in the subject heading. Anyone requiring special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting may contact Kelly Dunn at 540-387-5353, 800-367-7623 or TTY/TDD 711.

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I-81 rest area in Botetourt to close temporarily

The Virginia Department of Transportation reminds drivers that the Troutville Rest Area located on southbound Interstate 81 near mile marker 158 in Botetourt County will be closed from late May (after Memorial Day) until early September (prior to Labor Day).

During the closure, a temporary concrete barrier wall will be installed in front of the facility, so motorists will not be able to enter the rest area or use the parking lot and restrooms.

While the Troutville Rest Area is closed, southbound I-81 drivers can use the Fairfield Rest Area at mile marker 195 in Rockbridge County or the Radford Rest Area at mile marker 108 in Montgomery County. Portable toilets and parking will be temporarily available for commercial vehicles at the Troutville Weigh Station located on southbound I-81 at mile marker 149.

The rest area will be closed due to work on a $4.9 million project to improve safety and traffic flow by extending the ramp into and the ramp out of the rest area. Because there will be so many construction activities within such a small area and within a short period of time, the rest area is being closed ensure the safety of the traveling public and workers, according to VDOT.

The existing ramps at this rest area are very short, VDOT says. Extending them will improve safety by providing motorists more space to accelerate or decelerate. The off ramp into the rest area will be extended approximately 500 feet and the ramp onto southbound I-81 will be extended approximately 2,100 feet. The project also includes expanding the truck parking area at the facility by about 10-13 spaces. VDOT awarded the contract for the project was awarded to Branch Civil Inc. from Roanoke in February.

The Troutville Rest Area ramp extension project is a part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018. The more than $2 billion package of focused improvements was funded by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law in spring 2019.

Additional information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program is available at Improve81.org. The website includes interactive maps and schedules and details about upcoming and current projects that are designed to improve safety, increase reliability and foster economic growth along the 325-mile I-81 corridor.

VDOT has produced a podcast and a video to provide more information about the Troutville Rest Area ramp extension project. These can be found on the News Multimedia page of Improve81.org