Mill Mountain Zoo gets grant. Wythe County gets federal funding for water.
Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to email@example.com.
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Part of Blue Ridge Parkway closed for repairs
The Roanoke section of the Blue Ridge Parkway Parkway from U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4) to Adney Gap (milepost 135.9) which was previously open to cyclists and pedestrians is now fully closed to all visitors and recreation of any kind. Due to heavy equipment and contractors working in the area, a full closure is in place. Repairs needed to stabilize slope failures along the route are expected to conclude by the end of September.
Additionally, the Roanoke River Bridge at Milepost 114.7 is still anticipated to open by the end of June.
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Mill Mountain Zoo gets $1,000 grant
Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke was awarded a $1,000 grant for the installation of a moss wall next to the zoo’s lynx exhibit area, as part of Keep Virginia Beautiful’s 12th annual Green Grants program. It is the first of 30 grants to be awarded throughout Virginia in June.
Every year, government, nonprofit, civic and service organizations in Virginia are invited to apply for grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 that will help address an environmental concern in their community. Grants must focus on one of the following priorities: litter prevention, recycling, cigarette litter prevention or community beautification.
Green walls provide many benefits to the environment, including naturally cooling external air, mitigating air pollution and supplying natural thermal insulation for the interior of the buildings to which they are attached, according to a release from Keep Virginia Beautiful.
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USDA awards nearly $4 million for Wythe County water
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded nearly $4 million to Wythe County for water service, according to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia. The funding comes in the form of a $1,932,000 grant and a matching 40-year loan, bringing the project total to $3,864,000.
This funding will go towards the construction and installation of approximately eight miles of water line, a pump station, 92 water meters, 28 fire hydrants, and related accessories, Warner and Kaine said.
Currently, residents in the area are served by private wells with both quality and quantity problems. According to water samples, over 60 percent of the wells have tested positive for Coliform and E. coli, posing a health hazard to community members. This project will correct these health hazards and reduce iron and manganese levels in the water for 214 residents.
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Sorensen Institute names high school leaders program class
The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia announced the names of 32 Virginia high school students selected as members of its High School Leaders Program Class of 2022.
The 2022 program is supported by a generous grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation. Established in Richmond in 1955, the Reynolds Foundation provides assistance to community causes such as science, education, healthcare, the environment and the arts.
Sorensen’s 2022 HSLP class represents a strong and diverse group of students from high schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Class members will focus on the structure and current state of Virginia politics and governing, how sustainable public policy is developed, and developing both advocacy and consensus-building skills.
Two are from the western third of the state:
Lucas Addison, John I. Burton High School, Norton
William Hunt, E.C. Glass High School, Lynchburg
Annie Adamson, Saint Gertrude High School, Goochland
Aditi Bhattacharjya, Oakton High School, Vienna
Jacob Bowen-Glazeroff, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County
Thomas Chapman, Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest
Shahnoor Chaudhry, Glen Allen High School, Glen Allen
Richard Comstock, McLean High School, McLean
Elina Coutlakis-Hixson, Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington
Sophie Dechant, Alexandria City High School, Alexandria
Karan Dholakia, Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington
Abigail Garber, Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg
Samantha Giles, Glen Allen High School, Glen Allen
Dagmawi Girma, Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest
Katherine Harbour, Alexandria City High School, Alexandria
Zahraa Hassan, Thomas A. Edison High School, Alexandria
Tyler Heron, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville
Abigail Muscato, Williston Northampton School, Northampton (Arlington)
Kai Nielson, Langley High School, McLean
Prasidha Padmanabhan, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County
Rebecca Paul, Chantilly High School, Chantilly
Vivian Quint, Charles J. Colgan High School, Manassas
Valencia Rodriguez, Fairfax High School, Fairfax
Matthew Savage, George C. Marshall High School, Falls Church
Saanvi Siddhi, Oakton High School, Vienna
Emma Stallings, StoneBridge School, Chesapeake
Andrew Taylor, Oakton High School, Vienna
Georgia Thompson, Atlantic Shores Christian High School, Chesapeake
Michele Togbe, South County High School, Lorton
Jayla Underwood, Bruton High School, York County (Williamsburg)
Callie Walsh, West Potomac High School, Alexandria
Natalie Wike, Potomac Falls High School, Sterling
The High School Leaders Program participants will meet for two weeks at the University of Virginia and receive three college credits.
Many of the nearly 2,500 alumni of Sorensen’s programs for students and adults play key roles in the civic life of communities across Virginia. They include a governor, members of Congress, as well as many General Assembly members, Virginia cabinet members and local elected officials.