Joyce Waugh. Courtesy of Roanoke Regional Chamber.

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

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Waugh to retire; Sichau named successor

After nearly 22 years with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO Joyce Waugh has notified the Board of Directors of her plans to retire, effective December 31, 2022. The chamber has announced that  Eric Sichau, the current Vice President of Membership Services, will succed her.

Waugh joined the Chamber in July 2000 as Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Issues and became President & CEO in October 2008.

Half of her 44-year career in the region has been with the Chamber. Previously, Waugh was Public Relations Director for Roanoke Valley Psychiatric Center (now part of LewisGale Health System) and Assistant Director at Roanoke County’s Department of Economic Development.

Waugh was named the Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACCE) Chamber Executive of the Year in 2012. She was also the first woman in our region to earn the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD).

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Jon Smith. Courtesy of P&H.

P&H hires tennis coach for new tennis program

P&HCC Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Inclusion/Athletic Director, Brian Henderson, has announced the hiring of Jon Smith as the head men’s and women’s tennis coach starting play in fall 2022.

Smith played high school tennis at Carlisle School, where he earned All-Conference honors during his time with the Chiefs. Smith then went on to continue his tennis career at Averett University where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management with a minor in communication studies. While playing for the Cougars, Smith earned All-Academic Team honors and was inducted into the National College Athlete Honor Society.

After Averett, Smith worked with the Southside Area Tennis Association (SATA) aiding in outreach, after school, and high performance juniors programs. Starting in 2017, Smith helped SATA grow from a staff of two dedicated coaches, to six coaches, countless volunteers, and a board for the non-profit organization. Later, Smith would go on to become an assistant tennis professional at Chatmoss Country Club. In this role, he taught private lessons to all ages, directed socials, and ran junior and adult clinics.

For information or to join the P&H tennis team, contact Brian Henderson at

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New River Community College offers motorcycle safety class

New River Community College is offering five beginner motorcycle rider safety weekday and weekend courses throughout June and July. 

The Basic Rider Course multiday classes are held on NRCC’s campus in Dublin. The summer session midweek courses are held 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursdays on June 29-30, July 13-14, and July 27-28.  

Weekend summer courses will be held Fridays through Sundays on July 22-24 and July 29-31. Course hours are Fridays from 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

The one-credit course includes classroom instruction and on-motorcycle instruction under controlled range conditions. Riders will learn the basic skills of motorcycle operation, effective braking, obstacle avoidance and safe riding strategies. Tuition is $156.55 for Virginia residents and $356.65 for out-of-state residents. Students must provide their own DOT approved helmets (nothing less than a ¾ size). 

Completion of the class prepares riders for state licensing with an exemption of skills and written DMV tests and may qualify for discounts with some motor vehicle insurance companies. The program provides motorcycles (no larger than 500cc) and textbooks for each student.  

To register for the course, call (540)674-3613 or visit For more information about the program, visit

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Bristol museum to host talk on moonshine

Daniel Pierce. Courtesy of Birthplace of Country Museum Museum.

Dr. Daniel Pierce, author of a book on moonshine, will be speaking at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee on June 21 at 7 p.m. EDT as part of the museum’s monthly Speaker Series programming. 

The subject of this month’s Speaker Series, “That’s Why All the Folks on Rocky Top Get Their Corn from a Jar: Myth, Reality, and Moonshine in the Southern Mountains,” is supplementary programming to the museum’s current special exhibit “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!:” A (Hillbilly) History of Mountain Dew, on display in the special exhibits gallery through August 7. 

In-person attendees can visit the special exhibit tour between 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. before the talk, which will be held in the museum’s Performance Theater. The Speaker Series and tour is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to preregister through the Events page at prior to arrival.

Pierce, Professor of History and Distinguished Interdisciplinary Professor of the Mountain South at the University of North Carolina Asheville, is the author of “Tarheel Lightnin’: How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Mooshine Capital of the World,” “Corn From a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains,” and the first truly comprehensive history of early NASCAR, “Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France.” He also recently collaborated with renowned Nashville, Tennessee poster artist Joel Anderson to produce the “Illustrated Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park” and the “Illustrated Guide to Exploring the Grand Circle: Utah and Arizona.” 

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Detour for 419/ 311 construction in Roanoke County to begin Monday

As part of the construction of a new roundabout, portions of the Route 419 and Route 311 intersection in Roanoke County at Hanging Rock will be closed starting Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Some drivers will need to detour due to the partial intersection closure for approximately four to six weeks. Motorists should be aware of the following impacts:

  • Traffic will not be able to turn left from Thompson Memorial Drive (Route 311) onto Catawba Valley Drive (Route 311).
  • Thompson Memorial Drive traffic will not be able to drive straight through the intersection onto Route 419.
  • Route 419 traffic will not be able to continue straight at the intersection onto Thompson Memorial Drive.

To access the graphic that depicts the traffic pattern at the Route 311 and Route 419 intersection that will be in place from approximately four to six weeks starting June 20, view the project page. The roundabout is anticipated to open to traffic in August or September with work continuing until late fall.

During the partial intersection closure, drivers will need to use alternate routes and can detour using Interstate 81 exit 140 onto Thompson Memorial Drive and exit 141 onto Route 419. Using Main Street in Salem to reroute onto Route 419 or Thompson Memorial Drive around the partial intersection closure is another option.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is replacing the signalized intersection of Route 311 and Route 419 with a roundabout. Constructing a roundabout can enhance safety, improve traffic flow and require lower maintenance costs when compared to traditional intersections.

VDOT awarded the $2.4 million contract to contractor E.C. Pace from Roanoke in February and work on the project began in the spring. 

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Bark Camp Campground in Scott County now open

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ Bark Camp Campground is now open to visitors, the U.S. Forest Service has announced. This recreation site, located on the Clinch Ranger District in Scott County, has been closed since 2019 when the site underwent extensive waterline, plumbing, and reservoir repairs. Last season it remained closed due to the lack of a volunteer campground host.

The campground is situated in the Bark Camp Recreation Area and is located approximately seven miles southwest of Coeburn. The recreation area provides access to fishing picnicking, and hiking via two hiking trails, universally accessible fishing piers, a boat ramp and picnicking sites. The campground has 23 campsites, eight of which have electric hookups, in addition to drinking water, and bath houses with showers and flush toilets. 

Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Single campsites are $20 per night, double campsites are $40 per night, and electric hookups are $5. Recreationists just visiting for the day are charged a $3 day use area fee. The campground will be open through the summer and fall camping seasons and will close for the season after the last Sunday in September.

Repairs at this campground were funded in part by fee revenues collected under the Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees collected at recreation sites across the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are reinvested to support local site operations and maintenance. These funds are critically needed to improve facilities and infrastructure and to provide an enhanced level of service, all of which have a direct impact on the visitor.

For more information, please contact the Clinch Ranger District at (276) 220-1670, visit or follow on Facebook: and Twitter: