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

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Virginia receives nearly $23 million for abandoned mine clean-up

Governor Glenn Youngkin has that announced the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) has received $22,790,000 in federal funding — more than five times the usual amount — which he said will significantly increase the projects and job opportunities made possible through the Abandoned Mine Land program.

The increased funding as the federal infrastructure bill that Congress passed and President Biden signed has made more money available for abandoned mine clean-up.

Virginia has thousands of abandoned mine land features awaiting reclamation, according to the governor’s office. Previous funding limited the number of projects that could be completed within a grant year. This grant of $22.7 million will open up work on a long list of slated projects. Virginia Energy is seeking additional contractors and called for coal companies to apply to bid on AML work to cover the increase in projects.

Since 2017, Virginia Energy’s traditional AML program has created 792 jobs, adding an average of 100 jobs every five years, according to the governor’s office. The AML program typically receives around $4 million annually. Based on that funding, these additional dollars are projected to create more than 1,000 jobs, according to the governor’s office.

Contractors and coal companies interested in bidding on AML projects can find out more details via the Virginia Energy website. All must be registered in Virginia’s procurement system eVA.

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River District Associaton names board members

The River District Association has announced the appointment of two new members to the RDA Board of Directors; Rachel Timm, Youth Services Coordinator for Pittsylvania
County Public Library, and member of Smokestack Theatre Company, and Sandra Chinn-Gilstrap of Clement Wheatley.

The slate of RDA board members for 2022-2023 are:

Rachel Covington, Hawthorne and Jade Design Co. LLC

Stuart Smith, FCS, Inc.
Vice President

Kunal Patel, First National Bank

William Crumpton, Compassion Healthcare

Kelvin Perry, City of Danville Economic Development
Immediate Past President

Steven Osborne, International Mission Board
Christy Harper, Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce
Drew Herring, West Main Baptist Church
Emma Sellers, Averett University
Shani Gaylord – Hunter, PATHS, Inc.
Dr. Andrew Hessler, Danville Dental Associates
Irving M. Perez, American National Bank and Trust Company
Sandra Chinn-Gilstrap, Clement Wheatley
Rachel Timm, Smokestack Theatre Company

RDA also recognize the service of two outgoing board members: Varun Sadana (The Launch Place) and Robin Jones (Vintages by the Dan), who have served on the board for the past nine years.

To find out more about the River District Association, visit The River District Association was organized in 1999 as the Downtown Danville Association. In May 2015, the organizatioon was renamed the River District Association to complement the City’s River District brand.

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Virginia Housing awards grants

Virginia Housing (formerly the Virginia Housing Development Authority) has allocated $46 million to 25 housing agencies across the state in the form of a one-time Public Housing Revitalization grant with the purpose of facilitating and accelerating 38 projects to transform, rehabilitate, or improve Redevelopment and Housing Authorities’ existing public housing stock.

Here are the receipients in Southwest and Southside:

Abingdon Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 75,075
Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 912,000
Cumberland Plateau Regional Housing Authority $ 651,261
Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 1,265,928
Lee County Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 154,909
Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 973,030
Marion Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 637,685
Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 3,836,496
Scott County Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 232,420
Wytheville Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 583,518
Wise County Redevelopment and Housing Authority $ 486,727