An example of a splash pad. Courtesy of Glogger.

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

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A ceremonial photo was taken Friday representing the $300,000 in separate grant funding amounts approved by VCEDA for the Clintwood Splash Pad project. On hand for the presentations were, from left, Josh Evans, Dickenson County Board of Supervisors vice chairman; Peggy Kiser, Dickenson County Board of Supervisors chairwoman; Larry Barton, Dickenson County administrator; Danny Lambert, town of Clintwood mayor; and Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. Courtesy of VCEDA.

VCEDA awards grant for splash pad recreational site in Clintwood

Three grants totaling $300,000 were recently closed by the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority paving the way for the development of a splash pad recreational area in Clintwood, according to VCEDA.

In separate actions over the past several months, the VCEDA board approved $50,000 for the project requested by the Dickenson County IDA from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund; $50,000 for the project requested by the town of Clintwood from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund; and most recently gave its approval to a second request from the IDA to transfer up to $200,000 from the VCEDA Dickenson County Account to the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund and to approve an up to a $200,000 grant from the VCEDA Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund to the IDA.

“The final action to approve the $200,000 in funding followed amendments agreed to by the VCEDA board to amend the authority’s project policies to allow the transfer of VCEDA county account funds to the tourism account within certain limits,” Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel, said in a statement. “Prior to that action, VCEDA did not have a formal mechanism in place to allow for tourism dollars to be expended directly from VCEDA county accounts. The change to the project policies made that action possible by allowing the county IDAs to choose to request some of their VCEDA county account funds for tourism-related projects. VCEDA is pleased to have been able to facilitate the request for funding and to assist the Dickenson County IDA and the Town of Clintwood in this project they identified as one to improve recreational and tourism opportunities in the town and county for their citizens and tourists alike.”

The funds will be used to finance site development, paving, splash pad construction, building construction, the purchase of equipment, other improvements and costs associated with the project to be located in Clintwood.

After the initial $50,000 grant was approved to the IDA for the project, the IDA obtained layout proposals from an engineering firm which revealed the cost of the project would be significantly more than anticipated, necessitating the requests for the additional $250,000 for the project. The $50,000 portion approved for the town of Clintwood originally was approved for a campground project; however the town later requested the cancellation of that grant and reapplied for the $50,000 for the splash pad project.

“With the onset of COVID, Dickenson County has been charged with developing and enhancing outdoor recreation areas for its citizens,” the IDA’s application for funding noted. “The splash pad will attract children from toddlers to young teens.  With the water feature, picnic area and restroom facility, we anticipate having something that all ages can enjoy, including adults. Currently Dickenson County doesn’t have any similar areas for the children to enjoy.”

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Griffith announces 2022 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, has announced the 2022 Congressional App Challenge for Ninth Congressional District students:

“The Congressional App Challenge encourages students to demonstrate their talents, engage their creativity, and explore the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education,” Griffith said in a statement.

To participate in the challenge, middle school or high school students can choose to work individually or in groups of up to four students. Participants may create and submit their own app for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

Students are encouraged to register online by Sept. 30, before submitting their completed app by Nov. 1. Full details about the contest can be found at

Faculty or students may contact Tammie Bebout in the Abingdon district office at 276-525-1405 or or Josh Hess in the Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671 or

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Community Foundation of the New River Valley accepting grant applications

The Community Foundation of the New River Valley is accepting applications for its 2022 Responsive Grant program for organizations serving the New River Valley. These grants provide up to $4,000 in operating support to further the general mission and work of an organization, rather than for a specific program, project or purpose.

Eligible organizations include registered 501(c)(3) organizations serving the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe and the city of Radford, along with units of local government such as a library or school. Last year, this program awarded $184,772 in grants to 56 nonprofits that focus their work on a variety of areas, including poverty, environmental conservation, health, education and the arts.

By awarding grants for operating support, nonprofits have the flexibility and autonomy to direct their spending where it is needed most. Nonprofits demonstrating strong management with a clear track-record of accomplishments and process for measuring effectiveness are given priority consideration.

More information on the grant application process can be found at  The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. July 22. Questions about the grant application can be directed to the CFNRV’s team at and 540-381-8999.

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