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

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Giles to hold job fair

Giles County will hold a job fair on the front lawn of Giles High School from 3-6PM, on Wednesday, August 17th. Among the businesses participating will be Celanese, Lhoist North America, UFP Mid-Atlantic, Cogar Manufacturing, Mountain Lake Lodge and the Inn at Riverbend.

In addition to multiple hiring agents, the event will also host the New River/Mt. Rogers Workforce Development Board and the Virginia Employment Commission. These agencies will have on-site resources for job development. 

If you are a local business, company, or organization you are invited to register to attend with your information. Because we will be outside, employers are asked to bring tent, display, and needed materials for their setup area. Business registration can be done via the online registration form or by contacting Giles County Tourism. Job seekers do not need to register. 

Also on site on August 17th for the duration of the event will be the Bluegrass BBQ Food Truck from Pembroke and other local vendors.

This event is hosted by Giles County with the support of Virginia Career Works and the participating employers. More details as they are available may be shared on Giles County’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as on the website. 

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ABC awards grants

Ten community organizations across the state were recently awarded more than $83,000 in Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) Education and Prevention grants to help reduce underage and high-risk drinking.

Among them were:

Mecklenburg County Public Schools ($4,440)

This project will introduce alcohol prevention curriculum to ninth grade students in Mecklenburg County schools. In addition to teaching the curriculum throughout the fall semester, teachers will also place posters around the school and in the gym as visual reminders of alcohol prevention lessons. Participants will be surveyed continuously in order to gather complete data from upper classmen to see if the ninth grade lessons continue to be used in the future.

Planning District 1 Behavioral Health Services ($10,000)

“The Power of You(th)! Positive Choices, Sober Lives” program will be a two-phase project targeted at Norton high school students and initially involve a virtual or in-person keynote presentation by a nationally known youth speaker from the organization, Dynamic Influence. The presentation is designed to engage, educate and motivate students to make responsible choices regarding alcohol use. Phase two of the project will involve providing engaging educational sessions in the classroom, designed to give students an opportunity to practice and better retain what they learned in the keynote presentation with speaker curriculum.

Substance Abuse Taskforce in Rural Appalachia ($10,000)

Substance Abuse Taskforce in Rural Appalachia’s (SATIRA) project includes underage alcohol and tobacco sales and compliance checks followed by a media campaign highlighting retailers who did not sell to underage buyers. Also planned for the project will be a billboard contest between area high school students who will design the billboards with alcohol prevention messages. Each school’s billboard will be displayed in their town March, April and May targeting prom and graduation season.

If you are interested in learning more about the Virginia ABC Alcohol Education and Prevention Grant Program or other education and prevention programs, please visit

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Virginia Humanities announces grants

Virginia Humanities has announced 18 new grants totaling $153,200 to nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth.

Receipients on this side of the state were:

Blue Ridge Discovery Center: $1,750 (Project: Exhibit of Historic Timeline at Blue Ridge Discovery Center) 

Konnarock, VA—Research, printing, and installation of an historical timeline documenting the history of the Konnarock Training School in relation to the social, economic, and cultural history of the Mount Rogers area in Southwestern Virginia. 

Catticus Corporation: $10,000 (Project: Barbara Johns Website Project) 

Berkeley, CA—A series of consultations with Virginia teachers, part of a larger effort to create an interactive website bringing the stories of Barbara Rose Johns, the student strike at Moton High School, and school desegregation in Prince Edward County, Virginia to life for students as well as other users state-and-nationwide. 

James Madison University: $5,400 (Project: A Miserable Revenge: Recovering 19th-Century Black Literature from the Shenandoah Valley, Phase 1) 

Harrisonburg, VA—Transcription of a handwritten and previously unpublished novel written ca. 1880 by George Newman, an African American educator from the Winchester area who later lived and worked in Harrisonburg/Rockingham County.  The novel is one of the earliest-known works of fiction by an African American writer. 

National D-Day Memorial: $8,000 (Project: Someone Talked! A Podcast of the National D-Day Memorial) 

Bedford, VA—A series of podcasts on the history of World War IIfeaturing conversations between the prolific WWII historian John McManus and other scholars and writers whose work is contributing to a more complete understanding of the War, its causes and impact; designed to reach and engage new audiences now that the generation that lived through WWII has passed. 

Virginia Tech Foundation (WFTV—Radio IQ): Tribal Truths Podcast – $20,000
Blacksburg, VA—The grant will support production of four new episodes to be released next year. As with the pilot episode (supported by a previous Virginia Humanities grant) the new episodes will focus on the histories and cultures of state and federally recognized Tribes in Virginia. Each episode is developed in cooperation with tribal leaders and features an Indigenous host/narrator and tribal members.