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

* * *

Tazewell hospital gets federal grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a grant of $335,000 to Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital, according to a release from Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem.

This grant will be used to upgrade the hospital’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, replacing a current old and unreliable HVAC system, according to the department.

(Disclosure: Carilion Clinic is one of our donors, but donors have no say in news decisions. See our policy).

* * *

Roanoke event features two speakers on human trafficking

The Roanoke Valley Republican Women are hosting an event about human trafficking on Tuesday, August 16. Keith Farmer, director of Straight Street, and Bill Woolfof Anti-Trafficking International will speak. Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea will introduce them.

The event will be at 7 p.m. at Straight Street, 333 Luck Avenue SW in Roanoke. The event is free. For more information, contact Barbara Duerk at 540-343-1616.

* * *

Blinky Moon Boys perform Saturday in Roanoke

The Blinky Moon Boys perform Saturday as part of the Dog Bowl Concert Series at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke.

Gates open at 5 p.m., show from 6-9 p.m.

Tickets: $5 admission at the gate, no charge 12 and under

Refreshments: $5 Beer/Wine tickets

Food Truck: Ken & Jayne’s Burgers and Dogs w/ Dog Bowl special: Meatball Sandwiches

All ages welcome:  must bring I.D. for 21+ wrist band

Lawn seating: bring a blanket or chair

* * *

Registration opens Monday for Smith Mountain Lake Chili Festival

Registration opens Monday, August 15 for the Smith Mountain Lake Chili Festival. The event will take place Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bridgewater Plaza. Tickets are $7 per person (cash only) with kids 5 and younger admitted free. The event is presented by Margaret Crayé of Lifestyle & Lake Real Estate Group.

Applications will be accepted starting Aug. 15 for chili-cooking teams, as well as craft vendors and food vendors, said Erin Stanley, Member Relations and Events Director for the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. 

For those interested in entering a team, the cost is $25 and a minimum of 10 gallons of chili must be prepared. All chili must be cooked on site, from scratch. Cooking begins at 8 a.m. with samples shared with those in attendance from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Application deadline is Oct. 21.

Applications also are available online for craft vendors and food vendors. Stanley said space is limited and will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For complete rules and to access applications, log on to or contact Erin Stanley at 540-721-1203 or

* * *

5k event in Roanoke to raise money for refugee resettlement

The Roanoke Public Library Foundation in partnership with the City of Roanoke  Public Libraries presents the 2nd annual Roanoke Run for Refugees 5K. The 5K  will take place at Wasena Park along the Roanoke River Greenway on Friday,  September 9th at 6 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Refugee Resettlement  Program through Commonwealth Catholic Charities.  

The Roanoke Run for Refugees will showcase a timed 5K distance run or walk,  and a 1K race for children. Participants who register before August 24th will  receive a Roanoke Run for Refugees 5K commemorative t-shirt, and all finishers will receive a medal.