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

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Liberty, Virginia Tech to send disaster relief teams to Kentucky 

Students from Liberty University and Virginia Tech will help with disaster relief in several Kentucky communities that have been devastated in recent months by floods and tornadoes.

Liberty is sending two teams that will partner with Samaritan’s Purse. The trips are being organized by LU Serve Now, Liberty’s disaster relief initiative. 

The first team leaves Wednesday for Jackson and will return Sept. 4. In July, Jackson was devastated by catastrophic flooding, causing thousands of residents to be displaced. The team will help clean up debris and beautify properties. 

A second team will be in Mayfield from Oct. 2-8. A tornado swept through the area in December, killing more than 85 people. The team will help rebuild homes damaged during the storm. 

“The Serve Now program puts students in the very midst of disaster relief and humanitarian aid situations in which they are building that skill of helping somebody, ministering to somebody’s spiritual needs, and ministering to somebody’s emotional needs,” said LU Serve Director Chad Nelson. “And as they do that, they are conformed into the image of Jesus, thereby continuing to pursue that ideal of being a Champion for Christ.” 

Emily Satterwhite (left), an associate professor and director of Appalachian Studies at Virginia Tech, and Rebecca Hester, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society, will take students to Kentucky from Sept. 2-4 to help with flood relief as part of a Societal Health course they are teaching this semester. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Students interested in applying for the LU Serve Now program for the fall semester must apply by Sept. 2. 

Virginia Tech students enrolled in a Societal Health class will visit Letcher County, the site of some of the worst flooding during the July disaster, from Sept. 2-4. They will muck out houses, prepare food, organize supplies and help with an Appalachian Roots Benefit Concert for flood relief.

The community service project is part of their course, which examines the importance of social movements and mutual aid for collective well-being.

Several other Virginia Tech groups have joined in on the project, including VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning. Funds contributed by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the Center for Refugee, Migrant and Displacement Studies will offset volunteers’ travel costs. Members of the Corps of Cadets also will participate.

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Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Waynesboro campus expected to break ground in 2024

The Virginia Museum of Natural History’s new Waynesboro branch campus is slated to break ground in 2024, the museum announced this week.

Museum officials said that Richmond-based Glavé & Holmes Architecture will create the detailed designs of the new campus, with updated building drawings planned for release late this year and design completion scheduled for 2023.

The VMNH-Waynesboro facility will consist of approximately 28,000 square feet of space, 20,000 of which will be dedicated to exhibit galleries and children’s learning and play areas. The facility will also include classrooms and a science laboratory and will provide a direct connection to the South River Preserve. It will be located at the corner of West Main and Arch streets in downtown Waynesboro.

To learn more about the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, visit

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P&HCC baseball to host alumni golf tournament

The inaugural Patriots Baseball Alumni Golf Tournament, hosted by Patrick & Henry Community College, is set for Oct. 22 at Forest Park Country Club in Martinsville.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The entry fee of $400 per foursome includes a branded item, lunch and 50/50 prize drawings. Sponsorships are available at varying levels.

Proceeds benefit the Patrick & Henry Community College baseball team. To register, visit

For additional information, contact Letitia Pulliam at or 276-656-0250.

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U.S. Navy Band Country Current to perform in Roanoke

The U.S. Navy Band Country Current, the Navy’s country/bluegrass ensemble, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at Elmwood Park in Roanoke.

The show, which is the first stop on Country Current’s 2022 national tour, is free and open to the public. The seven-member Country Current performs a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass.