Patrick & Henry Community College. Courtesy of the school.

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

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Patrick & Henry Community College announces 2 new financial awards

The Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation said this week that it has received two new financial awards that aim to help students be more successful in their educational pursuits.

The first comes from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in the amount of $5,100 to provide emergency assistance grants so students can overcome financial hardships. Funds may be used to cover expenses including transportation, child care, technology and basic needs in addition to tuition, fees, books and required materials and supplies.

Students who need assistance should visit the foundation office in Frith Hall for more information and to apply. These funds must be awarded by Dec. 31.

The second award is the Gerald Baliles Annual Award for the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in the amount of $75,000.

The funds will be used to support the RVHI, which seeks to close the educational attainment gap between the Rural Horseshoe region and the rest of Virginia by increasing secondary school completion rates, postsecondary enrollment rates and postsecondary credential/degree attainment rates.

The RVHI funds must be spent by June 30, 2023. The P&HCC Foundation will fund at least 50% of the RVHI program costs under the award agreement.

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Carilion Franklin relaxes visitation policies

Effective Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m., Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital (CFMH) will shift to yellow-level visitation. CFMH has been at red-level visitation since Aug. 31.

Generally, the yellow level allows one visitor for adult patients in the inpatient setting. This less restrictive level also allows visitors with the following guidelines:

  • Patients with physical limitations or cognitive impairments may have a designated support person (DSP) who is not counted as a visitor.
  • Two designated visitors will be permitted for pediatric patients (visitors must be family members and 18 or older).  
  • Same Day Surgery: One visitor while the patient is being prepped for surgery. Once the patient is taken into the prep area, the visitor may be required to leave until the patient is in a room and the clinical care team contacts the visitor. 
  • High-risk immunocompromised patients may have restricted visitation on a case-by-case basis as determined by clinical team.
  • Visitation for end-of-life patients will be allowed and coordinated by staff and administration.

Currently, CFMH is the only Carilion facility with visitation restrictions. As a reminder, the adjacent Medical Office Building and other ambulatory sites are not impacted. Each Carilion hospital is evaluating visitation on a regular basis based on its own community’s positivity rate, spread of COVID-19, and mask compliance. These decisions are made to protect patients, visitors and staff.

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UVA Wise welcomes visiting playwright

Playwright and performer Daniel Alexander Jones will host three events at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise this month.

Daniel Alexander Jones. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jones, a Black queer playwright, performer, director, songwriter and professor, will host a panel discussion on arts and activism, a writing and performance workshop, and a performance lecture on belonging and cultural inheritance. All events are free and open to the public.

  • At 1 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Gilliam Black Box Theater, Jones will participate in a panel discussion on “representing communities with care.” The panelists — Jones; Jessica Mullins Fullen of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards; Tommy Anderson of Roadside Theater; and Angel Johnson, founder and president of the Black Student Union — will approach issues of representation from both aesthetic and political perspectives.
  • At 4:45 p.m. Sept. 26 in Gilliam Center for the Arts Room 114, Jones will lead a writing and performance workshop drawing on ancient Egyptian cosmology.
  • At 8 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Black Box Theater, in partnership with Pro-Art, Jones will present a performance lecture tracing aesthetic, cultural and familial lineages as they have manifested in his work as a writer and performer over the past 20 years.

Jones is a TED Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and a recent winner of the PEN America Laura Pels Foundation Theatre Award.

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Bristol chamber hosts city council, school board candidate forums

The Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce will host candidate forums for city council and school board races on both sides of the state line.

  • Bristol, Virginia, school board: 6 p.m. Wednesday at the school board office, 280 Lee St.
  • Bristol, Virginia, city council: 6 p.m. Monday at Virginia Middle School, 855 Piedmont Ave.
  • Bristol, Tennessee, city council: 6 p.m. Oct. 5 at Slater Community Center, 325 McDowell St. A meet-and-greet session for school board candidates will be held before the city council forum at 5:15 p.m.

The forums are free and open to the public, but the chamber asks attendees to register in advance online.