Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

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Youngkin announces funding for abandoned mine sites

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has endorsed eight sites in Southwest Virginia for funding by the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant program. One of those is the site previously identified for the Energy DELTA Lab near Pound. They are:

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Appalshop looks to expand through central Appalachian region

Appalshop, a Kentucky-based nonprofit that teaches community members how to produce documentary media, has received federal funding to study expanding its work across the central Appalachian coalfields.

Appalshop has been awarded $62,509 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a feasibility study to measure the economic impact that it has already had around Whitesburg, Kentucky, and to estimate the number of jobs that could be created by replicating the model in other parts of central Appalachia, according to a news release.

The study is being conducted by Sarah Lyon-Hill of Virginia Tech’s Center for Economic and Community Engagement.

Depending on what the study finds, it could result in the creation of a network of community media maker spaces — including recording studios and paid training opportunities — across West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee. 

Appalshop started in 1969. It recently launched a pilot program in Beckley, West Virginia; the first student-produced radio documentary, “This is Home: Memories of Raleigh County, WV,” will premier Oct. 20th on The project was supported with funding from the National Coalfield Heritage Area and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

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Free tour of Birthplace of Country Music Museum announced

The public is invited to tour the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol for free during a special Community Day event to be held 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Oct. 29. 

Visitors may also partake in a number of family-friendly activities from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. that day, including:

  • Instrument Petting Zoo – Learn about and play different stringed instruments with Boppin’ Bailey George and Jukebox Jess
  • Square Dancing – Do-si-do with square dance caller Tyler Hughes
  • Spooky Stories – Join our readers for some great, spooky and Halloween-themed tales
  • 3D Printing – Make a guitar pick with T. J. DeWitt from the Bristol Public Library
  • Make-and-Take Items– Take a bit of the museum experience home with banjo craft kits and activity sheets

For more information about Community Day at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, visit the Events page at For more information about Halloween happenings in Downtown Bristol, visit