Kyle Petty. Courtesy of Kyle Petty Charity Ride.

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

* * *

Petty to sign books in Martinsville

Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will be in Martinsville this weekend for book-signings related to his new memoir, SWERVE OR DIE: My Life in the First Family of NASCAR Racing.

On Saturday, October 29, after the Xfinity race concludes at Martinsville Speedway, he’ll be at Roosky’s, 54 West Church Street. On October 30, he’ll be at the Chevy Merchandise Hauler at the Martinsville Speedway. After the signing portion concludes both days, he’ll also be performing some of his original songs. You can find more details about the book here:

* * *

Liberty to hold car show

Liberty University’s School of Business will be hosting a student-led Outdoor New Car Auto Show Oct. 29-30 in the West Wing Parking Lot of River Ridge Mall. Over 80 vehicles and close to $12 million of inventory, ranging from a Honda Accord to a Bentley Bentayga and William Byron’s Liberty-sponsored NACAR car, will be on display from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 30.

The auto show was created to educate attendees on the latest innovations in automotive design and manufacturing. It will also allow businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with potential customers, and meet students interested in the automotive industry.

The event is free and open to the public. Food vendors will be available.

* * *

Smith Mountain Lake to hold chili festival

The 19th Smith Mountain Lake Chili Festival 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.

Spank, an ’80s party band, will perform from noon to 3 p.m.

Chili tasting will take place from noon to 2 p.m. A committee will judge on the stage at Mango’s Bar & Grill for the “Best Chili” prizes based on taste, consistency, aroma, color and bite. The public will vote via ballot box for the “Peoples’ Choice” and for “Best Showmanship” awards. 

Awards will be presented at 3:30 p.m. 

For more information, log on to or contact Erin Stanley at 540-721-1203 or

* * *

New River Community College to host book signing

New River Community College will host a book signing on November 6 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the NRCC Library. 

Author Salley Chinn and illustrators Harriet Anderson, Cindy Moore, and Carolyn Turner will all be available to present their children’s book “Seth and the Secret of the Butterfly.”   

The book describes imagining what it would be like to meet a talking butterfly who whispers a life-changing secret. The story tells of five special needs children who meet a magical butterfly named Lilly, who teaches the children how to turn sadness into joy and challenges into dreams. “Seth and the Secret of the Butterfly” inspires all children to celebrate who they are and to dream of what they might become. 

The event will include cookies, hot cider, and tea. The NRCC Library is located in Martin Hall on NRCC’s campus in Dublin. 

For more information about the event, contact Sandy Smith in the NRCC Library at or (540)674-3600, ext. 4345. 

About the author/illustrators: Chinn is the mother of three boys, a grandmother of six, and a former middle school English teacher.  Turner is a mother and grandmother and is retired from Radford University after working in the printing office.  Anderson is a mother to one, grandmother of two, and an adjunct biology instructor at New River Community College. Moore is a mom to two boys, one of whom is Seth.  She has worked more than 20 years as a graphic designer and web developer, most recently at Virginia Tech. 

* * *

Mountain Gateway to hold veterans event

Veterans will be celebrated on Saturday, November 12, at the first annual VETfest, hosted by Mountain Gateway Community College. The day-long recognition includes several events on the MGCC main campus in Clifton Forge.

The day starts off at 7:30 a.m. with Army Combat Fitness Test on the College grounds. Participants are asked to pay a fee of $25, with all proceeds going to support scholarships for veterans and their dependents. The fitness test will be followed by a pancake breakfast at 9:00 a.m. in Moomaw Center.

A vendor expo begins at 10:00 a.m. on the College grounds, and at 11:00 a.m. there will be a Veterans Memorial Service conducted by the Rev. Virgil Woodie, to recognize area vets who have passed away in the last year. Their families are encouraged to send in the names of those veterans so they can be honored, says Short. The service will be held at the flag poles on the front lawn, in front of Backels Hall.

The 29th Infantry Band will perform in concert at 2:00 p.m., also on the front lawn, followed by a Veterans’ Appreciation Night, featuring the MGCC Roadrunner Men’s basketball team, when they play Mid-Atlantic Christian University from Elizabeth City, NC. Tip-off is at 3:00 p.m. in the MGCC Armory.

For more information or to submit the name of a veteran to be honored during the memorial service, contact Robert Short, Student Activities Coordinator at MGCC at (540) 863-2863 or