Rendering of the welcome gallery at the proposed Smith Mountain Lake Center. Courtesy of the center.

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

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Smith Mountain Lake Center releases renderings

The Smith Mountain Lake Center, Inc. has released interior design renderings of what its proposed multi-purpose center at Westlake Corner in Franklin County will look like.

The nonprofit organization, which is currently raising funds to purchase the Grand Home Furnishings building, is working with Hughes Associates, an architectural and engineering firm based in Roanoke, to turn the vacant building into a community gathering space for education, arts, entertainment and events. 

The renderings depict many aspects of how the space will be utilized, including a welcome gallery with tables and seating, an information desk, a café with free wireless internet access, a 400-seat auditorium with stage and a 400-seat multipurpose event space.  

SML Center President Vicki Gardner said the group also released an updated floor plan for the proposed facility, which will include a media center, rehearsal space, conference rooms and classrooms.

More information and a secure online donation form can be found at Those interested in setting up an in-person or virtual meeting to discuss donations and naming opportunities may contact Gardner at 540-529-7733 or All donations for Phase I (purchase of the Grand building) will be refunded back to donors if the sale does not go through.

To see renderings of the welcome gallery, auditorium and event space, or to get additional details on the types of programing the SML Center will provide, visit

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Drug take-back day in Roanoke Valley

Local law enforcement agencies, Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC), the Prevention Council of Roanoke County, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Western Virginia Water Authority are partnering to collect expired, unused and unwanted medications for safe destruction on Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at convenient parking lot locations across the Roanoke Valley.

Vaping devices and cartridges will also be collected at any of the drop off locations as long as the lithium ion batteries have been removed.  Veterinarian medications are also collected.  No sharps or syringes will be accepted.  Medicine does not need to be removed from containers as all collected medicine is burned in the state incinerator. 

The public is invited to bring unused or unwanted medications to this free and anonymous event that is part of the nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” program that seeks to prevent prescription pill abuse, theft and environmental concerns.  Since these take-back events started in 2010, over 46,000 pounds of prescription medications have been turned in by Roanoke Valley citizens for proper disposal.   The event is rain or shine. 

Medication take-back locations will be set up Saturday, October 29 from 10am – 2pm in parking lots across the valley: 

Botetourt:  Solomon’s Mission: 592 Lowe St. Buchanan; Penelope Jewelers: 52 Kingston Dr, Daleville

Roanoke City:  CVS Towers Mall; Feeding Southwest Virginia Community Solutions Center: 2328 Melrose Ave NW; CVS 9th Street: 702 9th St. SE

Roanoke County:  Bonsack Kroger 3970 Valley Gateway Blvd.; Tanglewood Kroger; Lewis Gale ER Tanglewood; North County Fire and Rescue Station #1 150 Hershberger Rd.; Walgreens 4049 Brambleton Ave.

Franklin County:  Franklin County Sheriff’s Office – Westlake Substation13205 Booker T Washington Hwy;

Rocky Mount Police Department – 1250 N Main St, Rocky Mount

Salem:  Super Shoes: 1838 W Main St.; Salem VA Medical Center: 1970 Roanoke Blvd.

See  for a complete list of all other sites in the region

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Roanoke Valley Libraries to get new catalog system

Roanoke Valley Libraries, consisting of libraries in Botetourt County, City of Roanoke, City of Salem, and County of Roanoke, will implement a new catalog system in November.

Before the transition to OCLC Wise, libraries are asking all Roanoke Valley patrons to help make the transition easy with three steps. Step one, come in to the library or visit to update contact information, including email address. Emails will be used to send notifications and library alerts. There will be the ability to opt-out of emails after launch, but an email address is needed for online account creation. Step two is to verify home library location. A patron’s home library is their favorite library location. The home library may be the one closest to a patron’s home or the one they stop at the most on the way back from work. Step three doesn’t apply to everyone, but for patrons who used the book wish list feature we don’t want them to lose that information. Patrons may visit and email or print their wish list. Patrons can visit all RVL locations for a free print-out of wish lists. 

As all RVL locations prepare for the launch of the new system, there will be a transition period from November 4 through November 11. During this time, patrons are welcome to come in to the library and check out materials while other transactions will be limited. There are no due dates during the transition period; if patrons would prefer, they can keep their items until the new system is live. Library staff appreciates patron patience as they are continuing to learn this new software. Some library locations may be closed for staff training days. Visit your library’s website for details. Please note for patrons who have bookmarked, this link will be disabled after the Wise transition and a new link will be created. The short link of will continue to work.