Overdose deaths. Courtesy of CDC.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs in Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

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Virginia Rural Health Association receives substance abuse grant

The Virginia Rural Health Association has received $1 million to address substance abuse in  Franklin,  Martinsville/Henry, and Patrick counties. 

The assocation is is one of 65 grantees nationwide to receive funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) – Implementation Awards.

VRHA will use this funding to establish the Virginia Piedmont Harm Reduction Coalition, which will work to expand Comprehensive Harm Reduction programs to address SUD in Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties and the City of Martinsville. Emphasis for the project will be a partnership with the Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition, which will allow VHRC (https://carrynaloxone.org/) to extend their mobile services into the region. 

Comprehensive Harm Reduction (CHR) is a set of public health strategies intended to reduce the negative impact of drug use including HIV, hepatitis C, other infections, overdose, and death among people who are unable or not ready to stop using drugs. CHR includes the distribution of sterile and disposal of used hypodermic needles and syringes, education, referral to drug treatment, testing, and an array of other health services. 

The Piedmont region has experienced a disproportionate share of overdoses related to SUD with all localities experiencing more overdoses than both the state and national rate. Of particular concern is how quickly the overdose mortality rate is increasing. The NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis shows that while Virginia and national rates rose slightly from 2015-2019 (8.5% and 9.3% respectively), Martinsville, the core of the service area, had an increase in the drug overdose mortality rate of 24.1% in the previous five years. 

Additional partners working with the Virginia Piedmont Harm Reduction Coalition include the New College  Institute, and Unite Us. 

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Child care center expands in Roanoke County

Children’s Nest Learning Center – Hollins has broken ground to expand their campus in the Hollins area of Roanoke County, according to a release from Roanoke County. Children’s Nest Learning Center – Hollins is currently permitted to offer 105 childcare slots at their existing facility but will add over 150 new slots with the expansion. The added space will increase their capacity for infant, toddler, pre-k, and after school care. 

Children’s Nest Learning Center – Hollins currently operates at 504 Dexter Road in Hollins but will develop an adjacent parcel to construct a 7,000-square-foot facility for daycare and afterschool programs as well as the addition of a splash pad for water recreation. This project reflects an estimated $2.5 million investment, which will create 15 new jobs, according to a release from the county.

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Prince Edward County receives tourism grant

Prince Edward County has received a $20,000 Virginia Regional Marketing Program grant for tourism marketing. The grant will fund the county’s project, “A Wonderful Week(end): Wellness, Working Remotely, Working Out.” 

“A Wonderful Week(end)” is a marketing campaign to attract wellness-minded visitors to Prince Edward County to take advantage of its local businesses and experiences that contribute to overall health.

Prince Edward County Director of Economic Development and Tourism Chelsey White said in a statement that the project’s goals reflect marketing trends that arose from the pandemic.

Prince Edward will run a digital campaign between May and July of 2023 to advertise local partners and drive visitation to the county. A limited number of welcome gifts will be awarded to those who book overnight stays during the campaign. For information and updates on the event, interested parties can visit the Virginia’s Heartland Regional Visitor Center located at 121 East 3rd Street in Downtown Farmville or visit its website at ExplorePrinceEdwardVA.com.

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Story-telling festival coming to Clifton Forge

The Historic Masonic Theatre and Virginia Storytelling Alliance will hold the Alleghany Highlands StoryFest on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5.

Performances will include regional storytellers and feature storytellers Kim Weitkamp and Donna Washington. In addition to three storytelling concerts, there will be storytelling workshops, an open mic event, and a Story Slam. Alleghany Highlands StoryFest is a family-friendly event.

The Alleghany Highlands StoryFest begins on Friday as Storytellers present to 650 third to fifth grade students from Jeter Watson Elementary School and Callaghan School in the morning and the afternoon will be spent at Mountain View Elementary School and Sharon School.  

Storytellers’ bios and workshop descriptions may be found on www.historicmasonictheatre.com.  Tickets may be purchased for the entire event or specific times.

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Performers named for Farm and Fun Time show in Bristol

Asheville-based, soul-driven rock outfit Caitlin Krisko & The Broadcast and Adam Bolt, an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Abingdon, will perform on WBCM Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time live variety show at 7 p.m. EST, Nov. 10, in the performance theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. 

Tying the evening of music together is Farm and Fun Time host band Bill and the Belles,

Farm and Fun Time is recorded before a live audience and syndicated for television on Blue Ridge PBSEast Tennessee PBS, and PBS North Carolina. Tickets to the show are $35 and may be purchased by visiting the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.

Farm and Fun Time may also be accessed in its entirety live through WBCM Radio Bristol’s Facebook page, on the air at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org or via the station’s free mobile app

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Floyd Country Store releases November line-up

The Floyd Country Store has released its November line-up of acts:

Saturday, 11/5/22 – 7:00 pm – Empty Bottle String Band LIVE

Live at The Floyd Country Store – Tickets are $16

The Empty Bottle String Band specializes in playing toe-tapping, highly danceable traditional Appalachian music. They are known for their upbeat tunes and feel-good music. Their impressive stage presence is coupled with a delightfully self-effacing strength and confidence in their music. Their sound is inventive, while still staying close to the old-time string band tradition of the 1930s.

Saturday, 11/12/22 – 7:00 pm – Lonesome River Band LIVE

Live at The Floyd Country Store – Tickets are $30

Saturday, 11/19/22 – Celebration of Banjo Day 

All-Day Event at The Floyd Country Store – Free Admission to all events except the Square Dance (Tickets are $12)

The event begins at 12:00 PM. At 3:00 PM, Kristina R. Gaddy will give a presentation and discussion on her book, Well of Souls: Uncovering The Banjo’s Hidden History. At 7:00 PM, old-time musician, celebrated dance caller, and Appalachian music and dance scholar Phil Jamison is leading a square dance.

  • Banjo Music from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Mac Traynham 12:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Corbin Hayslett 1:00 – 2:00 PM
  • Dena Jennings 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Well Of Souls: Uncovering The Banjo’s Hidden History with Kristina Gaddy – 3:00 PM
  • Learn about the earliest history of the banjo through music, images, and a reading, with a special focus on the history of the banjo in Virginia. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free.
  • Square Dance with Phil Jamison – 7:00 PM
  • Phil Jamison has called dances, performed, and taught at music festivals and dance events throughout the U.S. and overseas since the early 1970s, including over forty years as a member of the Green Grass Cloggers. In 2017, he was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. Tickets are $12.

Saturday, 11/26/22 – 7:00 pm – Dori Freeman & Friends Live

Live at The Floyd Country Store – Tickets are $20 

Dori Freeman is a singer-songwriter from Galax.


Honky Tonk Thursdays

The Floyd Country Store clears the floor for dancing to some of the best honky tonk and classic country music, most often hosted by the master telecaster player Redd Volkaert and his band.

11/3/22 – Honky Tonk Thursdays 

Live at The Floyd Country Store – FREE: Suggested donation of $10

7:00 – 9:00 pm: Redd Volkaert & Friends

11/10/22 – Honky Tonk Thursdays 

Live at The Floyd Country Store – FREE: Suggested donation of $10

7:00 – 9:00 pm: Redd Volkaert & Friends

11/17/22 – Honky Tonk Thursdays 

Live at The Floyd Country Store – FREE: Suggested donation of $10

7:00 – 9:00 pm: Kelley & The Cowboys

11/24/22 – NO Honky Tonk Thursdays – DUE TO THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY


The Friday Night Jamboree

The night beings with a gospel set at 6:30 pm, and the dance music starts at 7:30 and continues until 10:00 pm. Tickets for Friday Night Jamboree are available at the door starting at 4:45 pm, $8 admission ($5 kids under 12, under 6 free). Some reserved seating is available for $15 per seat (inclusive of ticketing fees), and limited seating is available.

11/4/22 – Friday Night Jamboree

6:30 Gospel Set: The Comptons

7:30 (2) Dance Sets: Gap Civil

11/11/22 – Friday Night Jamboree

6:30 Gospel Set: Josh Blankenship & Friends

7:30 (2) Dance Sets: Locust Street Ramblers

11/18/22 – Friday Night Jamboree

6:30 Gospel Set: The Farleys

7:30 (2) Dance Sets: Nobody’s Business

11/25/22 – Friday Night Jamboree

6:30 Gospel Set: TBA

7:30 Dance Set: Larry Sigmon & the Unique Sound of the Mountains 


Americana Afternoons every Saturday starting at noon:

Free live music from The Floyd Country Store stage starts at noon.

11/5/22 – Americana Afternoon

12:00 PM: Ten String Tales

1:30 PM: Scott Fore

11/12/22 –  Americana Afternoon

12:00 PM: Dell Iron Project

1:30 PM: Spring Fed Roots

11/19/22 – Americana Afternoon & Celebration of Banjo Day

12:00 PM: Mac Traynham

1:00 PM: Corbin Hayslett

2:00 PM: Dena Jennings

11/26/22 – Americana Afternoon

12:00 PM: Albert Newberry & Casey Lewis

1:30 PM: David Cannaday & Seph Custer


Sunday Music Jams, every week: 1:30-3:30 Old Time Jam, 4:00-6:00 Bluegrass Jam

Each week, our old-time jam includes rotating host bands who lead tunes at a moderate speed. Free to the public.

Handmade Music School Workshops

The Handmade Music School is dedicated to teaching traditional music and dance from Floyd County and beyond. Handmade Music School offers lessons, classes, workshops and camps throughout the year. www.handmademusicschool.com

Saturday, 11/5/22 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Handmade Music School Presents: Round Peak Clawhammer Banjo with Adam Hurt

Workshop at The Floyd Country Store – Cost is $30.

Explore the clawhammer banjo style of Tommy Jarrell, the legendary source musician from Surry County, North Carolina.