The planned Hard Rock Casino in Bristol. Courtesy of Hard Rock.
The planned Hard Rock Casino in Bristol. Courtesy of Hard Rock.

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

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Five winners announced in pitch contest

Five companies have been named winners of the Southwest Virginia Regional Bristol Casino Pitch Contest sponsored by Virginia Community Capital and the Hard Rock Casino Bristol.

The five winners received $10,000 each toward business expenses. All applicants that entered the pitch contest are under consideration to become vendors at the casino.  

The winners, all of whom are led by women, were:

▪ Anne Vaughan Designs – Floyd County 

▪ Beagle Ridge Herb Farm – Wythe County 

▪ The Orange Bandana – Montgomery County 

▪ The Pakalachian Truck – Washington County 

▪ Virginia Mountain Vineyards – Botetourt County 

A total of 17 applications  were received from 11 counties within the region.

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Coalfields Expressway Authority asks governor for funding

The Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority has sent a letter to Gov. Glenn Youngkin asking that he include $500,000 annually in the state budget for the project.

“I am of the opinion that the Coalfields Expressway may offer the only real solution to the economic plight of many areas of the coalfields,” executive director Jonathan Belcher said he wrote in the letter. “Without this necessary infrastructure, these areas will continue to struggle economically and that is not even mentioning the tremendous health care and educational opportunities and other benefits the road will provide.

“I know you recognize the importance of the Coalfields Expressway (U.S. 121) because you referenced it during your campaign in the gubernatorial debate held at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy The only section of the CFX funded and under construction in Virginia are a few miles shared with U.S. 460 as part of the ‘Corridor Q’ project in Buchanan County. Without the Coalfields Expressway (U.S. 121) being completed in both states, neither state will realize the full benefit.”

Youngkin is expected to release his budget proposals on Thursday. For more on the project, see our background story.

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Chipotle will open in Radford

Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening its first location in Radford on Monday, Dec. 12.

The store will be at 7406 Lee Highway and will be open every day 10:45 am – 10 pm.

The first five people in line receive complimentary Chipotle Goods merchandise.

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You can vote on gingerbread houses in Floyd

Gingerbread houses are officially on display in the windows of downtown businesses for the Floyd Country Store’s annual Gingerbread House Contest. Community voting, accessible through the Floyd Country Store’s website, is active and open to the public.

The contestant pool includes 11 adults and nine youths between the ages of 6 and 12. Contestants were encouraged to be creative with their entries as long as they were completely edible and fit on a 22” x 22” platform. Gingerbread House kits were only allowed in Youth entries, but many young contestants opted to make their creations from scratch. All adult entries are made from scratch.

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Farmville Rotary awards grants

The Rotary Club of Farmville awarded its 1st $5,000 community grant this year to the FACES food pantry to fund a cooler site for its County Line location. In addition, the Club awarded $1,000 each to grant finalists Waterworks (Storage Building/Workshop) and the Friends of the Barbara Rose Johns Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library (Summer Reading Program) to support their projects.