The Gibson Brothers. Courtesy of The Harvester.
The Gibson Brothers. Courtesy of The Harvester.

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

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Bluegrass duet The Gibson Brothers to perform at Harvester in February

The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount will welcome The Gibson Brothers to the stage Saturday, Feb. 11. 

Their newest project, “Darkest Hour,” will be released in January and was produced by dobro master and 14-time Grammy Award winner Jerry Douglas.

Tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at

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Barbara Caruso (Norton Industrial Development Authority);Thatcher Stanley (Congressman Morgan Griffith Office); Bill Hartley (ARC/DHCD), Mayor Joe Fawbush (City of Norton), Fred Ramey (City Manager, City of Norton), Kim Davis (Friends of Southwest Virginia), Bill Thompson (Thompson & Litton). Courtesy of Friends of Southwest Virginia.

Groundbreaking held for High Knob Destination Center in Norton

Friends of Southwest Virginia and the City of Norton held a celebratory groundbreaking Friday to commemorate construction on the High Knob Destination Center. The visitor center is being built just minutes from downtown Norton, off Route 619 at the base of High Knob.

The High Knob Destination Center is a project funded through a 2016 Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant with funding administered by the City of Norton, Friends of Southwest Virginia, Norton Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, Eastern Federal Lands – Highway Division, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
The project includes the construction of a 5,300 square-foot visitor center and trailhead, parking lot, mapping and wayfinding, interpretive and orientation displays, as well as exhibits about the experiences, natural assets, history, and culture of the High Knob region and the City of Norton. The property will be owned and maintained by the Norton Industrial Development Authority.

The High Knob Destination Center is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2023. 

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State launches campaign for license plate to honor Virginia’s women military veterans

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services has launched a campaign to create a special license plate honoring Virginia’s women military veterans.

The Virginia General Assembly must pass legislation in the 2023 session authorizing the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to create the new plate.

Before the General Assembly will move forward with authorizing the new plate, DVS must receive 450 pre-applications and a $10 or $20 deposit.  Applications and deposits must be received by January 11, 2023.

Application forms for the Women Veterans License Plate are available online at or by clicking here. Completed hard copy applications along with a check (no cash) in amount of $10 (basic plate) or $20 (personalized plate) made out to the Virginia Department of Veterans Services should be mailed to:

Ms. Beverly VanTull 

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

101 North 14th Street, 17th Floor

Richmond, VA 23219

With at least 450 pre-applications and deposits in hand, the Women Veterans License Plate Bill will be sent to the 2023 Virginia General Assembly for action.

The first 450 persons submitting a pre-application with either a $10 or $20 deposit as noted will have the opportunity to vote on the ultimate license plate design, according to a release from the department. Applicants do not have to wait until their current Virginia plates expire. They may choose to either transfer the plate once it is available or wait to request the plate as an option at the time of renewal.