Town of Clifton Forge.
Town of Clifton Forge.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Clifton Forge gets grant for park

The Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission, in partnership with the Town of Clifton Forge, has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Outdoor Foundation Go Outside or GO Fund for an all-abilities park in Clifton Forge.

All-abilities parks offer children opportunities to play alongside one another regardless of sensory or physical ability. This all-abilities playground will be located at the transformed site of Linden Park in Clifton Forge.

This playground will provide accessibility and inclusion with safe surfacing and new, specialized equipment. The town is also currently working on creating a sensory trail from an existing public walking trail; the design will engage all seven senses. There will be play pieces for balance, movement and sound, flowers and herbs for sight and smell, berries and fruit trees for taste and touch. The sensory trail is projected to be open to the public this spring.

A public meeting about the park meeting will be held on January 24, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Underground Historic Masonic Theatre located at 510 Main Street Clifton Forge, VA 24422. 

“We especially welcome people with disabilities, their loved ones and care teams, and those from historically marginalized communities to learn about the project and provide input on park design,” said Courtney Howard, Chair of the Clifton Forge Parks & Trails Committee in a statement.

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Micah Nida and Greg Kiser opened their food truck, Cluck Truck, LLC, promising chicken with a little dose of Southern hospitality. Cluck Truck, LLC is a recent recipient of a VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Grant. Courtesy of VCEDA.

VCEDA awards grant for food truck

The  Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has issued a $10,000 Seed Capital Matching Grant to the Cluck Truck food truck serving Big Stone Gap, Norton and Wise areas during the week and branching out to the Tri-Cities area and seasonally to fairs and festivals on the weekends.

Micah Nida and Greg Kiser officially opened the new business in July.

Nida and Kiser worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing their application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.

VCEDA region for-profit businesses, within qualifying business categories, one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties and the City of Norton.

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 Tiffany Cummins

Clinch District Ranger named

Tiffany Cummins has been selected as Clinch District Ranger on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests. Cummins previously served as a Forest Program Manager on the Mt. Hood National Forest in Sandy, Oregon.

Cummins previously worked for the USDA Forest Service as a planning staff officer, regional office program manager, and ecosystem staff officer in Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia. She started her Forest Service career on the Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah as an assistant planning team lead. Before she joined the Forest Service, Cummins was a biologist both the with US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resources.

The public can reach the Clinch Ranger District at (276) 679-8370.

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Two new exhibits at Montgomery Museum of Art and History

Two new art exhibits on pottery and oil and photography are on display now at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History. A reception and open house (meet-and-greet with the artists) will take place at the museum on February 2, from 5-7 pm, located at 4 East Main St. Christiansburg.

“From Earth to Stone,” the art exhibit by Tom Jenssen, features ceramic, thrown pieces to which are added glazes, melted glass, painted imagery and found items to offer a sense of wonder.

“Tranquility,” the art exhibit by David Petersen, features local and distant tranquil places both oil paintings and photography, in color and in black and white.