The Del McCoury Band returns to Rocky Mount's Harvester Performance Center in April. Photo courtesy of Harvester Performance Center.

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

Harvester adds Del McCoury Band, Slim and Craigie to April lineup

Harvester Performance Center has added two shows to its April schedule. 

Bluegrass royalty Del McCoury and his band will return to Rocky Mount on April 15 for an 8 p.m. show. Tickets start at $67 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at

Singer-songwriters Langhorne Slim and John Craigie take the stage at the Harvester at 8 p.m. April 19 for a pair of solo performances. Tickets start at $37 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

For tickets, or for more information about upcoming shows, visit

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Four-month dredging ban at Smith Mountain Lake begins Feb. 15

The annual four-month ban on dredging within Smith Mountain Project lake boundaries begins this year on Feb. 15.

Dredging by property owners at Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes is typically done to remove sediment and debris from the bottom of the lake to increase water depths. The ban, which runs yearly between Feb. 15 and June 15, helps to protect fish habitat during spawning season, according to Appalachian Power.

“The four-month pause in dredging helps to protect critical fish spawning,” Neil Holthouser of Appalachian Power’s shoreline management group said in a statement. “Fish depend on undisturbed shallow-water environments for nesting sites. The temporary dredging ban helps keep the fish population healthy and stable over time.”

Appalachian says that when considering dredging at Smith Mountain or Leesville lakes, shoreline property owners and contractors should remember these key requirements:

  • Only accumulated sediment may be dredged; the original lake bottom cannot be disturbed. Dredging or excavation of all designated wetlands areas is prohibited.
  • Dredging or excavation involving more than 25 cubic yards of sediment requires the filing of a joint application with Appalachian and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Dredging or excavation involving less than 25 cubic yards of sediment may be allowed under the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 19, provided certain conditions are met. Property owners are advised to consult with the Army Corps prior to any planned dredging activity.
  • Appalachian requires that property owners who are considering dredging less than 25 cubic yards of sediment contact Appalachian a minimum of 10 working days prior to the planned dredging so that Appalachian can determine if the project meets the requirements of the Shoreline Management Plan.

To contact Appalachian’s shoreline management staff, email Neil Holthouser at To contact the Army Corps of Engineers, call 540-344-1409. Visit to find the Shoreline Management Plan. Dredging information begins on page 71.

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Sam Bush to headline ‘Farm and Fun Time’ show in March

Newgrass star Sam Bush headlines WBCM Radio Bristol’s “Farm and Fun Time” live variety show, along with Bristol’s own folk-rock band Annabelle’s Curse, at 7 p.m. March 16, live from the Paramount Bristol.

The show will be hosted by Radio Bristol’s Kris Truelsen and his house band, Bill and the Belles.

“Farm and Fun Time” is recorded before a live audience and syndicated for television on Blue Ridge PBS, East Tennessee PBS and PBS North Carolina. Tickets are on sale now and range from $43.02 – $85.13. They may be purchased by visiting the Paramount’s website or by visiting the Paramount box office. 

“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 or via the station’s free mobile app. 

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UVA Wise, Nature Conservancy launch new round of grant funding

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the Nature Conservancy and the Cumberland Forest Limited Partnership are accepting applications for a second round of grants through the Cumberland Forest Community Fund.

The competitive local grant program is designed to support nature-based economic and community development projects in the counties of Wise, Russell, Tazewell, Dickenson, Buchanan, Lee and Scott and the city of Norton, according to a news release.

The fund will provide $140,000 in funding to projects that support the “triple bottom line” through tangible contributions to local economic development, such as jobs or visitor spending;
increased community capacity, such as green infrastructure investments and outdoor recreation economic development; and enhanced environmental quality, such as benefits to air and water quality.

Eligible projects include, but aren’t limited to, downtown revitalization initiatives; recreational trails and greenways; development or promotion of natural or cultural assets in local communities; renewable energy projects; outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry or agricultural initiatives; and land or water restoration projects. 

In 2021-22, the first round of the Cumberland Forest Community Fund provided funding for 10 nature-based community projects throughout Southwest Virginia. Awarded projects included river access points, outdoor classrooms, trail development and tourism initiatives. One of the award recipients, Breaks Interstate Park, has leveraged the funds to improve sustainable climbing trails to allow access to the park’s 300-plus routes. 

Applications for the second round of grants will be accepted through April 3. For more information about program guidelines and application process, or to read about the 2020-21 grant winners, visit

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US Cellular, Boys & Girls Club kick off annual Black History Month art contest

US Cellular and the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia are kicking off their 16th annual Black History Month art contest.

To participate in the contest, Boys & Girls Club members are encouraged to create original pieces of artwork representing influential Black STEM icons. These can include historical figures, world leaders, scientists and educators who have made vital contributions to the world of science, technology, engineering and math.

Ten finalists will be chosen by club representatives based on creativity, quality, interpretation, clarity of theme and overall impression. The finalists’ artwork will be digitally displayed in select stores, and throughout February anyone 18 and older is invited to vote for their favorite art online.

The top three vote-getters will be announced in March. US Cellular’s Network of Black Associates resource group is funding this year’s prizes, which include $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third.

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New ceramics exhibit at W&L showcases Pueblo women artists

The Museums at Washington and Lee University are presenting a new ceramics exhibit that spotlights women artists.

“Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women” features new artwork by Jody Naranjo, Judy Tafoya and Kathleen Wall and offers an intimate look at the work of Pueblo potters from New Mexico, presenting Pueblo pottery in the context of place, time and culture, according to a news release.

This exhibit is free and open to the public, with a reception and artist panel scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Feb. 1. All three artists and the exhibition’s guest curator, Tony Chavarria, will be at the event to discuss their work.

A full list of “Mother Clay” events:

  • Artist panel at Leyburn Library Northen Auditorium, 5-6 p.m. Feb. 1.
  • Opening reception at Reeves Museum of Ceramics, 6:15-7 p.m. Feb. 1. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public. Food and drink will be provided.
  • Demonstrating Native Allyship luncheon with alumnus Joel Bernstein at Watson Galleries, noon-1 p.m. Feb. 2. Bernstein, a W&L alumnus and a retired professor of Native American art, will share insights from more than 50 years of work and friendship with members of Native American communities. RSVP at
  • “Mother Clay” guided tours with guest curator Tony Chavarria at Reeves Museum of Ceramics, 1:30-3 p.m. Feb. 2. There will be three free 20-minute tours at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. RSVP at

For more information about the exhibit, visit