Jade Harris
Jade Harris

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

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The new 3rd Senate District has no incumbent. Courtesy of Virginia Supreme Court.

Democratic candidate enters state Senate race

Glasgow vice mayor Jade Harris is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state Senate seat that stretches from Roanoke County to Augusta County, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which has been tracking candidate announcements across the state.

Del. Chris Head, R-Botetourt County, is currently the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination, although state Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, has said he’s considering moving into the district. Under the state’s new redistricting map, Hanger is paired in a district that includes fellow Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain of Rockingham County.

The special masters who drew the districts’ maps for the Virginia Supreme Court computed that the district has been about 64% to 66% Republican in recent elections.

Harris was most recently the Democratic candidate in the special election for a House of Delegates seat following the death of Del. Ronnie Campbell, R-Rockingham County. She took just under 38% of the vote in a contest with Republican Ellen Campbell.

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Ballad opens urgent care clinic in Marion

Ballad Health has opened an urgent care clinic in Marion, the only such facility in Smyth County.

Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care is on the campus of Smyth County Community Hospital. It’s open seven days a week and has on-site X-ray and lab capabilities through the hospital, according to a news release from Ballad.

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Roanoke Women’s Foundation hosts 2023 grants information forum

Roanoke Women’s Foundation will host a meeting Feb. 23 to discuss its 2023 grant program.

The forum, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, is open to nonprofit organizations that are interested in applying for foundation funding.

The foundation’s grants committee will outline 2023 funding criteria and priorities, review the online application process and take questions from participants.

Information on Roanoke Women’s Foundation and the grants process also can be found at www.roanokewomensfoundation.org under the “Apply for a Grant” tab. 

The foundation supports nonprofits in Roanoke and Salem, the town of Vinton, and the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd and Franklin. Since 2005, it has provided $4.9 million in grants to organizations in the arts and culture, education, environmental and health and human service arenas. Funding is provided by member donations, and grant recipients are voted upon by the membership.

For more information or to register for the forum, email Lee Woody at lhwoody@yahoo.com.

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Southern Gap Mountain Mayhem returns to Grundy

Southern Gap Mountain Mayhem will return for its second year July 27-29 in Grundy, organizers announced last week.

The family-friendly ATV, UTV and MX event, which will be held at Southern Gap Outdoor Adventure, includes drag races, mud bog blitzes, hill climb racing, music and more.

The inaugural event last year drew an estimated 3,000 people over three days, according to organizers.

Event admission is $25, which covers all days. Children ages 12 and younger will be admitted free. Wristbands may be purchased at the gate or in advance at www.sgadventures.com. Reservation for camping also can be booked online.

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Bristol resident to be Kaine’s guest at State of the Union

A United Mine Workers of America official from Bristol will attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address as the guest of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, the senator’s office announced.

James Gibbs, at-large international vice president of UMAW, is a third-generation coal miner from Dickenson County who has worked as an electrician in underground mines and as a lineman at surface operations, according to a news release.

“I’m honored that James Gibbs, a lifelong Virginian who has been a member of UMWA for 48 years, will join me for this year’s State of the Union,” Kaine said in the release.

Kaine met with Gibbs most recently in August 2022 while visiting with UMWA members in Castlewood to discuss the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which was permanently extended by the Inflation Reduction Act.