Alex Hyler, VP and chief scientific officer of CytoRecovery, at the company's facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Center: Dean Thomas, product manager. Right: Kyle Kinskie, research intern. Photo by Randy Walker.
Alex Hyler, VP and chief scientific officer of CytoRecovery, at the company's facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Center: Dean Thomas, product manager. Right: Kyle Kinskie, research intern. Photo by Randy Walker.

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

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CytoRecovery receives National Science Foundation grant

The National Science Foundation has approved a $952,558 grant for CytoRecovery, Inc., a Blacksburg company that has patented cell sorting technologies used in medical research.

According to a release from the company, the grant will provide research funding “to develop new features that will be embodied in the company’s next generation CytoR2 Platform for advanced cell sorting.”

The research will be conducted in the laboratories of Dr. Rafael Davalos, Virginia Tech’s L. Preston Wade Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Nathan Swami, UVA Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the CytoRecovery laboratory located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, under the direction of Dr. Alex Hyler, who is the Principal Investigator for the NSF grant.

For more on CytoRecovery, see this previous story.

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United Way in Martinsville-Henry County gets grant for Spanish-speaking health worker

The Harvest Foundation has given The United Way of Henry County and Martinsville a $25,000 grant to help fund a Spanish-speaking Community Health Worker (CHW) to address health disparities within the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx communities in Martinsville-Henry County.

“Community Health Workers are frontline agents of change who are culturally and community informed,” said India Brown, program officer at The Harvest Foundation, in a statement. “Their work is especially important when serving communities of color, like the Hispanic/Latinx community, that are often underserved. We hope our investment will increase awareness and access to community services within the Hispanic/Latinx community.”

Disclosure: The Harvest Foundation is one of our more than 2,500 donors but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.

Community Health Workers engage the entire community to improve the overall public health of the region, the foundation said in a statement. This position will focus primarily on building relationships with the Spanish-speaking community to foster trusting relationships with individuals who are not connected to local medical resources. They also will share information about services that address health challenges and directly connect clients to medical services offered by local providers.

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Cline to hold town hall in Salem

U.S. Rep. Ben Cline, R-Botetourt County, will hold a town hall meeting in Salem on Feb. 16.

The event will take place from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm at the Lydia’s Italian Kitchen, located at 1713 Riverview Drive in Salem. Cline has rotated all of his town halls between morning, lunch, and evening meetings.

Constituents planning to attend must register here on Eventbrite: Citizens of Salem will be given priority regarding comments during the town hall.

Signs and noisemakers are prohibited, according to Cline’s office.

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Wytheville jamboree set for Feb. 18

Wytheville Community College is sponsoring its free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, this time featuring Gap Civil and Bad Ridge bands on Saturday, February 18 at 7 p.m.

The Jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium on the WCC campus located at 1000 East Main Street in Wytheville.

Gap Civil is an old-time, country, bluegrass, Americana, and gospel band that honors mountain traditions and music. Formed in 2017 and based in Sparta, N.C, Gap Civil features Todd Hiatt on guitar, Chris Johnson on banjo and bass, Lucas Pasley on fiddle and vocals, Kyle Dean Smith on bass and lead guitar.   

Bad Ridge is a Southwest Virginia and Eastern Tennessee hard-driving bluegrass band that is deeply rooted in tradition. The band consists of Jamie Stacy on bass and lead vocals, Michael Mullins on banjo, Matt Stacy on mandolin, and Josh Raines on guitar. Bad Ridge has won multiple bluegrass band competitions along with many individual competitions all over Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Bad Ridge will perform at 7 p.m., and Gap Civil will perform at 8 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.

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Museums in Bedford and Christiansburg receive grants

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture has awarded grants totalling $401,206 to 11 organizations across Virginia to support historical preservation; two of those are in Bedford and Christiansburg.

The Montgomery Museum of Art and History was awarded $25,000 to “support the rehabilitation of the museum’s new, larger facility and fully equip spaces crucial to the mission of preserving and presenting the history and cultural heritage of Appalachian Virginia.”

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation was awarded an undisclosed amount to “utilize an array of immersive content to tell the often-overlooked stories of the service and sacrifice of African Americans during WWII, as well as women in general who contributed to the war effort overseas.”

Others receiving funding were:

  • Virginia Nottoway Indian Circle & Square Foundation (Portsmouth): Virginia Nottaway Indian Circle & Square Foundation Property Acquisition – Phase 1- Funding will allow the Tribe to purchase the property they currently lease to cement their place in history, while also providing a safe and secure building for increasing public engagement.
  • The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum (Reedville): Preserving the William Walker House, a 19th Century Chesapeake Bay Waterman’s Cottage- The mission of the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum is to protect and share the maritime history of Reedville and the lower Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1875, the William Walker House is the oldest extant house in the working fishing village of historic Reedville, Virginia. This project consists of several fundamental phases for the long-term preservation of this historic house.
  • Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County (The Plains): Know Their Names: Phase II- Funding will be used to focus on researching, documenting, and abstracting 61 names of enslaved individuals listed in Chief Justice John Marshall’s estate papers along with documenting the enslaved individuals who lived and worked at the Oak Spring Garden site in Fauquier, formerly Rokeby owned by Nathan Loughborough and Little Oak Spring owned by Robert Fletcher.
  • Mattaponi Indian Tribe and Reservation Petition (West Point): Mattaponi Restoration: Supporting Tribal Sovereignty through Archival Research- The Mattaponi Indian Tribe (MIT) is currently seeking sovereignty through the Federal Acknowledgment process. These funds will allow the MIT to hire a part-time researcher to visit archival repositories, digitize and organize any historical documents collected, and communicate these findings to the tribal community and larger public through updates to Tribe’s website.
  • Lincoln Preservation Foundation (Lincoln): The Saving Grace Project: Roof Reconstruction at the Grace Heritage Site- Originally known as Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, the Grace Heritage Site represents a significant social, religious, cultural, and racial chapter in Loudoun County’s past. This project will eliminate the threats of water damage and structural deterioration at the roof line, mitigate insect infestation and rot, and provide safe accessibility to the building, allowing for other important interior restoration work to begin.
  • Fluvanna Historical Society (Palmyra): The Words They Left Behind Them: Legacies of Bremo- Funding will be used to develop a new exhibition featuring voices of those enslaved at historic Bremo, as well as plantation owner John Hartwell Cocke.
  • George Mason’s Gunston Hall (Mason Neck): Native Peoples: Connecting Past and Present- Funding will be used to support research to build a greater scholarly understanding of the pre-colonial inhabitants who once lived on and around current-day Gunston Hall, in particular the Native people known variously as the Doeg, the Taux, and the Myompse. 
  • Woodland Restoration Foundation (Henrico: Woodland Cemetery Chapel Renovation- The Woodland Restoration Foundation’s mission is to restore the Historic African American Cemetery, located in the East Highland Park neighborhood of Richmond, to a condition that shows dignity and respect to all that are interred there. This project will provide substantial retrofitting of the property’s nonfunctional septic system and drain field to support a bathroom in the chapel building to serve visitors and volunteers, in accordance with code requirements. 
  • Fort Harrison, Inc. (Dayton): Unearthing Fort Harrison’s Diverse Cultures- Fort Harrison is the historic home of home of Daniel Harrison, one of the Shenandoah Valley’s earliest settlers. This important archaeological research and documentation project promises significant understanding about Fort Harrison’s grounds and the adjacent Koogler pastureland with subsequent scientific analysis and reporting. Findings will add immeasurably to what is known about the Harrisons, early valley culture, Native Americans, and African Americans and their intersecting lives to illustrate a more complete and accurate history of the central Shenandoah Valley.