Downtown Bristol. Photo by Megan Schnabel.

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

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Bristol chamber chosen for national workforce training program

The Bristol Chamber of Commerce is one of 11 organizations selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Foundation to participate in a new national workforce program.

As part of the Economic Mobility for Rural Workers program, Bristol Chamber leaders will receive training and support to implement a program designed to place low-income, rural residents in good-paying jobs, according to a news release from the chamber.

During the 18-month program, they will explore and pilot different models and will work with other chambers using similar strategies. Chambers will also create a strategy to continue their work after the program ends.

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Franklin County hosts community input session for economic development strategic plan

Franklin County’s Office of Economic Development will host a community input session April 4 as part of its ongoing work on an economic strategic development plan.

The plan is intended to identify short- and long-range recommendations to promote balanced growth and enhance quality of life in the county and to strengthen the marketability of Franklin County as a place to live, visit and invest in.

At the community meeting, county officials will summarize the findings of the initial strategic assessment and collect input from attendees about future needs in business, housing, employment and other areas.

The presentation-style meeting will be held at the Pigg River Community Center in Rocky Mount at 6 p.m.

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Roanoke County invites Hollins residents to participate in library design

Roanoke County is seeking public input for its Hollins Library project, which is slated to replace the existing branch building with a new facility in the next few years.

The project proposes enhancements, including improved public spaces such as meeting and study rooms, children’s and teen areas and multipurpose creative spaces. Planning and initial design are scheduled in fiscal year 2023, with construction to start in fiscal year 2026.

The county is soliciting feedback on various design features through the library’s website. The survey will be open through April 21.

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Patrick County cleanup event scheduled for April 22

Pick Up Patrick, a countywide initiative to encourage residents to clean up roadsides and waterways, is scheduled for April 22 throughout Patrick County.

Organizations that register on the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce’s website to clean up an area will be entered into a contest to win one of a dozen $500 awards. Individuals who register will be entered into a drawing to win $500, with Stuart Rotary matching the winnings as a donation to a local charity of the winner’s choice. 

Additionally, the chamber will award $500 to one student and one adult winner for best poster about the event. Winning posters will be printed and used in promotional materials. Deadline for poster entry is March 31. 

Also scheduled for April 22 is a new event: a tire take-back. From 1 to 5 p.m., disposal fees for tires will be waived for Patrick County residents who are dropping off up to 12 tires per vehicle at the Patrick County Transfer Station.

For more information or to register for any of the Pick Up Patrick events, visit or call 276-694-6012.

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