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

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Carilion expands forensic nurse program to two new hospitals

Carilion Clinic has expanded its Forensic Nurse program to Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital to deliver immediate crisis intervention to patients of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, physical assault and violence.

Carilion already has Forensic Nurse teams at its hospitals in Rocky Mount, Roanoke, New River Valley and Giles. Later this month, the program will expand to Tazewell.

“When a patient comes into our care who has experienced sexual assault, abuse or domestic violence, they need someone with the expertise to provide compassionate care and treatment while gathering objective information,” said Heather Smith, Director, System Forensic Nurse Examiner Services, in a statement. “Our specially trained forensic nurses deliver immediate crisis intervention to patients and equip them with the information they need to make medical, legal, and safety decisions. Additionally, our forensic nurses can gather information, if appropriate, that can then be used to prosecute violent perpetrators.” 

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New round of abandoned mine land funding available

The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) has received a sixth round of funding for the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization program. The agency is now taking applications for proposals.

In a joint announcement, Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, said that $10.6 million is available.

Virginia Energy will accept Letters of Intent through June 2, 2023 and receive applications through July 14, 2023. Applications and information can be found via the Virginia Energy website and should be submitted electronically to Virginia Energy’s AMLER program at

Those looking for places to propose projects can find an AML inventory on the Virginia Energy website that lists locations and features for each site. Virginia was one of six states chosen to receive this funding to develop Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites. This grant was part of the federal Omnibus Funding Bill.

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Highlander Hotel opens in Radford

The Highlander Hotel in Radford is now open.

The hotel has two restaurants: Red Provisions, which is now open, is a lobby coffee bar that serves breakfast and lunch with Highlander flair. The rooftop restaurant and bar, Bee & Butter, will open later this month and will be led by Executive Chef James Kirby, Sous Chef Amy Murray, and Director of Food and Beverage John O’Conner.

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Cline announces 2023 Congressional Art Competition for 6th Congressional District

The office of Rep. Ben Cline, R-Botetourt County, is seeking entries for the 2023 Congressional Art Competition, which is open to high school students in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.

The winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol alongside other pieces from across the country and will also be featured on’s Congressional Art Competition page.

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide and 4 inches deep. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive in Washington framed. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.

Each entry must be original in concept, design and execution.

Accepted media are:

• Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.

• Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)

• Collages: must be two-dimensional

• Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints

• Mixed media: use of more than two media such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.

• Computer-generated art

• Photographs

Students should submit photographs of their entry and the student release form to The student release form can be found here.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. May 4. For more information, call district director Debbie Garrett at 540-885-3861 or staff assistant Dylan Audi at 540-566-8389.

Hunter Muddiman from William Byrd High School in Roanoke County was the 6th District’s 2022 winner. His painting “Shores of Observation,” featured here, currently hangs in the U.S. Capitol.