Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:
Harvest Foundation donates $336,480 to Piedmont Adult Drug Court
The Harvest Foundation will donate $336,480 over the next three years to support startup costs for the Piedmont Adult Drug Court, located in Martinsville-Henry County, according to a release from the foundation.
The court, established in October 2021, admitted its first participants in April 2022. The National Institute of Justice says drug courts reduce recidivism “by as much as 40 percent and resulted, on average, in public savings of $6,744 per participant.”
According to the Office of the Medical Examiner for Virginia, drug overdoses in Martinsville and Henry County run higher than state averages. Per 100,000, Virginia’s average is 27.1 compared to Henry County at 31.7 and Martinsville at 56.7. Law enforcement estimates that 80 percent of all arrests are drug-related, and re-incarceration rates for drug-related offenders average 70 percent. The Department of Social Services reports that 60 percent of children in the foster care system have parents who have abused illegal substances.
Jurisdictions with drug courts show an 8 to 26 percentage point decrease in crime rates, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Piedmont Adult Drug Court program currently has six participants and plans to expand to serve 15 participants annually.
Visit piedmontcsb.org or call (276) 632-7128 to learn more.
Disclosure: The Harvest Foundation is one of our donors but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.
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VCEDA awards grant to Clintwood gutter company
The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has awarded a $10,000 Seed Capital Matching Grant to Sykes Seamless Gutter LLC of Clintwood. The business is owned by David and Julie Sykes.
“VCEDA’s seed capital matching grant program is designed to provide support for entrepreneurs as they develop and grow their businesses, thereby creating jobs,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel in a statement. “Sykes Seamless Gutter LLC manufactures custom-made gutters on the spot, serving the specific needs of their customers. Within the first six months, they employed two people full-time and one part-time. Looking to the future, they have told us they hope to add one additional full-time and one additional part-time employee.”
The Sykeses worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing their application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority.
VCEDA region for-profit businesses, within qualifying business categories, one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA.
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Volunteers sought for Lake Moomaw cleanup
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest’s James River and Warm Springs Ranger District is seeking volunteers to join staff for a cleanup at Lake Moomaw in Bath from 10 am – 3 pm on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6.
Volunteers will assist with picking up trash, weed eating, moving, blowing leaves, moving brush, and cleaning facilities. The Forest Service will provide tools and personal protective equipment. Minors may participate with parental consent.
Volunteers should arrive at the Bolar Flat Marina area parking lot at 10 am in weather and work-appropriate clothing, footwear, water and food. Forest Service staff will meet volunteers for a safety discussion and training for the day’s activities.
In the event of poor weather conditions, this event will be rescheduled for Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13.
Interested volunteers are encouraged, but not required, to RSVP by contacting the James River and Warm Springs Ranger District by telephone at (540) 839-2521, or by email, to Will Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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