Southern Culture on the Skids returns to the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount in October. Photo courtesy of the Harvester.

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

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Southern Culture on the Skids to return to the Harvester

Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount will welcome a familiar fan favorite back to the stage in October.

Southern Culture on the Skids will bring its eclectic range of Americana to the Harvester stage at 8 p.m. Oct. 14. 

Tickets to the show start at $27 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at

Known for its legendary live shows and band members’ wacky antics, SCOTS has electrified audiences for more than 30 years. The ensemble’s music has been featured in movies and TV, parodied by Weird Al, and used to sell everything from diamonds to pork sausage.

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The Roanoke History and O. Winston Link museums are seeking work for an upcoming “On the Rails” photography exhibition, which will be on view at the Link Museum from June 30 until Nov. 1.

Artists and photographers are encouraged to submit work for consideration showcasing their train photography for display, inspired by O. Winston Link or contemporary trainspotting, or highlighting another related train contemporary or vintage photographer.

The exhibition is open to anyone in or outside the greater Roanoke Valley.

To be considered for the exhibit, submit no more than two photographs to Ashley Webb, curator of collections and exhibitions, at

There is no charge to submit entries, but works must be exhibit-ready, either framed or printed on a medium that lends itself easily to exhibition, i.e. photographs printed on aluminum. The museum will not frame or provide hardware.

The final day to submit photography for consideration is June 2. Artists whose work is accepted will drop off their work June 22 and 23.

For more information, contact Webb at 540-982-5465 or

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St. Paul restaurant receives $10,000 grant from VCEDA

Sugar Plum Tavern  & Eatery LLC, a new restaurant in St. Paul, has received a $10,000 seed capital matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.

The eatery, which opened last month, offers American and Italian cuisine, according to a news release announcing the grant. It’s open for brunch, lunch and dinner. As the business grows, the plans call for the addition of a small bar offering beer and wine.

The restaurant can seat 106 and is located near an ATV rental business that riders frequent when exploring the nearby Spearhead Trails.

The restaurant expects to have two full-time and six part-time employees within five years, according to Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA’s executive director/general counsel.

Owner Donna Roetzer said the grant was used toward renovation costs and kitchen equipment.

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UVA Wise associate professor of music named Apple Distinguished Educator

Donald Sorah, associate professor of music at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, has been selected as the college’s first Apple Distinguished Educator for his innovative efforts to integrate Apple technology into the classroom.

Donald Sorah. Photo courtesy of Sorah.

Sorah is one of 58 being honored in the U.S. and is the sole honoree in Virginia, according to a news release from UVA Wise.

In 2019, UVA Wise’s innovate2eleVAte program kicked off, giving full-time students, faculty and staff an iPad, Apple Pencil and keyboard to bridge the digital divide, which led to the college being recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021.

Since innovate2eleVAte’s implementation, Sorah has “gone above and beyond to incorporate Apple technology into his curriculum,” the release states. This summer, he will travel to the Apple Distinguished Educator Americas Institute in Dallas, where he will attend workshops, present showcases and congregate with current and former ADEs.