An artist's rendering of the planned building at the Craig County Farmers Market.
An artist's rendering of the planned building at the Craig County Farm. Courtesy of Craig County Economic Development Authority.

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

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T-Mobile gives $50,000 grant for Craig County Farmers Market

T-Mobile has given a $50,000 grant to help New Castle build a covered colonnade pavilion at the Craig County Farmers Market.

The town has not yet broken ground but has plans to start clearing the lot to pour a concrete base within a few weeks.  

“This project addresses a critical need in our community by enhancing access to fresh, locally produced food for our residents while creating economic opportunity for our farmers and small businesses,” said Jesse Spence, chairman of the Craig County Board of Supervisors, in a statement.

A groundbreaking will be held in New Castle on June 28 at 11 a.m.

This is the fifth community in Virginia to receive a Hometown Grant from T-Mobile since the program was started in 2021. The other communities included Stuart (twice), Staunton, and Luray for a total of $160,000 in grants.

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Carter Bank’s Van Dyke tapped to lead Virginia Bankers Association

Litz Van Dyke, CEO of Carter Bank & Trust in Martinsville, has been elected chairman of the Virginia Bankers Association’s board of directors.

Van Dyke, who will serve in this role for 2023-2024, became CEO at Carter Bank & Trust in 2017. He also has held executive positions at financial institutions including StellarOne Corp., Virginia Financial Group and First National Bank, according to a news release from the association.

Several other bank executives from Southwest and Southside also were elected to the association’s board of directors:

  • John Caldwell, president and CEO, The Farmers Bank of Appomattox, Appomattox
  • Aubrey Hall III, president and CEO, First National Bank, Altavista
  • G. Lyn Hayth III, vice chair and CEO, Bank of Botetourt, Troutville
  • Sherri Sackett, CEO and director, Select Bank, Lynchburg

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Virginia mines recognized for 2022 safety

Eight mining companies recently were recognized for their safety records in 2022 by the Virginia Department of Energy and the Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance.

Together, the eight companies recorded nearly 350,000 production hours without injuries, according to a news release.


  • BWI Abingdon LLC – BWI Abingdon: 12 employees, 23,434 hours
  • Salem Stone Corp. – Acco Stone Co.: 17 employees, 43,500 hours
  • Luck Stone Corp. – Bull Run Plant: 42 employees, 69,715 hours
  • E. Dillon & Co. – E. Dillon & Co.: 42 employees, 116,105

Open pit:

  • Shenandoah Asphalt Inc. – Shenandoah Stone: two employees, 4,600 hours
  • Holcim-Mar Inc. – Charles City Plant: five employees, 9,449 hours
  • King William Sand & Gravel – King William Sand & Gravel: 11 employees, 25,345 hours
  • Virginia Vermiculite LLC – R.E. Samsom Mine: 28 employees, 51,191 hours

The companies will be awarded at the VTCA’s annual meeting July 15.

In 2022, Virginia’s mines employed 2,878 production employees. They worked 4.9 million hours while producing 71.3 million tons of sand, gravel, crushed stone and other minerals. Also, during 2022, 208 mineral mines in Virginia worked 3,096,993 hours without any lost-time injuries.

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Mountain Gateway CC seeks nominations for Medallion of Merit Award

The Mountain Gateway Community College Local Board is accepting nominations for the annual Medallion of Merit Award.

The award was established in 1979 to recognize individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the betterment of life to the world, the nation, the commonwealth, the region or Mountain Gateway’s service area.

Nominations may be made at Applications are also available in the president’s office in Backels Hall.  The deadline for all nominations is 5 p.m. July 10.

For more information, call the president’s office at 540-863-2824.

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Sugar Ridge campground opens at Lake Moomaw  

The U.S. Forest Service is opening the Sugar Ridge campground in the Bolar Mountain area for the Fourth of July holiday.

Sugar Ridge, located in Bath County, provides 36 campsites and one group picnic facility and is open on a first-come, first-served basis, according to a news release.

The campground has been closed for three years due to deferred maintenance issues. Amenities remain limited; portable toilets will be available for the foreseeable future while staff works to resume normal restroom services, the release said.

The wastewater treatment plant at Bolar Mountain is now providing full water services, including showers and flush toilets, after sedimentation in the system slowed services earlier this year. 

For more information, call the James River Warm Springs Ranger District at 540-839-2521, visit, or follow the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest on Facebook ( or Twitter (