The town of Honaker received a $50,000 matching grant to help pay for an e-bike charging station and an amphitheater. Mayor Jodi Eaton, center, and town council member Scott McGlothlin, left, accepted a ceremonial check from Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA's executive director/general counsel. Photo courtesy of VCEDA.

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

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Grant will help pay for e-bike charging station, amphitheater in Honaker

A $50,000 grant will go toward the installation of a new e-bike charging station and the construction of an amphitheater in the Russell County town of Honaker.

The grant, which comes from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority’s Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Fund, will help fund the projects in a park that’s situated along the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. The town, with help from the nonprofit Friends of Honaker, is in the process of developing the Honaker Community Park and Recreation Area, according to Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA’s executive director/general counsel.

“With this project, the town sees an opportunity to offer outdoor recreation to the community and surrounding communities, as well as promote the town and area to tourists,” he said in a news release announcing the grant.

The TransAmerica Bicycle Trail was founded in 1973 and runs from Oregon to Yorktown.  Honaker is also a gateway community to the Breaks Interstate Park.

Future plans for the park property include the construction of playground and park equipment, construction of an outdoor classroom, free WiFi, picnic shelters, a walking trail and a splash pad, as funding becomes available.

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Danville’s police chief honored for anti-gang work

Scott Booth, chief of police for Danville, has received the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award from the National Gang Crime Research Center.

Chief Scott Booth. Courtesy of the city of Danville.

The award recognizes Booth’s leadership in law enforcement, specifically related to his work to reduce gang-related crime in the community, according to a news release announcing the award.

[Read more about Danville’s anti-crime efforts in this story by Cardinal’s Grace Mamon.]

“I am honored to be recognized for the work we have done to reduce violent crime in the City of Danville, Virginia,” Booth said in the release. “I would like to thank city officials, community members, and especially the members of the Danville Police Department, for working tirelessly to reduce gang violence in our community through evidence-based focused policing efforts and our proactive community engagement model. Our city is safer because of our collaborative approach and commitment to forging long-lasting community partnerships that will serve the City of Danville’s residents for years to come.”

Booth and Assistant Chief David Whitley are at the center’s annual training conference this week and will present a talk titled “The Danville Model: A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Gang Violence Through Focused Policing and Community Engagement.”

Booth, who became chief in Danville in 2018, was previously recognized for his work in 2020 by Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research, and in 2022 by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

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Bristol chamber executive elected to board of national association

Amy Shuttle, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, has been elected to the board of directors of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Shuttle has worked for the Bristol chamber for 13 years, according to a news release announcing her new position. She received the ACCE Silver Lifetime Sales Achievement Award in 2021 and the distinction of Certified Chamber Executive from ACCE that same year. She is incoming chair-elect for the membership development division of ACCE.

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TAP announces August classes, events

Total Action for Progress in Roanoke announced several free classes and events in August:

  • Through Aug. 10: TAP is accepting signups for its Back Taxes Clinic. Call 540-283-4804.
  • Aug. 15: Grades Over Guns Back-to-School Fest will feature free food, activities and school supplies. More information is online.
  • Aug. 19: Free homebuyer class. Go online for more information.

Additionally, TAP is accepting applications through Aug. 4 for this year’s Cabell Brand Hope Award.