The administration building for Lynchburg schools. Photo by Dwayne Yancey.
The administration building for Lynchburg schools. Photo by Dwayne Yancey.

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

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Lynchburg introduces bus app for parents

Lynchburg City Schools is introducing an app that will allow parents and guardians to see bus routes, get alerts about delays and changes, and track bus locations in real time.

The Traversa Ride 360 app will be available when students return to school Aug. 15, according to a news release from the school system.

The app uses GPS data to allow parents to see where their child’s bus is and what time it’s expected to arrive at their stop. Bus drivers will use tablets to confirm that each student is accounted for, ensuring they’re getting on and off at the right stop.

Parents and guardians can register for Ride 360 here.

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St. Paul film festival seeks submissions

Submissions are being accepted for the inaugural St. Paul Lyric Film Festival, scheduled for April 19-20, 2024.

Awards will be given in categories including documentary, animated film, short film and full-length feature film. Additionally, the Appalachian Spirit Award will recognize work that depicts the Appalachian region in a realistic and positive light.

The deadline to submit is Jan. 5. For a full list of categories and submission guidelines, visit

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$25,000 grant will fund Laurel Bed Lake road study

A grant of up to $25,000 will pay for a feasibility study examining the development of a road from Laurel Bed Lake between Lebanon and Rosedale in Russell County.

The award to the Russell County Industrial Development Authority is from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, according to a news release announcing the grant.

“The IDA application projects the impact to tourism in the county if the road is developed will be significant, ” Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA’s executive director and general counsel, said in the release.

As proposed, the road would come out at the Laurel Bed Lake dam. The study would determine if there is sufficient support by landowners and agencies to allow for its construction, which in turn would support hunting, fishing, nonmotorized boating, hiking, picnicking and other low-impact activities consistent with wildlife management, according to the release.

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Virginia Energy seeks public comment on potential abandoned mine land projects

The Virginia Department of Energy is accepting public comment on projects that could be completed with funding received from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The agency will receive $22.7 million annually for the next 15 years to put toward reclaiming abandoned mine land features across the state, according to a news release from the agency. AML features are hazards left behind from coal mining that occurred before 1977.

The agency is accepting public comment through Oct. 1.

More information on the comment period and a list of problem areas can be found on the Virginia Energy website. Comments may be submitted via email at

Three in-person events also will be held, and audio recordings will be available online following each event:

  • Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m.: Mountain Empire Community College, Dalton Cantrell Hall rooms 242 and 243.
  • Aug. 23, 6-8 p.m.: Southwest Virginia Community College, Dellinger Hall room 118.
  • Aug. 29, 6-8 p.m.: Chesterfield Technical Center, Midlothian.