The Roanoke River as it runs through Roanoke's Wasena neighborhood. Photo by Megan Schnabel.

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

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Roanoke Valley fall waterways cleanup starts Saturday

The Clean Valley Council will host its annual Fall Waterways Cleanup event starting Saturday.

The event is part of the Clean Virginia Waterways Cleanup, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy.

Free cleanup supplies will be available, including bags, gloves, trash grabbers and safety vests. Participants are asked to report all trash collected to add to the Ocean Conservancy’s database or on the provided data cards.

Teams may clean on land along or in the rivers, creeks and streams in their neighborhoods and throughout the Roanoke Valley.

Registered individuals and teams may choose their supply pickup date and time on the registration form. Supplies will be distributed from the CVC offices at Heights Community Church, 2014 Memorial Ave. S.W., on a rack at the welcome center entrance. Registration is ongoing through the month of October. Call or email Clean Valley Council for more information.

Individuals and teams can sign up online. For more information, visit the Clean Valley Council.

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Youngkin announces state board appointments

Gov. Glenn Younkin has made additional appointments to state boards, committees and councils, including these residents of Southwest and Southside:

  • Charitable Gaming Board: Dirksen Compton, member, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.
  • Virginia Board of Forestry: Andrew Brown of Appomattox, environmental manager, Weyerhaeuser.
  • Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence: Marybeth Matthews Adkins, executive director, Family Crisis Support Services, Norton.
  • Board of Trustees of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center: April Hamby Crabtree of Abingdon, small business owner and educator.
  • Renal Disease Council: Stephen Anderson of Forest, owner and pharmacist, Halifax Pharmacy.
  • State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board: Robert Lipscomb Jr. of Lynchburg, retired deputy fire chief, Lynchburg Fire Department; Matthew Rickman of Roanoke, deputy chief, Salem Fire-EMS Department.
  • Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals: Caleb Taylor of Christiansburg, executive director, NRV Regional Water Authority.

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Southside Virginia CC receives $2.1 million grant to expand student support systems

Southside Virginia Community College has received a $2.1 million federal grant that will allow it to enhance support systems for first-year students and online learners, the school announced.

The U.S. Department of Education award will allow the college to put intervention systems in place for student groups that need additional support and expand its student services infrastructure, according to a news release from the school.

The proposed project is designed to take place over five years. The first activity will emphasize services including advising, coaching, career exploration and financial literacy for first-year students. The second activity will focus on offering remote students the same enrollment and advising services that are available to on-campus students, the school said.

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TAP names 2023 Brand Award winner

Dr. Faith Pasley, medical director of the Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless, is the recipient of the 2023 Cabell Brand Hope Award.

The award, which is given annually by Total Action for Progress in Roanoke, will be presented Oct. 17 at TAP’s annual event, according to a news release from the nonprofit.

Pasley is the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s volunteer medical director at the Fralin Free Clinic, which provides health care and wellness services to thousands of people a year. It also recently launched Medical Street Outreach, which seeks to decrease the number of unsheltered people living in outdoor camps throughout the Roanoke region.

Pasley also was honored with the Rescue Mission’s Mission Angel award this past July for her efforts, which allowed the Rescue Mission to continue operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during the pandemic. 

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Authors who examine rural Virginia’s challenges, and possible solutions, to speak at regional commission dinner

The authors of a paper that examines the challenges of rural Virginia and offers possible solutions will headline the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission’s annual dinner Oct. 19.

Andrew Block and Antonella Nichols earlier this year published “Those Who Need the Most Get the Least: The Challenge of and Opportunity for Helping Rural Virginia” in the University of Richmond Law Review. Block is an associate professor of law and director of the State and Local Government Policy Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law; Nicholas is a third-year law student there. 

[Dwayne Yancey wrote about the pair’s conclusions this summer.]

The dinner, which will be held at the Preserve at Crooked Run in Botetourt County, is open to the general public. Tickets are $60 and are available online.