A bike rack in Roanoke. Courtesy of Roanoke Valley Alleghany Planning Commission.
A bike rack in Roanoke. Courtesy of Roanoke Valley Alleghany Planning Commission.

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

* * *

Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission announces bike rack program

The Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission, in partnership with Friends of the Blue Ridge, has announced a program to provide bike racks to local businesses and organizations. The program will provide an opportunity for organizations and businesses to apply for bike racks, either entirely free of cost or at a low rate.

The program’s goal is to provide bicycle parking to areas and destinations that need better access for non-motorized modes of transportation, are underserved, see high numbers of visitors, are popular gathering places or provide a public service.

The application period for the bike rack program is open now and will run through December 31, 2023. More information about the program and how to apply is available at www.ridesolutions.org/bicycleparking.

* * *

New River CC foundation holds pickleball fundraiser for Radford scholarships

New River Community College Educational Foundation is hosting a pickleball tournament on Oct. 21 to support Access to Community College Education at NRCC for Radford students. 

The tournament will be held at the pickleball courts at Bisset Park in Radford at 9 a.m. All levels are welcome to participate.

The tournament registration fee is $25 per player, and participants need to register by Oct. 16 at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEViYJtaNTP8KooLX9yUeeCGvvWgYBYSBR1VjaG5ifsN0Flg/viewform. The registration fee includes a t-shirt.

Food, drinks and t-shirts will be available for sale at the event.

Proceeds from the event support student tuition at NRCC through the ACCE program. For more information about the tournament, contact Kaylee Pelkey at 540-674-3608 or kpelkey@nr.edu

* * *

Carilion names two to top leadership positions

Carilion Clinic has named two people to top leadership positions.

Tami Frost started this month as Carilion’s new chief nursing officer. She joins Carilion from Trident Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina, where she served as chief nursing executive. Frost has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare. She began her career as a staff nurse in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and went on to hold senior leadership positions at hospitals in South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. 

Karyn Keay-Otte has been named vice president of Carilion’s Technology Services Group and associate chief information officer. She has served as a senior director in TSG since joining Carilion in October 2019. Prior to joining Carilion, Keay-Otte led large-scale clinical and business initiatives for University Hospitals of Cleveland as well as Cleveland Clinic. She also led the business systems group for Cleveland Clinic – London.

[Disclosure: Carilion is one of our donors but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.]

* * *

Private school in Roanoke County breaks ground on middle school building

Community School, a private school in Roanoke County, will break ground Tuesday on a new middle school building.

The building’s construction is part of an ongoing capital campaign launched in 2017 to recognize Community School’s 50 years. Designed to provide the middle school with an enlarged, collaborative learning environment, the building will also include increased classroom space for enrichment classes such as drama, art and foreign languages.

Community School sits on a 7-acre property that was once part of the Hollins University campus. Original structures, including a main house and former carriage house, have been used as classroom and administrative spaces for the past five decades. Over the years, the school has expanded with new buildings that better accommodate a larger student body while still honoring its commitment to preserve outdoor spaces for learning and play. The new building is slated for completion in the fall of 2024.

* * *

New River Valley group honors early childhood educators

First Steps, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, recently honored 14 early childhood educators and advocates at the third annual Early Childhood Champion Awards. First Steps is a network of more than 60 New River Valley organizations that support young children and families through education, childcare, health care, advocacy and more.

The full list of nominees is below. Nominations for the 2024 awards will open next spring. More information on First Steps can be found at cfnrv.org/firststeps. To support or get involved with the work of First Steps, contact Jessica Wirgau at jessicawirgau@cfnrv.org or 540-381-8999.


  • 2023 Early Childhood Champion: Angie Muncy, owner and director, Milestones Childcare
  • Runner-up: Oma McReynolds, family consultant, Intercept Youth
  • Honoree: Kaydan Appea, assistant teacher, Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Honoree: Sidney Nelson, assistant director, Radford Early Learning Center
  • Honoree: Stefi Schäfer, lead teacher, Blue Mountain School

Additional nominees

  • Lisa Bass, preschool program instructor, Christiansburg Parks and Recreation
  • Christi Caldwell, preschool teacher, Pearisburg Head Start
  • Emily Gruver, board president, The June Bug Center
  • Kysha Marshall, teacher, Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Resa Mattson, program coordinator, The June Bug Center
  • Chesley Mercado, instructor, The June Bug Center
  • Chelsea Naughton, director, Heart ’n Hand Childcare Center
  • Linda Naughton, owner and teacher, Heart ’n Hand Childcare Center
  • Dawn Sullivan, owner, Sullivan Family Day Home