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

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The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has approved a grant of up to $2.5 million to finance the development of a 20-acre industrial site at Southern Gap in Buchanan County.

The board also approved additional funding to expand Starlink broadband services in Dickenson and Wise counties, according to a news release from VCEDA. Starlink grants approved at Thursday’s meeting included:

  • up to $161,250 to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority to benefit senior citizen and telehealth needs, working with Mountain Empire Older Citizens;
  • up to $150,000 each to the Wise County IDA and Dickenson County IDA to benefit telehealth patients;
  • up to $21,000 each to the Wise County IDA and Dickenson County IDA to benefit mobile telehealth units operated by the local health districts.

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Application for NRV scholarships now available online

The Community Foundation of the New River Valley’s online scholarship application is now open.

The foundation will give out more than $100,000 in scholarships to New River Valley students, according to a news release. The application is open to graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled college students pursuing an education at a two- or four-year college or university, trade or technical school. Older adults returning to school are also welcome to apply.

The foundation has dozens of scholarship funds. Interested applicants can submit a single application and indicate the specific scholarships for which they would like to be considered. Most of the scholarship funds benefit students living and/or going to school in Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties and the city of Radford.

Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and to submit a personal essay, their academic transcript and two letters of recommendation. Some scholarship funds also require additional essays. If a student receives a scholarship, the awarded funds will be applied to the 2024-2025 school year.

Full eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria for each scholarship are at All applications are due online by 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

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Chamber hosts candidate forums in Buena Vista and Lexington

The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County will host candidates forums on Tuesday in Buena Vista and Wednesday in Lexington.

The forum on Tuesday will be held at 6 p.m. at the Ramsey Center in Buena Vista. It will feature candidates for Buena Vista mayor and city council.

The forum on Wednesday will be held at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Col Alto in Lexington. It will feature candidates for the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors, the 3rd state Senate district and the 36th and 37th House of Delegates districts.

For more information, visit

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Lynchburg seeks public input on plans for King bridge

The city of Lynchburg will host two public meetings to gather input on plans for the beautification of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge on Fifth Street.

The city’s Department of Community Development has partnered with Hill City Design Studio and Schwartz & Associates Consulting Engineering to begin a redesign process for the bridge. Representatives of the city and the two firms will be on hand to answer questions.

The bridge, originally constructed in 1909, was replaced in 1982. It was renamed in honor of King in March 2005.

The public meetings will be held Nov. 2 and Nov. 16. Both will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at E.C. Glass High School Auditorium. Light refreshments will be served.