Appalachian Voices logo.
Appalachian Voices logo.

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

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Appalachian Voices receives federal funding to help Southwest communities build resiliency

Appalachian Voices will receive up to $500,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to support its work with five Southwest Virginia communities.

The funding comes through EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program. The agency announced $43.8 million in EJCPS funding for 98 projects.

The nonprofit Appalachian Voices has partnered with five Southwest Virginia governments and communities — Clinchco, Dante, Dungannon, Pennington Gap and Pound — on a three-year proposal to plan and implement community-driven initiatives to build more resilient communities.

Appalachian Voices will guide project development around six broad categories: disaster preparedness, renewable energy deployment, environmental reclamation, community health, flood or pollution mitigation, and creating greenspace or outdoor recreation.

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Youngkin announces state board appointments

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced additional state board and council appointments, including some from Southwest and Southside:

  • Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation: Michael Cochran of Abingdon, town manager; Deborah Milton of Lebanon, director of planning, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission; Amanda Pillion of Abingdon, mayor; Sandy Ratliff of Abingdon, vice president of community innovation, Virginia Community Capital; Ruby Rogers of Gate City, retired educator; Scotty Wampler of Davenport, executive director, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission.
  • Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors: Kate Comerford Todd of McLean, attorney, Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien LLP.
  • Board of Social Work: Ruth Ann Smulik of Forest, retired registered nurse.
  • Rare Disease Council: Sharon Kopis of Forest, nursing professor, Liberty University; Angela Olmsted of Lynchburg, director of operations and pharmacy services, Piedmont Community Health Plan.

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Harvester to host Pete Rose in February

Baseball hit king Pete Rose will take the stage at Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center on Feb. 23.

Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos and is the all-time MLB leader in hits, games played, at-bats, singles and outs. In 1989, he was accused of gambling on baseball games, including those played by his own team, and was banned from the sport for life.

In “4192: An Evening with Pete Rose Live,” Rose will share stories about his career in a theatrical-style set. 

Tickets start at $77 and go on sale Nov. 3 at noon at

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Grant will help expand education program for expectant parents in Martinsville

The Pregnancy Care Center of Martinsville-Henry County has received a grant to help expand its Earn While You Learn program.

The $23,200 grant comes from The Harvest Foundation’s PUP Grant Program, according to a news release announcing the award.

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

Earn While You Learn helps expectant parents prepare for the birth of a child. They can earn points that can be redeemed for baby items such as cribs, strollers, car seats and diapers.

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Lynchburg art teachers receive donation to buy supplies

Lynchburg City Schools will receive a $20,000 donation from J.Crew this fall for its arts education programs.

Each of the division’s 48 arts teachers will receive about $400 to spend on classroom supplies, according to a news release announcing the gift. The donation is being facilitated through, a nonprofit that provides funding to schools across the U.S.

“We’re thrilled to receive this generous donation from J.Crew and These funds will help our art teachers enrich their instruction and hands-on learning,” Amy Pugh, the school division’s deputy superintendent of instruction, said in the release.