Kyle Hall, Radford University. Courtesy of Nyttend.
Kyle Hall, Radford University. Courtesy of Nyttend.

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

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Radford University guarantees admission to Southwest Virginia Community College honors students

Radford University and Southwest Virginia Community College have reached a transfer agreement granting SWCC Honors students guaranteed admission to Radford’s Honors College, beginning with the fall semester in 2024.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by officials from both institutions, including Radford University President Bret Danilowicz and SWCC President Tommy Wright, on Friday, Nov. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in a ceremony inside Martin Hall on the Radford main campus.

The transfer agreement provides SWCC associate’s degree graduates with an advanced educational opportunity in Radford’s Honors College. Eligibility is open to SWCC students who complete credit hours within the Honors core curriculum, conduct a capstone research project, participate in community service, and have earned a 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at SWCC and any other institution.

Along with academic programming, Honors College students at Radford have a dedicated residence hall in Floyd Hall. In addition, Honors College students gain access to advising from the college’s faculty fellows and receive priority course registration, according to a release from the school.

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Danville Community College launches apprenticeship program

Danville Community College has announced it is setting up an Apprenticeship Program aimed at fostering career development and workforce readiness. Heading this program will be Apprenticeship Coordinator Barry Richmond.

The DCC Apprenticeship Program began ramping up in July with enrollment opportunities available to students pursuing careers in traditional fields, including healthcare, industrial maintenance, and construction trades.

Businesses interested in collaborating with DCC to provide apprenticeship opportunities or individuals looking to enroll in the program are encouraged to contact the DCC Apprenticeship Coordinator at or 434-766-6785.

For more information about Danville Community College and the DCC Apprenticeship Program, visit

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Roanoke Women’s Foundation announces grant recipients

Roanoke Women’s Foundation has announced its 2023 grant award recipients at its annual awards luncheon held at the Vinton War Memorial. 

This year’s recipients are:

Blue Ridge Literacy, $70,000 – Funds used to prepare learners for college and careers

Good Samaritan Hospice, $100,000 – Funds construction of hospice center

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, $60,100 – Funds education program for teens and parents 

Presbyterian Community Center, $70,000 – Funds new community center construction

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke, Inc., $62,000 – Funds shelter plumbing replacement

Society of St. Andrew, $30,000 – Funding expands food gleaning and distribution 

“Crossing the five million dollar mark is an extraordinary milestone,” said MaryJean Levin, President of the 2023 RWF Board of Directors. “This latest group brings our total to 96 projects funded, enhancing the quality of life for thousands in our local region.”

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Forest Service schedules prescribed burns in Southwest Virginia

The Forest Service is planning on conducting prescribed burns in early November on National Forest lands in Southwest Virginia. These burns are subject to weather conditions.

Forest Service fire management specialists will conduct prescribed burns in the following areas when weather conditions are appropriate. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Wise County: The 100-acre High Butte burn unit is located 2 miles south of Exeter, 2.8 miles southeast of Keokee and 4.75 miles west of Big Stone Gap. Keokee Lake and its trail system, as well as Keokee Lake Rd., may be closed during burn operations. Smoke effects may linger in parts of Wise Co. including in Exeter, Keokee, and surrounding areas.

Dickenson County: The 4.2-acre Maynard burn unit is located 1 mile northeast of Blowing Rock, 1.3 miles north of Skeetrock, and 6.2 miles northeast of Clintwood.

Scott County: The 8.5-acre Glades burn unit is located 1.8 miles northwest of the Bark Camp Lake Recreation Area, 4.8 miles southwest of Tacoma and 5.9 miles northwest of Dungannon. Forest Service Road 291 may be closed during burn operations.

Scott County: The 2-acre Camp Rock burn unit is located 1.1 miles southeast of the High Knob Tower, 3.6 miles south of Norton, and 8.9 miles northwest of Dungannon. Smoke may be visible from Forest Service Road 619 during burn operations. 

Prescribed burns are designed to mimic the effects of naturally occurring low-intensity wildfire with the purpose of promoting the growth of a diverse array of trees, grasses, and wildflowers. Some individual trees may burn, but the fire will primarily travel across the forest floor.

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Forest Service announces road repairs in Amherst and Bedford counties

The Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District will undertake maintenance on several Forest Service roads starting November 6, 2023. 

Roads may be closed overnight because of an open excavation. 

Work will take place on: 

Forest Service Road 186-2, Blackhorse Gap East, in Bedford County. The road will be closed with barriers just past the last private residence on the road during culvert replacement on Monday, November 6 through Wednesday, November 8.  

Forest Service Road 38, Swapping Creek in Amherst County. The road will be closed with barriers approximately ½ mile in either direction from the culvert location during culvert replacement on Wednesday, November 8 through Friday, November 10. 

Forest Service Road 594, Horsley Creek, in Amherst County. The road will be closed with barriers at the road’s intersection with FSR 38, Swapping Creek and approximately ½ mile from SR 636 during culvert replacement on Monday, November 13 and Tuesday, November 14. 

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Coal companies recognized for safety and reclamation efforts

The Virginia Department of Energy and the Metallurgical Coal Producers Association recognized the state’s coal industry last week for its exemplary safety record and reclamation efforts. 

Coal miners across Virginia put in nearly two million work hours in 2022 without any lost time accidents, according to a news release from Virginia Energy. There also were no fatalities at coal mines in the state, either.

Coal mines without lost time accidents this year were recognized at the MCPA’s annual banquet. Those with the most working hours in each category were deemed the winner of each category.

Small surface

  • WV PLC Repair Inc., SHM26 Mine, 15,762 hours, Tazewell County
  • Auger Coal LLC, Hill Creek Auger Mine, 15,588 hours, Tazewell County
  • Clintwood JOD LLC, #57 Miner, 12,180 hours, Buchanan County
  • PB Dirt Movers Inc., Weller Yard Surface Mine, 13,090 hours, Buchanan County

Medium underground

  • Capital Coal Corp., No. 11 Mine, 49,229 hours, Dickenson County
  • Banner Blue Coal Co., Paw Paw 2 South Mine, 43,184 hours, Buchanan County
  • Inmet Mining LLC, D-6 North Fork Mine, 39,200 hours, Wise County
  • CBS Energy Inc., Mine No. 2, 30,981 hours, Buchanan County

Medium surface

  • Humphrey’s Enterprises, #26 Strip, 49,213 hours, Wise County
  • Extra Energy Inc., Virginia Point Surface Mine, 45,198 hours, Buchanan County
  • Paramont Contura LLC, 88 Strip HWM, 41,922 hours, Dickenson, Russell and Buchanan counties
  • Paramont Contura LLC, Long Branch Highwall Miner, 37,439 hours, Dickenson County
  • Russell County Reclamation LLC, Moss # 3 Mine, 26,000 hours, Russell County
  • Commonwealth Mining LLC, HWM #73, 25,463 hours, Wise County

Large underground

  • Paramont Contura, LLC, LLC, DM 41, 932,586 hours, Dickenson County

Large surface

  • Surface Mineral Co., Airport Surface, 141,976 hours, Buchanan County
  • Appalachian Development LLC, Mill Creek No. 1 Mine, 78,565 hours, Dickenson County
  • Paramont Contura LLC, Long Branch Surface, 73,663 hours, Dickenson County
  • Paramont Contura LLC, 88 Strip Three Forks Mine, 69,641 hours, Dickenson, Russell and Buchanan Counties
  • Paramont Contura LLC, Three Forks Highwall Miner, 66,739 hours, Dickenson, Russell and Buchanan counties
  • Ramaco Land Holding LLC, Big Creek Surface Mine, 63,755 hours, Tazewell County
  • A & G Coal Corp., Baden Strip #1 Mine, 56,513 hours, Dickenson County

The coal industry was also recognized for environmental excellence in various categories.

  • Best abandoned mine land dangerous highwall elimination: Paramont Contura, Deep Mine #26, Dickenson County
  • Best abandoned mine land enhancement project: Buchanan Minerals LLC, Page Gob Pile Removal, Buchanan County 
  • Best reclaimed abandoned mine land highwall: True Energy Fuels LLC, True Energy Fuels, Wise County
  • Best completed deep mine: Paramont Contura, Deep Mine #25, Dickenson County
  • Best active underground mine: Paramont Contura, Deep Mine 41, Dickenson County
  • Best completed surface mine: Red River Coal Co., Hall Branch Mine, Wise County
  • Best active surface mine: J.W. Construction, Hickory Gap Strip, Wise County
  • Best reclaimed highwall miner operation: Ramaco Resources Land Holdings LLC, Mudlick Creek mine, Tazewell County
  • Best combination mining: Red River Coal Co., Black Creek Surface Mine, Wise County
  • Best active preparation plant: The Black Diamond Co., Wellmore #8, Buchanan County
  • Best impoundment: Ramaco Resources Land Holdings LLC, Jamison Creek Impoundment, Tazewell County
  • Best active fill: Dickenson-Russell Contura LLC, McClure Preparation Plant, Dickenson County
  • Best reclaimed vent shaft: Buchanan Minerals LLC, Buchanan Mine #1, Buchanan County