The webcam shows autumn leaves near Galax; After . . .

Here’s a roundup of brief news from Southwest and Southside:

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Blue Ridge Music Center has a webcam for the fall leaves

Two new webcams give online viewers a panoramic glimpse of fall at the Blue Ridge Music Center at Mile 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax. Cameras show views of the outdoor amphitheater, surrounding mountains and visitor center.

Funding for the cameras was provided by donors to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Blue Ridge Parkway/National Park Service.

Viewers can view the footage at They can also view an additional webcam feed at The Bluffs restaurant in Doughton Park, North Carolina at

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ARC awards over $4 million in funding for Southwest projects

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced more than $4 million for projects in southwest Virginia, according to Sense Releases. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Representative Morgan Griffith.

· $1,500,000 at Appalachian Sustainability for the Food Workforce Development Project in Central Appalachia to meet the new opportunities and challenges facing agricultural producers and food processors in Southwest Virginia. According to ARC, the project will seek to benefit rural communities in Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, West Virginia and Southeast Ohio through workforce development. working and strengthening the food sector. It should serve 125 companies; improve 88 businesses; create 40 businesses, 53 jobs and a plan; serving 310 workers/trainees; upgrade 35 workers/trainees; and leverage $965,000 in private investment.

· $1,500,000 to New River Valley Regional Commission for the New river trail expansion project to build or improve four public boat ramps along the New River Water Trail in Fairlawn. According to the ARC, the project will construct or improve four public launches along the New River Water Trail and support website, marketing, outreach and stewardship efforts on the river. The project is expected to attract 1,500 new visitors each year.

· $665,000 at Henry County for the Cock & Completion of Willie Passage Trail 6A Project to complete the last mile of an existing gap in the D&W Trail by Henry County. According to the ARC, the project will complete the last mile of an existing 2.96-mile gap in the trail and include improvements to the “Bike Barn” loaner program. The name of the rail trail comes from a nickname for the Danville & Western Railway.

· $500,000 at St. Mary’s Health Wagon for the Dental Services Expansion Project for Central Appalachia to facilitate the education and training of new dental professionals in Clintwood. According to ARC, the project will cover Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Wise counties. It will facilitate the education and training of new dental professionals and provide comprehensive oral health services. The project will create four jobs (a dentist, a dental hygienist, a dental assistant and a dental case manager), improve 2,000 patients through the delivery of oral health services and improve six trainees through the training of clinical staff over a period of one year.

This funding was provided through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.

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VCEDA awards grant to skincare company Big Stone Gap

Sarah Mullins Botts, pictured here with her husband, Andrew, opened Sweet Winks, LLC to provide organic skincare, eyelash extensions and teeth whitening services and more here in Southwest Virginia . Sweet Winks recently received a seed capital matching fund grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. Courtesy of VCEDA.

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority provided a $10,000 seed capital matching grant to a skincare company in Big Stone Gap.

“Sweet Winks, LLC, provides a variety of personal care services near you here in Southwest Virginia,” Jonathan Belcher, executive director/general counsel of VCEDA said in a statement. “The new company expects two full-time and four part-time employees within five years.”

The company is owned by Sarah Mullins Botts. Botts is a licensed cosmetologist and certified lash artist. The new business opened in March, and Mullins said appointment bookings were about a month away.

Botts worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) to develop his VCEDA application and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: For-profit businesses in the VCEDA region one year and under with fewer than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants of up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia Community Colleges to prepare VCEDA applications that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located or plan to operate in the VCEDA region of Southwest Virginia which includes the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise and the city of Norton. Only businesses in eligible industry sectors are considered for funding. The seed capital program is funded by regional natural gas separation taxes paid by the natural gas industry.

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The 7th edition of New London Day is Saturday

Liberty University’s History Department joins forces with Friends of New London for the seventh annual New London Day, celebrating historic New London, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 22.

The event is free and open to the public.

Address: 594 Alum Springs Road, Lynchburg

Activities include:

  • Live music and food vendors
  • Self-guided walking tour
  • Reenactors of the Revolutionary War
  • Living and continuous archeology
  • Military History Exhibit on the history of the National Guard
  • Traditional worship at the old African American church
  • Live craft demonstrations (spinning demo, blacksmith)
  • Manual activities for children
  • petting zoo

Liberty history students dressed in period clothing will offer tours of two properties.

Representatives of local historic sites and organizations will also be present.