City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the SVRA are the winners of the Southern Economic Development Council Award

City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the SVRA are the winners of the Southern Economic Development Council Award

The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) has announced that the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance are the winners of its 2020 Community Economic Development Award.

The region won in the SEDC’s large community category for its collaborative efforts to attract new business.

“This recognition reinforces that the right decision was made by County and City leaders many years ago: to adopt a regional approach and work closely together,” said Robert “Bob” Warren, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA).

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Halifax County Cattleman and Farmer Michael McDowell Named 2019 Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

Halifax County Cattleman and Farmer Michael McDowell Named 2019 Southeastern Farmer of the Year.

MOULTRIE, Ga. — Michael H. McDowell of Vernon Hill, Virginia has been selected as the overall winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award for 2019. He is a fourth generation Halifax County farmer and cattleman who grows mixed grass hay, annual hay, and alfalfa and raises award-winning registered Angus cattle.

At the age of sixteen, McDowell began to farm three acres on his own under a sharecropper arrangement with his father. That formative experience taught him the value of responsibility and introduced him to the rewards and challenges of working the land in order to pay for his college tuition. He obtained a B.S. degree in animal science and agronomy from Virginia Tech.

McDowell was named overall winner at the Willie B. Withers Luncheon held during the opening day of the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show. He was chosen as Farmer of the Year over nine other state winners who were finalists for the award.

His family farm, Locust Level, historically grew tobacco and row crops. But when McDowell had garnered some experience with land management, he saw tobacco quota cuts approaching and an opportunity for future viability with purebred cattle. So he developed an Angus seedstock operation and implemented improvements that created more land with permanent grass cover and wide use of over- and inter-seeding with forage systems, along with stockpiling fescue and minimizing tillage production.

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Astronaut is Keynote Speaker at Technology Council Awards Banquet

Astronaut is Keynote Speaker at Technology Council Awards Banquet

Leland Melvin is the only person to have caught a football on the NFL field and in space. On Wednesday, he spent the day with Dan River region students at the 2018 Southern Virginia STEM-H summit at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

“This community is doing an amazing job inspiring a new generation of explorers,” Melvin said to the gathering. “I think the tech community here is bringing the students up to be the next blue-suited Virginians walking on the moon. I give all of you a round of applause.”

The Lynchburg native gave the keynote speech at a luncheon for students and at the Southern Piedmont Technology Council’s Innovation Stars Awards banquet that evening.

“We have to make sure that as we go on this journey that all of our kids can see themselves in this role,” Melvin said. “For the kids in here, you may be on one path and see some things that don’t look right, but know that that might be part of your journey.”

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Union Hall Elementary wins National Blue Ribbon School award

A Pittsylvania County elementary school is one of just seven in Virginia to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2017. Union Hall Elementary School in Callands was recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in an announcement Thursday. County superintendent Mark Jones said the school had improved immensely in student success in recent years. “That’s a national award for schools that really have just a tremendous academic record,” Jones said. Five other public schools and one private school in Virginia received the award. The awards are based on either performance on state achievement tests and graduation rates, or performance in closing the achievement gap between a school’s subgroups and all students.


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DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

The Danville Community College “Cyber Team” was honored Wednesday at the National Cyber Security Summit in Huntsville, Alabama.

DCC’s cyber security and cyber crime programs were recognized for earning the Center of Academic Excellence in Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) designation from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security earlier this year.

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Tunstall High named National Blue Ribbon School

Tunstall High School was named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School Sept. 28. by U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr.

Of the 329 public and private schools receiving the honor, only 54 were high schools, making the feat more impressive, said Tunstall High School Principal Brian Boles.

Seven schools were nominated in Virginia, and Tunstall was the only high school selected. The nominees were tapped in February and each had to fill out an extensive survey and application process.

According to Boles, qualifiers were not only about academic excellence, but also about connecting the school to the community. He said THS’ accomplishments were 16 pages long.

Boles said he is ”extremely proud of faculty and students,” saying the accomplishment is “a testament to their dedication. We set the bar pretty high and I’m confident we’ll meet or exceed our mark.”

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Lodge at Primland ties for first in ranking of world's best-designed hotels

What's a Virginia resort in Meadows of Dan have in common with a 10th century castle in Italy or an ocean property in Rhode Island? 

These properties are among the world's best designed hotels, according to the latest rankings from Travel and Leisure magazine. 

The Lodge at Primland in Meadows of Dan tied for first place, sharing the No. 1 spot with Castello de Casole, a castle on 4,000 acres in Sienna, Italy; and Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. 

The 12,000-acre Virginia mountain resort scored well with the magazine's readers, with many giving the property high marks for its serenity, use of indigenous materials, its observatory and its ridge-top golf course laid out by architect Donald Steel. The resort also offers three tree-house cabins, built into the tops of big trees overlooking the Dan River Gorge. 

"This is another major achievement for our visionary family of owners who worked closely with the architectural team of CTC Design Studio Atlanta to create a lodge in harmony with the Virginia landscape," Steve Helms, vice president of Primland, said in a statement. 

Earlier this year Primland was rated one of the Top 10 Luxury Hotels in the U.S. by Trip Advisor and in the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S. by US News and World Report. It also moved up the Travel and Leisure rankings of Top 100 Resorts in the World by moving up to No. 23 and also being listed as one of the top five in the U.S. 

from Virginia Business

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