What's News Today: Friday, January 15

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(WSLS 10) - To celebrate its 10th year in the Roanoke Valley, Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge launches its BigWig Challenge. The goal is to raise $10,000 to pay for services for breast cancer patients and education programs. The challenge kicks off today at Center in the Square where ten community leaders will wear bright pink wigs.

Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week begins today. Through the 24th, downtown restaurants will offer special deals. There are lunch choices for $10 or less or three course dinner options for $20 or $35. This is the 4th year for the event designed to increase business for local businesses during the typically slower, winter months.  List of participating restaurants.

The Lynchburg Humane Society asks National Ask a Cat a Question Day with adoption specials and events. To have a little fun, you can stop by the society, and for a $5 donation, ask Raja the cat a question and hopefully get a suitable answer. Anyone donating will be entered into a drawing for a 45 minute session with a pet communicator. If you want to adopt a cat, you can spin the wheel of fortune for a discount starting at $5 up to a free adoption.

The City of Roanoke holds a special ceremony today signing an agreement with Lijang City, China. This agreement establishes a new Friendship City Relationship for Roanoke. It has been a Roanoke Valley Sister City since 1996. This agreement aims to enhance friendship and understand between the American and Chinese people.

Students graduating from the Burton Center's Engineering Program will showcase their senior projects today. The projects were designed to solve real world problems. Projects include a laser cane to assist Parkinson's patients with walking and a rainwater system.

Virginia Tech alumna and Today Show 4th hour host Hoda Kotb will talk to students in the Pamplin College of Business. She will talk about her new book "Where We Belong," which tells the journeys that shaped her life and lives of others. She will also talk about her days at Virginia Tech.

With coal on the decline, Virginia is making it easier for surface miners to transition to other types of mining. Starting today, miners who are certified to work at surface coal mines will also be eligible to work in the mineral mining industry. Previously, additional training was required by the state. Virginia has 444 permitted mineral mines. Production in these mines increased ten percent last year.

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