Here’s a look at some of the stories we’ll be following today as they make headlines across Southwest Virginia:
- The City of Danville will celebrate its Festival in the Park. The three-day event celebrates the arts and unity in the community. Events include live music, amusement rides, a movie in the park and more. It starts today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
- A new restaurant in Buchanan will celebrate its grand opening this weekend. Garrett’s Bistro and Spirits features classic American Fare with vegetarian options as well. The restaurant is on Main Street and will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- A Bedford County bus driver who was arrested after deputies say she was driving under the influence while on the job will be in court today. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a concerned parent reported to authorities that Kimberly Ricketts was acting suspicious while on her route. Ricketts is facing four charges, including felony child endangerment and a DUI.
- There’s a memorial service today for a therapy dog that served as the national mascot for a local veterans group. We first introduced you to Powmia in 2017 when she was recognized by Roanoke’s Post 64, which is made up of former and active members of the 29th Infantry Division. Powmia was owned by a veteran and was a certified therapy dog since the age of two. She traveled to hospitals and veterans centers and also performed military exercises. The memorial service is today at noon at the VA Medical Center Chapel.
- There’s a grand opening ceremony today for Micah’s Pantry at Warm Hearth Village. Micah’s Pantry is a new shop, centralizing items from the Micah’s Programs at the Warm Hearth Village Campus. Over the last decade, those programs have grown to include shelf-stable foods, personal care items, pet supplies and more. The programs allow income-qualified residents to shop for what they need at no cost.
- Today is the last day to give your thoughts on a community needs assessment. The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center provides services in Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania Counties as well as Martinsville. The center is looking to better understand what the community identifies as important issues as it works to plan, develop and maintain services for children and families impacted by violence.
- Virginia Western Community College will hold its spring commencement today. More than 430 students are expected to attend, receiving nearly 800 degrees and credentials. The keynote speaker is Dr. Glenn DuBois, who is the retiring Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. The student speaker is 67-year-old Vera Morton. She grew up in Farmville, where rather than desegregating, schools were closed as she was set to start kindergarten. They did not reopen until three years later and she was placed in the third grade. Morton will graduate with honors with an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts.
- Wytheville Community College will celebrate its graduates tomorrow. Nearly 400 graduates will receive 578 degrees, diplomas and certificates. Fifty-one high-school students will graduate while working toward their high school diplomas.
- Virginia Tech will celebrate the Class of 2022. The university will award 5,549 bachelor’s degrees, with more than 3,100 graduating with honors. The most popular major this year is business information technology, followed by computer science, mechanical engineering and human nutrition, foods and exercise. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin will deliver the commencement address. Today’s commencement ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. in Lane Stadium.
- Virginia Amateur Sports and Centra are teaming up to provide free sports physicals ahead of the upcoming school year. The clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Jubilee Family Development Center in Lynchburg. The clinic will also offer soccer skills training and health and wellness information at 11 a.m.
- If your phone number has a 540-area code, mandatory ten-digit dialing begins today. Local calls made using just the seven-digit phone number will not go through. Starting next month, newly issued phone numbers could have the new 826-area code.
- The Lynchburg Republican City Committee will hold a mass meeting today. Three people will be nominated to run for City Council in November. If you’re registered to vote in the city, you can take part in the meeting to decide on the three candidates. You are encouraged to pre-register. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Liberty Mountain Conference Center.
Have a great Friday the 13th!