Blacksburg High School Ranked 30th in VA by U.S. News

Montgomery County, VA – U.S. News just came out with their 2020 Best High Schools Ranking by state and a NRV high school made the top 50! Among 386 public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Blacksburg High School ranked 30th. The ranking is based off of graduation rate, college readiness and enrollment. After taking this into consideration, U.S. News compiles a list of the top 100.

Here is the summary from U.S. News:

Blacksburg High is ranked 30th within Virginia. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Blacksburg High is 51%. The total minority enrollment is 21%, and 15% of students are economically disadvantaged. Blacksburg High is 1 of 4 high schools in the Montgomery Co Public Schools.

Of more than 24,000 public high schools in the U.S., Blacksburg High School ranked No. 1,328. The means that Blacksburg ranks among the top 10% of high schools in the country.

Fox News: Operation Face Mask with the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady

By Emily DeCiccio | Fox News

Robin Burdette, also known as the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady, has been bringing people together at her Pulaski, Va., fudge shop since 2015. That very sense of community is what led officials at Virginia Tech to tap Burdette to coordinate a coronavirus mask-making operation for local hospitals and first responders.

Read more at:

https://www.foxnews.com/media/america-together-from-making-fudge-to-coronavirus-face-masks

Community “pays it forward” through Red Rooster Coffee campaign

Floyd, VA – On March 20, 2020 Red Rooster Coffee launched an online campaign to help its employees while giving back to a local food bank. The impacts of the COVID-19 on its business had been quick and dramatic. Red Rooster Coffee had seen its wholesale demand drop by over half in just 4 days, and expected it to plummet even further as the global pandemic intensified.

As they were coming to grips with the economic realities facing their business, Red Rooster Coffee learned that the local food bank in Floyd, Plenty!, was becoming overwhelmed by increased demand. This sparked an idea to create a win/win situation for them and their community.

The idea, Red Rooster Rooster asked their customers to donate $10 so that they could keep their staff employed making healthy meals that would be delivered to the Plenty! food bank twice a week. The meals would be made through their cafe with each one costing only $10 to make. The meals would be the same as what their customers would normally order; made from fresh vegetables from local farms and other delicious ingredients.

The Win/Win campaign received an immediate outpouring of support. Within the first 48 hours, its customers and friends donated over $12,000; enough to make 1,277 meals for the hungry and to keep its staff busy for at least two to three weeks. A Win/Win!

If you are interested in supporting the Win/Win campaign, CLICK HERE.

Giles County matching gift card program supports restaurants in time of need

Pearisburg, VA – In an effort to immediately support local restaurants and lodging properties impacted by the economic slow down caused by COVID-19, Giles County has launched a “matching” gift certificate program to support these business where customers will receive 50% more value than the purchase price!  The purpose of the program is to help these business in Giles County generate revenue quickly to support their operations through this very difficult time.

The gift certificates are available to purchase online in $20 increments and are matched by 50%. This means that a gift certificate purchased for $20 will actually be worth $30. A gift certificate purchased for $40 will be worth $60. You get the gist. The 50% increase in value is subsidized by dollars generated from meals taxes and other tourism related revenues. One-hundred percent the funds are sent to the restaurants or lodging properties immediately after purchase.

The program launched on March 25, 2020 and has been a hit! In just over one week, the community rallied to generate over $40,000 of revenue for local businesses through the program.

Gift certificates through the program for Giles County restaurants and lodging establishments can be purchased on-line at www.virginiasmtnplayground.com/shop. Customers will receive an email after your purchase with order details to print the “gift certificate.”

NRV is the Fourth Best Metro Area for Homeownership in Virginia

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley was rated as the fourth best metro area for homeownership in Virginia by LendingTree.

To determine the best cities for homeownership in Virginia, LendingTree looked at data collected in 2013 and 2017 by the U.S. Census Bureau for both metropolitan and micropolitan areas with 10,000 to 50,000 residents. They compared 15 areas on measures that homeowners often use themselves, such as median home values, which are key to determining net worth, and home appreciation, which is key to assessing how well an housing investment has fared. They also looked at local unemployment rates and average commute times, which can help homeowners gauge an area’s overall well-being and livability.

The NRV ranked as number four. Our two large and prominent universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, have helped attract homebuyers. From 2013 to 2017, the area enjoyed healthy home value appreciation of 5.41%. In the same period, housing costs went up 0.83%. At $181,300, the median home value in 2017 was relatively low for Virginia, but the unemployment rate was just 5.2%, and the average commute time was 21.1 minutes, the second-lowest of all cities surveyed.

Read more about who made the top ten, LendingTree’s methodology, and tips for home buying.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Virginia Tech Ranks Top 3 Best College Campuses in America

Blacksburg, VAVirginia Tech ranks third in 2020 Best College Campuses by Niche.com.

The rankings are based on on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding campus resources across classrooms, labs, performance venues, housing, food, and recreational facilities. These on campus areas were assessed through student surveys on campus quality, campus crime rate, campus food cost and quality, and housing cost, safety, and quality. Additionally, the surrounding community was evaluated. Niche.com included factors such as median rent, local crime rates, access to amenities, as well as student surveys regarding the local area around campus.

Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg has 2,600 acres, 213 buildings, an airport, Lane Stadium, Cassell Coliseum, the Moss Arts Center, and an adjacent research park. VT is a highly rated public college located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is a big institution with an enrollment of 26,603 undergraduate students.

Photo credit: Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Admissions

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Radford University Cyber Defense Club Places Third

Radford, VA – The Cyber Defense Club at Radford University placed 3rd at the Virginia Cyber Cup Capture the Flag Competition held at Virginia Military Institute on February 21st and 22nd. George Mason University was in first place and the University of Virginia came in second.

The team included: Kyle Higginbotham, Victoria Williamson, Alex Largen, John Laws, Nolan Ierardi and Sean Anderson. Amanda Tolman was an observer student. Dr. Chen-Chi Shing accompanied the team at the contest as the coach.

In the Virginia Cyber Cup Capture the Flag Competition, competing teams tackle problems in scenarios designed to model real-world computer security challenges across a range of categories that includes cryptography, network traffic analysis, reverse engineering, steganography, and more. An understanding of historical and modern security vulnerabilities is helpful to gain the most of this experience. With challenges ranging from introductory to advanced, this competition is designed to both test skills and teach concepts.

The Virginia Cyber Cup Capture-the-Flag (CTF) competition is a Jeopardy-style CTF in which teams solve individual challenges of various point values across different categories to score points. The competition uses a web-based CTF engine hosted by the Virginia Cyber Range.

The competition is developed and hosted by the Virginia Cyber Range and is part of Commonwealth Cyberfusion, an invitation-only event combines a collegiate cyber competition with learning and career opportunities that emphasize Cyber Fusion. This event is co-hosted by Virginia Military Institute, Senator Mark R. Warner and the VirginiaCyber Range.

This is the 4th iteration of the contest. In the past, Radford teams placed 2nd in 2017, 3rd in 2018, 6th in 2019, and this time 3rd.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Radford and Floyd County Public Schools Received a Total of $227,000 for Computer Science

New River Valley, VA — Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $1.3 million in state grants to support the implementation of Virginia’s Computer Science Standards of Learning. In 2016, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation requiring that the Standards of Learning include computer science and coding. The standards, which were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2017, are the nation’s first mandatory K-12 computer science standards. Funding will help increase access to K-12 computer science programs a prepare students for high-demand jobs

“Knowing the basics of computer science can open doors to virtually any career in our fast-growing 21st-century economy,” said Governor Northam. “We are working to expand career-connected learning and integrate computer science into the curriculum at every grade level. With these grants, we have a tremendous opportunity to put today’s students on a path to developing the key computer science and coding skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The 2019 General Assembly authorized up to $1.35 million in grants to provide professional development for teachers, create computer science curriculum, instructional resources, and assessments, support summer and after-school programs, and provide career exposure and work-based learning opportunities for high school students. The legislature directed that underserved students and schools performing below state standards receive priority in the awarding of the grants.

“Computer science is a core competency Virginia students need to succeed in the workforce, but educational inequities too often limit access to the resources schools can provide for students to receive a world-class STEM education. Through funding work-based learning, after-school programs, and other hands-on learning opportunities, with an emphasis on equity, these grants will catalyze a love of computer science within students across the Commonwealth.” – Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education

The grants were awarded as follows:

Floyd County Public Schools — $77,166 to provide interdisciplinary professional development in computer science and to integrate the Computer Science Standards of Learning into instruction with an emphasis on underrepresented student groups.
Radford Public Schools — $149,983 to integrate computer science in K-8 instruction and to create simulated work environments in partnership with Radford University and area businesses.
Virginia Beach Public Schools — $148,678 to create college-level computer science courses, extra-curricular computer science clubs, career labs, and regional partnerships to provide work-based learning opportunities for students.
Charlottesville Public Schools — $124,000 to create a partnership with the University of Virginia, Tech-Girls, and Computers4Kids to develop resources, train teachers, and engage K-8 students in computer science.
Cumberland County Public Schools — $99,800 to provide professional development in computer science for K-8 teachers in Region 8 and to create a career connections course incorporating robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles.
George Mason University — $125,000 to create a partnership between educational agencies and school divisions to improve the pedagogical practices and content knowledge of teachers and undergraduates in computer science and computational thinking.
Old Dominion University — $125,000 to develop a regional partnership between Old Dominion University, school divisions, and educational organizations to broaden teacher and student access to and participation in computer science learning by training teachers, developing classroom resources, increasing knowledge of computer science career pathways, and developing computer science micro-credentials.
Prince William County Public Schools — $125,000 to form partnerships with local institutions of higher education and local and state agencies, providing professional development opportunities for teachers and increasing awareness of the importance of computer science skills in a variety of careers.
Stafford County Public Schools — $118,481 to form a regional consortium to develop, disseminate, and evaluate computer science resources for grades 3-8 and create a partnership with other school divisions, institutions of higher education, military agencies, and educational organizations that will develop curricular resources, performance assessments, and lead professional development in effective computer science pedagogy.
University of Virginia’s College at Wise — $125,000 to support a collaborative effort between Region 7 school divisions and education agencies offering professional development in computer science, including workshops, conferences, and coursework for teachers in the region.
Virginia Commonwealth University — $124,922 to create a collaborative that combines teams from CodeRVA Regional High School partner school divisions to transform existing computer science courses into thematic online modules coupled with locally relevant and authentic student challenges, and to equip teachers with culturally responsive strategies for working with diverse students.

“The funded projects will equip our teachers to present the content of the Computer Science Standards of Learning in the context of real-life challenges and create school-to-work partnerships to connect students with career opportunities,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “It is truly exciting to see school divisions, colleges and universities, and the private sector collaborate to implement the standards in ways that prepare students for postsecondary and career success.”

There is no applicable Standards of Learning test associated with computer science instruction. These academic standards were developed to provide students with a detailed understanding of the study of computers, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

romantic getaway; new river valley; giles county; inn at riverbend

Romantic Escapes in the New River Valley

Giles County, VA – The Inn at Riverbend is featured in Virginia Living as a top romantic getaway.

Seemingly perched on the side of a bluff in Pearisburg is the Inn at Riverbend, a two-story bed and breakfast with wraparound porches and incredible views of the New River. Each room at Riverbend brings the outside in with large windows and sweeping views. However, the plum-shaded “Palisades” room has been dubbed the most romantic by previous guests. Posh bath amenities, cushy robes, and an oversized whirlpool tub provide a luxurious, restful experience. A farm-fresh meal awaits at The Palisades Restaurant in Eggleston and there are small town shopping opportunities, artisans to discover, and historical sites to explore, like Historic Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg.

Explore everything Giles County has to offer for your romantic weekend away!

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

The City of Radford Releases a New Logo Design

Radford, VA – The city of Radford released a new logo after conducting a study to determine what people think about the city.

Some of the major themes were the study were rivers, parks, natural beauty, the people, education, and innovation. From there, multiple deigns were considered, but ultimately, Radford resident, Michelle Stoddard designed the new logo with the goal being to showcase the characteristics that define the city as well as the direction the city is heading. The insignia depicts Ingles Mountain and waves of the New River above “Radford” in horizontal font with “VA” positioned vertically. The idea behind the logo is that there will be uniform look for the city while allowing the different departments to maintain some of their identity.

“Everything looks a little fresher, looks a little brighter, feels a little fresher, and that’s the way that we continue to move forward, so the residents feel like this is a contemporary place, but it feels like home.” – Mayor David Horton

The city is planning on distributing bumper stickers later this month. The logo will be visible, first on welcoming signs as drivers enter the city and eventually on government vehicles and buildings such as the recreation center and library.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.