For the record - Southern Virginia

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Danville raised its meals tax from 5 percent to 6 percent and doubled its hotel/motel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent. The actions are expected to raise an additional $965,000 for the city. (Danville Register & Bee)

Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville each received three-year, $743,000 grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand remedial education programs and improve the graduation rates of low-income students. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Industrial Development Authority of Danville will use a $900,000 special project grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission to renovate the Old Belt One building into a ready-to-occupy space for high-tech companies. The building, located in the Tobacco Warehouse District, will be finished by the end of the year. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, Danville Community College and the University of Virginia have partnered on a program to offer engineering degrees to students in Southern Virginia, working on a part-time or full-time basis. Cost of the degree will be reduced significantly for local students through the program, which is supported by several area companies, including Davenport Energy and First Piedmont Corp. (Danville Register & Bee)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its inspection of Danville’s Nestle USA plant without finding a link between the cookie dough and the strain of E. coli that has affected dozens of people in 30 states. Nestle recalled more than 3.6 million packages of the cookie dough June 19 when the FDA investigation began.(Danville Register & Bee)

An opinion from the office of the Virginia Attorney General said Pittsylvania County cannot impose a local ban on uranium mining. The county sought the opinion after concerns were raised locally over efforts by Virginia Uranium Inc. to reverse a state moratorium on uranium mining in order to mine a 119-million pound ore deposit near Chatham. (Danville Register & Bee)

StarTek, a Denver-based operator of call centers across the country, dismissed 66 employees from its Henry County facility. The company would not comment on media reports tying the move to a security clause in a contract with one of its customers concerning employees with criminal records. Before the firings, the StarTek operation had about 890 workers. (The Roanoke Times)

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