For the Record - Southern Virginia, July 2013

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AllergEase plans to add 150 jobs and invest $7.5 million in Danville within the next three years, starting with the relocation of its headquarters from Northern Virginia, says Economic Development Director Jeremy Stratton. The company’s product provides allergy sufferers with an all-natural way to treat symptoms using herbal extracts. The lozenges are being manufactured in Pennsylvania, but AllergEase hopes to move those operations to Danville. (News & Advance)

The fountain that will be the centerpiece of Danville’s River District Gateway Park is getting some extra bells and whistles, thanks to an additional donation of $65,000 from Japan Tobacco International Leaf Services.  JTI originally donated $400,000 to the city to build the fountain. When the design went out for bid, the lowest bid still topped that figure by $25,000. The city had also asked bidders to add a line item showing the additional cost for programmable-color lighting. That came in at an additional $40,000.  (Danville Register & Bee)

A grant from the JT-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust in Danville is helping Tunstall Fire and Rescue treat heart patients faster. The department purchased two automated external defibrillator monitors and portable suction units with funds from the trust. Emergency department doctors will be able to see the condition of the patient’s heart and possibly diagnose a serious problem faster.  (The News & Advance)

A federal lawsuit filed by an American Indian tribal government against the city of Martinsville and other defendants involved in a raid is being settled. The Martinsville City Council adopted a resolution accepting a settlement agreement with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, a tribal government in Washington state. No money will be paid out as part of the agreement. Martinsville was one of many defendants named in the lawsuit because a city police officer was part of a federal task force that carried out the raid investigating the alleged sale of untaxed cigarettes.  (Martinsville Bulletin)

Construction has begun on New College Institute’s new building in Martinsville. The three-story, roughly 50,000-square-foot building will house educational programs that NCI is developing in entrepreneurism, advanced manufacturing and health-care technology, plus employee offices and public event space. It will be the first building erected specifically for the institute.  (Martinsville Bulletin)

A new program in Southern Virginia is helping students get ready for the real world. Pittsylvania County schools are introducing a new Academy for Engineering and Technology this fall. Students can earn college credit or a work certificate starting next year. Juniors and seniors who complete upper level calculus classes are qualified. Students earn college credits through Virginia State University and can continue courses there after graduation. (

The Roanoke River Basin Association now includes CommonHealthVA, a coalition of groups opposed to lifting a moratorium on uranium mining in Pittsylvania County. Members of CommonHealthVA include the Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia; the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach; the Piedmont Environmental Council; the Roanoke River Basin Association; the Southern Environmental Law Center; and the Virginia Coalition. (Danville Register & Bee)

Danville’s investment in its downtown River District is paying off, City Manager Joe King said during a recent update on the progress of the project. Over the past five years, the city has spent $25 million downtown; that amount includes grants from the state Department of Transportation, the Danville Regional Foundation and others. Over those same five years, private investors have brought $78 million into downtown, with building purchases and renovations. (Danville Register & Bee)




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