View From the Editor’s Desk – Bits and Pieces of News

Bits and pieces of news….

Southwest Virginia has been chosen as the location for a huge jobs boost with collaboration from a number of entities, as reported by Virginia Business:

Connecticut-based Blue Star NBR LLC and Delaware-based American Glove Innovations Inc. will invest $714 million to build a manufacturing facility in Wythe County for producing rubber medical gloves — a joint venture expected to create 2,500 jobs, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.

Virginia is investing $8.5 million to upgrade infrastructure at the park, including $3 million to expand the Fort Chiswell Wastewater Plant, $1.5 million to extend public sewer infrastructure and $4 million to build a water tank serving the park.

“These investments are leading to the largest job creation commitment Southwest Virginia has seen in a generation, and it’s a game-changer for the commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement. “This is about investing to bring jobs back to the United States from overseas, and doing it right here in rural America.”

Virginia competed with Tennessee and Texas for the project.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Wythe County, the Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County, Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $1.02 million from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund to support additional public infrastructure beyond the projects funded from the $8.5 million grant. The company is eligible to apply for benefits from the Railroad Industrial Access Program, administered by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP and the Virginia Community College System, will provide customizable recruitment and training services at no cost to the company. Blue Star NBR and Blue Star-AGI will partner with Wytheville Community College for workforce training. The companies will also collaborate with Virginia Tech and other local educational institutions to recruit engineering school graduates.

Monday saw a global outage at Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for about six hours. I was away from my computer and never noticed the disruption but this morning NBC News reported the social media giant blamed a “faulty configuration change” for the major outages. Something to keep in mind next time we’re kevetching about this communications highway.

The UVA Center for Politics has a new poll that shows dissatisfaction on both sides of the political aisle. Conservative writer David French warns, “Malice and misinformation are driving national division.” Those who are not paying attention to politics (and I don’t expect that to be anyone reading this post since we are all political junkies) should sit up and take notice.

You may have missed the blip from AP reporter Michael Kunzelman over the weekend about the two neo-Nazis who were overheard on surveillance equipment “talking about planning an attack during a gun rights rally at Virginia’s Capitol in Richmond, destroying rail lines and power lines, and how Mathews ‘briefly considered’ trying to assassinate a Virginia lawmaker.” Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn, who is Jewish, was the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The article added, “After Mathews found a home address for the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates on the internet, he and Lemley ‘pondered’ an attack on the speaker’s route to work because they concluded that there probably wasn’t a good sniper location near the lawmaker’s home, prosecutors said.” Federal prosecutors are recommending 25-year prison sentences for the former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and U.S. Army veteran. I don’t care which side of the political aisle you hail from; the discussion of this type of violence should concern all Virginians and Americans.

It’s fall. Get outside and enjoy the fresh, cooler air and changing leaf color! That’s certainly what we have been doing and the colors have been stunningly gorgeous. We’re spending time with family, too, and enjoying pulling out our sweaters for the cooler autumn evenings. The best is yet to come as Virginia’s colors increase in the next three weeks. Follow the leaf changes as you wander the backroads.

Be kind and be well….


Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell: autumn in my backyard

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