An Internet video series, aimed at Mayors across Appalachia debuts this week. Virginia Tech is producing the series called “Save Our Towns.” Its mission is to share ideas for dealing with the challenges facing communities in southwestern Virginia --- and to highlight successful projects.
Each episode includes a segment called, "Examples of Awesome". The first one focuses on the town of Big Stone Gap, where a new movie by author and director Adriana Trigiani recently wrapped up filming and helped boost the local economy.
If you buy flowers at the grocery store, chances are they’ve come from Holland or California. That’s a long way, and the blooms rarely last more than a week, but a Virginia company called Bloomaker has come up with a way to make flowers last longer, and their success could turn this area into a national hub for flower production.
Joep Paternostre hails from Holland. He’s a big man - over six feet tall and at least 200 pounds, and since childhood he’s seen the United States as the place to dream big.
Governor McAuliffe has signed an executive order to increase the opportunities for small, women- and minority-owned companies to conduct business with the state.
The goal is to promote equity—and maximize the participation of small businesses in work that’s obtained through procurement and state contracts. He also set a high goal for the number of participants.
McAuliffe directed Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones to raise the state share of spending that goes to small, women- and minority-owned businesses to 42%.
The return on Virginia Retirement System investments fell 21% in 2009—but the pension fund has now rebounded and is exceeding expectations. That’s the message delivered by VRS officials to state lawmakers.
VRS investments yielded returns that increased by double digits in the last two fiscal years, with a 15.7% return last year alone. VRS Board Vice Chairman Robert Greene said the fund set a record.
“The fund amount, $66.1 billion, makes an historic high for the fund, exceeding all previous fund balance amounts.”
Another national debate is taking center stage in Virginia—this time over a potential Internet sales tax. One group that’s opposed to out-of-state e-commerce taxation and the federal Marketplace Fairness Act says they have overwhelming proof that Virginians don't want it.