Wise County

Sarah Sawyers

Elementary school students in Wise County won a space on a rocket ship in a global competition. The students were selected to send a payload into low earth orbit, in honor of its inaugural voyage.

In Wise County, where coal has been king, its sleeker cousin recently came to town sporting a whole new look.

Graphene, the recently discovered relative of carbon, thinner than paper and stronger than steel, it’s being called a miracle substance that could revolutionize the future of technology. And  southwestern Virginia is looking to become the graphene hub of the country.

Courtesy SWVA Economic Forum

Virginia ranks in the top ten states in the country for quality of life, but according to a recent report by the United Way, nearly 60% of households in southwestern Virginia can’t make ends meet. With coal no longer ‘king,’ area leaders are looking to transform the region through tech. 

The long- sought goal to transition from coal to solar power in southwestern Virginia is being met, thanks to federal funding to build the first solar power plant in the region.


As anyone who’s ever had a tooth ache knows, it’s tough to concentrate on much else until you can get to a dentist.  But more than half of Virginians don’t have dental insurance and many don’t have money to pay out of pocket. 

This week, Mission of Mercy is holding its free dental clinic in southwestern Virginia.