Smyth County News & Messenger donates newspaper rack to local school

The Smyth County News & Messenger helped build a robot–a robot that will help students in rural southwest Virginia have easier access to books.

Well, not a real robot but an old newspaper rack redesigned and repurposed to look like a robot and serve as a Little Free Library at a local elementary school.

The paper was approached by Sugar Grove Elementary librarian, Sharon Dishner, about any old racks they could donate to help serve as the container for the library. Luckily, the paper had two and donated both to Dishner.

Along with a team of volunteers, Dishner painted the box silver, attached arms to it and glued some eyeballs to where coins were once inserted. “Grover the Reading Robot” was created and the idea for the Little Free Library became reality.

Last week, the school unveiled “Grover” and accepted its first donations of books. Dishner said she wanted to create a library to sit outside the school to help give students better access to books while they are on long breaks away from school.

She now has plans to build an additional library for another local school, also using a newspaper rack donated by the Smyth County News & Messenger.

Roanoke Times editor leaves

A Roanoke Times editor has left the paper to take a job in Washington D.C. at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Alison Krug, who worked as an online editor at the paper, started this week as a copy editor at the Chronicle. Krug had been with the paper since Oct. 2017.

Former editor of The Breeze hired as reporter for C-Ville Weekly

Matt Weyrich, who served as the editor-in-chief for The Breeze at James Madison University, has accepted a news reporting position at C-Ville Weekly.

Weyrich will begin his new role at the alternative weekly June 10. He is on Twitter @MattWeyrichCVW.