Local Business and Economic Development

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) – A Second Amendment advocacy group says it’s not working with a Virginia woman who says a social services department fired her for having a concealed weapons permit.
Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave told The Roanoke Times that he had received a message from Chelsea Storm Durham but hadn’t responded. Durham had previously told the newspaper that she was working with the group to pursue a lawsuit against the Roanoke Department of Social Services after social media posts about her firing last Friday went viral.
Durham had said the department’s assistant director said a concern about “workplace safety” listed on her termination notice regarded the permit. A copy of the memo provided to WSLS-TV doesn’t specify the safety concern.
Roanoke has denied firing Durham over the permit.

Duck Donuts in southwest Roanoke County has already been open for several weeks – but this Saturday on St Patrick’s Day they’ll cut the ribbon – with a portion of donut sales going to CHIP of Roanoke Valley:

Expedia has polled 1000 Americans on their favorite medium and small towns to visit. Guess who made the list at number 11? That’s right, Roanoke did, just behind Galveston, Texas – but ahead of such venues as St. Augustine, Key West and Branson, Missouri.

(From Expedia listing) When you close your eyes and imagine a rustic getaway tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is the kind of destination you may picture. Surrounded by the hazy blue rolling mountains on the horizon, this Virginia city is steeped in history, natural attractions, and allure galore.

The perks:

  • Thomas Jefferson was onto something when he began harvesting grapes in the Blue Ridge Valley, and the Roanoke region has continued the tradition. Sample some fine Virginia wine at Valhalla Vineyards, sip on sweet mead at The HIVE, or treat your taste buds on a guided tour.
  • Just like the North Star, the Roanoke Star will lead you home. Originally displayed as a Christmas decoration in 1949, the famous star has continued to shine over Roanoke ever since. Look up and you’ll see the 2,000 feet of neon tube that illuminates the iconic star over the mountain valley—feels like Christmas every day!

Gene Marrano photo/WFIR

A chain that started on the Outer Banks and has a loyal following opens in Roanoke County today – “Duck Donuts” – makes cake-style, custom donuts from scratch with a variety of toppings. The new Duck Donuts crew warmed up by making a 4000 donut customer order earlier this week. The doors open today at the Promenade Park location. A Grand Opening is scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day – with a portion of the proceeds going to CHIP of Roanoke Valley. Emma Phares  is the co-owner with her husband: