The latest episode of Save Our Towns looks at Vinton, Virginia, where town leaders leveraged a grant-funded library project in ways that led to even more municipal gravy. The Example of Awesome story showcases steps in the process, from the vital library siting decision to the savvy way the town sought help from the county.

As small towns throughout Appalachia struggle to make their economies sing, two shorter segments touch on aspects of the coal industry. Author and expert Jo Allison talks about the need for towns to prepare for the jobs of the future. And in the Maxwell’s Number segment, Maxwell Vandervliet, of New York City, a master's student of urban and regional planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, illustrates some eye-opening facts about coal’s decline.

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In the Pennington Gap update – third in the series of stories to be rolled out over the course of the year – town officials go on record about why they need their hospital up and running again.

Save Our Towns, produced by Outreach and International Affairs, has won higher education and communications awards. The series speaks to small-town mayors and town managers throughout Appalachia with a mission to guide and inspire those who are working to build strong communities.

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