The first season of Save Our Towns closes with:

  • The inside of the Purgatory Emporium in Buchanan
  • An expert tip from a Virginia Commonwealth University professor about the importance of focus
  • News of a lake-dredging project from St. Paul, Virginia, in which the town saved $65,000 by renting equipment and doing the work itself

Just a little more than an hour from Blacksburg, the town of Buchanan drew international attention when Fodor's named it one of the 10 best places in the U.S. to buy antiques. Not only is Buchanan featured in the Examples of Awesome segment, but it also is where two generations of Virginia Tech students and graduates have worked. Virginia Tech-trained planners, both before and after graduation, have helped the town flourish.

Episode Nine is posted at Save Our Towns or can be viewed in this YouTube video:

Also in Episode Nine: How did coal and other large entities create economic dependence in Appalachia? Sam Cook discusses breaking the bonds of colonialism in economies based on "extractive resources" and people's need for cash to survive. "We have colonial situations in not all of Appalachia but certainly in areas such as West Virginia," says the professor of sociology and director of American Indian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Save Our Towns is Virginia Tech's monthly Internet video series produced by Outreach and International Affairs that is distributed to mayors and town managers in 80 Virginia towns and independent cities in 25 counties. With participation from Virginia Cooperative Extension, the program is scheduled to return in the fall.