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Hidden Valley Makes List of Top High Schools

Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke County is one of only three Virginia high schools to make Newsweek's list of "America's Top High Schools 2015." The rankings are based on a broad range of data to determine which schools do the best job of preparing students for college.

Hidden Valley was ranked No. 432 overall, with a 99.6 percent graduation rate and 89.2 percent of students college bound.

The other Virginia high schools on the list are Alexandria's Thomas Jefferson High School with the No. 1 ranking and Charlottesville's Albemarle High School ranked No. 471.

Smith Mountain Lake Named Best in Virginia

Smith Mountain Lake was named the top lake in Virginia in a ranking of the "Best Lakes in All 50 U.S. States" by MSN Travel and Cheapism.

One lake was selected from every state with Smith Mountain Lake in the company of some famous vacation spots such as Lake Michigan, Lake Tahoe (Nevada) and Lake Erie (Ohio.)

Here's what the editors had to say: "Known as the 'Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains', Smith Mountain Lake (or SML, as locals call it) offers 580 miles of shoreline. Roughly equidistant from Roanoke and Lynchburg, this rural destination is popular with outdoor-loving retirees and vacationers."

The top lakes were chosen because they offered plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing and watersports.

Virginia: Best State to Prepare for Retirement

New research from LPL Financial ranked U.S. states on their attractiveness for pre-retirees as they save and prepare for retirement. Virginia was ranked as the top state for pre-retirees and New York was ranked as the worst state.

The states were ranked on six main categoires: (1) financial; (2) healthcare; (3) housing; (4) community quality of life; (5) employment and education; and (6) wellness. 

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