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New Law Addresses First-time Homebuyers

On July 1, 2014, a new law takes effect that makes it easier for Virginians to save for their first homes. Thanks to the Virignia Association of REALTORS' 2014 signature legislation, Virginians will now be able to invest up to $50,000 in financial institutions like credit unions and banks or directly in mutual funds, brokerage accounts, or almost any other financial vehicle and declare them first-time homebuyer savings plans.

The gains or earnings on the investment are free of state taxes, and the funds can be used for down payments and closing costs on first home purchases in the Commonwealth. Whether it's a grandparent opening an account for a newborn or a recent college grad looking to the future, first-time homebuyer savings plans will reinforce the idea that setting a little something aside today will make it easier to buy a home tomorrow. Click here for more information.

Roanoke Named One of America's Most Livable Cities

The City of Roanoke received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, marking it as one of the country's most livable cities.

The winners were chosen from a pool of more than 200 applicants by an independent panel of judges, and recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities.

In Roanoke's case, it was the City's Parks and Art program that earned it the award. The program brings various performance and visual arts to neighborhood parks throughout the City.

Four other cities in Roanoke's size category received the award.

Blue Ridge Marathon Brings Largest Economic Impact to Date

More racers from out of town brought more money into the Roanoke Region's economy during the fifth annual Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, half marathon and Anthem Star 10K. "America's Toughest Road Marathon" hosted 1,594 runners who generated over $521,000 in economic impact according to a new report released by the Roanoke Regional Partnership. Over the past five years, the race has contributed more than $2 million to the local economy.

The economic impact is larger this year as a result of increased participation by runners from outside the Roanoke Region. The race drew runners from 38 states plus the District of Columbia -- and six countries: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. 

The race course started in downtown Roanoke and climbed to the top of Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain along sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway for a total elevation change of 7,430 feet.

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