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Meeting to Discuss Bedford Amtrak Plans Schedule for Nov. 2

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

BFRRIlogoBEDFORD - The community is invited to a 30-minute briefing about the progress to date, economic impact on our region and steps forward to make it a reality. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

Bedford-Franklin Regional Rail Initiative (BFRRI) was formed in late 2014 with the goal of investigating the feasibility of an Amtrak stop in Bedford, along the existing route to Roanoke. The Town of Bedford, Bedford County, Franklin County, the region's two chambers of commerce, local state legislators, numerous local businesses and over 11,000 citizens support having a stop in the Town of Bedford.

The establishment of a passenger rail stop in downtown Bedford perfectly aligns with the goals of enhancing both economic development and tourism for the region. Bedford and Franklin counties, including the SML area, all stand to benefit.

The briefing takes place from 9:00 -10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 2, at the Bedford Area Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Rd., Bedford. This event is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Car Overturns, Landing on Banks of Maggodee Creek

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

BoonesMillCarCreekBOONES MILL - Two people were injured Wednesday morning when a car flipped in Boones Mill, landing upside down within large tree branches along Maggodee Creek, according to a Facebook post by Boones Mill Fire/EMS. The accident happened around 6:45 a.m. One person was treated at the scene, while the other was taken to a nearby hospital. Both injuries were non life-threatening. 

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Empire Bakery to Add 75 Jobs in Rocky Mount, Governor Announces

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

GovNortham EmpireBakeryROCKY MOUNT—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Empire Bakery Commissary, LLC, a commercial producer of ready-made cakes, cookies, and single-serve desserts, will invest $10.4 million to expand its facility in the Town of Rocky Mount in Franklin County. Virginia successfully competed against Utah, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma for this investment opportunity, which will create 75 new jobs.

“Empire Bakery is a valuable employer that has flourished in Virginia for more than 20 years, achieving tremendous growth and the sweet taste of success,” said Governor Northam. “We are proud to have a partner like Empire Bakery in Franklin County and I commend the company’s decision to expand and reinvest in Southside Virginia.”

Empire Bakery provides ready-to-sell products for retailers throughout the U.S. The company offers custom programs that can be tailored to the unique suppliers, designs, packaging, and labels of its customers. Empire Bakery has been a Virginia employer since 1997, with nearly 140 employees reporting to the Franklin County facility. The company headquarters is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

“For a major company like Empire Bakery that serves retailers throughout the Mid-Atlantic, location is a key driver in the decision-making process,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company will continue to benefit from the region’s strategic position, with access to two-thirds of the U.S. population within a day’s truck drive. We are thrilled that Empire Bakery has chosen to expand in Virginia, and we are confident that it will continue to thrive in the region.”

“Empire Bakery’s products help families and friends celebrate life’s important milestones,” said Empire Bakery President Mike Marek. “With this investment and the support of Governor Northam, Secretary Ball and our local partners in Franklin County and the Town of Rocky Mount, we will be able to serve more customers and hire more Associates. We look forward to our continued expansion in the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Franklin County, the Town of Rocky Mount, the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $225,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Franklin County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $140,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Franklin County is excited to see another local business growing and successful,” said Franklin County Board of Supervisors Chairman Cline Brubaker. “Empire Bakery has become a cornerstone of the local economy since its arrival in 2010, and we as a community are glad that we can help them continue to expand their operations here. Franklin County’s commitment to its local businesses remains, as always, our top economic development priority.” 

“Empire Bakery helped to diversify our economy when it opened in Rocky Mount in 2010,”said Mayor Steven C. Angle. “We are delighted that Empire has been such an outstanding corporate partner, over-delivering on the promised number of jobs created and investment made, showing what a great place Rocky Mount is to do business, manufacture and live.”

“It’s always great to see existing businesses expand and thrive in Southside Virginia,” saidTobacco Commission member, Senator Bill Stanley. “Empire has been a valuable partner for more than 20 years and I wish them the best as they expand their business and continue to create jobs in Franklin County.”

“I am very appreciative of the team work of our economic development partners and Empire Bakery Commissary in bringing about this significant expansion in Franklin County,” said Delegate Charles Poindexter. “Companies such as Empire Bakery Commissary assess good workforce training and availability at or near the top of their criteria for expansion or locating. This announcement is indicative that the workforce development efforts by the Commonwealth and its local and regional partners, including Virginia Western Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, New College Institute, and the Franklin Center, are paying off.”

“Empire’s expansion is great news for our region and for Franklin County,” noted Delegate Kathy J. Byron. “Providing assistance to existing businesses looking to expand is one of the Tobacco Commission’s core missions, and the 75 jobs created by Empire’s expansion in Franklin County further strengthens the economic vitality of our region. I am pleased as a member of the Tobacco Commission that we were able to do our part to make this exciting announcement a reality.”