Area Businesses Invited to Meeting on Shared Southwest VA Brand

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

fclogoROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Office of Economic Development invites area businesses, organizations and interested members of the public to attend a free presentation to learn how the new Southwest Virginia brand is being rolled out and what it intends to do. The Southwest Virginia region includes the Towns of Boones Mill and Rocky Mount, and Franklin County.

When promoting a region, how do you collectively brand 54 Towns, 19 Counties and 4 Cities? For nine months in 2015, Southwest Virginia communities, institutions, businesses and leaders participated in the development of an open-access, shared Southwest Virginia brand. The results of the effort have now been finalized. The final product connects the region’s downtowns undergoing revitalization, rich cultural heritage, boundless outdoor recreation opportunities and majestic scenery.

Ben Muldrow of the firm Arnett Muldrow & Associates, who created the new brand that builds upon the region’s strengths such as music, arts & crafts, outdoor recreation and local culture, will be giving two presentations on Monday, May 9 th in Rocky Mount at The Franklin Center. On the new brand, he recently remarked that “it tells the story from all sides” and people that learn about the branding remark “Wow. I didn’t know Southwest Virginia had so much to offer.”

Presentations are being made around various communities in the region to explain the new brand. The brand will help showcase the region’s many unique strengths that can help attract new business and manufacturing as a great place to live, work and play. It’s also an opportunity to create more awareness of the region’s treasures to those that live here.

If you wish to attend one of the free public sessions on Monday, May 9th, please RSVP by calling (540) 483-3030 or e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Indicate which session you would like to attend: 2-3 pm or 6-7 pm.


15th Annual Pigg River Ramble Weekend Sets Float May 20, 21, 22

Written by Kevin Tosh. Posted in News

ramble weekend 16The 15th annual Pigg River Ramble Weekend event welcomes outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for three days of awesome paddling on Franklin County’s Pigg and Blackwater Rivers. The popular event draws fans from across the region. This year, camping is available at Waid Park (off Six Mile Post in Rocky Mount).

Ramblers can race against others or simply float for fun.

Pigg River Ramble Weekend kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20 with “Blackwater Blackout” – a fun 3 mile, night-time float down the Blackwater River.

On Saturday, May 21 at 1p.m., the annual race kicks off with a competitive-style float down the Pigg River, with canoeists and kayakers from all over the east coast.

On Sunday, May 22 at 10 a.m., “Breakfast on the Blackwater” starts with a home-style breakfast and wraps up the weekend with one more float down the Blackwater River.

Registration begins April 2016. For more information, visit


Ferrum Softball Team Wins USA South Tournament

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

image hafndlerROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- After suffering a one-run loss Friday morning, April 15, Ferrum College reeled off six straight to win the 2016 USA South Softball Tournament. The Panthers had to beat Averett University twice in the championship series, grinding out a 3-2 win then blasting the Cougars 10-1.

Ferrum Scores
Fri, April 15: Averett 3, Ferrum 2; Ferrum 7, William Peace 5
Sat, April 16: Ferrum 4, NC Wesleyan 3; Ferrum 7, Greensboro 2
Sun, April 16: Ferrum 5, Maryville 1; Ferrum 3, Averett 2; Ferrum 10, Averett 1 (5 inn)

In the final game of the tournament against Averett, Ferrum scored eight runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tournament MVP Cheyenne Strickland started things off when she sent a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer. The Cougars never recovered after that, as Ferrum piled on five more runs before the frame was done for an 8-0 lead after three full innings. The game was halted due to the run rule after five innings. Strickland went 3-4 in the title game with the home run, two runs and three RBI.

Joining Strickland on the All-Tournament Team were designated player Amanda Roberts, who pitched the entire final game and allowed just four hits to improve to 11-7 this season. Also earning All-Tournament honors were catcher Sarah Bowman, second baseman Heather Mayberry, outfielder Lindsey Slover and pitcher Courtney Rudd.

In the first game Sunday against Averett, Rudd pitched all seven innings, striking out seven batters. Ferrum led 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Averett loaded the bases with two outs. Rudd then coaxed Jessica Griffin into a ground out to end the game, and the Panthers rushed the field in celebration of the program's fourth USA South Tournament title in school history.

Coach Gerald Culler's team claimed the USA South automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Tournament. This is Ferrum's fourth post-season appearance (2002, 2005, 2012, 2016). Culler is in his first season as head coach after spending three seasons as assistant coach. NCAA Regional locations will be announced soon.