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.


Driver of Freightliner Truck Charged with Felony Hit and Run Following Fatal Crash on 220 North

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

freightFRANKLIN CO. - State Police have charged the driver of a Freightliner truck with felony hit and run following the death of a Rocky Mount man Sunday night on Route 220.

Carl Edward Pence, 35, of Rocky Mount was traveling north, operating a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle on Route 220 south of Bonbrook Mill Road around 8:37 p.m. when the motorcycle hit a deer in the road, according to State Police Sgt. Rick Garletts. Pence was separated from the motorcycle and was hit by a 2013 Freighliner truck as a pedestrian, according to the State Police news release. 

The driver of the truck, Kevin Blackburn, 37, of Thomasville, NC was later stopped by law enforcement in Boones Mill. has been charged with felony hit and run. Blackburn was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured in the crash. 

The Virginia State Police crash reconstruction team along with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation are helping with the crash investigation.