Camrett founder and CEO Collin Peel with an electric truck. 2022 photo courtesy of Camrett.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Wytheville-based logistics firm to invest $2 million in Pulaski County facility, adding 58 jobs

A Wytheville-based provider of third-party logistics services will invest more than $2 million to expand a facility in Dublin, creating 58 new jobs, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.

Camrett Logistics will renovate existing space and build new construction, and will buy new forklifts and electric trucks, according to a news release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office. The company’s services include warehousing, distribution, order fulfillment and other aspects of supply-chain management.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County and the town of Dublin to secure the project for Virginia, and Youngkin approved a $230,000 state grant to help Pulaski County with it, according to the release.

In the news release, company President Cameron Peel said the “long overdue” expansion would “usher the company into its new era as green supply chain experts.”

“With four electric trucks, two electric spotters, a brand-new electric forklift fleet, and motion sensor-activated LED warehouse lights, we are focused on sustainability, and the future, for the generations to come,” Peel said. 

Peel said Wednesday that hiring would begin immediately, and all 58 new employees would be hired by this time next year. The company currently has 50 employees at the 305,000-square foot Newbern Road location that will be renovated and 140 employees companywide.

Founded in 1995, Camrett Logistics has 11 facilities totaling 1.8 million square feet in Southwest Virginia and West Virginia.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Oct. 25, 2023, to add additional information about the hiring timeline and the company’s number of employees.

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Broke Mountain Bluegrass, Yarn, more announced for 2024 Rooster Walk

Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band will perform its first East Coast set in nearly 20 years at the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival, scheduled for May 23-26 at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville.

Among the other acts announced Tuesday for the 14th Rooster Walk are TAUK Moore, Yarn, Dogs in a Pile, Mountain Grass Unit, Isaac Hadden Organ Trio, Sol Driven Train, J & The Causeways, Colby Helms & The Virginia Creepers, Clay Street Unit, Cosmic Country and Mighty Joshua.

A bluegrass band from Colorado, Broke Mountain was formed in 2003. It features Anders Beck (dobro/Greensky Bluegrass), Travis Book (bass/Infamous Stringdusters), Robin Davis (mandolin/The Robin Davis Duo), Jon Stickley (guitar/Jon Stickley Trio) and Andy Thorn (banjo/Leftover Salmon). Now celebrating its 20th anniversary with a full album re-release, Broke Mountain’s Rooster Walk debut will also double as its first ever East Coast festival set.

More than 30 more bands will be added to the lineup, including the overall headliners, in
the coming months.

Tickets for Rooster Walk 14 go on sale at noon Friday at

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Virginia Tech researcher wins $9 million Defense Department award for wireless research

6G is wireless networks’ future, and Virginia Tech could be at the forefront, thanks to a $9 million Department of Defense award to a professor there.

The instructor is Lingjia Liu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and an inaugural faculty member at the soon-to-come Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria. He’s been awarded the Mobile Distributed Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output project — Mobile dMIMO for short — part of the Defense Department’s flagship FutureG program, the university announced last week. 

It’s one of the largest awards a College of Engineering professor has received, according to a Virginia Tech news release.

Liu, the director of Wireless@Virginia Tech, leads more than 30 faculty in Blacksburg already focused on wireless communication and networking research and development. The Mobile dMIMO project’s goal: to focus exclusively on next generation (NextG) wireless, networking and computing systems that may have potential impacts for the future of NextG standards, according to the Virginia Tech news release.

MIMO is a technology for wireless communications in which multiple antennas are used at both the source, or transmitter, and the destination, or receiver, according to the university. The FutureG program aims to accelerate the adoption of new wireless networking technologies to ensure that U.S. military forces can operate effectively anywhere.

“If we can develop and demo the technology, we have a very good chance of achieving many features of 6G,” Liu said in the news release.

He and his group expect to make technical contributions to 3GPP — that’s a collaboration among telecommunications organizations to set standards for mobile systems, according to and other sources. It started in the 3G network era, hence the name. 

“If so, we would literally be contributing to the 6G standards and would be defining what 6G is,” Lui said in the release. “Virginia Tech would help to drive the standardization specifications, which is extremely rare for an academic institution to have the opportunity to do so.”

6G would provide higher data rates with more reliable services, incorporate advanced security features, offer improved location services and improve military communications — all at reduced costs, according to the news release.

Earlier this year the National Science Foundation granted Liu $800,000 to help create next generation mobile broadband networks, which would increase access by providing seamless wireless coverage and supporting varying service requirements, the news release said.