Thumbs up to the members of the Amherst Mountain Biking Club who have been hard at work over the last several months carving a new trail system out of the woods the town of Amherst.

The club has entered into a 20-year lease for about 50 acres of land within the L. Barnes Brockman Sr. Business and Industrial Park. The trail area is being built on more than 40 acres of land next to Rutledge Creek.

Alex Motley, the club’s president, recently took a reporter for The News & Advance on a tour of the work they’ve accomplished thus far. The goal is to create a family-friendly outdoors venue for riders of all ages and skill levels to enjoy, he said. They’ve modeled the Amherst trail on a similar mountain bike layout at an industrial park in the New London section of Bedford County.

The Amherst Town Council was unanimous in its support of the project when it authorized a lease to be drawn up with the club. Both council and the club are fully aware that if a business prospect comes on the scene and requires the land where the trail is located, the lease can be voided.

But in the meantime, everyone sees the trail as a great tourism and recreational opportunity for the town. Indeed, the late Barnes Brockman Sr., for whom the business park is named, would certainly see it that way, seeing the natural beauty of Amherst County as much of an economic draw as the skilled and hardworking residents of the county.

Good job, guys!

* * *

Thumbs up to Bill Bass Jr., the new chief executive officer of Centra’s Bedford Memorial Hospital.

Bass was named to the job Monday and is replacing longtime CEO Patti Jurkus, who retired Friday after a 30-year career in health care and after 10 years as head of Bedford Memorial.

Bass has been an employee of Centra since 2006 when it acquired Southside Community Hospital in Farmville. In 2013, he was named vice president and CEO of the Farmville hospital.

A 1979 graduate of East Carolina University, Bass has a long career in business. For more than a decade, he was in retail and commercial banking. Since then, he’s been in the health care industry. Before coming to the Farmville hospital in 2003, he served as chief financial officer of two hospitals in North Carolina — Martin General in Williamston and Onslow Memorial in Jacksonville.

He knows he’s going to have some big shoes to fill at Bedford Memorial.

Jurkus was not only the hospital’s first female CEO, but she had also led the institution through a crucial time in its history as it transitioned from joint ownership by Carilion of Roanoke and Centra to sole ownership by Centra. In addition, she also oversaw several renovations to the facility during her tenure as CEO.

So, congratulations to both Jurkus on her well-deserved retirement and to Bass on his new post. Welcome to Bedford!

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