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Owens expansion could ease pain of Morningstar closing

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SULPHUR SPRINGS - As one Sulphur Springs manufacturing facility plans to close, another is just in the beginning stages of a planned expansion which will ironically add as many jobs as will be lost.

City Manager Marc Maxwell says while it’s a tragedy that Morningstar Foods is closing its Cultured Specialties plant by May 24, Owens Country Sausage will hire 55 workers at the conclusion of its 80,000 square foot expansion. The City Council learned that Owens was planning a $30 million expansion in December.

It was not clear when the expansion would begin or be completed.

The company doubled its facility along Industrial Drive in 2009, adding 60 new jobs. They currently employ roughly 200 people.

According to the Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation website, Owens and Morningstar are among two of the four major employers in Sulphur Springs. Morningstar will continue to operate its larger extended-shelf-life plant located at 300 E. Industrial Blvd.