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A time for guarded optimism

By Scott Robertson Since 1988, this publication has trumpeted the virtues of a regional approach to economic activity in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The wisdom of a unified effort to attract jobs and capital investment, to address problems both economic and societal, and to change negative perceptions of the region held by those outside our borders has been apparent to several publishers, mu ...

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United Way of Southwest Virginia announces IGNITE expansion: Food City, Mountain States back workforce development initiative

Photo above: Travis Staton speaks as Stephen Moret, Steve Smith, Alan Levine and Scott Robertson look on. The CEOs of two of the region’s five largest employers have thrown their support behind a workforce development initiative designed to bridge the gap between education and employment in Southwest Virginia. Alan Levine of Mountain States Health Alliance and Steve Smith of Food City joined Travis Staton, ...

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Dominion pitches mine-water electricity generation plan

Image courtesy Dominion Power By Scott Robertson Dominion Power officials met with residents in Big Stone Gap and Tazewell, Va., Oct. 3 and 4 to share the company’s vision for pumped hydroelectric power stations in one or both communities. The idea of using abandoned coal mines as sites for hydroelectric facilities has been gaining steam this year, with support from the governor, the House of Delegates and ...

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Virginia’s deep dive into Ballad: The Commonwealth is not simply rubber-stamping Tennessee’s approval of the Mountain States-Wellmont merger

Photo above: The chairmen and CEOs of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System meet the press at Mountain States corporate headquarters Sept. 19. Photo by Scott Robertson By Jeff Keeling Whatever uncertainty remains regarding a potential Mountain States Health Alliance-Wellmont Health System merger – given Virginia’s delay in deciding whether to approve it – one thing now appears clear. Th ...

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Chris Craig: Replacing an icon at the First Tennessee Development District

By Scott Robertson Nobody wants to be the guy who replaces the legend. But every once in a while, the guy who replaces the legend does alright. Carl Yastrzemski went to baseball’s Hall of Fame after following a fellow named Ted Williams with the Boston Red Sox. Popular radio announcer Bob Kesling has called University of Tennessee football and basketball games for 18 years following in the footsteps of John ...

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Lake half-full, lake half-empty

By Dave Ongie Thoughts and attitudes toward the extended drawdown of Boone Lake depend greatly on one’s perspective. For those who own property on the reservoir, Boone Lake seems half empty. For those who are still able to drive down and enjoy most of the same recreation activities they’ve engaged in for years, the reservoir appears half full. There was plenty of water in the reservoir to host the U.S. Titl ...

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Can Bristol, Virginia save itself?

By Scott Roberston On July 19, 1987, the New York Times ran an article headlined, “Can Miami Save Itself?” The paper clued readers into its own opinion as to the answer to that question with the subhead: “A City Beset by Drugs and Violence.” So having just run the headline, “Can Bristol, Virginia save itself?” let me clue you into my own opinion as to the answer. I honestly don’t know, but I sincerely hope ...

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YWCA Emerge Event Sept. 29

YWCA Bristol’s  Emerge women's professional development series continues this week with an event Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. Catalyzing women’s professional advancement is the name of the game for the series. Incepted in 2015, the female focused, expert led series is geared to empower women at all levels of their career. Workshops are held quarterly. The Se ...

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