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Investing in the future

By Scott Robertson Irecently had one of those life-affirming experiences that can make one square one’s shoulders against life’s winds and move forward with a renewed sense of faith and confidence. I served as a regional selection committee member for the Roan Scholars program at East Tennessee State University. The Roan is a rare, and in my opinion, wonderful program that fills an important niche in the ma ...

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Region’s businesses offer aid to Sevier County fire victims

Photo above: Logan McCabe of Bristol Motor Speedway and Steve Smith of K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City) announced a campaign to raise funds for Sevier County disaster relief. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson The wildfires that swept through areas of Sevier County, Tenn., including parts of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park took a tremendous toll in terms of lives ...

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Forward Air cuts ribbon on new corporate headquarters

Photo above: Cutting the ribbon – (L to R) Chairman Emeritus Scott Niswonger,  State Representative David Hawk, Sr. Vice President Rodney Bell, and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson In early 2015, Greeneville, Tenn.-based Forward Air had outgrown its corporate headquarters at the Greeneville – Greene County Municipal Airport. When the ...

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Overcoming observation frustration: Wellmont’s new strategy paying $700,000 a month dividend

By Jeff Keeling Whatever one might choose to call it – a burr in the saddle, a thorn in the side or something else – Wellmont Health System has felt the irritating effects of a growth in “observation” patients for several years. Until the latest fiscal quarter, that is. Following a thorough assessment of the factors behind its rising ratio of admitted patients who were given observation rather than traditio ...

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Grading set to begin at Washington County, Tenn., industrial park

Photo above: Geotech studies occurred at the industrial park site this summer. Photo by Scott Robertson By Jeff Keeling The Washington County Economic Development Council (EDC) is on the cusp of two significant achievements that have been a while in coming – one organizational, the other developmental. At the EDC’s Oct. 20 board meeting, members heard updates on both. A partially grant-funded project to gra ...

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Garland goes Greene: Former Tennessee economic developer settles in as Greene County Partnership CEO

Photo above: Garland at his desk.  Photos by Scott Robertson Matt Garland has hit the ground running as the new president/CEO of the Greene County Partnership. Garland, who has worked in Northeast Tennessee for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for the last eight years, already knows the people, places and things that will make the difference in Greene County’s efforts to attrac ...

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Work Ready Communities program expands

Photo above: Mayors Dan Eldridge of Washington County and Richard Venable of Sullivan County announce the eight-county Work Ready Community effort at the headquarters of the First Tennessee Development District. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson In a moment months in the making, the mayors of Washington and Sullivan counties stood together in the First Tennessee Development District rose garden Oc ...

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“Antsy” lenders create opportunity for Emory & Henry: College breaks ground on apartment-style community

Photo above: Rick Gaumer, vice president for Business and Finance speaks at the Oct. 7 groundbreaking as President Jake Schrum looks on. By Scott Robertson Emory & Henry College broke ground Oct. 7 on a $12.5 million residence hall construction project to create 197 more beds for on-campus student living. Eight small residence halls, including six apartment-style halls, and a community center will be ad ...

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Hospital merger process kicks into high gear in Virginia

Photo above: SVHA board members Dr. Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, Dr. Sue Cantrell and Dr. Donna Henry listen during the board’s Oct. 27 meeting.  Photos by Jeff Keeling   By Jeff Keeling We are well aware of the economic and healthcare challenges facing this region. The question for us, and more importantly the question for the Authority, is whether this merger is the only way to address the issues at the cost ...

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First Bank & Trust honored for Agribusiness support

Photo above: Jamie Whitacre, Keith Phillips, William Hayter and Gene Copenhaver accept the Agribusiness of the Year Award Oct. 17.   First Bank & Trust Company was recently awarded the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s 2016 Agribusiness of the Year Award. Council Chair Lynn Graves presented the award during the Council’s Annual Membership Meeting in Winchester. The recognition is presented annually t ...

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