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Mayors’ task force delineates potential benefits of regional economic development

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy and Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable. Photos by Scott Robertson by Scott Robertson A Blue Ribbon Task Force formed by the mayors of Sullivan and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee has identified several areas in which significant gains can be made by taking a regional approach to economic development issues. The task force was formed by Sullivan County Mayor R ...

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ETSU rolls out new need-based scholarship program beginning Fall 2020 

Dr. Brian Noland introduces the ETSU Promise Plus program at a Jan. 17 news conference. Photo by Scott Robertson by Scott Robertson East Tennessee State University will begin offering four-year “last-dollar” scholarships and extensive assistance to incoming freshmen this fall. The ETSU Promise Plus program is an attempt to take price out of low-income students’ decision of where to go to college. It is also ...

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Ballad Health plans to open new urgent care centers as part of initiative to increase access, expand network

Ballad Health Tuesday announced plans to add two new urgent care centers to the family of Ballad Health providers in the Appalachian Highlands. Ballad Health said in a press release it will invest in the opening of a new Ballad Health Medical Associates urgent care center, including the addition of primary care and diagnostics, in Kingsport, as well as a new urgent care center in Banner Elk, North Carolina. ...

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General Shale CEO Elected Brick Industry Association Chairman

Charles Smith The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has elected General Shale CEO Charles Smith as chairman effective January 1. Smith succeeds former BIA Chairman Davis Henry, president, Henry Brick, Co, Selma, Alabama, who will remain as past chair. BIA’s membership also elected Joe Rice, CEO of Belden Tri-State Building Materials, New York, New York as vice chair; Jim Stradley, president of Cincinnati-bas ...

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Johnson: Ramsey hired to play defense for existing retail

Steve Johnson and Ron Ramsey (Right) Former Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey will be back in Nashville this legislative term, lobbying for a regional real estate developer. When Ramsey was Lt. Governor of Tennessee in 2011, he helped push through the Border Region Tourism Development District Act (public chapter 420) that created the tax breaks that incentivized retailers to come to the Pinnacle developmen ...

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2020 residential real estate outlook: More home sales, increasing affordability concerns

By Karen Randolph Many of the conditions the housing market in the Tri-Cities experienced in 2019 will not change much in 2020, but there are new opportunities and some challenges. New and existing home sales should increase, but do not be surprised if growth rates take a breather from the current pace. Buyers can expect an increase in the number of new homes coming on the market, and the inventory of exist ...

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Ballad COPA compliance officer to retire

Ballad Health Executive Chairman and CEO Alan Levine Wednesday announced to employees the retirement of the man responsible for insuring internal compliance with the Certificate of Public Advantage under which Ballad operates. Gary Miller, former general counsel for Wellmont Health System will be succeeded in that role by Karen Guske beginning Jan. 13. The full text of Levine’s letter to employees follows: ...

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Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians propose Casino and Resort in Washington County, Virginia

The chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), Richard Sneed, announced Jan. 7 that his organization has reached an agreement to develop and operate a proposed Washington County, Va., casino. The casino is planned to be part of the Pinnacle Virginia, a 350-acre development that will include an outdoor concert venue, recreational facilities and a hotel featuring an indoor waterpark. Pinnacle devel ...

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Lee announces $1 million workforce development grant for TCAT Elizabethton

Above: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee at the Elizabethton TCAT. Photo by Scott Robertson Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made his first visit to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Elizabethton Jan. 3 to announce a $1 million Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grant to fund “Northeast STEM to Work” training. The Northeast Tennessee STEM to Work initiative is designed to bring STEM- ...

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Ballad Health announces discounts, changes to charity structure

By Scott Robertson Ballad Health announced Monday a sweeping set of discounts aimed at improving the ability of lower to middle income patients’ to afford healthcare costs, even if they are uninsured or have high insurance deductibles. Ballad issued a press release saying it will increase the discount for its services to uninsured patients from 77 percent to 85 percent. For those patients who are insured, b ...

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