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Healthy snack manufacturer bringing 200-plus jobs to Kingsport

By Jeff Keeling A new company started by industry veterans will manufacture healthy snack foods in Kingsport, bringing an estimated 273 jobs to the area, officials announced today. Pure Foods will operate out of a building near the intersection of Interstates 26 and 81 in the Gateway Commerce Park, and invest $22 million in the operation’s initial phase. Sullivan County’s economic development agency, NETWOR ...

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Gas heat pump guru hoping for breakthrough year

Success could mean up to 200 local production jobs Story and photos by Jeff Keeling Their blue-clad components in various states of exposure, Michael Garrabrant's “babies” receive some last-minute testing and adjustment in a Johnson City shop. A handful of engineers and technicians tweak and monitor the four gas heat pumps connected to 80-gallon water heaters before their big debut in Pacific Northwest test ...

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S & ME acquiring Littlejohn Engineering

By Scott Robertson Two engineering firms that have taken part in several major projects in the Tri-Cities over the last few years are merging. S&ME, which has a Tri-Cities office on Eastern Star Road in Kingsport, is acquiring Littlejohn Engineering, which has an office on Sunset Drive in Johnson City, as a wholly owned subsidiary. S&ME is headquartered in Raleigh. Littlejohn is headquartered in Nas ...

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Wellmont: Decision on strategic options/merger unlikely before January

 KINGSPORT – Meaningful work by Wellmont Health System’s board of directors is enabling the group to fully explore the best path forward for the organization. Roger Leonard, the board’s chairman, said the panel continues its examination of Wellmont’s options, a process that will likely extend into the new year. With the holiday season in full swing and the need for the board to further review information it ...

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Effort to influence Wellmont’s merger strategy spreading

"Hole in the wall gang" continues press for Wellmont-Mountain States merger talks By Jeff Keeling An Aug. 13 email from the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce titled “A Message from Our Mayor: Community Forum Concerning the Future of Local Hospitals” marked the beginning of a high-profile effort to influence Wellmont’s merger strategy. Since that day, and particularly following an Aug. 18 community forum in King ...

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MSHA, CIGNA reach new agreement that begins Oct. 1

Two sides "never stopped talking" after 2011 rift By Scott Robertson Photos by Scott Robertson Almost three years to the day after Mountain States Health Alliance and CIGNA announced they would no longer be doing business together, the two companies have reached agreement on a new deal that will once again allow Cigna customers to access Mountain States facilities and services at in-network rates. The three ...

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NN Inc. purchases SunTrust building, plans to add up to 200 corporate positions in Johnson City

By Jeff Keeling Manufacturer NN Inc. will keep its headquarters in Johnson City as it expands home office headcount to around 200, officials announced this morning. “To support our aggressive global growth plan, we must expand our corporate infrastructure with people, systems and brick and mortar,” NN CEO Rich Holder said while standing in front of the five-story 60,000-square-foot former SunTrust building ...

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Bristol Va. amends two contracts related to The Falls development

By Tammy Childress and Jeff Keeling A contractor preparing The Falls retail site has agreed to accept delayed payments as the City of Bristol, Va. works toward securing additional funds through revenue bonds, and the anchor tenant, Cabela’s, has accepted a lower incentive amount. Bristol’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Economic Development Committee (EDC) met Friday morning in called session re ...

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Wellmont reveals more on study of “strategic options,” potential partnerships as process reaches halfway point

KINGSPORT – Wellmont Health System is about halfway through its strategic options analysis, a process that has yielded positive comments about the organization’s clinical quality and low cost structure. Earlier this year, Wellmont issued a request for proposals from organizations that might want to align in some fashion with the health system. Nine health systems submitted a proposal, but three of them are ...

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Bank of America sells Tri-Cities branches to First Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank has boosted its state-leading market share with a new deal to purchase 13 branches and four remote ATMs from Bank of America in Tennessee. The banks expect the purchase of the branches, including those in Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol and Greeneville to close later this year, pending regulatory approval. The Memphis-based bank will add approximately $660 million of deposits. First Te ...

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