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Passenger count down 91 percent, TRI hopes for $10 million in federal aid

Above: The main concourse at Tri-Cities Airport stands deserted at midday. Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) Executive Director Gene Cossey began his April 23 COVID-19 crisis update for the Airport Authority with a sentence of understatement. “There’s a lot to talk about here,” Cossey said, before adding, “We could possibly be here for several hours talking about everythi ...

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Business re-opens in the region

Virginia exercises abundance of caution; Tennessee moves ahead with new rules By Scott Robertson For decades, the double yellow line in the middle of State Street in Bristol has been the demarcation that most visibly defined the Tennessee-Virginia state line. Today that line neatly marks the ideological gap between two different approaches state governments in America are taking in allowing the re-opening o ...

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Tennessee Valley Corridor shifts annual conference to virtual summit series

As large summer conferences and mass gatherings remain in doubt amidst continued social distancing recommendations from public health officials, the Tennessee Valley Corridor announced March 7 it is shifting its Annual Summit and 25th anniversary celebration to a series of special online events this summer. Originally scheduled to be held July 15-16 at Milligan College, the Corridor’s Annual Summit will ins ...

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Ballad Health to begin elective procedure restart with same-day surgeries, offer Coronavirus tests to anyone

Ballad Health will begin offering same-day surgical procedures next Monday, as the system works through the first few weeks of ramping up its return to performing all elective surgeries, said Dr. Beth Jackson, chief of staff at Holston Valley Medical Center. “We’re doing this in a slow, efficient and safe manner to protect everyone involved,” Jackson told a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon. All ...

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RCAM apprentices stay on pace with proctored online testing

Above: RCAM and Northeast State Testing Services moved proctored testing online for students. Photo courtesy Northeast State As Coronavirus/COVID-19 forced a national shutdown, colleges sought new ways to engage students and deliver content online. The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) of Northeast State partnered with the college’s Office of Testing Services to keep apprentice students on t ...

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Tennessee issues guidelines for limited economic re-opening

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Friday a set of guidelines by which Tennessee businesses may begin the process of re-opening. “Like the rest of the country, Tennessee has taken an unprecedented economic hit with families and small businesses feeling the most pain,” Lee said. “We must stay vigilant as a state, continue to practice social distancing, and engage in best practices at our businesses s ...

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New fund announced to support regional small businesses impacted by COVID crisis

By Scott Robertson Small businesses in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia that are worried about how to keep the doors open as the COVID-19 crisis continues have a new potential source of funding. Several regional organizations and businesses Friday launched the Local Business Recovery Fund. The fund will raise money over the next month and distribute those funds to businesses with 50 or fewer emplo ...

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Greeneville Community Hospital announces changes to cardiac care

A significant drop in elective procedures at the interventional cardiology program at Greeneville Community Hospital has led Ballad Health System administrators to push forward the timeline of changes to cardiac care there. “As we were planning for the future growth of our cardiology program, the issues presented by the pandemic have caused us to accelerate certain plans in the interest of good patient care ...

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Ballad Health to furlough 1,300; hopes to bring all back after crisis ends

Above: Alan Levine, Ballad Health Chairman and CEO By Scott Robertson Ballad Health will begin implementing furloughs Friday for around 1,300 employees, Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said Wednesday. Levine said the system had considered several models regarding crisis staffing levels and had chosen to furlough some workers so those workers could collect the extra unemployment benefits offered through the CAR ...

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Ballad announces new initiatives to protect team members, patients

Pictured Above, CEO of Ballad Health Alan Levine By Dave Ongie At a time when public health officials are urging people to stay apart, Alan Levine claimed during his Tuesday media briefing that medical professionals at Ballad Health are finding out they are indeed “better together” as they address the COVID-19 outbreak in our region. “I cannot imagine what it would be like right now if we were still Mountai ...

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