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New “primary economic development organization” plan for Northeast Tennessee made public

By Scott Robertson A document published online as part of the agenda for the Sept. 24 Bristol, Tenn., city council work session includes details of an effort to create a single entity “to serve as the primary economic development organization (EDO) for the eight counties recognized by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as its Northeast Tennessee Region.” The document, a draft of ...

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Reaction to Tennessee Medicaid block grant waiver proposal

Tennessee would become the first state to convert its Medicaid funding into a block grant under a proposal published yesterday by the Lee administration. Reaction was swift but muted from supporters and opponents, with much information yet to be fully vetted. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the health committee in the U.S. Senate, said he has always supported block grants and “Last Congress, I supported ...

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JCDA buys John Sevier Hotel

Diana Cantler By Scott Robertson The John Sevier Hotel building, the largest edifice in downtown Johnson City, is now the property of the Johnson City Development Authority. The JCDA, which closed on the property last week, plans to keep the current property manager, M&M Properties, in place while hiring a developer to build new units for the current residents. The former hotel building is currently a s ...

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Business Journal Q and A: Physician leaders on Ballad

by Jeff Keeling The following is the entire Q and A from the Journal’s wide-ranging August 12 meeting with Ballad Health’s seven physician leaders. Business Journal: You’ve got a mixing of Ballad employee physicians and extenders, and you’ve got independent practitioners – there’s a requirement for an open system – how do you align that and make sure Ballad’s objectives are going to be met without violating ...

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Regional Economic Forum: government, private and social sectors converge

Above: Discussion panelists Alan Levine, Bill Greene, Mark Costa, Jerry Caldwell and Scott Niswonger by Scott Robertson From the outset, the inaugural Regional Economic Forum at the Millennium Center in Johnson City Sept. 10 focused on a single message: Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia’s economy has not kept up with the national economy for the last decade, and though it may prove painful at times ...

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Johnson City preparing to seek state approval for retail tourism district

By Dave Ongie Last week, the plans for a proposed development that would sit on about 100 acres of land inside a new retail tourism development district saw the light of day. Spearheaded by a group including Mark Larkey, Joe Wilson, Bryan Sangid, Bucky Mabe and Clarance Mabe, the development would include a mix of retail and residential space on property located just off Exit 17 of Interstate 26 between Boo ...

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Hot tub maker LPI adding 200 jobs to Johnson City operations

Above: Workers at LPI in Johnson City spray fiberglass onto the shell of a spa. Johnson City-based hot tub and spa manufacturer LPI, Inc. is adding jobs and backfilling a space where a plant closed earlier this year. LPI CEO David Hatley said “thriving retail sales” drove LPI’s decision to purchase a 126,000-square-foot east Johnson City plant recently vacated by CanTech Industrial, which it will use primar ...

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The reality of the Appalachian Highlands

By Mary Trigiani As a two-time transplant to our region – first in 1966 and then in 2016 – I have always felt this is a place of accomplishment. Perhaps, as a child, it was the exposure to John Fox, Jr.’s work and life story, or having the renowned Virginia McChesney as my piano teacher, or learning about U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers’ roots in Wise County, or watching the football great Carroll Dale carry h ...

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‘Blue Lizard’ maker Crown planning Johnson City expansion Company plans to add manufacturing, backfill former NN Inc. headquarters

Crown has invested in some upgraded product lines over the past year, including this one. Photo courtesy Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership The fast-growing company – which partnered with private equity firm Hildred Capital Partners in late 2017 – last year became one of just 6 percent of companies to spend six consecutive years on Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 5000” list of the nation’s fastest-grow ...

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