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Former Bristol Chamber board chair-elect takes over as president and CEOBeth Rhinehart Switches Seats:

By Scott Robertson Beth Rhinehart was in line to become the next chair of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. Instead, she became its next president and CEO. During the entire tenure of the previous president, Joy Madison, and for several years prior, Rhinehart had been involved with the Chamber in several roles while working as director of government relations for Wellmont Health System, lobbying for that org ...

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Alpha Natural Resources files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

By Scott Robertson Leaving many observers surprised at how quickly the action was taken, Bristol, Va.-based Alpha Natural Resources voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 3. As late as four months ago, the coal mining company had reported having $476 million in cash. Immediately after filing, Alpha began assuring customers and vendors it plans to continue to conduct “business as usual” ...

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Food City heads southwest with BI-LO acquisition

By Jeff Keeling To say Food City made a splash last month when it announced its intention to acquire 29 BI-LO supermarkets in the Chattanooga market would be an understatement. The purchase, expected to close this fall (terms are undisclosed), increases the Abingdon, Va.-based company’s store count by nearly a third, from 93 to 122. “Food City has gotten its game pretty sharp,” Progressive Grocer Content Ed ...

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TVA outlines Boone Dam repair plan: Opportunities for local business touted

By Scott Robertson The Tennessee Valley Authority held a series of meetings July 30 to announce its plan to address seepage issues at Boone Dam. After meeting with elected officials and the media, John McCormick, TVA vice president of Safety, River Management and Environment told a crowd of just over 300 at a public information session in Johnson City, “We have benchmarked this project. We have looked at ma ...

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Hard truths about Boone Dam

By Scott Robertson To all the good people who live or work on or around Boone Lake and whose quality of life has been impacted by the lowering of the lake levels for repairs on Boone Dam: It’s sad and unfortunate that you are having to go through this. Please know the rest of us sympathize with you. We hope and pray TVA can beat its projected time frame for repairs. Having said that, there is a very importa ...

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Let’s keep shaking it up in business-education partnerships

By Jeff Keeling I have a young friend who started the 10th grade early this month. I ran into him, and his younger brother who was starting 9th grade, their first morning of school and wound up taking them to lunch that day. Sandwiched around the sandwiches and boneless wings were trips to an out-of-the-way street in a poorer part of Johnson City lined with tiny houses. The boys, along with another brother ...

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