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Ballad Health: Elective surgeries to cease Dec. 7, some staff to be reassigned to assist with COVID outbreak, no furloughs planned

Ballad Health COVID response leaders, fearing the continued dramatic rise in COVID cases will strain the health system’s capacity to the breaking point, Wednesday announced several actions designed to ready Ballad for what Chairman and CEO Alan Levine called, “what we believe could be the worst-case scenario.” Among the actions: • Ballad has obtained a second refrigerated truck to serve as overflow morgue s ...

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SPIG Industry expands Southwest Virginia operations with 113 jobs and $7.9 million investment

Above: Joshua and Chris Harman, Photo by Earl Neikirk) SPIG Industry, LLC, a Washington County, Va.-based manufacturer of highway guardrail end terminals, will invest just shy of $8 million to expand its operations in the Bristol-Washington County Industrial Park. The company will build three production plants and a welding shop, as well as a new rail spur line to serve the facility. SPIG chose Virginia aft ...

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Pure Salmon to build aquaculture facility in SW Va

Above: Delegate Will Morefield sponsored legislation to clear the way for the facility Pure Salmon, an aquaculture company based in Abu Dhabi, plans to build what it calls the world’s largest vertically-integrated indoor aquaculture facility near Southwest Virginia Community College, with completion expected by the end of 2023. The Boards of Supervisors of Russell, Buchanan and Tazewell counties made the jo ...

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“The way out of this pandemic is through it.”

Ballad Health’s Jamie Swift has the not-terribly-surprising roadmap through COVID for your business by Scott Robertson For most Americans, the idea of a pandemic striking during our lifetime seemed only a remote possibility before the COVID crisis. Not so for Jamie Swift, who started her career as a communicable disease nurse and served as director of Communicable and Environmental Disease Services with the ...

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The Business Journal Q&A:

Leton Harding As chairman-elect of the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) for 2020-2021, Leton Harding, president, chairman and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, is acutely aware of the issues facing both the banking community and the customers and clients of banks. After hearing Harding discussing the plight of small businesspeople who feel they’re being punished for following the rules regarding Small B ...

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BMS, Food City, Bristol Chamber partner to make Speedway in Lights free for Bristol schoolchildren in lieu of Christmas Parade

Above: Steve Smith, Beth Rhinehart and Jerry Caldwell by Scott Robertson The COVID crisis will not stop schoolchildren in Bristol and eastern Sullivan County from having a public celebration of Christmas.  When Bristol Chamber of Commerce leaders realized there would be no safe way to conduct a Christmas Parade this year, they rejected the notion that the children who love attending the parade every ye ...

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ApprenticeshipTN readies for statewide conference

by Scott Robertson Tyra Copas Tyra Copas has had a full year. When Copas was named state apprenticeship director by the Tennessee Department of Labor in Sept. 2019, she knew she would be working with Tennessee’s employers to help them build registered apprenticeship programs to meet their hiring challenges. She did not know she’d be doing it with a backdrop of COVID-19 complicating matters. When COVID began ...

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An Urgent Joint Statement from Regional Business, Education and Pastoral Leaders

Help Us Support Our Healthcare Workforce as They Support our Region As leaders of organizations touching every part of the Appalachian Highlands, we believe it is important to speak out about issues that affect our team members, their families and our extended communities. Right now, there is no issue more concerning to us than the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We are c ...

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Santa Train program to distribute in southwest Virginia, but without the train

For decades, business throughout southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee have supported the running of the Santa Train, in which Santa Claus rides from eastern Kentucky through southwest Virginia to Kingsport, Tennessee, distributing toys to coalfield children at whistlestops along the way.This year, CSX, Food City, Appalachian Power, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Soles4Souls are being forced by ...

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